In preparation for some fun things I have coming up in the next few months, I’ve reviewed all of my podcast episodes.
It’s been a year and a half since I started the podcast, so it was really fun to refresh my memory of each episode. I started pulling out some favorite quotes, concepts, and analogies, and I decided to highlight some of them.
I encourage you to listen for what speaks to you today and then re-listen to some of these episodes.
If you’ve been around from the beginning, it’s likely been a minute for you as well, and you could probably also use a refresher.
I also see us as ever-changing and evolving beings. So you may have heard episode three as one version of you from the past, and you may hear it with totally different ears today. So I encourage you to revisit, reassess and re-experience some of those episodes that you maybe haven’t heard in a while.
There were a couple of fundamental tenets of the podcast dropped in episode one. The changes to our lives come as we apply the things we learn.
That is why in every episode, I include something for you to do, questions to ask yourself, something to try, something that helps you take what you’re learning and take it deeper, actually see it start to make changes in your life.
Another fundamental tenet is to question everything — everything you’ve been taught about weight loss, everything you believe about your size, everything society has told you that you should be—all of it.
And, if it’s not a fact, that means you have the power to change it.
This episode is about our future selves. When we imagine future scenarios, both the imagination and memory centers of our brain light up together.
Our brain is a problem-solving machine, so if we give it a task like imagining us in the future, having accomplished a goal, it’s going to scan the past for any previous experience we have to use it to determine the path to take and the probability of us accomplishing it.
Here we explore the idea of our weight creating happiness.
Your current weight is someone else’s goal weight. The number you hope you never see again, they can’t wait to see on the scale. It isn’t the size of their body creating their feelings. It’s what they’re choosing to think about it.
What is truly rewarding isn’t just pleasurable in the moment but contributes to our overall satisfaction and moves us forward. Often the things we find truly rewarding aren’t necessarily pleasurable in the moment.
I think this is maybe my favorite episode ever and contains some really good nuggets.
Weight loss is simple. It requires us to learn one skill — the skill of choosing what we want most over what we want in the moment. That is it.
This is not a journey of sunshine and rainbows. It’s a journey of commitment and determination, and deliberate decisions. But on the other side is the life of your dreams.
Your weight loss is going to be your own unique journey, moving from this version of you to the next over and over again.
In this episode, we learn that our toddler brain is not about long-term solutions. It’s about short-term answers.
Deprivation means the lack or denial of something considered to be a necessity. Deprivation is a feeling. It’s not something you are. It’s something you feel.
The thing that makes dieting feel like dieting instead of deciding is our relegating the choice to something outside of us. So when we think, “I can’t,” we feel like something outside of us is controlling the decision. And if the rule comes from outside of us, so does the enforcement of the rule and the consequence.
We think that the rebellious eating that ensues is a rebellion against that outside force telling us that we can or can’t eat the things, but it is a rebellion against ourselves. The truth is if you’re an adult human in the world, you can eat whatever you want. No one has the power to tell you you can’t except you. Always your choice.
Telling ourselves that we can’t eat something is a lie. Can’t is a poison apple. It looks and sounds noble and helpful, but it is usually a weight loss killer.
When we know our adult brain is in charge of the decision-making, it makes it much easier in the moment to say no to our persistent toddler brain.
What I have found about curiosity is that it can’t coexist with judgment. When you are curious, you can’t be judgmental and vice versa. And when you are compassionately curious, you open yourself up to an even deeper understanding.
We are all walking around seeing life through our own “should” lenses.
These lenses are shaped by our upbringing, our parents’ beliefs, culture, and families. We see ourselves and the world through this lens of expectation, which puts us in an almost constant argument with reality. We are rarely looking at who we are and what is and are instead focused on who we aren’t and what isn’t.
But clinging to these shoulds to make us better is like eating a little bit of poison every day, thinking we will build up a tolerance and it will make us stronger.
The reality is it just keeps us sick. The antidote to the poison of shoulds is acceptance. Taking off the lens of “should” and seeing you and your life for what they currently are.
The thing about worry is that it seems important. It seems necessary even. It seems like it is helping us consider all the options so that we will be prepared when things happen.
But there are two kinds of worry. The helpful kind that has you wearing sunscreen at the beach, and the unhelpful kind that has you quitting on yourself and hiding in shame.
I want you to notice something about worry here — it’s always about something that’s in the future, which is in our imagination. Something that hasn’t actually happened. It’s totally made up.
Sure, it’s possible, and you may have had a similar experience in the past, but the thing you are worrying about right now hasn’t happened yet.
However, those thoughts create real feelings now, like anxiety, panic, and desperation, and those feelings do not typically drive helpful actions that are aligned with your weight loss goals.
Our sense of smell is tied strongly to our memory of past experiences and our experience of taste. This super close connection explains why we can smell something and be immediately taken to a particular memory and feel its emotion.
It is possible for us to enjoy a smell simply for the pleasant experience it is and do nothing else about it. We can breathe deeply the warm sweet smell of cinnamon rolls or the bright, sharp smell of garlic bread without any effect on our goals.
We are constantly questioning and doubting our value and saying we’re not enough. Not good enough, thin enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough. But what determines if we are enough? How do we know when we are enough? What does enough mean?
It’s a measurement we can’t define. And if we can’t define it, we can’t ever know when we’ve reached it. And therefore, we’ll never get there. So it’s a moving target.
We think this trying to be enough; this striving to reach enoughness is helping us become something else, something more. But it’s keeping us stuck where we are.
We hide, eat, and gain weight. We’re in a mode of constantly seeking and never just being.
I want you to release enough from your vocabulary. Banish it. And know for certain that it’s up to you what you become. You have everything you need within you right now.
When we see our bodies through the lens of judgment, we deny reality. We increase our physical discomfort with the emotional pain of believing things should be different than what they are. When we choose to take off those lenses and see our bodies as they are right now, we will change how we feel.
When we choose to love ourselves in our bodies, when we can see and feel them for what they are, instead of only what they are not, and start making different decisions about how we take care of them, fully inhabiting ourselves. That is how we find comfort in our skin.
Our emotions are like the weather — always happening and always changing. Our full human experience every kind of feeling.
The contrast is the key. We have to know one to know the other. We try to sustain a level of constant happiness or peacefulness because we think it is what all humans are supposed to do. But where did we get this idea from?
Where on Earth is there a human living a life that is a constantly happy one? And more importantly, is that a life that we want to live? Our unpleasant emotions are not dangerous or threatening. They can’t harm you.
Your feelings are your friends, and they’re there to give you a message, to teach you a lesson, but only if you’re willing to open the door, let them in, and listen to what they have to say.
Our default reaction to our unpleasant emotions is to contract, tighten up, and fight or hide. When unpleasant emotions come knocking, we see them as monsters that we need to keep out, and so we resist, and we fight, and we push against them.
We overeat, and we overdrink and all sorts of other things to muffle the sound of the knocking. If we accept and allow our unpleasant emotions, we mistakenly think they will overrun our lives, but the opposite is true.
As we increase our ability to accept and allow our unpleasant emotions, we decrease the intensity and duration of the unpleasant emotions and increase the frequency and duration of our pleasant emotions.
We often label food as good or bad, but the truth is, no food is inherently good or bad. Food is just food. It has no moral value.
Different foods have different nutritional value and effects on our individual bodies, and we have taste preferences, cultural food traditions, regional specialties, and family favorites.
But the food itself is neutral.
If you wanted six brownies, but you ate one, your all-or-nothing thinking will still chalk it up to failure. So you’re either on or off, you’re doing it all the way, or you’re not at all, you’re successful, or you’re failing. But what about everything in between?
This is what the all-or-nothing thought error ignores all of the grey areas in between the black and the white. It fails to consider any other way of looking at things.
Any change we make or result we are after, including weight loss, is most effectively accomplished by small changes and efforts executed consistently.
Weight loss is about learning to choose what we want most over what we want in the moment, and that doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers. It’s not an overnight transformation.
It’s a series of small decisions, individual choices made over and over.
In this episode, I reminded you that if the goal is disconnected from what matters to us, it will not hold up. If this current moment is not connected to that value-driven goal, we will not make decisions that line up. If we are not connected to our bodies in the moment, we will not show up.
“Might as well” is rarely followed by just eat some veggies. Might as well moments never lead to value-aligned decisions.
The decision you make in this moment is a big deal because it’s part of your journey to the goal. It’s all part of becoming the kind of person you want to become. It’s a big deal because you are a big deal.
The benefits of looking back
Looking back on these episodes, I realized how far I’ve come and how much goodness there still is to share.
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 looking back on these first few episodes 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.