Listen to this podcast episode to learn the first step to losing weight. The step itself may sound simple but it can be difficult to apply to your life. This episode talks about the obstacles you might face when you try to apply this step to your life. And it provides you with a simple 3-step strategy to move past any obstacle so you can succeed.
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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 number 2.
In last week’s episode I introduced you to The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight. And I want to start today by quickly going over what those are.
You might remember that step number one is creating and following a sleep routine.
Step number two is drinking enough water everyday.
Step number three is creating and following a food plan.
Step number four is tracking everything. Writing it down.
And step number five is self-coaching, which is basically a form of journaling.
These 5 steps are the exact steps I took to lose my own weight. They’re what I teach my clients. And they’re what I recommend for you too.
So, in last week’s episode I introduced you to these 5 steps and I told you I’d go into more detail on each of them in future episodes. So, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do.
In this episode, we’re gonna focus on step number one, creating and following a sleep routine. And we’ll talk about the other four steps in future episodes. But we’re gonna focus on your sleep routine in this episode.
Ok. Now, when you think about weight loss, do you think about sleep? Probably not. But sleep is so important for weight loss. I can’t stress this enough. Because getting enough sleep every night will help you think more clearly and make better decisions throughout your day. Specifically, better decisions about food.
You know what I mean by that? I’m sure we’ve all been there. We didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, for whatever reason, and we’re really feeling it that day.
The body feels physically slower and like we’re dragging it around everywhere. And we just can’t think like we normally would. Maybe we’re short with other people especially if they’re asking us a bunch of questions. Because we just can’t process things like we normally would. It’s terrible.
I’ve definitely been there. Just a few weeks ago my 3-½ year old son woke me up multiple times during the night because he was scared of monsters. Yup, the good old classic monsters. And every time he woke me up, I’d get out of bed, bring him back into his room, talk to him about the monsters, and sit there with him until he fell back asleep. This happened multiple times in one night. And I think I only got like 4 hours of sleep that night.
Well, the next day was even rougher than the night. I was dragging it. Exhausted. My body was tired. And it was really hard for me to think clearly.
When it came to food, that was really difficult too. I mean, no matter what, when I wake up in the morning, I’ve already written myself a food plan for the day. So, I know exactly what I’m going to eat that day. I’ve got very little decisions to make during the day when it comes to food. But since I was really physically tired that day, and my brain was just not clear, I didn’t want to follow my plan.
I didn’t want to spend the 5-minutes that it would take me to prepare the food that was on my plan. I wanted something quicker that I could just pop into my mouth and move on. But I was able to talk myself out of it and get myself out of this foggy feeling for the 5-minutes it took me to prepare the food that was on my plan.
I did end up following my food plan that day. But it was a lot more difficult for me to do than it normally is. I had to really work at it.
Have you ever felt like that? You’re so tired from not getting enough sleep that it’s hard to think clearly, it’s hard to make good decisions, and you just want to do whatever is quickest and easiest.
I bet everyone has been there at some point. That’s why it’s so important to do everything within your power to follow a sleep routine. To avoid as many days as you can of feeling physically exhausted, foggy, and unclear.
Now, I know myself well enough to know that I need about 9 hours of sleep each night to feel like I’m at my best. And I also know that I can still think clearly and make good decisions if I get 7 hours of sleep each night. So, 7 hours at the very least. But 9 hours would be even better. 9 hours would be perfect for me.
7 hours of sleep each night is my minimum sleep routine and 9 hours of sleep each night is my ideal sleep routine.
I want you to think about yours. What’s your minimum sleep routine and what’s your ideal sleep routine?
Like, what’s the minimum amount of sleep you need to get to physically feel good during the day, think clearly, and make good decisions?
And what would be perfect for you? The perfect amount of time to sleep and feel like you’re at your best during the day?
Is it 7 hours and 9 hours for you too? Or is it something else?
When you know your numbers, I want you to focus on your ideal sleep number. Use that number to do the math to find out when you need to go to sleep at night.
And I recommend you go to sleep every night around the same time. That way, if any unexpected things happen during the night, like a little boy waking you up with fears of monsters, you’ll get more sleep than you would have if you went to bed later. Like, if you had used your minimum sleep routine number to calculate your bedtime. Definitely don’t do that. Use your ideal sleep routine number to calculate your bedtime.
So, as an example, for me 9 hours of sleep each night is ideal. If I go to bed around 9:00 at night and wake up around 6:00 every morning, I’ll feel like I’m at my best for that day. This is what I personally shoot for. You do the math to figure yours out.
But if I go to bed at 9:00 at night and something unexpected happens that wakes me up around 4:00 in the morning, which sometimes happens, I know I’ll be ok that day too. Because I still got 7 hours of sleep.
Once you know your ideal sleep routine, then it’s all about figuring out how you’re going to follow it. Some people have trouble following their routine, but it’s completely doable. It’s completely possible. You can figure out how to follow your plan. And I’m going to give you a few things to think about here.
Ok. So, let’s talk about the obstacles you might face when you try to follow your sleep routine, your ideal sleep routine. There might be some physical challenges and there might be some emotional challenges.
The physical challenges might be your baby or your kids getting you up during the night. Your husband or partner tossing and turning and waking you up. Maybe your mattress or pillow isn’t comfortable. Maybe you’ve got some physical pain that makes it hard to sleep. Could be your environment. Like, a light in your bedroom or a car honking outside or something like that. Or maybe you get up multiple times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. That might be waking you up too. Or it could even be something you ate or drank the night before. Like coffee, anything caffeinated, or something that’s hurting your stomach.
There’s also a few emotional challenges that might be getting in the way of you and your sleep. Maybe you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because of thoughts racing around in your head. Those thoughts cause feelings inside your body. So the sensations inside your body, your feelings, might be waking you up or keeping you up too. Or maybe you get urges to do something. Like, check your phone, turn on the tv, go on your computer, check your kids, eat or drink something, or something else. Or maybe something happened during the day that didn’t feel good to you. And maybe you’re replaying that situation in your mind over and over again and you’re judging yourself or shaming yourself for whatever happened.
All of these things are real challenges you might be facing that make it hard to get ideal sleep. And we’re not gonna talk about every single challenge that I mentioned here. But I am gonna give you a strategy you can use that’ll help you with any challenge you might be facing. And then I’ll show you how you can apply that strategy to one physical challenge and one emotional challenge.
Ok. Here’s the strategy.
First, figure out what your specific challenges are. Identify them. Write them down. Both the physical and the emotional ones.
Second, for every challenge you write down, come up with at least three possible solutions. If you need more than three possible solutions, then come up with more. However many you need to to ultimately get the result you want, getting ideal sleep every night.
And third, try out each possible solution, one-by-one, until you find a solution that’ll work for you.
That’s it. A simple 3-step strategy to overcome any obstacle and get your ideal sleep.
Now, when you’re coming up with solutions, I want you to think about this. It’s so important whenever there’s a problem in your life, to intentionally ask yourself to come up with solutions. If you don’t, then you’ll likely stay stuck in the problem. Your mind will just loop over and over again on the same problem. But when you intentionally ask yourself to come up with solutions, it’s the quickest way out of a problem cycle, out of these mind loops. And it’s the quickest way to actually getting to a solution.
So, figure out what your sleep obstacles are. Come up with possible solutions for them. And try out each solution, one at a time, until you find the one that’ll work for you. Commit to figuring this out for yourself so you can get the sleep you deserve.
Let’s run through a quick example of a physical challenge you might be facing.
Whenever you have a physical challenge, your solution should include a physical strategy and an emotional strategy. This is so important so really hear me on this.
Let’s say you’re having trouble sleeping because your mattress is uncomfortable. One of the physical solutions you come up with is to research new options and purchase something new. Easy enough.
But you also need an emotional solution too. Here’s what I mean by this.
If you identify your mattress as a problem, and you think about it as a problem, you might be making it more difficult for yourself emotionally.
Like, if you’re thinking, “This mattress sucks. I hate it. It’s so uncomfortable. I shouldn’t have to deal with this. This is annoying. I just want a new one.” If you’re thinking anything like this, then you’re probably feeling frustrated, annoyed, or maybe even a little overwhelmed.
Thinking about your mattress and your situation in this way is completely unnecessary and just produces a whole lot of unnecessary anxiety.
So you need an emotional strategy in addition to your physical strategy to deal with this situation.
The basis of everything I teach is that thoughts cause feelings. So, if you’ve identified that your mattress is uncomfortable and you plan to get a new one, you can focus on your thoughts and think about this situation in a way that motivates you and empowers you.
Instead of thinking negative thoughts that make you feel frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed, or anxious, you can think something like, “I know exactly how to handle this situation. I am handing it. I will research and order a new mattress. No problem. I’ve got this. I know how to take care of this.”
Intentionally thinking about your situation like this, as you take care of it, will empower you and motivate you. And it will make the entire process of buying a new mattress more fun.
Now, let’s run through a quick example of an emotional challenge you might be facing.
One of the biggest things I hear from people about getting ideal sleep, is the emotional challenge of falling asleep or staying asleep because of thoughts racing around in the mind.
Does this happen to you?
Maybe you’re lying in bed, trying to fall asleep and your mind is racing.
Maybe you’re thinking about your day tomorrow. You’re thinking about everything you have to do. Clean the house, take care of the kids, do work, cook food, do laundry, and everything in between.
Maybe you’re thinking about how much you hate doing certain things or maybe you’re thinking about how much you don’t want to do certain things on your list. The thoughts just spin around in your mind, over and over again, causing you to stay awake when you’d rather be sleeping.
If this is you, you’re not alone. We often let thoughts spin in our minds and it’s like they’re on repeat. We ask the same questions. We give ourselves the same answers. And we just keep repeating this.
If you’re in this cycle, I suggest you break it as soon as you realize it’s happening. So, one of your solutions could be to give yourself five or ten minutes each night before bed. Get out a pen and paper and write down all the thoughts spinning around in your head. Write them down. Get them all out of your mind.
Then, start to ask yourself new questions about the things you’re thinking about. So, if you’re thinking about cleaning your house tomorrow, ask yourself why you would want to do that. Like, why do you would want to have a clean house? Why is it important for you? And why are you choosing to take time out of your day to clean your house?
The goal here is to acknowledge all the thoughts you’re currently thinking. The good ones. The bad ones. And all the ones in between. And then intentionally refocus your brain in a way that’s empowering to you.
This will calm your mind down before bed and help you fall asleep.
Give it a try if this is a problem you’re facing. It just might change your life. It did for me!
So, let’s wrap up what we learned.
You’ll want to figure out your minimum sleep routine, the very least amount of sleep you can get and still think clearly and make good decisions.
Then, figure out your ideal sleep routine, which is when you feel at your best throughout the day. It’s when you think clearly and make optimal decisions during the day.
Then, do the math with your ideal sleep number to figure out your ideal sleep routine.
Once you know what it is, figure out what physical and emotional challenges are currently keeping you from getting your ideal sleep.
Come up with solutions for each challenge and test them out, one-by-one until you find the best one.
Here’s another helpful tip.
If you do all of this and you’re still having trouble sleeping, I recommend you talk to your doctor or maybe even your dentist to get some extra help.
If you’re like, “Dentist? Whaaat?” Let me tell you what happened with me just a few weeks ago.
At one point, I figured out I was clenching my jaw at night. Which led me to massive headaches during the day. I told my dentist about this during a routine visit. And he told me this happened to him too.
He told me he solved his problem by getting a securely fitted night guard that helped him with both the clenching and the headaches.
As soon as I heard this, I was sold. I’m scheduled myself this month to get fitted for my own night guard. I cannot wait.
So, the morale of the story is, don’t be afraid to get help from your doctor or your dentist if you’re really having trouble sleeping. They may have solutions to your specific problems.
I want to wrap up this episode by saying this. Sleep is so important. Especially when it comes to weight loss. It’ll help you think clearly and make better decisions about food throughout the day. Don’t underestimate how important sleep is and how much it’s connected to weight loss.
Alright. That’s it for our discussion about your sleep routine, which is step number one of The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight.
On the next episode, we’ll keep going with The 5 Simple Steps by talking about step number two, drinking enough water everyday. You won’t want to miss that one. I think you’ll be surprised with what we talk about there.
Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. And if you did, subscribe now so you can get episodes automatically downloaded to your favorite podcast app. And if you’ve got an extra minute or two, please leave a review in Apple Podcasts. A 5-star review if you felt this show connected with you. Leaving a review is a great way for more women to find this podcast and get the help they need. So, I really appreciate if you take the time to do that. Have an amazing week and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.
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.
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