The 12 Phases of Weight Loss (Part 2) | Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms with Dr. Priyanka Venugopal

Episode #22: The 12 Phases of Weight Loss (Part 2)

Aug 30, 2022

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As we discussed last week, there are 12 normal phases of weight loss that we all go through when we’re trying to reach our ideal weight. I’ve spoken before about reaching the land of forever results, but we all go on a slightly different journey to get there. It takes some people longer than others, but whatever speed you’re going, I’m here to help you reach the land of forever results.

I spoke last week about phases one through seven, and how getting stuck in the seventh phase is what stops so many people from reaching the land of forever results. So, in part two, I’m showing you how to power past the tipping point of phase seven, and learn how to move through the remaining five phases of permanent weight loss.

Tune in this week to discover how to move through phase seven, shortening the amount of time you’re spending stuck there. I’m showing you how to create unconditional pride and confidence, instead of judging, quitting, and hiding, as well as how to take responsibility, evaluate, and create your own roadmap to the land of forever weight loss.



The next Unstoppable Group is opening for enrollment on September 5th. Spots are limited in this six-month intimate coaching experience, so if you’re an ambitious working mom who is ready to grow past phase seven, join us. The best news is, you can click here to get early access and start creating results on the scale right now before the program even starts.



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:


  • How to see which phase you’re currently in, from a place of total non-judgment.

  •  My own experience of moving through the discomfort of phase seven and going all in on myself and my dreams.

  •  The importance of creating unconditional pride and confidence, without needing evidence.

  •  Why your thoughts are the only thing keeping you stuck in phase seven.

  •  The difference between planning in phase three, versus the Goldilocks planning of phase eleven.

  •  How to move through the tipping point of phase seven, and get to work on the remaining five phases of permanent weight loss.


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Full Episode Transcript:

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Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you're listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms, Episode 22: The 12 phases of Weight Loss- Part 2. 

This is the second part of a two part mini series where I am talking to you about the normal 12 phases of weight loss, and really the normal journey that we all go on when we want to reach our ideal weight and we just aren't there quite yet. 

I shared a few episodes ago around what it takes to reach your ideal weight and to live in the land of forever results-- but I realized as I was creating that episode, that it is absolutely true that we go on a journey to get there. And that is what this two part series is really going to be teaching you all about getting to the land of forever weight loss means going through these 12 phases.

And it's true that some people might have a shorter path and some longer... who cares? 

I just want you to get to your land of forever [00:01:00] results. 

If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weight loss coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching you. 

Ready? Let's get to it.

Hey, Hey friend! 

Last week and this week, I am breaking down the roadmap to get you to the land of forever results on the scale. And if you didn't listen to last week's episode, where I went into phases one through seven, I suggest actually that you pause this episode and go back to episode 21, where I really explain and dive into the first seven phases that are normal in [00:02:00] trying to reach your ideal weight. 

And what I would say is most of us are fairly expert at living and driving and cycling through the phases that I described in last week's episode. The intention of really this two part series from last week and this week is so that you never, ever, ever feel confused ever again.

It's like, you're driving to a destination and we wonder like, am I going in the right direction? 

Is this the way to where I wanna get? 

You know, those times when you're driving somewhere and you look around and you're just wondering, like, am I even on the right track? This is what we do so often in weight loss is we start the journey, but we get to a point and it's usually when things are going "quite wrong" that we just stop.

We quit and we turn around or proverbially hide. 

And it's that moment that I want you to really discover for yourself. It's that moment or what I described in last week's episode as phase [00:03:00] seven, that really keeps you from the land of forever results. Now, just as a quick recap and a brief summary, all of these 12 phases that you're learning about are completely normal and really the reason that you ever will find yourself in one phase or another is always always because of your perspective, your mindset and that mindset, basically your set of thoughts and beliefs and the feelings that you're having is what's going to drive why you spend any amount of time in any given phase.

You might be someone who spends a lot of time in phases one, two and three.

I know that this was me for a very long time phase one, where I wanted to wait for Monday morning motivation or New Year's Day, or my birthday. 

Or phase two, where I was in consumption mode and researching a lot. 

Or phase three, one of my favorites when I went down the rabbit hole of planning.[00:04:00] 

Or maybe you are someone who spends a lot of time in phases, six and seven, where you try implementing and then you fall and then you get to phase seven where you quit or you hide, or you give up for a few days for a few weeks or even a few months.

It doesn't actually matter how much time you're spending in each phase- there's no judgment. 

What I want you to do at the start is just identify what phase you're in and why. 

Here's where the trouble really is. It's the judgment. What I found is when you spend a lot of time cycling through phases one through seven or any one of those phases for any lengthy period of time, it's fairly common for your beautiful brain to dole out the judgment and the frustration.

And that is the piece that I want to help you get through. 

There is a moment that we turn around and it's usually in phase seven that doesn't allow you to power [00:05:00] past and to learn how to get into phases eight through twelve, which is where your magic really happens. That's what we're going to be talking about in today's episode. 

Because when you get through phases six and seven, you get to the other side. 

You know, that feeling where you're driving and looking around and wondering whether it's working and maybe you've taken some wrong turns and you're feeling frustrated, but you stick with it and you get through that emotional experience and you clear the thicket to the other side, you'll know deep in your bones, how worth it it was-- to stick with. 

I've shared this before, but I think it's really fitting just to share here again, how deeply grateful I am to my 200 pound self for going on this journey. For cycling through and to living in phases one through seven long enough that I finally got so sick of it enough to traverse to a new land.

To learn how to go through the discomfort. 

To allow [00:06:00] myself to really finally go all in on myself and my dreams .To

prioritize the goals that I had for my life and my body. 

And really finally to do the real work.

I'm so grateful to my past self for learning how to stop living in phase seven, to learn that she had safety and love to move through phase eight, because she is honestly the reason that I'm here right now, talking to you.

She's the reason that the Unstoppable process was ever created. 

So, this is just me offering gratitude to myself saying thank you past self for believing in me, for investing in me, for prioritizing me. 

And really this is something that I want for all of you. If you are ready and finally feeling that light to take this work that we're talking about from an intellectual perspective [00:07:00] to real life, real time implementation with a coach, The Unstoppable Group might be perfect for you.

I love sharing what we do inside the group, because I find that it can be deeply inspiring to anyone that is ever listening to this podcast, because what we do inside this group is just leveled up work that you're hearing on this podcast. 

It's six months of committed work that fundamentally changes your brain, where you change your relationship with yourself and you learn how to traverse to the other side.

Can you imagine that moment when you see the land of forever results is just on the horizon and you know that you get to live there forever, if you want.

That is what I help my clients create inside The Unstoppable Group. And if that sounds like something you want, I want you to join the early access list so you are the very first to get access to this group. It's an intimate group where there are a limited number of spots. So [00:08:00] being on the early access list means you get to claim first priority to your spot, and you can get early access at

And if you want some flavor of the work that we do together, make sure that you have grabbed your free power start weight loss guide. It's literally a power training that comes right to your email inbox right away. You get immediate access right now to a short video series that has accompanying emails to teach you some of my most powerful, Unstoppable tools. 

And you can grab that training for free

Okay, so let's get back to the 12 phases. 

Just to recap. What I've been sharing is that all 12 phases are normal. 

They're all on the map to reaching that land of forever weight loss results and we always get to decide though, you [00:09:00] may not be conscious of it-- what phase you're in and for how long and what we get to do together and especially what we get to do inside a coaching container, like The Unstoppable Group is you become intimately conscious and aware of what phase you're in and why.

So last week we talked about the first seven phases-- we talked about :

The motivation phase. 

The consumption phase. 

The initial planning phase. 

The implementation with initial success phase.

And then of course, phase five dwindling motivation .

Phase six was implementation with falling...

and phase seven, the hiding quitting and screw at phase. 

Now, just remember they're all normal and most of us are experts at cycling and living in these first seven phases. And for right now, I just want you to catch yourself.

What phase are you in? 

What phase do you find yourself teetering in and lingering in and circling back to. Just start [00:10:00] to catch yourself without judgment or criticism and become aware like you're taking inventory of where you are on the map. 

You don't ever have to berate yourself. 

It's just a map and you're just in a car on the road.

And what I shared last week is the amount of time that you spend in phase seven, which is hiding or quitting or thinking screw it is directly correlated with the results you're seeing on the scale. And so while all of these phases are absolutely normal, what we want to learn how to do is to shorten our time in the phases that aren't getting you to where you want to go.

And really what I want to help you with is to shorten your time in phase seven.

So now and forevermore, we can always just say that we are pulling a phase seven-- if we find ourselves quitting or hiding or thinking, screw it always because of a thought we are having. 

There are two reasons that you will ever find yourself pulling a phase seven.

One is [00:11:00] because you quit. 

Either for a day, a week, a month, a season or years.

And quitting will come from some flavor of a thought, which is "screw it.... F-it, I already messed up, might as well just forget the whole thing. I'll start again tomorrow. I'll start again Monday. I'll start again. On new year's day. I'll start again on my next birthday. "

So you have some flavor of a thought that leads you to quit the other time that you will find yourself pulling a phase seven is if you are hiding. 

:And usually your hiding will come from. Flavor of a thought that has judgment, embarrassment or disappointment. And if you haven't practiced or learned the skills of allowing those emotions without negative, self-talk, your brain has developed a brilliant strategy to hide.

It's better to hide and not weigh yourself and to not plan and to not follow through-- than it is to feel those uncomfortable emotion. 

So now, and forevermore, you will know you're pulling a phase seven when you find [00:12:00] yourself quitting or hiding. And again, we are doing this without judgment.... we're just noticing, observing and taking inventory.

And here's the biggest point that I want to make about phase seven. The only real reason that we quit or hide is because we don't feel safe being with ourselves during a fall. 

Which is terrible. 

Think about how tenuous of a relationship we have with ourselves. 

Right? It's like our pride and confidence are conditional.

We've trained ourselves for decades to only allow ourselves to feel confident and proud and successful when we are seeing good results. And that is what we want to undo here. 

Friends, I want to invite you to have unconditional pride and confidence, no evidence necessary, because really this is the salve to phase seven.

When you experience an undesired outcome, how are you with yourself? 

This is the tipping point that most of us end up circling [00:13:00] back where we quit and hide.... And then we end up living in the land of phases one through seven. 

So how is it that we actually pivot past this point and spend less time in phase seven?

The answer to that is phase eight: let yourself feel terrible and have your back through it. 

So what exactly do I mean by this? 

Phase eight is allowing yourself to feel the uncomfortable emotions that you might have from trying and falling from quitting and hiding from going all in or not implementing basically from not being where you want to have been.

Here's what I'm going to point out about phase eight and the real reason that we haven't traversed it. It's simply because we haven't developed the skills to really allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable emotions, which is why I've spent quite a few episodes in this podcast dedicated to emotional work.

What we've done and honestly is decades practiced and [00:14:00] programmed is we have blocked, avoided, resisted, or tried to circumvent uncomfortable emotions. 

But this is why we linger in phases one through seven. 

My friends, the roadmap to forever results are requires that you go through this when you're ready. Maybe you have that weekend binge and the scale is up on Monday morning... and so you feel disappointed, plus maybe you're also physically just feeling terrible and heavy in your body from all of the overeating.

I get it. I have been there time and time again. 

And what I want to invite you to do instead of quitting and hiding or berating yourself, is to allow yourself to notice and feel terrible.

But without the judgment. 

Now I see you because I know this is hard and it's hard only because we have married, feeling terrible with the subtle layers of judgey. scoldy self-talk. 

This is the time to nix that now and forever. 

Instead, I want you [00:15:00] to imagine and just play with that idea where you step on the scale and the number has gone up because of certain decisions that you have made yesterday and the day before and the day before that. And maybe you're feeling kind of terrible in your body that Ugh, feeling the heavy, just uncomfortable physical feeling and sensation in your body. 

And maybe you're also feeling disappointed at the decisions that you made and not being where you want. I want you to play with allowing it. How would you talk to your child or your best friend in that moment?

We might say, "friend, my love, I can see that you are feeling terrible. I know that that's tough, sometimes I get it and I love you and I've got you anyway." It can really be as simple as that to let yourself drop the resistance to feeling terrible... and to stop judging yourself for creating the terrible feeling.

Instead, this step, phase [00:16:00] eight is an invitation to befriend yourself in the experience, instead. 

It's really only when you do this and start to practice and master allowing these emotions to be there that you can start to pass through and traverse this phase. It's while you create safety and a friendship with yourself that you can actually ask the most important question that you will ever ever ask.

Phase nine, the honest evaluation. 

The question that we finally get to ask ourselves when we have our own back feeling safe to allow the uncomfortable emotions is I wonder why we made those choices? 

From a place of love, compassion and curiosity.

Seriously, this experience is going to be new for many of you, but I promise you, it is one of the only ways to get real answers, which is how we get to work, to create the real solution.

Just as a recap, for something that I [00:17:00] mentioned in last week's episode. We spent a lot of bandwidth time and energy blaming our lack of motivation, our lack of planning, our lack of having the best right strategy. And what that's doing is it's taking you away from safely and honestly evaluating why you ever made the decision to overeat.

It's really why, what I'm sharing on here is the solution to moving past those phases one through seven.

Now in phase nine, I put the word honest purposefully. I see all too often, we try to quote unquote evaluate our results, but we aren't taking or really willing to take 100% responsibility in ownership over how, in fact, we created those results.

Because we have thought for decades past that 100% responsibility means blame. 

And I want to tell you that it doesn't.

100% responsibility is the most [00:18:00] loving thing that you can teach yourself how to do. Let me just say that again, 100% responsibility is the most loving and really mature thing that you can ever teach yourself to do.

It's bringing this level of maturity that allows you to grow and pave a path towards your solution. But all too often, what I see is that we don't know how to be really honest with ourselves because we have laced in blame and negative self-talk in our evaluation.

We are so used to the critical judgey self-talk.

And I would say that for many of us, especially working moms, it's really reflexive and it will be the shackle that holds you back. I know this because this was me. It was incredibly subtle and it really was the reason that I found having a coach to be so transformative. 

It's because your coach shows you the difference between your subjective narrative, the critical judgey self talk with the real [00:19:00] facts.

And then you just get to decide what narrative you want to keep.

I also love phase nine, the honest evaluation, because it brings up all of the juice from your subconscious programming, which as a coach to me, is the best playground that we get to play in. We get to uncover so many of your oldest beliefs that you've had about yourself.

And then we get to explore them in a room of safety and love.... and you get to decide when you're ready to break past. All of that happens in this phase. 

To feel safe and to honestly evaluate by taking 100% responsibility is how you discover, why you have chosen yesterday's decisions. And that's how we create the roadmap to get to forever weight loss results.

This takes me to phase 10, curating commitment. 

I often say, and you will hear me say this time and time again, that Commitment is Queen ...and [00:20:00] consistency is a close second. I like to think about commitment as a feeling and emotion that you feel deeper in your body. It's more grounded and more steady, and it is way more powerful and effective than the feeling of motivation, which I talked about last week as phase one.

Just remember that motivation is fleeting that Wednesday evening, that you get home from your long work day with the grumbling family-- Monday morning's motivation is gone, and this is why having a bank account full of commitment is worth its weight in gold. 

You have to learn how to curate, collect, and deposit commitment into your bank account.

Inside The Unstoppable Group this is actually something that is so important that I teach my clients on day one exactly how to do this. I've even created a separate space inside our members only written coaching cafe that is dedicated to a space that I call The Daily Work. 

[00:21:00] And this is because we want to curate commitment on a daily basis.

Why ?

Because she is worth her weight in gold. Sure. You could skip this and skip doing this daily work, but then I promise you, you will be running on fumes on that Wednesday evening when everything is annoying you and you're feeling spent and tired and just want to break. You know, when you're in that state, that Wednesday evening, when everything is just running awry you just want the break, it is near impossible to make powerful choices when you have nothing in your bank account to draw from. 

One of my favorite examples to even distinguish the difference between the feeling of motivation and commitment is to think about your kid after school. Somehow, I want you to imagine that your kid is after school waiting to be picked up and maybe their ride fell through, or she missed her bus or the after school activity was canceled.

And so you get a call from school saying, Hey, your kid's here. She needs to be picked up like right now. 

What do you do? 

Now [00:22:00] it's annoying and you have to interrupt your day or make a few phone calls, but you don't ever, ever, ever leave your kid hanging there. You make it happen. You find a way to either go yourself or to find someone to pick her up-- no matter what.

I want you to imagine that feeling that you have when you are arranging your child to be picked up is deep in your bone's commitment, regardless of how annoying or frustrating or interrupting of your day is you get it done. 

My friends, this phase is a juicy phase and she needs to be actively cultivated by depositing commitment into your bank account.

I could probably talk about commitment on and on, and I likely will have a whole podcast episode again on this at some point in the future, but I wanted to really highlight and emphasize why this phase is so important on your way to forever weight loss results. 

So once you have learned how to curate and cultivate commitment, we get to move [00:23:00] on to phase 11, Goldilocks planning.

Now I love Goldilocks and sometimes I think she gets a bad rep for being a little selfish and egocentric and really thinking just about herself. 

But yes, friends, we are calling this Goldilocks planning because when it comes to reaching your ideal weight, you do have to be a little selfish and a little egocentric.

I know that that might be hard for some of you, especially if you are used to being that working mom who always puts your children and your family and your work and your grocery list and your laundry and your task list ahead of yourself. 

I get it. I know it's hard. 

We want Goldilocks planning when it comes to weight loss, because it allows you to plan with constraint. And when you learn how to really plan with constraint, which I'm going to talk about in just a moment you end up really needing to do less, to achieve more. And this is what's so different from Phase three's version of planning. [00:24:00] 

So if you remember, phase three was also a planning phase, but that was unconstrained.

And often when we are initially getting all of our highlighters and our planners and our brand new apps, we go down the rabbit hole of planning, partly as a way to distract and avoid doing the work. What this phase is talking about is Goldilocks planning with selective constraint. 

You have to learn how to say no to things.

And learn how to say yes to the needle movers that matter most.

And the best news here is because you have done the work of an honest evaluation and you've been curating and cultivating commitment.... you actually have information, data, and power to plan with constraint and plan something that is actually doable.

This is actually something that I do with my clients every single week and every single month inside The Unstoppable Group. Because when you learn how to do a [00:25:00] real honest evaluation, you uncover what your true obstacles were, you then get to create actual solutions and put them on your Goldilocks plan, which leads me to the final phase.

Committed implementation until a mastery. 

This is taking your constrained Goldilocks plan and implementing it and following through on it. And then repeating cycles eight through twelve, again and again and again until you reach your land of forever results. 

Here's just what I wanna share about these 12 phases that we have been talking about this week and last week. They're all normal and they're all on the roadmap to your land of forever results.

And most of us are experts and cycling through phases one through seven for years and decades. That pathway is well worn and familiar. But I want you to consider what it might feel like to be willing, to choose uncomfortable, to venture out of this and [00:26:00] learn how to get through the thicket and live and cycle through phases eight through twelve. 

What we wanna do here right now is to start by knowing exactly what phase you're spending your time in. 

Zoom out, and really look at the map without judgment and decide if you are ready to move forward. And then just start taking action and evaluating, befriending yourself on the road.

Listen, we are going to be car mates with ourselves for life, which is why, when I think about reaching your ideal weight and living a lighter life comes from first befriending ourselves in the journey. It's why I like to focus so much of my energy and attention and coaching on really uncovering the self-talk that you have in the car ride on your way there, because we might as well make it the best, most pleasant, most fun experience.

And then we get to drive without hiding or quitting taking action again and again, [00:27:00] knowing that if we ever need a break, we can always take a pit stop. 

Honestly, this is the work that I am just so incredibly passionate about sharing and helping you transform your life. And if this speaks to you and this work lights you up, I would love to see you in The Unstoppable Group.

The next Unstoppable Group is opening for enrollment on September 5th.

Spots are limited as my intention in creating this intimate coaching experience is to have all of us see each other on one zoom screen. This room is for ambitious working moms who are committed to this work and finally, ready to grow past phase seven.

The group is going to be starting with an orientation coaching call on September 18th, and then we coach together for six months. I've created this coaching experience that leaves no stone unturned. Every obstacle has been thought of. The moment that you join this group, you get immediate access to The Unstoppable Library, [00:28:00] which houses the video modules to teach you my simple and proven formula on day one.

Yes, you get to start losing weight just by getting access to this group early and even before our very first coaching call. We are going to meet live on zoom every single week, where you're going to get your brilliant mom brain coached and even more amazing is you get to learn from the coaching of other women, just like you.

I've also created a beautiful written coaching cafe. It's a private space for our amazing group to connect where you're going to get unlimited written coaching. And this is one of the spaces that we get to share our daily and weekly work that customizes this process to your life. Seriously, this group is the room to put yourself in if you want to reach your ideal weight and get to the land of forever result with more simplicity and more joy. And here's what is so amazing, you'll get to get early access to this group before September 5th, by going to [00:29:00]

I hope to see you there-- and I hope that you get to claim your spot.

I cannot wait to see you love you guys so much. Have an amazing week. Bye! 

Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more information or resources from the show, visit

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