I say life gets lifey all the time. I really think I should have t-shirts made or bumper stickers made.
I want to go through what I’ve created, which is the Life Gets Lifey Playbook.
We’re going to pull this apart and put it back together again. So that even though life gets lifey, you have a way to better deal with it so that it doesn’t feel like a problem.
That’s really the gift I want to give to you, especially when it comes to weight loss. We have the sort of ideal that everything will align and we will have this clear path to where we want to go. “That’s how I’ll lose weight,” then life gets lifey and it doesn’t happen.
I’m going to walk through the playbook. I’m going to use things like numbers so that we can stay on track. I’m sure there’ll be a little bit of overlap, but you’ll sort of see how this unfolds.
Ultimately, I want for you to feel better, to feel more normal, and that you can take action. I could do some things. I’m not powerless.
There’s something I could work on that’s;
- Not overwhelming,
- Does not create more anxiety for me,
- Moves me forward.
That’s my goal for us together.
1) What does that even mean?
I just take it for granted that you know exactly what I mean. Maybe you don’t.
Have you ever said something like this?
- I was doing so well.
- Everything was going great.
- I was totally on track.
- I was losing weight.
- I was working out.
- My dog got sick.
- I sprained my ankle.
- There was a snowstorm.
- There was a power outage.
- There was a vacation.
Then life got in the way.
I have always had clients who told me, “life got in the way.” When life gets in the way I say, that means you’re still alive. As long as life is in the way. You have a life. It’s a good thing and I want to spin it that way.
People don’t always see the value in life’s rich pageant of unexpected and unplanned events. That’s okay.
We can figure out how to deal with it. We can.
2) What can we do here?
I have a little framework. It gets to the heart of a problem pretty quickly. It’s three questions to ask yourself.
- What is the problem?
- Why is this a problem?
- What am I making it mean?
Just three questions.
When our schedule gets thrown off, or something unexpected happens, it’s not unusual for us to make everything a big deal and feel like we don’t have control.
There’s no right or wrong answer. We simply are starting to figure out where your brain is going. That’s it.
What is the problem? Why is this a problem? And the big one, what am I making it mean?
- What am I making it mean about me?
- What am I making it mean about my weight loss?
- What am I making it mean about my ability to achieve my goals?
- What am I making it mean about the long term prognosis, or the long term eventuality of me being successful?
That’s really what it comes down to.
Our brains are always looking for reasons that it’s not going to work. Then you’re off track. When we really can just be logical. Take the step back and pretend that you’re doing a little interview.
3) What am I making this mean?
What’s coming up for me?
- All or nothing thinking,
- Feelings of unmet expectations,
That’s generally what is happening.
I think it’s important to acknowledge what you’re feeling. I want you to still be able to lose weight and feel disappointed. I want you to still be able to lose weight and feel fearful or doubtful. That’s just part of the process.
I get it, there is this expectation that if I make a super plan;
- I pack my lunch,
- I lift the weights,
- I do all the things,
- then everything should go the way I want it to go.
Yet, life doesn’t always work that way.
I think it’s important to figure out what is coming up for you.
Many times when life does not go perfectly we fall into all or nothing thinking.
- If it can’t be 100% the way I planned it,
- The way I wanted it,
- The way I had hoped,
- What I expected,
That’s unmet expectations.
I’m not suggesting that we just say “Well, life gets lifey. Suck it up, buttercup.” I’m not, but we do want to acknowledge that being human means you have feelings. It’s just part of it.
4) Reality check.
Life gets lifey no matter what you weigh. I think it’s important to realize that no matter how rough, tough ,or buff you are it doesn’t solve life problems. You won’t be any happier.
You’re not going to be any more resilient just because,
- You lose weight,
- You weigh XYZ,
- You’re in the size 2, 4, 6.
I think that’s part of why we’re so easily blown off track. We’ve created this weight loss goal. We make it kind of like a board game, Candyland or something. We’re going to arrive at some magical spot, like when it has like a big rainbow over it and a pot of gold. Then it’s going to be so fantastic.
I can’t get there if my life isn’t perfect. That’s just simply not true.
No matter where you are in your journey, you’re going to have things that come up. Learning how to be resilient and how to stay on track when life gets lifey is the game.
- We’re not automatically going to be better equipped at a certain weight.
- You’re not a better person.
- You’re not better with your feelings.
- You haven’t arrived.
Just because you weigh XYZ.
We’re always in the process. Life is always happening to us all. Life does not discriminate against someone who weighs less or weighs more. We want to work on ourselves now.
It’s great to have goals, don’t get me wrong. I want you to have goals, big goals. I do. But we can’t make that be like this thought about I’m just not there yet. I’m not perfect. I’m not good enough and so why even bother?
This is just part of the process. When you get to whatever weight or whatever size, you’re still going to have to be on the road of life gets lifey. It’s about dealing with uncertainty.
Life is not a fairy tale. We can’t wait until life isn’t lifey to move into our future self and be who it is we actually want to be.
5) What the f*ck is a future self?
Who do you want to be? How does she show up for herself when life gets lifey? That’s really what it is.
Learning how to be that person now!
- Not waiting.
- Not putting it off.
- Not thinking I’ll never get there.
Because life is so lifey. I’m too busy. Things are happening and I have to wait till it’s less lifey. As if that would happen.
This is really about your identity. It’s much more than a number on a scale or a clothing size. I mean, that’s part of it.
When we’re trying to lose weight or get into a smaller clothing size, improve our body composition and prove our physical health or mental health or emotional health, we’re often looking at some kind of number. I’ll know I met my goal when it says 135 on the scale. Or I will have reached my goal when I fit into those size four genes. Or I will have reached my goal when I finally go to three workouts a week. Or whatever it is. We have external markers for where we’re going.
I’m just wondering if we can think a little bit bigger than that.
When I talk to clients I ask,
- When was the last time you weighed that?
- Have you ever weighed that?
- What is important about that weight?
- What does she look like?
- What does she wear?
- How does she show up for herself?
- How does she feel about herself?
- How does she navigate the world?
Thinking bigger because you could reach your goal weight. Let’s say it’s 135. Let’s say it’s 150, let’s say 200. Whatever it is, the next day, the scale could go up a pound or two. Are you no longer that person? Are you no longer Superwoman.?Are you no longer rough, buff and tough?
I think it’s important to really look at who you are, and who you want to be, regardless of the scale. It helps you become more certain, more resilient, and more able to navigate what you want in this life. It is easy to get thrown off course, when we’re not really fully aware, or in touch with who we are and who we want to be.
I wanted to take this a step further. Take a piece of paper and draw a picture of yourself, not a stick figure. I know you’re like “I am no artist.” Imagine just like a 7 year old, 10 year old 12 year old 15 year old girl might sit down and draw a picture. Draw a picture of yourself.
You could start anywhere, but I want you to draw a body. I want you to draw hair, I want you to draw clothing, jewelry, makeup, accessories. I want you to use your imagination. Actually create who you want to be.
I know it sounds kind of crazy. You may have never never done this, you may have never envisioned this. I see it more recently than ever, obviously, because we have much more social media going on. If you think about it, it wasn’t until the late 90s that you saw the internet. Even in the early 2000s, although there was the internet, you could do a lot of searches online and get a lot of information about weight loss and dieting. There were blogs and forums. It wasn’t until after 2009, where you really started to see more on Facebook. We’re in 2023 and people are using Facebook and Instagram and whatever other social media to put out photos, their before and afters, their perfect life.
We find ourselves getting lost in all of that. Comparing ourselves and thinking we have to look a certain way or we can’t look a certain way. We don’t even know how we want to look. Half the time my clients don’t even look in the mirror to see anything at all. This is just something to see about your own imagination, about what you could draw and bring her to life.
What does she think? How does she feel;
When she walks into a room?
When she walks into the gym?
When she walks into the office?
When she walks into her house?
Let’s give this drawing life and I don’t want you to put a number. I don’t want you to put a clothing size but dress her as you would like to be dressed.
I really do think we can get tripped up and this idea of like a future self is this thing that’s really out of reach. That’s far off into the future. That’s me when I’m perfect. That’s me when I’ve got all my shit together and my life is going according to plan.
Here’s the thing, a lot of things don’t go according to plan, and you are still awesome. You still can reach any goals that you set. You just have to make them a priority. They have to have clarity, and you have to put them in writing.
6) Why planning is key.
Putting things in writing is critical. Even the picture you’re going to draw of yourself, I think is critical. Draw it in your head, see what you like, put it on paper. See what you come up with. If you’re a terrible artist, who cares? It’s for fun.
This is why we also teach planning our food for the day ahead of time inside Self Made. We start people where they are, and when they’re ready that’s what we teach. It sounds kind of simplistic but you’d be surprised. It seems so easy, just plan your day. Just put it in writing. How hard is that? Why do you need to teach me ?I don’t want to pay for that. Oh, but it’s it’s more interesting than that.
It also includes planning for;
- Being sick
- Snow storms,
- Power outage,
- Following the plan,
- Not following the plan,
- Falling off the plan and getting back on the plan.
The more you practice, the more you move towards the woman you want to be in your body, with food, in a relationship with yourself.
Planning is key.
7) Why you are resisting planning.
Simply because you’re afraid to fail.
The irony is that we don’t want to plan because we don’t want to do it wrong. We don’t want to create a plan that we don’t follow because we don’t want to feel bad about it. So we don’t plan, then we just eat whatever, and we continue to sort of spiral out.
I don’t want to fail. So I won’t plan. So then I fail. This is all normal.
This is the Life Gets Lifey Playbook. I am just laying it out. The reason for planning is that life gets lifey so no matter what;
- If you have to take the dog to the vet.
- If your car actually does get a real flat tire.
- If I don’t know a storm comes and knocks a tree into your yard.
- If you have to go pick up your kids early from school.
- If your peloton breaks.
All of the things that happen are going to happen. There’s you with your plan.
That’s how you create certainty. I wish a bag of Oreos solved life’s problems, but they don’t. You know what solves life’s problems? Taking care of yourself and eating for physical hunger. Eating for nutrition.
If you love Oreos, then we learn how to plan them. Believe it or not, we plan how to indulge in the foods that we enjoy without overindulging. It sounds kind of crazy.
Why am I teaching women in their 40s and 50s how to eat food? Because we were never taught.
We’re always on a diet or on some extreme plan to fast for 24 hours. I’m gonna do something that’s unsustainable, hoping that it works. Speaking of all of that, hope is not a weight loss plan. You can’t hope, you can’t try. It is just a matter of committing to it.
8) Toxic positivity.
Life does get lifey and it’s not about toxic positivity. I’m not asking you, ever, to just smile and deal with it. Not process your feelings and suck it up. Be tough. You’re weak. None of that.
I recognize it is sometimes like death by 1000 paper cuts. Life is tiring. It’s to feel or to have feelings and to feel setback or to feel aggravated.
There are things that happen in life that f*cking sucks, even beyond daily annoyances. Really big things. Unfixable things. Life and death kind of things.
I never would tell someone when they say, it’s been really hard, you know, my dad passed away. I would never say, Oh, well, life gets lifey I want to separate that out.
That’s not in the life gets lifey. That is part of life, unfortunately. It’s not part of the daily grind. The things that happen on a regular basis thank God.
I am not about toxic positivity. I am not actually about positivity at all, to be honest. I work hard to stay positive, I do things that help me stay positive. You know, definitely gratitude. I have to practice managing my thoughts, I have to practice being nice to myself, I have to practice staying on track just like everybody else.
9) People are people and they do people things.
I can remember many years ago, when I worked in corporate fitness. I had a manager. He was my boss, and I was a general manager and fitness manager. I had people working under me.
It was frustrating. I didn’t like managing people. I just wanted them to do what I wanted them to do. Like, why won’t they? Why don’t people do what I tell them to do? Why won’t people just do it?
He would say “Bonnie, you know, people do people things.” It’s funny to this day. I mean, this is almost like 20 years ago, I’m still reminding myself that people do people things, and we cannot control anyone else.
We really never even know, it isn’t even our business to even know, what someone else is actually thinking. We can create certainty in our own lives, in what we think, in what we believe, in how we show up and in what we do. That’s it. In many ways, as much as that might suck.
I can’t control the world. It should give you a little bit of assurance that you still can manage your life. You don’t need to have everybody else do what you want, right? You get to manage you and that’s a beautiful thing.
You know, life gets lifey but as long as you stay committed to:
Who you are,
What you want,
What you’re all about,
What you stand for,
Where you’re going,
F*ck them, who cares?
Whatever problem somebody else has, that’s on them. This goes for relationships, whether that’s a spouse or kids.
As women, we try so hard to make everybody happy. This is a problem in the life gets lifey. While we’re trying to troubleshoot, we think part of troubleshooting things is fixing other people, trying to make them whole and happy. Here’s a snack a reward, a gift. Please like me. Please don’t be mad at me. Please forgive me like all of this shit. It gets in your way to be honest.
People do people things. People are people and let them be that way. Let’s take extreme ownership over ourselves and see how much more easily we navigate life.
Mike drop right there.
10) A little summary of things to remember.
Flexibility is a skill. I don’t mean like doing the splits. Flexibility is a skill. It’s just a practice. You have to practice being flexible.
I don’t mean, lay down and let everybody do whatever they want. You don’t have no say and just give in.
Being flexible, knowing that shits gonna go sideways, and it’s still okay. Knowing that my kids are going to interrupt my workout or my podcast, and it’s still going to be okay. I’ll just make it work.
Stay connected with gratitude. I know, just being grateful for little things. You know, you don’t have to look too far these days, even if you’re not a big news watcher. Bad shits everywhere.
I have a shoulder injury, so I was feeling sorry for myself. Then I said, “Okay, well, you know what, here’s the good news, I can still go for a walk, right? My feet feel fine, my knees feel fine, my hips feel fine, my back is fine. I’m very grateful for the parts that are working. I’m going to stay focused on that.
That’s where I’m going to make sure that the life gets lifey rollercoaster doesn’t do some loopy loops and take me off course.
Learning to pause to slow down, braking. I know that this needs a little bit of explanation, but I’m not going to explain it right now.
Breaking your stress cycle or your habit loop of reacting. Many of us are so busy and pulled in a million different directions. We feel like we’re always putting out fires and can’t keep track of a lot of things so we start to get reactive. Some of that reactive, stuff comes in the form of eating and drinking and doing shit that takes us off our course.
Let the circus go. What’s the saying? Not my circus, not my monkeys. A lot of life is like that. Sh*t could be happening all around you and it shouldn’t affect what you’re eating or what you believe about yourself.
Practice. It does take practice, you have to learn how to pause in the moment that you want to react, especially if you have a habit of every time you’re triggered in a certain way to respond in a certain way.
Everything is figured out-able. I’m not saying we can revive the dead, do miracles and actually not feel grief and sadness on deep levels. I’m talking about most of the daily sh*t in life though. We can figure out all the annoyances, the unexpected deadlines. The bill I forgot to pay. The call that went six hours. The dinner I burned. All of these things are figured out-able.
They do not have to pull you off track. The whole life gets in the way. Good. You should be glad.
There is never a good time, or a better time to work on yourself. If you are waiting for the special time, the right time. Now’s the right time, folks. Now’s the right time, life is short. Tme, that is your most precious commodity. If you’re spending it spinning your wheels because a lot of things are going on, stop it. Stop that! stop that thought.
Working on your
- Physical health,
- Weight loss,
- Mental health,
All of that is going to be the anchor for you in a chaotic and unpredictable world.
That’s something you can be certain of, no matter what goes on. I know what I’m working on. I know who I am. I know who I’m becoming. We’re going to lean into the woman you are becoming in order to build your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and even financial strength to be able to withstand anything that life throws at you.
NOTES IN ANCHOR
Life Gets Lifey…
If you have been around me for any amount of time, you probably have heard me say this. Things come up. We get distracted.
We get off course. Plans change. Kids get sick. You get sick. The weather sucks and it affects your mood. LIFE GETS LIFEY! Am I right? There’s no getting around it. So what are we supposed to do when life gets lifey?
I came up with a 10 step playbook for the times when life gets lifey and how to deal it. This playbook will help you know how to reassess, get back on track, and become the woman you want to be. I won’t lie…It will take some planning, some understanding, and maybe even a different point of view to get to the future you. But she’s out there waiting.
Let’s jump in and find out what to do when Life Gets Lifey on episode 37 of Unf*ck Your Weight Loss!
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 unf*ck 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:
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