5 Life-changing Lessons I Learned While Keeping 50 Pounds Off for 5 Years (and counting) with Caelli Koehler
This mother of two started her weight-loss journey in high school as she began to become too attached to cardio and even occasionally reliant on popular fat-burning supplements and weight-loss pills…
Can you relate?
Throughout her twenties, in which she spent most other time as a Police Officer, wife, and new mother, Caelli struggled with her weight. She’d lose 15 pounds and gain back 18 – despite knowing what to do.
After having her second baby, she struggled to bounce back as quickly as she did after her first. This is when she hit her low and reached out for help. With the incredible support of her husband, they both went all in on their health and invested in 1:1 nutrition coaching.
Fast-forward nearly six years later, Caelli has been working with Paul first as a one-on-one client and now as a thriving 5% Community member…and she’s not only lost nearly 50 pounds but kept it off for nearly five years and counting!
Today, Caelli is a Head Coach in The 5% Community where she specializes in simple, lasting behavior changes while being your biggest supporter. In today’s episode, you’ll hear the replay of a coaching call she led in her Community that details her entire yo-yo diet journey and key lessons she learned along the way!
This is a must-listen if you’re a mom who’s struggled to make yourself a priority and keep the baby weight off for good!
Start listening now!
Thank you for being here.
If you found today’s episode valuable, please share it with a friend or family member who would benefit from hearing today’s message.
How I Can Help You:
I help women over 30 lose weight and rebuild limitless confidence so that they never have to diet again.
To date, I’ve personally coached more than 1,500 women and helped them to collectively lose 10,000+ pounds of body fat and keep it off for good, while simultaneously empowering them with the education, strategies, and accountability needed to feel and look their best.
Hey, everyone. Can you hear me okay? Okay, good. I’m excited tonight. Hopefully, I figure out this Zoom stuff okay with everybody. A little nerve wracking, I will admit. So I think we’re just waiting for everyone to start coming in, and then we’ll get started. All right. Well, while we’re waiting, how about we do some wins tonight? Let’s see. Jana, if you’re able to, can you share some wins with us?
Yes. Can you hear me?
I can, yes. Thanks.
All right. Well, first off, I share a lot of, with my Minnesota peeps, the fact that it was in the mid-80s today, and it felt amazing. We just jumped right over from winter to summer. So I am sporting a sundress and I’m loving every second of being hot.
So that’s the win.
Awesome. I know, the weather’s been great today for us too.
Let’s go to Denise. What’s a win we’re celebrating today?
Hi. Can you guys hear me? Yeah? Okay.
Good. Well, it’s been a tough couple of weeks, so I’m feeling like I’m coming on the good side of it. So I’m feeling like I’m coming out of a funk and feeling good about that.
Awesome. That’s good. Is there anything you’ve been doing to kind of get out of that funk?
Oh, positive talk. Just giving myself a little more grace and just trying to just push through.
Right. Right on. Good, pushing out of that stuff.
And I got to say, and actually now that you asked me that, something just came to mind. The last two weeks, I had not been able to get to the gym, and I got to the gym this week and it’s a huge game changer.
Awesome. Definitely, get those endorphins run in. Yes.
Yeah. That feels…
Laura, how about you? Any wins we’re celebrating this week?
We’ll just say for today, my win is, even with an amazingly busy work schedule today, I put things on pause about an hour ago and just got back from walking my dog. So yay.
That’s awesome. A little bit of relaxation time in there with the walk?
Yep, yep. A little relaxation.
Great. And we’ll do, let’s see, a couple more. Drea, you able to give a win today? Okay.
Hi. I hate to be like, my win is that I’m here, but after being gone for three weeks, it’s really good to be back and settling into home. And like Laura, I almost ran out of the house yesterday to go to the forest and go for a hike with my dog, so that was good. So a big win I think is just getting really clearer on my goals. I’ve got some time to figure out when I’m going to start my first cut, so just really focusing on that this week.
Awesome. All right, let me see if I have anybody else in the waiting. I think we have just a few more that might be coming on. We’ll give them a few more minutes before we get started. Danielle, how about when we’re celebrating today? Oh, you’re muted. Nope, still can’t hear you. Did I mute you? Let me see. Ask to unmute. There it goes.
For some reason I have the hardest time finding the unmute button on Zoom, because I’m very accustomed to Teams, so I just can’t seem to get it. Anyway, a win I’m celebrating, well, this is old news to you, Caelli, but just the fact that I have… just putting it out there that I was having struggles with self-sabotage and just putting it out there released it for me. It just felt really good and cathartic.
Good. Yeah, no, that was really great of you. It was actually, you’re one of my shout-outs tonight, so I’ll save that for a few minutes.
Thanks. I was on the wrong link.
No worries. Yeah, I hope everybody got that reminder I sent out for these. So this is my Zoom account, so Paul has his own Zoom account, so hopefully everybody kind of saw it. But it looks like, I think we got a pretty good turnout tonight. So let’s just go ahead and just dive into a couple of quick housekeeping for tonight. Just a quick reminder about Paul’s schedule. So he is gone from April 10th to the 25th and Thailand, so he will be checking Slack, he just might be a little delayed in response due to his wifi connectivity. But if you guys need extra support or you have questions or clarity on anything, make sure you tag me or send a private message and we will get that sorted out for you.
And then number two… Hey, Lisette. Second housekeeping in order is don’t forget to do those God awful lunges that Paul is having us do. So we’re almost halfway done with April, just those two minutes of daily walking lunges, and you can break that two minute up into however you see fit.
So let’s see here. Let me check one more thing. We’re trying to get one more person in and it’s coming in. There it goes. All right, and then, so like I said, just a couple of shout-outs tonight that I wanted to touch base with. Danielle, shout out to you for being super vulnerable today and to share your struggle channel talking about how you’re just struggling and just coming out there and just laying that all out. Very brave of you and very rewarding. I think at the same time, the second person I wanted to shout out, I don’t think I see her in here tonight, but Carrie. So I wanted to send out just a great job to Carrie. She’s been doing the Screw the Scale Challenge, and she’s been working really hard on disconnecting her emotions from that number on the scale. And she has been journaling a lot regarding her fears and her excuses, and in her own words, she’s really starting to get rid of that BS excuse and really start to buckle down. So I wanted to say a nice shout-out to Carrie for that.
Let’s see. I think we’ve still got a couple more people starting to come in just a little bit. But I just want to apologize in advance to you guys. My kids are unsupervised and snacking in the living room. They’ve got the TV on and tablets to keep us uninterrupted. But if they do come in, I will do my very best to scooch them on out of here.
But with that, let’s just go ahead and segue right into the call. So first and foremost, I am so honored tonight to be your guys’ guest speaker on the call. Today’s call will be the first of a two-part series where I take you through my journey of losing 50 pounds. Tonight, I’m going to go over kind of seven tips that I used during my diet phases to help me lose the weight and keep most of it off. So these dieting tips will be referenced throughout different various stories of my life, and hopefully some of these stories might resonate a little bit with you.
So before we begin, I kind of want to take a poll using our chat box. How old were you guys when you started a diet, and what diet was it? And I’ll drop that into the chat. Weight Watchers. Yep. My sisters were on that one. I remember. 18. Yep. 29. Yeah, some of these… Atkins at 25. Jana, you’re right there with me. I remember. Yep, Atkins was one of those ones. Big, popular.
So my first diet began when I was 15 years old. I remember gaining a noticeable amount of weight going into my sophomore year of college. And so I started to work out and I started the Atkins Diet. And throughout the next 17 years of my life, my weight would just fluctuate. I would start and stop working out. I would resort to severe calorie restriction and just binge-eating episodes. I lost weight for important things in my life, like my wedding, to fit into my wedding dress. I lost weight for the police academy only to gain it back working graveyard for six years. I put on weight through three pregnancies, one of which was the miscarriage.
And I tried every diet under the sun. And at one point in college, I even resorted to prescription strength diet pills. And I did this throughout different phases of my life, but every single time I always gained that weight back again. And at my breaking point, I weighed 190 pounds and I’m only five foot three. I was so out of shape, I was miserable and just completely disgusted with myself that I let myself get to this point.
And so tonight I’m going to share with you guys over the course of four years after the birth of my daughter, Hannah, I lost 50 pounds and have kept most of it off. I’m going to be completely honest with you and transparent about the hardships I endured, the emotional rollercoaster that I went on, and ultimately what worked for me and what finally just clicked in my mind. And I’ve said this to many of you guys before during our private chats, I’m an open book. I will answer any questions that you have about my journey because I want my experience to help benefit you on your experience. And I think the only way that will work is if I’m honest and we’re all honest together with each other. So let’s go ahead and dive right in to tonight’s call.
So September, 2008 was when I decided that enough was enough. I’m one month postpartum standing in my closet looking for something to wear for date night with my husband. I’ve had two kids in three years and own nothing but mom jeans, flowy tops and nursing bras, none of which is sexy. My jeans don’t fit, my breasts are leaking because it’s time to nurse Hannah. And I’m sitting on the floor in my closet and I’m just crying. I’m drenched in tears, and I don’t recognize myself. I don’t recognize my body, and I just don’t recognize who I am anymore. So I tell my husband, Andrew, that it’s time. It’s time to find my body again. It’s time to get over this. We’re done having kids. So my body is my body now. It’s not a vessel anymore to make your babies. And I want him to help me with this diet. We had never dieted before. It was always just me.
And so we start on our first journey of dieting together, RP back then, and my first diet, it was easy. It was cakewalk. The weight just fell off. And it was because I got back into working out. I was off and on again nursing Hannah and I had cleaned up my diet 180 degrees. Andrew was still on maternity leave. So him and I started making fresh meals and really started to hone in our meal prep, how do we make this work for us? We went through all of the cabinets and cleaned out all of the crap that was in there that was your full fat, high calorie sauces. And we started to replace those with the low calorie, the sugar-free stuff, just to kind of save a little bit more on our macros and our numbers. And replacing these, it really helped me still enjoy some of my non-negotiable foods, like a coffee habit.
And so during this first dieting phase, right after the birth of my daughter, I think I was six or seven weeks postpartum, I was able to lose 24 pounds. And I really felt like I was finally starting to get my life back on track to who I was again. And so I really attribute this first diet phase to just really cleaning up what I ate, kind of Paul’s pre diet maintenance phase where we do still lose a little bit of weight. I think of this phase as cleaning house, so to speak.
The biggest takeaway was just really swapping out those higher calorie items for something that was sugar-free or low fat to make my non-negotiables work for me, because I was a nursing mother, I was chasing around a three-year-old and I wasn’t about to give up my coffee habit, but when I look back my coffee habit, it was creamer with a splash of coffee. Let’s get real. It was those Starbucks drinks that we drank all the time, the high calorie frappucinos. And I switched those out to black coffee with sugar-free creamers. And I really realized how much you save on your macros when you kind of start making those swaps. And so I really found a way to enjoy my coffee and these non-negotiables by switching out some of these things.
Now, I’m not going to tell you it was all peaches and cream because some of those fat-free stuff are just god awful. I have to go through and find out which ones worked the best and which ones didn’t, but it was worth the trial and error. So how about you guys? Let’s use the chat box another time. What is one food that you guys enjoy that you just can’t give up yet? Chocolate, bread. Yep, definitely, those are great ones. Can’t really find really great substitutes for chocolate and bread. Wine. Yes. Butter. All great ones. Brie and crackers, ice cream. Yeah, Jana, I’m the ice cream gal too. I can’t give that up. And the Halo stuff, it just doesn’t work for me.
Okay, so pushing on now into diet phase number two. I’ve started and stopped my workout three times to give my kids snacks, change a diaper, bring in new toys to keep them occupied. And I’m only 10 minutes into my workout and I already want to quit. I’m just so frustrated that I can’t get this workout done without a million interruptions by my little monsters. At this point in my diet phase, Andrew is now back to work, and I’m still at home alone with the kids trying to figure things out. I’ve got a giant to-do list lingering, which is grocery shopping, meal prep, and laundry, and I feel like my head is barely above water, and I’m literally just counting down the minutes until my husband gets home that just relieve me. It was one of those sink or swim moments I felt like during diet phase number two.
I was overwhelmed with caring for two children, a house, and now going into diet phase number two, I felt like I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t think that I could do it all, be a mom and do two kids plus still take care of myself. But I knew I really wanted to, and so I had to figure out a way to do this.
And so luckily at this point in my diet phase, I’m still at home and work is the last thing on my mind right now. And so I really start to figure out how to make things easier on myself while I’m juggling two kids in a house. I didn’t want to go grocery shopping with an infant and a three-year-old. That just seemed disastrous to me, and it was a couple of times. And so I really started to just order my groceries online and I became Amazon’s best customer. I also started to make my meal prep as basic and as easy as possible. I rotated through different protein, carbs, and veggies, and I would just do bulk batch cooking. I would buy pre-cut veggies and some heat and eat proteins at time when I just didn’t really feel like I wanted to be in the kitchen for too long.
And so during this diet phase number two, I had lost close to 15 pounds, and I really attribute that to being very basic. It was literally chicken, rice and veggies, and then lean beef and Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. I kept it as basic for as long as I possibly could. I just didn’t want that added responsibility of walking into the kitchen and figuring out macros for this fancy ass recipe when I had a baby on my belly strapped to me in a carrier and my three-year-old clinging into my leg, that just wasn’t happening.
And so I had to have a really hard honest talk with my husband during this diet phase that if he wanted variety or if he wanted that fancy shit, that he was going to have to come into the kitchen and do it himself. And God bless his soul, he’s a very simple man, he was totally fine with the basics. And so we dieted on our second diet phase with just very simple meals. And when those cravings for sweet stuff really started to hit, this is when I utilized sugar-free jello and I would just make batch after batch of that stuff and just go to town on it. I still had my slip ups. I still had those days where we ordered pizza and we said it fuck it, but we always got back to the basics at the next meal, at the next point possible. And so the basics and the sugar-free jello, that really saved me during diet phase number two.
How about dropping in the chat a nice little smiley face if anybody else is Amazon’s best customer. Laura, yep. And you know what was crazy during this is Andrew would come home and he’d see all these piles of boxes, and I’d be like, “Don’t worry. It’s nothing fun. It’s just like baby wipes and cleaning supplies and just all the randomness that you need. And I just didn’t want to go to the store with the kids.” Daily, David? Yes, Amazon. Now, is that your wife, David, or is that you? Laura.
All right. So we are moving to diet phase number three and number four combined. “Koehler, clear to copy. A 245 just occurred in your beat, assault with a deadly weapon.” I’m thinking, motherfucker, God damn it. Are you kidding me right now? Why are these gang banners deciding to have a shootout? Right when it’s time for me to eat some lunch? I’m back to work now working patrol. I’m a police officer pushing a black and white. I am going code three to this call knowing that I still have three or four reports that I have to do from earlier today. I haven’t eaten since breakfast, which was the start of my shift about seven hours ago. I’m beyond hangry, and I’ve just been slammed all day at work.
So now I’m going to be tied up at the hospital with this gunshot victim, and I am going to be late getting off of work. So this means, one, I won’t get my workout done when I get home. I’ll barely have enough time to pick up my kids from my sister’s house, get home, feed them some dinner, snuggles, bath time, bed, and need to get something to eat and then get into bed at a decent hour all before I have to do it again first thing tomorrow morning on a 12-hour shift.
So working patrol in the city that I worked in was very busy. It was nonstop. We responded to 911 calls when you just have a problem with your neighbor, your house got broken into, shots fired fights in progress. Those were the calls I was responding to. And there was never any downtime. You didn’t really know when the next time you were going to eat. And so I’m working patrol 12-hour shifts, I’m juggling motherhood and I’m trying to work through diet phase three and diet phase four during this time that I’m going back to work. I’m really starting to believe at this point I can sleep when I’m dead. I’m just running on fumes most of the time.
And these next two diet phases were truly just the hardest for me. I really had to dig deep and it got nitty and gritty and dirty and just so exhaustingly hard for me. I was having to deal with work, not being able to eat at regular intervals. There were times where I would heat up my meal at the station only to get a call and have to throw it in the trash. I was dealing with a lot of mom guilt now being back to work, working 12-hour shifts, not seeing my kids a whole lot during my work days, and still also trying to find a nice balance between working and working out and still taking care of me.
So to deal with the food issue at work, I really started to try to find very basic non heat meals that I could throw together in my war bag and eat it on my way to the calls. I really started to utilize those zero calorie and carbonated LaCroixs and stuff to help keep me super full in between calls because I didn’t know when I was going to get to really sit down and eat. And then I really started to work through that mom guilt by bringing the kids to the garage gym with me and just working out and being really okay with those interruptions, being okay that an hour workout turns into two because my little guys were just driving me bonkers. But I just had to be okay with it because at that point in my dieting phases, I was happy to get any type of movement. There was no way for me to get workouts in really on work days because of the 12-hour shifts.
And so dieting while you work a very in demand on the go job is not easy. And if somebody tells you that it is, they’re lying to you or they’ve just never dieted successfully before, because it was hard as fuck and it was just horrible. But I made it work. I was able to find ways to stay on my diet without me having to resort to fast food or gas station food or anything like that. And so these three phases, primarily when I was at work, I relied heavily on protein bars, protein shakes, trail mix, baby carrots, and diet cokes. I would make sure that my duty bag was just stocked with all of these protein bars. That way if I knew I was going to be stuck at a hospital or stuck on the perimeter, I could just grab that protein bar, throw it in my pocket, and at least have something there for me to secretly munch on in between my patrol duties.
And so another thing that really started to resonate with me a little bit more during diet phase three and four is that when I did get a chance to sit down and eat my meals, I utilized my veggies like they were going out of stock. I would eat probably a plate full or half a plate full of my broccoli and my cauliflower just to keep me full because I really never knew when I was going to have that next meal or protein bar. And I even started to eat platefuls of vegetables during my breakfast because during those diet phase three and four, my breakfasts were pretty much just protein and a fat. Sometimes you don’t even really get a whole lot of carbs. And so I wasn’t going to go to work with just egg whites and peanut butter in my belly. I really decided, okay, I got to eat some of these vegetables too. And so eating those vegetables in the morning really helped kind of keep me really full and satiated until the next time I was able to get that meal.
And so during these diet phase three and four, combined, I was able to lose about nine pounds, but I finally reached my goal weight of 127 pounds, and my starting weight was 190. So do we have any questions so far before we move on? Okay.
Let’s talk a little bit about your guys’ go-to meals when you’re pressed for time. Why don’t you drop that in the chat to see if we have any other ideas besides what I threw out there? Yep, protein shakes. Air fryer anything. Yeah, that’s really great. Oh, deli meat. Yes, that’s a good one. Awesome. All right, you guys. We are moving on to diet number five. I promise you there’s not too many more. Just one more after this one. Oh, wow. That’s quite a large gap. Oh yeah, you’ve got a hernia too. The doctor’s voice echoed in the exam room as he is pressing into my belly. I winced in pain. I knew something was wrong with my abdomen. I had known it for a long time. I was conning when I was doing my pull-ups, my belly just hung really low during my deadlifts, and I just kept putting it off to get it fixed. Just kept putting off to see what was actually wrong with me. And my doctor gave me the news that I had diastasis recti and a hernia above my belly button, which was going to require surgery to fix.
So diastasis recti is the separation of your abdominal muscles during pregnancy or extreme obesity. And the distance between my abdominals was about three to four fingers width. And so it really started to make sense a lot to me. I was 127 pounds. I looked and felt skinny, but my abdomen was still very rounded up my belly button, and I wasn’t as flat as I thought that I was going to be or what I had hoped I was going to be.
And so for the next six months, I buried my head in research on diastasis recti, and I saw numerous physical therapists and I looked at different ways to close the gap. And I did all these different type of crazy PT exercises to help with the closing of the gap. The hernia kept getting worse, and I knew I was going to have to fix that hernia at some point. And so I really started just to weigh the pros and cons of having surgery. I needed to get this hernia fixed. Do I fix the diastasis as well since I’m going to get cut open? And so I started to think what kind of surgery, general or plastic surgery? What would people think? What do I tell my kids? But ultimately, will it fix my broken belly?
And so in November of 2020, two years after the birth of my daughter, two years after losing close to 60 pounds, I decided that I was going to undergo an abdominal plasty and a breast augmentation. The abdominal plasty was to fix my hernia and to fix the diastasis. I didn’t get any liposuction. What I mainly wanted was my body back. I wanted the body that I had before I had kids. I didn’t get my boobs any bigger. I just wanted them refilled from nursing two kids for two years. And so I kind of thought that if I’m going to get this hernia fixed, that I would just do the full shebang.
And so I was 127 pounds when I decided to have my diastasis fixed, the hernia fixed and to get my boob job. And I thought to myself, you only live once. I put in all of this hard work to get my body to where it’s to be. I didn’t take any diet pills during my weight loss. I put in my blood, my sweat and my tears to get to what I wanted to look like. And I still wasn’t back to how I was before babies. And I know that we’re never going to be that way, but I just didn’t expect to have a hernia and my abdominals still look like I was six months pregnant. I was pretty much devastated at the end of my diet phases when I was reaching my goal weight, when none of this was still working and looking like I had hoped.
And so the months following my surgery, I was very inactive. My recovery literally took several weeks and I was hunched over for so long because of the way that he had to fix the diastasis. I was literally pulled apart and he had to sew all the way up to my breastbone because it was that bad. And so I gained some weight during my recovery. You’re just laid up in bed. I couldn’t really walk for a few weeks, probably four or five weeks till I was really standing up straight. And so ultimately, I gained some of the weight back.
And then my husband and I, we decided that we wanted to move across country two months after this major surgery that I just had. And so this meant to me that there was a huge possibility that I would have to repeat a police academy in another state, starting right back at the bottom with all the 20 something year olds with running and pushups and pull-ups and all this other kind of crap that I’d have to do just to prove myself. And so my mind now is I got to get back to 127. That was the number on the scale at my ultimate time. And so I went into diet phase number five to get the recovery weight off. And I was doing this while I was testing for agencies, flying out to the Midwest, doing their PT exam and we’re selling our house now in California. And so I’m like, what the hell am I thinking? Why am I dieting? I’m literally just struggling here and barely staying above water because there’s just too much shit going on.
I had our house sell all within the first weekend that it was shown. I got a job offer my husband. And so now we were toying with the idea that me and the kids were going to move to Wisconsin and just leave him behind in California until he could get a job there with us. And so I had so many plates spinning, we’re starting to live out of boxes. And this diet, I was not focused. I fucked it up royally. I just said fuck it way too many times. And at the end of the diet phase, I only lost four pounds. And I think I came in weighing around 133. But I shouldn’t have been dieting. I was way too stressed out.
And so the takeaway from diet phase number five is that we all have those diets where we just fuck them up and we screw up and were not in the right head space to do it. And I was stupid on my part to think I got to get back down to 127. I had this number just fixated in my mind, and I was letting the scale just kind of rule me. This was the number where I lost all my weight, that’s the number I need to get back to. But in reality, why? Why do I need to be 127 pounds? And so I never got back to 127. I fluctuated for a little while.
And so I want to kind of put this out there for the chat box. You don’t have to respond if you don’t want to. But have any of you ever started a diet when life seemed to be just a little too much right now? And did your diet go well? I’ll throw that question over here, give you guys a couple minutes. Yep. It went horrendous, Lisa. Yeah. Great awareness that, yep, Freya. Not starting one right now because it’s too rough. Yes, absolutely. That’s what I should have been focused on, not dieting. I should have been focused on moving. Yep, getting mad at yourself when you failed, Jana. Absolutely.
So you guys all know that we’ve moved across the country and there is lots of stress involved with that. The fried cheese ball slowly melted in my mouth and I instantly became hooked. Cheese curds, frozen custard, and all of the deliciousness that is Wisconsin became my weekly meals. We’re now living in Wisconsin with my sister until our house closes. And my workout routine is nonexistent. My daily life is practically just in shambles, we’re just living out of a suitcase. And each week that I got here, I delayed stepping on the scale because I was scared to see the damage I was doing by engaging in the YOLO mentality. You only live once. We only moved to Wisconsin once, so let’s just live it up.
We moved into our new house about a month later, and there was still so much work to be done. We had to do renovations, painting and just still getting unpacked. But Andrew and I had literally just started our new jobs shortly after moving. So there was no downtime whatsoever to find our new groove. I had no downtime to find a routine, to find structure, to find my zen in my house. There was nothing. I was still living out of boxes. I was shuffling my kids in between aunt’s houses for the babysitting, and I was increasingly starting to become depressed. I was happy, but I wasn’t happy at the same time. We moved to Wisconsin to have a better quality of life for our kids. And I felt like I was failing. That wasn’t happening.
And for those of you that don’t know, in California, I was a senior officer. I had the best shift for family life, get off at 5:00, weekends off, you name it. I put in my time there to get that. And when you move departments, you start back at the bottom. You start back out at graveyard, you’re the first person that has to hold over. You’re just the shit on the shoe. And so with me having to deal with that all over again and not see my kids, I was at an all time low. I was really starting to turn to food for comfort again. And I knew I was gaining weight. My pants weren’t fitting. They were brand new work pants, so they should be fitting, but they weren’t. And my wedding ring wasn’t fitting. And so I knew that this needed to stop. I was having trouble with it because I was resorting back to my old behaviors of back to being that girl in the closet crying in 2008.
And so my YOLO mindset at this time was really starting to become my everyday mindset. And it needed to stop. I was allowing too many outside influences to dictate my food choices. Phrases of just like, “Oh, come on, just this wants. Oh, we’ve never had these cheese hers before.” And my all time favorite, “Just live a little. You don’t need to diet, you look fine. Just live a little.” These were everyday things that I heard from family and friends. And I feel like during this part of my life, I allowed myself to be in this transition phase for just far too long. And I needed to come to terms with that my California life was no longer going to work here in Wisconsin. It wasn’t the same. My old California routine and structure and the way I did things, even grocery shopping, wasn’t going to work here. And so I had to come face-to-face with reality like, “Hey, you got to find your own new shit here in Wisconsin. You have to find your new routine, a new structure, and a new way of doing things in order to get back on it again.” And I had to really come to terms with stop making those excuses. I’ve done it before, why the hell aren’t I doing it now?
And so I want to ask you guys another chatbot question. This one’s probably a little more personal. Feel free to answer if you want, but have you guys gained any of the weight back that you lost? And if so, how much? And what were some of your feelings associated with it? I’ll put that question in there. It was kind of like a three parter. I go up and down 10 of the 22 you lost seven years ago. All of it, 25 pounds. Disappointment, shame, like a failure. Absolutely. I definitely have felt that, Lisette, absolutely. Guilt. Yep, definitely. Every time, Danielle. I’m feeling a hun. 70 pounds, back of 100. Guilt. Yes, all of these are spot on, 100% of what I felt like what was happening.
And so you guys have stuck with me for so long. We are almost through this, I promise you. We are now moving on to diet phase number six and when I joined the 5% community. 147? What? No, that can’t be right, as I stepped on the scale for the fifth or sixth time. This thing must be broken. We’ve moved three times since… It’s broken, right? No, there’s no way that it’s broken. And there’s no way that I’ve gained this much weight since we left California.
The scale wasn’t broken. I was just fat again. I sat in the bedroom just crying, feeling like I was a failure, guilt and shame. I am right back to where I started three years ago after having my daughter. So many thoughts race through my mind like, how could I have let this happen? I know better. I know what to eat and how to work out. I’m just a failure. I’m going to be that person that regains their weight, what’s wrong with me? And ultimately, why? Why did I gain the weight back? Well, duh, Caelli, you’re stuffing your face full of food. That’s why you gained the weight back. And so looking back at my weight loss journey, I just knew I needed to get back to the basics. Where did I have the most success? And so my journey ultimately in the beginning began with Paul Salter, and I knew that I just needed to get back to him.
And so I did what all of you guys did and started stalking him on Instagram and started following him again and really just messaging him and reaching out. And I started learning about the 5% community. And I never really had any additional support besides my husband and sisters. I never had any other women that I could vent to and talk to about this. And so the community offered support and accountability plus the curriculum helping me kind of identify those self-sabotaging behaviors were just icing on the cake. And so I joined the 5% community in September, and two months later I went into another diet phase. And this was diet phase number six. But this time, this diet phase, this thing was different. I felt way more empowered than ever to really take back control of my life and take back control of my food choices. And utilizing the curriculum and doing the why exercises, it really lit a deep fire within me.
I have never really thought about personal development before or going deep on a more emotional level. I was a cop for 13 years. We were told to shove those emotions in, stay professional. No emotion, no crying. I couldn’t be that girl on the streets crying. That just couldn’t happen. And so diving into these deep emotions and these self sabotaging behaviors really started to resonate with me. Things at home now finally started to settle down. I quit my job. I quit being a police officer and a career that just was no longer giving me joy. It wasn’t what I wanted anymore out of my life. And I started to do things here that better served me and better served my family. And ultimately it started making me feel like such a better person.
And so during this diet phase, I lost 10 pounds and I got down to about 137 pounds. But we all know that end of diet weight is a lie. And so I fluctuate right between 137 and 140. But to me, this last diet phase was really more about just finding myself and just digging deep. I knew what to eat at this point. I knew how to exercise and I knew how to push myself. This diet phase was more about just the overall emotional and personal growth that I developed. And I was placing way too much worth on the damn scale. I was way too focused on trying to get back to that 127. Why? I have fucking no clue. I am more happy now with the way I look than I did at 127. And I figured out how and why I allow outside influences to dictate my food choices. And I discovered more about my triggers and self-sabotaging behavior and really how to cope and deal with them during this diet phase.
And so these six diet phases were just a testament to all of the hard work that I put into everything that I did. Well, a lot of people will talk shit about the abdominal plasty and the boob job and all that other kind of stuff, but at the end of the day, you need to do what makes you the most happy. And so during this diet series, so to speak, going from 190 to 130, back up to 140. I’m not perfect. I am just like every single one of you. I am a complete mess at times, and I can be rock solid for a few weeks and then I can totally fuck it up again. But what really matters in the end is just keep pushing forward and just keeping up with that consistency.
So to sum up the seven tips that I talked about to you guys in the beginning was number one, just cleaning out your house of the junk. Swapping things around to kind of find a way to save some macros on those non-negotiable foods that you just really love, because they’re not going to go anywhere and you’re not going to cut them out of your life. Number two, keep things for as basic for as long as possible. The more basic and simple, the better and the longer you can adhere to it. Number three, find that go-to meal when you are in a rush or just heading out the door. Something where you’re not going to stop at that gas station and get that fried burrito. Number four, fill up on those veggies and utilize diet soda and carbonated drinks. These things are going to keep you so much fuller for such a longer period of time. Use those drinks as an in between snack, so to say, just to keep you full until the next meal.
Number five, don’t diet when you got too much shit going on. It just ends badly. We all know that, so we shouldn’t be doing it. Number six, lean into your why all the time. Really figure that out and just hone it in. And lastly, discover your triggers and actively work on them every single day because they’re not going anywhere either. We’ve had them our whole lives and they’re always probably going to be there, so we just have to continue to keep working on them. And so there you have it, guys. That’s my four years of blood, sweat, and tears, pretty much, just pushing through and doing the work. And I’m not an expert by any means. I’m just like you, a mom, a wife, a mother, just trying to find a way to eat my bread and chocolate and still look pretty good. So I’ll leave it open to a couple of questions. And if we don’t have any, I think that’s it for the night.
Caelli, I don’t have any questions, but… Sorry, allergies. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this. You’re one of our coaches and it’s easy to think of your coaches as perfect. Maybe that’s not the best word, but you guys just know what to do and you don’t struggle. So I really appreciate you sharing your struggles. This talk was very relatable and I definitely learned a lot as I undertake my journey to get to where I want to be.
Oh, well good. That makes me happy to hear that it resonated with you. Because that’s just all I want. I want to be open and honest with you guys about my experience and what worked for me and what didn’t because we’ve all been there. We’ve all wanted to lose weight and to do things well. And we all can learn from each other. And that’s what my hope was for tonight’s call. Go ahead.
I have a question, and there was another, I can’t remember who said it in the Slack community, but struggling to get to our why. And I know there’s a few of us who have been caretakers or have a history of putting other people first. So when we’re asked to do the work to articulate our why, that’s really challenging. So how did you derive your why and do you mind sharing it with us?
Yeah, absolutely. So my why has really evolved over the last four years. In the very beginning, it was just, I want to lose weight, period. I didn’t want to lose weight to anything else was just, I felt very, and I don’t use the word fat for myself, but I felt very fat. And it was my uniform didn’t fit, nothing worked. And so that was what my why was in the beginning, it was to lose weight. And then it started to evolve to, well, now I want to stay in shape and lose weight to be a better police officer. Because the city I worked in, we were chasing bad guys all the time. And so the first couple of foot pursuits that I got into after having Hannah, they were like the fastest people alive. They got away. And so I really worked on trying to be faster and be better and carrying my gear around because it was 50 pounds.
And so I really feel like my why, just it changed with different seasons of my life. And so now my why is just really to keep up with my kids and to have great muscle definition and to keep that on as I get older. And so I think in order to find your why, you kind of have to fill out what season of life you’re in. Where are you at in your life? What do you want out of your life? My why might change next year if I decide to do a bikini competition or something. I think our whys are ever evolving. Does that answer? Yeah. Okay.
Caelli, so that phase when you gained all the weight back and you start… I think it was after the move that you said, at least for me, I’m at that place, I gained all the weight that I lost when I was doing RP, which is what brought me to Paul. So how did you overcome those feelings of guilt and disappointment and not comparing yourself to how you used to be to where you were at that point to keep yourself motivated and to continue looking forward?
That’s a really good one. That was really hard. So I had gained about 15 pounds after the move, and I felt like… So I had plastic surgery. We all know that. I felt like I had ruined it. I felt like I was at the point where my health was no longer important to me and I didn’t want to be there. So in order for me to get over that guilt and those feelings, I sought out some therapy. I talked to a counselor a couple of times a week and then joined the 5% and really started working on what my triggers were. So my trigger is really emotional eating. So whenever I was feeling super stressed out, I was reaching for the ice cream and the sweets. And so I really had to take a step back and find out what stresses me out the most and find something else to do instead of eating those feelings. And it was just hard work, and it was a lot of finding distractions to help me stay away from the cookies and the ice cream. A lot of it is not buying that stuff in the first place, but I’ve got two kids, so they’re going to want to enjoy some of that.
And so I still screw up to this day when that happens, but back when I first joined, what kept me motivated was really a lot of you guys, listening to everybody else’s struggle, knowing that I wasn’t alone. And then also just taking it one day at a time, just being like, okay, today was a really good day. Let’s try again for tomorrow. And if I had an off meal, it was not beating myself up about. It was just, okay, got to get back on the horse at the next meal. Not starting over again on Monday, it was literally just, okay, have a moment to myself. I fucked this up. Let’s move on. And I’ll be honest with you guys, some of those fuck-ups were days on end, three or four days of just eating like an asshole. But once I wallowed in my misery for a little while, I got back on it and just kept moving forward. It’s hard as hell. It’s not easy. It’s not easy. And if it was, we’d all be super skinny and eat whatever you want.
Hey, Caelli. I have a quick question too. It’s Jana. First off, thank you for being so vulnerable and just sharing your story. I think that’s huge. And secondly, something that kind of struck me that I loved is that you did something for you. So you did the reconstruction and all that. And I think oftentimes we’re so worried about everybody else’s opinion that we lose our own reason of wanting to feel good and that sort of thing. So kudos to you. I’m glad you worked through that because, man, your journey has been amazing and so inspirational. So thank you there. My question is in regards to kind of changing, moving, you’re all in as a police officer, you’re at highest rank and then you come to Wisconsin and you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. And then what kind of led you to make the decision to leave the police force? And obviously now I think you’re pursuing other areas, and how has that transition been and what are your next chapters look like?
So the biggest reason why I left police work, I felt like I was losing myself as a mom. And I never thought of myself as a full-time stay-at-home mom. I was always very career driven, but my kids were starting to get older and they were really starting to notice, “Hey, mom’s not here.” And I didn’t want to be that absent because shift work and police officer work, you’re just always gone. And my kids had double the duty. Their dad’s a cop too, so they were just being shuffled everywhere. And so I really looked at, number one, we moved for a better quality of life for my kids. California was going in the shitter. And I wanted a life where I could go and hike and kayak and go on the lake and stuff. And you can’t really do that on two police officers schedules.
And so ultimately what came down to my decision to quitting my career was my quality of life. What did I really want out of the next 20 years of my life? And to me, that was being close to my kids and a more active lifestyle, but still kind of getting some fulfillment. So when I started talking to Paul and he asked me to come on, I’ve always loved health and fitness. I’ll read anything and everything about health and fitness and then being able to talk to you guys and try to “coach” you guys about all the type of things that we do. I just felt like, yeah, this might be my next calling, is being able to share my journey to help other women who are in the same or similar predicament with trying to lose the baby weight or just any weight. And just showing you guys that I’m just as human as you are. We can do this. It’s hard, but you can do this. And so that really started to pull me towards helping with Paul. Did that answer your question?
Yeah, totally. No, that’s awesome. And keep going, girl, because you definitely have a gift. So keep it up.
I know I have a lot more of the tough love personality than Paul does, so I’m trying really hard to reign that in a little bit. But that’s just the cop in me. So if you don’t like that, you guys, you have to tell me that. And I apologize in advance.
Let it out.
I like it. I like tough love, so keep it up.
Okay. Okay, good. And yeah, Jana, to kind of go back to the plastic surgery business and stuff, I really toyed with that for so long because of the stigma involved with it. Everybody thinks a mommy makeover in a tummy tuck is to lose weight, but when you really look at it’s not. An abdominal plasty is literally to sew up your abdominals that were stretched and to add lipo and that kind of stuff. And so when I was looking at the surgery and weighing my options, my hernia was way above near my breastbone a little bit. And so I had to get cut open. And so I kind of thought, well, I want to have an active lifestyle and I was hurting a lot with my deadlifts. And when your abdominals are so relaxed in the state that mine were, my active lifestyle was a hindrance at that point. Trying to do a sit-up was like non-existent.
And so ultimately my decision was is I just want my body back. I want to lift weights and I want to do pull-ups, and I want to do all this other kind of stuff. And so I opted not to get the lipo because I didn’t need it and I didn’t want it because I can diet and lose weight. I just wanted my belly fixed. And the boobs don’t hurt either. So I think that’s about it. Any other questions?
I just have a comment. I appreciate tough love. Straight shooters, tough love, I don’t… Give it to me straight. I’m a grownup, I can take it. So don’t change.
Okay. Well that’s good to know. Well, I will dose it out to you whenever you needed, Danielle.
Good job, Caelli. This is fantastic. This was so good. You did awesome.
Good. Well, you guys are in for another treat for next week. That one is a little more emotionally in depth with a couple of internal and external struggles I went through. So that one will be a little bit different. Okay. Well, that’s all that I have. You guys are good to go. All right.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Bye. Have a good night.
You’re welcome. Goodnight everyone. Bye.
Goodnight. Thank you.