Today, I want to share another handful of wisdom nuggets from the podcast. Listen for what resonates for what stands out. And then, go back to that episode for a deeper dive.
Adjust your expectations.
Adjusting your expectations can change not just your experience of the journey but also your results. I want you to have a target to shoot for. I want you to have and be reaching for your goals. I want you to develop and aspire to a future that is an expression of your highest, best self.
But I want you to do all of that realistically, compassionately, and wisely. Expectations are predictions your brain attempts to make based on its past experience and what it thinks should happen.
Where do expectations and predictions live? In your imagination, of course. They haven’t happened. Your brain just made them up. They may be based on facts or evidence, but they are still conceptual and therefore optional to buy into and believe.
Think Outside the Box.
Problems present themselves in our lives, and sometimes the solution to that problem is counter-intuitive. It’s different or opposite of what we may assume works or what we have tried before.
We adapt to the current situation and find a solution that works now. We think outside the box, and we look to change everything outside of ourselves as the solution on our weight loss journey.
Another problem that requires some thinking outside of the box is urgency in weight loss. The counter-intuitive solution to being in a hurry is actually to slow down.
That urgency is a message. It’s signaling that we believe the lie that something outside of us, the number on the scale, for example, will create a feeling inside us.
Ongoing problem-solving is a perfect description of weight loss. There isn’t an exact combination of food that works for everyone at every stage of their lives. We try things and see what results we get, and then we try different combinations of things and see what results we get. We approach it with curiosity and commitment, and we figure it out.
Should you lose weight?
Shoulds are always made-up rules. They are usually unreal expectations of us, our lives, and other people. They are always denying the reality of what is, for our alternative preference. They also usually feel like judgment because they imply that what is currently happening is not okay.
Numbers are symbols; they just sit on the scale, meaningless, without a human brain to attribute meaning to them. We know this because the number you see of the scale that you think creates your misery is someone else’s dream come true. And there is someone who sees your dream come true number right now and feels terrible about it. We see digits, make them mean something about us, and feel misery or joy based on the sentence we choose, period.
When we believe we will finally be okay, whole, complete, etc., when we lose weight, we are, in essence, saying that our value is based on our weight or size. Can you see how ridiculous that sounds?
Your value is fixed. It is innate.
If you go into and through your weight loss journey, believing that your value will be on the other side of it, it will be so much more difficult, likely even impossible, and, if you do get to the end, it will be like receiving a beautifully wrapped box that is labeled happiness or value and opening it up to find that there is nothing inside. You can’t find happiness or value in there. It has to be created inside of you.
It’s that rubberband of resistance being pulled back all week long. That then snaps back and has us rebound eating all weekend long.
What exactly is the weekend? It’s comprised of days of the week. The sun rises and sets on these days, just like it does during the week. We need to eat food on the weekends and have meals just like on weekdays.
Taking care of yourself and being aligned with your highest self is still just as important on Saturday as it is on Tuesday. And the consequences of making decisions that aren’t aligned remain the same every day of the week.
We need to extricate ourselves from the idea that the weekends are somehow different than the weekdays.
Let’s learn to look at what we need on the weekends. We want to create a pressure valve release throughout the week, so it doesn’t feel like we need to just open up the lid and let them all out on the weekend. That’s not serving us in the end.
A What I Want Manifesto.
Change requires belief in becoming something new that you aren’t quite yet. It takes the expectation that you can get there. Even if you don’t know, it is made real by authentic visualization of what you want and why. It comes to fruition as you apply these concepts and take action on your belief.
Your brain doesn’t subscribe to what it doesn’t believe. And, it loves to make thoughts it believes to be true even truer with evidence and examples, for better or worse.
So, we have to phrase what we want to change in terms of what we want to do, be, and experience. Not what we don’t want anymore. What we are wanting to become needs to be realistic. So that our expectation that we can do it is high, change all of your don’t wants, to what you do want instead.
Referencing the Past.
In the process of weight loss, we don’t want to dwell on past mistakes or live in the past. Instead, we want to use the knowledge and experiences from the past to help us create success in the future.
Typically we use the past as evidence of what’s possible in the future. We use our experience of what usually happens to predict what will happen. It is almost as if we see the past as a determining factor.
But what if we use the past instead as a reference point. Kind of like the way we use the side mirror on our car. We check it to make decisions about how we want to move forward. Our eyes stay on the road in front of us on the journey as it is unfolding, and the glance in the mirror just helps us see what we need to do to navigate around obstacles that might inhibit us from moving forward effectively.
Parenting Your Toddler Brain.
The toddler brain has gotten us this far as a human race by focusing on and prioritizing survival. We stayed together and mutually beneficial groups. We were driven to find food and stay away from danger and reproduce, and here we are. The adult brain evolved to help us thrive, not just survive. To create, self-evaluate, and make big picture decisions about the future.
Your toddler brain is constantly throwing tantrums. It may not show up as screaming, yelling, crying, falling on the floor, going limp, hitting, running away, etc. But the drive is the same. It’s driven by in-the-moment immediacy, as is characteristic of the toddler brain. There’s no future focus. It is all about right now and right now only.
Getting the thing we want feels like a life or death mission. Tantrums on your weight loss journey often look like an urgent desire for something that takes over, and you feel like you are eating out of your control. It feels like tunnel vision for a specific food, a craving that demands your attention. It’s loud. It’s hyper-focused. It’s a disregard for anything but putting out the fire of desire. Loving limits is what your toddler brain needs, not access to whatever it yells loudest about.
Our adult brain recognizes the truth – that what we put on our plans and into our mouths is always our choice. That eating whatever you want is not true freedom. It doesn’t create freedom in our bodies. It doesn’t create freedom in our brains. It doesn’t create freedom in our lives.
Our adult brain sees what true independence looks and feels like and what it does not. It does not look like not being driven to follow cravings and feeling shame about that. That is chains. It does look like being able to be around any food and any situation and choose to take care of ourselves. It looks like eating on our terms.
Zoom In Zoom Out.
You can choose not to interpret the discomfort as a red light but instead as a signal to move forward. You can learn to leverage the discomfort to create real change.
Zooming in is where we want to begin on any journey of change. Because any change we are looking to make happens in this moment. And in the subsequent moments that follow. We create big long-term impacts in small decisions, steps, and habits.
It’s a series of small accomplishments and that dopamine reward that comes when we acknowledge those accomplishments that are the sparks that fuel the fire to our weight loss.
Change The Conversation.
As Brenae Brown says, Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot survive empathy. This is meant to be you letting the light in, excepting all of you, even the hidden parts. Shame cannot survive being spoken; it cannot survive empathy, especially empathy from you, for you. It can’t hurt, but it might help.
When we think in absolutes and decide we’re right and someone or something is wrong, we close the door on discourse. We shut down curiosity, turn our back on learning, see this happen in the world, and see this happen on our weight loss journey.
That feeling is the message. It’s the signal telling you whether believing something is right or wrong is helpful and useful to you on your weight loss journey or not.
Our entrenched beliefs are often just blanket statements with a period at the end of the sentence. We choose to believe these things are true in order to create a framework for our world and make sense of it. We want to know the rules so that we can remain acceptable to the tribe. We want to know how to govern ourselves.
Ultimately no matter what the rules are. What is offered to us, we choose to believe what we want. We are the deciders as to what is right and wrong to us, and we act based on what we decide.
Asking, “What if?” is changing all the periods at the end of those sentences of your beliefs to question marks.
You don’t have to give up your belief. You can still choose to believe you are right. But having entertained the other options, you get to hold on to your beliefs because you love them and want to keep them.
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.