Any weight loss journey is full of ups and downs, and one of the most common emotional states we experience along the way is frustration. When you feel like you’ve tried every diet known to man or are a successful business owner but just can’t seem to get weight loss down, that’s a pretty normal feeling to have.
Being mindful around moments of frustration is crucial when it comes to our health and wellness, and what I’ll be sharing on this episode is all about how to turn frustration around. I want to offer some powerful tactics you can use to handle those triggering moments so you can keep gaining momentum towards your goals.
Join me this week to feel better when you get stuck in those frustrating moments. I’m giving you some great ideas on how to turn around those feelings and take back your power in creating the life you want.
Welcome to Weight Loss for CEOs. A podcast that teaches executives and leaders how to deal with the unique challenges of achieving sustainable weight loss while balancing the responsibility of a growing company, family, and their own health. Here’s your host, executive coach, Diana Murphy.
Frustration is one of the most common emotional states that you might be experiencing around working hard to lose weight, and frustration can be one of the most distracting and unhelpful emotions when we’re working towards a goal. Whether it is weight loss or any other important goal in our lives.
And I love that we’re in the middle of the holiday season and I have been doing stress workshops, and now we’re doing a frustration podcast. I hope these have been really helpful. I’m wondering if these are just coming to be in my own mind and my planning because I need them so much too.
So listen in today, this is a really common time of year to be frustrated around food and exercise. I know that my schedule is different because of so much going on, so take a deep breath and listen in. When we’re frustrated or stressed, we don’t take very good care of ourselves, and that’s why I am starting this mindset series for wellness with frustration.
I mean seriously, does anything good come of a situation where you’re frustrated? Think about it for a minute. When you’re frustrated, what do you do in that situation? Frustrating moments create “I give up,” or we get angry and we huff off. And we certainly take our eyes off the mindful attention that we’re paying to wellness. In these moments, you just want to feel better, but until you calm down and get clear, nothing good gets done.
In fact, for most of us we just want to get away from that situation, that emotion, so we can move on to something else. And typically, we move on to putting energy into something that can feel a little more successful, like our business, like work. And this can become a pattern where the entire idea of taking healthy care of yourself becomes just too much, and that’s why I’m starting with frustration.
I want to offer here that if you can have some powerful tactics to handle frustration in those frustrating triggers or moments, whatever you call them, taking care of yourself won’t feel like too much. Do these thoughts sound familiar? I know they were common for me and I hear them a lot in coaching conversations.
“I’m working so hard but I gained weight, or just nothing’s happening.” Another thought is, “I’ve tried every diet known to man and I’m still heavy. I give up. This isn’t working.” Or this one, “I hate spending so much time thinking about food.” Or another one like, “I’m a successful business owner. Why in the world can’t I lose weight? This is ridiculous.” Or, “I don’t have time for this. My schedule is way too full for me to work on a diet,” and again, I’m not all about diets but this is what our brain offers in these moments.
At the end of the podcast, I’m going to have some turnarounds for all those statements and you can try them and see what resonates with you. But I want to pause here. What is going on for you? Just pause for a moment mentally and ask, why am I so frustrated? If you aren’t feeling that now, what frustrates you the most? What are common things that frustrate you? And when you are frustrated, how do you react when you’re thinking about it?
When you’ve been triggered and feel frustrated, what do you do about it? Get some insight here on what those moments are creating for you. This is really important. This is the part of mindful work that can be so helpful and powerful in helping us turn around when we actually admit what we’re thinking now.
Now, let’s look at some ways to turn frustration around and turn it into more inspiration. Not just to feel better, but to increase that positive energy around your goal, anything that you’re working towards. And of course, I’m always focused on weight loss or wellness or those things that you’re trying too hard to get at, and to create inspiration in those moments, or through the process of digging in.
So do pause. What is frustrating you? Be honest about what thought comes up there and look at what you create in those moments. Isn’t it worth just giving it some time and turning that around? I have three simple steps to help you move from frustration to inspiration. They all tie together, but I’m going to lay them out for you so you can understand and decide what will work for you.
The first step is moving from the judgment of the results or the target and focus on the process of mindful eating. Just stay present. Next is leaning in to one very small thing, one tool, one facet that is working for you right now. And last but not least, getting some inspiration on how to turn those thoughts around. That’s how I’ll close the episode.
Alright, the first step is move from not looking just solely at the target or results that you’re after like weight loss or a stronger body or a perfect diet, but focus on the process of getting there. When we are ultra-focused on the results but not the process of achieving that result, all those steps that go in between, we will get triggered by every little shift in the result or when the result doesn’t change at all.
And that trigger usually is frustration and not always in a good way. The more debilitative effect of this is that we bring a lot of judgment to our efforts when we focus in this way, and when we focus on our efforts, nothing’s going to go right. Oh, I didn’t do that wrong, it bring – this is like, the gateway for self-criticism.
The frustration can come from being afraid that we’re not going to see a positive result. It comes from using any results that we are getting against ourselves like they’re not even good enough anymore, instead of seeing how every effort, the small day-to-day, the calm steps along the way are in fact where you should be focusing. They are the way.
For example, focusing on that number on the scale is a perfect, perfect example. I absolutely recommend weighing yourself if you’re working on losing weight but not every day and in a way that really is focusing on feedback. Are those foods working for me? Am I progressively losing weight month by month? You can weigh yourself once a month, once a week, but using it as feedback.
What’s more powerful here is not to focus on what the scale is doing in every minute but focus on the actions that create weight loss. Those could be slowing down, eating until you’re lightly full, focus on delicious lean and green foods. Move your body more in a way that you love. If we are just focused on the results and not the cumulative steps that are getting us there, we can get discouraged and frustrated at every turn, especially when we’re not seeing the scale react in a way that we think it should.
Remember, weight loss is not a transaction. If it worked that way, all of us would be at our ideal weight. Our bodies though are very resilient, but they’re complex, and they’re much more complex than eating a specific food and thinking that that’s going to create weight loss. But by focusing on healthy, repetitive steps of mindful eating, working out to feel good, and choosing foods that are fuel for you, you will create that momentum. Not frustration and not judgment, which always slow us down.
Resist the natural temptation to judge your progress on the scale or following a perfect diet or the perfect routine, working out routine. Focus on the present and calmly move your body towards permanent lasting results.
If you want to learn more about this, refer to the book, The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner. Take a look for the link in the show notes. Dianamurphycoaching.com/11CEO. This book changed my life in giving me the focus, almost the permission to move my eye off the target and focus on the process of reaching my goal.
You know, I used it when I started my business and instead of Monday morning frustration and discouragement, which I was experiencing a lot, I began to experience more joy as a business owner by focusing on the simple steps it took to build a business. This book applies a present moment thinking and how to do it to any task or goal you’re working on.
So remember, this first step is to not look at just a target that you’re after, although that is helpful at the beginning of a process, but in the day-to-day, focus on the present, the process of getting there.
Next, lean into the tools that you love most. Simplify them and focus on a very, very small part of it, a small part of the tools that I’ve given you. Focus on fullness or just focus on hunger, or focus on different foods and how they feel in your body.
If you’ve been following me a while, you know that intuitive eating is a large part of my program and what I follow in my life. And what I love is that in all cases, all we need to do is focus on one very small facet of it once we understand all the concepts and tools, and to just focus on that until you have it down.
And just as on the side, if you’re new to this podcast and these tools, check out steps one through four found in Weight Loss for CEOs episodes one through four. They’re each step that will teach you those basic tools.
What I’m finding in my own work with this and with clients is that we know the area that we might need a little work. Here’s some simple suggestions. We’re in the thick of the holidays so for me right now, all I’m focusing on is eating fuel. And honoring for me right now, saying no to white flour. White flour has been a new offender for me as of late. Kind of like the red wine. I know you’ve been hearing about it.
I not only crave carbs the rest of the day after eating them in the morning, but I just don’t feel right when I eat them any time of the day. So for me, if I put my brain to work in this small way of just focusing on what fuel is for me and what is not, the rest falls into place. What might it be for you? Let me give you some quick ideas.
Just pick one. Whatever you suspect might be helpful to you. Do you eat too fast? Then focus on slowing down and fullness. Set aside some time to eat. Focus on being really present with your food, even if it’s for 10 minutes, and ask, am I full? When you’re sated and calmed down from feeling hungry, you know, a few minutes ago you were ravenous, but once you’re sated and calmed down, stop.
Or for you, do you wait way too long to eat? Then for you, I’d say check in often and ask if you’re hungry. It’s just one question. Honor it when you are and ask, am I hungry? For you, are you not sure what to eat? For you, I’d recommend lean into fuel testing. Just ask after every meal, does this give me good and lasting energy?
When we focus on one very, very small area, one that we suspect will be good for us, powerful, don’t be an overachiever here, especially if you’re on to that hunch of what’s interrupting or not going well around food. Pick one. Am I hungry? Check in. Am I full? Or does this give me good lasting energy? These are simple, simple questions.
And again, don’t worry. In the show notes, dianamurphycoaching.com/CEO11, there’s a quick worksheet and some ideas that I’ve laid out for you so that you can pick.
Last but not least, turn these trigger moments into a new way of thinking. This is where we turn it around. We get really specific and practice thinking something new. This past week, I’ve been doubling down on stress and how to manage it. I’ve had a webinar, I’ve had a bourbon tasting, did you miss it? It was in Atlanta.
But what I’ve coined here is that stress management is really thought management. So I want to remind you that frustration management is just simply thought management. Remember, our brain is wicked fast and it won’t feel like your frustration is coming from your thinking. You will think it is coming from outside forces.
Try on some new thinking. Interrupt the pattern that’s going on for you by creating something new. Trigger moments can be really powerful but I want to offer that when you interrupt them and interrupt these frustrating moments by practicing something new and thinking new, you will know what to do when they happen the next time.
This is the power of creating inspiration with this new thinking instead of frustration. Try some of these one today and create some of your own. When you catch yourself in one of those frustrating moments, you can use this one. “Wait, eating well is important to me.” That might be all you need to do to calm down and move forward in a way that serves you well.
Did you hear Tahoe in the back? That’s my puppy. And remember, if I take brilliant care of me, I want you saying these things to yourself. If you take brilliant care of you, you are taking brilliant care of your business. For me, it is centering when I dial in and check my appetite, my responses to food. I’m so much calmer all around.
So lay those steps that I’ve already given you as a foundation. But I have trigger moments just like you. Like, I’m working so hard but oh my gosh, the scale, what’s happening? Interrupt that with, “Okay, this is important to me. I’m going to stick with it. Results are happening.” Do you see how calming that can be?
This is another trigger thought that’s really common. I have tried every diet known to man. Diana, I can hear people talking to me with me. But I’m still heavy, I still struggle. I give up. This isn’t working. Well, try this on for size. “Eating to my appetite, learning what is my fuel is going to pay off.” Or, “If I practice these tools, I won’t need to think about them so much in the future.”
Another common scenario I get and especially with busy business owners and CEOs is they will say to me, “I hate spending so much time thinking about food.” It’s almost like a drama conversation in their mind. But this is what I offer. Think this thought. “If I take a small amount of time to think about food with some planning, it will pay off and I’ll feel better. If I take a small amount of time now and if I plan now, it will pay off. “Create your own new thought.
Alright, this last one is so fun. “If I’m a successful business owner, why in the world can I not lose weight?” I know a lot of badass business owners, and I’m sorry to use such terms, but really, it is really confounding to me as well. If I’m so successful, I was the straight A student, I was always the achiever, I was really confounded by having such a struggle with weight.
Listen to these new thoughts. “I can use the strengths I have developed in my life or in my business towards my efforts of losing weight.” Or this one, this is really simple. “I have powerful tools.” Do you see how calming these thoughts are or even inspiring they are? And create your own. I’m going to have a worksheet for you, don’t worry, that you can create your own.
Okay, last but not least, “I don’t have time for this. My schedule’s too full for me to work on this.” And when we think we don’t have time, we don’t make time. And this is what I want to offer, “All I need to do is take some time in the moment. That’s all. All I need to do is take some time in this moment.”
I hope this gave you some great ideas of some turnarounds, some ways that you can neutralize and take back your power in those frustrating moments. The end result is that you will not lose momentum when you’re working so hard to take care of yourself. And you’re going to feel better because I don’t know about you, when I manage my stress, when I manage my frustration like here, I feel better all around, and it really serves me in my business.
You know, when we allow frustration to build and then give up and walk away from whatever is going on, we’re not showing up in the way we most want to. Have a great week and remember, you have everything you need. Thanks so much for listening.
You know, I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast because if you’re a listener during this busy holiday season, thank you because you’re likely to be experiencing a much calmer holiday season that your friends because you’re applying this work. Remember that. Remember to kind of look back at what could be different if you’re just starting to apply these tools from my podcast, and remember to share this with your friends.
I’ve had a great time with you today and I can’t wait to bring you another podcast. Have a great day.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for CEOs. If you enjoyed this episode and want more, visit dianamurphycoaching.com for Diana’s latest free coaching tools to get started losing weight without having to start a diet now.