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Ep #62: Interview with Suyin Nichols

I know there are a lot of people out there who listen to the show and are interested in getting one-on-one coaching. Since I no longer offer personal coaching, once a month, I invite coaches to the show to talk about their area of expertise and the services they have to offer.

On this episode of The Life Coach School Podcast, I’m very excited to welcome one of my dear friends and master coaches, Suyin Nichols. She is a weight loss coach and an author of Love Yourself Lighter: How to End Your Weight Struggle by Changing the Way You Think.

Suyin joins us to talk about her unique approach to weight loss and how she takes people through the process of “loving themselves lighter.” Join us for our discussion about what food means to us and why, and what we can do to change our mentality and our relationship with food in a way that serves us. Check it out below…

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • Suyin’s background.
  • Who Love Yourself Lighter is for and what it’s about.
  • The most important tool for losing weight.
  • Why Suyin never talks with her clients about what to eat or not to eat.
  • The importance of having a sense of humor about your weight and your body.
  • How Suyin’s coaching process is laid out.
  • Victim mentality vs. taking responsibility.
  • The importance of going through the process of feeling your feelings.
  • How to figure out what foods are right for your body.
  • Suyin’s “Goodness Gauge” and how it can help you lead a better life.
  • And much more!

Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Life Coach School Podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor Brooke Castillo.

Brooke: Hey everybody, what's up? I'm stoked for you today. I have such a treat. I have one of my longest, bestest friends in the whole world. One of my colleagues, and one of my teachers at the Life Coach School, Suyin Nichols and she's here. She's going to talk to you about her program and how she takes people through the process of loving themselves lighter. That's also the name of her book, which is Love Yourself Lighter: How to End Your Weight Struggle by Changing the Way You Think. Go check out this book. It has such a beautiful cover on it. I love it. It's for sale on Amazon.com. You can look it up by Suyin Nichols.

She's going to take you through in this upcoming interview that you're going to hear with her. She's going to take you through the process and we're going to talk a little bit about how she approaches weight loss, how she thinks about it, what she does with her clients, how her clients respond and the amazing work that she is doing in the world. I am so excited for you to meet Suyin. She's also often at many of the in person trainings that I do, so some of you might already know her. I can not wait to introduce you to her. I can't wait for you to know her and if you're interested in getting some weight loss coaching, checking her out at her website. We give you information and in the show notes about how to get in touch with her. I highly, highly recommend that you work with her. Her work is amazing. I won't make you wait any longer. Here is my interview with Suyin Nichols.

Suyin Nichols, welcome to The Life Coach School podcast. You ready?

Suyin: Thank you. Yes, thank you. I'm so excited to be here. I love your podcast so much. I listen to it all the time. Even though I'm one of your master coaches, I love it so much. There's just so much good wisdom and whether you're a coach or whether you just want to improve your life skills, I think self coaching is the most important life skill anyone will ever learn and I thank you so much for putting your work out there.
Brooke: Thank you. Yes, I totally agree. I love how many different kinds of people listen to the podcast, too. It's definitely not all coaches. It exposes me to a whole new audience of people, which is super fun. Enough about the podcast, let's talk about you. One of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the podcast is so many of the questions I get and so many of the emails I get are about my background in weight loss and in losing weight and using the model to lose weight and using our brains to lose weight.

I know that you focus your niche on the idea of taking care of our bodies and you have a different spin on it in some ways. I knew that what you have to offer would benefit many of the people that listen and I also know that there's a lot of people listening that are interested in getting coaching and so I'm trying to have coaches on the show that offer up their services and talk about what they have to offer. So, that if someone wants to do some wants to do some one on one or some group coaching they have some opportunities since that's not something that I offer through the school anymore. Why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your background and then we'll jump into the work that you do.

Suyin: Awesome. Okay. I am a weight loss coach and I'm also an author. This past January I released my book, my masterpiece, it's called Love Yourself Lighter: How to End Your Weight Struggle by Changing the Way You Think. It's available on paperback on Amazon and there's also a Kindle version. I wrote this book for people who are done with dieting. These people come to the realization that hating themselves healthy is not working but they don't know how to bridge that gap between self loathing and self loving. Unlike dieting where you dive right into restriction and deprivation, in Love Yourself Lighter, it's divided into eight sections where you have a chance to work on your mind before you ever get to work on your body. You come to understand why you're sabotaging yourself and how you can use self-compassion and self-kindness instead of shame and self hate to create the results you want. I help people bridge that gap.

Brooke: Nice, love it. When people ask me all the time they say, "What's the most important thing to eat when I'm trying to lose weight?" or "What's the most important thing for me to cut out when I'm trying to lose weight?" I said, "The most important tool you have, period, whether it's losing weight, or making peace with your body is your brain." Here's the thing that I think is so interesting is, but the first thing I always ask anyone when they say they want to lose weight, I say "Why?" I think a lot of people think the answer is obvious, but it's not. The more I ask that question to more different people, the more different answers I get.

I think that has to be the most revealing question because it reveals how people feel about their bodies and how they want to feel about their body. Most people think that they have to change their body to change how they feel about it. I think instead of focusing on the food, instead of focusing on ... Which is what, if you Google weight loss, that's what it's going to focus on. What to eat, what not to eat. Period, and how much to exercise. That's not working, folks.

Suyin: Right, I mean, no.

Brooke: That solution is not working. All right, so tell us a little bit more about your process and what you do with your clients…

Suyin: Yeah, when people come to work with me they are relived that they are not talking about their weight and their body and the food. We really don't go there. We do use the process of awareness and we use, I call it a self-love journal, it's really just a place where you can collect data and part of that is writing down what you are eating and that kind of thing, but it's not like a diet-y journal. It's really just where you can see what your patterns are and like you said, find out the why.

It's not only why you want to lose weight, but why you're doing what you're doing. What is causing you to take the actions that you're taking and when you do want to change and then you find yourself sabotaging, why are you doing that? I help you find out the “why” so that you can get to the actions that will make changes for you. We work on your brain. My clients find it very refreshing that we're not talking about a tablespoon of this and a half a cup of that and that nonsense. We don't talk about any of that. We don't really talk about your weight very much.

It is, it's nonsense. It's just chatter. It's like let's just get to the real thing which is your brain and how you're thinking. When someone wants to work with me we have a complimentary thirty minute discovery session. We want to make sure we're a good fit as client and coach. I work with clients who they value investing in themselves and into their well being and they're committed to themselves when they sign up to work with me and they have an open mind to new things because we don't do diet-y stuff. We're working on your mind so it's a whole new approach.

I work with people who are fun, and who have a good sense of humor because coaching can include some very deep work, but it does not have to be so serious to be effective. I like to have fun with my clients and help them have a little sense of humor about what they're thinking. It's so easy to be down on yourself when you realize what's going on in your mind. It's like that's not necessary. Let's just have a laugh about it and move on.

Brooke: Yeah. That's kind of an interesting thing, though when you think about it. I think what happens with a lot of people is they get so sick and tired of themselves and of not being able to lose weight and of being mean to themselves, and of the self loathing, that they feel like they seriously need a solution or they're not going to make it. They think that solution has to be some external thing. I think if you get someone that doesn't have a sense of humor about it, I think it's because they've probably gone into the space where physically they feel terrible or they've gotten to the point where the obesity is causing them so they're nonfunctional in their life.

What happens, I think, is that spin becomes even more negative because the solution becomes even more external the more serious it gets and that's where a lot of people turn to surgery, which I'm not saying is good or bad because I've seen it work for a lot of people in a way that's effective but not if you don't look at your mind. I think being able to have a sense of humor, being able to laugh at it, it means that you haven't been so locked into the self-loathing that you can't get your way out of it. I think that's the only time when I think that's the hardest. I remember when I was locked into the emotional eating pattern, I don't think I had a sense of humor at all. Right? I think I just was like, yeah, it's easy for you to laugh because you've already figured this out, but I'm really, really suffering. What would you say to someone that would say that?

Suyin: I think the way that I approach it kind of shows them that they don't have to be serious about it. I try to offer the way that I treat my clients and the way that I help them see what's going on in their mind and have a lightness about it, they can see that that is possible and even just seeing that it's possible can help them shift their mind from being so serious to being like, "Okay, this doesn't have to be so awful." I just try to lead by example, by the way that I treat them. They present a lot of really heavy thoughts, and it's just like, "Okay, this is what's going on in your mind and let's look at this or let's look at that."

Just the way that I show up for my clients. They want to be so down on themselves and I just remind that you even reached out to me is an act of self love and they're shocked. They're like, "Oh my god. I just thought I was desperate." It's like no, deep down you believe in yourself and you love yourself enough to reach out to a coach to help you out and that's where we're going to start. That self-love. It's really beautiful.

Brooke: Yeah. Love it. Okay. Then what happens?

Suyin: When they decide to work with me I have them fill out a pre-coaching questionnaire and I like to call it a treasure map because this is what we will use to explore their minds and get a better understanding of the current mindset that is causing them to sabotage themselves and to hold on to excess weight. It's a pretty long questionnaire. You even say in your podcast like how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: How someone fills out a questionnaire tells me a lot about them. If they're just doing one word answers just to kind of get through it, that tells me a lot more about kind of where their mindset is. Other people, especially if they're really, truly invested in themselves, it's like novels. I love it because I can see all their thoughts on paper and I can just cut and paste and just show them, okay, this is the thought. Like you say, you can hold it in your hand, this is just a thing, this is not who you are. It's great. The treasure map is a wonderful tool to start off with.

In week one, this is where we create a foundation for change. We identify the stories you've been telling yourself that have been keeping you stuck and then you can decide if those are the stories you want to keep telling yourself or not. You also begin to start telling yourself the truth about your habits because with awareness comes change. You will learn how choosing victim mentality leads to weight gain and how taking full responsibility for yourself and your life will lead to success. That's just creating the foundation is week one.

Brooke: Talk more about. For people who maybe won't end up hiring you, let's give them some nuggets that they can take with them. When you say like the victim mentality versus taking full responsibility. I mean, how is that going to really help me lose weight?

Suyin: When you operate from a victim mentality mindset you're blaming outside of yourself. It's like because my husband brought home cookies, that's why I'm eating them. It's like you put the focus outside of yourself and when you do that you don't have any power. You lose your power when you blame. When you take full responsibility, taking full responsibility for your actions and your thoughts and all that, it's not shifting that blame back to yourself, what it is is taking responsibility without self blame. It's taking responsibility like okay, yeah, my husband brought home cookies, but it's my decision to put them in my mouth or not.

Brooke: Right.

Suyin: All that is mindset work. Part of that I get to later, but if you have a charge on the food like, "I shouldn't be eating cookies." That's the first thing you're going to obsess about.

Brooke: Right.

Suyin: If you change your mindset to, "Eventually I can be at peace around cookies." or "I really don't really need those." They can be in the house without you fixating on them.

Brooke: Right. I mean, that's the big thing too. I think when you're in that victim mindset, then you always feel like you have to control everything outside of you, which is so ironic because when you're a victim you feel like you don't have any control so you attempt to control everything. It's very ineffective, right?

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: I do think, I know for me, when I was really struggling with my weight, I just always was feeling sorry for myself. I was always feeling like everything outside of me was causing this problem and poor me, poor me. It was only when I really took responsibility for, okay, I'm the one that ate it. I'm the one that's overeating. I'm the one that's doing this and without blaming myself and hating myself for it, like you were just saying, having some compassion and some understanding for it, that's when I knew that responsibility was going to really help me change. Yeah, that's a huge piece, for sure.

Suyin: Yeah, taking responsibility is like taking your power back. It's empowering.

Brooke: Totally.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: What is next?

Suyin: Week two we set you up for success. When you're holding onto the past or you're being in a hurry to see results and you're expecting your journey to be a perfect straight line, all of that sets you up for failure because it's just too easy to give up too soon with this mindset. We will work on changing this mindset and now with force, but with gentleness. You will learn how to measure your progress beyond the scale, establish your positive why, that why that's going to drive you to keep going and practice setting your intention everyday to keep you motivated during your journey.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: That is week two.

Brooke: Yeah, I mean I think knowing that why is so important. I think that people think it's obvious why they want to lose weight, but I think really understanding it and keeping that in mind is the difference. I talk a lot with my clients about the difference between wanting to try something out and making a decision to do it no matter what and how those decisions feel so differently. I think our willingness to commit to an end result, whether it's losing weight or feeling better about our bodies or whatever, eating in a healthy way, being willing to feel our feelings. I think that knowing that why, having a strong enough why is what makes that possible.

A lot of people are dabbling and not having success and then using that against themselves, and I think that that is the biggest shame of all of it. It's like, if you're going to try something, I think you should commit to it all the way to the end and have a really strong reason for doing it. Love that part.

Suyin: Yeah. Using each day to move you forward. That's how you set the intention everyday. Your choices everyday create your outcome, so use the day to move yourself forward. Yes, use that positive why to drive those actions.

Brooke: Totally.

Suyin: In week three this is a really juicy week because you learn how your brain works when it comes to thoughts and how your beliefs are creating your result. This is where we work on the thought model. You will learn how to use your mind as a tool to create what you want and that is learning the components of the thought model and how it's always working whether you are aware of it or not. Would you agree? I know you would.

Brooke: It is.

Suyin: It is. Two other things that we cover in week three is the why behind your weight. How your habits or the extra weight itself is some how serving you and also feeling your feelings instead of eating them. So, we work on that as well. Feeling that physical vibration in your body that's caused by a thought, it's that ninety second kind of wash through. If you can just sit with that physical vibration in your body instead of numbing yourself out with food, that is like the key to stop the emotional over eating, is being willing to feel that feeling. I think so many people are afraid of actually letting themselves feel because they've been so busy pushing it down with food and other distractions. It's not just food, it's shopping or alcohol or whatever, Facebook.

Brooke: Yup.

Suyin: You can really push it down. I think people are afraid to feel their feelings because they think that they'll just be this emotional mess on the floor. It's really not that dramatic. I think it's the anticipation of what they think it's going to be like when really what it is is just a physical vibration in their body that's, it's just there. It's only like ninety seconds unless you keep reigniting it with more and more thoughts. We learn how to practice that and not do that.

Brooke: No, I mean, I think learning how to feel your feelings. I remember when I first learned how to feel my feelings it was such a revelation, but then I was like, okay, now great. I'm just going to always be feeling terrible all of the time, right? I think teaching and understanding the difference between not only your ability to feel negative emotion and your willingness to do that because that's going to be a huge indicator of whether you're going to overeat or not. A lot of people overeat because they can't tolerate any kind of vibration in their body, but I think that also knowing that it's not always going to be like that. Like, you're the one creating your emotions, what's going on in your brain. I think the promise of knowing that it's not always going to be negative emotion is what really turned it around for me. I think teaching those at the same time.

That's one of the things the model promises to do is like, "Hey, we're going to teach you how to feel, but we're also going to teach you why you feel the way you do so you won't feel hopeless in your negative emotion." A lot of people overeat as a way to distract themselves from that and that's the pattern that people really need to understand. I love that you work them on that, so good.

Suyin: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. We work through that pretty much through the whole eight weeks, but I explain it in week three.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: In week four we work on renewing your relationship with yourself and your body. This is where you begin to build a friendship with yourself. You start to understand how the way that you talk to yourself has an effect on you. I help you shift from that mean self talk to a kind self-talk. This is the week where you begin building up your self-esteem and really getting that it is okay to like yourself. Not only is it okay, but it is an important component to your success because liking yourself and harming yourself can not happen at the same time. The two just do not vibe. Also in week four you will learn how to love the body you live in and by unwinding that media driven perfectionism and you shift your focus from focusing on your weight to focusing on your well being instead.

Brooke: All right, so what are you going to say to the person that says, "I don't want to like this body that I live in because then I'm going to be stuck with it."

Suyin: That's so interesting because I think people are afraid to accept where they are because I they think that they have to stay there. Really acceptance is the beginning of change. It's like when you accept that your choices, your patterns, the habits that you've been performing, practicing, have created the body that you're living in now, it's so empowering because if you were in charge of creating that, you have the same power to create something different when you change your mindset. It's actually a very empowering place to accept where you're at. When you accept it, that's how you can change it.

Brooke: Yeah, but I think it's very difficult because the challenge is why would I accept something that I want to change? Right? If I accept it then I will settle for it, is kind of the push back that I get. What I always offer is, well, hating it certainly hasn't worked. Not accepting it certainly hasn't worked, right? The alternative is to ... I really like the idea of owning your body that you're in. So many people want to reject it thin, and like you said hate it thin, but I think it's when you own it and when you accept it in a really true sense that the need for the hurry. You know what I mean? Like, I got to lose weight. I got to do the quick fix. That's when that ends and that's when permanent change can really happen, too.

That's what I've seen time and time again is if you feel that sense of urgency like I need to lose weight right now. I want to go on some diet that'll help me lose twenty pounds in six minutes, right? That's when you know you're just in a hurry to feel better. This is what's so ironic, right? You're in a hurry to accept your body, when that's available to you right now but you don't want to because there's belief that if you accept it that you'll never change it, which is so logical, right? Totally.

Suyin: Yeah, yeah. I mean, that rejection causes this desperation and that's why you want to go on the next diet, but then we all know that those don't work. Yes, that accepting place, it's like that's where change is born. I know people don't want to think of it that way at first because it's like I don't want to settle, but you're not settling. Accepting is not settling. Accepting is actually owning your power.

Brooke: Right. Right. So important. It's such an important distinction. Awesome. Okay, what's next?

Suyin: Next is week five. This is where you learn how to reinvent your relationship with food. You begin to shift the mindset that chronic dieting sets us up for. You'll learn why you will never want to put yourself on another restrictive diet ever again. You'll learn the tools to end emotional eating. You'll learn how to eliminate food obsession and how to navigate parties and holidays in a peaceful way.

Eating food is meant to be an enjoyable experience and it will be when you change your mindset about it. We're just unwinding that diet mentality mindset about food. That obsessive, that, you know it's like putting a charge on food. The minute you tell yourself you can't have something, it's like that's all you want.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: I help my clients through a process of taking that charge off the food where they can be in it's presence. You can be at a buffet and not freak out. You can be at a party and not ... You tell yourself, "Look, I shouldn't eat anything." Then, it's so funny. You tell yourself you shouldn't eat it, and then that tension builds up and you end up not only eating everything, but you end up eating stuff you don't even like just because it's a reaction to the deprivation. I help my clients unwind that deprivation that dieting sets you up for.

Brooke: Yup. So important.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Most of my clients they want peace around food. They want to be able to not be thinking about it all the time.

Brooke: Yeah.

Suyin: You learn to think about it in a way that fuels you and that supports you, that's different. Of course you're going to be thinking about food. That's a natural part of your everyday, but that obsessive and that deprivation binge cycle we try to just, let's just not eve entertain that. Let's just focus on food as a way to take care of yourself.

Brooke: Right.

Suyin: You're changing your relationship with food.

Brooke: Yeah, and the way you think about it and the way you make, what you make it mean when you eat certain foods or when you don't eat certain foods.

Suyin: Right.

Brooke: I mean, that's so huge. So much of that is unconscious and programmed by how we've been taught to lose weight or taught to be acceptable. It's so tied up with also, this idea that food is there to provide us with pleasure and food is there to provide us with good feelings. Everything that you see around food is that it's supposed to provide you with good feelings. So, whenever we're feeling negative emotion, then we look to the food to provide that for us and if we can't eat it, then how are we going to learn to provide that for ourselves. A lot of people use food as a crutch and they use it as a punishment. I love the idea of kind of separating that out and just letting food and food.

Suyin: Right. I mean, we have these labels of like it's good or bad. This food is good, this food is bad. When you eat it, then you're bad. It's like that's the mindset that diet mentality mindset. We work on unwinding that where food is just food and we change what you make it mean.

Brooke: Yup.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: Love it.

Suyin: In week six you will learn how to let your body lead which I love this part because your body is so wise and it has a built it mechanism that unfortunately we have learned to ignore through chronic dieting. In this week you learn how to get back in touch with your body's communication system and begin to listen for it's cues of hunger and fullness. You will also begin listening to what you're body has to say about the food choices you're making and the food choices that your body would prefer. Your body is super smart.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: Right? Your body's super smart and it knows when it needs certain nutrients. Then, when you begin to see your stomach as sacred space, you can use it as a portal for better health.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think we're so used to looking outside of ourselves to what to eat, but I will tell you what, if you have to find out what to eat from the internet, you are so screwed because you can look up something and it's like, "Don't eat meat." "Eat more meat." "Don't eat fat." "Eat more fat." Everything is so contradictory. Nutritionists versus diet gurus versus all these specialized diets that are out there now.

I mean, you can not, and I think it's actually good that you can no rely on anyone out there to tell you what to eat because certain diets work for certain people because first of all, they work with their bodies and they work with how their body responds to food. I mean, I've had clients that respond really well to a vegetarian diet and I've had other clients that do terribly on a vegetarian diet. How would I be able to know? I wouldn't and they're certainly not going to be able to look on the internet and figure that out. The only answer is listening to your body and noticing is eating that food giving you the result you want in terms of how you feel and how you perform and your weight?

We are not trained to do that. We don't ask our kids, "How does that food feel in your body? Is that a good fit for you?" You know what I mean? Yeah, how do those chicken nuggets feel in your body? How's the macaroni? Is that helping you perform? We don't ever ask those questions. We say, "Does it taste good?" Right? Here, eat this even though it tastes horrible, you need to have these vegetables. Right? We don't really ask our kids to tune into their body. We've talked about this a lot but like my body doesn't respond well to fruit.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: I don't really enjoy eating it and I don't feel good when I eat it and I don't enjoy the taste of it, but yet everyone tells me and all the experts tell me I should eat it and that it's good for me, but it doesn't work for me and my body. I mean, every once and I while I'll have a little bit, but it's just not my thing at all. I think everybody has their thing that isn't their thing and that is their thing and when they're not tuned into their body they have no idea of knowing.

Suyin: What your body wants will also change with the seasons. It will change hormonally. I remember I would eat Greek yogurt like it was going out of style. That was my favorite thing. Then, all of a sudden my body's like, "No. No thanks." I was tired. My face would break out. It's just so interesting. Where at one point it was a great fuel for my body and then another point I couldn't eat it. I also used to eat walnuts and now my mouth burns when I eat walnuts so I just don't eat them. I listen to my body. I'm not going to make myself eat them for their omega threes if my body's saying, "No thanks."

Brooke: Yeah.

Suyin: I choose to let my body lead.

Brooke: Yeah, and I think you can get into a lot of trouble when you start really relying on external studies and what people say foods you should be eating because it seems like one minute they're telling us we need to be eating more of this, and then one minute they're telling us to eat less of that and it's all contradictory, but I really think your body knows.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: If you would listen to your body just as much as you listen to the news. It's really key.

Suyin: I agree. I agree.

Brooke: Yeah.

Suyin: You know when you have those food fads like you can not get enough of spinach salad, or hamburger or whatever it is. Your body maybe needed the iron, or maybe you need to eat sushi everyday for like two weeks and then you cannot touch it for two months.

Brooke: Yup. The other thing that's so interesting is like when you were talking about hunger and when you're hungry and stuff and it's like, oh, you should eat six meals a day, or three meals a day, or whatever. Going and sitting down to have a meal and not being hungry and saying, "Well, I should be hungry. I haven't eaten in this amount of time." and forcing myself to eat anyway even though my body is telling me, "No, I'm good." I think that's a whole other piece of it.

We learn to delegate our wisdom to somebody else. It's like I want somebody else to tell me what to do instead of honoring what's true for us. That's why I love combining the weight loss journey and the food body love journey with really understanding and developing a relationship with ourselves and our own mind because it's all so integrated with each other.

Suyin: Yeah, I agree. When you let your body lead, you let your body decide. Say like you just said, you go out with friends or whatever and everybody's eating but you're really not hungry. A lot of times we override our signal because it's like, "Oh, everybody's eating, I should too." A lot of times it comes down to, I just want to connect with my friends. When I remind my clients when they tell me that it's like, eating is not connecting. Connecting is connecting. You can be with your friends, and you don't have to eat.

Brooke: Right.

Suyin: It's just a matter of changing your mindset about being able to be at the table and just enjoying your friends and not having to eat just to connect with them. Connect with them through your words and your actions.

Brooke: Yeah. Which brings up a whole new layer of self-discovery. That's what I love about the weight loss journey is it really is self development seminar you're going through with yourself and really understanding yourself and trying to do it without judgment. We're so trained to judge ourselves about everything we do or we don't do. We don't realize how harmful all those judgments are over and over and over again. Just being able to observe and understand and listen to ourselves in a new way.

I mean, that's what the weight loss journey did for me. I call it the weight loss journey because I ended up losing a lot of weight, but for some of my clients, they don't really need to lose weight. They just need to find a way to make peace with their body. I mean, I have many clients who are thin who just really struggle with this connection with their body. I don't want anyone listening to think, "Well, I don't have a lot of weight to lose, so this isn't really my problem." It absolutely might be. If you're obsessed with food, and you're thinking about food more than you're thinking about your relationship with yourself, that's definitely an indicator.

Suyin: Yeah, it's not necessarily that you need lose weight, but maybe what you need to do is lose the weight of the weight struggle. All that heaviness in your mind about the weight struggle.

Brooke: Yup. Totally.

Suyin: It's a whole journey about connecting with yourself and self care and that leads to week seven which is it's all about self care. It's about what I call self care, self care is self love through action. Here in this week seven you start making self care priorities by making it a daily practice. We cover things, basic things like nourishment, movement and sleep but we also cover other self care practices like the spiritual nourishment you provide yourself as well as expressing your self care in the way you dress. I mean self care covers more than just what you eat and the way you exercise. Self care is everything.

Brooke: Yeah, absolutely.

Suyin: It's like the media you consume, the people that you spend your time with, how you dress. All of it. It's all self care.

Brooke: Absolutely. Just paying attention to all of that. I mean, I think a lot of times people think, oh, self care is just taking a bath or getting a pedicure once and a while but self care is really just paying attention to your life and to yourself and really looking at everything you do and the intention behind it. Do you like the reasons why you're doing what you do with you life and what you're telling yourself about what you do with your life. Self care is not one of those indulgent things, it's one of those priorities of you having your own attention in terms of being really aware of what's going on for yourself.

I think one of the weight issues that we have, I mean one of the reasons why a lot of us have a weight issue is we're really genuinely just trying to get our own attention. Unfortunately most of us respond to extra weight on our bodies by looking outside of ourselves instead of looking within.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative). The last part of the process, the coaching process with me is week eight and this is where you begin living like you love yourself. That's the title of the last chapter in my book is "Live Like You Love Yourself." We take a good look at your, I call it the goodness gauge and we see where it's set at. Your goodness gauge is like a thermostat in your home. You have this level of how good you will let yourself have it in life. If your goodness gauge is low, we will work on raising it by working on changing your mindset to allow yourself to have more fun, more abundance and more joy. No more putting your life on hold until you lose weight. You will start practicing having fun now.

Brooke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Suyin: What are the things you want to do? We'll write up your desired experience list so you will have a clear direction to go in and as you live your life more joyously you can not help but shine. This is a really good thing because when you stop playing down what's great about you and you let yourself shine, you inspire other people to give themselves the permission to do the same. This world needs more people who are no longer distracting themselves with the side life of the weight struggle. We can use that energy for the work we are meant to be doing in the world and all of us are meant for great things. We have a contribution to make whether it's to a wide audience or locally or just within our own families or our circle of friends. Your contribution matters and makes a difference.

Brooke: Yeah.

Suyin: We explore that in week eight.

Brooke: I've been thinking a lot lately about how much brain energy I have, how much brain space I have and what I use it for. I have twenty-four hours, sleep probably eight of those. So, of the hours, the sixteen, what I have left or whatever, what am I using my brain to do? I think about all of the hours that I spent thinking about calories and what I ate and what I was going to eat and how much I weighed and how much, what sized clothes I wear and all of the stuff that I put on my brain. That doesn't even include the amount of time I spent hating my body and hating myself and being mad at myself and arguing with myself. I would say a significant portion of my brain power was used towards that.

I think people feel like, "Oh, I can't wait to lose this weight because then I won't have to do that anymore." The only way that I've known that the solution is permanent is if you actually start doing that now. Start using your brain energy on something other than obsessing about food, obsessing about your weight and hating yourself. That's what this process really does is it redirects your brain. When your brain is redirected, what I think is so amazing about that is the weight loss isn't immediate and it isn't necessarily fast, but it is almost effortless compared to the struggle and the berating and the beatings that we have experienced as emotional eaters. I think that's truly the magic.

Being able to show up in your life in a way that isn't being, like you said, diluted by this struggle. I mean, because I remember it used to be just everything that was ever going on in my mind was about, especially if I would go out to dinner, what am I eating? What is everyone else eating? How are they not eating that? Are they going to eat that? Oh my gosh, am I going to have to eat more of this? How many calories do I think that is? Have I gained weight? Oh my gosh, and that kind of energy or being so disconnected from myself that I just didn't even care. Right? Finding that balance in between.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: That's amazing. Thank you for sharing that whole process because I think for some people they think if they're going to work with a weight loss coach they're just going to be basically be talking about what food they eat and be getting in trouble if they eat any foods they're not supposed to.

Suyin: Right.

Brooke: It's kind of opposite.

Suyin: No food police here, exactly.

Brooke: Kind of the opposite of what we do. We kind of take you through your brain and let you have a look at how powerful it is and how much it's causing the result in your life and how it really is managing that that's going to make all the difference in everything. Not just in your weight but how you feel about yourself and your body, which is why you want to lose weight in the first place.

Suyin: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: If people want to get in touch with you and they want to find out more, they want to learn more about what you do how would they do that?

Suyin: My website is SuyinNichols.com That's S, as in Sam, U-Y-I-N. Nichols, N-I-C-H-O-L-S.com. There's a little box that they can fill out if they think they want to coach with me. It's on my connect with me page. They can fill that out and I will answer personally. Also, I have a fun Facebook page called Love Yourself Lighter, after my book and it's a nice community where I post a lot of inspirational thoughts and different blogs and things like that that will kind of help you on your journey. Whether you coach with me or not, that's just a fun place to go and there's a lot of good information there. I try to post things that help you build the kind of mindset that will support you in creating the results that you want for yourself. Even if it's just for that, please go there.

Brooke: Awesome, awesome. Okay. If any of you guys are interested in talking more about this you can go to Suyin's website. We'll definitely put it in the show notes, so you can go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/62 and that will give you all the links to Suyin's Facebook page and also to her website so you can find out any information.

Thank you so much, Suyin for coming on and telling us a little bit about the work you do and giving people exposure to what we do as weight loss coaches. What do you call yourself? Do you call yourself a weight loss coach or how would you describe what you do?

Suyin: I do, I call myself a weight loss coach. Yup, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Brooke: Okay, good. I know that a lot of the work that you do is really about not as focused on the scale and the weight loss, but ultimately that's the goal that most of us are looking for. I want to remind everyone that you have to even look beyond that. What is the reason that you want to lose weight? That is ultimately the goal that you want. That's ultimately what you're looking for and the good news is that you don't have to lose weight this minute because most of us can't lose all the weight we want to lose this minute, but you can have that ultimate result you want now. I promise you that. That's the power of your brain.

Thank you so much, again, Suyin. Also, if you have any comments you want to make you can go ahead and go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/61 and if there's anything that you have for me, I'm happy to answer them as well. All right everybody, we will talk to you next week. Thanks again, Suyin. Talk to you soon.

Suyin: You're welcome. Thank you, Brooke.

Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School podcast. It would be incredibly awesome if you would take a moment to write a quick review on iTunes. For any questions, comments or coaching issues you would like to hear on the show, please visit us at www.TheLifeCoachSchool.com

5 Comments

  1. Brooke, love everything about what you offer. So much of it resonates with me. A while back you did a podcast and what it means to feel your feelings. Awesome and so helpful.

    In this podcast you and Suyin talk a lot about acceptance. My question is what does it mean to feel acceptance. How do you know you have “accepted” your body, your weight, etc. How do you know you have achieved acceptance?

  2. Why 8 weeks? Could you choose the course over a shorter period? I prefer the whole program up front then go through with instructor. Possible?

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