Your Inner Toddler & Inner Saboteur are BFF's

I saw that many responded well to my email on Tuesday and I wanted to follow up with another email about the inner toddler, to bring about more clarity and awareness. I want to teach you more about this little toddler and your saboteur, how they work together... AND....  how they keep you stuck when they work together!! 

See, in the OLD dieting mindset, the toddler pushes back with "you're not gonna tell me what to do!" and the saboteur is like "I'll show you!" and so when you give in to them, and their attitudes, you re-enter the cycle of feeling like a failure, get super frustrated and as a result engage in the BLAME GAME..

And no, this isn't something cool like Jeopardy...  "I'll take eating off track for $200, Alex!" 

The BLAME GAME is deeper, more pervasive, and a lot more sinister... AND.. your inner saboteur thrives off the BLAME GAME...

See the saboteur has elements of your ego.. and if you missed my email a while back about your ego, I'll explain a little here. Not all 'ego' is bad and not everyone understands the function of ego what I'm explaining here is very different from what you might here about someone who is egocentric in the frame of 'Oh he or she has a big ego'. That's not what I am talking about here at all. 

See the function of your ego is designed to keep you safe. It goes with what makes you comfortable and what you are used to, so anything that pushes you outside your comfort zone triggers your ego.

It feels uncertain. It feels unsafe. It feels foreign. 

Even, if that action you are taking, (such as lifestyle change for your health and well-being) is beneficial in the long-term. 

You ego is trying to protect you and when the ego is triggered, you become uncomfortable and this is when the inner saboteur can strike easily. 

Discomfort. Frustration. Uncertainty.

This triggers you deep because you've never been taught to deal with change, you've never been taught to self-soothe, and you've likely never been taught how your brain really works, or how behavior change works. 

And so when stress comes up when you are trying to FOCUS, you are trying to 'BE GOOD', and you're TRYING to eat on plan, your saboteur leans in and says..'come on... just one bite, it'll make you feel better..." 

Your inner saboteur is sometimes a little mad man and sometimes (when playing BFF with your inner toddler), they tag team on you so you're like "screw it" and then the cycle begins.

Yet when you do that, the BLAME GAME begins.. because after you've said "screw it" and you munch or nom on whatever it is.. you feel like total and utter ....***(insert expletive here)***!!! 

Then, you BEAT YOURSELF UP. You call yourself every name in the book. You isolate because the shame is so big and so loud inside your head that you can't even talk about it because you just feel that awful..

Maybe it's been only a day that you've been REALLY focused on doing well and your meal plan, or maybe it's been a week, or maybe even a month..  and in that one moment, you feel that you blew it.. 

Maybe the trigger was stress.. or your mother-in-law (also stress), or maybe your ex-husband (also stress), or maybe it was work junk, bad friends, a crazy hectic schedule, or a bill that came in that totally overwhelmed you...

Whatever it was.... the little negative nellies inside... Your Inner Toddler - who doesn't do well with receiving or expressing emotions and is rattled when you tell him/her what to do.. and the self-saboteur who is a huge procrastinator and says.. "let's deal with real life tomorrow" steps in.. those TWO together are HELL to live with... 

and because you don't know how to properly tame them.. they ZAP you every time.. 

See, here's the thing.. 

Your Inner Toddler.. not such a bad guy, even though he/she gets a bad wrap..  Sure, the little guy is rebellious as hell, but what do you know about rebellion and why it happens?

Your Inner Saboteur.. also not terrible.. the saboteur just wants for things to stay status quo and when you're all 'trying to get healthy and stuff' the saboteur is like.... "do something different? no that's crazy and scary and who are we going to be?" 

And then BOOM.. before you know it you have downed a whole 1/2 sleeve of thin mints (those damn girl scouts) and you're wondering WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

So... first...breathe.. 


What might be ONE thing that you learned from staring down your inner toddler and saboteur? 

Both of them are rebellious, so instead of trying to beat them both to a pulp in the form of self-criticism and emotional disparagement, which by the way, up until now hasn't worked.. you need new techniques.. 

I want to teach you how to tame the toddler and the saboteur... but first you've got to learn to speak their language... 

What do they need? 
What do they want? 

So think for a second. .what does any toddler want? 

TO BE COMFORTED.... 

And.. when you beat the toddler up.. what happens ? 

REBELLION. 
ANGER.
ACTING OUT. 


Do you see a theme here? 

The saboteur and the inner toddler both need UNDERSTANDING, ACCEPTANCE, LOVE, COMPASSION, and TO BE COMFORTED...

Now.. wait a second.. I did not tell you that you could pick up the tube of thin mints, put that back down! 

I said that the toddler and saboteur wanted to be comforted... which in turn makes you want to act out.

Instead of beating yourself up when you are stressed and start reaching for the nearest vending machine or candy bar.. you need to learn how to SELF-SOOTHE the little inner you.. the toddler, so you will NOT turn to food.. 

See, turning to food is the behavior that you've used when you HAVEN'T BEEN SOOTHED PROPERLY! 

And, since you likely haven't learned how to soothe when you're stressed, or angry, or frustrated, or any other emotion for that matter, what happens?  Your little rebellious toddler gets cranky..

Now, I know there's gonna be a bunch of you that say.. "Wait a minute? What about night eating when I'm calm as a cucumber?" 

MY response... EXACTLY! 

Of course you night eat.. because you're bored, lonely, or .. you don't want to hear your inner thoughts, so you avoid them.. and then the toddler has this great idea to go get some munchies to ensure those uncomfortable thoughts don't surface... 

So again, you need a NEW way to soothe yourself when it's NOT mealtime.

So, here are a few self-soothing techniques to help you calm the inner toddler and inner saboteur to help you HEAL them both, showing them compassion and love, all while you stay out of the kitchen and away from the munchies. 

1. Get to know yourself and your inner toddler 
This includes practicing awareness of your emotions or behaviors. Get to know you and when your little toddler gets cranky and what he/she needs. Are you bored? angry? tired? sad? lonely? What's going on inside? This awareness will also help you prevent mindlessness as well. 

2. Let the toddler know that he/she is safe and you're attending to his/her needs.
Just like a REAL toddler, if you were to yell, scream or rant and rave, the toddler would be upset. How do you comfort your inner toddler? Just like you would a real toddler - reassurance, love, compassion and patience. Put your right hand over your heart and say "self.. I've got you. Just take a moment and breath. We are going to figure this out." 
While you make think this is overly simplistic, I promise, once you start practicing this, you'll see it's pure gold, because you've likely never allowed yourself to acknowledge your feelings before.. and this helps you acknowledge them and allow them to come through, which will help prevent you from eating them! 

3. Find something soothing to keep your mind and hands busy. 
Once you've soothed the inner toddler a bit, go do something that can also be helpful and soothing. Go for a quick walk (even if it is around your office or in your house). Take a sip of water. Call a friend. Put on some music.  It's important that you refocus your attention on other things. 

4. Acknowledge your Toddler may still want food & combat it with tough LOVE 
It's likely your mind might drift to food, and this is when you lovingly call out your toddler. 
"Hey self, I love you and it's not meal time. we are not eating now. You can have some water. Or we can go for a walk."  Parenting is hard, ya'll! But this is so true.. If you can offer some tough LOVE, you'll be stronger for it. Remember, this is not shaming, this is not restricting.. this is a tough love reminder that it's not time for food, and that it's time to do something different (see #3). However, when you acknowledge the head hunger, or mental hunger, it also allows you to see that this is a habitual issue and not healthy in the long-term. So, you call it out like it is, and hold your ground. 

5. LOVE YOURSELF HARD
Compassion is something that I didn't learn until I was in my 30s.. and regardless of how young you are, this is a topic that many bariatric patients still don't know how to practice. The art of compassion is really being KIND to yourself and loving just like you would a best friend.

However, loving and kind in the bariatric world does NOT mean going out for ice cream when the crap hits the fan.. It means that we lovingly call out  the excuses, get super real, and tell it to yourself just like you would give it straight to your best friend. 

Self.. I love you, and those thin mints are not going to help you get to where you want to go. 
Toddler.. but I want them..
Self... I know you do.. and it's okay to want them. It's not okay to eat them. Dinner is in two hours.. They will make you feel like crap, and because I love you, I don't want you to feel like crap. So, let's go dance it out.
Toddler.. Thanks for loving me.. Yes, it's hard.. but I love that you're here for me. .((hug))

Okay, so not every conversation with your toddler will go so smoothe.. but my point here is to change the dynamic of your relationship.

If you're constantly hating on yourself, and rebelling, that is the cycle you are creating.

Conversely, if you can start to LOVE yourself super hard and get super real, and call yourself out on your own BS... I promise you that you will grow in ways you've always wanted and may have never imagined.

I hope this email has served you well this week..

If you love this and want to share this email with others.. take to social media and share what you learned. Share this link where other's can sign up to get emails too..

If you're too shy, but would like to give me a high-5, hit reply and let me know what you loved about this..

Have a blessed weekend and start working on loving your inner toddler and yourself.

How to silence your inner toddler and push back on “I don’t...

Today I want to help you push back on your inner toddler. I hope you don’t find this offensive, in fact, many of my clients find it funny and COMPLETELY agree with me when I talk about this subject. 

It’s what I refer to as "I don’t wanna" syndrome. It is ‘overcomeable’ (another word I created), and I’m here to explain more about it and show you how. The opposite of ‘I don’t wanna’ is ‘no matter what’ because this is the attitude of change and recognizing that you want a specific outcome or goal, no matter what it takes, even if that means temporary and short-term discomfort. The ‘I don’t wanna’ muscle is the one that many people flex frequently which means it’s THAT MUCH stronger than the ‘no matter what’ muscle. 

When you see things from this viewpoint, you can understand much more clearly how you may have gotten to where you may be. 

See the brain thrives on neuroplasticity which follows the neuropathways of the brain. 

What’s that you may ask?

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience. This means, what you DO most frequently, is the SUPER HIGHWAY from which your brain operates. What you do most often becomes the superhighway, and becomes the default behavior over time.

Now, let’s talk about patterns, which are also your brain’s superhighways. 

The pattern to cling to your old ways leads you down the old ‘I don’t wanna’ path, which is WHY we want to help you build the NEW patterns of the ‘no matter what’ path.. and yet this takes time, continued effort and dedication. 

See, when the OLD patterns are triggered….

You may not ‘wanna’ meal plan or meal prep
You may not ‘wanna’ go to the grocery store
You may not ‘wanna’ drink water
You may not ‘wanna’ move your body (fitness, gym, etc.) 
You may not ‘wanna’ take your supplements
You may not ‘wanna’ eat on plan (protein first, etc.)
You may not ‘wanna’ change your eating habits 
You may not ‘wanna’ only eat at meal times
You may not ‘wanna’ stop the grazing behaviors
You may not ‘wanna’ reduce or remove sugar or white flour from your diet

Yet, many of these things are very important for the post-op journey. And, your ‘I don’t wanna’ muscle is very strong because that’s where the superhighway is in your brain, and where your brain wants to return to. Also, many don’t want to feel discomfort and because you MUST BE CONSCIOUS when building and flexing your ‘no matter what’ muscle.

Not too long ago I was reading that the naturally thin person’s brain is able to reject pleasures in the present because they are able to delay gratification KNOWING that what they desire is much more important for their lives than the short-lived gratification of food. 

Within the post-op bariatric life, this is something we CAN integrate yet requires daily reminders of WHY you want the outcome to be thinner, smaller, weigh less, and WHAT this new post-op lifestyle will do for you.

Otherwise, ‘I don’t wanna’ brain can take over and then mid-week (or three months off track) you are wonder what the heck happened and feel like a failure. 

This is why FIRST and FOREMOST, you MUST connect with what you’ll GET from reaching your goals… because this is what helps to bring you back to focus on this journey. Otherwise, you’ll engage in mindless eating, autopilot behaviors, and you won’t even recognize it. 

Secondly, you need to know how to see your ‘inner toddler’. The ‘I don’t wanna’ can be silent or it can be loud. When it is silent, you may not even realize that you are off the rails doing what the inner toddler wants to do, totally ignoring the plan and in complete defiance. Here, you are completely blind to the behavior, until you get on the scale and realize you’ve got regain. 

Or the inner toddler can be loud inside your head.. "But I don’t want the chicken!! I want the fries!! I want to do what I want when I want, and you’re not gonna tell me what to do!" 

Then.. when the inner toddler wins, it becomes THAT MUCH HARDER to train the ‘no matter what’ because you’re flexing the old muscle, not the new one. 

Now, I recognize that this is difficult and no one is perfect. However, the more you train your brain with ‘no matter what’ the easier it will get. However, if you are in complete defiance and in a fight with yourself, you’ll likely say you want ONE thing, and do something completely differently. This is because you give in to the inner toddler and you’re not convinced that you’ll GAIN something from letting go of the old bad habits. Or, you’re completely impulsive and don’t have other tools to help you soothe when emotions run high. 

When the INNER TODDLER is running the show, you are unable to be the conscious "no matter what" you. And, yes, it may sound like multiple personalities but I promise you, it’s not. It’s the difference in delaying gratification and also letting go of trigger foods. 

This struggle is REAL. And, as one of my clients told me a while back, "it’s like I’m not even there when I’m making these decisions to have bread, potatoes, and other carbs!! Then I get so mad at myself." 

Here’s the deal….  YOU MUST BE READY FOR CHANGE…  

You can SAY you want anything, but are you ready to take action on your desires? 

If you are not ready, you need to get ready. And, you may be VERY frustrated with yourself because you haven’t sunk far enough to shake yourself out of it.

No one can make you ready. Your friends and family can scream and shout. You may even have a loved one pass on. Only YOU can decide when you are ready and no amount of begging or pleading will change that. 

It must come from you. In order for you to change, YOU MUST WANT IT! 

Now, to push back on your inner toddler, you must be willing to take no crap and listen to the inner whining, and yes, there will be some. There might be sadness or frustration or crying. No everyone experiences this, yet, if there is, you’ll want to flip the switch so it’s not agonizing. 

Step 1: Remember WHY you want this journey – go deep and get clear on what you want beyond the weight loss

Step 2: Create a RELEASE list – what you are willing to let go of on the old path

Step 3: A plan to avoid the RELEASED items – including how you will talk to yourself in an encouraging way to build your ‘no matter what’ muscle

Step 4: Celebrate yourself and keep a "victory" list to show you how far you’ve come

Step 5: Repeat 

Remember, when your inner toddler is screaming, it’s usually because you’re uncomfortable, you’re upset, or something else. It likely has NOTHING to do with the FOOD itself, but if you’ve always used food to comfort, it’s similar to transitioning a toddler off their binky. You’ve got to replace it with something else. 

In order to release the control that food has over you, you must place a higher priority on other areas of your life, otherwise the food will control you, instead of you controlling it. 

So start to keep yourself busy, and look to the life you want to create, instead of the life you fear you’ll be losing.

I promise you that a mobile life filled with purpose is a whole lot happier than an immobile life on the couch with Oreos..

Use these steps above and PROMISE ME that you’ll work on letting go of the ‘I don’t wanna’ and strengthen your ‘no matter what’ muscle.  This is a process and it is a practice so if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

Try it on for size....

Today, I want to talk to you about trying things on for size.

No, I'm not starting a fashion line, although that might not be a half-bad idea! LOL 

The truth is, our old mindset can be used to a certain way of being, and in the process of change, we can struggle with moving from the OLD to the NEW mindset.

No one said, behavior change would be easy, and yet, it is so very worth it!

In this process, it's important to recognize the emotional resistance that comes up as you prepare to change. Your inner toddler will scream "I don't wanna", and this is an opportunity to use some new skills. 

See, the 'inner toddler' is afraid of change because it's uncomfortable. My inner toddler screams loudly when I attempt to do something different, so I know this dance all too well.

One of the best things you can do when you are struggling with resistance or a case of the 'I don't wanna' is to TRY SOMETHING ON FOR SIZE..

There are many tools available and many ways to change one's behavior. Instead of being married to any tool or any idea, or any new way of doing things, tell yourself that you'll TRY IT ONand see how it fits you..

You will need to tweak the behavior because only trying something on ONCE won't be sufficient. Yet, if you try something on enough, and tweak it so it works for your lifestyle, it will get easier every time you use it!

So many of my clients love the "TRY IT ON" strategy because it speaks to their inner toddler and helps them work through the emotional resistance because they GET TO try on new things and play with it.

This is another key element.. When TRYING ON a new tool, strategy or technique, be sure to PLAY with it as you would a mad scientist. 

This makes it less 'do or die' and can release the pressure that is associated with the 'pass/fail' or 'win/lose' type of mentality... 

It helps you really evaluate what is working, and what's not working. Also, you may notice that trying something on while you have guests may NOT be the best idea, and then try it on again after they leave to see what's changed. 

See, when we explore new tools with the mind of a scientist or that of an explorer rather than that of  ... then we can actually engage with the tool itself and see how it's working in our lives.

This helps you release the grip of force, and allows more ease and flow as you try new things.

SO, just for this week, try on some new tools... and PLAY with them! Make it FUN! :) 
This is only work if you make it work, instead, make it FUN and trick your inner toddler! 

Maybe you'll take an 'exercise break' for 10-15 minutes instead of trying to hit the gym at 5am. 
Or maybe you'll challenge your co-workers to a water contest on who gets to 64oz first 
Or you can give yourself a STAR every time you resist the urge to eat off plan or when you resist the urge for a soda/carbonated beverage (yes, some people still struggle with this!!) 

So there are ways you can make this doable and incentivise (maybe I made this word up!) staying on track and pushing back on the emotional resistance. 

Share with us in the Mavens facebook group what you 'TRIED ON' this week and let us know how you push back on emotional resistance, and what works for you! 

If you're not on the inside yet, you can join here!


The myth of perfection and unicorns

I want to focus on perfection and the unconscious obsession many people have with the idea of 'getting there' in terms of their goals. Sadly, this whole focus on 'getting there' and 'getting there' perfectly tends to get people way off track instead of guiding them to their goals. Also, the funny thing is that most people I know don't even know they are reaching for perfection, yet their behaviors and intentions appear to say otherwise, and when they fail to meet it, they end up throwing their hands in the air frustrated. 

Then.. after the frustration comes the 'why bother' mentality. 

There is this cycle that I see many falling into. It's the mis-perception of perfection.
The idea that ONE day... someday, you'll get your eating right 100% of the time.. that your gym time is on-point, that your new ways are embedded beyond your wildest dreams and your body is also a symbol of this perfectionism because your behavior is stellar. 

Here's the thing... This idea that someday, one-day, you'll have this meal plan that you stick to 100% of the time, and your picture perfect body pushes away all chocolate or chips all of the time, and that you float above the world.. 

It's a fallacy. 

The truth is.. this fantasy is all about perfectionism.. and the truth about perfectionism is..... a myth.

Perfectionism keeps you STUCK.

While we all like to think this time will come and we'll be all of these things, the truth is this mythical place, where everything lines up 100% of the time, it doesn't exist. 

Most of the people that work with me closely know that I talk about all the 'balls' they have in the air at any given time, and I use this analogy frequently. 

Just like a juggler, you juggle balls in your life.. You are always juggling your work life (ball 1), home life (ball 2), family expectations (ball 3), and potentially more..

Then we add in your weight loss journey and we now have  protein (ball 4), 64oz of water daily (ball 5), daily fitness (ball 6), daily supplements (ball 7), etc..

You get my point here, right?

So, while this may seem super complex, it's actually not when you PRACTICE the juggling process.

See, just like any new skill, YOU MUST PRACTICE!! 

An expert juggler, or even an olympic figure skater has the potential to fall (and do occasionally!), but the more they practice, the better they get at the loopty-loops and triple axels, etc. 

Similarly, the juggler goes from handling 2-3 balls successfully to juggling 10 or more..   Do they still drop balls?? Sure they do.. but the more they practice, the better they get! 

This is the same for your post-op WLS process. Will there be days that you can handle a 4-ball routine, and the more you practice, you work your way up to a 8-ball routine.. Then, because we are HUMAN, there are days when we really struggle with that 4-ball routine, and really need to focus on self-care and not taking on more than we can handle. 

Then there are days we can handle 6-balls and do our best to focus on the most important ones.

Are you all with me here?

Sure, there may be foods that you recognize are triggering and you may need to strongly push away... yet the thought that your whole world will one day come together with songbirds, a great trainer, and maybe you munching with full satisfaction on broccoli day-in and day-out... it's all a dream. 

And, the idea that we can consistently juggled 10-12 balls and keep smiling despite LIFE is the perfectionistic view of the world... AND... it's not real. 

Are there days that you say screw it and decide to take a nap or rest instead of hitting the gym? 

Yes, realistically, there might be those days.  

But, what is MOST important is not the days that you focus on the balls you CAN'T handle, but instead, that you are doing your best EVERY damn day to focus on the balls you CAN take on that day.. and that you are consistently focusing on personal IMPROVEMENT. And, each and every day you put yourself back in the game to keep trying and focus on getting better. 

For example, if you go from NEVER cooking to cooking and meal prepping for 3-days a week, you are doing great!! Instead of seeing this as "well, I'm not meal prepping for 7-days yet," which is the perfectionistic ideal, you have to focus on WOW, LOOK AT HOW MUCH I HAVE IMPROVED from where I once was. 

So, starting today, please throw out your mythical standards of what your post-op journey SHOULD look like, and accept the reality and ONE step at a time, baby steps, and consistently improve, YOU ARE DOING AWESOME!! 

And, instead of trying to be a unicorn... be the best version of you. 

Focus on balance.
Focus on fulfillment and moderation.
Focus on continuous improvement. 
And focus on getting better at juggling the different aspects of your post-op process. 


Let go of perfectionism and focus on growth! 

Prompts for growth & implementation: 

What areas of your post-op process are you already juggling well? 

What area of your post-op process needs more of your attention? 

What areas in your life need more structure? 

What can you start to improve upon in small steps this week? 

How can you start tracking these small steps to recognize your small successes on a weekly basis? 

Start implementing and track your growth! 

Reminding you that slow and steady gets you to where you want to go! 

Motivation, how to cultivate it and keep

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar


Here’s the thing...Personal development and maintaining motivation are not taught in schools. What we are taught is how to do our work, do what we are told, and fall in line. The problem with this is thatno one tells you how to deal with emotional resistance, or the ‘I don’t wanna’ feelings that come up.

Additionally,no one teaches you how to follow-through on projects, how to organize projects, how to organize your time, or anything like that. They only tell you how to do the work, and that’s it.

So,these are the things we are largely left to figure out on our own.

For many people in their younger years weight is not a problem. It’s not until they get older, get well into their career, and get caught up with all the other functions of life that the weight piles on.
Then there’s the other group (the one that I am in) that hasALWAYSalways always suffered and struggled with weight because itWAS ALWAYS A PROBLEM.For us there are likely the biochemical, genetic predictors along with potential emotional eating problems as a result of the shame that comes with not fitting into society’s expectations or mold.

So, attempting to stay motivated while dealing with the shame of weight gain can be a vicious cycle because your belief system convinces you that you’ve already lost. This is because your emotions and feelings about how you are doing enter into the equation and then you get overwhelmed by what to do, how to do it, how to do it better, andOMGGGGGGthen you get confused and then when you ‘feel’ that you do not have thePERFECTplan, or you aren’t sure you can follow through… you shutdown.

PERFECTION IS OVERRATED and… it keeps you stuck! If you wait until things are ‘perfect’, you could be waiting forever.

Then what?

In previous emails, I’ve told you about your beliefs and your emotions and how they run the show.
Today, I want to explain how you can create and sustain your own motivation, while minimizing the push-back that you get from your emotions.

First things first...remove your emotions from the equation.

Say what?

Your emotions are important for many things. However,when it comes to creating a sustainable success mindset, and helping you to follow through, your emotion mind limits you.When you try to think logically from emotion mind, you’ll lose every single time.

Let me show you how this works…

As I am sitting here writing this email, I contemplated heading into my living room for some Netflix binge watching. My emotion mind was like.. "oooh that would be so comfy, and feel sooo good!" and then logic brain said ‘yes, but if you don’t do your work and write your emails, you’ll regret it later. And.. once you get it done, you’ll feel accomplished.’  As you can see, I’m still writing you here, so… logic brain for the win!

Often times though, in our lives, logic brain loses because we give in to our impulsive urges. "go to dinner or go to the gym?"

When the impulsive urges win, we can sometimes lose because the impulses are from the ego. They are focused on ‘feeling good’ right now, which can sometimessabotage our long-term plans. Then, when giving in to those impulsive urges to forget the plans of the day -whether it be sticking to your meal plans, or going for a walk or the gym, or drinking coke instead of water, whatever that impulse may be.. you’re not focused on your long-term goals in that moment. Instead, you’re only focused on receiving pleasureIN THAT MOMENT.

And, whether that pleasure is to help you escape from reality, or to avoid pain, or for whatever reason…

YOU HAVE COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN YOUR GOALS OF SUCCESS!!

When you choose the impulsive choice over what youSAIDyou wanted 6-weeks or 9 months ago, or whenever you made that contract with yourself, you have completely lost the emotional connection with that goal, and the emotional connection with the current moment takes precedent.
You have in that moment of impulsive decision making completely forgotten what you said you wanted when you created that goal or what it meant to you. Your brain completely bypassed your long-term desires and went for short-term instant gratification, because you weren’t in alignment with your true desires, and instead, you were in alignment with your ego.

The only problem with that is when you consistently choose the short-term gratification over your long-term goals, you begin create a pattern and a habit ofCHOOSINGvia impulse instead of choosing your goals. And then… when that pattern becomes your priority (via autopilot thinking and autopilot behaviors),you then BELIEVE you are a failure because you don’t even recognize WHO you are, or HOW you got there.

Does this sound familiar?

So.. how I want you to begin shifting this is by working onreminding yourself of your long-term goals DAILY. Without constant reminders, like Zig Ziglar says in the quote at the beginning of this message, that, you must motivate yourself daily.

YOU MUST CONNECT TO YOUR LONG-TERM DESIRES and LONG-TERM OUTCOME!!

And, if you’re not used to motivating yourself daily, then, it must become part of your practice and part of your routine.

You may have heard me say this before.. but I’ll say it again.

YOU are no different than an Olympic athlete in training, meaning, you can DO ANYTHING you set your mind to do. You can become ANYTHING you set your mind to become.

The difference is, they get up and train daily whether they want to or not. You have not created the discipline yet to cultivate that type of practice because the ONLY difference between you and them, is that they are getting up and taking action, and YOU are still giving in to the impulsive whims of your emotion mind.

So.. for today..start thinking about WHY you want to reach this goalor multiple goals? Use these questions below to guide you to your answers.  Remember, if you don’t know WHY you want it, you’ll likely fall short of achieving it because your desire won’t be strong enough. So dig deep here and get clear on WHY you want to achieve your goals.

Journaling prompts:

How will you feel when you hit your goals?
Who will you be? How will you be different that who you are now?  
What will you do? What kinds of things does this motivated person do daily? How is this different from who you are now? What will achieving this/these goal(s) do for your life, your stamina?
What will the excitement of your new body, new outlook, and new success mindset feel like?
What other areas of your life are impacted by increased confidence and a newfound love of self?

Take the answers to these questions and read them DAILY. Remind yourself why you started with visualizing the future and this helps to decrease the emotion minds’ need for instant gratification.

Additionally, when you push back on emotion mind, you are creating a new pattern. Every time your brain says "I don’t want to drink the water," or "I don’t want to do the exercise,"PUSH BACKand do it anyway. As you strengthen your follow-through muscle, it gets easier. When you first ride a bike, you may fall off, but when you keep trying, you get better and better. It’s the same with your brain.

When you train your brain, it’s even more powerful than training your body because you are changing the hardwiring in your master computer – YOUR BRAIN!

Start small and win big!

Next time we’ll talk about conquering overwhelm.

Until then, kick your motivation into high-gear and kick your impulsive side to the curb?
You ready?  Let’s do this!

Birdbox

Last time we talked about limitations and today we will continue that theme in discussing how you might subconsciously limit yourself and to give you more insight into your brain, how it works, and how I help you crack the code to help you achieve limitless thinking....  ready? 

See, our brain is really amazing (as I've said many times before)! It helps us mediate and moderate between keeping us safe and giving in to our unconscious impulses. As I shared a couple emails ago, your primal fear responses are meant to keep you alive. However, in our modern world, there's a very unlikely chance that you'll be chased by a saber-toothed tiger at any point in time. So, our fears and fear responses have evolved to adjust to the times... 

Similarly, your adjustment to safety and what you perceive as safe has changed. This is how you may live your life very similarly (and eerily!) to the main characters from the movie Birdbox right now. 

Let me explain, stay with me here. 

In the last few weeks just about everyone on the internet has been buzzing about the movie Bird Box. Have you seen it? 

Whether you have or not, here's the gist (without giving away any spoilers). A woman and her child are trying to find safety because there is an unknown danger in their world outside which when they see it with the naked eye, it causes them to go insane and they die (the method in which they die varies). In order to stay safe from this outside and unknown terror, they must blindfold themselves to keep from seeing it and to stay alive... 

Now... this is not that much different than how your ego responds to the world...  And, in order for me to go deeper, I need to give a mini psychoeducation lesson on the human psyche. Thanks, Freud! 

See, our good old pal Sigmund Freud concluded that the human psyche is comprise of three aspects: the id, ego, and superego.

The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.

The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one's parents and others and develops around the age of 3-5, when we start to learn rules and structure.

The ego develops to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision-making component of personality. Ideally, the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and unreasonable.

The ego operates according to the reality principle, working out realistic ways of satisfying the id’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction to avoid negative consequences of society. The ego considers social realities and norms, etiquette and rules in deciding how to behave. It helps you moderate between the subconscious urges and ‘what will they think of me?’ type stuff. 

Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure (i.e., tension reduction) and avoids pain, but unlike the id, the ego is concerned with devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure. (e.g. How can I eat pizza, avoid the gym, and lose weight?) And..  ego has no concept of right or wrong; something is good simply if it achieves its end of satisfying without causing harm to itself or the id.

So, with all that said, whenever you are striving for change, and you are challenged to grow, your ego is fighting you because it’s uncomfortable (pain principle) and it seeks to reduce tension. 
Similarly, you are working against your primal urges (the id) to feed your hunger (real or imagined meaning physical hunger and head hunger) and trying to stay within society’s norms (superego), you do your best to STAY SAFE (using your ego) … which means... functioning largely from the comfort of autopilot behaviors.

So, how is this like Bird Box?

Picture this... 

You’re walking around, like the character in Bird Box, trying to avoid pain and getting hurt and doing what you’ve always done, and doing what’s comfortable staying inside the blindfold living the old autopilot life... for the fear of change, for the fear of loss, for the fear of being uncomfortable and as a result of the fear of the unknown; because the world is SCARY!! 

So for a minute, you peak out your blindfold…. And just for that minute, just for a mini-second... hoping you’ll catch a glimpse of safety, hoping that you’ll soon reach safety and at that point in your life, when you reach safety you will have achieved the GOAL.

You’ll end up having it all (the body you want, the life you want, etc.) ... so, you put yourself out there… (you change your food, fitness, and you start to make lifestyle changes) and when it gets hard, you pull yourself back into the blindfold and go back to old behaviors…. 

Ahh safety…  

…but wait…. 

EEEK! You’re still anxious, scared, and frustrated because you didn’t achieve your goal of getting to this proverbial "safe space" in your life, meaning you haven’t gotten to goal, or you’ve regained since goal, or you don’t know how to stay at goal… 

So, then... you may have a tendency to flip in and out of this blindfold metaphor feeling lost and confused. 

And… because you’re wearing your blindfold as you walk through life, you’re not in tune with your own truth, and you don’t REALLY know WHO YOU ARE… at all. 

And... you might even avoid getting to know yourself (the inner you), or seek to work through life issues, past issues, eating issues, etc., because it’s uncomfortable, and its WORK! 

So, essentially, how you are living your life like BIRDBOX is hoping that you can dodge pain, struggle, and life issues by weaving your way in and out of the blindfold completely bypassing your inner fulfillment. 

And, when you do that, you deny part of those inner impulses which leads you to push back towards comfort (food, for example) and then you judge yourself for acting out. Then you get brave enough to take off your blindfold for another round of ‘let’s do it’ and when it gets tough, or lose faith in yourself and your journey, you retreat back into old patterns.

Also, the blindfold serves as both a safety net and an inner prison because you don’t know how to get out fearing the world outside. The truth is, the world outside is GOING DEEP WITHIN YOURSELF.

Seeking change is about challenging yourself, challenging the growth process, letting go of fears, asking for help, sometimes praying for help, allowing yourself to receive support and guidance, and pushing through NO MATTER WHAT.

Like the character in birdbox, you are looking for the place in your life where you can FINALLY once and for all take off your blindfold and live in peace. 

And, you can’t trust yourself or life long enough to take your blindfold off and take the consistent action needed, or to get to know yourself deep enough to heal the wounds and really become the person you’re meant to be. 

So, how do you start? 

It all begins with TRUST IN ACTION! 

  1. Trust yourself to start making better choices to help you achieve your goals!

  2. CALL out your fears and your excuse for what they are (hiding behind the blindfold)

  3. Take baby steps and give yourself reasonable markers to achieve (PS: no one achieves perfection on their first try!)

  4. Allow yourself to endure the ‘scary’, you’ll learn something from it and you’ll be grateful when you did!

  5. Learn more about yourself, what fulfills you, and what you NEED to grow and what you are AVOIDING in your life…  (this helps you to love yourself)


Now that I’ve given you action steps... and I’ve called you out for hiding behind the mask, now you’ve got to take the action.

Remember, only you can take the steps for yourself to succeed on this journey. I can give you the map to that magical cabin in the woods where you are led to that safe place (the safe place inside your heart, mine and soul) but only you have the POWER to do the work.

What do you choose each and every day?
Do you choose the same thing that you have been choosing? OR 
Do you begin to choose differently? 
Do you want to stay the same? Or are you ready to grow?

Take some time and think on it… I trust that you’ll make the best decision for you today. 

Now let’s get moving!

Your relationship with 'I can't

As promised, this week I'm going to talk to your more about your perceived limitations and your relationship with 'I can't'. Even if you don't use these words, you likely see things in terms of what's possible for you based on your past experiences. Also, you limit yourself based on your BELIEF systems. 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right." - Henry Ford


Instead, whether you BELIEVE you can accomplish something (big or small) has a large part to do with how much effort and dedication you BELIEVE you can give to that situation, whether you think you CAN accomplish it, and whether you actually WANT to put in the work.  All of this is linked to your perceived limitations. This sounds a lot like the fear of failure and fear of success emails shared last week right? 

See, the thing is, your belief systems and perceived limitations make up what you think you CAN do, or think you CAN'T do. This separates people from what they DO do, and what they DON'T do. 

ALL LIMITATIONS ARE CREATED IN THE MIND 

Did you ever see that movie, The Pursuit of Happiness staring Will Smith? While that's a touching movie, it was notably created from the true story life of Chris Gardner, who struggled with a very tough life and yet due to his undying perseverance and belief that he WOULD succeed, he kept trying, and kept falling, and kept trying, and kept falling, and kept trying... 

and well, you get the gist.. 

But my point is, he eventually succeeded because he NEVER GAVE UP on himself. 

Similarly I read recently in a book about a triathlete that would convince himself to keep going even when the pain in his legs were unbearable. See, physiologically, our body won't give out as easy as our brains do, because we are programmed to stop when we feel pain. So this triathlete shared how he would overcome his mind to work through the pain of the race until his body gave out. Freaky, right? 

However, YOU, yes you, are likely too quick to think.. "Nah, that wouldn't or couldn't be me. I couldn't get there. I couldn't do that. I wouldn't be able to do what he did." 

And.. maybe you THINK you couldn't. But, the only thing stopping you from trying is your BELIEF systems, and what you THINK you can do, or can't do. 

See, in the space that Chris Gardner was in, he felt that he had NO OTHER CHOICES. Without a college degree, with very little money coming in, no home, etc. He didn't have any other choice, but to push himself to the limits. 

When pushed against a wall, and when faced with difficulties, people are either MADE.... or, they GIVE UP and settle. 

What I mean by MADE is that people make a choice to either FACE their darkest fears and TRY, or they face their failures and they give in to the life they are currently living, continuing on autopilot, day in, day out.  

Given Chris Gardner's hardships, he could have given up, but his MINDSET didn't allow him to fail. He knew deep inside him that if he kept going, he would succeed.  And, what were his alternatives? 

What makes you different? Or what makes you the same as Chris Gardner? 

See here's the thing, there is something different....
You have the comfort of a home right now.
You likely have a job that you semi-like, or at least can 'deal' with. 
You can cover your rent or mortgage. 
And.... you're comfortable staying exactly the same because change is MUCH SCARIER because you don't know what's on the other side..  

So there is something different... It's your MINDSET.. It's your belief systems.
It's whether you FIND A WAY, or whether you find an EXCUSE to let go, give up, and stop trying. 

Believe me, EVERYONE has hard days, difficult days, and struggles. I know about the struggles.. And anyone who REALLY knows me knows about the month that I was homeless in my college years and the Christmas that I slept my car in the parking lot of a supermarket. 

Now, you know, that I'm not that same person, nor did I let that situation hold me back from becoming who I was meant to be. Even after that instance, I fought long, hard, and fast with other things like making sacrifices to have my surgery, which came MANY years later. 

My point is, no matter what's going on in your life, if backed into a corner, you either succumb to the situation, or we become resilient and grow INTO a person who is a stronger, better version of themselves. You learn things from your experiences, both good and bad. 

And, you either allow those situations to crumble you, and you allow the limiting beliefs to control you, OR... you recognize that ALL those situations were doing were GROWING you into the person you're meant to become. 

Similarly, all the struggles of this WLS journey are MEANT to GROW YOU! All the setbacks, all of the temptations, all of the criticisms or judgments received, are all meant to make you stronger. Even if you fall into a setback or eat the cookie, or the donuts, or whatever, you CAN change, because it's all about you putting yourself BACK ON TRACK...  not waiting for tomorrow, or Monday. 

And, while some people may throw their hands up in the air and say 'ugh, I'm done,' I implore you to persevere through the down days and to work on shifting your mindset by believing that you CAN change for the long-term, and this BEGINS by starting small. 

"No great achievement is possible without persistent work." - Bertrand Russell


Now, you might still say to me... 
"No, Kristin, you really don't understand my situation. See, I drive 90-min to work and back, I have three kids, and I struggle with my budget, I have to work 3 jobs, and I'm depressed." 

But here's the thing... no matter what you are going through, if you BUY IN to your limitations, if you feed your excuses, then you become SOLD on them. You begin to accept the lies that you can't change. 

No matter what you are struggling with, no matter how difficult things are, there's always a way out, when you BELIEVE in yourself, and you believe that your situation is NOT what you're life is destined to be.  

The belief that you 'can't' is only as powerful as you make it to be.


Your excuses for WHY you stay the same, are only as powerful as your BELIEFS.

Any of us, ANY ONE of us, regardless of situation, can overcome his or her old limiting mindset. ANYONE!! 

It's not about intelligence.
It's not about socioeconomic status. 
It's not about access to money or funding. 
It's not about the type of job you have.
It's not about your educational background. 
It's not about your family background.
It's not about whether you are wheelchair bound or not.
It's not about access to other resources (gym, fitness center, etc.) 

It's all about WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO.. PERIOD..

And, this is not just about the post-op life, this is about ALL of your life, every aspect. 

Your belief systems account for whether you believe you'll change, or whether you'll believe you can't. 

So just for today... start to BELIEVE in yourself, and believe in what's POSSIBLE for you in a positive way. Start to dream big about what you can change if you just BELIEVE in yourself. 

Start by writing down 5 NEW Empowering beliefs that you want to reprogram into your mind. Then read them twice a day, and start to encourage yourself to move towards your desires, whatever they might be. 

Then, work on talking to yourself like you would talk to a best friend who wants to achieve something big. What would you say to them? How would you encourage them? 

You wouldn't tell them to give up; You would tell them to KEEP GOING!! 
This goes same for yourself! 

Next time, I'll share how you're life is eerily similar to Bird Box, and how you being blind to the world has kept you stuck in old patterns..

Until then.. remember 

"Don't limit your challenges - challenge your limits." —Unknown    

How your FEAR of SUCCESS is holding you back

Sticking with your intentions are powerful even after the desire has left. This is discipline! 

Today I want to finish out the segment from last time. I wrote to you about the FEAR of Failure which many people have after WLS.  I gave some tips and tricks on your RAS and how to start looking for your successes even when you may not be seeing them.
What have you found? Are you seeing that 'item' everywhere yet? 
If you haven't, keep looking! And give it at least 72 hours.. I promise, it shows up!

So, your FEAR of failure is not the only thing that may be holding you back, it could be your FEAR of success.  Recently I was having a talk with a 1:1 client and our convo went something like this..

Me: So when you hit goal, what do you want to achieve? 
Client: I want to hit my goal weight and be healthy. 
Me: Yes, of course, but what do you want beyond that? 
Client: I just want to, you know, be healthy, and fit in new clothes, and feel good about myself.
Me: Again, that's great, but what else do you want? What else other than weight loss will help you to feel good about yourself? What else do you want in your life? 
Client: (Blank stare.. and a huge pause..... )  
Client: Well, what do you mean? 
Me: Well, in this process most people want to change something about their lives because they've felt stuck for so long that there is so much more beyond the weight loss and being healthy that you may want to achieve... and I'm asking what that might look like for you.. 
Client: (another very big.. long pause..) 
Client: I have no idea. I've never thought about that before... 
Me: What if you could achieve anything in the world? What would you want to be, do, or have? 
Client: I don't know. 
Me: If your world was an oyster, and you could do anything in your new body, what would that be?
Client: These are great questions, but I really have no idea.

So, here's my point...  

For many of you love bugs who hit goal, you don't know what's next and maintenance can be hell because you're so used to dieting that you subconsciously gain weight, so you can repeat the cycle. You DO NOT do this intentionally at all, but you get bored with maintenance because you have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO clue what else you want in your life that you repeat old patterns and then feel like a failure (last email) all because you don't know how to live with success and it doesn't feel like how you imagined it would feel, or what it would be. 
If success is only getting into a size 6, and then you get there.. you're brain goes.. Okay, were are here..  NOW WHAT? 

Then there's another group that doesn't manifest to goal at all. These peeps fear success because they don't know what it will mean for them to be successful. I talked a little bit about this in my book too. 

What if people don't like me when I'm thin? What if they judge me? 
What if I become the outcast because I look better than my family or friends?
What if no one gets me?
 

This becomes uncomfortable because let's say for example, you guys used to make fun of skinny people together. "Look at her, she probably just ate a pea for breakfast"  and now, you are the thinner person, and now your circle or friend group can't relate to you because you are living the life THEY WANT TO LIVE, and instead of supporting and loving you for succeeding, instead you become the outsider... (this is about their judgment and fearing their judgment by the way!) 

OR.....

You sabotage your own weight loss success because of your own fears of:
Other people being jealous of you and your success
Being too sexy and fear being an object of sexual exploitation or desire
Being the center of attention and then people might actually SEE you 
The possibility of the added responsibility of being a success and people giving you compliments, and asking you to help, etc. 
You're so attached or addicted to feeling negative, sad, frustrated and love to complain so much so that being happy, excited, and accomplished feels super foreign and uncomfortable (I know this sounds wayyy off, but trust me, I know some people like this! They do exist!) 
Being uncomfortable in any situation because this whole experience is so new that you avoid uncomfortable feelings and don't follow through 
And.. not having ANY clue what success looks like and fears that once you get there, you might not like yourself, your life, your body, and because...

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW IS EASIER.. THAN THE DEVIL YOU DON'T

Don't get me wrong.. being smaller, thinner, etc.. is NOT the devil...

But the UNKNOWN is SCARY for a lot of people.. and when you DO NOT EXPLORE what SUCCESS can potentially look like for you, you can subconsciously or unconsciously sabotage getting there, because WHO WILL YOU BE?

One time I had a woman tell me, I want to be thin, but I don't want to be a bitch.  (her words)

To which I replied inquisitively, "why would you think you'd end up being a bitch?" 
To which she replied,  "all hot women have a confidence that is so secure in themselves that they seem bitchy, and I want to be confident, but I don't want to be like that." 

So, here's my point again... OUR SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHTS ABOUT THIN PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE, SITUATIONS, WHAT THINNER LOOKS LIKE, FEELS LIKE , etc..

.....WILL IMPACT our own journey to SUCCESS... or WILL BLOCK THAT SUCCESS!! 

This is why when I scream and shout from the rooftops that this journey is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more about #MINDSET than it is about food, I really truly mean it from the depths of my heart and soul. 

To sum things up.. if you don't have a clear idea of WHO you want to be, or WHAT you want beyond the weight loss, you will likely FEAR your SUCCESS because who you ARE now.. is who you are USED TO BEING...

And that future person, who you don't know, and you're not sure if you're going to like, love, etc.. is who you are going to avoid like the plague.
And, when you get SUPER FREAKING CLEAR on WHO YOU WANT TO BE... 
You'll be not only ready to achieve your goals, but you'll be attracted to SUCCESS like a moth to a flame. Nothing will keep you away.

So, for today, and the rest of this week, I want you to make a list of why SUCCESS would be TOTALLY SCARY for you...

Then.. I want you to make a list on all the AMAZING EXCITING things that your WLS SUCCESS would bring into your life...

Then, I want you to DEFINE what your life will look like as a WLS SUCCESS... 

What ELSE do you want to achieve in your life? 
What ELSE do you want to BE, DO, or HAVE? 


What can you focus on in your life beyond your weight loss goals?

I promise you that while these are deep questions and this is deep work - if you do it.. you'll gain new insights that you've never had before.

And.. if you are still struggling with "I don't knows" - keep asking yourself the questions every single day.. 

I don't know is a lazy answer. You guys may get mad at me for saying it.. but it's true. 


The more you ask yourself these questions, the more clear you will get. It may take a week, it may take a month, it may take several months..  keep asking.


I promise you this works. 


Let's bust through your fear of SUCCESS, so you can REALLY TRULY live your post-op life the way you want to live it... 


Let's stop going through the motions of what is, and CREATE what you want to BE...

How your FEAR of Failure might actually be causing you to FAIL

Are you staying on track with your long-term goals, or are things a little wobbly?

This week I want to share more on the topic of FEAR. Fear is one of those things that EVERYONE struggles with.

Within the WLS post-op community I see a lot of people discussing their fear of failure. Fear of failure is actually pretty normal because, well, who really starts this process wanting to fail? Of course, no one wants to fail, but that's what people tend to focus on.. Think about it. How often do you think about failing? or your fear of failure?

Yet, within that fear of failure, there is something that no one talks about.. and that is the #mindset piece.  

Here's the thing, and maybe you've heard me say this before.. "what you focus on expands",so when you focus on a fear of failure, you might actually increase that fear because you are focusing on it, and end up overwhelming yourself.

See, the brain is a beautiful and yet complicated thing. We can sift through billions of bits of data at any given time. And somehow, so we don’t short circuit, we have to organize that information. The Reticular Activating System helps with that and if you start looking for evidence of something, you are bound to find it..  

So, if your brain starts focusing in on looking for failures, guess what you'll find?

Yes, that's right, failures. Then.. when you focus on that, and start to find evidence of that, then your brain says "why bother," and then you STOP TRYING..

AND THIS.. is the big problem!

So wait, how does my fear of failure actually cause me to potentially fail??

See, our Reticular Activating System (RAS for short), is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through.

The RAS is the reason you learn a new word, and then start seeing it or hearing it everywhere. It’s why you can tune out a crowd full of talking people, yet immediately snap to attention when someone says your name or something that at least sounds like it. It's the same reason you notice the song you love (or the song you hate) come on the radio, all the time.

Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you (good or bad). All of this happens without you noticing, of course. The RAS programs itself to work in your favor without you actively doing anything. Pretty awesome, right?

In the same way, the RAS seeks information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it, and your beliefs shape those parameters. If you think you are failing at life after WLS, you probably will be only because you focus on that so much. If you believe you are good at your post-op process, you most likely do great at the follow-through because you'll believe in yourself even more. If you don't think this way, you'll likely to pick up as self-defeatist attitude a whole lot quicker.

The RAS helps you see what you want to see and in doing so, influences your actions.

Next, let's mix your RAS with negative cyclical self-talk and this is why you are likely to create failures with your mind... because, like I said before, what you focus on expands.

Now, don't misunderstand me.. if you are still downing Haagan Dazs all while chanting "I'm so skinny, the weight is just falling off, Look at me, I'm so skinny" - then you're missing my point.

YOU DO HAVE TO PUT IN THE WORK... YOU MUST TAKE ACTION!

However, what I am saying is... You're perception comes from how you are looking at things, and when you focus on failures, all you will see are failures.

So, I want to encourage you to see other things...

Play a little game with me, will you?

Each day when you leave home, look for something specific in your day-to-day life when you are headed to work and back home, or driving around town... do this for a few days.

When you focus on seeing these things, I promise you'll find them. If not, you are likely living under a rock (just kidding!).

But in all seriousness, start looking for something daily. You may start looking to see a Red Cardinal (the bird), or focus on seeing a Silver colored Toyota 4-runner.

When I did this experiment myself, I was a skeptic and I said that I would find a blue butterfly. I didn't believe I would see one because while I live kind of in the country, I thought it impossible to see a butterfly because I'm inside most days. Well, within 72 hours, I saw a blue, yellow, and black butterfly hanging out by my gardenia bushes.

BOOM!  This stuff works..

So.. first, ask yourself - what are you looking for? What are you focusing on that you will see show up in your life?

Second, start looking for it everywhere. Make it a game like the 'punch buggy' game. 

Then, start to notice how often you are seeing the object that has become your focus.


And finally,shift this to your WLS life and start to look for your successes so you can FINALLY shift out of your fear of failure and begin to track your successes long term.

Also.. STAY TUNED... because....

Next time I will discuss the FEAR of Success and the prevalence it presents in bariatric post-ops, why it may also be lingering beneath the surface and how it may also be causing some subconscious mindset issues..

What is the most important thing to know as a post-op bariatric patient?

This question comes up a lot.. It’s funny because I can’t answer with just one thing. When I think about the importance … I think it’s a JOURNEY. It’s not one thing, it’s everything. 

So, for today, I decided to sum up some of the most important things that I see as a clinician and as a patient for the post-op bariatric process. If any of this resonates, leave me a comment below.

1. Slow and steady repeat action beats one-day hustles. When you're not this journey.. it's not about doing something huge or awesome ONCE.. it's about creating little baby habits that over time create your lasting lifestyle change.

2. Back to basics is always important when you hit a stall

3. Release the judgment of yourself.. that won't change anything.. you've likely been doing that all along even before surgery and how has that worked out? Instead ask how you can be more loving, kind, supportive, etc.

4. Food is 80%, Exercise is 20% - you can't exercise away bad food choices. Just remember that you can always 'begin again' after a mistake.

5. You are totally fooling yourself if you think mistakes WON'T happen or that you WON'T cave to a poor food choice EVER.. the goal is to get better at making better choices not to live from a perfectionistic state. Reality: mistakes, missteps, and oopsies happen.. pick yourself up.. dust yourself off and redirect back to the path you want to BE on.

6. Repeat of #3.. beating yourself up doesn't help you get farther along in your journey. In fact, it may cause you to eat out of spite because you may not be able to deal with all the negative emotions thrown onto the pile.. Remember kindness, love, compassion, and patience (along with success).. is a practice.. it's not a destination..

7. Your old tribe may not get you.. and that's okay. Find your tribe.. there is a saying.. "if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb In reality, if you go alone, you may get somewhere fast, but you might soon go back to your old ways due to loneliness, boredom, and a welling up of emotions.. Find your tribe, love them hard, and be involved. This is your journey.. live it fully and bring peeps along for the ride.

8. Feeling is inevitable.. if you try to continue to stuff down the feelings.. you'll end up with transfer addiction or other poor habits. Start looking deeper into what you are trying to avoid.. and when you look at it, deal with it, and release it.. you'll grow into the person you've always be longing to be..

9. Put yourself first.. if you continue to put everyone else first, you'll wonder why you aren't getting anywhere. It's not about the time, but the energy and effort you put in.. if you are too busy helping others, you'll forget about yourself and this whole process will be for nothing.

10. This journey is not about the weight but all the things you haven't been able to be, do, or have as a result of the weight.. and when you recognize that life is more than food and weight loss, you'll open yourself up to a new way of living and being.. This is why I'll ask so often, 'what do you want?' it's because once you've walked this journey and dug deep inside, the weight is only a byproduct of the work you've done, and you GET to live the life you've always wanted to live because you being to take a CHANCE on you, you begin to BELIEVE in you, your dreams, and the pure potentiality that you never saw before..

As a reminder this is a lifestyle change.

Share your thoughts below. What has this journey been like for you?

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