Have you ever felt like you want to hide in your coziest, safest place and escape all the discomfort of life? If you’ve been on a weight loss journey for any amount of time, you’ll likely find this feeling of wanting to hide under the covers indefinitely familiar.
While feeling comfortable in the short term is nice, the reality is that hiding doesn’t move us forward. But instead of yelling at yourself to get moving like so many people do, I’m offering a baby step to try out instead.
Join me on the podcast this week as I invite you to take one simple baby step to get yourself moving in the direction you want to go. Instead of checking in with yourself with can I, should I, or am I supposed to, this baby step starts with, “Am I willing to…” and using this is going to help you pull the covers down and look around at where change can begin to take place.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 75.
Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, Master Certified coach, Natalie Brown.
I overbooked myself this summer, my friends. I think I overreacted to the restriction of last summer imposed by the pandemic and I just said yes to everything this year. It sounded like a really awesome idea at the time. It sounded totally doable and exciting and fun when I was planning it. It looked super good on paper.
The reality of it, not as good. I’ve come to the edge of losing it a couple of times, I’ll be honest. Just really feeling maxed out and like I don’t think I can get it all done and I don’t think I can cope with it and manage it all. Standing on the verge of an I-can’t-do-this tantrum.
I’m typically pretty good at planning my time and balancing things and scheduling it all in for the most part. I know my limits. I’ve practiced saying no, I’ve let go of FOMO so that I can really take care of me, but I guess I’m not as good as saying no when it comes to facilitating opportunities for my kids.
That is really what tripped me up a bit this summer I think. I’ve had some moments of wanting to pull all the shades, get in my bed, pull my blanket over my head and pretend it’s not happening. Just hide in my coziest, safe place, and escape all of the discomfort, hope that it can’t find me there somehow.
Have you ever felt that way? Like you want to stay in bed and hide under the covers in the dark where it’s safe and warm and comfortable? Imagine if you actually did. Play that out. You just get in bed, or you stay in there and you don’t get out, just indefinitely. Hiding long term.
What happens with your work, with your family, with your body? What happens when you need to go to the bathroom? What do you do? There are definitely some costs to indefinite hiding, right? Sounds like a good solution, as long as we don’t think of what it might mean long term.
As long as we don’t think about the reality. As long as we focus on this moment and what it would provide us, which is temporary relief. So if we don’t want to stay in hiding indefinitely, for me, trips are booked, money has been spent, arrangements have been made, my family and my business life marches on and beckons me to get going.
How do we move from hiding to the light of day? From our comfort to the relative discomfort of change? Many of us attempt to motivate ourselves out of our safe, warm comfort zone by yelling at ourselves to get moving. That usually doesn’t end well.
I much prefer baby-stepping my way anywhere rather than trying to sprint or leap there. So I want to talk about a simple baby step we can take to move us from hiding in the dark to moving into the light.
Let’s first flesh out the idea of hiding so you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it’s literal hiding in the bed with chocolate. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. But sometimes it’s just hiding from change by wanting to just keep doing what we’re doing, eating what we’re currently eating, not having to limit or adjust or change or say no to anything.
Sometimes it’s hiding from emotions by escaping feeling them using food. Whatever hiding in the dark looks like for you, you don’t have to rip off the covers and jump out of bed in order to move forward. You can baby step.
Of course it starts with a question. A check in. Not can I, should I, am I supposed to, or even do I want to, but rather am I willing? From the relative comfort of your hiding place, you can ask, am I willing to feel uncomfortable in the service of change? Am I willing to feel some discomfort as I work on this?
We’re not asking this rhetorically. I want you to answer. Am I willing to feel uncomfortable? If the answer is yes, let’s go. If the answer is no, then ask why not. What is stopping me from being willing? What is in the way of me being willing? What would it take for me to be willing? Answer these questions.
Find the obstacles. Figure out the way over there. It can help to be specific. Am I willing to feel the discomfort that will come when I stop before I usually do at a meal and check in with my body to see if I’m full? This may sound super specific, but this is a huge issue for some people.
They have a threshold of over-fullness that they really like to get to before they put the fork down or the bag of chips down or whatever. They like a certain level of physical discomfort that triggers them into that’s enough, even though it’s more than they need.
The physical discomfort is, well, uncomfortable, but it’s a habit, a pattern they’ve established, and it feels terrible to stop short of it. So am I willing to feel the discomfort of pausing in the midst of a meal and checking in with how my body feels and stopping if I’m satisfied or full? If not, why not? What’s in the way? What would it take for me to be willing?
Another specific focus for this question might be am I willing to honor what my body wants and needs? Not what my toddler brain wants. The very toddler brain that will suggest cupcakes and pizza or whipped cream straight out of the can into my mouth. Am I willing to honor my body? My wise, brilliant body that wants to take care of me and not just survive but thrive.
Am I willing to rest when my body needs rest? Drink water instead of coffee all day? Eat nourishing, nutritious, real foods that feel good in my body? This doesn’t mean I never eat foods just for the pleasure. There is room for that too.
Honoring what my body wants and needs can be the particular foods it wants and needs that make it feel really awesome, or the amounts of foods that make it feel really awesome. Like eating a few squares of my very favorite dark chocolate with delicious little flecks of orange peel in it. Three to five squares feels great. A whole bar? Not so much.
Eating a half of my favorite pick ice sugar cookie feels good. The whole thing or three of them, not so much. Am I willing to discover and then honor what my body wants and needs? If not, why not? What is in the way? What would it take to be willing?
Asking what we’re willing to do is different than asking what do I want to do. We want to keep eating what we are eating. We want to keep escaping with food. We want to keep hiding. We want to keep burying our feelings.
We know that we want to do these things because most of us are still doing them. We also want to stop eating some of the things we are eating. We want to eat different things. We want to stop escaping and start staying present. We want to start moving toward the life we want to life and start learning how to feel our feelings. Not bury them under a pile of food.
These conflicting desires can keep us stuck under the covers. Asking am I willing to do the hard thing, the challenging thing, the unfamiliar thing can help us start moving forward. Am I willing to accept that I won’t be able to have all the things that I want in order to create the life that I ultimately want?
Because we can’t both stay in the same place and move forward. Think about the baby steps you might take to move from your hiding place in the dark to that life you ultimately want. Where could you start that simple, small, and realistic?
Are you willing to eat a few more vegetables every day or veggies with every meal? Are you willing to drink more water? Are you willing to eat less ice cream? Either less often or less at once. Are you willing to pause for five minutes before every eating decision to check in?
Am I hungry? What am I hungry for? What do I need right now if it’s not food? Are you willing to look a little deeper at what’s behind the discomfort you experience? What limiting beliefs you are subscribing to about you, what food rules you’re using that don’t really make sense, what stories you’re telling about what’s possible for you or what you’re capable of.
Are you willing to own what you are currently creating based on all of that? When we take ownership, we start taking our power back. We don’t have to be willing to go all the way to our goal right now. We don’t have to be willing to take crazy big leaps. Just being willing to pull the covers down off of our head and look around at where we are is a step.
Being willing to breathe deep and be in our body for a minute is a step. Being willing to accept our current reality is a step. Next time your brain says I can’t or I don’t want to about a change that you want to make, ask, what am I willing to do? What baby step am I willing to take toward this?
Hiding is fine for a while. It’s a great temporary solution. But are you willing to peek at what else is possible or even just at the next baby step? Okay everybody, have a great week. I’ll see you soon.
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.