Journey Beyond Weight Loss

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Common Mindset Mistakes: Your Thoughts Matter!

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How you THINK about your weight loss journey will either MAKE your or BREAK you! Today we explore the importance of how our mental attitude about what we are doing is so critical to our success.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
5:53 The way you think about this entire weight loss journey is either going to make you, or break you!
10:34 Weight gain is not the real problem. It's a symptom of a disease called obesity.
15:40 You do not have to be miserable starving yourself and doing crazy rigid exercise programs in order to lose fat.

--- Full Raw Transcription of Podcast Below ---

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:00):
You're listening to the, keep the weight off podcast with Dr. Angela episode. Number 20.Welcome to The Keep The Weight Off podcast, where we bust all the dieting myths and discover not just how to lose weight, but more importantly, how to keep it off. We go way beyond the food and we use science and psychology to give you strategies that work. And now your host, Dr. Angela Zechmann.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:27):
Hey Everyone, and welcome back to the podcast. This week I wanted to talk about something very fundamental in your weight loss journey, but something that almost no one thinks about. And that is like what we're thinking, what are our thoughts? Or I guess you could also call it our mindset, how we think about this weight loss journey that we're on. And I really want to drill down on this because the way you think about this whole journey is either gonna make or break it for you. So Marchelle, we see this all the time, right? Like some people just seem to know how to talk themselves through their struggles and others don't. And so they give up almost instantly when something happens and they slip up and you've had a lot of experience with this, right?

Marchelle (01:21):
Oh my gosh. Yeah, this is all so mental you guys.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:27):
So the way that you're talking to yourself, as you're moving through this journey just matters a heck of a lot. And so that's what I want to talk to you about today. So let's say for example, that we have a patient and her name or client online, and her name is Lisa. So this is a hypothetical patient. This isn't any one particular person. But these are the stories that we always hear. And let's say that Lisa has been struggling with her weight for decades. And so she's like in her fifties now, and she's been on all these various diets over the years, she probably started dieting when she was a teenager, maybe even younger. She's been in and out of weight Watchers. She's tried HCG shots. She's tried Keto, she's done intermittent fasting. She had a lap band for a while and that got filled and then unfilled and then taken out eventually just lots of different things.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:25):
And they always worked well while she was in that process. But then as soon as she stopped, she gained all the weight back and usually more cause that's how it works. And so by the time she meets us, she's feeling pretty discouraged and she thinks there's something wrong with her. She's thinking, she's the thoughts she's thinking are why can't I figure this out? There's something wrong with me. My weight is a burden that I have had to deal with for my entire life. And so this is such a frequent story and our patients will be in tears as they tell us about their struggles. And Lisa is feeling desperate and she, she feels like she'll do almost anything to get this under control once and for all. And she feels that unless she's suffering with hunger, she's not going to lose weight. And she thinks that she has to be on a rigid exercise program to lose weight.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (03:25):
And so that she's burning off all kinds of calories. And she thinks she has to deny herself foods that she loves. And she has to suffer to get the weight off because that's actually, what's worked for her in the past. So this is the sort of mindset that she comes to us with. Okay. So that's patient Lisa.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (03:45):
So now let's take a different patient and let's call her Beth. And again, this is not any particular patient. This is just a conglomeration of stories that we always hear. So Beth is also in her fifties and she's got a similar story to Lisa's with her weight. I mean, it's a really common story. She's tried it all. She suffered the ups and downs of the struggle. And she's beginning to recognize that she needs to approach this a little bit differently this time. She's not exactly sure how, but she's just, you can just tell that her brain is thinking different thoughts. She's tired of all the diets. She's tired of all the deprivation. She's wondering if maybe she shouldn't take things a little bit more slowly and she's open to learning something new. So listeners, I'm going to ask you, who do you think is going to be more successful at losing the weight and keeping it off? Do you think Lisa is going to be more successful or do you think Beth is going to be more successful? So what do you think Marshall?

Marchelle (05:00):
I definitely, I know that Beth is going to be more successful, but I would say that I meet more Lisa's coming into the clinic. I mean, Lisa, I mean, I didn't do some of the procedures, I had like that desperate - I've done everything and I don't think anything's going to work type of attitude. And I definitely doubted doing your program at first because I just thought, oh, I messed up my metabolism. There's nothing else I can do. And I just, I just had given up on myself and and I was in like a really dark place. And I mean, I, of course, I know that Beth is going to be more successful because she's open-minded

Dr. Angela Zechmann (05:42):
Right. Yeah. She's open-minded and she's willing to learn some new things. And so for our listeners, what I want you to understand is that the way you think about this weight loss journey is going to make you or break you

Marchelle (06:01):
That's 100% correct!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (06:03):
Yeah. So here are some common mistakes that we see all the time. The first is what's typically called all or none thinking or all or nothing thinking. So this is where someone thinks that they have to be perfect at this. So they're either all in, on their diet eating perfectly or they're not. And you know what that means. They're kind of in this state of self-judgment and they're beating themselves up for not being perfect, right. There's a real good or bad thing going on in their heads. So I'm doing really ""good"" on my diet or doing really ""bad"" on my diet. Sometimes they're good during the day. And I'm putting in, in my head, I've got the word ""good"" and the word ""bad"" in quotes. Right. So they're ""good"" during the day and ""bad"" at night, or they're ""good"" during the week and ""bad"" on the weekends, or they're ""good"" unless they're out of town and then they're ""bad"" on vacation.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:05):
So you kind of get a sense that, you know, they're kind of, there's this whole on-off thing going on in their heads. Right. And when they're on, they're great and they're tracking everything and they're like really rigid. And then when they're off, they're like off the deep end. And so these kinds of ideas, you know, as we've been on and off diets over the years, these ideas have been strengthened in our heads because we've noticed that when we're ""good"", again, quotes around that we're losing weight and when we're ""bad"", we're not. So it kind of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So what I want you to understand is that no one is either all good or all bad. We're all imperfect. That's what makes us human. And so you're never going to be perfect at this journey and you shouldn't expect yourself to be perfect at this journey.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:05):
And just because there are a few imperfections along the way does not mean that you're failing. It just means that you're a human being on a journey. Okay. So there's no such thing as all or none when it comes to weight loss, a successful weight loss journey is a journey of immense, emotional and spiritual growth. As you learn to stop eating your way through your emotions, you discover what you're really feeling, and you discover who you really are and you discover the ridiculousness of trying to be perfect at all of this. And that is what is so profound about the weight loss journey when done right from an attitude of growth and evolution. Okay. So that's what I want you to understand. So what do you think about that, Marchelle?

Marchelle (09:03):
I don't know. I'm getting tears right now because I feel like just thinking back on, you know, some of the struggles that I've had and, and just even right now, I mean, I feel like you're talking right to me.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:16):
Yeah. I mean, it's just, it's an imperfect journey and it's it's supposed to be, it's not supposed to be perfect. We're not supposed to...

Marchelle (09:24):
We're talking about emotions and it's making me emotional!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:31):
Exactly! Well, here is the second mistake. So the first mistake is all or none thinking. The second mistake is thinking that the weight is the problem. Okay. And thinking that weight loss is going to bring happiness. Okay. So what I can say is that losing weight is definitely gonna make your life a lot easier and a lot more fun because you get to do more things, but it's not going to bring happiness. And it's the same thing with wealth actually. How many times have you heard that money doesn't make you happy? And it doesn't! Money makes life easier and brings more choices. Same thing as weight loss, right. Makes life easier and brings more choices, but it doesn't bring happiness. So, you know, there are a lot of suicidal, rich, skinny people out there. And we hear about them all the time. So obviously it takes more to be happy than being thin and being rich.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:31):
So here's the truth. Weight gain is not the real problem. Weight gain is a symptom. It's a symptom of a disease called obesity. And getting this disease under control requires much more than a diet and an exercise program or even medications or even surgery. Getting this disease under control requires learning how to think differently and how to manage your emotions differently and learning how to be happy along the way, weight loss doesn't bring happiness. It's actually the other way around happiness brings weight loss because when you're working at becoming a happier person, you learn not to tolerate negative self-destructive thoughts and you learn not to eat your way through them. Okay? So that is huge. That is absolutely huge. Happiness is what's going to bring weight loss. So shifting the way you think so that you are very loving and accepting of yourself, and you're not criticizing yourself all the time.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:44):
And you're not thinking that there's something wrong with you all the time. This is what will bring lasting weight loss. And our students in Journey Beyond Weight Loss are learning these skills. And they are absolutely amazing because they are learning how to manage their lives and how to manage this disease and keep it under control while experiencing all the ups and downs of life and not beating themselves up when things aren't going exactly the way they want them to go. Right. Okay. The third mistake that I oftentimes see is that people think they have to be miserable in order to lose weight. So they think that if they're not hungry, that means they're not going to burn fat and they're not going to lose weight. This actually couldn't be further from the truth because when your body is burning fat, it's actually really good fuel source and you don't really feel all that hungry. So that's interesting.

Marchelle (12:43):
I actually don't... Can you explain that a little bit to me? Cause I didn't really understand that. So people think if they're not hungry, they're not going to burn fat or lose weight.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:54):
So a lot of people think that fat loss happens because they feel hungry and that's when the body's going to get fat for energy instead of using the food that they've eaten. Oh, okay. I

Marchelle (13:08):
Didn't even know this. I've never heard of this way of thinking.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:11):
Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That's kind of, that's one of those thoughts this brought on in the diet industry that, oh no, you have to be hungry. That hunger means that your body is in the process of turning to fat storage for energy. Oh, okay. That if you can just ride out the hunger then, and your body will turn to fat and you will get the energy from your fat instead.

Marchelle (13:38):
That makes more sense. Okay.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:39):
Yeah. Yeah.

Marchelle (13:43):
So you ride out the hunger then burning fat.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:46):
Then you'll start burning fat. Right. Okay. Okay. So, so I just want our podcast listeners to know that that's sort of a myth that, that you, you want to feel hungry before meals, you should be wanting to eat before it's mealtime, but you shouldn't be laying in bed hungry at night and suffering. And you know, having all of these food thoughts all the time that that's, that's actually, when you're starving your body and I've been through these rigid diets myself, and I know what that's like, and it's like, you just have all of these crazy food fantasies. It's like, cause you're, you're starving yourself. And you end up burning off a lot of muscle in the process and you end up really damaging your body's metabolism. You end up slowing everything down, slowing your body's energy metabolism down, reducing your what's called your basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories that you burn at rest or laying around doing nothing basically.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:47):
So you can really mess things up if you, if you do these super rigid diet programs and you know, like the biggest loser exercise programs and all that stuff it's, it's a lot of craziness. So I just want our listeners to understand you do not have to be miserable to lose weight. You want to have a body that is well fed and well-nourished with just the right amount of food so that it will turn to its fat for the extra energy. It needs a well-nourished body releases, the fat that it doesn't need. Okay. Now I don't want to bash exercise because exercise is really good for you. Don't get me wrong. And it's definitely going to help with weight maintenance, but exercise does not cause weight loss. Okay. So you do not have to be miserable, starving yourselves and doing crazy rigid exercise programs in order to lose fat.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:50):
So we want this to be a journey in which you're really learning how to respect your body and work with your body. And that's, what's going to allow for sustainable weight loss. Okay. Does that make sense?

Marchelle (16:03):
Yes, it does.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:05):
So those are the three boost, common mindset, mistakes. I see. Those are the most common ones. So there's the all or nothing thinking when you're thinking you ha you have to be really good or you're being bad. There's thinking that weight is the problem. And that weight loss is going to bring happiness. And then also thinking that you have to be miserable in order to lose weight. And it's so interesting because can you see that we've been trained by the diet industry into thinking that misery brings happiness? Isn't that? Yeah. Isn't that kind of interesting. If we're miserable, then we'll be happy. That makes no sense.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:45):
And it's never going to work long-term. So sustainable weight loss comes from shifting the way you think, and not from crazy low calorie diets and rigid and unsustainable exercise programs. You want to be thinking about shifting the way you live your life. You want to be thinking about how you think about yourself and how do you think about yourself when you're making mistakes, where you don't show up the way you wanted to show up. You want to learn how to treat yourself with compassion. You want to become your own best friend and coach. This journey is yours. And no one else's. We work really hard with our patients in the office and with our online clients to help them understand how important this desire is, not just to them. And I'm talking about this desire to lose weight and get healthy. This desire is important, not just to them, but to everyone around them. And we help them learn how to treat themselves kindly. We teach them how to think fundamentally differently so that their weight loss is a natural result of solving the real problem, which is getting this disease under control and shifting all of these flawed thinking patterns. So we discuss all of this in detail in the online course and membership called Journey Beyond Weight Loss. And if you want to learn more, just head on over to So I think that's... Do you have any other comments, Marchelle or questions or anything?

Marchelle (18:25):
No.. I'm glad that we did this podcast on this subject because I really needed to hear about this right now.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (18:34):
I think that a lot of people really need to hear this right now. I think it's just one of those super, super important topics to bring up. And we'll probably do more podcasts in the future because eventually podcast episode 20 is going to be way down the line. And so we'll have to we'll do it again too. And there's always more, I mean, there's more to this as well. It's just, it's a very deep subject. So how do you think, what do you think, what do you think about yourself? What do you think about your journey? It's all super, super important and it's actually the crux of the transformation that needs to take place. Okay. Very good. So thanks for listening in everyone and we will see you all again. Next week, I have a very special episode where I am going to be interviewing my mentor, Dr. Allen Rader, and that is going to be super, super fun. So make sure you tune in next week to take care of everyone. Bye-Bye

Closing (19:31):
Hey, if you really want to lose weight and keep it off for good, your next step is to sign up for Dr. Angela's free weight loss course, where you're going to learn everything you need to get started on your weight loss journey, the right way, just head over to to sign up. Also, it would be awesome if you could take a few moments and write a review on iTunes. Thanks. And we'll see you in Journey Beyond Weight Loss.

- Dr. Angela


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