We tend to think of winning or losing as black or white. It’s one or the other. What if that didn’t have to be the case?

Welcome to the second episode in the New Year, New Thoughts series. In this episode, I’m talking all about chapter 3 of How to Lose Weight for the Last Time – reframing losing. I’m reading some small sections from the book and then going even deeper right here on the podcast, so whether you’ve read the book or not, you’ll get a lot out of this episode.

The concept of reframing losing is an important one because it opens us up to so many opportunities. It’s not winning or losing, it’s winning or learning! Doesn’t that change everything?


Listen To The Episode Here:


In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • Who might benefit from this book
  • Thinking of failures as learning opportunities
  • Why you have to change your thinking when things don’t work
  • Learning to rely on your own insights
  • Getting curious and learning more about yourself
  • Why some lessons have to be repeated
  • Treating yourself with compassion
  • The results that come from working on your mindset

If you’re not winning, make sure you’re learning. It doesn’t have to be winning or losing. How can you take what you learn in this episode and build on it to move forward? I want you to really think about that and use this as an opportunity to take action.

If you want to read along with the podcast, you can get your hands on the book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, here!

If you’ve read my book, it would mean the world to me if you would leave me a review letting other readers know what you thought! Click here to leave a review on Amazon.


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share How to Lose Weight for the Last Time with your patients!


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Other Episodes We Think You’ll Enjoy:

Ep #313: [New Year, New Thoughts Series] How to Change Your Food-Related Thoughts | Chp. 2

Ep #312: Ozempic, Wegovy, and Other Newer Weight Loss Medications

Ep #311: Coping with Loss – Krista St-Germain Returns

Read the Transcript Below:

Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I’m your host, master certified life and Weight Loss coach Katrina Ubel, M.D. 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. Welcome, my friend, to today’s episode of the podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here with me today. We are on episode two of the New Year New Thoughts series. And if you didn’t listen to the last episode, just a quick update. The reason I’m calling it New Year new thoughts is because particularly in the publishing world this time of year is what they call New Year, new you and I don’t know that it is always serving us to think that we need a new us. I think it’s better for us to think about ourselves as already fully formed and whole and perfectly exactly as we are, and still keep some space and allow for some space for us to want to improve and to change. And so to me, New Year, new you feels like very pressurized, you know, like the pressure to become a new version of myself. And you know, what happens when we put that kind of pressure on ourselves? We try to go all out to all the things and then we end up doing nothing, and then we make that mean something negative about ourselves.

And that cycle goes around and around and around, and we just don’t need to engage in that. So instead, I wanted to call this series New Year new thoughts, because whatever it is that we want to change, whether it be just a very small, tiny little thing or something bigger, it all starts with our thoughts, and all of us would probably benefit from spending a little or maybe even a lot of time on what we’re currently thinking and cleaning up or changing some of those thoughts that aren’t serving us and aren’t helping us to create the results that we want. So that’s what we’re focusing on in this series. And so what I’m doing is I’m spotlighting a certain small section in my book called How to Lose Weight for the Last Time Brain based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, which is available anywhere eBooks are sold, is available on Audible as well for the audiobook, if you prefer that. And so what I’m doing is giving you an insight into more of the back story behind this small section of the book. Because writing a book, it seems like, Oh my gosh, there’s so much in there. Actually, it’s the opposite. You have to cut and cut and cut and cut. And there’s so many things in this book that I would have loved to talk so much more about, that I probably could have written a whole book on, but instead I had to really pare it down so much to get like the essence of the point across so we can move on to other things.

But it’s always good to spend a little more time diving a little deeper into it and hashing it out some more. So that’s what we’re doing on these episodes. Now, before we get started, I did just want to share something that I found really pretty interesting. So I had my regular, I was going to say, annual checkup with my internist, which is hilarious because I don’t think I’d seen him in like over five years. So I mean, theoretically supposed to be annual checkup a few months ago, about two months ago. And I’ve known this doctor, gosh, maybe since I was even a resident. I’ve been going to him for a long, long time. He’s just great. We love him. My husband sees him, too. His wife is our ophthalmologist. They’re just a great couple and we just think so highly of both of them. And so I thought, well, when I go see him, I’m going to bring a copy of the book for him and suggest to him that because I know he doesn’t struggle with his weight, but I’m sure he has patients that do. And so maybe he could lend it out to a patient and see what they think, you know, maybe give it to them or ask them to read it and give it back.

And he can pass around to different patients and stuff. And so I showed it to him, gave it to him and made that suggestion. And he said, thank you so much. I appreciate that so much. This is so great. And he said, But before I pass it on, I actually want to read it first because to be 100% honest, this is an area that I haven’t really kept up with in terms of, you know, CME continuing education on this. Like, I don’t know as much about this issue as I would like to. So I want to learn first and then, of course, I’m going to pass it on to my patients because I want to learn to I want to use this as an opportunity to build up my fund of knowledge and my skill level as well. And I was like, Oh, right, yes. I mean, of course. Right? There’s so many things for any person in any specialty to keep up on. I mean, it’s completely overwhelming and arguably impossible, right? If that’s you and you’re kind of like, yeah, I don’t even really know what to tell people either. Definitely pick up a copy of the book and read it yourself before you pass it on to your patients because it’s going to help you and help them as well. And I know lots of people have bought several copies and have sort of created like a little mini lending library for their patients.

Some people have gone to their local libraries and requested that they have a couple of copies on hand because they’re going to be recommending to patients to go check it out and read it. And I also just wanted to read one more of these Amazon reviews where there’s a an amazing woman physician who talks about how she’s done that. As well. And so I just have initials here. The initials are SM H. The title is Life Changing more than just a Weight loss book. And the subtitle is It’s a great resource for us to have to help ourselves and our patients. And it reads, I have recommended her book to many of my patients, and they too have found her words of wisdom to be truly life changing. She breaks down how we can change how we think about food as well as everything else in our lives. Losing weight actually becomes a side benefit of what this book really teaches you how to change, how you think about events in your life so that you can feel better and process emotion, excel and live your best life possible. I highly encourage you to purchase this book and also listen to her podcast. And you’re here so good, Good on you, which complements the lessons in this book nicely. Thank you so much, Katrina, for getting this work out there.

It’s a great resource for us to have to help ourselves and our patients. Thank you so much to Smarr for posting that. And of course, if you’ve picked up the book and haven’t left an Amazon review yet, I would love it if you could go hop over there and do that because it really, really does help the book get in front of people who need it and so many people do need it. So anyway, as we work through these episodes and these little sections of the book, really think about this in terms of yourself, but then also the people that you take care of, right? The patients that you see, the people that you influence. And, you know, I think doctors are in a unique position where most people in the general world aren’t walking around going like, hey, I know what you need. Here’s a book on weight loss. But, you know, being a physician, you absolutely can do that. And it makes so much sense, like when, you know, there’s research that shows that when a doctor recommends that a patient make a life change, they are more likely to do it than when somebody else recommends it. So what you say is influential and I think it’s one thing to tell people what they need to do. It’s another to help them with the how. And that’s what this book is, because everybody is aware that losing weight for people who struggle with that could be beneficial to them, but they don’t know what to do.

That’s going to work and they need some help and they would love for some guidance. And that’s exactly what this book will do for them. So pick up a copy and give it to your patients and help them. It’s going to make such a big difference. So we’re going to be in chapter three today starting on page 86. And it’s really not that much of the book that I’m going to be reading to hear, but it’s such an important, important concept. I can’t wait to talk about this. So the little subtitle of this little section is called Reframing Losing, which is of course, the title of this episode as well. And the very first sentence is so important. So it starts. Business coach Dan Sullivan says if you’re not winning, you’re learning. So Dan Sullivan is a coach that I’ve been working with, I think since maybe the end of 2018. I’ve been working with him for quite some time. And he’s I mean, he’s been doing business coaching for a very long time. He’s well into his seventies now and he has several different kinds of quotes that I think about again and again. And in this case, he’s talking about business. But this applies to our whole lives, including with weight loss, because usually what we think is if we’re not winning, we’re losing, right? So if we’re not having success, if we’re not getting the results that we want, then we’re losing.

We suck, we’re doing it wrong. Might as well just quit. You’re obviously a horrible person, but I mean, like we make not winning mean so many bad things about us and about what’s possible for us. And what he’s saying here is he’s offering you a change in perspective if you’re not winning your learning. And so if you don’t focus so much on what isn’t working that you’re losing, or that it means that you’re never going to be able to have what you want, you instead can open your mind to learning what there is to learn from the failure, right? So you’re not winning. It didn’t work. Whatever. You tried it. This is not the thing, right? It’s not the thing that’s going to be helping you move forward. But there’s a lesson in there. There’s something to be learned. And those lessons and that education essentially, of what you’re getting about what’s not working when taken as such has a lesson, can help you to do better next time. And for so many of us, women physicians who are so focused on perfectionism and getting it right the first time and I mean, I’m raising my hand over here to it’s something I have to work on a lot. It’s it’s you know, it’s high achievers.

We’re used to putting in the effort and then eventually seeing the results. And if we don’t see the results for a long period, it can be very demoralizing because it’s just not something that we’re used to, you know? So we have to change our thinking on things not working. Essentially. We have to open our eyes to the fact that like, that didn’t work. And that’s good information. Now I know some more things that don’t work. That narrows the pool of options for things that do work. And I’m going to try something else or I’m going to iterate. And innovate and find the new thing to try. And we’ll see if we win with that. And we’ll just keep iterating and iterating and editing and editing until we find what works for us. If there’s one thing that you hopefully have picked up from my messaging and what I teach her on this podcast is that what works for one person isn’t going to necessarily work for the next person. You have to become the expert in yourself. And when you do that, you’re able to rely on your own insights. You’re able to look at what happened and figure out what the next thing to do is, rather than thinking, Well, how could I possibly know anything? I’m the one that got myself into this predicament in the first place. I’m obviously clueless, so I better just quit or I have to find the next new person who I’m going to decide is the person who’s going to pull me out of this.

Which, of course, that is not a thing. They will not be able to pull you out of it. We have to do it ourselves. Okay. So moving on. Losing in quotes, is another state of mind that isn’t very productive. Instead of interpreting those imperfect moments as screw ups and evidence that you’ll never be successful, think of them as opportunities to deepen your knowledge about your mind. Become very curious about yourself. Each time you question yourself about your thoughts and feelings, you get a better idea of what makes you tick and what you still need to work on. You may find some patterns that you didn’t notice at first. Maybe there’s a specific time each day when your willpower seems to peter out. You might discover that you eat mindlessly when you’re on the phone because it feels like sharing a meal with a friend or that you believe you can’t enjoy winding down after work without snacks or wine. That last line believe you can’t enjoy winding down after work without snacks or wine. Oh my gosh, this is so good and so important. I almost want to read it again, but I want you to maybe just like hit rewind a few times if you want to listen to it again. This is such an important part of this process. No one can tell you these things.

They have to be discovered by you. Right? So how do you get yourself to stop needing snacks or wine to wind down after work? You have to spend some time becoming curious about why you’re doing that in the first place. What is the problem that the snacks and wine are solving for you? Right? Rather than going, Well, something’s wrong with me, or I just have to cut this out cold turkey, then feel even more miserable because you have no other support or tools to help yourself. And then you just go right back to doing what you were doing that you didn’t want to be doing, which is eating the snacks and drinking the wine. Right? So every time something doesn’t work out, there’s a quote unquote failure. It’s such a great opportunity for you to learn more about why you do what you do. And, you know, I say in this line, become very curious about yourself. Curiosity is one of the best emotions that you can generate for yourself when it comes to this type of work, because it’s very easy for us to hop right into judgment, into despair, into hopelessness, and to thinking it’s not going to be possible for us. And instead, what I want to encourage you to do is to shift into curiosity and interest, to become very interested, like anthropologists studying undiscovered civilization. You know, why do they do what they do that’s so interesting that they do that.

I wonder why. What could be going on there? You want to be approaching yourself in a similar way. That’s so interesting. I just ate a full dinner. I’m not hungry yet. I’m in the pantry looking for something to eat anyway, rather than being disgusted with yourself, being so frustrated with yourself. Why do I always want to do this all the time? That will not give you any insight. Instead, what you need to do is go, Huh? This is a pattern. Is this just a habit? Is my brain just telling me, Oh, this is the time that we do this? Or this is something that I do to try to stop feeling a way I don’t want to feel. Maybe I could just take a break from eating that for a little bit so I could explore what that’s all about. So that I could learn more about myself. And if you still want to eat it, then eat it. But now you know more, right? You’re still learning and you can synthesize that into the next steps you’re going to take. Now, of course, being in a coaching program like weight loss for doctors only is so helpful because, of course, you can bring that to coaching and get some additional help and feedback and thoughts about that. But you can do this on your own as well. So next, those are all positive steps forward, even if you have to keep repeating the lessons.

Now pause here again, repeating the lessons. What are your thoughts about repeating the lessons? So many of us are like, Oh, I’ve already been coached on this. I’ve already learned about this. I’ve already done work on this. Oh, we’re just exasperated with ourselves. What if it was going to take you ten times learning the lesson before you could really, really deeply understand it enough to move forward? What if it was 50 times? What if it was 100 times? What if it was 1000 times? Would that be okay? Would you be willing to keep moving forward? If you look at them as positive steps forward, then it would be worth it, right? Where it’s not worth it is when we don’t learn anything and then we just keep repeating the same mistake again and again and again without any new insight, without any new learning, without anything new coming from it. Then it’s just silly, right? Then it doesn’t make any sense. But if we look at it as there’s a lesson to be learned here, maybe it’s this. Let me try applying that and see what happens. Maybe it wasn’t that. What else could this be about? What would another way be that I could potentially approach this and really coming from that place of being on your own side? Like I think about it like when families would come in to see me and they’d have whatever issue with their baby or their child.

One of the things I love to do was just to sit there and problem solve with them. Tell me all the things. What about this? Have you tried this? What else have you done? What do you think? If you try this like you can do the same thing for yourself. It’s such a for me at least, and I know it is for so many physicians out there as well. Like it’s so satisfying for someone to come in. They don’t know what to do. And you take all of your experience and all of your knowledge and combine it with what’s the problem for them? And you help them to actually solve that problem. You already know how to do that. You just do it for other people. What if you did it for yourself? You have to keep trying and iterating When the person comes in and goes, You know, we try that with getting our toddler to sleep and then they came back with this other new thing. We’re not like, Well, guess what? This kid’s never going to be able to sleep, right? You’re going to be up until they go to college. No, we’re like, okay, let’s iterate, let’s innovate, Let’s figure out something different to try. That’s the kind of energy we need to bring to this work. I’ll just start that paragraph again. Those are all positive steps forward, even if you have to keep repeating the lessons.

Hey, we don’t all get there on the first try. Some of my clients get used to this new way of thinking right away and are able to change their habits quickly, while others take weeks or months to find their groove. Keep using your opportunities to learn and to fail forward, to make something productive out of failure so that it keeps you moving toward your goals, even when it feels like a setback. And that’s, I think, the main message of this podcast for you. Failing forward. We think failure means stop or it means you’re stuck or it means any hope for the future is gone. You’re not going to be able to create what you want. And instead I want to offer to you that the way to fail forward, the way to incorporate failures which are inevitable into the process so that they drive you forward toward that goal or result that you want is to learn from them. Right? It’s not going to be that linear point A to point B, and then you’ve solved the problem kind of a situation. There’s going to be those ups and downs and how you approach the downs is arguably way more important than how you approach the ups when you’re winning. What’s most important is to treat yourself with the compassion you would offer a good friend, and instead of feeling shame about your eating, feel genuine interest and curiosity.

So there you go. I already told you that. Keep getting to know yourself better until you can tailor a plan that works just right for you. Once I did that, I never looked back. I couldn’t believe I spent so many years trying to count points and calories without ever really understanding what motivated me and what was behind my eating habits. And this is what I’m telling you. It doesn’t matter if you’re on ozempic or whatever. Like, you know, it’s counting points, calories, macros, you know, getting surgery, taking shots, pills, whatever you’re doing. This all still has to be done. You need to really understand what motivates you and what is going on behind your eating habits. Like as I said a couple episodes ago, there is no medication that’s going to change your thinking or your feelings in this kind of scenario. While it helps you lose weight, there were very few stumbling blocks of temptation. Once I got to that mindset. It really is possible and probable to experience freedom from thinking about food all the time. Give yourself the gift of understanding yourself better and you will find that losing weight and maintaining your weight loss becomes much easier than you expected. And I think that is the thing that is so powerful here too. Like I’ve been hearing from some people who have been trying ozempic that they’re actually super disappointed at meal times because they really were looking forward to enjoying a meal and they’re just full and they don’t want to eat and they actually feel emotionally worse even though the weight is coming off.

And this is just like health aside. So I’m kind of talking about people who are otherwise healthy and are just trying to use medication to lose some weight. Like this is so interesting, right? Like our emotional connection to food is still something that we want to participate in, at least a little bit. Like for so many people, if you said to them, Hey, I could give you a shot or give you a one time pill, that would make it so you would never feel hunger ever again and you would just only eat for sustenance and you and you just wouldn’t even care about what it was that you were eating. Most people actually don’t want that. But. When we’re in a situation where we feel like we’re in dire straits or very, very frustrated, sometimes we tell ourselves, Oh, I totally would do that. But when push comes to shove, we really wouldn’t. We don’t want that. We want to still be able to enjoy food and experience food and participate in mealtimes, particularly with other people and what that signifies and means to us. We just want to do it in a way that serves our bodies and in a way where we feel like we’re in control, like we’re not just completely shoveling everything down and can’t control what our experience is.

Right? So taking that away and feeling full is not really the solution either. It’s finding a balance for ourselves, figuring out how to change our thoughts and our feelings so that we can be around this food and have it basically occupy an appropriate role in our lives rather than something that we’re overly obsessed about and thinking about too much and relying on more than we should for emotional help and support. Dialing that back to an appropriate amount, but not taking it away completely. Right. And that’s what we’re able to create when we work on our minds. And first, we have to reframe that losing you cannot get to where you want to be, which is permanent weight loss and peace and freedom around food by making every time something doesn’t work out for you mean that you’re not going to be able to figure it out, that you knew this wasn’t possible for you? Getting mad at yourself, getting mad at the world, getting mad at your body. Right. It’s just not going to work. So we do have to change that framework that we have. It’s not winning and losing. It’s winning and learning. And so if you’re not winning, make sure you’re learning. What is the lesson here? How is this happening for you? How can you take what you have experienced here and build on it to move forward? Those are the questions to be asking yourself.

All right, friends, thank you so much for enjoying me. What a great little segment of the book. I mean, I barely covered in grand total a page, and this is just one part of this great book. So I again, want to thank you. If you’ve already purchased the book, if you haven’t picked it up, go ahead and pick up a copy. Like I said, it’s on Audible as well. I did do the narration for that. I did read it. And so if you’re more of an audiobook kind of a person, go ahead and pick that up or you can get the actual the book you can hold in your hands at any major book retailer. And then once you have it, or if you already have it and you haven’t yet done so, please go ahead and leave it. Amazon Review. It really, really, really does make a difference. And and I appreciate you doing that so much. All right, my friend. Have a great rest of your week. I want you to really think about this. Where are there opportunities for learning that you haven’t been taking advantage of? And let’s make sure you’re doing that. And I’ll be back next week with another episode in the series New Year. New Thoughts. Can’t wait to talk to you then. Bye bye. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals for lots of free health. Go to Katrina, UBL, IMDB.com, and click on Free Resources.