It’s not their fault you can’t stick to your diet.

Nothing sucks more than having a partner that doesn’t want to eat healthy when you’re on a diet, am I right?

When I first started dating my partner Markus, I was deep in diet-mode. I had already lost 20 lbs and had about 5-10 more to go. He was a personal trainer, and was just starting a ‘bulk’ (essentially the reverse of a diet where you increase your food intake to put on size and muscle). While I drank my smoothies and ate my balanced, healthy meals, he ate three cinnamon buns for breakfast, pizza pockets for lunch and protein shakes, pasta and ice cream for dinner.

Needless to say, it was a frustrating experience. But it that taught me the most valuable lesson I would ever learn in dieting: Your goals are your responsibility and no one else’s.

Tough pill to swallow. Believe me.

I mean he should have been more sensitive, more compassionate to my goals, right?

His lifestyle was hindering my progress, and therefore he should have to be the one to change, not me… right?

Sadly, that’s not exactly true. And the reason why, is best described in Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. In it, he writes,

A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems, because they believe that to be responsible for your problems is to also be at fault for your problems. Which is not always the case. There are also problems that we aren’t at fault for, yet we are still responsible for them.’

Just like…an over-indulgent partner who (unfortunately) doesn’t have to change his lifestyle, simply because you have a weight loss goal.

Although frustrating, this realization helped me to recognize how much I blamed other people and the circumstances of my life (including my partner) for my lack of success. It was unnerving to see how willing I was to hand over power to other people to determine the outcome of my goals.

As much as this mindset and behaviour of putting blame on someone or something else made me ‘feel better’ about my inability to achieve my goals, I realized that I didn’t want to ‘give away’ that power. I wanted to determine my life, my success, and my goals – no one else.

‘The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility is therefore thus the first step to solving our problems’. – Mark Manson

I knew something had to change so I immediately started taking responsibility for my goals and my actions. I vowed to do it for the next 6 months to see what would happen. And you know what – I was able to stick to my diet and… I lost the weight.

This mindset shift became the key to my weight loss success and has become a pillar in my coaching to help my clients ‘unblock’ their weight loss. If this resonates with you, I invite you to try the same approach and see if it works for you the same way it did for me. Set a time frame and take responsibility for all the things that you normally would  put on other people and other things that hold you back from achieving your goals. Busy job, unsupportive partner, crazy schedule with the kids… none if it is your fault, but it is your responsibility to find solutions for it if you want to truly find success on your own terms.

If you want to talk it out with someone who’s been there, then book an Unblock Weight Loss Call with me and together we’ll uncover what’s holding you back and how we can get you to overcome it!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

Three Tips On How To Tap Into Yourself, And Create The Diet And Lifestyle of Your Dreams

I think I’ve followed over 40 diets in my lifetime.

Considering that my ‘dieting life’ has only spanned about 10 years, that’s about 4 diets a year. That means I was on a NEW diet, every three months!

Looking back, it seems almost impossible that I could have dieted that much. Thanks to Google and the ever-chugging weight loss industry machine, there was never a shortage of options. A new fad diet would always surface. Then, an abundance of health and wellness information that debunked the most recent diet I picked up would suddenly flood all my go-to resources. And it was all positioned to make me question and doubt everything I did, leaving me feel more desperate than ever before.

So if you’re feeling like this – believe me – you’re not alone. Which is why in this post, I’m going to give you my top three tips to tap out of the weight loss industry craziness and tap into your own intuition and FINALLY figure out what works best for you.

What Does Your Life Actually Look Like?

Are you a culinary wiz in the kitchen? Or would you rather pick up your phone and order in, then pick up a frying pan and make yourself dinner? Do you have tons of time to devote to your diet? Or do you barely cook as it is, and can’t imagine having to cook healthy meals every week?

Your diet should be selected based on what will suit your CURRENT lifestyle – not your ‘this is how I’m going to be on my diet’ lifestyle. That means, that if you can barely find the time to cook now, starting a diet that involves a lot of research and recipe following to ensure that you’re doing it correctly, like Whole 30 or Paleo, likely won’t suit your limited time schedule.

Ask yourself how much time you have to dedicate to your new diet (realistically) and what will work well with your current lifestyle. Your likelihood of success is dramatically increased if you work with what you already have, instead of trying to implement something that you never had in the first place. There is one caveat to this however: If you eat out often, order in regularly, or eat a diet high in saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates, those habits will have to change if you want to see REAL results.

The rapid growth of meal delivery services now allow us to follow diets without cooking, and still stay on track with their healthy options and choices. So if you struggle with cooking, or with time to cook, these are viable solutions for you to still achieve your desired results.

Build on what you’re already doing.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your new lifestyle. That’s the reason that taking what you’re already doing and building on it, is the best strategy for success. If you enjoy eating meat, if you love carbs, if you drink wine on the weekends – these are all things that should be taken into consideration for your diet, instead of trying to eliminate them in pursuit of results. Be wary of eliminating entire food groups or specific foods strictly for dieting purposes. The moment you’ve reached your goals and you reintroduce those foods, the pounds will return.

This is also a great strategy from a long-term perspective as you can tweak it and evolve it as time goes on. Once you master improving your diet in one area (eating complex carbs and increasing your vegetable and lean protein intake), you can then begin to focus on other areas (exploring dairy-free/grain-free lifestyles or practicing a more plant-based diet).

Another factor that may impact your decision to stay with your current diet is–family. If you’re already cooking for a number of people in your household, having to cook a separate meal for yourself is never a long-term solution. By staying somewhat close to what everyone else is eating, you’ll be able to cook the same things for everyone, and still achieve your goals, effortlessly.

Take a Goldilocks Approach. 

This one is too restrictive, this one is too frustrating to keep on top of, this one takes too much time. Each diet comes with it’s own challenges, so be sure to try a few that you think might work for you before you find the diet that is ‘just right’ for you. Choose the diet that you can confidently stay with for the long-term.

The best way to do this, is to stick to the diet of your choice diligently for at least 4-6 weeks. Assess how you are feeling physically, and how well you’re adhering to the structure of the diet. A great tactic to keep track of how you’re doing is to keep a food and mood journal. Record how you feel when you’re on the diet. Are you starving, tired, bloated, bored? How are your bowel movements, etc? This practice will help you better understand from a deeper level (outside of results) what will work for you and what won’t.

Most Importantly…

Yes, it’s important that a diet gets us results. But what’s even more important is that we’re able to maintain those results for the rest of our lives. Taking the time to tap into yourself and think about what works for you (instead of what will make the scale move) is a fool-proof way of not only achieving your goals and your desired body, but building a lifestyle that will allow you to maintain and thrive.

For more tips and tools on how to find and create diets that last, join my FREE Facebook Group The Nourished Life, a space dedicated to help busy moms and women everywhere heal their relationship with food and build the bodies and lifestyles of their dreams.

With love and nut butter,

 

Your Lack of Accountability Isn’t Just Preventing you from Losing Weight…

How good are you at keeping promises to other people?

Now let me ask you this: How good are you at keeping your promises to yourself?

If I could guess, I would say that there was a big discrepancy there.  I would imagine that when it comes to keep promises to other people, you’re really good at it – but when it comes to keeping promises to yourself… not so much. So why is that the case? Why are we typically better at keeping our promises to other people, but we fall short when keeping promises to ourselves?

The answer is simple: Consequences.

How Consequences Keep Us Accountable

When we break a promise to someone else, a consequence is usually associated with it. They’ll be upset, we’ll let them down, you’ll break trust with that person. And we don’t want to do that! Most of us typically want to be thought of as dependable people. Loyal. Someone who can be counted on. Which is why we’re less likely to do break a promise!

Yet, when we break promises to ourselves we don’t see it as being that bad.. or so it seems. Overtime, as we continue to break more promises to ourselves, we go through those exact same emotions that we would if we had let someone else down.  Except what’s worse, is that we suffer a far bigger consequence for all of those broken promises: We end up living an unfulfilled life. We never do achieve the things that we want to. We sacrifice our happiness and begin to lack confidence in ourselves to see anything through.

Talk about a MASSIVE consequence.

This is especially relevant when it comes to weight loss. Over the years, theories and concepts have been developed to help people stay accountable. Have a buddy system, create rewards for yourself when you achieve your goals, etc. As a coach, I employed them all. Yet nothing ever seemed to work – until I read “Maybe It’s You” by Lauren Zander. Her theory about attaching consequences to our goals made total sense. So I began to use it in my own practice and immediately started to see results with my clients!

How To Implement Consequences To Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

So how do you attach consequences to your goals? Let’s use my client Sarah as an example. Every week she would ‘be good’ and then the weekends would roll around and BAM!! She’d binge from her usual Friday night ordering in pizza with her husband and the kids until Sunday morning when she’d have her weekly brunch with the girls.

Although she felt like she was putting in a ton of effort, she wasn’t losing weight.  She was unhappy, discouraged and depressed – but she couldn’t seem to give up her weekend habits that were setting her back. She simply ‘couldn’t stop herself!’ Until… we put some consequences for her actions!

Sarah had an affinity for her bi-weekly mani-pedis and her monthly facials. With her stressful job, the kids, and her hectic schedule, these self-care practices were the thing that she had vowed to maintain for herself and never missed. To me – it sounded like a perfect consequence for her weekend bingeing.

So what did we do? We sat down and reviewed her weekend and looked at how we could help Sarah stay on track, while also maintaining the parts of her weekend that she loved; like spending time with family and socializing with her girlfriends. Sarah said that she would commit to not ordering in or eating out on Fridays and Saturdays with her family and would also stop her habit of finishing off a bottle of wine with her husband on the couch after they put the kids to bed. She said that she would keep her brunch date with the girls but skip the mimosas and pancakes drenched in syrup and instead have a greek yogurt parfait with fruit and granola or an omelette with veggies and a side of avocado and toast. Perfect!

Then it was time to implement the consequences! If she ordered in or went out to eat on Friday or Saturday and made unsupportive choices in her diet on Sunday at brunch – she would forego her mani-pedi’s and facials for 6 months!  Did Sarah ever have to give up her mani-pedis or facials?  NOT ONCE! And within weeks, Sarah noticed that her weight began to come off as well!

Creating Your Own Consequences

In her book, Lauren Zander says that the bigger the goal, the bigger the consequence. So if you have something that you REALLY want to achieve, you have to attach some pretty big consequences to it to help you stay accountable.

Consequences should be something that scare you enough to do ‘the thing’ that you don’t want to do, but should also have an air of humour about them.

First, you need to clearly outline what your goal is without any room for technicalities, i.e. “I’m going to have ONE 5 oz glass of wine each week and if I have more than one, I’ll have to donate my favourite pair of shoes to that consignment store and I can’t buy them back.” Or, ‘My partner will watch the kids and I’m going to spend 30 minutes on Sundays and Wednesday nights cooking up some lean protein, veggies and healthy carbs so I have a variety of healthy options on hand for the week. If I don’t then we can’t book that trip down south in March that we’ve been talking about for months.”

So, pick a goal that you have and start attaching some consequences to it and see how you do! You might be pleasantly surprised at how well you suddenly start to stay accountable… and how soon you reach your goals!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xo