Episode 22: Forgiving Ourselves and Moving On
It is not your relationship with food that determines whether you can stick to a program, lose weight or accomplish your goals. It is your relationship with yourself that determines any and all success that you have. Nothing ever good comes from hating yourself. In this episode I continue Episode 2's topic on mindset, and explore self-forgiveness as one of the pivotal tools to your success. Learn to hit your reset button and start again. Don't ever give up. You are worth the journey. This week's actionable COACHING ADVICE is your first intensive look at how to write your OWN roadmap to diet success.
1:11. Personal story
3:11. The power of forgiving yourself
4:13. Recognize that the past is the past
7:22. What mistakes are we making?
8:44. Why are we making these mistakes?
10:53. What is the cost of making these mistakes?
11:55. Calling out a new way
14:11. Give yourself some grace and a redo because you can reach your dreams
14:47. This week's actionable COACHING ADVICE
18:43. This week's VFO (Valuable Free Offer)
19:48. Episode 23, coming up
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Book
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Course
THIS WEEK'S VFO: The Brilliance of Chocolate Cake
Additional VFO: Working with Your Hunger Scale
Breaking Free From Diet Prison Facebook page
Roadmap To Diet Success Instagram
ACCESS Transcript Here
BLOG: Forgiving Yourself: Buddha's Second Arrow
OTHER: Lisa Nichols
Episode #: 22. Forgiving Ourselves and Moving On
You’re Listening to the Roadmap to Diet Success Podcast, Episode #22, Forgiving Ourselves, and Moving On.
Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Breaking Free From Diet Prison, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl!
Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or services, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!
1:11 Personal Story
In Episode #2, Mindset, I shared the Buddha’s parable of The Second Arrow. The story goes as follows: A person is walking through a forest and gets struck by an arrow, which causes great pain. He asks, “Should I stay here and let myself get struck by another arrow?” The first arrow is the circumstance, which we often cannot control. The second arrow is our reaction to it. We often hear that “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” If you get struck by an arrow, do you then shoot another arrow into yourself or allow others to?
This is what happens over and over again when we are following a food plan, “fall off the wagon,” and then continue to shoot one arrow after another into our hearts and souls. The second arrows come with the messages: “I’m stupid,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’ll never get this right,” “This is too hard,” “I’m too lazy,” “I’m not worthwhile,” “I hate myself.” STOP IT WITH THE SECOND ARROWS! No matter how perfectly you follow a food plan, you are, at one time or another going to get struck with that first arrow – maybe many different times. It’s painful. Get up, move on and don’t suffer. Learn your lessons and be grateful that we all get a second chance. Make your next best decision. We are worthy of those retakes.
In that episode I spoke at length about my own experience of forgiving myself by reading you the last chapter of my book, Breaking Free From Diet Prison. I encourage you to go back and listen to that episode if you have not already done so.
3:11 The Power of Forgiving Yourself
It is not your relationship with food that determines whether you can stick to a program (any program), lose weight or accomplish your goals. It is your relationship with yourself that determines any and all success that you have. Nothing ever good comes from hating yourself.
4:13 Recognize that the past is the past
No, my friend, it has been all the programs that you have tried that have not been the success. You are fine. I know it is important for us to take responsibility for our actions and decisions, but sometimes the program, while good for someone else, might not be the best choice we can make for ourselves.
You are a success just for trying again and not giving up. Along your journey you just haven’t been given the correct roadmap to get you to where you need to go.
Think of it this way. You and a friend are both driving from Boston to California. But you have relatives in Buffalo, Chicago and Denver that you want to visit. Your friend wants to make stops in Las Vegas and Yellowstone. You need different roadmaps to get to your destination. Or maybe you want to go to California and she wants to go to Florida. Again, totally different roadmaps. Or, if you forgive one more analogy, you want to go by car so you can meander and take side trips, and she has always dreamed of making the trip by air and getting right to where she wants to go. This roadmap analogy could go on with dozens of different routes and configurations, but the point I am making is that not every route or transportation method fits everyone. Sometimes your lack of success with a diet has been that the diet doesn’t fit YOU, it’s not that something is wrong with you.
But if you hate yourself, are disappointed in yourself or have low expectations of ever getting out of this prison, why would you even bother?
Forgiving yourself is the very first step on your journey to success and escape out of diet prison. Understand that there are 10,000 ways to get to California. Understand what Thomas Edison said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He also said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time,” and “Results! Why man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
Be as resilient and open-minded as Thomas Edison. Forgive yourself and move on. Try one more time.
7:22 What mistakes we making?
· We make the mistake of giving up too soon. We live in an instant and immediate gratification culture. Although you don’t want to stick with something that isn’t working, make sure you give it enough time. Personally, I know almost instantly if something isn’t for me – usually by the end of the first day – and in that case, I don’t beat a dead horse. But other times I know – or hope – something will work out and I understand that there is a learning curve, and I stick with it.
· But when we don’t realize that a program is not just a good fit or there is inherently something stupid about it, we don’t put it aside soon enough. Instead, we think that the fault is in ourselves and so when there is inevitable failure, we blame ourselves, not the program or the fact that the program is not a good fit.
· We make the mistake of thinking that we are failures that something does not work out. We see these failures as moral issues. We see these failures as a failure of our own character, intelligence or integrity.
8:44 Why are we making these mistakes?
· We make these mistakes because, well, the diet industry has pounded that into us.
· One industry research outlet has valued the diet industry to be $72.4 billion in 2021. Do you think that there would be any profit in shining a light on the failure of the industry? Instead, people keep buying and enrolling because we are encouraged to believe it is our failure, and that maybe the next best diet IS out there, just waiting for us, if we would only do it right the next time.
· We make the mistakes because these diets market success and make us feel that if only we could get it right or see it through, we would be a success too. Look at any diet site or Facebook page and look at the success stories. We are made to feel that if only we weren’t flawed, we could be a success story too.
· We make the mistake because even when a diet plan or eating style is inherently healthy for us by backing up their claims with data, they neglect to work with their followers by admitting that sometimes the food can’t fix it all. We still have triggers, cravings, urges and habits that bring us right back to where we started. Remember my story about my own “concept cravings?” It didn’t matter if the food was the right kind of food – not processed and with healthy ingredients –my visceral reaction to certain food was seeing it as a trigger food. It had nothing to do with ingredients or intentions to do it right this time. No amount of following these diet plans, from plant-based to Keto, will stop the pickles from coming to the surface if the conditions are right.
10:53 What is the cost of making these mistakes?
· The cost is we give up. It can’t be the diet itself, can it? It has to be us.
· The cost is we beat ourselves up for giving up. We feel worse. We can slip into feeling unworthy of even trying one more time.
· The cost is it gets harder and harder to forgive ourselves, and move on.
· The cost is “lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate” LASHATAY OH-NEE SPERANZA VO KINTRANTAY – “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” from Dante’s Inferno. What a horrible way to live, yet the $72B diet industry would be proof that, although we might still have hope that the next diet will be successful, we have abandoned hope that we will find the answers within our own selves. And, the answers are there my friends, they really are.
11:55 I want to call out a new way of doing things
· This week, every time you find yourself telling yourself that you are stupid, or will never get this, or why bother, I want you to hit the reset button. Don’t dwell on the negative. Get out of that hole as fast as you can.
· Self-forgiveness wipes the slate clean and allows you to start again with hope in yourself.
· Lisa Nichols, a wonderful author and motivational speaker has said, when you get to 999, hit the reset button and start again. She is also the one who talks about disrupting the soil and planting new seeds. I love that!
· Hit your reset button and let's start again. How can you restart right now?
· I want you to know that you are worth the journey.
14:11 Give yourself some grace and a redo because you are capable of reaching your dreams.
14:47 HERE IS YOUR ACTIONABLE COACHING ADVICE FOR THIS WEEK:
· Give yourself grace, understand that a lot of what is going on is physical and that you have strong ties to those reactions that send you over the edge with eating. Take heed with the parable of Buddha's Second Arrow and in the lessons about pickles.
· This week I want you to make a list of all the diets and eating styles you have followed. Include everything from the ones that didn’t last a day, to those that might have lasted for years with significant weight loss.
· With that list I want you to answer the following questions. You can even do this by making columns with each item at the top.
o What I liked about the program
o What I didn’t like about the program
o What foods I missed
o How long I stuck with it
o Weight loss, if any
o How conveniently did it fit my day – this one is important!
§ Did it require you to plan but you have no time or don’t like planning?
§ Did it require special foods?
§ Did it require a lot of weighing, measuring and tracking?
§ Did you find that you couldn’t make it work in a natural way, such as eating out or being on the run?
§ Did you find that it totally separated you from family meals?
o Was it ever planned to be long term? In other words, was it an “on a diet” then “off a diet” situation, even though you didn’t think it would be?
o What were good take-aways from what you learned?
o What feelings did you have about yourself when you no longer were following the plan – either when you intentionally stopped or found that you had drifted?
o What pickles kept popping up?
o Were urges and cravings especially strong while following this plan?
· The purpose of this exercise is to make you look, in a clinical manner, at every diet and eating style you have followed, no matter how briefly.
o Are you finding trends, such as it really wasn’t convenient or there were foods you didn’t like or foods you missed?
o Were the restrictions (in quantity or type of food) unsustainable for your likes, dislikes, culture and activities?
o Were cravings, urges and even binges stronger than normal, and almost frightening in some cases?
o Can you see that a lack of long-term success might not have been solely on your shoulders?
· If self-forgiveness has been an issue for you, or if you indeed have abandoned hope, I want you to open your mind to the possibility that you might have been on the correct road with the wrong roadmap, or on the wrong road altogether!
· Turn things around by finding the answers within yourself to this diet dilemma.
o List foods you like, what is convenient for you, what personal traits will work for you (for instance, do you like data and tracking)?
o List foods that you are willing to do without and foods that you would never want to give up.
o List the ways you can address urges and cravings so you are armed when they come up.
o Look at your takeaways and see how you can incorporate them.
· You are going to make your own roadmap, my friends.
· You are going to forgive and move on.
· Make up your mind that you are worth it, you are capable of it, and it will be fun, not torture!
18:43 This week’s VFO (Valuable Free Offer)
This week’s VFO is again, “The Brilliance of Chocolate Cake.”This free guide explains briefly that you have forged neural pathways over many years. If you have not already downloaded it, please do so this week. Understanding the physical nature of why we stumble so often can go a long way in forgiving yourself. You are functioning just the way you are wired to, brilliantly, in fact. I also want to remind you to get the booklet on “Understanding your Hunger Scale” because in it I have an important narrative about forgiving yourself and how overeating is not a moral issue. The links are at miriamhatoum.com/brilliance and Miriamhatoum.com/hunger-scale, and as always, the direct links are in the show notes and transcript.
19:48 Next week’s episode
Next week’s episode is about stopping negative self-talk. We have 10,000 thoughts a day (or so the researchers say). Not all of them are constructive, but they don’t have to be destructive either. A lot of times the thoughts are just in continuous loops going nowhere. We are going to work on diminishing the negative self-talk and find a way for our thoughts to help us get to where we want to go.
So go share the show with your friends, let them know that’s coming up in the next episode, and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Roadmap to Diet Success.
And, if you like what you hear, please like and subscribe, and remember to leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast. It helps other people find the show. Also, don’t be a stranger. Come on over to my Facebook page, Breaking Free from Diet Prison, and let me know if there is anything you would like to see on the show.
Until then, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time.