Ep #144: I Changed My Mind…

Ep #144: I Changed My Mind…

Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown | I Changed My Mind...

I talk a lot about how weight loss is not just about changing what you eat. I’ve often said that it’s actually about changing your relationship with food and yourself. However, I recently changed my mind about this, and I’m telling you why.

Changing your relationship with food insinuates a desire for a swap out or a substitution as a quick fix, rather than an ongoing pursuit. While it makes sense for us to want to feel better faster, the problem is there is no such thing. We didn’t just wake up with the relationship with food we have now, and seeing it as something to be done and over with isn’t fair or helpful.

Join me on this episode as I share why I’ve changed my mind on weight loss being about changing your relationship with food. You’ll hear why I believe replacing “changing” with “healing” is so much more useful to you on your weight loss journey, and what healing your relationship with food will require of you.


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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I’ve changed my mind on weight loss being about changing your relationship with food.
  • What healing your relationship with food means.
  • Why healing your relationship with food is a process, not a quick fix.


Listen to the Full Episode:


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Full Episode Transcript:

This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 144.

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.

Hello, everybody. I talk a lot about how weight loss is not about just changing what you eat. It’s about changing your relationship with food and yourself. But I have changed my mind about this recently and I’ll tell you why. When we think about making a change in this area we are typically thinking about the word or concept of change with this definition, to replace something with something else especially something of the same kind that is newer or better, substitute one thing for another.

We want to swap out our current relationship with food for one that is better. We want to replace our crappy self-image with one that is better, we want to get over it, we want to substitute it with something different. We want to leave this misery that we are feeling right now behind for greener pastures and lower numbers on the scale. It’s a very resistant somewhat dismissive sort of urgent rejection of where we are and who we are currently because it’s ‘not right’.

For some of us when we say, “I want to change my relationship with food.” It’s insinuating the desire for a swap out, for a substitution instead of a process, a quick fix instead of an ongoing pursuit. It’s like changing clothes or a light bulb. We just do it and we’re done, and we can check it off our list. I mean this attitude toward it makes sense. Of course we want to experience something that will make us feel better fast. Of course we would think a quick escape from a current misery is the answer to our problems.

The issue is there is no such thing. A substitution or a swap out, it’s not actually possible. We have the relationship we have now with food and ourselves because of how it has developed over time. It isn’t a thing we just woke up with. It isn’t something that happened. And so the way we are viewing making a change as a thing we will make happen, as a thing we will just do and be done with, I don’t think this is fair or helpful. So I am replacing the word and concept of changing our relationship with the word and concept of healing our relationship.

The definition of healing is the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again. It’s a process. It’s not a quick change. And the aim of the process is to become sound which means in good condition without damage. So we know we are making progress because we see the condition of the relationship improving. That’s something we can watch happen incrementally. We don’t have to wait for it to be all better or different to know it has happened. I have had surgery a couple of times in my life and I’ve given birth four times.

So outside of minor injuries that I’ve had to allow to heal, I’ve had some major episodes of healing big things in my body. Healing your body in the case of surgery is a slow progression. Your skin has been cut open and stuff done to your insides, stuff taken out or put in, or fixed and etc. So it isn’t as simple as just watching your incision close and getting your stitches out. Your insides have been disrupted.

And even though modern medicine does everything it can to keep foreign substances out of your body when your body is open during surgery in some capacity, inevitably your body responds with its natural healing elements to foreign invaders. White blood cells rushing in to repair damage and kill or prevent infection. So there is swelling and bruising, and extra fluid, nerves are severed as the skin is cut. So your nervous system has to go to work repairing nerves.

If it’s a broken bone or damaged muscle, your body has to repair and regrow that tissue. I’m not a doctor so I’m not even touching probably or accurately describing the complexity of healing that’s happening inside your body when you have surgery or an injury. But the process is layered from the inside out, there is healing happening on so many levels and layers. And all of that healing has an intense effect on your energy levels. It requires so much from your body, it’s exhausting.

And then even as your body is healing and you’re feeling more mobile, and less pain, and that you’re capable of doing more, it then becomes super easy to overdo it and to end up completely wiped out for a couple of days, or to reinjure yourself, or hurt yourself in a different way. To be completely healed and feeling like you can get fully back into your life without consequence takes much longer than you realize. Healing your relationship with food is a complex and layered process too.

You have to go deep inside and assess the damage, take a closer look at all the different aspects of the relationship, all of your many food rules, all of the morality you have ascribed to it, the importance of it above other things. The roles you have assigned to it that isn’t meant to fulfill, where you have emotional attachments to food or certain foods. What you believe you’re allowed and not allowed. And go even deeper to where that started, the impetus of the damage, its connection to your self-concept, its connection to your culture, to your socialization.

Just like with healing our physical bodies, healing our relationship with food requires patience, and time. We want to go slow, not rush it, because rushing can actually set us back. We want to honor and respect where we are. Awareness plus compassion is where healing begins. When we fight the damage we delay healing. Meaning when we are angry and in denial, or we spend our energy wishing it was different and being mad at ourselves for where we are, we’re using up energy for fighting that we could be using for healing.

Just like if you get sick of resting like the doctor ordered and you get up and start doing a bunch of stuff, you’re using energy doing a bunch of stuff rather than being able to use that energy to heal. It’s really hard to rest for a lot of us. We don’t see the value in it especially because we can’t witness and see the healing taking place while we do, it’s mostly imperceptible and internal but it’s happening. We want to look for the signals of progress, not just for end results.

Notice when you see a favorite food and then you double check your body to see if you’re hungry rather than just diving in without consideration. Or maybe it’s even smaller. You notice you’re eating past full while you’re doing it, even if you keep eating and doing it anyway, being willing to be conscious of it rather than going into full zombie mode is progress. You may notice you’re actually tasting your food instead of just chewing and swallowing until you reach a certain level of stuffed.

You want to watch for even the smallest signals of healing while you make a conscious effort to do the work of healing. Just like you might go to physical therapy, and learn, and do exercises to work out the muscles and joints as a part of your healing. Some of the work of healing your relationship will be internal, but some will be day-to-day application of new ways of seeing, and relating to, and eating food. We want to practice pausing and getting present before we make eating decisions, connecting to our bodies before, during and after we eat to engage with how we feel and what food feels like in our bodies.

And continue to have active conversations with our inner selves about our reasons for eating and our food choices in order to keep increasing the understanding and encouraging logic, and reason, and forethought instead of just emotion to rule the day and the process. Healing is the pathway to peace that you are looking for. It’s a process and not a fix. And it requires patience and love. But if you slow down and create space and concentrate on the journey of healing you will see your relationship become sound and healthy three again. Have a fabulous 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.

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Meet Natalie

I spent over 2 decades battling my weight and hating my body, before I found a solution that worked FOR GOOD. I lost 50 pounds by changing not just what I eat, but WHY. Now I help other women like me get to the root of the issue and find their own realistic, permanent weight loss success. Change is possible and you can do it. I can help you.

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