Ep #237: “I Should Be Able to Do This On My Own.” (Why You Think You Can’t Lose Weight Series)

Do you believe that weight loss is something you should be able to do yourself? This is a really common belief, and one that I’m breaking down today in the first of a 4-part series on the reasons why you think you can’t lose weight.

As doctors, we tend to believe that because we already have the knowledge for successful weight loss that we should be able to just do it, which is actually far from the truth. So in this episode, I’ll be sharing where this belief commonly stems from, how it can actually hinder us from losing weight, and some of the lies we tell ourselves about losing weight without help.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The problem with believing you can do it yourself.
  • The common lies we tell ourselves about doing it alone.
  • Why having knowledge does not negate needing help.
  • How to give yourself permission to ask for help.
  • How to overcome denying ourselves the help we need.

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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 237.

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.

Hey, there my friend, how are you? Thank you so much for joining me again today on the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. I have some fun news to share with you. I’ve actually been wanting to tell you about this since March, and I couldn’t say anything and I can’t believe it’s taken this long for me to share it. But as of today, I am able to share it, and it’s just really good news and something I’ve been working on for, actually, the last several years, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you know that this was something that I mentioned a long time ago. But the good news that I want to share is that I have a deal with a major publisher to publish a book. Isn’t that so cool? So I have the fully executed contract as of today. So I feel like, okay, I can tell it, I can announce it. I can tell everybody. It’s not going to be out until the end of next year, 2022, but it’s very, very exciting.

I’m in the writing process right now and the manuscript will be due later this year. So that has been taking up a lot of my focus as you can imagine between that and recreating the Weight Loss For Doctors Only Program, new, better, new and improved, and updated with all the information that I’ve studied and all the things I’ve learned over the last four years since I created that program, you can imagine. My plates have been full. And if you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I also had major construction going on in my home, that I was unfortunately in charge of so it’s been a lot, but it’s all really good stuff and I’m excited to share it. I know some people are going to be like, “Who’s it with?”, it’s with Grants Central Publishing balance and the publisher is a Hachette Book Group. So very excited to be working with them. So excited for the opportunity. I’m just excited about all of it. It’s just really, really cool and it’s going to be something that is going to help everyone who’s listening. it’s going to be so helpful for, of course, all the doctors that I serve. And of course, it’s going to be helpful for those of you who are also listening. I see you giving me a little wink. I know there’s plenty of you out there who are like, “I’m not a doctor but this podcast has helped me so much,” or “My doctor actually suggested that I listen to this podcast.” And so I love having something that I can share with you as well since my program is only for doctors and clinical practice.

So it’s very exciting and as I said, I’ll be telling you more about it next year when we have the opportunity for pre-sales and other cool things like that. But for now, just send me all your good writing vibes because I need them.
I truly understand so much more clearly the adage, I’m not actually sure who said this but I’m not even going to look it up because I think this is one of those sayings that is attributed to multiple people and I don’t know who’s really the person but it’s basically, “Writers don’t like writing, they like having written.” and that’s for sure I think what my take will be on this process, but it’s going to be so worth it because it’s just a great combination of so much information.

So some of the things I’ve taught on the podcast will be in there, some other things I’ve never taught on the podcast before, so other great information that will be in there to help you to lose weight for the last time. Yay, so exciting. So like I said, I need, send me all like, if you’re a praying person, put me in your prayers I need it, okay? I mean, the universe is on my side. I need all the muses, and the angels, and the whatever, all the things that people believe in, I need everybody to be focusing their direction with their positivity. So thank you so much for that, if that’s something that you do. And also, I know so many of you will be excited and so thanks for your excitement. I’m certainly excited about it.

Okay, the next announcement is that I have another free training coming up that I want to see if you’d like to join. I want to offer it to you. It is next Wednesday, not the Wednesday right after the day this podcast airs, but Wednesday, August 4. It’s at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time, 5:30 p.m. Pacific. It’s called How to Lose Weight For The Last Time. It’s a training that I do periodically because it’s such a core important information, really, for anybody who is looking to lose weight. So whether you are trying a different method of losing weight, then what I recommend, or doing what I teach on this podcast, it really honestly doesn’t even matter. The information that I teach you on this podcast is really crucial and important for you to actually solve your weight problem.

What so many of the weight loss industry players focus on is the one small piece of the puzzle and that’s apparent in the fact that many of us can lose some weight, following some sort of plan, but then we gain it right back again. And so, what I’m teaching you on this training, is what you need to understand, so you can lose weight and keep it off. That’s really the most important part. And some people argue, I kind of waffle about whether this is a cynical viewpoint or if it may be actually the truth. But I like to believe that’s not true, but I don’t know, maybe it is. But some people say that the reason why so many weight loss programs don’t focus on this is so that you will gain the weight back so then you need to come back to them and spend more money with them, which, as I said, I don’t know. I don’t know, I really hope that that’s not the case. But ultimately, that just kind of goes to show how people realize that there’s a piece missing, there’s an important part missing, which is the part about how you keep the weight off. And even if they teach some of that, it tends to not actually be that, I don’t know, lasting or useful or really help you in the ways you need to be helped so that you can keep it off.

That certainly was my experience in struggling with my weight for decades. Gaining and losing again and again, and just not being able to solve it until I understood this information. So I’m offering it to you for free, it’s totally worth it to come live if that’s at all possible for you. But if it’s not, then just know that if you register, we’ll still send you the replay. At the end of the training, too if you’re interested, I’ll tell you more about the Weight Loss For Doctors Only Program. You have a unique opportunity to hold a spot for yourself when you come to these calls and just tell you more about our amazing updated program that we’re going to be launching here very, very soon.

So the way to register is just to go to katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight, so that’s lose weight, all smushed together and it’s L-O-S-E, not L-O-O-S-E. It’s not loose weight, it’s lose weight. L-O-S-E W-E-I-G-H-T. So katrinaubellmd.com/ loseweight and it’s on Wednesday, August 4, 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 p.m. Pacific.

Alright, so today is the first in a 4-part series on Why You Think You Can’t Lose Weight. And this is something that comes up so often. Even when we are trying to lose weight, we often have a deeper belief that we may or may not be aware of. So meaning it might be on our conscious awareness or might be more on the subconscious level where we think that we can’t lose weight, that it’s not really possible for us for any number of reasons. And so a really common one that I’m going to be discussing today is thinking that you should be able to do it yourself. I hear this so often with doctors, especially. Thinking that you should be able to do it yourself. You shouldn’t need help to lose weight because you already know all the information that you need to do it, right? How often do we say, “I already know what I need to do, I’m just not doing it,” right?

So we think so often. I’m a doctor, I’m an expert in human physiology. I understand how a human body works and I know what to do. So I don’t need to join a program or hire someone or spend money to do this, because I should really be able to figure it out myself. And I will admit that on a surface level, I can see how that can seem logical. Like, how we can convince ourselves that that really is the truth and that we shouldn’t need any help and we should be able to just buckle down and do it. And what I have to say to that is that if that works for you, then awesome. The problem with that though, is that what I find so often is that we don’t actually do it, right? So what we do is we think, “Well, I should be able to do it myself, but I’m not doing it right now, so something needs to change in order for me to do it.” And usually, what we are thinking needs to change is not like, “Oh, I need some assistance or guidance,” right? Because we think we should be able to do it ourselves. So we think, “I just need more time to focus on it. Life’s too busy right now. It’s a big project. I can’t really take that on right now,” and so then we put it off and we just tell ourselves, “I should just be able to do this myself. When I have time, I’ll be able to focus on it.”

The problem with this is that in my experience and in this experience of the over a thousand doctors that I’ve helped lose weight permanently, is that that time never just opens up. It doesn’t just like, I was thinking of time as like rolling out the red carpet, one day there’s going to be nothing to do and time will roll out of the red carpet and invite you to go and focus on losing weight. Like, it’s, of course, never going to happen like that. Our time is filled with things that are important to us. So when we think that we need more time to focus on weight loss and we don’t dedicate the time to it. What we’re doing is we’re signaling to ourselves that we’re not important enough to ourselves to actually prioritize it.

And honestly, this is not necessarily a problem, there are definitely times in life where it’s not probably the best time to be focusing on that and that’s totally okay. But then we don’t need to tell ourselves the lie that we need more time to focus on it. Instead, we need to tell ourselves the truth.
Which is, I’m just not in a position where I want to do that, where I have the mental capacity to be able to do it, where it’s healthy for me to do it or it’s a good idea for me to do it, whatever it may be, rather than telling ourselves like basically blaming it on time or lack thereof or all the other obligations that we have. So we think times going to do it and if it’s not time then what we need is more help at home. I hear this one so much. If I didn’t have to do so many things at home, it would be possible for me to do this.

One thing that I hear so often, right, is, “If I could just higher all this out then I would be able to do it,” and maybe that’s true, maybe not. But really the help at home, I think of it as a nice bonus if you have it and if you don’t, it makes zero difference. Because when you think you need more help at home to have success on your own because you should be able to do it all yourself. Then what you’re basically saying is that you can’t really do it all yourself and so you start saying, “Well, I’m only going to be successful if these other people act in a certain way or if I can hire someone to do these things, and they are awesome and don’t need managing,” or whatever it is or “If I had more money then I could pay for that help.” What we’re doing is we’re just putting the blame on other parts of our lives. I could do it all myself but I’m not because I need more assistance from other people. And again, when something is important to you, you prioritize it and figure it out.

Over the years, I’ve worked with, literally dozens and dozens and dozens of women who have a partner at home, who’s in charge of all the grocery shopping and the food prep and the food preparation, cooking, and everything. And they will very often say, “Well, but my spouse is in charge and he or she doesn’t like to plan ahead. They like to just, you know, what they feel like in the moment, and I have said this would really be supportive of me if we could do this together, we could plan together and they’re just not willing to do that.” And so for so many people, they just let that obstacle just be the end. “Well, I can’t really do it,” or “I guess I could create my own stuff, but then it’s too hard.” We just aren’t thinking of solutions focused. And so we let that be something that slows us down when the truth is if you really do believe, you should be able to do it yourself. And you don’t need anybody else to help you if you keep things really, just very, very simple and focused on the most important things, it actually takes very little time and it’s totally possible for you to get the help you need in whatever way that is. And there are a million ways to get food prepared the way you want it prepared into your home. Having a partner or spouse prepared for you is one of those hundreds and probably thousands of ways of getting that food into your home.

You can see what we do, right? We start thinking we should be able to do it ourselves but then we’re not doing it ourselves so we’re like, “No, it’s times fault. No, it’s the lack of help at home.” Then what starts to happen for many of us is that this all starts devolving into blaming a lack of personal attributes, right? So we’re blaming time, we’re blaming the people who are in our lives, who aren’t helping more, or maybe being upset that we don’t have people in our lives who could help us more. And then we start turning this into,
“Something’s wrong with me,” right? Like, “I need to be more disciplined. I need to have more motivation. I need to be more virtuous or less gluttonous. I need to make better decisions at the moment, I need more self-control.”

So now we’re starting to blame ourselves like there’s an actual character flaw within us that’s creating the problem, that we aren’t able to overcome, but we should be able to do it ourselves, right? This is what’s so interesting. We’re like, it sounds good on the surface. I should be able to do it myself but we aren’t doing it. So then what’s going on, right? So thinking that you need more discipline, more motivation, that you need more self-control. All of that is ultimately just a very sly and sneaky way of beating yourself up of basically saying you’re not enough, you’re not good enough to be able to have this thing that you should be able to create for yourself. Because you’re saying, “I should be able to do this myself. I know all the things that I need to know, so why am I not doing it? Well, it must be because something is wrong with me, right?” So rather than recognizing the actual truth, we just start going, “Well, it’s something that’s a character flaw,” or something that’s unredeemable about ourselves, like we’re not able to fix this so I guess we’re hopeless. And then by believing that, we don’t get the help that we need and we continue to think that we should be able to do it ourselves, except that we don’t actually do it. We still are not making any forward progress.

And when we’re doing this, what we’re really doing when we’re thinking that we should be able to lose weight ourselves, yet, we’re not taking the actions needed to lose the weight. What we’re essentially doing as doctors are using our medical fund of knowledge against ourselves. So you do know more than the average bear about how the body works. I think we can all agree on that and that’s fine, that’s all great. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t necessarily need help. So I like to think of it as how does being a doctor help me in terms of losing weight or understanding information? I think for sure it has refined the BS meter so to speak. If somebody is offering some idea or some new way of doing something when it comes to a human body or losing weight or eating, whatever, I go into it with a different level of understanding of what they’re actually saying. I don’t go into it going, “I should already know all of this stuff,” or “I should be able to incorporate all this,” or “I’m stupid for not knowing this already.”

I go into it going, “Hmm, let me see. This is interesting. They’re saying this and that, I actually can tell that what they’re saying there, it doesn’t even actually make physiological sense. So now I’m a little suspicious.” Or it’s something where I’m like, “No, they actually explained that really well, that totally makes sense,” which helps me to lose the doubt, right? Where I’m like, “Okay, well it makes sense to me as a person but it also makes sense to my doctor brain. That’s actually pretty good. I’m probably moving in the right direction here. That’s really, really good.” So we don’t as I’ve said, want to use the information and knowledge that we have against ourselves. Meaning, you already have what you need, you shouldn’t need anything else. I would argue that that’s just not true because you’re still not getting the results that you want. So clearly, something is missing.

So if you are saying that you know as much as you should need to know. I mean, it’s just false and it’s just because you’re not getting the results that you want, like, if you already had what you needed to create those results, then you would have the results already, you wouldn’t even be listening to this podcast, right? So, ultimately, even when you do this, what you’re doing is you’re denying yourself the help you need because you don’t think that you deserve it, right?

Deep down, when you don’t think that you’re worthy of the help that may be required to have to get you to lose weight and keep it off, you will use all kinds of things against yourself, right? Like saying that you’re not disciplined and saying that you lack self-control and saying that you already know a whole bunch of things because you’re already a doctor and that should be enough. But you’re just saying, yeah, you have all the things you need which are arbitrary and untrue, but saying you have all these things that you need and if you can’t have success with that then too bad, you don’t get to have success. That’s a terrible way to treat yourself. It’s mean, it’s unsupportive, and it certainly is not going to move you forward with actually solving your weight problem or your overeating problem at all.

So the most important thing to understand here is that knowledge isn’t what is going to get you to permanent weight loss. Are there certain things to understand? Yes, of course, but I was literally just coaching in one of my groups today about how you can learn a whole bunch of things and still not apply it and still not get the results. You have to actually apply what you know in a way that makes sense to your actual issue and struggle. And that is how working with somebody, whether it’s a coach or some sort of Health Advocate or somebody like that, that is how they can really help you to get those results that you want. You have the knowledge, now you need to apply it to yourself. And the knowledge that you attain while you’re applying it to yourself is not what you can find in a textbook somewhere.

Trust me, I thought this a hundred million times so I get it. But so often my clients are like, “I just want you to tell me what to do. I just want to find out what all the steps are so I can get the results that I want,” and for sure I can guide you along a path but I cannot just tell you there is no step 1, step 2, step 3, you do all these things, right, like a course syllabus. You do all of these things you will get an A, that doesn’t work like that. There’s a lot of experimentation and application and exploration of yourself that’s required.

Now, I get it, not everybody’s going to be open to this or wants to do that work and that’s fine. But then stop beating yourself up about it and stop saying that you should know how to do this yourself. Recognize that there are other things, there are missing pieces and if at any time in your life you’re interested in filling in those gaps, that’s available to you and you can seek that out and get the help that you need, but stop saying that you should be able to do it yourself because you already know enough. What you don’t know enough about is yourself and why you take the actions that you take, which caused an overweight problem. Why do you drink the way you drink? Why do you eat the way you eat? You cannot find that in a textbook. Nobody is going to know that information, someone can guide you to help you find that information. That’s what we do in Weight Loss For Doctors Only.

But ultimately, permanent weight loss is a personal growth process. It just is. You have to grow as a human being and evolve to be able to get the results that you want and if you’re up for that challenge, if you’re open to that process, you can blow your mind, unlike any way that you could ever imagine. I mean, constantly, what our clients tell us about what they’ve been able to create with coaching help, it’s really incredible. I mean, practically unbelievable, but I know it’s true so I can believe it. So it’s coming back to, “Do I really want to do what it takes, and am I open to having someone assist me?” Because if it were true that you could do it yourself, you would have already done it, right? So you don’t need more time, you honestly don’t.
Do you know what you need? You need some coaching on how you’re wasting time so that you can be more productive and actually get all the things done in your life that you already get done and have time left over to do the things that would best serve you to focus on yourself, to actually be able to support yourself and grow, right? You don’t need more help at home. You need to simplify things and manage your mind so that you are easily able to provide all the food that you need for yourself and any other support that you need. And then you for sure have to work on the storyline of what you think about yourself, your opinion of yourself, what you think is true about you, your overall identity. When that is garbage, essentially, you, not having a positive opinion of yourself, you, not thinking highly of yourself, you, not thinking of yourself as a person who can solve this problem, that all needs to be changed.

And why would you be expected to know how to change your identity if you’re a doctor? Completely two separate things, like, being a doctor and that kind of says totally different. So that’s exactly what we teach in our program is how to change all that stuff. So saying you already know what you need to know, things that presuppose that this is a medical problem, it’s purely medical and I promise you, it’s not, it really is also a personal, emotional process that requires some exploration of yourself. So that you can move past this, actually, solve the problem, and not only live free around food. No longer having all the brain chatter and truly feeling peace around even the foods that are more triggering for you, but also having the relationship with yourself where you actually like being with yourself. You don’t need food to come in and rescue you from yourself because you’re already there for you. You like being with you.

So I understand that you think that you should be able to do it yourself. And I just want to challenge you to reconsider that and just to question it and maybe after hearing this will you’ll be like, “No, no, no. I really think I can. I’m going to double down and do it.” Great and that’s amazing. Go for it. But if you aren’t doing it even though you think you should, I want you to consider getting some additional help. The first step for that is understanding what you need to do to be able to lose weight for the last time. And so that’s why I want to again, encourage you to come and join me next Wednesday, August 4 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 p.m. Pacific. So I can teach you the things that you really need to understand so that you can lose weight and keep it off. So make sure you register for that by going to katrinaubellmd.com/ loseweight, L-O-S-E W-E-I-G-H-T. And we’ll get you started on that right foot. Alright, I can’t wait to see you on the call and I hope you have a wonderful week and I’ll talk to you next time. Take care.

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




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Showing 2 comments
  • Sara

    I’m curious if you have an eating plan that you recommend, and also a recommendation for how much sugar you should limit yourself to? Does the daily suggest amount of 25g per day for a woman include sugar from fruit?

    • Team Katrina

      Hi Sara, We don’t recommend any specific eating plan. In our program, we help you come up with a plan that works for you and your unique food preferences. We also don’t count calories or recommend exact numbers for how many sugars you should be eating each day. In Katrina’s program, all that counting won’t matter, because you’ll be eating in a way that is healthy and nourishes your body. We recommend cutting out all refined sugar. Whole fruit is totally fine, as it contains no refined sugar. We simply recommend avoiding all forms of added sugar. Hope that answers you question.

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