Do you ever feel like somebody’s circumstances make it easier for them to reach their goals? And that maybe if things were DIFFERENT for you, you could, too?
Friends, we’ve all been there🙋♀️. But you know what? When we feel DIFFERENT, we’re not moving toward the things that we want. And it’s NOT because of our circumstances💡.
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, I’m sharing
👉 The HIDDEN PITFALLS of telling yourself that somebody else has it easier
👉 Your SECRET WEAPON (hint: it’s in your head) for getting everything you want in life
Ready to learn all about it? Let’s GO!
I’m Not DIFFERENT (full transcript)
You’re listening to The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 228, “I’m Not Different.”
Welcome to The Fitness Matters Podcast where every week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. I’m Pahla B, YouTuber, certified life and weight loss coach, soon-to-be author, and your best middle-aged fitness friend. Are you ready to talk about the fitness mindset that matters to you? Me, too. Let’s go.
Hello, hello, my friends. It is so nice to be with you today. In fact, really quick before we even get started about how “I’m Not Different,” let’s talk about how we are going to be together again in just a couple of days. This month’s live book club is on Tuesday, March 22nd, at 1:00 PM Pacific time. I know that’s completely different. And speaking of different, we are going to talk a lot about being different and not different and all kinds of things today. But really specifically, this book club is taking place on a different day, different time. It’s a different everything that we’ve got going on this month.
I wanted to tell you that I am open to experimentation for this. In my mind, I’m like, “Oh, okay. This is kind of like a lunch bunch thing.” It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I also know that it might pose some challenges for you with your workday. Let me tell you right now that, of course, the replay will be available on Sunday as a podcast at the same time the podcasts always come out. I do hope that you can join me. There is a place to register so that you can come to the live event. The link is in the show notes or the description box, depending on where you’re watching or listening.
There’s also a link where you can go to Chirp Audiobooks, who is my partner for these book clubs, where you can get great discounts on books with absolutely no monthly subscription fee or anything like that. This month’s book is “Hormonal” by Eleanor Morgan, and it is on steep discount for $3.99 for the month of March. If you are a brand-new Chirp user in the US or Canada, you can get $5 off your first purchase with the code, Pahla5. That’s P-A-H-L-A and the number five. Super exciting stuff.
You guys, I’m not different and, apparently, I am. I wanted to tell you about a person. Actually, before I even tell you the story, let me tell you that I am never, ever, ever, ever throwing somebody under the bus when I talk about comments that you guys make on YouTube or Facebook or wherever. I don’t ever mention somebody’s comment to make fun of them or make an example of them or anything like that. It’s really not about that.
You guys say things in comments on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and places. I know that this is, if not a universal experience, it is a common experience. One person just happened to say the comment. In fact, I mean we just talked recently about how I grew up hearing, “It must be nice.” I don’t remember what episode that was. It’s within the last couple of episodes of the podcast, where I was talking about how my parents, just for anybody who had anything that they might have ever wanted or even not wanted, their thing was, “Well, it must be nice” – that kind of passive-aggressive thing that we all do.
But anyway, I got this comment that was kind of along the lines of “it must be nice.” It was a person saying something about how, of course, it’s easy for ME because of my circumstances. There were specific circumstances that she listed, things like working at home and exercising on YouTube for a living and having such an easy job. She didn’t specifically say easy, but she specifically talked about how many hours a week that she has to work and the kinds of struggles that she has within her family and things like that.
First of all, I want you all to know that I do have sympathy and empathy for how different circumstances feel, and I’m going to encourage you. That is the point of our podcast today, to take a look at your thoughts about those circumstances. Here’s the thing. It is nice to exercise for a living, and I also am a woman going through menopause. I can’t overexercise to maintain my weight. In fact, if I do overexercise, I gain weight. As soon as I do too much, the scale goes up.
Hello, here comes Blossom. [jingles in background]. There are so many jingles and clickety-clacks going on in the background today. “Just hello, all the animals.” They all just woke up. They all want food. It’s cacophony around here. Now Rosie’s going to meow while she goes to the bathroom. All right. So anyway, it is nice to exercise for a living, and it’s also not because, in fact, I was just journaling about this today about how my filming schedule affects my ability to exercise for myself, really specifically running, since I don’t do running videos and I like to run. How I have to – this was my own thought – I have to curtail what I want to do because of what I perceive I have to do.
That was a really fascinating thought that I found, and I know this pertains to you. When I tell myself that I can’t do something that I want to do and I have to do something that I don’t want to do, let me tell you how that shows up in my life. It shows up in pain and unpleasantness and crabbiness and walking around in a bad mood. It is not a helpful set of thoughts. In fact, none of them individually are helpful thoughts, and it’s not a helpful collection of thoughts. You guys, it is nice to work from home, but it means that I am always at work and never at home.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about that. I don’t know if you work from home. I don’t know if you own your own business and run your own everything. But me being the CEO of my own business means that I do everything all the time. And it’s actually not difficult. But sometimes I tell myself it’s difficult to set boundaries for when I will answer emails, when I will go in the Get Your Goal group, when I will record podcasts, when I will film, when I will take time off for myself.
It is nice, and it’s not different from your job. I still have to set boundaries. I still have to make time for myself. I still have to do all the things that you do. When you are losing weight, there are five things that I tell you to do, not that you have to, but that I tell you to do. Eat the right number of calories. Drink the right amount of water. Get the right amount of sleep. Exercise moderately, and manage your mind. It is the same for everyone. Every single person has to figure out how those five things will fit into your life, and sometimes some of them don’t.
Here’s what I’m going to tell you though. It’s not because of your circumstances. It’s because of what you’re thinking. When we think that somebody else has it easier than us, we are simultaneously telling ourselves that that person is different and that we can’t do the things that need to be done to get whatever it is that we want. When we think that somebody else is different, what we’re actually saying is that WE are different. “Yes, Blossom, thank you so much for that, so jingly today.”
When you tell yourself that you are different (and I mean that in a, I’m going to use the word “bad” because it’s the one that’s coming to me, but hear it however you mean to) – when you tell yourself that you are different from other people in a bad way, meaning that you can’t have what you want, how does that feel? This is the two-step tool in action, my friends. Here’s the thought that you have: “I am different.” Or you might hear it as, “She is different.”
But understand the underlying bias when you are saying that somebody else is some kind of unicorn and that’s why it’s easy for them. What you are actually doing, you are pulling yourself away from them. You’re not pushing them away from you. You are pulling yourself away from them. How does that feel? Here’s how it feels to me. When I tell myself that I am different in any way, whether it’s about weight loss or work or my age, which is something else that I am journaling about this morning, interestingly.
This one comes around every couple of months where I’m too old to do the things that I want. I’m too old to feel good. I’m too old for lots of things. And I’m like, “Pahla, you know you got at least 30 more years on the planet, right? If this is too old now, what’s ahead of you?” So I listen to that sentence, “I am different,” in a way that I don’t like. And that sentence feels terrible. Now, the exact nature of the terrible is going to depend on which way I’ve gone with that sentence.
The “I am different” sometimes brings up shame for me. Sometimes it brings up a layer of scarcity which I’m going to call fear, but it’s actually worry. Sometimes it brings up an otherness, which again is almost like a shame, but it’s slightly different, like a lack of belonging. I’m trying to think of what feeling that is exactly. Lack of belonging probably could be a feeling, but I guess I would go with maybe loneliness as an emotion. None of those feelings feel good, in case you don’t know it.
Shame, loneliness, worry – those are feelings that are not driving good actions. And by good, what I mean is moving you towards the thing you want. For me, “I am different” really is a very sit-down-and-feel-sorry-for-myself kind of emotion, kind of a thought. It’s a very not-moving-forward kind of energy. When you think you are different, you are not moving toward the thing you want. The other half of that, saying that somebody else is different, the other underlying bias behind that one is “I can’t.” “She can, but I can’t.”
My friends, I don’t care how you finish the sentence – “I can’t.” Let’s do the two-step tool. You found your thought: “I can’t whatever.” I can’t lose weight, for example. How do you feel when you say, “I can’t?” For me, the word that comes to mind immediately is defeated. Defeated feels lousy. Defeated is also a very “sit down, curl in, get into the fetal position and just don’t move forward” kind of energy. That is an unhelpful thought. That’s actually the two-step tool in action. I was telling you I was having you find out how you feel, but then we weren’t labeling it as unhelpful.
“I am different” and/or “she is different” is unhelpful. “I can’t” is unhelpful. Those thoughts are not getting you where you want to go. Here’s the thing. Boy, do they come up naturally; am I right? When we see somebody else who has what we want, it feels very, very, very easy to think that that person has it easy, is different, and can do the things that we want, but we can’t. Those automatic thoughts, boy, oh boy. They come up like, I don’t even know, like water off a duck’s back. That was the only thing I could think of, some kind of really easy idiom for how easy something is, except that that does not fit at all.
So hear whatever you want. I was going to say it comes up like water. I don’t even know what that would mean. I have no idea why that would be a thing, but it’s something that I say sometimes for no good reason. But anyway, those automatic thoughts, they’re really easy, and you might not even hear them. You, if you are the person who left the comment about how it must be nice to be me, you might not have even heard that as a thought. It might have felt incredibly factual to you.
Here’s where I’m going to point you to Facts vs. Opinions (Link: Ep. 009, Facts vs. Opinions, https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/9-facts-opinions/). It’s a good one. It’s still a good one even though it’s, gosh, what? Two years old at this point? It still points out the essential truth that we don’t think in facts. We just don’t. Our brains are always interpreting the world around us to fit into our own thought model of everything that we have ever seen and perceived before. Which means that everything you think is an opinion, which is also a thought. Opinion and thought, really interchangeable.
When something is a thought, it is either helpful or unhelpful for moving you towards what you want. When something is unhelpful, it is not going to move you towards what you want. So catch yourself noticing the times when somebody else seems like they have it easier, when somebody else seems like they can do what you want, when somebody else seems different in a good way and, therefore, you must be different in a bad way. Therefore, you must be unable to do what you want.
My friends, let me tell you something. If your goal is weight loss, you can lose weight. You can. You are capable. You are a biological specimen. Really specifically, you are a biological specimen who wants to be efficient. That is one of your biological imperatives. Number one is to stay alive. Number two, or somewhere in the top three, is to stay the same as much as possible so you can be efficient. Number three, or whatever it is, is to change when necessary so that you can get more efficient.
Efficiency is your default, which means that your body wants to be a healthy weight. It would prefer to be a healthy weight rather than an unhealthy weight because being a healthy weight is the most efficient your body can be. Now, along the way, are there things that your body does that are seemingly inefficient for losing weight? Absolutely. Your body has a standard operating procedure for all kinds of situations based on the inputs that you are giving it right now and that you have given it over the course of your lifetime.
Your body has become comfortable being not a healthy weight because of some of the things that, A) you have input and, B) it has as its standard operating procedure. It wants to stay the same, even if the same isn’t a healthy weight right now. You can, however, change everything. You can change your mind. You can change your body. You can change your circumstances. You can change all kinds of things. You’re capable of change biologically, psychologically. I’m thinking about changing your mind. You are capable of changing your mind. Biologically, you are capable of changing your body.
You are capable. And because you are capable, it means that you’re the same in a way that’s important to understand. When we tell ourselves that we are different in a bad way, we feel that negative charge, that negative feeling of, again, I keep coming back to shame. I honestly don’t know if that’s the best word for it. You guys, anytime I come up with a feeling name, I want you to know that you can just put in your own feeling name, whatever comes up for you and/or accept what I’m saying because it’s probably close enough. It’s in the ballpark. Whichever way works for you is totally fine with me.
This work is meant to be adaptable to you. It’s meant to be yours. I tell you what to do in a very prescriptive way, but I want you to take it in and absorb it and use it and mold it and shape it and squeeze it and fit it into your life, your experience, your thought model of the world, your biological and circumstantial world and make it work for you. Sometimes the things that I say are going to just come right out of the box and be like, “Yep. Plug and play.” And sometimes the things that I say will be like, “Okay, I get what she’s saying, but that’s not how I see it and, therefore, I’m going to kind of turn this around a little bit and make it work in my mind.”
This is how you and I are both different and really, really, really alike. Yes, we are all different from one another. Absolutely. We are all an experiment of one. We are all our own personal collection of perceptions and thoughts and memories and ideas and feelings and everything. And we are all humans with a human brain, having a human experience, which means that we’re all the same. We’re all figuring this out. We’re all capable of figuring this out.
When that is a thought that maybe you have to practice for a while – truly, I mean it might not come to you automatically right now – but when it is a thought that you can kind of pull into your wheelhouse and recognize as a version of truth, that feels good because, there it is, the two-step tool in process again. A thought of “I am capable” feels amazing, if it feels true to you and if it feels amazing to you. Check on that. For me, “I am capable” feels amazing. If “I am capable” doesn’t sound true to you, work it until it does. Not those words. Find a word that feels true and good. That is what will move you forward.
My friends, I’m not different. I have figured some of this stuff out though, and it’s why I share it with you so that you don’t have to feel different from me. You recognize that we’re the same. We’re doing the same things, and sometimes we’re in the same place at the same time. Come join me live on Tuesday. My friends, I hope this was helpful to you. I always hope it’s helpful to you, and I’ll talk to you again soon.
If you’re getting a lot out of The Fitness Matters Podcast and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you are going to love the Get Your Goal Coaching and Accountability Group. We take all the theory and knowledge here on the podcast and actually apply it in real life on your real weight loss and fitness goals. It’s hands-on. It’s fun. And it works. Find out more at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal, and let’s get your goal.