Journey Beyond Weight Loss

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Getting Back on Track After Vacation

Slips and splurges happen, and especially when we go on vacation or celebrate and important event. How do you help get yourself back on track for healthy eating and your weight loss goals?

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
13:26 Do you think it's more important to address what you're eating or do you think it's more important to address what you're thinking? Mind over matter!
15:06 We never use the word 'cheat' around here because we don't 'diet'.
30:04 Like Pavlov’s dogs, if we have an urge for something and we go ahead and satisfy that urge, our brains are going to expect that every time we have that urge, it's going to get satisfied. You can reprogram your brain so that if you have an urge, it will be extinguished!

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

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:00):
You are listening to the, keep the weight off podcast with Dr. Angela episode number 26.

Introduction (00:07):
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 (00:32):
So welcome back to the podcast. Hi everyone. Marchelle Is back! And so I'm super thrilled that you're back with us Marchelle. We had a couple of podcasts where you weren't there because you were off on vacation. And I went on vacation a little while ago too, and we're noticing lots of our patients and lots of our students and clients in journey beyond weight loss have been off on vacationing. And you know, what I have to say about that is it's really easy to get off track on vacation, and we hear this story over and over and over again, because we're not on our usual routines when we're on vacations, you're sort of at the mercy of what you can find. You're not really planning your meals or timing your meals. And so staying on track becomes a lot more challenging and, you know, frankly, a lot of times we might just decide that we want to have a few vacation splurges.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:37):
So the other thing that happens is all of the things that you do when you're at home to keep yourself sort of mentally stable. So for example, getting a good night's rest, getting regular exercise, those kinds of things sort of fly out the window too. And so then you don't have that stability that you need to be able to make good decisions. So - Marchelle, like you turned 50 in Mexico this month. That is so cool!

Marchelle (02:13):
So yeah, by the way, I'm back.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:16):
Yeah. So if you guys want to wish her a happy birthday in the comments feel free. That is awesome. So Marchelle, what was your vacation like? I mean, gosh, you must've had a great time.

New Speaker (02:28):
It was amazing. So we went to Mexico and Cancun. So my youngest son also graduated from high school, 2021, and I turned 50 two weeks after that. My husband's birthday is also the same day as mine, but he's a little younger, so it's hard for him.

Marchelle (02:54):
So it was amazing. What we did was we did an all inclusive resort and we stayed there for five days and I don't know if anybody else has been, you know, to these all-inclusive resorts. There's, there's like 11 restaurants you know, all the cocktails and sodas and whatever you can drink for free. They even had a Starbucks that you could have, you know, as much, you know, Frappuccinos and coffees and goodies as you'd like. Wow. And so I didn't know what I was getting myself into just because I'd never been to an all-inclusive resort. And before I left in my mind here, I was doing pretty good before we left. But in my mind I thought, okay, well, I'm sure they're going to have lots of healthy options. And I was really determined to make healthy choices and also even talk to Dr. Angela before I think we even did like a little bit of a prepping. And so first things first that happened is just getting to the airport. It was super early in the morning. And the only thing that was open and we all got hungry and the only thing that was open and was like McDonald's...

Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:14):
At the airport.

Marchelle (04:15):
Yes. So that was like the first mistake, I guess, that we made was we were just hungry. We didn't bring snacks. We didn't really think about that. And so we ate McDonald's and right there, I mean, I, I did not feel good after I eat that. I was already nervous about getting on the plane and it just put me into a funk. I just felt super heavy and kind of nauseous and all that good stuff. So we get to Mexico and we get into our resort and we realize like how much food is there?

Marchelle (04:49):
I mean, it's just mostly about laying by the pool and then eating and everywhere you turn was like a taco bar or taco station a burger station, you know, Asian restaurants, it's just food everywhere. And like I said, in bars everywhere, as a matter of fact, the first station that I ran into was a crepes bar that they're making. And it was just all the sweet stuff that you could want. And and that was like a huge temptation for me. But anyway, so we get there and they had this humongous breakfast buffet. I mean, it was so huge that you could barely see the end of it. And I know they had all of the right choices there. My intention, my intention was to, you know, just have the protein and the eggs. And I just don't know what happened. I ran into the French toast bar and I thought okay, like you just do a little bit and I'll also eat some protein also.

Marchelle (05:58):
I don't know what happened. I don't know if that's maybe what triggered like the cravings or whatever for carbs - plus they had 24 hour room service. You can order anything you want from room service. Oh my gosh, I'm not sure. But it was so much like wanting the bad foods. It was more just like maybe wanting to experience what we were experiencing and getting your money's worth. That was, that was it - getting my money's worth. So I, you know, so I did pretty well, you know, I can say that, you know, I did really bad. I didn't opt, you know, for all of the crappy foods and I didn't drink. See, that's another thing that is an issue for me is not only do I crave, you know, flour and sugar, but also I like to drink. So so that, you know, that was, that was the thing for me.

Marchelle (06:54):
And like I said, at first, I was doing pretty good. And then, you know, when I got this in my head, like I want to get my money's worth sort of like game on. They have a Sushi bar, you know, and in my mind I was thinking, okay, sushi is not really that bad, but if you think about it, I mean, there's a lot of carbs in rice. Right. So so just little by little, I could tell that, I mean, by the second day or maybe the third day, I was really starting to feel like bloated. I think there might've been a lot of salt in the food when it was so hot there.

Marchelle (07:45):
And so humid that we were sweating when you're, and when you're swimming in the really, really salty ocean, is it really dehydrated really fast? And I think I might've started retaining water. And then on my birthday, so I didn't drink at all, not going to drink, you know, maybe I'm going to splurge a little bit on some food, but I'm still gonna do the best that I can. And then on my birthday, we were sitting down to the cabana and my son said, well, I'm going to go check out the, the party pool and see what that's like. You know, we haven't been over there yet. And we could hear music, you know, pumping in the background and over and check it out too. So the minute that I jumped into the party pool, there was a party going on and everybody was drinking and dancing.

Marchelle (08:34):
And there was people from all over the world there and they were saying, hi, they're super friendly people.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:39):
And I'm sure they were with all that alcohol!

Marchelle (08:41):
You're right - you know, they're asking questions. I'm like, oh, it's my 50th birthday! Get her a drink of this and get her a drink to that. And people, you know, and we're all going to do shots. And so I just really got caught up in the moment. And and, and then at that moment, I didn't really think anything of it because I had been being good. You know? So I, I don't know. I play these tricks with my mind that if I deprive myself for a little while, it's okay to do it for a little while.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:13):
Yeah. Our brains think of all kinds of rationalizations.

Marchelle (09:16):
It was fun and I wanted to celebrate my birthday!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:16):
It was your 50th birthday. Yeah.

Marchelle (09:22):
It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I probably wouldn't come back here again and we're wonderful people and we were dancing. And then and then we, you know, we went home you know, we didn't stay out too late and went back to the hotel and went to sleep and got up the next day. And then the next day after that, I could really feel how dehydrated I was getting. And and that's, you know, that's kind of what made me start to think, okay. I need to start to replenish, you know, with some water and some protein and whatnot. So anyway, it was a great vacation. I didn't do horribly in my mind I don't think I did horribly because I always tell myself as you could have done a lot worse. Yeah. The it's dangerous thing to tell yourself - it gives your mind permission to slip or splurge.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:18):
And so yeah, so then that's, you know, then we, you know, we came home and the first couple of days that I got home, I don't know. I felt like I could feel, I felt bloated. I didn't have any energy. After we went on vacation for the week, we also, my husband also took one week off after that to stay home to quarantine, just cause we thought it was the right thing to do at home. And even when we got home, we both started craving, you know, bag of chips or a burger or just things that we knew we shouldn't be eating. We're like, oh man, you know, now we're in trouble. We started on that, you know, on the carb craving.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:03):
How many times have we heard this story in the office? You know, it's like I was doing so great. And then I went on vacation and then you come home from vacation and it's like, feels like moving mountains, trying to get back on track after vacation. Like what's up with that, you know?

Marchelle (11:26):
Yes. I do know this. A lot of people that we haven't, that we won't see for a couple months that restart will say, you know, I'd been on vacation and I couldn't get back into the swing of things and I didn't want to come in because, you know, I felt bad and I'm just not, I can't find the motivation, you know, to get back where I was before vacation. And that's where people get stumped and frustrated and you know, they get down on themselves. And and I do, you know, in the past I've done that too.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:56):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, so then the question becomes, okay, well, how do you get back on track after you've been on vacation and like what kinds of things would we recommend for getting back on track after vacation and well, the first thing is you want to like, don't even bother weighing yourself because remember we had a, we had a podcast episode, I can't remember which episode number it was, (Episode 9 - Scale Woes but it was about the scale and how inaccurate it is.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:30):
And when you're traveling, you will retain water. And so if you get on your scale before you leave for vacation and you get on your scale, when you come home and there's likely going to be a weight gain and it may or may not be fat, it could just be you retaining water from having been, even if it's a car trip. I was going to say, especially if it's an airline trip, you're going to have more chance, but I think cars do this to people too. It's just the, you just end up retaining a lot of water. So, so, you know, you just don't really, and you haven't gotten on the scale. I mean, you know...

Marchelle (13:07):
No, I didn't get on the scale. I mean, I have some scales. My, my biggest issue is I'm trying to get my my brain to want to get motivated again.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:17):

Marchelle (13:18):
But I do have scales, you know, in the meantime, you know, I knew not to get on the scale because I am aware that, you know, the five pounds or whatever, the bloating, you know, that I'm experiencing is probably water weight. And to give myself a little bit of time to, so I started beefing up the water, you know, drinking a lot more water once I got home.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:38):
Yeah. So what do you think is more important to address when you are struggling with, you know, getting back on track after vacation and you like, you know, you want to get back on track, but it feels like it's really hard. Do you think it's more important to address what you're eating or do you think it's more important to address what you're thinking? What would you say?

Marchelle (14:01):
100% what you're thinking!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:05):
What you're thinking! What are you thinking about all of this? So let's say that you are like Marchelle and me, and you're struggling to get back on track after your vacation. And you've been home for a while and you're noticing that like the cravings are just, you know, really, really bothering you. Like you find yourself succumbing to these cravings and you know that you need to make a plan and you need to get to the grocery store. But right now that feels like it's just like pulling teeth. It's just feels really, really hard to do. And you know, that deep down, if this continues, you're going to gain weight, gain a bunch of weight back and you could end up getting sick with obesity again. Remember, obesity is a disease. And so you could start having some of those symptoms of the disease. Again, you know, the arthritis symptoms and the irritable bowel and the, you know, the, the gastric symptoms and the brain fog and all that stuff that people suffer with so much.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:12):
And you know, we're talking about how to handle slips in Journey Beyond Weight Loss this week in the online course and membership. And because, you know, it's important to understand we're all going to slip on this journey, whether, whether you had a slip or a splurge. So I just want to make sure all of our podcast listeners know the difference. We never use the word 'cheat' around here because we don't 'diet'. So we sometimes will slip back into old habits and that's something that's not planned. And you just find yourself doing that. And then there are times where you decide you want to have a 'splurge'. I think a 50th birthday party is a perfectly good reason to have a splurge, you know? And so there are times where you make choices that you're going to eat foods that you ordinarily would not eat.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:03):
So that's a splurge either way. Sometimes whether it's a slip or a splurge, your brain is going to respond to that. And the, you know, the old pathways will start getting - they'll start winding up again. And then you can just notice, oh my God, I need I'm craving this. I'm craving that. So the first thing to do is just remember, we are all going to slip. Everybody. Every single person, no matter how perfect you are, you are going to slip. So the first thing that you want to do is to really like pull out your tools of self-compassion.

Marchelle (16:46):
Don't beat yourself up! The most important part of it!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:46):
So yeah. That's the piece, the thinking piece of it, it's like so many people, oh, no, I screwed up on vacation. I'm having a hard time getting back on track. I'm a horrible person. I was bad. I was wrong. No, you weren't bad and wrong. You are a normal human being.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (17:07):
You know, you tell yourself you're bad and wrong. It just makes everything 10 times worse. So you got to give up all of that, beating yourself up stuff. And by the way, it's all in the past. And do you know what, how much control you have over what's happened in the past? Like none, you have no power over anything that's ever happened in the past. And so there's nothing to do about that. You do have power over what's happening right now, and you can plan for the future, but you have no control over anything that's ever happened in the past. And so don't even think that you do and don't beat yourself up about it. So you just kind of ask yourself what emotion am I feeling right now? So what would you, would you say your emotion was when you got back and you realized, oh my gosh, I'm having all these crazy cravings.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (18:03):
And this is really hard to get back on track. What was the emotion you were feeling Marchelle?

Marchelle (18:07):
The emotion I was feeling. So I guess I was feeling frustrated because I guess, so you and I had talked about this earlier. One of my issues was, is I've been waiting, you know, for my brain to just click back on and get, and be motivated again. And one too, you know, get right back on track and, you know, eating the, eat the right foods and start feeling good again. And, and not, not just with food. I mean, even to like reincorporate back into the workforce because, you know, that was another thing I just wasn't even motivated to do that. And that might add to do with feeling sluggish and, you know, just kind of like trying to work out these toxins and salt and all that kind of stuff out of my body.

Marchelle (18:56):
So, you know, my, my biggest issues spend is just sort of, sort of like just a disappointment, but I mean, I, I don't know how to describe it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (19:11):
Well, I felt that feeling before, like, like I'm, oh, so disappointed in myself, you know, because I thought I should have done better. You know, that kind of thing, especially if, if this is something that you teach other people, like you really should do better at this, you know? So it's like, oh geez. So, but you are feeling a little bit, it sounds like you're feeling a little bit frustrated because you were wanting your brain to get back into gear and it wasn't cooperating with you.

Marchelle (19:36):
Yeah. And I was disappointed because I talked to big talk before I left and wanted to, you know, make all the right decisions and I'm not going to do this and I'm going to be more prepared and, you know, and I went in with all these great intentions.

Marchelle (19:51):
And then once I got there, I mean, like I said, it all started with that McDonald's at the airport. And then once I, all right, well, okay, I'll do better at it. You know, when we get to the to the hotel. And then when I didn't, you know what, I made these other decisions, then I automatically set myself up for when I got back, like, like remembering, you know, like taking apart these things that I did. And like, why did I do that? When I said I wasn't going to do that. And I could really easily get caught up in, you know, and picking myself apart. But honestly that does not do anybody any good. It's never done me any good. It's never like, like forced me to want to get back on track. All it does is just make me feel worse about myself and it sort of prolongs getting back on track.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (20:40):
Yeah, it does. It does. So the self judgment and the beating yourself up about it, all of that, it does, it makes it harder, right? Yeah.

Marchelle (20:51):
I didn't weigh myself. That's the thing don't weigh yourself. Do not weigh yourself because then you're going to automatically give yourself a reason to feel bad. When, when Dr. Angela was saying is a lot of it is probably just waterweight. And you'll give yourself a few days and drink - beef up your water intake, and you'll start flushing it out.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (21:10):
Yeah. Well, as you're thinking about being compassionate with yourself, you want to recognize, okay, figure out what is the emotion that you're feeling and name it, and then remind yourself that you're not alone in ever feeling this feeling like lots of times we have these negative emotions and we think nobody else in the world ever feels a negative emotion. That is not true.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (21:29):
Like everybody feels the gamut of human emotion. So there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Even if you're feeling ashamed, there's nothing wrong with you. Nothing's gone wrong. That's a normal human emotion. So you want to just acknowledge that ""I'm feeling whatever it is I'm feeling."" That's a normal human emotion. Nothing's going wrong here. Everything is fine. And then you treat yourself with like the utmost of kindness and compassion in the same way that you would treat your own best friend. And those are the steps of self compassion. And this is based on work by Kristin Neff. For those of you who are interested in learning more she has a whole program on self compassion and it is amazing. So, so compassion, compassion, compassion for yourself. And then, you know, the other thing is like you were saying, I was just waiting for my brain to want to get back into gear.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:26):
And, and what you told me was that you want it to feel just as enthusiastic about all of this as you had in the very beginning. You want to talk about that a little bit.

Marchelle (22:39):
Yeah. Beginning when I first did this, you know, and I do the flour and the, or the flour detox and sugar detox, and I did the five day menu and I was really like, it was new and exciting. And I felt really and motivated and I just went with it and, you know, went through kind of like the crappy detox part. But then after that I had this energy and this and I was on fire. I mean, I was just so gung ho and it just seemed like it didn't seem very hard. I mean, it did - not hard to know, I guess, hard, isn't the word to use?

Marchelle (23:14):
I mean, it's, it's hard, but it's a simple plan. So I don't know. I just like had this motivation going and then and I've even gone on vacation, you know, cause I've been doing this a while and I've been, I've gone on vacation a couple of times and yeah, I had a couple of slips or whatever I knew I got, I just got right back on track. It wasn't even hard for me to do, but this time around, for some reason, I don't know, maybe two weeks is too much to be, you know, on vacation. One thing I forgot to do is right when I got back, I should have called my accountability buddy or got in touch with my community. Got some support from like minded people and yeah. And then, you know, not put so much pressure on myself to, you know, go and buy all these groceries. And I was kind of overwhelmed with like going and buying all the groceries again and, and doing that. I just didn't feel like I, you know, I was kinda tired.

Marchelle (24:17):
I just, I don't know. It just was waiting for my brain to say, okay, I'm ready now. Let's get back on track - lets get feeling good. And I just haven't like, I haven't really, I don't know. I haven't really cared that much, I guess, or not that I care. I just don't feel like doing it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:36):
So you're like, so you're like working with your brain here really. And that's why I say it's so much more important to get your brain in order. I think what was going on for you, there's a, well-known psychology of pain motivation. When we're in pain, we're motivated to make ourselves feel better. And our primitive brain will go along with that. Anything that will relieve pain, our primitive brain is going to go along with it. And so you were if you're in pain because you're weighing 60 or 70 pounds more than you do now, and your clothes are tight and you're having a hard time moving and you're achy all the time and you're tired all the time and you just don't feel good about yourself.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:18):
That's a lot of pain. And so that's a lot of motivation. Well, you don't have that now. You know, now it's like, like I'm dealing with these crazy cravings, but you know, and I feel a little sluggish, but it's not the same kind of pain. It's just not.

Marchelle (25:34):
And it's not the same kind of motivation.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:37):
And you're not going to have weight loss to motivate you because even if you did put on a little bit of weight, it's not the, the, weight's not the issue for you here. The issue is that you're feeling out of control, trying to get back on track after your vacation.

Marchelle (25:51):
Yeah. I guess I'm kind of saying like, why do it, you know?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:54):
What's the big deal?

Marchelle (25:54):
You're, you know, you can eat what you want and you're going to be fine. Don't, you know, my brain always wants to do like the easiest thing.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (26:04):
Yeah. That's called a normal brain. That's how we survived, our primal brain wants comfort. Our primal brain wants east. Our primal brain wants pleasure. Our primal brain wants relief of pain. So it's that part of our brain. So here's a question. Do you have to be motivated in order to do something that you know, is in your best interest, do you have to get a rah-rah feeling I'm going to do this, or can you just do it because you know, it's in your best interest to feed your body nourishing food and get yourself back on track? Like, is it possible? So in other words, is it possible to just do hard things, even though they're hard because you know that it's in your best interest to stay committed longterm. Is that a possibility, so I'm not talking just to you Marshall, I'm talking to anybody who's struggling. Like, just ask yourself that question.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (26:56):
Can you do hard things? I think you can, you know, I don't think you have to have crazy rah-rah motivation to be able to get yourself back on track. You just have to have this vision of what the outcome is going to be and the outcome is going to be you. Well, what is it that you want? Like, what outcome do you want from this?

Marchelle (27:16):
Feel better?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:18):
Yeah. So feel better - feel...

Marchelle (27:19):
Well, I remember like when I was eating cleaner and, you know, doing the things I was supposed to do, you know, enough water, enough protein. I just felt so much better. I mean, once I incorporated the alcohol and the carbs back into my body, I just, maybe that's something that's given me, not very much motivation to, it just makes me sluggish. It makes me feel like crap. I'm headachy. You know, I feel bloated.

Marchelle (27:45):
I don't have any energy really. You know, I just feel, you know, I just feel like crap, like my hips started hurting at night again, you know, when I'm asleep that it hasn't happened to me for a long time. And so, I don't know. Yeah, I'm sure I have a lot of inflammation. And and I don't like that feeling I want to, I want to feel better, but something for me, my motivation when I first did this too, I was like 212 pounds. And I really was unhappy with the way that I looked and felt in my clothes. I was super self-conscious. I did not like the way I felt in my own skin. And that was a huge motivation for me. Well, now, you know, I've gotten to a weight where I felt really comfortable and, and started at that weight when I went on vacation.

Marchelle (28:29):
So yeah, maybe I put on, like I said, I haven't gotten on the scale. Maybe I've put on like five pounds. That's super noticeable. I can see, like, I can feel like bloating in my stomach and you know, and that's, and I don't like that, but I still feel pretty comfortable with the way that I fit my clothes and the way that I look. So that's not, that's not a motivation for me this time trying to figure out like, what, how do I keep going with this? Because I don't want to go the other way and wait until I go back up the scale 10 pounds. And I have like that, oh shit moment. Like, oh my gosh, what happened? And then I better start over again. So I want to be able to find, you know, these, these ways of doing things for the right reasons, like you said, instead of out of fear, I guess, or, or, or, or whatever else.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (29:22):
You don't want to wait until you gain enough weight back that you're in that kind of pain again, because that's why, that's why people struggle keeping the weight off because they're in this, they're in this comfortable position. And then they get off track a little bit, but they don't catch it quickly because the pain isn't severe enough to motivate them. So you have to find a way, and this is for all of you out there in Sugar and Flour Buster Society and Keep The Weight Off podcast-land. All of you out there who are thinking about maintaining your weight loss, long-term, you're going to have these periods of time where you're off track. You know, you're off track, but you're not in as much pain as you need to be to get the raw motivation, to go on a, you know on a weight loss diet, you have to find another motivation.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (30:17):
And so my recommendation would be to write down, you know, like, what am I committed to longterm? Am I committed to the identity of a vibrant, healthy person? Am I committed to knowing that I am nourishing my body with good quality, healthy food? Am I committed to that to, to knowing that I'm doing what I know I need to do to not feel bloated and foggy and crappy and tired all the time, even if I'm not gaining any weight, you know, so you want to write all of that stuff down. The more you write it down and get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper, the more your brain is going to remember it. And then you want to remind yourself that you actually can do hard things like you can do hard things like life is - life isn't always pleasant, and you can do hard things.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (31:12):
And, and reminding yourself why it is that you're going to do something hard. So, you know, you have a craving or an urge, and you're like, okay no, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to, you know, call Door Dash or whatever, or run to the taco stand. Even though I have a craving because I'm committed to the long-term outcome. And I'm willing to actually sit here and feel that unease, I'm willing to feel that sort of anxious, restless feeling. Because the interesting thing is, and I want to talk a little bit about how our brains handle this. If you have an urge for something, and then you go satisfy it, it's like, if you remember the story of Pavlov, who's a researcher. And he trained his dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (32:05):
And so what he would do is see what to ring the bell. And then he would bring food. And after a while the dogs associated the bell ringing with the food coming. And so he didn't even have to bring the food. They would just start salivating because they were expecting the food to come. And then - so that's how our brains work. Like if we have an urge for something, and then we go ahead and satisfy that urge, our brains are going to expect that every time we have that urge, it's going to get satisfied. Well, you can actually reprogram your brain. You can reprogram your brain so that if you have an urge, it will be extinguished. If it doesn't get satisfied, but you have to kind of sit there through that anxiety of not having that urge satisfied. So that's the hard part. So, so sitting there and feeling that craving and feeling that urge, and you just go into your body and you say, what am I feeling here?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (33:04):
Like, what is this? And the interesting thing is if you just accept that you're feeling you're having a negative feeling right now, and you don't try to fight it, it will pass right through you. It will go right through you. And then, you know, it'll come up again later. And then if you don't satisfy that urge again, then what you're doing is you're retraining your brain to not expect satisfaction of that urge every time. And then the urge just dissipates. Right? So, so that's, that's how you do it. You do you just allow yourself to have these urges for this stuff and remember what your longterm vision is. You know, a long-term vision for health and for a feeling of empowerment. And, you know, if you sit there through a few of those urges and you don't satisfy it, that's a pretty empowering feeling, you know?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (34:03):
And you know, what, and sooner or later you have an urge for taco truck and you're like, forget it. I don't care. You know, it just doesn't, it's like fleeting. It just doesn't doesn't have the same power anymore because that brain pathway is so much less. Cool huh?

Marchelle (34:19):
It is hard to maintain weight loss for a long period of time, because this is so different for me this time around, because before my motivation was always, I want to get skinny. I, and that, I don't know. And I'm just familiar with, you know, that, that kind of like that kind of struggle, you know, with being either being overweight or, you know, being skinny. And so this time around so different for me because I don't really have a reason except for health, which is never really reason when it was way before. So this is like to maintain it even longer.

Marchelle (35:00):
It's this is just a whole different ballgame. And I will say this, I wouldn't know what to do. I mean, I would be one of these yo-yo, you know, white knuckle it, hurry up and lose 30 pounds. And then once I got to where I wanted to be, then I'm like, oh, I'm off the hook. Now I can, you know, now I can go back eat the way I want to for a while. And, you know, I've learned so many tools just being, you know, just being a part of the Journey Beyond Weight Loss, because we, we dive into so much more of the mental part of this, which is so, so important to do. It's not, you know, it's not just eating differently.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (35:39):

Marchelle (35:40):
Just there's so much a mental part of it...

Dr. Angela Zechmann (35:40):
It's all about thinking differently too. So, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm just going to summarize kind of what we talked about.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (35:52):
So the first thing, if you've got, if you've returned from a vacation and you got off track on vacation, the first thing is don't weigh yourself and don't beat yourself up. Okay. So remember your tools of self-compassion be present to your emotions. So let yourself feel your emotions, name, your emotions. Remember that you're human being and that all human beings suffer, reach out for connection with other human beings, be very, very kind to yourself. So those are the tools of self-compassion. Really, really check your self-critical thoughts. If you have most people who struggle with their weight in my experience anyway, and me, myself like we, we really, you know, we could get A+++ - we could get a PhD and beating ourselves up. You know, we are just really good at it. And so be super careful to notice when you have these self critical thoughts and don't judge yourself for having self critical thoughts, just say, oh, wait, I was learning how to think about myself differently.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (36:54):
And remember that you don't have any power over the past. You have no power over the past. You have power over the present moment and you have power over your future. Okay. don't expect to feel motivated all the time. Don't expect that. You're going to do this. You want to get yourself to a point where you're like, I'm going to do this even when it's hard. Cause I know I can, I can do this. Even when it's hard and I don't feel motivated. I made a promise to myself, I'm going to execute on my promise. I'm going to show myself that my word matters. So even though it's hard, you do it anyway. And I would just recommend making a list of why it is that you want to get back on track and referring to it often, just because. So that when you're feeling like all of that resistance from your brain, I want to remember your, your primitive brain wants comfort and ease.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (37:48):
And it's going to like throw up all these roadblocks and say, why bother? You know? So if you make a list from your prefrontal cortex, which is the executive part of your brain, the more advanced part of your brain use that part of the brain and make a list of why it is that you want to get back on track. Then you can sort of override your primitive brain's desire for comfort in the moment, right? And if you are working at urges and you're trying to extinguish an urge, in other words, you have urges for alcohol or you have urges for sugar or urges for the taco truck or whatever it might be. Allow yourself to feel anxious. If you are trying to get rid of that urge. And what you're doing is you're allowing yourself to have that urge, remind your brain that you are going to survive a little anxiety.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (38:40):
It's not going to kill you. Okay. And just breathe through it and try not to substitute something else in place of that urge. Try not to go find you know, some sort of sugar substitute or something because you're not going to extinguish the urge that way - you want to get rid of this urge. So you want to make it much, much less. And then the last thing, and we didn't really talk about all that much, but many people listening to the Keep The Weight Off podcast might well be working with obesity medicine specialists and using weight loss medications, which can be very, very beneficial. And if you have been prescribed weight loss medications, make sure that you're consistent with taking them not only on your vacation, but when you get back from your vacation, we've had lots of stories of people who they forgot their, their medications when they went on vacation and then they got off, you know, they had a really hard time on vacation.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (39:40):
They're wondering if it's okay to get restarted and all of this stuff. So if you're using - if you've been prescribed weight loss medications, make sure to use them consistently, as you're getting back on track, that will be really, really helpful for you because it just sort of it rebalances the biochemistry of the brain for you. So do you have anything else to add Marchelle?

Marchelle (40:02):
No, not that I can think of. I mean, I'm, I'm just learning all this myself, so all you just said, made a lot of sense and I'm going to try them.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (40:13):
There you go.

Marchelle (40:14):
I think tracking is a huge thing for me and also writing down why why I want to, why I want to do this.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (40:24):
Yeah. Just put it in a put it in a note in your smartphone. Most of us have smartphone apps with little note-taking capacity in them. You can just type it all in there and then just pull it out and read it when you have an urge. Oh yeah. that's right. If I don't, if I don't resist this urge or allow this urge you know, I'm going to end up feeling sick again, you know? So it's it, it's a big price to pay. It really is so. Great. Okay. Well that's all for this week. We will see you all again next week and I hope everybody has a great week. Talk to you all later. Bye.

Marchelle (41:01):
Bye everybody!

Closing (41:02):
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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