For most people, the thought of having to face the task of losing weight the second time around (after already losing 80 pounds once) might feel completely overwhelming and hopeless. Not so for Mila’s Herenda! She was able to transform her second weight loss journey into a creative business opportunity. The idea for her signature program “Lose 10 Pounds and Gain 10 Clients” came to her as she noticed that getting back in touch with her physical health corresponded with her attracting many new clients. She’s a firm believer that health and wealth are firmly related.
Her picture here reflects her most recent efforts of losing 14 pounds this year in her second journey to a happier weight.
Have you ever tried to lose weight before? What’s been your experience with previous attempts at losing weight?
When I was in my 20’s I actually had got up to 200 pounds. I decided to make some changes and really actively focused on my fitness and get much more active. I was taking tons of kickboxing classes, riding bikes and doing yoga. I did change my eating too, I stopped drinking as much alcohol and eating junky foods. It didn’t seem very hard, but I really put effort into getting lots of exercise. And I enjoyed being active. Overall I lost over 86 pounds and kept it off for years.
Why do you think you gained the weight initially? What were some of the factors you feel contributed to it?
I was initially overweight in my 20’s because of my lifestyle habits. But I ended up regaining most of this weight because of an accident. A few years ago I slipped and fell and hurt my back and neck quite severely. I was constantly in pain and often woke up through the night because of it. My doctors were trying to decide if I needed surgery and I was under exercise restriction. I also was in a negative relationship and was feeling quite depressed. Because it hurt to stand for long, I stopped cooking and enjoyed the convenience of frozen pizzas for meals several times a week. It didn’t take long before I gained a significant amount of weight.
How do you think your emotions played a part in your weight story?
When I was in pain and unable to be active I started feeling depressed. I believe there is a strong mind/body connection and we need physical movement in order to fully be alive and energized. Part of it is activating the mindset and you can only do this by actually getting active.
When did you notice you were losing weight? What else was changing in your life?
I started to become more active after my doctor cleared me for exercise. When I started to move my body more, it affected everything, especially my mindset. I had a more positive outlook and I wanted to take more action. At the same time, I was attracting more clients in my business. I had so many appointments in one month, I had to start putting a limit on the number of clients I could take per month. This experience actually led me to a business idea and I created a progarm called “Lose 10 Pounds, Gain 10 Clients.” Basically when you are focusing on good behaviors for yourself, you change the energy around you as well and people find you more appealing to work with.
Since you didn’t follow a diet program, were there any other intentional behaviors or habits that you felt helped you with losing weight?
After I got permission from my doctor to get physically active, I was able to get back into the gym. I started doing yoga and that was continuing to give me momentum. I was feeling like I wanted to move more. Since I used to be so active when I was younger, my body had the muscle memory and desire to be more active.
I’m fairly picky in my food choices and naturally have eaten a lot of vegetables like cabbage – kind of weird , I know. But my plate always has 50% vegetables on it. I eat 70% vegetarian as well, so eating less meat helps me. I’ve always known the importance of eating a lot of veggies. Now I tend to drink black coffee as well. Overall it hasn’t been a big change, I just don’t buy the frozen pizzas anymore.
I weigh myself weekly on Mondays as a way to check in over the weekends. This helps to keep me more aware not to overindulge on the weekends. I bring my healthy snacks to my friends houses so I have options to choose from when I’m not eating at home.
Were there any “bad habits” you needed to break? How did you change your behavior?
Yeah. Breaking up with my boyfriend! At the time when I was hurt, he was a super negative person. He didn’t help around the house, paid rent late and was a big stress on my life in all ways. It took me four months to get him out of my house and I eventually had to move to get rid of him. Once I broke free from him, my mindset also came back to focus on myself.
Are you satisfied with your current weight?
I still have another 35 pounds to lose but this was a good start even if the photos show me as a work in progress. Self doubt always plays a part. When I look at them I think, “Its a change!” I injured my hip, back & neck and gained 49 pounds over the course of a year or so. I finally got it together now! I’ve lost 14 pounds and gained 27 new clients since January. It seems to be each pound I lose gets me 2 new clients, who knew!
I’m currently a work in progress, but I am satisfied with how it is going. I know what I need to do and I’m so happy that my body is able to be more active now. Before when I lost the weight I was able to keep it off for years quite easily, but it was the injury and inactivity, combined with negative influences that got me to regain all the weight back.
Looking back on your experience, what did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I had to take care of myself first. The first time I lost weight, it was all about exercise. But this time I think of it as just my life. When I put myself first it includes letting go of negative people, it includes taking care of my business, moisturizing my skin, drinking enough water, getting educated & taking classes. I’m also in a new happy relationship and it has great boundaries, so I’m really able to concentrate on my business and myself now. I’m actually stronger in many ways because my last relationship taught me that I can’t depend on people and I have to depend on myself. It’s been a huge transformation over this year.
I still have 35 pounds to lose to get back to my happy weight in the 140s. Originally I had a goal to lose 50 pounds and it seemed so overwhelming, but then I changed my mindset to just focus on a weekly goal of 1 or 2 pounds and by September I’l be at my goal. When I look at it that way, it’s a totally different perspective.
Mila Herenda is a Tarot Reader & Business Coach. She helps Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Healers & Readers end BS excuses and create the Healthy Lifestyle they want with the Income they Deserve.