Whether it’s an unexpected situation where someone offers you food that isn’t on your plan, or feeling the need to finish the leftovers from dinner, there is always a more loving and alternate viewpoint you can take, rather than the judgment and shame I see so many of my clients spiraling into. I’ll wager that the scenarios I’m laying out for you will hit close to home, and I’m inviting you to try on a different perspective that will have you feeling more empowered by your commitment to you.
Listen in this week as I show you why it’s so crucial to question what your brain is making other people’s words mean, and how to apply the concepts I shared with you last week to instances where you might be believing that other people are hindering your weight loss efforts. This is the best way to start a practice of honoring yourself, and I guarantee this will filter through all areas of your life.
This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 52.
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, Master Certified coach, Natalie Brown.
Hey everybody. If you missed last week’s episode, I highly recommend you pause this and go listen. First and foremost, so you can have some context to the subject matter today, and secondly, to hear the anniversary giveaway announcement that I’m so excited about.
Next month marks the one-year anniversary of this podcast, and to celebrate, I’m going to be giving away an amazing box of my favorite things worth over $500. I am not kidding around about this anniversary y’all. I am so proud of these 50 plus episodes and all that they represent, and I want to share the love.
In order to be eligible, all you have to do is leave a review for me. I’m going to be picking a reviewer at random to gift this box of goodness to, so head to Weight Loss Success in your podcast app and scroll down. Under ratings and reviews, you’ll see a little highlighted write a review option.
Click that and let me know your favorite episode or something you’ve learned and applied, or why you love listening. I absolutely love hearing from you and reading your reviews.
So we talked last week about other people and how they – or really, your thoughts about them impact your weight loss. And this week, I wanted to look a little closer at some specific examples of how other people and their perceived opinions impact our weight loss efforts.
I want to run through some scenarios where I see this coming up for my clients and show you how to apply some of the concepts from last week to places where you see other people and their opinions affecting your life.
My clients often worry about social situations where food will be involved. Whether it’s family get-together or eating out at a restaurant, I hear them worry about other people’s thoughts in these scenarios. Typically, the concern is about what other people will think of their food choices.
Other people will notice I’m not eating blank comes up a lot. If my clients are trying to limit flour, or limit fried foods, or wanting to eat more veggies and less chips, they worry that other people will notice that they aren’t eating the things they used to eat.
When I inquire as to why this is a problem, the answer is well, they’ll notice and then they’ll say something. Gasp. The horror, right? They will have to sit at dinner and not eat chips and have someone mention the fact that they aren’t eating chips.
So here’s where it’s important to notice what our brains make words mean. Friend says, “You’re not having any blank.” 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. What we make the sentence mean about us.
We think that loaded into that question is a whole bunch of judgment about how many times we’ve cut out a food in the name of weight loss, how many times we’ve tried something new and quit. We think that by them asking that question, they are pointing out how big of a failure we are and we’ll surely be again.
It isn’t the noticing or the question that makes us not want to go out and eat with our friends. It’s what we make the noticing and the questions mean about us. It’s all of our doubts and our fears about our past failures and what it might mean about our future success.
If we cut out chips or passed on the bread because we found out we were allergic, we would feel fine answering the question. We might be excited that they noticed so we could share that since finding out we were allergic and cutting out the gluten we’ve been feeling so much more energy and peace.
So if this I don’t want them to notice and say something comes up for you, ask yourself, why not? What are you making the question mean? How could you see this in a different way?
Maybe you choose to welcome the question as a way to reaffirm what you are doing to take best care of yourself. Maybe you look at them noticing as a sign that they see you and they care about you and the details of your life. Maybe you decide that you get to take care of you the way you want to, no matter what anyone else thinks of it or says about it. Maybe you choose to focus on being present with your friends instead of on what anyone is eating or not eating or noticing or not noticing.
Another scenario that comes up often is obligation eating. Someone brings a dessert into work that they made to share and they offer you a piece. Or your best friend orders you your favorite kind of pizza for lunch, or your kids don’t finish their dinner.
And even though that dessert or pizza is not on your plan or you’re already full from eating your own dinner, you eat it anyway out of obligation. So let’s look a little closer at what’s happening here. Coworker makes dessert and brings it. This alone does not obligate you to eat it. Obligation is a feeling that comes from us believing we have to. That’s it.
So the question you want to ask is why do you believe you have to? Some of the reasons I hear most are, “Well, they worked so hard. It’s rude to say no. They’ll feel bad if I refuse.” But remember what we talked about last week. We don’t have any control over what other people think in their brains or how they feel.
So your eating or not eating something does not create a feeling for someone else in their body. I don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons, and I’ve been offered alcohol at restaurants, parties, dinners, and I always say no thank you. I don’t ever believe I have to and therefore, I never feel an obligation to.
So try on this concept. Let’s say I’m at your house for a dinner party and you’ve recently gotten really into home brewing and you’re debuting your delicious new beer to all the friends at the party. You offer me some. I say no thank you, I don’t drink. How do you feel and why?
Are you hurt? Offended? Indifferent? Respectful? Why might it be different in this case where I refuse the offer for religious reasons? Why might it be acceptable to refuse in this case but maybe not in the case of the dessert offered by a coworker?
How could we see this in a different way? Maybe you could choose to take this opportunity to thank the coworker for their generosity with your words instead of your eating. Maybe you could decide to prioritize being kind to yourself by honoring your commitment to you, rather than prioritizing not being rude to the coworker and eating, even though you don’t want to.
In the case of the best friend ordering you something they know you love, but don’t know is not on your plan, maybe you could use this chance to share with your best friend what you’ve learned and how you’re changing the way you take care of you.
In the case of eating the kids’ leftover dinner, even though you are full, well, it’s kind of a whole other story maybe for another day. But I’ll just share my favorite thought about the idea of wasting food because it’s typically what comes up when we’re eating people’s leftovers, like eating things off their plate, or even cleaning our plate when we’re full and not hungry anymore.
So this is my thought about it. It’s waste either way. Either you waste the energy digesting extra food and storing extra fat, and the rest ends up in the toilet as waste, or you skip that, and you waste the extra food into the garbage or the wastebasket.
You don’t have to eat anything. Not even leftovers. Maybe instead, you can use it as an opportunity to celebrate that your kids are listening to their bodies. They’re not overeating or cleaning their plates just because they should. Maybe it’s a good visual to kind of see how much your family eats or needs and adjust your efforts accordingly.
The influence of other people also shows up in the way we perceive ourselves, our bodies, our relationships with food, our ideals of beauty and worth and goodness. 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 believed those things to be true.
And we take them from the past, through our lives, and into our present. The comments and what we made them mean about us and the world and our place in it are affecting us now, here in this moment. But they don’t have to. We can choose to believe whatever we want as adults, no matter what we were told as children.
I think it can be very revealing and fascinating to take a look at some of those beliefs, some of those borrowed truths and ask where they came from. How much of it was unspoken versus actually said out loud to you?
I have clients who assumed their parents had a certain opinion of them or of their weight and have lived their lives in the shadow of that opinion without it ever actually being expressed. It has colored the way they see themselves, and subsequently how they show up in their lives, and it was something that developed in their imagination.
If this is true for you, how would it feel to let it go? How differently would you feel and who would you be without that adopted belief? Even the assumed one that you never actually heard.
You don’t have any control over other people’s brains and how they perceive you. But it’s a two-way street. They also don’t have any control over your brain and how you perceive you. If you believed that, what would you do differently?
If you notice you’re doing things or not doing things on your weight loss journey based on what other people might think, how is that affecting you? How do you want to show up for you, regardless of what they think, say, or feel?
Okay everybody, I hope these two episodes get you really thinking about how to take care of yourselves, how to be selfish in the best most powerful way. Thinking about you and how you feel is where we start. It isn’t that we go around disregarding everyone else.
When we show up for us, and as the highest version of ourselves, we actually treat other people even better because we aren’t trying to manipulate them into being or doing or feeling different so we can feel better about ourselves. We can more fully allow people to be who they are as we honor who we are. Okay everybody, don’t forget to leave me a review and 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.