It Really Is All About the Promise

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People always ask us what is the ?secret?? to transformation. They want to know about the magic diet plan or exercise. While Chris and I are certainly partial to our diet and exercise approach to weight loss, a quick Google search will pull up hundreds of ways to effectively lose weight. I?ll tell it to you straight: Looking to transform through diet and exercise is like making your way through a house of mirrors. There?s confusion everywhere, but one path that is always true. And that path has nothing to do with diet and exercise.

Once you shift your focus to see the hidden path, everything changes. Let me show you!

?I promise? is a pretty common phrase. But what does it actually mean? It simply means you?ll do (or not do) what you say you?ll do (or not do). When you make a promise to someone else?you give them your word?you know you would move mountains to keep that promise.

But what about the promises you make to yourself?

Are these promises any different than those you make to others?

They shouldn?t be.

In fact, the promises you make to yourself should be the most important you keep because you are so, so important and others depend on you to be your best self.

Let?s be honest: While you?d never think of breaking a promise made to others, you?re often not as good at keeping those you make to yourself. This is especially true with us women?you know I?m right! πŸ˜‰

Why is this?

Besides the fact that we often put ourselves and our needs and goals on the bottom of the list, there are some other reasons. To put it simply, there are two types of promises: those you keep and those you don’t. The main reason promises fit into the latter category is because they?re too big?they?re inflated. Some examples:

  • I will do thirty minutes of cardio every morning.
  • I will eat five smaller meals every day.
  • I will never eat pizza again.

These types of promises are doomed from the get-go. There is no way they can be kept.

Another example of inflated promises is when you make too many promises to yourself at once, like if you tried to keep all three of the above promises. At one time.

Get the picture? Something will always happen to derail these types of promises, and that?s life.

So how do you make promises you can keep 100% of the time?

It?s actually a pretty simple process, and it?s followed by all our peeps on Extreme Weight Loss. They make a single promise to themselves?a promise that?s virtually unbreakable?and they keep it. Then they make another promise, and they keep that one. And so on. Look at it this way:

  • Each promise you make is a brick in the personal transformation you?re building.
  • Each promise you keep is the mortar that holds these bricks together, so your transformation foundation gets stronger with each promise kept.

Yes, I hear you: ?That sounds great, Heidi, but how do I make promises I can keep no matter what? I?ve got this, and this, and this that get in the way.?

Here?s the secret: Your first promise to yourself?the first brick in your transformation foundation?must be so small that it?s actually doable, even when life gets in the way, because it will. And that?s a promise!

Here?s an example:

  • When people ask how much cardio to do to burn fat, my answer is, ?Five minutes.? Whatever activity you choose, do it for five minutes. That?s all. This is a promise you can keep every single day. And if those five minutes lead to five minutes more, that?s even better! But the promise is for only five minutes. And it?s not about the cardio?it?s about keeping that promise you made to yourself. That?s the key!

Simply put, our peeps keep their promises. If they promise themselves they?ll do thirty minutes of cardio, they do thirty minutes…maybe more. They NEVER stop at twenty-nine minutes. Never. And if we try to pull them off that treadmill at 29 minutes, they?ll shove us out of the way and get right back on!

Here?s another helpful hint:

  • Successful promise keepers say their promises and goals out loud, and they also write them down. Share yours with those who love and support you, and you?ll be surprised how quickly these supporters become your biggest fans who will move those mountains to help you keep the promises you?ve made to yourself. It?s awesome!

So what do you do when you break a promise to yourself? You don?t quit, that?s for sure. There?s definitely a learning curve when you?re perfecting your ability to keep promises to yourself, and our peeps face this same learning curve pretty much every day as they?re developing this promise-keeping habit. When they break a promise to themselves, we follow this process: Confess to someone about the broken promise, Reassess to ensure the promise you made is a SMART promise/goal, and Recommit to something more attainable. It works for them, and I know it will work for you too!

Remember: Each promise kept?each brick laid?builds a strong foundation of self-esteem and confidence that is rock-solid and indestructible.

Make that first promise to yourself and lay that first brick in your own transformation foundation.

And do it today! ?



Still wanting more? Don’t forget to join us on our next journey with the TRANSFORM app.

180 Responses

  1. More Water!
    I am pretending I am in a desert and I need to be a camel so I can make it through.
    “Hey Mike, Guess what day it is……”

  2. Hi! I am trying to figure out which plan to start with. I have done your carb cycling plan before but didn?t follow the structure on days and just picked my own low and high carb days. I am pretty lean and am just looking to clean up my eating and get a little more toned. I am 5? 4 and 114 lbs. I currently do CrossFit 4-5 days a week. What plan would you suggest I do?

  3. I promise to drink a gallon of water a day, as well as stay on top of my workout routine. It?s been a little hard with an infant, but I promise to make time for my health and sanity.:)

  4. Thanks you guys
    Anyone can say what to do buts it?s us who have to be decided and stay strong ?? ?

  5. Hi Heidi, thanks for sending this blog to me. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but cry in frustration. I made many promises at beginning of 2018, lost 25 pounds and gained the weight back. Turned into old bad eating habits and I feel I failed for letting myself fall back into it. It is so hard getting back in track. I honestly feel that even if I get back on track eating healthy, I will fall again into bad habits.

    1. Hi Enil: Thank you so much for your comment and for your vulnerability. That, alone, is a huge step on your transformation journey! Let’s not focus on the past, let’s focus on today. What one promise will you make and keep today? It can be super simple! You got this!

  6. I really like this idea and can see the impact it will have on me for the rest of my life. This is about more than a couple months, years, commitment. How long do you suggest we wait before we make the second promise to ourself? 2 weeks?

    1. Hi Brittney: Great question! We suggest you wait until you’re confident you’ve got promise #1 down. Then make another promise and go from there. πŸ™‚

  7. This is the blog that started my transformation January 2017….started with the small promise of drinking enough water …. trying every day. One meal at a time! Would love to win transform bands!! ???? Instagram handle @strongnotskinny0130

  8. This is super encouraging to read about these small and do-able goals. I feel pretty confident I can carve out five minutes a day to deliberately move. I’ve even been trying to do this while at the stove cooking dinner for my family. I get a few weird looks, but it’s making better use of my time. And I feel so accomplished afterwards – the confidence just builds from there. Super excited about the Lose Your Love Handles DietBet game I started today! I just completed my first DietBet with another game and it was so neat to see my transformation in my pictures. I love the accountability; and the deadline to enter a photo of yourself at the end of the game gives you evidence to look back on of how far you have come in your journey. Just love this whole program – so glad I found it! Chris and Heidi, thank you so much for the encouragement, ideas and motivation!!! It’s like I have my own personal trainers.

    1. Hi Joanne: We’re so excited you’ve joined the game! And yay! for you for keeping those promises to yourself! πŸ™‚

  9. i promise to do lunges every day go past my barrier ( i lost 5% stretch left ankle it feels like i wear a tight rubber band across the front crease, eat healthy i have lost 10 lb since starting i’m on week 3 i promise to transform i will believe no more hiding behind a wall & with in , i am ready ,along way to go i will get there i just don’t no how to space out the weight i need to lose correctly you have truly inspired me thank you Chris & Heidi thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lisa: You are doing awesome! And a good goal for weight loss is a 10% loss in the first 3 months. You can do this! πŸ™‚

  10. Eating with 30mins of waking.
    I have heard from many that this is an important step in the weight loss journey. So when, I am prepping my lunch the night before, I am now planning/prepping for breakfast as well. Typically I just wing the mornings and grab a yogurt or something at the office.

  11. Hi Powell Couple,

    My Name is Nishkal and i am from India. I am 10kgs overweight. In india every meal is different from your meal. i regularly excercise for 1.5hrs but still not able to reduce. i love chicken and cant give up that. Rice is a staple food in india. I eat ragi (barley) for breakfast. can you help me how i can reduce my weight.

    1. Hi Nishkal: Here is a post that outlines Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program: It sounds like what you’re used to eating will fit into the program, and there are many food options as well. You can do this!

  12. Chris sent me this and I’m so happy he did! I needed a nudge! I promise to not drink any more soda (pop). BABY STEPS & LITTLE PROMISES = RESULTS & A HAPPY ME!!!

  13. I will exercise at least 5 minutes everyday. I will drink lots of water. I will eat at least two colors of vegetables everyday. No snacking after dinner.

  14. This is a great tool, and I am hoping it works for me as Chris suggested it might. I will try anything at this point.


  15. I promise to increase my water intake to drink at least 66 ounces of water per day- that is 2 bottles of the 33 ounce waters, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. I will do this and then I will increase but I will start at 66 ounces.

  16. I promise to stop making excuses for why I can get into shape. I promise to stop saying “oh just pick something up for dinner” instead of making something.

  17. I promise to stay out of the candy drawer at work for the next 4 weeks. I have a coworker doing this with me to help keep me accountable.

  18. I promise I will stick with the 20 days of no sugar on this detox for Dietbet Thanksgiving. I know if I do my glucose levels will come down and my health will improve.

  19. Hi,

    My name is Jessica and I’m from Sweden. First of all thank you for your inspiring text!

    I promise to stand up 2 hour? each day instead of sitting down. And I promise to ??I?K ??TE? so I will be hydrated

  20. I’m Lindsey, I’m 34 and live in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
    I promise to be the best role model for my 2 children ages 7 and 15. To encourage them, praise them, invest myself in them and to completely practise everything I preach. And because I have had the best role models in Heidi and Chris I know there’s nothing that we can’t do as a family! Xx

  21. hi there, my name is sara, I am 39, I’m a mom of 5, married for 16 years, but still carrying a lot of mental stuff with me. I’ve lost 21lbs, but can’t get over this hurdle. I weigh 315lbs, not sure if one promise will help, or if I can keep it, but I’ll try anything. I promise to stop self sabotage, by buying junk when I’m emotional.

    1. Hi Sara: Congratulations on those 21 pounds you’ve lost – that’s awesome! This is a great promise – take it day by day, and you got this!

    2. I’m in that same boat with you. Self sabotage is one of my biggest issues. What’s been helping me lately is journaling. I can write my feelings down and recognize those times I normally slip. I also make sure to write how great I feel mentally and physically when i overcome those hurdles.

  22. Ol? Cris e Heidi por favor I am Brasil cidade de Barueri S?o Paulo preciso perder 50 kilos quero muito sua ajuda voc? ? de mais, queria muito ter o desafio ser a primeira brasileira a participar de seu heality please me ajudem.

    1. Hi Agda: (Traduzido usando o Google Translate) Casting para LEM est? atualmente fechado, e voc? tem que ser um residente de os EUA a aplicar para o show. Mas voc? pode come?ar a sua jornada de transforma??o, hoje, com o mesmo programa de Chris e Heidi usar em LEM, e voc? pode aprender sobre os conceitos b?sicos de seu programa aqui: Voc? consegue fazer isso!

  23. Eu prometo corre 4 km segunda a sexta s?bado jogo futebol Domigo descanso essa vai ser minha promessa

  24. I promise to log ALL of my food EVERY DAY for at minimum the rest of the current diet bet so that I really stop and think about how many calories I am consuming. My biggest issue is and will always be nutrition.

  25. My promise is to say one positive affirmation to myself (out loud) each day and not let my inner mean self take over.

    1. Hi Anne: We have to approve every comment, and sometimes we get a bit behind. πŸ™‚

  26. I promise to stop eating after dinner and go to bed by 10:30, which will be the earliest night I’ve had in a while!

  27. I needed to see this. I’ve never thought of it as making a promise to myself. Promises are something that do NOT get broken. Even saying I’ll DO this is a promise in my mind, as I feel keeping my word is inviolate. My problem is always “I’ll try”
    Maybe I should have paid more attention to Yoda in Empire Strikes Back!

  28. Thank’s so much for that. I have always had trouble being kind to myself. I originally lost 80 pounds but then due to reemerging memories of childhood abuse gained back 27-28 pounds while I was struggling to not become an alcoholic. Due to finally getting an anti-depressent and therapy…I lost about 25 of those pounds. Then heavy commitments along with toxic work stress brought it up again about 13 pounds.

    Just recently I renewed my commitment to exercise…but got a stupid cold in the process…however doubling down on nutrition I have lost about 8 pounds in 3 weeks. I am commited to this.

    My promise today: To eat only what I have layed out/logged in ahead of time this morning.

    It’s always hard for me to get in tremendous amounts of exercise due to working full time/ and volunteer commitments including teaching at night…and the prepwork involved in that. So right now I won’t offer my commitment on that.

    1. This is an awesome promise – you got this! Report back and tell us about your success! And congrats on those 8 pounds gone – that’s awesome. πŸ™‚

  29. I have never thought of making a promise to myself in regards to my wait. I have promised others that I would do better; the doc, my husband, whoever. But then I would find myself wanting to hide things from them. I realize now because I was promising too much at once. Then I would get overwhelmed and I would feel ashamed for letting them down. Sigh. The patter would repeat. Each time I would gain 10-15 lbs more. Right now I am at 275 and I am so weary of being defeated by my size.
    I am not sure what my first promise to myself will be, but i will make it this weekend. I do not want to be flippant, so I want to make sure I truly mean it when I make the promise.
    Thank you.

    1. This is awesome! If it will help, reply back and declare your promise right here, and then report back and let us all know how you did. We’re all here for you and want you to be successful! You can do this!

    2. I promise to move for 5 minutes a day, with intensity. I also promise to listen to my audiobook download of Chris’s book that I down loaded every day until it is finished.

      I know that’s two promises. But i know I can keep both of them. πŸ™‚

  30. Hi Heidi,

    My name is Katelyn and I am 22 years old. I am 5’0ft tall and weight 170 lbs right now. I am trying to lose weight because I am getting married Aug 27th 2016. I want to look amazing when I walk down the aisle. I just got done reading about making a promise to yourself….. I recently made the promise to myself to drink 1 gallon of water everyday. So far I am for 2 weeks, I also have 3 other people doing this with me. I have cut out soda’s from my diet. I just want to say what an inspiration you are to me. You help people transform not only there bodies but their minds as well. This article has really made me think about how it is not just a “challenge” to drink water but its a PROMISE to myself! Thank you for all you do!

    1. Hi Katelyn: This is awesome! Aren’t promises so powerful?! You got this! And congratulations on your upcoming wedding – that’s so exciting!

  31. Heidi
    Thank you for sharing all of this. However, I feel like I am a hopeless case. I’ve tried everything to lose weight. I’m 52 years old, a diabetic, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a thyroid cancer survivor and feel completely alone. I truly try hard to lose weight and when I start seeing a very small decrease in weight (and I mean SMALL) the numbers start going back up. I have no motivation anymore, and no encouragement from anyone. I feel like I’m spiraling down and can’t stop. I don’t want to be trapped in this body any longer! HELP!!

    1. Hi Deanna: I’m so sorry you’re so frustrated. Are you familiar with Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program? You can learn all about it in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about it here: As with any nutrition and exercise program, please discuss their program with your healthcare team first, and then follow their recommendations. And these small, simple promises talked about in this post truly are the key to achieving any goal, so give it a try! What will your first promise be today? You can do this!

  32. Heidi,

    On the last few episodes I have noticed the contestants using a lumbar support for sit ups. Which brand are they using? Thanks!


  33. Thank you for sending this to me on Twitter Heidi. I was talking to a friend tonight about needing to love myself more. This came from a day after losing another former friend to death today. The thing is I’ve come to realize everything I’ve been doing I’ve been doing for others. After years of abuse, then recovering from bulimia but now needing to learn to not just lose weight healthy and stop binging but to learn to love myself. And that is going to be my first brick. To try everyday to do something healthy to show much self that I am worth it. Even if it’s for 15 minutes. Just to spend that time trying to forget the bullies and abusers and to remember that I am worth more. At least try to believe it. Thanks again. You and your husband do so many great things. J have always wished to spend one hour with you face to face but that dream had grown and I hope to one day be as amazing as the two of you are. Thanks for everything.

    1. Hi Emily: I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, and I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. It sounds like you are definitely on the right track – make and keep those daily promises to yourself, and the sky’s the limit for you! You can do this!

  34. I believe in the promises. I have been enjoying your work (tv, books), and in the last year I make promises. One at a time. They become habit and preference and then a new promise is added. Within the last year I have lost 37 lbs, feel the healthiest and fittest in my life. I am affecting my family to make better choices health wise by leading by example. Also with the health and the fitness, came less stress, peace of mind and an overall happier life. Thanks to you both for all that you do to motivate, inspire and encourage people.

  35. hi heidi, how can i get a body like you? i have always want to have a body like. i have try so many kids of workouts i never do see a change in me. something i want to give cause it is not doing anything. i want to transform my body from fat to muscle but i dont know were to start. i have though about getting a fitness trainer but i just dont have the money for it. i have watch your shows i have almost seen every one but i wish i can be on that so that i can change my body looking muscler not fat. it would mean a lot to if you can help me with that goal.

  36. hi Heidi my name is katelyn. I am 15 years old there is some things that i struggle with is belly fat. Im 5’4 and weight is 128.0lb. I am not the shinnies person ever i do have belly fat every on me my dream has always been to be on your show and get my body back and have muscle like you but i dont know where to start and i dont know anything about fitness, I wish that you can help me and tell me how you got your body like how it is and what kind of foods you ate and workouts you do so that i can maybe get the body i have i always wanted. i hope you will help me and answer me. help need!!

    1. Hi Katelyn: As far as exercised is concerned, I would suggest you work with a Certified Personal Trainer who can teach you all about strength training and how to do it correctly. It’s pretty easy to injure yourself if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, so being taught the right way to do things is something you can use throughout your life. Many gyms offer a free session, so you might look into that, or maybe one of your school’s PE teachers could help you too. As far as cardio goes, Chris and Heidi recommend up to an hour a day, Monday-Friday, and you can do whatever activities you like that help you get some movement in. As far as diet goes, make sure your meals are full of proteins, healthy fats, and carbs (fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains), and it’s also important that you drink enough water. And please discuss your concerns with your parents or an adult you trust. You might want to discuss all of these issues with your healthcare team, and then follow their recommendations for you. When you develop all of these healthy habits, any extra fat should go away, and you’ll have awesome habits that will benefit you throughout your life!

  37. Hi Heidi! I love to watch your show! I’d love to be on it, but would never be able to bring myself to do something like that. My question for you is: i really want to lose weight. I’ve tried so many times. I lose weight and then life happens and I gain it back. My husband says he wants to lose also, but works a crazy work schedule and is tired a lot. I end up having to motivate him, but I NEED motivation! How do I get him to help motivate me? Or how do I learn to motivate myself? I’m having such a hard time with this.

    1. Hi Melissa: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you both everything you need to know and do (including some awesome motivational tips and advice) to achieve your own transformations! Learn all about it here: You both can do this!

  38. What am I doing wrong?? The past three weeks I decided to start my weight loss journey and have not seen any results. I am eating 1200 calories a day and I’m working out 45 minutes in the morning and in the evening. I’m burning between 700 to 1000 calories a day. Why is the scale not budging??? I’m ready to give up because it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Thanks for your time!

    1. Hi Vicky: It sounds like you’re on the right track! In Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” women eat 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. Maybe you simply need to swith things up a bit. Also, are you drinking enough water? Chris and Heidi recommend drinking 1/2 your weight in ounces a day (200 lbs = 100 ounces, for example). Adequate hydration is a key to losing weight health, in general, so that might be something that could help. If you’re interested in checking out the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program, go here: And please don’t give up! You’re making awesome changes, and sometimes it takes our bodies a bit of time to adjust to a new way of doing things. One other thing: How do you know for sure how many calories you’re burning/consuming? Are you using a fitness app/tracker?

    2. Your body is storing all the food you eat!! You are not eating enough calories! Your body is probably in starvation mode. Try eating 1500-2000 at least calories a day. Lean protein.. Chicken and ground lean turkey, healthy carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes.. And lots of veggies! Lift heavy weight! And less cardio πŸ˜‰ hope this helps!!

  39. Any tips on keeping up the energy after working and getting the kids taken care of at night I feel defeated and beat.

    1. That can be a tough one, for sure. Are you eating regularly throughout the day? What does your diet consist of? How’s your water consumption? How much sleep are you getting? Are you getting in any exercise? Although it sounds like it would make you even more tired, exercise can give you extra energy throughout your day. These are all things to check out, and hopefully you can find some things – even small things – you can do to help give you more energy.

  40. First off I just want to say that I follow you and Chris very close you give me so much courage and inspiration, however I am running into some problems. After I and my son I lost all my weight I got pregnant with my daughter and was in much better shape but after my daughter I gained weight and now it seems I can’t get it to go away. Please give me any advice you have I feel like after I get off work and get the kids taken care of for the night I have energy left please heidi help me.

    1. Hi Jessica: I just answered your other post – they show up last first. πŸ˜‰ Being a busy mom can make things tough! In addition to my first response, check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation, and it can work no matter how many pounds you want to lose! Learn all about it here: You can totally do this! It’s all about taking those baby steps and making small changes. And keeping those small, simple promises you make to yourself.

  41. I love everything you have said my problem is motivation I start off like crazy but when I lose 5lbs i feel I can reward myself then gain those 5lbs back and get disgusted with myself I come from a family history of obesity my mom and grandmother on my moms side I am 40lbs overweight and I have high blood pressure and panic attacks my daughter is 60lbs overweight and only 25 I know we don’t eat properly we are active but we love our junk food my husband loses weight like crazy I also have a 5 year old son and granddaughter that I help watch and I am turning 50 in October I would love by my bday to be at my goal weight of 125 I am 5 ft 4″ can you give me some advise besides eliminate junk food and exercise more I already know that is the basics.

    thank you very much

    1. Yes, I have some tools to share with you. First of all, make a promise to yourself that your reward will not be food-related, since you know that food-related rewards don’t work for you. As for losing weight, check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about it here: And please discuss this, or any nutrition and exercise program with your healthcare team first, and then follow their recommendations. You can totally do this!

  42. Along with doing the 9 minute missions and shredders should I also lifting weights? I own 3, 5, and 10lb dumbbells.

    1. The 9-Minute Missions are actually considered strength training exercises, but you can add in additional strength training exercises if you’d like to. Just make sure you don’t work out the same group of muscles two days in a row.

  43. Thank you so much for this post! I’m in tears! I was always a health and fitness nut until I began taking a medication that contributed to a pretty hefty weight gain. It’s so hard, my fianc?e is a trainer and I feel so embarrased about how I look. I’ve been trying to lose the weight but I’ve been so unsuccessful, and I keep beating myself up about it. Now I realize it’s because I’ve been making inflated promises and not keeping them. Today I’m going to start with a baby promise I know that I can keep. I need confidence!! Thanks again, I think this is an aha! moment!

  44. I have a question; which is more effective/better – running 1 mile 5 times a week or running 5 miles once a week?

    1. As long as you’re exercising most days of the week, it doesn’t really matter. You can run 5 miles once a week, and do other forms of cardio on the other days, or run shorter distances other days of the week. One caution: Some people can’t handle running multiple days in a row, so try and insert other activities on days between your running days. Good luck!

  45. I love how you describe exercise/diet information as a house of mirrors. I couldn’t agree more. Kind of like parenting books. Conflicting advice and everyone has the ‘magic solution or product’ … for a price. I’ve been on my own transformation for 2 months now. I’ve lost 30-lbs (75-lbs to go) and it’s been all about promises, not just to myself but to my family as well. I promised myself on April 6th that in 365 days I’d be 90-100 lbs lighter and in the best shape of my life. I promised not to let my kids down by feeding them poorly, being bad role mode, missing out on their childhoods because I couldn’t keep up and to stop putting work before them and myself. I’m not sticking to any one particular eating or exercise plan right now but I put in 120-180 active minutes a day, track my steps with my Fitbit and log every bite I take. I’ve made small changes over time, no processed foods, limiting eating out, much more fruits and veg, green juice, more exercise, cutting way back on anything fatty and zero alcohol. It’s hard work and I watched myself slip now and again but I can see it for what it is, a blip caused by eating my emotions and not the end of the world. Recognising the problem is half the battle. I’ve had to shift my priorities and cut waaaaay back on working overtime. Make promises you can keep, really believe you can keep them and just do it! If a promise doesn’t work (like my getting up at 5am to do the gym while my kids slept) don’t dwell on not being able to keep it, change it to something more manageable. I feel so much better already and I’m not even halfway there. I ran around my local track 4 times without stopping this week, I could barely walk around it once in April. My average resting heart rate has dropped from 101 to 68! The feeling of accomplishment and health is so much better than the taste of any junk food! No non can do it for you. Believing in yourself is the key!!

  46. The promise. So what to do when you can’t keep the promise? I promise. And I fail. Perhaps my promises are too big? The eating is soooo out of control.

    1. Start with a very teeny tiny promise, and if you’re having a really hard time keeping your promises to yourself, make that promise one you know you can keep, then make the next one a little harder, and so on. And everyone falls (we never fail!). You just pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and try again. You can do this!

  47. First I want to say I love your show. Both you and Chris are changing America and paying it forward in such a wonderful healthy way. Thanks Heidi for you words of encouragement, I think I was on the first list of making too many promises I couldn’t keep and starting today am going to make a smaller first promise to change.
    God Bless and have a safe, healthy, happy life. Beautiful family.

  48. Hello,

    Im based in South Africa. My journey started when I was religious on watching youtube videos of extreme weightloss. I dont have access on the television but I follow on instagram. I managed to motivate myself to start the journey. I did pretty well for first 3mnths and fell of the wagon. I battle getting back up now but I think the promise idea works wonders. My journey started in Sept 2014 and hope to make a remarkeable change in 2015. Thank you for your posts. Stay blessed. Oneday I will host a fitness function and invite you. Its my dream

  49. I really like this approach. I promise to not beat myself up when I make mistakes – and get right back on track!

  50. I promise to love myself, I promise to make better food choices, i promise to work out everyday and I promise to be happy.

    Thanks Heidi for your words of wisdom


  51. Thank you Heldi! You provided the best advise that I have ever gotten. I promise to do some form of cardio each day!

  52. I’, 68 and 45 lbs overweight with blood sugar edging up. I promise to walk every day for at least 10 min. I live on a steep mountain side so 5 min. will be downhill and 5 up hill. I believe this will be doable. Thank you for the encouragement πŸ™‚

  53. I’m in that ‘I will do it’ zone, but haven’t really been in the zone and done it! Reading this has made me promise:
    ‘I will do 5 minutes each day of exercise’. Then it will be 10 and so on….thank you Heidi! I feel I’m heading back to the zone! Starting today!

  54. Thank you so much,I needed this today. I am always breaking the promises to myself, everyone else in my family come first. I need to do this for me I will make my first promise today and I will not break it, no matter how little support I get!

  55. Thank you I will certainly try the promise thing. I just get so frustrated with myself. Im 38 with 3 teenagers, my husband and i just cant seem to get motivated to work out. We can start and be on a good track and one thing can derail us and its so hard to get back.

  56. Greetings Heidi. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Your Mr suggested that I read this post when he replied to my post on his FB page. I am over 50 yrs old and about 75 lbs overweight. I had lost about 150 lbs ten years ago, but gained some of it back after having 2 babies in my mid-40’s. I am disgusted with my weight and struggle to lose it. Those I have talked to about weight loss tell me only of the extreme difficulty I will have to lose a few pounds, but to not expect to be a more normal weight. My youngest child is disabled and I have to spend most of my time tending to his needs as he is a very high maintenance child due to his disability. Add in having a husband and another child and I never seem to have time for me. You are right. It is much easier to let ourselves become an afterthought….after everyone else. I’ve tried to find someone who will support my weight loss and it has been hard. I haven’t found anyone. It is making this even more difficult. Trying to lose weight without the support of those around you is one of the most depressing experiences I have dealt with. If others don’t believe that I can do it, then how can I believe in myself? It makes me wonder what they know that I don’t in this.
    But, I am going to start a journal and give the promise thing a try.

    1. Paula,
      Having others believe in you is not the key, rather you believing in your own ability to do this is! You can absolutely do this, but you have to do it for yourself, not for anyone else.

    2. Paula, I would love to support you as much as I can during this dietbet. I was trying to find you in the comments on the dietbet page but was unable to! I was wondering if you could send me your info on that page so that I can add you as a friend so that I can follow your posts and encourage you through out this dietbet. My name on the dietbet page is Kristina T so you know who I am!

    3. Paula, I know you can do this with all your heart and effort, just remember if your trying to lose weight it’s for yourself not for other people, if you yourself want to lose weight you go ahead and do your thing! But if other people are telling to lose some people care and some don’t so don’t let the people who don’t care bring you down, but for one fact I believe in you and I believe that you can do it and anybody like you can do it! I wish I could help you in person, because I would love to, i love to help people to lose weight because I want to lose weight myself and I want to change people’s lives forever! You can do this NO MATTER WHAT! I know that for sure!

      Lovelly, 13 grade 8

  57. Wow, you have a great team going on here. I am always inspired by Chris and Powell, but also your team is great. Thank you for making a good change to this world.

  58. At what point do you put yourself first and make those promises?

    I have a husband that is legally blind, while he is able to work. It keeps us busy with me taking him to work and picking him back up. Our income does not support us enough for me to make the 45 min drive into town several times a day. So often times my daughter and I spend the 6 hours while he works in town. I have found that while my daughter loves spending time outside. She often times just doesn’t like doing anything that envolves excersising. There are other changlles like food, we either eat fast food or something that does not have to kept cold. Another is for us is money, with what little he makes we really can’t afford a gym or y membership.

    At 100 pounds over weight for my 5’4″ frame and only 28, I know I have to loose the weight or it will eventually kill me. (As both of my parents died before they where 54. Both having massive heart attacks.) I want to loose the weight , but I have a hard time putting my self first. I always feel like I have other obligations. If not for my family life, it’s something else. I know that there is no excuse for not loosing the weight. I am they type of person that needs someone pushing me.

    With all that being said, what are some great ways to eat healthy on a low income budget? How can I get my whole family involved in exceeding more? What are some great ways to get exercise without going to a gym or the y?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi April: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn about the nutrition basics here: And the exercise program requires no gym membership and can be done pretty much anywhere. Your whole family can participate in this program!

    1. You are important!!! Make and keep that first small promise to yourself, and you’re already well on your way to achieving your goal. Maybe make a promise to remind yourself 10 times a day that you are important! You can do this! πŸ™‚

  59. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve been trying to figure out the one simple thing I’ve been overlooking that’s kept it a struggle for me in My Transformation. It’s “Making Small Promises….To Myself” This has just completely changed my whole out look on everything! Thanks a billion…and may you & everyone be blessed beyond measure.

  60. Great Post!
    I try to be an encourager to people and more deeply, my daughters. At my heaviest weight, in my late 40’s was 155. I’m 5’4.5″. My doctor then told me that I was border line for high blood pressure. She suggested that I watch my sodium in take (for years I did not watch all the sodium in the processed foods, even those that say they are healthy food) and try to lose some weight before she’d suggest medicine if I reached too high blood pressure. This was all I needed to hear!! I felt I was still too young to be on high blood pressure pills, as well my mother has it a little and being African American, we are at a higher risk.
    I was so determine to do this for myself, something I was giving me! So I decided to act on it and I kept reminding myself “high blood pressure and medicine” and that motivated me. When you promise yourself something that is for your good, and you tell yourself “enough is enough” you’ll make those changes. I chipped away at it and made it part of my daily life, it is a life style for me now. I still check my pressure and I did lose the weight. I am at my high school weight 135 lbs. (I want to be 140 with that extra 5 lbs being muscle). My pressure is at times 120s to 130s, so not too bad at 50.5 years.

  61. Thanks Heidi I needed this post today. I first read about ‘the promise’ in chris’s book. It made me cry to think about how easy it is for me to break promises to myself, but yet my word is my bond with everyone else in my life. I just weighed in for the challenge on diet bet and I came up just a couple pounds short and realize it is because I broke those promises I made to myself in the last couple weeks.

    Time to start over (or continue) and keep some promises. With over 150lbs to lose it is such an overwhelming task to begin with.

    1. Baby steps, start with small attainable efforts. As Madre Tereza said: Starting doing the necessary, then you will do the possible and soon you will realize you are doing the impossible.
      As Heidi said, take the 5 mins daily, most of days you will end up with more, but you can do easily.
      And a very important part to sucess, portion size. With those tools you will shed all those pounds.

    2. Dan, I was completely filled with goosebumps reading your post. This only happenes when it pure divine inspiration for me. I feel that we were just given the true joys of life…in a few new promises to ourselves. Thanks for sharing. ~Never give up~

  62. “I promise to exercise 20 minutes a day! Heidi and Chris thank you for inspiring me to shed 28 pounds and 31 inches with your guidance and direction. Let’s DO THIS….I promise is a huge secret!”, love Nancy Sustersic, The CEO of FUN

  63. I agree with you Heidi, last night was the perfect example of what you mean about just keeping one promise to yourself.
    Last night, it took forever to get home. By the time I got home I was drained and tired.. and by 7:30 I was about to call it a night and just lay in bed. But then I said to myself.. If I want to go to bed, I owe my body at least 30 Burpees. What was great about that was once I moved to the workout room in my house, on top of the burpees, I kicked the bag a few, and then 15 minutes later I had just completed an intense kickboxing workout.. when my plan was just to go to bed that night.
    So yes, one promise is right, because then you find yourself thrown into a workout you wanted to do all along but just needed a grappling hook to climb out off your couch πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  64. Thanks Heidi, I have been struggling a lot this year but I am jumping back into making life changes and creating a life I want to live. What you shared about promise keepers really struck home. Thinking of things the way you explained them gave me the know how and inspiration to begin building a strong foundation and I am starting right now!…so thank you so much for sharing this info.

  65. This is just so perfect Heidi. It is just what I need to hear tonight. I have lost 230 pounds and the way I have been successful is making those small “keepable” promises. Yes I struggle and fall with exercise and food choices but the difference this time is that I get back to it and not beat myself up for falling. Falling and stumbling is part of the rebuilding process and it is helping me learn ways to battle harder. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Thank you for this encouragement. In the craziness of the weight loss jungle, I have been so overwhelmed by the complexity of information as well as the contradictory information out there. I have struggled for the last 16 years with my weight (I am now 53)… gradually gaining more and more. The doctor’s say that I am insulin resistant. One doctor recommends one type of diet and another says something different. Then they send me to a “class” with a nutritionist who has had no experience with weight loss and who offers yet another different eating plan! This along with a rebuilt ACL and LCL in my right leg from an old injury makes weight loss a challenge… to say the least! My husband and I are on a minimal income so the gym is not an option. So again thank you for the encouragement and hope you keep more of it coming. I can use all the help you can give! God bless!

  67. Heidi,
    This was so well worded. I have been saying the same thing in slightly different words since I began my weight loss journey in 2012. I have lost 110 pounds, with 45 more to go. You and Chris inspire and challenge me daily! Once I addressed my FEAR of what would happen if I changed, making and keeping those promises to myself got a whole lot easier.

    Thank you, for showing me it can be done!

  68. Oh guys i really love you both! I never manage to loss weight and never keep a promise to myself πŸ™ that was killing me and today i was wondering WHY???? Why you never keep a promise!!! What’s wrong with you??? And lived all the time in a depression πŸ™ Now i know why! I always said “you are going to loose 40kg in 6 months and workout every day for 1 hour” never keep the promise!!!! Thank you so much for everything… Believe me you help me a lot and now i know. You give me straighth guys!! I love you xxxx

  69. Thank you for the inspiration every week! I’ve lost 46lbs and hired a personal trainer already for six months. Have even worked out in 112degree AZ heat. Dropped so far from Big52sbto now between 44-46 waist. Dropped from big 3x shirts to regular 2x. Bulking up. Want to run my first 5k. Cholesterol at normal and triglycerides too. 20yrs ago they were 660/3600 at one point. By our program is a weekly inspiration

  70. Wow…..I never feel like I am important enough to take the time for ME. Reading this I believe I am at least worth a 5 min promise. Thank you for the inspiration!

  71. Heidi, I hadn’t really given much thought about how I lost over 210 lbs without surgical intervention. But you’re right! I promised myself, my family and Drs that I would lose it. It took me two years of eating well and walking and resistance training but I made it. I went from a couch potato to a person who thrives on exercise. I’m addicted! I wish I could have the skin removal surgery but am unable to do so. But I am blessed to be healthy.

  72. Thanks for sharing. I love to do boxing and singing and want to continue to dot this on a regular base.

    Music and setting goals helps me a lot and love and respect are the right answers..

    Peace to you all. πŸ™‚

  73. My journey began when my trainer discussed competing in my first physique competition with me. I committed to it believing I would compete in 2015. A few short months ago he told me I looked so great I was competing this year! A full year ahead of schedule. As of this week I am 11 weeks out. I have worked hard for a year on this.

    My committment to myself and to this promise are unwavering: I promise I will compete. I promise I will win my division. Whatever it takes.

    One more thing: When I step on that stage I’ll be 53 years old.

    It is never too late to make a promise to yourself and transform your life. My Dr. told me at my physical earlier this year that I looked like someone in their 20s. During the summer I walk around my subdivision shirtless when I walk my dog. A man stopped me one day to say I needed to put a shirt on because I was making everyone else look bad! When he asked my age and I told him his jaw dropped. No one can ever take those moments of pride and accomplishment away from me.

    This journey has been one of the most difficult I’ve ever been on, but at the same time the most rewarding. It has changed my body, my mind, my heart, and my soul. There is nothing I’m not capable of when I put my mind to it.

    I watch EWL every week (via DVR, I train 6 days a week). It always makes me emotional when I see the “light come on” and they finally “get it”. That you can do anything, that you do deserve it, that you are worth it. I’ve had that epiphany myself and I know how powerful it can be after so many years of guilt, lack of self-confidence and respect.

    Heidi, you and Chris are amazing people. I for one am a true admirer of you both. Your caring and concern for the success of complete strangers who write in for your help is what this world needs more of. If you ever decide to expand and create a “Powell Army” to get the great work you do out to a larger audience I’d sign up in a second to serve.

    Bless you both and the work you do.

  74. The article definitely gave me a better insight on how to keep a promise to myself. I am one of those that say, “I promise to go to the Y and do the treadmill for 30 minutes and nautilus for 15 minutes” I joined over two years ago, and only been maybe the 1st 2 months. All that money, but worse, all the weight I kept on. I lost 185 # about 3 years ago and put it all back on because of lack of motivation and lifestyle changes. Now I am more depressed than ever, and no ambition to live life. After reading this, I will try just one promise- 5 minutes, 2 times daily, either walking outside or on the treadmill for 2 weeks. Just to prove to myself I can do it.

  75. I really enjoy your texts and the great attitude what you two have every day. Unfortunately we have seen only one season EWL here in Finland but hopefully we’ll see other seasons in near future. I am trying to learn from your writings and having still 17kg to go down before hit my goal.
    Br, your big fan far away in North Europe, Finland

  76. Thank you for such an amazing article! I have never thought about the weight loss in this perspective. I am going to apply it right now πŸ™‚
    Many greetings from Europe (Prague) πŸ™‚

  77. On June 16th, I made a promise to myself. The promise was that I was going to make small steps, baby steps, to become the person that I want to be. I already knew what I didn’t want (I’d been lving it) and NOW it was time to LIVE what I DO want.

    In that time, I have had a career change, I have lost 26 lbs, I am now vegetarian/mostly vegan, and I am currently getting ready to do my first 5K.

    I am taking it seriously because this is the only life I get and its time for me.
    Thank you for always reinforcing my conviction to my promise!

  78. You both are simply amazing. I love reading your blogs! Thank you both for making a difference in so many peoples lives. Your both so inspirational in so many ways.

  79. First, I love you and Chris and you spoke some serious truth. Yes weight loss pure and simple is making a promise to change a bad behavior. I know I make promises to me all the time sometimes small. Those small promises lead to big changes. I know this truth myself 7 years ago I made a promise to me and was able to lose my weight. I still maintain those small band of promises. It does work! Get it Heidi!

  80. Just wanted to thank you and Chris for being the people you are and sharing the amazing transformations of regular folks who want to change their lives. I have been overweight forever (24 years or so really) and last February it occurred to me that if others can do this so can I! I am six months in, doing weight watchers and exercising twice daily and am down fifty pounds. Tuesday night is always a great workout while my partner and I watch EWL! She is down fifty five too! Waving at you from Chandler, thank you guys!!

    1. Hey Andee, sounds like you and your partner are both doing great……I notice you’re from Chandler…..I live in Chandler as well. It was nice to see someone posting so near to me! I just finished Chris and Heidi’s Diet Bet…….lost almost 11 lbs in the last 4 wks. Not much but I already feel better…….hoping I can keep up with the losing. Good luck to you both! =)

  81. I really needed to hear this! I have been on such a internal guilt trip roller coaster trying to balance school, being the most amazing mom & wife I can & studying for DATs (MCAT for dentistry), meanwhile setting way too many goals! Today is day one! I close to never break a promise to others when ever physically possible. …today, I will love myself how I love others! Thank you! God bless you!

  82. You are SOO right! I made two simple promises to myself this year and they were: eat clean and healthy (single food ingredients tend to be my best/easiest choices) and to M O V E.. Just keep moving.. yoga, zumba, weight lifting, cardio.. Everyday I conciously keep my promise to move and eat clean(ier) and it’s been amazing thus far! I FEEL the difference, my body can feel the difference. I used to promise myself the moon the back and falling short every time because they were promises beyond my goal time frame. Now, I just keep moving and eating clean and my promises (and weight loss goals) fall right into place.. Watching EWL is inspiring too! That’s my weekly dose of inspiration for all the courage folks who lead by example! THANK YOU HEIDI, CHRIS, AND ALL THE EWL CREW AND CONTESTANTS!

  83. I have to say I started my journey because I heard Chris say on extreme weigh loss that it’s a promise to yourself. I promised myself earlier this year that I would complete the WunderWoman Sprint Triathlon this year and I did it yesterday! I nearly gave up a few times but didn’t and am so glad that I can now say I’m a triathlete. Thanks for all your help and encouragement Chris and Heidi!!!

  84. A year ago today I started my own weight loss journey & so far I’ve lost 97 pounds , I watch your show & it helps keep me going . You two are doing a great job & helping some wonderful people including myself thanks for everything !

  85. I have been trying to lose weight since I had my first daughter then I had my son. So I’m trying to find different ways that will help. So thank u for the advice Heidi and Chris you guys are awesome

  86. This is wonderful! Thank you so much. I really enjoy and look forward to each episode off EWL. It is so inspirational. I have RA which has really kept me from exercising like I think I should but I am realizing I have to exercise how I CAN. Thanks again. Great advice.

    1. I do exercises with weights. I’m 60 & have arthritis in my feet so no walking. Good luck to you.

  87. Thanks so much Heidi! You and Chris (and the peeps on EWL) have been a real inspiration! And after fighting to lose even a few pounds despite eating healthy foods, my body LOVES carb cycling!! I’m taking two weeks to get used to eating on the plan, and then I’ll be adding in the exercises. Thanks agin for all you do!!

  88. Thank you Heidi! I needed to read this as you say life happens, my 3.5yr old had surgery in Friday and I have had 2 days derailed for good reason of taken care of him and I am beating myself up because I have not worked out or are as good as I could have but instead of it becoming a everyday thing I just need to dust myself off and get back to what I was doing. Love what you and Chris do and love your show!

  89. Baby steps, this is the key, small attainable promises. It is easy to fail if you try to make unrealist goals in a short period of time, and this leads to sadness. Thanks for put that in clear words.

    1. Hey Heidi ! My name is Tuhina , I live in Singapore. I have seen videos of ? Extreme weight loss? , that really inspires me .
      , So , I promise u , that I will jog 5 mins everyday from today .

  90. Another person saying thank you Heidi, I too needed to hear this. I struggle but I do exactly what you say not to do I make promises to myself that I deep down know will not last long. Start small and finish big! Thank you to you and Chris for all you are doing with the compassion you do it with. And shout out to Chris for making his videos so easy to follow

  91. Great article and very true. I think we all tend to make these unrealistic goals and set ourselves up to fail. Thank you for posting this today as I am stuck in a big time failing rut and I am determined to climb out of it.

  92. Thanks for these words. You guys are so inspiring. I’m a fitness and musculation coach in France and I’m struggling to get the body I deserve, but it’s not that simple. I do hours of sports a day (that’s my job), but I must not do thgs right bcse I’ve been putting on pounds lately and don’t know what to do. How are u guys training beside work? How do u eat?

    Thanks a lot!

  93. This is brilliant. Thank you!! I have been making too big of promises to myself to keep them. I am going to try starting with five minutes! I always feel overwhelmed when I approach weight loss but small promises kept makes so much sense. Love you both! I truly mean that!

  94. I’ve been doing the carb cycling over the past 3 weeks (starting week 4) and am noticing the exciting changes in my body – finally! I’ve been struggling for the past 6 years as I approached my 50th birthday and am so happy to have read about carb cycling – it’s gotten me off the roller coast that I’ve been on and has given me a new hope that I will accomplish my goal weight THIS YEAR! Thank you so much for your inspiring show every week!

    1. Congratulations on completing 3 weeks! I just finished week one and intend to keep going and going and going. Getting used to eating every 3 hours and starting slowly with exercise due to physical limitations. Keep up the good work and check back in and let us know how you are doing:)

  95. wow. thanks for that word heidi! so true! the only way to keep a promise to yourself is to love yourself, to see the value in who you are. admitting to yourself that you are worth it. something that’s been helping me is realizing how much God, the creator of this entire universe values me. that fuels me to make better choices. “is this pizza and oreos worth more than staying alive to live out all God has planned for my life?”

    love you and and chris so much! you both are true “love-wellers.”

  96. This is a really good post, and is really going to help me get into that routine of trying to figure out how to get into working out.
    Thanks Heidi!

  97. That was great! I get to focused on trying to eat healthy and exercise that I forget to make promises/set goals! I know they’ll really help me to make progress, because I’ve done it in the past. Thanks for the great reminder!

  98. Thanks, Heidi! I needed to hear this today. I’ve been on my own journey for a while now, and the last few months have been difficult. I’ve been feeling defeated. But I know that I can’t give up. There is too much at stake. I need to get back to basics and just keep going. Thanks for all you and Chris do for everyone out there, especially people like me!

  99. Thanks Heidi for sharing this. I promise to wake up early each morning to do 15 mins of dancing, singing and laughing.

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