You’ve been struggling to lose weight for a while now, but you feel like you are in a constant rollercoaster ride where you keep losing and gaining the same pounds over and over again.
So, you start wondering: “What is the problem with me? Why do I keep falling off the wagon every time I start getting results? Is there something wrong with me? Maybe I should give up.”
If that sounds familiar, the good news is that there is nothing wrong with you, and if you think about giving up, listen to this new Ted Talk episode before making that decision!
Ted Ryce is going to explain why this is happening to you and what you can do about it so that you start getting long-term results and never fall off the wagon again. He will also teach you to navigate the weight loss journey when you have a busy life, how to change your behaviors in order to lose weight, how to manage your stress levels in healthy ways, and much more.
Listen now to learn some effective strategies to get back on track and start seeing real, long-term body transformation results!
- How to navigate the weight loss journey when you have a busy life
- Changing your behaviors in order to lose weight
- The stages of change model and how to apply it in your fat loss process”
- Stage no. #1: The pre-contemplation phase
- Stage no. #2: The contemplation phase
- Stage no. #3: Determination
- Stage no. #4: Action
- Is obesity the result of food addiction?
- The #1 thing you have to address if you want to avoid relapses in your weight loss process
- The link between stress and obesity
- Stress and unhealthy habits
- How to manage your stress levels in healthy ways
- Effective strategies to get back on track and start seeing results
- And much more
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Podcast Transcription: Help! I Keep Falling Off The Wagon Of My Health Journey
Ted Ryce:Ted Ryce: Have you ever fallen off the wagon of your health journey or your weight loss journey and you look back and you're like, “Oh, my gosh, how did I gain all this weight? How did I go from 10 or 15 pounds less to where I am now, 10 or 15 pounds more? What happened there?
Well, if that's something you ever said to yourself or asked yourself, or if it's something that you want to prevent from ever happening to you, then you want to listen to this podcast today.
What's up, my friend? I'm Ted Ryce, the host of the show. Welcome back to the Legendary Life podcast. I'm a coach to entrepreneurs and busy professionals, and we help create sustainable fat loss, without giving up your favourite foods or staying home and just cooking chicken and broccoli, or doing extreme diets.
But when we're out in the world, trying to create that change for ourselves, it can be challenging. How do you navigate a busy work situation? How do you navigate a busy social life? How do you navigate a busy work situation and a busy social life? Those are the questions, the million-dollar questions, if you will.
Today I was talking with a client, and this client is very interesting. He lost around 40 or 50 pounds with me, and this was years ago. We worked together for while—lost 40 or 50 pounds. He started plateauing, and we felt like, okay, I don't think I can help you anymore, now it's time you work on maintenance.
And about a year later, because I haven't been advertising or taking… I've taken a couple clients, but ever since October of 2020, and actually slightly before that, I've backed off to help my dad, to be there for my dad when his health started tailing. And now this client has come back. He just signed up with me again the other day, and we had our second call today.
And on that second call, we reviewed the three years of data that we have on him. And he started out at 300 pounds when I finally got him to weigh in, and that's after he lost about 20 pounds. We didn't even have a weigh in because that was triggering for him.
And so the first weigh in we have was 300 and we got him all the way down to 260, and now he's back up to 295. And this guy, has got two knee replacements. He's about to be 60 years old. He's got grandchildren and just got a higher paying job, and he's going to be hired to an even higher paying job.
So, he's killing it in a bunch of areas of his life, but with his health…This guy is great at what he does, but with his health, it’s been a struggle. And as we were looking at the ups and downs, the crazy stock market, roller coaster ups and downs of his weight log ins, I asked him, I'm like, “Well, what do you see when you see this journey where you started, the progress, the setbacks, and where you're almost back to where you first got yourself to weigh in, just five pounds away from that?”
And at first of course, he wasn't a big fan. Let's say it's like, “Oh, man, I'm just totally screwing up. I can't believe I'm here again.” The stress was high. And then I brought up something called the stages of change model, something I've talked about, and just to reiterate, there's six stages.
There's pre-contemplation. Let's talk about in terms of weight loss, there's pre contemplate. I'm not thinking about weight loss: croissants are delicious, frappuccinos are my favorite source of coffee. Big Macs are fantastic, and ice cream is sent from heaven.
And then you get into the contemplation phase, you're thinking about it now. You're like, “Ha, you know what? Ice cream is sent from heaven, but I'm having problems moving around. I can't even walk up a flight of stairs without my knee bothering me.” So you're starting to think about, “you know, losing weight would really help with this and probably having pre-diabetic blood sugar levels and high cholesterol and high blood pressure, not going to be good for me.”
Then you start to get determined. You're like, “You know what? I'm doing something about this. I will not accept this any longer.” Then you get to action. You start taking action. You start hitting the gym. You start “eating clean”, maybe cut your carbs, get rid of junk food.
You're like, “Ice cream, I love you, but I'm not going to buy you anymore.” And you're deep and actually you're getting results, but guess what? Guess what comes next? Relapse.
Now the stages of change this, the trans theoretical model or a stages of change model, it's not like it's based on working with people with addiction.
And I want to say, we're not calling obesity…Some people will say like obesity is kind of like almost an addiction to food, right? Just how addicts need to shift their emotional state, or drug addicts, rather, need to shift their emotional state with alcohol or heroin or whatever, crack, whatever, weed, whatever it might be, people use food to shift their emotional states.
And then another thing that's important with this…Now, I don't want to get into this, like, okay, is it obesity an addiction? Because there's a lot of controversial around just, is drug addiction really a brain-cantered disease or is it just a behavioural problem or some combination of the two, which is probably the best answer, but there's something going on there with obesity.
It's almost like this addiction. In fact, one of my clients, Sarah, who lost a hundred pounds with me said, “Listen, I'll never snort meth off the toilet seat because I'm a Christian mom, not going to happen. I don't do drugs, but eating, I’ll eat.”
And she said something else that was really important that I think we all should be aware of, it's socially acceptable to stuff your face. If you're smoking crack or, you know… even getting drunk drinking, it’s socially acceptable. A lot of people don't even view it as a drug. Like, “Oh, I don't do drugs. Hey, by the way, give me another beer.”
But alcohol is so socially acceptable, a lot of people don't even realize it's a drug. Hopefully, kind of beyond that point—hopefully you are—but it's a drug.
And what she said was that people don't say anything. If you get drunk, okay, people are going to say, “Hey, you're drunk, you're acting like an ass. You need to go home. We need to take it home now. We need to call you an Uber.”
But with food, nobody stops you. It doesn't make you crazy when you eat too much, either, you just sit there in pain, so it's socially acceptable. And really interesting about this stages of change model is that some of the studies show that to quit smoking, it takes four to five times going through the stages of change for cigarette smokers to finally kick the habit.
And when I was talking to my client today, I was like, “How does your work think about smokers?” And he said, “Well, no, it's not really…It's not negative, but it's not positive.” And I'm like, “Really? Okay, so they can smoke wherever they want, they can just light up in the office?” “Oh no, they’ve got to go outside, of course.”
So, smokers are forced to live this existence. I mean, if you ever in the airport and you see like the smoking room, it's…And granted, look, if you're still a smoker right now, I'm not trying to make you feel bad about yourself, I'm just trying to draw juxtaposition here.
Look, you're a smart person. You know that cigarette smoking is terrible. It’s like the worst thing you could do for your health? Worse than obesity, worse than probably being sedentary. A little bit of leeway there, right? Depending on how much you smoke versus how much you exercise, but it's one of the worst things you could do for your health. It's linked to all these cancers.
But this thing that we know that is so bad, it's still… and people have to deal with the stigma of cigarette smoking and get packed off into a room in the airport to smoke or have to go outside. It still takes them four to five times to quit.
And obesity is much more socially acceptable. That's what you're up against. Look, there's some things that happen in social media and people say nasty things about people's weight, but the only time that I've really seen, just like, I don't want to even call it discrimination happened, but something similar to what would happen with cigarettes, it’s like, I'm going to be on my way to Orlando soon.
Maybe by the time that this airs, I'll already be there and I'm going to go to Universal Studios, of course, ride the Hulk and Harry Potter roller coasters. And I remember seeing a teenager and they had to have him sit in a chair to see if he was too big to fit on the seats on the ride, and he was, and they couldn't let them on.
So, our society, I mean, only at the extreme levels of obesity, do we step in and say, “Hey, listen, I hate to bring it to you, but you're too big for this to happen.” But otherwise for the actual behaviours that lead there, “Hey, would you like to supersize it. Would you like dessert? Would you like some drinks with that? Would you like a bread basket?”
Our society encourages it, encourages overeating, serving you more food than you need, than is healthy. And everybody's kind of doing it, even me. I mean, you know, I overeat sometimes, I'm able to maintain a lean body fat percentage, but I still overeat. I have to do some things to control—I don't want to call it control the damage, but to rebalance modern life, because that's really what it is, modern life. It's the environment that we're having to fight an uphill battle against.
And so when I was showing this, he started, “Oh, okay. I get it.” And I asked him, “Hey listen, so, when you last relapsed, how long did it take you to get back on the wagon? Get back into the action mode.” He said, “well, I got back in action this time faster than before.” And I said, “well, what does that say about you?” He said, “well, I'm making progress.” I said, ‘that's right, you're making progress.”
Because at first, when I was starting to show him his weight and ask him what he meant, I could feel the stress, he thought I was going to chew him out, he thought I was give him some tough talk, “Hey, don't you know, this is going to injure your life. Or, you know, you have two knee replacements. what are you, stupid? You can't be nearly 300 pounds and stress on your joints like that. It's crazy.”
But he knows all that already, and that's the way he probably talks to himself. And what does that do? It raises his stress levels, which is really important because I want you to pay attention to this next step. If we want to avoid relapses, if we want to—or at least when we relapse get back on track as fast as possible, what do we need?
We need a part of our brain, the CEO of our brain, your prefrontal cortex, the seat of your executive function to be working well. There is a part of your brain that is specifically for controlling your impulses, so you think before acting. It's the part of your brain that keeps your feelings in check.
“I got really stressed when I saw the news about the new variant, and I just needed to eat something.”
Flexibility, “Oh, work got busy, I didn't have time.” Okay, but you just adjust your behaviour.
Working memory, keeping key information in your mind while using it. Self-awareness about how you're doing in the moment, following through with your plans and meeting your goals, taking action to get started on the tasks that you need to do, keeping organized. You need a part of your brain to be working properly to do this and that part of your brain it's your prefrontal cortex. It's your CEO. It's the CEO of your brain.
Any ideas what knocks it out, what makes it not work well? What do you think? First one is stress; stress knocks out that part of your brain. It makes it so you forget what the hell you're doing. It makes it so that you don't remember what you ate or that handful of M&M's you got from Karen's desk.
It makes it so that you can't keep your feelings in check or think before acting or get started on the things that you need to do. My friends, it is all about stress and managing stress. Strategies need to be there for sure, but stress is what stops even the best of strategies from working.
And if you can't regulate yourself, if you can't manage your responses to the world and resist inappropriate behaviour.
Gosh, I had someone arguing with me on Twitter the other day, and it's like don't…And the person, I'm assuming it's a man, Josh, and he was just insulting me. It was just like, “Look, you're insulting me.” And the way he was saying, he's was calling himself intellectually superior. And I was just thinking to myself, you're saying you're intellectually superior, but you literally have two followers.
You have no thumbnail. You don't even tweet at all, so you're just here posting on other people's social media accounts or other people's tweets. What is so intellectually superior about that? Are you here making money? I mean, I'm here running the business and trying to help people make better decisions. What exactly is so intellectually superior by your behaviour right now? Nobody cares. They can't even see your face. He literally has a blank thumbnail.
And when I see behaviour like that, I don't even get mad at it. I didn't even know what to say, because I'm like, should I respond? Should I try to say something clever? Should I try to say something helpful? And I'm just like, you know what, I'm just going to let that one go. I can't save the world, you know? We've got to be able to regulate ourselves. These are core capabilities that all people need to succeed in life. But a lot of us, we just don't develop them.
And by the way, if in early childhood, you were subjected to frequent stress, this has been found to redirect a child's brain development from planning and impulse control towards building the capacity for rapid threat response. So, I'm going to say that again, because I know that's a lot. If you were subjected white guy was—I had a mentally ill mother who was emotionally and physically abusive. It was not a happy place in my home, until my dad ended up divorcing my mother and taking me and my sister away.
So, if you were subjected to frequent stress in your childhood, it directs your brain development away from planning and impulse control towards building the capacity for rapid threat responsible.
What does that mean? Exactly? It means that a happy healthy child is developing: okay, how do I plan things? How do I control my impulses, I don't want to go to bed. I want to eat the cookies. I don't want my vegetables. And one other planning you might do doing your homework, to building the capacity for rapid threat response.
That's why the key to life is managing stress, the key to happy relationships is managing stress, the key to having thriving children, it's managing stress in your house, the key to managing your health, the key to your finances. You know those people who sell their stocks as soon as the market goes down, when they should really just hold because it'll come back up. So that can be something that we're dealing with ever since childhood.
Now in adulthood, when we have excessive stress, it just overloads our ability to use the CEO of our brain and intentionally self-regulate our behaviour. And what happens when we can't intentionally self-regulate ourselves? We're running on automatic, that's what stress does, we run on automatic.
Now, here's the thing, automatic behaviours, that can be okay if you have healthy behaviours that are already automatic. But if you're trying to change your behaviour, if you're going through those stages of change model, and you're trying to create new habits, which by the way, are patterns of neural connections in your brain, and you're just constantly being stressed, you're going to fall back to old habits. That's how it works.
Stress makes you go backwards with your habits; it makes you act like who you were, not who you want to be. Let you think about that for a second. Another thing is that… so I showed him… let me change directions a little bit. Another thing that I did with him is I showed him a client…The technology we use is great. The app that I use for my clients is so great, because we've reduced getting an outcome, in other words, fat-loss, to a series of behaviours done consistently. That's all fat-loss is: a group of behaviours done consistently.
And in my coaching group, what I have people do, really simple, track your calories and workout. It's really that simple. Track your calories, workout. Now do I have some techniques and strategies for both calorie tracking and workout that you're not going to know because of my experience with this, because of helping so many people?
I would have to be a complete idiot not to be excellent at my job, right? It's not that I'm so smart here, by the way. It's just, I've been doing it for nearly 23 years. I better be good. Otherwise, I should probably quit. So anyway, it comes down to those two things, tracking your nutrition, exercise. Are you doing them?
And I showed him, “Hey, listen, here's the calendar. Here's how often you tracked your nutrition. Here's how often you worked out. What can you tell me about that?” Well, what he said was, “Oh, I got a lot to work on,” a little slip there, I guess, for me. And I said, “Yeah, that's true, but what else can you tell me that's positive?”
And he said, “Well, I've been in the program for a couple weeks now and I can already see that I went from only tracking two days that first week to five days. And now I know I'm going to hit every day this week.” “Excellent, so you're improving. And if you do these behaviours, you will get results.”
Now I've already talked in another episode about tracking and how it trains us to think about portion size and food quantitatively versus qualitatively, we’ve already talked about that, so I don't want to rehash that here.
But just to understand, if you're having trouble being consistent with what you know you need to do, it's a stress issue. It's a stress issue. Something is hijacking your brain, taking you away from what you need to do.
Again, stress makes us fall back on who we were, not allowing us to work on who we want to become. So you have to ask yourself, where's that stress coming from? And that's what I asked him, “What are we going to have to say no to, if we say yes to these new behaviours?” It's very simple, folks. Life is way more simple than we than we think it is. And fat-loss is way more simple than we think it is.
You don't need special diets, you don't need to get rid of carbs, or never eat dessert again, or be a weirdo while everybody's out at dinner. They're all eating what they want to eat, but you, you're asking like, “Do you have any keto options on the menu?” You don't have to be that person. I have talked to so many people who keto didn't work out for.
So, it doesn't need to be that way. We need strategies, and we need to manage stress. Tracking calories and lifting weights weekly, tracking calories daily lifting weights weekly, those are two winning strategies, and then managing our stress so that we can show up weekly, it's okay to have a bad week. Oh, I didn't do anything. I didn't track my calories. I didn't exercise at all.
Look, that's going to set you back most likely. But we all have those weeks. Okay, maybe not me. I track no matter what, right now. But I gave up tracking for a little while. Anyway, the point is this: we all have setbacks, and what your job is during that setback, or when you fall off the wagon, it's to bring your stress levels back down somehow.
Now, that's when we get into some complicated self-love issues. It's like, “Well, what can you do to bring your stress down?” “Well, what I usually do is I eat and I watch TV.” “Okay, does that really bring down your stress levels?” “Hmm, I love a good series, and I love food, but I don't rely on those things, because if I'm not solving the root problem of my stress, and I use food to medicate myself to bring down my stress levels, or the soul way to bring down my stress levels, I'm going to get fat and unhealthy. Not going to work, like the way I look, not going to like the way I feel. And it never again solves a root problem.
Watching TV, it's great. I watched the Hawkeye on Disney Plus right now. Don't really love it, but I've kind of watched all the other series that I wanted to see, and so that's what I have left. It's great. But if you're relying on that, again, it's not enough.
What about getting a massage? Oh, I can't afford it. If that's the truth, then maybe your source of trust is financial, maybe you shouldn't be listening to this podcast. Maybe you should be listening to a podcast that will help you with your finances.
Why are you listening to me? Maybe the biggest improvement in your health that you could make is not with this podcast and listening to me or tracking your calories. Maybe it's to handle your financial situation. I know I've been there. I've been living month to month, it sucks. It's stressful. If you can't afford to take care of yourself in the way that you need to, maybe that's where you should be putting your focus. But you still need a way to manage the emotions.
In the meantime, while you're solving the problem, what can you do? Take a bath, walk outside in nature. Now I don't deal with people who struggle financially, I have in the past. Most of my clients don't struggle financially, they struggle because they're making too much money, they're too busy. That's who I mostly deal with.
One of my client’s businesses— shout out to Damon if your listening—went from 300,000 to, I think, it was 60 or 65 million in 10 years. He's busy as hell and his big thing is he needs to manage stress.
I want to give you one more example. I have another client, entrepreneur, has a business that’s crushing it, making money, it's great and busy social life too. But even though the stress is good, it starts to fry your nervous system and you need to recover from it.
Even me, are you kidding me? I love what I do. I'm traveling around the world. I'm doing a podcast. I'm interviewing people, I coach clients, I improve people's lives. My life is awesome. My life is awesome right now. But guess what? It's still stressful. I went to the spa yesterday and hung out with a group of other entrepreneurs, did the sauna, jumped in the cold plunge and stayed there for probably an hour and change.
Because I was fried, I couldn't do any more. So, it doesn't matter if the stress is from success or if it's from struggle, it still starts to become negative after a while, and you've got to handle it. I'm going to get a massage tonight. And I don't say that, to brag to you. I tell you that, because it's how I live my life. It's the lifestyle. I'm not struggling with my weight, because I'm getting massage instead of ordering a pizza, or going out to eat again.
That can be a topic for another time, but I hope you're taking away the idea that when you fall off the wagon, it's because of stress. And it could be the stress of your situation. It could be a vacation, actually. And you might think well, that's not stressful. In a way, it's not, but in a way, it's stressing your ability to stay consistent with your behaviours.
So, I'm going to wrap up now because I feel like I've talked enough about this, but I would ask you, what is the big takeaway from this conversation for you today? I sent a lot of stuff, I told stories about clients myself. But what is the thing that you are taking away from this conversation today? What is the thing that's relevant to your life? That's what I want you to think about.
And if you enjoyed this podcast and you feel like it would benefit someone else, someone who perhaps isn't managing their stress well, keep sabotaging themselves and they don't know why, and they need a perspective, a different paradigm to think about what's happening, share this episode with them.
And that is all I have for today, my friend. Hope you enjoyed it. Have an amazing weekend, and speak to you soon.
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