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When you set yourself a goal and you don’t quite make it, do you take full ownership for that result, or do you find your brain making excuses about why you didn’t hit it? Maybe your first thought is I just can’t go out and eat healthy or the scale must be broken – as if you are powerless.

Well, this episode is all about stepping back into your power and taking responsibility for your results and the decisions along the way. Owning it is the first step to changing your relationship with food and exercise for good and keeping the weight off once and for all.

Join me this week as I provide detailed strategies for how you can take total ownership of every decision you make without feeling like you’re sacrificing everything you enjoy. You’ll discover where you’ve been going wrong in the past, how to identify where change is possible, and how to create the momentum required for lasting change.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What it means to take ownership of your results.
  • Why dieting alone did not help me keep the weight off for good.
  • How shirking responsibility really hinders your weight loss.
  • 3 ways you can start to take responsibility and ownership for your results.
  • Where the diet industry and programs let us down.
  • Why we experience resistance when doing great things for ourselves and how to overcome them.

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Brené Brown

Alexandra Franzen

Full Episode Transcript:

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.

Oh hello, my friends. For the very first time, I’m almost three weeks ahead in my podcast, and, in fact, it’s Martin Luther King Day. So I can’t think of a more empowering day to kind of celebrate his life than sharing with you how you can be more empowered in your weight loss journey.

So, on today’s podcast, I’m going to share with you a concept that is so powerful. It’s about taking responsibility and ownership for your weight loss results, or for your workout results; anything that you want to change. I’m learning this anew in my business building and really setting some very big hairy goals, and so I am having to apply what I’m teaching you today for sure.

But as I look back, I’m realizing how these mindset shifts that I’m going to share were definitely the reason that I had lasting success with weight loss and just shifting and changing my relationship with food altogether and for good. For the sake of today’s podcast, I’m going to talk about how taking responsibility for your weight loss will be the key towards lasting results; not only taking responsibility for losing weight but for keeping it off.

It’s all about a mindset shift to move from feeling powerless to stepping in and taking action that works and creates your results. Now, in tandem – and these really go together well – I’m going to discuss how powerful it is to take ownership for those results.

Taking ownership is the process of celebrating and really taking pride in what you’ve accomplished; owning it in a really good way. This is all about noting what’s working, being proud of the shifts and the progress that you have made, creating a great mindset that helps you to continue working hard towards that goal.

So it happens along the way, and it happens as we conclude doing something very new and shifting totally in the way that we think and do life. Whether losing weight is new to you or has been a long-term issue, many of us feel like we’re victims of our circumstances when it comes to weight loss.

The stress made us gain weight, the diet didn’t work, my husband brought me donuts and pizza all the time – believe me, I have felt all those things and thought ever one of them. In fact, my lifelong journey until about 11 or so years ago was I was always looking for the solution; the diet that would cure my fat problem. And what is really true is that the diets worked.

I usually lost weight. I took responsibility for my desire to lose the weight and went on a diet, but that’s about as far as it went. I still was doing this in a way that didn’t create results; why? I did not take full responsibility for how my body worked and those results, nor did I even take ownership or pride for the work and learning that I had done.

And that, my friends, prevented me from realizing a lasting result. So what I’m really going through today is how to create any new – something you’ve never done before – change in your life. And it all comes from certainly belief, which we talked about last week, but very much taking responsibility and stepping in, but also being proud and really creating a lot of beautiful momentum while you’re doing something new.

When I did take responsibility for my weight loss, everything changed. Yes, I did lose weight the last time, for me, at Weight Watchers, but it was so much more. I wasn’t even doing the points or a program by the time that final pound fell off. I was taking responsibility for learning everything I could about what worked for me and what didn’t.

And I’ll never forget the first time. It was early in the journey that I really took responsibility. I had decided that I was going to stop feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t eat like my husband and my two growing teenage boys.

Well, of course I couldn’t eat like two teenage boys, or my husband, who has a miraculously fast metabolism – and men do, they have more muscle. But most times, I was choosing a victim state. I was not taking responsibility. You know, I can’t have pizza like you can I can’t eat that way, I must stay on a diet.

Before I just made that decision and took responsibility, the conversations were always dramatic. I can’t eat that, and I would then nibble on everybody’s leftovers or eat off their plate. I couldn’t have French fries, so I wouldn’t order them. I was being good, but I always begged for a few from my boys and husband. I would eat their leftovers, so I was eating them. If I just took ownership for it, I might have actually enjoyed them. This was really quite childlike and very disempowering.

When I started taking responsibility for my way of eating and learning how much food I really needed and what foods worked for me, it moved from feeling like nothing was working and I was getting results. It was not a smooth straight course for sure, but because I wasn’t feeling like life and putting weight on was happening to me, I took much better action. Do you see?

What I’m going to share with you today are three ways that you can do this, that you can take responsibility and ownership for your results in your life. You know, it can be around any weight loss goal, replace it for weight loss, it can be for any result in your business. But because this is Weight Loss for CEOs, losing weight for good was the beginning of my transformation, and I actually believe was the reason that I was brave enough to even start my business.

It all was in sync. When I took responsibility and stopped being a victim around weight loss, I realized I could do that also in my business. But believe me, I started my business-building kind of feeling like a victim and like it was really hard. But I digress.

need some tools to do so. So, again, watch for the evidence building your brain is trying to do. Watch for that when you look for the evidence for everything outside of you is causing this problem.

Okay, this is what I mean; watch for the evidence of victimhood. Oh, my hormones are causing this, the vacation, the break room food, the diet isn’t working, this scale’s broken. You know what I used to say – the drycleaner is shrinking my clothes; not true.

Oh, my friends, the brain searches and loves to be right, and it searches and searches over for evidence. So, notice what you’re saying. And if anything makes you feel like you’ve lost the war before the first battle, stop it. But how?

You’re going to notice in your body if you’re feeling like a victim, it’s a back-up kind of emotion. If you’re stalled, if you’re confused, if you’re discouraged, you are thinking that you don’t have the power to do this. You are feeling like something else is at fault and you can’t make it happen.

So, I want you to notice, watch for that victim-like talk, and interrupt it. In the bigger scheme of things, how can I take responsibility for my weight loss results? Literally, that is a pretty bold question. But when you ask it, your brain will actually give you better answers than who’s at fault for my weight gain – better questions.

So, I want you to interrupt and ask, how can I take responsibility for my weight loss results? What can I do? Come up with at least three ideas and put them on your calendar. I am not kidding. Even stop the podcast right now. Take a deep breath; how can I take responsibility for my results? What can I do?

This is planning coming out of the I can energy, versus it’s not working what do I do energy. Do you feel the difference? Victim-like feels you’re backing up, you’re shrinking back, you’re not feeling like your confident self. But when you interrupt it and take responsibility, you feel like you can do it and your brain will look for opportunities. Notice that difference of how you feel. Ask yourself really good questions. Manage your mind and you will come up with much better action steps and great ideas.

When I do this, this is when I might ask what can I do – I might come up with, I can drink water, I can set up two workouts, and I can cook fresh. I mean, just three simple things. It’s the one thing that will kind of cure you of your doldrums and get you moving again. And before you know it, you’re proud that you’ve done a few new things and it builds on itself.

So we can either sink into, or back up, almost, into victim mentality, or you can interrupt it by what can I do right now, put three ideas on your calendar and get going. And that is action oriented and confident.

Alright, another step of taking responsibility is really doing the mindset work on believing in your result ahead of time. This is the step that might seem inauthentic at first, but it is building a belief – it’s building a belief in mindset. It’s not saying a mantra every day.

It’s not like, okay, I believe I’m going to lose 30 pounds.  It is the undoing of all the negative beliefs you have around losing weight. This is what I mean. What do you believe about losing weight right now? I’m going to give you some examples; I’m not on the right diet, I’m going to be fat forever, I’m doing it wrong, I can’t eat like everyone else, I’m broken, I’m different, I can lose weight, but when I eat normal again, I put the weight back on.

These were all my yucky old beliefs, but they were there. And as I look back, that’s what caused my results. Listen, if I believed I wasn’t on the right diet, you know what I did – I changed my diets all the time. I didn’t stick with what I was doing. I was- a victim trying something new all the time. And then the diet work, I didn’t have to take responsibility.

If I believed I was going to be fat forever, my brain looked for evidence and I would really gain weight for a long period of time, and then I would diet and lose weight for a period of time. That was the yoyo belief. I believed I was going to be fat forever. I’d interrupt it every once in a while, but I truly believed it.  It was almost unintentional in the background.

Another thought, I was doing it all wrong. Well, that created a lot of shame. And I don’t know about you, but emotional eating comes from a lot of feeling like you’re not doing it right or feeling like you’re in shame because you just can’t succeed. And I was feeling sorry for myself most of the time and I just would give up, throw my hands up in the air, and eat whatever I wanted.

The last one is deeper and trickier, but it is really important. It is a little Brené Brown-ish.  If you’ve not read anything by Brené Brown, she talks a lot about how we might think we’ve done something wrong, but if we think it too often, as kind of indulge in that, we will believe we are wrong; not that we’ve done something wrong, we will believe we’re wrong.

While I started believing with all this drama around weight as I was growing up and the way I was teased, I really believed that I was wrong, I was broken. And that can get you really stuck. But again, do you hear the victim-ness in it? Those are thoughts that will create really awful results – what I believe created the result and not one I loved.

To start believing that I could lose weight for good and not feel deprived or constricted or have to focus on points for the rest of my life, I had to have some new beliefs. And I’ll give you a hint; learning statements can be a great bridge into believing and creating believing from those victim thoughts.

And remember, the brain will look for evidence and it will build, so you can start with some learning thoughts and build from there. This is what I realized I was doing. I had tried on some new thoughts. I’m going to share with you the ones that worked.

I’m going to learn how much food my body needs – that thought was beautiful. I tried different foods, and I tried different times for eating. It was like – do you hear how airy I feel thinking that way? Another one I did was, I’m going to try some new things. I cooked more, I tried different habits.

At first, when I did points, I was afraid I would find the perfect breakfast and I got really bored with my food, but I was afraid to try even different foods, even if they were the right points. It was crazy. So when I got to the thought, I’m going to try some new things, I cooked more, I tried different habits. When I traveled, I always had breakfast food with me. I had really cool ways of just being fluid with it, and that really served me.

Another thought was I can do this. Now, it seems very simple, but I lost a pound or two the first week of Weight Watchers and I just kept going. That was helpful that I lost weight right away. Not all my clients lose weight right away. You look at those results and then keep going. But I would gain a pound and I would use that same thought, I can do this.

You’ve done it before, you lose that weight, you know what happened this week, you can do this – and I kept learning, I kept in that learning mode. Do you see how different those thoughts are? I’m not on the right diet, that’s not taking responsibility. I’m going to learn how much thought my body needs – that’s taking responsibility.

So, getting to the bottom of what you really are believing about weight loss, it can be kind of like wincing when you write these things down, but it is so powerful to be really aware of what our thinking is so we can change it.

As I neared my goal weight, I was almost giddy.  I had done it, and I knew I had a new foundation. I stepped into a positive space around food and dieting, eating I’ll say – it finally turned to that – and I liked it, so I didn’t want to go back.

There was still a lot of learning after the initial weight loss, but wow, I had laid a different foundation, a new way of thinking in a part of my life that I had previously failed over and over and over. And that was from really believing something new in my life.

You know, what is interesting, and I think where the diet industry places a lot of emphasis, and I think we’re even – programs like Weight Watchers were failing at the time that I was there for sure – that these programs and the way we’re thinking about weight loss are not teaching us what to believe once we’ve lost the weight.

We just have to believe that their diet works. We’ve stopped believing in ourselves, and that is why they don’t work. I had to begin thinking a lot of new thoughts to maintain my weight, and these are a few of them; I love sharing them.

Vacations are no different than any other day as it relates to food and exercise. I am comfortable in my own skin.  I know what to do if I gain some weight. I love moving my body because it feels good. Food isn’t good or bad. Those new beliefs are really that genuine way I deal with food and exercise and activity, but it took some work, my friends.

I did develop those along the way, but learning and believing that my goal weight was my new weight and not just a fantasy helped me to get comfortable in my own skin. I stopped being scared of buying new clothes or taking my clothes in. This was the trick to lasting results for me, for sure.

It was moving to believing foundational thoughts that really kept the engine running on the way that I looked at food and exercise. But you notice, it didn’t start there. It started with really crappy – the diet is my key to thinness, right, to learning a lot, to really shifting the way I looked at food.

I encourage you to take action here. This is self-coaching at its finest and anybody can do it. it’s a powerful step in managing your mind around what is important to you, and these are the steps – write down everything you believe about losing weight. Like I said, you might wince. And do it about any subject, and feel free to email me them. I can help you.

I can help you even create some bridge thoughts, diana@dianamurphycoaching.com. I’m serious. Write down everything you believe about losing weight. Cross them out as you see that they’re not helpful to you. Do them around any facet of working out or wellness.

What do you believe about exercise? What do you believe about lasting weight loss? What do you believe about thoughts? What do you believe about coaching, anything around this work? And notice how those thoughts make you feel.

If they drive you to an action, and I would even say inspired action, things that light you up, practice them, tweak them. Write the down. Have them on your mirror. If they stop you in your tracks and create a lot of negative emotion, let them go, or make you shrink back, feeling like you’re trusting in this big diet but you don’t think you can do it, that example, let those go, and ask, how is this thinking serving me?

Alright, so that is the responsibility piece. Now, I want to talk about owning your results. This caught me by surprise when my coach asked our mastermind, now, I’ve been asking you over and over, she said, to take responsibility for your business. And I really felt like I had.

Well, I took responsibility for my business in the old days out of self-loathing and a lot of judgment. It sounds like my diet journey – my weight loss journey, doesn’t it? For some reason, I keep saying diet, people, and it is a four-letter word, I want you to remember that.

So the next step after taking responsibility of really believing that you’re going to hit that finish line and noting the shifts in the beliefs that you have to get there are really, really important. But my coach asked me another question; not only was I taking responsibility, and I am in a beautiful way, she said, are you taking ownership for what you’ve done?

And now, I do. I’ve shared with you that I take 90-day planning retreats, and this is actually one of the biggest things I do is I count my clients, I count the people I have served. I write down their names from the previous year. If it’s a 90-day, I might write down the five or six new people I’m working with. I ponder how they came my way.

I really take pride in what I’ve created, or any corporate things that I do, I’ll note, like, where I served in a workshop or where I’ve done something special. And I’ll note every bit of activity, and I will own it. I will own it like a boss.

And this has been one of the most motivating things to moving forward. So I want you to learn how to do this here around your weight loss journey. So, this is where you seal the deal with something that a lot of high achievers have very difficult time doing; celebrating your wins.

I’m not talking about the big party at the end of the weight loss journey, although that’s awesome. I am talking about celebrating small wins all along the way. Do you hold out for celebrating only big goals? If that’s the case, check this out – and I have shifted in this in a really big way.

My friend Mary-Ellen would be so proud of me. She’s coached me a lot on this.  We love, as human beings, reward and celebration. And we’re wired to always take action towards reward. Now, a lot of times, when we’re stuck in a desire cycle with food, the overeating creates that reward, and that’s why thought work is so important in permanent weight loss, because we need to get that ping, that loving, the reward in a different way, not from food anymore.

So that’s why a lot of us, you know, do reward ourselves with dinners out or a big glass of wine at the end of the day. So this is all choosing rewards that work for us and our goals and creating momentum and pride along the way.

So, when you hit your mini-goals, I want you to celebrate and celebrate often.  When I’m guiding a client to start working out or adopting, and especially if they’ve been a couch potato, getting going is really just the hardest part – or I’m helping somebody to adopt a new habit in their wellness – I ask them to make a reward list.

The hardest part about doing something new or to start working out is getting started, as I mentioned. But if we provide a reward for it, we intrinsically want to do it because we’ll get that reward. I tandem some of my rewards. I would not let myself listen to my favorite podcasts unless I was on the bike, you know, for cardio or whatever, so we can tandem these things as well.

So if we provide a reward, then we intrinsically want to get that done so we can get the reward. It helps the resistance pop-ups. We’re always going to have resistance of doing great things for ourselves. We are going to resist eating the best food when we’re at a restaurant that serves macaroni and cheese. Like, come on, it’s natural.

But if we are rewarding ourselves for, I’m going to honor the hunger scale all week and only eat my fuel, if that’s your goal for the week, then you want to reward yourself every day you do it, and at the end. If you’re trying to work out, I want you to have this huge reward list, things that you love to do, and every day that you move for at least 10 minutes, you do that reward.

And at the end, I want you to hold something up really big that if you’ve done this for six or seven days, set a goal, and you’ve done it for say six days, that you will give yourselves a big reward. This is so powerful.

So many of us judge our results so harshly, like I only lost one pound or I only walked two days, you know, I only worked out twice. Yeah, on the busiest week of your life, you still got to the gym. Let’s pat yourself on the back every once in a while.

And again, I’m really speaking to myself here because I tend to really criticize myself very well and not reward myself very well. If we won’t reward ourselves until we have this great big success, we cannot shift these patterns. We cannot get momentum, so I really, really encourage you to do this.

Again, so many of us have spent too much time judging ourselves for what we’re eating that we really can benefit from creating this habit. We have been in such a, almost like a shame critical cycle that by rewarding yourselves – and it will feel uncomfortable – actually rewarding yourself will feel uncomfortable, but I think it is the power tool to get you out of this.

So, rewards are not food rewards but beautiful things you can do for yourself. And of course, these are fun lists and they’re so individual. Read for pleasure could be on the list. Cook, call a friend, take a hot bath, light a fire, watch Netflix, go out with a friend, take a long leisurely walk.

You know, I saw this in my business. I wouldn’t let myself go out for lunch because I wasn’t bringing in new clients. This is like the early days where it just takes a while to get things rolling. And I wouldn’t reward myself until then. And then, it created this whole pattern of not stopping for lunch. It was awful.

And I really don’t like the isolation part of being an entrepreneur, so I’m accepting coffee dates not at every chance I get, and lunches every time I can, and being intentional about friends I want to spend time with. And I love it, and those are my rewards. I work really hard, and then I just go all out and just go have a great break. This is rewarding myself, taking ownership for all the hard work I do.

Note and honor what’s working. Take ownership for what you’re doing. Create pride. This is my last step and this is where I learned so much in my business. As you evaluate your path to weight loss to a new goal or working out again, note what’s working. Really note in concrete, because you can rinse and repeat that over and over. But note what you’re proud of.

What’s so fun when working with clients is hearing stories like, I always order the burger and fries when I go to this restaurant with this friend, and I ordered the soup and salad because that’s what I wanted, and I feel so much better. Nothing’s wrong with the burger, but she honored what she intended, and it was so key. It was a win for her.

And by sharing it with me, she created a mini-celebration. She’s proud and she’s noting what is working along the way. All of us need to do this. Pride is a juicy take-more-action emotion. There is an editor and writer I just love. Her name is Alexandra Franzen. I am just still thinking about going on a retreat with her.

She has this saying that she and her trainer created and I want you to start using it today, no matter what’s going on. And it is this statement, “You are doing a good job.” You are doing a good job. Just stop every once in a while, wink in the mirror, and say, you are doing a good job.

We, as humans, lend so much to negative that we get so self-critical that we forget how amazing we are. I love this and I am kind of writing it everywhere, sharing it with everybody. Remember, you‘re doing a great job. That quote is not from myself.

When you have wins, celebrate. When something is working, note that it is, and do it again. Build on the amazing work you’ve already been doing, even when the end point feels far away. Yes, you only lost two pounds and you want to lose 35, but that too, my friends, when celebrated and noted what works is just the beginning.

This will all move you toward your goal, when we own it. Own how hard you’re working. Own what you’ve accomplished so far. This is the foundation of moving our brain from its habitually negative to believing.

This is all about understanding that our current beliefs and the way that we think create our current result, Crappy believing creates crappy results. Many of those thoughts are unintentional, and that’s why it’s so important to write them down, to stop with a coach, stop with me, so that you can let go of the believing that is not creating the results that you want in your life.

We did this in school. This is a quick example. We didn’t know how to do math, but our teachers told us we could do it, and we went into learning mode. We tried a few things, and some of us did develop beliefs that we’re good at math, and some of us developed beliefs that we’re not. And certainly, some brains lend themselves to math and some don’t. But our beliefs created those results.

And when we take responsibility for those results, like getting a tutor when it’s hard – again, that math illustration – and dig in, and then own it and celebrate when we’ve done great on a test or an exam. We have already learned how to do this. We did this as students. We did this in other areas of our life. Now, it’s time to apply it in your weight loss journey.

This is how it can become a lasting behavior in any area of your life. My friends, I am doing this in my life now. I am quadrupling my goals this year, reaching more people than I ever have with this podcast, guiding more clients to their success, coaching in such a deep way because I’m always paying attention to what I’m believing is creating a new, new place for me. I encourage you to look at it as well.

You know what’s been happening now that I’ve been taking responsibility? I am more productive, I’m being invited to do more things in the world, I’m being asked to coach more people. I am so freaking productive, I’m three weeks ahead in my podcast. This believing business is everything, and I’d love to show you how.

If you do want a consult with me, maybe it’s time. Maybe you can’t see through this exercise. And even just the consult itself will help you to get a lot of clarity. That is the consult’s purpose. You and I will both know whether to work together. This is not a sales pushy call.

This is an opportunity to really see if working in this way and getting rid of that ugly thinking is going to get you to your new results. I’ve had a blast bringing you this episode. I went a little longer than I’d hoped, but I know it was so important. I hope you have a really great day and I can’t wait to hear what you’re believing now. Thanks for listening.

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.

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