100 episodes in the bag, everyone! I’m so incredibly proud of myself, and I’m so honored that you’re here listening every week and working on changing your relationship with yourself and food.
Now that applications for my new group program are open, I’ve been meeting with women who’ve been coming to me with the same challenge: they know what they ultimately want, which they know requires discomfort and growth, but they can’t seem to stop going down the well-worn path that isn’t serving them anymore.
If you can relate, listen in closely this week. I’m sharing my top 10 concepts that I believe are crucial for successfully getting to your health and weight goals. Incorporating these into your work is going to be a game-changer, and I promise, these skills are going to make the process easier and help you approach yourself with more compassion and grace.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie brown, episode 100.
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, so I have to admit I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself about this episode. First of all, I didn’t even know if I would make it this far. I mean, 100 podcasts is a lot, in my opinion. If you remember, my initial deal with myself was that I would do 1 year, 52 episodes, and then reevaluate if I wanted to keep going.
So, I have doubled that output, and that’s pretty huge. That is 100 times that I have thought about and considered what you all needed to hear and how I could share it with you in a way that would resonate, 100 times that I have sat down to create just that, 100 weeks in a row that I have shared my heart in a very public way, 100 awesome challenges for you to try on and take this work into your lives, 100 recording sessions. Okay, maybe 101 because of that one time when I recorded 3 entire episodes in 1 sitting with my mic off and therefore had to rerecord. Lesson learned. I always check that mic switch now.
And many times 100 hours of writing, preparing, reading, team editing, posting, and putting this out into the world. I was making the 3 digits mean that I had to do something different, something special, something even more life-changing than I’ve ever done to this point, maybe an announcement, a giveaway, a guest, that last one is actually on my list of things to try this year because I have some fears about it and I love conquering my fears. I already have some awesome people in mind, so it’s coming. Anyway, guess what all of that pressure created for me? Well, a whole bunch of procrastinating.
Honestly, pressure is not really a field that works well in my life. It’s like putting gas in a diesel truck. It makes me just sputter to a stop. That stop is usually in front of the TV, and episodes of The Office or random sport’s documentaries are usually involved, and chocolate occasionally still comes into play.
So, here I am. It’s currently a few hours away from when I am supposed to be uploading this podcast to my team to get it ready in time for Wednesday. I had to force myself to turn off the podcast I was listening to for my enjoyment and put away my phone, and stop grabbing random apple slices and nuts to eat even though I just ate lunch. I’m not even hungry and sit down and start creating.
I kept wandering around my kitchen, picking up the remote to turn on the TV. I kept telling myself just one episode, and then I’d start finding random chores to do like feed my dogs and do the dishes, create emails, and marketing things for my business; anything but work on my podcast. This is what pressure does to me. It blocks progress toward the thing I want to do. It stops my forward motion. I mean, the dishes need to be done, and the dogs need to be fed, yes, but not by me and not right this minute or else. Do you ever find this to be true? That you put off the thing, you ultimately want to do for things that feel easier in the moment?
Applications for my new group program are open to everybody now, just in case you missed the memo. Head to ItBeginsWithAThought.com/apply, and so I have been meeting with women this week who are interested in the program in February. I keep hearing this repeatedly from them; they know what to do. They know what they want, but they keep choosing the easier, more well-worn pathway. And the thing they all say is I have no idea why.
Well, pressure is the why for me in this case, and spoiler alert, it is some form of discomfort for you as well. A discomfort that you want to escape or to avoid. It’s interesting, though, because the escape always has a cost. It feels better in the moment, but it makes things harder in the long run. It appears that you are choosing easy, but you are actually choosing hard in disguise. Creating the podcast over a few days and well in advance of the deadline is way easier, but when I am feeling pressure because I’m believing that this has to be mind-blowing in a whole new way. Then I procrastinate. It becomes a last-minute cram session, and now my window of quiet time is gone because everyone is home now and talking to me.
I have more consults this evening, so I’m going to have to interrupt this podcast creation to go do that. My computer’s battery is on red. It’s literally dying because I spent too much time distracting myself with other work on it. So, now, I need to plug it in and change locations. As a result, just way harder than it needs to be. The question my clients will be answering in the program is where the discomfort is coming from. What is creating it? What are they believing about themselves, about food, about their bodies that has them feeling this discomfort and choosing easy to escape it?
Meeting them this week and hearing their stories and putting together their welcome packages, and thinking about them as we get closer to beginning. It’s one of my favorite parts of my job, among many other parts. It’s kind of like anticipating Christmas morning. I just love it. So, in my review of the podcast over the past few months and in 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.
So, the top 10 of sorts. So, I just want to share that with you. Obviously, there’s 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. Number one, 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 stressed, you just felt the feeling of stress, and you didn’t have to try to mask it with food.
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 so much of our struggle would be mitigated if we learn this one skill; to ride the wave.
Number two, 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.
Number three, honor your body. This means to learn to love and to listen. To love how miraculous it 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, its beauty, its grace, its 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, when it needs to move. What kind of movement do you like that feels good to you?
Number four, is to 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. That can become aware of what is happening in its brain, which can separate the thoughts from self. Diffusing from your thoughts and looking at them as sentences, not directives, as ideas, not identity, gives you the freedom to make decisions about what you buy into and believe about who you are and will become. It’s our human superpower, just like Spiderman had to learn to harness his superpowers and make them work in his favor, so do you.
Number five, 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. Have your own back when it comes to other people’s opinions of you, what they think, or more accurately, what you think they think is actually your own thoughts. What you worry they will think is also yours. So, advocate for what you think over all else.
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 that you allow from yourself about yourself. Actively engage in the process of believing new things about you and shattering the limiting beliefs that hold you back.
Number six, 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’re more than your dreams. You are more than your weaknesses and your strengths.
You are all of it. All of it combined into the beauty, strangeness, magic, softness, roughness, wonder, that is you. Be willing to see it all, to acknowledge it all, to 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.
Number seven, 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 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.
Number eight, prioritize celebrating progress. Making it a priority to stop and celebrate this will require to know what target you’re shooting for like we just talked about. So, you know when you have made progress and reached milestones, but you’re still going to have to look for it along the way. 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.
Number nine, 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. If we expect it to look a certain way, we will be frustrated.
If we decide there’s a right way and it doesn’t work for us, we will give up. 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.
Number ten, choose to keep going. It’s up to you. 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? This summer, we applied for passports for my daughters, who have never traveled outside the country, in preparation for our Christmas trip.
After about 12 weeks, I got an email about the passports we were waiting on to arrive at home in time for the trip. The email said the passport applications had been processed, but shipping would take up to 6 weeks longer. I was so frustrated and commented that I bet I could walk the passport from Washington DC to our house in less than 6 weeks. So, we got curious, and we decided to see how long that would actually take. We put it into Google Maps, and we chose the walking option, and it would take 28 days and 12 hours if we just walked straight and never slept.
My point, you can get anywhere if you just keep going. It may take longer than the fastest mode of transportation available, but there’s nothing stopping you but you. Okay, everybody 100 in the bag, amazing! I am so incredibly proud of me and of you. I am honored that you are here, that you listen, that you try, that you fall down, and you get back up, and that I get to be a part of it. I love you so much. 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.