Last week, I treated myself to one of my favorite things: a spa day. I’d been given this spa day as a gift over a year ago, and I’ve been meaning to book this day to myself for months, but I always found a reason to put it off just a little longer. This experience was available to me for 13 months before I used it, so why did I procrastinate over it so much?
Whether it’s self-care, weight loss, or anything else, the larger question here is, why do we procrastinate, even on the things we know are good for us and that we actually want to do? If you regularly find yourself saying things like, “I need to wait until this is over,” or, “I’ll save this for later,” this episode is for you.
Tune in this week to discover the ways we procrastinate without realizing, even when we really want the thing we’re procrastinating on. I’m sharing why we choose to put things off without considering the reasons behind it, how to get clear on what you truly want, and why now is the time to go after it.
This is Weight Loss Success, with Natalie Brown, episode 123.
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.
Hey everybody. How are you, really? Take a second and just check in. Get present. What are you feeling? What’s at the top of your mind? See if you can find the spark of gratitude for something in this moment right now. Try picking one thing about or inside of your body that you appreciate. Your body’s allowing you to be in this moment right now. It’s keeping you alive. Thank it for that maybe. So, this past week I had a super luxurious spa day just by myself. It was amazingly dreamy.
I got a massage, and a facial, and a pedicure, and my hair washed, and dried, and styled, just all sorts of pampering that my little heart desired. They even had lunch brought in for me like I was a celebrity or something. The slightly sad part I think that hit me partway in was that I had procrastinated me for so long. My husband gave me this luxurious spa day for Mother’s Day in 2021. And I waited for 13 months to use it.
I needed it and could have used a me day in May of 2021, and July of 2021, and October of 2021, and December of 2021. And January, February, March, April and May of 2022. And I just kept putting it off. When this blank is over then I’ll book it I would tell myself. When this summer of travel is over or when this project for my business is complete, or when I finish this group, or when I complete this goal or after this month, or this holiday or whatever. I just kept saving it and pushing it off and not taking this time for myself.
All I had to do was call and schedule it. It took me five minutes to do that once I finally did and yet I waited, and waited, and waited. The whole day just felt like love for me, peace, and quiet, and soothing smells, and caring touch, and nourishing products for my skin, and a delicious lunch. And nothing to do but just be present and enjoy it. I realize spa days and massages and the like are not everybody’s cup of tea or not everybody’s idea of a lovely me day. But it totally is for me, I prefer it over shopping, or socializing, or whatever.
I just really love time and space in my head and an opportunity to get present in my body, and just breathe, and think, and rest. Laying out in the sun by a pool with a good book, another favorite me time experience as well for all those reasons. So why? If this is a thing I love, and that I really want, and that feels like love for me, why do I put it off and wait, and procrastinate, and delay it? Well, isn’t this a relevant question for all of us to consider? Why do we put off, and procrastinate, and delay taking care of ourselves in the ways we want and love to be taken care of?
For me in this case as I’ve thought about it, I think I was waiting for the ‘right time’ mixed with a little scarcity. My mind was filled with thoughts like this, I just have the one gift card. This is not an everyday experience. I need to make the most of it. I want it to be perfect and magical. I want to go in and be able to spend a day not stressed, not worried, not thinking about anything coming up, just able to fully relax and enjoy, not a tall order at all. I don’t know that if there is ever a time in my life where there’s zero stress, worry or overthinking about anything going on.
I mean I manage it well with all of the tools I have and skills I’ve built. But I’m a human with a human brain living a human life where things happen and my brain just loves to stress, and worry, and overthink, which is why 13 months went by and a right time that met all of my unrealistic criteria never presented itself. After another Mother’s Day came and went I finally just told myself that now was the right time. And that I was going to go on whatever day and just make it what I wanted it to be rather than wait for it to happen.
Are you thinking this about your own health or weight loss journey, that you are waiting for the right time, that the next thing you try has to be the thing that works, that you need to make the most of it once you deicide to do it? So, you need to be ready and you need to find a time that is free of events, and holidays, and vacations, and birthdays, and added stress. If so, how is that working out? How will you know when it’s the right time? How do you feel when you think the next thing has to be the thing, excited or pressured? How will you get or be ready? How will you know that you are?
And think about your life, is there a time at least a several month window where you will not have a holiday, or a birthday, or a vacation, or a party, or an event so that you can just focus on your weight loss? And more importantly if somehow there is, how will you learn how to navigate those things and the food and eating involved if you don’t have some experience trying to do so with conscious effort and awareness? Also, even if there was, what will change in you in that time that will make those other things irrelevant or no longer a concern?
If you really focus in for a few months, free of all other distractions, what is then different about the next vacation, birthday or event? I want you to really think about it and answer honestly. So many of just say, “Those things make it hard to stick to my plan.” Or, I always get myself into trouble.” Or, “Parties, vacations etc., throw me off and then it’s hard to get back on track.” So really think about what you think needs to or will change to make those things easier to navigate or a non-issue.
So many of my clients talk about how good they feel when they tune into their bodies and pay attention to what foods and how much feels good in their bodies. We know what it feels like to overeat until we’re stuffed, or to eat a bunch of sugar, or drink too much, or eat foods that we love to taste but that don’t love us back. So why do we procrastinate figuring this out? Why do we keep telling ourselves, we’ll start tomorrow or on Monday? Why do we choose to overeat or eat food that makes us feel terrible and choose to procrastinate learning how to eat to feel good?
I talked about this a couple of episodes ago so I won’t go on and on about it. But so many of us procrastinate wearing what we want or buying clothes that fit us or that we like. We put off being comfortable or feeling good in our clothes. Why do we choose to squeeze into our too tight jeans that are uncomfortable to sit down in? Why do we hide our bodies under big clothes? Why do we cover up even though it’s summertime and we are hot and uncomfortable? Why do we deprive ourselves of the pleasure of wearing something that feels good and that we love wearing?
This is sometimes why we procrastinate exercise or moving our bodies, we’re waiting until we feel like we look good in our workout clothes. We’re embarrassed to get out and be seen moving our bodies in the world until we look right. This often also informs our leisure activities like vacations, outings, hobbies. We procrastinate trips, or outdoor activities, or social gatherings because we don’t want to get into a swimsuit, or we don’t want to be embarrassed at how winded or sweaty we get when we try things like hiking or exploring a new place with friends or family. Why do we do this?
Why do we procrastinate ourselves? We know what we ultimately want. We want to feel good and free in our bodies. We want to feel comfortable in our skin. We want to wear what we like and what feels good. We want to eat to nourish our bodies. We want to be in good health so that we can be around to fully live our lives for as long as we’re here. We want to be full of energy for our kids and grandkids. We want to enjoy the next phase of our lives and be able to take advantage of opportunities and experiences.
We want to look in the mirror and feel love and acceptance. So why do we wait to do what is required in order to create this for ourselves? Why do we put it off? Why do we push the start date? Why do we procrastinate doing what we want to do for ourselves? I think for a lot of us it comes down to our relationships with ourselves, more specifically our beliefs about our worth. Think about people or pets, responsibilities in your life that you take care of. Why do you do the things you do to care for them? Why do you feed and nurture, and give attention, and love to those people or things?
Why do you make time for them? Why do you prioritize their care? Because you love them and you think they’re worthy of it. They deserve it and it’s worth your time and energy. What did they do to be worthy of such care, and concern, and attention? Are they perfect? Do they lack weakness? Do they always do the right thing, say the right thing, never make a mistake? Do they have perfect bodies that are the right shape and size and weight? I don’t even need to know the person, or pet, or thing you’re thinking of to know that none of that is true.
Because none of that is true, why is it that you’re holding yourself to this standard of worth? You are and will never be perfect by the definition of perfect we typically reference which is free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality completely faultless, no human is. You by your very nature will have weaknesses and strengths. You will not always do or say the right thing, sometimes you will. You’ll make mistakes and you’ll triumph. You have the body that you have just like the person you love and care for does, right is relative.
But just like them you are not less worthy because of all of this. I want you to really think about this for a while today, just keep asking yourself these questions, require an answer. What do you need to do or change in order to be worth or enough? Why? How do you know that this will make you worthy or enough? Who says, where did you get this information? What will you do once you are worthy that you’re not doing now? What will you allow yourself to feel once you are enough, that you are not allowing now?
What will you be able to accomplish, or try, or wear, or experience when you are the right weight? What are you telling yourself is required of you in order to stop procrastinating you and start doing for you what you do for other important people in your life? Part of why we procrastinate is that the work we need to do is, well, work, it’s not a day at the spa. It is going to require discomfort and lots of it for an indeterminate amount of time. It makes sense that we hesitate to get started or to do what it takes, or dive into a program or new process.
But here’s the thing. The reward we get, the love we feel as we show up for ourselves and face the struggle with an eye on what awaits us on the other side, that is a gift to ourselves like the day at the spa was for me. The hard work gets us to the freedom on the other side. The choice to nourish instead of numb, that leads to peace in our minds and bodies. Showing up for the challenge, that changes our relationship with ourselves, choosing to love instead of judge, that changes the way we take care of ourselves.
Spend some time today thinking about what you are procrastinating when it comes to taking care of you and why. What’s one small thing you could stop putting off and start doing today? If you’ve been procrastinating applying for Love First, my group weight loss program, that’s one small thing you could stop putting off and start doing. Head to itbeginswithathought.com/waitlist and hop on so you can be the first to be notified when applications open next month. 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.