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Rewiring Your Brain for Lasting Weight Loss

Welcome back to another heart-to-heart episode of The Mom-entum Podcast! I’m Tanya Valentine, your host, and I’m thrilled to have you here with me today.

 

Before we dive in, I want to share some heartfelt news about my dear friend Christina Cano and her courageous daughter, Ainslee. Ainslee was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Burkett’s Lymphoma, and Christina has had to put her career on hold to be by her side during this challenging time. If you’d like to show your support, please consider donating to Ainslee’s GoFundMe page or contributing to the Give In Kind account I've set up for her. Your prayers and positive thoughts mean the world to them.

 

Now, onto today’s episode, which is a continuation of last week's discussion on transforming your body and mind for lasting results. If you missed it, no worries—I’ll catch you up!

 

We’re diving into the fascinating topic of over desire and its impact on weight loss. Ever wonder why we crave certain foods, even when we know they're not the best for us? It all comes down to our brain chemistry and the powerful role of dopamine, aka the pleasure hormone.

 

Picture this: our ancestors evolved to seek out pleasure-inducing activities like eating to ensure survival. But in today's world, we're bombarded with artificial pleasures that hijack our brain's reward system—cue those irresistible cravings!

 

But fear not, mama! In this episode, we’re uncovering the secrets to taming those cravings and reclaiming control over your health. From understanding the difference between allowing and resisting urges to tapping into your soul's true desires, we're laying out a roadmap for lasting transformation.

 

So, if you’re tired of the diet rollercoaster and ready to embrace a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle, this episode is for you! Tune in as we explore the power of allowing urges, rewiring your brain, and unleashing your inner strength.

 

And if you find value in today’s episode (which I know you will!), do me a favor—share it with a fellow mama who could use a little extra support on her journey. Together, we can uplift and empower each other to live our best lives!

 

Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review The Mom-entum Podcast—your feedback helps more mamas like you discover the inspiration and guidance they need to thrive.

 

Thank you for joining me today, mama! Remember, you’re stronger than you know, and you’ve got this! Talk to you next week!

Resources Mentioned In The Show
  • Please join me in sharing your love, support and prayers with my dear friend, Christina Cano, and her 10 year old daughter, Ainslee, as Ainslee fights her battle with cancer.  You can donate via her GoFundMe page or via Give In Kind.  If you're not familiar with Give In Kind, Christina can post needs like child care, housekeeping, transportation, meals, and you can also donate gift cards and care packages through this website.  If you live in the San Diego area and would like to show your support and are able to provide her with assistance, consider checking out her Give In Kind account.  At the very least, please keep Christina and Ainslee in your prayers!  I thank you so much for your kindness and generosity! 

  • Click here to grab the worksheet designed to accompany this episode that will help you apply what you learned and start getting results! 

  • Want to expand your emotional vocabulary?  Remember, labeling your emotions is key in interrupting the pattern of turning to snacks to avoid or dull your emotionsClick here for the feeling wheel I mentioned in the show.

  • Ready to kickstart your transformation journey? Join my 6-week Slim Down course today! Choose from 3 options tailored to fit your needs, including Course Only or One-on-One Coaching with a Customized Weight Loss Plan (available for purchase as a one-time or 3-month payment plan). Rewrite your relationship with food and achieve sustainable weight loss with ease. Worried about finding the time? This course, designed by a busy mom who gets it, includes audio content for on-the-go learning. Enjoy lifetime access and future updates—sign up now, I guarantee you will get results and I got you! Click here and sign up today! 

  • Not sure if you're ready to make the commitment, but curious what life coaching can do for you?  Allow me to help you unlock what's standing in between you and the life you truly desire.  Why can't you get yourself to do the things you know you need to do?  Or stop doing the things you know are not aligned with your goals or your best self?  Click here to sign up for your FREE 30 minute mini session and I promise I will get you some good help!  So what are you waiting for?  Turn on an episode of Bluey for the kiddos and hop on a call with me!  It's obligation free and it could be the one decision that changes it all for you!

  • Want to give yourself the gift of MORE TIME?  Get AT LEAST 5 hours back/week by doing a time audit.  Don't know where to start?  I've got you covered! For access to my FREE TIME AUDIT TOOL click here.

  • Click here for your FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST.

  • Click here to join The Mom-entum Podcast Private Facebook Community

  • Please subscribe, rate and review the show to help me reach and support more amazing moms just like you! Click here to learn how.

TRANSCRIPT

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Mom-entum Podcast, the show dedicated to inspiring, uplifting and empowering women on their journey through motherhood.  I’m your host, Tanya Valentine, I thank you so much for taking the time to listen today!

 

I have some very sad news to share with you all today.  My good friend, Christina Cano, who if you have been listening to the podcast for some time now you will know her because I interviewed her on the episode that aired January 31, 2024 titled “Receiving a Prenatal Diagnosis and Strategies to Cope with Unexpected News”. Anyway, about a week ago now  her sweet, brave, vivacious  10 year old daughter, Ainslee, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Burkett’s Lymphoma (which is a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma).  As a mom I’m sure you can imagine this is like every parent’s worst nightmare.  But Ainslee is fortunate to have a great team around her supporting her, however the next 6-8 months are going to be challenging.  They’ve been told to expect over the course of this time to have multiple 3 weeks or more hospital stays at a time throughout.  Christina has had to take a step back from working in order to take care of Ainslee during this challenging time.  A Gofund me page has been set up for Ainslee and I also set up a give in kind account for her which I will link in the show notes.  Please consider leaving a donation or offering support.  Any little bit counts. And at the very least I just ask that you please keep Christina and Ainslee in your prayers.  I would so appreciate this!

 

So today’s episode is a continuation of the last episode, “Episode #32,  Summer Slim Down: Transforming Your Body and Mind for Lasting Results.”  So if you haven’t listened to last weeks episode, I encourage you to listen to that one first.  But if for whatever reason you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, or maybe you did but your like it’s been a week can I get a little refresher?  Don’t worry about it! I’ve got you!

 

So we are talking about weight loss. And doing weight loss differently.  Doing it in a way that is both healthy and sustainable, meaning changing our lifestyle and essentially who we are in the process in order to maintain these results long term.  And if you want more of a deep dive into these concepts, or you want a step by step, customized plan, then I recommend you check out my 6 week slim down course.  And if you are really serious about getting results that are guaranteed through the accountability of a coach, then I encourage you to sign up for the 1 to 1 6 week slim down program I offer which includes both the course and 1 to 1 coaching with me.  I only open up 5 slots every 6 weeks so if this sounds like something you would be interested in go ahead and schedule a free 30 minute coaching session with me and we can discuss all of the details!

 

Ok, so now, let’s get into today’s episode.  Last week I talked about how being overweight is a symptom.  And if you are thinking, ok well what is it a symptom of?  Then that is part of what we are going to talk about today.  Overweight is the symptom of over desire and over hunger.  Over hunger is essentially a biological problem that usually has to do with our hormones, and yes it is solvable.  And I’ll go into more detail about over hunger on next weeks episode. But for today I want to talk about over desire.

 

So what is over desire?  Well it’s simply desiring something more than is necessary.  So why is this important?  Why do we care about over desire?  Because it is causing you to spend your time and energy doing things that are moving you further and further away from whatever result you want to achieve in your life, and in the case of this week’s episode its achieving your goal weight or the size you would feel comfortable and confident in your body.

 

So where does desire come from?  Desire comes from pleasure.  We have a desire for things in our life that give us the feeling of pleasure.

 

Now there is a chemical in our brain called dopamine, you may have heard of this.  And dopamine is known as the pleasure hormone.  And the purpose of dopamine is to motivate us to do things that are important to our survival.  So everytime we eat, we get this little squirt of dopamine or “pleasure” which is like the reward to our brain that says yes that is good, keep doing that.  And this really served our ancestors well.  However, in the world that we live in today, we are inundated with so many false pleasures, that it’s completely throwing off the reward centers in our brain.

 

So I want you to think of  false pleasures as things that are naturally occurring and required for our survival but on steroids.  Think of the things that are naturally occurring and important for the survival of humanity like food, sex, connection, but it’s taking these naturally occurring things and artificially concentrating them in a way that its like increasing the dose or strength of this natural thing.   

 

And then when we indulge in this concentrated thing, we get this spike of dopamine released in our brain that basically tells us you must eat that again and if you do you’ll live forever!  For example, it’s like taking something naturally occurring like an orange, and then concentrating it into a juice and adding even more sugar to it.  The orange is the natural thing important for our survival, and the sugar infused juice is the false pleasure messing with the reward centers in our brain.

 

And then what happens is the more we indulge in these concentrated foods, then the more we need in order to experience that same pleasure, we develop a tolerance for it.  So to sum this up, these false pleasures create this over desire which cause us then to over eat, and what’s the result of over eating?  Being overweight.

 

So what is the answer to lessening this desire so that we can then stop eating more than what our bodies require for fuel?  The answer is to stop giving in to false pleasures and practicing allowing urges.

 

So as a reminder from last week’s episode, urges are impulses you get to do something on a whim that you think is important for your survival.  So you could have an urge to eat a donut, or yell at your kid, or get on social media, or have a glass of wine.  And urges come from our primitive brain.  Our primitive brains have been around since the caveman days and this is like our animal brain that is responsible for our survival needs.  But as humans have evolved we developed a prefrontal cortex that is responsible for higher thinking, executive functioning like planning, and decision making.  My teacher, Brooke Castillo likes to describe our primitive brain as “a toddler with a knife”.  It means well but left unsupervised it can be harmful.  So if our primitive brain is the toddler with the knife, then think of your prefrontal cortex as being the adult, the parent that comes in and acts as the supervisor.

 

And our prefrontal cortex has our best interests at heart and our  long term goals in mind. It’s that short term pain or sacrifice for the long term gain.  As opposed to the primitive brain that’s like your toddler looking for that instant gratification.  She wants what she wants, and she wants it now.  She wants to have the candy for breakfast, but you’re not going to let her because you know it’s not good for her.  Yes it tastes good, and it will allow her to experience pleasure in the moment, but long term it’s just not good for her health.

 

We all know that the real pleasures in life take time.  We know that you can’t plant a seed today and expect a harvest tomorrow.

 

I also want to mention that the word desire, from the latin meaning, literally translates to “of the father”.  So I think that it’s important to think about this and where our desires come from.  They come from our father in heaven and they are like a roadmap to our dreams and our souls purpose.  But the problem is that we have so much of this false pleasure in our lives today that is just getting in the way of us pursuing what we actually want in life, what our soul came here to do.

 

These false pleasures are just distractions. So many of us want to know what our purpose is in this life, but we can’t see it because our vision is being clouded with all this distraction.

 

 I want you to think of your desire as fuel, and it’s a fuel that you only get a limited amount of each day.  These false pleasures are using up all of our fuel (the fuel that comes from our desire), leaving us with inadequate amounts of desire that would be required in order for us to go out and achieve our goals.  These false pleasures are making what would be an intolerable life more tolerable.  

 

For example say you are working at a job that you are completely miserable at.  And you come home mentally and physically exhausted, and you drink 3 glasses of wine.  The wine is just numbing the pain and making this job more tolerable so then you don’t do anything about it and you stay working in the job that you hate, and I’m guessing if you hate it,this is translating into your performance at work which not only has a negative impact on you but this has a ripple effect on creating a negative impact on the company that you work for, your coworkers, or even your clients.

 

So what would happen if you took away the food?  If you didn’t use it to numb or avoid?  You’d be left with your feelings.  And thats how we lessen this over desire.  By not giving into the urges to pursue false desires, and instead feel our feelings. I’m not saying that you cant ever have chocolate or a glass of wine again.  No, its just not using those things to avoid, dull or numb an emotion.  So if you want to have a cookie.  That’s fine.  But don’t let it be a spur of the moment type of thing, because then that’s coming from an urge and you are strengthening an urge everytime you give into it.  Rather, if you want to have a cookie, plan for it 24 hours ahead of time.  That way you are using and strengthening that part of your brain responsible for your highest good.  Because once you give into that primitive brain and that urge, at that moment you have given up control.

 

So to allow in urge is to not respond to it.  So first notice that it’s there.  Have the awareness to notice you are having an urge to eat a cookie.  And take a moment to pause instead of responding to it.  Just witness the urge and what it feels like in your body.  When we witness we can detach from the primitive part of our brain and the primitive part of our brain can’t do anything without us.  It can’t force us to walk in the pantry and open up the bag of chips and then put them in our mouth.  

 

So it’s just allowing the time and space to feel what this emotion feels like in our body, recognize what is going on and then make a conscious decision about our next move.  That’s it. And then just reminding yourself that emotions are temporary, they are like clouds in the sky, and they will come to pass.  And the more you can do this, practice this without giving in and without responding to the urge you are weakening the urge and you will be lessening the desire.  And no over desire=no over eating.

 

Before we wrap up I just want to take a minute to talk about the difference between allowing and resisting.  What we want to do is allow.  Allowing is just letting the feeling be there because it already is.  You just say to yourself ok im feeling an urge.  This is an urge.  What does it feel like in my body.  I can feel this urge and be ok.  It’s not going to hurt me. And brain I know you think this cookie is important right now, and that’s ok, but the thing is we didn’t plan on having it right now and i don’t need it, so im just going to go ahead and allow this urge im feeling to be here, and I can plan on having the cookie tomorrow if i still want the cookie, but for right now this is what we are doing, just sitting with this emotion.   Rather than resisting it which looks like maybe saying to yourself “im not going to give into this urge” or maybe it’s something as subtle as saying to yourself “I can’t have that” or it could look like doing something else to distract yourself from the urge.  That is resisting and that can actually make the urge even stronger.  I like to compare this to my son, whose 4, at the dentist.  The last time we went to get his teeth cleaned his body was tense and he was pulling away from the hygienist, and it ended up taking so much longer and being so much more of a struggle than it would have been if he simply laid there, stayed still and allowed the hygienist to do her job.  

 

Alright so that wraps it up for this weeks show.  Make sure you tune into next week when I’m going to get into overhunger and we will talk about hormones, the role they play in weight loss, and what you can do to help regulate them.  Be sure you listen to last week’s episode if you haven’t already, and print out and complete the worksheet I created to compliment that episode so that you can take what you’ve learned, apply it, and start seeing some real results.  If you enjoyed this weeks episode, I ask that you please share it with a friend or family member who you think would benefit from the content shared here.  Follow me on social media @tanyavalentinecoaching.  I’d love to hear from you! And if you could take a minute to subscribe rate and review this podcast I would so appreciate it, as this helps more mamas like you discover this show!  Thank you so much for taking the time to listen today! Keep up the amazing work mamas!  You are doing so much better than you give yourself credit for! Talk to you next week!

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