Although life isn’t a battle of the best where we’re constantly being evaluated for our worth, it can feel like it a lot of the time. We wouldn’t tell our children they weren’t worthy for not being “successful,” so at what point did we decide that our worth and value as humans was up for scrutinization?
Tune in this week to discover the power of believing in your inherent worth. Seeing it is going to give you so much freedom to incorporate more fun and meaning into your life, and I’m showing you why letting outside factors impact your worth will never serve your goals and dreams.
Do you often feel like you’re never going to get to where you want to go, you’re tired and exhausted, and really worn out? Well, this is the right episode for you because I’m going to share with you how you cannot be so exhausted and you can actually feel so much more joy in your life. Are you ready to figure it out with me? Let’s go. I am Dara Tomasson and this is Weight Loss for Quilters episode six.
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 today’s episode. So, as I’m recording this my niece is in the Olympic Village, she is on the Canadian water polo team. I’ve been watching her all these years train and practice, make so many sacrifices. And last year was such a huge disappointment. And in fact, selfishly my daughter and I were going to, we actually bought our tickets to Japan. We had booked our reservations to a hotel. We had fundraised. I sold quilts.
And we were going to go and cheer her on, and of course with all the things that happened, last year the Olympics were cancelled, everything was cancelled. And of course, this year no one is able to go to Japan and cheer them on in person. And the reason I tell you this story, it has to do with today’s episode.
Life is not the Olympics. And you’re like, “Of course Dara, life is not the Olympics.” But I want you to think about this. Life is not a contest to see who the winner is. Life is not a battle of who’s the best. Life is not a competition where we are constantly being rated, evaluated and assessed. So even though I say that, I’m curious, is there part of you that says, “Well, I mean when you do get that one quilt done, or when you do weigh that certain amount, or when your house does look a certain way, or when you drive a certain kind of car, there actually is some status there, Dara?”
So, kind of going back to a previous episode, what does the world tell us our worth is? So, as I mentioned, our weight, the size of clothes that we wear, the house, the kind of car, vacation. Well, I want to tell you something, and this episode is going to give you so much freedom. Our worth is actually already set. We are a 100% worthy. So, it actually has nothing, our worth has nothing to do with the size of our clothes, the number on the scale, what kind of house we have, what kind of car we drive, or what kind of vacations we go on. It’s true.
I was thinking about this, let’s talk about inheritance, for example. So, some people when they’re born they just get an inheritance. They didn’t have to do anything to get that inheritance, other than just being born in that family. And I want to offer that all of us were born with an inheritance, we all are a 100% worthy. And no matter what we do in this life, will not determine our worth. Because our worth is already set.
Now, one of the things that I hear my clients say a lot is, “I need to earn it.” Or, “I need to deserve something. And I need to prove myself.” Well, I’m not saying that you don’t need to work hard and earn your money. I’m not saying that. But what I’m saying is your worth is already set.
So, let’s take the example of a brand new baby. So, when you see a brand new baby, they’re a 100% worthy. They’re so amazing. So, at what point do they need to start earning their worth? You might giggle a little bit but I’m being serious. At what point do you say? Do you say it to a five year old, “Well, you really need to clean your room better.” Or, “You don’t deserve this dessert.” Or, “You didn’t earn your dinner.”
So, as you think about these questions, and that’s one of my goals in this podcast is to really getting you to think about your thinking. Because as I mentioned previous, when you are not truly in control of your life, you’re always reactionary. It’s like life is happening to you, you’re watching a movie and all of a sudden it’s like, I have to do this thing and I have to do that thing. You never really feel in charge. That’s why so many women are becoming, I don’t really like the term ‘control freak’, I like to say control enthusiast.
But we become real control enthusiasts because we feel like I have to control everything or else I just feel so frazzled. And actually, what they really feel is a lot of fear because they don’t have that level of trust in themselves to know that they can handle any situation.
So, as I’m talking about this, I want to frame it in this context. Imagine you are a curator of a quilt museum. Let’s say you were asked to do a curated, a 1950s museum. And so, you are going to do this feature of the 1950s and so you put the word out there. I’m looking for anything from the 1950s. So, people bring you stuff from 1970, you’re like, “Sorry, no.” Or they bring you stuff from 1984. “No, I’m sorry.” Or even 1949. You’re like, “No, that’s not 50s.” So, the things that we think give us worth don’t. But I do want you to think about this idea of being selective about what you do put in your life.
So, the tool that I’m teaching you today is that your worth is already set. You don’t need to qualify yourselves. You just get to decide what would be more fun in your life. So, for example I gave the if you wanted to be having a 1950s museum, you could be the curator of that 1950s museum. And that really helps me think about this concept of things in the 1960s aren’t bad, and things in the 1940s aren’t bad. But your focus was on the 1950s and then you can be focused on that.
Let me give you a few more examples of what I mean when I’m talking about this. Because one of the things that happens is we have what’s called thought errors. So, have you ever watched The Family Feud? It’s such a fun show. I used to love watching that show when I was a kid. And I loved it when if they made a mistake it had that bit X. And so, when I think about thought errors I always imagine an X from Family Feud saying, “Not a good choice, Dara, that doesn’t serve you.”
So, a thought error is that our worth is connected to the number on the scale. That’s a thought error. Another thought error is if I don’t get everything done on my to do list, I’m not worthy. That’s a thought error. Because the fact is your worth is already set. And you just get to decide what kind of human you want to be. So, do you want to curate a 1950s museum piece? And so even in that you can be selective about that. But like I said at the beginning, life is not an Olympic sport. It is not the top elite that are going to be happy. That is not how life is.
So, here’s some examples to illustrate. So, before I became a life coach I called myself the free motion quilting liberator. So, I taught people how to do free motion quilting. And I have some amazing free motion quilting books. And I have a YouTube channel that I had my free motion quilting, I did demonstrations on and everything. And I have a longarm myself that I just now play on and have fun with.
So, when we decide, hey, I want to be a free motion quilter, I want to quilt my own quilts. Whether it’s, I don’t want to take them to the longarmer, or I just want to have that skill. Or if you are like me, you wanted to complete the quilt a 100% by you, and that could be I didn’t like depending on other people to do things for me. I wanted to do things all by myself. And so, I just decided I want to do free motion quilting.
So, if you’re running your life under the impression that my worth us based on my success, then you’re going to have a very difficult time. Because any time you learn anything new we have to be bad at it before we can get good at it. And so, we set realistic expectations. We are able to work through it and just trust that we can learn and we get self-satisfaction that we’re learning something. We’re challenging ourselves by growing and experiencing things as a human. And we don’t allow our what we produce impact our worth.
We allow ourselves to have the experience of being a human, of being a human that is going to be messy at first. And in fact, just a side note, when I first learned to free motion quilt, what I decided was I knew I was going to be not perfect at it. So, I got a lot of old sheets and fabric that I would never use, and I got some old batting scraps, and I just made quilt sandwiches. And I’d put on music. And I’d just put on some headphones and I allowed myself time to play and explore. And I just decided I was going to have fun.
So now I’m able to learn something new without making it mean that if I don’t do it in a certain time then that’s going to determine my worth.
So, let’s go to another example of number on the scale. So, the number on the scale has no correlation with our worth. So, whether you weigh 450 pounds, 350 pounds, 250 pounds, 150 pounds, it makes zero difference on your worth. Now, if you are carrying an extra 300 pounds around with you, you are going to be more tired. You are going to put more strain and stress on your knees, and your hips, and your ankles. And so, you might not have – and you might not even have as many freedoms.
I’m six feet tall, and if I had to climb through a very small tunnel, or a tube, or something, I literally have physical limitations that would not allow me to do that, because I am six feet tall. I have broad shoulders. But a four year old would be able to do that. So, all that happens when you weigh more is you have the actual consequence of what happens when you weigh more.
So, if you wanted to reduce the number on the scale, it’s just a way to have more fun in your life, more fun as in shopping might be a little bit more fun. You have a little bit more options when you weigh less. When you put your seatbelt on you might not have all the negative self-talk. When you get dressed in the morning if you are like me and just kind of punch yourself in the face and try on 500 different outfits, not 500, I’m exaggerating a little bit. But trying on a bunch of different outfits because I had so many negative thoughts about myself when I was getting dressed.
So, for me the idea of reducing the number on the scale just seems it would be more fun for me in my life. So, when I talk about turning to food for temporary comfort. One of the things I ask myself and my clients is I can have discomfort now of not eating the food. Or I could have discomfort later when I’m getting dressed, or when I’m stepping on a scale, or when I’m putting my seatbelt on, or when I’m going shopping.
So, now this is not an Olympic sport where the best wins. It’s just a decision of my worth is already set. It doesn’t matter how much I weigh, my value is there. But what sounds more fun for me? So even with the free motion quilting example, what would be more fun? Is it more fun for me to just keep working on this skill, and keep watching YouTube videos, and keep practicing, and keep just enhancing my skillset, or just take it to the longarmer? It literally has nothing to do with your worth. You’re not going to get scored, or rated, or put in the ranks. It’s just a decision of how do I want to have more fun?
I’m going to give you another example. One of the things I see a lot with myself still, it still comes around every once in a while and with my clients, is our relationship with the to do list. So, we have a to do list and we have expectations of the day. I call it, you’re being rated by the to do list. So, your value, you’re putting your value on how much you can accomplish. So, the problem with that is that you are now giving away your power and your decision of your worth by how busy you are, or by how much you get accomplished.
And so, you’re not able to just enjoy the things that you’re doing because you’re – I call this the treadmill. You’re just on this treadmill trying to accomplish all these things so you can feel good about yourself. But what I’m saying is the opposite. Your worth is already there. You don’t have to earn, you don’t have to tick anything or cross anything off a to do list. Now, I’m all about getting lots done and feeling accomplished. And there’s nothing wrong with challenge, in fact it’s wonderful and it’s fun to challenge yourself and to have more fun in life by accomplishing things.
I have a twilight garden from Lisa Bongean that one of my clients gave me. And I am petrified of this project. It is massive. I have never done hand stitching. And in fact, I had flesh eating disease in my right hand. And so, the middle finger nerve is dead. And so, my finger always feels like it’s frozen. And then I have some difficulties, some tension, and pressure, and stiffness in the palm of my hand and the back of my hand. It’s also kind of tingly. And so that effects my ability sometimes of doing this beautiful stitching.
And so, my worth is not set by if I can finish that twilight garden. But I decided that’s something that I would like to do. And it’s something that I think it would just be really fun for me to accomplish something so beautiful. And so, I have broken it down into different goals. I’m really good at cutting out the pieces. And I have many of those cut. And then I’m going to make a plan to improve my stitching quality and then I’ll be able to do that. And it has nothing to do with my worth. It literally is just what could be more fun in my life.
So, when I was writing my free motion quilting book, my first one, it was really interesting. On the keyboard oftentimes when I was writing the word ‘quilter’ I sometimes double pressed the T, and it became the word ‘quitter’. And I would often just laugh to myself and think, aha, we’re not quitters, we’re quilters.
And this idea of our worth is already set. And this idea of quitting on ourselves is very closely related because I want you to think about all the times that you’ve lost weight and put it back on again. I want you to think about all the quilts that you’ve started and you’ve quit on. I want you to think about all of the dreams that you had, the vacations you wanted to go on, or the languages you wanted to learn, or the different skills that you wanted to learn. And I want you to ask yourself, why did you stop doing that.
There’s a quote I have here, “It’s not a failure if you are still trying. You fail when you quit.” And so, I was thinking about this idea of quitting. And we go with having my niece in the Olympics. I think about we can’t make ourselves worth more. And we have been trying to make ourselves more worthy, but that’s not – that’s a thought error. It doesn’t work. When we complete a quilt or when we lose weight and keep it off, it’s not that we’ve made ourselves more worthy. Losing weight, it actually, to be honest, it is actually better in some ways for my life, for sure.
My thoughts about myself are better. I do have more energy. I have more trust in myself so my self-confidence has increased. I try things more than I would have. I am more involved in my life. So, my family has taken up surfing, and I will put a wetsuit on now and I will go and splash around and try some things, which I would never have done before. I participate more in life, for example the surfing. I have more energy and I can do more hiking and more of those kinds of adventures. Shopping for me is more interesting and it’s less painful, getting dressed in the morning.
So, I definitely have increased my joy in my life because I have different areas that have less pain. But as far as my worth, my husband loves me just the same. I can’t make myself more worthy. So, I like to look at the lens of what’s going on in my life that I don’t really like the results that I’m seeing? And how can I have more fun in my life? And so, when I have the focus of what could be more fun in life, instead of what am I worried about, and how do I have to prove myself, and how can I deserve something, and how can I earn something. Then now I’ve taken off a lot less pressure on myself.
I like to think about a bottle of pop. So, if you shake that bottle of pop over, and over, and over again you are creating a lot of pressure. So, if you shake up your life, I need to be better, I should do this, in order to be happy, I must. Every time we say those things to ourselves we are literally shaking up the pop bottle and putting more pressure on ourselves and on our lives. And so, the more pressure we have, the more intensity we have. And so, we tend to quit.
So, one of the concepts that I learned at The Life Coach School that has served me so well is this idea of it’s not a failure if you are still trying. You fail when you quit. And we talk about quitting ahead of time. And that will be for another podcast I’m sure. But I want you to allow yourself the opportunity for growth. There is a difference between thinking that life is the Olympics and everyone is rating you, and everyone is scrutinizing you, and you have to be exactly precise and precision. That definitely, if you’re going to be at the Olympic level on something, go for it, absolutely, no problem.
And I’m all about making goals, and I’m all about high success and achievement. I myself love to challenge myself. In fact, the very last quilt I did for hire was the most complicated quilt I ever had done. She brought me the quilt and she said, “I want you to do this exactly like this picture.” And I was able to do that for her. I had worked so hard and developed my skill at such a high level that I could accomplish such a task. And there is a lot of joy and a lot of self-satisfaction when you push yourself in that way.
But the motive behind it is completely different if you say to myself, I want to just do this for fun. I want to elevate myself. I want to be the best. The same thing with life coaching. I am always investing in myself. I’m always fine-tuning my skill. I want to always be the best at what I do because that is integrity with the kind of person I want to be. That is a very different energy than, I have to be the best. I have to do everything at the highest level in order to feel good about myself, in order to deem myself worthy, in order to deserve it or to prove myself. It’s a very different energy.
Alright, so I’m going to recap everything that I said on this podcast. Are you ready? So, if you are stitching, or if you are chain piecing, or if you’re doing the dishes, hear me. Your value, your worth is already set. The day you were born your worth is there. So, there is nothing you can do to increase your worth or to decrease your worth. You have the same worth as Oprah. You have the same worth as your neighbor, as a person on the street. All of our worth is the same. It’s already been decided.
So, you don’t need to earn anything. You don’t have to deserve anything. You don’t have to prove yourself. Your worth is there. And life is not the Olympics. You don’t have to be continuously perfecting and refining everything to have your worth or your value. That’s not the way it works. So, it’s not a contest to see who’s the winner. It’s not a battle of the best. It’s not a competition where you’re constantly being rated, evaluated or assessed.
So, what kind of life do you want to have? And one of my favorite questions is, what could be more fun? And I want to offer the analogy I gave of the curated museum. So, my life is like a curated museum. I get to decide what kind of life I want to have. And I get to decide why I want to have that life. So, when I was in such a funk about my weight, and my life, and things weren’t the way I wanted it to be, I just decided that wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time or energy. I wanted to have a life where I had joy. And the funnest part was I didn’t have to lose weight to feel joy.
And I’m going to tell one more story before I close. So, I met my first life coach in 2018 in the summer. And she taught me six or seven lessons. And she gave me the steps of how to lose weight. And she taught me how, with the episode we just had were thoughts versus circumstances. And she started teaching me all these tools. How to manage this mind of mind that I kept escaping because I didn’t like my mind. I thought my mind was a problem. It wasn’t getting me the results. And I didn’t feel like I could trust my mind because I was overweight, and unhappy, and all of the things.
And so, I just started to apply the tools. I decided that I was going to start watching my thoughts and deciding what kind of thoughts that I wanted. And it was super fun because as I did the work I realized that I could actually be able to get results in my life that I wanted. And I started losing weight. And we did a photoshoot in my studio in May of 2019. And I remember I had lost 30 pounds and I was thrilled. I weighed 170 pounds. And when I was married I weighed 164.
So, I had this beautiful studio, I made it really cute and all the things. And I remember the photographer, she showed me some of the pictures, and I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that was me. I was so excited about what I had done that I had been working since August on curating this life for myself of curating a life of creativity and managing my mind. I was teaching more. I had an online class. I was teaching in different cities and it was really fun. And I looked at myself in a way of just so much admiration. And it was a very unusual feeling for me because in the past my worth came from what other people said. And that’s where I got my validation.
So, I remember just feeling so proud of myself. And my husband put that one picture on his screensaver and he took it to work. And he told people, “Yeah, this is my wife. Isn’t she so beautiful?” And I just looked at those pictures and looked at myself in a way I had never before. And I just started really enjoying my life.
And I weighed myself every day. And that was just normal. I didn’t really think much of it. And then in September I realized that I weighed less than I did when I got married. And I was so surprised. And then at Christmas I realized I weighed 150 pounds. I had lost just over 50 pounds. But the last 20 pounds I didn’t even intend to lose. I was so happy with weighing 170. And that’s when I really understood what I teach my clients is to love yourself, to take care of yourself. And when you do that, you are so much kinder.
And this ties to today’s episode where your worth is already set. You don’t have to prove yourself to anybody. You don’t have to earn anything from anyone. So many clients say, “Well, I don’t deserve it. I need to earn it.” It’s actually a thought error. If we were on The Family Feud, you’d get X’d.
So, thank you so much for joining me on this episode. I’m so happy you’re here. And I want you to know that change is very possible and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. These concepts that I teach my clients and that I have learned, my life is so totally different than it was. And the funnest part about it is that I still have a wonky kitchen. And I still have a minivan with a big old scratch that my mother-in-law accidentally put in it.
My circumstances like I said in the last episode, has nothing to do with the kind of joy and happiness that I have in my life. And I really want that for all of you as well.
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.