‘The achievement of failure’ sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. How on earth can it be an achievement if you have failed?
Often on your weight loss journey, you will have points in time where you believe that you have failed. You’ll feel terrible when something doesn’t go to plan and things are not working out for you as you hoped that they would.
Failure is an expected part of the journey. It could be a one-off, or it could last for a week or even longer if the domino effect takes hold. Weight loss is not linear and weight gain or plateaus are very typical. The most important thing is that you are eventually able to understand what happened, why it happened, and what learnings you can take from it.
In this podcast episode, Keri talks us through:
So if you’re currently facing a challenge in life that’s making it difficult to achieve your goals, this episode is not one to miss.
3:39 - “When life happens and something starts to get in the way of us continuing that level of success, we feel like we have failed.
06:33 - “We've been lulled into this false sense of security that things are working, we're on the right track, and then life happens. We haven't figured out how to operate at this same level in the context of this life situation.”
10:59 - “The true terrible failure is if you don't even try to start with because nothing changes then.”
11:04 - “You have achieved this failure. You have got a new understanding and a new perspective that is coming through. You've learned something about yourself, and if you find the gold in that, you can take that forward so that every time these situations come up again, you can act in a very different way.”
1:03 - Keri introduces some of the ways we may believe that we have ‘failed’
2: 00 - Keri discusses the label of ‘failure’ and why women often experience this in a weight loss journey
04:34 - Keri talks us through the change process and why we need to remain realistic
7:16 - We learn how to navigate our new identity against our old identity
10:18 - We discover why failure is an achievement
11:47 - Keri gives us practical tips that you can do when you are in a moment of failure
16:43 - We understand how to identify lessons learned and what you would do differently next time
Hi there. Welcome back to the podcast. I wanted to talk to you this week about the achievement of failure. Now that might sound like a bit of an oxymoron. How on earth can it be an achievement if you have failed? Hear me out. This is a term that my coach. Mentioned to me recently, and I had to double take for a moment because the way she described it was just so powerful. So let's talk about failure and how you can turn things around for yourself, both from a mindset point of view and from a practical point of view. So, Often on this weight loss journey, we will have points in time where we believe that we have failed, where we'll feel terrible, where something has happened, where things didn't go to plan, and we are sure that we have failed and things are not working for us as we hoped that they would. Now when it comes to failure, quite often we see women going through a point in time where perhaps they've put weight back on, or perhaps they have plateaued, maybe they have quote unquote, gone off the rails. It could just be once. It could just be a one-off weekend, maybe a dinner out where there was lots of dessert, there was lots of wine. It could be just a one-off thing, but it could also be a series of times where one thing happened, which led to another. Which led to another. Which led to another. So it could even be as much as a week or a month of failures. So by the. The label failure is, of course, a thought and a belief about an experience that has happened. But if you are in the place of feeling like you're a failure because of something that has happened recently, listen on, because this happens to pretty much every woman on this journey. I have not come across anyone who doesn't experience this at least sometimes. So the thing is, I really get it because not only have I witnessed this with countless women, but I have also been there myself. And this is something that I think we need to expect on this weight loss journey. Things are not linear. Things do not happen. We're not robots that can program exactly what is going to happen in our life and exactly how much weight we're gonna. and what's gonna come up in life and what might cause us a challenge in these moments to actually continue doing the same thing that we have been doing before. So, Often what we do is we set a goal, we start making our way towards that goal. So we might say to ourselves, right, it's time for me to lose weight. And we start making our way towards that. We might even start seeing progress. Things are looking good, things are starting to work. You're starting to feel optimistic about the way things are going, and then all of a sudden life obstacles show up. They will surface themselves because you know what? Life is life. If there's one thing that we can g. It is that life's gonna happen. And so in, in our mind, we might have been lulled into this false kind of sense of security. It's like, oh, this is easy. This is working. Maybe, maybe it's not to that degree of things for you, maybe it's this optimism. Oh, I'm hopeful actually. Things are starting to shift and so when life happens and something starts to get in the way of us continuing that level of. we feel like we have failed. We feel like things haven't gone the way that we think that they should, and it's almost like we expect to smooth a ride. Like right, I've clicked it into place now I understand. I get it. Things are working and it's almost like we have this expectation that no matter rain or shine, we should be able to continue doing the things that we are doing that work for us no matter what goes. but the problem with this approach is it's not realistic, and what's really happening underneath the surface is that we are still running the same programs in our mind. We have started the change process. We're kind of seeing a glimpse of the new version of ourselves that's coming up soon. We, but we may not be there yet. In fact, we're definitely not there yet. Because if we were, we would be in the place we want to be with our health. We would be nourishing our bodies in the way we want them to be, and we would be happy there. So it is a process of literally upgrading your mind, your mindset. and the version of you. In order to get to that place where you have reached your health goals, you're going to be thinking in a different way. You're going to be acting in a different way. You're going to be being a different person, a different version of yourself. Maybe not a completely different personality, but at least a different version of yourself. And so as we start this change process, and there's usually at some points, a level of discomfort that comes. Like say for instance, someone brings pizza home and you're tired and you can smell the pizza. You can see the pizza there, but you've got dinner planned, you've got it in the fridge, it's ready to go. It's gonna take a little while to cook and. your brain may not have practiced this new way of being around pizza, yet you haven't perhaps had the opportunity to have this challenge and to figure out how to navigate your way through this point in time. So it's normal and natural for your brain to kind of go back to old ways of thinking, because that's what's there. That's what's available. This is the way we act when we are tired and we're around pizza, for example. So I'm sure you can think of other situations where you have these challenging events. Maybe it's not pizza view, maybe it's not, you know, someone bringing something home into the house. But it can be, you know, invitations to holidays invitations to events. It can be when you have to suddenly look after aging. parents who might be unwell. And so everything in your life is changing and you're suddenly busier. Maybe it's a stressful period at work. There's all these things that go on, and so when we've been lulled into this false sense of security that things are working, we're on the right track, and then life happens. We haven't figured out how to operate at this same level in the context of this life situation. So we are in a place where we have the opportunity to do. It's totally fine if your eating takes a back step, if your weight takes a back step at this point in time. The most important thing though, is that you'll want to later on understand what happened, why it happened, and what learnings you can take from it. You see, you are literally upleveling your health and your treatment of yourself as you are going through this process. It's a whole new way of being and. New identity is sometimes gonna rub up against your old identity, which is still running the show sometimes. So people around you may still expect you to be the same way that you have been to be, do and act the same way that you've been acting for years. So of course, sometimes they may offer you chips or they may offer you a glass of wine because they've always known that you like to partake in that kind of thing. That's normal. You now get a chance to practice how you want to. Around the people who have certain expectations and understandings of you, you're going to esen essentially start reteaching them and reeducating them and getting them to know the new version of you. As you grow and evolve, you may also still have the same urges that you would perhaps attach and to that old identity because you've been eating in that way for some years potentially. So of course these urges will persist for a little while. You've been acting that out for quite some time. That is completely normal, and every time you have that old urge, you get a new opportunity to practice how you want to be as that new version of yourself. In those moments, you may even speak to yourself. The way that your old identity used to speak to yourself. And that is also something that you are upgrading over time. So when you speak to yourself, maybe you have a pattern of beating yourself up of you know, Telling yourself that you have failed. That's what we're talking about on this podcast. That can be one of the ways the inner critic can show, oh, your inner critic might have a very loud voice when it comes to your old identity. And so as you're starting to turn down the volume on the inner critic and starting to shed that and fill up your self-worth tank so that you do speak to yourself better in the long run, that new version of. Will emerge, but she will only emerge once you have practiced pivoting in those moments to speak to yourself in a very different and loving way when perhaps your inner critic is scathing and not very nice. So this is what's going on. You're becoming a whole new person. It is a work in progress, so you've got to expect that when birthday parties hits hit and the hubby brings home pizza or you've had a really, really terrible day and all you wanna do is drink all the wine when you get home. It's just your old identity in the driver's seat at this point in time, and you are practicing how to be, how to do, how to act in all these different situations. It's all okay. This is part of the journey and this is. This podcast is all about, it's about the ups and the downs all through the journey. It's completely normal. So I just wanna say, if you are in a situation where you are feeling like you have failed, where you're feeling like it won't work for you, and you are sure that you're just gonna keep failing again and again, and there is no point, I really want you to take a moment to give yourself some compassion because the thing is you have achieved this failure. let me say that again. That is the key word. You have achieved the failure. It is an achievement. You are on this journey. You could have opted out. You could have stayed on the couch. You could have been sitting there wishing things to be different about your health. You could have been sitting there feeling frustrated that things are not changing for you. You could have even not bothered to. and you see, this is why it is an achievement when we fail in these moments because without even trying, you wouldn't even have this, that the true failure here, the true terrible failure, is if you don't even try to start with because nothing changes, then you have achieved this failure. you have got a new understanding and a new perspective that is coming through. You've learned something about yourself, and if you find the gold in that, you can take that forward so that every time these situations come up again, you can act in a very different way. So this is the beauty of this approach. When you feel terrible, when you find your brain is telling you the same old story, I've gone off the rails, I'm terrible, I feel awful, I'm disgusted with myself. Any language like that, then I really encourage you to remind yourself, you are on this journey. You are on the path. This is an achievement, this failure. It really is. Now I wanna give you some practical as things that you can do when you are in the moment of failure. So what do you do? At this point in time, I want you to get out your journal and I'm going to take you through a journaling process, and this is going to help you to understand what has happened and how to move on from it. Okay? So the first thing that you want to write down, What happened and get the data out. Only the data, nothing else. So for example, maybe part of the failure is for you, well, the scale weight has gone up, or the scale weight is the same. So one of the data points is your weight. What is the number on the scale? Then you also want to review what did I eat and what did I drink, and what were the quantities of those? So, did you have two glasses of wine? Did you have three packets of crisp? Did you eat four burgers? Did you have two servings of fries? So whatever the quantity is, keep the data in there. Only the data quantity and what it was, and maybe another data point could be. Instances when you said yes, instead of saying no, and you knew that you wanted to say no. So maybe it's, it could be something like I said, yes to another glass of wine. I said yes to a pizza pizza. maybe another data point for you could be how you slept. Maybe it was like five nights last week. I got less than six hours. That is a data point. I'm just giving you some examples here so you can distinguish what the difference is between data and story. Because when we. Ask ourselves what happened. Most of the time our brain will tell us the story, and the story will contain emotion and a objectives. You know, for example, the story could be, I ate way too much. I ate like a pig, I drank a disgusting amount. These are the types of things I hear people saying, you know, I, I hardly slept. I didn't drink enough water. What is enough water? You know, that's, that doesn't really describe to us exactly what it was, so, If you find any parts of the what happened, question, have emotion, or have a objectives, cross it out because this is only data that we are wanting. So if it is something like, I didn't get enough sleep, what does that actually mean? I averaged four hours every night last week. you know, that could be a data point for you. So get really clear about the data, cause we wanna know what happened. You're going into the scientist mode and you are analyzing the data at this stage. And then the next thing you want to do is to consider what went well for you, what went well over this past amount of time that you consider. a failure because I tell you what, there will be something in there that went well. If you've been implementing what you've been learning on this podcast. And if you're one of our members in the school of sustainable weight loss, I guarantee you there is something in there that has gone well. We did a coaching call just this evening and what went well for the person that I was coaching. Well, she'd gone back and she had started eating. in the evening, and she would usually eat three times as much. But one of the things that she said was actually, well, you know, I have gone back to evening snacking, but I'm not eating three times as much. I'm eating. Just a one portion instead of three portions. Isn't that great? That is something that has gone well. Yes. You might think that overall my frequency has gone up. Sure. But it is also a wind that compared to perhaps six months ago, three months ago, whatever the time period. Actually, I am eating smaller portions. And less portions. So that, that is an example of something that went well. If you are struggling with what went well, you could also talk about perhaps its. About the awareness that you've gained. Maybe you were quite aware of where you were at. Maybe you noticed that you spoke to yourself in a different way. Maybe you noticed that you are changing your beliefs, or that's, you know, your view, your perspective on yourself is changing. Consider all of those things. What went well for you? The next question, what didn't work? Again, only data in here. No emotion. What didn't work? So here are some examples. It didn't work that I had such late nights and I was tired the next day. It didn't work that I accepted another glass of wine when actually I really meant no and I had a hangover the next day. It didn't work that I. Another ger, even though I was full, and then I felt way too full. So we're taking the emotion out. We're not, we're not giving ourselves a hard time with this question. We're just analyzing the points in which we feel it didn't work. From a scientist point of view, from an objective point of view. Okay. Once you understand what went well, what didn't work so well, then you can have a think about what lessons you learned, what would you do differently in these scenarios. And so maybe it is, I'm gonna practice saying no when someone, and maybe there's one person in particular, when they offer me some food, when they offer me some drink, I'm gonna practice saying no, because I learned the lesson that I didn't say no when I actually meant. and that didn't work for me because I got a hangover. So what lessons did you learn? You know, maybe you also learned the real impact of having a terrible night's sleep and how tiredness played into a lot of your supposed failure. Maybe you learned as well that you weren't drinking enough water and you could clearly see how that would've helped. Now that you are reflecting on it, these are the types of lessons you can gain from. Okay, so once you've put down all of your lessons that you've learned, I want you to identify one that you're gonna put back in action and get back on the journey. So you can just take that one thing, that one thing that really resonates with you, and just put that action into place. Put that action into your strategy for now. Perhaps you make it your 1% upgrade and go forward from your failure. I hope that's helped you today and we would love to hear you know what your thoughts are on failure. We do a Facebook Live every Wednesday where we connect up with our podcast and our members community, and we'd love to see you. If you are not already following us on Facebook, head on over there and search for the Weight Loss for Life podcast. Click like on the page and you should receive a notification about when we go live. Hope to see you there soon.