Do you feel in control of your weight loss?
If you don’t already feel in control of your weight loss, I am guessing that you want to. Feeling in control of your weight loss is going to come from your thoughts. That is the actual answer, your feelings come from your thoughts.
I often ask my clients a very simple question. In fact, I did a podcast episode on it, “What Is In the Way of Your Weight Loss?” It is episode 21 and was released November 2 2022. If you haven’t listened to that one, definitely go there after this. So for you, let’s ask the question.
What is in the way of your weight loss?
When I ask clients, friends, or myself, it’s a lot of the same stuff.
- My job is crazy, crazy hours, I’m in a million meetings.
- My boss is very demanding.
- Co workers,
- Business travel,
- My spouse, that comes up a lot. So if that’s if that’s yours, it’s okay.
- The weather,
- Not enough time.
And those are all true, for sure.
I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong or that you shouldn’t think that. If you only get one thing from this, let it be me telling you that all of that is completely normal and completely okay. The last thing we need to do is shit on ourselves about it. Right?
You’re entitled to have all the thoughts and feelings. I think the bigger issue is sometimes we’re not really aware of all the thoughts and all the feelings. We think we know but we have so many jumbled up thoughts, a lot of automatic thoughts and just a lot of things happening all at once because we’re doing so much all at once.
Why is it a problem?
That would be my next question for you. If you did tell me it was because I am so busy at work, or my kids have so many activities or the weekends are really tough for me or whatever your answer is, ask another question. Why is it a problem? That’s where I think you’re going to figure out what else is going on. It’s not necessarily just the job, or just the boss or just the coworkers, but there’s feelings in there.
You might be feeling;
- Taken advantage,
- Like you can’t ever do enough,
- Like you’re not good enough,
- You’re not smart enough,
You kind of see where we’re going.
This is the kind of stuff that does get in the way of our weight loss. It’s not because of the job or the boss or the spouse or the kids. It’s because of what we make all of that mean. We have a lot of thoughts and feelings jumbled up in there.
You’ve probably heard me talk about this. We talked about this a lot and Self Made. It is this idea that if we want to solve weight loss, it isn’t like, oh, eat this, don’t eat that. Here’s a list of the good foods. Here’s a list of the bad foods, carry on. It’s more about, and this is a perfect time of year for this analogy, it’s that knotted up ball of Christmas lights. If you went into your attic or your basement or wherever you stored the lights from last year, and you’re like, Oh, my God. What was I thinking? I can’t untangle these. Sometimes that’s what’s happening with our thoughts and feelings. Why it matters is that if we don’t untangle it, then we’re just going to be chasing the next diet. We’re going to be looking for a diet to solve a bigger problem or really the root of the problem. Sometimes you’ll hear people say, let’s figure out what’s the root cause of this.
I have another analogy, I heard it from somebody who I follow, Elizabeth Benton from Primal Potential. She and I think alike. It is about upgrading your mindset in order to get the weight loss outcome you’re looking for. It’s not about the right diet or should you eat XYZ or which supplement or the best workout. At the end of the day, if you want to create lasting long term change in your weight, your body composition, your health, your finances, your relationships, it doesn’t really matter what the end result is that you’re looking for. But you would have to be able to think differently. Another diet is not really the answer.
What we’re looking for as we untangle this bunch of lights is it’s not so much the lights. It’s not about everything’s all tangled up but it’s finding out what’s the right strand to pull? If I pull that strand what will I find?
Sometimes we don’t really want to pull the strand. We are afraid to pull the strand. What if I find that thought or that feeling? Will that change something if I confront the thought I have? I’m afraid of the feelings. That makes total sense.
Getting back to what Elizabeth Benton, her analogy for root cause kind of goes like this. A lot of times in weight loss, we’re chasing the smoke, and not really getting to the fire. I think that’s true. I want to lose weight. I need to feel confident. I need to have more control over my life. I can have more confidence and have more control. I’ll be happier and everything will be great. I won’t care about all these other things, as long as I can fit into my size two skinny jeans.
I’m going to take away all the carbs. I’m going to cut my calories. I’m going to work out more and drink more water and do all the things until I can’t. It comes back to now everybody has COVID or it’s another holiday or I have a couple of weeks of business travel. We keep going around and around using diets as a way to exert the feeling of control. This happens a lot especially when I work with clients in Self Made. We work on the idea of being more flexible and planning in whatever foods we want, the opposite of a restrictive diet.
It’s taken me a long time to learn flexible eating. How I teach flexible eating and the premise of flexible eating, the Self Made Method isn’t about eating whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you want. Our brains definitely get that message. If I’m not on a restricted diet, and I can have anything I want, I’m afraid. We’ve lost a certain level of trust with ourselves and with food. We feel like everything is dangerous, and everything is a trap. I won’t be able to say no. I won’t be able to stop. That might actually be true.
You might have some foods at the beginning of your flexible dieting or flexible nutrition or flexible eating journey that aren’t ready for you yet or you’re not quite there. That’s okay. Baby steps. Nobody goes from hardcore dieting, taking away all the things, restrict, restrict, restrict to now I have a flexible approach. It’s a process, it takes time. You’re not going to get there faster by ignoring your thoughts and feelings. It’s not trading in one diet for another.
Flexible eating is not a diet, it’s more of a mindset, and mindsets take time to shift. We have the ability. Our human brain can actually grow, it is not a fixed asset. You have to practice it though. If you’ve had 30 or 40 plus years of restricting and dieting, and these foods are bad, and I’m bad if I eat them, it takes a little while to unwind it. The same thing as trying to figure out what it is that we actually think about the job, the boss, the co workers, the spouse, the all the things.
I’m here to tell you, whatever you think and feel is not a problem. We just want to put it out in the open, even if you don’t share it with me. That’s okay. You can just share it with yourself so that you have more clarity. It’s very hard to feel in control if you don’t have clarity. If we don’t know what’s going on, we are chasing the smoke and never getting to the fire. The fire is still going to be burning. We’re just treating the symptoms, that top layer.
We’re never getting to that root cause of why;
- I am overweight,
- I’ve gained weight,
- I binge eat,
- I overeat,
- I ignore my own hunger cues,
- I say yes to eating things when I am not hungry,
If we don’t address it.
Here are some questions. Let’s get to the meat of it. I like to think, how can I give you something that moves you forward rather than just pointing out another problem. This is a problem, and that’s a problem. Our brains will go there and show us all the things that I’m doing wrong.
How can I feel more in control?
It is very fair to let anything come up here. Write it on a piece of paper. How could I feel more in control? See what is there. If you’re like, I don’t know, my clients love when I do this, I say if you didn’t know, what would the answer be? They don’t love that at all. My clients hate that. I get it your brain is going, I don’t know. I have no idea how I could feel more in control. If I knew the answer then I would already feel more in control.
Here’s the thing, we think control feeling in control is more about external stuff. If my boss wasn’t such a dick, I would feel better. If my spouse would do the laundry and the dishes then blah blah. No.
- How can I feel more in control?
- What would I need to think to feel more in control?
- What would you need to think in order to feel like you had more control of your life?
- Of the day to day activities of your weight loss?
- What would you need to think?
If you want to figure it out, you might want to think about a thought download. It is a very simple activity. This can be on scratch paper. It does not have to be in a leather bound journal with calligraphy pens or glitter pens. It doesn’t have to be pretty. You can rip this up later. Ask yourself what you would need to think and whatever comes up. Some of the stuff might be too lofty. Your brain might be like. I would need to think XYZ and I don’t think that yet. That is okay.
I would figure out what you do think. Just kind of barf on a page, because with 60,000 or more thoughts going on in our heads, and a lot of it is negative, this person, that issue, that problem, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah, we’re going to feel like we have no control. When I feel like I have no control, I am not going to get to my goals, weight loss or otherwise.
A thought download is just a brain dump. Take some of the stuff out of your head, get it on paper and see what is there. That is it. It’s easy to do. It doesn’t hurt anyone, I promise.
Here are some frameworks that you can use once you see some of these thoughts. Either you can have a list of all the thoughts;
- How much I hate this person,
- I wish this,
- This is a problem,
- That is a problem,
- I have no discipline,
- I have no self control,
- I don’t know what to eat.
- This doesn’t work,
- It’ll never work.
all that stuff. Or you could have a list of what I would need to think in order to feel more in control. You can do this either way.
I would look at your list of thoughts and just ask yourself;
- Is this true?
- How do I know it’s true?
- What else could be true?
- Who would I be without this thought?
- Who would I be with this thought?
- What can I think instead?
- Does this thought help me?
- Does this thought move me forward?
You get to be the arbiter of your own brain.
I know I’m making it sound easy, like we have an on and off switch and we don’t. I wish it were that easy. Be like, Oh, bad thoughts, good thoughts. There’s going to be some middle ground where we just want to see what is in our head. Ultimately, we want to figure out what we need to think in order to feel more in control.
What do you have control of?
What do you think you have control of? And what don’t you have control of?
I did a little presentation on losing weight over the holidays, I feel like I’m talking about a lot of the same things. It was for my group. I have a membership group as well called the Society. The question was, could I accept and love what is? The job, the boss, the sickness, the weather? Can I just even accept? What are the things that are actually true? That it is raining cats and dogs? That I have lost my internet connection today? I have this email? This problem?
Can I just accept that there are going to be some things that I do not control? They’re going to happen. I am allowed to think and feel however I want about them, but they do not have to get in the way of my weight loss. That has nothing to do with my weight loss. Me eating because I am tired or stressed or worried or angry, resentful, bored, lonely, will not actually solve the problem. I will not have more control. By doing that I will not be addressing the fire, I will only be trying to mask the smoke when I go down that road.
A lot of times with weight loss, we have many different hormonal situations. You’re a woman. You’re in your 40s and 50s. You’re listening to this. You have something going on with your hormones and it is not your fault. It is going to happen. However, when we constantly feel stressed, overworked, underappreciated, out of control it could cause us to not prioritize ourselves, not get enough sleep, not make time for meals. That’s when it becomes a bigger problem. A bigger metabolic problem for sure.
I’m never going to poopoo, but a lot of times when we really look at what is going on for ourselves and how we feel out of control, it’s because we’re not actually taking control. We’re giving up even more control. The more I feel like I don’t have control, other people, other events, other things, things known, things unknown. It is as if everything else has control but me. Then I’m over eating. I’m eating past hunger, I’m snacking, I’m doing bites, licks, and tastes. Maybe I’m binge eating. That for a moment makes me feel like I have something to do. I’m making a decision, but it is really only putting a bigger gap between me and the feeling of control that I actually desire in my own life.
A lot of coaching isn’t me telling you;
- what to eat,
- when to eat,
- how much to eat,
- what not to eat,
- what not to do.
That’s out there. You can follow a diet, and they’re all out there.
If you want to not just lose the weight, but lose it forever. Even though it seems scary, or maybe seems like there’s going to be a lot there in the fire. Sometimes it’s not scary, sometimes it’s just there. We’re trying to eat or overeat or eat through our feelings, when we could just sit with our feelings. I could be aggravated, frustrated, disappointed. I could be angry with my boss, my spouse, or the weather. I could be, and I probably will be, but I don’t have to actually eat. That is not going to help me be in control.
When I think about eating, and who I am becoming, and who I am practicing being, I want to take care of myself. That is how I will feel in control. I want to make sure that I have at least three meals a day. I have protein in every meal. If I can fit in fiber in every meal, or at least one or two meals. Then whatever other fats or carbs that I also enjoy.
I take my time eating, I listen to my hunger signals. If I can remind myself to sit down and slow down and chew the food. I’m in control. That is control for me. Control is not a diet. I understand if you’ve been on a lot of diets, it can be very hard to break that pattern.
Most people who are successful with flexible eating or flexible dieting or flexible nutrition, however you like to frame that, usually do get a coach. I invite you to apply for a scholarship or invite you to book a call and talk about Self Made with me.
I hope you have a wonderful, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. All the things it’s just I feel like we’ve been talking about the holidays forever.
ABOUT THE HOST
Bonnie Lefrak is a Life & Body Transformation Expert and Founder of Self Made, a program designed to help you tackle the physical aspects of health and weight loss as well as the beliefs and thoughts that drive our habits and behaviors. It is her goal to help women create certainty in their own lives, their own results, and their own abilities.
Weight loss is not about the one “right” diet – it is about MUCH more than that. Weight loss is not about the one “right” workout. Weight loss is not about being positive and putting a big smile on.
Weight loss is about FEELINGS. All of them. Not trying to bury them or hide from them but knowing and allowing the full human experience. Weight loss is not about grinding hustling and will powering your way to some end line. Transformation (when done well) is done from the inside out.
By addressing both the physical and mental aspects of dieting and weight loss, she has coached thousands of women ages 30-55+ from all over and helped them ditch the mindsets that are holding them back, achieve permanent weight loss, and get the bangin’ body of their dreams.
Bonnie is an expert at Demystifying weight loss. She helps you u****k your diet brain. She is on a mission to help women love themselves, to find PEACE in the process of losing weight, taking care of themselves, and leveraging the power they do have to become who and want they want right now.
Connect with Bonnie-
- Book a call- https://calendly.com/bonnielefrak/lets-talk-weight-loss-strategy
- The Society- https://bonnielefrak.com/self-made-society
- Facebook Group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/707942356603835
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/bonnie.lefrak
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- Website- https://bonnielefrak.com