Four years ago I had the opportunity to change the way I was living.
I had just graduated from university in Toronto, Canada and was working at a local bookstore until I transitioned into the corporate world. At the time, almost every other customer was coming up to the cash register with the latest diet book.
For the majority of my childhood, I was the chubby kid and slightly overweight. As I got older, I always made excuses as to why I couldn’t lose the weight – I was too busy with school and studying to exercise or figure out how to eat healthier. I’d try to “diet” for a few days but would give up quickly when the results wouldn’t show. But now here I was, a girl fresh out of university who could no longer use that excuse. The weight loss stories that the customers were telling me about their friends who were on the diet sounded crazy to me… but I believed them and bought the book for myself.
I spent the next 6 months on this diet and dropped a total of 25 lbs and the first 15 lbs within the first 6 weeks – just crazy. Over the course of these months, my behavior around food became seriously obsessive and restrictive. I found myself living in fear of food and didn’t know if I could sustain this way of eating or the new number I saw on the scale for that matter!
So I started looking for alternatives and stumbled across a book by Tosca Reno called “Recharged”, which is part of her Eat Clean Diet Series. This book literally changed my life and is what sparked my passion for nutrition & wellness. I had allowed the restrictive diet to control me and never truly learned what it meant to nourish my body until I started thinking for myself with guidance from Tosca. After many ‘Aha’s’, and although still a little fearful, I slowly began to integrate her simple teachings into my life, and to my surprise, I never regained those 25 lbs.
Today, I feel like a completely different person. My life took a 180-degree turn after my experience four years ago. So many amazing things have come out of that one decision to just push past my fear and make a change. I now own my own health & wellness coaching business where I work every day to empower women to adopt a fearless mindset and cultivate the type of confidence that attracts healthier habits so that creating a thriving body & lifestyle is well within reach.
Changing habits and creating a consistently healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, organization, and a strong commitment to continually learn & grow as a person and ultimately discover what makes you feel alive.
Here are the Top 5 ways I’ve been able to stay the course and follow through with my healthy lifestyle:
1. I Changed My Mindset
Always start with your mindset. Take time to get into the right headspace. Create thoughts that are absent of fear and self-doubt. Decide and commit to making yourself your #1 priority. You deserve that time to focus on you. You are worth it. To help you get into this frame of mind, recite daily affirmations like this one:
“I am willing to change. I am willing to release old, negative beliefs. They are only thoughts that stand in my way. My new thoughts are positive and fulfilling.”
2. I Created a Plan
Looking back now, I realized that for all of the years I struggled to change, I never bothered to create a plan for myself. It’s so important to identify a specific goal and the reason WHY you want to achieve it. Once you know what that goal is, you can create a plan and then begin shifting your focus from your big goal to the daily consistent processes that will help you accomplish it! The practice of creating a plan and processes is what generates confidence. When you have more confidence, you tend to give up less often, right?
3. I Committed to an At-Home Workout Program
When I was younger, I wouldn’t do a jumping jack to save my life. Never into sports or any physical activity, I dreaded exercise. Intimidated by the gym, I decided to start an at-home workout program. I was skeptical at first… “Would I really see results?” But to my surprise, I saw some incredible changes in my body and my confidence. All I needed to do was show up, press play, get in, get out, 30 minutes, DONE. The workouts are fun, engaging, and constantly changing. I didn’t have to worry about how much of a hot mess I looked because I was in my own living room! This removed any and all excuses I had to get my butt moving.
4. I Made Small Changes to My Diet, then Bigger Ones
From my experience, making a drastic change yielded big results, however, had I not made some adjustments and transitioned to a healthier way of eating, I’m fairly certain that I would have gained back those 25 lbs pretty quickly. To approach weight loss in a healthy way, begin with crowding out bad foods with better foods. As you practice this one day at a time, cravings will begin to diminish and bigger changes become easier to make. Meal planning is another small change I made early on which later became a big part of my system for success.
5. I Joined a Community
As soon as I began plugging into a community for support and accountability, I knew I would never fully fall off track again. So many people are missing this piece. When you decide to surround yourself with like-minded people who are working towards similar goals, it is so much easier to stay the course. I’d say this particular step has been instrumental for my own personal success.
I’d love for you to join my wellness tribe and community. Each month I host a 21-day online fitness & nutrition accountability group that focuses on personal development, creating new structures & systems, learning self-love, and cultivating killer confidence. Our theme for May is ‘Beautiful Body, Balanced Routine’ in preparation for the summer months! To learn more about how you can join, please visit my Facebook page or send me a direct message!