Episode #77: When You Lose Weight and Gain it Back

Sep 18, 2023


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In this episode of the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, Dr. Priyanka Venugopal explores the common struggle of losing weight, only to regain it. She identifies five key reasons behind this cycle and offers a glimpse of her solution-driven coaching program, the Unstoppable Group, designed for high-achieving working moms.


Discover actionable insights to break free from the weight loss cycle and achieve lasting results in this episode. To learn more and join the Unstoppable Group, visit theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. This is my 6 month intimate small group coaching program for high achieving working moms who want to lose the weight now. We have live weekly calls, daily written coaching, personal mentorship, on-demand video curriculum and call replays.



What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Ineffective Strategy: The challenge of adopting unsustainable weight loss methods.
  • Complex Plans: Rushing for quick results and constantly changing strategies.
  • Emotional Eating: Coping with emotions through food as a barrier to maintaining weight loss.
  • Following Through: Learning how to stay committed, even when motivation wanes.
  • Complacency: Overcoming setbacks and self-criticism to avoid giving up on weight loss goals.


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 , When You've Lost the Weight but Gained it Back. Hey, my Unstoppable friends. I am excited to be coming to your podcast feed a day early. And it's a really special week over here at Unstoppable because the Unstoppable Group is officially open for enrollment. This is my six month intimate small group coaching program for high achieving working moms who want to lose the weight without a calculator and you want to know how to keep it off. If you want to get through the holidays and start new year's already down on the scale, feeling more calm and confident in any food scenario.

    Now is the time. This is the last time that you can work with me in the Unstoppable Group in 2023. You can apply to join the unstoppable group over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. Okay. If you have ever thought I've lost the weight, but I've gained it back. I want you to know, I love you.

    I see you. You're not alone. And this episode is just for you. Let's get into it. I've been thinking a lot about my own personal roadblocks over the years. And what were the biggest things that got in the way between where I was and where I wanted to be on the scale? What were the reasons that me being what, you know, as I identify as a smart overachiever who has gotten through so many hard things in my life, both with work, medical school, residency, I mean, having kids, not easy. Why was it that weight loss and hitting my dream ideal number on the scale was such a challenge. I have gone through my personal experience and what I noticed with my clients with a fine tooth comb, and I have narrowed it down to five reasons.

    Five reasons that you have ever lost the weight and gained it back. Now it's really important that you pay attention to the different reasons I'm going to describe in just a few moments. Think about which of these reasons do you identify with? You might just really strongly identify with only one of the five reasons I'm going to explain, but if you're anything like me, you might identify with a little bit of all of the five reasons.

    These five reasons are coming not because they sound good on paper, but they're coming from my real lived experience. So you need to know what the reason was that you ever gained the weight back. If you want to be able to solve it powerfully, I'm going to go through each of the reasons and explain why that reason is a reason that you've gained the weight back.

    And then at the end of this episode, I'm going to be sharing with you how we solve for all of these in the Unstoppable Group. So let's start with a reason number one, very simply. And honestly, this is unfortunately super common. Your strategy wasn't effective. It sounded good on paper. Like maybe if I cut more calories or if I eat less and move more, maybe if I do a juice detox and cut all the carbs out, never eat a French fry and basically just eat lettuce all the time. Maybe then I will lose the weight that I want. The trouble with a strategy like this is it's not sustainable. You're not willing to do juice cleanses and juice detoxes and cut French fries out forever. But more importantly, your strategy did not make you an effective fat burner.

    It probably perverted your relationship with food and the way you eat. And most importantly, it just wasn't long lasting and it wasn't sustainable. I've discussed strategies like counting points and calories and doing juice detoxes and cutting carbs and cutting French fries out of your diet is not an effective strategy and I don't want to spend any time on today's podcast episode getting into that.

    But suffice it to say, reason number one that your strategy didn't last, the reason that you might have lost some weight in the short run but weren't able to keep it off in the long run is because you did not become a fat burner. Reason number two is your plan, the strategy that you chose was too complicated.

    You maybe tried to do too much, too quickly or you were in a rush to see results. You'll know that this is you if you find yourself feeling really impatient to see results and that makes you throw in the towel quickly. You might find yourself either plan hopping, downloading the next weight loss pdf, attending the next webinar, and really in high consumption mode.

    Or you might find yourself Always needing a fresh start when things feel hard. This is going to be you if you find yourself hitting an obstacle and rather than learning how to overcome the obstacle, get through the obstacle and expand your capacity to handle challenges, you find yourself jumping ship, either jumping to a brand new plan or requiring and needing a fresh start.

    Like, okay, I'm going to just do whatever. I'm going to quit on the plan and Monday morning, we're going to get back to it. Or next month, we're going to get back to it. Or after this vacation, we're going to get back to it. The reason that reason number two is so important to become aware of is I think that this is one of those hidden reasons that we gain weight back because we might have a strategy that works.

    You might have a strategy that's fairly effective, but if you're not feeling confident in handling obstacles, if you find yourself constantly needing fresh starts, whenever you hit a roadblock. There's no possible way that you're going to keep the weight off. And I say this and it might be a slightly bitter pill to swallow, but I say this because our life just being ninjas, being working moms, handling the kids, handling work, handling so many things that high achievers want to handle means that we are also signing up for challenges.

    You and I are not signing up for a life that has no challenge. I think that we identify as high achievers because we love overcoming hard things. It makes it so much sweeter. Yet somehow we've kind of gotten the impression that our life needs to be easy to lose weight. What I think is way more effective and a better skill to develop and learn and really have in your back pocket for the next 50 years is what if your life didn't have to be easy to lose weight. What if you simply got better at handling challenges at hitting a roadblock and never jumping ship again and never quitting on your strategy. Reason number three, and this is a big one for working moms and really for all humans, you didn't stop emotionally eating.

    No Monday morning plan, no perfect strategy will help you solve this. The first life curveball that comes your way. That moment that feels really overwhelming, maybe the fight with your partner or the worry over your kid or the frustration with your time or your work colleague, all of these obstacles, all of these life circumstances will create an emotion for you. Stress, overwhelm, frustration, anger, even boredom. When we don't know how to feel an uncomfortable feeling without going to food, we are always going to find ourselves perusing the pantry and snacking and eating when our body is not actually hungry. To reach your goal weight and then maintain it for life, you have to stop doing this.

    I think sometimes this is one of those Parts of the process that I know I used to try to like, go like circumvent. I used to try to get around it. I was like, you know what, if I have a really good action plan, if I have a really good strategy, if I'm really, really strict and disciplined, then I'm going to lose the weight.

    But for a really long time, I had really good strategies. Again, I'm a very disciplined person. I'm very confident in so many areas of my life. But anytime life threw me a curve ball, anytime that I [00:07:00] felt frustrated with my kid or with work or felt a little sleep deprived or bored or got into a fight with my husband, I just found myself having little licks and bites and nibbles.

    I didn't gain 60 pounds overnight. I gained 60 pounds because of reason number three. I gained 60 pounds because little bites and little nibbles and little licks. Turned into 60 pounds over 10 years, and I think it's so important to understand that the only reason that we actually eat when we're not hungry, eat when our body doesn't actually want food is for an emotional reason. I never identified as an, a quote unquote emotional eater, I was never that person sitting in a tub of ice cream, or, you know, having a bottle of wine and night that was not me.

    That's like what you see in the movies is what you maybe see in Netflix, but the way that Emotional eating is really defined as simply eating anytime your body's not actually hungry. And I would say for most working moms, this is often. Think about all of those evenings that you finally get home after a hard day of work.

    The kids are finally in bed, the kitchen's cleaned up and you just do your evening plop down thinking, I just deserve a break. I just want a break from my stress, from my overwhelm, from my worry, from all of the things that I'm doing. I just deserve a break from that. And food and even alcohol has just become a really quick vehicle to do that.

    So reason number three is if you want to lose the weight that you want to lose, you have to stop emotionally eating. You have to know how to feel stress, overwhelm, boredom, frustration, without perusing the pantry, without the little licks and bites and nibbles. So you can stop undoing the efforts of your best perfect strategy.

    Reason number four. This was a big one for me. You didn't know how to follow through when you didn't feel like it. This will be you if you have a strategy that you like. You have a strategy that you know will work. You trust it. It even feels simple and sustainable. But come Saturday afternoon, I don't feel like it's kicking in.

    Friend, I see you and I want you to know this was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn. I had to learn that I might have a strategy that I love and trust that I feel really excited about on Monday morning, but somewhere along the way, my motivation might go away. I might not feel the excitement that I felt on Monday morning.

    I might just feel kind of blah about it. I might feel like, Oh, I don't want to, I don't feel like it. I want you to know that you have to know how to take action anyway. Now, I think that this is important for me to clarify. Don't confuse following through with muscling through. There's a huge difference when high achievers, who are by the way, experts at muscling through hard things, try to force and push themselves to do something that feels really hard.

    You'll know that you're doing this. You'll know that you're muscling through and Forcing and pushing yourself through when you feel tired afterwards, when you feel spent afterwards. And I think that this is something that so many high achievers confuse sustainable weight loss with. Reason number four is talking about learning how to follow through on what you said you would do on that simple, sustainable strategy that you truly love and trust that always 100 percent of the time makes you feel better. You'll know that you're able to do this when you follow through and you don't feel like it, but you feel proud and energized afterwards. You feel so good at doing what you said you would do. I think that high achievers are literally ninjas following through in other parts of their life.

    But when it comes to yourself, when it comes to your dream body goal, it's one of those things that you simply forget. So I want you to know that to lose the weight you want. And then to keep it off, you're going to have to know how to follow through, even when you don't want to. Reason number five is you became complacent.

    Maybe your complacency led to a few screw it moments, a weekend off plan, a vacation, you forgot yourself, a stressful life event, and maybe you gained a few pounds. The combination of how you have dealt with mistakes in the past and imperfect results drives your negative self talk through the roof.

    You'll find yourself spiraling. There you go again. I'll probably never solve this. And that drives you to quit even more. I cannot tell you how often I see reason number five, drive smart high achievers from solving this problem. I think that really understanding that complacency isn't a problem.

    There are going to be moments that you have imperfect action. Maybe you have a Friday screw it or a weekend, you gain some weight, or maybe a life event really takes you out of you taking care of your body. So what? So many times we put so much pressure on ourselves to execute perfectly that we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Our desire for hitting goals from a place of pressure drives us to quit. It drives us to double down, create plans that are not sustainable, and ultimately in the long run, we end up throwing in the towel and gaining the weight back. So to recap, the five reasons that I have seen in my personal experience and what I've seen with my clients that you have ever lost the weight but gained it [00:12:00] back is number one, you did not have a winning strategy.

    Number two, you made weight loss more complicated and you jumped ship when it felt hard. Number three, you kept emotionally eating. So even though you had a winning strategy, the winning strategy went right at the door when life threw you a curveball. Number four, you didn't know how to follow through when the, I didn't feel like it's popped in or number five, you became complacent. You had a few screw it moments and you did not know how to overcome mistakes quickly. Listen, if any of these resonate with you or you see yourself in any or maybe all of these reasons that you've ever lost the weight and gained it back, I want you to know that you're not alone.

    I'm telling you because all five of these are coming from my personal lived experience. I have literally been a master at all five of these reasons and they all in some way or another contributed to my 60 pound weight gain over 10 years. I also want to let you know that I have solved the problem.

    Everything that I bring to you on this podcast and what makes me an expert to help you solve this is that I have overcome all of these reasons. And I'm not just sharing what sounds good on paper. I'm sharing you real lived experiences and the experiences and the mindset that I know so many high achievers have that might be holding you back from losing the weight you want, and then really keeping it off my lived experience came from being a busy OBGYN physician with an unpredictable schedule and busy work hours. I had two little kids and a very full schedule sitting at a little over 200 pounds of feeling stuck and frustrated with the scale and my body. The process that I created to overcome my obstacles didn't require me to change my whole life.

    My job didn't have to change. My husband didn't have to change. My kids did not have to change for me to solve this and loose the weight in a way that feels simple and sustainable. That is what I want for you, the busy high achiever who wants to lose the weight, feel better in her body, and honestly feel unstoppable in every area of her life. All five reasons that we talked about on today's podcast, we addressed in detail in the unstoppable group, it will be simple. There's a framework and a step by step process for each of these reasons. It helps you overcome your biggest challenges, but I also want to be honest. It will not always be easy. That's the real reason that you don't want to do this alone. You want to do this in a group of like minded women supported in a very intimate, small community and to have a coach mentor you when it gets hard.

    My favorite analogy for this is like learning how to ride a bike. There could be like, you know, a manual that gives you step by step instructions of how to ride a bike. It's like the step by step framework that you learn on place your hands here and wear these kinds of sneakers and sit on the seat and put your feet in the pedals and start pushing the pedals, right?

    That's one way that we think we can learn how to ride a bike, but to really learn how to ride a bike, just like really learning how to lose weight and keeping it off requires more than just the step by step framework what you get on a PDF. It requires that you actually put it into real life implementation, that you get your feet under you, that you allow yourself to experience wobble and maybe fall a couple of times, maybe even scrape a knee.

    And that you don't want to do that alone. Having a coach really helps you see what you're not seeing helps you get on the bike, go through the wobble and get to a place of steadiness where you start soaring and feeling confident that you can ride that bike anywhere in the world, no matter where you are, how busy you are, no matter what is happening.

    You know that you can ride that bike. I think about the process that I teach my clients in the Unstoppable Group and why I feel so confident in helping you reach your ideal weight, but then knowing the simple and sustainable process to keep it off, I think every working mom wants and needs in her back pocket.

    I want to take just a few moments to walk you through the specific features of the Unstoppable Group in a way that I haven't really done this podcast before and really help you see how this group was created in a way to ensure you success to ensure that you have the support that you want so that you can create this for yourself to first and foremost, we have live weekly coaching calls.

    This is an opportunity for you to bring any pressing thoughts or obstacles and get coached by me live. Sometimes you might not have anything pressing going on. Maybe things are feeling smooth and steady and the weight is coming right off. And in those moments, you get to learn from the coaching of others.

    My clients, Diana and Emily, were just sharing on the podcast recently how being in this group was so valuable. You get to actually see that you're not alone in the struggle, both on the scale or at work. And at home that yes, you're unique, but your challenges are not unique. When you put yourself in an intimate, small group, you stop feeling alone in the challenge.

    And you feel so much more powerful in solving it. When you see that you're not alone in it on these live weekly coaching calls, you'll get coached and you will learn from the coaching of others, just like you. It's such a beautiful mix of both to get exactly what you need. The second feature that you get in the Unstoppable Group is written coaching.

    I call this the coaching café and it is a space off of social media that I have created for just my clients. It's a space where you can get daily written coaching and personal mentorship from me. You can bring anything you want that's happening on the scale, with work, with your family, any obstacle that you find you're having a difficult time overcoming.

    You can bring your meal plans and you and I will have a Back and forth conversation where I will help you overcome and get to the bottom of any obstacle you bring. And then we solve the problem. In the space you get all of the personal coaching that you could want, but also the benefit of this is you get to read through the coaching and the weekly evaluations of other high achievers just like you, it is so impactful when you get to learn from your own experiences, your own lived experiences, but you also get to learn from the experiences of other women that are just like you. The third feature in the Unstoppable Group is our strategy workshop.

    On this strategy workshop we will create your unique personalized, robust science backed strategy. Remember reason number one that I was sharing on this episode, the reason that talked about not having a science backed effective strategy. Yeah, that is exactly what we solve on the strategy workshop. And we do that on day one together.

    This is a workshop that you will leave feeling like your plan is done and it is in place. You will know exactly what to do and how to do it. You stop wasting time wondering like, should I eat this or should I eat that? Should I eat a little? Should I eat a lot? You stop having those kinds of questions.

    Every question gets answered on the strategy workshop. So you feel really confident in your weight loss strategy. And the best news is you aren't alone when you start implementing it, it's like my bike analogy. When you start putting your plan into action, when you get on the bike and you start writing, you might find areas of wobble.

    This is why having live weekly coaching calls and our written coaching café is so, so amazing and so beneficial because you can ask any questions you can get clarification on any area as you start implementing your process and as you develop mastery in the weight loss strategy you choose. When you know how to create a solid strategy, which we do together on this call, the amount of time that you will spend per week on weight loss specifically is going to drop considerably.

    Number one, not only will. All of your decisions be made. You don't have to keep remaking decision day after day. You're going to stop plan hopping and plan jumping, but you're going to know exactly how to take simple action on a daily basis. Plus I show my clients how to really do the work in less time. Spending this time is way less time than you're spending right now, not solving the problem.

    Trust me. I have done the math. The fourth feature of the Unstoppable Group is our on demand video curriculum. The moment that you join the Unstoppable Group you get immediate access to our on demand video portal. This has short videos and trainings that will jumpstart your weight loss now. So you start losing weight even before our very first coaching call.

    I've had clients get access. to this on demand video portal and they binge it like it's Netflix and then they just start losing weight. They start feeling better. They start feeling lighter. And of course they start seeing the number on the scale go down. You also get immediate access to previous group coaching call replays.

    And because I know that the working mom is busy and she's on the go, I mean, I get it because I am too. I have also created a private podcast with our coaching call replays so that you can start listening to coaching call replays anytime you want from the convenience of a podcast. And lastly, one of the best things, I mean, it feels like just the best thing about the Unstoppable Group is the community.

    It is designed with the working mom in mind. It is designed for high achievers, like you ambitious working moms who want to solve this problem. The women in this group are confident women. They are team leaders. Physicians, veterinarians, lawyers, techies, women from every industry that identify as working moms who are ambitious, who are high achievers.

    They feel confident, but they want to feel more powerful in hitting consistent results on the scale. And they want to feel more unstoppable at work. And at home, if this is speaking to you, if you feel yourself lighting up, don't wait to apply to join the Unstoppable Group. Spots in this group are capped very purposefully because I get in the weeds with my clients and I've kept this group on purpose.

    Here are the steps if this is speaking to you and you know that you want to join the Unstoppable Group this round, and you want to start solving the problem before we ever get to 2024, go to theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. You're going to see a button that says apply here, click the button and fill out the short application.

    The application is going to take you under five minutes to fill out. And the questions are designed for me to really know whether we're going to be a good fit to work together. My intention is for this to be the best group for you and for you to be a best fit for this group. And just in you answering these questions, which I will personally be reviewing every single application that comes in is going to help me determine whether this is going to be a best fit.

    If I don't think this group is for you. I will let you know if I determined that we are best fit to work together, you're going to get an email from me within 24 hours, inviting you to claim your spot in the group. You can either make your payment and claim your spot right away, getting immediate access to the on demand video curriculum and the call replays.

    Or if you would like, you can book a sales call. On a sales call we will talk about whether or not this is the best fit for you. We'll discuss your unique obstacles and how the Unstoppable Group may or may not work for you. So that is going to also be available for you. If you have a thought or a question that I haven't answered yet, either way, the intention of this invitation is to help you find your best yes. If you identify as a working mom who wants to prioritize her weight loss goal. If you want to know how to lose weight. Even when life feels hard, you want to stop letting seasons of your life pass you by. You want to lose weight before New Year's and you want to have a science backed strategy that will feel simple and sustainable.

    With the mentorship of a coach, this group was designed with you in mind. Enrollment is currently open for a limited time and it is your last chance to work with me in 2023. Enrollment is going to be closing next Friday. Or when spots fill, whichever one comes first, if this is calling to you, don't wait, go to theunstoppablemombrain.com/group and apply now. I hope that this episode shed some light. If you have ever felt, and I know because this was me that you've lost the weight before, but you've gained it back. There has always been a reason that you have ever gained the weight back. And when you solve for that problem with laser sharp focus, you can actually lose the weight and know how to keep it off.

    You deserve to have support in hitting this goal. Just like every industry of professional has a coach, you can have a coach too. This is available to you if you want it. You are so ready, my unstoppable friend. I cannot wait to see your application in my email inbox, and I hope you have an amazing week.


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