Today’s podcast episode is going to blow your mind. It’s jam-packed with some really great ideas and concepts that will help you think about comparison in a new way. More importantly, it will help you realize what can happen when you let go of comparison. So, let’s dive into today’s “I Did It” episode with Lindsay Hepworth.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/194
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- Beliefs and how we recognize what's a belief, and what's a fact (10:21,12:09, 13:59)
- The value in seeing other people do it (13:59)
- Dog breed Analogy: an analogy for comparison (19:48)
- Consistency (25:36)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies Radio episode number 194.
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 0:47
Hey, hey, hey welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and this podcast episode, it's gonna blow your mind. I am so excited for you to listen, because the topic that I am covering today, I have Lindsay Hepworth on the podcast. It's another episode of the “I Did It” series. And the topic that we cover today is one that is probably going to hit home for so many of you. Because we talk about comparison. And we talk about what that can do in your journey. And more importantly, what can happen when you let go of that comparison. Lindsay has a great story that she'll tell you about an experience that she had with prepping for a shopping trip where she knew that that comparison was going to come up. And I remember this, she brought this question to a coaching call. I remember talking to her about it, I remember her sharing her concerns and going coaching her through that process. But what I didn't get was, I didn't get the follow-up. And oftentimes this happens in coaching where I will help clients, they'll have a breakthrough. It'll be like this “aha” moment and I can see it in their eyes. And then they go and they do things. And I don't always get that feedback of like, “Hey, what happened to you what, you know, what was the ending to that story?” And it was the same thing here with Lindsay. So when she was telling the story, and then she tells how it ended and what that experience was actually like, it was so exciting for me to be able to hear the back end of that story. And you can kind of hear how she's worked through that comparison that just tends to come up, especially when we are looking at people like our sisters, or our best friends or someone on Instagram. I think if you have never compared yourself to anybody else, you're probably not human. That's a very human tendency is a way that our brains work to be able to make sense of the world as we compare things. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that. But oftentimes, those comparisons that we do, don't actually build us up and really actually end up tearing us down. So this topic, such a good one. Lindsay Hepworth. Let's dive into the episode.
Amber B 3:03
Welcome to the podcast. Lindsay, how are you doing?
I'm doing great. Thanks for having me, Amber.
Amber B 3:09
I am so excited about having you because we're gonna talk about one of my favorite things today and that's beliefs. And so I just get excited talking about this, you know, me I love beliefs and, and really learning how they shape us and how they shape our results that we're getting. So I'm kind of getting ahead of myself. Let's start with just a little bit of your background and maybe some of the things that you've struggled with in the past.
Sure. And so I guess a little bit about me, I'm 42, I am a mom, I've got three boys. My oldest is actually 20. And my youngest is eight. So wingspan. Yeah, which we can talk about. That's part of the struggle a little bit. I joined MACROS 101 in September of 2020. And so I was struggling. It was you know, shortly post-COVID, right? And so we were all dealing with food shortages and weird things. And I felt like all of my eating habits kind of changed between that March and September area. And all of a sudden, I was putting on all this weight. And I didn't really understand why. And I always told myself, if I ever start putting on weight, I'm going to figure out a way to change that. But I don't want to go on a diet. I want it to be a lifestyle thing. And this was kind of the first time in my life, I had really noticed that, hey, you know, besides being pregnant and everything, but this was you know, the time like, hey, I really need to do something about this. And so I kind of found you through some other people I follow. And you just your program really spoke to me because it was very much focused on lifestyle. It wasn't like, get rid of this food group, get rid of this activity forever. It was more like hey, you can customize this to yourself and make a change for your life. And so that's kind of where I was when I joined you and I just kind of fell into it and really everything spoke to me the scientific aspects of everything. So it was, that's kind of where I was. And then I was successful in that first deficit that I went in and was able to lose those COVID pounds, I guess that we can say, and so I just kind of kept with you. And that's, that's kind of where I'm at.
Amber B 5:19
Okay, we're gonna get into some of those results. But one of the things that you told me ahead of time you use this word that I hear a lot is this, this feeling of feeling “broken”. And I hear that word, a lot of like, they come to people come to me, and they're like, “I really want to see X, Y, Z result, but part of me feels like it's not possible, part of me feels like my body's broken and it will never be able to get to where I want to go”. And so you use that word as well. So can you tell us what that felt like to you? Or, you know, where did that come from? And then how did you get past that? Like, what did that impact your journey? And what were those next steps that helped you to kind of move past that idea that wasn't gonna work for you?
Sure, you know, and I guess I didn't even realize that I thought it [my body] was broken. But I think, as I recognize those beliefs that I had, I realized I was broken, kind of, I don't know a little bit retroactively. So let me tell you why I thought I was broken. We'll start with that. So, I was born with a few congenital defects. And they're not like outer defects, like no one looking at me with thinking that anything was wrong, but like little things like, I only have half a uterus, hence, a large span of children. Now you understand a little bit more. Yeah. And then going along with that I have like a horseshoe-shaped kidney, I had two extra ribs that were in my neck and just all these weird little things. So I always called it like joking growing up, like, well, I just have an amazing body. Because it's so unique, right? It's so different. And so that's kind of what I went with. And you know, and just kind of made a joke out of it. But really, when it came down to it, it seemed like those things made my body a little bit broken. And it was in trying to fix those things that I felt even more broken. So when I was 18, I had a surgery to remove those extra ribs in my neck. And we did the right one first no problems. And then they did the left side, and the nerve was actually wrapped around the rib. And so when they took it, there was some nerve damage that happened and nerves… As a nurse you know nerves take a long time to grow back. And so I woke up from the surgery worse and having these worse symptoms than I ever had before. And basically, my left hand was a claw. And it was just paralyzed. So I had to go through a lot of rehabilitation, and just a lot of waiting. And there was some muscle atrophy and things like that. And so at that moment, and you know, here I am 18. I was like okay, well, that's all right, I've taken the sign language class in college. Well, it didn't go so well. But luckily, you signed most of your right hand. So it was okay. I couldn’t button my pants, I couldn’t curl my hair… You know, stupid things like that. Like, it's not even you know, you look at other people's disabilities, and they can't really compare, but it was something to me, right? And so I felt broken and felt okay, like, can't ever do a lot of different things.
And then also with that, another anomaly with my uterus, I had all these fertility problems. And so, with my last baby, my eight year old, I had got to the point where I had to do in-vitro fertilization. And you have to take a lot of hormones and have a lot of kind of prep work to make that work for you. And I gained some weight during that time. And but everything I kept telling myself, “this is worth it” because I got this baby at the end. And he is so worth it. Let me tell you, just a blessing and joy. But it was tough, right. And so at that point, I'm like, Well, I've already done all this to my body. So that must be broken so I can never get my hormones to regulate back how they were before because I did all this stuff to my body. And these were all stories I was telling myself, it's not like anyone ever told me, Oh, you know, you have this left-hand paralysis, you're never gonna be able to do this, this. And that you have, you know, all this that you went through in vitro, you're never going to be able to, you know, have a regular body get and then on top of that there was genetics, right. So I, I looked at aunts and grandmas and even my great-grandma was writing my grandfather's personal history this time, and I ran into some pictures of my great-grandma that were cut out, leaving only her head. And my grandpa told me that she cut her body out of these pictures because she was embarrassed about how she looked. And right. And that's my great-grandma. So you know, this is happening in the 1920s, 1930s-40s kind of air time and I never knew her but I thought oh my goodness, this is my genetic. This is my strong Swedish roots. This is what's going to happen to my body. So for me, all those things felt broken. That was something that I couldn't control, I couldn't be in charge of and so that's kind of where I was coming from.
Amber B 9:58
Yeah, so good. Something that you said to me before we hit record was that when you came into MACROS 101, you started recognizing beliefs that you had that you didn't even really know were beliefs. It was like maybe like, I don't really have any beliefs. And then you're like, Oh, crap, actually, I do. So kind of talk to us a little bit about bad experiences. What were some of those things that you realized?
Right. So I came into your program, I think I said, because it was really scientific, it really made a lot of sense to me, I liked all of the data and the putting on that experiment hat. And then you get into all this mindset stuff. And I’m like, “Oh this is too fluffy. I'm fine, I have good self-esteem. This is, you know, that's not me.” But then I took away that this kind of thing isn't for me and said, Okay, maybe there is something here and I need to dive into that. And so, in part of your program, you talked about beliefs and how we recognize what's a belief, and what's a fact. And so part of this body being broken, were some of those beliefs, right? So I thought, well, that's just a fact. My left hand does not have as much muscle as my right hand. Therefore, I cannot lift heavy, that was kind of this belief I had. And I didn't realize it was a belief, it was just… I had the surgery, this is a fact, this is what happened to my body. This is how I was born, this is who I am. But in that exercise that you pulled us through, I realized, what you asked us to do was to if it's a truly in fact, and there's no one else that has been able to do what you're saying you can't do because of that. You obviously put it in a better way. But that was the gist of it. Right. And so I thought, well, let me look at first instance, that belief about my left hand. Is there anyone in the world that can gain muscle and lift heavy and you know, develop that part of their body with left-hand weakness? I thought, well duh, I've seen people that can do it without even using their hands at all.
Amber B 12:06
Well, yeah, no arms even.
No arms even, right?
Amber B 12:09
And so I thought, well, crap. That's a belief I have. That's not a fact. And so at that point, I'm like, Okay, if they can modify that kind of stuff, then I can modify it, too. And so I think I reached out to you on the face of, like, hey, so how do I do this? And you're like, hey, get straps. So I got straps, and I got my barbell, because barbells are a lot better than dumbbells, you know, for doing things. And I got my rack, and suddenly, Amber, I can lift heavy. Relative to me, like, I'm not huge, or great yet, and I go slow. But I'm like, Okay, “that was a belief I have. Okay, what other beliefs do I have?” I think the whole thing with the hormones and the IVF and genetics and thinking I can't really take control, it was really disempowering. And then I recognize “No, that's not necessarily true”. There are people with the same genetics with, you know, my same different uterine phenomenon, same infertility, my same issues with hormones, or even worse issues, that are able to do this kind of stuff and transform their body. And so I can do it too. And all of a sudden, I felt empowered. And that's what you promised, you know, and that's what you kept saying, I kept thinking, “I don't need that I'm empowered to do what I can.” But I did. And, those are the beliefs that really shifted for me. And now, let me say, they're still shifting, I still find myself believing some of those things and thinking, those type of defeatist thoughts like “Oh, I really can't do this, this is why I'm not going up in weight with this particular exercise”, you know, or whatever it might be. But then I have to step back and the fact that I have that tool and tool belt to say, Hey, this is a belief that has been huge for me, and very empowering.
Amber B 13:59
So big. Okay, two things came up for me as you were talking. First is the value of seeing other people do it. Like I love that you went on and said, Hey, is there anybody else who's able to do this. And that is the exact reason like, that we're doing these podcast episodes is because I think there's so much value in seeing other people overcome circumstances or situations or, you know, experiences that maybe you feel like mean that you are able to be successful, your age, your medical conditions, you know, whatever's happened in the past with you. And the more that we can see examples of people who's like, no, like, they can do it, well, maybe I can get some lifting straps, and I can lift heavy as well. It's so valuable. The second thing that I really want to point out is that one of the things that's tricky about beliefs is that they tried to hide is and so the example that you gave was, you know, I have less muscle in my left hand, therefore I can't lift heavy and you look at that and you're like but Amber like that's is really true, like it is true. And what's tricky about it is that part of that is a fact. And then the other part of it is a belief like it is a fact that you have less muscle mass in your left hand. That's a fact, right? That's indisputable. That's what it is. But what's tricky is that we use that word, “therefore”. Therefore, I can't lift heavy. Therefore, this isn't gonna work for me. Therefore, I'll never be able to get strong. They're like, whatever, right? And that it's that second part that's so insidious, that we don't even start to notice. Because we've just adopted it as like, no, no, I have less muscle mass in my hand, I can't lift heavy. And we just accept that it is like, That's the fact. And so what I think is so amazing about what Lindsay is sharing, and I'm hoping as you're listening to this, you're starting to apply it maybe to yourself is starting to question, “are there things that I'm telling myself that I’m just certain like, well, that's just the way it is Amber?” I have hypothyroidism, so it's hard for me to lose weight. Like, that's just the way it is. Could it be that there's that part of that is a belief that like, maybe the fact is you do have hypothyroidism, but then that there's a belief of, therefore, this is what it means? And that's why this work can be so powerful is because those types of things like to hide from us and then when we discover them, like Lindsay's talking about, it really starts to break things open for us.
Yeah. It's huge. It's empowering. It's amazing.
Amber B 16:18
So good. Okay. I remember our coaching call. And we talked about comparison, which is another fun topic that yeah, you know, a lot of people struggle with and we talked about, specifically the comparison that's happening between you and your sister. So will you share that experience from your perspective? And how did it start to shift things for you?
Yeah. So you guys, you know how Amber always says that coaching is her superpower? And that she can like dig deep and help you figure out things that I again, I was always a little bit, “Meh.. I just don't know,”
Amber B 16:54
Just give me the science, Amber. Stop with the other stuff.
Right! I went to the coaching call, thinking I kind of knew what she would answer me. So what happened is I had, so I did a cut that was successful. And then I went through reverse and went through maintenance, which are kind of the different phases that we go through for fat loss and for body transformation, which is kind of what my goal is. And I decided to start a second cut. And I went through that second cut and things didn't go how I expected them to go. And so I would say I “failed”, which we don't like that word. So I go, okay, I'm gonna get on this coaching call and find out what lessons I can learn. So not really find out that it’s a failure. And so I get on the call thinking, Okay, Amber's going to coach me through this, I'm going to figure out these lessons. And I don't even remember exactly how you did it. But somehow you dug deeper, I think we talked about my miracle scale or something, and you got to the heart of one of my problems. And that is a comparison.
And so we talked a little bit about this upcoming shopping trip that I have. So yearly, my sisters, and my mom and I, we go on a shopping trip. And you know, it's kind of like a main big shopping trip for me, they all live next to each other, I don't live by them. And so it's kind of something that I look forward to. But one of the problems was that my sister who I feel like we're very much the same, you know, we have the same genetics, we have children about the same ages, we've gone through a lot of the same things together. She's only two years younger than I am. And I felt like, and she had just gone through a weight loss journey and had lost a bunch of weight. And we used to kind of always be the same size, we're about the same heights, all these kinds of things. And so I thought, Oh, no. And bless her heart, she gets a little bit snotty, when she kind of feels good about herself. We all do that, to some extent, a little bit. And so she kind of likes to point out how good she looks. And so I just felt like I didn't want to be in that dressing room with her. And I knew what would happen is we would all be in the same dressing room, you know, and we're all trying on stuff and giving opinions to each other. And I knew that we would pull the same outfit or the same dress and the same shirt, and we would be standing there on the bull train doing the same thing. And she would be in size, whatever. And I would be in a larger size. And I was really nervous about that. And so Amber started to coach me through this kind of comparison. And what I had mentioned at first is I also have another sister, I have two sisters: one couple years younger than me and one that's five years younger than me. And my sister that's five years younger than me is almost six feet tall. And I'm only you know five foot three, and so I never compare myself to my six-foot-tall sister because we're not the same. There's nothing to compare.
And Amber, you brought up such a great analogy that made me think and changed my whole perspective on this comparison. You're like okay, well, you know, coach me through what can we think about what can we do and we're looking in the mirror and I was like, I don't know, how can we not have this same comparison? And you brought up the dog breed analogy. Do you remember that? And you said, you know, there's different types of dog breeds, and they're all really cute. And they all have different kinds of aspects and different, you know, looks to them. But you don't think that you know, a beagle is any cuter than a Chihuahua, or any cuter than a Greyhound, you know, or whatever it may be. And so, I really took that to heart. And I ponder that, and I had about a month, a month and a half before that shopping trip. And, every time I started to get nervous about that comparison, and something that I knew was going to happen, I just kind of started thinking of the different dog breeds. And that almost made me laugh and kind of, you know, think about that. And so what happened is we went on this shopping trip, and it's like a group of outlets that we go to. And we always start with this very first store, and we get into that store. And of course, there we were in the dressing room. And because we grew up together we have the same tastes right. And so we both had pulled this shirt dress this, you know, kind of, it's like an olive green shirt dress that we were both trying on, and hers was a smaller size than mine. And then when I had my pile she had her pile, and we ended up trying at the same time and there I was in that exact scenario that I was worried about. And all I kept thinking about was the different dog breeds. I love beagles. So I'm a beagle. And she actually had a Boston Terrier Pug mix. And so she's what's called a bug. And so she was a bug. And we both looked good in that dress. And she, you know, it didn't make a difference. I had the size I had on and she had the size that she had on and it looks good on her. And then when I tried on it look good on me. And we were standing looking at the exact same mirror. And I was okay. And it was amazing to me. And that really changed. I'm like, You know what, I am working on my body, I am doing things that you know, I want to change a few different things and she is doing her thing and I'm doing my thing. And it's okay. And even if my body never looks exactly like hers again, or, you know, whatever it might be, that's okay. And I knew that I was alright. And, you know, again, still working on it, still have some issues there. You know, she still brings things up every once in a while, but I just, I'm okay. Like even being connected to her. And you know, because we don't live in the same place. We're not wearing it to the same place or you know, anything like that no one else is comparing us but I was able to step out of that and say, you know, it's not really a comparison. It's Beagles and Boston Terrier Pug mixes.
Amber B 22:42
Oh, I love that. Oh, it's so good. And it's really fun for me, because I didn't hear the follow-up to that story. Like I was there, like with the coaching. And I remember that experience. And I remember talking to you about it, but I don't. A lot of times, I don't get a follow-up on what happened after the fact. So it's so fun for me to be able to hear that experience and that story. And that the thing you were afraid of happening, right? You guys are wearing the same dress in the dressing room at the same time. Like it happened.
Amber B 23:10
It happened, but that you were in such a different place that it wasn't the catastrophe that you were so worried about a month and a half prior.
Yeah. So its mindset shifts. And it's all the floofy stuff. It was me kind of thinking about it and having that mantra and saying it back and forth. And I'm not a mantra person. I'm not a, you know, affirmation person. But it really did help. And I tell you, take the floof!
Amber B 23:35
Take the floof, she said it. You heard it here first.
That floof was helpful.
Amber B 23:42
That's so awesome. That's amazing. Well, this has been awesome. It's been so good. And I know that there are going to be people because that comparison trap, I feel is so sinister, whether it's with a friend or a sister, or someone on the internet, like that comparison trap is so big. So I'm really grateful that you shared that story. And I hope that other people take that same analogy and are able to put their own spin on it and figure out what kind of dog they are and what the other person is. And I wasn't even like you went so far as to be like, I'm a beagle and she's a bug. I’ve never heard that term, by the way. But it’s such a good reminder that everybody can be beautiful. We can all look our own ways and we don't have to fit into the box of anybody else. That's so good. Okay. Last thoughts? Things that you want to make sure that you share before we wrap up.
Okay, Amber, you love analogies.
Amber B 24:37
And it has made me love analogies too and look for a lot of analogies in my life. So a couple different things have spoken to me as you start them. So one that you share is like the stonecutter analogy, right, where you're just kind of hammering away at a stone until eventually it falls apart, and there becomes a place where it eventually breaks. And then you also share the Paper towel analogy where you're ripping up a papertowel but you don't really know. So I would like to add to your analogy library if I may.
Amber B 25:05
Oh, please, please.
All right. So one of my favorite things to do is knit. I'm kind of a grandma at 42. I have really weird grandma habits, but I love to knit. It's one of my favorite things I learned about seven years ago. And I would like to compare knitting to a fitness journey. So when I start on a project… In fact, Amber, you can see me right now. Not everyone else can but I actually made this sweater I’m wearing.
Amber B 25:29
The whole sweater? I was like, a whole look on your body. And I was like, Wait, there's no scarf there. There's no little hat. It's like a gorgeous sweater.
Yeah, it's a cardigan. It's just like a fun house kind of cardigan. But anyway, I actually just finished it the other day. But when I started a project, like this sweater that I'm wearing, and it kind of has a goal, right, so I have this picture, I know what I'm going to make, I have this pattern, I have this plan of what I'm going to do. But then when I started, I cast it on my needles, no one can really tell what I'm doing right there. If I'm sitting in public knitting, people will say, Hey, what are you making? And I can't like to hold it up and say, Well, can you tell it's going to be a sweater? You know, I had shown a picture or kind of let him know. And that's kind of at the beginning of our fitness journey. Like, you know, we have this goal, we have this idea, no one can really tell what we're doing. Maybe we are dealing with it. And so as I'm building a project, I make several goals along the way. And you know, I like hanging knit this many rows tonight. I'm gonna, you know, figure out something, sometimes I even need to learn a new stitch or learn something new. And so I have to look that up and stop for a while and figure that out. Sometimes I even have to knit backward because I made a mistake along the way, you know, or whatever it might be. But the only way that I'm actually going to get to that sweater and finish it is if I don't quit. And that's the biggest thing, you know, that you've talked to is that consistency, and that's the same in knitting stitch after stitch after search. And the only way that it's not going to turn into that sweater or that scarf, or whatever I'm making is if I stop. So inevitably, if you start knitting a sweater, you're going to get a sweater. And inevitably, just like this fitness thing, if I continue with these habits that you've helped me to create, continue to do the floofy stuff, change my beliefs, and really work on those different ideas that you've helped me to, to gain and then continue with the actual habits of the lifting, and the macros and counting and having all of those different tools, then my success is inevitable. My sweater will be made, it's going to show up stitch by stitch. And every single stitch. I like to tell my kids whenever I make them something they have to say, my mom made this. She knitted this with love in every stitch is what I can say. And truthfully, that's kind of what the fitness journey is, is every single habit, every single thing is showing that love for myself and my body and that I matter, just like a sweater. So there you go.
Amber B 28:02
That's amazing. I love it. I love that analogy. That's perfect. It's perfect is the perfect way to wrap up this episode, which has been so good, Lindsay. Thank you so much. Thanks for coming on. Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for sharing your experience and thanks for sharing your analogy.
Well, and thanks for being there for me, Amber, thank you for your program. And if anyone's wondering if they should join, do it. It's worth every penny.
Amber B 28:26
Thank you so much.
Amber B 28:28
I hope that you took a lot away from this episode because it was jam-packed with some really great ideas and concepts and ways to think about comparison in a new way. I hope that you like the analogy that we use, and also the knitting analogy that Lindsay shared that I thought was so creative. I do love me a good analogy. I feel like metaphors and analogies really help us to understand difficult concepts and break them down into something that our brains can comprehend. So love me a good analogy that was a really good one that Lindsay came up with.
Amber B 29:01
If you are not subscribed to the podcast, do it now. When you're subscribed, you'll automatically get every week's download so that you don't miss these people sometimes like I didn't even know that podcast episode came out. Well, if you're a subscriber, you would get it downloaded to your podcast so that it's already queued up and ready for you to listen, we release it every Tuesday. That's usually typically a longer episode where I'm teaching or interviewing somebody and then our Friday episodes are a little bit more bite-sized, always about an experience of somebody who did it. And you get to learn from their story to hear their story and learn from their experience. So go ahead and hit subscribe on whatever podcast platform you're listening on. That wraps up this episode of 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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