We Need to Talk About Your Results | TMOHP Episode 057

If you’re someone who wants to stop bingeing or stop eating all the chocolate before bed, or if you want to lose 25 pounds without dieting, you’d think you’d know if your approach was working - right? What if I told you that it’s incredibly common for women to overlook, underreport, and even miss positive results and signs of success when they’re working to create freedom from overeating?

Think about that for a moment. It takes effort to make changes. If the equation is off - if it feels like you’re working hard and getting nowhere - well that’s demoralizing, demotivating, and can be quite a blow to your self-confidence.

It’s entirely possible to be on the right track and to have your brain tell you that you aren’t getting anywhere. And this can lead to giving up on strategies that are working for you, and even to giving up on yourself.

We have to talk about your results.

In this episode:

  • How our biology, diet culture, and perfectionism can cause you to miss the results you’re creating
  • How results (and the lack of them) can create momentum, motivation, or vicious cycles
  • How this shows up (examples!)
  • How to get better at noticing and owning your results

Featured on the show:

  • Take The Hidden Hungers Quiz
  • Your Missing Peace  is my 16-week program for women ready to stop overeating and emotional eating for good. Enrollment is open and NOW is the perfect time to join us! Go here to learn more
  • Private Coaching. One-on-one coaching is for you if you’re looking for something that’s completely individualized and specific to your situation. Openings are limited. Learn more here.

Episode Transcript

Hey everybody. I was not planning to record a podcast episode today. In fact, I had a whole plan for what the next podcast episode was that I, and is that I'm going to record. However, I've had a number of things come up this week and I decided that there are some things that are really important to share. There is something that is really important to share. 

We need to talk about your results. Here's the thing, I have been coaching smart, busy women for a very long time around issues like bingeing and emotional eating and stress eating and weight loss, and overeating of every kind you can imagine. And I have seen so many people get stuck in vicious cycles, ongoing cycles with yoyo weight loss and trying something and starting over and this didn't work and now I got to try this and now I've done every program on the planet. Because they get trapped in a cycle of evaluating their results, misevaluating their results, and believing that nothing is working. 

And if you do one thing or two things, or three things or a lot of things, and you just feel constantly dissatisfied with your results, I want you to think about how, well, maybe you don't have to think about, maybe you have experienced how demotivating that is. What a blow that is to your confidence. And, how every time you go through this cycle, it becomes harder and harder and harder and feels like more of an uphill battle. So we need to talk about your results. 

We all have an inner perfectionist, or I guess I should say I have never met anybody who doesn't have an inner perfectionist. And inner, you know, perfectionist thinking is all or nothing. You've attained it or you haven't. I work a lot with high achievers, people who have very high expectations for themselves, and I work with women and people who identify as women. And guess what? All of these things make it very difficult because of the, the expectations that we have been exposed to the, the way that ways that we have been raised, the cultural influences. All of these things make it very hard to, you know, raise our hands in the air and declare great results. It is so much easier for so many people, most especially high achieving, smart, busy women. To see all the places they haven't gotten results yet. All the places that aren't quite dialed in, the things they haven't quite achieved, the milestones that are still ahead of them.

It is so much easier to own those than it is to own a positive result. To say, I've achieved something. I've won. I am making progress. This is working. If you combine that with what we know from neuroscience about how the brain works, then it can be really hard to create a motivating cycle where we are seeing results and feeling excited about it and having that propel us forward. I have talked about Rick Hanson in a previous podcast. He has this great phrase that he uses in talking about how our brains work. He says that, the brain is Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good. And it has to do with evolution and the fact that, you know, we are designed to survive and we were designed to survive all sorts of dangers that most of us don't encounter these days, right? We're supposed to be primed to stay out of danger or to not get killed by lions and tigers and bears to be alert for bad things happening. And so, evolutionarily it makes sense that it is a bigger deal to have danger in front of you, then to have something to celebrate. Our brain gets hyper focused on what could go wrong or what has go wrong, gone wrong, or what the signs of danger are.

And right now, you know, we live in a society where those aren't really things that are going to kill us. We are more alert for the negative. And, the good things that happen, our brain thinks, Oh, I don't have to worry about that. That's not something I need to pay attention to. So, our brain really doesn't have the mechanism for absorbing and really soaking in good, positive experiences. Experiences of really attaining great results. Having a win, having a great day of eating the way that you wanted to, or responding to your stress instead of going into the kitchen. Our brain notices that. But it doesn't really notice it in the way it will notice if you went into the kitchen and ate all the things because you were stressed out and then got mad at yourself. Your brain will hold onto that experience in a deeper way than it will the accomplishment, the result you achieved, the win that you got. Because to your evolutionarily wired brain doing, doing something the way you want to, having a positive result, that doesn't put you in danger. So you can just let that one slide on by. 

This is not helpful for creating a trail of breadcrumbs of results that is going to keep you motivated and inspired and keep you on track with stuff that is working. And there is another piece of the puzzle, and that is that very few of us have escaped diet mentality and diet culture and deprivation thinking. And all of those things when you are looking at changing your eating or ending over eating or stopping binge behaviors or emotional eating or weight loss, all of those things lead us to focus primarily on one metric. Have I lost weight? Right? Have I lost weight? Has the scale changed? Are my pants looser? And so, when you are in a place where the scale hasn't moved yet, you're not at your goal yet, it's happening slower than you want it to. And by it, I mean that one metric, the number on the scale.

Or maybe things are starting to happen, but remember your brain is Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good. So there are, you know, maybe you're on a path where, oh, I am losing weight, but my labs aren't as good as I would like them to be. I got some news about my cholesterol or my blood sugar or Right, and those aren't where they should be. My blood pressure is too high. 

Your brain is going to notice all the things that you haven't done, and if your primary focus is one metric weight, which it is for so many women because of the whole culture that you have been indoctrinated in. If your only focus is primarily that one metric, you are never going to create peace with food. And you are never going to break free from diet and deprivation mentality. And everything that is quote unquote, imperfect, or as yet undone, or as yet unachieved is going to remind you of that thought, but I haven't lost all the weight yet.

Stop for a moment. Just stop and take a deep breath. And I want you to feel inside your body because I know you've had the experience of this isn't working. I'm not going to be able to do this. I'm not going to be able to lose the weight, I'm not losing the weight, I haven't lost the weight, I haven't done it fast enough. Oh my gosh. The panic or the anxiety or the depression, the dullness, the numbness that sometimes happens. When you focus on just that one metric. By the way, not the other metrics that I'm going to talk about in a minute, but all those other metrics that are actually responsible for changing your weight and changing your eating in a sustainable way. If all you're focused on is that number, it is so easy to unleash that cycle in your body of feeling bad or feeling panicked or feeling behind, or feeling like what you're doing is wrong or feeling like you need to do something else or feel like, like you need to start over again. It's a lot. 

And here is why I am sharing this episode with you because you can be focusing on this one metric and not seeing results, and that does not mean you are not getting results. Bear with me because I'm going to explain that alright? If you don't define and look for other metrics, and by other metrics, I mean other, other results, other signs of success, other signs that you are making a change in your relationship with food. But, and by that I mean other, other signs that your eating patterns are changing, your eating habits are changing, you're eating, habits are changing. Your attention to hunger is changing. If you don't look for and then say, Okay, these are going to be signs that this is working. If you don't have those things, you are not going to see them. You're going to miss results because you won't have defined those things as, Ooh, this is a result. And when you miss results, like I said, it feels like nothing is happening. It feels like you aren't getting anywhere, right? I, I, I have this one result. The one result is that I'm going to lose 25 pounds and I haven't lost 25 pounds. So I guess this didn't work either. And when that happens, when you miss results, you lose confidence, you lose motivation, you lose inspiration, you lose momentum.

When you miss results, it is it is normal. It is human to jump to the conclusion that something is wrong. That this thing that you're doing, this thing that you're trying, the experiment that you've been doing about paying attention to your feelings and asking yourself what you're really hungry for, or whatever that thing is, it isn't working right. Cause I don't see any results. But you haven't defined any other results except that one big end goal result. That isn't going to come first, right? So it's easy to jump to that conclusion that it isn't working. And it is easy, like I said, to get into the pattern of constantly restarting or getting to that place that I know some of you can relate to, where you just feel like you're living in search of the perfect weight loss plan. You know, it's out there, you've tried so many of them, you're trying all the things. Or, like so many women who come to join the Your Missing Peace program, you, you tell me. You know what? My head is so full of so much advice that I don't even know what to think anymore.

I really want you to get this because it is so important. Missing results, which is different from, I'm not getting results, missing results because we're not looking for them, because we didn't necessarily see that as a result because we told our self, Oh, there's only one big, huge, real result is such a huge reason that people get stuck in cycles with bingeing, with overeating, with emotional eating, with yoyo weight loss, or with no weight loss at all, or with being just completely frustrated and feeling hopeless in terms of changing your eating or your relationship with food.

So reasons that you miss results. You miss results when you're only looking for one thing. We see what we're focused on, right? We see what we're paying attention to. And if the only thing you're focusing on is your, your weigh in, you are almost certainly missing results or opportunities to get better results. So we miss results when we're only looking at one thing, which is usually the scale and. 

You miss results when you're only focused on your performance in a very perfectionist way, and that comes up for all of us, but it is so reinforced by diet mentality, all or nothing thinking, Right? So think about it. You have a day where you have a plan for how you want to approach food. Maybe you want to check in with your feelings, you want to pay attention to the transition between the end of the day and the beginning of your evening, and all these things fall into place. You do all these things well. But, at the end of the day, you quote, blow it and quote, and you have a binge, or you eat more than you wanted to. You mindlessly finish the stuff on your plate at dinner and you get way too full. We miss results when we're only focused on our performance in all or nothing perfectionist ways. Because think about it. I bet you've had experiences like this where, I don't know, 6, 7, 12 things went right during the day, but you end up deciding it's ruined. I blew it. And the only thing your brain, which is Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good can focus on is the one choice that you made. That wasn't what you wanted. And so all those other results, all those other wins, all those other accomplishments? They end up counting as nothing in the tally that you keep in your head.

This is so important because think about that example that I just gave you. You may have been building skills three or four really important areas, building skills about checking in with your feelings. Building skills about pausing and checking in with yourself. Building skills about noticing difficult times of day. You may have been really making progress. But when all or nothing perfectionist thinking wipes those results off the board and just tells you, Oh, you failed. This didn't work either. Think about all the hard work that is lost and think about the toll that that takes on your motivation and on your inspiration and your momentum to keep yourself aimed in what might very well probably is probably what might, might very well be, or what probably is the right direction for you.

Another way that you missed results is when you aren't taking time to check in with yourself. When you are just going from one thing to the next, or doing, you know, a million things at once and there isn't, there aren't pauses in your day, there aren't places in your day where you're actually paying attention to- what am I thinking? What am I feeling? What's going on inside me? Am I hungry? Am I not hungry? What are the choices that I made? Because you're just reacting. You're just multitasking and doing a ton of things at once. If you're not taking time to check in with yourselves, you're not going to be able to see the things that worked out or that went right or that you paid attention to.

I'm going to keep saying this over and over and over again in different ways because we don't get taught this. Your brain doesn't naturally really, really, really absorb the wins and the gains and the positive results. So what you can do, what is really important to do, is to notice them. Deliberately notice the wins, the gains, the results. To notice them, to note them, to remind yourself of them, to create reminders of them. Because it is not something that your brain does in a, in a as deep away as it notices all the non-results. And this is so important. 

And that brings me back to why I decided to record this podcast episode today. I decided to record this podcast episode today because I had a number of interactions with, members of the Your Missing Peace program and clients that I'm coaching one on one in which their brains absolutely wanted to skip over and overlook really important results. So these were interactions where I was, coaching with them and they were telling me nothing is happening. I'm not getting results. This isn't working. And when we started to look at it, there were phenomenal things happening, but their brain and their thoughts were your mindset, their mindset was focused on the things that had not evolved to the place they wanted them to be yet. The, the results that weren't, you know, not the results, but the, the things they wanted to accomplish. The places where they hadn't crossed the finish line yet. And it is fine to see the gap between where you are and where you want to go. I want to be really clear about that. There is nothing wrong with having a result that you want to achieve that you haven't achieved yet. And if weight loss is one of your goals, that's okay. There's nothing wrong with having a goal that relates to the scale or your weight or the size of your pants. 

But if your exclusive focus on one goal and a goal that isn't likely to come first. Is keeping you from seeing very important, very tangible, very real, very powerful results. Then we need to take a look at that. And I know examples are super useful. So I actually made a list of things my clients wanted to overlook this week, or let's just say their brains wanted to overlook this week. Results that they weren't seeing that were really important for them to see. Because they were focused on something else. So these are things I actually heard this week when we dug for results. Nothing. Remember we started with it's, it's not working, or I need to do something different. A result that got missed was, I'm still losing weight without a diet. I've dropped another pant size.

I went on vacation and I lost weight. Remember, these things are real and they happened, but what happened is clients were focused on something that didn't happen, right? So I went on vacation and lost weight. She wasn't happy with what happened when she got back from vacation for the, the day and a half when she was back from vacation. So she missed that result. Had she ever gone on vacation and lost weight? No. Right. I'm still losing weight without a diet, and I've dropped another pant size. Why did she not see that result? Well, she did. She took it for granted and she skipped through it, so she didn't really let it sink in, so her brain would say, Oh my gosh, I'm winning. This is working. Because she was focused on the fact that it hadn't happened as quickly as she wanted it to. And her brain got pulled into all or nothing thinking. 

Another client went to the, for her annual checkup and her lab numbers were not where she and her doctor wanted them to be. And so again, all the other results went out the window. This isn't working. I need to change things. We need, I need to do something different with how I'm eating. I need to do something with different with my eating. Okay. And then when we slowed down and then when we checked in. What she noticed, what she was, the result that she was missing is that, well, actually my numbers were better than my last visit, my numbers are moving in the right direction. Does that mean she doesn't have other changes that she wants to make? Does that mean that there's anything wrong with choosing to do things differently based on the data she got? Absolutely not. But I want you to really see how we get focused on where we're not, the result that we didn't get, or the result that your brain is saying, this is the most important thing. And there is a danger of not seeing the results that you're working so hard to create. And when you do that, it does a number on you and it does a number on your motivation and your confidence, and oftentimes it does a number on the choice you make about whether to keep going. 

All right. Other results that we found when we dug for them this week with, and this is I'm, I'm sharing this from several clients. My body is actually feeling better. My back doesn't ache. My knees don't hurt. I'm walking longer distances than I could walk a couple of months ago. I'm doing longer workouts than I could before. I'm enjoying my workouts. Again, these are results that happened that are happening in the lives of these women, but we really had to go back and find the results because they were lost in the, the just the mind garbage of I, I'm not getting where I want to go. I'm not getting results.

If your brain is telling you you're not getting results, it's so important to look for, Wait a minute, what are the results I am getting? So here's some other things I literally heard this week from people who are saying, I'm not there yet. I know this hasn't happened for me.

I'm freer with my food choices. I'm approaching food with a positive outlook. I am not mad at myself anymore. I am not giving into all or nothing thinking. I'm not blaming myself in the way that I used to. And I'm so much more aware of the reasons that I find myself wanting to overeat and I'm paying attention to them more.

Physical changes, actual changes in bodies that were happening, that were being overlooked. Actual weight changes that were being minimized or were that people were distracted from because they were focusing on something else. Changes in lab values. Changes in responses to feelings. Changes in responses to themselves, and how they were treating themselves. All of these things came up this week, and all of these things are very, very, very powerful results. And all of these things were results that were being missed. If you want to do things differently with food, if you want to feel differently about your eating, if you want to stop overeating and do that in a different way, in a way where you're not relying on willpower or going hungry, or creating long lists of rules that you don't really want to adhere to and that you know aren't going to last. If you want things to be different then it is so important to practice paying attention to all the results. All the ways that things are starting to be different. All the things that you are noticing. All the times that you made a different choice. All the places where you didn't walk into the kitchen and you did something else, or you put your fork down, or you asked yourself a different question about what you were hungry for. All of the times that you thought about your food choices differently, or you noticed that you weren't hungry or you asked yourself why you binged and what you were feeling. Or the times that you stopped mid binge. If you want to do things differently, then you need to notice all the things that are different. And by this again, I mean really notice them. Give yourself credit. Let them sink in. 

Doing it differently, creating a peaceful relationship with food, breaking free from patterns that led to emotional eating or overeating in the past. This means paying attention and giving credit to all the things that you experiment with. All the things that you do differently. All the new things that you notice.

For so many women I talk with, the results start to come, and then they get discredited or minimized, and then it is so tempting to quit. And what breaks my heart is that part of this cycle that I often see is the results become invisible because you're not looking for them. The results get, they don't get counted because you're in perfectionism and all or nothing thinking, or the results get minimized because, well, yeah, that happened, but I haven't gotten here yet.

And then what happens is that it is so tempting to quit right before the payoff. Right before the pieces come together. Because, when you change the way you're doing things, when you change your approach, when you start taking care of the reasons that you're eating, before you start, you know, micromanaging all the food, you take care of the reasons that food has its power. Then oftentimes the food and the weight and that one metric, the scale is not the first thing to change. Doesn't mean it's not working, it's just not the order that it happens in. 

So here's the challenge. When your brain starts to tell you that you aren't changing your eating, that this isn't working. I want you to be aware of that all or nothing statement. Beware of it, right? Don't throw the baby out with a bath water, which by the way is a really awful phrase, but don't do it. Be sure to ask yourself, what is working? What did go well today? What are the choices that I made that are, that I'm proud of? What are the things that I experimented with? What are my results? Play with this, and I promise you, you are going to see your efforts in a different light. You are going to see things differently than if you keep yourself focused on this one result that's, you know, all the way at the finish line. Ask yourself, what, what were my results today? What did I accomplish? What am I proud of and what did go well? 

And if you want help and you want support and you want coaching around this and all the other pieces of creating freedom from overeating, then I hope you'll check out the Your Missing Peace program because that is where we are doing this work together.

That is where we're doing this work in powerful ways and it's work that makes a difference. Okay? 

So go notice your results and I will talk to you.

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Your Missing Peace is the psychologist-designed program that provides the tools, the support, the coaching, and the confidence to create freedom from emotional eating and overeating. Finally - emotional eating help done right! Your Missing Peace is specifically designed for smart, high-achieving women who are DONE with diets, who want a lasting solution, and who are ready to take their power back from food, from overeating, and the scale. 

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