Have you ever had a little stumble and felt like you ruined your whole plan; like you’ll never be able to lose that weight?

If you stumbled on the sidewalk, it wouldn’t stop you from ever going for a walk again, right? So how do we take that approach to stumbling and apply it to weight loss?

We all stumble physically and sometimes we stumble figuratively on our journeys to weight loss or freedom around food. In this episode, I’m teaching you how to handle a little stumble so that it doesn’t ruin your day or your plan.

There’s no way you’re going to go through the process of losing weight permanently without having some stumbles, so you’re better off preparing for them rather than trying to pretend they’ll never happen. A little stumble is not a big deal, but it can be all too easy to turn it into a big deal in your head through the way you talk to yourself.

I want to share a method for approaching those little stumbles so that you can support yourself and stop that negative self-talk.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How to handle stumbles on your weight loss journey 
  • How to avoid turning a stumble into a big deal
  • Identifying your emotions 
  • Preventing the same stumble from happening again 
  • The importance of reaching for support 
  • Ways to create support for yourself 
  • Putting a plan in place for yourself 
  • The power of journaling 
  • Some reflective questions to ask yourself after a stumble
  • Why you need to slow down sometimes 
  • How to move on

A stumble doesn’t have to be the end of the world. I want you to have the tools you need to pick yourself up and move on after a little stumble. I hope this episode arms you with some of those tools so that you can set yourself up for success the next time you stumble. 

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Episode #302: When It’s Not What You Expected

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 Gabel, 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. Well, hello there, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here today. Thank you for joining me. So I am recording this on Halloween, on actual Halloween. So I’m curious to know how your Halloween went. I know for some people that’s not too big of a deal. Of course, I think Halloween is a much bigger deal in the US as a whole than it is around the rest of the world. But in any case, it is something that is just a lot of fun here. You know, for those who celebrate, I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but in our neighborhood, I don’t know. I grew up always trick or treating on the actual 31st, but in our neighborhood they have a long tradition of having trick or treating be the Saturday before Halloween. And then what they do is they actually pick three streets and those are the blocks where you go and trick or treat. So it’s in a grid system. So it’s like, I guess like 12 blocks in total, like three streets east to west and then four north to south.


And so what’s really cool is you only pass out candy once every four years. So when you have kids who are of trick or treating age, then everybody can go and walk around like you don’t have to have the person who’s sitting home or like, what I saw were people just left out the bucket, you know, the unattended bucket, which was empty, of course. Of course. And so it just makes it really, really fun. And then because you don’t actually pass out candy more than once every four years, then people really go all out with the decorations. And I feel like this year was beyond I mean, we moved to this neighborhood in 2002 and I’ve never seen decorations like I did this year. It was so fun. People just really went all out, was so funny. Every now and then, you know, in past years, there’s like one or two houses where they’re handing out adult beverages or treats for adults as well. And this year, oh my gosh, if someone had had something from each of the houses that was offering, they would be rolling themselves home. I would have been so drunk. People were just so into it. And it was really it was a lot of fun, a lot of fun with the kids. And so anyway, I had a little inspiration through a few different things to talk about the subject, and Halloween came up as one of them as well.


And so I wanted to talk to you today about when we just kind of stumble a little bit. And I was thinking about it like in the literal sense and the figurative sense, the literal sense of like when you stub your toe, you know, you’re walking along either you don’t pick your foot up enough or maybe the sidewalk is lifted a little bit and you just kind of hit your toe. Oh, my gosh. One time in college, I’m just remembering this. I was out for a run and it was in fall because the sidewalk was completely covered in leaves, so you couldn’t really see the sidewalk. And so I was on like a pretty busy street and my foot completely hit an elevated piece of sidewalk and it was downhill. So I had a little speed going and I just completely beat it like, completely, like flat out when flying just tore my knees up so bad. I think my hands were okay. I think because I slid on the leaves a little bit more. But I remember like getting up my knees were totally like dripping blood because I was in shorts, dripping blood down to my socks. And so I still had a little ways to go, but I wasn’t going to keep running.


So I just walked the rest of the way home. And I remember feeling so sad for myself because even when I pass people at a bus stop, like nobody asked me if I was okay, no one stopped. Everyone was just like, Oh, there’s a girl is bleeding over there. They just let me go. So I’m not talking about that kind of stumble. I’m talking about where you catch yourself and it’s all okay. But for a moment there, you’re just like, Whoa. Or the other thing that I was remembering is just a couple of days ago, I was in Toronto for a conference for a couple of days, and the morning that I was leaving, I had on the little slippers from the hotel and I was, you know, scurrying around getting all my stuff packed up to put in my suitcase. And as I was moving around, I think, oh, I actually I think I was going to throw something out in the garbage, which was by the toilet, which was by the shower. And so I was hurrying and I stepped with my slipper on the bath mat, which is just like the bath towel, you know, like the towel you put on the floor. And I completely like slid forward, like basically like a complete lunge. I wanted to, I was like, whew! And like, caught myself. And it was just such a good reminder of like, okay, you almost hurt yourself there, but you didn’t.


It’s like one of those those little stumbles that happen. And so more figuratively, there’s all sorts of things that can happen with our weight loss journeys. And even if we’re not trying to lose weight, but just working on finding peace and freedom around food, like how do we work through the times when I’m not talking about when you’re like eating, like totally stuffing yourself way too full or, you know, you went to a party and drank way too much and ate way too much. In this episode, I’m talking more about just those little stumbles, those times when you just kind of did something a little bit off, right? So like, one thing I was thinking of was with Halloween candy. So my kids bring their Halloween candy back and. What do we do? Because this is at least what we did in our house growing up. You got to dump it all out. You got to sort everything. And then you negotiate exchanges, right? Of course, this is how this works. And so they’re going through all of it. And I am very happy to report that I genuinely did not have any desire for any of it. And I would have actually had some if I had some desire for it. But I kept thinking I was like, Do I even want that? And the answer was no. So that was fun.


That made it a lot easier. But there are times where we’re like, Ooh, that one thing that’s my favorite. Or I just want one piece. Or we just tell ourselves, You know what? I’m going to have one piece of the candy and then that’s it. And then before we know what we eat, like five more pieces, right? And it’s easy for these little stumbles to kind of spin us out for us to think, you know what? Like, I knew I couldn’t do it. See, this is just evidence, like beat ourselves up and judge ourselves so that it turns into this really negative situation when it was really just a little stumble. Right? It really didn’t have to be that big of a deal. But we turn it into a big deal, by the way, that we respond to ourselves, by the way that we think about ourselves, what our thoughts are to ourselves, our self-talk. And I want to just talk to you today about a method of approaching these little stumbles, because who are we kidding? There’s no way you’re going to go through the process of losing weight permanently and not have some stumbles. I mean, it’s just how it goes. It’s just being a human and living a life like things don’t always go the way we thought they would. And so we need to know how to get through these things when they’re just really little things.


Because what’s easy to happen is we end up eating, you know, in total six pieces of Halloween candy. And then we’re like, okay, now I’m going to get the kids to bed. And since I already blew it, I’m going to go back and have some more. And then sincerity blue it tomorrow, you know, you end up eating ice cream or having more candy at work or like whatever it is, right? It’s easy for these little stumbles to turn into big things. So what I want to talk about today is how we slow our roll and allow it to just be a little stumble and we just catch ourselves, like thinking when I slid on the bath mat, it’s like I, like, stopped it did like a quick assessment, like, am I okay? Does anything hurt? No, Everything is okay. All right. Stand back up. Still good. Are they okay? Everything’s okay. Kind of The same thing happens when you stumble, when you, you know, hit your foot against the sidewalk. That’s lifted, right? You kind of you trip, you catch yourself and it’s like a quick assessment. Like, who am everything okay? Yeah. All right. You were able to keep moving on. So I have three steps for you. The first is to not make it a big deal, right? When we stumble, like, literally, right. We kind of catch ourselves. Maybe we laugh at ourselves, we check in, everything’s okay.


Okay. And we keep moving forward. Right? So when it comes to food, my suggestion is to not immediately turn it into something like like Chicken Little. The sky is falling. I knew this wasn’t going to work. I knew I can’t do this. Why do these little things keep happening to me? Instead? We want to do is we want to identify what our emotions are. I feel like whenever we’ve got that whole rant of thoughts of this is the beginning of the end. It’s, you know, it’s like, you know, really dramatic. There’s emotions. They’re one of those emotions. So often, I think the big driving emotion there is fear. So this thing happened. We ate this thing or we didn’t follow our plan in whatever way we thought we should or wanted to. And now we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what could happen next. We’re afraid that it’s all out of our control. We’re afraid that things are just going to happen to us. We’re afraid we’re not going to be able to have what we want or create what we want. We’re afraid, right? It’s the beginning of the end. We’re afraid that we were silly for even trying, you know, why are we even going after this in the first place? And all of that can be so dramatic, right? So we can just identify like, okay, in the broad scheme of things, how big of a deal is this? So a little extra Halloween candy, right? Or I ended up overeating a little bit today at dinner because I just was not as checked in.


I was just in my head about stuff that happened at work and I just kind of forgot to get connected to my body. Okay. Is this in the broad scheme of a human’s life, is this really going to be that big of a deal? Most of the time it really isn’t right. But that doesn’t mean that we downplay it. Sometimes we go like it’s not a big deal and then we just want to drop it and never think about it again. So here’s an example of how we don’t do that. When you stub your toe like this happened to me when we were trick or treating, right? Stubbed my toe on the lifted sidewalk. It’s getting dark outside. You know what I did was I checked myself, everything okay? And then I didn’t make a big deal. But I also didn’t forget the fact that, hey, you know what? You should probably be a little bit more careful and a little bit more aware and look down a little bit more to make sure that you don’t trip again. And also, I had my parents with us and walking. And so, hey, you know, if I notice that there’s something a little elevated there, I’m going to make sure that I have them see it so that they don’t fall right.


Like it doesn’t have to be a big deal. But it also doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything about it. You just ignore it like it never happened when I slid on the bath mat into this deep lunge, right. I was like, Oh, you know what? This is sloppier than I think. I need to slow down. I need to move the bath mat off the floor so I don’t do this again. Right. Like, these are the things that we can do. So we want to make sure that we take a minute. It doesn’t need to be a big deal, but it probably deserves at least just a small amount of our attention. So then we’re like, okay, it’s not a big deal. It deserves my attention. There’s something that I should look at here, even if it’s just really briefly, what’s the next step? The next step is reaching out for support or something to lean on. As I slipped on the bath mat, of course, reached out to the handle that’s on the shower door. Right. And, you know, it’s just you don’t even think. Right. It just is happening automatically. It’s just instinct to to reach out, to try to grab yourself and study yourself. I mean, same with tripping on the sidewalk. But what we often forget about is that we have so many things in place that can support us and to help us to learn so it doesn’t have to be a big deal or a little slip up.


But also there’s so much that we can do that’s easy, quick and gives us a lot of help. So the first thing here’s some ideas. It’s first thing you can do is you can reach out to a person or a group that can support you, right? Sometimes we just need to say, you know what? This is what I did. I didn’t like that and this is what I’m going to do next time. Sometimes it’s just, you know, chatting it out either in person or like on Marcopolo or on WhatsApp or whatever you like to use Boxer or something like that. This is one of the things I think is so great about our continuation programs, Master’s and VIP. We have accountability groups built in and you don’t have to participate. But for people who do want that, which is most, this is such a great opportunity for them to be like, you know what? I went into this thing and then that happened and oh, that was kind of not how I wanted to show up, but here’s what I’m going to do. Or anyone have ideas. And sometimes even just crowdsourcing the right people will be like, Oh, you know what? That happened to me. And then I did this instead, and it worked so much better.


And it’s like, Oh my God, that is going to change my life. Like, thank you so much for sharing that. That’s so great. All right. So sometimes when we have that available to us, that can be something that is just all we need to just get us straightened out where we need to be and then we can keep moving forward. Now, not everybody has that, though, right? So what’s next? Well, we can rely on our own strengths and systems. So there are lots of times when we get off track in other areas of our lives and we know how to get ourselves back on again. Right? We have strengths and we have systems. So sometimes when we let ourselves go to that place of like, I knew it wasn’t possible and this must be something terrible about me. We forget about all of our strengths, all of our ways that we can rely on ourselves to get what we want. Now, what I know is that so many people who are my clients, who are listeners to this podcast are people who are quite accomplished achievers, right? So if you’re a doctor, you know how to accomplish something when you set your mind to it, right? So this is a strength that you can leverage. I like to accomplish things, so I’m going to accomplish figuring out how to not have the same issue again. Like this is often much simpler than we think.


As soon as we can get past the drama that our brains are creating, or our desire to just sweep it under the rug and forget that it ever happened, other systems that can really help us and support us are things like just having a plan. I’m like literally just having a plan. My book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time, which is available for sale now, totally tells you how to create your own weight loss plan. So you can check that out and work on that. When you have a plan, then you know what to do. What’s the next thing you do? After you have a stumble, you just follow your plan. You just go back to your plan. I remember specifically the first time that I had some stumbles when I was losing my weight and then was able to just get right back on track again, like same day. And I was like, What? Because every single other time had ever done that, it was like the beginning of the end, right? Like truly right, which is what our fear is, one of our fears. So it was like, I just did that. Okay, I’ll get back on track soon. And then I didn’t. And then I gained all the way back. And then when my largest size pants didn’t fit anymore, then it was time to go back to Weight Watchers.


So. All right, we don’t need to do that. I remember just being like, Oh my gosh, it is possible to actually just get right back on track again with your plan. But what is required is that you actually like following your plan. So we don’t do plans that are unavailable. Don’t taste good to you. Don’t meet your body’s needs, right. So you can always lean on your plan. Your plan has got you right. Okay. Next thing you can do is you can do a little journaling. A lot of people really love writing. I love journaling. It’s a great way to get some insight into what was just going on there. Sometimes we just need to take a moment, really. Even just a couple of minutes. Like this is the action I took. How is I feeling when I took that action and what were my thoughts leading up to that? And then maybe if we still have a moment like now that that has happened, what am I making that mean? What? Do I want to think about it moving forward? How does that make me feel? And does that give me the action that I want to take? Which could be right, Not beating yourself up. Being loving and supporting to yourself. Supportive of yourself. It could be getting right back on track with your plan again. All of those things so quick journal can be really helpful.


So another thing you can do, right? Meet your own needs. So that’s part of taking good care of yourself. Sometimes those little stumbles are just evidence that we’re not actually meeting our needs. We don’t know what we need, and so we’re just trying to fill it. So many of us learned a long time ago that in order to meet our needs, food will help us to do that. For many of us, this was even something we did in childhood. So when you’re used to being unaware of what your needs are, but then just eating food to feel better. Right. We’ve got to stop that pattern. So what we want to do is figure out what our needs are so we can meet them without food. So the way to approach this is, oh, interestingly, I just ate that food. What was I trying to accomplish by doing that? Was there a need that I can identify that I was meeting with that food? Even if you can just identify what that maybe was and just learn from it for next time, that’s amazing. So, so good. And then another thing that can be so helpful is just slowing down for a minute, right? Stopping rushing, taking a breath or a couple of breaths, grounding yourself, getting centered. That can look like lots of different things. But often when we are living up in our heads, super crazy busy, tons of things going on and then all of a sudden we eat that food.


Then we just add more to everything that’s happening in our brains and on top of everything. I’m not going to figure this out with the food right instead, now we got to slow ourselves down. What’s really true? Okay, I chewed up some food and I swallowed it. No one’s going to die. It’s okay. All right. Slow our roll. What do I need to do right now to get myself calm and grounded and centered? It’s like we want to move out of that sympathetic nervous system and into the parasympathetic nervous system as best as we can. Right. We want to get to a place where we can think more clearly. All right. We often can’t make great decisions from that place of fight or flight or freeze or fawn. So those are lots of ways to lean on something to support ourselves when we have a little stumble. And then the third step is to move on business as usual. We don’t have to make it a bigger deal than it really is. Often it’s just really not that deep. Sometimes it is, but often it’s really not right. As long as there’s a quick lesson learned, then we’ve learned the lesson and we can move on. Like at this conference that I was at. Like I just noticed how they had the lunch food in one area and then the dessert area in another area.


One thing you might learn, like say you didn’t plan on eating dessert at a conference and then you went over and I just want to check out and see what they have. And then before you know it, you were eating whatever it was and you’re like, Oh, I didn’t really want to do that or I didn’t need that or I wish I hadn’t or whatever. Then maybe what the lesson learned is to not even go over and look at the dessert table. You know, just it’s not really something that I need to look at. If I’m thinking about that, I often just think to myself, You know what? I don’t eat dessert at lunch. That’s another quick story that’s on my husband. He wouldn’t mind me saying this. He is a chocolate fanatic. He really does love his chocolate. And so he often will just grab like a handful of chocolate chips, like baking chocolate chips, but like some sweet ones. And that’s like his little sweet his little chocolate at the end of a meal. Well, so with our first child, you know, you can sneak by and eat those without the child knowing. Well, then, you know, it wasn’t long before he was old enough and my husband would be chewing something and my son would be like, Daddy, what are you eating? What are you having? Right? And then I remember when this really came to a head, when all of a sudden this same child who was maybe four or five, he’s like, okay, so today for my lunch, dessert, I want blah, blah, blah.


And for my dinner dessert, I want this and that. And I remember thinking like, lunch, dessert, What are you talking about, kid? We won’t do a lunch dessert. That is not a thing, right? So we can look at it the same way here. I don’t eat dessert after lunch anyway. So why would I do that now? Here. You know, have I nourished my body with food? If the answer is no, then I probably need more actual, you know, nourishing food. The answer is probably not going to be in the treats. Right. Sometimes it’s just that reminder of, you know what, I feel a lot better when I drink enough water throughout the day. And you know what? Today I didn’t do that. And these were the consequences of that. So I’m doubling down. I’m making sure that water gets in my body. Right. It doesn’t have to be so deep. Always. We just move on. I learned that lesson. I see what happened here. I made the assumption that I would get water in another way and I didn’t. And this was the result of that. Okay, Now I’ve learned we get to move on, right? So sometimes we just need to move the bath mat.


Sometimes we just need to be a little bit more aware that the sidewalk pieces are a little bit lifted and that’s all it is and doesn’t have to be so deep. So when you have those little stumbles, the way you approach yourself is so important because this is really the rest of your life. Even when you’re maintaining, it’s easy for there to be something that was a little weird or unexpected, or you didn’t really, you know, think that that would happen. And then it did. And how you approach yourself and how you deal with it is going to be so important in terms of that weight maintenance, keeping that weight off and of course, losing it at first as well. All right. I wish you a quick recovery from any weight loss stumbles that you experience over this holiday period as we move forward. Of course, in the US, we have our Thanksgiving holiday coming up here very soon. And, you know, many people observe holidays throughout the. The year or so. Take this to heart and apply it. See how this really can impact how you approach yourself so that you learn what you need to learn and then you move on. Business as usual. Have a great rest of your week and I’ll talk to you very soon. Take care. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals. Four Lots of free help. Go to Katrina, UBL, IMDB.com and click on Free Resources.