These days, just about all of my clients have expressed the desire to lose 50 pounds. They're all saying the same number. In some cases, weight has always been an issue. In others, it's the stress of the separation and divorce process, with food becoming the only real source of comfort.
Along with the desire to shed a large number of pounds comes the feeling that it's just too hard to even contemplate getting started. They're feeling exhausted, and not in the mood to get off the couch after a long work week and family responsibilities. The ex isn't really helping with the kids, or the help comes at the high price of his acting like he's doing the family a big favor rather than wanting to fulfill his role as a dad.
Is it that my clients are lazy? Definitely not. I carefully assess potential clients before I agree to work with them, and in our initial conversations I have tried-and-true ways of finding out whether a woman will experience great success with me. If there's a question in my mind about whether she'll follow through and get the big results that I promise, I'll never suggest working together.
When it comes to weight loss, though, I think many women just can't stand the thought of getting started, the possibility of failing or of it being too hard, and then being disappointed all over again. My clients have been disappointed waaaaay too much, in too many ways, and they're very smart about picking their battles.
I love helping them on this because, if you can identify a really strong desire and find a way to make progress toward that goal, you can use those skills toward any goal. It opens up a whole new world of being able to reach out and grab what you want. This is the kind of future I want for my ladies, and I know it's possible.
First thing is to be sure that weight loss is a goal that is really important. More important than enjoying food in the way that you've been enjoying it so far. That's a subject unto itself, as is finding other ways to comfort yourself that will be as easy and as enjoyable as eating comfort foods. So, sometimes, we look for new ways that clients can feel the sense of calm and relaxation that food can provide, and then it's easier to tackle the diet and fitness piece a little bit later.
A fun thing to do, though, is to create a Pinterest board where you can park all kinds of exercise and diet ideas that you might like to try.
Very important: You're not committing to doing any of these ideas now.
You're just collecting things that appeal to you. Especially food ideas that are quick and easy (and include lots of vegetables that you already like). Don't like vegetables? It's time for a fun exploration of expanding your food choices, and finding vegetables that you can enjoy. Sometimes, a big part of that can be how they're prepared. On Pinterest, you'll find all kinds of interesting ideas (with beautiful, colorful pictures that make you happy just looking at them).
And, look for quick and easy video workouts that you think you might actually do. Make a list of physical activities that you like (or that you used to enjoy). Think about how you might be able to fit them into your life (maybe, at first, just once a week, and then twice a week . . . and watch it become something you look forward to and maybe even do some of these activities with friends).
Remember, this is just information-gathering. After you do this for a while, you'll reach a tipping point where you feel motivated to pick something from your list and try it.
If you don't feel motivated after a few weeks of collecting things to try, then losing weight has not come to the top of your desire list yet. Meditate on what you really want most right now. Maybe it's related to making more friends. Maybe there's a hobby, class, or activity that you really want to do. Making yourself happier is a through-the-back-door way to change your relationship to food.
This really is magic.
Whatever goal you may be dreaming about (even though it may seem too hard and too far away), think of some deceptively simple and tiny ways to start on it. Things you can do that are so small and harmless that you won't be tempted to avoid doing them. Then, be consistent about fitting that tiny, baby step into your life and watch the magic happen.
When you observe some small, but perceptible results from that one little thing you're doing, you'll get excited about adding one more tiny little step.
This really is magic. Try it, see what happens, and please comment with your successes!
Of course, if you'd like some help from me, just schedule a free virtual coffee date here, and we'll talk about it (plus you'll get some great, unique-to-you strategies to start out with, right on the call).