Snowballs, the compound effect and small, daily steps for life long healthy weight management.
Loraine and I have been working together for just over a year. Loraine wanted to lose weight and tone up. A fairly standard request.
Having been initially successful in losing weight with a slimming club, some of the weight had crept back on and Loraine saw old patterns and habits repeating themselves.
Sat in my office discussing options, lifestyle etc. Loraine shared with me what had prompted her to take action; a picture of herself and unhappiness with how she looked. However, there was something else deep down which set Loraine apart in a good way. Deep down there was a burning desire to get back on a horse and start riding again. You see, it was a picture of Loraine on a horse and the weight she was carrying that sparked the desire to change.
Weight gain is usually a combination of consuming slightly more than we need, moving less than we need, choosing quick, processed foods and a lack of awareness to all of the above. Those tiny, daily indiscretions might not show up in the short term, but the laws of compound interest, slowly accumulate until BOOM – the realisation and the facts staring back at you are all too evident.
At this point Loraine and I could have opted for a drastic low calorie plan, taken out bread, pasta, potatoes – because, of course, carbs are devil spawn (not) and ‘beasted’ her with a week full of weight lifting and endless cardio sessions. Yes, we would have got results and quickly. But, as well, she would have probably picked up injuries, felt drained physically and emotionally, lived on chicken and broccoli and resented every minute of it.
Results? Yes. Sustainable? No. Good for your health long term? No.
Bottom line, low calories and removing food groups, unless you have a medically diagnosed allergy, is a sure fire way to be unhealthy, miserable and pile the weight back on plus more.
Combining the principles of portion awareness, daily movement, consistent small daily changes invoked the mighty compound effect. You see, having one less chocolate bar a day saves roughly 300 calories. Do that for 7 days and that’s 2100 calories less a week. Two weeks equals 4200 calories, just over 1lb (1/2kg) in weight. Whilst initially slow and perhaps unnoticeable, like a snowball rolling down a hill, momentum gathers and with each roll another tiny layer of snow is added and the snowball grows. One less chocolate bar a day over 365 days equals 109,500 calories a year. That’s the equivalent of 2 stone for just 1 less chocolate bar.
Loraine started her journey at 77kg. As well as weighing herself, Loraine also measured her hips, waist, arms, calves and thighs and wrote down everything. With regular breaks and a few setbacks, Loraine has stayed consistent. We’ve moved more, added a couple of weight sessions in, been aware of portions and calories consumed and made informed, adult decisions about food.
Along the way we’ve celebrated successes and put them in our virtual ‘trophy cabinet’, as well as reviewed setbacks and planned how to avoid them in the future. Most of all, we have not banned any foods.
To date Loraine has lost 9 kg, dropped 2 dress sizes, lost over 3” off her waist, 7” off her hips and a combined 10” off her thighs, knees, arms and calves. But, most of all, Loraine has gained strength both physically and mentally and has realised her burning ambition to get back on a horse. The joy she exudes each week, as she recalls her lessons and her achievements during that time, is an absolute pleasure to hear and an inspiration.