Do you speak to others like you speak to yourself? What would you do if someone spoke to you the way you speak to yourself?
Those relationships probably wouldn’t last very long. Would they?
What if you could have a relationship with yourself like you have with your BFF? What if you only tolerated yourself to speak to yourself as you allow others to speak to you? How would that change your relationship with yourself?
When we consider self-love, many are afraid that they’re going to be self-absorbed, or have unrealistic expectations that they’ll always be happy.. But just like being in relationship with other people you love, you will be disappointed, hurt, angry, or upset. But that doesn’t mean that you stop loving them.
In this podcast, we’re exploring what it means to be in relationship with yourself, and how you can become your own best friend.
What does it mean to be your best friend? What does it mean to love yourself? What does it mean to love your body? Are all of those same statements equal or are they different?
On today’s Done with Dieting podcast, I’m teasing apart the differences between each of those statements, explaining them and helping you identify the steps that you can take to becoming your own best friend.
Let’s get started.
You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women in midlife, who are done with dieting, but still want to lose weight and feel good in your clothes.
You know that diets don’t work long term. But you feel like there’s this secret that everyone else knows that you just haven’t figured it out yet.
I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And I’ve helped hundreds of women get off the diet roller coaster, change their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies.
Through this podcast, my goal is to help you too.
Welcome. Let’s get started.
Hey everyone, welcome to the Done with Dieting podcast, episode number 96. And if you’re listening to this in real time, we are approaching American Thanksgiving. And so, for many of you, you might have mixed emotions. On one hand, you have the holidays which probably make you feel like it’s something special, right? Like, we always look forward to the holidays.
But for many of you, the holidays may not bring all of the same memories that you had from childhood. For many of us, the holidays actually create stress. Because as much as we love our family, as much as we love everything that happens around the holidays, getting together, having dinner, and all of the other special events that come along with it.
What also tends to happen is that not everyone’s family is so super supportive, and we love seeing our family, but sometimes we live apart from them for a good reason. And so, anyway, if this is you, just be aware that you’re not alone. And there are many people who are in your same boat and there is help, actually.
For many of my clients, we talk a lot about relationships come the holidays because there are those people that we spend our holidays with that we love, but that also make us feel a little bit stressed out. And so, again, if this is you, I just want to encourage you to get the support that you need, and this goes true for your eating habits as well. Sometimes, when we look at the holidays, the holidays are really just a few simple days, but it can get really out of control when we have just food around us all the time. So, anyway, that’s enough about that.
The holidays are approaching and many of us are really freaked out about maintaining our weight. But also then, at the same time, we want to celebrate the holidays. So, for you, what I want to suggest is I recently did a sugar cravings reset, which is a five day challenge where we just reduce your craving.
So, I want to invite you to join the wait list because I’m going to be doing it again in January. And if you already know that the holidays are going to be challenging for you when it comes to your sugar cravings, you love the treats that you’re going to be having in November and December, then I’m going to invite you to join the Sugar Cravings Reset wait list. All it is, is that when you sign up, just go to elizabethsherman.com/sugar.
And you can put it on your calendar right now. The challenge is going to be January 9th through January 13th. And when you sign up for the waitlist, you’ll be invited to join the challenge in January.
So, mentally prepare for that. If you already know that you want to join, you can do that by going to elizabethsherman.com/sugar. And the testimonials that I have received from the women who did the last round have been phenomenal. Some have lost weight. I asked them to rate their cravings on a scale from one to 10 before the challenge started and then afterwards. And on average, folks dropped their cravings on average four points over the five days. It’s amazing, everything that came out of that. So, anyway, that’s my plug for the sugar cravings reset.
What also is exciting that’s happening, maybe not for you but for me, my birthday is this week. And so, happy birthday to me. So, this is going to be a birthday episode, kind of.
What we’re talking about today is actually becoming your own best friend. And so, what exactly does it mean to become your own best friend? And so, when we think about becoming our own best friend, something that we also think about is loving ourselves. And for many women, loving yourself is difficult. It’s a stretch.
For many women, we really don’t love ourselves. And you know that, that breaks my heart a little bit, but I totally understand because I was in the exact same place. I totally understand what it means not to love yourself and not to be your own best friend.
And so, what I want to talk about today is the difference between loving yourself and being your own best friend. And a concept called having your own back, which I’ve talked about before. But what we’re going to do is I really want to tease apart these different issues, these different concept. And I really want to help you to have your own back and become your own best friend.
Because when you boil it all down, here’s the short takeaway. When you boil it out all down, you are the only one who is responsible for your consequences and your results. And so, when you can be your own best friend, when you can have your own back, then what happens is you will ultimately stop self-sabotaging.
And that’s where it comes together with your eating, and your exercise habits, and all of those other things that you beat yourself up about because you’re like, why? Why can’t I make this happen? Why can’t I get my eating under control? Why is it that when I set this rule that I’m going to eat this way, then I don’t. Like, why is it that I say, that I’m going to start exercising and then I don’t? It’s so confusing.
And so, to start out, I think that so many of us have this fear when we think about self-love. When we think about it, we think about being conceited like we’re going to walk around all day being like, Oh my God, I love myself, and I am so amazing, and we’re going to be annoying.
But what I really want to introduce you today is to the concept that when you love yourself, you actually spend much less time thinking about yourself because we think about ourselves very negatively, right? Like, we’re constantly beating ourselves up about oh, you did this wrong, and you should have been a better friend. And all of those negative cycles that happen in our brain.
When we finally get to a place where we love ourselves, we actually don’t spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves. Like, think about your best friend who you love or maybe even your partner. You’re not thinking about them all the time. Yeah, you think about them, and you love them, but they take up very little space in your brain.
However, right now, if you identify as someone who does not love themselves and if you have that inner critic going on in your brain right now about what you ate last night, or how you screwed up at work, or how you haven’t been exercising, or whatever it is that you’re criticizing yourself about. That loop is on repeat.
And so, the truth is that we think about ourselves much less because we’re not thinking negatively, we’re not constantly all over our own sh*ts, right? We’re not berating ourselves all the time. And so, self-love being your own best friend, it’s not being conceited, it’s not being arrogant. What it is, is it’s being in acceptance and being confident in what you bring to the table. Okay?
So, first question I want you to ask yourself is when we talk about self-love, like how do you define it? Like when you think about self-love, what exactly does that mean? And probably for you, if you haven’t thought about it before, I know that when I thought about it for the first time, I was just like, Oh my God, I have no idea what that would even look like. What would self-love even look like? I have no idea.
And so, is it different? Here’s my question to you. Is self-love different than body love? I recently did a podcast on body neutrality versus body love. When you think about self-love and body love. If you love your body, do you automatically love yourself? Maybe, but I would suggest that maybe not.
But if you love yourself, do you automatically love your body? That one, that question right there, I think is more of a yes. So, when we can really start to appreciate who we are as people. And what qualities we bring to the world, what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are. And really, get to a place of acceptance, then I think that we become happier overall.
And so, how does your definition of self-love change? So, when we think about loving ourselves, right? And we’re like, Oh my God, I have no idea what that means. What if we talked about self-love as the concept of being in relationship with yourself. Instead of having this wild love affair, right? Or that self-love is a destination where you always feel happy, and you always feel satisfied with yourself. Like, when we think about being in relationship with ourselves, that’s where the concept of being your own best friend comes in.
Now, when I think about being my own best friend, there are three different concepts, if you’re a listener of this podcast, you’ve heard me talk about before. And there are three different versions of ourself. There’s our past version of ourself, the versions of the 54 years that came before exactly today. There’s my present self who only exists for a moment in time. And then, there’s the future version of myself who exists from the next moment on until infinity.
When we think about these three different versions of myself. The past version of myself, she actually does not suffer any consequences of what I do today. And the past version of myself, even though our past behavior does predict our future behavior, our present and future behavior. It’s not the only predictor. And so, the past version of myself is gone.
And oftentimes, we will say, I don’t love myself because of all of this stuff that the past version of myself did. She was a bad person. She ate too much cake. She drank too much alcohol. She didn’t do well on her exams. She didn’t study. She didn’t get a good job. She didn’t advocate for herself.
The past version of myself is gone. We cannot do anything about her. What we can do is we can start to understand her. Understand her motivations and have compassion for her. And when we can have compassion for the past version of ourselves, we can also start the process of being more accepting of ourselves and all of our current flaws or weaknesses.
Now again, we have the present version of myself but again, the present version of myself, it only exists right in this moment. The present version of myself is the only one who can pay attention to this moment in time. And then, the other version of myself is the future version of myself.
Now, here’s where being your own best friend really counts. And that is when the present version of yourself. Now, we can forget about the past version because again, she has no consequences to any of my actions. The present version of myself suffers the consequences of the past version of myself. But I digress. What we want to do is we want to set our future self-up for success. We want to do everything that we can so that the future version of myself doesn’t have to suffer these consequences.
And so, when you can have the future version of yourself as like your best friend, then what will ultimately happen is as you start to do things for the future version of yourself. Your present self will start to love who you are in the moment.
I have a couple resources for you in this podcast. And the first one is there’s a researcher out of the University of Austin, Texas, her name is Kristin Neff. And she is the authority on self-compassion. When I was starting this whole process, I actually used her work. I found her through Brene Brown, and her work is phenomenal because what we can do is if we are having a problem or we’re kind of beating ourselves up, or whatever our inner critic is telling us, that is wrong with us.
What we can do is she teaches that if we can pretend that the person who committed the act. Okay. So, let’s say that I ate five cookies and I’m beating myself up about it. So, if we can take ourselves and speak to ourselves like we would our own best friend or another person. So, let’s say, you have a best friend, or a daughter, or a sister, or someone who you love unconditionally.
The first step is really to pretend that that person is telling you exactly what the problem is that you are currently facing. So, my friend Mary, I love her. She is just amazing. Mary tells me she ate five cookies and she’s beating herself up about it. What advice, how would I talk to Mary in this case? How would I talk to my daughter? How would I talk to a five year old?
Now, this does not mean that we are blowing smoke at Mary. This does not mean that we are letting Mary off the hook. Especially, if losing weight, or eating right, or doing something is important to her. We can show her some tough love, right? But that does not mean that we have to be mean about it. We can do it with kindness.
And so, anyway, if you’re interested in learning more about becoming more compassionate with yourself, I’m going to highly recommend that you look up Kristin Neff, I’ll have her information in the show notes, and you can see the exercises that she shares. And they’re phenomenal. In fact, they’re the ones that again, that I used when I was in this journey.
But what I really want to focus on in the remainder of this podcast episode is thinking about the future version of yourself. Because when you can take care of the future version of yourself like you would your child, or like you would your best friend, your life will change. The more you can be on your own side, the more you will be able to then have compassion for the past version of yourself because you’re not constantly screwing yourself over.
So, one question that I have for you is what are the reasons for keeping you from becoming your own best friend. Now, when you think about that question, you’re probably thinking, Oh, but I’m just a terrible person. Now, I think not everyone, many people have this thought that like, Oh, if people really knew me, they would not want to be friends with me.
So, my first question to you is and we’re going to lean into this. The first thing is figuring out. You have friends, right? Of course, you do. Why do you have friends? Now, this question may be difficult for you to answer if you are a people pleaser. Because people pleasers tend to be shapeshifters.
What I mean by that is as a recovered people pleaser, what we do is when we are people pleasing, we are changing our personality. We are changing our wants and our desires so that the person that we are trying to please is pleased with us. Gives us the approval that we want.
And so, as a people pleaser, you’re constantly thinking about what does this person want. What does that person want? Where you don’t even know what it is that you want because you’re so focused on other people. And when you’re focused on other people, you have no idea what your personality is anymore. You bend to the will of other people around you.
And so, what qualifies you as a good friend? Really, think about this. Now, in the back of your mind, you might be thinking that same thing that I just said. Oh, but if they really knew me, they would know that I’m not a good person. And for that, I want to give you another resource. There’s a tremendous book by a woman named, Debbie Ford. I’ll put the link in the show notes.
And the book is called The Dark Side of Light Chasers. And what I love about this book is she shares with us how every single person in this world, all of us, every single human has every single quality, every good quality, every bad quality.
And when we judge others about a negative quality, that person is greedy. That person is shifty. That woman is too sexy. That man is too arrogant. What we’re doing is we are judging in other people what we judge in ourselves. And in this book, be aware that we all have those qualities. At times, we are all greedy. At times, we are all selfish. We are all stubborn at times. We are all whiny, or complainy, or whatever it is, whatever gets on your nerves about other people, all of us have those same qualities.
And when we can really accept that all of us have those same things, we will be less likely to judge ourselves because we know that everyone else has that same thing. And we are less likely to judge others. And so, this is a really important aspect because we think to ourselves in our heads, oh, but if people really knew the real me, they would hate me. They wouldn’t like me. I would be shunned.
But what I want to suggest is that everyone else has those same qualities. We were created somehow. Whether you believe in God, or the universe, or some other being, we did not create ourselves. We were created somehow. We did not choose our personality traits. And so, when you can accept the idea that you were not in control of who you are trying to be because if you were in control, you probably would’ve made the changes already to change into something more socially acceptable, right?
You would’ve been thinner. You wouldn’t have chosen to love Oreos or whatever it is. Like, when you think about what are my choices here? You probably wouldn’t have chosen the things that you judge yourself on. We would all be kind, and we would all be giving, and we would all be doing all of these other things that we aspire to be.
But we don’t because we all have inherent personalities. And so, we were created. And when you can really understand that and feel it, and then just spend the rest of your life being in awe of and discovering what is it about me that makes me so special. Then, you can start to love and accept yourself because all of those negative qualities that we talk about so, greed, victim mentality, being self-centered, being lazy, being whiny. All of those things, needing validation. They have a purpose. Maybe we do them a little bit too much, and so we rely on them too much. And so, that’s why we have judgment on them.
But when we can accept all of those different pieces and understand what parts they serve in our lives, then we can let go of the judgment.
So, that’s the first piece is understanding the qualities that make you valuable, and then dropping the judgment on all of the things that you judge yourself for. Understanding that every single person in this world has exactly those same qualities in more or less parts.
Step, two. Really, understanding that you are the only one who suffers the consequences of your own actions. I did a podcast recently, I’ll put it in the show notes about how to have your own back. And when you understand that you are the only one that suffers your own consequences. When I talk about having your own back, what I’m talking about is one, setting yourself up for success. Two, following through on the plans that you had made for yourself. And then three, not speaking badly to yourself for doing the things. And so, that’s what we call having your own back. Again, I did an entire podcast on it.
When you can have your own back and think about the future version of yourself, who exists tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, 10 years. And do everything that you want so that the future version of yourself is successful. When you can do that, then you will know that you are your own best friend.
So, some examples of suffering your own consequences is like staying up later than you want, because you’re watching television with your partner and you’re trying to spend time together. Or eating as to not offend the person who’s giving you the food. Let’s say, again, you’re at Thanksgiving, or you’re at Christmas, or you’re at a holiday party and someone makes you something and you don’t really like it. You don’t have to eat it.
So, eating it is one thing. But overeating is really what I’m talking about. So, overeating, we think that we have to finish our plate because we’re going to offend the person. But what if you’ve had enough. One of the things that I really teach my clients is you may not always have control over what it is you eat. But you will always have control over how much you eat. And so, when we’re thinking about the future version of myself, I’m the one that has control over how much I eat.
Overeating to please someone else doesn’t make any sense. Some other things like buying treats supposedly for the other people in your family, right? But you’re the only one that eats them. These are all again, symptoms of people pleasing. And just be aware that we want to be really on board with the future version of myself.
Again, these are all versions of people pleasing. And when we can drop the people pleasing and really get to a place where we’re understanding of what it is that I want and that I can’t change other people’s thoughts about me. I know you think you can, but you can’t. When you can drop that, then you can really start to think about who you want to be. And what is that future version of yourself? And do all of these actions fall in line with that.
Now, one of the questions that I love prompting my clients to ask themselves is whenever we’re coming to a decision. One of the questions that I love asking myself is ‘if I loved myself, what would I do?’
It’s a really profound question because even if you don’t love yourself, it actually allows you to start taking action from a place of well, what if I loved myself, what would I do? And when you can start acting from that place, what will inevitably happen is you will start to love yourself because you will be acting in your own best interest.
Now, that does not mean that you don’t take other people’s opinions into account. But it means that other people’s wants, desires, and opinions have equal or less weight than your own. And as women, we are constantly socialized to put other people’s wants, opinions, and desires ahead of our own needs.
The more we could ask ourselves, well, if I really loved myself and I loved that other person. And how do I want to show up in this relationship with them, with myself? These are some big questions. But all of these things will ultimately relate to your health because when we stuff down our own needs because we’re trying to do things for other people, what happens is we end up overeating because we’re trying to stuff all of those feelings down.
So, in closing, the questions I want you to ask yourself are like, what would it look like if you were your own best friend? If you talked to your best friend the same way that you talked to yourself, would she be your best friend, still? If you loved yourself, what would you do? So, that’s on a decision by decision basis.
And then, finally, how do I want to show up in this relationship with this other person as well as with me. When I look at the future version of myself, how am I different? And how does everything fit into that?
That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing Thanksgiving, everyone. And I will see you next week. Bye-bye.
Hey, Thanks for listening.
If you’re done with dieting and would like to work with me as your coach, I’d like to invite you to reach out to myself and my team to ask about programs and pricing. Go to elizabethsherman.com/contact to get started today. I can’t wait to hear from you. See you next week.