||Anna Mackay, our Tooting personal trainer from We Are Fit Attitude, on becoming ‘mindful’ rather than ‘mindless’ With a bit of positive thinking, you can lose weight and keep it off...|
I received the above text from Charlotte, a client I’ve been training for a few months. Her goal? To lose 4 stone and get fit. She lost 2 stone (yay!) but then, unfortunately, illness and work stress took hold and she plateaued.
So, we decided to take action and kick-start 2017 with this being her ‘year of change’. Hence the positive message above.
Here’s how we did it, with some tips to get you started on a healthy journey.
1. Do a 2-week detox and do it with others.
I recommended a 2-week detox of sorts based on ‘The Alkaline Cure’ so the food didn’t comprise of juices and nothing else. More importantly, I involved a small group of clients who were up for this too. Thus, we became ‘The Detox Queens’!
Feeling part of a team, especially during moments of hunger and headaches, allowed us to support and encourage each other throughout and succeed!
2. Become ‘mindful’ rather than staying ‘mindless’
Throughout, the clients reported on how they were feeling and we shared observations of change that we used following the detox, which helped them adopt a healthier lifestyle going forward.
We really noticed how much we mindlessly eat, whether it’s eating the kids’ leftovers, or simply out of sheer boredom or stress at work (genuine examples from my clients). One client actually wrote ‘I had to remove a piece of pepperoni from my mouth which I put in without even thinking!’
So the detox had a two-fold effect – the Queens lost weight, but more importantly something shifted in their mindset. They became more mindful when eating, and conscious of what they were eating. It’s amazing how this change in thinking meant they started (and have continued) to eat healthier AND less. Plus, they’re now physically feeling more energetic, therefore exercising more.
3. Set your goals and create your strategy
The hard work begins post-detox. This is where you really have to set out some short, medium and long-term goals. Saying you want to lose 4 stone is achievable, but it needs to be broken down into realistic, timely goals with a strategy being firmly put into place.
Charlotte found getting on the scales demotivating, as she’d been trebling the exercise she does in a week so had gained muscle. So we decided to use body measurements as a guide which means less stress for her if she finds the actual weight loss slow.
4. Find time to plan
Charlotte has shifted from ‘mindless’ to ‘mindful’ thinking. Each week she looks at her diary and works out her meals and her exercise schedule. We’ve also got coping mechanisms in place for when she is most likely to have the urge to indulge. For example, she likes to dine out and may not always want to opt for the healthy option. After all, eating out should be a treat, right? Coping mechanisms include:
- eating lighter meals during the day
- factoring in a workout or spinning session
- eating smaller portions, and more slowly – resist having seconds!
All of this will allow her (and you) to keep within a set daily calorie range. Forget the macros, this is the time to enjoy and have fun!
This is the most important tip…
5. Successful change comes from you
You will only succeed when the change comes from you. Your friends and family will be there to support you – however it’s only going to work when you’ve found the motivation and willpower from within. For these clients it started with the detox, which gave them the headspace to focus less on food and more on themselves.
We’re into February and I am proud to say that my clients are on the right path – the proof is in her text message, right? I’m very proud of where Charlotte is today because this is her moment of successful change. You go girl!
And for those of you needing a change? Do it – I can help you too!
Anna is founder of We Are Fit Attitude, a fitness business based in Tooting. Find out more about her one-to-one and group fitness training on her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.