When we’re talking about WEIGHT LOSS and FITNESS GOALS, we have to be realistic, right?
I’ve found so much more progress since I ditched🗑️ the word “realistic” from my vocabulary. It was truly a light bulb💡 moment for me, and here’s how you can have the same experience!
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re questioning everything we think we know about OUTCOMES in our lives, and I’m revealing the TRUTH about the TRUTH!
We’re chatting about:
- The ONE THING that could change how you feel about a situation
- An ALTERNATIVE WAY to think of a goal you didn’t reach, and
- WHAT HAPPENS when we believe old thoughts
Today, you can try on a NEW THOUGHT. It’s like a dressing room👖 for your mind! And “realistic” doesn’t enter the picture📽 at all!
Change your mind🧠 about WHAT’S POSSIBLE, and join me now. Let’s go!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jRQCg2LtDxQ
The 5-0 Method: https://pahlabfitness.com/weight-loss-over-50/
The Killer B Hive Facebook group: https://goo.gl/fqtMXU
Ep. 009: Facts vs. Opinions: https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/
Ep. 039: FEELINGS: https://pahlabfitness.com/feelings/
Ep. 032: How to CHANGE: https://pahlabfitness.com/how-to-change/
Ep. 063: How to LOVE YOURSELF: https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-063-how-to-love-yourself-%f0%9f%8e%a7-the-fitness-matters-podcast-with-pahla-b/
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group: https://pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal/
Being REALISTIC (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is Episode number 76, “Being Realistic.”
Hello, hello, hello, my friends. I don’t know why I’m singing. No, I do know why I’m singing. I’m singing because I’m really excited to talk about this topic today because I sing when I’m excited. Sometimes I sing when I’m frustrated also. Sometimes I sing . . . Well, I always sing in the car. Always. Always. If you ever get in my car, be prepared to listen to me singing, and I’m not good. I almost never know the actual words. Sometimes I know some of the words. I love to sing, but I’m not good at it. Oh, well. Oh, well, maybe I should be realistic about it, right?
You guys, this is such a good topic today. But hey, let me introduce myself because it has occurred to me really recently that lots of you are actually really new to the podcast. Welcome. If this is your first time here, hello, I’m Pahla B. I’m your best middle-aged fitness friend. I sing somewhat frequently, not usually on the podcast. This is kind of an anomaly. But hey, if you’re brand new here, let me tell you something. I’m really excited that you are brand new here. I’m actually just really excited about, oh gosh, everything all the time. But I’m also really specifically excited to be gaining more of an audience for the podcast. You guys, I mean, if I’m just going to go ahead and toot my own horn, I think this podcast is really important.
I think this podcast is really important and really helpful. And the way that you find a new podcast is if other people in the audience write reviews or leave a rating really specifically on iTunes. I have no idea how to rank anywhere else. I don’t know if Spotify even has rankings. I don’t even know how to leave a comment on Spotify, honestly. So, really specifically on iTunes, if you are listening on iTunes, it helps me find a new audience if you rate and review the podcast even if you give it a 1 star and a terrible review. I appreciate those. You know, everybody has their opinions, you guys. Let’s talk about being realistic which is actually somewhat related because I do read the reviews on iTunes. And I also read all of your comments and all of the things that you write to me. Even if I don’t ever respond to your comment or your email or your post on Facebook or wherever you talk with me, I want you to know that I do read them all.
It is getting to the point right now where my audience is large enough that it is getting difficult to respond to everything. And it’s not you, it’s me. This is not related to the topic, but I want you to know what it’s like to be somebody who is gaining an audience. I find it really fascinating to be on this part of the journey because I remember what it was like way back when I used to say things like, “Leave me a comment. I’ll definitely respond” because I could, I had all the time in the world. And now that I’m creating more content and doing more and trying to be more helpful to you and my audience is growing, it’s really hard to keep up. It’s a really interesting place to be because of course, I want to be helpful for you, you personally, really specifically. And the only way to be helpful for you personally, really specifically, is to be part of your life, to read the comments that you leave me and to understand what it is that you are struggling with.
So, that was just really a long way of telling you that I read what you say whether or not I seem like I respond to it. However, here’s the thing, because the person who . . . Well, there’s a couple of people that I’m talking about today. This is sort of a conglomeration of a couple of different comments. But you might find yourself in a future podcast if you leave me a comment, whether I respond to you or not. You might find yourself being like, “Oh, hey, she’s totally talking about me.” Don’t ever take that personally. Also point to the aside, don’t ever take it personally that I’m talking about you when you leave me comments as I just previously mentioned. It’s really helpful. You are a beautiful, miraculous, special snowflake, but also you’re not really alone in your thoughts and your struggles, really specifically, with being realistic.
I read this comment today, this comment about The 5-0 Method, which is my personal weight loss method. You can find it on my website, pahlabfitness.com/weight-loss-over-50. There will be a link in the show notes as well. I have this method that I think works for weight loss because it works for me. It works for thousands of women who have tried it before. It’s common sense and science, and I think realistic. And I had somebody leave me a comment today telling me how unrealistic my expectations are for what you might be able to do in order to lose weight really specifically. And this applies, trust me, to more than just losing weight. This just happens to be this first example. But really specifically, the things that I tell you to do in The 5-O Method are to eat the same right number of calories every single day and to drink the right amount of water every single day, to get adequate sleep every single night, to exercise moderately every single day, and to manage your mind every single day.
This commenter was talking about how it’s impossible to do any of those things consistently, that you would have to live in a perfect world where all of the food is perfectly portioned and nobody ever interrupts you and you don’t have other people who have needs to take care of, and things about not being able to take a break to go to the bathroom and being able to sleep and all this stuff – how it’s unrealistic to expect that anybody could do these five things. And I didn’t respond to this particular comment because well, for lots of reasons. But number one really specifically, I don’t usually respond to, I’m going to call it an argumentative comment. And that’s a very judgy thing to say, but I don’t feel the need to, I guess, defend myself in terms of, if one person struggles with this method, that is the experience that they are having and I don’t like to try and be like, “Oh, no. Here’s why it works” or, “Here’s what you should do.”
I am, however, responding here talking about being realistic. But I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for feeling like you are struggling. And honestly, that is a whole different concept of those thoughts about struggling. It’s what we talk about here a lot on the podcast. But really specifically what struck me about the comment was talking about being realistic with your expectations. I’ve noticed this comment before, generally speaking, in the form of questions. It’s something that I get quite a bit when I’m doing my weekly Q&A in The Killer Bee Hive, which by the way, if you are on Facebook and enjoy the Facebook experience, come on over. It’s my private Facebook group where it’s all women and we’re very supportive, very generous, very kind to one another.
Each week I host a Q&A where you can ask me questions. And I get asked this question kind of a lot about what is a reasonable, realistic way to pick my goal weight. What is realistic for me at this age? And you guys, here’s literally the only thing that I want you to take away from this podcast. We’re what? Five, 10 minutes in, whatever it is. But here’s the thing that I want you to take away. Why do you think you need to be realistic? This is what I think every time somebody talks to me about realism or being reasonable or trying to fit things into this “this is possible for me” box. I have almost no desire whatsoever to be realistic. When I am setting goals for myself, being realistic is not one of my criteria at all.
And I’m going to stop myself just super quickly and clarify about weight loss, really specifically, there is a healthy weight for you. I will never ever, ever, ever, ever encourage you to get under a healthy weight. I’m not talking about, “Oh, you can weigh 98 pounds if you’re 5’10”.” That is unrealistic because it’s unhealthy. There are biology and health, but then there’s realistic which for lots of people I think means aiming for something that’s not quite exactly what you really want for yourself.
We use the word realistic when we are settling for less than what we really want. And that’s why I want you to really be thinking about why you think you want to be realistic or need to be realistic. And I apologize. I’m just going to stop the podcast here really quickly. My dog, Blossom, is drinking from her water bowl and walking around on the hardwood floors with her super clicky toenails. I know it’s loud and I do apologize, but we’re going to get through the podcast anyway. This is me living my life and not having unrealistic expectations for myself of having a perfect podcast.
But here’s what I was thinking about when I was thinking about trying to be realistic. I was thinking about my goal this year of reaching half a million subscribers on YouTube. You know, right this second, like literally this morning, I have 177,000, give or take a few. I don’t remember what the exact number was. I started this year at something like 140,000. Why wouldn’t I be able to triple that or whatever that is. So, I started the year with nowhere near a half a million. I have absolutely no reasonable expectation of being able to get to a half a million subscribers based on the fact really specifically that it took me seven years to get my first 100,000 subscribers.
This is what we do sometimes when we think about what’s reasonable or realistic. We look to our past to give us some evidence of what we’re capable of in the future. And I want you to know that there is nothing in your past that has anything to do with your future. In your future, you can do anything realistic or reasonable or not. I do encourage you to be healthy though. Again, with that caveat really specifically about weight loss, please choose a healthy weight for yourself.
Anyway, here’s why I think we get caught up in this being realistic issue. We think to ourselves that we have to be realistic because it’s important to be truthful to ourselves or so that we won’t be disappointed. Now I know that if you have asked yourself, if you actually paused the podcast and you thought to yourself, “Why do I think I need to be realistic?” And maybe you even journaled about that, which I highly encourage you to do. But if you came up with something else that’s not what I’m talking about here today, I want you to know that both of these things still kind of apply to you because both of them are really important concepts that you can take to your own journaling and your own curiosity in your exploration of this topic because they’re general themes. Even though I have really specifically said, because it’s important to be truthful to yourself or because you don’t want to be disappointed, you can fill in your own thoughts about this and still get a nugget out of it.
So, number one, let’s tackle this one first. Because we have this thing that we think we need to be truthful to ourselves, I love this response. I love this because we have this concept of the truth, and we’re all wrong about it. The truth about the truth, about facts. Maybe you know where I’m going with this, that I’m going to point you in the direction of Episode 9, “Facts Vs. Opinions” (Ep. 009 Facts Vs. Opinions https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/). What we think of as the truth is rarely actually truthful. Honestly, being truthful with yourself isn’t telling yourself that you can’t weigh what you want to weigh. It isn’t telling yourself you have to settle for 20 pounds more than you want to be. It isn’t telling yourself that, “Well, I guess I can only do a 5K even though I really want to run a half marathon.”
When you tell yourself that truth about settling for something less than what you really want, I want you to know it’s not true. We tell ourselves things all the time that aren’t true. All the time. You are in fact almost constantly not, well, lying to yourself. I don’t like to put it that way, but sometimes you’re lying to yourself and sometimes you’re simply believing an old thought that’s an opinion and not a fact. And here’s the real, real, real truth about this one that we should be truthful to ourselves. Because we’re talking about something in the future, a realistic goal that you have for the future. There’s literally no such thing as truth. You don’t know what’s coming in the future. You have no idea unless you possess some quality that not all of us possess. I’m going to leave it at that. I’m totally going to leave it at that.
My opinion, my thought on this matter is that nobody really knows the future. Therefore, you can’t lie to yourself about the future and you can’t be truthful to yourself about the future because we don’t know what it is. There’s no standard of what’s going to happen that you are measuring yourself against. What you’re measuring yourself against is your past. And you . . . maybe you don’t know this. You know what? I was just about to say, “Of course, you know that you can change” but maybe you don’t know that. That really is the whole point of what we’re doing here, just so you know, here on the podcast. We’re talking about changing. When you change your mind and think new thoughts you can create for yourself different outcomes than things that you have done before.
You know how it took me seven years to get that first 100,000 subscribers? Well, my friends, within this year approximately, from the time that I got my first hundred to the time that I’m more than likely going to get my second hundred, is only a year. So, if I based all of my goals on being realistic and being truthful to myself and drawing that alleged truth from the past, I would still be sitting at, what? Like 120,000 subscribers or whatever that would be. I don’t remember. I can’t figure out the growth rate. Probably not even 120,000 if it took me seven years to do the first hundred. You can do the math on that. I’m well beyond the math on that because I am unrealistic. I am unreasonable. I am changing my mind about what is possible for me. You can do the same.
The other thing that we might tell ourselves is that we want to be truthful to ourselves. I mentioned it because I do hear that sometimes and I do think it to myself sometimes like, “Oh, I don’t want to lie to myself.” But here’s the thing. You don’t want to be disappointed. You don’t want to be disappointed at some point in the future because you were unreasonable or unrealistic with this goal that you set for yourself. And you guys, I love this. I love this so much. Here comes my answer. Are you ready for it? You are in charge of your disappointment, or lack thereof, which is the one that I’m going to encourage you to go with. The lack of disappointment is 100% up to you.
You guys, I’m going to refer you now to Episode 39 (Ep. 039, Feelings https://pahlabfitness.com/feelings/). And I’m also going to refer you to the episode of “How to Change” (Ep. 032 How to Change https://pahlabfitness.com/how-to-change/). Lots of good stuff in lots of old episodes, but really specifically where we talk about your feelings and how you get them. Your feelings don’t come from out there. Your feelings don’t come from out in the world. They don’t come from other people. They don’t come from things that happen. They don’t come from the scale. They don’t come from the blue. They don’t come from your mother-in-law. Your feelings come from your thoughts.
Every single time, your thoughts create your feelings. So therefore, if you find yourself feeling disappointed, it is not because you didn’t get your goal. It is not because of anything that happened in the world. It is not because of the scale. It is not because of whatever else you’d like to think it’s because of. It is because of your thoughts. And here is the most important thing I can tell you all day: you control your thoughts. You’re in charge of them. You have complete . . . I couldn’t come up with the word fast enough. I was going to say autonomy, but autonomy is not where I’m going with this. You have control is the word I’m just going to go ahead and keep using. You have control of your thoughts, which means that you have control of your feelings.
So, if you are worried about being disappointed, let’s walk down that road. How would you get to be disappointed? How would you create that feeling for yourself? Here’s how I create disappointment. When I tell myself something like, “Wow, I really sucked at that.” Or, “Oh my gosh, I was really stupid at that.” Or, “Oh my gosh, I completely failed at my goal.” All, all of those thoughts are optional. All of them, even the one about failing. I’m going to address that really quickly and then we’re going to get back to disappointment. We think that there is some standard for failing that we are either meeting or we are not meeting, that everybody can agree what a failure is. And I want you to take that apart in your mind as well. We’re questioning everything today, you guys. We’re pulling it all apart. We’re pulling up the rock and we’re looking at all the bugs underneath.
There is no such thing as failure. Failure is a thought and not a fact. So when you’re telling yourself, “Oh, I failed at getting my goal” and you think you’re being truthful, you think you’re being realistic, you think you’re being reasonable, you’re simply telling yourself an opinion, a thought. And then when you tell yourself that, you feel disappointed. And you think that it’s related to the facts of what you’ve done or haven’t done, the facts of whether or not you got your goal or didn’t get your goal. But in reality, the only way you feel disappointed is because you have a thought, some thought that created the disappointment.
Here’s how to not do that, my friends. Choose not to think of something that creates disappointment for you. You could – and I want you to think about this; I want you to picture this in your mind. You could miss your goal by a mile. I could get to December 31st and have 177,000 subscribers. That’s what I have today. I could get zero more subscribers for the rest of this year. By the way, it’s late April when I’m recording this. It’s going to be early May when you hear it. I don’t have to think that’s a failure just because I didn’t get my goal. What are some things that you think that I could think instead of, “Wow, that sucked and I’m stupid and I didn’t get my goal and I failed”? Can you picture something else that I might think?
Here are some things that I have thought of in advance of possibly being disappointed at not getting my goal. I have thought to myself that I can take everything that happens this year as a learning experience. I can take anything that happens in my entire life as a learning experience. I can create success from my thoughts because frankly, a long time ago, I never thought I’d even get this far. And that’s not just looking at silver linings. It’s not just slapping lipstick on a pig or trying to feel better about failing. That’s me legitimately thinking and believing that there is success to be had no matter what happens. No matter what this year brings me, I am a success. I am not going to be disappointed. I am not going to think thoughts that create a feeling of disappointment in myself or my goal.
There was a time not too long ago when I really, really struggled with that. I used to get very nervous about setting goals. I used to get very nervous and really specifically nervous about running races, and that was the thing that kind of brought this to clarity for me. I would stand at the starting line of a race and I would feel sick to my stomach, like physically sick to my stomach because I was so nervous about how the day was going to turn out and whether or not I was going to get the goal that I had set for myself. And almost inevitably, not every time, but almost inevitably, I would not get the goal because I was so nervous that I would make myself sick and then I couldn’t perform in the way that I had trained to perform. So I had created for myself the situation in which I was disappointed because I was so worried about being disappointed.
And the real key to figuring out what to do with that was deciding ahead of time that I’m not going to be disappointed. No matter what happens, I’m really happy with myself. I discussed this I think in Episode 63, “How to Love Yourself” (Ep. 063 How to Love Yourself https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-063-how-to-love-yourself-%f0%9f%8e%a7-the-fitness-matters-podcast-with-pahla-b/), where we talked about self-judgment and about all the things that we tell ourselves after something has happened that we could be disappointed in. I mean, it would be realistic to be disappointed. That was me being overly dramatic. Therefore, you know that I’m being sarcastic. Just in case you didn’t catch it, that was me being sarcastic.
You never have to be disappointed in yourself. I’m going to let that sink in for a second. Have you ever thought about that? That you don’t have to be disappointed. That you can look at every single, terrible, awful, no-good thing that has happened to you in your life, that you have created for yourself in your life, that has come to you in your life, and you don’t have to be disappointed about it. You can think whatever you want.
Now, from a purely practical standpoint, let me tell you something. You might try going directly from, “This sucks. I’m stupid and I failed” to “Everything’s fine. I’m awesome and successful.” And that is not going to feel truthful to you. It is not going to feel believable. There’s going to be a part of your brain that’s like, “Um, liar!” So don’t just give yourself these positive affirmations that try to feel so good in the face of disappointment. Really listen to your disappointment. Really listen to the thing you are telling yourself. This is how I found my thought of “I’m so stupid.” I had no idea I was telling myself that. I had no idea that how often I was telling myself I was stupid until I finally listened to my disappointment, until I listened to the things that I was telling myself when something didn’t go my way.
Listen, and by listening what I really mean is, write. Write in your journal all the things that you think about how something has gone for you, specifically, let’s talk about today. It’s the end of the day, go ahead and journal all the things that happened today that were disappointing. And really listen, read, pay attention to the things that you say. Those are things that you probably tell yourself pretty frequently. And all of them are thoughts. They’re not facts; they’re thoughts. Here’s what you can do with this information. Rather than simply shoving it aside and trying to pretend like everything’s fine and you’re not disappointed, listen and acknowledge and start with, “I notice that my brain is offering me disappointment. I noticed that my brain is telling me that I’m stupid or that I failed, or that this didn’t work out for me.” “I notice” is a great first step.
After you start noticing your thoughts and understanding that they are thoughts, then you can move on to something more like, “I wonder if there’s something else I could think about this. If there’s a different way that I could think about this situation that feels disappointing.” Noticing that you are disappointed, acknowledging that you could feel something different and then after you’ve gotten good at those, then you can try on some different thoughts. And it’s literally trying them on. It’s like going to a dressing room and trying on a new pair of jeans that you may or may not buy. Put them on, and see how they feel. Try on a new thought. Maybe this was a success because I learned something. Maybe this was a success because it’s all going to work out for me in one way or another no matter what. Maybe this is a success because everything always works out for me one way or another.
When you give yourself the time and space to explore your thoughts and explore the parameters that you have for yourself about what is realistic, what is reasonable, what do I think about this, how could I not be disappointed if I am unreasonable and have these expectations for myself – when you simply open your mind to being curious and looking at things from a different angle, you will find that you don’t have to be realistic at all. You don’t have to be reasonable at all. You, my friend, can want anything you want and you can get it because you can change your mind.
I feel like I should sing again, because that was like this big revelation and epiphany. There you go. Didn’t it kind of feel like an epiphany? You don’t have to be realistic at all. You don’t have to be reasonable at all. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to meet any kind of standard. You don’t have to do anything. You can choose your thoughts. And when you choose your thoughts, you can change the results that you’re getting. Okay, my friends, I really hope that this was helpful for you today. I hope that it opened your mind to thinking about things in a really different way. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll talk to you again soon.
Are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it every day in order to get your goal? Then my friend, you need to join the Get Your GOAL group. It is my personal and private, very interactive coaching and accountability group where every day we talk about your mindset and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see you in the GOAL group.