Ep #92: What I learned from Jon Acuff

How many times have you started a diet saying to yourself you were going to do everything perfectly?

Perfect is just a lie we tell ourselves. It just keeps us stuck on the diet roller coaster.

We are doing a book club this month in Transform – Finish by Jon Acuff. He has a quote: “The day after perfect is the most important day” – Learning to fail. Failure has led to my success.  Life is not perfect.

You can have freedom in food. How to have allowance.  Restriction keeps us stuck on the diet roller coaster. All restriction does is lead to overeating.

By cutting your goals in half or extending your time you will have success.  Set minimum baselines for yourself so you can see your success – Goals are a marathon, not a sprint.

Leave your Hiding Places – Hiding places keep us doing things away from our goals. I call our hiding places buffering. Difficult work, hard work – it doesn’t happen by accident.

Join me in today’s episode where we dive into how to have fun in weight loss.  Weight loss can be fun!

 In today’s episode, you will discover:

  • “The day after perfect is the most important day”
  • How to cut your goal in half
  • How to lose weight in a way you can do forever

Transformational questions:

  1. How does perfectionism show up in your weight loss journey?
  2. How can you give yourself more time or cut your goal in half?
  3. How can you have more fun in your weight loss journey?

Do you want to learn more about my tools – take my free course. You can go to bflycoaching.com/ready to take it and learn the fundamentals of what I teach, tools that can help you start to lose weight for the last time.

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 92. 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. Today is a special episode. I am going to share a little bit of our book club. So we do a book club in Transform three to four times a year. And we’ve been doing a book by Jon Acuff called Finish. I am a big fan of Jon’s and today I’m going to share a little bit of the book club with you. So it’ll be a very special episode.

And if you are loving the show, please rate and review the show. Also make sure that you subscribe so I’m in your list every Wednesday morning. Plus I put out bonus episodes of my Facebook lives. You don’t want to miss them.

I am getting so excited loves. Paul and I are headed to Lake Tahoe this week and I cannot wait. Neither of us have ever been. We had scheduled it a couple years ago, but Paul had some surgery that was unexpected, and so we weren’t able to go. And so now we’re going and I am excited. I feel like we’ve been waiting a good bit to go to Lake Tahoe. We’ve never been, and I love the trees, and it’s just the nature is so beautiful, much cooler weather than here in Arizona. So I cannot wait to hike, spend some amazing time with Paul and just relax and reenergize. And if you’ve been to Tahoe and you have any recommendations, oh, please DM me on Facebook. I would love to hear them.

Love we are having is so much fun in Transform. We do. I love my ladies. I love them, #transformboss. I love them so much. We had two workshops in June. I did a bonus workshop in June. I did a two-part series and the first workshop was all about planning. And then the second workshop was on how to set yourself up for success. I love spending time with my ladies.

So many of them are showing up, losing weight, and honestly changing their life and weight loss story forever.  It inspires me. I just had one of my clients who has had a really tough time recently in her life, as we all do, and for the first time she did not gain weight. She’s lost a good amount of weight with Transform, and she is learning how even when life is hard, that she can still show up for herself. I absolutely love her, and I’m so proud of her. This is such transformational work. I feel so blessed that I get to witness it, that I get to watch women change their lives. It is truly, I don’t know what the word is, blessing, honor. It is just awe inspiring.

So June is our book club month and we have been doing Finish by Jon Acuff. I’ve read this book many times and I’m a big fan of Jon. He’s written several books. We’ve had so much fun in Transform this month, learning from Jon in this book. So in today’s podcast, I want to share three things that have really impacted me from this book. Now there are many lessons in this book. I highly recommend it, but here are three of them.

So the first one is this quote from Jon. “The day after perfect is the most important day.” And I love this. This is his opening chapter in the book, and it’s all about perfectionism. Perfectionism, love, even if you think, oh, I’m not a perfectionist, you will be surprised. I think, you know, it’s just part of being a human.

We have these fantasies about perfectionism. We want it to be perfect. And when I think about weight loss, I think about how many times I, you know, before I started a new diet, the weekend before Monday, I would be planning about how I was going to be perfect. And I was going to eat all the perfect food. And I was going to, you know, go to the gym. I was going to do all the things. I was going to post it on social media. I mean, I never did, but I had these thoughts, right? I was going to have others keep me accountable. You know, all the things. And you know, what I have found in this journey was the exact opposite.

That failing actually is what led to my success. I know, hear that again, failing – learning how to be imperfect, learning how to fail. And this is what Jon is talking about. See, he shares this story about how he would start this new nutritional regime of, I don’t know, it was like black beans or something. It was something that he had read in some diet book.

And his family always knew that basically, you know, every once in a while he was going to start this and he would be perfect. You know, he would eat the beans. You know, I can’t remember the whole thing, but he would eat it for like 12 days. And so for 12 days he would be perfect, but then life would happen. And when that happened, right? When life or he’d be traveling and he wasn’t “perfect,” he would just quit. He would just, you know, throw it away. And then, you know, he would be off the “kind of nutrition regime.” And I say this ladies, because this is what happens. This is honestly the definition of the diet rollercoaster.

We start something, we do it, and then when we’re not perfect, we don’t know how to fail. And then we quit. And then if we’ve lost weight, we start to gain it back. It’s this thing that we do over and over and over again. And, you know, learning how to fail, learning how to be imperfect. Learning that just because you ate off plan or just because maybe you had a weekend where you ate more than you wanted to doesn’t mean that you have to throw it all away.

It doesn’t mean that you have to go into a full binge. And also the opposite of that is true. You know, I really teach my clients how to have freedom in food, how to have allowance. Restriction is what keeps us wanting to be perfect, and thinking that we have to do some diet plan, some food plan, some get rid of the carbs, some Keto, or I don’t know. I don’t know all the things that, I mean, plant-based, I don’t know, all the things out there, whole 30. I mean, whatever it is, we think that we have to do some restrictive diet. What it most always, I mean maybe even 99%, leads to a binge, it leads to overeating.

And so learning how to allow yourself to eat your favorite foods and in a way where you can lose weight because you’re not going through this restriction binge cycle. So in this first lesson, the day after perfect is the most important day. It’s just about learning how to be imperfect. And that is the way that will actually lead to more success. I love it.

Number two is cut your goal in half. Oh, I love this one. This one is so important. You know, I talk about giving yourself more time in episode 89 of the podcast. So if you missed it, you’ll want to listen to that. But what he’s talking about and what he gives an example, he talks about these perfectionistic fantasies.

He says, you know, if you can run a 5k, why not a marathon? Right? I mean, this is how our brain works, right. I remember wanting to be a runner. Yes. That has gone through my brain. And I mean, I actually was out, I was doing 5ks and I wanted to be a runner, but one, I didn’t enjoy it. And two, you know, I wasn’t very good at it. Like running was not my gig. And so I had these thoughts that I was going to do a marathon and I just wanted to run the marathon.

You know my loves, what it did was just kept me thinking that what I was doing wasn’t good enough, that walking was not good enough. And now I’m a walker. I love it. And I do it again to move my body and I love it. And so he talks about this, you know, story about, you know, a 5k and not a marathon. And he gives plenty of examples in there, but he also gives this example and, you know, scientists, he did some research actually call this planning fallacy. And basically what this is, it’s a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed.

And so why this is important is, you know, we all watched, I always give this example, the Biggest Loser. We saw, you know, people losing 20, 30, 40 pounds in a week. And so we have this unrealistic expectation of how long it takes to lose weight. And so when we, again, we don’t lose, you know, five pounds in the week or four pounds or the two pounds that’s recommended, then we feel like failures. And when we feel like failures, we want to quit. We want to give up.

And so he talks about cutting your goal in half. And you know, I think of this, you can do one of two things and his recommendation too, if you can’t cut the goal in half is to give yourself more time. And I think this is so important in weight loss, because, you know loves, we want to lose weight by this time or an event or summer or whatever it is, whatever the thing is. And so we put all this pressure to, you know, lose weight. And then what happens is we start to restrict and then when we can’t do it, because we can’t just eat chicken and salad, then we start to overeat and then we have a binge session.

And then it’s a whole thing. And so I say this because when you allow yourself, I see this with my ladies in Transform. You allow yourself all the time. And that time is not related to you losing weight, that you just decide, I’m going to do this process. I’m going to make my realistic plan. I’m going to make it realistic.

I’m going to eat on plan. I’m going to show up for myself. Then love, I see ladies over and over, I see this with my clients, have success. They actually lose weight in a way that they can live their life and do forever. And so, you know, again, we do, we underestimate what we can do in the long-term and we overestimate in the short term.

And that is another thing that just keeps us stuck on the diet rollercoaster. So this is what I want you to do if you’re not in Transform. Well, one you totally want to get in there. I know I love Transform, but if you’re not, I want to give you some, one of the tools that I teach my ladies, and this is to put in a minimum baseline so that you can see success.

So if you are making your realistic plan, and if you, if you’re new and you don’t know what I’m talking about, go back to episode six, it’s one of my fundamentals and, you know, put in a minimum baseline, I’m going to make my realistic plan, whatever, you know, two out of seven days, four out of seven days, so that you can start to see success. So you can start to build your success. And because when you have success and you feel successful, you’ll start to see perfectionism, I would say it just kind of, you know, lightens a little. Lizzie kind of pipes down a little. And so, you know, goals, my love, this weight loss goal you have, they’re a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll use that quote from Jon, for sure. So put in a minimum baseline. Start with one thing and either give yourself more time or cut your goal in half.

Then number three, leave your hiding places. Ooh, I love this one. Hiding places keep us doing things that are away from our goals. And this again is perfectionism. So, you know, for example, instead of making your realistic plan, you’re scrolling on your phone. This shows up too in all of our goals. Work goals, family goals, life goals, right? Instead of doing the thing that we set out to do. Maybe it’s, you know, clean out a closet or clean your garage.

We’re so afraid of imperfection, that it will be hard that we start to do other things. So, you know, I give the example, he used the example of someone cleaning out their garage. But I think about this whenever I want to clean out a closet, right? My brain will be like, oh my gosh, that is going to take you a couple of hours.

And then what are you going to do with this stuff? And then you have to go to Goodwill and you know, all the things start going through my brain. And so, because I’m, you know, I have these thoughts that it’s going to be hard and because I think it’s going to be hard, then I procrastinate and I don’t do it.

And so what I do, things like watch Netflix, scroll on my phone. So, hiding places are just, you know, places and things, I like to call it buffering, it’s ways that we, you know, sort of hide from our goals and from the things that are gonna push us forward. And, you know, I loved what he said. Jon says this, Where do you find yourself going “accidentally?” So have you ever picked up your phone, and the next thing you know, you’re in Facebook or whatever social media, Instagram, and you find that as soon as you pick it up, even if that’s not where you were going, maybe you were going to go search the internet for something, or you were going to go look at your bank account, or you were going to go to Amazon or something, but the next thing you know, you’re like, oh, why did I pick up my phone? Because this is a trigger.

When you find yourself going someplace “accidentally,” that is a trigger that is a hiding place. Because difficult work, hard work, it doesn’t happen by accident. So it’s a good kind of way to figure out, like, where are your hiding places? Maybe it’s Netflix, maybe it’s the TV. Maybe it’s, you know, buffering with food, right. Being in the pantry, you know. Maybe it is, you know, of course social media. I think our phone is probably for many of us, most of us, our number one hiding place.

I know, it’s so good. One other point that he made in here, and I’m going to say his quote because I just love it so much. “Perfectionism loves isolation.” Perfectionism loves isolation because this is what we do. I seen this with so many ladies, you know, and they tell me these stories once they’ve joined Transform, and I did this for myself. For so long, I thought I’m just going to do this on my own. I can do this on my own. And you know, I can figure this out on my own. And you know, we think there’s just so much power.

But what I have found is power is in community. It’s in sharing your story. It’s in helping others. It’s in others helping you. I tell you love, the most progress that I have made is when I have support, when I have a community behind me. It’s one of the reasons why I created Transform because I wanted a community of women where they could go and share their challenges, their struggles, and they don’t have to do it on their own.

So how is perfectionism and isolation showing up for you? It’s so good. And you know, another thing he talks about, which I just, you know, thought about this, are our resources. So like time, energy, money, and that these are hiding places. I was thinking about this when I had a client recently say to me, oh, I just am struggling with justifying spending the money when I’m not putting in the time. And it sounds so good. Like I don’t have the time, right. And you know, I’m spending money and I don’t have the time, but I just want to offer, that those are just tricky thoughts, my love, because we all get to decide how we spend our time.

And I think about Transform. I mean, I have ladies who are having massive success and they spend, you know, 30 minutes to an hour a week. I mean, it’s, we have 168 hours my love. We spend, you know, if you go into your phone, I’m sure the average person, I can’t remember right now what the thing, but it was crazy. It was like four hours a day on social media. So I’m just saying like, it’s tricky thoughts like this that keep us doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. So just be aware of, there are your resources, right? You have time or energy or money and how you’re justifying staying in those hiding places.

Because again, it sounds really good. I mean, I could tell you I’m serious, my brain will always serve up how busy I am. It’s one of the things that is such a trigger for me that I have to really watch. My brain will always tell me how busy I am. And I just have to know that it’s not the truth. Busy is just a word. And I get to decide what I do with my time. And it’s a resource and, you know, I would be lying if I said, I didn’t spend time on social media or I didn’t spend time watching Netflix. Right. Or, you know, doing things that, I mean, I enjoy some of that, but it becomes a hiding place when it keeps you, or keeps me from doing things that are going to help me achieve my goals or help you achieve your goals.

So that’s the difference. That’s the really important piece. You know, I love spending some time on Facebook or in our private community group that we have in Transform. Love spending time there. But spending hours there when I should be writing a podcast, that is hiding my love, that is hiding. So how can you keep from your hiding places? One, become aware of all your hiding places and limiting thoughts around your resources, like time, money, or energy. Two, don’t resist it. And so I love this part that Jon, he gives us advice, just say, when I do this, then I will do that.

And so, you know, for me, for example with this podcast I have, I’m batching some podcasts today. And so I want to go and spend some time with Paul. And so I say, when I finish my podcast, then I will go and spend the afternoon with Paul. And so another way that you could say it is I will get on Facebook as soon as I make a realistic plan.

So again, it’s not about resisting or not having fun or doing the things you enjoy. It’s just, you know, being honest with yourself and deciding how you want to spend your time. And one of the things I want to give you, a tip I gave this to my Transform ladies. I always do what I don’t want to do first.

I’m telling you loves, I do this in my professional career, in the business, in goals I’m trying to achieve. I always do what I don’t want to do first. So, and I want to give you one more little bonus from Jon. It’s a chapter in his book and it is to have fun. You know, he talks about how, you know, we have all these limiting beliefs that it has to be hard and that, you know, only the challenges make you stronger. And you know, some of that’s true, but you have to have fun around your goals. And one of the things in Transform that is really important to me and my team and all the ladies is that we have fun.

We have inspiration, we have fun challenges. We laugh, we have a blast together. We make weight loss fun, and it’s so important. The community in Transform is amazing because we have fun. We support and we have a whole lot of love.


So to recap Jon’s book, and these are just three little nuggets, his book has so many more. So one, perfectionism keeps you stuck, learn how to fail and start to fall in love with the day after perfect. Number two, cut your goals in half, or give yourself more time. Number three, become aware of your hiding places and then decide how you will show up so you can live your best life in a body you love.

And the transformational questions are one, how does perfectionism show up in your weight loss journey? Two, how can you give yourself more time or cut your goal in half. And three, how can you have more fun in your weight loss journey?

And if you want to learn more about my tools, take my free course. You can go to bflycoaching.com/ready to take it and learn the fundamentals of what I teach. Tools that can help you start to lose weight for the very last time. Ah, so good my love. So good spending this time.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come on over to bflycoaching.com. See you next week.


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