Journey Beyond Weight Loss

About Podcast Success Stories Banish Belly Fat Workshop Login

The Process of Change

In today's episode of the podcast, Marchelle and I talk about the 5 Stages of Change that were elucidated by a research team named Prochaska and DiClemente.

Understanding these stages is important, not just for you, but for other people in your life…. how often have you told a family member or a friend about your weight loss journey and they just shrugged and said "Whatever…."? After listening to this podcast, you'll understand why!!

We also talk about the very important 6th Stage of Change that Prochaska and DiClemente added years later, and what that means for you in your weight loss journey!

Episode Highlights:

05:09 When you get into Empowered Weight Loss and you learn the skills that it takes to not just lose the weight, but really keep it off, you are a participant in your life again. And that's good, not just for you but that's good for everybody who loves you too.

20:33 What I want everyone listening to know is that this is completely normal when your brain is under stress. Any new behavior will fall by the wayside while your brain attends to making sure that you survive because when stressful things happen, as far as your brain is concerned it's that fight, flight response. And it's basically, it's a normal survival instinct.

22:40 So everyone listening to this podcast, ask yourself, where are you in this process? What stage are you at? I think we can pretty much assume that you're not in the pre-contemplation stage, or you would not be interested in listening to this at all.

--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:28):
All right. So welcome back to the podcast, everyone. And hey Marchelle, how are you doing?

Marchelle (00:33):
I'm doing great. How are you?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:35):
You are like, you are fully recovered from COVID now. Yeah?

Marchelle (00:38):
Oh yeah. I ha, I have been for days. I feel great,

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:42):
Yeah. Good. Okay, awesome. So well, I, you know what we've been doing we've been doing a Sugar Busters Kickstart challenge in Facebook. And if you didn't hear about it, I hosted this challenge on Facebook last week, where I really focused on sugar and flour, and the participants have just been blowing me away with their focus and their understanding of what I was teaching them about how sugar and flour affect the body and more importantly, why and what we can do about it and how we can get ourselves healthy again. And it was absolutely fantastic. On the last day of the challenge, I prepared everyone with the steps that they needed to get off sugar. And I encouraged everyone to set a quit date, and many of our participants are actually quitting this week. So they're in that stage right now. So where the, you know, where they're going through the withdrawal, you know?

Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:44):
And so I just want to say to all of you who participated in the challenge, congratulations. And for those of you who are in sugar withdrawal right now. And, and when I remember when I say sugar, I mean sugar and flour, because basically they affect the body in the same way. So I just want all of you to know if you're in the withdrawal phase right now, this is the hard part we're here with you, we' supporting you. And if you can get through this week, your life is going to be amazing and golden from now on. So keep up the hard work. Marchelle, do you remember when you were going through this?

Marchelle (02:23):
Yes, I do. I would just like to say congratulations to everybody who is doing this and it, it was hard, but Uhhuh I felt so much better after the first week.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:34):
Yes. Yes.

Marchelle (02:35):
It's so worth it. Congratulations everybody who's doing it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:38):
It's so worth it for sure. The other thing that happened is that I opened up the doors to Empowered Weight Loss. And Empowered Weight Loss is my online program, where I teach our members everything and I do mean everything that they need to lose weight and keep it off. And we've had so many that have joined us, and I'm absolutely thrilled because each person who joins us is one more person in this world who will stop struggling with their weight, who will stop being a victim of the food industry and of our crazy sugar and flower obsessed society, and will come out on the other side with a completely different mindset about who they are and what's possible in life. And that is just absolutely thrilling to me. So it's, so it's so thrilling when people recognize the confidence and clarity that they gain when they end this obsession with food and weight. I mean, imagine knowing that you can just go to your closet and pick out anything and know it's going to fit or….

Marchelle (03:45):
That's the best feeling ever. I remember when I, you know, I, it was about, it took me about three years of losing fat before I really felt comfortable. Yeah. And, you know, cause I, you know, I was, I was on that journey and you know, when you're on the journey, I feel like you're really focused. Yeah. And then once I got to this place where I got to go in my closet and I felt comfortable wearing anything. Yeah. That was such a freeing feel. I, I felt so good. Mm-Hmm in my own body for the first time in I can't even remember. Yeah. And it, yeah. And I just, I just hope that if we can reach, I wish we could reach everyone in America.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:27):

Marchelle (04:27):
And just teach them this information that you're sharing because it's, it, it's a life changer.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:33):
It really is.

Marchelle (04:34):
For sure. Yep.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:35):
Well, and so many people, you know, they will hide from getting pictures taken and it's like, you look back at the pictures years later and they're like, well, where's mom? Mom's been behind the camera. Mom's refusing to be in the, in the pictures. Or, you know, the, the family will be doing some sort of hike or boating trip or whatever and it's like, no, I'm not going to do that. I just don't feel comfortable doing, being, being there. I'm worried that I'm going to slow everybody down or whatever it might be. And it's just like, you know, when you, when you get into Empowered Weight Loss and you learn the skills that it takes to not just lose the weight, but really keep it off. You are, you are a participant in your life again. And that's good, not just for you, but that's good for everybody who loves you too.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (05:31):
So you come out, you know, with a, we do a lot of deep work in it. We really do. It's not easy, but you come out on the other side with a whole new capacity to love your life and to be present in your life and in your world. And you're able to participate instead of hanging out on the sidelines. Like one woman in the challenge said she felt like a kitten chasing her tail. So she said her sugar cravings kept her chasing, chasing her tail, but she was never satisfied. So imagine what it would be like to no longer be hanging out on the sidelines of your life chasing your tail like that. You know, it's, it's just a really cool place to be. So….

Marchelle (06:15):
I, if you're, and we're not, and the doctor's not talking about the next diet that you to get on, it's not it's, this is so much more than that. Exactly. And I just hope that anybody who's listening, just give yourself a chance and the opportunity to change your life for good. Cause once you know this information, you don't ever unknow it and just , that's true. Do it, just do it, just do

Dr. Angela Zechmann (06:40):
It well, so, so depending on where you're at, and we're going to talk about the stages of change, but I want you to know that if you're interested in all of this, we made the challenge recordings available. So I have, I did about half an hour to an hour worth of teaching in the challenge and the recordings are available for people who weren't able to attend live. And so I made the challenge recordings available. I also put together a digital collection of 30 recipes that I curated and I call this my give your pancreas, a vacation recipe collection. Now, many people have never heard of the pancreas. They have no idea what it is or what it does. So you'll have to watch the recordings to find out. But most people don't know that this is one of the most important organs in your body.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:36):
And in most people it's pretty stressed out. So if you're interested in the challenge recordings and they give your pancreas a vacation recipe collection, just go to And we'll put that link in the show notes. So that if you're interested in the challenge recordings on recipes you can just go there and get that. And if you're like, "hey Dr. Angela, you know what? You're making a lot of sense here. I'm ready to join Empowered Weight Loss Sign me up". Then just go to, EWL, get it, Empowered, Weight Loss, and then you can read all about it and sign up for the plan that works best for you if you're ready to join us. And I would encourage you to.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:26):
So what I wanted to do today is I wanted to talk a little bit about the process of change and learning that we go through when we decide to do something like change the way we eat and get healthy. These stages of change were developed by a research team named Prochaska and DiClemente probably, I'm guessing sometime in the eighties or early nineties. I actually heard DiClemente speak at a conference during residency and I felt like a fan girl at the time. So I was, I mean, I was just in the audience, just, just completely centered and focused. I admire these two so much. So they developed what they called the Five Stages of Change. And so I want to go through each of these stages. So you all know, and you can think about where you are and place yourself where you are in your journey of change. So the first days of change is called Pre Contemplation. And what this means is that you do not have any desire to change at all. So you don't see any problems. So let's say you're a smoker and you enjoy smoking and you see no problem with it at all. You're in the pre contemplation stage.

Marchelle (09:47):
Okay. That was me from about age 15 to 30.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:51):
Yeah. Yeah.

Marchelle (09:51):
Yeah, I was in total denial. I had no idea what I was doing to my body. I didn't even know what my pancreas was. Mm-Hmm I was drinking like six sodas a day, at least. Mm-hmm . And you just living on, basically, living on Pepsi and cigarettes. Mm-hmm And didn't, I mean, you just, I just thought I was totally invincible. And then the 30 hit and things started to change and that's when I go into the next stage.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:20):
The next stage. Okay. So the second stage, the second stage is called Contemplation. So this means that you're starting to think that you might want to make a change. So if you're a smoker, for example, you might start to be worried about your nagging cough, or the possibility of developing lung cancer or all the money that you're spending on cigarettes. If you're someone with a disease of obesity, you might be starting to get frustrated with weight gain or with the aching joints, or you might start to get worried about your blood sugar or your high blood pressure. So you're thinking about making a change, but you're not really actually ready to do it yet. So Marchelle, you're saying this was you in your early thirties.

Marchelle (11:03):
Yeah. So that's when I started, you know, thinking about, well, man, I don't think that, you know, I'm doing the right things and mm-hmm , I probably shouldn't be drinking this much soda and I probably shouldn't starve myself to, you know, I just started questioning the things that I was doing because I, I did always have this negative self talk going on in my head, you know, most of my life. Like, I don't know if anybody's heard, you know, the previous podcast on Marshalle's story, but mm-hmm, I explain in there, you know, just how I really suffered with the being overweight. Yeah. And, but, you know, but also, I didn't know, I didn't know what to do, except for, you know, all the latest, bad diets and Uhhuh, whatnot. I'm sure everybody's gone through that. Yeah. But when I turned 30, I started thinking like, I gotta do something about this, but then once I thought that, that's when I started buying into the Jenny Craig diets and Watchers and ah, you know, like I'm going to get serious about losing weight and you know, I can do anything for 30 days.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:09):

Marchelle (12:09):
And, and I would, I would lose weight and then I would gain it right back after I stopped. And yeah. It's not sustainable. None of those programs are sustainable. Just an FYI. Yeah. And they're not meant to be Uhhuh and and so…..

Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:24):
That's a really, I love, I love what you just said. They're not meant to be sustainable. That is so true. Oh my gosh.

Marchelle (12:31):
Well, if they were, then they wouldn't make any money. Yeah. If they just cured everybody. So yeah. So, you know, they're, they're not meant to, to be successful. So, but you know, I didn't know that and mm-hmm, , I just kept trying and failing and trying and failing, you know, and I went through the whole thirties doing that and I just felt really out of control. I had no idea that that obesity was a disease. Mm-Hmm I just thought I was broken. And I thought that I had messed up my metabolism mm-hmm and you know, my brain was broken cause I could never say no and I'd wake up on a diet and then I go to sleep as a failure and I wait, I'll do it tomorrow, you know? Right. Yeah. In way. And then yeah. And so I'm sure that I'm not the only one that has gone through this.

Marchelle (13:17):
And like I said, think age has a lot to do with it because you know, when you're young there's a lot of liberties you can take, you know, because your body is very resilient when you're young mm-hmm mm-hmm and and so, you know, when I hit 30, I just, I wanted to change and then I didn't know where to go and what to do. So I wasted a lot of money and felt really broken by the time that I met you mm-hmm and started working at the clinic and it has just completely changed my life. Like I had no idea yeah. that I could be free from all of the depression and stress that comes with yeah. feeling overweight and not being comfortable in your own skin. Yeah.

Marchelle (14:01):
Yeah. Eating and wearing those clothes that, you know, just would, I'm just, they were just, I wear baggy clothes all the time. Mm-Hmm I didn't, you know, I didn't want anyone to look at me and I didn't want to be pictures. And when I saw pictures of myself, I was mortified. Yeah. And so you know, if you're struggling with that, just, you really just need to get on board with this and give yourself a chance to be happy because mm-hmm this is meant for success. This is sustainable weight loss it's right. This podcast is called, is Keep The Weight Off.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:30):
Right. it's named very deliberately Keep The Weight Off. Yeah. So when you were in your thirties, then you were in, you started in the contemplation stage. You were no longer at that, I am invincible and I can just do whatever I want. You're like, hey, wait a minute, there's some issues here going on. So that was, and so then you went into preparation stage. This is the third stage is Preparation. So this is when you were starting to look at all the different diets and you really wanted to change and you're trying to figure out the best way to do it. So for example, if you're a smoker, you might be looking into smoking cessation programs, or you might call your doctor for an appointment for medications that will help you to quit. If you have obesity, unfortunately, what most people do, which is what, what happened to Marchelle is they start thinking about some sort of diet.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:24):
So they're researching whether they want to try one of the latest fads and most people don't realize that they have a disease and most healthcare professionals don't realize that either, frankly. And so they will tell people who ask them, who are sort of in that preparation phase. Oh, well, yeah. Just, just, you know, reduce your calorie intake, push yourself away from the table, go join the gym, burn some calories off. This is, this is advice. I was just talking to my cousin's husband in Minnesota visiting family. And he was telling me that his cardiologist was giving him all of this weight loss advice. And it just sounded exactly like that standard, you know, push yourself away from the table and go exercise.

Marchelle (16:08):
Yeah. You just exercise more.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:10):
Exactly, exactly.

Marchelle (16:11):
Simple. Just, you know, just go do it.  

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:13):
Yeah. Right. So that's the third stage is the preparation stage where you're sort of looking for information to see about how you could possibly be making that change. Then there's the fourth stage, which is the Action stage. So by the time people make an appointment in our clinic, they are in the action stage. And if you think about our challenge participants, our Sugar Busters, Kickstart challenge participants, they were somewhere between preparation and action. So if you think about it, I've got a really big email list now, but there were plenty of people on that email list that did not join the challenge. And why, think about why would that be? Well it's because they weren't in the preparation or action stage yet, which is fine because I'll just keep doing more challenges and every time I do one, those who have moved into the action stage will join us. Make sense?

Marchelle (17:12):

Dr. Angela Zechmann (17:13):
Yes. And then when they're really ready to make major changes and go all in, they'll join us in Empowered Weight Loss. okay?

Marchelle (17:22):
Mm-Hmm Yeah. And unfortunately, by the time that people join Empowered Weight Loss or, or come to the clinic, mm-hmm they come in feeling defeated and they've tried everything else. Mm-Hmm And that is so unfortunate because honestly, skip all that bullshit. Just yeah do this because you know, I've done all that. I can tell you it doesn't work. Yeah. And just do this cause this works.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (17:43):
Yeah. Yeah. So there's a, the fifth stage of change. So action is where you're actually doing everything to lose weight. Then there's the fifth stage of change and that's Maintenance and that's deep learning about how to maintain the new behaviors. And that's what we work on very specifically in Empowered Weight Loss. So how do you maintain your new habits? What thoughts will serve you and what thoughts will derail you? And we do so much work on your thinking because your thoughts actually create your reality. And I'm really proud of what we do in Empowered Weight Loss, because we're working with people at such deep levels and really serving them in their best interest. Okay. So that's the maintenance piece and there's a lot to it. Now for many years Prochaska and DiClemente taught these Five Stages of Change, pre-contemplation, contemplation, wait a minute, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (18:49):
And then they realized, hey, wait a minute. There's actually one more stage. There's a sixth stage. And we need to define this and take this into account. So what's the sixth stage? It's Relapse; falling back into the old behaviors. When this happens for most people, what they do is they beat themselves up, right? Yes. And they don't understand that it's actually a normal process. So what I want everyone listening to know is that relapse is a normal part of the stages of change. Especially if life gets stressful, the brain is going to fall back into patterns that are more familiar and easier.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (19:35):
And the classic example is the two year old who just got potty trained and then mom brings a new baby home. Imagine what that's like for a two year old, suddenly mom is distracted, mom is really busy, mom's not paying attention to me anymore. This is very, very stressful for a young child. And so the child who was potty trained is suddenly back in diapers. The new behavior is not yet well enough ingrained and the child's brain cannot manage the stress of this new baby in the home. And suddenly mom is super busy and isn't paying as much attention to him. And so the new behaviors go by the wayside for a bit until the child acclimates. So this new understanding really revolutionized our thinking when it comes to major lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or losing weight. Relapse happens frequently when someone comes under stress. And what I want everyone listening to know is that this is completely normal when your brain is under stress. Any new behavior will fall by the wayside while your brain attends to making sure that you survive because when stressful things happen, as far as your brain is concerned it's that fight, flight response. And it's basically, it's a normal survival instinct. Does that make sense?

Marchelle (21:01):
It totally makes sense. And I just wanted to add that. I think what everybody should know is that when she's talking about relapse, mm-hmm, what that means, you know, is is, you know, you've been prepping your foods like you're supposed to do mm-hmm and maybe you go on vacation, right? Mm-Hmm Like I do, when I go on vacation, you know, my brain wants to go on vacation and I want to eat my way through, you know, the whole, the whole vacation time. And, and that can, for me, that can lead me down, you know, a rabbit hole that is hard for me to come out of. And also what I wanted to clarify is that we're talking about sugar and flour. Mm-Hmm , that's, that's three relapses and it's because sugar and flour has no nutritional value and it gives you this dopamine hit. So your brain gets addicted to it. Yeah. And once, you know, once you have that addiction, your brain never forgets it. And so if you're getting, if you have a situation where you're under stress or there's change, mm-hmm, , it's hard for you to handle, then mm-hmm , your brain is going to go, hey, but if you just have a little of this, I can make you feel better. Yes. That's going to be salt, sugar and flour.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:15):
Yes and fat.

Marchelle (22:15):
So just to be and….

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:16):

Marchelle (22:17):
And fat.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:17):
Mixed up with some fat.

Marchelle (22:19):
Of that. Yeah, yeah,

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:20):
Yeah. Yeah. So, so this is awesome because I really just want people to understand, okay, there's six stages of change. There's the pre contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and relapse. So everyone listening to this podcast, since this is called the, Keep The Weight Off podcast, ask yourself, where are you in this process? What stage are you at? I think we can pretty much assume that you're not in the pre contemplation stage, or you would not be interested in listening to this at all. So perhaps you're in contemplation or preparation or action, or maybe you're in maintenance or maybe you're in relapse wherever you are, I want you to know that we're here for you and we're really glad you're listening. And if you happen to be in that action stage, we'd love to have you join us in Empowered Weight Loss, because this is what's going to give you real true lasting results. It's not a diet. I teach you how to eat, to fuel your body and to reset your metabolism. But you're not going to just go on a diet and then be done with it. Like we're done with dieting here. So I'm teaching you all of these other skills. So if you are interested in Empowered Weight Loss the website to go to is And we would love to see you on the inside. Cool huh Marchelle?

Marchelle (24:03):
Yeah. I, I just want to say again, just do it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:05):
Yeah. Like there's, there's no reason not to really.

Marchelle (24:08):
No there's no reason not to.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:10):
If you're at that, if you're at that preparation, preparation action stage, this is your next step. It really is. So, awesome.

Marchelle (24:20):
Definitely. It's a lifestyle change guys. It's not, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change and you just need to do it. Yeah. You so much better. It's worth it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:28):
You will. Yeah. All right. So that's all for this week. Take care everyone. And we will see you next week. Bye-Bye

Marchelle (24:36):
All right. Goodbye everybody.

--- End of Transcription ---

Dr. Angela



This episode was produced and marketed by the Get Known Service


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.