The first rule of Love Yourself Thin is that weight-loss science is simple. And it is. But when we think something is simple, we can get pretty mad at ourselves when we find it difficult. This is why I’ve created an amazing exercise to show you exactly where your brain is getting tripped up.
Tune in this week to discover why weight loss is simple, why that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, and what you can change to make it a little easier. We’re taking a deep dive into our thoughts and emotions to get crystal clear on exactly what’s going on and you’ll learn how to simplify your approach.
Frustrated that weight loss is not as easy as following a checklist and simply following what the diet books tell you? Totally overwhelmed by all the information out there saying how simple weight loss is? I created this episode for you, weight loss is simple but it’s not easy and I am here to show you why and how to make it easier.
I am Dara Tomasson, and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode 38: Weight Loss is Simple, But Not Easy.
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.
So today I have spent a lot of time thinking about this for you all because the first principle of Love Yourself Thin is weight loss science is simple. And I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how it affects our brain when we think, well, if it’s simple why is it so hard? Why isn’t it easy? And we get really mad at ourselves, we get really angry at ourselves, and we start thinking about how we’re not good enough, or we blame other people, and it just heads us down that shame blame cycle. And it doesn’t allow us opportunities for growth.
So, in this episode I’m going to show you how for sure you aren’t broken. I’m going to walk you through a very helpful exercise that will show you where your brain is getting tripped up. So, we’re going to explore why simple isn’t always easy. And I’m going to show it to you in lots of other ways. And in fact, the handout for today I highly recommend that you print it out as you’re listening to this or listening to it the second time or third time. Because the handout is really extensive.
And it’s going to help you really see what’s happening not only in your life with weight loss, but maybe some other areas as well. So, I’m going to walk you through that so that you can see where your brain is. And how I like to think about this, I don’t know if you’ve watched Back to the Future but the scientist, when he wakes up in the morning I think it’s the alarm clock. I don’t remember exactly. But the alarm clock goes off and then it triggers one thing.
So, I think about a marble going down a chute, and then that chute then has a fan, and then that goes around. Then it triggers a string, and then that string is attached to, and then a bowling ball falls down and then the toaster comes or whatever it is. I think he had one for feeding the dog. And then I think he had one for making himself coffee and breakfast or something. But that’s kind of how our brain is. And our brain has a thought and then it triggers this and then it triggers that. And then we have all these things happening.
And so, I’m going to show you why you aren’t able to have the weight loss that you want even though you know it’s simple, we’ve all had checklists. We’ve all seen it. Why is it such a problem? So going to be really helpful for you. And I am so thrilled that you’re here.
So, before we get into the bulk of the podcast I do want to celebrate one of my clients. She has been a member for six weeks now. She’s always struggled with her weight. A lot of times when I ask ladies, “What was your goal weight,” she doesn’t really have one. And so, it’s always been a really big struggle for her. And she had two really big celebrations, one was she babysat at her daughter’s and her daughter always has all the most amazing snacks and she had no desire to go to the pantry and eat any of them.
And even at her home which she knows that there’s bags of chips above the fridge and she doesn’t even have a desire to have any of them. And the most exciting thing for her is that she’s down 13 pounds in six weeks and it hasn’t even felt stressful, or difficult, or a challenge. And she’s just so surprised by it. So, it’s just really fun to celebrate her and all the successes that are happening. And I share these with you so that you know that it’s totally possible. She was a podcast listener just like you six weeks ago and doubted that she could have success.
And as she’s learning the Love Yourself Thin process she’s just seeing how simple it is and it’s really exciting for her. And so, I do want to just share with you that it’s totally possible for any of you. And I just love that I can help you learn the Love Yourself Thin process even before you come inside. So, are you ready?
We’re going to dive into this now. So, if you are chain piecing or going for a walk I’m so glad to be in your ear. And this is going to really help you. Alright, so the first thing I want to share with you is we were born, and we have taste, touch, sight, some of us, sound. We have our five senses. But there is a sixth sense that we aren’t really aware of. And this is our sense of emotions or feelings. And when I say this, we are constantly saying things like I feel bad, she hurt my feelings. I feel lonely or I feel guilty. And so, we have all of these different feelings.
And every time we say that we actually have a vibration response in our body. So, for example if I say, I feel sad, it can feel like a heaviness in my stomach. Or I feel guilty, that usually is like a pit in the lower part of my belly. Or she hurt my feelings, I could feel really, I just have an emotional response. That’s why we know it’s part of our senses. But we haven’t really been taught how to work through them. We don’t really know what to do with those feelings. And emotions are really a very important role in our life experience.
And I like to think about, for example, a baby, when a baby cries, even though we have this feeling of comfort being in our bed and being really comfortable, because we have an emotional response to a baby crying of I love that baby, I want to take care of that baby. That vibrational response compels us to get out of our comfortable warm bed and go and take care of that baby. So, when we talk about emotions being part of our senses, they help us to survive. But we haven’t really been taught how to fully capitalize on this amazing sense that we have.
And so, this podcast is going to be so helpful in helping you know why weight loss is simple, but it hasn’t been easy. So emotional reactions are like I said, a normal part of the human experience. Now think back about your childhood, so you skinned your knee and you cried, you were often offered a lollypop to feel better. Or if you didn’t get a part in the school play you were offered a bowl of ice-cream with all the toppings.
In fact, even when you did something amazing, like scored 25 points in a basketball game or got the top award in a music festival there was usually some form of celebratory food like pizza or going out for dinner with ice-cream floats maybe, and even popcorn afterwards. So, what’s happened is we have our sixth sense is emotions and we are wired to feel emotions. And emotions are reactions to our daily life experiences, so a baby cries, you feel compassion. Emotions are just vibrations in our body.
So, sadness feels like a heaviness in the chest. Excited, you feel this wave of heat over your skin, or this jitteriness of this bouncing balls, can have a vibrational response of an increased heartbeat. So, you have not been taught to recognize or deal with emotions. And many of us have been taught to keep our mouths closed, or eat food, or don’t cry, we’ve been encouraged to buck up, all of those things, big girls don’t cry.
Whatever messages we were taught we got confusion of, I’m feeling this feeling, but I guess I shouldn’t do anything about it. And then what happens is you want to have relief from the emotions, like taking the baby, the example of the baby crying. You want to give support to that baby. You want to have relief from the emotion of sadness, or fear, or discomfort, or frustration, or overwhelm.
That is the contrary life experience, and you don’t know how to feel that emotion. And so, then you usually hide from it such as turn to the food or scroll on social media, maybe do some shopping, maybe even doing some gossiping, or even working. So, then there is no way of getting any form of relief. And you have been taught to turn to food when you don’t acknowledge the emotion. So, what happens is now food has become a counterfeit form of relief.
Now, I often tease with my clients that we get really dizzy from all of these efforts that we’ve had because we go around in circles to avoid the emotions. So let me talk you through it. And I know that all of you can relate to this in some form or another. So let me talk you through this.
You are working on a quilt project and it’s not really going as well as you’d hoped. So, you’re having some uncomfortable feelings of frustration let’s say. And you go to Facebook and then you’re like, I wonder what’s happening on Facebook and it’s a little dopamine hit. And then you check out Instagram, a little dopamine hit. And you see if there’s any new emails, let’s check that, that’s a dopamine hit that you need to attend to.
So, by now it’s time to go over to the pantry and so then you can get a little dopamine hit, even if it’s a healthy thing, some healthy crackers or something like that. And then you may throw in some Pinterest or some YouTube tutorials, and so you see this circle and you’re getting all these little dopamine hits from external sources. And now you have successfully avoided several uncomfortable feelings because then you think even, I’ve been on my phone long enough, but you’re like, but I need to go check on my email.
Now I need to check on this one YouTube tutorial. It feels really important because I think that so and so has this really good – Dara has this really great strategy for free motion quilting. I should go check out her YouTube channel there. So, it feels kind of important. You’re getting a dopamine hit and all the time you’re avoiding this uncomfortable feeling. So, you come back to do some things around the house. You’re like, okay, I’d better clean the bathroom or maybe I’ll sort through some of my scraps so I can at least feel like I did something.
So, you’re trying to give yourself that, your own dopamine hit but then you’ve got this other uncomfortable feeling creeps back. And so, what do you do? You go back to what’s been going on, on Facebook, Instagram, emails, the pantry. That’s why I say you get so dizzy because you’re doing the same thing, you’re running around in circles over and over. So, the first principle of Love Yourself Thin is that weight loss science is simple.
So, I talk about, it’s just like a car, when you fill up your tank in your car, you don’t use up the fuel and you keep trying to put more fuel in your car. Obviously, it can’t go anywhere other than you have to fill up a bunch of gas cans and in Canada we call them jerrycans. So now you’re walking around with a bunch of jerrycans. And essentially that’s what’s happening with our fat. So fat is just stored food, calories, we eat the food, it turns into stored fat. That’s all that’s happening.
And so, if we want to lose weight we have to start using the stored fat that we’re holding onto our bodies. It’s just like we don’t need to go fill up the car all the time, we can actually start filling up the car with the jerrycans. So, this is the problem. It is simple but it’s not easy. And the reason it’s not easy is because we are part of a human experience. We have feelings, we have emotions which are vibrations in our body. And life causes us to have conflict.
So, in order to feel a vibration of joy we have to be willing to have the vibration of pain or sorrow so that we do know the difference between this is joy and this is sorrow. And life, we have to have the opposite to experience it. So, life causes conflict, that is part of our life. So, a baby cries, we want to take care of it. We hear someone who is rude, we want to have more compassion. So, life causes conflict, that’s part of life. So many people avoid conflict at all costs. But then what they don’t realize is that avoiding conflict, it’s just causing more conflict for them.
And that’s actually an upcoming episode. So, I’m going to go more into that, don’t you worry. So, through all the inherent conflict of the human experience what we all seek is relief. You want to take that big sigh of relief where you will feel that everything is going to be okay. That is what relief is. It’s like a release of tension. And so, when you think about your favorite movie, what is your favorite movie? The better the tension, the movie can create this tension the better the ending.
So, my older son’s favorite movie and the first one he ever watched, so it was his favorite was Dumbo. And it was such an amazing movie because it created such a feeling of tension of this poor little baby elephant not able to be with his momma. And then they build up all this tension of how is he going to survive without his momma? And then he had all the different problems with the crows and with the circus animals or the circus clowns. I can’t remember all the details. But they just build over and over, how is this little baby elephant going to survive in this big bad world?
And so, it was just such a build of emotion which is amazing for a movie because we all want to feel relief. And so, at the end when Dumbo finally took this thing that was causing him so much problem, when they became the solution it was like, we could all just feel like, yes, it’s all worth it. And so, the issue that we have is that when we don’t allow these uncomfortable – and when I was first writing this podcast I was thinking of negative emotion. But a lot of us have discomfort with positive emotion. If someone compliments you it feels kind of awkward especially if you don’t believe it.
And I have talked about this in previous episodes. So, when you are just allowing yourself to feel that uncomfortable emotion also known as a tension with reacting to it, you will allow the relief to be there. And food is a huge form of counterfeit relief. Food is a way to hide away from that uncomfortable feeling. Food gives your body a dopamine hit. Food distracts you, distracts the body from the emotion. And to no fault of our parents or our society, they’re always just the way things were.
You were trained to eat food when emotions were high instead of learning just how to be with the emotion. And it’s interesting to watch at grocery stores now. They don’t do that anymore, they don’t offer a sucker, they offer a sticker. So, this is where the troubleshooting comes in. So, what I have done in the handout is I’ve asked you, first of all I’ve asked you a few questions.
So, when you make dinner, how often do you simply do all the dishes and just put them away. We just know it’s simple, you know how to do dishes, you know it’s super easy. You know you get the hot water, the soap. You know how simple doing dishes is, the process but why do you push it off? Another one is when you buy new fabric, how often do you make the project you set out to make? The directions are step by step, the pattern is very clear and simple so why haven’t you completed it?
When you see a mess that you know where everything belongs and you have a simple process, you’re like, I know how to fold my clothes. I know that they belong on hangers, or they belong in this drawer. What is stopping you from putting that mess away? When you have a problem with your taxes and it’s a simple solution just to ask your accountant and be like, “Hey, I have this question about it,” why haven’t you solved it?
Another one is you see lots of ladies have success with this new method of piecing half square triangles and you’ve watched YouTube videos on how simple it is, you’re in Facebook groups of people who show how simple it is, they keep saying, “Oh my goodness, it’s saved me so much time on not having to square these up.” What’s stopping you from doing that? What is so hard? You’re confused by this pattern, what I want you to know that it’s totally normal to be confused, it’s okay. You can just be confused, you can just let yourself.
Another one is I’m mad at the guild for the decision they made. Did you know that it’s totally normal to have emotions of mad when people don’t always listen to what you say or don’t agree with you? Totally fine, it’s totally normal. So, talking about the war is scary, of course. Of course, you’re afraid. Of course, it’s unsettling. And it’s part of your human experience to be uncomfortable with watching other people suffer. It is totally normal.
I’m embarrassed about my weight, this one comes up a lot. We have heard a lot of different people’s opinions of people who are overweight. And so, when you feel embarrassed it is the absolute normal reaction for a human, if they have heard people say, overweight people are lazy, or overweight people are this, or whatever it has been, of course it’s going to be, you’re going to feel embarrassed about yourself.
So, I just wanted to kind of talk you through the handout because I do really, I put a lot of thought and effort in these because I know how our brains work. And I know how we can change our brain. I see it every day inside Love Yourself Thin and I want to give you just a taste of it so that you don’t have to be suffering so much anymore.
So, let’s go to the troubleshooting, this is that part where the contraption is, where the marble goes down the chute and then it goes around a circle like a windmill, and then it prompts something else. This is where I want to figure out where in your brain do you go off? Where is it that causes the problem? So, I’m going to take a real life example. You’re going to go to a fabric store, it’s been a long time, COVID’s been happening and finally you can go to the shop. In some places you don’t even need to wear masks anymore.
And you actually catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror of your car and you notice your double chain and you kind of get annoyed with yourself. So, you have an uncomfortable feeling. Then you get into the shop, and you notice that one of your friends has taken off some weight during COVID and then it reminds you that you’ve put on 15 pounds. And so, your face gets a little bit red. So, there’s another uncomfortable feeling. So, you start to grow frustrated with yourself by not taking better care of yourself.
And because you don’t want to really feel that negative emotion, you don’t want to still allow it to be there, you buy more fabric than you planned. So, you’re seeking that dopamine hit outside of you and you buy some more fabric. So, then you’re driving home, and you notice when you put on your seatbelt, you notice that little extra bulge that wasn’t there before COVID and you’re feeling kind of down on yourself because you went, and you overspent and so you’re kind of feeling a little bit embarrassed about that.
And you think about all the fabric you have already that you had all sorts of intentions for, and you happen to catch the Starbucks sign and you think, you know what? It would really calm me down to have an apple cider with the whipping cream and the caramel, that always kind of calms me down. So, you see how the pattern is going in your brain? You have another uncomfortable feeling so instead of just allowing it to be there, you’re now going through the Starbucks getting the apple cider with the caramel drizzle on the whipping cream.
And so now your annoyance in your friend losing the weight and you gaining the weight has produced this urge to buy the extra fabric, get the sugary drink, all of that. So, at any point that you have felt this uncomfortable feeling you could just allow yourself to just be with that emotion. And so, when you just allow yourself and give yourself permission, yeah, of course I feel this way. That allowance is the relief that you’re seeking. It’s the I am being a human and I am having a human experience.
So, do you see how when you use all of that resistance you’re now creating all of these more uncomfortable feelings? It’s just exasperating. I like to give the example of when you have a pop bottle and you keep shaking the pop bottle, it’s just making it worse and worse.
And so, I wanted to just walk you through one of the things that we do in Love Yourself Thin, and this is going to be so helpful for you because it’s normal to have these negative thoughts or these thoughts that make you feel uncomfortable. So, you have thoughts like I am fat. I don’t want to be fat. I’m so tired of being overweight. I don’t like how I look. I don’t like my clothes. I have tried so many things, nothing works for me.
So, all of those thoughts they just come, that’s part of being a human. But when you resist them what happens is you put yourself in such a negative place that it’s never possible for you to have any sort of change. And so, this is the work that we’re going to do is we’re going to just acknowledge them. And then we can just shift slightly, I am fat, how does that make you feel, what is that emotion? I don’t want to be fat. I’m tired of being overweight, is that overwhelmed? I don’t like how I look, is that disgust?
I don’t like my clothes, frustration. I’ve tried so many things, overwhelm, whatever those are. So, whatever those negative emotions are or the emotions that we have, those vibrations and if we don’t allow them then we’re seeking relief. So, let’s go to shifting that emotion to let’s say my feet would feel better for sure when I lose a little weight. So, what is the emotion from that thought? Is it hope? Is it maybe encouragement? Less focus on not being nice to yourself and just kind of acceptance of, well, if I do this.
It’s almost like a logic, do you hear how I’m brainstorming different emotions that could come from that? Here’s another one, you are delicious but don’t help me feel good in my body. I like being in charge of my actions. So, knowing that you can decide what you put in your mouth, that gives you a sense of empowerment, a feeling of empowerment. I can take care of myself without using food. So, self-acceptance, self-awareness, empowerment. So, do you see, even just a slight shift of our thoughts can cause a different vibration in our body?
And now we’re learning, we have the sixth sense, emotions, they have a physical reaction, we have an emotional response. That now we can see, we can use that to our advantage. So, you know I have five children, so you can imagine it wasn’t always rainbows and daisies raising these kids. And so, I always tell my kids, it takes two to fight. Because if they got in a fight I would say, “You’re both responsible.” And then one would say, “Oh no, but they made me.” I said, “No, it takes two to fight.”
So, when you don’t react to the discomfort of that emotion then you don’t have to seek relief through food. So, this has been a really heavy podcast and as far as really looking at taking responsibility for our weight. And truly seeing that weight loss is simple and it’s not easy and that’s okay. And the reason it hasn’t been okay is because you just haven’t learned to be comfortable with discomfort, with uncomfortable emotions.
This is the simple process, and I wrote in my notes when I was planning this podcast, I asked myself, what makes something easy? Well, something is easy when you have practice at doing it. Something is easy when you know what to expect. And something is easy when there doesn’t have to be a lot of thought in it.
So, when you first started quilting, I’m just going to give my example of free motion quilting. At the beginning it was painful, awful, horrible I hated it. I was like, “This is terrible.” And even when I doodled it wasn’t smooth, it wasn’t pretty, it did not look like how the ladies did it on the tutorials. But I was able to just practice doing it. So, these three steps are going to help you to really make weight loss not only that it is simple, but it will become easier for you.
So, number one, recognize the uncomfortable emotion. Too many of us just all of a sudden find ourselves with an empty bag of potato chips and we don’t even know what happened. So, we’ve got to recognize that I’m having an uncomfortable emotion. Now, this is the part where I say, it’s like hide and seek with your emotions. So, you’ve got to name the emotion, but what helps you to do that is put your hand on your chest and say, “I’m feeling the uncomfortable emotion of pride.”
It’s so fun when my clients do that, they’re like, “I’m actually proud of myself.” This is uncomfortable for them. Or you could say, “I’m feeling disappointed. I’m feeling really overwhelmed,” whatever that emotion is you put your hand on your chest, that’s number two.
And number three is, allow it to be there for when you don’t react to it you won’t have that opposing emotion that you need to seek relief from. So just like a good movie, we don’t need to have a lot of drama. Movies are amazing because it’s very high drama, it’s very exciting, it kind of sweeps us off our feet.
We have all sorts of emotion but when we create this experience for ourselves with our bodies and really applying weight loss to truly knowing everything I put in my mouth is there to serve me and I don’t need to turn to food for any sort of relief. I’m actually using food to just make my body healthy and strong. That’s where it becomes sustainable. That’s where it becomes achievable and doable. So, thank you so much for joining me with this. When you really apply these tools, weight loss will be simple and easy. You’re welcome.
It has been a great pleasure preparing this podcast for you. I have created a four day master course on how to take the mystery out of weight loss in three steps. Weight loss is going to be attainable, doable, and sustainable. You can expect to leave this master course with a simple and easy way to overcome these common weight loss stumbling blocks. You’re going to know what to put in your mouth, when to put it in your mouth, how to do it with confidence knowing that it will get you to the desired weight and stay there.
This course starts April 18th and goes through until the 24th. And as a signing bonus you will get the ultimate late night snacking guide as soon as you register. I can’t wait to see you there. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Quilters. If you want more info, please visit daratomasson.com. See you next week.