Today is a very special episode.
I want to share with you what I have learned in my first 50 years and what I want to do with the next 50 years.
Join me in this very special episode as I give you 10 lessons, I have learned in my first 50 years. Things like forgiveness, beliefs, failing, and most of all, love.
And how each of these lessons has led me to where I am today.
How each of these lessons helped me to lose weight for good and to live in a body I love.
Things like less hustle and more rest. Helping women live their best life in a body they love.
Thank you for being a part of my first 50 years. I can’t wait to see what we do together in my next 50 years.
I believe in love. And Love, we are going to keep moving forward.
And if you want to go deeper on this work – do the free 8-day podcast challenge, go to bflycoaching.com/podcast8
You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen episode number 113. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive, and certified life coach, Shannan Christiansen.
Hello love, so happy about with you. Today is a very special episode. I am turning 50 this week, and it’s Thanksgiving week, and I want to share with you 10 lessons that I’ve learned in my first 50 years, and tell you what I want to do with my next 50. I know that some of you my loves do not like birthdays or getting older, but I absolutely love it. I love that I get another year, another day, and it feels like such a blessing to me. I have lived this really human life, really human, full of amazing and painful experiences. And today I’m going to share with you 10 lessons that I’ve learned over this human experience. And then I’m going to share with you just the things that I want to focus on in my next 50.
So lesson number one is that a place, a house, things, they don’t matter. The human connection, that is everything. I go back to when I was a little girl moving around, not really fitting in, starting to feel like she did not belong, and something was wrong with her. See, my dad was in the Navy and I moved 16 times before I was 16. I could not even tell you what elementary school I went to.
I remember bits, but mostly, always all of it, I remember my family. My mom, my dad, and my brother. We had a lot of love in our house, and it was always us four. It was a family imperfect. My parents did better than their parents, and they always showed us love, even though they made plenty of mistakes too.
We had this really strong bond between the four of us. It makes me feel, I feel emotional thinking about the four of us. And through that I learned that family is everything. And that things, they really don’t mean that much. It’s the humans. It’s the connections. And I have built little families along the way – work families, friend families. I think of all the humans that I have been lucky enough to know as part of my family.
Number two, I learned from all the moving around that humans will come and go in your life, and it does not mean that anything has gone wrong. I believe that people are in your life to teach you so that you can show them love, or they are there to love you. I can look at every person from my past and feel so much love for each one of them. See, I think we’re taught somewhere, I’m not sure, that if someone has left or we have left, or the relationship is different, that something has gone wrong. We start to believe that something’s either wrong with them or something is wrong with us.
But nothing is wrong my love. Relationships change, and they ebb and flow. I have had so many relationships in my life. Friendships, family relationships, work relationships, and they change. They ebb and they flow. Sometimes a human is in my life and they’re there to teach me, or to, you know, love me, because sometimes that’s what I need.
And then I move into a different phase of my life or they move into a different phase of their life. And I think for some reason, we start to believe that we have to make it mean that one of us is wrong. And I just, I tell you one of the things that I have learned when I look back at all my relationships in all of my life, and I’ve had lots of them, I just love them. I love them.
If I saw them today, I would hug them and just give them nothing but love. I love this lesson because you know, I really have learned that people are going to come and go throughout your life and they’re there for a purpose. And when you can look back and just love the humans and really understand why they were there, what was the purpose that they were there for you, it changes everything.
Number three, forgiveness. You know, I think back to something I learned a really long time ago. I was really young. And I think about this with my son’s dad. We were married and, you know, we then went through a divorce and, you know, we were in kind of that separation process. And at the time actually, my ex-husband was, we were stationed in Germany and we were kind of going through all the rigmarole to get myself and Taylor, my son, back to the states.
And, you know, we were separated and we were in that, you know, just anger, frustration, fighting, all of these things. And I remember this one conversation, it was so powerful to me. And it was actually Taylor’s dad, and he said to me, he said, are we going to be those people? Are we going to be those people who argue and hate each other, and you know, that’s the relationship that we’re going to have? And it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized in that moment that I wanted to be different, that I wanted to forgive Taylor’s dad and forgive myself. And that I wanted a different relationship. I wanted to have a relationship, even though it was different. We were divorcing. I wanted to feel love for Taylor’s dad, because ultimately, I had so much love for Taylor that I wanted that for him. And I tell you, it just struck me that forgiveness is always the way.
See, I am an imperfect human. I have made a ton of mistakes. I have hurt the humans. And, you know, I have asked myself for forgiveness and I asked for it over and over again. Forgiveness my loves, is really for ourselves, because when we can forgive others and we can, you know, show love, then it helps us in the relationship with ourselves. Because ultimately, we are our worst critics. We’ve heard that. We judge ourselves so harshly. And when we can show others forgiveness and love, then we can start to show that to ourselves.
And so having this forgiveness for Taylor’s dad so early on in my life, it really did change our relationship. And, you know, throughout Taylor’s life, we didn’t have, you know, this contentious relationship. We just didn’t. And still to this day, you know, I have so much love for him because he gave me the greatest gift of my life. And, you know, it makes me emotional because you know what a different, if I would have thought differently, it would have been a different outcome. And I’m so grateful for that one moment where Chuck decided this is not who we want to be as parents. And it changed the way that I looked at forgiveness and loving the humans for the rest of my life. Showing forgiveness for myself and for others, I get the benefit of that. And it helps me to love and show grace and kindness to others and to myself.
Number four, dreams are on the other side of discomfort. Oh, I’ve learned this the hard way, my love. Every dream I’ve had, I’ve had to go through a lot of discomfort, doubt, fear. I think about my career. I have been in the financial service industry for almost 28 years, and somewhere in there, I started to learn that it was possible that I could achieve the dreams that I had. That I could break through ceilings. That I could become a senior vice president.
I remember applying for a vice-president job at my former company, and I knew that I was not going to get it. I kind of knew who was going to get it, but I decided that I was still gonna apply. I was still going to go through the process, because going through the process of feeling a ton of discomfort, that is how I became and started to become my future self.
See loves, when we go through discomfort, when we go through fear, love, that is where our dreams live, just right on the other side of that. I remember, you know, applying for this role, this vice-president job. And I remember I was getting ready to go in for, I think I had like four interviews in a row and I was standing in the bathroom stall and I was standing in there and I was just like getting my mind ready. And I had this moment of like, a just belief that I was going to be a vice-president, belief that it was possible for me. And I remember having chills all throughout my body. And I knew that I was going to become this vice president. I didn’t know how, I just knew that going through these interviews were going to help me and help my future self.
And I tell you my love, it did. It made me start to have this belief in myself, this fire in myself. And then when another opportunity came, I didn’t get that opportunity, but then when another opportunity came, I was ready. And now I’m a senior vice president, and I’m running my own company. And I just want to say dreams, they do come true. But you have to go through the discomfort, the doubt, and the fear. Showing up, believing, taking action, feeling all the discomfort, and then my love, anything is possible.
I really, the older that I get, I love turning 50. Have I said that, I really do, because the older that I get, I really do understand that whatever I dream, whatever I want, I can have the belief and it will come true. Maybe not in the way that I think it, maybe not in the timeline that I think it, but it will.
Number five, failure is the only way through. Oh, my love, I wanted to believe that if everything was perfect, then life would be like the fairytales that we watch on TV. But every dream, everything that I have done and accomplished has come through failure, not perfectionism. See, perfectionism has kept me stuck. It has kept me not taking action, not doing anything. When I know that I will fail, do it imperfectly, I move forward. When I think I have to be perfect, I stay in the same place.
See, my love, when I think about losing weight and losing weight for the last time, when I thought I had to be perfect, when I thought I had to restrict and, you know, work out a million times a week and do it perfectly, just like they did on Biggest Loser, then I did nothing. I would do nothing. I would keep telling myself I was going to start on Monday. I was going to do all the things.
But when I decided that I was going to fail, I was going to, you know, but I was going to keep showing up, and that failure was going to actually, that was the bridge. That was the path that was actually going to get me to my dreams, to my goals. See, we think if we do it perfect that it will get us to our goals faster. I want you to hear this because this is so important. But when we think we have to be perfect, that path, it actually just delays us. When you fail, and you fail over and over again, but you keep getting up, you keep moving forward, you will actually reach your dreams faster. That is the truth.
Number six, that all I control is me and how I show up. Oh my love, I want to control the humans. If they just did what I wanted. If they just did what I think they should do. But you know, my loves, I have no control. And there’s really only two things that I control. It’s what I think and how I show up. See, I can believe that all the humans should be different, but when I think that, I cause my own suffering.
I can want and ask for things from people in my life, but when they don’t want to do it or they don’t, then I can allow myself to feel frustrated, sad. Allow myself to feel that emotion. But then decide on purpose what I want to think and believe, and how I want to show up. Oh, I tell you my love.
Number six, this has really changed my relationships and the relationship that I have with myself, that when I decide on purpose, what I want to think, how I want to believe and how I want to show up, it does change just my overall energy. And when I allow the humans to just be the humans, when I drop the expectations, when I drop the “shoulds”, because I don’t want that from them, I for sure don’t want people telling me how I should be and what I should do. Yeah. And the other humans don’t like it either. So when I just drop all of that, and I just show up with love and kindness, and curiosity about why they think the way they think or why they show up the way they show up, my love, I feel better. So good, my loves.
Number seven, belief creates our outcomes. When I believe that the whole world is conspiring to help me, that everything is for me, the most amazing things happen. Belief is so powerful. See, whatever you think your brain focuses on, and whatever you believe that is what your brain does. And remember, our brains are biased, right? And so when you know, it’s kind of like, I always think of, you know, when you’re going to go buy a new car, right. Suddenly all you see is that car everywhere. Again, that’s the belief. And that is the bias, right. Confirmation bias. And so it’s important to understand.
See, I did not have the belief that I could lose weight. And when I had that belief, my brain, that’s what I was thinking, that was the beliefs that I had, and so, you know, I was, that’s the result. That’s the outcome that I had. I could not lose weight. But when I started to believe that I could lose weight for the last time then I did. And I know it sounds so simplistic.
This is the mindset work of everything that I teach my clients and what I taught myself. Because when I started to believe it, when I knew that I was going to have lots of failure, but my belief was so strong, then my brain, the universe, well, they got to work. When I started to believe that I was going to lose weight and then I had a failure, I didn’t give up. I didn’t quit, because I knew that failure was part of the deal. I knew that I was going to lose weight for the last time. And I just kept believing that over and over again, even through all of my failures.
See, when I started to believe that I was going to lose weight for the last time I started to research, try things, fail, succeed. And then my love, I lost it for the very last time. Belief creates our outcomes. We think it’s the right diet plan or the food, or if I have surgery, or if my spouse would, you know, do it too, but my love, it is belief. It is your belief in yourself, and that it’s already done. My love, I am going to help millions of women heal their relationship with food and live their best lives in a body they love. It is already done in my mind. That is how strong my belief is.
Number eight, what other people think is none of my business. This was really life changing for me. I am a people pleaser to the max. I wanted everyone to like me, to be happy with me, but it’s not possible. And really, I have no idea what other people think or feel, and it doesn’t have anything to do with me anyways. See, when I judge someone or think they should be different, it’s because I’m judging me and thinking I should be different.
Hear that again. If someone says something, it has nothing to do with you, good or bad. It’s a reflection of what they are thinking and believing. What other people think or do is none of my business. I just get to love them. And when I focus on that, then I get to feel love instead of suffering. Oh, I love this lesson.
Number nine, weight does not define my worth or determine beauty. The number on the scale does not define who I was or who I am. It does not define my worth, my lovability or my beauty. Weight is just made up. What we should weigh, how we should look, it’s a construct of our minds and beliefs that we’ve been taught from our culture and society programming. When I started to let go of what that number meant, and that it was neutral, it was just a number, and that I could think about it in any way. That it did not mean I was good or bad. That I was beautiful or not. That I was thin or not. That I was worthy or not. When I started to love the body I was in, all of it, then I started to see that it never determined my worth or my beauty.
I teach this to my clients all the time, because we believe that if we were thinner, if we looked a different way, if we did, right, that, you know, we would feel better, that we would be more worthy. And I just want to tell you, you are 100% worthy right now. I was always worthy. I was always lovable. I was always beautiful. And so are you. And the number on the scale does not define any of it.
And number 10, love is always the answer. Love is always the way. I am so lucky that I get to feel love, I get to show love. I am love. I get to love all the amazing humans. I get to have chills in my body. My heart explodes. My face gets warm. Feeling love, love for the humans and love for me. I often ask myself this question, what would love do? How would love show up right now? Because love is the only way, my love. In learning how to achieve your dreams and your goals, we think it’s through punishment or through, you know, all these other emotions, but ultimately it is love. It is love for yourself and love for the humans in your life. That is the way.
So five things for my next 50 years. I mean 50 more years. That’s what I’m going for my love. And five things that I want to do in the next 50 years. So number one, less hustle, more rest. So when I think of this, my love, I have been all the things. From a single mom to, you know, getting her degree, to then going for her Master’s degree, working, you know, then taking care of a family to, you know, now working two jobs, commuting from two states. I mean, I could think of all the things, my love, all the hustle, right? I used to have this belief, work harder, work harder, work harder, do more, do more.
And in the next 50 years, I want more rest. As I have done this work, I have learned that the more I rest, the more I get to think, and when I get to think, and when I get to decide what I want to think and what I want to believe, my brain opens up. It’s like the creativity centers in my brain just start firing. More rest for me, actually like I get to really practice the things that I believe, and I get to decide what I want to believe, and I get to feel love more. And so in the next 50 years, less hustle, more rest, less work.
Number two, I just want to continue this work on loving deeper. Loving all the humans and loving myself at a just deeper level. I want to just break through all the constructs in my mind. I want to feel uncomfortable showing love, right? Being vulnerable, just, I want to just love the humans and myself. I want to love all parts of the journey that I’m on, the failures, the successes. I just want to feel love in every single moment. Even when I’m on my knees.
Number three, I want to fail more. I have learned, you know, oh, I’m, I’ll raise my hand, I am a recovering perfectionist, wanting everything to be perfect, wanting people to be happy. You know, all the people pleaser in me, and really my love, not wanting to feel uncomfortable, not wanting to feel, you know, shame. And what I’ve learned is that failing is really the way. And the more that I fail, the more that I just, you know, push through the failure and learn from it and then move to the next step, everything opens up. My dreams, actually, they come quicker. My goals, I hit them quicker. And so I want to continue to fail more and learn from it and then move forward.
Number four, I want to lead the way for women and show that they can achieve all their dreams. I am building this company of a woman owned business that hires and develops diverse women. And in the next 50 years my love, that is, ah, I just cannot wait. I like, I cannot wait to watch all of these beautiful women achieve their dreams and goals, and, just do amazing things and then help other women and serve other women. Ah, It’s life changing.
And then number five, I want to help women live their best life in a body they love, and heal their relationship with food. In the next 50 years, I want to disrupt diet culture. I want to break diet culture. I want to show women that they can love themselves no matter what the number on the scale says. And that the way to lose weight and be in a body that feels like freedom is by healing their relationship with food. It’s not through restriction and punishment. It is through love and allowance.
Thank you for being a part of my first 50 years. I can’t wait to see what we do together in my next 50. I believe in love, and love, we’re going to keep moving forward. I can’t wait to meet my future self and your future self.
And if you want to go deeper on this work, do the free eight-day podcast challenge. Go to bflycoaching.com/podcast8. Bye for now.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com. See you next week.