3 Things I Stopped Doing When I Lost Weight For the Last Time

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I know there are plenty of things you’re looking forward to doing when you finish losing weight, but have you ever thought about what you’ll stop doing? Ever since I lost weight for the last time in my 50s, I’ve noticed these three surprising things that I just don’t do anymore. And today, I’m sharing them with you.

Let’s paint a picture of what life looks like when you’re not just done losing weight, but really, truly, and absolutely finished. 

These three things I’m sharing with you today didn’t just magically disappear from my life the day I hit my goal weight. In fact, they took a full ‘nuther year or two after I’d lost the weight before I finished untangling my mindset.

So, each one of these three things that I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time represents the mindset work, the untangling of old thoughts, beliefs, and neural pathways, that I did while I was losing weight and in the years since then.

Are you ready to see what’s waiting for you on the other side of losing weight? Let’s dig in!

Transcript

I know there are plenty of things you’re looking forward to doing when you finish losing weight, but have you ever thought about what you’ll stop doing? Ever since I lost weight for the last time in my 50s, I’ve noticed these three surprising things that I just don’t do anymore. And today, I’m sharing them with you. Hello, hello, my lovely ambitious GOALfriend, and welcome to the podcast. This is a really fun one today – I want to paint you a picture of what life looks like when you’re not just done losing weight, but really, truly, and absolutely finished. And in making that distinction, I want to be really clear that these three things I’m sharing with you today didn’t just magically disappear from my life the day I hit my goal weight. In fact, they took a full ‘nuther year or two or three after I’d lost the weight before I finished untangling my mindset. Because yes, this is a mindset podcast, so of course I’m gonna talk about mindset stuff. First, a brief lesson. The reason we do anything – or, in this case, stop doing things – is because we have a thought. That thought creates a feeling, and then that feeling drives our actions. Or inactions. So, each one of these three things that I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time represents the mindset work, the untangling of old thoughts, beliefs, and neural pathways, that I did while I was losing weight and in the years since then. Let’s dig in, shall we? Here are three things I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time. Thing Number One that I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time (and by the way, these are in no particular order, just a random list in the order that I thought of them) was that I stopped hanging onto bigger clothes “just in case.” After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and gaining and losing weight, I vividly remember the day I gave away my last pair of fat jeans. Up until that point, when I had given away larger-sized clothing, I had broken out in a cold sweat, wondering if I was going to regret my decisions. I wanted, desperately, to believe that I’d never need them again, but how could I be sure? What if I gained it all back? What if this was just another brief stop at the thin station before the train went back to Chonkyville? These were the kind of worries I had rattling around in my head on repeat. Until one day, I actually stopped and listened to them and realized what I was doing to myself. Here’s something super interesting that our brains do. Any time you ask yourself a question, your brain considers it and answers it, but not consciously. Just subconsciously. So every time I was asking myself those questions, there was an answer I wasn’t hearing. How can I be sure I won’t need these clothes again? I can’t be! What if I gain all the weight back? I probably will. What if I’m only this weight for a little while? I’ll be so disappointed in myself. Omg, no wonder I felt so terrible giving my clothes away! I was literally telling myself that I can’t be sure of myself, I’ll probably gain the weight back and then I’ll feel super disappointed. Thankfully, the mindset shift on this one was really simple: ask better questions. Whenever my brain wanted to spin out into the terrible-feeling “what if”s, I just asked a different question. What if I never need these jeans again? Then it would be foolish to hang onto them. What if somebody else could really use a good pair of cute jeans? Somebody definitely can. What if I buy myself something else that fits and looks good? That would be amazing. The day I gave away my last pair of larger-sized jeans, I felt SO good, so generous and relaxed, because I changed my mindset about hanging onto old clothes. Thing Number Two that I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time, was that I stopped worrying about what I was eating. I used to have a lot of food rules. And, to be fair, I still do, because I’m a picky eater. Please don’t ever serve me olives or strawberries. Yuck. And yes, I know so many of you are like, “How do you not like strawberries?” I know. I just don’t. They’re gross. But that’s not the kind of food rules I’m talking about here. You know the ones I mean, where you have two very distinct columns in your mind, and they’re labeled “Good For Weight Loss” and “Bad For Weight Loss.” In the so-called good column is every bland, boring, and tasteless food on the planet. And in the bad column is everything delicious that you love to eat. It sucks, right? Well, not right. The science is incredibly clear that it’s not what you eat, it’s how much. And even more importantly than that, it’s what you believe. And you know what I believe in? Pizza. I love pizza. It is my absolute favorite food, and I’m always willing to eat it. Even all those years I was yo-yo dieting. Yeah, I had food rules about what was “fattening,” but even at my most restrictive, I didn’t say no to eating pizza. And I still lost weight! So I got curious about that this last time around. What was I telling myself about eating pizza that made it so easy to eat it *and* lose weight? The answer was this really simple thought: I want that. Inflection is important here, so if you’re reading the transcript, I want you to “hear” that sentence in a way that sounds really solid, and grounded, and certain. There was no wishy-washy-ness, no question mark at the end of it. “I want that? I want that pizza?” No. I want that. And the thing that’s really interesting, is that I had that exact same thought about losing weight: I want that. Having such decisiveness about both the pizza and the weight loss is what made it incredibly easy to eat pizza in portion sizes that produced weight loss. And once I figured that out, I asked myself the oh-so-brilliant question, “What if I can lose weight eating all the foods I love?” Spoiler alert: I could. And so can you. It’s not the food, it’s the feeling. Of belief. Certainty. Solidity. Groundedness. Calm. Tapping into that mindset meant that I could stop worrying about what I was eating. There’s no more fretting or second-guessing myself. I know what I want. Thing Number Three that I stopped doing when I lost weight for the last time was that I stopped listening to other peoples’ opinions of what I should do. Haha. Not in the grand scheme of things, I’m still working on that. But about food, and about weight loss, and my body, and exercise, and menopause – I’ve absolutely stopped listening to other peoples’ opinions of what I should do. Here’s where being a picky eater has actually been a bonus in my life. I don’t know how many diets you’ve been on, but I’ve been on a lot. Like… a LOT. And there has literally never been a diet that didn’t try to require me to eat some food that I can’t stand the smell of. It’s usually the very first meal of the very first day, because every diet ever wants you to eat some gross fruit for breakfast. Blueberries, or grapefruit, or – heaven forbid – strawberries. Ugh. That is a hard pass for me. I mean, no matter how much I have wanted to lose weight, I’ve never been willing to eat foods I don’t like. So, I’ve had this helpful thought in my brain ever since I went on my first diet at nine years old: that doesn’t apply to me. And again, for my transcript readers, inflection matters. There’s nothing sad or defeated or whiny or complain-y about that sentence, like, “Oh, poor me, this diet doesn’t apply to me.” No, it’s a sentence that really firmly closes the door on whatever was suggested to me, while also gently opening another door of, “So, what do I want to do instead?” When I lost weight in my late 30s by doing the whole “eat less and move more” thing, I really did think I had everything figured out. I honestly thought that was the last time I would want to lose weight, and I had closed all the doors to everything weight loss, body, food, or fitness-related. And then perimenopause came knocking on my door and flung it wide open again. Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what applied to me and what didn’t. What I’d been doing stopped working (and in fact, caused me to gain weight), so everything was up for grabs. It was a rough couple of years. Every day, I was on the internet, looking for solutions to my problem. And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but there are a lot of opinions on the internet. And they all conflict with each other! This one says I should fast for 16 hours, that one says I should cut carbs, this one says I need to be lifting heavy. How do I pick? What do I do? It seemed to take forever, but slowly but surely, I worked my way through my options and found what worked for me. Not coincidentally, what worked for me was The 5-0 Method, which is my free weight loss guide for women over 50. There are five things that applied to me, and they’ll apply to you, too: managing your mindset by listening to your thoughts and feeling if they’re helpful, eating to fuel your body instead of starving or stuffing it, plus hydrating, resting, and moving in ways that support your menopausal metabolism. Briefly, let me address the question I know you have: WHY are fasting or cutting carbs or lifting heavy bad choices? They’re not bad. They’re just not related to weight loss. Fasting has been shown to have some health benefits, but it doesn’t drive weight loss. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t fast, it just means that you still have to understand your body’s caloric needs. Cutting carbs might be beneficial for some people with some health concerns, but it doesn’t drive weight loss. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t cut carbs, it just means that you still have to pay attention to your total number of calories. And lifting heavy is fantastic for your menopausal muscles and bones, but it doesn’t drive weight loss. And again, this doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t lift heavy, it just means that you’ll need to understand your body’s energy and recovery needs. So item by item, I closed doors. Restriction? Doesn’t apply to me. Eating foods I don’t like? Still doesn’t apply to me and never will. Overworking my body? Doesn’t apply to me. Beating myself up? Doesn’t apply to me. Eating less and moving more? So long, old friend, you used to apply to me, but you don’t anymore. As I found routines and habits that felt lovely and sustainable, I shifted my mindset away from confusion and overwhelm, and closed all the doors to all the well-meaning but wrong-for-me advice. Other peoples’ opinions about what I should do don’t apply to me. My dear overthinking GOALfriend, let me summarize this episode for you like this: the path to permanent weight loss after menopause is paved by asking yourself good questions. What if this works out in my favor? What do I truly want? and What works for ME? This is the kind of self-inquiry (and yes, I’m talking about journaling!) that takes you everywhere you want to go. Download The 5-0 Method to get started with simple journaling prompts, and then, when you’re ready, come join the Get Your GOAL monthly membership, where you’ll learn how to harness the power your brain-body connection to… you guessed it, get your goal. 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 review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired July 11, 2024
I know there are plenty of things you’re looking forward to doing when you finish losing weight, but have you ever thought about what you’ll stop doing? Ever since I lost weight for the last time in my 50s, I’ve noticed these three surprising things that I just don’t do anymore. And today, I’m sharing them with you.

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.