We are in a 2.0 series and this episode of the podcast, we are going to up-level our reflection work. I am going a little deeper on how you can start to believe new things.
Over these next 3 episodes, I am going to teach you how your brain is wired, how to believe new things, how to do a realistic plan so you can break your old diet beliefs and brain, and how to start trusting your body again and reconnecting with it so you can feel hunger and fullness.
I am going to meet you right where you are at. I am going to teach you how to stop fearing food and lose weight where you meet yourself where you are at. I am going to teach you how to lose weight with love and allowance, instead of punishment and restriction.
We are going to stop this diet trauma – and I need to be perfect.
Join me in this episode as I am diving deep into Reflection work – this is not journaling. Reflection work is where the mindset change comes from. It is a daily practice of dumping out your thoughts on paper, asking yourself questions like why, and what is keeping me stuck?
You will learn what a TFA cycle is and how to use it to change your thoughts.
If you want to hear more on Reflection also listen to podcast #19 – bflycoaching.com/19.
You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen episode number 105. Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, fortune 100 executive, and certified life coach, Shannan Christiansen.
Hello love. So happy to be back with you. So we are in a 2.0 series and today we are going to up-level our reflection work. I’m going to go a little deeper on how you can start to believe new things. Oh yes. It’s going to be good my love.
But first I want to do a listener shout out, and this week’s listener shout out is to 0914Carly. I’ve been listening to the podcast for almost a year now. Shannan has helped me learn tips and techniques about how to change my thoughts around food. It’s been a life changing year for me. Thank you, Shannan. Ah, thank you so much 0914Carly. She left that on iTunes.
And I tell you, this work is life changing and I watch it every day with my Transform bosses, but I tell you when you start to believe new things, everything else just starts to change for the better. So if you find what you learn here valuable, you can help other women find this show by leaving a review and rating of the show. Also subscribe. You can do that by hitting the follow button or clicking the plus sign in Apple or hitting the subscribe button wherever you’re listening. This way, every Wednesday I’m just in your library.
So love, woo. It has been a full week. As I am recording this, we are finishing a challenge, and our launch week. It has been the most amazing challenge. I did some different things in this challenge. I extended it; I usually do five-day challenges and I made it an eight-day challenge. And oh, I just have watched women show up. We have over 3000 ladies who signed up for the challenge, and it has just been amazing to watch. Amazing to watch them show up for themselves, to come to the calls, to do the work. It is really my favorite, one of my favorite things to do. And I tell you, outside of my family, really watching women show up for themselves and learn this work it just, I don’t know, every time, I’ve been in tears multiple times this week, because I’m just so inspired by all of these ladies.
And, you know, Transform is closing, as I record this tomorrow. But when you’re listening to this Transform will be closed. We’ll open back up again in 2022. And I tell you, I can’t wait for the next three months. I am going to just dig in with all of my Transform bosses and you know, I can’t wait to watch their transformations. It has been, I don’t know, just an honor. I can’t think of any other word, to be a part of their journey and their transformation. So I just can’t wait. I can’t wait. We have so many fun things planned for all of our bosses. It is going to be the best holiday season.
So onto today’s show. This is my favorite topic. It is. Believing new things. See my love. We have all of these old beliefs, thoughts, sentences really that just go around in our brain like a thousand times a day. And this has been happening our whole life. We have created a bazillion neural pathways and they’re stored in our habit brain.
If we have a hard day feeling stressed, the next thing we know we’re sitting at the Dunkin drive-thru like what happened? And it feels automatic. We have so many automatic thoughts that it can feel like we’re out of control. Like we’re living someone else’s life. Have you ever felt this way? We don’t even recognize our own life any longer.
If you are a woman living today then you probably have been programmed with tons of diet beliefs, beliefs about your capabilities, about your worth, about your ability to lose weight, what your body looks like. I mean I could go on and on. See my love, diet culture teaches us to restrict and to feel bad. Diet culture gives you short-term fixes, when all that does is keep you on the diet rollercoaster, believing you can’t lose weight and are destined to be overweight.
You know the old saying, “eat less, move more?” Well, one, I really dislike that saying, but it keeps you feeling like you’re not enough. Like something is wrong with you. Then you feel shame, disappointment, and then you want to eat, because you have these thoughts like I can’t do this anyways, I might as well enjoy myself.
Over the next three episodes, I am going to teach you how the brain is wired, how to believe new things, how to do a realistic plan so you can break your old diet beliefs and that diet brain, and how to start trusting your body again and reconnecting with it. So you can feel hunger and fullness. I’m going to meet you right where you are at.
When I first started losing my weight, I did not stop at full that’s for sure. I did not eat the way I do today. I had to start taking small steps forward. When people lose weight from restriction and diet plans they lose the weight, but they did not practice how to eat their favorite foods. So they lose weight and then they don’t know how to eat a cupcake. So they fear it, and eventually binge on it. I mean, my love really take that in. We have done this, I did this so many times. I would either fear food or I would just give in and eat all the things. What I’m going to teach you, and what I’ve been teaching you through the podcast is how to stop fearing food and lose weight where you meet yourself right where you’re at.
Diet trauma is what we’ve all been through. We have been told that we’re not good enough, that we need to restrict and fear of food. We’ve been told that we’re not in control, and that we have to live on a thousand calories and over exercise. I’m going to teach you how to lose weight with love and allowance instead of punishment and restriction.
When I decided to lose weight before I made another change I asked myself, can I do this forever? I needed to do things that I would not quit. I up-leveled and took small steps forward. That is how I lost weight for the very last time. I eat all the foods. I don’t count anything. I have a really simple process that has helped me lose weight for the last time.
And I have been in maintenance for years. We are going to stop this diet trauma. The whole, I need to be perfect, I need to cut out sugar or carbs, I need to morph into this whole new person. My love, this is why you keep quitting. You tell yourself that you have to be perfect. And then when you can’t be, you feel bad, and then you don’t like that feeling, so you quit. I am going to teach you how to take small steps forward and learn how to commit to yourself. You’re going to practice small steps so you can keep moving forward. You are going to get rid of all the BS food rules and beliefs, because they are nonsense. They keep us stuck.
They keep you on the diet rollercoaster. They keep you stuck or even moving backwards. I will never forget when I learned just because I had a thought does not make it true. I just want you to sit with that for a moment. See, we believe all of the stuff going on in our brains. All the old diet beliefs, diet rules.
But when I started to challenge that, everything started to change. When I really understood that statement, things started to change for me. I watch this in my Transform bosses on a daily basis. I started to challenge my old beliefs and thoughts. See, all of your old beliefs are just that – old beliefs. They are just programming from how you were brought up, and you can believe different things.
Kind of like when I started losing weight, I did not believe I could lose weight for good. I thought it was always going to be my struggle. And now it’s not. Food is the least interesting thing in my life. And I’ve maintained my weight for years. Now I want to give a brief overview of the brain, and I’ve taught this in previous episodes, but you know, I love talking about the brain. So I’ve a quick overview. We have three parts of our brain that I want to talk about.
The first one is our primitive brain, and this is what I like to call Lizzie. This is our impulsive, our flight or fight response. This part of our brain is, you know, I love Lizzie, but you know, she likes to get me in trouble. And then we have a second part of our brain, which is our automatic brain. This is where all of our habits are stored. It’s kind of like, have you ever driven to work or driven to somewhere that you go all the time and you got there and you don’t even remember how you drove there? That’s the automatic brain. Because remember, our brain likes to conserve energy. And because of this, so many of our old thought patterns, our habits, they’re just stored in this automatic part of our brain. And then the third part of our brain is the prefrontal, which I like to call the thinking brain. This is our higher level brain. This part of the brain is responsible when we make a decision.
When we plan ahead of time. This part of our brain really does have our future selves in mind, our best selves in mind. And see these three parts of our brain work together. Now what’s important is that 90 to 95% of your day, your primitive and your automatic brain, Lizzie and your habit brain, are in charge. And so sometimes when you’re feeling like Shannan, this is just happening. I don’t know, the next thing I knew I was in the pantry. A lot of that is because of all that old programming, all of those automatic habits that are just there. And anytime that we can get into our thinking brain, then we’ll make better decisions. And my love we’re just like robots. I know I’m talking right to you.
I’m talking to you. I know, hear me. You walk around like a robot, checking things off your to-do list, getting everything done for all the other humans. And once in a while, you show up for you. And I tell you loves, we have just done things so many times over and over again, we forget that we are a part of the process . We matter.
And so what I want to do in this first of the three-part series is really start to focus on what you’re thinking and believing. Because our thoughts create our results. So everything that we have in our life, our results, our outcomes are caused by our thinking. And I know, I tell you love, I know I used to think it was all the things, all the humans, my mother, my spouse, my growing up, you know, all the things. But as I do this work more and more, I just know that whatever the circumstance is, I get to choose what I want to believe about it, what I want to think. And when I start changing the way that I think and believe my results change.
And the easiest way to start to bring yourself into awareness, to start to use that thinking brain more is to ask yourself a question, because then your prefrontal, that thinking brain, that is the part of your brain that will answer, not Lizzie. Lizzie, she likes, you know, I love Lizzie, but she like, she can get me in trouble. And so I say this because it’s so important to understand what is happening in your brain.
What are the thoughts? What are the beliefs? This is why reflection work is so important. Now you can hear more on episode number 19. It’s not journaling. It’s not a history of my day. Reflection work is just a dump of my brain. I like to call it a thought down. I just start writing, asking myself questions, like why,
what is keeping me stuck? How am I feeling? Why did I ….? Why did I overeat? Why did I not show up for myself? Why did I not get sleep? And asking myself these questions and writing them down, it really helps to start to become aware of what’s happening in my brain. And then I do what I like to call a thought feeling act cycle.
I’ve studied this work from many thought leaders. I mean, so many of them, like Byron Katie’s work, Brooke Castillo’s work, you know, Eckhart Tolle. And what I want to teach you today is just a very simplified version of a three-part process. It’s called the thought feeling act cycle. See, overweight thinking, right, all those beliefs about, I can’t lose weight, it is hard, I don’t have time, you know, I don’t want to, you know, restrict, I’ve never been able to lose weight. That is what I like to call OW thinking – overweight thinking, and it just keeps you stuck believing the same things. And so when you have the thought, let’s stay with one like, it is hard to lose weight. When you think that you can feel things like frustrated, disappointment, discouraged. And when you’re feeling those, like discouraged, right, what you do or don’t do, how you act for the most part, you don’t show up for yourself. You overeat, you snack you, you know, right. Those are the actions that you take when you’re feeling discouraged.
Right? When we feel a negative emotion, we don’t take a positive action. This is really important. I’m gonna say it again. When we’re feeling negative emotion, we don’t take a positive action. So when we’re feeling discouraged, when we’re feeling frustrated, then we act in that way. So we overeat, we buffer, we watch Netflix, we scroll Facebook. And it’s all because we just don’t want to feel that way anymore.
And so our brain is like, please give me a dopamine hit. I don’t want to feel this anymore. I don’t want to feel discouraged. And so our brain starts taking us over here to what we do. We want comfort. And for all of us, ladies who have struggled with our weight, comfort is in a cupcake or a bag of chips.
And because of this, we repeat this think, feel, act cycle over and over again. We think it’s hard. We feel discouraged. And then we act, and we overeat. Now the next part of this process is starting to redesign your overweight thinking to what I like to call BFLY thinking. BFLY my love.
And this is the next version of yourself thinking. If you think I can’t lose weight, then what I want you to do is think of a one-better thought. So this is what I like to call it. Just one level up. And so if you think I can’t lose weight, a one-better thought might be, I’m learning how to lose weight.
This is really important in redesigning your thinking, because you don’t want to go to, you know, rainbows and daisies and fairytales, because Lizzie will be like, no, we don’t believe that. So any thought that you’re going to start to practice, I want you to really go into yourself and ask yourself, can I start to believe this?
See, when I was doing this work, I’ll take you back to when I was doing this work on my body, I wanted to love my body. Where I started I really, I would say hated my body. I really did. I had a lot of thoughts about it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the loose skin, the stretch marks, you know, all the things I didn’t like. And so when I started, that’s where I was. I couldn’t just overnight start to believe and say, I love my body. Lizzie would be like, no way Shannan, you don’t like anything about it. So I had to start with a one-better thought, and the one better thought was I have a body.
And then I kept moving up to another one-better thought after that, which was, I produced a human in this body. And I just kept up leveling until I now really truly love this body. Because this work takes time my love. There’s no flipping on the light switch and the light comes on and I’m fixed. I’m changed. It’s not how it works.
It’s just this process of doing the think, feel, act cycle over and over again imperfectly. So now what I want you to do is to do a thought feeling act cycle on one of the thoughts that one of your limiting beliefs, one of the thoughts that are keeping you stuck, and then I want you to turn it into BFLY thinking.
Remember just a one-better thought, no sunshine and rainbows. I am learning. That’s my tip for you. Whenever I’m struggling to find a thought that I can start to believe I just put “I am learning” in front of it and it just releases the pressure, and I can start to believe that I am learning. So now the next step after you write that down, right, you’re overweight thinking T F A cycle, right? Thought feel act to your BFLY, this is what I want to believe, right? This is what I want to think. And when I think this, this is how I feel. And then this is what I do or don’t do. I want you to practice this new thought.
So let’s just say you had a thought I can’t lose weight. And your one-better thought is I’m learning how to lose weight. Then what I want you to do is just start to practice it. So let’s say, you’re going through your day tomorrow and, you know, you have this thought like, oh, I’m frustrated. This is too hard. I really want to eat this cupcake, you know, or whatever it is for you. And you’re just, you know, you’re feeling frustrated. I just want you to take a deep breath. And then I just want you to gently replace it with learning how to lose weight. And what happens is you’ll notice the feeling in your body will change and then you will act differently.
And this is the process. When I’m practicing a new thought or belief I put it in my phone so it pops up throughout the day. I’ll put it on a post-it note, you know, on my screen, on my refrigerator, wherever I can see it, in my car, because I want it to be top of mind. So while I’m practicing a new belief, I want to practice it over and over again.
Then it becomes automatic. And it goes into my automatic brain. This is so important. When we do this work, right, we do a thought and then we see how we feel, and then we ask ourselves, how do I act? Right? And when you turn it into a BFLY thought, right, your thought feeling act cycle, this is so important, for it to change, for you to start to really believe this next thought you have to practice it.
This is so important. I remember when I first started doing this work, I was doing like thought feeling act cycles all day long. I would be doing them, you know, great. And I was moving on to all these different thoughts, but I never practiced any of them. And how it becomes automatic is you practice it over and over again.
So I want you, as you do a thought dump, as you do your reflection work, dump out your brain and then take one thought and then practice that over and over again. And then, you know, maybe add in another one, but don’t do too many at once, and just really practice it because that is how it becomes a new neural pathway and becomes part of your automatic thinking.
Because when you have new beliefs and you have more of this BFLY thinking, my love, your results will change. You will start acting differently. You will start feeling differently. And when you start feeling different, you start doing different things. You start showing up for yourself. Love, this work is the most powerful work. Reflection work is where the mindset change comes from.
It is a daily practice of dumping out your thoughts on paper. Then choosing one to do a thought feeling act cycle on. It’s not journaling, and you’re just then going to do an overweight. And then if you feel good, you can change it to a BFLY, and then just practice that new BFLY thought over and over again. S
o the transformational questions and actions are one, what are your limiting beliefs and thoughts that are keeping you stuck on the diet roller coaster? Two, do a thought dump, put it on paper. Three, pick one thought and do an overweight thought feeling act cycle, and then redesign it to a BFLY thought feeling act cycle. And four, practice your new thought. Anytime you have a thought that comes in, just gently replace it and just again, talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself.
And if you want to take this work deeper than take my free course, go to bflycoaching.com/ready. Bye for now.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come on over to bfly.coaching.com. See you next week.