If you read my Transformation articles and personally desire to lose weight, I hope you have checked out strongcoffey.com to better understand that part of what helped me in the last year. However, I know if you are anything like me, you want to know more. You want specifics. You want guidelines, limits, lists, action items and so on to help you in your journey. I get that temptation. I want to support that.

Coffey helped me understand though that it is different for everyone. She never told me in her course what to eat or how to exercise. She never claimed to know what would work for me in that regard. On the contrary, her course explained that I already knew the answer to those questions. Amazing. Also, she was right. Likewise, I cannot tell you what will work for you. What I can do though is dispel any curiosity you have about what specifically worked for me.

The first and most important step I took that led to real change was taking the Pleasure Principles Course. This was MY way of addressing the mental and emotional struggles I had regarding my weight and goal of being healthy. Once I had that in my toolbelt, I was armed and dangerous! Unfortunately, and yet thankfully, since Coffey does not just spell out some magic prescription or plan, I had to follow her advice and honestly identify what worked and did not work for me and make my own plan. I said plan, not diet. I have not dieted and will not diet. NEVER again!

What I needed next to make real physical progress in regard to eating was to follow Coffey’s recommendations to change my relationship with food. This is an ongoing process. It will never end. That is okay. I don’t mind. One day at a time. It is part of my journey. I identified the foods I relate to in a healthy way that make me feel good and do not affect my insulin resistance. In my case, this is primarily protein and vegetables. I stay away from sugar as much as possible while at the same time not dieting or restricting myself from anything. When I eat grains, I stick primarily to whole grains.

Another change related to eating I made about a year ago came from my nutrition education. I watched the documentary Got The Facts On Milk and I highly recommend that to anyone who has not seen it. I had no idea the impact of dairy before that and after learning what I did, I decided to eliminate dairy from my diet (not a diet). Since I could not diet, I could not in my mind all out abstain from dairy. So it was a slow process of eliminating it and the more time went on, the more I saw the benefits of that change which helped me continue minimizing my dairy consumption. I still have cheese on salads and there are times I have dairy products, so when I say I eliminated it, please understand what this looks like for a “non-dieter.” It is a choice not to have it most days because I feel so much better without it that I am not wanting it like I did in the past.

The next step for me was finding support. I have been very lonely since my husband died and I do not have a lot of friends in my area still, so I was pretty much on my own a year ago after moving to my area. I knew that was a stumbling block. I knew if I was going to make a change, I needed someone in my corner. In my case, this was Physicians Plan. Their program addressed my needs from several angles and that has helped a lot.

Then came fitness. The key here was choosing to do what I liked to do and not what I thought I should do or what worked for others. In my case, it was dance fitness. Dance fitness makes me happy. Dance fitness has become my passion. Actually, this aspect of my life change in the last year came FIRST, not last. By the time I addressed it in terms of the context I have described, it actually was already a habit. That helped a lot. If you have not tried dance fitness, I highly recommend it. Please do not comment that you would love to, but you are not coordinated. If I can do it, anyone can do it. And as one of my incredible teachers Lem Houston puts it, “Just dance. It’s not that serious.” If you are in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, check him out online and try one of his classes. If you don’t like it, I cannot be your friend. Just kidding! Honestly though, just do what works for you.

Do what you love. Life is short. Do not do something that does not make you happy and expect to stick with it. These have been my major changes in the last year and I enjoy every one of them. I feel well. I feel strong. I feel happier than I have ever been since the loss of my husband.

Wishing you what works for you,

Nikola Rosa

DISCLAIMER: The nutrition and fitness recommendations on this website do not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is often opinion-based and factual in regard to consumer information where applicable. Nikola Rosa is not a doctor, nutritionist, dietician and holds no clinical certifications related to the advice presented here. The opinions, information and advice is grown solely from personal life experience. As a result, it is evolving and subject to change. If you have any medical concerns, dietary restrictions, allergies, or physical limitations, consult a medical professional before making any changes that could affect your health.

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