How to Get Off the Dieting Roller Coaster and Enjoy the Ride – A Transformation Interview with my amazing Online Client, Tina

Up and down, back and forth and over and under. Reminds you of those rides that make you miserably nauseous yet utterly ecstatic all in one fell swoop. When they’re good, they’re really REALLY good, but when they’re bad they’re…well…not so much. Unfortunately that’s what a lot of fitness journeys look like: success and failure, success and failure and (one more time with gusto) success and failure. That’s because we absolutely CRAVE the ups. We want DESPERATELY what the ups have to give us. So much so that we ignore all the past history surrounding the inevitable downs time and time again. We stay on the ride in the hopes that this one last round we’ll get to stay at the top with our stomachs intact.

But seriously now, where’s the fun in that? Turns out it’s really hard for us humans to enthusiastically buckle up for a long, smooth ride forward. Even when we know it’s the ONLY way to get where we want to go. Tell me what’s more exciting: Losing 25lb in 6 weeks or gaining strength, confidence, stability, stamina (and losing the same weight) over 1 year or more? Most people are gunning for the 6 weeks. “YES! That’s only a month and a half, I can TOTALLY buckle down and do it this time. I’ll have more will-power than EVER. THIS time it’ll DEFINITELY work!”

photo courtesy of Wegman’s

If you’ve been there you know how this ends. The first two weeks you’re outta the gate like a thoroughbred, galloping at break-neck speed! You’ve got your dieting app all set up and the ink is still fresh on your gym membership. You hit it HARD, eating less and moving more. That is until you don’t. There are always a myriad of reasons life will throw at you: someone gets sick, work gets busy, you lose your taste for your 4th magically-marketed shake of the day, you’re discouraged that your ass is still bigger than the plate you’re trying to serve it up on with your brutal 90-minute workouts OR you accidentally chew both your arms off in a hangry rage and can no longer feed yourself (so you enlist the help of your toddler who only has Dino Buddies to share).

It’s disturbing how many iterations one goes through before they realize how crazy it is. You know the definition: always doing the same thing but expecting different results = LOCO. PLUS, with every loss and regain you’re reducing muscle mass. Fast weight loss sacrifices muscle and when you regain the weight (and even then some) it’s not coming back on as muscle, my friend. So with each go-round your body composition suffers. And less muscle means higher body fat and a lowered metabolic rate (as if mother nature hadn’t slowed it down enough already)!

The interview you’re about to read is a best practice of getting off once and for all, by someone who used to own that ride. I suggest you take a really close look and try to imagine yourself doing things differently. this. one. last. time. Not because it’ll be a quick fix, because it most certainly WON’T. But because it’s what will actually WORK long-term.

I imagined that it should involve suffering, blood, sweat, and tears every day all day long to get results and keep them in check. But it isn’t necessary. The right attitude, willingness, and motivation to just keep moving forward is what it takes. – Tina

Tina took a long hard look at was going on in her life, and she saw the pattern. At the age of 46 she decided to place herself AHEAD of the game and finally punched her ticket on that long, smooth ride forward. She’s been at this for almost a year and a half and hasn’t looked back once. All I can see is a beautiful, endless horizon in front of her. She spent the previous 180 months frustrated and stuck. She gathered enough LOVE for herself to produce the courage and BELIEF that she could actually turn it around this time. And by golly, she DID. All the hard work is done, and she’s now a beautiful object in motion (and we all know how much easier it is to STAY in motion from here on out).

STATS   inches Lost: 13.25    Pounds Lost: 27.5

Tina is a shining example of putting your head down and doing the work. No pondering or wondering or considering or asking of endless questions. She simply just did it, and I consider it quite an honor to have been tapped to assist her along her path. By the way, I have never met Tina in person because she did all her work with me ONLINE. I sincerely hope to hug your neck for real someday, Tina, but until then I want you to know I have SO much gratitude for my time with you. Your success makes my heart literally swell with joy ♥


Cassye: How did you know you were ready to get fit?

Tina: At 46, I was down on the roller coaster ride of fitness and heavier than I had been
before, when I slipped and fell on my tile floor in my home trying to rush out the
door to get to work. From that moment, I had pain radiating from my lower back
down the right side of my leg. I remember hearing older people complain of
sciatica and was completely in denial when a doctor associated it to my situation.
When given a basic stretching routine as the way to fix my pain, I was humbled.
Stretching? How out of shape did I get? The answer was A LOT!

Cassye: Did you try to get fit before, and if yes why was it different this time?

Tina: At the age of 46, I had already experienced life as a yo-yo dieter for over 15 years. My pattern was to try new diet plans that were so restrictive it was impossible to maintain. I purchased exercise DVDs that stressed more cardio than weight training. Having a perfectionist type of personality, it was all or nothing. Obviously, perfection is a myth. Soon, I would fail in one way or another and I would stop again. Also, my body type allowed me to deceive myself because I carry my weight mostly around my middle. With long arms and legs, I could cover up my mid-section and “forget” how much weight I was actually carrying around.

I did not use a scale and never took measurements. When I got to a size 12 it was time to begin the yo-yo cycle again. Common to my cycle of behavior, once I hit a low weight I thought, “Oh, I now can eat what I want and stay this way”. Um, no! This then led to the next diet plan, the next DVD set, and ultimately another ride on the roller coaster. That was IT! At 46, the harsh reality set in – it was never going to be easier than right now to start again. It was a reality check that time was slipping away. More rounds of slim to fat, fat to slim was no longer a game I had the luxury of playing. I decided to start over ONCE more in my life and then leave the start of the roller coaster ride far, far behind.

Already faced with pre-menopause symptoms, pain, and denying the fact that I was currently busting out of a size 12 and should be in a size 14 – it was now or never. I just could not face resigning to the reality of never and decided NOW and FOREVER!

Cassye: Did you have any fears about getting started and if so how did you deal with them?

Tina: My biggest fear was being vulnerable. I had to face truths related to my habits, insecurities, health and fitness levels. I knew this time had to be different and I needed help to make a change that would last. A family member had already been involved in online training with you, and I had observed her success with increased fitness level, weight loss, and rise in self-confidence. This helped me to reach outside of my comfort zone and begin. You helped me to understand that it isn’t about how many times your perfect expectations failed but how many times you got up to try again. You allowed me to be ok with doing my best on the days that were hardest.

I now understand that consistency is the key that will trump perfection every time. Many times in my roller coaster ride of fitness, lack of self-confidence would affect my success. You would help me see that my journey is my own and no one else’s. This gave me the self-assurance to decline food in social situations and not be bothered by other’s opinions or behaviors. Oh, the pictures and the measurements! This was an ultimate test of fears, let me tell you! There was something so profoundly different from what I saw in the mirror and what was captured in photos. Absolute and undiluted photo reality! Bam! This was a wake up call that was terrifying to me but you promised I would not regret doing them and you were SO right! I love my before pictures. What? Yes, it is true. I’m so proud of seeing where I came from and they give me a continuous jolt of motivation to NEVER GO BACK AGAIN!

Admitting that I needed someone was scary. Having a support system was critical to my success. Friends, family, and my endearing husband were wonderful but not far enough removed to give me what I needed from an outside professional source. You provided expertise and experience from a neutral party. You would talk me through my excuses, build up my triumphs, and share like-minded thoughts and ideas related to fitness. You offered a model of success until I could build one up for myself.

Cassye: What was the toughest part about adopting this new lifestyle?

Tina: The hardest part was the beginning. Saying no to bad eating habits, getting into a routine of early morning workouts, being sore and tired for the first few weeks – that was the worst part of it. A small sacrifice for a lifetime of fitness; however, it was a tall hill to climb for me at the time. Once it all fit into place and new practices became the norm, it felt SO much better and became a strong motivator to never go through the beginning again!

Cassye: What was the easiest?

Tina: Online training! I live in a rural area and my commute to work is two hours each weekday. Having the time to get to a gym, to my house and then to work was not an option with my work schedule and family obligations. I thought that having a trainer would mean getting to a gym, paying gym fees, investing in a cute workout wardrobe, and adopting a horrid schedule that would easily fall apart in record time. My husband already had a home gym set up in the garage. With my newly found motivation to succeed once and for all along with the need to be as effective and efficient as possible with the workouts – it all directed me to try online training.

Wait, did I mention I don’t have Wi-Fi at my house? Well, even that didn’t stop me! I scheduled my video chats with you at the office before the start of my work day. If I needed you to observe a work out set, I recorded it and sent it to you via email. After each conversation, you sent a summary which covered new goals, tips, support, feedback and kudos of current successes. Of course, I still invested in a cute workout wardrobe – but who wouldn’t?

Cassye: What was the most surprising?

Tina: That it works. Really, that is the most surprising to me. It blows my mind each day that it works. I imagined that it should involve suffering, blood, sweat, and tears every day all day long to get results and keep them in check. But it isn’t necessary. The right attitude, willingness, and motivation to just keep moving forward is what it takes. Don’t stop – it will work!

Cassye: What was the funniest?

Tina: I found it peculiar how important it was for me to correct people when they commented on my “skinniness”. Bubbling up from a place I didn’t know existed, I would blurt back “I have increased my fitness level”. It became very important that I help to change the myth that skinny was the target to achieve. It seems that my mission was to push health and fitness over the superficial façade of thinness.

Cassye: How do you stay motivated?

Tina: So many things keep my motivated. My before picture, my past achievements, my current age, my achieved results, my increased energy, my increased confidence, my decreased stress levels, my increased endurance, my more even
state of mind, my size 6 jeans, and my overall all improved health and fitness level. I’m motivated to retain relief. Relief that I’m no longer having to worry about my self-confidence, belly fat, a pool party, clothes shopping, cameras,
doctor visits, physical activity, and goal failure.

Cassye: What are your future plans to sustain your new lifestyle?

Tina: In the last 15 months, I have remained consistent with workouts and food choices. I will continue making the choices that help me to be my best self. I want to become my own personal fitness trainer and my next goal is to manage the art of designing my own workouts. I think continuing to have challenges will be most important for longevity. Whether it be moving up in weights per each set, increasing the distance I can run in a 30 minute cardio session, trying a new exercise I never thought I could handle before, or discovering new recipes will help me to have an active mindset to keep it fresh while I continue to focus on health and fitness as a lifetime goal.

Cassye: What advice or tips/tricks would you give to others about taking on a lifestyle transition?

Tina: I saw this on a t-shirt…..”Be stronger than your excuses”. I think this sums up what I discovered to be my biggest motivator. Excuses keep you in the dark – lift the veil and step into the light. See the truth for what it is because accepting truths will be the avenue to reach true change. Be kind to yourself as you do so and remember it is not a sprint it is a marathon so you don’t have to be perfect, just consistent. Get up each day and do your best!

You have the power to make your life the way you want it to be – no one else. Love yourself like you would your very best sister friend – provide yourself with motivation, support, love, strength, encouragement, courage and resilience. Oh, and remember it’s all about the protein!

So there you have it. An inspiring transformation story that goes the distance. Have you succeeded with a transformation? What’s your advice to those just starting out, or wanting to go solo?

Interested in starting a transformation journey of your own? Let’s talk