No diet pill, shake or weird fad is ever going to be your magical unicorn solution to losing weight, keeping it off and creating a healthy lifestyle that lets you not think about being healthy.
Sorry, not sorry.
We're strong, independent women. We've worked hard to get where we are in life. We show up in the office, for a meeting or for a huge potential client presentation and everyone knows we mean business. You don't continue to conquer by making excuses or refusing to get out of bed. You conquer by working hard and blazing trails.
Guess what sweetheart? Your health and fitness is the same way. It's not complicated, but it requires effort, realistic focus and good 'ol fashioned hard work. [Click to Tweet]
If you're ready to be in the fast lane and conserve your energy to live like Queen Bey - spending your precious time on friends, family, aspirations, travel and taking over the world -- then you need to get your weight and health in check. Ain't nobody got time to be worrying about food and exercise.
As lady bosses, we of course know how to delegate. So here's my part - giving you the exact three steps you need to take. In the order you need to take them.
Step 1: Take care of medical conditions
As the strong, independent women we are, we don't like to think of our weaknesses. We especially don't focus on our weaknesses - we focus on our strengths and we use those strengths to continually propel us forward.
That being said, medical conditions ARE NOT weaknesses that can be ignored! [Click to Tweet]
Nobody likes being sick, but being sick isn't the same as having a weakness. Sure, there are some sicknesses that you can help prevent or ease on your own. Like losing weight and dominating your health and fitness so you're less likely to get diabetes, heart disease, a weak back, etc.
There are also several illnesses that require serious medical attention. And those should never be ignored. I stand somewhat on middle ground as far as the natural remedy v. modern medicine goes. If there's something like diabetes that can be prevented by losing weight and watching what you eat, take care of yourself and don't be lazy. But if you have a medical condition that requires professional attention - go see a doctor. Take your medicine and get better. And hey, if you need medicine short term to help you get to the point of natural maintenance, then take the medicine until you're stable enough to maintain your health without it.
If you're someone who is strongly against modern medicine, please at least do yourself the favor of getting checked out so you know what you have. At least that will put you in the position to search for the right natural remedies.
There are several medical conditions such as thyroid diseases, Hashimoto's, PCOS, Cushing Syndrome, mental health conditions, and others that can involuntarily affect your weight.
That means that if you have a medical or mental health condition that you're ignoring, it's possible that no amount of eating healthy or exercising will result in weight loss, which is totally frustrating.
However, if you suffer from one of these medical conditions or another condition that is potentially affecting your weight, it's likely that a physician can help you get that condition under control.
Once you've given your body the attention it needs and you've allowed yourself to heal, you'll be able to move onto steps two and three and actually see results.
For some, eating and exercising are the only focuses required for weight loss and general health. However, if you have a medical condition, or you think you might have a medical or mental health condition, please seek professional help.
If you've tried eating healthy and exercising (and given it honest, no-cheating effort), but still aren't able to lose weight, that might be a sign you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. [Click to Tweet]
You can't conquer the world if you end up in the hospital and we want you conquering for years to come. Don't wait for that reality check. Be proactive.
Step 2: Lose weight by eating less
After tending to medical conditions, losing weight (if you need to lose weight), should be your first priority in your journey to a healthier life.
Losing weight is a lot easier than a lot of people make it seem. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less. Plain and simple.
Yes, everyone talks about eating healthy and exercising when it comes to weight loss, but the truth is that 90% of your weight loss is going to come from what you eat. Need proof?
Here's a story for you:
About 6 years ago, when I was just entering the lady boss world, and had started my weight loss journey, my company decided to do a "biggest loser" competition. You're probably familiar with the show. As a company, we did the competition for 12 weeks. The winner would be the person who lost the largest percentage of body weight over the 12 weeks. We weighed in weekly and that weight was the only factor.
Because I had been an athlete before, I knew that if I worked out, I would gain muscle mass, and likely wouldn't lose as many pounds. (disclaimer: I'm highly competitive. Usually I'm all about gaining muscle - think Wonder Woman, not the Hulk.) So, over the 12 weeks, I only focused on what I was eating. I logged my food in MyFitnessPal, consumed fewer calories than I was eating before (I've never been a calorie counter, but again, I'm highly competitive), I finished losing my 30 lbs and I won the competition.
- Mic drop. We lady bosses know how to conquer. -
I ate less. I didn't exercise. I lost weight and I won the competition.
If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less. It's simple math [Click to Tweet]:
1 pound = 3500 calories
1 week = 7 days
3500 calories/7 days a week = 500 calories per day
Lose 1 pound per week = Eat 500 fewer calories per day
Yes, there are plenty of diets and workout programs out there - especially at the beginning of the year. Talk to the people who have tried those programs over and over again. Are they frustrated? Do they have the same resolution every year? Are they still trying different diets? Because if they are, obviously something isn't working.
Talk to those who have lost weight and kept it off. They started eating less. They started eating better, and now they've created that healthy lifestyle that's as natural as a reflex. I bet they're spending their precious time and energy on their friends, family and aspirations instead of worrying about how to lose weight. Sounds much more like the life of a lady boss who slays.
It's hard at the beginning, but it gets easier and it's the only sure way to lose weight, keep it off and turn those healthy habits into the fuel you need to blaze your trail in the fast lane.
STEP 2A (an important sidenote)
When you're first trying to lose weight, don't get caught up on exactly what to eat. Just eat less. Once you've lost weight, then you can move onto eating better and really refining the foods in your kitchen. But take one step at a time. Nobody conquers the world in a day - not even Wonder Woman.
Step 3: Exercise - it's essential for your health
Eating less might be the key to losing weight, but exercising is essential for your health - heart health, mental health, energy, mood, and more.
Once you've lost that weight, it's time to get moving. I usually recommend starting with a group exercise class of some sort - like yoga, zumba, boot camp, boxing, etc. Whatever your little heart desires. If you're not sure what you like, choose a class, give it an honest effort for two weeks and see what you think. If you love, keep going to it. If you hate it, drop it like it's hot and choose another class. Rinse and repeat until you find an exercise class you like. If you need suggestions for different classes, I have a big 'ol list for you right here. Teamwork makes the dream work, right? I got your back.
Don't know where to start with group exercises?
Grab the free list, pick a class and try it for at least 2 weeks.
You got this!
The key here is to first create the habit, then fine tune it. By attending a class, you'll start creating the habit of exercising. If you decide later on that you'd prefer to workout in the gym (like me), go running on your own, or do any other kind of solo workout, it'll be far easier to make that transition because you aren't going from your office and Netflix all day to being a boss at the gym. Instead, you're moving from lady bossing and Netflix-ing (is that a word? It should be a word), to happily following a class, to being a boss in the gym. It's a much easier succession of events. It's also what I did, and why I recommend it. I started with Zumba, then moved to a boot camp class once I was ready for something a bit more challenging. (another disclaimer: I've since been to more intense Zumba classes that I love. I've learned instructors make a huge difference.)
Let me tell you... if you're exercising with a class - and paying for it - it'll give you more motivation to be sure you show up. I once paid $150 a month for a 3-day-a-week boot camp class at 6am - because I decided of all things to spend that kind of money on, my health was worth it.
(sidenote: I was totally broke at the time, but I re-arranged my budget to make it work. You don't have to be rollin in the dough to take advantage of classes like this.)
You better believe that the $150 I was shoveling out of my small budget got my butt out of bed every morning.
Classes allow you to just show up. You don't have to think about the workout. Literally all you have to do is show up and follow the leader. It's like the best case of "lady boss delegating" meets "it's great to be a kid."
Once you've created the habit of showing up for exercise classes, you'll be well on your way to being a boss at the gym (or studio, boxing ring, or other location of your choosing). Remember, a healthy lifestyle can turn into a reflex, but it doesn't happen overnight. Be willing to put in the work and take one step at a time. Before you know it, you won't be worrying about losing weight or getting healthy -- it'll just be a natural part of your day and you'll be able to spend your time and energy on family, aspirations, travel, or anything else you're interested in.
My two cents (and a glance into my life):
I look forward to my exercise because it helps me clear my mind, have a productive day, sleep better, improve my mood and so much more. My gym time is like a little personal therapy session where I get to escape the world and all my stresses. My workouts give me the fuel I need to dominate my day, have a positive attitude and remember to take time for the things that are most important to me - namely my family and friends. Working out also makes it easier for me to make healthy food choices because a greasy pizza rarely sounds good after an intense sweat-sesh. I usually spend about an hour in the gym and about 15 minutes or less planning my daily workouts. Grocery shopping for healthy food has become quick and routine because I've been doing it for so long. It's also become much less stressful to make healthy restaurant suggestions or healthy choices when eating out. The best part - I also indulge in my favorite meals, dark chocolate and other treats without feeling guilty or requiring a cheat day. Live like Queen Bey: Check-Mate.