MILLIE BETTS

As a Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach with over 30 years of education and experience, I provide personal, designed programs to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals and provide the motivation, support and accountability necessary to succeed. I specialize in weight management and weight loss programs, for individuals and small groups. My studio is in my home in Potomac Falls, Virginia and I serve clients in the Great Falls, Reston, Herndon, Potomac Falls, Ashburn, and Sterling areas.

The Diet Mentality

For over 40 years I’ve been coaching, training, and supporting women (lots of men as well but as I’ve moved into my 60’s, my passion for helping women in particular has fueled my continuing efforts) as they journey toward getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, healthfully.  If you’ve worked with me, or read any of my articles, blogs, etc, then you know that this passion is both a personal and professional one. My first diet was at age 13 and I can truthfully say that I have been working diligently toward creating the shift for myself and my clients away from the diet mentality and into the true adoption of healthy lifestyle habits.

What is “diet mentality”?  It is the belief that in order to lose weight I need to “go on a diet” or start some program or follow a particular regime, or adopt some named eating/living style (paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, to name a few) that defines how I make choices.  While there are lots of good reasons for choosing certain foods, exercises, and self-care practices and avoiding others (I’ll be elaborating on this in future articles, blogs, and videos), it is also important to let go of the practice of “being on something”. This mentality (that I call the “diet mentality” although it pertains not only to eating style and choice but also to exercise and lifestyle choices) can only keep us stuck.  Stuck on the roller coaster ride of going on something, gaining (or not) some degree of success and then going off whatever it was we were “on” at some point. Being “on” something has a direct implication that at some point you will “go off”. It’s really a horrible and restrictive way to live.

And the bottom line is that it doesn’t work!  All you have to do is look around! Or better yet, check out the overweight, obese, and morbidly obese statistics here in the U.S.  It’s not a pretty picture and it continues to get worse! Overweight and obesity in our children has been on the rise for years now…so much so that Type II diabetes is now prevalent among our kids! If diets worked, we’d all be thin because this country continues to have best seller after best seller in the diet book arena!  But it’s just a flawed approach…in every way.

Diets, by definition are restrictive and we are led to believe that discipline and will power are the way to muscle ourselves to a healthier and fitter place.    We continue to take this approach because firstly, we believe (and our belief systems are everything when it comes to what we do and don’t choose to do) this is what we have to do to lose weight, and because most of the time we will achieve some degree of success with a “diet” regime.  But….and here’s the catch….by what standard are we measuring success? Is success that we lose weight? Or, as is often the case, that we lose weight quickly (pounds, body fat, etc….for the purpose of this discussion it’s all the same)? Or is success getting to and maintaining a healthy weight healthfully…forever?  Because those are two very different objectives and the distinction is key to unlocking our ability to get off the diet rollercoaster.

There are many ways, most of which are unhealthy, to get weight off quickly.  And most perpetual dieters falsely believe that is the goal. But there are two key errors in this thinking.  The first is that faster is better. It is statistically proven, in study after study, that the likelihood of maintaining weight loss that is done quickly is slim (failure rate is more than 98%).  This holds true even when the plan is to just get off to a good quick start and then learn how to eat more healthfully for weight loss maintenance (that never works, btw). But the second, and I believe the most powerful reason that most Americans go for the diet fix, is that it takes the body a while to respond to a reasonable healthier eating, exercise, and lifestyle regime and the delayed gratification is most often enough for the “dieter” to believe that what he/she is doing is not working and therefore the process is abandoned.  We simply haven’t maintained the new healthy habits consistently enough and for long enough to realize the results of our efforts so we jump ship thinking, “this isn’t working”. When the reality is that we just haven’t given it enough time.

Changing habits is difficult.  It takes time, effort, support, and accountability to help us put new systems into place in our life to help us create those patterns and structures that support a healthy weight…a healthier lifestyle.  But in the end it is how we will be able to sustain a healthy weight and a healthy body through the years.

How to Quit Quitting?

Why do I get on a healthy path with my eating and/or exercise but can’t seem to stick with it?

Why can’t I stay committed to something so I can get what I really want?

This is the issue that I hear over and over from women trying to manage their weight.  They don’t have any problem getting started making healthier choices, but they struggle to continue making those choices consistently and for long enough to begin to see the “fruits of their efforts”.

There are several reasons that this is a prevalent and persistent problem for all of us, but especially for women and even more especially for “women of a certain age” because we’ve been on that stupid diet roller coaster for way too much of our lives.  And we’ve not learned how to use the scale as a feedback tool to help keep us going in the right direction but instead we let it almost define us, in the negative sense of the word.  So it means that we’ve started and stopped more times that we can count or ever want to admit!  Why do we do this? 

The first reason that this continues to be the pattern for so many women who “know what they should be doing but just aren’t doing it” is that the expected results aren’t worth the anticipated effort required.  AND because the “expected results” are delayed.  It sounds something like, “I just can’t give up wine in order to lose 10 lbs.” or “I’m not able to exercise because (fill in the blank here) so what’s the point?”  But the reality is that the results of shedding unhealthy weight can be not only life altering, they can be life enhancing…even life saving!  So while the rewards are in fact “worth it”, they are delayed; it takes 3 weeks for the body to begin to lose fat and you must “Allow at least six months to realize most physiological changes and an additional six to nine months for final adaptive changes in body composition”*  from consistent healthy eating choices and exercise activity.

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The second reason that this “on and off” diet behavior continues to be the modus operandi of so many women is because 1) that is all they know. i.e. if you want to lose some unhealthy weight, you need to go on a diet (BTW statistics continue to prove that not to be true over and over) and 2) everyone believes that for big weight loss or big health improvements (lower blood pressure and/or blood sugars, etc), radical and grandiose change is necessary. Actually, the efforts required are not monumental. Small, incremental habit changes are the most powerfully effective.  The catch is that they need to be repeated consistently enough to create the desired outcomes.   Small, incremental changes that can actually be adopted as new habits.  This is what is going to create the long term success.  It is through gradually and patiently trying new food shopping, prepping, cooking, taking to work, walking, taking the stairs, using a step tracker, getting better sleep, taking quality down/devotional time and self-monitoring  and stress management  strategies ….a little bit at a time…that will ultimately produce that  healthy, fit and able (i.e. “sexy”) person you are striving to become. 

“3 No kidding, Sure-fire Strategies to keep you from quitting”

1.      Take a few minutes to figure out your “Big Why” and write it down (better yet, post it on the refrigerator or your bathroom mirror).  Being very, very clear about the big, most important reasons that you want to get to and maintain a healthy weight will make a huge difference in your ability to ‘stay the course’ when the obesogenic culture you live in tries to lure you off track.

2.     Start to track/journal/record your eating/water and activity. We manage what we monitor.  Getting good at self-monitoring is so powerful because it starts with you becoming self-aware.  You can’t change the bad habits if you don’t even see them. 

3.     Get support.  Enlist a friend (make a written contract if you’re going to keep each other accountable…it will help you both), or spouse (especially if they can benefit from the healthy changes you’ll be implementing), or get a coach or join a group to keep you accountable, support you when you slip up, and help you with your self-management when it lags. 

This is why My Monthly Reboot, Millie’s regular “get yourself back on track” coaching, supporting, teaching and training spa-like workshops are a perfect way to make sure you stay the course. It’s worth it!

*Ralph La Forge, MS (at the time of publishing he was the director of health promotion at the San Diego Cardiac Center Medical Group)

*Daniel Kosich, PhD (at the time of writing was president of Exerfit Lifestyle Consulting and consulting senior director of professional development for IDEA, the Association of Fitness Professionals)

35 Years of Fitness and Health with Millie Betts

It took having a baby to encourage me to take the leap from being a government contractor writing test packages for a major Dept. of Defense system to being what was then called an “aerobics coordinator” for a large, multi-purpose sports and fitness club in Northern Virginia.  I had been teaching aerobics classes in community centers and on a racquetball court in a small gym but now I was going to make it my full-time work. 

And so the journey began in 1982 and continues today.

Left photo- Assistant Director/Fitness Coordinator Denver Tech Sporting Club, 1984  Right photo- Today, Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist running my own business since 2003

Left photo- Assistant Director/Fitness Coordinator Denver Tech Sporting Club, 1984

Right photo- Today, Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist running my own business since 2003

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Through the years I have managed group exercise programs for 4 different clubs, developed instructor certifications (there weren’t any at the time), taught fitness classes of all kinds, won “aerobics” competitions (“Denver’s Most Physical Female”, 1984 and Crystal Lite Mixed Pairs Aerobics Championship, Denver 1985), created and implemented weight management programs for several clubs, worked with a team to develop an internationally recognized Health Coach certification, created small group training programs, did sales and marketing for three large clubs, managed an elite club/spa and ultimately opened my own studio in 2006 where I continue to coach, teach, and train mostly women at this point to become their healthiest and fittest selves.

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Along the way I have worked to keep my continuing education a priority, holding 6 nationally recognized certifications, several of them for more than 30 years. But the best way to learn something is to teach it so I put most of my energy into coaching and teaching so that I am continuing to get better as I share my education and experience with my clients.

Because I struggled with my weight from a very early age (first diet, age 13), helping people get to and maintain a healthy weight, healthfully, became both my personal and professional passion.   I continue to study and constantly explore what and how I can make the biggest difference in helping people to stop dieting and start living a healthier life. 

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We live in an “obesogenic” culture.  It is not easy to live healthfully when the culture you live in continues to make being overweight or obese and unhealthy the “norm”.  Most people need guidance to sort through truth and mythology, support to encourage them to continue their efforts, accountability to help keep them on the path, and encouragement to let them know they’re not alone and that they can do it! 

My latest research has led to my two latest endeavors:  besides one on one and small group coaching, which have proven to be quite effective (see testimonials on my website for a few of my “successes”) I have started a YouTube video series, “Sexy over 60” to offer encouragement and advice through teaching my many years of education and experience to women “of a certain age” (that would be anyone over 35!).  Knowing that we can get “better” instead of “older” is a much healthier perspective….and it can be done!

Additionally, I have started the “My Monthly Reboot” series of spa-like monthly workshops to teach, train, support, hydrate, and fuel with hands on learning and experiencing….to provide a regular “stay in the game” strategy.  Getting started isn’t the problem.  Staying the course to change lifetime habits is the issue. 

This program insures that will happen.

So….. I stay the course to be the light at the end of the tunnel for so many that have tried and gotten discouraged to insure that they have a friend, teacher, and advocate to help them get to a maintain a better, stronger, and healthier self.

-Millie Betts, Health Coach & Weight Management Specialist

The Power of a Coach

There is amazing power in being a part of a like-minded Community. It will help you stay on track toward your personal goals of weight loss and ultimate health. 

And it’s a support! But if you truly want to get through those goal posts you’ve set in the distance, you’ll need… a fantastic Coach

Professional and elite athletes, the world’s foremost thought leaders, and even every single super successful entrepreneur I’ve ever met or heard about had one thing in common… a coach who pushed them past (their perceived!) limits and beyond. 

If you’ve decided that NOW is the time for you to take back your health, once and for all, I applaud you! But if you want to see remarkable results in the SHORTEST amount of time possible, you need a coach. 

So why a coach? 


As well as you know yourself and your limits, your desires and goals, if you want them to come to you sooner than later, you need someone from the outside looking in and removing the obstacles you don’t even realize you might be putting in your way. 

The right coach can help you bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be in less time than you might think possible. A coach can not only see you as you are, a coach can see your true potential and get you all the way to your goals and even beyond what you ever imagined. 

A great coach is trained to adapt to YOU as a person, to inherently know what
you need, and when you need it for optimal results. 

Some days you might need a softer approach, and some days you need a swift kick in the butt to really optimize your progress, and a great coach will know how to manage you to help you get the results you need through the shortest possible route. 


The ancient saying “all roads lead to Rome” is true in this case. There are a lot of pathways to your personal goals of health and well-being, but the straightest most true road of them all is allowing someone who’s already mastered the journey lead you on yours. 

Choosing the right coach. 


Being coached toward your goals is the absolute best way to experience massive success in the shortest amount of time. But the KEY to your success is finding a coach that knows exactly the path you’re on, and has a level of expertise and mastery to bring directly to you. 

The right coach will help you bridge the gap, fill in the blanks and guide you to success. They’ll hold you accountable and give you the ugly truth sometimes, even if it hurts, but they’ll also be there to celebrate your biggest wins and keep that wind in your sails! 


Great coaches have incredible communication and connection skills coupled with the mastery and ability to tell you the things you need to hear and the things you might not have ever considered as you’re trying to reach your ultimate goals.

 
In fact, you might experience some frustration when you take the information from a coach and try to implement it. But that space of frustration is the best place to be because that means you’re changing your behavior and your patterns in order to achieve success. When you experience this, it can be ugly at first, a little messy in the middle, but so beautiful once you make it through to the other side and see what you are capable of.


If you’ve started down the path to improving your health, or you’re looking to feel better, have more energy, or lose weight …or maybe it’s that you’re dealing with the negative effects of disease, or you’re looking to prevent health-related or hereditary-related issues down the road. Then, I urge you to accept coaching into your life.


How to find the perfect coach that matches your success goals: 


Find a master. Unless they’ve walked the walk, you’re going to want to walk away. There are tons of “Coaches” out there who’ve never actually DONE the work themselves and still somehow believe they’re qualified to tell you how to reach your goals. Find someone who’s been in the exact same trenches and “knows the shortcut to Rome” from their own experiences.


Find a coach with empathy. This is actually pretty important when it comes to coaches. Coaches are observers, problem solvers and connectors. Find a coach who is understanding and in touch not only with their own emotions, but sensitive and caring about yours. Your health is a personal progression and journey… empathy matters. 


Find a good communicator might be the most important aspect of a successful coaching relationship. It’s about suggestion the right thing at the right time to stretch you to the point where you are constantly in a growth pattern. Knowing what to say and when to say it is the mark of a great coach. 

And there’s one last thing, I call it… 

The X-Factor.  A coach should size up your goals and your potential and have a unique ability to “see you as you will be” not just as you are now. They hold the space for you to become that person you’re striving to be until you can hold that space for yourself. They’ll push you right to the edge of what’s possible and eke out the very best of your potential! 


If you are ready to supercharge your race to your ultimate personal goals in health, weight loss, and even life… adding a coach can make all the difference!

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millie@personalbetts.com

703-421-4395