After you’ve had weight loss success in the past, if you start gaining the weight back it can feel very defeating. That’s what happened to Bonnie. Slowly gaining weight back, coupled with a high risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, motivated her to lose the weight and keep it off for good. She also knew that weight loss would reduce her high blood pressure and likely prevent a diabetes diagnosis – risks she did not want to ignore!
Joining a new program can be intimidating, Bonnie said “I was nervous when I started because I would be talking to someone who I didn’t know. But coach Linda made me feel so comfortable right from the beginning, and gave me positive feedback.” Since Bonnie had successfully lost weight in the past, she knew many of the steps she needed to take. But it was very helpful to have a coach who provided reinforcement that the choices she made were the right ones, as she worked toward a healthier version of herself.
Besides bringing past weight loss tools into her plan, Bonnie also learned and developed new strategies by working with her coach. She particularly enjoyed the podcasts that Linda recommended, because they were motivational and gave her new ideas for how to stay positive with her goals. The podcasts reinforced what Bonnie already knew, she said, “you don’t have to be on a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.” Coach Linda noted that any health improvement journey is never a linear path. The ups and downs of everyday living can either support or sabotage your efforts. The daily inspiration found in podcasts seems to help people. Bonnie used mindfulness with portion size, and intuitive eating with sweets as a new strategy to make small changes while embracing a non-dieting approach. Exercising has never been a struggle for Bonnie, so she focused on food and eating. She used MyFitnessPal in the past for tracking, and since she could now share a link to the app with her coach, she started using it again. Linda could review her nutrition and provide weekly feedback. Bonnie also found value in customizing the macronutrient percentages for what was healthy for her and her body: lower carb, higher fat.
Like many people, Bonnie didn’t think she had the time to spend keeping a food diary, she didn’t want it to become a job. When asked about her biggest obstacle, Bonnie said, “I was at a busy point in my life, I didn’t have time to enter food in the computer and analyze what was going on. I later realized that was because I was putting everyone else first -- whether it was work or family, I wasn’t taking time for me.” Coach Linda pointed out that even if you don’t have time to keep a daily food journal, just spot-checking food intake on occasion can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and let your coach help you make adjustments. Bonnie said, “tracking doesn’t take long if you sit down and make it a habit.”
Taking time for herself and working with a health coach gave Bonnie momentum and confidence. She said, “In the past when I used food for comfort and gained weight, I began doubting myself, and had very low self-esteem and self-worth. But over time, I started putting myself first and began to realize and tell myself that I’m worth the effort. That is the phrase that kept me moving forward to become a healthier version of myself.” When it came to the monthly coaching calls with Linda, Bonnie said “it was never a dread, I looked forward to it. This was one thing during the pandemic that did not get canceled.” She really appreciated the positivity and the program in general. She valued being able to connect with her coach at any time during the month and get answers. She said “if I was struggling during the week, I always knew I could contact Linda, even if it was something small.”
Bonnie was surprised to gain insight into her own mental processes during the course of the year. She said “I never really thought of myself as a Debbie Downer, but after Linda gave me feedback it made me realize that her positive approach was key to my success. I realized that if she thinks I’m doing alright, then I should believe it too.” Coach Linda said, “People need daily inspiration, daily positivity, and daily affirmation as a human being and a human doing -- I supported Bonnie’s non-dieting approach to weight loss with a sensible discussion about living well. Success is all about lifestyle building -- losing weight by challenging unhealthy habits and building new healthy habits. This ensures a healthy lifestyle that we know truly lasts forever.”