Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about one of my clients, Courtney.
So far she has lost over 163 lbs (and counting) and was named one of 8 finalists across Canada in the Goodlife Fitness Transformation Challenge.
Well, we found out on Friday that…she WON!!
I could not be happier or more proud of her and all of the hard work she has put in over the last 15 months.
So, to celebrate today, I thought I’d give you 3 lessons I’ve learned from her over the last year and a bit.
LESSON 1: CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Even though Courtney has lost over 163 lbs and done tremendously well, she’ll be the first to admit that she has not been “perfect”. Not by a long shot.
She still eats out occassionally and enjoys going out with friends or dinners with family. These meals are anything but “perfect” from a nutritional standpoint, but that’s part of learning how to actually keep the weight off after you lose it – understanding how to still live your life.
Her workouts haven’t always been perfect either. Sometimes she’s really tired and we scale things back. Or she’s really sore from her last workout, so we modify.
But over the last 15 months, she has only missed ONE scheduled workout.
And that was only because she fell asleep in her car in the parking lot of the gym. When she woke up she had to go back to work. So I guess technically she was still there…
The point is that she has been extremely CONSISTENT for the last 15 months and that makes all the difference.
An imperfect plan followed consistently will always outperform a perfect plan that you don’t follow.
LESSON 2: PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION
This follows in the same vein as Lesson 1. We never once talked about needing to be perfect. That’s not sustainable.
What we did talk about was progress. Small, slow and steady progress in some way.
Weight loss is never a linear process of dropping pounds every single week. Sometimes she would lose 9 lbs in a week, sometimes only 1 lb and sometimes she would gain a couple pounds back.
None of that mattered.
What mattered was her consistency with getting to the gym or making better choices with her food or getting more sleep (more on that below).
All of that is a form of progress and that is much more important than striving for perfection.
Striving for perfection only leads to yo-yo dieting and high amounts of stress.
LESSON 3: GET SOME SLEEP
I’ve always known that sleep was one of the most important aspects of overall health, but I really saw the impact with Courtney.
Courtney works a job that requires shift work. When we started working together she would have to get up early and wouldn’t get home until quite late.
This meant she would only get 5-6 hours of sleep each night.
Since this was her reality, we worked with it and still managed to make some decent weight loss progress, averaging 1-3 lbs/week.
But then her shift changed and all of a sudden she was able to get 7-10 hours of sleep every night.
All of a sudden she was dropping up to 9 lbs in a single week and averaging 3-5 lbs/week.
The only thing that changed was her sleep patterns. That’s how important sleep actually is.
Even if you’re eating well and training properly, if you’re not sleeping 7-9 hours consistently every night it’s the same as putting high quality fuel into a beat up, rusted old vehicle. It’ll run, but not that well.
Get some sleep.
You’ll notice that in these 3 lessons, I never once mentioned eating *1200 calories/day* or never eating carbs again or hitting the gym twice every day.
None of that stuff matters if you don’t have your “big rocks” in place.
Get a plan that allows you to:
1. Be extremely, ruthlessly consistent
2. Make slow and steady progress, without needing to be “perfect”
3. Get some damn sleep!
Check those boxes, toss in a little bit of patience and you’ll be amazed at where you can be in the next 12 months.