Ep #50: The Long Haul

The Long Haul

I can’t believe we’re here at 50 episodes of the podcast. I remember setting out on my podcasting journey, feeling completely terrified of getting the show out there. However, here we are, only a couple of episodes away from my one-year anniversary, and it got me thinking about a concept I know is going to help you on your weight loss journey.

Doing the work of becoming the person I am today who loves recording and sharing her podcast was not easy, and it definitely did not happen overnight. I thought I was going to die on more than one occasion, and the discomfort was constantly there, tempting me to quit. But I had a tool that kept me going and I’m sharing it with you today.

Listen in this week as I invite you to think about the long haul of your weight loss journey. Are you in it only when it feels easy, or are you prepared to keep going, rain or shine? Changing our bodies and brains takes time, and the practice of identifying your definition of the long haul will help you take quitting off the table when it inevitably gets hard.

If you have been wanting to work with me to lose weight for the last time, the wait is finally over! Applications are now open for my group weight loss program, which starts in February. So click here to apply, and if you qualify, we’ll meet on Zoom to decide if the program’s a fit for you. See you soon! 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How this podcast is evidence that it is possible to change your beliefs about yourself.
  • The work that was required to redirect my brain to become who I am today.
  • Why you have to examine your level of commitment to the results you want.
  • The power of deciding to be on your journey for the long haul.
  • How to define what the long haul is for you and why it’s important to do this step.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 50.

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.

Hello everybody. I am so amazed that we are at episode 50. It’s blowing my mind a little bit. This podcast was a project I designed and created for myself as part of my Master Coach Certification process. One of the requirements of that certification process was to come up with a project to complete that would stretch and grow us in all the ways we wanted to grow and to be stretched.

For most of us, it was something that aligned with our personal or business goals, and it was outside of our current comfort zone, our current skillset, or even our realm of genius. Choosing a project to complete that was challenging mentally and emotionally really required us to manage our thinking and imagine our possibilities and work toward them to bring them to fruition.

I had dreamed of one day having my own podcast, but I had so many beliefs that stood in the way of me pulling the trigger. First of all, I believed that the podcast had to be life-changing. Listening to a Jody Moore podcast episode once upon a time literally changed the trajectory of my life. So did The Life Coach School podcast.

Listening to it for years and then eventually being a guest on that podcast was the catalyst to me becoming who I am today and to this work that I now do in the world. So I felt a lot of pressure to make every episode amazing and life-changing.

Pressure is not a feeling that moves me forward. Thinking I have to about anything does not get me going. I also believed that I wasn’t creative enough, I didn’t have enough ideas. And I wasn’t disciplined enough to commit to a weekly podcast.

The combination of those winning beliefs alone that I had to create a life-changing episode every week shockingly did not drive me to embark on my podcasting journey. I didn’t think there was a world where I could create 50 episodes of a podcast that people actually listened to.

So the fact that we are here today is evidence that it is possible to change your beliefs about you, my friends, and create the results for you in your life that you want the most. It wasn’t me creating 50 episodes that changed my belief in my ability to do it.

I had to change that belief first in order to get me moving toward creating what I wanted to. I had to take a close look at the sentences my brain was offering that I was choosing to believe that were determining my identity at the time and I had to question them hard. I had to wonder and get curious about what else I could believe, what I wanted to believe, and who I wanted to become.

For example, the belief that I wasn’t creative enough, that was a big one for me that really held me back. I spent some serious time questioning that. First of all, what does that even mean, I’m not creative enough? How do I know when I’m creative enough? How do I become creative enough? Who decides if and when I am creative enough?

Clearly enough was an immeasurable, less than useful concept here. So minus the metric of enough, I then examined if it was true that I wasn’t creative. I’m creative in quite a few aesthetically focused ways. I love clothes and accessories and hair and makeup and interior design and floral arranging, even some visual arts.

I read a lot and I have a curious mind, and I’m always wondering about and questioning things. I graduated from high school and college, and in the process did plenty of synthesizing concepts and ideas and writing to express them. I love to teach and explain and think of analogies for complex concepts.

So all of these are ingredients I use every week as I create each episode. It was true that I hadn’t combined them all into one purpose weekly before, but all the parts were there and I could learn to combine them in this new way.

I saw that I could choose to believe I wasn’t creative enough to podcast, based on the fact that I had never done it before, or I could see all of the ways I am creative, all of the skills I possess that would lend themselves to podcasting and choose to believe that I am capable of making my own.

This wasn’t work I did in a day. I had to spend time really thinking hard about this. Understanding where I was, what beliefs and thoughts were in the way of making this happen, and then I deliberately practiced redirecting my brain to what I had, rather than what I lacked. What I could do, rather than what I hadn’t yet done.

I spent time with the discomfort I felt as I came up with the concept, wrote and edited my first episodes, and intro and outro scripts, and plan the launch. I felt so much doubt and so much discomfort when it came to actually putting the first episodes out into the world and telling people they existed and to listen.

Oh my goodness. I thought I might die. I really, really wanted to hide under the covers and eat chocolate all day the day the podcast launched. Because creating it was one thing. Having people listen to it and putting it out into the world for them to critique it was a whole other thing.

Not comfortable for me at all. I think at the time, I would have been fine creating it, putting out an episode every week, and just not telling a soul about it. But the challenge, the stretch for me was in not just creating but sharing. And so I figured out how to get through it.

There was so much that felt hard, so much that felt scary, so much unknown. But I knew that my ultimate goal was to create and to share ideas that could help people change their relationships with themselves, change their bodies, and help them lose weight.

And that for every moment of discomfort, I was making it possible for that goal to become a reality, for me to share something that might change someone’s perspective and make their life a little better. And I value that contribution. That is important to me.

That is my connection to what matters most to me. Making a meaningful contribution to the world. And that is why I show up every week for you, because of my connection to that goal.

I share all of that to drive the point home that I practice what I teach. That changing our brains and our beliefs is what leads us to changing our lives. That all of the concepts I share with you here I apply to me and they work.

Whether we are talking about changing my beliefs about whether or not I’m creative and can become a podcaster, or changing your beliefs about whether or not you are capable of weight loss and can become someone who lives effortlessly at your natural weight for life.

This 50th episode also has me thinking about perseverance. When I set out on this podcasting journey, I committed myself to one year of weekly episodes. That was my goal. There were no contingencies. I didn’t allow for quitting if it was hard, or skipping a week if I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t make it dependent on the number of downloads or reviews.

I committed to the long haul. 52 weeks of episodes. No exceptions. I launched the very beginning of March 2020, right before COVID hit full force in the US and everything shut down. Can you imagine if I had said I commit to doing this as long as it’s easy and fun and there aren’t any hiccups?

Hello, 2020 was basically one big hiccup, right? I want you to think about your weight loss journey and how you are currently viewing it. Are you in it for the long haul? Or is your commitment more of the temporary variety? Is this a fair weather only kind of journey or have you come prepared to keep going rain or shine?

How you are viewing it is going to determine your experience of it and ultimately your success. Because if you are thinking, “I’ll do this as long as it feels easy,” or, “I’ll keep going as long as I’m seeing a certain amount of weight loss per week,” this journey will be a short one for you.

It does not always feel easy. And the weight loss will not always be consistent or look the same. If you make contingencies, you will quit. If you expect there to not be any hiccups, you will be sorely disappointed and you will quit.

If you view this journey as ongoing and evolving, if you commit to keep going no exceptions, even when it’s hard, even when you don’t want to, even when the scale doesn’t change or goes up some weeks, if you view it as a long haul and you decide you’re in it for the long haul, you will get to the other side.

It may not be smooth sailing; it may not be pretty. It may not look like you thought it would, but you will get there. Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. What will you do as you face difficulty along the way? How will you react to delay in achieving success?

If you expect it, if you welcome it, how differently will you show up for it? Changing your body and your brain takes time. It takes patience. It takes perseverance. It requires whole-hearted dedication. It is a long haul. But it is possible as long as you keep going.

I want you to notice that I created a goal with a time parameter. It wasn’t necessarily I will do this forever and ever, amen. I committed to one year. That was my long haul. That was a huge stretch for me at the time.

I seriously could hardly fathom having written and recorded 50 plus episodes. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I was committed to figuring out how no matter what. The end of the year to me was not necessarily an end date, but rather an evaluation date.

I said I would get there, I would look back at what I had accomplished, what worked, what didn’t, and then decide what I wanted the next year to look like. You get to decide what the long haul is for you.

I think a time parameter is more useful than a number of pounds lost parameter because it isn’t dependent on anything but the calendar. It doesn’t have to be a year but having an evaluation date helps your brain keep the goal in a perspective that it understands.

Your brain loves comprehendible bite-sized pieces, to be able to say I’m committed to this for one month or six months or a year, and then I will evaluate and decide what happens next allows your brain to focus more specifically on where you are headed.

We know our brain loves certainty and it fears the unknown. So defining what the long haul is for you takes away a little slice of unknown and replaces it with certainty.

One of the things I see happening to my clients is commitment fatigue. Without a focus on the long haul, they then have to commit and recommit almost daily to keep going. They feel exhausted and depleted by the process of questioning, doubting, wanting to quit, and then pulling themselves back and recommitting to keep going over and over again.

Defining and then focusing on the long haul allows you to take quitting off the table, at least until the evaluation day comes. Now, don’t get me wrong here. Deciding what long haul means to you doesn’t then look like you feeling committed and motivated and thrilled to keep going.

It doesn’t look like you eating only what and how much you have planned every day, never finding yourself in the pantry eating chocolate chips instead of dealing with your feelings. There are still I want to quit days, and I’m eating all the cupcakes days. But instead of actually quitting, we refocus on the long haul and we keep going, knowing there will be discomfort involved.

I have had weeks where things have not gone as planned. I’ve had weeks where I had no idea what I would talk about on the podcast. I’ve had weeks where I just wanted to take a break. I’ve had failures and disappointments and doubt.

I’ve wanted to call it on a couple of occasions, I’ll be honest. But I refocused on my one-year commitment, I reminded myself that I don’t have to do anything more than that right now. That’s it. That I can do almost anything once a week for a year, and here I am.

Weight loss can be a temporary game, but lasting weight loss is always a long haul. It is changing habits and creating new neural pathways in your brain and believing new things that you’ve never believed before. That doesn’t happen overnight, but most really amazing worthwhile successes don’t.

Okay lovely people, thanks for being here on the long haul of the podcast with me. It is such a joy for me to be here every week with you. I have an awesome one-year anniversary giveaway planned, so stay tuned for details for that in the next episode.

If you want to join my February weight loss group, this is the last week to apply and sign up. So head to itbeginswithathought.com/apply 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.

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Natalie brown certified life and weight loss coach

Meet Natalie

I spent over 2 decades battling my weight and hating my body, before I found a solution that worked FOR GOOD. I lost 50 pounds by changing not just what I eat, but WHY. Now I help other women like me get to the root of the issue and find their own realistic, permanent weight loss success. Change is possible and you can do it. I can help you.

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