How to Get Back on the Weight Loss Bandwagon | The Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast with Dr. Priyanka Venugopal

Episode #54: How to Get Back on the Weight Loss Bandwagon

Apr 11, 2023

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Whether you’re struggling with overdrinking, overeating, overthinking, or over-scrolling, you may have told yourself you’ve fallen off the wagon. Saying this can make it feel like weight loss and self-improvement are out of our control. But the truth is, we never actually fall off the bandwagon, but we do sometimes step off for a moment.

Time and time again, I see high-achievers trying to hit their weight loss goals, but getting derailed. So, in this episode, I’m bringing you some strategic advice to help you get back on plan, mixed in with some personal story time, so you can see that getting on and off the weight loss bandwagon is completely within your control.

Tune in this week to discover how to get back on the weight loss bandwagon whenever you want. I’m sharing the truth, that we never fall off the wagon, but we do sometimes step off on purpose, and why even when you’re off the wagon, it’s always right there waiting for you to get back on.



To celebrate one year of this podcast, I'm hosting a giveaway for all of my listeners. To enter, head over to your favorite podcast platform and leave a rating and review. Take a screenshot of your review and follow the simple prompts here to share it with me and submit your entry. One lucky listener is going to win pair of Apple AirPods! The contest ends on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, at midnight and I'll be sharing the winner shortly after. Thank you so much for celebrating with me!



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:


  • What the bandwagon is when it comes to self-improvement and weight loss.
  • How the bandwagon can help you get to the goals you want to achieve.
  • Why you don’t ever actually fall off the bandwagon.
  • What it looks like when you stop driving the wagon and intentionally step off for a moment.
  • 4 reasons it’s difficult to get back on the wagon after you’ve stepped off.
  • Why your brain will resist the idea of getting back on the bandwagon.
  • How to implement my strategies for getting back on the wagon every time.


Listen to the Full Episode:



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Full Episode Transcript:

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  • Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal, and you're listening to The Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, Episode 54, How to Get Back on the Weight Loss Bandwagon. Today's episode is going to be both practical strategy and also chatty. I'm speaking to you about a topic that I see coming up time and time again for high achievers who want to hit their weight loss goal, but sometimes get derailed.

    This episode is meant to bring you both strategy and to help you get back on plan, and I'm going to be sharing some personal story time so that you can really help to see that getting on and off the bandwagon is completely within your control. Before we get into the episode, I wanted to tell you that the one-year anniversary of this podcast is just around the corner.

    There's one week left to enter the giveaway, and I would love it, love it, love it if you came and celebrated with me. To enter the giveaway and have a chance to win a pair of Apple AirPods, take 30 seconds and head on over to your favorite podcast platform. You can leave a rating and review of the show and then take a screenshot and share it with us over at

    That's it. You'll be entered. And also, really, for me, more importantly, you help more women find this show. For me, that is the greatest act of celebration. So thank you so much for joining me and celebrating this labor of love. And let's get to getting back on the bandwagon. 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.

    Have you heard the term I fell off the bandwagon or thought I fell off the bandwagon? This is one of those common colloquial terms that I think originally was first coined in the early 1900s, and the concept of falling off the wagon or falling off the bandwagon applied usually to alcohol. So, when you were on the wagon, you were considered sober or abstaining from alcohol, and the concept of falling off the wagon implied that you were now drinking alcohol.

    The term is now used a lot more broadly and it's applied to really any area of self-improvement. You can apply the principles that we're talking about today to really any area, whether it's drinking, eating, thinking, ruminating, over scrolling. You can apply being on or off the bandwagon with any area of self-improvement.

    The intention of today's episode is for high-achieving working moms to really see the truth that getting on and off the bandwagon is completely in your control. If there's one really common theme that I see coming up time and time again with my clients and with all of you, is that sometimes we feel or believe that hitting a goal or weight loss feels out of our control.

    So, the intention of today's episode is to help bring control back and really understand the principles that it takes to get back on the bandwagon whenever you want. So, before we can even get into how do you get back on the bandwagon, I wanna just take a minute to define what is the bandwagon.

    I've heard plenty of people say, particularly in the coaching space, that you can't really fall off or on the bandwagon because there is no bandwagon. Right? We're getting a little meta, but I want to say that I actually disagree. I believe that there is absolutely a bandwagon, and you can fall off of it, but you can get right back on.

    Let me describe to you how I want to define the term bandwagon for the purposes of this episode. So there is where you are right now. I want you to imagine that you're standing [00:04:00] on a map and you have a journey ahead. Where you're standing right now is the number on the scale. It's how you feel physically in your body.

    Maybe it's the size of the clothes you're wearing or how you physically and emotionally feel living in your current body. Your destination or where you want to go is the goal you have. That could be a number on the scale. It could be a size of clothing. It could be how you physically or emotionally feel living in your body.

    And to get from here to there, you have to embark on a journey. I want you to think about the bandwagon as simply a set of actions that are going to take you from here to there. So, when it comes to specifically a weight loss goal that you have, this means executing the plan that you. Let me just highlight exactly what I mean by that.

    Making a plan to go from here to there is not being on the bandwagon. You're not executing or creating measurable results. Making a plan to lose weight it's like getting your map oriented, but it's not taking action yet. So, I wanted to set that at the start of the episode so that you can understand the difference between setting plans, creating plans, and then actually doing the work, which is the whole intention of today's episode.

    So now we know that to go from here to there or to go from where you are right now on the scale to where you want to go, you have to take consistent action. You have to implement the plan that you have. And the way we're going to do that is by doing the work of being on the bandwagon. But before we talk about getting back on a bandwagon, I wanna actually talk about how do you ever even fall off, right?

    When you think about New Year's Day or Monday morning or your birthday, when you feel really excited and full of gusto at hitting your goal weight, you create these massive plans, you start taking action. You feel really good about it and motivated. How and why do you ever quote unquote fall off? Now there are many answers to why you ever stop being on the wagon, but I wanted to say you don't actually ever fall off the bandwagon.

    Let me just say that again. You don't ever actually fall off the bandwagon. What you sometimes do is you step off on purpose. Now, before you argue with me or before, you're like, yeah, but Priyanka, no, no, no, that's not true. I want you to hear me out. The bandwagon has never gone off without you. If you've ever fallen, quote, unquote, fallen off the bandwagon, I want you to know that the wagon is standing right there waiting for you to get back on.

    This means that you were never passively riding the bandwagon to begin with. You have been driving it the whole time. Let me just say that again. When you think you have fallen off the bandwagon on your journey to lose weight, the implication is that you were passively sitting in the back of a buggy and somehow you fell out.

    This isn't true. You were driving the wagon the whole time, and all that's happened. When you either go off plan, you stop implementing or executing. You simply stopped driving the wagon, or you stepped off and started looking around and getting distracted by all the beautiful things around you. This is important and so, so, so good to know.

    This one simple redirect is going to help bring control back to you to help you take ownership of this. This is one thing that truly felt like a breath of fresh air. When I realized that I wasn't ever passively falling off plan, I wasn't ever passively falling out of the bandwagon. There were times in my life, maybe I felt very stressed, or I felt bored or annoyed or frustrated that I actively stopped driving the bandwagon and I stepped off.

    And it's so important when we frame the story of every part of our life in this way because it means that we can be in complete control. Reframing this specific piece that you never fall off the bandwagon, but you've stepped off, shows your brain that you actually have a choice. So, I hope I made a compelling case for this one simple redirect that you've never fallen off the bandwagon, you have stepped off, and the reasons for stepping off the bandwagon is for a whole different episode.

    But I wanted to really bring that reframe for you so you can start bringing control back to stepping back on. Basically, I'm here trying to change all the old colloquial phrases that we've had for a hundred years, but that's okay. I'm here for it. Let's get back to how do we step back on the bandwagon?

    There are four reasons that it is hard to get back on the wagon, and these are the same four reasons that are going to be your steppingstones for getting back on. I'm going to share with you what we typically do and why getting on the wagon is hard, and then I'm going to share with you what goal getters do and just the difference is going to help you start to implement some of these strategies into your own life.

    Number one, you feel embarrassed. This is going to be a flavor or a thought like, I can't believe I skipped a day, week, month, or months. Maybe you've gotten to the point where you've even gained some weight back and you have some shame, blame or judgment about the fact that you stopped taking consistent action.

    Simply put, you feel bad about yourself because you were doing it. You were on the bandwagon for a while, and now you're not. Feeling bad about yourself or feeling embarrassed is going to keep you from getting back on the wagon. There's another subtler piece of embarrassment that I think is going to warrant a whole episode on its own, but there's a piece of embarrassment that's, you don't want people to know that you have quote unquote messed up.

    It's like, what will they think that I fell off the wagon? What will they think that I was trying to lose weight and I went off plan? What will they think if I gained weight back? It's like if they knew that I wasn't perfect at this, what will they think of me? Right? Think about how much that desire to save face from the people in your life or really with yourself is driving your embarrassment.

    Let me come clean. As someone who coaches on weight loss, I still overeat. There I said it. I call myself an expert on this, and yet still, at times I stop driving the bandwagon. I share this to normalize it because I want you to claim it without embarrassment, because when you do this, when you can claim you getting off the bandwagon without embarrassment, you will be able to get on so much more quickly, which is the real way that you hit goals.

    I think that sometimes in this point, number one, the reason that you feel embarrassed or ashamed that you fell off the bandwagon is because you had a subconscious belief that you should never have fallen off to begin with. And that is the lie. People that hit goals on the scale don't do this. They fall off the wagon or they may be overeat like I just shared, and I feel no embarrassment about it.

    I just get right back on track the following day. The other piece of this that I think is unique for women and weight loss is this embarrassment piece of sharing that you're trying to lose weight or even more that you've invested in weight loss. Why is this, when you really think about what is it about weight loss and your body that feels embarrassing or shameful, I feel like there's such a huge stigma specifically around high achievers who want to get help hitting these goals, and it's especially prevalent for women, especially when it has anything to do with their bodies.

    It's almost like we think that weight loss is indulgent or superficial or vain, but listen, it's not ever other people's judgments that you're protecting yourself from. It's always your own. And why this is your one body, the one body you have forever. So, if you want to lose weight simply because it is you taking care of yourself, then what would it be like to own that desire without the embarrassment?

    I would say for the most part that the embarrassment doesn't actually come just from having the goal. The embarrassment comes from the possibility of not hitting the goal, which is the whole point of point number one, embarrassment will stop you. So, from now on moving forward, start to identify that lie, that the ride should have been perfect, that you should never have fallen off, and you can just stop letting embarrassment stop you ever again.

    Moving on to point number two. Number two is you think starting again or getting back on the bandwagon will be hard? Listen, I'm gonna be totally honest with you. When you have stopped taking consistent action and you have stepped off the bandwagon, it's true. Starting again will feel hard, starting again takes a little activation energy.

    It's like I discussed back in the episode on How to Gain Momentum Back. I know that sometimes starting is hard, and yes, it does suck. But sometimes what makes it harder is your anticipation that starting is hard. Let me say that again because I know this sounds a little bit meta. When you're anticipating that starting is going to be hard, it will make starting harder.

    Just pause and listen to that again. I think that sometimes we aren't willing to accept that starting is going to be hard or we are wishful. We wish that it would be easier, and just that monologue, that anticipation is going to make getting back on the bandwagon harder. It's going to actually keep you off the bandwagon longer.

    People who hit their weight loss goals don't do this. They expect that it is going to be hard to start. If they take a detour or they derail, it's going to be hard to start back up again and they don't make starting again, hard a problem. They take action anyway. And here's the best news, when you really identify this one and you start taking action anyway, you'll discover that starting is not as hard as you actually think it is.

    Point number three, you think you've gotten behind. Listen, when you fall off the bandwagon or you step off the bandwagon, or maybe you've been leaping off the bandwagon, you will often find your brain looking at all of the ways and all of the evidence of how you have gotten so far behind this implies that you were supposed to be executing it 100% perfectly and consistently.

    And especially when you look around at other people and you see them making progress, it's very, very easy to look at yourself and think, I am so behind. Here's what I want you to know. This isn't real, nor is it helpful. I want you to really check in. When you think you've gotten behind, how do you feel? It's going to be some flavor of overwhelm, even defeat, right?

    This is the reason you won't get back on the wagon. And I want to tell you what is really happening. Your primitive brain, which all of us are just hardwired with, doesn't want to do any extra work. Just remember point number two, restarting and getting back on the bandwagon is going to take extra work, and your primitive brain is hardwired to not want to do extra work.

    She's like, listen, the status quo is just fine. We've been working really hard. A break would be nice. Listen, we've come so far. Let's just take another day's break. Maybe two, maybe ten. You know what we've really gotten behind on emails and that work project, let me hold off on getting back on the bandwagon for my health and my body.

    Let me just focus on these emails. You know what? That other project, that meeting my kid, my husband, they really need my attention. My bandwagon can wait another day. There is a lineup of excuses that your primitive brain is going to just give you one after the next, after the next, and it is literally never ending.

    If you let that record keep playing. But I also want you to know that nothing is going wrong. Your primitive brain is hardwired to conserve energy. That's all. So really think about point number three when you tell yourself you're so far behind. That is just one way for your primitive brain to let in excuse makers and justifiers.

    I want you to know that people who hit their weight loss goals have the same stories that you have. They just don't allow excuses or justifications to drive them. They expect them and then they have a response and take action anyway, I promise. You don't have to feel behind ever again when you compare yourself to other people or to where you think you should be.

    You're not able to really evaluate why you stopped riding the bandwagon to begin. And you may not love your reason, but I want you to know that you can accept it. You can decide that you aren't far behind, and actually just get back on with so much more ease. Number four, you have lost your belief mojo.

    This is a big one, especially for weight loss. Especially if you've wanted to lose weight for a while and you haven't yet hit your goal, you have likely tried so many things and they haven't worked, and so your brain very naturally reflects on all of the times in the past, and it sees a large pile of evidence that you quote unquote, can't do this.

    That sentence I can't do. This is a sentence that is keeping you off the bandwagon, and it is also the fastest way to undercut your self-belief mojo. Here's what has really happened. What's really happened is you picked a plan and you chose a bandwagon. You chose the journey to go from here to there, and when it got hard, you stopped.

    Maybe you stepped off, and in that moment, you started questioning the whole entire thing. You thought, hmm, maybe a different bandwagon would work, maybe a different pathway. Maybe if I took a different route, maybe a different plan. And so, without evaluating and figuring out why you stepped off the bandwagon to begin with, you jump ship or jump bandwagon.

    And what this does is it leaves mounds of evidence of jumped bandwagons in your wake. Another level of this that you might notice is maybe you hit a hard moment and you stopped the bandwagon, or you stepped or leaped off, and maybe you did evaluate why you stopped, but then you didn't do anything with the information you gleaned.

    Friend. Listen, I want you to know that it's okay if you find yourself repeating behaviors and habits. It's normal because remember your primitive brain. Remember point number three. Just because you give yourself new information from evaluating why you stepped off the bandwagon, doesn't mean that your brain wants to do the work to implement what she's learned.

    You have to decide in advance that you're willing to do the work and do it anyway. I want you to start catching when you're undercutting your belief mojo. Because it's true, maybe you didn't do it yesterday, but so what? Don't let yesterday define tomorrow. I want you to simply let yesterday inform how you want to go into tomorrow.

    Telling yourself that you can't do this or undercutting your self-belief mojo is going to become your self-fulfilling prophecy. People who hit their weight loss goals don't do this. They might take a hit to their mojo, but they don't ever question their capacity to learn and grow. I share on this podcast all the time that growth and learning is messy.

    This is the hardest lesson, especially for high-achieving working moms because we've been a little brainwashed into thinking that growth and learning is supposed to feel good all the time. It sounds good, right? Learning is fun. Learning is easy. That's crap. Learning is not always fun, and it is not always easy.

    I like to think about real life learning. Learning in the wild, aka your life is going to be messy, but having your back in those moments and showing up in those moments is how you start to pocket skills forever. Let me just tell you a little story about a trip I went on recently. I went to Miami for a coaching conference and it was literally just the funniest experience and it was in the midst of me being seriously, the best fitness kick I have been on for a while.

    If you follow me over on Peloton, I'm Unstoppable Mom two, you will see my streak. It was gorgeous, beautiful. I think it was like 11 weeks, not missing a week and multiple days in a row. I was barely missing a day a week, and that was usually planned rest. So, I went on this trip and I even found a gym at the first hotel I stayed at, and I got myself into it.

    I felt so good. I was working out even on this trip, but then the conference started. Okay, so the coaching conference started, and I found myself stopping the bandwagon. I stopped driving the bandwagon and I didn't just step off. I solidly leaped off the bandwagon. I frolicked with my friends. I went to the beach; I ate deliciously and I had loads and loads of fun and conversation.

    Now, is it possible that it could have stayed on my fitness bandwagon while being at this coaching conference? Absolutely. But I didn't. I missed about four or five days, and I came back on Sunday evening and I came back to my reality. Now, let me tell you, getting back on the bandwagon felt hard. When I came back to my reality I was like, hmm, I experienced all four of the reasons that I have shared with you on this podcast.

    I got up on Monday morning and I thought about, huh, I'm kind of behind on my emails. I have a lot to do. You know what? I'm also kind of tired from my flight yesterday. Let me just take an extra day to catch up before I get back on my fitness bandwagon.

    And guys, just to say on the side of the fitness bandwagon, it's 20 minutes a day. It's not like hours and hours at the gym. That would've been like a huge, huge thing for me to do. It was 20 minutes, but my brain, my most primitive and beautiful brain, found all of the reasons to not get back on the wagon. That one thought that I have a lot to do.

    I'm a little bit behind in my work. You know what? My kids haven't seen me in so many days. My husband hasn't seen me in so many days. Let me just take an extra day. That one day turned into four, so now it's Thursday. Okay, now Thur, it's Thursday now. A whole week has passed. I have not worked out. I have no real reasons.

    I can hear that I have had excuse after excuse, and now I'm just simply feeling bad about it. Like Priyanka. Seriously, you were doing so well. You know that streak on Peloton, you've just totally messed up the streak. How is it possible that you let a week go? Oh my gosh, you have so many excuses. There you go again.

    And that feeling bad about myself led to another three days off the bandwagon. Guys, this is a real story. I'm telling you in real time, this actually happened. Finally, Okay, finally, 12 days later, it's the following Sunday. I have not worked out yet. So like during the conference, I think I worked out on Tuesday.

    I got home on Sunday. For a whole eight days, I had an additional excuse, all four of the reasons that I shared on this podcast that kept me off of getting back on the bandwagon. Finally, the following Sunday, I was like, wait a second. Hold on. Starting again is not going to be easy. Okay. Starting again is not going to be easy.

    I've been feeling bad about myself, and I can hear all of my excuse makers, but you know what? It doesn't have to be easy. I can just take action right now. Just that one sentence that I told myself, I was like, I'm not letting today pass without me taking action and getting back on the bandwagon. I'm going to let it be simple.

    It's not going to be a huge, long workout. It's going to be 20 minutes, and I'm going to feel so good that I did it. I'm telling you just that, just doing those 20 minutes, the shortest 20-minute ride, I felt so good about myself. It's like I was able to cancel out the last eight days of negative thinking, feeling bad about myself and poo-pooing myself and all the excuses.

    I was like, wait a second. It's actually totally possible to get back on the band bike any time I want, and I wanted to share this real-life example. This was the fitness example, but you can apply this to weight loss and towards any self-improvement goal that you have where you find yourself having fallen off, jumped off, walked off, or leaped off the bandwagon.

    I want you to really think about this as you move forward, and this is a recap for how to get back on the bandwagon and bookmark this episode if you ever need to hear it again. Always remember, number one, that you have never fallen off the bandwagon. You simply stopped driving, stepped off or leaped off.

    Maybe you got tired, needed a break, or wanted a distraction from taking consistent action. Pausing or stepping off the bandwagon isn't a problem. It's normal. Number two, identify your steam rolling stories. Those were the four reasons that I talked to you about in today's episode. Catch them in the act and know that those four reasons are the real reason that you're staying off the bandwagon.

    Number three, if you want to get back on, make it an active decision, not passive. Choose it on purpose and tell yourself why you want to. Number four, accept that it's going to feel hard to start back up again. Hear your excuse makers and do it anyway. Anticipating that it's going to be hard. Always makes it harder than it really is, and when you start taking action, you will realize it's actually way easier than you realize.

    And number five, which is my absolute favorite, favorite, favorite thing to do, marinate in how good it feels when you start riding again. Seriously, in the work that we are talking about here in you hitting your ideal weight, you are your best friend to get back on the bandwagon and you will be your worst enemy, which is always, always so important to realize.

    This means that getting on and off the bandwagon is in your control. So, I hope this episode has inspired you to get back on the bandwagon of your own personal self-improvement journey and let the wind fly through your hair, driving you to your dream ideal weight. Just know it's not always easy and it doesn't need to be.

    It's the anticipation of getting back on that holds you back from getting on. And this is the one thing that goal getters don't do. They let it feel hard and they take action anyway. It's true. It feels great when you take what I call inspired action, when you feel motivated and excited and committed, and you feel really driven and determined to take action towards your goals.

    That's what I call inspired action, and yes, taking action in that way always feels better. But sometimes it is okay to feel uninspired and take action anyway. Call a spade a spade. Let it feel hard and do it anyway, because almost always, almost always, it is easier than you think, and you'll feel gratitude course through you when you're back on the wagon.

    Save this episode if you ever need it, and if you loved it, come and tag me over on Instagram and let me know what you loved about it. I hope you have an amazing week being on the bandwagon and letting the wind fly through your hair. See you next week. Bye. I would love to celebrate with you. The one-year anniversary of The Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast is just around the corner.

    My intention with starting this podcast has been to share my voice, perspective, and experience as a busy working mom who has solved a problem. I love bringing you these episodes that discuss strategy and mindset, and I hope that you have felt a breath of fresh air and even shifts in your life from this podcast.

    So let's talk about how I would love to celebrate. I'm hosting a giveaway for all of my listeners. To enter the giveaway, head over to your favorite podcast platform and leave a rating and review of the show. Your ratings and reviews make this podcast more findable, which I think is just the absolute best way to celebrate this podcast.

    When you do that, take a screenshot and send it over to us at One lucky listener is going to win a pair of Apple AirPods, which I think is just fitting when it comes to listening to this podcast. Don't wait to enter your ratings and reviews mean so much. So, head on over to your favorite podcast platform.

    Leave a rating and review of the show, take a screenshot, and then head over to and you'll follow the simple prompts to share your entry and information. The giveaway ends on Tuesday, April 18th at midnight. I'll be announcing the winner shortly after. Thank you so much for celebrating with me in this way, and I love you all.

    Have an amazing week. Bye. 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

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