How Stella lost 3 stone and is keeping it off. Inspiration and tools that you can take to reach whatever goals you’re chasing.

I love sharing photos of client successes. And I love it even more when I can showcase the fact they’ve maintained their results after we finish working together.

That shows they’ve built the habits and lifestyle required for long term success, and enjoyed the process enough to keep it going. That’s a huge win.

Stella started online coaching after gradually gaining weight and getting stuck in a rut with her eating habits. She was going to the gym, but didn’t have a clear plan to follow and wasn’t getting the most out of it.

During our time working together, Stella lost 1 stone in 8 weeks, then moved on to my support program where she lost another stone over the following two months. The final stone took a little longer (Christmas was in the way!) but she carried on alone – healthy habits intact – and reached her goal 9 months after beginning the journey. 

What’s worked for Stella? 

Here I’ll highlight some key success habits I saw as her coach.

Planning, habits and routines

Over our time working together, Stella built these habits into her daily life.

  • Planning food ahead of time
  • Carrying a protein bar when out and about
  • Planning meals that were quick and easy for when she might be busy or stressed
  • Batch cooking and regularly using her slow cooker
  • Finding nutritious ready meals as a back up option
  • Getting up early enough to be able to walk at least part way to work
  • Packing gym kit ahead of time to get a workout in on the way home
  • Walking at weekend

Note – these weren’t all implemented at the same time, they were built over time.

Stella was all in for sustainable long term success. She knew habits and lifestyle changes were key, and she also didn’t want to overwhelm herself by doing everything at once.  

So the focus was on picking one or two habits to focus on and making them stick. Then adding in another one, and so on.

Having a clear goal and milestone markers

Stella broke her weight goal down into chunks.

There was a family wedding to aim for. There were mini goals set for hitting 1 stone down. Then for moving from ’11 stone something’ to ’10 stone something’. Then there were dress sizes to enjoy reaching – size 12 jeans, size 12 top, and then the first size 10.

There were also goals to hit with running and lifting weights. Every little milestone reached was another reason to celebrate, and another boost of motivation to keep going.

What’s important for me to point out here is that you need to set goals that work for you.

Whether it’s a weight, dress size, fitness goal, or anything else, choose something that feels inspiring and exciting for you. There is no perfect weight, dress size or level of fitness. All goals are valid. All people are valid. 

Whatever goal you have, view it in the most positive way possible – you are already enough. You deserve to feel happy as you are. You’re just working on progressing, challenging, and improving yourself, because you want to be the best You that you can be.

This point is crucial – if Stella had been working for her goal from a position of self-loathing (which unfortunately many women do), and beating herself up for every slip-up, she wouldn’t have achieved what she has. If your mindset doesn’t support you, you can change it, and that’s something I encourage every client to work on due to the incredible difference it makes.

Choosing some favourite healthy meals

Below are a couple of days of Stella’s food while we were coaching together. 

Some favourite meals included – 

  • Eggs on toast or eggs with avocado
  • Protein pancakes
  • A homemade protein smoothie
  • A big bowl of soup for lunch
  • Homemade salad
  • Prawn stir fry
  • Slow cooker stew

And favourite snacks and puddings included Grenade carb killa bars, a bowl of berries with yogurt, or a couple of squares of dark chocolate 😉

As you can see from the photos, there’s plenty of colour from vegetables and fruit throughout, and it looks tasty and enjoyable to eat.

Having some favourite healthy go-to options is enormously helpful when life is busy. Keep it simple so you have less thinking to do, less ingredients to buy, and more time to relax or get things done.

Is this food you would enjoy eating?

 

Choosing what’s worth indulging in

A vital component to long term success is fitting in foods that you love.

Stella has enjoyed cake, chocolate, and puddings while losing 3 stone and keeping it off.

The key to this is planning and awareness – choosing what’s most worth it for you, and choosing what not to have so you can fit it in.

Small changes can save you considerable calories over days and weeks, some of which can then be ‘banked’ for weight loss, and some ‘spent’ on your favourite indulgences now and again.

These are some examples of saving calories that Stella found helpful:

  • Swapping starchy carbs at dinner for extra vegetables if calories during the day are higher
  • Delaying or skipping breakfast on days when you’re eating out 
  • Only buying snack foods such as nuts in small portioned-out packets 
  • Saying no to biscuits and shop-bought cakes so you can enjoy something special another time
  • Swapping from normal ice cream to Halo Top or Oppo ice cream (considerably lower calories and still delicious)

 

Building exercise into your life

There’s two parts to this – actual planned exercise (such as gym, running or classes), and lifestyle or habit changes that increase your daily steps.

Stella was already going to the gym, but didn’t have much experience lifting weights. I provided her with a simple and effective program she could get started with, along with video guidance. Most gyms have instructors who are happy to check your technique and offer advice, and Stella took advantage of this with a couple of exercises she was unsure of. 

For many women, the feeling of lifting weights and getting stronger is awesome – so empowering. And this was the case for Stella. She loved it, and the effect of training twice a week meant her body held on to muscle while burning more body fat – always a win. 

There was also the addition of building up to 5k runs, and signing up for an obstacle run with a couple of family members.

Both weights and the running were fun and a challenge – no pressure, just a way to get stronger, slimmer, fitter, healthier, feel proud, and have a great time doing it.

Some weeks, work or life stress got in the way – activity dropped and comfort food crept in. That happens to most people. And it’s ok. We made sure Stella got back on track and carried on, and that’s all you ever need to do.

One other enjoyable exercise addition – longer walks with friends or family at the weekends. Heading out and exploring the countryside with people you love, then coming back to a roast dinner… is there a better way to spend a Sunday?

The key behind this was planning and looking for opportunities to be more active. It became more of a priority, so Stella made the time to fit it in. Then when the benefits of weight loss, increased strength and greater fitness levels started to appear, the motivation to keep going became greater too.

This brings me to a hugely important point:

Consistent action CREATES motivation

Sometimes you have to take action first.

You wont always feel excited about working towards your goal. Especially when it’s losing weight – weight loss sucks.

But the rewards of increased confidence, better health, more self-belief, pride and feeling damn happy wearing clothes you love… are incredible.

And the only way you achieve that is by taking action.

Do what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like it (this is where planning, habits and routines help you out big time). When you keep yourself moving forward, you will start to see and feel changes happening.

We all thrive on the feeling of making progress.

So, a few questions.

What can you take from this?

What’s one habit you can focus on this week?

What are 2 or 3 favourite healthy meals you can choose whenever you need to just not think?

What’s one action you can take TODAY to get the ball rolling?

Everything Stella has done is learnable and achievable for anyone.

To finish off, I’ll leave you with words below written by the fabulous lady herself.

If this has inspired you and you need any help or advice on how to get started, please feel free to email hayley@hayleyplummer.co.uk or get in touch with me HERE.

Before starting online coaching, I was struggling with pretty much constant binge eating. Hungry and tired after work, I’d got myself into a habit of eating a big bar of chocolate on the bus on the way home from work after being ‘good’ until that point in the day. Then, disappointed, I’d cheer myself up with anything else I fancied, thinking I’d start tomorrow/next week/after my holiday.  The thought of having to deny myself the things I craved and the three stone I wanted to lose was too much. 
 
From the start of the plan, some of the food and focus of what I was eating and doing was different, so it gave me something else to think about other than craving unhealthy foods. I could think about colours on the plate, new recipes and different flavours of protein products that I’d never tried before, as well as all the positive actions I was taking to make myself fit and healthy.
 
All I had been focusing on before that had been the foods that I couldn’t eat, and feeling a failure when I couldn’t maintain it. I found out from Hayley that I’d been doing so many things the hard way.. 20 years of the same light, not very nutritious breakfast that left me hungry mid-morning and not exercising effectively as the gym to name just two. 
 
The biggest difference is that the time to get back on track has got shorter. It’s not possible to eat ‘perfect’ healthy meals and snacks and work out every day, but you don’t have to. All of the points that Hayley teaches you, together, make up a healthy lifestyle. If you slide on one thing, make it up on another, and keep going.
 
But it took me time to learn, and I couldn’t have done it without the support and reminders and solutions. There are so many things you do that affect your health, weight and wellbeing. They aren’t the same for everyone. Juggling is easy when it doesn’t matter that you fumble and drop things sometimes. My energy and strength are so much better. ‘Off plan’ can stop at the next choice you make, and you never ‘ruin’ it. 
  
My mindset has finally shifted away from the ‘I’ve ruined it now’ and ‘I’ll start again on Monday’. I walk on my lunch breaks, I think about nutrition and how long something will fill me up for. I think of all the ‘wins’ I can chalk up in a day. I love getting up ridiculously early once a week to have long walks and proper gossips with my sister without losing too much of the day. I also love the same thing alone with an audiobook! The entire experience with Hayley is twice as good as my mental and emotional wellbeing has benefited so much too. 
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