Updated: Aug 25
Episode 2 of the Fuel the Fire podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.
In this episode Shanon and Cat discuss the reason why making lifestyle changes are difficult and what can be done to push through those barriers.
In this episode we talk about: Effects of how we identify ourselves (04:20)
Setting boundaries and the power of ‘NO’ (09:45)
Picturing your ideal self (16:30)
It’s not the banana, taking care of your mental energy (20:23)
Comparing yourself to others (30:08)
What are the next steps to change? (34:18)
If you’re ready to break through all the barriers holding you back from being the best version of yourself, click the follow button and prepare to transform in a way you never imagined to be possible.
Do we really need to bring an emphasis on taking from our subconscious mind? Bringing it to our conscious mind and saying like, Okay, how do I work backwards and work through this so that this isn't who I am for the rest of my life. Hello, hello. Welcome to episode two of fuel fire soul podcast. You're with me Shanon Safi and me cat Grimes,
I guess cat, Catherine, on works for you,
whatever you want to call us. Yeah, so we wanted to dive in and talk about why people seem to find it really challenging to reach their goals and what the number one thing is that's keeping people from making lifelong lasting changes.
Yeah. So Shanon, since you've kind of started this whole process of digging in a little bit deeper, a little different than what everyone's used to. What was like the biggest thing you saw when you were kind of starting off that made you think you wanted to go like kind of a different direction with what you're doing in your current business than what you maybe were starting off doing?
Yeah, this is interesting enough, we have an intern right now, who kind of reminded me of how I thought when I first graduated, you kind of learned in school that Oh, like, here's the information you give people. And that's all it takes, all you have to do is provide them with this proper balanced plan. And then they just go home and execute. And that's kind of what you expect, when you first graduate, you're like, Oh, look at all this knowledge that I have that I just cannot wait to share with people. So from there, it kind of reminded me like, that's kind of what I thought it was like, Oh, you just kind of tell people, This is what you eat, and you give them a nice little meal plan. And then they just go home and eat the things on the list. And when I worked at my first job, that's kind of what they expected me to do, too. Because again, they also didn't have experience in nutrition. And so I thought, okay, so just write these meal plans, people do it. Easy enough, I get paid, everyone's happy. You do this, people take it home. And 10% of the time, someone actually does what they what you wrote for maybe like two of the meals, like no one actually followed these plans that we would write out. And I think that's where that initial seed was planted, where there's no way it's as simple as just telling someone to do it. Like if that's how the world worked, the world would not be in the place that it's in, in general, like think of how that applies to so many different things where it's a lot more than just knowing the information there it takes takes a lot more to actually like, do something and figure out what it is. I think the biggest thing is like, yeah, like we can maybe do something for like a month or two, when we feel really great. And you know, you hear the whole rule like, oh, it takes 21 days to build a habit. So if you're like, alright, if I can hold out for three weeks, after this, I'm just going to automatically do this for the rest of my life. That's beautiful in theory, but in actuality, that doesn't happen. Because you know, the way life looks one month is not how it looks next month, which is not the way it looks the next month, and we can't predict the turns that life is going to take for us most of the time. So kind of with that being said, there's a whole lot more to it that we just don't acknowledge.
Yeah, I agree. And I think the media, social media, kind of having this high standard for yourself of what you looked like 20 years ago, before you had kids, like all that stuff kind of plays into plays into it as well. And like just, you know, this plan worked for you when you were in high school. So why isn't it working? Now? It's like just a whole thing of like, major restriction turned into major, you know, binging to some extent, or anything like in between to it's the pattern of why is that happening, you know, over and over again, you can always stick to something for like, maybe those three weeks of you forming this habit. And then I've noticed a lot of people like can't obviously hold into that pattern of like, severe restriction. So then the diet cycle starts again. So I've noticed that a lot, but I think that has to go into like, Alright, why are we falling off to begin with? Or like, why are we restricting so much to begin with?
Yeah,I think a big part of having those plans and the problem was just like having a plan that you're supposed to follow is that it's not you, it's not your life. And you know, that like you feel that you see this plan, and you're like, Oh, this is what a healthy person does. But the problem is you're not identifying as a healthy person. A lot of people have this mindset where they're still identifying as some like an unhealthy individual or a person that loves eating junk food or like, quote, unquote, like I hear this all the time. Like, I have the soul of like a fat kid. You know what I mean? We say stuff like that all the time. And that's how we see ourselves. And so of course, if that's your identity, you can only pretend to be someone else for so long. If you're trying to change your habits truly, you have to change the way you see yourself. And that I think is a problem with a lot of these like online programs, and why people's like, quote, unquote, diets always fail. And we I personally hate the word diet, because I think it just has this connotation, where you're like, restricting and limiting yourself and like doing something that you don't want to be doing. You know, there's plenty of books about like mindset and how words just have certain feelings, like, secrets from the eating lab, like, like, that's a big book that I love that kind of reminds me that, hey, like, how we talk to ourselves, ultimately affects how we conduct ourselves. So yeah, if I'm saying like, I'm an unhealthy person trying to do a healthy thing. That's why my default setting is always going to be unhealthy habits, because that's who I am in my head. But yeah, so that that's where it kind of, we're at worth, we're like, Okay, well, how do you actually change your identity, changing your identity is what's going to change your life, that's what's going to change your habits. That's what's going to change what you do when you wake up in the morning, what you do all day long, and what you do when you go to bed and who you're going to bed with and where you're waking up to go in the morning.
Yeah, yeah. So like, kind of playing off of that a little bit. Like, I've definitely once I got into that conversation with people of like, I believe I am. so and so. So whether it's like, I believe I'm fat, like, or I believe I'm unhealthy, I believe my family's unhealthy. So I'm going to be unhealthy. Like, all these things that kind of come out of people's mouths, that they probably never realized they were thinking about themselves or realized it was really an issue. It's like, Well, alright, well, if that's what you're always thinking, that's how you're gonna feel. And it's gonna be really hard to change that like, as a person, if that's what you're believing about yourself.
Yeah, and I think a big thing now to the whole, like toxic positivity, I think that's a big problem. Because social media again, like goes back and says, like, oh, like, wake up and look yourself in the mirror and say, I love you, you are healthy, and you aren't perfect. And again, in theory, that sounds like so nice. And sure, it's great to hear these nice things. But if you don't genuinely feel it, that's not gonna get you anywhere, you know, if you're forcing these words out of your mouth, it's, it's not going to undo trauma. And like, you know, if you've lived a life with like yours, or like, a childhood, like, I hear this all the time, like, you know, like, I grew up with a thin sibling. So like, I was always just known as like, the unhealthy daughter, or like, oh, like, this is my pretty daughter, and this is my athletic daughter, you know, like, we start to, like, form those beliefs about ourselves before the age of seven. So, you know, it's crazy, because a lot of this is so subconscious. People don't even know that they see themselves that way, a lot of the times until we bring that up, and like, bring it to our conscious brain and say, like, hey, like, how are you truly talking to yourself? Like, yes, social media tells you, like I said, like, look in the mirror and say, You're beautiful, you're perfect, you're great, you're everything you need to be. But saying those words doesn't always change the way we feel. So I think it's really saying like, Okay, what's going to take us to that next step, and genuinely changed the way I identified myself as when I lived an entire life like 20 3040 years, that you've identified subconsciously, as the unhealthy person, or the not pretty daughter, or the fat friend, or whatever it might be. That's how we've always seen ourselves. And that's the narrative that we run in our head. And that's what our subconscious is playing. And that's the stuff that we dream about. That's the stuff that we can't seem to consciously control that we really need to bring an emphasis on taking from our subconscious mind, bringing it to our conscious mind, and saying, like, Okay, how do I work backwards and work through this, so that this isn't who I am for the rest of my life? Yeah,
and a lot of times, like, I've had, I'm sure you've had similar situations of like, clients being in your office and like you ask them, you know, to name some things they like about themselves or love about themselves. And it is extremely hard. Like, I've had people, you know, break down and they couldn't come to come up with one thing, one good thing to say, and it's like, I feel like that's almost a starting point. Like to start like, okay, yeah, this is all this information is coming about, but how do I actually start to, you know, make these changes and how do you start to love yourself like, what would you say you've seen to like, be the best first step and doing that like to start changing those thoughts and things like that.
I think it's really hard to do that on your own. A lot of The times because you need someone to challenge your views and challenge your thoughts. Otherwise, you can't really think differently. If you're surrounded by people that think the same way you do, which we typically do, I mean, think that's super normal, like your friends are going to be people that have the same mindset is you. So again, like, if you're friends with people for such a long time, or like your family that's been around you forever, this is how they see you, that's who you're going to be when you're around them. And so to show up differently, like people around you are gonna resist you changing too, which makes it a lot harder. So finding like someone to support you. And that's kind of like what we do at fuel is like being that support in a situation where you might not have that avenue otherwise, because you know, if you're trying to change, like, we're humans, we don't like change, we don't want things to be disrupted. Like, if I'm used to calling you and saying like, Hey, girl, let's get like drinks and get wasted, and then eat an entire pizza. Like, if one day I call you and you're like, I'm trying to eat better, like, I'm gonna be mad, and then you're gonna feel bad that I'm mad that you don't want to hang out with me and do this thing. And because that's just been my expectation, that's who I've known you as. And so it is so hard to make those changes when you're surrounded by people use your old identity.
Yeah, and I feel like that's like another learning point. And and it, you know, definitely is hard, but like setting boundaries, and saying no to people that, you know, are in line with your goals, like, it doesn't mean you don't have to be friends with them, but like, starting to, you know, stand up for yourself a little bit more and, like, kind of challenging yourself to say no, and put up boundaries to like the people, you don't want to be, you know, doing that with or people who are really bringing you down in a negative way. And some of those people might be like family, some of those people might be really long term friends, and they don't make you feel like they're supporting you and your next goal or your, you know, your new lifestyle that you're trying to kind of adapt to. And I think boundaries like, personally, myself included, like, that's been one of the biggest things that helped me like, yeah, that was definitely me back in, you know, my college days of, you know, going out and you know, drinking and all the pizza or whatever food, the Taco Bell. That was definitely one stage of my life. But learning like at some point, that can't be your forever lifestyle, and like putting up the boundaries to like, alright, that's just not how it's going to be. And you sometimes have to have like those more difficult conversations with people that are really close to you.
I think that part is definitely a big one, like setting boundaries. I think that I'm going to probably reference like about a million books. I'm like such a book nerd. So yeah, one book that I really love, it reminds me of like breaking the good girl myth. I really liked this book, because it kind of talks about like, the way we're raised just as women in general how we're supposed to kind of be like passive in a way and just we don't want to disrupt the flow, and we don't want to upset people. And we just want to say yes to everything that's thrown at us, because we are so worried about, like, letting someone else down or like not being seen as a good girl or having these, like negative views on us. So, you know, that goes such a long way. And it seems almost like unrelated to nutrition, because I think like this is an exercise, like an exercise I'll do with some of my clients. And I'll say like, Okay, I'm gonna challenge you to say no, 10 times this week. And then people were like, That's insane. Like I How do you expect me to do that? Because like, honestly, like, if you really consciously tallied up, how many yes, no decisions you make, just in a day. It's so many and like, how many of those things are we saying yes to out of obligation, or out of feeling bad that we genuinely don't want to do or it doesn't really align with who we want to be? Or who we deep down, like feel ourselves trying to become? So I think like, if you really take that challenge to yourself and kind of say like, okay, like what would a life look like if I really just said yes to the things that I wanted to say yes to and said no to the things that I genuinely did not want to do. Think about how many hours in the day you would get back to yourself. Think about how much stress would be taken off your plate. Think about how much closer to your goals you would be think about how much closer you would be to the person that you want to become. And like think about how much it would just take off of like, pressure from you to just like show up as this person in support of everyone else. And like a lot of times I think that biggest piece that's like holding us back from doing that is like the guilt of letting someone else down. And I think that guilt out of letting someone else out is so Oh, much more creative in our head than it is in actuality. Because I want you to think about like, how many times if someone said no to you, and how do you actually get mad at them? Like, honestly, when people say no to me or like they say no to notice something I throw out. And they say, like, oh, I don't want to do this because XYZ or maybe they haven't given me a reason. They just say like, No, I can't. I'm just like, wow, coach for them. Yeah, like, you know, I'm almost like jealous. I'm like, shoot, I want to curse again. I wish that I could just say no so easily and not let it faze me. Like, it's all the little things that kind of adds up. And then again, it's like, we're so conditioned to saying yes, that it's like, hard to break that cycle. But when you bring that to your consciousness, and you say, like, okay, like, I gotta say, No 10 times this week, so let's just start dishing them out here and there. Let's see how far I can get. And honestly, like, no one ever finishes that challenge that I give them that week, without being like, Wow, I feel so much lighter. Like it's huge. Yeah, yeah, it's
definitely a change of thought, I guess to start thinking that way like you don't, it's not even in your conscious mind like to say yes or no to things that sometimes it's just a habit that you're saying yes to things. And, yeah, if it's stuff that you're, it's not like serving you any good. It's like, Alright, start learning to say no to these things that aren't, you know, doing any good for you?
Yeah, I think really kind of sitting down and figuring out, like, what these boundaries are, like, who am I identifying as, and I think you kind of need to start with like, seeing like, Who is the person that I want to become, in a sense, and like, think about, you know, sometimes I think people say, like, oh, pick someone you admire. But you know, sometimes we don't know someone that is doing the things that we want to be and the things that we want to see, like maybe in the media, which I think can be sort of helpful. But you know, like, we don't fully feel like we can relate to people we see on the internet unless we actually know them. So I always say like, whatever, who is your what is your dream identity? Like, what does that look like for you, and then kind of start from there and like, work backwards. So it's like, okay, like, I want to be someone that goes to the gym X number of times a week, I want to be someone that does yoga, I want to be someone that packs my kids lunch, I want to be someone that cooks dinner more often than I buy it out. And so again, just like figuring out, like what that identity looks like, and not just in general terms, I think that's also where we get stuck. Like some of the stuff you need to like, quantify, you know, if you're just saying, Oh, I just want to cook more. That's so vague, you know, like, what is cooking more mean? Like, how can I actually measure if I cooked more or not? You know, so I think like, giving yourself specifics, like, Oh, I just want to be a nicer person. Well, what's like a nice person do like you need to write down like these actual things like these measurable things that you can say like, Yes, I did this. No, I didn't do that. Like, you know, you can't just be like, oh, yeah, I felt nicer last week, you know, like, you know, it's really hard. That's so vague. And so I think like being really, really specific with this, like dream version of yourself. And I say dream, but I want you to know, it's like, it can be a reality. But it can only be a reality, if you identify what that looks like. So that's definitely like the biggest step one of all of this. So like, figure it out, figure out like, what it is that you want to be spending your time doing, what you want to be eating, how you want to sound, all those things, and then kind of say, like, Okay, well, what does that what does that look like? Like? How am I gonna measure that? And like, how, how can I start saying no, like, that gives you a clear line of like, what your boundaries are, you can't have boundaries, if you don't know who you are, who you want to be. So it almost kind of starts with they're like, how am I identifying and like, in this ideal world, like, how would I identify? So that way, when you do make decisions, you can make decisions more based off of like, who you want to be that's in alignment with this, like, ideal image of yourself.
Yeah, and I think that's important not just for like, your ideal version of yourself, but like your ideal life in general, like kind of, you know, broadening the spectrum a little bit and going into like, yeah, your beliefs like what you want to be like, how you want to identify and like what life you really want. Like I always tell people, you know, write out like a whole page of everything you want in life and like, what you want your ideal like your ideal self to look like and kind of put into perspective like you were saying actions to put into place to become that better self and like maybe, you know, at that point kind of aligning your boundaries with that like Alright, does this whatever it does, going out and on a Saturday night and having 12 beers with this friend align with like this version of myself that I want to be and starting to like maybe make your decisions based off that instead, but just kind of, you know, you don't know what you want until you sit there and really think about it, I've definitely done that like several times where I've just written pages down of like, alright, well, this would be nice. Like, I want this, I want that, you know, how you want yourself to look or how you want yourself to feel or you know, all of these things aligns with your life overall, as a whole.
I think that's the, that's a big key to where people kind of miss the boat on how to really make healthy choices and like, get healthier with nutrition, we tend to like look at it through this like narrow lens of just like, What am I eating? And what are, you know, what are the foods I'm surrounding myself with, when it's so much more than that, it's like, like, had said, all these people that are going to influence it or like, just like different aspects of your life that affect it. So for example, like if I'm working a job that I hate, so like, I wake up early to, you know, take an hour drive to work, and I get there and like, half the time, they keep me late, and then I'm like leaving and I'm mentally exhausted, because I have a physically demanding job, a job where I'm like getting like yelled at all day, a job where it's like, I can't seem to meet the needs of the company. But like the expectations just keep getting higher and higher. And then I'm just drained coming home, and I have no energy, nothing is filled my cup up all day, all I did was like Drain myself of energy. Do I really think I'm going to come home and be like, Wow, now I'm just going to release all of that and just cook a nice, beautiful meal, you know, you're not going to come home show up and say, well, like now I have all this energy because I left work like No, like I spent all day draining myself, I have no energy to put towards myself in my goals. So while I'm getting a new job seems completely irrelevant to like having better nutrition. A lot of times, like, that's exactly what it can be like, if there are things that you spend doing, like draining yourself all day long, you can't show up with energy to make changes, because you can't, you know, you can't make changes from an empty cup like you have, you need energy to make things shift. And you need energy to do these good things and to go to the gym and like have these healthy habits. So I think that's where people tend to focus on the wrong things because the media makes you think like, oh, you know what, you've been eating bananas. That is the problem. Those bananas get rid of them. And so I you know, hear that all the time, and Nana's are making you fat. The media wants to just pin it on some weird food that you're eating when it has literally nothing to do with that food. Yeah, that I'm just gonna go off on a tangent for a second. I hate that the media demonizes certain foods for people's failures. And I hate that it works on so many people. That's why these big companies thrive. Like how many times have you seen an ad that says like, you've been eating these five foods, and that's why you've never been able to reach your goals like oh my gosh, I People tell me all those videos all the time, or like people come in and they're like, I don't eat carrots. There's too much sugar in them. And I'm like, Bucha eat the cupcake. Susan. Like, what is wrong with
carrots? Yes, yes, carrots, bananas, they have too much sugar, and they're making your metabolism way slower than it should be. That's what Yeah, recently, someone just said that to me. And I was like, That makes no sense. Yeah, call like, know that you eating a banana does not have anything to do with it. What what it has to do it is you're not being able to control anything else. Other than that one banana, you can definitely cut out the banana. That's easy. But it's hard to like, obviously go out and like one say no to things like set the boundaries or like to it's hard to like, maybe stay on track when you're out to eat dinner or whatever it is. But like, I can guarantee you it's probably not the banana. Yeah,
or like, you know, it's like, you come home and you're sad. It's like we have food is like a coping mechanism that's like, normalized, you know. And I think that because it's necessary to eat, I think that's a big challenge to it to where it's like, you know, you're kind of sad. And you're like, all right, like, what's an accept socially acceptable way to cover this sadness that I'm experiencing, rather than doing anything to change the source of this sadness? And like, we tend to turn to food. And so with that, I mean, like, of course, we're going to pick the not as healthy things like when people say like, oh, eat an apple and then sit for 20 minutes and then decide what you want to do. Like, again, sounds beautiful in theory, but like, I'm sorry, when I'm upset and I'm raging, I'm not even thinking about apples. I'm like, yo, give me that cake. Like apples don't cross my mind. So you know, I think it's like, being a little more realistic with what's like normal and what's human like these. A lot of these. I don't know you have to like be careful with who you follow and who you're employed. ones is because I've heard it so many times where it's just like people say they follow these pages. And they're like, yeah, these tips just don't work. They told me to, like drink water and sit there for 15 minutes and decide if I'm actually hungry. Like, I've already decided that I'm gonna be hungry after these 15 minutes before the 15 minutes even starts, I know, I'm gonna need something after. So it's like, that's not you know, you're already in too deep, if you're already at that point where you have to drink the water and decide if you're hungry. Like, you know, I. So I think it's like, the media plays such a big influence on making it so much harder. Because they're telling you things that don't actually work, but they're making you believe that they do. And so then you think the problem is you? And I think part of it, yeah, you have to accept that like something within you needs to shift. But to think that it's because you decide you like cake more than an apple? That's not the problem.
Yeah, yeah. And I think like kind of just diving into, like, your emotions a little bit more of like, alright, if you're sad, like you always tend to eat or like stress has been like a very big one, I've been noticing probably you to a lot of your clients. Just with, like, I guess COVID Still really and like works, work. And you know, the kids all being in sports and like not having any time for yourself. It's like, there's more going on. And like, you know, just saying, No banana, and you're good. It's like a very short version of this story, I guess you could say.
Yeah, I think that there's so many factors in, like, how we allot our time in a day, and like what we're absorbing, that influences a lot of these decisions that we're just not aware of, because I think, today's day and age, it's like, you're supposed to be stressed, you're supposed to be super busy. If you're not doing something, you're lazy. So then, you know, we feel like we need to fill our day with useless stuff that doesn't benefit us, personally, and sometimes, like drains us. And a lot of times we end up filling our schedule with all the things that drain us and forget to think about the things that fill us up. And so when we're just like, again, operating from a place when we're lacking so much, it's so hard. And I think the hardest part of switching that mindset is people feel selfish for it, like saying no feel selfish, like telling my kids that they can't play six sports in one season feel selfish, like, you know, it's all these things we feel bad about doing when in reality, you can only give like, rather than thinking of like, How can I just keep giving and giving and giving till the point where I have nothing left to give, like, have the mindset where you're filling your cup up so much that you're over pouring, so that you can give more. So you always give and you give love and give everything that you can better when you're in a place where you're feeling full, rather than feeling empty. Like I mean, think about with anything when you're drained. And you come home and like your friend needs help from you or you know, your husband wants some attention or your kid wants a hug and you're just kind of like, you know, just doing it to do it. You know, you're supposed to like that comes from a completely different place. When you're like in this great mood and you're like my house is on fire. I don't care. I'm so happy. Like, nothing matters. Like that's a completely different energy you're showing up with and like, everyone wants you there like no one around you, once you from a drained place. Like no one looks at that. And it's like, wow, this is your best self when you are running on empty and look like you hate me. But still do the nice thing because you know, you're supposed to know like people around you want you to be happy. So to make it to think that it's selfish. I mean, it's natural to feel that way. But it's not selfish. Like it's like, like I said, fill yourself up. So you're over pouring onto others not draining yourself.
Yeah. And I think that just goes kind of full circle back into the boundaries thing, like, you know, definitely with our busy moms a lot of the time I noticed is like kind of putting your effort into everyone else except yourself. So learning how to like make time like you are the priority, especially in this kind of setting. We want you to focus on yourself as as the priority because, you know, if you're not showing up as your best self, everyone is suffering too.
I think that's a big key point. I think probably by the end of the episode, we'll list some key points for things you'd really think about moving forward. But yeah, definitely what's coming up to my head when it comes to like, what are the things that are really stopping you from reaching these goals? I think it's like, you know, stop feeling selfish forgiving to yourself. influence from the media is a really big one, buying into things that are completely not factually supported but the media thinks makes you think that they are focusing on nutrition from a company The informational standpoint rather than like an emotional spiritual standpoint, do you have anything that's popping up for you cat,