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Discomfort on Purpose

In today's episode of the Keep the Weight Off Podcast, Marchelle and I talk about something I have been working on with our Empowered Weight Loss members: the importance of allowing ourselves to feel ALL of our emotions, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all ON PURPOSE.

Why would anyone want to do that? Allow myself to feel angry? Sad? Restless? Jealous? Disappointed? Are you kidding?

Turns out, this is one of the most important keys to lasting weight loss, and a happier life in general!

Tune in to find out why… and how to do it.

Episode Highlights:

5:10 This is why weight loss is so hard because our brains are programmed through evolution to seek pleasure and avoid pain at all costs. This is how we survived.

10:52 So it's time to have a talk with grandma Elda and explain you don't want to accept any more home bake treats. And when you explain your rationale and your reasons, and you're probably gonna to feel really, really uncomfortable setting that boundary. But you're willing to do it because you're willing to feel uncomfortable on purpose.

16:00 And the interesting thing is what you do is you just start writing and you write down all the thoughts that are swirling around in your head. And it's so interesting because once they're out of your brain and onto a piece of paper, you can actually look at them. It's like taking all the stuff out of your closet.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Welcome to our dear podcast listeners - how are you Marchelle?

Before I get into today’s topic, I want to encourage any of our listeners who haven’t already done so - if you are getting benefit from this podcast, please go to iTunes and rate and review this podcast for us. This will help more people find the podcast and all of this valuable information we are putting out. So make a mental list to go do that as soon as you’re done listening - or even better, you could just pause what you’re doing and go do a review right now and then come back to listen. 

And thank you in advance for your honest review. 

OK so today I want to talk about being uncomfortable. Not just being uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable ON PURPOSE.  We are working on this a lot in our Empowered Weight Loss membership.  

So why would you do this? Why would you ever want to allow yourself to feel uncomfortable on purpose?

[Marchelle comments]

So I’m going to give you a short answer, and then I’m going to explain what I mean. 

The short answer is, if you don’t allow yourself to feel ALL of your emotions, whether they’re good or bad, you will never know yourself. 

And you will never be able to love yourself. 

And you will certainly never be able to keep the weight off. You will be buffering with food or alcohol for any negative emotion you have.  And you can’t keep the weight off.  Or if you do, it will be because you’ve found some other buffer like overspending or over social- media ing or over people pleasing. 

We have been working with people in our membership teaching them how to use Urge Jars and how to stop eating and feel their emotions. It can be very uncomfortable if you’re used to grabbing a handful of chips every time you feel bored or restless… and to just sit there with that uncomfortable emotion on purpose.  It doesn’t feel good AT ALL.  it’s actually doubly painful because instead of getting that hit of pleasure from the food and avoiding the negative emotion, you’re not getting any pleasure AT ALL and you’re feeling the negative emotion.

Folks this is why weight loss is so hard.  Our brains are programmed through evolution to seek pleasure and avoid pain at all costs. This is the way our brains evolved.  Find what’s going to give us pleasure, give us a hit of dopamine, and avoid anything that’s painful.  

Now what I’m saying is that if you really DO want lasting weight loss, you’ll want to go against your brain’s conditioning and NOT seek something pleasurable, but be willing to feel some pain instead. 

And this is hard. 

BUT, it turns out it’s not nearly as hard as you think it will be, it’s certainly not as hard as living in a body that’s hard to carry around, and that hurts all the time and that has no energy. That’s actually a lot harder than spending some time getting used to feeling some negative emotion.  I mean, you really already are feeling a lot of negative emotion from the pain of dealing with this disease. So you could look upon it as trading one form of discomfort for another form of discomfort that will actually serve you and make your life so much better in the long haul. 

So I’m going to give you a few examples of how being willing to feel discomfort on purpose can really serve you. 

Let’s say there is someone in your life who is frequently trying to feed you.  They seem to take pleasure in baking for you and bringing these treats over to your house. They want to see you enjoying their treats that they worked so hard to prepare for you. And you always oblige them, and then regret it later because their treats set off your sugar/flour monster and really make life hard for you. 

We talked about this a little bit just before the holidays… that really what’s happened is that you have trained them that this is what makes you happy, and they really just want to see you happy.  I mean you could have trained them that scented candles make you happy and they’d be bringing you scented candles instead of homemade treats. So let’s say you recognize this, and you’re willing to be a mature person and instead of blaming them for being a food pusher, you are willing to recognize that you trained them. 

BUT,  it’s time. It’s time for you to have a talk with them and explain that you don’t want to accept any more home baked treats from them.  You are going to feel very uncomfortable setting this boundary, but you’re willing to do it, you’re willing to feel uncomfortable on purpose. 

So that’s one example of how feeling uncomfortable on purpose can really serve you. 

Here’s another example: Let's say you are out at a restaurant with friends and everyone is ordering drinks and dessert. You really want to be healthy and so you’re ordering protein and vegetables and avoiding toxic food. But you feel uncomfortable, left out, and you’re wondering if they’re judging you for being - as my daughter would say- “extra.”   

This is another time where you’re just going to feel uncomfortable, and it’s OK to feel uncomfortable. 

One of my mentors says Discomfort is the price of our dreams. We can achieve our dreams if we’re willing to be uncomfortable on purpose. 

If we’re willing to not eat and feel our emotions instead, we can get tremendous insight into what makes us tick.  I remember one time when I felt very uncomfortable.  I had a walk-in pantry at the time and I was rooting around in there looking for something to eat to soothe my restlessness. I was working with an eating disorders specialist at the time and she recommended that when this happens I should get a piece of paper and a pen and start writing. So that’s what i did. I wrote. It took no time at all to identify the feeling I was feeling - it wasn’t restlessness, it was jealousy. 

Jealousy!  I was pretty shocked. Turns out i was jealous of women who were working outside the home - at the time I was caring for school age kids but I had all this time while they were in school and I was bored. I was being called. Had I kept eating I would never have known this. So my willingness to feel that discomfort and not eat had big payoffs, because I was able to HEAR what I was being called into.  

So I would encourage each of you to listen. Don’t be afraid of your negative emotions. Often there is gold in them. 

[Marchelle comments]

All right so who’s ready to be uncomfortable on purpose?  

It’s not easy, but it’s probably easier than you think it will be.  But I would also say you need some guidance and some help and some coaching around this.  Feel free to join our membership and we’ll help you do just that.  It starts with the 30 Day Done with Dieting Bootcamp. Just head over to journey beyond weight and we’ll help you.  

Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week!

Dr. Angela



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