Well isn’t that the million dollar question. A topic we are all familiar with, losing weight, is top of mind for today’s reader.
What is the best way to lose weight?
~ Feeling fluffy in Conway
Such a simple question, but such a complex topic!
Is it a special diet? Is it bunches of burpees? (please, say no!) Or is it simply a matter of unlocking the way we think?
Let’s find out, shall we?
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT
Hey Frustrated Femme,
First things first.
I feel you, girl. As does just about every woman out there.
Regardless of where we are on the scale of being down on ourselves or solidly confident with whatever we’ve got going on, we all tend to be mindful of wanting to look and feel our best.
We are going to explore 3 weight loss hacks today.
Math + Passion + Peace = Lose Weight
Not your typical recipe for weight loss?
Stick with us, you are gonna love it.
Some people say our weight is simply the result of the difference between how many calories we consume and how many we burn.
There’s certainly some solid logic there! But, there’s also an X factor in this equation. Our metabolism, or how efficiently our body burns calories from the activity we do, is a major X factor [for the deepest dive, read this. Science explains why sometimes our bodies will gain weight if we eat too little, too!].
Our individual X factor is part genetics, part age, and part health condition chaos [for example, pituitary tumors have been shown to exist in 20% of people and can really mess with your metabolism. Ask me how I know…].
Your first mission is to get a sense of how much you can eat each day and maintain a steady weight. Once you know your personal baseline you stand a chance at creating a map for success on your journey to lose weight.
Spend a couple weeks logging what you eat in an app – not with judgement or necessarily changing habits in major ways, just giving yourself a chance to observe your current situation. If you weigh yourself before and after you’ll get a bit of a sense of what your baseline might be.
Weigh the same? Look at your average calories per day. Gained weight? Your baseline may be lower than your habits. This becomes a helpful guide if you want to lose weight.
Pro tip: your baseline is likely not the standard 2000 calories a day we’ve all grown up hearing about. I’ve done this over months so know pretty well that mine is around 1500 calories.
By logging foods you’ll also get a sense of the nutrition info on them. It’s not all about calories, there’s some obviousness to the fact that 100 calories of veggies may have a different impact on your body than 100 calories of candy. But, it’s good to give yourself the ability to learn to gauge how much you are eating – especially if you do so without trying to be on a super controlled diet so it doesn’t affect your mindset. More on that later.
Once we have a sense of what our baseline is we can start looking at ways to expend more energy [aka burn calories] than we are bringing in [aka eating].
Sounds terrible, right? By nature, we humans *don’t* love to be controlled or restricted!
Yet when it comes to amping up our activity there is a way to make it fun, and feel like a choice we want to choose.
Don’t you have that one friend who is always hiking or running or something and looks like they truly enjoy it?
We can recreate that for you.
The trick to lasting success in most anything is HABIT. And it’s really hard, perhaps impossible?, to create a nice, solid habit of doing something we detest.
So, your next task is to find a way to stay active that you actually enjoy.
This may take some experimenting. So make it an adventure for yourself!
If you want to try all the kinds of traditional fitness options out – without breaking the bank – try something like ClassPass to help you lose weight. Push yourself to go past the part where you feel silly since you don’t have coordination in every skill, and get your yoga, kettlebell, boxing, barre, dance, cycle, pilates, walking, running, or skipping self busy.
PRO TIP: the best way to stop worrying about ourselves in any situation is to take care of or help someone else. So, if you feel weird trying something new in front of others, just look for someone who looks like they do, too, and give them a smile or a compliment. You never know who’s day you can make.
If the traditional variety of fitness activities just don’t do it for you don’t lose hope. There’s still so much more out there.
Take up sword fighting. Get a side gig walking dogs. Shovel the walk – yours AND the neighbors. Find a lake or a neighborhood with lots of flowers that you can walk through and stare at the beauty of nature. Take up pole dancing (it’s so fun!). Or, give yourself regular window shopping research missions to get you power walking through stores, malls, or the like. Add some headphones with your favorite playlist and suddenly it’s extra fun! Lose weight while smiling? Yes, please.
Whatever you do, get yourself some sort of activity tracker [or simply activate the free one on your phone] and enable notifications from it. Gamification is a *powerful* motivator for even the most logical of types. We’ll do a lot for a seemingly meaningless badge in an app. Again, ask me how I know.
The real secret to staying active is to make it something we enjoy and will build into life on a regular basis.
Start small if you have to, but start.
Here’s the food part.
We have to take a minute to become more self-aware about what drives us to eat and see if we can heal any chaos we’re feeling inside.
For many people, food provides a sense of satisfaction. Literally – we feel satisfied after eating. Is it possible there are areas of life you are missing satisfaction [job, relationships, etc] and look to food to fill that need? To experience that feeling?
Those are not fast or simple things to adjust, but the first step is awareness. And, there’s a good chance that if we pause to notice our emotion – dang, I’m frustrated! – it’ll release something that otherwise would have walked us right over to the fridge.
Similarly, sometimes we eat for the feelings of comfort or connection we associate with meals. It’s fine and healthy to feel that way about meals – especially since that often comes from an experience of love in a family. But, it’s when we are missing the healthy experience of those emotions and default to a meal to solve it – without noticing our autopilot – that we get ourselves in a loop that may go too far. It’s things like this that are the real roadblocks on our journey to lose weight.
The funny thing about all things emotional intelligence is that they are rooted in the foundation of self-awareness. Meaning, we have to figure out what the heck is going on inside our heads! So much harder than you’d think. One final time… ask me how I know! I’m 25 years into the study of it, that’s how. Because peace between our ears is something that dramatically changes our entire experience of life. It’s my daily quest and my greatest passion to help others find just that.
To give ourselves the best possible chance of keeping a healthy relationship with food we need to start noticing the emotions we experience that drive us to consume.
Need a tool?
I’ve got a good one for you.
Print a page that says “how you doing, beautiful?” with a nice picture of a smiley face [or a handsome hunk, your choice] and tape it to the fridge. Then, each time you feel like you are craving something to eat take a hot second to answer that question – what is it you are really craving?
Awareness of your emotions is the first step toward solving the things that weigh you down.
[See what I did there? I know. So punny.]
ONE MORE PIECE
The topic of weight is often one that we hold very close to our sense of worth. It’s simply hard not to.
But take it from this sister – you are always worthy of love, of life, of happiness, of kindness, of time, of attention, of anything your heart desires. I promise. Just as you are.
You don’t need to reach a destination or be a certain weight or have a certain career or anything external to be enough. There’s a beauty inside of you that already exists.
Your job is simply to uncover it and let it shine.
It’s scary, for sure.
But, it’s the journey of life.
Give yourself grace and patience, and go get it!
Hugs + Lashes,
Ellie + Christie