Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you're listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms episode 29, Solving Weight Loss Overwhelm. Today's episode is going to be a game changer if you experience that heavy sensation of overwhelm in your life.
Overwhelm can become a fairly familiar experience, especially for high achieving women. But at some point or another, the fatigue and exhaustion from overdelivering and overworking in our attempts to outrun overwhelm leads us to quit. It's the reason we want to solve weight loss overwhelm once and for all.
Let's get to it.
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 [00:01:00] calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching You. Ready?
Let's get to it.
Hey, Unstoppable friends. Welcome back.
Before we get into today's episode, which is such a good one, I have some fun details that I want to share with you. I have created a brand new masterclass and it's happening really soon if you're listening to this in real time. On Monday, November 14th at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, I will be teaching you all about The Antidote to Willpower and Weight Loss.
Together, we are going to debunk and free you from tapping into willpower as a source for weight loss because as we both know, it just doesn't work for permanent long lasting results. It's incredibly fatiguing and downright frustrating to lose weight when you think you just need a little more willpower.
And we're solving that together in this master class. You can reserve your seat at [00:02:00] theunstoppablemombrain.com/antidote, and all of the details will be sent right to your email inbox. And also pre-enrollment for my next intimate Unstoppable group, which is my six month coaching container, will open right after this masterclass from November 14th to the 19th.
Spots are limited, so make sure you mark your calendars and get yourself ready.
Okay, let's get into overwhelm and how this topic even became something on my radar that I wanted to dedicate a whole episode about.
Many, many mornings. I usually have very long car chit chats with one of my BFF's, Ruth. She and I talk a lot about our work life and getting in shape and fitness and it's like some long running conversation that we are having with each other and this usually happens right after I drop my daughter off at school or as I'm running errands.
Ruth is just another badass ob gyn, and she is someone who I am just so honored and [00:03:00] privileged to have met in residency so many years ago. She was a year ahead of me, and we just clicked from the moment that we met each other.
And it's not surprising that over the years our conversations have slowly transformed and evolved from thinking about our ob gyn life to what we are talking about here today. In our most recent conversation, we were talking about why we quit at things, specifically when it comes to fitness and work goals. I was telling her a lot about my personal goals for fitness because Ruth is a fitness guru and she can talk about fitness and strength training for hours.
Just like I can talk about living lighter and weight loss for hours.
It's no wonder that me and her are kind of like two peas in a pod because we can talk about what we are passionate about, forever.
So back to our conversation, we were talking about quitting. When we have these dreams and these goals, why is it that we actually ever quit?
And I wanted to share [00:04:00] some of the insight that we got out of this conversation and how it applies to you reaching your dream ideal weight. One of the most common reasons that you quit is because you feel overwhelmed.
And I want to dissect this together on this episode to show you that quitting because of overwhelm, has nothing at all to do with your inherent abilities or how much willpower you have.
But before we can really solve this at the root, I want to really help you understand overwhelm intimately. That's right. We're getting intimate with the emotion of overwhelm. That feeling that you maybe want to run away from or hide from, or the one that you tried to outsmart or outwork to over solve-- that one.
I want to take just a few moments to talk about where the feeling of overwhelm actually comes from. That's where we're going to start today. And then at the end of this episode, I'm going to be sharing with you the three steps to help you uncover and solve overwhelm. [00:05:00] I think that for most of us, busy high achieving working moms, we think that our overwhelm is coming from the number of things we have to do or the amount of weight we have to lose or the amount of time we have.
Am I right?
I know because I've done this and I still do. We think that our feelings of overwhelm is coming from all of those things that we have to do, but really, Our overwhelm is coming from the thoughts that we are having about our skills in getting those things done in a set amount of time.
Let me just say that again.
You think that your overwhelm is coming from your task list, all that you have to do and your time, and I'm here to tell you that it isn't. That feeling of overwhelm comes from the way that you tell the story about you accomplishing those things in the amount of time you.
Let that just sink in for just a moment.
Now, before we get into dissecting this overwhelm cadaver, let me just say one thing. [00:06:00] What we are doing today isn't to take away your story. You do have a lot on your list, and you do have a set amount of time in which to accomplish them. We aren't going to take that away or what your truths are about it. I wanted to say that because I think that sometimes coaching and even our discussions to challenge old paradigms and stories can feel jarring, and it's simply because we've gotten incredibly used to our stories.
We are so used to attributing our overwhelm to our time, to our task lists, to all of the things that we have to do and here we are saying, Nope, it's none of that. It's just your Story... and I can imagine how that can be a little off putting or jarring.
So I wanna just say that I hear you and today's discussion isn't to convince you that your story is wrong. Your thoughts about your time and your to-dos and everything that you want to get done is simply [00:07:00] that-- it's yours.
But if you're listening, And you want to really learn how to lighten the load of overwhelm then I want to invite you to settle in and just entertain the possibility that your overwhelm is coming from a story, your perspective, and how this is literally the best news ever.
It means that you actually have complete agency to change your experience. Your whole life's experience and actually learn, like a skill that requires practice and effort, how to live lighter without the need for overwhelm, bogging you down.
You can have the same 24 hours in the day, the same job, the same partner, the same kids, the same amount of weight to lose, and the same task list-- and I'm here to show you how. So now we know there is your time, your task list, and all the things that you want to do and accomplish, and also [00:08:00] something I didn't mention is you likely have many unmade decisions around how you're going to get these things done.
Where does the overwhelm actually come from?
That feeling of overwhelm, which is an emotion, a vibration that you feel throughout your body happens when you think a certain set of thoughts. Thoughts like:
I have so much to do
I don't even know where to start.
There isn't enough time.
I need to make the best decision about this.
I have to get it right.
I have so much weight to lose.
There are probably hundreds, if not more, little twists and turns around the same flavor that creates the sensation of overwhelm. So let's just pause here for a moment and ask yourself, what is it for you? What thoughts are you thinking about your time, your weight loss, your work, your decisions that create a sensation of overwhelm in your body?
For me, I would say it's likely been all of them, but the most predominant thought for me [00:09:00] is some flavor of I have to get it right --somehow, my brain loves that one. It's a very popular thought. I mean, not surprisingly, the go getter, a plus student in me has perfectionist tendencies, and that's all it is... and all that I've come to really learn about myself is that I have this tendency for wanting to get it "Right" that's been very practiced.
And so what happens when you think your flavor of these thoughts, I have so much to do. I have so much weight to lose. I have to get it right.
Two neurons in your brain have fired and there's a release of chemicals in your brain that signals a certain experience in your body.
The experience of overwhelm, and this is simply happening because two neurons have fired together and likely for decades, you have had these two neurons firing a lot to the point that they have almost become hard wired. When you have thought, a thought thousands and thousands of times simply starts to feel like truth, which [00:10:00] is why I shared my disclaimer at the start of this episode.
Many of your thoughts that you've thought thousands of times will feel like life truths, like you're just saying how it is. But this is why working with a coach to really help you see the difference, to open your eyes to your brain and her stories will skyrocket your personal results. So now you have two neurons that have fired after a thought, and you have an experience of an emotion in your body- overwhelm.
That emotion now is going to drive you to take certain actions, to show up in a very specific way in your life. And these behaviors, the way that you show up, is literally going to touch every corner of your life.
When you feel overwhelmed, it doesn't just affect your work or the emails or your spreadsheets. That overwhelm affects how you show up in relationships. It affects how you parent and it absolutely affects how you make decisions to eat or [00:11:00] over eat.
So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
I'm gonna share a fairly lengthy list of what I have come across in both my experience with myself and what I see with my clients. When you feel overwhelmed, you might find yourself:
ruminating, second guessing, waffling on making decisions. You keep thinking and thinking and overthinking about something, but you don't actually go do it.
Maybe you scroll your phone or you go down a new research rabbit hole to learn more information.
You peruse the pantry and you overeat, and worse yet, you start telling yourself, You know what? This time doesn't matter. I'll start with all of my decision making and accomplishing tomorrow.
You tell yourself, When I get over this overwhelm, then I'll start fresh.
So what then happens is now we have compounded the culmination of all of these actions and inactions into creating your results.
Now, here's the trouble with this and what this really does-- [00:12:00] when you really compound the culmination of these actions of ruminating and second guessing and waffling, and thinking about doing and not doing and overeating and going down the research rabbit hole and perusing the pantry, you just end up creating a result of not getting it done.
You keep having so much to do and instead of executing with meaningful action, you stay stuck in waiting way down by that cloud of heavy overwhelm.
Forget making the best decision-- we sit in making no decisions.
Now let me tell you why it is that overwhelm specifically leads you to quit on weight loss. It's because overwhelm is exhausting. The rumination, second guessing and waffling creates so much mental fatigue that eventually your brilliant brain says, Screw this.
This is the reason that you quit on your weight loss goals for a day, a week, or a whole season. And here's the thing, You will find yourself [00:13:00] telling yourself, I'll start again tomorrow. I'll start on Monday. Because you think that that natural gust of motivation with a fresh start can cure heavy overwhelm. It can never, ever do this.
Let me say that.
Starting tomorrow is not easier than starting today.
Later is not better than now-- and this is one of the biggest lies that overwhelm feeds us. Starting tomorrow or the next day or the next month or the next season is not easier. It is actually harder. You and I have plenty of evidence for this. Really think about the last time or the time before that that you thought, You know what, I'll start again tomorrow. And you overate the chips and the cookies.
Was it actually easier to start tomorrow? No-- it wasn't, because it never is.
You feel heavy in your body from overeating, feeling only more discouraged and defeated a few pounds further than your dream ideal weight the next morning.
And very naturally, [00:14:00] your most reflexive thoughts are, See, I told you this was too much.
Just creating more overwhelm..
So when you hear yourself thinking, I'll start again tomorrow or next week or next time, just know that overwhelm is one of those voices in the boardroom taking over the meeting, and very often this waiting creates more overwhelm.
All of the hours and days we spend in rumination, indecision, and second guessing has actually just delayed us getting the work done. And worse yet, it's delayed your dream ideal weight another day longer.
Now, here's some real talk. Actually, doing the work is challenging, I know, but it's challenging whether you do it now or later.
There's work in losing weight.
There's work in making that big decision.
There's work in completing that task list...
but waiting doesn't help you in doing the work because it's harder when you [00:15:00] pile on the rumination and the second guessing and the mental gymnastics that you're doing in your mind because it creates mental fatigue.
Now, I know that you are absolutely a ninja mom, but really this is where your mental exhaustion is coming from, and we can unravel it here. The intention of this episode is to show you that it isn't your time or your task list, or your unmade decisions, or the number of pounds that you still want to lose.
None of that's creating your overwhelm.
You aren't quitting on weight loss because you're weak or incapable, or don't have enough willpower. This isn't something that is just inherent to your humanness.
No. The reason that you quit is because you feel exhausted and mentally fatigued at the constant second guessing, rumination.
And these are all behaviors that your brain very naturally takes when she experiences overwhelm. When you can start to see that your overwhelm is [00:16:00] coming from a story, you can start to free yourself from it. And let me emphasize that you don't have to feel zero overwhelmed to start changing your life right now.
Simply becoming aware of this is going to be the lightning rod to change.
Here's the solve:
commit to starting right now, even if it feels momentarily uncomfortable, knowing that just starting is always the hardest, but it's always temporary- can be seriously that lightning rod to creating massive change now.
Before I get into the three steps for overcoming overwhelm, I want to help you really see something. It's important that we normalize overwhelm. It's simply practiced and memorized like so many of our old habits that might have seemed useful a long time ago.
Don't ever make yourself wrong for feeling overwhelmed.
It'll happen even after this episode. This isn't going to be just like weight loss, some perfect linear line on a graph. [00:17:00] You might logically understand these steps intellectually, but it's absolutely normal for there to be ebbs and flows and imperfection in the work. And actually it's when there's imperfection in the implementation that the best coaching and discovery happens because we get to uncover the root cause of why and even more deeply solve the problem.
Using myself as an example, I still experience overwhelm, often!. Even as an experienced coach. So we don't ever have to fix or solve or eliminate overwhelm from our lives, but what we can do is we can free ourselves from its heavy control by recognizing it in the moment with some loving curiosity.
So here are my three steps for exactly how to do this.
Step one. Know that overwhelm will tell you it's easier to start tomorrow. To delay making decisions and taking action today. Just remember that this is overwhelm [00:18:00] talking, not your most brilliant, creative ninja brain. Catch this in real time, catch yourself telling yourself. I'll start again tomorrow. I'll decide tomorrow. I'll start on Monday.
Just catching yourself in the act is going to help you see that it's a sentence you are telling yourself.
Step two, become intimately aware of your story. What are your set of thoughts that create that sensation of overwhelm in your body? Pay attention in real time the next time you feel overwhelmed. When you find yourself perusing the chips or scrolling your phone, just pause and check in. Am I feeling overwhelmed here? I wonder why. What is it that I'm telling myself about my time, my task list, my abilities, my decisions-- that's creating this feeling for me?
Just becoming aware of your stories and your sets of thoughts is going to help you see that it's not a hard and fast truth. [00:19:00] It's just a story that you have likely practiced for a long, long time.
And step three, make the intentional choice to prioritize your life, your wants, your desires, and your decisions in advance. This means stop winging things that really matter to you. Now, I love spontaneity, and I'm not saying to not be spontaneous, but being spontaneous and having that lightheartedness is different than prioritizing what you want to accomplish.
Stop winging that-- that instead of leaving what your dreams are that you want to accomplish to spontaneity. Plan for it with significance because your results, your dream ideal weight matters right now.
Inside Unstoppable, I teach my clients how to do this in a step by step strategy.
We create repeatable plans that delight our whole selves.
We don't count [00:20:00] calories and points and download things off of spreadsheets on the internet. We eat foods that delight our taste buds, but also delight our bodies. Seriously, when you can be free of overwhelm and stop quitting on your weight loss because of the overwhelm, you are going to skyrocket your results, and I love seeing my clients do this week after week.
I hope today's episode, our dissection and our discussion on overwhelm and weight loss was helpful for you. You can totally keep your story around your time and your task list and all the weight that you want to lose, but you don't have to anymore.
And when it comes to living your best life, your lightest life, and reaching that dream ideal weight, I would argue that overwhelm has no role.
I hope you like this one, and I'll see you next week. Bye.
Guys. I have a brand new free masterclass coming your way on Monday, November 14th at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, we are [00:21:00] going to dive into The Antidote to Willpower and Weight Loss.
Here's why you absolutely have to get yourself into this masterclass.
Most simply, willpower just doesn't work for permanent change on the scale. You'll know that this is you. If you've tried to force yourself to follow your plan or eat those perfect foods because you think it will help you lose weight.
Sure it works for a few days or a few weeks, but it just doesn't create permanent results.
I see you and it is the reason that I have created this masterclass just for you. Because more Unstoppable ninjas can free themselves from relying on willpower. I highly recommend that you come live, but if you cannot make it, don't worry. When you are signed up, you will absolutely get access to the replay.
Head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com/antidote to reserve your seat.
That's theunstoppablemombrain.com/antidote to reserve your spot and I will see you in your email inbox with all of the [00:22:00] details.
And also pre-enrollment for the next intimate Unstoppable Group will be opening right after this masterclass. Spots are limited, so make sure you have marked your calendars and get yourself ready. This is going to be your opportunity to do the work that we have been talking about here intellectually and implement it into your real life. I cannot wait to see you so soon. 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.