I’m back again with more nuggets of wisdom for you, this time from episodes 41-55.
Listen for new insights. Grab a sentence that really resonates with you and ponder it, write about what came up for you, investigate, and explore. Go back and listen to the whole episode and answer the questions I pose or do the exercise I suggested.
Take this work into your life and do it, and you will see the changes happen.
What are you arguing for? Sometimes it feels like there is a constant argument happening in our heads. What to do vs. what not to do. What to eat/not to eat. Who we are/who we want to be; back and forth endlessly?
Much of the time, based on how much airtime we give it, one side is clearly winning. And then gathering and presenting more and more evidence of how the argument is true.
This ongoing argument is the thoughts your brain presents as the case for or against something. Sometimes we think of it as a little devil or an angel on your shoulder. But the truth is, it’s all you.
Notice when you are arguing for things to be what they should be. Notice when you are arguing against reality and notice how you feel when you do that. It’s like running in place and hoping to get somewhere. It just breeds frustration, not forward motion.
The Aftermath. The biggest issue in the moment is that we are not considering anything beyond the moment.
Your toddler brain actually has no power to act. It can pester you with urges and distract you with FOMO. But it is your adult brain that makes the decision to eat. The hand to mouth is controlled by a decision made by your adult brain.
Your adult brain, your highest self, you are the driver. That is why it is critical to pause at the moment of decision. To get conscious about what’s about to go down and what the aftermath of what that decision will be. It simply requires a willingness to stop before you act. Eating anything is a choice, and by choosing to eat that thing, we are also choosing the consequences of that decision.
But aftermath can also just be the “after math.” Math is the antithesis of drama. It’s very straightforward, just numbers, facts, data. This equals this. There’s no emotion in math. There’s no interpretation. There’s just the problem and the solution, an equation, and the answer to the equation.
Conflicting Desires. We think the successful people in weight loss have all figured out how to have consistently aligned desires that never conflict or how to eliminate desire altogether.
. But those are all lies. People who have been successful at weight loss haven’t eliminated, conquered, or aligned all of their desires. They just don’t make it mean anything personal when their desires conflict.
They don’t panic at the first sign of the desire to go off plan. They don’t freeze when someone brings in a plate of brownies into the breakroom. They don’t think they have to obey the desire to quit.
They know the desire is a feeling created by their thinking. They can have a desire for something and not do anything about it.
That desire can’t hurt them. It doesn’t have to dictate their behavior, and it doesn’t have to mean anything about them.
Desire is a beautiful feeling that drives us to create amazing lives and have amazing experiences. It’s one of those things that can be a tool, or a weapon, depending on how we choose to view and use it. I recognize that my desires don’t have power unless I give them power. My desires do not operate the controls. I do.
I love this quote by Mr. Gilbert, “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.”
We are ever-changing and evolving. We don’t stay the same. The me of today is temporary.
The Best Part Is. What you may be thinking is the worst part could actually be the best part, depending on what lens you choose to see it through. You always have an option.
The thought option you choose will always dictate how you feel, how you show up, what you do, and don’t do. And that will determine your ultimate results.
Micro Resolutions. Just a side note, this would be a good one to revisit. It’s a January 1st, New Year’s resolution kind of an episode.
We love a fresh start, the beginning of a goal, because we allow ourselves for a moment to feel hope. It’s so much fun to dream about how different life will be when we accomplish a goal and change our lives.
Usually, we make a list of many resolutions. This seems like a good idea because we want to change so many things. But when we look at that list, we feel overwhelmed.
If one thing doesn’t go perfectly, the whole thing falls apart. We want to be better, but then, better turns into best. We don’t want small growth. We want massive overnight success.
But the more spall and specific, the more likely you’ll be able to accomplish it. The more times you accomplish this micro resolution and micro celebrate it, the more often you will experience the feeling of success and the more likely it is to become a new habit, an actual real change that you can build on.
The more you experience success, even on a micro-level, your brain will start looking for evidence that you can instead of evidence that you can’t.
Doesn’t a series of micro resolutions that lead to a series of micro successes sound better than a big pile of quitting?
Unlearn and Unbelieve. We talk a lot about believing new things and creating a new vision of ourselves for the future. But to truly become someone different, there is some amount of unlearning and unbelieving we need to do first.
Sometimes it feels scary to let go of these beliefs because it means I go all-in on trying and possibly stumbling a little bit as we do. It means being seen and heard, even if it’s just by ourselves. It means moving forward into the unknown.
Sometimes these beliefs that hold us back also keep us safe in the safety of familiar discomfort.
Objective Detective. Objectivity is not being influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.
This is a critical piece of weight loss because our cycle of judgment and shame has us overeating and then beating ourselves up for overeating and then eating more to numb the shame. It becomes a vicious cycle, a punishing treadmill that feels impossible to get off of.
Seeing an action or a result of yours with objectivity allows you to see it for what it is and get curious about why it is. Judgment shuts us down.
Curiosity typically feels open, and it makes us want to move to know more, do something, and find information or answers.
If we are to learn anything from our past actions and make any changes, we have to put on our objective detective hats and turn our judgment into curiosity.
In the absence of judgment and in the presence of curiosity, we can gain understanding. We’re not trying to erase the past. We are simply attempting to understand it. Once we have some measure of understanding, we can start to plan, and prepare for the future, and make changes to how we show up for ourselves next time.
Learning to Listen. The problem arises when we value outside sources over our own inner wisdom. When we ignore our wants and desires, and we disconnect from ourselves in service of becoming something or someone else.
It’s a trap I have fallen into many of times. I believed that someone else knew what I should do. That something outside of me knows what’s best for me, better than I do.
Learning to listen starts with trusting that you have inner wisdom –that you are the expert on yourself. Other people can advise you, but they don’t know what it’s like to be you. Only you know that.
When you trust that, you can take outside information and weigh it against your inside wisdom and make the right decision for you.
The Long Haul. This path and the weight loss will not always be consistent or look the same.
If you make contingencies, you will quit. If you expect there not to be any hiccups, you will be sorely disappointed, and you will quit.
Suppose you view this journey as ongoing and evolving if you commit to keeping going, with no exceptions, even when it’s hard. If you view it as a long haul and decide you are in it for the long haul, you will get to the other side.
It may not be smooth sailing. It may not be pretty. It may not look like you thought it would, but you will get there.
Changing your body and your brain takes time. It takes patience. It takes perseverance. It requires wholehearted dedication. But it’s possible as long as you keep going.
Other People and Your Weight Loss Part One. Whether or not your shirt is adequately camouflaging your stomach from being seen as it is, is not a life or death issue. Your survival does not depend on whether your friends at lunch notice that you passed up the breadbasket, and yet we worry about these things as they are the most important things to worry about.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, it isn’t what people say about us that has us hiding in our clothes. It is what we think they are thinking. And we can only think they are thinking it if it’s something we think ourselves.
The thoughts we have in our heads about us, about weight, beauty, discipline, whatever, are ours based on our life experiences.
We have the opportunity to exercise some control over what we think and perceive, which has direct power over how we feel.
Other People and Your Weight Loss Part Two. Friend says you’re not having any, blank –bread, chips, fries, whatever, and we feel immediate shame and panic.
But not because the words you and are not, and having, and any are particularly threatening and bothersome. But because of what we infer from the question and what we make the sentence mean about us.
You don’t have to eat anything. We have people, parents, peers, siblings, other authority figures from our past who made comments or shared opinions, and as children, we just bought in. We just believe those things to be true.
And we take them from our past and through our lives and into our present. The comments and what we made them mean about us in the world and our place in it is affecting us now.
Love. Hate only begets more hate eating. So, if the goal is based on dislike of and dissatisfaction with where we currently are, it’s not a goal driven by love. It’s a goal driven by the current unacceptability of our bodies.
It’s a goal that comes from all we lack.
Focusing on how it feels to be in our bodies rather than how we look in our bodies allows us to approach our goal with love, and that’s when the magic happens. The more love we can feel for ourselves in our bodies now, the easier it will be to take care of ourselves the way that we want to. Love begets more love, less overeating.
What you really deserve is love, kindness, respect, understanding. You deserve to feel amazing in your body to feel free to move about in the world the way that you want to. You deserve to be taken care of, nourished, valued.
Urges and Cravings. We mostly use these terms urge and craving interchangeably, but I do see an ever so slight difference between them.
Both are strong desires, but a craving is a strong desire for a specific food, and an urge is an urgent desire to eat something, anything. An urge is usually triggered by an uncomfortable emotion and a need to escape it. And a craving is usually just a strong desire to eat a particular thing for the taste experience.
When it comes to urges and cravings, listen to understand, not to respond. Changing the habits loop starts with noticing the urge. Bringing it to consciousness and then changing the way we respond to it.
It takes a little more effort and consciousness to unwire a habit than to create it. But when it comes to cravings and urges, the work pays off because there is so much more freedom on the other side.
Habit change will never be a smooth road with no missteps. But just like if you tripped and fell down while walking down the street, the key to success is just to get back up and keep on going.
Changing Lenses. 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. I want you to see that you are worthy of love and care and that you have everything you need within you to achieve the life you truly want.
Often, we compare our journey to other people’s in weight loss. 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 unique prescription. What foods to eat, how much, when to eat them, and how you regard yourself. It’s a process like I always say of ongoing problem-solving, and your prescription may change over time.
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. Or on 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 force our heads down. They keep out the light and emphasize the shadows.
What do your doubt lenses show you?
What do they pick up and magnify?
What might a pair of belief lenses show you?
What might they make clear?
I hope this review left you with some great questions to think about and answer for yourself.
And if you want to learn more from me about how to lose weight for the last time, watch my free video about how to lose the first five pounds — and keep going.