You diet, you exercise, you lose weight – get it girl! But then you miss your favorite foods, kick exercise to the curb and one day off turns into weeks, months and before you know it, you’ve gained the weight back – here we go again girl! Back to another trendy diet you go and the torturous cycle continues. Sound like you? Well this painful pattern definitely was my reality for many years ladies and the only time I saw long lasting results was when I made a complete lifestyle change. Blah blah blah, you’ve heard this before, I know.
I double dog dare you to change things up in the weight loss department and get THINspired. I recently got my hands on ABC News correspondent, Mara Schiavocampo’s inspirational book and I can’t stop talking about it. Her story on how she lost 90 pounds, redefined her complicated relationship with food and went from hating exercise to loving it is something you don’t want to miss. So here we go, Mara’s secret sauce to success goes a little something like this…
Mara’s Magic Formula
Let’s be clear, Mara’s 90 pound weight loss wasn’t a sprint to be fit. She’s a real woman with a real body and real responsibilities. As a new mother and wife with a very demanding career, it was through making small incremental life changes that she discovered her formula for lasting weight loss: 70 percent diet, 10 percent exercise, 10 percent planning and 10 percent sleep. Yes you read that right – majority of weight loss is diet.
Ditch Your Demons For Good
After having her daughter and tipping the scales at her highest weight, she found that she was unable to maintain her normal workout routine. This new reality left her with only one option: to focus solely on what she was eating. She started to make sure she was eating healthy food (that she prepared herself) in reasonable portions and fast forward seven months, she was fifty pounds down. That’s right, no sweat yet. Just diet.
However let me back it up. I can’t leave out the battle with food Mara had to fight (and continues to fight) in order to become the thin and healthy woman she is today.
As a child, Mara was consistently ridiculed about her weight by a family member. So after years of experiencing this type of emotional and mental abuse, Mara developed a binge eating disorder, that eventually lead to depression. Food became both an addiction and a source of shame and although she embraced her curves on national television, behind closed doors, she was silently suffering.
After having her daughter and reaching her highest weight of 230 pounds, Mara decided to change all of that. She created her own formula for weight loss success and faced the demons that had been haunting her for so many years. Which meant her “trigger foods” had to go. They could not show up every six days or so as a “cheat meal” either, they had to be eliminated. No more flour, dairy, candy and wine to be exact. I know this may sound extreme, but I get it. Once certain foods become addictions, having occasional rendezvous with them is no longer an option. How many alcoholics do you know that can just have one drink a week? We all have those foods we abuse and that make us feel awful. The hard part is kissing them good bye for good.
Sweat It Out Sis
With her diet now in control, I loved how Mara then transformed her disinterest with exercise into a full on passion. This is incredible, because as a trainer and fitness instructor, I can’t tell you how often I hear, “But I hate exercising…” Well if Mara can change her attitude about sweat, then you can too. The key? Find something you love.
After years of dragging herself to the gym two to four times a week to spend a half an hour watching TV on a cardio machine, she ditched the stationary bike for a Soul Cycle bike. It was love at first sweat and now Mara goes to classes several times a week. Even shaking things up by trying other hard core classes like Barry’s Bootcamp, yoga and most recently, swimming. Simply put, exercise is no longer a form of punishment but a form of “empowerment,” she says. I totally agree beauties – RAD things happen when you sweat to be strong and not thin.
Planning Isn’t Optional
I know what you’re thinking! How does one do it all–work out several days a week, go from being a mommy to a wife to flawless on national television and keep the weight off? One word. Plan. As the next 10 percent in Mara’s Magic Formula, planning is not optional. When you do it over time, it can and will become a habit. The way you feel when you don’t have a plan versus when you do will be like night and day, leaving you eventually convinced that “failing to plan” is truly “planning to fail.” Mara provides some great tips on how to make planning a part of your everyday life so be sure to read that chapter first if you still aren’t convinced.
Don’t Sleep On The Power Of Sleep
Not sleeping has an effect on our health. I love how Mara puts it, “Sleep is a necessity, not an indulgence.” Somehow as a nation we have pumped ourselves up to think that surviving on minimal amounts of sleep is an accomplishment and downing coffee around the clock in order to keep our eyes open is normal. Mara couldn’t be more on point with this final 10 percent of her formula. Being well rested directly affects the rest of our lives and therefore the decisions we make. The less you sleep, the more you eat. So let’s all lay down somewhere and not apologize for needing to sleep.
Speaking of not sleeping, don’t sleep on how great THINspired is beauties. I’ve given you a quick rundown, but I’m telling you sis, this is a book you don’t want to miss. Can’t wait to hear what you think!
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!