Ep #13: How Wanting to Be “Normal” Leads to Deprivation

For so many years, when I would go out and see skinny people – especially eating dessert – I would think to myself, “Why can’t I be normal, like her?” And I didn’t realize it at the time, but that perception of normal, that I had made up in my head, was leading to so much drama for me. It’s crazy.

I just wanted to be this definition of normal for so long. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted, eat all the sugar, and not gain a pound. Then, while at a retreat, I realized that this desire to be normal was really creating only one thing in my life: deprivation.

Listen in this week, love, and discover the truth about what it means to really be normal, why our perception of normal is not grounded in reality, and how chasing this idea of eating whatever you want and being comfortable is always available to you.

And here are this week’s transformational questions:

  1. What thoughts do you have right before you eat off-plan or overeat?
  2. What thoughts are causing you to feel deprivation?

  3. What if you feel the feeling of deprivation? What would change for you?

If you love this work and you want to take it even deeper to get off the diet roller coaster for good, you need to check out my signature program, Jumpstart. Doors will be opening on January 1st 2020 for six days only, so to get early access and more information, register here!

What You’ll Discover:

  • How confirmation bias influences our perception of what is normal.
  • Why it’s impossible to know the full truth about someone else’s relationship with food and their body.
  • What normal in the USA actually means from a diet and weight perspective.
  • Why you are always in control, even when it feels like you’re eating uncontrollably.

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 13.

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’m so happy to be back with you. I’m a little under the weather. I have a little head cold, which is a sign to me that I’m doing too much maybe, it’s Christmas time, and not resting enough. Honestly, I never get sick. I can go years without having a cold or any kind of sickness.

And so this week, I’m really looking at, what am I doing and am I resting? And then also, am I resisting some of my feelings? You know, love, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection work this week, but in today’s show, we’re going to talk about being normal and how it leads to the feeling of deprivation.

I love this topic because it’s a thought I had for most of my life. If I just could be normal. I thought all of the skinny people were normal and I was not. And as always, I will leave you with a couple of transformational questions so you can start taking a little bit of action today.

But you know, first, I want to give a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week. This week’s listener shout-out is to KMG3614. The title of her review is Relatable, “It’s so refreshing to listen to someone so relatable and have hope that the answer to my diet rollercoaster is right around the corner. Hope is what I’m feeling after listening.”

Thank you so much, KMG3614. I love these reviews and I really appreciate all the ladies that are listening. If you love this show, please rate and review it. I would just so appreciate it. And then also subscribe to the show wherever you listen. So, every Wednesday, this show is just waiting for you in your podcast library.

So, when this is being released, it will be the week before Christmas. And I just can’t believe it’s the end of the year. I mean, we just put up our tree and all of our Christmas decorations. And honestly, this is my favorite time of the year. I don’t know about you ladies, but I really do love it.

Now, last year, we were building our current house and we had sold our other house, so we were living in an apartment. And I didn’t even put up our tree last year. All of our stuff was in storage. And last year, our house was supposed to be finished at the end of November, but a few delays happened and we actually didn’t move in until January of this year.

So I am just so excited to have Christmas at our house this year. It’s the first year that we’re having it in this house, and all the traditions, you know, we’re baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, doing all the fun things that we like to do with the grandbabies, you know.

I still enjoy all the fun stuff and all of our traditions without feeling deprivation or restriction. And honestly, I’m going to make some cookies this weekend, so I’ll just add a few cookies to my realistic plan on Saturday, no drama involved. That’s the power of the realistic plan.

So, deprivation and restriction lead me right into today’s episode. I’m going to talk about the thought, “I just want to be normal.” This is something that I always wanted. I wanted to be normal. I thought normal was eating whatever I wanted. I used to really wish – I mean, you ladies feel me on this – for a magical pill where I could eat whatever I wanted.

I wanted to eat all the sugar. I wanted to be skinny and eat loads of cookies and chocolate and whatever I wanted. I would look at a thin person and think, “What would it be like to be normal and eat whatever I wanted?” Because, of course, when I would see a thin person, you know, they would be eating dessert or something I thought I could not eat on my diet.

Nd honestly, love, that’s just confirmation bias, and I’m going to talk about that in a future episode. But, loves, being normal in this country is being overweight. 71% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese according to the CDC. Yes, you heard me correctly, 71%.

We, as a nation, are carrying extra weight. We believe that something is wrong with us, but the crazy part that I’ve learned is that dieting led me to being overweight, the rollercoaster of overeating or restriction. When I was dieting, I made it all about the food and whatever diet plan I was on.

But, love, it has never been about the food. It has always been about my thoughts and beliefs. This thought that I just wanted to be normal also led me to the thought, “Well if I could just eat in moderation.” I wanted to be able to eat in the middle. I was either binging, overeating, or restricting. And I thought if I could just eat in moderation, I would be good.

Honestly, loves, I just could not figure it out. I remember my last try at moderation. I mean, I loved ice cream sandwiches and I thought, if I could be, quote unquote, good, all day, which, love, meant restriction, counting some form of calorie or point, then every night, I would get, as a reward, an ice cream sandwich.

But, loves, one ice cream sandwich would turn into two, and then eating a cookie, and then it just led to this downward spiral because I was not planning and I did not have any control over my lizard brain, I would overeat. And then, loves, you know what happens next. I would beat myself up.

It was such a vicious cycle, I was not connected with my body and eating from a place of love.

I was just eating to eat, meaning eating to buffer and avoid feelings. I had an unmanaged mind, so after that failed attempt at moderation, I just went back to overeating. This is the thing, love, being normal, eating whatever I wanted, was a faulty thought because a lot of the time, I was eating whatever I wanted, and I didn’t like that either.

I did not like the obsession or how it made me feel. I did not like the thought that I was out of control. I remember walking into a grocery store to pick up my next fix, some form of sugar. And because I had been overeating, nothing even looked that great. But I was obsessed. I needed the sugar. So I would pick something up and then go overeat.

What changed things for me was learning that I always had a choice. I’ve always been able to eat the cupcake or not. It’s always been my decision, my choice. I was always in control. The idea that something takes over us is just not true. We’re making the decision, whether we want to acknowledge it or not.

I had to become a watcher of my thoughts and know which thoughts were poison to me. I had to learn that being normal was a poisonous thought for me. It just didn’t lead anywhere good.

I wanted to be normal because I was tired of feeling deprivation. I just didn’t want to feel it anymore. I didn’t want to feel like I couldn’t have something. And when I was dieting, I would go to – ladies, you feel me on this – you’d go to a family event, there’s a ton of desserts and if I saw someone eat one, then I would have the thought, “I just wish I was normal and could eat that.”

Then it would cause the feeling of deprivation. Restricting what I ate led to these feelings of deprivation and self-pity, and those feelings I did not want to feel. So then, I would buffer and then go off my diet, and then I would be on the full diet rollercoaster.

I literally did this for most of my life. This one thought of being normal led to lots of overeating. And I’ve also learned that just because someone is thin, does not mean they can eat whatever they want or that they don’t have some sort of food issue.

Honestly, ladies, I’ve yet to meet or coach a woman who has not struggled with body image or food issues. I have seen many girls binge, over-exercise, and deal with anorexia.

On my bucket list years ago was attending a Geneen Roth retreat. If you know her, ladies, she used to be on Oprah. She wrote the book Woman, Food, and God. And I always wanted to go to one of her retreats.

So I went to one of her retreats. It was amazing. And part of the retreat was we had these small group sessions. And this beautiful girl walked into mine. I mean, she was thin, I mean, just stunningly beautiful. And I thought, “Why is she even here?”

But love, when she started to speak, I was shocked. She thought she was overweight. She hated herself and her body. You know, loves, we never know what others are dealing with. We all have a human brain and a 50-50 life. We all have pain and struggle. That is the magic.

I believe to know that you can feel anything and take actions that serve you is really the magic, to learn how to manage our thoughts and feel feelings, it is the greatest work. I want to be exceptional. I want to be connected to this body I’m in. I want to learn how to watch my thoughts, feel my feelings, and take actions that serve me.

The first step is knowing what thoughts are driving your actions. And sometimes the thoughts are tricky. You know that lizard brain. They sound so good, but go deeper, love, they are driving you to overeat.

I learned that I could feel the feeling of deprivation. I mean, a feeling lasts about 90 seconds in our body if we allow it. Listen to episode number seven to learn how to feel your feelings.

I could also change my thought to create a different feeling, like, “I’m exceptional and I love eating food that fuels me.” Which then creates the feeling of love for me.

Okay, love, so here’s your transformational questions. Number one, what thoughts do you have right before you eat off-plan or overeat? Number two, what thoughts are causing you to feel deprivation? And number three, what if you feel the feeling of deprivation? What would change for you?

Ooh, so good, love. I mean, who wants to be normal? Not me. So, in next week’s episode, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things; no, seriously, favorite. So don’t miss it.

Love, If you love this work and you want to take it deeper to lose weight for good, my signature program, Jumpstart, will be opening on January 1st – I’m so excited – for six days. To get early access to all of the information on it, register for the waitlist. You can register at bflycoaching.com/waitlist. Bye, loves.

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?

2 thoughts on “Ep #13: How Wanting to Be “Normal” Leads to Deprivation”

  1. I loved it. I always wanted to be able to eat what I wanted without the guilt. I would deprive myself of desserts or treat because they didn’t fit in my diet plan. I’m so glad I can put that behind me. I can have them. I just listen to my body and it tells me what feels good. Feeling deprived is just a feeling. I feel it and move on. I’m me and what others eat has no affect on me so, why should I feel deprived because I can have it if I really want it without any hesitation. I found that I have to believe in my body and stay positive in my thoughts and I will be okay. No more feelings of deprivation. Good bye to the diet rollercoaster for good no more restrictions. I stay true to myself and eat what I put on my realistic plan.

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