In the world of weight loss, transformation is a word we use a lot. It’s a word that carries a lot of weight (no pun intended) and it can often feel like this HUGE vision that seems unattainable. Truthfully, I think the word transformation scares us a bit. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and quite frankly unsure. What we really need is reinvention. Reinvention on how to be a woman who loses weight and keeps it off. Reinvention into the woman who feels damn good in her own skin no matter what her age is. Reinvention into the woman who is honest with herself, extends grace, and understands how her beliefs drive her behaviors. Let’s dive in and discuss how you can reinvent yourself as someone who has permanent weight loss.
When I was in my 20s I had a conversation with a coworker.
I was talking about how I wanted to move away from snowy, cold Massachusetts to sunny, warm California. He mentioned a quote from the movie Buckaroo Banzai, “Wherever you go, there you are.”
Basically, you can go wherever you want but you’re just bringing your dysfunction somewhere else. That’s a problem. You can go anywhere in the world, but if you don’t change how you think, you’re always going to end up right back where you started.
I see it when working with clients.
- I need a different coach
- I need a different plan
- I need a different program
- I need a different gym
- I need a different body
- I need somebody else
Changing the external circumstance will only get you so far. That’s true with weight loss. Until we really reinvent ourselves and leave behind the past, we’re not going to get to where we want to go.
When women say that they want to be more confident or more comfortable in their own skin, I want to tell you that you won’t automatically be more comfortable in your own skin or be more confident when you see a certain number on the scale. Weight loss is not a guarantee of eternal happiness. Confidence is not just changing your body. It will only be temporary, unless you change your identity.
Dieting is a great way to stay surface level and avoid going deeper.
Going from diet to diet keeps us from having to figure out who we are. I tell my clients if you’re noticing something’s triggering them, that is a sign to pay attention and not to run away. Sit with the discomfort and figure it out. It’s probably not as bad as you think it is.
Being uncomfortable is what a lot of people get scared of. This whole idea is that there’s so much work. It’s common to run back to the surface, to the diets, instead of either recreating the definition of what work is or just fucking doing the big shit without motivation.
If you want permanent weight loss, there has to be some level of reinvention.
Not because you suck, or you’re not good enough. Reinvention is the next level. It is just making a decision to think bigger than a diet, not about changing everything and becoming a completely new person.
There is that temptation to go to the quick-fix diet for that little rocket boost or fuel on the fire. I just want you to know that the quick-fix diet is just a bridge because we’re not able to do that kind of diet for the rest of our lives. We’re obviously going to need something next.
I know what it’s like, especially having done contest prep for the stage. I’ve had years of being a vegetarian. I’ve done a lot of things. When I decide to stop doing those things, there is a time period when I’m kind of confused. Am I high carb, high protein, low carb, high fat, my low fat? Permanent weight loss is not purely about the calories in and out. Most humans eat, not for physical hunger, but more for emotional or habitual reasons.
This is the part that needs to be reinvented.
I’m going to give you 11 things to lose weight. Plus we’re also going to reinvent how we think and how we feel. We’re going to focus on actions. As you read the list, I want you to think about what would have the biggest impact on you?
I’ll give an example.
People will say, I have to really focus on water. Yet they’re drinking two glasses of wine every night. Which would have the biggest impact? Drinking water or doing something about wine every night?
If I get rid of the wine every night, then:
- I’m already more hydrated just by not drinking wine.
- My sleep is better, not interrupted.
- When I wake up, I’m not groggy.
- I don’t have a headache.
- I don’t have carb cravings.
- I don’t end up just kind of having a crappy day and repeating this cycle over and over.
If you become a woman who walks, your life is going to change. Get out and walk. Don’t run, don’t jog, don’t rollerblade, or do whatever other things you want to do. Walk. Daily movement. It doesn’t have to be fast. You’re not wearing a weighted vest. Get out and walk. If you’re not walking now, start small, and build up. You don’t have to walk 10 miles a day. Make walking a daily habit and it will change your life. It’s very functional. It is like moving meditation. It has changed my life and it’s changed my clients’ lives.
#2: Protein at every meal
Eat protein every time you eat. Think about protein as the anchor. Start with the protein and figure out what else you’re going to have. It could be chicken, turkey, fish, steak, eggs, scallops, shrimp, tofu, or whatever. Whether you’re eating three meals or four meals or 22 meals a day, start with the protein first. Do what works for your schedule. Don’t overthink it.
It’s one of those things that you need as a human being to be hydrated. You don’t have to drink gallons of water a day. I include it because I think it’s kind of a basic essential.
You can affect your hormone balance by going to sleep and waking, at relatively the same time every day. There are a lot of things you can do to improve your sleep:
- Don’t lie down with a lot on your mind.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- Don’t eat too close to bedtime.
- Make sure your room is dark and cool.
- Sleep on sheets made of natural fibers.
If you want longevity, and you want to be lean, then you want that hormone balance that comes from getting good sleep.
#5: Plan ahead
Sometimes we act like we don’t have control…like we couldn’t possibly plan.
I don’t know what they’re offering at the work lunch. I won’t be able to special order. I don’t know what restaurant we’re going to. I don’t know what we’re doing later tonight. Here’s the thing…you’re the owner of your brain. You always get to decide what to eat. You might not be able to plan the specifics of what you are going to eat (Greek salad with shrimp), but you can plan a general outline (protein and veggies). Whatever protocol you’re on, you can always plan ahead.
#6: Slow down and tune in to your physical hunger
We’re on the go and we’re cramming food in. Or we’re just eating because five o’clock is when we eat dinner. Are you hungry? Do you ever check with yourself if you’re hungry? Do you even know what physical hunger is? Babies obviously don’t keep drinking bottles. When they’re full, they have a very automatic on-and-off. They cry when they’re hungry, and they stop eating when they’re full.
At some point, children and adults lose that. I’m guessing because of the hyper-palatability of food. Processed foods are very easy to overeat. We give rewards and treats and snacks and “You’re a good girl.”
Some things get messed up along the way, but it’s never too late to tune into real hunger. How do you do that? Pause. Pausing is a wonderful tool. Whether you’re pausing to take a breath, you’re pausing before you eat, before you speak, or before you react, this is very helpful. If you find that you’re always having these urges and cravings, just take a little timeout.
#7: Standards and protocols are part of reinventing yourself.
These are fundamental questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you stand for?
- What kinds of things do you eat?
- What don’t you eat?
- When do you eat?
- What do you say yes to?
- What do you say no to?
It’s going to take you from who you are right now, to who you are in the future as a woman who loses weight and keeps it off. I can lose weight like my past self, I did plenty of times. I can lose weight right now. If I want to keep it off, I have to think about, what does she do? Write me 2.0.
- What are your standards?
- What kind of protocols do you have?
The fun part of this is that you can change your mind. You can make it up and revise it as many times as you want. You’re not writing it in stone. It’s not permanent. It’s just the next level as you progress. As you are willing to think differently, to believe new things, you will be slowly but surely changing. Your standards will change too.
You might have been somebody who eats fast food all the time. One of your standards might be I don’t eat fast food, or I don’t drink alcohol. Or I only eat fast food on Saturdays. I only drink wine on Friday night.
I’m not here to tell you what your standards are. I think it’s fun to create them for yourself. You get to decide. There is no right, and there is no wrong. It is only what is for you. Get out a notebook. Think about what you want it to be.
#8: Eating a salad every day
I don’t mean a salad heaped with cheese and 1000 Island dressing. Eat a salad every day, whether it’s at lunch or at dinner, doesn’t matter. I make salads with pre-cut bagged lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and tomatoes. I can put all kinds of things in there, of course, protein too. I’m telling you, eat a salad every day. Make it filled with colors. Try new shit like broccoli, slaw, red cabbage, corn, and beans. I don’t care. Do it up! You’d be surprised.
#9: Go for unprocessed foods 80% of the time
Make most of your food, unprocessed food.
If you have a choice between eating something that comes in a package with a barcode versus fresh food, level up. I’m not saying cook everything from scratch. I like convenience. I like things that are already partially prepared for me. You know, vegetables that are already chopped, premade salads, or a rotisserie chicken. Think about the balance of things. Can you be more unprocessed than processed food?
#10: Don’t rely on the scale for your reward.
This is what I call the “Am I skinny yet?” tax. “I have been walking for two days, I’ve been drinking water for two days. I went to bed at 10 o’clock last night. I’m going to get on the scale to see if I’m skinny yet.”
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you have to stop that shit! We want to keep going back to all the old ways and the old things, that person who needs to know if it’s working. I need proof that it’s working. Trust the actions without needing to know, instantly, if it’s working.
- If I walk
- If I have protein at every meal
- If I drink water
- If I sleep
- If I plan my meals ahead
- If I slow down
- If I connect to physical hunger
- If I pause if I let the urges roll over me
- If I create standards and protocols for myself for the future
You’re going to lose weight, without a doubt. If you can focus on these actions, you will become a woman who takes care of herself and tunes into her physical hunger. This is the tipping point. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own story that we never get to the basic actions. We end up regaining the lost weight. That isn’t because you have no discipline, or your diet doesn’t work.
It’s more about an identity issue.
It’s more about what you believe about who you are. Changing your identity is a very subtle process. If you get into those actions,
- You will start to change
- You will be focused on those actions
- You will start to believe
- You will start to feel better
Reinvention doesn’t have to be drastic or scary.
As a lifelong transformer, and a lifelong reinventer, I want to tell you that you’ve already made a lot of reinventions along the way. Now we’re just waiting for this last piece where you become a woman who loses weight and keeps it off. You’re not waiting to be happy in the future, you’re not waiting for that magic number on the scale, and you’re not waiting to be motivated. We’re doing it right now!
NOTES IN ANCHOR
In the world of weight loss, transformation is a word we use a lot. It’s a word that carries a lot of weight (no pun intended) and it can often feel like this HUGE vision that seems unattainable. Truthfully, I think the word transformation scares us a bit. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and quite frankly unsure. What we really need is reinvention. Reinvention on how to be a woman who loses weight and keeps it off. Reinvention into the woman who feels damn good in her own skin no matter what her age is. Reinvention into the woman who is honest with herself, extends grace, and understands how her beliefs drive her behaviors. Let’s dive in and discuss how you can reinvent yourself as someone who has permanent weight loss on episode 23 of the Unf*ck You Weight Loss podcast now!
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on. Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience.
Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.
Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you unf*ck your diet brain.
She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.
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