It’s been three years since I stopped being a full-time mom and started my business, and I’ll be honest, there were moments of feeling out of whack, out of balance, and my kids definitely experienced the contrast of me saying no to them a little more and being less available for them.
As I was reminiscing, I saw a parallel here as I watch my clients spend time feeling a little lost and confused on their weight loss journeys. When we change up our food and start taking care of our bodies in a different way, it’s naturally a shock to the system. We’ll eventually come to terms with it, but it takes some getting used to, some acceptance, and finding balance.
Listen in this week as I invite you to see what feels comfortable now that once felt uncomfortable. Moving from comfort to discomfort and setting loving limits can be challenging, but I’m showing you why it’s not a problem and how to find what balance looks like for you right now.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 65.
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.
Hey everybody. I was reminiscing today about how when I started working a few years ago, my kids were a little upset about it. At first they weren’t. At first, they were fine with the idea. I had told them I was going to start a coaching business and start working, but that I would be doing it while they were at school and that it wouldn’t impact them.
Well, a few months in they sat me down and said, “It’s impacting us.” They literally said that. I remember because I thought it was both adorable and annoying that they had taken my words and were now using them against me to complain.
I obviously couldn’t really blame them though for their feelings because they are valid, whether they’re annoying me or not. But really, I mean, for their whole lives, I had been able to say yes for the most part. I was super involved in their lives, spending lots of time at the school, volunteering and being in their classrooms and in their activities. I drove them everywhere, did everything for them.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I obviously didn’t say yes to everything and do actually everything. I had boundaries and they were equipped to handle their lives and be independent, but my time was dedicated in large part to meeting their needs and taking care of them and my household.
And I like I say I was the CEO of my family and my husband was the CFO for a good chunk of time there. So when I started working, when I started my business, there were naturally some more no’s and different no’s than there used to be.
And they really felt the contrast of that, of me going from yes, I can or will, or I’m available a lot of the time, to a little bit more of no, I can’t, or won’t, or am not available. The contrast for them was high. That was in 2018. My little was nine and she was still really and especially dependent on and attached to me.
Fast forward three years, they’ve grown up a lot and they’ve gotten used to it and accepted this as the new normal. None of them really bat an eye when I say no I can’t, I won’t, or am not available. The contrast isn’t as high for them anymore. This is what they know now.
And they have seen that not only can they survive it, which they doubted in the beginning, as they were so deeply impacted, but that we’re all better when we take care of ourselves and supporting each other in reaching for our individual dreams.
I’ve also learned how to better balance my time to take advantage of time with them, as well as take care of myself and my business. For example, I carve out a couple of hours every weekday in the middle of the day to pick up my daughter from school and hang out with her before she goes to dance.
I’ve also pushed my workout from 6am to 8am in order to sleep a little longer to make up for staying up a little later with my teenagers who are nocturnal and most talkative at 11pm. I want to be there for that too.
I see a parallel here in terms of changing up our food and taking care of our bodies and learning how to manage our minds differently. When we make changes, at first it feels like a shock. I watch my clients spend time feeling a little lost and out of whack and confused.
Your body and brain are like, what is happening? It’s impacting us, as my kids would say. We’re able to eventually come to terms with it, but it takes some growing up and some getting used to it and some acceptance and finding balance.
You may not be thinking that balance fits here, but when we’re eating without regard to how our body feels and without consideration of how our actions now are impacting our body’s future, we are out of balance. When we’re focused only on in the moment pleasure, and not on long-term wellbeing, we are out of balance.
When we try to make changes in order to restore the balance, of course our brain’s going to complain. It feels so different and uncertain. The contrast is high.
I’ve had my moments of my brain complaining and protesting this new normal as well. My kids are not alone. The contrast was high for me as well as for them. I was a full-time mom for 16 years. I loved it so much. It was my choice and it’s what I wanted to do and it was such a gift to be able to do it.
When I put my baby, my youngest on the bus for the first day of first grade, which was all day, I started thinking about me and my life in a different way. About what kind of contribution I wanted to make in the world outside of my little family. In addition to the one I was making in my little family, but at first it was really hard. It was hard for my kids and it was hard for me.
I participated in a year-long business mentoring program that started in the fall of 2018. We kicked off the year with a week-long in-person workshop in Dallas where we created our websites and our Facebook ads and our marketing funnels and worked super hard to set our businesses up for success over the next year.
There were some rules governing our time in the program. We were required to work 40 hours a week and would be carefully planning our time and turning in our weekly schedules every Monday for the week ahead. And just for reference, 40 hours was double what I had been working prior to the program, and 40 hours more than I had been working outside my home before that. So it was an adjustment, to say the least.
My very first day of this 40-hour workweek schedule happened to be a Monday that my kids had off of school. Usually on days off of school, I would have been with them, hanging out, going to lunch, taking them and their friends somewhere fun, but I was working instead.
At the end of the day, I laid in my bed and I cried. I remember thinking, “What have I done?” Like, how could I have done this? What am I going to do? I think it was some mourning for this era that was closing. This era of my kids being little and home with me and needing me and that being my primary focus, which I loved, and the unknown of this new phase where they were going to keep growing up and living their own lives. And I wanted to find an occupy my own space in the world.
So part of my emotion was also just being sad because I loved being with them and sitting in my office and working seemed like me having to give that up in that moment at the end of that day.
This is what our brains offer us when we make a change. A bunch of BS about it not being our choice. That we have to give up our favorite foods and our freedom. To choose what we want when we want it. But it’s always our choice.
I chose to seek out my own passion and work toward a goal and learn what I was capable of. No one was making me. There was no have to. My tears that night were also about me moving into discomfort from comfort. Mom-ing, though challenging of course, was also really familiar and comfortable after 16 years of it.
And I was good at it. Not perfect, but I had it down in a lot of ways. It didn’t challenge me to my core, like taking on this whole new world of technology and marketing and business. Most of us experience this too on our weight loss journeys. Moving from comfort to discomfort.
Mourning eating whatever, whenever, and however much because we often see that as freedom and feel like we’re having to give that up. I dove into the topics of freedom and permission in episode 63, so I won’t elaborate much here, but check that out if you missed it.
One thing that I see happening with my clients that we laugh a little bit about is some mourning over food no longer working. That I ruined it for them, that now that they know it doesn’t solve things for them, they can’t use it as their go-to escape hatch. It just doesn’t work as effectively anymore.
It felt so much easier when they could just go into the bag of chips or the bottle of wine and feel temporarily better, but now the curtain is open wide and they see that it’s no longer working, that it didn’t make things easier in reality, but harder in the end.
I also felt that I was giving up freedom with my time. Previously I could do whatever whenever, but now I had this structure governing how I spent my time. This is a trap we fall into. Believing that freedom is overeating or not having a schedule, but the truth is that we actually create more freedom in our bodies and with our time when we’re intentional about it.
I had this human desire to create and improve and contribute in different ways, but without intentional focus and some loving limits, my brain just wanted to choose easy. To do what I’ve always done without regard to the results because my only focus was comfort in the moment.
Having some structure to my time, learning to choose what I wanted most over being comfortable in the moment paid dividends for the future. I’m more intentional about how I spend my time and my gratitude for it. Doing hard things and setting goals and working through the struggle creates strength and capability and so much freedom on the other side.
Eating whatever you want in the moment without thought or consideration of the impact to your body in an hour or a week or in a year feels fun and carefree and feels like it skips the hard of saying no to ourselves in the moment. But it creates a lot of hard in the end. It makes it hard to move, hard to trust yourself, hard to believe you can keep commitments and take care of you.
On the other side of this, I have a healthy thriving business and healthy relationships with my kids and myself. I expect the contrast to be high and the discomfort to be there when I’m embarking on something new. I’ve learned so much about how to keep commitments to me and take best care of me and my family and I can show up so much better for them because I’m taking care of me.
I have the bonus of having this beautiful business and this life I’ve created where I get to make a contribution in the world and fulfill a purpose that is greater than me and help people. I love setting an example for my kids as well of working hard at something and stepping outside of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to do hard things and going through the growing pains of all that. I think it’s a really good example to set for them.
I have also learned how to and want to help them find balance in their lives. Balance doesn’t always look like equal parts or a little of everything. Only we know what balance is for us individually and in different aspects of our lives.
So here’s my challenge for you today. Notice where the contrast is high on your weight loss journey and why. Kind of like looking at your befores and your afters. What it was like before, what it’s like now, then and now, all of that.
What feels uncomfortable that once felt comfortable? What is that discomfort in service of? What makes it worth it in the end? What are you learning as a result of the discomfort or what are you moving toward?
Notice the places where the contrast once was high but it has mellowed out as you have changed the ways you are perceiving it, how you’re showing up for it. In the beginning, it felt very different to have me working and saying no instead of being home and saying yes all the time for my kids.
And as we all kind of figured out how to navigate this new space and the new landscape of the way things look, contrast mellowed out a little bit. I learned to find a little more balance, they learned to be a little bit more accepting and allowing of me being unavailable, became a little more resourceful, having to answer their own questions and solve their own problems when I’m unavailable.
So notice the places where that has kind of happened, where it once was high but it’s mellowed out as you’ve changed the way you are perceiving it, how you’re showing up for it, what feels comfortable that once felt uncomfortable, was there a time where you thought this was impossible, where it was so uncomfortable you didn’t think you’d make it through.
I like to reflect on these things especially and take note for the future. When you’re in it, you know, or you can’t see the end. But you get on the other side of it and you know it will feel terrible until it doesn’t. Keep going, keep raising awareness, keep investigating, it will change.
I like to remind myself of these when I’m in it and thinking it will never end. What does balance look like in the different aspects of your journey? Where do you notice things are out of balance? How might you bring them back into balance?
I think about prior to me working, it wasn’t like I felt like everything was super balanced. Like I was spending all the time I wanted to with my kids and being the most amazing mom ever and I was ready to move on. It wasn’t that I had perfected it.
There was still a lot of out of balance too. So I’ve added work to my life, which means I’ve had to set some balls down that I was once juggling and pick them up later. But think about for you, balance doesn’t mean all of one thing or half and half or whatever.
My work life balance is what I’ve created for myself and discovered with trial and error and over time. But it will be different for me than it is for you. We all need to sort of find what balance is to us in whatever season we happen to be in.
Okay, do you have weight loss questions you’d love answered? I would love to answer them. I’m planning a listener Q&A podcast for the future, so I’d love to hear from you. What do you want to know? How can I help you? Are there any particular challenges that you have that I haven’t addressed that you’d love to hear more about?
Head to itbeginswithathought.com/question and submit yours. There’s no limit to how many questions you can submit, so if you have more than one, feel free to submit them all. 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.