Does your physical health often take a backseat to some of your other priorities? Mine too! As a military wife, weight loss hasn’t always been top of mind. But this year, my goal is to make my physical health a priority. I want to get strong and healthy, lose weight, improve my relationship with food, and learn how to listen to my body. Because I know the value of coaching, I hired a weight loss life coach to help me on my journey. Her name is Lizzie Merrit–I’ve had her on the Simply Resilient podcast before, and I’m sharing her best tips for military wife weight loss to help you reach your goals.
Military Wife Weight Loss Tip #1
Clean up your thinking about your body.
One of the reasons I love working with Lizzie is because she understands that physical health is not all physical. There is a mental component that plays a significant role in how we talk to ourselves, treat our body, and, ultimately, how we reach our goals. She’s helping me untangle thoughts, loosen the grip on some painful stories, and learn to observe and not judge myself on my journey. As I’ve done that work–not even on weight loss–I’ve seen improvements in my physical health.
Everything starts in our minds. As I clean up my thinking about my body and work on what’s going on in my brain, the health of my body, the way I treat my body, and how I take care of my body is improving simultaneously. What’s on your plate does have an impact. But the way you think about things, treat yourself, and speak to yourself when you step on the scale is the foundation on which you can build.
Military Wife Weight Loss Tip #2
Tackle weight loss in bite-size pieces.
Bettering your physical health and achieving your weight loss goals doesn’t need to be a struggle. It doesn’t need to be fast or dramatic. It doesn’t need to come from a place of scarcity or a place of judgment. Personally, I want to be my goal weight by my 40th birthday. I’ll have one year starting in September 2023. I’ve given myself a really awesome timeline to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself so I can achieve them.
When you go on a “program” (aka diet), you’re subtly telling yourself that one day you’ll be off the plan. Diets are designed to be temporary, which insinuates to your subconscious mind you can go back to normal once you reach the finish line. This leads to yoyo weight loss, and it can be extremely frustrating.
Instead, focus on making small changes to your diet and lifestyle that you can live with–not doing a crash diet one week only to gain all the weight back the next. One step at a time. Bite-size pieces.
Military Wife Weight Loss Tip #3
Learn to love yourself now to enjoy the journey.
Can you imagine getting to your goal weight and still being unhappy with yourself? It can happen if you don’t learn to love yourself at every stage and every weight. Diets teach you dieting. But prioritizing your physical health starts by learning how to love yourself all the way down the scale.
Feeling good on the journey is how you stay motivated and do the hard work, even when you don’t want to. Because while you really may want to reach your goal weight, you won’t always want to take each step required to achieve that goal. But when you feel good, you set yourself up to stay motivated.
Willpower isn’t enough. It’s unsustainable. It will run out. Using willpower is always a short-term plan, and you’ll always get short-term results. It’s statistically proven that self-compassion is more effective at inducing behavior change than beating yourself up.
Military Wife Weight Loss Tip #4
Be willing to lose weight imperfectly.
If you’re willing to lose weight imperfectly, you’ll find yourself not only enjoying the journey more but getting closer to your goals faster.
For example, let’s say you make a meal plan for tomorrow. You choose something you want to eat–not kale for every meal (that’s not setting yourself up for success). You set a reasonable plan. But the goal isn’t to follow it perfectly. The goal is to get curious if you want to go off the plan.
Ask yourself why. What’s going on? Are you having a tough day? Have the kids been yelling non-stop? Do you miss your husband who is deployed? Find out what is making you question the plan you created when you were rested and in a better head space.
For example, if your brain is telling you that you need a sugary cereal right now, it might be because you’re exhausted and your body wants a quick boost of energy. What you really need is a nap. So before you act on what your brain is telling you, get curious and try to understand what your body actually needs.
The more you learn about yourself, your habits, and why you do what you do, the easier it will be to make changes that help you reach your goals.
Military Wife Weight Loss Tip #5
Celebrate “small” wins because everything is progress.
Our brains are great at learning what we repeat. When we diet, we repeat the thought: I’ll be happy when I lose weight. Your brian hasn’t practiced how to be happy right now. Celebrating “small” wins helps with that. Curiosity, self-compassion, and celebrating every win on the way will help you learn to love yourself and be proud of every bite-sized step you take.
How to Make Healthy Changes During Deployment
I’m sure we’ve all read the stories and seen the before and after pictures of the military wife who loses 200 pounds and surprises her husband when he returns from deployment. Those stories are amazing! But they are not commonplace. If you want to work on improving your physical health while your husband is away, don’t overdo it and use concepts like “when he sees me” against yourself. It will take away the sustainability of your health journey. And while a big reveal is fun and exciting, sustainability is most important.
According to Lizzie, here is how to make habit change easier to experience the military wife weight loss you desire:
- Make it easier to start: Instead of changing a whole bunch of things at once, pick one thing and make it smaller. Turn a big boulder into a small rock. Instead of a goal to run 5 miles a day, choose a goal to walk 10 minutes.
- Make it easier to succeed: Once you make the rock smaller, it’s time to make the hill smaller. Rather than a goal to run 5 miles 6 days a week, choose a goal to walk 10 minutes a few days a week. Think about what’s realistic. Are Tuesday mornings open? Are you free most Saturdays? Set yourself up for success by committing to what reasonably works within your life and schedule.
- Make it easier to keep going: Consistency is the unsung hero of weight loss. If you can be imperfect consistently, and just keep going imperfectly, you’re winning. To do this, make a goal on a spectrum because life rarely goes according to plan. During a perfect week, you’ll walk for 10 minutes on Tuesday and Saturday. But when life doesn’t go as planned, choose to still be happy with yourself if you walk to the mailbox once that week.
- Make it easier to feel good: Give yourself the opportunity to feel successful as often as possible. It is not necessarily achieving the goal that makes us feel great, but progress is the fuel that motivates us.
More Military Wife Weight Loss Resources for Your Journey
If you’re like me and are ready to finally take your physical health off the backburner, I hope these military wife weight loss tips and snippets of wisdom I’ve gathered from Lizzie have inspired you. For more on this topic, you can…
- Listen to my podcast interview with Lizzie Merrit
- Hear more about my personal journey
- Schedule a free coaching call with me to chat about your military wife goals!
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