7 Tips for Weight Loss Accountability

7 Tips for Weight Loss Accountability
One key component in maintaining a healthy weight is accountability. When we allow ourselves to hide in our proverbial caves, we are not focused much on our goals and we certainly are not sharing those with others. It is when we put ourselves out there on the path to improvement that we can move forward into improvement and allow others to join and encourage us along the way.

We are all busy in our day-to-day lives. Being healthier and losing weight is important and we need to account for some of our tasks for our healthier lifestyle. Planning for it is the best route to go. Planning for exercise in your calendar. Having a specific day when you plan out meals and making the grocery list will go a long way to a healthier form of eating. Planning for it and putting it into action will keep you accountable to those tasks.
Logging your meals is a great way to stay accountable and it also makes you very aware of what you eat on a regular basis. When you are on a weight loss journey, a goal for many is to eat healthier and logging your food day in and day out can make you very mindful of your eating habits. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records. Sounds like logging your meals is a keeper!
Weighing in daily, again, builds awareness of where you are at in your weight loss journey. With changes in the scale, it can be possible to determine how your actions the previous day might have affected the change on the scale. Also weighing in daily shows your weight change very gradually. A gain on the scale, can be easier to come to terms with more in one day, than a weight gain over a longer period between weigh-ins.
Having an accountability buddy keeps you on track. Nudges to keep you going, even on days when you may not feel like it. They are also a great support to you. If your accountability buddy is also on their own weight loss journey, they are very aware of the challenges you are facing, because they are facing them as well. Your buddy could be a friend, relative, or someone who is also in a program you may be following as well. Whoever they are, having someone who “has your back” and is on your side is priceless!
Do you have a daily step goal you would like to achieve? Just the idea of increasing movement in your day can do wonders for your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “About 70% of U.S. adults don’t get the recommended amount of overall physical activity.” Using some type of step tracking device can keep you aware of how much movement you are doing in your day. Working up to 10,000 steps per day is a great target. If you are not moving at that level yet, gradually working yourself to that point is best. Keeping a step tracker can keep you motivated to keep going, even if you sit during the day a lot because of work, or even if exercise isn't quite your thing! Keep the momentum going with a step-tracking device!
Being mindful and aware can keep you accountable. When you are exercising consider how you are feeling. How challenging is the workout for you? Is it easier for you now? That awareness can tell you it’s time to increase your challenge level. Is boredom affecting your food choices or the frequency in which you exercise? This awareness can keep you accountable by “shaking things up” a bit. Try something different perhaps.
This is a good one! Nothing can keep you more accountable to losing weight than setting a goal or challenge. It could be a daily, weekly or monthly goal…or whatever time frame you want. Maybe you want to get to a 25 pound weight loss as a goal. You can also set yourself up a challenge or participate in a group challenge to keep you motivated.

We have a supportive community where we share on health, family, cooking, and so much more. We would love to have you say hi! Check it out here: Small Steps and Self Care. We look forward to seeing you soon!

La Sheonda

Want to Lose Weight?

Want to Lose Weight?
Want to Lose Weight?

If you ask most women, they would say "yes." 

And there is a lot to be said for maintaining a healthy weight. For me, it was about the stress on my joints. The lack of self-confidence.  The desire to stay out of pictures. The tendency to miss social connections because I was embarrassed. 

Okay, so this has to be said. As we start to discuss weight loss, remember that comparison truly is the thief of joy. Remember that it is a slow and steady pace that wins the race. 

So when we talk about weight loss, don't think about your best friend. Or your sister. Or your favorite barista. You aren't racing against them. You are racing against the woman you were yesterday. 

But most of all, remember that if you don’t do the inner work, the physical stuff will be fleeting. You’ll likely lose some weight. You may very well hit your goal weight. 

You just won’t be able to stay there. 

There are some lies we’ve believed that need to be brought into the light. There’s truth that we need to accept. And there’s a love for self that has to be cultivated. 

So as we begin discussing weight and healthy living in general, the inner work truly does need to go hand in hand with that. 

Prayer, counseling, journaling, meditation, exercise, having a tribe of kindred spirits to do life with. These are all some of the tools that are helpful in healing and growing from the inside. And if left unacknowledged, I found I’d continue to grow on the outside.

Take a step today to identify, work on, and then release the hurts or trauma that laid the groundwork for an unhealthy relationship with food. This is not a quick process. But it is a worthwhile process.

Once you have done the inner work, then, and only then, will you have the tools in your toolbelt to maintain weight loss. You may run and diet and drink all the water. But if you are not able to conquer the reason that you gained the weight in the first place, any weight loss that you do achieve will likely be temporary. 

I have conquered the inner work. And I learned the secret to continuing to conquer it every single day. Now I am also taking care of the physical work and sharing this journey with others. 

We would love to have you in our Facebook Group if you would like to start the journey with your own inner work, learn more about living healthy, and share space with other women who are knocking it out of the park. If this sounds like you, come join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallstepsandselfcare.....

Looking forward to meeting you, so we can lock arms and be happier, be healthier, and every day be more of the women that we were created to be. 

XO, La Sheonda

The ONE thing to look for if you want to lose weight

The ONE thing to look for if you want to lose weight
I had a moment a few months ago where my health changed. 


Some of you have heard me talk about it. I went from having trouble standing up to incredible energy and mobility in my joints. And after months of slow trickling weight loss, the pounds just started falling off. Like A LOT. 

I looked at what I had changed (started my antioxidant juice) and attributed everything to that. And don’t get me wrong. That juice is the stuff. 

But I have come to realize that the moment-to-moment change and drastic improvement would not have been possible without the steps taken before. 

I’ve come to call this “Priming the Pump.” 

In the 1800s, this phrase meant using a small amount of liquid to get a larger pump going. Without doing that, the oil might never be pulled up by the pump. In order to access the oil in the ground the pump had to be “primed” first. Without that step, oil would not flow freely or may not flow at all. 

How did I prime my pump? I had been removing toxins from our fridge and pantry for years. Eating healthier and drinking more water. About three years ago, I started swapping out household and personal care products. When I’d finish one that had dyes, fragrance, SLS, phthalates, carcinogens, chemical sunscreen, et al, I’d replace it with a clean alternative that had none of those unhealthy ingredients. Little by little, I swapped and switched every cleaner, detergent, soap, moisturizer, shampoo, cosmetic, and bath gel for something cleaner. Something better. 

If I hadn’t cleared my system out from all the yuck, my body would not have been able to respond as completely or quickly as it did. 

So before you seek the perfect diet, exercise plan, or trainer, start reading ingredients. On your food AND everything else as well. 

The bathroom cabinets. The makeup drawer. The shelf in the shower. 

Once I started being the gatekeeper of my home, I didn’t know it yet, but I was priming the pump.

I am here to help more women do the same. Prime the pump in order to get their health flowing. If that's you, come join our private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallstepsandselfcare..

Our community of women is locking arms and moving forward happier, healthier, and becoming more every day exactly the women that we were created to be. Looking forward to meeting you! 

XO, La Sheonda

What is the ONE key to improving your health?

What is the ONE key to improving your health?
Looking to lose weight?

It would probably be easier to ask who is NOT looking to lose weight. It seems to be an unending cycle for a large majority of people, especially women. 

To complicate things, the expert opinions and conventional wisdom floating around are full of disagreement and conflicting information. Should we eat every couple hours or fast? Should we focus our diet around whole grains or should we limit carbs? And is it better to do as much cardio in the gym as possible, or should we lift weights when we exercise?

Regardless of which answer to each of these questions that you subscribe to, you can still move forward with your health journey. And that IS the biggest thing. For anyone. 

Move forward. 

Remember that getting healthy, losing weight, changing how you eat, creating an exercise habit, and almost anything else we do, requires two things:
--small actions repeated over time

You won't lose 25 pounds over night. But you can lose 1-2 pounds this week. You probably won't be able to complete a marathon without training. But you can walk for twenty minutes after dinner. 

Small steps. All in the direction of your goal. They add up over time. 

Right now I am taking small steps toward a green thumb. Planted a few flowers and vegetables, water them, learning what they need. It'll grow over time. 

What are some small steps you are taking toward your goal right now? I would love to hear them in the comments. And what is your larger goal that those small steps are taking you toward?

And jump into our free Facebook group for more healthy hacks and tips in a super supportive community. I look forward to meeting you! https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallstepsandselfcare

La Sheonda

How I Lost 100 Pounds. Yes, 100 Pounds.

How I Lost 100 Pounds. Yes, 100 Pounds.
We all want the magic pill. The one that helps us lose the weight while we nosh on a chocolate croissant and sip our trenta caramel frappé. Spoiler alert: ain’t no such thing.

Truth is, we all know that. But we secretly wonder if each emerging gimmick and pill and exercise gadget may finally be THE ONE.
Like a multitude of others, I have tried it all. Nutritionists, supplements, personal trainers, weight loss prescriptions, restrictive meal plans, gym memberships, and yes, even bariatric surgery. There. I said it.
But weight loss surgery is not a guarantee, and it is not a quick fix. I had complications with my surgery. I also had an amazing surgeon who walked through that with me in the most compassionate, genuine way. And I did lose weight. Most would say, “Well, of course. Weight loss surgery. DUH.” But this is not always the case. I changed how much and what I ate. I exercised. I exercised A LOT. Daily. I ran races, took kickboxing lessons, lifted weights, and even trained for, and participated in, three half-marathons.

Eventually, my weight loss surgery was completely undone. But no matter. I was on a roll!
In the end, I lost 100 pounds.

Hooray! Right?

Nope. I gained it all back. Every. Single. Pound. Plus 4.8 more pounds! That hurts even to type. But it’s true.

The day I saw that on the scale, I was truly defeated. But it lit something inside of me. I refused to accept that as the end of my wellness journey. I began in earnest, yet again. I planned healthier meals, worked out more, improved the quality of my sleep, removed the endocrine-disrupting products in our home. And little by very little, the weight began to creep off. This was a much slower pace. No weight loss surgery. Several years older. Two children and two c-sections later. Tough stuff.
And then it happened.

I realized I had in fact not tried everything. I had sweat more and picked up my fork less. But this time, I finally came face to face with the emotional work that had to be done. This is where it got real. I had to pick up my baggage that had been swept very nicely under a rug and just yank it out.
The inner work on the inner me. That makes my half marathons and kickboxing sparring sessions look tame. This is why so many of us cannot lose the weight. And this is why virtually none of us keeps it off.

Today the workouts continue. Heck, they’ve intensified dramatically. And the food choices and timing are on point. Supplements and sleep are consistently where they need to be for my optimum health. But none of that would matter if the inner work was not also happening. Day in and day out, that is my focus.
And if you are on this road with me, friend, then that is where you should embark on your journey, too. It is the only way to make this change anything more than a fleeting mirage of smaller jeans. Do the inner work. You are worth it. And the outer you will come right along for the ride.

I have lots more weight loss help in my free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallstepsandselfcare. Jump in there and say HEY!

La Sheonda