#57: Anxiety and Weight Loss

Are you convinced that even if you lose weight, you’ll put it back on? Do you struggle with constant worries over anxiety and weight loss?

This episode explores how you can embrace your own journey with Dara’s examples from her life so you’ll know when you’re having anxiety, and how to understand the tools to help you navigate it.



Weight Loss for Quilters | Weight Loss and Self-Sabotage

If you are ready to lose weight and change the way you think about hunger, sign up for the lifetime access membership for Love Yourself Thin! Doors are open and you can find all the information by clicking here.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Strategies to help manage the things that trigger anxiety
  • How to see stress as a superpower
  • How to let go of fear of losing weight and embrace your journey
  • Why your personality is your personal reality
  • Counting calories does not solve longterm weight loss
  • How to create a sustainable, happy way to love yourself

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • If you are ready to lose weight and change the way you think, sign up for the lifetime access membership for Love Yourself Thin! Doors are open and you can find all the information by clicking here.

Full Episode Transcript:

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57. Anxiety and Weight Loss

Are you convinced that if you just accept your current body you will never lose weight and you’ll just keep gaining and gaining? Well, this episode is for you because I am going to share with you how the sooner you can accept exactly how your body is, the more success you’re gonna have at being comfortable and at ease in that body. Are you ready? I’m Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters. Episode 57, Anxiety and Weight Loss.

Did you know you could lose weight and keep it off for good, after 25 years of hiding behind my quilts, I have finally cracked the code for permanent weight loss, and I’ve lost 50 pounds without exercise or counting calories. I’m Dara Tomasson, professional quilter turned weight and life coach, where I help quilters just like you, create a life they love by losing weight and keeping it off for good. Let’s jump into today’s episode.


Hello everyone. So, I recognize that episode five is how to deal with anxiety. So, this is a common topic that comes up in our Love Yourself Thin program. It’s a common issue that I see. Starting younger and younger with people in general. And so, I have a different take on how to approach, anxiety and weight loss.

And so, this is just a deeper dive into a common problem that sadly. I think anxiety is one of the greatest struggles that we’re starting to have as a society. And I want to provide a lot of relief for you. And so, I’m going to focus on one strategy that will help you. If you are someone that has a human brain, anxiety is actually your body’s natural response to stress.

And so, anxiety is always in the future. It’s a fear or apprehension about what’s to come. Okay, so anxiety is a future problem. And so, I want to equip you with knowing what to do. So, before I get into this episode, I am going to share with you a celebration and how do we embrace our journey?

What happens when we know we’re having anxiety? I’m going to share a game that I play that will help change the story for how you deal with it. So, since it’s the summer, I wanted to share from one of my clients who, just recently retired, and her celebration was that she signed up for a paddle board class.

And the most important part about that was that when she asked her husband, if he wanted to take it with her, he said, no, and she didn’t feel guilty. Because for some reason, she has this manual that says that in order to have fun, she needs to do things with her husband. And so, this is a huge undertaking for her that she can just do this on her own and that she doesn’t have to feel guilty.

And I wanted to celebrate that all. So here we go. When we talk about anxiety, I want you to embrace your own journey now. I’m going to give some examples of what I mean when I talk about your own journey. So, for example, I was driving in the car with a friend, and we were going to visit a friend in the hospital and the weather changed fairly sudden and it just started snowing.

Like crazy. It was Easter weekend, and I just knew that the car was going to go in the ditch. And so, I just said, it’s okay, we’re going to go in the ditch. It’s going to be fine. And so, we didn’t resist it. We didn’t fight it. We just knew that when you’re driving is icy, we can just go in the ditch. And we went in the ditch, and I said, it’s okay.

We’ll figure it out. And within five minutes we had two trucks stop and they pulled up. So that was our journey. We were going in the ditch. It’s not what we expected. It’s not what we wanted, but it turned out that we did that. Too much damage to the car.

Another journey that I didn’t think I was going to go on was, some of my children have learning challenges with reading dyslexia. It wasn’t a journey that I thought I would go on.

And so, because of that, I’ve learned some special strategies. I’ve taken some specialized literacy classes and I have spent more one-on-one time with my kids than I had thought maybe I would. I embraced this. These are my kids and their struggles, and this is the kind of mom I want to be.

Another journey I didn’t think I was going to go on is when I wrote my first book, the Walk, Jog, Run a Free Motion Quilting Guide. I was quilting the very last quilt and it was Saturday and I had to have everything labeled and packaged and mailed out on Monday.

So, I had about four hours of quilting lifted on this final quilt, and I was using my ruler and I smashed the ruler with the tension, completely took the tension out and it was terrible. It was a Saturday and the closest person to fix my machine was an airplane ride or like 12-hour drive.

And so, I had to do it. Over FaceTime and on not very much sleep. So that was just a journey I didn’t anticipate. And so, I could just decide how I wanted to approach that.

Yesterday we had an interesting journey. I was upstairs coaching a client and my son came running upstairs and said, mom, the hot water tank is in flames.

There are flames in our house, and I quickly excused myself and ran downstairs. Sure enough, our hot water tank was in flames. And my son knew enough not to put water on electrical fire, and now we have no hot water. I’m not sure when we will get hot water back. So that is a journey that I’m currently in.

I can decide how I want to be on this journey. So, I’m going to take the most recent one because currently I haven’t heard back from the plumbers yet about getting a new hot water tank and we could be without hot water for several days. And we also have an unknowing expense, and not sure what the cost is going to be, but I can decide how I want to respond to that. So, my body’s reaction will have some stress. Stress is actually a superpower. When we feel stress, it instigates these hormones that say, “hey, we got to do this.”

We’re going to have restlessness. trouble concentrating, some difficulty falling asleep. We’re going to have some fatigue, irritability, unexplained, aches, and pains, dizziness, tiredness, heart, heart palpitations. Muscle aches, tensions, shaking, dry mouth, excessive sweating, stomachache, headache, insomnia.

Those are some of the physical reactions to when we have stress long enough that it creates anxiety. It creates this feeling of uncertainty, but when we have those signs and if we follow them right away, then we can answer. What’s going on? So, for example, with the hot water tank, I’m feeling a little bit anxious.

I’m feeling a little restless. So, what that’s going to mean is that it’s going to enable me to feel uncomfortable enough to contact the hot water tank place and ask them if they have located a hot water tank. And then when I’ve taken care of business, then I know that myself and my kids are going to be in good shape.

And my husband we’ll have hot water. We’ll be able to do our dishes. It’ll feel safe. It’ll feel good. So here is the game that we have some natural remedies. You can do a Google search and we can get enough sleep; we can meditate, we can do deep breathing. We can stay active and exercise.

We can eat a healthy diet. We can avoid alcohol or caffeine. We can quit smoking cigarettes if you smoke. So those are some of the ways that we can reduce anxiety naturally. But this is a game that I play with my clients and with myself, it’s going to be really helpful for you.

So, let’s get the scenario: You have a toddler or you’re babysitting your grandchild or niece or nephew, and they’re eating food. This happened to me a lot when I had my kids. And so, the toddler would be eating food and then I would say what could go wrong? And of course, they could choke, they could, eat something that they have an allergic reaction to.

But let’s just go with a choking one … so they could choke. Then I ask myself, “what’s next?” So, I say, okay, so I could pat them on the back and now I go back to, “okay, what’s the worst thing that could happen from that?” Then the food gets lodged even deeper. So, I’d have to get them out of their seat, and I’d have to, put them upside-down.

Okay. And so, you do that. And so, I’m going back and forth with, this is what I would do. And then if that doesn’t solve it, because if the problem gets worse, what would I do next? And when you do this, you realize that you do know what to do, and if you don’t know what to do, you can get help.

Or you can research, and become certified in the Heimlich, and you could call 911 and have them walk you through. Like, this is such a healthy thing to do for your brain. When you are sitting there with watching your cute little toddler or your nephew or your grandson and thinking, oh, they’re so sweet.

And then you have this panic because that’s what anxiety is. It’s the fear of the future. Apprehension or fear of what could go wrong. And I call anxiety going to your worst-case scenario and staying there. So instead of just staying there, when you feel stuck and you feel, unempowered, you can actually solve it.

And I think about those circle stories, where if you give the mouse a cookie … have you ever read those books? So it goes, if you give a mouse a cookie, it will want to have some milk. If you give it some milk, he’ll want some more. And then, if he has the milk, then he’s going to want to go to school.

And then if he wants to go to school, then he’s going to have to do these things. And so, one thing leads to another after another, and eventually you go back to. Giving them the mouse wanting to have the cookie and what you find when you do this, go there game is you say, okay, so then I will, pat, I will do the Heimlich.

I will help them. I will call 911 and you realize I will always help them with the situation. I will always be an active participant in knowing what to.

So, I want you to ask yourself in this situation, so I’m just going to finish this thought. I have five kids and one of my kids snuck a candy, because I was pretty strict about food and eating while I was driving, because I was super conscious. I was super aware, and I never wanted to be a story on the news where the mother was driving, and her kid choked and died.

My brain used to go there all the time. So, I’m like, okay, I can make rules. I can set this up. And so, my son, he was about eight years old, and he had a candy, and it was one of those hard candies and he started choking. And so, my other kids said, mom, he’s choking. And so, I immediately pulled over.

Because I’d gone through this scenario. I immediately pulled over as soon as I could. I got out of the car; I got him out of his seat, and I did the Heimlich, and I was able to help him to dislodge that candy. And so, knowing that I can solve a problem, knowing that I can go through that, I can keep going. And then what helps me not live paralyzed by fear.

I want us to go next to what has your journey been with your body and weight. And so, think about how many times you’ve done Keto, or you’ve gone to Weight Watchers, or you’ve bought Jenny Craig, or you’ve invested in the milkshakes or whatever those things are, Slim Fast.

And, you know, you’ve been able to lose the weight, but the weight has come back on. So, if that is your story, then you think about this fear of never keeping the weight off. And when you have this fear of not keeping the weight off. So, then your body goes into this stress mode of anxiety. And again, anxiety is being in your worst-case scenario and staying there.

So, I’m going to have a different angle to playing this game. So, what would be the big deal of putting the weight back on? Because Slim Fast is just a temporary fix. Weight Watchers is kind of a temporary fix. Like it’s not a lifestyle, it’s not, I mean, unless you plan to weigh your food for the rest of your life, which if you want to do that, fill your boots.

But if you’re thinking, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to get to my certain weight and then I’m going to feel good about myself and then I’m not going to overfill my body. And then I’ll just be happy enough that I’ll never turn to food again.” That’s actually not true. Because you have a human brain, and our human brain always comes with us, and it always has the negative thoughts.

And so, it’s not a one and done. That’s one of the misconceptions about weight loss, right? Like just gimme the magic formula. Just tell me what to do. And then once I’m that weight, then I’ll feel so good about myself. I’ll never put more food in my mouth that I need. That’s a lie. Okay. And that’s a problem.

I want you to ask yourself. What’s the big deal. If you put the weight back on after you’ve done Keto. So now you know that Keto is not a sustainable weight loss, so, but are there other thoughts that come in that scare you? Like you try and you can’t put the weight back on. So, you feel like you’re a failure.

You feel like you’re not smart enough. You convince yourself that you’re not clever or you’re not as good as others, or you’re not worthy. What about you put the weight back on and people are going to judge you so. Unless you care about what other people think it doesn’t really matter. Right?

I was doing some peer coaching with a wonderful coach, and it kept coming back to, she was worried about what other people would think of her over and over. She has all the tools. She’s super smart. She’s super capable. but that’s the human brain, right? When the human brain is stressed, it’s fearing that we’ll get kicked out of the tribe.

Because people will judge us. That is part of being a human. That is one of the factors that we have to factor in when we’re learning weight loss. When we learn to lose weight sustainably, we have to worry more about what we think than what other people think. What about when you go to a party, and you eat cake that you hadn’t planned on eating. So, now you have fear. Like I’m not smart enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not, I’m not to be trusted with this. And then what about when you are trying to do this thing and you’re trying to lose weight and then you overeat and you had to undo a button and you’re like, “yeah, I guess I’m not smart enough.”

What I want to leave you with in this episode is, I want to encourage you to embrace the journey. Just like with my hot water tank, I’m going to solve that problem. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I’m going to figure it out. Eventually we’re going to get a water tank. It’s going to work. I’m going to get the money.

I’m going to figure it all out. It’s going to be fine. Just like when I was driving, or my friend was driving and there was a snowstorm. I just knew that there would be a chance that we’d get in the ditch and sure enough, we did. And it all worked out just like with my kids. Some of them have some learning problems, some dyslexia. I can figure this out.

This is just my journey. And eventually you will get to solve it. You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to solve the problem. And I do want to just mention that this is, I spent a week or four days with a group of young women from the ages of 11 to 18.

And one of the great attacks on our youth is this body image issue. And I mean, we’ve been having it for years. Maybe we didn’t have it articulated when we were growing up was this concept of anxiety, and what I was seeing with these young women was I was seeing panic attacks.

I was seeing like, you know, nervousness, shutting down and compare and despair. I saw some young women not even trying to do certain things. They were failing ahead of time because they were so worried, they weren’t going to get it right. And they, they didn’t allow them. We did a lot of embroidery, and we did a lot of like creative stuff, and they weren’t allowing themselves to even try because they were so afraid of being rejected by themselves.

So, in this episode, I really want to emphasize that we all have our own journey. We all have our own relationship with our body and with our weight. And we don’t need to allow fear and apprehension of the future to cloud us. So, if we did eat the cake at the party in which we said we weren’t going to, and then we quit, or if we overate and then we quit, we’re never allowing ourselves just to be a part of the journey.

And so, one of the messages I want to share too, is there is no race. I have women in my program who have lost 50 pounds and have kept that 50 pounds off for months, but they have another 30, 40, 50 pounds to go. They have just learned to have peace with what they actually have accomplished.

And this is just part of their journey. And just like I said, in the last episode, your personality is your personal reality. And unless you embrace what that is, you’re just going to keep hiding from yourself, just like you’ve been doing with the food. So, my invitation to you in this episode is to embrace and understand what your journey is.

If you’ve tried 10 different diets and failed and put that weight back on, that was supposed to happen, you were supposed to know that those diets don’t work. You’re supposed to have felt a certain level of frustration that you Googled weight loss, and you found Weight Loss for Quilter’s Podcast.

And you heard this girl talk all about that weight loss is never about counting calories. It’s always about the way you think about yourself and the way you think about these things. And you’ve heard all these tools and I’m teaching you “the go there game.”

What next, how will you solve it? And that one tool can help you so much. It can give you relief. So, enjoy the journey. Be a part of the journey, own your journey. Could you imagine if I told my 10-year-old, “hey, you know what? I’ve already like helped two of my kids. I’m done.”

My journey is to help my kids read. That’s part of my journey. I’m going to do it different for each kid. It’s going to look different and that’s totally fine. And so, if you are struggling with living in that stress and having that fear, and you’re not allowing it to be in you, that’s resistance, that’s reacting and avoiding.

Just like I talk about the beach ball. You’re just pushing that beach ball down and you’re not allowing it. So, then you’re not able to really solve what’s going on. So, my invitation again is to join Love Yourself Thin. You can think about what’s going on and rewrite your story with your body and with yourself.

This is so empowering. I am so glad you’re listening to this podcast. It connects me so much to you. I am in my studio recording this for you and my heart is just so full that you’re listening to this podcast. I love that you’re here and I love. You are giving yourself this opportunity to solve a problem in a different way, because all those quick fixes will just be a quick fix.

That will not be a sustainable, happy, lovable way of loving yourself. And then once you love yourself and accept yourself, you will no longer need to shove that food in your mouth.

I can’t wait to talk to you next week. Don’t forget also that there is a handout that’s available to you. Just give me your email and I’ll send it to you as soon as I get it.

You have an amazing week, and I can’t wait to talk to you the next episode. Bye-bye.

Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit www.daratomasson.com See you next week.



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