Dieting & Weight Loss practices go back as far as at least the Ancient Roman Greek cultures. “Diet Culture” is nothing new. But given the data that after 5 years that 95% of folks who lose weight using a diet will regain the weight, we know that diets don’t work for long term weight loss.
Yet, for someone who physically feels the effects of carrying more weight than she would like, what are our options?
Welcome to the Done with Dieting Podcast.
In this episode, I will introduce myself, and share with you how I got here, my vision is for the show, and how you can be part of it.
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 group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.
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
- Why willpower doesn’t work for changing the way we eat and what does instead
- How knowing what to do doesn’t always translate into action
- Why we need to embrace failure & what it can teach us
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Full Episode Transcript:
You are listening to the Done with Dieting Podcast, episode number One.
Hi, I’m Elizabeth Sherman, former corporate high tech executive turned light and weight loss coach. But it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I was searching for that perfect diet, you know, the one that would finally be the magic pill to lose the weight that I so desire.
Fast forward has tons of failed diets, endless hours of exercise and painful lessons learned. And although I still have not reached the state of Nirvana body love bliss that I truly desire, my relationship with food exercise and my body is infinitely better than it was not only when I started this journey, but even as recently as three years ago.
This journey has allowed me to ditch my scale, stop logging my food and exercise, eat food that wasn’t prepared by me, and I can easily maintain my weight, something that I never thought was possible. I created the Done with Dieting Podcast to give you simple, easy to do and sustainable strategies, and ideas to help you do the exact same thing without all of the drama that I went through.
If you’re a woman who’s looking to create a better relationship with food, exercise and her body, get off the diet, roller coaster, and free up all of that headspace spent on calories, how you look what you should eat, and beating yourself up for not doing what you think you should be doing. You are in the right place.
Let’s get started.
Hi, welcome to the Done with Dieting Podcast. I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman.
This is a podcast for women who are done with dieting, but are still interested in losing weight. We know that dieting doesn’t work for long term weight loss and that 95% of folks who lose weight will regain it within the next five years.
And we know that biologically, the more we diet and restrict calories, the more our body compensates afterwards by regaining weight. So what’s the solution? Do we just have to walk around in a body that we don’t feel comfortable in?
Perhaps the answer lies in an area that we wouldn’t expect that becoming more accepting of our body, our imperfections and who we are, that we can get the body that we desire without giving up everything that brings us joy.
And when we go through this process, we learned that weight loss, what we thought was the goal really wasn’t the goal at all that it simply becomes the cherry on top.
So what makes this podcast different. The work in this podcast has been in my heart forever, that I want to help everyone I can help themselves and live healthier and happier lives. Because I have created this podcast, which looks at weight loss from a completely different point of view.
So as I said, my name is Elizabeth Sherman. And if you looked at me today, you would see a white heterosexual 52 year old woman who’s generally slender and has an ideal body shape.
But it hasn’t always been this way. I used to be a size 18 or 20. I’ve tried every single diet and exercise technique out there.
I’ve done the cabbage soup diet, I’ve done South Beach, I’ve done Atkins, vegetarian, I went paleo, gluten free, I tried running, CrossFit spinning, high intensity workout interval training, just to try to control my weight. I even have five different certifications in personal training, nutrition and health coaching as well as life coaching; Thinking that the more I knew that the more information that I had, that I would suddenly become slender. And what happened is that
I still struggled with my weight. I thought that if I knew everything, then I would be able to embody it. Today. I don’t have any scales in my house. I don’t have any food scales or weight scales. I drink wine I so I drink alcohol, I eat sweets, I generally eat out and eat whatever I want. And I have been able to maintain my weight for the most part effortlessly.
But as I said, My journey was not a straight path. I grew up in Chicago, I was a vice president for sales executives. And so what that meant was that I was doing lots of traveling, I was eating out a lot on the road. I had high stress.
And at the time, my mom had breast cancer and she was really struggling with it.
In March of 2001 I moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas to be with my now husband Gary. And in that move, my mom actually passed away from breast cancer. I was laid off from my corporate job and I really started researching risk factors for not getting cancer, I saw the pain that my mom went through, not only in getting the disease, but also in the days leading up to her death. And it was, it was such a profound experience for me that it really allowed me to get serious about my own health.
And so during that time, when I saw my mom’s health deteriorating, and I was trying to get my own health on board, because I knew right then that if I didn’t do that, that I was headed down the same exact path that she was on.
And so it was at that point that my life kind of shifted. And I asked myself, how am I making the world a better place by making software for car dealerships.
And that’s when I made the decision to go see a psychologist probably more as a life coach than anything else. But she suggested that I start this journey in helping other people get healthier, I had already started the process of myself.
And it really kind of spoke to my passion that if I could just help one person not get breast cancer, then I will have served my purpose in this world.
And so, you know, at the time, I didn’t know how to market myself as a coach, people didn’t know what a coach was, people knew what personal trainers nutritionists were, but they didn’t really know what coaches were. And so, as a result, I got my personal training and nutrition certificates together.
But I was always so frustrated when I was just doing Personal Training, because I knew I could help folks so much more than just showing up in the gym and counting their repetitions, or telling them what exercises to do.
Today. I live in Mexico, and the market is much more aware of coaching. And technology makes virtual coaching as well as podcasting possible, something that was never even a possibility back in 2001.
Today, I coach women who are just done with dieting, women who want to lose weight. And we know that we don’t want or need a six pack, we just want to look good in our clothes, we want to feel good. We want to have confidence walking into a party, we want to feel comfortable around food and not feel like we have to eat it all. We want to feel good about ourselves and the commitment that we’re making to our health.
The areas that I work with my clients on aren’t just nutrition and activity or movement, but also stress management, sleep management, how we think about our body, and those other areas of our life.
So as I mentioned, even as a health and fitness coach, I still struggled with my eating and exercise habits. I would love to tell you that once my mom passed away from breast cancer, and I started researching how not to get it myself, that I immediately changed my my eating habits and start exercising. But what actually happened was it took me a number of years.
And so I discovered everything that I know today, the very long and hard way. And so my goal in this podcast is to help save you some time and anxiety.
And so the hard way of going through this process of losing weight is by going after diet after diet, investing in personal trainers and exercise programs that just don’t work long term. And the reason that we do things the hard way is because we’ve been told that diets are the way to lose weight by the women before us by celebrities by commercials. And those magazines that we used to read as teens and young adults that told us that we needed to eat 1200 calories, regardless of our size, it just doesn’t make any sense.
And so when I started losing weight on my own term, what I found was that a lot of the information that we learned as younger women doesn’t actually apply to us anymore, that they’re actually myths and they don’t work for us. And so I don’t want to minimize what personal trainers do. And there are definitely some eating and exercise techniques that will help you achieve your goals. However, it’s not the end all be all by only eating french fries, chocolate and pizza. Well it might not be the healthiest diet you might not feel great, but you can definitely have those in your diet.
Can you lose weight by only eating McDonald’s? Yes. Will it be easy? No.
And so one of the things that we do so often is, when we see someone that we haven’t seen in a while and they’ve lost weight, we immediately ask them, What did you do to lose the weight? And so we immediately think that whatever plan they did is going to be the golden ticket for us.
But what’s true is that our bodies are so completely different, as well as our lifestyles. And so we need to find our own path, looking for that magic pill that will finally make the difference.
Things like cleanses, high intensity interval training, keto, fasting, running, and over exercising in order to get the weight off, those things just don’t work for us anymore.
And so what happens is, when those things don’t work, we quit after having a rough day or a rough week, and then the self loathing kicks in, and we decide, oh, my God, I’m just not meant to be thin anymore. And so after doing this for over 15 years, I’ve discovered that there’s absolutely no magic pill, that science actually does work. And that we are not an exception to the rule, we just have to figure out what’s going on with our body, and our brain. Knowing what to do has actually very little to do with our success, because we all know that broccoli is better for us than brownies, right? But yet, we’ll go for the brownies over the broccoli in a heartbeat.
We also know that how we think about our bodies, food, and exercise has more of an impact on our weight than what we eat and how we exercise. And I know this, because I’ve actually gone through this process. We can’t cut corners, And if we want long term weight loss or health, we’re gonna have to go through this process.
And so let’s talk a little bit about diets and how they work.
So what happens with diets is someone else tells us what to do. They tell us what foods to eat, they tell us what foods not to eat. And those foods that we don’t eat are usually the foods that we like to eat. They tell us when to eat, how to move. And what happens then is we have this set of guidelines. And we do those things.
We resist everything that we love that we can no longer eat, we track our food and see how compliant we are. And what happens is that takes a ton of willpower and willpower works until it doesn’t.
So what are some examples of willpower? willpower is saying no to the brownies. willpower is saying no to fried food or bread or pasta.
So why is it that willpower doesn’t work? It seems like it should, doesn’t it? Well, there are a couple different reasons. One reason is something that we call decision fatigue.
Now we make decisions all day long. Things like what should I wear? What should I eat? Who should I eat with? How do I want to handle that conflict? things that don’t even have to do with food. Should I give that person a piece of my mind? Should I tell that person off? Which way should I go to work? Those are all decisions, small little decisions that we make throughout the day.
And by the end of the day, we just don’t care anymore, we get what’s called the eff-its, okay. And when we get the eff-its, we just were like, I don’t want to make any more decisions.
It could be part of decision fatigue. And it could be that after we’ve screwed up, you know, we just give up because, oh, I ate a cookie. Well, we may as well eat the entire quart of ice cream.
But you know, we never do that with speeding tickets, right? We never say, Oh, I got a speeding ticket. I may as well break all the law. So why do we do that with food? Why do we do that with our health?
Something that diets and exercise programs have wrong is that they start with the emphasis on the wrong place.
We start by changing our environment. So examples of environmental changes might be things like putting out your clothes the night before, right? You’ve heard that or cleaning out your pantry so that you won’t be tempted by you know, your quote unquote junk food. Okay, those are environmental changes. And those things work until someone brings in cookies or someone brings over candy, or we have a quote unquote weak moment at the grocery store, and we buy some cookies.
Other things that we’re told to do, are relying on habits, things like meal prep, prep all your meals on the weekend, and then all you have to do is eat them throughout the week. And that’s great. But not everyone enjoys that, or exercising first thing in the morning or on your way home from work. And so those are really good ideas.
But what happens is, when we get stressed, everything seems to fall out the window. So when we get stressed, then we generally have poor sleep, right? So We’re up all night, we have, you know, scattered sleep. And then the next thing we get up in the morning, maybe we sleep through our alarm, and we haven’t exercised, we didn’t prep our meals, we didn’t get organized.
And then because we had poor sleep, mid afternoon, energy cravings kick in. And this is actually a thing if we get poor sleep, our cells don’t generate energy correctly. And so mid afternoon, what happens is that we immediately go for the starchy carbs, things, whether it’s sweet, or whether it’s salty, whatever your choices, whatever your craving is, that’s actually a biological thing.
But we take it as to be something that’s wrong with us, we should be able to control those urges, right? That when we get that mid afternoon craving, that we should be able to control that. But what I’m here to tell you is that sometimes we have hormonal reasons for those, those cravings that we have.
And so when we then indulge in that chocolate, or the the cookies, or the pretzels or whatever, then we probably don’t feel like we can exercise we don’t feel good. And then we end up wired but tired. And then after dinner, we want wine or treats or both. And then that contributes to poor sleep, which then continues the cycle. And so this is why habits don’t always stick.
We think we’ve set up our environment to be perfect. We have all of these habits. But when stress happens, all of those things that we’ve set up, get thrown out the window. And so what’s the solution here, when we address our behaviors from a deeper place, rather than what we need to do, because that’s what diet and exercise programs do. They address the doing part. And the reason that we do or don’t do what we’re supposed to, I say supposed to in air quotes actually comes down to our brains and our thoughts.
And instead of setting up our environment and creating habits, which are definitely important pieces to becoming healthier. But when we start looking at our health from a deeper level, from our abilities and skills, things like being able to cook a healthy meal, being able to order from a menu, or knowing how to read a nutrition label, or being able to exercise knowing how to lift weights are being able to put together a workout routine that supports health as opposed to injury. So those are all abilities and skills that are much deeper than just setting up your environment, right?
And then going even lower is identifying our limiting beliefs and values. Things like I’m sure you’ve heard these before. Maybe they’ve even popped up in your own brain, like healthy food isn’t fun. Who decides that? What if healthy food was fun? How would that change your experience of vegetables? Or how would that change your experience of eating healthy? Here’s one that I used to think a lot was exercising is hard. And you know, it’s so funny today, I still kind of have that same thought. But I’ve been exercising for so long that I know that it’s just my brain offering up resistance, and it’s okay.
Another thought that I hear a lot from my clients is I don’t like vegetables or I don’t like my own cooking. And so those are the types of things that if we’re willing to challenge them, then we can actually become healthier and then going even lower to limiting beliefs is changing who we are at a fundamental level.
So what is our identity? How does that mesh with being healthier, and so I have a story for you.
So I never saw myself as an athlete. And I never really considered myself graceful either. But I did a bodybuilding contests, years and years and years ago. And even after that building contest, I really wasn’t consistent in my my workouts. And it wasn’t until I started training for a half marathon, that I remember, I passed through the finish line of the half marathon. And immediately I was filled with just this strong emotion, I remember I started crying. And it was at that point, that I actually had an identity shift that I actually saw myself as an athlete. And it was so profound, because before that experience, I really was not consistent. Even in my exercise. Even though I was a personal trainer. For years, at that point, I was one of those personal trainers that didn’t work out.
And so it was after that, that half marathon when my identity shifted, that I finally got consistent in my exercise. And so when we can approach our health from an identity shift level, then then we can go ahead and really look at the doing pieces. Because the reason that we don’t do the things that diet and exercise programs tell us to do is because it feels uncomfortable.
And so let’s talk about failure just for a moment, we see failure as something personal as a character flaw. And in order to get out of the diet mentality in order to get out of seeing diets as the solution, we need to expect failure to happen. And not to make it mean anything about us that it’s just part of the process.
Now I can hear you saying right now. Oh, but Elizabeth, failures, terrible. It’s the worst thing in the world. Well, what if it’s not? What if the ability to minimize and overcome failures is the resilience that we need in order to keep going and learn from our experiences, and not make it mean anything about us, but rather, something that is a stepping stone on our way to success?
And so we all want to be perfect, right? And this is part of what makes us try dieting. Right is because we’ve been told that if we were slimmer, then we would be okay. That at our current weight, that we’re not enough, so being perfect and adhering to the diet. And we might see this in other areas of our life, the need to, you know, put on a pretty face, or, you know, maybe your kitchen is organized wonderfully, or everything needs to be in its place.
These are just ways that we try to manipulate other people into avoiding judgment of us, right? That if we are perfect enough, then we will trick those people into believing that we are enough. But whenever we start a new skill or behavior, we are going to mess up.
And so wanting to be perfect, really is probably a detriment at this point. Because if we go into a diet, knowing that it’s not going to be perfect, then when it doesn’t go as planned.
It’s okay. It’s totally part of the process.
And so I want to invite you to remember learning a new skill, maybe it’s recycling, or when we learned about buying organic, or maybe you learned a new language. I’m learning Spanish right now. And so this totally applies to me that when we learn a new behavior, we know that we are going to mess up. And even though no one likes to mess up, we feel like we should be able to do this and when it comes to dieting.
We feel like we should be able to work out three times a week, right? We feel like we should be able to do this because everyone else is doing it, we feel like we should be able to eat vegetables every day, we feel like we should be able to be in bed by 10 o’clock. And we feel like we should be able to have our shiz together, right.
But if we’re starting out very different than how we are right now, it’s going to be uncomfortable, and it’s going to be hard. And so through this process through this podcast, what I want to offer you is to lean into it, it’s okay, it might take longer, but it will get you there.
And the other thing that I really need to tell you is that self loathing, that little voice in the back of your head that tells you Oh, now you really messed up. That is optional. That does not have to be part of the story.
What I want to offer you is that failures or messing up can actually teach us something and that this is all just a learning process, it’s possible that maybe we’ve bitten off more than we can choose that our expectations of our future self, you know, the one that’s gonna be here tomorrow, or next week or next month, that she’s not as perfect as we think she’s going to be that maybe we aren’t in alignment with our goals.
Maybe we don’t identify with this new habit, how many of us have tried to make ourselves runners when we really just don’t enjoy running? And so why should we have to do that we need to find something that we enjoy.
Something else that mess ups teach us is that maybe we have a story playing in our head one of those limiting beliefs. So what’s the answer?
In this podcast, what I am going to invite you to do is get really curious, I’m going to ask you to ask yourself, why is this happening? What are my beliefs around this? And are those beliefs true?
And then are there more empowering beliefs that will aid me in my goal? So these are kind of the fundamentals of what this podcast is about? Really getting curious about what is happening?
What can you expect from this podcast, I will be the first to tell you that I am not perfect and I am still learning. I am still learning about body positivity, I am still learning about inclusive language. I was raised in diet culture as well as you. And so it’s impossible for us to have grown up in this environment without having those messages just reinforced over and over and over again. Things like, Oh, those fries are fattening. Or if you eat that you’re going to gain weight. Those are all thoughts that we did not choose to think they have been implanted on us. But now that we are adults, we get to decide what beliefs we want to have. I’m going to offer you good, solid, easy to do and sustainable nutrition advice, as well as advice around exercise, sleep management, and body image. Things that we’ll talk about health. We will talk about hormones, we will talk about nutrients and how the body works.
I will invite on guests that will support self care and health. And occasionally, I plan on addressing your questions with Q and A’s where I will answer the questions that you posed to me on social or if you write to me through email, I would love to be able to connect with you. through Facebook, you can reach me at facebook.com slash total health by eliz. On Instagram, you can find me at E Sherman 68 and LinkedIn. I am Elizabeth Sherman without the N, or you can visit my website at www dot Elizabeth Sherman dot com and find all of the links to my social media there or email me from the website. Thanks for listening. I am so excited to get started with this podcast. I’ll see you next week. Bye bye.
Hey, thanks for listening. If the show resonates with you and you have a friend, mother, sister or anyone else who you think would benefit I’d love for you to share the podcast with them. You can leave me a rating and review and Apple podcasts which helps me create an amazing experience for you. And it helps other women who are done with dieting and want to get off the diet roller coaster to find it as well.
See you next week.
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