Done with Dieting Episode #77: Client Success Stories

client success stories

3 Client Stories as an Example of what is Possible

Don’t you love hearing other people’s success stories?

I used to feel a ton of envy hearing about other people achieving success in an area of my life that I desired, but I’ve been able to turn that around & now I know to use other people’s stories as evidence that I can do the thing too.

If someone else has done it, I can do it too.

You will be amazed at these three women’s stories. They’re super relatable if you’re a woman who grew up in the United States, having experience with all the diets: Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem & others.

In this conversation, we cover a huge range of topics – from growing up constantly being on a diet, to what it takes to lose 100 lbs., to a side-tracked conversation about cranberry farming.

Listen to learn more.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my six-month group coaching program! The Feel Good Sisterhood is going to be open for enrollment in October for a limited time, so click here to get on the waitlist.

For even more resources on becoming healthier, get my free download: 8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do. If you do these 8 things on a consistent basis, you will be healthier than most people you know, and your body will right-size!

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What you’ll Learn from this Episode

  • How you can lose weight without dieting, or tracking your calories.
  • That it IS possible to wear a bathing suit and not feel totally self-conscious.
  • How coaching is so different from any diet or weight loss program.
  • What these clients learned is more important than weight loss.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Full Episode Transcript:

Erin: I did the weight loss; I did the work. And I realized very quickly that the weight does not fix anything. The weight will not solve your problems. Losing the weight will actually not make you happier. It will give you a new set of problems. It will give you new anxiety, new overwhelm, it’s just different.

So, the best thing you can do for yourself in my opinion, and that I’ve done for myself, it’s not lost the weight. But invest the time, the effort, and money, whatever it takes to build that self-trust. To learn how my brain works and not fight against that and just work with it instead of against that understand my emotions.

And when I want to use food emotionally and giving herself permission and learning how I can do that or not do that, and just really trusting myself to make decisions and feel good in them. And you do that by joining a program like this. By investing yourself in learning about what you’re currently thinking, what you’re currently feeling, what your behaviors are. And then deciding, do I want to be here or not?

And Elizabeth will show you your thoughts. She will show you your emotions. She will give you tools and concepts that you can use now, you can use later, you can completely throw out the door. You get to decide, and it’s super empowering. And that’s why for me, diets don’t work because they’re not empowering.

But this is empowering, and it teaches you a skill set that you can use not only for weight loss, you can use in your marriage, you can use for parenting, you can use in your job. Like, you will see strategic byproducts, all happening all around for you when you decide to invest in yourself on this level, in this way for sure.

Elizabeth: I did not pay you to say that.

Erin: No, you did not.

Fawn: I can’t follow that. So yeah, let’s just leave it right there.

Erin: Because that is true. That is a truth bomb, my friends. Maybe you should just save them the trouble and put that in the front. The front of the podcast. Listen now.

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 episode. 77. I am so freaking excited for you to listen to our podcast episode today, I have three of my clients on the show today talking about their experiences with weight loss, what helped them make lasting change and the things that they’ve done to be where they are today.

Now they’re all members of my current cohort of the Feel Good Sisterhood, and they are an example of what is possible for you. And probably my biggest takeaway from our conversation is no matter where you are in your weight loss journey, we all share a common bond in the process of weight loss as women and within our journey.

That is so incredibly similar. And even though these women come from very different backgrounds, their experiences as women trying to lose weight, allowed them to support each other and lift each other up during the process. But I don’t want to spoil your experience. Let’s get started.

Elizabeth: All right, I have some special guests on my podcast today. I have Christine, Erin, and Fawn who are all part of the current cohort of the Feel Good Sisterhood. And they were kind enough to want to come on to the episode today and talk about their experiences.

So, let’s see, who would like to start first? Tell us about yourself. Like your name, what you do, all of that great stuff. Who’d like to start. Okay, Christine.

Christine: So, my name is Christine Nondorf and I am 39 years old. I am married to my husband, Evan and I have two young children, two little girls who are just turning three and five. So busy, busy. I am a self-employed virtual assistant to a couple of clients. I live in Wisconsin. What else do you want to know?

Elizabeth: I think that that’s just an amazing introduction. Your family is absolutely gorgeous. And those two little girls are just so incredibly precious. Yeah. Thanks. All right. Erin, do you want to go next?

Erin: Sure. Thanks for setting me up, Christine. Now, I know what I’m going to say, so thank you. I am Erin Tennants. I am a mom of two crazy fun kids, Jules, and Gwenny they’re six and eight. I’m married to my husband, John. We have some cats, we have some dogs, we have plants, all the things.

We currently reside in Columbus, Ohio. And I work as a weight loss coach mindset coach. And this has just been such an awesome experience. Client coaching, all of it, just like I know we’re going to go into this, but this has just been such an awesome experience.

Elizabeth: That’s so cool.

Erin: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Thanks.

Erin: You’re welcome.

Elizabeth: And Fawn.

Fawn: I am Fawn Gottschalk. I’m 43, I’m almost 44. I live in Central Wisconsin. So, Christina and I aren’t too far apart. I am the CEO of my family’s business, which is a cranberry farm. I am the third generation on our current farm. But I work in the office, executive finance, the business aspects.

I have two sons, they are 19 and 16. So, one in college and one in high school, which means I am on the cusp of an empty nest. And I am happy to be here today.

Elizabeth: Awesome. Now, I’ve been meaning to ask you this. You grow for Ocean Spray, is that right?

Fawn: Yes.

Elizabeth: So, how does that work? Tell me more.

Fawn: So, Ocean Spray is a farmer owned cooperative, that was started in Massachusetts in 1930, I think. All of the farmers who grow and supply ocean spray with our cranberries are also the owners of the company. And so, ocean spray has a brand, you know obviously, worldwide recognition juice, Craisins sauce, and which is what all of our cranberries go into. It’s called process fruit.

It’s a different harvest method from the fresh fruit you find in the fall, in the produce section. So, our processed fruit is about 95% of the industry, most of it goes into some sort of processed product. And so, our farm has been a grower member, owner of Ocean Spray since the 1950s when they came to Wisconsin.

We have a lot of family, blood family who are in the same industry because they’re our neighbors or cousins like our grandparents may have moved from a not too far away area. But because we have a lot of multi-generational farms, we get to know people within Wisconsin and the other growing regions when we get together for Ocean Spray meetings.

So, I have friends in New Jersey and Massachusetts. And our parents were friends, and our grandparents were probably friends. So, that’s really fun aspect of the industry.

Elizabeth: That is so cool. And so, I had no idea that cranberries actually grew in Wisconsin.

Fawn: Yes, Wisconsin is the leading producer. We are about 60% of the US crop and about 50% of the world’s crop. So, we have been number one for quite a while. East coast is kind of the original, that’s what people think of. Massachusetts and New Jersey are the two big areas there, but there’s West cross growers too in Oregon and Washington.

And a lot of farms, big farms in British Columbia and Canada, and a relatively newer growing region is Quebec in Canada. There’s a lot of acres that have gone in. But Ocean Spray also has farms and members in South America and Chile.

Because it’s a similar latitude just in the Southern hemisphere. And that’s helpful because Chile has some nice trade agreements with areas and that’s a lot of the products that are going to, especially Asia. Trade is easier in shipping is probably a little cheaper to go from there.

Elizabeth: That’s fascinating. Okay, I’m going to get back to Erin and Christine just a second. But I have one more question. So, there’s the I don’t know if it’s an old wife’s tale, but you know, since we’re talking about health here, does cranberry juice prevent urinary tract infection?

Fawn: It can help. It doesn’t cure them. Once you have one, it’s too late, you probably need to go to the doctor. But regular consumption of cranberry juice can help prevent them. There has been research done. And what they think is that the what’s called the PACs or the PACs, which is short for proanthocyanins help keep the bacteria from sticking. Like to the lining and that’s kind of what the infection prevention.

But there’s a lot of health research going on in other areas. There’s a more recent study that shows it can help cardiovascular, flow mediated dilation, I think is what they call it. And they’ve looked at oral health, it’s kind of the same reason preventing bacteria from sticking.

Elizabeth: Okay. Thank you for sharing that. That was completely unexpected, but you just shared a wealth of knowledge with our listeners.

Fawn: Your cranberry lesson for today. Yeah. In fact, I’m an advisor to the board of what’s called the cranberry Institute and they have a website and a link to all the health studies that they know about on cranberries and health.

Elizabeth: Okay. We will add that to the show notes then.

Fawn: Yep.

Elizabeth: Okay. Moving on. All right. So, the next question that I wanted to ask you is think back to where you were when you started the Feel Good Sisterhood. Okay. So many months ago. And what were you struggling with and what were you hoping to get out of the program? Okay. Who would like to go first?

Erin: Yeah. I first heard you on Lindsay Dotzlaf podcast. So, I’m obsessed with it, and I was like, this is my coach. I hadn’t done like a group coach, and I heard you speak, and I was like, I don’t know what I need her for, but I know I need Elizabeth in my life. Somehow to guide me, to help me improve on my health and my mindset.

And so, when I reached out to you, I was through our coaching. I found out I was kind of in this indecision, if I wanted to lose more weight or not. I had gone through a 130-pound weight loss transformation. And I was like, should I keep going? Should I stop? I don’t know. And when we first started, I think that’s where I was.

And you helped me problem-solve, you helped me look at all my thoughts, and you helped me make the ultimate decision that I was going to focus on other aspects of my life. And allow my weight to balance itself out, one way or another. Whether that means lose weight, whether that means maintain, whether that means gain some because of muscle.

And so, that’s where I started out was kind of with this indecision of; do I keep going? Do I stop? What am I doing? So, that was really the beginning of the six-month journey of this coaching program with you.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think we need to pause a second and let that sink in for the listeners. You lost 130 pounds before you even started the program. Like, how is that even possible?

Erin: You have to decide that for yourself and only for yourself. Because I personally, do not care what other people look like, what their weight is on the scale, how their clothes look like. I don’t really care. I’m obviously self-focus, self-centered, so to speak. You know, we’re all thinking about ourselves.

And so, that’s like a really personal decision. And for me, I struggled with it for a very, very long time and not to go into a whole podcast episode about this. But I had a traumatic experience where it was reflected to me that life was so fragile.

And did I want to go another day with the struggle of constantly worrying about what I was eating, when I was eating, why was eating. The number on the scale, all the stuff that I’ve been dealing with for over the past 38 years. Well, then it was like 36 years, but I just said I was done.

I didn’t know how it was going to do it. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just knew in my bones that if it took to last day of my life on earth, I was going to try to figure out how to lose the weight. And that was it. And that’s how I did it. I started there and I let everything just kind of fall into place as necessary.

Elizabeth: Wow. That’s huge.

Erin: But I also want to be clear, I don’t think you need a traumatic experience for that to happen. I think you can allow your mind to go to understand how fragile life is. At any moment, it can be taken from us. So, are you truly happy? This was your last day, really happy with the way you think and feel about yourself.

And if you’re not, you have the opportunity if you want to do something with that, whatever that looks like. And for me, it was like, I want to lose weight. That’s it. I want to take this weight off. I want to be able to free myself from this and I want to be able to live my life, knowing that if I can lose this weight, I can do anything.

Elizabeth: Yeah. It’s really kind of interesting when you look at the reasons that people want to lose weight, there’s something called the health belief model, which generally is about avoiding disease. Yours was a little bit different, but that’s typically what happens is people are like, this was my story that oh, I see what is going to happen, if I don’t change things. So, I better make the change now.

Erin: And I had that before, but then somehow, I told myself another story. Like, it was there and then I felt uncomfortable by it. And I just kind of swept that under the rug. And it wasn’t till that life experience that I was like, “oh, this shit’s real.” Like, it’s “do or die time.” Like you can do this if you want to do this. And if you don’t want to do that, that’s fine too. But stop lying to yourself. You can do this, and you can tolerate anything that comes along with it.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Awesome.

Erin: Yep.

Elizabeth: Thank you.

Erin: Thank you.

Elizabeth: Christine.

Christine: So, this is actually the second time I’ve gone through the program with Elizabeth. I originally found Elizabeth through an employee benefit at a time that it was after the pandemic had started and I was a newer mother and things were just stressful. And I really feel like I needed to make a change. And I wanted to start taking care of myself and I wanted to model that for my children.

I discovered Elizabeth; we had a quick call. Same Erin, I knew right away, this is my person. There was no question whatsoever. And so, I think we worked exclusively one-on-one for about six months or so, maybe something like that.

But I had been mentioning to you towards the end of that six months. I felt like I had made so much progress, like in my mental work, and taking care of myself, and in my personal development. And I had been mentioning, I really want to find a group of people who are somewhat like-minded who have the same goals. Who I can meet with and work with help keep each other accountable.

But also, we’re in this pandemic and I have young kids. And how do I find a group like this that I don’t have to commit to running out every week in person, or every day in person, or whatever it would be. And so, shortly after that, she announced this and I thought, this is exactly what I’m looking for. And it was just perfect. It was perfect timing for where I was in our work together.

Elizabeth: Well, and what was interesting was I really had no idea that what you were looking for was the container that I was creating. But it actually worked out really well. But the other problem that you were having was that you were like, I don’t really connect that much with the people that I’m living nearby. And so, trying to find that community and at the same time, yeah, like how would you find an online community? Yeah.

Erin: Exactly. Christine, sorry. We’re curious. So, when I heard Elizabeth on Lindsay Dotzlaf podcast, she said something and that’s how I knew she was my coach. I was like, this is my coach. She said, you viewed movement and exercise as not a way to lose weight, but as self-care.

And that just like hits. So, like it hit home for me where I was like, that’s my person. She knows what I’m like thinking. She’s in my head, that’s my coach. Do you remember what you heard her say that you had that exact moment where you’re like, this is my coach, this is my person.

Christine: So, I found her, I think he run the life coach school website is maybe where I found your profile and it really just spoke to me. It was women, I don’t want to say like an age thing on there, but I knew it wasn’t like a trainer for a 22-year-old girl who I would look at it and say, “oh, you have the most amazing body.”

Like, why are you working with the coach? It was women who have children or who’ve had a career. Who are experiencing like different things at this age in life? And it wasn’t killed yourself to have that perfect body that the 22-year-old was. And that right there, I thought this is who I am now. And I like that, and I’m okay with that, and I connect with somebody who wants to meet women, like at all ages and stages in their life. And then, that’s what did it for me, like right away, I knew.

Erin: Awesome.

Elizabeth: Yeah. That’s awesome. Fawn, you want to share.

Fawn: Sure. So, I came to you a little differently because I am in a membership with your friend, Ryan. And she had talked about, I don’t know if I had mentioned, should I want to start working on my health? I haven’t been doing much. And she’s like, oh, my friend Elizabeth is amazing. And another friend Theresa was in your previous cohort.

And so, I think I started asking truth so like, how do you like it? What do you think? And I probably started listening to the podcasts, but at the same time. I agree with Christine was I liked the idea of like the opposite of the diet culture. This isn’t another diet. Your podcast is literally called done with dieting. Right?

And it was the part about forming healthy habits and being okay with who you are, and in your own skin, and going forward. And I agree with Christine like the face in life thing. I like Erin, have previously lost a ton of weight.

I think in 2009, I joined weight watchers. I had lost over a hundred pounds. I was a weight watcher leader after that. And I have since it’s all come back through you know, not all at once. It was kind of over time. I went through a divorce. I started getting much more involved in my family’s business.

And now, I’m the CEO, I am volunteering. And then, I was a single mom. And when I lost weight, the first time I was a stay-at-home mom. So, working on my health meal planning, prepping food, exercising sort of was my part-time job. And then, as I got busier working, I think that’s when the weight crept on.

I really started understanding more ladies in my weight watcher meetings. You come home at the end of the day, and you just don’t have any energy to think about this or work on yourself. You’re done. You go to work and then you come home, and you have a family to deal with.

And so, I looked at it as an opportunity to restart a commitment to myself and my own health and body. And learn some better habits and how to manage stress eating all the things in this phase of my life. Where I am working full time and my kids are older and almost going to be out of the house and where I may be needed to make some adjustments and where I was spending my time too.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, it’s kind of interesting. You were in Weight Watchers for a really long time. My follow up question to you is like, how does my philosophy or the Feel Good Sisterhood differ from Weight Watchers, which I know it differs vastly, but I’d like to hear it in your words.

Fawn: Right. So, one of the things that I think it took me a little while to get used to when we first started this program, I was like, you mean, we’re not tracking our food. We’re not weighing in at a certain interval. You know, you were kind of like, I don’t care if you step on the scale in the next six months.

And that’s what Weight Watchers is you weigh in every meeting you go to and you got a sticker for every five pounds you lost and you were supposed to track it. We had all kinds of as a weight watcher leader. If you bite it, you write it. If you snack at your track. The tracking was in. And yes, I was really good at that. I’m an accountant. So, it was like, Ooh, a little spreadsheet in a book track. You can keep track of stuff, sign me up.

But that’s not real life. And I think that was the other thing that drew me to your program was at some point, even if you hit a goal on a diet, what happens after that? And I think that’s exactly what happened to me was you hit goal. Maintenance is so much harder than the diet or the losing itself when you’re in that.

Because you’re like, well, I should be able to eat XYZ food or whatever. And then, it’s hard to either give yourself that permission, the “all or nothing” thinking sometimes comes in or having lost weight and then maintaining it is one of the hardest things.

And I think it’s hard because if you lost the weight with the regimented tracking everything, logging all your food, exercising, weighing in at a certain interval all the time, knowing exactly where you were at on the scale. And then, you get to maintenance, and you don’t know what to do with yourself.

So, I think starting from a different place of; okay, let’s make sure we’re drinking water. Let’s make sure we’re eating a few vegetables every day. Let’s make sure we’re paying attention to our movement. Let’s make sure we are treating ourselves and not depriving ourselves, but not every occasion is a treat occasion either. So, all of those things I think are helpful.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Does anyone else want to share their experience with past dieting?

Erin: I’ve done them all. I’ve done the juicing. I’ve done the Weight Watchers a bunch of times. I’ve done Jenny Craig. I remember getting a box of Nutrisystem and I like opened it and I took a bite, and I was like, I wouldn’t even feed this shit to my dog.

And I was like, it’s disgusting. And yeah, dining is always very restrictive, it’s like you’re under a microscope all the time. And any little move you make that’s not on planned, I tend to personally from my own experience to beat myself up. And diets, I think they’re trying to now teach you how to be more inclusive, and how to pivot, and all the things.

But when I grew up with dieting, it was a very, very, very strict. And so, when I lost the weight, the 130 pounds, I did not diet. I said, I am not dieting. I’m going to learn how to manage my mind and my emotions around food because obviously, I have this weird, enmeshed relationship with it, that is keeping me overweight.

And I really need to get to the bottom of that. Like, rip the band-aid, look at the wound, really figure out how to treat that because I don’t want to rely on trackers. I don’t want to rely on the scale. And I did for a while. And I use them as tools and working with Elizabeth, I got off tracking my fitness pal, which I was shocked cause I did that for two years.

And I’m off and I’m maintaining beautifully, and the world has not ended. And it’s about building trust. And I think with diets, you don’t learn how to trust yourself. You learn to follow a plan. And that’s great! To learn to follow a plan, because you get discipline, you get commitment, all those things which we talk about in this coaching. And we talk about how to come up with our own plan.

And then, to decide ahead of time so we can build the self-trust in the commitment. But you’re not relying on that diet because in the past, like you Fawn, I did Weight Watchers. I lost 60, 70 pounds. I did great. And then, the minute I ate a bite of pizza, the minute I wanted ice cream, it was like, “eff it, mode came back,” and I didn’t know how to manage myself.

This time around, I was like, I’m going to learn how to eat all of the things. And learn to trust my decisions, whether it’s to have the ice cream or not to have ice cream. Whether it is to indulge in the pizza. Whether it’s said, oh, whoops, I overate some pizza and I kind of feel sick. How do I pick myself back up from that and keep moving forward? And diets don’t teach you that.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So good. I love that.

Fawn: Yeah. Totally, agree on the learning self-trust is different because you need to rely on yourself versus the plan that they laid out for you.

Erin: Yeah.

Elizabeth: Well, and it doesn’t make any sense. When we go on a diet, we beat ourselves up because it’s like, oh, I had a brownie, or I had some ice cream or whatever. And yet, we think that we have to be perfect until we get to goal. And then, somehow, we’re going to magically learn how to incorporate those treats into our daily life, or weekly life, whatever it is.

We need to be able to do it along the way, so that when we get to goal, we still know how to do it. Right? Christine, did you want to share at all? You don’t have to.

Christine: I was just thinking that for me, it’s always been if you’re going to lose weight, you just eat clean and that’s the way it is. There’s no thought about the maintenance. There’s no thought about like later down the road, it’s like, you work out really hard and you eat really clean, and you drop the weight and then that’s just it. And it doesn’t work that way.

And I spent so many hours wracking my brain like, how did we get here as a society? Because really, what we’ve done, what I’ve done I should say is I’ve unlearned all of these things that I thought were true. And it’s really kind of simple. While I look at the eight-point checklist or whatever it is. It’s manageable things that I can do to keep myself healthy and well that are killing myself to look perfect.

Elizabeth: Well, yeah. And we go on these diets that are like all of these advanced techniques, it’s smoke and mirrors, right? And the reason that those aren’t sustainable is because we’ve built them on a house of cards. If you don’t have those eight basic habits in place, then any advanced techniques that you do, like keto, or intermittent fasting, or anything like that. It’s going to fall flat because you’re not going to feel good if you’re not eating enough vegetables, or if you’re not drinking enough water, or you’re not having protein with each meal.

Because what happens on typical diets is that we take out one of those food groups, and then our hormones go out of whack. Especially, for women, you guys are a little bit younger, but for women over a certain age, we become more sensitive to the things that we’re eating. But I still think that you all are experiencing some of that.

So, the next question I have is what were your expectations going into the program? So Fawn, you already talked about that a little bit with being surprised that I never asked you to weigh in, I never asked you to track your food, or anything like that. What were your expectations going into the program? And any of you can start.

Christine: I can jump in here. So, it’s funny because I had worked with you, like I said for approximately six months before the program. And I’ve worked with you, I knew your style, I knew your vibe, I know how we do this. And even still knowing all those things, there was still a little part of me that thought we were going to track food and we were going to do all this.

Because we’ve learned our whole entire life like, that’s what you do. And so, I still thought there would be that element there, that component. And it wasn’t. Aside from the awareness piece of it, which maybe we’ll talk about it at some point. But that’s what I was expecting. And it was just so great that it wasn’t a thing.

Elizabeth: Okay. Talk about that because I’m sure that there are people listening who are like, well then how does this work if I don’t track my food? If I don’t track my weight, how is this even possibly a thing?

Christine: So, really to me, this has become so much more about the mental work that I do and how my body physically feels and being aware of how I feel and what I’m doing. Really, isn’t about counting calories or anything. It’s okay, how much water am I drinking? Like I don’t have to change how much water I’m drinking. Just how much am I drinking on average? How many vegetables am I eating on average?

And so, for me, it’s in the front of my mind now as I’m just being aware. Then, I start thinking about okay, maybe I want to drink some more water. Oh, now I feel good. I don’t have a headache, or I have more energy. And then, once your body starts feeling good and you start seeing and feeling some of those changes.

It’s interesting cause it does take your mind. For me, it took a while to wrap my brain around the fact that we were going off how I felt. But once it does, it’s really hard to go back. It’s hard to not notice how I feel all the time now after all the work that we’ve done to this point.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And I see Erin and Fawn are nodding their heads.

Erin: I was shocked that we haven’t even talked about our weight. First, I was with you Christina, I was like, are we going to have a plan? What are we going to eat? And we are building protocols and we’re trying to come up with lists of foods that we want to eat regularly and treats we want to incorporate as well. So, we do talk about but it’s very, very big and left up to us to do the work and figure it out. Which I appreciate as a client and as a coach, because I think a lot of the times, we expect these programs to be done already for us, but that’s a diet, that’s a plan.

It’s our job and it’s our responsibility to take care of our health and decide what we want to put in our bodies, when we want to put it in, and how. So, I agree with you Christine on that, but like the weight, we have not talked about how much weight we’ve lost, how much weight we gain, we don’t have any talk of that.

And I was like right away in and I was so weak in all this. And like, I weigh myself every day or every week and I’m just like, I don’t know what anyone weighs more myself. Like, I thought it was going to be like a Weight Watchers meeting like, and our weight.

Fawn: Yeah. I’m up half a pound. I’m down to two and a half. Yeah. Well, and I appreciate that too, because I remember at the very beginning kind of our pre-work questions before the first call were how are you going to measure success and what are your units? Are you going to weigh yourself? Is it what’s on the scale? Are you taking measurements? Is it going to be feelings?

And I think that’s one thing that has shifted from what my expectations were of what we were going to be doing and what it was going to be was. My goals have shifted those weight measurements. And we talked about this somewhere along the way, outcome-based goals. And what we do with our bodies, for our bodies may or may not give us the result in the outcome that we want, which is one thing we’ve learned.

I don’t have them written out. But my new goals or mindset and to Christine’s point, the thoughts and the work on our own mental game in this has really shifted it to okay, I want to think about who I want to be after the six months, in two years. And I think we talked about the goals have shifted from being outcome-based to identity-based and that was big. And that to me was different from anything, definitely from Weight Watchers or anything else.

Elizabeth: Okay. So, talk about that a little bit. I’m sure that people are like what are identity goals, what are behavior goals, what are outcome goals. How do you want to talk about that? Who wants to talk about?

Fawn: Right. We talk a lot in the calls about our future self, or our current self, and our past self. So, an identity goal is what do I want my future self to look like? What does she feel? How does she feel about movement, going out to eat? And then, thinking about that kind of helps us make informed decisions now. And if we get stuck and we feel like, geez, we’re not allowed to use the word behind because everybody’s on their own journey.

But if you feel like you’re spinning, what’s the easiest thing you can do to move yourself towards your vision for your future self and what that identity is.

Erin: Can I say something? When I was losing the weight without dieting, this is how you do it. This is how I did it. I didn’t have a coach to guide me through it, but I was doing this work on my own through my own research, and my own listening to podcasts and reading books.

And just realizing like, if I want to lose the weight, I really have to change the behaviors from an energy of becoming a new person. Thinking like a new person, the person who is now going to weigh 130 pounds less than what can I do every day that I can commit to and chip away and build upon and lay that foundation.

So, everything that Elizabeth teaches us, for me, I’m at a different advantage point of looking at it and like, yes, this is the work I did to lose the weight on my own and this is the work that I want to continue to do to keep going.

Because like you said, Fawn, it’s one thing to lose the weight. It’s another thing to live a completely different identity because I think too, there’s a whole different piece of this is that once you do lose the weight or you step into the identity, no matter if you lose the weight you wanted to lose or whatever that might be.

You then, have to align yourself with that new identity and your environment. And there’s this whole transition period of wow, I’m this new person that I said I was going to become. And there’s like an adjustment period, if that makes sense.

But yes, like that’s why I love your coaching too Elizabeth, because it’s everything I did on my own. And it’s almost like affirmation like, this is real, I’m not living in a dream, this is not a fluke. This is how people change their lives, whether they lose weight, or work on their relationships, or get their dream job, like they do the shift in their mind first before just skipping ahead and just like, what can I take out of my environment? What can I put in my environment? How can I change my behavior? It’s like really going to the root of it all, which is your thoughts.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So good.

Erin: Yeah.

Christine: I just wanted to say, just echo what you both said. For me, I used to think so much about like output, what’s the outcome, like Fawn, that you were saying. And now, my word is input. What is my input to reach that identity? Yes, I can lift weights. Yes, I can run or bike or whatever it is and lose weight. But I can’t make my stomach flat necessarily. I can’t control all these specific things about the way that I want to look.

And so, now I trust what I’m putting in my body is what my body needs. And the outcome is just what it may be, but the weight loss and all those things are just a by-product of that. And it’s amazing to feel good about it and then see it.

Elizabeth: And you recently have lost some significant weight, even though you haven’t been trying, right? That wasn’t the goal anymore.

Christine: No, that really stemmed from deciding I wanted a different relationship with alcohol, really. And so, again, that was an input thing for me. Like, who do I want to be? And that was a decision I made on whom my future yourself. Like what I envisioned for that. And so, it became a lot more of my nutrition and how my body feels and lifting weights. And because I want it too, which I never thought I would say. But it feels good.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think that’s the difference between someone else dictating, this is what your relationship with food or alcohol should be and you deciding what you want it to be. Right?

Christine: Yeah. I mean, this is what’s so great about the program is the element of its self-guided really in a way. So, we have like a nice balance of we’re a group. We have the sisterhood. We’re accountable to one another. We check in and we talk about our things and whatnot. But also, I can go through the materials at my own pace and choose the things that apply and work for best for me. It’s just like a really nice balance of making it what I want it to.

Elizabeth: Yeah, well, and that was actually going to be my next question. So, there are different aspects to the program. Each week we meet for a group call. We also have video teachings or materials that you go through, which are laid out in a weekly basis. We have worksheets, workbooks.

And then, you also have the accountability of the community as a whole, as well as I’ve paired you up in groups to be accountable to one another, if you want that. So, my question is what has been the most beneficial to each of you? Which aspect of the program?

Erin: I love our weekly calls. It’s something I look forward to. It’s something that I think I did not realize how much benefit there is to be showing up each week with a group of women who are aligned, like you said, Christine, who are in the same community who want the same things for themselves. We’re all here together for the same purpose.

And listening to everybody’s thoughts and feelings and wins and struggles and all of it. You don’t feel so alone. And I was very alone in my weight loss. And sometimes it brings up the curiosity like it’s not going to change anything. But what have my journey been like, if I did have that community. Would it have maybe been quote-unquote easier, or faster, or more at fun, enjoyable. Cause I have a great time on these calls, listening, and learning, and making new relationships, and connections.

So, I think anybody who’s scared to hop in and worry about what other people may think and feel about you like then that says, so much for you. Maybe community would be good to calm your nerves and get you out of your own head and realize like, you’re a human being just like everyone else who is struggling with this same shit every day, all day long, and we’re in this together. And I love the support that we get from each other and from you on the calls.

Elizabeth: So, there’s a concept called sidecar coaching. Which is the idea that even though, you’re not being coached, you’re still getting the benefit of the coaching that someone else is receiving. Because our problems really are not as unique as we think they are. Right?

And so, even though, I might be coaching Fawn, on work stuff, someone else will get the benefit of it because it’s the same problems that we have in every other aspect of our lives. So, it might be boundaries for work, but we know that we have those same boundary problems in our personal life and that affect our food. So, yeah.

Fawn: And sometimes it’s not in the same week, if you’re the observer absorbing the other coaching, I mean, I’ve had weeks and I was like, oh, yeah, she was talking to so-and-so in the group like three weeks ago about this. And now it’s happening to me. So, I agree. If I have to pick one and it’s hard for me to pick up most superlatives, I would probably say the group calls also.

The standing appointment on my calendar, we joke how dare people schedule. If I have like a work thing, I really can’t not do at the same time, the audacity of people to not respect that. And I think I like the slack and the connection, and that’s a great place to ask questions. Especially of you, or to throw it to the group in between calls.

But I think close to the group calls is our accountability group. So, Christine and I are actually in the same accountability group with one other member and we text. We have all been busy and not as consistent. But I think one time, I don’t remember what I was struggling with, but I have had a personal coaching call with Elizabeth, which those are also amazing.

And she has suggested, what can you do this weekend to feel empowered, or to feel like you’re more in control, or you’re caught up. What can you do this weekend? And I shared that with my group, and they were like, geez, I never even thought about how different weekends are from me during the week, my weekdays. And that I could actually be setting goals for the weekend.

And so, I think that we can be all set goals for that weekend and then checked in on Sunday night or Monday. If we get busy, sometimes it might be a week or 10 days and we realized, you haven’t checked in with each other. And then it’s like, hey, this is what’s going on with me. How are you guys doing or is there something you’re focusing on? And there are a lot of weeks that the three of us are like, yep, we got to drink more water eats some darn vegetables. That’s who we are.

Christine: Again, it’s back to the basics. I don’t have to be perfect, it’s just the basics are what work and get us through it. I like the coaching calls too, because it’s the right amount of time that we get together to hold each other accountable. And we have materials that we work on in between time.

So, sometimes if I know a call is coming up and I’ll be sure to jump on and look at the beginning of the week before our Wednesday call. What are the materials for this week? It’s just always top of mind for me, but not in an overwhelming way. There’s no pressure, but I know that it’s there and I want to engage and be a part of it.

Elizabeth: So, Christine, you actually have a really different perspective than Erin and Fawn, and that we’ve worked together one-on-one, and this is the second time you’ve done the program. So, I’m wondering if you could talk first a little bit about what is the difference that you’ve noticed between going through the program a second time?

Christine: I’m just a different person altogether. I think as an example of how much this has changed, like Fawn was mentioned earlier, when at the beginning of the program, we’re asked to set our goals and how are we going to measure them and things of that nature. And the first time around for me was, I want to weigh X. And I want to be this size, like drop to dress sizes, or whatever it is.

And the second time around for me, it became more about the input. Like how I want to commit to being on the calls. I want to commit to doing the materials every week. I want to complete this race. Do the X amount of days of working out or whatever it may be? Things that was really an input of what are the behaviors I can do to make myself feel good and keep myself feel good and to be healthy.

I really think it was just that mental shift, that aha moment, like this is about my health and wellness and how I feel and not about how I look and what size I am. Like I’m not going to hit X amount of pounds. And then, somebody waves a magic wand and then all the problems go away and I’m no longer insecure and everything is perfect. It doesn’t work that way. And that mental shift was pivotal, huge, huge turning point for me.

Elizabeth: So good. Awesome. Okay. So, then the last question I have for y’all is have you had any aha moments or breakthroughs, and what has been the most surprising thing of the program for you?

Christine: Well, I was going to say, I’ve kind of mentioned them, I think one of the biggest things on the first session, the first time I did the program. I remember getting on and doing introductions and talking to everybody. And this happened the second time too, but it was really monumental the first time.

I looked at all these women who have done these incredible things. Like look at the women on this call right now. Right? And so, I get on and I’m like, we’re all sitting here worried about our weight, worried about our size, and not about like, oh, you’re the CEO of your family business. How incredible is that? You’ve lost 130 pounds. We have families, you uplifted your whole life and started this business and we’re on this podcast list.

We’re sitting here talking about weight because it is so hard for all of us. And we all struggle, even though we have all these amazing accomplishments and made so many contributions to our families and communities. And it honestly just made me cry because like we should be celebrating those other things and not worried about a number on a scale, and I hate that so much. I hate it so much, but that to me was really emotional and really changed my perspective a lot.

Elizabeth: So awesome. And it’s true. We, as women think too much about our weight, we think that it defines who we are. And if we could just stop thinking about that, what could we do in this world?

Fawn: Yeah. I think a big one for me is the whole getting in the mindset of current me, taking care of future me. And how deciding ahead of time does that for me. And it happens once in a while where I’m like, the way I arrange something on the calendar or what I did when I grocery shopped. And I was like, dang, past me, took care of me right now. That was good on her.

And then, when you have those little wins, you’re like, okay, but now I got to think about future me because that’s the thing about past, present, and future me. Like they’re never there very long, right? Like it’s not static. Life is moving on.

And so, it’s interesting to think about and you don’t have to think like overwhelmingly, like future me, like in five years. But geez, it makes it easier for packing your lunches. I buy three salad kits and make sure I got a container of chicken so that, you know, to me, that is at our office. And short on time in between meetings or something needs to eat a decent lunch. And then, you take it to work with you.

So, that was probably a big one. Definitely, the shift in the mindset about what the goal is and whether it’s outcome or identity. And then, another one is that along with that identity thing, like if I don’t love to exercise, there’s a chance that I will never love to exercise and that I get to choose maybe a different emotion around that. Maybe it’s not, I don’t like it. I tolerate it or I feel neutral about it because I know what’s what I do to take care of me.

Elizabeth: Yeah. That’s so good. There are so many more emotions than motivated or inspired to get you through exercise. Yeah. But I know Erin loves to exercise.

Erin: I and Fawn, when you say that, I’m just like, don’t sell yourself short because there was a time that someone would say exercise and I could feel the vomit coming up in my throat. And I was like, no, no, no, you don’t know me. And it was like, it was more about this resistance to be that person, that who liked exercise. And through my journey, I found out, I think I had so much resistance to loving exercise because what I was making it mean, I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t like the fastest, I wasn’t the strongest, I wasn’t the smallest, I wasn’t the best of the best. That’s not what exercise is about.

Exercise is like a personal relationship you have. Like, when people have personal relationships with God, it’s your body, it’s your choice. For me, I just dropped all the expectations and just said, just start honoring your body in ways that bring you joy. And then now, I can’t imagine not moving my body.

Like I experience such joy in the ability to move my body. And I’m like thinking back to three years, four years ago where I’m like, oh, I have to walk from the second tier of target, parking lot to the door. And now, I want to park as far away as possible. And that’s okay, you’re not that person either. But I think you never know. You never know what can bring you joy when you work through some of the mind drama and the resistance to it.

But talking about exercise and movement, one of the aha moments was like, I don’t have to be in the gym doing this insane strength training or cardio workout to honor my body. And that was one of the biggest aha moments I had. And I’ve actually dropped two days at the gym this past couple months.

And I’ve just been like, what do you want to do? You want to go play tennis? You want to go for a walk. You want to go for a run. You want a garden? You want to pick up 50-pound bags of, throw them over your shoulder and mulch your garden bed. Do you want to go to the playground with your kids? I recently have made an ass of myself, rollerblading. And as we grow older and have our journey in this world and on this planet and in this life, our bodies are going to change and there’s going to be a point that lifting heavy, heavy weights and strength training might not be for me anymore.

And not saying I have to completely give it up, but I’d rather now start exploring the possibility versus waiting to that moment of like, I can’t do it anymore and then panicking and freaking out. I rather be prepared, so when that time comes and as the seasons of my life change, I have this toolbox filled with alternatives because at the end of the day, I feel so much better when I move my body.

Like with the diet, I don’t have to rely on my fitness pal. I don’t have to rely on the points. I can rely on myself. And so, I never thought of that same thought towards movement, which was my aha moment in this group. And so, I’m grateful for that because I felt very like on a diet with exercise. And it was very freeing to know that my weight will be stable. Like, I’m maintaining within a range that I feel good, not only with my food choices, but with my movement choices as well.

Elizabeth: Yeah. That is so beautiful because I think that for so often, we get into the white knuckling thing. Like, I have to eat this way, I have to exercise this way. And if I get injured or if something happens and I can’t do what I’m supposed to be doing or what I’ve been doing.

Then, it really causes us to spin out because then we’re like, well, what am I going to do if I can’t exercise? Right. And so, being able to have that self-trust with yourself, and I had that too. Where I was like, I had an ankle injury, and I wasn’t able to exercise. And I was like, well, I guess this is where the rubber meets the road. I’m going to have to learn how to trust myself with my food, because I can’t do that. And what I learned was that my hunger levels went down. Yeah, it’s such a great thing when you start listening to your body. Actually, it serves itself.

Erin: It’s kind of fun because my husband will say to me like, oh, you must have went on a run instead of weightlifting. Cause the days I weightlift, I’m like, give me all the food. That’s one of the reasons why I love weightlifting cause I love to eat. I love to eat carbs. I love to eat large amounts of food. It’s still not making myself sick, but like I like high volume of food. I love to eat.

So, like, strength training, allows me to do so, but at the same time, it’s nice to allow my body to dictate what I need on different days and really be in tuned and aware and listen to that versus just being on that plan. Like we said, if you’re not on the plan, what do you do? It’s like, oh, I can navigate on days that I don’t work out. I have rest days; I can navigate on days I do just regular movement. I can navigate on strength training days where I feel like I’m never full and I always want to eat.

Christine: Sort of related to that, I’ve probably had a thousand aha moments in this program. But related to that specifically is I always felt it was I’m on the wagon or I’m off the wagon. And so, every day had to look the same. And if I skipped a day or had a couple of days or a bad week or whatever it is. Now, I’m off the wagon. It’s not worth it anymore and like it’s spirals out of control and it’s just a nasty cycle. And I’ve completely ditched that thought.

So, to your point, Erin, it’s like, what does my body need today? Or you know what? Today, I really didn’t feel like working out. And this was like, my big workout day is on Fridays, and I didn’t feel like working out and I took a shower, and I didn’t. And I’m not mad at myself about it. I don’t feel guilty about it.

Doesn’t mean, I’m not going to ever work out again in the past that may have meant that, but like today and moving forward that isn’t going to feel that way. And it’s the consistency of feeling that way too of not being on or off. I think like in one of our accountability texts with Fawn and Theresa, there was like a graphic I shared that was like, this is the week. And it was like seven days and each dot, like some days I can fill my dot and other days it’s like a sliver of the dot I can contribute. And it doesn’t have to look the same every single day, but it’s the consistency. The turtle wins the race.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And I think that that’s where people get thrown off balance is because they think that, well, I should work out three times a week or five times a week or whatever. And instead of listening to their body, if their body doesn’t want to exercise or they can’t because of scheduling. And so, they feel like they’ve messed everything up. And so, what I hear you saying, which is so beautiful is that just because you miss one workout doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is screwed.

Erin: And Christine, that made me think I’m reading this book called atomic habits by James Clear. Everyone, I’m sure has read it. If you haven’t, you should read it. One of the biggest takeaways for me it’s like, it’s not about showing up perfectly, but it’s about showing up frequently and consistently. And by you, trusting yourself, it’s not the act of working out.

But by you saying, it’s okay that I don’t work out today. I’m listening to myself, and I trust myself. And showing up and doing that every day, no matter what the output is. But being aware of that and showing up to that frequently, that trust that you had self-trust, that’s what he’s talking about.

And again, cause that’s the habit we’re trying to build is that we feel good in our decisions. We’re aware of our decisions. We trust our decisions. And so, whether it is to work out and not to be perfect or whether it is to say, hey, what if I don’t go to the gym, but I go on a walk. What would that look like? What would that be like for me and deciding, what’s best for us today and what our future self will also thank us for to do today.

So, I love that. I love that like it’s not on or off because you’re showing up every day, frequently, and consistently to feel good in your decisions.

Fawn: Right. And our accountability group, we also frequently remind each other, give yourself grace, because there is no such thing as perfect. And there are circumstances or obstacles and derail, even the best of intentions. And it’s just one circumstance or one day. I know Elizabeth, I think has a podcast on this and it’s in the course materials, the idea of B minus habits.

Sometimes what you have to show up with is not your A-plus effort, I did all my homework. I watched all the videos. I am ready to go. Sometimes it’s you show up to the call and you’re the person listening, while everybody else is talking. And that’s still a win and a positive because you showed up.

Elizabeth: I’m laughing because at the end of our last cohort, Christine was there. One of the participants, Renee, she showed up to one of our last calls and she was like, I have done so well in this program. And I have completely half-assed it. And if you asked me, I would tell you, you can half-assed weight loss. You do not have to be all in. You can totally half-assed it and I 100% support that. Because you can get really far, not being all dialed in.

Fawn: In fact, one might argue, you could go further because that consistency line is going to keep pushing you past the point where you might have given up if you were too focused on being perfect and putting in your A-plus effort all the time.

Elizabeth: Exactly. Cause you’ll burn yourself out, if you’re constantly focused on it, absolutely 100%.

Erin: Yeah. I like to remind my brain. It’s just not that serious. Like, it’s okay. I will be okay. It’s okay, we will figure this out. Because if I don’t do that, then the eff it mentality, then the “all or nothing,” then beating myself up and all the negative self-talk comes in. How does that help me? How do I feel good in that? And I don’t. So, it’s just not that serious.

Elizabeth: Ugh. It’s such a great conversation. Thank you all for being here. Do you have any takeaways that you want to leave the listeners with? Or did we say everything?

Christine: I was just going to say, this isn’t the typical thing that somebody might expect. And it doesn’t happen overnight. And there is a certain level of commitment obviously to want to achieve the B minus and the consistency. But it’s something new and it works. And I will probably be in this program forever.

Erin: You have a lifelong membership.

Christine: Honestly, oh yeah, I will be there.

Erin: My takeaway is I did the weight loss; I did the work. And I realized very quickly that the weight does not fix anything. The weight will not solve your problems. Losing the weight will actually not make you happier. It will give you a new set of problems. It will give you new anxiety, new overwhelm, it’s just different.

So, the best thing you can do for yourself in my opinion, and that I’ve done for myself, it’s not lose the weight. But invest the time, the effort, and money, whatever it takes to build that self-trust. To learn how my brain works and not fight against that and just work with it instead of against that understand my emotions.

And when I want to use food emotionally and giving herself permission and learning how I can do that or not do that, and just really trusting myself to make decisions and feel good in them. And you do that by joining a program like this. By investing yourself in learning about what you’re currently thinking, what you’re currently feeling, what your behaviors are. And then deciding, do I want to be here or not?

And Elizabeth will show you your thoughts. She will show you your emotions. She will give you tools and concepts that you can use now, you can use later, you can completely throw out the door. You get to decide, and it’s super empowering. And that’s why for me, diets don’t work because they’re not empowering.

But this is empowering, and it teaches you a skill set that you can use not only for weight loss, you can use in your marriage, you can use for parenting, you can use in your job. Like, you will see strategic byproducts, all happening all around for you when you decide to invest in yourself on this level, in this way for sure.

Elizabeth: I did not pay you to say that.

Erin: No, you did not.

Fawn: I can’t follow that. So yeah, let’s just leave it right there.

Erin: Because that is true. That is a truth bomb, my friends. Maybe you should just save them the trouble and put that in the front. The front of the podcast. Listen now.

Christine: Too long. Don’t read, that’s it.

Elizabeth: Exactly. TLDR.

Erin: That’s the honest truth, you know.

Elizabeth: Well, thank you all for being here. This has been just a pleasure having you. Thanks.

Erin: Thank you for having us.

Fawn: Yes. Thank you, for sure.

Elizabeth: Thank you so much for listening today. I hope you had fun. I know that we did. If you would love to find any of the resources that we talked about today. Or if you want to join the wait list for the Feel Good Sisterhood, go to elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching.

Doors for the program will open next week. And the folks who are on the wait list, will get something extra special as a gift from me. And you can head over to my website and find all the links that we talked about in the show notes. You can also find the transcript if you want to go back and read anything that we talked about today.

And that’s all I have for you. Have a great week, everyone. I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out the Feel Good Sisterhood. It’s my small group coaching program where we take all this material, and we apply it. We figure out what works for us, and we don’t ever look at another diet ever again.

Join me over at elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching. I’d love to have you join me in the Feel Good Sisterhood. See you there.


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