Have you ever said things like this to yourself🤔?
- “I need to lose weight.”
- “I really should take off a few pounds.”
- “I’m hoping to see the scale move.”
My friends, many of us have! But did you know that these very statements can actually keep us from getting us the RESULTS we want🙅? This holds true for WEIGHT LOSS⚖ and many other life goals🌟 as well!
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast🎧, we’re talking about the act of MAKING A DECISION and how it fundamentally changes how you get results. My friends, I’m revealing THE way to lose weight by cultivating the thoughts💭 that will get you there👌.
You don’t want to miss this one! Let’s GO!
NOTE: Have you heard that I’m hosting a BOOK CLUB📗📘📙🔖? That’s right! I’m partnering with Chirp Audiobooks to bring you interesting and fun books that can change your life! This month, we’re reading-slash-listening-to The Menopause Manifesto, by Dr. Jen Gunter. If you’re brand new to Chirp, you can get this audiobook for FREE with the 5 dollars off coupon code PAHLA5 – use this link to grab it today: https://bit.ly/PahlaBChirp
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/bG7CPR43qis
Ep. 009: Facts vs. Opinions
Ep. 100: HOPE
Ep. 032: How to CHANGE
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DECIDING to Lose Weight
Before we get started today, here’s a quick reminder/announcement in case you hadn’t heard about this before, about this month’s Pahla B Book Club. You guys, I’m so excited to be partnering with Chirp Audiobooks to bring you these fun and interesting conversations about books that can change your life. This month we’re reading/listening to “The Menopause Manifesto” by Dr. Jen Gunter. You guys are going to get so much out of this one. And if you’re brand new to Chirp, you can get this audiobook for free with the $5 off coupon code PAHLA5. That’s P-A-H-L-A and the number five with no spaces. There’s a link for you to follow in the show notes or the description box, depending on where you’re watching or listening to this podcast. And my friends, if you already use Chirp, this one’s cheap. For the month of November, you can snag it for just $2.99 and read it along with all of us. Either way, go grab your copy today and join the conversation right here on the Fitness Matters Podcast on Sunday, November 28th. Happy reading and listening, my friends.
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B and this is episode number 210, “Deciding To Lose Weight.”
Welcome to the Fitness Matters Podcast, where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon-to-be author and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me too. Let’s go.
Hello, hello, hello, my friends. You guys, welcome to the episode. Welcome to everything. I need to tell you something. I’m using a new microphone, which you might have . . . well, okay, if you are the kind of person who’s really listening to the podcast – you have that ear for audio or whatever – you probably have noticed over the past couple of weeks that there’s been a lot of mixture of different audio. So, I’m transitioning between microphones and am using a new software to record, and I’ve got all kinds of new stuff going on. I have to tell you it’s distracting me. And it’s super interesting to listen to my brain freak out like this is a problem. So, just in case you wanted to know, the reason things sound a little different is because they are a little different and I’m getting used to the differences, which is such a metaphor for my whole life right now, right?
Life at this age – getting used to changes, trying to figure things out – yes, that is what we are all doing. So, you guys, I’m super excited about today’s topic, Deciding to Lose Weight. This is something that I have noticed in my own life for a while now in a lot of different ways. I really specifically am couching this with weight loss as I do, because here on the Fitness Matters Podcast, where we talk about fitness matters, we do talk a lot about weight loss. I mean, my primary function as your life coach is to help you get your goal. And I think that most of my audience, if not all of us, are working on weight loss first. Now, if you are not, I promise you this topic absolutely still applies to you and can still be very, very transferable to something else in your life.
What we’re really talking about here is the act of making a decision and how it fundamentally changes whether or not you are going to get results. And that’s important everywhere. I mean, that’s important in all the places of our lives where we care about getting results. So, here’s where I come to this one from. Like 99.9% of our topics, I come to this from reading your comments on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and the places where we converse. And by the way, thank you guys, always, for having conversations with me on social media. I love that. I love to know about you. I love to hear about you. And what I hear you saying so frequently are things like, “I really want to lose weight,” or, “I need to lose weight/I have to lose weight.”
Sometimes that’s accompanied by something like, “My doctor says I have to lose weight,” or some kind of external thing that means that you “need to” or “have to.” Generally speaking, it’s a doctor or some kind of medical testing or something like that. The other ones that I hear are things like, “I have decided to try to lose weight,” or, “I’m really hoping to see the scale move this week.” And here’s the thing about what we do here. We find our thoughts and we decide if they are helpful. This is my two-step tool that we have talked about several times now. What I need to do is make an entire podcast that is called “The Two-Step Tool” so that I can remember which one it is and point you to it. We’ve talked about it a lot recently. So, I feel like hopefully this is not your first introduction. If it is, that’s really all there is to it. It’s called a Two-Step Tool because there are two steps to it. We find our thoughts; that’s step number one. And number two, we decide if they’re helpful.
And here’s the thing about using this two-step tool. I’ve noticed from myself that sometimes both of those steps feel very difficult because, A) I don’t always notice when I’m thinking, except for the fact that literally everything you are thinking is a thought. But sometimes when we’re talking about things or when we’re just going about our lives and doing things and noticing things and interpreting things, we forget to recognize that that is a thought. When we say something like, “I really want to lose weight,” it feels very factual because we do want to lose weight, but there’s nothing factual about that. That sentence is a thought. “I really want to lose weight,” is a thought. This is where I’m going to refer you to the “Facts vs Opinions” episode (Ep. 009 Facts Vs. Opinions https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/). It’s a really good episode. It explains the difference between facts and what at the time I called opinions because I feel like that’s a word that most of us understand much more so than thoughts
But since then, because I mean that episode is, gosh, it’s almost two years old. Oh my gosh, is it two years old already? Almost two years old already. So, at the time I was still kind of developing my thoughts/opinions about mindset work. It was before I was an actual certified life coach. So, I have revised a lot of how I approach talking about this, but it’s still a really good episode because it gives you a fundamental understanding of what I’m talking about between a factual fact and literally everything we think, which are all opinions. So, when you realize that the sentence, “I really want to lose weight,” is a thought or, “I need,” or, “I have to lose weight,” is a thought, “I’ve decided to try and lose weight,” is a thought, “I’m hoping to see the scale move,” is a thought, when you recognize those as thoughts, that’s when we can get to step two, my friends. Deciding if they’re helpful. And here’s how we decide if a thought is helpful. We ask ourselves, “How do I feel when I say this?”
Now, here’s the thing. You might think that you feel like it’s factual. And I totally get that because I often feel like the things I am thinking are factual. Of course. I want to lose weight. That’s a fact. But here’s what I mean by feeling. I mean your emotion. What do you feel emotionally when you say, “I really want to lose weight”? Let’s tune into that for a minute. And here’s how you do that. You kind of turn off your brain. Because here’s what we all do. I mean, well, that’s not entirely true. I say we all do this, but I have come to the realization in working with people one-on-one and in working with myself, really one-on-one private coaching, that there are two different kinds of people. There are probably more, but you know that saying, “There are two different kinds of people in the world.” Here’s what I have noticed about trying to find your thoughts and then deciding if they’re helpful, deciding how you feel about the thought.
There is the camp of people who have a thought and then describe that thought with more thoughts, trying to describe the feeling that they have with more thoughts. And it’s really interesting to me because that’s exactly how I used to be. And I have always thought of myself as the other kind of person, which is somebody who’s really, really, really in tune with their feelings, who describes everything with feelings. “I’m embarrassed. I’m sad. I’m angry. That makes me feel blah, blah, blah.” Whatever. There are people who are super, super in tune with the feelings and describe their feelings with more feelings. So fascinating. You are probably one of those two kinds of people. And here’s what I want you to know. You need to meet somewhere in the middle. This is a skill that I have had to teach myself and that I am trying here on the podcast and in my personal, private coaching, my Get Your Goal group, to help you figure out how to find a thought, one at a time, and then really tune in to the feeling, again, one at a time.
And here’s how I do it personally. I slow it way down, which, as you can imagine, is hard for me. I mean, y’all, if you know me at all, you know I talk fast. I think fast. I move fast. I do things fast. I’m a fast kind of girl living in a world where none of us have a very long attention span anymore, right? So, the first part of this skill is really just slowing it way down. We find one thought, and we just focus on that one thought. This is very meditative, as a matter of fact, if you’d like to think about it that way. And if you don’t, that’s okay too. I’m pointing out to you that you could think about it this way, where you literally listen to this one thought in your head quietly. And while you are listening to that one thought, you move your concentration and your focus into your body. Where do I feel physically the vibration of this thought?
Now, if you are me and you come to this work like, “Oh, I’ve got a pretty good brain/body connection and I totally think all that I know about my feelings, because I know what sad feels like, I know what angry feels like, blah, blah, blah” – when you do this, you will find that it takes a lot more concentration than you were prepared for. It took a lot more concentration than I was prepared for. I wanted to think more thoughts about my thoughts. I wanted to describe my thought with more thoughts. But what I want you to do is feel the feeling in your body and notice the feeling, the vibrations, in you body. And you can describe them in words, because that’s what we do. But rather than describing them with more thoughts, describe the actual vibration. “My skin is tingling. My heart is pounding. My tongue feels dry. My throat feels like it’s constricting. I feel bubbly inside. I feel hard and heavy right in my middle.”
Those are the kinds of physical vibrations that I am talking about when I’m asking you to find your feelings. And when you are finding your feelings in your body, most of us have some experience with being able to identify what that is. Again, this is a skill. This is absolutely a learned thing that if you haven’t practiced it, now is the time. But this is practice for you to find the feeling in your body and then see if you can identify what that vibration is called. Now, here’s the good news. You don’t actually have to know what it’s called. For our purposes, for the two-step tool of finding your thoughts and deciding if they’re helpful, all you really have to know about whether or not your thought is helpful is whether or not the feeling feels good or bad. And you can absolutely figure that part out. I promise. When you feel a feeling that is heavy in the pit of your stomach, that’s probably a bad feeling.
And I don’t mean bad like, you don’t have to feel miserable or lousy or like you’re going to throw up or like you’re going to cry. I just mean the difference between – let’s just go really simple here – the difference between happy and sad. Sad feels very heavy in your body. Happy feels very light. When you feel that lightness, that openness, that airiness, those vibrations are things that I would classify as good. They likely come from a good feeling like happiness, joy, excitement. For me, curiosity is my favorite feeling in the whole wide world. So, when you can recognize that something feels uplifting versus down-squeezing (that’s how I’m going to describe it), when you can feel the difference between, again, I’m using heavy air quotes here, “good or bad.” A bad feeling is one that feels heavy, one that feels like a pit of your stomach, one that feels stabbing or sharp or cloudy or dull or small or shrinking, any of those kinds of feelings are not helpful to getting your goal.
Now, let me be super, super clear here. Let me just parse this one out. Those feelings are still good for you, meaning that they have excellent information for you and you are physically capable of feeling them because they are part of the human experience. All feelings, therefore, are good because you’re supposed to have them. You’re 100% supposed to have them. We have feelings so that we know how to be in the world. So, that’s why I use the heavy air quotes on the “good versus bad,” because all feelings are good, but not all feelings are helpful for getting you where you want to go. That’s why I really use that word “helpful” because having a bad feeling – I mean, I totally just got a Han Solo thing there, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” – but having a bad feeling means that you are not likely to move towards your goal, but also that is good information.
So, describing it as good or bad is still helpful for you. Sometimes I feel like I’m wrapping myself up in a blanket in the dryer. You know how you put in a big blanket or your comforter or something in the dryer and it just comes out this giant ball? That’s what I feel I’m doing sometimes with language, but hopefully you’re following me through here so that you understand where I’m going with this. And here’s where I’m really going with this. When you take each of those thoughts individually, “I really want to lose weight,” how do you feel when you think that? For me personally, I’m going to give you my feelings when I said each of these sentences to myself. For, “I really want to lose weight,” what I felt was desperate. I felt a nagging energy in my body. My chest wanted to curl in. It was very, very sharp in my stomach, very tingly, and not a happy tingly, but tingly in my limbs. I wanted to jolt here and there. It was a very electric kind of energy.
And again, not electric like exciting, but electric like, “I have to do this. I have to do that.” Very staccato energy inside of me. That desperate feeling to me feels bad. And therefore, to me, the thought, “I really want to lose weight,” is unhelpful. The other one, “I need to lose weight,” or, “I have to lose weight,” – this one was very easy for me to identify the vibration in my body. It was just a sinking in the pit of my stomach. It was absolute pressure. “I have to” created so much pressure for me. It was like the weight of the world just suddenly sat on my shoulders. My shoulders sagged. My body caved in. I mean, it was almost crushing me into a fetal position from pressure. That, to me, feels like an unhelpful thought.
“I’ve decided to try to lose weight.” Now, I mean, coming back to our topic of deciding to lose weight, this one sounds like it’s going to feel really good, right? But when I slowed this one way down, “I’ve decided to try to lose weight,” the feeling that I came up with was wishy-washy. There was almost nothing behind it. It was very cloudy, very gray, very soft inside my body in a way that was . . . I mean, I guess it’s almost neutral where there was not much to it. And, to me, that feels unhelpful because it’s not a good feeling. It’s not an excited or energetic or moving forward kind of feeling. It was a very meh kind of feeling. And therefore, to me, that sentence feels unhelpful.
The last one, “I’m hoping to see the scale move,” – you guys, we literally just talked about this a couple of episodes ago. Which, by the way, I meant to remind you and I don’t think I did during the last two episodes, that we took the big leap between episode 100 and episode 208. So, you didn’t miss anything when I tell you, “Oh, a couple of episodes,” in episode 100, and this is episode 210. It’s not 110 episodes ago. It’s three. So, episode 100 where we talked about hope. You already know how I feel when I say, “I’m hoping to see this scale move.” It feels very outside of my body. “I hope” doesn’t really even show up inside of me. It feels like all I’m doing is looking outside of me for somebody else or something else to take care of me. It’s a very disempowering emotion for me. So, that sentence, “I’m hoping to see the scale move,” isn’t helpful. It’s hopeful, but it’s not helpful.
So, you guys, what in the world do we do when we find ourselves thinking these thoughts? Well, as you might have already guessed from the title of this episode, putting yourself in a position where you decide to lose weight can feel very helpful. And here’s what I mean by that. When you say, “I have decided to lose weight,” what does that feel like? I’m actually waiting for you. This is you building your skill. “I have decided to lose weight.” Where do you feel that in your body? And the way that I do this, I actually do kind of a full body scan. I know from experience, and I’ll just go ahead and give you a little bit of a spoiler alert, 99.9% of my feelings are somewhere in my torso. You can do a full body scan and start up from the bottom. like, “Do my toes feel this? Do my legs feel this?” Sometimes there are some feelings that I do actually feel in my limbs, kind of like what we talked about with “desperate.” It’s a very kinetic, edges-of-my-body kind of a feeling.
So, some feelings you might feel in your limbs. Most feelings are going to be somewhere between your chin and the tops of your legs. That’s where I usually start looking for my feelings. “I have decided to lose weight.” Here’s what I notice. My shoulders straightened back a little bit. I felt very open. I feel very much like the center of my body feels open. To me, I describe this feeling as calm and assured. It doesn’t feel big for me. This is actually a rather quiet emotion, which is why I really wanted to give you plenty of time to find it in your body. This one’s kind of subtle. It really is. It’s not one of those, “I feel absolutely terrible,” or, “I feel absolutely amazing.” But there’s an openness and a strength and a centeredness to it, for me, that I’m wondering if that’s how you feel this too. “I have decided to lose weight.” That calm, centered energy feels really good to me. It also feels a little foreign, just so you know.
You might mistake that as uncomfortable if this is something that you don’t feel very often. And I want to be really clear that that’s completely okay. You very likely have another thought about this feeling that creates that uncomfortableness. “Oh, I never feel this way.” I never feel this way? Yeah. That’s a very uncomfortable thought. So, recognize that sometimes when you have a feeling, that you might have a thought about that feeling. Coming back to the original, “I have decided to lose weight,” – try really hard to stay in that sentence only when you’re finding the feeling in your body. You guys, again, I know how difficult this is. I get this. I get how much concentration this takes. You might be having thoughts like, “This is difficult.” And I want you to know I get it. I feel the same way. I think the same thing, or thought. Sometimes I still do.
Honestly, even after all the work I’ve done, there are some thought/feeling combos that still feel really hard to nail down, that I still really have to just sit and close my eyes and close my ears and just really, really, really tune in to. This is a skill. If you don’t have this skill right now, that’s completely okay. That’s why we’re talking about this, so that you can develop it. You’re not born with this, by the way. This is something we learn as human beings and we don’t learn it the way that we sit and learn from books, like we do for so many other things. This is not math. And yet it really kind of is. It’s a skill like math that we all just take for granted. Your parents will help you name some of your feelings when you’re a kid, but they don’t really explain to you where you find it in your body and what that means and what it feels like. And all of the kinds of things that I’m describing for you now, we don’t learn this as a process.
We learn it from experience or language or words or observation. But until you actually put it into practice and think about it, it’s not as innate as we would all like it to be. And therefore it can feel really difficult. When you start to do this work, you will be able to start to identify thoughts all by themselves and the feelings those thoughts create all by themselves. And that’s how we will recognize whether a thought is helpful. The thought, “I have decided to lose weight,” because it creates that calm, assured, centered feeling in you, is helpful. And let me tell you what happens when you think, “I have decided to lose weight.” From that feeling of centeredness, that feeling will drive the actions that will lose weight. From a feeling of centeredness. Because here’s how this works.
I’m going to refer you now to episode number 32 (Ep. 032 How to Change https://pahlabfitness.com/how-to-change/). In this episode, we really dive into how your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings drive your actions. And then of course those actions get you results. So a feeling of calm assuredness/centeredness is going to drive actions that help you lose weight, that will get you to your weight loss goal. Because of the thought, “I have decided.” Deciding is the way we lose weight. Because it creates a specific feeling for you, that’s why it works.
And it’s why those other thoughts, “I really want to lose weight. I need to lose weight. I have to lose weight. I’ve decided to try to lose weight. I’m hoping to see the scale move,” – those feelings of desperate or pressured or wishy-washy or disempowered are going to drive actions that . . . I mean, really specifically, from “desperate,” for me, when I feel desperate, oh my gosh, I am all over the map. That kinetic energy like I was talking about, about feeling jolty in my limbs – that’s going to drive me to try this over here and try that over there and try this over here. It’s going to drive me to be so inconsistent with my efforts and my actions that of course I’m not going to lose weight. That feeling of pressure. Oh my gosh. For me, personally, I mean, I already described it to you. That feeling of pressure basically had me in the fetal position.
When I feel pressure, I do nothing. It drives the action of zero action when I feel pressured. Or I mean, the other thing that it can do, depending on exactly how much pressure I’m putting on myself, I might either do literally nothing or I might do lots of things that are not related to the task that I want because I’m trying to avoid the feeling of pressure. I find myself distracting myself by watching TV or playing on my phone. 99% of the time playing on my phone. So that feeling of pressure is going to drive actions that do not get you your weight loss. That feeling of wishy-washy or meh from, “I’ve decided to try to lose weight,” – that, I mean, for me personally, that gives me nothing. That means that as soon as I walk away from that thought, I’ve basically completely forgotten that I was even going to try to lose weight.
I’ll just go eat and then be, “Oh. Oh man, that’s right. I was going to try and lose weight. I guess I should probably maybe track my calories.” And it’s going to drive me to accidentally stay up too late. It’s going to drive me to not remember to drink my water. That meh feeling drives almost no helpful action towards getting your weight loss result. It might drive some once in a while, but generally speaking, a meh feeling is going to get you meh actions and therefore meh results. “I’m hoping to see the scale move.” Again, we talked about this for an entire episode (Ep. 064 Scale Feelings https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-064-scale-feelings/). That disempowered feeling is going to put me personally in a place where I’m actively trying not to think about doing things that are going to get me where I want to go, because I’ve given the power over to the scale or life or the world or whatever else. It’s driving no helpful actions for me because I don’t feel like I’m in control of my actions.
That disempowered feeling drives no helpful actions towards losing weight. But, my friends, feeling calm and sure, really specifically the sure, it drives you to do actions that maybe you wouldn’t do otherwise because you just know, you have that deep knowing centered feeling like, “Obviously I’m going to lose weight. Of course this is happening. I’ve decided.” That energy will drive all of the action that you need in order to lose weight. Now, the thing that I want to be really clear about, especially for those of us who do a lot of thinking, you will notice, of course, that you have this one thought that creates this one feeling, and then it will drive actions and move you either towards or away from your goal. But that’s not the only thought you’re having.
And this is where some of us get kind of lost in this process. For example, when we were saying that, “I have this one thought and then it creates a feeling for me,” when it creates that calm, sure feeling, and then all of a sudden you have another thought like, “I never feel this way. This is weird. This is uncomfortable,” this is what happens. This is what it looks like in the real world. We have thousands of thoughts about any one thing. Don’t let that throw you off your game. Recognizing one thought at a time is still going to get you where you want to go. Recognizing each thought individually will help you cultivate the helpful thoughts that your brain – once you’ve thought it and had a good feeling and practiced it for a while – it will become automatic in the way that some of your unhelpful thoughts are already automatic.
When you recognize those unhelpful automatic thoughts, you’ll bring them more to the forefront and you’ll recognize them. “Oh, there’s that unhelpful thought. Oh, there’s that unhelpful thought. I remember when I have the thought that ‘I need to lose weight,’ I feel very pressured.” Simply recognizing even some of your thoughts, even a quarter of a percent of your thoughts, is more helpful than you realize right now. Especially if, and I say this with so much love, especially if you are not noticing your thoughts right now. Those of us – I mean, and I’m including myself in this – those of us who do not notice our thoughts, we’re just thinking them all automatically. And so many of them are unhelpful that you’re just on autopilot all the time. As soon as you start to notice any of them, the amount of change that you will be able to create in your life from even noticing some thoughts is astronomical.
I cannot even express to you how much change you will create in your life from noticing as few as one thought a day. Truly. Truly. When I tell you that this is life changing, I mean that it is life changing. And it’s a skill. It’s a skill that I highly encourage you to practice. Find your thoughts, decide if they’re helpful. And did you notice? When you decide if they’re helpful, how do you feel about that? You feel very calm and very sure, don’t you? “I’ve decided that thought was unhelpful. Oh, there I go. I’ve decided that this thought is not helping me get where I want to go.” And that decision feels very calm. It feels very centered in your body. You guys. Huh.
That was good. I got really into that one. I love talking about stuff like this. I mean, 210 episodes of talking about the fitness matters that matter to you, the mindset matters that matter in your life. I love it. Thank you so much for joining me this week. I hope that this was helpful, except that I don’t hope because that puts it out of my control. I feel like this was helpful. You guys, thank you so much for being here. I will talk to you again soon.
If you’re getting a lot out of the Fitness Matters Podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get Your Goal coaching and accountability group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands-on. It’s fun. And it works. Find out more at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal, and let’s get your goal.