- Do you think, “I've never been able to lose weight, so why would this time be different?”
- Or… “The day is ruined. I might as well eat all I can because shit is getting REAL tomorrow.”
- Or… “I lost two pounds, but I'll just gain it back.”
If you keep talking to yourself like an asshole, I guarantee you won't lose your weight, let alone keep it off.
These shitty thoughts are actually called “cognitive distortions.” They're like putting on a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription. They skew the way we see ourselves and everything around us.
And these thoughts screw up weightloss like nothing else.
On the podcast today, I talk about SIX different kinds of cognitive distortions (or shitty thoughts) and how they make weightloss damn near impossible.
I'll tell you what to do with them when you hear them. If you don't do something about this, I can promise that no diet will work.
Check out the episode to bust through those subtle shitties.
Because the key to lasting weightloss is not talking to yourself like an asshole.
I tell you how in Episode 338: 6 Reasons Weightloss Feels Hard.
Hello everybody. Welcome back. So today, I want to talk about… it’s called cognitive distortions. And so you’re probably wondering, why is that important? Well, if you’ve been listening to me at all when it comes to weight loss, you will know that I am a big strict bitch on how we talk to ourselves, how we talk to ourselves internally, the words that we say, when people are talking to us. Watching your language and watching how you talk to yourself, I think, is fundamental to weight loss. And the more we listen to how we think and the more we listen to what we say, we start realizing that the way we experience the world is either working for us or it’s working against us. So if you follow my work at all, one of the things that I work really hard with, with the No BS women is teaching them how to capture everything they’re thinking.
How many things can we find that you’re thinking when it comes to stopping at enough, waiting for hunger? What do you think when you get on the scale? What do you think when you look in the mirror? What do you think when you are going to eat your favorite food? What do you think when you’re not going to have your favorite food? What do you think when you’re eating a salad? What do you think when you go out to eat and everybody else is eating and ordering all the appetizers? What do you think when you are ordering appetizers, when you’re not ordering appetizers?
I will just tell you that unless you understand the power of your thinking and how it influences you, that when you start listening, it can feel very overwhelming. You will think, oh my God, I’m broken. I must be crazy. When I first start working with my clients, that is always the first thing that happens, is that I expose them and I say, the first thing we have to do is figure out how you’re interpreting the world, how you’re interpreting yourself, how you’re interpreting other people, how you’re interpreting food, how you’re interpreting your body, how you’re interpreting your weight.
And when they hear it, we have to work really hard on not being ashamed of it, judging ourselves for it, being afraid of it, thinking someone’s going to find out, we must be the only ones. There’s so much that goes on there. So what I wanted to do today is I wanted to talk to you about common cognitive distortions. All that really means is that the way we see the world is one way, what’s actually happening is another. And somewhere between what’s actually happening and the way we’re interpreting it, it’s like we’re speaking the wrong language, or things get lost in translation. And I just think it’s important because if you don’t… if you’re not aware of what you think, it’s really hard to lose weight. It’s just super difficult. So there’s a long list of them that I want to go over today. I think they’re very valuable for you to hear, and we’ll talk a little bit about how they work.
So the first big cognitive distortion, when it comes to weight loss is, all-or-nothing thinking. This is your black and white thinking. These foods are right or wrong, these foods are good or bad, these foods are healthy or not. There’s no in-between. So when we are caught up in all-or-nothing thinking, we are doing things that basically say to our subconscious, if I do this, I’m perfect. If I do this, I’m good, but if I do this, I’m automatically bad. If I do this, I’m a failure. We have no gray area, we have no place to rest. So very often, this will sound like I’m either off-plan or I’m on plan. There’s no reasons, there’s no looking at what’s going on. So when I’m coaching my clients, they’ll come to me, it’s like, Corinne, I just want to let you know I’ve been off-plan for a solid week.
I haven’t followed one single plan. And I’ll be like, okay, why is that a big deal? And they’ll almost always tell me, because if I don’t follow my plan, all of a sudden, their brain goes to doom and gloom, I’ll never lose my weight. And if I never lose my weight, I’ll ask them, so let’s say you never lose your weight, then what? And they’ll usually tell me, well, that means I’m a failure. So something as little as following your plan or not following your plan doesn’t feel awful until it’s associated with a deeper belief, which is, if I’m not following it, I must be a failure. And we want to understand this because there’s a thousand ways to look at it. If you’re not following your plan, it could mean something’s going on in my life right now that makes it hard, and I just need to figure out how to plan differently during a hard season.
But when you’re an all-or-nothing thinking, you can’t adapt, you can’t pivot, you can’t change, you can’t turn up the volume of work you’re doing and you can’t turn down the volume of work you’re doing. And I will just tell you, if you want to lose weight, you have got to get really good at what’s called seasonality. So for example, when we are in the holidays, I do a big program with my members, every year. It’s called Handling the Holidays, because for most of us, during the holidays, we are going to be out of routine, we are going to be going to parties, we are going to be eating foods we normally are not eating. I mean, we don’t just sit around and eat cranberry jelly all year long. We don’t always have dressing all year long. Mama’s favorite chest pie only comes out during the holidays.
So we want to make sure we understand that there’s this seasonality that happens. But dieters tend to be an all-or-nothing thinking. I’m either perfect in eating healthy or I’m a shit-show off the rails. And when you understand concepts like seasonality, when you’re just like, there are times of the year where I can work a little harder at this, where I can give myself a little less wiggle room because my life is set up for it. And then there’s times of year where I’m not going to exercise every day anymore, and there’s certain times of year where my planning is going to look very different than my planning during other times of year. We don’t want to have all-or-nothing attitudes because then that chokes us up to be on or off. This is where I also see fuck it eating come in all the time.
Fuck it eating is where people think, well, if I can’t do this, I might as well just fuck it, eat all the things. I might as well just take the whole weekend off. I might as well just quit. All-or-nothing thinking is a breeding ground for fuck it eating. And when we know how to include seasonality, when we know how to be flexible, when we know that there’s always ebbs and flows in how we’re going to follow our own guidelines for eating, our own guidelines to lose weight, then we don’t need to go into fuck it mode. It’s a lot easier for us to catch ourselves when we are overeating and say, you know what? Leaving a little bit behind is better than finishing, even if I’ve already ate three quarters of a sleeve of Oreos. So the first big one is all-or-nothing thinking.
The second big whammy when it comes to cognitive distortion is overgeneralization. And overgeneralization is using words like, always, never, just can’t do it, in relation to a single event. So a lot of times, we’ll say, well, I overate. I always do that when I lose my momentum, or we’ll say things like, see, I knew it, when the scale goes up a pound, maybe for hormones, maybe it’s because the weather changed or whatever, your brain goes to, see, I never can lose weight. It always goes south at some point. Overgeneralization puts you into panic mode. And when you’re using words like always and never, you really want to pay attention and you want to ask yourself, is that the truth? Is this what always happens or am I making this some kind of dramatic telenovela that’s going to lead me to eating like an asshole?
When we overgeneralize, we usually panic or we spiral out in fear. So we want to really watch for, where are you overgeneralizing in your weight loss? The next thing is catastrophizing. This is where we are seeing things dramatically more important than they are. We are blowing things out of proportion. We are creating a huge catastrophe around a little thing. So often, I will see my clients, they will… This is the biggest catastrophe of all. They will gain three or four pounds. They may be going through something in life, and they will come to me crying their eyes out on a coaching call. I do coaching calls every Sunday for two hours in the membership, where people can just raise their hand and come on and talk to me, and they’ll be like, oh my God, I’m just so ashamed.
You don’t know, Corinne, I’ve gained five pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds. And to hear them tell it and half of them lost like 80. They’ve already demonstrated that they can lose a lot of weight, but man, if they have a regain, it is catastrophe central, and they start saying, that just proves I’ll never be able to lose my weight and keep it off. Why bother? When we catastrophize, all we do is jack up anxiety, jack up our own adrenaline and we make it really hard to do the little things, because it’s only going to take little changes to get back on track.
And this is what I always tell people when they’re doing that. It’s like, look, you can sit there and cry all you want, but if you’re… The only thing that truly matters, when your brain is catastrophizing that you’ll never be able to lose your weight and keep it off, that you must be a shit-show, you must be broken, this is what happens, you make it really hard to make a change today, and here’s the truth, bitch, the only thing that matters about your future weight loss is what you put in your mouth today.
And if you’re going to make today your worst day ever, you are going to want to eat through it. So at some point, you just have to admit, it’s not that I can’t lose weight and keep it off. The truth is I’ve gained some weight. The truth is also, what I choose to eat today will dictate what happens tomorrow. It is not what I did the last three weeks. It is not what I did the last six months. It’s what I eat today has all the influence over what’s going to happen tomorrow. So we want to watch out for when we are catastrophizing. Another cognitive distortion that we do is shoulds.
I should be eating this. I need to get off my ass. I must do this. I have to eat this way. When you are doing that, you are not motivating yourself. Usually, what happens is when you should all over yourself, it’s just like taking a shit in a diaper. Would you shit your pants? If you will not get behind shit in your pants, then quit shoulding all over your pants, because here’s what happens, when you think you should be doing something, you automatically start feeling guilty. It’s not that you should be doing it, just tell yourself, I won’t do it, or I choose not to do it and here’s my reason. I tell people all the time, we want to stay away from guilt and shame, but we definitely want to feel really aware of our choices. And when you’re shoulding, you’re not really aware of your choices, you’re just bathing in guilt and shame.
But when you tell yourself, let’s pretend that this weekend, you’re like, well, what I really should do is get up in the morning and exercise and eat healthy all day. All I want you to do is change it to one or two things. First of all, just ask, do I want to do that? If you don’t, don’t say you should. Tell yourself the truth. I won’t do that this weekend and here’s why, I don’t like it. I want to sleep in. At least tell yourself the truth, because then you’re not introducing guilt and shame. You’re just like, huh. There’s discomfort that will come up. So let’s say you know that weekend fuck it eating is your thing. You do good all week and you blow it on Friday night all the way through Monday morning, and you’re already starting to gear up, okay, I have to be good this weekend.
I should eat really healthy. I should probably also exercise. And you already feel the anxiety coming up on Friday. I just want you to say this, do I really want to eat healthy this weekend and do I really want to exercise? If you do, then you have to tell yourself, it is not because I have to, it’s because I’m choosing to do it because it would be better to lose some weight than to sit and wake up on Monday morning feeling like an asshole one more time. But I don’t have to do it. I can eat this weekend if I really want to. I’m just choosing to do it. That is so different than I have to, because a lot of times, I have to talk makes us think that we’re being forced. No one is forcing you to eat a certain way on the weekend or to do anything on the weekends.
You’ve got to start realizing, I either choose to or I just won’t do it. And when we tell ourselves instead of I should be doing things, I have to be doing things, when we say, you know what? Here’s the truth, I won’t eat healthy this weekend. I really want to relax. I want to eat other things. Then your brain can start having a little negotiation, but I really want to lose weight. Are you sure you don’t want to? Are you sure you won’t do it? And then you can start saying, well, maybe I don’t have to just eat all the things. We’re never going to open up the doors to negotiating with ourselves by doing have tos and shoulds. It just doesn’t work. Another cognitive distortion that we do is fortune-telling. This is probably one of the worst ones. I don’t know why every single person who tries to lose weight thinks that they’re somehow some crystal ball reader.
You are making negative predictions about the future without real facts, real evidence or anything. A lot of you are like, but you don’t understand, Corinne. Here I am in my fifties, I’ve never lost weight and I have failed every diet. And you think that somehow that is your crystal ball into what’s going to happen for the next 10 years. Let me tell you this, that is not the case. I have never ever met a weight loss success story that on day one thought they could lose weight. You know what they all said? I doubt it’s going to happen. I don’t think I can. We were all wrong. On my day one, I swear on the Baby Jesus in the golden diaper that I sat on my couch crying my eyes out, I said, I’m going to try to figure this out. But there was a whole other side of me that was like, oh, hell no, you ain’t.
You have been 100 pounds overweight for as long as I can remember at nine years old, don’t you remember what the kids said as you were walking up the stairs? Your butt seemed to be bigger than everybody else’s. Why didn’t your skirt fit the same? I am telling you, I did not think I was going to lose weight. I had never lost my weight and been able to keep it off. But I also knew I was not a fortune-teller. You know what I also knew? I didn’t know when my magic moment was going to happen. I didn’t know when things were going to change. I just didn’t. I had to remind myself what matters is what you do each day. That is why I tell you over and over and over in this podcast, I woke up every damn day thinking, what am I going to do today that’s a little bit better than yesterday?
It did not have to move the mountains, it did not have to be perfect, it did not have to do any of that stuff. If you won’t notice, when you listen to my podcast, one of the reasons why I was successful is because I quit doing these cognitive distortions. When I wanted to, I got so aware that I was doing it and I would redirect my brain. And that’s what I teach you inside of No BS. All of you who are members and listening to the podcast, module two, when you finish the No BS course, you take the pathways all about your thinking because if we’re not aware of all of these cognitive distortions, we cannot lose weight. There’s no way to lose weight if you’re catastrophizing and panicking. There’s no way to lose weight if you are trying to do all-or-nothing thinking.
If you are constantly on or off, you will not lose weight. You will fuck around with the same five pounds forever. If you are trying to tell your fortune and the only thing you can see is doom and gloom, why would you ever do things? You have no motivation. You have no why. You have no reason to do any better today if the only thing you think is that it won’t work. We have to unlearn these things. And if you’re shoulding a lot yourself and you’re driving guilt and shame, guess what most of us do when we feel guilty and shameful, we eat. We have to quit being our own worst enemy in weight loss. And then the last one I want to tell you about, as I think is the most important for women, we discount the positive.
Not acknowledging the small wins, the little things that we’re doing, saying anyone could have done this. Well, that’s not that hard. Well, I appreciate you noticing my weight loss, but I still got 40 more pounds to lose. When we sit around and insist that the actual changes that we make aren’t counting, we are never going to keep going. One of the reasons why most people want to lose weight, this is what most women tell me, I want to fucking feel successful for once in my life. For once in my life, I just want to be proud of myself. This right here, you have to unlearn discounting. I teach this in our self-love programs inside of No BS. I teach this everywhere I go.
It is the one thing I coach on the most inside my program because if you can’t see the positive all along the way of losing weight, if you can’t train your brain how to see it, you have no reason and no will to keep going through the tough times. If you just want to feel successful and you just want to feel proud of yourself, we have to start that on day one. So if you join my membership, we got to be proud we took the first step instead of saying things like, it’s just sad that I need this. And that’s what so many of you do, you discount little things.
Every bite you leave behind, it’s probably not good enough, instead of, look at me, I’m doing something different. I know that this is the most important one. It is the one I worked the hardest on. I was the queen of nothing ever being good enough. No matter what I did, not good enough, not good enough. So-and-so is better, so-and-so is better. That was my story. If I was going to have to title my book until I lost weight, it was going to be called, How She Was Never Good Enough, by Corinne Crabtree. Chapter one, nothing she did in weight loss was ever good enough. Every time she lost a pound, yeah, but you got 50 more to go. Every time she made a change in her food, yeah, but you should be eating this.
I’m just telling you right now, if you are sitting around and discounting yourself, whether that’s in your weight loss, in your job, as a mother, you have to unlearn this one thing because I think it’s one of the most foundational things that comes to weight loss, because when you start acknowledging the little amounts of progress you do, it is easier to look forward, it is easier to feel good each day. And the more we feel good about ourselves, the less dependent we are on food to be the source of pleasure in our life.
All right, I hope you got a lot out of today. If you did, please share this podcast on your social. Let people know. Tell them what you got out of it, or visit my social on Instagram or Facebook and let me know if this made a difference to you. You all have a good week and I’ll talk to you soon.