Ep #6: The Power of Planning

When I was younger, I was a free spirit. I didn’t want to plan things out, because I thought it would hold me back. This mentality did not help me when it came to the diet roller coaster, though – I would eat whatever crossed my path, and wound up eating way more than I wanted to. 

I’m still that free spirit today, but I’ve realized that planning is actually a source of freedom, not an obstacle to it. Every day, I create a realistic plan for what I’m going to eat. This tool has helped me (and my clients!) free ourselves from the lizard brain and from the diet roller coaster – for good.

Today I’m talking about the power of planning and why impulsive eating is more likely to happen when we don’t know what to expect from the day. You’ll learn why it’s so important that this plan be realistic (read: NOT a diet in disguise!), and how to keep it simple.

And here are this week’s transformational questions for you:

  1. What lizard thoughts came up when you started to think about making your realistic eating plan every day?
  2. Why will this be easy?


What You’ll Discover:

  • How our thoughts can encourage us to overeat.
  • Why planning is actually a source of incredible freedom, especially around food.
  • What the realistic eating plan looks like and why it’s such a powerful tool.
  • How you can learn to trust yourself again and rebuild your relationship with food.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number six.

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. I am so excited to be here again. I just cannot believe it’s already episode number six. It has been just an amazing experience watching all the reviews and hearing all the feedback and the emails from all of the episodes. I am so grateful for all of you who are listening.

Before we get into today’s episode, I want to do a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week. This week’s listener shout-out is for Sharron Spohn.

She wrote, “These podcasts, for me, are so relatable. I have been on the diet rollercoaster for years. Listening to these podcasts have shown me I’m not alone. Every time something good in my life, such as weight loss, health issues, or my family dynamics, I find a way to sabotage the positives. I find your podcast helpful in my weight loss journey.  It’s given me techniques and information to change my thoughts and realize that I am worth it.” I love it, Sharon, and you are totally worth it.

So in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the power of planning and how we can hack our brains so we can use our thinking brain instead of our lizard brain. And then, of course, at the end I will leave you with a few transformational questions so you can start taking action today.

But first, OMG, ladies, let me tell you about my last week. It has been amazing. We went to Dallas, Texas for two reasons; a football game and a workshop. But let me explain.

So, my dad is a Dallas Cowboys fan. He has been one since he was a teenager and he’s never been to Dallas, Texas, not in his whole life, and he’s been a fan since the early 60s. So my husband and I decided, you know what, let’s do it. Let’s take the whole family and go to Dallas.

And we took my brother, my sister in-law, my son and his wife, and of course, my G-babies. And we went on a stadium tour on Friday. It was so amazing. We went out on the field. My dad, honestly, he was like a kid again. He was so happy. I feel like it’s the happiest he’s been since before my mother passed. And it was just the best feeling to see him so happy.

I think we wants to move there and work in the stadium, that’s how excited he was. So, another reason why we went to Dallas is because I hosted a BFLY Coaching workshop.  Ladies flew in to attend this one-day workshop. My goodness, ladies, it was so good.

It was so amazing to watch such beautiful women be vulnerable and wanting to change. Honestly, it makes me emotional just thinking about it. It was a day filled with laughter, tears, and lots of emotions. And you know what’s so interesting is some of my ladies, who were coming to Dallas for the workshop, they had emailed me or texted me before the workshop to honestly tell me they were nervous, they were fearful. They had even felt shame because they had not been taking care of themselves.

But, loves, they still showed up. They felt the negative emotion and they still did something for themselves. I mean, ladies, I am just – it was the best experience, that workshop, and spending time with those ladies is something I will never forget.

So, we went to the game on Sunday night, because that was Saturday was the workshop, and Sunday night, it was amazing. If you have never been to the Dallas Stadium, holy-moly. I mean, the energy in that stadium, it was just something I had not experienced. I mean, ladies, I was literally jumping up and down. I didn’t even know I could do that.

I was literally jumping up and down. I basically stood for three-quarters of the game. I mean, it was just unbelievable. And not going to lie, it also helped that we won. So it was just so much fun. We went to Dallas, and honestly, it was a dream trip for my family and for myself, and all my ladies who came out for the BFLY Coaching workshop. It was just truly an amazing trip.

So, let’s get into today’s episode. One of the ways that I learned how to break diet mentality and hack my lizard brain was by learning to make decisions ahead of time. This helped me use my thinking brain instead of my lizard brain.

And so, let me tell you ladies a little bit about me. I would say, in my early years, when I think back to my teens and my 20s, I was kind of a free spirit. If you said anything about planning, my lizard brain would completely turn off. I honestly wanted nothing to do with it. I thought planning was hard, that it was like handcuffs. And honestly, I wanted to be free.

But what I’ve learned through this whole process is that planning is actual freedom. When I don’t plan and my lizard brain takes over, that is not freedom. So right now, if your lizard brain is telling you things like you don’t have time to plan, you’ve tried to plan, and you never follow through, planning is hard – if you’re having all of those thoughts, because I know how strong the lizard brain can be, just know that they’re just thoughts and you have the power to believe something different and to change your thoughts around planning.

I want to talk about the brain for a minute because you know, ladies, I love to talk about the brain, and how making decisions ahead of time can actually hack your brain.  We all have this very impulsive lizard brain, our primitive brain. But we also have a prefrontal cortex. It houses our higher-level functions. It makes decision, it plans.

This brain can override the other parts of our brain. I mean, it’s the super-brain. So when we make a plan ahead of time, we’re more likely to go through with it because we used our prefrontal cortex. We used our thinking brain instead of our lizard. And, ladies, I know, my lizard was in control for most of my years. But as I start to use my thinking brain more, it’s amazing to see the results.

Have you ever finished a bag of chips and can’t believe you ate the whole bag because you do not even remember eating them? You have this moment of literally like, “What? I’m done? How can I be done? How could I have eaten all of those chips?”

Loves, that is just the lizard brain. It took over and impulsively ate without you even noticing or enjoying it. And, loves, this is how I ate for most of my life, with the lizard brain in charge. I wasn’t even enjoying what I used to call the foods that I loved. I was just unconsciously eating and not even enjoying it.

So one of my four fundamentals in the process that I teach is the realistic plan. It’s fundamental number two. This is where you write down what you’re going to eat tomorrow. Yes, write it down. Do not try to keep it in your head. That’s the lizard brain.

The hack is actually writing it down. My rule of thumb is at least four hours before your first bite. Most of my ladies do it the night before. It is just a realistic plan of what you’re going to eat; just the food. No calories, points, macros, carbs, none of that stuff is in it. It’s just a simple plan of what you’re going to eat for the next day.

You can put what you’re going to eat for meals, snacks, and if you’re finding that your lizard brain’s like, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what I’m going to eat,” just look at what you’ve eaten in the last few days and just make a plan. Don’t have a lot of drama around this.  It’s really simple.

And the key is that you make it realistic. We have done diets, we have done the food plans that are so restrictive. One key part of my process is that we learn to eat in a way that we can always eat.  No diets here, love. None of the, “When I get off the diet, I’m going to eat normally again.” It’s such a poisonous thought because it just keeps us on the diet rollercoaster.

We’re on this restrictive diet, we restrict our calories, and then we just can’t wait to get off, to eat all our favorite foods. That is the power of learning how to eat on the realistic plan and get off the diet rollercoaster.

When I was on the diet rollercoaster, I would start a new diet on Monday, so Sunday was a full binge of all of the food I would, “Never eat again.” I would have a few last suppers, like I was never going to eat a cupcake again.

I know, loves, you feel me on this. How many last suppers have you had? But it’s not what I teach. It’s not how I learned to lose weight for good. So when you make your realistic plan, put foods that you’re going to eat.

Now, I know that some of your lizard brain thoughts right now are, “I don’t know what I’ll eat, I have a luncheon tomorrow and I don’t know what they’re serving.” But, loves, you do know. You do know what you mostly eat.

When you start to get confused or you make it complicated, know that it’s just the lizard brain wanting to keep you safe, wanting to keep you the same. If you don’t know what’s on the menu. I just always put like a protein, a carb, you know, if you’re going to have a dessert, whatever it is. I just put the labels, I’m going to have a veggie, I just keep it really simple.

And this is it, loves, if you pick up food from Chick-fil-A every Thursday for your family, then put Chick-fil-A on your realistic plan. This is not about diet food. This is about learning to make decisions ahead of time and then eating what’s on the plan.

The first part is a hack on your lizard brain, but doing this every day is a great way to start to keep commitments to yourself. Now, loves, back in episode number two, I talked about commitments and honestly, as women, we break them all of the time to ourselves. We don’t even trust ourselves to make commitments.

The way that we can learn to trust ourselves again is by making a small commitment and then even when we make a mistake, like eating off plan or not making a plan for a day, we just take the next best action and we do it for the next day.

So, make your realistic plan. Make it realistic, then eat what’s on your plan. If you eat off plan, just simply ask yourself why, no beating yourself up, no judgment. Just take the next best action and eat what’s on plan tomorrow. I still make a realistic plan every single day. It was so key in getting off the diet rollercoaster.

Now, loves, sometimes I don’t make a plan, and let me just tell you, when I don’t, my lizard brain is in full effect. Usually I’ll realize around noon or one in the day, I’m like, why is my lizard brain telling me that I need to eat everything? Like, why? And then I’m like, I didn’t make my plan last night or in the morning.

I usually do mine in the morning because I wake up so early. And so what I do is, as soon as I realize it, I just make my plan for the day, just so that I can start to get my lizard back in control.

And when my clients first start doing this, I’m telling you, they’re always like, “Shannan, how can I lose weight if I’m putting a cupcake on my plan?” Because, love, as you start to trust yourself again, as you become more connected with your body, you’ll want to eat more food that fuels you than not. You will not be in this, “On a diet or off a diet,” you’ll be eating what’s on your plan and then slowly everything will start to change.

You will break diet mentality. You will know that you can have a cupcake. You just put it on your plan. We just went to Dallas and we had this amazing celebration dinner Saturday night after the workshop and I invited my whole family and the hotel put a beautiful dinner on for us.

And I knew that strawberry cheesecake was on the menu, so I just put it on my plan. I used my thinking brain when I ate it and I enjoyed every bite. I noticed when I was full and I stopped eating it. There was no lizard drama. I enjoyed a few bites and then I loved on. That is the power of the realistic plan.

Making decisions ahead of time is a way to hack your lizard brain, beginning to keep commitments to yourself and break out of diet mentality. So, love, make your realistic plan. You’ve got this, love. So the transformational questions for today are, what lizard brain thoughts come up when you began to think about making your plan every day? And why will this be easy?

So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on iTunes. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show.

I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

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Ep #5: Stop Quitting On Yourself

If you’re familiar with the diet roller coaster, you know that the whole cycle follows a very predictable pattern: you decide to lose weight, you do well for a while, and eventually, you get discouraged and quit. You may have quit so many times that you can’t keep track anymore. 

You’re not alone in this. I quit so many times in my 38 years – but the important thing is that I never quit for good. I tried new things, and I eventually found an approach to weight loss that helped me get off the DRC and improve my life all around.

Today we’re talking about how to stop quitting on yourself. We’ll chat about why failure has to be an option and is part of the process. I’ll also share what quitting used to look like for me, and how I eventually created new pathways in my brain and stopped quitting on myself.

And as usual, here some transformational questions for you to ask yourself:

  1. How is quitting showing up in your life right now?
  2. What are the thoughts or excuses you use when you quit?
  3. What do you get from quitting?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • Why you have to keep moving forward without beating yourself up when you make a mistake (which will happen!).
  • How quitting is a habit that we develop.
  • What quitting used to look like for me and how I stopped quitting on myself all the time.
  • How our habits form neuropathways in our brains and can keep us in a quitting rut.
  • How you can commit to showing up for yourself even if it’s not perfect.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number five.

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, loves. I am just so grateful that you all are listening. I just love spending this time with you.  So, before we get into today’s episode, I want to do a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week.

And this week’s review is from Nana of Eight, “I really appreciate just how real Shannan is. Her honesty and vulnerability help me trust her because she’s been right where I’m at. Thank you, Shannan.” And she left me a little heart. So much love to you, Nana of Eight. Eight grandbabies is a lot. I have four, so I’m sure you just have so much love for them.

I love these reviews. They are all so good. I honestly have a terrible time picking one. It is really tough. So I just appreciate all of you who are rating and reviewing and subscribing to this show.

So, in today’s episode, I’m going to talk about how we can stop quitting on ourselves, how I learned to stop doing it. And then, at the end, I will leave you with a few transformational questions to help you start taking action today. But first, let me tell you, loves, OMG, this has been a busy couple of weeks.

I have packed so much in there. The podcast launch, we finished a five-day challenge in our private Facebook group, my Jumpstart program launched and closed, not to mention my day job and all that’s been going on in there.

I’m getting ready to go to Dallas for a one-day workshop that I’m teaching with some amazing and beautiful ladies. It’s going to be so fun, but I’m also bringing out my entire family, so my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my son, and his whole family, including all my grandbabies and my daughter-in-law.

So, my dad has been a Dallas Cowboy fan, honestly, for as long as I have been alive. I remember watching football on Sundays with my dad. I’m also a Cowboys fan, but don’t hate me for it, I just love them. My dad has never been to a Dallas game, never. He’s never been to Dallas and he’s never been to a game. And none of us have, not my brother or myself, and we have been Dallas Cowboy fans our whole lives.

So, we are going to the game next weekend, and we’re doing a stadium tour. So by the time this airs, it will all have been done. But honestly, when I think about it, it just brings chills and tears to my eyes, thinking of my dad walking into that stadium. Honestly, loves, it is a dream for him, but it is a dream for me and my brother. And I’m just so grateful I get to be right next to him. I have no doubt that my mom is going to be right there with us.

So, I booked all of the plane tickets over a month ago, so everyone was supposed to get in on Friday morning. Everyone works except my dad, he’s retired. So everyone had to, you know, arrange time off. And then, one day, my beautiful daughter-in-law texted me that the tickets were for Thursday morning. I was like, no way. But when I looked, she was right.

They were for Thursday morning, which meant we either had to pay crazy change fees, or everyone had to look to see if they could get Thursday off too. It was a mistake. It could have been a really costly mistake. 

Luckily, everyone could get Thursday off. But what changed for me is I didn’t beat myself up. I did not make my mistake mean anything had gone wrong. I just took action. I texted everyone to see, what could we do, and then moved on.

I didn’t overeat or buffer any negative feeling. I just recognized the mistake and then took action to fix it. So it leads me into today’s topic and it’s about how to stop quitting on ourselves. So I make mistakes all the time, all the time. We just ended this five-day challenge a couple of weeks ago, and on day four of the challenge, I forgot to attach the worksheet.

It was a mistake, not earth-shattering. A few of my ladies let me know and I fixed it. I did not beat myself up or make it mean anything other than I forgot while I was putting the email together.

There are a lot of things that happen in life that give us an excuse to quit on ourselves. Don’t do it, loves. Just keep moving forward.  We have learned that we need to be perfect.

Have you ever heard the quote, “Failure is not an option…” that we can’t make mistakes? I remember hearing it over and over again as I was growing up and that it was supposed to b empowering. But what I have found is when I think failure is not an option, I believe I have to be perfect.

But what if I told you that I want to change the quote to failure is an option, and it’s the only option to learning how to get off the diet rollercoaster, that the way to stop quitting on yourself, to learn how to make mistakes and fail without judgment or punishment and to keep moving forward without beating yourself up.

Loves, I have quit on myself so many times. I started and stopped dieting, I mean, honestly, I don’t know, 100 times. I know the feelings of frustration, guilt, failure, and pain. Quitting became a habit, a habit I needed to break if I ever wanted to get off the old diet rollercoaster.

I was thinking about this one time, I had started a work weight loss challenge. I’m sure a lot of my loves out there have been on one or two or 10. And I had all of the intentions that I was going to win. I had these dreams I was going to follow this extreme diet and be the winner. And I was finally going to lose some weight and win the $100 that was in the challenge.

But, loves, by Thursday – you know, they always start on a Monday, you weigh-in, it’s so not awesome. And by Thursday, I was feeling a little sick. It had been a very stressful week at work and so Thursday, I ate off the diet.  I said, okay, just this one time.

Then, by Sunday, I had overeaten more than following the plan. So, I quit. I took myself out of the challenge. I didn’t want to feel the shame of gaining weight, so I just quit. And then any time someone started talking about a weight loss challenge, I was out of that conversation. I honestly never joined one again.

Now, let’s rewind and imagine if I didn’t beat myself up for slipping. And then I just got back on track. Imagine if I didn’t quit on myself. Because, loved, quitting just slows the entire process because quitting, it becomes a habit. It becomes something we do without even looking at why we are quitting, what we are thinking, and what we’re getting out of the quitting.

When I talk about quitting with my clients, sometimes they do not even recognize when they have quit because it has become an ingrained habit. Ingrained habits are mostly subconscious, so we don’t even know we are doing it.

Also, we do not label it as quitting. I know I didn’t, mostly. We give up and we say things like, it was the holidays, it was my birthday, this is a stressful time for me, I’m so busy, I don’t have time, I need a cupcake. We make various excuses to quit on ourselves.

How many times have you quit and gave yourself an excuse of why you quit? I have done this so many times. I love asking my clients, what do you get out of quitting?

They almost always say, “Shannan, I don’t get anything out of quitting.” And a lot of times, they don’t even know when they are quitting. But, loves, when you quit, you do get temporary relief. You get something from it.

When you quit on a diet that you’ve been following, you get a temporary feeling of relief caused by a thought like, well now I can eat anything, I don’t have to deprive myself anymore. Your lizard brain is like, “Finally, Shannan, we get to go back into the cave. We get to eat the cupcake.”

The lizard brain loves temporary relief, even if it causes long-term pain, like overeating. Quitting used to look like this for me. I would go on a diet, then something would happen. I would get home on a Friday – Fridays were always my triggers because at the end of the week I was tired – and my lizard brain would start to go crazy.

It would say things like, “But Shannan, you’re tired, you deserve a break. You deserve the cupcake. You’ve worked so hard.” And then, loves, I would give in. I would binge. And then I would just beat myself up. And then, I would quit.

You know, loves, another reason mistakes and failures lead to quitting is because we beat ourselves up. We judge our actions negatively, which then just sends us spiraling into a bag of chips or donuts. The chips for all my savory ladies out there, because mostly I talk about donuts and cupcakes.

No one, not anyone, ever lost weight for good by beating themselves up, which honestly is just talking negatively to ourselves, having negative thoughts about ourselves, judging ourselves. So then, after I quit the diet, it would lead to weeks of being off the diet, because you know, loves, the diet rollercoaster is all about being on, where we’re being restrictive, or being off.

And then I would get so tired of being overweight, tired of the shame, and I would work up the courage to try again after I had put on – because I always gained some of the weight back, or all of it, or a little more, you know I’d put on another 10 to maybe even 50 pounds. I would quit so often that I did not want to commit. I did not want to try.

So, honestly loves, there have been years that I have been off the entire year. And this was my cycle for almost 38 years. It’s a very painful cycle, and I know, loves, so many of you can relate. But as a coach and a woman, this is why I just vowed to learn something different and then teach others how to break out of this cycle.

I had to learn not to quit, not to beat myself up if I overate. I had to create a new neural pathway in my brain. Now, loves, a neural pathway is a series of connected nerves along with electrical impulses that travel in the body. Now, that is right from the dictionary because you know I love the dictionary.

They are responsible for our habits. So the more we do something, the easier it is to travel down that pathway. So it’s like a highway where the more we do a habit, the more lanes it builds. So it goes from like a two-lane highway to a six-lane highway, and now it can travel faster.

The less we use it, or the less we practice that habit, we start losing the lanes. It becomes narrower. We can create new neural pathways. I had a neural pathway of quitting, and I had to create a new habit, AKA a neural pathway of not quitting.

In all my research, it takes between 28 to 45 days to create a new neural pathway. When you have a mistake or failure, or the lizard brain is telling you to go back in bed and watch Netflix – I know you ladies feel me on that – I want you to ask yourself why. Why do I want to quit?

The way you stop quitting is by committing and removing quitting as an option. Honestly, loves, the only way we truly fail is if we quit for good. So, two things, notice when you are quitting. Notice the thoughts you are having. Allow for failure and mistakes. Honestly, loves, I expect them. I plan for them. I know I’m going to make mistakes. I know I’m going to have failures. And I just ask myself why, so I can learn.

So I want to go back to the Dallas example, where I booked the wrong day. I mean, this is going to sound a little crazy, but I didn’t quit. I didn’t say to myself, “Well, you’re so stupid, Shannan, we might as well cancel the trip, you messed up.  No one’s going to be able to get the extra day off. It’s all over.” I mean, it sounds so weird, right?

Like, of course we’re going to figure it out. Of course, we’re not going to quit. Loves, it’s the same when we give up on our goals and dreams. I had lots of overeats on my journey to losing weight for good. I just did not quit.

I had failures and days when I didn’t make my realistic plan, which is my plan for what I’m going to eat for the day, days where I didn’t do my reflection work. I just committed that I was going to figure it out without quitting and without beating myself up.

Now, loves, what I’m about to say is so important, so listen in. We do not take positive action from a negative thought. If we have a negative thought, it causes a negative emotion, which then leads to a negative action.

Now, loves, I want to say this again because it’s so important. I want you to sit with it. We do not take positive action from a negative thought. So beating yourself up will only lead to negative action, like eating a bag of donuts, which I’ve done plenty.

Oh, love, this is so good and important to understand. So here is the secret, love. Know that you will have failures and mistakes. Don’t judge or beat yourself up. And commit to yourself that you won’t quit, that you will figure it out because, love, I won’t quit on you. I am going to show up here every week for you. This, I promise.

So, here are the transformational questions for today. Number one, how does quitting show up in your life right now? Number two, what are the thoughts or excuses you use when you quit? And number three, what do you get out of quitting?  Loves, so good.

So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on iTunes. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show.

I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

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Ep #4: Self-Sabotage

Every human out there self-sabotages from time to time. For many of us, negative thoughts come up around our weight and our relationship with ourselves. These negative thoughts then cause us to feel badly, which then drives us to take actions that don’t serve us (like binge-eating, skipping exercise, snapping at family, etcetera). 

The good news is that we can stop doing this. With some work to identify these thoughts and stop hiding from them, we can learn to pause when we have self-sabotaging thoughts. During this pause, we can choose new thoughts, feelings, and actions that will serve us and our goals, instead of undermine us. 

In this episode, we’re talking all about self-sabotage and how you can start to shift this behavior. I’ll share how this came up for me during my time on the diet roller coaster, why it was so frustrating, and how I learned to pause my negative thoughts in action. 

Finally, here are three transformational questions for you to ask yourself after you listen to today’s episode:

  1. How is self-sabotage showing up for you?
  2. What poisonous thoughts, which could seem innocent, could be driving your actions?
  3. What would you need to think to stop sabotaging your weight loss?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • What self-sabotage is and what it can look like.
  • How I learned to stop sabotaging my partnership with my husband and my relationship with myself.
  • How our lizard brain contributes to our self-sabotaging behavior.
  • Why we need to learn to identify from negative thoughts and stop hiding from them.
  • What you can do to identify your self-sabotaging thoughts.
  • How to choose new thoughts, feelings, and actions that support your goals and dreams.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number four.

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, loves. I am so excited about this podcast. I just honestly love seeing the reviews, the emails you send me, and all the comments about you ladies just loving it and learning from it. So please take the time and rate and review this podcast if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet. I really appreciate it and it really helps us to continue to provide this great content for all the ladies out there.

So before we get into today’s episode, I want to do a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week. So our first listener shout-out is Vicky Ross, and she said, “Wow, thank you for opening up and sharing your weight loss journey. You are exactly what and who I need. Your words of encouragement and affirmations are just what my heart and soul need.  I have been on the weight loss rollercoaster for so long and it’s finally time I get off the ride and start changing my habits for the better. Thank you again for the podcast. I cannot wait to see my life change one day at a time.” And then she left me a little heart. Thank you so much, Vicky, amazing.

So, love, you know, I remember when I just wanted to get off the roller coaster. I remember feeling so desperate and hopeless. I wanted something different and I really just was tired of this being my struggle. So I just worked long and hard on finding a process that would work to help me get off the diet roller coaster.

And then, loves, when I found the way, now I just want to share it with everyone. So to end today’s episode, I’m going to talk about self-sabotage and how we can notice and then take different actions. Also at the end, I will leave you with three transformational questions. But first, let’s talk about my amazing husband. And seriously, he is so hot, smart, loving, caring. I really lucked out in the husband lottery.

We just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary yesterday. We had a great dinner, went for a walk, and took a convertible ride. And the weather at night is so beautiful right now here in Arizona and we always take our puppies. They love going for walks. And they love the convertible rides.

It took me a long time to find my husband. I didn’t meet him until my mid-30s. I was reflecting on the last 11 years and boy, we have packed a lifetime in there. We have lived in three states, watched all three of our children become adults. We survived the teenage years. Yes, we survived.

If you’re going through it now, I just want to say, ladies, there is hope and it will all be okay. We welcomed four grandbabies, both of us have changed jobs, careers. I finally got off the diet rollercoaster. We commuted, living in separate states. Both of our moms passed. My husband’s brother passed.

There has just been so much life, good and bad. And I was thinking about how much we both have grown over the past 11 years and I just feel so blessed that I have a partner and that I learned how to stop self-sabotaging relationships. I had learned how to be a good mate, how to be in a relationship.

This has nothing to do with him. I just had to learn how to show up as my best self. And let me tell you, loves, this has taken a lot of practice. I’ve had to learn how to be aware of the thoughts that could sabotage our relationship. You know, like picking a fight for no good reason, or going inward and shutting down.

I really had to get honest with myself on how I showed up because it was worth it, love. It was worth being a great mate. It was worth just all of the love that my husband and I share in this really beautiful marriage that we have created.

So this leads me right into our topic, self-sabotage. This is something every human on the planet does to some degree. And the key is to make ourselves aware that we’re doing it. I looked at the definition, because I love doing this, of self-sabotage and I found a couple of variations. So I’m going to read them to you.

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long standing goals.  And another definition from yourdictionary.com, the sabotaging, whether consciously or subconsciously, of one’s self. Wow, so powerful to think of what the definition of self-sabotaging is.

So you will hear me talk a lot about the lizard brain. So I want to quickly give you my definition. Now, I’m not a doctor or a scientist, so this is my interpretation, and I’m going to put it in Shannan speak, because it’s how I make it easy for myself to remember.

The lizard brain is sour primitive brain, the oldest part of our brain. It’s responsible for survival. It’s there to keep us safe. Originally, when humans lived in caves, survival was the most important thing. They had to find food, shelter, and keep safe from all the elements, including being eaten by animals.

I mean, there were serious survival needs back then. And there was also social hierarchy way back then. And so being accepted in a group was very important because, back in the cave days, if you were outcasted, you would literally die. You would not have protection of the tribe and you would not be able to survive by yourself for very long.

So our lizard brain does not know that we don’t live in a cave anymore. So if we think a thought that has fear or that we don’t belong or that our needs are not met, our lizard brain will take over. It is impulsive and it reacts very quickly. This is due to thousands of years of evolution.

So our lizard brain, it’s kind of tricky. I mean, it has a really good purpose, but we have to be aware of its impulsiveness. We can self-sabotage without really being fully aware of it.

Now, the lizard brain – I love my lizard brain.  It’s not always destructive. It’s important. For example, if a train was coming at you and you’re in real danger, I mean, the lizard brain will go into autopilot and move you out of the way as quickly as possible.

But the self-sabotage is a negative aspect of the lizard brain. Oh, ladies, I used to self-sabotage a lot. I still have to watch my lizard brain and, what I like to call, poisonous thoughts. I have to know when I’m not telling the truth to myself.

I had certain triggers, or upper limits, and when I would hit them, I would start sabotaging myself. I would start bringing myself back down. One of my triggers was wonderland. Now, loves, I know so many of you have wanted to be in wonderland.

Wonderland is going below 200 pounds. Every time I would get under 200, I would be so happy so excited, I would feel like finally, this is the time. I’m never going back over 200.

But then, these thoughts would appear, “You deserve that. You’ve worked so hard. I’m on a plateau. Weight loss is so hard. It’s going to take forever to lose this weight. You will never do it.  Look at your loose skin, Shannan. Can you imagine what it will be like when you’re at your goal weight? You will always look like a fat person who lost weight.”

Loves, it makes me emotional saying these thoughts out loud. These thoughts floated through my head like they were just innocent thoughts. “You deserve,” sounds so good, but it was really poison to my dreams.

They were dangerous thoughts because slowly I would creep back over 200, then 205, then 215, and then I would be in the 220 to 250 range. It’s mostly where I like to settle. Knowing your upper limits is important. Knowing that you’re self-sabotaging is critical to long-term success.

You have to develop self-awareness in order to be aware of these lizard brain thoughts. We have to learn to not fear our thoughts and hide from them. One of the keys to this is to start paying attention to our thoughts, noticing the negative; the thoughts that are telling us to do something that is not in the best interest of our goals.

Now, one of my favorite books of all time is The Big Leap. And it’s written by Gay Hendricks. Now, I’m sure Pavel will put the link in the show notes for us. He produces the show. Thank you, Pavel.

Gay talks about this upper limit problem we all have. We reach a certain level of success and it’s higher than our lizard brain likes or feels comfortable with. So we slowly start to self-sabotage. I want to read a quote from the book because it is so powerful.

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Wow, that is just such a powerful quote. Now loves, just sit with that for a moment. That is our lizard brain wanting us to be safe, wanting us to go back into the cave. And we have seen this so many times with very successful people.

I’ll use the example of Tiger Woods because most of us know who he is.  At the top of his game, he was the best golfer. And then he started to do all of this stuff to sabotage his success. He had a limiting belief that whatever he was doing was not good enough, so he did actions like cheating on his wife to sabotage his success.

How many times did we self-sabotage with our weight loss and diets? I know I did hundreds of times. Our limiting beliefs, so I’m not good enough, I’m not successful, I cannot lose weight and keep it off, I do not deserve this. All of those keep pulling us backwards. They all lead us towards sabotaging our success.

So we have this thought, I’m not good enough, then it creates a feeling of hopelessness. Then we take the action of self-sabotage. And then we do it over and over again.

We do this in all areas of our lives; relationships, careers, health. We sabotage ourselves. Our relationship with our husband can be going so amazing, and then we have a thought, this is too good to be true. Then we pick a fight. We sabotage.

We know this to some degree, but we are not paying attention to the thoughts. So the first step is to know what your limiting beliefs are and where you’ve seen it play out in your own life. I had to notice where my set points were. For me, wonderland was, for sure, one. And then I had to notice the thoughts and beliefs I had, even seemingly innocent ones.

So once you’ve identified the belief, and then the thoughts around it, when you see them come up, you can allow the thought but not act on it. You get to choose what action you are going to take.

We self-sabotage because we want to stay comfortable. We think we want to avoid negative emotion, so we think we are choosing to stay comfortable, but in the long run, it just creates more negative emotion.

When I gained the weight back, it created a ton of negative emotion for me. So I had to learn to take the uncomfortable action in the moment. In the moment, I didn’t want to, but I had to choose to take action that served me, served my goals. Loves, that is the magic of creating your dreams.

You have to identify when you’re self-sabotaging and then change the thought, which will create a different feeling, and then a different action, and one that serves you. The short-term benefits of overeating are nothing compared to the long-term misery of gaining weight. And, loves, I know. I’ve been there so many times.

You can know that thought is going to be there but not take the sabotaging action. It is possible.  I know, love, because I stopped sabotaging my weight loss. But I first had to recognize that I was doing it. It was me.

It is so worth it. Love, you are worth this work. Honestly, I want the best for you. I want you to feel the freedom of not carrying extra weight on your body. And I know this is possible. I know because I’ve done it.

So I’m going to leave you with three transformational questions that I want you to ask yourself and then write down the answers. Number one, how is self-sabotaging showing up for you? Number two, what poisonous thoughts, which could seem innocent, are driving your actions? And number three, what would I need to think to stop sabotaging my weight loss?

So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on iTunes. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show.

I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

Enjoy the Show?

Ep #3: Overdesire and Urges

I used to really overdesire food and have a hard time dealing with my urges for it. This was so hard for me that I even started to fear food and situations where there would be a lot of it – especially things like family parties. Until I figured out how to respond to my urges and slowly change my overdesire, food was an obstacle rather than a neutral circumstance. 

We can learn to not fear food or overdesire it. We have to work around the messages we get from culture that encourage us to overeat, and we have to rewire our brains to handle urges, but both of things are completely possible for you. And a key step in this process is understanding how our brain works, especially in relation to rewards like food. 

Today we’re talking about how to handle overdesire for food and the urges that come up around eating. I’ll share some of my experiences with these feelings and how I’ve slowly but surely reprogrammed my brain so that I no longer overdesire food.

And I have two more transformational questions for you to ask yourself after today’s episode:

  1. What is something that you used to desire that you no longer do?
  2. When you don’t eat something that you have an urge for, what thoughts come up for you?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • How fear used to come up for me around food.
  • How overdesire and urges work together to keep us overweight.
  • Why culture teaches us that it’s more normal to overeat than to say no to extra food.
  • Why we can feel deprived if we immediately reject an urge that comes up when we want food.
  • One of my favorite brain hacks for allowing urges to arise without having to say yes or no to them immediately.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners! To find out how to enter, click here!


Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number three.

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, loves. I can’t believe this is episode number three. It is just so exciting to spend this time with you. It means more to me than you know that you’re listening to this show.

So today, we’re going to dive into over-desire and urges. And then I’m going to teach you a brain hack that changed everything for me. But first, I want to talk about my G-babies. I’m a little crazy about them.

My husband’s birthday was this weekend and we had a family party to celebrate. I love having family over. It’s one of my favorite things to do and it just brings me so much joy. I love spending time with them.

My G-babies are seriously the cutest and I just love watching them.  My youngest granddaughter, Jackson, she is so funny and sweet. She is always so happy and she just beams love. But she used to be really scared of dogs. No, like seriously scared.

She would shake and cry at any sighting of a dog. We would have to put our dogs up when she was over. Her father, my son, has wanted to get a puppy.  I mean, he loves dogs. He has been talking to his wife about this for years. And we always had them when he was growing up.

So my daughter-in-law got a puppy for my son last month for his birthday. Now, I was super nervous because I knew how fearful Jackson was around dogs. But the craziest thing happened. Last night, she comes into our house. We actually had not put our dogs up yet and she started chasing our dog Cookie around, and just loving on her.

It was so crazy to see how, a month ago, she was terrified. And now she was not. You know, I just love watching my grandkids. They are open to everything. They can change how they think about something.

I mean, she had this fear a month ago and now it’s gone. She changed her thought from, “Dogs are scary,” to, “They’re cute.” And when she says cute, I can’t even say it, it’s so cute. So kids can teach us so many lessons when we pay attention to them. I honestly learn so many things from them.

So I was thinking about fear and how it used to show up for me. When I used to diet, I was fearful of family parties because of the food. My mom was an amazing cook and she made lots of great stuff. I mean, lots of great stuff. And I used to be scared that I could not resist the temptation, and that if I ate something like a piece of cake, or maybe two, that it would turn into days or months of being off, quote en quote, “Off my diet.”

But, loves, it’s so freeing now. I don’t have that fear anymore. I don’t fear food because I’ve learned to change my desire for food and I don’t over-desire it. I can eat a piece of cake and it does not turn into a week-long binge. It’s been one of the most powerful changes for me to get off this diet rollercoaster.

And I see this with my clients all the time. One of the reasons we carry extra weight is because we over-desire food. And when we have an urge, AKA desire for food, most of the time, we answer the urge, meaning we eat it, or we resist the urge, and that feels like deprivation. It feels like we’re white-knuckling it.

We’ve been taught that it’s normal to over-desire food. It is more normal to overeat than to not. Have you ever passed on a donut and the person offering it looks at you like you’re crazy? They question, how could you pass up the donut? Or your mom makes macaroni and cheese just for you at a family dinner, and how could you pass that up? And then you get the question, “Are you on another diet, Shannan?”

This might have happened to me more than once. And let’s not forget the food industry. It’s counting on it. They have supersized and Frankensteined our food to make it more desirable. They have perfected the ingredients to make them as desirable as possible.

So what are we to do, loves? In my quest to learn how to get off the diet rollercoaster, I started doing a lot of research on how our brain works. I have done a lot of research on our primitive brain. I like to call it the lizard brain. You will hear me talk of this often. I love talking about the lizard brain.

This part of our brain is responsible for our survival instinct. It wants to keep us safe from danger. It’s responsible for our impulses. It likes reward. It honestly wants us to stay in bed and watch Netflix because it’s safe. It does not like change.

But it can have a good purpose. It does have a good purpose. If someone pulls in front of you while you’re driving, it immediately goes into action, hitting the break. So it does have its purpose. But understanding how your brain is wired is important because we often think that something is wrong with us.

I used to think this when I was overweight and struggling diet after diet. But to get off the diet rollercoaster, I had to learn how my brain was wired, and then learn what I like to call brain hacks so that I could use my brain for good instead of it working against me.

One of the areas I learned how the brain worked was in relation to over-desire of food. We can learn to desire food less. I know, you did hear me right. We can learn to desire food less. We can learn to not fear food.

When we overeat, it is a false pleasure. Our brain is wired to love to overeat. It gets a dopamine hit right before we take a bite. So then we keep overeating because we want the dopamine hits. And then, what happens is it increases the need for false pleasure, AKA the dopamine hits.

We need to eat more just to get the same jolt. It’s honestly a vicious cycle. It’s part of the reason it can feel hard to get off the diet rollercoaster. False pleasures trick our brain and hormones into thinking we are experiencing joy, but it’s not joy. The long-term effects of overeating is an unhealthy heavy body and countless hours of beating ourselves up and obsession.

The impulse of temporary fix of a false pleasure is never worth it.  In order to get off the diet rollercoaster, we need to stop thinking about the temporary joy it brings because the long-term misery it brings far outweighs the temporary joy. But you can learn how to desire food less, especially non-fuel foods or foods that you don’t want to eat.

I have cookies, believe this or not, in my pantry right now and I don’t even want them. They’ve been in there for weeks. I have chocolate in there and I don’t even think about it. I actually forget that they’re in there.

I remember my teacher asking this question; how would it be to have Oreos in your pantry and not want them? Now, loves, I’m with you. When I first heard this, I had the same thought that you are probably having right now, like, no way, that will never happen for me. But, love, it happened. I learned to desire food less. I’ve rewired my brain. So just stay with me, love, I know it’s hard to believe.

In my early 20s, I loved soda. Like, that is all I drank; full sugar Coke. That is what I liked. I did not like diet, I did not like water, but I did love some chocolate milk and orange juice; all the drinks with lots and lots of sugar.

I decided that I was not going to drink it because I didn’t want the calories. I was on some diet in my 20s and I did not like how it made me feel. So I just stopped drinking anything with sugar in it. That was over 20 years ago.

I don’t have the desire for it now. I rewired my brain that the consequences of drinking sugary drinks far outweighed my desire for them. Now, how could I go from thinking that I would literally die if I didn’t have a soda to never drinking one again? I changed my desire for it.

There are lots of things that other people desire that I have no desire for like cigarettes or heroin. I mean, if you asked me to go shoot up, I would not have any desire for it. I would never do it.

Now, I know that that seems like a very extreme example, but I want you to really think about things in your life that you have no desire for. Now, for heroin, the consequences far outweigh the reward for me. There is a reward, a huge dopamine hit, but I made the decision that the consequences would not be worth it.

Now again, loves, I know it’s an extreme example, but I want you to look at your own life and are there things that you have no desire for that others would give their whole lives up for? And ask yourself why. And if that is true, could you change your desire for food? Loves, I know it is possible.

So I want to talk about urges. They are just thoughts that create desire and we can allow the thought without acting on it. Example, my admin asked me on many Friday mornings if I want a donut. I have the thought; the donut looks good. I allow that thought and I tell her no thank you.

Allowing an urge does not cause a feeling. When I allow the thought and then I just move on to another thought like, my admin is so sweet for always taking care of me, it doesn’t cause an emotion. There’s no resistance. When we’re restricting, we are resisting urges. When we are buffering, we are answering the urge.

So I want to first talk about answering the urge. So, same situation – my admin comes by. I have the thought; the donut looks good. And before I know it, it’s in my hand and I’m eating it, and it’s happened. I just answered the urge. And by answering, we have created a neural pathway. And a neural pathway is just a superhighway in our brain. And neural pathways are responsible for things like habits.

And it keeps us wanting the dopamine hit, so it wants the pleasure.  And so another way we can react is to resist, white-knuckle. So, same situation, my admin asks me if I want the donut. I say, no thank you, but I am resisting.

I have another thought right after that one; why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I just eat the donut? Why can’t I be like the skinny girl in the next cubicle who can eat everything that she wants? And it creates a feeling of deprivation.

And when I feel deprived, eventually I get right back on the diet rollercoaster. But if we can allow the urge and not resist it or answer it, we can retrain our brains. We can create a new neural pathway; one that allows urges, one that desires food less. We can actually desire food less by creating these new neural pathways.

Now, I’m going to share a brain hack with you. This is one I use to help me allow urges and change my desire to overeat. So, here’s how you do it. You have the thought, I want the donut, I deserve it, I can only eat one. I mean, so many times, love, I’ve done this.

But this is what you do because a lot of times I would eat it and answer it. But in this hack, what you’re going to do is you’re going to have the thought, you’re going to realize you’re having the thought and then you’re just going to stop just for a moment and you’re going to begin to count backwards for 30 seconds.

This disrupts the urge and allows it. In my example I shared with you earlier, I changed my thought to, my admin is so sweet. But this was hard for me at the beginning. So counting backwards helped me disrupt the thought and allow the urge.

Then, after you count back 30 seconds, you write down the thought that you had and you will be amazed, the urge is gone. And then, do this 100 times. Yes, I said 100 times. I am so serious about how this works. It is such a brain hack.

I remember when my teacher first taught this concept to me. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to write down the urge. I just didn’t want to do it. And when I was struggling and I still had this over-desire for food, I decided, okay, I’m going to try it. And once I did, I mean, it was so amazing.

So, you know, it’s freeing when you can have the thought, I want a donut, allow the thought, and then not act. It doesn’t create this feeling of deprivation. You actually just move on. It’s the best feeling ever.

To have cookies and chocolate in my pantry right now and forget that they are in there, I mean, it is so freeing. I used to think it would never happen for me. And, loves, you can do this. I know this for sure. Learning to desire food less is key to losing and keeping weight off.

So, I like to end each episode with a couple of transformational questions. So today’s are, number one, what is something that you used to desire that you no longer desire? And this could be an old boyfriend, loves. It’s anything that, at one time, you had this extreme desire for that you just don’t even think about anymore.

And, number two, when you don’t eat something that you have an urge for, what thoughts come up for you? What thoughts do you have? And then, love, complete the brain hack. You will be amazed.

So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you.

Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.

So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

 

Enjoy the Show?

Ep #2: Your Compelling Reason and Commitment to Lose Weight

One of the hardest parts of being on the Diet Roller Coaster was the way it eroded my ability to trust myself. For years, it felt like I could keep commitments to everybody but me. On Sunday, I’d make a plan to eat well and exercise throughout the week, but by midweek, I’d failed enough (and then beat myself up about it) that I’d just give up. 

When I finally decided to take a new approach, I realized that I needed two things: a compelling reason, and commitment. My compelling reason, or my “why”, was the thing that kept me going even when I wanted to quit. And my commitment meant that even though I’d fail sometimes, skip a workout, or overeat, I was still committed to my overall goal – no matter what. 

In this episode, I’m introducing these two concepts to you and talking about  why they are so important. I’ll tell you about what a compelling reason looks like in action and share stories about how I’ve stayed committed to my goals. We’ll also talk about practical ways you can start to rebuild your trust in yourself. 

I have two more transformational questions for you today. I want you to ask yourself:

  1. Why do you want to lose weight?
  2. What would it feel like if one year from now you were still the same weight?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • How I used to use traveling as a reason to overeat.
  • Why deciding on my compelling reason for losing weight was a turning point in my weight loss journey.
  • How to choose a compelling reason that fits you and your dreams for your life.
  • What real commitment looks like when you have a compelling reason to go along with it.
  • Why it’s so important to make small commitments to yourself if you want to rebuild trust.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners! To find out how to enter, click here!


Full Episode Transcript:

 

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number two.

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 loves. So excited to be back with you again today. I am just so grateful that you’re listening. Today I want to talk about your compelling reason to lose weight and your commitment, and just why they’re such an important step in getting off the diet roller coaster. Then at the end, I will leave you with a few questions to help you start taking action today.

So loves, I have been traveling a lot over the last week. I have been in California, Dallas, and Delaware, so all the coasts. I went to this amazing event in Dallas, Texas with my teacher. It was a two-day conference with just so many presentations and learnings. And I love learning and I love learning new ways I can help my clients.

I think I’m still processing it all, but it really energized me. It made me think of when I used to travel. I used to use traveling as a reason to overeat, to go into a full binge like, I don’t know if you ladies feel me if you travel. But I use it as a way to just overeat and binge eat.

And you know, I’m an introvert and usually if I’m traveling for work or for coaching, all of the events are with a lot of people. So I would buffer by overeating. I would take food back to my hotel room and sneak eat, for sure. I wasn’t doing it in front of everyone. That was for sure.

And I would binge my entire trip. And when I was on vacation, let’s talk about vacation, ladies. I would make it so much about the food. Where we were going to eat, what we were eating, when we were eating, what we were trying, all the new foods. But honestly loves, I would miss out on so much because I would feel tired from all of the overeating.

And honestly, it was such an obsession in my brain that it really prevented me from experiencing all of the joy that vacation has to bring. And I know this now because I don’t buffer and I don’t use the events, the vacation, or the excuse that I’m an introvert to overeat.

And I know my compelling reason and I am committed to taking care of myself, which leads me right into the two concepts that I’m going to teach today. Compelling reason and commitment. These two concepts were key in helping me get off the diet roller coaster and lose my weight.

Also, at the end, I’m going to leave you with a couple questions that you can ask yourself so you can start taking some action. I just always want to leave you with some way that you can implement the things that I teach.

So when I think about my years of being on the diet roller coaster and losing and gaining honestly, hundreds of pounds, I used to believe something was wrong with me. I thought the weight was my struggle and I felt hopeless that I would ever be able to lose it.

When I decided that I no longer was going to diet and learned a different way, one of the first steps that I went through was finding my why. This concept is all about finding your compelling reason. It’s important because you’ll have times where you are going to want to quit. Trust me on this.

But knowing your why can help you through those times. Now, you will hear me use my why and compelling reason interchangeably. They mean the same thing to me. So knowing your compelling reason is important so let me give you a few examples.

When someone’s life is on the life – this is an extreme example – that is the most compelling reason. So for example, if a fire started in your house, you would spring into action. You would not say oh wait, I want to finish watching this show on Netflix. You wouldn’t. You would just spring into action and you would get out of the house. That would be your very compelling, your why, your reason. The fire.

So I want to give you a couple less extreme examples. Your compelling reasons propels you to move forward and it’s why it’s so important to find yours. So I want to tell you a story about my mom. I love my mom. She passed four and a half years ago but I was so lucky that I had her as a mom. I mean honestly, she was such a great mom.

But my mom smoked for as long as I could remember, and it was her struggle and she had tried to quit thousands of times, but never could for more than a day or two. When my brother’s wife at the time was pregnant with twins, she told my mom that unless she quit smoking, she was not going to be able to be around the twins.

Now, I won’t lie to you. My mom had a lot of feelings about that ultimatum, but honestly, she knew my sister was so serious. So my mom quit smoking cold turkey. Here was my mom who had smoked honestly since she was 16 years old and she quit smoking cold turkey.

Her why was being around her grandbabies and she wanted that more than cigarettes. And having that compelling reason helped her to be successful. This is why it’s so important for you to have a compelling reason. It can help you to keep moving forward during challenging times. When you want to quit, when you want to give up, when you want to eat the cupcake.

And I know you have all had that happen in your life where you stopped or started doing something because of your why. You had this reason that was compelling enough for you to take action.

In my own life, I decided to go back for my MBA. I was working a full-time job, had a family, but wanted to progress in my career. I wanted to be an example for our children. I wanted to show that if you commit to something, you can do it, even when it’s really hard. Even when you want to give up.

There were so many times during my MBA where I wanted to give up but I had a compelling reason that I wanted to be an example. I wanted to show that I could do it. I wanted to be the example of what was possible. Remembering my compelling reason helped me to be successful in achieving my MBA as well as losing weight.

When I get new clients, we do this work in their very first week. They complete a worksheet on their compelling reason, their why, and it’s so different for each person, but really understanding this and then doing the work on this is important when it comes to losing weight.

You have to understand why you are doing it and it has to be compelling enough for you to take action. When I decided to start testing my process and learning a different way, I found my compelling reason. I wanted to be the example of what was possible. This kept coming up for me in my life.

I was a single mother with no education who then got her MBA and became an executive. I found the love of my life at 35, and learned how to have a healthy relationship. I heard this compelling reason from my teacher. It was her reason, and it really resonated with me. This is what drove me.

I wanted to show and teach others that anything was possible. And I was going to lead the way and then show them how. That is what drove me. Your compelling reason just has to be compelling to you. My compelling reason might not be compelling enough for you.

You might want to wear something comfortable at your son’s wedding. You might want to fit into an airplane seat. You might want to run a 5K. You might just want to show your children how to live a healthy life. You might want to wear a bathing suit. You might want to play with your children or grandchildren at the park.

The reason for knowing your why is because you will be given an option. Options to quit, options to choose things that do not serve you. Options to start another quick fix diet. Knowing your why can help you through those times. It can help you keep your commitments to yourself, which leads me right into the second concept. Commitment.

Oh loves, we as women keep commitments to everyone in our life. We will drop everything for our friends, for our family, our boss, even strangers. But we break commitments to ourselves every day. We break them so often that we don’t even want to make them to ourselves.

I remember at my work we used to do these weight loss challenges. And honestly, I never wanted to do them. At the beginning I would do them and then I would gain weight, and then I just didn’t trust myself. And it was embarrassing, so I just decided I was not going to do them any longer.

And loves, this is it. We just no longer trust ourselves. We say we’re going to do something for ourselves but then by two o clock when we pass the vending machine, our motivation has wavered. We have not fully committed and we end up eating something that doesn’t serve us.

I often thought I lacked willpower, that I needed to have willpower so I could be motivated to lose weight. I would beat myself up because I had the thought, I lacked willpower. I would think that having that thought would create the feelings of motivation, but what that thought created was doubt. And when I was doubtful, I didn’t take action.

But once I learned that I could commit and follow through, I did not need willpower. I learned how to build trust in myself and I had evidence that I could keep a commitment. I did this with everyone else in my life.

If my boss asked me for something, I did not need willpower. I committed to him or her that I would do it and I did it. So to lose weight, I needed to build trust in myself again by learning how to keep commitments to myself. And keeping commitments is more powerful than willpower or motivation.

Relying solely on motivation will almost always fail us. But having a compelling reason and a commitment, it works. We have to decide that we are going to make a commitment to ourselves and then fully commit. And the way that I teach this is to start with something small so you can build trust in yourself again.

Our brain will tell us that we have to do 10 things to lose weight, and then we have to be perfect at all 10 things. Then what happens? We start – you guys know. Heck, I remember doing this. On Sunday I would make a plan, I was going to eat salad and chicken, I was going to exercise two times a day, I was going to meditate, I was going to journal, I was going to do all these things.

And again, too many things at one time that I was trying to change. And so then I would just fail at one of them, like I wouldn’t meditate or I wouldn’t exercise and then I would just throw in the towel. So learning how to keep commitments to yourself, you have to start by committing to one small action and then doing it over and over again to rebuild the trust in yourself again.

So I want to give you an example. Let’s say one of your friends breaks a commitment to you. They told you that they were going to meet you for lunch and they did not show up. Now, you would lose trust in them. So let’s say they call and they apologize and they say let’s meet for lunch again.

You would be wary, but you might go. And if they showed up, you would start building trust again. Every time that they would show up, you would build more and more trust for them. That’s what you have to do with yourself, love. You have to start showing up for yourself.

I teach my clients to start with a realistic plan. This is one of my four fundamentals. This fundamental can help you start to learn to trust yourself again and keep commitments to yourself. All the realistic plan is is writing down each day what you’re going to eat for the next day.

And the key to this is making it realistic. If it’s nacho day tomorrow, I mean, we love nachos, right? I mean, I love nachos. And you’re going to eat them, then put nachos on your realistic plan. It’s not about the food, love. It’s learning to keep the commitment of making the plan each day and then eating what’s on the plan.

That is where the magic lies. Making your realistic plan every day and then eating what’s on it helps you build that trust in yourself again. Being committed is about not having any other options no matter what, no way out. Being fully committed does not mean that you’ll not have failure. It just means you won’t quit. You’ll keep taking action on what you committed to.

Loves, there is no risk in hoping that something will happen. This reminds me of when I was single. I used to hope that Mr. Right would just come knocking at my door, but he didn’t. I had to put myself out there and commit to finding love. I had to go on dates, get rejected until I found the love of my life.

The risk comes when you fully commit. Loves, all your fears will come up. All the doubts. It’s like the example I used with the friend who was a no-show at lunch. The first time you meet after that, you probably have a lot of fear that they’re not going to show up again, but you do it anyway. You show up.

You make a decision to commit no matter what, and I want to say this again because it’s so important. You will have mistakes. You will have overeats. I’ve had many overeats in my journey to finally losing the weight. The key was I did not quit. I did not let one day turn into a week or a month or a year.

I know you ladies feel me on this. I’ve had full years where I was overeating pretty much the whole year. But you know loves, I was committed and when I decided to make a change, I knew what my why was. So love, make a small commitment, one thing like the realistic plan, and then decide on purpose to commit to it.

So a commitment looks something like this; I’m going to make my realistic plan every night for the next seven days. I will eat what’s on my plan and then commit. Now, if you have a failure or a mistake, like you didn’t make a plan or you eat something off your plan, don’t beat yourself up, love.

Just ask yourself why and then take the next best action for yourself. And remind yourself of your why. I like to write my compelling reason down every day. I like to see it. It helps remind me of why I’m choosing not to eat the cupcake when I have cupcakes staring me in my face. It helps me when I have overeaten, not to beat myself up and not let it turn into a week or a month of overeats.

So I want to leave you with four things before we get into the transformational questions. Number one, know your why and make it compelling enough. Number two, make a decision to commit to one small action like the realistic plan. Number three, know that you will have failure and mistakes. And number four, just don’t quit. Take the next best action and no beating yourself up, loves.

So I want to leave you with a couple of transformational questions. I do reflection work every day. This is where I write all of my thoughts, good and bad, and I ask myself questions. I’m always amazed at what thoughts are floating around in my brain. I mean, seriously. My lizard brain is crazy sometimes.

So the first question is why do you want to lose weight? Number two, what would it feel like in one year if you were still at the same weight you are today? Now, after you answer those questions, write down your why and then make one small commitment for yourself, love.

So much fun loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of this show. I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it.

I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

 

Enjoy the Show?

Ep #1: Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women!

Welcome to the very first episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women! I am so excited to bring this podcast to you – I’ve been dreaming about how I could help more women, and this podcast is a huge and wonderful step in that direction.

If we can build a habit of pausing as we communicate with ourselves, we can take back control of our thought patterns, feelings and actions. Breathwork and awareness are two incredibly useful tools for learning to press pause on our thoughts and consider whether they’re helping us build the healthy, fulfilling life that we deserve. 

In today’s episode, you’ll learn about me and my backstory, including some of my struggles with the diet rollercoaster. I’ll tell you what led me to finally seek out a new way to lose weight and keep it off. I will also share an important concept with you about perfectionism, and we’ll wrap things up with two transformational questions.

When you’re done listening to the episode, I want you to ask yourself:

  1. How is perfectionism showing up for me?
  2. What small imperfect action am I going to do today?

I am so excited to be bringing you this show, and to celebrate the launch of the podcast I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners. To find out how to enter, click here!


What You’ll Discover:

  • All about my background, including my struggles with the diet roller coaster and how I got off it for good.
  • Why I thought for many years that the key to my weight loss was finding the “right diet” (and how I realized this wasn’t true).
  • How your thoughts affect your ability to lose weight, keep it off, and love your body.
  • What you need to know about perfectionism and how it holds you back from accomplishing your goals.
  • Why we have to take imperfect action every day if we want to make lasting changes in our lives.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

  • To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift cards to 12 lucky listeners! To find out how to enter, click here!


Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number one.

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 loves. I am so excited. This has just been a dream of mine to start this podcast and help women lose weight and learn to love their bodies. And I’m just so grateful that you are listening today.

So I’m going to talk about an important concept when it comes to getting off the diet roller coaster for good. And then I’m going to leave you with something that you can start doing today.

But first, to kick things off, I want to tell you a little about myself and what this podcast is about, and what it’s not about. And throughout the coming episodes, I will continue to share the process and tools that I have learned to finally get off the diet roller coaster and to love my body.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Love my body. So let’s get started with just a little about me and my journey. So I am an executive senior vice president at a Fortune 100 company and I’m also a life coach. I have my MBA from Arizona State University. Go Sun Devils, and I’ve been coaching in my professional career for over 25 years.

I’ve been trained on coaching and even co-developed a coaching program for a major corporation. But I wanted to become more directly involved in helping women and helping them specifically lose weight. So I became certified as a life and weight coach in 2018.

I co-founded BFLY Coaching with my husband and our son works for us too.  The BFLY family. I’m married with a son. I have two bonus kids and a beautiful daughter-in-law. And four grandbabies. And yes, I love them to pieces. You will hear about them often.

I actually want to eat their faces. I just love them so much. All of that sounds so amazing, right? But my journey does not start with all of that. I struggled with my weight for almost 38 years. I’ve been in your shoes and I know that hopeless feeling.

I have weighed as much as 315 pounds and the last time I lost weight for                   friends and I started to diet. This led to many, many, many years of either being on or off a diet. I have tried everything from pills and potions, shakes, surgery, programs, support groups, and let’s not forget saran wrap.

I mean, I know you guys feel me on this. Saran wrap. I have counted calories, points, and fat grams. And it all led me to losing and gaining weight 100 times. I honestly thought something was wrong with me. I thought I just needed to find the right diet plan and get more willpower.

In my early 40s, I went to Weight Watchers and this was about my 20th attempt at it, but I gained weight every week. I went for, I want to say two to three weeks, and every weigh in I was just gaining weight. And I just decided that I needed to find a different solution.

I vowed at that moment that I was never going to diet again. I started looking and researching for a different way. But then life happened. My mom and my mother-in-law got sick pretty much at the same time, and they passed within less than two months of each other and it was a tough time for myself and my family.

I felt distraught and overwhelmed. And honestly, I just kept continuing to gain weight until I was back at 247 pounds. I couldn’t believe I was there again. I couldn’t believe I was on my way to 300. I knew that I was a smart girl. I knew there was a different way. So I continued my journey to find the process that helped me finally lose the weight and learn to love myself and my body.

This is the process that I teach now. No counting calories or points. I will never give my clients a food plan. I learned that every answer led back to my own thoughts and love, it was never about the food. It was all within me and my thoughts, and it’s all within you.

There are no quick fixes, love, that work. But I do have a solution that takes a little time to learn but it helps you lose the weight, and more importantly, it helps you keep the weight off. I have dreamed about this podcast because I love helping women. I love when my client for the first time in a long time has hope. When she begins to lose the weight and all the mental weight she has been carrying, and I want that for you.

I know how heavy carrying extra weight can feel from a body and mind perspective. I know that you can lose hope that you will ever lose the weight. But love, I know it is possible. I know that you can lose weight without dieting. I know this because I’ve done it and I want to teach you how I did it so you can do it too.

I want this podcast to be about teaching you how to get off the diet roller coaster, how to reconnect with your body, and really learn how to love that body you’re in. There are on quick fixes, pills, or potions here. I will never tell you what you eat. But love, stay with me. You are so worth this journey that you are about to start with me.

So let’s get started. I want to talk about something that kept me either on or off the diet roller coaster. I had this belief that I needed to be perfect. I know you guys know what I’m talking about. I wanted everything to be perfect. If I started my new diet, I needed to be perfect.

I would start with all of these hopes and expectation. I was only going to eat what was on the diet plan. I was going to start exercising, I was going to journal, meditate, I was going to be perfect. And if I was perfect, then you know, I would lose five to 10 pounds per week, but only if I was perfect.

And these are the thoughts that were going through my mind on Sunday night before I started on Monday. It was the biggest loser mentality I had learned throughout all my years of endless dieting. But perfection is a lie. There is no perfection. I was so fearful of failure.

I had lost hope and trust in myself. I wanted to be perfect on my diet, perfect at work, a perfect mother, a perfect wife and so on. But I was not perfect. And so I would start a diet, have the best intentions, and by Wednesday when I had not exercised, or I had ate things that were not on my diet plan, I would start to slip.

And then the negative self-talk would happen and then by Friday night I was off again in a full binge and back on the roller coaster. And then the endless negative self-talk would start. I’m never going to do this. I’m not good enough. I’m always going to be overweight.

Even the times that I stayed on a diet for a while, I lost weight, ended up so badly because I just put the weight back on. This is how the diet roller coaster works over and over. And it’s just this endless cycle.

And the thought that I needed to be perfect led to self-sabotage. It led to me justifying when I would eat off my plan to thoughts like I’m never going to be able to do this, I will never lose weight, I might as well just eat what I want. I’m never going to be thin anyways.

The thought that I needed to take all this action and be perfect at it actually led to giving up. And so what I learned is that I need to make small changes and that consistency plus time equals results. So I want to say it again because it’s so important. Consistency plus time equals results.

That the way you make lasting changes is by imperfect actions. Yes, imperfect. And not giving up when I would fail. It’s okay to fail. The important part is that you don’t beat yourself up and you keep going forward.

Beating yourself up over a small failure just leads to more self-sabotage. I have learned this over and over again. We are always looking for the next big thing. We want to start a diet plan like keto or Weight Watchers or some shake or pill. And when I did that, I thought I was going to be perfect. I would have these dreams of losing 30 pounds this month and I would think I just need another food plan or pill.

I remember dreaming about actually – I’m going to share a quick story, but I would dream about honestly, having my mouth wired shut because if I just could not eat, then I could lose all of the weight. And you know, all of that was just perfectionism and we know, love, that perfection is just a lie.

But what will give you success is small imperfect actions. It is consistency over time. Losing my weight, it took small consistent actions. Like showing up every day and doing my realistic food plan. Eating one donut instead of three at the beginning. Reflection work every day.

It took learning how to reconnect with my body and listening to it. The result was losing weight. I’m not perfect. I’ve had many overeats over my journey of losing weight, but I do small things every day. I show up for myself, I’m consistent more than I am not.

I don’t linger in my past or my failures or the lie of perfection. I show up imperfect. And let me tell you, if you get emails from me or you read my blog, there will be spelling errors. It will be grammatically incorrect because I don’t waste time on perfection anymore. It has been the most freeing thing to know that imperfect action will get me amazing results.

On the next few episodes, I’m going to leave you with a transformational question or two, or three. I’ve learned that when I ask my brain a question, I’m amazed by what it tells me. Looking inward is the way I have found to lose weight. It has never been or ever will be about the food. It has always been about our thoughts.

So the transformational questions today are how is perfectionism showing up for you? That’s number one. And number two, what one small imperfect action are you going to do today? So number one, how has perfectionism, how is it showing up for you? And number two, what one small imperfect action are you going to do today?

And then write it down. And then do it again tomorrow. Maybe it’s I’m going to plan my food for today. I’m going to get more water. I’m going to eat more food that fuels my body. What one thing are you going to do?

I want to share with you some of the best advice I ever received. If you look ahead one year or five years from today and you’re okay with where you are, same weight, same body, same thoughts, keep doing what you’re doing today. But if you want something different, you want a different result, then you have to do something different today.

Loves, time just keeps passing and I believe that you are so worth this. So much fun loves, spending some time with you and to celebrate the launch of this show. I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on iTunes.

It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it.

I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.

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 over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!

 

Enjoy the Show?

Announcing the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast!

Weight Loss for Successful WomenWelcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast dedicated to helping women who are thriving in every area of their lives but their weight loss efforts to finally get off the Diet Roller Coaster and lose weight for good.

For the woman who is frustrated and feeling helpless after false promise after false promise, I am sharing how I lost eighty pounds while transforming my relationship with my body.

Each week, we’ll explore the thoughts and feelings that contribute to the struggles many successful women have with weight. If you’re tired of the typical approach to losing weight and are ready to try something new, you’re in the right place.

Get to know me and how this show can help you by listening to my first three episodes.  I’ll be releasing a new episode every Wednesday!

You can check out the first episodes here:

Here’s what you should do right now to sign up for your weekly dose of Weight Loss for Successful Women inspiration:

Subscribing in Apple Podcasts

To subscribe in Apple Podcasts, visit the Weight Loss for Successful Women page and click on the “Listen on Apple Podcasts” button.

This will launch Apple Podcasts on your computer and bring up the podcast.

Click on the “Subscribe” button and you’re all set!

You can also listen to the podcast via Spotify, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Rate and Review!

Once you’ve listened to an episode or two, click on the “Ratings and Reviews” link on the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast page in Apple Podcasts to leave a review.

I want you to be honest, tell me what you think and how I can I help you better.

If you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe in Apple Podcasts now.  Thanks for listening!

You can also find the show on Stitcher and Spotify.