Three things I stopped doing to lose weight sustainably and keep it off permanently that have nothing to do with food!
The things that I changed first was not what I was eating. It was what I was thinking. I had to get over my stinky thinking in order to start doing new things.
The issue many individuals have when consistently executing new habits and routines is that they have trouble getting them started.
The start is not a problem of knowing what foods to eat, what diet to follow or what exercise to do.
Rather, the problem is the mindset, self-talk and thinking behind doing those habits.
Perfectionist thinking, self-efficacy, low self-esteem, worrying it's not right or good enough are examples of things that get in the way.
There must be a change in attitude, thinking and self-talk in order to get started and consistently execute habits that will help you keep weight off for life.
Traditional diets do not teach you how to think differently. They only teach you what to eat.
This works temporarily, but if you're someone who's used to eating at night to get relief from Mom guilt, having a long day, when food was the only thing you knew how to relax or food was the only thing you knew to handle stress or a bad day then...
What happens when you take away the food is you are left feeling really bad and not knowing what to do with yourself.
Diets do not teach you what to do in these scenarios so just knowing the right foods and quantity of foods is not enough.
Listen to the 3 things I stopped doing with my mindset to lose weight for good so you can too!
In this Dish on Ditching Diets Podcast Episode, You Will Hear:
- Answer To A Listener Question (if you have a listener question and want it to be featured on the show, please reach out to me via Instagram with yours!)
- 3 Things I Stopped Doing To Lose 80 Pounds
- Why Food & Diet Are Not Key To Getting Started In Your Journey
- Why Most People Overeat & Don't Realize It
- How Stinky Thinking Plays A Role In Weight Loss
- How To Make Weight Loss A Lot Simpler
Related Dish On Ditching Diets Podcast Episodes
3 Things To Stop Doing To Lose Weight Transcript
Hello friends! Today we’re talking about 3 things I stopped doing to lose 80 pounds. But before we get to the meat and potatoes of today’s podcast, I want to remind you that if you have been enjoying this podcast and getting benefit from it, to please leave it a 5-star rating and review.
The ratings really help the podcast. Okay – next I have a listener question to answer!
I received this on Instagram - here it is: I’m finding your feed and podcast so helpful. I listened to your latest podcast this morning twice and the messages really resonate.
How do you practice eating and drinking the foods you love? Do you set a limit, 1 cookie or one glass of wine 2x a week? This is my issue.
I delete everything I really love; I’m constantly trying to be I a calorie deficit and evidently, I’m a perfectionist. Thank you!
My response was: I’m glad the information on the podcast has been helpful to you. To answer your question, you have a set number of calories, and you plan within your calories things you enjoy.
You do have to set personal limits whether or not you’re in a calorie deficit but when you are in a deficit, your calories help provide bumpers to how much you eat. You do that by pre-planning what you will eat and including fun foods.
Think about everyday scenarios where you already do set these bumpers naturally. How do you regulate how many treats your kids or pets get? Or do you just let them eat whatever they want? I’m guessing you don’t just let them eat whatever they want. It’s truly no different than that.
Part of the process of losing weight is learning how to moderate yourself around these things. A lot of people try to eliminate foods they love and that will never work long-term.
What you have to work on during weight loss is including those foods in the right portions for you and your goals and not feeling guilty about eating them or feeling like it’s wrong.
As soon as that kind of thinking creeps in, you are almost guaranteed to overeat those foods.
That was my response to that individual and I will add that a lot of people ask me this question and the answer is there is no exact answer. There is no rule I can give you. I will say cutting foods out you love is a guaranteed way to ensure you overeat them.
So, unless you’re willing to never eat a certain food again until you’re 85 years old, then you have to practice incorporating those fun foods into your plan. Most of us very naturally regulate how many treats our kids and pets eat.
How do you determine that? It’s really no different for yourself. You have to learn to parent yourself and I think a lot of clients I’ve seen throughout the years that is where they struggle.
They want results, but they also want to eat everything they want whenever they want and you can’t do that. You do have to change.
Part of the process of change is learning to parent yourself, in a gentle way, not in a harsh you are bad kind of way. Okay so that was the listener question today!
Now for the meat and potatoes of today’s podcast. Three things that I stopped doing to lose 80 pounds.
The things that changed first was not what I was eating. It was what I was thinking. I had to get over my stinky thinking in order to start doing new things.
The very first thing when it comes to losing weight is changing what happens between your ears. Because if you don’t change what happens between your ears, you will never change what goes into your mouth.
And if you never change what goes into your mouth then the outside of you, your weight, won’t change either.
The root cause of all of it is your thinking. Behavior change always starts with your thinking.
Number one I stopped picking diets that required me to become a completely different person.
Quite often you pick diets that teach you what your internal language is going to be about yourself. I don’t know about you, but I always thought if I lost weight that I earned the right to be proud of myself.
Then I got to be nice to myself. If I gained weight or maintained, then I had to be awful to myself. I had to be strict and talk to myself like a jerk.
You get on the scale every morning and it’s like handing over your self-esteem. The scale tells you if you did it or didn’t do it today.
It’s like looking at the scale and the scale telling you how you’re going to think about yourself today.
Am I going to be proud of myself today or disappointed and beat myself up? Wonder what’s wrong with me?
What I learned was I had to stop picking diets that required me to change overnight and I would have to accept a slower process.
I had to pick things that baby stepped me into a new version of myself. All those baby steps required me to talk to myself differently.
I had to stop picking diets that required me to change overnight. That were so hard that I couldn’t do them until I was 85 years old.
Diets that always set me up to fail. I needed to pick things that each day were so small and so simple I could make myself do it. I could talk myself into it. Like the 10-minute walk I always talk about.
I started with just a 10-minute walk. It’s just 10-minutes. I can do it, let’s go.
I didn’t pressure myself to do more in the beginning, so it was easy for me to get consistent and build on habits over time.
That’s the trick, you have to make small changes that you choose ahead of time that in the moments when you don’t want to, they’re so small that you can talk yourself into doing them.
If it’s really hard and difficult things, the voice in your head will have a thousand reasons why you can’t do it and you will never do it. When it’s small, the only reasons that will come up are it’s not good enough and it’ll take a long time at this pace.
Those are two thoughts I had to let go of in the beginning.
I wasn’t ready to give up or change the way I ate in the beginning. I wasn’t ready to change all my eating habits, but I wanted to feel more in shape so I would say to myself I’m going to walk 10-minutes a day.
That is something I can do every day for the rest of my life. Even if I just walked in my house for 10-minutes, I could do it.
The only thing I had to deal with was me thinking it’s not enough. This isn’t good enough. Every time I heard that voice I would say that’s old me thinking.
New me thinking is what’s not good enough - is sitting around trying to figure out something harder to do that I wouldn’t do anyway.
The truth was I wasn’t going to the gym for an hour. I had to tell myself the truth! But I knew I could walk 10-minutes every day.
So, what I did was allowed myself to think how can I get myself some small wins? How can I baby step myself in the direction of where I want to go?
It made sense to me that if I stacked up small wins that I would eventually increase my confidence and it would give me momentum.
Plus, small wins over time must equal getting stronger, fitter and weight loss.
Logically, it made sense to me! I told myself this millions of times repeatedly because a big part of me didn’t believe it in the beginning.
The logical side of me had to talk to the emotional side of me who didn’t think she could do it. Who felt like a failure and didn’t think it was enough.
I know a lot of you want to believe in yourself to get started and to keep going. You want to know exactly how things are going to turn out.
When it’s going to happen. How long it’s going to take. Whether or not you’re doing it right. You don’t need to believe in yourself, and you don’t need to know any of that.
Every successful person I’ve ever known has doubted themselves in the beginning, myself included. They’ve focused on every failure they ever had in the past. And if you’ve failed before you’re not special, you’re just like all of us.
Those of us who have lost weight and kept up we feel your pain. We had the same pain in the beginning.
The only difference for us it was just no longer the thing we focused on. We didn’t allow our brain to sabotage us with stinky thinking anymore.
So, when you start to think what you’re doing isn’t good enough. NEW YOU THINKING has to happen. New you knows you are headed in the direction.
New you is okay with making baby steps. Whenever your brain goes crazy, you have to talk back to it and say I know you’re scared. I get it.
I know you think we can’t do. I know it felt terrible when we failed in the past.
But the truth is if I take baby steps then I’m walking in the direction of weight loss and that is the only thing I need to believe right now.
The second thing I stopped doing to lose 80 pounds and keep it off – I had to stop cutting out the foods I liked. I’ve coached hundreds of women and they always are trying to cut things out when I start working with them.
Listen to me, if cutting out foods you enjoy worked, you would be here listening to me right now.
I don’t care if you lost 50 pounds on some diet where you cut out all your favorite foods or the foods you think are bad.
If you regained the weight, it’s because you didn’t develop a healthy relationship with food. Food is just food. I want you to remember that.
There is no future version of you who’s not going to want to eat pizza, ice cream, chips, fast food, go to a restaurant, eat candy so stop pretending like losing weight will make you never want to eat those foods again.
There’s likely an upgraded future version of you that eats more high-quality nutritious foods in addition to these foods.
But you’re still going to like these things and want them. I still eat them! Everything I liked before losing 80 pounds, I still like.
I just don’t have to eat all of them in excess only to feel bad about myself anymore.
Now I just eat them along with a balanced nutrient dense diet, and I eat them when I know I’m really going to enjoy it. I no longer eat them because I had a bad day. I no longer eat them out of guilt.
I no longer screw it eat over them. I wanted a relationship with food that I knew I could do the rest of my life.
I had to stop thinking I was going to become an entirely different human to lose weight and that cutting out foods was the only way I could reach my goals.
At the end of the day, I knew the real problem was not what I ate. When I was beginning my weight loss, I was traveling every week as a consultant.
I ate at McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, outside of the country when I traveled to China, Singapore – all over.
You know what my problem was? How much food I was eating every day.
I was one of those people who would eat really good at the beginning of the day then the end of the day I was eating my face off because I was tired, bored, lonely, sad, depressed, needing entertainment, fearing I’d miss out and never eat it again. I always thought I would never get the food again so I might as well eat it all right now because tomorrow I’m starting over.
It’s a clean slate.
It was the guilt around the food that caused all my overeating. I had to really practice eating these foods.
I had to practice eating them without guilt, without eating all of them and feeling sad as if I’d never get them again which isn’t true.
I had to practice stopping and not finishing all of them.
That meant I had to stop cutting out foods I liked and instead I had to learn how to eat them in a new way. At a BBQ eating hot dogs?
I ate half the bun instead of the entire bun. Wanted ice cream? I got a small one instead of a large. Eating French fries, I got a small one instead of the supersize.
At Starbucks, I switched from a venti café mocha to a tall black coffee with sugar free sweetener.
It was small changes like that that I made to baby step myself to where I am today.
Anyone you talk to who’s lost weight and kept it off long-term did it this way.
The last thing I had to do to lose 80 pounds was I had to stop taking away food and not giving myself what I really needed.
What traditional diets do is they force you to give up your favorite foods and if you have been emotional eating (which I will say most people are and don’t even realize it) what is going to happen when you take the food away?
When you have relied on food as your friend, food for comfort, when food to alleviate your Mom guilt every night, when food was the only way you knew how to relax, when food was the only thing you knew how to handle things when someone dies or you get angry at your boss, stressed out or had a fight with your partner.
If you don’t have a way to cope with your emotions, you are going to be feeling terrible and also not eating. And that will feel awful. Why?
Because you never learned how to cope with your emotions.
A common coping mechanism a lot of people have been taught since they were kids was to eat food when they felt bad. Parents are guilty of this and I know my Mom did this. Oh, you had a bad day, here’s some ice cream.
Oh, you’re upset let’s get some pizza. That teaches kids that every time they feel an emotion that’s uncomfortable, they should eat.
This is one of common reason why many adults grow up eating to cope with emotions because they were taught this from their parents.
So, it’s not enough to just know what to eat, know your calories or go on a diet.
You not only have to learn how to eat in a way that helps you lose weight, but you also have to eat in a way that allows you to comfort yourself when food used to be used for comfort, check out of life and soothe emotions.
For me, I had to learn how to talk to myself better in the evenings, give myself some grace and cut myself some slack.
At night I was exhausted and always thinking about how all my friends were off married with kids and why I wasn’t yet.
I was emotionally tired from my own stinky thinking and then eating over it. I couldn’t just take away the ice cream or chips.
If I was going to take ice cream away, I had to learn how to talk to myself differently at night. How was I going to change that conversation?
What was I going to reassure myself with?
Most people are overweight because they are emotionally eating.
They’re eating because they’re lonely, tired, bored, upset, stressed, to reward themselves, to celebrate, I deserve this, just this one time – it was a hard day.
All those kinds of thoughts drive people to eat. If you don’t know how to enjoy your life without food, you will want to eat.
If you use food this way, just knowing what to eat, knowing how many calories or what foods are best to lose weight will never be enough.
You can’t just learn how to lose weight; you have to learn how to deal with these things in life that cause you to eat before changing food, taking food away or restricting calories.
Weight loss is a lot simpler when you address this stuff and honestly, this is the stuff diets don’t teach you.
Now if you’re listening to me and realizing how the past diets you did never taught you these things or made you aware. It’s okay - you don’t need to feel bad about your past diets.
If you have tried lots of diets and they were not teaching you this stuff, what else was going to happened?
Those diets left out the most important pieces of the journey. The mindset and thinking piece.
The things most important for you to learn to lose weight and create a lifestyle you can sustain until you’re 85 years old.
So, you don’t have to keep beating yourself up if you didn’t learn this stuff before and you’re just realizing it now. That’s not on you.
It’s a broken diet system that has been marketed to everyone on the planet to overcomplicate what we eat and how we eat to get people results as fast as possible so they can make money.
Unfortunately, it’s not sexy to say work on your basic health habits and mindset. It’s not sexy, it’s not great marketing, but the honest truth is those things DO work.
The mindset and thinking gets in the way for a lot of individuals as I highlighted for you today. It’s not good enough, it’s taking too long, I have to cut foods out I like, I have to believe in myself to do it, I can only be nice to myself when I lose weight.
All stinky thinking that must get cleaned up so you can baby step your way there! And this is the kind of stuff I mostly work on with clients.
Once they adopt these new mindsets and learn how to soothe emotions without food then the food part becomes much easier. I see this happen all the time.
Everything else becomes easier when we clean up that stuff.
So those are the 3 things I did to lose 80 pounds in 2009 and keep it off.
Probably not what you were expecting, but I hope in a good way!
I hope today’s episode was helpful for you and I’ll talk to you soon!