Friday, August 28, 2009


I sincerely want to thank everyone who has taken the time to leave a comment on my blog here or on lindy’s website so far. A couple of people have even said recently that I am ‘inspiring’ or that reading a certain post was inspirational as they could relate to it in a certain way. This makes me feel great and I’m so happy that I could have that impact just by sharing my experiences, and I’m still 4 weeks away from my first comp!

When you go on a journey that really tests you physically mentally and emotionally all at the same time, it breaks you down but makes you stronger and really makes you want to share with others what you have learnt along the way.

I’ve mentioned that I previously worked as a personal weight loss consultant, at a time when honestly, I was not confident nor successful in managing my own weight. Despite this, I was a very successful consultant in an industry about numbers and statistics- I managed to top the list as seeing more clients per hour (ie they kept booking in to see me) than any other consultant in the state! I really enjoyed the job and wonder now, given what I have learnt, whether I would be more or less successful at it… and honestly, I’m not sure….Because I would define ‘success’ very differently to the company!

A weight loss company’s various measures of success all come down to the bottom line- $. All of our statistics were in relation to clients per hour, sales figures in relation to memberships and products. Did we measure how many clients hit their ‘goal weight’, completed the maintenance course and didn’t return to us back at square one…. Of course not! I was even dubbed a ‘specialist’ in counselling clients who were returning to the program (often many times over the years). This saddens me now, because as much as I tried to ‘empower’ people to learn to manage their own weight, this was a rare victory indeed.

Having said that, it was never about me. I was only one piece of that person’s weight loss puzzle. One of the biggest things I have learnt is that you can be as well supported and motivated by others as you like but you must find also your own ‘intrinsic’ motivation in order to be consistent, patient, driven and dare I say stubborn enough to stay the course. It helps you recognise that if you stray from plan too often, muddle around with half effort etc the world doesn’t end, it doesn’t matter to anyone else (might actually make them happier) but you are just cheating yourself. I’ve learnt that excuses and justifications for eating poorly and skipping workouts are just a state of denial. Feeling flat and need a ‘refeed’? No sorry, having gone ‘cheat meal’ free now for almost 7 weeks has forced me to learn that I won’t die or go crazy without certain foods and to admit that when I do re-introduce these meals, they are purely for taste… which is a great reason to eat, on occasion!

Be patient with yourself- eg it has seriously taken me well over a year to slowly and literally wean myself off ‘needing’ tomato sauce on certain things and having milk in coffees.. reduce these extras gradually, I could not have gone from dousing sauce on everything and drinking cappuccinos to not having a drop of either! Long blacks are my comp prep saviour!

Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘how easy would it be to lose weight if I had someone cooking all my meals for me and a personal trainer’, etc etc? Sounds pretty sweet however, without intrinsic motivation then you might just end up with more time to try not think about food… Instead, learn to derive satisfaction from the hard ‘unglamorous’ work that goes on behind the scenes, rather than feeling restricted or deprived. You wanted this, right? When on a true 'lifestyle change' rather than diet you shouldn't feel overly restricted at any point (other than say 4-6 weeks out from a comp) anyway and as i said, making changes very gradual eases the pain ;)
My journey started when I accepted that I would never have enough information to satisfy me and there would never be a ‘perfect stress-free time’ to concentrate on a goal. I started learning by doing, making mistakes and hanging on for dear life xx


Charlotte Orr said...

Great post Steph!

Esme said...

You are inspirational Steph, as are so many other bloggers. Good luck in the next four weeks.

For incredible info, advice and support- get involved!