This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 10.
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.
Double digits, everybody. The podcast is so grown up. My youngest daughter hit double digits last year and I decorated my kitchen with double everything to celebrate double happy birthday signs, and double number 10s on the cake and all sort of double things. So fun.
I love celebrating my kids on their birthdays, and speaking of my children, for many of us, we have experienced out first foray into homeschooling our kids recently, right? Due to our social distancing and quarantine from coronavirus.
My clients and I have talked about how this experience is really bringing to light the fact that we always love our kids, sometimes we don’t like them. If you’re adjusting to homeschooling and working from home, you feel me, right?
It’s funny because I had a client whose kids were stuck out of the country – her country – who were wishing they were home with her, with all her might, while at the same time, I had several clients wishing their kids were stuck out of the country after homeschooling them for a week. The grass of our imaginations is always greener in someone else’s yard, isn’t it?
Of course, this is all in jest. Truly, the love we have for our kids is never actually in question, whether we’re homeschooling them or not. Sometimes the annoyance feeling muffles the love feeling for a minute, but it’s always underlying our relationships with them. Even when they’re fighting us on doing their math assignments instead of playing outside, or complaining about having to read instead of watch TV. We love and we value them.
I want you to think about your kids or if you don’t have kids, think of a pet or a parent, or a partner, best friend, whatever. Each of them has value to worth in your eyes just because they exist. Not based on anything they have done or not done. Just because they are who they are in your life.
I have three kids, each of them unique. They have aspects of their dad and I in their physical appearances and in their personalities, and they have similarities to one another as well as differences. And though I tell them each that they are my favorite in varying moments, I love them all so unfathomably big.
My oldest was a super compliant, sweet little boy. He went through a phase where before he asked me a question or really said anything to me, he would say, “Mom, I love you, and can I have some apples?” Or, “Mom, I love you, and I need to go potty.” Every time. It was heart-melting. Every single minute. So cute.
He’s 18 now and he still gives me hugs goodbye when he leaves the house. My middle daughter is just fresh air. She was all sunshine and giggles and sparkles and rainbows when she was little, and still to this day, just likes to follow the fun.
When she was little, this desire to run headlong into the next fun thing sometimes led her to spill her food or forget to do something I asked her to. My little is five years younger, and so she is the family’s collective baby and the center of our world, which she demanded at high volume.
We used to call her tiny dictator because she said and we did, without question. All the time. Now, imagine each of them came to earth with a block of value. The same size and shape and color. And each time my son said, “Mom, I love you,” I added a little to his block. And every time my middle spilled her drink, I took a little away.
Someone brushes their teeth without being asked, value added. Someone brings home straight As, value added. Someone talks back or knocks something over and breaks it or tells a lie, value taken away. Seems a little ridiculous and arbitrary, doesn’t it? Me just deciding that some things add value and some things take it away?
And yet, this is how most of us view our own value. Wholly dependent on our actions, our appearance, our weight number, our accomplishments. But what if we are wrong about that? That’s actually one of my favorite questions to ask to challenge my brain and turn it upside down.
What if the thing I currently believe is not true and sometimes else, or even the opposite is instead what’s true? If we can see that our children’s value is not increased or decreased by what they do or what they look like, could it also be true that our own value is not affected by those things either?
We are constantly questioning and doubting our value and saying we are not enough. Not good enough, thin enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, whatever. But what determines if we are enough of something? How do we know when we are enough? What does enough really even mean?
It’s a measurement most of us can’t define. And if we can’t define it, we can’t ever know when we’ve reached it, and therefore, we’ll never get there. It’s a moving target. We think this trying to be enough, this striving to reach enoughness is helping us become something else, something more.
But it’s really keeping us stuck where we are. When we think, “I’m not enough,” we feel shame, discouragement, despair. And from these emotions, we typically don’t see forward motion. We hide, we eat and gain weight, we’re in a mode of constantly seeking and never just being.
We are living life at a perpetual deficit. We spend so much of our lives trying to fill up our buckets for a feeling. Whether it’s happy, fulfilled, worthy, peaceful, we are eating and accomplishing and buying and learning and drinking, just putting more and more in, in order to feel what we want so desperately to feel.
Only when we believe the thought, “I’m not enough,” the bucket that we’re trying to fill is actually a sieve, and everything is constantly draining out the bottom and we never fill it or feel it. So much of our weight loss issue typically stems back to our belief that our value as a human is dependent on and diminished by our weight. That our value goes does as the scale goes up.
But I want you to question this hard. Why do we believe our value is dependent on the number on the scale or the way that we look? How do we make the decisions about what adds and what takes value away? Who decided this? Where did it come from?
When you think, “I’m not enough,” ask yourself why and answer the question. Maybe your answer is, “Because I’m overweight.” Why does that mean you’re not enough? Not enough what? We choose to believe that our struggle with our weight makes us a little more broken and a little less valuable than someone else.
I spent most of my own life feeling this way, that my weight was an outward manifestation of my inner flaws. That I was lazy, that I lacked willpower, I wasn’t disciplined enough, and was therefore not good enough. I believed hard that if I could just lose the weight, I would finally be and feel whole and complete. I would finally be enough.
But what if that isn’t true? My grandpa was an artist, not by profession, but he spent leisure time painting and drawing and sculpting, and even teaching himself how to play the piano. One of his charcoal drawings of a ballerina hangs in my home, and I see it every time I walk to my room. I love it so much.
And much of his art still lives around the city of Heber, Utah, including a sculpture he designed for the 2002 Olympic games. Kind of cool. I have really strong childhood memories of the art studio in his home. In the center of the room, there was this small table that turned, and on it always lived a large lump of charcoal grey clay.
It was rarely just a lump though. Every time I visited, it seemed to have taken on some new form. A horse in full gallop with its mane blowing in the wind, or two football players in mid-tackle on the way to the ground. I was always so excited to see what the lump had become while I was gone.
That same amount of clay was transformed into an entirely new creation in my grandpa’s hands. We often think that we lack value, that we aren’t enough, or we don’t have enough willpower, discipline, belief, strength, whatever. That we need to be different so we can be acceptable to ourselves.
And as I was thinking about my weight loss journey and the struggle we all have with believing we are enough, I remembered this lump of clay, and I started to imagine myself as this lump of clay. Whole and complete and enough, with the potential to become so many amazing things. There are goals and achievements and new roles I can take on and excel at and weight I can lose or whatever, but they are all formed with that same clay.
When I can imagine myself as whole and complete, my value not flaking away with mistakes or weight gain, not being chipped off when I fall short of my expectations and eat off my protocol, just continually moldable and changeable and me, I feel peaceful. I feel free.
There is beauty and goodness in all of my forms. When I imagine my wholeness and completeness, it becomes up to me to decide where I want to go, with no fear that I will ever be less than the perfect amount of clay I’m made of. This is what I want for you. To release enough from your vocabulary. Just banish it altogether.
And to know for certain, that you are the perfect amount of clay, and that it’s up to you what you become. You have everything that you need within you right now.
Okay everybody, to celebrate the podcast being in double digits, I’m going to give everyone who rates and reviews after listening to this podcast double entries into the launch giveaway. This is the last week before I start drawing names, so if you haven’t done it yet, this is your chance. I have $100 Amazon giftcards and a pair of AirPod Pros just waiting to find out who their new owner will be. It could be you. Okay everybody, 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.