This is part two in a series of episodes about making our lives more interesting while taking the focus away from food as the source of our joy. So today, I’m giving you my formula for food freedom, so you can start hosting events that you are proud of without worrying about the food hangover.
Tune in this week to discover the three food freedom concepts that are going to make hosting parties a breeze. I’m showing you how to change your relationship with food, so you can begin to trust yourself and see that you have full control over your weight.
Are you totally overwhelmed with hosting parties, festivities, or celebrations, feeling defeated before you even begin? I totally understand how you’re feeling and have prepared this episode for you so you can have fun, be a hostess with the mostest and keep the weight coming off.
I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode 44: Hosting Parties 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.
Alright, hello everyone. So many of my clients are bringing their party celebrations to the calls and the Facebook page. It’s so contagious that I wanted to help you all out, my wonderful podcast listeners. This episode is part of the series where we’re making our lives more interesting and our food less of the focus of our joy. So today I’m going to walk you through the three food freedoms that will help you achieve your desired outcome of hosting events that you are proud of.
Before we start I am going to focus in on one of my clients who just was celebrating the party that she hosted at her home. And she said normally her and her sister kind of back and forth, it was a little bit stressful, usually in the past there’d be tense parts. She would be kind of fussing around a lot of it and quite often would be exhausted on the couch at the end and kind of glad when people left. But what she realized was that it was the most fun she’s ever had. She’s never experienced that level of joy in hosting ever.
And the thing that really surprised her was near the end of the gathering with her family at her home her one nephew was kind of struggling and he was getting impatient. And she was just able to sit with him and just spend time with him and she just felt so relaxed. And it was really fun to celebrate that with her because she didn’t know that it was possible. She didn’t know that it was actually, she was able to do that.
Another one of my clients, one of the things that she noticed the most when she’s been hosting is that because she wasn’t worrying about what other people think and trying to troubleshoot before it even was a problem. She realized that she could sit with her family members and really connect with them. And she wasn’t so focused on people pleasing everyone and taking on other people’s problems or anticipating that they could possibly have a problem. And then she would try to go solve it even though she didn’t know that there was a problem.
So, the reason I share these with you is because I want you to know that it is possible to host a party and to feel good and to enjoy it in your home. And it doesn’t have to be completely exhausting. Because the thing that really surprises me about all of this is if we don’t ever have the expectation, if we don’t ever even imagine it’s possible, then we would never strive for that goal. So, the idea of me, with the fact that I was a professional long arm quilter just cracks me up because I never even imagined that it was possible that I could be a person that would do that.
And I’m a published author. I’m a weight loss coach. There’s all these things that I never even dreamed that I could be doing and now I’m doing them, and I do them with ease. And when you learn these tools, and so that’s why I have this episode for you, when you learn these tools you are going to be able to start doing that. You’re going to start having that kind of life.
Alright, so here we go, the three food freedoms. Now, before we go right into what I prepared for you, I do have a series of questions. Now, don’t worry, they are on the worksheet. And you can go, and you can download that, it’s my gift to you. It’s definitely the teacher in me. I really love being able to see things and to spend some time with it. And so, this is one of the ways that I can help you really take advantage of the podcast and get so much out of it. So, we’re going to ask you some questions. Like I said, they’re on the worksheet.
But I just want you to just kind of open your brain to seeing where do you fall in the hosting people. Are you the person that doesn’t host at all, who feels completely overwhelmed and really limits yourself because of that? Do you overdo it and you have people all the time and you just get exhausted by it, kind of the all or nothing? And so, I have some questions just to probe a little bit more into your brain. So, what do you love about having friends over, going over to friends or attending social eating gatherings?
What don’t you love about these gatherings? Where do you think these likes and dislikes come from? During COVID what did you notice about the lack of social eating gatherings? Did you feel relief that you weren’t going to these events? Did it bother you? Did it cause you anxiety? What do you worry most about eating in social settings now? What are your rules about social eating? So, I have some of them and I want you to write down true or false. So, I have to eat what they serve me or it’s rude, true, or false. I can never leave food on the plate or it’s an insult, true or false.
I must serve a lot of food and variety when entertaining. I must always offer dessert to my guests. I need to try a little bit of everything in a potluck. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And when I say this, you can obviously translate this, so in this episode we’re talking about hosting a party. So, I’m thinking, if your daughter-in-law brings her famous lemon squares and you don’t eat them, do you worry that it’s going to hurt her feelings? That’s what we’re talking about here.
If I don’t eat the same as others it’s very awkward. And I always watch the lead of the host to know what is expected of me. Now, that’s for if you’re at someone else’s house. But I do want you to think about you as the hostess, do you have an unwritten rule for other people of how they are supposed to do certain things?
Alright, so these are the three food freedom concepts that I want to emphasize in this episode and really as you think about this, because as you know, weight loss is not about a checklist. Weight loss is about your relationship with food. It’s the way that you think about food. It’s the way that you show up around food. So that is why we have to go deeper into thinking about all these things so that we can really go, and we can change what’s going on for us.
So, freedom number one. It’s your body and you are the only one who gets to decide how you want to feel. Freedom concept number two. Decide how you want to feel beforehand. And freedom concept number three. You are always building trust with yourself. It is not a one and done.
So, freedom concept number one, it’s your body and you are the only one who gets to decide how you want to feel. I actually closed off with this thought, I seeded this thought in our last podcast because this really is a very interesting concept when we think about the food that we eat is truly, we get to decide what we want to think about that food. It has nothing to do with what your parents thoughts you should eat, or your husband, or your coworkers. Food truly is just the relationship with you and that food.
Now, when you don’t pay attention to your feelings, your emotions, you become disconnected to your body. Emotions and feelings always come from your thoughts. For example, if you have a thought that it might be late, we talked about two podcasts ago, our thoughts are the seeds to our emotions. Then we have an immediate reaction. So whatever emotion you feel it will create a physical reaction in your body. So, if you feel like you’re late and you’re worried your armpits are going to sweat, your heartbeat’s going to go a little bit faster, your vision is enhanced. This is what happens.
So, you will feel emotions according to the thoughts that you’re having. So, when you’re hiding from your thoughts you will have all sorts of emotions firing in your body and it will feel very scary and confusing. You need to start paying attention to your thoughts. So, when you give awareness to your thoughts you are no longer scared of feeling out of control. You learn to trust yourself more. You are empowered. You realize that you are the only one who can change your body.
Feelings don’t just happen to you. You decide what you feel from your thoughts. This is always how it has been and will not change. These are some more questions for you because I truly believe that the more that you can be in your head, the more that you can really start thinking about this the more transformation you can have. So, do you believe you’re always in charge of your feelings? Do you feel that you are in control of the shape of your body? What do you struggle with when you are around food?
Why is it difficult to say no when someone offers you cake, and you hadn’t planned on eating it? Why do you think your body is the way it is now? How is your current body impacting the quality of your life? What other thoughts have come up for you as you ask yourself these questions?
So, the next concept is decide how you want to feel ahead of time or beforehand. So, taking responsibility for how you feel needs to be learned. So, there is an assumption that by the time you are an adult you will take responsibility for how you feel and not ever blame others for how you feel. So, if you are turning to food to feel better, and this would be a really good indication. Are you turning to French fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, party food, kid party food? That’s a sign that you aren’t taking responsibility for your own feelings.
So, inside my program we play this game. And we play hide and seek with our emotions. And so, what we do is if we’re feeling really uncomfortable, if our body is feeling really, our skin is hot and our stomach is in knots, and our chest might feel like there’s an elephant stepping on it. We’re like, “Oh my goodness, what’s going on? I don’t know what I’m feeling. Why is my body feeling this way?” So, what we do is we put our hand on our chest and we’re playing hide and seek. We’re actually searching for the feeling that we’re feeling.
So, we’re able to physically connect our feelings so that the elephant on the chest, it’s some sort of grief or whatever that is. And so, we can start asking, “Am I feeling sad? And I feeling frustrated? Am I feeling discouraged?” And then we are able to keep our hand there so that we can see what resonates with that emotion. And this is really vital to connect your correct emotion to your body so that you can start getting in sync with your thoughts and your feelings.
So, this will be so helpful for you because now you’re not feeling afraid of your body, you’re not feeling afraid of emotions. You can just recognize I’m a human having this experience.
Now, the third freedom concept that I want to share is that you are always building trust with yourself. It is not one and done. So, so many people say, “I’ve lost weight, but I just keep putting it back on.” It’s because you haven’t done the work. You don’t continually do the work. And one of the telltale signs of a mismanaged mind is when you have perfectionist or all or nothing thinking. You notice this happening when you have thoughts like, last time we had people over I ate the dessert when I said I wasn’t so why bother resisting, knowing I’m just going to eat it after all.
Or you always make such great plans to not overeat and look at you feeling uncomfortable in your stomach again. Next time just wear your stretchiest pants. What about this thought? Before you even got to serve up your plate you said you weren’t going to have any flour or sugar and now look at you. You just aren’t trustworthy. So, these are just some examples of how you keep going to your past self to look for evidence that you can’t be successful.
And then you’re also generalizing and saying all the time instead of sometimes you make goals and sometimes you don’t always live up to them, what you committed to doing. So, when you keep going back to the times that you failed or broke trust with yourself, you are keeping yourself in that failure pattern. You are wiring your thinking to believe that you are a failure around food and can’t be trusted. And then what happens is you are rewarding your negative behavior when you give attention to that negative behavior.
It’s the same thing, if a toddler whines and cries for candy in the store and giving into them is rewarding their negative behavior. So then that toddler learns that if they complain and scream they get candy. You are doing the same thing for yourself. So, this is the part of the episode where you’re like, “Okay, Dara, I feel terrible.” But I’m going to give you five steps of how to overcome this. It’s an exercise to help build trust with yourself. One of the reasons that I have this podcast is because I know that so many of you have been burned with weight loss.
It’s really hard to know who to trust and who not to trust. And so, one of the reasons I have this podcast is to show you that weight loss truly is about changing your relationship. And I am giving you activities that you can do ahead of time. I am giving you worksheets. I’m really showing you that this is how we lose weight. We have to get our brain onboard and seeing what’s happening. And so, when you do these exercises, and please do the exercises, print them off, share them with your friend.
We have wasted so much time, instead of eating properly, and feeling good in your body, and quilting, and getting stuff done, you are feeling shame, and embarrassment, and that’s not the most fun way to spend your time obviously. Okay, so this is the activity that I have for you. So here is a simple exercise to build trust with yourself.
Number one. Write one thing you want to do for yourself today, just one thing. So, it’s like, I want to brush my teeth today, or I want to cut that quilt out, or I want to put the binding on, or I want to prepare the binding, whatever that is. Why do you want to do that thing? Because I want to feel accomplished, or I want to not be scrambling at the last minute for the wedding, or whatever that is.
Number three. When will you do this one thing? So, when will you do it? Put it on your calendar, when will you do it. How long will this one thing take you, 20 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour? What will happen if you don’t do this one thing? So, start small and simple, reward yourself with your wins. You are now rewarding yourself for positive behavior rather than the toddler example. When you do this over and over you create trust in yourself. It’s such a beautiful thing. Now, desire is not innate.
You were not born liking peaches or not liking peaches. Along the way you had an experience with peaches that informed you to desire them or not to desire them. So, desire is rewarded. So, when you brush your teeth there is no immediate reward even though we can agree that great dental hygiene is super important. So, compare that reward of brushing to your teeth to the reward of eating a chocolate bar. You got it. There’s an instant reward because of the high concentration of dopamine surging through your body from the refined sugar of your chocolate.
So, when you reward yourself through positive reinforcement, you are creating your own desire which will help you build your trust for yourself. So, I will be sharing a podcast, it talks more about desire in the future. But this is just a way for you now to see why you have the struggle that you have when you quit beforehand, when you have all these thoughts.
So just to recap, we have the three freedom concepts, food freedom concepts are it’s your body and you are the only one who gets to decide how you want to feel. Number two, you decide how you want to feel beforehand. Number three, you are always building trust with yourself. It is not a one and done.
So, of these three concepts and we went into quite a bit of detail, I want you to just spend some time thinking what happened over the course of your life where you got the ideas that you have about hosting. And you got the ideas about what you serve, and how you serve, and all the stress related, or no stress related to food. I really want you just to spend some time figuring out where those thoughts came from. And right now, they feel like beliefs. It feels like you’re just telling me the news, this is just who you are.
But if you want to really learn how to be comfortable in your body at your home, hosting people, you’ve got to do this work. You’ve got to figure out where all of your thoughts came from. So, it’s like a garden, going back to the previous episode, our thoughts are all packages of seeds, and you plant different flowers, or vegetables, or whatever it is. And it’s like, why do you have so many carrots? Was it because your mom, she always had people over and it was super easy for her, and it was just like second nature, and it didn’t seem like a big deal to have 40 people over?
Or was it the opposite where it was a really big deal and it was very uncomfortable, and it was super stressful? And so, the more that you can really dive into these concepts the more that you can decide, what kind of life you want to have and how you want to show up for it. And again, I share these tools with you, I share these exercises with you, I have these handouts for you because I see so many women in my program who do this whole complete change in their life around food, and around their bodies.
And it’s my mission to help all quilters be comfortable and happy in their own bodies so now they have so much more energy to go and quilt, and to enjoy their lives rather than to feel worried and stressed, and all the negative emotions that really do physically and mentally weigh them down. And my total privilege of helping you to completely change this relationship, if you want to go deeper I invite you to join my lifetime membership, Love Yourself Thin. It is the greatest gift you’ll give yourself. Alright, take care, everyone, we will see you next week. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.