Some Frequently Asked Questions
A: Sometimes it takes awhile for us to hear the voice of our Inner Coach within us. That is why I recommend to some of my clients to borrow the voice of a person in their life they see as a coach or a mentor; a parent, sibling, best friend, therapist—even my voice will do. Borrow the voice until your own Inner Coaching voice becomes strong enough. I remember I borrowed the voice of a mentor of mine for about a year—her voice was so soothing—“Rita what are you going to do about that? Rita, what are your choices here? “ I can still hear her say. Gradually, as I grew in my own confidence by practicing the 9 skills of weight mastery my own inner voice immerged—and it is an exciting and great day when it does.
Sometimes we also don’t recognize our Inner Coach even though they are there. I remember in a recent Shift 30-Day Seminar process one of the clients who had lost about 10lbs during her 30 days got up and told a story about how she went to a holiday party. She thought about the party beforehand; what she was going to eat, how many drinks she was going to have, and she went to the party. She had a great time at the party and left feeling that she was triumphant both in having fun and meeting her goals. She however said—I am following the skills Rita—I love the skills but I don’t think I have an Inner Coach—I am not feeling it..Nearly everyone in that room cracked up because they all recognized what she had not—that without her Inner Coach—she would not have been employing her new skill set so masterfully at that party. She smiled and said, “oh I get it! You know you’re r right—I have a great Inner Coach.”
A: Sometimes a client may have a hard time actually picturing a vision of themselves at their ideal weight. If you can’t picture yourself at your ideal right away that is fine. Maybe you can focus on how it would feel to step on the scale and be at ideal weight or how fantastic it would be imagining your doctor telling you that your blood sugar levels have stabilized and your blood pressure is in the normal zone. Maybe imagine seeing part of yourself—your shining face –looking so empowered at your healthy weight—feeling free from all of the fat thinking. Keep trying and your vision of yourself at your ideal weight will eventually take root.
A: If your vision doesn’t feel real maybe on some unconscious level your expectations of where you should be at a specific time are too unrealistic. I am all for setting a fabulous and thrilling vision to guide yourself too—but it has also got to feel real and doable. Sometimes a client will say—I want to lose 20 pounds in a month! Now as we will learn by the laws of physics—this is an impossible reality for most people and not a healthy goal for your body or mind. Set a vision that excites you but that feels realistic to your Inner Coach.
The moment you recognize a limiting belief it changes your relationship to it. You often can let go of beliefs by labeling and rephrasing them in my experience. But some old beliefs die hard and you will have to be tenacious about repeating the steps to rephrase them—over time they will fade and disappear.
Well for one—you’ll feel them. Sometimes we’ll be feeling bad—angry, nervous guilty and we are not even quite sure why—that is because the limiting belief or overwhelming expectation isn’t conscious—but unconscious. The moment you use your Shift Breath and ask myself “What am I expecting?”, the belief or expectation should become apparent. If not, keep digging because they are always there.
A: We have spent our lifetime thinking how unreasonable we are—how wrong, messed up and broken—when we begin to approach ourselves with an attitude of understanding, empathy and trust we begin to calm down trust ourselves and work with ourselves. We take our weight struggle so personally—but really at the end of the day it is nothing personal—just wiring.
When you focus on the 9 Skills of Weight Mastery and use your Inner Coach, both the Inner Critic and Inner Rebel relax—“Hey, an adult is in control!—we can calm down—we have a foundation and it belongs to us not some diet—this is cool! “The Inner Rebel and Critic desperately want what’s best for you and when you present them with tools and skills they can become an effective part of your weight management team.
A binge is a force to contend with. Often it is our Inner Rebel’s reaction to stress, fatigue, anger or even loneness. Though it may seem like insanity to you-- binging or emotional eating serve a purpose on an unconscious level. Remember our Inner Rebel really thinks they are protecting us, so when we binge it is a way to shut out the chaos of the world and all those things we are not in control of. The Inner Rebel is shutting out all of the Inner Critic’s high expectations and so we eat and eat and eat to numb out the expectations and the critical voice.
One way to slow or stop a binge is to have our Inner Coach ask our Inner Rebel how much more they need of the food to be done—in a caring and non judgmental way. Why? Because the Inner Rebel is acting out—it’s responding to the Inner Critic who is stressing them out with the high expectations. Often when we address the Inner Rebel with an adult like soothing voice they calm down and are reasonable—just like a child who is really being heard and respected calms down.
I’ll tell you a story about my son Archie when he was 3 years old. At that age Archie was what you would call a bit of a rebel. One day he was laying on the couch and pounding his dirty socks against the wall. Annoyed, I asked him to stop. He didn’t. I asked him again. He didn’t—he didn’t even look up at me, he just kept going as if I didn’t exist. I was about to respond habitually with a stern reaction but realized it would get me nowhere and so I did something else entirely. I said Archie very patiently and with as much respectful curiosity I could muster, “How many more times do you need to bang your dirty socks against the wall in order to be done?”
Well, let me tell you, that got his attention! He turned and looked right at me. The look on his face was a cross between shocked and happiness--I was meeting him where he was at. I was asking him, not telling him, and immediately I could see the engines in his 3 year old brain begin to turn over. “Three more times.” he said. “Okay,” I said, “so bang three more times and then we are done.” You know what? He banged three more times got up and was finished.
I tell this story at my seminars because my 3-year old son and the Inner Rebel are very alike. I have had countless clients tell me they will use this tactic, “How many more bites do I need in order to be done with this binge?” And often the answer is “3 bites” or “6 bites” or—"You know I really don’t need anymore—the food isn’t helping I am just going to stop.” Try asking and not telling your Inner Rebel what to do—you may be surprised at how reasonable that Inner Rascal is!!
A: Yes, I hear this a lot too from clients. The fact of the matter is, it is calories in and calories out. Sometimes we will hit a plateau in our weight release—our body isn’t really stopping losing but is holding onto the weight as it readjusts. There are many reasons for a plateau and there is some mad science around eating a bit more allowing the body to feel comfortable enough to release the weight. At the end of the day it is calories in and calories out.
Other than crazy pills that alter your body’s chemistry and jeopardize your health-not really. Your RMR is based on your weight and genetics. The bigger you are the more energy it takes to run your body—as you get smaller so does your RMR—a few calories (six) per pound. Many clients believe building a bunch of muscle turns you into a calorie burning machine—this is not so. The majority of the calories our body burns is not from muscle but from our organs, our digestion and our brain all doing their job.
A: My guess is that your body can release weight once you are super clear on what you burn per day and exactly how much you take in. People who struggle with weight tend to underestimate the amount of food they eat by 50-100%--many clients who were sure they were weight loss resistant released weight easily once they got their numbers straightened out and their portions aligned with reality. It’s not our metabolism that needs to be fixed –It’s our eyes and expectations of what is really possible.
A: Well this tells me a few things:
- You have a Daily Body Burn
- You may be trying to release too much weight per week
- You haven’t factored in exercise yet—or all of the above.
When a client has low numbers, I empathize totally and then I say “Let’s get real. Given the facts of your Daily Calorie Budget and the fact that you don’t want your weight release to feel like a deprivation fest—let’s look at:
- Adding exercise so you can eat more—or
- Lower your expectations of how much you want to release per week.
Lowering your expectations may be painful to do up front, but over time you will see it is better to release ½ a pound a week steadily and happily and not feel like you are on a diet than to release a pound a week and feel miserable. Honestly—how long is feeling deprived going to last? You can make a realistic goal that allows you freedom and peace of mind.
I had a client, Linda, who decided to lose ½ pound a week for a year. Originally, she wanted to release 2 pounds a week, but that was impossible given her low daily body burn calorie totals. One year later Linda weighs 30 pounds less and feeling like she had the best year of her life and was not the least bit deprived. She will assure you—if your numbers are low--slow is the way to go!
A: This all depends on how quickly you wish to release weight and how many calories your body burns a day. A cognitive based study in England —the Oxford Study does not even have practitioners begin to introduce exercise until week 20 because they are so sure that dealing with the food intake is the most important part of weight mastery.
I have had many Shifters begin releasing weight without exercising. This is a highly personal choice—and it works for some. Again, it all comes back to energy balancing—calories in and calories out—if you do not exercise you do not burn more calories.
You can make it work with adjusting the food alone at first—but eventually exercise will play a part in either your weight release or weight mastery journey because as you release weight you daily energy burn will decrease due to the fact there is less of you to move around. When Shifters don’t exercise at first and begin releasing weight they might experience a release plateau because of this—their weight release slows down—this might be the time they would add in exercise.
A: Some people find that exercise may increase their appetite while others find that exercising curbs it. This is highly individual and I call upon your Inner Coach to be a loving scientist to work with you to figure things out. Often upping your protein intake within your daily weight release food budget will help keep your hunger stabilized.
A: When you exercise but eat more than your DAILY BODY BURN CALORIES you gain weight. That’s why there are a lot of frustrated people at the gym, “Hey, I am exercising my butt of here and not losing anything!!”—But maybe you go and eat your butt right back on after the gym!
The calories in a protein shake or even some protein bars and equal the calories burned working out on the treadmill for an hour! You still need to honor the laws of physics—exercise is not—I repeat not a free pass to eat more. Sorry—harsh but true. Don’t get mad at me—I didn’t invent physics—I am just passing on the information. I know it’s a lot to take in and I am proud of you –I can feel that brain of your stretching around all of this information being put forth in a new and different way.
A: You are not alone—a lot of people think writing down their food is too uncool—too time consuming. I am here to invite you to see that the time involved in recording your food—wither on paper or the computer or app—takes minutes. But honestly, look at all of the time we spend struggling with our weight, not sure what to eat, if we are gaining weight or losing weight that day, the amount of time we could spend spend taking medicine, feeling pain because of weight related issues, feeling out of control with food, the time spent trying to find clothes and looking at our butts in the mirror.
Come on! The amount of time it takes to record down your is nothing compared to that. If you bite it write it—it will set you free!