How To Lose Weight Through Stress Management

Is the secret to weight loss something that can be done without ever getting up from your chair?

I know it sounds weird. Let me explain.

You’re most likely reading this post because you’re tired of always trying to lose weight. You’ve got the gym membership. you know the diet, heck, you may even have all the foods stocked up in your fridge. Yet, something always gets in the way

Cravings, invitations to events where you don’t want to seem difficult, or even just boredom or a bad mood can come into play and mess up all your weight loss plans. Before you know it, those margaritas from happy hour on Thursday extended to a weekend bender that leaves you bloated and disappointed all over again.

You get mad at yourself for being “weak” and then resolve to start all over again…. on Monday.

Sound familiar?

I’ve been there and through my journey of talking about it, I’ve found that it’s extremely common for other people to go through it too.

But why?!?!

I genuinely thought it was about the food. I thought that there was just something about me that was hyper programmed to want to eat massive amounts of salty, sweet, and delicious (but ohhhhh so bad for you!) treats, but when I look back at what gets in the way… those cravings, invitations, or emotions…. it made me realize that I was wrong. DEAD wrong.

It doesn’t actually have much to do with the food itself and everything to do with what’s going on in your mind.

I know, I thought it was crazy too, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made!

Weight loss comes from diet and exercise, but if you can’t get yourself to do it, how can you ever be successful? Every action comes from a thought first. Your thoughts talk to the cells in your body and tell it what to do and it doesn’t matter if you’re going vegan or paleo, taking dance classes or doing cross fit, if your thoughts don’t match your goals, your body won’t know how to get you there!

That’s why I focus with all my clients on stress management over weight loss.

We look at slowing down our thoughts, becoming aware of the story line that goes on in our mind, and then using specifically targeted mindset exercises to help shift that thinking from negative to positive.

The truth is, in order to be successful, you have to think successfully. It starts in your head and once you learn how to manage your thoughts, your health, happiness, and healing will naturally follow.

What do you think? How has your mindset impacted your journey? Comment below and share what you’re struggling with and what tools you’ve used to overcome it!

How To Maintain Motivation

It’s Monday.

You’re pumped with energy and ready for the week. You got everything together this weekend, making sure you had healthy food in the house, meals all prepped, and that the gym membership that you’ve been paying for (and not going to) for months was still active.

Motivation is just flowing through your veins as you go through the day, excited that surely, this will be the last time you ever have to start over.

Monday through Wednesday are great! You snuck a few m&m’s on Wednesday but that’s nothing compared to the king size bag you used to scarf down every day. That’s all in your past now.

But then, on Thursday, that cute coworker tells you that they’re all going out for happy hour after work and you should come.

Anxiety hits.

You brought your meal prep, but you’ve been working so hard all week and you really want to be social. In fact, it would be bad business not to go and one night out with coworkers couldn’t be that bad. You’ll just have one drink and jump right back to your diet tomorrow.

You go out and somehow, one margarita turns to three. Soon you’re splitting nachos and wondering if anyone is down to order another plate for the table.

The next morning, you wake up with a hangover and bloat.

You’d be happy to start over today, but you didn’t pack your lunch last night and all you can think about now is how good a cup of coffee and a piece of lemon cake from Starbucks would be. You’ll get a salad for lunch.

But then lunch comes around and the office ordered pizza to celebrate that it’s Friday. You think about your bank account and opt for the free lunch and gossip with your coworkers about last night’s escapades.

By the time you get home, you’re exhausted and opt to order Chinese food. It’s the weekend now and you’re absolutely beat. For sure, on Monday, you’ll start over one more time.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. In fact, this is the cycle most of us live in.

We start a new diet or exercise routine with gusto but soon, as external situations pop up, we lose motivation and fall off track.

Really, all we needed was to know was how to stay motivated, but instead, we let our goals fall to the wayside and put it off, just for one more weekend.

Enough is enough.

If you have goals that you want to hit, making the decision to hit them is the first step.

Second step is understanding why that goal is so important to you. What will dieting bring you? Weight loss to fit into your old jeans? Better health so you can heal your chronic illness? A calmer and more focused mind so you can excel at work? Whatever the end goal is, get clear on it and keep that image in your mind.

The third step is to surround yourself with motivation. According to Zig Ziglar “Motivation doesn’t last, but neither does bathing. That’s why we suggest it daily.” Fill up your social media feeds with pages that remind you of your mission, keep notes around your bedroom and office to keep you focused, bring yourself back to the reason for your goal as often as humanly possible.

By doing this every single day (multiple times a day) you are filling your brain with that motivation. Truth is, it’s in the action of constantly bringing it back to your attention that will keep you motivated, not the actual motivation itself.

Motivation is yours in abundance if you keep your mind on the goal. Position yourself for success and it’s yours for the taking!

How To Achieve At Anything

When I was a kid, I used to watch True Life on MTV.

Have you ever seen it? It’s this documentary show where they find 3 people who all share a common obstacle and then record their life as they struggle with it. The intention is to give viewers an insight into other people’s hidden struggles. For me, I just thought it was entertaining.

Some memorable episodes were “True Life: I have Epilepsy” and “True Life: My Parents are in Porn”, I mean honestly, this show had everything! But then one night, as I laid curled up on my couch in PJs, “True Life: I’m Going To Fat Camp” came on the screen.

I immediately turned the volume up. Three people were up to go to fat camp. One that really wanted it, one that was being forced to go by her family, and a third. I don’t remember much about the third, but I’ll never forget how emotional I got over the other two.

The one who wanted it, let’s call her Mary, saw fat camp as an opportunity. She worked her butt off just to get the money to be able to go and, when she got there, she utilized everything they had available to her. She saw fat camp as her path to better health and happiness and she wasn’t going to waste it for anything.

The second girl, again let’s make up a name - Jenna, didn’t want to go. She knew she needed to lose weight, but the idea of going to a fat camp upset her. Jenna wanted to do it on her own, even though she hadn’t been successful on her own, and her parents insisted she go. She was miserable and didn’t want to participate in anything at camp. She saw it as if it were a prison that she couldn’t stand to be in. She ended up sneaking out and getting candy bars with another girl and getting kicked out of camp.

I cheered at the TV when her parents had to come get her.

I tell you this story because these two girls both had the same goal and the same opportunities available to both of them, but only one had success. The only real difference between these two were their mindset, and that was the main driver of success versus failure.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you know or how much opportunity you have, it’s how to choose to use it. Every action comes from a thought first.

When you have a goal in mind, start to notice how you feel about that goal. Do you think you’ll hit it? Why or why not? Once you start to understand your thoughts around your goal, then you can start to shift your actions.

The opportunities, tools, tips and tricks are all available to you in abundance, but if your perspective sees them as negatives, then all you can get from the situation is negative.

If you want to find success in your journey, to achieve at anything, become aware of your mindset and start shifting your thoughts to gratitude and positivity. That energy will always lead you down the right path to health, healing, and happiness.

Because, True Life: Perspective Matters.

9 Things To Know If You're Newly Diagnosed

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Getting a diagnosis can change your life.

Suddenly, your life revolves around symptoms, medications, and doctors appointments. You feel scared, tired, and overwhelmed all at the same time with no clear exit.

Life as you know it changes completely.

Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis and since then, nothing has been the same.

I’ve seen the dark side of this illness, but I’ve also discovered ways to find the light, and that’s what I want to share with anyone who’s struggling.

That’s why I made this infographic with my 9 things to know if you’re newly diagnosed. If you have anything to add or comments on how these tips helped you, please comment below and share with anyone reading!

With love & light,

Carolyn Rachel

How To Meet Your Needs Effectively

Recently, I went on a bad date. If you can even call it that.

There’s a guy that I’ve had a micro crush on for months and he finally texted me to hang out! I swooned over every text as we spent the next 3 days making plans to get together. We finally decided to hang out on his balcony and chat over cider, just to get to know each other.

But as soon as I entered his apartment, I knew that something was off. He immediately asked if I would be willing to walk his dog while he was traveling for work and, once I said yes, his interest in getting to know me completely disappeared.

We sat on his balcony with our ciders and, less than 30 minutes after I’d arrived, he confirmed that I would walk his dog and then told me he still had a lot of work to do.

I left his apartment with half a cider still in my hands and a hanging cloud of disappointment above me. How could I have been so stupid?

I didn’t think about how misleading he’d been. I didn’t think about how he shouldn’t have spent so long making plans… or at least just asked me over text to take care of his dog. All I could think about was how I’d put myself out there when I shouldn’t have.

As I walked down the hallway and through the elevator, my critical voice showed up loud and clear in my head, taking advantage of my weak moment. “You’re not good enough, pretty enough, funny enough… why would he ever be interested in you?”  

I came home and barely made it to my room before the tears started. This wasn’t just one bad date. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and as I sat in my room alone with my thoughts, I became desperate for an escape from myself. That’s when I did what I always do, I took myself to the kitchen.

Food has been my method of coping for as long as I can remember. I’ve always turned to food for comfort and, even though it hurts me in the long run, it satisfies this need within me that I don’t know how to fill any other way.

I ate my way through that kitchen and felt absolutely awful afterwards, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Still, this wasn’t the first time it had happened and I knew, it probably wouldn’t be the last.

I’m telling you this story because, when you have chronic health conditions, it’s important to be able to understand what pushes us to act on lifestyle factors that have such a dramatic effect on our health and wellbeing.  

Binge eating has been an ongoing problem for me and I’ve struggled to understand why. But this week, I listened to a podcast from Tony Robbins about the six human needs and it explained everything to me. I highly suggest listening to it: Listen now!

According to Robbins, we all have the same six needs that we’re trying to satisfy. If we find a coping mechanism that can satisfy three or four of our needs, it becomes an addition to us.

And of course, we’re all different, so even though we all have these six needs, we don’t value them equally. That means that we are trying to satisfy these six needs, but we each put them at a different level of importance and that affects which ones you try to satisfy first.

For example, I may place more value on satisfying my need for love/connection more than personal growth, so I will do things to satisfy the love/connection with a stronger coping mechanism than I would to promote growth.

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The Six Human Needs:

Certainty.

Uncertainty.

Significance.

Connection & love.

Growth.

Contribution.

You can fulfill them in ways that are positive, negative, or neutral.

We get certainty through different ways of coping to avoid pain and have comfort. Just like when I take myself to the kitchen to binge, I am gaining certainty because I KNOW the food will provide comfort and an escape from my negative self talk, even if only for a little while. We can meet this need by getting angry, praying, doing a ritual, lowering expectations or any other action that has a very clear and certain result.

Uncertainty is also a driving need because it’s too easy to get bored when we always know the exact outcome. We need variety in life to keep things interesting, which is probably why I binge on different things every time. I know the food will comfort me, but what I eat is always different. We can meet this need through learning, growing, talking to a friend, praying, smoking a joint or cigarettes or any other action that has an unclear result.

Significance is the need to feel important or special. When I left that guy’s apartment, I felt pretty insignificant and needed to find relief from that feeling. Binging doesn’t make me feel important, but my decision to binge gives me control over my emotions which creates a feeling of dominance. We meet this need by working hard and taking risks to achieve something special or by tearing down everyone else who’s trying to build something.

Connection & love are pretty easy for most of us to understand, but it’s important to note…. We seek love until it hurts us. Most people don’t want to be hurt like that, so they settle for connection. We meet this need through prayer, gifts, dressing special, having big problems… anything that will provide any sort of human to human connection.

Growth is where we get happiness from. Progress means moving forward. We meet this need by having development in some area of life. If your goal is to get fit, you may not see results in the gym after a week, but the progress towards the goal will satisfy this need.

Contribution is the need to step outside of ourselves. When something is really good, we feel compelled to share it because there’s only so much positivity we can have within us. When we share something positive, that positivity grows. We can fulfill this need by sharing thoughts, events, entertainment, laughter, etc., with other people.

The good news is that being aware of these needs and learning how to fill them through a more positive method of coping will allow us to let go of our negative coping skills. Your needs have to be met, so it comes down to learning what needs you value more and an action plan to satisfy them.

Now that I recognize that binge eating connects to the first three needs, it’s important to create an action plan to fulfill those needs elsewhere by choosing positive coping mechanisms that will have the same effect. According to this, over time, the habit of binging should subside because I will be getting my needs met elsewhere.

What do you think about Tony Robbin’s concept of the six human needs? I’d love to hear your opinion, please leave a comment and fulfill a need through contribution. :-)


Without The Weight, Inc. is a health coaching business run by Mindset Coach, Carolyn Kaufman. Through her own personal experience of severe obesity and Multiple Sclerosis, Carolyn has learned how to use a variety of tools to overcome her health challenges. Now, through this blog, events, and coaching, she plans to bring what she’s learned to anyone who is suffering and seeking relief. Contact Carolyn for her services at Carolyn@WithoutTheWeight.com.