This morning, one of my classes at the recreation center had the privilege of listening to a wonderful guest speaker: Stephanie Wagner, Integrative Health and Wellness Coach and owner of Inner Fire Health Coaching. She has a personal weight loss story, having lost over 70 pounds over the course of a few years through a process that she calls “waking up.” This means becoming more mindful (aware) of her habits, from physical, mental, and emotional states. Her story began with simply walking a few miles on the treadmill every day to one that transformed her life, inside and out. If you’re looking to lose weight, become or simply improve your wellbeing, start by following Stephanie’s 3 pillars of weight loss and wellness, outlined below.
3 Pillars of Wellness:
Movement — are you moving on a daily basis in a sustainable way that you enjoy?
Stephanie started out by simply walking for an hour on the treadmill each day. By doing just this, she was able to lose a pound a week over the first month she began. She has since began incorporating more types of exercise into her day, but it all started out by moving more in a way that she enjoyed. Even if you don’t have an hour, I challenge you to brainstorm 3 ways to incorporate a bit more movement into your day. It could be something as simple as biking to class or work, trying out a zumba class, or fitting in a quick bodyweight circuit at home.
Nutrition — are you eating wholesome, unprocessed foods that nourish your body?
While Stephanie started out by cutting out all dairy and meat, cutting out food groups entirely may not be right for everyone, is often hard to sustain and can have long-term health consequences. Start out by focusing on less-processed, wholesome foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, and more foods without a label along the perimeter of the grocery store. Focusing on nourishing your body and asking what your body needs is a great way to get in better touch with the quality and quantity of food that goes into it.
Mindfulness / Social life – is your inner social circle lifting you up or draining you?
It is hard to deny the importance of mental and social aspects of our lives and their role on our overall health. Making change is hard, but it is even more difficult when those in our social circle don’t support us. Start by doing a social audit and listing the 5 people you talk to most — are they supportive of your goals and helping you reach them? If not, talk to them, find a way that they can be more involved in helping you, or try to spend less time together and seek out people who radiate good vibes.
Preparation – with such busy lives, it is easy to get caught up and off track when we don’t have a plan. Preparing ahead of time is key. As they always say, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Stephanie scheduled grocery shopping, food prep and workout times into her calendar each week. With it being a part of her daily routine, skipping was simply not an option.
Tracking – while I am all for intuitive eating, tracking in some form or fashion (particularly if weight loss is your goal), is key to knowing what is working, what isn’t, and simply become more aware of your habits. While Stephanie tracked on My Fitness Pal for 2 years straight without missing a day (props to her!), this is not realistic for everyone and it is WAY MORE than just a numbers game. Tracking serves as a tool to learn more about the nutritional content of your food, the calories burned during different types of exercise and become more aware of what you are eating.
3 Pillars of Wellness and their results:
Stephanie’s weight loss journey of 1-1.5 pounds per week with the change of small habits proves that you can, in fact, achieve long-term, sustainable, weight loss and reach the weight at which you most thrive. It is a process you have to be willing to invest in, but one that will involve waking up into the life you were meant to live — one that is more energizing, engaging, and fulfilling.
If you found this article helpful and are interested in health coaching or have any questions, feel free to get in touch with Stephanie at Inner Fire Health Coaching on Facebook or Instagram. She is currently accepting coaching clients and I can vouch for her — she is an amazing coach!