Listen to this podcast episode to learn the fifth step to losing weight. In my opinion, this is the most important step of them all. So, I recommend you listen to this one from start to finish. And come back to it again in the future if you need to.
If you want to take this work deeper so you can lose weight and move on with your life, click here to join The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program.
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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 6.
This is gonna be a really important episode for you so I want to encourage you to listen to this one from start to finish. And come back to it again in the future if you need to.
We’re gonna wrap up our series on The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight by talking about step five, self-coaching. Which, to me, is the most important step of them all.
If you haven’t listened to the previous five episodes, I recommend you go back and listen to them in order. You’ll learn all about what The 5 Simple Steps are and how to apply the first four of them to your life. And in this episode, you'll learn about step five and how to apply that one to your life.
Ok. As I said, I believe this step, self-coaching, is the most important thing you can learn in order to lose weight.
When you make the decision to lose weight, and you’re fully committed to making that happen, you’ll start to make some changes in your life.
If you decide that you like my approach, The 5 Simple Steps, you’ll start taking action on the first four steps. So, you’ll be following a sleep routine, drinking enough water everyday, creating and following a food plan, and tracking everything. And as you start taking action on those things, emotions will start to come up.
You’ll start to notice the emotions more than ever because food will no longer be the thing that numbs those emotions.
It’s like this, when you eat certain foods, like foods with sugar, flour, or foods that are concentrated or processed, your brain gets a hit of dopamine, the pleasure chemical, when you eat that stuff.
And if you’re eating those types of foods specifically, the dopamine hit that your brain gets is an artificial one, which is way more than you’d get eating a fruit with natural sugars for example.
So, if you’re sad or mad about something in your life, and you eat a cookie for example, your brain will get an artificial hit of dopamine, or pleasure, to numb that sad or mad feeling. This will cause you to artificially feel better in this moment.
But if you’re following the first four steps that I recommend, when you feel sad or mad, you won’t be reaching for that cookie in the moment. Which means you’ll be left with these emotions that you’re probably used to numbing as soon as you feel them.
Step five, self-coaching, is meant to help you manage your emotions as they come up so you don’t reach for artificial pleasure in the moment, like a cookie.
Does that make sense? I hope so.
But now you might be thinking, “This sounds terrible. I don’t want to feel sad or mad or any other negative emotion if I don’t have to.”
And I completely understand if this is how you feel. But what if negative emotions are just a part of life? What if they’re completely normal and we just need to practice feeling them on purpose? What if the normal human experience is 50% positive emotion and 50% negative? What if?
Think about this. If you feel sad or mad and you eat a cookie to numb that emotion, you might feel better in the moment, yes. But long term you won’t. Long term, you won’t be any closer to your weight loss goal. Actually, you might be further away.
And in terms of your negative emotion, here’s what will likely happen. So, you’ll start out sad or mad. You’ll eat a cookie and feel better temporarily. The dopamine hit in your brain from the cookie will eventually wear off. Which means you’ll likely still feel sad or mad about whatever was bothering you in the first place. And on top of that, you’re now feeling disappointed with yourself for eating off plan, and you might feel a little self-pity or angry with yourself and you might feel out of control.
This is the cycle many of you find yourselves in. And I get it, because I used to be in this cycle too.
The key to getting out of it, is self-coaching, which I’m going to teach you how to do it in a minute.
If you don’t know what self-coaching is, you can think of it like a form of journaling, or gaining consciousness or awareness over your emotional life.
Think of self-coaching like a tool to help you manage your emotions and your mind. When you coach yourself, you’re more able to control your actions, like the action of eating a cookie. And you’re more able to control your results, like progress with your weight loss goal. You’re more able to do both of these things without it feeling super hard. I’ll explain more about this in a minute.
Now, I recommend you coach yourself everyday. Set aside at least five or ten minutes a day. That’s it.
On my calendar, I set aside 30 minutes every morning from 9 to 9:30 to do self-coaching. Sometimes I use up the full 30 minutes and sometimes I only need 5 or 10 minutes. It depends on how I’m feeling that morning or what’s going on in my brain. Either way, I’ve got up to 30 minutes calendared for this because it’s important to me that I do this. It’s my form of self-care for my brain.
Are you ready to learn how to coach yourself? Alright, I’m gonna teach you the beginner version of this now. And if you want to take this work deeper, I recommend you join my program, The 6 Stages Weight Loss Program. This is exactly the kind of work we do in there. If you’re interested in that, go to www.mcccoaching.com/join.
Ok. Here’s the beginner version of self-care for your brain.
Start by getting a piece of paper and a pen. Spend at least 5 minutes writing down every thought that comes to your mind. We call this a thought download.
It’s like taking all the noise, all the chatter, all the thoughts, all the sentences running through your brain, and dumping them onto paper.
This is really important to do, even if you don’t like what you see on your paper, because your brain is a processor. It doesn't like storing information. We’ve talked about that before on this podcast. So, you’ll want to get all the thoughts out and let your brain breathe for a few minutes.
And remember, this exercise is a way for you to gain awareness. It’s not meant for you to judge your thoughts, judge yourself, or make yourself feel bad, or shame, or anything else because of what you write down.
All of us have terrible thoughts sometimes and all of us have awesome thoughts other times too. All thoughts are ok and welcome and important for you to see.
After you’ve done a thought download, then you’ll do 1 or 2 models, depending.
The Model is the most important coaching tool I’ve ever been exposed to and I’m so proud to be teaching it to you now.
Here’s how it works. The Model shows us that there are circumstances in the world. Facts that everyone would agree on. They aren’t good or bad. They’re just facts.
We each have thoughts about those circumstances, which are opinions only.
Each thought we have causes us to feel an emotion.
Each emotion we feel drives us to take action and do something. Or it causes inaction. This could be us taking action externally to do something physically or this could be us taking action internally inside our minds.
Our actions, or inactions, ultimately produce the results we get.
So, this is The Model. It’s the way the world works and it’s an amazing resource, or coaching tool, that we can use to make sense of what’s happening in our lives. We use it for awareness. But we can also use it to change our results in the present or future, if we know how to use it correctly.
Let’s run through an example.
This morning I sat down and did a thought download. I wrote down everything I could think of that was in my mind. And it felt great afterwards because there were quite a few things bothering me.
After my thought download, I chose one of those things I wrote down, and ran an unintentional model on it. An unintentional model is just a model, like I described to you, but it’s a thought you think unconsciously or unintentionally in your mind.
Now, when I sat down to self-coach this morning, my unintentional model looked like this.
My circumstance, or the fact in my life, was “my 3-½ year old son is going back to preschool today and there’s a virus in the world.” A very factual statement with no opinion in there.
My thought about that was, “I’m a terrible Mother for putting him back in preschool.” Which was an unintentional thought, just my brain’s unchecked opinion.
Now, because of this thought, not because of my circumstance, but because of this thought, I felt guilty. Tons of the Mom guilt.
And because of the guilt, my mind was spinning. I thought about all the ways I’m a terrible Mother. My mind looked for evidence from my past and found stuff. We always find stuff if we’re looking for it.
My result was me finding evidence of all the ways I’m a terrible Mother. Therefore perpetuating this idea that I’m a terrible Mother. And perpetuating the guilt that I was creating for myself in my own mind.
In the grand scheme of things, I was living in this model and feeling guilt. Then, because of this model, I was creating another unintentional model for myself that I became aware of during my self-coaching session.
The other model I was creating was causing me to feel urges to go into the kitchen and eat whatever food I could find to make myself feel better. Whatever would make the guilt I was feeling a little less painful. You know what I mean?
We all live this way. We all live in a series of models. And we can see what we’re creating for ourselves in our lives if we do the work to become aware, one model at a time.
So, I did a thought download. Then, I picked one thought and ran an unintentional model like this on it. Which allowed me to see why I was feeling so guilty and what it was creating or perpetuating in my life.
I became aware of this through self-coaching. And I could’ve just stopped there for the day knowing why I was feeling guilty. I could’ve just thrown out my piece of paper and moved on. But I didn’t like the result I was creating for myself. Which led me to think about changing it. But I knew changing it might be a lot of work.
So, before I decided to change it, I thought about it for a while. I reminded myself that the normal human experience is about 50% positive emotion and 50% negative emotion. And I asked myself whether or not this is something I was willing to feel or do the work to change.
In this case, I decided it was worth the work. I wanted to change this guilty feeling and maybe change the urges for comfort food that I was feeling too. So, my next step was to create an intentional model to sort of direct my brain to a new way of thinking.
In my intentional model, my circumstance is the same, it doesn’t change. My circumstance is, “my 3-½ year old son is going back to preschool today and there’s a virus in the world.” I intentionally asked myself how else could I think about this.
I thought, well, my husband and I don’t have to send him back to preschool, we’re choosing to do it. We weighed all of our options and we made the decision together to do this. So, it’s happening. And I can choose to think about it however I want to.
Right now, I’m choosing to think about it in a way that makes me feel guilty and sometimes leads to urges for food. But I’d like to think about it in a way that makes me feel confident. Either way, he’s going back to preschool. The decision is made. And I want to feel confident about that.
So, I ran an intentional model by keeping the circumstance the same and plugging confident into my feeling line.
Then, I asked myself, “What do I need to be thinking about my son going back to preschool and a virus being in the world, in order to feel confident?”
The thought I came up with was, “We made this decision and we can always change it later if we decide to.”
This thought is something I actually believed in the moment and it shifted my energy from guilt to confidence in my choice. Which led me to completely different actions.
Instead of me looking for evidence in my brain that I’m a terrible Mother, I looked for evidence that I’m a good Mother. A confident Mother. A Mother in charge, making decisions, and changing them if she decides to.
And my result was me affirming my original decision, me empowering myself, me taking responsibility for my choice. And me recognizing that I’m confident and I’m a good Mother. Basically, me proving to myself that I have my own back.
This intentional model, after I practiced it for a while, didn’t produce other models with urges to eat whatever I could find in the kitchen. Feeling confident, in control, empowered, and responsible for my choice felt amazing. And I definitely didn’t need a hit of artificial dopamine from a cookie or something. I already felt amazing.
So, self-coaching is important. I’ve got a fun fact for you. Here it is.
I’ve heard that we each have about 60,000 thoughts everyday. 60,000!
And because the brain is efficient, the majority of those thoughts run unconsciously in the back of our minds. Those are the unintentional thoughts and we all have them.
When you coach yourself like I taught you to do in this episode, you’ll start to gain awareness for some of those thoughts or sentences running through your mind.
Don’t judge them. Don’t shame yourself for having them. Don’t use self-coaching against yourself in any way.
Have compassion, understanding, and love for yourself because you’re just a human being with a human brain. Nothing has gone wrong with any thought you have.
As you start to gain awareness, though, you might find some things you want to change. It’s when you’re getting a result in your life that you don’t like. That’s when you know you’re ready to do an unintentional model and an intentional model on it.
Look at the thought. Look at the feeling. Look at your actions and inactions. Both the external and internal ones. And look at the result you’re getting.
If you’re ok with it, don’t do an intentional model.
But if you’re not ok with it, that’s when you know you’re ready to take it to the next level and do the work required to change your thinking.
Now, if it’s a thought you’ve been thinking for a long time, it might take you a long time of practice to shift your thinking towards what you want. And if it’s worth it to you, you’ll need to stay consistent with this by practicing the new intentional thought as often as possible.
If it’s worth it to you, if you really want to get a new result, then give your desired way of thinking as much time and attention as you’ve given your unintentional way of thinking all your life. And give yourself time and space to practice this without expecting the change to happen overnight.
This work can be applied to any result you want to change in your life. Anything related to weight loss, maybe your marriage, your relationship with your kids or anyone else, your results at work. You can use this in any area of your life.
So, if you’re up for it, practice. Give yourself time and space to figure this out. Because this work will change your life, if you let it. It did for me.
Alright. That’s it for now. This episode wraps up our series on The 5 Simple Steps To Losing Weight.
Keep weight loss simple. There’s really only 5 steps and I’ve gone over each of them in detail for you in the past 6 podcast episodes. You’ve got this.
Now, I’ve got a little announcement for you.
Up until this point, I’ve posted a new podcast episode weekly. That’s going to change going forward to bi-weekly or monthly. Bi-weekly is what I’m thinking right now. But it’ll be monthly at the very least.
I’m committed to delivering these simple strategies to you so you can get long term results. But the majority of my focus needs to be with my clients.
If you’d like to be one of my clients, go to www.mcccoaching.com/programs to learn how to do that. Self-coaching is an amazing practice to start and I definitely recommend you do. But working with a professional Life Coach, like me, can really take you deeper. It can help you become aware of more. It can help you come up with a plan. And create new results, when you want to, with your weight loss goals.
So, go to www.mcccoaching.com/programs to learn about working with me. And make sure you subscribe to this podcast so future episodes are automatically downloaded to your favorite podcast app.
This isn’t the end of this podcast. There’s plenty more to come. So, subscribe now.
Take care for now 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 www.mcccoaching.com/join. I’ll see you there.
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