If you've "TRIED EVERYTHING AND CAN'T LOSE WEIGHT", read on. Because, yes you can.
Are you stuck in a weight loss plateau? Do you feel as though no matter WHAT you do, you can’t lose weight? Do you eat healthy and work out regularly but still feel like the fat on your body won’t budge? Does real fat loss seem like a distant dream to you?
I hear you. I have felt this way for years, and many of you that have been following me for a while KNOW this. I’ve been a woman past the age of 40 (update: I’m 50 now!) with hormonal imbalance, Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, Low Cortisol, Adrenal Fatigue and even Adrenal Burnout, and a host of other health concerns– dealing with all the issues that come with a slow AF metabolism.
I FEEL YOU.
The good news is, I have recently experienced a massive breakthrough around what it takes to lose weight, even if you’re at a weight loss plateau, even if you have hormonal imbalance issues, even if you have Hypothyroidism, even if you are past the age of 40….yea, all of you. I’ve GOT YOU.
Let me bring you up to date: My recent history with weight gain, and weight loss plateaus.
So many of you that follow me have seen me share my struggles with health setbacks and the resulting problems losing weight and getting my fitness game back on track. Most of you have asked that I share the history, and I think it WILL be helpful for you to hear what happened and what I learned from the past couple of years (in other words, read on and learn what NOT to do when you want to lose weight and keep it off!)
How STRESS can destroy your fitness efforts if you let it.
It was the end of 2016- around Fall to be exact, when I began to experience problems. This is where, in retrospect, I can see that the STRESS I was experiencing in my personal and business life was affecting my body. I’m certain that this was when my adrenal fatigue was developing and my cortisol was starting to plummet. (I’ll go into detail on all these things in other posts, so stay tuned). Without going into too much detail- I was under a tremendous amount of stress. Our company was going through changes, I was not the leader I needed to be, and as such, there was a lot of turmoil within the culture of our business. I often had trouble sleeping– and when we don’t sleep, that causes a HOST of problems for our overall state of health. It certainly affects our workouts and our eating– we tend to make poor choices in food when we are overly tired, and we often can’t do the workouts we want to because of fatigue. No bueno.
That fall, I sold most of my stuff in Chicago (that was a GOOD thing: I decided to get rid of all the dishes and furniture and paintings that reminded me of my past life with my ex-husband, and start all over- moving down South. I strongly recommend the practice of NEW BEGINNINGS and CLEARING OUT SPACE IN YOUR LIFE for new and better things to enter in. I didn’t want to sleep in the same bed that I slept in with my husband. I didn’t want to eat on the plates we were gifted from our wedding registry etc.) – and I moved to Austin TX.
NOTE: I was intending to move to Phoenix. But the stop in Austin was initially intended to be a stopover: I had met 2 business contacts (a married couple who described themselves as baller management consultants with Silicon Valley experience and their goal was to consult with our company and help transform our business model) and they had invited me to stay in their “guest house” in Austin while we launched a podcast. The plan was to stay for 4 weeks and move to Phoenix. What happened instead was that I fell in love with Texas and decided to move there.
Sadly- what happened over the next 4-5 months was a combination of me 1) experiencing a LOT more chaos and drama within our business life (MORE STRESS) and 2) following the advice of this self-proclaimed “expert” in health and hormonal balance. Yes, the same man who claimed he was this serial entrepreneur with a brain equal to Steve Jobs, also claimed to know everything about medicine and health and healing my hormones.
Lesson #1: Don't take health advice from an unqualified self-proclaimed expert.
Ladies, let me tell you this. When you are in a bad place with your body- when you feel like you are totally lost and you can’t lose weight and you are broken, understand that you are vulnerable. And when you are vulnerable AND desperate- that’s a bad combination, because you will FALL FOR ANYTHING. It is so important for us to listen to our GUT, trust our intuition– and I cannot stress this enough. WHEN WE IGNORE THOSE GUT FEELINGS, WHEN WE DON’T TRUST OUR INSTINCTS, THAT IS WHEN WE MAKE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES. My first biggest mistake was trusting this con-artist (I did not discover until later that everything about this man was a fraud)— both from a business perspective and also from a health perspective. I did whatever he told me to- because he had me believing he could heal my body– the body that had suddenly started feeling fluffier and that suddenly could not lose any weight.
He told me to essentially STOP WORKING OUT– that because my adrenals were in such a bad spot, I should be only doing calming movement- going for easy walks. No intense, Kelly-O-Style workouts. He also was a hardcore Paleo Diet fan — only he wasn’t about DIETING. Rather, he told me to eat, and eat a LOT. He was a fan of this controversial doctor in New Orleans (Dr, Jack Kruse) and they were both convinced I had to reset my leptin- so he had me eating a plate of raw oysters every morning 30 minutes after waking. Then I’d have a plate of pasture raised eggs (about 4 usually) and bacon with guacamole and 2 bulletproof coffees.
Ladies– he did not have me counting calories AT ALL (truth be told I had not been in a calorie counting mode for years) but was one of those “Just eat Paleo and you’re fine!” advocates. Bullshit. That breakfast alone (because the coffee had a big chunk of grass fed butter and 2 egg yolks in it) was easily 1000 calories. EASY. But– MISTAKE #1– I did not trust myself, I didn’t think I could know what to do for myself- and I FOLLOWED ADVICE I HAD A BAD FEELING ABOUT.
I did not feel right about STOPPING MY WORKING OUT and eating all this high fat FOOD.
He had me eating a Paleo lunch (I’d guess average was 500+ calories) and a Paleo dinner (probably 750 or so)and then I remember I’d have sweet cravings so I’d want an apple or nut butter- and he’d scold me for that. He said that eating a piece of fruit was “bad”– eating anything but eggs, meat, guacamole and coconut oil was “bad”. I fell for it- even though my instinct told me RED FLAG.
LIFE LESSON: DO NOT IGNORE YOUR INSTINCT. TRUST YOUR GUT. WOMEN’S INTUITION IS A STRONG POWERFUL THING. Don’t EVER ignore it.
Bad Advice = Bad Results
That’s me above in April 2017. You can see the disgust in my face, can’t you? That was me working out 6 days a week and eating healthy and I was just THICK.
So what was the result? I blindly followed this guy’s advice and got FATTER. YUP. As the months went by, my clothes got tighter, and I was MISERABLE. If you followed me on social media back then, you’d notice a big LACK of post-workout selfies. I was embarrassed by my body and I also wasn’t working out because this idiot told me not to.
I fired the idiot in April and that’s when I discovered what a total fraud he was and how I had dodged a bullet. I fired him and he went BATSHIT CRAZY on me – desperate to come to my apartment to get money from me. In the coming weeks, I did some overdue due diligence on him and discovered that I was his 5th or 6th “mark” – he had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate other companies, gain shares and walk away with money not due to him. He was (and is) wanted in several states for hundreds of thousands of dollars due to various businesses and other ex-wives– yea, the classy loser doesn’t pay child support. He’s a dangerous lying con artist who is still at it. He finds women he can con and then usually marries them, opening up bank accounts in their name and under like 100 different business names so he can avoid the IRS taking his income. Truly the biggest loser I have ever met in my life.
I Finally went to see my now primary hormone doctor- Dr. Sebring. I was so desperate to get normalized again- we did bloodwork and my hormones were all over the place. We were starting from scratch.
He put me on HCG– and let me be clear. This is a controversial topic– I’ve done 2 separate rounds of HCG and whatever you think of it- it does create results— and I think at that time, it gave me what I needed. This was April of 2017– and I’d been miserable and gaining weight for 6-7 months. When I did the HCG Diet, even though the weight on the scale only moved 2 pounds, I shed a lot of fat. It was the jumpstart I needed and – frankly, I do not regret it.
I’ll do another post on HCG and what I feel about now and I plan to interview a woman who has been living the HCG life for years and doing it very successfully. You can make your own decision.
The key with HCG— and here is LESSON #2 my friends– YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH. You have to know all the components of something before blindly jumping in.
See a trend here? When I’ve been very insecure and vulnerable and desperate, I’ve made impulsive non-informed decisions that backfired later. MY MANTRA NOW: Make informed decisions!
I didn’t ask enough questions about HCG so I didn’t understand how it worked and how important it was to reverse diet out of it. So – that summer when a friend of mine told me to dive right into Faster Way to Fat Loss, I did. I stopped taking HCG on a Sunday, and went right into FWTFL. That was an uninformed decision.
I think because I was training so hard with a trainer and eating pretty well, I didn’t have major problems like most would experience with NOT reverse dieting out of HCG. In fact, for the rest of 2017, I made great progress with building muscle and leaning out. I have quite a lot of feeling flyAF selfies during this time, compared to the end of 2016.
Sometimes Momentum Creates Great Success.
What worked in 2017.
The picture above is me in June 2017. I had some great success in 2017. Sure, I started it off with a relatively extreme diet, HCG, but it was the jumpstart I needed. Sometimes, a boost of success can create massive momentum and I firmly believe that can be the best drug ever to keep you going!
As I jumped from HCG into FWTFL, once again, I did the Kelly O thing: I was impatient. I wanted more results and wanted them faster. So I didn’t do the FWTFL workouts – I trained with my trainer at Gold’s Gym. HARD. And thus he made suggestions to my diet. Big time. He was a purist and told me a lot of things to not eat. LESSON #3: This is me listening to the advice of too many people: my doctor, my trainer, my FWTFL friend, and social media. I was applying 700 different “rules” about losing weight and working out. I was adding way too much extra training and extra 24 hour fasting days– I was pushing my adrenals to the extreme. By the end of 2017 and early 2018, I began to lose steam. I was TIRED again. A LOT. I didn’t realize it but I was edging toward Adrenal Burnout. Work stuff was getting bad and stressful: I was in the middle of a potential lawsuit against a vendor and I had a lot on my plate. So, STRESS + OVERTRAINING + inconsistent dieting = a bad hormonal state. I kept going at it but was finding myself lost. I felt that I was perpetually in this state of “almost fit” but never there. I was always at about 15-20lbs over my ideal weight. As such, I asked my FWTFL friend to help me- tell me what to eat, how much to eat, how to diet: I was so confused with information overload– all the fitness BS I’d been told or read or heard and tried to apply- it all conflicted with each other. She recommended a dietitian. I hired this woman and retained her for the rest of 2018. BAD CALL.
Sometimes even a dietitian can be wrong.
What did the dietitian say to do? She said to stop intermittent fasting because it wasn’t serving me. She realized that I was terrified of all foods (true) because of all the conflicting rules I was trying to follow. She wanted me to eat intuitively- no rules, nothing off the table. I could eat whatever I wanted. And I was told to stop all intense workouts. (Does this sound familiar??) I was told to only do weight training that didn’t elevate my heart rate. These “rules” about working out scared me and I tried to comply PERFECTLY. All my intense workouts stopped and I worked out less overall.
I remember my man saying to me as I started to feel fatter around June “how can you not gain weight if you are eating MORE and working out LESS??“
He was so right. But – LESSON #4: I didn’t trust myself. My gut, my instinct said that all this was WRONG. But I convinced myself “I don’t know better. I’m not a certified trainer or dietitian, I have to listen to them“. So I kept on paying this dietitian. (Please note: I feel strongly that this dietitian’s advice was 100% WRONG for me but I do think she is immensely smart and talented and I’m by no means saying dietitians are bad; this is more about me knowing my body and trusting my gut: SOMETIMES, we know better what’s best for us!!) I got thicker and thicker. By the time Steve and I went to Park City the end of August, all my jeans were barely fitting me. I remember distinctly every time we went out for dinner and I was SQUEEZING myself into my clothes and barely able to button my jeans. I began living in blazers again to hide my core. This photo above is from a photoshoot that depressed me beyond belief. I was so hot and miserable and felt like a sausage stuffed into my Spanx. I can just SEE how swollen my face was and how thick my middle was.
In the middle of all this- I’ve been dating the best man in the universe, the love of my life and– I’m mortified by my body. Embarrassed to have him see me like this. Wanting to look my best for him and failing. It was depressing.
By December of 2018 I was the heaviest I’d been in years. I distinctly remember heading to Houston to spend the holiday with Steve’s family and I had to go out and buy a pair of “fat pants” to fit me. I didn’t want anyone taking my picture. I was hot. I couldn’t fit in literally- anything in my closet. I was so angry I knew it was time for change.
2019: Taking Matters Into My Own Hands.
I finally got some nerve and terminated my contract with the dietitian in January of 2019. The man and I made plans for me to move from Austin to San Antonio so we could get a place together: we were so tired of going back and forth between San Antonio and Austin every weekend and not seeing each other during the week. I was determined to make 2019 my comeback year.
I don’t have a TON to share about my fitness lows or highs in 2019 because the truth is, as many of you know– 2019 was the year that chronic pain took over my world. I moved to SATX the end of March– Steve and I took a vacation trip to wine country right after-and I remember the headache situation affecting that trip: I got my eyes tested at an eye doctor while I was out there and spend $1500+ on new designer blue blocking glasses to help my headaches. Didn’t work. That summer the headaches got progressively worse and more often– and then the migraines joined them- and got worse and longer and more often.
I’ve shared on social media that in 2019 I probably missed 70% or more of my WORK time and WORKING OUT time. Not an exaggeration. I’ll be publishing an entire post on that in detail (I’m sure you are picking up on how my blog posts here are going to be less often (2 weekly) but more detailed and higher quality— so stay tuned (be sure you subscribe– I’m launching a newsletter series next week FINALLY!) and sharing an eBook of all my research and findings on solving chronic headaches and migraines. Stay tuned.
So- 2019 was the year of chronic pain and of me lying on the couch in fetal position most of the time. God bless my man for putting up with me and supporting me and taking care of me. He is an angel and then some. God I am SO BLESSED by his love.
THE DIET BREAKTHROUGH: THAT CALORIC DEFICIT MAGIC.
I had the biggest losing weight breakthrough OF ALL TIME (not joking) in November. So there I was still dealing with headaches, getting ready to go on a trip to Chicago for Christmas, and somewhere online I stumble on Jordan Syatt. I honestly don’t remember how but who cares? This guy was talking about Caloric Deficit and it drew me in– especially when he mentioned he had a podcast interview with a woman with Hashimoto’s- I tuned in right away. That podcast (the one from 9/24/19) BLEW MY MIND! This woman was just like me– she’d been complaining that she’d “tried everything” and that she was “eating healthy” and couldn’t lose weight because of her Hypothyroidism! And then she hired Jordan and he asked her about tracking her food- and LIKE ME (and probably like you) she said, dude I KNOW WHAT I’M EATING!! Cut to the end– she starts tracking calories to reach a specific caloric deficit and loses weight. GO FIGURE. I immediately applied this and GUESS WHAT- SAME FOR ME.
I experienced such great success by applying this simple BUT HUGELY IMPORTANT principle– I published a 3-part video series on it. See below. (NOTE: I interviewed Jordan on my podcast. Two parts- amazing interview. Go listen!)
The Truth: If you want to lose weight, you have to DIET.
This is so huge and so impactful I want to urge all of you to drop all the obsessing and worrying about everything else and get back to basics. DIET is not a dirty word. In fact, diet should be your best friend. The fitness industry has put out a lot of BS the past couple decades about “diet” being a dirty word. It’s what you need to do and do well, for a short period of time (NOT ALL YEAR!!) if you want to drop the pounds. You gotta do it. You gotta do it seriously and to the letter.
But you can make it fun- and you can- if you do it like me — I’ve created a program for myself that takes my caloric deficit, uses intermittent fasting combined with calorie cycling and 1-2 cleanse days a week- and that lets me have a bigass cheat day on Fridays which I often spread over to Saturday (meaning I typically don’t use all calories on Friday so I have leftovers to use Saturday). I’ll go into detail on how I do this in my next post as well as talk about the next big breakthrough I had this past week- around SNACKING. People, I’m telling you – it’s like I’ve found the holy grail. The way to lose weight without losing your mind- the way to lose weight and get in great shape while still having wine and cheeseburgers when you want…the way to get it DONE and then move on to maintenance mode.You stay tuned, this is the year you’ll see me do it. I’ve never been so confident about it – ever and I hope you join me.
Now that you’ve come this far, here are some links to more resources that I know can help you.
Start listening to my podcast. There are tons of new episodes- one new episode every day! Plus the show notes typically go live a day or so after the shows here on my website.
Join my FB group for women: A Year Of You First.
Follow me on instagram: @kellyolexa
Follow The Kelly O Show on instagram: @thekellyoshow