If you’re sick of diets and weight loss programs that aren’t sustainable, and all of the false promises from the diet industry, trust me – Karen knows how you feel. Every time she lost weight, she was (in her words) “cranky, hungry, and angry.” Her life revolved around food and it just wasn’t worth it. Karen lost weight with other programs, but they didn’t teach her to address what was going on inside. In this post, I am sharing Karen’s story, of how a busy mom of three finally lost weight.
How a Busy Mom of Three Finally Lost Weight
Karen is a mom of three and an educator who has struggled her whole life with weight loss. After suffering some trauma in her childhood, she became very guarded and felt like she needed to be in control of everything in her life. While she started to control everything in her external sphere, she very much lost control of her internal person. Like many, she found comfort in food. She says, “I always looked like I had everything together from the outside, but on the inside, I was a bit of a wreck. It was exhausting trying to keep a front up all the time. So when I would get home, I remember being 12 years old and going and sneaking to the refrigerator to eat spaghetti casserole”.
Food became a hiding place and comfort for Karen. At age 16, she started her first “real diet”, Slimfast, a popular diet trend back in the day. Like most diets, it promised that if you drank their shakes, you would have great results. Karen ended up feeling betrayed because the diet didn’t keep up its end of the deal. She continued down the road of diet, diet, diet. Karen recalled looking back at photos of herself at 14,15, and 16, and says, “I was not that overweight, but society had led me to believe that I was not the ideal image. I was chasing an image that I wasn’t even meant to”.
The Less you Have to Lose, The Harder it is
Over the years, Karen has tried a military diet, Keto, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even a weight loss clinic. She also tried calorie counting. When she first started dieting, she didn’t see the results that she was looking for. At that time, she says she only needed to lose 15-20 pounds, but the less you have to lose, the harder it is to lose. If you’ve lost 40 pounds and you’re down to your last 10 pounds, that last 10 may be really tough to lose. Maybe not, but most likely. On the flip side, if you have 80 pounds to lose, you’re probably going to lose the first 10-15 a little more easily. There are exceptions, but this is typically true for most people.
What is the point of losing weight if you’re miserable?
After having her third child, she successfully lost 75 pounds. But that weight loss came with a hard year of feeling cranky, tired, and hungry. With two toddlers, a nine-year-old, and all that comes with juggling life, she was a busy mom and tired. Tired of being hungry, tired of being rude to her family, and tired of her life revolving around food. So, like most of us again, she fell back into old habits. This is something I talk about often. What is the point of losing weight if you’re miserable? I don’t care what diet program you followed, if whatever it took to lose weight makes you cranky and hungry all the time, or you’re just constantly obsessing about food all the time, then there’s no balance and you’re miserable. Karen realized she was miserable and eventually drifted back to where she had been in her life, having a little more fun, having a little more peace of mind, and not constantly obsessing over food.
Nothing in life comes with an easy, quick fix.
After a few years, she was tired of feeling bad again, so she tried another weight loss program. She lost 50 pounds on Weight Watchers, but again, it was not sustainable. They taught her how to count points and assign a number to food, but they didn’t teach her how to address what was really going on inside. What drove Karen nuts about the diets and the weight loss industry as a whole was, “The promise that this particular plan or this way of eating was it. If you do what we tell you to do, then you’re going to be golden. You’re going to have a beach body in no time. You’re going to find perfection”. What is most disappointing about these diets is that they never tell you it’s not sustainable. They don’t tell you that eating bacon, eggs, and a steak every day is going to get old. And they don’t tell you there is hard work involved. They want you to spend everything as an easy, quick fix, and nothing in life comes with an easy, quick fix.
Finding Perfection is Overrated
When you are caught up in these diet trends, it can feel very 100% all of the time or nothing. Like either a light switch is on or it is off, with no living in the middle. All or nothing, our arch nemesis when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. One day, Karen was searching for a new podcast to listen to. The one thing she was always researching was dieting, so she decided to see if there was something new out there, some guru that could give her advice she hadn’t heard before. As she searched for something on weight loss, the Real Life Weight Loss Podcast came up. She started listening to the very first episode. She says, “it was like the sun shined down on me and the Lord said, this is it. This is where you need to land”. She continues, “It was something that I had never heard before in a diet. You didn’t say one word about what kind of food I needed to eat. You didn’t tell me I needed to fast. There were no supplements or powders or do this thing. Instead, you said to work through your brain. Figure out what was causing all of this”. That’s when it clicked. The physical weight she had been hanging on to was a result of the mental burden she had been carrying for many years.
Having a Support System Matters
At the time she discovered the podcast, the Inner Circle was not open to new members. So she kept listening, and as soon as she heard an invitation to join the Inner Circle, she jumped on it. I put time and effort and love into my podcast episodes, even though you may wonder what I am thinking sometimes! But, I put love into my episodes and hope they will have an impact. It has now been exactly two years since Karen first discovered the podcast. When she joined the Inner Circle, she was placed in a space that allowed her to push past her comfort zone, and be open with others in the group. The support of the other members made a huge difference in her weight loss journey. If you were trying to move out of your house, would you want to move all the furniture yourself, or have some friends help you? The same goes for your weight loss journey. And that’s the way the program works. Everything in life is better when we have friends and people around us to help and encourage us, but also hold us accountable in a gentle and caring way. We have to step outside of our comfort zones in some ways to grow and progress. For Karen, it was to let go of being so private and be honest about her struggles.
Living Comfortably in Your Own Skin
After having gone through the program, Karen says what she learned most was how to live her life and be healthy at the same time. She adopted a growth mindset, believing she is healthy, and that she can do this. She doesn’t deprive herself of food any longer. She’s no longer on a diet because she stopped repeating the same old, self-defeating, soul-sucking, weight loss approaches again and again, and she took steps to shift her mindset around food and exercise. Yes, she’s achieved success and yes she has lost weight, but most importantly, she is comfortable and happy in her own skin. She now views working out and exercising as an outlet, not a weight loss method. Working out can be an outlet and it can also be a celebration of your body and your health. When we look at it as only a weight loss method, it becomes a punishment. I ate this, so I have to work out like this. I want to lose weight, so I have to go do a workout. Karen has escaped that because she shifted her perspective on exercise to be a stress reliever and a celebration of how healthy she is. Karen found peace in her mind, and peace with her body image by shifting her mindset. Friends, you cannot put a price on peace. I want to thank Karen for stepping out of her comfort zone and sharing so openly and honestly! I hope this story of how a busy mom of three lost weight inspires you to find freedom in your weight loss journey by loving yourself first.