Two weeks into Slim & Strong I ask my participants to take stock of the changes they’ve experienced. I’m not asking how much weight they lost or how much body fat they’ve lost, how many hours they’ve spent working out. No, what I want to know is whether they’re working the program and showing the signs of progress other than weight and body fat. Once the symptoms of fat loss and health are emerging, you know you’re on the most direct path to change.
Here’s an email response that is worth sharing because this lady went through quite some change. She made major progress in the first month, then took a month off to practice what she learned and then re-joined
“Ariane, this second time around I am feeling very good. The changes aren’t as dramatic mainly because I kept in practice some of the changes I made during my first S&S in January and my body didn’t lose the improvements it made during that first session. However, I did feel myself starting to slip back into some older habits during the month off so this month is about ingraining those “healthy” habits into my world for good. Here are some of the changes I am noticing in this 2nd round of Slim & Strong:
Energy: More. I clearly see the relationship between energy and a good night’s sleep. For me that means going to bed by 9.30/10pm and not having alcohol.
Mood: My mood is much better when I sleep well
Digestion: Improving. The daily probiotic combined with at least 25 g of fiber helps.
Skin: This one’s interesting. The month I didn’t do Slim & Strong, my complexion started to lose the major glow. It’s coming back 10 days into this month’s program. I’ve cut out cheese. Greek yogurt, half and half and fat-free cottage cheese don’t seem to bother me, but anything with heavier dairy does not agree with me and my skin acts up with hard white bumps.
Concentration/Focus: Much better on days with good sleep.
Fit of clothes: Fitting great, noticing more changes around my hips and thighs. My lower body actually feels different: tighter, reshaped. It feels amazing because I’ve never had this feeling before in my life. It has to be the resistance work.
Cravings for sweets: Minimal. The VEGA protein shakes help with those, as well as Greek yogurt with stevia and a few almonds.
Appetite: After S&S yesterday evening I was ravenous, but I think that’s because the night before I had a couple beers and just some cottage cheese and butternut squash. So, light dinner + alcohol + intense workout = intense hunger. Otherwise my appetite is pretty controlled. Burgers seem to be my go-to cheat meal these days. Last night I didn’t crave the bun and only ate half of it, only had 1/3 of the fries and a side salad without cheese. I had two glasses of wine and didn’t crave more – that was more than enough. The former me would have wanted a third. I do feel like these healthy changes are taking root!
You’re making some remarkable changes! Not just physically, but your mindset about your body and also your relationship to food and alcohol is changing. Are you noticing how you started out the first month of Slim & Strong feeling a bit restricted by the more limited choices you started out with? However, you then saw that the limited choices actually allowed you to experience how certain foods affect you negatively. You then decided you didn’t want to do that to yourself anymore – indulging and then paying for it with feeling hung-over, tired, sluggish, unhappy about your body….
At the same time you established positive connections to the good food and lifestyle choices you’re now making. In fact, you have come such a long way that now you are free to make choices based on what makes you feel best -not because it’s a diet or you have to, or because you need restrictions. The foods you choose and work for you now, give you freedom to choose. And that’s why that extra bun or another glass of booze isn’t even appealing for you anymore and you’re just satisfied with a little treat.
That is really wonderful to see and once you have developed that mindset, you won’t ever want to follow another diet gimmick. You’ll continue instead to be intuitive about your food choices and listen to your body. It will clearly tell you when to rest, when to push, when to eat and when to skip a meal. Very happy to see you feel so good. It shows!”
How do I know that Cristin is going to continue to make amazing changes? Because she’s experiencing the SYMPTOMS of fat loss. She’s also in tune with her body and making choices because she wants to feel well (not just to be a certain number on the scale). Her appetite is controlled, her energy is balanced and she has her cravings under control. Her body is changing in all the right spots (clear skin, regular digestion), and her lower body is changing, which is evidence that she is managing her hormones perfectly. People who overdo cardio, skimp on protein, don’t strength train, over-stress, under-eat, under-sleep and diet constantly will see their upper body get skinnier, but their lower body remains flabby and soft with the majority of body fat accumulating around the hips, thighs and butt. If that’s happening with your body, time to rethink your approach before you spend countless hours on something that’s really just a waste of time. Every body needs something different and if you’re continuing to push into a direction that creates struggle, time to rethink.