I’m back again with some golden nuggets from the podcasts for you. I have a challenge for you today, find a thought in this episode, a sentence, phrase that I share that resonates with you, and ask yourself why?
Is it something new to you? Is it something that you need to hear or work on? Is it something that connects to or aligns with your values, or does it feel like a deep remembrance?
The Process vs. the Product
We often look at our progress with the end in mind, and we end up never being where we are. We’re in the past thinking about all the evidence that is holding us back from success, or we’re in the future focused on how far we still have to go.
It takes us out of the moment and uses the energy we could be pouring into making aligned decisions now, practicing skills now, and exercising patience now. It spends it instead on imaginary things that get us nowhere.
Sterner says when you focus your mind on the present moment, on the process of what you are doing right now, you are always where you want to be and where you should be.
We want to focus not just on the product we want to achieve but also on the process we need to engage in to get there. This doesn’t mean we take our eye off the prize completely. We just use the goal as a rutter to steer our practice instead of the measure of how we are doing.
There is no one solution that works for everyone forever. I support people losing weight when it’s driven by love for them in their bodies. I do not support the idea that everyone should lose weight or should lose a certain amount of weight to be a certain number to meet a certain ideal or expectation. I also don’t support the idea that there’s one best or most effective way to lose weight if you choose to do so.
We have to learn to let go and listen. We have to let go of the idea that there is one answer, one solution. We have to let go of rules and expectations that are driving us in the opposite direction of the one we want to go.
We have to be willing to try new things in new ways. We have to be willing to have something we try not work and keep going anyway. We have to be willing for it to feel hard and have that be okay. We have to be willing to let kindness for ourselves; you serve any prescription of what we should or shouldn’t do, there is an answer for you. There is so much out there for you to try.
There is one thing above all others that is my only it works for everyone solution, and that is love. When you love yourself, every decision is the best one, even if it doesn’t work out how you want it to. Figure out how to love you and go all-in on that. It will change your life.
Borrow A Feeling
There are so many powerful and useful emotions in our weight loss process. When we think about our emotions as being the fuel for our actions, we can see how important it is to be able to generate or access feelings that will move us forward.
We want to learn how to generate and access feelings like love, compassion, gratitude, pride, and patience so, we can use them as fuel to take the actions we want to take.
Engaging in conversation with yourself is so powerful. We’re doing it anyway, mostly by default. You know that voice in the back of your head bossing you around and berating you, the conversation is happening, it’s just that we think it’s passive for most of us. It just happens. We don’t realize that we can engage and talk back. We can converse, not just be lectured. We can proactively start and stop conversations that do or don’t serve us.
We can change the conversation, guide the conversation, monitor the conversation, and stop the conversation. It just takes recognizing and believing it’s a thing. If you think I’m crazy, just start listening. Notice what’s going on up there outside of your awareness.
The Reverse Golden Rule
The golden rule; do unto others as you would have them do unto you is do unto others as you would have them do unto you to manipulate them into treating you a certain way so you can feel a certain way.
What if the golden rule was to do unto others as you do unto yourself. How would that go? Think about how you talk to yourself, regard yourself, judge yourself, feed yourself. What if you had to go out into your families in the world and start treating everyone the way you treat yourself?
We have a lot of beating ourselves up going on in the weight loss process. I think that comes from our inability to forgive ourselves for missteps and mistakes along the way. Forgiveness for ourselves in these cases is like a lifeline of compassion. It allows us to move forward with a focus in the direction of our goals, unburdened from our past actions.
But I think we see it as going too easy on ourselves a lot of the time, and we think if we forgive, we are being too permissive, and we will never learn. But I think it’s worth looking into that to see if it’s true.
Forgiveness is something we think we give to someone else, but it’s actually a gift we give ourselves. Because someone else doesn’t feel your forgiveness. They don’t feel the feeling you have. Only you do.
From Episode 61
Compare and Despair
I miss seeing what I have when I focus on what I lack. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying; comparison is the thief of joy. I think this is true because of the blindness we experience to what we have when we focus on what we don’t. It’s difficult to feel joy in the deficit.
But it is a tendency of humans to frequently compare ourselves to others, which is, yes, all humans. I have heard statistics like 10% of our thoughts each day are comparisons of some kind, so it’s quite often.
We compare ourselves to others to keep our bearings as to where we fit in or to make sure we do fit in. If the function of what we talked about before, our primal needs to be accepted and acceptable to the tribe.
If all you feel is down and discouraged when your brain compares you to others or yourself, disrupt it. Choose to look at your progress instead of your problems. The gains, not just the gaps.
Choose to see what there is to be grateful for and how it is exactly as it should be. Comparison may be the thief of joy, but you can protect your joy and be the hero, not the victim. It’s completely your choice how you use comparisons in your life, to your advantage or your detriment. It’s up to you.
Will Do/Want To
Many of us have some goal trauma and therefore avoid setting them at all costs. We’ve had the experience of setting a goal and going after it with pure force until we achieve it, and it felt terrible and exhausting, and it didn’t, in the end, give us the magic feeling we thought it would.
Others of us have goal PTSD from perpetually setting goals and never achieving them, and therefore making it mean we are broken, useless, lazy, and whatever else. Therefore, never want to set goals because it feels terrible and like a setup to feel failure and shame.
Have you ever noticed we’re often creating goals around what we don’t want to do anymore instead of what we do want to do? Reframing our goals to feature what we want instead can be a powerful shift.
Look at the goals you have now, reframe them into, want to goals. What you want to change instead of what you don’t want.
The power is in the principal. I set goals. I follow through. I show up for myself. If this is true, we can replace these will-do goals with any goal and create the same result.
Freedom and Permission
Most of the women I talk to want desperately to experience freedom around eating, freedom in their bodies, freedom from food chatter, freedom from judgment, and shame. And yet, most of us hold the belief that true freedom is eating whatever our in-the-moment brain tells us it wants.
It’s a narrow view. It discounts the consequences of all that free eating. Eating whatever we want for most of us means tuning out what our body needs and only honoring what our brain wants. It typically results in a body that is less free and more restricted with its ability to move in the world in the way we want to.
We often overeat in response to a perceived freedom threat. We boomerang into a bag of chips or M&M’s because we’re trying to restore that freedom. If there is no perceived threat, there is no boomerang. I
If it is ultimately our choice, we will make a more aligned, more conscious choice than if we were blinding rebelling against a threat to our freedom to choose. Who suffers when we rebel against ourselves? Who has to live with the consequences? Who feels the pain we do?
The Growth Zone
One of the most important things to embrace in the process of any change, but especially weight loss, is to meet yourself where you are.
We create a goal for the future based on who we want to become, we have a vision of our future selves, we know what we want our bodies and lives to look like after, but we’re not there yet. We are not yet the person who listens to her hunger and satiety and governs her food choices based on what feels good in her body.
But we are not considering where we currently are and what we’re all about now. We are setting goal timelines as if there’s a magical fast track that will get us to future me asap, with no consideration of who we are now, what we are capable of now, or what skills we still need to build.
I want you to imagine a Venn diagram where one circle is our current selves, our comfort zone, and the other circle is our future selves, our uncomfortable zone. When we are focused on the obstacles of now, the challenges of now, and the failures of now, or we are living and eating by default because it’s what we’ve always known, and it’s what’s comfortable. We are standing solidly with both feet in the comfort zone.
We always want to know where we are and where we want to end up to create a map, a guide, a step-by-step plan of how we will get there. Pushing yourself slowly and deliberately out of the comfort zone, listening to the resistance that happens in your mind as you do this, addressing the complaints that come up, and allowing the discomfort of growth; that is a recipe for success.
Balance and Contrast
When we make changes at first, it feels like a shock. I watch my clients spend time feeling a little lost and a little out of whack, and a little confused. We’re eventually able to come to terms with it, but it takes some growing and getting used to, some acceptance, and finding balance.
When we’re focused only on in-the-moment pleasure and not on long-term well-being, we are out of balance. When we try to make changes to restore balance, of course, our brain will complain. It feels so different and uncertain.
Balance doesn’t always look like equal parts or a little of everything. Only we know what balance is for us individually and in different aspects of our lives.
Think about how much of your time you spend thinking about the past and wishing it was different.
Now, think about how much of your time you spend thinking about the future and what you hope is different.
When we accept ourselves now and feel love and compassion for us now, instead of disgust and dissatisfaction, we show up totally differently for ourselves. We treat ourselves differently. We make different choices.
This is what life looks like right now. This is what I believe about myself right now. It is accepting reality, but it’s also leaving the door open for that reality to change.
Gratitude Out Loud
I heard of a study that found that negativity is 4-7 times more powerful than positivity. Crazy, right? Even crazier is the fact that when you say something out loud, it’s ten times more powerful than if you just think it.
I have noticed a huge difference between what it’s like to think something in my mind, compared to writing down and seeing it/reading it with my eyes, or hearing it with my ears. The more sense you can involve in the process, the better. It requires different areas of your brain to process and comprehend what you see, read, and hear.
We spend so much time nitpicking our bodies and being frustrated with our brains for taking so long to change. It may feel nearly impossible to you to find and feel gratitude right now.
Start in general terms with your body. Can you just be grateful to be alive, even if it’s the tiniest and most general thing you can find to appreciate about your body? Look for it, seek it out, choose to acknowledge it, and then speak it out loud.
Review and Refresh
I want you to think about where you are on your weight loss journey. Whether you are just thinking about getting started or somewhere in the process, it’s important that we review where we are and refresh where necessary so that we can move forward and keep creating success.
Where in your weight loss journey could review and refreshing benefit you? Where have you gotten into patterns that aren’t moving you forward? Where are you stuck doing what you’ve always done even if it isn’t working anymore?
Review your beliefs about yourself and your capability. Do they need a refresh? What about your thoughts about weight loss, your body? Do they need a refresh?
Your future you, your health goals, are inevitable if you just keep going.
From Episode 69
The Truth About Making A Plan
Planning ahead of time with your adult brain with love for your future self and learning how to honor that plan no matter what garbage your toddler’s brain offers you is everything. It is you choosing what you want most over what you want in the moment. And that skill is the one thing that will change everything, everything.
I know you may have your own thoughts and objections about planning ahead of time. You may have been scarred by your past experiences of food journaling everything that went into your mouth. You feel rage and extreme resistance with the idea of measuring and weighing and calculating.
I get it. It’s not comfortable, but the power is in the principle here. In the moment where there is a strong desire and no rationality, it’s not the time to make eating decisions. In the moment is where your toddler brain is in charge.
Your adult brain that has envisioned your future self and knows she is born out of the hard decisions now, the choices you make now. The way you choose to take care of yourself, now.
That is the part of your brain that you want in charge of making these important decisions. This is the part of your brain that you want to task with taking care of you.
Making a loving realistic plan is freedom. It frees you from decisions in the moment. It frees you from the guilt of the day of eating without regard to how you feel or what you really want. Without order, there is chaos. A loving realistic plan ahead of time will bring that order.
Transition Trouble Spots
Living life and taking care of our responsibilities requires a lot of our brains. They have a lot to balance. It’s no wonder that our brains want a break between work and home, between client calls and kids. Between the work week and the weekend. And why these are the places where we are going to food to help us create that break.
Our brain is looking for a signal that one thing is over, and the next thing has started. A delineation between one set of expectations and the next. This is why you may find yourself grabbing your phone and scrolling social media at the end of a client meeting—or immediately wanting chocolate as soon as you pull into your driveway after work. Your brain knows what’s coming.
The first step is to identify that transition trouble spots for you and understand why they present a challenge. Then, try to identify what your brain is looking for by engaging in these behaviors. That is what we want to zoom in on. What do my brain and body really need in these moments?
Transitions in your day and life don’t have to be trouble spots. If we can come at them with an understanding of what it is, we really need and approach solutions with intention.
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.