Updated: May 13, 2024

Episode 369. Why We Screw Up When We Really Want to Lose Weight

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Episode 369. Why We Screw Up When We Really Want to Lose Weight

How many times have you tried to lose weight by telling yourself:

“It’s time to get serious. On Monday, I’m starting keto/ Whole 30/ Weight Watchers and THIS TIME, I’m going to do it perfectly.”

There are so many things wrong with that thought. But let’s start with this:

You ain’t got to be perfect to lose weight!

In fact, it’s impossible. You WILL make mistakes along your weightloss journey. And you WILL still lose weight as long you don’t:

  • Talk to yourself like an asshole when you “screw up”
  • Say “fuck it” and turn a small mistake into a tsunami of eating
  • Give up because you didn’t do it “100%”

There’s a better way. Listen to today’s episode Why We Screw Up When We Really Want to Lose Weight to discover:

  • What I did when I started losing my weight
  • The four phases you WILL go through as you lose weight
  • How to keep going when you make a “mistake”

If you tell yourself you have to be perfect to lose weight, you’re making it so much harder than it needs to be. Tune in today for how to make weightloss easier.


Today we’re going to talk all about why we screw up when we really want to lose weight. This is all about the mistakes and redefining what mistakes mean when it comes to the ability to not only lose your weight but keep it off. So this is an important discussion because the number one reason why we quit trying to lose weight is because at some point we make a mistake and then we just throw the baby out with the bath water. But this is the thing, mistakes are going to happen. There’s nobody loses weight doing it perfectly. So we have to be able to have the determination to keep going in the face of making mistakes. So we need to understand them, we need to know that they’re normal. And the most important thing, you have to learn how to not be an asshole to yourself simply because you’re doing something that you were going to do at some point.

All of us are going to make mistakes trying to lose weight. No one gets a free pass on doing it perfectly. So unless you just want to be frustrated hard on yourself, beat down and burdened throughout your weight loss journey, you’ve got to break the habit of thinking. You have to be perfect. You have to do it right, and you can’t afford to make any mistakes if you keep believing that you are never going to be able to lose your weight and keep it off. I am just here to tell you, so the biggest mistake that I see people making here is thinking that I’ve got to quit making mistakes in order to lose weight. No, you don’t. Here’s what you got to do. You got to quit quitting when things aren’t going perfectly. If you want to lose weight, can you imagine if every single time you fucked up instead of eating your face off quitting and resigning that you’ll never lose weight?

Where would you be right now if you had have just kept going every single time you ended up caving to McDonald’s eating something you said you weren’t going to eat every single one of those times. If you had have just woke up in that moment and said, I can make a better choice in the next five minutes, I could stop eating right now. I don’t have to waste the day just because of one mistake. I don’t have to quit because I didn’t do it right. Can you imagine you would be at your goal by now if you just learned how to keep going in those moments? And this is the other thing, most of the shit that we do that we call a mistake isn’t nearly as detrimental as we make it out to be. We mess up a little bit. Then we start thinking, oh, God can’t lose weight. I’m such a loser. I’m done fucked up. I might as well just eat all of it. We start feeling hopeless. We spiral out into judgment and shame, and the next thing you know, we’re either eating our face off to get the shit that we’re eating out of our system.

We’re quitting altogether so that we can quit thinking so poorly about ourselves. I’m like, for fuck’s sake, can we just learn how to talk better to ourselves instead of here’s what I’ll do. I’ll quit doing something good for me so that I can stop the ugly voice in my mind instead of being in charge of yourself and saying, I refuse to talk to myself like an asshole. I’m determined to learn how to not talk to myself like an asshole, and when I unlearn that, I bet you I can lose weight a lot easier. So again, the answer is understanding how mistakes matter, how they work when it comes to weight loss and why it’s normal to not do things perfectly a hundred percent of the time, and to learn how to be an encourager of yourself instead of the biggest fucking bully. Bully on the block when shit happens in your life.

So I remember when I first started because I was at two 50 and I made sure that I set up as many things as easy as possible for me to lose weight. I did not have a good relationship with myself. I needed easy shit to do so I could follow through more times than not following through. Then when I did screw up, I wasn’t so overly hard on myself. I really set things up to be like, all right, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to do a bunch of really easy things, and if some of these things don’t work, then we’re going to go back to what we were doing before and then we’re going to try again when we feel ready. I really changed how I thought about everything. So making the small changes and paying attention to how I was talking to myself and encouraging myself that all that really needed to happen to lose weight was I just needed to keep stringing together, small wins, and then in the moments when I didn’t have a win, if I was able to easily get myself to keep going, it just made sense to me I’d be able to lose weight.

So I learned how to keep going no matter what happened, and the easiest way for me to be going was to make sure everything was simple. If I was hungry, I ate. If I’d had enough, I stopped. I planned what I was going to eat for the day and I made sure it was filled with foods I liked. I just did basics. So here’s what I want you to understand. When you are going to do doable hunger and you are going to make your 24 hour plan and you’re going to lose weight, the no BS way, there are going to be four phases that you go through and these

Are the phases of change. Anytime you do anything new, even simple things, everyone goes through the phases of change in every little thing, and I hope that when you hear this, that this will free you to be like, okay, I’m normal. I don’t need to blow this out of proportion. I don’t need to make this mean a lot of terrible things about myself. Mistakes are just a part of the process, and here’s how the process works. First, when we first start, let’s say you’re doing the four basics. When you’re first getting started, you’re going to do them about 20% of the time, correct? About 20% of the time you are going to remember 80% of the time. That’s a no when we first start, you’re not used to things, so your brain isn’t going to remember all the time to cue you. Just because you listened to an audio, just because you decided that you wrote some food down doesn’t mean that your brain is going to remember the new stuff.

It’s likely to remember the old stuff because you’ve been doing it for a long time, so it’s new. Your old habits are always going to feel stronger and more powerful simply because it’s how you’ve done things, and in the beginning, the old habits just feel stronger than the new ones, and that’s normal. It would be like switching from your right hand to your left hand to right. You have to think a lot. There will be times you’re still grabbing the pen with the wrong hand. You don’t sit there and think you’re a loser. It probably makes sense to you. It’s like, oh yeah, I’ve been a righty. My entire left now trying to write. I actually got to think about it. The same thing happens when you’re going to ask if you’re hungry, stop it enough, make a plan. Remember what’s on it. So you need to remind yourself in this phase that I’m learning how so that your brain never adopts an attitude of I can’t do this.

The key in this phase is to pivot the moment you notice things that you’re not doing, say like, oh, I want to remember tomorrow to do this. Next time I’m learning how to ask. Am I hungry? I want you to do things like that. Instead of being hard on yourself, the moment you hear yourself being hard on yourself, I want you to pivot and remind yourself, I’m learning how. Then what happens is you’re doing that. You’re like, I’m learning how. I’m learning how. What you’re going to find is you’ll hit the momentum phase and the momentum phase is 40% of the time your brain is queuing up the new habits a little bit more. It’s starting to feel the positive effects of what you’re doing, but 60% of the time the old habits are the first thing you think about.

You still are forgetting a lot of things. You’re still figuring your shit out. In this phase, it’s important to keep pivoting that inner talk. The key to this phase is to highlight the progress so that your brain can see that more and more. You are starting to do this new thing. You want to make sure you talk to yourself about like, this is great. I did it this time. It feels really good to do this. I’m really proud of myself. We want to teach our brain in the momentum phase that 40% of the time when it’s working, we have to be the encourager. The encourager gets us to the next phase. The discourager gets us to quit. Then you’re going to hit the make or break phase, and this is where 60% of the time you’re doing the things now and 40% of the time you ain’t.

So you are over the halfway mark. Now, more times than not, things are working. It’s getting easier. You’re remembering, but it will feel like you’re never going to get this because not all the time, but 40% of the time you still have to think about it. You’re still making mistakes. Asking if you’re hungry is not the first thing that you want to do. Your excuse comes up first to eat. So you really need to pay attention to being hard on yourself. In this phase, in this phase, the make or break phase, we tend to be really hard on ourselves because we think we should be doing it better by now, and that is not true. This is the part of the process where your brain is just making sure the old habit is okay to let go of as the first response, and this is why your brain works really hard to put something on habit.

The more you do it, the more it thinks it needs to do it. It does not understand if it’s good or bad for you. It just thinks you’ve done this this many times, I think I should keep cueing you to do it, and before it retires an old pattern, it hangs on for a little bit just to make sure you just do not know how hard it is for your brain to lay down new neuro pathways. That is why your brain tries to protect you from forming replacement habits. So in this phase, you’ve got to highlight that this is normal, that you’re not supposed to be doing it perfectly, that you’re doing way better than you think and give yourself credit for, and that it won’t be long before whatever you’re doing is automatic, is easier, doesn’t require much mental energy. Then we move into what we call the habit phase, and this is the fourth and final phase.

80% of the time you’re doing the thing. 20% of the time you’re not. Your excuses went out sometimes. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Circumstances happen 20% of the time things are just not clicking right, but you’re doing it most of the time. Some of your old triggers are popping up, but now you’re a different person. They’re super noticeable. They’re not the norm anymore. They stick out like a sore thumb. This is the phase where you just need to notice when you’re not doing something, stop, figure out what you’re going to do better next time, and then your sweet ass moves right along. You’re never going to be perfect in anything that you do, so there’s no reason and no sense in beating yourself up in this phase. It’s all about learning and moving on. Now, I know you can do this. Many of my no Bs women have found that once they understand how change actually works, they feel so free.

It is so relieving to know, oh my God, I’m supposed to go through these phases. I’m not supposed to be perfect. I’m just supposed to stop beating myself up over some fake ass shit. They immediately give themselves permission to stop thinking something’s wrong with them if they’re not doing things right, and this is how change works. Now, you might be thinking that it’s going to take forever if you don’t just do it all right from the jump. That is absolutely not true. Weight loss will not take forever moving through these phases. What takes forever is beating yourself up so much over the natural mistakes that we’re all going to make to the point that you would rather give up on your dreams to stop feeling so bad because of how you talk to yourself. The only way you can’t lose weight is if you don’t keep going and you ignore what’s really driving all of your overeating because how you think and deal with your life cannot come down to food anymore. Our life deserves better, and that’s what I want for you.



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I'm Corinne Crabtree

Corinne Crabtree, top-rated podcaster, has helped millions of women lose weight by blending common-sense methods with behavior-based psychology.

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