The lenses we see the world and ourselves through are completely optional and we can wear as many different lenses on our weight loss journey as we want. Did you know that? Too many of us are comparing our “prescriptions” to other people’s, trying on their glasses, thinking, “Well, if it works for them, why not for me?” But friends, this journey is going to require your own unique prescription and I’m inviting you to try on some new ones.
Join me this week as I show you what the process of changing lenses has looked like for me over the year of podcasting we’re celebrating today, and how so many of you are wearing damaging lenses that make it impossible for you to see all the ways in which you are amazing and accomplished right now.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 55.
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. One year. I have been writing and recording and sharing this podcast for one whole year. That still completely blows my mind every time I think or say it. There was a time when I didn’t believe I had enough ideas or wisdom or discipline to have a weekly podcast. It’s so many beliefs about the bounds of my creativity, the shortcomings of my experience, the lack of my expertise.
I remember getting into the double digits even of the podcast and wondering, do I have enough in me to keep going to my goal of one year? And here we are. So amazed. Every week, as I think about what I want to share with you, inspiration, whispers, and an episode is born. It’s pretty magical I think.
But it’s only possible because I leave the channel open with my brain. My former thoughts that created doubt about what I was capable of were like giant steel doors slammed shut in my mind. It’s impossible to see possibility if we close the doors to it with doubt, judgment, and shame.
When I set out on this journey, I decided I would lean into belief instead. I would choose to believe that I am full of ideas. That I’m sharing things every week that will help people. That I will always figure out what needs to be said. That every week, with you in mind, I will put out an episode packed full of bite sized wisdom and actionable advice.
And the ideas and words flow and I have heard from so many of you that it’s helping. It’s changing your journey. That you are seeing success and feeling peace and hope for the first time in a long time. And I am so proud and so full of love for all of you who listen every week and take me on your walks and listen twice to squeeze all the goodness you can out of every episode.
Our 15 minutes together are my favorite. I’m so grateful to you for being here, for listening, for sharing, and I’m so proud of you for working and striving and trying so hard to believe that you can do this. You can. You can change.
You can learn to love and care for you in the most amazing way. You are all on your own path, and I’m on mine, a little further ahead, and here to reach a hand back to help you along your way. Thank you all so much for showing up here for me.
I will keep showing up here for you. I love you all so, so much. I know I don’t know all of you individually, but I feel your hearts and I see your struggles. And I imagine you in my mind’s eye as I think about how to help you. How to help you see that you are enough exactly as you are, that you are worthy of love and care, that you have everything you need within you to achieve the life you truly want.
I hope that each week, you feel that, that even just for a moment, you can look through the lens of hope I offer and see another way to think, to be, to do, and it gives you that little push to keep going. Stay tuned for the big anniversary giveaway announcement at the end of this episode. I can’t wait to send this amazing gift off to one of you.
I recently got glasses. My eyes decided in the last six months that they were done doing it on their own and so I got them some help in the form of a new super cute accessory. Actually, accessories because I just feel like I need different glasses for different outfits, you know?
I have astigmatism and am far-sighted, so I can see fairly well, but my eyes just have to work really hard to make sure that I do, and they’re just getting tired as I get older. It’s so interesting because of my far-sightedness, I can actually see things in the distance more clearly without my glasses, but my glasses really help me to be able to look at my computer screen all day without straining and getting so tired. And I no longer have to squint at the TV, so that’s good too.
My husband is the opposite. He’s near-sighted so his glasses make the distant stuff more clear, but he can actually see his phone and up close things better without his glasses. He’ll often put them up on his head if he has to read something up close.
So of course this got me thinking. The lenses we see the world and ourselves through can change the view completely. We have the option to try on and wear many different lenses on our journey through weight loss and learning to love ourselves, and the lenses we choose will determine how successfully we navigate the journey and how we feel along the way.
An important thing to note, our lenses are our own unique prescription. If you have glasses, you know that the way they determine your prescription is a very specific, deliberate process. You look through a series of lenses, the doctor makes small adjustments one at a time again and again, some adjustments make the world look more blurry, some a little clearer, until you finally get to a place where the world looks right again.
The specifications of your prescription are unique to you. So comparing someone else’s prescription to yours or trying to use their lenses won’t be super helpful to you. Often in weight loss, we compare our journey to other people’s. We look at what they’re doing or even what they’re believing, and we just try that, thinking if it works for them, why not for me?
But this journey is going to be your own unique prescription. What foods to eat, how much, when to eat them, and how you regard yourself, talk to yourself, treat yourself, think about yourself, you have to learn how to do for you. Borrowing someone else’s beliefs or thoughts won’t work like magic for you.
It’s a process, like I always say, of ongoing problem solving. And your prescription may change over time. Remember when I mentioned the lens of doubt I was looking through at the beginning of my podcast journey? I had so many doubts about what it would entail, what it would require of me, and if I would be able to rise to the challenge.
Through those lenses of doubt, all I could see was all the ways it would go wrong. How it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t see a path forward. I could see lots of evidence of how the doubts were true in my life though. Those lenses picked up every forgotten task or unanswered email I was responsible for as evidence of how I wasn’t disciplined enough or consistent enough.
They magnified how hard it was to come up with content for a Facebook Live or how I couldn’t seem to find the right words to express my message. What do your doubt lenses show you? What do they pick up and magnify?
As I realized what those doubt lenses were creating for me and I thought about my desire to start my own podcast, I decided to change the lens, to try on a different pair. A pair of belief lenses. And see if I could get used to them instead.
It started with questions. What if something else were true? What if I was as disciplined as I needed to be? What if I could come up with plenty of ideas one week at a time? What if I knew enough right now to help someone? What if I didn’t have to be an expert but instead just needed to share my experience?
And those belief lenses started to become more and more clear. Maybe, just maybe it was possible. What might a pair of belief lenses show you? What might they make clear? Some of our other go-to lenses are the enough/not enough lenses.
Now, you know if you’ve been listening to me how I feel about the concept of enough. I’ve had enough of it. We put on the not enough lenses and all we can focus on is what we lack. There are so many different styles and colors of these not enough lenses to choose from.
Not strong enough, disciplined enough, good enough, worthy enough, lovable enough, thin enough, but on all of them, the lenses are so scratched it’s like looking through a pinhole. It’s hard to see where you are, where you’re going, or where you’ve been. And so we just end up standing still.
What styles and colors of not enough lenses are you trying on or wearing? What would the world look like through some abundant lenses instead? These lenses are so wide angled they allow you to see things you didn’t even know were there.
Sometimes we have our gap lenses on. Not like glasses from the Gap, but glasses that only allow us to see what’s missing. They only focus on how far we have to go and what we should have done or shouldn’t have done. They only see our faults, our mistakes, our unmet expectations.
These lenses are dark and heavy, and they force our heads down. They keep out the light and they emphasize the shadows. If these are your lenses right now, try on some gains lenses instead. When we are looking through the gains, instead of the gaps, we are able to see how far we’ve come instead of how far we have to go.
We can look at what we have done, the progress we have made. We can focus in on what is working rather than only seeing what is not. We can appreciate what we are, what we have accomplished, what we have learned, how we’ve grown.
Some of the most damaging lenses we’ve been forced to wear are the lenses that have us seeing our bodies as objects. Objects to be viewed. Objects that only have value based on the way they appear to ourselves and to others.
These lenses focus in on before and afters, comparisons to others, small, meaningless details of our bodies that say nothing about the bigger picture of who we are. These lenses damage our vision the longer we keep them on.
Your body is a miracle made of trillions of cells, complex systems, organs, tissues, hormones, nerves, muscles, senses. It is so much more than meets the eye. And it works 24 hours a day to try and keep you alive. It allows you to be in the world, to move in the world, to see, hear, feel, taste, touch, and live in the world. It’s not just a picture to be viewed. It’s a dynamic, intricate, amazing, unique instrument to be utilized and regarded with reverence and care.
Imagine some of the other lenses you might try on that might see your body for the magic it is. Should we call them magic body lenses? I kind of like that. When you first try on a pair of new lenses, your eyes freak out a bit. Really, your brain freaks out a bit since your eyes are like two pieces of your brain outside of your skill, according to Dr. Andrew Huberman.
So don’t be surprised if trying on some different lenses doesn’t automatically feel comfortable. It takes some time for your brain to adjust to seeing things in a new way. But it doesn’t mean that these new lenses are wrong for you. It just takes some time for everything to settle and for you to start seeing the world in this new way.
As I sit here in the sunshine with my favorite Apple piano chill playlist in my ears, I am looking through the lens of gratitude for all that I have learned and become in the past year. Just for reference, this podcast launched two weeks before the US shut down for COVID. So this year of the podcast has been a year of trying on lenses that I never knew existed, but I’m so grateful for all of it.
For the amazing tools I have to help me navigate the world as it changes, for the opportunity I’ve had to share those tools with you all here on the podcast, for my amazing body and brain that is with me through it all. What a gift.
You may not be seeing your world through my same lenses right now, and that’s okay. Your lenses are unique to you. I just want you to remember, changing lenses is always an option. What else could you try on?
Okay friends, the time has come. I have a gift box full of goodness that is about to get a new home. I’m so excited. The winner of the $500 anniversary gift is Dawn1225. The title of her review is, “Natalie made it click.”
She says, “I love this podcast. It’s short and sweet and I have listened to it multiple times. I, like many, have tried numerous ways to lose weight but have not had lasting success. My weight just kept creeping up and my doctor had warned me of what health issues I would be faced with in the near future if things continued. Even knowing that, I still couldn’t change my habits and I felt like a failure, which made me eat more. Then I found Natalie’s podcast and my life changed.
Natalie doesn’t preach or make you feel like your life has to totally change to be successful. She made me feel human and not like a failure. I listened to the ways she suggests we should approach food and the questions we should ask ourselves. I’m shocked at how this totally changed things. I’m now very much in control of my eating and I’m losing weight without feeling like I have to follow a strict program. I now have a different relationship with food and feel great. Thank you, Natalie, for being the one to make it click.”
That is why I’m still here one year later. Thank you so much Dawn1225. Head to itbeginswithathought.com/review to leave me your name and email so we can get this awesomeness shipped out to you ASAP. And for the rest of you, I would love your input. What are you struggling with? What are you having a hard time figuring out? What would you love to learn more about? What questions do you have for me?
I want to make sure I help you where you need help most. Head to itbeginswithathought.com/question and submit any and all of your weight loss questions to me. Okay y’all, here’s to another year of Weight Loss Success. 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.