Do you give much thought to how your general health affects your business? You may not think they are connected, but they are.
Truthfully, your own personal wellness should be a priority. Without a well you, your business suffers. In the extreme, you become run down, exhausted, and burned out — and so does your business. In the short run, you can lack focus and just aren’t as productive as you need to be.
In my own life I’ve seen this. I used to prioritize nutrition and exercise and sleep. At one point, I started down a slippery slope. I wasn’t exercising like I should. I used to have a personal trainer who came to my house, and when her schedule changed, I started to slack off. I used to go to yoga. When my personal schedule changed, I didn’t fit it in. Sure I was still walking every day with my friends, but that wasn’t enough. As I would learn, I was actually overexercising or doing the wrong kind of exercising.
On the nutrition front, I thought I was eating healthfully. And, while I probably was for the most part, I wasn’t eating enough. I’m sure you know the mindset. You must cut your calories to lose weight. And, of course, you have to give up everything that you love to eat!
And, this showed up in my business, particularly around focus and energy.
This summer I looked in my closet and saw very little in my carefully curated wardrobe that really fit. I was unhappy with a picture taken at an event this summer. All I saw was the extra weight around my midsection. A few weeks later, I saw a picture of myself taken with some of my cousins, and I was very unhappy with the “muffin tops” that I could see. I think that was the deciding point for me.
I knew I had to do something. I knew I needed a coach and a program that was easy to follow to get back on track. I needed an eating plan to follow, and I needed accountability with that plan. I needed workouts that I could do in my basement.
I did some research online and signed up with Amanda Tress’s FASTer Way to Fat Loss Program. It really had all those elements I needed. I signed up as a birthday present to myself. Right now I think it’s the best present I’ve given myself.
Within two weeks I was seeing my waist reappear. And at the start of week three, I fit into a pair of jeans that I can’t remember when I last had them on. We weren’t allowed to weigh ourselves, but I knew was losing weight.
More importantly, I also just felt great. My energy level has increased. My focus and clarity showed up stronger. And, the little victories just served to boost my confidence. I could see the changes this was making in my business.
My reservations — and maybe yours, too
I know if you look at the program, you may have some reservations. I certainly did. I researched on Facebook and Instagram. I could find people sharing their results in bikini pictures. Well, I do not have a bikini body and likely never will at my age. (And, you won’t find me posting a picture, either! lol) That’s not my goal.
I was concerned that everyone was so young. Many of the testimonials featured young moms. I am clearly not in that demographic. Would this work for me? I heard myself saying that it’s too hard to lose weight when you are older. But I decided that was just another excuse on my part. If any of my clients told me that they were too old to start a business, they wouldn’t get away with it.
And, who was Amanda, this woman I was going to trust to provide me with information to reach my goals? I found out she’s a nutritionist and a personal trainer, so she had the creds.
I also wondered what I could eat. Would I be limiting myself? The quick answer is no with a few exceptions. You can read more about that below.
What about exercising? Would I be able to keep up? Was it going to be too hard? I started to recognize this for the self-sabotage it was.
I kept wondering if it would really work for me. Why was I looking for excuses?
Again I went back to think about how I approached my other goals – growing a business, starting an event, building a coaching practice. If I put the work in and trusted the process, I’d see results.
How the program works
While you can read about the program here, I’ll just share my experience.
The program is multi-pronged. First and most important is nutrition. We track what we eat using My Fitness Pal, a free app. We count our macros. That means we count our macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) and they need to fit into a certain percentage. This is not hard, but it sometimes takes some preplanning.
You can pretty much eat how you are eating now as long as you are eating whole, nutrient-dense foods. You can use this program if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or following a paleo protocol. It’s very flexible. You just need to be sure what you eat fits your macros. I recently spent five days in Montreal eating most meals in restaurants every day, and I was able to stay on track.
We do what is called Intermittent Fasting and Carb Cycling. Intermittent Fasting (IF) is where you eat within an 8-hour window, generally starting at noon each day. This was a huge change for me, and I thought you must be nuts to skip breakfast. It took some time to get used to it, but now I like it. I do not feel hungry. You still eat what you would have normally eaten during the day, only it’s spaced in that time period. Why this works is that your body is searching for fat stores for energy not glucose stores.
Carb Cycling is where we adjust our carb macros based on the activity that we do each day. Some days are regular macros, some are low macros and some are low carb. You get sample menus and ideas from the group so you can learn to adjust your eating.
What has most surprised me about the program is how much I am really eating. I might be 5’4″ on a really good day, and I’m consuming about 1,500 calories a day. I am not limiting what I eat. I’m enjoying sweet potatoes and avocado on my salads — things I thought I’d have to avoid.
Amanda has a graphic that shows how she values the components of the program. You can see that exercise is not at the base of the triangle, nutrition is. And, cardio is least important. I was placing my priorities in the wrong place, and I was over-exercising.
Once you get your nutrition and sleep in line, you can add in the exercise portion of the program. The exercises vary based on the macros for the day, so you don’t get bored. You get exercises to do if you are a beginner, working out at home, or working out in a gym. You have access to an online portal with all the information, so it’s handy on the road or at home.
If you have physical limitations, the certified coaches in your group will work with you to adjust the exercises to fit your needs. This has been very beneficial for me since some exercises I cannot do. The exercises get more challenging as you move through the weeks. And they easily fit into my day, taking 30-60 minutes. Since I’m not walking for exercise as much as I did in the past, I am using that time.
Today I usually exercise 4-5 days a week. I’m starting back to my yoga class on one of the off days. I find it manageable and don’t worry if I can’t do something or I don’t find the time.
I said I needed accountability. You are placed in a Facebook group with about 75 other people in the program. You are “required” to post a picture of your macros for each day and get input from the coaches if you are having problems. This simple requirement is what I believe is leading to my results.
What if you want a treat or a glass of wine?
If it fits your macros, you can enjoy a glass of wine. It’s that simple, and I’ve enjoyed wine during the program. I’ve gone to parties and enjoyed what was served. Also on Saturday, which is called leg day, because we really work our legs, you can have a treat. Again if it fits your macros. Amanda says she gets a donut on Saturdays.
As I said, I knew if I put the work in and trusted the process that I see results. I just needed to keep out of my own way. At the end of 6 weeks, plus a prep week to learn everything, I’d lost more than 10 inches from my midsection, arms, and legs. I did step on the scale at the end and lost 10 pounds. The scale is not important to me.
Today, I know how to eat and when to eat. I’m enjoying the workouts, even though they are very challenging at times. I just focus on why I’m doing the program and that keeps me motivated. I’ve signed up for a second round because of my results, and I know I’m going to enter the New Year in better shape.
I also see this as the right way to “age gracefully.” The strength training builds stronger bones to help fight against osteoporosis and helps with balance. The nutrition also aids in keeping the joints not achy.
Best of all, I can see this as a sustainable lifestyle because I am not depriving myself.
As for my business, I can see that I am more focused. The discipline from the program definitely shows in my studio time.
Want to join me in the next round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss?
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email or message me through Facebook.