“I’m not losing weight.” Is this how YOU’VE been describing your weight loss journey lately?
Well, my friends, in today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we are putting a magnifying glass🔎 to this statement and uncovering the RESULTS you create for yourself from this and other “I am” statements.
It’s truly FASCINATING how our big🎪, beautiful🌹, powerful💪, amazing🤩 brains work!
Along the way, we’re chatting about:
😮 How you can have a thought that is both true AND untrue at the same time
🤔 How your brain creates your REALITY (and why it’s actually UNRELIABLE for a job of this magnitude), and
😤 How your FEELINGS are really running the show of your life
Plus, I tell a silly librarian joke. 😂🤫
This one’s juicy stuff🍑, and you don’t want to miss it – listen now!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/CfWFllLAh8o
Ep. 009: Facts vs. Opinions: https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/
Ep. 008: GOAL Language: https://pahlabfitness.com/goal-language/
Ep. 073: The BEST FEELING: https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-073-the-best-feeling/
Ep. 040: Stop Thinking POSITIVELY https://pahlabfitness.com/stop-thinking-positively/
Ep. 078: Where Do Your THOUGHTS Come From?: https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-078-where-do-your-thoughts-come-from/
Pahla B Fitness YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/PahlaBowers
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook Group: https://pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal/
Thanks for joining me today – be sure to RATE🤩 and REVIEW🤗 the podcast wherever you listen! 💛
I’m Not LOSING WEIGHT (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode 79, “I’m Not Losing Weight.”
And yes, I did totally start off in my ultra dramatic announcer voice again, as I so often do. You know, I really like having the title of the episode in the intro because I think that it’s helpful for you to know what we’re going to talk about just in case you randomly click on things. But I have to tell you, I laugh every single time I sit down to record a podcast because I cannot stop myself from sounding dramatic. I’ve told you before, right? That I wanted to be an actress? That was my big life’s goal. When I was a kid, when I was in seventh grade, I was quite determined that I was either going to be an actress or a lawyer. You see how that worked out for me, you guys. Welcome to the Fitness Matters Podcast, where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you, and I know 100%, no doubt in my mind, that this week, this topic, matters to you. Unless of course you’re not trying to lose weight at all, in which case, hey, thank you for listening, because you’re still going to learn something.
Here’s the thing about any topic that we have, and I sometimes think this when I choose not to listen to podcasts, or when I do choose to listen to a podcast and I think to myself something like, “Well, I mean, I’ve got 20 minutes to kill. This isn’t going to help me, but whatever.” And then I walk away with the biggest aha moment. Sometimes if you are not emotionally invested in the topic, it’s really, really helpful because you can hear it in a different way and make connections in your brain, that maybe if you were deep in it, you would have a hard time making.
You guys, we’re talking about the statement, “I’m not losing weight.” This one is so fascinating to me, mostly because I read it dozens of times a day from different comments, mostly on Facebook and the Killer B Hive, which is my private, and incredibly supportive, and very interactive, and getting larger every day Facebook group, where it’s totally free. You know, come on over, hang out, and talk about how you’re not losing weight. Except don’t? Because that sentence – that sentence is problematic, my friends. And here’s the thing. I know for a fact that when you are reporting the news to me, when you are making a post, if it’s not in the Killer B Hive then it’s somewhere talking to your friends, making a comment on one of my videos, wherever. Wherever, even if it’s just only in your own head. When you say that sentence, “I’m not losing weight,” I want you to know how and why it’s problematic.
Let’s start with this. Let’s start with why you think it’s true. You notice how I phrased that. You think it’s true because you think that when you step on the scale and it says the exact same number that it said last week, you think that you are saying something factual. I find this so interesting, mostly because of the work that I do with my thoughts. I notice on the daily how many thoughts my brain offers me as a fact that are actually opinions. We’re going to get to the factual part of it in just a minute, but here’s what I want you to understand. When you say, “I’m not losing weight,” you think that you’re telling the truth and you think you’re being honest with yourself. Like, “You know, I have to tell myself the truth. If I tell myself I’m losing weight and I’m clearly not, then that’s just being unreasonable. That’s lying to myself. That can’t possibly be helpful to me.”
And I think that this is such an interesting tack to take, because we have this thing where we think we need to tell ourselves the truth all the time, and yet we don’t tell ourselves the truth all the time about anything. Honestly, almost anything. We very, very, very frequently tell ourselves opinions. In fact, I’ve never actually come up with an exact numerical response to this, but I’m going to say 90% or more of what we tell ourselves are actually opinions. There are very few true facts in the world, and we don’t tend to recognize them when they present themselves to us.
We, because this is how your brain works, and let me be really clear about that. Your brain, the upper part of your brain, where you hear your thoughts, your prefrontal cortex, it literally evolved to help us categorize and interpret information. That’s its job. And even though your brain is a billion times more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer on Earth, your brain literally creates your reality, which is amazing. But also, it’s kind of notoriously bad at interpreting information. Like, it doesn’t have the actual body of knowledge, like a supercomputer would have, in order to interpret what it is seeing and what it is hearing and what is going on. Your brain has the limited function of only having your past experience or experiences that you have had, even if it’s not your personal past experience, but things that you’ve seen on TV, things that your friends have talked about, things that you’ve read in magazines, things that your parents talked about, things that other people you know or the internet tells you. Your brain is limited in its scope by the information that you have taken in previously.
So when your brain is interpreting things, it’s interpreting everything through the lens of your personal past experiences. And depending on how old you are, you might have very few, frankly. I mean, this is the lovely thing that comes with age. I’m just going to assume that you are approximately my age, so you’ve had a few experiences now, which is awesome. But even the experiences that you have already had aren’t objective. When you are drawing inferences and interpreting information on your past experiences, those past experiences were drawing on other past experiences. And it goes all the way back. So in some ways the way that you are interpreting something might be the way that you have been interpreting it since you were very young and had very few critical thinking skills. Sometimes you think something that isn’t true, that isn’t factual, and in this case really specifically, isn’t helpful at all.
Here’s the point that I want to make about whether or not this is true, and this is something that might be helpful to you because sometimes I get something in my head and I’m like, “No, I’m really willing to arm wrestle you over this being a fact.” Somewhat recently, I really started dealing with this thought that I have that there’s too much to do. I mean, on the one hand, not factual, but it felt very true. It felt very real. It was also wildly unhelpful because every time I told myself there was too much to do, I ended up doing even less because I thought there was so much to do that I therefore got overwhelmed and would sit around and procrastinate and not be able to make decisions. And my actions were all over the map. Therefore, I created something for myself because this is what your brain does: it creates your reality. I created for myself a situation in which there was always too much to do because I wasn’t getting anything done.
When I believed that thought, “There’s too much to do,” I got some coaching on it from a person through the place where I got certified as a life coach. They offer coaching, also. And so I got some coaching on it, and I was really, really, really, really willing to commit to this thought that there’s too much to do, that I am always busy. It was such a pervasive, believable thought to me, and it sounded true. Like, I could make you a list. I could show you that I had more things to do that would take more time that I had available to me. It was math in my head. This was completely objective that I had too much to do. It was unfathomable to me that it could not be true. And it was not the coach who actually pointed this out to me. Here’s the real story. This is silly, so just bear with me.
I saw a meme on Facebook. It was really funny to me. It was just a joke. But you know, it was in meme form where it said, “I walked into the library and I asked the librarian if they had any books on Pavlov’s dogs or Schrodinger’s cat. The librarian said. “That rings a bell, but I don’t know if we have it or not.” And I laughed so hard. Yet in that moment, I realized. I realized, because I don’t know if you know about Schrodinger’s cat. Let me just explain that super, super briefly. It’s not related, but it’s something that I do like to think about sometimes about the truth of a matter, whether or not something is true the way that we understand it to be true.
Schrodinger’s cat is a thought model or a thought puzzle. Schrodinger was a physicist, I think. Wow, I really should have fact-checked this. Anyway, he had this thought model that he created where he was talking about how if you put a cat in a box, and you also in that same box, put a device that in one hour had a 50% chance of either killing the cat or not killing the cat. Until the moment of opening the box, the cat was equally likely – and not because of statistics – but equally likely because of how you interpret information, to be both alive and dead. Essentially, until the moment of opening the box, the cat is half alive and half dead because of the way that we understand and interpret things. I don’t know if I’m explaining this very well, but here’s how this joke helped me understand what I was saying to myself. What I was saying was both true and untrue at the same time.
This is exceptionally helpful with the, “I’m not losing weight,” even more so than my, “I have too much to do,” thing. When you tell yourself, “I’m not losing weight,” you are saying that in present tense, and that’s how your brain interprets it. And super quickly, I’m going to refer you to the episode Goal Language (Ep. 008 Goal Language https://pahlabfitness.com/goal-language/), where we talk about the difference in tenses and how your brain interprets past tense, future tense, and present tense as to how it will create your reality. When you say, “I am,” it’s an incredibly powerful statement to your brain. Your brain goes out of its way to create that reality for you. So when you say, “I am not losing weight,” you actually can’t know that. Like in any real sense. When you stepped on the scale this morning, however long ago that was, literally the moment you got off the scale, that information might or might not be correct anymore. It’s Schrodinger’s cat. Unless you are currently standing on a scale, you don’t know what you weigh.
And the thing about that is that it’s really important to understand what we tell ourselves as facts. When you tell yourself, “I’m not losing weight,” or any other “I am” statement, you are describing something that is happening right now at this moment. And truly, what is happening in this moment, is only happening in this moment. The words that I just said, they’re not happening anymore. They’re happening in the past tense. They happened. You, listening to new words, and you can’t know for sure what I just said, because you’re listening to what I’m saying right now.
I know we’re getting a little bit deep today, a little bit mind blowey. When our brain offers us something as a truth, it’s really important to do a couple of different things. Number one, to be really, really curious about whether or not what it’s offering you as the truth is actually a truth. In this case, really specifically, “I’m not losing weight,” I just told you, it’s not true. You can’t possibly know unless you are standing on a scale right this second. And even then, you don’t know what your body is doing overall. You know what you weigh right now. The only truth you can actually know is what you weigh when you stand on the scale as you’re standing on the scale. You, like Schrodinger’s cat, might be gaining weight, you might be losing weight, you might be staying the same. You don’t know.
And when you offer yourself that thought, it opens up your mind to being curious. Now we have talked about this also. It was the episode where we talked about the best feeling (Ep. 073 The Best Feeling https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-073-the-best-feeling/). The best feeling in the world, my friends, is curiosity. So, let’s get curious about what, “I’m not losing weight,” is creating for you when you tell yourself that and you believe it to be true. When you step on the scale, and the fact of the matter is that last week’s weight, for example, totally making up these numbers, totally making up this scenario. But let’s just say last week’s weight was 170.2 pounds and today’s weight was 170.2 pounds. Now the fact is that you weighed yourself twice, and both numbers were the same, and there were seven days in between them. What your brain – your big, beautiful, powerful, amazing brain that is notoriously bad at interpreting information – offered you was, “I’m not losing weight.” Your brain took a number, and another number, and a distance of time between them, and interpreted those numbers into the sentence, “I’m not losing weight.”
Now, here’s the thing. That thought . . . As you know, all of your thoughts create feelings. That thought, that one thought, created one feeling. And depending on you personally, on your experiences and on your interpretation of those numbers, you might feel . . . I made a list. What I feel when I think I’m not losing weight, I feel defeated. That’s the first word that comes to my mind. I tend to be the sort of person who aims for sad feelings before angry feelings. That’s me interpreting things based on my experiences in life. But I know lots of people might immediately go to something more in the angry zone. You might feel defeated, frustrated, angry, desolate, sad, distressed, annoyed, disappointed, or anything in that genre. And yes, I did actually go to thesaurus.com and looked up some words in the same vein as both defeated and angry, actually sad and angry because those were the two broad categories of feeling that I thought were especially related to the statement of, “I’m not losing weight.”
And my friends, here’s what happens when we have a thought that creates our feelings: that feeling drives your actions. I want to clarify something here really quickly. Very, very frequently – and this is why following through the thread thing can feel very difficult when you first start doing it – we have more than one thought. When you step on the scale and you have the thought, “I’m not losing weight,” you also probably think something like, “Well, no, it’s okay. Or I had something heavy for dinner last night.” You think lots of thoughts.
Each individual thought brings you an individual feeling. Lots of them might be in the same vein. Lots of them might be in those categories of sad or angry. But some other thought that you’re trying to replace the thought with, for example, like, “It’s okay, I’m going to keep going,” will give you a different kind of feeling. So when you are examining your thought, feeling, action, and results, it’s really important to notice the actions that come directly from the one specific feeling that came from the one specific thought. In this case, for me personally when I feel defeated, I do almost nothing. Defeated, to me, is a very sit-on-the-couch kind of emotion. Defeated, for me, is very “give up and just not think about it anymore,” or “not follow through very well,” or “not pay careful attention to the tasks that I want to do.”
For me, defeated absolutely leads me to rumination. I’ll go over and over and over again in my mind and beat myself up. Like, “What did I do wrong? Oh, this is what I did wrong. Oh, I always do that wrong.” It also can really lead me to questioning myself. That’s part of beating myself up. Frequently, when I start feeling down about something, I’ll go over the, “I’m so stupid.” Of course, that’s always the first thing that pops in my head, “I’m so stupid.” But then it also brings things like, “Well, you know, you’ve always quit everything before. You’ll probably quit this, too. You’re not very good at following through.” That kind of vein of thought is very common when I feel defeated.
Other actions that are related, but maybe a little bit trickier to notice that they come from defeated, really specifically in the case of weight loss, are things like either over or under eating, not eating to your task, to your calorie target, things like over or under exercising, not doing your moderate workout, things like not drinking enough water, not paying attention to your bedtime, kind of going through the motions, but not doing them the way you know they need to be done. To me those are things that absolutely come from defeated.
Now, again, depending on the feeling that arises for you from the sentence, “I’m not losing weight,” if your feeling is something more in the angry area, you might have a different list of actions that you do from your anger or frustration. Probably, if I had to guess, I mean, for me, anger always leads to quitting. Defeated and sad lead me to kind of moving forward, kind of doing a little something sort of, giving it my half-hearted best. But anger, anger is a quitter action for me. Anger is a door slamming, a walk away “I don’t want to think about this anymore,” totally different list of actions. So I do really suggest that you take a look at the things that you are doing from your specific feeling.
But here’s what I know is going to happen, because I know how this works. I know the result that you are getting from your actions because this is how our brains work. When you have a thought, your brain creates both the evidence that it’s true and creates the truth of it for you. Whatever you’re doing, either quitting and walking away, or kind of half-heartedly doing things, you are not losing weight, and you will create the evidence for that by constantly seeing everywhere you go, corroboration of this thought. You will continue to notice – even if the scale does go down a little bit, if you’re thinking “I’m not losing weight” – you’ll see that as not losing weight. And your actions will create for you a situation in which it’s virtually impossible to lose weight because you’re not doing the tasks that you need to be doing.
Now, here’s the thing. Here’s the thing when we notice that we’re having an unhelpful thought, like, “I’m not losing weight.” I want you to be really clear on this. I think I’ve pointed out to you that it’s not true and also that it’s not helpful. I mean, in case that wasn’t clear, let me state that really boldly to you right now. The thought, “I’m not losing weight,” is not true because you can’t know it to be true because of quantum physics, which is well beyond me. But the understanding that unless you are sitting on a scale right this second, you don’t know, and even if you are sitting on a scale right this second, you still don’t really know. But that’s, okay, quantum physics. It’s not a true statement. It’s not a factual statement. And it’s really, really not helpful because your brain’s job is to find evidence that what it thinks is right.
We love to agree with ourselves. I’ve told you this numerous times. I don’t even have a specific episode where we talk about this. So let me just tell you, again, that one of the things that your brain does in order to interpret . . . Here, let me explain this a little bit, go back a little bit further away and explain why your brain does this. You guys, we have so many inputs. At any given time, right this second, right this very second, I am sitting at my desk in front of my computer, which I have just recently upgraded to a dual-monitor system, because my son got a nicer monitor, so he gave me his old one, so I have two monitors. I can use both monitors when I’m trying to decide between two different graphics and things like that.
So I have two screens. On both of those screens, I have several tabs open on my internet browser and other items open. On the one screen, for some reason, I can always see a little bit of my desktop background, and my desktop background is my vision board for the year 2021. So I’ve got pictures of things that I want to do and things that I have now already done, which is very exciting, stuff like that. Also in front of me, I have, can I count? One, two, three, four, five, six post-it notes with different information on them, things that I want to remember, passwords that I hope never show up in the background of one of my videos. Yeah, lots of just different information. I have one, two, three, four, five notebooks with different information and things that I want to remember.
One calendar. Wow, only one calendar? The other one must be somewhere else. But one calendar. Oh, I have six notebooks, because I actually have my journal sitting next to me, as well. Actually seven notebooks, because again with the passwords. I have my password notebook sitting next to me because I was just trying to open up a website earlier. I also have, in addition to my vision board on my computer, I have my handwritten goal sheet that has 2021: go on 30 adventures, write a book, 500,000 subscribers, and my wouldn’t-it-be-nice list of other things that would be really cool if they happened this year. I have so many inputs.
Also, I have a cat on my lap. I have the computer, obviously, running. I have a fan on in the room. I’ve got the refrigerator in the other room. I’ve got various noises from all of my neighbors who are all doing yard work today, apparently. Somebody is running some kind of a drill, which I don’t think you can hear because it’s really far away. I’ve got the next door neighbor’s dog, not barking right this second, thank goodness, but it barks pretty frequently. Sometimes Blossom will get involved in that, too. Thankfully, she’s not right now.
You guys, we are inundated. Inundated. And then those are the only things that I even noticed while I’m just trying to explain this to you. We are inundated with millions of inputs basically every second of every day, and this was true even when we were cave people. Obviously in today’s modern world, we have even more going on. But even way back in the day, your brain, your upper brain, was evolved to interpret and assess all kinds of input. It’s doing it all the time. And thankfully, your brain can ignore things. Like, until I’m listening for the refrigerator or until it makes a really loud clunk because it’s got the ice maker going, I don’t notice the refrigerator. Thank goodness.
But that’s what your brain does. Your brain filters out things that it doesn’t want to be paying attention to right now, and it does that with information and ideas that it doesn’t agree with. In order for your brain to process anything, it has to categorize things and make decisions. Your brain is constantly making decisions. Every minute of every day, it’s making decisions that you don’t really hear. It’s deciding whether or not it’s going to listen to the refrigerator. It’s deciding whether or not you are losing weight. And it wants to agree with itself so that it can filter out things that don’t agree.
There’s a much bigger conversation to be had here about how that actually plays out in our lives on a daily basis. But really specifically, let me just tell you that your brain agrees with itself about the things that you think. It takes a lot of energy and effort to disagree with yourself. It’s why it feels so amazing when you have an epiphany, when you’re like, “Oh my gosh. Do you mean when I’m telling myself that I’m not losing weight, that that’s not true?” Like, didn’t that kind of blow your mind? Yeah, it’s a new thought. That’s what a new thought feels like. A new thought feels exciting and different and kind of bizarre and a little bit foreign, and your brain is automatically going to start fact-checking it. And I say fact-checking, like it’s checking through facts. It’s going to start interpreting whether or not it wants to believe that new thought.
If that new thought feels reasonably pleasurable, your brain will give it some space. If the brain thinks that that new thought is threatening or harmful or problematic in any way – which by the way, is also your brain’s job to warn you off of any new thoughts because they could be dangerous – then your brain will disregard it. It’s why it’s so easy to believe the things that we’ve been telling ourselves. “I’m not losing weight” is really easy to believe. There are all kinds of things going on in your brain that make it very difficult to believe something else.
I’m going to encourage you, though, to believe something else. And here’s where we go with this, because I know that you’re asking me, “Okay, Pahla, what’s a fact that I can believe or what’s another thought that I couldn’t replace ‘I’m not losing weight’ with? Because right now, it feels very believable, so what can I tell myself instead?” This is actually why I brought up the Schrodinger’s cat thing, honestly. Because if you tell yourself, “I am losing weight,” it’s not very believable right now. Even though there is the equal chance that you either are or are not, and you don’t know, you’ve got so much practice at, “I’m not losing weight,” that, “I am losing weight,” isn’t going to sound believable enough to be helpful.
This is the point in the podcast where I’m going to refer you to episode 40 (Ep. 040 Stop Thinking Positively https://pahlabfitness.com/stop-thinking-positively/). I love this episode, and I think that it was under-listened to. I’m really going to encourage you to go listen to that one because there’s a really important point to be made here. When you simply try to shove away a thought that isn’t helpful – and in this case, isn’t true – you’re not actually replacing it. You’re not actually shoving it away. All you’re doing is making it so that you don’t hear it anymore. That thought is still creating results in your life. That thought is still creating feelings, driving actions, and giving you results in your life, whether you hear it or not. So what we’re going to do, we’re going to go back and listen to last week’s episode again. We’re going to go back and listen to episode 78, where we talked about how important it is to simply notice and observe your thoughts (Ep. 078 Where Do Your Thoughts Come From? https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-078-where-do-your-thoughts-come-from/).
Right now, this thought is so believable to you. This thought, “I’m not losing weight,” sounds like you are reading me the news. It sounds like you are telling me something that you would like to arm wrestle me about because it is so true. “Of course, it’s true. Pahla, I weighed myself last week. I weighed myself this week. They’re the same number. I’m not losing weight.” And you know what? “I am too busy and there’s too much to do.” That wasn’t true. And neither is your statement. Notice that it is a thought. It is a thought.
And that’s what I’m going to leave you with. Here’s the thing, my friends. I could tell you, “Here are some factual things to think. Here is something really pretty and really nice that you could tell yourself and maybe convince yourself if you practice it enough.” But the most crucial thing that you can do right now is notice that it is a thought and it is not a fact. And then, because this is the best feeling in the world, you can get curious about what you might think instead. You knew I was going to tie all these together, right? Did you know that? I love it when I do that. I love it when I put a nice big bow on everything that I’ve talked about. Because here’s the thing, when you get curious, it will give you a little bit of a crowbar under that thought. It feels so true. It feels so entrenched. It feels so real. It feels so rooted. I’m pounding my fist, in case you can hear that. I’m really getting worked up about this.
It feels like it is just part of your brain when you think thoughts like that. But when you can get curious and even ask yourself, “Am I losing weight? Am I not losing weight? Do I even know? How could I know?” Ask yourself questions instead of making them a statement – an “I am” statement that feels believable and true and rooted in your brain – ask yourself a question instead and notice that this is a thought.
I would love to know what you come up with for yourself. What can you think instead? What do you think is happening right now with your weight? You know I want to know. Share it with me. Hey, share it with me in any way you can. I mean, you know where I am on social media. I’m on Facebook. I’ve already told you that. I’m also on YouTube. You probably know that. And, I mean, if you want to, you could leave a review that tells me something about what you have discovered about yourself from this episode. I love hearing from you because I love to know how this podcast is helping you. Always, always my intention is to help you, my friends. So, I hope this one was helpful, and thank you for listening. I’ll talk to you soon.
Are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it like, you know, 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 in the Goal group.