Whenever we are in a quest to become healthier and make lasting changes, it can feel like we are fighting against weak and flawed flesh. But how can we expect to win when we are divided against yourself? In today’s podcast I want you to harness some powerful gratitude and pride in the body God gave you in order to highly motivate your habit change and health choices.
I believe everyone deserves to be healthy and should have access to the solutions I teach in my course, weight loss from the soul.. So, instead of only going through the course with women a couple times of year, women can now subscribe for $5 a month and have:
If you're interested, head over to loraarmendariz.com/weightloss and sign up today.
For way too long, I looked at the woman in the mirror as if I were critiquing an English paper. The margins were all wrong, flesh hanging just a little over my waistline. There were countless errors such as cellulite around my thighs and stretch marks from pregnancies. My face was too full and my goodness, I definitely don’t have cute and defined ankles to go with my thick legs. I could go on, but you get the idea. However, unlike a stack of essays, there was no whipping out a red pen to mark things up so that it could all get edited proficiently in a matter of minutes. And yet, I liked to think that if I worked hard enough I could whip things into shape in no time at all.
And, that is how I saw my body. A flawed object that I was responsible for perfecting.
So so sad. And in no way did that ever make me feel confident or proficient. Instead I felt even more ashamed of binge eating and my imperfect body. Somehow, at some point, our culture fed us the idea that we were in charge of exactly how our body looked and anything short of magazine perfection meant we weren’t cutting it, we weren’t trying hard enough. Everything we do out of that attitude and space becomes almost punishing. Trying to force our bodies into a mold. And we often do things that are really hard and feel so terrible that we give up or go back to our old ways.
When you are wanting to lose weight for the last time, your perspective and attitude toward your body is worth spending a little time thinking about, because when you value and respect your body, you will find extra love, extra motivation, and extra perseverance to do what brings you closer to a healthy life.
There are three steps to this process. This is definitely a podcast where you’ll want to sit down somewhere and grab a pen and paper.
Wanting to honor and care for our body will have you making the best choices naturally. You might turn down that extra serving of desert because you want to be kind to yourself. That is actually the same choice you might make while trying to restrict out of frustration or shame. However, those choices fueled by love are so much easier to carry out and keep on making.
Know that I love you and I am praying for your journey. I am praying that you begin to love the masterpiece God made in you.
Talk to you next week. Good bye for now.
This is a special requested topic from a very sweet listener. She asked me what I thought about the shame and fear that comes with being overweight and either having or being at risk for more health issues. As you know, fear, shame, and worry can be killers for permanent weight loss. So on today’s podcast we are going to discuss what we can do if those feelings come up, especially if they derail us into unhealthy choices.
If you look it up online, you will find that the list of medical conditions that are linked to being overweight or obese is staggeringly high. Then there is an entire other list of medical conditions that are exasperated by being over the suggested health BMI range. Doctors, studies, and statistics aside, our own common sense knows that being overweight doesn’t feel good. We become slower, have less energy, and more aches and pains.
So, yes, fighting for healthy changes is worth it, but I want to ask you what fuels your fight? Love? Or fear? In order to wrap your brain around this, we are going to step into a completely different scenario.
I’m a school teacher. Right now I am teaching high school English and elementary art and music. I love my job. It’s busy, fun, and the kids are amazing. Every once in a while you’ll run into a student who is super high achieving. It might be that they are naturally good at their academics and enjoy challenges, or they might have high aspirations and want the grades and skills needed for a desired career or future. Then there is a third group of children that perform because of pressures at home. They get great grades and are possibly involved in other activities because they fear the disapproval or anger of their loved ones. What you see is that the kids who enjoy the academics or are driven to reach their dreams will keep going even when it is hard. But often the kids who are driven by fear will reach their cracking point, or, the moment they move away from home, they might go off the rails.
That makes sense, right? So, what happens when you are the person who is fighting for better health out of fear and shame? The problem is, that you are also responsible for keeping the heat up so that you keep pushing yourself forward. For those high-achieving kids whose parents are the ones who push them forward with high expectations, they have a powerful and constant force and those kids either keep going or they break. But if you expect yourself to lose weight out of that fear YOU are going to have to keep pushing. And, to be honest, it isn’t very realistic to keep going out of fear. Too quickly will come the day where your need for comfort outweighs your fear.
Now, the knowledge of your health conditions and risks can still fuel your loving need to take care of yourself. In this scenario, you become the kid that is pushing themselves forward because they want to reach their hopes and dreams. They can visualize the life they are fighting for and they can probably equally visualize the life in which they gave up before reaching their goals. They want better things for themselves. It is exciting and full of hope. They are looking for the next step forward. Yes, there are days that it is really hard and they will have a lapse or fall-downs but they get up again. They are their own cheerleaders.
We want to be the one fighting for our future and our best life. That is what God wants for us. God has never wanted for us a life where our temptations destroy our health. But, I also want to comfort you with the knowledge that He has great plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11).
So, if you are struggling with shame and fear, I have some very practical next steps for you.
#1, Get very clear on why you want to get healthy. List all the benefits and all your hopes.
#2, Get very clear on what your goal is. Do you want to put some healthy habits in place? Is there a number on the scale you want to reach? Is there a fitness level you want to get to, such as being able to run a race or complete an exercise circuit at the gym?
#3, Share your goal and your reasons for getting healthy with your friends, loved ones, spouses—whoever will be there to give you love, support, and accountability.
#4, Identify resources you can utilize in your journey.
#5, Make a plan to revisit your reasons and your goal often. Write it down and post it on the bathroom mirror, on the inside of your planner, or on the refrigerator door.
I want to give a special thanks to the sweet listener who was vulnerable, honest, and courageous enough to show me what was going on in her head and heart. Her struggle is a common one and I am honored to share it with you here on the podcast.
If you want some health or advice about where to get started as you make some health changes, go ahead and take the quiz. With your results you’ll be given some powerful next-steps and some popular episodes from my podcast that encourage you in your journey.
All my love to you, sweet sister. I’ll talk to you later.
Do you ever get stuck in a loop in your head? Do you ever get in a cycle of not following through on your good intentions? Do you ever feel your efforts thwarted by negative beliefs and pessimistic outlooks? Today we are going to discuss a strategy to push out of cyclical failure. This is a good one.
In the last episode we dove into becoming resourceful in our weight loss and health goals so we can really start making progress. When I was recording that podcast I realized that it has been a while since we had a conversation about how important it is not to get stuck inside our own head and what we can do to avoid that.
Dr. Caroline Leaf did some studies on individuals where she hooked them up to brain scanning devices and told them to THINK about something that was worrying them. Then they returned the next day after getting specific instructions not to inform or discuss their worries with another individual. It was fascinating. The scans ended up being nearly identical. No change happened even though it was a worry they were trying to figure out or get ahead of. THen she had them verbally discuss the issue, then take another scan while thinking about it. The scans finally changed and never went back to their original patterns.
She found scientific evidence for something that as humans we feel all the time: Getting stuck on a problem in our heads. Continued study showed that verbal or written conversations, journaling, and prayer all hold the power to break negative cycles in the brain. Wow, right?
For a lot of women I work with, turning to food or beverages to comfort and calm themselves while they are in these cycles is a very ingrained habit. While we’ll work on using other solutions that are healthier for coping, the real solution is to learn to get out of that loop in your brain.
What are you really stressed or worried about right now? Okay, I’m going to walk you through a little exercise. It only takes a few minutes if you stay focused. You can do it on paper, out loud, talk it out with a friend, or pray about it either verbally or in a journal. Alright? The goal is to stop cycles of emotional eating by getting out of the worry cycle instead of just trying to stop ourselves from comforting ourselves from food. Instead we comfort ourselves by getting out of the negative loop altogether.
You’re going to ask and answer a series of questions with the goal of getting a new perspective on the situation, finding a solution, or possibly realizing that there isn’t as big of a problem as you suspected. I’m going to list the questions and then work through one of my own worries with you.
The questions are:
What is the problem?
Why is this a problem?
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing?
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more?
What do you have control of?
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over?
What can you take today on today, tomorrow, or in the near future?
What do you need to let go and let God take control of?
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you?
I do have a worry. So I’ve never taught highschool English before. In fact, beyond some work in church, I’ve never taught beyond the 9th grade. I’m nervous and afraid that it will be a train wreck…that I’ll be a train wreck.
Before I go through the questions with you, I want to pray, inviting the Holy Spirit into the process.
Dear God, I know you love me, you love my students. Please fill me with your insight, wisdom and peace as I sort through my thoughts, amen.
What is the problem? The problem is that I have never taught highschool English before and I am still learning the standards and the age group.
Why is this a problem? I might not be very good at my job. I might even fail and the students will learn nothing and I’ll be miserable.
Is there any way to see this problem as a blessing? It is a challenge. It will stretch me and grow me. Plus, I’ll get to know what high school students are like a little better.
What would have to change for this not to be a problem any more? I would have to learn the standards, figure out how to teach them, and develop classroom management strategies that work for me and this age group of students. Most of all, I need practice.
What do you have control of? My attitude, my learning, the curriculum,what the physical classroom environment looks like, my self-evaluation process, asking for mentor teacher’s advice and input.
What are you taking responsibility for that you have no control over? The thoughts, reactions and feelings of other students, administration, teachers, and parents. Most of all, I am trying to take responsibility for a future that hasn’t happened yet.
What can you take action on today, tomorrow, or in the near future? I can start to work on the curriculum, begin a process of self-evaluation and journaling, find a mentor, and keep admin involved in my development.
What do you need to let go and let God take control of? My students’ hearts and all my tomorrows.
What would you like to ask others to pray about for you? That I figure things out and develop a curriculum that truly benefits the students and the school and that I develop a rapport with my students that facilitates learning.
What are you worried about today? These questions are found on the show notes for today’s podcast at loraarmendariz.com/podcasts. I encourage you to work through them with a mature friend, your journal, or your prayer time. It is a process that will help you feel more calm and content so much quicker than a sleeve of Oreos. I’m serious. Already I have to tell you that I feel more confident about the school year and even excited about figuring this out.
Thank you, God. and thank you, dear friend. All my love to you! Catch you next week.
I hear it all the time, a woman I work with will have a great, fantastic health goal but will be completely stalled out because they just can’t figure out how to get what they need in order to get started and keep going. In today’s episode I’m going to teach you how to break out of this mindset, believe in the blessings God has given you, and move forward with practical and powerful resources.
I have to start out by telling you a funny story. Just to let you in on how human I am, I need to share with you a failing. So, last spring I really wanted to get back in shape. And, if you’ve been listening for a while, you’ll remember the episode I had about wanting to get ready for a family vacation to the beach and how my main goal was to work on my fitness level. Well, I decided that running on my treadmill was exactly what I needed most. However, my treadmill is in the bunkhouse and that place had the worst invasion of moths (we also call them millers). I did not want to be there. Moths fly at you and around you and the dust from their wings is fine, triggering lots of sneezes and coughing. So, I decided I needed the treadmill in my bedroom. For TWO WEEKS there was zero exercise. Instead I measured the floors and had endless conversations with my husband about moving our massive, old, clunky treadmill into our bedroom.
It didn’t happen, it just wouldn’t work. But I confess to tunnel vision. I truly believed that without this one resource I wouldn’t be able to get in shape. I needed the treadmill in the bedroom. End of story.
Okay, I know a lot of outside listeners are hearing this story and you can probably see a lot of solutions here like get rid of the moths or do other kinds of workouts.
This is so common. I see it the most when women decide they need to lose weight on a specific diet, especially ones full of foods they don’t enjoy or that require a ton of food prep that they aren’t used to doing. They also get tunnel vision believing their weight loss has to happen this way and not any other way. I’m going to walk you through the process of how to become resourceful so that you reach your goals.
Step #1: Define your goal. This is something that you should be able to measure somehow so that you know when you’ve reached it. My goal was to be able to do 30 minutes of intense cardio workouts in order to have the stamina and energy needed for our family vacation.
Step #2: List all the things that you can do that will help you reach that goal. Please note, I didn’t say for you to list the things that you WILL do but to list the things you CAN do. For me, this looked like running outside, doing fitness videos, and engaging in fast-paced strength training or aerobics.
Step #3: On another page, I want you to list your assets. Really expand your mind. Think about personal skills you already have, relationships that are supportive and can keep you accountable, time in your schedule that can be utilized, and even monetary resources such as space in your budget you could use. For example, one of my strongest skills is being organized and a good planner with great follow through. I also have an accountability group full of strong Christian women. Plus, my family is highly supportive. Listing your assets will help you start to see solutions and give you hope instead of making you feel lost and unconfident.
Step #4: Now, take your list of the things you can do to reach your goal and then, next to each item, figure out what resources you need to accomplish them. For example, if I want to run outside then I’ll need to plan to get out before it heats up outdoors, and I’ll need to arrange for the family to help me with Micaela. If I want to do a fitness video, I need to find videos that I would enjoy and that are intense enough to give me the challenge I need. Then I, once again, need to set aside time to do it.
Step #5: Make a plan for what you will do to reach your goal. Be detailed and have backup plans. For example, my plan was to run outside three days a week and do strength training three days a week. But, I knew that if that didn’t work I could put on a fitness video inside with the airconditioning going. I also had a way more flexible schedule with school out for the summer so I listed three different times that would work to get that workout in.
Being resourceful is very important. It will help you not to get stuck in a rut, able to see your way out of limitations. And, before we sign off there is one more resource I want you to consider: prayer.
I have a lot of listeners that are awesome prayer warriors, but have you ever prayed very specific prayers over your food choices and fitness? For me, this would look like asking God to bless the time I’ve set aside to move my body and to protect my mind from attacks of the enemy that might make me believe I can’t do it. So often we pray for everything except our health goals. God really cares about your health, sweet sister, and the power that is unlocked in prayer should not be underestimated. Ask your accountability partners to pray for that, too, for you. Ask them to pray specifically that you don’t give in to temptation after dinner or that your family honors your time to go for a walk. It is so fun to see God to bless your life in that way.
I’m rooting for you! You are going to take some great steps to becoming resourceful. I know it. In fact, I want to challenge you to send me a message and ask me what I can specifically pray for for you in your weight loss journey.
All my love to you, catch you next week.
I think it is completely appropriate that as we dive into our 100th episode, we talk about persistence. Persistence is a skill that comes in real handy when you are trying to make permanent changes because change takes some time. In today’s episode I’m going to give you some tips for staying persistent while giving you a sneak peak into my life and what persistence looks like for me.
***Weight Loss from the Soul***
If you are a busy lady who really wants to make progress in her health and weight loss goals, I open up my program three times a year. We dive into an incredible 12-week journey that helps you learn and implement physical, mental, and emotional habit changes so that you can gain momentum and stay in charge. All my program graduates then have life-time access to the course. Get weekly coaching, daily encouragement and accountability while learning how to lose weight for the very last time.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
In other words, persistence means you keep going, even when it is hard.
This summer I started a new journey in my prayer life. Last semester things got crazy at school, and that is an understatement. Like so many of us do, I started to let some of my self-care practices fall to the side, feeling short of time and short on energy. At the top of this list was my exercise and daily journaling. As the school year came to a close I felt more frazzled than ever.
I hated feeling this way. I was exhausted and had a shorter fuse than normal with my family. I was desperate to feel peace and guidance from the Lord that I knew would fuel my life. So, I love studying my Bible, but I’m a terrible prayer warrior. I like to use my brain more than my heart, and I often just skipped prayer more than a simple greeting of God in the morning. God totally put it on my heart that so much of my frustration and anxiety would ease if I learned to lean on Him and invest in prayer.
So I did. And, spoiler alert, it has flowed into every other area of my life. I have more peace and energy as I trust in God instead of trying to do everything in my own strength. I even started investing more time into my physical and emotional health, realizing that I am loved and God holds my life in His hands.
If you haven’t thought about adding a strong prayer life to your weight loss journey, I highly encourage you to consider it.
However, as you can imagine, it has been a little difficult to stay persistent in prayer. When I start my days, my mind immediately offers me a dozen other things that it feels are way more important. And, sometimes my responsibilities as a mom and wife clash with my desire to spend quality time with God. I have learned to be persistent by following these three steps. As I go through them, I want you to consider how you can apply this to just one habit in your weight loss journey. As an example, this might be planning your food everyday, drinking enough water, daily movement, or logging your food.
#1: Know Your Why: Something will always come up to get in the way of your good intentions. It might be an emergency, a temptation, or a relationship that makes your follow through difficult. That is why you have to be very clear about WHY this habit is so important to you. If not, those other things will naturally be prioritized or you’ll be guilted into doing whatever you think everyone else needs or wants you to do. For example, if you have committed not to eating unless you are physically hungry so that you can honor your body, then you might cave if feel tempted by a treat that is brought into the office. However, if you know why honoring your body is important for your health and weight loss progress and remind yourself of that truth, you will have strength to persevere even if those cupcakes look amazing.
#2: Evaluate the Process: Sometimes things don’t work. You can set yourself up for failure thinking you have to do your new habit in a certain way or at a certain time, without attempting to figure out what really works best for your life and family. For example, you might decide that working out first thing in the morning is the best time to get in some exercise. But, in a single week, your baby needs to eat or be changed at that time and you have no way to get in some movement before the rest of the family is up and you’re on duty. Instead of giving up, you evaluate your process and realize that naptime or the evening is a better time for exercise and try that instead.
#3: Celebrate Progress: I can’t say this enough, you have to be celebrating your progress. So many of the things we do for our health aren’t seen by another human being. We have to learn to celebrate ourselves along the way. In weight maintenance, progress looks like consistency in habits instead of a downward trend on the scale, so I literally set habit streak goals, buy, and wrap my own little gifts to reward myself when I reach that streak. It is fun and it helps me stay motivated even when nobody knows what I’m doing except me.
Okay, sweet sister, I pray for many blessings over your weight loss journey and I am so honored to serve you through this podcast.
I really want you to consider joining me on for my next weight loss course. It’s an amazing experience. You get twelve weeks of groups coaching and a powerful step-by-step guide to how to lose weight for the last time. You will have daily encouragement and accountability and everything is yours to keep and access even after the course ends. If your interested head over to loraarmendariz.com/weightloss for more information or to enroll.
I’ll catch you next week! All my love to you.
This one is both for you “foodies” out there and for those who suffer with the “see food, eat food” condition. Did you know that you can severely undercut cravings and anxiety around eating opportunities by becoming a little bit of a snob? This is a fun episode where I’m going to break down the two main benefits to becoming a food snob then show you how to implement this into your daily life.
The other day I added doughnuts to my grocery order. I wanted to surprise my daughter since we don’t have doughnuts very often and she had mentioned them a few times. However, my order of glazed doughnuts was substituted with a box of filled doughnuts. Immediately I was disappointed, but later when we opened the box I decided to go ahead to have one. It was awful. The pudding in the center made for a very unappealing texture and it didn’t seem like there was enough glaze to go with the bread-y-ness of the doughnut. I ate half and gave the rest to the chickens. (Yes, I have chickens)
However, not long ago I would have finished the doughnut and had one or two more, holding on the supporting fact that it didn’t matter what they tasted like since we didn’t have doughnuts often. I have to admit, I’m becoming a bit of a food snob, and I like it.
So, what is a food snob? A food snob is simply someone who is just a bit discerning about the taste and texture of a food while staying aware of how it affects your body. I’m not saying you need gourmet meals or high-priced cooking ingredients, I’m just saying you can become a little picky about what you eat and then make some great choices about what you put in your mouth.
There are two main benefits to this: #1 You don’t eat everything & #2 you pay attention to what you eat.
In our culture, almost no one needs to be eating everything they are offered and what is on their plate. The typical American is constantly over-served and has way too many eating opportunities. In order to stay healthy we need to be able to say no. When you have things you will or will not eat, you can commit to staying healthy.
Americans also eat too fast. When you become a food snob, the eating experience becomes more intense. You think about the sensations of what you're eating and then process how much you enjoy or don’t enjoy what you are eating. Then, your brain has a way better chance of both remembering the experience and noticing when you’ve eaten enough.
Okay, how does that sound? Are you ready to back-track and become a picky eater? I have a few tips that will help you.
Alright, my dears, I’m so proud of your journey. I hope this episode was some good food for thought, (sorry for the pun). I’ll be back next week for another episode. Goodbye for now.
What is your first bite of food for the day? Are you an intermittent faster or a three squares a day kind of gal? What do you start breakfast with, lunch or dinner? You might have never considered this, but that first bite holds incredible power. In this episode I’ll give you some interesting information and teach you how to implement this concept into your weight loss journey.
I love this time of the year. It is a perfect time to jump start your weight loss journey. With kids going back to school and less summer social gathering, you can really target your health goals. Join me August 24, 25, and 31 for a special weight loss masterclass called Powerful Christ-Centered Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss. In this masterclass I’ll teach you practical and potent weight loss strategies to get you started losing your weight for the last time. Can’t make it in person? No problem. After the webinar you’ll have access to the replay, but those that attend live will get a very special bonus. You deserve a healthier body and a strategy that makes sense for your life. Sign up today at loraarmendariz.com/masterclass. And the best part, it is completely free.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a few years now. My body loves it, but just recently I fell upon some research shared in a really cute podcast called Donna’s Intermittent Fasting Journal. Apparently, I had been missing out on a simple hack that could make all the difference in cravings and urges around food.
It’s called “the first bite”. If your first bite is something that serves your body such as vegetables, nuts, or fresh fruit, you will actually learn to crave this food instead of more unhealthy options over time. Let me explain how this works.
First, you experience the first bite with more pleasure. Have you ever noticed that the first bite of food, either for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack seems to capture your attention? You notice the flavors, textures, smells. But, with that next bite, the intensity of your experience begins to dim. So, if your first bite, say of fresh broccoli, comes with a heightened state of pleasure, you will be more excited to eat it the next time it is on your plate.
Second, the first bite teaches the brain what the solution is. Until just a few months ago, I almost always broke my fasts with the most delicious and palatable food on my plate. However, whatever we are satiating our hunger with, we are teaching our brains to see that food as a solution to our problems and we will crave that food more. What is interesting is that if we teach our brains that hunger is relieved with unsalted nuts or an apple, our brain will actually start suggesting that food whenever we are hungry. I have a theory that this is one of the reasons we love certain restaurants' bread or chips that they leave on the tables before the meal. I’ve went to restaurants where the “famous” bread or chips really weren’t that outstanding, but since we often come to the table hungry, we associate that food item with many feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Third, The first bite teaches the brain what you prioritize. Our brains are very good at trying to find more of what is important to us and our brain gets its cues from whatever we seem to think is important. So, if we are scanning the menu or our plate for that lean protein or steamed veggies then making that our first bite, our brain will start to learn that veggies and lean meats are important to us and need to be prioritized. You’ll start to realize that you are much more likely to notice what’s being served in the salad bar or how good the chicken looks right off the grill instead of fixating on sugary solutions or simple carb dishes.
Lastly, it allows you to start your meal with balance. Did you know that your taste buds send signals to your brain that then decides how much insulin to release whenever you eat something? If you begin your meal with vegetables, healthy fats, or quality proteins, then your body won’t be immediately saturated in insulin. Plus, the fiber and fats in certain foods can slow down digesting, preventing the onslaught of glucose rises and crashes.
This “first bite” strategy is so powerful. It doesn’t require you to change what you eat, it just offers a way to begin that will have incredible effects on how you approach food and eating in the future.
Remember to sign up for the masterclass. I’m here to serve you, sweet sister. You’ve got this.
I see you, sweet sister. You want the weight gone yesterday. You want to wear those smaller clothes, fit into your skinny jeans, and feel lighter and energetic. I get it. That was me. Today we are going to talk about rapid vs slow weight loss. This is an incredibly important topic, especially for my sweet friends who want this time to be the last time. So, buckle up and get ready to get pumped up and encouraged in your journey.
There is always some amazing program, diet, shake, procedure, or pill that promises a fast weight loss solution. And, I get it, this is something we want so badly. Why can’t we have it now? Studies show that women who lose their weight fast are far more likely to gain it all back. Depending on the research, the percentable that regains is around 90% or higher. For a lot of work and pain, that completely sucks.
But it is hard not to cave and do whatever your best friend is doing to get her hips into a smaller size of pants. So, today I am going to fuel your healthy fight for permanent weight loss with some facts that will help you understand what you are doing and how it affects your future.
Fast weight loss. Depending on the weight you have and need to lose, fast weight loss is anything over 2 lbs per week if you have more than 30lbs to lose and anything over a 1 lb lost weekly if you have less than 30 lbs to lose. I would even argue that if you have less than 15 lbs to lose, fast weight loss is anything over .5 lbs:
What I see in the women I coach is that three things happen when weight loss is too fast.
#1. Burn out: When you ride yourself so hard and have a diet that is so difficult you will find that day when the pressure is just too much and you give up. That burn-out point could slam you straight into binging, letting it go for a weekend or longer, or even have you giving up all together. It will also definitely lead you to stopping whatever healthy choices you were making, the moment you reach your goal.
#2. Brain freak out: God designed part of our brain, the lower part, to go on red alert and get very emotional whenever it feels like you are in danger. When you lose weight fast, typically you are doing things that are very uncomfortable in your body and your brain. So, your lower brain will start to fight you and unless you do some deep thought work, you’ll find that fighting yourself is a losing battle. It takes too much willpower for that moment when your busy life throws other pressures at you, too.
#3 Not much real learning: When you are fighting for permanent weight loss, you have to figure out some things. You need to know what you enjoy eating, what works for your life, and self-care habits benefit you the most. If you throw too much at yourself, anything that you do will start to feel like an overwhelming chore, even if it is a healthy habit that would benefit you long-term. That is one reason I encourage the women I work with to implement changes slowly while evaluating their progress.
Now, let’s talk about slow:
#1. It’s sustainable: When you do things slow, you’ll find that those same practices will be easy to incorporate into your weight maintenance. You are doing things you enjoy and that make you feel good mentally and physically, therefore it is easy to stay committed to them long term.
#2. It is safe: When losing weight is comfortable, you enjoy the changes, and you love the way you feel, you’ll find that your lower brain started fighting with you instead of against you. It learns that going out for a walk boosts your energy or that grabbing your water instead of a soda makes your body feel so much better all day. When your lower brain is on your side, you will get back so much energy, will power, and stamina because you are doing things that truly benefit you every day.
#3. Real learning: When you slow down, you can become very analytical. You can decide if certain practices are worth the effort and how to adjust things to work with your life instead of trying to cram your life into a preset diet or program.
Ready to ask yourself some powerful questions about your weight loss journey right now? Okay, grab a pen and paper if you can or come back to these later. Going through these questions from time to time can help you make the differentiating choice between sustainable weight loss and the road to burn out and freak out.
Questions to ask yourself:
If I had to do this the rest of my life, would I be okay with that? Why or why not?
What practices in my health journey feel really good right now? Why?
Which practices in my health journey are hard for me? Why?
Would I recommend these same practices to my mom, daughter, sister, or close friend? Why?
What feelings fuel these practices?
Before we sign off today I want to tell you a little story from the book of Exodus, chapter 23, verses 30-33. Whenever God promised the land to the Isrealites and set them on their way to conquer the land, He told them he wouldn’t give them the land all at once. Instead, He told them that He would drive out the inhabitants and give them the land little by little so that they would be ready to fully occupy it when they were ready. They didn’t have enough people and resources to retain the land if they were to get it all at one time. It had to be the process.
I hold that truth close to me whenever I’m working on changes in my own life. Permanent change takes time and when I honor that, I find I am so ready to defend who and what I have become.
By the way, before we sign off, I highly encourage you to take the quiz, finding out what your weight loss next steps are. Everyone is so different, finding out what would give you the biggest returns on your investment of time and energy in your weight loss journey is key.
All my love to you, sweet sister. I’ll talk to you next week.
Stress can play a huge role in how our fight for healthy changes plays out. In today's episode I want to break down both the biological and mental components of this and then give you some great tips to curbing that stress even when there might be factors in your life that you don't have 100% control over. Life is busy and the world is chaotic, so understanding stress and then working to curb the effects it has on you is an important topic.
In 2017 Micaela developed epilepsy. If you are the parent or a family member of someone with epilepsy, or have epilepsy yourself, I just want to send you armfuls of love right now. Through all the trauma that my family has been through with a difficult pregnancy, losing loved ones, having babies in the NICU, and learning to have a child with medical complexities and special needs, I have to say, epilepsy is the hardest thing we have ever gone through. That constant vigilance, not knowing when a seizure is going to hit or how hard or long it will be. That was rough. So, from the beginning of 2017 to the about the end of 2019, Micaela had nocturnal seizures that were difficult to stop. We took multiple ambulance rrides and air care flights and stayed in Children’s Hospitals trying to figure out if she would qualify for different therapies or procedures that might help.
Whenever I work with women who are undergoing seasons of stress or simply coping with the normal wear-and-tear stress of life, I always approach them from a standpoint of deep empathy. Today I want to first help you understand why working on stress is important for our body and mind, then I want to give you some practices and tools to use that might help.
First of all, when we are stressed our muscles tighten, our digestive system might slow or even struggle with diarrhea, and our cortisol levels rise putting our system on red-alert. Some women find that they might struggle to lose weight in this state and have much higher levels of cravings for quick-energy foods.
Mentally, when you are stressed, your lower brain becomes more active, looking for ways to avoid pain, find pleasure, and be more efficient. It will start to yell for doughnuts and scream that you absolutely shouldn’t go work out right now. It is doing it’s best to protect you. Your higher brain still knows that healthy food would give you more long-lasting energy and that working out will build muscle and reduce stress, but with the lower brain making so much noise it is harder to make the reasonable choice.
Okay, so, you get it. Stress has a lot of negative side-effects. However, it is also in our everyday lives at some level. So, while I could go on and on about what high or chronic levels of stress can do to you, let's just talk about ways you can reduce stress.
I hope that today’s episode gives you some clarity and tools to use when tackling your stress and some understanding that addressing this issue is very important.
All my love to you! We’ll talk again next week. Goodbye for now.
It is normal, especially in the beginning of your weight loss journey, to feel like you are on shaky foundations. You have all these things you want to change and do. You want to drink more water, move more, eat more veggies, stop eating ice cream every night, order a small instead of a large and the list goes on and on and on.
Well, my love, take a deep breath. Today we are going to talk about cornerstone habits and how they can be the key to making this process a whole lot easier.
If you are like me, you are starting to stare the school year in the face. When this podcast releases I’ll be one week away from doing my teacher in-service and only a couple weeks away from welcoming students back into the school. This is the perfect time of the year to re-examine my routines and habits and make some thoughtful choices about what is important to me in the upcoming months of the school year.
If you talk to any fit and healthy person about their habits, they have dozens of things they do to protect good choices and cultivate a healthy body. Some of those habits they still have to put effort into and others they can do without thinking. It is first of all super normal for you to feel the pressure to do all those things that they do right away, but it is also a fast-track to burn out. We can’t completely change our lives, taste buds, and brains overnight. However, I want to offer to you that you can begin a solid and permanent lifestyle change by working on cornerstone habits.
I like to call cornerstone habits the things we do every day that set us up for success. It also becomes the bare minimum we can still do even when life gets crazy or feels chaotic. These are important investments of time and energy into your life as you establish these habits. Later they become things that you can build onto. For example, if you set the cornerstone habit of beginning your day reciting a verse, then when you finish reciting your verse that can become the cue for doing your next healthy habits such as weighing yourself or filling up your water bottle.
To give you an idea of what a cornerstone habit is, how it affects your life and weight loss journey, and offer some ideas of where you might want to get started, I’m going to give you my five favorite cornerstone habits that myself and many women I work with have adopted. I’ll go over each one and why it can provide the foundation you need for continued healthy choices over long periods of time.
1. Water--Doing something everyday that helps you get in the amount of water your body needs becomes a cornerstone habit. I like to pound two cups of water before I pour my first mug of coffee and fill up my 64 oz water bottle while I get breakfast ready. This sets me up for water-drinking success. I found through trial and error that using a smaller water bottle that I would have to refill multiple times just didn’t work for me. I would forget how much I drank or find myself in a situation where I couldn’t refill it. I have got this current habit of dreaming water down so well now that there was literally only two school days last year that I left the house without it.
The reason this is important for ongoing health is that every cell in your body needs water. Not having water will seriously stress your body out and make you have epic cravings as your body cries out for some help. So, setting yourself up for water success by some sort of cornerstone habit will help you if you're losing weight or maintaining.
2. Sleep--I go to sleep in time to get 8 hours almost every night. My exceptions are special family gatherings and date nights. I don’t compromise on this one. I’ve learned from experience that not getting enough sleep affects everything for me. When I’m sleep-deprived I am moody, have low energy, crave sweets, and am less likely to want to exercise. I love it that in the Jewish calendar the day begins and sunset, making the night the beginning of the 24 hour period. This makes complete sense because what you do in the evening will totally affect how your daylight hours go.
There are many tips and hacks to making sure you get enough sleep. Turning this into a cornerstone habit might mean you set alarms on your phone and start your going-to-bed process early enough to be turning off all lights and screens in time to get 8 hours of sleep. For me, I get into PJs right after I put the girls to bed and then read for about thirty minutes. By then my body and brain have begun shutting down so I head to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face and crawl into bed. Weirdly enough, I like to do my habit tracker right before falling asleep. It feels like closing down the day for me and settles my brain. Consider what you could start doing today to protect your sleep.
3. Bible Study--Spending time in God’s word and with God in prayer has been a game changer for how I approach life. I do it first thing in the morning, having gotten up early enough to have my coffee alone. Depending on how much time I have, I might spend 15 to 30 minutes doing this. I also feel refreshed and ready having put on the armor of God before facing the day. Bible study is also my cue for setting my big three for the day, recording my weight, and making a food plan.
I can’t encourage the women I work with enough to start spending regular time with God. The world is set up to make us lose. We come up against so many trials and temptations and should never expect our own self-control and will-power to sufficiently safe-guard us into good choices. The power of God not only helps us on this journey but builds our faith as we turn to Him.
4. Movement--Now, I firmly believe that exercise is not necessary to weight loss. In fact, if exercise makes you eat more either due to excessive hunger or mind drama, then you will need to do some work on what your body needs as you add movement into your routine. That being said, movement gives us energy, mental clarity, and a healthier body. Being in the routine of moving your body everyday, come rain or shine, even if it is a dance party or a 15 minute walk helps you have more emotional stability and endurance.
I have built the habit of doing some sort of movement everyday in the early evening or late afternoon. Sometimes it is walking up and down my house or some strength training on my yoga mat, but that is all. It is super simple and because of that, I feel I’m able to keep it going no matter where I am or what we are doing.
5. Food Log/Plan--Lastly, writing down a plan for what you are going to eat and logging what you put in your mouth is awesome. This takes me about two minutes in the morning and two minutes or less in the afternoon. It helps me make choices when I’m not stressed or hungry. Then, by having a log of what I do eat, I can monitor eating patterns that don’t serve me or food choices that might be affecting my body negatively.
Also, this last cornerstone habit helps many women with self-accountability. They begin to see that you can follow through with daily promises and show up for themselves. This is a confidence game-changer.
Alright, there you have it, a low-down of what cornerstone habits might look like and how to put them in place. Before we sign off today, I just want to encourage you not to feel like you need to have all your cornerstone habits in place right away, or that they have to be the habits I listed today. Instead, pick one habit at a time to establish, one that gives you that firm foundation you are looking for that will set you up for success throughout your day.
And, wherever you are in your journey, I want to encourage you to take that quiz and get some direction on what healthy changes you can make in your Christ-centered weight loss journey today. If you’re not sure where to get started, I’ve got you covered. With your quiz results you’ll receive a detailed action plan and a list of podcast episodes that I created specifically on the area you are needing to concentrate on. We’re quickly coming up on episode number 100 which blows my mind, so this is my way of helping you find what you need without having to sift through all my episodes from before.
You’ve got this, my love! Talk to you next week! Goodbye for now.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.