If you have followed my articles in the last few weeks, you would have noted my unique weight-loss story. I lost 30kg in about 4 months, moving from 106kg (Size 18) to 76kg (Size 10/12). I did this simply by cleaning up my diet and working out. Yet, I have never projected myself as having the powers to help my clients achieve the exact same results. You see, managing your expectations is key to weight-loss. When I asked a member of my weight-loss squad how much she expected to lose in the first 2 weeks, she said 15 kg. Imagine that! And she was serious!
I remember a statement another member of my squad made. She said:
“Coach E’, I am so demoralized. I have denied myself of so many foods I love for almost 2 weeks and yet, I lost ‘just’ 3kg.”
However, one thing I have learned after getting my certification as a Personal Nutritionist and Health and Fitness Coach, is that the weight-loss journey is never straightforward or a one size fits all approach. So in this piece, I am sharing my top two weight-loss commandments.
Thou shall not have unrealistic weight-loss expectations.
You see, weight-loss is a gradual process, and it is quite different from magicalillusion that surgical procedures provide. You must be patient, as well as trust and be committed to the process until you see the results you desire. Back then, during my Personal Nutrition course, we were taught that losing an average of 1 pound of fat a week is the ideal measure of progress. That is about 2 kg in a month. But most people on a weight-loss journey want to lose every single ounce of fat in the first month. And when expectations are unrealistic, they will naturally not be met and then frustration sets in. Next, the same people soon give up on their journey altogether and revert to old, unhealthy habits.
So, I made a commitment to manage the expectations of my clients. It is even worse when they know my own weight-loss story. They often want to replicate my results. They forget that, not only do we have different metabolic rates, but the amount of effort, discipline, commitment and consistency I put in was perfect. I focused like my life depended on it, and I didn’t even think I would lose weight that fast. Also, I wasn’t even fixated on the scale at some point. I just committed to the process. Imagine my shock when ALL my pre-wedding dresses started to fit just 4 months after my hard and smart work.
Again, for emphasis, when you approach weight-loss with unrealistic expectations, your focus is wrong and you most likely will be setting yourself up for failure. So first things first, start the process. Stay committed. Lose the unrealistic expectations. Resist the urge to compare. Trust and stay committed to the process. Your results will come too.
Thou shall see this as a new lifestyle without an ‘end-date’
You see, that my client who complained about not losing weight had a timeline for her weight-loss goals. She was probably going to go back to all the foods she ‘denied’ herself when she finally lost the weight.
The first thing I repeat endlessly to my clients in the first few weeks of our training is that this is weight-loss is not a 4, 8 or even 12 week project. It must become a lifestyle forever! If you put an ‘end-date’ to it, then when that date comes, you will revert back to the old habits that made you seek weight-loss coaching in the first place.
The simple truth about weight-loss is this: whatever got you the results has to be sustainable. If you take pills or shakes or embark on a diet that feeds your unrealistic expectations, then the weight-loss becomes unsustainable. Because you have to continue how you started. Unfortunately, you cannot be on pills, drugs or shakes for your entire life, which is why I preach the Food & Fitness gospel: clean up your diet, and workout for your goals. This is a lifestyle that can be sustained, modifying it as you hit major goals. That is how for 2 years plus and a second baby after, I have managed to stay healthy and fit.
Also, beyond weight-loss, your body deserves some good fuel, and food is fuel. The bad foods consumed over time will eventually ‘knock your engine’ as bad fuel will do to a car. If we are intentional enough to care for our car engine when we avoid black fuel marketers, it beats me why we would consistently fuel our bodies with the wrong kinds of foods. Please my sister which is of more value? Your car or your body?
Without a doubt, my body is of more value, so when I nourish it with a healthy lifestyle. I am also constantly thinking up recipes and ideas and creative ways to make this weight-loss and fitness journey last for life.
So, there you have it, two of the many things I tell my clients to carry along on their weight loss journey if they are going to see sustainable results.
If you want to get some details about my 30 kg weight loss story, you can find it in my FREE e-book, ‘My FAB transformation story’. It is available ONLY on the FAB E’Reader App on Google Play Store. Download the App, sign up or sign in. The book is one of the many books on the App.