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EP08: Weight Loss Motivation Techniques

If you’ve decided to lose weight and are ready to get started on your journey, help is here to make sure you succeed! Suzanne has personally experienced her own incredible transformation, losing 78 kilos and keeping it off by transforming her mindset. With a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness, mindset coach Suzanne helps her clients to build confidence, address negative patterns of behaviour, and create lifelong changes. In this episode, Suzanne illustrates how small, consistent change can add up in a surprisingly powerful way. Hear her advice for staying committed to weight loss and maintaining motivation to become your best, healthiest self.

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Victoria: Now most people set out on their weight loss journey because they experience a pivotal moment in their life as sudden light bulb realization that something must change and now. It could be anything from a medical scare, to a relationship ending, a major life change like having children, a milestone such as a 40th or 50th birthday, or simply seeing yourself in a photograph and undergoing a moment, a powerful moment of self-realization.

So what do we do? In today’s episode, we are going to talk to you about how to take the right action when you experienced some of these pivotal moments that I believe can be life-changing how to start with weight loss and what to do to ensure that you do succeed. So joining me once again is coach Suzanne. Suzanne is a mind and body coaching expert. She’s had great success in helping clients deal with negative patterns of behaviour. Shedding those kilos, building confidence and creating lasting change. In addition to her years of experience and qualifications as a coach, she has a bachelor of medical science and a certificate three and four in fitness. She’s also personally experienced her own incredible body transformation while working with a mindset coach of her own which – I love this part – inspired her to become a coach herself and then share and give back what she has learned to then help others. So welcome back, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Thank you, Victoria. It’s good to be back.

Victoria: I love our conversations together because it’s again a topical conversation right now of the extra COVID kilos. And I know that we’re opening the conversation with this again, but it’s so topical right now with, I think, one in two people across Australia, if not the world, dealing with lockdown were at home. We’re not moving around as much and suddenly we’re piling on the kilos. And I would love to share today around, okay, we’ve had the epiphany, we’ve had the wake-up call. We want to lose weight, not just, we need to lose weight. We want to lose weight. So, what are some of the solutions that you can take us through in your journey with your own coaching, with clients that have booked and specifically come to you with how to stay committed and motivated to stay on the journey?

And I remember one of our conversations recently we had in a prior podcast around social distancing from the fridge, and I love that analogy. And it’s stuck with me. However, there’s a step further. Once we get the understanding that yes, we know rationally, we need to stay away from the fridge. We know that we are most likely emotionally eating right now. We’re bored. We’re in lockdown. We’re busy. We’ve all got zoom, fatigue, not only just COVID fatigue, but we’ve got the awareness. And I do believe we’re a highly conscious society now. How can you help our listeners stay on the journey and what are the secret ingredients to stay committed to the journey, to get deep, long-lasting results?

So it’s not just a, "I’ve lost 20 kilos. And then I put them back on again in two months’ time."

Suzanne: That’s an awesome question. And I think the secret is compound interest and I love it when I say that to people when they give me the weirdest look ever, and there’s a story and it’s easier to explain the analogy with money. If you haven’t heard it before, it’s like, if you were offered a penny, which is a cent because in Australia we don’t use you know pennies, but he’s 1 cent doubled a day for 30 days or a million dollars today, which would you take?

And logically. We say the million dollars. Cause I have a million dollars right now. Like 1 cent. It’s not that exciting. 2 cents tomorrow, 4 cents. The next day, 8 cents the next day, 16 cents. It’s not really that great. After 30 days, do you, are you familiar with this analogy? Do you know how much money it is?

It’s $5 million. And for anyone who hasn’t done the maths, I encourage you to Google it. There are graphs of it. Figure it out. And the thing is, if you look at the graph, it doesn’t actually really become that exciting until day 27, like up until then. It’s really not that awesome every day. Like I’d rather the million.

And the reason this works in weight loss is because what we tend to do is we think we need to do everything. I’ve had my pivotal moment. I’ve been triggered – "Oh my gosh, I’m the biggest I’ve ever been." That’s it. I clean out the pantry. I tell my husband, I tell everybody I know, or I don’t tell everyone because I’m embarrassed that I failed so many times before I buy all the gadgets and gizmos, I do everything.

So we put our million dollar effort in on day one. And then we’re exhausted. And then the second that we miss it, we miss one workout we eat. And the funny thing is Victoria, most people I work with, it’s not the binge that sends them off it’s that they’ve made their plan that strict the 800 calories, 1200 calories.

Like I one mushroom Suzanne, and I was like, blown it now might as well have whatever. And that starts the binge like a mushroom, like not even anything, particularly big. And so I say to people. The very smallest change that you could make because the secret to compound interest is the penny. And when you compound nothing, you’ve got nothing.

So if you try and do it all on day one, which is what the diets and stuff say, like when you work on your mindset, it takes longer. But it gets faster as you go. When you do a diet, you have a lot of results in the first week or two, which is honestly mostly just water and actually muscle, which we want to keep anyway.

But you have that thing on the scale that you see. So you’re excited, but we think that will continue to motivate us, but it doesn’t. So it’s like, what is the tiniest little change that you can do day in and day out consistently and persistently, no matter how you feel like I’m talking one squat. One wall sit, one pushup while the jug’s boiling and you’re having a cup of tea, do it then, and then you’ll be like, what on earth is this going to do Suzanne?

But the little habits, I’m just going to have a handful of biscuits while I wait, or I’m just going to have some nuts, or I’m just going to do this. They compound too. So it’s like adding in the good thing. Rather than cutting out everything restricting because that takes away our autonomy and our freedom.

And at the moment, a lot of us don’t feel free anyway. So you know, this is the thing that we have. So when we rebel against our diet, part of us is guilty and ashamed. But part of us is also excited because we get our freedoms.

Victoria: That’s a very interesting point that sometimes when we perceive, and this is where mindset is so important, we perceive that we have a loss. We can also tend to focus on the loss rather than digging deep sometimes into an appreciation of where our lives are at right now. And where can we remain empowered in our lives? No matter what the noise is externally or the restrictions that we perceive that are sometimes real, but instead of amplifying those restrictions or lack of freedom.

I honestly, this is a deep philosophy that I’ve always practised around appreciation, and it’s almost like I may deviate here, but it’s like a muscle like anything. And if we can increase our usage of spotting the appreciation in our lives. The muscle/perception/reality has an opportunity to grow even more in magnitude that we end up saying that more and attracting more of that, which also then holds us in a buoyancy place above the noise. And I often use this analogy because like you, I like analogies. Remaining in a hot air balloon where you see yourself above the noise and the pool and the stress of what’s happening on the front line. Just enough sometimes to regroup and connect with your own dreams and wants and needs.

And I know we touched on this our last podcast around. Leaving the kids at home obviously in a safe environment, going for a walk around the block, having a cup of tea, putting your pods on listening to a meditation, listening to a favourite piece of music, even for 10 minutes to help you stay in that balloon, that hot air balloon that you can gracefully, glide a little easier amongst the stress that we are all experiencing right now. And I don’t honestly believe that it’s going to dissipate any time soon. And this is an opportunity. I know we’re talking about releasing weight. However, there’s a larger conversation around why we hold onto weight in many respects, because it’s something that we can control. We can control going to the fridge. We have choice over it yet, it’s being able to disrupt the decision-making process to then go into, "No, I actually do need to social distance from the fridge". This is the time that I need to back off. And again, appreciation helps us connect with a greater sense of joy and ignition and light and sweetness in our life that otherwise, we’re kind of reaching for the dark vibration things that don’t help us.

They just sabotages and keep us locked more into the perception that everything is out of our control. Everything is terrible. we’re not getting out of this anytime soon, poor me and I could go on and it’s being able to say no, there is actually another really easy way through this. And it’s recognizing where you’re directing your thoughts.

And that’s where I know your sweet spot is when you coach clients. And I know. when clients come to you, mindset is such a huge part of that. And I’d love to hear even the top. I know there’s probably a bucket load of this, but the top couple of limiting beliefs that people carry that help them holding onto weight or the reasons that they share with you of why they cannot release weight.

Suzanne: It’s interesting. I’ll just say this briefly, when you were talking about that thought, I call that the dark playground, you know? Where you’re like, oh, you get in the doomsday thinking and then you’re just eating the stuff. And a really quick tip to get out of that is, is it good for me now and is it good for me later?

So if you want to go to the fridge, is it good for me now? Yes. I want ice cream, ice cream is good. Is it good for me later? No. Is going outside and sitting in the sun good for me now? Yes. Vitamin D is good for me later. Well, I might do a little bit of walking or stretching or just breathing, so yes.

So a really quick thing when you’re in the, should I eat or shouldn’t I? Or you’ve seen your social distance from the fridge sign and you’re like "Stuff it, I’m going to eat anyway". Is this good for me now? The thing of eating is good in the moment, but it’s not good later. And so I think the biggest thing that whole, the biggest thing, no pun intended that holds people sticking the weight on is the belief of how.

Much effort is required to release it. There’s no point going for a walk to my mailbox Suzanne, it’s half an hour or it’s nothing. But the half an hour that you don’t do day in and day out, as opposed to, if I’ve literally coached a client earlier this year and she had to put her shoes on and walk to the mailbox, that was it.

And she would send me an update by email

Victoria: Can I ask how long was the mailbox walk?

Suzanne: Maybe two car lengths, very close to the house.

Victoria: So my driveway, I think it’s about 80 meters uphill.

Suzanne: Oh, no. Okay. Yours would be maybe go to the front door, go open the front door and go into your porch.

Victoria: No, I’m inspired after our conversation, I’m going to do that mailbox walk every day.

Suzanne: What happens is your minimum thing for effort is so low, but your achievement is high. As soon as you’re out the door and at the mailbox. Most times might as well keep going. So you do keep going, but if you’re like it’s half an hour, it’s nothing, most of the time, it’s nothing. So the biggest thing that keeps the weight on us is for some reason societally or from our family or from messaging from the diet industry, you know, we’ve got to go hard or go.

So most of us just stay home. Whereas if we make it a really small barrier to entry, allow ourselves to appreciate that and celebrate that and get excited. Like my clients who work with me, one-on-one, they’d be like, I would be mortified if I told anybody that I’m celebrating five steps to my mailbox. Or I have another client who has quite a bad hip issue, and she’s supposed to be doing these stretches from the physio and she just wasn’t doing them.

And she’s like, "Every time I go to the physio, I have the walk of shame that they’re going to lecture me about these stretches". And she’s like, but you know, they hurt. And I know they’re better afterwards, but so literally her goal is to get onto the floor. And she’s like, if I told anyone else, I would just like die of embarrassment, but slowly over time, she gets on the floor.

Well, I’m here now. I might as well do a stretch. And some days all she does is get to the floor, but that is still like that appreciation, that celebration, that accomplishment and allow it to be bigger. Cause another thing, the second one that I think holds people’s weight on, is it unless it’s our goal?

It’s nothing. We can’t celebrate walking to the mailbox, sitting on the floor, drinking a glass of water, saying no to a chocolate because that’s just too humiliating. But if you wait until you’ve released 5, 10, 15, in my case, 78 kilograms … that’s a long time to be taking action with no reward. So when it comes to reward, it doesn’t have to be buying yourself something or eating something, which, it’s probably not the best anyway, but, like, just allowing yourself to feel that sense of satisfaction or accomplishment from something so small.

And it only has to be for you or you and your coach, because we get just as excited about your little goals as you do. But that vibration of happiness and joy, the joy we’ve spoken about on the last episode, it brings more. Whereas if it’s shame and deprivation and "Well, you just didn’t do it because you’re a failure" that just leads you to go into the fridge.

Victoria: I obviously, I’ve been a coach like you for a very long time. And I love, I love actions. We’re hardwired to take actions and be clear on the upside of taking the action. So what the reward is, so I’d love to get your thoughts If I was in that place and clients were in that place and wanted to lose however many kilos of weight, just for their own reasons, two questions, how important is structure and routine? Making time, first thing in the morning to go and, have your 20 minutes of walking to the mailbox or walking around the block and just doing it. Don’t think about it. Just do it, wake up, and put your running shoes on. And it’s just part of your routine. That’s the first question. How important is that? Second question is, I was thinking, have you suggested to clients as a measure of their commitment towards their outcomes to set up a reward chart?

And I know I’ve done this for parents and their kids, and I’m thinking what if, as an idea, and I’m curious whether you’ve actually done this, set up a reward chart on the fridge and you put your might even just be two or three things in a day and it could be walked to the mailbox, go and sit outside with a cup of tea and listen to your favourite music at some point during the day and write on your reward chart. One thing in your day that you are so appreciative of, and you give yourself a star. When you hit those three milestones, every day, you hit the star, you put a star on and at the end of the week, you’ll have seven stars. And then of all of a sudden those seven stars, they become 14 stars and 21 stars.

And suddenly you’ve released all this excess weight. Because you are building out your own well of joy. And I’m wondering, have you, and I just thought about that as you’re talking, have you suggested that to clients or is that just a crazy Victoria?

Suzanne: No, that’s actually what I do with clients. I don’t have on hand audio anyway, but I have these charts that people can colour in and if they’re not into colouring in, because for whatever reason they can use stickers. But basically, the reason this visual representation is so powerful is often we look at the scales which measures the result.

If you listen to our first episode, it is the fruits. Whereas these tiny habits, they’re the roots that, and then when you look at that chart, the sticker chart, the colouring chart, whatever it is, you know, your result is coming to your fruits on the way because you’ve planted the seed and you’re continuing to water it.

So what I do is I suggest that each month on a calendar month, you choose four. No more than four, because when people are motivated, they want to do 8, 10, 16. And like, if I’m going to take a minute, I could do 16, but then we can’t compound, like, it’s back to the penny. If you drop the penny, the compounding has to start again.

So no more than four, one food related, one movement related one either sleep or hydration related and one mindset. So it could be appreciation as you said, or something like that habits to track each day and colouring we’ll do a sticker or a tick or something like that. And then in terms of how to, because your question was, how do they do it?

Like in the day, it depends on the person. Some people are very good with time. People micromanage their life in time blocks. So it’s like 8:00 AM each day I have my apple cider vinegar and water. And at 1:00 PM each day I do my meditation. So some people that works great for. Not for me, I’m not regimented like that.

My husband is, um, for other people it’s activity-based so when I brush my teeth, I say my intention or affirmation or whatever it is, if that’s one of their things. Or once I’ve put the kids to bed, I take some time for mindfulness. So it’s an activity. ‘Cause if it’s linked to an activity you’re already doing, you don’t know.

So very first thing I do in the morning, I wake up, have apple cider vinegar in water every day. It’s just become a habit because that’s what I do, or it could be flexible. So as long as it’s any time before bed, so I have had clients tell me I went to get into bed and then I literally rolled out on the floor and got my one pushup today done because then you finishing the day on a high, like, yes, I’ve met my goal as opposed to lying in bed going another day.

I didn’t exercise. So you could be thinking, Suzanne, what’s one pushup gonna do? In and of itself, nothing, but it’s allowing you to keep compounding rather than lying in bed, feeling miserable, sometimes eating in bed and going, I’ll start again tomorrow.

Victoria: I’m curious. So I do apple cider vinegar, and I’ve been doing it for years, but for those who aren’t across the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and no, we’re not promoting apple cider vinegar, but it’s a great way to start the day in your medical background and your training. What are the benefits of starting that day? Just doing a, you know, whatever, a quarter of a glass with apple cider vinegar, with a little bit of water, how does that increase our metabolic rate, and our digestive system and it’s function?

There is literally, I would say to people to Google it because there’s so much information, but for me the biggest thing, like I have to have a personal experience of something before I can truly get behind it. Like I can know something’s good for me, but I’m like, meh you know, so for me personally, It reduces my cravings, like my 3:00 PM slump where you’re just like ‘eh’ significantly so much so that I notice when I don’t have it, but to this day I still can’t stand the taste.

Suzanne: But that, that knowing that it works and it helps. but it has all sorts of functions like pages and pages of benefits and finding the ratio and the amount of apple cider vinegar water will vary from person to person and they recommend it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. And I remember, like, I like to start my day with tea and the naturopath I was working with at the time, she was like, I don’t care if you have a tea chaser, as long as it starts with the water, but half an hour is best.

So now I do the apple cider, vinegar and water. If the kids are still asleep, do my journaling and stuff then, but more often than not, they’re not. So spend some time with the kids then have my tea. Cause that half an hour buffer is the best, but don’t let that barrier to entry be going well, I need coffee, like straight away.

So it’s not the point. Do it with the choice of like, take that micro-step rather than, ’cause I think that’s another thing where like, if I don’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all. Hello perfectionist? So it’s like, how can I start?

Victoria: From experience there. Yeah.

Suzanne: Yes. Yes.

Victoria: I would love to end our conversation today with if you could create a utopia ideal prescription or set of outcomes, set of tasks. Really to find another word here apart from task, um, steps that help encourage the release of weight. If you could create the ideal day for your clients of, steps, what would that look like for you? Clearly, It starting with apple cider vinegar.

Suzanne: I was going to say apple cider vinegar and water. Going to bed earlier, which people are going to be like "Ooh" about, but, you know, and noticing that cause having an experience for yourself, as I said, it’s important to me. So if I say to do it have experience for yourself for those who are night eaters and it used to be my biggest struggle when you wake up the next morning.

On of scale of zero to 10, how refreshed do you feel? Regardless of how many hours of sleep you’ve had? Because for me, if I eat sugar, ice cream chocolate late in the night, I wake up feeling kind of like a sugar hangover. So often that realization is enough for me to go, "Do I want to feel suboptimal tomorrow?" No. So I won’t eat.

So it would be addressing the nighttime eating, not powering it out, not muscling it out, but checking in with the body… like biggest prescription I could give people to lasting weight release is listen to your body. It has all the wisdom, but we’ve just been taught to ignore it.

So getting enough sleep, having enough water is a weight-loss superpower. People think our water what’s that going to do, but many of us are chronically dehydrated and then people will be. Sleep, drink more water. Like that’s it. And we overcomplicate it.

Victoria: Just on that note, I’ve read research. And again, I’m not medically trained like you are, but I was curious to get your feedback on this. I have read that sometimes the body gives off a misfire or mis-signal that we’re actually thirsty, but we get confused that we think that we’re hungry. But in fact, if we choose in that moment to hydrate it actually curbs the cravings that we think a hunger. Is that correct?

Suzanne: I haven’t come across anything officially for that, but I do encourage people to like, we don’t learn to process first signals the same way as hunger. And often if we, lost touch with our bodies, which many of us have, as soon as something feels off, we’re going to see that as hunger always. And that’s a lot of people too.

I work with people getting in touch with their hunger. They’re like, I always feel like junk food, but that might be how your body signals to you because it’s just so long, you’ve ignored

the thing. But when you start to really tune in, you feel like actual food, but it does take time. So it’s like, you know, sometimes having that glass of water, setting an alarm for 20 minutes and going, oh, am I still hungry?

Oh no, I was okay. It’s really simple. It’s actually really powerful. It’s just the commitment to doing that.

Victoria: I think this is amazing. I’ve again, I’ve written so many notes. So thank you so much. You are definitely going to come back because it’s a conversation that I know so many people are really struggling with right now around the, and I love your reframe, the release of weight.

I’d love to get you back on another conversation, but essentially I loved your four takeaway points, to have a reward, to take one step towards movement every day, to hydrate and to have a mindset routine. And I do four things, very simple things. Every day.

It can help put you and set you up for success that encourages the right messages and the right signals and the right nourishment. Along with that apple cider vinegar to set your body up. In the best environment and obviously working with, you and someone like your caliber, Suzanne, it’s having that accountability that is so critical. And when clients come to book you and work with you, this is what they’re looking for that accountability.

And I know that was probably the fifth thing, that I would put on that wishlist of having an accountability partner, whether it’s a buddy or a coach or a mentor, it actually doesn’t matter. But it’s someone who is witnessing your commitment to your outcomes that are really important to yourself.

Suzanne: And who knows when to gently guide you back or maybe more hammer you back, not knowing when.

Victoria: Yeah, the voice of truth can be incredible. So Thank you so much again, for joining our conversation on Hello CoachCast. And if you’ve enjoyed the conversation with Suzanne, please go over to Hello-Coach.com, where you can find Suzanne, and you can also please subscribe to our podcast.

So you don’t miss out on our next conversations coming up. And again, thank you again very much. for being a part of our chat today.

Suzanne: Thank you very much Victoria.

Victoria: Thanks, Suzanne.

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