Ep. #72: The Golden Rule (Body Episode)

I have always been a zealous advocate in business. That’s why I’ve enjoyed the success that I’ve enjoyed. But I wasn’t achieving my body goals, because I wasn’t zealously advocating for my own health and the body I wanted to achieve. In this episode, I talk about how I’m turning that around, and share resources that may help you, too.


Welcome to Rich & Thin Radio, the only podcast that helps you earn more and weigh less. I’m Kelly Hollingsworth, and I’m glad you’re here. If you listened to our business episode this week, you know we are discussing the golden rules. These are the rules for success that you should always follow. And today’s our body episode, so we’re going to discuss the golden rule that you should follow to achieve the body of your dreams. And because every great business principal has a great body corollary, I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to you that the golden rule that we talked about in our business episode, the rule of zealous advocacy, is exactly the same golden rule that will help you get the body you want.

And last time, we discussed what zealous advocacy means. It means to do every reasonable thing to help your client achieve their goal. And when we’re talking about our weight loss and fitness goals, exactly the same principle applies. If you are zealously advocating for your health and your fitness goal, then that means you do every reasonable thing to achieve it.

And notice what’s going unsaid here. We’re not going to do unreasonable things. Why not? Because unreasonable things are unsustainable, for one thing. You can only do them for so long. Starving yourself is obviously included here. Have you ever met anyone who is at goal weight and they are frantically scrambling for a way of functioning in the world after a starvation diet? They know they want to start eating again. They feel compelled to start eating again. But they’re terrified that they’re going to put weight on, and the tension between these two things is palpable. And these folks exude stress from their pores.

I remember being at a cookie exchange party in my sister’s neighborhood a few decades ago. I didn’t know what a cookie exchange party was, but I learned that you bake six or eight dozen holiday cookies of one type, and you take your cookies, and you trade them by the dozen for different kinds of cookies. So, you leave with a dozen of this kind, and a dozen of that kind, a whole assortment. I guess the idea is you get a whole bunch of different kinds of cookies without having to bake a whole bunch of different kinds of cookies. And at this party, there was a woman who was just coming off a year-long stint she did following one of those name-brand corporate weight loss programs of about 1200 calories a day. And she was talking about how she just could not function on the small amount of food she had been eating. But every time she tried to eat more, the weight would pile right back on.

And there’s nothing worse than that, is there? If you’re losing weight by eating in a way that you cannot eat for the rest of your life, you’re screwed. So, that’s one reason you want to do only reasonable things in your weight loss efforts. And another reason is that sometimes unreasonable things are downright dangerous. In our episode on fasting, I think it’s Episode 17, I talked about how drinking too much water during a water fast landed me in the hospital with an electrolyte imbalance that could have resulted in coma or death. I didn’t just go to the emergency room, I was admitted. And they strapped my arms and legs down while I was sleeping at night in case I went into a seizure, so I wouldn’t break an arm or a leg. It was a serious thing. Nice, right? How often have you heard or read the admonishment to guzzle plenty of water when you’re on a water fast? If you’ve read anything about water fasting, I’m sure you’ve read that advice.

So, what I want to offer is that our bodies know better. And if you’re drinking more water than feels reasonable to you, that’s a sign that you have gone out of zealously advocating for your body and its health, and you’ve wandered into dangerous territory. Here’s another example of an unreasonable thing. When I hurt myself hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015, why did that occur? A big reason is because I was carrying way too much water on my back. And I ground the cartilage in my hip joints on a 22-mile hike one day, down to what felt like a fine dusty powder. The amount of water I was carrying was unreasonable. And although subsequent surgeries have helped, my body will never be the same as it was before, and you don’t know what I would give if I could go back to that day and do it over again.

So, the first point about zealously advocating for your body is to recognize that doing so involves reasonable things. Carve out the unreasonable things and shove them off the table, let them land on the floor or in the garbage, and never think about them again. And do this because zealously advocating for your body means doing every reasonable thing to facilitate success.

In our business episode, we discussed three reasonable things you can do to facilitate your client’s success, and thereby your own success. If you help your clients achieve success, you will never want for a client. And today, I want to discuss those same three reasonable things in relation to achieving lifelong weight loss and your body goals.

Zealous Advocacy Requires Competency

The first thing is develop your competence. In our business episode, I said that the first thing a zealous advocate does is ensure that they are competent to perform the task for which they are hired, which means that you have the ability to do something successfully and efficiently. And if we’re going to apply this business principle to reaching our body goals, we have to look at the things we’re not doing successfully and efficiently. We need to become competent in the areas where we’re struggling. So, the question here is where do things fall down for you in terms of your body goals, and what do you need to do to become competent?

One thing I have needed to do is to learn that there is never a circumstance where overeating is appropriate. And I thought I knew this. I really thought in the first two years of my recovery that I was doing so great. And then, a stressful event occurred. My physical therapist crushed my rib cage, and I was just out of my mind. I was not managing my mind anymore, and I reverted back to right where I was in the worst of my overeating struggle. So, now I have to learn how to become truly competent in this area. I really have to work on this.

In Rich & Thin™ Workshop, we are developing tools that will help me do this; tools that don’t feel like dieting. Dieting is an anathema to me right now. During my recovery, there was an extended period where the doctors felt I would recover quicker if I went on the most rigid eating plan you can possibly imagine. Almost every food that I loved was excluded: most spices and seasonings, sugar in any form, vinegar, acidic fruits, tomatoes, peppers, anything spicy, all forms of caffeine, onions, alcohol of any type. I don’t normally drink, but that was on the list, in case you’re interested in everything that was excluded. Eggs were out, cheese and other dairy, most grains. What could I eat? Basically, plain meat, certain vegetables with olive oil, nothing else on it, and popcorn with butter.

During this time, my weight stabilized at around 130 pounds, even though I was almost completely immobile. And that’s when I was thinking, “Man, I really have my overeating/over-exercising problem licked. I am so proud of myself.” And what I didn’t see is that I was on a very strict diet, and I did not anticipate the bounce-back binge that would occur as soon as something stressful occurred. So, I was very surprised when my physical therapist crushed my rib cage in the third year of my recovery, that the stress I experienced over that, I guess I should clarify due to my thoughts about that, was where my rigid eating plan was going to go off the rails. I thought I had this problem licked, but I fell into a pint of Cherry Garcia. And the eating protocol I had been on for two years was so intense and so restrictive that when the bounce-back binge came, it came with a vengeance.

It was like a freight train. I felt powerless to stop. I felt like I was a hungry animal coming out of a cage. And I gained 20 pounds, which may not sound like a lot, but I am a tiny person. So, on me, it is a lot. In the spirit of zealously advocating for my body, I am teaching myself to become competent around food. Never again will I restrict or starve. Never again will I overeat. That is the place I am teaching myself to be in. Neither of those things are reasonable, and I am done being unreasonable with my body.

So, in the spirit of creating these tools, I just want to remind you again, one of these tools that is really helping me is what I call the Wealthy Weight Loss Worksheet. And it’s a tool, you go through it. It’s one page that you go through as you’re eating, and it helps you figure out which foods you really love and which serve you, and which foods don’t. And if you would like a copy of it, you can get it by texting the phrase, “wealthyweightloss,” all one word, no spaces, just “wealthyweightloss,” omit the spaces, to 44222. And when you text that, you will get a text message back asking for your email address. And when you enter your email address, the worksheet will be emailed to you.

This is the worksheet that I suggest using with every meal if you can stand to do so, because it puts you in touch with the experience that you are having with your food, and whether you are really enjoying it or not, and how you feel afterward, how you feel after eating certain foods. And it is revelatory. My clients who use this worksheet report that they think they love things like Ritz Crackers, and it’s such a binge food for them. But then when they use the worksheet while they’re eating things like Ritz Crackers, they come back and say, “Wow, I thought I loved it, but I really don’t.” And it makes letting go of foods that don’t serve you a lot easier.

You can’t do this worksheet too many times if you struggle with overeating. And what is revealed to you as you go through the worksheet is so helpful in stopping overeating, and it’s also helpful just in setting standards for the quality of your food and the enjoyment level that you have with your food. A couple of times, I sat down to eat a salad that was lackluster, pulled out my worksheet, and as I was going through it I thought, “Why am I eating this?”

The hypothesis of the weight-loss protocol I am testing on myself this year is that if you are eating things you don’t want, you will have a body you don’t want, for all kinds of reasons. One is, if you don’t like your salad, if it tastes soggy, and it’s not impressive, what are you going to do after that? You’re going to go eat something else that is satisfying. So, that’s one area where we all need to become competent: starting when we’re hungry, and stopping when we’re full. And it sounds so basic, and it is, but it is a game-changer. When I really have this dialed in, I am losing weight. So, I wholeheartedly suggest it for you.

Zealous advocacy requires that you want it more than the people around you

The other thing I want to talk about this episode in our body episode is, when we are zealous advocate for our bodies, we are more zealous than anyone else. This is the corollary to the business principle we discussed on Tuesday. The zealous advocacy business principle means that you want it more than your client does. You are advocating harder for something then your client is. And what I’d like to suggest is, that that is exactly how we need to be with our bodies. There are very few people who will applaud you if you are zealously advocating for your own health.

For the most part, if you have set high standards for what goes into your mouth because you have high standards for what you want your body to look like and how you want it to function, everyone around you will encourage you to relax those standards. Maybe they won’t tell you that you need to relax them forever, but they will say in the moment, “You should loosen your standards and have a good time with us here tonight.” And becoming a zealous advocate means that you don’t do this to yourself. And this is another thing I’m having to learn on my way to 105 pounds. If I had a client who wanted to achieve a goal, and people around me were saying, “Oh, don’t worry about him or her. Just let that client go and have fun tonight or this weekend, or for this entire week,” whatever time period we’re talking about, the idea of doing something like that wouldn’t be remotely within my contemplation. I would look at them like they were crazy because the client comes first. That’s what zealous advocacy means in business.

And I haven’t been doing the same thing with my body, at least not consistently. I’ve been letting other people coax me into relaxing my standards, and not advocating for myself and my result as hard as I want to. This is where it is super helpful for me to think about why I’m successful in business, and take those skills and translate them into being successful with my body. I know these tools work in business, and I also know I’m capable in business of doing them.

I was talking with Adriane about one tool that we are experimenting with in Rich & Thin™ Workshop, and I hadn’t been using this tool as consistently as I should, even though she assure me that it, too, is a game-changer. And what we realized is that I need to look at this tool and using this tool as if it’s a legal obligation, as if it’s a business obligation, something I’m doing with a client in my business.

For example, I have certain hedge fund clients who need to file certain reports with a regulator. And if they don’t file the reports, the late fees start accruing at a rate of $200 per day. I have never missed a filing deadline, ever. And yet, I wasn’t zealously advocating for myself the way I advocate for my clients in filing those reports. And that’s why I wasn’t consistently applying this one tool in my own weight loss efforts this year. So, I have to start taking those skills where I zealously advocate for my clients, and I never miss, I get it done every single time, no matter what, and I have to do the same thing with myself.

Now, if you’re familiar with the work of Gretchen Rubin, what you’re probably hearing in what I’m saying is that she would call me an obliger. I readily meet the expectations of other people, and I have difficulty meeting the expectations that I set for myself. And she would say, “Obligers are kind of powerless to stop this.” It’s in her “Four Tendencies” framework. And that I need to set up some kind of procedure where I can manage my innate tendency, because it’s too difficult to correct it. But I totally disagree with that. What’s going on with me, where I’m advocating for my clients but I’m not advocating for my own goal, is a thought problem. It is not a problem of personality that can’t be changed. And specifically the thought problem is that my clients are very important. But my thought about myself is that my goals about my own physical standards are not as important. And nothing can be further from the truth.

I don’t know that we need to get into saying that I am more important than the clients, because they can both be elevated equally in my mind. There’s plenty of room for me to advocate for my clients at the same time I’m advocating for myself. So, it’s a distinction that we don’t need to make. But I guess if push comes to shove, the priority is me and my health. If I’m not taking care of myself, how can I possibly do my work well for my client? I can’t. It’s gotten to be such a cliché to say that you put on your own oxygen mask first, but clichés exist for a reason. There is truth in them. If you literally can’t breathe, you’re of no use to anyone.

As I’m sitting here tonight, I am feeling an urge to go get chocolate and lemon-covered almonds that we have from Easter out of the pantry. Why? Do I really want these things? No. I’m just feeling like it’s late, I’m tired, I deserve something. All of these are my thoughts. And if instead, I think, “You need to serve your body and do every reasonable thing to reach your goal,” that thought helps me so much. I don’t even want the stuff anymore. So, that’s a skill that I’m really working on: being a zealous advocate to my own body and my own goal, exactly the same way I do for my clients. Helping me a lot. I really encourage you to try putting it to work in your own life if you’re struggling at all.

Zealous Advocates Have a Single Goal–NOT Divided Allegiances

The third component of zealous advocacy that we discussed in our business episode on Tuesday is that zealous advocates have a single goal in business. It’s all about the customer. And we discussed that we get into trouble in business when we have divided allegiances that dilute our attention and cause us to serve less or even engage in disservice. This kind of thing always results in underearning because when you underserve, you underearn.

And the fascinating thing with food is that our allegiances are all over the place. In Rich & Thin™ Workshop, we are growing, I guess I should mention, in case you’re just joining us for this episode, what is Rich & Thin Workshop? It’s a coaching forum in which we apply the principles of getting rich to getting thin, for those of us who are struggling with our weight, but who are good at business and earning money. And we also apply the principles of being thin to getting rich, for those of us who are good at maintaining our weight without dieting, this is Adriane, obviously, and who want to use what they know in that context to level up their earnings.

So, Rich & Thin™ Workshop is growing. It’s more than just me and Adriane now. And yesterday, one of the women in the workshop texted a photo of a mini Twix Bar wrapper to me, and she said, “Uh-oh, look what happened. I didn’t want to eat this, but someone offered it to me, and I didn’t want them to feel bad if I didn’t eat it.” Isn’t this fascinating? She wasn’t saying, “I really wanted to eat this Twix Bar, so I did.” She was saying, “I didn’t want to eat this at all, but I did so someone else wouldn’t feel bad.”

The corollary to business is so profound. I hear exactly the same commentary from my clients who underearn. They say, “This isn’t what I wanted to earn. I wanted to earn more, but I didn’t want other people to feel bad. I didn’t want them to feel resentful of me. I didn’t want them to feel taken advantage of. I didn’t want them to feel worried about money because they were paying me instead of using the money in some other area.” The way we describe not wanting other people to feel bad as our justification for underearning comes in all kinds of different language. Those are just a few examples.

The ways we can describe this are endless, but it all comes down to, we are underearning because we don’t want someone else to feel some kind of negative emotion. And it happens in our eating lives, too. I have eaten so much food I didn’t want under the misplaced desire to be polite, I can’t even tell you. And this is so fascinating because, in business, I tell my clients all the time, “Alienating other people is optional. You can get what you want, and they can still like you. This is the art of charm. If you clean up your thinking and clean up your message, everyone will be happy.” And I know this is true in business. There’s always a third way. And that is why I have enjoyed the success in business that I have enjoyed in my life.

I know this kind of zealous advocacy works in business. And now, on the way to 105 pounds, I’m learning to zealously advocate for my body in exactly the same way. Divided interests, pleasing one person at the expense of achieving my goal and pleasing myself, are not going to help me. I can’t be conflicted in my goal and think that I have to eat food I don’t want to eat. What I have to do is clean up my mind, clean up the message I’m telling myself and that I’m telling other people, and then everyone can still be happy. No one has to feel offended even if I don’t eat the Twix Bar that I don’t want.

So, what I said in our business episode on Tuesday is that if you are underearning, you are not zealously advocating for your client. Underserving is the result, and that always results in underearning. And I’ll say the same thing in our weight-loss episode today. If you are overweight, you are not zealously advocating for your goal. And this is a perfect place to practice zealous advocacy because we often feel so out of control with everything. We feel out of control with what we earn. We think it’s up to someone else. We feel out of control with our bodies, and our food, and what goes into our mouths.

But there’s a lesson in there. If we’re feeling out of control with our food and what goes into our mouths, that necessarily means that we’re not managing our minds. Because if there is one thing in this world you are in control of, it is the food you put in your mouth. And this is one reason that I love thinking about the corollaries between getting the business of your dreams and the body of your dreams. So often we think things are out of our control that are absolutely 100% within our control. I have always known that I am in control of what I earn. I know that you are in control of what you earn, even if you don’t know it yet.

And isn’t it funny that I lost that connection with my food? It’s so amazing to me. And yet, as I’m going through this process this year of taking everything I know about business, and applying it to my weight loss goal, and the body I want to achieve, I can feel things changing for myself in every aspect of my life. I am leveling up my business, and I’m getting so much better with my food at the same time because the skills for doing both are exactly the same. When you manage your mind, manage your emotional life, decide on the result you want to achieve, and zealously advocate for achieving that result, you will enjoy success in all areas of your life.

So, that’s what I have for you this week. Zealous advocacy. Start zealously advocating for your clients, and you will definitely earn more money. And start zealously advocating for yourself and your body goals, and you will definitely achieve those, too. If you do every reasonable thing towards achieving an objective, it is never out of your reach. It’s a done deal that it’s going to happen, and it’s just a matter of time before the goal comes to fruition. That’s how I feel about my weight loss right now. It feels so dialed in. It feels like I’ve ordered something from Amazon. This is an example Brooke Castillo gives often. I’ve ordered something, and it is coming in the mail, and I am just waiting for it to arrive. That’s how I feel about my weight loss goal right now, and it feels fantastic because I have finally started zealously advocating for my own goal.

I hope you are, too. I hope this is helpful for you. If you need that worksheet, I really encourage you to get it. It’s a game-changer. Just text to 44222 the word “wealthyweightloss,” all one word, and you’ll get the worksheet. I want to thank you for being here today because these body episodes are very helpful to me. It’s so helpful to me to take what I know to be true in business, and the skills that I am good at in business, and put that knowledge and those skills to work in getting to my dream weight of 105 pounds. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels. I’m so thrilled to be on this journey. I’m so glad you’re here to share it with me, and I look forward to talking to you next week. Thanks so much for being here.

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