Ep #240: “I’ve Already Tried Everything.” (Why You Think You Can’t Lose Weight Series)

Have you tried everything under the sun to lose weight without success? Do you believe that losing weight is actually impossible for you? If that sounds familiar, or if you’re completely new to weight loss, this is an episode I promise you’ll want to listen to.

Today I’m diving into why the belief that you’ve tried everything to lose weight is actually holding you back in your weight loss journey, as well as how you can turn that belief around. You’ll learn the one thing that often gets missed when it comes to losing weight – and keeping it off! This could make a world of difference in your weight loss success.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Why diets don’t work.
  • The piece that often gets missed when it comes to weight loss.
  • How your beliefs play into your weight loss success.
  • How to change your mindset.
  • Why the belief that you’ve already tried everything is limiting you.

Featured In This Episode


Get The Full Episode Transcript

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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 240.

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, hey there, my friend. So glad you’re here with me today. Thank you for joining me on today’s episode. I am very happy to be here with you today. It’s always one of my favorite things to do, is to record a podcast. Even when it feels like, “What am I going to talk about? 240 episodes.” But I always come up with something, and I’m actually really excited to talk to you today about our topic. I think it’s going to be so great.

How are you doing? August is winding down, and I’m just so curious. What’s going on in your neck of the woods, in your life? We are gearing up for school going back into session. My son, my 15-year-old, I’ve talked before about going to Outward Bound which is, it’s not camp. I shouldn’t really call it camp because it’s more like a wilderness experience. Maybe we should call that. They call them courses, not camps, because camps are a lot easier and more fun. I shouldn’t say more fun, but definitely a lot easier than these are. These are definitely in the middle of nowhere wilderness, kinds of experiences. They do have them for adults, too. Part of me wants to do one someday, and I’m sure I will. Actually, I’m quite sure I will someday. But it just has not been in the cards for me, lately.

But anyway, he is doing a river rafting and mountaineering course. It’s two weeks, and it’s in Oregon. It was a little dramatic there, recently. This is his first time flying by himself, not as an unaccompanied minor. This kid is the kid who, at age 3, I’m not exaggerating, asked me, for the first time, when we were going to go to Japan. He has been really, really, really interested in geography, travel, and other cultures from birth, basically. This is just who he is. He absolutely loves to travel. And so, the idea of flying anywhere, he doesn’t really care where it is, he’s in. He loves it.

He’s gone to a couple of these courses before and flown as an unaccompanied minor. But now, he’s old enough that he could really fly by himself. He honestly does not need the accompaniment of the airline personnel. So, I really wasn’t worried about it. He knows what he’s doing. He’s fine. He can totally figure it out. We weren’t able to get him a direct flight because of where he had to fly into, so I was like, “This is totally fine. He can do a layover. This is how you learn.” I was actually part of a service organization, Hockey Club International, when I was in high school. I had an international leadership position, which required me to travel by myself throughout the country fairly regularly. This was before cell phones. I was 16, flying by myself, and my parents let me do it. So, I’m like, “He’s 15 and 1/2. He’ll be 16 in a couple of months. He totally can do this.”

Anyway, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that at 6 p.m., the night before his flight, he comes running up to me and says, “Hey, my flight was canceled.” I was like, “What? Oh, my gosh.” It was two legs, and it was the first leg that was canceled. And of course, the airline was just like, “Uh, check back later. We’ll let you know what’s going on.” I’m like, “We don’t have time for that.” Because also, he has to get there on a certain day, even preferably within a certain time. Because they start getting ready, and then, they’re out in the wilderness. They’re in the middle of nowhere. There’s no real good way to catch up.

So, a couple of hours, several phone calls later, I ended up finding him a flight that had three legs and two layovers. I got him there a little bit late but I did get him there on the time when he was supposed to. It cost a gazillion dollars and that was also okay because this is what we do. These are those times where we’re like, “You know what? If we can throw money at the problem and solve it, and that’s what we need to do.” Because there really was no other option to get him there. It was that or skip the whole thing, and we weren’t going to do that. Anyway, that was a lot of excitement. He did get there on time. He’s actually doing it with his cousin, this time, which is very exciting. It’ll be his cousin’s first course, and my sister-in-law was there still when he was there. She sent us pictures and gave us the rundown on everything, how everything was going.

But the funniest part was my reaction. It was funny to me because I was like, I literally cannot even control myself right now. I was literally laughing at myself as I was saying things to my son. Because he was just taking a carry-on suitcase so we can’t take very much, I was like, “Okay when you’re in the bathroom, make sure the suitcase is right by you. Or someone could take it.” It was like, I could just hear the maternal words coming out and I couldn’t control myself. Of course, he knows not to do that. I feel like I have to say this out loud. And then the biggest thing was, just like a dog with a bone, I could not let it go if he had enough extra chargers for his phone because they can’t bring their phones with them on the trip. So, when they get back after two weeks, their phones are dead. And so, then he’s traveling back by himself with a layover, and I was like, “You know, you need to start charging that thing right away.” And in my defense, a couple of years ago when he was flying unaccompanied minor, I don’t remember the details, something happened and his phone died. So, he was like, “You know, I have this huge charger. Like this should be enough.” And in my mind, I’m like, “No, you need a backup. You need us at least one more.” It was like please humor me. I’m so sorry but I just can’t help myself, and I’m like, personal growth through parenting. That’s what we got going on here. Oh, man.

Anyway, that’s been the latest. So, he’s had two nights there now on his own. And they don’t even sleep in tents. They sleep like under a tarp in the open air, which he says is better actually. He says it’s cooler and stuff. Anyway, the point is, you know, life is life. And you just got to work through it, and it’s all okay. What I love though is when I had, you know, kind of gotten to a point where I was waiting for the next bit of information before we could figure out what we’re going to do next for his flight, we came downstairs to my office, which is in the attic. And he was like, “Just so you know, I’m really not stressed about this.” And I was like, “Well, that’s great. Because you know what? You don’t have to figure out to get yourself there. So, I’m glad you’re not stressed. But I am because it’s my job to find you a way to get there.” I was just chuckling to myself. He was trying to reassure me. I’m like, “Of course, you’re not worried about it. You’re a 15-year-old boy, who has a mom who’s going to just take care of it for you.

Oh my gosh, anyway. Okay. Well, before we get into our topic today, I do want to invite you to come join me next week, Thursday, August 26, for a free training that I’m doing. It’s called, “How to Know If You’re Ready to Lose Weight?” And you know, you might be like, what do you mean ready to lose weight? I’m always ready to lose weight, or whomever I lose weight. But I think it really is actually an important concept because, so often, I think we dive headfirst into a weight loss program, and we don’t actually consider whether we are ready. Whether it’s a good time for us. Whether we’re in the right headspace and mental frame of mind that’s required to get the results that we want. When we’re not in, you know, when we’re not technically ready, we’re not in that mindset, then we try this way of losing weight. We’re not able to continue on with it or doesn’t work for us. And then, we make it mean that, you know, the diet didn’t work. Or that’s, you know, not a good one for us, which it may or may not be, but also often something negative about ourselves. And I’m just as guilty as anyone on this. Where, you know, right away, this didn’t work. Obviously, I did something wrong. I did something bad. There’s something wrong with me and has nothing to do with any of that. So, it’s so much more important to know if you’re ready or not. And what’s important in determining whether you’re ready or not to lose weight, no matter how you’re going to lose weight.

And so, at that free training, I will also be opening up enrollment for our September weight loss for doctors-only group. This will be our last group that we have in 2021. Our next one won’t be until 2022. So, if you’ve been interested wanting to know more, you’re definitely going to want to come to this live training. So, we’ll talk about how to know if you’re ready and also give you more information about the program. If that might be something that you’re interested in. If that might possibly be right next up for you. So, the training is on Thursday, August 26 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern; 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. To register, just go to https://katrinaubellmd.com/ready, R-E-A-D-Y, and you can get the replay. But I do just want you to know that there is an awesome bonus that ends the day after the live training. So, do your best to come and attend live. And if you can’t do that, because sometimes, you know, stuff happens and you can’t do it, that’s totally cool. Just make sure that when you get the replay the next morning that you prioritize listening to that. And, you know, what I usually do is, you can use an extension for your web browser that allows you to speed up the speed. Actually, maybe even in our replay, probably even in a replay, you can increase the speed. So, if you need to go a little faster, you can just get through that.

I feel like I want to live my life on 1.5x speed. Like I can’t listen to any podcasts anymore, unless they’re 1.5. Even sometimes if I’m watching the TV or something, like watching the Olympics, I’m like, we got to speed this up. That’s what our world is coming down to. I’m like, regular speed of life is too slow. What does that say about me? Anyway, so come and join me. Thursday, August 26. We’ll make sure that you’re leaving the call knowing whether now’s your time to lose weight or not, whether you’re ready or not. And it’s like I said, 8:30 p.m. Eastern; 5:30 p.m. Pacific. And you can register https://katrinaubellmd.com/ready.

Okay, so today’s episode is the fourth and final episode in the “Why You Think You Can’t Lose Weight” series. And this is really, really important because you may be like, “No, no, no. I know I can lose weight.” But deep down, you’re not doing it though because you think it’s not possible, right? You think you can’t lose weight. So, today’s reason is I’ve already tried everything and nothing works. Have you ever thought that? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. I definitely have people who come to me who are like, “No, this is my first time really trying to lose weight.” And I have other people who are like, “I’ve spent the last many decades of my life struggling with this.” And people who are totally in the middle. So, this may or may not be something that you thought before. But regardless of whether you truly believe you tried everything and nothing works, there are still some good info in here for you, even if you’re new to weight loss.

So, this is a common thing that people say though, right? Like I’ve tried everything. You know, that diets don’t work messaging. Which I agree with, but not with the way that it’s often used. Diets don’t work in the sense that, when you are in diet mentality, like you’re restricting yourself, you’re punishing yourself, you’re doing things that you’re not willing to do long-term for a short-term outcome, i.e. weight loss quickly, you’re just going to end up gaining it back again, which was not your original goal. Your original goal was to lose weight, and keep it off. I’m assuming, I mean, most people don’t think they’re going to lose weight and, you know, part of their goal is to get it back again. So, we’re going to lose the weight; we want to keep it off. Yet, we’re entering into a plan that if we really think long and hard about the plan, what we know about ourselves, what we know about our lives, it’s not going to be something you are going to be able to do long-term, right? So, we will often sacrifice our well-being, all for the sake of rushing and being in a hurry because we think that being thinner sooner is going to make life better.

And so, in that framework, yes, I believe that diets don’t work. But I do also believe that most weight-loss plans will help you to lose weight if you are able to follow them. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t want to or are able to follow them. It doesn’t mean anything about you at all. It’s just when people say diets don’t work or weight-loss programs don’t work, it’s like, well, that’s just blatantly not true. Just isn’t true. So, when we have that thought and I’ve already tried everything and nothing works, we’re looking at it like, okay, I’ve done all the diets, I’ve worked with the trainer, possibly multiple trainers. I knew somebody several years ago, who worked with somebody who actually specialized in helping Hollywood actors and actresses transform their bodies quickly for a movie role or television role, but usually, I think, for movies. So, think about the people who need to gain weight for a role, and then for their next role, they need to totally slim down and get super lean or whatever. This person was an expert in helping people do that. And she didn’t have success with that person either. You know, kind of like the body transformer to the stars. We start to think like, “I’m going to do these outlier kinds of activities.” And if that doesn’t work and I’ve really tried everything and nothing works, right? So, the pills and the prescriptions and the shakes, and maybe you’ve even tried surgery.

I was actually just doing a training that I sometimes do called, “How to Lose Weight for the Last Time.” Somebody was on there saying that they were a bariatric surgeon, and actually recommended that they come and work with me. Which I think, says a lot. I’ve had many people who’ve gone through bariatric surgery and still come into my program because still know that they need some additional help. So, when we talk about like, “I’ve tried everything, and nothing works.” We’re talking about a lot of actions. I literally never have heard someone say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing works.” And they have also dug deeply into my management. Maybe they worked with a therapist or something like that. You know, therapy’s great; but therapy can be really different when it comes to weight loss. I find that it often, maybe, works really well concurrently with a weight loss coaching program. But on its own, it’s often, maybe, a piece to the puzzle, but it, generally, is not the thing that really solves it. So, what we know is, if we’re thinking I’ve already tried everything and nothing works, then what we know is, well, the thing you haven’t tried though is working on your brain.

And so, here is why that’s very important. When you think you’ve already tried everything; everything, right? Like an exhaustive list, you’ve tried all the things, then you think losing weight is impossible for you. Right? Because you haven’t been successful in the past, you’ve tried all the things in the past. And you weren’t able to do them. Therefore, your extrapolation from that, losing weight is impossible for you. When you believe losing weight is impossible for me, that is not the truth, okay? That is a belief. And it’s a belief that you have in yourself, and it’s actually a deficiency in belief in what’s possible for you, right? It’s not a deficiency in what’s possible for you. It’s not saying that it’s not possible for you. It’s a deficiency in belief about what’s possible for you.

Permanent weight loss is available to you. It’s available to everybody. And if you’re having like the “but’s” come up. But but, but. I’m on this medication. I have this medical problem. I have this other challenge that makes it more challenging. I didn’t say it was going to be necessarily the most typical way of doing it, but permanent weight loss is available to you. This is a fact. This is the truth. Your job is to believe that you can have it. Your job is to believe hard and consistently that you can have permanent weight loss. That it is possible. It’s available to you. It’s something that you can choose if you decide that you want it.

Okay, so here’s what happens when you have the thought it’s not possible for me to lose weight or I’ve tried everything and nothing works. We know that your thoughts determine how you feel, your emotions, and those determine what actions you take. And of course, the actions you take, and don’t take, create your results. So, what I know is that when you are thinking the thought and believing the belief that you’ve already tried everything and nothing works and that it’s not possible for you to lose weight, you will create a lack of success. I wouldn’t even necessarily call it failure. You were just not creating success for yourself. Okay? We think we’re just stating the facts when you say it’s not possible. But I want you to understand that this is a thought, and it’s a decision that you chose. You decided to believe that that’s true. It’s not the facts. It’s just not the facts.

What I often will say to clients is, “Well, what do you think though? If I told you if you didn’t lose 5 pounds in the next three months, I would cut off your right arm. You think you could do it? And generally, they’re like, “Eh, probably.” Like, “What if I gave you $50,000 to lose 5 pounds in three months, you think you could do it?” And so, they were like, “Hmm, maybe.” I’m like, “A hundred grand?” “Okay, well, up the ante. 500 grand.” There’s certainly a dollar amount that I could give you and promise you that would make you do what’s required to lose that weight, right? So, we know when the stakes are different, when the environment is different, we would have different thoughts about it. We’d go from “This is impossible. It’s not worth it. I can’t do it,” to “You know what? I’m gonna go do this, I’m going to go do this.”

So, your job is to practice believing that this is possible for you, if you don’t believe that it is right now. And I would also say that if your belief is weak, like sometimes you believe it but most of the time you don’t, then your job is to practice believing. Believing that you can have what you want when it comes to your body and weight loss and in other areas of your life as well. If there are certain types of relationships that you would like to have, when you believe it’s not possible, you will not succeed in creating that. You have to decide to believe that you can have what you want. You can have the relationships you want. You can have the job you want. You can have the home environment that you want. You can have the body that you want.

Now, the next step to that, though, is then you also practice believing that getting it can be easy and comfortable for you. Because, listen, I’ve had all the thoughts. I’ve had a thought. Well, yeah, sure, of course, I could do it. But at what expense? Right? Like, I’ll be miserable, I’ll be starving. You know, my hair will fall out. I’ll be in this terrible state. So, sure, I can create that body but the trade-off is ruining the rest of my life experience, basically. That’s what we think is the trade-off. So, we have to practice. We can have what we want, and having it can be easy and comfortable. We have to practice believing that there does not have to be a downside to having what you want. There doesn’t have to be a trade-off. Because if that wasn’t true, if you could be totally comfortable and happy and feel amazing and lose weight and keep it off forever, would you choose that? Or would you choose to lose weight and keep it off forever, and be starving and cold, and miss out on stuff all the time, and never going to eat anything that tastes good ever again?

And both choices are available. We just mostly think that the only way to get the permanent weight loss is choice number two. And so, you might be listening to me going like, “I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I might want some of that.” You might be thinking like, “I think she might be off her rocker a little bit. Like, I’m not totally sure.” And I think that’s good actually for you to think that about me if you do. Because that means that I’ve struck a chord here. We’ve reached the edges of what you believe. And now you get to play with the idea that I might be right.

So, spend a little time marinating in that and contemplating. What if I’m right? What if permanent weight loss is available to you? You can have it in a useful and comfortable way. And there does not have to be a downside to having it. Then what? What do you want to do? Right? Then, this idea that you can’t lose weight is completely blown right open, right? It’s just not true, it just isn’t true. So, when you say, “I’ve already tried everything and nothing works,” I know you think that that’s the truth, I know you think you’re just telling me the facts. And those just are not the facts. So, you can continue to believe that and limit yourself and, you know, whatever comes of that, that you may or may not want. Or you can recognize beyond yourself. You know what? I keep thinking that way mostly because it’s what I hear other people talking about around me or because I really have tried a lot of things. But this idea that I tried everything and nothing works, it’s just not true. It’s just a lie I keep telling myself. And when you continue to lie to yourself in that way, what you’re really doing is letting yourself off the hook. Like, I don’t have to actually really try because I’ve already exhausted all the options. And none of them worked. So, it’s kind of like your permission slip to go and overeat and, possibly, overdrink. Because what difference does it make, you can’t have this anyway?

Listen, I get it. Sometimes we want the permissions, right? I totally understand that. I just want to poke holes in that to help you to understand that that is not the truth. That is a way that you’re thinking that’s holding you back from creating what you really truly deep down want. And when you’re ready, I’m here. Weight Loss for Doctors Only is here. My coach team that works with me, we’re all here to help you in strengthening that belief in yourself. That belief is where it starts. The belief that you can lose weight and keep it off permanently, that you can have what you want, and there doesn’t have to be a downside, and it can be comfortable and easy. That is like the cornerstone, the foundation of creating that result of permanent weight loss, freedom around food. And when you don’t have that, it makes the process so much harder.

And so, one of the big parts of the Weight Loss for Doctors Only program is working on belief and changing your beliefs. If you’re like, “But how do I do that?” That’s what we do. We dig in and change those beliefs. It’s totally possible. We can do it, but it requires some commitment and some effort. And that’s exactly what we’re here for. So that’s a large part of our program because it’s so, so important. You can do all the other things. You can follow all the other plans. But when you don’t have this piece in place, it’s all just going to end up crumbling and you gain the weight back again. And we know this to be true because think about what your prior experiences with weight loss have been. And also think about the experiences that people you know who have tried to lose weight, right? It makes sense when you think about it. It’s like, “Oh, you know, she might be unto something.”

So, if this is resonating, if this sounds like you need a little more of this in your life, you want to ask me some questions, you want to get some clarity on this, then I really want to encourage you to come and join me next Thursday. Well, it’s a week from this Thursday when this episode airs. But Thursday, August 26, 8:30 p.m. Eastern, 5:30 p.m. Pacific. And we are also open especially for our friends who are international who live in other parts of the world. Totally open to you submitting questions in advance that I can answer on that training. You can listen to the replay as I answer them. Just because I know sometimes, it’s the middle of the night when we’re hosting this, and that doesn’t really work for you. So, I just did that recently, and it worked out great.

So definitely, please come and join me. It’s katrinaubellmd.com/ready. And we will only have the doors open to the September Weight Loss for Doctors Only program for a week. This is your chance to do it. It’s going to be super great. If you haven’t heard me talk about before, we have actually just recently, after about four or five years of our original program, we’ve gone through the whole thing, everything is better and improved. It’s like next-level and making sure that it’s only taking as much time as is required for you to get the information that you need and nothing extra. It is amazing. And you can get 50 credits of continuing medical education. Credit for going through the program. So, that’s super awesome, too. So, if you have CME money that you can use on a program, you can use that to offset the cost, too. Anyway, we’ll talk all about that, all those details on that free training next week. Make sure you come and join me katrinaubellmd.com/ready.

All right, so listen. What you’ve learned over these last four episodes in this series and why you think you can’t lose weight, the fundamental concept is like, why you think you can’t lose weight is not why you’re not losing weight. Okay? You think that that’s the truth, but it’s not. What we have to do is recognize that. It’s kind of like what my friend says, “It’s hard to read the label from inside the bottle.” You know, this type of coaching can be so helpful because someone can just point out to you. You know that isn’t actually true. You’re like, “Wait, what? come again?” I mean, I love those moments as a client to be coached in that way because it’s so freeing. When the thing that you thought was just like a stone cold hard fact turns out to just not be true. So anyway, okay, see I love talking to you. So fun.

All right. I hope you have a great rest of your week. Make sure you come and register to hang out with me next Thursday, August 26. And to register just one more time, katrinaubellmd.com/ready. R-E-A-D-Y. All right. Have a lovely rest of your 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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