by Kathi Szabo

I bet many of you are wondering since I’m married to a Health and Mindset Coach, why haven’t I become slender and fit? Honestly, that’s a great question and one I even sometimes ponder.

But the answers are rather easy, and they all come back to my own thoughts. Even though I may get reminders from Mark on occasion (coaching your spouse is not always a great idea. Many times we are more receptive to a stranger’s comments than those we love.), he’s not the one in control of my actions or my thoughts. Only I am. As a coach, he can guide me, hold me accountable, but he can’t make choices for me. He can’t decide in the moment for me. That is all on me.

So why am I starting this spring in the same place as last summer? Well, I’ll tell you – but first I want you to notice that I am starting this spring in the same place as last summer.  This means I’ve made progress!  I’m realizing winter did it again to my body 3 months earlier than when I noticed it last year!


I’ve had to “watch” my weight for as long as I can remember. In high school, I was always on a diet, trying to be skinny. A childhood memory stayed in my mind of me in a Brownie uniform from probably 1st or 2nd grade with the front button bulging from my body being too big for it. In junior high, I also had been given the largest cheerleader uniform, because, well, I was the largest cheerleader.  I was not overweight in high school, but I sure felt like if I wasn’t on a diet I would be.

Looking back it’s rather sad that so many of my thoughts, and I’m sure those of other high school girls, were on their bodies. And it was more what others thought, not how we felt. No wonder we grew into women who are so focused on our outer beauty. Young women still face stigmatism based on their weight.


I became a Saluki Shaker in college, a member of the marching bands dance team. I loved dancing and had even thought of leaving school to dance. But I was too fearful of the unknown. Afraid I wasn’t good enough.  So, when I made the dance team in the spring and was told to come back in the fall 15 pounds less, I was back to dieting!  I had to be good enough! Only this time I tried to be smart about it.

My mom and I joined what would now be called a women’s boutique gym.  We went 3 times a week and I could see my progress as they weighed us at every visit.  I was eating healthy.  I gave up pop, (what we call soda in Chicago), I chose taco salads or tostadas rather than nachos while working that summer at Taco Bell.

But at the end of summer, I was still a few pounds shy of my goal.  I missed the first game of the season because I honestly didn’t think I would actually be benched for a few pounds. Heck, my uniform fit me!

I spent that football season (I love football) sitting in saunas, starving myself all week to binge all weekend, and many other unhealthy short-term fixes. The life of binging and purging.

I quit the Shakers at the end of the season. I was smart enough to know this type of eating was not healthy nor good for my body.  This was the start of me not wanting short-term diets. Instead, looking at weight loss as a long-term, life-changing option.


In my mindset coaching program, The Total MindShift, I start with clarity.  Being absolutely clear on your why, your reason for being. Our purpose, our why, is what drives our everyday decisions. With a clear purpose, decisions on what action to take become clear and easy. If our why is not clear, change doesn’t happen.

Right now my why is just not strong enough to drop another 15-20 pounds. My why is to be healthy and do the things I love doing. But my body is healthy.  I have no medical issues like high blood pressure or diabetes. I feel good. My extra pounds have not yet stopped me from doing the things I love. I hike. I kayak. I practice yoga. I travel back and forth to the city.  There is nothing right now that I can’t do because of my weight.

However, I’ve noticed that I’m getting more winded when Mark and I go for our hikes. I’m getting more winded teaching yoga. AND my jeans are back to being tight! This is my mindfulness coming into action! Noticing these subtle changes in my body. And, I’m noticing these things in March rather than last year in June when I put my bathing suit on. These few changes in my body, which are not in line with my why are the agitator for me to take new action. A month ago, when the weather was too cold to hike, when I was sick with a cold and missed 2 weeks of teaching, and when I hadn’t put on jeans, I didn’t have a why to make changes.  Today, I do.


This week, after noticing the changes in my body, I’ve become more aware of my beliefs, thoughts, and actions. It’s what David Bayer calls the 5 primary drivers: Beliefs lead to thoughts, thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to action, which leads to results that reinforce our beliefs or make us rethink.

The thought pattern I’ve had over the last few months was:

Beliefs – I am healthy.

Thoughts – My clothes fit. I can do all the things I love. It’s too cold to go hiking. I have a cold so I should rest. Spring is far off. I’ll be ready to hike when the weather warms.

Feelings – Relaxed. Feelings of hibernating. Warmth. Tired.

Action – Sit by the fire. Watch the snow, not play in it. Make plans for spring. Eat for hibernation meaning comforting winter foods.

Results – My cold slowly goes away. I start feeling sluggish but not enough to change my beliefs until I try on my jeans. Until we go out for a hike. And then my beliefs change to:

Beliefs – Hiking will be much more enjoyable if I dropped 10 pounds.

Thoughts – I can do this. Just rethink your portions and choices.  Move more. Hey, you noticed this before it got warm out and your jeans don’t fit at all!

Feelings – Can’t wait till summer and we can hike the ridge! Or maybe plan a vacation around a long hike. Maybe hike Mount Tammany!

Action – Schedule hikes. Notice when I’m eating out of boredom or to soothe emotions. Make different choices.

Results – My jeans fit better. I’m less winded teaching yoga and hiking.

Back to my beliefs – I feel good!


So there you have it. Why I’m not as fit and trim as you may expect the wife of a Health and Mindset Coach to be. But you can see, it’s all in my thoughts.

When Mark coaches his clients, he gives guidance on nutrition and movement, because yes, these are key to being healthy and getting down to your ideal weight.

But what he can provide that other Health Coaches can’t, is a mindful approach that includes your mindset. Diving deep into why you may want to lose weight or gain muscle. Digging into your beliefs and your 5 primary drivers.  Getting down to the root of what is holding you back and then making some new decisions, changing your beliefs.

If you are ready to give up dieting forever! If you are ready to consciously create a life and body you love. Schedule a no-hassle, no-pressure Well-Being 101 call with us!  Start living your best life today!