Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you're listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms, Episode 26: Diagnosing the Real Problem. Let's talk about diagnosing the real problem for why you aren't at your ideal weight right now. Like this moment in time, right this moment, we're going to get right into it today and then I'm going to be talking to you about exactly how we get to solve for this real problem, too.
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 at 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.[00:01:00]
Hey, Hey friends, welcome back.
I kind of think of this podcast as I'm thinking about it and really reflecting on it as a little bit of a diary of my life. If you've been following along here and over on Instagram stories where I share a lot of the behind the scenes of what happens behind Unstoppable, you will know that I recently moved.
We used to live in Northern New Jersey, and then we spent a couple weeks being nomads and now we are finally settling in, into the outskirts of Washington DC... and I have to tell you feels kind of disconcerting to be in a new place, recording this podcast episode for you. But instead of me looking at all of the unpacked boxes all around me, I am really thinking about all of you and today's podcast episode.
I was really thinking about this as I've reflected on some of my own past struggles and the struggles that I really see that some of you encounter and I thought of this analogy that I think will really paint a [00:02:00] valuable picture for you that you can just take from now on forever more.
If you aren't at your ideal weight already, or you feel like you're taking this long and windy path to the land of forever results, or you feel like you're like struggling in it it's because you've been treating your menstrual cramps with antifungal foot cream.
I want you to sit with that for just a moment that visual, where you have menstrual cramps, but you're trying to treat it with anti fungal footcream.
Now, let me just get really specific since I'm an OB GYN, I'm sharing a specific complaint that I would see in my wheelhouse all the time, menstrual cramps.
Every month I want you to imagine that you have these menstrual cramps and sometimes they are just terrible to the point that it might get in the way of just you living your normal life. Maybe gets bad enough that you occasionally have to call off of work or take a sick day.
And maybe every once in a while, it better or a month that it wouldn't be so bad, but [00:03:00] then it just comes back. So what do we normally do when we have a problem like this, that sometimes gets better, but we often finding it getting in the way of just our functioning real life.
We go to Dr. Google, of course we Google our symptoms and when we Google our symptoms, we will get some top hits from web MD or certain websites that you're going to see online.
And from this list of symptoms that you enter into Dr. Google, you will get a possible list of diagnoses and treatment plans. So then of course, naturally what we do is we follow the treatment plan of Dr. Google and we'll visit our local CVS or local Walgreens and buy the concoctions that are recommended and we get right to it.
We start applying and massaging and working with that concoction, but it just doesn't seem to be working. And here you are sitting there robbing this concoction all over your body wondering why isn't this working already?
[00:04:00] So maybe you get a stronger dose or maybe you try a different brand, or maybe you try going back to Dr. Google and adding some more symptoms and trying something new.
Maybe you even poll your friends or your families, but no new answer actually works.
And so you stay here rubbing away until your skin turns raw.
Here's what I wanna tell you has been really happening: you've been treating your menstrual cramps with anti fungal foot cream.
Now, listen, it could be the absolute best foot cream invented in the history of foot creams and it will never ever, ever treat your menstrual cramps. Ever!
If you have ever struggled to lose weight or maintain it with ease, then this is what you have been doing with weight loss. You've been treating your menstrual cramps with antifungal foot cream.
Now, before you get mad or annoyed or frustrated with yourself, or with me for revealing this truth to you, I want you to just take a pause and reflect on how amazing it is you can now know and pause the foot cream [00:05:00] forever.
You can stop rubbing your skin right now and literally the rawness will start to heal.
You can stop buying food cream.
You can stop thinking about why the food cream isn't working.
You can stop researching food creams.
Like, yes, I know that it might be annoying that you've been using foot cream up until now. I totally get it because this was me and also just let yourself pause, knowing you never, ever have to use food cream ever again, forever more.
And better yet whenever you feel like weight loss is feeling "too hard" or "a struggle", or like you're on this long and windy road, just know you can check in and remind yourself, "Hey, I might be doing that foot cream thing again."
Now, this is good to know because it's not that you aren't capable of solving the menstrual cramp problem.
It's not that you aren't capable of losing weight with more simplicity than you could ever imagine.
Of course you're capable-- of course.
But the [00:06:00] only weight that we can make space for capability to create massive change, you have to first deeply see the real problem.
There is no foot problem. There's a menstrual cramps problem.
And seeing this clearly once, like really seeing it clearly like we're getting into today, you will never unsee it ever again. So how does this apply to weight loss?
What is the menstrual cramps problem when it comes to reaching your ideal weight?
I'm going to categorize the menstrual cramps problem, which is the real problem into three categories: the before problem, the during problem and the after problem.
And again, I want you to really think about this through the filter of your own brain and your own life, how these three categories have been contributing to your menstrual cramp problem when it comes to weight loss.
And if you have felt the struggle or you feel like you've been on the long and [00:07:00] windy road, I want you to more importantly, ask yourself, how have you been trying to solve for the real problem?
Let's start with the Before problem.
The real Before problem is that our bodies aren't optimally trained to utilize her fat stores for fuel. I'm not going to spend too much time on this specific problem because I've discussed it in previous episodes of this podcast, which you can go back and search to get a more in-depth understanding.
But I wanna tell you why I call this the before problem. It's because it sets you up in advance to struggle more, to lose weight. If your body isn't naturally being optimized and trained to burn its own fat for fuel, you can imagine how much more of a struggle it's going to feel to lose weight. Just think about this, how much sense does it make that we experience pangs of hunger and over desire when we have plenty of resources stored on our body.
How could this possibly be possible?[00:08:00]
It's because we haven't trained our brain and our body to utilize the resources that are stored on ourselves. And because we haven't trained our bodies to burn its own fat and we haven't honed this as a skill, we add one more challenge to the weight loss struggle. And we tried to solve this with a fake solution.
We think we have to download plans and count calories and macros and points and weigh food to lose weight. But I want to show you that you never, ever, ever have to count or calculate with a calculator or a spreadsheet ever again.
What we have to do is solve for the first real problem: to train your body, to burn her fat for fuel first, and then learn the skill of listening to her natural hunger and satiety cues, which will guide you to lose weight with so much more ease.
Can you imagine this world that we are living in, where we haven't optimized, burning our own fat and yet we try to count and calculate [00:09:00] and measure to lose weight. No wonder weight loss has felt so hard and no wonder the diet industry is booming. What I really want to bring your awareness to, with really calling out this first real problem is that counting and calculating and measuring and weighing food will never, ever, ever make you a fat burner.
What I do with my clients in depth and detail is really teach them how to train their bodies, to burn fat for fuel first. And then we get to work solving the second and third real problem.
So let's move on to the next problem: the During problem.
This is what I like to think about as your set of very habitual and practiced thoughts and beliefs that generates a frequency in your body.
Maybe some stress or pressure or worry... and I want you to imagine that at a chemical level, it is signaling to your body to ramp [00:10:00] up hunger and desire to eat and store resources.
Yes, at a chemical level. I want you to imagine that those habitual and practiced thoughts and beliefs are bathing every cell of your body in just a little bit of cortisol.
And part of your hunger and over desire is coming from your body and brain's natural response to having some flavor of stress coursing through your body.
I would say for most working moms, these emotions have become such a memorized frequency that likely you've been operating with for decades to the point that you might not even notice you're feeling it anymore because it's so patterned and habituated.
When you imagine every cell of your being just bathing in that frequency of just low buzzing stress, the idea of letting it go might actually be scary. The idea of operating your life without the hustle, without the stress and the pressure actually can [00:11:00] feel pretty disconcerting, especially if you're so used to operating in it.
So it's no wonder that we hold onto old paradigms.
This is really where coaching comes in because we get to explore your thoughts and beliefs and how they are manifesting every single result that you have, including the number on the scale. And then what we get to do powerfully together inside our coaching container is not only to bring awareness to your current paradigms, but more importantly, to bring agency back to the mental constructs that you choose to keep. And then we get to learn how to masterfully observe and pivot your brain.
When you learn how to catch these thoughts in real life implementation the ones that are creating your stress, your pressure, your anxiety, and then you get to learn how to think and believe in a way that elevates your frequency I want you to imagine that you're giving that frequency in your body, a break... [00:12:00] you get to just allow every cell of your being a break from the cortisol.
Clearing yourself of that old stale energy, making space for new, more expansive possibility.
It's really this piece where you learn how to elevate yourself out of the stress and the worry and the pressure that we've become so accustomed to that, you start to feel lighter in your mind before you ever feel lighter in your body.
I think the best example for me to highlight this point, this second real problem, or what I'm calling the During problem is we think that when we lose weight, then we will get to feel better. This is a paradigm that is going to keep you chasing. And I can tell you this from personal, firsthand experience.
I've spent decades believing and really thinking that when I lost the weight, then I would get to feel good... when I lost the weight then I would get to feel proud.
When I lost the weight, then [00:13:00] I would get to feel calm and peaceful and content.
And I can tell you now being on the other side of having lost the weight and now being at my ideal weight permanently, it's actually the other way around.
If the real problem is that our thoughts and our beliefs are creating our emotional experience. Then the real solution is to take agency back in how we are thinking and creating and manifesting our reality.
This means that one of the things that we have to do to really solve the real problem is we have to learn how to feel better first to then create permanent weight loss.
Let me just say that again. The real solution is that we have to learn how to take agency back over feeling better to then permanently go and lose the weight.
The last real problem is what I'm going to label as the After problem.
You know, when you do feel the stress [00:14:00] or the worry, or maybe sad or nervous, anxious, pressured, angry, how do you naturally, and reflexively engage with yourself. This is what I'm going to call the emotional piece of the real problem.
So it's absolutely true that getting awareness and agency over your brain and your emotional experience is the launchpad to feeling better. But equally important is to learn how to befriend yourself when you're feeling in the pits.
You don't ever have to fix your feelings or run away from them either. I was recently talking to one of my clients about this and she said, "I just don't want to feel that way anymore." She was saying this when she was describing a specific situation that she was feeling anxious about.
And here's what I told her.
It's absolutely true that that sensation of anxiety or worry in our bodies feels uncomfortable. I totally get it... mad, angry, [00:15:00] sad, frustrated, embarrassed feels uncomfortable, but it's our not wanting to feel those emotions that actually makes it feel bad.
It's the resistance that we are fighting, that actually makes it feel bad.
And that's what we're deeply programmed to do.
To fight that uncomfortable emotion by fixing or solving or running away from any problem that we could possibly anticipate.
This looks like us trying to either control our environments, the length of the task, our partners or our kids, or we try to run away and hide.
We overeat and over drink and overwork to numb and distract from our experience .
This after problem or the emotional component of the root problem runs deep. Mostly because it's been modeled to us at every level and every corner and crevice of society. We've seen our parents teach it and our friends commiserate about it.
So here to you and I are right now, coming along [00:16:00] and challenging it.
I've spent plenty of episodes in this podcast, talking about your emotional experience and the role that plays in forever weight loss but I wanted to highlight it as one of the core, main problems when it comes to reaching your ideal weight.
I want you to see the common thread in these three real problems.
The real solution to all of these is actually just being willing to challenge old norms and old paradigms that you've been operating with for decades.
Nervous? Hell yes, of course you are.
And also, is it the roadmap to skyrocket every result in your life, especially weight loss?
Hell yes it is.
I want you to really think about this deeply solving these three real problems at the root cause. Solving these three problems at the root is treating your menstrual cramps with NSAIDs, with the heat pack and with [00:17:00] the right kind of rest. And then you learn every single month you have your repertoire of solutions ready and waiting.
Menstrual cramps never need to be a problem ever again.
And you'll absolutely never be treating it with foot cream.
This is the solution that we build together inside The Unstoppable Group. It's simple, it's doable, and we customize it to fit your life.
So you can learn how to train your body by recalibrating your hormones, to burn your own fat.
You can take agency over your brain and how you think and feel.
And when you do feel the ick, because you're just a human being a human, you get to walk alongside yourself rather than battling with your human experience.
It took me 18 months to lose over 60 pounds. I've seen weight loss happen faster and slower. I've seen the road be straight and twisty.
I would say for me that the speed matters very little.
What matters so much more is that learning these [00:18:00] three skills and mastering will skyrocket your results, which then will pay you back in dividends for your whole entire life. Just think about the impact of seeing these three problems as the real reason that you aren't at your ideal weight at this exact moment in time that you're listening to this podcast episode.
And then think about what solving these three real problems would open up for you.
This is what we do together inside The Unstoppable Group. We skyrocket your results because you learn these skills. You get to see the problem so clearly that you can never unsee it. And then we get to work in real life implementation where we bring simplicity back to bring space for more joy.
Just imagine what it would change for you if you actually solved the menstrual cramps problem forever. If you had a strategy and a process in place, always you could [00:19:00] always touch back to. That menstrual cramps were never a problem ever, ever again.
What would change in your life? If you finally lost the weight and maintained it with ease, what would that open up for you?
Where might your time, energy and bandwidth then go?
I will say for me, and I've shared this on here before, this is the best work of your life, and we're doing it together inside Unstoppable. I bring my perspective as your coach, as a board certified OB GYN, in advanced certified deep dive coach, and a working mom who has done this exact work without the hustle.
I get you and the working mom's brain intimately.
And I think it's what makes this container so incredibly special. You're ready to see and solve the real problem. And if this is calling to you, then you belong in this room.
I love sharing this work with the universe of unstoppable working moms. [00:20:00] My intention is that you start experiencing a lighter life while reaching your ideal weight.
Really, it is the only way, and I teach this in the simplest most lasting way inside The Unstoppable Group.. If you want to get a flavor of what it's like to work with me and what The Unstoppable Group might be like, then make sure that you get my free training: The Power Start Weight Loss Guide is available to you right now.
You can head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com/power.
The moment that you sign up to get this free training, you'll immediate access to a video series that will also be accompanied by an email training that teaches seriously, some of my most favorite and powerful tools.
You'll also learn exactly when the next time my group is opening for enrollment.
I cannot wait to see you in your email inbox. 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 theunstoppablemombrain.com.