How'd you do it?
I haven't been very vocal about my weight loss and self improvement stuff on social media. Only my closest friends and family know what I've been dealing with in the last few years and how I've been changing. The only thing my Facebook and Instagram friends see is happy hiking pictures and a skinnier me in the photos.
After not seeing many people for months during this pandemic, they've had very kind words about how I look and always want to know how I've done it. I never really know what to say because it's kind of a long and complicated story. My normal response is usually something snarky like, "Ya know, I just stopped eating when I wasn't hungry and stopped drinking so much beer."
It's a lighthearted and quick response — a condensed version of the whole story — but I figured here is a good place to talk about ALL the things I've done just in case someone actually wants to know how they can start their own journey.
Like I've said before, it started with finally knowing and coming to terms with where I was at the time. As scary as it can be, take a deep breath and get on the scale. Write it down. Take your blood pressure. Write it down. Take your measurements - write it down. Write down everything you don't like about your life and write down everything you want out of your life. Set some small goals. These goals don't all have to be scale focused. They need to be the big picture goals for your life.
I was able to do all this as I was guided through Noom's program. I'm not saying it's the answer for everyone, but I know it definitely helped me when I was starting out and had no idea what to do first. It teaches you how our brains work and how our thoughts feed into our emotions. It taught me new coping skills for dealing with cravings and overcoming emotional eating.
I used Noom for 6 months — from mid-July through Dec. 31 — and I lost 42 lbs. I also started listening to podcasts on my walks to pass the time and found a few self-improvement ones I liked a lot. At some point, my Facebook page started pushing podcast advertisements to me and one that popped up caught my attention: "Losing 100 lbs with Phit n Phat."
Well that sounded like exactly what I was trying to do so I gave it a listen. Immediately the listener is greeted by a loud women with the thickest southern accent this Georgia girl has ever heard and a potty mouth to match my own. Well, holy shit, I might have just found my person! Corinne Crabtree lost 100 pounds 15 years ago and has kept it off. She also started the Phit n Phat tribe to help other women do the same with her "No BS weight loss program."
I started listening to the podcast every day. She was taking the mind-work stuff Noom talked about much deeper and was in your face about it. She broke down the reasons why we give up on ourselves and the reasons we overeat and the bullshit excuses we tell ourselves that sabotages our progress. She also didn't believe in crazy diets, restricting certain foods or calorie counting. At the time, that Noom calorie counting was getting on my last nerve so it felt good to hear someone say I didn't have to do that the rest of my life.
It was the next big push I needed. I started working on her four basics to weight loss — get at least 8 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, only eat when you're hungry and to stop when you feel satisfied. This is intuitive eating in it's simplest form, but our mental bullshit is the biggest barrier to doing all those things.
Phit n Phat has a free program for beginners and then a paid membership for the tribe where you get a ton more resources and support. I couldn't afford it, but if you can, I definitely recommend it. Find out more here. I listened to the podcast, I started listening to my body more and trusting it.
I can't even tell you all the things this woman has taught me. She also introduced me to the benefits of life coaching and other self-coaching podcasts and books that could continue to help me grow as a person. So now we're looking at much more than changing my body — now we're into managing my thoughts and emotions, living in the present, developing high performance habits, learning how to be an effective leader.
So there I went down the rabbit hole of self-improvement, but honestly I fucking love it so hard. Where has it been my whole life?
So here are my top recommendations:
Losing 100 lbs with Phit-n-Phat with master weight loss coach Corinne Crabtree
Unfuck Your Brain with feminist life coach Kara Loewentheil
The Life Coach School with master life coach Brooke Castillo
Take a break from drinking with Rachel Hart
A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
Untamed - Glennon Doyle
Unfuck Yourself - Gary John Bishop
Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, Daring Greatly, Dare to Lead - Brene Brown
Atomic Habits - James Clear
I'm happy to answer any questions readers may have about my journey so ask away!