Ep. 308: 6 Things I’ve Learned About Weight Loss

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Let’s celebrate SIX YEARS of the Get Your GOAL (formerly Fitness Matters and formerly formerly Let’s RUN) podcast with a list of six things I’ve learned about weight loss.

I’ve been a fitness professional for almost a dozen years now, so you might think I already had it all figured out when I started this podcast on October 3, 2017.


Back then, I was just a young 47-year old who had barely entered perimenopause and was still running ultramarathons for fun. My, how the years (and helping thousands of women over 50 lose weight!) have changed my weight loss philosophy.

Six Things I’ve Learned About Weight Loss:

  • Exercise doesn’t make you lose weight
  • Your body has a lot of information, but you might not be listening
  • You can eat what you want without feeling guilty
  • It takes as long as it takes
  • Un-remembering old mottos is tough
  • Your body only goes where your mind goes first

Join me for a fun look back at six years of podcasting, and a practical look forward to YOUR weight loss journey!


Hello, my friends. I don't know that it sounded really weird when I said that, but we're just gonna stick with it because welcome to episode number 308. You guys, 6 things I've learned about weight loss. So remember last week, maybe you don't. If this is your 1st episode, I don't always start them quite like this. This feels a little bit shaky. I don't know why exactly. No. I do know why. I have notes in front of me. I'm ready to talk to you about this, but I have not fully formulated all of the stories that I'm gonna tell you because we're gonna talk about 6 years of podcasting and all the 6 things that I've learned, which is I've learned more than 6 things. But I narrowed it down to 6 things that I've learned in the 6 years that I've been podcasting. And anyway, last week, I said to you, oh, it's not coming up for a while, the 6th year anniversary, and then I went and looked. It was October 3rd of 2017. So last week would have been completely appropriate for me to have had some kind of 6 year anniversary episode. So here we are. And you know what? If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about me, I don't know what does. Truly, this is how I run things. I'll have something in my mind. I kinda think I know what I'm doing, I'll go with it. And then I'll, like, look and get some corroboration, and it's like, oh, I could have done that differently. Here's what I have really learned in six years of podcasting, and 12 years of being a fitness coach, weight loss coach, menopause coach, life coach. I had learned that I can just get moving forward, and I can learn things along the way. And if that isn't like the meta takeaway for you today, I don't know what is because it's not even one of the things that I have learned. Let's talk about the 6 things that I have learned about weight loss. And number 1. So I went back and looked at the very first episode, and I have a link for you in the show notes. I did not watch it. I was like, oh, there's no way. There is no way I wanna see poor, uncomfortable Pahla on camera. She'd already been on camera for quite a few years at that point. I started doing YouTube. I mean, kind of doing YouTube in 2012. I really started doing it in 2013. So for 2017, I actually felt really comfortable on camera, but I vividly remember 2 things that I vividly remember in October of 2017. In October 2017, I was all kinds of mess. I had just finished doing 100 days in a row of workouts, which was exhausting. And I was also what would that have been in October? That would have been 4 months into the 6 months of my sister being diagnosed with cancer and dying. So my sister was very, very ill when I started the podcast. And I vividly remember that I started the podcast to stay busy. Like, I was not a mindset coach at all then. I definitely subscribed to that whole, like, let's just stay busy and pretend like this isn't happening sort of a thing. Didn't work out well for me, just so you know. But I vividly remember starting this podcast because I really wanted to talk about running. Like, it was all I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about running. I wanted to be a running coach. I was so excited to talk more about running because I had started the YouTube channel, and really, I had started my fitness business wanting to work with runners. It was all I wanted to do in the whole world. I just wanted to work with athletes who wanted to do strength training in addition to their running. So I remember when I first started. When I first started my in-home personal training business, I used to print out flyers and go put them on cars. You know how that happens if you have ever done something like a 5 k race? You know how you'll come back out to your car and you'll have 27 flyers? That was me. I was putting flyers on cars. I did that for at least the 1st 6 months, maybe even a year because I did not have a lot of clients right away. But I really, in my mind, thought for sure that I was gonna work with triathletes or runners or people who wanted to run, and I ended up convincing a lot of my in- home personal training clients to run because I want to work with runners, but they didn't naturally want to. Interestingly, my very first client ever, which was not a paying client, but my very first client ever was my mother who at the time must have been oh my gosh. If that was 12 years ago, can I do math? No. I cannot. She would have been almost 70. She would have been almost 70 years old 12 years ago, and I had no idea how to work with somebody that age. Now I do, and thank goodness for my mother for that. Working with her totally changed my whole trajectory of who I thought I was gonna work with and what I thought I was gonna do. I mean, that and the people who responded ended up being, let's see. My best friend was, like, my second well, no. Okay. My sister was my 2nd client, and then my best friend was my 3rd client. And then and then my 1st stranger client, the 1st person who called me off of the Internet was a woman in her fifties because she just really wanted to work out at home, maybe you know a little something about this. She really didn't wanna go to a gym and have some 30 year old telling her what to do. She was 42 year old, 41 year old, 12 years ago. God, I am doing way too much math on camera today. Anyways, I was very young. I went to her house, and I was still just a little bit kinder and gentler than basically anybody she was gonna find in a gym. So quite a few of my first clients because then my first stranger client who wasn't a stranger for very long. I loved her. Oh my god. She was so amazing. So wonderful. I ended up working with almost everybody in her family. I worked with her mother. I worked with her mother-in-law. I worked not really with her daughter, but her daughter ended up being a personal trainer and then a life coach also. So she and I kind of masterminded business for a while. I ended up working with her son. I helped him run quite a few half marathons and even ultra marathons. I worked with her daughter-in-law, her son's wife who wasn't even wasn't even on the radar when I first started working. I worked with everybody in their family. They're so dear to my heart. So in any event, where I'm going with this is that I have learned a lot about working with women of a certain age. I've learned a lot about weight loss, but I came to this podcast, and I came to my personal training with this idea that I was just gonna talk about fitness. Because I got my fitness certification to talk about fitness, and then everybody I worked with wanted to lose weight. So on this very first episode of the Let's Run podcast, because that's what it used to be called. It was the Let's Run podcast, and then it was the fitness matters podcast. And now, of course, it's a Get Your Goal podcast, which sounded just like gold, and that's not what I was trying to say. It's the Get Your Goal podcast for the transcriptionist who probably wrote get your gold. But I vividly remember being super nervous to talk about weight loss for the longest time on YouTube. In fact, I resisted talking about weight loss for well, if I got there, in 2012, and I started doing actual weight loss workouts in, like, 2019. Yeah. I mean, it took me no. 2020 was when I think I really, really leaned in because that's when I actually did my 1st 30 day series was in 2020. Yeah. So it took me a long time to really say, you know what? This is what I'm doing. Here we go. So in this very first episode of Let's Run podcast, there was a lot of intro. But in the very first episode, the question is, why do you run? And so that was my whole conversation about why do you run, and then I talked about the reasons why I run. And apparently, what I said was, because it's in the show notes, I run to lose weight. And I read that today, and I was just like, I'm rolling my eyes. If you were only listening to the podcast, I assume you could hear me verbally rolling my eyes right now, but I rolled my eyes when I read that because I was like, oh, sweet Pahla. I was trying so hard to, like, talk to my audience and say what they wanted to hear, but I have always known, thing number 1, 6 things I've learned about weight loss. Thing number 1 is that exercise doesn't make you lose weight. It doesn't. Running doesn't make you lose weight. It does not. It doesn't create the caloric deficit. The thing that you have control of is eating in a caloric deficit. Exercise just feels good. It feels wonderful. In the 5-0 method, which is now this thing that I do, my free weight loss program where I have figured out a thing or two. I have done some of the science backed research. I have worked with thousands of women. Now I got weight loss down. Then I didn't really know. I was still kinda doing the whole, well, exercise is good. Maybe you can burn fat. It's something I always knew that that one was a lie too. That myth has been so debunked for so many years. That wasn't even a thing 6 years ago. People are still trying to sell you on that one, but it's not true. Exercise does not make you lose weight. Exercise is just for funsies. It's for your health. It's for your fitness, but it does not create weight loss. The number 1 driver of weight loss is believing you can. And then after you believe that you can, and that it's available to you and that you are capable of it, eating in a slight caloric deficit over time. Exercise. Well, frankly, here in menopause land, exercise can be the reason why you have gained weight. Isn't that crazy? I'm still wrapping my brain around it. My brain still needs the reassurance of science. I have bookmarked several of the research abstract. That's the word. Several of the research abstracts that I have looked at that are like, yeah. We don't know why, but menopausal women just react to exercise really differently than premenopausal women, they need more recovery. And that if you're exercising too much, it creates a stress response in your body and stress response weighted cortisol creates belly fat. My friend, you could be over exercising yourself into your menopausal belly fat. Okay. Thing number 2, it takes as long as it takes. I know I know when I very first came to personal training and fitness training I was like, okay. Let's set a SMART goal. Let's put a date on this. And I learned very quickly because I felt this way myself that putting a date on it doesn't necessarily help. Now I have a caveat for you, a couple of caveats. First of all, number 1, what I'm not saying here is, I'm not saying just be patient. No. Don't be patient with it. You are welcome to be a scientist. You are welcome to pay attention, collect your data, change 1 variable if it looks as though you need to really pay attention, but also let your body do what your body is going to do in the amount of time that it takes. Especially here in menopause, it really takes us a while to unlearn some of the things we think we know about weight loss. So your body might not be prepared for this. There's a very good chance that you are coming to weight loss by over exercising and undereating, and it's gonna take a while to even get you to the baseline before you even know if you're losing weight. So it takes as long as it takes, and the pressure that we put on ourselves sometimes by setting some kind of arbitrary deadline or even some kind of, like, reasonable deadline can actually be the problem. When your brain feels so much pressure, AKA stress, AKA creating cortisol in your body, that can actually be the problem. It could be the reason why your weight loss is so, and I'm gonna put our quotes around this, slow. Your weight loss is taking as long as it takes. Your body is doing what it can with the amount of inputs that you are giving it, including your belief. Thing number 3 that I have learned about weight loss in the last 6 years is that your body has a lot of information, but you might not be listening. And my friend, I do not say this with any element of finger wagging. This was me too. This was totally me. Oh my gosh. For the longest time, I was listening to my body, and I kind of was filling in the blanks. I thought I knew what my body was telling me about so many things. Turns out, she had new information for me that I wasn't listening to when I fully hit menopause, which was within the past 6 years when I'm well. Technically speaking, I'm still not fully menopausal TMI. You're welcome for it. But when I was fully perimenopausal and my body was really starting to change and things were really starting to work differently than they had been for the previous 12 years. I wasn't listening. I didn't wanna know. I didn't want to hear then I was getting burnt out. I didn't want to see that I was gaining weight. I didn't want anything to do with any of it, and you might be doing that same thing. If I could go back in time, this is probably the thing that I would pay the most attention to with my first clients, women of a certain age. They would tell me one thing, and I didn't have any experience being in a menopausal body, and so I didn't know what their signals were like. They would say things like I'm not hungry, and it took them at their word. My friend, you have probably lost your hunger cues. It happens to the best of us. When we are just continuing on doing that same old thing that we've been doing, our body reacts the way our body's supposed to react, which is to say that it shuts some things down and your metabolism kind of slows down and starts doing different things. If you are still over exercising and undereating, you have probably lost your ability to know what tiredness really feels like or what hunger really feels like, and it's time to just get back in tune with that. Like, sitting still and taking the time to not listen to your brain, which is so much louder than your body, and really tune in. What do my shoulders feel like? Are they tense? Are they up around my ears? I could not think of that word either. Really struggling with my vocabulary today. Thank you for being with me along on this ride, my friends. What do your shoulders feel like? What does your chest feel like? What does your stomach feel like? What do your intestines feel like? What does your body feel like, like general malaise or energy level? Really taking the time to think about your physical sensations versus, I think I should go for a run right now. That's not your body talking. I promise you. That's not your body. Your body has information for you, but she's whispering. She's handing it to you in quiet ways that you've learned to ignore. And it's time now that you'd like to lose weight to learn how to hear what she's saying in her language instead of the language that's between your ears, my friend. Oh, I love this one. Here is something that it took me a long time to figure out, and I have learned it within the past 6 years. You can eat what you want without feeling guilty, and I mean that in every way that you might hear it. You can eat what you want because what you eat doesn't affect weight loss. My friends, what you eat affects your health and your satiety or fullness. It does not create weight loss. What creates weight loss is eating in a slight caloric deficit over time. All foods have calories. You can overeat or undereat with healthy foods the same way that you can overeat or undereat with junk foods, what feels different in your body with junk food is that you will probably be more hungry if you feel it, and you will probably be more sluggish. And over time, you could have other health markers. I mean, if you're, you know what? I'm not even gonna get into that because that's not the point of what I'm saying here. What I'm saying is that the quality of your food does not create weight loss. The quantity of your food creates weight loss. And you can eat what you want because you're in control of your portion sizes. This was the thing that was okay. Back when I first started when I was 47 and my metabolism was still running at premenopausal levels. Oh my gosh. I could exercise a lot and I could eat a lot. What I have learned in the last several years is that my portion sizes have changed. What I eat actually hasn't changed a lot, and honestly, even the quantity of it hasn't changed really significantly. I've sort of met in the middle. I've brought my exercise way down and am okay. Okay, let me tell you the whole story because otherwise this isn't gonna make very much sense. When my body was working, like, in a premenopausal way, I was eating a lot. I was eating to fuel all of my exercise. Then I started going into, like, real perimenopause where I started putting on some weight, and so I thought to myself, I should move more and eat less. So I started eating less in an effort to lose weight. And I was already exercising a lot, so I didn't I didn't necessarily try to exercise more, but I definitely tried to eat less. So I got myself down to this point where I had absolutely no hunger cues. I was eating very little, and I was gaining weight. This is why I tell you this all the time. I've lived that part of the equation. I have really fully embodied the whole eat less, move more, causes you to gain weight. So at one point in time, I was eating more than I eat now. At another point in time, when I was trying to lose weight, but not losing weight, but actually gaining weight. I was eating rather significantly less than now, and now I'm, like, somewhere here in the middle. So over those 3 different areas, I have changed my portion sizes to fit what, okay, what I thought was gonna help me lose weight, and now what I know is helping me maintain exactly the way I want to. So you can eat whatever you want because you are in control of portioning it to fit your calorie target. And, also, probably the most important part of this, you don't ever have to feel guilty because your food doesn't create your feelings. Your brain does. Your thoughts create your feelings every single time. So if you think about food, like, I can eat what I want and truly believe that, like, actually believe in a way that feels really good in your body. Not just like trying to pretend like you don't feel guilty, well, like, actually not feeling guilty. I don't feel guilty for any of the food that I eat. I love the food that I eat. I feel fantastic about the quantities that I eat it in and how much of it is healthy and how much of it is definitely not. I eat for both my mental and physical health, and I pay attention to both of those. You can eat what you want without feeling guilty, my friend. Thing number 5 that I have learned about weight loss in the last 6 years of podcasting is that unrememembering old mottos is tough. When I came to fitness work before I was a weight loss coach, when I was a fitness coach, I can't tell you how many people I said eat less and move more. True. I'm so embarrassed about it now because I didn't know. And you heard it your whole life. Me too. All that stuff about no pain, no gain, or sweat is fat crying, or pain is weakness leaving your bite. All those horrible, horrible mottos that might have been, I'm gonna say motivating, not really, the kind of motivating ish when you were, like, in your thirties, maybe even into your early forties, now they're just absolute nonsense. Like, it's not true. Pain is pain. Sweat is sweat. Fat doesn't cry. None of it is true, especially the whole eat less and move more thing. But every now and again, I will notice myself. When somebody will ask me a question about, you know, what should I adjust? Should I do this? Should I do that? Sometimes I will hear my brain mean like, well, maybe she's eating too much. My friend, I can't tell you almost none of you are eating too much. I know some of you are like, no. No, Pahla. I'm definitely eating too much. Yeah. Not as many of you are eating too much as are eating way too little. It's not the problem that you are eating too much. And if that is, what I will offer you is that even then, that motto of eat less and move more is not your friend. Finding what feels right is the way to go. And I really need to come up with some kind of actually rhyming way of saying that. I mean, I have a couple of, like, very things now. You know? Number 1 is believing that you can. Number 2 is you need a slight caloric deficit over time. I've turned some of my isms into things that I can repeat very easily, but I gotta. Well, I'll see what I can do about something that rhymes and feels really good. Anyways, number 6. Number 6 is actually the most important one. I didn't wanna leave with this one because I wanna leave you with it because your body only goes where your brain goes first. My friend, here is the thing that I did not understand 6 years ago. I understood it with fitness, but I really didn't get it with weight loss. Your body will do exactly what you believe, and paying attention to what you believe is the thing that gets you where you wanna go. You can set goals and put yourself on a plan all day every day, but if you don't believe it first, I don't wanna say it'll be impossible to get there. It's very nearly impossible. It's so close to impossible that I will say impossible because your brain is the leader here. Your brain and your body have to talk together. Your brain and your body work together. I'm not saying ignore your body. I'm definitely not saying ignore your body, but I'm also not saying ignore your brain. When you're trying to squash down the bad feelings or you're trying to squash down all the cheetah chatter in your brain, you gotta listen to that because that is exactly where you're headed. Where your brain is, what your brain is thinking is where you are going. Paying attention to what your brain is saying and then helping your brain and your body work together is the way to get to the weight you want. My friends, that was me rubbing my hands together for those of you who are listening to the podcast. That was not ASMR even though I did that really close to the microphone. Thank you so much. Thank you so much to those of you who have been with me for all 6 years. Oh my gosh. Six years of podcasting. 308 episodes. Thank you. Thank you so much for always being here. Talk to you again soon. Thanks for listening. Be sure to leave a rating and review so other women of a certain age can stop struggling with the scale and start loving their menopausal bodies. And if you're ready to change your mindset while you're changing your weight, then it's time to get into the Get Your Goal Mastermind group, where you'll find my proven success formula, answers to your questions, expert coaching, and the community support you've been looking for. You don't need to lose weight alone when you can have fun and level up your mindset with friends. With weekly coaching calls, live journaling classes, and access to the tools and strategies I've used to help thousands of women lose weight for the last time. The Get Your Goal group is the place for you to Get Your Goal. Learn more about group membership at www.getyourgoal.com, and I'll see you inside the group.

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

Originally aired October 8, 2023
Let’s celebrate SIX YEARS of the Get Your GOAL (formerly Fitness Matters and formerly formerly Let’s RUN) podcast with a list of six things I’ve learned about weight loss.
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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.