Episode 118

EP 118-Divorcing Frustration From Your Weight Loss Journey

Feeling frustrated trying to lose weight is something just about every woman I know struggles with. Today I talk about how to really divorce frustration as part of your journey by shifting your focus and adopting a different way of “being” along the journey. Below you will find the transcript for this episode as well. Today I wanted to share some thoughts that have come up recently in my group program that has been geared more at weight loss that I just launched over the summer. And, you know, in it, we've been helping lots of women lose lots of weight, you know, anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds at this point, but, I find that all of us and this is so ingrained in us and we're actually gonna be talking about this in a lot more depth on Thursday with the guest interview that I have coming out for you guys. It's so ingrained in us too. If we want to lose weight, we have to eat less exercise more, right like we just are all ingrained with this, this thought. I've been on my own weight loss journey since March and I went pretty hardcore and extreme which is what we do in this program that I've put together. But since then, I've continued to lose weight but without, you know, working quite so hard at it mostly because I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable with where I'm at I saw some weight I want to lose, but it hasn't been you know, there's not as much of a push there at this time. And so I've been experimenting, if you will, with a few things knowing that my hormones are back in balance. My thyroid is normalized and my estrogen levels have normalized and that was a part of why I was having trouble before. But recently, like in the last two weeks, I finally felt like my wrist is strong enough again to start working out. And so I've started doing that. And this has brought on kind of these new levels of things. I've also been experimenting with intermittent fasting, which was one of the most popular episodes that we have on here. So I know many women are interested in that or trying that or testing that. And I will say, one of the common mistakes that we make is we combine intermittent fasting with not eating enough and then we try to also work out and this is a recipe for disaster because all of these things are increasing stress on the body, you're not getting enough food so your body thinks you're starving, your metabolism starts to slow down, which means it's not going to burn anything and we're either not working out, or not moving enough, or we're pushing ourselves way too hard. And so all that is also increasing our stress and inflammation and so rather than losing weight, we start to put weight on. And we were talking about on our group coaching call this week whenever you're courting this, you know, talking about the other things that can cause the scale to go in the other direction that doesn't necessarily have to do with eating because I talked to so many women. It does have to do with exercise, but not necessarily eating. So many of us are eating these super restrictive diets where we feel like we're doing all the things we're eating well and you know doing all this, but we either don't see the scale move or sometimes we see it go in the wrong direction. Earlier this year I got into the habit of actually weighing myself every day. Not from a like obsessive, unhealthy place of needing to see the scale going down, but I'm really truly able to just step back objectively and observe this and I've been really curious to just see you know how my weight will fluctuate through the month. At what times in my cycle different things like I'll go up a couple of pounds, and I'll come down a couple of pounds, but overall the overall trend has been that things are going you know, it's going down and I've seen like the lowest weight that I've ever seen in years, you know, consistently come up every couple of weeks and like that's exciting. That's cool. But what I've been really present to, especially as I've added working out, is this whole eating enough thing. So I really took on this week, eating significantly more than I'm used to and what I mean by eating enough. For many women, there is a struggle with overeating. Absolutely. And that is a cause of obesity. And many things. Some of us lose control when we eat certain things. I'm not negating that. But in addition to that, I would say even more common and what I've seen in the women that I work with is under-eating and that means eating 1200 calories a day or less. And a lot of us maybe aren't even aware of this or we just don't think we're hungry. Or I've talked to plenty of people who could go all day without eating and not even notice. None of that is normal. To just function, we actually need at least 1800 calories a day, probably more. So I've been really challenging myself to eat about 2000 calories a day this week. And I feel fuller than I have. It's a bit challenging to train your body to eat more again, but it also helps you start waking up your metabolism. And it can seem really counterintuitive to start doing this but what I noticed was I've been plateaued for a couple of weeks before now, and the last few days I hit my lowest number on the scale. And then what I noticed is I did a couple of things. I said I've started working out again and you know my body's tired and I'm aware of it and I'm trying to be really like just cognizant of okay, how tired am I? How's my stress level? How much can I push myself without pushing myself too far into a stress response? I'd worked out the last two days in a row and yesterday my son worked out with me the day before. So he's like, ooh, PE time and had lots of fun doing this workout with me, even though he did pretty much nothing that was actually part of the workout but just had fun. And so yesterday, he's like, oh, let's do a workout again. And what parent is gonna say no to that, right? I'm like, my body's exhausted but okay. So I ended up working out another day. And I knew it was pushing me too hard. I'm super sore, and I felt decent afterwards, but my body was just tired while I was doing this workout. And of course, he didn't even do most of it with me! Then on top of that, I had a later call yesterday so we ended up ordering out for dinner and I ate a pretty large meal and was still hungry because my body's still adjusting to this whole new metabolism thing and eating more which it needs to but not really judging where my hunger was really well. And so today I got on the scale, and I was totally expecting this, I'm feeling good. I'm feeling leaner, all that stuff muscle as you put muscle on it does, you know it can sometimes make your weight go up too, but I was two pounds heavier, actually 2.2 I think, than yesterday. And rather than getting pissed off and being upset about this, I just thought back on it. Yeah, no, that actually makes total sense. Because I pushed myself too hard. I pushed myself into a stress response. I also didn't sleep as well last night because I was up late reading. And I have been experimenting with this stuff and eating quite a bit more but also eating more carbs than I'm used to in one meal and I'm not saying one meal will make all the difference but it can make your weight vary a little bit like overall. BUT I'm not worried. I'm not like, “Oh, I'm gaining weight like what am I doing wrong?” I know exactly what happened. So I wanted to share with you today is really thinking about a) we have to step into a different way of being, and this is what we're going to talk about on Thursday with my guest Maja Miller, who is an awesome lady that I actually learned some stuff from on my own journey with weight loss. So I asked her to come on the show and she said yes, which I'm super excited about our interview. So come back on Thursday for that. But you know, we have to really adopt a new way of being and step out of being frustrated and realize that causing ourselves more stress with weight loss keeps us from losing weight. We need to be able to really step into our journey with more objectivity and curiosity to get to know ourselves and our bodies as we go on the weight loss journey. These days I'm excited, I don't let myself get frustrated or get down. I have positive self-talk. I feel confident I'm wearing my leggings and my husband thinks my butt looks great all those things. Right? And I believe it's true. F Finally, you know, so many of us have so much negative self-talk and so much just that we bring ourselves so the first thing is like we really have to pay attention to how we're being in the world. The second is we need to be connected enough to ourselves to recognize how stressed out we are and to recognize what we really need and not push ourselves so hard. I'm not saying you know if you're into training and exercising and all of that, it's okay to push yourself. You just have to be you know, I'm someone who has come from years of high stress and trauma. And many of the women I work with I know many who listen to the show are like that. And sometimes our bodies need a break like we have to be willing to recognize when we need a break. This came up in our conversation earlier. We also need to just have awareness of the other things that impact our weight. Could be our cycle. Could be how well we slept the night before. Could be what we ate, could be that we're not eating enough, could be that we ate too much, could be that we pushed ourselves too hard in the workout. Could be so many things and so it's not. I am really sharing this because I want to challenge everyone to shift their perspective away from Oh, I have to eat less and exercise more. Because it's so much deeper than that but that also screws so many people up and when you're eating so little, you know, 1200 calories or less. Your metabolism is slowing down because your body's like oh I have to hold on to everything because I don't know where my next meal is coming from because I'm not getting enough. And so many of us think that that's like where we're supposed to be or we've been trained that way. I've talked to clients who have shared that the doctor-led solution to weight loss was a 500 calorie diet and taking medication to y produce extra hormones to make them lose weight faster. And I'm like but is that sustainable? Can you live like that? And the answer is absolutely not. No. And so you have to really be cognizant of it. Does it take longer? Yes. Is it sustainable? Yes. And you really have to step into being this person that's going to figure out what's going to work for you. What works for me isn't going to work for the next person and isn't going to work for that person after that. Just as another example. You know, in our group called this morning we have a woman who has been exercising like four to five times a week for the last five plus years. She does that and she feels good and she loves that and all that. And then we have a couple of women who have hardly exercised at all in the last decade probably. And what I have to say is that if there are things that you've been doing consistently and that your body is used to awesome, you can keep doing them in going on a weight loss journey. You could vary it obviously you know, if it hasn't been working, I always say don't hesitate to try something new. Try a different type of workout. Maybe try walking, just really tune in and connect with your body and listen to it and recognize when I need to break that's what I'll say about all that. But if you have not been working out the key to all of this is not to suddenly start pushing yourself super hard. You know I have started working out again but I'm intentionally listening except for yesterday listening to my body and not you know overdoing it. I am capable of that. I did that the first day and I was like, Okay, I'm sore for like four days and you know, I had to take basically a whole week off to get back into it. So then I found something that's a little gentler and more geared at women, you know, with hormone stuff and you're super busy and you know, really working on female metabolism and whatnot. You have to find what's going to work for you there. But I would say if you haven't nailed eating, and what I mean by nailed is you're eating enough and you feel full and you have great freedom and enjoyment with food and what I mean by freedom is that you can say yes to this cake or you can say no to the piece of cake and you aren't feeling guilty it's not driven by emotions. It's not driven by “I deserve that piece of cake”. You don't have justifications and reasons for either having the cake or not having the cake you can just decide and choose. That's what true food freedom is. By the way, you know, a lot of us think we have freedom because we have used willpower for so long that you know, we don't, we don't want it anymore. Whatever it is, you know, it's when you can really just make a choice without having to justify it, that you have freedom in all kinds of things, important concepts there. But we have to know, if you haven't nailed that process, focus there, it’s 80% to 90% of winning. Weight loss is actually tied to the food more than it is to movement and exercise. Move your body. Absolutely. But be totally focused on you know, personal trainers and all this stuff that we tend to do. Not as important as getting the food right, because if you don't get the food, right, what we all tend to do is use exercise as an excuse to not have the food right. And what does that do? It screws up everything else in the long run and causes us to plateau and have issues or not lose weight or all of that stuff. So now nail the food, be really connected, and be aware of yourself. Pay attention to the other things that impact your weight and this is you know if you can do this I don't recommend that everyone weigh themselves every day because a lot of us get sucked into that negative self-talk or frustration or wondering “what the hell” and feeling depressed and all of the things like unbelievably frustrated. I talked to so many women who are like that and that used to be me. If you can truly divorce yourself from all those feelings and just approach this as I'm going to do an experiment on myself and my body and I'm going to weigh myself every morning you weigh less in the morning. It’s best after a good void bowel movement and urine, take all your clothes off, just suck it up. If you can do that objectively, and just observe: how did things change? Look at all the things-my water consumption? how's my sleep? How did I eat? How's my stress level? Did I work out or not? And just kind of see what's happening. You'll start to tune into your own body and patterns and then you can start to tweak those things to see it start to change and it's very fun when you start to do that. And even when the scale goes up 2.2 pounds I wonder what will happen when I do things differently tomorrow. It's not really a game but it's like we're doing an experiment on ourselves. I'm going to go ahead and wrap this up. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts and things that I've been seeing on my journey. The other thing was to eat more so you know if we were going to look at like all the things that can impact weight loss and your journey and you know, cause you to feel stuck and frustrated. You know you got to know the food which includes eating enough you got to find a way of being where you're objectively curious and excited. And look at this as a journey and a process and a way to get to know and understand yourself. For some of you, that's gonna be really hard because you have to find that place of self-love and we're going to talk about that a lot more on Thursday. And the third is to take a break with exercise. Really pay attention to your body and your stress and just key and all these other things, your sleep, your eating etc-nail that before you really bring in pushing yourself super hard with exercise or with anything else. Hopefully, this helps serve you and, on some level gets you thinking a little differently gets you outside the box. We're going to have a lot more stuff themed around weight loss and I'm even going to do a challenge in the group between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're going to have some fun. So if you're not in the free Facebook group, please jump in there like there's going to be a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks and months. And if you're struggling with this, and don't even know where to start... Reach out to me. A lot of this comes from my own journey but also from conversations that I have had with all of you. And I'm always happy to do that. So please reach out to me and connect if you could use any guidance. Are you looking for the next step on your health journey and want to get some one-to-one support? As a thank you for listening to the show and being proactive with your health I’d like to offer you a $200 discount on an initial consultation with me. On this visit, we do a deep dive into your current state of health and the goals you have and together craft a plan to help you move forward confidently. To learn more visit https://www.emergentwomenih.com/initial-consult. The link is also in the show notes. I would love to connect with you and partner with you on your health journey. Thank you for tuning in to Emerge-The Health Podcast for Busy, High Performing Women, where we provide you with the tools, information, and inspiration you need to transform from overwhelmed, overworked, and overweight to vibrant, energetic, and on fire. If you enjoyed the show, please head over to iTunes to subscribe and leave us a review. Each month I will select one lucky reviewer to receive a special impeccable health sample kit from me. Also, I don't want to be working with you on your health, only once or twice a week. I want to be in this conversation, and in the trenches with you every single day. I invite you to join me at www.emergentwomenih.com for even more information, inspiration, and motivation to transform your health and become vibrant, energetic, and on fire. Until next time, remember to keep putting yourself first so that you can better serve the ones you love. And the things you are passionate about. Be sure to check out our website, follow us on Facebook and Linked In, and Instagram.

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Emerge: The Health Podcast for Busy, High Performing Women
Where high performing women learn the ins and outs of being, and staying vibrant, energetic and on fire.

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Alex Swenson-Ridley

Dr. Alex Swenson-Ridley DC, NBC-HWC, AMP helps successful women leaders overcome Selfless Syndrome and transform from overwhelmed, overworked, and overweight to vibrant, energized and on fire. She is a wife, mom, stepmom, entrepreneur, retired chiropractor and women's health coach and consultant who has learned the necessity of finding balance in our own lives to truly be and stay healthy. Now she helps other women do the same and overcome the health challenges that arise from ignoring ourselves for too long.