Done with Dieting Episode #54: Maintaining Success

Maintaining Success

When we sabotage ourselves & are unable to maintain our success.

Why is it that so many folks are unable to maintain their weight loss? Is it that diets truly don’t work? Or could there be another culprit at play?

For many of us, we’ve been thinking like a dieter for such a long period of time that it has become a way of being, thinking & living. So, when we finally get to our goal, we don’t know how to relish it.

On this podcast, tune in to learn the biggest obstacle when it comes to being successful with weight loss – and why this is so much bigger than following a diet or exercise routine.

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

  • Why, if you woke up tomorrow as your ideal weight, you wouldn’t be able to maintain it.
  • Why failure along the way to your goal weight is what will create the lasting results that you need.
  • Why so many people self-sabotage their success & how you can avoid it.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Full Episode Transcript:

All of those mistakes that we hate making when we are in the process of losing weight, all of those mistakes that we make when we go out to dinner, and we overeat. Or we accidentally don’t know what’s in our food, or we go out to dinner and things change at the last minute, or we order the wrong thing. All of those mistakes that we make, will add up into learning so that we can manage our weight when we get there.

Now, that being said, we think, again, that if we woke up tomorrow being in this smaller body that we would be able to manage it. But again, it’s learning all of those little tweaks and things that we need to know in order to get to that point. We need to learn how to be in that smaller body. We don’t know what it takes in order to maintain that smaller size body.

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 54 of the done with dieting podcast. I am Elizabeth Sherman, your host. And you know, I was just reading an article recently and it said that January 19th, so last Wednesday has been named quitter’s day. And I think that that’s so interesting that so many of us make new year’s resolutions and then within three weeks, we’re just like, “ah, I can’t keep doing this.”

And if you did not attend my webinar on January 3rd, I talked about the number of problems that we encounter when we are creating new year’s resolutions. And so, if this is something that you are struggling with right now, I am going to recommend that you go to elizabethsherman.com/nyr.

And even though the webinars passed, you can still grab the replay and watch that because we all want to be successful. And I think that one of the problems that we get into when we talk about new year’s resolutions is it so many of us think that; okay, so once new year’s has started, then we need to be this new person.

And instead of like when I talked about in the episode called, “the long game,” that when we allow ourselves to say, okay, so this is my resolution but I don’t have to do everything at the beginning. I can ease myself into it. And then, by the end of 2022, I can actually have accomplished all those things.

So, completely changes the perspective of what our goals are about, what new year’s resolutions are about. And so, I was just recently having this conversation with a number of my clients around self-sabotage.

You know, so many of us, we hear the statistics all the time that not only are 80% of new year’s resolutions abandoned within by the time that they’re realized. But we also hear this statistic that 97% of diets fail and that of the people who actually get to their goal that most 97% will regain the weight in three to five years.

And so, I think that that’s actually a really interesting question about, well, why is that the case? Why is it that so many of us, when we get to this goal that we’ve been striving for. Whether it’s making money, whether it’s running a successful business, whether it’s losing weight, or whatever it is. So many of us, when we get there, we’re unable to maintain that level of success. Right? That’s so many of us then, self-sabotage.

My coach and mentor talks a lot about what she calls the capacity to have. The capacity to have is the ability to be with whatever it is that our goal is. The ability to relish in it. The ability to be that person.

And so, one of the reasons that so many of us regain the weight is because we haven’t really changed our thinking. And we’re still thinking like someone who wants to lose weight. We’ve spent so many years with this identity of I am a person who is a dieter. I am a person who is always looking for a diet. I am a person who is constantly wanting to lose weight and unhappy with the scale weight.

And so, when we no longer have to do that stuff anymore, our brains kind of explode, right? Because we don’t know what to do with that brainpower anymore. We don’t know how to manage that; all we know is dieting. And so, when we get there, we’re totally white knuckling it and we’re totally on edge.

And you know, one of two things happens. Either where this nervous person who’s like, oh no, I can’t eat anything. So, we’re still in that diet mentality. But we’re in the smaller body and we’re completely freak out. I did that for a while or we completely say, oh, well, now that I’ve lost the weight, I can go back to whatever it was that I was doing before. And then, we regained the weight and then we feel terrible.

So, neither one of these situations is ideal. And the problem is, is that when we get to our goal weight, when we get to our goal, we’re not thinking like someone who doesn’t have a weight problem thinks. We’re thinking like someone who has a weight problem thinks. Right? And so, how do we make that shift?

This all reminds me of a movie that I watched years ago, it was a documentary and it’s called “reversal of fortune.” I don’t know if you can watch it right now. But in the movie, the documenters decide that they’re going to do a social experiment.

So, in this movie, the documentary makers, they find a homeless man in California, and they plant a hundred thousand dollars for this man to find. And then, they follow him to find out what he’s going to do with the money. And it’s such an interesting movie because we think that once we have money, once we lose the weight, that we’ll just be able to maintain that. Right?

And so, what happens in this movie is that the man doesn’t know how to manage that amount of money. To him, a hundred thousand dollars may as well be a million. And so, he just starts spending it.

And there’s this one scene that is just so incredible where his sisters had found out that he had come into some money and they encourage him to move home to where they live, which is in San Diego. And he rents an apartment. And once he has the apartment, he has to get furniture. And once he has furniture, then he needs cable, and he needs lights.

And he’s sitting on his couch with all of his bills in front of him, just completely overwhelmed. Because before when he was homeless, all he had was his bike and his stuff. Life was so much simpler when he didn’t have his house.

And so, once he had all of this responsibility, he didn’t know how to manage it. And eventually, at the end of the movie, he stopped talking to the documentary makers anymore. He stopped allowing them to know how much money he had in his bank account anymore. And they suspected that at the time he had somewhere around $5,000 at the end of the movie.

So, he had gone through $95,000 in a matter of months. He bought a car for himself, he bought a car for his girlfriend, he bought a car for this other person who he just liked. And you know, he just started spending all of this money because he didn’t really know how to budget. He didn’t know how to be with the money. He didn’t know how to have the money.

And I think that this is a really good analogy for many of us who are on this quest for weight loss. If you woke up tomorrow and you were in a leaner body, a smaller body, would you know how to manage that smaller body?

I think most of us would say, yes, we do. But is that really the truth? I know that if I woke up tomorrow and my business was all of a sudden earning a million dollars that I wouldn’t know how to do that. I wouldn’t know how to manage that business. And I wouldn’t know how to be the business owner of a million dollar business.

And through the process of building my business into, let’s say, a million dollars. I learn all of the things that I need to know in order to become that million dollar business. The same thing is true when we’re talking about weight loss.

All of those mistakes that we hate making when we are in the process of losing weight, all of those mistakes that we make when we go out to dinner, and we overeat. Or we accidentally don’t know what’s in our food, or we go out to dinner and things change at the last minute, or we order the wrong thing. All of those mistakes that we make, will add up into learning so that we can manage our weight when we get there.

Now, that being said, we think, again, that if we woke up tomorrow being in this smaller body that we would be able to manage it. But again, it’s learning all of those little tweaks and things that we need to know in order to get to that point. We need to learn how to be in that smaller body. We don’t know what it takes in order to maintain that smaller size body.

And so, whether we’re calling it success intolerance, or whether we’re calling it what my mentor calls it, which is the inability, the capacity to have. What we’re ultimately talking about is what we all call self-sabotage. Right?

Because so many of us have gotten down to this goal weight, and then we’re like, I don’t know what happened. I just started gaining weight again. And so, today, what I want to do is I want to go through this a little bit more in detail and also give you some ideas of what you can do in order to maintain that lower weight.

Okay, so first, what is success intolerance or the capacity to have? And what so many of us struggle with is being in that smaller body. And I totally remember when I went through my journey going past mirrors and not recognizing myself. Not knowing that that was myself because I had this identity already. Right?

Because we look at ourselves in the mirror so often, I had this identity of being someone who was in a larger body. The things that I said to myself were just that I was big boned, or that I was large, or that I wasn’t graceful. And that I just had big thighs, or a big belly, or whatever the things were that I were saying to myself, created this identity of who I am, or who I was, and what role I had in this world around that.

And so, when we’re in this quest to lose weight, we think that life is going to be so perfect on the other side, because we’re going to be in this smaller body. Right? But what happens is we actually have a completely different set of problems.

And one of the problems is as I mentioned before, managing this smaller body, and realizing that the things that we used to do, the things that came so easy to us before. Now, we need to do differently.

So, the habits that we had established before are different. And this is actually a really strong argument for having slow weight loss. So many of us want instant weight loss, right? But when we have slow weight loss, we eventually get there. We give our brains and our identity, the ability to grow or shrink with our body.

I’ve talked about this in other podcasts, but some of the things that we need to learn in the process of getting to our goal weight are things that really, we don’t even think that we have to do. When we think about going on a diet, right? So, when we think about, okay, I want to lose 30 pounds, all I have to do is eat fewer calories and move more. Right? That’s what we think goes into it.

But there are all of these other things that go into, all of these different aspects that go into being able to lose weight and maintain it. And one of those things is setting boundaries. When we decide that this thing is important to us.

We need to set up boundaries because we need to establish new boundaries around things like asking for what we need and want. Not always doing for others and putting ourselves second. Making sure that we take care of ourselves. Making sure that we practice healthy self-care. Making sure that we put ourselves on the list. Those are the intangible things that we don’t talk about when it comes to weight loss. But are totally 100% necessary in order to get to that new goal that we really desire.

And so, the other piece to that is that, as we’re doing that, as we’re establishing those boundaries, as we are putting ourselves on the list, we are also in the process of establishing a new identity. We are no longer the fat friend. We are no longer the person who eats too much. We are no longer all of these stories that we have in our heads. We are developing, we are creating new stories that we can get on board with because we are creating them.

And so, a change in identity is difficult. We can’t just do that overnight. It takes time in order to establish that. And it’s shifting from the person who’s dieting, the person who’s overweight, who wants to lose weight, who thinks she needs to lose weight, to the person who doesn’t anymore.

And so, it’s worth asking yourself the question like, the woman that I am going to be on the other side of success, how does she think about bread? How does she think about cupcakes? How does she think about ice cream?

And what’s really super important is starting to practice that as you’re going through it. How does she think about her body? And I’ll tell you right now that if you don’t start to practice those things on the way to becoming successful, it’s not like you’re going to stand on the scale, see your goal weight, and all of a sudden, you’re going to think different things about bread.

You’re not going to think different things about ice cream. You’re not going to think different things about food because you haven’t been practicing those things. Having to change who we are and how we manage our friendships is going to be huge.

Because if you have a relationship with your partner, or with your children, or with your sister, or your friends where you go out and you peg out, or you party, or those types of behaviors. How are you going to manage that when you want to maintain your weight? How are you going to manage that with this new lifestyle?

You’re going to have to renegotiate those relationships. You’re going to have to figure out, okay, what do we have in common now, so that we can still spend time together but not do those same behaviors that we were doing before. Those behaviors that were leading me to be in this bigger body.

And so, it’s totally uncomfortable to be in this smaller body but think that we’re the same person that we were before. As we go through the process of losing weight, we need to establish that new identity. And it takes longer to actually establish that new identity of the smaller person. Then, it does to actually lose the weight.

So then, the next question is, okay, so what do we do about it? So, ideally that if you are going through the process of losing weight and you’re doing it slowly and intentionally, you are making those mistakes that you need to know as you get to your goal weight that you will need to maintain.

You’re making the mistakes that you need in order to learn how to manage that smaller body. So, that’s the first thing, hopefully it’s not just going to happen overnight. Okay?

But then, the second piece here is just being aware that this success in tolerance is there that many of us struggle with it. And listening to this podcast alone is actually going to help you because you will then know that, oh, it’s not going to be a breeze. And there are going to be problems, and there are going to be struggles, and then be somewhat prepared for them. Okay.

So, if you’re new to me, you’ll know that awareness is actually really huge. And so, just being aware of this issue will help you to overcome it. Okay. But that’s not enough.

The next step is when you get to your goal, I’m going to suggest that you commit to staying there for a period of time. And what this is going to do is one, it’s going to allow you to learn how your body works.

So, you can’t just say, okay, I’m my goal weight, let’s celebrate! Right? What we need to do at that point is say, okay, I’m at my goal weight, now I want to take the next three to five months and really commit to figuring maintenance out. Right.

And so, what this does is it helps you to understand and learn how your body works. And then, the other piece to that is that you get to figure out what is your threshold of treats. Because now that you’re not dieting anymore, we can add treats back in, right? But you can’t add all of the treats back in.

We need to figure out how many treats you can have and still maintain your weight and feel good, but not so many, so that you feel sluggish or that you start gaining weight again. Okay. And this is all part of the process.

And then, the last piece is allowing the process to be uncomfortable. And what I mean by that is when we get to this goal weight, we get to shed the identity of being the dieter. And for so many of us, we’re used to having goals, we’re used to being on that next thing.

And so, it may feel really super uncomfortable if you are just telling yourself, okay, you know what? We’re just going to stay here for a while. Many of us don’t know how to do that. It feels boring. But there is so much wisdom in being there, and allowing yourself to stay there, and learn, and observe, and become aware of what’s happening.

And if you can do that and learn how your body works, and understand the threshold, and talk yourself through it, and really try not to self-sabotage, then you can be successful.

Now, for many, we can never be 100% carefree when it comes to food. And what I mean by that is we’re always going to need to be aware that our tendency is to overeat.

But if we can start to identify ourselves as someone who doesn’t overeat, if we can start to identify ourselves as someone who is naturally thin, then it’s going to be easier. We need to change our thought process in order to become that person that is successful forever.

So, look, if you’ve resonated with any of these ideas that I’m talking about today. If you struggle with getting to your goal weight. And if you are really worried about regaining the weight again once you get there. I think that you’re actually really going to love the Feel Good Sisterhood.

The Feel Good Sisterhood is my six month group coaching program, it’s currently in enrollment right now, we’re going to start on January 31st. And so, if you’re listening to this in real time, I’m going to encourage you to go over to elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching.

And if you’re listening to this after the fact, you can go to elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching. Learn all about the Feel Good Sisterhood and get on the waiting list for the next cohort. This program is going to teach you how to be able to change your relationship with yourself, change your relationship with food, change your relationship with exercise, and your body.

And become that person who is actually naturally thin. That person who doesn’t think about food all the time. That person who has other things to think about.

You know, I was just on the phone with one of my clients the other day and it was such an amazing experience because she was like, oh my God, I have so much more time to think about my business and how I’m going to make so much more money. Now, that I’m not thinking about my weight and my body anymore.

And I think that this is just so amazing because so many of us, women, we are going to rule the world if we can just stop thinking about our bodies, and food, and our weight. If we can get rid of thinking about that stuff, we have so much potential. And I want to help you create a more rich experience of your life.

Your weight is the least important thing about you. And I hate to have you, thinking about food and having that inner critic in your brain tearing you down, when it’s totally unnecessary. It’s not required and it’s not part of the process.

So, if you want to get rid of that inner critic who totally self-sabotages you. And if you want to learn how to be successful and be successful long-term, I am going to invite you to join the Feel Good Sisterhood because bar none, it is the best weight loss program out there. And especially for women in midlife, because there is nothing else out there like it.

So, head over to elizabethsherman.com/groupcoaching and I will see you on the other side. Have a great week everyone and I will 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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