SPARKGIRL32   29,724
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Day 1476: Do you have to follow a diet "perfectly" to lose weight?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Have you noticed that whenever people go to lose weight, they try to eat 100% "perfectly" (fruits, veggies, all nonprocessed foods, etc.)? I think this is one of the reasons why "diets" fail. People are trying to take too big of a leap from where they are currently at to where they ideally would want to be. The end result? Almost always...they get overwhelmed and throw in the towel. The "perfect" eating plan never lasts very long at all.

For any of you that have been long time readers of my blog, you know that I am very transparent when it comes to my journey. I think that honesty helps you guys have the courage to change..because it shows you that you don't have to be "perfect" in order to lose weight.

I often let people I help know that I lost most of my weight eating the same processed crap as I did before...just less of it. In the beginning of my journey, "eating healthy" was just not bingeing. I honestly felt like a total rockstar when I didn't binge before bed. It was something I had done my whole life, so having days like that gave me hope I could change. My low expectations of myself initially (because of all of my failed attempts) actually HELPED me. I realized that trying to change it all right off the bat isn't something that ever worked for me. If I wanted to change, I had to take small and sustainable baby steps.

Though I have had points during my healthy lifestyle journey that I have eaten healthier than other points, overall...I still eat far from "perfect." I have healed my issues with bingeing, but I still find myself emotionally eating from time to time. After all, it's a habit that started when I was a little girl... it's a default tendency. Instead of making myself wrong for emotionally eating when it does happen...I learn from it. I ask myself who was I around when it happened and what triggered me.

Often times people blame a "lack of willpower" as to why they are an emotional eater. Since I have started working with others (both informally and formally), I have found one common trait across the board when it comes to emotional eating. Even though they may not even realize it, a lot of the time why they emotionally eat is because they are picking up on the energy around them. For example, they may have a co-worker who is super stressed out and unknowingly take on that emotion because they are in close proximity to them. Most of the people that are emotional eaters are highly empathic and intuitive...they eat to soothe the emotions that they are picking up from others.

Unfortunately, many times this isn't something they are 100% conscious and aware of, so they end up making themselves wrong for it. When they make themselves wrong for it like I did, they only make it worse. Their emotionally eating tendencies actually get worse!! That's why it is so important to get to the bottom of WHY you are emotionally eating (instead of making yourself wrong for it). Making yourself wrong for it is just going to make things worse.

I want to let you don't have to be "perfect" when it comes to your eating plan in order to lose weight. In fact, expecting perfection is just going to hold you back even more. Please don't continue to make that mistake like I did!! It is so much easier to lose weight when you are giving yourself wiggle room.

Hope this helped you guys :) I am trying to write 750 words a day (I'm on day 23) and I thought I would write a little something-something in here. :) Hope you had a great weekend.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THRIFTEE1 3/24/2014 12:40PM

    I loved reading this. I keep trying to remind myself this is a life change for me not just a diet...If I'm going to eat a burger than eat the burger just only eat half. I have noticed going out to eat has become really difficult for me and I need to learn foods I can eat at restaurants I will be satisfied with ....that is my new challenge. You are doing great on your word challenge! emoticon

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ZAPPATTACK 3/23/2014 11:30AM

    Yes! I was feeling guilty for buying a 30-pack of baked individual bags of chips yesterday but after reading this, I feel okay about it. I was worried about it being processed foods even though the bags were baked which is supposedly a bit better than regular chips. I need to remember that it's like what you said. It's not a change-everything-all-at-once thing, but a process/journey/lifestyle change that starts with gradual steps. Thank you for sharing, this made me feel TONS better about my choice!!

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DOTTIEJANE1 3/23/2014 11:17AM


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Day 1461: My 4-Year SparkVersary!!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Wow!! I cannot believe it, but today marks me being on SparkPeople for 4 years!! Although I haven't been as active the past two years or so (my journey has shifted from weight loss to spirituality and I have started to write pen to paper instead of typing)...I owe Chris Downie, the community, and the resources within this site everything. I truly believe I would never have gotten where I am today without all the support and encouragement from this site.

Even though I am not as active on the site as I used to be, I am very much still pursuing my personal development and growth as a result of discovering SparkPeople 4 years ago. From the bottom of my heart, I owe my rapid personal and spiritual growth to this community...and I truly credit each and every one of you as part of the catalyst to my healing. Through your comments, encouragement, and Love...I was able to not only lose 80 pounds (and keep it off)...but begin to pursue my dream job of helping others lose weight and Love themselves at the age of 22 (while I was still struggling with the insecurity that I was "too young" to have an impact on others).

From being a community member to becoming a motivator to helping me land a job running the weight loss program at a doctor's office to becoming a SparkLeader and teaching healthy living classes for the community to giving me the courage to leave the doctor's office and start teaching what I have learned on my own (even though I was only 23 at the time) was you guys who told me that I HAD to do something with my gifts and talents. You all believed in me before I believed in me...even though I had a million insecurities about why I couldn't follow my guys met me with a million reasons why I HAD to.

Over time, you guys made me realize how important it was to overcome my all made me realize how I had to STOP making it about ME and all the reasons why I COULDN'T go after my dreams and become a life coach at 23 (i.e. I was too young, no one would take me seriously, I wasn't ready, I had to become a therapist and mature first, etc.)..I had to start focusing on why I COULD...because regardless of my age and how much I felt like I had to learn...I had a very important message to deliver: YOU are SO much more than that number on the scale, You DESERVE to feel good NOW (not just once you reach your goal weight), and YOU are here to fulfill a purpose that ONLY you can.

Ironically, you guys taught ME what I now teach everyone that I have a chance to. That what lights your fire/your passion is your gift to the world...and it is your responsibility to heal whatever is holding you back from delivering that gift to the world. Regardless of your age (too young OR too old), how much you weigh, where you came from, or what you have gone through...your corner of The Universe is WAITING for you to take what makes your heart glow with happiness and share it with everyone who resonates with it. You may not be everyone's cup of tea (I know I am sure not)...but by stepping into your authentic attract to you the people who you are supposed to impact to transform into THEIR authentic self...which is the ONLY source of TRUE unconditional confidence.

I will tell you...if I have learned anything on my journey and through the work I's that once you reach your goal weight or accomplish whatever your highly desired goal is (i.e. quit smoking, start a business, write a book, find a relationship, etc.) ...there will just be ANOTHER one waiting for you to accomplish after it. The goals and desire for completing yet another accomplishment will never stop coming...after all, we grow SO much through setting and accomplishing goals and our soul Loves that!!

The truth is, the REAL soul goal we're chasing after is learning to be happy with the present moment and where we currently are...while continuing to evolve into that even greater vision of ourselves. You are perfect exactly as you are right now...even if you'd rather be some place else (i.e. 80 pounds lighter like me 4 years ago today)...everything on your path has led you to this point.

If you are struggling, know that even if you can't see the higher purpose in your struggle right now...everything you are experiencing has a rhyme and reason. You never know what you are learning right now and how it is going to empower you to help others with a similar struggle and create the life of your dreams later. From the bottom of my heart, I hope that is something you take away from my journey.

And now I'm going to tell you guys what you told me a few years ago that completely changed my life and the lives of the thousands of people I have touched along my path (so far)... Regardless of your insecurities, you owe it to the world to heal what is getting in the way of you pursuing what sets your heart on fire and delivering your special gift to the world. This isn't about using your age, weight, lack of money, lack of time, lack of support, or struggle as an excuse for why you can't go after your dreams... This is about standing strong...regardless of how unprepared and inadequate you may currently feel...and taking the baby steps you can right NOW (not waiting for the "perfect" time--it never comes) to start stepping into your highest vision of yourself. Remember, this journey ISN'T about's about PROGRESS. In your journey's process, I promise that you will FINALLY find that elusive confidence that you have been looking for (but has never stuck) when you have set and accomplished goals. Unconditional confidence must come from within...and the easiest way to create it is by incorporating your God given talents and gifts (the ones that LIGHT you up and energize you when you utilize them) into your life every single day. THAT'S how you impact and completely transform not only yourself...but what I like to call "your corner of The Universe" (the people or causes that you resonate with and that your special gift impacts the most).

One of the biggest messages I want to get across is that it never really LOGICALLY made sense that someone my age (I was 22 when I first started weight loss coaching, 23 when I started life coaching) could be taken seriously. Most of my family and even my closest friends at the time thought it was a terrible idea (according to them...I needed a LIFE before I could be a life coach...LOL). I'm not going to lie, I have been told several times (at a later time of course) that when people first met me and I told them what I did...they also thought I was a joke. Because *logically* doesn't make sense that someone "my age" could really have the knowledge and experience required to help and transform people's lives and perceptions about themselves...right?!

But here's the thing...when I share my passion and what lights my fire...people FEEL that energy. People's logical brain that says I'm "too young" immediately shuts off as I start speaking about what lights my fire (helping others Love and see themselves for who they TRULY are). People can energetically FEEL how deeply invested my heart is in helping others make this transformation. And the truth is...the pure energy of your heart investment and genuine Love will ALWAYS triumph any perceived "limitation" such as age or experience. Why? Because LOVE is what transforms people...NOT age or experience (or whatever other "limitation" we come up with to keep us from stepping into our greatness).

Bottom line...much like My Corner, Your Corner Of The Universe won't care how young (or old) you are, how much you weigh, how many times you have repeatedly failed, or that you are far from perfect. The truth is...Your Corner is waiting on YOU to heal what is holding you back from tending to your life purpose. If you feel like your weight is holding you back, then set a goal to lose it...but never lose focus of what is going to TRULY transform your life and the lives around you from the inside out. You owe it to yourself AND the world to set aside the time it takes to do the inner work required to step into your higher vision of yourself and your life! The real question is...are you READY?!

I cannot put into words how much I Love each and every one of you and how grateful I am for crossing each of you on my pathway to Vitality. I am so excited to continue watching you all grow and evolve into more of who you truly are (Unconditional Love)...and to see where your passions and gifts carry you.

Never are more amazing than you'll ever know...please allow your little heart to guide you in ALL that you do. Know that with its guidance, you can accomplish ANYTHING...even if it doesn't "logically" seem possible. I thank each of you for teaching me that lesson and empowering me with the privilege of paying it forward and teaching it to others. 4 years later, I genuinely owe my success to each and every one of you. You don't know how much of an impact you believing in me WAY before I believed in me made on me and I promise to devote the rest of my life giving that gift to others. From my heart to yours...there are no words to express my gratitude.

I Love you.
March 9, 2014

P.S. In case this didn't take you long enough to read (haha)...I did a SparkVersary video explaining my story as well (I wasn't planning on this being so long...I guess had a lot to say, ;). I couldn't upload it on SparkPeople because of the size, but you can find it on YouTube at if you are interested in hearing more about where my journey started and how it has evolved over the past few years :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TKAYSMILES 3/10/2014 10:14PM

    I keep wanting to ask you how is your family dealing with who you are now? I remember them not being supportive way back when. I've told you already what an inspiration you are. Glad we started the same day! It's amazing where we started and how losing weight has turned into so much more. Congratulations to you for everything you have accomplished.

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KTTAYLOR21 3/10/2014 3:48PM

    I have finished a Lauren-a-thon!! LOL I just read your blog and ended up watching a bunch of your youtube videos and I am so motivated because this is inline with my total journey. The hard part for me has been the application of all this good stuff. I do a visualization meditation EVERY MORNING!! How do I finally put this stuff into action...sheesh!! One of the things...well two of the things I want to put into action today... no more negative self talk and journaling.

You have such a bright future in front of you. Especially considering you are in your mid 20's. That is so awesome!! I have 44 years of "stuff" to unlearn...BUT... I know that it is possible.

Thank you so much for the motivation and material to help us along on this journey. I wish you much success ooohhh and....

HAPPY emoticon emoticon emoticon


PS... awesome blog post!!!

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FEARLESSNOW 3/10/2014 11:13AM

    I've been looking forward to reading this blog and loved it. I'm also looking forward to seeing you more on Facebook. Off to youtube I go to watch your video. Happy Sparkversary!

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CHELLEMMG 3/10/2014 8:23AM

  Like I told you on FB you are a true inspiration Lauren!!! thank you for sharing your amazing journey with all of us! you're community!... all my love and care to you girl! =)

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PLUMERIA26 3/10/2014 2:08AM

    Happy sparkversary! I'm so happy for you that you achieved your goals and are doing what you set out to do. That is so awesome! I am back in school and working on getting my degree, it's kindof scary because I don't know if I'm taking the right path career-wise but I'm doing it regardless because I want to take the chance. Keep up the great work, you are inspiring! emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 3/9/2014 9:57PM

    Yayyy Lauren! And I commend you, it is so important to be thankful to those who helped you along in your journey. They will come up in your life again and again.

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Day 1366: Diet Detoxing

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

So yesterday my bootcamp started and I am following along the program with my bootcampers. I gave them the assignment yesterday of going on a two week long diet detox. I am going to be journaling about my own diet detox here! :), I walked to breakfast...which was about 8/10 of a mile there and back. I walk quite a bit because I use public transportation to get everywhere :) I Love it! That started my day out on the right foot.

Immediately after breakfast, I went to the gym and did 20 minutes of cardio. I also was reading my book, Quantum Wellness, while I was on the treadmill listening to music. It felt good to hit two birds with one stone.

Then, I came home and Emma-Jean had inspired me to do some of Leslie Sansone's walking DVDs...but I only did about 3 minutes before I decided I wasn't feeling it. haha.

Later, I will be going into the city for a I'll be doing more walking.

As far as my diet goes, I'm trying to get as much water in as I can. I'm not doing anything specific right now...just being mindful while I am eating. That's what feels right to me right now.

As far as motivation goes, I've been reading the book, "Quantum Wellness" to keep me motivated. In addition, I am still keeping up with my focus lists in the other areas of my life. For the next two weeks, my diet detox is going to replace my focus list for my healthy lifestyle plan. :)

I will write more tomorrow :)

Today is day 4 of doing my focus lists consistently! Woohoo!! :) I'll write tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KTTAYLOR21 12/5/2013 12:55PM

    I am trying to be more focus driven and conscious as well. It sounds like your working your plan! emoticon

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FLAB2FABFARMGRL 12/3/2013 3:51PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog, and I love that you are doing this right along with us! I'm glad I could "spark" you into trying out Leslie again, even if you weren't as into it this time! I mean, that is what this diet detox is all about right! I really need to get my water intake up as well! I am so picky about water, and where I am at college the water is disgusting so I usually have to flavor it somehow. I hope you enjoy your meditation tonight! You will have to tell us how you like that book once you are finished with it!

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Day 1364: Building Momentum + Focus List

Sunday, December 01, 2013

I think one of the things that makes is so hard to lose weight is momentum...or really a lack of it. Even though I teach this stuff constantly, I still find myself wanting to do more than supports building momentum in the beginning.

The truth is, momentum can be built so fast if we let it. When we set up to-do lists with a million things to do, we kill any chance of momentum being built. After all, how can we feel like we're getting things done when we're unable to check all of our to-dos off? When we expect too much of ourselves too soon, we set ourselves up to feel hopeless.

My routine is going to be a little different today, as I am going to a 2 hour meditation and will be doing TONS of walking around the city today. This is something I will need to take into account..though streaking always does work best for me :) Oooh! It's kinda exciting to figure out what works for me healthy lifestyle wise's been awhile since I made it a focus because a lot of the habits have become who I am.

My food is STILL something I need to put regular focus and intention on. My eating disorder began developing when I was five..and while it is healed when it comes to bingeing like I used to...I definitely do not naturally crave healthy foods unless I am putting a lot of focus and intention in that area. So I want to slowly get back to doing that without stressing myself out :)

I just woke up not too long ago, so I haven't finished doing the to-dos for my focus lists but here's what they are:

Vitality Goal: I have established a self-empowered lifestyle. This was my intention before. Something that I think is more tangible and makes it easier to track is "I am 125 pounds." The only thing is that I'm not crazy about putting the emphasis on the scale...and to be quite honest, I'm not even sure how much I weigh. haha. I stopped weighing myself awhile ago and focus more on my clothes and the habits. I'm going to think about this one for tomorrow because I want a goal I am able to measure...but I also think the scale isn't so great of a measurement...hmmmm...I need to figure this one out.... :)

[ ] Nutrition: I have read "Becoming Vegan" for at least 15 minutes
[ ] Fitness: I have walked 2 miles
[X] Motivation: I have written in my SparkBlog

My goals are definitely going to get done, I just wanted to make sure I wrote this blog. It helps set it in stone more :)

I Love gets me excited about my goals and about the possibilities :)

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEARLESSNOW 12/2/2013 7:19PM

    Good luck!

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Day 1363: Guess who's back :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hi guys!! Thought I would do a quick blog!! I'm wanting to stay accountable to some lifestyle changes that I'm making and figured posting in my SparkBlog would be a great place to do just that. I haven't been writing in here..not because I haven't been working on myself (I am!! :)..but because I use my paper journal to do most of my writing now.

I'm trying to get a healthy lifestyle ritual going on again so I figured I would write in here. Ideally, I will have developed a morning routine where I:

1. Wake up
2. Head straight to the gym (lucky for me..this is about a 2 minute walk from my house :)
3. Read while I'm on the elliptical for at least 10 minutes
4. Come home
5. Do a quick grounding meditation
6. Journal
7. Do my focus lists (I'll show you what they look like below)

So that's what I want to hold myself accountable to..not necessarily all of it every single day..but eventually building up to that :)

Today..this is what my healthy lifestyle focus list looked like.

Vitality Goal: I have established a self-empowering lifestyle.

[X] Nutrition: I have come up with 5 healthy snack go-tos for my list that I can add to later.
[X] Fitness: I have walked at least 2 miles
[X] Motivation: I have written in my SparkBlog

Easy peezy...right? :)

Healthy snack go-to list:
1. Nuts from Trader Joe's that are already packaged into individual servings
2. Apples with peanut butter
3. Clif bars (in moderation-haha)
4. Hummus with carrots/chips (in moderation)
5. Guacamole with carrots/chips (in moderation)

and wa-laaah there you have it :)

I'm going to try to keep up with this every single day while I make this change :)

Hope your guys' holiday went well!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 12/1/2013 9:40AM

    Good to see you back! Your routine and snack list looks great!! emoticon

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CINDHOLM 11/30/2013 8:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 11/30/2013 7:57PM

    It's good to see you back here Lauren! Good lists!

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