High-Achievers Heal Differently.
Meet Leslie Chen — Executive Weight Loss Coach
For 8 years, Leslie has been helping high-achieving professionals who struggle with problematic eating and weight patterns create a blissful relationship with food while losing weight left and right.
Her proprietary system Lean Instinct Formula™ leverages powerful wisdom from Asia which helps people achieve food freedom and weight freedom in weeks by reactivating their dormant instincts.
Besides coaching, Leslie is also a sought-after expert for world-scale media outlet for opinion on topics she teaches on, and she’s an Expert Contributor for Entrepreneur.com — world’s #1 magazine for entrepreneurs.
She’s also a guest at the world’s top 1% podcasts.
Want to learn more about what makes high-quality coaching for busy high-achievers? Read the following written by Leslie.
This is an epiphany moment for me:
Six years ago, one day I was on a Clarity Call with a woman who worked as a Partner at one of the Big Four companies. You may know the Big Fours as the world’s largest and most prestigious professional service firms providing strategic consultancy services to the biggest firms of all industries. And that woman I spoke to ran the entire regional subdivision of her company’s Assurance team.
I was looking forward to the conversation primarily because before my coaching career, I was a Big Four management consultant. Back in those days, you probably need to be among the Top 5% of your class at a decent university to land a Consulting role at these firms. And all of us hard-working junior consultants had utmost respect for the Partners — especially the females, given how extraordinary they needed to be in order to lead that role.
They have to be all winners at all fronts. They are tough. They are confident when making deals and fast when executing decisions. Also, they talk with clarity and walk with command.
They are also extremely diligent, trustworthy people, too. During projects, they are the ones leading C-suite level conversations, making compelling, persuasive, logically tested and data-backed presentations to the chiefs and board members of large multinational conglomerates.
Honestly, I thought even if some of them looked bigger from the outside, they must have plenty of pride inside — so much that it made the outside appearance some triviality that never gets in their radar.
That mental picture which I’ve kept for years was shattered when the lady spelled out the following:
“When I brush my teeth in the morning nowadays, I avoid looking at myself in the mirror in front of me because I’d feel so sad, so fat, and so sorry for myself.”
That put me into silence immediately, I was shocked as this was the least thing I expected to hear from a super talented, capable, and strong woman like her.
It didn’t take me long to get centered on the notion that the person on the phone with me, behind her professional title and aura, was a human being who needed help in solving this bleeding-neck problem badly — not only for herself, but also for her children and loved ones.
The conversation went deeper and deeper. For the first time, I started seeing the vulnerable side of the authority figures I’ve come across in my life.
They are not supermen or superwomen. They too need to take care of themselves. And they have people to answer to in their families and are their children’s heroes at least. But some of them are stuck right now, feeling hijacked because of this self-perpetuating problem that they can’t solve on their own.
I asked myself “what’s the best thing I could do for her at this moment?”
Leading with power — even though I was much younger…and didn’t get to the same success in the corporate arena that she did. She came to me, and I’m her best hope right now.
The conversation went well. And in the end, I didn’t make her an offer because I later learned she was dealing with a painful divorce at that time, which took a lot of her energy and time.
So I said to her: “Focus on that priority for now. And when you feel more settled and can focus better, we’ll talk about how to solve this particular problem.”
We’ve never talked ever since. But that woman led me to this moment when I became even firmer on my decision of leading and coaching with absolute power — because whoever that might seem very strong from the outside could be screaming “Help!” desperately inside.
The decision has served me very well in my subsequent coaching years of working with amazing people from all walks of life — corporate executives, scientists, diplomats, engineers, successful entrepreneurs, therapists, retired athletes, and physicians, etc.
And I also realized for high-achievers, there needed to be a type of coaching different from the ordinary type — simply because high-achievers heal differently.
What Makes Extraordinary Executive Weight Loss Coaching?
High-achievers heal differently.
And for starter, a lot of them have trouble losing weight and reversing toxic eating eating patterns for different reasons from the majority.
For instance, they are already good at disciplining themselves, setting goals, and finding motivation, etc. They are also already coachable, hard-working people who are very smart and don’t cut corners.
They don’t have trouble losing weight because they aren’t committed enough or don’t follow the plans. It’s usually not due to the lack of willpower either. Instead, it’s because whatever treatment they’ve tried haven’t solved the underlying pattern which has, either physically or psychologically, programmed their weight and eating tendencies.
Hence, an executive weight loss coach would have to cover their unique needs and challenges to be able to make a real impact on their lives.
There are 6 characteristics of an extraordinary executive weight loss coaching program which I’ve identified to be the biggest defining factors:
#1. Time Efficiency.
This applies to all coaching ideally. However, for busy people, it should be maximized.
Coaching takes time. Internalizing the material and transformation take time too. However, here are 2 things a great executive weight loss coach always do to make sure the student get the most out of a limited amount of time:
First, cut the fat and make the program lean.
Overloaded information can kill patience and motivation. So it’ll always be valuable to teach the 20% of the materials that’ll generate 80% results first. When the major obstacles are solved, the secondary and tertiary obstacles deriving from this major ones become automatically non-existent.
Second, design the program so that it teaches itself.
It means instead of using words and information, design experiences with the game-changing shifts embedded within.
Subconscious level beliefs are shifted through real-life experience — not words. As the beliefs are transformed, the new experience and results follow naturally.
My ‘Night Stand Exercise’ is a classic example of that. This exercise requires the students to put what used to be their greatest obsession food on the nightstand before going to bed, and see if they could peacefully fall asleep without feeling attached to the chocolate.
It may sound scary to people lacking self-control with food. However, due to how the program is designed, when they reach the stage of doing it, they’ve already completed the critical inner changes that allow them to stay completely detached and free very easily. All they are doing now is creating new memories and new experience that’ll eventually overwrite the past limiting beliefs.
And once they’ve mastered self-control and reversed their old patterns of being out of control, that pattern is reversed permanently, and they won’t need to spend more time reworking on it.
That’s how changes are made once and for all. Check out the magical experience clients experience regarding the ‘Night Stand Exercise:’
Here’s another one:
The experience of passive weight loss together with ultimate food freedom is the typical Lean Instinct Formula experience.
#2. Set SMART Goals With Clearly Defined Stages.
A great executive weight loss coach also lets her client know what is the clear roadmap to his success.
It includes making SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) goals. For instance, when it comes to the goal of achieving food freedom, what does it really mean? What are important steps that need to be completed in order to get there? How do we measure the success of having achieved food freedom?
Weight loss is a more straightforward goal compared to food freedom. However, still, what is the ultimate goal — scale number? (It’s not the center of my coaching.) Or something more holistic and thorough?
Most people don’t realize that the weight problem isn’t a problem, but a symptom of an intricate issue from the inside — which may not be big but is established enough to program problematic weight and eating patterns.
Most people set goals, plans, and metrics around treating the symptoms (such as the number and structures) vs solving the root problem.
And the sheer focus on these symptoms can cause a lot of self-deprivation which drains the person’s motivation, energy, health, and emotional wellness. All that can worsen the root problem.
That’s where Lean Instinct Formula is making a real difference:
By reactivating your body and brain’s instinctual abilities, you actually automate weight loss and keep it off easily, while having unbridled food freedom. And every step we take has a clear, measurable standard regarding what the green light is.
Regardless, a great executive weight loss coach will tell you what to expect every step of the way with clearly defined goals and results. And all you need to do is to follow the steps.
#3. Maximize Flexibility.
This one is self-explanatory. And I’m not only referring to the program but also the approach which is taught. It has to be flexible — so that the person can get steady results whether he’s on a business trip or a family vacation — now and in future.
Most of my clients are busy people with some level of travel commitments, and they are doing just fine.
#4. Pursue Results That Bring Compound Interest.
This not only applies to executive weight loss coaching but also all weight loss coaching in general. However, very few coaches are doing it effectively. And most of them either lack this awareness or teaching the very opposite approach to weight-loss. That’s why they always fail to deliver authentic, long-term results.
Real, sustainable weight loss isn’t a matter of tricks, rules, meal plans, running, calorie counting, or any other types of band-aids.
Instead, it’s about building and restoring the body’s abilities to self-manage and self-correct, so that it’ll drive amazing results for you — not only now, but also 3 years, 5 years, 10 years later and beyond. The results compound and self-sustain, and keeping the weight off is autonomous.
Everything you learn and every shift you make during the executive weight loss coaching program is about setting up new patterns with positive self-multiplying benefits.
It can be about your physical conditions; and it can also be your mindset. One example is transforming a dieter’s mindset, which always projects a dieter’s reality, into the mindset of a holistically lean and healthy person.
Two examples for you to see the differences:
First, doing Ketogenics or any diet teaches self-deprivation, just so that you can feel in control for a short period of time — until your weight loss plateaus. Any pounds dropped during this time is a one-time result that isn’t going to drive more results. Moreover, it’s actually the start of a vicious cycle as your food mindset can be contaminated and become toxic. And once you get stuck in it, you’ll easily get stuck in it for years and even decades.
By contrast, healing your metabolism, your physical senses and order gives your body compound benefits and results that keep building on itself. This makes losing weight easy and spontaneous because your body, like a fully fueled engine, DRIVE the result for you.
And here’s the #1 Principle on sustainable weight loss in case you haven’t learned it before:
Weight loss isn’t your job, it’s your body’s job (INSTINCT). Your ability to lose it depends on your body’s ability to do so.
So being overly controlling on this will only make it worse.
Now back to the topic of compounding value:
It’s the same for building healthy food habits and eating patterns. Using diet rules may help you stay in control one time. However, desensitizing your body and mind from the craving triggers can bring independence, confidence, and freedom for the long run. Throughout that process, healthy eating habits and weight loss, instead of being forced, and natural side effects that sustain themselves.
That way, you don’t need to discipline yourself because you’ve just become detached to your biggest addiction (that’s really the secret of nailing the ‘nightstand exercise’ mentioned above.)
#5. It’s About Cutting 90% Of The Work And Removing The ‘Smart People Syndrome.’
This is one of the biggest challenges for someone who’s used to out-performing the majority and not settling for mediocrity. Literally, working hard can be an addiction. The guilt of not doing a lot of work or feeling productive can kick in and drive tons of stress and anxiety. And it’s the case even if what you are asking for is only a 3-hour break.
Unlike most people who often struggle with following through a plan, you struggle with over-thinking and overdoing it.
You are trained from youth to run the extra miles and fight the tough battles — such as having difficult conversations, solving difficult problems, and overcoming typical human nature such as inertia, etc.
These qualities have served you pretty well in your career and life, but they contradict weight loss in every way because authentic, long-lasting weight loss, instead of a battle, is a *cruise*. (I’ll explain.)
That’s what holds you back in achieving your basic instinct of naturally and autonomously maintaining a healthy weight — while making things 100x harder.
Here’s a shocking fact for you:
When it comes to managing your weight and health, ‘working hard’ is a recipe to fiasco.
This is because achieving real weight loss and food freedom is about — let me say this again — restoring your body’s natural ability to self-manage and self-correct, so that your body drives the results for you.
And you are not the one doing the work of regulating your metabolic, chemical, digestive, and neurological trends. Your body is. And you just need to learn to LET IT.
That’s why it’s supposed to be a cruise.
If you think about it, it very much resembles running a company as its CEO:
Your only job is to set up, maintain, and mobilize the system and teams. It’s never sitting in the cubics doing the accountant’s work, trying to figure out inventories, or typing codes and running the company’s site.
You’d be driving yourself nuts that way. And you are likely to sabotage the company’s structure, morale, culture, processes, department roles and responsibilities and achieve loss at accelerated speed. In this context of weight loss, it’s the physical core that your weight loss depends on, and preventing your body to do be productive or functional as it is.
Finally, you’ll find yourself scratching your head screaming “why can’t I do it?!?!?” in your head and keep thinking about it — FOR YEARS.
Well, this could be one of the main reasons. I call this addiction of over-analyzing and over-delivering “the Smart People Syndrome.” Success in this case doesn’t come from the grind but the chill.
And the truth is: you don’t need to learn 50 tactics or rules. Instead, you just need to do one thing, which is RESTORING YOUR NATURAL INSTINCTS TO STAY FIT. For more details, visit Lean Instinct Formula.
#6. Release Imposter Syndrome.
I’ve worked with plenty of amazingly successful people to be able to conclude that not fully recognizing your self-worth could be in every way disrupting your eating and weight patterns in an intricate, powerful way.
One top issue among highly accomplished folks is: they don’t consider themselves worthy enough or good enough to the level which is commensurate with their actual achievements.
Some people repetitively tell themselves “I’m not enough.” Psychologists have a name for it: ‘Imposter Syndrome.’
Imposter Syndrome plays a vital role in determining the backdrop of all sorts of choices that you make, big and small.
Just couple of weeks ago, a client told me this:
“I can’t even say aloud that I’m one of the top 10% accomplished people among my peers.”
This 39-year-old client is a physician who leads a cancer related psychiatry practice in her hospital. She has served and helped thousands of patients. She’s a wife and mom to two children, and has done a lot to make sure they receive the best care and education possible. Also, she herself graduated with top grades from one of Canada’s top universities.
There are plenty of reports, trophies, degrees and certificates, and pictures in history that tell her that she’s a smart, passionate, highly accomplished individual with a deep, strong drive to contribute to the community. However, inside her, she doesn’t consider herself worthy enough. And this is exactly what she said:
“I know that’s true, but it’s so hard for me to say it ‘cuz I just don’t feel this way.”
She has the problem that many high-achievers struggle with: setting very high expectations for herself. And every time when something goes wrong, she blames herself 100% for it. There are always more problems than the good things that are happening. And she’s always not enough.
Let me circle back to this notion again: not fully recognizing your self-worth is disrupting your eating and weight patterns — in ways that you haven’t realized.
So how is it really affecting your weight and eating patterns?
If you think highly of yourself enough — I’m not talking about empty, groundless arrogance; I’m talking about acknowledging how precious, kind, talented, capable, and beautiful you are as a person and an asset to your family, friends, and team, you wouldn’t have made frivolous, irresponsible decisions and choices on food all the time and do the FAD thing knowing it’ll crush you.
Think about why you don’t want your kids to eat heavily processed junk food, it’s because you respect, love, and appreciate them fully.
When you binge on candies and stop caring about what you feed yourself, the inner voice within you is really saying “I don’t care about me.”
Once you’ve twisted this thought pattern around, you’ll find your thoughts and behaviors about food automatically align with the new, positive thought patterns .
For instance, when facing the cheaply made low-quality chocolate on the shelf, your thoughts will no longer be “I can’t have it.” Instead, you’ll naturally think “they aren’t for me and don’t deserve my attention.”
I’ve seen this just 2 weeks ago at one of the most awkward TikTok live promotion scene in China:
A food company that made snacks invited one of the most well-known business women in the country to eat their food in front of millions of audience. It’s supposed to be a promotion event. However, this business woman who was expected to compliment and sell the food refused to taste it, times and times again, no matter how closely the host has forward it to her mouth.
It became one of the most controversial scene of the time throughout the country and everyone talked about it like some kind of hot star scandal. Refusing to touch the cheap snacks sold to the general public was irritating. What was more triggering to most people was her disdainful look at the snacks that was clearly captured on the screen and forwarded millions of times later.
One can say she wasn’t a good advertiser, and she did lose half a million followers due to that disdainful face. However, one thing for sure is: she knew her worth and knew that those low-quality and perhaps fake food was not made for her.
No mental self-disciplining talk was needed at the moment. Her self-identity commanded her body and mind that “these $1 beef skewers aren’t made for me.” And anything going against that command made her uncomfortable.
If you can fully recognize your self-worth and embrace it on the spiritual level, you’ll have the potential to re-write your eating patterns entirely, almost overnight. Now you are no longer madly addicted to the old cravings because now you’ve realized that most of these things don’t deserve you.
This different framework of thinking comes from a reversed framework of self-identity. There’s no more self-deprivation which leads to more cravings, obsession, and frustration. There’s only clarity and freedom.
This shift does not just stop here.
By working your way top-down vs ground up (using ground-level tactics like diets, rules, disciplines, and numbers), you’ll find your life gets a lot easier and less stressful by leaning towards better choices and decisions automatically — such as emptying the plate of problems that don’t matter but have given you stress, maintaining high-quality relationships, and pursuing wiser decisions when you’ve internalized your true worth.
You are seemingly dealing with a weight problem only. But like I’ve said earlier, your weight is not the problem per se, but the symptom of something further inside.
And it means the core capabilities you’ll learn during a truly transformative weight loss coaching program — such as effortlessly maintaining boundaries, and detaching yourself from emotions and triggers — can be carried along to fuel your highest purposes in life.
It means you aren’t taking a pause in life to fix a (weight and food) problem. And you never stop growing and making progress for the mega life you want because this journey completes the ultimate journey for you.
Clients who follow through Lean Instinct Formula see results as following:
Get comments like “you really look different!” from people, losing inches AND pounds.
Consistent weight loss; feel 100% free and secure when eating — without needing to analyze food or overthink about it.
Have completed trending the body towards effortless weight loss, and are poised to lose more.
Average weight loss in 10 weeks.
Average time period to lose 30 pounds.
Average time it takes to master food freedom while keeping the weight off.