My friends, do you realize that you hold ALL the power💪 to get what you want out of life? The simple truth is that WEIGHT LOSS success is yours for the taking once you learn THIS essential skill.
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re loosening the grip of the bathroom scale, and putting the power of weight loss in your hands!
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
👉 WHAT is creating the frustration you feel when you weigh yourself
👉 HOW OFTEN (and why) to weigh yourself
👉 EXACTLY HOW to reclaim your power from the scale
Ready to get the results you want? Listen now, and LET’S GO!
If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to SHARE it with your friends! 💛
Your WEIGHT is a NUMBER (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 235 “Your Weight is a Number.”
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.
This month’s book club book is “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. Join me at Chat About It Live on Tuesday, June 14th, at 3:00 PM Pacific time. There’s a link in the description box or show notes below to register for the Zoom event. You can download and listen to “The Kindness Method” or thousands of other great titles from Chirp Audiobooks at steep limited time discounts with no monthly subscription fees. Right now, “The Kindness Method” is just $2.99, and first time users can get 50% off their purchase with the code Pahla50, that’s P-A-H-L-A five zero. Be sure to follow the Pahla B Wellness Over 50 book club at chirpbooks.com/pahla. Grab your copy today, and I’ll see you live in June.
Hello, hello, my friends. It is so good to be here with you. How are you today? How did you like the title of this episode? You have some thoughts about it, don’t you? You guys, this is a foundational episode. This is one of those ones that I know for sure that I will be referring to again. And if you actually listen to the podcast on YouTube, at the top of the channel page, there are a handful of episodes that I consider to be completely foundational. These are concepts that we build on and come back to and turn around. And they’re definitely the building blocks of mindset work. And in fact, I think one of them is even called Mind Management (Ep. 089 Mind Management https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-089-mind-management/). I think another one is The Compassionate Observer (Ep. 211 The Compassionate Observer https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-211-the-compassionate-observer/). There’s one about feelings (Ep. 039 Feelings https://pahlabfitness.com/feelings/), and there’s one about how to change (Ep. 032 How to Change https://pahlabfitness.com/how-to-change/), which is the whole way things go, like this is what happens in the world. There are circumstances that happen, something that happens, something, somebody says something that you see or hear or take in, in some manner. That thing is a circumstance.
And then, you have a thought about that circumstance. Your thought creates your feelings. Your feelings drive your actions. And then your actions, of course, are how we get results. That’s how we make changes in our lives, by having a thought that produces a feeling that drives actions that then creates that result for us. But the thing that I really have not talked about very much, the concept that we are learning today, is this idea that a circumstance – a thing that has happened in the world – is neutral. Things that happen – something that somebody says, something that happens, your weight on the scale for example – is completely neutral. It exists, and then we have thoughts about it. Now I’ve talked a lot about our thoughts. And in fact, this is where I will refer you to the episode Facts Vs. Opinions (Ep. 009 Facts Vs. Opinions https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions/), where we have thoughts about everything.
And we think they are facts, and we think they are true. And we think that they describe the circumstance. And the reason that we’re going to talk about this today, the reason we pull this stuff apart, what I want you to get out of this episode and every episode, is that you and your brain are the most powerful thing on the planet. You have all the power to change your life, to live your life, to be who you want to be, to do what you want to do, to have what you want to have. You have power, all of it. And the reason that we think we don’t is because we give away our power.
We give our power away all the time. All of us, literally all of us all the time. It’s super common. I’m not calling you out when I tell you that you’re giving away your power. I do it too. In fact, oh my gosh, just this week, I’m giving all my power away to all kinds of circumstances. And we’re going to talk about that. We describe how circumstances are neutral; they are things that are happening that we have thoughts about. Now, here’s the thing about that sentence. Circumstances are neutral, like the sentence, “Your weight is a number.” The way I often refer to it – and this is something I’m pretty sure I say in the 5-0 method, which is my free download for weight loss over 50 (The 5-0 Method https://pahlabfitness.com/programs/the-5-0-method/) – I suggest personally, that you weigh yourself every day.
There are several reasons why. I will get into them very briefly here. I don’t know that I go into them in a lot of detail in the 5-0 Method, but here’s the thinking. I want you truly to understand that your weight is a number, that your weight is data and that it is neutral. And one of the ways to do that is a well known psychological principle called exposure. I think it’s just called exposure therapy, where you expose yourself repeatedly to something that you have historically a strong reaction to and over time, the exposure reduces your reaction. Now having said that, while that is a well known psychological principle, I will tell you that you cannot simply expect to weigh yourself every day and become neutral to it. Part of what we do around here in these parts is that we actually examine our thoughts about the circumstance so that we understand that we have the power. My friends, I’m going to say “we all” because there are very few of us who have put in the real work here who have not given our power to the scale.
We step on the scale in the morning and we let it dictate our day. And it’s really interesting to me as a student of mindset work, how we do that. And there are lots of reasons and social conditioning and stuff like that, that you might find interesting to turn over in your mind. And sometimes I do, but also, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter why we do this. It really doesn’t. What matters is simply that you know that you’re doing it, that you notice, “Hey, I got on the scale. And then all of a sudden, so randomly, I was in a terrible mood.”
And we give our power to the scale when we say, “I’m never going to weigh myself again,” or “I’m going to only weigh myself once a month or once a week,” or “I’m going to throw it out and only go by how my clothes fit.” You’re still giving your power to something outside of you, when you don’t weigh yourself or when you go by how your clothes fit. My friends, you have the power to think about your body any way you want to, at any given time, without any external circumstance, because that circumstance – no matter what the circumstance is – is not creating your feeling. Your thoughts are, every single time.
Now, here’s the thing about me saying that a circumstance is neutral or your weight is data or your weight is a number. It doesn’t feel like it, doesn’t feel like it at all. We have so many years – I’m going to go ahead and just say it’s your whole life, or from as long as many of us can remember, or from very early childhood – that weight did not feel neutral. The circumstances did not feel neutral. When you came home crying from school, your mom didn’t say, “Oh, so another human being said words to you. And you had thoughts about it that are creating this feeling of sadness?” No, she would say something like, “Oh, did little Timmy hurt your feelings?”
Because, that’s what we do. As human beings, we give our power of our thoughts and our feelings away to things in the world. But here’s the thing. When I say that weight is just data or that circumstances are neutral, really specifically, that sentence, circumstances are neutral, I remember having a really hard time with this one when I first heard it too. And that’s why I do feel that this is a very foundational episode to really come back to and absorb again and again, because it took me a long time to really get this concept. And here’s probably the most important thing I can tell you. When I tell you that circumstances are neutral, it does not in any manner mean that you feel neutral about it, nor does it mean that you should feel neutral about it, nor it doesn’t even mean that you have to do mindset work around it.
You can feel however you feel. You can feel angry or frustrated or sad or hurt or excited or thrilled or neutral. You can feel any way in the world. The reason I want you to recognize that circumstances are neutral is so that you recognize your power over them, that you have the power to think anything. And you do already think lots of things. So I want you to recognize your power. I think the reason that we talk about circumstances being neutral is because that concept can help you get into the compassionate observer mode. This is the point in the podcast where I will point you to the episode called The Compassionate Observer (Ep. 211 The Compassionate Observer https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-211-the-compassionate-observer/), which really explains that concept. Again, a very foundational concept. When we do mindset work, we can’t do it from inside our own brain. When you are in the middle of the forest, it is very difficult to see anything other than the trees that are right in front of you.
But when you zoom out, into the compassionate observer mode, and get above all the trees, that’s when you can see, “Oh, this is a whole forest.” And then, when you can see that there’s a whole forest, you can recognize that they are automatic thoughts. Not that trees are thoughts, but coming back to the whole circumstances and neutral, and then we don’t feel neutral. We have these feelings about the data or the thing that has happened. When you can get into that compassionate observer mode – knowing that you have all the power in this situation, that the thing that has happened is neutral – you can start to recognize that you are simply having automatic thoughts about this thing. This is great news. These thoughts are yours. They are yours to direct. They are yours to understand. They are yours to see, to peel apart, to question, to take care of, to gently redirect if necessary. Your thoughts belong to you.
And generally speaking, I would say the phrase, “Your thoughts are within your control.” I’m not changing my mind about that, but I’m changing how I speak about it because you do not control circumstances. They are outside of you. I’m going to refer you now to an episode where we dig into this more deeply (Ep. 034 What You Control https://pahlabfitness.com/what-you-control/). You do have control of your thoughts, meaning that you can observe them. You can understand them, you can direct them, but you don’t eliminate them. And I think that’s why I’m going to move away from using the word “control,” because you don’t need to eliminate thoughts that create feelings that you would rather not have, that drive actions that you would rather not do. And get you results that you would rather not have. You don’t need to eliminate unhelpful thoughts.
And I think that’s what comes to mind when I say, you have control over your thoughts. So I think I’m going to move in the direction of saying that you have direction over your thoughts, that you can gently redirect them when they pop up again, that you can notice that you have automatic thoughts and not feel like you have to control or squash or eliminate the ones that don’t work for you. But when you can notice that a circumstance is neutral, it helps you see all of your thoughts. Again, by being in that compassionate observer mode, you recognize that a circumstance is neutral and that you have automatic thoughts. And once you’re in that compassionate observer mode, you can recognize, “Oh, here are some thoughts that aren’t serving me.”
The thought that the scale is a liar is unhelpful because it creates for me a feeling of distrust. Distrust, using the two-step tool – I’m going to recommend here that you listen to the episode about mindset management (Ep. 089 Mind Management https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-089-mind-management/) – where we find our thoughts and decide if they’re helpful. When you recognize that you’re having unhelpful, automatic thoughts, you’ll realize that is within your direction, your direct control.
That might be the way that I talk about it: your direct control. Because it is not something outside of you, that is not your direct control. My friends, the scale is not under your direct control. You can guide the scale to move in the direction that you would like. You have control over what you put in your mouth. You have control over when you go to bed. You have control over how much water you drink. You have control over whether or not you get out your journal and write down your thoughts and recognize whether or not they’re helpful. But the scale, my friends, that is under the control of your body. Your body is going to do what your body is going to do.
The scale always fluctuates. Over time, it can move in the direction that you are aiming for, the result that you would like, the weight loss or the weight maintenance or the getting of the goal weight that you have for yourself. But even at your goal weight – just so we’re clear – even at your goal weight, your scale will fluctuate. Your weight will change. Your weight will never, ever be static. Truly never. Because once you are no longer with us, your weight will change because of different biological processes then too. So, my friends, wanting your weight to be a number as opposed to a range of numbers, this is worthy of knowing, understanding that your weight is data. That it is a number that is a calculation of your body’s mass in relation to gravity.
And I say it like that really specifically because that does help you get into that space of knowing that your weight is neutral. It’s a circumstance, therefore it’s neutral, so that you can hear your thoughts when you offer yourself the opportunity to recognize that the words that people say are simply words, that the number on the scale is simply data. That things that happen in the world are just things. It gives you the opportunity to explore your thoughts. And, my friends, this is what we do. This is mindset work. This is the entirety of mindset work.
In fact, I know that lots of us, in fact, this is a whole episode in and of itself, a topic of an episode that I haven’t created yet regarding mindset work. We don’t do mindset work to feel happy all the time. We do mindset work to be aware of what we are feeling. Sometimes that’s not happy. And it’s always because of our own thoughts, not because of things that are happening outside of us.
The reason that we think that other things that happen – things that people say, numbers on scales, et cetera – the reason that we think that they are creating our feelings is simply because your automatic thoughts are so fast. And I just want to take a quick second here, to shout out your brain because your brain is amazing. It takes in data and creates a thought and a feeling so fast that we don’t even perceive it. We think automatic thoughts so quickly that we don’t even hear them. That’s amazing. Your brain is a super computer. It takes in billions of pieces of information at any given time. You see things, you smell things, you hear things, you taste things. It’s taking all of that in, every single second of every day of every year of your life and processing it so fast that you have thoughts about it.
And then, those thoughts release chemicals and hormones and do other things in your body that create feelings. You are a miracle. You and your brain are a flat out miracle. And sometimes you need to slow it down a little bit and observe what you are doing so that you can intentionally create results that you want instead of being at the mercy of these automatic thoughts. Your automatic thoughts, my friends, come from all kinds of places. They come from all kinds of places that if you were choosing to take in this information, you’d be like, “No, no thank you.” And you do, you do that now, you do have a filter now, to take in media that is interesting, to notice things you want to believe, but your automatic thoughts were formed before you had the critical thinking skills to decide, “This is a thought I want to be thinking automatically for the rest of my life.”
You took in information when you were a baby and a young child. Really, anytime apparently, before you’re 25, when your brain is fully formed and as good at critical thinking as it’s ever going to get. And I say that so nicely, I’m laughing at myself. I feel like I actually have gotten better at critical thinking since I was 25. I hope so, because I have gained more knowledge, gained more experience. But really, before you’re 25, you don’t even have the capacity. You have some capacity to think critically, but you don’t have the full capacity to think critically that you will. And then, from experience, you will continue to grow. You have taken in so much media. I’m thinking about my kids. Oh my gosh, they have taken in so many opinions and so much media and so many words and ideas from people they went to school with.
Think about how many influences you had in your life, from a very, very young age that you wouldn’t choose anymore. For reals, TV shows that you wouldn’t watch now, books that you wouldn’t read again, people’s opinions that you would love to stop hearing in your head. Frankly, I’m thinking about how often I hear my mother’s voice in my head telling me things that I don’t want to believe. Well, those things have become your automatic thoughts. This is the way your brain is supposed to work. It is supposed to, when you are a child, be a sponge, take it all in, absorb it all, process it all, and then see the world through that lens. It’s amazing that your brain can and does do this. And even more amazing than that is our capacity to think about that. You, as a human being, have the ability, the metacognition to think about your thoughts. You can hear your automatic thoughts and not be at the mercy of them.
You can decide, on purpose, to think something different. And the method by which you can do that is by getting into that compassionate observer mode, where you recognize that you have the power. It’s not the scale. It’s not the number. It’s not the circumstance of the thing outside of you. It’s you, your power, your thoughts. When you can recognize all of this, first of all, just bask in the glory of the miracle that is you and slow it on down. Here’s where we get into the practical advice, slow it on down. Recognize that every single piece of information that you take in, you are having thoughts about. This is why we need to journal because, oh my goodness, your thoughts are so fast and so automatic, that you are not going to recognize them until you take the time to try to recognize them on purpose.
When you download the 5-0 Method, it has journaling pages where it asks you, “What do I think about today’s numbers? What do I think about my weight today?” So you can hear your thoughts as thoughts. And in fact, that’s even part of the exercise where at the beginning of every sentence it says, “I think. I think I must have done something wrong yesterday. I think I ate too much. I think I didn’t exercise enough.”
Whatever other junk comes up in your head, those are all just automatic thoughts from years and years of hearing you have to eat less and move more, which is not true. Just FYI, take a whole left turn here, talking about how weight loss works. But you have thoughts about the number on the scale, and lots and lots of those thoughts, my friends, are not helpful. And that’s why we need to journal about them, because when they’re not helpful, they’re not helping you get where you want to go.
I’m taking a big, deep breath. I feel like I got wound up. This is my favorite part about the podcast. I get wound up about these things because I would love for you to internalize these concepts so that you can live the life you want. You can have the things you want to have. You can achieve the goals you want to achieve by recognizing that you are not at the mercy of the things around you, that you have the power to think about anything in a way that helps you move towards what you want. Thank you so much for listening. I really hope this was helpful for you today. And I’ll 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 pahlabfit.com/get-your-goal, and let’s get your goal.