Here at EM2WL we have talked in great length before about this lifestyle being a journey, not a race. We don't reach the end result in 21 days or 90 days, or even in a year. The path to breaking free from Diet Mentality begins with a single step forward. For CTDM Workshop Alum member Rachel Perry, the first step forward was to take a step back.
Healing During the Messy Middle
Rachel joined the Fam during our first Crushing the Diet Mentality workshop over two years ago. Eager to learn how to take control of her life again, Rachel jumped right in to the materials and began her journey. She quickly realized that she had wasted over 20 years of her life by jumping on every latest diet trend. (not including the thousands of dollars in the process) After the workshop ended, the real work was set to begin. Rachel made the decision to enter a chill phase and spent the next two years relearning how to just live life again.
Rachel recently sat down with Kiki to discuss her messy middle – that part no one sees between the before and after pictures. In her interview, Rachel discusses many of her mindset shifts that occurred over her two years in chill. Some key points they discuss in this vlog are:
Having a DEXA scan done and seeing just how much muscle she had lost from dieting
Gaining 10 pounds in a year and none of it being Fat.
Learning that the work is being done under the surface, and that you can't see it most of the time.
Understanding what it truly means to be in a Chill phase.
Learning that diet mentality makes you track time, not behaviors.
Realizing that it is a really cool journey learning about yourself.
Appreciating that she can now have Cadbury eggs in the house months after Easter
No more GUILT!
Rachel's journey is far from over. She shares her messy middle to encourage new members that there are people who took back their life. There are members of the Fam who understand your struggles and are here to help. And there is life after the scale.
Be sure to take a few moments and listen to this amazing conversation!
Be sure to head on over to our Online Facebook Community to see Rachel and all of the Fam who have gone through, or going through the Messy Middle
This question we get asked the most by fam in our Online Community – “When can I switch phases?” It's a question most members don't want to hear the actual answer to. So before we dive into this post, consider what phase you are currently in, and whether you think you should be moving on to the next phase. This is especially important if you just recently switched into your current phase or think you can springboard from one phase to the next.
When you think it's time – it's not
In any given phase, the need to move on to the next one as fast as possible is reminiscent of our diet mentality ways. Jumping full speed ahead without any consideration of whether the steps needed right now are even mastered is usually the downfall for many. If you are constantly saying “I'm ready, what's next?” it's guaranteed you have not mastered your current phase. If you are content in your phase, happy to not move on and just stay where you are, then generally it's time to move on.
When you decide to sit in a certain phase, you need to give 100% to the processes in that phase. That means if you are in a Reset phase, you are consistent. Calories are always being hit, macros are spot on, workouts are consistent and challenging. If you want to move to a Cut, but haven't mastered these, then Cut will not go the way you want it to. Then this adds more time to your journey by trying a Reset again. This applies to all phases – even a Chill!
By asking “what else?” during your phase, you aren't truly understanding and taking into consideration what change is needed. Think of each phase as a chapter in a math text; if you can't understand the principles in chapter 1, you are certainly going to fail by chapter 10. Spend the time and truly dig deep and understand what each phase requires of you and master each and every step needed.
When it comes to changing your dieting mindset and embracing the EM2WL lifestyle, the first step is recognizing that there are several different phases to this journey – just as there are phases in other areas of your life. Each phase has it's specific purpose and unique benefits, but your success for each one depends solely on your ability to own that phase and fully embrace living it.
Because EM2WL is a lifestyle, you'll likely find that certain times of your year will lend itself more readily to specific phases over the others. Jumping from phase to phase as suits your life is normal, and even encouraged, however you can only truly be in one phase at a time. The compounding of the phases is where the magic happens, so your success in one phase is actually dependent on the attention given to previous phases. Trying to be in multiple phases at one time will only make progress take longer, so resist the urge to attempt multitasking your phases.
When mapped out for your specific goals, the phases will bring clarity to your end result. And because each person is unique, your plan will be remarkably different than someone else. Find out which phase you belong in currently.
The 5 Phases of EM2WL
This phase is for healing your metabolism and is generally the starting point for most dieters. Here you will learn what your TDEE is, and you will work your caloric intake up to that number. Reset is all about relearning how to eat and how to love yourself. You will increase your calories up slowly and listen to your body. Focus on hunger cues, feelings and what changes your body makes with proper nutrition. Consistency with your intake and your macros will become your focus once you have reached TDEE. Because this is a healing and rebuilding phase, there should be no focus on fat loss, and ditching the scale is highly recommended.
“Chill Phase” – Sample from the EM2WL Phases Lesson inside of the CTDM Workshop
Maintenance is about learning to maintain your current progress. This means eating at your TDEE level to keep the metabolism burning and still consistently hitting your macros. Usually this phase takes place between cut phases (diet break) or when your season of life needs a break. Things like holidays and vacations are a perfect time to be in a maintenance phase. Time spent in this phase can be as little as 1 week, or as long as you like! There should be no expectations of physical changes happening during this phase.
A Cut phase is when a reduction in calories occur and a focus on fat loss takes place. This does not mean instant changes will happen!A lot of what happens in this phase depend solely on what your previous phase was and how successful you were in it. This means that success in a cut may not show until your third or fourth cut down the line. Macros need to be consistently hit and a deficit of no more than 15% from TDEE will enable this phase to have a greater success. A cut phase should not be any longer than 6-8 weeks, and should always be followed up by at least a 1-2 week maintenance phase.
Chill means “CHILL”. This phase is for when life throws lemons at you and you need to make lemonade. A chill phase is beneficial for when life has gotten too hectic. Maybe you need to scale back on tracking, or you just want to practice eating intuitively and mindfully. If you are under major stress in other aspects of your life, then a chill phase allows you to focus your energy where it needs to be. This also gives you an opportunity to live your life without tracking and just “live.” This phase can be as long or as short as you like, and you can jump to any other phase once completed. Do not mistake this phase for a “free for all” eating phase, but there should be zero guilt for what you CHOOSE to eat during this time.
This phase is purposefully eating above your TDEE level so that muscles can grow and build. This phase is specifically to add more muscle massand should be done with a controlled increase in calories. A huge benefit to this phase is the increase in your strength and the focus should be on the barbell, not the tape measure! Bulking is typically encouraged in the colder months, where you can hide under bulkier clothing, and prepare for a cut phase in the spring.
Work with the Phases, not against them
Regardless of when you start living your EM2WL life, you will learn to appreciate the phases as you encounter them. Each one has specific food related, mind related, and body related goals with them. But the only way the phases work with you is if you work with the phases. Commit yourself wholeheartedly to the phase you are in and master the skills needed for it. Be willing to learn and challenge yourself in each one and know that over time, you will find yourself craving to be in a certain phase at certain points in your life. In time, your journey successes will compound in so many ways it will be impossible not to miss them.
Lean in to the process by starting right now. What phase are you in?
(Excerpt from 1 of 11 lessons on the EM2WL Phases inside CTDM Workshop)
Today's post is from Team Member, Tereza Toledo. Tereza recently went on a family vacation to Jamaica, and shares how she she crushed her Diet Mentality and truly relaxed during her Chill Phase.
Tereza's Chill Vacation
I just got back from a true chill phase. 7 days on an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica with husband and kids.
In the past, the diet mentality would have made everything different; it would have ruined it all. I would have spent weeks trying to eat barely anything, cardio-ing myself to exhaustion, just so I could look a certain way for the vacation. Then I would be miserable. I would not enjoy the beautiful scenery, the amazing food and the company of my family, all because I’d be full of insecurities over my body and all the other stuff the we allow to come in when we let the diet mentality take over our lives.
But nope, none of that happened. I am a #crusher and I’m proud to brag! I was on a very mild cut for six weeks, not because of the upcoming vacation (last minute decision) but just because that was the phase I chose to be in after a long maintenance turned bulk. I kept lifting, watching my macros and eating what I should until the day before we left. No pressure to squeeze myself in old clothes that wouldn’t make me feel or look good.
During my chill phase
I ate the food, I slept, I put my feet up and enjoyed. You don’t get someone cooking your meals and tidying up your room too often! I don’t usually drink, but who can pass on pina coladas being served at a pool bar (literally inside the pool – genius idea) with my favorite people in the world (the kids got virgin drinks, of course). It would have been rude to the bartenders! I didn’t worry about how much sugar/carbs/whatever was in there, I just sipped and chilled!
I even had dinner and breakfast twice a few days. How could I say no to my husband and kids or not joining them or to nag at them for eating. I never get to enjoy Jamaican food! I wasn't going to not eat! It wasn’t a crazy feeding frenzy as it may sound, but it was a decision that I made. I allowed myself to have my time off and enjoy it, bit by bit.
I didn’t feel gross about myself; I did not compare myself to other people; I did not worry about how I would look in my bathing suit. I didn’t spend a second thinking that I was ruining my previous phase or that I’d have to undo the damage when I got home. I didn’t eat salad in the last day or on the way home, I didn’t even try to use the amazing gym they had there! I just chilled.
Today, I have no regrets. I’m not worried if my pants feel a little snug or if I don’t look as cut as I did before the vacation. I am re-energized and ready to move on with my next phase. I reconnected with myself and with my family, we had a great time and made wonderful memories. We laughed and had fun. And that’s what EM2WL and #crushingthedietmentality is all about.
How are you Crushing the Diet Mentality? Post your NSV's in the CTDM online community, we'd love to share it with the fam!
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