We got a puppy. He’s a St. Bernard/Poodle mix named Harley.
(cue the oohs and awes…now)
He really is that cute.
He’s also the best “health coach” I’ve ever seen.
In the few weeks he’s been with us, I started to notice simple things he does that can directly impact your weight loss and health.
Whether you’re feeding with sugar, coping with wine, living stressed out – there’s a cost. Maybe it hasn’t caught up yet but it will.
Have extra weight on your body? Fantastic! All it means is that it’s a visible sign that your body is telling you, “This ain’t working. It’s time to change.”
Ready for ways to make that change straight from Harley?
Here are 5 things you can do today to start losing weight.
(And they ain’t ruff! ← had to)
[DISCLAIMER] Don’t negate this because Harley’s tips are simple. Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated.
#1 Go To Bed Earlier
Harley knows what he intuitively wants. One of them being sleep. No, you can’t sleep all day like Harley but you have to sleep way more than you are right now.
There is a global epidemic of people walking around with a sleep-deprived brain. This shortens the quality and quantity of your life.
Plus, when you are exhausted, your brain literally can’t function. It’s hard to make good decisions when you’re like this.
“Go sleep on it.” Heard that phrase before? It’s gold. This is because your body repairs, rests and heals when you sleep. This helps you make decisions with – quite literally – a clear head.
When you’re exhausted, junk food looks better because your hormones are compromised. Hormone function is critical to good health and asking your body to run on empty decreases the ability to function as your best self.
Go to sleep. Start with 30 minutes earlier.
#2 Drink More Water
Harley drinks a lot of water. He wakes up – water. Eats his breakfast – water again. Goes outside, comes back in – more water. Hangs out on the couch for a bit – time to hydrate.
He’s drinking water all day long.
Be like Harley. Start it first thing in the morning. Drink water before you drink coffee.
When you’re hydrated, your body is healthier: improves cardiovascular health, helps muscles and joints work better, keeps skin supple, prevents headaches and sugar cravings, and cleanses your body (inside and out).
If you’re filling your body with more coffee and booze than water, those stimulants and toxins make it harder for your body to function.
Drink more water. Get a water bottle. Fill it starting in the morning and keep filling it up.
#3 Eat Real Food
Here’s the thing… Harley is a puppy so he hasn’t learned any bad habits yet. He doesn’t want the bad stuff because he doesn’t even know what it is.
Harley eats real food when he’s hungry and he doesn’t overeat.
He tells us when he’s hungry. He sits down and eats, and that’s it.
You have to eat real food. Instead of going down the middle aisles at the grocery store, go to the produce section.
Nothing there is coming out of a bag, box or jar. When you eat real food, you give your body the essential nutrients it needs.
Most importantly, you’ll get more fiber which improves your gut and overall health.
This week, add 2 more items from produce and one less from the middle aisles.
#4 Have More Fun
Harley is the king of fun.
He loves to love. He loves to play even more. His whole life is centered around fun. Now, you might think, “Well, I can’t do that. I have a job, kids, home to take care of, etc.”
Have more fun. Literally, laugh more.
Did you know an adult only laughs (like a tiny chuckle) 8x a day (MAX)? You aren’t being in the experience of joy or happiness enough.
That creates a joy deficit in your life, you’ll try to fill with food or wine. Start to get joy and pleasure from yourself and your partner (yeah, I mean sexually). Seek out laughter and fun with your friends and family.
If you can’t get it from the things you’re doing or your relationships – take a look at that. What’s working here? And what do you need to take responsibility to create better ones?
#5 Less Screen Time, More Outdoor Time
Harley doesn’t own an iPad. He’s not on Facebook all day. He’s never played Candy Crush. He isn’t addicted to Netflix.
Harley loves people. He loves being affectionate and literally being curled up with humans, running around outside exploring, getting curious about the world around him with the wind at his back.
I don’t care if you live in NYC or in the country, there are different ways to take care of getting outside.
We are addicted to watching fake people live fake lives and/or a score on a game gives us satisfaction when it’s just a distraction and a way to numb.
When you shut it off and get to experience a real environment – sun, walks, birds, even a busy street with cars and humans – there is power in that connection.
Designate one day of the weekend that is device free. Start there.
I have a feeling you’ve been trying to make weight loss difficult because that’s how the diet industry has conditioned you to think.
And I’m not saying that sometimes it isn’t difficult but most of the time if you just start doing these 5 things, I guarantee your energy will increase and weight loss will follow.
Sometimes weight loss isn’t the first metric you have to look at. Sometimes this stuff above is the first step.
You want to change tomorrow and change your life? You have to change today. Change doesn’t happen in one grandiose paint stroke. It happens in how you choose to be and show up day in and day out.
No such thing as overnight success, there’s years of work behind it. That’s true in business, acting, music, and it’s absolutely true in weight loss.
(If you did the super fast way, I bet it’s through some insane gimmicky thing that won’t last.)
As you try to discover what works for you – get rid of the half drank supplements, pre-packaged food, shakes, etc. If it didn’t work then, it won’t work now and it won’t work in the future.
Release yourself from that pressure.
It’s been 8 years and I haven’t put a single pound back on my body. More importantly, I am a better mother, better at my work, I got myself out of a bad, unhappy marriage and into a healthy, insanely loving one.
8 years x 365 days doing the 5 “Harley” things above. Yes, I had to figure out portion size and the right foods for me and get educated on the science of weight loss. But the above is my base and what I always come back to.
Now, it’s your turn. Want to learn how to do it? My community is here for you. And I mean that seriously. Not in some gimmicky way.
Take a peek around. I add real tips and strategies every week. You can also tune in every Monday on Get Real With Jen on Facebook Live at 12 pm MT.
Also, you can email me. I personally respond to emails I get from women who have questions about healthy weight loss.
You don’t have to go at it alone. Hope to keep seeing you around here!