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This week on the podcast, I’m starting a new series of teachings, which will cover the foundation of the tools I use with my clients. This week starts with a question – How do we take the struggle and frustration out of weight loss?

Did you know that it’s natural for humans to resist things that might actually be good for us? Today is all about awareness of when you’re pushing back against methods that will only serve to help you, and getting curious on how you can work with your body to create lasting change.

This, my friends, is weight loss for real life, formulated in a way that will energize and support your lifestyle instead of just giving you one more thing to do. The tools I’m providing are all about shifting your perspective from weight loss being a project in your life into a space where you’re taking care of your physical health in an intuitive and powerful way.

I’ve compiled questions to ask yourself to really tune into what’s holding you back. Download the worksheet I created to accompany this episode here!

I’m running a free training starting October 15th comprising of six live video conferences. The class will include support from me and accompanying materials. Sign up here to start making huge changes to your health!

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why we struggle to change, even after deciding we want to.
  • How to notice whether you’re being overly self-critical.
  • Why punishing bad decisions is not helping you.
  • How to stop weight loss from feeling like a battle.
  • The importance of listening to your body.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Leave comments below this post or email me at diana@dianamurphycoaching.com

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Empowered Wellness for Leaders, a podcast that teaches CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of balancing a high-stress career, family, AND their own health. Here’s your host, Certified Executive Wellness Coach, Diana Murphy.

I just returned from an amazing retreat in Boone, North Carolina. I got to be learning at the feet of Martha Beck, and she does not put herself on a pedestal, so that’s probably the wrong way to position it. She was sharing an amazing teaching around navigating the storm, you know, the storm that is our political world right now, and maybe the storm inside ourselves.

I learned so much from it. And, of course, I’m not ready right away to teach you from it, but I’m just so encouraged. This is just a stay-tuned – just amazing work that she taught us about really just staying in our own truth, noticing the thoughts that are getting in the way of that. And when we operate, honoring our truth in the moment, in decisions that we make, how easy and fluid and confident we can feel.

So I can’t wait to bring you what I learned from her in future episodes. But for today, I am just thankful so much for her because she trained Brooke Castillo, who was my coach trainer, my master coach. I don’t even know what to call her because she’s more than a master coach – she’s a thought leader. And then also Susan Hyatt, who is of the same – very different practice but I learned the BARE method from her and I’ve integrated it into my practice.

So she trained both those coaches very well, and I benefitted so greatly from it. Can you think of teachers in your life or authors that you’re really thankful for? I just couldn’t believe I was in the room with one of mine. And I’ve read many of her books and I’m just so thankful for Martha Beck. So shout out to any Martha Beck coaches; you know what I mean, and anyone that follows Martha. That was quite a weekend.

Today though, I am starting a teaching series, however, all the episodes will stand alone. But as you go through this series or if you step in past Episode 37, you will find that there’s going to be two or three that get your attention. And I want you to really listen to that. Focus, as we go through the series, on what is getting your attention. Even look at those podcast titles or issues that you’re resisting as you go through this series.

Did you know that it’s very natural for us, as humans, to resist something that might actually be for us or be good for us? And I know that that’s so true of me. So just pay attention as you’re going through anything I’m teaching you; what might you be resisting? And kind of get curious about it and what might you be drawn to, and dig in.

I’m excited about it because what I’m doing is giving you the foundational steps that I use with my clients and what I use over and over in my life to create lasting weight loss, but also lasting change. I want to remind you that although I’ll be covering this over a six to seven-week period, practicing with these tools takes time.

It is much like changing a habit. Give yourself some time to make something new a part of your life with these tools. Give yourself some space, even some permission to suck at this at first, to keep applying them and focusing on the steps that I share with you; the tools to create a shift in the way that you look at this area of your life, the area of eating, exercising, and believing around your life.

So my goal in this series to help you get grounded and confident around your food choices, get more fluid around your exercise routine and help you to stop ignoring your health when your overloaded and stressed. I think this is absolutely the bottom line. I coach CEOs around weight loss and stress. And as I conclude this series, the tools I’m teaching you now all the way through will help you to stop ignoring your health when you’re overloaded and stressed. That’s my goal.

I’ll cover everything that you need to know to get started on a permanent weight loss journey. No more yoyo dieting, no more frustration. It does take some work, some practice, but it is really simple. And that helps our brain to calm down, not feel overwhelmed, and kind of stay moving forward.

This, my friends, is weight loss for real life in a way that will energize and support your life instead of giving you something else to do. You don’t need something else to do. This is all about shifting your perspective from weight loss being a project in your life into a space where you’re taking care of your physical health in an intuitive and powerful way.

In tandem, I am creating a video series for you that you’ll be able to get on my website. This will be updated soon. Right now, I have some old long videos. I’m very proud of them, but they’re not teaching videos. They’re not that consumable. Certainly, go to them now. Opt-in on my page to get a taste of what I teach, but I’m realizing that they’re just not that effective.

Also, I do live videos on Facebook all the time, so that’s where to experience me in videos. But in this series, I’m creating a literal tandem video training that, if you’re more a video learner, you’re going to be able to opt-in to and receive by email and really dig in. but if you love a podcast, my friends, I’m going to help you to settle in right now and start with that important first step in creating lasting weight loss.

How do we take the struggle, the frustration, out of weight loss? That is the key today in my episode today. Whether it’s 10 pounds or 50, the frustration is just as intense and distracting in our lives. How do we start?

We offer ourselves a high dose of self-compassion and begin to use curiosity to learn what we need to do to support and help our body, not only to drop weight, but to feel better and much more energized. You might want to stop me here and say, “But, Diana, I need to push myself to be hard on myself so I’ll follow through and lose weight.”

I even heard a trainer sharing this in his group that just shocked me, that you should punish yourself when you don’t make a good choice. My friends, this does not work. How do I know? How do you know? Because we haven’t lost the weight for good. We’re doing that already and it doesn’t work.

When you really look at it, it’s really quite obvious. One of the biggest reasons that any one of us are stuck in an area of our lives where we want to change, it’s because we’ve begun to judge, and judge very harshly, our accomplishment or how well we’re doing in this area. Is that happening for you?

This judgment interrupts and insight we might have on what is working for us and it shuts us down. Remember, when you think thoughts that are self-critical, it causes a very negative feeling state. And when we feel that negative emotion, it makes us retreat, it slows us down, and for some of us, it creates a pattern of going to food even more to feel better.

This is the vicious cycle of emotional overeating actually. Some of the judgment is actually a very large portion of emotional overeating. And so if we can take that off the plate – yes, I love food analogy – it feels like a vicious cycle, and that’s why I want you to start here.

If you take self-criticism off the table, it creates much better energy and motivation to make great and healthy steps towards your health. Don’t you love that? Take judgment off the plate – off the table, but it’s so true. How we treat ourselves around food is really a reflection of our whole lives and it’s very interesting that many of the phrases in our world are around off the table, off the plate – I just find it fascinating.

Maybe it’s just me, and I use them a lot by the way – maybe being a weight loss coach causes that. Okay, so I’ve shown you that I think and I know that judgment creates a slowdown, a pullback, but how might you notice or understand if this is happening to you?

When you slip up, when you take actions that are off-plan or not what you intended, not on your diet, or you eat a, quote en quote, wrong food, what is your immediate reaction? What is the conversation in your head? This is what I usually hear – sometimes in my own, much less than I ever did before, but this is what I hear in coaching conversations. “I’m such an idiot. I cannot believe I ate that. I have no willpower. I know better. I’ll never lose weight. There I go again.”

These are just examples. You might be saying several of them. You might be noticing one or two. What is it for you? What you do what you think is something wrong, when you didn’t intend around exercise, around food, how do you talk to yourself? And what’s so important about this, this first step of self-compassion starts by noticing all the conversations, not only in your head but with your friends and work associates around food.

Seriously, this is like cooler talk, right, “Oh my god, I just overdid it last night. I’m going to go to the gym today. I’m going to beat off all that beer…” or whatever it might be. And that energy, or that edge that you create, kind of emotionally, by being really critical and acting like you did something horribly wrong is not helpful.

All you need to do to unlock it is notice and be aware so that you can stop this behavior. So when you’re noticing it, change your awareness by just deciding that this isn’t helpful. Nope, I’ve decided not to speak to myself in that way, and just see what happens. Let it be your own experiment. If you don’t even believe me, that being judgmental is not helpful to you, just try this for a week. Notice how you speak to yourself. Notice how you speak about yourself with others around almost anything, but especially around food.

You know how good it feels to clean off your desk or clean out a closet? Literally, that is how you’ll feel as you weed out and throw away all those critical and mean ways you talk to yourself. It works. I think this is why Tony Robbins talks about thought work being, “Getting out of the weeds.”

You know, speaking very negatively to ourselves really creates a lot of confusion in our brain. And this is really an important step around anything. I know what you might be saying, “But, Diana, if I don’t push myself, I’ll let myself off the hook and I’ll never stay on my diet; I’ll never keep exercising.” But what I want to illuminate for you here is this; you use a tremendous amount of energy to overcome those negative emotions. When you create disappointment, when you create sadness, when you create discouragement by speaking to yourself that way, that, my friends, is why it feels like a battle.

Let me repeat myself; the reason that weight loss feels like such a battle is because you are speaking to yourself very negatively around every food choice and every exercise date you go on with yourself, or not. That, my friends, is why it feels like a battle. And this is your chance to take that off the table.

And I know you wouldn’t even be listening to this podcast if you weren’t motivated already and wanting to change your life, but it takes an awful lot of motivation to overcome that huge hump of negative emotion. That’s why, when we take it off the table, it does feel like more ease and flow.

You do not need to be pushed. You have a ton of motivation. I know you. You’re running a company, you have a successful business, you manage employees, in fact you probably do pep-talks with them. But do you do those for yourself? So start using that motivated energy for other important areas of your life.

Use a little bit for learning here, but you won’t need as much. Use it for other areas of your life. Learn here by taking off the heavy blanket that’s been created. Take off the taskmaster that is pointing at you. “You just never do this right.” I have that in my head, actually, especially around weight loss.

Okay, here’s another way to understand this. Imagine you see this in someone you care about, someone you respect; a good friend, a colleague. You hear them say all those same things that come up for you, “I’m such an idiot. I can’t believe I ate that. I have no willpower. I am so lame; I must be lazy. I know better; I can’t believe I did that. I’ll never lose weight. There I go again.”

Okay, if you heard your best friend or a trusted respected colleague, what would you say to them if you heard them say that? You know, if you really cared, you wouldn’t put up with it. You’d say, “Dude, hey, do not speak to yourself that way.”

Again, we think in our brain that it works, but just remind yourself that this is actually slowing you down. Alright, so again, the first step is awareness of this self-talk. Just like you would from a friend, decide that when you hear it, stop speaking to yourself that way. That’s your practice this week.

You know, to dig deeper, take some time with the attached worksheets and you’ll be able to dig in. Dig into the show notes, dianamurphycoaching.com/37 and I’ll guide you through some of these questions that help you to see what is going on with that thought process and some great questions to loosen up that self-critical loop. These thoughts are just a pattern and this is a powerful way to unlock them.

Alright, now that you’ve noticed that pattern, possibly, for you of self-criticism and you’ve decided not to speak that way to yourself, what do you do? What’s the next step to stop this battle of weight loss? This next step is to get really curious about what is working for you and what’s not, to tweak how you’re eating, how you’re exercising in a really curious way so you can learn what works for you.

Again, we’re saturated with lots of information, but the missing piece when we’re struggling to take care of our physical health comes from leaving out our body’s natural feedback. We’re leaning into all this information outside of ourselves and we’re not checking in. our body has a beautiful natural feedback system.

It works. Watch children eat that aren’t messed up around food and they’ll stop when they’re full, they don’t have a lot of drama unless you don’t have what they want in the house; they’re a two-year-old and they’re screaming because you don’t have bananas. But they will naturally stop when they’re full. They have a very natural way of dealing with food.

Our body is not a machine, but we think we make it work that way, but it isn’t transactional. You know, if I work hard, if I do this diet, I’ll lose weight. And that feels like bad news, right? I literally get on consults with people and it’s like, “Please, just tell me what to eat.” And my answer to them is this; I’m going to teach you to listen to your body telling you what to eat and I’ll be there along the way to tweak it and help you to know what is right for you.

That’s just one facet of the process. We hear it all the time; eat less calories by how you’re eating, burn more calories with exercise and you’ll lose weight. Now, if this truly worked, there wouldn’t be a million diet books. We’d all be at a natural weight and we wouldn’t be all worked up about it. If we really were listening to how things worked in our body, if we got more intuitive, we just wouldn’t need that information.

And if that transaction worked, we’d all be at a natural weight, but it doesn’t. We’re all trying this, but all of our bodies are wired very differently, and what is happening is we’re simply ignoring it. So self-compassion is that first step, but the next step is leaning into curiosity, getting into your brain and becoming a learner.

This is a key component in creating lasting results in weight loss, and about anything by the way. If you haven’t noticed, this is just one of the ways I speak about shifting any life pattern. Any new endeavor in my life, what I learned losing weight, being compassionate and curious and losing weight for good, it’s fascinating how that skill has been very useful and very – many key areas of my life, especially becoming a CEO of a business and becoming a business owner.

Oh my god, it is just – I’m learning the lesson over and over again, and I know you are too as you really get insightful on this. Alright, so I’m going to suggest a tool for you this week about being curious, about becoming a learner, that I know can be really, really powerful; a journal.

Get a small little notebook that you can stick in your pocket or your purse. This is for everyone. You can do this electronically as well, but sometimes I find that’s distracting because I go to Facebook half the time when I go to journal my food on my phone or do a to-do list. So paper sometimes is really better; that pen and paper. There’s something powerful in that. But do what works for you.

Now, this isn’t with calories, this isn’t with an app, it’s just a notes app on your phone, or even verbal notes. Use the voice app if it transcribes into words, and use what you need to understand what’s going on with you around food. Take some curious seeking notes observing what’s going on for you during mealtime.

Oh, are you still there, really? Knock-knock, have you hung up? No really, I’m being silly here because I have not seen anything more avoided that journaling. Most people will tell me that they’ll do anything I tell them, but not journal. Or they’ll even tell me, when I ask them to journal, they’ll tell me they’re going to journal and I might get a day or two of a journal from them. And boy, this is fun work. It really I because it really reveals a lot of what we’re thinking.

Most of them have the thought, “I hate to journal.” And do you know why? It’s not because it takes too much time. It’s not because it’s inconvenient. Yeah, it takes a  bit of energy, but those aren’t the reasons. Our brain goes there though, I’m telling you. Everybody will tell me they don’t have time and they just hate it.

But I want to tell you a secret; the reason that you might have so much resistance to journaling your food, or even your exercise, is that you’re using it as a weapon against yourself. That’s right, and that’s why I’m bringing this up in this podcast, because I’m asking you first to be really self-compassionate. Be compassionate.

Now, be curious. As you practice journaling, you’re going to give yourself a lot of opportunities to be compassionate because it will come up, and that’s exactly why I’ve asked you to do this. I will reward – I’m serious – anyone that journals for a week and shows me an example, by even just sharing with me what they learned, will receive a free little journal.

Just email me, diana@dianamurphycoaching.com, it’s so rare. So be brave. I want you to take on this challenge. When you use a journal for beautiful observation and information as a way to beat yourself up, you’re certainly not going to want to continue. But most of my clients, once they get a bit of practice, like you’re going to this week, and get out of self-critical mode, you can learn, just like they do, just like I have, you can learn so much from journaling.

And that’s what I not only want to encourage you to do, but I want to support you. I help my clients to journal in an entirely new way and I want to get you started here with a fresh approach. Alright, are you still here? I hope so.

We’ll go deeper with journaling your food when we get to some of the more intuitive eating tools that I’m going to go into in some of the further podcast episodes. But right now, I want you to start with just two intentions. Get curious as to what is going on around food and when you eat. And then just practice looking at it without judging yourself.

Get curious about what’s going on. Journal when you eat in a pretty general way. You know, when I did the old way of Weight Watchers, do you know that we wrote down, you know, one piece of bread, a piece of lettuce, a tablespoon of mayonnaise – or maybe it was two teaspoons, by the way. No wonder we hated to journal, right? It was horrible counting points in those days.

But I want it to look more like this; 8am, coffee. 10:30, Egg McMuffin, ate it in the car. 12:15, really hungry, ate a hamburger super-fast. Was eating with a group of my friends. I was super full afterwards.

Do you see how these are just mild observations and kind of neutral? That’s what I want you to start doing. 4pm, popcorn. I was kind of munchy in the afternoon. 7:30, dinner with my family, ate wine and dessert. Really full but had a great time with my family.

You know, another day might look like this; 8am, coffee and toast with peanut butter on it. 12 noon, ate a big green salad with grilled chicken, my favorite. No drama around food, just a great day. 7pm, huge dinner with my family, I was stuffed. Felt like I deserved it after that whole day of not eating. You know, notice the break, 12 noon, big green salad, 7pm dinner.

So by noting what times you eat and just anything that you notice – these are some fun questions; what is getting your attention? What worked? What didn’t? What gave you good energy? When did you overeat? When did you feel in control? When did you feel out? Just pick a couple of your questions. Seriously, this is your journal; get curious.

Right now, the goal isn’t to eat to lose weight. The goal right now is just to see what’s going on now and then and use this information to tweak how you eat going forward. This is all about unlocking all that drama around what you’re eating and to get really curious and become a compassionate observer around food.

And it takes some practice. And then become, as you keep doing this for a while, become a good student instead of a critical observer. Look at it as a neutral scientist. That’s what I’m asking you to actually learn to do, and the journal, you’re going to learn a lot about your food and how it affects you. You’re going to learn about when you’re overeating emotionally. That’s what this week’s about, but you’re also going to learn not to beat yourself up.

I know, I coach men and women, so maybe this is just for the women, but put a big heart on the front of that journal. And for the men, you might be more neutral around this, but I want you to look – we’re human beings, so all of us emotionally eat. Frankly, we all do. But just get really natural and calm, like, “What’s going on? Oh my gosh, I don’t eat for seven hours. No wonder I overeat at night.” There’s going to be things you learn.

Alright, if your goal is to lose weight, remember this; when we eat to lightly full, feel great energy with the type of foods we’re eating, we’re going to be on the right track of eating in a way that creates weight loss. But this also – I literally have my stress clients – I really coach weight loss and stress loss, so I have clients where using the food journaling, even though they don’t have an issue with weight, they might even be underweight, this is a beautiful way to just get in your body’s rhythm.

So I just really recommend, this is a life coaching tool, this is not a just weight loss coaching tool. Why does this work? Because we give ourselves an opportunity to find patterns, to find a little bit of our why around overeating or any why around our wellness habits.

You might find out you always workout really hard and beat your body to a pulp at the treadmill or the gym when you have a fight with your boss. Good to know. You’re using exercise to blow off some steam – sometimes that’s actually a really healthy tool. But if you always hurt your knee, maybe that doesn’t work. So it’s being really curious.

Alright, you might learn – these are some things that come up; you might learn that you feel pretty bored all afternoon and that’s why you snack. You might learn that you always feel overfull at dinner and have a hard time saying no to dessert and wine in the evenings. Just good to know – I can help you with these things as you go along and the further tools that you learn in this podcast will help you.

You’ll learn that you’re so over-hungry in the evening that it’s hard to stop at the pantry the minute you’re in the door, even though dinner is going to be on the table in 15 minutes. You might learn, for you, that you charged through your day and had no idea when and what you were eating; you were just really checked out.

Journaling is beautiful. Awareness is a very powerful tool if we let it teach us instead of judge us. Give it a shot. Remember, to take the battle out of weight loss, it will take looking at what you’re learning and doing around food with a huge dose of compassion and curiosity.

These tools are so much more powerful than you might imagine and I cannot wait to see what you learn. You know, I’m always thrilled to bring you this podcast, and especially this podcast series. But I have something even better.

If you’re loving what you’re learning and listening to here, I want you to dig in with me in my new free training. This starts on October 15th. It’s a group live coaching program. Yes, you will get the recordings, but you must sign up. There’s going to be six live classes with me on Zoom video conference, a lot of support during those weeks, starting with October 15th. It’s going to be for two weeks.

If you’re ready to make a big change in your health, join up and sign up with me now. Now, if you are doing this while you’re driving, I want you to stop afterwards and just email me, diana@dianamurphycoaching.com and just say, “Sign me up.” It’s just the easiest way.

But if you are on your laptop, go to dianamurphycoaching.com/37 – remember, I always have downloads in every set of show notes, but that is where you sign up.

Oh my gosh, I have had so much fun today and I want to just thank you so much for listening and I cannot wait to see what a little compassion and a little curiosity might bring to your life. I know they’ve really served mine. Have a great day and a really good week.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Empowered Wellness for Leaders! If you enjoyed this episode and want to learn more, download our Free Video Series: Empowered Wellness Now. Visit dianamurphycoaching.com to sign up today!

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