What To Do When You’re Not Seeing Results | TMOHP Episode 032

There’s nothing more deflating than making efforts to change patterns of overeating and emotional eating and hearing that voice in your head whisper, “It’s not working.”

We want results! We want to see progress! (Of course, we do - we’re human beings.)

So what do you do when this isn’t happening? What about when it feels like nothing is working? How can you create a flow of results and wins and progress?

What is the fastest way to get real, winning results (and no, I’m not talking about a crash diet)?

Seeing the results you want requires you to step beyond diet mentality and all the restrictions and blinders it creates. When you do this, it’s possible to create a positive feedback loop where progress and the changes you make daily motivate you to continue on your path toward freedom from overeating.

This is exactly what I’m covering in this episode of the Too Much on Her Plate podcast.

What you’ll learn from this episode:

  • What to do when you’re not seeing results
  • The daily practice that is going to increase your results
  • The difference between diet mentality “results” and results that create freedom from overeating
  • The fastest way to get the results you really want

Featured on the show:

  • Take the free Hidden Hungers Quiz and find out your primary Hidden Hunger and your best place to start shifting your eating and your weight.
  • Your Missing Peace is my 16-week program for women ready to stop overeating and emotional eating for good. 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.
  • Visit http://toomuchonherplate.com for more tips and resources to create peace with food and overcome overeating and emotional eating.

Episode Transcript

Hello, everybody, you know, what is the worst? I bet you do. The worst is when you start working on making a change, you decide that something is worth diving into. Something is worth trying. Maybe you are going to pay more attention to the reasons that you overeat. Maybe you are going to double down on self care and nourishing yourself in ways that aren't food. Maybe you've decided to banish the scale and give up on relying solely on this number that seems to rule your days. Whatever it is, you've picked this path forward, this set of ideas that seem reasonable to you. They seem to make sense. And you're moving along, taking the steps, trying to integrate these into your new way of being. And then that little voice shows up. And I know, you know that voice, I mean that voice inside your head that says “This isn't working. I don't think this is enough. We're not seeing results. Maybe we need to go back to the old way. It's never going to happen for me.” 

Whatever that voice is saying to you. You've probably had that experience where you're trying something out and it does not seem like you are seeing results. It feels awful. It's discouraging. It starts to erode your confidence and your belief and whatever it is that you're doing. It's demotivating. And I bet you can walk through before I walk through it, you can tell me the negative loop that it causes for you, right? You doubt yourself, you lose your confidence, you lose your motivation, you start to feel less invested in doing that new thing that you're doing. Because every time you do it, that voice in your head is reminding yourself how we're not seeing results. It's not working. It's probably not enough. 

That may even lead you back to the habit you are trying to change in the first place, right? It may even lead back into the kitchen to get something to eat because you feel so discouraged or bad or mad at yourself, or you fill in the blank with whatever feeling your particular pattern carries it along with it. The irony is that that thought “I'm not seeing results” can lead to a whole cascade of behaviors that actually leads to you not seeing results. So today on the podcast, I want to talk about what to do about that. What to do when you are not seeing results or when you're having the thought, “I'm not seeing results”.

Let's begin by talking about how you are defining results. And what you have decided a result is if you have lived in the world of diet mentality, then oftentimes result is one thing. Diet mentality tends to have one result and it may be a number on the scale. It may be a weekly weight loss goal that you have set for yourself or a pair of pants that you are going to fit into. But diet mentality tends to define results very narrowly. There are a lot of problems with this. Number one it's very narrow. There is usually one metric. One thing that you're paying attention to. And if you miss the mark on that, if you are not seeing that actual thing, then we're in all or nothing land we're in perfectionist thinking land. If you're not seeing that one thing, you're not seeing results. The other problem with results that are defined within diet mentality is not only are they narrow, they're not immediately controllable.

So let's decide that you have chosen this diet mentality result, which is a weight goal. There's a specific weight that you want to achieve. There is nothing you or I, or any of us can do in this moment, in this exact moment to change our weight, right? Changing your weight is a process. You can create a plan that if you do these things over time, maybe you will achieve your weight. You may be on the path to achieving that weight loss goal, but you have no control over what happens when you step on the scale in the next five minutes, other than, you know, maybe going to the bathroom, which we all know that trick or standing on one foot or dancing around or taking off all of your clothes. Right? But in terms of changing your weight, in this moment you and I are powerless.

So if in this moment I have a goal that is this number. And in this moment, I can do nothing about it. I am creating that sense. That confirms what the voice in my head is telling me, which is you're not achieving your result at this moment. There's nothing to prove that I am. Here's another problem with diet mentality- goals that are very narrow. A lot of the time they seem too far away. They may feel too unattainable. The number may be too big. It may feel like when you think about how long you're going to have to do the things to get to that goal, which is a whole other issue, because you probably pick some things that you don't want to do for a long time to get to that goal with diet mentality, but it may seem so far away.

And so far out of reach that it is hard to see yourself ever getting there. It's hard to see that you are achieving any results. And here's the other secret thing. If you are living in diet mentality, and if you have picked a number on the scale as your goal, that number isn't really your goal. I know you're saying, what are you talking about? Of course it is my goal. I have dreamed of being this number on the scale. I was this number on the scale in 1990, whatever. And I know exactly what it feels like. No, we don't want the thing. We never want the thing. We never want to weigh 135 pounds. What we want is what we tell ourselves will happen when we weigh 135, 145, 120 pounds, right? We tell ourselves the thoughts and the feelings that we will live with when we achieve a goal, a number on the scale or the size of clothing that you go to in the clothing store, those are just numbers.

They don't mean anything until you make them mean something. Everything we want in life, we want because of how we tell ourselves it leaves us feeling. And what we tell ourselves, the thoughts and beliefs are that we will have when we achieve this goal. And the things that we believe now will be possible when we achieve this goal. That's what we want. And I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the thoughts or the beliefs that you have. There may be. They may be perfectionist beliefs that you know, everything will change. My life will be sunshine and daisies. When I get to this goal, when I eat a certain way, if I lose a certain amount of weight. It may be unrealistic. It may be absolutely realistic and attainable, but be honest with yourself. The thing you are chasing is not a number. It is that set of beliefs. And it's the feelings.

Okay, Melissa, I hear you saying that's all well and good, but my problem is I'm not seeing results and I want to see results. And I don't want to trick myself into seeing results that aren't there. I want results. I want to change my eating. I want things to change. Well, you need to see results. It is so important for us to see results. And I will tell you why, when you don't see results, we talked about that negative loop that you can get into that can actually just exacerbate, overeating, right? You start judging yourself and you feel less confident and you throw up your hands and you say, it's not working. I've blown it. I'm going to have to do something else which leads into a cycle. A lot of the time with throwing up your hands and going back into the old patterns with food that you were trying to make changes with in the first place, that negative cycle is very powerful.

And there's a positive version of that cycle. That is just as powerful, maybe more so that's the cycle that you get into when you agree with what you're doing. And when you do start to see results and when seeing progress and seeing that you're getting somewhere starts to build motivation and sustains you in doing the things, even on the days when maybe you don't feel so much like doing them because you are seeing that it's working. And as you're seeing that it's working, you are starting to create more thoughts and beliefs and feelings that this is worthwhile. This is helpful. This is something I want to continue with. That's an incredibly powerful cycle. And that is one of the big reasons that it is so important to pay attention to the right kind of results from the very beginning.

Results are so powerful. So let's revisit what you are defining as a result. I want you to think about this as looking for the bread crumbs that are dropped along the way as you go along the path to your destination, you want to get really good at seeing all the breadcrumbs, not just focusing on some magic goal in the distance, whatever that goal is, it's too far away. It is not going to keep you sustainably motivated. We want to look for the breadcrumbs. Okay. What do I mean by breadcrumbs? I want to practice and practice and practice. Grow the muscle of noticing the breadcrumbs until you get really good at noticing every shift, every change, every difference in the kind of moves that you're making. What makes this path that you are on this curve experiment, that you are engaged in with food. What makes this different from the old ways? The previous ways that have gotten you tied up in knots that have led to more overeating or that haven't worked. So what are breadcrumbs? Breadcrumbs could be a change in how you talk to yourself.

Maybe you're showing up with more compassion for yourself. Maybe you are being more cognizant and more aware of the fact that there is a reason that you walked into the kitchen. There's a reason that you're overeating. Maybe you're doing that. Even if you still responded by walking into the kitchen and having something to eat, that is a change. That is a transformation in your path. Maybe you are growing your ability to notice feelings or to stay with feelings instead of pushing them down or trying to distract yourself with food. Maybe you are practicing eating a mindful meal. Maybe you are learning about why it is hard to eat mindfully, which tends to lead to overeating for you. That's a breadcrumb. Another breadcrumb is simply noticing what didn't work today. Maybe you are getting better at noticing the difference between your approach and the things you tell yourself that you should do. And a real freedom mentality. Maybe you are starting to bump up against the edges of what you have always done. And ha maybe you're starting to deepen your awareness of why you don't want to do it anymore. That's a breadcrumb. Maybe today you noticed your imperfection and you didn't get stopped by it. Or maybe you did get stopped by perfectionism. And you noticed it afterwards. These are breadcrumbs. These are results.

Let me give you some reframes that may help you change your thinking and your approach to looking for results. A huge result, a major result that is so important is building a new foundation for your future results to stand on this whole conversation about whether you want to proceed with in diet mentality, whether you want to build something that is more freeing and more lasting, and that feels good. Making that change means creating a different foundation. It means approaching things from a different mentality, right? With a different mindset and doing things differently, not depriving yourself, but taking good care of yourself. So a huge change is doing the things that are building that foundation. You may not see those. If all you are looking for is a specific number on a specific day on a specific scale, it's a major result. A major result is getting more comfortable with feelings and more comfortable being with your feelings instead of numbing, or just distracting yourself or pushing them down with food. That's a major result that you won't see if you're stuck inside diet mentality, and you're only looking for one result, a huge result might be for you. And this varies by, by who you are individually, but it might be a huge result to let go of this scale forever or for a while. And to give up the, the, the relationship you have, where the scale has this power to affect your mood based on just whatever number it shows you on that particular day,

A huge result might be letting go of that good food, food mentality, stepping outside of that, practicing, doing it differently. There are amazing, huge transformative results that you will miss. If you don't look for them. And if you don't practice conditioning your brain to look for them.

Here's another trick that might be useful. When you think about what you will achieve when you achieve this goal. Even if your goal is a magic number, I want you to stop and make a list of all the things that you imagine will go with achieving that goal. How will you be different? How will you show up differently in the world? Now I'm not saying this list is necessarily realistic. There probably is some perfectionistic fantasy kind of thinking that goes into this, but you probably have a picture in your head of changes that will happen beyond. I will look down at the scale and I will see a number, right? Maybe you will dress differently. Maybe you will hold yourself differently. When you walk into a room, maybe you will feel proud of yourself for accomplishing this goal. You probably have a story, a picture in your head about what achieving this goal means to you. I mean, that's how we are motivated to pursue a goal.

Guess what? Every single thing you put on that list, and if you haven't made the list, I would encourage you to hit pause on this podcast and go and make the list first. But every single thing that shows up on that list of what you want to have happen when you achieve that goal, those are results that you can start looking for. Now, I'm going to talk more about this and what I mean by this in a moment. Here's what I want you to do right now. I want you to start noting, literally writing down all the results every day, every day. I want you to write down in a journal in your planner, somewhere in a file that you keep on your computer. I want you to write down all the signs of transformation, everything you notice. Here's the thing, the more we practice noticing, the more we start to see.

So this might be difficult at first. It is a process that will get easier. If you try to do this, if you sit down and you say, okay, Melissa, I'm going to note the transformations. Ugh, there aren't any, see I'm not getting any results. Here's what I want you to do. First of all, that is completely normal. We have to practice this. We have to grow this muscle. Then I will want you to think smaller. Diet mentality teaches us all or nothing thinking, or it reinforces all or nothing thinking that we already know very well, right? So I want you to think smaller. There is no transformation. There is no result that is so small that it doesn't count. I want you to look for the small things. The small changes, they add up and guess what? The small things are the ones that are easiest to be consistent with.

They are the easiest things to stick with forever. So think smaller. Oftentimes I'll talk to a client at the beginning of our work together and she'll be telling me how nothing worked this week. And it is so easy to go into that story in our heads, right? Nothing worked. I'm not getting results. I didn't do anything. Right. And then here's what happens as she talks. She'll be like, well, there was that time. You know, I did notice on Saturday that I walked into the kitchen, I did notice I wasn't really hungry. And I walked back outta the kitchen and I did, you know what? I actually did play and my lunches this week. And it felt really good because I had something to eat and then I didn't get too hungry in the afternoon. And that worked really. And it's interesting because if we just let ourselves go looking for what did work, you are going to start to find some things, things that you have been dismissing, things that you have been telling yourself, aren't enough things that you have been telling yourself, perhaps don't matter. Guess what they do. So think small. Remember to look in different directions. If you are not seeing results,

We want to focus on what we have always focused on. And if your focus with changing, your eating has always been on changing the number on the scale. Then you may forget about the other things.

How were you today at noticing your hidden hungers, noticing your physical hunger? How were you today at noticing feelings or asking yourself different questions to tuning into the reasons that you're overeating, noticing what didn't work after it didn't work. Look for the little things. Look in different directions. Imagine that you are looking for results with a camera. And I want you to zoom out, broaden, broaden your, your field of vision and see what you can find there. And if you're still stuck, here is an example that might help a transformation is you making the change of sitting down and looking for transformations, even though they're really hard for your brain to find a transformation is listening to a podcast that gives you a different perspective, and that is teaching and training your brain to create a new relationship with food and to move beyond diet mentality and to create freedom and peace for yourself. These are transformations. These are results. They're breadcrumbs. Now let's circle back to that list. I ask you to make about what it is that you wanted to achieve, who you will be when you achieve your goal. What will change for you? What will be transformed when you achieve your goal? I asked you to paint a picture of what you imagine that will look like. So one way to start creating more results. A very powerful way in fact is to ask yourself this question, how can I be more her now?

How can I be more of this identity? That is my goal. If she walks every day, if she wears more bright colors, if she is really good with her hydration and always keeps a water bottle on her desk, if she takes her vitamins, if she takes time for herself in the afternoon or after work to, you know, to gather her thoughts or to plan for the next day, how can you be one inch more of her? Now,

Sometimes we create these magical fantasies of this, you know, doing this hard work and getting to this place and somehow getting to this place, opening this door, which then means that we Al already have all these amazing habits and abilities to react in different ways and new ways of taking care of ourselves. That's not how this works. Look at this picture that you have for the future, ask yourself, which of these things, which of these parts of the picture that you've painted are pieces of who you want to be ask yourself, which of these things don't have to wait, how can you, her now, how can you start seeing results now being the future you that you want to be? And I want to clarify, we've got to, we've got to kind of filter out the, the things that you really want to be versus the things that you've been shoulding on yourself and telling you yourself, that you have to be being the person that you truly want to be now is the fastest way to get the results.

Diet mentality will tell you that you have to be a certain way to achieve your goal. And then you get to be her. But what if you were her now? What if you lived? What if you treated yourself? What if you stepped into the life of her now, wouldn't that create the results that you want? I mean, to go back to that magic number on the scale, and I hesitate to say a number, because it's just a number. It doesn't mean anything, but you know, say your number is X. If you start like an XPO woman or a woman who weighs XPO now, won't you be on the path to being that woman who weighs XPO results are important, and you're doing yourself a major disservice. If you insist on seeing your results as one, number one, clothing size, one thing, one opportunity to succeed or fail every single day, go for the feeling, go for who you want to be.

And don't make the joyful results. Something that are off limits until after you do some kind of arduous process, it won't work. Start creating the results. Now start looking for the results. Now start looking for more results, give yourself permission to see them everywhere. Give yourself permission to see them when they are really small. And when they are really imperfect, this is freedom mentality <affirmative> and it is a path that you will continually create every single day that allows you to stay motivated. It is motivating taking your power back with results, expanding your ability to notice and to create results for yourself. This is a major shift that is, is going to go so far in helping you create peace and freedom with food and in helping you to change emotional, eating, and overeating and take your power back.

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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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