Updated: May 31, 2024

Episode 370. 3 Keys to Feeling Better 1 Thought At A Time

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3 KEYS TO FEELING BETTER 1 THOUGHT AT A TIME

Weightloss isn’t just about what you eat. It’s also about what you THINK. 

I tried a million things to lose weight and keep it off. But nothing worked until I stopped talking to myself like an asshole.

If you’re used to giving yourself mental beat-downs, you need today’s podcast episode. I share the “3 Keys to Feeling Better, One Thought at a Time.”

And I’m not out here talking about positive affirmations or mantras. That shit doesn’t work. 

I’m talking about changing your thinking in simple, realistic ways. Because our thoughts need to be believable, or they won’t stick. 

Listen in for specific examples of how to level up thoughts like:

  • “My body is disgusting”
  • “I hate myself when I screw up” 
  • “I don’t like my legs” ( This is a thought I have)

You’re not “bad” if you have thoughts like these. It’s normal. The problem comes in when you ONLY think these kinds of thoughts and don’t ever question or change them. 

To get some relief from talking to yourself like an asshole — and lose weight — check out today’s episode.

Transcript

All right, let’s talk about leveling up our thoughts one at a time. It’s the key to feeling better. Number one, here’s the first thing you have to know when you’re going to be changing a thought, you must make it believable. You cannot go from, I hate my body to I am the world’s sexiest beast in a heartbeat. A lot of times what I see people do when they are listening to how they think about things, they start with going from disgust to unicorn. We want to be leveling up our thoughts. Your thought that you’re going to replace the one that you know don’t want to think or believe anymore has to be believable. In order for it to stick, it has to feel true because you’ve got to have two truths working at the same time. So your brain, if it doesn’t believe this one, it’s just going to ignore it.

Even if you tell yourself something. This is why mantras never worked. If you tell yourself something over and over and over again, if your brain doesn’t find a shred of evidence or proof for it or truth to it, it’s not going to stick because it’s going to have what you truly believe running in the background being like, yeah, well that sounds good, but that sounds good, but that sounds good. But we do not want to be triggering our brain to do that, so we want something equally as true. What you can do is you can do, the first thing to do is if you come up with a new thought to think about anything, you want to check in with your body to see how it feels. This is the basic, most simple thing to decide if a thought is going to feel good or not or is going to stick or not.

You think up your new one. So let’s say your thought every day is, my body is disgusting, and you’re like, that feels a thousand percent true. I mean, I weigh this much. I look this way. People have said, I’ve always been told this. No one’s ever told me I’m pretty. So now I want you to think about your brain is like proof, proof, proof, proof, proof. This all feels true. This is not debatable. Great. We don’t want to debate all that. It may be true that no one’s ever told you any different, and it may be true that people have always told you this stuff, so we’re not debating that. What we do want to do though is find some space for my body is disgusting. If that’s your thought, it might be something like, people have told me that and I have thought it a lot.

I just want you to think about that. That feels true, but it also feels different than the other one when we just say, my body is disgusting. There’s no other way to feel other than bad, but when you’re like, people have told me that, and therefore I have fought that for years and years and years now we don’t feel disgusted. We may be upset or sad, but we probably also feel shifted. We feel a little aware, aware of why we think our body is disgusting. Now, I want you to think about that. For a lot of people, there is some peace and comfort in just repeating to yourself, this is why I keep thinking this instead of this is what I believe about myself. So we want to check in with our body, and this is my tried and true is what I do all the time.

Whenever I’m going to practice a new thought, whenever I’m going to be like, this is how I want to think about this. I just close my eyes and I take two deep breaths and I say the new thought. If I feel the least bit relaxed, if there’s nothing dramatic going on in my body, I’m like, okay, this is probably going to work. I ask myself, does this feel true at all? Because if it does, now I’ve got what we call the next step thought. If I say it and all I feel is tension, tight bound up and no truth, it’s never going to work. So that goes into point number two. So the first thing we’re going to do is we have to be new thoughts have to be believable. The second thing is we’re going to use opener and closers to get started. So I’m going to give you three today.

If you think I hate myself every time you mess up, you could say, I often think that that I hate myself. That’s what I normally think when I mess up, that already feels different than I just hate myself. So you can try on, I hate myself. I often think that when I make mistakes and you don’t do anything other than I hear you, you often think that, and the reason why this thought can gain some traction is because what you want to be doing is when you haven’t messed up, when you are just journaling and stuff you want to write about, I usually think

I myself, but here’s why I don’t want to think that anymore. Here’s what I want to believe about myself when I mess up. What’s also true when I mess up? Here’s all the things because then right then you can really be the reasoning and thinking and stuff. It lays the seeds for the next time you mess up. Then when you do mess up, your brain is going to say, I hate myself. And you want to in that moment be like, I often think that, and this is really hard. It’s really hard for me when I mess up because this is another one that you could practice. It’s like I often think that it’s hard for me when I mess up because I make it mean so many things, and right now I just want to know that later on I can do some journaling on why it might not be as bad as I’m thinking right now.

Why I don’t need to hate myself for this. You do that enough through all the mess ups that you have, where you be there for yourself in the moment when you’re hating yourself, and then later you come back with the version of you who wants to believe different things about you, the version of you who is caring and loves you and understands you. The version of you who’s like, I know you hate yourself right now, or you hated yourself then, but can I talk to you about it? And you have a discussion with the version of you who’s got perspective, and you do that later. You do enough of that, you’ll start seeing in the moment when your brain wants to say, I hate myself. It’ll start changing the conversation without you having to work so hard at it. Another opening closer could be, but it could be true. So let’s say we mess up and you say, I hate myself. And then you go like, wait a minute, but it could be true that I haven’t messed up as bad as I thought.

And then later you do some journaling on how maybe that wasn’t the world’s biggest fuck up. Maybe you do some journaling on like, here’s two or three times I’ve messed up and thought I’m so stupid. I hate myself. I’m going to get fired. Everyone’s going to hate me. I thought all of these things that felt so true in the moment and none of it happened or some things happened and some things didn’t, so that you can do some work on when I mess up, it may be not as bad as I typically think. And then the

Last one, that’s a real helpful one, so we’ll keep using the example of I hate myself when I mess up is I’m starting or learning to, if you think I hate myself, you’ve just screwed something up. Say you’ve, say y’all have, you’ve made your 24 hour plan and for the 100th and 32nd time in a row you’ve broke it and you’re just like, number 132 was the one that did me in. I hate myself. I always screw up my plan. You could just take a deep breath and say, I’m learning to not be so angry at myself. I’m learning that there’s a pattern to breaking my plans. I just need a little help with it. There’s a lot of little things that you can add to it. So using, I often think that when an old tired out thought comes in, like, I’m so disgusted. This is what I literally, when I look at my legs and I look at them daily, for me, here’s my personal truth that has set me free when it comes to my legs. I don’t want to love them at all.

If I had my choice, they would not look this way, and that is just my truth, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life fighting with what’s true for me, which is if I had a magic wand, I’d have a different set of legs. But here’s what’s also true for me. I will not stop living my life over them. I will not obsess over them. I will just probably have some shitty thoughts about my legs a lot in my lifetime because in my mind, there is a pair of legs out there that I’d like to have.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having fleeting thoughts at times. It’s when you have a thought and you only believe that one painful thought, and then you back it up with more painful thoughts and you make having shitty legs mean terrible things about you. That’s when it’s a problem. We as humans aren’t meant to unconditionally love ourselves. We wouldn’t be safe. It would be threatening to our very existence. We’re also not born to hate ourselves, but we are made to find problems in the world so we can stay out of trouble. We’re also meant to find problems with ourselves so that we can stay decent fucking human beings. If you never find problems with yourself, you’re probably a narcissist or a psychopath.

There’s a difference between the willingness to know the things you want to change and be dissatisfied with yourself or disappointed sometimes so that you can do better so that you can work towards the things you want, but there’s that. There’s productive dissatisfaction, productive disappointment, and then there’s just beat downs, no balance, only believing one side of the story that feels miserable, that keeps you trapped. It keeps you not changing and not evolving. It keeps you stuck in one way. In order for all of us to love our life, if you want to lose weight, whatever it is, we have to be able to deal with the parts that are a little messy.

If I yell at Chris, I don’t want to be the kind of person that just is justified. Who doesn’t think that that’s like, well, he deserved it. I like me because I’m always yelling at him or whatever. I don’t want to be that person. If I’m yelling at him, I really hope that I’m disappointed in myself so that I can examine why was I yelling? What was going on for me to lose my temper? Is this something that’s so important to our marriage that it deserves a real conversation, not a reaction, or is this something that’s not that fucking important? I’m just having a bad day and I need to woman up and apologize because this is the person I love most in the world and I’m willing to feel a little shame for the integrity of our relationship.

That’s where we want to get to in life. We’re not trying to feel good all the time. That is not the point of life. The point of life is to use our feelings as a guide, and we use our thoughts as a way to understand why we feel the way we do, so we can make sure this is the way we want to feel and this is the way we want to show up. And then when we find flawed thinking, that’s like I hate myself because I make a mistake pretty much an overreaction to mistakes. I just want you

To think we’re going to spend our entire life making mistakes all the time. We don’t want to hate ourselves in that moment. We probably want to be understanding. We probably want to be curious. We probably want to be maybe disappointed at times. We want to grapple with it. We don’t want to go to hate because if every time you make a mistake you hate yourself, you’re going to play a smaller and smaller part in the world simply to guard yourself from hating yourself. But then you don’t ever get to fully love yourself. You don’t ever get to wow yourself. You don’t ever get to amaze yourself because in order to wow yourself, amaze yourself and fully love yourself, you have to make mistakes to get there.

The last thing is we’re going to use thought stepping stones to start seeing what could be possible. So a thought stepping stone is a way to start challenging your shitty thoughts. So you literally, you could just put it on a piece of paper and you could even draw little stones. If you’re Andra, you might want to do doodles about it. Who always gives us beautiful doodles in the Facebook group, you can say the first thought with an opener and closer is, I often think that being proud of myself is bragging. I often think when I make a mistake that I should hate myself for it. That would be like stepping stone number one, and then stepping stone. Number two, you can ask yourself what’s not true about what I’m thinking?

Once you get used to, I often think this, you could move to the next thought is what’s not true is that mistakes deserve hatred. Maybe mistakes indicate some disappointment, dissatisfaction, awareness, normalcy, whatever it is that would feel right to you. That would be your next stepping stone. And then the next stepping stone is, so when you’re going through this, I want you to start with an opening closer that’s like step one. Then the next thing would be like what’s not true about the original thought? That could be another thought. You can start practicing once you get comfortable with the first one. Then the third is, what are the real facts that anyone would agree with here? So if you’ve made a mistake, the facts are just what happened, not the hatred, not the catastrophizing, not all the things that you think it means. It’s like the spreadsheet was wrong.

I didn’t show up for the appointment on time. I did not send the check when I said I would. Now, that one is literally for a lot of times what happens is, is that if I’m thinking, let’s say you forget to pay the light bill on time and you’re like, oh, I always screw up. I hate myself. Then we’re just going to go to, here’s what’s really happening. The light bill got paid late. Anytime that we just pull it down to the facts, we are now, we’re taking the emotional energy out of the room, so we’re not feeling good about it. We’re also not feeling bad about it. We’re just stating the facts. That’s another stepping stone for a lot of people. And then you start, once you get past the factual part, it’s easier to layer in new thoughts that feel better. So let’s say that we’ve got, I paid the light bill late. The new thought could be everyone makes mistakes at times, including me. Another new thought might be the lights will still be on this month. It’s not the end of the world. A new thought could be, I’ll set a calendar trigger. I don’t make this mistake often, so I’ll just make sure I have a calendar trigger.

Those are all just think about how much better you feel like you feel productive, you feel normal. You feel like it’s not a big deal, but you’re also not sweeping it under the rug. You’re acknowledging, sweeping it under the rug has no acknowledgement, but here we’re just acknowledging and we’re moving on. So new thoughts have to be believable. Use those openers and closers to get you started with shifting some of your thoughts so you can feel just a little bit better, and then use the thought stepping stones to start seeing what could be possible for you. Okay, that is it for today. Bye, y’all.

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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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