This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 15.
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, certified life and weight coach Natalie Brown.
Hello everybody. I had this experience recently while I was getting myself ready for a meeting where I realized my bathroom clock was wrong. Does this ever happen to you? It’s a problem. It had slowed down overnight as the batteries were dying, so it appeared to still be keeping time.
The second hand was still ticking around, but it was like, 15 minutes off. I hadn’t even noticed and I had been relying on it as I usually do, just kind of glancing at it here and there. Usually typically, I’m just looking at the minute hand as I get ready to kind of keep pace.
I had no idea that I was actually totally off until I picked up my phone and I saw the actual time. So this sent me into a total panic. I was in the middle of doing my makeup and the 15 minutes I thought I had left before my meeting didn’t actually exist. I had to be ready now, but only half of my face was done.
So I went into speed/cutting corners mode and kind of like in a cartoon. Everything started falling apart. In my haste, I knocked my cup of 30 makeup brushes off the counter. And they didn’t just spill onto the floor, but half of them fell into the open drawer below filled with all my hair products.
So there were brushes sticking out and down and in between all the bottles and tubes, and then as I rushed to apply my mascara, I poked myself in the eye because I was hurrying. And then I had to pause to hold a tissue to my eye to keep the tears from ruining the rest of my eye makeup.
Oh my gosh, disaster. As I finished up and I hurried out to my office, rather than taking a minute to put my books and water bottle and iPad and stuff into a bag like I usually do, I just piled them all in my arms and as I ran, I ended up dropping my iPad on the concrete and breaking the screen.
And of course, I had to get the entire screen – not just the glass, but the whole mechanism replaced because my model of iPad Pro just happened to need that. I mean, it’s one of those things where it just compounds. Haste makes waste.
Rushing often creates some collateral damage. When we panic and we start rushing, we typically have more hiccups and more missteps than if we just took a deep breath, remained calm, and took the same action from that calm place.
This is very often the path we try to take to weight loss. The quick one. The hurried one. Everyone is in such a rush to lose weight. It’s like we get to the point where we feel like we just can’t take the misery for one more minute. We at times feel like we would do anything, no matter the cost, to lose it as soon as possible.
I remember hearing about someone I knew a long time ago who had picked up a tapeworm from a trip in a foreign country and had lost like, 30 pounds in a short period of time. And I remember seriously having the thought that I would have liked to have a tapeworm and lose 30 pounds, even if it meant being in bed for a month. I was like, totally worth it.
Even if I was feeling terrible in the process, I would be skinnier. I was so miserable I thought that sounded less miserable. This desperation for relief from our misery sets us up for failure as we try to rush to the goal, to get away from the misery.
We end up going on extreme diets that have us losing weight fast all so we can be somewhere other than here in this body feeling miserably. But in all the rushing to escape, we don’t take the time to understand what’s really going on. And so the changes aren’t lasting and we find ourselves right back where we started, or sometimes worse.
It’s like, two steps forward and three steps back. Ironically, this escape strategy is the same strategy that has gotten us to trouble in the first place. We feel the discomfort of self-loathing or loneliness or stress and we try a quick escape with food, which causes us to gain weight and feel discomfort even being in our skin.
So we then look for a quick escape from that discomfort through some sort of quick weight loss scheme. The same discomfort that has us looking for immediate relief or gratification with food in our day to day, we transfer to seeking immediate gratification in weight loss.
Do you notice a theme of discomfort? Look at the lengths we go to to avoid it and escape it. And think about all of this escaping and what it has created in your life. Have you gotten away from stress, from worry, anxiety, sadness, inadequacy, overwhelm, all those things as you try to race around trying to avoid them with food?
What about all of the rushing to lose weight? What results has that produced for you? Think about your last attempt to lose weight. Why wasn’t it successful? Why did you quit? Was it because you felt like it wasn’t working fast enough or well enough? Was it because it was hard and you wanted the hard to hurry and go away? Was it because you felt restricted and you wanted to skip to the part where you could eat anything you want again maybe?
So what’s the alternative to rushing? Slow and steady wins the race, y’all. Any change we make or result we are after, including weight loss is most effectively accomplished by small changes and efforts executed consistently.
We understand this concept. We apply it to lots of things in our lives, but for some reason, we struggle with it when it comes to weight loss. We wouldn’t start lifting weights and quit when we don’t see a six-pack within a few weeks. We know it takes time to build muscle.
We wouldn’t expect to be fluent in Spanish after one semester. We know it takes time to learn a language. We go to the gym day after day and we’re still out of shape and six-packless for a while until we aren’t. We study Spanish every day and we still can’t speak it fluently for a while until we can.
We build these skills little by little, one small amount of weight, one conjugated verb at a time, and as we stick with it and we build on it and practice, you start to see results. Weight loss is about learning to choose what we want most over what we want in the moment, and that doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers.
It is not an overnight transformation. It’s a series of small decisions, individual choices made over and over. It takes you choosing to get the salad that’s on your plan in a moment when you want a hamburger and fries because what you really want most is to feel proud that you kept your commitment to yourself at the end of the day.
It takes you choosing to just feel the feeling of bored for 30 minutes instead of eating chips to entertain you because what you really want most is to keep showing yourself that you can feel uncomfortable emotions and not run away from them into a bag of chips.
These moments compound into new habits, new ways of thinking and doing that result over time in a whole new you with a whole new outlook on life and a whole new body. I love the story about the magic penny to illustrate this point.
Let’s say I were to offer you a deal where you could take three million dollars today or one penny that I’ll double every day for 31 days. What would be your first instinct? The get rich quick immediate gratification of the three million, right? No brainer.
Well, what if I told you that at the end of the 31 days, that one cent compounded, doubled every day, actually equals over 10 million dollars? It’s hard to believe, right? I’ve done the math. Like I sat down and equated it.
The crazy part is that first few days, you go from one to two to four cents, right? But at the end of the 31 days, you go from 10 million on day 30 to 20 million one day later. It’s crazy and on up from there.
The compound effect works the other way as well. It’s always working, compounding your positive efforts to progress or compounding your negative efforts to struggle. And it doesn’t take much to shift the balance.
If you commit to improving just 1% every day, get 1% better, such a minimal amount. Not the 100% we usually expect of ourselves, right? So like, getting up 1% earlier, eating 1% more foods that fuel you and 1% foods that don’t.
Doing 1% more work or being 1% more present, at the end of the year, you’ll be 37 times better than you are today. I love the visual of shifting the root of a plane by just a few degrees at takeoff. If you are flying from LA to New York and the pilot adjusts the heading by 3.5 degrees, which is about seven and a half feet.
Think of the nose of the plane turning seven and a half feet. Barely, because I mean, however big in and of itself. If you do that, if the pilot does that, you will end up in Washington D.C. instead of New York, which is 225 miles different. If you commit to a small change every day to better your health, your entire trajectory will change. You will see mighty changes over time.
So let’s put that in weight loss terms. Most of you, when you step on the scale and you see you’re down 0.2, have lots of thoughts about how that’s not enough and this is so slow and you’re so far away from your goal and you’ll never get there at this rate, all that happens.
But if you were to lose 0.2 every day for five months, that’s 30 pounds. If you quit at month two because it’s not enough weight loss fast enough, you never get there. The small efforts add up to big results, my friends.
I love this quote by James Clear. “Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. Meaningful change does not require radical change. You don’t need unanimous votes to win an election. You just need a majority.”
Now, small steps, small decisions compound to big results, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will now always feel easy and be devoid of discomfort. Any time we try to move from our familiar, current comfort zone to make any sort of change, we’re going to feel uncomfortable.
We’re moving into the unknown, toward the unfamiliar. That involves some discomfort. But discomfort doesn’t have to be a problem when we know that on the other side is something awesome. My best childhood girlfriend loves in Australia. The first time I went to visit her there was to perform her wedding ceremony and spend two weeks hanging out with her and exploring Sydney.
The plane we flew on from LA to Sydney was the biggest plane I had been on. As my husband and I boarded the plane, I was amazed as we walked through first class and then business class and then premium economy with all of their ample legroom and space, and then I was equally mortified as we finally got to the back of the plane to our regular economy seats, which now appeared to me after walking through the varying degrees of luxury seating to be like six inches wide and just stacked on top of each other.
I sat down in my seat and it hit me that I would be occupying this tiny, cramped space for 14 straight hours, which seemed like eternity at the time and I had a little bit of a panic attack. I could not imagine enduring the discomfort of this for that long. It seemed like forever.
But somehow I did it. I managed to survive it. And because of it, I got to spend two amazing weeks at the beautiful Sydney beaches and on a boat ride around Sydney Harbor and at a concert at the iconic Sydney Opera House, driving through the countryside of Australia and marrying my oldest and best friend to the love of her life, which is a moment I’ll never forget.
We don’t have to fear discomfort. We don’t have to push it away. We can move toward it and decide how we want to experience it. Our willingness to experience discomfort opens up amazing opportunities. Our journey through discomfort can allow us to become more than we were before.
I think about my first pregnancy. There was some serious discomfort involved, but I knew going in as I grew a human inside of me there would be, and I got pregnant anyway. So I knew there was a chance that I would be sick, that I would get stretch marks, gain weight, and yet, I also knew that what I got out of it was a baby.
My very own baby. I didn’t have any idea at the time what it would feel like to be pregnant or to be a mom, I didn’t yet know the pure joy of seeing my child for the first time, but I believed that it would be worth it. You don’t know what it feels like to lose weight for the last time. You haven’t done it before.
You know it will feel uncomfortable, but you have to believe that what’s waiting on the other side of that discomfort is totally worth it. The bottom line is if we want different results in our lives, we have to do things differently. And that starts with a decision to make a change. Even a small one.
If nothing changes, nothing is going to change. There’s a habit hack I love from James Clear that can keep you from trying to do too much too soon and trying to rush to the finish. It’s called the two-minute rule. The idea is simply that when you want to make a change and start a new habit, you should begin with a smaller version that takes less than two minutes to do.
For example, read before bed becomes read one page. Do 30 minutes of yoga becomes take out my yoga mat. The scaled down version is totally doable and helps you master the habit of showing up consistently.
And as we have talked about, those small steps executed consistently will compound to big changes. You’re casting votes with each small step for that person you want to be. And as he says, it’s better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all.
You may be thinking that doing two minutes of something is not enough, but what rushing or taking on too much ends up creating is quitting, which is in essence doing nothing at all. So a little something and building up to more is better than quitting in a few days or a few weeks.
So to help you apply this to your weight loss goal, I have a chart to help you map it out on a scale from very easy to very hard. You’ll find a link in the show notes to this chart. I want you to think about all the things you need to do to get to your goal.
Break it down into smaller, simpler steps and then put them into the category of very easy, easy, moderate, hard, and very hard. Losing 75 pounds goes in the very hard category. Writing down what you’ll eat for one meal goes in the very easy category and so on and so forth.
You can make it even more simple and small if you want to like eating a piece of broccoli could go in the very easy category too. The goal is to work your way up. Do the smallest, simplest things you can first. Show up every day for yourself and do them, and then add on at a consistent yet challenging pace. Your success is inevitable as long as you keep going.
Okay my friends, this is the final $100 gift card winner. Next week, I’ll be announcing the winner of the AirPods Pros. So fun. I’m so excited. Okay, so this week’s winner of a $100 Amazon gift card is Tresha and the title of her review is, “A refreshingly brilliant podcast.”
This is what she says. “Being on the hamster wheel of weight loss my entire life, I have been in search of the right tools to help me get off that wheel and in a place of freedom around food. I feel I hit the jackpot with Natalie’s fresh perspective as a weight loss coach. I’m so excited to listen, learn, but more importantly, apply what Natalie teaches.”
You feel you hit the jackpot and I feel you hit the nail on the head with that last bit. More importantly, to apply what Natalie teaches. The application is the key, everybody. That’s why I introduce one concept and tool or challenge each week so you can really focus on applying and trying.
Even if it takes a few weeks, keep focusing on applying the tools in your lives. Thanks so much for that review Tresha and congratulations. See you soon everybody.
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.