Done with Dieting Episode #139: End of History Illusion

End of History Illusion

What if you could break free from societal expectations and become the architect of your own life?

Join me, as I guide you through my personal journey, highlighting how the ‘end of history illusion’ was holding me back and how overcoming it revolutionized my world. By sharing powerful strategies that have worked for me and many women I’ve coached, I aim to help you tackle this illusion that might be sabotaging your growth. 

This episode will empower you to own your dreams and evolve into the best version of yourself.

Learning to embrace failure, taking charge of your decisions, and setting clear goals can transform your life trajectory. I’ll share tips on how to focus on behavior rather than outcomes, the optional nature of timelines for goals, and the important perspective that obstacles are simply part of your progress. 

As we journey together, I’ll invite you to dream big, intentionally design your future, and ensure you don’t miss out on the next 10 years. You have the power to shape your life, health, and future, and I’m here to support you every step of the way.

Chapter Summaries:

Breaking Free From History Illusion (0:00:06) 

Break free from the end of history illusion to own your dreams and become the architect of your own life.

Embracing Failure and Setting Goals (0:18:32) 

Taking charge of life, announcing objectives, befriending failure, focusing on behavior, optional timelines, obstacles as progress, and embracing the journey.

Designing Your Future (0:26:40) 

Dream big and shape your life, health, and future with my support.

“Break free from societal expectations, overcome the ‘end of history illusion,’ and design your own life. Own your dreams and evolve into your best self.” – Elizabeth Sherman

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • The end of history illusion and how it can hold you back from personal growth and well-being.
  • How to confront and overcome emotional challenges, understand the impact of emotions on your actions and identity, and discover strategies for personal growth.
  • The end of history illusion, where we underestimate personal growth and change in the future, hinders our willingness to embrace change.
  • The evolution of goals and the importance of aligning them with your personal desires, rather than societal expectations.
  • Creating your own future is possible, embracing the journey, and being kind to yourself, with my personal transformation serving as inspiration for what is achievable.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Imagine yourself 10 years into the future. What do you see? Is it hard to picture? What if I told you that there’s a psychological phenomenon that might be preventing you from seeing and shaping your own future?

In today’s episode, we’re tackling the end of history illusion. It’s an invisible boundary that could be holding you back from truly blossoming into the best version of yourself. I’ll share my own journey, the challenges I faced, and how to break free from this illusion that changed my life.

You’ll learn why this illusion is a problem, how it might be affecting you, and more importantly, I’ll guide you through the process of overcoming it and share some powerful strategies that worked for me and for the many women that I’ve coached over the years.

It’s not just about envisioning the future, it’s also about breaking the chains of societal expectations, owning your dreams, and becoming the architect of your own life. So, stay with me throughout this journey and let’s shatter this illusion together and make the next decade of your life the best one yet.

You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women who are experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms and want to feel better – like they did before their body started changing.

I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman, Master Certified health, and life coach for women in menopause and peri menopause. I’ve helped thousands of women manage their symptoms, get off the diet roller coaster, and change their relationship with food, exercise, and stop fighting with their bodies. And I do it through a feminist lens – which means exploring how we are socialized as young women has a huge impact on our current relationship with food & exercise, our bodies, health, and ourselves.

What’s different about this podcast is that we’re exploring your health from all sides, not just food and exercise. We also address the mindset shifts that will make you happier and lead to better health.

My goal in this podcast is to illustrate that the reason diets don’t work long term is because your health doesn’t exist in a silo. Your health and your weight are a symptom of the OTHER parts of your life and how you show up. I want to help you to feel good and live the life you desire from a 360 degree approach: body, mind, and soul.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Done With Dieting podcast, episode number 139, and I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. Now, I want you to do something for me. Close your eyes and imagine your life 10 years from now.

What do you see? Is it a blur? Or is it a crystal clear vision of a healthier, happier, more content, you? If it’s not the latter, stick with me because in this episode, it could change the trajectory of your life.

Today, we’re tackling the end of history illusion. This tricky little psychological concept might be holding you back more than you realize. It’s the sneaky belief that we are done evolving. That the person that we are today is who we will be forever. It’s like believing that we are the final draft when we’re really just a work in progress.

The problem, this illusion can act like quicksand pulling us down and keeping us stuck exactly where we are. Especially, when it comes to our health and our wellbeing. And if you’re feeling like you’re sinking rather than soaring after the summer, trust me, you are totally not alone.

As we find our feet again post Labor Day, we have the opportunity to shake off the sand and rise. Now, I have to tell you that on September 20th, I will be hosting a live class that will act as your launchpad. Showing you how you can stop dieting without gaining weight, how to break free from the vicious cycle of guilt, and start walking the path of empowered healthy living.

You in?

So, all you have to do is go to and you can sign up to join me. I would love to invite you. If you’re ready to escape the illusion and start designing your own future, you are in the right place. So, let’s dive in and kickstart your journey to become the future you.

Before we get deep into our topic today, I think it’s important to share a little bit of my own journey with you because I think it’s through sharing our stories that we really connect and understand each other.

So, there was a time when I was knee deep in diet culture, just like you might be today. I was a personal trainer, barely making ends meet financially. And to be honest, I was struggling with my own food issues. I could not see anything other than where I was at that moment. I was searching, frustrated, trying to figure out how to make a meaningful contribution to the world and to feel good about myself. But I was lost.

Then, something happened. I had an incident with a client, a personal training client, that quite honestly, shook me to my core. It was one of those experiences that left me feeling raw, and filled with shame, and just utter humiliation and pain.

I realized at that point that the way that I was reacting to the conflict that I was experiencing was indicative of the way that I was reacting to all things in my life. And it wasn’t serving me. Not at all. I knew I had to change. But the ‘how’ I was going to change was still a mystery.

The first thing I had to confront was my emotional health. I had no idea at that time what emotions I was feeling at any given time. My brain would completely go offline whenever a strong emotion struck me. And so, it took me a really long time to tease apart what were my emotions and what were the emotions that I was taking on of other people.

So, if someone else was angry, I became angry. If someone else was disappointed, I was disappointed. I mimicked the emotions of other people. I started exploring how my emotions were impacting my results. And one good example of this, I’ve talked about this before was my identity as a procrastinator.

Now, for the longest time, I believed that being a procrastinator was just part of who I was. Like my eye color or my love of coffee, right? It took me a while, a really long time to realize that I was procrastinating to avoid negative feelings, specifically anxiety. Once I understood that, it felt like a light had been switched on.

I began to tune into that anxiety. What those sensations were in my body. And then, I was able to recognize it and slowly I noticed that I was experiencing anxiety a lot. And so, slowly, I was able to change my relationship, not only with the anxiety, but learn how to get out of it.

I started setting goals even though they were uncomfortable, small ones. And I worked on achieving them one step at a time. Those small victories started adding up, and it started giving me the confidence and showing me that change was possible. This opened up a completely new pathway for me. One that led me from being quote unquote just a personal trainer to where I am today.

I work with thousands of women all across the world. I’m a life coach and I help women with their hormones. Today, I’m here living in Mexico, working with my incredible clients from all over the world, and living a life I never could have imagined 10 years ago.

Believe me when I say, if I can make such a drastic shift in my life, so can you. But it doesn’t start with setting that vision of I’m going to live in Mexico. I mean, maybe it does. But at the time, 10 years ago, it was really just a dream like, oh, I hope this happens sometime.

Remember, the future is not set in stone. And the way to create your dreams is to start chipping away at it, little at a time. You are not defined by your past or even your present circumstances. Everything can change in an instant. You can design your future one goal at a time.

So, you might be wondering what exactly is this end of history illusion that I’ve been talking about? So, it’s a term coined by psychologists based on the observation that we all tend to underestimate how much will change in the future. We look back at our past and recognize how much we’ve grown and changed. But when we look forward, we often assume that we will stay more or less the same.

We like our habits, we like our routines. And so, to think about changing out of that can be scary. It’s as if we think that we’ve reached the end of our personal history, hence the name.

In reality, life is a continuous process of growth and change. We are not static beings, and neither are our lives. But this illusion can trick us into thinking otherwise. Of course, I’ve had my dance with this illusion. When I was a personal trainer, I was struggling with my own food issues and feeling lost. I couldn’t imagine being where I am today.

Of course, I assumed that my future would just be an extension of what was happening at that time. And that’s what made me really frustrated and feeling stuck. That’s exactly what the end of history illusion does. It limits our ability to envision a different future for ourselves, which in turn limits our ability to grow and evolve.

This illusion is particularly problematic when we’re not happy with our current circumstances. When we can’t envision a future that’s different from what we have today, we can feel stuck in our present. And this can lead to feelings of hopelessness and defeat. Especially, when it comes to areas of our lives that we’re struggling with such as health, diet, body image, relationships, or even your career.

I want you to think about your own life for a moment. Have you ever felt that who you are now is who you will always be? Maybe you’re someone who struggles with dieting like I once did. And you believe that you will always struggle with it. But let me assure you, this is not the end of your story. It’s just a chapter and with every new day you have the opportunity to write a new one.

The end of history illusion isn’t just a curious quirk of the mind. It can be a serious roadblock to creating the kind of future we want for ourselves. And here’s why. If we can’t even imagine a different future, how can we start building a roadmap to get there? This illusion can keep us trapped in the status quo, even when we deeply desire something completely different.

I can tell you from my own experience, I never thought I would be where I am today. 10 years ago, I was a personal trainer, barely making ends meet. I was knee deep in diet, culture, wrestling with my own food issues, and feeling deeply unfulfilled. But I was so stuck in my present, I couldn’t even imagine a future that looked any different.

Many of the women I work with can also relate to this. They’ve spent so many years putting everyone else’s needs before their own. Whether it’s raising children, caring for aging parents, or managing a demanding career. Their own dreams and desires have been pushed to the back burner, and now they struggle to even imagine a future that revolves around their own wants and needs.

They may be afraid to voice these desires. Fearing, they won’t be allowed to have them because everyone else’s needs always have to come first. This illusion reinforces that fear, convincing them that their future is just an extension of their present.

But let me tell you, that is not the truth. You are not destined to remain stuck in your present. You totally have the power to envision a future that’s completely different than where you are today. And you have the power to make it your reality.

Overcoming the end of history illusion starts with one powerful practice, goal setting. Now, I know that some of you might be rolling your eyes at me right now. You’ve heard me talk about goal setting before, right? But let me assure you that this is different. When we think about goal setting, we often think about these grand ambitions that we want to achieve years down the line.

But I want to encourage you to start small. Think about the next hour, tomorrow, next week. What small steps can you take to start molding the future that you want? This could be as simple as deciding to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning or choosing to read a book for a few minutes every single day. Small steps add up to big changes.

Next, give yourself permission to dream. I know this sounds like something out of a Disney movie, but it’s absolutely true. So often, we limit ourselves so much by not allowing our minds to wander and imagine a different future. It’s okay if your dreams evolve and change over time. That’s totally natural.

What you wanted in your twenties is completely different than what you want today. That doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It means that you’ve grown. For example, 10 years ago, I would never have dreamt that I would be living in Mexico, coaching women from around the world. Yet here I am. I allowed my dreams to guide me, and my goals evolved as my circumstances changed. Sure, we might have to give up one thing in order to do something else, but that is the power of choice.

As you set your goals, be sure they align with what you want and not what others expect of you. This was a major turning point for me. I stopped setting fitness goals that society deemed appropriate and started focusing on what felt right for me. That was exactly how done with dieting was born because I stopped following dieting rules and started tuning into my own alignment of what I thought was healthy instead of what everyone else was telling me.

So, as you begin to challenge the end of history illusion, remember you are totally in control. Start small, dream big, and set goals that reflect your evolving desires. You have the power to design your own future, just like I did. And I will be here to guide you every step of the way.

Let’s talk about my 100th episode where I decided to put my goals out there for the entire world to hear. It was totally scary. I’m not going to lie. I was worried about the judgment, about not being able to reach those goals. But what I found was just the opposite.

Making my goals public, gave me an added layer of accountability and empowered me to take charge. Putting our goals into the universe allows us to face our fears head on. Sure, the thought of failure can be completely daunting, but let’s think about failure for a second. What is it, really?

To me, failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn. When something doesn’t work out the way that we planned, we gain valuable insight into what might work better next time. Instead of judging ourselves for not hitting the goal, we can ask ourselves, why did that happen? Again, not from a judgey place, but from a curiosity seeking place. I have learned how to make friends with failure, and it’s one of the best relationships I’ve ever built.

I remember eating ice cream one hot summer day with Gary. In the past, I might have considered that to be a failure, not being on plan deviating from my diet. But you know what? My future self saw eating ice cream on a hot summer day as just something that was inevitable. I had the choice of whether I wanted to see that as a failure, or a moment of indulgence shared with someone that I love. And it doesn’t have to derail you or your health.

I also used to worry about what others thought of me. And truth be told, I still do a little bit. Like, what if people think that I sell too much on my podcast? Or that I just sell too much. What if they think that I shouldn’t be promoting myself?

And I had this moment of realization that what I have to offer is so incredibly important that I owe it to every single woman who will listen to me. That I have the solution to help you improve your relationship with food, your relationship with your body, and your relationship with exercise. And to stop beating yourself up when you aren’t adhering to what you think you should be doing.

That message is way more important than the perceived judgment that I have from other people. So, I cannot stop talking about my message too much.

What if people think that I should be more passive? But you know, what I realized? My life is my responsibility. And the same thing goes for you. It’s your life and you get to make the choices that are right for you. The beauty of reaching midlife is that we start to care less about what others think about us and what we do.

We start to understand that we are the only ones who live with the consequences of our actions, so we should also be the ones to reap the benefits. By sharing your goals publicly, you declare ownership of your life. And trust me, it is so incredibly powerful. So, I want to encourage you to do that.

Declare your goals. And when you do, put them on social media and please tag me, Done with Dieting podcast on Instagram or Total Health by Eliz on Facebook. Declare your goals, whether it’s in a journal or to a trusted friend, or even on social media. Own your path and let’s not let societal judgment stand in the way of our dreams.

So, let’s talk a little bit about failure and success. You’ve heard me talk about making friends with failure, but what does that really mean? To me, failure is simply feedback. It’s an indication that something didn’t work out and I need to try a different approach.

So, in that sense, there’s really no such thing as failure, only learning opportunities. When we set goals for ourselves, it’s easy to focus on the outcome. Isn’t it? We say, I want to lose 10 pounds in six months, and so that becomes the measure of our success.

But what if we focused on our behavior instead? What if we said, I am going to exercise or be physically active three times a week, or I am going to incorporate more vegetables into my meals. These are actions that we can control, and they lead us towards the outcomes that we desire. This is how I approach my goals, and it’s a technique that I teach my clients. Focus on the actions that we can control, and the outcome will follow.

And remember, when we set goals, those goals are completely arbitrary. They’re made up. And the timelines are completely flexible as well. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t reach a certain milestone by a certain date. What matters is that you’re making progress.

But what do you do when you experience setbacks? My advice is to keep going. So, if you were to set a weight loss goal for 10 pounds in six months and you only lost eight, I’d like to ask you, is that a failure? Absolutely not. It just means that you need to adjust your timeline and keep going. That it’s not happening within the specified amount of time.

And this is something that trips us up all the time. That when I set a goal for 10 pounds in six months, and I’ve only lost three in three months. Our brain starts telling us, well, now I can’t possibly make the goal, so why even try? And that my friend right there is defeatist thinking. We’ve failed before we’ve even finished.

Success lies in how we think about the result, that isn’t what we expected and how we keep going. Embrace the journey, be kind to yourself and remember, you are so much stronger than you think. I’m here to tell you that designing your own future is possible. And I stand before you as a testament to that.

Again, 10 years ago, I never would’ve realized where I could be right now. And 20 years ago, oh my gosh. I think about the version of myself that was 35 years old, really struggling. Living in Mexico, being a life coach. She would be so proud of me right now. And for me, I am so grateful to her because she is the one that did what was necessary in order to get me here.

It wasn’t easy, but I want to be an example of what’s possible for you. You may not want to do what I am doing. You may not want to live in Mexico. You may not want to be a life coach. You may not want to be a health coach. You may not want to do any of the things that are on my bucket list. It’s totally fine. Create your own and realize that it is possible.

As I look into the future, my goals are clear. I want to continue helping women just like you to break free from diet culture and live healthier, happier lives. I want to continue to grow and learn just as I encourage you to do. We are all on this journey together, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.

As we wrap up this episode, I want to challenge you. I want you to think about where do you want to be in 10 years? How old will you be? How do you want to feel? What do you want to have accomplished? Don’t let the end of history illusion hold you back. Break free from it. Dream big. And start designing your future.

The next 10 years are going to pass whether we like it or not. So, wouldn’t it be better to intentionally set the trajectory of your future rather than just passively sit back and watch what happens? And if you feel like you could use some help in creating that path, know that I am here for you.

If you want the next phase of your life to be different, then where it’s currently headed, I invite you to schedule a consult with me. Go to The information will be in the show notes, and I would love to support you on this journey.

In closing, remember, you have the power to shape your life, your health, and your future. You are not alone in this. And together, we can achieve great things.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Have an amazing day, everyone. I will talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

Hey, Thanks for listening.

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AND it helps other women who are done with dieting and want to get off of the diet roller coaster to find it as well. See you next week.

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End of History Illusion
End of History Illusion