On the podcast, and in coaching with my clients, I talk a lot about concepts, tools, and how to use them – sometimes in theoretical situations, or in practical ones that we’ve all encountered.
Some of the concepts and tools overlap, and I think it can be difficult to put it all together. In this episode, I’m sharing my real life with you & how I use and apply the tools I teach.
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.
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What you’ll Learn from this Episode
- How to go into vacation and walk the line between abandoning all of your healthy habits and white knuckling it.
- How to call BS on your brain.
- Why we may never stop having negative thoughts about our bodies – even if we get to goal weight.
- How to have compassion for your body.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 90: Liberation vs Fixation
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 76: Body Neutrality
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 62: Why We Eat What We Eat
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 22: The Power of Visualization
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 25: How Did I gain 5 lbs Over the Weekend?
- Done with Dieting Podcast Episode 30: It All Adds Up
Full Episode Transcript:
On today’s episode of the Done With Dieting Podcast, I am sharing how I apply some of the concepts that I teach in this podcast.
You are listening to the done with dieting podcast. The podcast for women in midlife, who are done with dieting, but still want to lose weight and feel good in your clothes.
You know that diets don’t work long term. But you feel like there’s this secret that everyone else knows that you just haven’t figured it out yet.
I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And I’ve helped hundreds of women get off the diet roller coaster, change their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies.
Through this podcast, my goal is to help you too.
Welcome. Let’s get started.
Hey everyone, welcome to the Done With Dieting Podcast, episode number 1 0 3. So, first of all, happy New Year. I am so excited about 2023. If you have listened to episode number 100, you will understand why I am so excited about 2023. I have some really exciting goals that are coming up and how I’m going to be kicking it off is next week, January 9th through the 13th, I am going to be hosting a sugar cravings reset. If you haven’t heard about the sugar cravings reset, I am going to invite you to take a look at the landing page for it.
It is a five day challenge where we are going to reset your cravings for sugar. I know that since the holidays are just over and there was sugar everywhere, I know that so many of my clients have goals to really kind of reset everything and feel comfortable with their eating habits again. I know that I have friends who do the whole 30 at during January and I have other friends who just make complete changes.
And so, I would love for you to join me in the sugar cravings reset. Again, it’s five days and what we’re going to do is I am going to help you create a better relationship with sugar so that you don’t feel like you’re out of control around sugar. And when it’s around, for me the process was that I didn’t feel comfortable being alone in a room with brownies.
The strategies and the techniques and the information that I’m sharing in the sugar cravings reset is the process that I took myself through and the process that I take my clients through in order to create a better relationship with food and sugar.
And I am not going to lie. Not giving into the urges to eat sugar is really tough work, and there aren’t any magic pills that I can give you to make it effortless. And our relationship with sugar can be highly nuanced, right? It can be really emotionally charged.
So, it’s super uncomfortable to say no to treats that we actually want. Or even worse, some of you may be thinking, well, I’m just going to throw it away. And that feels terrible too, even though we know that we’re just going to end up eating it, which is what we want but we don’t want it, right?
So, through the five days, I am going to teach you exactly how to create the relationship that you want to have with sugar. And to be honest, most of us don’t want to cut sugar out of our diets entirely. We want to be able to have sugar, but we want to feel in control of it. And so, through your environment, through noticing your habits, I’m going to be teaching you a few skills and uncovering the beliefs that we have about sugar. And then finally, how we identify ourselves in relationship to sugar.
If you’re someone who says, oh, I’m just a sugarholic, like how is that playing out in your craving? So, if you’re interested in the sugar cravings reset, it’s $15 and you are going to go to elizabethsherman.com/sugar and you are going to sign up and you will get access to five live calls where I am going to teach you the exact steps and process that you need to redefine your relationship with sugar and sweet treats.
And then, every day you’re going to have short daily homework that’s designed to bring awareness to what exactly is happening subconsciously so that you can decide if you want to change it or not. And then finally, you’re also going to have an invitation to a private community where you can share your wins, however big or small they are with other women who are facing the exact same struggles. Know that you are absolutely not alone.
Again, I would love to invite you to join me in the Sugar Cravings Reset. We start January 9th, and we go through the 13th. If you’re listening to this in real time, you want to head over to elizabethsherman.com/sugar and that will get you signed up. So, I would love for you to join us.
All right. Now moving on, my podcast today is kind of a mishmash of stuff. And I say that because I had a couple different topics that I wanted to talk about, but I realized that they were all really kind of inner, tightly connected. And so, what I wanted to do is I want to share with you a story of what I’ve been going through since Thanksgiving. And how I have integrated the teachings that I teach my clients and that I use on myself so that you can get a better idea of what it all looks like in the end.
Because I think that when we are on this journey to have a better relationship with food, to have a better relationship with our body, and to ultimately lose weight for some of you or it’s just to be healthier for others. I think that we have this vision that life is going to be just rainbows and daisies at the end of it. And I don’t want to poo poo on your parade, don’t get me wrong.
But what I want to do is I want to share with you how I navigate some of the challenges and also how your brain is really going to work when it’s all said and done. Because I think that one of the things that I talk about a lot on this podcast is doing something called thought work. Which is the idea that we are paying attention to our thoughts, and we are creating a better experience for ourselves and our lives through paying attention to our thoughts. And we are actively dismantling some of the concepts that we think about.
And although that’s true, there are some things that we are constantly going to need to keep on top of. So, let me start by explaining that this episode has three different parts and three different takeaways. Alright? And so again, it’s kind of a mishmash, but stick with me and hopefully it’ll all come together at the end of the podcast.
I was on vacation for two weeks in Buenos Aires and Uruguay over Thanksgiving. We went with two friends of ours, another couple, and it was amazing.
First of all, I want to let you know that a lot of what I’m talking about today is referencing one specific podcast, podcast number 90, which is titled Liberation Versus Fixation. You don’t necessarily need to listen to that podcast first before you come here. But you may want to listen to it in conjunction with this podcast episode because a lot of the things that I’m talking about today are going to be reinforced and teach you how to do it in episode number 90.
And so anyway, when we were on vacation, I had set the intention before I went on vacation. And this is something that I do with my clients and it’s something that I do with myself. So, what I do is like for example, on the weekends we tend to go a little bit overboard. And so, what I will typically do on a Friday is I’ll think about, okay, so how do I want to feel on Monday when I wake up or how do I want to feel on Sunday?
And what that does is it really sets a guiding light to the habits that I’m going to do for the weekend or for that period of time. And so, we can also do this with vacations, or holidays, or anything. So, like for example, we just went through Christmas and New Year’s. So, how would your experience of the holiday be different if you had said, okay, when I go to bed on Christmas night, this is how I want to feel.
Typically, what happens is we don’t really think about it. We’re in the moment, we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re having a good time, we’re eating, we’re drinking, we’re doing all the things. And then, we go to bed and we’re like, oh, I really overdid it, didn’t I? And so, when we can set intentions for how we want to feel either when we go to bed or when we wake up the next day. What we can do is all of our actions, everything that we do, we can hold up to the goal of is this going to support that?
And of course, we don’t want to be super strict with ourselves, right? So, some of the things are like, when I go to bed, I want to be able to say that I enjoyed myself. I want to say that I was able to connect with friends. I was able to laugh and enjoy myself. But at the same time, I don’t want to go to bed and feel like, oh, I’m going to be sick, or I ate too much, or anything like that. What this does is it allows us to hold a mirror up to what it is that we exactly want.
So, before I went on vacation, I decided, okay, how do I want to feel the Monday after I get back? And what I didn’t want to feel was that I hadn’t paid attention to my health. I didn’t want to feel like I felt lethargic, or that I hadn’t had enough vegetables, or that I felt bloated, or that I had overdone it. And so, what was really interesting was that while we were in Buenos Aires, we were walking down the street and I saw an image of one of those things, those street signs for ice cream. And my brain immediately went to, I want ice cream. And of course, I could have ice cream if I wanted to.
However, it didn’t look like it was really amazing ice cream. I noticed while we were walking down the street that my brain was in conflict with itself. It was really kind of interesting just to watch my brain be in conflict with myself. And what I mean by that is that there was one part of my brain that was like, we want sugar, we want ice cream, we want treats, we’re on vacation, we deserve this.
And then, there was the other part of my brain that was like, no, we’re not supposed to have this. We shouldn’t have this. And it was really interesting to watch myself in this process. So, I started questioning, well, okay, brain, we’re telling ourselves no, that we’re not going to have this ice cream. Why aren’t we going to have ice cream? And so, there was part of me that was really concerned with am I doing it because of the calories or am I doing it because of diet mentality.
This conditioning of sweet treats and sugar being bad for us is so permeated into the fiber of our beings that I really had to stop and question myself. Like, why am I having this dialogue with myself? Why is it that I want the ice cream, but I’m telling myself no. And what I came away with was that my commitment to myself to actually wake up when I got back from vacation and not feel like I had completely lost control was way more important to me than my rule of not having ice cream or my desire to have ice cream.
And so, in that instance, I didn’t indulge, I didn’t have the ice cream. I definitely had sugar and had a ton of dulce de leche in Argentina and in Uruguay because it’s freaking everywhere and it’s delicious. However, what I really started paying attention to when I was eating the sugar was how it made me feel and when enough was enough.
Because here’s the thing, when we say that we can’t have any, then what happens is we want to eat it all. Because once the floodgate’s open, we’re like, oh, we’re not going back in there. We’re not being wrangled in. So, we need to eat it all. We need to get it all now because if we don’t get it all now, then we’re never going to get it again.
And so, I was really aware of my thoughts and also really trying to be present with the ice cream, or with the crepes, or with the other treats that I was eating. So that I could really stay present with it and enjoy it and have true pleasure out of it.
The other thing that I did while I was on vacation was, I set up what I call bare minimums. Now, bare minimums are things that I talk about with my clients, and I have a podcast episode on it. And what we’re doing with Bare minimums is at the very beginning of the day, I set an intention, or I set a couple different intentions of what I wanted to accomplish that day. And every single day I just kept it really super freaking basic.
So, the intentions that I set were, I’m going to walk 10,000 steps. I’m going to eat any vegetable that gets in my way. Focusing on vegetables, and then I’m also going to drink water. The fourth one which was a little bit more hazy, I am going to be the watcher of my brain.
And so really noticing the things that started to irritate me and then also like where my brain was at the different points within the process. So, really starting to notice the different thoughts that my brain was offering me in different situations. Like when we were getting lost or when we didn’t really know where we were going.
Starting to really notice those places that my brain was going as well as when I really wanted to eat and was I hungry or was I eating because everyone else was eating? And so, really trying to pay attention to what my thought process was and also I really tried to only eat when I was hungry.
In this whole process of setting up bare minimums and setting intentions, I really had my future self in mind. Again, thinking about how am I going to feel tomorrow? How am I going to feel tonight? Am I really taking in the experiences of this vacation? Because we want to go on vacation, we want to enjoy the holidays, and we want to experience all the things that we really desire. But at the same time, we can do that and have our own back. We can do that and take care of our future self at the same time.
Now, when I got back from vacation, I’m happy to say that I actually felt pretty close to how I intended to feel, what my intention was. However, the next day I went to Costco, and I saw this bag for I must have been Hungry. I saw this bag for keto chocolate and when I brought it home, I was like, oh, this is actually pretty good.
Now, what was really interesting about it is that the serving size didn’t really match what was inside the bag. And what I mean by that is that they came in these sheets. And actually, to be honest, I didn’t even look at the nutritional value of it. I just decided that I wanted it and I decided to try it.
And so anyway, they came in these sheets of like bark. But they were really super thin, and they were sprinkled with nuts and a little bit of something sweet. So, it was keto. I don’t know if it was sugar or not, but whatever. Anyway, I was unsure of the portion size.
But here’s another takeaway. Because they were labeled keto, right? I knew that it wasn’t going to spike my blood sugar very much. And so therefore, there’s something called the halo effect. And I totally bought into it. I was eating this chocolate like it was going out of style. And every night, I’d break off a couple pieces and eat it and afterwards I actually didn’t feel too bad because one of the things that I believe is that the food that we eat will tell us when we’ve had enough.
There were a few occasions where I felt like, oh, you know what? I probably didn’t eat need that much. But regardless, be aware that we have this idea that’s called a health halo. And what that means is our brain will automatically negate overeating something if we believe it’s healthy for us or if we think that it’s not going to do much damage.
And so, really be aware that when you’re eating something, if it’s something that is deemed healthy, notice your thinking about it. Oh, I can eat more of this because it’s healthy. I can overeat because I’m eating healthy food. And I really want you to pay attention to that because overeating even healthy food can result in weight gain.
Just because something is healthy or natural or comes from grow from the earth does not mean that it does not have calories. So, even vegetables and proteins and fats will all affect our weight. So, there’s a difference between healthy food and weight loss food. And just be aware of where you are in that debate. I also have a podcast episode on that. I will link to it in the show notes about why we choose different foods.
About two weeks after we got back from vacation, I had been eating this chocolate. One morning, I saw myself in the mirror in my underwear. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t like what I saw. This is the next takeaway. And that is that regardless of how much work we do on our bodies, we will always be in a state of flux.
Now, I’m telling you this because you may be under the idea that once you lose weight, that you’re never going to think negatively about your body again. And I am just here to tell you, that when I saw myself in the mirror, my brain immediately went to, ugh. Now here’s where the work differs. Here’s where doing work on your body image and making peace with your body is different.
When I saw that, when I saw my body and I didn’t necessarily like what I saw. I did not go into a shame spiral of beating myself up and blaming my body. I did not start shaming myself and telling myself that I sucked and that I shouldn’t have done anything.
What actually happened with my brain, and this has taken a number of years to actually perfect. I immediately recognized why my body looked the way it did. I immediately understood that my body was doing what it was designed to do.
And I also felt a deep sense of compassion for my body because my body was only doing what it knew how to with the tools that I had given it. With the inadequate sleep that I had given it, with the extra calories, with all of the things that I had eaten. That with my stress levels, that it took all of that, the exercise, the eating, the mindset work, the stress, the sleep. And it put it all together and it created some fat.
My body was only doing what it was designed to do. It’s not my body’s fault. And so therefore, I cannot hate my body. So, I had this ‘oh shit moment.’ I was like, I’ve been eating too much chocolate. Oh, my goodness! I did not regret anything that I did on vacation. I can’t do anything about that.
I kind of regretted eating a little bit too much chocolate because I know better, right? But I didn’t beat myself up about it. At that point then, I set up a guideline. I was like, okay, Elizabeth, you know what? No more chocolate. No more that keto chocolate. Again, the reason why we set guidelines, so that we can observe our brain and be reflectful about what objections our brains come up with when we crave that thing. This is thought work right here.
And so, what I started to notice is that at night when I was normally having the chocolate, the keto chocolate, I started noticing my brain saying, you know what? It doesn’t matter. You can have one or two pieces. It’s just going to be like a hundred calories. It’s thin, it’s keto, it doesn’t really matter.
What happens is I was into my brain because this is something that I’ve been talking to one of my clients about my client, Christina. And why this thought is so freaking compelling is because there’s some truth to it. A hundred calories really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t matter what we do some of the time, right?
You’ve heard me say this before, that one night of overindulging doesn’t make you overweight. If that happens once a month or maybe even once a week, it probably isn’t going to make that big of a difference. It’s what we do most consistently that is going to make a bigger difference than what we do once in a while.
So, there’s a lot of truth to the whole idea that it doesn’t matter. But here’s where it does matter. True. A hundred calories don’t matter. Like a bowl of chips, doesn’t matter. Two pieces of chocolate doesn’t matter. But what does matter is when we do it over and over and over again.
Going back to the podcast episode number 90, Liberation versus Fixation. We really want to get to the why. And so, I started asking myself in that moment, is that really true? Does it not really matter? Or why does it matter? In that episode, I talk about creating a list of reasons why we want to do the thing that we’re setting out to do.
So, for me, it was stopping eating the chocolate, right? And why I wanted to stop doing that. Really get clear on the reasons why you want to do the thing so that you can talk back to yourself. Because I’ll tell you, it doesn’t matter, is a really compelling argument. And so, when we can talk back to ourselves and say, yeah, brain, I hear you. I understand that 100 calories, a couple chocolate almonds, or a couple chips, or pretzels, doesn’t really matter.
But then when we do it over and over and over again, that’s when it does. And so, what we can do is we can start to talk back to ourselves. Now for me, I don’t want to feel like I’m being controlled by my urges. And I want my clothes to fit. So, when I see myself gaining a little bit of weight, I know that that’s the time to back off. Now, I don’t use a scale. I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t use a scale, so I use the mirror as guideline.
Now, it’s very possible that I did not gain any fat at all. It was just my perception of what my body looked like in that moment when I saw myself in the mirror. And to be honest, I haven’t really paid much attention to it since then. I’m recording this in a couple weeks later.
But be aware that our brains are always going to tell us, yeah, that’s not okay. And your ability, my ability to manage that is what is going to help us, help me be successful long term.
Now, the younger version of me probably would’ve seen myself in the mirror and been like, oh my God, I just am the worst. I suck, I can’t control myself. Why do my clients hire me when I can’t even do this myself? Or you might be thinking something along the same lines. But those thoughts are completely optional, and I’d argue that they’re false.
So, yes, I still actively work through my body image issues. These do not go away. Diet culture and fat phobia are so prevalent in our society. If you are a woman in your fifties, you have not gone through this unscathed, so you probably have a lot of thoughts about your body and about yourself. Looking at yourself in underwear or even naked.
And so, be aware that those thoughts are going to come back over and over and over again. Now, here’s the gem. Here’s the truth. Here’s the value that I want to bring to you today. And that is our relationship to those thoughts is actually what determines our success.
Let me say that again. Your relationship to the thought that you’ve gained weight, or that you should lose weight, or that you’re too fat is what is going to allow you to succeed or not succeed. And what I mean by your relationship to the thought is your belief that that thought is true.
Moving forward, as you lose weight, as your body becomes the body that you want and deserve, be aware that your brain is still going to come up with thoughts that you’re having right now. What you get to do is to decide whether you want to believe those thoughts or not because our brains lie to us. They lie to us all the time. They lie to us when they say, it doesn’t matter. They lie to us when they tell us that your body’s too big or that this is your fault. And they lie to us when they say you want that, you deserve it.
So, that’s all I have for you today. I hope this episode has come together for you because I think that it’s really important for you to understand that the way we’ve been socialized to deal with our bodies, and to deal with the way that we eat, and our relationship with food, it’s really entrenched.
I want you to be aware that I am still working through a lot of these issues as well. And so, I wanted to share this episode with you today because I thought it might give you some insight into what life is going to look like when you do get to your goal. So, be aware that it’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Alright?
So, I hope you join me for the Sugar Cravings Reset. Again, the Sugar Cravings Reset is my five day challenge that we are going to be doing January 9th through the 13th. It is an amazing challenge and the women that I did it with in October really loved the results that they got. Many of them reduced their cravings by half in just a few days.
So, please join us. If you have any questions, reach out to me on social, or you can find me on email at email@example.com and go to elizabethsherman.com/sugar to get signed up. All right, everyone, have an amazing week and I will see you next time. Bye-bye.
Hey, Thanks for listening.
If you’re done with dieting and would like to work with me as your coach, I’d like to invite you to reach out to myself and my team to ask about programs and pricing.
Go to elizabethsherman.com/contact to get started today. I can’t wait to hear from you. See you next week.
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