You are listening to The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 46.
Welcome to The Design You Podcast, a show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth, and joy. Here is your host, Tobi Fairley.
Hey friends. How are you? No really, how are you? How are you feeling? Are you showing up in life the way you want to this year? Are you living the life you dream of this year? Are you at your optimal health and weight this year? Do you have a lot of energy? Are you well rested?
Are you thinking, “Tobi, I have a question for you, are you crazy?” Yeah, I know. But we have to stop ignoring how we’re living our lives and how we’re treating ourselves and our bodies. We really do. If we want to have all the things we dream about, our health and our wellness plays a huge role in this.
And no, I’m not crazy, but I am direct and I’m also serious. And in just a minute, I’m going to tell you the reason behind all my questions, but before I do that, I want to share a review of the week because I started this a couple of months ago. It might be a month ago, and we’ve had some fantastic comments over on iTunes about the podcast and I wanted to make sure I get in the habit of telling you guys what our listeners are saying and just thanking you, the ones of you that are leaving a post.
So here we go. So the review of the week this week comes from Kristen and she says, “Tobi’s podcast is my weekly lifeline to help me stay on track in my business and my personal life. Every week it’s as if she is speaking directly to the thoughts in my head and her coaching program” – because she’s a member of it – “consistently delivers the clarity I need to stay focused on my goals. This podcast is my pocket Tobi that goes with me to the gym and in the car and she has been through it all in her own business and her experience delivers a golden ticket to her audience to help find clarity, balance, and the gentle nudge to face your own demons that are holding you back from success. Thank you, Tobi, for the genuine care you put into your podcast and your program.”
Well, thank you so much, Kristen. I’m seriously, rarely speechless, and I guess I’m not now because I’m still talking, but it just – that’s so kind and so moving. So it’s really good to know that what I do, what I create is helping you guys, so thank you so much for the fabulous compliment and I absolutely love envisioning myself as pocket Tobi.
Like, wasn’t there Pocket Polly or something my daughter used to buy? A little thing she’d carry around. Well, that’s me on this podcast, right? Okay, so let’s do this. Let’s dig deep and see how we’re showing up in our lives, y’all.
So, are you living the life of your dreams and are you being the best version of you? And why am I even asking this? Well, today I want to talk about health, wellness, and weight loss for creative entrepreneurs. Actually, I even want to talk about the three things that will drastically change your health and your weight for good.
And why does this matter? I thought this was a podcast about creative entrepreneurs? Well, it is, and so many of us creative entrepreneurs, interior designers and others, really neglect this part of our life and we think we’ll do it when we have time. So this is the topic that we’re covering in February in my Design You coaching program, and I always like to take a deeper dive on some of the specific parts of our monthly content here on the podcast.
And it’s really important if we want to make a lot of money, if we want to grow our businesses, or be more successful at work or at home, that we recognize and acknowledge the huge part that our health and wellness plays in this equation. We often ignore the connection, or we may believe that logically, it makes sense that they’re connected but that we’re just so busy with work and family that optimal health or even basic health really isn’t an option. That’s a belief we have.
And we tell ourselves things like, “When I have time, I’ll take care of myself or workout or eat right,” or, “I’m still young, I can do that later. I’ve got to get this business build first, or I got to raise my kids first and just keep everything afloat.” Or maybe we say, “When I make enough money, then I’ll start to take care of me because then I can afford better food or a trainer or something else that can help me get healthy.” Or, “When my kids grow up, then I’ll focus on me or when I hire employees, then I can really spend the time taking care of me.”
But guess what? We can make an excuse until we die. We were just reading the book in my book club part of my coaching program that is called You Are a Badass, it’s my Jen Sincero, I think, and I’ve talked about her money book before but we read the regular book. And there’s a quote in there that said something to the effect of, we timidly move through life so we can safely arrive at death.
So like, what are we waiting – we’re just going to take it easy until we die? I mean, seriously, there is so much life to live, and we make these kinds of excuses every single day for not making our health and our wellness and if needed, weight loss, a priority, right? So I want you to think about this.
We tell ourselves a lot of lies about this area of health, wellness, and weight loss. Like, losing weight is hard and exercise is hard and food journaling is so hard, and I can’t possibly be healthy with all the travel and entertaining I do for work, and I’m not a morning person, and at the end of the day I’m tired so there’s no time to workout ever. And maybe I should just be happy the way I am and not try to be thinner, maybe I’m just not meant to be thin or healthy.
And you know, my mom’s heavy too so no wonder I’m heavy. I mean, it just makes sense. It’s genetic. Or, I guess I have to give up all the foods that I love if I’m ever going to be thin because there’s just no other way and frankly, that’s no way to live and I don’t want to live that way. And I’ve tried everything and nothing works and I can’t eat healthy while my kids and my spouse eat all this junk in front of me. And everyone in my office is always bringing donuts or cupcakes and I can’t resist them and no one even supports me in this journey anyway and I can’t do this alone.
And how can I do all I have to do and still be healthy too? And there’s not enough time in the day for me to be thin or healthy or to exercise or to do anything. I mean, or even do the stuff I’m supposed to do. And there’s just so much information about diets and health and I’m so confused.
I mean, wow, what a whiner, right? We’re such whiners and there’s so many more lies just like those that we tell ourselves. And I find it interesting because we think all of these things are true, but aren’t there people every day who are not a morning person and don’t workout at the end of the day and they figure out how to work out in the middle of the day when it works best for them?
Or aren’t there people who travel all the time and entertain all the time for work and they’re still not overweight and healthy? Of course, because all of this stuff, they’re just thoughts that we think that knock us off track. But there’s not one ounce of truth in any of it.
So here’s what I want you to know. All of that stuff is nothing but a thought. Not one single thing but a thought. And there’s nothing that makes our thoughts true. We have to realize this. We go along for years and nobody tells us that all the stuff our brain serves up to us is not the truth. And that we can weigh every thought and decide if it serves us or if it doesn’t serve us, and only pick the ones to hang onto that really do.
So let’s start with the “but it’s hard” excuse. I mean, seriously, it is not hard. I tell myself writing down and planning what I’m going to eat tomorrow is really hard, and then I’m like, are you kidding, Tobi? That’s not even close to hard. In fact, it’s probably the easiest thing that I’ll do all day. Does it make me want to do it? No. Does it take a little discipline or a little follow through to do it? Of course, but it’s not hard.
It’s really so, so, so very easy. In fact, I can make one or two- or three-days’ worth of things I’m going to eat written down on Sunday and be done for three days. I mean like, it’s not hard. So let’s be honest. Eating right and exercising is one of the easiest things that we get to do each day. Get to.
Figuring out how to serve our clients or make money or take big leaps in life or business, those are way harder than just eating what we’re supposed to and showing up at the gym. But we tell ourselves all of that stuff is equally hard and even serving our clients and making money is not that hard, right? We just love to hang on to excuses. We don’t like to get uncomfortable.
And maybe every single one of those things requires us to be out of our comfort zone, but just because it’s uncomfortable does not mean it’s hard. The hard part is that we don’t manage our mind around these thoughts. We don’t even know to. And the practice of managing our mind isn’t hard either, but feeling the feelings of discomfort without using a tool to help us get through them is the hard part.
And we allow ourselves to believe all these obstacle thoughts that our brains serve up about these activities because frankly, it’s way easier to quit. It’s way easier to go, you’re right, brain, that’s terrible hard, I’m just not going to do that. But does that get us to the results we want? Never.
So if planning what to eat isn’t hard and really, meal prepping, though it takes time, isn’t hard, I’m not saying you’re going to want to do it, but it’s not hard. Getting on the treadmill or driving to the gym is not hard. It takes time, sure, but everything takes time. Laying around and eating junk food and binge-watching Netflix takes time.
The action we know we need to take to reach our goal is never the hard part. We can do that stuff in our sleep. And guess what friends, we’re not confused either. That is BS. Stop saying you’re confused. Most of us know exactly what to eat to feel our best and to fuel our bodies, don’t we? We just don’t do it.
And that is what I want to talk about in this podcast today. Doing what we say we’re going to do and doing what we say we want to do. This is about showing up for ourselves in this area of health and wellness, and really in every area of our lives if we want to be our best because the same things that help us show up for ourselves with our health will help us show up for ourselves with our business.
I’ve even done a podcast in the past about showing up for ourselves and we’ll link to that one in the show notes too, but I wanted to do another one because this topic is so important, especially when it comes to our health and wellness. So I needed to address this again because I see myself and others in my program that I work with and friends and relatives not showing up for ourselves day in and day out.
This one thing y’all, only this, this one thing of doing what we say we’re going to do is truly the secret to success in every single area of our life, including health, wellness, and weight loss. I’m not kidding. It is the secret. The one and only one that you need.
Think about it. We know what to do to be healthy and to lose weight and to make money and to nurture our relationships and to take care of ourselves. And I would argue that in every single area of our lives that we want to improve, we know multiple steps that we could take right now, that would get us huge results pretty darn quickly. But we don’t take them.
We act like we’re confused, we act like the answer is still out there and that we’re still looking for it. But the truth is we’re just ignoring it, hoping for a different answer, right? Yeah, it’d be great if we could find a different answer than actually having to just eat the foods or go to the gym or put in the digital marketing strategy or whatever it takes to get the result we want.
Nobody seems to want to just do the proven steps it takes to be successful in every area of life, right? Because that would be too hard. But let me ask you this; how hard is not feeling great every day? When your joints ache and your back hurts and your energy is non-existent and your pants won’t button, how’s that working for you?
In the long run, the consequences that we create from not showing up for ourselves are actually harder than just consistently working out or making good food choices or getting eight hours of sleep or whatever it is that we need to go to reach our goal in the moment to moment decision-making, right? It’s in the moment to moment decision-making that we get in trouble, isn’t it?
So why is that? Well, first of all, because in the moment, it’s definitely easier to always do what we feel like doing. Sticking with the plan takes focus and practice and commitment. And more than anything, it takes awareness of our thoughts, the very thoughts that are telling us to just blow something off or that doesn’t feel good and by all means, we want to feel good all the time, right?
The second reason we don’t show up is because we don’t make decisions ahead of time and really, that fits hand in hand with what we feel like doing. Because if we haven’t made a plan ahead of time, what other option do we have than to do what we feel like doing in the moment? So we’ve not set ourselves up for success. So we make hundreds of decisions every single day, in the moment, starting with things like what we’re going to wear and what we’re going to eat for breakfast and am I going to hit snooze again or just go ahead and get up.
And when meal times and exercise times roll around, for many of us, we already have decision fatigue and we’ve already used up all of our willpower because like Gary Keller says in the book, The One Thing, willpower is something that gets depleted. You have to replenish it with rest, with resting your brain, without making so many decisions.
So if you’re just relying on willpower to help you white-knuckle through your health and food choices, no wonder you’re failing. Because by the time you get to dinner or late afternoon when you’re kind of hungry or after dinner before bedtime, do you have any willpower left? No. So you have to have made those decisions ahead of time because we’re going to hit decision fatigue and no willpower every single time.
That kind of approach doesn’t equal hitting our goals and dreams at all, does it? So for this reason, I believe we must make decisions about our food and our exercise and anything else we want to commit to ahead of time, at least 24 hours in advance because in the moment decisions rarely get us to our goals.
Think about it. How often do you plan to eat ice cream or cheese dip ahead of time? Like, tomorrow night I’m going to eat a gigantic bowl of ice cream after dinner and at dinner I’m going to absolutely obliterate the cheese dip and chips on the table at the Mexican restaurant. No, of course ahead of time we’re not thinking about doing that. That would be foolish, right?
Ahead of time is when you make good decisions. And think about this too. How often do you say, well, I’m going to drink four cocktails tomorrow night and I’m going to have a big starchy meal to soak up some of the alcohol and then of course since I’ve had alcohol and my inhibitions are gone, I’m going to eat dessert even though I really didn’t want to, and then after I hang out with my friends for a while, I’m probably going to go ahead and drive through Taco Bell afterwards because I still need a little more food to soak up the booze, right?
Those are never ahead of time decisions, are they? They’re always in the moment decisions. So leaving ourselves open to in the moment decisions is like leaving ourselves open to have a toddler make all of our choices for us, like what do you want to eat? Do you want to eat a salad or do you want this yummy lollipop? Makes no sense.
But when we’re in planning mode, we’re using our prefrontal cortex. It’s a real part of our brain. It’s in the front, and it helps us make decisions ahead of time. When we’re in the moment, that’s not the part of our brain we use. We revert back to very primitive part of our brain, kind of the caveman brain. It’s the less developed part, and it’s the part that really you can think of like the child brain. Like I said, the toddler brain.
And that’s not the part that’s going to make wise decisions. So when we’re giving into something that’s not great for us, it’s really like we’re being a toddler. We’re having a tantrum like an emotional child, aren’t we?
So many of us say, “Well, when I get to making those decisions, it’s because I deserve it.” Well, that’s a child brain or an immature brain making that decision because does an adult really need to say well, I deserve that and I’m going to get it? No. They can say, you know what, I’ll be fine, I’ll be totally fine, I’ll eat this tomorrow.
It’s that whiny and full of excuses and not very mature part of our brain that always drives us through Taco Bell. Planning ahead of time is the perfect complement to go with the secret to success that we already talked about which is showing up for ourselves and following through and doing what we say we will. I mean, call it any of the three, but it’s just really doing what’s on your list.
Not your to-do list, but your list you made with your prefrontal cortex of what you’re going to eat and workout and maybe your work and how you’re going to show up there. Anything that you need to do needs to be planned ahead of time.
So one of my favorite books of all time is The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and in this book, he talks about a concept that’s basically what we’re talking about. But guess what he calls it? He calls it 99% is a bitch, 100% is a breeze. And I love this concept because what he means is that every time we’re only 99% committed or less to something, then we leave ourselves open to failure caused by decision fatigue, essentially, and lack of willpower because we fall victim to that what I feel like doing situation.
Because if we’re 100% committed to going to the gym every day, we don’t even think about it. We don’t go, am I or am I not going to show up? We just go. But any time that you leave even a 1% window, there’s even 1% of an option that you could change your mind and not follow through, then you’re setting yourself up for failure time and time again and it’s just exhausting because you’re having to make the same decision over and over and over every day or multiple times a week and it’s unnecessary.
You made it once. To decide means to cut off, right? Cut off other options. So if you’re only 99% there, you really didn’t decide. When you’re 100% committed, then the decision is made and there is no second guessing. You know in advance like we’re talking about, when you will go to your workouts and you just do it. You already know if that means you’re going to get up at 5:30 even when you’re tired, you don’t hit snooze because it’s not an option. You just get up, right?
You already know in advance what you’re going to eat. If you put it on a piece of paper yesterday for what you’re going to eat tomorrow, and you just don’t waiver from the list. There is no feel like, there is no want to, there is no shoulds, it’s literally what’s on the list is what goes in your mouth. If you want something different, that’s fine, plan it for tomorrow.
But when you do this, when you have 100% commitment, there is no other option because you’ve removed them all, you’ve cut them off. And decision fatigue is completely eliminated or greatly reduced, for sure, because you’re making a fraction of the decisions that you have been making because a lot of them you’re deciding in advance and you decide it once and it’s going to keep going forever unless you make a different decision later, right?
But you’re not doing it over and over and over again. That is such a waste of time. Why decide every single day if you’re actually going to work out as planned? Why waste a decision or waste willpower on that if both of them are really in limited quantities? Why not save those decisions for really valuable things? Because that other stuff, you already decided, it’s a done deal. No excuses, no questions asked, right?
It sounds simple because it really is, but you have to follow through. So 99% commitment is a bitch. It’s a pain in the behind, it’s such a pain to re-decide all the time, and it doesn’t take much, some tiny little factor to cause you to fail. If you’re tired, if you’re busy, if it’s raining, if it’s cold, if it’s summer, if it’s Christmas, if it’s the weekend, if it’s a presentation day at work, if it’s a travel day, if it’s anything else.
Gosh, we can find a legit excuse every single time if we’re not 100% committed, right? And there’s one more thing that I want you to think about because we have to be fully committed, we have to show up for ourselves. But if part of your health journey is also about weight loss, well, really even this applies to exercise or other things too.
I want you to realize that how you get healthy needs to be how you stay healthy, or maybe it’s the opposite. How you plan to stay healthy has to be how you get healthy. Now, what do I mean?
So many of us go on temporary plans in order to lose weight or improve our wellness. We think we have to take certain actions for a period of time and then at some point in the future when we reach our goal, then we, whether we admit it or not, fully intend to go off that plan and go back to the way we really wanted to be, right?
Don’t say wrong because I know this is what we do. Or maybe you aren’t planning to go off the plan. Maybe you’re telling yourself that you can eat “diet food” for a lifetime and that you’re never going to eat cake again and you’re going to make this a lifestyle and that you’ll never ever fall off of this eating plan.
But even my personal trainer Kim says, anybody that says they’re never going to eat cake again is lying. And I agree. So one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned, even recently, really this is pretty new to me, is that you really have to lose weight doing the things you will do for the rest of your life if you want it to be successful, if you want to maintain weight.
So let’s be clear. Just losing weight is not a successful diet. It only is successful if it stays off, right? If you’re like, I’ve been on 30 successful diets, I would argue that none of them are successful or at least number one through 29 because you needed number 30.
So this really means that getting diet mentality out of our brain is going to be so important because any kind of plan where we cut out entire food groups like sugar or carbs or nightshades or anything else for that matter, unless you’re allergic to them, anything that you cut out in its entirety to lose weight, you better be 100% committed to never ever ever ever ever eating those things again, even on a special occasion.
So if that’s not how you want to live, and if you’re like, well sure I’m going to have cake on my birthday and sure I’m going to have cake on somebody else’s birthday, and sure I’m going to have dessert at Christmas, then you can’t have the mindset that you’re completely eliminating them during the process of getting healthy.
If you’re not committed to whatever those things are, even intermittent fasting, forever, then it doesn’t likely need to be a daily occurrence during your weight loss or health journey because when you stop whatever it is, you’re going to go backwards. So if you decide to run a marathon but after you’re done with it you stop running, do you think you’re going to keep the benefits? No.
So many of us have this all or nothing mentality and we go all in for a while and then we completely abandon it. And so what I’m saying is if you’re going to eat pizza and ice cream ever again, then occasionally while you’re losing weight, you need to eat pizza and ice cream and you need to stop telling your brain that those things are absolutely off limits forever because we know we’re probably going to eat them again, right?
So I want you to stop making things the enemy, especially the enemy of weight loss because can you eat a half a cup of ice cream occasionally and still lose weight? Of course. Can you eat pizza sometimes and still lose weight? Of course. Now, can you eat a whole pizza? Probably not, but a couple of pieces and a salad, of course you can, especially if you’re planning ahead of time with that prefrontal cortex.
And you know how much of it you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it, and you’re pairing it with other healthy things that fill you up and that fuel your body, and you don’t let yourself start eating in the moment with your toddler brain in charge who has no willpower and is going to eat the whole pizza. If you’re doing this ahead of time, of course those things can be in your plan.
We make things so appealing to us when we can’t have them, right? Think about the minute you go on a diet and all the stuff you’re like, well, I can’t have coffee anymore because I’m not doing dairy and I’m not doing any dessert so I can’t have that anymore. What’s the only thing we want? Coffee and dessert, right?
So let’s stop with these lines in the sand. I’m not even saying moderation. Moderation can be tricky for a lot of us because we’re like, oh, I eat it in moderation, but we’re making decisions in the moment and not ahead of time and it doesn’t really turn into moderation. It turns into a lot of cheat meals, a lot of huge portions.
So it’s not even the concept of moderation. It’s just don’t make things the enemy, don’t make them off limits, don’t make us have this over-desire for them. Just make the next right decision every single time by following the plan you made in advance.
I think you’ll be shocked at how much less food you will eat and how little processed junk food you’ll eat and how much more satisfied you’re going to be and how much the fear and the pain and the anxiety and the anguish of not being able to have something will go away when you leave everything as an option but you just have to have 24 hours’ notice to plan them in.
And in the next episode we’re going to talk more about this. We’re going to talk about urges and what to do about them, but I want you to start to see that when you aren’t creating a ton of internal drama because you’re freaking out that you can never have those certain foods again, then you’re able to stay really calm and you don’t make food or exercise or whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing such a big deal.
Because when we’re calm, guess what? We make way better decisions than when we’re white-knuckling the table, trying to keep ourselves on some crazy diet that we’re really planning to go off of soon anyway. So if you want to be at your optimal health and your ideal weight, even while you build a successful business and life, while you happen to still be pretty dang busy, guess what? You only have to do three things.
Number one, you have to show up for yourself and do what you say you will do. No 99% commitments here, y’all. It’s 100% commitment. Number two, you got to make decisions ahead of time about food or exercise or water or rest or relaxation, sleep, anything that plays a role in your health, wellness, and weight loss that you don’t want to fall victim to the feel like doing thinking, you have to make those decisions ahead of time.
You have to write them down. Not do what’s in your head, but write them down and just follow the plan. Like we say in number one, just show up and do what you say you will do. And then number three, you have to lose weight or get healthy using the foods or the exercises or the plan that you plan to do for maintenance because any kind of crazy restriction that you’re going to eventually give up on is not going to work.
Now, does that mean we can’t restrict ourselves? No. Some of us definitely need to restrict ourselves. We don’t need to eat a whole pizza. We need to eat two pieces of pizza, but that doesn’t mean we need to cut out pizza as an option forever until the end of time or pretend like we’re going to, only to go back to it because we miss the dang pizza, or because we’re stuck in an airport somewhere and the only thing we can find is pizza, right?
When we have set ourselves up for failure like that because we drew a line in the sand, what happens? We’re like, well, screw it, I have to eat pizza so now I’m “off the wagon” so I might as well just eat whatever anyway because I’m tired and while I’m here I’m just going to forget about it for the week and I’ll start over on Monday.
That is not the kind of behavior that gets us to our results. So as long as you don’t make certain foods the enemy, then it’s not that big of a deal if occasionally you have to eat them or you want to eat them. If you do just these three things, I firmly believe that you’re going to hit your desired results. Just these three things. Period.
No fancy diets, no diets at all, no diet mentality. All that is what got you where you are to begin with, right? Diet mentality is not 100% commitment. It’s temporary thinking. You’re always planning, whether you admit it to yourself or not, of going off of it at some point. We want sustainable, we want long term, we want 100% commitment.
Friends, we’ve got this, so go get healthy. Go reach your ideal weight or your ideal fitness level that’s going to give you energy and stamina to be your best for your family and for your business. You can totally do this. every bit of it is mindset. None of it is about what the diet industry and the exercise industry want us to think it’s about.
It’s truly just about mindset and I think personally, that is the absolute best news ever because we have the tools now to manage our mind. And if you need a little help with that, go back and visit episode number four about the mindset model that I teach, that I learned at The Life Coach School because it is your best friend when it comes to managing your mind.
Okay, so that’s all I have for you today. Those three life-changing tips, but if you want to interact with me and a bunch of other like-minded people that are putting these things into practice then join us in The Design You Podcast Facebook group. You can do that by heading over to Facebook and go to facebook.com/groups/designyoupodcastcommunity and you just request to join.
And don’t worry, we let everybody in but we just like to make sure that we keep our community safe so we do vet the people that are coming in, but you’re all in. So just go request and I’ll see you in that community and I’ll also see you back right here next week with another exciting episode. Bye for now.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of The Design You Podcast. And if you’d like even more support for designing a business and a life that you love, then check out my exclusive monthly coaching program Design You at tobifairley.com.