Ep #20: Making Christmas as Easy as 1-2-3

Weight Loss for Quilters with Dara Tomasson | Making Christmas as Easy as 1-2-3We are officially in December, and it’s an amazing time of year. However, it can also be incredibly stressful when it comes to weight loss, family, and so many other things. Are you convinced that gaining 10 pounds during the holiday season is just an inevitability? Well, the truth is that the holidays don’t actually need to mean anything about weight loss or weight gain.

Christmas can be as easy as 1-2-3, as long as you can manage your expectations, make a plan, and follow it. You’re going to have to deal with things you don’t like or that make you feel stressed, but if you have your own back and look after yourself, you’ll have the merriest Christmas ever.

Tune in this week to discover the three steps you can take to make sure you have the Christmas of your dreams. I’m sharing how to make a plan and stick to it, how to set healthy boundaries around the situations you usually find stressful, and how to have your own back throughout the festive season.

As part of my Love Yourself Thin group program, I’m running my Weight Loss Science pop-up group from December 1st to 16th 2021, where I will share how to stop quitting and start truly living the life you want. I’m expanding on what we discussed in this episode, and you can sign up by clicking here

Every Thursday from November 11th to December 9th, I will be teaching a FREE series all about how to feel more joy over the Holidays. I’m sharing how to stuff the turkey instead of your face and navigate family relationships when you see a storm coming. This is all with the focus of making your Christmas truly merry and bright, and you can click here to register for these webinars.

I have a surprise for you! I have a 5-day training that tells you all the foods you should eat, why you should eat them, and the science behind weight loss. There are women who have lost 20 and 30 pounds just from this training, so click here to sign up to my email list and access the training now. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to help you as you continue to learn how to love yourself thin. 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why expectations are such a common cause of holiday overwhelm.
  • How to set boundaries and expectations for the holidays in a way that leads to less stress and overwhelm.
  • What you can do to make sticking to your plans easier over Christmas.
  • Why what you think of yourself is so much more important than what anyone else thinks of you.
  • How to have your own back over the festive season and focus on what’s important.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • I have a surprise for you! I have a 5-day training that tells you all the foods you should eat, why you should eat them, and the science behind weight loss. There are women who have lost 20 and 30 pounds just from this training, so click here to sign up to my email list and access the training now. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to help you as you continue to learn how to love yourself thin. 
  • Ep #7: It’s Time to Talk About Your Feelings

Full Episode Transcript:

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Are you convinced that gaining 10 pounds every holiday season is inevitable, that no matter what you say, or do you will never change that number on the scale, keep it going up? Well, keep listening to this episode where I will show you that the holidays really don’t need to mean anything about weight loss or weight gain. I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode 20.

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.

Welcome to episode 20. Today is December 1st. Who loves Christmas as much as me? I love Christmas but I also know that Christmas is a really stressful time for weight loss and all of the things, not only with your time but with your weight and that brings up all sorts of feelings. So because I know this I have got a whole holiday series on YouTube and free trainings, that you can, if you sign up for my email then you can get all of these sent to your email box. In fact I have one tomorrow, Lose Weight and Not the Joy at Christmas.

And so there are topics like how to avoid holiday overwhelm, give peace on Earth a whole new meaning, tis the season to be jolly, how to enjoy the holidays without all the stress, lose weight and not all the joy at Christmas. And then my absolute favorite tips to enjoy the holidays and not worry about your weight. And then I also have holiday eating and why it’s not a problem. So those are all available to you. Oh, I’m going a little bit out of order, sorry, I’m just getting into the community part.

Another part, another way because I know how stressful Christmas can be for so many of you is I have the 12 Days of Christmas. We need to prioritize our mental and physical health. And so this whole series, I talked about it last week in my episode is all about stop quitting on yourself and learning how to fail in the best way forward and how you can keep progressing. So that is starting today. It is not too late for you to come. I have a t-shirt that actually says, ‘the more the merrier.’ And I wear it on Christmas day.

And so you’re welcome to join the Facebook group and our daily calls. And you also get a t-shirt, ‘Quilters, Not Quitters.’ So I’d love to see you over there.

Alright, so December 1st, so excited. Today I’m going to be talking about how Christmas can be as easy as one, two, three. We are going to learn today how to make expectations at Christmas. We are going to learn how to make a plan and how to follow it.

We are going to learn how to get your own backs even when things are happening that you don’t like or you’re not feeling good about, or you’re feeling stressed about, or you’re feeling overwhelmed about, or you’re feeling all sorts of negative emotions. And you want to just go crawl in a hole and just forget all of it and just watch Hallmark movies 24/7 and eat a bunch of, well, of all the cookies and all the things that are around, all the chocolates because that’s what we’re seeing even more and more of. So that is what we’re going to be doing this episode.

So you can expect at the end of this episode that you’re going to learn how to make – you will have made expectations at Christmas and understanding why it’s so important. And we’re going to be teaching you so many different ways of looking at that. We’re going to learn how to make a plan and follow it. This is a new concept I think for a lot of women is how do you learn to get your own back? How do you learn to be able to say what I think is the most important. And then all of that. Alright, so let’s go.

Okay, number one, expectations. One of the biggest problems and the reason why we have so much holiday overwhelm is that we actually don’t even know what we want our Christmas to look like. I’m not sure about you but have you ever sat down and said, “To have the perfect Christmas I need to listen to 35 hours of Christmas music. I need to watch 10 Christmas movies. I need to have made this many cookies. I need to have made this many homing presents?” Really getting clear on the breakdown of the hours of Christmas and what you’re doing. Have you done that before?

And have you remembered that in order to have a balanced life it needs to be 50% awesome and 50% not so awesome? And so in that plan, a perfect plan for Christmas I’m going to have three disagreements. Or I’m going to have negative emotions half the day, whatever that is. I really want you to be onto yourself and ask yourself that. So the other thing about creating expectations, so first of all we need to write down what a perfect Christmas is going to look like.

Number two is we need to understand why we do what we do. We really need to look at what is the motivation, are we creating this experience for ourselves? Are we experiencing for others? Are we being well balanced in this? Are we only thinking about conditional love or is this unconditional? If I gave them a quilt and the next year I go to their house and it’s being used as a dog bed, am I going to worry about that? Really getting curious with yourself of what kind of expectations you have all around but especially at Christmas. I want you to look at that.

The other part of these expectations is do you have expectations for yourself? Do you say, “I’m going to spend this many hours on this project and if it takes longer I’m not going to do it? Am I going to hire it out? Am I going to just not be obsessed with this one project so then everything else goes on the wayside?” How clear are you on your own expectations? And so this brings up, how will you spend your time? Which of course is creating healthy boundaries, not only with yourself but with other people.

Or next week you’ll be listening to the people pleasing and codependent podcast. And so do you have healthy boundaries with people? Do you do a bunch of things and then tend to feel a lot of resentment and disappointment because people aren’t doing what you had thought they were going to do because you had so many conditions on what you were doing? So are you creating healthy boundaries for yourself? So if you’d like me to babysit I need 24 hours in advance.

If you want to just show up at my house, I’m not going to answer. You have to give me 24 hours’ notice that you’re going to be showing up if you want me to feed you or whatever that is. So are you creating healthy boundaries? Then as you think about these expectations I want you to just even to set a timer for five minutes and just even start. Say, “This is what I expect at Christmas. This is what I expect from myself. This is what I expect from others.”

If you expect presents from others you can tell them that, I expect a present. I expect it wrapped. If you don’t do that then I’m going to feel a certain way. And you also expect that I’m giving power to somebody else when I expect something from them. And so if they don’t deliver then I have to take care of myself and I have to deal with the consequences of them not having those expectations. Are you even being clear on that? And so, so many of the time when we don’t have clear boundaries or guidelines for ourselves then now everyone becomes a moving target.

So our poor kids will come home for the holidays, or our husband will come home and say something and then you just blast on him because you wanted to feel a certain way and you wanted certain things done. But you didn’t actually know how they were going to happen. You can go back to the podcast where it talks about feelings and how we actually are responsible for our feelings. Everything that we do is fueled by our feelings.

So if we’re not taking responsibility for ourselves and having clear expectations then we are now kind of like a loaded gun. We aren’t really to be trusted because our feelings are all over the place or our thoughts are all over the place because we don’t have clear expectations.

Alright, number two, making a plan and following it. So if we don’t have expectations, well, there is no plan. So what I want to recommend to you is having a plan of this is what I expect. And in order to get what I expect I’m going to make a plan. Now, the biggest thing I see that happens is that we make a plan, and we think that we should be able to do it perfectly. So all those perfectionists out there, we think we should just be able to do it amazing all at once.

It was interesting, even doing this podcast I didn’t have a very clear plan. I thought about it a lot in my head. And normally I write it all down and I get it all really clear. And I thought okay, Dara, I just have so many things to do and I want to just get this done, let’s just do it. And I thought I had enough time, but I hadn’t made it as clear. And so this is my third time working on it. And I thought, how ironic is that, that I’m doing this podcast, I’m making a plan and following it.

And I was getting kind of frustrated because I had it written on my calendar and what I realized was, okay, I thought by episode 20 I didn’t have to have it written down as much as I had had before. But I was wrong. I need to have it written down more than I thought. And that’s okay. So with making a plan, if you’re always judging yourself like the people pleasers and the perfectionists, we tend to beat ourselves up a lot and we have a lot of negative self-talk.

And so it was a really good exercise for me to say, the old Dara was like, “You just wasted 40 minutes and what’s wrong with you, what were you thinking?” And then I thought, well, I was thinking that I could do it without being as detailed. And obviously I can’t. And so now I’m evaluating. I’m saying, “Okay, in order for me to do a podcast not only do I need to think about it, plan it but I need to have this level of execution for planning unless if I don’t do that then I’m not going to be able to do it in the same quality.”

So now I’ve evaluated and then I give myself a lot of compassion and I remind myself that I’m a human and I say, “Okay, let’s move on.” These women need to hear this. They also have the same problem. And so with just like a diet, if we are trying a diet and we say, “Okay, we’re going to lose this weight,” and if the scale goes up the next day even though we’ve done so well we just say, “Okay, that’s it, done, bring me the chocolate.”

So because you quit, you walk away, you don’t give yourself the opportunity for growth, you don’t give yourself the opportunity to see that it was just that I didn’t drink my water, or I went to bed a little bit later. Or my insulin is not quite regulated yet, and so my body is releasing more fat from its storage and so I’ve got a bit of a blip. Or I’m really stressed out so I’m not having the same level of bowel movements and there’s some things that aren’t flowing properly.

There’s so many different reasons but if we just say, “Yeah, that’s it, I’ve gained two pounds or I’m up a pound, this is ridiculous, this is dumb, dieting isn’t for me.” And then you go to all the excuses, well, it’s menopause, it’s this, it’s that. And then you never learn to grow. So just like with the podcast, I mean I’m relatively new at it still, I now have more information about what’s going to be helpful.

So I just kind of walked through that with you just so that you can see what I’m talking about with evaluating. But what I recommend for evaluating is what went well, what didn’t go well and what will I do better next time. So this way your brain is going to what is good. So mine was, you have a desire to help people and your podcast has made a big difference for people especially at the Christmas holidays they need to know that Christmas can be as easy as one, two, three. So you can just learn that you need to have more structure in your planning, and you can’t wing it yet and that’s okay.

And then what am I going to do about it next? I’m going to keep my same plan that I’ve been working on and I’m just going to keep doing that and invest the time in that and that is worth it. Okay, so that’s number two, making a plan and evaluating it, follow and evaluate. And I want to just mention, having compassion all along the way, welcome to being a human. It’s just amazing that you just keep going down this road and that you’re not giving up. That’s compassion, that’s loving on yourself and giving yourself so much grace and love.

And then the third part, how can Christmas be as easy as one, two, three is learning how to get your own back. And when I say this, this is going right from the perfection recovery manual that I wrote last year, this time. And when you get your own back it means that what you think of you is more important than what anyone else thinks of you. So I’m going to give you some examples of this.

I bought myself a new dress and I really like it. And I wore it to church on Sunday and in the past I would have really needed to hear other people’s compliments to validate, yes, you did a good job, you picked a good job, that is a good dress. It was worth your money, all of that. And when I got dressed on Sunday and I went to church, I didn’t expect anyone to say anything. And then so when people were saying, “Oh, that’s such a good dress on you, it’s so flattering.” I was like, “Yeah, isn’t that fun.” I didn’t need them, I didn’t need their approval because I myself had it.

I’m going to tell you a story. About two years ago I drove my son and four other kids to a basketball tournament, and we had to go on a ferry because I live on the island. And I just assumed we were going to go to the one ferry, there’s two ferries that leave from where I live. And you know what happens when you assume, and I actually had thought I heard the teacher say, “We’re going to go to that one ferry.” And so we go to that ferry and we’re looking around and we’re lining up and we didn’t see anyone.

And then one of the parents texted me, she’s like, “Yeah, I see your car is right by mine.” And I was like, “I don’t see her but I’m like okay, well, I guess whatever.” And we’re just about to get on the ferry and one of the boys got a text message from another boy and they’re like, “Well, where are you guys?” And we were at the wrong ferry. And so in the past I would have just thought I was the worst. I would have just beat myself up. I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself. I would have been so embarrassed.

I mean here’s my son sitting here then I was feeling bad for him because then he was embarrassed. And then we’re not going to be on the same ferry, they’re not going to hang out on the ferry, they were all hoping to. I was able to say to myself, well, did I intentionally make that mistake? No. Are we going to get there? Yes. Are these boys safe? Yes. Am I being a safe driver? Yes. Are they going to be okay just to be with themselves on the ferry? Yes, and that’s okay. And so I was able to calm myself down because I knew my reasons, I didn’t intend to do it.

And what I thought about me was more important than what other parents could have thought, she’s really irresponsible. Or the teachers could have judged me. And I knew my reasons. I knew that I kind of made a mistake. I knew it was innocent. And so I really learned to get my own back and I was able to just feel all the embarrassment and the searing heat. And then I was able to just give myself a break and say, “Yeah, you’re a human.”

When you get a new haircut, do you like your haircut, if what you think about your haircut is more important than what other people say. What about this one, when you make a quilt, and you go to the guild, and you show it. I like to ask myself, do I like the reasons that I did whatever I did, and do they feel like love? And I just want to remind you that whatever your decision you’re going to make there will always be a 50% that’s good, a pro and there’s always going to be cons.

And when you understand that every decision you make doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, it just has one way or another way and you just take that, I think so many of us have thought, well, there’s only one way to do something and if I don’t do it this way then I will be in trouble and I will never be successful, or I’ll go down that wrong road and it will never lead me to the right road. So that is what happens my friends. That is what happens at Christmas, the stakes seem very high, the pressure is on.

And so we think that in order for us to do something it has to be done a certain way. But I want to remind you that Christmas can be as easy as one, two, three. When we learn what our expectations are and that we are the only one who can manage our own emotions, we can’t make anyone feel a certain way, there’s no possibility of making the perfect quilt that will make everything perfect. That’s just not how things are.

In order to have a balanced life everything really truly is 50/50. But if you don’t have any expectations you’re just making it worse. So the second way that Christmas can be easy as one, two, three is to make a plan, follow it, evaluate it, and keep learning. And number three, get your own back always. So what you think of you and your intentions, all of that is the most important.

Alright ladies, I get you. I get that Christmas can be super stressful, but I also can let you know that there is so much support out there about this holiday season. Got my free trainings over on my YouTube or if you follow me on my emails it will be sent right to you. And you’ve got the 12 Days of Christmas which I want to encourage you to come to. And even if you’re listening to this on the 14th of December, join.

And if you’re listening to this in 2022, if you want to be a part of that, look into my program where you will get all of my popup groups, there’s so much content in there and most importantly it shows you the five steps of losing weight permanently. Number one, learning that weight loss science is simple, two, creating your own protocol, three, learning to troubleshoot your protocol, four, feeling all the feelings so we no longer need to buffer, waste so much time and energy. And number five, learn to trust ourselves. That’s it ladies.

When you get those five steps that you learn in the 12 modules in Love Yourself Thin, you will lose the weight and keep it off forever. Alright, have a wonderful day. Bye bye.

Did you know I have a YouTube channel with all sorts of free motion quilting content? If you want to up your free motion quilting game I have a 31 day doodle challenge there that goes along with my brand new quilting book, Doodle School. Like I always say, make your food boring and your life more exciting.

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


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