Ep #242: Success Pain and How it is Making Weight Loss Impossible

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Episode #242: Success Pain and How it is Making Weight Loss Impossible

In this episode, we delve into the concept of “Success Pain” and its impact on losing weight.

Success Pain refers to the subconscious tendency to create failure out of a need for familiarity and comfort.

When it comes to weight loss, this manifests itself as self-sabotage, where individuals revert to unhealthy habits despite their progress.

This psychological barrier makes lasting change difficult, as the comfort of known pain outweighs the uncertainty of new success.

Join Coach Jenn and I as we explore strategies to overcome Success Pain and pave the way for sustainable weight loss and personal growth.

In this episode…

≫[2:59] Success pain is a way that we sabotage our success, but it’s drawn from pain.

≫[3:59] We are wired to seek comfort and avoid pain.

≫[6:46] We keep creating success pain in our lives to ultimately sabotage all off the success that we want in our lives.

≫[9:08] Coaching vs therapy.

≫[10:38] You can’t fill your soul with food.

≫[14:01] Every human is struggling.

≫[15:10] We don’t know that we are living in success pain because we are so familiar with it.

≫[16:38] When you think differently, you feel differently, and then you do differently.

≫[16:54] I had to take responsibility for the pain that I was creating in my own life.

≫[18:52] You’re craving something that food cannot help you with.

≫[23:00] You don’t need motivation. You don’t need willpower.

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Hi, I’m Shannan Christiansen, a corporate girl, life coach, Mimi and wife who struggled with her weight. Since I was eight years old, I weighed as much as 315 pounds, tried all the things, which just left me feeling like weight was always gonna be my struggle. Fast forward through many failed attempts and a lot of coaching, I got off the diet rollercoaster for good.

If you’re a woman tired of dieting and food plans, looking to get off the diet rollercoaster, you are in the right place. Hello, love. So excited to be back with you, coach. Jenn and I are here and we are locked and loaded. We’re so excited. We love this and this episode. Mm. Ladies, success Pain. I know the two seem like they don’t even fit together.

You think of pain and you think of success and you don’t think of them in the same. But after this episode, I think you’ll get it. I wanna talk about a couple things. Here we are. June, I know, I can’t even believe it. You know, we’re almost halfway through the year, and I wanna ask you, how are you doing?

Are you on your way to losing weight for the last time? Like, do a check-in. I love to do a midyear check-in just to see where am I at with what I wanted to do in 2024. Look, ladies, time is gonna go. I mean, look, as we get older, I feel like it goes into like hyper drive.

I can’t even believe we’re in June. I mean, it just seems crazy. And I’m gonna have a new grand baby soon, my sixth. Ooh, I cannot wait. My daughter-in-Law. I mean, bless her heart. This baby, I think he might come out walking. I mean, I’m not kidding. He is like at the 80 percentile.

I mean, she can’t eat enough food to keep him satisfied. So I don’t know. I told her, I said, 10 pound baby, or sure. Ah, I don’t even know. June, summertime. What do you think of summer? Jenn, your boys off school? Summertime’s my happy place. It’s sunshine. Get out and paddleboard, hike,

all the things. A little bit more open schedule. I love summer, but it also can bring a little drama sometimes. Yeah, I think so too. We live in different states. Jenn’s in Utah. I’m in Arizona and Arizona. It’s hot now. June. The mornings still are a little cool, but it starts getting hot. But I still enjoy the summers and we go up north or we do different things.

It has a little different of a space for me. When I think of June and the summer, I think of like, okay, let’s go. Let’s work where I know most of you’re like, oh, it’s summertime. Like let’s go have fun because you’ve been in the winter. It’s just so interesting. Again, depending on where we are and where we live and all the different things,

what happens? So, success, pain, let’s get into it. What is it? A couple episodes ago we talked about sabotaging your success and success. Pain is a way that we sabotage our success, but it’s drawn from pain. And I’m gonna explain it and give you some examples. So we all are wired. This is how our brain is wired to want things to be familiar,

to want the comfort. If you think about the people in your life who are the most comfortable for you. So I think about Paul, my husband, when I’m with him, I am the most comfortable when it’s just him and I. I mean, I can say anything. Look, anyway. I mean, there’s just, I’m so comfortable right in my own home,

oh, in our bed especially, right? Like, I just feel so comfortable and my brain loves that. And I like things to be familiar. So when you think about familiarity, it’s your routines. It’s the way that you do things. It’s your habits, it, those are very familiar to you. And our brain is like, yes, yes to all of that,

because we’re wired to seek comfort and avoid pain, right? So that’s how our brain’s wired. Now. We are wired for the familiar and the comfortable. Are you ready for this? For many of you, including myself, when you experience pain throughout your life, or you grew up with, you know, lots of drama or lots of pain, or you’ve had tumultuous times,

pain, emotional and even physical pain starts to become familiar. Why this is important. So I wanna give you an example. Let’s just say, so for me, when I was younger, I started to overeat and I would eat, my mom would find like Reese wrappers. Reese’s was kind of my thing. And Snickers too. And my mom would find all these wrappers under my bed because any chance that I had a little bit of money,

I would go to the little store. I mean, these are the olden days, ladies. You know, when you’re eight years old and you’re watching your younger brother, it’s just different times than today. And so you would just, you know, run up to the corner store if you had a dollar and you know, buy four candy bars. And so then I would come home and I would just eat them.

And I did this because this is where I did rebel actually, because I was trying to be the good girl. I was trying to be perfect and you know, be the older sister and take care of my younger brother. My dad was gone a lot because he was in the Navy. The way that I rebelled was with food. The way that I comforted myself was with food.

And so I would eat until I was in physical pain, until I had a belly ache, until I felt sick, until I felt tired. I remember so many nights throughout my life putting myself to sleep with food, like filling myself so full of food. I mean, it would be uncomfortable. I would have crazy leg aches from sugar. But that pain was so familiar to me.

It became a source of comfort. I really want you to hear that. That physical pain and then the emotional pain of it, the beatdowns about it. The Shannan, you can’t lose weight. Shannan, you can’t do this Shannan, you’re not good enough. That emotional pain became familiar and comfortable. I mean, even as I talk about it now,

I have to tell you ladies, my stomach hurt. Like I feel the anxiety of this success pain. And why I say this is because success pain is really this comfortable and familiarity with pain, emotional, and physical. So we keep creating it in our lives to ultimately sabotage all of the success that we want in our lives. And we do this again,

not just with weight in different forms. And especially for those of you who grew up with trauma, you grew up with pain, you grew up with a family member, or maybe you had a spouse or a partner, or you know, maybe you had just a really a horrible boss. I mean, all this, right? Can start to become familiar.

Right now, many of you live with extra weight on your body that your body does not feel good, you don’t feel good. You are actually taking medications because now you have health conditions from it. No judgment. I just wanna give you an example. It causes you emotional and physical pain. And that has become familiar. It has become comfortable. It has become what you are used to.

Our brain it now thinks living in a smaller sized body, eating food that fuels us, having a feeling of emptiness in our belly, we have now flipped that where that is uncomfortable, that feels hard, and we’re not used to it. So what Shannan, I know we recreate situations that are familiar and comfortable. I tell you ladies, there have been so many studies on this with abuse victims,

like they’ve been abused children and they still wanna stay with their their parents. And you’re just like, what? I don’t even understand it. It is because that is familiar and comfortable to them. It doesn’t seem right, it’s not good. But it’s until they can go to therapy and start to find something different that’s comfortable and that is familiar, and that process of change is very difficult.

So one, I wanna put a caveat and a disclaimer in here. If you have had serious emotional and physical pain, trauma, I highly recommend therapy. My husband is a therapist. I believe in it. I have had therapy myself. And so I highly recommend that coaching. What I do, what Jen does is how you move forward from that,

from the pain and from, and we give you tools and we help to uncover roadblocks so that you can move forward. Therapy is how you heal the trauma. Therapy is how you go back into the past and you heal. So I just wanna make it really clear about the two, because I know for some of you listening right now, I am sure you have tears coming down your face because you never realize that you have maybe had trauma in your life and you’re recreating it now in a different way.

You’re recreating the pain now in a different way. For me, when I started to research this, I mean, I have chills right now actually. ’cause my body, like it was a lot of anxiety. And now I just have chills running through my body as I talk about this because it’s so deep for me, because I recreated trauma, I had and pain and I had,

and I did it with food. I did it because eating food and feeling the discomfort in my body, feeling the discomfort in overeating and being stuffed and being lethargic, that felt so familiar and food became my comfort. It became the thing I wanted to feel full. I kept trying to fill like this empty hole and I would just fill it, fill it,

fill it. The problem with it is it never gets filled. You can’t fill your soul with food. It just doesn’t work. I’ve tried it. I know many of you have. It just doesn’t work. And so to do something different and to get to where feeling good and feeling good in your body feels familiar and comfortable, you have to go through this phase of change that feels hard and it feels uncomfortable.

So Jenn, I know I just dumped a lot. What are you thinking? I think the way for me that this, that I’ve maybe experienced this I’m sure in many ways, but the one that came to mind for me was through overworking in all the ways, like staying busy, because that is how I kept myself, I think, from getting into my own brain from all the things.

But also I had this thought that if I could just stay busy, it meant I was productive. It meant that I was showing up in all the ways. And if I wasn’t, then I was being lazy. Ooh, Right? Yeah. But I wasn’t doing enough. I should be doing more. Like I can remember times that I would work myself so hard.

My husband travels for work, so I always joke, I’m a single married mom. I was raising little kids while he was working hard out of town. And I can remember times prior to kids and with kids that I would work myself so hard that I would become physically ill. Like my body was like warning signs, warning signs, slow down. And I just had to keep going because that’s what felt familiar.

I could feel the discomfort with downtime with Oh yeah, yeah, with not having my, my schedule full. And so That’s what popped into my brain when you were talking about that, Jenn. I mean, I feel it. I feel it so hard. I still to this day, it’s something I’m working on right now. But anytime I have periods of rest,

I’m very uncomfortable with it. I always think I should be doing something. I should be doing more, because there’s always more to do. There’s always something that needs to be done. So rest feels very uncomfortable because for me, it comes from a fear that I’m going to be lazy. Which if you know anything about me, It’s Like I’ve never been lazy,

Yeah, In my life, but this is what we think. I’m sure for so many of you, especially if you carry extra weight, you’re trying to prove that you’re not lazy. Because carrying extra weight, people have shamed us. Like, oh, look how lazy she is. She can’t even move her butt. I mean, seriously, right?

Move more, eat less. Oh my gosh, I wish I, this is what I say about this, and I wanna say this, I get that carrying extra weight, everybody can see, but every human. So when someone judges you about carrying your extra weight, just know they have the same self-sabotaging behaviors. They have the same thoughts. They’re just doing it in a way that you don’t see.

They could be overshopping, overworking porn, drugs, alcohol. They’re just doing it in a way that in most daily life you can’t see it. This helped me lose the shame of the weight because yes, they could see it, but I know that every human is struggling. This is the human condition. And most humans don’t have coaching, you know,

life coaching, if you watch tv, they always make fun of it. Or you know, they just talk about it in a different way. Because again, it’s not a regulated industry. So there’s a lot of people who say they’re coaches and they’re not, and they haven’t been trained professionally and they just don’t know what they’re doing. But where I have been trained and how I have trained my coaches,

we really help women start to think differently so they feel differently so they then can do something different. I think again, this success pain is this creation of pain in your life that is familiar. And so what happens is we start to internalize that losing weight, that showing up for yourself that that’s all hard, that that’s so hard. Oh my god,

you know, I’ve gotta show up to a call. I’ve gotta make a realistic plan. I have to do, it’s so hard. But we don’t even know that 80% of our life is so difficult. But we don’t have that recognition. We don’t know that we’re living in success pain because we are so familiar with it. It’s so familiar that you can’t bend over and pick something up off the floor.

You don’t, it’s so familiar that you have to take four ibuprofen every few hours because your back and your neck hurts so bad. It just becomes so familiar. There’s no judgment. And this isn’t to judge yourself. I think this is important. I wanna make sure I say this point. I don’t judge myself because I have created drama and familiarity in my life by bringing in pain in my life.

I’ve done it with relationships, I have done it with lots of things. Oh my goodness, so many things. The rest, not resting, overworking, overeating, overspending. I’ve done it with all of it. And I have no judgment for myself because I know that it is the learning and the growth that I am doing so that I can realize and become aware,

and that I can start to change it. You know, I get coached every week by a coach because I feel so passionate about it. Because for me, again, I did therapy to heal things from my past. And now I do coaching so I can build the life of my dreams so that I can build the thinking of my dreams. Because when you think differently,

you feel differently. And then ultimately you do different. If you had to ask me, Shannan, what do I do? Like, what do I do to get out of this pain that I’m creating? I think this is really important. I had to take responsibility for the pain that I was creating in my own life, because I used to blame it on my genetics.

My mother, my mother, I blamed a lot on, I did. She was like my mother, you know? And I love her. I, I love her. And now I see her for everything that she, and all the beauty and how lucky I was to have her. But I blamed her for a long time because she struggled with weight in her adult life.

And I thought, that’s why. And I thought, oh, my genetics are, oh, I’m just not good enough. I just really thought I was broken in this area of my life. And it wasn’t until I realized like, oh, I’m creating this hamster wheel of the diet roller coaster over and over and over. And remember, the diet industry is gonna make it real easy for you to do.

They’re gonna make it real easy for you to get on that diet roller coaster. And so I was just creating that pain over and over because I would restrict and then I would binge. I would binge into my heart just, I mean, I have thrown up from eating too much food. I have, I’ve done all sorts of things. I’ve told myself I’m gonna be good,

thrown away food, and then gone into the trash and tried to figure out like the pieces that hadn’t touched anything else. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of and I don’t judge myself for that. I just know that that was because I was in so much emotional pain. I think it’s just really important to understand how this is showing up for you,

because the surface is, I just can’t control myself around food. That’s just the surface level thought. But when you start to go deeper, when you start to get coached, when you start to realize that, oh my gosh, I’m creating this because pain, the emotional pain and the physical pain, I’m craving that the food is like this very surface level thing.

Ladies, you’re really craving to try to fill yourself up. You’re craving something that food cannot help you with. Food can never give you comfort more than a minute. That’s how long a dopamine hit lasts. And that’s why you keep eating, keep eating, ’cause you’re trying to fill up. But food will never do that for you long term. Jenn,

what do you think? As you were talking, I was thinking, it’s just so wild how you guys have heard. It all comes back to our thinking almost always. But I think the emotion is familiar, but I think also the story is familiar, right? That we are telling ourselves and it, it’s so hard, right? You said it’s so hard to show up for a call for transform.

It’s so hard to fill in the blank. What’s ironic is that we believe these stories because they’re familiar. We’ve told ourselves for a long time. But really most of the time that we do these things, most of the time it energizes us. Oh, it gives us like confidence. We feel accomplished, all these other things. Of course, sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a snack,

of course that feels good. It, we don’t have to think much, right? We get to, we just get a zone out. And so of course that’s what we’re gonna choose for the comfort. But really, I just want you to think of a time that you have decided like, you know, I’m gonna go for a walk, or you know,

I’m gonna go play, or I’m gonna go paint, or whatever you’re gonna do, instead of sitting on the couch with a snack, and I’m not again, sitting on the couch with a snack. No, no, there’s room for that. But I want you to think of that time that you chose, you know what? I am gonna go do this for myself and how that felt,

because you can have that be your new familiar, right? Yeah. It’s just a matter of getting over that hump. Yeah, it is. And it is that, I used to call it the river of misery, but I think it’s the wave of misery. And I’ll tell you why. So the river to me is like flowy, but it’s not that.

What happens is you start to hold two kind of thoughts. It’s cognitive dissonance, right? You hold this thought of I am showing up for myself. And then you hold this other thought in your subconscious, like, can we just like numb ourselves out? Like that’s familiar. That’s what we wanna do, right? So you’re holding these two thoughts, and what I think happens is you get on a wave,

right? And so the wave of feeling good, the wave of showing up for yourself, and then suddenly that wave crashes and that other thought comes in. And what happens when the wave crashes? For many of us, we just let it take us back to shore and we just stay the same instead of, oh, okay, I knew this, I knew the wave was gonna crash,

but now I’m gonna get back up and I’m gonna ride the wave again. And it’s that process of getting back up and riding that wave again. That really you start to build new neural pathways in your brain and you start to build new habits so that you can then start to think differently. And you start quieting the noise of the the negative thinking and the negative chatter so that you can start to become more familiar with talking to yourself in an amazing way.

That is the secret. When you start to talk to yourself more in this like really amazing way with your one better thoughts, not rosy, posy things you can’t believe, but you’re better thinking versus this negative old story chatter that’s been going. It’s just everything. And you know, I was thinking when Jenn was talking, every week I get coached with my coach and I love her.

I mean, I love her to pieces. And every week I don’t wanna do it. Every week I’m like, oh, what am I gonna talk about? I have nothing. I’m feeling fine. And then every week I show up and every week I’m like, yay, I’m so glad I did this. I’m so glad I did this. And so it’s just really important to know how your brain works,

because you don’t need motivation. You don’t need willpower. That’s just lies. You don’t need any of that. You just need to know that you’re going to feel like things are hard until they become familiar and comfort. Because once that starts to happen, you’re just like, oh, right. I show up for myself. Oh, right. I fuel my body more than I don’t,

I like to feel a sense of emptiness in my belly, and that’s okay. There was a time where I could never feel that. I mean, I would have snacks around me all the time because I just didn’t wanna feel that emptiness in my stomach. And now I like that feeling, but I had to start to talk to myself about what that feeling felt like and that it was okay to feel that way.

Mm, it’s good. Geez. I mean, these podcast episodes, ladies, they’re so good. Right? I know. Jenn, any last thoughts? Anything else popped up for you? Honestly, it is just that story and just knowing, like I think embracing the discomfort we wanna run from it, but just know it’s like Shannan said on another episode,

let it just be that passenger in the car, let it be there. Nothing’s gone wrong, and And it will be there and it will just become quieter and quieter. Yeah. Hmm. Yes. You are going to create new familiarity. And new comfort. You’re gonna learn ways to cope. That’s the work that we do in Transform Boss. I know.

Actually, it’s the best work of my life. Your life and all of our clients’ lives. And so you know, ladies, let’s go. Mm. All right. My loves. We will see you in two weeks, right? Two weeks. I can’t even wait. And you know we’re gonna talk about three reasons you can’t stop eating. I know,

I know. So juicy. That’s what we do around this place. All right, my loves. Have a beautiful couple of weeks and we will see you soon, Ready to lose it for the last time, including all that mental weight you’ve been carrying around. Then do these two things. Follow this podcast anywhere you’re listening to it. Then go to bflycoaching.com,

bflycoaching.com, where you can get my free course or join us in my membership program where we take this work to a whole other level so you can get off the diet rollercoaster for good and not be alone in weight loss any longer. Go to bflycoaching.com to check it all out.


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