We’ll delve into the reasons why fear poses a significant challenge in the context of food and weight loss. We’ll also address some common fears people have about losing weight. I’ll provide you with valuable advice on harnessing fear to your advantage, as it is a natural emotion that can be beneficial when managed appropriately. Tune in if you’d like some helpful tips for navigating the upcoming Halloween season and managing the abundance of candy.
118. Weight Loss and Fear, Halloween Edition
When you talk about food, does it bring you so much fear? I hear you. I still have some fear around food. And I’ve been doing this work for a long time. And this episode is going to help you with some actual strategies so that you don’t keep fearing food. And I’m so excited to share it with you. I’m Dara Tomasson and this is Love Yourself Thin episode 118, weight loss and fear, Halloween edition.
Okay, so you’re going to expect this episode to understand why fear is such a problem when it comes to food and weight loss, just like with Halloween. Halloween can be really a fearful time. I, when I was a school teacher, I, some of my students would walk in the classroom and I would just cringe and I was like, no, you can’t wear that here. That’s too scary. Especially those masks. Oh, they’re so horrifying. But Halloween doesn’t always have to be fearful, you can have cute little pumpkins and princesses and all sorts of costumes. So I’m going to be talking to you about how do we reduce the fear around food and weight loss. And I can’t wait to share that with you.
But of course, before I start the episode, get into the meat of it, I’m going to share a win inside my program. So, one of the wins that I saw recently that was just so fun to see was a client of mine. She kind of got off coming to the calls and kind of lost her rhythm and felt kind of, Stress that she didn’t come and she was falling into all or nothing thinking and she was able to just decide, you know what, I feel better when I come to the calls. And so she’s come back and she was able to just move forward and not bring back that story of, look at you, you’re such a failure, why aren’t you coming? So I love that. And if anyone’s listening to this podcast that are in my program who have felt like they have kind of walked away, please no you can walk away and you can walk back and there’s Zero judgment, and nothing has gone wrong. You can just come back. There’s no big deal.
Okay. So the fear of judgment is probably one of the biggest fears that people have around weight loss. One of the problems with weight loss is that no matter how hard you try to layer your clothes or You know wear Spanx or whatever that is, you can only hide so much. And so we have a lot of unhealthy patterns around food and about our weight and the way we think of people who are overweight. And When you think about our subconscious brain, what happens? Our subconscious brain says that Well, we’ve heard our moms or our grandmas or people that we love say, Oh, look at that person, they’re overweight. What’s wrong with them? They’re so terrible. They must be so lazy to have gained this weight. So we now have internalized That people who are overweight are lazy. They aren’t smart enough. They are not good enough. Okay? And so that feels terrible. And so now we’ve internalized that if you’re overweight, then you must be terrible, but you don’t even realize that that script is playing in your head. And so when you don’t realize that script is playing in your head, then it feels like, you don’t even know why you feel so uneasy, right? So I shared in the loving food episode just before this, if you haven’t listened to it, go listen to it ,about if you are trying to lose weight out of a place of, of like revenge of getting back, it’s, it’s not going to happen. If you’re being fueled by such negative emotions that you’re not going to be able to create the results that you want. So we have the fear of judgment, which is, it’s difficult. So that the cure for that is to go into your brain and to let yourself go into that subconscious and say, what is my thought about overweight people? What is the problem with that? Why do I have such a problem?
Okay. Now the second one is, and actually I really love Instagram and I love when people follow me and I reach out to them and if people want, they can come back and forth conversations. And so this episode is kind of fueled by one conversation I had over on Instagram and then also on a conversation that I had in my masterclass with one of the members there. And so I’m going to share two of their big fears and why it’s such a problem. So when we talk about the fear of judgment, before I go into the second one, this lady was sharing how she felt completely burned out with weight loss. She is so sick and tired of trying to lose weight and trying to feel better. And she just feels so burned out. And so I asked her, I said, why do you want to lose weight in the first place? And she said, well, I want to have better health. I said, okay. And then I asked what would you feel about yourself if you lost this weight? She has about 50 or 60 pounds she wants to lose. She said she’d feel accomplished. She’d feel pride. So the problem is right now with the extra weight She feels embarrassed about her weight. She feels out of control. She feels that she doesn’t know how to do it, even though she’s tried so many times. And so as we were talking, she said, and it was really interesting, she said, I never buy donuts. I never buy brownies. I never buy sweets. But when I go to an event and they have them, I can’t pass up free food. It’s just too good. And I never get it at my house. So when we got that thought, when she realized that, then now we can decide, well, she actually is really good because she doesn’t ever buy that stuff. And she has trust in herself that she doesn’t buy it. But when she goes to an event And she can’t pass it up, we then made a decision on what does she want to do when she sees the free brownie or the free donuts or the free sweets? Does she just want to plan ahead now anytime anyone offers her something she just says yes? And then she eats it without feeling guilty? She just enjoys it? And I told her if she did that out of like, there’s no guilt involved, she just did it and it was just what she did. She wouldn’t have all that mind drama, she wouldn’t have all that guilt, and she wouldn’t feel so embarrassed about her weight. So I’m curious of what your reaction is to that. And for her, she was really surprised what I said. Because when you’re being fueled by embarrassed, how does that feel in your body? And what actions do you take when you feel embarrassed?
All right, so that fear of judgment, that fear of being embarrassed, that fear of not being able to control herself around free food, the more that we can talk about it and the more we can bring it to light, the more power you get from yourself. That’s empowering. That is just so exciting. All right. Now, the next fear that I want to talk about, and because it’s Halloween, It’s fun to talk about fear and spookiness is how many of you fear stress? How many of you fear what you’re going to do when you feel stressed? And it’s interesting because so many people say, well, when I feel stressed, I just can’t lose weight. And I actually am curious about that. Why would that be? So I had this conversation over Instagram and this person, so awesome, so, so happy for her to like share these things with me. And this is a common story. So she did weight watchers and she was very successful. She was very determined. She was a good student and she did everything she was supposed to. And in fact, she even started working for weight watchers. And She was able to help weigh people and work at the front desk and all of that, and she felt really good. And then life happened and she started to not track her points all the time. And so she gained some weight back. And then around that time it was coming up to her wedding. And so she thought, well, I lost weight with Weight Watchers before, and this time she went with a friend and she was able to be motivated by I want to look good in my dress, I really want those pictures to look great, and so she was able to go back into that, And I would say that fear of people judging her and that fear was the motivation that that kept her going with that tracking. And this is where that all or nothing kind of thinking comes from. But again, whatever you’re fueled by is going to help you keep going. So then after her wedding she was able to relax a little bit and she knew that she knows how to track things, she knows that that can work, but she would have a moment where she ate something that was a higher point than she wanted. So then she wouldn’t track because she didn’t want to see that. And so then what had happened? She turned to this rebelliousness. And so then, of course, it’s the vicious cycle because she then doesn’t track her steps and she doesn’t use a system that as you can see is kind of broken. Because this system, unless you want to live a life where you are constantly having to track things and be vigilant and keep track of that, that feels like a daily battle. That is exhausting. She doesn’t have food freedom. So now, she says to herself, well, the only way I can lose weight is if I do this really horrible thing. So then of course, her brain says, well, We actually don’t want to live that way. We actually want to have food freedom. So then I asked her, what would it be like for you to know that you could lose weight, that you no longer have to be tracking steps and do things that are horrible? And of course that sounds really fun. And then I asked, what would you do with all that extra time that you would gain back if you did that? And so then of course she listed that.
Now I’m asking you the same thing. You’re all super smart in lots of different ways. In fact, I’m sure that you could do all sorts of things better than me. You could do computer programming better than me. You could do, I don’t know, The piecing I’m sure a lot of you could well, I know a lot of you could do a lot better piecing than me. There’s so many things that we all have specialties in. Things that we can do really well that we just do and we don’t even have to think about it because we’ve built systems in place that you go automatic pilot and you just do things really well. Don’t even think about it, right? How many of you can knit and watch tv or you can make like a really amazing dinner and you never have to read a recipe? It’s just intuitive for you now. It’s just in you. Now I’m going to tell you something that’s crazy, but it’s true, that can actually be your story with weight loss. You could actually go on automatic pilot by losing weight and keeping it off because you’re now no longer Being afraid of food, you are embracing food. You’re learning how to feel your feelings. You’re learning how to Think about things in a new way. You’re learning how to change the way you think. In fact You’re learning to think about your thinking. And you’re learning how to live a life that feels really empowering and exciting Because you’re learning the five steps of permanent weight loss.
The first one is weight loss science is simple. I teach you how simple it is. How do we balance these four hormones? Then you learn how to make your own eating plan and troubleshoot it. So I give you the control back. And then the third step to permanent weight loss is how to feel your feelings instead of fighting against them. So when you have stress, you don’t fight against stress. You just learn how to work through the challenges. You feel them, not eat them. Okay. And then the fourth step to permanent weight loss is how to take responsibility for yourself. So you’re no longer shaming yourself. You’re no longer saying, Oh, I’m not good enough. I knew I wasn’t good enough. What’s wrong with me? I’m never going to be good enough to blaming other people. Like my mother, she took me to Weight Watchers and she took me to the doctor. We can let that story go. Your mom did the best she did with what she had, okay? And then the fifth step to permanent weight loss is learning self confidence. We are not born with self confidence. In fact, you were not born being self confident with piecing a quilt, or quilting a quilt, or putting a binding on a quilt. You weren’t born with confidence of tying your shoelaces. You weren’t born with confidence of feeding yourself. All of these things are learned. And you can learn them now with weight loss, mental and physical.
So the purpose of this episode about fear is we have lots of fears around food. We have fear of judgment. We have fear of not being able to handle our stress. We have fear about being able to count points. We have fear of when we have rebellious teenagers. We have fear of feeling out of control. Fear is normal, and in fact, fear is helpful. When you think about our brain, the lower brain is always looking out for fear. It’s a good thing. It’s there to say, Hey, you should be careful, but when you can pay attention to your fear and you can look at it, you can see what’s happening. Just like these two ladies, the one lady had a fear of, I just eat free food. I have a hard time saying goodbye to it. So we learned how to work through that. And then the other lady had a fear of I don’t really know how to deal with my stress so I turn to food and then I also fear that if I eat something that has too high a point then I become a rebellious teenager and then I don’t do it and then I overeat and then I gain weight. So in order to have fear work for you, you just need to make friends with fear and say, Hey, fear, what’s going on? Tell me what’s the report. And fear says, you’re worried that about stress and you eat it. Okay. But can I work through that? Yeah, actually, I think I can. And so you can start opening up and having those conversations with fear.
In fact, I’m just going to end with a story and then I’m going to give you a tip for Halloween. So one of my clients has lost a lot of weight and has done really, really well. And then her life really changed. Her husband passed away, her family dynamics, so she has, you know, grandchildren and children living with her, and has had just so many variables. And she’s put, she’s put some weight back on. And today was so interesting because she said, you know, in the past, if I put some weight back on, I would have just been beating myself up and just being such a jerk to myself. And it was just been so horrible. And now she has so much compassion for herself. She has so much understanding. She has an ability to see what’s going on from a place of love. And so she’s not afraid of this weight that came back on. She is giving herself so much compassion and understanding. And I’m so thrilled for her. That’s why I can make the promise of you can lose the weight and you never have to worry about coming back on again because even when some weight comes back on, you’re not going to go into full on sabotage mode. You’re going to go into love and compassion and understanding and you’re going to question what’s really happening. And you’re going to figure it out because not only do you have the tools to figure it out, but you have a coach and you have a support system. And you have a process that can help you. I love it so much.
Now, here’s my tip for Halloween. Because we have a prefrontal cortex, we have a brain that is able to think about our thoughts. It’s amazing. So, what I want to recommend to you is I want you to decide right now, what do you want your experience with Halloween to be? Do you want to be the person who buys the candy now because it’s all out and you want to eat the little chocolate bars every once in a while, okay? Or do you want to be the person who says, I don’t need candy for Halloween? I don’t need this. This is not important to me, these little moments of this temporary false pleasure. That’s not where I want to get my dopamine and my, that joy from. So I’m going to just decide that I’m not going to. I’m not going to do it. It’s not going to be me. Or you can decide I’m going to have one little chocolate bar every day for the next three weeks. Or what I like to do is I make caramel popcorn on Halloween. My mom did that. She made caramel popcorn balls. And so I can decide right now, actually, it’s really easy for me because I’m not even going to be at my house on Halloween. I’m going to be in Houston. But I could decide, you know what, I’m going to make caramel popcorn and then leave it for my kids. So maybe I’ll make it before I go. I don’t know. I just get to decide right now and make a decision from my prefrontal cortex that I’m going to do this.
And I love how much my brain just knows, I have so much more control of my brain. I don’t have to be afraid of my thoughts. And that’s my last one is just you can decide, use your prefrontal cortex. Our knowledge and understanding of how the brain works is so much more advanced. We are able to really change these neural pathways. We are able, so, for example, if we always used to overeat at Halloween, we can say, I’m just not going to be that person anymore. And when you can hone in on your brain and your thinking, you can decide, and then you can actually make it happen. It’s very exciting. Alright, tell me your thoughts. I want to hear it. Weight loss isn’t about the food. Weight loss is about your relationship with the food. Weight loss is about the relationship that you have with your brain, and with your thoughts, and with your fears, and with your embarrassment, and with all of your emotions. And weight, and food, has been a way to try to avoid it. And so, the more you can do this work, The more you can think about these things, the more traction you’re going to get. I promise it’s so worth it. And just like a lady that was in a masterclass recently said to me, she said, I love how robust you’re weight loss guarantee is, and it’s true. I love my weight loss guarantee. I love that when you can take a chance on yourself and give yourself a chance to learn and to grow, and you can step up powerfully for yourself, that makes all the difference.
If I, a mom of five kids can do this, right? That’s when I started, I had, you know, these five kids and all the different stresses and I just was relentless. I just decided I am my own best investment and I had, I have a thought today that I got from one of my coaches and it’s such a good one. And this is what she said. I am here until it works. That is exactly what I said to myself. I am here until it works. I am not going to quit on myself. I am going to let myself feel all this negative emotion. I’m going to allow myself to embrace that. Weight loss has been a constant battle for me. I’m going to embrace that you know, I struggled and that I used the food as a distraction, but I’m here until it works. And that’s a beautiful thing. Alright everybody, it’s so fun to have this podcast with you. I always want to hear back from you. I love that you share this with your friends. Please continue to do so. It means so much to me. And truly, I want to invite you to truly learn how to love yourself thin so that you can create the life and you can have the life that you really want. Alright, take care everyone. Till next week. Bye.