Working Out & Weight Loss

by | Mar 17, 2023

I own four gym locations in the Fitness Asylum. I am a health and fitness professional. I consider myself a group exercise instructor and a personal trainer, even though I don’t do those things anymore. I still love writing workouts. I work hand in hand with all of my clients in Self Made on their workouts. I still work with bikini competitors and bodybuilders on their workouts. 

I retired from bodybuilding, but I identify as a bodybuilder. To me, working out is just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. In fact, my husband would probably argue that I would prioritize working out over taking a shower or over brushing my teeth. 

Working out is awesome and it definitely changed my life. I will stick by that. 

I have been working out regularly since 1993. 

That is 30 years. I have had weight loss. I have had weight to lose and many weight loss issues. My weight has been all over the place since 1993. I have probably gained and lost the same pounds over and over. It would probably total hundreds of pounds if I sat and added it all up. 

To be perfectly honest, working out was part of my weight loss but was never the reason for my weight loss. It was definitely part of the journey. In fact, there were times that too much working out contributed to me not losing weight. 

I want to pull working out away from weight loss, to untangle that big mess in our heads about how we need to work out in order to lose weight. I think the biggest example of this is that we just came out of a global pandemic where many of us who did have regular workout routines weren’t able to do so. Whether that was going to a gym, yoga studio, playing golf, or tennis, it all came to a halt. Then it was very hard to get equipment to work out at home. 

Looking at all the different data, the average weight gain for women during the pandemic was about 21 pounds. I think that came mostly from less movement. 

We went from driving to work, parking the car, walking across the parking lot, and maybe a couple flights of stairs to get to your office daily, to only walking to the fridge or the bathroom. Our overall daily steps went way down. 

I know, for myself, I sat a lot and part of it was feeling really uncertain. Kind of in that freeze. You know, the “fight, flight or freeze.” 

Lots of freeze effect going on where you’re just sitting there in front of your computer wondering; 

  • What are you supposed to do? 
  • What’s next?
  • When can I get back to my real life?
  • What else is happening?
  • What do I need to know?

Regular activities were thrown off, and that’s okay.

I want to assure you that this is not just “hey, if you’re somebody who used to work out and you don’t this is for you.” This is for anyone who either does not work out, never works out, or hasn’t worked out. 

This is for everyone, whether;

  • You are restarting your workout. 
  • You’re having trouble starting your workout. 
  • You’re a worker outer.
  • You’re an over-worker outer. 

I assume you’re here to lose weight. Whether it’s that last five or ten pounds, or the first five or ten pounds or the final 50. Wherever you are on your journey. This is for you. 

What the hell was working out? 

When I started working out regularly at the beginning of 93, my original love affair with working out was Jazzercise. I became a Jazzercise instructor and here I am today. I’ve done it all.

I’ve done CrossFit, kettlebells, yoga, boxing, etc. I really do credit Jazzercise for putting me on that road in my life. 

My true love is strength training.

Working out isn’t just strength training but it is one of the buckets. I work with clients daily inside of Self Made as well as a group of competitors that get on stage. I help them figure out their strength training.

Getting on stage is a little bit different from an everyday lifestyle. I have clients who are in Self Made and also getting on stage. I have clients who will get on stage and then they’ll come to Self Made so that they can reestablish their relationship with food and themselves and find more of a lifestyle. I find it interesting to work on both ends of that continuum. 

When I think about working out my brain always goes to strength training, but I ask my clients, what do you mean by working out? I try to really figure out what it means for them. 

I put working out into three categories, let’s call them buckets. 

1) Strength Training

The first bucket is strength training and there’s a lot of different ways to strength train. A simple definition is, progressive overload. I have to think about the things I’m doing to actually overload my muscles. That would be using dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, workout bands, and some bodyweight exercise. There are many different ways to do that. It isn’t a one size fits all, but I think about strength training, as that progressive overload. 

I am lifting just to maintain my muscle, there’s a lot of gray area in there. I encourage you, if you are not strength training, if you’re not challenging your body in that way, it is something to get started with or restarted with, because strength training will help you to do more than just build muscle. 

Women don’t build tons of muscle. I know whether that makes you happy or doesn’t make you happy. That’s the truth. If a woman were to gain two or three pounds in a year of muscle, that’s pretty good. That’s really good. 

Many women are just trying to preserve the muscle we have. Believe it or not, you do have muscle mass. You build muscle along the way, especially if you are 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 pounds overweight, you’re going to have muscles that support your whole body. So you have the muscle. We want to preserve it. 

Fad diets, these sort of quickie diets, very low calorie diets. Anything that promises those quick results. Any fast weight loss that you experience does have you potentially losing muscle mass. 

I like to think of muscle as money. It’s money in the bank. It’s gold. It’s your little treasures in your safe. Muscle is what you want to preserve. 

I think a lot of us have heard things like, Oh, well don’t get too big, too muscular, you don’t want to look like a man. Honestly, women just don’t have that. They don’t have that level of hormones. If you see a woman and suddenly she’s huge and jacked and all that, maybe she’s taking steroids. For regular women, adding a lot of muscle mass does not come easily. It would take a lot of effort to gain pounds of muscle. 

Most of the time, when you start to notice women looking more defined or more toned, is that they’ve actually lost body fat, and they’re revealing the muscle underneath. 

Strength training does help you preserve muscle mass. When we preserve muscle mass, it does help us preserve our bones and our bones are very important.

We can’t be aging, and literally falling apart, right? As soon as you fall down once, you break a hip, and you don’t want that. 

You want to have muscle mass because it does help you burn more calories and become more metabolic, as it were. Many women in their 40s and 50s will complain that their metabolism isn’t just isn’t the same as it was when they were in their 20s and 30s. Without getting too sciency, some of that is actually true when we’ve been dieting forever. We could be losing a lot of muscle mass. 

Strength training is something I would put on the list for this year. It doesn’t have to be that you go to the gym for hours at a time or anything crazy like that. You can strength train anywhere. 

If you already know how to strength train, 

  • You could strength train in your own home, 
  • You could find a women’s only gym, 
  • You could find the women’s only workout part of the gym, 
  • You could join a strength training class where you don’t have to have a great knowledge. 

You just have to follow directions and work at your own pace. 

I think a lot of times, it is intimidating to go into the gym and to start doing something new. Just like going to that first Jazzercise or Zumba class. Going into the first ski lesson. 

Nobody learns a new skill or feels entirely comfortable on day one.

I have this thing I tell people when they come to the Fitness Asylum. I say, “your first class is your worst class.” Everybody has a first class, a first time, everybody gets to be new once. Everybody has class number one or day number one. It’s okay if it feels like you have a lot of day number ones. 

You know what? It gets easier, just to keep going. That doesn’t mean you have to do it every day but if I work out two or three times a week it might be three or four days before I go back to the gym. That doesn’t mean I’m restarting from day one. Not at all. 

A lot of how we approach working out is based on our thoughts, how we think, what we believe, and how we’re feeling about our fears, our diet, our doubts. That level of uncertainty or anxiety around working out. 

I want to demystify working out. Not just pull it apart from your weight loss. I want to assure you, you can lose weight without working out. But I also want to use this time to tell you that strength training is magical. 

It’s not the answer to weight loss, but it really is the answer if you want to feel stronger. If you want to feel more empowered and more confident in your physicality. It is a great confidence booster. It is a great ego booster. It is definitely a mood booster. 

Many of my clients, as they’re learning to separate that workout from their weight loss, they’re learning more about how weight loss really works. 

They start to think;

  • I’m gonna keep working out because it makes me feel good. 
  • It’s good for my mental health. 
  • It’s my outlet. 
  • It’s my alone time. 
  • It’s where I get to listen to music. 
  • I get to think.
  • I get to let out the frustrations of the day. 
  • It’s how I like to start my day. 

Working out can be a lot of different things to a lot of people. Strength training is one of those things that I really want to call your attention. As a woman, the one thing you could do for yourself is strength train safely and effectively. 

Many gyms will help you get started. Ask them;

  • Do you offer free intros?
  • Do you have someone who shows me how to use the machines? 
  • Is there someone here who could give me a beginner workout?

I’m not suggesting that you have to go and hire a personal trainer, but it couldn’t hurt. You don’t have to join a gym or a fitness class, but it couldn’t hurt. It could help you. 

You can learn a lot of the basic moves like;

  • How do I execute a proper squat? 
  • How do I then do the squat with dumbbells or a barbell or holding a kettlebell? 
  • Or what are the different kinds of squats? 

There’s no end to the learning and there’s no end to the different varieties of workouts you could do. 

There is the saying “there is no bad workout, only the workout you didn’t do.” It’s a catchy t-shirt but some workouts are bad. 

Let’s be honest, they could be;

  • Unsafe. 
  • Dangerous. 
  • Ridiculous. 
  • Over the top
  • Not right for you. 

We want to find something that works for you. It is baby steps. 

Never try to go from not working out to, I need to spend an hour in the gym. Unless part of the hour is 20 minutes sitting on the bench and 10 minutes getting a drink at the water fountain and 5 minutes writing in your workout journal. 

Another one of the buckets of working out is cardio.

2) Cardio

My number one go-to for cardio is walking. Walking is something that most people could do. You could have something that keeps you from walking or it’s painful to walk, like an injury. 

I had a client once that won a fitness challenge. She lost 31 pounds in 12 weeks with a knee injury. She didn’t walk one iota. In fact, she didn’t do anything. Not even strength training where you sit in a chair and do bicep curls or overhead presses. She did nothing, nada, zilch, zero working out and lost 31 pounds. Over 12 weeks, 31 pounds isn’t excessive. I think it’s great. But had she worked out, who knows? It could have changed the amount of muscle that she lost or gained. 

I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios. I have another client who also got injured and had to put all the workouts on hold while continuing on her weight loss journey. She lost four to six pounds every month. 

I have a coach who works with me and Self Made who lost her first 50 to 60 without any workout. 

So cardio, walking is my go to, but there are lots of different ways to do cardio. People will obviously run or jog or sprint or do a combo. People will use indoor cardio machines like elliptical, Arc Trainer, stair stepper, rowing machine. I’m not going to go into every opinion but I’ve done all those things. 

The one cardio activity that I have found to be most effective for myself and my clients is walking. Obviously using a treadmill if the weather is not good, or it’s four in the morning and it’s dark out. 

Walking, it is definitely easy on your body. It is not stressful. It’s not 1000s of pounds that your joints have to absorb when you’re trying to run or sprint or jog. 

There’s a lot that goes into running, sprinting, and jogging. You need to have good form. Maybe working with a running coach to make sure that your running gait is appropriate. that you’re in the right shoes, and that you’re using your upper body in the correct way because you can get very injured just trying to run. Especially if you’re a woman in your 40s and 50s. We’re not 10 years old anymore on the playground. 

Speaking of running, I was never much of a runner. I can even remember like that 600 yard dash they made you do like in grade school. I remember just dreading it so much. I was just always such a slow runner. I am flat footed. I can always remember it would be a day in school that you show up wearing your corduroys and your non running shoes. Trying to run a 600 yard dash and sweating and the chafing of your corduroys. I’m a little biased against running, but that’s okay.

 Ultimately, when it comes to working out, you want to find something that you enjoy. Something that works for you. None of the workout options are about punishment or I have to do this so I can burn off what I ate. 

I think that’s part of the trap. We look at our Apple watch, or Fitbit and it says I burnt off X number of calories. The treadmill at the gym said it was 200 calories. We start equating what we’re eating and what we’re burning off as part of that weight loss formula, and it just doesn’t work out that way. 

You’ve probably seen this play out. If you’re trying to measure the calories burned in strength training versus cardio, a lot of people want to pick the cardio. A lot of people want to pick running over walking, because they think they burn many more calories. But if you’ve ever done weight loss math, it rarely adds up. 

If I cut 500 calories out of my food for the day, and I add a workout that burns 500 calories, shouldn’t that be a 1000 calorie deficit? Then over the course of seven days, that’s 7000 calories. That would be a two pound loss every week. That math doesn’t add up. I mean, the math is right, but it misses so many biological mechanisms that we can’t account for. 

I want to urge you to always find the things that work for you. If you’re somebody who doesn’t have a lot of steps, a lot of movement, a lot of exercise or working out in your day in your life, start with walking. Walk 10 minutes. That’s how anything gets built is 10-15 minutes at a time. 

When I think about working out, I have a third bucket, and everything else goes in that bucket. No, it is not the chuck it in a bucket bucket. It’s just a bucket. Strength training is my first bucket, cardio is my second bucket, and my third bucket is just other.

3) Other

It’s all the different ways that you could work out. 

You could argue if some of them are strength training, or if some of them are cardio. It really depends on the person and the scenario. 

Like yoga. Some yoga classes are very slow and restorative and you’re not worried. If you work up a sweat it’s only because you’re in a heated studio, but you’re not really doing that much movement. Other yoga classes are like gym yoga. You’re practically doing gymnastics and calisthenics, all built into one. 

I also want to say that sweating more, doesn’t really mean that much. I knew a lot of people think that a workout isn’t a workout unless either their heart rate got to a certain level, or that they sweated a lot. I just want to tell you that’s not necessarily true. I know a lot of people who are just very sweaty, they sweat all the time. I know a lot of people who never sweat. I don’t think we measure our success or if the workout was successful based on whether you were sweating enough. 

You go into a hot yoga class, you’re going to sweat, right? It’s just because it’s set at 100 degrees. You could sit there and sweat. You do have to be careful when you go into some of these yoga classes that you don’t overdo it in that way. 

Ultimately, I love yoga. I put it in the other bucket not because I don’t love it. It just depends. 

Same thing with things like Pilates or boxing or ice skating, or golf or rock climbing. It depends on who’s doing it over what period of time. I am all for finding the things that you like. Whether you do it once a week, once a month, or every other day, it’s finding what works best for you. 

The nice thing about being an adult is that we’re not in gym class anymore. We’re not being forced into playing dodgeball when we don’t like it. We get to make decisions about what we would like to try. Whether that’s line dancing or aquatic class, finding something that is convenient and easy for you to do. 

Studies show that if you want to have adherence to working out, you do have to find something that is not out of the way. Looking for something that is close to where you work, or close to where you live, or somewhere in between. Sometimes with strength training, cardio, and with all of these activities, you are just looking for ways to fit them into your already busy life. 

Your workout and your weight loss should fit into your life versus you trying to reconfigure your whole life around the workout, or the weight loss. That’s not going to work. That’s not going to be sustainable. It’s not going to be long lasting. 

You could try a variety of workouts and keep going. Just because you don’t like one thing doesn’t mean you won’t like another or just because you go to one gym that wasn’t a fit. That’s okay, keep going till you find what is right for you.

I look at weight loss as a continuum. 

This isn’t; 

  • We’re going to be done with our weight loss in six months, 
  • We’re going to be done with our workouts in six months, 
  • We’re going to be done working on ourselves and working on our body and working on our longevity. 

No, we’re not. It’s like, what’s the next thing I want to try? There’s endless opportunities. 

What is the problem with making weight loss dependent on working out? 

Many things are routine. Our daily life is going to be interrupted. We are going to have setbacks. We aren’t always going to be able to work out, that is just a fact. Life does get lifey.

When I work with clients, inside Self Made especially, we’re always talking about planning for obstacles. 

  • What will you do when there is a setback? 
  • How will you plan for that?
  • What is the plan A or plan B or Plan C? 
  • What could you do instead? 

I think COVID was a big wake up call to show us how we’re so dependent on working out and if I can’t work out, then what does it matter what I eat? Right? How quickly we throw away everything when one part of our life gets disrupted. 

If we suddenly;

  • Can’t work out, 
  • Have an injury, 
  • Get sick, 
  • Go on vacation, 
  • Someone else gets sick, 
  • The big things and the little things happen. 

Are you still a woman who eats for her weight loss, her goals, her health? Is that still part of your identity? 

We do see it all the time. That I got thrown off track. I fell off the wagon. I have to get restarted again. There’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, like I said, I’ve been working out regularly for 30 years and there’s been a lot of starts and stops. There’s been injuries. There’s been pregnancies. There’s been all kinds of things that have changed or gotten in the way. I always just went on to the next workout, to the next level, to all the different things that I have done over those 30 years. It wasn’t 30 years of Jazzercise. It was 30 years of working out. 

It became learning about strength training. Getting really into working out in the gym. I got into spinning and Pilates and yoga and boxing and kettlebells and all of the things. They were all part of the journey. I like to try different things. I always came back to two things, strength training and walking. 

If we make weight loss dependent on working out, we’re going to handicap ourselves. As soon as that work trip gets planned, or your kid gets sick, then we actually begin to sabotage ourselves.

Why does that happen? It’s just our thoughts. We think I have to work out in order to lose weight. I’m here to tell you you don’t. 

It feels weird for me to tell you that. It feels wrong, but I’m telling you the truth. 

Working out great for you. 

Is it necessary for weight loss? No. 

Is it nice to have? F*ck yeah it is. 

Let’s talk about weight loss, and then let’s talk about a plan for working out.

What is weight loss? We’ve been told our whole life through diets. We’re indifferent. Whether it came from a doctor or from a fitness magazine, it’s this whole idea that if you want to lose weight and look a certain way, then you have to eat less and move more. 

You have to work out and eat better. You have to lift weights and have a better diet. It can be very overwhelming in that way. 

We need to break it down because there are a lot of questions.

  • Where do I even start? 
  • How do I eat better? 
  • How do I eat less? 
  • How do I lose weight? 
  • How do I do it for the long term? 
  • What does that even mean? 

My mind, my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings. I can never keep weight off. Weight loss is hard. I can never maintain that weight loss. 

I want to make this easy for you. We’re going to leave here feeling like heck yeah, now I have a game plan. I want to break it down for you. 

1) Weight loss starts with a decision. 

You have to decide that you are going to lose weight, that’s it. The decision is made. That’s where commitment comes from. 

It’s not the decision that:

  • I’ll always be perfect.  
  • I can control the world.
  • I can predict the future. 

It is a decision that I am going to lose weight. I’ve committed to that. 

That’s where it starts. 

2) Recognize that it is your thoughts and beliefs. 

Old thinking will not move you to a new version of yourself. Everything that we have thought in the past is not wrong. But it is in the past. It is old thinking. 

How I approached my workout, eating, meal planning, weekend eating, night eating or vacation eating, I’m going to have to rethink that sh*t. It doesn’t mean I have to change everything. It doesn’t mean I was wrong or bad. 

I want to recognize that all the things from the past are just from the past. In making the decision, I’m going to turn the page and I’m going to be open to creating new thinking and new beliefs to move me forward. 

The old thinking doesn’t go away. It doesn’t get flushed down the toilet or locker in the garage. It’s going to probably remind me of how it used to be. What we used to weigh. What we used to eat. But in order to make weight loss happen and keep it off. I’m going to have to make that fundamental change. 

3) I’m going to have to feel feelings instead of eating them. 

Buffering with food, meaning trying to use food to solve problems, doesn’t work. It’s just a distraction. It’s not a solution. 

4) I actually have to eat when I’m hungry and then I have to stop.

This takes practice. I think most of us dismiss it. I think most of us are like well that’s stupid or easy. How could that be the answer? 

I want to challenge you on that. 

Really figure out;

  • Are you hungry? 
  • Are you physically hungry? 
  • Are you emotionally hungry? 
  • Do you know? 
  • What does physical hunger feel like in your body? 

Do you do a lot of;

  • Eating on the go?
  • Eating in the car?
  • Mindlessly eating at the counter?

Eating very quickly so that you don’t know;

  • Am I still hungry? 
  • Have I had enough? 

We have to be able to slow down. We have to actually ask ourselves. 

Babies have a natural built in self preservation monitor. They cry when they’re hungry and they stop when they’ve had enough. Over time we’ve been exposed to so much hyper palatable food, processed foods, delicious foods, things that taste good and create this beautiful dopamine buzz. It’s hard. We don’t say no, we overeat. 

Eating when you’re hungry, and stopping at enough is fundamental to weight loss. 

Notice that none of the things I’ve mentioned about how to lose weight have mentioned working out, not one of them. 

5) Learning to pause when you feel the urge to eat.

If you are a person who’s like; I have these urges, I have cravings, I am always so tempted. 

Have you ever thought about;

  • Pausing? 
  • Being curious? 
  • How long does this urge last? 
  • What happens if I don’t feed the urge? 

This is more fundamental to your weight loss than you know. 

Learning how to Zumba is fun. Is it good for you? Of course. Will you have a good time and make friends and burn some calories? Yes. But if you don’t know how to stop feeding the urge monster, you’re always going to be fighting for your weight loss. 

6) Planning your day in advance.

Not making decisions at six o’clock at night like I feel like having a 12 foot Italian sub with three bags of potato chips and a coke. 

You could have that, but you would be better off planning it in the morning before you get tired and cranky. At six in the morning or 11 in the morning, you still have some brain cells. You can decide “okay, I know I’m probably gonna get home at six o’clock and be hungry. What should I be eating?”

If you’re undecided or worried that you don’t have an option, what are two things I could choose from? 

You’re less likely to overeat when you plan.

7) Learn to say no and hold boundaries for yourself and your goals. 

When people are constantly offering you food and drinks. 

  • Why aren’t you drinking? 
  • Why aren’t you eating? 
  • Are you on a diet? 
  • What is this diet? 
  • Can you tell show me your diet? 
  • When does the diet end? 
  • What is wrong with you? 
  • You look fine.
  • Just have a bite.

No, no thank you. 

8) Expect setbacks. 

Expect setbacks, obstacles, and shit to go sideways. Stop waiting for it to be perfect and the right time. 

  • There’s no right time. 
  • It is just this time. 
  • Only time you have is now. 
  • Quit putting off your weight loss. 
  • You’re always gonna have setbacks.

That is just part of it. 

  • What could you do? 
  • What could you do for a setback? 
  • What would happen? 
  • What are the obstacles? 
  • What is my Plan B?

9) Quit quitting. 

I know quit quitting. Take quitting off the table. You can take a break. You can take a pause. There are these things called diet breaks. 

That’s why people obviously get coaches to help them through the different phases of weight loss. 

Quitting is only temporary because whether it’s in three months or six months or three years, you’re going to come back with even more weight to lose. Quitting can be big quits, it can be micro quitting. 

Learning how to;

Quit quitting. 

Believe in yourself, 

Speak to yourself, 

Trust yourself, 

Trust food

It is a practice and it won’t be accomplished by you quitting. 

10) Focus on small actions.

Daily small actions. There’s a saying “little hinges swing big doors.” 

It’s the little things,

  • Drinking the water, 
  • Going to sleep,
  • Getting the seven hours of sleep, 
  • Adding a walk, 
  • Using your calendar or planner to schedule out your workout.

This is a great place to start introducing movement, fitness, exercise, and working out.

Make working out part of your weight loss, but don’t make your weight loss dependent on working out. 

In the grand scheme of things working out is at the bottom. It’s not the first thing to do. Weight loss can happen when you stop not eating, but stop overeating. Don’t stop indulging, but learning how to do it, and stop overindulging. 

That’s all I really look at as a weight loss formula and then adding exercise or working out or fitness or strength training or whatever to this formula, versus making weight loss dependent on working out. 

I understand 100% why many people just want to workout instead. 

It does seem easier. I’d rather just go for a walk, punch a heavy bag, or lift a dumbbell. I don’t want to think about why I’m eating. I don’t want to think about what I could do instead. I don’t want to write out my urges. 

But honestly, you have to do that work anyway. It’s not work out or figure out the eating. It’s two separate things entirely. 

Now back to working out. 

How can I get started or restarted working out? 

When we talk about working out 

  • or we think about working out 
  • or I need to work out 
  • or I should work out
  • or not working out 
  • or all of that 

Working out is ambiguous, right? 

There’s so many things to choose from. Even if I just looked at cardio, or just looked at strength training, there’s so much. 

What I think is helpful is to really be specific. We can’t just say “I need to work out,” unless that’s just part of your identity and you do it all the time. You’re just saying, “Oh, I need to fit my workout in today.” 

For most of us, we need to be very specific. When you say; 

  • I need to work out or 
  • I should work out or 
  • I need to get started/restarted or 
  • I need to be motivated to work out or 
  • Why can’t I work out?

When you say work out what does it mean? Put it in writing. 

  • Are you looking to add walking? 
  • Are you looking to add a bootcamp class? 
  • Are you looking to add dance class? 
  • Are you looking for strength training class? 

What are we doing? 

Working out is going to always be something that’s just out there. You know looming like the stack of bills, the to do list, or the pile of books I haven’t read yet. 

Be very specific and then do it in small chunks. 

Where can you start right now? 

  • Is it the 10 minute walk? 
  • Is it sign up for a workout class? 
  • Is it make the call to the gym?
  • Is it visit the gym?
  • Is it to take an intro class?
  • Is it to recruit your spouse or a buddy? 
  • Is it to go to your local YMCA or mom’s group? 

There’s a lot of different opportunities, you need to just pick one thing. 

If you know that used to enjoy playing tennis, lots of people right now play pickleball, some people want to go bowling. Be very specific on what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. 

When you go into a gym to strength train, go in with a plan. I can tell you this, as a fitness professional, I would bring a notebook into the gym. I didn’t already write in my notebook what the workout was, it would take me one or two minutes to just write it down. This is what we’re doing today. We’re going to do an incline dumbbell press and then we’re going to do a dumbbell row. I would write it down and then I would do that workout. I would indicate what weight I used and how many reps I did in the notebook. 

I have dozens of old notebooks. I took a pile out of my attic and went through them. Many of them are from 2010, 2011, 2012. All my workouts. I can’t bear to throw them out because they bring me such joy to look at. It’s like a dopamine hit. It is just look at how accomplished, and dedicated you are. Look at all of the work that you did. 

I want that for you as well. I have workouts and it’s interesting to see different parts of my life. I can definitely tell, that’s when I was pregnant, or that’s when this was happening. That’s when I was commuting back and forth. I can tell different times of my life even If the year isn’t written there. 

Some of the workouts are really basic. There were three exercises, and I just did them like a little circuit five times in a row. I think that the workout was something like leg press,

the pull up machine and a dumbbell press in that order. That’s what I did and it was a workout. For sure. 

I want to make working out fun and easy but I also want to have you be willing to separate it, untangle it, and divorce it from your weight loss. Do not make these things dependent on each other because they’re not. I think it will bring you much more peace of mind and we’ll actually help you focus on the bigger rocks.

We can work out all we want. But if every night we go home and binge eat, what is the point? What happens? We create more stress. The more I binge eat, the worse I sleep, and my blood sugar is all over the place. I wake up in the morning and I feel like crap. I feel physically like crap and I feel emotionally like crap. Then I have to go work out to try and out work what I did.

We create more and more stress in our bodies and in our mind. We get to a place where working out is actually working against us. We’ve created a cycle that we need to break. 

In my lifetime, I’ve definitely gone to places where I was working out a lot. I was actually under eating a lot, a lot of that was contest prep. I see it happen with really restrictive diets. People who want to slash calories and do these crazy restrictive, fast low calorie diets and expect to be able to keep working. That’s very stressful to your body. That’s where you see a lot of hormone imbalance come in and working out more and more is sometimes backfiring on your weight loss. 

Depending on who you are removing working out of your weight loss is going to work. 

Whether you’re the person who; 

  • Is fraid to get started or,
  • Doesn’t work out or,
  • Feels bad about it or,
  • Thinks that you should but you don’t know where to start or,
  • Kind of fallen off their their regular weight loss, weightlifting or workout schedule and you you feel you have to do that in order to lose weight or,
  • Stuck in that cycle of over restricting or over eating or over exercising.

Separating the two will help you reach your goals. 

Especially for women in their 40s and 50s. When you know you could be going through perimenopause or menopause, which is a whole other stress. Not to mention the stress of coming out of that global pandemic, everyday life, having a family, having kids or pets, a house, parents and all of these things. Adding more and more grueling workouts or trying to force yourself to run harder or run faster or do more is actually backfiring. 

With all of that said, if you were looking to figure this all out, you’re not alone. 

Over the course of the 30 years, I did not become a worker outter, I did not become a fitness professional all by myself. I’ve had a lot of mentors. I’ve had a lot of coaches on and off the stage. I do think, for most women, when they are looking to make a weight loss that’s permanent. To lose weight and keep it off, you’re going to need help. 

That’s why I created Self Made.

It isn’t about having a do it yourself program where I just write the workout and write the diet and say, now go do it. Do exactly what I tell you to do and you’ll be fine. 

If I wrote you a plan, and I wrote you a workout and you did it, you’d be fine. Yeah but unfortunately, we all have a human brain. 

When it comes down to weight loss, it is much more than just your workout. It’s much more than your macros. How much protein you’re consuming.? 

It really is about figuring out, 

  • How do I move forward? 
  • How do I become that new body?
  • become that new you with that new thinking? 
  • How do I approach weight loss in a different way? 
  • How do I actually not eat my feelings? 
  • Learn how to say no. 
  • And keep weight off 
  • And make it not a big deal 
  • And not consume every part of my life? 

Where I’m constantly thinking about;

  • Can I eat this? 
  • Can I not eat this? Is this on my plan?
  • Is it not on my plan? 
  • Is this good for me? 
  • Is this bad for me? 
  • Is the scale going to go up? 

Letting go of that is actually the mental weight you will lose inside of Self Made. 

I really want to not only provide enormous value in my podcasts. But I want to take the time to invite you to make that next step to invite you to work on yourself. 

Self Made. 

Right now is an exciting time to join. 

We’ve taken the last 30 months and hundreds of clients and looked at what works the best.

We’ve have so much data, so much success.

How do we make it inevitable for you to lose weight?

We have a guarantee that you will lose weight in this 90 Day Program. I think for a lot of us, we are so doubtful and so worried and we’ve had so many different programs or coaches or things we’ve invested in. I get it, we’re afraid. We don’t want to fail. We feel like I just can’t afford to fail. I have you covered on that.

Self Made is now in a launch through March 19. 

If you are a woman 39 to 59 plus, this is the right program for you. We do it all. I have my five F formula where we do cover food, fitness, feelings, f*cking hormones, and future self. No diets do that. That’s really the missing link and that’s why Self Made was created. So that you not only lose weight, but you keep it off.


Life Gets Lifey…

If you have been around me for any amount of time, you probably have heard me say this. Things come up. We get distracted.

We get off course. Plans change. Kids get sick. You get sick. The weather sucks and it affects your mood. LIFE GETS LIFEY! Am I right? There’s no getting around it. So what are we supposed to do when life gets lifey?

I came up with a 10 step playbook for the times when life gets lifey and how to deal it. This playbook will help you know how to reassess, get back on track, and become the woman you want to be. I won’t lie…It will take some planning, some understanding, and maybe even a different point of view to get to the future you. But she’s out there waiting.

Let’s jump in and find out what to do when Life Gets Lifey on episode 37 of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss!


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.

Connect with Bonnie:

Facebook Group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/707942356603835

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/bonnielefrak/

Website- https://bonnielefrak.com

Application- https://bonnielefrak.com/application

Email- bonnie@bonnielefrak.com

With Bonnie Lefrak


Weight Loss Without The Bullsh*t