Weight loss is not an easy journey — or quick. The most successful weight-loss stories often involve time and a total change in thinking, which is why Claire's weight-loss success is a model to follow. After too many years of feeling sad about her weight, she decided it was time for a change. "I was living so mindlessly and even though I was unhappy with how I felt and looked, I couldn't seem to get it together," she told us.
But in order for her to create long-term change, Claire knew she would have to find a program that was simple, supportive, and, most importantly, sustainable. Claire teamed up with Ricki Friedman, motivational health coach and founder of Break the Weight, to help create the change she's always been looking for. Unlike fad diets, which rely on quick fixes that are hard to stick to, Break the Weight is "a way of life." It's a daily system that focuses on the power of connection, mindfulness, movement, and accountability. Ricki inspires clients to lose weight by confronting the emotional weight that may be causing physical weight gain, becoming more mindful when it comes to eating, and offering constant support to help clients build positive long-term habits.
Through the program, Claire learned about her relationship with food and all the reasons she had unhealthy eating habits to begin with. As is often the case, she discovered that her eating habits were strongly connected to her emotions. "What I learned the most about my relationship with food is that we don't need to reward ourselves after a hard day by having a piece of pizza," Claire said. "There's so many amazing things to eat out there, but moderation is what matters, and one bite tastes the same as 10. It's all about making the right choices and picking and choosing, and consistency." Becoming a more mindful person was a breakthrough.
Claire also credits her success with taking things slow and not trying to change everything at once. "My biggest challenge was changing my sleeping habits and eating breakfast," she said. "I never ate breakfast, slept until 1 p.m. on days I didn't have class, and did a lot of my eating late at night. Changing those two habits slowly was pretty hard but made all the difference in the world."
To make her newly formed habits stick, Claire followed a daily system of accountability. While following the Break the Weight program, participants track their food and steps and also drink two liters of water a day. While in the program, you're being held accountable by your coach, and in time, you learn how to find that self-motivation and accountability on your own. "Ricki first makes you accountable towards her, but in time you realize you really want it for yourself as well." And while staying the course can often feel like a full-time job, Claire found ways to stay inspired even on days she wasn't feeling it. "I stay motivated by changing up my routines. I walk different routes and listen to podcasts when I walk. It gives me something to look forward to. By changing my route I'm also exploring new places and finding new favorite areas."
As Claire became more mindful of her eating, it became easier to incorporate healthy meals into her day. Here's what a typical day of meals looks like for her.
Breakfast: A piece of whole-wheat toast with either peanut butter and some turkey bacon or avocado and eggs
Snack and Lunch: A Clif bar or a Kind bar with an apple or a banana
Afternoon Snack: Silk soy yogurt with some granola
Dinner: Chicken and some roasted vegetables or vegetarian sushi
Five months and almost 20 pounds later, Claire has made sustainable lifestyle changes and has learned to not be afraid to ask for help. She says that the best part about changing her life is knowing that this is her new normal. "Break the Weight has taught me so much. How to be mindful, how to take things one step at a time, that this is a way of life," she said. "It's helped me become a better, more successful version of myself, which is the most important change of it all . . . I feel amazing."