We all have goals, and we’d all love to reach our goals in the quickest way possible. But what if the quickest way wasn’t the best way, the way that would lead to permanent and lasting success? In this episode, I’m talking about how to reach big goals (weight loss included!) while also enjoying the sometimes long and hard road to get there.

Listen in as I share how to reach all your big goals by knowing what you’re trying to accomplish, finding the support you need to keep going, and celebrating the small wins along the way. I also discuss how to not let inevitable failures and obstacles get in your way, as well as the most important thing that you need to believe in to succeed.


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In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Why knowing what you’re trying to accomplish is key
  • The power in focusing on your why
  • Why you shouldn’t put a time limit on your goals
  • The importance of finding that one cheerleader in your life
  • Why having support is crucial

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Read the Transcript Below:

Katrina Ubell: You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 297.

Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians Podcast. I’m your host, master certified, life and weight loss coach, Katrina Ubell, MD. This is the podcast where busy doctors like you come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you’re looking to overcome your stress-eating and exhaustion, and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place.

Well, hello there my friend, how are you today? Guess what today is? It’s a big day in my world and I am so excited to share it with you.

It just so happens that the release date of this podcast episode coincides with the release date of my book. My book is live today. You can go and buy it as of today. It’s really, really kind of incredible to actually even say that out loud. It’s so, so crazy.

So, I want to just let you know where you can go get it because you know you’re going to want it. Of course, it’s called How to Lose Weight for The Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss.

And you can buy it anywhere books are sold. You can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble — any independent book seller that you like to support. And you can also find the audio book on Audible.

I had said several weeks, or maybe even a little over a month ago, something about the publisher having something special about audiobooks; that turns out that that fell through. So, don’t worry about that. If you want to buy the audiobook, then just go check it out on Audible. There’s actually a little bit of bonus material, a little bonus interview with me on the audiobook.

So, if you’re someone who likes to listen to their books, you will want to check that out. And I, of course, narrated it as well. So, go and check that out, or maybe get both. Because I find that I like to read the actual paper book and dog-ear it and make notes and things like that. But then sometimes, hearing it as I’m going about my day can actually really help to solidify things as well.

Sometimes things that your eyes sort of skipped over, you hear it or vice versa, and it’s like, “Whoa, that’s so, so important and impactful.”

Okay, I also want to let you know that on Saturday, September 24th, I’m offering a free bonus workshop to anybody who’s pre-ordered the book. But also, guess what, if you just buy the book now for the next couple of days, I’ll still let you come too.

So, if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy already, then go snag it so that you can get your admission link, your admission ticket to come to the virtual event, Guarantee Your Weight Loss Success, that I’m hosting this Saturday on September 24th. If you want to get a replay of that, then just go ahead and register for your ticket as well, because, of course, we’ll send that to you once it is ready.

So, all you have to do to get access to that workshop is to go anywhere books are sold and buy your book, and buy the How To Lose Weight For The Last Time book. And then you’re going to get an order number, and you’ll go to katrinaubellmd.com/lasttime. And you’ll type in that order number and hit click, and then you’ll get your ticket to be able to come and join us.

So, so, so, so, so good. I actually mentioned it before, but I’ve been working on the content. It’s really exciting. I’m actually really excited to deliver. It’s going to be great. So, I would love for you to join me live as well.

Okay, other ways that you can help get the word out, and I promise you, in a few short minutes, I will have something great for you here. But this is great too.

So, a lot of people have said, “Hey, how can I help the book? I mean, I purchased one for myself, but what else can I do?”

These next few days in particular, and even just moving forward, if you would be so kind as to go onto Amazon and leave a review of the book, that would be amazing. And leave your honest review. I will say that if you didn’t buy the book on Amazon, it’s okay. You can still go there and buy the book.

And now, if you got a free copy, for some reason, which a few people got some galley copies as they’re called, then of course, you’d want to say that you got a copy of the book for free, but these are your honest opinions.

If you’re a part of our book ambassador group, then you don’t need to put anything special on that because we offered only just the first two chapters. So, once you have a chance to have a look at the book, or even just scanning through it and you feel like you can leave an honest review, it really, really, really does help the book and helps people to find the book if there are lots of Amazon reviews.

I also would ask that if you are a participant or even like a lurker on any Facebook groups that you’re in, even if they’re not specifically tailored to weight loss, it would be so great for you to go in there and just share that you picked up a copy of the book and what your thoughts are about it.

Particularly, if you’re a doctor or particularly if you’re in healthcare, because I’ll be getting into this in just a moment. But one of the reasons that I wrote this book was so healthcare providers, doctors, and other people as well, will have better tools to provide to patients who are struggling with their weight. And so, letting people know that it exists will really help them.

As doctors, we just want to help people. We want to give people excellent, excellent help. We want to help them achieve their goals and achieve things that will really help them to live their healthiest life.

Well, if they don’t know that a resource exists, they’re not going to be able to share it with people. So, I would love that as well. It would really, really help the book find its way into the hands of the people who need it by sharing it in any of those groups that you might be in.

Like I said, you don’t even have to be … if you’re just like a lurker or maybe you don’t check in with it that often, but you can definitely go in there and share something about it, that would be amazing.

And then one last thing, if you’re listening to this on the day that this is going live, so that would be September 20th, then I’m going to be hosting a free livestream event to just celebrate the book coming out tonight, and we’re going to have prizes, and I’ll be answering questions.

It’s actually going to be hosted with my friend, Kary Oberbrunner. He is somebody who has been a friend for several years but is also really an expert at helping people find out about books. So, he has been helping me out a lot, and we’re going to host it together.

So, to come and join us on that livestream tonight, just go to katrinaubellmd.com/livestream, and you’ll get all the information you need so that you can come and join us. So, so, so, so good.

So, what I want to talk to you about today is about how to reach big goals. And by big, I mean all in caps, BIG goals. And I was thinking about this today – well, I’ve been thinking about it for several days, but I think the reason why I want to talk about this today is because in this book being published, I’ve just accomplished a really, really big goal.

And I was thinking back to how long it’s taken and not even taking into account the thinking time, the consideration time that it took to actually decide, “Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and do this.” But from the time when I was like, “Yes, I’m going to do this, I’m going to start now. I’m going to actually start working on the book proposal,” it’s been three years now.

Three years, and that’s actually fast. Isn’t that incredible? That’s actually considered really speedy. We’ve been definitely on a more condensed, accelerated plan than what usually happens with publishers.

So, I was thinking about this. Something that takes three years to do, and for sure, there have been ups and downs, and this has stretched me like nothing else. I shared about that pretty recently. And I think that it’s important to spend a little time reflecting on that because I also think that losing weight permanently is another capital BIG goal.

It really, really is. And I think that we often underestimate that. It depends on the person, it depends on what their goals are, and what they’re trying to accomplish. But if you’re somebody who struggled for a while and you’re like, “Yeah, there’s going to be some digging in required here,” it’s so interesting to think, what if it takes three years? What if it takes even longer than that? But the end result is you absolutely get what you want.

I can think back to many times when I didn’t want it to take so long, when I wanted things to go faster. When I wanted my weight to come off so much faster and I white-knuckled and I did borderline disordered stuff. And I really was stretching things to try to make it go faster. But then the result wasn’t something that I could hang onto forever.

Knowing that your clothes are going to fit every day is something you can hang onto forever. Having this book in my hands is something I can hang onto forever. And so, I think it’s really interesting to go “Well, if it takes longer but I get what I really, really want at the end, could that be worth it?” And that’s what I want to talk about today. So, how do you reach these big, big goals?

Well, the first thing you have to do is you have to know what you’re trying to accomplish. And so, for me, and as far as this book was concerned, I knew I wanted to publish a book. And I decided that I wanted to attempt to go through the traditional publisher route. I did not want to self-publish, and there’s pros and cons to both. And in considering those, it seemed like the traditional publishing pathway seemed like the right fit for my goals and what I was trying to accomplish with this book.

But what that means is that you don’t get to just decide for yourself. It is arguably a longer, more involved, and much more challenging process, with the potential for lots and lots of roadblocks. And by roadblocks, I mean, like turn around and go home level roadblocks.

I had decided for myself that if I just could not get any publisher who’s a traditional publisher to publish my book, that I would go the self-published route, but I was really pretty determined. Like, no, I’m going to keep going, because I really do think traditional publishing was best.

So, in terms of weight loss, what are you actually trying to create? And so, when I think, we’re like, “Well, I want to lose weight or I want to weigh X amount of pounds or I want to fit this size of clothes or whatever.” I think that’s just the kind of the first part of it.

We have to really think more about what it’s going to be like to have that. How will you be feeling when you’re experiencing that? What will it be like for you to be around food, to go on vacation, to travel, to go to events? That’s what you really want. You want a certain experience, you want to feel a certain way. And I think identifying what that is, is going to be really powerful for you.

So, for myself, one thing I really wanted was peace and freedom around food. I realized the longer I was at this, the more I realized I was like, “I’m actually less interested in what the scale says and more interested in what it’s like to be me in this life around food.”

Having to, of course, feed myself to stay alive, wanting to get some pleasure from food, of course, but not having the pendulum swing so far as it had been for me for really a couple decades. I mean, it was pretty intense there for a while. It was really, really a challenge. So, ultimately, that’s what I wanted.

If I couldn’t lose any weight but I could have peace and freedom around food,  I would choose that over losing the weight and not having peace and freedom around food. So, the more clear we can get around the what exactly, specifically, we want, the better. Because then we know what we’re really trying to go after. It’s like that idea that you need to know.

If you’re embarking on a trip, you need to know where you’re going. And if you have a general direction versus like a specific place, it’s going to be harder for Google Maps or Waze or whatever you use, to get you really where you want to go. So, we really need to know what we want in terms of these big goals.

The next thing is, we got to know why. And I have to say that know your why. Somehow that feels kind of tired to me in the sense that I feel like people talk about that so much, but there’s no way around it. You have to know why you’re doing this. If you don’t have a strong enough why, then you just will not have a commitment and the motivation to keep going when it gets hard.

And if it weren’t challenging, it wouldn’t be a big goal. If it was something that was easy, you’d just put it on your to-do list and you just go and do it. You wouldn’t have to make it a really big goal. So, I think that there’s no way around it. We have to know why we’re doing this. It’s very important that you know why, because this keeps you moving forward.

It would’ve been by far the path of least resistance, a hundred million times, to stop writing this book. Just in case you were wondering, that for sure would’ve been the easiest thing to do, but I knew why I was doing this.

And interestingly, I’ve been recently been interviewed to be a guest on several different podcasts and people, multiple podcast hosts have asked me, “Well, writing a book is hard. Why did you do it?”

And so, I’ve been explaining, yeah, why am I doing this? And why did I do it? And really, what it came down to, is I felt called to do it. I felt like not doing it really wasn’t an option anymore. I felt like there were people in the world that needed this message. And for some reason, I was being called to be the messenger, even though it would’ve felt way better to not do that.

Every time I thought about stopping or I don’t really have to do this or whatever it was, I always came back to people need me. There are people suffering, struggling like I was. They don’t know what to do. They need help.

They’re going to their doctors, asking their doctors for help. Their doctors don’t know what to tell them or their doctors are telling them things that don’t work. And then they feel even worse about themselves and feel even more broken.

I just was like “I can’t allow that. I can’t sit on this knowing that this is really, really helpful. And not even just like anecdotally, but we have studied data evidence that is in the book about how this really works. I can’t give up just because it’s uncomfortable for me.”

And when it comes to losing weight permanently, part of my why was just this deep belief that I had. And I’m so glad I had it because it kept me moving forward. That it just did not make logical sense that losing weight, living at a good weight for me needed to be so complicated and difficult and uncomfortable.

It just did not make sense to me. I was like, “I just cannot believe that this is the only way, that we have to suffer. It just does not make logical sense.” So, that’s what kept me going. Like that thing didn’t work, and that thing made me miserable, and that thing wasn’t sustainable, but there’s got to be something. I’m going to keep going until I figure out what it is. And I’m so glad I did.

So, we talked about the what, we talked about the why. And I’m going to say here, I don’t think you need a when. I do think that timed goals like a date or a time, I think can be helpful sometimes, but in a big, big goal, I think when we put a time stamp or time pressure on it, it can actually work against us in a lot of ways.

But that doesn’t mean that we give up. It doesn’t mean that we just get complacent. We have to keep going, but we can give it space to roll out. We can give it space to happen in its due time. When you’re taking on a really, really big goal, there are so many unknowns. How could you possibly know when this was going to happen?

For my book, I needed to write a proposal, I needed to get a literary agent who wanted to take a chance on me. Then I needed the agent to go sell the book, to go find an editor at a publisher who was interested enough that they actually wanted to buy the book.

Then I had to write the book, then I had to edit the book, and then I had to help get this book out into the world. I mean, there’s so many moving pieces. How could I even begin to know when this book could come out?

And often, if we’re like, well, three years, that seems … it can work against us. It’s like if I had known it was three years, it would be easy to be like, “Oh I have all the time in the world. I don’t really need to take it that seriously now.”

Or it’s easy to use that against us like creating pressure for ourselves, making it so that’s more difficult of an experience than it really has to be because we’re putting that extra time pressure. That’s just really not necessary. It’s just not required.

So, I mean, if you think that having a time or day deadline really helps you, go for it, of course. Just make sure that the way that you’re feeling is good while you’re doing it.

Okay, next you have to expect the obstacles and the failures. You just have to expect them. So, often we’re like, “Well, I’ll do it, but I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to get stuck. I don’t want to feel like I’m blocked in some way,” and they just don’t go together. I don’t see how you can achieve big goals and not encounter some obstacles and failures. It’s just how it is.

And what we have to do is expect them. So, when they happen, we’re not thinking, “Oh my gosh, something terribly wrong has happened.” But instead going, “Ah, I knew you were coming. I knew this would show up at some point. Here you are.” I don’t have to like it, I can wish it wasn’t happening, but it’s an invitation to learn from what it is, to pivot and to keep moving forward in whatever way.

So, just to share one immediate obstacle that came up for me — I mean, I forgot, there were so many writing this book.

But one that’s coming up immediately; well, so first of all, I decided to try to write the book proposal myself. And so, I did what I could do to write a really good book proposal. And then I started seeing if I could pitch it to agents on my own. They call that querying. And so, I started doing that, and I wasn’t getting anything.

If I got any response at all, it was referring me to someone else who might be interested, which I super appreciated. But eventually, then that person that I was referred to just wouldn’t respond.

So, I think a lot of authors in the past have been like, “Oh, I have this huge stack of rejection notices.” Yeah, in this day and age, they don’t even send you a rejection, they just ghost you. There’s just no response. And you don’t know did they even get it? What is happening?

And you’ll look at these different agencies and they’ll be like, “Here are our 25 different literary agents that we have. You can only query one of them. So, research each of them and figure out which agent might be the best for your book, and then only query them.”

I mean the amount of time spent just researching and then, of course, keeping track of everything, it’s one of those things that it’s a skill that I have. Like I can do it, I can research and keep track of that stuff. I just hate it. It’s just really not my thing. It is not my favorite thing at all. So, I did that for a little while, and then I was actually talking …

So, first of all, that’s an obstacle. It would be so easy to go. “You know what? No one’s interested. This isn’t going to work. Why was I even trying?” That would be so easy.

But I was talking to a friend, actually, I’ve had her on the podcast a couple times, my friend Shira Gill. And she was saying how she actually got an agent first, an agent reached out to her. And so, then she had to write the proposal, and the agent suggested that she work with a developmental editor to help get the proposal better.

And so, I thought I should talk to her about maybe this developmental editor thing. Maybe I need to work on making my proposal better. In fact, I probably do. So, I reached out to Shira, and she connected me with an editor. And then someone else that I knew had gone to some sort of writing conference and had been connected with a couple of editors who help with this kind of thing too.

So, there I had three names, and I set up calls with all three of them. And I talked to the first person, and the first person was like, “Yeah, you’re just never going to find a traditional publisher who’s going to want to buy this book.” She was just like, “I just don’t see this happening.”

And these are people who have experience in the field and I don’t, so we could argue that they know better than I do. And she wasn’t mean about it at all. But it’s also important for them to be honest, to share their honest opinions. So, she shared that with me, and that was a bummer.

I’m like, “Well, I still have two more people to talk to.” Okay. So, I talked to the next person, who’s a man. And he was also really nice. He was like, “Look, I think you should do hybrid publishing, which is basically like getting help with publishing it yourself, self-publishing.”

And he was so helpful. He really wanted to help me, but he is like, “Look, no publisher’s going to buy this book, but I see that you’re totally passionate about this. And it makes sense for you to publish a book. I just don’t think that it’s going to work from the traditional publisher route.” And I was like, “Okay man, shoot.” Okay so two. Two people now saying like … two people in the know are like, “This isn’t going to happen.”

And so, then I had one more call and I’m totally expecting to hear the same thing. So, I get on with her. Her name’s Meghan Stevenson. And she was like, “This is brilliant. Absolutely. This is a great book that needs to get out there.” And I was like, “I’m sorry. Come again, what?” I’m like, “Wait, did I just hear you correctly? Is that what you really just said?”

She was like, “Listen, people do not understand how someone who is able to teach people on the internet, how you can transform that into a book that will reach huge reader audience, but I know how to do that, and I can help you.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, this is so great. This is so great.”

So, I was kind of like, “Wait, does she know what she’s talking about?” If I’m honest, but then I was like, “You know what? I said I was going to do this.” I knew my why, I had someone who believed in the book.

Because here’s the thing; I just kept coming back to, like I really think this is going to be a good book, and I really think people are going to like this. I believed in that even when other people didn’t believe in it.

So, I worked with Meghan, and she took what I had in my proposal and sliced and diced it. And we talked, I mean, we spent six months together working on this proposal and making it really, I mean, infinitely better than what I had initially been reaching out to agents with.

So, that obstacle, all those failures, people not believing in it, it would’ve been so easy to just be like, “Well, I’m just going to cancel this third call because I don’t want to hear for a third time how you think that this isn’t going to be anything anybody wants to buy. That nobody’s going to believe in this book, and it’s not going to work.”

And I didn’t because I still believed in the goal. I still believe in the goal. And so, that’s what I want to encourage you to do to … the obstacles come up, the failures come up, and we just have to learn from them, pivot, and move forward; what’s the next best step.

Okay, the next thing is you have to expect others to not understand or believe in you or your goal. Like I just described, the most important thing by far is that you need to believe in you. Now, you might be like, “Well, shoot, because I don’t believe in me.”

So, maybe you don’t have to believe in you fully, but can you believe in the idea that when you set your mind to something, you can accomplish it? You have evidence maybe to support that?

Or can you believe in the idea like I did? That this just doesn’t make sense, this whole weight loss industry business. And it really, really seems like it shouldn’t have to be so hard and so complicated, and so time-consuming. That’s what we want to work on believing. Now, I will say that having at least one other person believing makes it a lot easier.

I mean, the first person was my friend, who’s a very successful author, telling me, like really going “Hey, listen, I think you’re ready.” And I’m like, “You do?” So, it was like I was leaning on her belief in me, and then leaning on successive people and their belief in this. But even without them, I deep down was like, “This is going to be a good book, people. I think you’re wrong.”

So, here’s the thing; all you need is that one person, that can be your coach. That can be me, that can be my team. But also, it can be your why. Knowing that that why is strong. Why are you doing this? That’s what’s going to get you picking yourself back up every time you get knocked down.

And the next step is got to keep going, even when it’s easy to quit and nobody would blame you for doing it. That’s the thing. You get to a point where people would just be like, “This sounds awful. Literally, why are you doing this?”

And you’re like, “It is awful, but I really do want to keep moving through this. It’s worth it to me. I know what I want, and I know why I want it. And so, I’m going to keep on going.”

So, we do this a lot of times. I mean, so many people are like, “Literally, why would you even want to go through medical training? I mean, that sounds really horrible.” But we have a reason why — we know why we’re doing it.

We are willing to go through the painful times because of that big goal at the end. So, oh man, there were a lot of ups and downs with getting this book out there, and there’s a lot of ups and downs with losing weight permanently, and it’s worth it when we know why we want it.

And then I just want to say, you really should get the support that you need when you’re trying to achieve big goals. I mean, I have in my acknowledgement section in the book, I think I wrote something like took an army of coaches and therapists and stuff to help me.

I mean, I can name specific people and specific conversations that we had that made all the difference for me. Like really, struggling with something and having one coaching session and it just changing everything.

Coaching is so powerful, and maybe it’s not coaching for you. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe it’s therapy. Maybe it’s a really good friend and a conversation with them. Whatever it is, make sure you’re getting that support that you need. We don’t have to make something that’s already a challenge harder than it has to be.

And then finally, when you’re working on reaching a big goal, you have to enjoy the small wins along the way. You can’t go for three years and just be miserable. I mean, the day I got an agent, I was like, “Hallelujah, praise.”

I mean, it was just such a great day. It was such a great day. It was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s one more step moving forward.” And that could be with weight loss. That could be going to an event and actually rocking it, and really showing up for yourself and creating the experience that you wanted.

Or it could be that day you hit 199 pounds when you’ve been 200 or higher for however long. And these aren’t maybe even small wins, maybe they’re big ones along the way. But the small wins too: getting a chapter done or crossing off this task, this thing that you really didn’t want to do.

Maybe it’s getting coaching on that thing that you know you need coaching on, but you’re just dragging your feet. You like really don’t want to talk about it, and then you feel so much better after you did. We have to celebrate those wins. We have to mark them in our brains. We have to become aware of them; “Something good happened today on my path to achieving this big goal, and it was awesome. And I’m going to let myself stay with that for as long as I can.”

I mean, the day the book got bought, literally, it’s like one of those things like kind of reminds me of if you are trying to get pregnant and you’re like so excited that you’re pregnant. And then especially if you’re a pediatrician, your next thought is, “Oh my God, I hope everything is okay in there. Ah!”. Immediately, you have new things to worry about. So, you get the book deal and you’re like, “Oh my God, I have to write a book now, what?”

But can we just take a moment to enjoy those wins along the way? It’s so important because we need those so that we can keep going for however long it takes to reach those big goals. So, that’s how you reach big goals. I didn’t know when I started out how I was going to do this. I didn’t even have the slightest idea how I was going to get this book into the world.

And you might be like, “Look, I want peace and freedom around food, and I don’t want to struggle with my weight anymore. And I don’t have the slightest idea how I’m going to do that, but I’m going to get started. I’m going to try something and I’m going to learn from it and I’m going to move forward in the way that makes the most sense, because I’m going to create this for myself in my life.” Feels good, right?

So, if you would like a little head start on that goal of losing weight permanently, creating peace of freedom around food, go pick up “How to Lose Weight for The Last Time.” And please let people know about it even if you don’t struggle with your weight. If you know people, maybe just even saying, “Hey, listen, if you struggle with your weight, I just want to let you know, this is a really a good idea.”

This is something that people should know about. Just sharing about it is so, so important. People need to know that this traditional way that we’re all told to lose weight there is another way. People need to know, and I would love your help in getting that word out.

Thank you so much. If you’ve bought the book, if you shared about it, if you’ve told people about it, if you’ve been part of our book ambassador’s group, just extra special thanks to you.

And I hope that you will come and join me on Saturday, September 24th, for that Guarantee Your Weight Loss Success workshop. It’s going to be so fun to share with you and to teach you some really great stuff. So, don’t forget to get your admission into that workshop.

Go purchase the book, bring your order number to katrinaubellmd.com/lasttime. And you’ll get all the information you need.

Alright, thank you so much. Thank you for celebrating with me today. This is so fun. I hope you have a great rest of your week and hopefully, I’ll see you this weekend. Talk to you next time. Bye-bye

Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals? For lots of free help, go to katrinaubellmd.com and click on free resources.