Goals and motivation

I know what to do, I'm just not doing it

Go from "I know what to do, I'm just not doing it," to "I'm consistently engaging in healthy habits that align with my values and help me feel my best."

Two women cooking a meal in a kitchen.

Show Notes
Program note: Hey, glad you’re enjoying the podcast! In this episode, you might hear Claire talking about Nutritional Freedom and Foundations. Since we launched the podcast in 2020, we've undergone a makeover to improve the membership experience. For more, listen to our "And we're back! All the updates!" episode.

Claire Siegel: You're listening to the Flourish podcast. I'm your host, Claire Siegel, founder of Flourish. We're on a mission to help women get healthy for good. Join me each week for a new episode that'll help you sustain healthy habits and nourish your body so you can Flourish in life.

When it comes to nutrition, does it feel like you know what to do, you're just not doing it? Or maybe you find yourself stuck in this annoying all or nothing cycle. If it sounds like I'm reading your diary, well, that was my diary for a while too. And it's also the story of the thousands of women I've personally coached.

That's why I created Flourish, the nutrition and body image support app made for women. If you recognize that diets don't work, but "just not dieting" isn't helping you feel your best either, download Flourish today. Your first live session with one of our credentialed nutrition and psychology experts is totally free, no credit card required.

From there, you'll continue your journey with personalized accountability and support so that once you graduate from Flourish, you'll never need another nutrition program again. So head to the show notes and download Flourish for iOS or Android today.

Coming soon!

We are in the process of adding transcripts to our entire back catalogue. New episode transcripts are typically available within 24 hours of the episode release.

Hi, y'all. Welcome back to the Flourish podcast. It is so nice to be back with you. Thanks for listening for the last couple weeks. We had some reposts from years past on the holidays, and I hope those episodes were helpful. We've got one more fresh holiday related episode coming next week. Um,  and today's content is going to be something that I think will really support you during the holidays, but also it's really an evergreen, um, topic.

So I, I'm so pumped for the podcast. We've gotten such good feedback from y'all, um, from members, from non-members. So just know if you ever take a moment to let me know what you think about the podcast, um, whether you love it or you have a suggestion, it really means the, the world to me. Most of the time, all of the time, it's literally just me sitting in my office having a conversation with myself.

Um, so if you're enjoying the podcast, I would love to know and also love to know what you want to hear or how we could improve it because y'all are out here. We get more and more listeners each week and it's just really exciting. So, Thanks for being here. Um, I spent some time this weekend planning the episodes for the rest of December into January.

We're gonna begin in a couple of weeks. Um, a little mini-series. I guess I'm enjoying like the mini-series thing. I don't, I don't know. We'll see if it sticks around or not, but we're gonna do a little mini-series that I'm calling New Year Ready and we're gonna start it early. Um, I already have a list in my phone of the things that I want to do during our, like holiday break, whether it's, you know, stuff like cleaning out our garage and like deep cleaning our couch or, you know, more new year's related stuff like, um, setting my goals and reflecting on the year, and I want to create some of that same spirit of reflection and refreshing before a new year.

Sooner rather than later on this podcast. So, um, stay tuned and definitely subscribe if that is up your alley. It is. It's, it's really one of my favorite times of, of year, um, and I can't wait to journey through it with you, so. Today's topic is one of the most common, what I'll call like self-assessments that I hear when it comes to women's struggles with nutrition and exercise and other health promoting behaviors.

The stuff that we, you know, talk about here on the Flourish podcast. And that self-assessment is a sentence, and the sentence is, I know what to do, I'm just not doing it. So if you've ever said that out loud or just thought it to yourself, then this episode is for you. And I wanna start by just breaking down what those words mean in plain English

Okay, so I know what to do that. I have the knowledge. I'm aware of the facts. I'm clear, and I'm confident in terms of what I should be doing to maintain or improve my health through food, exercise, and other habits. That's the context I hear this sentence in. Okay, so I know what to do. I, I have the knowledge.

I'm aware of the facts. , I know it. I'm just not doing, it usually translates to, I don't have the willpower or self-control required to do the things I should be doing, or I just don't care to do them. Basically, I know the right things to do. I just can't seem to make myself actually  do them, and so then the, the takeaway or next step is usually something like, well, I just need to try harder.

I need to be better. I need more self-control. But what's actually happening here, most of the time, the lived experience of someone who says, I know what to do, I'm just not doing it, is more honestly expressed as well. I think I know some facts about nutrition and health from like my mom, my doctor, the nutritionist I follow on Instagram, that trainer I worked with for three months, and I read this book about smoothies one time.

But come to think of it, a lot of these facts that I know are actually in total conflict with one another, and. That actually really overwhelms and confuses me. So most of the time I end up doing nothing and then I feel really guilty and ashamed about it. Or I pick a path, I decide on something, I go really hard, and then I fall off the wagon.

And once I'm off the wagon, I am like totally off the wagon until I just feel so shitty both physically and emotionally that I get back on rinse and repeat. We all know how that cycle goes. . Now I've mentioned I've been doing some one-on-one coaching inside of Flourish for the last month or two. And what has actually become incredibly clear, or what I've gotten, you know, kind of a powerful reminder of is that most people really don't know what to do in terms of healthy eating or, you know, nutritious eating in the context of a healthy relationship with food.

How's, how's that for nuance, you know? We tend to conflate eating healthier with eating less. We are convinced that our favorite foods are killing us, so we eliminate them entirely.  only to end up binging on them in a way that feels totally uncontrollable. We second guess and mistrust our feelings of hunger.

So we disregard them until we're so ravenous that it's nearly impossible to make intentional food choices. And then when we slip up, once that screw it mentality sets in and we are back off the wagon. And I truly believe this is because we've been socialized to become experts in dieting, not nutrition. Now because I hear this sentence so often, I've spent a lot of time defining kind of a process to help our members go from I know what to do, I'm just not doing it to, I'm consistently engaging in healthy habits that align with my values and help me feel my best.

Now, this is a two step process that at face value is going to maybe seem quite simple, but I've said this before on the podcast, in many cases, simple doesn't necessarily mean easy for a number of reasons. So let's start by just kind of naming the steps and then I'm gonna walk you through the process in each step that we take our members through.

Okay? So the first thing you need to actually do is make sure you're doing the right things for you . Now, this for you piece is really important and I'll dig into again, how we walk our members through this. And just so you know, like correcting behavior can be enough for some people. And for many, it's not . So then the second step is defining an accountability process.

Until those right things for you actually become flexible habits. All right. So let's dig into how you actually make sure that you're doing the right things for you. And again, this is the process that we support our members through and really coach them through. Um, because even within each one of these kind of like bullet points or, or activities, there's dialogue and conversation and stuff kind of bubbles up that we have to, to work through.

Step number one, let's make sure that you're actually doing the right things for you. Okay, so we've gotta start by something I talk about on the podcast a lot. One of the most popular episodes, um, was related to this topic, and that is core values. So we wanna understand what are your core values? What is most important to you in life, and what are your related food or health?

Okay, and this really becomes kind of the, the backboard that we bounce your decisions off of. If, for example, one of your core values is family, and you've been trying to work with a meal plan that doesn't align with the food needs of everyone else in your family, then chances are for that reason alone, it's not really going to be sustainable for.

right? So that's where we have to start to make sure that you're actually doing the right things for you. We wanna have a clear picture of what your core values are and also what you value as it relates to food. Okay. Number two, we need to get an understanding of what your current baseline is with the members that we work with.

We call this kind of like the information gathering phase because we can't start sort of creating solutions before we're really clear on what the, the problems or areas of opportunity are. So when, you know, I'm talking about getting an understanding of your current baseline, I wanna. A handful of things.

I wanna know what are your current food rules and food beliefs and the also the impact of those food rules and beliefs. And the goal isn't to tell you why you're wrong, it's to literally sit on the side of the table with you. Well, not literally because we're doing this all virtually, but to, I guess metaphorically sit next to you at the table and to do an audit of these food rules and food beliefs and take a look at them one at a time.

Ask yourself how, how does this rule, or how does this belief show up in my life? Is it true and is it serving me? And we get rid of the things that aren't serving you, and you get to keep what is. All right. So we've got your core values. We've got kind of a snapshot of what your current food rules and food beliefs are, and also the ones that we are going to work to kind of unle.

For the greatest benefit, we need to explore where you're at with hunger and fullness cues, both your awareness and also your response. Okay, there's, there's a, you would've heard last week in the podcast we talked about interceptive awareness or interception. This two-part process of awareness and then response.

And we need to understand where you're at with both hunger and fullness and why Is it a mindset thing? Is it a function of those food rules and food beliefs, or is it a nutritional challenge? Are you not eating? Are, is your blood sugar not well managed? Okay. Again, , remember when I said simple but not easy?

Right? And maybe even not that simple. Once we actually start to, to break it. . Um, we also do wanna get a snapshot of nutrition quality. So this is also related to hunger and fullness cues and, and like I mentioned already, your blood sugar balance for sure. It is really challenging to eat in a way that that feels good to eat intentionally when your blood sugar's like all over the place.

So we'll definitely take a look at that and think about the areas of opportunity from a nutrition quality perspective. And then the last thing I want to understand, in terms of your current baseline, Your life circumstances? Like who are you cooking for? Are you a, a single girl living in an apartment or are you a mom of three?

How does like your job impact your, your eating? How does your job impact what, when and how you can eat? You know, we work with nurses and teachers who have, you know, serious kind of limitations around those types of. Your food preferences also really matter. I tell our members all the time, like, it's not like I have three meal plans behind my desk and I'm just trying to figure out which one to put them on, or that I'm, you know, here to prescribe everyone Greek yogurt.

If you hate Greek yogurt, great, don't eat it. . We really start with you first. Next up in terms of making sure that you're actually doing the right things for you is. An education component when that makes sense. So educating you on nutrition and in essence, un educating you on dieting and really understanding fact versus fiction on this topic.

And then the, the kind of final thing we do in terms of making sure that you're doing the right things for you is setting a place to start. While we're looking, you know, kind of establishing that baseline, I'm looking for the low hanging fruit. I want you to actually make the least amount of effort for the most benefit.

and that can feel really different for our members who are used to starting every week or every month, or every year with like this total life overhaul, which can feel really sexy and enticing and exciting and never freaking works . So instead, at Flourish we do the thing that we all know we should be doing, and that's making small changes consist.

All right, so we set a place to start based on what is going to, what, what change is going to give you the greatest bang for your buck. All right, so that's, that's all in part one, making sure that you're actually doing the right things for you. Now, once we're certain that you have the right things in mind and that you feel clear and confident, we move into step.

Which is all about accountability. So creating an accountability system to help ensure that you do the things that you should be doing for you, cuz you can know it and still not put it into practice. Right? Many of you may be in that exact place right now. So we've talked about accountability on the podcast before.

Accountability can come in many. First, I like to think about internal versus external. So internal, like the ability to hold yourself accountable and external is something outside of you is holding you responsible. Many of us struggle with internal accountability, okay? And that is nothing to feel ashamed about.

Um, it's not a character. It's just something to recognize as kind of a neutral fact. Then within external accountability, there's different ways of experiencing that, whether it's technological accountability versus human accountability. And then even within human, there's, you know, peer-based accountability, whether you, um, get an accountability partner through like a friend or family member or your partner.

Um, so there's peer-based accountability and then there's also expert account. So getting like a, a third party, um, expert to be the one to help ensure that you're doing the things that you should be doing for you and. Again, we've done a, an episode kind of diving deeper into the concept of accountability and talking about some of the different types and the research to support it.

Um, that episode is called the Best type of Accountability, and one of the things I, I believe I mentioned in that episode is, you know, if there's an area in your life that you value, but you struggle to hold yourself accountable to actually kind of prioritizing or fulfilling it, then it really does make sense to explore.

External forms of accountability. Um, so I have a personal example of this. I think I've mentioned it before on the podcast or certainly on, on social media. I was having a really hard time getting back into strength training after the pandemic. And listen, I've been strength training since college. Um, I have all the equipment.

I joined a gym here in Austin and like still was just not doing it. That was a very true. Experience of I know what to do, I'm just not doing it right. I know the compound lifts. I know how to build an exercise program that I enjoy. I'm not a personal trainer. I know what I like and I know how to do it. I know, I know I have good form all the things, but I just wasn't doing it.

And so, you know what I did? I paid someone, I pay someone currently to make sure that I actually do it. So I signed up for, um, future not sponsored. I, I pay cash. Um, but I think it's an awesome app and you know, you, I got matched with a personal trainer. She designs my workouts, which is great, even though I, I do know what to.

Certainly nice having someone else, um, create the, the workout for me and whether I go or don't go to the gym, my trainer, Alicia knows and it's pretty awesome. I definitely go more now than I did before and it is due to if nothing else, having that external account.  and for whatever reason, I think a lot of us feel like, especially when it comes to food and body image related stuff, that we need to white knuckle through it on our own.

That we just need to work on our willpower, that we just need to work on our self-control. Instead of saying, huh, I noticed that I do struggle to hold myself accountable here. Let me go get some external accountability. All right. So at Flourish in this way, we implement a framework called supportive accountability, which is a phrase originally coined by Dr.

David Moore in a study that'll link below. And the way this kind of manifests and Flourish is that each member, you know, when they sign up, you get matched with a coach who is a credentialed expert in nutrition and or psychology. And then you meet regularly to do all the work I already mentioned in step one.

And from there, you know, as a member, You will meet with your coach to co-create the right next goal, and also define what accountability will be like. You know, usually in the form of some sort of check-in and any kind of requisite support that may come up. Because we all know , that whether we do or don't do a behavior is multifactorial, right?

Sometimes it's just circumstantial like I ran out of time or. , you know, it didn't work out, but a lot of times there are some deeper thoughts and feelings related to that that we need to work through. So accountability at Flourish certainly goes beyond like, check the box, did you eat a healthy breakfast today?

It's also about accountability towards developing new beliefs about the power of small steps. Or towards the development of new, more supportive identities. For example, going from labeling yourself as a emotional eater to describing yourself as someone who's willing to process any emotion that comes her way.

And again, it's offering support and troubleshooting when things aren't going the way that you hoped they would go. So in all my thinking and working with members and conversations I've had with women and reading and research and all the things I've found that the antidote to, I know what to do, I'm just not doing.

Is guidance, accountability, and empathetic support. All right, so I would love to hear from you. Did this episode help you to, you know, better understand your tendency towards this belief about yourself? And if so, is it, is it just that? Is it that you do know what to do, that you do have all the facts and you just struggle to hold yourself accountable to doing?

or is there, is there more there? Is it that you frankly don't know what to do, or you don't know how to make sense of all the conflicting, overwhelming information out there? What's a more honest self-assessment of your challenges to engage consistently in behaviors that you value? Send me a DM on Instagram.

I would love to hear from you again. Next week we're gonna be talking about Food Fear and the holidays, so I can't wait to share that episode with you. And, um, once again, thank you for listening to the Flourish podcast and I will see you next week. Bye y'all.

Claire Siegel:

Thank you so much for joining me for today's episode of the Flourish podcast. If you enjoyed it, please take a second to leave us a five-star review or better yet, share it with a friend. And if you're ready to start your own journey to get healthy for good with accountability from expert coaches and the support of an incredible community, head to the show notes to get started on your Flourish journey.

I'll see you in the next episode.

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Claire Siegel
Co-founder, CEO
Claire Siegel is the founder and CEO of Flourish. Claire has made it her life’s mission to help women create a sustainable approach to their physical and mental well-being.

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