More often than not, after the winter darkness starts to dissipate and the sun starts shining more often and longer as spring sets in, I go through my closet and start reviewing and refreshing my clothes. There is something about looking at a space you spend a lot of time in and reimagining, repurposing and reorganizing. It reenergizes the space and the human that occupies it.
The same can be said for your weight loss journey. Wherever you are in the journey, whether you are just thinking about getting started or are already somewhere in the process, it is so important to review where you are and refresh where necessary, to help you keep moving forward and creating success.
Join me this week as I share why we all need a review and refresh in our lives, and show you how to get rid of what is no longer serving you. I’m helping you consider where in your weight loss journey this concept of reviewing and refreshing could benefit you, and some examples of where to start with this process.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown episode 68.
Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, master certified coach Natalie Brown.
Hey everybody. Episode 68? It still surprises me when I hear myself say these high double digit numbers. What an amazing opportunity I get every single week to share my experiences, my insights with you all. I still love it and I’m always so excited to hear how the podcast is helping you see things differently and believe weight loss is possible. So much fun.
Do any of you do any spring cleaning? I don’t have any particular like do it every year kind of spring cleaning traditions. But it does seem like more often than not after the winter darkness starts to dissipate and the sun starts shining more often and longer as the spring sets in, I go to my closet and I start reviewing and refreshing my clothes.
I go through my winter things and I look for what I didn’t choose for this winter and why. Like maybe it isn’t comfortable, or the color is all wrong, or I’ve had it for a few years and I’m just over it. And then I bag things to donate, I put away my heavy sweaters and boots and I get out my light and airy summer dresses and my sandals.
I inevitably empty out hangers and I fill some of them with new things, new colors, cuts, fabrics. I love the feeling of walking into my closet and seeing the change. The new season shows up in there as the season is coming alive outside. And I love clothes and shoes so it’s just so fun.
This year my kids all got into the spirit of reviewing and refreshing, unprompted by me I might add. Which is refreshing in and of itself. And each of them did their version of reviewing and refreshing in their closets and their rooms.
My 12-year-old did kind of a whole room refresh, not just a closet refresh. She said goodbye to some beloved stuffed animals that she was ready to let go of. Some decorations she no longer liked, and clothes that don’t fit her quickly growing body because she grew two inches this year. And she said hello to more space, to grown up hangers, and refreshed organization solutions in her room.
Mentioning the hanger transition, might seem strange to some of you but for me taking all of her tween size clothes off of her little pink baby hangers that she has used since she was a baby was a milestone that both made me both nostalgic and relieved. I felt like I was going to lose my mind if I had to watch one more shirt fall off the hanger onto the floor creating a cascade of all the clothes around it doing the same thing because the hangers were way too micro for the clothes that were trying to cling to them.
But I was also a little sad, thinking of hanging up per tiny little baby and toddler outfits on those same hangers for so many years. She keeps saying it feels so good in here. And it does. I don’t even live in her room but just walking in there feels amazing to me.
There’s something about looking at a space that you spend a lot of time in and re-imagining it, repurposing things, reorganizing things, adjusting things, moving things around, getting rid of what doesn’t fit or doesn’t serve anymore. It re-energizes the space and the human who occupies it.
She has a place for everything now. She’s not trying to shove this in with this or make space for this and that. Or wonder what to do with something and shove it in somewhere random because she doesn’t have an answer.
Putting away her laundry, so much easier now for her because she knows exactly where it goes and there’s room for it there. Finding beloved trinkets or locating a fun game or craft that has been hidden under a pile of other things is simple because she narrowed it down to just what she loves and she uses, and she knows exactly where they live when she wants to access them. Instead of having to spend energy and brainpower on making a decision about where to put something or figuring out where it’s supposed to fit, she can just do it and move on.
This may make it sound like her room was previously a cluttered den of chaos or that she is just a messy kid. But the truth is she tries and wants to be organized. And she has drawers and tubs and baskets and all sorts of systems available to keep things organized. But over time, inevitably, even for those of us with the best of intentions and systems find that stuff gets added. Kids and clothes grow, schedules and activities change. And unless we review and refresh it piles up and it gets messy or cluttered or overfull and becomes unmanageable.
So I want you to think about where you are on your weight loss journey. Whether you are just thinking about getting started or are somewhere in process, it is so important that we review where we are, and refresh where necessary so that we can move forward and keep creating success.
I did this recently with my lunches. I feel like this is a meal that can very easily slip into a pattern for me. I end up sort of buying the same things every week at the store out of habit and eating basically the same foods for months on end. Which isn’t necessarily a problem or a bad thing.
But what happens for me is that I start noticing that I’m wandering over to the pantry after lunch looking for something else. My body and my brain are craving some variety, something different, something else. I’m trying to find it in the candy basket. Yes, I have one of those. But that is not where it will be found.
So I review and I refresh my lunch options. I’m not talking about anything crazy here. I’m not trying to completely overhaul everything and start becoming a gourmet chef who cooks all of my lunches from scratch. That is not the kind of change I’m talking. Not total overhaul, just a refresh.
If I’ve never told you before I eat basically like a toddler, or I guess we could reframe to make me sound more sophisticated by saying I love tapas. I prefer a meal of a little bit of several things, finger foods and snack foods mostly.
So, I review what I have been eating, kind of like I do with my closet in the spring. What have I been choosing and why? What do I notice I’m not wanting to choose anymore? How could I refresh it?
I was wanting some refreshed protein options mostly and so I brought tuna and pickles wrapped in crispy lettuce back into my life. And hard-boiled eggs, which I love but I haven’t been eating lately. Some oldies but goodies, some simple basics. I found some simple protein pack lunch ideas on Pinterest, and I planned a few new things to try that might end up in the rotation if they are easy and tasty and fit the bill.
Another thing I noticed that was becoming a pattern at lunch that needed some refreshing was me drinking something besides water. And that something more often than not was Pepsi Zero. Now, I don’t have a problem with diet soda as a rule, but I’m not and don’t want to be an everyday, all day diet soda drinker. Or soda drinker period because I just know my body feels so much better when I drink mostly water.
Sometimes I want a beverage with some flavor though. And so for those occasions I looked at ways I could refresh this pattern. I found some cold infusion herbal tea options, and I bought some fresh lemon, and some sparkling water, and some iced tea. And I recommitted to mostly water, sometimes something with some flavor, and an occasional Pepsi Zero.
Notice, I didn’t decide to ditch Pepsi Zero forever and never even look at anything but water for the rest of time. I know this is what most of you like to do. Right? We notice something that isn’t serving us and we like swear it off for good. Not necessary. Mostly, sometimes, occasional, that is gray instead of black and white. And it just serves me so so much better.
Now, these new food options are not making my life 100% amazing. That’s A, not possible and B, not food’s job. But reviewing and refreshing my lunch options gives me a chance to reconnect to what my body needs in this season. What I like, what is satisfying, what else is out there?
Sometimes just like our physical spaces, we get into patterns of doing what we’ve always done. Putting things where we’ve always put them even if it no longer makes sense or serves us. My daughter’s clothes and the hangers are a perfect example. We had always hung up certain things like dresses and jackets on hangers and put other things like sweatshirts and shirts in her dresser.
When she was little and the clothes were little it made sense and it worked best. All of her tiny pants and shorts fit in one drawer. And all the little sweatshirts folded easily and stacked together in the drawer. And so we kept doing things that way. Hanging certain things on the cute pink little hangers and putting other things in the drawers.
But as she grew, the pants and shorts got bigger and they didn’t fit into one drawer anymore. And the sweatshirts became bigger and bulkier and didn’t fold as nicely. But we just kept shoving them in the drawers and hanging the too big clothes on the too small hangers because it’s what we had always done.
In our most recent review and refresh of her room the solution, once we had stopped, looked, and recognized, was simple. Bigger hangers, more things hung instead of shoved into drawers. Pants and shorts separated. Storage added. Seasonal clothes put away for next year. We didn’t knock down walls, or expand the closet, or even get a new dresser. We didn’t completely overhaul or reinvent, we just reviewed and refreshed.
Where in your weight loss journey could reviewing and refreshing benefit you? Where have you gotten into patterns that aren’t moving you forward? Where are you stuck doing what you’ve always done, even if it isn’t really working anymore?
A few places I notice this happening for my clients is in their food and planning, in their thinking and their beliefs, and their goals and timelines. I gave an example of a review and refresh of food options, right, for me and my lunches. It’s not about weight loss for me since I’m maintaining and just focused on what feels good and what my body needs.
But for my clients who are actively trying to lose weight and are noticing the weight loss slowing or stopping, sometimes a review and refresh can get things jumpstarted again. Looking at what they are choosing and why, what is working and what’s not, and looking for places that they can refresh and get things moving in a downward trend again.
That same thing can be said for planning. If you notice you are not planning or not following what you do plan, it might be time to review and refresh the process.
If you’re not planning, why not? Find ways to refresh the planning process by maybe starting with just planning one meal a day. Or shifting the planning to the morning when your brain is looking ahead with new hopeful eyes instead of back with regret?
Why isn’t it working? How could you make it work in a new way? Now, part of this is looking at what you’re thinking about it, right? Part of what’s not working is maybe your attitude, your opinion, your perception. So that’s the first place to start in this review and refresh process.
But then, making some changes to what you’re doing. Thinking a little bit smaller, thinking a little bit differently can really help. Review your beliefs about you and your capability. Do they need a refresh? What about your thoughts about weight loss? Your body? Do they need a refresh?
What about your goal? Review it. First of all, is it still what you want? Does it reflect what you value? Is it realistic? What about your timeline? Is it realistic? For many of us, we think making the goal bigger is better and may motivate us even more, but the opposite is true. And we think that crunching the timeline shorter and shorter will push us to do more faster, but the opposite is true.
I love the book Finish by Jon Acuff. In it he proposes some of my favorite goal tactics, cut your goal in half and make your timeline longer. Pretty counterintuitive advice, right? We typically overestimate what we can accomplish in a set period of time. And so when we fail to meet our unrealistic expectations, we feel discouraged. And a lot of us end up quitting.
But when we cut our goal in half or give ourselves more time than we think we need to get there, we feel encouraged to keep going. An example from the book, if you set out to lose 10 pounds in a month, and you lost only eight, that two pounds would mean you failed and would give most of us incentive to quit, right?
If you cut your goal in half to five pounds in a month and you lost eight, or you doubled your timeline to two months and you lost eight in the first month, think how much more likely you would be to keep going.
The author did a study of the participants in his 30 Days of Hustle program. And on day nine he asked them to cut their goals in half. And then he studied what happened as a result.
Here’s what they found, “Those who cut their goal in half increase their performance from past similar goal related challenges on average by over 63%. Not only that, 90% of the people who cut their goal in half said they had an increased desire to work on their goal. It encouraged them to keep going and it motivated them to work harder because the goal seemed attainable.”
How could you refresh your goal and or your timeline in order to keep going? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again, your future you, your health goals are inevitable if you just keep going. So review, refresh where it’s helpful, and keep going my friends. You’ve totally got this. See you soon.
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.