This month in Empowered Weight Loss we are working on developing a new Empowered Self Identity. What I mean by this is that we learn to think about ourselves differently, in a new empowered way. This is actually one of my most favorite things to teach when it comes to helping people learn the skills they need to keep weight off.
The heart of self-identity is your thoughts about yourself. In today's podcast Marchelle and I dive deep and ask… what DO we think about ourselves? Where do these thoughts come from? And is there a way to make sure our thoughts about ourselves SERVE us?
10:21 And so we developed ideas and coping skills at very young ages so that we could get our needs met, like our survival needs like food and shelter and clothing and all of that. But we also have needs for love and belongingness.
20:10 I really want people to understand that this, I always say the weight loss journey, when done correctly, is a journey of very powerful, personal evolution.
26:36 Always remember that what you say to yourself and how you talk to yourself matters.
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Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:27):
Hey everyone. And welcome to this week's podcast. Hey Marchelle. How are you today?
I'm doing okay. I'm not loving the rain, but….
Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:38):
We have rain I'm back in, I was in Atlanta last week. I'm back in Washington now, and this rain feels even worse after having been in the sun in Atlanta.
But nobody was expecting this rain hoping to get some sunshine back.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:52):
Well I did for a couple of days, and then we just got socked with this, I don't know. It just it's like the rain can really get to you sometimes. So those of you who live in other parts of the world where it's not typically raining, be glad, be glad for nice weather.
Send sunshine, sunshine this way my garden needs it.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:15):
It could be worse. Yeah.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:40):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:35):
But there's actually a much deeper layer to this. And so when I teach this stuff in the membership, people always say that this is what made the most difference for them. So the heart of self identity is your thoughts about yourself. So that's what I wanted to talk about today. I want each person listening to this podcast to just stop for a moment and ask yourself what thoughts are you thinking about yourself on a regular basis? Marchelle, if you had to answer that question, what would you say the balance of your thoughts about yourself is, and then I'll tell you what I discovered the balance of my thoughts were.
Are we talking about like after we lose weight or before we lose weight or just in general?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (03:31):
Just, just in general, just in general.
Well, I still struggle with the negative self-talk.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (03:38):
Yeah. So, so what are like, what are the sentences that are going through your brain when you say negative self-talk?
Maybe. Okay, so maybe negative self-talk wasn't the proper description. I, I just mean critical, critical self-talk yeah. More critical. Yes. Mm-hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:01):
Yeah. So your brain is saying things to you. Like, I didn't do that right, or like, what kinds of things was your brain saying to you?
Mostly I think about if I did something good enough that other people would be proud of. I think that my mother, you know, is a lot in my head and….
Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:26):
When I think about whether, you know, my, I don't know, I think it's very hard for me, no matter how much weight I've lost or, you know, how long I've been doing this, I still have a really hard time, like shedding my mother's criticism. Mm-hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (05:22):
I and then that kind of carries through, you know, several weeks.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (05:27):
Right? Yes. That's, so, that is so true. That that is exactly what our brains do.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (06:02):
A boss could be a boss.
Yeah. A lot of people, I know how bosses that they feel like they need to live up to a certain expectation. And they're very self critical about that. And it really does not have anything to do with our weight at first. Yeah. But yeah. Yeah. It's hard to go overcome that.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (06:19):
So, well, I noticed that for me, I had a lot of self critical thoughts and I'm really working at correcting it now, but there are always thoughts running through my head; like I didn't do enough or I should have done more or I could have done a better job, or I don't know enough yet, I need to know more I'm lacking in something, I should get up earlier, I should get more sleep, I'm not good at keeping up with my relationships. Like it just goes on and on and on. And, and basically the theme of all of these thoughts are I'm not enough, right? And so I just want everybody listening to this to know that if you have a lot of self critical thoughts, there's actually nothing wrong with you.
I was thinking also, I was just going to butt in here, I think it, that it's important for people to realize that maybe from my perspective, looking at like you, Angela, I always think, wow, she's so smart, she's done so much in her life, you know, she's helped so many people and I look up to you, right? And then for me to hear you say that you have self critical thoughts. Mm-Hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:49):
To where you think that, okay, well, I'm better than everybody else. I got my shit together.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:58):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and the reason is because it's part of our normal human brain. Okay? So we evolved to survive. And so our brains have evolved to do whatever it takes to survive. So what that means is that we're always going to be on the alert for problems and we're going to want to solve them so that we can survive. So these self critical thoughts that we have; I could do it better, this should be different, I should be different, they're all just part of our normal human brain trying to help us survive. Does that make sense?
Yeah, it kind of does, but I do think in this modern day and age, I think that we do have a lot of pressure of social media, magazines, Mm-Hmm,
Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:51):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:15):
Yes. I think it's been magnified. Yeah.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:20):
Yeah. Yeah. It's crazy. What's happening. So, yeah. And, and think about this, you know, like, so our, our media magnifies it. These negative thoughts kind of get reinforced by our parents and our caregivers and our teachers, as we're growing up. We're taught from an early age that we should do this and we should do that. And we're often shamed, and I talked about this last week, we're often shamed into behavior that pleases other people. And I want all of us to know that our ideas about ourselves developed when we were really very young before the ages of five or 10. And this is when our brain's neural pathways are developing. And so brain cells are making connections and we're coming up with ideas about who we are and what we can expect from other people.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:15):
And we're trying to, you know, we're having all of these experiences in our families and we're trying to make sense of the world. And so as young children, think about it, we're like really dependent on the adults around us. And we're trying to figure out; how am I going to survive, what do I need to do here, is this world that I was born into a friendly world, how do I get my needs met? Maybe I do get them met. Maybe I don't get them met. And so we developed ideas and coping skills at very young ages so that we could get our needs for, you know, our survival needs like food and shelter and clothing and all of that. But we also have needs for love and belongingness. And so we developed skills at young ages and ideas for helping to get those needs met.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:12):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:09):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:10):
I have to be careful or I'll be left alone. Right. That was the decision that I had made based on that experience as a four year old. Wow. And that decision followed me throughout the rest of my life. I was always vigilant and careful, and I became a real people pleaser. So underneath it all people pleasing is a survival mechanism that we learn in childhood. It works, right? It works. And it still works. But when we're so busy trying to please other people, we tend to neglect our own needs. And it becomes very difficult to do what we need to do in order to keep the weight off. And the other thing that happens is that we can't really be authentic in our relationships, right? So we're not telling our truth. And so our relationships become not very satisfying and we can feel really alone. It's like this paradoxical result when we're people pleasing, we're not authentic. And so then we don't really feel well known and we feel alone. And then we use addictive foods and or alcohol to cope. Is that making sense? Yeah.
Yeah. So I think that it could go really far back too, because I think that children that grew up in families that had a lot of arguing or
Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:42):
And volatility, I believe that there's this, there's this coping mechanism called fawning, which is trying to be a mediator and a people pleaser. Yeah. If you don't, we want to keep everything copacetic. So I do believe that that, you know, that's something else that is carried through childhood where you are always trying to make sure that everybody is happy around you so that you don't have to deal with the chaos. Yes. So that's, yeah. That's, that's another thing that's, mm-hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:18):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:21):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:23):
Yeah. So so these, these ideas that we have about ourselves and these thoughts that we have going through our heads can really thwart our efforts to keep the weight off. So most of us have absolutely no idea that this is what's going on under the surface. Right? We're like, we have no idea that we're beating ourselves up all the time. It's just like, it's like a fish swimming in tainted water who has no idea that the water is tainted and there we are. And we're like, Hmm, here's another example. Like I have a friend who just had cataract surgery. She's had this surgery in one eye and she's waiting to have the surgery in the other eye next week. And she told me that she was shocked at how bright everything seems when she closes the bad eye and looks through the good eye, like all of a sudden everything's super bright.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (17:17):
And then when she looks through the bad eye and closes the good eye she says, it's like looking at everything through smoke. Right? And so this is kind of the way it is for us when we have these ideas about ourselves, we're looking at the world through sort of smokey eyes. And it's not until we really clear all of that up, that we can really discover who it is that we really are, and we'll have much better success at keeping the weight off. All right, I think that's kind of the way it is when we have these false ideas about ourselves and all of these self critical thoughts. It's just like poison, you know. They, and, and we're seeing the world, like we're seeing through smoke and we wonder why it's so hard to stay away from the addictive foods
Yeah. Right. And this is so much more than just, you know, making good eating choices because mm-hmm,
It's, it's something that, you know, a lot of us really deeply deal with. And, and, and especially when we, you know, base our worth on how we look on the outside mm-hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (20:09):
Yeah. And that's why, like, I really want people to understand that this, I always say the weight loss journey when done correctly is a journey of very powerful, personal evolution. And so it's like, there's so much more to this than just what you're eating, it's it, there's so much to what it is that you're thinking and how you're feeling about yourself and what are these sentences going through your brain about who you are and what you are. And, and we want to really understand that. So there are some steps that you can take for those of you are listening to this. I would encourage each of our listeners to do three things so that you can work at correcting any false ideas that you developed as a child, you know, and, and help to correct the, the thoughts, the sentences that are going through your brain.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (21:17):
So the first thing I would encourage you to do, is to do some journaling first thing in the morning. So get a pen and paper, you know, maybe it's after you get home from work, but just start writing down these sentences, these thoughts that you're having about yourself and just sort of do like a little excavation. What kinds of things do you say to yourself all day long and do you have any idea where they may have come from? And again, we don't want to have any shame or judgment. We want to come at this with pure curiosity. I wonder what's going on in this brain of mine. And you're very objective about it. Like, what is my brain saying? And remember, again, that these self critical thoughts are normal survival mechanism, but we do need to correct them if we want to be successful at living a happy, joyous life and keeping the weight off. Right?
Yeah. I think you should say that one more time when you are journaling to not have the self criticism, to just write down…..
Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:21):
Be curious, write down, be curious about what are the sentences that are actually going through your brain. Curiosity is going to be an emotional state from which you're going to learn so much. So you're not doing this out of shame or judgment or, oh God, it's another job I have to do. It's just like let's just get really, really curious about what are these thoughts that are going through my brain. Okay? The next thing I would encourage you to do, and this is an exercise that I've learned from several teachers now, and they all talk about how effective it is. And I agree, is that you get a mirror, a handheld mirror and you hold it up to yourself and you look yourself in the eyes. And I will say, the first time I done, I did this. It was really difficult, but I've got, I've gotten really used to it now, and it's easy, but you look at yourself in the eyes and you just tell yourself how much you love yourself and how amazing you are. And you're going to be shocked at what opens up for you when you do this. You look at yourself with loving kindness, and you tell yourself you're an amazing person and you're a gift to the world. And to all those around you. You don't have to be perfect to be a gift to other people. You just have to be you, the authentic you. All you got to do is just look at a child. A child is a gift just by being themselves. And so are you. Okay?
That, and that's not easy just, just to get out, just to look in the mirror every morning. Yeah. And just to say, I love you. And I forgive you like the very first time that I did that in the mirror. I couldn't get through the second sentence. My voice cracked. Mm.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:06):
And because I did not feel it.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:10):
Yeah. Yeah. That's normal.
And it was, it was rough.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:13):
Yeah. Yeah. So you just remind yourself that you are an amazing gift and that, and just say, I love you to yourself in the mirror. And it's so powerful because when you develop this sense of, of love for yourself, then you also develop a sense of respect for yourself and respect for your viewpoints and your wishes and your desires and your needs. And that's a powerful, powerfully, empowered place to be.
How about we do a 10 day challenge?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:49):
Those who are listening, listening, I say we do a 10 day challenge every morning because we know that most of us get up and look in the mirror at some point.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:05):
Well, you don't necessarily have to say, I forgive you because that you don't,
You don't know to say you forget, not everybody know.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:10):
No, there's nothing to forgive. Like you're a human being. You get to make mistakes.
Yeah. I was talking to myself. I that's something I do need to stay, but yeah. Yeah. So I'm going to do a 10 day challange.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:21):
You say, I love you. You're amazing. Your gift to the world. And you just look at, look yourself in the eyes and say that. So a 10 day challenge. I think that's a great idea. Marchelle. Awesome. Okay. The last thing that I would recommend is that if you are ready for some deeper work, join us in the membership because in the membership, we are working at all of this in a community of people. And you're getting support in, you're getting all kinds of classes, you are getting group support, you're getting individual coaching sessions. Like you can really, really evolve yourself. If you join us in the membership, you can learn these principles. You can apply these principles. It's one thing to listen to a podcast and it's another thing to do the actual work, right? So if you're ready, I'd invite you to join us.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (26:19):
All you have to do is go to journeybeyondweightloss.com and sign up. It, your journey starts with the Done With Dieting Boot Camp. So just sign up for the bootcamp and then you'll get access to everything that is in the membership. And that will be an awesome starting point for you. So again, always remember that what you say to yourself and how you talk to yourself matters. Doesn't matter who you are in the world doesn't matter how much you've accomplished, doesn't matter if you're male or female. It matters what you say to yourself all day, every day and how you treat yourself.
Right. And it's just like, I, I feel like it's negativity comes so easily to, I don't know why, but it does being self critical telling our, yeah. you know, telling ourselves we could have done things better. Yeah. But we can, so I think that I said this in a podcast way back. Yeah. What I had or no, no. This was in The Journey Beyond Weight Loss Uhhuh. The only way that I could accomplish this is if I created this, it looks like a little, you know, miniature like Wonder Woman, right?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:37):
When I remember, do you remember this?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:40):
Yeah. I think you did mention it on a previous podcast.
Yeah. Because I, I couldn't, I could not figure out how it was going to stop the negative self-talk because it just happened so easily for me all day long. Mm-hmm
But what I am saying is that, you know, practice makes better mm-hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (30:08):
Yeah, yeah. You're saying it beautifully.
Yeah. It doesn't maybe I'm learning some things from you.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (30:15):
It is, it is not easy, but it is possible. And I promise that it'll get you through so many more struggling times, especially like, if you're going on vacation or mm-hmm
So you don't, you don't even need to entertain it, just find your little superhero, stop it right when it happens. And then whatever positive thought, it doesn't even matter what it is; Mm-Hmm
Dr. Angela Zechmann (31:49):
It does. It's a, it's a process. It's a, it's a process of taking those old well-worn thought pathways. If you think about how the brain works, like you have these pathways of thoughts that are very well worn and you're building new ones, you're building new thought pathways and you just keep practicing and practicing and practicing before, you know, it, the new ones are just as strong as the old ones. And then even after a while, they become even stronger than the old pathways. And then you have a whole new identity.
Even if you pretend that you're talking to your best friend, like if your best friend came to you and said, you know, I made a bad decision today and I, you know, and they, and they start to get down on themselves. You're not going to let 'em do that. Mm-Hmm,
Dr. Angela Zechmann (32:57):
For sure. Awesome. Thank you, Marchelle. That was awesome. All right, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast this week. Remember that what you say to yourself matters so much, and we will see you next week. Have a great week, everyone. Bye-Bye
Speaker 2 (33:17):
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 journeybeyondweightloss.com/free course 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.
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