We need to get something out there in the open. We tell lies. Our brains offer us ideas and beliefs that are not true all the time. However, brains are great at presenting these lies as facts. We buy in and believe them without even realizing that we can question these thoughts.
Just because your brain tells you something doesn’t mean it’s true and you don’t have to believe it. Your brain has ulterior motives, like keeping things familiar and making sure you’re comfortable, and these tendencies, while useful, don’t make the best environment for the truth. So, in this episode, we’re talking about some of the most common and insidious lies we tell ourselves on our weight loss journey.
Tune in this week to discover how to spot the lies you’re telling yourself. I’m sharing why statements like, “It doesn’t matter,” or, “I deserve this,” seem harmless but are actually lies that erode your self-trust, and I’m showing you how to instead cast your vote for the person you want to become in spite of the discomfort in this moment.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 133.
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.
Hi, everybody. Did I tell you I started recording some episodes with special guests? It is happening finally. Having guests on the podcast is something I’ve been wanting to do. I know I’ve mentioned but I just haven’t pushed myself to pull the trigger for so many reasons. Like do I even know how to interview people? I probably wouldn’t say yes, things like that. All the fears that come up when we do something new.
So, a month ago or so when my friend and colleague, Dr. Katrina Ubell reached out because she wrote an amazing awesome book and wanted to come on the podcast to talk about it I was like, “Absolutely.” And of course, and what a perfect first guest for you all to learn from and enjoy. So, I can’t wait for that to come out here in a few weeks. It was a fabulous conversation and I’m so excited for you all to get in on it.
I’ve already recorded another one for you that will come out in December in time for the new year. And I have a couple of other guests scheduled as well, just lots of fun. So just know as you listen to those special episodes that I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone and notice how pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones can produce some really fun and really beneficial results. So, let’s talk about some of the most common and most insidious lies that we tell ourselves on our journey.
These are things I hear so often and from so many people I just feel like we need to get it out there in the open. Your brain offers you ideas and beliefs that are lies frequently but it sneakily presents them as truths, as facts, as harmless sentences. We believe them, we buy in without even realizing that we have a choice. Just because your brain tells you something doesn’t mean it’s true, or right, or factual, or that you have to believe it. Just because a thought pops into your head doesn’t mean you have to trust it, or listen to it, or keep it.
Your brain has some ulterior motives, like to keep you safe, and to keep you away from discomfort and to keep things the same, and familiar, and predictable. And we are so glad it does this, we want to be safe, and comfortable, and familiar most of the time. Which is why we just buy in and believe because most of the time it’s useful and helpful. But some of the time it is the opposite and those are the times I’m talking about, when the sentences are lies that are not useful or helpful.
Lie number one, I don’t care. This is one I hear in my head so often. It’s my default response when I feel worried about something, or hurt by something, it usually sounds like, I don’t even care. I don’t even care what they said. I don’t even care what they think. I don’t even care what happens. I don’t even care what they do. I don’t even care about that. This is like my brain constantly but it’s a lie. I really only say that when I do care, I do care very much. I don’t want to care. I don’t like that I care.
I wish I didn’t care but the truth is I actually do care. Because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have to say that I didn’t. I actually just wouldn’t even think about it. It wouldn’t even be on my radar. The very fact that I am saying something about it means I care. And I’m trying to convince myself otherwise. I’m trying to use the denial of caring to circumvent the pain or emotion that caring creates. I just don’t want to feel what I’m feeling and not caring, well, it gives me a pass to not feel discomfort from it.
When it comes to weight loss, my clients are saying this for the same reason. If you step on the scale and you see a number that is higher than yesterday and you hear, “I don’t even care”, it’s a lie. You care. You just may not want to feel the discomfort that comes from caring about what direction the number’s headed. If you eat something off your plan or you make a decision to do so.
So, like for example, a colleague invites you to grab some pizza for lunch and you say yes and you choose to not each the lunch you planned and packed for yourself. And you hear yourself saying, “I don’t care.” It’s a lie. You care about keeping your word to yourself and prioritizing taking care of yourself over pleasing your tastebuds or your friend. But if you tell yourself you don’t care, you think you will then get to avoid the feeling of disappointment or guilt. No, you’re just postponing it for later.
Your brain will offer, I don’t care in the moment of discomfort all the time. And you may say, “Well, Natalie, I actually don’t care in that moment.” So, it’s not a lie. But unless you say, “I don’t care right now but I will later tonight when I think back on this moment”, you’re still lying to yourself, it’s a lie of omission. You’re not telling yourself the whole truth. Caring is about more than this moment. And you will think about this moment and you will care about this choice you made at some point in the future.
You won’t just forget about this and never think about it again because you care. You actually really care. This is also the case with lie number two, it doesn’t matter. You may say, “Well, Natalie, it doesn’t matter in this moment.” But that’s a lie because what you do in this moment matters a lot. It sends a message to you about what is important. Your weight loss journey is made up of those moments, moments of decision, moments of action, that matter. They add up to you creating the life and body that you want.
The saddest part of this lie is that what it’s really saying when we use it is I don’t matter. What I want doesn’t matter. Who I want to become doesn’t matter. My body doesn’t matter. My health doesn’t matter. The length and quality of my life doesn’t matter. Can you imagine saying that to your best friend, or your spouse, or your child, “you don’t matter?” Ouch.
One bite of cake when you didn’t have it on your plan, even one piece of cake doesn’t matter in terms of the scale, or your weight goal, or your blood sugar, or your health, it really doesn’t matter, meaning it’s not make or break. It doesn’t have a significant impact on any of that in the long term. But anything we do that is out of alignment with who we want to become matters to our self-confidence. It matters to our relationship with ourselves.
Little bites of it doesn’t matter, erodes our belief that we will do what we say we are going to do, that we prioritize what is important to us, that we take care of ourselves no matter what.
James Clear says this, “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. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That’s the paradox of making small improvements.”
That one bite when we don’t take it and we choose to honor our plan and our goal, that matters a lot. In fact, that is everything. That is a meaningful change. That’s a vote for who you want to become. It’s a vote for the future hikes with your partner, or the afternoon of playing on the floor with your grandkids. It’s a vote for future you. Every vote counts, it all adds up, it matters. And it’s a beautiful thing that it does. It mattering doesn’t have to feel like pressure, it can feel like love if you really think about why it does matter.
Lie number three, I deserve it. We’ve talked about this, I know, but it bears repeating I think. When you tell yourself you deserve a break from planning your food, a weekend off, a treat, a drink or a whole bottle of wine. Lies. What do you get as a result of these things? If you take a break from planning and the result is a whole day of eating crap you don’t usually let yourself eat, how do you feel at the end of that day?
If you take the weekend off and the result is the scale is up Monday morning, is that what you deserve, feeling bloated, moving away from your goal instead of toward it, reinforcing that food is the solution for creating or avoiding feelings? No, that is not what you deserve. You deserve a break, sure. You deserve to be treated, yes. You deserve fun, and relief, and a change of pace from the work week, you bet. But eating like a jerk does not give you the break, or the relief, or the treat that you are looking for.
I am all for taking breaks, doing something that is out of the normal routine for a change, treating yourself, yes, absolutely. But do it in ways that actually create the results that you are looking for. Food and alcohol do a terrible job and create collateral damage and unwanted consequences. Taking an actual break to spend time in nature, to move your body, sleep, read, watch TV, get a massage, go for a walk, whatever, all the things you can choose that actually allow you to create space in your brain, and experience feel good neurotransmitters, and lower your stress hormones.
There are no unintended bad consequences of those, that is what you deserve, to be cared for and treated in a way that enhances your life and improves your relationship with you. That is actually a really good question to ask yourself as you’re trying to decide if this is something you actually deserve. Does this enhance or erode the relationship with me that I’m trying to build? That answer will tell you everything you need to know.
Lie number four, I’ll start tomorrow. No, you probably won’t. And if you do, you will probably quit when it’s hard and tell yourself the same thing then, telling yourself you’ll start tomorrow is just postponing discomfort. Until we are willing to feel discomfort, to walk toward it and accept it as a part of this process and know that it is the currency of change and a vital part of our human experience, we will keep lying to ourselves and buying into the idea that discomfort can and should be postponed.
This lie is predicated on a falsity that you have to wait for some official beginning to ‘start’, that the choice to take care of you, the way you ultimately want to can only be made when the sun rises, or the days of the week start over, or the calendar changes, or a new year begins. As soon as you realize you are making or have just made a choice that is out of alignment, that is where you can start making a new choice the next bite, the next meal, the next moment.
The unspoken part of this lie is that by waiting till tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, we are going to somehow make it possible for the experience to be easier or the results to be better or different. We think that starting over will be just the thing we need, the fresh start will guarantee that we succeed. This time didn’t work but tomorrow everything will be different and it will go so much better. The truth is, you will be the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. And therefore, this pattern will keep repeating unless we are willing to sign up for the discomfort.
Being willing to feel the discomfort of change, the discomfort of saying no to ourselves, of stopping before we are stuffed, of ordering differently, eating differently, speaking to ourselves differently, that is what makes tomorrow different from today. Feeling instead of eating, having compassion for ourselves instead of disdain, choosing to keep going instead of giving up, that is what makes tomorrow different from today.
So, if we want to be successful, instead of lying and saying, “I’ll start tomorrow”, we’ll simply focus on the next choice in front of us and be willing to feel the discomfort it will surely bring.
Lie number five, this doesn’t count. This is one of the silliest of lies. It’s like when your toddler plays hide and seek by putting their hands over their face or a blanket over their head, they believe they have become invisible to the outside world but we can all see them. If you eat it, it counts. It doesn’t matter if no one sees you. It doesn’t matter if it’s consumed in your car before you get home and the wrapper is disposed of in your neighbor’s garbage can. Yes, I know that you do that some of you.
It doesn’t matter if it’s on Christmas, or on a different continent, or on a cruise, if you consume it, it counts. You know, your body knows. Now, does this mean you have to shout it from the rooftops, or never eat dessert on vacation, or always eat where someone can see you? No. Just don’t lie to yourself about it. If you’re going to choose to eat it, make sure you love your choice and that you enjoy the food as a result. If you’re going to eat it, make it count, plan it, taste it, savor it, don’t overeat it, own it.
You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, in whatever amounts that you want. Let your body and your future self be your guide.
Lie number six, I don’t have time. There is a very simple answer to debunk this lie. Time is not a thing we have or don’t have, find, or lose, or run out of. We make time for the things that matter to us, plain and simple. If eating at home instead of getting fast food matters to you, you’ll make time to plan meals ahead of time and buy what you need to prepare them. If being able to go out to eat with your friends and know what your options are so you can make a choice of ahead of time matters to you, you’ll make the time to check out the menu online before you go.
If understanding your emotions, or your motivations, why you do the things you do and feel what you feel matters to you, you’ll make the time to journal, and to question, and to ponder. If building a strong and healthy relationship with yourself matters, you’ll make time to get to know what you really need and you’ll do it.
The last lie is so common, and so false, it sounds something like this. It’s too hard to take care of me, or I can’t follow the program, or plan, or whatever when I’m out of town/out to eat/out of my routine. BS. You can find food that serves your body and your goals wherever you are in the world. You can make choices that work for you and feel good to your body at pretty much any restaurant. You can eat the same foods you eat during the week on the weekends. So, this whole I can’t or it’s too hard is a straight up lie because the truth is actually I don’t want to.
You are an adult human which means you can do whatever you want to. All of your choices have consequences, yes, but you’re free to choose what you want to do. If you are out of town with family and they want to eat ice-cream for every meal, you don’t have to do that too just because you’re out of town and that’s what they want. If on the weekends you want to take a break from cooking, that doesn’t mean that your only choice is to eat bowls of sugar cereal.
If you like to eat out on date night, that doesn’t mean that you must eat the whole basket of bread, and your meal, and dessert because your spouse or date wants to. You get to decide to take care of you wherever you are, no matter who you are with, what the occasion is, what time of day or year it is, you can choose what you want and what works best for you all of the time. Your brain will offer you lies, you don’t have to believe them. The best tools you have at your disposal are curious questions. Ask questions of these lies.
Do your research on your thoughts and beliefs before you buy into them hook, line and sinker, and take actions that don’t take care of you. My clients get really good at seeing and detecting the lies their brain tells them. We work to acknowledge, and understand, and unbelieve all sorts of lies which ends up transforming their relationships with themselves, and their bodies, and food.
If that sounds like the work you want to do, head to itbeginswithathought.com/apply and fill out an application for my Love First Weight Loss group. This is the last week to sign up for the September group and it’s the last group of the year, so come join us. 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.