The Most Important Habits for Lasting Health & Weight Loss

The 6 habits that will make 
ALL the difference!

Full transcription available at the bottom of this post

Your habits will make or break your success

You've probably heard me say that before right? In this episode I want to spend some time sharing with you the 6 habits I've created in my life (and still always work on improving) that have made the biggest difference for me in my health journey.

First, a little backstory: my health and wellness journey REALLY started after I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Physically I felt totally broken and had to begin a very long process of healing my body.  Emotionally that struggle also took a heavy toll on me.  It was through that struggle though, that I realized what a totally messed up relationship I had with food and my body.  Diets, restricting, bingeing, cravings, crazy workout regimens, low self-esteem and body hate, emotions all over the place - sound familiar at all?  I was that person who on the outside looked fine, but on the inside I was mentally and physically a wreck most of the time.  

In reflecting on what brought me from THERE to HERE I realized it was really these six habits that made ALL the difference.  I like to think of my job here as helping you fast forward that process for yourself.  Helping you get from where you are to where you want to be, faster!  And certainly faster than I did!  

The real rub here is that some of these habits are fairly easy to implement, some of them are much harder,  and ALL of them require a constant commitment (or else they wouldn't be a habit!)  The beauty of these habits is that I can teach you how to make them real and consistent in YOUR life and when you do it'll change EVERYTHING.  


PS. If anything in this episode resonated with you, then share the LOVE! Head to iTunes and subscribe and leave a review or post a screenshot of this episode in your stories and tag me @tarafaulmann 

Does your eating feel out of control?

When you're stressed, the urge to eat can feel overwhelming, and often you don't even realize you're doing it until you're in the middle of it.  

This FREE workbook is designed to help you take back control of your stress eating. The strategies you learn will allow you to interrupt, understand and change your patterns of thought and eating.  

If you're sick of the emotional and stress eating and then going down the shame and blame spiral because you "did it again" then grab this workbook and start to OVERCOME.

Important Links:
If you struggle with yo-yo dieting, emotional eating or creating lasting weight loss and health, then check out the Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Program and Membership so you can ditch the diets and finally make peace with food.

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Show Notes & Transcript: 

Full Transcript: 

Welcome back, my friends. I'm so glad you're here with me today. I want to take some time to share with you the six habits that have really helped me in my health journey over the last many, many years. And I say health journey really specifically because I know not all of us here are looking to lose weight, necessarily. A lot of us look healthy on the outside, but on the inside, things are not going so well. Maybe our body is not functioning very well, maybe it's really changing as we get older, maybe our relationship with food and our thoughts about ourselves and our self esteem and our body image are not in a great place. Maybe we're here because we feel like food and the urge to eat food and cravings, and all the things that come along with that are really controlling us more than we would like. Maybe we're here to get off the diet roller coaster. There's a lot of reasons that you might be here. But ultimately, we're all here to get healthy. And so I want to share with you today the six habits that I have implemented over the last many, many years and will continue to have helped me get healthy and help me stay that way. So let's go

Welcome back to the no nonsense wellness podcast, the place for women who are trying to do all the things and stay healthy, sane and actually enjoy life in the process. Hey, I'm Tara, a trained therapist, a life coach, a nutrition coach and a fitness instructor. And I'm on a mission to help you take back control of your mind, health and life. Each week, I'll be cutting through the nonsense and getting real with you. I'll bring you the insight and information you need to take control of your weight and health. Find food freedom. And finally break free from the thoughts that are sabotaging you and holding you back. You, my friend, are powerful, and the world needs you to start showing up in a bigger way. It's time to get unstuck and start moving forward. So let's pop in those earbuds, tie up those shoes, let's walk and talk.

Before I get going, I just want to encourage you to take a second, head to iTunes and subscribe to this podcast and leave me a review, written review even better. That really helps people find this. So if you find value in listening every day, the best way that you could bless me and bless others by sharing this is to leave a review and subscribe so wherever you listen, but especially if you listen on iTunes, head over there, leave a review and subscribe to the podcast, I would be forever forever thankful for your effort in doing that. 
So if you don't know my story, if you haven't listened to all the way back in episode one, and you're a little newer here. The reason I got into health coaching and nutrition in general was because I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder about 12 ish years ago Hashimotos thyroiditis probably a lot of you out there habit, but that really pushed me into figuring out what's wrong with my body, and how to fix it. And in that journey, I realized I had a lot of really messed up relationships with food and my body. I have a lot of really unhelpful thoughts. I had a lot of trouble overcoming food addiction, urges to eat cravings that just felt overwhelming. And I realized I had a pretty messed up relationship with food in general, right on diets off diets lose weight, gain weight, I was all over the place. I've never been extremely overweight. But I've always struggled with my relationship with food and my relationship with myself. And that's really how this all came to be. And so over the years, I've developed these habits, which is a lot of what I teach you guys here that have really helped me manage all of that and kind of overcome all of that. And the cool thing about all these habits is that they never end. Like once you put it in place, I just keep improving and improving, improving, learning more, right and improving more. So I hope that these habits are things that will help you. Some of them are easy to put in place. Some of them are a lot harder to put in place. But what I want you to know for sure, is that these things are what I'm here to teach you. This is what we learn in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program. Every single one of these habits are things that we work on. And literally just the idea and the ability to actually begin a new habit and create a new habit. That's something that we learn in that program too. 

So let's get down to it. The first habit that is something that I am constantly working on and as a human, all of us are constantly working on. It's just the idea of managing your mind and the habit of being in tune with your own thoughts. This is for sure the number one thing that you have to learn, but it's also the hardest thing and will take the most time for you to really get a hold of. But man, when you start to really implement it and really figure it out, it changes everything, you sort of start to feel unstoppable. When you feel like you have a handle on the things that are going on in your own head. And this is why diets usually fail us because a diet does not teach us to manage our thoughts a diet tells us what to eat sometimes when, but it does not teach us how to manage the urges that we have for the sweet thing, or how to stop eating when we feel full, or how to stop overeating, or how to stop stress eating or emotional eating right? Managing Your mind is beginning to understand your relationship with food. And really, that's the underlying thing for all of us. When we're trying to get healthy, we have to understand our relationship with food. 

One of the main problems with losing weight and keeping it off is not what you eat, or even how you eat, the real problem is why you eat. And if you aren't understanding that or addressing that you're never going to make the forward progress that you want to make. And I learned that the hard way. I mean, how many years I'm 44 years old. So for most of my life, I was not understanding why I was not understanding my own thoughts, I was not understanding how much I was letting my brain run away with things when I could have been controlling it and managing it the whole time. So if you're not eating just because you're hungry, and you need food, then you have to understand the why and how to manage those things. restrictions from a diet about what to eat, or even when to eat are what we always turn to. It's where we always go for a solution. I need to get healthy, I need to lose weight, I need XYZ result. So what's the diet that's going to get me there. But the thing that we're always missing is the mindset piece. Managing your mind looks like the ability to interrupt urges to interrupt the urge to eat, to make conscious decisions. It involves being able to stop eating, when you've had enough learning to deal with your emotions so that you don't eat them. Developing a habit of conscious thought and being totally in charge of your thoughts and emotions. And your actions is really the thing that underlies all the things, literally anything that you want to accomplish in your life is going to require the skill of managing your thoughts, managing your emotions, understanding them, and being able to use them and consciously make choices about them. Instead of letting your brain just run wild like it normally does. This is a practice and a habit of noticing when it's running wild. And knowing how to interrupt that and make conscious choices and choose conscious thoughts and choose conscious emotions. Does that make sense? This is not easy. This is not something that I can be like, Oh yeah, just do this, this and that. And it'll be great. You'll totally get it. This is a habit and a skill that's going to require a lot of practice. But it also requires a lot of understanding and knowledge about how to actually do that. That is why I'm healthy mind Healthy Body program. Most of that program is devoted to this, it's devoted to the how of managing your mind. And so I really want to encourage you that if you feel a little out of control, if you feel like you're not in control of your choices in control of your thoughts and control of your emotions, if you eat your emotions, right, these things that we're all doing, this skill of managing your mind is going to be number one, and if you don't know how you need to learn how you're lucky that I am here and I can teach you that but even if it's not me just recognize the idea that this is a skill and habit that we all need to develop. 

Okay, the second habit that has really helped me across the board with just health in general, no matter when I was feeling really terrible physically or really good physically walking, just walking, and I'm not talking like power walking or walking up a hill or hiking or whatever I'm just talking about walking. The habit of daily walks is probably the single most simple thing that you could do, but also the most effective thing you could do for your long term health and weight loss and stress levels which affect your long term health and your weight loss. Literally every single health study and health coach will tell you the exact same thing walking a daily movement habit literally is going to do the most for you physically and mentally. Because the act of walking is calming for your nervous system. Now again, I'm not talking about like a speed walk where you're really you know, trying to pump it out and really punishing yourself right you're working really hard you're running uphill or whatever I'm talking about a leisurely stroll, like smell the flowers kind of stroll, you can have a conversation easily. 

Physically, when you're walking, what you're doing is actually helping your body move through. So the act of stepping, stepping, stepping, that little jolt, that little hit when you hit the ground is actually really good for your like your lymphatic system to drain all your lymph nodes, to get things moving through your body, it's extremely effective for improving digestion. Right, walking literally just helps get things in your body moving. Not only that, what it's doing is calming your central nervous system. So when you take a leisurely calming stroll, you're having a conversation, you're listening to a podcast, you're smelling the flowers, you're enjoying the scenery, you're thinking about being grateful for things you're thinking about your life, this is calming to your central nervous system. Anything that is calming to your central nervous system is going to be beneficial to you for long term health, but also for weight loss. One of the biggest reasons that we get stuck with extra weight is because we have chronic stress and chronic stress literally underpins all of the systems that we need to get in place if we want to actually release fat. If we are not dealing with the stress, none of the things that we're doing, the diet that we're on, the exercise regime that we're trying to do, none of those things are going to stick. So reducing stress is hugely important. And walking is one of the best ways to do that. 

Here's another thing that for me has been really helpful in walking beyond the physical and the mental. And that's the idea that it's a commitment that I can make to myself and keep taking a walk is a pretty easy commitment to keep. Being able to make and keep commitments to yourself is one of the best things you can do for your long term health. And this goes back to the ability to manage your thoughts, there's going to be times where you don't feel like it, there's going to be times where you'd rather sit on the couch. Instead, you can make a million excuses for not going and taking a walk. But being able to do it being able to keep that commitment to yourself changes literally the brain patterns that are going on inside your head. It changes how you show up for yourself, it changes how you show up for different parts of your life. So make a commitment to take a walk long, short, doesn't matter start where you can start. 

The third habit, again as a pretty easy one. But it's one that so many of us don't do. But it makes all the difference in the world. And that is to drink your water, a super easy commitment that you can make to yourself and keep. So again, it goes back to that learning how to manage your thoughts again. But getting enough water into your body makes you feel better, it makes your body function better, makes your brain function better, it actually improves your eating because if you are well hydrated, you will have less food cravings, water will improve literally everything. So get enough water into your body, a general rule of thumb you should have at minimum about eight to 10 glasses of water a day, what you're generally shooting for as a baseline is about half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 140 pounds, 70 ounces is what you're shooting for make sense, there is literally an entire module in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program that's talking about getting your water in because it's that important. If you want your body to function well, you need to give it what it needs. And water is one of the things that it needs that most of us are not giving it enough of. 

Okay, habit number four, get into the habit of lifting heavy things. There are so many benefits to resistance exercise, obviously for your body, but also for your mind. Think of it this way. It doesn't matter if you have weight to lose or no weight to lose, being strong is going to be important no matter what across the board, it is going to make the biggest difference for you both physically and mentally. Now I know that a lot of times when we get older, right, we get into our late 30s 40s 50s 60s. And we start to think like oh, you know, I never really lifted weights, I can't start now. Right? What am I going to do now and a lot of us now call ourselves out on this one. A lot of us turn to things like Pilates or yoga. And we don't do the resistance exercise in large part number one because we don't know what to do. And we don't know how to do it and we don't know if we're doing it right and we've never really done that before right? We have a lot of resistance around it. So be honest with yourself if this is you and so then we turn to the easy thing which is yoga or pilates or you know, find a video or whatever. Here's what I'm going to tell you. I'm not gonna mince my words. Lifting weights is the fountain of youth for your body for your Skin for your brain. For every single function that your body is trying to do to keep you alive and healthy and vibrant for the rest of your life, you need muscle mass, as we get older, we start to lose our muscle mass, which means we have to work even harder to keep that muscle on our body Pilates and yoga, well, good for you. And not a bad thing for you to be doing is not going to put that muscle back onto your body that we're losing as we age. 

Now, I don't want to discourage you from doing things such as yoga or pilates or something like that. But I want to encourage you to add weights to your routine, get into the habit of lifting weights, there is literally no downside to lifting weights. If you have weight to lose, it's going to help you lose that weight, if you don't have weight to lose is going to help you get that form and function of your body that you are after that strong, capable look, you need to be strong, more muscle equals better bone density equals when you're 80 years old, you're not going to fall down and break a hip. Like I'm not just thinking about right now. Like oh, go to the gym. So you can get a six pack. No, you don't need a six pack, nobody needs that. That's not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is you being capable of doing the things that you want to do for the rest of your life, not just now, not some physical look that you want to try and have now you're lifting weights. And you're getting into the habit of doing that, because of how you want to feel when you're 50 and 60 and 70 and 80 and 100 for goodness sakes. That's why you're doing this now. So I'll tell you, as we age, this changes, there are times in my life, right where I was lifting weights, you know, five and six days a week, because I was young, and I could do those things. Things are different. 

Now that I've had kids my body is different and things work differently. So just to give you kind of a barometer on this, at this point in my life, I said I'm 44 years old, I lift weights three days a week. And then the other three days a week, I do sort of a more restorative exercise. So right now what I'm doing, I'm going to plug hot works here because I really, really love it. Check it out. It's Hotworx with an ex. I'm not affiliated with them in any way I just really enjoy going. It's a sauna, where you do a workout in a sauna. Now, don't freak out. It's very gentle. It's like a yoga in a sauna or like a core class or like a buttons class in a sauna. So I get all the benefits of the sauna. But I also get a lot of stretching and foam rolling, and mobility work. So I get a nice combination of the strength work. And then the recovery and mobility work. It's a franchise they're like all over the place. So if you want to check them out, go ahead. But I just really enjoy them as an addendum to the strength work that I do. So that's that's my routine right now. That's what I'm doing. It's working for me at 44. I'm feeling really good about it. If you have any questions like totally DM me on Instagram, I am happy to share with you anything that might be helpful to help you create a habit of lifting weights, there are so many free online resources, like just pick one, and just start somewhere. Okay. 

The fifth habit that I want to talk to you about is sleep. This probably should be the first habit because sleep is so so important. We don't talk about the importance of sleep enough. In fact, in our culture, we're constantly talking about the hustle, right? The Do do do the more and more and more the Go, go go. What I want to talk to you about is the stop, stop and get some dang sleep. We are constantly stressed, we eat terrible diets, we drink too much. And we do all of these things because we are tired. You've probably heard before that one of the secrets to like losing weight is balancing your hormones. Okay. They're not talking about balancing your estrogen and progesterone, although that's important. What we're talking about is balancing your stress hormones because your stress hormones are underlying all the rest of your hormones. If your stress hormones are out of whack, everything else is going to be out of whack too. So when we talk about Balanced hormones when you're scrolling Instagram, and they're like balanced hormones to lose weight, they're talking about stress hormones. The key to balancing your stress hormones is a lot of things. But one of the biggest things is sleep. There's a lot involved in getting quality sleep. Most of the decisions you make throughout the day are actually going to determine what kind of sleep you're getting at night. And then your kind of nightly routine and how you're trying to sleep. 

There's so many things involved in getting better sleep. But beginning habits that will help you get better sleep are going to make all the difference in the world. Again, in the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program. We have an entire module dedicated to getting better sleep because sleep and stress underlie all of us. things that you're trying to do, and they are sabotaging you in every possible way. For me personally, when I was going through a lot of my thyroid stuff, I was not sleeping, I would maybe get a couple hours of sleep a night, and then I was just up. And then I was just like a zombie all day long. And if you have had kids, then you know, when those babies are there, and you're not getting enough sleep, you know that literally every single part of you is impacted your health, the foods that you crave your mental functioning, your relationships, your ability to just process again, going back, all the way to the first habit of managing your mind, it is impossible to manage your mind when you don't have enough sleep, getting enough sleep and getting into the habit of understanding how to get more sleep, how to get better sleep, it's just a bunch of skills, right? 

Creating all of these habits is just learning new skills and understanding how to put them into action consistently. That's really all we're talking about. But if it was that easy, we all be doing it. It's not that easy. You have to know what the skills are, you have to know how to do these things. And I hope that I am here and I want you to use me as a resource. But certainly I want you to check out the Healthy Mind Healthy Body program because that's what we teach you. We teach you all these skills, getting quality sleep, and you know if you're not it is going to be a habit for you that could make all the difference. Again, you're reducing your stress levels, which is going to make weight loss a whole lot easier for you. And I know I get a lot of resistance to sleep I get her you don't understand her. I'm so busy. I'm so this I'm so stressed, I have anxiety, I have kids I have that we can make a trillion excuses. And they're all valid about why we don't get enough sleep, I'm not denying that you have a lot going on, I know you do, you can have both. You can have both all these things going on in your life and have good health and good sleep, you can have both I know it doesn't feel like that right now. Because you don't really know how to do that. But I'm telling you, it is possible. 

Okay, the sixth habit is the habit of only eating when you're hungry. If we all mastered just this one single thing, you wouldn't need a diet, you might not even need a coach. If all of us who wanted to lose some weight understood how to only eat when we're hungry, it would change everything for us. Just like mastering the habit of manner and managing your own mind. Mastering the habit of only eating when you're hungry is really hard. Because there's a lot of things that go into it. There's a lot of skills involved in this. And all the other habits that I've already talked about are kind of underlying your ability to do this. There's a lot of skills and understanding involved that you've probably never learned. Because again, if it was so easy, we'd all just do it. And then we would never overeat. And then we would all just be healthy. And then we there wouldn't be a $70 billion a year diet industry, right? Like you wouldn't need all of this stuff if we could just figure out this thing. But we can't, because 

I hope you noticed that all six of these habits are very interrelated with one another. None of them are standalone. Right? If I can master one, then it will help me master another. But these six things are the six things that in my own experience in my own life, and dealing with autoimmune disorder, and all of my food, relationship issues and body image issues and all the things, these six things once you start getting a handle on these change, literally all parts of you. And I'm not just talking about weight, and I'm not even just talking about health, I'm talking about your relationships with other people, I'm talking about your relationship with yourself. I'm talking about your confidence that you can go out into the world and show up fully, like 100%, here I am, bring it on, I am ready for life, I can handle everything, the resilience that you start to learn, and that you start to really embody, if you can master these six habits, everything else gets better. And everything else gets bigger, but also harder and easier at the same time. Because as your life gets bigger, you start to take on more things, which is harder, but also easier because you know you can do it. Does that make sense? Things that I'm doing now in my life, I never would have dreamed, right, a coaching business and a podcast and all these things that I'm working on 10 years ago, I never would have dreamed possible because I was not a person who could have done this. I had to grow into being this person. And these six habits helped me do that. 

What I really want you to also notice here is that none of these habits had anything to do with what you eat. None of this had anything to do with the food that you put in your mouth. What you eat is actually secondary to all of this. Now when you try and fix everything with a diet, what you eat becomes the first thing it's be the only thing the only thing we're focusing on and you're hoping that by doing that you can learn all these other six habits, but you won't, it's not how it works. These six habits come before you address what is going in your mouth. Now, of course, what you eat is important to your health in all aspects? Of course it is. But being able to consistently eat what's right for you, is a skill that will come after you master these six habits. Does that make sense? Let me give you an example. I'll give you an example from my own life, what I eat and the food choices that I made came after I figured out, well, if I'm going to lift weights, then I need to fuel my body in a certain way. So I started paying attention to what I ate, right? If I'm improving my sleep, if I'm wanting to improve the habit of getting better sleep, well, I need to pay attention now to what I'm eating at night. Because that is going to affect my sleep. Actually, what you eat all day long is gonna affect your sleep, but specifically at night. So like that dessert that I was having, that's probably not going to help my sleep. So now I'm paying attention to the what I'm eating, but it's because I'm working on my sleep. If I'm starting to work on the habit of managing my mind, then I'm going to start paying attention to well, why did I just eat that food?

What was the thought that I was having? I actually wasn't very hungry for that food. Right? I'm not hungry. But I really had to have that thing. Why was that? I'm now paying attention to what I'm eating. But it's because I'm working on the habit of managing my mind. Does that make sense? Like if I start working on these six habits, the what I'm eating will start to come. But if I just focus on the what if I just focus on eat this don't eat that food rules. This is bad. This is okay, this is allowed. This is not allowed. This will make you fat, this won't make you fat. If I focus on that, first I missing everything else. And everything else, these six habits, that's the juice. That's the juice, that's where you want to focus. So I hope that's helpful. I hope that gives you like a jumping off point to maybe kind of see where you have been missing, what kind of things that you could be working on or should be working on that you haven't yet or didn't even know that you need it to be working on. Because we get really caught up. Like I said in all of this food stuff and this diet stuff. But the truth is, if you really want to make lasting change, it's all this underlying things that really need to be addressed. And we really need to learn how to do that. And I hope that you will utilize me and let me teach you how to do all of those things. So if this was valuable to you, please head to iTunes, subscribe and review this podcast so that other people can find it. And then share it, send it to your friends, post it in your stories and tag me will help me help other people by sharing this podcast and the free information in it. Alright, until we talk again, my friends, be well.

Friends, thanks so much for being here. If you found value in today's episode, will you do me a favor and head over to iTunes? Find the no nonsense wellness podcast and subscribe and leave me a review. It would mean the world to me and help other people find the show. And I'd love to connect with you more. So find me on Instagram. I'm @tarafaulmann. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it in your stories and tag me. I'll see you over there.

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