25 Feb Losing 10kg and 10cm in 6 months with a FitBit
In this client story, learn how I helped Michael, a 41 year old sales executive to achieve his target weight and form new and lasting positive habits.
“I’m afraid that I might get a heart attack, leaving my daughter to grow up without her dad.”
Talk about strong incentive! Michael, a divorced, 41-year old sales executive, is a headstrong character, with a very pragmatic approach to life. He is driven, ambitious and very goal-oriented. “I’m an all-or-nothing kind of guy!”
On the Enneagram typology, he maps as an 8w7, and on the SDI, he types as a strong red. As he would frame it: “Get me results or get out!”
Why didn’t we start with a meal-plan?
“I love food too much. When I eat sweets, it’s like I have little orgasms in my mouth! I’m not ready to give that up”.
Michael’s story is a great illustration of how different each person’s journey towards wellness are. Although he had a strong incentive to get to his goal-weight of 80kg, he wasn’t ready to make all the changes to get there. The only commitment he was ready for at the beginning, was to walk 10 000 steps per day. That’s it! My commitment to him, was to gradually introduce new habit-changes over time, and to hold him accountable to other lifestyle changes when the time comes. Which we did.
You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle overnight. Start small, with habits you are willing and able to change today. Over time, you can introduce more habits, using the momentum of previous changes to fuel the next. This gradual transition is more realistic, and usually more sustainable.
By partnering with Michael’s goals, instead of prescribing a plan, we accomplished 3 core important fundamental goals:
Ownership & Pace
We set goals that Michael could reach. His competitive personality motivated him to hit the 10 000 steps daily. Every time he did, he felt motivated by the ‘win’, so he did it again. His initial weight loss happened because he moved more, while his diet stayed the same. This generated momentum for more lifestyle changes over time. If we had set unrealistic expectations, and he failed at them, the process would have become a start-stop, and he wouldn’t have stuck with it.
If I gave Michael a strict 6-month meal plan, a curve-ball would have thrown him off course. Instead of telling him what to do, we worked on how he thinks, plans and adapts to his environment. For example: when he went on a business-trip, he had to get creative. How will he keep up his steps-goal? How will he adapt his meals to the hotel food? How will he change his goals for the time that he is away? Instead of saying “I couldn’t stick to the program, because I wasn’t at home”, he had to make it work, no matter where he was. Empowered with the skills to adapt, he could keep his weight-loss steady. With a rigid, prescriptive 6-month plan, these adaptations are much harder to negotiate.
Change begets change
“I don’t even recognize myself. It’s 1 year later: my fridge is filled with fresh vegetables; I have lunch daily with my colleagues; and I don’t even crave chocolates anymore. It’s so strange: I used to mindlessly eat about 3 slab chocolates and a big packet of crisps in front of the TV every evening – now I just cycle on my static bike while I watch a series!”
During the months, Michael and I would meet every 2-3 weeks for 1 hour. We would discuss his progress in the previous weeks, explore any challenges he had to face, and reframed any setbacks and strategise the next few weeks.
Gradually, we introduced more behaviour- and mindset-changes.
We would use existing habits to create more habits.
We would check his level of motivation, and find new sources of motivation.
We would change strategies that didn’t work, and plan for curveballs.
Some of the main milestones we achieved:
- Walking 10,000 steps daily
- Start tracking food
- Introduce healthier food-choices: increase natural food, and decrease processed food
- Plan meals for work
- Slow down his eating
- Curb cravings
- Gradually introduce cardiac exercise
- Eat more mindfully
- Introduce more social eating, to limit his binge-eating
- Join his local gym, so he could swim with his daughter
- Buy a static bike to use while he watches television
- Start playing football weekly
- Stop the evening snack & television binge
- For step-counting & cardiac monitor: FitBit step-counter
- To track his food: MyFitnessPal
- To create accountability when his motivation dropped: Stickk.com
- Social support: gym-membership
Change should last. Otherwise it’s just a phase
After hitting his initial goal-weight, Michael had to work on maintaining this new lifestyle. After losing 10kg, adapting his entire eating and movement routine and receiving tons of positive feedback from friends and family, Michael’s momentum was strong enough to keep him focused.
However, old habits creep back, so we keep checking-in, to make sure he embeds these habits for good, and to help him notice, and snuff out any regressions to unhealthy behaviour.
Not only does he look and feel great, but Michael’s health-checks are all positive, predicting a long and happy life to his little girl grow up.
Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with FitBit and receive no compensation or sponsorship from the company. This is just a client story to illustrate the effectivity of a step-counter to help with weight-loss.
*Names and details have been altered to honour client confidentiality.
What change are you ready for?
Most of us put off changes, because we’re not ready for the commitment. But maybe you don’t have to. Maybe you just need to take the first step. Or, like Michael, the first 10 000 steps.
Need help? Book a free discovery call with us using the form below, and we can help you move in the right direction.