New School Year, New Me! (?)

Hi all,

So I know school is just starting for a bunch of you. For some, this is a really exciting time! You get to reinvent yourselves and maybe you’re at a different school now. For others, this can also be a really scary time! You gained weight over summer, you made plans to drop 20 pounds and it didn’t happen, or maybe you’re afraid of your starting and ending your senior year without seeing any progress.

September is the same as any other month! Don’t let the start of school be any scarier than it needs to be!

Like I’ve mentioned before, what I’m really interested in hearing are the “WHY”S behind wanting to lose weight.

Do you want to lose weight so you can make a sport team?
Great! Let’s start working on some of those specific skills and creating a workout routine that YOU can REALISTICALLY keep up. After all, you can’t expect to lose weight without working out, then join a sport team….and not workout. It’s kind of built in.

Do you want to lose weight for health reasons like it’s getting hard to move around or catch your breath?
Great! These are awesome DAILY reminders to keep you motivated to stick to a plan. It makes your weight loss RELEVANT to you because it’s an issue you have to deal with every single day.

Do you want to lose weight because you don’t like your body, you’re tired of being the bigger person, and you really really want to be skinny?
Ok, I have some other things I’d like to discuss first. Mental health is just as important as physical and nutritional health. When I hear that these are the reasons someone wants to lose weight, I automatically think you don’t love yourself. Now I know that everyone’s situation and story is different (that’s why I ask to hear more) but I really want to emphasize becoming healthy for YOURSELF. Like I mentioned in “I’m a Former Fat Kid, do you really think that losing XX pounds will really make you happier? Will you be more like the “real you” you want to be? Or are there other things you need to figure out as well? Like I mentioned in “That Scary Number on the Scale, we do not need to depend on the number on the scale to make us happy. You should not measure your value by your weight!

If you are struggling with your “WHY” please consider what you really want and what are the HEALTHY ways to get there.
I love it
when you guys tell me about yourselves and your goals.
I love it even more
when you guys post about what you’re going to do! Walking, jogging, taking it slow, talking to your parents, cutting out juices and sodas…these are all great and realistic steps that will bring you closer to healthy habits!

Remember, this month is just like any other month. Make some goals, set a plan, and try to work towards them. If you fail, that’s ok: reevaluate your goals, readjust what needs to be changed, and start over.

Become healthy for you! The NEW YOU can be reinvented ANYTIME.

Thanks for reading along,

Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

Hi you guys,

I’m writing this blog specifically for all my athletes and super active individuals out there.

Here is a common theme I’ve heard: “I’m super active and I do _____, BUT I’m not losing any weight. Why?”

If this is something that’s popped up in your mind then keep reading!

I was definitely NOT an athlete in high school, but I have heard a lot of these stories and met a lot of athletes in school who can explain to me what happened when they were younger. While it’s great that you are really active and participate in sports almost daily, physical activity is only one piece of the puzzle to being healthy. Remember when I said that health encompasses physical, nutrition, and social-emotional health? Being active is great and sure you’re burning a lot of calories, but how would you describe your eating habits?

I have friends who were in high-division sport teams in college and they would commonly tell me that after practice or a game “you are so starving you will eat ANYTHING“. Can you relate? On one hand you think, OK I must have burned at least XXX calories so it’s alright for me to scarf down some ice cream, chips, and soda, etc. But on the other hand, is that the kind of stuff your body really needs right now?

It’s not always as easy as counting calories in and calories out.

Nutritional health involves not only calories, but also looking at macronutrients and micronutrients (Google this). How many carbs are you eating in a day? How much protein or fat? Fiber? Natural sugars? Processed foods vs natural whole-form foods?

Maybe this applies to you, maybe it doesn’t. But I can say that I have heard athletes wish they were educated on nutrition from when they were young and starting their sport. Just because you burned XXX calories doesn’t give you an excuse to eat whatever you want when you are starving. If you end up eating food that is junk for your body, your body will end up being hungry again very very quickly. And what happens to the junk you just ate? Your body will process and store it as sugar and fat.

So what can you do with this information?
Plan ahead: for those days you know you will be starving after an intense workout, prepare snacks ahead of time that you know will satisfy those hunger cravings and be healthy and nutritious

Tell someone: if your parents pick you up afterwards, or if you have a habit of hanging out with certain teammates, tell them you want to watch out for what you eat after a workout. Explain to them that you need their support and this is something you guys can do together.

Do your own research: go ahead and research what healthy food options after a workout can be. Not everything has to be researched online either, ask your coach, ask your cafeteria lady, ask a teacher.

As always, thanks for reading along!

Here is My Goal Weight

Hi Everyone,

Thanks everyone for coming to the site and sharing your stories and struggles. I think that it’s really brave you are looking for a way to change and you are looking out for your future and health. A common thing I see in posts is hey here’s my name, here’s how old and tall I am, here’s how much I weigh, and I want to weigh this instead. My first reaction, “Great! We have a goal to work towards”. My second reaction, “well…what do you do right now and what are you willing to do to get there?”

Here is what I am asking from you guys:

Set a goal OUTSIDE of your weight.

What do you SPECIFICALLY want to change in your life?
-I want to eat more veggies each meal
-I want to be able to run a mile without getting tired
-I want to be able to make the basketball team
-I want to eat less junk food at home
-I want to be able to squat

Having an goal based on your abilities and actions is a lot more easy to accomplish than just a weight goal. Like I said before, your weight is a combination of a lot of different things like your skeleton, muscles, water, and fat. There are a lot of things that are hard for us to control, and therefore losing weight on the scale isn’t always so easy. Instead, making a different “ABILITY-BASED GOAL” is like saying: hey here’s something I don’t do (or I kind of do), but I want to do more!” That’s pretty easy to accomplish once we get enough motivation to just do it! And it’s also an easier way of keeping track whether or not you’re getting close to reaching your goal.

For example, let’s say my goal is to eat more veggies in each meal. This is an ability-based goal because I can track it by how many vegetables I eat per day or per week. Let’s say I eat 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, so that equals 21 meals a week. I can track if I am reaching by goal by logging:

Week 1 I ate veggies with 2 meals. Not that great, BUT at least know I realize how little veggies I eat.
Week 2 I ate veggies with 4 meals. Hey that’s double what I did last week. Still looks like a small number but it really is double last week!
Week 3 I ate veggies with 10 meals. I ate veggies at least once a day with a meal so that is a pretty awesome job!
Week 4 I ate veggies with 5 meals. Ok so maybe I did a little bit worse this week. I was really stressed. Bright side, I am still eating more veggies than I did 3 weeks ago!
Week 5 I ate vegges with 10 meals again. So I am working hard and maintaining the success I achieved before! Not bad considering how I fell off the wagon last week.

Something as simple as this is a great way to set goals that you can keep track of! Yes, you can keep track of your weight by stepping on the scale every day, BUT you aren’t really in control all the time. Instead, by tracking how much of something you’re doing you can better control what you are or aren’t doing.

Try it out!

Let me know what your ability-based goal is, and how you plan on reaching it!

I’m a Former Fat Kid

Hey all,

So as I’ve mentioned before, I went to school to study counseling psychology (specifically I specialized in Sport and Health psychology), why? because I dealt with a lot of bullying and emotional abuse from friends, peers, and even my family members growing up.

During my studies, I came across this phenomenon called “Former Fat Kid Syndrome” (a.k.a. FFK). Go ahead and Google it. Turns out, a lot of people struggled the way I did and the way you are right now. Some people got healthy, some people started and never continued documenting what happened, and some people talk about things that they are scared of now that they’re “skinny”. I’ve seen a ton of blogs, Youtube videos, and other websites where people tell their stories. It’s really inspiring! But also eye-opening…

Here is my ultimate words of wisdom to you guys: if you aren’t happy with who you are right now, how are you going to be happy with yourself if you lose (for example) 40 pounds?

There is something to be said about how our confidence and self-esteem is closely tied with our physical appearance, BUT losing weight does not automatically mean you will be happy. Sometimes we need to work on ourselves on the inside FIRST before we can truly appreciate what is happening on the outside. Is this getting too fluffy?

Think about it this way:

I’ve read stories where women who have lost a significant amount of weight (and they can blend in like “normal” weight people) don’t know how to react when they have a group of friends who make fun of fat people. Am I supposed to speak up and say I was a fat person too? Am I supposed to run to defend the person they’re bullying? My friends have no idea that when they are making fun of that stranger, they are also making fun of me…

I’ve read stories where, even AFTER losing 50 pounds, adults can still feel horrible about themselves because their family members will always consider them the fat person in the family. No matter what I do to prove myself, I am always the butt of the joke at home; even though I am a grown adult…

I’ve read stories where newly engaged couples are scared to tell their significant other: hey, I used to be fat. There’s still a sense of shame and stigma. Maybe you won’t like me anymore if you found out that I was fat. I’m still scared that I could turn back into the way I looked before and you’ll want to leave me…

I try to keep my blogs as light and simple as possible; sorry if this is feeling too deep right now. But this is a serious dilemma that ANYONE who is on a weight loss journey is at risk for. Bottom line, becoming physically healthy and fit does not mean your mentality will automatically become healthy as well. Take a moment for yourself to consider if JUST losing weight will really make you happy? Maybe there are friends you need to confront or maybe there are parents or family members you need to reach out to because you really just want emotional support NO MATTER what you look like. Maybe we just need to learn a nicer way to speak to ourselves and others so we aren’t perpetuating those horrible memories of being bullied. Well, I guess this is just a lot of “maybes”…

Let me know what you think! How we can help Former Fat Kid Syndrome?

Thanks for reading along!