What Are You Waiting For?

When I Lose Weight (get the right job, meet the right guy… it all applies)…

I’ll Be More Confident

Be Happy

Buy Cute Clothes

Have you ever said any of these things to yourself? I have!

What if you aren’t taking action on your goals, so you don’t have to do any of those things now?

Why would I say that?

Because weight loss isn’t a requirement to do ANY of the things listed above!

You can be more confident, be happy, and buy cute clothes today.

Confidence and happiness come from our thinking. Clothes come from Nordstrom (or Target, no judgement 😉 ).

Here’s the thing. If you are not managing your mind today at your current weight, then you will wake up at your goal weight thinking and feeling the same way.

Have you ever noticed how people will lose weight and then just want to lose 5 pounds more? It’s because they didn’t prepare themselves for the day they wake up and hit that goal!

So think about what brings you confidence. What makes you happy now?

Notice how it feels in your body. Pick one of the feelings. Think about it.

Is your heart warm?

Do you shoulders feel lifted?

Are you smiling?

Now think about your weight. Think about your job. Your relationships.

What is a believable thought you can have that would get you a step closer to confident or happy or the desired feeling you’re striving for?

One of the thoughts I anchored to when I was trying to lose weight was “I am a badass 123.4 pound woman who takes care of her shit.” When I thought that, I felt confident and vibrating.

I didn’t believe it right away, so I had other iterations I could believe that created feelings of confidence:

  • I am becoming a 123.4 pound woman;
  • I honor my commitments to myself;
  • I show up for my plan;
  • I take action every day– you can see every intention I created in my Massive Action March posts on Instagram and Facebook. I literally had a thought posted every day.

What is a thought that will get you to your impossible goal?

Do you believe it?

What would you be willing to believe today that would be one step closer?

My Strategy for Handling Special Events

Special events, holidays, get-aways, vacations, your birthday are part of life. When you’re on a weight loss journey most people tend toward two extremes: avoiding or going-all-out.

When I was preparing for a bikini competition years ago, I was definitely an avoider, but when I didn’t have an immediate goal in front of me, I would easily let a night out, or weekend getaway undo a lot of hard work.

Sometimes I would even tell myself I would stay on track, but then as soon as I got to the airport I would start eating or drinking like a lunatic, and then it was a slippery slope from there. I felt guilty. I hated that I couldn’t keep my promise to myself!

It would take me a good week or two to get back into my routine and make progress again. While I thought I was giving myself relief in the moment by “not paying attention to food” I was only focusing on food, eating all of the things, and then in the end I felt horrible.

This wasn’t the result I wanted to create so I started applying my coaching strategies to my own weight loss and maintenance journey.

The method I created and am sharing below BLEW MY MIND because I suddenly felt amazingly confident about special events, and you can too!

Before you use this strategy, you have to decide on your outcome. What result do you want to create for this event? There is no right or wrong answer. You can choose to not follow your protocol and it’s totally fine, BUT you have to like your reason. If you want to stick to it, here is how you do it:

  1. List all events. If it’s a single evening, write down the stages of the evening/meal/event (happy hour, appetizers, dinner, dessert, post-dinner cocktails, etc). If there are multiple days, write down all of the events over the course of the several days AND write down all the times in between events that could be challenging (for example– evening out drinking is a splurge, but if you eat like crap for breakfast the next morning too when there is no reason to, then you’d list evening out and breakfast after evening out as a separate events). What is your total # of events?
  2. Create a strategy for each event. Really think about it– at the end of the event(s) what decision will your future self have wanted to make at this time? This does not mean that you only eat raw broccoli crudite and a grilled chicken breast (unless that’s something you totally love). My special event lists are usually something like: 1 drink, burger, salad, cake because me of the future would have wanted to have the cake. Honest cake is better than cheating on yourself with a late night pantry raid.
  3. What does success look like? If you nailed 50% of the events, isn’t that better than what you’ve done? How many events would your future self want to get right? The first time I did this I first said 70% would be good, then I decided 85%, and what I ultimately chose was 100% because I felt so amazing by sticking to my plan that I wanted to stick with it!
  4. Star each event when you follow your plan. You can keep your list on a piece of paper in your pocket, on your iphone notes, or a running tab in your head while you are at the event and then log it later. Then at the end, see how many events you starred. What was your goal?
  5. Celebrate! Notice that even if you improved 20% or 30%- progress is PROGRESS!

Once you’ve completed this strategy, I want you to think of all the times before when you would have just thrown in the towel. Regardless of your result with this strategy, can you see how much you improved just by being aware in this way?

I know this game-changing special events strategy will be an incredible success for you! Give it a shot, and DM me with your results, or tag me in a post

If you struggle with special events and need help taking this to the next level, you can schedule a solution session with me here.

How to Break Through a Plateau

Someone asked me the other day how to break through a plateau, so I wanted to offer some thoughts to those of you who are stuck.

But first, let me ask a question. Have you been consistent with your plan, or are you “stuck” because you’re not following your program and are looking for a way to lose weight fast?

A lot of people think they are stuck, but don’t follow their protocol 100% and then wonder why they aren’t getting results.

If this is you, then you have to decide if you just WANT to lose weight (you like the idea of it) or you’re COMMITTED to losing weight (meaning you’re willing to take action).

If you’re not sure how to lose weight, see my previous post here.

If you have 100% been following a program, and are not getting results, here are some things you can try to get the scale moving again:

Eat Less

Exercise More

I know you are probably rolling your eyes, but it’s true. Weight loss happens when we are in a caloric deficit. End of story.

Here are some questions I ask my clients when we are discussing plateaus:

Are you consistent with your plan? Y/N
Are you only eating mindfully according to your protocol and avoiding overeats? Y/N
Do you measure portions? Y/N
Are you accurate tracking your food? Y/N
Are you pre-planning your meals? Y/N
Are you sleeping adequately? Y/N
Are you drinking enough water in the day? Y/N

Look at the questions above, and if there is an area where you’ve honestly said no– then you know where you need to focus.

What about HIIT workouts? People think they need to do HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) workouts when they are on a plateau. HIIT workouts burn more calories than traditional steady-state workouts and often keep heart rate elevated longer after exercise, so there is an overall increased calorie burn in the day (i.e.- increased caloric deficit).

Here’s where people get it wrong- they incorporate a HIIT workout and then eat a pint of B&Js. No– just don’t. Swapping your walk on the treadmill for a HIIT workout could do the trick– adding in extra food BECAUSE you’re working out, not so much.

What about eating less? If you are maintaining your intake over a period of time or eating consistent portions of the same food, and haven’t seen the scale move in over two weeks, then it may be time to drop things down a smidge. If you are practicing intuitive eating, this may also mean allowing yourself to be hungry or eating to satisfaction, not stuffed.

People don’t like this answer, or will misinterpret to think they suddenly need to eat 1000 calories a day to lose weight– don’t be that person. Be realistic. Dropping a small portion, an extra snack, or an 100-200 calories a day from your total daily intake if you’re tracking should get the job done. Drop it, be consistent, check again in two weeks.

What about undereating? Believe it or not, this too may be a problem if you’ve been dieting for an extended period of time. If you’ve been undereating and can’t seem to lose weight on very low calories, then you may need to do a reverse diet to improve your metabolic capacity.

Be Honest. I used to stick to my diet perfectly during the week and then eat like a drunken sailor one day a week and would tell myself something was wrong with my metabolism because I didn’t get results. NOTHING was wrong with my metabolism, but binge eating and excessive overeating was keeping me stuck. Be honest with your eating habits.

If you’d like more information on how to break through your plateau, click here to schedule a solution session with me.

When It’s All THEIR Fault

Life went wrong; it’s all their fault.

Is it true?

Did someone die?

Break your trust?

What are you making it mean?

Are you using it as a reason to stop showing up for yourself?

How long will you let it be their fault?

How long will you let them steal your life?

Sounds deep.

Be assured, the lesson is easy.

Someone else doing ANYTHING is not what causes our pain.

Our thoughts about what they are doing is what causes our pain.

What if you’ve been telling the story that you’re stuck because of THEM? Because of IT?

What if you were able to free yourself by accepting responsibility for your own emotions?

Would you be willing to believe that it’s even possible?

Brave girl, it’s time to move on.

Take back your power.

Take back your thoughts.

Put down your shield, and pick up your sword.

Your crown is waiting.

If You’re Searching for Answers

Yesterday I was on a panel speaking to Career Center directors at Sonoma State University.

Question to Panel: “What’s the opportunity for change in career services?”

My Answer: “When you ask students what they want to do with their executive MBA, don’t accept ‘I don’t know’ as an answer…

Instead ask, ‘If you did know, what would that look like?'”

Audience Chuckles

Many people like “I don’t know” as an acceptable answer; it’s a great space filler.

I reject it as a response for myself and for my clients.

You know the answer.

When you close your eyes, and ask yourself the questions about what you want most in life you know.

If you don’t know, let me reframe it this way: Assume money and time are not constrains, what is the answer?

Many people are afraid to give words to the desire stirring within them: words make it real.

They worry what others would think if they went after that goal, so they stuff it down.

They drink, they eat, they shop to numb the vibration within them that is begging to be answered.

What if someone asked you if YOU knew what you needed what would you say?

When You Don’t Feel Like Running…

Me: Let’s run

My Brain: Let’s eat ice cream

Me: Let’s write a blog

My Brain: Let’s watch tv

Me: Let’s agree to be on a panel interview at the university

My brain: Let’s hide

So many times, the things we want for ourselves our brain rejects.

It’s ok- expect it, hear it, acknowledge it, but don’t listen.

You set goals for a reason.

Expect objection.

When You Don’t Feel Like Running…

Do it anyway.

#3 Mistake People Make in Weight Loss

This is my third article in this series. If you haven’t read the others yet, you can find them here.

The subject I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorite because it was the hardest for me to learn.

I’m sharing it because part of the human experience is realizing that we don’t get everything we want in the timeframe we think we should have it, and that’s ok.

Mistake #3: Impatience

Impatience is a goal killer because the truth is that we all have human bodies, and those bodies have loads of things going on at any one time.

We think that because we start doing weight-loss producing activities that the results should be immediate, but the truth is that our bodies will drop weight when we are in a caloric deficit when it is ready, not when you are ready.

How many times have you been doing all of the right things, thinking your weight has dropped, then you get on the scale and see no change at all? It happens. It doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong.

What is wrong is when we make it things like:

  • I’m a failure
  • I’ll never lose weight
  • Losing weight is for everyone else but not for me
  • Something’s wrong with me
  • I’m getting too old to lose weight
  • I’ll always be fat
  • Or a myriad of other really crappy thoughts that are totally useless and not true.

What if instead you chose to look at it from the perspective of the woman who already achieved the goal. It’s done; in the bag. How would she look at your situation? What would she say? Probably things like:

  • Keep committing, you’ll get there!
  • I know exactly how to lose weight!
  • Everything is right on track!
  • I know how to take exceptional care of myself!
  • My dream is worth my time!
  • I’m learning patience with this experience!
  • This is happening for me!
  • Results are in the bag!
  • You got this!
  • Just keep going!

The key is to not get stuck in the moment. Think ahead of how your future self would show up for you, and follow her every day until you get to your goal.

Be patient my friends. Believe you will get there, and you absolutely will.

If you need help with impatience, schedule a solution session with me here. I’d love to help you take the next steps on your journey.

#2 Mistake People Make on Weight Loss

If you saw my first post on this topic, then you already know the #1 Mistake People Make on Weight Loss. So great, you’re committed; you’ve got a BIG WHY! What’s next? Read on…

“Should I do the keto diet?”

It’s the first thing a lot of people ask me about weight loss.

Here’s what I say, “Is the keto diet going to be fun and sustainable for you long term?”

You might think thoughts like:

  • Absolutely yes! It is how I feel my best.
  • Absolutely not! I just want to lose weight, and why are you answering my question with a question?
  • I don’t know, but I want to lose weight fast and everyone is doing the keto diet.

There is nothing wrong with the keto diet, and there is nothing NOT wrong (double neg, I know 🙂 )with the keto diet. The results created by a keto diet (unless you are using it for therapeutic reasons, and as part of a doctor’s supervised plan) are no different than those created by any other diet where you are in a caloric deficit.

So to answer your question– whether you follow a keto diet or not is entirely up to you. If it makes you feel amazing, do it. If you want to do it because you think you’ll lose weight fast while secretly wishing you could eat all the things, and then dive face-first into a pie the first minute the diet is “over” then consider other options.

Mistake #2 = Extremism

Extreme dieting is purposeful for very few people in this world, and those people are typically under medical supervision. If you are just a regular human who wants to look great in a bathing suit or feel confident when you’re naked, then extremism isn’t required; commitment is required, but not extremism.

We choose extreme approaches because we want fast results. So, let me fill you in on a little secret.

The key to weight loss is eating in a calorie deficit.

The key to weight loss maintenance is keeping weight off for the long-term, which means losing it in a way that is sustainable and makes sense.

The shocking statistics about weight regain exist because people like to use extreme measures to lose weight, and then when they get to their goal, go back to what they were doing before. How does this help?

It doesn’t!

The Biggest Loser results are not real life. We know this because when the show’s over, the contestants regain weight! We see people on television who lose 100s of pounds in an hour, and we get pissed off for not dropping 5 pounds after a single workout.

We compare our every day journey to someone else’s hilight reel, or before and after photos. When you see before and after photos, look at the time stamp. Typically months, years pass between the photos. You know what that person did on the days between the before and after, they had to live their life, and do the work.

When I work with clients, the first thing we decide on is a protocol they can stick with.

I have clients who elect no flour no sugar. When they have a specific reason compelling them to follow that protocol, we go with it.

For example, my mother has epilepsy and finds that eliminating sugar from her diet has stopped her migraine headaches. She has no desires to overeat sugar because (for her) she sees the connection between eating sugar and a negative result in her life.

I have clients that do intuitive eating, and simply understand that having the accountability of a coach, and writing down what they eat helps them make healthier choices.

I have clients who do flexible dieting, and track macros so they can include foods they want.

When I notice that I client thinks they want to follow a specific protocol, but they aren’t following it, we make a change.

I think this is important to mention because I’ve worked with a lot of people who are in the cycle of keeping the reigns super tight (eating very low calories, eating very restrictive foods, eat only from a food list) and then have all-out binges.

This was something I struggled with myself for years! I kept thinking the paleo diet and elimination diets were the cure-all because I’d read so many great things about them, but I would try them, and have such terrible cravings for all the things I wasn’t “supposed to have” and so I would literally binge my face off. I was so embarrassed and ashamed, and created a very untrusting relationship with myself and food.

I share this because I’ve had clients come to me who are exactly in the same space. Their intentions are right, but their plan isn’t working for them.

When we reintroduce foods that were previously off-limits then there is always a huge sigh of relief. Making healthy choices that work for you is an incredible freedom because it puts YOU in the driver’s seat.

When you’re following a protocol that someone hands you because it worked for them– that’s great for them, but every body is different.

So before you sign up for the next juice fast, cleanse, IF-a-thon, ask yourself, “is this a long-term sustainable plan I can live with for the rest of my life?” If not, then move along.

Having a sustainable plan makes this process fun and enjoyable. You don’t have to be extreme to get results; you only have to be consistent.

If you are struggling with extremism, and are interested in looking at a new approach, click here to schedule a solution session with me.

#1 Mistake People Make on Weight Loss

Head’s up- this is the first of a 3-part series on weight loss.

I failed at weight loss many times.

I’ve lost 80 pounds, but I didn’t lose it overnight.

I made many mistakes along the way, but here’s the good news: I got to my goal anyway.

So here is #1 mistake I see people make when they are trying to lose weight…

Their WHY isn’t bigger than their WANT

Every time I’ve been serious about losing weight and I’ve made massive progress it’s happened because I’ve been all-in, 100% committed to the goal: I had a HUGE WHY!

In my coaching practice I talk with clients a lot about commitment because there is a HUGE difference between wanting something and committing to it.

If I want something, that’s great! I wanted to be thin when I was over 200 pounds. But wanting is just a thought, just an idea.

Commitment is different. Commitment means that I am taking consistent action to get to my goal even when...

Even When… It’s cold outside and I don’t want to stay in bed instead of workout;

Even When… I went away for the weekend and didn’t feel like going to the grocery store to have healthy food at home;

Even When… My boss yells at me;

Even When… I’m stressed out;

Even When… I have a fight with a family member;

Even When… I’m bloated…

You see where I’m going here. Even When is EVERY EXCUSE we give ourselves to let ourself off the hook to our commitment.

So how do you know you’ve got a strong enough commitment? How do you know that you are committed and don’t just want something?

You know you are committed when your WHY is bigger than your WANT!

You have to have a BIG WHY because I’ll be honest– there are days when you will WANT:

  • All the Chips
  • All the Ice Cream
  • All the Donuts
  • To eat because it’s your period
  • Stress Eat
  • Emotionally Eating
  • Eat all the things and all the flavors, textures, etc.

You have to be willing to allow the WANT urges.

You have to have a compelling reason to keep you focused even when the going gets tough.

When I was at various stages of my weight loss journey I envisioned different events to stay focused on my goal:

  • An image of myself crossing a finish line ;
  • An image of me running on the beach in a bikini;
  • An image of being on a stage, posing in a bikini competition.

All of these events required commitment.

So before you get started, truly ask yourself why this all matters? Why do you want to lose weight? And are you willing to allow all of the urges to come up and be there?

Are you willing to be committed even when?

What is your BIG WHY?

If you are, and you are ready to take this work to the next level, you can book a mini-session with me here: Wendy Pardue Solution Session

How to Lose Weight

One of the questions I get most frequently is “how do I lose weight?” The short answer is eat less, exercise more, be consistent, repeat. It sounds simple, but for something so simple why is it such a struggle?

A woman DM’d me on Instagram the other day explaining her situation: she tries a low carb diet for a few days, she sticks to it, she falls off the wagon, she overeats, gains back the weight she lost, and then starts over again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Can you relate?

I can!

I used to do this all the time! I can’t tell you how many times I went on the JJ Virgin eliminate 7 foods diet. I would white-knuckle my way through 6 days of it, and on the 7th day, I rested (really I ate my face off– we’ll just call it a diet rest).

So why do we do this? Why do we put ourselves on super restrictive plans that are hard to stick to only to NOT stick to them?

It’s because of what we are thinking about them (did you really think I’d have any other answer?). It’s in our brains! It’s all what’s in our heads! BUT, there is a reason. AND, it’s because we see images that are compelling- before and after shots that make us think that everyone can drop 3 sizes in 3 weeks, too.

Here’s the thing– you can, but do you want to lose weight at a break-neck pace that is unsustainable, only to gain weight back. Or, do you want to lose weight in a way that gets you to a goal you maintain– it’s your choice.

So lets just say you’re interested in losing weight in a sustainable way that gets you to your goal- congrats! It’s a lot more fun this way! Welcome to my club! I’m going to tell you my top tips you need to do to lose weight.

  1. Write Down Your Food.The first thing you need to do is to be aware of what you are putting in your mouth. You need to write it down. Write down your food in a journal, log it in an app, but write it down somewhere you can track it and reference it in the future. I use My Fitness Pal to track my food because it has a great database of food selections at restaurants and a scanning function, which makes adding new food easy.
  2. Establish a baseline. Whether you’ve decided to use an app or not, you have to know where you are starting. If you’ve been inconsistent for a period of time, the best gift you can give yourself is to establish a baseline by tracking. If you’ve been using an app and counting calories but haven’t been tracking on your “off days” then look at your data for an entire week. Give yourself an entire week of just tracking it all. If your weight has gone up, you know that your weekly consumption is high, if your weight has gone down, you know your weekly consumption is in a deficit.
  3. Measure Yourself. Weigh yourself, take measurements and photos when you start and after two weeks. If scale weight is triggering for you then use measurements and photographs. I have my clients weigh every day because I teach them how to manage their thoughts around the scale, and then they can see very quickly if they are on a protocol that’s working for them or not.
  4. Do not let fluctuations determine your behavior. This is huge! Have you ever been doing all the right things, but one day your weight goes up? Then you THINK “I’ll never get this right!” or “I’m a failure!” Or something worse!!!!???? Daily weight fluctuations happen because you are human! Look at progress over a couple weeks before you make any changes (and no freaking out)!
  5. Evaluate After two weeks evaluate your progress. If you haven’t made progress, then go back and look at your food journal. Have you been eating larger portions? If you’re unsure of portion sizes then it can be helpful to weigh or measure food so you have an idea of what a serving of peanut butter really is versus what we think a serving of peanut butter should be. If you are overeating you will need to eat less or exercise more or both.
  6. Be Consistent. We all get lured into the shiny-object-syndrome of juice cleanses, slashing carbs to zero, or other things that we think will get results. What if we thought about the sustainable approach in the same way. What if you thought “losing weight in a sustainable way will get me sustainable results.” Guess what? It will. But you have to be consistent, and be willing to commit, which is why making sustainable changes is the best plan.

If you would like to know more about How to Lose Weight, and take this work to the next level, click here to schedule a solution session with me.

If you are interested in following along with me on my own weight loss journey, you can follow me on Instagram @wendylost80