Balanced Bites Podcast Episode #223: Are Resolutions Worth It?

Are Resolutions Worth It? - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites

1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [2:08]
2. A new thing I’m into lately: gluten-free bread and #sandwichgate [13:35]
3. A review of the four tendencies and New Years’ Resolutions [24:49]
4. Addressing the “inevitable failure” of resolutions [36:02]
5. How to make resolutions stick [51:28]
6. Resolutions don’t have to be fitness based [1:02:38]
7. Changing habits; avoiding the junk [1:05:57]
8. Abstainer versus Moderator [1:08:54]

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Are Resolutions Worth It? - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites Are Resolutions Worth It? - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites Are Resolutions Worth It? - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites Are Resolutions Worth It? - Diane Sanfilippo, Lize Wolfe | Balanced Bites
You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 223: Are Resolutions Worth It? 
Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Liz Wolfe: Hello friends and holiday celebrators. It’s me, Liz, and I’m here with Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.
Liz Wolfe: Hi friend, how are you?
Diane Sanfilippo: Doing pretty well, how are you?
Liz Wolfe: Excellent. Great, great. Let’s hear from one of our sponsors.
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1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [2:08]
Liz Wolfe: Alright, Diane. What’s going on in your life?
Diane Sanfilippo: Hey hey. So, probably the biggest update this week is that the new streamlined 21-Day Sugar Detox program is now available. I emailed out to everyone that’s on any kind of list {laughs}. If you’re on my main emailing list, 21-day list, any of these lists, hopefully you received an email about it. But if you didn’t know it was coming, it’s here.
Basically, if you go to the website for, you won’t know that anything is different, really. But what we did was we took some feedback and data that we had on the kind of content that people were accessing from all of the things; basically when we put the program back online, I think it about a year and a half ago, I wanted to have all kinds of materials and support and everything, make it super comprehensive. But it just turned out that I think that was more overwhelming for people than anything else, which is fine. So the reason for doing this was 2 fold; one to just make things easier and more simplified for people, and two so that we could lower the price. I really wanted to lower the price of the program to make it more accessible to as many people as possible, but in order to do that, I needed to take some of the content out and streamline it.
So, for those of you who did not get the old version, do not worry. We left in everything that’s obviously very essential, very critical, and also the stuff that I felt was most important to expanding the online program. So what that means is you’ve got everything you need if you wanted to just grab what’s online. If you want to grab the guidebook, you can. Or if you want to grab the online program, you can. Of course, I think the book is extremely comprehensive and an amazing resource. But if you want to grab the online program, it also includes the modification guide, which is very helpful for a lot of people who are either athletes, pregnant or breastfeeding moms, those with families who are on the program or want to take on the program with their family because we’re approaching it differently. Those with autoimmunity or those who follow a pescatarian diet.
Essentially, we couldn’t fit; I couldn’t fit all of this content into a printed book, because it’s like; I don’t even know how long the modification guide is, but it’s a ton of additional information for each of these different populations, and expanding on just how to tweak and modify and make the program work. So for example, with family with kids; we’re not taking all fruit away from kids the way we are {laughs} adults. As adults, we have this tendency to sort use an abuse things like dried mango; Liz, you and I have joked about that for the past 4 years. But kids aren’t like that, so we give you guys information on how to use that.
So anyway, long story short, the new version of the program is up and available. It’s less expensive; the pricing begins at $37, which I think a lot of people are going to be really excited about. And the only other update on this is that if you did purchase the program beforehand; two things here. Number one, you will still have access to everything you had before, and you’ll have access to the new version, where it’s just some updated files. But you’ll still be able to download a zip folder of everything that was in the original program, so don’t worry, you don’t lose anything. And also if you were one of our original members before this change, you’re getting access to a couple of live calls with me. I just kind of wanted to find another way to say thanks for being around for a long time, and give you some extra value because obviously the program was more expensive before. But it did include a lot more content.
So just a couple of things there. You guys don’t have to worry; if you were a member of the online program at any time, if you had ever logged into it, you’ll still be able to log in, you’ll have access to everything that’s new, and you’ll be able to hit that zip folder of everything that was in the previous version as well. So that’s it; that’s kind of the big update. You can head over to to see all about that, and we start the next big group on January 4th, which all of that is very relevant to stuff we’re going to talk about today. But January 4th is the next big group kickoff.
And if you’re somebody who thinks that doing a program like this would be great for you, and especially after what we talk about on today’s episode, if you think that doing this kind of on your own, floating, or with even just a little bit of help from Facebook is not quite enough, head to the coaches’ page on the website. I think we have close to 200 coaches spread all over the country, and actually some around the world who are doing coaching sessions in person, and some are online, and they’re amazing people. Amazing resources; lots of NTPs, nutrition consultants, folks like you and me, Liz, who a lot of them have actually been in business for a long time. Some of them are newer in business, but amazing people who can coach you on a lot of things. They can coach you through the program, and then they might be able to offer you some support thereafter.
I know a lot of people are always looking for some one on one support, so I want you guys to know that we have this huge resource of these coaches, and they’re all basically under my guidance in terms of how to offer their support to you guys. So I think you’ll find that really helpful. If you’re not somebody; and I’m not somebody who just wants to have a list and not have anybody to ask questions of. I do like to have that extra support. So anyway, that’s it. That’s it over here. What’s new with you my friend?
Liz Wolfe: Oh, we’re just reeling from a tragedy that happened right before this podcast began.
Diane Sanfilippo: Tell me, I need to hear all about it.
Liz Wolfe: Well, so remember June Bug, the little stray dog that came.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh yeah!
Liz Wolfe: We fixed her up, and our good friends adopted her. Well June Bug is fine {laughs} that’s not the tragedy.
Diane Sanfilippo: You’re the worst.
Liz Wolfe: {laughs} June Bug is staying with us for the holidays, and we had her dropped off. We started recording at 11 my time, and at 10:30 June Bug came and was dropped off, and I said; oh just put her in the front yard, because we had fenced off a huge front yard area for the dogs, so they can come in and out through the doggie door. And so June Bug was in the front yard, and immediately, immediately kills a chicken.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ooooh!
Liz Wolfe: Womp, womp.
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s so sad.
Liz Wolfe: It’s so sad. I mean, it’s fine, it happens, and chickens get picked off. Free-range chickens get picked off by wild animals, and you know, it’s just one of those things that happens. Scout, I think killed 2 chickens when she first got here. They’re just irresistible for dogs, and they’re so much fun to kill and toss around.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: Because the feathers go everywhere, you know. And the chicken was in the front yard, the chickens aren’t supposed to be in the front yard. Of course, June Bug’s parents felt really bad, but it’s no big deal at all. But we had a little bit of clean up to do, and that was my excitement for the morning. And actually, in a kind of funny way, it relates to this New Years’ Resolution chat we’re going to have, because I’ll just say one of my New Years’ Resolutions is to basically read and watch anything and everything having to do with Brené Brown; is that how you say her name, Brené?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. So I’m not super familiar with her work, but a couple of weeks ago I watched a video on blame that she did, and it was so fascinating and it really highlighted some of the tendencies that I have with regards to my relationship with my husband and how I really like to just place blame when no blame even needs to be placed in the first place. So of course, as soon as that happened, my husband and I; he was like, well, it was your idea to put her in the front yard. And I was like, really? I mean, we both had that moment where we were like, you know what? We were just assessing blame, just like that video that Brené Brown had. And it was wonderful, we had a nice little moment where we recognized that tendency, and diffused the situation, and realized it was just a big fat bummer that it happened and moved on. So there you go. Something good from something bad.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s awesome to have that little moment.
Liz Wolfe: I highly encourage people to watch Brené Brown’s stuff on YouTube. I don’t know, is she a writer, does she do mostly videos? Is she a motivational speaker? I don’t know.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. {laughs} All of the above.
Liz Wolfe: Watch the video on blame.
Diane Sanfilippo: All of the above, and also she’s an FOO; friend of Oprah. So she’s been on Super Soul Sunday a couple of times. I think she has some of the most highly rated Super Soul Sunday episodes, when she talks about things like that. Things like blame and, I can’t remember the topic of a recent one. I haven’t looked at her work or read any of it, either, because I think a lot of it does deal with; yeah, it deals with those topics where, I think until it’s really poignant to you in a certain moment, you don’t really, you’re not awakened to that work.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: You took notice of it because you may be realized this was something you wanted to shift, or whatever.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it’s got to meet a need.
Diane Sanfilippo: Exactly. Otherwise, you’re scrolling through Facebook and you don’t even see it.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just this random content. I think the stuff we’re going to talk about today; which, all of our listeners know how obsessed I’ve been {laughs} with Gretchen Rubin’s work in the last, I don’t know, 6 months or so. I think it’s because; I know it’s because for a couple of years I’ve been trying to figure out how to get myself to do things {laughs} so I think that was probably why that has been so illuminating for me. But we’ll get into that in a little bit.
But that’s awesome. I remember listening to Brian Tracy’s the Psychology of Achievement, which I’ve talked about this a million times before, but he talked about not only with b lame, but he talked about the idea of either being a guilt thrower or a guilt catcher. It’s kind of similar, just the other side, but basically people who are guilt throwers are always; if you can’t attend something or disappointing them, they’re constantly just layering it on to make you feel badly for it. Or if you’re one of those people who just constantly absorb guilt, even if you really don’t need to. Like you were sick and couldn’t attend something; it’s ok. That kind of thing, where it’s just interesting to think about it. But anyway. I digress.
Liz Wolfe: I’m sure you could be both, too.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Depending on who you’re talking to.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes!
Liz Wolfe: Because I would definitely lay the guilt on my husband really beating a dead horse, whereas outside of the home I would probably be an absorber.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, yeah. That’s kind of a good point too. And I think if there’s no answer to; you know, if we are what we are, if we’re doing what we’re doing, I think the awareness is important, which again everything we’re going to talk about today. It’s the self-awareness, and the more we know about ourselves the better we can do for ourselves, whatever that’s going to mean. So yeah, I think that’s pretty much a good little intro.
Liz Wolfe: Lovely.
2. A new thing I’m into lately: gluten-free bread and #sandwichgate [13:35]
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so a new thing I’m into lately; again, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen this. I feel like somebody who follows me said #sandwichgate or something, because I’ve been eating this gluten free bread from Canyon Bake House. I don’t really do paleo breads, like baking nut flour breads and things like that. One, because we all know I don’t bake and it would just be a disaster, and using a jar of nut butter and then failing, I would be; I’m so heartbroken when baked goods don’t turn out, because I’m like, now I’ve wasted my time and all the money and all those resources of nut butter, or whatever it is. I just get really upset when baked things don’t turn out.
So, I’m making this a very well rounded topic here. Anyway, this toast is really yummy, and it’s really making us feel oddly like regular people, eating toast. We’re like, oh lets have some toast {laughs} with our eggs. And so, anyway, it has some agave in it; I’m not that worried about it. It’s not a sugary treat or anything, they probably do it to just add that well rounded flavor. But it doesn’t have any soy, it doesn’t have any nuts, it doesn’t have any canola, and I just think it’s yummy, and I’m enjoying it, and it fits into my meal plan, and I kind of am enjoying how not strict about paleo and not dogmatic it feels to eat that, in a sense.
One of the things we’ll probably talk about today is our judgment of other people when they either do or don’t do something we want them to do or think they should do or expect them to do. And you know, I’m sure a lot of you guys who have been strict paleo for a while, when you see people at the grocery store buying things like bread or chips or whatever, it’s really easy to get judgmental about that. But I think it’s important to remember, not only the eyes on your own plate, but remember your own context and just to be more open about the fact that different things work well for different people, and whether or not this will work for me in the longer term remains to be seen, but in the context of what I’m doing right now where I don’t have cart blanche to eat the whole loaf {laughs}. I am kind of watching portions and all of that, it works for me. And it helps me enjoy what I’m doing, and for me that’s what’s important.
If I’m going to be on a meal plan, I don’t want to feel like I can’t enjoy my life in the meantime. So for me, that’s a new thing I’m into lately; it is Canyon Bake House gluten free bread. And I highly recommend it if {laughs} anybody wants to try it. They sell it at our Whole Foods, not frozen, but at some it will definitely be frozen because if they don’t sell it as fast it’s definitely frozen. I think they’re just not loaded with preservatives. So there you go. Have you ever tried this stuff, Liz?
Liz Wolfe: No, but can I tell you a new thing I’m into lately?
Diane Sanfilippo: I want to hear all about it.
Liz Wolfe: The #sandwichgate.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: What?
Diane Sanfilippo: I know. I don’t know, I posted a picture of a sandwich and some people just get crazy about it. You know? I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know how to really absorb this. It’s other people’s expectations of me because I’ve written a book about paleo. You know what I mean?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And I’ve never presented myself as like a 100%, this is what I do all the time. I’ve always said I do my best to be gluten free, because that does kind of feel better for me. But I don’t know.
Liz Wolfe: But that’s funny, because you’re so overly; you’re almost overly; you’re one of the most paleo people I’ve ever met, like consistently, and just how you live your life, and you are almost overly like, yeah, I do what’s best for me. You’re more paleo than anybody I know.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I don’t know what that means.
Liz Wolfe: It’s just so funny. Well you know what I mean; I don’t know. Whatever we think paleo is, but the fact that; you know, you don’t do a whole lot of baked goods, you don’t do a whole lot of; I mean, you are meat, vegetables, healthy fats, and…
Diane Sanfilippo: I really don’t drink a ton.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just because these are things that I want to do. It’s not because it’s imposed on me or anybody expects it of me. Which again, totally ties into what we’re talking about today. But yeah, I think honestly, I’m just not the kind of person to do something because it’s what people expect of me. I’ve always been driven by; this is what I want to do. I understand that because we teach what we teach and so many people are not the way I am; so many people want to comply with some kind of rule or uphold some kind of rule, or oblige some kind of rule, that it’s challenging for them, the fact that I don’t do that. But it is what it is. {laughs} I don’t know what to say about it.
The only reason that I ever “explain” myself, if I post a picture like that of a sandwich, it’s not because I feel like I need to defend myself. A lot of people; the sandwichgate part of it, I think, was that some people were like, “you don’t need to defend yourself! You don’t need to explain yourself!” I’m like, it’s not that I’m explaining or defending myself because I’m insecure about my choice. It’s because there are new people all the time who find my page or whatever it is, my Instagram, and they find me because of Practical Paleo or the 21-Day Sugar Detox or whatever it is. And I want them to understand that there is a context and a set of choices around what I do that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the book itself. I am not the book. You know what I mean; I wrote this book, but I am not this book. It’s not my identity 100%.
So anyway. I want people who are listening to this show to know that. Don’t worry {laughs} don’t worry about me if I’m writing about why I’m doing something. It’s not because I feel like I need to defend myself to the haters or whoever. It’s only because there are new people all the time and they don’t understand, they’re confused by it. “Oh, I didn’t think rice was paleo.” They’re not asking it to beat me up; they’re asking because they don’t understand, because rice isn’t paleo. You know what I mean? But I’ve written this book called Practical Paleo. So I get it. I think I would ask those questions, too. You know, just to clarify. So there’s that.
Liz Wolfe: Well, I just appreciate; I want to follow folks who are genuine and real and don’t hide things. You’re not crafting this “public persona” where it’s like, “I’m the paleo girl, so I can only post about this, and this is how I have to behave, and this is what I have to put up.” You know? I prefer that because I can just smell a brand of really meticulously cultivated brand from a mile away.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: And that type of stuff just kind of bugs me. I’m not into it. And I enjoy how just yourself you are.
Diane Sanfilippo: Thanks Liz.
Liz Wolfe: Sure thing.
Diane Sanfilippo: To be extra myself, I’m getting a tissue right now. I didn’t mute myself, I’m sorry if that was noisy.
Liz Wolfe: I didn’t even notice. Here’s; ok, so if you’re doing this whole gluten-free bread thing, let me tell people a new thing that I’m into lately, and this probably going to get me kicked out of the club.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: I like to self experiment a little bit when it comes to food. And I went paleo because it made me feel better, as people, I think, who follow my Instagram or who listen to this podcast know, I do rice, I do raw dairy, I will treat myself once in a while with non-paleo stuff. Especially if it’s really well made, you know, at a really great restaurant that does everything in house, I’ll eat whatever. I’ll try whatever. And one of the things that I’ve been reading about is the fortification of flour and how it’s possible that the fortification of flour is the source of a ton of people’s issues with grains. So, you know, we like to focus on gluten, and I think that’s definitely a true story, that gluten impacts people really negatively and is a huge part of the reason that folks can’t tolerate grains. But for me, in all this reading, I’ve been really curious as to how I might tolerate baked goods made simply from unfortified sprouted home ground flour versus even the really kind of high quality stuff that you might get in a restaurant or online or whatever.
So I actually baked bread two days ago. I didn’t get to eat any of it because my dog got to it before I could eat it, so I was thwarted. I guess the universe doesn’t want me to eat bread. But I bought some sprouted unfortified flour. I didn’t grind it myself, and that’s kind of the next step. But I’m really curious as to how my body’s going to react to that. I know how my body feels when I get a hit of regular bread. And I always assumed it was the gluten, but I’m just wondering if maybe it’s because all the flour in the United States is fortified with synthetic nutrients. So I’m going to try that, just to see. I’m curious.
Diane Sanfilippo: Interesting. See, no good things can happen when either of us try and bake, FYI. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: It’s true. It’s so true. Bread is incredibly easy to make, by the way.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m still not going to do it. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I mean, gluten free bread is probably not easy to make, but regular bread, you just, it’s like yeast and flour and water.
Diane Sanfilippo: Flour and water. Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: It’s cray! So anyway. If I ever actually get to eat any bread, I don’t think I’m going to go out and get any sprouted einkorn grain or anything like that any time soon, because that is expensive. But anyway. At some point I’ll try it and report back.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, cool.
Liz Wolfe: Cool.
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3. A review of the four tendencies and New Years’ Resolutions [24:49]
Liz Wolfe: Alright, so this week we’re talking a little bit about resolutions. And Diane, you asked the question on Instagram; do you want to just let everybody know what we’re talking about and what you asked?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So I posted over there, and this is kind of just on the heels of a lot of questions and submissions we get around this time of year when it comes to new diets or workout plans, etc., and I just asked, do you make resolutions? And wanted to know what questions or topics related to that y’all wanted to hear. Hopefully we’re going to discuss some of these topics in a pretty balanced way back and forth.
For those of you who did not get to hear episode 217 of the Balanced Bites podcast, my interview with Gretchen Rubin, I highly, highly, highly recommend you go back and listen to that one, because a good amount of what I’m going to talk about in terms of the ways that those of you who are unsure of how to get yourself to do something or stick to something that you want to do, if you’re unsure about that I think that her work in Better Than Before about our habits and how we handle expectations is so helpful; so illuminating.
It’s something that; Liz and I were talking about this just before we got into the show, but I think the reason I stumbled across; and obviously we were on the show, but the reason Gretchen’s work was interesting to me when I found it was that I’ve been trying to figure out how to get myself to do things. And I know people are like; “but you’re so productive.” Well, it doesn’t feel that way because it feels unfocused or it feels like; I don’t even know how things got done half the time, because I’m like, what? How did that happen. I don’t do well with deadlines or making myself deadlines. I just don’t do well with any of it. And it’s been frustrating for me, but learning from Gretchen about why I am that way has helped me a ton and I feel like I’m getting more focused on figuring out how to get myself to do more things that I want to do as we approach the New Year. And even right now.
So I just want to run down really quickly a couple of the concepts from what she talks about, for those of you who haven’t heard that. I think this way we can get a little bit of grounding when we discuss why some people are the way they are. But she talks about 4 different tendencies, and I just love this because it’s like nutrition, and exercise, and being healthier is probably one of the biggest areas where this applies. So I think the stuff that we talk about, it’s just super relevant.
So there are 4 different categories of people that she puts y’all, or us all into. Upholders are people who readily meet outside and inside expectations. So you decide you’re going to do something, you do it. You just uphold all of that; or if someone else expect something of you, and you are there. You deliver, no big deal. You’re also really good rule followers. So, an amazing example of this; yesterday, or no, a couple of days ago we were leaving a casino here in Las Vegas, and there were two sets of doors. And they led to the same place, and as we entered the casino, I saw these doors that were supposed to be directing traffic in and out of the building, and it just was like, enter here, do not enter over here. And it was taking you to the same place, right.
So as we’re leaving the casino, we approach these same doors, and the ones that say “do not enter” are closer to us, and the ones that we’re supposed to go through are not as close. I’m headed straight for the ones that say “do not enter” because I think they were actually ajar, like one of them was open and other one wasn’t, and I was headed straight for them {laughs} and Scott’s going to the side that says, like it’s ok to go through. I was like, dude, these go to the same place. And he was like, oh I thought we weren’t supposed to go through that. And I was laughing, because I’m like, you’re such an Upholder! {laughs} I’m like, who cares which doors we go through. I was just; it was just amazing.
So anyway, that’s an Upholder. If you’re one of those people who loves to play by the rules, and you like to uphold the rules, and you want a gold star for sticking to them and complying, then that’s you. Obligers are people who are really good at meeting outside expectations but not so good at meeting their own inside expectations. So you have deadlines, work deadlines, you have somebody waiting for you at the gym to get there, somebody who is your coach or nutritionist who is expecting you to fill out your food journal and all of these different things; that is an Obliger. Somebody who works really well with outside expectations, not so well with their inside expectations.
Questioners are people who really only work well with their own inner expectations, because they need to sort of question everything and run it by their own filter. Does this make sense? If it makes sense to me then I will do it, but if it doesn’t make sense to me then I won’t do it or I’ll keep asking questions for more information as to why I should. Why should I do this? That one is really interesting. {laughs} I find those people the most difficult to deal with, but that is a separate category.
So most people fall into either Obliger or Questioner, and then the last category are Rebels. And Rebels just kind of brush off outside and inside expectations, and I am a Rebel. It’s really annoying. I find it very frustrating {laughs}. But what we respond best to, which I find so fascinating is freedom and choice and a strong sense of, “does doing this thing, does complying with this thing help me to be more of the person I think I am or I want to be.” And I’m like, ok that’s totally me. That is why, when I really want to set my mind to something and I do it, it’s not because someone expects it of me or I even expect it of myself, it’s because I want to be this type of person who does this or is this. And so I do that thing, because I don’t want people to come into my house and it’s messy, so I clean up before people come over because I don’t want to be someone that when you come over, it’s totally messy. But it’s not because you expect it to be clean, it’s not because I expect it to be clean. It’s just sort of this sense of self that I think; I don’t know, I want to identify as.
So, anyway, I think all of that is really fascinating, and I think when you hear that, it’s really easy for people to think, “Oh, it would be better if I’m this other one. Like, I wish I was this other way, and maybe I can be more this way,” and it’s not like that. We all just have to find out which we are and kind of work with it to get the best results from ourselves. So I think that’s what really makes sense, when we look at this idea of resolution.
And when I asked the question, “Do you make resolutions?” some of you guys were like, poo-pooing the idea of resolutions. Right? Saying, “Oh, I don’t make resolutions. I just do XYZ every day,” As if that’s better, and some of you were like, “yes, I make a resolution, I think of it as a positive thing. I don’t say, I’m not going to do this; I just say I’m going to do this” and you look at it really positively.
I just want you guys to know, I didn’t ask that to probe and provoke people to say, “No, resolutions are stupid.” I don’t have any issue {laughs} with resolutions. I think the New Year is a good time to make changes. It’s so natural that there is something; we start a new year. It’s a signal and a symbol for everyone that there’s a chance to turn over a new leaf. We’re writing a new year on our checks, or whatever it is that we’re writing the date on. Facebook gave you your memories update from last year, so you could put that year behind you {laughs}. I just think it’s ok, this is a natural symbol of starting anew and something fresh.
And also for a lot of people, the holiday season brings a lot of unique challenges that we don’t have the rest of the year. Whether it’s holiday parties and lots of food you wouldn’t normally have, whether it’s travel and struggling with food or exercise; whether it’s family and friends around a lot, extra parties. It’s one to two months of just kind of, I don’t know, an upheaval of your normal routine for a lot of people. So I think it makes sense that in the New Year, we want to start anew. So I don’t really have a problem with that. What’s kind of your general feeling on it Liz? This whole idea of resolutions?
Liz Wolfe: I definitely have in the past poo-pooed the idea of resolutions, because I always felt like; well gosh, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. You can make changes any time of year. But I think I was more, now that I think about it, poo-pooing the mindset where, and of course this is, duh, it’s all about the mindset you bring to it. But I think a lot of people do go into this New Years’ Resolution not so much as an opportunity and a great time to make some changes, like you’re talking about, but they’ll come into with; “ok, I’ve sucked so hard last year, I’m the worst, I’m going to fix myself and I’m not going to be so terrible, and I’m going to do all these completely insurmountable and impossible things every single day to make myself into this image that I see of myself where I will finally like who I am” and then of course, it’s like you mess up once and you’re just on this slippery slope to total self emulation and you’re so unhappy.
And I think that’s really telling as to; the fact that I thought that is telling about the type of person that I am, and that I now understand that I am, because I for many years was that person who was like, “I have to fix myself, I’m terrible, I don’t like my body, I don’t like my job” this and that, “so I’m going to make these really, I’m going to get really into making these lists and these charts and I’m going to chart my workouts and I’m going to really beat myself up about how many bites I ate at meal number 7, because I’m going to eat 76 tiny meals a day.” And all that stuff. I’ve definitely been there in a really unhealthy space around resolutions; but I think you’re right. You can bring a really excited and fresh and thoughtful mindset to the idea of doing something just a little bit better. So I think that’s really huge. And over time, I think I’ve really come to peace with the type of person I am and what actually helps me to thrive, and what just makes me crazy.
4. Addressing the “inevitable failure” of resolutions [36:02]
Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I just, I don’t know why I have to keep clearing my throat over here. So Edaline says she used to make New Years’ Resolutions, but always broke them within a few days so now she doesn’t. She says, “I just take each day as it comes, that avoids big resolutions and inevitable failure under feelings of being deprived. Everyday can be the start of a new year, not just the official one.” I like that, in a sense.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Because people are like; oh my gosh, I can’t believe you started a meal plan before the holidays. I think I started it the first week of November; and I was sharing this mindset, right, like I didn’t have to wait until the New Year. I was ready. Whenever you’re ready; if you’re ready, you’re ready. {laughs} You know? So I think that is kind of a cool mindset.
But I think that one thing that she says this; she always broke them within a few days, and “avoiding big resolutions that are inevitable failure” I think this is where the self knowledge of, how do we handle expectations. It sounds like she was expecting of herself to maybe be either an Upholder type or a Questioner type, and perhaps she’s an Obliger? Perhaps the reason that she “failed” on whatever her expectation of herself was, was either because, like you said, it was just so huge. Which I am with you; there are some people who are “do all the things at once”, and some people need baby steps. There are just different types of people, and different things work for different people.
I actually am a do all the things kind of person. If I do one thing, it inevitably impacts everything. I’m on this meal plan; I’ve been doing this morning, call it cardio, but it’s just getting some movement in the morning, it’s nothing crazy. {laughs} I’m not, whatever, running 10 miles or any of that. But for me, it all comes together and it feeds into each other, and I like that. I think years ago, I probably said this on the podcast; I’m a shake the snow globe type. When I’m ready for change, I shake the snow globe and every piece of snow is up in the swirly water, and then it’s going to land back down again at some point. I’m not {laughs} I’m not like a small thing; I change so many things at once. And it does cause a lot of stress for me, but that’s just how it works. But I think for someone who is feeling like this is me; “if I make these resolutions, inevitably I’ll fail”; I think this is a really good time for you to dissect it.
Liz, I want to see if maybe you can illuminate some more of the motivation side of things, like this internal motivation that we might have. But with this statement that Edaline has, I’m assuming I’m saying that right. Perhaps she was not approaching it in a way that’s ideal for her personality and for her tendency to achieve things. Maybe, if she had broken them into something that’s smaller and also created a different set up for expectations. So if it was to eat better or it was to exercise; maybe having a friend that she meets for the exercise. Maybe having a nutrition coach that she needs to sort of answer to. I don’t know what her personality is. But I think those things are very helpful for us to know.
Also, recognize that the people around you might not be like you. So, Liz, you and I talked about this. You think, and I think too, that you probably have an Obliger tendency. Scott has an Upholder tendency, and I have a Rebel tendency. For you, if we as a team were working on something and I give you some deadlines, you’re pretty good at sticking to those. I’m the worst; sometimes I stick to them, sometimes I don’t. {laughs} Scott, dealing with me, figuring out how to get me to do something is really tough, but with him if I tell him what I need or want him to do, he pretty much does it because that’s just his tendency. We have to recognized that just because we’re one way doesn’t mean someone else will be, and that’s a tough thing when you have a partner who is so different from you in that way, that they think or expect you’ll be the way they are, or that they’re way of achieving change will work for you, and it probably won’t, you know, because you’re probably different in that way.
So, Liz I know that you and I have talked about several; oh, a lot of episodes back, this concept of “losing the baby weight”, right.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And you were like, I’m not going to do that. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: And it wasn’t like you were saying, I’m just going to keep all this weight on if I want to. It wasn’t that, it just it wasn’t your thing to want to think of it that way. But that doesn’t mean that you didn’t achieve the same thing that somebody else might have set out to achieve by saying, “I’m going to lose this baby weight”. Because when I saw you, you looked exactly the same as before you had a baby. {laughs} So,
Liz Wolfe: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: Obviously you got there, but your mindset around it was totally different and the way that you approached it was totally different. So I just want to hear more from you about that, because we’re so different when it comes to those kinds of goals. Because for me I have to set; say the thing. Like, this is what I’m going to do. What was going on with that for you?
Liz Wolfe: Well just over all, as for anything in my life, I have just found over the last couple of years. As I’ve gotten older, that I just don’t thrive; I thrive when I give myself grace, when I acknowledge the fact that life can be enjoyed under my own expectations rather than other people’s or societies expectations or whatever. So I say that because I think a lot of the ways and the reasons we generate goals, particularly women who have just had babies, we generate our goals based on what maybe society tells us the messages we’re getting about how women should look, or what we should care about, or what we should be doing, and I realized that not only are those kind of irrelevant; they’re kind of straw men, because we don’t have to look a certain way. We can enjoy our lives just as ourselves if that makes sense. I can enjoy my life the way I want to enjoy my life, and my goals and my wants don’t have to fit into this little box of “shoulds”. Does that make sense?
Diane Sanfilippo: It does… ok.
Liz Wolfe: Go ahead.
Diane Sanfilippo: So just to tell you; I’m weirdly fan-girling about this whole Gretchen Rubin thing. But she’s got a name for this; it’s called an Obliger Rebellion.
Liz Wolfe: Oh, I like it!
Diane Sanfilippo: Like, you’ve spent so long obliging, and you’re like; F-that! No more. You know what I mean? I’m done with that.
Liz Wolfe: Because it never worked for me. It was always setting big goals, or really just dysfunctional, putting myself at just dysfunctional situations with exercise and eating and just, it didn’t make me feel good, it didn’t make me happy. The rest of my life, I think I actually talked about this a little bit in Eat the Yolks when I shared a little bit about my own food journey. But the rest of my life was symptomatic of this dysfunction in my brain. My relationships were not good, my skin was not good, my sleep was not good, my work was not good. It just translated into everything for me. So I finally realize that the choices I was making kind of resonated, it had this ripple effect through the rest of my life.
So, a few years ago changing that, and just seeking balance and peace in what truly made me feel balanced and peaceful; not trying to be like, “oh well this should make me feel balanced and peaceful so I’m going to do it until I feel balanced and peaceful.” No. It was more asking myself what gave me peace, and maybe would lead to the end game. I wanted to find a partner that was caring and kind and compassionate. And I realized that my choices were not reflective of that ultimate desire. So I always kind of wanted to turn the people I was dating into caring and compassionate people {laughs} and it just doesn’t work that way.
Anyway the point is, I was seeking the true end point, which was peace and balance through my choices. So realizing that I could feel great about that in the way I used to think looking a certain way would make me feel great, I started to seek just different things. So going into my pregnancy, that was definitely my mindset. And it translated into the way I thought about pregnancy weight gain. So I actually don’t know how much I might have gained during my pregnancy. I did not track it at all. I watched my body, I felt like this was a reasonable amount of extra girth around the middle and all of that.
So rather than micromanage that and track it and obsess over it, I just kind of observed. I just kind of took a step back mentally and observed myself and my experience as objectively as I could with great love for myself and the experience that I was in. it just seemed to allow things to maintain balance in way that I never could have expected. I mean, I had no idea what to expect. I expected my body to handle pregnancy well, because I had done a lot of preparation ahead of time, but I was just really; I had the most peaceful experience, and post pregnancy I had no intention of all of a sudden becoming this person that would beat myself up for not looking a certain way, or whatever.
The point is, I was still nourishing myself well, I was still going into that time in my life with the same mindset that I had the entire pregnancy, so that just led me not to care about losing this baby weight, or feeling like I had to do something to be healthy. I was just doing what would best nourish my body, and I continue to do that. What best nourishes my body for breastfeeding, what keeps me as healthy as possible, which is walking, working around the farm, spending time with my kid, and just trying to figure this whole mom thing out.
So that’s; I don’t know. I kind of went on a tangent there, but giving myself as much grace as possible, because it is not fun to sit there and beat yourself up about how much weight you’ve gained, and how much weight you’ve lost and what you look like, etc., etc. Maybe there’s a place you want to take your body, but I don’t think anybody has ever gotten to their desired endpoint by doing something that makes them feel like crap about themselves. Does that make sense?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes, absolutely.
Liz Wolfe: But you’re enjoying the process of watching your macros.
Diane Sanfilippo: Totally! I love it.
Liz Wolfe: And this food plan. But if you weren’t enjoying it, I really suspect that you would end up probably a step behind where you even started. Just because the process would suck.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think so. And I think, I’m definitely somebody who is about the journey {laughs}. What movie was I quoting? I was like, “It’s about the journey, people.” Oh, no. it’s not even a movie! I listen to Tina Fey’s Bossypants book so many times that I quote it, and absolutely nobody knows what I’m talking about because you can’t quote an audio book and have people know what you’re talking about.
Liz Wolfe: {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: No, I am about the journey, and that is why when I took on this plan I’m also about making a lot of changes at once because I need to feel like I’m living externally the way I feel about myself internally. That’s huge. And for you guys listening, we’re kind of telling these stories because we don’t have all the answers. We’re not psychologists and psychiatrists over here, but hopefully hearing our rationale to this is going to explain a lot of things to you guys about; because Liz and I are so different about this stuff. But we get that we’re so different, and that’s ok. You know what I mean?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I was telling you what I’m doing, and you have a few questions about it, whatever, and then that’s it. You respect my choices to do what I’m going to do, and as friends who care about each other; I don’t know, if a year after you had a baby, if you maybe were weighing what you weighed while you had the baby and you were unhappy about it or something was going, then maybe I would be like, hey, is there something you want to try, or whatever. But I would never push you to do something that’s not something that you want to do, you know what I mean? Only as a supportive friend, just be there for the person and let them have their process of figuring it out.
I think a lot of times when people maybe make a resolution and don’t stick to it, first of all it’s coming up; or have a goal and don’t achieve it, either it’s just too big or the time frame is too short, or it’s not broken down into something specific, or you’re not paying attention to how you operate optimally. You’re not paying attention to the fact that; like for you with work stuff, different from body and personal stuff, right? You do work really well with outside expectations and deadlines. You’re like; “when do you need this by? Ok.” And that doesn’t mean that you never falter on a deadline, it just means that you do operate better with that. If you try and decide for yourself when you’re going to get something done, it’s going to slip even more. And it’s not good or bad, it just is what it is, you know. It’s just our own different tendencies.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Just kind of observing yourself as objectively as you can. Float up above your body and watch this beautiful human person that is you, and how you work and how you operate, and enjoy that and embrace it, and really harness it for as much success as you possibly can. I think that’s the way to go.
I like what Edaline said earlier. It seems like she has realized how she works and how she can best motivate herself is to take each day as it comes, and avoiding those big, “I have to lose this much pregnancy weight, or I have to look this way” and then at some arbitrary point in that journey, deciding that I have not yet met that goal, thus I have failed.
Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.
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5. How to make resolutions stick [51:28]
Diane Sanfilippo: So I think this is a good point in here, because there were a lot of questions and comments around goals that are kind of big, and one, Katie made a comment. She said, “I’m a cliché; I always make a resolution to eat better and exercise more; however this year I’m going to try and break down my resolutions and goals into smaller pieces; i.e., run in the treadmill every Monday after work, strength train at home on Saturday mornings. In the past, my resolutions would be too generic. Exercise 3-4 times per week, and I’d get too caught up in which days to exercise. I hope to do the same with food; i.e. not snacking on sweets at work, only at home, and only drink Friday and Saturday nights. I’m interested in hearing more about this way of thinking, though; how to make resolutions stick.”
So I think a couple of things here; again, do you do better with all the things at once, or do you do better with baby steps. And I think that the problem is that sometimes we want to be the other way. It sounds like Katie wants to be really good at doing all the things, but maybe she’s really good at baby steps. {laughs} This is the funny thing for me as the Rebel tendency; when I look back, as my floatie above person, what worked for me in the past were baby steps. So in the past, I remember there was a period of time after college I had gained a whole bunch of weight, and I was trying to lose it, and I really didn’t know what to do, but I knew that if I only drank soda, if I only had one soda one day a week on Sunday; it’s like soda Sunday. And if I didn’t eat; I’m not even kidding. This was no joke, this is what I did. And I think it was these three things that I did.
So, it was no soda except on Sunday. I was probably 22; so this was like 15 years ago. No fried food, and no ice cream. I must have been eating a lot of ice cream at the time, I don’t know what it was. It was no fried food; and I think it was the summer, so those were things that were pretty prevalent. You know, French fries and funnel cake down at the Jersey Shore, and ice cream because it was summer. And those were 3 things; I could handle that. I didn’t know anything else; I didn’t know about paleo or any of this stuff. But those were things I could handle, and I just stuck to that, and didn’t go too far with more. And that started to work.
I think sometimes we need to just start small and have mini successes along the way so that we can feel good about that, and those things become a habit. So what if, for Katie, she wants to do all these things, right? Honestly, I would start with the stuff that’s going to be there all the time in terms of how do you create a habit that you’ll stick to that will have the best sort of bang for its buck. Not snacking on sweets at work; I feel like that is probably one of the best ones. Because I feel like every day at work there’s the opportunity if you’re in an office to have these sweets. So maybe that really works for you. Or maybe Monday after work, or maybe you find something to do Monday morning to kick your week off so that then you have this kind of self identify of, “I just worked out, so later in the day I don’t want to snack on sweets at work because I just did this workout and I want to stick to how good I feel about that.”
There are just different ways that we all really operate. Liz and I aren’t going to know the best way for everyone to do everything. I think we each have to find the thing that makes us feel successful on a daily basis and run with that. You know what I mean? Liz, you were saying giving yourself the grace felt really good, and you felt proud of yourself probably for each day not having this beat yourself up mindset. Each day when I cross off the foods, I feel really good because I feel like it’s not a crazy limiting I’m hungry and I’m controlling food. It’s more like, I ate satisfying food and I stuck to this plan, and this is what’s helping me reach my goals, and it’s not a short term solution, so it’s going to take time. But each day matters, so each day that I cross off and kind of give myself the gold star for whatever it is, it’s helping get me there little by little.
Liz Wolfe: I think a good question to ask yourself when you’re trying to figure all of these thing out, like you’re saying, Diane, is not so much what I want, but what do I need right now. What do I need to feel good or peaceful or motivated or whatever it is? And I think for a lot of people, maybe that will help them focus on the small things. Like, crossing something off the list every day. Is that going to make you feel good, versus I have to work out and burn this many calories every day is actually probably going to, like the whole process of it, is going to have a lot of anxiety attached to it, you know what I mean, so it’s kind of a shift of a mindset, like what I need to feel peaceful and proud and happy and motivated, and look at it s as a positive exercise versus an exercise in punishment.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. And I think what you said before, too. What feels balanced and peaceful, what’s going to lead to the end game you want, and that’s different for everyone. Because I’ve learned that being a Rebel tendency means that for the most part, I don’t do well with structure. I don’t like having things scheduled. I don’t like having rigid rules most of the time, but for me I realized that whatever I was doing before wasn’t working to help me be the person I wanted to be. Rebelling against everything for the past couple of years or whatever it was, it wasn’t working for me. So I think what you said about, ok if that’s not working for you, we have to make different decisions and find a way to do what does work for us. All of a sudden, I’m responding to this structure. And I think for me and for people who are like me, sometimes {laughs} we find that the freedom allows us to have structure; but sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes for me, the structure that I have from this meal plan does give me freedom. And it’s totally unpredictable.
Like you were saying Liz, if I had tried this 6 months ago, maybe it wouldn’t have worked because I was at a different place and I wasn’t in a place where this was what I wanted to do. And I think we each have to kind of really be ready and find our internal motivation for change that we can’t expect someone else to turn that on for us. We can’t expect the calendar to turn that on for us, right; that’s kind of what a lot of people are saying about the New Year thing. Just because it’s the New Year doesn’t mean that I feel differently about myself and my goals, right?
Liz Wolfe: So you being a snow globe person; I think I just figured out that I’m a Rubik’s cube person.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oooh! I like that.
Liz Wolfe: I move one thing around; do you love that?
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh my gosh! I love that.
Liz Wolfe: I have to kind of see after one move how everything else falls around that particular move, and then make those adjustments kind of slowly over time. So good.
Diane Sanfilippo: So good! {laughs} That’s an awesome analogy, and we need to make a sharable graphic and ask people which they are.
Liz Wolfe: We’ll probably get some kind of copyright infringement from the Rubik’s cube people. You’re welcome for making you not just a nerdy person’s game!
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Oh I love that, that is so good! And so interesting.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so interesting. So with this whole idea of diets; look, you guys know I have 30-day meal plans in Practical Paleo; the point of those isn’t to be only do this for 30 days. It’s really more to give people an end point if they just want to try it for 30 days, and obviously I have a 21-Day Sugar Detox. Part of that is because I don’t want people to think that if I were to have created the Sugar Detox, maybe people would have wanted to stay on that forever, and it’s not my goal to present a program that you’re on for forever. So it’s good. It’s good to have an endpoint; that’s cool.
But I actually considered this. I don’t know if I’m going to do any time soon; I considered trying to create a version of the program that’s much longer but just a little different, that has some different phases and things like that, because what I’m finding now, and a lot of stuff that you and I both create programs or books or resources around, it’s based on experience, and education, and also our own experimentation; what we find works for ourselves. I am finding that have a 12-week plan gives me a more relaxed mindset in the big picture way, even though day to day I’m very committed and I’m sticking to it and all of that. I don’t have the same expectations week to week as I might have if this were a 3-week challenge or a 4-week challenge, if that makes sense. I know that the point of this is longer term sort of balance and getting myself to where I want to be, and 12 weeks is such a long time frame; I’m just a little more than halfway done with it now.
And I think for some people who are commenting, you know, “resolutions set me up for failure” or, you know, “I try and start a 30-day challenge but I just give up 2 days in. Sometimes I think that shorter term goal, it actually backfires. Because when it’s only 21 days, or when it’s only 30 days, I think sometimes it’s easier to give up sooner, because you think it doesn’t matter as much, because the whole point of the challenge is only 3 weeks or only 4 weeks, so if you went one week; whatever, it’s not that big of a deal. But perhaps if you realize; you know for you Liz, for the whole baby weight thing, whatever, it wasn’t like; ok, in the next 30 days this is what I’m going to do. It was just, whenever this happens, if it happens, it happens. And your decision and your choices in the meantime are probably at least 80% things that would support that goal eventually. But it’s not the same restrictive intense mindset that like, ok, I’m just doing this for this amount of time.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, there’s less baggage for me attached to those choices.
Diane Sanfilippo: Giving yourself that longer amount of time almost makes it easier every day {laughs} if that makes sense.
Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. I don’t know your thoughts about that, but we’ve got some more comments here that we can kind of get into.
6. Resolutions don’t have to be fitness based [1:02:38]
Diane Sanfilippo: So Grassfed Editor; I really loved this comment. She said, “I always make a resolution to start a new habit that’s healthy.” She says 2005, I think she meant 2015. “Floss every day, still going strong. Productive or enriching in some way. I think this year will be to write one hand-written letter a month. One year I started eating salad every day; I did that for 3 years. If I forgot one day, I had to put money in an envelope, and at the end of the year I donated that money to the food bank and make it fun.” I thought that was a cool one. I think.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, that’s great.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, just a neat thing. And you guys, this doesn’t all have to be nutrition and fitness and health related. A resolution could just be like what you said Liz about reading more stuff by Brené Brown, or learning more about yourself and your own personality and how to work with it and not against it.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, just being open to that. I actually have, speaking of, it doesn’t have to be self/health related. I have a resolution to finally stop going out for coffee and buying coffee in single use cups. So my goal is to always have a reusable cup with me for them to fill up versus all of these cups that I’m throwing away so often, and so many people are throwing away so often because they want coffee, and they go and get a throw away Styrofoam cup or a throw away plastic cup. That’s a really small goal, it seems like, and it doesn’t take much to invest in it. It’s just one of those things that I never remember to think about, and I’m going to do it 20-whatever year we’re going into. 16? I don’t even know. I’m going to not use single use plastic cups when I go out for coffee.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. I think; so, whatever it is, you set yourself that intention or goal, and maybe for you as somebody who does tend to be more of an Obliger, maybe people that you’re with, if you tell them that goal, so let’s just say you’re going to meet your mom or your sister or someone for coffee, and you’re not just by yourself. It’s different when you’re by yourself, but maybe you let them know. “Hey, if we’re going to coffee, remind me that I want to bring this cup.” Or set yourself an alarm or something. It’s not like you want your mom or your sister to make you feel guilty for forgetting the cup, but when you loop someone else in on your goal, as someone who tends to be an Obliger, that builds in the accountability for you, and that might be helpful. Who knows?
Liz Wolfe: What’s actually going to end up happening is what my husband does is he goes out and he just buys reusable thermal mugs every time he goes; we have so many thermoses, thermosi, at our house, it’s ridiculous.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yeah, I went through a period of time like that.
Liz Wolfe: That’s my resolution not to do that. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: So the resolution will be to bring the ones that you have.
Liz Wolfe: Yes.
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s really tempting, you go into a Starbucks or any kind of coffee shop, they have lots of cute travel mugs. You’re like; I just need a new one.
7. Changing habits, avoiding the junk [1:05:57]
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so Tinsley7; this is the account name on Instagram. “No resolutions for me, but I’m doing Jen and Jadah’s simple green smoothie challenge in January. I used to make resolutions, and now I’m focused on making better choices for my health, taking it day by day. On Tuesday, please discuss how to stay focused when craving junk food, tips for preparing quick health meals during the week, and how to make sure you stay on top of your exercise plan.”
So, here’s the thing. I don’t know what her name is, but the big issue with this, “how to stay focused when your craving junk,” “tips for healthy meals” all of this stuff tends to be different for different people. We’ve discussed all of those things in the past 4+ years on the show, different tips for that. We’ve discussed all of this, but I think at the end of the day just because we give you a tip for how to do it doesn’t mean that works for you.
So I think that each of us have to observe; was there a week that went by that you were like; wow, I stuck to all those things I wanted to do. Be that person on satellite for yourself, right, where you’re looking down. What was it about that week that made it work for you? You know what I mean? Did you meal plan? Did you make a list and go to the grocery store with a list? Did you cook on Sunday? Whatever it is that you did, what made it so that you were successful, and do more of that.
What makes me successful is not the same that makes you successful, it’s not the same that makes Liz successful, it’s different for each of us but I think we’ve all had those moments, right. Liz, you were saying, you’ve had those days or those experiences where you’re like; “oh, I did achieve this thing I wanted to achieve; what was it about that scenario or situation that made that happen for me>” And having that self awareness to build that type of plan for ourselves going forward based on what works for you, not based on what works for someone else.
I think how to stay focused when craving junk food; there’s just so much around that that goes deeper to why are you craving junk. Is it an emotional thing, are you hungry, are you not eating enough during the day normally? Do you have some nutrient deficiency? Do you just want some chocolate because you want it, because you’ve told yourself you can’t have it? There are so many reasons why those things happen that we each have to look at what has worked for us before and try and build that into plans that we make going forward. Because we’ve all had successes in different ways, so I think that that’s a really kind of a helpful approach there.
Liz Wolfe: Yep.
8. Abstainer versus Moderator [1:08:54]
Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, let’s see if there’s a couple more here before we wrap this one up, just kind of a longer episode. I loved this one from Lindsey, “I never make resolutions if it’s something negative; I make resolutions like laugh more, make more time for things that make me happy.” I think that’s a really sweet way of thinking about it. That sounds like a good, nice healthy mindset.
Let’s see; so this is one that I wanted to talk about before we wrap up this episode. JKeebler; mmm Keebler elves. Just kidding {laughs}. She says; oh wait, that was wrong. Sorry, I’ll read you guys that comment, but this wasn’t hers. She said, she doesn’t make resolutions but she and her husband are doing a paleo challenge in January, it was too hard to start it during the holidays, “We’re using the New Year as a starting point.” Which we’ve talked about a bunch, and I think that’s cool. Do it. And you know what else is cool about that? Most people around you are doing that.
So it’s not like you hit January and there are 10 holiday parties at the office and at your friend’s houses where everyone wants to drink and eat junk. So the landscape of what’s happening in January makes it easier. Everything sets you up for success in January. There are promotions at the gym, healthier foods might be on sale at the grocery store, things like that. Every health and nutrition book is on the front table at Barnes and Noble. The world is set up; I think people are negative about this sometimes. They’re like; “oh, everything’s set up to make you fail.” I’m like, I think January is a good time. It’s a set up for success because everyone is in that mindset, so take it and go with it.
This one, I’m sorry, was from Petra Joy, she said, “I’d love to hear your thoughts on the kind of all of nothing mentality regarding changing habits. I can do a strict detox or challenge 100% but as soon as I stop or slip, I give myself permission to eat all the stuff I gave up on the detox. I guess I need help with moderation? Any insight would be appreciated.”
So Petra, this is one of those things where we talked about this, I talked about this a bunch with Gretchen on, it was episode 217. She has people divided into either Abstainers or Moderators. I think historically, Liz, you are a Moderator. You tend to be the type of person will eat some of something, and then not eat it and it’s kind of whatever to you.
Liz Wolfe: As long as I’m in that mindset, because I tried for a long time to be an Abstainer, and it completely backfired.
Diane Sanfilippo: Well that’s because you’re not an Abstainer.
Liz Wolfe: Right, exactly.
Diane Sanfilippo: You know what I mean?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: So for you, having; here’s the example. Having the pint of ice cream in the freezer, can you have some and then put it away and not have more.
Liz Wolfe: I can now. I never, ever thought I’d be able to say that, but I can now because of exactly what you said. I’ve realized and I’ve accepted and I’ve opened myself up to the fact that I am a Moderator, and that’s great. So now for some reason I’m just free to live that way.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And so I think it’s really freeing to understand which is you.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m not a Moderator, I’m an Abstainer. And it’s not really all or nothing; it’s just, for me, it’s like time periods. So the reason why the nutrition plan I’m on works right now is that there will be a time in my week when I can have the thing that during the week I’m not eating. So for me, abstaining during the week, having that structure during the week but having the freedom one day a week. Some people call it a cheat meal, or a cheat day or whatever they want to call it. I just think of it as on plan or off plan or whatever.
But for me, not having it; I’m not like a, “I’ll never eat this thing again,” person. I love food too much to be that way. I love chocolate too much to say I’ll never eat chocolate again, or candy, or whatever it is. But I am the type of person where I thrive and do a lot better where I just don’t have that thing during the week, and for me that helps me not think about it. Most of the time, 90% of the time, I’m not thinking about wanting chocolate because {laughs} come Saturday or whatever the day is, I’m like, I have it on this day. This is what I do. It’s freeing for me to have that kind of like, ok this is off limits now.
This is one of the reasons why for some people a challenge like the 21-Day Sugar Detox or a paleo challenge or any of that for some people, it works really well, and for some people it doesn’t. And I don’t want people to beat themselves up if the challenge isn’t right for them. If you’re a Moderator, if you can create rules for yourself that you just say, you know what, I’m just not going to eat sugar in the following forms, and create your own “I just don’t want to eat it, and it’s fine. And if I feel like eating it, I’ll have it, and I won’t beat myself up for it.” If you can do that, that’s cool.
But I think a huge; probably 50% of people are Abstainers. And that’s why challenges work so well, because also, people don’t have rules for themselves that they want to follow necessarily. Because a lot of people are Abstainers, because some of the largest groups of people have these different tendencies are either Obligers or Questioners where they want the list of rules or they want the rationale as to why they should follow it; right? Like if you follow the 21-Day Sugar Detox I’m going to tell you the reasons why that’s going to work really well, because for most people it changes the way you make choices, it helps to change the habits that you have, it helps to change the way you approach everything, the way things change. And that Questioner can be like; ok, that’s a good reason, I’m going to do it. And the Questioner and the Obliger will get the list of foods to eat and not eat. And it’s as simple as that. And it doesn’t make them bad, it doesn’t make them weak, it just means that that’s what works for them.
So if that’s not you, then you need to figure out how to work with what is you, and go from there. So you know, if you’re a Rebel tendency like me; I’m sorry. It’s really hard to figure out how to get ourselves to do things. But what works for us the best is being driven by that personal choice and freedom and really it’s almost easy once you make a decision. Make a decision, make a choice for yourself.
For me, obliging others when I’ve made the decision to do that works just fine. Having a coach, and be like, I’m following this because this is what my coach has me doing, and I’m just going to do it. You know, the way I hope people follow my program the way I’ve written it, because that’s how I’ve written it. If you want to follow it, follow it. If you don’t, don’t. But it just works for different people that way, and if you are not that all or nothing kind of person, if you’re the Moderator, then don’t try and do that. Try and give yourself a little more freedom and grace on the day to day, and you might find that you’re able to stick to those decisions a little bit better.
Liz Wolfe: And if you don’t know what you are, and you felt like you’ve been really unsuccessful many, many times at these types of things, consider that you might be assuming or trying to be a certain type that you are not, and there may be just a better way to help make yourself successful in your approach, and maybe you need to flip that coin and embrace your Moderator status.
Diane Sanfilippo: And embrace; yeah. I think I was trying to be an Obliger for the last couple of years. I was like, I need someone else to give me deadlines. And I’m like, obviously that doesn’t work. My poor project manager, my poor publisher who is like, ok, we need this by this date, and I’m like, ok good for you. {laughs} I’m not actually turning things in. So yeah, I think that’s really cool.
So, is where she has that quiz on the 4 tendencies, and I’m just kind of obsessed with her right now because I think it’s really interesting. What is the Brené Brown, what is the talk you were saying Liz? Something about blame, but then I think people can get down the rabbit hole, too.
Liz Wolfe: Blame. Yeah, it’s Brené Brown, her little YouTube video on blame, it’s supper short, and it’s quite entertaining.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think her new book is called Rising Strong, I’m pretty sure it’s been on the bestseller list a long time since it released, so that’s another good one to check out.
Liz Wolfe: So that’s it for this week. I did want to throw out, we always tell folks to join our email lists, but I want people to really, really consider doing that if you haven’t already because just as with Facebook, we now know that Instagram is not able to show every single post from every single person you follow in your feed. So you may not be seeing what we’re posting on Instagram anymore, either, and it really sucks to miss out. So anything important that we really need to let you guys know is going to be in the emails, so please join our email lists for free goodies and updates you really literally won’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast or pretty much the internet. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next week.

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