Q&A: Why you can’t lose weight

The starting point when we are looking for a weight loss plan is usually the same. We see an advertisement for a diet and it’s compelling.

It’s intense. The advertisement plays on our emotions. Every string of our emotions is plucked. They offer guarantees. They have pictures of success stories. They look amazing, and YOU can too!

It’s almost as if they know exactly your experience.

And sometimes they do.

But most of the time, the focus is on the end result.

They ignore the hard stuff... the chronic health issues. They ignore the depression. They ignore the binge eating and snacking at midnight. How we comfort ourselves with food.

You just want to lose weight. You want deal with "that hard stuff" later. Deep down, in a really quiet (or loud!) voice, you may find yourself thinking, "Just give me the abs, and I can deal with that hard stuff later. I need six-pack abs or to lose 35 pounds in eight weeks and THEN, I’ll deal with that hard stuff...

Because after I've lost the weight, then I’ll be happy, and life will be easier because I’ll look amazing. So dealing with that hard stuff will be way easier when I feel beautiful."

But deep down, you know you're hoping that if you lose weight, all that hard stuff will just GO AWAY and you won't actually have to change or deal with it at all.

Even though it would be rad... It doesn’t work that way. You and I both know it.

Girl - you know I'm not judging. I've been that girl and thought those things. I had a tough breakup a decade ago. I was a wreck and it took me more than a year to overcome it. Not because of the breakup itself... but because I, Betty Jean Bell, had so much "hard stuff" I hadn't looked at yet.

And because I wanted so much not to hurt or be a mess inside, what did I do? I started trying to fix the outside of me: my body and environment. I thought that if the outside of me was okay, if I felt hot and loved my work, then the inside of me would magically be fixed. 

Since I believed fixing my external world was the solution, I wanted to feel beautiful and I went full force into training. I hired coaches at an amazing gym. It was an amazing gym and I loved all of the people there, but they had me cut all carbs out and do a very low calorie diet.

Coincidentally, I am eating ketogenically* right now because it feels good for my health and my body is asking me for it energetically, but I do NOT restrict calories like these wonderful but misguided coaches advised me to back then. I was eating 1,200 calories a day and NO carbs - not even around training - which was not enough for a 5’7” woman training two hours every day.

And then, on the weekends, I was RAVENOUS. I binged because I was not eating enough. I was training and not feeding my body.

Did I lose weight? Absolutely. I was a size 6 and looked amazing. Except, inside, I did not feel amazing (and years later when I turned 30, I had completely wrecked my metabolism).

I was still depressed. I was still a train wreck. I still had an enormous number of emotional problems.

It only made a bad situation a whole lot worse.

On top of that, I had a ton of chronic illness going on. Illness caused by stress from work, from breakups and the stress I was putting on my body. A big ball of stress!

*Public Service Announcement:

I do not recommend any one eating style. Learn more about why I don't recommend any particular diet here.

Over the last decade, I've eaten Paleo, Whole30, ketogenic, green juice only for 18 months when I had gastroparesis, eaten to heal hypothyroidism, to heal leaky gut, to repopulate my gut with good bacteria, and what seems like a million other ways for a million different reasons.

Food, rest, skincare, and water are medicine and they are to be used to give the body what it needs. Not to be abused to chase an illusion of weight loss or wellness without addressing the root causes.

(I do NOT suggest "green juice only" for anyone EVER unless you can't eat solid foods like I couldn't at the time! This was NOT a diet. My stomach didn't digest food and it was this or get a tube in my side to inject food in with. Do NOT take this as a recommendation for a juice fast. I didn't lose a single pound of fat when I ate like this. Don't believe the hype.)

So, how do we even lose weight if the "eat less, workout more" packages beings sold to us isn’t working anymore?

There are three steps in true, permanent weight loss. Too often we (and these plans) only focus on the last step.

Step 1) Deal with the food issues. Figure out the source of your addiction, obsession, compulsion, or plain ol' bad habits with food and face them head on. This requires deep work. Unraveling that takes time but it's worth it. You can be completely free of food addiction and bad habits with food.

Step 2) Identify metabolic dysfunction. Chronic illness and symptoms can result in some crazy things going on with your body. Maybe you are focusing on medication and surgery, but ignoring making lifestyle or food changes.

When we look at metabolic dysfunction, we ask questions. Where are you at? What’s your doctor telling you? Who’s on your medical team? Your health team? Your healing team? I help you navigate all of the information you get from all of your trusted resources and help you figure out what’s right for you. You’re gonna be making the decisions but you're also going to be making changes. Because if you aren't making changes, you're making excuses to stay the same.

Step 3) Eating plan and shaping the body. This will give you the results, but if you ignore the first two steps, then this step is not sustainable. You will not be able to stick to it.

In the 12-month transformation, we do a deep dive into what is going on with you and your body. I teach you how to become your own nutritionist and provide you with recipes that you can start using now.

In fact, you can download my Weight Loss Breakthrough Starter Kit below and start eating better today. Doesn’t matter what nutrition plan you are on. Whether it’s a medical diet or one from a trainer or nutritionist you trust - it doesn’t matter. It’s a sound, basic way to quit counting calories, quit restricting, and start eating to nourish your body.

In my programs, I’m not going to tell you what’s best for you. I’m never gonna know.

The only one who knows what’s best for you is YOU.

So at the core of this, we work together to help you become your own nutritionist. You become your own advocate and help you uncover the things you need to do and stick to and commit to that. And if you fall off, that’s no big deal, we are here to help you get back on.

We’ll work together to help figure out what you need to heal.

1) We’ll support you in resolving eating issues.

2) We’ll support you in resolving metabolic dysfunction.

3) We support you in your eating, fitness and nutrition plan so you can get the body you’ve always wanted.

I offer fitness and nutrition guidance, but you can follow any dietary theory or fitness plan you love and enjoy. Whatever you are or want to be, I support you.

I don’t teach diets. I teach practical advice on how you can be your nutritionist and accomplish the goals that are right for you by understanding the parameters of what you need to do to get there to make that happen.

If you are interested in The 12-Month Transformation and seeing if it’s right for you, take a look at the program and then apply to with me. We will talk about your goals and challenges, and see if it's a good fit for you.

It’s no obligation. No pressure. Just a conversation to see what's possible and if I am the right person to support you.

I believe in you.

Click the button below to grab your Weight Loss Breakthrough Starter Kit and put what you just learned into action.

You can totally do this.

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