This post is orginial post at James Altucher’s blog
Lisa showed up at my hotel room yesterday at 5:30am. She was a little early. She’s been visiting me in various hotel rooms for the past five years. Whenever I have to go on TV that day she comes over and washes my hair. The whole time I knew her she was massively overweight. “I finally did it,” she said this time. “I lost 100 pounds.” It took her nine months.
I finally had to ask her, “what the hell happened? How did you do it?” She had gone from 240 pounds to 140 pounds. From a size 22 to a size 8. She said, “my blood pressure went from 147/91 to 120/70″.
I don’t know anything about weight loss. But she was smiling and wanted to tell what happened so I asked her. And it’s not every day you meet someone who loses 100 lbs in a nine month period.
So this is not my usual post. Most of it’s in her words as she answered me and I scribbled down the answers. And if you have any questions for her, she’ll come back in the next day or so and answer them in the comments.
A) Cardio. She does an hour of cardio exercises every day. Sweats out the toxins, ups the metabolism, tones the body. She said, here look at my stomach, she raised her shirt and grabbed her stomach, all toned she said. “If you don’t do cardio and you lose 100 pounds you can end up with disgusting sagging skin. That’s the ugliest. I didn’t want that.”
B) Eat no processed foods. Particularly sugar. She said, “processed sugar rusts your bones, ages you and gives you just a quick high that brings you right back down until you eat again.” And eating more of it causes you to gain mindless weight.
C) Mind over matter. I didn’t know what she meant by that. I think part of it means portion control but more on that later. I asked her what she meant. “I had to start putting myself first. Nothing got in the way of my exercise or right eating. And when I had leisure time I would either exercise or read self-help books or do something else good for myself. Sometimes that would be selfish in that I would have to do something good for myself instead of doing things for others that I didn’t really have to do but used to do.”
D) Portion control. I’m adding “D” but I asked her for some recipes and all had to do with portion control. Recipes below.
E) Vitamins. You have to keep the skin fit from the inside, she said: magnesium, calcium, bioflex, multivitamin, vitamin D. “All of this feeds your skin from the inside”.
F) Drink lots of water. “Flushes out the impurities you get throughout the day. Not just food impurities but everything”.
G) Drink No-caffeine tea: “For the antioxidants”.
I asked her for some recipes:
1) Sandwich: Lightly toasted ezekiel bread, a cup full of baby spinach, one teaspoon olive oil, one teaspoon apple cider vinegar (good for bones), 1/4 cup of feta cheese. layer it into the sandwich.
2) Snack: Teaspoon of agave (good sugar), 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese, teaspoon of dark chocolate (heavy in antioxidants). Mix it together and its like “ice cream”.
3) Snack: Bananas (a half of a banana), smashed up walnuts, dark chocolate powder.
4) popcorn with almond milk (fiber, no sugar, no salt (although there is a little on jiffy pop that’s ok: “fats are better than sugars”)
5) Juicing: carrots, apples, celery, flaxseed, blueberry, and baby spinach for the protein.
6) Breakfast: oatmeal. Add water, not milk. Teaspoon of cinammon. “Cinammon is great for your blood sugar. It also cuts your hunger away”.
She also added. “Whenever a recipe says “a cup”, I use 1/4 a cup. When its says a tablespoon (like a tablespoon of oil), I use a teaspoon.”
7) Snack: Plain greek yogurt, add flaxseed, cinammon.
8) Dinner: Salmon, asparagus. “Get a scale. Only 3 ounces of salmon.”
9) Dinner: 3 ounces of chicken. Broccoli. (“you can have as many vegetables as you want but be careful with fruit. If, for instance, you want grapes, don’t eat the whole bag. Only 20 grapes.”). For spices: pepper (“no salt”), paprika, regular mustard (“NO honey mustard”), and sauerkrat on top of the chicken.
10) Sandwich: six slices of turkey, lightly toasted ezekiel bread, 1 slice of swiss cheese, mustard, 1/8 of an avocado. (She added: all of the MUFAs are good – multi-unsaturated fatty acids -” they reduce the belly but you can’t eat too much because it’s still fat”).
11) Snack or meal: :1/8 avocado, 1 tomato, 1 red onion (“no white onions. Too many carbs. In general, most things that are white are no good.” I don’t think she was making a political statement.) Cilantro. Grind it all together into a dip. Use whole wheat pita to dip in. Whole wheat has carbs but it’s not as bad for you.
“What if you eat in a restaurant?” I said.
“Three rules: A) the main entree should be no bigger than a deck of cards. B) whatever oil or butter you put on should be no bigger than the tip of your thumb. And C) no dessert.”
Claudia’s attempting to break her sugar addiction. Lisa emailed me this advice to give to her:
“add 1/2 fruit to your lunch or dinner to trick your sweet tooth taste buds (like pineapple to your grilled chicken, some raisins to your brown rice) it tricks your taste buds… Also she can take 200mg of Chromium it helps her sugar cravings… Almond milk with popcorn (sweet and salty) snack before bed filled with health benefits gives you a good night sleep, eat it like cereal… popcorn has a lot of fiber. ”
So that’s it. No frills. Again, I’m not selling an informercial or a product. Here’s the lessons get out of it:
A) Pay attention to every aspect of your body. Lisa exercises. She focuses on not just what she eats but portion control and vitamins she can take for the inside. The one thing she doesn’t do is sleep. She works about 120 hours a week.
B) Emotional: She respects her own boundaries first. When she has leisure time she doesn’t let the crappy people in her life, she focuses on things that improve herself.
C) Mental: Lisa is developing her own product of skin creams (here’s the site in beta). Her skin is perfect and she’s been in the business for 18 years. She makes no-chemical creams all based on botanical extracts from caribbean countries to focus on the latina audience.
D) Spiritual. I’m an advocate of any system, methodology, church, which allows you to recognize that you can’t control the world. That we are just cogs in the machine. Lisa goes to church every day. I asked her her favorite authors. She said “Joyce Myer, Joel Osteen, Wayne Dyer.” I was a little upset she didn’t mention any of my TEN books but I didn’t say anything.
In other words, she does a version of The Daily Practice I’ve been recommending. And although its still pre-alpha (the developer is starting to hate me linking people to the site because he always has 10 more features he wants to add) you can track whatever your daily practice is over attdp.me. It doesn’t matter if you skip a day. It doesn’t matter how “small” or “big” your practice is. It’s just checking the boxes to say “YES”, I am showing up for myself today.
I hope this is useful to someone. I also asked her if anyone had any questions in the comments if she could come back at some point today or tomorrow and answer and she said yes.