Episode Description

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

This week, things get personal. Kim expresses dismay at the results from the first month of her ultra-strict eating plan. Kim and Ferne discuss the feeling of disappointment and the struggle of being stuck when you feel as though you have tried absolutely everything to reach your goal, yet you see no progress.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. Today is another episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, and I have my beautiful, awesome, incredible daughter Ferne with me, who is my co-pilot in this journey where she comes to the table and she asks me questions, brings cases, discussions, and we share them with you. So, Ferne, welcome.

[00:00:37] Ferne Kotlyar: Hello, hello! Thank you for having me, as always. It is an honor and a pleasure.

[00:00:43] Kim Ades: So before we continue, we should share with the audience your amazing achievement this week. So for those of you who don't know, Ferne studies Plant Sciences, did I say it right?

[00:00:54] Ferne Kotlyar: You said it right, but more Plant Biology, but it's it's okay, same thing.

[00:00:59] Kim Ades: Okay. Plant Biology, and she was in a master's program and she was invited to slide into a PhD program provided that she did a presentation on her area of study. Yes? Did I get it right?

[00:01:17] Ferne Kotlyar: I had a committee meeting where the committee got to decide whether or not I could pursue a PhD instead of a master's.

[00:01:25] Kim Ades: And she passed! And so officially my daughter is a PhD candidate and I'm super excited, super proud. Super impressed too. You know, she's gonna exceed all of us in her education, so way to go, Ferne.

[00:01:42] Ferne Kotlyar: Thanks, mom. I've got another four years of education to go, but one step at a time.

[00:01:47] Kim Ades: Okay, as long as you carve out a few hours every once in a while for a podcast with me, we're good. All right, so what do you wanna talk about today?

[00:01:56] Ferne Kotlyar: Okay, so today, I know that it's been about a month or so that you've been on a very specific eating plan, and you promised yourself that you would not weigh yourself for the entire duration of the eating plan. I know that you stayed very true to it. And today or yesterday was the fateful day that we revealed the results. Do you wanna talk about that?

[00:02:20] Kim Ades: I really do. So I've been working with a coach. He's really awesome, great coach. I'm pretty picky, pretty selective about my coaches, but I found one after many, many, many years of looking someone who is not part of the Frame of Mind world.

But he kind of uses part of the Frame of Mind Coaching methodology, because we agreed to those terms. I journal every day, he reads my journal every day, so we have that in place. He's a great coach. And part of the reason that I found this coach is because I've been struggling with my weight for a few good years, and I've tried all kinds of things.

I've tried other coaching options, I've tried working with a trainer, I've tried working with nutritionists, I've tried seeing doctors, natural paths. You name it, I've done it. And for whatever reason, I'm really stuck in this area.

So I started working with this coach and he suggested to me that I really shouldn't weigh myself because every time I weigh myself and I see some number on the scale, I get upset and I beat myself up.

And so he said, "yeah, that's not helpful. Feeling that you have every time you look at the scale of beating yourself up, isn't helping you get the results you want". And so I thought about it and I thought to myself "that makes a lot of sense. I'm gonna stop doing that because really, what am I doing? I'm just using some number on the scale to determined that I'm hopeless, I'm useless, I'm not working hard enough", whatever it is, and that's not a good way to go.

So I agreed, I won't weigh myself. We also agreed to go on something like an elimination diet. So I got rid of all my sugars. So no sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no gluten. I feel like there are more things.

[00:04:11] Ferne Kotlyar: Sorry, did you eat at all?

[00:04:15] Kim Ades: [Chuckles] I ate. I feel like I missed a few things. Oh! No red meat. And so, what did I eat? I ate fish, chicken, sometimes veal, and I also ate vegetables and fruits. That's it, that was my diet. Oh, and some seeds sometimes.

[00:04:33] Ferne Kotlyar: And you think my diet is limited as a vegetarian.

[00:04:36] Kim Ades: [Chuckles] I found it was easy to do, actually. It was not hard to do and there were lots of outings. We had your birthday that we celebrated, where everybody went out and everybody ate all the bread and the butter and the sangria and the desserts. And I miss-- I didn't miss out, that's not the right term, but I chose not to partake in all that, but I still had an awesome time. And I had that experience a lot.

Like we went out a lot in that period of time where I chose fish, vegetables, salad. Just stick to my plan. And I stuck to my plan. I felt rather religiously. Except one thing I did do was I had potatoes sometimes.

[00:05:18] Ferne Kotlyar: [Gasps jokingly]

[00:05:19] Kim Ades: [Chuckles] Roasted potatoes and I had sunflower seeds, in the shell sometimes, and they're a bit salted. In any case, I was really looking forward to weighing myself, because I was looking in the mirror and I thought, "wow, I think I'm making a little bit of progress. My stomach feels tighter". But I would take the measuring tape and check and I felt like I wasn't making progress. Like the number wasn't changing.

And so my mind was a little confused about what was going on. I wasn't sure, did I make progress? Did I not make progress? Is what I'm seeing in the mirror an illusion? Like, what's happening here? And I couldn't tell 'cause I promised to wait the 31 days before weighing myself.

So the 31 days was yesterday and I got on the scale... And I discovered that I lost exactly 0.6 pounds. 0.6, not 0.6, not even a pound. And I was crushed, to be honest. And today when I weighed myself, I gained those 0.6 pounds right back. So I lost nothing. I did all of that, stuck to my guns, stuck, like really, really stuck to my plan and still didn't achieve my goal. Didn't even move the needle to my goal.

[00:06:37] Ferne Kotlyar: And you were also walking during that time too, eh? 10,000 steps a day.

[00:06:41] Kim Ades: Well, so I walked. Maybe sometimes not always 10,000 steps a day, but sometimes nine, sometimes eight, sometimes seven, sometimes ten, sometimes twelve, depending on the day. So here we are and today is the aftermath and I'm trying to process it all. And so it was not an easy day yesterday.

[00:07:06] Ferne Kotlyar: What was your first sort of reaction? Were you angry? Disappointed?

[00:07:11] Kim Ades: My first reaction was like I could feel it kind of in the pit of my chest. And I guess the first thing was everybody tell the story, right? We all have a story. And the story that I have is "this is an impossible task. This is so hard, and it figures like no matter what I do, I can't win in this particular game". And so that's the first thing that I felt.

And the second thing I felt was, "well, maybe I had too many potatoes. Maybe I had too many sunflower seeds. Maybe I ate too much salt. Maybe I needed to walk 15,000 steps and whatever I did wasn't enough. And so I absolutely immediately beat myself up.

And I just felt so bad, so confused, so angry, so sorry for myself really. And, you know, I have an awesome husband who wanted to comfort me, but I couldn't accept his comfort. I said, "you know what? I just need a little bit of time on my own. I need to go for a walk". And so I went by myself and I started to walk and a few funny things happened.

Like there was this little Asian child standing in the driveway and he was so cute, and I wanted to say hello, but I didn't want him to think I was abducting him, so I stayed quiet and all of a sudden he said, "hello!"

[00:08:30] Ferne Kotlyar: [Chuckles]

[00:08:31] Kim Ades: And I don't know, my heart got a little lighter. And then as I rounded the corner, there was another kid in a stroller who looked at me and said, "good morning!"

[00:08:39] Ferne Kotlyar: [Chuckles]

[00:08:40] Kim Ades: I said good morning, and I thought, "wow, why were these kids planted on my path today? I walk this path all the time, I've never seen these children before, but here they are, just to like, give me a little bit of a boost".

So then I came home and I journaled and I decided like, man, I don't have time for self pity. I gotta just get onto my plan. And so I did a huge long journal about how all of the things are amazing in my life. And I talked about how actually over this month, nothing really changed. Like I'm still the same weight as I was a month ago, I didn't get sick, there's no national disaster, I'm healthy. Nothing actually terrible just happened. It just feels terrible.

And I talked about my family, my husband, my work, the impact we get to make on people's lives. And I thought, you know what? Everything's fine. I don't need to feel bad for myself. And then today I went in and I journaled and I said, "okay, that plan didn't work. I need a new plan" and then I got onto a call with my coach.

And when I got onto a call with my coach, I just tried so hard to keep it all stuffed in, and then I just couldn't, I started leaking. I just started to leak and I tried so hard not to do that. I don't know why, it was important to me to look like I had my shit together, but I didn't have my shit together.

[00:10:07] Ferne Kotlyar: And how did your coach take it?

[00:10:09] Kim Ades: He was so happy. He was waiting for the moment that I would finally release all my strength and be vulnerable with him and totally open up.

[00:10:18] Ferne Kotlyar: [Chuckles]

[00:10:19] Kim Ades: He was super happy.

[00:10:21] Ferne Kotlyar: At least you made someone's day.

[00:10:22] Kim Ades: [Chuckles] I made someone's day. And then, I kept blowing my nose, it was hilarious, but he said a few things. He said, "actually, you're on the right path". I'm like, "yeah, but there's no evidence". He said, "you're looking at the wrong evidence".

[00:10:36] Ferne Kotlyar: And which evidence were you looking at? And which one should you--

[00:10:39] Kim Ades: I'm looking at the number on the scale. And he is like, "yeah, you get, you're doing so well. You're sticking to your plan, you're eating so healthy, you've changed everything. That's a healthy life. And you're looking at a number to determine whether or not you're successful and that's not a good way to assess your success".

[00:10:58] Ferne Kotlyar: What is a good way?

[00:10:59] Kim Ades: Well, how are you feeling. If you climb up a hill, are you out of breath or can you feel okay climbing up that steep hill? Are you walking with greater ease? Do you have as much pain as you used to have? So those things.

He said, " you can see a lot of very thin people, but on the inside, they're not that healthy. You're quite healthy", he told me. And I thought that's kind of like a banana that has a whole bunch of spots on the outside, but when you open it up, it's perfectly...

[00:11:30] Ferne Kotlyar: Ripe?

[00:11:30] Kim Ades: Beautiful. I'm like, I'm that banana!

[00:11:34] Ferne Kotlyar: [Laughs]

[00:11:36] Kim Ades: And then we changed the plan a little bit, right? And I said, "I need to eliminate everything. No potatoes, no sunflower seeds, no more fruits. I'm done with fruits!" He said, "you don't have to do that".

[00:11:51] Ferne Kotlyar: Fruits are very essential.

[00:11:55] Kim Ades: Some people are on the keto diet plan think fruits are a bad idea, but anyways. So I thought, you know, maybe it's the fruits that's messing me up. And so we decided on the plan where I eat fruits during the day and not at night.

[00:12:10] Ferne Kotlyar: I just wanna go back a second. He said, "how do you feel?" How do you feel?

[00:12:17] Kim Ades: I mean, It's funny, you know? [Laughs] One of the things that I've used in the past to measure my wellbeing or my health, and I used to travel a lot... So I used to be in airports and I used to notice that everyone used to pass me in the airport. Everybody would walk faster than me. Everybody! I was the slowest walker in the whole entire airport.

[00:12:39] Ferne Kotlyar: Oh no!

[00:12:40] Kim Ades: And one of the things that I've noticed is that I've started to pass people when we walk.

[00:12:46] Ferne Kotlyar: Victory!

[00:12:47] Kim Ades: Victory. And so does that count? Maybe it counts, maybe I'm using the wrong measuring stick.

[00:12:55] Ferne Kotlyar: Highly possible.

[00:12:56] Kim Ades: Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure. And he said, "you know, you have a specific number in your mind for how much you should weigh and that's not the right goal. The goal is a healthy life, a healthy lifestyle, not the number on the scale".

And so truth be told, I have a battle inside of me. Part of me says, yeah, he's right. And part of me says, "yeah, but what about the number on the scale? That number doesn't lie. That number tells the truth". So here's where I am.

[00:13:33] Ferne Kotlyar: So, what sort of advice would you give to somebody else who was in the same situation? Like, they were trying for years, it's been-- I know that you've been trying to do something about it. Anything, as you mentioned, nutritionists, doctors, coaches, professionals, whatever... What kind of advice would you give for somebody in the same situation?

[00:13:56] Kim Ades: I mean, I think that one of the greatest things that is different today for me is that I do have someone supporting me. And yes, my husband always supports me, but that's also sometimes tricky, right?

So I have this other person who's watching my journey, who's reading my thoughts in my journal, who's by my side, and when I'm ready to give up or ready to like take a bigger bat and hit myself over the head 'cause I still haven't gotten to where I've gotten, he takes the bat and gently puts it down.

He corrects my thinking and I honestly think "will I make progress?" According to him, I've made tremendous progress. I'm literally eating well, and so the insides of me become healthier and healthier. Right? So that can't be a bad thing.

He thinks I'm on the right path. It's gonna take a little longer. I think there are some tweaks that need to be made, but that's fine. But having that kind of support by your side is super, super important. I mean, that's the kind of thing we do when we coach other people. When the coach needs a coach, that coach needs to turn somewhere too, right?

[00:15:14] Ferne Kotlyar: So you're saying everybody needs a coach, even the coaches.

[00:15:17] Kim Ades: Of course, especially the coaches. Everyone needs a coach. Everyone needs a coach because if I come to my clients feeling good about myself, healthy, clean, knowing where I'm going, then I can provide really, really great coaching. So my job is to always do my own work, whatever that work is, and not say, "oh, I'm above it all". I'm not above anything. I'm always doing the work.

Right? So that's what I'm doing. But it's not easy. It's frustrating and part of the process with this coach was he noticed that my instinct was to say, "hey, you..." talking to myself... When I was talking to myself, I would say, "Hey, feeling bad for yourself is useless. That's not gonna get you anywhere. There's no time for that". And one of the things he said was "actually, you need to do that. You need to feel bad for a bit, not forever. It's okay to feel the feelings and then move on".

[00:16:27] Ferne Kotlyar: And what did you think about that?

[00:16:29] Kim Ades: I mean, I agree and I would recommend that to any other person. When it comes to me, I think to myself, I should have it together. Should be smarter. I should know better. I shouldn't wallow at all. No time for that".

[00:16:44] Ferne Kotlyar: And you also know all about the shoulds, eh?

[00:16:46] Kim Ades: I really do, I know all about the shoulds. But I'm human, right?

[00:16:51] Ferne Kotlyar: We all are.

[00:16:52] Kim Ades: Yeah. I mean, anybody who knows me [chuckles] knows that this has been a very long battle or very long process for me. And I'm still at it, you know?

[00:17:08] Ferne Kotlyar: Taking it one day at a time.

[00:17:10] Kim Ades: Definitely taking it one day at a time.

[00:17:13] Ferne Kotlyar: Well, I wanted to say thank you for being vulnerable and open and honest. And I think this episode was important because people should know that. I mean, honestly, nobody's perfect and coaches need a coach too, and we're all tracking and taking it one day at a time.

[00:17:31] Kim Ades: We're all tracking, we all win sometimes, we all struggle sometimes.

[00:17:35] Ferne Kotlyar: All of us.

[00:17:36] Kim Ades: No matter who we are. And it helps when you have someone, a team, a person, a coach, someone by your side, kind of like, you know, easing things up for you a little bit as you go.

[00:17:52] Ferne Kotlyar: Absolutely. We all need that.

[00:17:55] Kim Ades: For those of you who are listening, if you have a goal that is challenging for you to achieve, and you might need someone to help you with that, please reach out, we're good at that. I'm probably better at helping others than I am helping myself, right? I think a lot of people are like that. But if you've liked this episode, I'd love to hear from you.

This is definitely a hard topic for me, so I definitely want some feedback on this one. But thank you for tuning in. We will catch you next time. Ferne, if people wanna reach out to you with some ideas on topics, how do they reach you?

[00:18:30] Ferne Kotlyar: I am always open to new topic ideas. So please email me at Fernekotlyar@live.com. That's Fernekoytlyar@live.com.

[00:18:42] Kim Ades: And as you know, my email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. We will see you next week. Have a good one, everyone.

[00:18:50] Ferne Kotlyar: Bye.