So many women get tripped up on their weight-loss journey. While you may know what and how to eat, something is missing. There’s a reason you aren’t losing weight, and I’m sharing what it is (and how to fix it) this week.
There are three things you need to succeed, not only to lose weight but to create any change or habit that you’re looking to establish. These things are most commonly overlooked by the majority of people I work with, but they are vital in the process.
Join me this week as I’m building on our first two episodes and sharing a simple (but not easy!) formula to make any change in your life. I’m sharing what’s currently missing from your weight loss journey, three things that will help you lose weight, and some tips to help you incorporate these three things into your plan.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away a wellness journal to five lucky listeners who follow, rate and review the show. I want your honest opinion and feedback so I can create an awesome show, and make it a useful, fun resource for you.
Click here to learn more about the contest and how to enter!
What You Will Discover:
- Why winging it will not get you anywhere when it comes to losing weight.
- How to challenge yourself to get really specific about your plans.
- Some essential tips to be successful at any habit.
- How to be consistent and happy versus perfect and miserable.
- The difference between consistency and perfection.
- A formula for consistency.
- Some reasons you are not seeing results.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:
You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast Episode #3. If you want to lose weight, or really establish any habit for that matter, tune in and find out the three things you must have in order to make it work. Let’s get to it.
Welcome to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. If you’re balancing career, family, wellness, and some days sanity, you are in the right place. This is where high-achieving, busy working moms get the tools they need to eat, move, and think. I’m your host, physician, personal trainer and Certified Life Coach Carrie Holland. Let’s do this.
Hey, how are you? What’s new and good?
So, by the time you hear this, I will be zoning in on my first triathlon, ever. I share this, for this reason; if you have not been a newbie at something in a while, go out and try something new. It is super fun and so humbling, all at the same time.
I took my first swim lesson, literally, ever in my life, about seven months ago. Now, I’m about to do an open water swim, and I’m a little nervous. I keep joking with my family that, when I emerge victorious from that water, hands up in the air cheering myself on, even though I still have two-thirds of the race left, I will have succeeded; because this is a total bucket list.
Do you know how humbling it is to have your seven-year-old beat your pants off in a swim race? It’s good stuff. But all this is to say, if you have not been a beginner at something in a while, go do it; an art, a craft, a language, a sport, something. Do something that does not produce an outcome or a product. Just do something for the sheer fun and joy of trying something new. We just do not play enough. So, I’m encouraging you to go out and play a little bit, okay?
Alright. Today, I want to build on our first two episodes, and share what I believe are the three things that you must have, in order to lose weight. I’ll even take a step back and say that while this advice most definitely applies to losing weight, it really applies to any change or any habit you’re looking to establish. I made an entire episode about this, because these three things, that you need to succeed, are the three things that are most commonly overlooked by the majority of people that I work with. It is that important.
So, here it is; this is what you need: You need a PCP; a plan, consistency, and patience, in that order. PCP. You want to know what’s awesome about this? My healthcare providers out there know PCP stands for “primary care physician.” And yes, while it’s hokey, I cannot tell you how many mnemonics I used to get through med school for all the things we had to memorize. And now, here I am; I’m transferring that skill, so it’s a win.
But let’s get into the specifics of these. Plan: First and foremost, you need a plan. If you’re trying to lose weight, winging it is not going to get you anywhere. That I can guarantee you. I do not know a single person who’s lost a significant amount of weight by deciding on meals in the heat of the moment.
There are all kinds of quotes on planning. But one of my favorites is this, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” It’s very simple, but it is the absolute truth. Let me make an important distinction, right here. So, when I’m talking about a plan, I’m not referring to Whole30®, or Keto, or Mediterranean, or vegetarian, or any of those, that’s because that really does not matter.
If you need a reminder about this; there is no one right way to eat, you get to choose. And if you need more information on this, go back to episode two, and you will get a boatload of details about how to eat, there.
What does matter is this; your plan should not be complicated. In fact, the simpler your plan is, the better. Because you are busy and who’s got time for complicated way of eating with loads of rules, right?
So, let me help you simplify this. Answer these questions: What is your current approach to meals? Does your approach to meals satisfy you? Does it work for you, your family and for your life? Does the way you eat match up with your goals; whether it’s weight loss, building muscle or feeling good? And don’t worry, because we will cover the specifics of these in great detail in an upcoming episode.
Now, ask yourself these questions: Do you plan out your meals? And next, and most important, do you follow through on your plan? I ask this because so many of the women I work with, have an idea in their minds of how they would like to eat, but then a number of different things trip them up.
For example, the weekends are so busy and they don’t have time to shop for the things that they actually want to eat. Or, they plan to prepare a bunch of food in advance, and they don’t. Or, they make the food and then decide they don’t want to eat the food. Or, they don’t really fully plan, meaning they have an idea in their head of what they’d like to eat, but they don’t get specific enough and then the plan never comes to fruition.
When you’re thinking of your plan, get very practical here. For today’s purposes, when I’m talking about a plan, I’m referring to three things: The what, the when, and the how. So first, the what: When you’re planning what to eat, you can, again, I said it before, you can make your plan as simple or as complicated as you’d like.
Me? I 100% go for simple. I will chop veggies like no one’s business. I hate to cook; ask my kids, they know it. There’s a reason I’m called “Burned Cheese Lady” at home; Burned Cheese Lady, it’s great. I know that our weeks are busy. They tend to be a blur of work, and school, and kid activities, and we repeat the cycle the next day.
So, for our house, planning elaborate meals, with loads of ingredients, is basically going to result in moldy goat cheese and slimy basil that I toss in the garbage at the end of the week. That’s wasted money and wasted food. If that’s ever happened to you, this is how you can keep your food very simple.
Consider this, okay? What are the proteins, vegetables and greens that you and your family will eat? That’s it. And then, what are the fast, easy, healthy dishes that are winners for you and your entire family? Remember, we’re aiming for healthy, simple, fast, something that everyone will eat.
Here’s a simple approach: Create that list of your favorite proteins, grains, fruits and veggies. And then, along with that, add the dishes that you have at home regularly.
If you have a pasta night, add it. Now, pair these things together. We are not talking about a complex, complete dish like Coq au Vin. Save that for the weekend when you’ve got time. A piece of fish plus a salad and quinoa; done. Do not overcomplicate your food. It does not have to be a complete dish or a casserole to count as dinner.
This is an important point, okay? Your meals are the sum of their individual parts. And they do not have to come together to form a complete dish. My go-to meal: egg whites, Ezekiel toast, one with peanut butter, one with butter, and a side of broccoli. That is most definitely, not fancy. It is not pulled together. and it does not matter. It’s a protein. It’s a vegetable. It’s a grain, and a fat. Mission accomplished; check.
So, make your list of foods and pair them together. Then, if there are certain dishes that you and your family have weekly, add them. There’s your grocery list. There’s your “what.”
Now, “when.” You’ve determined what you want to eat, now determine when, and when I say that, I mean, map it out. So, if you know that one kid has soccer, and one kid has swim, and you’re going to be a kid-Uber once you walk in from work, maybe that’s your Crock-Pot™ night.
Get very practical and realistic, and use a calendar. Map it out and put it on paper; I cannot stress this enough, use a calendar of some sort. When you do this, take your schedule and your evenings into consideration; when you map out what you are eating when.
Do not skip this step, because if you know that Tuesday night, you’ve got a late meaning, or clinic, or whatever, it might be leftover night. More on this in just a minute. The key here is to be really practical and realistic with the amount of time you have, and the meals you’ve planned out for yourself.
So, you’ve figured out what you’re going to eat and you’ve mapped it out on your calendar. Next, determine how your plan is going to come to fruition. Do you need to chop and wash your veggies on Sunday? Do you need to grill a three-pound package of turkey burgers, so you have them for the rest of the week? Do you need to marinate two blocks of tofu, so you’ve got it ready?
This is so important, and most definitely overlooked. The recipes, the ingredients, the calendar and the schedule, they don’t mean anything if you cannot physically make the food. So, do you need to load up the crock pot, and store it in the fridge the night before so you can pull it out, set-it-and-forget-it as you’re heading out for work? Stuff like that.
I know that these are very specific, nitty gritty details, but here’s the thing; I really love nitty gritty, and I cannot stress how important it is to get into the weeds, and get into the details when you’re making your plan, because the things that get left to chance generally don’t plan out well.
Force yourself to get a little tedious. Telling yourself, “I need to chop veggies sometime this week,” does not get the job done. Challenge yourself to get really specific. Get through the “how.”
So, here’s your plan: Get the “what” and keep it simple; there’s your list. Determine “when” and put it on your calendar. Decide the “how;” get very tedious about chopping, sauteing washing the Crock-Pot, all of it. There’s your plan; done.
Once you have your plan, the next step is that you have to follow it regularly. That is consistency. And I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Consistency is key. And it really is. But what exactly does consistency mean? Let me tell you, consistency means that you perform something in a similar way each time you do it.
To put it even more simply; you keep showing up, you keep following your plan. I think that this is best explained with an analogy. And anytime I can find you a strength training analogy, I’m going to share it, so here it is. I work with a lot of women who want to master a pull-up; an unassisted body weight pull-up. It’s badass. I have a lot of women who asked me to help them get there.
So, say you want to master a pull-up; you try a few pull-ups on Monday, and it is stinking hard. And then, the next week goes by and you don’t try any pull-ups. And then, the next week goes by you don’t try any pull-ups. But then, on the fourth week, you go back and on Monday, you try to do pull-ups, and you still did not bust out a full pull-up.
If you have this type of pattern, you may feel like you’ve been trying for forever, but you’re not seeing results. When in reality, in the span of four weeks, you’ve tried pull-ups twice. Okay? So, take this analogy and apply it to your nutrition.
If you’re following your plan once, and then not following it again, for another four weeks, it may feel like you’ve been doing this for forever, but not getting anywhere. And that’s what’s missing, is the consistency. Consistency is putting in your reps. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
Just trying pull-ups twice in four weeks, is not going to get you a pull-up. Eating according to your plan two days out of four weeks, is not going to get you to weight loss. Okay? So, if you’re not seeing results, ask yourself if you’re being consistent. And if you want a really simple way of doing consistency, you’re in luck. I told you before, I really love math. So, here’s some math: Consistency = practice + repetition + frequency.
If you eat in a calorie deficit and stay on your plan Monday through Thursday, but Friday through Sunday, you go off-the-chain and eat nothing but takeout and drink a bottle of wine each night, you’re not going to lose weight because you’re not in a consistent calorie deficit.
Often, I get asked; how long is it going to take to lose weight, give up sugar, wake up at 5am regularly for my workout? Here’s the thing, asking how long it’s going to take, is asking the wrong question. Instead, I offer you this, ask yourself; how consistent do I need to be? How consistent do I need to be, in order to achieve the goal I’ve set for myself?
Let me make one other really important distinction here: Consistency is not the same thing as perfection. If you write out your meal plan for the week, and one day there is an emergency at work, and you end up missing your Crock-Pot chicken tacos, all hope is not lost. One stinky day, one decision, one action does not add up to failure. Give yourself room to mess up and make mistakes, because you are human.
Here is where consistency and perfection diverge. For many of you, if you have a stinky day or you miss one of your plan meals and you take a perfectionist view, you let that one bad day ruin your progress and use that as a reason to go off-the-chain. It’s the “I’ll start over again on Monday” mentality.
But if you take a more compassionate, kinder, consistency-centered view, you tell yourself, “Okay, that was one meal. One decision. The next one, I’m back on-plan moving forward.” Do you see the difference? The difference is huge; huge difference.
While we’re on the topic of failure, when it comes to consistency, have a plan for failure. Ask yourself; how will you get back on track if you totally blew it, and ate an entire pizza with your co-workers at lunch, when you planned to eat a salad that you brought with you? How will you talk to yourself? What will your next meal look like?
I’m going to share some really great advice that I learned from one of my mentors, Jordan Syatt, who is awesome, please check him out. He says it all the time, “Never miss twice.” Meaning, if you eat a boatload of pizza at lunch and you’re not thrilled about that decision, make your next meal, something you are proud of.
Do not let one bad decision turn into two or three. Plan for what you will do when you mess up. Because like I said before, you are human, you’re going to mess up, it is totally part of the process. And remember this; I would rather you be consistent and happy, than perfect and miserable. I would rather you be consistent and happy, than perfect and miserable.
What does it even mean to be perfect when it comes to your food? Does that mean you ate nothing but chicken breasts, and broccoli, and salad some days in the week? Because that sounds pretty unpleasant, at best. And we know this already, perfect is boring. Perfect is a joke. And it is not possible, and it’s not sustainable.
So, repetition is far more important than perfection. If you did not follow your plan perfectly, you did not fail. Please, please, please remember this, always. You are not starting over; you are picking up where you left off. You are putting in your reps, that is consistency.
So, we’ve got a plan. We’ve got consistency. And last but not least, patience. Many of my clients admittedly get a little annoyed with me when I talk about patience. I’ve said it before, I will say it here; patience is a pain in the booty. But it can also be your best friend, or your worst enemy, depending on your perspective.
Make peace with patients. To be successful at any habit, this is essential, especially when we’re talking about weight loss. This usually begs the question; how in the world do you build patients? I have a couple ideas for you. So, to build patience; first, make the process fun. This should be fun. It is way easier to stick with change, when you feel good and enjoy it.
Find foods that you actually want to eat. Choose exercise that you enjoy, or at the very least, can tolerate, and make them both fun and make them a habit. It is a lot easier to stick to your plan when you see the fun in it. And this is one place again, where your attitude really is everything in this case; make it fun.
Next, be realistic. If you’re trying to lose weight, think about how long it took for you to put on the extra weight you are trying to lose in the first place. It’s most likely that weight did not pile on overnight, or even within a few weeks or months. And I use this analogy all the time, because I think it’s so important; you cannot undo five years of eating 3,000 calories a day, with two weeks of eating 1,500 calories a day.
I know, to hear this is frustrating, and social media most definitely does not make this any easier to swallow. Because influencers and fancy marketing tactics would have you believe that the weight will just melt right off, if you buy their product or program or follow it. I call their BS, okay?
Instead, get very real with yourself and ask yourself if you’re in it for the long haul. Ask yourself if the goal that you’ve set for yourself, makes sense.
Third, find the small wins along the way. If you are basing your success on the scale alone, you are likely setting yourself up for some major disappointment. When you feel yourself getting impatient because the process is slow, this is the time to start asking yourself; where are you succeeding?
Go back to your consistency. Have you been killing your workouts five days a week, like you’ve calendar it out for yourself? Have you been eating the big salad every day according to your plan, that you wrote out on your whiteboard? Are you getting your steps in? Are you drinking your water? Where are you seeing results? They do not have to be scale oriented. We’re going to get into an entire episode on this. More on the small wins and the scale, upcoming. So, stay tuned.
Next, recognize that there is no finish line. Here’s a key concept, this is what I’m about: I am not about diets. I am not into fads. My goal for you, is that you find a way of eating and moving that is sustainable, feels good, and if your goal is weight loss, that it helps you do that. But here’s the thing, once you hit your goal, once you see the number on the scale that you want, you are not done.
Because once you get where you want to be with your weight, your habits, whatever it is you’re looking to do, you have to maintain it. That does not go away. There is no endpoint here. This is why I don’t love diets, or challenges, or detoxes, or 30-days, whatevers. You go on and go off a diet. You start and stop a challenge. We talk about it like it’s a light switch.
What I’m talking about with you today, is making real, sustainable lifestyle changes so that the way that you eat and move simply becomes how you are, how you do. There is no stopping and starting. There is no on-off switch here.
This is what takes the work. It takes planning and consistency, just like we talked about. But if you find yourself getting impatient, know this; quitting does not get you there any faster. Again, you’re not starting over, you just pick up where you left off.
So, there it is. A very simple, but not easy, formula to make change in your life. Whether it’s weight loss; establishing exercise, even a career change, a big project, a skill, swimming, anything you want to achieve. This is what you need: A plan, consistency, and patience.
Alright. What do you think about this? Try this out. Come up with a plan for yourself, challenge yourself to get really specific, and then, for every day you follow your plan and are being consistent, give yourself a big red X on your calendar. If you ever watched Seinfeld or familiar with Seinfeld, you may be familiar with his ‘don’t break the chain’ motto. He made a commitment to write jokes and material every day. And when he held up on his plan, he gave himself a big red X on his calendar. His goal was to keep the chain going.
Try it out. And then, ask yourself; how patient can you be? Because we’re in it for the long haul. I’ve got your back. I hope you find this helpful, because this is foundational. This: Plan, consistency, and patience. This, matters more than your calories, your macros, whether you eat meat, or tofu. This is what matters; a plan, consistency, and patience.
Let me know what you think about this. I am so excited to hang out with you again next week. I’ll catch you then. Bye.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away a Wellness Journal to five listeners who follow, rate, and review the show. So, you do not have to give it five stars, although I certainly hope you love what you’ve heard so far. But more than anything, please give me your honest opinion and feedback so I can create an awesome show for you. I would love it if you shared your questions and thoughts, so I can make the show a useful and fun resource for you.
Visit CarrieHollandMD.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing winners on the show in an upcoming episode. See you next week.
Thanks for listening to Strong as a Working Mom. If you want more information on how to eat, move, and think so you can live in the body you want with the mind match, visit me at CarrieHollandMD.com
Enjoy the Show?