Are these the same person?
When Janice sent me these pictures to post side-by-side as we reflected on our three month benchmark of working together in the Fast Start Program, these are the first words that came to mind: are these the same person?
The woman on the right looks decades younger and lighter – in body and in spirit – than the one in the photo on the left. Janice’ pictures inspire me because they tell the story of what you can achieve when you take action on making changes – again in body and mind – to say ‘enough’ to unsatisfactory lifestyle habits and embrace a different and brilliant destiny. I honor and congratulate Janice for the amazing transformation that she has worked to achieve. And I thank her most humbly and sincerely for allowing me to share her very personal reflections with you.
“I want to pull myself out of this hole”
These were the first words Janice spoke to me when we started to work together. Janice continued to describe her frustration with being able to “eat perfectly” for two days and then “something will happen and I’ll stress binge”. She was very clear about how her frustration and stress were affecting her life, her energy levels – and her relationships. She was clearly ready for something different.
Janice’ goals, as she stated to me, were to:
- lose 20 lbs
- look and feel better in my clothes
- improve my energy levels
- like myself better and be able to be more light-hearted
- have better sleep
- become happier by stopping being unhappy with myself
- decrease stress levels
- become solidly footed in plant-based for life
Janice’s One Month Report
After the first month, I asked Janice to write a self-reflection of her progress so far. This is always very helpful and enlightening, providing good feedback for the student as well as the coach.
Here is Janice one month report:
It’s been was a long process for me to finally find Lani. With a family history of diabetes, I had been told that I was borderline and I did not want to end up with the disease. I began reading about various ‘plans’ and stumbled upon eating plant-based food. Long story short, I have been plant-based for 2 years .
The issue was that I couldn’t put it all together – I would exercise like crazy and eat plant-based food. With the eating, I would last for three days then crash. Something definitely did not sink in. I began reading again and I found Lani through her website. Reading about her Fast Start Program, it sounded perfect for me. The opportunity of having one-on-one sessions with a coach would be awesome. I ordered her book Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts and emailed her, thinking that I would get an email back indicating that there was a waiting list. However, I had the good luck to hit it right! She answered back almost immediately, luckily my wait was not too long, and Lani scheduled a preliminary conversation so we could talk to see if we were a good match.
The 3 pillars of success
Through her “Three Pillars of Success” as described in the Fit Quickies book, I have been able to meet day- to- day challenges by understanding and working through the Pillars toward my long term goal of getting and staying healthy. It has become a non-negotiable process for me. Through our weekly conversations, Lani has helped me to understand how and why I could set myself up for success. The Exercise pillar is one that I have practiced for many years. I have always kept moving with some sort of exercise 7 days a week. Yet I couldn’t understand why I struggled with my weight continually. I obsessed about my weight and food.
Obviously, the Diet pillar was monumental for me. During our initial call, Lani helped me understand that diet is not only what you eat but more importantly it is getting enough to eat when you are hungry. It was important for me to get in touch with my hunger signals and to also know when to quit eating…not an easy task for me. I would portion control my meals from breakfast on and by mid-afternoon, I would begin the hunger cycle. Tied in with this was stress eating. By the time I got home from work, I was so hungry that I would eat dinner and continue on until bedtime.
In the Fit Quickies book, Lani explains the importance of eating more food earlier in the day. The weight of the food, the stretch of the stomach and getting the right nutrition – what Lani calls the ‘rules of satiety’ helps control the bingeing and stress eating. This was hard for me because this basically doubled the amount of my breakfast. I trusted Lani on this one – learning to break old habits. It’s most definitely the right thing to do. Lani taught me that at the point of stress, practice something else – a different response. I work to control stress- eating day- to -day by getting up and getting involved in something else – even if it is cleaning out a drawer. If I am out of the vicinity of the kitchen, I am learning that I don’t think of food unless I am hungry. Yet sometimes I just go with the feeling to see how my body reacts. Generally, I now know that I do not need to eat. Along with activity, I use a short breathing exercise to work through my stress. I am also a person who wakes up a lot at night. The breathing exercise has also helped me to sleep better.
Finally, there is the pillar of Mindset. This is critical because in order to be successful, I have learned that I have to look ahead to success rather than focusing on how I failed in my process in the past. I now have a Vision Statement on which to focus. By easily maintaining my health through healthy eating choices, I now have a positive outlook that helps me to release positive energy for many other areas of my life. I have more confidence to do different things. For example, I love gardening and haven’t done much of it in several years. This is now an activity that I enjoy once again. Bottom line to my story so far is that in the first month alone, I lost 7 pounds. Lani is always accessible to help me through any issue. She has motivated me to succeed in this area of my life.
Janice’s 3 Month Report
It’s been about 3 months since I began working with Lani. I am down almost 15 pounds and am letting my body decide where my weight will land. I now have the confidence in what I am doing with my body to stay healthy and land at that good body weight. My other attempts at weight loss were always successful….for a time. Of course, I was always starving so it was pretty easy for me to take a ‘sample’ of a not-so-healthy food item..and unfortunately keep going.
This time is so different for me. Changing my mindset about changing my body has probably been the single most important step I have taken. I never walked down that path in the past so it was easy to think that I could always loose a few extra pounds if I wanted to. Now, I have learned to modify my eating based on listening to my body. If I’m not hugely hungry, I may split up a meal or just make it smaller. I have learned that some types of hot cereal do not make me feel good – something that I have ignored in the past – so I have changed what I eat. If I’m not hungry at all – I wait until I am. Wow – another first! I could not have gotten here without Lani’s coaching. To have the wisdom of someone who has truly taken the same steps to get to healthy is priceless!
Janice’s adopting a plant-based diet recap
When I changed my eating to plant-based, I immediately cut out meat, fish, chicken, dairy and oils from my diet. I knew that if I didn’t go cold-turkey, I would continue to eat those foods. I had still tried to use portion control because that was my history. I also ate processed foods – chips and the like. I felt better but I wasn’t loosing weight and had modest increases in energy levels. With Lani, I learned that it is important to eat enough at breakfast because that really does set the tone for the day. I was nervous about increasing what I ate at that time, but I took the plunge! It magically worked from the first day.
With processed foods, I knew I had to get rid of them, too. I learned to eat a small meal about 1 1/2 hours prior to exercise so that I had the energy to function. I learned that it’s not as important to stick with a scheduled time to eat as it is to eat when you are truly hungry. This has also helped my previous stress eating because I am not hungry all of the time and don’t always have food on my mind. My energy has reappeared and I love what I eat!
Janice’s Action Steps Tip Sheet
If I had to boil this down to Actions Steps:
1) Know in your mind that changes in how this way of eating works are non-negotiable. From Lani: “you must change your mind to change your body.” This is absolutely true! If I waiver when in the kitchen – I walk out. It’s amazing how the ‘hunger’ immediately goes away – yet if I’m truly hungry, I eat.
2) Move your body with whatever you like to do. I work at a standing desk during the week and my best exercise from Lani’s “Fit Quickies” is Fit Quickie #1 – 7 Seconds to a Flat Belly. I will need to do this forever!!
3) Important – don’t focus on past actions / failures – you will never climb out of ‘the hole’. Celebrate each success.
P.S. From Janice
Here’s a pretty interesting item…today I showed my son the two pictures and asked him if he knew who it was. I had not shared any of the process that I have followed yet. He looked at the pictures with a puzzled look on his face for longer than normal and then the light bulb of recognition went on! Of course he lovingly said the first picture looked like a mug shot! He congratulated me on a job well done.
Notes from Lani and Fit Quickies Book Giveaway
Every time I read Janice’ words, she inspires me. Janice has been very generous with her thanks, but I keep telling her that she has done the work and I am just the messenger.
Because Janice has so earnestly applied the Three Pillars as I presented them in the book Fit Quickies: 5 Minute Targeted Body Shaping Workouts – and because that is, actually, the avenue through which we met – then how perfect to celebrate Janice’s success with a giveaway of the Fit Quickies book?
Entry is easy! All you need to do is post a comment in ‘replies’ below to respond to this question:
Of the 3 pillars – the food, the fitness, or the frame of mind – which is your strength, which is your greatest challenge?
Be sure to leave your name and correct email in the ‘reply’ form below so that I can notify you should you win! Winner will be selected from a random drawing.
1) Post your reply to the question above in comments below
2) Post your reply by August 12, 2013
3) Be sure to include your email (you are prompted for it when making a comment; no one sees this but me!) That’s the only way I can contact you to tell you you are the winner!
P.S. Just to help out, here is the 3 Pillars video for a quick review; the transcript of this video is available here.