Episode #107: 2 Years Wiser

Apr 23, 2024






In this special two-year anniversary episode of the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, I’m reflecting on my journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Despite my initial hesitations and perfectionist tendencies, I’m diving into the heart of the matter, sharing insights that I know resonate with high-achieving professional moms. Through personal anecdotes and vulnerability, let’s explore the true nature of perfectionism and its impact on various aspects of life, from career to relationships to weight loss. I’m challenging you to break away from convenient stories that maintain the status quo. Join me on this candid and empowering episode as we celebrate growth, imperfection, and the journey to living a more fulfilling life.

If this podcast resonates with you, get my Free 5 Minutes Per Day Weight Loss Mini-Course over at: https://www.theunstoppablemombrain.com/email 



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • My struggle with perfectionism and the impact it has had on my podcast journey.
  • The misconception of perfectionism and how it manifests in the lives of high achievers.
  • What I’ve learned in my experience around the connection between perfectionism and procrastination.
  • The role of stress in weight loss and the importance of addressing real-life stressors.
  • Three key lessons learned over the past two years: the necessity of taking courageous action, the tendency to deprioritize oneself during busy times, and the power of challenging convenient stories.


Listen to the Full Episode:



Enjoy the Show?

  • Follow: Get new episodes in your feed every single week on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle or search "The Unstoppable Mom Brain" on your favorite platform.

  • Rate & Review: Take a few seconds and leave your review in the stars and comments of this show.

  • Instagram: Come hang out with me on Instagram, you'll find me in your daily feed @theunstoppablemombrain


Featured on the Show:

  • Want to work with me?  Learn about The Unstoppable Group by clicking here.


Click here to download the full transcript

  • Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal. And you're listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain podcast, the two year anniversary of this podcast, and some of the lessons that I have learned along the way, welcome back to the podcast. My friends, I have to be totally honest with you. I have seriously been procrastinating recording this podcast episode, which is crazy because I wanted to come onto this podcast episode with pure celebration, recognizing how much effort and work I really put in over the last two years and to thank all of you for being on the journey with me on this podcast, for enjoying the value in the stories that I tell you. And I had a whole idea for the vibe that I wanted for this two year anniversary episode. I started drafting out what I wanted it to look like a few weeks ago and every single day I would tell myself Priyanka we're going to record this episode tomorrow and then tomorrow would come and I would sit down to record this episode and it just felt like the message that I wanted to convey didn't feel like enough for the work that we have been doing together on the podcast and It's so crazy how my perfectionism really drove me to delay even recording this podcast episode, which is actually the message of today's episode.

    What I used to really believe around this feeling of perfectionism and how it affects the type A professional working mom is, it is not what we think it is perfectionism as I used to think I used to think a perfectionist was just someone who did really well on things who was really efficient with their time who had these perfect color coded calendars. Someone who got more or better results faster. That's what I used to kind of assume a perfectionist was a perfectionist was someone that did perfectly. And what i've been learning over the past many years In my journey as a physician as a mom absolutely with weight loss You As, as a coach, as a business owner in my relationships, it is that that is not what perfectionism is.

    I love the work of Brené Brown, who talks about this a lot more in detail, and she's really inspired a lot of the content for today's episode. Perfectionism as it touches the high achiever or the type of professional working mom is that feeling of wanting things to feel a little bit better before you take action. So an example on this podcast episode was me delaying, taking action, me delaying recording because I wanted to feel more confident in what I was going to say today. I wanted to feel a little bit more certainty. I wanted to feel a little bit more calm. I wanted to feel a little bit more grounded because I thought that if I felt better about recording this podcast episode, I felt that, you know, that excited, good feeling, then that would translate into this podcast episode. It would translate into what I want for all of you because I value your time so much. But what it really did, me waiting to feel better, to take action on recording this episode, for me to feel confident and grounded and certain in what I wanted to say, is simply delayed me recording the episode. I found so many ways. I cannot tell you over the past few weeks, how many small ways I have found to procrastinate on recording this episode. I made an outline for what I wanted to share. I reflected on all of the wins and the losses and the fails that I have experienced personally over the last two years that I wanted to share with you and the lessons that I took away.

    And every time I started to type out all of these things that I wanted to share, it just wasn't landing for me. It felt like it just wasn't enough. It wasn't culminating the feeling that I have in celebrating this two year podcast episode anniversary. So I decided, Priyanka, the only way to stop procrastinating is to do this with no notes and take action feeling a little bit scared. And it might sound silly because I've been recording this podcast episode now. I have released over a hundred episodes. I've been coming to all of your ears consistently week after week. I have not missed a single week in the last two years. And you would think that by now I would not feel scared to record this podcast or that I would you know, have some, some inner confidence.


    And I do, I think that that's an important point. I have gotten a lot more comfortable with my podcast, a lot more comfortable sharing stories. I'm very vulnerable and honest with my wins and fails and losses and with my journey. However, what is so fascinating is despite me having done this for two years, I still feel that my desire for it to be just right, just perfect. The most amount of value for you, my listener is I still find myself hesitating. And in doing that, what I've been, I've been actually asking myself is where else is this showing up in my life? And that's kind of the purpose of today's episode. I wanted to share how perfectionism really has touched a lot of my life as a young child into where I am now, how it held back so many of my results, how it made a lot of my, especially my youth in medical school and residency, how it means so much of my journey, so much harder, how it made my desire to do well.

    I'm going to talk to you today about weight loss and how it still shows up in my life, both professionally and personally, before I really get into this, as I've already basically started diving in, as you can tell, we are a no notes episode today, I'm going a little bit all over the place, but I wanted to share just from my heart to yours, first and foremost, um, I am so incredibly grateful that you tune in every week, that you find value in this podcast and that you share it with your friends, your community. It is truly amazing to me to think about where I started out with this podcast and where we are now. So if you have been a long time listener, especially if you have been one of the originals from the beginning, thank you so much for supporting the podcast and being here and listening. And And if you're a brand new listener, welcome to the unstoppable orbit. I'm so glad that you're here. If you've had a chance to dive around and explore this podcast, then you have hopefully walked away from the first few episodes that you've listened to understanding that my mission, the reason for this podcast, the reason for the work that I do is to help the type a professional mom live more of the life that she wants.

    To lose weight in a way that is not just backed in science, but that is a lifestyle that can last a lifetime while really obliterating the optional stresses that we have in our life. It's one of the reasons that I call myself a stress and weight loss coach because I know that professional women, especially high achieving working moms, are living with a lot of stress. We have a lot of stresses in our professional life, as moms, in our relationships, absolutely with our task lists. And I know that most of us go into our weight loss strategy and our weight loss journey with a really zoomed in myopic view. We focus on what we're supposed to eat and what we're not supposed to eat and when and how. And yes, those things are so incredibly important that they're the backbone for how you're going to lose weight. And that's something I discuss on so many other episodes in this podcast, but the part of the strategy that is most often overlooked, and this is a mistake for the high achiever to do this.

    So if this has been you, you're not alone, but also I want you to really wrap your mind around the truth that if you don't know how to burn stress, how to address your real life stresses, both professionally and personally, You will lose weight in short periods of time but it just won't last because some point along the way you'll start using food to take a break from stresses. And I share this because this still comes up for me to this day. When I don't have a finger on the pulse of my own stress, of how I'm feeling in my relationships, In my business, professionally with my children, with really all the things that I want to accomplish when I don't have a finger on the pulse, when I forget to check in with myself, when I let my day to day to do's, when I let the life obstacles just start to get in the way of me having a finger on the pulse. Those are most often the times that I will find myself just inadvertently, mindlessly grabbing a little bit of this snacking a little bit here and there eating a little bit more than what feels good for my body. And inevitably this results in my gut feeling terrible. And of course the scale not being where I want it to be.


    So I share this because I think a lot of times stress and unchecked stress is a result of perfectionism, the result of how we think about hitting goals. If I had to summarize. In a nutshell, the biggest lesson that I have learned over the last two years, since this podcast, that is that there is almost no way to feel confident that you're going to hit a goal until you first practice courage to start taking action. This is the work of Dan Sullivan, because you don't have any evidence yet, right? Actually you have the opposite. You have a pile of evidence working against you that you haven't solved the problem. Maybe you've lost the weight and you gained it back. So we actually have a pile of evidence.

    So it makes a lot of sense that you don't feel confident yet that you can do it. So how do we start turning the tide? I was doing kind of an inventory on all the times that I've had the most growth in my life. The times that I have really turned the ship with losing 60 pounds personally as a busy physician, with getting Changing careers, going from being a clinical practicing OBGYN to being a full time entrepreneur, how I changed my relationship completely with my son. Changing the direction of the ship happened not because I was confident first, it happened because I was willing to feel courageous. I remember those moments, just like all of you, where you feel this frustration, where you look around, you look at the results you have for your body, for your life, maybe professionally and personally in your relationships, you look around and you realize there comes a moment that there's like a light bulb that gets turned on, that here we have worked so hard for so many decades, especially as busy professional moms, you've gone through school and training and in my case, medical school and residency.

    And here I am in my mid thirties, now 40 and is this it? Is this the part that it's supposed to feel amazing and really good? Because it's not. That point came for me a few years ago, back in 2018, 2019, when I was at my heaviest, at 200 pounds, and I looked around and realized there is something about My scenario here that I'm not loving, I have this good on paper life that I've worked so hard for. I've checked so many boxes, and yet there's something that I'm not feeling great about. Definitely the way that I felt in my body, the weight, and also how I felt in my personal and professional life. When I step back and really think about what it was that led me start turning the ship. I did not feel confident.

    I did not feel confident the very first time that I decided to invest in coaching. I had never invested in coaching before. I didn't even really know what it was. All I knew was that I found a podcast with a coach. I absolutely adored and loved, fell in love with her philosophy and felt like there was something that was so true and so right about the journey of coaching and weight loss that it felt like something I had to do for myself. So lesson number one. Over the last two years is to stop expecting to feel confident first and to simply practice taking action, scared, taking action with the feeling of courage is simply because you have an intuitive sense. You have a gut feeling that there is something out there that is better for you and by taking action on it, you're going to create more of what you want. The second lesson that I've learned over the last two years is that I have a very habitual practice. And I think this is probably true of many of us, many professional women, especially if you're a working mom to very reflexively de prioritize myself, de prioritize my body goals, de prioritize my personal goals, my professional goals when life gets busy.

    So when I felt really excited or I got on the Weight loss bandwagon is for losing weight I felt so good about it. There came a point where, when I almost was basically at maintenance, that I felt kind of like I had this in the bag. It felt so simple. I had changed my relationship with nutrition and food and weight loss had started feeling easy for me and simple for me that I became complacent. I allowed certain obstacles, certain challenges with my kid, with our schedule, with moving. We moved across, you know, across state lines. We had so many things come up in our personal life, life obstacles that without realizing it on purpose, I started to deprioritize myself and just doing that, just deprioritizing myself.

    I went back to a lot of old habits. I just think it was such a, an important reminder for me that. When life gets busy, when the kids have a lot going on, or when there's an obstacle in the workplace or in a relationship, my tendency, this might not be your tendency, this is just my tendency has been to put myself last. So again, this is very perfectionist thinking to think when life is a little bit easier, then I'll focus on myself. This was just another flavor of that. I had done that for decades. It's actually how I gained 60 pounds over 10 years. I told myself when med school's done, then I'll focus on weight loss. When residency's done, then I'll focus on weight loss. When the kids are a little bit older, then I'll focus on weight loss. Just by doing the when then dance, I delayed taking action. On my body goal and I gained 60 pounds over 10 years. So I want to just shed light on that because if any of you have ever lost weight and then gained it back, I wonder whether this is a lesson for you to have you deprioritized your body goal simply because you lost weight and hit maintenance.

    Why is it so important for us to understand the role of perfectionism in de prioritizing ourself? Is because we think that we have to feel good, it has to be simple, life has to be organized, the kids have to be wrapped up, the to do's have to be wrapped up, the relationships have to be wrapped up, the email inbox has to be empty. Before, life we can focus on ourself before we can invest our time and our energy on our bodies and on our personal goals. But when we do this, we start perpetually waiting and what happened with me and what I've had to learn this lesson is waiting turns into a habit saying no to investing my time and energy in my body saying no to prioritizing myself, turn into a habit thinking, you know what? I need life to be just a little bit easier. I need this to be wrapped up just a little bit more before I can take action. Turned into a habit and just uncovering how my perfectionist tendencies turned into me. Deprioritizing my body goals was such a gift and I had to gain a few pounds to learn the lesson, but that's part of the journey.

    Part of what I teach my clients in the Unstoppable group is you will lose weight, you will hit your goal, and then you will have a life obstacle. Maintenance is not about hitting one magical three digit number and then you live at that number for a lifetime. The way that I think about hitting your goal weight, your maintenance that you want to feel in your body is you hit that and then you might gain five pounds or 10 and it doesn't matter because when you learn the skills of understanding, I wonder what part of me taking care of my body, me honoring my body goals. Have I been shirking? What responsibilities to myself have I been putting off? Where have I been using food to distract from my real life? All of a sudden you can get right back on track with losing the weight you want to lose and with maintaining it.

    So I shared that second lesson because this is something I have had to learn. It's one of those things where I can tell you something and You know, logically you hear me say what I'm saying. You're like, yep, makes sense. But you have to sometimes experience that journey. You have to experience the lesson to really feel like you've lived it. And that leads me to my third lesson, which is our most primitive reflexes. Our most primitive brains are very, very, very convincing with compelling stories to keep our status quo. So. I have uncovered so many thoughts that just felt like true facts that were really actually convincing, compelling, and convenient stories for me to not take action on growth, on personal growth, professional growth, growth for my next body goal that I have for myself. And I think that this is where coaching has been so incredibly impactful. When we are in our own echo chamber, you start to kind of tell yourself the same story again and again, your brain looks for confirmation bias. So keep proving yourself right. I call this being in an echo chamber, which is why having a coach show you your thoughts, show you, did you realize that you're thinking this and do you realize that that's not actually true? It's just a story has been one of the greatest gifts that I have been able to give myself over the last two years, because that is how I have been able to break away from convenient stories.I don't want to keep my status quo. I think you're listening to this podcast episode because you don't want to keep your status quo either. And this leads me to how, once again, to challenge the status quo to challenge those convenient stories that we come up with around our time, around our list of things to do, around how long things something takes, how much effort it takes for us to challenge those stories also takes courageous action.

    So in a nutshell. When I think about what I've learned over the last two years, it is ultimately narrowed down to practicing taking courageous action doesn't feel good. It's just true. I used to think that I needed to feel good to take action. What I have learned time and time again, that sometimes taking action when it doesn't feel good, when it feels scary, but every single time I do, I am always incredibly grateful. And that's actually the reason that I'm here recording the two year anniversary of this podcast. I hope you enjoyed today's ramble of an episode without my notes and let me be imperfect with all of you. I'm here to support you on your journey to burn stress and burn fat so that you can truly live more of the life you want. And if you would like to help me celebrate this podcast, I would absolutely love it if you shared this podcast. In your local community, in your local Facebook groups with your best friends and spread the message that there is a better way for type a professional working moms to burn stress, burn the fat and create more of what we want together. We need science, we need strategy, and we absolutely need coaching. I hope you guys all have an amazing week and I will see you at the next one. Thanks for listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain podcast. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more resources or information from the show, head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com.

Join The Magic

Value driven ooey-gooey goodness, strategies and skills delivered right to your inbox every week.