Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss

by | Mar 15, 2024

Today, I’m talking about Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss. I had this idea for my clients and Self Made. I thought, what if inside the member portal that I have with all of the resources, what if there was this master resource. It was the manual for weight loss. Kind of like when you buy a product like a curling iron or an alarm clock or a microwave oven and it comes with a manual. Then inside the manual, it tells you how to set it up, how to get the best results, and of course, it has this sort of troubleshooting guide. Plus maybe some frequently asked questions. That concept really has stuck with me. 

I thought, if I was going to create a Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss Manual, what would be in there? I came up with a very long list of problems that we all run into along our weight loss journey. Then I narrowed it down to five that I’ll be talking about. If this is a popular topic, subject, podcast, then I can certainly carry it forward.

I’ve been in tons of programs, courses, and masterminds. I’ve worked with lots of coaches and groups. There’s 32 modules and 6000 videos and these worksheets and all the shit you’re supposed to do on your own, that no one ever wants to deal with. It’s like homework, and it’s very hard to stay focused and watch a video and fill in the blanks and blah, blah, blah. I wasn’t good at school, you can tell that but what if there’s this really easy to read bullet point list. How do I solve this problem? 

I will say on the topic of having a manual, I find it fascinating. I think we all have manuals about weight loss, like 

  • How weight loss should go, 
  • What I should weigh, 
  • What the scale should say, 
  • How fast should I lose, 
  • How it should be,

Sometimes that manual is exactly what gets us into trouble with weight loss, why it doesn’t go well and why it is sometimes frustrating. 

Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss.

What is the reality? What is happening? The facts do not necessarily line up with how we think it should be. This carries forward into our relationships as well. The manual we have for our spouse. What our husbands should do. How he should do his laundry, how he should fold it, how he should put it away, how he should know better, how he should take out the garbage without being told. Same thing with our kids, with our kids, teachers, with our neighbors, with our pets, with our parents. We have all of these expectations for how things should go. Just like when you bought the curling iron or the alarm clock or the microwave right, we have an expectation that it should work. It should do exactly what I want it to do, that’s why I got it. 

Of course, any kind of technology you buy, be it a curling iron, a microwave, an alarm clock, whatever, doesn’t have a human brain and we have human brains. That’s why I think we run into this place of, I’m stuck. This isn’t working, I need help. I’m making a troubleshooting guide, pretty much so that you don’t have to keep going to Google and going down 8 million rabbit holes. You could spend hours looking for what is wrong with me, fix the problem. What are my options? What should I do next?

I’m gonna go through what I have identified as the top five for my clients. 

1) I’m not motivated. 

Why can’t I lose weight? It’s not, why things aren’t coming together for me, why I’m not on track, why I’m not consistent, why I’m not getting the results that I want. I’m not motivated. 

Change this one piece of this sentence. Instead of saying you’re not motivated. Try this. I am not feeling motivated. There is a difference. Saying I’m not motivated is like saying motivation is a genetic trait. Like I’m not blue eyed. I’m not left handed. Not feeling motivated, is acknowledging that at the moment, I don’t feel very motivated. 

It doesn’t mean that it is something permanent, it is something about you, it is something not changeable. We can change that if we want to, or for the troubleshooting guide. What if it didn’t matter how you felt? What if feeling motivated was not a problem.

I’m not motivated for many things in life. To be perfectly honest, I am not motivated to go and do the workout. What I am motivated for, is the result of the workout. I’m not motivated to cook that ground turkey. What I am motivated for is the result of having food. Having protein and food that is filling, plus it meets my nutritional needs and goals. You could fill in the blank, whether it’s ground turkey, or hamburger, or steak or chicken breast or protein shake, or whatever it is. Am I motivated to cook eggs? No, I don’t have to be. But I am motivated, when I’m hungry, to eat food. 

I want to give this as an example because we all do with our human brains, we’re going to get here again. We might get here every day, we might be here every hour on the hour. I’m not motivated to pay my bills or to answer emails. I’m not motivated to let my dog out again but I’m motivated for him to not go to the bathroom in the house. That’s what you have to really think about if you’re having trouble with this motivation, think about the result that you actually want. 

You might not be motivated to;

  • Make something to eat,
  • Exercise,
  • Take your supplements 
  • Go to bed 
  • Whatever it is that you’re not doing. 

But think about what you are motivated to get. Make it just a means to an end. 

I work out because I know by the end of the workout, I’m going to be so happy. I will. I’m not necessarily happy walking into the gym. A lot of times I get to the gym parking lot and I will be sitting in my car for a long time. I’m not gonna lie. So I get it, but not motivated and not feeling motivated are two different things. 

Not feeling motivated. Great. You know what, feelings are cool because they come and go. I can feel relaxed, I can feel hyped up. I can feel agitated, I can feel calm. That’s how it is. We don’t stay in one state all the time. Sometimes our motivation is low. Sometimes our motivation is high. Not being motivated is not like a death sentence. It’s not a condition. It’s not genetic. You’re not either born motivated or not motivated.

Is this an issue? Is this something you’re wrestling with? Why? Why do you have to be motivated? What actually motivates you? This brings us back to having that really strong why. What are your goals? Why do you want them? Of course you’re not motivated if you’re not really sure what you want. Once you really paint that vivid picture you start to create the vision of what you’re going for the aesthetic, how it looks, how it feels, how you’ll feel, wearing all the clothes in your closet, or a ball gown, or whatever it is that you want, you will start to you will start to create motivation, thinking about the end result that you will create. 

2) What do I do when my weight loss is too slow? 

I’m not sure where we got this too slow from. Slow based on what? I know that ideally, if we could choose to lose all of our weight in one day or one week or one month, that would be great. But honestly, there is no table for this. There is no grand plan for how fast or how slow is right or wrong. 

This is one of those things where if you had a manual for weight loss, and you are like, Oh my God, my weight loss is broken. This weight loss isn’t working. It’s because we think it should be faster, it should go smoother, it should be easier. I was good all week. I did all the things. But let me tell you, weight loss, sometimes it’s slow. Sometimes it’s steady. Sometimes it’s point two pounds a week. Sometimes it goes faster. Sometimes it goes the other way. 

Our weight on a scale will fluctuate, it really will. We are composed of muscles, bones, water and skin. It’s not like weighing the same rock over and over and over or chipping a part of the rock off. There’s other components. Water weight will fluctuate quite a bit. 

My weight loss is too slow. How do I troubleshoot this? Well, here’s the thing. Besides changing your mind about what is slow or what is fast, I would really go back and be sure that you have data. Then you can look at the data. What did you eat all week? What were the workouts? What was the water? What was the sleep? When you say it should be faster, I did all the things that will really work. What are all the things? How many days or weeks or months are we actually talking about? 

I read something somewhere today about somebody else’s weight loss journey. I thought it was just very simple and very profound. One of the ways that you could troubleshoot your weight loss, especially when you get to this part where my weight loss is too slow. The answer to this is to make peace with time. I’m like, wow, that is profound. There is no rush. I know it’s like yes, there is. I’m going on a cruise, I have a vacation, I have a graduation, I have whatever, I have a certain date that I need to be skinny by. 

Weight loss and keeping it off is the long game. As much as I know you want it gone now and you want every single week for there to be the number on the scale that supports your efforts. What if you could know, just by your data, by your food journal, by your exercise journal, by your habit tracker, by you taking consistent action that this is just a matter of time. 

The troubleshooting guide would tell you hey, there is no end date on this. That is either very comforting or not. At some point in your weight loss journey. You will get to a size, a weight, a body composition, a look or feel that you like, and you’re going to work on living in that body living in that reality. It will still take care and watering and feeding, just like keeping a plant alive, keeping a child alive, keeping a pet alive. We still have to do all of the daily things. 

I know that “my weight loss is too slow,” feels like a problem. In the troubleshooting guide, it feels like I need to go back to the manual and figure it out. I’m doing something completely wrong, maybe you’re not. Maybe you just haven’t been able to allow it to take the time that it will take. It would be super awesome and sexy to be like, Oh, I lost 30 pounds in 90 days. Okay, you’re still going to have to keep that off. What if you lost 30 pounds in six months? Or in 12 months? Or over the course of two years? What difference does it make? And answer that.

This is you and me at a table looking at each other and just asking yourself, is weight loss going at a certain speed actually a problem? Then what is really causing the problem, it’s not that your weight loss is too slow. Is it that you have an expectation that it should be faster or easier, or the scale should always show a loss? I’m here to tell you, as your friend as your expert, that’s not always the case. Weight loss is going to go at its rate. Are there things that we could do to expedite it? Of course. Being more consistent would probably help. 

If you find that you keep falling off track, you’re trying to restrict yourself all week long, and then you’re falling apart on the weekends, you’re doing too much exercise and you’re extra tired and extra hungry. There are things that we do in order to make weight loss go faster, that actually slow us down. That’s why I think it’s really critical to look at data. 

Sometimes when we try to go too fast, that’s when we take a fall. That’s when we do all the things. We get ahead of ourselves, then we crash and burn. We can’t sustain the speed in which we’re trying to go. When it comes to weight loss that’s in the form of eating 1000 calories or less a day, I’m going to just drink these three shakes a day for the next six months, I’m going to eat barely any food, I’m going to try to ramp up my exercise, I’m going to take a million supplements and fat burners and drink coffee or I’m gonna do all things to try to make it go faster. That’s what actually slows us down. So maybe your weight loss isn’t too slow. Maybe it is just at the right speed for where you’re at. 

You can also choose to do that skilling up or leveling up where it’s like okay, looking at the data, I had six drinks over the weekend. Do I want to drink less? Or I only had 6000 steps a day. Do I want to add more steps? Because again, we’re gonna play the long game here. We have to choose a path that will work for us long term or we will burn out. We will actually have the broken curling iron, the alarm clock that doesn’t work, the microwave that is just a piece of junk. 

3) Life is so stressful. 

This could be a fill in the blank. This could be, work is so stressful. Things are so stressful. I’m under a lot of stress right now. Something is going on at home or with my parents or with somebody’s health. A lot of times a lot of my clients are women who work in positions, jobs, careers, businesses, or multiple businesses that are demanding and a lot is riding on getting it all done, doing it all correctly. 

Life is stressful. It really is. Work is so stressful or life is so stressful is not the problem. It’s not. It’s how we are trying to address stress. Often this comes at a cost to ourselves that creates more stress. Another ironic piece is that we’re trying to alleviate the stress. We’re trying to hit the release valve, we need space, we need time, we need quiet, we need relaxation, or we need to recharge. How a lot of us end up doing that is, I’m going to eat and drink. 

That’s how I’m going to escape and feel better. Get instant relief, instant destressing. 

Get up from my desk, walk around, get a large iced coffee with a couple shots of espresso, get a snack. I’m going to avoid opening the email or sitting down to do the work or making a phone call or running the report or looking at the financials, I get it. I do all those things, too.

Here’s the thing, life is stressful. Humans are built for stress. Having some level of resilience to stress. The ironic part is, the more we eat, drink, snack, procrastinate, and buffer instead of digging into the stress and figuring out what is driving that stress. We go to eating and drinking and staying up and not taking care of ourselves. Which of course, is just creating more stress. So we get caught in that stress cycle. 

What it does is hijack our hormones. We will be more apt to have lousy sleep, the more we’re eating, snacking, drinking, and doing all the things to try to escape the stress instead of trying to figure out what is driving the feeling of stress. I know that seems obvious. Isn’t it obvious? It’s not. 

When I talk to my clients, it’s so interesting that we find out the stress. We feel this feeling of drowning, overwhelm anxiety which is not really propelling us forward in a productive way. It’s actually slowing us down. 

Part of why things are stressful is that we feel like we have no control. 

  • We cannot control the circumstances. 
  • We aren’t doing a good job. 
  • We’re not qualified. 
  • We don’t know enough. 
  • We’re failing. 
  • Other people will see us fail. 
  • This isn’t working.
  • I’m going to lose everything. 
  • I’m going to get fired. 

I’m going to have something go sideways in my life that I will not be able to come back from.

It’s interesting because, even though you might not have identified those exact thoughts, our bodies have. They go into this fight or flight mode, which is hard to break. We keep amping up that stressful feeling that our nervous system is really jacked up. Sometimes the only way we feel like we can break from it or relax is with eating food and drinking alcohol. It’s only momentarily, where that feeling of I can relax until we get to the place where now the M&Ms are gone, the alcohol is gone, or you feel terrible. You feel sick, you have indigestion, your sleep is interrupted. You feel guilty. Like I was good all day. I followed my plan. I can’t believe I fell off track. 

This work is so stressful. Life is so stressful. I’m so stressed out. It’s a really stressful time. In the troubleshooting guide to weight loss, being able to recognize the feelings of stress are key. Then what we want to do is figure out what is in our control. A lot of it is just our thoughts about failing, not keeping up, not being good enough, being found out, losing it and it does send our physical and mental health into a spin. 

We want to figure out how we can relieve stress. What will work for us? I get it, you might be busy, not really into meditation or a drum circle, yoga, all these things that I do think are very helpful. What can you do in the here and now? I think one of the things that has always helped me is to get up and just walk. Walk around for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes. I know there’ll be a part of you that says, but I’m so stressed out, I don’t have time for that. You do. Getting up, even for five minutes, breathe, slow down, have some water, talk to a friend, journal on some of this. 

I think journaling comes off as like, I don’t even know what to journal, everything that is on your mind. Write it on paper, even if you’re just writing over and over, I’m so stressed out. Once you start writing, you’ll start to find what else is in there? Why are you so stressed out? How does stress feel in your body? Where’s it showing up? That can sometimes help you allow yourself to actually feel stressed, but also to let it go instead of holding on to stress. 

As much as stress sucks, it’s a very familiar space to be in, especially my high powered women, my go go go go getters, we’re so used to being stressed out that we actually create more stress and drama for ourselves by constantly telling ourselves how stressed out we are. Also by eating, drinking, not working out, not sleeping, procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to get everything done. Then it’s panicking and everything is falling apart. It’s almost like we don’t know how to live without that drama. I get it. Sometimes stress is the motivation that I’m missing. I’m going to motivate myself by being super stressed out and being under the gun, under a deadline, needing to get it all done. Yet, I feel miserable, my health is terrible, and I certainly cannot lose weight in this state.

If you want to figure out as a woman over 40 Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss. Look at your stress levels. 

  • Are you having a fairly restful sleep of seven plus hours? 
  • Are you able to digest your food? 
  • Do you drink enough water? 
  • Do you maintain a daily regimen of healthful supplements? 
  • What are you doing for the care and maintenance of your physical and mental health? 

Because this stressful piece is something that is an inside job, as much as we think a lot of this is all from the outside. 

  • Everybody is stressing me out. 
  • My work is stressing me out. 
  • My boss is stressing me out. 
  • Tax season is stressing me out. 
  • The weather, 
  • The politics, 
  • The news, 
  • All of it is stressing me out. 

It’s that we have thoughts about all of that. 

When we can start to pull that apart, we can see that, yes, work will always be stressful. Life is stressful. Parenting is stressful. The weather is stressful. The news is stressful. Figure out the ways that you can reduce it. What can you control? Do you need to turn off the news? Do you need to turn down certain social channels? Do you need to snooze or block or unfriend? You need to curate and cultivate a more relaxing environment for yourself. Otherwise we will always feel very uncertain and out of control. Feeling like the job, the work, that deadline, all of that is what is in charge. Really it is our reaction to what we think is really going on, that we’re not good enough, that we won’t succeed, that we can’t get it all done, that no one’s helping us, that we’re all alone, that everything is on our shoulders and etc and so forth. 

4) I’m addicted to sugar.

I hear this at least two or three times a week. I’m addicted to sugar. That is my problem. I love sugar so much. I have it in my tea and my coffee. I need something sweet after dinner. I’m always looking for it. 

Our human brain loves sugar. It’s always going to seek reward. If sweet tastes to you are delicious, then of course, our human brain is going to seek that. For some people, their sugar is salty or crunchy. They like the chips or they like something else. It’s still carbs. It’s still technically sugar, but it’s not necessarily something sweet.

I’m going to ask you a question. If I ring your doorbell, and I’m holding bags of domino’s sugar. You open the door and you see me at your doorstep. Do you grab all the sugar, rip open the bags and just pour it in your mouth? If I brought the bags of sugar into your house and put them on the counter, would you fixate on them? Would you try to steal them? Hide them? Eat them in the bathroom? Will you think about that bag of sugar all night long? Do you dip your hands in? Probably not. 

I get it. I think it’s the food industry, for sure. They understand the buyer, us, the end user, the eater. They understand how to create foods that do taste good, that aren’t necessarily just sugar. They’re a delicious combination of sugar and salt and fat and carbs and mouthfeel and all of the science that goes into creating delicious snacks and chips and cookies and ice cream and all of that stuff. It’s hard to say no. They know that. 

The Lay’s potato chips slogan, I bet you can’t eat just one. They know. I mean, who has one potato chip? Maybe you do. Maybe by listening to my podcast or being my client, you do know you could say Oh, that’s interesting. Like did you know that they had a special limited edition? I think it’s by Lay’s potato chips. It was ketchup flavored. For example, Now, did I taste this? Absolutely not. But one of my daughters was like, oh my god, I have to have these. So our nanny bought them for her. Could I have had one of them? If she didn’t eat them all, I probably could have had one and I probably might have tasted it. I doubt that I would keep eating them but other potato chips. Sure. Very easy to eat. 

The “I’m addicted to sugar.” We have to be able to say okay, it’s normal for you to feel that way. Especially if after lunch or after dinner you’re thinking, I need something sweet. I like to have something sweet. Okay. This is partially our thoughts and partially a habit. A lot of my clients will say, yeah, every night after dinner, my family had dessert. So you have a couple of choices. You could decide to have dessert. You could also decide to include something sweet into your dinner. For example, especially in the summer, if I want something like grapes what I will do is I will have grapes with dinner. It doesn’t mean that I’m eating a grape and then I’m eating steak. I just basically eat the steak and eat the salad or whatever. Then I have the grapes right then, so that in an hour or two or three, I’m not wandering around the house looking for something sweet. 

It’s very easy to tell ourselves that it’s because I am addicted to sugar. Here’s the deal. That thought is not a fact. We’ve already proven it. It’s not a fact. Us telling ourselves, I’m addicted to sugar is not helpful. It’s saying I have no control over what I eat. I’m powerless against sugar or anything with sugar. It has total control over me now. 

Little sidenote, I have never been in a 12 step program. I am all for any kind of program that does help. However, I do know that Overeaters Anonymous has the same kind of tenants as Alcoholics Anonymous, which is the idea that I am powerless against food. I want to say for my clients, I don’t believe that we’re powerless against food, that we’re addicted to sugar. I think that is not going to be helpful. In the troubleshooting guide here. That’s not an Answer. It’s kind of like saying, Well, my curling iron, the light won’t go on or the light won’t go off or it won’t get hot, it won’t stay plugged in. If I go to the troubleshooting guide, and it tells me, the curling iron will do what it wants, you are powerless to overcome the problem. That’s crazy. That’s like saying that’s the future, I guess with robots and AI, they will do what they want. Right now, we do have control. We do have the ability to work through the desire.

I will say the over desire to eat sweets, sugar, candy, chips, things that you just are craving. You feel like you need or you want, they’re so delicious. It’s over desire is what that is. 

Here’s what I would do, I would try to find examples like the one with a bags of sugar. If you know that you’re not going into the grocery store and buying 14 bags of sugar and eating them all. Then you can rest assured you’re not really addicted to sugar. We could unwind some of the thoughts you have, maybe some of the habits, maybe we can say yeah, when I was a kid, this is how it was. But guess what? We’re not kids anymore. Just because that’s how we were raised doesn’t mean that we’re doomed. 

  • How do you want your relationship with sugar to be now? 
  • How do you want to show up with food? 
  • How would you like to enjoy some of your favorite things that do have sugar right now? 
  • How do you want it to go? 

Because I do think there is absolutely room in your day or week or life for things that have sugar that you want to include, that you plan for in advance, that you actually thoroughly enjoy. Then you don’t feel guilty or helpless or ashamed or embarrassed because you are powerless against food, sugar, cookies, things like that. 

You could also start to experiment. You know, is it really sugar? Or do you want to try something else in your coffee? Do you want to try Stevia? Do you want to try Sweet and Low? Do you want to try Sucralose? Do you want to try monk fruit? There are many different sweeteners. Do you want to try honey in your tea? Do you want to have no sweeteners? 

Many times people who do feel like they’re addicted to sugar, you know what they do? It’s the same thing as people who do try January, they say okay, I am going to decondition the desire for sugar by taking it out for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks. You could do it that way and see what happens. As long as you know, it’s not going to send you into mainlining a bunch of sugar in the grocery store. 

Deconditioning the desire sometimes does take extra effort. It has to be your prefrontal cortex. That is the thinking part of your brain that’s like, Okay, we are not having it, you can want it, you can think about it, you can look at it, you can have urges, you can have cravings, and we are just going to sit through it and see what comes up. I think that’s worth doing to see what comes up. If I want the candy and I don’t have the candy. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see how many urges I can have in a day. Because they will pass and we can decondition the desire for those foods. 

An example I give all the time is this idea of the stray cat that comes to the door. As long as I keep feeding the cat, he’s gonna come back. He’s gonna get fatter, he’s gonna bring his friends. We’re just conditioning the cat to keep showing up for the food. If I stop feeding the cat, he’s gonna move on. He’s gonna eventually be like, Oh, I guess we’re not eating. We’re gonna go to the other neighbor’s house.

I think it’s very important for you to know that you do have the ability to make a decision about how you want the relationship with sugar or certain foods to go. That you with your prefrontal cortex, the behavioral part of your brain, the lady parts, the boss part, the teacher, the one in charge, decides how we’re going to do it. Because you aren’t addicted to sugar. It’s just that we like it. We over desire it. It tastes good. It makes the dopamine receptors in our brain light up. 

It’s like a party and our brain is very afraid that if I don’t have the party, then;

  • What joy will I have? 
  • What will I have to look forward to? 
  • What would I do with all this free time? 
  • What will I do instead of sitting on the couch eating candy? 
  • Will I just have to sit here and feel my feelings? 
  • Talk to the other people in my house? 
  • Do the chores?

It is worth investigating, and also worth poking holes in. 

5) Weekend’s, holidays travel, it’s too hard to plan or to navigate. 

I call bullshit on that one. Again, as we kind of see what’s going on. A lot of this is our own brain trying to help us. Our brain is trying to keep us safe. Our brain is trying to keep us from failing. If I make a plan over the weekend that I’m not going to have any drinks, but then I really want drinks and I have drinks, I fail. Our brain, ahead of time, is going to be like, it’s too hard to plan. You’ll never know what’s going on, where everybody’s going to want to eat, you’re not going to know what other people are going to want to do. You better leave it all wide open to possibilities as if you have no control over your plan. 

I’m going to talk specifically about weekends, but know that this does pertain to a holiday, a vacation, your business travel, etc. I use this example a lot. It’s the idea of if you had a baby and you had to keep the baby alive all weekend. 

  • You were invited to a party, 
  • You’re invited to an event, 
  • Someone else’s house, 
  • You’re going on a long road trip, 
  • You’re running a bunch of errands, 
  • You’re doing something spontaneous, 
  • You’re gonna go leaf peeping, 
  • You’re gonna go to the beach, 

Whatever you would do on a weekend, you are taking your baby. 

Now here’s the deal. Would you just think or say, I have no idea what my baby will eat because I don’t know where we will end up. What if we end up at a taco place? Or what if we end up at a bar? What if we end up at an ice cream shop? I guess the baby will just have to have ice cream or vodka or a burrito with hot sauce. No. It’s kind of an extreme example. You already know what the baby eats and does not eat, depending on the age of the baby. If it’s like a four week old baby versus a four month old baby versus a two year old baby. A child eats what a child eats, even if it goes to a Mexican restaurant, or a concert or a baseball game or a picnic or whatever. Same thing with you. You do know what it is that you like to eat, want to eat, prefer to eat, or specifically plan to eat in order to hit your goals. 

This is one of those things that is kind of a future self thing, which is why we spin out a lot here when it comes to weight loss. It’s kind of like well, all week long, I can be so good. When things are routine. When I’m at work, when I have a schedule, when I’m in charge, when I know what’s coming. You know I can look at my calendar, I know exactly what to expect. But when it comes to a weekend, vacation, holiday, being spontaneous, going on a cruise or something, just things that I don’t necessarily have total control over. Unless you’re like me and you are a total control freak. Then I do have total control. 

I always make all the plans for anything that I’m involved in. All the flights, all the restaurant reservations, I make. You could be more like that but sometimes we can’t if we’re in a different situation. If it’s business travel, and it’s somebody else’s business, they could want to wine and dine you at a restaurant.

Let me ask you about your future self vision here. What does that mean? Go to the place where you’re at the weight you want to be at. Let’s say your weight goal is to lose 20 pounds. You wear your size for jeans. You’re in your beautiful new business suit. Your woman who works out and drinks her water. You’re a woman who gets seven hours of sleep. Let’s envision her now. 

Take her to the business dinner. Does she just eat whatever, drink whatever, say yes to everything or is she a fit woman? Is she a healthy woman? Is she a person who says, Yeah, you know what I’m going to order the steak? I would like the sauce on the side. Or can you cook it with no butter? Or however your state vision is your future self. 

  • How does she order food? 
  • What does she drink? 
  • How does she show up to business meetings? 
  • Does she say yes to everything that is offered to her? 
  • Would you like an ice cream sundae? 
  • Would you like a Twinkie?
  • Would you eat all this stuff just because it’s there? 

We have to realize that on business trips, holidays, vacations, weekends, if we’re with other people, it’s just common courtesy that people are offering new things. They want to be good hosts or hostesses, or they just don’t want to eat and drink alone. They want you to go along with them. You need to go to the place of your future self. What does she do? How does she show up? Because when you lose weight, and you want to keep it off, if you have not actually changed how you think your habits, you’re going to gain the weight back. You can change the scale all day long, but if you don’t change how you are, who you are, this is going to be a battle. 

Let’s go back to the baby. Maybe that’s easier. Future self seems kind of scary. Like, Oh, I hope I like her, I hope she’s nice. What if she’s not? Who cares? She’s exactly who you want her to be. She’s a bad*ss bitch. She’s hot. She’s confident. She knows what she wants. She doesn’t want the french fries. Or maybe she does want french fries. You can lose weight and still eat french fries. You just don’t eat all the french fries all the time. Every time someone offers them to you, every time you see them, every restaurant you drive by. That’s the difference.

Think about it. It’s like I’m caring for the baby, the baby eats XYZ. I’m caring for myself. I eat XYZ. I’m a woman who eats XYZ. Maybe this might be easier when you think about weekends or in my way or holidays or travel. If you’ve ever been someone who used to smoke cigarettes, and then you stop smoking cigarettes. Once you stopped smoking cigarettes, and it is in your rear view, can you imagine on a weekend or a holiday or vacation or business trip, if someone offered you a cigarette or you saw other people smoking? You saw cigarettes on a table or at a store, would you just start smoking again? Would you just because you saw it or someone offered it to you? Or you thought oh, that looks good. Or I remember how that was. That’s kind of where we’re at with this idea where your brain tells you. I can’t plan ahead. Because I don’t know. If there were cigarettes, do you know that you’re not going to have them? Yes, same thing. Maybe you don’t drink anymore. 

As humans, we do have to eat food, which is why it feels harder. Sometimes we convince ourselves because I won’t know our schedule or I won’t know the restaurants that are chosen or I want to stay spontaneous, I want to have fun and we tell ourselves I cannot plan ahead. I know for a fact there are just certain things like who I am, what I eat, what I don’t eat. Sometimes on a weekend or a holiday or vacation or business travel, would I try something new? Absolutely. But I don’t let it just unravel me to a point where I’m like, that’s it. I blew it. I had a bite of that cake. Now I have to have all the cake and all the ice cream. We’re gonna have cake, all vacation or all business trip. 

Challenge yourself when you’re telling yourself the story that it is too hard to plan for weekends or holidays or travel. It’s too hard. I won’t be able to know. I can’t navigate it. Someone else will be in charge, someone else will be cooking. At the end of the day, you’re making the choices. You can. There’s things called room service, special orders, menus, waitstaff, they’ll make you whatever you want. You can get anything you want to eat. Anywhere from a gas station, from an airport store, even if you go to Wendy’s. It’s the difference between having a double burger with fries or getting a salad with no dressing. I’m not saying that that’s the right thing to do, but if you’re feeling powerless and you’re feeling undone, challenge the obstacle, the block, the trouble with your weight loss.

What is in the way of you getting the weight loss is this idea that the weekends, the holidays, the travel, vacation, like all the fun stuff is keeping you from the body and the life you desire. We want to challenge that. Many of the things that we think and we assume they’re facts, because our brain tells us so they’re not facts. They’re just convenient lies to help us make it easier. Our brains like well, this will be more fun, you’ll be more fun, it will be easier, just to go along. You know what you can do? You can go to any restaurant, and get what you want. If you want to stay on a certain plan, if you want to plan just for protein and vegetables, if you do want to have dessert, but just be really intentional. That is within your realm. Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking that you are powerless. 

If you want to lose weight, the Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss is a really good way to hone in on what is in the way of your weight loss. If you were going to make your own Troubleshooting Your Weight Loss Guide, what are the things that come up for you regularly? If I asked you right now, give me five things that were in the way of your weight loss. Write them down and see what’s really there. Poke holes in them, challenge those thoughts. Figure out is this really a problem? Is this something that I’m just used to? Is this just a way that I’m coping? Is this just my fallback? Because it is comfortable? It’s known, it’s certain and our brains like that. Even if it’s not comfortable to be in clothes that are too tight. Even if it’s not comfortable, to go to bed and be popping Pepto Bismol all night. Even if it’s not comfortable to be exhausted and feel stressed out all day. It’s what we know. 

I know your top five might be a little bit different than these but maybe not. I’d love to hear what yours are. You certainly can find me on Facebook. I’m Bonnie Lefrak. I hope you’re already part of my free Facebook group. It is Food, Fitness, Fat Loss For Women Over 40. We talk about this stuff all the time. 


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.

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