[PODCAST EPISODE 14] Your Brain Needs a Process for Losing Weight

Jan 14, 2021

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About the show:
Have you ever started a weight loss program and given up just days or weeks later? Or have you ever lost weight on a weight loss program only to gain it back again later? If you have been through this, just like me and most of the people who try to lose weight, then you'll want to listen to this episode. You'll learn the process your brain needs to go through in order to lose weight without any of the crazy diet stuff.  Don't wait any longer. Listen to this episode, learn the process, and get started today.


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Read the full episode transcript below:

Welcome to the Weight Loss Before and After Pregnancy Podcast. The place you’ll get simple strategies you can apply to your life today to start losing weight. Strategies that’ll help you reach your goal, move on with your life, and focus on the things that matter most to you. I’m your host, Certified Life and Weight Coach, Andrea Scalici. Let’s get started.

Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 14.

Before we get into today’s episode, I wanted to tell you about what’s going on over here in my life because I think you might be able to relate.

So, after the holiday break, my son’s school decided to pause in-person learning and go fully remote for a little while. I wasn’t surprised by this. I knew the school would make this decision. It makes sense for everything that’s happening in the world right now to protect the kids and the teachers. But I still felt a little let down, a little disappointed by this.

Some of you might have been in this position, with kids home and fully remote, since March of 2020. And some of you might be new to remote learning. And, like me, some of you might have had to deal with this situation here and there over the past year. Not the entire year, but here and there. 

Well, when I found out they were going fully remote after the holidays, I had to quickly come up with a plan. My husband works full time, out of the home. And I own my own coaching business. So, I had to figure out a way to balance both my 4-year old son and my business and keep myself healthy because as you know I’m almost in my sixth month of pregnancy with my second child, which is a boy by the way. Super excited about that.

So, the plan I created has a nice mixture of one on one time with my son and solid focus on my coaching business with my coaching clients. And somewhere in there I fit creating these podcast episodes for you because they’re really important to me. It’s really important to me that I do everything within my power to help you with weight loss and everything else you’re going through that I can help you with.

With that said, as I was writing the outline for this podcast episode, it was my first test to see if my new plan would work.

It was this morning around 10:30. I was sitting at my dining room table. My 4-year old son was sitting next to me. He was doing virtual preschool and playing games on the iPad.

He was eating cut up cucumbers, cut up peppers, and drinking his milk. And he was laughing at whatever he was learning on the iPad and just having a nice, mellow time next to me.

I was sitting next to him on my laptop, listening to music, and thinking about what I wanted to talk to you about in this podcast episode. I asked myself, “What is she thinking about right now? The woman who’s listening to this. Where is she stuck? What does she need help with that I know I can help her with when it comes to weight loss?”

That’s pretty much how I start with creating all my podcast episodes.

But today felt a little different to me because not only was it the first day I tried out my new plan with my son at home, which ended up working out nicely, but today I also realized how little I’ve shared with you about my own weight loss story and how little I’ve shared with you about the actual process your brain goes through when you’re losing weight.

This process is important to understand, at least on an intellectual level, before you jump into trying to lose weight because understanding this process will help you to keep going when things get tough. And we all know things will get tough at some point along the way.

For many people things get tough just days after they start to follow a meal plan, an exercise program, or whatever else they may decide to do. That was totally me when I was trying to lose weight so I get it.

But if you can understand this process, at least on an intellectual level, before you get started, you’ll learn to recognize each stage of the process as you’re going through each of them. And that will keep your brain a little more calm and feeling like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you should be doing, and everything is ok. Nothing has gone wrong.

I’m going to share a little of my own weight loss story with you and how my brain went through this process. And because I was aware of where I was in the process at each stage along the way, I never felt like I had to rush, or be in a hurry to lose my weight, or I never felt like I was doing things wrong or not doing things good enough. I always felt like I was right on time, doing exactly what I needed to do, and everything was ok, everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. This feeling of being exactly where I was supposed to be helped me stay calm throughout most of the process. 

This is how I want you to feel too as you’re losing your own weight. And I know you can feel this way, I know it can happen for you, if you learn this process ahead of time.

So, I guess it all started for me a few years ago. This was before I found life coaching, before I learned all the tools I have now, before I became a life coach, before I lost my weight.

I was 45 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. And honestly, this is hard for me to admit now, but I hated a lot of the parts of my life. I hated my job, I hated where I lived, I hated my house, I hated my clothes, I hated myself a lot of the time, and I was just really not in a good place.

One day I was sitting in my home office, working away at a job I hated. My husband was a stay-at-home Dad at the time for our son, who was just a few months old I think. My husband walked into my office to say hi and see how my day was going. And I kinda blew up at him.

I started telling him about everything I hated. I started telling him about how we had created this life together that wasn’t what I wanted, wasn’t how I envisioned my life, how I felt stuck and not in control, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Everything felt wrong and out of place. And I didn’t know what to do.

Now, my husband is an amazing guy. Super positive and understanding most of the time. So, he just listened to me. He let me get it all out. And then he said one tiny little sentence that changed my life. He said, “Hunny, you really need to focus on yourself from the inside out.” 

Then he walked over to me, gave me a hug and a kiss, and walked out of the room.

I sat there kinda shocked, very upset, and extremely defensive.

I couldn’t believe he didn’t feel how I felt or that he didn’t see my side of things. I couldn’t believe he would throw things back at me like that and tell me I was the problem. How could he?! Didn't he see that the problem was all of these things in our lives? My job, my weight problem, my clothes, our house, where we lived, just everything else needed to change. I didn’t need to change. Couldn’t he see that?

But after a few minutes, after I had calmed down, I thought about what had happened. I thought about how angry I was, how out of control I felt, how I just wanted to stop feeling that way and start feeling better. So, I did the one thing that I could think to do in that moment. I took out my phone, opened my podcast app, and searched the words ‘life coach.’ And that’s when I found The Life Coach School Podcast.

I started listening to it immediately and basically binge listened for weeks. Things just started to make sense for me. So, I joined their email list. And just a few months later, I got an email with an invitation to join Life Coach Certification and become a Life Coach myself.

I jumped at this opportunity and never looked back.

As I was going through Life Coach Certification, I decided to become a Business and Career Coach when I was done with the program. It made the most sense for me because I had my MBA, I had worked in several diverse industries helping other companies with their businesses, I had worked with many different people across the globe, and I was passionate about helping people with their business and career goals.

And I knew that if I was going to start my own coaching business, I’d have to put myself out there in the world and show up for my clients. I’d have to show up in videos, in photos, in my program, and with my clients directly. And I really wanted to lose the extra 45 pounds I had gained before I did all that. So, I asked the women in my group inside the Coach Certification program if anyone was planning on focusing on weight loss after the program.

Many people were planning to do that because the program we were going through focused a big portion of our learning on weight loss coaching.

Well, after I reached out to the women in my group, one person responded. I asked her if she wanted to practice coaching on me, which would be a win-win. She’d get coaching practice and I would get help losing my 45 pounds. She agreed, which I was so grateful for, and we got started as we were both going through Coach Certification.

Now, I want to say one thing before I tell you what happened.

Before I started working with her as my Coach, I had tried to lose my own weight on my own for years. I would get motivated to lose it, look for a program or an approach that seemed like it would work for me, and I’d get started. All of those programs either focused on the meal plan, the food I’d eat, or they focused on exercise and working out consistently.

I did lose some weight on some of those programs, but I always gained it back afterwards. Always. And I always ended up more frustrated than before. And just feeling out of control with my weight, like this was a problem I couldn’t solve. It didn’t matter how much education I had, how much I actually loved working out, or how much I wanted to lose the 45 pounds. I always gained weight back afterwards.

But when I started working with my Weight Loss Coach, who was becoming certified with the most amazing life coach tools in the world, I know I’m biased because I got certified with those same tools, my experience was completely different.

She didn’t focus on my meal plan or an exercise program. And actually, when I told her what I was eating, which I was honest about, and it wasn’t always good healthy stuff, she didn’t wink an eye. She didn’t judge me or make me feel bad or like I was doing something wrong.

I was waiting for her to yell at me or tell me I’d never lose my weight, but she never did. She always held space for me and helped me see what I needed to see.

I will always be grateful to her for that. And that experience not only taught me about the weight loss process I went through, which I’ll share with you in a minute, but it also taught me about what kind of Life Coach I wanted to be after certification.

I knew I wanted to hold space for my clients, to not judge them, to protect them, to help them come to their own realizations and decide for themselves how they wanted to live their lives. What foods they wanted to eat, what exercise they wanted to do, if any, just let them decide and create the lifestyle that makes the most sense for them. The lifestyle that would bring them the most joy, the most happiness. And that’s exactly what I strive to do now in my coaching practice.

So, let’s go back a little. She agreed to coach me through my own weight loss so I could get certified, launch my Business and Career Coaching practice with the body I wanted. Looking good in my videos and photos. Feeling confident and in control. Wearing clothes I loved.

Over the course of just a few weeks, I got more than I signed up for. She changed my life forever. And after I went through this process, my brain felt different. It felt lighter. It felt more like me. It felt more in control. And I decided right then and there to become a Weight Loss Coach instead of a Business and Career Coach.

I knew I had to share this process with other women who were struggling with their weight. Women who, like me, probably were focusing on finding the perfect meal plan or the perfect exercise program and not getting the results they wanted. At least not in the long term. I knew I had to share this with them, with you, so you could feel as free and amazing as I do now.

Ok. If you’re in the shower, or playing with your kids, or cooking, or doing the dishes, or doing something else right now, stop what you’re doing, if you can, and really listen to this process. It’s exactly what your brain needs to understand before you start a weight loss program. If you can’t stop what you’re doing right now, you might want to listen to this again later because it’s really important.

So, without further ado, here’s the weight loss process that my brain went through over the course of just a few weeks with my Coach.

I call it The 6 Stages of Losing Weight.

Stage one, where everyone should start, is learn. Instead of jumping right in to find the meal plan or the exercise program, take a step back, which may seem counterintuitive, and learn. Learn more about why you’re overeating in the first place. 

There are reasons. I mean, if you weigh more than you want to, it’s because you’re overeating, right? That was the case for me. And if you don’t feel like you can control your eating, it’s important for you to learn why so you can create a plan that will actually solve that problem at its core.

Now, with that said, there are two main reasons why you’re overeating and you feel like you can’t control yourself. The first reason has to do with your hormones and feeling hungrier than you are. The second reason has to do with the desire you feel inside of you to eat more food than your body needs to survive.

I’m not going to get into the details of these two things here, in this podcast episode, but I’ll probably talk about these reasons in future episodes. In the meantime, if you’re eager to know more about this, I do have a free resource you can download right now that talks about the over-desire aspect of weight loss.

Go to mcccoaching.com/starthere. No spaces in between start and here. It’s mcccoaching.com/starthere. And download my resource called The #1 Thing You Need To Know To Lose Weight. This resource will really help you get started with stage one.

No more putting a bandaid on the problem by focusing on the meal plan or an exercise program. No more focusing on the actions you’re taking. That doesn’t work for most of us. Dig a little deeper to find and solve the problem at its core because the reasons you’re overeating are a layer or two deeper and you need to know what they are for you. 

Ok. Stage two is plan. Once you’ve learned why you’re overeating and all that goes along with that, the next step is to create your plan that will solve your core problem, not just in the short term, but for the rest of your life. Solve your hormonal problem, if that’s what you’re facing, and solve your feeling like you’re really hungry all the time. Solve your over-desire problem and feeling like you just really want to eat food all the time.

The plan I teach my clients is called The 5 Simple Steps to Losing Weight and I talked all about it in podcast episodes one through six. But I’ll quickly tell you what each step is. And if you want more, go back and listen to those episodes.

Step one is to create and follow a sleep routine.

Step two is to drink enough water everyday.

Step three is to create and follow a meal plan.

Step four is to track everything.

And step five is to coach yourself everyday.

This simple, 5-step plan takes into account different aspects of your life, that if considered together like this, help you create the lifestyle you want for yourself. They help you consider what your overall best life is from a physical standpoint and an emotional one.

And you’ll notice that the meal plan is only one of the steps. When it comes to creating a meal plan for yourself, everyone’s body is different so everyone’s plan will be different.

Like, for me, I’m lactose intolerant so my plan definitely does not include much dairy. Full disclosure, I do include a little dairy on my plan, but when I eat it, I choose to eat it knowing I’ll probably feel a little sick after. But not everyone has that issue. Not everyone is lactose intolerant. You might love dairy and need it in your life way more than me. Your body may need it more than mine does. And that’s totally ok. There is no one perfect, no one right, meal plan for everyone.

Once you have your plan ready, all 5-steps of your plan, you’ll move into stage three, apply. This is when you’ll actually start applying, or taking action, on the plan you created. 

You’ll start to follow your sleep routine. You’ll start to drink enough water everyday. You’ll start to follow your meal plan. You’ll start to track everything. And you’ll start to coach yourself everyday.

It’s important for you to know as you’re in this third stage, that the plan you created probably won’t be perfect. You’ll follow the plan for two weeks in this stage, without changing anything, and you’ll observe and evaluate. You’ll learn what’s working, what’s not working, and what you want to change.

Now, many people start a weight loss program, and they make it through a few days or a few weeks and end up driving through the drive thru, which isn’t on their plan. One of the main reasons this happens is because we expect ourselves and the plan to be perfect. We expect it to be perfect from day one. And when it isn’t, we throw the whole thing out the window.

But this doesn’t have to happen. If you know upfront that the plan you start with isn’t the one you’ll end with. Or if you know upfront that you’ll be tweaking your plan a little here and there for the rest of your life because your body will continue to change for the rest of your life. Then, your job is not to have the perfect plan. Your job is to continuously evaluate it. Figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and what you want to change. Then, make those changes to it. Even if you’re making changes to your plan for the rest of your life, who cares?

You’ll make those changes, whatever you learned from following your plan for the first two weeks in stage three apply, in the next stage. Stage four, practice.

This stage is exactly as it sounds. You’ll practice following your plan, while making changes to it as you need to.

Knowing ahead of time that you’re practicing something, helps your brain feel like it’s ok to make mistakes and keep going. It’s ok if things aren’t perfect. You’re less likely to give up on your plan completely because you’re just practicing it. And everyone knows when you’re learning and practicing something for the first time, there will be mistakes. Who cares?

Eat at the drive thru off plan, and get right back on your plan at the next meal. Don’t give up completely on it. Don’t stop and start again on Monday. Keep going right there at the next meal.

Once you’ve practiced your plan for a few weeks, sometimes it can take as little as 3 weeks, sometimes 6 weeks, sometimes longer, it all depends, your brain will feel different. It’ll feel like I described before. It’ll feel lighter. It’ll feel more like yourself, more in control. Your taste buds may seem different too. And this is when you’ll actually want to follow your plan. Like, I mean, genuinely want to follow it most days. That’s when you know you’ve entered stage five, master.

When you’ve reached this point, you’ve mastered your plan. You genuinely want to follow it most of the time, maybe not all of the time because you’re not a robot, you’re a human, but most of the time. And you’ll really feel solid about your choices. 

You might still be making changes to your meal plan, that’s fine, you might be making those changes forever, but like I said, who cares? You’ll definitely feel more in control of yourself and wanting to follow it. It’s kinda like your plan has become your new lifestyle, a new habit for you. It’s a pretty amazing shift that happens inside the brain during this stage.

Then, at some point, you’ll start to think about your next goal in life. You’ll start to think about your future and everything that’s possible for you to accomplish now that you feel confident the rest of your weight will come off with time. You’ll start to think less about food and weight loss. And that’s when you know you’ve entered stage six, the final stage, which I call future.

When I entered this stage myself, my brain had so much more space and energy to focus on my coaching business and my clients because I wasn’t so focused on my weight and all the shame and drama that came along with that for me. My brain shifted and really felt more freedom.

So, if you’re listening to this podcast right now, and you want to lose weight, you’re considering a program or Coach to help you, just be aware of these 6 stages that your brain will go through during the weight loss process. They will help guide you and they will help you feel like you’re exactly where you need to be along the way. 

Don’t start by focusing on a meal plan or exercise program and expecting yourself to be perfect at it from day one. That’s just not how it goes for most of us. You’ll need to go through each of the 6 stages we just talked about. And once you do, you’ll be on your way to your ideal weight and a solid knowing inside of you that you can keep it off for the rest of your life.

So, let me quickly recap The 6 Stages of Losing Weight.

Stage one. Learn. Learn why you’re overeating in the first place.

Stage two. Plan. Create your new lifestyle, your plan using The 5 Simple Steps as a guide.

Stage three. Apply. Start to follow your plan. Follow it for two weeks, evaluate, but don’t change a thing during those first two weeks.

Stage four. Practice. Practice your plan while making changes to it that make sense for the lifestyle you want to live. Some people may be in this stage for 3 weeks. Some people 6 weeks. And others longer. I generally tell my clients to stay in this stage for 6 weeks.

Stage five. Master. This is when you feel like you actually want to follow your plan. Things will definitely feel easier at this stage.

And stage six. Future. This is when you’re naturally think about food and weight loss less. And you’ll start to think about and maybe even plan for, your next goal in life. Whatever that is for you.

For me, it was focusing on my coaching business and my clients. But for you, it may be starting a business, having another kid, getting a promotion, organizing your house, just anything you want to do.

The last thing I’ll say is this. If you are considering a weight loss program or Coach, I want to invite you to join my program, which walks you through this process step-by-step. Join The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program today. Once you get started, and if you do the work, you’ll start to feel a shift inside your brain in just a few weeks. It’s absolutely amazing and freeing. What are you waiting for?

Go to mcccoaching.com/join and get started now.

And don’t forget, if you want to check out my free resource I mentioned earlier, go to mcccoaching.com/starthere. It’ll get you started with stage one, learn.

Alright. I hope to see you inside my program. And I’ll talk to you soon.

If you loved this podcast, I want to invite you to check out The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. It’s my signature program that’ll teach you everything you need to know from start to finish to lose weight, reach your goal, and maintain it once you’re there. You’ll also learn how to have your own back through the process. Join me over at mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.


Join The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program