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Welcome, Jessica Edelglass!

I’m so excited to announce a new guest coach joining the FLF team for Fall 2018 Fat Loss Cooking School!

Please meet Jessica Edelglass! She’s a Boston-based Registered Dietician, mom of 1, and group fitness instructor. Jess and I met online when she signed up for our Summer 2018 round of Fat Loss Cooking School, and we’ve been Internet Friends ever since. :)

Jessica Edelglass RD.jpg

I recently caught up with Jess and asked her everything I was dying to know about how she got her start in fitness and nutrition!

Q: How did you become a Registered Dietician?

A: I didn’t always plan to be! In fact, I started out as a teacher! After a few years working as a teacher, I discovered a passion for food and nutrition. Overcoming disordered eating led me to change careers and go back to school, putting my whole life on hold, to become a Registered Dietitian.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

A: Helping people find their WHY. It’s never really about the food. There is always an underlying issue and I think it’s a huge disservice when we don’t talk about it. Changing our mindset around food is the real work. I think we have to learn how to live with food, and not let it control us.

Q: What’s the #1 thing you want women to know about food?

A: That eating foods that are good for you can also taste good! How you eat determines how you feel. I always say, “Eat the way you want to feel.” BUT, if you love a certain food, you should find a way to include that food in your nutrition plan in moderation. The way you eat doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfect is an eating disorder.

Q: You’ve experienced your own transformation with nutrition and fitness. Tell us how you started out and what that process looked like for you.

A: For as long as I can remember, I felt uncomfortable in my skin. I entered the diet world when I was just 17 years old, losing 20 pounds in 2 months with Weight Watchers.

When I look back on that time period of my life, I was SO unhealthy. I was so neurotic about what I ate, counting raisins (!) to make sure I was within my 20 daily allotted points. All of that fell apart when I went college, and I quickly regained 20 pounds within 4 months.

I tried to take the weight off the only way I knew how: eating less and exercising more. Like, 2 hours of cardio more. I ate a super low-fat diet (it was the early 2000s after all!). Here I am my senior year of college (photo below). I see a girl who was self-conscious about her size, despite doing everything she knew to get leaner.

Jess in College

Q: How are things different for you now?

A: In the last several months, I’ve hooked up with Leslie Ann and Fat Loss Foodies to figure out an even smarter (and more satisfying!) approach to fat loss. I signed up for the Summer 2018 Fat Loss Cooking School and loved the FLF approach to female fat loss and nutrition much that I signed up for - and passed! - the Metabolic Effect Level 1 Fat Loss Nutrition Coach Certification!

I used to think I suffered from binge eating, and with Leslie Ann’s help, realized I wasn’t fueling my body properly and was over-training. Now I’m eating more, feeling more satisfied and I don’t obsess about food and exercise any more. I feel more energetic and as a result, have more to give to my family, friends, work, and self!

In the last 10 years, I've gone from someone who meticulously counted points/calories, under-ate, over-exercised, and who was constantly stressed, to someone who can relax and enjoy food, do less cardio, and lift heavier weights. I’m just more content over all!

And guess what? YOU CAN BE THAT PERSON TOO! 

 HOT MAMA ALERT: A healthier, more confident, more content Jess!

HOT MAMA ALERT: A healthier, more confident, more content Jess!

Q: Tell me about your fitness journey! How did you get started with working out and what led you to become a group fitness instructor?

A: I used to be that girl at the gym on the elliptical trainer. I always wondered, “When am I going to see a change?” Then I joined a new gym and decided to try a Les Mills BODYPUMP class because a few bloggers I followed did BODYPUMP. I LOVED IT.

BODYPUMP changed EVERYTHING. Rather than doing cardio eight days a week (ha!), I was finally weight training and my body began to transform. I loved how it made me feel strong, and lifting weights to music totally fit with my musical background. (I’m a pianist and singer!)

A couple instructors at my gym told me I should get certified to teach BODYPUMP, so I took the leap of faith and did it! I went on to obtain certifications in Spinning, as well as Les Mills BODYCOMBAT and CXWorx.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to cook and eat?

A: Believe it or not my husband does a lot of the cooking in our household, but I’m the Pancake Queen! I’ve mastered the art of flipping pancakes and I make some killer pancakes! I also love eggs and could eat them 5 times a day. When people tell me they get sick of eating eggs, I just don’t understand how that’s possible! In the Fall and Winter, I also love making a big pot of chili.

Q: What advice do you have for women who feel overwhelmed and confused about food, nutrition, and fat loss?

A: Two things: First, you don’t have to have all the answers to get started. Just start. You will figure it all out as you go!

Second, take care of yourself. There is so much pressure on women to do everything at once - especially moms. I battled postpartum anxiety after I had my son. It’s really hard. But it’s like that saying, “Put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.” This doesn’t make you selfish! It makes you a better parent, partner, and person!

***
Huge thanks to Coach Jess for taking the time to share her incredible story with FLF!

Would you like to work with a team of women like Jess? Women who GET IT because we’ve been there, too? Who can teach you how to create your own lifestyle transformation so you never have to diet again?

If you’re struggling, frustrated, and overwhelmed by dieting and going nowhere fast, please know: there is a better way.

A way that includes nourishing your body - not starving it - by eating real food that you and your family will actually want to eat.

A way that works with your body not against it.

Women require a unique approach to fat loss, and the team of certified FLF coaches - Leslie Ann, Jenn, Kate, and Jess - are ready to teach you the science of hormonal fat loss AND how to make it work in your busy, every day life.

Fall 2018 Fat Loss Cooking School begins on Monday, October 8! Are you ready to learn how to cook and eat real food for fat loss??? Grab your spot now and join us for 4 weeks of fun in the FLCS kitchen.

UPDATED: As of October 1, there are less than 30 spots remaining for Fall 2018 Fat Loss Cooking School! Do you have questions about whether Fat Loss Cooking School is right for you? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours!

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Letting Go of Comparison and Finding Her Power: Chantel's Story

I’m so excited to share this success story with you!

Chantel completed Spring 2018 Fat Loss Cooking School, and I’ve continued watching her transformation on social media. She is a military wife, mom, and group fitness instructor, and in the last 4-5 months since working with FLF, she has lost 15 pounds, built lean muscle, and completely transformed her mindset around food and body image.

The Problem with "Getting Back on Track" with Your Nutrition

“My diet starts on Monday.”

Well, it’s Monday, and even if you aren’t starting a new diet today, you may be recommitting to your nutrition because you “went off the rails” last week or over the weekend. (This is especially true right now if you live anywhere near the pathway of Hurricane Florence and hit the “hurricane snacks” a little too hard.)

I spent the last 4 days traveling to see family and get away from this hurricane, and on the drive home yesterday, I spent a little more time on social media than normal. (What else do you do when you’re a passenger during a 7-ish hour drive?) I saw so many friends and clients posting that they were excited to “get back on track” after “falling off the wagon” or “going off the rails” with their nutrition. Several ladies included that they were using social media to keep themselves accountable. (I mean, if you don't post about it, can it even happen?)

Meanwhile, I was basking in the glow of an awesome 4-day weekend spent hanging out with family, getting stuff done at my mom’s house, and of course doing a little shopping, too.

I never saw the inside of the gym once. I split a vegan cinnamon roll with my husband (pictured below). I ate a few pieces of chocolate from my mom’s chocolate stash. (We are so related.) I didn’t track a single meal in My Fitness Pal. I just eyeballed my food and ate some combination of protein, carbs, and fat at every meal. Sometime we cooked and ate at home. Sometimes we went out to eat.

 Actual footage of my weekend: this vegan cinnamon roll from The Dotted Lime. Image source: The Dotted Lime.

Actual footage of my weekend: this vegan cinnamon roll from The Dotted Lime. Image source: The Dotted Lime.

And yet, in spite of my (some would say) “imperfect” weekend, I feel 100% great right now. If anything, I feel better than when I left! My body needed a rest from training and my brain needed a break from hitting numbers. And here’s the hilarious part: since we left last Thursday morning, the scale dropped 2+ pounds.

WHAT?! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! I wasn’t PERFECT. I ate sugar! I didn’t track my calories! I didn’t work out! I ate some foods that weren’t “clean” or “Paleo”!

A few years ago, I too would have been posting about how I was ready to get back on track. Not any more, and here’s why.

Just Because It Feels Good Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for You

I once dated a guy who I spent more time breaking up and getting back together with than I spent actually dating him.

Years later, after we had broken up for good, I realized I kept going back because I didn’t think I deserved better. I thought he was my only option. I was doing what was comfortable and easy, instead of doing the hard work of being alone for a while and figuring out who I really was and what I wanted.

Let’s be honest: something about these back-on-track diet proclamations just feels good, doesn’t it? Like somehow we’re back in control and wiping the slate clean. It’s also comforting to return to old ways of eating that worked in the past, because we wrongly believe that what worked once will work again.

All that wine? Forgotten. Those 6 cookies you ate when you intended to only eat one? It’ll never happen again. The bag of chocolate you wiped out over the course of a few days? Gone, too. But it doesn’t matter. You’re moving on now.

You’re getting back on track. You’re going back on Weight Watchers. Going back to Keto. Doing another Whole30.

Just like I kept going back to that stupid relationship with the guy who bored me, was a terrible kisser, that I wasn’t even really attracted to. Only to break up with him again and again.

Because as good as getting back together or getting back on track feels, it never lasts for long, does it? It’’s never the last time.

The cycle keeps repeating itself because the system is broken. You keep repeating it because you think that’s your only option. On or off. In or out.

Here’s the truth:

It’s not.





Please Define “Going Off the Rails”

What does this expression mean anyway?

I love to ask my clients exactly what they did or ate or drank that was SOOOOO bad, and nine times out of 10, I’m like,

“THAT’S IT?! Girl. I do that every week. You need to calm the heck down and give yourself some grace.”

I’m not sure where it’s coming from (oooh - let’s blame social media again!), but it seems that women have an increasingly impossible standard for their nutrition and how perfect it must be. Then again, I suppose that’s trending right along with everything else. Perfect, Instagrammable hair, skin, home, body, style, babies, husband, vacation, career. Check, check, check, check.

The next time you’re having thoughts of getting back on track, take a step back and ask yourself what’s behind it. Maybe you really have been treating your body like a trash can and it’s revolting on all fronts and waving the white flag of surrender.

“PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN WE NEED SOME VEGETABLES IN HERE.” -

Sincerely,

Your Internal Organs post-Hurricane Florence

Or maybe the only thing you’ve really consumed too much of is the perfectionism-triggering nonsense propagated by the nutrition quacks and gurus in your social media feeds.

You be the judge.

All I’m saying is that most of the meals I ate this weekend were eaten off paper plates and ugly as hell by Instagram standards AND I SLEPT JUST FINE.

You Still Think Fat Loss Nutrition is About Eating Perfectly

When something has an on/off switch, there is no in between. It’s like a light switch. The lights are either on, or they are off.

The on/off switch is a counterproductive model for how we think about our nutrition, because it feeds the lie that we must be one or the other. On or off. If we make any mistake, slack off, or relax in any way whatsoever - oh, we’ve fallen off again!

The truth is that getting leaner does not require 100% perfect compliance 100% of the time. Getting leaner (that is: losing body fat and maintaining/building lean muscle) actually gives you plenty of flexibility and wiggle room for how you want to eat.

Fat loss isn’t about eating clean, being perfect, or staying in a severe caloric deficit for weeks and months on end.

You need two things for sustainable fat loss: a slight caloric deficit and balanced hormones, and you can achieve both of those things while eating mostly real, whole nutrient dense foods about 80-90ish% of the time. That other 10-20ish% is up to you. It’s where you make room for the foods and drinks you need in your overall lifestyle plan to make it YOURS. Something you can do every day, 365 days a year, year after year, happily and without hating your life just to fit into your pants.

Self-Control is Not Self-Deprivation

To positively change the way you eat and end the on/off game, you will need to practice a new skill: self-control.

Unfortunately, most people confuse self-control with self-deprivation. Self-control is establishing a set of guidelines for yourself to live by. It is not cutting yourself off from every food you love.

Here’s are some examples:

Self-Deprivation says, “I can’t eat sugar any more.”

Self-Control says, “I will eat less sugar and eat more nutrient-dense whole foods.”

Self-Deprivation says, “I can never eat a burger and fries at my favorite restaurant again.”

Self-Control says, “I will eat a burger and fries at my favorite restaurant for my weekly Treat Meal, or I will make a cleaned-up version at home.”

Self-Deprivation does not work as a compliance tool. If anything, it’s a trigger for over-eating, guilt, shame, and it creates an unhealthy relationship with food.

Self-control takes practice, but every time you use it, it gets easier to activate. It’s like making deals with yourself about what you will and will not to do, based on the big picture of how you want your life to be.

Example: if you’ve been following me for a while you know I had a MAD morning pastry + coffee habit when I first started out with living a fat loss lifestyle ~7 years ago. Lunch and dinner were easy for me to change, but breakfast? Nah. I was having ZERO luck going cold turkey, so I tried something else: I cut a deal with myself.

  • Have a Low-Fat Cinnamon Coffee Muffin for breakfast 3 mornings a week, but the other mornings, you have to cook/eat at home.” So I did that. And I crushed it. It was actually fun!

  • Then I stepped it down to 2x a week. Then 1x a week.

  • Finally I got to the point where my homemade breakfasts were tasting so good and giving me so much LIFE that that freaking muffin took care of itself. I didn’t even want it any more.

Switch your mindset to eating MORE of the right things more often, and LESS of the things that aren’t working for you. BUT, don’t cut them out completely (unless of course there is a food allergy/sensitivity issue at play). Make the foods you love PART of your plan and stay out of the self-deprivation mindset.

A Word On Sugar

To the people who say that sugar must be eliminated to “free” yourself from sugar cravings and kill the sugar demons once and for all, I call bull shit.

Sugar cravings will never be completely eliminated, as they are a brain chemistry issue not a willpower issue. Sugar cravings start in the brain, not the stomach, and can be easily reduced and managed by simple changes to nutrition and lifestyle.

I see sugar cravings as a valuable feedback tool, as they usually help uncover areas of the diet or lifestyle that are out of check and need attention. (i.e. lack of sleep, stress management, under-eating, etc.)

Attempting to eradicate every grain of sugar from your life usually creates more problems than it solves. Not to mention, sugar is awesome and if you tell me I can never have dessert again, you are not my people so kindly please show yourself out. GOOD DAY, SIR. GOOD DAY.

 In my natural habitat: in a coffee shop surrounded by French macarons.

In my natural habitat: in a coffee shop surrounded by French macarons.

Skillpower vs. Willpower

If you find yourself stuck in this cycle of recommitting and falling off, the only way to end it is to stop the cycle.

The next time you have thoughts like, “Wow I really need to get back on track” or “I need to start over and get back on the _______ diet,” I have a radical proposition for you:

DON’T.

Willpower will never be enough, and the fact that you’re repeating this on track/off track cycle is proof. If trying harder to be more perfect with how you eat was going to work, it would have worked by now.

Ditch their rules and start creating your own.

Instead of going back to a program that wasn’t created for you, start asking yourself, “What do I like? What does my body need? What makes me feel good? What works with my life right now?”

This approach takes longer and requires work; it’s not black and white. Sadly, this is why most people keep retreating to the cycle, because as terrible as it is at least they can just do what someone else tells them. Until they can’t.

My perfect-for-me, fat loss lifestyle includes mostly real whole foods like chicken, steak, salmon, eggs, roasted veggies, giant salads, omelets, roasted potatoes, etc. But it also includes chocolate. And goat cheese. And full-fat salad dressings. AND vegan cinnamon rolls.

So okay. Here’s the most important part of this whole thing, so listen up and take notes if you have to. Just don’t miss this, because I’m about to drop a bomb on you:

The treats, the fun, the life moments are PART OF YOUR PERFECT PLAN. They are also part of being a Fat Loss Foodie and they are part of Fat Loss Cooking School. Ditch the all or nothing approach and tell perfection to screw off once and for all - because you don’t it need to get a lean, fit, healthy body you love.

If you want to learn HOW to do this, this is exactly what we teach 4x a year in Fat Loss Cooking School. It’s our 4-week online program where we teach women how to cook and eat real food for fat loss. Every week we’ll tackle a new meal together: breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, then treats. We’ll teach you the science of hormonal fat loss and how to create a fat loss nutrition program for yourself based on YOUR metabolism, YOUR preferences, and YOUR personality.

The Fall round starts Monday, October 8 and registration is now open!