Done with Dieting Episode #119: Success is Hard

Success is Hard

In episode 119 of the Done with Dieting podcast, I delve into why success is hard, especially regarding our health journeys. I discuss the importance of taking responsibility for our actions and avoiding placing blame on others or circumstances. Through my own experiences, I’ve learned that success is quite simple when we focus on one thing at a time and determine whether it works for us. 

Understanding your health and adopting healthy habits are essential stepping stones in the journey toward greater well-being. It is the responsibility of each person to recognize when something is working or not working for their body, assess their own needs, and make the necessary changes for optimal health. 

The real challenge lies in our willingness to make the necessary sacrifices and prioritize our own needs. By addressing emotional baggage and developing the right mindset, we can create optimal health for ourselves instead of trying to fit into a specific cultural standard. 

To do this, individuals must drop any expectations to adhere to cultural standards or specific body types and instead, focus on creating personalized health-related goals that feel achievable and motivating. Paying attention to your health is not always an easy process, but the challenge can be minimized when you face yourself honestly. By staying aware of your habits and their impact on overall health, you can identify effective steps toward improvement. It’s important to be patient and inquisitive when it comes to implementing changes, as this willingness to explore what’s happening with you more deeply can be a highly rewarding experience.

When we can understand that we are the ones in control of our health and our destiny, then we have the opportunity to get out of our way and get on our side.” – Elizabeth Sherman

This episode will inspire you to persevere and believe in yourself, as these skills can be applied to all areas of your life.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

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.

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

  • Discover powerful strategies for achieving weight loss and establishing healthy habits.
  • Uncover the importance of taking responsibility in making informed health decisions.
  • Learn how to overcome emotional barriers for improved well-being and health results.
  • Find out how prioritizing emotional health supports personal growth and development.
  • Gain insights into developing unshakeable self-belief and perseverance throughout your health journey.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

  Do you find success hard? What if it was easy? On today’s podcast, I’m talking about the difference between why success is hard, why it’s easy, and what the difference is between the two.

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 perimenopause.

I’ve helped thousands of women manage their symptoms, get off the diet rollercoaster, 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 and how it impacts our current relationship with food and 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 that 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 other parts of your life and how you show up. I want to help you to feel good and live the life that you desire from a 360 degree approach, body, mind, and soul.

Welcome. Let’s get started.

Hey everyone, welcome to the Done with Dieting podcast, podcast number 119. And today is such a beautiful day here in Mexico. We are rounding out what we call high season, which is the end of tourist season. And it is just so beautiful here. I’ve been working with clients online and I see them wearing sweaters and turtlenecks. And I get to see blue sky and 80 degree weather, and it’s quite lovely.

Just a little sneak peek into my podcast is going to be coming up in 125, where I talk about my six month goals from when I set them back in December. One of the things that I had as a goal was to schedule and run retreats. And I have to say, I want to let you know that I have a gathering of women who are coming to Puerto Morelos, Mexico to do my very first retreat.

It’s sold out, which is so freaking exciting. And all of my clients and guests get to visit Puerto Morelos which is nicely nestled halfway in between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and it’s going to be so fun. And I’m currently setting up the program and what we’re going to be doing as far as activities and topics and I just can’t wait to share it all with you.

But anyway, today I am talking about success. And in the context of what we’re talking about today, we’re talking about success as far as probably weight loss goes or creating better health habits.

The way that this episode came about is I was listening to my coach and mentor Brooke. She just posted an episode about success. Titled, “Success is Hard.” And her idea behind the concept was surrounding business. But it doesn’t really matter if we’re talking about business, or whether we’re talking about health, or whether we’re talking about relationships, or finances, or anything like that. It’s all pretty much the same thing.

How we think about it or how we talk about it is going to hugely inform whether we actually do it or not. The premise of her podcast was that she gets a lot of hate because she tells women specifically that they can make money, that they can earn millions of dollars by being a life coach. And she gets a lot of feedback about that, negative feedback. Saying that she shouldn’t tell people that they can do it. Because it’s not available to everybody and she disagrees.

I think I want to share that same concept with you. That when we talk about weight loss, do we want to say that weight loss is available to everybody? It might be. But more than that, I think that what we think about when we think about weight loss is that I have to be a certain size. That I have to be a certain weight. That a certain body type is what success looks like. I’d like to reframe that and say that everyone’s bodies come in different shapes and sizes. And so therefore, adhering to a cultural standard that says that because I am five foot four (5’4), for example. I should weigh 125 pounds.

I think that that’s the wrong way of looking at it. And I think instead, we want to look at what is optimal health for me and my life at this point. What are my physical challenges that allow me to create optimal health? What are the very real time management struggles that I have when it comes to optimal health?

When we can create the set of optimal health habits that are doable for us, then our body will right size. And so, what does that exactly mean? It means having a diet that’s 80 to 90% whole food, that’s 15 to 20% treats. Then, doing all the other stuff that promote better stress management, proper sleep, and moving your body.

Now, some would say that weight loss in this context or doing habits is hard. That it’s very difficult. And I want to tell you that yes, it is hard but we as humans make it so much harder than it actually needs to be. We as humans, overcomplicate things a lot, and we get in our own way. We get in our own way because we create obstacles that really aren’t there. I see it with my clients all the time.

Well, here’s an example. So, I was talking to a client, and she was going out to dinner with her husband and some new friends. When she was out at dinner, we had talked about this before that one of the things that she really wanted to work on was her alcohol consumption. And so, we had talked about a couple of different strategies that she could take in order to curb her alcohol consumption.

One of them was when we’re out to dinner or at a party or something like that. People love to top us off, right? Everyone loves to see a full glass of wine. But when we do that, we really don’t know how much we’re drinking. And so, at the end of the night, we’re like, gosh, did I have two glasses? Did I have three glasses? Did I have four glasses? I really have no idea.

But when someone comes over to top us off, we can put our hand over the glass and say, no, I really want to just see how much I’m drinking because I’m trying to get a better gauge on this. What happens is then, we have a better idea, right? And we can control it a little bit more.

And so, after checking in with her, she said that she had planned on only having one glass of wine, but she ended up having three at dinner because she didn’t want to be “that woman”. She didn’t want to be self-righteous about having just one glass of wine. And it’s so curious that she would come up with the judgment that these other people were going to have of her, that she was self-righteous because she was limiting herself to one glass.

Those are the types of things that we actually allow to get in our way when we’re trying to develop better habits. When we are trying to create optimal health. Because here’s the thing. We met later on in the week, on a Wednesday or a Thursday, and she said that she was still recovering four days later from that third glass of wine.

When we do things that we know are not within our best interest. That’s hard. It’s hard getting ourselves out of the habit of doing the thing that’s easy. And I see that so often with women, that we do the thing that’s easy because we don’t want to be that woman who’s ‘high maintenance’, right? We want to be people pleasing. We don’t want to require too much of the people around us for fear that they might judge us.

When we talk about success is hard, yes. Eating in a different way than how we’re used to is going to impact potentially, the relationships that we have with others because they’re used to us acting in a certain way. It’s us creating boundaries around what we want to be and how we want to show up in the world.

However, the flip side of that is that success is not hard. It’s actually quite easy. And I say that because there are 101,000 different diets out there. And they all say this diet is easy. And it’s fundamentally true. All you have to do, if you had someone who was going to spoon feed you food all day and you didn’t have to make any choices, eating food is actually easy. And then there’s the exercise piece.

But it doesn’t even need to be that difficult. We make it more difficult. We watched The Biggest Loser and we saw them on calorie restricted diets and these really hardcore exercise programs where they were in the gym for seemingly eight hours a day.

Weight loss doesn’t have to be like that. Weight loss can actually be very simple. It’s just a matter of taking in fewer calories, then we’re burning. But doing it in a way that supports a healthy metabolism and healthy hormones for women who are in menopause. And so, that piece is actually not that difficult.

The part that’s difficult is “why”. And that’s the piece that I actually wanna talk a little bit more about today. Because my teacher, Brooke, she talked about, yes, success is hard but you can do it. You can be successful. And the other message that she was kind of being cheeky about with her detractors was that the opposite of that is that you can’t do it.

So, what kind of coach would we be if we told our clients that they couldn’t do it? Yeah, I don’t believe you, you can’t do it. Yes, there is a subset of people who would take that on as a challenge and do it just to spite everyone else. But most of us wouldn’t.

But then there’s this third message, which we don’t talk about. The unwillingness to make the sacrifices that we need to make in order to create that change in our own lives. And that’s where I want to spend some time right now. Because I will be honest with you, I wish I could tell you that 100% of my clients are successful. Not all of them are. And not all of them are because sometimes we are just not in the mindset that we need to be in order to implement all of the tools and all of the techniques that would make us successful.

Sometimes when we’re on a journey, we have a lot of emotional baggage that we need to get through in order to develop the right mindset to be able to put it all into place. For many of us, the reasons that we haven’t been successful whether it’s in weight loss, whether it’s in developing those new skills, as far as optimal health goes or whatever it is that we want to be consistent in. We need to think about ourselves in a way that actually puts our own needs ahead of the needs and wants of other people in our lives.

In episode number 115, I talked about ‘Nice Lady Syndrome.’ Nice Lady Syndrome is the idea that we need to be good. We need to be the good mother. We need to be the good wife. We need to be the good employee. We need to be the good boss. And so, when we are trying to be the good person to everyone else except for ourselves, we prioritize those other people’s needs. And when we do that, our needs fall to the bottom.

Now, when we are not ready to put in the work that it takes in order to achieve this result that we’re after. When we don’t do the things that we thought that we wanted, what happens is we will tend to blame because it hurts to believe that I just didn’t do it. And so, we’ll blame ourselves, we’ll blame others, or we’ll blame circumstances.

We’ll blame ourselves and say, I just can’t do it, or I’m just supposed to be fat, or this is the thing in life that is my burden to bear, or we’ll blame others. Some might blame me, which is totally fine. You can blame me as your coach. Or they might blame their family. They might say, well, my husband sabotages me, or my kids, they get in the way, or my job. We always want to have someone else to blame.

And when we blame others, we don’t take responsibility for our own actions. We become the victim of our own lives. When we can look at our body as not our fault. So, it’s not my fault that I got cancer. It’s not my fault that I am the size that I am. It’s not my fault that I was raised to have unhealthy eating habits by my parents.

However, now that I’m an adult, it is my responsibility to do whatever needs to be done in order for me to have a responsibility towards my body. When we can separate what is my fault and what is not from responsibility, we will actually be able to do so much more. And that right there is the key change that I made in my life when everything came together.

I stopped blaming my genetics. I stopped blaming my parents for not educating me enough. I stopped blaming them for not giving me good eating habits. And instead, I said, okay, you know what? I’m an adult now and I take 100% responsibility. I can’t change the past. However, this is the only body that I have, and I can inform my future by taking care of her, taking care of my body.

It is so tempting to blame something outside of ourselves. But as long as we’re blaming others, we don’t have the capacity to look at why we are not successful. And again, looking at why we’re not successful, takes a huge bite of humble pie, right?

When we can look at why we’re not successful, it can be such a kick in the gut because then we realize that we’ve been standing in our own way. But you know what? That is amazing news! Because when we can understand that we are the ones that are in control of our health and our destiny, then we have the opportunity to get out of our own way and get on our own side. And actually, make a plan and stick to it, and have our own back, and be successful.

So, I want to help you. And I want to help you understand why success when it comes to your health is easy. And it’s easy because what you do is you pick one thing and you do it. And you see, how is this working? Is it working for me or is it not working for me? If it’s working for me, keep doing it. If it’s not working for me, stop and do something different.

Do not give up at that point, because we know that the path to success means not giving up. You have to keep going. It’s that simple. Do something. Decide, is this working? If it’s not, choose something else. Pivot. Figure out, why is this working for me? How is it not working for me? How can I make it work for me?

For health, we have to pay attention to our body. We have to try something and see if it works. Again, if it works, keep going. If it doesn’t, try something else. That’s it.

And I’m going to give you a little plug here. If you have not downloaded the “Eight Basic Habits that Healthy People Do”, it’s the eight basic habits that I work with all of my clients on. It’s the fundamentals. Go download it. You can find it at, I’ll put the link in the show notes. But start there. Start with what you’re doing right. Acknowledge that. Hey, at least I’m drinking water today. Hey, at least I got some sleep last night. These other things, we can totally work on that. And then, just start chipping away at it. It’s not that difficult.

Now, here’s why health is hard. If health were easy, it would just be eat this, don’t eat that. Exercise this way, this many times per week. But we have to face ourselves. We have to figure out what has gotten in our way. What is getting in our way. What are the ways that we are thinking about our body, and our food, and exercise that aren’t serving us. And then, we have to actively talk to ourselves in a way that gets us to do the things that we want to do.

This is how we make it work. We cannot live in confusion. You cannot blame your teacher. You cannot blame your partner. You have to own it, and that right there is very difficult.

Success is hard because we have to be willing to do the uncomfortable thing. When someone puts dessert down in front of you or is eating it themselves, and you do that every night together. It’s saying, no, I don’t want that when you really do.

You have to be willing to put your own desires before the wants of others. You have to be willing to put your own emotional health before the emotional health of others. What I mean by that is sometimes, what we do is going to make other people uncomfortable or disappointed in us. And I would rather have other people disappointed in me, than me being disappointed in me.

When you can rectify that, when you can put your own emotional health first, then you will be golden. You cannot be worried about other people’s disappointment because you will be disappointed later.

Success is hard because emotions are hard. Worry, anxiety, confusion, failure, shame, humiliation. Overcoming the worry and the doubt. I’m doing this thing, I’m doing these habits, but I don’t know if they’re going to work. Yeah. That worry and doubt and telling people what you’re doing is really difficult.

When you can have your own back and be able to believe in yourself, then you will have learned a skill that can be transferred not only from weight and health, but to every other area of your life. You can do hard things. It’s okay to let it be hard. It’s all right for weight loss or changing your habits to be difficult.

And maybe that’s why we give up because when we can focus on our weight, it actually distracts us from other parts of our lives that we’d rather not address. It makes it easier to focus on our weight or our health as something to be obsessed with. Because once that’s gone out of your brain, you’re going to have to look at other things because you’re not going to be able to fixate on that anymore.

But I think it’s really important to not to blame yourself in a way that’s disparaging, ugly, or unkind. You can take responsibility for this without the inner critic showing up. Treat yourself with respect. Treat yourself with curiosity. Treat yourself with love and know that you’re already 100% worthy.

Success isn’t about making you more worthy. Your weight has nothing to do with your worthiness. Success is just a really, really fun, and awful and hard thing to do. And once you do it, you will have so much pride in yourself knowing that you’ve done it.

I always want to invite each and every one of you to believe in your own success and what is possible for you. Because I 100% believe that you can do it.

That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing week, everyone. And I will talk to 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 to get started today. I can’t wait to hear from you. See you next week.

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