You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women Podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number 222. 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 back with you.
I wanna reflect for a moment before we get into the episode. We are at the end of 2023 and you know, when I started this year, I wanted to do my take on lots of different topics around weight loss relationships, how to lose weight, the struggle with it, the amazingness of it, the journey. And it’s been pretty amazing. And 52 weeks have gone by and here we go.
We are into 2024. I can’t even believe it actually. I’m sure you probably feel maybe the same way this year went super fast. And you know, I think as I get older, you know, I wish I could slow down time, but I don’t know. It’s not happening. It’s not happening. And today’s episode, as we end, this is the last episode of 2023.
I really wanted to give you my last take and share a personal story and just give you my take on all the things out there. Weight loss and diet culture and the weight loss drugs and the surgeries and all of the things. So I struggled with my weight pretty much my entire life. I really started to notice when I was around eight years old that I was different.
I was a little chunky and I started noticing, you know, people had things to say about it. And you know, that led to years of dieting, of feeling like my body wasn’t good enough and that I was always the, you know, fat girl. It affected many areas of my life. It wasn’t just weight, it affected relationships. How I felt about myself.
And I struggled with this really my whole life. And you know, there would be times where I’d lose some weight, but it was just really this back and forth. And ultimately it created really this trauma response in me diets and cultures and the how I felt about myself and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. And I had so much shame about weight.
I really did. I think about, I have so many stories in the past where I was, felt so much shame about weight. You know, the thing about weight, you know, I, I believe that every human struggles with some sort of buffering. Maybe they overwork or they over shop or they over Netflix or they over exercise or they drink alcohol or drugs or whatever it is.
And in many of those you can’t really notice it when you meet them. But weight is the one thing that you do notice. And there are a couple of them you might notice, but weight is there, everyone can see, everyone can see your struggle and you can’t hide from it. It creates this level of shame within you. And it did for me too.
I wanna tell the story of why I decided to have weight loss surgery back in 2006. And then I wanna tell you all the lessons I learned from it and how it wasn’t the long-term solution for me. So back in probably end of 2005, I had a coworker who had had weight loss surgery and she was, had it, it was successful and she felt so great and you know,
I really respected her. And I remember, I’ll never forget one day we were in, so we had a gym at our work, a fitness center, and we were down in the bathroom and I was looking at her and I was like, oh man. And she felt so good, you know, she probably was maybe, I don’t know, six months or a year out of the surgery.
And she’s like, Shannan, it’s changed my life. It’s so amazing. And I was like, oh my gosh. So I started to look into it and then I decided that I was gonna do it. You know, my mom had had weight loss surgery actually. And even though my mom had lost some weight, it still was her struggle. She didn’t get to her goal weight.
She had some other problems with it. And I had a cousin actually who had it and had a lot of complications. But I decided I was gonna do it. And I went to all the classes, found a surgeon, did the whole thing, got my insurance. I mean, you know, it’s a process. And I remember, actually, this is why I know I’ve been to Weight Watchers so many times ’cause I had kept all my little Weight watcher booklets and I actually had to submit that like with my insurance so they could see it.
And I had like this stack of, you know, weight watcher, you know, little books. I was so sure like this was the answer. And you know, changing and having a surgery and changing how your body functions, it’s a big deal. And I know many of my listeners, many of my bosses have done this. And I wanna say a couple things about it.
One, there’s a lot of judgment. So all of you who are listening who have not done it, you have a lot of judgmental thoughts about it. It’s just how our brains work. And then all of you who have had it, you have a lot of shame about it somewhere. I know, I tell you, I had the surgery and then I lost some weight.
You know, I was very diligent about doing the things that I was supposed to do because I wanted to heal. And again, I haven’t had a cousin who had, I mean, still to this day, she deals with very life-threatening things because the surgery, it just did not go well. And she had a lot of complications from it. So I did all the things and was very lucky that I didn’t have any complications.
And you know what weight loss surgery does is basically it reduces your stomach so that you feel full and you get sick. So there’s like this consequence of if you eat too much or you eat too fast, you get sick or certain foods, right? And everyone who’s had weight loss surgery, it’s very different, right? It just depends on your body,
right? This goes back to all of our bodies are different. And so I had the surgery, did all the things. I lost weight. I did Now, I never got to my goal weight. I never lost all the weight I wanted to lose, but I did lose a good bit of weight on it with the surgery. So I remember,
I wanna talk about the shame of it because I had a lot of shame that I had to have weight loss surgery. And I wanna talk about the shame because the shame is crushing. You know, I remember actually dating Paul, my husband, and, and we were first dating and you know, I felt like I needed to tell him that I had had weight loss surgery.
He couldn’t tell because I had a laparoscopically. I, I don’t. So I had some things, but I don’t think he would’ve noticed on my stomach. And so, but I felt like I needed to tell him. I remember we were on a hike and I was sick. I was so sick because I thought, oh my gosh, you know,
he’s gonna break up with me. I mean, I had all these really crazy thoughts about it actually. I thought he’s gonna judge me. He’s gonna think, oh my gosh, you know, I remember telling him, and of course, you know, Paul was amazing and he didn’t really care. And he just never even had a thought about it.
He just was like, oh, okay. It’s part of your journey, your story. Great. But this continued. I had so much shame around it. I remember when I started this work, I wanted to tell my story. And as part of that story is the weight loss surgery. I remember writing my first post about it and just sick.
Like the next day I was sick after it was out there. I was like, I felt like I was outed. I felt like, oh my gosh, you know, people are gonna judge me. People are gonna think, oh my gosh, she can’t even control herself. Right? And I say this to all of you because if you carry extra weight on your body,
whether you’ve had weight loss surgery or you’ve tried the weight loss drugs, or you’ve tried phen fen or you’ve tried keto or the hundreds of diets out there, you carry this shame. And the shame, I really do think it’s devastating. I, I don’t know the, the right feeling, the right word about it, but shame is such a powerful emotion.
It makes you feel like something within you is broken. And you know, I feel a little emotional talking about it because this is what our culture, our society has done with humans who carry extra weight. And I just want all of you who are listening to this and listening to this in the future, to know that weight on your body or something that you have tried to lose weight doesn’t make you less than,
it doesn’t make you not good enough, not enough because you are enough. And it’s just a symptom. And every human has struggles. That’s this. Life is full of them. And because you have learned to cope with struggle, you’ve learned to push down your emotions with food does not mean that something is wrong with you. The world loves to tell us that we should be a certain size,
that we should be a certain way. And I just right now want to release that from you. And this work that I have done on myself, the work that we do in Transform Boss is about releasing the shame and starting to learn how to heal your relationship with food. I had the surgery in 2006 felt pretty good, but as life happened,
I didn’t learn how to lose the mental weight. I didn’t learn how to cope when my life was stressful and overwhelming because what happened, my coping mechanism was food. I mean, I, I learned that, you know, it’s how I coped with stress. It’s how I, when I was feeling overwhelmed, you know, food, it was that dopamine hit.
And the weight loss surgery did not change that. Not for long. Because see, this is what happens with all of it. Whether it is weight loss surgery, whether it’s the weight loss drugs, whether it’s the keto diet, whatever it is, there will be a point if you have not done the work on the mental part of it, the thought part of it,
that you will need that dopamine, you will need to comfort yourself with food. And I know this because I went through this because see, with whatever it is, you know, whatever the tool is, that’s what I think weight loss, surgery, the drugs, the, the different diet plans, they can be tools. And I think at some point you’re gonna learn how to get around the tool.
I know, I, I really want you to hear that. Because what happened was, at first, yes, you know, I couldn’t eat that much, but I learned over time because the mental part of it was so powerful that I learned over time how to eat more. Just throughout the day. I learned how to eat just enough sugar that I wouldn’t get sick,
but I could get that hit that fix. And this is important ’cause I see this, I’m watching this, you know, it’s important for me because I do this work to watch and talk to and research all the different things. And I see this too, with the weight loss drugs, you can only do it for so long. You know, know anytime you are on that sort of medication over time,
your body, because our body is consistently trying to get us back to a homeostasis, it’s going to normalize the medication, right? And so then you’re gonna need more or a different one. I don’t wanna tell anyone not to do whatever they wanna do. I don’t. And I don’t want any shame around that. I just want you to know that whatever you’re doing,
the mental part has to be a part of it because your brain is so powerful that it will figure out how to get around it, or you’ll just stop doing it, right? If it’s a diet or if it’s a weight loss drug, you’ll just stop doing it because your brain is so powerful. And so by 2009, so I had the surgery in 2006.
By 2009 I was just back full on in the diet roller coaster. I had gained weight back. Really, I had learned how to eat my comfort food again, you know, between 2009 and 2015, I was just in this struggle and I was, you know, gaining and losing this 80 pounds, really, this kind of 80 pounds that I had gained and lost and going back to Weight Watchers.
And you know, it was just this really difficult time because not only had this been my struggle my whole life, I now had the shame of weight loss surgery. I had felt like I had tried every single thing, and here I was again. I mean, when I think about it makes me so emotional. That time period between 2009 and 2015,
I felt so broken. Like Shannan, you did the most extreme thing and you still are 250 pounds. Like what? Like, I remember having those moments. I mean, I stopped getting on the scale actually at 2 47 was the last I got on the scale. I’m pretty sure I hit two 60, maybe even higher than that. But I was so,
I mean, I was just like almost paralyzed with shame. I couldn’t believe it. I could not believe that I was there again, I just couldn’t. And I remember having thoughts like, oh, you’re going back up to 300, here we go. And you know, I was dealing with very stressful things. I had lost my mom. I didn’t really know how to cope.
I was working and family and teenagers and you know, blended family and all of the stresses of life. You know, my husband was dealing with a lot. He had lost basically his entire family. His brother had passed, then his mom had passed. And you know, he was dealing with his own things. And it was just such a difficult time.
I want, as you’re listening this, to know that this process of healing your relationship with food, this process of learning to go from, you know, these extremes of restriction and overeating and being able to bring it in and start to move towards the middle, it’s the process of learning how to reprogram and heal your brain from all the mental weight around your weight,
around your body image, around the way that you think about yourself, the way that you feel about yourself. In 2016, I had started this work, really, I found my coach, I think in like maybe the end of 2014, somewhere in that range. But I really hired my first weight loss coach in 2016. And that’s when I really started to do this work and started to lose weight really for the last time.
Again, I think all of these different tools, I’ll call them the diet plans, the weight watchers, the noos, the medications, the surgeries, all of the things, each of them have some benefit. But if you want to lose weight for the very last time, like the very last time, this mental part of it, no, nothing can fix that.
But you and I have to say this because the magic, right? We’re all looking for that magic, right? The magical solution, the magical pill. I thought the weight loss surgery, I remember thinking like, this is it. I’ll never struggle with my weight again. I mean, holy moly, that was not it. And again, it was a tool.
It helped me some, but it was not it. And I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful that I found coaching, because I have no doubt I would’ve been over 300 pounds. Again. I have no doubt I was headed right there. And for all of you who have tried all the extreme things, and you’re sitting there listening to me, and right now you are,
maybe tears are rolling down your face, maybe you are feeling like I have tried everything Shannan. I just want you to know you are not broken. You are enough. And there is a different way. There is a way to start to have more love for yourself, to start to heal your relationship with food. And this is the thing, the magic is within you.
It is, I know this because when I started to believe that for myself, when I started to believe that I was the solution, me, my brain, my powerful, amazing, wonderful brain that I had to understand how it was wired and what all of the programming that I had, and I had to start to talk to myself more than I listened.
You know, as I thought about doing this episode, because it’s personal, and I’ll tell you why the shame, you know, that I carried the shame about it. The shame. And now, now it’s interesting because I don’t feel shame about it. I know I just had that like thought. I don’t have shame about it any longer. It’s through the,
I know I just had chills actually. It’s through the work that I have done. Because when you have shame about your weight, what you look like, you avoid, you isolate. You don’t live your best life when you feel shame because it’s such a powerful emotion. And what shame is, I wanna give you the definition. It’s like this deep feeling of embarrassment,
humiliation, or disgrace about one’s self or one’s actions. It comes from a belief that you failed to meet certain standards. Again, it could be the standards of society, your family, oneself. And it’s different than guilt because guilt is more like one behavior. And shame is inherently feeling bad about yourself. I think it is one of the most debilitating,
that is the word I was looking for, emotions. Because when you feel shame, you avoid, you isolate. You just hide, you hide from yourself. See, that’s the worst part. You may hide it from others. You may hide from your family. You may hide from living your best life, but you hide from you. You don’t talk to yourself in a way with love and kindness and grace and forgiveness.
It’s just these records. And then you know what happens is you, ’cause you don’t wanna feel the negative emotions. So you’re buffering and you buffer with food or alcohol or overworking or over netflixing, whatever it is. And there just is a different way. And my last take on this is I don’t believe in oars, right? So if you have a tool that you’re trying,
again, there’s no judgment from me, I’ll, I’ll tell you that I love you. I think you’re amazing. And working on the mental weight, working on having a coach, having someone who can help you dig in and help you start to believe something different about yourself. That is where the magic is. I want you, whatever you decide, we’re going into a new year.
I know lots of ladies are thinking about lots of things. I love to ask this question. It’s a question that I asked myself in 2016. Whatever I was gonna do, I was going to be able to do for the rest of my life. And so ask yourself, can I do this for the rest of my life? Can I do this for the rest of my life?
It’s a powerful question because whatever the method, whatever the tool, whatever it is that you’re doing, when you decide whatever I do is gonna be something I can do for the rest of my life. It’s step one of the healing process. And then step two is learning how to believe different things and practicing different thoughts so that you can have different feelings so you can heal that shame.
I had to go through the process of healing the shame because the shame was so powerful. I carried shame in my body. I carried it around like it was just part of who I was. And when I started to forgive myself, when I started to have more love for myself, it changed everything for me. So this is it my love. You can lose weight in a way that you can always do.
You can heal your relationship with food and with yourself. And it starts with simple things like learning how to talk to yourself more than you listen by becoming aware of what your triggers and what emotions you’re feeling. Where are you at in the binge restrict cycle, right? Are you a restrictor where you are consistently restricting and then having really serious binges? Are you more of an overeater where you think you should restrict,
but you’re not kind of getting there? It starts with just starting to have some awareness about yourself and the fear that you have about losing weight, about becoming the next version of yourself. This year in Transform Boss, every year I uplevel, every year I just deliver more and more concise, amazing work to help my ladies. And I say this because this year is going to be just the year of transformation for my bosses.
We have every single month we’re doing a a deep dive topic. We are going to consistently do this work throughout the year. And then in December, we are gonna have a huge transformation award ceremony. And it is gonna be amazing. And so if you are ready to lose weight for the last time and heal your relationship with food and yourself, make it easier.
Do it in simple, simple steps. You don’t have to change your life. Remember, it goes back to that question, can I do this for the rest of my life? Right? That’s what I wanna help you with. So to make it simple, so one, follow this podcast, hit the little plus sign two, get on my email list.
You can go to bflycoaching.com/email and then go and and come and join us in Transform Boss. You can go to jointransformboss.com to get all of the information. You can also take my three day reset course there, and in January I’m gonna do some live training. So be on the lookout for that. More information will come at the beginning of January of how you can sign up for that.
I wish you the happiest new year, and I have so much love for you. I do. And I wish all your dreams, all your dreams, ugh. And most importantly, I just wish love for you, love for yourself, love for your journey. Ugh, I do. And I will see you next week. Bye for now. Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women.
If you love what you heard today and wanna learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com. That’s bflycoaching.com. See you next week.