Let me share with you what I did wrong. My mindset was completely off. Growing up in a small southern town, I was raised on a diet of Southern soul food, sweet tea, and buttery casseroles. Fast food and fried delights were the norm, and my family celebrated, consoled, and indulged with food on every occasion. Exercise was not on our radar; after all, it was like doing more work for no good reason. So, how did I end up here, teaching people how to lose weight and talking about the importance of changing your brain before your body? Allow me to take you on a journey from a small town in the deep South to the world of weight loss wisdom.
What I Used To Do Totally Wrong and How I’ve Changed My Approach
From Average Athlete to Bodybuilder
In high school, I was a fairly average athlete, good enough to make the team but never a standout player. My true passion was basketball, and I spent hours practicing to make the team. By the time I reached high school, I began to notice my body changing, thanks in part to weight training that we did as part of our sports preparation. This was the turning point in my life, as I realized I had the ability to work out and transform my body.
Basketball eventually took a backseat. At the age of 17, I left it behind to fully embrace bodybuilding. I fell in love with this sport, and it became a significant part of my life. I read every book and magazine on bodybuilding I could find, practiced relentlessly, and started competing. My hard work paid off as I won numerous awards, including a gold medal at the Junior Olympic Games and first place in a Junior World Championship. I had found something I excelled at and was good at changing my body.
The Pursuit of Knowledge
I didn’t have access to the internet and Google in the 1990s. So, I had to rely on books, magazines, and the local library to learn about bodybuilding and nutrition. I realized that nutrition was key in transforming the body, and this sparked my interest in the subject. I conducted real-life trials and experiments, both on myself and with friends, to understand what worked and what didn’t.
My passion for nutrition and exercise led me to compete in my first bodybuilding contest at the age of 17. This set the stage for a successful career in bodybuilding, with sponsorships, photo shoots, and multiple championships. Throughout my competitive career, I never finished outside the top three, proving that I had a deep understanding of transforming the body.
The Journey to Education
As I entered college, my interests shifted towards health and nutrition. I decided to pursue degrees in allied health and nutrition science, earning certifications as a trainer through two different organizations. These educational experiences equipped me with the scientific knowledge needed to help people on their weight loss journeys. But something was missing.
Challenging the Status Quo
I began to realize that my approach, which was rooted in my experience as a bodybuilder, was not suitable for everyone. Clients were struggling to follow the overly complicated diet plans and workout programs I provided. The all-or-nothing approach and the pressure to stay motivated were causing more harm than good. I saw the toll this was taking on people’s self-esteem, relationships with food, and overall happiness.
The Mental Shift
My journey took a significant turn when I started delving into the psychology of weight loss. I became fascinated with understanding why some people succeed while others struggle. This led me to study the brain, emotions, thoughts, and feelings. I consulted with medical professionals, therapists, and counselors, and I read extensively on the subject.
I realized that the key to successful weight loss wasn’t just about nutrition and exercise. It was about changing how people thought about themselves and their weight loss journey. It was about helping them overcome the negative self-talk and self-doubt that had been holding them back. The focus shifted from physical results to mental empowerment.
The Balanced Approach
I no longer advocate rigid, strict diets or unsustainable workout programs. My approach is to make weight loss simple, doable, and sustainable for individuals with busy lives. It’s about helping people embrace and celebrate food, rather than demonizing it. It’s about changing the way we think about our bodies and weight loss.
In conclusion, my journey from a small southern town to a career in weight loss coaching has been a transformation in itself. I’ve evolved from a bodybuilder with a passion for nutrition to a weight loss coach with a deep understanding of the mental side of the journey. I believe there is a better way to lose weight, one that is sustainable, enjoyable, and empowering. The key is to change how we think about our bodies, weight loss, and ourselves. Weight loss is about more than just a number; it’s about gaining a better, happier life. So, if you’re looking for a new approach to weight loss, consider the importance of changing your brain before your body.