This article has been transcribed from episode 52 of The Fitness Simplified Podcast HERE
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome to the Fitness Simplified podcast, I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On episode 52 I am joined by my good friend and Decades of Strength cohost Sarah Duff.
Sarah comes on to share with us something that she has great expertise in. We talk about all of the many thoughts we have going through our mind every day, thousands and thousands of them, and how we can manage them so that we are not just making decisions on autopilot.
Okay. And we are recording.
Sarah Duff, hello.
Sarah: [00:00:44] Hello, Kim Schlag. How are you?
Kim: [00:00:46] I'm good!
Sarah and I have actually been talking and I finally said, "why are we not recording this? We should be recording this. People need to hear this information."
Sarah: [00:00:57] Do they?
Kim: [00:00:59] They do. People need to know that it's okay to care about your physical self-care as well during this quarantine.
So, Sarah and I were just talking about all of the beauty things that might go awry in the coming weeks as we get deeper and deeper into self-quarantine. I am going to be, hopefully, not ripping out, but delicately removing all of my hair extensions. I'm thinking I'm going to do it live on Instagram, because they are falling out. One came out as I blew dry my hair this morning.
Sarah has taken to dying her eyebrows. Sarah, tell us what else do you think is going to be needing to happen here.
Sarah: [00:01:36] Okay. So, the eyebrows and the eyelashes, we've already tried that and that worked out all right. I can't get my 'stache threaded, so that needs to be waxed now and I just need to be on like hyper control, full facial hair awareness.
Ladies, I am 42 so things have changed in my world on that. And obviously gray hair is the other thing. I obviously go and get my roots done every few weeks, so that's going to be kind of interesting, but we were just saying we are not dying our own hair because that has the potential to go very, very wrong.
Kim: [00:02:15] Yeah. I think just don't do that, everyone. Don't dye your own hair unless you have, like, hair beauty school credentials. Just don't do it.
Sarah: [00:02:25] I have done that in the past and it never worked out well for me and I've had to have my hair stripped and everything. So, people, it's just not worth it. But we were just saying, it does bring up an interesting point that just because we are all in self-solation and quarantine, it doesn't mean our personal care, beauty routines really need to fall off.
And if anything, for me, I actually think it's more important for me to make sure that I'm keeping myself in check with everything. So just for example, shaving my legs and under my arms and bikini line and all that kind of stuff, I don't do that for anyone else but me.
So just because I'm in self-isolation, it doesn't mean that I'm just going to let it all go awry because there's loads of memes going around of, like, women stepping outside after, you know, three months in quarantine and they've got bushes between their legs and all that. I'm like, "why would that happen just because we're in isolation?"
Kim: [00:03:30] That's so funny. So, don't do that. Yeah, I am still shaving, not going to dye my hair. I dyed my hair with the box stuff for years, like, all my twenties into my thirties and every time, no matter what color, literally no matter what box I picked, whatever they showed, my hair was red. It was red. I was like, "why is my hair always red?" And I don't look good with red hair.
So, I just will not be touching my roots. I'm just going to keep putting dry shampoo. I have colored dry shampoo and I'm just going to use that.
So, okay, ladies, whatever your beauty routines are, keep some semblance of normalcy here.
Now, obviously these are not the biggest problems people are having. Sarah and I were also discussing that. You know, there's, there's true trauma going on in the world, our hair extensions falling out don't really make the cut, but we can still care about ourselves.
Sarah: [00:04:29] Yeah. And I think actually from a mental health point of view, it's quite important to make sure that you feel good on a day to day basis.
So, if keeping yourself in check with all of your beauty routines, putting some makeup on and not spending all day, every day in your pajamas, it's good for your mental health and that's what you should be doing. And that's why I get up every morning, shower, get dressed, put makeup on, all the things, because it sets me in a different mindset than if I've just rolled out of bed and stayed in my pajamas all day.
So yeah, it's good for mind health as well.
Kim: [00:05:03] I'm trying to make a better effort at that, Sarah. I have makeup on this morning. I've been doing it a couple of times a week here. I'm thinking, like, I'm literally going nowhere, but I've been trying to do a better effort at putting more makeup on, putting some real clothes on, not just staying in pajamas, or at least change them and have my daytime pajamas and my nighttime pajamas. Something a little fancier.
Sarah: [00:05:27] Yeah, it's just your days kind of blend in. There's kind of no cutoff between wake-up, work, and anything else. I think it's very difficult because a lot of people, myself included, there's a tendency that we're going to end up working all of the time because we're kind of at home and there's no kind of end to it.
So, I think just having cut off points and indications to your mind that, like, "okay, I've changed out of my daytime clothes and put my evening clothes on, so now it's time to shift into a different gear," is just really important.
Kim: [00:05:59] "When you put your evening clothes on," I'm picturing a gown.
Sarah: [00:06:03] It's a ball gown and a tiara.
You have literally no idea what could be happening to me as I slowly start to lose the plot even more and more.
Kim: [00:06:18] Because Sarah lives alone. So, Sarah is on her own in isolation and she's making good friends with Alexa.
Sarah: [00:06:25] Yes. Me and Alexa, but I feel I need some kind of human contact. There's some considerations for what might get ordered for that. So just, if you follow me on Instagram, just keep your eyes out on my story. That's all I'm gonna say.
Kim: [00:06:40] If you don't follow Sarah, now is the time to jump on board. It's going to get interesting in Sarah Duff's stories @thrivewithduff. Make sure you're following.
Sarah, I realized we just really kind of jumped in. So, tell everybody who you are, what you do, some background on you.
Sarah: [00:06:53] For sure. And so, I am, obviously, it's Sarah Duff. I make up one of the four of the Decades of Strengths. I also have my own podcast, Real You. I am an online mindset and life design coach.
I work mainly we women, helping them to get to the bottom of their destructive habits and why they self-sabotage and help them to develop the skills and practices to be able to not do that anymore and to be able to identify what is going on and why, so that they can then move forward.
Kim: [00:07:33] Wow. That's good stuff. And She left out one thing, she is a journal junkie.
Sarah: [00:07:38] Yeah, well, I just had to laugh, 'cause I'm sat in my kitchen and I must have a thing for notebooks because around me right now I have one, two, three, four, five different notebooks.
Kim: [00:07:52] That's just within eye-shot in your kitchen.
Sarah: [00:07:54] Just within eye-shot.
But yes, I am a journal junkie and it is, as you will find out, as the episode goes on, it's been one of my biggest self-transformation tools, and for the majority of my clients, I say majority because I have had clients that it just doesn't click with, but for majority of people, it has been the thing that they have been most surprised that has been the most effective for them being able to understand themselves better and actually move forward from the destructive stuff they're doing.
Anything from binge-eating, binge-drinking, you know, just all of the things that have been holding them back from getting results for years. And it's such a simple tool, but people are quite resistant to it.
'Cause it's like, "I don't want to write, I'm not a 6-year-old child." And it's like, no, this is the stuff that we need to be doing more of because we have between 10,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. And so, if you are not in some shape or form managing those thoughts, that is an awful lot of thoughts flying around in your head that are basically controlling your actions, controlling how you feel, controlling your actions, and creating your reality.
Kim: [00:09:24] And you have no idea if you're not managing them.
Sarah: [00:09:27] We are all basically on autopilot most of the time. So, when it comes to destructive habits, it is these thoughts that you are not aware of that are driving the destructive habits. So, in order to be able to move past and change, you have to get a hold on the thoughts in some shape or form.
Kim: [00:09:49] And how did you get started with journaling?
Sarah: [00:09:53] So I used to journal and write a lot as a kid and into my teenage years. And then obviously, as we all do, when it becomes suddenly uncool and you feel like-- I never felt like I fit in any way, so I always tried to get rid of anything that I was doing that may not be seen as cool.
So, I played a musical instrument and I stopped doing that because the girls that I really wanted to fit in with didn't think that it was cool. So, I kind of stopped the writing and then I, honestly, didn't really start with the journaling until about a year and a half ago.
So, it's not something that I've been doing consistently for 42 years of my life. But I will say, over the course of my life, I have had a lot of struggles -- binge drinking, taking drugs, feeling very unhappy, really not liking myself very much, and trying to stuff down emotions by distracting myself or numbing myself using anything that I possibly could.
And I can honestly put my hand to my heart, and I'm not just saying this because I'm here to talk about journaling, if I had had the tool of journaling and was using it in the way that I use it now, back then in my 20s-30s, I would have gotten through the stuff that I got through and-- I don't like to use the word healed particularly, but would have moved forward and been able to cope with things a lot differently and understood myself a lot quicker than I have. 'Cause it's taken me until, really I hit 40, to really understand why I was doing the things I was doing and really see how I was sabotaging myself for so many years.
Kim: [00:12:02] And do you think that the difference that the journaling would have made is that it would have helped you to not be on autopilot?
Kind of like, back to what you're saying, that seems to be the real power in it, is what you're saying.
Sarah: [00:12:12] Yeah. So basically, the way that you can use journaling is: it's a kind of questioning-everything-that-you-do situation. Because I was never questioned about anything that I was doing by either myself or anyone that was in my life, I never really thought about it. I was on autopilot for everything. So when I felt a certain feeling coming up in my body, so, you know, I was feeling unhappy or unsettled or dissatisfied or talking negatively to myself, my auto-response was to get rid of that feeling as quickly as I possibly could with the only real means that I had at the time, that I knew, which was to drink, take drugs.
Then when I got away from all of that, it was then into overtraining and getting obsessed with food and obsessed with dieting. And it was all a form of escapism because I didn't know what else to do, I didn't understand what was going on in my mind.
Kim: [00:13:23] And people hearing this right now might kind of have a little bit of a reaction of like, "do I really want to know what's going on in my mind?"
Because I think the word you used, escapism, is really a good word because we're kind of running from these things that maybe we don't want to face. Even if there's not like big scary stuff in her past that we think of, it feels a little daunting to me to try and figure out like, "wait, why do I do the things that are not good for me," right?
Sarah: [00:13:52] Yeah. 100%.
But if you don't do that, you're basically keeping secrets from yourself. You are not being honest about what is actually going on and when you are not being honest about what is actually going on, how can you possibly think that you're going to get a long-term solution? You're not. You will basically always go through your life lying to yourself.
Not to call people out on this, but if you are in denial about what is going on, you can't ever expect to be able to deal with it properly.
Kim: [00:14:27] Yeah. And I imagine that there's some resistance people have to journaling. One I think is the big one I just said, which is like, "uh, do we really want to find out?" Right? That seems like a big one.
The other ones seem to be what would come to my mind. Because look, this is not something I've been able to consistently do. I've tried it and I just don't stick with it. And so, I wonder like, why? Why is that? And I bet there is some resistance. So, what are some of the common resistances you see that people say like, "this is why I don't want to do it."
Sarah: [00:14:56] So we get the, "it takes too long," or "I don't know what to write," because what I think comes up a lot when I'm speaking to people about this is they feel that there's a right or a wrong way to do it, and there's not.
It's a very personal thing and what I find works best with people in the beginning is to simply get someone to start word-vomiting, as I like to call it, because that doesn't seem quite so daunting. So, you basically just grab a piece of paper and you sit down and you maybe ask yourself a question -- so, "what is on my mind today?" And then basically anything that comes to mind, you write it down.
It does not have to make sense. It does not have to be grammatically correct. It does not have to be perfect. It is basically you getting the opportunity to free up your mind of some of the thoughts that are basically clogging up what is going on.
I always like to think of the mind as kind of a really busy roadway junction. So you've all these cars and things passing, and on a day to day basis, if we have between 10,000 and 60,000 thoughts going on in our mind during the day, and these are all trying to cross, you can see why people are so stressed all of the time; 'cause they can't get any free time to make sense of anything.
I would say those would be the two main resistances.
Kim: [00:16:54] Those are exactly the two that came to my mind, Sarah. Those are exactly it. "I don't know what to write," and "I don't have time for this. That takes so long." That's exactly what I was thinking.
So, what are your responses to that?
Sarah: [00:17:09] So I always say to people that we are not looking for you to sit down and write a novel and you need to understand that the way that you have been going about things at the minute has not worked for you up until this point. So, I just would like you to sit down and write for one minute in the morning. And what generally happens, I find with people, is that they'll sit down with a question that I've given them first thing in the morning, they will start writing for a minute, and before they know it, it's been 5 or 10 minutes and they've not been able to stop writing.
Because, with my clients, obviously I know what their main struggles are and what they specifically need to get to the bottom of, so I can always write individual journal cues to help them start to open up the pathways of thoughts, to help them understand exactly what is going on.
But for anyone listening, I would, first of all, just look at the journaling as a way of you being able to connect with yourself first thing in the morning and be able to set yourself up for success that day. That would be the way I would frame it in the beginning, rather than going into it thinking this is going to be like this huge self-discovery, uncovering all of this, and I'm going to solve all of my years of issues.
Don't put that kind of pressure on yourself. Just view it as, okay, I'm gonna sit down. I'm going to ask myself, "how do I feel today?" I'm going to write down maybe three or four words that spring to mind. It could be on the more positive end of the scale or could be something-- you know, maybe you feel angry or on edge or whatever is.
And then just write down, "I feel, *insert whatever the feeling is that's come up for you* because," and then just complete the sentence. That just helps you to really connect with where your head is at that morning. Like how are you actually feeling? And then you can just be more aware of how you have woken up that morning.
Then, just write a sentence that's basically, "who do I want to be today?" That is, you setting the intention for yourself that day. So, I would write that and I would write, "okay, I am going to be the woman who does not procrastinate, goes out into the world, eat three meals," of all the things.
You're just getting really clear with yourself on how you want to show up that day for yourself.
And then the other really simple thing that you can do throughout the day is-- because it is so easy to slip almost automatically straight away back into autopilot because you do the journaling and then you go out and the kids are wanting breakfast and all of the things that are going on.
So, touch points are something that I use with my clients and it is basically just a, for example, every time you take a swig of water, you just do a little bit of, "okay, am I aware of my thoughts right now?" And just check in with yourself that you haven't gone back into autopilot so that when you go forward and you are making decisions about things, whether it be work things, food things, whatever it is, you are not just completely on autopilot and just doing what you've always done. And that's so important when you're dealing with trying to move past destructive habits and trying to change the way that you are showing up for yourself on a day to day basis.
Kim: [00:21:28] So the touch point, is it a question of, "do I remember what I wrote this morning?" What exactly is it?
Sarah: [00:21:35] No, so it's just a reconnection with your mind.
So, if you've been sat at your desk for seven hours, work, work, work, work, work, you may get up and just walk into the kitchen and your automatic response may have always been to go to the fridge and get something out to eat.
If that was one of the things that you do when you walk into the kitchen, every time you touch the fridge handle you check in with yourself and say, "okay, am I aware of the thoughts in my head right now?"
It's not about trying to remember what you wrote in your journal this morning, it's asking yourself the question, "do I know what my head is saying to me right now or am I just doing this out of total and utter automatic response?"
Then you can answer the question.
It gives you some time to move in to the present moment and actually think, "okay, what do I want to happen next?"
Does that make sense?
Kim: [00:22:35] Yeah, that definitely makes sense. And so good times throughout the day to do touch points -- if somebody is typically an overeater or a big snacker, it sounds like the refrigerator one would be a good one. Are there other ways to set up your touch points?
Sarah: [00:22:51] Yeah. So, you could do: every time you touch a door handle, you check in with yourself and say, "okay, am I in the present moment right now or is my head somewhere completely somewhere else?"
Or every time you have a glass of water or every time you go up a flight of stairs, it can be anything that you're doing at regular points during the day. That's an ideal opportunity to just kind of check in with yourself.
Kim: [00:23:17] Every time I go to hit the icon to start Instagram.
Sarah: [00:23:22] Absolutely. Yes.
Kim: [00:23:25] Or whatever your thing is.
Sarah: [00:23:27] Well, that's actually really important because you need to be conscious when you're going on social media because when you get into a scrolling session on Instagram, if you're doing it mindlessly, you are consuming so much stuff that if it is not the correct kind of content and it is not making you feel good, you are just going to scramble your mind up even more.
And you probably end up coming off that little scrolling session not feeling great about yourself. So that's a genius touch point, actually,
Kim: [00:24:05] I like that a lot. So best practices for journaling. It sounds like you're saying that first thing in the morning is pretty key.
Sarah: [00:24:12] Yeah. So, first thing in the morning would be absolutely key. Just in with a morning routine and just really framing it as, "okay, this is my opportunity to spend a couple of minutes getting myself sorted for the day before I start diving into consuming emails and text messages and all of the things."
Because if you don't have those few minutes, you basically wake up from a nice, restful sleep and go straight into consuming things for the day. And the chances of you actually getting back and being able to be really focused and intentional about what you're doing for yourself that day is very, very unlikely.
So, yeah, first thing in the morning. And then once you have gotten that nailed down, you can in the evenings, maybe just, have a few minutes just reflecting on, "okay, what works well for me today? What didn't work well? What did I learn?" And just kind of pick up on the good things that you did that day and if there's anything that you want to improve on for the next day.
Kim: [00:25:23] Okay. Great. And it sounds like you're also saying keep it very short when we're first starting?
Sarah: [00:25:29] Yeah. 100%.
And actually, recently I've been kind of looking at it less like "journaling," because I almost feel like for some people, journaling just doesn't connect with them. They don't feel that it makes sense or that there's any point to it.
So, my journal itself is a mind file of facts, basically. So, I have it all sectioned off for all of the tools that I've kind of used over the past year and a half to really help me move through stuff. But I frame it to a lot of my clients now that "it's mind management." And that seems to connect with people a lot more than "journaling" because everyone's a bit like, "ehhh."
And the other thing to do is also-- I actually just recorded a podcast on this myself, which is: when you find yourself slipping into negative mindset, just hit up your journal and do the appreciation game, which is basically saying something that you appreciate about your life and something that you appreciate about yourself.
Just to kind of help you shift from the negative thoughts into-- I'm not even going to say positive, because when you're in a negative mindset, shifting to positive is not always going to be an option, but it will just change your energy and help you to move out of the negativity faster than if you hadn't.
There's so much stuff that you can do with journaling and there is no right and wrong. It's about finding what works for you.
I would love, Kim, maybe we can discuss this off air, but I have kind of, I'm doing a journal cue pack, so it'll be all different kind of journals.
So, you know, I'm more than happy to share that with any of your listeners or anything.
Kim: [00:27:45] Is that something you've already created?
Sarah: [00:27:46] I've nearly finished it now.
It's going to be journal cues for different situations. So, journal cues for when you feel like bingeing or journal cues for helping you to identify how and when you self-sabotage.
So, it's basically just to help really raise people's awareness and to help you understand that journaling is so much more than just sitting down and writing your thoughts or dreams and stuff. There's a lot more layers to it and if it's used in the right kind of way, it's actually so, so powerful.
Kim: [00:28:36] Well, that sounds like an amazing tool, Sarah.
So, definitely when you have that ready, let me know and I can put that up, on my page so people know. Because frankly I would find that very-- that sounds extremely useful.
I've definitely been a person-- and we've talked about this over the time we've known each other. I feel very resistant to it and I'll start trying it, and I don't know, I have stupid reasons like, "I don't like to write, I like to talk," but that's not really so useful because I'm not going to tape record myself and then listen to myself talk, right? So that the writing part needs to be there.
So, I have lots of stupid reasons for feeling resistant to it.
Sarah: [00:29:12] We need to get you to journal into why you're so resistant. And actually, just on that point, the other thing to remember is that nobody is going to read your journal.
That's the other thing that people get scared about. Honest to God, if anyone read my journal. I think I would be arrested and possibly committed into kind of asylum on Sundays. But it's just really important to remember that you're not writing this to put it out on Instagram, you're writing it to help you just make sense of what is going on in your head. And the power of writing, when it comes to helping to access your subconscious mind and rewire your brain -- there is evidence that writing is the best way to do that because the connection between your eye and as you write enters into the subconscious mind.
So, there is also science behind it to say it is something that more people would really benefit from doing.
Kim: [00:30:21] Wow. And that's actually incredible. That feels very intuitively right, that there would be science about that. Because you think like, I know for me in college and things like that, when I studied, one of the best study tools for me was writing things down, like, copying important facts over because it cemented it in my brain, right? Not just like talking it out, but actually writing it down.
So, it makes sense, like if we're journaling about things, that those things are going to stick with us.
Sarah: [00:30:46] Do you think maybe you've got resistance to journaling because of college and the fact that you had to do so much writing and now you're adult and you don't feel like you should have to do this kind of thing?
Kim: [00:31:00] You know, I don't know that that's it.
I will tell you, just as we've been having this conversation, one of the things that has come to my mind like four or five times, and I'm like, "I bet this is a piece of it," when I was younger, I used to write in journals like, as a girl, as a kid, right?
And I have them still, and when I open them up, I'm horrified to read them. I'm like, "wow, I was so silly." So, I think I judge myself a lot on those things that I wrote and so maybe I'm just worried about what are write now, like, how judgmental will I or somebody else-- I don't even know if I'm worried about other people.
Maybe I am, but I'll open these and it's one of those things, like, I open it up and I start to read, I'm like, "Oh my gosh," slam it shut.
Like, "wow, I was silly when I was 12 or 14 or whatever."
Sarah: [00:31:42] I mean, 100%, you may be carrying some kind of embarrassment and shame around in your subconscious mind, which is just building up this ridiculous barrier to you actually using it right now.
Oh my God, yeah. We need to get to the bottom of this.
Kim: [00:32:05] We'll have to work on that. We will work on that.
The other thing that's on my mind right now, Sarah, thinking about all of this, is it seems like some of the things you're talking about could be particularly useful at this time in our period of history where we're all in this crazy isolation period and there's a lot of anxiety and fear going on.
Do you think that journaling for people could be particularly useful now?
Sarah: [00:32:26] Oh my God, yes.
So actually, I have some specific cues I wrote exactly for coronavirus-- not for coronavirus, but for the people dealing with.
For uncertain times, the journal cues are-- so I can give you those to put in the show notes if you want.
Kim: [00:32:46] Yeah!
Why don't you tell us a couple here and then, for sure, let's put them in the show notes.
Sarah: [00:32:50] Let me just set them up on here so I can read them.
Kim: [00:32:55] While Sarah is looking for that, I can tell you about my journal I found when I was a little kid. No, I'm not telling you what's in there.
The funny thing is, I can't even remember what it was that I read, but it wasn't that long ago. I remember unpacking them from some box and I was just horrified. But it was a pretty little journal. It was navy blue with flowers all over it.
I also I feel like maybe part of me feels like journal, like diary, feels like silly thoughts I used to do when I was little. Right? But journaling is different than keeping a diary, right?
Sarah: [00:33:28] Yeah, yeah. The two are not to be confused. Because with a diary you're writing almost to the diary, if that makes sense. It's like a, "dear diary..."
Kim: [00:33:41] Yeah, and that's what I used to do.
Sarah: [00:33:42] Yeah, so that's more writing about events that happen, whereas mind management, mind-follow-facts, journaling, or however you want to frame it, is more about your feelings and your emotions and asking yourself, "how do I feel and why? Why do I feel this? Why is this coming up for me?"
And honestly, you will be surprised how once you start, once you've started to complete one sentence, you will be really surprised how the mind suddenly goes, "oh, hello." Which is why I prefer really getting people to do more free writing around it. So, giving people sentences to finish or questions to answer rather than just getting somebody to write a one-word answer, 'cause that doesn't open up anything and we really need to get the mind flowing to see where it goes and what else comes up.
Okay. So, the journal cues.
The first thing that you could write would be to get clear for yourself on what you can control for today. So, "today I can control..." Then write down all of the things that you can control.
Then you move to, "today I will be the woman who..." and that is you setting the intention and using the things that you have identified that you can control as the things that you are going to set up for yourself to do that day.
And then very simply, "I am grateful for..." and then write a few things that you are grateful for.
But there is a caveat to that: you can write whatever it is that you are grateful for, but I really, really, really encourage you to not just write the same things every day.
So, you can write one or two of the same things, but you really need to dig into your life and your mind and identify more things that you're grateful for. Because gratitude almost becomes--, not pointless, I don't want to say, but people just tend to write the same things over and over and over and I'm sorry, that is not all that you have got to be grateful for.
We have all got so much to be grateful for that we all need to be looking a little bit deeper into our lives and just going, "okay, this is, yeah, I can see all of this." So that's the caveat.
Kim: [00:36:24] I like that a lot because I will say, I do do gratitude journaling.
Sarah: [00:36:29] Amazing!
Kim: [00:36:29] I did it the past seven days and I'm going to keep it up, of writing three things that I was grateful for. And I do give myself that same little caveat, that little rule, like, you can't write the same thing every day. 'Cause what am I gonna write every day? "I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my clients. I have a job I love."
Yeah, I can write that every day.
Sarah: [00:36:48] Yeah. And then that's not in your mind anywhere new.
And then the other thing that I've got on here is something called "release writing."
So, this is for in times, maybe over the day, when you find yourself really getting up in your own head. So, procrastinating really badly about things, or you know, you can feel a thought starting to gain momentum in your head and you're just so stressed and anxious.
Just grab a piece of paper and just write down all of the feedings. A bit like I was mentioning earlier in the morning, you know, "I feel stressed because," "I feel anxious because," and just word vomit out everything that's coming to mind. And just keep doing that until you feel a shift in energy.
And what I mean by that is: you will go into it feeling like, "ahhh!!" Like you want to explode. And the more that you write, you should start to notice that things just start to calm down because you're getting the stuff out of your head and it's not just sitting in there.
So, you will feel lighter and you should feel clearer in your mind when you finish doing it.
Kim: [00:38:03] Yeah, I can totally see that. And that's something I have clients do, that specifically, when they're struggling with the same problems over and over, like, "I always eat when I'm mad at my kids," like, all of these things. And one of the things I have them do is write down, you know, in that moment because, like, we keep doing the same dumb stuff over and over and they're like, "okay. I know it does not help when I start eating Doritos when I'm mad at my kid. 'Cause then I'm still mad at my kid and now I'm mad I ate 400 calories in Doritos and I wasn't even hungry and I don't even really like Doritos."
Sarah: [00:38:39] That's the real kicker. "I don't even like Doritos!"
Kim: [00:38:43] That's really helpful, Sarah.
Well, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing this with us. I have to tell you, I am really a fan of the idea of calling this all "mind management practices." That feels really good to me.
That feels like, "Ooh, I want to do that."
Sarah: [00:38:58] Yeah. I think for me, I think it takes a sidestep from the diary thing, which I think is one of the things that a lot of people struggle with.
So, I think if people can just reframe it into, "okay, this is my opportunity to actually get to know myself better and understand my thoughts and to stop keeping secrets from myself."
Because it's important to know that we are not our thoughts. So, whatever you have going on in your mind that is not who you are.
I think people get very scared that if they write down something that they see as negative, that actually they're judging their self for, that that suddenly is who they are and actually it's not.
Kim: [00:39:44] Wow. Yeah. I like that.
Sarah: [00:39:46] We could go on a whole different tangent with that.
Kim: [00:39:51] Absolutely.
Okay. So, I'll get those prompts from you and I'll put those in the show notes.
Couple more questions: tell everybody where they can find you. Where's the best place if they're looking for you?
Sarah: [00:40:03] So you can find me over on Instagram @thrivewithduff or visit me on my website at thrivewithduff.com. Those are my two main platforms.
Kim: [00:40:18] And what's your new podcast called?
Sarah: [00:40:20] Real You with Sarah.
Kim: [00:40:23] And that's on all the typical--
Sarah: [00:40:25] And that's on all the typical platforms.
Are we singing?
Kim: [00:40:31] That's my last question! My last question is will you sing for us?
You can sing it anything you want.
I will join in. What are we singing?
Sarah: [00:40:44] Oh my God. Ummm.
Kim: [00:40:46] I'm gonna make all my guest starts singing with me.
No one's going to agree to come on anymore.
Sarah: [00:40:53] Okay, let's go,
I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody. Yeah, I want to dance with somebody. With somebody who loves me.
Which, at the moment, is either going to be a plum or a blow-up doll.
Kim: [00:41:11] Or you're just going to pick Alexa up and start dancing with her.
Sarah: [00:41:17] Yes.
Kim: [00:41:17] Have you asked Alexa if she wants to dance with you yet?
Sarah: [00:41:20] No, but this morning I asked her would she marry me, and she was like, "no, we are just in different places right now. You are on Earth and I am on the cloud."
Kim: [00:41:33] Well that was a nice let down. Easy on you there.
Sarah: [00:41:40] So I kind of thought so, I was like, "okay, you know, rejection is one of my childhood issues..."
Kim: [00:41:44] And now, gosh, I get rejected by Alexa. That is not nice.
Well thanks so much for being here, Sarah. This was really informative and it was fun and I think people who are journal resistant, like I had been, are going to see it in a different light here.
Sarah: [00:42:04] Yeah, I hope so.
And if anyone has any other questions or wants anymore pointers or advice on how to start, just reach out to me on Instagram and I will more than happily help.
Kim: [00:42:16] Yeah, and when you have that product you were talking about with the prompts and stuff ready to go, let me know and I'll post it, for sure, over on my page. It sounds like good stuff.
All right, my dear. We'll talk soon.
Sarah: [00:42:29] Thank you. Bye.
Kim: [00:42:36] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
Thanks so much.
This article was transcribed from episode 51 of The Fitness Simplified Podcast. Click HERE to listen.
Kim: Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
[00:00:08] As I record episode 51 of the podcast, the world is several weeks into the Coronavirus lockdown. We've completely lost track of times and days. No one knows what day it is. A worry I'm hearing coming up over and over from many of you, is that you're concerned that you're going to regain much or all of the weight that you worked so hard to lose.
[00:00:30] Let's talk about it.
[00:00:36] Heading into day 13 of lockdown here in my town. My family is all working at home, the kids are homeschooling, I am a homeschooling mom for the second time in my life -- not by choice this time. The kiddos are all working hard at school, my husband is working from home, I am working from home, haven't really gone anywhere except to walk in my neighborhood, and walk at a local park. I think it's been 10 days since I've gone anywhere.
[00:01:10] Other than that, different world we're living in here now. I know a lot of you are struggling. We're all struggling to some degree with this just massive lifestyle shift. I created a poll on Instagram asking what your biggest fitness concern is right now.
[00:01:26] Number one was snacking/mindless eating/stress eating, and I talked about that quite in-depth last week on the podcast.
[00:01:35] Number two was regaining the weight you've lost while we're on Corona lockdown. I think that's a valid concern and I understand completely why you would be worried about that.
[00:01:47] We are in a prime setup for overeating. We have more downtime, high levels of stress and anxiety, boredom, it's harder to access less processed food for many people, and we've stacked up on highly palatable food, right? Our cupboards are filled with all of those things that can be trigger foods for us.
[00:02:07] I saw a meme yesterday saying that it feels like we're living an extended version of that week between Christmas and New Year's, and I was like, "yes!" It's that loss of flow, the flow of time, the rhythm of our daily lives, our healthy habits, kind of all giving way to be just one long blur with the added twist of: there's literally nowhere to go and now we're all homeschooling our children. So, it's this really strange spot to be in.
[00:02:34] Here’s how I feel about worry, though. It's not useful. No one ever worried a situation into proper resolution, and believe me, I've tried. I was a world-class worrier for most of my life. But action, not worry, is the answer. Always. Worry is crippling. Action is empowering.
[00:03:00] So what action is appropriate to this worry we're discussing here? The specifics are going to vary person to person. Generally speaking, though, the first step is going to be getting the worries out of your head. That way you can face them square on. Write them down. What specifically are you worried about and why?
[00:03:22] So here's an example:
[00:03:24] "I'm worried I will gain back the 20 pounds I lost because I'm eating nonstop and lying in my pajamas, binge watching the Golden Girls 24/7."
[00:03:33] Okay, then ask yourself some questions about what you've written. Are your worries warranted? Do they seem logical? What behaviors specifically are contributing to this worry of possible weight gain? Are you willing to change the behaviors you see leading to the weight gain? If so, which behaviors, specifically, are you willing to change? Which behaviors, specifically, are you not willing to change? And those are where we're all going to have different answers. And it's important to remember that what's required for weight loss and maintenance aren't the same thing.
[00:04:15] You don't have to be losing weight right now. If you're feeling ambivalent about what you really want and what you're willing to change versus not, here's something to consider: how will you feel when this quarantine is over about the decisions you're making right now? Project into the future, some period of weeks or months, when you're back to your usual day to day life -- where do you want to be with your nutrition and fitness habits? Then act accordingly.
[00:04:45] It will likely take multiple reminders of that, daily, to stay on the course that leads you to the end spot you've chosen.
[00:04:54] Okay, some practical advice on where to place your efforts if you're thinking, "okay, enough, I'm ready to think forward towards what I want when we resume normal life, I'm ready to do something."
[00:05:07] So maintenance comes down to three things:
[00:05:10] 1) Managing your overall calorie intake.
[00:05:14] Now, maybe this isn't the right time for you to be counting calories. Maybe it is. You can decide that. Remember, in any case, the calories that you're counting, if you're shooting for maintenance, are going to be higher than your deficit calories, but you could still count calories.
[00:05:28] If you don't want to count calories here are some other options to manage your overall calorie intake so that you are not in a surplus, which is what would cause you to gain weight.
[00:05:39] So a couple of options for you:
[00:05:41] 1) I only eat seated at a table with my food on a plate or in a bowl. Okay? I don't eat out of packages, boxes, and bags, I don't eat in front of the TV, I don't eat in my bed. I only eat seated at a table with my food plated.
[00:05:58] Another option: I eat only when I'm physically hungry. So, think about actual physical hunger -- that is felt in your stomach. It's an empty, hollow sensation in your stomach. It comes on gradually and it doesn't subside with time, but it continues to grow.
[00:06:17] If you're not feeling that, you're not physically hungry, you're emotionally hungry, you're bored, you're missing something else. So, you could commit to eat only when you're physically hungry and stop when you are satisfied. So, you eat slowly and you notice the sensation in your stomach. When you get to the point of satisfaction, you stop eating. Okay, so that's another option.
[00:06:42] Third option, I eat three meals and two snacks per day. That's it. And you could dial that one in further in a couple of ways. You could add that all of those meals fit on one standard sized plate. Okay, so three meals, two snacks, they fit on a standard sized plate for the meals, and each snack fits in the palm of your hand.
[00:07:04] You could do it like that. You can dial that one in even further and say, okay, all of my meals are going to include half a plate of vegetables, or half a plate of vegetables and a quarter plate of protein. You could say, one of my snacks every day is going to be a fruit or a fruit or a vegetable. So, lots of ways you can dial that in. So, creating these bright lines around your nutrition to control total calories-in.
[00:07:29] A couple of more for you to consider: I eat protein and veggies at every meal. Okay? So, we're not just downing carbs and fat. I eat protein and veggies at every meal.
[00:07:42] Another one, around alcohol -- here are two for you around alcohol. I've heard from a lot of people that they are drinking a lot more than usual right now, so you could say, "I drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day," or "I drink no more than one time per week or two times per week or three times per week."
[00:07:58] Whichever of these feels like a good fit for you. The idea being that you're going to reduce the amount of alcohol you're currently drinking.
[00:08:07] Okay, so I just gave you about eight different ways that you can control your overall calorie intake and get it to a maintenance level without counting calories.
[00:08:18] The other option is you straight up count calories. So that's number one with getting control of maintaining your weight during this quarantine time: manage your overall calorie intake.
[00:08:29] The second thing we're going to talk about, then, is the other side of the energy balance equation. So, we're going to talk about calories-out.
[00:08:38] So we're going to move. And I'm not talking workouts here. That's actually a relatively small portion of your total calories-out, even when you're in your regular workout routine. Okay? I'm talking about literally just getting up and moving.
[00:08:53] Lots of ideas here: go outside and take a walk, stay inside and take a walk, challenge your kids to a dance off, play charades as a family. We did this last night, we actually FaceTimed some family friends and we played charades-- we hooked our phones up to our televisions and then we played charades through the television with some family friends. That was really fun.
[00:09:16] The night before that, we FaceTimed my little sister and she gave us line-dancing lessons. We did country line-dancing lessons. So, we're going to do it weekly now for the rest of the quarantine. You could mop your floors, you could organize your closets, you could play a fun movement game while you're binge watching your TV shows.
[00:09:33] Okay, so in my family, we are binge watching The Office. We're going to try and get through all nine seasons. We're currently on season three. Here's a game I thought of that you could do with The Office -- and you can change this to match the show your doing. So, if you watch The Office, every time Michael says something inappropriate, do 10 squats, every time Jim looks at the camera and smirks, do 5 pushups, every time Pam picks up the phone, do 6 lunges per leg.
[00:09:58] So make this game work for your family's TV show that you are watching. So, it's not about this being your workout routine. We'll talk about workout routines later. This is just a way to get some more movement in.
[00:10:11] Pick a podcast or two you love and set a bright line that you can only listen to that show if you're walking. Do a step competition with friends. See who can get the most steps each week and decide on a prize for the winner, for when this is all over, whoever gets the highest step count per week, that person gets a prize.
[00:10:33] So the bottom line is: enough with all of the sitting. Let's get up and move.
[00:10:41] All right, number three: workouts.
[00:10:43] Oh boy, I know you might not be particularly motivated by your home workouts. Do them anyway. Do them anyway. They will have a positive impact. Commit to three times per week, focus on getting stronger at a few key moves. Making that progress is important to your results, not to mention your enthusiasm about working out.
[00:11:06] Focus on getting better and doing more reps of pushups and pullups and Bulgarian split squats, pike pushups, walking lunges -- I started today to work towards performing my very first pistol squat. That is a challenge that I find really exciting.
[00:11:21] So pick something physical and work towards getting better at that.
[00:11:27] All of these things, these workout pieces are going to help you mentally stay in the game, help you keep up the habit of "I am a person who works out." They're also key to preserving the muscle that you have built, that really gives you that toned and defined look.
[00:11:43] So remember, you don't have to be focused on weight loss right now. I mean, you literally never have-- there's never a time in your life you have to focus on weight loss, certainly not now. But in this moment, good nutrition still matters, moving your body still matters, and your goals still matter.
[00:12:05] We're all in this together and it looks like we're going to be here for some time still, so let's keep each other going here.
[00:12:12] We can create new routines. We can hold ourselves to standards.
[00:12:16] You in? Let's go.
[00:12:29] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:12:40] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
[00:12:55] Thanks so much.
This article is transcribed from Episode 50 of The Fitness Simplified Podcast. Click HERE to listen.
[00:00:04] Kim: Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. Today is episode 50 and this is not the subject I would have guessed I would be tackling.
[00:00:13] Today, it is March 20th, 2020 and we here in the United States and around the world are facing a crisis we have never seen the likes of before. The Coronavirus is spreading and we are going on lockdown and quarantine and shelter in place, and we are all living in a bit of an altered reality.
[00:00:34] Today I tackle some of the top concerns I have been hearing from you about your health and fitness during this unprecedented time. Specifically, we're going to talk about these three things:
[00:00:45] "There's no gym anymore. How am I going to work out?"
[00:00:49] "I am eating nonstop. Help me stop eating."
[00:00:54] And the third one, "I am going to lose all of my progress. Am I gonna lose all my progress?"
[00:01:00] That's what we're talking about today. Let's go.
[00:01:12] Greetings from lockdown. As I'm recording this, it is Friday, March 20th, 2020. In recent weeks, we have seen this situation with Coronavirus escalate to the point that many of us are living in a world we never imagined possible: purposely socially isolating ourselves, working from home, schooling from home, not eating out, not going to shows, not going to church.
[00:01:40] More and more of us are on lockdown, as I am here in Southeast Pennsylvania or even in quarantine. All of the expert information from the CDC and the World Health Organization shows that this is the right thing to do, right? However, it doesn't equal easy, as we're all finding out here a day at a time.
[00:02:02] Today I'm going to tackle some of the top concerns, issues, worries, bumps in the road, whatever you want to call them, facing you as far as the nutrition and fitness piece of managing life during this crazy time in our history.
[00:02:19] And I want to start with your mindset. Now, don't brush this aside, I know it sounds kind of woo woo, but how we think has a massive impact on what we do. Now, more than ever, this is going to be key to your success. And this begs the question, "how are you defining success right now?" And we need to give this some thought.
[00:02:46] What was your main fitness and nutrition goal before the situation with Corona? Maybe it was fat loss, maybe it was muscle gain, getting your first pull up or, you know, a heavier dead lift, whatever that goal was, I want you to think, "does that goal feel in line with your current circumstances emotionally, physically, timewise," and maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. I'm noticing two distinct groups in my clientele right now. So, I have one on one clients, and some people don't know where they're at quite yet. They're still trying to figure it out. And I will say, depending on where you are in the world, things are still a little bit different place to place.
[00:03:35] I have some clients who just today their gym shut down and they went to working at home. I have other people who've been doing that for some time. I have several people in California, clients who are already doing shelter in place, like, they really aren't supposed to leave at all. Where I'm at, we're on lockdown. Everything is closed, we can still go outside, but we're supposed to stay home as much as possible.
[00:03:58] And so what I'm noticing among my clients right now are the two biggest groups. There's one group and they feel thrown for a loop. They feel overwhelmed. They feel like, wow, I'm in my house with all this amazing food, and I'm apparently a homeschooling mom right now, and I'm working from home at the same time. And there are all these people in my space and my house is a mess. And there's this stress of all the things I'm used to doing, they're gone. And I have the stress of like, "are we going to get sick and what's going to happen with the economy?" And so, I have that group of people and then I have this other group of people who are dealing with those same things, but for them it's kind of opened up this different spot where they feel more in control of their schedule than they ever have before.
[00:04:43] You know, maybe they're busy executives who are always, you know, long commutes and lots of travel in eating out and social obligations, and now they're not having any of that, and so they feel more in control of their time and their ability to meal prep and their ability to eat when they want and what they want and how they want. And so, they're saying like, I think I could really lean in right now. Like, this is a time for me to really dial in my nutrition and go for it.
[00:05:11] And so you might find that you're in one of those two camps and neither is right and neither is wrong. I just want you to be aware of where are you right now? How does that compare to where you were before, what your goal was before, and remind yourself that your goal doesn't have to stay the same, but it should be clear. Right? And so, if you've been trying to lose weight and now you're feeling really overwhelmed and your time feels very stretched and you've got kids at home and you're working at home, and, and this feels like a lot for you. If you just, in your mind, are sort of eating in a deficit, you're trying to eat in a deficit, but you're actually not eating a deficit, that can be insanely frustrating because there's still a high level of effort that you're putting forth mentally, but you're not going to see the payoff in terms of results. Because if you're not in a deficit, you're not in a deficit. Right?
[00:06:06] And so deciding that maybe for this period of time, you're going to bring calories up to maintenance is one good option for you. And I'll talk more specifically about what that looks like a little bit later on this podcast. So, for this piece, I want you to really think, "what was my goal? Does that goal seem appropriate right now?" And know that you can change. Like, a week from now, you might feel like, "wow, I've got a handle on this working at home and having my kids around and social isolation bit and I think I am ready to lean into my goal." Great. Go for it. Whatever stage you're at, just be very clear with yourself what you're trying to accomplish and what steps you're going to take to do that.
[00:06:45] So that's the first piece of this mindset approach is getting clear on what your goal is. The other piece of the mindset topic that I think is critical is optimism. Now, being optimistic, it does not mean you're not worried. It does not mean things have easy answers. It does not mean you have to be happy and sunshiny every second.
[00:07:09] It means you are looking for things to be grateful for. It means you are choosing to approach things from the perspective that things will all work out eventually. And I can't stress enough that optimism is a choice. This is a choice. It's not like, "well, that's an optimistic person and I'm not an optimistic person," you can choose at any moment in time to be an optimistic person. You can choose optimism and it's a power move, my friend. Choosing optimism means choosing you focus on the things you can control instead of wallowing in what you can't control. And that makes all the difference in both your mental health and the bottom line of your success. So, choose optimism.
[00:07:59] Okay, so those are the two mindset pieces that I really want you to focus in on first: have a clear goal, knowing you can change it at any time, and come from a place of choosing optimism.
[00:08:10] All right. Now let's tackle three of the most common concerns that I'm hearing.
[00:08:14] I'm going to tell you what they are and we're going to go through them one by one:
[00:08:17] "I have no gym now. How will I work out?"
[00:08:22] "I'm eating nonstop. Help me."
[00:08:25] "Am I going to lose all of my progress? I'm really worried."
[00:08:30] Okay, so let's talk about those one at a time.
[00:08:32] "No gym, how will I work out?"
[00:08:36] Okay, know this: you have options. It will all be okay.
[00:08:41] The first thing you can do is take stock of what equipment you have, if any. Get a good idea, like, what do you have to work with? Do you have a couple of sets of dumbbells? Do you have some slider disks? Do you have some bands? Figure out what you have. And if you have no equipment, it's still okay -- we're going to have you use your body weight.
[00:08:58] I'm going to leave some links to a few resources that I've created in the show notes here. I designed 10 at-home workout programs last weekend, before this event, for the fact that we are just seeing epic numbers of people who can't get to the gym now. So, 10 at-home programs. They're free, there's body weight-only programs, there's minimal equipment programs, like if you just have a couple of light dumbbells, so there's some workouts for that, and there are some workouts I created, if you have a pretty good array of dumbbells at home and you're just not sure, "like, what do I do? This is not look at all like what I used to do at the gym." I'm going to share that link in the show notes.
[00:09:37] I'm also going to share the link to a live workout I led on my YouTube last night. It's a full body, no equipment workout. It's workable for all fitness levels -- I give regressions and progressions as I go, and I'm going to be doing another one next week, another live YouTube workout. This one I'm going to do with bands. So, if you have some resistance bands at home, that'll be a good one for you.
[00:09:58] There's a lot of resources out there right now for at-home workouts, so check those things that I just mentioned. Also check back on my Instagram, I'm constantly giving ideas for at-home workouts right now.
[00:10:11] Another thing you can do is create your own. Here are some guiding principles for right now, when you don't have any equipment or very light equipment. One thing you can do is focused on single leg exercises. So, things like single leg box squats, Romanian deadlifts that are single leg, single-leg hip thrust, single-leg Bulgarian split squats, because you can tax that body part more with less weight if you're doing it with just one limb versus with two. Then, on top of that, you can use one or more of the techniques I'm about to share with you to make those exercises harder without adding weight.
[00:10:53] You can add a half-rep. So, you could do a one and a half single leg RDL, you could do a one and a half pushup, you could do a one and a half Bulgarian split squat. So, add a half rep.
[00:11:12] You can add a pause. Okay? So, you can pause at the bottom of a squat. You can pause twice. You can do lunges where you pause halfway down, you pause at the bottom, and come back up. Those are really, really hard. You can add a slow eccentric. Now, "eccentric" is the lengthening portion of any movement. In a push up, a squat, or lunge, it's the down portion. And you can make that really slow.
[00:11:39] Think about doing a pushup with a five second lowering phase. That's hard. That's really, really hard. Think about doing a squat or a lunge with a three or a five second lowering phase. That's a way to make it way harder without much weight or any weight at all. Okay? So those are some of the techniques you can use to make exercises harder without much weight.
[00:12:04] Now, I know a lot of people are saying, "I just don't feel motivated to workout at home. I don't like this body weight stuff. I like heavy weight, or I like using the machines. I just don't feel motivated." So, a couple of things to help you feel motivated: one thing in particular that I want you to think of doing is to give yourself a challenge. A challenge for something that you're going to do, something you're going to work towards doing while we're all in our crazy quarantine, lockdown phase here.
[00:12:27] My one on one client, Corrine just messaged me today that she's going to work towards doing her first handstand before this is all said and done, and I just love, love, love that. And she posted a little video of her trying, day one, trying to do a handstand. Couldn't do it. And that's okay, and she's going to keep watching herself day by day, getting better at doing handstands. How cool is that?
[00:12:50] Okay, so what are some ideas? How about a pushup? Can you do a pushup? Can you do a really good pushup? How about setting a goal to get your first pushup? Or if you can do a couple of pushups, but they're not really good, what about setting a goal to be able to do 10 really good pushups by the time this is all said and done.
[00:13:06] Or if you can do pushups and you want something even harder, how about weighted pushups? You could put a backpack on your back with some heavy books in it and learn to do weighted pushups and practice until you get a certain number -- 10 or 20 -- weighted pushups.
[00:13:19] All right, how about chin ups? Can you do a chin up? This can be a really good goal. You could work on this every day. You could order a chin up bar and some bands. I have a full tutorial on my YouTube about how exactly to get your first chin up. You could work towards getting that, and that's something to look forward to. All of these things are something you can look forward to each day as you are going to train, like something you can get better at, something you can practice.
[00:13:42] Another really good one is getting 10,000 steps a day. If you've been listening to me for any length of time, you know how much I love that goal of getting more movement in. You can set yourself a goal that you are going to walk 10,000 steps every single day. And strive for that. It's something to look forward to.
[00:13:59] So set yourself a goal. I'm considering doing that. I'm not going to say what it is yet. I have something in mind. I'm hopping on the phone with my coach tomorrow and I'm going to talk through an idea I have. I have a full gym, so I'm not doing anything different in that way, but I do want to show you and model for you like, hey, here's something you can try and do over the next 30-- who knows how many days. Are we talking 14, 30, 60, 90, who knows? But let's come up with some cool things that we're going to be able to do at the end.
[00:14:24] All right. The next concern I'm hearing a lot of: "I'm eating nonstop. Help me. I can't stop eating."
[00:14:33] So you know, as everyone was going to the grocery store and stocking up, I was looking at these carts, my own included, and a lot of them look like we gave our nine year olds our credit card and said, "Hey, go prep for a two week road trip."
[00:14:44] Right? Are you all of a sudden finding you bought stuff that you don't usually bring into your house and it seemed like a good idea, or maybe in a moment of panic you're like, "I need all the Oreos," and so now you're sitting there in your house and you're there all day long and it is fully stocked with the stuff that you don't usually keep there.
[00:15:00] So the first order of business is let's set your environment up for success. What does this mean? Take the food that you typically overeat, put it in an opaque container, in a hard to reach spot, up really, really high in a room you don't typically go in. Do not leave it in the cupboard that you typically open to get your salt and pepper. Don't leave it on your kitchen island. Put that staff in an opaque container in a hard to reach spot.
[00:15:30] All right. Don't overly restrict what and how much you're eating, even in a deficit. So, if you decide you are going to keep working for weight loss right now, cool. Still plan in treats. Don't overly restrict. It's a pretty self-explanatory one, something I talk about all the time, generally, even we're not dealing with, you know, coronavirus quarantines.
[00:15:54] All right, when you are eating or are about to eat, ask yourself, "why?" "Why am I going to eat?" "Am I hungry?" That's a really important question. If the answer is no versus the answer is yes, we have different approaches.
[00:16:15] Now, remember, what does true hunger feel like? Hunger is a sensation that's in your belly. It's not in your mind, it doesn't come from something you smell, it doesn't come from watching a television commercial -- whether you see ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies being pulled apart -- it is an empty, hollow sensation in your stomach. Sometimes it gets kind of growly. It's this empty, hollow sensation in your stomach.
[00:16:39] If you do not feel that, it is not true hunger. If you do feel true hunger, eat something. If you do not, ask yourself, "okay, why am I eating?" And actually, even before that, let's step back one step.
[00:16:55] Give yourself time to make a choice that's in line with your goals. So, if you're about to eat something or even if you already are eating something and you know you're not hungry, put the food away, step out of the room, and give yourself 20 minutes. Give yourself 20 minutes to make a choice that's going to be more in line with your goals. Whether the goal is maintenance or fat loss. Give yourself some time.
[00:17:18] Okay, what are you going to do during that time? Here's what I want you to do. I want you to think, "how am I actually feeling?" We want you to identify. What are you feeling? If it's not hunger, but you want to eat, what are you feeling? And I want to remind you here real fast, emotional eating is really common, especially at a time like right now, you are not alone if you are turning to food to soothe yourself.
[00:17:42] If you're turning to food because you're stressed, if you're turning to food because you're bored, there's nothing wrong with you. A lot of people do that. It is a coping mechanism that we have come to rely on. It doesn't serve us, almost across the board it doesn't serve us whether your goal is fat loss or not, because it doesn't actually help us manage the emotion we're feeling, and that's what we want to do.
[00:18:04] Okay, so you've walked away from the food, you're giving yourself 20 minutes, let's manage those emotions. So first you have to identify the emotion. What are you feeling? Are you sad? Are you scared? Are you bored? Are you lonely? So, figure out what you're feeling and then brainstorm how to deal with that emotion in a way other than food.
[00:18:27] Now I find that this is actually better done at another time. We often emotionally overeat for the same reasons, so I want you to start looking for patterns. If you notice that you typically overeat when you're bored, that's a pattern. If you notice you typically emotionally eat when you're annoyed with your kids, that's a pattern.
[00:18:46] So as you identify these patterns, brainstorm non-food forms of self-care to help you with those emotions and write them in the notes section of your phone. Like, literally write, "when I am sad and want to eat food, here are other things I will do." "When I'm angry and want to eat, even though I'm not hungry, here are some things I could do."
[00:19:06] I'm going to give you some suggestions. There are loads of suggestions -- and some of these ones I'm going to give you now for specific emotions, there's a lot of overlap. They could work one versus another. So, if you're sad, give yourself permission to cry. Like, sit down and have a good cry. Listen to music. Write. Write about what you're feeling. Get outside. Wow. That helps it almost all of these. Getting outside helps with almost all of these.
[00:19:31] If you're angry, workout. You know how many good workouts have come out of a bout of, "wow, I'm really friggin' angry." Take deep, calming breaths. Talk out loud yourself about what you're angry about. That's actually a really good one for almost all of these, talking out loud to yourself. If you're lonely or bored, connect virtually. That's pretty much all we got right now. Usually I'd say even better might be in-person, but connecting virtually. Call someone, FaceTime them, set up a Zoom call with friends. I've seen a lot of people doing that. Lots of groups of friends doing these Zoom calls. It's fantastic.
[00:20:03] Get a hobby. There are so many cool things out there. I've seen things like, people are taking magic lessons online, they're taking piano lessons online. I know people who are suddenly, you know, going back to doing craft projects they used to want to do, you know, all kinds of things you can try to do.
[00:20:21] So get a hobby, figure something out that's actually interesting to you, and sit and think like, "what does interest me?" Sometimes we don't even have any idea what might be interesting to us.
[00:20:30] Help someone. This is a big one. Now I realize a lot of the ways we would typically help someone aren't available to us right in this moment because we're confined to our houses, but there are still ways to help.
[00:20:42] You could write letters to service people. You could-- we have the cutest thing going on in our neighborhood right now, it just started last night. We're going to do ours today. Somebody came with this idea to do a scavenger hunt for the kids in the neighborhood. I live in a very big neighborhood with lots of kids and lots of parents who have bored children and they're going on all these walks. And to give the kids something to look for where they're walking, we're going to pick a different object each week and we're going to put it somewhere on the outside of our house or in our car. And then the goal is for these kids, as they're walking around the neighborhood, to look for this object. So, this week we're doing hearts. And so, people are going to put a heart in your window or on your door or on your car or on a tree. And so, as the kids walk by, they're supposed to be looking for the object. Like I said, this week, it's going to be heart, next week it'll be something else. So, you could organize something like that in your neighborhood.
[00:21:27] You could call old people that you know, who you know are really sad and lonely and talk to them. So, getting outside of our self by helping somebody else can really help if we're feeling lonely or bored.
[00:21:40] Okay, what if you're feeling overwhelmed? A lot of people feeling overwhelmed right now. Take a nap. Go for a walk. Just get outside, even just sitting outside. Take a break. Take a break from your work, take a break from attempting to homeschool your children, take a break from social media and the news, take a break.
[00:22:01] Okay, so those are some general ideas. And like I said, you can kind of mix and match the different strategies with the different emotions to find what might work for you. And as I said, try and do this at a time outside of when you actually notice your emotional eating. Try it then, but then notice patterns and really get a good list going and make sure that they're things you can actually do right now that work into your life.
[00:22:23] All right, now when you become aware you're about to emotionally eat, or in the middle of it, you're going to-- this is a quick reminder, what I just said, give yourself 20 minutes, put the food away, walk away and use that 20 minutes to do one or more of the things that you brainstormed. Instead of eating your emotions, you're going to deal with them, which is hard. That's hard work.
[00:22:45] All right, let's talk about this last one:
[00:22:47] "I am going to lose all of my progress."
[00:22:51] Wow. Everybody's really, really worried about that right now.
[00:22:55] And you know, I can understand why. You've gotten into this good rhythm and you go to the gym and you have your routine and now you're, "wow, our routines are just out the window." Here's the question I want you to ask yourself, "did I make all of my progress in a day?" "Did I make all my progress in a day?" "Did I make all my progress in a week?" "Did I even make all my progress in a month?"
[00:23:20] No, right? It takes many, many months. It takes years, even. You will not lose all your progress. You won't.
[00:23:29] Now, let's talk a little bit specifically. If you're worried about losing your muscle, I want you to remember: it takes way less to maintain your muscle than it did to build it.
[00:23:38] Keep that in mind. Do your home workouts, be consistent with them, eat plenty of protein, and know that it just takes way less work to maintain your muscle than it did to build.
[00:23:50] Fat loss, if you're worried you're going to regain all the weight, remember there's a space between eating in a deficit and eating in a surplus, and that space is maintenance.
[00:24:00] You have that buffer so you can raise your calories some from a deficit and maintain your current progress. Doesn't mean the scale is going to stay the same. Remember, scale weight always fluctuates. Don't let the scale freak you out. This might not even be a great time for you to be weighing. That really depends on the individual.
[00:24:17] Try adding 250 to 500 calories to your deficit calories, daily, if that's your goal, if maintenance is your goal. Now, that's not typically how I bring a client to maintenance. If I have a client who's hit their goal and they're ready to come up to maintenance, or even if they haven't hit their goal and they just want a maintenance break, we typically do that by adding in a little bit of calories, a little bit at a time, over several weeks, while we watch what the scale does.
[00:24:42] But this is a completely different situation entirely. So, go ahead, if you want to come up to maintenance and you're like, "what does that look like for me?" Add 250 to 500 calories to your daily deficit and stay there. And those can be your maintenance calories for now. You can pay attention to the scale, see how that's looking, and go from there. Remember, anytime we adjust calories, everything's always a little bit of plug and play.
[00:25:08] Also, keep up your good habits. Eat your vegetables with most meals, eat protein at every meal, eat fruit every day, eat 80/20. Remember how we've talked before about what 80/20 eating is like? I mean, 80% of your food should be healthy, nourishing, you know what these foods are: fruits and vegetables and meat and whole grain. Most of your food should be that, the less processed stuff.
[00:25:33] And by the way, frozen vegetables and canned vegetables count. Canned tuna counts. It doesn't have to be picked up from the farmer's market in your town. It doesn't have to be organic. It doesn't have to be fresh vegetables. It's not the only thing that counts for vegetables.
[00:25:52] You know, you can eat right now, anytime, actually, but right now, if what you have access to is canned vegetables, if it's frozen vegetables, great. That all counts. 80% of your food should be healthy, nourishing, minimally processed, nutrient dense food -- fruit, vegetables, protein, whole grains. The other 10% to 20% can be all the other stuff. All the stuff that makes it look like we're nine-year olds going on a road trip. Cookies and cake and frozen pizza or whatever it is you would like.
[00:26:26] Now the other thing is get up and move every single day. Get up. This was a great time to get your steps up. We have more control over our time and a lot of us just have plain ol' more time. Nobody's commuting anymore. Get outside, if you're in an area where you're still allowed to go outside, and walk. If you're not allowed to go outside, walk in your house. Up and down the steps, pace in your living room, march in place, step up and down on a step stool, get up.
[00:26:53] And then lastly, with this whole idea of, "am I going to lose all my progress?" Remember, it is not what you do some of the time that gets most of your results, it's what you do most of the time. And this right here is a "some of the time" event. We're not always going to be right where we are right now, in lockdown, in quarantine.
[00:27:11] Okay, I hope this has helped to ease some of the stress on your mind and get you thinking realistically and optimistically about what you can do. We have control over so many things. There's a lot we have no control over right now, right? But we have control over a lot of things, including how our attitude is, what we choose to be our goal, how we move our body, how often we move our body, what we eat, how often we eat, how much we eat. We have a lot of control. And it feels much more empowering, comforting, even, to remind ourselves, "Hey, we do have control over some things."
[00:27:51] I want you to know that I'm here for you anytime. Not just now, but always. Reach out to me any time, anything I can do for you. Check out the resources I told you I was going to put in the show notes about those workouts that you can get.
[00:28:03] Thanks so much for being here. I wish you health. I wish you safety. We're going to get through this. We're going to get through this.
[00:28:16] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:28:27] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
[00:28:42] Thanks so much.
This article is transcribed from episode 49 of The Fitness Simplified Podcast. Click HERE to listen.
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I'm joined by a member of my @kimschlagfitness Instagram community who messaged me with a question.
Fiona has spent the last year crushing her weight loss goal and as she is just reached her goal, she's now thinking ahead and wondering, "uh, what now?"
Want to find out? Let's listen.
Fiona: [00:00:33] Hi Kim, how are you?
Kim: [00:00:35] Good. Thanks so much for joining me here.
Fiona: [00:00:37] Great. No problem. Thanks for the invite.
Kim: [00:00:40] Oh, I'm so thrilled that we could make it happen.
Fiona: [00:00:43] I know. It's great.
Kim: [00:00:44] Isn't it amazing how we can be connecting all the way across the world?
Fiona: [00:00:47] I know. Yeah. It's a small world nowadays.
Kim: [00:00:50] It's crazy.
So, look, we don't know each other at all, so why don't you introduce yourself a bit; where you're from, what you like to do, a little about your life.
Fiona: [00:01:00] Sure.
So, I'm Fiona. I will be 49 in July. I'm from Ireland. My mother is from Belize in Central America, but I was brought up in Ireland. I love to work out and my newest fitness journey probably started in January, 2018, whereby I realized I should be tracking calories and macros and should be basically doing weight programs with kettlebells and dumbbells. And it's changed my whole attitude towards food and towards working out.
I was doing it completely wrong for years and that's when I discovered you and the likes of Jordan Syatt and Susan. So I've been following you for a while now and I think you're great and thanks very much for all the information that you put up, 'cause it really does help and it makes a difference certainly to me, and I'm sure a lot of people, when you put stuff off, you know.
Kim: [00:01:59] Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that.
So, have you been to visit-- do you still have family in Belize?
Fiona: [00:02:07] I do. I have lots of family there. I was there in 2017. I hadn't been back in 10 years. So yeah, I've lots of family and believes and lots of family in the States as well that would have originated in Belize, yeah.
Kim: [00:02:22] Okay. Well, Belize and Ireland are two very different places.
Fiona: [00:02:25] I know! But similar in lots of ways, too, I guess, you know.
Kim: [00:02:32] What way are believes in Ireland similar?
Fiona: [00:02:34] Well, of course my family are Catholic and obviously my dad being Irish, by default we're Catholic, as well. So, we have that in common. Our love for food and drink is very common.
So, it was fascinating journey that my parents took to meet one another. So, we ended up basically being brought up in Ireland. And my mom's actually living here in Ireland now, and she's been back here now for the last, I want to say 15-16 years now.
So, fascinating. Yeah.
Kim: [00:03:17] So it sounds like you've had a very interesting fitness journey, done some things differently over the course of the last year. What were you doing before this year as far as nutrition and exercise?
Fiona: [00:03:29] So I started my newest fitness journey, I guess, in January, 2018. So, up to that point, I guess you could say I was always active, even as a child growing up. In my generation, we were always out playing.
I grew up playing tennis. I did some horse riding when I was younger as well and so I always kind of went to the gym always. I always did a bit of rollerblading, so I was very active. And I guess when I hit 30, I realized that my body was starting to change and that I couldn't eat as much as I used to.
I used to eat and never think about it because I'd never gained weight. But as soon as I hit 30 things, literally started going south and I became more aware of my body and how it was starting to change, but I was always active so I never really worried about it.
But then, I guess about five years ago, I basically went into perimenopausal stage in my life and I didn't really realize I was going through it because I was still getting my period, but I was getting other signs, like being wide awake at three o'clock in the morning for no reason.
And literally wide awake, so much so I could get up and do a day's work. And I didn't realize until I started missing my period that something was wrong. And then of course I went to my GP and she confirmed, "okay, you're menopausal." Then the weight gain really started sticking.
And I'm quite small, I'm only like 4'11" so a couple of pounds to me is a lot. And all of a sudden, I went from kind of a size 10 up to a size 12 and I guess two years ago I decided I wasn't comfortable being uncomfortable anymore and I started following the body coach. I have to say, he got me going initially in terms of exercising and doing HIITs and maybe becoming a bit more aware of food, but it wasn't till I discovered actually a guy, his name is Matt Chow and he actually, I saw a couple of things on Instagram where he said, just download MyFitnessPal and start tracking your calories. It's all about your calories.
And initially I was a bit kind of like, "Oh God, I've heard this so many times before," and I just thought, "you know what? Let's just give it a go." So, I downloaded it and my whole life changed. My whole attitude towards food changed. I didn't have food guilt anymore about the things that I enjoyed.
Kim: [00:06:30] And why is that? Tell people why that change happened.
Fiona: [00:06:34] I think because for years I believed the hype about, you know, you can't eat carbs, you can't have bread, but you can eat as much healthy food as you want. All of that is untrue. And then when I would have something that I would enjoy, I would beat myself up about it and think I've instantly gained weight there because I had a bag of chips or I had an ice cream or whatever.
But as soon as I started counting my calories, I realized, "well, okay, so what? I've had a bar chocolate. I'm just going to adjust what I have for dinner so that I remain within my calorie limit for the day." So, I instantly stopped worrying about food and I stopped also mentally trying to track what I'd eaten in the day because all I had to do was look at my phone.
So, it took a massive burden off me.
Kim: [00:07:29] That's amazing.
Fiona: [00:07:30] Yeah. And I have to say it also changed the way I think about food in terms of what I eat. So, in terms of, I would probably always make the healthy choice. I was always a bit aware of that, but now we make a better choice in terms of eating foods that would keep me feeling fuller for longer.
So lots more vegetables and making sure now, especially in the last six months, I've realized how important protein is. So, I always make sure that I hit my protein targets. Because I don't feel as hungry.
Now, I still feel hungry, I have to be honest. I still feel hungry, but I'm not starving. But I feel when I feel hunger, I actually turn it into a positive, and I think "well, if I'm hungry, I'm burning fat."
Kim: [00:08:27] Got it. Got it. Well, yeah, and you're very wise to know that though you can do a lot to mitigate hunger and to make it so you're not ravenously hungry, that in a deficit, some hunger is natural.
And I like the fact that you're looking for a way to kind of accept that and think about it without being so negative or alarmist. So that's fantastic.
So, this brings us closer to what your question for me is. I think people are probably listening, thinking, "well, it sounds like she knows what she's doing. What could her question be?" So why don't you tell everybody what your question for me is?
Fiona: [00:09:01] Sure. So just to give a little bit of a background, I kind of had given myself stages in terms of losing weight. So, two years ago when I started out, I was 145 pounds, and I kind of gave myself-- my first target weight loss would have been 135 pounds.
And long story short, I got to 133 pounds last month. Now, I got injured last year-- actually this time last year with my back. So that kind of put me back a little bit and went on vacation and you know, the weight kind of went back on so, this latest journey kind of started for me in May.
So, it's taken me from May, say to the end of January, to get to 133 pounds. And it's amazing and I never thought I'd get there, but I did. So, my next stage would be-- my absolute ultimate target weight would be 125 pounds. But when I first reached my goal of 133 pounds, I was like, "well, how do I maintain that and not be in a calorie deficit?"
So, in other words, how many calories do I eat now to maintain that weight?
Kim: [00:10:16] Yeah, and that's a question that a lot of people don't think of when they're first starting out, like, "wait a minute, once I reach my goal, what do I do next? How do I maintain my weight?"
And so many people, myself included multiple times, then end up doing the perpetual yo-yo dieting.
We lose weight, we get to where we want to be, we stop doing what we did so specifically, you know, to lose weight, and then we regain some weight, and then we lose it, and then we gain it, right? And so, we end up in this cycle and the big piece we're missing is calorie maintenance and what does that look like.
So, I'm glad you're asking the question and it's a really good one.
So, there's a couple of things to talk about. One, when a person is going to go to calorie maintenance, one of the things that can really help is to slowly increase your calories to find out what exactly your true maintenances is.
Just like for a calorie deficit, you could use a formula to get maintenance. There is a general formula. But since you have been tracking your calories so closely, the best plan is always to go with what is known. We know how many calories puts you in a deficit, and then we work our way up from there. So, it makes no sense to pick a formula that's going to be an estimate when we already know where you're at.
So, can you tell me how many calories do you eat for your deficit?
Fiona: [00:11:41] So at the moment, my next target weight would be 130 pounds. So, at the moment I'm eating 1,430 calories a day.
Kim: [00:11:52] Okay. So, 1,430. And you do that deficit every day? So, it's 1,430 7 days a week.
Fiona: [00:12:00] Yes. And now, I have to say there might be a day or two where I go mental all together and I might have one or two-- I have to be honest, the days I work out, like say for example, Saturday and Sunday, I would do my bigger workout, I call them, so I work out on Saturday and Sunday for about an hour on Saturday and Sunday. During the week, I would only maybe manage 30-35 minutes. But I do find that the weekends I'm more hungry. And I don't know, is it because I'm working harder in my workouts at the weekends, or if it's a bit of boredom because you know you're not at work.
Kim: [00:12:40] Yeah. It could absolutely be a combination of the two.
Fiona: [00:12:43] Yeah. So, I tend, sometimes I try not to, but sometimes I do give myself maybe 100 or 200 calories more at weekends, but nine to five Monday to Friday I'm spot on 1430.
Kim: [00:12:58] And what rate have you been losing weight at? Do you know about how much you're averaging per week?
Fiona: [00:13:04] You see, I don't know. I can't answer that honestly, because I literally only weighed myself once this year. And I would say that I was at probably 142 pounds in May, and I weighed myself in January and I was 133 pounds.
Now very slowly, and I know that it's good thing, so I'm okay with that. But I have to say that I tend to stay away from the scales in case I get disappointed. I know that sounds a bit sad, but I felt it. I feel it mostly in my clothes and I know that's how I know whether or not I'm losing weight or if I'm stalling or if I'm gaining again.
Kim: [00:13:52] Got it. Got it.
Fiona: [00:13:54] Yeah.
Kim: [00:13:54] This next little bit, as far as trying to find your maintenance calories, how would you feel about weighing yourself daily for a time so that you can watch what your weight is doing?
Fiona: [00:14:06] Yeah, I actually kind of thought about that as well, and I probably need to start doing that to have a bit more control and maybe turn it into a positive rather than negative in terms of the scale.
And it's something I need to know, I think, in order to get to my ultimate goal of 125 pounds. I need to know the weeks I'm losing as opposed to the weeks I'm gaining and then, you know, maybe change things up or understand it a bit more.
Kim: [00:14:44] Yeah.
And I definitely want you to understand that you don't want to look week to week, you really want to look at a bigger picture. You want to look month to month, what is happening with your weight in the big picture? Within a week and even week to week, your weight will fluctuate, so when you first start weighing, you might be very surprised to see you could have several pounds different from day to day, depending on a whole myriad of factors: how much more carbs you had than usual, if you had something particularly salty, if your weight is fluctuating due to your cycle. I don't know how far into perimenopause you are, I am peri-menopausal and I still have a lot of the regular PMS stuff going on, including weight fluctuations.
So, for lots of reasons, your weight will fluctuate and sometimes when you have a hard workout, the scale can be up. So, a lot of times you can't even pinpoint why, so it's good to be expecting it will go up and down. The thing that we're going to be looking for: when you're working on weight loss, you want the trend to be a downward trend. It's going to be a downward slant. Even though you will have big spikes up and big spikes down, you want the trendline to be a general trend down.
When you're looking for maintenance, how you'll know when you get to maintenance is when your trendline is straight across.
Right? So, there'll be spikes up and spikes down, and even when a person is maintaining their weight, you don't get to a certain weight and then just stay every day at 133, right? It's not like if you decided to maintain at 133 you will always be at 133, but you want it to average there. And so, the reason I say it's helpful for you to be weighing at this time is because the way to find your maintenance calories is to slowly increase the number of calories you're eating until such time as we see the trend line stop going down, right?
And so, to do that, we would need to be watching the scale.
So, we'll talk about the scale again in just a minute. I do want to talk to you a little bit more about your feelings about the scale, but let me talk you through a little bit of what it would look like to bring your calories up to maintenance.
So, you could start very slowly. You could add in about a hundred calories three times per week. Do that for a couple of weeks, watch what the scale does. Again, looking at the big trend over several weeks. Then go again, add in some more calories. And you're going to keep doing that until such time as you don't see yourself losing weight on the scale anymore. You see that trend line go flat.
Does that make sense?
Fiona: [00:17:09] Sure, yeah.
Kim: [00:17:11] Okay. And then when you get there, you will know that you have found your maintenance calories.
So, talk to me about your relationship with the scale in the past.
Fiona: [00:17:21] I suppose I never really had to worry about it, to be honest, like I said, until I kind of his peri-menopausal five years ago now. And because I never had to worry about my weight before, and all of a sudden it was an issue for me, I sorta would get on the scale and think, "oh Jesus, I'm putting on another pound or two," and then I suppose it was negative because I was gaining weight, so I equated the scale with negativity, like I'm putting weight on here and I didn't really know what to do or how to get rid of the weight.
So, I just stopped weighing myself. And even when I started on my positive journey two years ago, like I said, I might've only weighed myself twice and the last time was only last month.
Kim: [00:18:18] Gotcha.
Yeah, it can be a very emotional thing, especially like, as you said, because you were weighing yourself at a time where the scale was not moving the way you wanted to. You weren't happy with your weight, and so you associated it greatly with negativity.
The way I like to help my clients develop a better relationship with the scale is to really emphasize the fact that it is a single method of gathering data and it's not the be all and end all. It is not the only thing.
So, if you're working on losing weight, you should be looking at your pictures, you should be looking at measurements, you should be looking at the fit of your clothes, all of those things in combination with the scale. It is a piece of data, and just like if you were trying to figure out about where to go on a vacation, the only thing you would look at would not be the temperature, right?
It might be a thing you would take into consideration is like, "Oh, what is the temperature there?" But it's not the only thing. And so, looking at it as some useful data and trying to approach it very scientifically, and each day the goal being, "I'm going to weigh myself, I'm going to write that weight down, and I'm going to move on and know that that weight is not defining who I am."
It's not saying anything other than my relationship with the scale at that moment. My relationship with gravity, like this is my pull on the earth right now, and it will fluctuate again tomorrow just like it fluctuated yesterday, and it's only useful as data.
And it's something you might have to say to yourself when you get on, like before you get on, like, "this is, I'm just collecting some data." Weigh yourself, write it down or put it in your phone or wherever you're collecting the data, deep breath, "that's just my data for today."
And then make a conscious choice that you're not going to let it dictate your mood or what you do the rest of the day as far as your decision making. Because what the scale says can make a person-- well, it can't make, but a person can then make choices like, "ugh, that is not the number I wanted to see. It's not working and now I'm gonna eat all the things."
They can also, see the scale and it's really interesting-- this one's interesting to me and they can be like, "Oh my gosh, it's amazing. That's exactly what I was hoping to see. It's going so well," and then they still might go and eat all the things cause they kind of start coasting. Do you see what I'm saying?
Not taking into account the fact that like, "Hey, the reason that the scale is going the way I want it to, it's because I'm being very consistent."
And so, the idea is you start using it simply as data.
Fiona: [00:20:51] Yeah. Okay.
Kim: [00:20:51] How would that feel?
Fiona: [00:20:53] Yeah, I mean, I hear you and I kind of thought about that myself when I did weigh myself, and it was a very positive way for me because I didn't expect the weighing scales to say 133 pounds. So, I felt great that day and I was like, "you know, that's great. It's working."
And so yeah, I think absolutely I need to start doing that and just be more positive. And just like you say, before I step on the scale, just even say the words, "I accept whatever this tells me. And move on."
Kim: [00:21:28] Yeah. And I would say it not even necessarily looking for it to be positive, but just looking at it as neutral. Like, this is just data. Trying to be less emotional about the number.
Fiona: [00:21:38] Yeah, sure.
Kim: [00:21:40] And remembering you don't have to do this permanently. For this stage when you're trying to find maintenance, it can be really useful for you. And then you could go back to what you were doing before, which was not weighing, and it was clearly working very well for you.
This is just going to be a tool for you to help you find your maintenance calories. Now, once you get to your maintenance calories, hanging out there in maintenance for a while and practicing eating in maintenance can be really useful.
So, you have gotten to this weight that you've wanted to get to by doing things that are going to translate really well into a maintenance phase.
A lot of people don't, right? A lot of people do all kinds of crazy crash dieting, and they haven't developed the habits and skills and lifestyle of, "how can I maintain this weight?" You, on the other hand, have, because you've done things like worked out and upped to your protein and eaten more vegetables, and those things are habits you're going to want to keep.
There's a temptation that people fall into of like, "Oh, I'm not trying to lose weight now," and they just don't think about any of those things when in reality, those are things you have to do the rest of your life.
Fiona: [00:22:53] Yeah, I hear you. Like, I actually agree completely. Like I said before, it's changed my whole entire attitude towards food.
And eating the things that make me feel fuller for longer, which means a lot of vegetables and eating a lot of things like yogurt that I probably would never have eaten before.
I definitely didn't eat as much vegetables even though I would always make a healthy choice, but now I'm eating vegetables every day of the week.
Kim: [00:23:25] That's amazing. That's amazing. And that's exactly the kind of habit that is going to help you to be able to stay at that healthy weight.
Are there any things that make you nervous about the idea of moving to maintenance?
Fiona: [00:23:41] I suppose I've worked so hard to be where I am today and I'm very disciplined as well, which I know is a really good thing in terms of doing stuff like this. But I suppose I'm afraid of gaining back the weight because it took so long for me to lose it.
Like, six months-- well, actually you could say nearly two years all in, you know, to get where I am today. That's a long time.
Kim: [00:24:15] Yeah.
Fiona: [00:24:16] And I've been disciplined for 90% of the time. And I know because of perimenopausal and all of that, that it is more difficult and it does take longer. So, in a way, I actually don't mind being-- I don't mind working hard for it because I feel great.
And I'm not really suffering too badly with perimenopausal issues. Like, I don't wake as much at night now. I started taking some CBD oil and that's really, really helped me. My moods are totally fine. So, I'm not, I just don't really get my period anymore. But I don't suffer from the mood swings, night sweats, yes, that does keep me awake, but not for too long during the night.
So, I could say that I'm, kind of going through an easy patch right now. But in terms of weight loss, I know it's really slow.
Kim: [00:25:17] Well, let me ask you this, you're worried about gaining the weight all back?
Fiona: [00:25:21] Yes.
Kim: [00:25:22] What evidence do you have that that's going to happen?
Fiona: [00:25:25] So when I got injured this time last year, I would say at a guess, I was probably at 135 pounds. And then I got injured, so my workouts weren't as intense. And then I went on vacation for three weeks to Australia, and even though I worked out pretty much every day I was there, I still over ate, which is, you know, it's hard to not overeat when you're on holiday. So, I realized when I came back from my clothes not fitting me the way they did before I left, that I'd gained back the weight.
And so, from the end of May last year up to, you could say December-January, it had taken me that long to lose 10 pounds, basically.
And I didn't feel necessarily really good about being uncomfortable in my clothes again, because I remembered what it felt like when I'd lost the weight initially, how great I felt and how great I feel now, getting into clothes that didn't fit me, and now they're actually too big for me.
So, it's a real fear. I don't know if fear maybe is a strong word, but--
Kim: [00:26:44] Worry?
Fiona: [00:26:45] Yeah, worry. And I suppose I probably feel a little bit of disappointment in myself too, if that happened again. But then, maybe I just need to, I don't know, look forward instead of back.
Kim: [00:27:01] Well, I do think that's fantastic advice to give yourselves to look forward instead of back.
And also, something you said was interesting, you gained weight-- so you had an injury and then you went on an extended vacation. How often would you say that you go on extended vacations.?
Fiona: [00:27:17] I would say we probably go on a big vacation once a year.
Kim: [00:27:23] Okay. So that's definitely a sometimes event. And I'm assuming you're not injured all that often either.
Fiona: [00:27:29] No, I haven't been injured since, thank God. Yeah.
Kim: [00:27:31] Okay, good. Well then, I would say that that right there is something to focus on, is the idea that progress, even maintenance, it depends on what you do most of the time, not what you do some of the time. And so, if for most of the year you are in your normal routine implementing habits that you have really built up over time here, it is likely that you will be able to maintain your weight.
If most of your life was spent doing, you know, vacationing, you'd have to then tackle like, "alright, I need to eat differently on vacation." But if we're talking once a year, that's a sometimes thing and what you really need to focus on is the everyday things. So, your progress, your ability to, to maintain your weight, is gonna be dependent on what you do most of the time.
Fiona: [00:28:20] Yeah. I hear you.
Kim: [00:28:23] And so-- you hear me, but I don't know if you believe me yet. You sound highly skeptical.
Fiona: [00:28:31] That's the Irish in me, you know. We're suspicious of everybody.
Kim: [00:28:37] On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being "absolutely no problem," and 1 being "I can't do it," where are you on believing that you will be able to maintain your new weight?
Fiona: [00:28:53] I think probably an 8.
Kim: [00:28:55] Okay.
Fiona: [00:28:55] Yeah. I think when I weighed myself recently and realized that I was at 133 pounds and not even expecting it, I thought, "Oh." That was a bit of a game changer for me, and was thinking, "Oh, okay, I've done it."
I had done it and didn't even realize I had done it, even though, you know, like I said, I can feel the difference in my clothes, but the scales kind of showed me, "Hey, you've actually done it, and you can do it again." I can go down if I want to, I can keep going until I get to my 125 pounds.
Kim: [00:29:29] Yes. You sound very confident in that. And so, it sounds like you have the confidence that like, "Hey, I know how to do this." And you actually, at the beginning of this podcast, you explained to us in great detail why you were able to lose the weight. Remember? And I said like, "I'm sure people are listening and thinking like, this woman has it all together." Right? Like, what's her question?
But you know very clearly how to lose weight in a sustainable manner.
Fiona: [00:29:52] Yeah. I guess, I suppose for anyone listening who is in perimenopausal stage, it is tough and it will take longer than, you know, if you were 20 years of age trying to lose weight.
And I think when people realize that, it kind of takes a little bit of burden off them because, you know, it's not just you, it's anybody in this stage who's trying to lose weight. It's going to take a little bit longer.
Kim: [00:30:23] Well, we have additional hurdles.
Fiona: [00:30:25] Yeah.
Kim: [00:30:26] We do.
Well, I'm excited to hear the confidence in your voice there and I want you to rely on that.
I think it would be actually a really useful thing for you to put in writing somewhere; whether you just put it in the notes on your phone or whether you make an Instagram post about it, what you have learned about losing weight. Like, how did you lose this weight so that you can feel confident in your skills and habits.
Maybe a nice list of like, "what habits have I built that have helped me lose this weight," would be a good one. Is that a challenge you're willing to take on?
Fiona: [00:30:59] Sure. Yeah.
Kim: [00:31:00] Amazing. I really do think you need to rely on that so that you can feel confident, 'cause it's not a great way to live, to be in constant worry that you're going to regain your weight all back.
Fiona: [00:31:10] Yeah. Okay.
Kim: [00:31:11] Right? That just doesn't feel good and you know how to lose the weight. So even if he did gain a couple pounds back, you know how to lose the weight. But the likelihood that that's going to happen isn't great based on the fact that you have developed so many amazing habits that are going to lend themselves to maintenance.
I'm trying to think if there was any, something else you had said I wanted to talk about. Well, now I can't think of what it was. See, there you go. There's the menopause.
Fiona: [00:31:40] There it is.
Kim: [00:31:42] All right. Are there any other questions, things you want to talk about here today while we're together?
Fiona: [00:31:49] I just want to say thanks very much for including me and I find your stuff really, really helpful. I follow a lot of people on Instagram and I've kind of turned my Instagram page into a positive thing where I'm basically following people that give what I feel is really good advice for anyone like me or-- not just me, you know, as in perimenopausal women, but anybody trying to lose weight.
And I think that for too many years, people have kind of-- and I fell for it too, you know, the old advice of, you know, "sugar is the enemy, carbs are the enemy, eat as much healthy food as you want," kind of attitude.
And you know, even when I talk to people nowadays, you know, when they say, "I actually eat whatever I want to eat. I just don't overeat," I still find a bit of resistance to that. Some people are just like, "Oh no, I just stay away from sugar or stay away from bread." And I'm like, "Why? Why are you staying away from stuff like that?"
You know, eat the food that you enjoy and, you know, some people have said to me, "but you're still restricting your diet." You know, I might be restricting calories and other people might be restricting what they eat. My answer to that is, "well, what's going to last longer? What diet is going to help you in the long term, not just in the short term? It's the foods you can eat, the foods you want to eat, just don't overeat."
It's like the old saying, you know "everything in small portions."
Kim: [00:33:22] Yeah. Yeah, and it's amazing, and it can be different things for different people, but what you're hitting on is so important is that you have to find a way to eat that will last the longest, like you just said.
And for a lot of people, doing some of those other things that you just said, like cutting out all the bread, cutting out all the sugar, they think it's the answer when in reality they can't stick with that because most of us want to eat some sugar, and most of us want to eat some carbs.
Some people don't and people are okay living without those things, but most people, most people do.
Fiona: [00:33:55] Yeah. Most people crave, you know, potatoes and pasta. Like, I hadn't eaten pasta in years because I thought it was my enemy. It was like, "Oh no, it's awful for you." And it is not unless you're allergic.
Now, you know, some people have allergies, I get that, people can't tolerate gluten and stuff like that, but generally for me, I just fell for that, "oh, you shouldn't be eating pasta. You'll instantly gain weight overnight if you have a bowl of pasta." I mean, seriously. But I fell for it.
Kim: [00:34:36] I was right there you. And interesting, I'm making pasta tonight. And I'm in a weight loss phase.
The idea is nutritional compromises. I'm making that pasta fit today by not having something else. I took calories out elsewhere because I want this pasta this evening, right? So, I planned my meals, I planned how much protein, where am I getting my vegetables and then put my pasta in.
Fiona: [00:34:59] Yeah. And that's really important too, I think, isn't it? Planning. Like, I plan the night before, sometimes two days before.
I know exactly what I'm going to eat and if I, in work, you know, have a sweet or two, that could be 30-40 calories that I'll eat, but I'll have to just then adjust my dinners so I don't have to worry about it or feel guilty or think that I've gained a couple pounds 'cause I've had two sweets.
Kim: [00:35:28] Yes. That's huge. I love the idea that you're planning ahead. It's again, it's one of those habits you have built that gives me great confidence that you're going to crush it at maintenance. You know, planning ahead is so key. It is so key.
So, it sounds like then your plan is going to be to slowly bring your calories up. Like I said, a hundred calories, like three times a week, keep doing that. Watch the scale, after a couple of weeks add some more calories back in. Do that until you see the trend stop going down and it evens out, and then you'll know your maintenance.
You can hang at maintenance for however long you want, and then when you're ready, if you decide you do want to keep losing weight and go a few more pounds like you had thought, you can go right back to your deficit.
Fiona: [00:36:08] Yeah.
Kim: [00:36:10] All right, so that's going to be the plan, and then you're going to write that nice list of what you have learned, the habits you have built, the behaviors that you have changed to lose this weight so that you have it very clear in front of you. So, you don't have to have this constant fear of like, "what if I gain all the weight back?"
Fiona: [00:36:25] Yeah. Sure.
Kim: [00:36:27] All right! Thanks so much for being here today, Fiona. I so appreciate it. It was wonderful talking with you.
Fiona: [00:36:32] And you. Thanks very much.
Kim: [00:36:34] All right, my dear. Talk soon.
Fiona: [00:36:36] Take care. Bye.
Kim: [00:36:45] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
Thanks so much.
This article is transcribed from The Fitness Simplified Podcast Episode 48. Click HERE to listen.
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. My guest Daisy and I cover a lot of ground in this episode: how to get better at chin-ups, how to lose weight and get stronger at the same time, and all about diet breaks. How to know if you need one, options to structure the break, how long it should last, and what to do after the diet break.
Daisy: [00:00:32] Hi.
Kim: [00:00:33] Thank you so much for joining the call.
Daisy: [00:00:37] Thanks for having me.
Kim: [00:00:38] Sure thing! So, look, we've only chatted very, very briefly in DMs on Instagram, so why don't you tell me and everyone some about you? Where are you from? What do you like to do? All those things.
Daisy: [00:00:51] Sure. I'm 43 and I'm a stay at home mom. I have six and seven-year-old boys that are in kindergarten and first grade. And before that I was a high school teacher and I live in the West Coast; I live in the Seattle area. So, it's cold and wet here a lot.
Kim: [00:01:11] Cold and wet, yeah. And right now you guys are in a state of emergency for the coronavirus, correct?
Daisy: [00:01:17] Uh, it might be, but I'm not panicking.
Kim: [00:01:20] You're not. Well, that's good. Panicking isn't good.
I have a friend in Seattle and their schools are closed today. They're disinfecting the schools and the teachers are all having in-service to learn how to teach remotely from their homes.
Daisy: [00:01:36] Oh my gosh. Is that in Kirkland?
Kim: [00:01:38] I don't even know the name of the town. She lives just outside of Seattle.
Daisy: [00:01:42] Yeah. Wow. That's wild because we've-- our district has sent us information about, you know, not being too concerned yet.
Kim: [00:01:52] Yeah. Well, panicking is never good, and from what I hear, like, wash your hands, wash your hands. That's what everyone's saying.
So, you have little ones. Did you say six and seven?
Daisy: [00:02:03] Yes.
Kim: [00:02:05] Super tiny guys. That's a fun age. And you're a stay at home mom. Are you from Seattle originally?
Daisy: [00:02:12] No, we're transplants. We've moved a lot around the Southeast and then I'm from Pittsburgh originally.
Kim: [00:02:20] Oh, okay. The other end of my state, I'm from Philly.
Daisy: [00:02:23] Right. I saw that when you're-- I was like Valley Forge on your stories the other day and I thought, "oh, I didn't realize," for some reason I thought you were in New York.
Kim: [00:02:33] Oh, no, no, no. Well, I mean, I'm only like a two-hour drive from New York City.
Daisy: [00:02:37] Right.
Kim: [00:02:37] And I go there quite a bit. So, what did you use to teach?
Daisy: [00:02:43] Science. I taught biology and anatomy, physiology, and physical science, too.
Kim: [00:02:48] Okay, cool. And what are you doing when you're not busy taking care of your home and your kiddos? What do you like to do?
Daisy: [00:02:55] Well I like to work out, I like to read and go to the library, and I'm painting my house.
Kim: [00:03:05] Oh, wow. Do you enjoy that?
Daisy: [00:03:08] Yes and no. We have wainscoting, so sometimes no.
Kim: [00:03:12] Okay, got it. Yeah, that can be tricky.
So, you like to work out. What do you like to do? Like, what's your favorite way of working out?
Daisy: [00:03:20] Well, my husband and I lift weights together and that's pretty much my favorite way to work out.
Kim: [00:03:26] Nice. Favorite lift or favorite body part to train?
Daisy: [00:03:32] Oh, that's a tough one. I'd say back is probably my favorite. Like, it's easiest, but legs are probably where I can, you know, use to gain strength the most.
Kim: [00:03:46] Got it. Got it. And, okay, so tell everybody what your question was that you presented to me on DMs.
Daisy: [00:03:56] So as I said, I lift weights and, I'm trying not to kill myself with cardio, but I'm also trying to lose fat.
So, I'm curious about whether I'm in a good deficit and whether I should do things like the refeeds and people talk about periodizing your nutrition; that you go up to maintenance and go back down into a cut. I'm not sure what to think of all of that stuff. Sometimes they feel like it's a bit of extra information.
Kim: [00:04:28] And if I remember correctly, one of your big concerns is not only are you looking to get leaner, but you're looking to get stronger.
Daisy: [00:04:35] Right.
Kim: [00:04:36] And you're concerned like, "hey, are these opposing goals? I want to be strong and I want to be lean."
Daisy: [00:04:41] Yes, exactly.
Kim: [00:04:43] Got it. And so, tell us about your nutrition right now. What's that like?
Daisy: [00:04:48] Well, I track using MyFitnessPal and I try to stay-- I was staying at about 130 protein and about 1500 calories, and then I let the carbs and fats come in where they lie to stay in the calorie numbers.
Kim: [00:05:08] Can you refresh my memory on your weight and height?
Daisy: [00:05:12] Oh, sure.
I'm about 5'5.5" or 5'5" depending on what day it is. I weigh about 132 pounds.
Kim: [00:05:21] Gotcha, gotcha. And you said around 130 grams of protein. How about calories?
Daisy: [00:05:28] 1500. But I recently did a little bit of a diet break where I did a diet break that I actually tracked every food and I think that I was not as compliant as I had hoped previously.
Kim: [00:05:43] Interesting. So, you mean during the diet break you were still tracking and you realize maybe you weren't as compliant with your 1500 before as you had thought you were?
Daisy: [00:05:52] Yes.
Kim: [00:05:53] Okay. What were you seeing?
Daisy: [00:05:57] Just that little things add up.
I listened to the podcast you did with the other person. I can't remember her name, I'm sorry. She was 43, which I'm also 43.
Kim: [00:06:07] Oh, okay, gotcha.
Daisy: [00:06:08] It was just last week, I think. And something about it just made me think, "oh, you know, maybe I should just be a little bit more, like, keen about that." And I had already started a little bit of a diet break.
And I just noticed that like, oh, you know, an M&M here or there, or a bite of this, or, I'm sure that happens to a lot of people, but I just noticed that those calories might've been more. So, I've been trying to be really strict about just logging everything.
Kim: [00:06:38] Okay, and how long is-- did you say that it's been about a week?
Daisy: [00:06:42] I took the diet break for probably two weeks and then it's been, you know-- and I was like, "I'm going to really track everything," for the last week and half or so.
Kim: [00:06:53] Got it. And how was it coming back into a deficit after being at maintenance for a bit?
Daisy: [00:07:00] Better. Better because I felt mentally a little bit more, I don't know, like, "oh, this is okay." You know? Sometimes I would get hungry or I'd really want treats a lot. I'm a big cookie fan.
Kim: [00:07:17] Oh, me too. What's your favorite cookie?
Daisy: [00:07:20] Probably chocolate chip, but I like to bake them also. So, I like an assortment of varieties. Like, part of it is I really enjoy trying new recipes.
Kim: [00:07:31] Got it. So how long had you previous-- so, before the diet break, you were at a deficit. How long had you been at a deficit or working on a deficit? Even if you weren't being as consistent as you thought you were, as stringent, how long?
Daisy: [00:07:47] Well, I started in October and I went from October ‘til the first week of December. And then in December I took an uncharted, shall we say, I didn't track really at all for the end of December and Christmas time area. And then I kind of got back on in the first week of January-- or into a deficit, which is when the January time is when I think I was really like, not really that much in a deficit. But anyway.
Kim: [00:08:16] Got it. So, coming off of Christmas, now, had you planned to take a break for Christmas?
Daisy: [00:08:20] I did, yeah. 'Cause I did eight weeks. When I started in October, I thought, "well, I'll just take it week by week." And then I thought, you know, after the first week, I was like, "well, I'll try this for six weeks."
And then I was like, "okay, I think I can do two more." And then after that I was like, "I'm done."
Kim: [00:08:43] That's good. You know? I really do like-- excuse me, I'm getting ready to yawn. I don't even know. I'm not even tired.
I really do like having kind of a chunk of time where you're like, "all right, I'm going to do this for X number of weeks and then I'm going to take a break," because it can really help a person stay mentally in the game and be like, "all right, this isn't what I'm going to do for the next six months or a year. You know, this is literally eight weeks."
So that was very smart of you to do that. So, okay. So, what you found is perhaps-- now, what were your results over that eight-week period before Christmas?
Daisy: [00:09:17] They were good. I lost-- actually, I don't know that I lost all that much weight, like three pounds, maybe? But I definitely got leaner. And it was-- I think I got newbie gains at the gym with my husband and I working out together, too.
Kim: [00:09:35] Now, did you just start working out in October?
Daisy: [00:09:38] Yeah, 'cause my kids are both in school and so we work out during the day together and lift weights. So, I was really doing much more progressive overload than I've been doing before.
Kim: [00:09:48] Okay. Got it. So, you started weight training, we're hitting your calorie deficit hard, lost about three pounds. Were you-- did you take measurements as well?
Daisy: [00:09:57] Not real official ones. I wish I could go back and have taken more.
I'm sure everyone says that, right?
Kim: [00:10:04] I know. Everybody out there, listen up. You're going to want the measurements later. Same thing with pictures. Did you take pictures?
Daisy: [00:10:09] No.
Kim: [00:10:10] Yeah. You know, when we're starting, we kind of don't want to, right? We're not really necessarily super excited where we're at, but later on it's really cool to see that stuff. 'Cause my bet is, you know, losing three pounds, and you said you could feel yourself getting stronger in the gym and those things. My bet is that you would have seen some cool improvements in your measurements and in your progress pictures as well.
And when you take those progress pictures-- and you can do this now, as well, Daisy 'cause, you're still gonna make more progress. You should take those pictures wearing as little clothing as possible. I know that's hard. Nobody wants to do it, but you don't have to show them to anybody. Take them front, take them from the side, both sides, and from the back. Try and get your whole body in the shot, try and use the same lighting, and wear the same outfit as often as possible.
Eventually you might have to change the outfit because it just gets too big, it just doesn't fit well. But try and standardize it and then you can really see the changes. So, I would encourage you to even do that now, even though you're a couple months in because you'll still make big changes.
Okay. So, tell me more about the idea that you want to get strong, you want to get lean, and you're worried that those don't go together.
Daisy: [00:11:21] So, when you're in a deficit and like, I want to, you know, it's an aesthetic goal, to look a little bit leaner so that I actually look like I lift as much weight as I do.
I worry that in that deficit it will make it hard to actually lift the weights because I'll be tired or, you know, I just won't have as much energy to get it done.
Kim: [00:11:46] Gotcha. Yeah, and that is a real thing. You can still build strength and lose weight at the same time. In fact, I would say if you are not progressing in the gym when you're in a deficit, that's not a great thing.
So, pushing yourself in the gym, it might mean that you're going to time your food a little bit better. So, you could have some carbs and protein a couple of hours before you go to the gym so that you do have energy for that. You might find that that helps.
Pushing your hardest in the gym is going to be what helps you get stronger. The deficit is going to be what causes the weight loss. So, you can lose weight and gain strength at the same time. A lot of people think that those really are opposing goals.
Now, losing weight and building muscle at the same time. Those are really hard to do. You can do them as a newbie, like you were saying, you can do them when you're obese at the same time. Otherwise, it's much better to separate the two and have a dedicated phase of several months at a deficit to lose fat, bring yourself up to maintenance for a time, and then go into a surplus to gain muscle. And that's kind of what you were talking about, like, "oh, do I need to cycle these things through?"
You could. You absolutely could. You don't have to. If building muscle is a big goal of yours, eventually going into a slight surplus would be really useful. If you're still not quite as lean as you would like to be, I would say let's get you leaner first with your deficit. When you're happy with how lean you are, or pretty close to it, then you can come up to maintenance and then go further into a surplus; as far as muscle building.
Strength, you should be able to build still in your deficit. Recovery is going to be important, so getting plenty of sleep, having rest days. What is your training split like? How often are you training? What is your week look like?
Daisy: [00:13:40] So, because of my husband's schedule, we do a four-day body-split and a one-day swimming. And that's just for cardio health.
Kim: [00:13:50] Okay. Got it.
So, you're in the gym lifting four days. And what does that, is that two upper, two lower?
Daisy: [00:13:56] We do, body-part. So, we do legs, back and triceps, chest and biceps, and then shoulders.
Kim: [00:14:06] Got it. Are you hitting legs just once a week, then?
Daisy: [00:14:11] Kind of. We do hex bar deadlifts on the leg day, and we do traditional deadlifts on back day.
Kim: [00:14:23] Okay. So, you are getting legs in there twice a week.
Daisy: [00:14:25] Yeah. Not as much as I'd like to, but it's hard because of his schedule.
Kim: [00:14:31] Got it. Well, you know, you could work so that you're still going together and if he doesn't want-- I will tell you: so, when I first started training, I was training with a guy and he was not a fan of leg days. Most men aren't. And several months into it, he's like, "why didn't you just tell me you wanted to do legs more often?" I'm like, "well, because I didn't know what I was doing. And you did."
You know, they're not necessarily as interested in training legs, though they should be. So, you could keep up with his same split and just have two leg days while you're there, or at least add some more legs in. I would say--
Daisy: [00:15:03] I mean, he's a big fan, probably a bigger fan of doing legs than I am. But because of recovery with his travel schedule and everything, it's hard to fit it in.
So, I don't know if you have a suggestion about another exercise we could squeeze in. I mean, how do you do that exactly if you're not going to do like a full dedicated-- does that make sense? Like, if you're not going to do a whole ‘nother leg day, but you just want to add a couple, sprinkle in a few more leg exercises.
Kim: [00:15:33] So you could start each of your two-- so if you had two days where you were going to do some heavier leg stuff, even if the second part of your workout, for whatever reason, if you really don't want to have a full second leg day, you could start each of your leg days, have your main move, be leg move.
You could do a squat on one day and a deadlift on one day. That would be one way to go. Is there a particular reason you don't want to have or he doesn't want to have two leg days?
Daisy: [00:15:59] Well, 'cause then where do you put the other body parts? You know, if you do two leg days and you only have four days at the gym?
Kim: [00:16:05] Then you do two lower, two upper.
Daisy: [00:16:09] Oh, okay. Yeah.
Kim: [00:16:10] Does that make sense?
Daisy: [00:16:12] Yes.
Kim: [00:16:12] Another good split is push/pull/legs. So, you do all the movements that are upper body push, all the ones that are upper body pull, legs and you cycle through.
Daisy: [00:16:22] Oh, so, like, one week, even though it's four days, you just keep going. It'll rotate some weeks. Yeah, I see what you're saying.
Kim: [00:16:31] So that's another option. But really hitting each muscle group twice is going to get you the volume you need to see really good results. But you could, if for whatever reason he wants to stick the way he's doing, you could start each of the two sort of leg days with a heavier.
But that's neither here nor there as far as you actually being able to get stronger. 'Cause if I remember the main thing you said-- we kind of got off in the weeds, we were talking about lower body, but I think you told me that one of your main goals is actually chin-ups.
Daisy: [00:17:05] Yes.
Kim: [00:17:06] That's one of the things you really want to get strong at. I mean, I think you're interested in getting strong generally, but chin-ups is like a big focus for you.
Daisy: [00:17:12] Yes. It's a goal. You know, it's something to work for.
Kim: [00:17:17] So, talk to me. What can you do now as far as chin-ups? And what are you doing to try and get better at them?
Daisy: [00:17:23] Well, I just did-- I've been doing two main exercises. Well, I mean, I do a bunch of back, exercises, but the ones for that was, I was doing jumping and then slow, slow, go down. I don't never remember what that's called.
Kim: [00:17:39] Slow eccentrics.
Daisy: [00:17:40] There you go. And then I was-- and I was doing where you kind of hang from a bar, but your feet are on the floor and you sort of do them, assisted. On your own assisted, and I did assisted from the machine.
But I just did my first one the other day, but I think I jumped a tiny bit off the, you know, the things on the that you step up on.
Kim: [00:18:06] Okay, but you got up over the bar?
Daisy: [00:18:09] Yes.
Kim: [00:18:10] Great! Well that's huge. Congratulations.
Daisy: [00:18:13] Thank you.
Kim: [00:18:13] Did you film it.
Daisy: [00:18:15] No, I've never filmed myself in the gym.
Kim: [00:18:17] Oh, okay. You should totally film yourself. You should film it again, try not to jump this time, and see if you get up there.
Daisy: [00:18:25] Yeah, that bottom part is really tough. I've also done those, I guess they're scapular things, where you-- I don’t know what it's called.
Kim: [00:18:35] Where you're hanging and you depress your shoulder blades and then raise them again. And so, you're just working your scapula there.
Daisy: [00:18:43] Right.
Kim: [00:18:43] Yes. So, okay. If pushups-- pushups, hello. If pullups, chin ups are your number one goal, you should be prioritizing them in your workouts. So, putting them first in the workouts on the days that you're doing them, working them at least twice a week, I would prefer even three.
I actually have women whose main goal is to get chin-ups. I even have them, on their lower body day, start with chin ups before they even hit their other moves. So that they're getting enough volume in and that they're fresh when they do them. Does that make sense?
Daisy: [00:19:14] Yes. Yeah. And do you have them do-- like what kind? Do you have them do, like the jumping eccentric thing, or do you have 'em do different things each time?
Kim: [00:19:24] I worked through a couple of things. So, definitely the eccentrics is a big one. Jumping up or climbing up over the bar, making sure you're really in a controlled position before you go down, and going down slowly for a count of three, five, somewhere in there. Doing those is one.
Another one that I have them do is band-assisted. So, getting the long bands that have quite a lot of-- they have different tensions. So, you can get a really thin band, you can get a medium one, can get a really thick one; starting with whichever band you can use for a set of six, and using that, getting a really full range of motion. So, extending your arms fully at the bottom, coming up until your sternum touches the bar, not just your chin is over the bar, until your sternum touches the bar, coming down under control. So that's another exercise I have them do with bands.
Another really good one is programming them as cluster sets. And so, after like a month or so of doing band-assisted, like I just told you, breaking them up so that you're doing maybe 2, rest 10 seconds, 2, rest 10 seconds, 2, rest 10 seconds, take a break, like a full 2-minute break, and go again.
And so, with only doing 2 and then taking a 10 second break, you'll be able to use a lighter band. Does that make more sense?
Daisy: [00:20:50] Yeah.
Kim: [00:20:50] And then you can work your way till you're going to a much lighter band with sets of 2. You can change up the rep scheme so you're doing 3, 10 seconds, 2, 10 seconds, 1.
And so, working in small groups like that is really powerful to get more work in. Like, if you couldn't have done 6 in a row with a certain band.
Daisy: [00:21:11] Increasing your volume, kind of thing?
Kim: [00:21:11] Yeah. Increasing your volume with less assistance. And then, eventually, so let's say you get one good pull up next week. Let's say you go into the gym, you do it, it's clean, you're not jumping, and you get up there for one, you can start your, your chin up session with one rep, see if you can take a ten second rest and see if you can get another one.
So that can be one cluster set. Then adding the lightest band you need so you can get up again with good form. So, you're continuing to work without assistance and then adding the assistance in as needed. Does that make sense?
Daisy: [00:21:46] Gotcha. Do you hang 10 seconds or do you get down?
Kim: [00:21:50] No, you come totally down and let your arms rest. So, you're not hanging on the bar, you're giving yourself a full rest.
Daisy: [00:21:57] Yeah, my hands tend to be-- you know, the grip is a big part of it.
Kim: [00:22:02] Absolutely. Absolutely. And you can work on training your grip. A couple of things that can help with that: farmer carries, like really heavy farmer carries, deadlifts, that trains your grip for sure. So, using heavy deadlifts to help train your grip. Those are a couple of things that you can do to work on your grip strength.
I will say, chin up training, it can take a long time to get where you want to go. And people think something's wrong, and really it just does take that long.
It will take months of dedicated training for some of the women I work with to get their first chin up or to increase from being able to do one, to being able to do four or five.
Daisy: [00:22:41] I believe it.
Kim: [00:22:42] Yeah. And there's nothing wrong with that, you just have to keep up with it. And it's that consistency of doing it two or three times a week and doing it with really good form, not letting your ego get in the way and just kind of continually fighting through crappy form with no assistance; it's way better to get some assistance from the bands and practice with really good form using the muscles you're supposed to use versus momentum and just muscling up with other body parts, you know, swinging your legs to get up.
That's actually going to get you stronger at doing chin ups. Does that make sense?
Daisy: [00:23:17] Well, I'm going to work on it. Yeah, absolutely.
Kim: [00:23:19] Yeah. And so, like I said, putting those first in your program on your upper body days, and you could even put him in on a third day; just putting a set of those in and just keep going with them.
Other assistance exercises that can help with them as well are inverted rows. Do you ever do inverted rows?
Daisy: [00:23:43] I'm not sure. Which is an inverted row?
Kim: [00:23:47] So an inverted row is if you have a barbell in a rack, or you use the Smith machine and you lay under it, almost like you're in an upside down plank, and your body's on an angle and then you pull yourself up to the bar.
Daisy: [00:24:00] Oh, no, I've never. I don't do those.
Kim: [00:24:02] Okay. Yeah, so inverted rows are amazing. I have, on YouTube, I have a full chin up tutorial and I have inverted rows in there; exactly how to do them. So those are really good.
TRX rows, same thing. Those are really good. Most versions of rows are going to help you get stronger at doing chin-ups. Lat pulldowns also can help. So, all of those back exercises can really help.
Daisy: [00:24:37] Okay! I will definitely look that up.
Kim: [00:24:40] Yeah, and just don't give up on it. Just keep plugging away at it. And I know, I know it's hard, videotape yourself so you can watch and see like, "okay, how am I doing? Am I extending fully at the bottom? Am I getting all the way up so my sternum is touching the bar and not just my chin? How does my form look?" And really analyze that.
Daisy: [00:25:02] That will take some time getting used to, but I'll do it.
Kim: [00:25:06] And you don't even need your husband to stand there and film you, you can literally just prop your camera up on a water bottle and go.
What bothers you more, having other people see you filming yourself or looking at yourself on camera?
Daisy: [00:25:18] I don't know. Both.
Kim: [00:25:21] All of it. It all freaks you out.
Daisy: [00:25:23] Right. A little bit.
Kim: [00:25:26] Would it be worth it if it was a thing that made a big difference in you being able to accomplish this goal?
Daisy: [00:25:31] Yes, and that's why I know I just have to get out of my comfort zone a little bit.
Kim: [00:25:35] Yeah. For sure. And you know what? Everybody feels weird doing it for the first time, and nobody likes to look at themselves on camera. Nobody really likes that. But you get used to it and when you start realizing like, "oh wait, this actually helps me. I can see what I'm doing right, I can see what I'm doing wrong. I can now make it better." So, I would encourage you to do that, take that little challenge and give it a go.
Daisy: [00:25:57] I will.
Kim: [00:25:59] So, that's the strength part for you is really working on those chin-ups.
How are you doing? As far as-- so it sounds like you get plenty of rest days in there. You're working four days a week, you're swimming on the other day, so you're getting plenty of rest days. That's fantastic. Are you getting sleep?
Daisy: [00:26:18] Yeah, I'm pretty good about it. My kids, you know, I have to put them on a schedule, so it puts me on a schedule and I've gotta be up in the morning.
Kim: [00:26:29] Good. 'cause those are the important factors of recovery. Obviously, and this is where you're like, "wait, can I get stronger if I'm in a deficit?" You know, food is important, so making sure that you're eating nourishing food, not living on 1500 calories of, pop tarts and pizza, but getting healthy, nourishing food, and when you go to the gym, you know, getting a meal in before can really help. Do you train in the morning?
Daisy: [00:26:52] I do, yeah. And just this week I was trying to separate my breakfast and I found that-- I moved my oatmeal to a half hour before we leave for the gym and it's made a huge difference in how I feel at the gym.
Kim: [00:27:09] Okay, good. Good.
Daisy: [00:27:11] And I don't know if that's just because it's a bunch of carbs, you know?
Kim: [00:27:14] Well, yeah, carbs can absolutely help with your energy, for sure. Okay, so good. And then as far as your weight loss piece, it seems like you've already found the missing piece, which is you just weren't being as consistent as you thought. It sounds largely because of the lick, bite, taste, M&M here, M&M there kind of thing.
Daisy: [00:27:34] I think so. And I think taking a break where it's not actually uncharted, that I really like sit down and write it down. You know, how much I'm eating. Even then, which sounds like, "oh, you shouldn't have to do that," but maybe for now I do.
Kim: [00:27:51] Yeah, absolutely. You know, and people, when they come up and, in your mind, you're in maintenance, if you're not logging at all, you might be above maintenance and that's not going to help. So yeah, and at least tracking for a time during that period can really help with being consistent with that.
As far as the schedule for how often are you going to be in a deficit and how often are you going to be at maintenance? A couple of really good options, you could say like, "hey, I'm going to go into a deficit. I'm going to stay here for eight weeks," like you did last time. "Then I'm going to come to maintenance for X number of weeks and then see if I want to head back."
Another option is something called a "jab deficit." Have you ever heard that term before?
Daisy: [00:28:31] I haven't. And this is actually exactly what I was just going to ask you about, like what my options were for how you decide, how long to do these things.
Kim: [00:28:39] Okay, great. So, a jab deficit is something that's worked really well for me.
When you're a fairly lean person, which you are, looking to get a little bit leaner, the calorie numbers can be low and that can get tiring and it's hard to fit in the fun treats you want. So the idea of a job deficit is you pick a number of weeks that you're going to hit your deficit and then you put in a one week, or it could be any kind of weeks, usually it's one or two week maintenance break before you go back into a deficit again.
So, for me, this time last year I was doing a jab deficit. I was doing two weeks at a deficit, one week at maintenance, repeat, two weeks at a deficit, one week at maintenance, repeat. And so, I would know, even though my calories were quite low, that it was only two weeks. And then I would go back.
You could do that in a different way: you could do one week in a deficit, one week at maintenance, one week in a deficit, one week at maintenance. Obviously changing it up like that means your progress will be a little bit slower. If you feel mentally-- and the biggest benefit, it's not like your body needs that to reset or something, it really is about the mental ability to stay on track. To really hit your deficits.
So, another, like I said, the other option is just choosing a chunk of time. And it can be six weeks, it can be eight weeks, I don't think you'd probably want to go longer than 12 before coming up for a maintenance break.
Daisy: [00:29:57] Nope. I'm sure. I don't.
Kim: [00:30:00] And it really depends on the person and how much they have to lose and how long they've been doing it. It sounds like for you, eight weeks was a pretty good fit before, so eight or six. If you're feeling a little burned out and deciding ahead of time, at that point, "I will come up and have a maintenance break," and you can decide, "do I want to do it for two weeks, do I want to do it for four weeks?"
What sounds like it might be the best plan for you?
Daisy: [00:30:25] I'm not sure. I think maybe trying six weeks, but the jab idea is really-- like that sounds very palatable. You know, doable. But I don't know. Like, was it pretty effective that you felt like--
Kim: [00:30:42] Oh, yeah.
Daisy: [00:30:43] The only thing I want to avoid is like at Christmas time when I took the unchartered break, it was like I gained two or three pounds and then it took two or three weeks, more than that, probably, to get rid of it. Even though it was not, you know, I was not eating like crazy. I mean, I did eat a lot of cookies, but yeah.
Kim: [00:31:02] I totally hear you. So, the key is during that maintenance week, you can still log so that you are still at maintenance. So, bring your calories up, 250 to 500 calories and have those be your maintenance numbers and you could still track.
And so, it's not like a free for all. It's not a week of like, "I'm just going to eat whatever I want." You know, swimming around in pasta and whatnot. It's literally a controlled, giving yourself a bit more calories.
Daisy: [00:31:27] Do you think that when people say they do refeeds where it's like one day in a week they up their calories that 30% or something, do you think that's effective or do you think it's more effective to take a full week and just go to maintenance?
Kim: [00:31:43] So it can be. It absolutely can be. A couple of things: 1) it can really help with that mental piece of like, "whoa, I can fit some yummy things in here," 2) it can help-- one of the things that can mask weight loss is stress, you know, spikes in cortisol and low calories can absolutely have that effect. And it's not that you're not losing fat, it's just you having water weight. And so, having a refeed day, you can release that stress and then you can see this whoosh on the scale. So that can be a real thing.
Where it can go off the rails is, I bet you can imagine what I'm going to say, is where you take it too far, right? So, you're not just a little bit higher that day, you're quite a bit higher. And then you're going to eat up the deficit that you spent all week creating.
Daisy: [00:32:32] Right.
Kim: [00:32:33] So, it's important if you decide to go that route, to go into it having a mentality of, "This is a little bit extra calories. It's not a ton."
You know, speaking of your calories, you're hitting a straight deficit across the week, you said right around 1500, right?
Daisy: [00:32:48] Yeah.
Kim: [00:32:48] So, another really good option is to have days that are lower and days that are higher. It's called calorie cycling, works really well, so that you have some days that it's easier to get in, you know, a slice of pizza or two cookies or something.
So, I typically give my clients three higher days and four lower days. So obviously your lower day calories are lower than what the standard is and the higher are just a little bit higher so that you have more of a buffer then.
So, you said you're 132 pounds?
Daisy: [00:33:26] Yes, right. And that was the other thing is different calculators will give pretty different values on those numbers.
Kim: [00:33:35] Yeah. So, I mean, you could do 1400 to 1500 calories four days a week and-- hang on, let me double check my math here.
Yeah, you could do like 1350 to 1450 and then 1550 to 1650 the other days of the week on the high days. So, you take your low days a little bit lower, and then you give yourself, you know, a little bit more a couple of days a week so that you can have a bit of a buffer to have, like I said, to fit more treats in there.
Daisy: [00:34:21] Right. And so, some of the things where they talk about like, all these people on Instagram, they talk about, oh, that you know, that people have adrenal fatigue and you know, if you're not sleeping, then you should increase your calories. Is that, I mean, is that accurate or is it just pretty rare cases.
Kim: [00:34:42] Adrenal fatigue is a made-up thing.
Daisy: [00:34:44] Well, I guess, I mean like when a person's-- if they go low calories for an extended period, some people say that they end up not sleeping well and their sex drive goes down and--
Kim: [00:34:59] Yeah, that's all a real thing, for sure. So, if you're super low calorie for a very long time all of those things can happen.
Daisy: [00:35:07] But that's like REALLY low calorie, right?
Kim: [00:35:10] Yes.
Daisy: [00:35:10] Okay. That was my assumption, but they never give it numbers on things.
Kim: [00:35:16] Yeah. So, having been, like you said, around 1500 calories, probably a little bit more since you said you weren't being super adherent with them, but even let's say you were at 1500, that's not so low that that should be happening to you from October to now.
Daisy: [00:35:29] Right. No, and it hasn't been, but I was like, "uh, but am I going to get there?"
Kim: [00:35:35] Well, remember, the goal here is not to keep you dieting for that long. And based on what I've heard and from the size you are, you don't have a ton of weight to lose. So eventually making the decision like, "I am not going to continue in a deficit," would be an important thing rather than letting this linger for years and having the mindset of like, "I am a woman, I always have to be dieting," which so many women do. Like, we fall into this, "I should be trying to lose weight," like a perpetual thing. And so, looking for other things to do, like get a chin up or get a heavier deadlift or work on building muscle. There's lots of other fitness goals we can have, but we really do get stuck in this. Like, "I want to be thinner."
Daisy: [00:36:19] Yeah, I agree.
Kim: [00:36:21] Yeah. And so, you know, making a decision, like, "I'm just not going to do that. I'm not going to just constantly diet." And it sounds like you're there already, like the idea that you have taken and that you are considering taking maintenance breaks is a great thing.
There was something else you said-- oh, I remember what it was I wanted to bring up. I don't remember if you told me this in your DM or if you said it somewhere on this call that you do work out at the gym, you go for a swim that one day, but otherwise you're not super active.
Daisy: [00:36:52] Well, I don't do a lot of the walking. I know you're like, "get up and do stuff." Like, with the kids, I'm pretty active with them. I get probably 4,000 to 8,000 steps, but I put my phone down a lot, so I don't know how many more than that I get in my house 'cause I set it down and I paint and, you know, do laundry and stuff. So, yeah, I'm not so great about that.
Kim: [00:37:21] So it is one area to definitely consider putting an emphasis on, and here is why I specifically am going to suggest it for you. Like I said, you are a lean person looking to get leaner, and that means your calories can get quite low. But one thing you can do to prevent that is by increasing your calories out.
Now, I don't want you to look at your steps and think, "how many calories am I burning?" They're way off, but just getting the movement in is going to increase your calories out. And so, paying attention, you know, even buying just a super cheap, one that you can wear on your wrist so that you can get a handle on, "wait, how much am I actually moving?" Bumping that up over time -- you don't have to do it right away, but over time to 10,000 to 12,000 can really help so that when you are losing weight, that you're seeing good progress and you're not down at those super low calories for very long. 'Cause you know, 1350 is pretty low. But think 1450 or 1400, what did I say? Now I can't even remember.
Daisy: [00:38:21] Yeah, 1350-1450.
Kim: [00:38:25] That's pretty low calories. You're not gonna want to stay there long. And one of the things you can do to not be there that long is to be very effective while you're there. So, increase your calories out and lose these couple of pounds and be done with it.
Daisy: [00:38:40] And do you keep the steps basically forever? 'Cause I mean, I will say that 10,000 steps is a significant portion of the day. You know, like when you think about it, like what the other things that you do in life. And I know it's doable and I know people are busy, so I don't, I don't mean to make it like that, but do you keep them forever or...
Kim: [00:38:58] It depends. So, for just general good health, like 6,000-8,000 is fantastic. You don't have to go all the way up to 10,000.
Let me ask you this, what do you think, when you say it's a pretty busy part of--, like it's a pretty big part of the day, what do you think it takes to get 10,000 steps?
Daisy: [00:39:17] I would guess like an additional 30 to 50-minute walk.
Kim: [00:39:23] Okay. That is one way to go about it. I will say that is a way to go about it. I do it sometimes. It's not necessarily the only way to go about it. So really looking for a short burst of time is a real winning strategy. So, if your kids are at-- do your kids play sports? Are they in activities?
Daisy: [00:39:44] They are, but it's one where you kind of have to sit and watch them. They do jujitsu.
Kim: [00:39:48] They do jujitsu. And so, where are you at? Are you in bleachers or where are you at?
Daisy: [00:39:53] No, it's a small room in there are seats from the outside edges for parents.
Kim: [00:39:59] Got it. Is there any place that you're there that you could stand in pace back and forth?
Daisy: [00:40:04] I mean, if I stood outside, like outside the windows, you know, it's kind of like in a strip mall, so that would be--
Kim: [00:40:12] Okay. So, you could stand outside and watch them through the windows?
Daisy: [00:40:16] Conceivably, yes.
Kim: [00:40:18] So that's one place that you could pick up a ton of steps. I have a lot of parents who they're like-- one of my clients was telling me-- I can't believe she has all grown children now except for one. She's like, "I cannot believe that I just sat there on the sidelines all those years." She was like, "I literally, all I had to do was stand up and pace back and forth, and watch them in that gym." She's like, "I can't believe I just sat there."
It sounds like maybe that makes you feel awkward though?
Daisy: [00:40:45] Well, the hard part is that I don't do jujitsu and I need to hear what the instructor says, 'cause then we go home and they want to talk about it or do it or practice it and I kind of have to have an idea.
Kim: [00:40:59] So you want to sit and watch them.
Daisy: [00:41:01] Yes. Well, I actually want to watch the instructors.
Kim: [00:41:04] Got it. Okay, well then maybe that's not the spot for you, but it's something to keep in mind is they branch out into other things, you know, if you're watching them play soccer, if you're watching them play basketball.
Daisy: [00:41:13] Yes, I agree. And I think there are times when they play outside that, in the past I've chosen to sit down and have a cup of tea while I watch them, and I just-- that's a good time that I would be able to walk around easily. And probably they would enjoy it too.
Kim: [00:41:28] For sure. Like, getting up and actually being active with them. And look, I did it a million times when my kids were younger. Sometimes I'm like, "I just want to sit here. You guys play, I am sitting here," because we're busy.
So, you know, there's lots of ways you can get small amounts of steps in. So, you know, what I would suggest is that you track fully, like, either keep your phone on you or buy a super cheap step tracker. See what you get without changing anything, see where you're at, and then make really small increments, like had 500 steps onto the average, right? When you figured out how can I add 500 steps per day on, and you make that a pretty easy day. Like, you're like, "okay, I can hit that number," add in 500 more.
There's no reason-- you don't have to like go to 10,000 tomorrow. We want to make this a part of what you do naturally. And sometimes that might mean like, "hey, I'm going to go out for a 15 minute walk or I'm going to take the kids out," I mean, my kids were always happy when they were younger, I'd be like, "hey, let's take your bikes out and you can ride and I'll run around with you."
You know, looking for ways you can get more movement in that doesn't and involve you spending an extra 50 minutes out by yourself.
Daisy: [00:42:36] Right. And I think sometimes having someone else look at it and say, "but really there are times you could add steps." It's like, "oh yeah, you're right. I guess there are."
Kim: [00:42:46] You know what? We just don't think about it until somebody else points it out to us. I'm glad you're open to thinking about it.
Daisy: [00:42:53] Yeah, I think it'll be something I can do over time. For sure. I kind of equate it to, like, for a while I wasn't drinking enough water and I saw something somewhere where it said, you know, "you get up in, the first thing you do is drink a big glass of water." And it's so obvious and now I'm, like, addicted to that first glass of water, so I'll just have to try this.
Kim: [00:43:13] just been a habit. A habit you've just created and you just do it now.
Daisy: [00:43:17] Yep. And at first it was like, "oh, I want to have my coffee though," so, I think this will be something similar where if I just do it slowly, I could incorporate it.
Kim: [00:43:28] Absolutely.
Okay. Any other questions you have, concerns, things we didn't cover here for you?
Daisy: [00:43:34] No, I think that's everything. And I think that's really helpful. Thank you so much.
Kim: [00:43:40] You are more than welcome. Definitely reach back out and let me know how it's going, let me know how the weight loss is coming. Definitely send me a video of that chin up and as you get more, let's see it.
Daisy: [00:43:56] Okay. I'll do it.
Kim: [00:43:56] You gotta be proud of that, Daisy.
Daisy: [00:43:58] Okay. I'm on it this week.
Kim: [00:44:00] All right. All right, my dear. Thanks so much for coming on, I sure do appreciate it.
Daisy: [00:44:05] Okay. Thank you so much for having me.
Kim: [00:44:07] Absolutely. Talk soon.
Daisy: [00:44:09] Okay. Bye.
Kim: [00:44:15] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational. If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
Thanks so much.
This article was transcribed from the Ftiness Simplified Podcast. Prefer to listen? Click HERE
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. In this episode, I walk you through a handful of strategies to get control of your time so that you can smash your fitness goals. I talk time audits, time hacks, my good-better-best method of choosing where to spend time, and a strategy I'm calling the Oprah test.
[00:00:24] You ready? Let's go.
[00:00:34] When is the last time that you said or thought or muttered under your breath, "I don't have time to work out. I don't have time to track my food. I do not have time to cook." You can insert any behavior you're aware of that will be key to your success in there right after, "I don't have time to." Time is a real barrier to weight loss success.
[00:00:59] I'm going to suggest to you that you have more control over your time than you think. Now, hold on. Before you say, "Kim, you have no idea about my life. You don't know the responsibilities and the stressors and the demands on my time." You are 100% right, and I fully believe you without you sending me proof that you are just as busy as you say you are.
[00:01:20] I'm also here to tell you that people busier than you work out. People busier than you eat in line with their goals. So, let's get control of your time and help you reach your goals. I'm going to share with you today four strategies that can help you get control of your time.
[00:01:42] Number one, audit your time. Let's see where it's really going. Here's what I'm going to challenge you to do: I want you for three to seven days, three to seven days, write down everything you do. So, you're going to make a little chart. You can do a high-tech chart with like, you know, you want to do a whole Excel spreadsheet or you can do something super low tech with a pad of paper.
[00:02:07] You could make it on your phone, but I want you to break every day down into 30-minute increments, and then for three to seven days, I want you every 30 minutes, to jot down a note about what you're doing. Set an alarm for 30 minutes and just jot it down; what are you doing? Okay? Really quick.
[00:02:28] And then when you're done with that, I want you to look for patterns. Highlight the three or four things that appear most often. Some of those will be important things: caring for your kids, work. You will also likely find some time suck: scrolling online, checking Instagram, checking Facebook, watching Netflix, reading magazines. So, identify the time sucks and then begin working to reduce them.
[00:02:58] You don't have to eliminate these things, but where can you cut back? I have a very packed life and I don't really watch TV. I have one show I watch, sometimes two. It's not that I don't like TV. I only started watching those shows though, to spend time with my family. You want to know my shows? I like to know what other people's shows are.
[00:03:18] "This Is Us," we love that one. I watch that with my husband and my daughter. Some years we'll watch a season of "America's Got Talent" or "The Voice" together. And I share this with you not to be like, "Hey, look at me. How great am I? I don't watch TV." This was about me finding what I could trim from my life to let in other more important things.
[00:03:42] The specifics will vary person to person. I still spend a lot of time on my phone. I have an online business, so a lot of that phone time is necessary. I connect with my clients online via an app, I publish this podcast on an app on my phone, hello, Instagram. It's important for me to connect with you on stories, to answer my DMs, to answer comments, but I still do my fair share of idle scrolling, checking in on my friends and just getting sucked into the vortex.
[00:04:11] You know, I'm doing something fitness related and all of a sudden, I'm like, looking at some hairless cat. So, I still have room to improve and that is a big goal of mine. In fact, very recently I have made a decision to not sleep with my phone next to me. And so, when I go to bed at night, I plug my phone in downstairs.
[00:04:33] I'm still-- I need to find a better place 'cause I'm still getting to it too early in the morning. The goal is eventually to not have the phone on for the first hour or so that I wake up. So, when I go to bed at night now, I use a regular alarm clock to wake myself up. This limits the mindless scrolling once I hit my bedroom, this limits me waking up in the middle of the night, messing on my phone, and it limits me first thing in the morning before my kids leave. I want to be very present with them and so no phone is there.
[00:05:02] So that is an idea of how I am looking to free up that time. Sec time. So that's number one: audit your time, look for the time sucks, and start figuring out how to reduce them. Start where you are now. You do not need to cut out all TV, you do not need to cut out all social media. What small dial movers can you do to reduce those times sucks in your life?
[00:05:26] Alright, strategy number two, you're going to prioritize the best. Let me tell you what I mean by that. So even outside of all of those time sucks, you are likely presented with many opportunities to do good things, things that take up huge chunks of your precious time. I like to think of these things in terms of good, better or best.
[00:05:47] They're all good things, right? They're not time sucks. But if you're struggling to make time for self-care in the form of proper nutrition and exercise, then letting go of some of the good and some of the better tasks and only committing to the best tasks is a way to go.
[00:06:05] Here's an example from my own life: I made a decision that I will only volunteer in capacities that have me directly interacting with my kiddos. That I decided is a "best" for me.
[00:06:16] So chairing a committee for the PTA, though, that might be good, that's not best. Organizing a fundraiser, that would also be good. Again, not going to be with my kids. For me, I am so busy that if I'm going to volunteer at school, I want to double that time up with the all-important task of physically being with my kids.
[00:06:37] So I volunteer to chaperone field trips. When they were little, I'd volunteer to come into class parties or to read to the kids. To me, that is a "best." So, analyze your schedule in terms of good, better, and best and only keep the best. Does that make sense? They're all good things. Me volunteering in any of those ways are good things.
[00:07:03] Okay. I'm actually gonna give you five. I'm gonna give you five things here today instead of four. The next one is to look for time hacks. Now I will say sometimes these hacks, many of these things cost money. That might not be in your budget. I totally get it. So, some of these might not be for you.
[00:07:23] I don't want you to be like, "Oh my gosh, she's so privileged." Look, I admit, I am a person who is in a good shape financially, and because of that, I get to make some choices. Not everybody is in these situations. If it's not speaking to you, I totally understand. There are other strategies you can use. If you do have the luxury of having some extra cash, here are some things that can help.
[00:07:45] Grocery delivery, that has changed my life. Wow. I used to get really overwhelmed in the grocery store once I started my own business and I just always had so much to do. The grocery store process, it's a lot. Like, you have to load all the stuff in your cart to take it all out and put it on the belt, put it back in the bags, put in your cart, take it out again to put it in your car and come home, and then take it out again and put it away again.
[00:08:08] And I would get so overwhelmed at the fact that I had this long list of things to do, and here I am hauling groceries all around. And so, I invested in grocery delivery service, which is cheaper than I would have thought. I place my order online; they bring it to me. I'm a very smart lady, and I time it only for times when my children will be home to help and we all put the groceries away together.
[00:08:29] So that's a time hack that has been huge in my life. Buying your vegetables pre-chopped, even meat sometimes. I'm really bummed, the shopper's club I go to, it's like a Costco. It's called BJ's. They used to have cubed chicken that I just found last summer. So, it's chicken breast and it's already cutting these nice cubes and they stopped selling it.
[00:08:46] That was a big help to me, but I still buy my veggies pre chopped. So, like pre-chopped zucchini, pre-chopped carrots, pre-chopped onions. That is more expensive than buying the whole stuff. Totally admit that, if you have the money for it, it can be a real time saver.
[00:09:00] Buying salads and bags that are pre chopped and shredded and all the things are in there - another big timesaver. Again, that costs more money. Okay, one thing that doesn't cost more money: Amazon Prime. Wow. I use that, I try to go shopping as little as possible and do as much as possible online with Amazon. That one-click button.
[00:09:20] I did-- now, if you don't have a lot of money. Trading with a friend is a really good option for a skill you have. I traded with a friend for a long time. She would come and organize and clean rooms in my house, organize my cupboards, which is something I desperately needed to get done to free up time, and I would write her training plans. So, if you don't have a lot of money, that's an avenue you can invest in to free up some of your time.
[00:09:45] Okay, strategy number five-- four. I have totally lost track. Here's another strategy for you: adjust your expectations. How much time do you really need to work out? How much time do you need for food prep? It's a lot less than you might think. You could, and people do, spend hours a day on all of that. But you could also strength train three, or seriously, I have clients who only do two days of strength training, two to three days per week for 40 to 50 minutes. You could do that and it would still be effective.
[00:10:26] Logging your food, there's a learning curve, and in the beginning, even with the learning curve, max 15 minutes daily. Max. Eventually you'll get that down to three to five minutes per day. Three to five minutes per day, that's practically nothing.
[00:10:40] Prepping food, you can get that down to one hour once a week, whether weekends are your time or someday mid-week for a bigger prep, one hour, plus 15 minutes a day. Now that 15 minutes a day isn't going to be new time, you're going to spend that time related to food anyway. You're going to go to the drive through, you're going to cook something that's maybe less conducive to weight loss, right? So, it's not totally adding on new time. So, think about that one hour once a week, plus 15 minutes per day.
[00:11:07] So I want you-- I suggest one saying, "wow, are my expectations about what it takes to actually prep my food and work out, are they just so out there that I'm not willig to accept, like, 'whoa, wait, what could I get done in this smaller chunk of time that feels much more manageable?'"
[00:11:24] Okay. Next step: have a clear plan for your nutrition and your training that you are confident in. This is important. If you feel overwhelmed with all that you need to get done for work and the house is a mess and you have errands you need to run, if all of that is happening and you're just not really sure what you're going to do when you get to the gym anyway, or if maybe you have this one off plan you grabbed off Instagram and you're not even sure if it's really effective, or if you're doing it right or doing enough, or should you be doing something else?
[00:11:54] Dang, all that stuff is de-motivating and it makes it really easy to say, "aw, screw it. I'm just going to go run the errands that need to get done anyway." Now if, on the other hand, you know exactly what you're supposed to do when you get to the gym, you are confident that you have an effective plan, and all you have to do is walk in the door and execute, you will be way more motivated to just do it, to quote Nike. So have a clear plan.
[00:12:26] All right, the last one here: make the decision. "I will do this." "I will make it happen." That's powerful stuff. If I said to you, "look, friend, Oprah would like to meet you for dinner tomorrow night. Can you come?" Now look, if you don't like Oprah, substitute someone else you do like, who doesn't like Oprah, though?
[00:12:48] Let's just say you love Oprah and I say to you, "so tomorrow night, Oprah, she wants to meet you for dinner. Can you be there?" You would just make that happen, right? That's happening. You are meeting Oprah for dinner. You will do what you need to do to make that time to be there. It is the same for all the things that need your time if you want to lose weight. Gym time, time to get your steps up, food prep time, logging your food time, you have to make it happen.
[00:13:18] A firm decision that you are doing it and you will make time for it is powerful staff, kay? Think about Oprah. In those moments. Think about it, if Oprah was asking me to meet her for dinner, would I make the time? Make the time for your food, make the time for your workouts, just like you'd make the time for Oprah.
[00:13:37] Wherever that time might come from, whatever else you need to shift around, you make it happen, and you make that decision ahead of time. And you plan it out, you put it in your calendar the same way you would; tomorrow night, seven o'clock, dinner with Oprah, put it in your calendar.
[00:13:52] It comes down to the fact that you will never have enough time. You will have to make time. I have online clients who message me at five in the morning while they're outside getting some steps in before work. I have clients who run foundations, hospitals, banks, families, they own businesses, they have pets, they have babies, they have teenagers, they have ailing parents.
[00:14:15] Some of them have multiple of those. They have made the time and they've had to work for that. It didn't just appear, but they've done it and they are straight up crushing their goals. And you can too, I believe in you, my friend, talk to you next week.
[00:14:38] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:14:53] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
This article was transcribed from the Ftiness Simplified Podcast. Prefer to listen? Click HERE
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I speak with a woman named Alia. Now, Alia reached out to me in the
comment section of a post I did on Instagram last week. She has what I would say is a very
common problem, and that is for the past six months, she's had an incredibly high degree of
effort placed towards weight loss, yet she is not seeing results.
If you can relate to this, you know how frustrating that feeling is. You're trying and trying,
but you're just not getting results. And so, Alia and I talk and I coach her through figuring out
what the missing link is.
Wanna find out? Let's go.
Alia: [00:00:55] Hi!
Kim: [00:01:05] So look, Alia, we've only ever chatted very briefly in the DMs, so I don't
know you at all. Why don't you tell me-- well, why don't you first tell me where you're calling
Alia: [00:01:15] Rochester, New York.
Kim: [00:01:16] Rochester. Okay. I've been there. Believe it or not, I know Rochester is not a
vacation destination, but when my kids were little, we took them to Rochester on a vacation.
Alia: [00:01:26] Oh, did you?
Kim: [00:01:27] Yeah. We went to the Strong Museum and some kind of lake, and it was
Alia: [00:01:32] Yeah, there's a lot to do here. I know it's not a destination, but there's
definitely a lot to do here.
Kim: [00:01:38] There is, for sure. So, tell me some more about you, like your family and
what do you love to do and all that stuff.
Alia: [00:01:46] I am, um, I just turned 43 on Sunday. I have a 10-year-old son and a 15-year-
old stepson, and, um, we do some fostering of kitties and we're animal lovers. And I seem-- I
can say I like to cook, although I don't feel like I have as much time to cook. We do a lot of
meal prep, but it's not like, "Oh, I'm going to try this fancy new recipe" like I used to do
Kim: [00:02:12] Got it. Well, first of all, happy birthday!
Alia: [00:02:17] Oh, thank you!
Kim: [00:02:18] Did you do something fun?
Alia: [00:02:20] No, my son had the flu.
Kim: [00:02:22] Oh. Okay that's, that's terrible.
Alia: [00:02:25] But we did-- we did manage to go skiing the day before, so that was good.
Kim: [00:02:29] Okay. That's good. Do you ski a lot?
Alia: [00:02:31] Not a ton, but, um, we do enjoy getting outdoors in the winter. I love snow,
Kim: [00:02:37] Nice. Well, you guys-- do you guys get a lot of it in Rochester?
Alia: [00:02:42] A fair amount, although this winter has not been great.
Kim: [00:02:46] Got it. So, okay, so you have two kids. Do you work?
Alia: [00:02:51] Yes.
Kim: [00:02:52] And what do you do?
Alia: [00:02:53] I work for a healthcare system in their quality department doing event
management, and we run a database for safety tracking.
Kim: [00:03:04] Okay. So, you have two kids, you work, you run your home, um, you foster
cats. That's a lot of work.
Alia: [00:03:12] Yep. Yeah.
Kim: [00:03:14] So you're very busy. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that. So last week
you commented on one of my posts and shared your frustration with weight loss. So, tell me
What have you been doing? What's working? What's not?
Alia: [00:03:28] Um, well, so, what I've realized is that, um, I'm still trying to work through
this. I'm obsessed with a number on the scale and I don't see the number on the scale going
down. In fact, it's gone up a little bit since I've started weight training, which I realized was
Um, so what I've started to do is track measurements. So, I've been able to glean some
improvement on that front.
Kim: [00:03:57] Okay. So how long have you been working on losing weight?
Alia: [00:04:02] On and off for years, but, um, I started doing the, um, macro tracking, which
to me, I think is when you, when you start to get serious about it in September.
Kim: [00:04:11] Okay. And when did you start lifting weights?
Alia: [00:04:16] The same time.
Kim: [00:04:17] The same time, great. So, well, why don't you tell us a little bit about your
workout routine first.
Alia: [00:04:22] Generally it's four days a week, I'm in there about 45 minutes. Um, I'm
currently trying to progress following a system that my husband is using, so I have a primary
lift, a secondary lift, and then three different lifts that are higher reps, but at a lower weight.
Kim: [00:04:45] Gotcha.
Alia: [00:04:46] So in each week it progresses, you know, a small amount, but definitely it
progresses. So, I don't stay stuck on a certain weight without moving forward.
Kim: [00:04:56] Okay. All important stuff. And do you enjoy it?
Alia: [00:05:00] I do. Um, I get-- I'm not. I'm not the gung-ho 5:00 AM kind of workout
person, but I do need to get in there before my day starts or else it doesn't usually happen.
Kim: [00:05:12] Got it, got it. And did you say four days a week?
Alia: [00:05:15] Yes.
Kim: [00:05:16] So four days a week strength training.
Alia: [00:05:18] Yup.
Kim: [00:05:19] Got it. And you sound like you have a solid program, like you're following a
consistent program, you're working on progressive-- progressively overloading, so that all
sounds really good.
So then talk to me about your nutrition. What have you been doing since September?
Alia: [00:05:34] Um, so an emphasis on protein, which I think is different than what I had
ever done before. Um, and trying to get 155 grams of protein a day. So that, um, that shifted
me towards using-- well we do a lot of grilled chicken and more protein supplementation
through powders or bars. Which was a change for me, but it hasn't been going too bad. Um,
45 grams of fat and 125 carbs.
Kim: [00:06:09] And what's the total calories on that?
Alia: [00:06:12] Uh, 1525
Kim: [00:06:13] 1525. And how much do you weigh and how tall are you?
Alia: [00:06:18] I am 5'8" and I weigh right now, uh, it was 159.4 this morning.
Kim: [00:06:26] Okay. And how much were you in September? The same?
Alia: [00:06:29] 156.
Kim: [00:06:31] Okay, so a little bit less. And what have you found has happened with the
Alia: [00:06:39] I don't know where the decrease has been, but it's about an inch and a half
Kim: [00:06:45] Okay. So, you've lost about an inch and a half. How about your-- the fit of
Alia: [00:06:51] A little, a little better, but not-- you know, my hip and thigh area is where I
feel like I always try to focus and I, I know I can't target practice on that, but um, it's, it's
improved, but not, nothing's like loose or falling off me for sure.
Kim: [00:07:08] Okay. So, since September, so you've gained about four pounds, right? And
your clothes aren't tighter, but they're not necessarily looser.
Alia: [00:07:18] Right.
Kim: [00:07:19] Okay. And how about, um, have you been taking progress pictures?
Alia: [00:07:23] Yes.
Kim: [00:07:24] And what do you see there?
Alia: [00:07:26] I see more definition in my upper body.
Kim: [00:07:29] Okay, that's good.
Alia: [00:07:31] And some of the ab area.
Kim: [00:07:33] Okay. Okay. So those are good things. You're still-- tell me more about you
being stuck on the number on the scale.
Alia: [00:07:46] I wish I could. I don't know. I have it in my head that this is my goal weight of
like 145 to 150. Um, that's what I had weighed years ago. And so that's what I feel like I
should get back to. But I'm struggling with it.
Kim: [00:08:02] Yeah, I think that's a really common thing. We get a number in our head
from a weight that we like the way we looked and we think that to like the way we look
currently, we need to be that weight.
Alia: [00:08:12] Yes.
Kim: [00:08:12] So I think that's a really common thing. So, let's pretend for a minute that
scales don't exist. Okay? You have no idea what the number is. Let's go strictly on the way
your body looks. Are you happy with it now or is there still progress you would like to make?
Alia: [00:08:27] I would still like to lose fat.
Kim: [00:08:29] Great. So, when you look in the mirror, you're like, okay, there's still some
fat here that I would like to lose.
Alia: [00:08:36] Yes.
Kim: [00:08:38] Okay. That's good to know. So, talking about your nutrition, then, 'cause
most of nutrition-- most of that is going to come from your nutrition.
So, talk to me, when you think about from September to now, tell me what you think you've
done-- tell me one thing with nutrition that you think just you really do it well. Like, you
know you should be doing it and you do it really well. And then we're talking about one
thing, like if you're, if there's a place with your nutrition that you feel like you could make
improvement, what would that place be? Talk to me about what you feel you do really well.
Alia: [00:09:10] Well, I feel like once I get a meal plan and meal prep set up I do really well
sticking to it. So, getting those meals prepped on a Sunday and you know, I can eat the same
thing. I do okay with that. I feel like, um, what, one of the questions that I've had is, with
protein supplementation am I getting into some inflammatory results?
Kim: [00:09:45] Say that one more time?
Alia: [00:09:47] Are some of the artificial sweeteners, like, giving me some inflammation.
Like, I'm wondering if it's something along those lines and I'm struggling with--
Kim: [00:09:55] Are you talking about like bloating as in like bowel distress?
Alia: [00:09:58] Yes.
Kim: [00:09:59] And so physically do you feel that way? Do you feel like it's affecting your
stomach? Like you don't feel well?
Alia: [00:10:05] Yes, I'll get a distended stomach.
Kim: [00:10:09] Okay. So, two things I'd say about that. One, that can be a very real thing. I
cannot eat a lot of protein bars. Um, I pretty much have cut them out because when I do, I
am noticeably bloated and believe me, nobody wants to be alone in a room with me
because it does not do good things to my digestive system.
That said, it doesn't prevent fat loss, so you could still be losing fat. You might not be
noticing it in your belly area if you are bloated from the protein. So, um, do you do a lot? Tell
me how much are you-- how much are you doing with, um, protein bars and protein
Alia: [00:10:47] Um, I don't do bars generally very often. I would say at most once a week.
But scoops of protein per day? Two to three.
Kim: [00:11:01] Okay. You know, that could be a lot. Um, how do you feel about switching
that up? So, first of all, your protein is definitely on the high side. Um, you're up at 155. You
could lower that like a gram per pound of body weight is fantastic, but you could go as low
as 0.72 and still be in a good range. So, you could lower it a bit if you struggle to get there
without the protein powder. And still have great results.
How do you feel about trying to nix the protein powder for a bit, or at least reduce it to see
how you feel, you know, with your stomach?
Alia: [00:11:38] That's what I have been, um, considering. And I've also been looking at, like,
historically through MyFitnessPal, looking at the grams of fiber that I've been getting in my
diet and wondering about the correlation with that in the, in the digestion.
Kim: [00:11:55] Got it. So, it's really important for you to know, like, first of all, we want you
to feel good and we want you to like the way you look. And so, if your belly is distended,
cause you're bloated and you have a lot of gas that doesn't feel good and you don't like the
way that looks. So, I do think you should maybe work on cutting back a little bit on the
protein powder and get protein from food sources for a bit and see how you look and feel
As far as fat loss, fiber and where you get your protein from is not going to be hindering your
weight loss. It's not. You will still be losing weight. But I do think it's something important to
address. I had a noticeable difference in the way my stomach looked when I cut out the
extra protein I was getting in through supplements 'cause it just didn't sit well with me.
Look, I didn't try a ton of brands so I'm-- it's possible you could just keep trying different
brands and find one that works.
Alia: [00:12:39] Sure.
Kim: [00:12:39] If you don't want to go that route, like literally, there's no reason you have
to supplement with powders and bars, but you could just try, you know, more chicken, more
eggs in those things and see.
Um, okay. So, it sounds like one thing you do well is when you meal prep, you actually eat
the food you prep and that works really well for you.
Alia: [00:13:00] Yes.
Kim: [00:13:01] Awesome. How often do you get a meal prep in?
Alia: [00:13:05] We usually do those on Sundays 'cause my husband has been macro tracking
Kim: [00:13:10] Oh, that's super helpful when you're doing it together. Does it happen most
weeks or you know, 75%?
Alia: [00:13:15] Most weeks.
Kim: [00:13:16] Okay, good. That's great.
Alia: [00:13:18] And, and if we don't do that whole meal prep, we generally make sure we
have veggies on hand and we always have grilled chicken.
Kim: [00:13:25] Good. That's fantastic. I'm a big fan of even like those mini meal preps
where it might not be like every meal is ready, but if you have a protein source prepped and
you know, some vegetables cut up, I think that's fantastic.
Um, okay. That sounds great. All right, so tell me where, with your nutrition, if there was a
spot that you think, "Hmm, this could be improved as far as fat loss," what do you think it
Alia: [00:13:49] I think cravings for chocolate.
Kim: [00:13:56] Okay. Yeah, that's a super common one. So, tell me about that.
Alia: [00:14:01] It tends to be mid-cycle, every mid-cycle. Um, and it often seems to occur
with extra bloating or extra GI problems. Um, but I have learned to get just some high cocoa
percentage, dark chocolate with a little less sugar than the general chocolate bar and have,
like, a small quantity of that just to ward off that craving. Instead of totally giving into it.
Kim: [00:14:34] Yeah, those cravings can really, um, they can really impact the level of
success you have with fat loss because they tend to leave us, uh, lead us to eat more calories
than we have available to stay in our deficit. Um, and if it happens-- if it happens, um
multiple times a month, whether it's due to, you know, your cycle or whether it's just, "Hey,
this sounds good tonight," it can have more of an impact than you might think.
Even though you're on track so much at the time, that off track, like nibbling, um, chocolates
and those kinds of things can really have an impact. When you think back, like, so do you
track in MyFitnessPal? Is that what you said?
Alia: [00:15:16] Yes.
Kim: [00:15:17] Okay. So, when you look back at your log, like when do you think is the last
totally, like, not fully tracked day?
Alia: [00:15:27] Um, well, Sunday, because we were kind of coming down to the flu in the
house. Um, but my numbers were low across the board, honestly.
Kim: [00:15:40] On Sunday when you didn't track you, you don't feel like you ate that much?
Alia: [00:15:43] Yeah.
Kim: [00:15:44] Got it. So. I would say that's one place you could really look, is those days
where it's like kids are sick or I'm craving things or I'm busy and you don't track, they'll feel
like you didn't eat that much.
It's interesting how we can have this idea in our mind that we didn't eat that much, but if we
had actually been tracking the numbers would have added up enough to put us at
maintenance, right? We're not in a surplus, but we're not losing anyway, and doing that six
months is insanely frustrating, right? Like where are we-- how long ago was September?
September, October, November, December, January, February. Yeah, six months ago. Six
months of maintaining your weight. Now, clearly, you've lost a little bit of fat because you're
seeing more definition, but we would expect-- I would expect that the scale, if you were
losing fat and building muscle, I would not expect the scale to go up.
I would expect to see the scale to at least stay the same. So maybe you're building some
muscle and not losing all that much fat. So, to get that to happen adherence to your deficit. I
think your deficit is on point. I think around 1500 calories is fantastic. Um, you know, you
could even go a little bit higher.
One of the things that could help is having some days where you have a little bit higher
calories so that you can fit more things in, like chocolate. And planning those things in can
help so that you're not craving them as much.
Alia: [00:17:09] Okay.
Kim: [00:17:10] How does that feel? Does that feel like, "ah, too many calories?"
Alia: [00:17:13] No.
Kim: [00:17:17] 'Cause at 1500, like if you had some, a range of 1500 to 1600 calories four
days a week and 1700 to 1800 calories a couple of days a week, you could have some more
room for things that maybe you're craving and get some of those yummy things in there and
be able to stick with it really well because adherence to your plan is totally, it's the key.
If you're not losing weight, it's because somewhere, somehow, you're not in a deficit and
finding that somewhere is the key.
Alia: [00:17:47] Okay.
Kim: [00:17:48] Anywhere else you think it might be besides cravings or does that seem like
that can be the spot?
Alia: [00:17:56] I don't, I don't have anything that glares at me as being an obvious, um,
Kim: [00:18:05] Okay. How about, um, what are your weekends usually like?
Alia: [00:18:12] They're a little more difficult because there's not the general-- you know,
we're not always, like, sitting at the table at lunchtime or sitting, you know, the, the plan,
the, um-- the cadence of the day is not always consistent.
Kim: [00:18:28] Got it. Um, and do you find that on the weekends when you don't have a
consistent schedule, that you are not sure if you're sticking to your targets? Are you kind of
just estimating, or are you on a weekend weighing, measuring food, those kinds of things?
Alia: [00:18:47] Um, what I find actually is if I don't focus on getting the protein through the
day, I end up very short on that at the end of the day.
Kim: [00:18:54] Okay. Makes total sense. How do you feel about total number of calories by
the end of the day?
Alia: [00:19:04] Uh, I actually don't usually look at calories too much. I know that when I, if I
stay within five grams of the carbs, protein, and fat, that the calories generally work
Kim: [00:19:17] Gotcha. Gotcha. So, calories is the number one thing you should be looking
Alia: [00:19:23] Okay.
Kim: [00:19:24] Knowing that you hit your total calories.
Now, if you are hitting your macros and you're totally on target, you should be hitting your
calories, but if you're off some on your macros, then you're not going to be hitting your
calories. So, if you like to count macros, there's no reason you can't. Um, I have my clients
count their protein 'cause it's important for us to maintain our lean mass while we're in a
deficit and I have them count total calories.
So, if you're using MyFitnessPal, you can easily see the calories adding up, right?
Alia: [00:19:53] Yes.
Kim: [00:19:53] So if you want to, if you want to keep paying attention to the protein and
fat, you can. Fat loss is not dictated by the ratio of protein-- of carbs and fat. What research
has shown us is that you can lose fat on a higher fat diet, higher carb diet, or equal amounts
of both as long as you keep your protein the same and you keep your total calories in check.
So, paying attention to your calories is going to be a game changer because if you're not sure
about what the macros have done, you're not sure about what the calories have done.
Alia: [00:20:23] Right. True. That makes sense. Um, and I don't love tracking macros, so.
Kim: [00:20:28] You don't, okay. Well then this might be a better fit for you because it's less
Alia: [00:20:33] Yeah.
Kim: [00:20:33] When you track just calories and just protein, it gives you a lot more leeway.
You're not trying to like get some magic combination like at three o'clock and be like, wait a
minute, I still need X number of protein and I have no carbs left, but I need to get some fat,
but, you know, it can get really tricky with those numbers.
Alia: [00:20:51] It feels difficult.
Kim: [00:20:53] It can be really difficult. It can be difficult to juggle and look weight loss as
hard as it is. Anything we can do to streamline the process can help. Some people enjoy
tracking all three numbers and that's totally cool. I personally do not. I've done it for a time. I
did not like doing it. Um, it sounds like you don't like doing it. So, I would say give up looking
at the, the pro-- at the calorie-- hello, I'm saying everything backwards. Give up looking at
the fat and the carbs and just focus on hitting your total. That should be number one, is
hitting your total calories.
Number two, get in enough protein.
Alia: [00:21:25] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:25] If you do that consistently every day for the next 30 days without a doubt,
you will see a change in either the scale or the inches, the fit of clothes, pictures, or all of it.
Without a doubt 30 days of hitting your calories and your protein. You'll see a change.
Alia: [00:21:41] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:42] So four days, 1500 to 1600, 3 days, 1700 to 1800 I think is a really good
range for you.
Alia: [00:21:51] Okay.
Kim: [00:21:52] Um, protein. You can-- I don't have a calculator on me, but you definitely,
you could, the high end, 150, low end-- hang on, actually I do, I do have a calculator. Low
end, let's see. It's like 108 to 150 grams per day. Um, hit that, hit your total calories and one
thing that I have to say can really help you to be able to hit your calories is actually planning
them into MyFitnessPal ahead of time.
So, the night before or the morning of, put in there what you want to eat, make sure those
numbers add up, that you hit your protein, that you hit your calories, and then just work
It makes it way easier than partway through the day trying to like dance around to figure out
how you're going to do it.
Alia: [00:22:46] Yeah, I do-- I should do better at that. That's definitely an opportunity for
Kim: [00:22:50] Okay, great. That's a great place to dial it in. When it comes to weight loss, it
can feel very mysterious.
It always comes down to figuring out where am I getting more calories than I think I am?
Even if on paper or on our app, it says I'm getting this number of calories, if you're not
seeing the changes that you want physically, if the scale is not moving, somehow there's
more calories involved, and I think we've, I think we've figured out where it is for you.
30 days. Super consistent, hit those calories, hit that protein, pre-log to be able to do that,
and then for sure, I'd love to hear back from you and see what you find out. You accept the
Alia: [00:23:26] Yeah, I do. I do.
Kim: [00:23:27] Amazing. What other-- do you have any other questions? Anything else you
want to talk about before we wrap up?
Alia: [00:23:36] No, but I think, well, now that our days are starting to get a little longer, I do
enjoy walking, so I don't know how, um, if I were to add more like 30 to 45 minute walks, I
know it's still equally important to lift, but how does-- how do you figure out what's better
for an individual?
Kim: [00:23:58] So I love that you're asking that question.
I'm a huge proponent of daily walking. I say do it in addition to your lifting that you're
already doing. If that, if that feels too burdensome for your schedule, you can still get really--
a really good training effect with three days of lifting with a lower body, an upper body, and
a full-body day. Um, that can be a really good thing if you, if it feels like I don't want to train
four times a week if you don't enjoy it, if-- look, I love it, so four days a week works great for
Four days a week is fabulous, three days, as long as you're hitting each muscle group twice,
so a lower body day, an upper body day, a full body day, walking every day. It doesn't have
to be a dedicated 30-40-minute walk. It can be. Do you, do you track your steps now?
Alia: [00:24:44] I do. I, um, I have an Apple watch. I don't know, I can't tell you what my
average is. It's been low because I haven't been walking, I've been focusing and lifting,
thinking that that was priority, but I feel like walking for me mentally is, um, huge.
Kim: [00:25:00] You know, it can really lift your-- it can really lift your mood. It can really
help with the, the calories out portion of calories in, calories out.
I wouldn't say it should be a priority over the lifting, but I do feel like it's on par with it. So,
number one, number one focus for weight loss has to be your nutrition as far as calories in.
The other nutrition piece is your protein. After that: strength training, hitting it at least three
times a week and getting in daily movement.
You can get that daily movement in throughout the day. You can-- and I talk about this on
my stories all the time, all the weird ways I get to-- I get movement in. Like, I will pace
around when I'm on, if I'm-- well I can't do it now cause I'm on a podcast, but if this was just
a phone call between you and I, which I do this all the time with people, I would be up
So, when you're at work, any chance you have to get up and pace while you have a phone
call. Take it. You could set your Apple watch to beep once an hour to remind you to walk and
you go to the furthest bathroom in the building and you know, even if you don't have to go
the bathroom and you touch the door and come back to your desk.
There was a guy I knew who would walk out to his car. He would park the furthest spot away
he could at work and a couple of times a day he would program his watch to make him go
out to his car and come back. And all of these things add up. Wherever you're at-- track for a
week and see like, "Hey, where am I at now?"
Alia: [00:26:21] Right, right.
Kim: [00:26:21] You draw a baseline and start upping it a little bit at a time, a little bit at a
time. Over time, getting yourself up to 10,000 to 12,000 steps for a fat loss phase can really
help with that calories in, calories out piece.
Alia: [00:26:36] I think that that, um, that component has definitely been overlooked-- or
not overlooked but set to the wayside, um, and for sure that's got to have an impact.
Kim: [00:26:48] It can have a huge impact. We really-- especially those of us who strength
train, who make going to the gym a priority in our mind, we're really active people, right?
And we are, but if that's an hour a day, four days a week, what about the rest of the days,
right? And what about the rest of that day? You have 24 hours in a day. Maybe if you're a
really good sleeper, you're sleeping eight of them. The rest of the day trying to find ways to
get more movement in, to sneak some in here and there and really get yourself so that you
are active. It's a hidden place that you can really pump up your calories out part.
Key point here: do not add those calories back to MyFitnessPal. Don't sync your Apple watch
to it and have them tell you, "Oh, you know, eat a couple of hundred more calories," or
you're eating that deficit right back up.
Alia: [00:27:35] Yeah. Don't want to do that.
Kim: [00:27:37] Yeah. You don't want to, and it's such a common mistake. So yeah, I think if
you can work on really upping it. And again, do it a little bit at a time, over time. Don't jump
into like "now I have to get 10,000 steps and I have to, you know, I can't do the lifting 'cause
I don't have time for it." Keep your lifting. If you want to go down to three days, you could
make that switch. Um, but keep your lifting.
Start increasing your total time, total steps walked day after day, a little bit at a time can
make a really big difference.
Alia: [00:28:07] Perfect. That's all pretty straight forward. And I think easy to implement.
Kim: [00:28:12] Amazing. You know what? When it comes down to it, weight loss is really
straightforward. It's just hard to do. But the stuff you have to do to lose weight isn't
It's not fancy. Um, and it, it always comes down to these simple things and we can get really
sidetracked with thinking about things like, "wait, is it my protein powder or is it, you know,
that it's causing me to be bloated?" And that can, like I said, it can feel really uncomfortable,
but in the end, bloating and fat loss aren't the same thing, and you can be bloated and still
Alia: [00:28:41] True. True.
Kim: [00:28:42] Tackling both of those sounds like an important piece for you so you don't--
so you're not bloated, but they're definitely not the same thing.
Alia: [00:28:48] Right.
Kim: [00:28:49] All right, Alia, it has been super good talking to you. Um, so message me
back. Let me know, 30 days of consistency. You know, really keep track of the number of
days you hit your calories.
A good way to do that is to get yourself a calendar and every day you hit your calorie target
and your protein target put an X on it. See how many X's you get for the next month and let
Alia: [00:29:12] Sounds good. I will do that right now. I'll get that calendar started.
Kim: [00:29:15] Amazing. All right, thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. I
think people are going to learn a lot from hearing this conversation.
Alia: [00:29:22] Well, I hope so. I know I have.
Kim: [00:29:24] Oh, good. I'm so glad. All right, I will be seeing you around Instagram and
looking forward to hearing from you.
Alia: [00:29:29] Thank you, Kim.
Kim: [00:29:30] All right. Bye bye. You're welcome.
Alia: [00:29:31] Bye.
Kim: [00:29:37] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified
Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go
ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It
really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
This article is transcribed from The Fitness Simplified Podcast. prefer to listen? Click HERE.
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag, thrilled to be here with you today on a solo episode. I'm talking about self-love. Have you heard the advice, “you should just love yourself?” It's important to love yourself. If you hear that and you kind of get that catch in your chest like, ah, yeah, but I don't really, and now I just feel bad, what do I do?
[00:00:26] That's what I'm talking about today. Can you learn to love yourself? Does loving yourself have to be a feeling? Let's go.
[00:00:41] So tomorrow in the States, it's Valentine's day. And so, if you're here, you're likely thinking about your loved ones and what you're going to do for them. I have some plans for my family, some little presents for my kids. We do a yearly scavenger hunt for Valentine's day; I've picked out a good present for my husband this year.
[00:01:00] It's hard to buy for him. I don't know if you have the same problem with your husband, but I struggled to buy things for my husband. I think it's easier for him to buy from me. I just always want a lot of stuff. He rarely wants stuff, so Valentine's day, I'm always like, "should I get him something, should I not get him something?" So, I bought him something this year and I think he's gonna really like it, but you'll probably think it's an-- it's an odd present. I bought him, I bought him pants. I bought him these special stretchy pants. So, they're not like women's leggings.
[00:01:28] So there's this company, he's really psyched about these pants. They're really kind of like hipstery looking pants. They're called, I'm going to get it wrong, I want to say Park and Recs, but that's, that's the TV show, right? Parks and Recreation? Um, Public Rec, I think that's the name of the company. And they make these pants and they look like really nice casual business pants. Really nice-looking ones. But they're stretchy, so they have the secret. You can't tell, but he could like do the splits in them. Well, if he could actually do the splits, he could wear these pants and do the splits in them. So, he bought himself two pairs of these pants and he won't stop talking about the pants.
[00:02:04] So I went back on to the website and I bought him another pair in a different color of the stretchy pants. Nothing says, I love you like a pair of stretchy pants. So that, those are my Valentine's plans. I hope you have good Valentine's plans.
[00:02:18] Today and on our Valentine's day, I want to talk to you about your most important relationship, and that is the one you have with yourself.
[00:02:29] So a lot of people throw around the phrase, "you need to love yourself." "You should just love yourself." "It's all about loving yourself." Do you ever read that and think, "okay, yeah, got it. That's great and all, but, but I don't, what if I don't? I don't love myself. So now I'm failing at that too?" Here's the missing piece that I want to talk about today.
[00:02:55] Instead of thinking of love as a feeling and one that maybe you don't have a whole lot of for yourself right now, what if you thought about love in the verb sense, as an action? "I love myself." What have you started taking baby steps to act loving towards yourself? Do you see the difference there? It's hard to control your feelings, but your actions, that's all you.
[00:03:23] You have 100% control of your actions. And the interesting thing is that the feeling will follow the action. When you act loving towards yourself over and over, the feeling will follow and that's powerful stuff.
[00:03:42] So I want to tell you about the story of me becoming a mom. I was 30 when I had my first child, and of course I had in my mind exactly what this experience was going to be like, and it was nothing like what I thought it was going to be like.
[00:03:55] My first son, his name is Carsten, was incredibly colicky. If you've had a colicky baby or been around somebody who's had a colicky baby, you understand what an experience that is. It's not a pleasant experience. He was so needy. He just was loud and angry and crying all the time. We actually took him to the emergency room after some time of this because the doctor kept telling us nothing was wrong.
[00:04:20] We were like, "there's gotta be something wrong with this kid tonight," and they were really nice. They were like, "it's fine, there's nothing wrong. He'll be okay." And it was like two and a half months later. Like he'll be, by the time he's four months, he'll be fine. It was not-- there was not a lot of comfort in the moment.
[00:04:35] But the more I served Carsten-- because look, I had to help this kid. He was my baby and whether he was screaming for the 10th hour in a row or not, I just served him and served him and served him. And the love I had for him grew and grew and grew. Even though he was being insanely difficult and annoying, right? When you serve someone, you develop love for that person.
[00:05:00] It's a really interesting principle. I don't know if you can think of other times in your life when you've seen that in action, it works the same way with yourself. Serve yourself, act with loving kindness towards yourself over and over and that feeling of love will follow.
[00:05:18] Now you might think I'm going to head down the self-care route here, like massages and face masks and manicures and I love all of that stuff. You see me on my stories and doing all of the fun self-care things and we can talk about those things another time. It's not where I want to go today. I want to talk about two small, but ultimately huge ways to love yourself, as in the verb. Love yourself.
[00:05:45] Number one: talk kindly to yourself. This is a recurring topic with a lot of my one-on-one online coaching clients. Wow they can rake themselves over the coals. I think we're all really pretty good at that, and I bet you can relate to that if you're listening to this podcast. So, my clients and I, we video text -- I'll send them a video, they'll send me videos back. And so sometimes after they send me a video listing all the terrible things they did, right? In their mind. I'm air quoting that. They'd have just ripped themselves a new one for whatever shortcomings and failures they saw in themselves. And so, I'll send them a video text back and I'll say, "hi, my friend. Do me a favor. That last video you sent me, I want you to come back on here, and I want you to pretend that I was the one who did whatever the thing was."
[00:06:38] So let's just pretend that they had gone on and on about how, how they overeat on the weekend. I'll say, "hey, do me a favor. Come back on here. Pretend that I just told you that I did all the things you did, that I worried on the weekend. And then I want you to use the exact language you just used about yourself to me. I want you to respond to me using those same words."
[00:06:59] And they'll come back on and they're always smiling and laughing, they're like, "oh my gosh, Kim. I'm not saying that to you." I'm like, "no, you tell me. Tell me what did I do," and yet they're like, "right, okay. I get it," right? Before I even explain to them the point, they get the point because they would never speak to me that way.
[00:07:17] So if-- do you do this? You do this right? You wouldn't speak to anyone the way that you speak to yourself. So, if you wouldn't speak to your friend that way, and you wouldn't speak to your kid that way, you probably wouldn't speak to a stranger that way, or maybe even somebody who was bugging you -- you wouldn't speak to that way.
[00:07:35] Why do you allow yourself to speak to yourself that way? And it flows so easily, right? This is an ingrained habit and you won't change that just because you're having a lightbulb moment listening to me now. It's important. The awareness is the first step. Becoming aware of how you speak to yourself and about yourself is important.
[00:07:56] I want you to pay attention to how you speak to yourself, both out loud and in your head. If it's in-your-head talk, speak it out loud as soon as it is reasonably possible so that you can hear it. Now, if you're at the grocery store, like wandering around and being like, if I was there and be like, "Kim, why does everything take you so long? Why are you so slow? Could you be any more distracted?" Like, these are the things that go on in my head sometimes. Okay, I'm probably-- I probably won't start saying that out loud to myself in the store, but I could go out to the car and say those things so that I could hear them. So, do that to yourself.
[00:08:31] When you notice in-your-head talk that's very not kind to yourself, say it out loud or write it out so that you can really hear it. And then when you do, I want you to question it. Seriously talk back to those words. Is it even true? Maybe it is. Maybe you did overeat last weekend. Okay, so maybe it's true, or maybe you're blowing it way out of proportion. Maybe you're expecting perfection. So maybe the things you're saying aren't even accurate. So, that's step one.
[00:08:59] And then whether it's true or not, give it the best friend test. Would you speak to your best friend about this situation the way that you're speaking to yourself about that situation? What would you say?
[00:09:16] Would you tell her she should just give up because she never gets anything right? Would you do that? Would you look for something in the story that she told you that like, "hey, but you know, you totally overate Saturday. I gotcha, and you even started overeating Sunday, but part way through Sunday, remember when you told me that you, like, you just sat the donut down and you're like, 'whoa, I'm not going to keep going that?' Hey, do more of that. Like, next weekend try and do that sooner. That was great."
[00:09:42] Would you look for things that you could encourage her about? You would, right? Do that for yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend. Give it the best friend test.
[00:09:54] Okay, let's move on from, um, from that piece. Let's talk about a second way to love yourself in the verb sense: and that is acknowledging and celebrating your wins.
[00:10:06] We see so clearly our shortcomings. I bet if I asked you right now-- literally I want you to do this. I bet if I asked you, you could roll off your tongue at least five things you could give yourself a big, like, "duh, face-plant. I can't believe I did that in the past 24 hours."
[00:10:22] I can. I can. Last night I struggled to set my new alarm clock. I bought an alarm clock it took me forever to figure it out. This morning, I didn't know that my 16-year-old son had school today. I didn't know he had school. He goes to a local high school half the day and a tech school, the other half of the day. Well, this is his first year doing that, he's 16, but you know, it is February. He's been in school some time and just because the local school has off doesn't mean tech school has off and we've been through this before. The high school has off today and yeah, he was in bed. I didn't know my kid was supposed to be at school.
[00:11:01] I still have a sink full of dishes. It's like two o'clock in the afternoon, sink full of dishes. I haven't finished organizing my closet that I was supposed to have finished last weekend. I was going to get it done before my husband came home from his second business trip. He's coming home tonight in eight hours, about eight hours, there are laundry baskets full of various items getting ready-- they're all nice and sorted. It's not happening. It's not happening. There you go, five things that I had just today, I was like, "whoa."
[00:11:29] Okay. Did you do it? Write down for yourself-- five things that you're like, "whoa, can't believe I did that today."
[00:11:37] Okay, now what about this question? What if I asked you to tell me five wins from the past 24 hours, past day? What have you done well?
[00:11:48] That's harder, right? It's harder. I can do it right now, but I knew I was going to ask myself this, so I had a little bit of a heads up, but it can be harder. So, I've stuck with my 30-day mobility challenge nine out of nine days. Nine out of nine days I did that. I didn't yell at my son for not knowing he had school. I wanted to, but we just laughed.
[00:12:10] I cleaned off my desk. My desktop is nice and clean. I helped clients that I adore through some big stuff in the past 24 hours. Very skillfully, I might add. I'm fricking good at what I do. I coached them up hard. And I figured that ridiculous clock out. I did. It took me a while, but I figured it out. Is it weird to hear someone praising themselves like that?
[00:12:34] We need more of that. You need more of that about you from you. When this episode is over, I want you to write down five wins you've had in the past 24 hours. Five. Big, small, medium, doesn't matter. Acknowledge them. Make this a habit. Look for and either out-loud speak or in writing put them down. Deal?
[00:13:06] Look, this self-love shizz ain't easy. It's work just like any other relationship, but you deserve it. You do. You deserve it. Next time you read some motivational posts about how you should love yourself and you start getting that little feeling of like, "ugh, but I don't really love myself." I want you to remember that you're working on that.
[00:13:30] Love isn't just a feeling. You are practicing acting loving towards yourself. That feeling will follow. It might take time, but you will feel it growing.
[00:13:42] You got this, my friend. Love you.
[00:13:49] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:14:00] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time Show: Empowering or Objectifying? Whole 30: Science Backed Or Fad Diet?
Hot Topics- Super Bowl Half Time: Empowering or
Objectifying? Whole 30: Science-based or Fad Diet?
Kim: [00:00:04] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
On today's episode, I have Amanda Howell with me. Amanda is a nutritionist and a public
health educator. Amanda and I had selected a topic to discuss together today and, in the
meantime, a hot topic came up that we were both spending an awful lot of time chatting
about in our Instagram stories: Sunday night's halftime show at the Super Bowl.
Now, Amanda and I did not see eye to eye on what we saw and what it meant, um, how
people were reacting to it, and so I asked her if she would be okay if we kind of hashed it out
here together on the podcast. In the end, we agree on more than I had anticipated, which is
a good thing, right? You get two people who seem to disagree and bring them together and
you can find some common ground.
So, we talk about what we saw with J-Lo and Shakira -- was it empowering? Was it
objectifying? I'd be interested to hear your opinion on that as well. So that's part one of the
episode. After that dive into our originally scheduled topic, which is Whole 30. If you've done
a round of Whole 30, if you're considering doing a round of Whole 30 this will be of interest
We talk about what Whole 30 is, what we see that's good about it, what we see that's
problematic about it is it, is it science-based, and what our recommendations about Whole
30 are for you. So, tune in, give it a listen, and let me know what you think.
Well hello, Amanda. Welcome to the Fitness Simplified Podcast.
Amanda: [00:01:40] Hi. Thank you for having me.
Kim: [00:01:42] I am thrilled we could make this work. Now you're calling from the beautiful
Rocky Mountains in Colorado, correct?
Amanda: [00:01:48] I am -- and not so beautiful right now. It was 74 degrees 24 hours ago
and now we have about eight inches of snow.
Kim: [00:01:55] Wait, it was 74 degrees in Colorado?
Amanda: [00:01:58] It was beautiful. I was outside the tee shirt and then I woke up and it
Kim: [00:02:02] But snowing at this time of year is what you expect, right?
Amanda: [00:02:06] Not really. A lot of people think Colorado is super snowy-- if you're
along the front range, so in like the Denver/Boulder/Fort Collins area -- it's actually super
mild. It's about 50 degrees and sunny most of the year. And then obviously in the summer
we get the higher 90-degree days, but not overly snowy down here. If we want snow, we
have to go up into the mountains.
Kim: [00:02:23] Okay. That is shocking to me. Clearly, I know nothing about Colorado
Amanda: [00:02:28] Everyone thinks that, everyone. They're like, are you in an igloo all the
time? Nope, not really.
Kim: [00:02:34] Wow. So, if you want to go to the mountains and have snow, usually, is it
just a quick drive?
Amanda: [00:02:39] Oh yeah. I mean, you can get up into even the closer ski resorts and
maybe about 45 minutes, and then the farther ones can be up to two hours.
But yeah. So basically, if you, if you want snow, if you want snowboarding, head out, get
your fill, come back down. It's usually sunny and nice down here.
Kim: [00:02:56] I had no idea. That's, that's amazing. We actually-- so I'm just outside
Philadelphia and we had a beautiful day yesterday as well. It was almost 60 degrees here
and that's bizarre for this time of year here.
Amanda: [00:03:08] Yeah, I was seeing everybody's posts across the country and everyone
was like, "it's so nice, the sun is out."
Kim: [00:03:14] h well, well at least we got one good day cause it's raining back here now.
Amanda: [00:03:18] Oh, bummer.
Kim: [00:03:19] Yeah, I know. But you know, I was happy with the one good day. So, for
those of you listening who do not know, Amanda, Amanda and I, well, we know-- I'm putting
that in quotation marks. We know each other. It's so funny how Instagram works. I feel like I
know all these people and I'm like, you really don't know them, Kim. So, Amanda and I are
friendly on Instagram. Amanda has an amazing account. Amanda, shout out your handle
now. And we'll do it again.
Amanda: [00:03:42] It's just @amandahowellhealth, all one word
Kim: [00:03:45] And two L's, right?
Amanda: [00:03:46] Yes.
Kim: [00:03:47] In Howell, okay, so Amanda has an amazing page.
She talks about nutrition. She's a nutritionist, and you have a master's in public health,
correct? Did I get that right?
Amanda: [00:03:56] Yeah, that's right.
Kim: [00:03:58] And she talks about health and she talks about nutrition and she talks about
fitness and what I really love, Amanda, your posts go in so deep, you don't just kind of touch
on a subject, you really dive deep. And I love that.
their-- they have an online course, I'm taking it with my daughter right now, learning about
body image. And their whole premise is that our bodies are not ornaments, that we are not
here for other people's viewing pleasure yet we are so often in that mindset, we actually
look at ourselves through the lens of how are other people seeing us. And that's what I saw
watching that game. I really saw it through what was happening with that camera. And I
went back and compared last year show, and then I compared, even, I don't know what year
it was that Beyoncé was there with Coldplay, and, um, Bruno Mars, and it's very interesting
that the women -- it is about their bodies. The way the camera follows them, the angles, it's
coming up. No one is doing that with the men. And even, if we come back to the clothing
aspect, the men are always completely clothed and honestly can show up-- it's the honesty
looks like, like Chris Martin just like rolled out of bed, like just showed up with his tee shirt
on, right? The women are never wearing pants. Is it because they're choosing it or is it
because they know that that's the rules of the game? They show up and they're looked at.
Amanda: [00:11:15] Well, and that's where you and I, we are totally in agreement there. It's
the differences between the camera men and how they're shooting.
I mean, we can't put that on J-Lo or Shakira. That's not their responsibility, you know? And
that's like an entire separate discussion too, it's how the media portrays women. If we had
the exact same camerawork on, you know, any gentleman up there that we had on women,
I think it would have been a lot less sexualized.
Kim: [00:11:45] I think you're absolutely right. And it happens over and over and over in so
many different ways, and I, I don't think people-- I don't think it's actually at all recognized in
people's mind that that's what they're viewing and that it's different at all.
People kept showing the pictures of Adam Levine yesterday, next to J-Lo, and that's why I
went back and watched it. There's just not the same tone. It's just not at all.
Amanda: [00:12:07] No, I mean, we all saw the camera zooming in on boobs and butts, and
that's unfortunately, again, we can't put that responsibility on the women performing.
That's not, it's not their responsibility. That's on the people who are portraying the
performance on the media. And again, whole separate conversation. I don't even know
where to start with that one. It's a mess.
Kim: [00:12:30] It is a mess. And for me, that's when I-- when I got on my stories and was
talking about like what I saw at the Super Bowl and why I didn't think it was appropriate.
A lot of what I have to say, the first thing I noticed, like I think J-Lo and Shakira are amazingly
talented. I think that, you know, they have so much-- they have worked so hard and I do not
feel that their message-- look, they clearly had a big political statement or two to make up
there, and I feel that it was not, it's not looked upon in the same way as a man making that
kind of political statement because the message was so overwhelmingly about their bodies.
How much of that was them versus how much of it was the producers and the, you know,
whoever's in charge of shooting that thing, I don't know. But I feel like their message, that
was so important, both, it was only there because they were allowed to be there being
sexual beings and it's just so overwhelmingly about their bodies.
Amanda: [00:13:22] Yeah, well, and kind of looking at it from a cultural perspective too, one
of the-- two of the things I was noticing that I was, I was having a really hard time with was
first, the slut-shaming. Just because you, and I'm saying this, you know, generally speaking,
you, a person, tends to be more modest absolutely does not give you permission to shame
another woman for the length of her skirt. It's unacceptable, always, across the board, all
the time. So that was one of the issues I was having, first and foremost. And then second,
not many people that I saw posting are familiar with the Latino style of dance.
It's very much about your hips and your movement and your body and just because we, as
Americans, don't understand or don't agree, doesn't mean we get to take it out of context
and then shame or sexualize it. What Shakira was doing, if you actually dig in and learn
about it, it's really interesting. I mean, she pulled in her Colombian background, she pulled in
her Arabic background, her Lebanese background.
It was insane how much she put into that performance and all anybody saw was, you know,
her, her underwear showing. You know what I mean? Like it was just people focused on the
absolute wrong part of that.
Kim: [00:14:53] Yeah. And how much of that-- look, I totally get what you're saying and I
agree. I think that the styles of dance that we're used to in America are definitely, um...
Amanda: [00:15:03] Conservative or reserved.
Kim: [00:15:04] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And so, you know, that's not at all what was up
there. And I will say, is it possible, had she done all of those things you just described, which
were amazing and exotic, and you know, a nod to her cultural heritage and how amazing for
all of those people. And I saw lots of people who were like, wow, I feel seen and heard and
that's amazing. What if she had done all of those things without the edge of sexuality that
had nothing to do with those things. Right? So, what if she was doing those things and we
weren't having camera shots of her underwear and her and J-Lo weren't grabbing their
crotches and their boobs so much, which has nothing to do with anybody's cultural heritage,
What if they weren't doing those things? Could we have appreciated the message and the
beauty of, you know, the dances of her various cultures better? Would we have-- would we
have been able to receive it differently?
Amanda: [00:15:56] Could the camera work and been better? Absolutely. Yeah. I don't
know, and I don't know, again, how to, how to even breach that subject, um, it's like a whole
different, whole different post, but yeah, I guess at the same time, it's just are-- do people
have the capacity, though, to understand? Because honestly-- and I'm always reluctant to
say this kind of stuff, but based on some of the comments I see, I don't know if people are
willing to look beyond their box. I think they just want to yell and shame sometimes, and
Kim: [00:16:28] Yeah, I think you're right. I think there's definitely been a lot of just yelling
and shaming and just knee-jerk reaction, um, to, to what they saw for sure.
Amanda: [00:16:37] I was very impressed. I had a few people reach out to me and say, I
totally had this knee-jerk reaction, and then I actually, you know, read your posts and I dug
into it a little deeper and I learned so much about Shakira's background and I changed my,
you know, my viewpoint towards this. And I was like, that, that's incredible. I love it-- with
me as well, I feel like the sign of intelligence is being able to take that initial, like a gut
reaction, sit with it for a second, explore a little further, open your mind a little bit and say,
"oh shoot. I was totally looking at that through a very limited lens."
Kim: [00:17:18] Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you and it, and it can be hard and I think it
challenged a lot of people. Um, we're going to have to move on to Whole 30 here in just a
Amanda: [00:17:26] We need a whole different podcast on this.
Kim: [00:17:28] I know, I know. It was just so interesting. I have to tell you, I spent far too
much of my time and emotional energy on the Super Bowl yesterday.
I had a whole list of things I did not get done because I think this is, I think it's important. You
know, there is such different ideas like was it empowering? Was it not empowering? And
the, the quote this morning, the whole post from beauty redefined, I really appreciated
'cause they, their viewpoint was that it was both. It was both empowering and it was
Um, and I'm going to read this a little bit of this-- I don't know what you think about this, I'd
be curious to hear. Objectification is complicated. It diminishes our empowerment by
distracting us, draining us, and destroying our self-worth due to a fixation on how others
perceive us. It always has and it always will. Still there's no denying that playing by the rules
of objectification can have its rewards and open up doors that are closed to those who won't
or can't play.
And that's kind of what I saw on the stage there is like, two powerful women, but they're up
there on the biggest stage still being objectified.
Amanda: [00:18:28] Well, and it's, it's-- I love that post, by the way. That's why I put it in my
stories for another perspective. Um, but it's also so hard because it's like how, how much of
it, and I don't want to use the word fault, but I feel like for lack of better, for lack of better
words, how much of it was their fault or how much of it was how the media hypersexualizes
and portrays women. It's just so challenging.
Kim: [00:18:51] It is. It is. So, I guess what we're going to leave everyone with this discussion
is we have more questions than answers.
Amanda: [00:18:57] It's just a messy middle on everything.
Kim: [00:19:01] It is. It is. Absolutely. All right. Well, let's move on to a totally different
subject. We're going to switch gears here. So, as I said, Amanda has very in-depth posts
Does Weight Loss Food Have To Be Boring?
Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag.
[00:00:08] Today's episode is a solo episode. On these episodes, I answer the questions you've asked on Instagram in a way that allows me to go into much more depth than I can there on stories.
[00:00:20] These might be questions about fat loss or exercise. They might be practical tips or more psychological mindset strategies, all things that are going to help you on your fitness journey.
[00:00:32] Let's get on to the episode.
[00:00:38] Hello, my friend. Thanks so much for joining me here today. It is a beautiful day here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The sun is shining. I'm heading out for a little walk right after I record this episode. How about you? Have you moved very much today? Check your step tracker. How are you doing? If you haven't moved very much today and you're sitting right now while you listen to my podcast, get up.
[00:01:03] It's time to get moving. Unless you're driving a car. Stay seated, then, but if you're sitting on your sofa, if you're laying on your bed, get up. Let's get some movement in.
[00:01:14] Here is a question for you: true or false? Weight loss food is so boring. I say it depends and is boring necessarily bad? So, let's start there.
[00:01:33] There are a lot of things we do every day that aren't necessarily exciting, but they have a payoff. So, take brushing your teeth for an example. Are you like woo hoo! Teeth time!? Probably not. Right? How about taking out the trash or doing the dishes, do you get amped up for that? I don't, but I sure do like the feeling of a clean kitchen.
[00:01:58] How many emails a day do you send that aren't literary masterpieces? Most of them, right? We're not going to knock anyone's socks off, but they get the job done. Eating can be and should be enjoyable, but it doesn't have to be a showstopper every single meal. So, challenge yourself on your expectations for what level of excitement is necessary for a daily meal.
[00:02:27] And going along with that, and this is a really big topic that I have and we'll continue to discuss; if your food is the main thing that you look forward to in life, it's probably time to take a look at your life and your choices because you should be finding joy and fulfillment and excitement in many other places other than food. It's a big topic for another episode.
[00:02:57] Now, it's also important to remind yourself that weight loss isn't punishment and your meals don't have to be blah to be effective. So, couple of things you can do: first one is kind of a biggie. Spend some time up front, compiling a list of go-to meals that, help you stay in your deficit, help you hit your protein target, fill you up, they have plenty of nutrient dense foods, and you like them. That's important. Okay, I'm going to share my list with you. A lot of the recipes I'm going to mention here, you can find at the hashtag on Instagram, #KimSchlagFitnessRecipes. Most of them are there.
[00:03:44] So when I say compile a list, it doesn't have to be pages long. I've thought about maybe seven or eight things for, for each of these categories. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I rotate through them. So, here are my breakfast, my breakfast go-tos: protein pancakes-these don't have any protein powder in them, by the way- baked proatmeal with raspberries, stove top proatmeal with raspberries.
[00:04:10] Okay, you're going to notice a trend here. I really like raspberries. Greek yogurt with hot raspberries. Scrambled eggs and egg whites with spinach, egg white muffin cups with vegetables, homemade egg McMuffins, cottage cheese and cucumbers. Those are my go-to breakfasts. Lunch, I really have about three different things.
[00:04:35] The most common thing that I have for lunch is a chopped salad with protein. I vary the flavors. Chop salad with protein is one of my go-tos. Leftovers from dinner. That's a biggie for me as well. Or, the third thing I have in my lunch rotation, which I make fresh each time I make it, is high protein pizza.
[00:04:54] Those are my three lunch go-tos. I like to have a big salad every single day, and lunch is often the spot for me to find it.
[00:05:03] Okay, dinner. I have a template I follow for dinner and I follow this template most of the time and it looks like this: a protein, one or two vegetables, and a fruit. I do have non fruit and veggie carb sources sometimes, but the thing is, my family, they're big on carbs. Their other meals are really carb-heavy, and so I don't feel the need to give them an extra carb at dinner besides fruit and vegetables. Doesn't mean we don't do it sometimes, we definitely do, probably not even twice a week, maybe twice a week. It depends on the week. We'll have a more starchy carb; rice, potatoes, pasta, those kinds of things. Otherwise, the meals really are protein, vegetable or two, and fruit. The fruit is typically melon or apples or berries or grapes. It really could be whatever fruit is around.
[00:06:00] Veggies? My family's pretty boring. They pretty much like peas, beans, corn, uh, and I don't really any of those, unless it's corn on the cob. I make myself a salad to go along with the meal pretty much every night. Or if I'm grilling, I'll do something like zucchini on the grill. That's definitely a favorite of mine. Or in the oven I will do baked zucchini.
[00:06:25] So those are some of my go-to side dishes. Obviously, that's really easy stuff. For the main meals themselves, it's almost always either chicken, beef, pork loin. Those are my three go-tos. Pork loin, almost always either mustard covered pork loin or barbecue pork loin, Crock Pot or oven. Beef: grilled flank steak, grilled sirloin, London Broil, or pot roast.
[00:06:57] Chicken: I have a handful of chicken recipes I do. If I'm using the oven, I have a breaded chicken and I have a sheet pan chicken with Italian spices. If I'm using the grill: Hawaiian chicken, Sriracha chicken, those are my favorites. If I'm using the Crock Pot: salsa chicken, barbecue chicken.
[00:07:17] Okay, what I've just said to you in the past few minutes is like, that's like 90% of what I eat.
[00:07:24] Oh, I forgot two things. I also often make a stir fry or burritos. Those are the other kind of dinners I make that aren't just strictly protein veggie, although for me, they pretty much turn out to be . Sometimes I'll add the rice for the stir fry, sometimes they will use an actual burrito shell, sometimes I'll just turn it into more of a taco salad.
[00:07:43] Once you have your list compiled, and I would definitely want you to compile one, the next thing you're going to do when you have these recipes, not even the next thing, as you're doing these, you need to make sure that the flavors you're choosing are flavors you like, and they don't have to be boring.
[00:08:01] One of the problems that people run to, they're like, "oh, chicken again..." they're not cooking their chicken very well. It's just dry chicken. You know, I don't just bake my chicken on its own very often. I have one baked chicken, the sheet pan chicken recipe, that's really good. Otherwise, I'm really putting my chicken on a grill or in a crockpot -- something to make it really moist and flavorful. And going along with that, I marinate it. I'm not just shaking some dry seasoning on my chicken and throwing it in the pan or on the grill. So, I use flavors I like, and I look for some that are lower in calories. Salsa is a big one for that. Mustard is another really big one. It has practically zero calories, it's so flavorful. Nothing boring about mustard. If you've never seen stone ground mustard, look in your mustard aisle and they look like little tiny seeds. They are. They're mustard seeds, they're little pellets. You don't have to do anything to it. You literally take that out and slather it on your meat and cook it and it is delicious. It makes like a little crust. It's so yummy. Very low in calorie.
[00:09:09] I also, for any of my beef that I make, I make a mustard sauce that I put on after. So I cook the meat on the grill, I take it off -- or in the oven if it's a London broil -- I take it out and then while the meat is kind of setting, I mixed up a sauce of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and fresh parsley that's just like rough chopped. Put that on it and let it sit for a minute. It's delicious. And again, it adds practically zero calories, but so much flavor. And so, if you're bored with your food, there's a chance you're not doing much with flavor and flavor doesn't have to equal high-calorie.
[00:09:47] So I hit on the next thing that I really do to flavor things well, and that is fresh herbs. They pack so much more flavor than just the dried herbs. My two go-tos, are parsley and cilantro. I prefer flat Italian parsley versus the curly parsley. They're both good though.
[00:10:08] You can rough chop any of those things, parsley, cilantro, even dill and throw them in your salad, put them on your meat and it just makes everything kind of thing pop. Really delicious. It doesn't take that much effort either.
[00:10:22] Now, not everything, and this is a big problem I see, not everything has to be super low calorie. This is something that I have changed my opinion on over the years. If you look way back on my Instagram feed, like two years ago, two plus years ago, you will see post ideas, things like a hundred calorie snacks and salads under 250 calories. Now, the reason I changed my mind about this is if you make your meals satisfying enough, all those extra calories that you were kind of saving for snacks or treats for later on, you're not going to need. You don't need to save your calories for-- I guess I always had the idea of like, "oh, let's see how low calorie we can get the meal," and in reality, that's not a very helpful way to look at it. A better way to look at it is, "how satisfying can I make this meal?"
[00:11:16] If you are physically satisfied as in your hunger is satiated and you've enjoyed your eating experience, it has tasted good, you're not going to be white-knuckling it until you can get to the "good stuff," right? You're not going to necessarily need something highly hyper-palatable later. You've already had this amazingly delicious meal and you feel mentally satisfied with that meal.
[00:11:41] So, what that means is you don't always have to be the person who is eating zoodles instead of pasta. You don't always have to choose the cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. You don't have to choose zero calorie salad dressing all the time. Maybe using a 60 or 80 calorie salad dressing means you really enjoy your salad versus the zero-calorie salad dressing where you really just kind of tolerate it.
[00:12:08] You don't have to wrap every taco you do, every burrito you do in a lettuce wrap, you could use an actual tortilla. So, you plan your calories in this way. And again, working to not make every meal as few calories as possible might be a big mental shift for you. And what that means is maybe you're not going to have as many snacks, but you're going to enjoy your meals much more if you allot enough calories to make them tasty.
[00:12:37] Another problem that I see a lot on Instagram and Pinterest is people really try and "healthify" old favorite foods and make these "healthy" versions, and I'm putting healthy and air quotes, you cannot see me, I'm just air quoting like crazy over here. Now the problem is that those foods don't often taste that great.
[00:12:59] They may leave you more unsatisfied and wanting maybe the real thing anyway. And newsflash, just because something has healthy ingredients doesn't mean that it has saved you any calories. The healthy version is often just as many calories as the regular old standard version, and you might find yourself still wanting something that tastes better.
[00:13:23] How I have come to handle this is I just have the thing I want. So if I want a cookie, I'm not going to go looking to make myself a healthy version of a cookie, I'm going to eat a regular old cookie with regular old sugar and regular old white flour, and I'm going to do it in such a way that it is portioned appropriately to the rest of my food.
[00:13:46] What I mean by that is 80 to 90% of my food on a daily basis is healthy, nutrient dense food -- vegetables and fruit and lean protein and complex carbohydrates. I don't need to get nutrition from a cookie. I'm just going to get a cookie from a cookie. Does that make sense? Give that some thought. Why is it that we're trying to make cookies be more than cookies or brownies be more than brownies? Can't they just be cookies? Can't they just be brownies and give us a little bit of deliciousness without having to give us whole bunch of nutrients of nutrition? Right? So, we can get our nutrition from the rest of our diets and we need to prioritize that and have the cookie be the minority of our meals, snacks, and the other stuff, be the majority.
[00:14:43] Okay, so I want to leave you with an action item. Couple of things I want you to do. Two action items: I want you to challenge yourself on the idea that every meal has to be an event, and I want you to do some thinking and even some journaling about if you are always looking forward to your food, if that's like on a Friday, the thing you're looking forward to most is getting the food over the weekend.
[00:15:12] I want you to kind of write about what is it you're really looking for. Are you looking for relaxation? Are you looking for company? What is it you really are missing in your life? And start thinking about ways to get that outside of food. Then I want you to brainstorm your go-to meals. Okay? Make a list of breakfast, lunches and dinners, and you heard mine. It's not that long. It was like six, seven, eight things for each of those. And remember lunch was mostly leftovers and salad. So, this will take a little chunk of time, but it's not going to take that much time. And in the end, it will save you time because you'll have this master list to go from, and then you just kind of rotate through it.
[00:15:54] It doesn't have to be a different food every day. You could eat the same thing for breakfast until you get ready to try something else and then you pick another one from your list. So, brainstorm your go-to meals. Remember that you're looking for things that are going to get you plenty of protein, plenty of nutrition, that you enjoy.
[00:16:14] Ask yourself as you're writing this list down, do I enjoy this? Is it satisfying to me? If you can't say yes to that, it's out. It's off the list. Only keep things on the list that you like. That gets you plenty of protein, that get you plenty of nutrition, that keep you full and satisfied. If you need some ideas head to that hashtag I gave you an Instagram #KimSchlagFitnessRecipes. There's lots of ideas. I think almost every single thing I mentioned from my list today is on there. If not, you can always ask me questions, you can shoot me a DM on Instagram, you can even drop it here in the reviews and leave me a comment about recipe ideas that you want from me or that you have that you would like to share with everybody.
[00:16:56] So your food does not have to be boring, weight loss is not a punishment, but have reasonable expectations for what you need from a meal and then do some legwork now so that you're prepared to make meals that are satisfying and interesting to you on a daily basis.
[00:17:16] I sure hope this has helped, that it has been useful, and I will see you back here next week.
[00:17:30] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:17:42] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
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I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.