Happy Sunday, beautiful Bs!
I have an important question for you. But first, let’s talk about my legs😊! And by “legs,” I mean Kim Kardashian💄, shopping at Old Navy🛍️, unsolicited advice from my son👩👦, and a few other seemingly unrelated things (including the Mindset Masterclass I’m hosting soon – have you signed up yet? It’s FREE: https://pahlabfitness.com/mindset/ ).
Only – they totally are related! And there’s a vital message for YOU in here, too!
My friends, I’m so excited to bring you this twisty🥨 and fun🥳 episode of the Fitness Matters podcast. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had negative thoughts about something in your life at one time or another. Today, I’m sharing my own experience with these thoughts and what I’m doing to change them (plus giving some practical steps for YOU to do this, too✌️).
Ready for a FUN RIDE🎢? 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/d8aKy6OUX3s
Sign up for the FREE 5-day Mindset Masterclass with Pahla B
Pahla B Fitness on Instagram
Ep. 009: Facts vs. Opinions
Ep. 038: How to SEE Yourself
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Great LEGS (full transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B and this is episode number 88, “Great Legs.”
I know! That’s a weird title for an episode, am I right? Hello. Hello, my friends. How are you today? I am so happy to be talking to you about great legs. You guys, I’m Pahla B. I’m your best middle-aged fitness friend. And around here, we’re all about making peace with your menopausal body. But around here, we’re actually all about . . . that’s my tagline from my main YouTube channel, my fitness channel. And so it’s funny how you get used to saying things, like even now – this is totally not on topic – but I love to tell you things. Sometimes when I’m doing my intro or when I’m just kind of talking and sort of distracted by myself – as I often am – sometimes, I will still say, “This is Pahla B from pahlabfitness.com,” which is what I said for years and years and years at the intro of my videos.
And so sometimes, things just come out of my mouth. But also, we talk about fitness matters that matter to you, such as your great legs. You want to talk about your legs, but first, can we talk about the mindset masterclass that I’ve got going on? You guys, it’s coming up really soon. This is also not related, but I’m sure you can hear the jingle in the background. That’s Agatha [Pahla’s cat]. She’s walking around jingling. She’s shaking her head, which means that it’s time for us to clean her ears. Just in case you hear the background things – I assume you do if you’re listening with headphones and even if you’re not – sometimes my life is just noisy and there you go. You’re welcome. Anyway, mindset masterclass. You guys, it’s coming up so soon, Monday, August 9th, through Friday, the 13th of August, which is so fun to say. I have a mindset masterclass for you.
And I am so excited about this. It’s just five days. It’s very get in/get out. I’m going to call it an intensive, but there’s nothing intense about it. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be illuminating. It’s actually going to be really, really helpful if you are a beginner to mindset work. If you are experienced with mindset work, you can take your practice deeper. It’s meant to be for all levels with journal prompts and some ideas and concepts that are nice and quick and easy to get into, but might take some onion-peeling to really get to the heart of. So in the show notes or the description, depending on where you’re watching or listening, there will be a link, or you can just go to pahlabfitness.com/mindset. You guys, I’m so excited about this.
Oh, and just super quickly, that is the only way to participate in the mindset masterclass. It’s not going to be available unless you sign up, so please come and sign up so that you can be part of it. Okay. Do I have any other news for you? I do. I do have news for you. In fact, today – just so you know – is kind of like just a life chat. I promise there’s something in it for you, but I wanted to tell you some things that are going on with me that have caused me to think about my own life and my own thinking. I love to think about my thinking. But I realized I have not told you a couple of things and they are all related even though on the surface none of them sound related.
Thing number one, that I am beyond excited about, I can’t even contain myself and therefore I have no idea why it’s been so long that I haven’t told you about it, but here goes. I hired a book coach. This is so exciting and so thrilling. And so exactly what I needed. I was doing this thing where I’ve been telling myself that I want to write a book. It’s on my vision board. It’s on my goal list. It’s on my desktop, not my screensaver, just my desktop. I have . . . okay, backing up. At the beginning of the year, when I set my goals for the year, I write out my goals in a kind of list form. And I’m not artistic. I’m creative, but I’m not artistic. So I don’t draw very much, but I try to make it look kind of cute. It’s got some hearts on it and stars and stuff because those are the only two things I can draw.
So I have my little notebook sheet that has my goals on it for the year. And it has my words of the year, how I want to feel, who I want to be, things like that. And then I go to Google because Google is far more artistic than I am. And I find visual representations of the things that I want. So I have, I guess you could call it a dream board. But I don’t actually ever print it out. So it’s not really on a board. It really is just my desktop. It is a collection of Google images that portray the things that I am aiming for this year. So one of the little graphics that I found was a picture that says in text, “I’m writing a book.” So I’ve been looking at this for, what is it now? Well, by the time you hear this, it’ll be August. So I’ve been looking at this for seven months now and telling myself, “Oh yes, yes, yes. I’m writing a book.”
And yet, I wasn’t really writing the book. I totally wasn’t writing the book. And I kept noticing myself thinking, “I’m not writing my book.” And here’s the thing about what we think: It creates our reality. Weird, right? I’ve never told you that before. This is brand new information. What you think creates your results. My friends, I was thinking, “I’m not writing a book,” and therefore I was not writing a book. It became very clear to me that I was creating that for myself. And one day, I was watching a coaching call through The Life Coach School, which is where I am certified and where I am still a member of Self Coaching Scholars, Brooke Castillo’s group program. So I was watching a coaching call live, which I don’t normally do. I usually watch the replay, but I was watching it live. And I was like, “I’m going to raise my hand. I’m going to raise my hand. And I’m going to get coached on this thing, where I’m not writing my book. So I raised my hand and my heart was just pounding.”
I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to actually talk to somebody and get coached on this I’m-not-writing-a-book thing. It turns out I didn’t get called on. But I realized through the nervousness and through the thinking about my thinking about not writing a book, I was like, “Oh, but I could get coached anytime I wanted. I bet there’s an actual book coach out in the world who could coach me on my thoughts.” Ding, light bulb moment, hello. So I looked up book coaches, and I very specifically found a book coach who was certified through The Life Coach School. Partly because – no, entirely because – I understand the model. I understand how she’s going to coach me. And I really wanted to cut through some of that so that I could just be coached on the book. Because the other really pervasive thought that I have had – that I now don’t really have anymore because I have a book coach – was, “I’m not writing a book because I don’t know how. I don’t know how to write a book.”
I’ve never written a book before, though I was occasionally Googling how to write a book, and I’ve followed several people on YouTube who explained how to get started. I did all these kinds of things. It just wasn’t really cohesive enough for me to move forward. So I plunked down a fair, good chunk of money, knowing that I have a meeting with her every single week and I have homework every single week. I will be working with her for months to make progress on my book.
All of a sudden, I am writing a book. And even though I don’t know how, I’m working with somebody who knows how. I’m going to know how. I’m figuring out . . . I’m not even figuring out, I’m just being told. I am going to have the knowledge brought to me of how to write my book. So you guys, I’m writing a book. I’m writing a book right now, and it’s super, super exciting.
Thing number two is also not related, but it’s going to be. Thing number two is: I’m back on Instagram. Do you remember a while ago? I removed myself from Instagram about two years ago. I took a break from Instagram because I realized that I couldn’t do the mindset work around it. I was thinking lots of thoughts, feeling lots of feelings, and most of them were in the “overwhelmed” genre of feelings and/or “guilt” and/or lots of things that I could manage. And I knew it at the time. I was like, “I can manage my mind about this, but also I really don’t want to.” Here’s the thing, you guys. Sometimes we can completely manage our mind, and sometimes we can simply change the circumstances of what’s going on with us. I encourage you, when possible, to manage your mind. I also encourage you to realize that sometimes it’s totally okay to change your circumstances.
For me, I changed my circumstances. I removed myself from Instagram and didn’t think about it. But now that I have a larger audience on YouTube, and now that I have a lot more practice managing my mind, specifically about social media – YouTube and Facebook and Pinterest and so on – I realized that I wanted to be able to communicate in a different way. I wanted to be, truly, a little bit more casual. I find Instagram to be more casual. I find it to be kind of fun and playful. And coming back to Instagram, I set myself some parameters. And this is what I did to manage my mind. I am treating Instagram – and you’re going to laugh at me, but go ahead – I am treating Instagram as though I am Kim Kardashian.
I’m treating Instagram as if it is there for me to have fun. And I mean, I understand that Kim Kardashian actually makes a lot of money on Instagram, but for me, I actually took the monetization out of it. I’m not on Instagram only to promote my YouTube channel or to promote products or to promote things. I’m not trying to make money off of Instagram right now. At some point, I might monetize it. I have no idea how or what that would look like or anything like that. But for right now, my mental parameter is that I am there to have fun. And I am not there to be beholden to all of the comments and all of the DMs. I actually unfollowed everybody except people I know in real life and a couple of business accounts. I follow quite a few Life Coach School coaches because I love to follow them and their businesses and see how they’re talking about mindset work and kind of get a feel for what other life coaches talk about.
And not in a comparison way, but in a really interested “student of business” way to just see what other people in my field are doing and talking about. So, I’m back on Instagram, and I’m super excited about it. I was talking to my son about it yesterday, and he was laughing at me. Well, he wasn’t even laughing. He was pointing his finger and was like, “I told you to do this two years ago. I completely told you that this is how you should think about it. And this is how you should treat Instagram.” And I was like, “I know. And it only took me two years to figure it out.” And you’ll be so proud of me. I did not mention how many times I’ve had to tell him things before he has learned them, but it was so funny to have him be like, “Mom, I knew that this is how you should think about Instagram a long time ago. And I totally tried to tell you.” So I’m preparing him for parenthood.
And now, let’s talk about the real reason we’re here. Let’s talk about my great legs. You guys, I went shopping somewhat recently, and here’s why I went shopping. I’m bringing this around to tie these together in small ways. I went shopping at Old Navy because I love Old Navy. They’re really inexpensive. I went shopping because I wanted some clothes to take pictures for Instagram. It sounds so funny when I say that out loud, but I really, truly, am a minimalist. I’ve never really put that label on myself, but I own like 12 pieces of clothing. I just wear the same things over and over. I don’t really go places. I don’t go to an office. I don’t need to go places. I don’t really think about it. And I love clothes. I actually really like clothes. You know how many workout clothes I have. Okay, I love workout clothes because those get seen. I see them; you see them. I go through workout clothes like water, but my regular clothes? I have 12 things.
The point is that I went to Old Navy and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to buy some actual human clothes, people clothes, to wear out in the world and also to wear on Instagram. And I bought a pair of shorts that are significantly shorter than I normally wear. And there’s a whole long history here of my body image and the way that I think about myself that I really haven’t thought about or examined in a long time. Not even a long time. I don’t know that I’ve ever examined it. For most of my life, I would say that I had negative thoughts about my lower body, really specifically. I, as a teenager and young woman, thought that I had a big butt and fat legs. Now I know that those words might be offensive to you and I say them as a direct quote of things that I said to myself; it’s not a judgment. I mean, it is a judgment, but it’s not something that can ever be objectively proven or anything like that. If you look at pictures of me, you’d be like, “Pahla, that’s ridiculous, blah, blah, blah.”
This is what I tell you all the time, just so you know. The things that you say to yourself are opinions; they are not facts. But I’m telling you that it was my opinion. That’s what I saw when I looked in the mirror. And then, as I’ve grown older and done a lot of this mindset work, I tend very much to not look at any specific body part. I really prefer to look at my body as a whole and to think of myself as a whole human being. We have had this conversation before. I don’t remember what number it is, but it’s the episode “How To See Yourself” (Ep. 038 How You See Yourself.https://pahlabfitness.com/?s=how+you+see+yourself). And it’s, I think, a very important conversation to have with yourself about not picking yourself apart. Partly because picking yourself apart is detrimental to the way that you think about yourself, but also, really specifically, looking at parts of your body really dehumanizes you to yourself.
And I have put in the time to look at my whole body and think about my whole body. And the more that I look at the whole of me, the easier it is to really feel – truly, deeply believe – that I am a miracle. I am a walking, talking, thinking, blinking miracle. And so I don’t really look at specific body parts anymore. I don’t really think about it. Sometimes I’ll notice something or other, but I don’t do it on purpose. So I was trying on these shorts and they were super cute and super flattering and a little bit shorter than anything else that I’ve worn in, I’m going to say, ever. I was going to say “for a long time,” but I don’t think I’ve ever really shown off my legs. I mean, I do, of course, wear shorts and I wear skirts and I show off my legs, but I’ve also never shown off a lot of my legs. How about that? So anyway, I tried on these shorts and I was like, “Oh my gosh, these look fantastic. These are really flattering shorts. I have great legs.”
And it was kind of a throwaway, almost automatic thought. But it stopped me in my tracks. I was like, “Wait, what? I have great legs?” And it was funny how very automatic the thought sounded. It came to me very easily. I didn’t force it upon myself. I didn’t think to myself, “Oh, gee, I’ve thought this terrible thing. What could I think instead?” It just kind of came to me. I looked at my legs in the mirror and thought they looked great. And it was such an unusual and pleasant thing to think about a specific part of my body that, historically, I have not thought those kinds of thoughts about. I have thought – not always but over the past 15 years or so since I’ve been a runner – that my legs are strong, that my legs are sturdy, that my legs get me everywhere I want to go, that my legs are amazing, things like that. But I’ve never really thought that they look great.
“I have great legs,” is not a sentence that ever came out of my mouth until very recently. But I bought those shorts, of course, as one does when one thinks to oneself, “I have great legs.” So I bought those shorts. And in fact, I just went online yesterday or the day before and bought several more pairs because, hey, I mean, why not? Am I right? If I look good, feel good, say nice things to myself, I’m going to go ahead and change that circumstance. So ever since I heard that thought in my head, I’ve been practicing it. And I notice it every time I see myself in the mirror, or every time I get dressed, or every time I’m walking around. I’m thinking, “I have great legs.” And it is amazing to me how wonderful that thought feels. And it’s amazing because, up until very, very recently, I had never considered that that thought was available to me. And here we go, my friends, here’s where we finally tie this all together.
You have thoughts that you don’t realize you are thinking. That is, literally, what we talk about every single week. You have thoughts that you don’t realize, and you are believing them as truths. You are believing them as facts when they are opinions. And the fact is, the real fact, is that any thought that you want to think is available to you right now. Any of them, all of them. And therefore, why not choose a thought that feels good? And that’s kind of a real question, and it’s kind of a rhetorical question. It’s a real question if it helps you dive in and be curious, like “Why haven’t I thought nice things to myself before? Why have I been unconsciously choosing thoughts that don’t feel good about my body, or about my life, or about my ability to write a book, or about my ability to be on Instagram? Why have I been choosing those thoughts?”
Now it’s a rhetorical question if you ask yourself, “Why haven’t I been thinking that?” And your immediate response is something like, “Well, because I’m dumb or because I can’t think that because my legs obviously are fat and ugly.” When you use a question against yourself, then I am saying it rhetorically. If you can use the question for yourself, as a curiosity, as a conversation opener, then please ask yourself that question. Why haven’t you been saying something nice to yourself? Now, for some of us, we might walk down the road of, “It was messages that I heard my whole life,” or we might come up with reasons and it’s heavy, heavy air quotes, reasons why we can’t think that about ourselves. “I don’t want to have too high of an opinion of myself.” I mean, “I objectively do not have great legs.” You can come up with answers that don’t serve you.
And this is what I want you to know. You can – meaning that you have permission and you are capable – of thinking anything you want. And it’s funny to me how powerful that lesson is again and again and again. I know it. I’ve put it to use in my life numerous times. And yet every time it comes to me in a different way, it feels like new, fresh information. That’s why I’m repeating it to you because we’ve talked about this before, and I’m going to talk about it again. There is something in your life right now that you just think is really truthful and you don’t even necessarily feel bad about it. My truth was this thing that, historically, I’ve not liked my legs. And I thought that that meant that I had done the work on it. I mean, I’ve stopped picking apart my legs. It’s been a long, long, long time since I’ve looked at my legs and thought that they were ugly or fat or anything like that.
I really had come to a very neutral place with my legs, specifically, and with my body as a whole. I had moved towards thinking about my body, lots of positive thoughts about my body. I really thought that I had done the work here. I really thought that I had made peace and felt good and all those kinds of things. So when this thought came to me of, “Man, I have great legs,” it surprised me. I was shocked that I could think that thought. I was shocked that it was available to me. I was shocked that I was allowed to think that. I was shocked that I wanted to think that. Again, I put in the work. I don’t pick myself apart. I have a great body. I love my body. I did not know how good this thought was going to feel until I thought it. You have a thought like that waiting for you.
You can – meaning that you have permission and you are capable – to go hire a coach to help you with something that you are struggling with. You can – meaning that this thought is available to you and you have permission to do it – go on Instagram and enjoy it for what it is. You can – because this thought is available to you and you have permission – treat your social media as though you are Kim Kardashian. You can think that you have great legs. There are thoughts that you are capable of thinking and you have permission to think. You may not be thinking them right now, but when you do, they’re going to feel amazing. And you guys, you know I want to know. What is it that you are now ready to think – about yourself, or a situation, or a problem, or a solution to a problem, or your body? What is it that you can think? I’d love to know. And you can tell me on Instagram.
You could also leave it in a rating and review, you guys. Thank you so much for those. I totally appreciate that. And thank you for listening. I’ll talk to you again soon.
So 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.