How feeling like Meryl Streep can help you lose weight

Do you ever wonder how an actress like Meryl Streep can take on a myriad of roles, like that of a witch to Amanda Prisetly, with such believability? 

Well sure, but what the #$%^ does that have to do with losing weight, Heather?

Quite a lot. To become someone else requires an actress to think and feel like someone she is not. The same is required for achieving any big goal. 

When I start working with a client, often she feels stuck because of all the things she’s tried to lose weight that didn’t work. And that’s because she doesn’t know how to move beyond it. Her past feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps coming true. 

And that’s because instead of understanding the internal work needed, she’s focused on the “thing out there” that will make it happen this time. But when the diet, supplement, fancy app, or infomercial product isn’t working or sustainable, it confirms that she can never stick with her healthy habits.

So, back to Meryl. In order for us to believe that she is a powerful fashion magazine editor, she has to become one. And she has to practice. A lot. And more than just memorizing and reciting lines, she has to feel into the role, to become Amanda Priestly. 

That’s how any of us make changes in who we want to become. It starts by clarifying the fit and healthy lifestyle we want, the equivalent of the script for playing a role.

Photo by Ron Lach :

And then we practice. But just as Meryl Streep does more than rote memorization, we also must feel this new identity to truly prepare ourselves for the role of our future self. Neuroscientist Dr. Sarah McKay says, “You can practice emotions in advance of a situation by teaching your brain the most useful way to respond in a situation. Actors do this all the time. The emotions they feel on stage are real because they rehearsed their creation.”

Try it. Picture yourself as the fit and healthy you that you see in your head. Close your eyes and practice being her. What does she think? How does she feel? How does she respond to typical challenges? Go about your day as her. Believe me, this is essential to becoming her. 

And hey, when you have a coach by your side this kind of work becomes easier and you reach your health and weight loss goals more quickly.

Top 3 Ways to Lose Weight When Everything Fails

Lose Weight When Everything Fails

I know it feels hard. To try again to lose weight when everything fails. It probably seems like you’ve tried it all.

Keto. Check.

CrossFit. Check.

Vegan. Check.

HIIT. Check.

Running. Check.

Moderation. Check.

And the list goes on…

It’s at this point you likely feel defeated. Hesitant to try again. Doubtful it will work this time. 

But I promise. You’re poised to turn it around. 

Lose Weight When Everything Fails
Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

You can take all your failures and use them to succeed. And here are the top three ways to do that:

  • Keep the Good: Reflect on all the diets and food plans, gym memberships and exercise equipment, apps and smart watches you’ve used. Ask yourself what you liked and what worked well for you. What foods keep you satisfied longer, stabilize your blood sugar, and taste good? Which exercises challenge you, feel good to your body, and are fairly enjoyable? What time of day is best for your energy and schedule to do things like meditate, meal prep, and exercise? Make a list of all these things you want to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle.
  • Dump the Rest: Foods you hate? Exercise you dread? Apps that harass you? These all contributed to past failures. If carb counting makes you cranky, stop doing it. If attending meetings is annoying, find another form of support. Trying to follow rules that don’t fit your lifestyle is a set up for failure. Remember, you can use willpower for just so long. Eventually it runs out and you’ll stop. “Nothing works” you think. “I’ve failed again” you say. Not true – it was just a square peg/round hole fiasco. 
  • Identify Patterns: What else took your healthy habits off track? Was it late-night treats while watching Netflix? Working late? Mid-afternoon snacking? Never met a cookie…cake, chip, licorice whip, cheese stick…you didn’t like? Hitting the snooze button? Staying up too late? Not saying “no” to others when they offer food? Take each pattern and break down the trigger for each one. Then decide how to either remove or address that trigger in the future.  

That’s how you lose weight when everything fails. You use those failures to set yourself up for success by creating habits around the foods, exercise and motivational tools that work well for you. You stop beating yourself up for not eating/doing all the things you hate but feel like you “should” do. You prepare for challenges and learn how to prevent or overcome them. 

Failure is only failure when you stop. Otherwise it’s simply a lesson. 

And know that the lessons keep coming. There’s never a point of perfection where you have it all handled. But as you learn the lessons, it gets easier. If you keep going, never accepting failure as a reason to stop, you will lose weight when everything fails. 

And hey, my FREE Back on Track Challenge starts soon. You can sign up here.

The Best Way to Lose Weight is a No-Brainer

Search for the best way to lose weight and you’ll find almost 900 million results in a nanosecond. The sheer volume is dizzying. Combine that with conflicting theories and promises, it’s no mystery why we’re confused. So I thought, what if I could make weight loss a no-brainer?

I got the idea when I discovered No Brainer Day, a holiday encouraging people to stop over analyzing things and second-guessing themselves. Perfect! I coach clients all the time who tell me they don’t know what to eat or what exercise to do. There’s some niggling thought that there’s a right way to lose weight and keep it off that they just haven’t found yet.

Search for "the best way to lose weight" and you’ll find almost 900 million results. So I thought, what if I could make weight loss a no-brainer?
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash

But here’s the truth: they know more than they think they do. (And so do you!) But all the “expert” advice has convinced them they don’t. From media blurbs on today’s superfood to a co-worker’s latest detox that she swears by, filtering through what actually works can be painful.

So, I’ve put together these three tips on how to make weight loss a no-brainer:

1. Outline your own healthy eating plan: Forget cleansing and dieting, and focus on what you know. Make a list of all the foods that benefit your health, help you lose weight and (bonus) you like. If you took five minutes to write it down, you’d come up with dozens of foods. Don’t complicate this. If you keep in mind whole foods (versus overly processed foods that come in a box), you’ll do just fine. Blueberries, salmon, spinach, plain Greek yogurt, ground turkey, steel cut oatmeal, black beans, flax seeds, avocado…this is a tiny fraction of my list. And while I lean plant-based, you can see my list is not “pure.” That’s okay. Next, brainstorm all the ways these foods can combine to create meals, and make your plan from there.

2. Ask “Why am I eating?”: Is it physical hunger? Then eat. If not, ask why you want to eat: boredom, stress, procrastination…sometimes just because it’s “there” and “looks good.” But non-hunger eating will sabotage your weight loss plan every time. See if you can sit with the feeling and identify its source. If it’s boredom, can you be bored for a few minutes? Or do you need more excitement overall? If it’s procrastination, why are you avoiding the project, conversation, etc.? Remind yourself that eating only delays the inevitable, and wouldn’t it be better to just get it done? Whatever the non-hunger reason, stop, dig in and decide what you will do instead of eat.

3. Move your body: Exercise is more important to health than weight loss. Yes, it can greatly transform your body, but if you’re inconsistent, starting from scratch or don’t traditionally like exercise, focus on being active instead. What activities do you like? How can you make movement enjoyable? Thinking you have to run or take a HIIT class because they burn the most calories only helps if you like those exercises or are motivated and committed to do them consistently. Select an activity and start small. Even 5-10 minutes three days a week. It gets you in the habit which is most important. Without the habit, there is no movement.

See? No-brainer! 😊 You’ve got the wisdom and knowledge for healthy weight loss. Implement what you know and stick with it. Get support and additional information as needed. But start with trusting yourself.

You know more than you think you do.

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