One of the main reasons why I started the LEAN Life coaching group (Lifestyle of Efficient exercise and Automated Nutrition – in case you didn’t know it actually stood for something ;)), was so that I could help women avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past….like using weekends as a “reward” or an excuse to eat and drink what I wanted because I was so “good” during the week.
I’ve written about my experiences dealing with the “all- or- nothing” mindset trap a ton, but basically I’ve come to realize that you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get results (you actually don’t even need a gym). You don’t have to give up everything you love to lose body fat, (in fact, keeping the things you love in your diet actually HELPS to keep you consistent). Beating yourself up over not getting a workout in, or for eating a piece of whatever, does not make you a bad person, and negative self-talk and criticizing your body will not make it change.
Currently there are over 200 women in the group ranging in age from 22 to 60+, and the best part is that they are all creating their OWN version of The LEAN life. Not ONE of them is doing the EXACT same thing as another, which is awesome because we are all obviously, different.
Some of the women in the group are moms (or are expecting), some are students. Some work full time, some part time. Some strength train 3-4 times per week and others have yet to pick up a weight. Some have fat loss goals, some just want stay consistent and work on creating new habits.
And to me that is freaking AWESOME, because there really is no one size fits all when it comes to fitness, nutrition or fat loss.
What works for one person may or may not work for the next. By creating your OWN “LEAN routine”, the chances are much higher that you’ll actually stay consistent. Which is why so many of these women are getting such fantastic results!
Because summer is right around the corner, and for a lot of us weekends in general can completely throw us for a loop when it comes to staying on course with our diet and exercise routines, I’ve asked a few members to share what has helped them reach their goals.
How have they gotten such great results without giving up the things they love?! Because if there is one thing most of them DO have in common, it’s trying to find the balance between enjoying social events, weekends, cookouts etc. and reaching their fat loss goals.
Here’s what they said:
Denny – Age 60 Joined the group in January. Is down 12 pounds, 1 clothing size and has found a love for strength training!
“I go into the weekends knowing that I will have a martini on Friday nights. That’s a given. Depending on what else is going on I may have a couple of beers or wine Saturday night, especially in the summer. Alcohol is definitely a trigger for me so I try to drink lots of water if I know drinks are in the future. I will say I have become more mindful of the food in front of me since the January 15Day Challenge. I also plan on a long walk or golf on the weekends. If I mess up, I mess up. Depriving myself has never worked. I’m going at a slow pace but I’m still going!”
Suzanne – Member for 2 months. Down 13 pounds and 1 clothing size.
“My mindset has for sure improved. I’ve been obsessing about food for 30 years and I just can’t do it anymore. I’m not perfect, but just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I’m IMperfect. That’s what I’ve gotten out of this awesome group. When going out to dinner or navigating the weekends, I try and practice one of your “suggestions”. Bread/Dessert/or Wine. Pick one and enjoy it in moderation. I typically do this for ONE meal per day per weekend.”
Leanne – Age 38 – 3 kids (youngest is 5 months old). She has been a member for just over 3 months and has lost 5-7lbs.
“…More importantly I have gone down 2+ pants sizes and have been thinking that maybe, just maybe, I will wear a bikini again – even this summer! I have been saying ever since my first baby that I could never wear one again.”
Leanne says that planning for the weekend doesn’t resonate with her at all, but there are a few tactics that she uses that keep her on track.
“Here is my mindset – if I really want something, like cake, I eat it and enjoy it. If the cake looked better than it tasted, I don’t finish it. If it is just as good as I hoped, I eat the whole piece without guilt. If there are 4 desserts that I want to try, I only eat a few bites of each and try to keep my overall intake to a normal serving. Same with bread, if it’s not delicious, I pass it up after trying a bite or two. And most importantly, I think, is following up an indulgent meal with a good decision immediately afterwards. So I might take a long walk after a big meal, or skip my nightly dark chocolate because I had dessert earlier, eating extra veggies at lunch because I had a bagel for breakfast, etc. I think eating the less healthy food as a reward is a gateway to overdoing it. I just eat the “treat” whenever, being mindful of whether it’s worth it, and then follow it up with something healthy!”
Kristina – Age 37 – Works full time and goes to school part time. She’s been a member for over a year and says that for her it’s not about weight loss, but more about changing the way she looks food and exercise in general. Focusing on whole foods and increasing her protein has increased her focus and energy and she has ditched her old Weight Watcher’s point counting ways.
“I just keep in mind that just because I’m not in work/school for 2 days doesn’t mean I should go crazy with eating & drinking. It’s good for me to think about the good work done during the week too-I don’t want to waste it!”
Heather – 38 Member since October 2014. She’s lost 15 pounds and dropped from a size 6 to a 2. For Heather, she says her changes had to do with education. Like a lot of women I work with, she was eating “healthy”, but eating healthy and eating for fat loss can look very different.
“I thought I was putting the right things in my mouth and I was trying to eat healthy (most of the time), however I had no idea that my eating habits were what was keeping me from my results. As far as exercise, I use to consistently go to the gym and do hour long group fitness classes (insanity, spin, body pump) three days a week. Now I only do the Lean in ’15 strength workouts 3 days a week and just canceled my gym membership.”
As far as weekends go, Heather says:
“I try to follow the 80/20 rule and I focus on eating clean and well during the week because on the weekends I loosen the reins. I’m still mindful of what I eat on the weekends and I will stick to normal eating patterns if we’re home, BUT I will not restrict myself if hanging with friends or if we go out to eat. This is what allows me to not view this as a diet because I still indulge – but just not all the time, and I make a more conscious effort with meal planning and good snacking throughout the week.”
Michelle – Member since April 2014. She is down 2 (almost 3) clothing sizes.
Here is what Michelle had to say:
“I no longer think in terms of “when this is over”. It is now the way I eat. I have also worked really hard at not thinking in in all or nothing terms. This was a big thing for me before. If I ate one thing that I wasn’t supposed to (based on my strict rules), I would then throw in the towel – I had once heard the reference if you get into a fender bender in your car, you don’t drive it off the cliff but that is what I would do. The other big thing for me was turning what I was eating on its head. I did weight watchers for years and would restrict and restrict and workout a ton with no results but the food I ate was all wrong (now I know!). Then I would give up because I was so frustrated. Then I would gain weight – it was a vicious cycle. Once you taught me I was eating the wrong foods and it wasn’t the amounts, it was like a whole new world. I now eat things I like and am not hungry. When I did weight watchers I was always ready to chew off my arm!”
As far as navigating the weekends, Michelle says:
“I go in to the weekends with a good plan for my food. That way my wiggle room can be used for wine. The deal I have with myself is that I need to stick to my food plan to have the wine. If I am going to a party that will be mostly apps and picky things, I will usually eat before I go so I am not hungry.”
“My husband’s comments have been the best. Having tried and failed so many times I didn’t announce anything at home. I kept it pretty low profile – that way if I failed again only I would know. Probably about the middle of March, I walked into a room and my husband asked what I was doing because I looked so much thinner. I told him and he commented that not only was it clearly working but it didn’t seem as difficult as things I had done in the past.”
“I would say that sticking to my breakfast routine really helps me on the weekends. It sets me up my day. I know if I want a glass of wine or something sweet at night that I made good choices all day!”
I loved all of their responses because they show that what works for one person can totally turn another person off.
Michelle likes to have a plan, Leanne doesn’t. Heather will tighten up all week to leave a little wiggle room for enjoying what she wants on the weekend whereas Kristyna needs to look at the weekends the same way she looks at her weekdays.
Bottom line is you have to have the patience to figure out what works for YOU, then you have to practice it – CONSISTENTLY. Taking just one bite of a roll and saying “no thanks” takes practice. Choosing to skip the nachos so you can enjoy a couple beers takes PRACTICE. Not using every excuse that comes up as a reason to ditch your goals takes practice.
Results don’t come from perfection. They come from choosing to practice your “LEAN routine” over and over again until it just becomes what you do.
I hope you found this helpful! If you’re are interested in joining my online coaching group, please add your name to this wait list and I’ll be sure to notify you as soon as it opens up!
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment below and let me know if you have any tips or tricks to staying on track over the weekend 🙂