If part of your “getting healthy” journey includes weight loss, it’s REALLY frustrating when the weight won’t budge, or worse, you worked really hard to lose it, only to gain it all back plus some. This was my story for years so I know firsthand how defeating it is when it feels like you’re running into a brick wall over and over again. In today’s episode, I share 5 reasons you’re not losing weight that have NOTHING to do with dieting or exercise.

I dive into:

  • Surprising truths around weight loss even when you’re following the perfect diet
  • How your past might be part of the problem (and how to finally let that sh*t go)
  • One powerful + helpful technique that the diet industry and (even nutritionists) don’t know
  • The BIGGEST missing link that actually worked on my journey to food and body freedom


[00:02:53] Sustainable health habit building.

[00:04:00] Dieting and food rules.

[00:07:56] Psychological restriction and overeating.

[00:09:29] Learning to enjoy French bread.

[00:12:48] Unresolved trauma in the body.

[00:15:10] Emotional eating and habits.

[00:19:00] Support and accountability in healing emotional eating.

[00:21:02] Connecting to your body.

[00:24:16] Body-based practices for healing.

Full Episode Transcript:

Hello. Hello. Hello everybody. Welcome. My name is Audra. This is the hello body freedom revolution. We are going to be talking about the five reasons why you are not losing weight. And if you are here live right now, go ahead and come on in and say hi.

If you are listening to the replay, watching the replay, I would love a hashtag replay and where you are watching this. That would be amazing. Let me know that you are here that this, like what you think about this, what is this information about? So we are t minus four days, three days, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, three days away from my amazing path to food and body freedom challenge.

This is a free five-day challenge. I have put my heart and soul into this challenge to give you the entire path to sustainable health, habit-building, sustainable weight loss. And basically just feeling freaking great in your body. It’s why my company is called Hello Body Freedom. So if you are new to my world, I am Audra.

This is what I do. I’m the founder of Hello Body Freedom. I help women heal the deeper reasons why you struggle with body and weight in the first place. This came after decades of teaching fitness and then getting a degree in kinesiology and then studying nutrition in college and then going to Bowman College to become a nutrition educator, starting a big fitness nutrition company.

And what I’ve noticed is everybody is looking for freedom in the body. What does it feel like to feel good in the body on the regular? And that’s not to say perfection of the body. Most people are not coming to me because they’re seeking ripped abs or trying to look like some supermodel, but what it means to feel good in your body to be at your ideal size, to be eating foods that nourish you and also have a solid positive relationship where you know that you can have cake and not feel guilty, have cookies and not freak out and they turn into a binge, right? Go out to eat for celebrations and not think that you’ve blown it. There is a middle ground where freedom lives and it is not stuck in crazy diet culture where you are Counting everything and OCD about everything.

And it is also not on the other side of that spectrum, which is where rebellion lives, where we just are like F this and F you, I’m just going to eat at the whims of every emotion or whatever I want or whatever I feel like it, that there is a middle ground. And that is what we are going to be going over during this free challenge.

So again, it is the path to freedom challenge. You can go to hellobodyfreedom.com forward slash five-day path. It’s actually 5-day path. So thank you guys for being here. I’m really excited to be doing this. There’s a lot of new people in our Facebook group and I thought this was a great session to have before the challenge.

So this is the Tuesday live. I go live every single Tuesday inside the Facebook group. Super excited about this. And what I will say is that boom, we are going to slay this today with the five reasons you are not losing weight.  And let’s go ahead and dig into these five reasons right away. All right. So the very first thing I want to say about this is what most of us do whenever we’re feeling like, gosh, darn it, my clothes aren’t fitting.

I don’t feel good in my body. I need to go on a diet. I need to start exercising. This is the very first thing that most of us do.  And I think that it’s a viable place to start. It’s where I started. It’s, I own a fitness company, right?

This is a place where we all go to. We’re going I just need to eat cleaner. I need to eat better. I need to exercise more. And here’s the question that I have for you. How has that worked for you so far? For every diet you’ve ever been on, did you lose the weight and keep it off? For every time you joined a gym and you started some major concerted effort, like how did it go?

So I’m asking this question with a lot of heart behind it because what most of us do is we stay on that cycle for a really long time. We think that the answer is I need to lose some weight. So I’m going to join Jenny Craig or I’m going to join Weight Watchers or I’m going to go low carb or I’m going to count every minuscule that goes into my body or I’m going to go keto or I’m going to, whatever the crazy shit that we all do, I did it too for a long time. You know what most of my clients say, just a little side note here when they finally come work with me is that they go, they have a moment and I did too.

So when I hear people say this, I’m like, Oh my God, I totally remember this. Where you wake up in the morning and you don’t know what food rules you’re following. Has anybody experienced that where you’re going, okay, am I low carb today? or am I vegan today? Am I, wait a second. Am I vegetarian today?

Or, Oh no. I can eat high-fat today. That’s right. So I can have all the cheese I want because I’m keto today. Oh wait, but tomorrow, Oh, that’s right. I’m gluten-free. It’s like absolute insanity. What dieting and diet culture has done. And I just want you to know that while Learning how to be in a different relationship with food and we will talk about this during the five-day path to Freedom challenge is a part of the process, right?

Learning how to have this better relationship, but it doesn’t just mean trying, forcing kale salads down your mouth. What it means is how am I in relationship to My own body, my own internal cues. And then with these internal cues as the guide, how am I honoring what those cues mean? Am I honoring them by listening to what I actually need?

Or am I being led by my inner eight-year-old who feels like I should be eating ice cream, breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Just imagine if you have an eight-year-old and they are the one in charge of feeding you for this entire year. How do you think you’re going to feel at the end of a year? If an eight-year-old, I should say an American eight-year-old.

I don’t know about other countries, but I’m just guessing they were in charge. I bet it would be McDonald’s every day. And if it’s not McDonald’s, it would be pizza or it’s the ice cream parlor, right? How would you feel? It would not feel like body freedom. That would be my guess. So deep breath.

We’re going to get into this during the challenge, but right now there are bigger reasons why you are struggling with weight loss. So the very first one, I have them all mapped up right here. So the very first piece is that you are actually still dieting and we just got finished talking about that, which is perfect for this very first piece.

If you are giving yourself hard and fast food rules, what you’re ultimately doing is setting yourself up to break them. So what research has shown and actually screw research, we don’t even have to talk about research. Yeah. You already know how this works. When you decide you’re going to start your diet on Monday, what do you do the weekend before, right?

You might go shopping for the healthy food. You might be really motivated. You might do that, but what else do you do? I might as well go run through the ice cream, shop, or, you know what, I’m going to grab these extra cookies and I’m going to eat them this weekend, so I’m going to finish them before Monday.

What research so shows is that we actually end up overconsuming food when we know we’re about to restrict food. When we know we’re about to have all the food rules of dieting, we end up overeating the stuff that we’re not going to be allowed to have. And then we go into the diet. Maybe we feel a little bit better.

We start, Oh, we clean up some sugar addiction. We feel a little bit more energetic. We’re eating some more vegetables, which will make anybody feel better. And then eventually, because you’ve sworn off these foods that you said, you’re not allowed to eat until you lose the weight or I’m never going to do this again.

I, whatever the thing is you’re saying to yourself, what ends up happening over and over again is you are psychologically restricting. And eventually that psychological restriction turns into this big thing. And the next thing we know we are eating. All of the things that we said we weren’t going to eat.

And so this is a huge piece. If you are still going and following hard and fast diet rules versus learning a more sustainable approach that is learning how to include the foods that you love on a weight loss journey. And that can be challenging because a lot of the foods we love, we’ve put off limits.

We’ve said, no, we’re never allowed to have those foods. And so then when we have them, we can’t fucking figure out how to have a piece of bread. We eat the whole loaf. Like we can’t figure out how to have a cookie. We eat the whole damn box and then we’re so guilty. We have so much emotional stuff around it that we’re like I better hurry up and eat this as fast as I can.

Get it out of there, put it in the garbage as if it never happened, but it happened. And so I’m not saying that it’s the easiest thing. And I really think going on a diet is a very it’s an easy way out. It’s basically you saying, I don’t want to take any responsibility for learning. better behaviors with food.

I just am going to follow this food plan. And the reason why those food plans work are because your calories are drastically cut. They are drastically cut, right? But the reason they stop working are because you are physiologically restricting. It is a massive decrease in calories. Therefore you will pendulum back into overeating.

That is a biological physiological effect of a human body. You cannot get around it. Okay? That’s one reason, and then the other reason is because you’ve restricted certain foods in certain food groups that you have made not allowed, not okay, and so then you end up psychologically restricting, which you also end up overeating in that case as well.

It is a shitshow.  How can I learn how to have and enjoy a slice of French bread, with some butter on it with my meal, instead of feeling like I need eight pieces, right? That is a learning process. But when you learn that, you learn to trust yourself around bread and butter.

And let me tell you, when I finally incorporated some French, like homemade baked, fresh, warm French bread with butter. I was like, how did I deprive myself of this for so long? Oh my God. Or on the other side of that binge on it, right? There is a middle ground, but if you are dieting, you cannot find that middle ground.

All right. That was a tangent. Let’s go to number two. All right. Number two reason why you are not losing weight. And I would say that once my clients really get on the anti-diet wagon, once they go, you know what, I’m really going to practice learning this new relationship with food. It can feel a little wobbly for sure at first, but once they start to really move forward with a bit more consistency and a bit more consistency in that realm.

The number one reason that I see over and over that we are not able to lose weight, which ultimately means we are consuming more energy, we are consuming more food than our body needs, is because we’re eating for a whole lot of other reasons besides physical hunger, right? This is when we are eating because we want it.

We’re eating because it tastes good. We’re eating because I like it. We’re eating because screw you, I’ll eat whatever I want when I want. We’re eating because it’s oh, F it. Who cares? I already fucked up, so I might as well just eat the whole thing anyways, right? It’s called fuck it eating.

We’re eating when we’re lonely. We’re eating when we’re tired. We’re eating when we’re scared. We’re eating when we’re stressed. We’re eating when we’re anxious. We’re eating when we’re lonely. We’re eating when we’re happy. It’s not just negative emotions, right? I was like a really excited happy eater.

How many people Like all of a sudden you get to go out to eat for a, for an event, for a birthday. It’s an out to eat with the family. And then what do we do? It’s like celebration. And then we’re not even connected to our body. We’re just eating and eating. So these are all, what I’m talking about here is emotional eating.

This is when instead of connecting to physical hunger is your main reason to eat and staying connected to the body. We are eating for a million other reasons that are completely disconnected from physical hunger and body cues. But they are very connected to emotional cues, right? And this process takes time.

It is an untangling and we will go really deep into this. So the D the challenge starts on Friday and the advanced trainings. I set it up this way on purpose. It is a five-day challenge and the two advanced trainings. It’s actually one giant training, but I have to break it into two days. We start that was, it’s day two and day three.

So that is going to be on Saturday and Sunday. And that’s on purpose because likely you’ll be able to come live on Saturday and Sunday to really just take notes and just be so present. But we are going to dive into this because it is the number one piece for sure, actually. So emotional eating.

So eating for a million other reasons besides physical hunger, that’s number two. Now, number three. Is the next one that is very connected to number two, which is you are getting triggered in your body by unresolved trauma that lives in the body. So I’m just going to put a shout-out again to the five-day path to freedom challenge.

You can look at it right down here, right? You can go whoop whoop. It’s scrolling at the bottom. Wait. There it is. There it is. It’s scrolling. If you’re listening to this on a podcast, I’m just pointing to the bottom of my video, which is hellobodyfreedom. com forward slash five-day path five dash day dash path.

And I’m giving a shout-out to day three, day two and day three, day two and day three are the most advanced sessions. And these are the biggest reasons why we fall off the wagon, why we self-sabotage, why, when we fall down, we can’t get back up. And it has to do with this connection to our body and getting really triggered in the body.

So emotional eating and having a nervous system dysregulation are often. Okay. And that nervous system dysregulation almost always is unresolved trauma. And so now, not everybody that holds unresolved trauma struggles with their weight and not everybody that struggles with weight has like a huge trauma body.

There’s definitely, exceptions for sure, but for most of the clients I’ve worked with the emotional eating and just the inability to be able to regulate what’s going on in the body, which by the way, that there’s nothing wrong with you. This is what trauma does, right? Whenever we have unresolved trauma and we haven’t worked on being in the body more, being in the body more, practicing these nervous system regulation practices.

So another shout-out for the five-day path to freedom, that’s going to be day two and day three. That’s this coming Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be going live. And if you can’t make it live, you can join the replay, but you can’t get the replays. Okay. So number one, if you were still dieting, research shows over and over again, that’s probably one of the big reasons you might lose some weight, but you will definitely gain it back.

Research also shows with number one, if you’re still dieting that we all would have been better off if we never went on a diet in the first place. So just keep that in mind. There is another way a sustainable weight loss journey does not include cutting out total food groups. It includes learning better healthy skills and healthy habits and letting all foods be okay, right?

That doesn’t mean we eat all the foods all the time. It just means we start to allow that. That’s the very first reason. The second reason has to do with emotional eating and eating for a million other reasons besides physical hunger. That takes time to untangle. Inside of hello body freedom, it is a year-long path.

It is not six months. It is not 90 days. You are saying I’m going to work on this for a year. And that’s on purpose. It’s on purpose because the untangling of emotional eating, think about it. Everything happens in the context of a year, right? Birthdays, holidays. weddings, funerals, happy times, sad times.

So many things happen in the context of a year. And so whenever we’re learning this new relationship with food and we’re untangling these emotional reasons why we use food when we’re not physically hungry. It takes time. It’s just, there’s no magic pill in that regard. And I know everybody hates that, but it is true, right?

The magic pill is number three, which is you’re getting triggered by nervous system and unresolved trauma. I would say that magic pill is working with trauma resolution, which brings me to number four. One of the reasons why You are not losing weight that has nothing to do with diet or exercise is you’re not using body-based practices to heal the nervous system.

So what we do is we go, there must be something wrong with me. Maybe I’ll hire a nutritionist and the nutritionist will tell you this food is good and this food is bad and it simply perpetuates a diet cycle. If you’ve been stuck in diet culture, we go to personal trainers who aren’t maybe trauma-informed and we start working out.

It’s not that working out doesn’t feel good, but maybe it’s. Maybe we hate it. Maybe it’s a modality that we don’t want to do. And that’s what the trainer is telling us we have to do because we have to strength train or something like that. And then we stop doing it, right? What I’m talking about is, then you think there’s something wrong with you, so then you go I must need a therapist, right?

But then therapy, almost all therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. The pioneering research in trauma resolution, which is a body-based trauma resolution it’s, Peter Levine and Kolk, they’ve been pioneering this. And they’re, I guess I know a little bit, ’cause I have a lot of friends who are licensed therapists and my partner’s a licensed therapist and they’re just behind.

Like the slowness of the education system in terms of integrating these like just cutting-edge practices that are body-based, right? It makes sense that like yoga teachers would be talking about using body-based practices to heal the nervous system. So the nervous system heals at the body level.

It doesn’t heal by talking about it or remembering the past or anything like that. It is body based. And if you’re not using these body-based practices to regulate the nervous system it definitely can be a reason why you would be overeating because the nervous system will be frazzled. You don’t know how to regulate it.

And so then what do we do? We use food when our nervous system gets overwhelmed. If you happen to be an emotional eater like I was for 30 years of my life. So those are the big ones. And I’ll tell you, we’re going to go over number two. We’re going to go over number one on day one of the challenge.

We’re going to be going over numbers two, three, and four on days. It’s two and three. So two days, two and three are our advanced trainings. I really hope you can make them. They’ll be on Saturday and Sunday life. And if you happen to be watching the replay and you can still get into the challenge, definitely you still want to go to this link hellobodyfreedom.com forward slash five-day path, and we will get you in don’t even worry about it. And then it is free. It’s a free challenge. But finally, I said, there’s five pieces that we’re working with today. So the number five is that you don’t have the support and accountability necessary to do this deeper work.

Okay. So what I know as somebody who owned a fitness company, who’s a holistic nutrition educator, I was handing out food plans. I was handing out fitness plans. I was keeping people accountable to those fitness and food plans and dah. And it works for a while for sure. But what we’re really looking for here is I want to teach you how to fish.

I don’t just want to hand you a fish. I want to teach you how to fish. And so what we’re really working with is not just accountability and support in a way that is, did you do your thing? It’s more about are we focused on the right things. Are we following a step-by-step path to untangle emotional eating?

Are we following a step-by-step path where that includes connecting to the body? So like inside of Hello Body Freedom, we use the daily feel it to heal it check-in, right? And it’s actually, it takes a little bit of effort at first, but once you get the hang of it, our clients usually, if they really get that support and accountability around it, then it takes about a month where it’s just embodied. They don’t even have to think about it anymore. It just happens right in order for these like embodiment practices, body-based practices to really get them into your psyche and into your mind-body process into your routine.

It really does require support and accountability. And I think about it this way. I think it’s like you’re sitting here trying to do something you’ve never done before. It’s if you were born in middle America and you’ve never traveled and you decided you wanted to learn Chinese and you’ve never seen Chinese writing.

You’ve never really heard the language, and it’s hard. Yeah. Maybe Chinese isn’t the best thing. Cause this work isn’t, once you get the hang of it, it’s actually not that hard. I feel like maybe learning Chinese would be actually incredibly hard now that I think about it. Maybe not the best analogy, but the point I’m making is that once you start to practice it and once you start to do this, you start, Oh, I remember that. Oh, I remember that. Oh, I’ve got this. I’ve got that.  That’s where I want you to get to with these types of practices that will move the needle forward. The kinds of practices where I’m not handing you a fish, I’m teaching you how to fish, right?

I’m teaching you how to go, Oh wait, I can tell that I’m feeling something in my body. What are the steps I have in place to do something about that? And when you have support and accountability in that place, what happens is you can’t unlearn this. You can’t unlearn connecting to your body, right?

Regulating your nervous system. The reason I say that is because your nervous system’s natural state that it wants to be in, which is thriving. Is regulation, is emotional regulation, is the capacity to process feelings, is the capacity to be connected to the body, right? We were never meant to be disconnected from our body, right?

Past trauma, old religion, crazy family shit, crazy culture shit, crazy diet culture. All of these things have literally taught us over time to be completely disconnected, but that is not our natural state. It is not our natural state. And so the more you learn to do this, like instead of just handing you a fish, I’m teaching you how to fish it becomes this innate thing and it feels so right and good because it is in alignment with you just being a human on the planet, right?

We have survival mode. We have stress response. It’s there on purpose when shit hits the fan, right? But when we learn how to process that and move through that and honor it and not judge and not shame, right? And then we bring in these soothing practices to regulate this nervous system back down.

And what happens is whenever you are regulated from a body level, you have a mind-body connection in this case. And it’s thriving. It’s the opposite of surviving. And if you really look at humans over the course of humanity, We’ve actually spent a whole lot more time in thriving, thriving, shit hits a fan, survival mode, stress response, back to thriving, right?

So, I think that this is part of a problem with our modern culture and it just requires us to get a little extra help. Some support and accountability in things that we just weren’t taught. We weren’t taught emotional processing and emotional regulation. Most of us weren’t. If we’re using food to cope, if we’re using other things, same thing, drugs, alcohol, shopping, spending all the things, right?

Anything we’re using to try to make ourselves feel better instead of going in and learning how to regulate will ultimately change the game. I just happen to be an expert on working with food and body.  And going on sustainable weight loss journeys and I’m doing a lot of healing in that way. So very exciting.

Those are the five reasons I will go ahead and recap this right now. So number one, if you are still dieting, my friends. If you are still dieting, we’ve got to stop that shit. That’s one of the reasons you are still really stuck. Number two you are eating for a.

Number three, you’re getting triggered by this unresolved trauma that’s living in your body. So we need to learn how to find it, process it, regulate it, all the good stuff. Number four, you are not using body-based practices. So this happens a lot when people try to go to therapy and they just use cognitive behavioral therapy.

And I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with cognitive behavioral therapy, but body-based practices work really well. specifically at nervous system, unconscious nervous system levels. These are the things that start to get the body back into regulation. And if you don’t have support and accountability in this place when you’ve struggled for, I don’t know, five years, 10 years, decades.

For me, it was decades. It was 30 years of unconscious emotional eating before I finally started to unwind it. Then having support and accountability could be a real big important piece of that. So that is it. I hope this was really helpful for you. I enjoy, love, love doing these Tuesday lives. 

 And I am going to go and let you guys go. If you have any questions, reach out.  Please join the challenge if you’re not already in it. Hellobodyfreedom. com forward slash five-day path. We will go for five days. After the five days, I will have bonus support sessions for another three days.

It’s going to be amazing and I am excited to support you there. And so if you’re not already in there, get on in there. And if you have any questions, reach out, DM me really excited to keep moving forward because hello body freedom is alive. It’s well, it exists. You get to have it. You deserve to have it.

You are worthy of it. And I promise it is worth it. It is worth it to go on this healing journey. What is waiting for you on the other side feels fucking great. All right. Until next time. Bye, everybody.

Important Links