As a trainer I’m always trying to find new and clever ways to keep my clients motivated, accountable and confident. I want them to know and believe they CAN lose the weight they want to lose. And they can feel good, just the way their body’s meant to.
But for me, clients’ weight loss is just an added bonus. If it happens, great. But I’d rather shift their focus to changing their lifestyle and self-perception.
What Should They Focus On Instead?
Everyone (well most people) want to lose weight. Every model, even fitness models, the girls you look up to and think are perfect, etc.
I hate focusing training around weight loss. It’s true, I build it into my programming for high calorie burning exercises and teaching proper nutrition.
But really my training style is to build friendship. This builds trust and from there I can slowly help build confidence. Confidence is everything and women lack it massively.
I’m tired of that. Women are amazing!! They just can’t see it. So to help you ladies open your eyes to that, I’m starting a weekly blog featuring my clients. It’ll share the life of some of my clients who has truly blossomed over the past year.
We all have our hills to climb, but my client who wishes to remain anonymous, has been steep. She was in a toxic marriage for years. She found her way out only to be kicked out of her social circle. Anxiety and depression became a daily struggle.
She didn’t take this lying down. She moved forward and started a new life. She’s rocking her work life, using exercise as an outlet and is insanely funny. It’s ridiculous how funny she is!
Now that she’s in a better place, she has so much to give. And thankfully she’s turned that back on herself. She’s using her energy to work on burning weight off so her vibrance can shine through.
She’s come so far already but has a lot more work to do to reach her goals. I have no doubt that she will.
The emotional battles we all fight - learning to love yourself, finding healthy alternatives, getting over slumps and gaining confidence, all can be found in this blog. We’re working on chronicling this together, so you’ll see her journaling here as well.
So here it is, her honest journey of being in the 300's and trying to lose over 150 pounds. She’s already turned into a more positive, witty, happy, hilariously sarcastic and fit person. I really love being around her and I know you will too.
Here is the start.
Journey START - 353lbs
Current Goal by age 41 - Get under 300
Long-term Goal - 180
She is turning 41 in 7 weeks. Looking at the past year, she’s lost 32 lbs which is a huge feat for any client! So a round of applause for please!
She’s lost 42 lbs since starting her journey and is feeling so much happier and better about herself. To empower her to keep the momentum going, I had her begin this weekly journal.
If you’re thinking of going on a similar journey, get yourself a notebook, use Google Docs, or find whatever works for you. It’s such an important tool because it forces you to hold yourself accountable, but it also forces you to look at all the amazing work you’re doing. Take a minute to read through it every so often, especially if you’re having a low moment. I bet you as soon as you flip through it your view will change.
Here are the highlights from last week, interview style.
Me: What was your favorite breakfast this week?
Client: Green smoothies with almond butter and chia seeds. They’re fast and not too heavy. They help me start the day making a good choice and being nice to myself.
Me: What about lunch?
Client: Hmmm…. Probably when I pan cooked chicken breast in a smidge of olive oil and paired it with oven roasted asparagus. I like that I can make healthy food with my own hands.
Well, either that or the cheeseburger + tomatoes + avocado (no bun) I got from Habit. I’m happy that I can still eat out and make good choices.
Me: I love that too! Napa is so great about offering healthy options at restaurants. Gotta love that. So did you have a favorite dinner this week?
Client: This week I worked on my homemade spaghetti sauce. I love pasta so I still want that flavor but without all the carbs. So serving it over sautéed zucchini is fun, plus you can make it different by adding meat or keeping it vegetarian.
Me: The afternoon can be tough since it’s prime time for cravings. How did you handle snacks?
Client: Yea that’s true! This is the toughest time for me because that’s when I get to craving sweets. But it’s so easy to replace sugary foods with fruit. Why did I never before?? Rainier cherries are in season right now. I like them because they’re cheap and delicious.
Me: Ooh, I love those too! In season snacking is the best snacking.
Did you have a favorite workout moment this week? Maybe something new you learned how to do, or a moment you felt really powerful?
Client: Well working out has been hard. I’m not an exercising kind of person so I’m having to learn how to hold equipment and other basic stuff like that. I’m so glad I have you to help me with this! I would be clueless!!! This week I loved when you helped me see there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I can reach my goals. ! I really felt strong when we did that together.
Me: I’m so glad you liked that! And you felt strong because you are :) So tell me about your mood. Highs and lows for the week.
Client: Sleep’s an issue for me. When I get it, I feel hopeful. Like maybe I actually could get under 300 lbs before my birthday. When I don’t get it, I feel down. Frustrated with myself. Looking at myself. But I’m just trying to stay focused on one thing at a time. Baby steps....
As a trainer I ask my clients to say 5 things they like about themselves everytime they say something negative. The power of using our minds as a self-fulfilling prophecy is such a powerful tool! Think positive and you will be positive.
Me: Ok you know what’s next. Tell me five things you like about yourself. Go!
Client: Haha, ok ok. You’re right. I need to work on that. I guess:
Wanna see a detailed account of my clients mood, food and exercise, including the rest of her list? Click here.
Back to Tessa
Thanks for following her journey here with us. I can’t wait to tell you more as time goes on. If you’d like to follow more of my client's journey's to regaining their health on social media (in addition to here, ofc!), you can find us at @bare.health
To your health, always.
Hi friends! You’re about to read a post sponsored by Siren Snacks. As always I’ll share what I really think.
I’ve been a total fan of this super cute company for a while, way before they reached out to me. They’re a plant-based snack company that makes sweets that are actually healthy.
Their protein bites are all handmade with simple ingredients that are always grain-free, refined sugar-free, GMO free, soy free, and gluten-free too. And yet somehow they’re sooooo delicious. Amazing, right?
Long story short (because yes I can talk about sweets for a long time ha!!), they’re literally the perfect sweet substitute for my afternoon sugar cravings. A whole packet is only 200 cal with quality ingredients in it, so I actually can have my cake and eat it too.
Plus their marketing is amazing on their packaging and I just love them. So just like always, keep reading to get my real honest opinions plus some helpful tips.
Ok, enough fan girling haha. Thanks Siren Snacks!
Ok. Before I get into all the delicious details of Siren, I want to talk about sweet cravings. We all get them (me especially), but there’s a reason behind it. Your body is trying to tell you something.
While your cravings could be for a variety of reasons, here are some things to think about:
Why you are craving sweets
1. You’re stressed out (or tired)
We’ve all had stress. It’s not comfortable mentally, of course. But it’s not comfortable physically either. So your body is going to try to find a way to fix it, stat. Queue the sugar cravings…
If you’re tired, it’s pretty much the same story. Both stress and fatigue wear you down.
Your body will respond by looking for quick pick me ups, whether you know it or not. And weirdly, being tired has a chemical effect on your body that tricks you into thinking you’re hungry when you’re not!! Can we say “cruel”?
Try to remind yourself in these moments that coffee is a great energy booster with zero sugar. Unless it’s night time, and then an herbal tea will do wonders for you. My favorites are ginger when I’m in the mood for spice and chamomile when I’m looking for something soothing.
2. You’ve got low blood sugar or iron levels
This is a huge problem for women. One way to combat it is by tweaking your diet. The power of whole foods to cure our ailments is real. Luckily pomegranate seeds and leafy greens have huge amounts of iron in them and they’re easy to work into smoothies or other foods you’re probably eating already.
If your blood sugar is low, check in with yourself.
Are you eating frequently enough?
Are you eating too many carbs or processed foods?
Or maybe it’s the opposite. You’ve gone so hard on no carbs that your body has started craving sweets.
I’m all about reducing carb intake, but make sure you’re still eating natural sources like sweet potato, green beans and carrots. This will help your body to function at its best, which means more energy and less sweet cravings.
3. YOur gut bacteria is out of whack
This can happen for so many reasons. It’s weird because you actually want to have bacteria in your gut... but it’s got to be the good kind.
If bad bacteria starts to take over, you can run into all kinds of serious issues (bloating, gas, constipation, and lots of other not so cute symptoms). One thing that can really help here is incorporating probiotics or fermented foods like sauerkraut into your daily routine.
If you’ve been sick recently and were on antibiotics, this could be the cause as well. If this sounds like you, consider talking to a naturopath.
4. You’re sad :(
Nobody’s immune to feeling down. But if you’re going through a rough patch and your sugar cravings are peaking, this could be your body’s way of trying to cheer you up. Why? Because sugar releases serotonin, our natural happiness hormone.
If this sounds like you, first of all, *hug*.
Second of all, try reaching for tofu, pineapple, or walnuts, or get outdoors for some sun. Jogging will give you the benefit of exercise and sunshine - win win!
If you really want to help yourself, go for that jog outside and within 30 minutes of getting back home, eat a small snack made up of one of those serotonin boosting foods I just mentioned.
5. You’re not eating enough protein
This is hard for so many people, especially vegans. There are so many benefits to veganism, but you need to be methodical to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
If you think this could be you, try adding more nuts and seeds to your routine. These are easy to blend into your morning smoothies (almond or cashew milk + nut butter + flax or chia seeds + leafy greens and berries = DELICIOUS!).
I love having daal because it’s yummy, protein-heavy, international and so easy to make. Beans are great too and work well with all kinds of meals. Mushrooms are a super fast protein rich veggie I love eating raw or cooked.
While I always recommend looking at your diet to see how you can improve, sometimes you just want something sweet and that’s all there is to it. So that’s where Siren comes in.
I really like their story. You can read it here. It all started with Elizabeth’s autoimmune diagnosis. An autoimmune diagnosis is what started my vegan journey, so I immediately identified with her. Plus they focus on protein (which we already know is a possible sugar craving culprit) from a plant-based source: peas!
And literally on their website they say “the future will be powered by plants.” Don’t you just love that????
Elizabeth is amazing because she sent me literally every flavor they have to try: Snickerdoodle, Dark Chocolate Brownie, Cookie Dough and Lemon Poppyseed.
My favorite was Cookie Dough because I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. They’re totally my weakness haha and my go to sugar craving in the afternoons. But I never indulge in cc cookies because of the high fat / gluten. So it’s nice to have a snack in the afternoon like Siren that pairs perfectly with my coffee and feels indulgent.
I also really like the Poppyseed because I love poppyseed muffins and scones which once again I NEVER EAT, haha man! My fiancé Matt loves the brownie one since brownies are his weakness.
Protein ball recipe
These bites also work really well in homemade protein ball recipes. Hey do you remember last year when we made these with Abrah? Here is the recipe from my original blog post. I’ve been playing around to find the perfect combination. I think I’ve found just the right combo of ingredients:
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or highest powered blender until fine and able to form a ball.
Transfer to a bowl, and roll into small 1 inch balls.
Fridge for about 10 minutes, then roll in extra cacao powder.
Store in air tight container and keep chilled.
But that’s what’s perfect for me… everyone’s taste buds are different. So just like there’s no perfect smoothie recipe, there’s no perfect protein ball recipe either. Play around with it to find your dream combo, remembering to keep it as low sugar as possible.
PS - Isn’t Harley the cutest??? Love her <3 Thanks trainer Teal for sharing your pup.
how do you deal with your cravings?
So lovelies - now you know what I do when sweet cravings strike. I try to prevent them by making sure my diet meets my needs nutritionally.
But it’s not possible to be perfect all the time, which is why I’m so happy Siren is around. I get to be bad and good all at once.
So tell me - what are your favorite ways to beat your sugar cravings?
Special thanks to Talia Chakraborty
Just another girl who is trying to inspire others. Passionate about health and fitness. And a love of coffee and peanut butter.