I’ve known wellness coach Rachael Pontillo for a long time now – as two estheticians with a holistic bent, we love swapping notes on all-natural beauty. But when I read her story on her incredible, healthy weight loss I knew I needed her to do a guest post. Below are her Pre and Post health make-over pics….how amazing does she look?
Five Holistic Tips for Losing Weight and Gaining Energy!
By Rachael Pontillo, Owner of Holistically Haute™
Despite years of different diets, calorie counting, personal trainers, and frustration, I have finally gotten to my ideal, healthy weight. I had always been underweight prior to my pregnancies, and did not have any major health concerns. But due to hormonal havoc from pregnancy paired with some medications I was taking at the time, I went from below average on the charts to overweight. At my heaviest about 2.5 years ago (200 lbs), I skipped over “average” and kept telling myself that my weight and dress size fit right in with the American average. I had the mentality of “well Marilyn Monroe would have been plus size by today’s standards and we wear the same size!” and hid behind this idea of being a “typical average American”…until I began to develop health concerns.
When I started having digestive issues and acid reflux, and then later got diagnosed with thyroid issues and high cholesterol. I knew that there was nothing fun about being “average” and that it was time to make a change for real this time. So, I began to learn more about holistic health and lifestyle approaches and realized that my former diet plans really are just examples of treating the symptom without addressing the cause. Once I came to this realization I decided to look deeper and address the reasons I gained the weight in the first place. That’s when my transformation happened.
And here are my top Five holistic ways to lose weight:
1. Keep a food journal…but not the typical food journal that just lists what foods you ate at what time. I found it more helpful to elaborate on this by writing down how I felt before eating, why I chose those particular foods, how I felt after eating them, and how long before I became hungry again. This is especially helpful in dealing with cravings. Certain foods have the ability to energize us while others drain us completely…knowing which foods had which effect on me was a big wake up call. Use something small like a little notepad or even a handheld electronic device and keep it close to you throughout the day so you don’t have to stress out about remembering everything before bedtime.
2. Drink copious amounts of water. Many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. Dehydration affects people’s ability to get through the day without snacking and also affects our bodies’ ability to properly digest food and absorb nutrients. I suggest having a very large bottle of filtered or distilled water at your desk all day long…room temperature or slightly warmer is best, believe it or not.
3. Try dry brushing. This is something I do every day before my shower and I recommend it to almost everyone. A lot of my weight started coming off once I started doing this, and I still do it. It’s something that you don’t realize is working until you don’t do it for a day or two (if you go away for a weekend and forget to pack the dry brush, for example); then you feel tired and sluggish and your skin gets all flaky. Dry brushing is wonderful for keeping the lymphatic system going so it can effectively do its job of moving waste products and toxins to the heart to be filtered out and then eliminated.
4. Get rid of junk. I think most of us know which foods we eat are not the healthiest choices. If we’re trying to lose weight, why would we keep them around us? This is not an exercise in willpower; it is an exercise in masochism. It’s really simple. If the food is not in your home or office, you can’t eat it. It won’t be easy at first, but trust me, it gets easier faster than you would think.
5. Focus more on addition than subtraction. Even though we ultimately want to subtract the bad foods and excess weight, I find it more effective to focus on adding good foods and lifestyle practices. Once your body starts getting some of what it needs from good foods and positive lifestyle changes, it will starting craving more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff.
Weight loss is a step-by-step process and can sometimes feel overwhelming. But if you get stuck and feel you need support, know that there are lots of people available to help you get the results you want. Kristen, or myself for example!