I’m back with more nuggets of wisdom from the podcast for you today. I love quotes and little nuggets that I can take in and easily comprehend but take my time to digest.
It’s part of the reason I created a short and sweet podcast and why I love finger foods. Because you get a taste and you can decide how much more you want to consume.
So look at these nuggets of wisdom podcasts like that. It’s a tasting menu of the whole podcast that will allow you to grab a quote or a concept and ponder it for the day or hear a nugget that makes you want to consume more, and you can go search for and listen or re-listen to the whole episode.
If you haven’t listened to this episode, or it’s been a minute, go back and check it out. Our food rules are one of the biggest sets of obstacles there are to our weight loss. They inhibit our ability to listen to and honor our bodies.
The longer you’ve been alive, and especially the longer you’ve been conscious of your weight and trying to lose weight or not gain weight, the longer your list of food rules has likely gotten.
Our brains really like rules. We like them because our brain wants as much predictability as possible. Predictability means safety, and since our brains’ job is to protect us from danger, it’s all over the safety of predictability. So we think if we follow the rules, we will be able to predict outcomes.
We think that following the rules will lead us to freedom in our bodies, but I think it’s the opposite. Think of all those rules like bars in a prison cell. Every rule you adopt and hold on to is one of those bars.
Our judgments about whether or not something is good or bad, or healthy or unhealthy, and all the rules we use to punish ourselves thin are actually keeping us stuck right where we are and are often creating bodies that are feeling more and more limited in the way they move around in the world.
This leaves us feeling like we don’t have a choice. We have to, can’t, need to, shouldn’t, aren’t supposed to. The rules are deciding for us. We don’t have any power. And when we feel disempowered, our brain’s response is to try to take back the power.
That’s why we so often find ourselves rebelling against these food rules we’ve created. Steven C. Hayes put it so beautifully when he said, “Like a lion trapped in a paper cage, human beings are generally most trapped by the illusions of their mind.”
From episode 19, rewriting our story means feeling some discomfort. It requires trading the discomfort of now for the discomfort of growth. The thing I find interesting is that most of us are mostly unaware of the story our brain tells us about our lives.
I see optimism not as ignoring reality but as a conscious perspective choice. We create the experience of our lives with the way we choose to tell our stories. Your story about it determines your experience of it.
Imagine your brain is the ocean, and you’re floating on a boat in the middle of it. The ocean is full of sentences floating by. Then, something happens in your world, some sentences float by, and you reach out and grab the one you want to believe and pull it on the boat.
Building this skill of consciously choosing our thoughts can change everything. Despite our circumstances, our entire experience of our lives, even those we can’t control, we determine with our thoughts.
No matter what happens outside of you, you have the power to control what you make it mean and your experience of it. You are the author of your story.
From episode 20, How our thoughts make us feel is the heart of the story. Feelings are what we as humans are all about. Everything we do or don’t do, and most of the things we eat or don’t eat, are because of a feeling we want to have or avoid.
For most of us, our toddler brain is running the show most of the time. Our toddler brain wants what it wants right now. It has strong opinions and desires, no patience, and can’t be reasoned with.
It is often throwing a tantrum, complaining, whining, high on sugar, and living life with no rules or limits, but in desperate need of them. Sound like any toddlers you know?
The toddler doesn’t know that feelings can’t actually kill us, and discomfort doesn’t mean we are going to die. That’s all a feeling actually does. It shows up a certain way in your body, you experience it, and then that particular chemical wave subsides and is gone.
Being willing to and building the skill of feeling our emotions, allowing our emotional waves to flow through our body is the superpower that can make you unstoppable in your life.
From episode 21, weight loss is like a scientific experiment. We wonder, we research, hypothesize, test, assess, conclude, and go again. Over and over until we find what works and what doesn’t, and then that changes, and we go to work again.
One of the first obstacles we come up against is what is called fusion. Our brain offers us a thought, and we totally buy in hook, line, and sinker. We believe it is just true. We become one with it.
We lose sight of the fact that our thoughts are just sentences, just words and pictures floating around in the ocean of our brain, and it’s up to us to grab the one we want and believe it. We forget we have a choice.
The sentences have no power unless we give them power. They can’t threaten, direct, hurt, or control us unless we fuse with them and choose to believe them. Good news, though, there is an antidote, and the antidote to fusion is delusion.
You’ll have to go listen to this podcast to learn more about that.
Remember that you are always in charge of how you feel and your life experience based on the thoughts you choose. So don’t spend a second of your 50% amazing, regretting or resenting the 50% that isn’t. That is what it truly means to be the author of your life, to be brave enough to choose to feel all of it.
From episode 22, no one is living all of the time in the space of goodness and love and light. We are humans. We suffer. It’s important to extricate ourselves from that toxic gratitude pool. We have so much to be grateful for, and we also suffer.
One doesn’t negate the other. They can both be. I am struggling right now, and I have a beautiful life. I don’t think it’s useful to minimize it or compare our suffering to others.
You’re allowed, even though you don’t live in the worst of circumstances, you’re allowed to struggle and to suffer and to feel the spectrum of human emotions.
This is a lot like your brain and thought work. You have to pull it out, sort through it, and decide what you want to keep and what you want to let go of.
It doesn’t matter how it comes out. It just matters that you get it out.
From episode 23, you can lose weight, but your brain comes with you. So it won’t last unless the change goes more than skin deep. My clients see and use the scale, the idea of planning, overeats, questions as weapons against themselves.
They attack and harm themselves with these things, rather than engaging with them as tools that can allow them to build the skills that will help them lose weight, keep it off, and grow in the process. It keeps them stuck spinning and suffering, and it’s not necessary.
We have lots of evidence of what didn’t work or went wrong. The good news is you don’t have to get rid of this evidence or ignore it or pretend it didn’t happen. We can instead use it as a tool to figure out how we want to do things now.
When you step on the scale, you choose what you make that number means about you. That number reflects what you are putting in your mouth and its effect on your body.
It’s totally neutral digits. It’s information. It’s data. The process of healthy weight loss is a scientific experiment that helps us learn what works for our body and what doesn’t. And the number on the scale is a metric that we use to evaluate if the things you are eating work for you or not. That’s it.
Our brains are so dedicated to proving our thoughts true they will create whatever you have decided on, even if it’s crap that doesn’t serve you. It will serve up the very thing you are saying will happen.
Overeating is like an atomic bomb. It’s destructive in the moment but then has some pretty insidious effects after as well. Because after the overeating comes the judgment, and our judgment of ourselves for the act of overeating can, in many cases, be as bad or worse than the initial action.
We are overeating to numb the experience of some emotion in our bodies.
After we overeat or eat off-plan is a critical moment—a moment of learning or looping.
Their brains offer poisonous thoughts disguised as questions that appear helpful and useful but render them powerless. Questions like, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I figure this out? How will I ever be able to do this?
These questions do not produce helpful answers that move us forward. When we ask what’s wrong with me, what we’re really thinking is something is wrong with me, and the list of things we find wrong in answer to that question goes on and on and does not serve us.
It’s a problem rather than a solution-focused question, and it will therefore set us spinning in circles. You know your questions are useful tools when they get you looking for solutions.
From episode 24, we tolerate okay-ish because it’s harder to figure out how to make a change or truly take care of ourselves than it is to just stay in the relative discomfort of our current lives and bodies. We settle for it’s fine instead of going after our dreams.
The moment between you stepping off the scale that hasn’t moved and the subsequent eating of pizza that you may do in response is your moment. That moment, not the number on the scale, is what will determine your success.
Our brains will choose comfortable and familiar over uncomfortable and unfamiliar any day of the week because at least we can predict the familiar discomfort experience. There are no surprises or potential dangers there.
Your emotions are created by your brain but experienced in your body. So reciting positive mantras to ourselves or trying to believe opposite thoughts to escape our familiar feeling state is kind of like bringing in the fan to cool down the house instead of adjusting the thermostat.
It might be temporarily useful but isn’t actually effective long term. Changing our emotions set point is best done a degree at a time.
From episode 25, it’s not the pizza that signals our doom. Instead, it’s the quitting that follows eating all the things.
It wasn’t the food that was creating the motivation in the beginning. It wasn’t that we just had the motivation, and now we don’t. It’s not lost, and we can’t go looking for it and just happen upon it. We have to create the feeling of motivation on a continual basis on purpose with our thinking.
We choose motivation. Willpower is really just us resisting our desire for things. There’s a lot of I can’t, I won’t, happening to create willpower.
There’s a reason people often refer to willpower as white-knuckling it because it is fighting, pushing against, what we want, but can’t have. That’s why willpower is a limited resource. Willpower runs out because it is exhausting to push and fight and resist.
And once the willpower runs out, you’re left with all of those feelings of desire you’ve been resisting. Desire is a feeling created by your own thinking. Desire is not something to fear or fight against, and it’s not something we have to act on or do anything about.
It isn’t the quitting that creates the relief. It’s the change in our thinking. We don’t need relief if we aren’t resisting and piling on guilt with our thoughts in the first place.
We don’t need a break if we aren’t believing that we can’t, shouldn’t, and aren’t supposed to. When you believe you are always choosing every moment, every bite, you get to feel the truth: you have the power.
Episode 26 focuses on how important it is to stay connected to ourselves and what we want on any journey of change and transformation.
You’re on a weight loss journey of some kind, and you’re wanting to lose weight, working to lose weight, or thinking about losing weight. But how often do you ask yourself why? How often do you pause and connect with what it is you really want and why it matters?
I don’t think everyone needs to or should lose weight. I think weight loss is just a conduit to finding freedom in our minds to have freedom in our bodies.
Weight loss is a goal and a challenge that can grow you in amazing ways. Weight loss should be driven by and led by love for ourselves.
From episode 27, how much time do you spend in your imagination period? I bet you’d be surprised if I told you it’s just as much as when you were young, only now it’s not about fun and exciting possibilities. It’s about doom and gloom and regret.
The past is in your imagination. It doesn’t exist. It already happened. So thinking about it now is using the power of your imagination to conjure the image and create feelings about the past.
When you’re thinking about something you wish you’d done in the past and you are feeling regret, you are experiencing the emotion of regret now in the present. The thought you’re having is creating that feeling is about the past, but the emotion is happening in your body now.
And what we feel now drives what we do now. So if you’re feeling regret, regret is the fuel you use now to show up in the world. You can think about the past in a way that serves you in the present or not. That’s up to you.
The future is also in your imagination. It hasn’t happened yet. So any time we’re thinking about the future, we are using our imaginations as well. And just like with the past, when we imagine the future, we feel emotions in the present.
A mantra is just a disconnected sentence. We don’t actually believe it. We often want to employ a mantra to span the gap between where we currently are and where we want to be, but it simply won’t work unless it’s connected to, anchored to, tethered to a feeling.
Without a feeling, they are just words. Meaningless and ineffective. Once you can imagine the thought and what it will actually feel like to believe it, you will be connected to power, plugged into possibility.
We have to use our imaginations to conjure emotions. Emotion is what powers action, and the switch is our thoughts. You don’t have to save the joy for later. The best time to do it to feel it is now. You don’t have to wait to lose the weight to experience pride. You don’t have to see a certain number on the scale to feel confident.
These are feelings you can open up to and create for yourself now. This is not about waiting anymore to love you, not waiting until someday to take care of yourself like you want to.
Okay, from episode 28, believe that change is working for you, ahead of you, and with you. Life is always trying to give you what you need. But, sometimes, it is not the way you expect it.
If you learn something and it resonates with you and believe it serves your life and helps you be the highest version of yourself, believe away. You don’t have to be anything anyone tells you that you are.
As we’ve discussed before, your personality is just what you do based on your thoughts and feelings. So much of it is in your control. I don’t ever want my focus on my after or my future to infer that who I am now is not okay.
When I am only thinking about what I want that I don’t have, what I want to change, what I wish was different, I’m focused on what I lack. Not on all that I possess.
Episode 29 is about the fact that setting out on a journey of learning, discovery, or change isn’t always what we think it will be. It doesn’t always look or feel like we thought it would. It’s hard and messy and not fun much of the time.
But on the other side, someone altogether new waits for us to inhabit her.
Do you ever feel like your brain and your insides are so uncomfortable they might be turning to mush in this process? Now you know the mush is necessary. It’s the stuff your future self is made of.
This episode was all about butterflies becoming butterflies from caterpillars. There’s some mush involved. Sometimes in the process of change, things seem like they get worse before they get better.
The definition of metamorphosis is a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one by natural or supernatural means. I love that idea.
In episode 30, I talked about how self-care is not just about what you do. It starts like all other things, with our minds, and it includes all components of your health – physical, mental, and emotional.
There’s no exact prescription for self-care that’s going to be the same for everyone, and there’s likely not even a prescription for self-care that will be the same for you every day, every week, or every year for all of the time.
We want to connect to what self-care looks like for us and be open to changing and expanding and receding and evolving over time. Your emotions are like the weather. Always there and always changing.
Self-care is a thread that runs through everything. If self-care is taking care of your physical and emotional health and you live in your physical body and are driven by emotions, then there’s a component of self-care in everything you do. Sometimes kindness looks like freedom, and sometimes it looks like loving limits.
Looking back allows up to explore the things we’ve learned again with fresh eyes and evaluate where we want to go in the future.
I hope this review is helpful for you as you assess your goals and recommit to taking care of yourself the way you want to.
And if you want to learn more from me about how to lose weight for the last time, watch my free video about how to lose the first five pounds — and keep going.