Today, we’re talking about how to feel emotions, specifically the uncomfortable ones. This is the gateway to reaching your ideal weight in a forever way, without having to worry about the weight coming back.
Tune in this week to see why life is 50:50, but feeling better in weight loss is 100% your decision. This episode isn’t to make you feel better, but it’s going to help you help discover how deeply powerful you are over your human experience, and how you can help yourself feel better in the discomfort weight loss brings up.
Priyanka: [00:00:00] Hey, I'm Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you're listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms, Episode 12: How to Feel Better in Weight Loss.
Today's episode is a special one. Maybe I feel like this about all of my episodes, because that's how I feel when I record them. But today we are talking about how to feel emotions-- specifically the uncomfortable ones, because this is the gateway to creating lasting weight loss in a permanent way.
I'm telling you it's going to be a good one.
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. [00:01:00]
Ready? Let's get to it.
Hey, there, welcome back.
Before we get started. In today's episode, I feel the need to share with you that my voice feels a little bit dry and scratchy and I apologize. I think it's just the seasonal allergies that are really getting to me. And no matter how much water I drink seems that my voice is just not cooperating, but I did not want to hold back today's episode, which is really one of my favorite topics.
Before we get into today's episode, I wanted to read one of your beautiful comments that I read on apple podcast. Ajungbluth says: "Listening to Priyanka feels like talking to a friend. She creates a safe and loving place to question previously held beliefs about weight loss and empowers you to create thoughts that serve you. After listening to her podcast, I have a plan of actionable steps to take and renewed hope and confidence that I can be at [00:02:00] my ideal weight with ease."
Thank you so much for sharing this. I love hearing from you and how this podcast is making a difference in your life and for you on the scale. If you've been loving the podcast, take a moment to go to apple podcasts and subscribe and rate the show. I would love to share what you are taking away in a future episode.
Okay. Another kind of fun, quick thing. Before we get into the episode, my son has really been into something called goose eggs. I think he calls 'em goose eggs or easter eggs, some kind of egg. I dunno if this is a thing someone can share in a comment or send me an email.
It's something that's meant to be like a hidden gem inside of something. So like a few months ago when he was really into Encanto, he would discover these goose eggs, I think they're called. Like secrets about Bruno. If you're familiar with the movie Encanto, Bruno is one of the main characters and he discovered these like secret, hidden things that Bruno was like in the background that like the viewer, if [00:03:00] you watch it for the very first time was not actually aware of.
So it's kind of fun to have some like hidden goose eggs. We're just gonna call them goose eggs for the purpose of this episode. Cuz I don't remember what he calls them.
There's something a little special hidden in this podcast episode that is just for you. And I think it's fun! So I'm going to call it a goose egg or some kind of egg.
You get my drift.
Anyways, this episode has a golden goose egg for you hidden towards the end of the episode. And when you listen through to the end, you're going to hear about a special link that will take you to a personal video from me to my coaching clients. That's all I'm going to tell you about it right now.
I might have already ruined to the whole goose egg analogy, but I had to share it.
So for today, we're talking about the gateway to reach your dream ideal weight in a lasting and forever way-- and for it to never come back.
Really this episode is kind of an extension of last week's episode. The gateway is learning how to [00:04:00] allow and feel emotions. To befriend yourself in the experience without ever relying on food, to do the job for you.
We're first going to start with some background, and then I'm going to share with you the tangible step that you can start taking today. And of course, there's a golden goose egg for you somewhere in this episode.
We started this conversation last week in episode 11. So if you haven't listened to that episode yet, I would actually pause this episode first and go back and listen to that episode.
It really sets the stage in a way that makes this episode much more impactful for you and it explains to you why the work we're talking about in this episode is so incredibly valuable.
Before we get into the tangible steps of how to actually feel better and allow emotions, I wanted to give you a little bit of background first. It will always be the case that we are going to have a fairly equal mix of it all: the whole range of all of the human emotions that we can experience in our life. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, some joy and grief, some [00:05:00] wins and some disappointments.
And to put a phrase to this, we can call this "The 50- 50."
Now some people are very literal about the 50- 50, like it's 50% positive and 50% negative.
I'm personally not so literal about this.
I think about this concept of the 50 50 as really signifying one message. That it's normal to experience the ebbs and flow of a whole range of human emotions. It's just being human and having the human experience.
There's some ups and downs, some good and bad, some lefts and some rights.
And I wanna tell you that if you're always wanting to feel "right" to go right, and have things go perfectly, right. I want you to imagine on the road, you will end up spinning in circles.
Whenever I talk about the 50- 50, I'm talking about experiencing emotions that are comfortable and uncomfortable.
I'm purposefully not calling them positive and negative emotions.
And [00:06:00] I'm doing this purposefully because I think that labeling emotions as negative implies that uncomfortable emotions are bad. We don't want things that are negative in our life. So for the purpose of this episode and this podcast, I might occasionally refer to emotions as negative, but really what I'm referring to are the emotions that we don't generally want to feel.
And what we are going to talk about in this episode is how experiencing a negative or uncomfortable emotion doesn't have to create a negative outcome for you anymore. Because the 50- 50 is going to happen in every single stage of your life.
No matter how busy or free you are, no matter what is happening in that specific season. You'll notice this in training and on your busiest work day, you'll notice it and experience it on vacation. You'll feel it as a medical student, as an intern, or even as an attending. You'll feel it when your kids are little or when they're grown and out of the house.
These circumstances of your life, don't [00:07:00] dictate the ebbs and flow of your 50- 50.
We talked about this in more detail in episode seven, when it described The Model, this is just a truth of the universe. None of the circumstances in our life, the number on the scale, your body, the food in the fridge, your kids, your time, and your husband can ever actually make you feel a certain way.
But we have thousands and thousands of thoughts about these circumstances, the scale, your weight, your body, your time, your money, your kids, and your family. And it's these thoughts that create your emotional experience.
Which is the best news, because it means that we're actually completely responsible for our own emotional experiences. And so no matter what is happening in your life, whether you're on vacation or in your busiest work day, you're going to experience some semblance of the 50- 50, and it will always come back to the think- feel- act cycle.
In our time together here on this podcast, we explore all [00:08:00] aspects of your Unstoppable Mom Brain. We talk about the circumstances in your life, but we really explore the thoughts that you have both reflexively and the ones that you want to create intentionally and on purpose.
Today's episode, we're going to the next step, exploring the emotions you experience when you have those thousands and thousands of thoughts per day.
Let me just start by saying I'm not at all in the business of trying to get my clients or you to feel better. This is not a personal goal of mine or an intention that I have.
My goal is to coach you powerfully and in doing so to help you see how deeply powerful you are over your human experience. I'm not in the Pleasantville business, but being coached allows my clients to pave a path where they learn how to make themselves feel better.
It doesn't mean that the 50- 50 ever goes.
Coaching doesn't take away your human experience.
It doesn't solve, fix, or absolve you from experiencing the ups and the [00:09:00] downs.
But it makes you so much more skilled at navigating your human experience with consciousness and calm. And here's the other thing, while not on the business of needing or wanting you or my clients to feel happy and good all the time, I am in the business of learning how to accept our ninja humanness 100% of the time and treating ourselves with honey dipped love.
Okay, now, before you roll your eyes, let me take a moment to clarify the difference.
There's a difference between feeling good all the time versus treating yourself well all the time.
I want you to think about how you talk to your littlest child bean. I call my kids "little beans." So that's why I'm referring to your little kids as little beans.
I want you to think about that little child going through their life, learning and growing and stumbling and getting up. And sometimes they're delighted and clapping their hands at how amazing they are. And sometimes they stumble or cry and get frustrated because of their boo boos. [00:10:00]
Both are normal and both are expected. It's totally okay. It's just their 50- 50. And you as their ninja mama bear, get to love them and treat them well 100% of the time through their 50- 50.
This is a specific skill.
So I want to say that again: you don't have to feel good 100% of the time to treat yourself well, 100% of the time.
And that is really what we are exploring in this episode and really in every corner and crevice of The Unstoppable Mom Brain. This specific skill of noticing and allowing the 50- 50 and treating yourself well through it with honey dipped love is the gateway to reaching your ideal weight in a lasting way.
I emphasize in "a lasting way" because I see this happen so often with so many women.
You'll lose the weight, but then gain it back. And the only reason this happens is because of this specific [00:11:00] skill. It's why this skill is worth working for, to create forever weight loss.
Now, if you've ever gained the weight back, it's not because:
You're weak or you've stopped doing what you said you would do.
It's not because you forgot.
It's not because of perfect plans.
It's simply because you started leaning on food again, to create your emotional experience. That's all. It's okay and it's normal. Because honestly, this has been your norm for decades from your earliest years.
You've been taught that things shouldn't be 50- 50.
You've been told to wipe those tears and put a smile on your face, to buck up when you felt low. You've been taught to eat your feelings.
Because whenever you've fallen and had that scraped knee in reality or proverbially, you've been given an ice cream cone or a glass of wine. And so you learn when I feel the uncomfortable 50 or have a scrape knee, let me get the ice cream cone let me get the glass of wine.
But listen, the ice cream cones and the glasses of wine does [00:12:00] not take away those scraped knees. It doesn't help you heal faster other than distracting you for a few moments. And I promise you, you are capable of tending to your scraped knees without the ice cream cones and without the glasses of wine.
But listen, treating our scraped knees or the uncomfortable 50 with food, alcohol and entertainment has been modeled to you for decades from every corner of society, culture, and family. Those beliefs and thought patterns are literally hardwired into your brain.
So be patient with yourself, release the fake timelines, let it unfold at its own pace.
And just imagine that this is a practice of a lifetime. There's no finish line in learning this as a skill.
I say this because I see this happen time and time again, and I still do this. I'll experience the uncomfortable 50, maybe some embarrassment or disappointment or a feeling of defeat. And because I have decades of reacting, I'll notice my very [00:13:00] reflexive response is: "ah, ick, embarrassment disappointment go away!" And then I'd be like, "oh, come on now, I should know better by now."
No, no, no. Listen, we are human.
So always remember at our most primitive level, we are going to seek pleasure and avoid discomfort forever. I can't imagine I'll ever really love feeling embarrassed or disappointed.
Maybe ask me in a few years, I might think differently then.
But I can't imagine that I will actually ever choose to feel embarrassment or disappointment. Now I can just notice my first reflexive, most patterned response is "Ugh, go away." But my first, most reflexive patterned thought does not have to take over my actual relationship with myself.
And here's the best thing. The uncomfortable 50 isn't actually all that bad when you do the practice that we're going to be learning about in today's episode. When you do this work, what I'm about to teach you, you start to train your brain and learn, "oh, it's actually not that [00:14:00] bad. I survived that. I can feel embarrassment or disappointment and yeah, it was uncomfortable... I wouldn't choose it, but it wasn't that bad. And I got through it, I got to the other side, befriending myself through it."
And because we are not numbing and distracting with food anymore, we get to feel lighter in our bodies and more clear in our minds. We actually start to feel better physically and emotionally.
And I also wanna share this with you before we get into the specific steps for how to allow and feel emotions. I have a feeling that there are many self labeled perfectionists listening to this podcast. I wanna tell you that you don't have to allow and feel emotions 100% of the time. There's no perfect way of doing this work.
Just taking small incremental steps is going to be in itself a game changer for you. Let every moment of every day, just be a brand new invitation.
Maybe you leaned on food yesterday, created heaviness in your body and your mind.
[00:15:00] No problem. You don't need to judge or shame or blame yourself for it ever again.
And you don't have to throw away the whole rest of the week because of yesterday's relationship.
Just notice it and give yourself complete permission to release the blame and then choose again right now with honey drip love reminding yourself: "Oh, it is used food to create an emotional experience yesterday. It's good to know."
Yes. I'm talking to myself because we all have an internal monologue.
That's what honey drip love really is. It's changing the way that you talk to yourself when you're in the 50- 50. Let's first, just start with understanding: what is your current relationship with the 50- 50. What has it been before this moment in time today?
I would categorize that there are probably about six buckets of relationships that I have seen and personally experienced.
I'm going to use a specific example with the emotion of disappointment, to describe the six [00:16:00] different kinds of relationship we can have with the emotion of disappointment.
I'm going to share a whole model, and then we're going to get into the six different kinds of relationships.
So the circumstance might be that you gained one pound over the weekend.
You might have a thought about this," Ugh, things aren't going my way. I can't believe myself. I really didn't want that." And the set of thoughts will create an emotion for you. For me in this situation, it might be feeling disappointment.
Now, before this episode, when you feel disappointment, you might have had some automatic and reflexive habits. Maybe you have some negative self talk. Maybe you stew in disbelief over your abilities. Maybe you get a little irritable or snippy with your family, or you start becoming very restrictive with your food to undo the damage, or you go in the opposite direction and throw away the whole week. These actions create a result for you of continuing for things to not go your way and continuing to create more of what you don't want.
This model is really describing a [00:17:00] contentious relationship with the feeling of disappointment. The relationships that we have with the uncomfortable 50 could be
-Demanding: like "disappointment go away right now."
-could be Critical, like "I hate feeling disappointment. I'm doing it all wrong."
-maybe it's dismissive or avoidant: like "it's so stupid that you're feeling disappointed again. Like might as well just not try so we never have to feel a disappointment ever again."
Maybe you have a shameful or unworthy relationship with it like, "oh, I'm feeling disappointment it must mean that something is broken or wrong with me."
Or you might even have a threatening relationship with an uncomfortable emotion: "we cannot feel this. You better fix this right now, fast or else."
Can you feel the texture of these relationships demanding, critical, dismissive, or avoidant shameful or unworthy and even threatening.
This is what it has been for most of us when we experience the uncomfortable 50 and it's cultivated your inner monologue forever [00:18:00] humming in the background.
The trouble is that this is normalized. You get this in almost every circle you're operating in. You see it in the movies with your friends and even your family. There's one more relationship that we could have with the uncomfortable 50.
And I like to think about this as honey dripped love: curious, loving, and patient.
And I think that sometimes in very small amounts, we are able to access this loving mama bear energy. Now, before this episode and before you've become aware and conscious of your relationship, your personal flavor, you've been having this operating in the background of your life. It started in your youngest years and it was modeled to you time and time again.
So let's just start with paying attention to how you're talking to yourself about yourself. What's the tone and tenor. What kind of relationship do you have right now? Just notice this for now. I promise, just becoming aware [00:19:00] of the tone and tenor of your inner monologue will start to create a shift for you.
And it creates a small opening to do the work we're talking about.
I'm going to teach you the six steps to really allow and feel the 50- 50. Because when you start implementing these six steps, you start to interrupt that model. The model where you feel disappointment and you start sniping at yourself and others.
Before I share the six steps, I want to first place a preface. This might be challenging if you are a doer. Because you're used to taking action: planning, doing, fixing, working, solving the uncomfortable 50, and you've done this for decades. Whereas the six steps I'm about to teach you is really a practice of slowing down.
So just the idea of being with yourself in a sense, and asking you to slow down in itself might be uncomfortable. And nothing is wrong if it is.
Listen through to the end of this episode, and then come back and write these six steps down, put them on a post it or on your phone so that you can [00:20:00] readily remember to practice implementing this and folding it into your life.
I'm going to list the six steps and then we'll get into each one together.
Step one is to notice.
Step two is to slow down.
Step three is to name it.
Step four is to drip in the honey.
Step five is to narrate it and
Step six is to let it dissipate.
So steps one and two go together, noticing and slowing down. It starts with just noticing when you're in the uncomfortable 50, it might be in a low hum in the background, or it might be very acute and loud. But you can catch it when you tune into your body. Sometimes it's hard for me to notice when I'm in an emotion, but I can catch myself being snippy. So it's like a little signal to me when I'm being snippy with my husband, especially, I'll be like, "Of course, this is what I do when I feel irritable, when I feel irritated, I'm feeling the emotion of [00:21:00] irritation." So allow yourself to notice. And then step two is slowing down. Remember you're used to doing and being on the go you want a plan and an action to solve.
What I'm asking you in this step is actually to pause and slow yourself down. It's actually a simpler practice than what you're used to doing, because you don't need to do anything.
Let the act of pausing and slowing down, be simple for you too.
Step three is naming what you're feeling. So you've noticed and you've slowed down and now we're naming the emotional experience that you're having. It's like, oh, this is disappointment. This is boredom. This is desire. This is sadness. This is annoyance.
The actual name of the emotion isn't the important thing here. Some of us, especially at the start, have no clue how to distinguish between different, uncomfortable emotions, because we've been disconnected for so long they might feel like one big jumble, like a big mixed ball. But just practice, noticing that each emotion has a [00:22:00] slightly different texture and energy to it.
Annoyance feels different than sadness, which feels different than irritation, which feels different than boredom, which feels different than anger. Right?
Let yourself start to notice and name these distinctions and start to notice how the energy and texture of these sensations feel in your body.
Step four is dripping in the honey. So now you've noticed, you've slowed down and you've started to name and pay attention to the sensations you're experiencing in your body. And now comes to dripping in the honey. This is the part where you treat yourself well, 100% of the time. It's as simple as telling yourself, "oh, you're feeling disappointed, nothing is going wrong. You're okay."
Notice in this step, I'm just giving myself loving attention. I'm just treating myself well in the experience of the uncomfortable 50. I don't have an agenda to feel better, quick. [00:23:00] I'm just paying attention and basically saying, "I see you," this step is dropping resistance at the core, most fundamental level. It's dropping the fight and it's changing that contentious relationship from the inside out. It's normalizing the uncomfortable 50 letting your nervous system relax.
I think that this is one of the most important steps that I would say most of us almost never do. It's only because we're used to having one of those contentious relationships with the uncomfortable 50. When we're demanding, critical, dismissive, or avoidant, shameful or threatening in the uncomfortable 50, our nervous system is naturally activated.
And when this is the case, it's really hard to access calm and your inner brilliance.
The next step, step five is narrating the sensation. So now you've noticed, slowed down, named and normalized your emotional [00:24:00] experience. And now if it's available to you, you get to practice narrating the sensation in your body.
I would say for me, this is probably one of the most uncomfortable and personally challenging steps only because I'm so used to being in my head. If you had described this to me a few years ago, I would've looked at you and thought "This is crazy talk. What are you talking about?" Because I'm used to logic and planning and timelines and like rigid rules.
And the idea of narrating a sensation in my body really felt like crazy talk.
But let me tell you just for a moment, let's just play with it. You can close your eyes and bring your attention to where you feel the sensation in your body.
A tightness in the pit of your stomach,
a fluttering sensation in your chest,
heat in your face,
or maybe a pressure behind your eyes.
Bring your attention to the part of your body that you're feeling the sensation in and describe it in your mind's eye.
Maybe it has a color, a shape, a texture. [00:25:00] Maybe it's solid or wispy, cold or warm. Maybe it's staying still, or it's moving.
It's okay if this feels a little silly or awkward and is normal, if it doesn't feel natural and come to you quickly in the beginning. But just stay here for a few moments, observing that sensation in your mind's eye. Observing it, you're not here to change it, push it away, or get rid of it. That was just the old way. We're just noticing it. We're normalizing it and welcoming it in because it's a part of our normal human experience.
And as we do this, you'll notice at some point that that sensation will start to change and dissipate.
I would say these last two steps, steps five and six of observing narrating, and letting these emotions dissipate go hand in hand. And there isn't your rigid timeline. You might notice that emotions in your body can dissipate in moments, and sometimes they will linger longer. And in our practice together of these six steps is [00:26:00] simply befriending yourself through that emotional experience.
Here's the thing. These sensations, every emotion will always eventually dissipate and our practice together is attuning to your body in the whole range of it. This might be incredibly normal and natural for you, or it might be completely strange and awkward. Really,
it's okay. And in truth, it's not actually that bad when you start to learn and implement this as a practice, you'll start to see and learn and train your brain, that the uncomfortable 50 truly isn't anything that you have to fear or fix ever again.
It's actually been our contentious avoidance that's made these emotions bigger.
And so when you notice it, with no agenda, being with yourself in the ick, dripping in honey and normalizing your 50- 50, you're teaching your brain "I'm listening, I've got you." This is you befriending yourself, which creates a grounded calm, no matter what's happening in your life.[00:27:00]
Your schedule doesn't need to be lighter.
Your kids or husband don't need to change.
And the number on the scale doesn't need to move quickly for you to have grounded calm.
And here's what's up-- when you practice this and implement this again and again, in little moments, you stop leaning on food to calm you.
You stop using food to distract you from the uncomfortable 50 or use it to create a pleasurable, positive experience. You stop needing food to fix the scraped knees and boo-boos, and this is how you start losing weight in the most permanent, lasting in forever way.
You know, what's interesting is I actually think about these six steps as an act of reparenting yourself.
It's like you kneeling down, getting eye level with yourself and saying, "I hear you. I see you. You're okay. And I've got you." to that youngest inner child in you. It might feel kind of awkward and silly and guess what? It's totally okay if it is. I get you because that was [00:28:00] me. But I think you could probably see how this is just an act of learning, how to be on your own side, rooting for yourself.
Treating yourself well, 100% of the time, no matter what you're experiencing. Just remember that you've had decades of not doing this. So be patient, start small and as James clear says, do this little by little, in 1% increments. Try one step and then another, and then add in another.
I was telling my clients inside The Unstoppable Group, we've really been sinking into this specific topic of understanding and taking agency over our emotional experience, because this is really one of the newest skills for most of us.
Now, inside my group every month, my clients go through what I call a monthly love letter. It's really a deep dive evaluation into the results that they've been creating over the past four weeks. Of course, we look at the weight they've lost, but more importantly, we look at the mindset that's been [00:29:00] creating their results more deeply. In these evaluations my clients will uncover golden nuggets of wisdom.
They uncover what worked really well and they'll uncover what their obstacles are, what's keeping them stuck or stagnant.
And after I go through all of their evaluations, I send them a Coach Letter. It's really a video letter from me to them talking to them about their obstacles and how to really navigate their path forward. This past month, the theme really was this topic allowing and feeling emotions.
We've been exploring it, implementing it in real life and then coaching on it inside the group... and very expectedly this is one of the most challenging steps. Because you know, when you stop using food to avoid distract and numb, guess what happens?
You start to notice the 50- 50 more because you're not eating the plate of nachos or the extra large popcorn to numb and distract you from the uncomfortable 50.
So I send him this video Coach Letter talking about it.
And if you've listened this far, you have found the golden goose egg! [00:30:00]
This Coach Letter was really just so valuable and too good to not share with you. So I'm making this intimate video available to you. You can go and get this video sent to you in your inbox at theunstoppablemombrain.com/letter.
How exciting that you found is golden goose egg.
That is the work of this episode. You can enjoy your ice cream and the glass of wine, but let's never ever use it as medicine to treat a scraped knee anymore. Because like I mentioned, in the last episode, when you're using food to create an emotional experience or avoid an uncomfortable one, you are, I promise you over eating. And you will feel heavier in your mind and definitely your body. And worse yet you're not actually solving anything. The uncomfortable 50 will just be waiting for you.
That scraped knee wants you to notice she's scraped. To slow down and drip in some honey and love and attention. Maybe give her a [00:31:00] bandaid. She'll heal without you doing much more. And when we stop using ice cream cones to treat our uncomfortable 50, we create a deeper, true intimacy with ourselves.
It's the kind of BFF you really want in your life forever.
The one that stays with you when you're having your highs of pride and success, but never abandons you when you're in the low of disappointment. That is the practice friends. Start small and practice when this feels available to you in small 1% moments and let that be more than enough.
I love you all so much.
And if you grabbed that goose egg, I will be seeing you in your inbox or on the podcast here next week. Bye!
If you wanna take this work from your ears to real life application, The Unstoppable Group might be for you. This is my intimate six month coaching experience for ambitious working moms who want to reach their ideal weight simply and with more joy .
We're taking everything you're learning [00:32:00] in this podcast and implementing it together in real life. If this sounds like something you want, I would love to have you in the room. You can learn more about the group at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group.
And also you can still grab the free replay of the masterclass on my website, The Three Simple Steps to Unstoppable Weight Loss.
I hope you have an amazing week, my Unstoppable friends.
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.