In today’s episode, Erica shares about how to rationalize and set goals with regard to your values and what’s important to you. This kind of understanding will be a powerful shift in your journey So, let’s dive into the interview with Erica Theide.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/169
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- Labeling of things is what often causes the inconsistency (18:22, 20:13)
- Understanding one's worthiness (22:30, 24:16)
- Internal knowing (26:06)
- Benefits from macronutrients (36:12)
- Value exercise (39:42)
- Alignment of values and goals (40:08, 47:15)
- The goal isn’t really the goal (48:53, 51:45)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 169.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:49
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio, I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and I have a very special guest today. One that I'm really excited to share our conversation with you. Because oh man, it's just so good. I told Erika, when we finished recording that I just sometimes come into podcast episodes, and I have an idea of how it's going to go. And then you get into a conversation with somebody and things come out that I didn't even really plan to come out. And I feel like that's how this episode happened. Some of the things that came out in this episode, topics that people need to hear came out in this episode in a way that I wasn't even really planning on. And I know when that happens it's for a reason. Like there's a reason behind it. Somebody who's listening to this, it's going to be an aha moment for them. And maybe that's even you. So this topic is a really, really good one. Also, one thing that I realized after I stopped recording with Erika, so in this episode, we talk about a values exercise. And this is an exercise that I take clients through or took clients through this last round of Macros 101 to help elicit their values with the understanding that the goals that we set are going to, we're going to be more likely to hit and reach those goals, if they align with our values. And if you don't know what your values are, how can you make sure that your goals are aligning with those values?
Amber B 2:18
So I took clients through a values exercise. Now, I don't typically do this inside Macros 101. It's not an exercise that I typically take them through. It is something that I do in beyond Macros 101. Which is our continued coaching program that happens after Macros 101 for those who want to continue their journey. And the reason I do that is because it's a little bit deeper of an exercise. It's like the next step. And in Macros 101, we have lots of steps in Macros 101. And a lot of them are some of those foundational steps, a lot of the first steps, digging deeper into that self-sabotage, and things like that. I always use this analogy of an onion. This journey and this process is like peeling an onion. Where just when you think that you'd like to peel back one layer, there's usually another layer and another layer and we're getting deeper and deeper. And so with Macros 101, it's a lot about peeling off, you know those first one, two, three, and four layers of the onion, and then you recognize that as you continue, there's more, there's deeper stuff that we can get into.
Amber B 3:25
And so typically, I have done the values exercise for beyond. I was on a coaching call. And I was actually coaching Erika, who you're going to hear on the podcast, and we were going through our coaching interaction, and I don't even really remember what she said, or you know, what we talked about during that coaching interaction, but I felt very strongly at the end, that I needed to do the values exercise with this group. And so I told them that on the call, I said, “Hey guys, I have this values of exercise that I typically take, you know, on continuing clients on. I don't usually do it in Macros 101, but I feel really strongly that I should do this value exercise with you guys. I think it would be what I'm hearing in the group and in the coaching calls, I think it would be something that'd be very valuable to a lot of you.” And so that was on. I don't remember what it's like on a Tuesday or Wednesday. And so the next Tuesday, I did a bonus call. And I took the clients through this values exercise, and then come to find out, Erica, who was the person I was talking to who's like the reason that I really felt strongly that I should do the values exercise, was like blown away with the amount of clarity that she got, the understanding that she got about her goals and her values and how they interrelate. And you're going to hear on this podcast episode, all of the realizations that have taken place because of that exercise. And it's just such a full circle moment of recognizing that I absolutely believe that things happen for a reason and I absolutely believe that when we listen to that inner knowing, when we listen to whatever you want to call it, spirit, revelation, you know, the universe, whatever it is, for you, when we listen to that, we're able to move forward and help others. And that's really what happened here. I listened to that prompting that inner knowing. And because of it, there's a big shift for Erica in her journey, and you're going to get to hear all about it on this episode. So let's dive into the interview with Erica Theide.
Amber B 5:33
I am so excited to welcome Erika on the podcast. Erika, Good morning.
Erika Theide 5:37
Amber B 5:39
How are you doing?
Erika Theide 5:40
Amber B 5:41
Oh my gosh, okay, I am really excited to have this conversation. Because I was just telling Erika before we hit record, that we don't talk about this stuff enough. And I feel like her experience that she is going to be sharing with you today is one that many of you are going to be able to relate to. And my hope is that if some of you are kind of in the thick of it of, we'll talk about what it is with Erika, that her experience or the way that she found herself out of it or some of the aha moments that she had that moved her through that will be really beneficial to you.
Amber B 6:14
So Erika, you've joined Macros 101 In September, you've been in our current round. And that's been really really fun to get to coach you a couple times on the coaching calls. And every time we've had a little bit more like breakthrough and it's been really fun to watch you. But before you joined Macros 101, will you just kind of paint us a little picture of where you were at in your journey. Maybe some of the things that you were struggling with, and then what made you say yes to joining Macros 101?
Erika Theide 6:45
Yes. And just before we hit record, I was just telling Amber so I could spend two hours on this. But I think the biggest thing is that when I came to Macros 101, I had this belief that it was not possible for me to be consistent, which is really frustrating. So-
Amber B 7:08
Where do you think it came from? I'm gonna interrupt you already, where do you think it came from?
Erika Theide 7:12
Yeah, I think that kind of factors that figures into this journey and where I came from, which is health and wellness has always been super important to me. And I think the big thing was, I I did feel I looked like I felt I should look. Based on what I was doing and my choices and my behaviors. And I think my health and wellness journey started with a physical goal and aesthetic. And that sort of turned into a lot of other things that led to other things that went beneath that deeper below the surface. What I found was that it started with exercise. Exercise is no problem. So I would work out consistently, I like it, it's something that I've been doing consistently for probably 15 years. It looks different at different times. And sometimes, I'll go some time without exercising, but I always come back to it, because I love it and I enjoy it.
Erika Theide 8:25
But what I found that I really struggled with in this journey was nutrition. And that looked like a lot of different things. I mean, it started with tracking. So I was tracking calories and tracking food, but then found that I got into sort of an unhealthy headspace with that. And tried to do something else. And I found a certain way of eating. So I found this way of Paleo eating, like, “Oh, well, it's whole food” and you kind of eat all these things, and then you're just listening to your body. But I found that I had a hard time listening to my body, that was hard for me.
Erika Theide 9:05
And what started to happen was I started to assign morality to my food choices, right? It was good or bad. I was good or bad, right or wrong, on the wagon off the wagon. And so I found this pattern that was starting to emerge where I was good and then I was not. And that was where I saw the inconsistency really start to emerge and then reemerge and reemerge and reemerge. And you start to lose self-trust when that happens. Like I said, I did some tracking, and then I found this sort of nutritional way of eating, and I dove into it. And I was like, “Well, certainly the answer is to just Paleo harder.” Like just do this, do it better. I'm the problem.
Erika Theide 9:55
If I were consistent, then I would see the results that I wanted to see. And what I found was there was so much of this restriction, of this holding this analogy, that use of holding sand and holding tighter and tighter and tighter and the sand kept falling out. That on and off got more dramatic, more and more black and white. And I got to a point where I was just so sick of restriction. So then I tried Macro Counting. I was like, “Okay, I've done this before, let's try this again, you know, I just need, I just need some more guidelines, I need more parameters. And I need to know how to approach this a little bit better.” So I actually joined a Macro Counting program, and where they give you your Macros, right? It was geared towards CrossFit athletes. And I was like, “Well, I love CrossFit” and, I feel like I want to be like an athlete in a lot of ways. But I found that I was still trying to impose this way of eating within these new guidelines, and I was not, I wasn't doing it. And it was an expensive program. And I went into it, and I said, “Okay, but give this three months. And if you can do this, if you can be consistent, then we can continue to prove it. I proved that you can do this.” So essentially, what I did is I put a timeline on it, which only increased the pressure. So there was just more sand falling off my hands. And so I said “Okay, well, I can't, you know, I have to, I have to step away from this. Because there's so much pressure here, I need to just be able to do this, see if I can do this without this pressure of this date, or this timeline that I need to be on.”
Erika Theide 11:54
And as I was going through it, I'll just mention that I was trying to get coaching as I was going through, like, “Hey, here's where I go, here's where I struggle” but the format of the coaching was not conducive to actually being able to get into things and go into things. I was getting answers or trying this. And it wasn't going below the surface like I wanted it to. So I stepped away. And what actually is really interesting is that the coach sent me because I'd said “Well, I'm getting bored. I need some recipes.” And she sent me to Lily eats and tells awesome. So I went, so it was great. I had still been trying to do this sort of ancestral or Paleo approach to food and was finding that I was way off the rails and was definitely on a macro dieter mindset.
Erika Theide 12:44
So when I went there, it was like, Do you appreciate that? I was like, “This is cool.” And it was just all the foods that I wanted and that I was craving. Just because I had said no for so long. And so I found, what she was describing was that it was effortless. And that she's like, “Well, you know, I do this, and I eat what I want. And I'm seeing the changes that I want.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh” I just want it's the easy like I am just so you know these clenched fists, I'm so tired of this. And so when I was reading her bio, this is what I typically will do kind of like I tried to get in the headspace of like, okay, let's do this. Let's gear up. So I was reading her bio, and she mentioned Biceps after Babies. And I was like, “Huh, what's that? I don't know what that is.” So I was listening to this podcast, to kind of get in the mindset, think about things, take in information. And I ran out. I was all there was no more. So I went on to iTunes and I searched for Macro podcasts because I was like, “Well, maybe this will help me a little bit more to kind of think about this, learn about this, understand it” Because it was still kind of a mystery, right? Somebody was assigning the Macros to me, I was like, “Well, how does this work? And you know, why? Why do I pick this ratio? And how does all this come together?” And your podcast came up. And I said, “Hey, isn't that woman on the block that I found?” And so I started listening to your podcasts. And what you spoke to me was all the stuff that I was really struggling with consistency, you are not the problem, the problem is the program, it's not you, so what's going on, you have to go deeper. And it all really resonated with me and so I came to Macros 101 and I was like, “I'm ready to pull this weed. I'm ready to get these the heck out of here and kind of go deeper.” Initially, it was really interesting, I was like I actually emailed the support email and I don't know if I think I talked to you or if it was somebody else, but I was like, okay, “So how much is this thing?” and you're like, “Well, you know, it can be this amount, but it ranges from this amount.” And I was like, “Okay, I can, you know, I can do that.” And I was like, “I'll save up” Right? I was like, set aside, but like, for months, then I was like, “Okay, I'm doing this.” So I consumed podcasts, I kind of listened to the things I did. I was like, Well, I ran out of my workout program. So I took on Build Your Workouts, which is as a plug, awesome, by the way.
Amber B 15:29
Erika Theide 15:30
And kind of did all this prep work like, “Okay, I'm just gonna track. I'm not gonna, I'm just gonna track this stuff.” Um, just gonna keep going. And so I was like, coming in, “I was like, I'm ready to do this work, and kind of dive into stuff.”
Amber B 15:46
Yeah. And what's funny is that I could tell that. Like, the moment that I got on that coaching call with you, it was very apparent that you were sometimes when I'm coaching, it's a little bit like pulling teeth to like, get people to go a little deeper, and they're very resistant to that they want to stay superficial. They want to stay where they want me to just tell them what to do. And I can tell you are not like that you were like, “No, no, no, like, let's just, let's just go deep. Let's just get to the stuff. I know, there's stuff here, like, I'm ready, like, Bring it on.” And I could sense that from you. So it's funny hearing, I didn't know that about you that you had kind of gone through this process months before. But it was very evident in the way that you just showed up, right? And we're ready to say, “Okay, I'm ready to get this weed out of here, I'm ready to pull.”
Amber B 16:30
One question I have for you as you're sharing your story. There's a very common theme. And I see this often with women. And it is that cycle of I need to stick to this, and then you develop that inconsistency where you don't stick to it. And like you were talking about, we get in that cycle, “Oh, I just need to stick to it, I need to try harder, I need to clench my fist, I need a white knuckle it little more, and if I just had more willpower, and I just had more motivation, then I would be able to do this.” And we get into this cycle. And I think oftentimes, people don't realize what causes that cycle. And what causes that cycle is what you were talking about is that differentiation between this is good, this is bad. This is right, this is wrong, I'm good when I do this way, and I'm bad when I eat this way. That actually is what is causing that symptom. So the inconsistency tends to be a symptom of a different problem, and people try to solve the symptom. So it's like, if you're just trying to solve the symptom, if you have a headache, and you're just trying to solve the headache, and you're masking it with drugs or whatever, if you have a brain tumor, like doesn't matter, if you just tried to mask the symptoms, like the brain tumor is going to be there until you address it. And I liken that to this feeling of, “I just need to try harder, I just need to stick better to it.” And it really the actual problem is that “This is good, this is bad. I'm good when I do this.” Right? That pressure that we put upon ourselves, at what point did you realize that? Was that something that you realized? I guess that's just my question, when did you realize it? When did you have that aha moment that was like, “Oh, okay, so I'm struggling with consistency, but maybe it doesn't really have anything to do with me and any moral failings that I have, but rather this deeper thing that I need to address. I think that there's good food and bad food” And that is actually what's causing that inconsistency.
Erika Theide 18:22
Well, I think, you know, what's interesting is, I think that I knew that there was a deeper issue, or there was a deeper root that was causing me to turn to the bad foods, but it didn't. And I knew, on some level, that food wasn't moral, and that it wasn't, you shouldn't equate, you shouldn't weigh them this way or that way. But again, because of everything I have. I've learned about nutrition and kind of all the deep dives that I've done. I also went and got my nutritional therapy practitioner certificate, because I just wanted to dive in and it was so interesting to me. And I found that as I dove deeper into how food works in the body, that became fact, that became a truth, not a belief. And so I knew. I was like, “I know that there is something, I know inner work as the answer to this, but I don't know.” Like I don't know where I don't think I necessarily made the connection between good or bad. That probably became the connection series connection to good or bad and understanding that I had been labeling foods and by labeling them, I had made them forbidden and therefore rebellion was going to be bigger became more and more apparent, the more I listened to your content, where the there wasn't, it wasn't actually about the nutritional pieces. I had to step away from that nutritional fact and start focusing more on this mental piece. And when I took that out, I started to be like, “Oh, that's maybe a big problem.” That's how I'm approaching things.
Amber B 20:13
Yeah. And I think it's so good that you relate this because you're absolutely right that so many women have distinguished that as a fact of like, “No, no, broccoli is healthy, a cake is not healthy.” Right? Like, and they look at that like that is the truth. That is the truth right there. Not understanding that there's a lot more nuance to that, and whether or not you think that's true or not like that labeling of things is what often causes the inconsistency. And when we can realize that and start to shift that, and that's a, you know, talking about beliefs that people like to hold on to, that's one that I can sometimes have to pry from people like cold, dead hands, it's like, they don't want to let go of that. But recognizing that when you do, and when you start to unravel that a little bit more, you get to a place where you're like, it can really start to shift things for you when you really just can maintain that neutrality with food.
Amber B 21:11
As you came into Macros 101, so one of the first things that we have you do inside of module one is, think about why you're doing this, right? We call it, “figuring out your big why, uncovering your big why.” And understanding that, like if something's important to you, you're going to put time and effort and energy into it. And if we don't really know why this is important to you, or it's not nearly that deep. Sometimes you will struggle with inconsistency, because it's not really that important to you. So that's one of the first things that we do. So what came up for you, as you were doing that exercise?
Erika Theide 21:45
I struggled with this one.
Amber B 21:47
I know, that's why I have the question. Yeah. I remember talking to you about it.
Erika Theide 21:52
Yeah, this was hard for me because I've done this why thing before, right? I've had people try to walk me through it. And I've tried to kind of dive into it before. And I think a combination of like therapy and kind of other things have actually really helped this to come out for me. But for me, what I started with is I thought, “I need to be there for my kids.” Right? Like, I think that's where a lot of us go is that's well first and I think it's because we think well, that's what I should, that's quite the thing for that.
Amber B 22:27
Yeah, it's notable for you other people.
Erika Theide 22:30
Exactly. And so it started out that my kids deserve the best version of me. And I felt like, “Well, that felt good, but it didn't quite get there.” And what I got was that I deserve the best version of me. And that actually has to level so I deserve this because I want it, and me wanting it is enough. But at the same time, if I go into the deeper layer, when I was growing up as a kid, my parents were absolutely amazing. But there were some circumstances where they were not there for me. So there was some substance abuse in my family where I had to grow up pretty quickly. And so as I'm kind of working through things, I realized that I didn't get to be the kid, I had to be the adult. And so when I say I deserve the best version of me, the “I” is me as a kid deserves the best version of me as the adult stepping into the room and saying, “This is how an adult does, the adult is there for you.” That I get to be there for myself in a way that I didn't have when I was growing up. Because then I teach my kids the same I deserve, that “I” model the behavior for that kid version of me. And I model that behavior for my kids. Because when I have this foundation of I'm ready to go, I have you know, I'm there for myself, I'm solid, then everything else falls into place.
Amber B 24:16
That's huge. One thing that I was thinking about as you were describing this, because I feel like and maybe you don't recognize this of what a huge leap you just made in your understanding and your belief about yourself and your worthiness, like understanding of your worthiness that a lot of women have a really hard time making this leap. And so as you were talking about why a lot of women are willing to do it for their kids, the other thing that was coming up for me is that I think a lot of times that has to do with a worthiness issue is that they don't feel worthy themselves but they know their kids are worth it, right? Their kids are worthy, like they do anything for their kids and so by saying, “Hey, I'll do this for my kids” Because on some level, you don't think that you should or can do it for yourself or that you're worthy as you are now. And so I think it's not wrong to do something for your kids, but just having that little bit of self-reflection of like, “Do I feel like I could just do this for myself? Do I feel like I am worthy enough to say, I want that thing?” And it's an okay thing to want, because I want it. Because I'm worthy, like I can want whatever it is that I want. And I don't have to argue with anybody else to justify it to anybody, it doesn't have to be noble, because I want it.” And that's okay. And so I think, you just describing that leap, I don't know, I'm just so curious, because I feel like there's so much more for most people that has to happen in between that, to get to that place where they're like, “No, it's okay that I want it because I want it.” Do you feel like that was something that you had to get to is like, “Yeah, I deserve it. Like, I'm worthy. I am enough. I can just want things that I want.”
Erika Theide 26:06
I wonder if that's why I struggled with the why for so long, because I was looking for what's really interesting is I connected for a long time I connected this dive into wellness, with my business, my practice as a nutritional therapy practitioner of, okay, well, I can go into this, and I can learn more about this because there's a monetary purpose, right? Like, I will use it for my business, I can write it off on my taxes, spending money on this is okay. And there was this justification. And there was this resistance and the struggle that I felt with that because it just didn't, every time I would try to sit with and think about my practice, I would feel physical resistance, like I would recognize it in my body. And so I try to sort of sit there and test the waters a little bit like, well, what if it's this? Nope, that's still there. What if it's this? And so there was this justification. And when I got there eventually I just didn't want to work on anything. I didn't want to work on my practice, I didn't want to help other people. As selfish as this sounds, um going from one kid to two kids was really big. That big one kid was this beautiful, ethereal, like, Oh, it's so look at this child to the number two, I was on a roller coaster. And I wasn't strapped in and you know, my finger. So I didn't fly out of the car. I mean, it was crazy. So I didn't want to take care of anybody else. And so I sat there, and I thought, “Well, what if I just did this for me?” And so when I did this program, I was like,”This is not for business. This is about me, this is the coach, I want to get coached, I want to go and this doesn't have to be about anything else. Other than that, I need this, and I want this.” And when I took that pressure off, that resistance disappeared immediately. So when I tested that, when I sort of put it out there like, okay, body, if I what if I just did it, because I wanted to do it? And then it was like poof. I'm generally pretty good at listening, like my body is pretty good at listening to my body and kind of what it tells me, that was the answer. And so I think that was the connection of like, it's enough. That's just what I want to do. It doesn't have to be for my kids, it doesn't have to be for a business, it doesn't have to be for any sort of monetary purpose or anything, it can just be because I want to and that felt right.
Amber B 28:47
And I think that is like internal knowing. And I think for many of us, like we've covered up that internal knowing. And when I say internal knowing, I just mean like that residents of like you are, you know, you are enough, you are worthy, you are made in God's image, right you are, whatever you want to say you were put here for a purpose. It's like that internal knowing that I think for a lot of our life, our programming thing, people telling us we cover that up. And what I think you did was like, got back to like that internal knowing. And so when you know, think about that, that's why the resistance was gone, because that is a core internal truth. And it gives me tingles, because I feel like so many women really struggled to get to that place. And I think if that's you and if you struggle to get to the place where you feel like, “I could just do things just because I'm important and I am enough and I'm worthy enough to be able to do whatever it is that I desire.” If that feels hard to you, I would just say that it's in you, right? It's not something you have to go out and find, I guess, it's not something external that you need to go and discover out in the world. It's already within you. I think sometimes it's that listening and knowing and allowing yourself to rediscover something that's always been inside of you. You don't have to do anything together.
Amber B 30:08
Yeah. So in addition, we do the why. And then I recently did a values exercise with you guys. And one of the reasons that I do those separately is because different things tend to come up when, it's almost like approaching the same thing, but from two different angles. And sometimes, like going through the why works really well for people, and sometimes the values exercise brings out new things. So I'm curious, what came up for you when we did that? And how did that relate to your why or how was it different or what additional insight did it bring into your journey?
Erika Theide 30:42
It was a game changer. It was so cool. So when I did the values exercise, and I kind of wrote things down about, I had ultimately I think, like seven or eight that I ended up with that I sort of distilled and pulled from the post-it-notes that I was writing on as I was going through the exercise. And what happened was when you said, “You know, put the least important, and sort of set the post it notes on top of each other and you know, the most important ends up on top.” I was sitting there, I was like, “Well, you know, I'd like this to be” But really, when it comes down to it, I'm obviously not doing that. And so what I ended with, were these three values, that and I like context. So I'll just give you context before I answer this question you gave me, but I ended up with these three values of first and in this order family, and then learning and growth, but really just growth, and then health and wellness. And that those two were side by side and together. So my family was my kids and my husband. And it's just especially right now, my focus has gotten so narrow just because that's so that's so demanding, on top of kind of working full time and taking care of myself and everything, that it's my husband and my kids, and then my mom and my dad and my siblings, but it's really those three people. And then growth was this kind of stuff of this, this shows up in my life, I'm always looking for this, I'm always trying to dive deeper into to grow more and learn. It started with how I like to learn, I was like no, no, you know, I don't I don't like reading textbooks. That's not really what I'm into, it's the growth, it's that kind of inner exploration and growth, and then health and wellness. And I define those as health was this physical piece of, feeling like having awesome workouts and being energized and not getting sick very often. And kind of just like physically having the ability to show up in my life when I want to. And then wellness was this mental and emotional aspect of like, my anxiety levels, how I was talking to myself, sort of where my headspace is being present, being optimistic being, you know, flexible, expecting the best, you know, all those pieces, and that those were the top three values that I had in that order.
Erika Theide 33:25
And what I found was my goal, which was this physical aesthetic that we talked about that I you know, so many of us are chasing, was in direct opposition, all of these values. And I went, “Well, that makes a lot of sense.” So I sat down and I took the values and I sat down and I wrote out, “Okay, how does this line up?” And I said that, when I'm hyper focused on, my body composition changes. When I'm hyper focused on, I'm losing body fat, that pulls me away from the present moment. And my family, I'm not with them, makes me cranky, it makes me on edge, I'm agitated, I have less patience. And it's not something I want to teach my kids. I don't want them to have it. I don't want my daughter to do that. And I don't want my son to do that either. And when I thought about growth, and how it lines up with that level, I saw that it made me feel anxious and desperate, and I went to a place of scarcity, not abundance. And I forgot what I knew, I forgot what I had done and what I had learned. And I was turning to other people to give me the answer, which was in total opposition, right? There wasn't that inner knowing. And when I thought about this aspect of health and wellness, what I thought and because of you All the things that I've learned about nutrition, I was like, being skinny, and being healthy are not the same thing. That is not the same at all. And this superficial want, and that's how I was labeling it, that's how I was looking at it internally, was putting me in a really unhealthy mental and emotional state. And so, what I found was, coming back to my why when I think, I deserve the best version of me. And I thought about what is that? What does that mean? What is the best version of me? And I thought, well, that person feels there's a lot of feeling in language, like, you feel I feel really good. I feel great. I feel energized to show up to my family. I feel energized to be there in my day in my workouts. And to say yes, right? To like, be flexible and be spontaneous, and just be here and show up in my life. And so then I thought, Well, does that person have to be skinny?
Amber B 36:09
Which is what I was like, such a good question to ask.
Erika Theide 36:12
Yeah. And I was like, no. Which is disappointing, because right I wanted the answer to be yes. So that it would line up, and that it would be like, I could charge through and power forward. And so when I said no, I was like, “Well, what now? Like, why am I counting Macros? Like What? What? Like, why am I doing any of this?” And so I thought about it. And I was like, “Well, what I've noticed is when I do pay attention to the things that I'm putting in my body, and very specifically, the macronutrient ratios, I feel differently. And I've seen so many benefits, namely with energy, which is so huge in what I'm looking for. Right? I felt my workouts got so much better when I started bouncing macronutrients, and I love that. That's like, that's such a high, right?
Amber B 37:14
Feels like how you want it to feel. Right?
Erika Theide 37:17
Exactly. It feels awesome. And then I know that being able to know that and to know like, “Oh, well, you know, I don't feel really energized today. But if I look back, my protein has been super low.” Like, you know, or like “This ratio is offered, you know, something is off.” And to know that and to be able to recognize the feeling in my body of like, “Okay, I'm tired today. Um, you know, am I it that I'm fighting off the bug? Is it that I'm in my cycle? Or like, is it my food? Like, have I had enough water?” Like just to be able to sort of check in and not be powerless in those situations of just like, “Well, there went my energy again, I've been robbed again. And now I can't show up the way I want to show up.” To have that knowledge, that inner knowledge of, looking inside of me for that is huge. When it comes to growth, right? Like, “Oh, yeah, those answers are in there. That information is inside.” And then, if I'm feeling strong, and I'm eating well, and I'm exercising, and I'm sleeping well, then the foundation of health is supported. Right? And I feel good. And when I'm working on those mental and emotional pieces, that makes me sort of thinking about anxiety and thinking about self-caught, and all those sorts of things make me feel good to like, I feel like I'm in a better mental space. And that balances with that health piece, where if I've got those two, I feel better. And so when I thought about this goal, this aesthetic goal of losing body fat looking like I exercise, right? That makes me feel good. I feel better when my pants start to fit looser. I feel better when I see changes, that makes me feel better. It's not it, but it's only Okay. When I see those physical changes, if they balance with those mental and emotional pieces, and when they start to get out of back, then it doesn't feel good anymore. It feels out of balance.
Amber B 39:42
Yeah, that's really good. I want to dive into one of the reasons that I have raised you to do the values exercise because I think it relates to exactly what you're talking about. And I want to make sure people are able to take this and apply it to their journey. So one of the values we do the values exercise, and when I say values, it's obviously like, what do you value in life? And everybody values different things and we're all unique and the things that we feel like are important.
Amber B 40:08
And when we can get really clear on our values, we can look at, hey, here's my values, and we can look really clearly at, hey, here's my goals, and do they line up. Because if there's a conflict, like Erika was talking about, if there's a conflict between what you value and what your goals are, you will struggle with inconsistency, you will self-sabotage, you will not like you'll feel stuck. And it is simply because there is an alignment with those two things. So what when I tell clients is they say, you know, there's two options, we can either change your goals, or we can figure out is there a connection? And I think that's what you started to do if you started to say, “Is there a connection between this goal that I have set and what my highest values are.” And what you found was that part of your goal may fit with the values, and maybe it but maybe it wasn't the exact goal that you had set, right? It wasn't like getting skinny, but it was the process that you were going through to get skinny did have other side effects that did have other repercussions that did align with the goals. And so when you can spend time figuring that out and seeing, hey, is there an alignment somewhere, that allows you to get into a really good headspace and to get into an alignment with your goals. And when you're in a much more alignment with your goals and your values, It feels easier, it feels like this is something I want to do because I feel more powerful when I go to the gym because I feel better. Like it aligns with that and it becomes something that you want to do rather than something that you feel like you should do. And that's powerful. So-
Erika Theide 41:38
Amber B 41:39
Pressure language, dang it. So if somebody else is sitting in that space, because I think one of the things I really want to highlight about you, Erica, is that I'm really good at asking you good questions. And you're really good at sitting with those, and thinking them through and really diving in into it and not just sticking with that initial answer of like, I love the question, does the best version of myself have to be skinny? That was the question that you started with. What a powerful question to ask yourself. And really, the answer was no, but you didn't just stop there. You like to think deeper about it, think a little bit more about it? Like, what does that mean when I say skinny? What does that mean? How does that fit into my life? Like? What are the feelings that have been created around it? And so you investigated that a little bit more, and you found it was a little bit more nuanced. And no, the best version of you doesn't have to be skinny. But that doesn't mean and this is where I get into my soapbox about people saying, “Well, anytime that you said it, I set aesthetic goal. Like that's just vain, or that's just superficial or like, that's not even that important.” Recognizing that, yes, the goal is the goal. And whatever you can label a goal, vain or superficial, that's fine. That's fine. Do whatever you want to do. But recognize that for a lot of people in working towards that goal, there's a lot more that goes on underneath it. And that, you know, there can be incredible value in that part of the process. And so yes, sometimes I feel like maybe you know, our goals aren't Earth aesthetic goals can feel like, “Oh, they're kind of stupid. It's just like this aesthetic goal, like, I just want to get like a six pack or something like that.” But recognize that they have their place as well, because there's other things that happen underneath it. So we don't have to label the goals as like, that's vain, or that superficial, or that's a dumb goal. I think we can say I want this goal because I desire it. And I recognize that as I do this, it there's other things that I'm learning, there's other aspects that work can fit in and align with my values, because I don't think any, I don't think anybody who goes through the values exercise that I take you guys through lists skinniness as their top value. I've never heard that I've taken 1000s of clients through this, never heard skinniness as the top value, but that doesn't mean that any aesthetic goal that you said isn't aligned with the values, I guess is what I'm trying to get to. Does that resonate with you?
Erika Theide 44:09
Yeah. I think it is that it's deeper. And that there is like-
Amber B 44:13
Well, what is that? What does it mean?
Erika Theide 44:14
What does it mean to be skinny? Or what does that gonna bring you? Or what does that you know? Yeah. And it was another way to get at that and get to the bottom of it.
Amber B 44:26
Yeah. You're my favorite Erika, because whenever I talk or whenever I coach you, you get this very furrowed brow on your face. And when I first started coaching you, I couldn't tell if you were angry at me or not agreeing with what I was saying to you. And I've just realized that's your way of processing, like you're thinking. You're thinking deeply about it and so it's been okay, but I like whenever you get that face. I'm like, “Okay, I've heard myself she's taking it all, she's a deep thinker.”
Erika Theide 45:05
It's all happening up here.
Amber B 45:06
I know. The first time I got the call, I was like, “Did I help her at all? Because I just couldn't tell. I just couldn't tell from her expressions.”
Erika Theide 45:17
Amber B 45:18
But funny. That's awesome. So if somebody else is sitting out there, and they may be sitting at the place of saying, Oh, wait, I'm just kind of realizing that maybe there is a disconnect between my values and the goals that I have set. Like you maybe initially were like, there's this conflict? What would you say to them? Like, how? What did you learn from figuring out a resolve for you? And of course, the way that you resolve this isn't going to be the same for everybody. Right? I think that's the point is like, you have to go through this process of figuring out, but what advice would you give somebody who maybe is finding themselves at that point where they are feeling this conflict?
Erika Theide 46:00
Well, I think what you said to me, because initially, I was feeling like, well, there's this conflict. And that felt super, like I was like, Well, I know it, I can't get at it. Like, I can't figure out what it is. And I think what you said to me was, you've identified there is a conflict. And that in and of itself is very valuable. That's, you know, important that you recognize and that you see that. And then what I think is processing it, so getting it on paper, and not not in your head, but on paper, to actually write it out and get it in front of you. Because if that's the whole thing, right is we can't see what we can't see. And that was a big reason with Macros 101 why I joined was you were going to help me see what I couldn't see. And that's a good way, a good way to kind of start that process and look at things is to get it on paper and in front of you and to just go just to journal and process in a way, writing it out on paper to see what comes out and then read through it. And if this is mine-
Erika Theide 47:10
I'm holding up a piece of paper, and-
Amber B 47:11
I can see it. But it's like a piece of paper, like writing a note full of writing.
Erika Theide 47:15
Full of writing and kept posting notes and all sorts of things. And I just kept asking myself questions. And I saw what came up. And I think I sat with it too. So I did the values exercise over two days. So I came up with the values, and then I stepped away by necessity. This wasn't like a brilliant plan or anything, but that's what happened with life. But um, I stepped away and I let it percolate for a little bit. And then I came back. And I think the journaling and the looking and saying how, what when I look at my values, and I look at my goal, what do I see? And not? And you could ask like, do they align or don't they align? But I think just what do I see? Like, how do they relate and ask yourself that question. And I think it'll jump out to you really quickly. And then it'll become very clear if they're in alignment or not. And then to ask yourself, well, in what ways does this goal serve my values? And if you ask that question, and because I can there are connections to be made there. That can be really insightful too.
Amber B 48:28
Yeah. So if you're comparing, and I don't know the answer to this question. So if it's the same, you can just tell me, but when you come into Macros 101 you set a goal, whatever that goal is. And after this and figuring out like, what really was behind that goal? Is the goal itself different for you now, is there a slight like, I guess I would say, what is your what was your goal then? And what is your goal? Now? What would you say for that answer?
Erika Theide 48:53
Well, so my goal was consistency. And that was like consistency and whatever. Like if I say, I'm going to do something I want to follow through and do it. And initially, I thought that meant that it would be consistency in a cut. And I thought, Okay, well I'm gonna do a 12 week cut. And if I can be consistent, that's plus or minus six grams for carbs and protein, and plus or minus two for fat. And if I can do that, like five days a week, and I like to be very binary and sort of set the goal that way, that would be successful for me. And what I found was I'm in a reverse now. Like, I was back sooner than I thought it was going to be. And what I found as I was kind of looking and thinking like well, you know, consistently I have logged my Macros. I have consistently logged my Macros every day. Even if it's off, even if whatever. I'm tracking the data, I'm consistently looking at the data and consistently measuring during and taking these photos and comparing from week to week to watch this progress, and to look and see what the information is telling me. And even when life gets crazy, or I hit that dip, or that, you know, that valley of disappointment, or when the new shyness wears off, it continues. And that, I was like, I was like that that actually was the hardest thing, right was when I would get to that place of despair of like, “Oh, this isn't working and nothing is happening, I would quit.” And I haven't. I haven't quit, I've stayed, and the consistency is there. And that I'm noticing, I'm noticing that my clothes fit differently, and I'm noticing that my energy levels are different, and that my workouts are different, and that I'm getting stronger, and that progressive overload is such a game changer. And there's all these things where I'm like, I ask the question of like, “Okay, well, what would Amber ever say? Would you trade the results? Like if you could have, you know, being consistent with your macros? versus these things? What would you take? And I would take these, I would totally take these because this feeling, that's what I'm-
Amber B 51:15
That's what you really wanted.
Erika Theide 51:17
Yeah. And that knowing that if I'm in a build, or maintenance or a cut, that what my goals are, understanding how to work within that, and understanding how it impacts how I feel. And that feeling that I'm after that is the goal. And so, it's the consistency wasn't necessarily that much as-
Amber B 51:45
Yes, it's so good that you bring this up, because I find the deeper that we go with most people the goal isn't really the goal. It's what they have come to represent as the goal. And I say this because oftentimes, when we dig into someone's wire, we dig into their values, and you want to lose 20 pounds, it's not really that you want to lose 20 pounds, it's how you think losing 20 pounds is going to be different it makes you feel differently, like you're going to feel more confident, right? It's not really the 20 pounds, it's the confidence that you're really looking at. And so what we do is we set goals and say “I want to lose 20 pounds.” But that's not actually the goal. And we can actually focus on what is the actual goal behind the goal? Then we get there so much faster, because we're not distracted by all of the things that we think would lead us to being skinnier, we think would lead us to having a six pack we actually can focus on. No, this is what it actually represents to me. And I can actually focus on that. And we actually get there a lot faster, like you said, we can actually focus on is it really like the consistency of the Macros? Or is it what that consistency demonstrates to me is that I can do what I say I'm going to do that I have confidence that I feel healthy, that I have enough energy that it's like all the byproducts, like what would happen if we focused on that, and not necessarily what you thought was the goal, initially. And that's the place that I feel like Erika, could've gotten to, and one of the reasons I want you to come on, because I think that is the next level for people in realizing how to set and achieve better goals by recognizing that so often, the goal isn't actually the goal. There's something deeper, and when we can figure out what's deeper, it changes everything for you.
Amber B 53:27
So good. Awesome. Okay, well, you've been amazing. This has been so fun. I really hope that this hits home for people because this process that Erika has gone through is a game changer. And is available for everybody who's listening to this, like, this isn't something that's like, oh, only Erika is the only person in the world has ever been able to like to get to this level of feeling this alignment, it is available for everybody.
Erika Theide 53:52
And I will just say that I feel like I've listened. I've listened to so many podcasts and people are like, “Oh, and I realized that, you know, the fat loss wasn't the goal.” And I'm like, “Yeah, yeah,”
Amber B 54:04
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and the last point that I really want to make because I really want this to hit home is that it is not that fat loss is vain, or fat loss is superficial. And that's the reason it shouldn't be the goal. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that, oftentimes, there's something so much deeper. And when we can focus on the stuff that is so much deeper, we get so much further. So I hate it that it almost has become cool to bash on people who set aesthetic goals. It's almost become cool to be like, “Oh, that is super vain that you want to be a certain size.” Because I think when we do that work to dive deeper to what's underneath it, there is a lot of growth and work that can be done when we recognize what the goal actually is. It's just that we're mislabeling our goals. And there's nothing wrong with that. It gets us started, right there's there's value in getting us started. And then there's the work that can be done to dive a little bit deeper into that.
Erika Theide 55:02
Well, I think that's that's the point there, right is that I that's where my headspace has been so many times I've been on the other side of this. And what I will tell you and I always thought it just wasn't possible for me to make that shift. But I feel like I'm making that shift. And that is the coolest, coolest thing.
Amber B 55:22
Erika Theide 55:23
Amber B 55:24
Well, thank you. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. Erica, I know it's gonna help a lot of people.
Erika Theide 55:29
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 55:32
So good, right? Such an amazing episode, Erica shared some really really helpful information as someone who is in it. Right? Who's in the throes of it right now who is doing this mental gymnastics that I find some of you guys trying to rationalize, setting physical goals with what your values are and what are important to you. And I really hope by bringing Erika on that we open that conversation of recognizing that there is value to all goals. And when we start labeling goals, superficial or vain, we can miss what is underlying it. Right? I said the goal isn't usually the goal for most people. And just understanding that and knowing that and being able to flesh out what is actually the goal, it's such a powerful shift in your journey. So I really hope that you're taking something away from this episode. I hope that it sparks some thoughts for you and that, like Erika said, you can do a little bit of thinking about this a little bit of journaling, about where you fall in this and where what your goals are and how they're supporting the life that you want to live. Because really, that's why we're here like you are creating this life. How do you want to create it? What do you want it to look like? What do you want to accomplish while you're here? And how can you take the steps forward to be able to do that? Thanks for listening to Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm Amber. Now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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