In my review of the podcast over the past few months and creating my new program, I recognize some key concepts that I believe and teach that I think are the most important to understand and incorporate into the process of changing our relationships with ourselves and with food.
It’s a top 10 of sorts.
Obviously, there are podcasts you can find that relate to all of these things in a lot more detail, but this is just a kind of overview of a 10,000-foot view of my top 10.
1 – Learn to ride the waves of discomfort
So much of our struggle with food stems from this issue alone. We eat to escape discomfort. The discomfort of stress, the discomfort of failure, the discomfort of boredom, the discomfort from shame from eating.
That last one’s ironic, but how often have you eaten as a result of eating?
For example, you ate an extra brownie, or 5, or you finished your kid’s mac and cheese, and then you thought, well, the day is shot, so I might as well eat. Or, I always screw it up at the end of the day, so I might as well top it off with some more food.
If you knew this uncomfortable feeling was not a threat, couldn’t hurt you, and it wouldn’t likely last more than 90 seconds if you just let it in, how different would these situations be?
If when you felt like a failure, you just allowed the wave of sadness and shame of that to wash over you, and then you move through your day with compassion and tenderness for yourself rather than overeating, how much of our struggle would be mitigated?
We must learn this one skill; to ride the wave.
2 – Become a compassionate, curious observer
Our behaviors all have a driving force and a reason behind them. Most of them are habits. Our brain’s most effective tool is building a habit that gets relegated to our subconscious, so it doesn’t have to use any energy to figure out a solution.
Other behaviors are to protect us from harm, danger, embarrassment, and other emotions. Some are to facilitate our growth and progress.
All of them have a feeling and a belief behind them, whether conscious or unconscious. So, being able to get curious about the why behind our behaviors to observe and to wonder about what we do and why we do it that is how we unlock the way to change them.
Being compassionate and curious is impossible when we’re judging. So, being able to drop the judgment in order to be compassionate and curious is an important part of this process.
3 – Honor your body
This means to learn to love and to listen.
To love how miraculous your body is and continually update and acknowledge what you’re grateful for about it. Recognize that it is more than just an ornament, more than an object that’s only value is aesthetic. Notice its nuance, utility, beauty, grace, and uniqueness.
Learning to listen to what hunger feels like. What does satiety feel like? What you actually like to eat. How your body feels when you want to eat, while you eat after you eat. Listen to it when it needs rest or when it needs to move.
4 – Separate yourself from your thoughts
You are not broken; you are just having the thought that you are. You are not weak; you are just having the thought that you are. This is not impossible; you are just having the thought that it is.
We’re the only species on earth that can think about its thinking and separate the thoughts from the self.
Diffusing from your thoughts and looking at them as sentences, not directives, as ideas, not identity, gives you the freedom to decide what you buy into and believe about who you are and will become.
5 – Be your own biggest advocate
Represent yourself in the court of your own mind. Make sure both sides are heard. You are imperfect and amazing, but someone needs to show up and argue that case.
Let other people’s thoughts and opinions be their business, and mind yours instead. Fight hard for all that you are, not only for what you aren’t. Allow for mistakes without quitting. Forgive missteps, look forward, look for evidence of your capability.
Put loving limits on the mean talk you allow about yourself. Actively engage in the process of believing new things about you and shattering the limiting beliefs that hold you back.
6 – See you, all of you, completely
You are more than your highest highs and lowest lows. You are more than your stretch marks or your muscles. You are more than your mistakes and your wins. You are more than your past. You are more than your dreams. You are more than your weaknesses and your strengths.
You are all of it. All of it combined into beauty, strangeness, magic, softness, roughness, wonder. That is you.
Be willing to see it all, acknowledge it all, and embrace it all. Not just the gaps but the gains. Not just the deficits but the abundance. The whole amazing imperfect crazy quiet, sweet, tough, simple, complex picture of you.
7 – Be realistic and specific
When it comes to goals or objectives, make sure it’s doable, not a perfectionist fantasy, and that you know exactly what you’re talking about. Rather than telling yourself you want to feel better or be healthy or feel worthy, define for yourself what exactly it will look like when you get there.
Paint a vivid picture that excites you. Add so many details that you can see it, feel it, hear it, touch it, smell it. When it comes to planning what you’re eating, the same rules apply. Make your plan realistic for who you are right now. And make sure you are specific with yourself about your guidelines.
8 – Prioritize celebrating progress
Making it a priority to stop and celebrate will require you to know what target you’re shooting for. Make it a priority to recognize changes, even tiny ones, and give yourself credit where credit is due.
Love on you regularly. Find celebration rituals that suit you and allow you to bask in that feeling of success even for a moment.
9 – Allow the process to unfold
There is no prescription for exactly how this process of change will look. There’s no perfect right order. There’s no exact set of steps. There’s no amount of time, big or small, that can be predicted.
We will be frustrated if we expect it to look a certain way.
Things will come up in you that you will want to take some time to look at. Your body will respond differently depending on the day, week, time of the month, the season you’re in. Allow it all. Be up for anything. Inject flexibility into the process. Be a passenger along for the ride and have patience be the driver.
10 – Choose to keep going
Do you get where you want to go if you stop and turn around? Do you find a new route if you just pull into a parking lot and scream when you hit a detour? Can you walk and still get there eventually?
You can get anywhere if you just keep going. It may take longer than the fastest mode of transportation available, but nothing is stopping you but you.
I am so incredibly proud of you. I am honored that you are here, that you try, that you fall down, and you get back up, and that I get to be a part of it.
If you want to learn more about my mindset-centered approach to weight loss, start with my free PDF, Freedom From Food Rules. You’ll learn why you don’t need to follow any food rules to lose weight—and how to use the Next 24 Hours Method instead.