Ep. 298: Why You Get Off Track (and What To Do About It)

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Today, we're diving into a topic that I see popping up all over the place—getting off track in your weight loss journey. It's a common experience that so many of us go through, and in this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, I've got the answers for why you get off track and what you can do about it!

Let’s talk about something so many of us experience on our weight loss journeys—getting off track. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while, it happens to the best of us. But here’s the good news: it’s completely solvable!

The root of getting off track lies in your subconscious thoughts that create feelings you’d rather avoid.

Here’s the key: observe what’s going on without judgment. Be kind to yourself and remember that it’s all part of being human. Remove the label of “off track” and embrace the opportunity for growth.

When you’re ready for a more advanced mindset strategy, here it is: after you’ve found the subconscious thought that creates the uncomfortable feeling, you simply FEEL the feeling, without doing anything else about it.

As you practice observation without judgment and embrace the uncomfortable feelings, you’ll find yourself more willing and capable of staying on track. Truly, there’s no such thing as “off track.” Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow, and you have the power to navigate through this and keep moving forward!

Transcript

Hello GOALfriend! Welcome to episode number 298. We are going to figure out why you got off track and I'm gonna let you know what to do about it. You guys, this is a question that I get asked. No, you know what? This isn't even a question that I get asked. This is a statement that I hear super duper frequently. When I'm reading comments on Facebook or YouTube or Instagram - really everywhere that I am online and even places where you're not talking directly to me but you're talking to yourself, or other people online, where you’re talking about how you've gotten off track, how things were going great for however long with your weight loss journey and then all of a sudden you've just kind of found yourself off track? And I want you to know that I have an answer for you and that this is completely figure-outable no matter when you have found yourself off track. Maybe you've just started on your weight loss journey. You’re a couple of days or a couple of weeks in and it was going great, but then you realized that things got really tough and life got in the way and everything kind of went sideways. Or maybe you've been losing weight for weeks or months or been maintaining it for years and then suddenly there's this thing and you find yourself off track. And here's what I want you to know. No matter when it is where you are on the journey, how long you've been either losing weight or maintaining your weight or towards whatever goal it is that you're working on, truly this is so completely universal. Here is what has happened. You had a thought that created a feeling that you didn't wanna feel when you find yourself not doing a thing that you intend to do, a thing that you have either been doing for a long time or have just started this habit forming whatever the thing is that you find yourself not doing or the thing that you find yourself doing where you're like: “Hmm, I didn't mean to be doing this particular thing”. Some examples might be, let's say for example, that you find yourself at the end of the day having not met your calorie target or having not met your water target. Those are the two that always get to me. I'm really good at sleep. I am really good at exercising, I'm really good at journaling. But I tell you what, the calories, when I was losing weight, I am not currently, but when I was losing weight, the calorie thing, I would definitely find myself off there or the water thing. I still sometimes find myself not meeting my target. And in both cases, I would find myself at the end of the day like it was some kind of a mystery. Currently, I am working on, I think I've mentioned this before, I'm working on creating a full course in the get your Goal group that is broken down. In fact, I know I did talk about this just recently on the three stages of weight loss where I have a full course for the people who are losing the first five pounds and another full course for people who are losing all five pounds, and then another course for people who are losing the last five pounds. And additionally, because there are plenty of people who come to the Get Your Goal group and stay in the Get Your Goal group long after they have gotten their first goal and have moved on to second or third, or even fourth goals, there is a program for people who are maintaining and working on whatever their other goal is. So I'm working on these courses and it's going really well. I have them fully conceptualized in my head and for these particular courses I am, I'm creating them a little bit differently than I sometimes do things. I love to talk off the top of my head. I don't usually write out an entire script for the podcast, but I am writing out entire scripts for these courses so that I can say exactly what I wanna say in the exact way that I want to say it. Cuz sometimes like here on the podcast, I'll get partway in and then find myself kind of going down a rabbit hole or talking about something else or it doesn't come out quite the way I meant it to. So this is my way of making sure that I say what I wanna say as concisely as maybe, I don't want to say it, but I know will be helpful for you to hear it. So I'm writing the scripts and I am finding myself not writing the scripts. The courses are in my head and all I have to do is get them out on paper. And yet during the day, I am finding myself playing on my phone or working on things that are important, but maybe not as important. It's, it's an interesting place to be in my brain and in my business to notice that I am procrastinating, here's what I want you to know, and here's what I am telling myself. There's nothing about this situation that is abnormal or unnatural. This is my brain being my brain. This is my body being my body. I am having a thought that is creating a feeling that I don't wanna feel. And there is nothing about this that does not figure out a bull. We're gonna get to this in just a minute when I tell you what to do, but there's nothing going on that has any mystery about it. There's a thought and a feeling. There's always a thought and a feeling. They are both findable, they are both well. The feeling is feelable and the thought is thinkable. Like, there's nothing about this that is unnatural or outside of me. And here's what I think is one of the most important things to know. There is nothing about this that is some kind of character flaw about you or about me. This is biology. This is straight up the way your brain works, the way your body works, the way nature works. We are human beings with human brains and we are hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. In this case, the pain that we're talking about, and I put heavy air quotes around that, is simply the uncomfortable feeling. When a feeling is uncomfortable, of course, you are resistant to feeling it. This is natural, this is normal. This is actually the way we are hardwired to work because I'm gonna say in general things that are, you know, painful, like touching something hot or fear or surprise. Sometimes those are feelings that you would rather not feel and learn from that rather not feel it in the case of procrastination or not drinking your water or not hitting your calorie target, it is a little bit more nuanced. There is some thought in there that is creating a feeling for you that you would rather not feel simply because, I mean simply because lots of us have been taught that we don't wanna feel any of our feelings, that we should shove down all of our feelings. And this brings us to what to do about it. Part of the podcast, the reason you got off track is because you had a thought that created an uncomfortable feeling. Here's what you do, a couple of things. Number one, you simply observe the behavior, like literally notice what's going on. Notice that you are, for example, procrastinating. Notice that you are not hitting your calorie target. Notice that you are doing something instead of going to bed on time. Notice, and let me be very, very clear that the observation is not observation and judgment. And in fact, that is step two of this plan of what to do about it. Step one is to observe. Step two is to remove all of the judgment that you have about it. This is why I already have offered you that this is biology, this is the way your brain and your body are supposed to work. There's nothing about this that means anything about you. And further to that, there's nothing about this situation that means anything about your ultimate success. You can and will ultimately get where you are going, especially if you can do this exact procedure. Observe and remove judgment when you can remove the judgment. And by that what I mean is notice that as soon as you have observed the behavior that your brain piled on judgment, your brain told you something like it's because you're lazy. It's because this never works, it's because you're terrible at this, you've always failed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. All of that judgment can be completely peeled off the top. You are a human being with a human brain that is hard hard-wired to behave exactly the way you are behaving. And further to that, what's really going on here is operating at a level that until you have observed it, you wouldn't have had the opportunity to notice it. This is what I mean, the thought that you are having is subconscious. There's a thought that you are not hearing, creating a feeling that you'd rather not feel. So therefore you probably didn't notice that either you went directly into resistance mode, which is to say that you just didn't do the thing or you found something else to do. Instead, there was at no point in time at which you could have heard the thought or felt the feeling they were both there and gone in an instant at a subconscious level. So there's nothing about any of this situation of you getting off track that you could have noticed before. So peel off the label, or not the label, but the whole of the, the layer of judgment is really important. Here you can then this is step three, go ahead and take responsibility. Taking responsibility and ownership of the situation really requires the removal of judgment. It's very, very easy for all of us to simply sit in the muck of judgment, labeling ourselves as procrastinators or failures or somebody who will never get where we wanna go. All of the all of the nonsense that you've heard in your head, that layer, honestly the judgment layer, probably not subconscious, that's the layer that you have very distinct access to. That's the layer of thoughts that you could probably hear all day every day, and that's why we wanna peel it back. It's not helping you get where you wanna go and none of it's true. What's going on is that you had a thought, a subconscious thought that created a feeling that you didn't even have time to notice because it was uncomfortable in your body. So your body and your brain went into avoid ple or avoid pain, seek pleasure mode, and you were often doing something else. This is where we get to the next step, and I will tell you that I consider, the final step of this process to be a little bit more advanced. If you are new to mindset work, step one and step two of observing what's going on and removing judgment is all you need to do. When you are ready, when you have some practice digging into your subconscious thoughts in your journal, when you have some practice feeling your feelings on purpose, I consider this part of the program of all the fives stage. When you're losing your first five pounds, when you are first getting started with mindset work, simply observe and remove judgment. We'll actually move you forward. It will, it will take you where you want to go. It's when we get into more of the mindset work. When you are digging into the second layer you might be interested in actually finding the subconscious thought, when you find that subconscious thought, you could simply take yourself into the moment when you were about to sit down at the computer or about to pull out your phone and track your calories or about to go to bed and didn't, or about to drink water and didn't, or about to stop exercising at moderate and moved well past it. You put yourself right in that moment. You peel back all the layers of judgment and you simply ask yourself very kindly, very gently, what was I thinking? And not with that sarcastic, oh my gosh, what was I thinking? Which is the layer of judgment that we have already peeled back, but with curiosity and kindness and interest. Like for reals, what was the thought in my brain? What was the spark of electricity that sent a cascade of hormones into my bloodstream that created an uncomfortable feeling? Now, here's the thing about this. When you do this part of the work, you already know that whatever the thought was created an uncomfortable feeling, let this guide you. You already know that the feeling is going to be uncomfortable. You already know that the thought was subconscious. So this isn't gonna be something that you're doing that's just a lark. That's just for fun. That's gonna feel amazing. You know, going into this work you're gonna hear a thought that is, well, first of all, it's unhelpful because it feels uncomfortable, but also it might sound painful. Hence the feeling that is going to be uncomfortable. Knowing that you're going to hear a painful thought that creates an uncomfortable, maybe even painful feeling means that you might even come into this work with a little bit of resistance. It's really important to come in with an open mind and be prepared to feel whatever that uncomfortable feeling is. When you find the thought, be prepared to feel the uncomfortable feeling, which means that your heart might pound, you might get sweaty or snotty if you're me, or you might cry, and you might feel angry. Whatever that feeling is, your body is trying to avoid feeling it. So you are really gonna have to be gentle and kind with yourself to be able to sit with it, to observe it, to express it, to allow it in your body. When you are in a place where you have come to this feeling with openness and kindness and with the desire to allow it, it will only last about a minute and a half, and I say about, because sometimes even when we come to this work like, okay, I'm here for it. This is happening. I'm ready. I'm prepared. I'm gonna feel an uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes we still have some resistance and that resistance makes the feeling last longer in our body. Knowing that this is all completely okay, you can't get stuck in a feeling. Your body wants to return to homeostasis, it wants to take care of these hormones. Everything that's happening here is exactly the way your brain and your body are supposed to function. Here's what will happen. If you are capable, and by capable I don't mean like you could be incapable. I just mean that you've practiced, you've come to this work, you've worked on this skill. When you have worked on this skill and practiced it so that you have achieved some level of mastery over it, here's what will happen. You will come to your journal and find whatever the subconscious thought is. Here's my subconscious thought, by the way, I have done this work, and my brain is still working on it. The subconscious thought that I have is, nobody's gonna like this. This is an old one and it's one that I'm still working on. Nobody's gonna like it, this creates a feeling of unlikeability. That feeling of unlikeability feels like an absolute drop in the pit of my stomach. It feels like a black hole inside of me that can never be filled. It feels dark. It feels like I wanna squeeze everything. I wanna curl into a fetal position around this black hole inside of me so that it doesn't exist. That feeling, that emotion, that cascade of hormones inside my body lasts about this one feels a little bit longer to me. I have not actually timed it. I'm gonna say it's about two to three minutes long. Once I have felt that feeling, my brain, and my body, I can metabolize that experience and understand that that feeling isn't actually going to kill me. It's not actually that bad. It's feelable, which means that it becomes easier and easier and easier over time to sit down at the keyboard and write out the scripts because I'm capable of feeling unlikable. And of course, I mean it's patently untrue. Some people like me, some people don't. I like me. There's nothing about nobody's gonna like this or they're not gonna like this, or whatever version of that thought that crosses through my brain. There's nothing about that that is ultimately like the truth. Understanding that and being able to dismiss it like consciously and verbally like that is not the work here though. Actually feeling through the feeling changes your brain and your body. When you find the thought and feel the feeling, rather than simply dismissing it or shoving it down or judging yourself for having the thought, as your brain is likely to do, don't worry here. Judgment is natural. You judge yourself all the time. Again, it's completely okay and you can observe it and peel it back. When you do this work, observing, removing the layer of judgment, finding the thought and feeling the feeling you will become over time. This is not necessarily immediate, but over time it will get easier and easier and easier and easier to do the things that you want to do to stay on track. You will find yourself less and less often doing whatever it is you didn't intend to do, playing on your phone, staying up late, not drinking your water, exercising over or undereating, whichever one it is, whatever, choose your poison. Whatever the thing is that you have been finding yourself, either doing or not doing, that you have labeled as off track. You will over time be more and more and more capable and willing and feel amazing about doing the tasks that you want to do in order to get where you want to go. Let me be very clear that there is no about any of this, that a is actually off track. You are always on track towards your goal, and B, there's nothing about this that is beyond you or outside of you. It's all figure-outable. It's all under your agency. None of it is fast work. None of it is some kind of magic pill where suddenly you are amazing at everything. It's all really doable and I encourage you to dig in wherever you are. Start by simply observing what's going on. Just notice, oh my gosh, here's this thing that is either happening or not happening and it's completely okay that this is happening or not happening because I am a human being with a human brain, and observing it without judgment is the first layer of changing it to be able to get where I want to go. I really hope that this was helpful for you today to meet you where you are. That no matter, no matter what is going on, you are completely on track, my friend. Thank you so much for listening. I'll talk to you again soon.

Listen to the full episode here, and be sure to leave a rating and a review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired July 30, 2023
Today, we're diving into a topic that I see popping up all over the place—getting off track in your weight loss journey. It's a common experience that so many of us go through, and in this episode of the Get Your GOAL podcast, I've got the answers for why you get off track and what you can do about it!
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Meet Your Host

Mindset expert and certified life coach Pahla B knows a thing or two about changing your mind to change your weight and your life. She’s the creator of The 5-0 Method, Amazon-best selling author of the book “Mind Over Menopause,” and former yo-yo dieter who has cracked the code on lifelong weight maintenance. Join Pahla B each week for the personal insights, transformative mindset shifts, and science-backed body advice that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.