This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 141.
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.
Okay, everybody, I am so excited for you to meet my guest today. She is master certified style coach, Judith Gaton and I am so excited to talk to her about all the things. I’ll let her give you an introduction, tell you her story, I will not do that for her. So, Judith, just give us a little snapshot of who you are, a little bit of your story and maybe what lights you up right now.
Judith: Hi everyone, and I’m so glad to be here, Natalie. I am, like Natalie said, I’m a master certified coach and I’m also a personal stylist, so all together master style coach is sort of the quick phrase. And some of you might be wondering what the hell is that, which fair question, friends. So, I’m a master certified coach, meaning I went through training, lots and lots of hours of training. And I received a coaching certification that allows me to help humans figure out what’s going on in their brains, and in their hearts, and sometimes in their bodies.
And the cool thing is I get to combine that with personal styling services. So, if you’ve ever worked with a personal stylist or have an idea of what one is, we help you put together outfits that suit your lifestyle, and your body, and your preferences. The cool thing about combining the two is I think style is all about what’s going on and your thoughts and feelings about yourself outwardly reflected. So, I get to have fun poking around in what thoughts you’re thinking about yourself, how you feel about yourself and then we get to dress you however you want to think and feel on purpose.
So that’s kind of the fun hybrid of what I do, in case you’re wondering what the hell that is, that’s how we roll. Yeah, and then in terms of my story, I mean I used to be a lawyer for 11 years, I was a litigator. And I’m a former managing partner of my law firm, shout out to those guys if they’re listening. And I love style and I loved coaching so I made a brain baby and now I have a business.
Natalie: I love it so much. And all of that I think just parlays beautifully into kind of what I wanted to talk to you about, why I invited you on, because I agree with you in that I think a lot of people think that style is just on the outside but it emanates from what’s happening on the inside. And I want to get into that a little bit later. But I love sort of the combination of all these different facets of you into one thing that you just really, really love and can help people with.
I guess I think of being an attorney as a very heady career. And then at the same time you have this beautiful creative part of you because you kind of have to be if you’re a style coach, if you’re a stylist. That’s a very creative endeavor. So, I love the idea that you have all of these pieces of you that come together into this beautiful space where you can help women in this really, really unique way. I love it.
Judith: Yeah, me too. Sometimes when I’m asked I’m like, “I have the coolest job. I have the coolest job.” And I like to sing song things. So, it’s like, oh my gosh, this is so fun. And it’s not to say I didn’t enjoy being a lawyer, I think it had its own weird kind of creativity but this just feels so different, yeah.
Natalie: So, I’m interested to get your thoughts on this. My clients and my program sort of occupies the space between the body positivity arena. Where we’re really about focusing on how we feel in our bodies, and loving our bodies, and having gratitude for all of the different parts and pieces, and how it serves us in our life. All of that beautiful stuff. Where weight loss can sometimes be a dirty word, if you will, where it feels contrary.
But I have clients who both believe that and also want to make some changes to their bodies in order to live the lives they want to live, have the lifestyle they want to live for health reasons, whatever. But as we’re sort of exploring, some of the impacts of objectification for example, where we’re taught it’s inferred in all these places in our life and in society that our body’s appearance is their value and that that’s what we should focus on.
As my clients are kind of trying to extricate themselves from this I think we come up against this sort of new conundrum where we want to move away from that, value of our appearance. But we also want to engage with beauty, and selfcare, and style. So, I want to kind of talk through with you, your thoughts on how we balance valuing our appearance and acceptance, those two things. How do we engage with beauty and fashion without it being a measure of value? Do you know what I’m saying?
Judith: I totally know what you’re saying. And I think the key is to extricate these concepts from each other because I think the way that women are socialized is that we conflate self-care with beauty routines. They’re not the same thing. And we conflate feeling good in our bodies with particular beauty standards. And we have to start extricating these concepts from each other. So, on the one hand, your clients want to maybe love and accept their body as it is and also lose weight.
They’re not tied to each other in the way that we were taught. We can love our bodies now and decide to lose weight. And deciding to love our bodies doesn’t mean we eat in a way that doesn’t support our bodies. So, I think part of the huge transformation I see my clients go through is separating these – we do this hand pull thing. You can’t see me if you’re listening to the podcast but imagine my hands are tied together and I’m rendering them apart.
It’s a huge part of the transformation process is what rules have I handed that I’ve tied my self-worth to and how do I want to separate these things from each other? If you were told good and bad foods is often the dichotomy we hear in the diet world. Well, what if all foods are good and available to you and your moral worth and value as a human is not tied to whether you ate ‘on plan’, or you ate well, or you did good today. Then what are we left with? We have so much fun to play when we take these things apart from each other because I can eat whatever I want.
But I also want to eat in a way that fills my body, there’s so much more creativity that happens in that beautiful juxtaposition that seems opposite but totally isn’t. Because we separate the concepts from each other. I mean you probably go through this with your clients. I go through it with mine is like what are all the rules and where are all of these if, then blank, blank, blank statements that we have running around in our heads? And teasing those apart and it’s not for the faint of heart but it’s such a worthwhile endeavor.
If my body is not a problem to be solved then what am I allowed to wear? If my body is not a problem to be solved. I’m allowed to go create and do, and then shit just gets really cool and really amazing when you start to play with the concept that maybe everything you’ve been taught is totally wrong.
Natalie: Yeah. No, that’s a huge part of the work that my clients do is taking all that stuff out. I kind of imagine it as this binder in our mind that just has stuff jammed in it, like this pamphlet you got at the doctor’s office and this thing from Teen Vogue. Just all the crap from your childhood and beyond. And that you’re carrying around with you and it all conflicts with each other and we’re trying to make it all work. I love that idea of getting it all out there, separating it out and looking into it.
And I think obviously you all can’t see but we’re in my closet podcast studio so I’m surrounded by all of my material, my clothing.
Judith: I see this hat collection behind her, you all, I just have to say it’s fabulous.
Natalie: If you’ve seen a picture of me I’m probably in a hat. Really I love fashion, and accessories, and playing around with makeup, and hair, and all of that. But for myself it’s a preference, it’s not a requirement. I also go out of the house wearing mismatched sweats and my hair in a pony with no makeup. And that is not me inasmuch as my hats and my makeup persona is not me, it’s just a fun thing I like to play around with. So, for me it’s kind of like I have myself and who I am, and my value.
And then I have all the extra stuff that’s just kind of for fun. But I think a lot of us have it mixed together. I am my sense of style. I am my outside appearance. I am my hairstyle or whatever.
Judith: Yeah. And I think you’re right, we conflate, just like people think that they are the thoughts they think, they think that you are more worthwhile or better somehow when you’ve painted your lips, or colored your hair, or whatever your jam is. And just simply not true. And you talk about the binder stuffed full of things. I talk about the library. You’ve been handed a library when you were born and then your mom, or your aunties, people around you added books to that library. And at a certain point we can decide to just burn that sucker down when we’re ready and if we want to.
Natalie: Yeah, totally, because all the stuff that’s important, all the stuff that aligns with who we are and want to be, still it will remain. I think there’s a lot of fear about, well, then I won’t be doing it right because I don’t have all of the constraints that have been given to me. But you get to create your own. You get to decide for yourself what matters, and what doesn’t, and what’s important, and what feels good and supports who you are and where you want to go. And then, yeah, the rest of it can just be ashes. It can be gone, we will survive.
Okay, and I think that this is, I have clients that come to me, they’re like, “Is it okay for me to want to lose weight? “And I always say, “Absolutely.” You get to decide what feels best to your body, and what your goals are, and what you want to be. But that weight loss is not going to determine whether or not you love yourself. That’s I think the difference.
And I actually think that the loving yourself informs the weight loss, the ability to make changes to your relationship with food and yourself because if you are taking care of yourself coming from love fuel, you’re going to do things differently than if you did it in a different way. So, I think as much as they’re not dependent on one another, or connected, and that you have to lose weight to love, I think that using love actually helps you make a lot of changes.
Judith: Yeah. I mean you’re more apt to achieve what you want to achieve if you’re coming at it from an emotion that fuels – and I’m just going to use the word ‘positive’, positive action. So, I have clients who come into my program and they’re like, “I know you’re fluffy.” And they’re like, “Is it okay if I want to lose weight? Can I get coached on this?”
And I’m like, “I love you, of course, whatever you want. But what are your thoughts about losing weight? How do you feel about losing weight? Is this something you actually want to do because you would love to do it or because you think you have to, to achieve some x, y, z pinnacle of success? And you totally get to decide as long as you’re honest with yourself.” And then to decide from once you’ve looked at all the things, and then decide for yourself what your next step and action is going to be.
And recognizing, human motivation’s a fickle thing. We’re not going to be ever truly motivated by one thing, even for those of you who are like, “I would like to lose weight for my health.” And guess what, babe, if you want to lose weight because you want to fly in a pair of whatever jeans, you’re allowed to have that too. And if you want to stay fluffy because you think you’re fucking delightful as you are, and you also would like to work out because heart health, yes, to all of that too.
We get to have mixed motivations and arrive at the same point and none of it has to be perfect, or altruistic, or lofty and that’s it.
Natalie: Yes, I love that. Thank you for giving everyone permission. You have permission from Judith, all of you to do this because I think that is a sticky place where people are like, “I’m being a bad feminist if I don’t just love myself and I also want to lose weight.” No, you get to decide what combination of things. And I love what you kind of brought up which is what I always tell them is, “You just want to know and love your reasons.” So, if your reasons are wanting to put on that pair of jeans, awesome. Do you love that reason? Does that reason feel amazing to you?
Great, then there’s no right or wrong here. There’s not, well, it can’t be for appearance reasons, or it can’t be for whatever you label it, vanity etc. You get to decide, know it, and love it, and own it. But there can be like you said, mixed motivations. It doesn’t just have to be health, it can also be health and/or loving the pictures of you at your sister’s wedding, whatever, whatever you decide. So, let’s talk a little bit about some of these rules because I thought about this as I was kind of preparing to have this conversation with you.
And I remember, I don’t hear it so much now but when I was growing up there was a big push for getting your colors done. I don’t know if you remember this phase but that you were an autumn or you were a whatever. There were colors that you couldn’t wear. And there’s a lot of body type talk where you’re like, if you’re an apple, or if you’re a da, da, da. And I have an instant aversion to that because I don’t like people telling me what I can’t, and shouldn’t, and I’m supposed to do when it comes to clothing. I am a very eclectic person.
But let’s talk a little bit about that, can we throw all those away? Is that some of the crap that can get burned in the fire? What are your thoughts on those?
Judith: Yes. Oh my God, I feel like you just gave me a soapbox. I’m there with the bells. What on Earth, okay. And whoever created these systems, body shapes or know your colors. There’s a great scene in Mermaids, have you ever, that movie with Cher where this woman with very tacky blue eyeshadow is telling this young impressionable girl to know her colors. Because somehow it was going to unlock the key to her life. I mean it’s so absurd but I also get that was in that time and that era.
So, if you are a stylist and you’re listening and you adhere to the body shape paradigm thing or the color systems, more power to you. You have the right to do what you want in your own businesses. However, for me in my house, I think they’re harmful. I think at they’re heart they’re harmful. I don’t think they were intended that way. I think they’ve been hijacked and now are not serving their intended purpose.
I think originally when people were getting their ‘colors’ done, we have to remember it was not for melanated skin when it was created. So that’s automatically problematic. We are literally categorizing humans by their skin color. Can we just pause and you all reflect on maybe that’s not such a great idea anymore. And the body shape paradigm, what naturally what do humans do? We categorize them and then we create hierarchies. It’s just how our brains work. We’re like, hourglass is the thing, it’s secretly coveted.
And then we’re like, “I’ll make do with being an apple or a pear but secretly I want to attain to hourglass status.” This is bullshit. You are not a fruit. You are not an elementary school shape. You’re a human woman, you’re a human person. And the greatest thing about being a human person is none of us are symmetrical. We are gangly, creepy little weird creatures all of us. There is not a straight line on any of our bodies, regardless of whether someone has labeled you a rectangle or not.
I think it’s one of the funniest things about having gone to fashion design programs, and pattern making, and dress making, and draping is one of the things you’re marked on, you get marks against you. And then you’re in a fashion design program is if your patterns have straight lines because your professor will come and tell you, “There is not a straight line on a body. Why did you take your ruler across the waist? Nobody’s waist is shaped like that.” All of us, to the ‘thinnest’ of us, the fluffiest of us, I know that sounds funny.
All of us have some naturally curvy part of our body because we actually don’t have any straight lines. We’re not built that way. I think it’s just the funniest idea that we are attaining to flatness and smoothness, or hourglass-ness, depending on the paradigm we’re living. That shit’s made up. And I think beside from the made-up nature of it or the problematic nature of the color system, like you had said, Natalie, the problem with it is it creates lists of things we’re allowed to do and not allowed to do.
And just the way we’re wired is either we will be miserable trying to adhere to the rules, or secondary gain will kick in and we’ll be rebellious and then we’ll just be miserable. There’s no – I don’t think there is a super end positive outcome from thinking like that.
Natalie: Yeah. No, I totally agree with you. And I think it also disconnects us from ourselves because we’re now delegating the responsibility to what we want, and like, and desire, and who we are to something outside of us which is I think always problematic. When we’re disconnected from who we are and what we like, it just makes it so much easier to kind of turn around and look at ourselves as some foreign object rather than being connected and engrained with who we are.
So, if I love the color purple, it’s one of my favorite things, I’m always attracted to it and always wanting to buy stuff. But I have been told by someone outside of me that that doesn’t look good on me. It doesn’t appear to others to be the right complementary shade. But I’m disconnecting from what lights me up, and what I desire, and what I’m supposed to do. And I think the more we do that, just on principle we do that with clothes, we do that with our professions that we choose, we do that with food.
We have this set of expectations outside of ourselves, it’s like, hey, here’s what you do and don’t do. And by the way, some of the things that you have on the bad list are delicious and you love them. And so, then when you eat them you think you’re bad. It’s a whole thing. It’s a whole thing. So, I love the idea of us being able to say, “No, no, no, I’m going to run all of that information through the filter of me and see what lands. Because I remember growing up being like, “I’m not any of those fruits.” I didn’t really fit into any category.
So, then it was even more like, I’m definitely broken because there’s clearly five things you can be and I am zero of the things. And therefore, there’s not a place for me. The otherness, it just ran wild in my mind for sure.
Judith: Yeah. And I think, you touched on something so interesting is we are told we’re to externalize our thinking. Here is a diet program. Here is exactly what you’re supposed to eat at particular times of day. Or the potato diet, or the only allowed to have this and not allowed to have that diet, fill in the blank of craziness. Or here’s a list of things you’re allowed to wear or not allowed to wear. And we’re told to externalize all of our problem solving because that’s supposedly the key to success, and happiness, and thinness, or whatever it is we’re looking for.
And it just totally doesn’t work so then when people like you and I come alongside and we’re like, “Hey, hey, there’s a better way and there’s naps, and snacks, and selfcare.” It’s kind of mind blowing but I think sometimes it also can feel a little painful and disorienting because for the first time ever I think we’re asking our clients, “Well, what do you like?” And they’re like, “Wait, what?” I’m like, “Yeah, well, did you like that?” “Well, I never thought about it.” “Well, think about it and then you just get back to me and we get to decide.”
Natalie: Yes. And you can change your mind, you can like things one day and not the other, that’s a thing too, you’re allowed. So okay, along these some lines, this is something I hear a lot is I couldn’t pull that off. People say this to me about hats or I love a bold lip, or I don’t know, I just hear my clients saying this to me all the time. So, what are your thoughts on pulling it off, what makes us able to pull something off or not? I know what I think but I want to know what you think.
Judith: Well, I mean I think it’s really simple. Did you put it on your body?
Natalie: Yes, thank you.
Judith: So, if you put it on your body, therefore you have pulled it off. So good.
Natalie: I love it. Did you hear that everybody? It is this easiest, simplest answer, yes. You just decide that you’re pulling it off. It wasn’t like I was like, “You know what? I feel like I have a hat head.”
Judith: Oh my God, I was just going to say that.
Natalie: This head just needs a hat on it. No, I was just like, “I like hats, I’m going to wear one on my head.” That’s it.
Judith: Yeah. As a fellow hat lover, I think you probably get that too. I just don’t have a hat head. What the hell does that mean? Is it a particular circumference? I’ll dig into the weeds of my clients, I kind of poke at some of these things. I’m like, “Okay, is it your head has to be a certain circumference?” And they’re like, “Well, no.” I’m like, “Okay, well, I mean does it have to be shaped a particular way, does the back of the hat? Tell me the particulars. Walk me through a hat head?”
And they’re like, “I don’t know, you see people with hats and they have hat heads.” I’m like, “Yeah, because they put a hat on their head, friend.”
Natalie: That’s a hat head, a head with a hat on it, that is it.
Judith: That’s it.
Natalie: So, everyone, you have permission to wear whatever you want on your head, that is your choice, you get to decide. There’s no one that’s going to deem you worthy of that except yourself. Okay, so if you have it on your body, you’re pulling it off, everybody let’s take that away today for sure. Okay, so I want to talk about some little bit sadder things because I hear this so much and I think I mentioned it to you, that it’s kind of breaking my heart. It’s one of the reasons I was like, “Judith needs to come on and we need to talk about this.”
So, my clients are often in the process of kind of learning how to reconnect with themselves, learning how to value themselves outside of what they look like while in process of changing their relationship with food and all the things. It’s a long process or an in depth process I should say, a layered process. But one of the things I hear often is things about clothes. They’ll say things like, “I’m not going to buy anything nice, I don’t deserve to buy anything nice or that I like until I get this ‘right body’.”
Or they’re trying to still squeeze into what they can fit into which is oftentimes they’re grungy painting sweats or whatever, maternity clothes they still have, whatever. They’re trying to just wear what they have because they don’t want to spend money, they don’t feel like they deserve it. They’re waiting for something. Or they think they can’t because they have to hide parts of them. And I relate to this in that I used to kind of think the same way. I was like, “I’ll just wear this until and then I’ll buy cute outfits.”
And at one point I decided I was done with that, that I thought that was stupid and that I wanted to just start buying things that I liked. I was a full-time mom so I didn’t work in an office or anything. And I was like, “I’m buying an office outfit.” I just wanted to have slacks and a cute top. So, I bought myself just a really cute kind of dressy outfit. And I bought little kitten heels with a strap around the ankle. And I remember that being so monumental to me because I was like, “Bigger girls can’t wear these kinds of shoes.” I don’t know why I had this thought in my mind.
Judith: Well, we’ve been told that we’re not allowed to wear ankle strapped anything, it’s on the list, it’s on the crazy list of things we’re not allowed.
Natalie: Yeah. And I remember it was February in Utah which is not warm weather. And I was wearing my little kitten heels to pick up my daughter at preschool. I was feeling amazing. So anyway, let’s just talk a little bit about – I mean on the one hand I understand being like I have this aim or this goal and I would like to – we don’t have to spend $20,000 on Gucci, I don’t know. But it’s possible to in this world that we live in today, find beautiful things that you feel good in and that you love at any size.
Once upon a time that wasn’t really a thing, where you had to go to Dress Barn, literally was called Dress Barn because only farm animals could shop there. But now Target has beautiful clothes, and Walmart has beautiful clothes, and all sorts of places have beautiful clothes for all different shapes and sizes. So can we just, can you address this please for me clients, let’s talk about it.
Judith: Yes. And I just want to say first, the beautiful thing is of course you’re thinking this way because you were told this. So much advertising and marketing is particularly around weight loss is when you achieve this place then you’re going to dress like this and you’re going to show up like this. And you’ll have this glow up, or the doors burst open and there’s a fan magically. And we’re so used to all these amazing movie montages if you are a child of the 80s or 90s where makeovers happen in 20 minutes.
Natalie: Yeah, your glasses just come off.
Judith: Your glasses come off, you shake your hair and this glorious mane gets uncovered. And I think it’s kind of funny because I wrote an email a few weeks ago, there’s this weird thing where there’s like the she’s all that lie where you take off your glasses and suddenly everything’s right with the world. And then there’s a pretty woman weirdness where she actually doesn’t spend the money on her own wardrobe which we’ll just table that for a second. And we never see her try on things that don’t fit.
We only see her try on things that happen to fit and she looks amazing, and she’s Julia Roberts and she’s 5’11 so let’s just pause. So, if this is during your formative years these are the examples of a makeover that you got, then you almost think, okay, well, how do I make this happen? Well, I take off my glasses.
Natalie: Glasses are a no.
Judith: Yeah, I have to be really tall and reed thin, and that’s the way to feel better. And it’s like, friends, that’s so besides the point. I think part of what we have to really wrap our arms around, whenever we want to have a makeover or a transformation is I want to go through that process the same way I want to feel at the end. Otherwise, we could hate the process and then we will hate the end. And I could belittle myself, berate myself, hate myself, starve myself, quadruple Spanx myself to get to this end place and I will be hungry, grouchy, self-hating.
And maybe develop neuropathy from wearing too many pairs of Spanx. So, I mean is that really what you want? Because I think most of us when we think of the end goal, that makeover moment, that glow up, it’s confidence, it’s feeling beautiful. And remember beautiful is a feeling, it is not an actual aesthetic criteria, that’s a whole other podcast we could go into. What’s the emotion that you want to have at the end? Because that’s the shit we’ve got to work on the whole way down otherwise we’ll get to the destination point and we won’t even enjoy it.
Natalie: Absolutely. I love that idea too because all of those things I mentioned, all the things I hear my clients say, they don’t deserve it, they can’t, they’re not allowed to, all the things. They’re not from a place of love. That is not love, and acceptance, and joy, or even peace, all of it is rejection, and resentment, and terrible. So yeah, I think that approach to your weight loss experience, or the journey to change that you’re on, whatever that is, feeling beautiful as a feeling, feeling good, feeling taken care of and loved.
That can extend to what you put on every day, what hangs in your closet, what you allow yourself to purchase or whatever. I think that that’s something to really think about everybody is, how does it feel when you’re doing it? Not just how does it feel when it’s over or when you get there but what’s that feeling?
Judith: And I think too, feeling in two ways. So, we talked about emotional component, feeling beautiful, feeling confident, feeling good. But there’s also a physical feeling component that we often ignore because we’re so used to ignoring our bodies. We’re not listening to our hunger signals, or our fullness signals. We’re not listening to these shoes actually hurt my feet. And I’m not going to ignore my feet anymore, I refuse. Or those pants actually cause a red mark in my belly.
Or those underwear are really freaking annoying or my bra keeps crawling up the back, any number of crazy things that women tolerate on their bodies or just humans in general. Because I’ve coached all the humans on different things. And it’s so interesting to me. That sets off a cascade in our body. Your pain receptors are flaring. You’re telling your body, I’m going to ignore you. And we think that’s going to have some sort of a good outcome. No, it never could.
That horrible crawl of shame in shoes that don’t fit you at the end of the day, that is so not stylish or sexy. Everyone’s wincing with you as you walk.
Natalie: Yes, you can see it. You can just feel it and see it, yes.
Judith: You can see it. So, I mean if we want to eat according to whatever our goals are and if we want to move our bodies according to whatever our goals are. That’s really hard to achieve when we’re in physical discomfort because our clothing does not fit us or support our goals. So, we want the emotional component and the physical component.
Natalie: Yeah, I agree with you. I think that that’s something I hear a lot. And I think those two things connect also because oftentimes my clients are punishing themselves if you will, by making themselves squeeze into something that doesn’t fit because they’re like, “I refuse to accept that we have gone up a size.” And you’re going to wear this so that you feel the wrath of yourself and what you’ve done to yourself. And that will motivate you to change. But it just, it isn’t accurate, that just makes us feel worse and from worse we don’t do better.
So, I think that idea of tuning into that aspect. I think that’s something that my clients are really disconnected from anyway is how they physically feel. And so that’s a really good place to start. It’s a little bit more challenging to be like, “Am I completely full? Am I satisfied? Does this food feel good in my body?” I think that’s an advance level. This can be a really great place to start everybody is how do my clothes feel on my body? Are there places where it doesn’t feel comfortable? Like it’s squeezing, or pinching, or squishing, or whatever.
And why is that something that I am ignoring? Why am I choosing to ignore it and how can I find a way to be comfortable, feel good in my body and in my clothes, yeah?
Judith: Yeah. I mean it’s literally one of the first things we teach is feelings, we call it feelings times two, physical feeling, physical sensation. And then emotional feelings, what we call emotions or feelings. We use them interchangeably in English. So, we want to talk about feelings both ways, physical and emotional. And tuning in is not always easy. And I agree, I think clothing is one of the easiest ways in.
And my clients often are like, “You’ve ruined this outfit for me because now I can’t unknow that it actually sucks. And the crotch is bunchy or the armpit seam is driving me crazy. I can’t unknow this now.” I’m like, no, once we’ve tuned in then they start to notice if they’re on a weight loss journey, they’re more in tune to their hunger signals, or overeating signals.
Or some of them, I had one in particular, she had a dental issue she had ignored for a really long time. And once we started paying attention to the fit of her clothing then she was like, “Okay, I haven’t gone to the dentist. I’m afraid of the dentist and my teeth are really, they’re in bad shape and I need help.” And we all were cheering her on. “This is part of selfcare, it’s not about the makeup. Go get your teeth looked after.” And she got it taken care of. And I think it’s the first time in years she’s actually pain free in her mouth. She’s just been, dealing with it, dealing.
So, it’s never about the clothes, just like it’s never about the food. It’s about this bigger picture of are we going to start paying attention to ourselves, and loving ourselves? And what actions will flow from that place when we start to tune in again and start to really pay attention.
Natalie: Yes, I love that, pay attention to ourselves because I think that’s step one. It’s step one in the journey to reconnect to you and who you are, and what you like, and what you need and all of those things. You have to pay attention. So that’s a good place to start. And I think that idea, because you’re kind of focusing on outside in, meaning physical outside I think is easier sometimes than hunger, because that’s inside feeling. But I love that, I think that’s a really good step one for them.
So, you mentioned something again that I wanted to circle back to, I mentioned selfcare in the beginning and you reminded us that often that’s connected to beauty. We’re like selfcare is a makeover, selfcare is a facial, selfcare is. So, talk to me about, what’s your philosophy on selfcare? What do you believe about that?
Judith: I think we need to get so much more expansive with our definition of that because it’s not bubble bath, and candles, and massages. And those things are lovely, they’re nice, but true selfcare means you’re caring for your whole self. So, we’re talking about physical, emotional, for some of you that’s spiritual, mental. There’s way more components than a really great facial or slapping some makeup on you. And again, those things aren’t in and of themselves inherently wrong.
And they might be part of your physical component is you do get a facial, or you get your teeth taken care of, or you get your hair blown out or whatever those physical components are for you. But are we also making sure we’re tending to the other components. And I think in past generations selfcare was a day at the beauty salon. But if we really dissect, what was the experience of the beauty salon? Yeah, getting your hair done was great. But communicating with other women, being seen and heard, talking to your friends.
There was something about that trope that is so appealing and it was never just the hair, it was all the other things that happen in that arena. So are we tending to those other parts of ourselves because that’s true selfcare. We are a whole human being, multifaceted. We are not just the skin suits we happen to be residing in as lovely as they are.
Natalie: Yes. I love that. So maybe we just tack on that word, whole selfcare and you get to kind of think about what that includes for you. Like you said, for some people that’s going to be mental, emotional, physical, spiritual. And for some people, physical may be exercise and for some people physical may be rest. So, I think that being able to say, what comprises my whole self and it’s not going to be just an activity that you do that takes care of it necessarily. But considering that the entirety of it I think will give you a little bit.
It seems like that will be such a more fulfilling way to address it because I agree with you. As much as a massage feels amazing to me, it’s just one tiny piece of the puzzle of what I need to feel like I’m really taking care of myself. And I love the idea of taking some of these things like that for example, for me a massage is typically something that I do by myself. So that little bit of selfcare alone time for me is part of that, taking care of me, it’s quiet. So, I have space to just think in my mind about my life and process through stuff.
It’s like loving touch, even though I don’t know the person that’s massaging me, it’s someone who has been trained to kind of feel spots in my body that are tense, and tired, and take care of that. So, there’s a lot of components to it that aren’t just go get a rub down. I love that example of the beauty song because it’s true. It’s time away from everything else. I have nothing on my calendar but getting my hair done. And I’m having a conversation or in quiet time, or whatever that includes for you.
So, I think that’s a beautiful way to think about it, whole selfcare and then think about those activities and why they feel like that to you. Because I think for some of us it’s like get a facial and we’re like, “What is this doing for me?” Or it’s like bubble bath, and so you get in the bath and you’re like, “Okay, do I feel better?” Find the things that you do for you and why you do them.
Judith: Exactly. And my first massage ever was not a pleasant experience. And the whole time I was planning my exit strategy. I was like, it’s fresh, here’s how I’m going to kick her. And then I’m going to grab my bra then I’m going to run through that door. I was plotting. And I mean I love Daniella, she’s my masseuse, and I only go because I trust her, I feel safe with her now. But the first time she’s like, “I can feel you thinking, are you okay?” And I was just, “Yeah, I mean I’m plotting my escape but I’m okay.”
Natalie: Yeah, so it’s a really good point because that, if you go down the list of typical selfcare, I hate baths. I feel like I’m just soaking in a big pot of my own whatever and I get real bored in there and real hot. So, it is not, to me that isn’t selfcare. So, if you’re listening to us and thinking a massage is the worst idea I’ve ever heard. That is not whole selfcare for you. So, you get to decide. You get to take whatever it is that feels like that to you, disregard the rest, burn it down, throw it away. You don’t have to follow a prescription of bath bombs, and facials and whatever else we say.
Judith: Yeah, totally not prescriptive. And I mean I have clients who a run for them is both spiritual, and physical, and mental, and that ticks so many boxes for them. I’m not a runner. My dear friend is a running coach and I adore her and I think she has just changed the lives of so many women. It is not my jam. [Inaudible] running, probably not, no.
Natalie: Yeah. So just filter it, like we said before, filter it through the lens of you, decide what feels like whole selfcare to you and then you get to do that and you get to just delete the rest. None of it has to be included. Okay, so let’s talk just maybe to wrap up about this idea of confidence. Because I think that’s something I would say when I have consults with potential clients who are thinking about working with me, that is in the top two of the things that they desire. They want to feel more confident. Most of them want freedom in their minds, freedom from food, chatter, all of that stuff.
But I want to just talk about the concept of confidence because a lot of us, and I think this is what we’ve been taught, think that it comes from outside, meaning what we look like, how we appear, there’s a lot of us that believe that that’s where confidence is going to come from. Or the right clothes, or getting a stylist and getting the perfect style, outfit, whatever, picked out. So, talk to me about what is confidence to you?
Judith: Yeah. I mean to me the way I teach confidence is I teach it like an equation. So, on the one hand we have our beliefs about ourself. And that will help with the creation of confidence. And then on the other part of the equation we have what do we do with those beliefs? Are we going to avail ourselves of all these amazing beliefs we have? Because I have some clients who have what by all accounts would be considered high self-esteem so to speak where they can point to accomplishments on pieces of paper.
And I’m like, “Okay, great, what are you doing with that?” And it’s like, “Well, I want to do more, I want to create more.” It’s like, “Well, what’s stopping you?” So, part of it is where are you on that equation? Do we need to raise your belief in yourself? Just really believe that you’re made for perhaps more than you’re currently living or believe that it’s safe to go create. Or any number of things in your belief bucket. And then once we’ve got that locked in then now what do you want to go do? What do you want to go create?
Maybe it’s the body you want, the wardrobe you want, and some entrepreneurial endeavor, or whatever the case may be for you. Let’s go test that. And the way I teach it oftentimes, I hear the analogy of a runway model. And yes, for certain categories there’s things that are in place that allowed you to walk the runway. You’re capable of it. We’ve got that down. You can physically walk, we’ve done that. But what happens when your ass falls? Because that’s really going to be the test.
How do you treat yourself when things don’t go according to plan because that’s going to tell us about your true level of confidence. So, I mean you can slink away never to be heard from again or do you rise up, wave at the crowd, finish your walk? And now it’s a great dinner party fodder for the future. We get to decide. And I think sometimes we think of confidence as an arrival place or only just an emotion that happens when we think a thought that helps us feel confident. And yes, I think those things can be true.
And true self-confidence, the kind that like a well that you can pull from over and over again is what do you do, how do you have your own back when things don’t go exactly perfectly according to plan?
Natalie: So that’s maybe a good place to kind of tune in. Go there first. If you’re like, “I don’t know. I guess I feel okay about myself.” What’s the conversation like in your mind about you when whatever happens in your life that you feel is embarrassing, or I mean hard, where you ‘fail’, whatever your definition of that? So that may be something in your career, it may be something in your family. It may be you say something wrong in a conversation. You think about it for two weeks, whatever that looks like. That may be a good gauge.
Judith: Yeah, exactly. So, if you didn’t eat according to whatever your plan or your planned food, or however you run your food life, when you didn’t do exactly perfectly what you thought, what is your inner dialog like? If two o’clock on a Tuesday we look up in the mirror and we see ourselves and we’re like, “Shit, is that how I’ve been walking around all day?” What’s that inner dialog like? “You did your best, we got out of the house, no problem.” Or is it like, “Oh my God.” What’s the inner dialog like?
If you don’t perform perfectly what’s happening, your brain is going to tell us where your confidence is, truly will tell us where your confidence is.
Natalie: Yes. And then it’s just information. That isn’t a new place for you to beat yourself up, where you’re like, “Oh great.” No, it’s just like, it’s so good to know. And then I mean lots of tools, you and I both have lots of tools that can help you in that position. So, one thing that came up as you were kind of describing that equation. Do you find the opposite is also true where people are high on the other side of the equation, they’re doing, doing, doing, doing but the belief in themselves is low?
Judith: Yes. And that’s why I teach it in that way, because I tend to attract people like myself, high achiever Type A, I’m going to try and take a ton of action so I can feel better. And we can’t action our way out of a negative emotion. So oftentimes if I have clients who are like, “And then I did this, and then I did this, and then I did this, and then I perfectly did this.” I’m like, “And then how are you feeling during all of this doing shenanigan? Can you tell me how your emotion is?” “It’s very anxious.” “Yeah, no kidding, friend.
I could tell love bug. Okay, so here’s where we’ve got to work on our equation next. I know you’re taking a ton of action, you love to take action. How are you feeling while you’re taking the action? If we’re exercising, how are we feeling when we’re exercising? If we’re getting ready in the morning, I love that you’re getting ready.” That’s amazing and especially since my Type A love to report when I did good. I did the thing, Miss J, and I’m like yes. “And then how are you feeling while you did it?”
And they’re like, “Damn you, I’m going to try again.” We’re force marching ourselves to take action, that’s not confidence either.
Natalie: Yeah. Both of those things need to be taken into consideration. If we’re believing without doing, then we’re not really taking advantage of and/or capitalizing on that beautiful belief. And if we’re doing without believing the same is true, that balance, that’s a great place to see where the work needs to be done. How are you feeling while you’re doing? Or if you’re not doing, what’s going on there?
Judith: Yeah. And it’s an ebb and a flow, welcome to being a human. Sometimes belief is high and action taking is low. Sometimes action taking is through the roof, and belief is really in the toilet and we get to play with both sides.
Natalie: Yeah. And I think that’s true also of different aspects of our lives because I know for my clients, my clients sound similar to yours. People who feel like they’re successful in every other area except this one. And so, they have confidence and belief in themselves as well as balanced action in these other places where they’re feeling really great but there’s this place where the balance is a little off. So that’s another thing. You can be confident and feel good about yourself in your career, in your family, or in your academic pursuits of whatever and here’s a place where it’s lacking.
That’s being a normal human. And it’s just information that allows you to take a closer look. And I also think it’s fun to be able to look at those places where the balance is a little more clear for you or you like the balance better and be like, “What’s working there? How is it that I’m able to believe in some of these places where it doesn’t exist here?”
Judith: Yeah, exactly. There’s so much to learn, whether the balance feels pretty good to you or off, it’s all learning, it’s all information. Gold mine of information either way.
Natalie: Yes, totally agree. Oh my gosh, thank you so much.
Judith: This was so good. I had so much fun, thank you.
Natalie: So, fun. So, tell everybody, how can they find you? How can they work with you? Tell us all of that good stuff.
Judith: Yeah. So, the best way to enter into my world, you can go to judithgaton.com. I have a podcast called Style Masterclass. So obviously if you’re listening to this you like podcasts. So that’s a great place to go, highly bingeable, the episodes are six to eight minutes long. And then they give you a mission at the end. And then if you’re like, “Hey, I actually just want to work with you.” That’s cool. [Inaudible]. I opened up a private social club for women and it’s called Modern Charm School. And we talk about style, and money, and legacy, and leading with gumption.
So that you’re kind of creating this whole well rounded woman, just like they would at old school charm school but we have definitely modernized it, definitely modernized it.
Natalie: I love it. That sounds amazing. Oh my gosh.
Judith: It is amazing. I’m obsessed with them. I always tell my clients, I’m like, “I’m obsessed with you all. I love you all and I’m not kidding.” And they’re like, “Okay.”
Natalie: They believe you a 100%. That is one thing that I feel always comes through is your authenticity, your just warmth and love for people. So anyway, one of the reasons why you’re here, because I love you so much. I want everyone to feel a little bit of that, get a little dose of it. And I’ll link all of Judith’s stuff in the show notes. So, if you want to just click links, make it easier on yourself, that’s available to you as well. Okay, thank you so much.
Judith: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Natalie: You bet, see you later.
Okay everybody, I hope you enjoyed meeting and hearing from Judith, she is amazing, and so warm, and so loving, and so brilliant. So go check her out, follow her, do all the things 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.