Join me this week as I show you the importance of examining the filters through which we see ourselves and our bodies. Just like making a beautiful quilt, we need the right tools, and when you can begin applying them, I promise, weight loss will be inevitable, and you’ll have more energy to do and create all the amazing things I know you want to.
One of the best parts about my job is to be an example of what’s possible. Today’s podcast will share how I can experience an eight-pound gain, but not throwing in the towel. So by applying this tool that I’m going to share with you today, you can find out how I’ve lost the eight pounds and then some more, over a short period of time. Listen in, change can happen more quickly than you can think.
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 two of my podcast. It’s so much fun. I have been doing free trainings every Thursday for a long time. It’s super fun, but I really love podcasts. In fact, I love putting on my headphones, turning on my long arm and just letting myself be creative and listen to my podcast. I love chain piecing while I’m listening to podcasts. I totally just get into the zone. I have these incredible people in my head who I’m best friends with. They don’t even know who I am. And I’m allowing myself to be creative. So I wanted to have that same experience for you. I decided to dive right in and to provide for you a way for you to learn the tools so you can lose the weight, that you can keep it off, and you can learn to create the life that you really love.
Today’s podcast is going to be another tool that you can put into your toolbox. And I know us quilters, we love all our tools because they give us such great results. And I promise you, when you learn these tools, you will be getting the results that you really want.
I want to share an experience that I had recently. We decided that we were going to go do a public swim. So I had to pre-register and all of that. And we went to the pool and there were only… I think there are only 15 people in the pool and there were seven lifeguards. Now, normally when we go to the pool, we have a lot of fun. There’s a wave pool. There’s a lazy river. There’s a beautiful hot tub. There’re slides. There’s diving boards. And it’s a great time. But this time it was no fun. There were 15 people in the pool and there were seven lifeguards. Now these lifeguards were watching us like a hawk. They were scrutinizing every move. I have an 18-year-old son. He didn’t come, but I had a 16-year-old daughter, 14-year-old son, 12-year-old son and a nine-year-old son. And we went with our friends who have two boys the same age and a daughter who was five.
And these lifeguards are watching us. And so every single thing we did, it was like, “No, don’t do that. That’s too fast. That’s too slow.” It was no fun. The reason I share this story is because normally the pool is a lot of fun. Normally we just can do… And we were relatively safe and a whole bunch of things were canceled. The waves were canceled. We couldn’t do all the things we wanted to do. And so the way I looked at that pool experience, the filter which I looked at, it was the lifeguards wouldn’t let us do what we wanted. They didn’t trust us. It was no fun.
I’m not sure about you, but have you ever tried on red-tinted glasses? When I worked at a quilt shop, I was the local long armor. So every Wednesday I got to… I called it my play day. And so I took my youngest son to a babysitter and I just gave myself this great gift of working at the quilt shop. I’d pick up quilts from ladies and I would drop off quilts and it was just a wonderful day. And at the quilt shop we got in these red-tinted glasses. The idea is that when you look through these red-tinted glasses, you can see if you have done a good job at where you’ve placed your blocks, especially if you’re going for like a scrappy look or whatever that is, it really helped you.
Also, I remember taking a quilt class with Cheryl Arkison. And what she taught me to do was to take the picture of the quilt, and then on your phone even, you would have a filter. You can do gray scale, you can do black and white. There’s lots of different filters on your phone. And when you use those filters, then you are able to see your quilt in a whole new perspective. And you could see if you had done a good job at the distribution of different colors, value, and all of that before you sewed all the blocks together, and you could really see if it was what you wanted.
So I’m curious, how do you look at your body? When you look at yourself naked, or you step on the scale, or if you go shopping, what is the filter that you imagine that? How you look at your body? Is it a filter of, “I just love this body. I appreciate this body. This body has done so many things for me. In fact, this body still does… It chops vegetables. It drives cars. If I want to walk, it just takes me places, it hugs people. If it’s sick, it has defenses and it goes to work. When I eat, think it digests. And even when I eat more than what I need, it will just keep digesting things and then it stores the energy for later. This body is amazing.” Is that the filter you use when you look at your body or is it something like, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get this right? Why haven’t I been able to figure it out? These love handles are so annoying. When are they going to go away?” I’m curious, what is the filter that you use when you look at your body?
I want to share with you something that was really surprising to me when I thought of it in this way. Our self-esteem or the way that we think of ourselves, our self-concept, if you want to say it that way, is literally just a collection of our thoughts. So I want you to imagine that you have a bin or a bucket, and we would just take all the thoughts you have out of your head… By the way, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. And actually, or even write them down. I even teach this to my clients about doing what’s called a thought download. It’s a way to get all the thoughts that are in your brain and you get to see them on paper, or if you have a thought, put them in a bucket. So the collection of thoughts in that bucket is actually what you think of yourself, your self-esteem or your self-concept.
So what are the filters that you have for your thoughts? For example, do you often hear your mother’s voice? Now through your mother’s voice, that filter, what other results that you get? What are the ways that you think of yourself if you’re using your mother’s filter? What about even our parents? So many of my clients will say things like they would present, they got a test and they would get 97%. And then maybe one of their parents would say, “Well, what happened to the other 3%?” And then that caused them… They had a lot of thoughts about that like something along the lines of, “I’m not good enough. What’s wrong with me?” Rather than, “Yeah, 97% is amazing.” Like whatever filter we use, however we decide to think, it’s going to affect the way that we show up for ourselves.
Let’s think about some other filters. I know some of my clients talk about society. And so when they were at a certain age, the only options that they really had were nursing or teaching. So now society’s filter says women can do these kinds of jobs.
What about religion? What can kinds of filters or which kind of ways that we look at ourselves through religion?
What about through our culture or community? It’s very interesting, a lot of my clients will say things like, “When I was in school, my teacher said, ‘Don’t sing or don’t pursue a career in arts.'” And so one person flippantly said something, and then every time they came to music, for example, would think, “Oh, I better not sing because this teacher back when I was 10 said I didn’t have a very good voice.” Which when we think about anyone who has learned any skill, at the beginning of any skill… I mean, I teach people how to do free motion quilting. I was a terrible free motion quilter. I could barely draw anything. And now I make beautiful feathers and designs and people can… I’m not doing that anymore, but quilting for hire, people could literally even show me pictures and say, “We produce this.” And chances were, I could do it. I became that good at doing it because I changed the filter of the practice. I can do anything. It was so fascinating.
So I want you to think about the words that people have said to you in the past and what you’ve made those words mean about you and how those have influenced the way that you have lived. I want you to think of an example of how you see yourself based on what people said about you. I’m going to give you an example of what happened to me when I was five years old and how this changed my perspective, about the way I ate food.
I am a quilter. We’re going to talk about quilting here, but I now work full time as a weight and life coach for quilters. And so I spend a lot of time thinking about our food story. Everyone has a story to tell, and it’s been very fascinating to see how, when we have a filter in place, that influences the direction and the way that our brain thinks. So this was my first food memory. Just a little background on me. I’m the third of six children. So I have three brothers and two sisters, and I’m pretty much smacked in the middle. My oldest sister is five years older than me. My youngest brother is five years younger than me. And needless to say, we didn’t get invited to many people’s houses because it’s a lot of children. And also, my mom was really busy. She had five kids in six years. And so she was very preoccupied with making sure that we were all fed and loved and clothed and all of those things.
So this is when I was five years old. We went to someone’s house for dinner and the hostess, she was serving me spaghetti. And so she served some spaghetti on the plate and my mom just happened to be nearby and said, “Oh, my daughter, she has a very healthy appetite. She could eat more than that.” This is such a clear memory. I really want to invite all of you to be doing the same thing. I want you to be thinking about what were some of these memories for you? So my mother said, “Oh, she could eat much more than that.” And the lady was elated. She said, “A little girl like that could eat so much?” And my mom… I don’t know. This is just also my perception of a five-year-old. And she said, “Oh yes, she has a very healthy appetite. It’s amazing what this girl can eat.”
And so this story really influenced the way that I approach food. And in fact, that being part of my identity. And so I had a message in my brain that said, “When you eat a lot for your size, you get positive attention.” And it actually draws attention from people outside, not only your mother, who of course, that was very important to me to get my mother’s approval, but other people who I didn’t even know, and they would give me all sorts of attention. And so I just continued on that path of overeating, getting attention, and I actually didn’t even realize how much this filter affected me until I was about 46 years old, which is only a few years ago. So when I removed that filter, I was able to create permanent change.
I’m going to teach you two really important filters in this podcast. I am so happy to teach you these tools because when you can adapt these two filters, it can change everything for you for weight loss. There are only two reasons we’re overweight. I know it’s the craziest thing, and this is what I learned through the life coach school where I did my training. And so I have been adopting these two filters for the last two and a half years. And like I said earlier on my podcast, recently, my oldest son, he left home. He’s 18 and he’s gone for two years. I’m not going to see him for two years. And not only am I not going to see him for two years, but he was a pivotal member in our family. He drove kids to basketball. He made sure that the kitchen was clean every night before he went to bed. He made sure the doors were locked. My husband has a very busy job and isn’t home as often. So this oldest son of mine really is a dream and he was so helpful in all of the family routines.
And so when he left, I kind of didn’t listen to myself as much. I was very sad and I’m doing full disclosure here because I want you to know that the world could say, or the media, or there’s Pinterest, there’s Google. They all say all sorts of reasons why we’re overweight. And in fact, for a long time, I truly thought that I had to hire a nutritionist, I had to have a personal trainer, and I had to spend hours in the gym. I felt like I needed to hire a private chef. I felt like I needed to get my blood work done all the time and having a doctor on hand telling me or being a hormone specialist and all of that, because I really didn’t know why I was so overweight. I had no idea.
I felt like I ate healthy and I felt like I had a pretty healthy lifestyle, and it wasn’t until I learned these two filters that I finally realized what was happening and why I kept gaining weight. My pants just kept getting tighter and tighter, and my shirts just kept doing the same thing and I wasn’t understanding. In fact, one time I even went to the doctor and I said, “I don’t understand what’s happening and I don’t know why I still keep gaining weight.” And I was 46 at this time. And she said, “Well, you just have to stop eating as much and moving more.” I was worried about premenopause and all of that, and I was feeling totally out of control.
So when you aren’t feeling control, and when you feel like you have a bad track record with weight and you haven’t had the success, and you’ve tried all the things, now that new filter is a failure, or name it and you can say it. Are you ready? This isn’t going to take very much for you to write it down because they’re very, very simple. There are only two reasons we’re overweight.
One is overhunger. That simply means that we eat too often and we eat more than our body needs. And the second reason we are overweight is overdesire. And overdesire is simply, we eat too many things that have refined flour and sugar. So there you have it, you have these new filters. And so going back to this, my son leaving, I wasn’t doing the overdesire, I wasn’t going to the ice cream, I wasn’t going getting donuts, and all of those things like the stereotypical breakup movies, but I definitely was not paying attention to my hunger. So I’m going to talk to a little bit about what that means and giving you some background so that you can actually adapt these two filters yourself.
And the good news is I got onto myself. I use this scale as a tool, which we will talk about in future podcasts, and I was able to find out what was going on. And I’ve been able to lose eight pounds in just a short amount of time… I gained that in a short amount of time, but I’ve actually lost 10. So I’m a lower weight than I normally was before because I’m onto myself. So let me help you understand what I’m talking about.
Let’s go to the filter of overhunger. Overhunger simply means that you eat too often, and when you’re eating, you eat more than what your body needs. Our bodies, we don’t really understand hunger, first of all. And our society, and probably in the last 40 years since they changed the food pyramid back in 1977, we haven’t really understood physical hunger. Now, physical hunger is literally like a sensation in our body and it comes in gradual waves. If we don’t allow ourselves to be hungry… And think about all the millions and billions and trillions of dollars they spend on food advertisement and all of that. We’re not going to go there, but I want you to even ask yourself at this moment, when’s the last time you actually were hungry. So when it was dinner time, you ate because you had real hunger, like stomach pains, all of that. And in fact, I think we were even taught not to have stomach pains because then we couldn’t be trusted and then we’d overeat. You hear me? I know.
So the problem is if we don’t allow ourselves to be hungry, we never access our food storage for fuel. Now, what happens with that is if we are constantly eating, then we are now imbalancing our hormones. Our hormones are what help us lose weight. And so if our hormones are imbalanced, then we have more cravings and we have withdrawals. And then if we’re not paying attention to that, then we are conditioning our body to even be more hungry. So we’re making it even… We’re like feeding the monster.
Now, in order for us to lose the weight and keep it off, we need to reduce hunger so that our body can get balanced and we can eat when our body truly needs. So as a baby, we instinctively knew when we were hungry. And as soon as we were full, we just turned our heads and that was it. And then as kids, we learned rules, rules, rules. Eat this, eat that, eat whatever’s on your plate. And even if you said to your parents or your guardian or whoever, “I’m full.” And they said, “No. Finish what’s on your plate. Children are starving IN various places of the world.” So we never really got the skill to learn how to be in tune with our body. We lost that skill that we had when we were babies.
And then after quite a while, we get so tired of having everyone tell us what to do all the time, that we go into that rebellion phase. And when we go in that rebellion phase, we eat whatever we want. We are really not listening to our body. And then we feel really sick after a while and the weight gets up. And so usually we go back to the diets and that again is another podcast, but I just want to tell you why this is happening.
The second filter is overdesire. Now, when we eat refined flour and sugar, it’s a huge surge of energy. So if you look, even if you had flour or sugar in your hand. One hand had the raw sugar and raw flour, so the wheat and sugar cane, compared to refined, how much work does a body have to do to eat raw sugar and raw wheat compared to refined? You just blow on your hand and that flour and the sugar just fly away. And so we’ve taken all of the nutrients, we’re taking all the opportunity for the body to digest it and break it down. I mean, think about the difference between digesting a carrot, look at all the steps your body has to take. Your body loves it. It’s like, “Oh, yes.” We get to break it down, and we get to go through all the systems, compared to a chocolate bar, for example. It’s a very different process.
And so the same thing applies here with our refined flour and sugar. Our body is not having to do the work. And also, we create an extra amount of insulin. And so when we have so much insulin in our body, it actually disturbs again, the hormone balance. And so now the hormones in our body that regulate hunger and regulate being full, they’re now being disrupted. It’s like hijacking our body. Our body has a way to work. It’s got its operation manual and you basically put… Let’s say an engine is running and you put a tire iron in the engine. It’s not going to work anymore. So when we do these kinds of sabotaging things, which we didn’t even realize it’s happening, our body is not going to be able to function the way that it’s supposed to. And so of course, we don’t get the results that we want.
So how can we use our hunger and overdesire as filters?
Well, one of the reasons that using… And I’m constantly going back to, so if the number goes down is up on the scale, I say, “Okay, Dara, there’s only two reasons we’re overweight: overhunger and overdesire.” And now it’s brought to my attention and I can now go through my filter of the day of, “Did I overeat? Was I eating when I wasn’t hungry? Was I eating refined flour and sugar? What was I doing to give my body more energy, more fuel than it needs?” And so when I have those filters in place, I am now taking the guesswork out of weight loss. And going back to the very first podcast, we can reinforce this tool of math versus drama.
The next thing is, of course, when you know there’s only two reasons we’re overweight, we’re not stepping out of our own power. We don’t think we need to, like I said, the nutritionist and the personal trainer and spending hours in the gym and hiring a private chef and getting our blood work looked at regularly and flying all over the place and visiting certain doctors for all the things. Which by the way, if you do have a condition or you have something, of course, go see the doctors. I’m not saying that, but I’m talking about regular maintenance of losing weight and keeping it off. So when you give your brain the best filters to see your actions through, you become your own expert.
One of the things that happens is that now we avoid excuses and we take full responsibility for ourselves. So when we have this filter of, there’s only two reasons we’re overweight: overhunger and overdesire, you can too do the same thing that I did. You can keep the weight off. And when you have a stressful situation, like your oldest son flying the nest, and you don’t pay attention to your body as much, which is normal, welcome to being a human. That’s what I always say to myself. So I did gain eight pounds over a period of a month. I can then go to work and take the earplugs out and be in tune with, “Okay, am I overhungering or am I overdesiring? What’s going on?” And then I can solve that problem. And I’m always going to be 100% responsible for me.
Just again, I want you to know that you too can always create the filter to get your own results. And so now you have another tool that you can put in your toolbox. So just like making a beautiful quilt, we need to have sharp rotary cutters, accurate measuring rulers, and excellent cutting boards and a nice iron, some great starch. All of those tools are going to help us get in a beautiful quilt. And when we can apply these tools, we too can lose the weight and take it off and start having so much more energy to do all of these amazing things you want to do, like finish work on our UFOs, work through that beautiful stash of yours, and complete all those blocks of the month on time.
Thank you so much for joining me for episode two, it’s been so much fun spending this time with you.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away $100 gift cards to Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gathering shop to four lucky listeners who follow, rate and review the podcast. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the podcast. My goal for this show is to provide you with tons of value. So please let me know in your review if there’s a topic you’d like me to cover. Visit daratomasson.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.