107 - Why Routines Are Great for Weightloss

We invite you to take messy, sloppy action towards habits that you want to integrate for your weight loss goals. We’re showing you why your routines might be falling apart, how we’ve decided what routines serve us, and why you can’t rely on motivation to move the needle.

5 min

The notion of creating routines and taking consistent action isn’t exactly the most exciting thing. But if weight loss is your goal, the truth is that you’ll have to get up every single day and do the things you’ve planned. And this means routines have to be a non-negotiable part of your journey. 

The path to creating big results is paved with routines and consistency. Although this process isn’t particularly sexy, both of us have been able to create ones that truly bring us joy. And if you’re struggling to see the results you want, it’s likely because you haven’t given yourself the chance to create a routine that you’re willing to practice, especially when you don’t feel like it.

Join us this week as we invite you to take messy, sloppy action towards habits that you want to integrate for your weight loss goals. We’re showing you why your routines might be falling apart, how we’ve decided what routines serve us, and why you can’t rely on motivation to move the needle.

Check out Vibe Club, a weight loss coaching group with the purpose of supporting women that want to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to create routines that will help you on your weight loss journey.
  • Why you need joy as a baseline in your consistency. 
  • How you might not be giving yourself the chance for something to become a routine.
  • Why nothing has gone wrong if you aren’t in the mood.  
  • How I choose the habits and routines that bring me joy. 

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Full Episode Transcript:

On this week’s episode of the podcast we discuss how to create habits and routines that will help you in your weight loss journey.

Hi, I’m Maggie. I’ve lost a combined 90 pounds after having my two kids and struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. I teach you how to lose weight a different way, how to fix the thoughts in your head holding you back from finally taking weight loss off your to do list. Losing weight doesn’t need to be a struggle. And it’s my mission to help you love the process all the way down the scale. If you’re ready to lose weight a different way, then let’s get it.

Maggie: Welcome to the podcast.

Ryan: Good morning.

Maggie: How’s it going?

Ryan: I’m chilling.

Maggie: I mean how is it going though, things going good?

Ryan: Yeah. As time goes on, I’m learning that I am becoming even more and more balanced with my eating. What I thought was balanced, it was not, could have been even more balanced.

Maggie: So how did you make your balance more balanced, what would you say?

Ryan: I am including things that I love in more moderation, even more, and more, and more.

Maggie: Yeah. I like sharing updates with everybody who listens because I like to share the honest parts of the process, that we’re constantly tweaking things. I think it’s easy just to think, people figure it out. And then it’s figure it out, but I don’t think that ever really stops. And the goal would be to make it more and more juicy.

Ryan: Yeah. I have different things that work at different times. I’m never just really sticking to one thing. You know what I mean? I’m always changing shit.

Maggie: Yeah. So just a friendly reminder, if you feel you’re looking for the thing and the end all, be all, I like to believe that with the tools that I teach, you can always be changing things, but you’ll be changing it from a helpful place. You know what I mean? The specifics don’t matter as much as your reasons for why you’re making changes. And for the most part we want to make changes so that we feel better, things work better. Okay, so this reminds me of what I was just telling you from a podcast I was listening to.

How she was talking about – it’s a marketing podcast but one of the things that she mentions was that nothing works without joyful consistency. And that goes into what we’re going to talk about today. I don’t know. That just hit me so much because I see it so much in my business, but I also have seen it in my weight loss journey.

Ryan: Joyful consistency, that’s just another way of saying what you always say, is just loving your plan.

Maggie: Yeah. But joyful consistency is such a beautiful way to say it because consistency is one thing. But when you guys hear the word ‘consistency’ are you like, “Hell yeah, that sounds awesome. That sounds lush and juicy. And ooh, I want some of that consistency.” We all do want it. But I think adding the specifier of joyful consistency, it’s not just about what you can do consistently. Because as something like 75 Hard can show, it is possible to do things with consistency, to do something, day after day, after day, after day.

But when you pepper in the descriptor of joyful consistency it changes everything. Because it’s not about what can you do consistently, it’s about what can you do consistently that you’re bringing joy to you, I’m happy that I’m doing this. I see that. I talk to people about business and stuff here and there. And it’s just when it comes to your business, if you don’t have a baseline of joy for what you’re doing, it’s never going to work. It’s never going to work because you’re going to get burnt out.

So I love the parallels when it comes down to, I feel the exact same way about business as I feel about weight loss, and the food that I eat, and the routines that I follow, and the habits that I practice daily bring me joy. And because of that joy I’m able to be consistent. It is a joyful consistency. Something about it was just it just hit because consistency isn’t super sexy. Consistency is pretty boring. Habit building is pretty freaking boring, right?

Ryan: It’s all boring, dude.

Maggie: It’s so boring. It’s so boring to be like you’ve just got to keep getting up and doing it.

Ryan: Day, after day, after day, after day.

Maggie: And I was just telling Ryan something that I heard Jon Acuff, I really like his book soundtracks. I really need to read his other book, Finish. But I heard an interview he was doing, and he was talking about how you can’t do next week’s workout today. We can’t get ahead of ourselves with this process, with any part of the process, no matter what you’re trying to create for yourself. You can only do what is in front of you today.

You only have, honestly, you only have this present moment, a plane could hit our house right now. You only have this moment. You only have this day in front of you to do those things. And then the way that you create these big results is that you do things today and then you do things tomorrow, and you do them the next day. And it’s just not a super sexy concept. But it’s important that you are able to bring joy to the consistent action that you have to take aka your habits, aka your routine. I love routine almost to a fault.

Ryan: Whenever we’re out of routine for a certain amount of days, if we go on a trip, Maggie is just like, “Dude, eff this, I want to get back home to my routine.”

Maggie: And I do a pretty good job of keeping up my routine. I bring my journal. I bring my planner, all that kind of stuff. But there’s just nothing like your home and the comforts of home. But whatever the routine is that you have you want to make sure that it’s a routine that you can keep up in other places.

Ryan: Routines are so good for weight loss and it’s very apparent when the weekends hit, everyone has so much trouble at the weekend because there’s no routine.

Maggie: Yeah, because you haven’t taken it seriously to create a weekend routine. I just think to think that the routine that you do is going to look identical Monday through Sunday is probably not, you need to make adjustments.

Ryan: It’s a no.

Maggie: It’s a no, but what I think is cool though about routines, and this just kind of plays into the way that the brain works is that most of the stuff that we do day in, and day out is subconscious. It’s 95% of it we’re not even thinking as we do it, it’s all just happening. And so in order to deprogram subconscious, we have to bring it into the subconscious, practice it a lot until it becomes so second nature that it becomes a subconscious thing. It becomes something that we don’t have to think about.

Get your planner, write your plan. And I see that so much in my life because so many of these things, when I first started planning it was really hard for me to do. I learned the concept. I went through coach training. I learned about weight loss. I learned about thinking. I learned about all that stuff, but I would still go through times where I would plan. And I wouldn’t really understand why I was doing it. And I didn’t really see the importance of it. I was doing it very inconsistently.

I would take weeks off where I wouldn’t do it. And then I would just realize, damn, it’s so much easier when I plan. It makes my life way easier. But for the first little while there was a lot of on off with the planning. Now I do not have to think about planning at all. I don’t give it a second thought. I do it every single day, no drama, no stress, no thinking, no pressure, no effort. I just do it.

And so it’s so impressive to me, what used to be something that like when you’re trying to start new habits and routines it feels super wonky because it’s not what you normally do. And it’s like how do I plan the timing? And how do I plan around my kids? And where should I plan? Should I do it on paper? Should I do it in my phone? What do I need to change? There’s so many variables, it feels wonky, and it doesn’t feel good.

But like any other type of habit because you have the same kind of habit with working out. Once you just do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, and do it and then you also see the value of it and there are these other things showing you that there’s a reason that I’m doing this, it makes sense, I see clearly why this is important. After we do that all of a sudden it becomes subconscious. It just becomes this thing that you do. It’s just as natural as breathing. It’s just these are just the things that I do every single morning.

But most of the time we’re not giving ourselves the chance for something to become a routine and to become a habit because we’re changing shit constantly, making shifts all the time. Or we’re not doing anything consistently and constantly enough for your brain to be like, “Yeah, this is just what we do. We just wake up, we write what we’re going to eat.” No drama. There’s so much drama in the beginning.

Ryan: Think about when you learn to drive a car.

Maggie: You have to think about every single thing that you’re doing, every blinker, every mirror check, every other car.

Ryan: Yeah. Every lane change, everything.

Maggie: Because it’s not a subconscious thing. That’s a very good example. I drive all over the place. I mean I really have to think about driving because I always have my maps on anyways. But think about, you just drive from here to there. If I’m going to go to Costco or go pick up Holden from school, I have to give zero thought. I get in my car, and I blink and I’m there. I don’t know how I got there.

And yet my brain is taking into account all the cars, all the lane changes, all the red lights, all the green lights, all the yellow lights, all of those things are now something that my brain doesn’t have to actively be like, “You better freaking pay attention. You better freaking pay attention or you’re going to get in a car crash.” There’s so much danger and now all of a sudden, it’s just a routine, is just a habit. And weight loss is a habit based goal. That’s how you get the results that you want.

That’s how you lose weight. It’s not with things that you do every once in a while. It’s not with things you do once a month, or once every other week, or three days at a time every three months. I know I always say that, but that’s the approach we take to working out or starting a diet, whatever. We hit it hard for four to five days and we’re like, “Ugh.” And we never see the results that we want because we haven’t given it a chance to become a habit and then a routine.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s so important.

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Ryan: And then also making it something you enjoy.

Maggie: Yeah, I think the biggest aspect is going to be the discomfort that you have to allow as you’re learning how to incorporate something new into your routine because you have a routine. I feel we touch on this frequently. You have a routine. Whatever you’re doing every day, that is your routine. You may not be consciously choosing it, but you have a routine. You have a routine on how many times you click the snooze button. You have a routine on how quick you get up.

You have a routine on, everything that you’re doing is a routine. Most of us just aren’t consciously choosing what that routine is.

Ryan: Well, our brain wants everything to be on autopilot.

Maggie: Yes. It has a limited amount of space for what it can consciously focus on.

Ryan: Yeah. So whether you think you have a routine or not, your brain is constantly delegating things to subconscious actions.

Maggie: Yeah. And that’s just to conserve energy and to be efficient. And that’s the brain’s job, just imagine, if we had to focus on every single thing that we have to do.

Ryan: The goal is to get the actions you want to take to be…

Maggie: On the subconscious, yeah. You want to program. That’s why sometimes, I’ve been doing a lot of things that I’ve been doing with weight loss, and planning, and routines, and habits for a really long time. And so sometimes it can be hard for me to remember just how uncomfortable it was in the beginning. But when I tap into that I’m like, “Oh my gosh, it was so hard.” And I had so many years of failed creation of habits and failed creation of routines. I always wanted a routine.

And I always wanted the routine that would make me my best and transform me into this other person, when that’s not how these things are made. It’s time, and consistency, and taking steps. We were just talking about this yesterday. Taking steps day after day for years, for four years, for five years. And then that’s how you, all of a sudden, you’re like, “Yeah, there’s no drama about it.” But that’s not because there never was. That’s just because you got past that. And most of us are quitting before we get past that.

When it comes to routines, you want to be focusing again on what you can be joyfully consistent at.

Ryan: What are some things that you’re joyfully consistent at?

Maggie: This is tricky, and I’ll tell you why. Because I choose to describe the things that I do as things that are mega, mega helpful and supportive to me. So you’re not going to find things that are just intrinsically joyful. But when I describe what planning gives me, it’s to the point that when I don’t plan, I’m kind of miserable because I don’t even know what I’m going to freaking do. What did I need to prep? There’s so much more decision fatigue.

The way that I see it is I plan because I don’t want to be making tiny assed little decisions and negotiating with myself all day, every day. That’s a huge strain on my mental energy that I need to use elsewhere. So for me planning is, oh my gosh, I’m so glad that I don’t have to think about this all day. I am so glad that for the next four hours I don’t have to be, “Jimmy John’s or Flying Dutchman, I don’t know. Should I order this? Should I do DoorDash? Should I bring something? Do I have leftovers?”

I am so glad that I don’t have to do that. So my story is super juicy so it’s really easy for me to be joyfully consistent at planning, at journaling, at assessing. Because the way that I describe those things are these things help me, these things help me to show up the way I want to for my day. They help me to be able to show up with the most mental clarity and energy that I can have.

So I don’t remember what your question was. But it’s one of those things that I get to choose what’s joyful for me because I create my own joy by being proud and consistent of the things that I think help me.

Ryan: Well, no, that was a great example. I was just looking for some examples of what you find joyful and why. Why is it joyful for you?

Maggie: Things that I do every single day I plan no matter what. That’s so subconscious for me, that’s so programmed, set it and forget it for me that I don’t have to, and I value it. I put a lot of value on the fact that we’re choosing in advance. We chose from this place that knows how we want to feel today, how we want to sleep tonight, the confidence that I want to feel in my own skin. That’s the place that I plan from. So that’s super juicy to me. Journaling, I try to be really good at journaling but there’s so much work that I do with my planning that sometimes that kind of counts for it.

I like to just check-in with myself and know where my brain is at for the day. So for me that’s very valuable especially when it comes to waking up and my brain is just telling me bullshit, just like dude. Just that vibe when you wake up, especially on days like that I feel it’s very important for me to show up, take accountability, make a choice, and do the most that I can do at redirecting where my brain naturally wants to go which is just like, dude, I do not want to do this today. I don’t want to do the things.

And I think that’s a big aspect of it too. Me and Ryan talk about this a lot. I used to have a major aversion to doing anything that I didn’t want to do if I didn’t want to do it. And I’m not saying that aversion isn’t still here. It definitely is but when it comes to routines and habits, you have to do it when you don’t want to do it. And you have to do it from the place of I know why I’m doing this. I know why it’s important to me.

I do way more of the things that I don’t want to do these days than I ever have before because I know what the outcome is. I know what I’m creating. I know why it’s important. I know what people need to hear. Sometimes I don’t want to do this podcast, frequently. Because we sit down, and we record multiple podcasts and there are two people in this podcast and not everybody is always in the mood. Sometimes it’s both of us, sometimes it’s one of us. You start being like, “Well, I don’t want to do it.”

And you have to override your own bullshit, your own resistance that’s just like, well, I don’t want to. Well, it’s tough shit, we’ve got to do it. This is the day that we do it. And I think that my willingness to overcome the discomfort of I just don’t want to do it, has created an amazing life because before, you can’t just do things when you want to do them. You’re not going to want to do them most of the time. I just made a post today on Instagram.

Most days I wake up feeling like ass, most days I wake up and my brain is like, “You do not have what it takes for this day. You didn’t sleep enough. You’re not focused enough. You don’t feel good enough. You’re not motivated enough. You’re not enough of whatever you need to do this day.” That is what my brain tells me every single day. And that is why I wake up and I plan, and I journal, and I decide. And I do all that shit before everybody else in my family wakes up because they’re going to all show up as whoever they are too.

It's so important to have a routine and to have some kind of timeline, some kind of daily habit set up that you’re like, this is the bare ass minimum that I can do to make sure my brain is in the best state that it can be in to deal with what the day will bring. There’s going to be an aspect that’s like I just do these things without thinking, it’s subconscious. And there’s going to be the other things that’s like, I’m not in the mood to journal. And I see that a lot in my clients. “I’m not in the mood to do this. I don’t want to see what’s there.”

It's your willingness to do it even, and especially when you don’t want to do it that makes the difference between people who do shit and people who don’t do shit.

Ryan: Yeah, there’s constantly people on social media saying, “You can’t wait for motivation.” And this is exactly what we’re talking about.

Maggie: Exactly. Because the motivation is there two out of 30 days a month. There’s days when I wake up and I’m like, “I’m feeling good today.” And those are awesome days. And I love milking those days for whatever they’re worth and being like, “I just feel bomb today. But that’s the exception, not the rule. It is more normal for me to wake up with a shit ton of excuses and really negative, let’s not do anything. It’s not going to be good. Some of the worst podcasts I think I have ever recorded, I get all this, that was my favorite podcast, you have no idea how much.

The feedback I get, I’m so glad that I showed up when I didn’t want to. I thought that I had to be my best self in order to show up in a way that’s going to do anything for anyone. That’s just not true. You don’t know.

I just think so many of us are not doing things that would be beneficial to other people or ourselves just because we’re just not in the mood. Not knowing that you training yourself to overcome your brain’s innate desire to just not do any of the things day after day, after day and enjoy when it’s easy and kind of lean in when it’s hard. That’s what’s going to move the needle for you in your weight loss, in your habits, in your routines, in your business, in everything. Nothing is wrong if you’re not in the mood.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean even on – this is unrelated but, on the podcast, it’s actually two years old today.

Maggie: Oh, it is?

Ryan: It’s November 11th today.

Maggie: We started on November 11th?

Ryan: Yeah.

Maggie: That’s so me.

Ryan: It’s right around this time, by the time this episode airs probably it will be two years old.

Maggie: So what are you trying to say?

Ryan: I’m trying to say, you created a two year routine.

Maggie: I know.

Ryan: At the beginning there was no routine.

Maggie: There was no routine at the beginning, you guys. That’s a very good point. Some days we did it. I mean oh my gosh, we had a new baby. But some days we did it at 9:30pm, some days we did it at lunchtime. Some days we did it and she’d start crying in the middle of it.

Ryan: Some days we didn’t do it at all.

Maggie: Holden wasn’t sleeping. Some weeks we didn’t do it. Some two weeks we didn’t do it.

Ryan: It was released on a different day every week.

Maggie: It was released on a different day every week, if we went on vacation, we just didn’t do it. That’s what it looks like in the beginning, you guys, it’s sloppy. The start of this podcast was sloppy. And it’s very consistent now, so consistent that we batch produce it. But we didn’t start that way. And just imagine if we had started going, “It needs to be released every Friday, there needs to be an email letting people know that it exists.” All of these things need to happen. You wouldn’t do it. It would just feel like that’s too much.

You have to start where you’re at and start taking that messy, sloppy action that’s like, well, I didn’t have a podcast and now I do. That was the beginning, I have a podcast, it’s registered on Apple. It releases on some days sometimes about some stuff. Sometimes it’s this long. Sometimes it’s that long. Sometimes it’s Mondays. Sometimes it’s Thursdays. It’s honestly whenever Ryan gets around to doing it. That was the vibe of the podcast at the beginning. And now you guys can expect a podcast every single Friday. We don’t negotiate with ourselves on that.

Because we created a habit, we show up and we do it whether we want to or not. We always feel amazing when it’s done, what we have promised to provide and how we’ve decided we’re going to show up in it. And that’s what’s cool about all this, is that it just applies to every aspect of your life where you’re wanting to create something or show up differently or improve anything. You start where you’re at, you do it when you don’t want to, you stay consistent, you get more consistent.

And then all of a sudden, you’ll look back and be like, “Damn, I’ve been doing a podcast for two years.” “Damn, I lost 60 pounds.” It was not perfect. It was not clean. It was sloppy, and messy, and perfect and now here I am.

Ryan: That’s exactly how it is.

Maggie: Exactly how it is.

Ryan: Anyways.

Maggie: See you guys next week.

Ryan: See you.

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