What are you hoping for on your WEIGHT LOSS and FITNESS journey?
Sentences starting with “I hope for . . .” fill my Facebook page every day in relation to finding your HEALTHY WEIGHT and other goals.
And in today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, I’m sharing my unvarnished🚪 view of the word “HOPE” and how the terminology we use for ourselves can propel us forward or hold us back. We’re pulling apart the threads🧵 of language and how words make us feel – while chatting about turtles🐢, carousels🎠, and race cars🏎️! (Say, what?)
Wanna know the two words that will get you everywhere🌎 you want to go (hint: they’re not “I hope”)? Let’s GO!
NOTE ABOUT THIS EPISODE: I am SO EXCITED to bring you this milestone episode (number 100!) of the Fitness Matters Podcast. It feels fantastic to know that I have it within me to stick with things and not quit. My beloved Bs, we all have it within us to feel this way and cross finish lines of all kinds. I look forward to many more podcasts, and thank you for being on this journey with me!💯 Next up is episode is #208!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2goFFsuP_lY
The Let’s Run podcast (on Pahla B’s main YouTube channel):
The BUZZ YouTube channel:
Podcast (one of several) that refers to the two-step model:
Ep. 096: Your AGING BODY
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:
Have friends who are HOPING for a good outcome? SHARE the podcast with them! 💛
HOPE (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B, and this is Episode Number 100: “Hope.”
Hello, I’m so excited. I’m literally dancing on the couch while I’m recording this. I am so excited for episode number 100, which – as we have talked about for weeks now – is not going to be the precursor to number 101. Because, I am finally, after all these years, counting up all of the podcasts and pre-podcasts and podcast-like things that I have done over the years. I am counting all of The BUZZ, which I’ll have a link for you. They’re terrible, honestly. I mean, they’re not terrible. They’re the advice that I had to give at the time and the place where I was in my own journey, and when I wasn’t very confident talking about weight loss, even though I was totally talking about weight loss.
I have 19 of The BUZZ videos, and I will give you a link to that channel on YouTube (The Buzz Fitness Mindset Matters https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFv89gWACldbepiec3vrFZA). I have 88 Let’s Run podcast videos, which are in different places because some of them are on my main Pahla B Fitness channel on YouTube. Some of them are on what is now The Fitness Matters podcast channel. I think they’re all on iTunes and SoundCloud and stuff like that. I don’t know that for sure. I’m not a hundred percent certain about that because I think at the time when I first started Let’s Run, I already had dozens of running videos. And because the Let’s Run podcast was supposed to be very running-related, it was all about running or mostly about running when I first started it. I had this idea that I was going to turn old running videos into podcasts, and just have the audio available.
So, I think I have some of those on my SoundCloud channel, which of course would also then therefore be on iTunes and Spotify and every place else that you can listen to podcasts. I think as far as episodes available in one place, you’re never going to find them all in one place. But, next week is episode number 208. I am so excited about this. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous because I feel like 208 episodes is a real accomplishment. Actually, I feel like a hundred episodes is a real accomplishment. I am excited that I have been sticking with this for such a long time through many painful and difficult and uncertain iterations of the podcast.
I’m still so tickled by myself when I follow through on something, just FYI. I mean, this is wildly unrelated to our topic of hope today, but maybe it’s not, I don’t know. Let me see if I can tie this in. Let’s just see where this goes, shall we? For the longest time, you guys, I really truly a hundred percent thought of myself as the girl who quits. I just did not ever see myself following through to completion and success on anything. And this goes so, so, so, so far back to childhood where I was allowed to quit everything. I was not pushed to push through the hard parts, to get past the part where it feels awkward and uncomfortable and awful and I’m terrible at it. And I mean, to my parents’ credit, I was born stubborn. I wouldn’t have pushed me either. This is not like I’m blaming, “Oh, my parents never gave me this skill.”
No. I never got this skill for myself until I was ready for it. And I wasn’t ready for it until I was apparently in my late forties and now early fifties. I really just didn’t see myself that way. And now, oh my gosh, now, I totally see myself as a completer. I see myself as somebody who crosses finish lines no matter what. I see myself as somebody who is completely not just determined but really capable of doing anything that I set my mind to. And it’s not related, but that is how I’m going to segue into talking about hope today. You guys, I still haven’t introduced myself. I’m Pahla B. This is one of the things that I’m going to be doing for episode number 208.
On my list of things to do today, in fact, is to work up a slightly more professional intro. I’ve loved using the little dododododo noise that I’ve used for almost every single video ever. I don’t remember exactly when I started using that on my YouTube videos. I think I’d been on YouTube for maybe a year or so before I started using that little intro noise. But as a podcaster, as a podcaster who is determined to create a more successful podcast, a more polished professional podcast that is more, not necessarily more appealing, I think I am plenty appealing. Thank you very much. But, I think that people expect a certain level of finesse to a podcast that they suggest to their friends. And so, I am moving in that direction.
Trust me, I am still going to be irreverent. I am still going to be sitting on my couch, cracking myself up. It’s still going to contain all of the mistakes and everything because that’s just who I am, but I am going to look for intro music where I have a prerecorded “Hi, this is who I am.” So that when I get five minutes into the podcast like I am now and I still haven’t told you who I am, that you’ll already know that I’m Pahla B. I’m your best middle-aged fitness friend. And around here, we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you.
How in the world is hope related to fitness? I’ll tell you what. It’s not. That’s why we’re talking about it. This is why I actually really love having a Facebook group. You know how when you’re with somebody in person and you’re having a conversation, how you hear what they’re saying but sometimes – I mean, frequently – we’re thinking about what we want to say in return? We’re not listening with the kind of clarity and depth that I think is really available to us in writing. I love having a Facebook group where the only way to communicate is via – I mean, there are other ways; I suppose you could create a video too – but most of the communication is via writing. Because, I love really reading, really tuning in and reading and understanding and feeling empathy for what you are writing. Because, I think, sometimes, we both say and write things that we mean certainly, but that we’re not paying attention to.
I notice on the daily, literally every single day, people talking about what they are hoping for with their weight loss and their fitness. And I find it absolutely fascinating, because I find everything fascinating, but also for this really specific reason. I am anti-hope. You guys, I’m coming in hot on this one. I am a big nope for hope. I find it to be the least – no, maybe not the least – I find it to be in my top 10 least helpful things to say to yourself. I know I haven’t yet given it a name but I’ve talked to you a couple of times about how the essence of mindset work is really just to find your thoughts and then decide if they’re helpful.
I’ve actually given this process a name, because I talk about it and I think about it so often that I’m like, “You know what? I need a quick way of referring to this.” And what I had been calling it was “the quick and dirty way” of going through the model, which is Brooke Castillo’s tool, a self-awareness tool. I thought, “I could just give my tool a name too,” and “quick and dirty” just didn’t seem like a good name. So, here it is. It’s “the two-step tool.” Ta-da. Because it’s really simple. You find your thoughts, and you decide if they’re helpful. And when you use the two-step tool in a sentence like “I hope I’m losing weight” or “I hope this goes well” or “I hope the scale is my friend today,” I think it’s really clear, really fast, what a “hope thought” gives you when you think “I hope.” And honestly, you follow that with almost anything that you’re struggling with or having a difficult time with or you’re not sure about or you’re facing some uncertainty with.
When you follow that through and determine how that makes you feel, you’ll notice that that thought “I hope” doesn’t feel good at all. At all. A thought like “I hope I’ve lost weight this week,” (or today or whatever, depending on how often you weigh yourself. I recommend daily just so that you can recognize these thoughts and recognize that this thought is not helpful for you). But anyway, when you have a thought like that, like “I hope I’ve lost weight,” generally speaking, when I am thinking “I hope,” I feel needy, desperate, grasping. I feel completely disempowered. I feel as though the result that I want and am looking for is completely out of my control. And I know, I know for a fact because, again, I read what you write, that lots of you think that your weight and fitness goals are actually out of your control. And that’s why we use language like “I hope.” “Oh, well, I hope I’m getting fitter.” “I hope I’m losing weight.” “I hope I can finish what I started.”
When we use language like that – when our automatic thoughts are directed and oriented toward thinking that things are out of our control – my friends, they will feel lousy. Your thoughts will feel lousy and your results – even though they are 100% completely in your control – will still seem out of control because of what happens. The reason we use either “the model,” which I have talked about on so many different episodes that I’m not even sure I can name just one for you. In fact, I’m even trying to come up with where I’ve talked about rather explicitly the two-step tool. I’ll see if I can remember exactly which one or two or three that has been, because I feel like it’s been pretty recent that I’ve started really using my own thought processes and my own models, for lack of a better word, my thought models about how to do this work. I’ll see if I can come up with one. All the references I ever mention, you guys, literally any reference I ever mention ever in any podcast is always in the show notes, depending on where you’re watching or listening.
If you’re watching on YouTube, just open up the description box. If you’re listening on any platform, you can always just go to my website where you will find the latest episodes of the podcast and can search for other ones. In any event, the reason we use any awareness tool is to be able to be aware of what we’re thinking, to be aware of how it makes us feel, and to be aware of what it’s getting us in our life. The way that we get any result, truly any result, is because of the things that we are doing. But, the things that we are doing don’t exist in some kind of vacuum, like we decide to do something and then we do it. I know you know this. You have personal experience with this. You’ve decided to do lots of things that you haven’t followed through on. And you’ve also decided to do lots of things that you do follow through on, which is why so many of us do think, “Oh, all I have to do is think this, and that’ll make it happen.”
But if you’ve ever tried to, for example, wake up early and you’re not a morning person, or if you’ve ever tried to start an exercise program and you don’t like exercising, or if you’ve ever tried to eat healthy but you don’t like salads or something . . . if you’ve ever tried to do something that you’re not really a hundred percent on board with, you’ve noticed that you don’t just think a thought and then you follow through. There’s a lot more nuance to it than that. And here’s the nuance. The nuance is that what you are thinking creates your feelings. And literally, every single thing we do is based on what we feel. Every single thing. And it happens so quickly. The whole process of thinking something, creating a feeling, the feeling driving actions – it happens so automatically so fast and so unconsciously or subconsciously that really we don’t notice it until we do.
That is why we use awareness tools, so that you can be aware of the result that you’re getting, why you’re doing the things you’re doing, why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. We notice that saying something like “I sure hope I’ve lost weight this week” has a feeling of desperation and disempowerment, and really specifically disempowerment even more so than desperation. Desperation would actually lead to actions like trying a lot of different things, going sporadically here and there and trying to get this done and trying to get that done and really not getting very much done at all. It’s a very jumpy kind of energy to feel desperate, which will still get you the result of not getting where you want to go because you’ve tried so many little things and not stuck with any of them.
But the one that I really want to talk about even more so than that is the disempowerment. When you feel disempowered – as though the result that you want is out of your control – the way that will influence so many of your behaviors is that you might still be kind of going through the motions of counting your calories and drinking your water and sleeping at night and exercising moderately and even trying to manage your mind. But when the energy behind it is disempowered, that “I’m not going to get what I want unless things line up for me in a certain way and I have no control over that,” you’ll find that you’re following maybe the letter of the law.
You’re mostly drinking your water. You’re mostly getting your calories. You’re more or less kind of going to bed at more or less the time when you mean to go to bed. You’re kind of more or less exercising moderately. For some of us, that means that we’re exercising too much or too little, whichever way it goes. You’re right on the borders, right on the edges, because of that feeling of disempowerment. When you feel empowered to reach your goal – and yes, spoiler alert, I am going to tell you how to create a feeling of empowerment, but right now we’re going to stick with this hope thing real quick. Maybe not quick, you know how this goes. When you feel empowered, just picture that in your body for a quick second, even without having a specific thought. I’m going to give you thoughts to borrow. But even without having a specific thought in mind, you know what it feels like to feel empowered. Just imagine that solid lightness.
For me, a feeling of hope is very squishy. It’s very soft. It’s jello, like you could poke your finger all the way through it because there’s not much to it. There’s nothing to hang your hat on. It’s just soft and squishy. Whereas, a feeling of empowerment is very solid and very firm. You know what to do, you know how to do it, you know that you’re capable of doing it. And you know that the result that you are aiming for is simply inevitable. Yeah, there might be bumps and turns along the way. And yeah, your body is totally going to do what your body is going to do. Yeah, it’s not a hundred percent in your control on the daily, on the fluctuations. But the overall result, the finish line, a hundred percent up to you. Absolutely. It’s not conceivable when you are empowered that you won’t get there. When you simply hope for a finish line, there actually is the possibility that you might not get there, that it might not happen.
Hope and empowerment are basically 180 degrees from one another. And hope, I mean, to be fair, let me talk up hope a little bit here. Hope might get you where you want to go. It might. And in fact, I was even thinking about this when I was writing down some notes about what I wanted to say today. I was thinking about the difference between a hope thought and a hope feeling. And I know that I’m going to lose some of you on this, but I love to parse this kind of thing out. You guys know I do, so bear with me, whether it makes sense to you right now or not. At some point in your mindset journey, this kind of pulling apart the threads is going to make so much more sense. Because of the awareness of how language works and shapes what we feel, I really like thinking about this type of thing because it helps me be more aware and to craft on purpose thoughts that create the feelings that I actually want to drive me to the goals that I want.
When you think “I hope,” the feeling that it creates is one of the ones that I was talking about. Something like neediness or graspiness or desperation or disempowerment. “I hope” as a thought is incredibly unhelpful, but hopefulness as a feeling may or may not be helpful. This one I could actually go either way, and truly, even hope as a thought. I’m sure there are some of you that from a thought of “I hope” might not feel the same kind of desperation or clinginess or graspiness that I am talking about here. But notice for yourself when you use this language to describe a thought or to have a thought and to describe a feeling, what it truly feels like. Hopefulness as a feeling can be helpful. It can be helpful if it comes from a thought like, “You know what? I really think this is going to work out.” That feeling of hopefulness from the thought of “Gee, I really think this could work out” is a very empowering hopefulness, as opposed to the disempowering hope thought.
I know that was kind of a lot. It was kind of a lot to sort through. And here’s what I want to offer you when you notice that you are thinking or feeling something in the realm of hope. I want you to ask yourself, “Why don’t I think I’m in control of this?” and really listen to the answers, because it is my opinion that there are things that we can control and things that we can’t control. And in fact, I have an entire episode about this one. This one, I know I can point you to something very direct. It’s literally called What You Control (Ep. 034 What You Control https://pahlabfitness.com/what-you-control/). I love this episode because I think it’s incredibly helpful. It’s not a hundred percent related to what we’re talking about today, but it is a good companion piece because it’s just really, really good information.
What you control are your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results. What you don’t control are things like your body’s processes. Your body’s a mystery. It’s a miracle. It’s going to do its own thing overall for its individual pieces. But as far as a result that you were looking for, like weight loss or fitness, you are in control of steering that ship. We don’t control what other people do, what other people think, what other people say, what other people feel. We don’t control other people at all. Ever. So when you are looking for a result of “I want my child to clean their room,” that, my friend, is something you can continue to hope for.
What you actually have control of in that situation is “I want a good relationship with my child. I want my child to feel empowered to do what they want to do.” That to me feels so much more under my control. I control how much I love my child. I control my relationship with my child because of what I do. Wanting somebody else to do something, ah, my friends, my friends, that’s something that you can continue to hope for.
So, let me tell you my opinion about what is an even better way to come at what you want. My friends, and this is something that we have also talked about. It’s the episode on goal language (Ep. 008 Goal Language https://pahlabfitness.com/goal-language/). Goal language is more of a conversation about this kind of thing, like when we say something like “I hope” versus saying something like, here it is, the two most powerful words in the entire English language, “I am.”
Listen to the difference between “I hope I’m losing weight” and “I am losing weight.” “I hope this goes well” versus “I am creating what I want.” “I hope the scale is my friend today” versus “I am okay with whatever the scale says.” “I am . . . ” It’s firm. It’s strong. It’s empowering. It’s solid. “I am” brings all the power back to you, which is where it is. Truly, the power is with you right now. Even when you are saying and thinking and feeling disempowering things, you actually have the power. And how do I know that? Because, the power of what you are saying to yourself is creating the result that you are getting. When you are saying “I hope I’m losing weight” and you are creating that feeling of disempowerment and you are doing those actions that are mostly kind of sort of on the road to kind of sort of getting your result and you’re not really getting the result that you want because of your thought, that’s because your thought is power.
Your unhelpful thoughts are creating your unhelpful results. That’s how powerful you are. It is 100% within your power to have what you want. And you create that through the language that you use in your thoughts. “I hope” is creating meh for you. It is creating wishy-washy, soft, squishy, hopeless results. “I am” will create for you exactly what you want. “I am a success.” “I am fit.” “I am the weight that I want to be.” “I am” gets you where you want to go. Hope feels like a vehicle that will drive you places. It does. But, hope is like, I’m trying to think of something very slow. Hope is like hopping on, not even in the back of a turtle, because frankly, frankly, all y’all who are losing weight slowly but surely, all of you are in the turtle club. I hear this from you all the time. You are still getting where you want to go.
I’m trying to think of something that would actually be . . . oh, hope is like riding a merry-go-round. Here we go. Or a carousel, rather. That’s the word I was trying to come up with. Hope is like riding a carousel. You’re on a horse or a tiger or an ostrich or whatever, and it feels like, “Hey, look, I’m going, we’re moving. I feel the wind in my hair. Yeah.” But, you’re just going around in circles. “Hope is a carousel” is my new favorite phrase. This is the one you can take away. This is the one you can put on a pillow. Hope is a carousel. Whereas, “I am” is basically a race car. It’s a race car on a straight track, getting you exactly where you want to go.
My friends, I am really happy that you listened today. I am really, really excited that the next episode is going to be number 208. I am creating a successful podcast that is helping women all over the world to get your goals. I mean, right after I sign off, I’m hopping over to the Get Your Goal group. I know you hear this at the end of every podcast, we’re talking about the Get Your Goal group, which is something else that I’ve had high hopes for for a while and am finally creating the group of my dreams. And I do hope you’ll join me over there. But thank you for joining me here, my friends, every week. I do really appreciate that. I hope that you have a great day because that is out of my control. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll talk to you again soon.
So, 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 you in the goal group.