The 5 Agreements of Sustainable Weight Loss
Today’s episode is inspired by the book, “The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
This book outlines a personal code of conduct that we should all strive to live by to live a more peaceful, blissful, and fulfilling life.
In today’s episode, Paul shares how this book has transformed his life and how you can frame these teachings through the lens of achieving sustainable weight loss and feeling your best to accelerate your progress.
Plus, he shares his thoughts on a potential fifth agreement we should all honor every day!
If you have not read this book, we cannot recommend it enough. It’s a light, easy, yet, powerful read that will help you reframe your current mode of thinking, revise your priorities, and live a more fulfilled, freeing life. Click here to purchase (we make no money from this).
- Discover just how powerful your self-talk and word choice are when it comes to stepping into the person you desire to be.
- Learn how contagious and poisonous violating one of the four agreements can be when seeking to feel, look, and be your best.
- Gain a better understanding of the simplicity of each agreement and how you can honor it in your daily life, specifically when striving toward your sustainable weight loss goal.
- Enjoy Paul’s pitch for a fifth agreement we should all strive to live by!
Read our “Maintain Your Weight Loss After A Diet” Blueprint
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Hey, 5% Way podcast listeners. Welcome back to another episode of the 5% Way podcast with your host and sustainable weight loss specialist, a resident peanut butter expert and coffee lover, myself, Paul Salter, and the wonderful Micheala Barsotti, each of us being incredibly grateful that you are hanging out with us yet again, and I look forward to whispering sweet nothings about one of my most favorite books of all time into your ear today because the messaging I am going to share with you today is from a simple timeless classic book and every single one of you should absolutely read it. It’s something that I will include in the show notes here and just a simple link to Amazon. We make absolutely zero money on you using that link to purchase it. I really, really, really think that every single person should read this book.
It’s one I’ve read multiple times and I can tell you before I dive into too much detail that more than 10 million copies of this book have been sold, it’s been translated into nearly 50 different languages for a reason. And that book is called the Four Agreements. So I’m going to share with you some exact information about what the Four Agreements is about, but put a very unique spin as I filter each of those agreements through the lens of helping you achieve sustainable weight loss. But before I can do that, let me bring in my wonderful co-host. Micheala, how are you today?
I’m great. Just a couple minutes before we came on, I was looking at the weather because I woke up and it was snowing again this morning and tomorrow and the rest of the week is going to be upwards of 50 so I’m really excited. And while we’re on the note of positives, I want to share something from our community.
Always love to shout them out and kick off the episode that way. But one of our new members, Heather, in our community, she posted a win over the weekend that she had a really busy weekend and that while she wanted to just kind of go home and crash, she made her meal prep a priority because she’s already identified so early in, I mean, she’s a couple weeks in, but she’s just identified the difference that that makes in how productive she is that week and how much success she has. So it’s so cool to see that already from her in such a short amount of time, just always doing something for your future self.
Awareness is a powerful, powerful tool. I mean, when she learned, “Oh, meal prep is a keystone habit of mine. It sets the tone for the week,” she then was able to organize and restructure her time, energy, efforts to make that a priority. One of those simple, not necessarily easy, concepts we really begin educating on from the very beginning in the 5% community. And if you are someone who is truly looking to achieve your sustainable weight loss, you’ve got to take the approach from the inside out because chances are every single one of you listening has plenty of nutrition knowledge to lose the weight and keep it off. But there is a gap, a block, something in the way related to a self-sabotaging behavior, negative self-talk, poor word choice, toxic thoughts, limiting beliefs, counterproductive habits, and you will not achieve the significant, sustainable results you desire externally until you do the deep work internally and keep pulling back yet again another layer of that proverbial onion.
And we would love to be in your corner, guiding you, supporting you, walking you down, holding you every step of the way down a proven path designed to help you reclaim your confidence, control, and inner calm or peace related to making food decisions so that you can competently make those adjustments to sure, lose weight if that is your goal, but ultimately feel, look, and be your best. And the wonderful thing about the 5% community is you come to us for wanting to improve your relationship with food, body image, the scale, dieting, lose some weight, keep it off, but you get so much more. We are really teaching you timeless principles that you can apply to your marriage, your friendships, other relationships that are important to you, apply in your job or career as an employer or an employee to be a better mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, friend, coworker, acquaintance, whatever it may be.
And if you’re truly looking to feel, look, or be your best, the 5% community is absolutely the right place for you. And we would love to cordially invite you to connect on a call with me to learn more about the community and to learn whether it is in fact a perfect fit for you. So I’ll drop the link to learn more and to schedule a call with me in the show notes so you can make that happen today. I can promise you this, your future self will absolutely thank you. Okay. I would like to fanboy really hard over my favorite book today and put a nice spin on it to apply it to you, the listener, who is seeking to either improve your relationship with food or learn to lose weight and keep it off for good.
So, as I mentioned, the title of today’s episode is inspired by the book, the Four Agreements, A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz. And if you have not read this book, like I mentioned, I can’t recommend it enough. And just for you, for those of you in particular who may be on the fence about reading, reading maybe not one of the highest priorities on your list, it is a very light, easy, story-rich styles of reading. It’s a great listen as well. So it’s something that is truly a tool when it comes to helping you live a more fulfilled and freeing life. And as I mentioned, a bazillion copies have been sold and the way I would like to approach talking about the Four Agreements today is I’m going to share all four of them with you. Then I’m going to go through one by one, because at first glance, on the surface, you’re going to hear me read the agreements and you’re going to think, “Duh.” You’re going to think, “Makes sense. That’s simple.”
But hold on. I’m going to ask for your patience today, as I share a little bit more, because there’s going to be information there that when I detail exactly what the author has in mind when he created these four agreements, a couple things are going to really blow your mind and you’re also going to think, “Oh, that’s not exactly how I interpreted that agreement.” So stay tuned till the end because this is incredibly life-changing opportunity for you and I highly encourage you, if you’re not prepared to do else already, you are taking notes. So the four agreements, as the author shares in the book, Mr. Don Miguel Ruiz, are as follows. Number one, be impeccable with your word. Number two, always do or… No, those did not go to order. Sorry. Number one, be impeccable with your word. Number two, don’t take things personally. Number three, don’t make assumptions. They make an ass out of you and me, that’s not in the book. Number four, always do your best.
And I, having digested this book multiple times and being a huge advocate and fan of continuing my own personal growth and self-awareness discovery journey, have added a fifth agreement or code of conduct if you will, that I’ll share with you at the end of today’s episode, that I think you will find quite relatable and powerful. So let’s circle back to that first agreement, be impeccable with your word. And at first glance, like I shared earlier, seems fairly straightforward. Do what you’ll say you’ll do, period. But Mr. Ruiz goes on to expand upon this agreement in a way that, to be honest, caught me by surprise at first and the way he approaches this agreement of be impeccable with your word is he was very intentional with his word choice, impeccable, drawing upon the Latin roots of this word, which break down to mean sin and without.
And he states and believes that sin occurs simply any time you go against yourself, therefore being impeccable with language means to take responsibility for your actions and remain without judgment against yourself and others, taking responsibility for your actions, remaining without judgment against yourself and others, much deeper than you thought after first glance, right? Again, caught me by surprise too. So in a nutshell, what be impeccable with your word really means is to speak with integrity, choose your words carefully, both to yourself and with others before speaking aloud. I mean, how often have you put your foot in your mouth when overstating a goal or a commitment, promising too much and inevitably ending up under-delivering? I know I’ve done it way too many times than I care to admit, including on this podcast where in the past, I would tell you I’ve committed to doing episode a week or two episodes a week, and then after six months I was burnt the fuck out.
I think that’s happened twice to be very honest, but we live and we learn. So the point is that I want to apply rather to any nutrition-related goal in particular but to be honest, any goal is, choose your words, choose your goal wisely. Think patiently, methodically, carefully considering all of the variables you need to give time addressing to set yourself up for success before you firmly commit and share with the world, or in case just the right people that need to hear it, whatever goal it is that you are choosing. So you want to make sure that you’re clear on how you want to feel and you want to make sure you’re clear on what is expected of you, what is necessary to attain this goal and then simply be a man or a woman who is impeccable with his or her word and follow through on exactly what needs to be done to make that goal now a reality. Micheala, I’m curious, how does that particular agreement land with you?
It makes me think about what we always preach on here, in the community, everywhere is the importance of taking baby steps because when you are going to initiate change, a lot of times we go in so hard to the point where we’re not able to actually maintain that. So already we’re just going against our word because it’s not possible. It’s too far of a stretch. So it’s just reminding yourself when you are making that goal, as you said, to make sure that it is realistic and something that when you say it that you can truly commit to it.
Yeah, absolutely. Agreement number two, don’t take things personally, period. I’m going to give you a piece of sage wisdom that’s been passed on for thousands and thousands of years, hurt people hurt people, meaning those who are hurting, in pain emotionally, physically, mentally are those who are more likely to lash out, make negative comments, and provide unnecessary criticism. Hurt people hurt people so you literally cannot afford to invite or entertain any negativity thrown your way by another person. You cannot take what he or she says to you personally. Going back to last week’s episode, when we were collectively shouting out one of our 5 percenters, Kelly who was sharing how she won the weekend, navigating multiple social occasions in which previously she didn’t always do her best because she fell victim to what other people’s comments were about her food decisions or her decisions related to not eating specific foods.
And as she has matured and grown in her relationship with dieting herself and food and whatnot, she is no longer taking things personally. So she was able to crush strong compliance the last week of her diet, despite navigating two potluck dinners with her girlfriends one night and her friends, the other, because she would never take things personally anymore. Not that they kept saying any negative comments, but even if they did, it would not have mattered. And here’s the thing, you literally can’t afford any negative thought whatsoever because just like an embryo, that negative thought is going to take on a living form of its own when it’s nourished with consistent energy and thought and eventually that negativity is going to begin to dominate your beliefs, your actions, your results, and your identity. And I see this a lot and I’m sure Micheala can relate to this as well as many of you listening.
When talking about some of my nutrition or exercise or self-care related habits, I get, maybe from some people, it’s the strange looks or the snide remarks, because what I’m doing is simply different. And it’s a damn shame that this day and age, eating healthier, making healthy decisions is looked down upon. Makes absolutely no sense to me when we look at the overweight and obesity metrics in the United States alone, but that’s a conversation for a different podcast episode. The point is when you choose to put you first, you are in the minority and you have to recognize that. So there are going to be plenty of people who suffer from excuse-itis looking to bring you down, making negative comment, and you can’t take them personally.
Yeah. I couldn’t agree more with this one. I mean, plain and simple, you have to do you. You’re the only one who lives in your body and you are ultimately the only one who lives with the consequences of your choices, whether it’s good or bad. When you’re letting other people influence your decisions or you’re wasting energy on what they think, it’s like you are the only one who oftentimes is negatively impacted by that. So it really just comes down to, as you said, it’s like usually people are unhappy in their own lives and so they can’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, but it really is rooted in jealousy. It’s not something that you are doing wrong. If it feels good to you, if it aligns with your goals and how you want to live your life, keep doing it.
Yeah. I mean, I hear it from people all the time in my Instagram DMs, like, “Oh, I have children. I can’t do this,” or, “I work.” And I’m like, “Yeah. So does Lindsay with four children and two jobs in our community and she still finds, not finds, makes time for herself.” There are people in far worse situations with 10 times more responsibilities on their plate than us who are still getting it done. So there is never a reason to defer to the easy way out and make excuses. If you truly want change, it does take hard work and you can’t take it personally from someone else who is stuck with excuse-itis, trying to bring you down.
Yeah. I often hear, “Live a little,” and I never understand that one because I’m like, “I’m living. I feel fantastic. Can you say the same?” I mean, it’s just so interesting.
It’s like a switch, a paradigm. They’re surviving-
Because they have the couple of highs and then the really hard lows where maybe our highs on the surface level aren’t as glorious because we’re taking care of ourselves and that’s looked down upon or looked strangely at, but we’re fucking thriving.
Yeah. Agreement number three, don’t make assumptions. I find it so funny that we waste such precious time and energy thinking and caring about what others are thinking about us when in reality, those people are doing the exact same thing, worrying about what we’re thinking about them. And it’s such a waste. Our precious time and energy just goes wasted out the wayside because we’re assuming somebody else is thinking about us. And then what ends up happening is when we find out that’s not the case, we breathe this big sigh of relief and we’re like, “Oh, I don’t mean to worry anymore.” And it’s like, “Yeah, you just wasted three weeks of your time worrying.” And this hits home for me, particularly on my nutrition journey. And it’s a tough one to share.
And then I remember early on in my nutrition journey, and this was me making assumptions. I would either come home from college or if I was visiting for the holidays, I would start being asked a lot of questions by my family, my friends, and loved ones about what I was doing related to my food choices or my exercise choices. And they would ask me purely out of loving curiosity, but I just went to the assumption that they were judging me and I would be defensive or short and snappy in my retorts to them. And in hindsight, it was so stupid and silly because they were truly asking out of curiosity.
I mean, here they are, they see their friend or their family member has just gone off and spent six years studying a particular topic, of course, they want to ask more questions. I don’t know why in my right mind I was making assumptions that they were judging me. So as I led with earlier, when we make assumptions, we make an ass out of you and me, make the other person feel bad, then maybe they get defensive, and it creates a tense situation for no reason whatsoever.
Yeah. I think anytime that we step outside of our comfort zone, we’re likely to feel this way. And because we feel uncomfortable in the moment, we think that everybody else is either out to get us or that the situation is just not actually what it is. I always say too, because this makes me think about some of my training clients and being new going into the gym, that creates a setting where you always think people are looking at you or judging you, when in reality I’m like, “Most people don’t care what you’re doing. They’re not looking at you, they’re looking at themselves.” And when you go in with that mindset, it’s just totally different. But that is the reality. I mean, most people don’t care that much about what you’re doing, not as much as you think that they do at least.
And you brought up a great point too that made me think, “Yeah, when we’re undergoing the new change, like we’re stepping outside our comfort zone, it’s a big fight for our ego. So we are a bit more vulnerable, therefore, a bit more sensitive. As we try to step into this new identity, our ego tries to pull us back into our old one. So we are more likely to be on edge, so to speak, if you will.” But if we can really adhere to this third agreement then we can really put ourselves in a situation to win, to succeed, to thrive, if you will. Agreement number four, always do your best. And Ruiz’s is last agreement is basically the result in combination of striving to simply implement the first three agreements and by doing so, that demonstrates that you are always doing your best.
But what is important here is that when it comes to feeling, looking, or being a better version of yourself, you cannot achieve either of those without stepping outside your comfort zone, like we mentioned, where the challenge and the stress, but also the growth, success, and magic occur. And I’ve talked about this in this episode and past episodes. Clearly, it’s an important topic that is connected upon many themes that we chat about here on the 5% Way podcast, but myself included, we’re all very prone to developing excuse-itis when this happens. I just mentioned we’re vulnerable when we’re trying to make change. Our identity is trying to ascend to the next best level. Our ego is like, “No, no, no, not so fast. I’m going to make this harder for you.”
But by striving to live by these agreements, we are better equipped to acknowledge when an excuse may arise and let it fade rather than acting on it, thereby transforming so many positive things about our internal world, our self-talk, our word choice, our thoughts, and our beliefs. And that is an in integral part of the recipe, so to speak, to actually achieving the external results that we all desire. So always doing our best, putting our best foot forward, focusing on what we can control is absolutely a recipe for achieving significant and sustainable results in any aspect of life.
Yeah. I got this email this morning. I’m subscribed to them weekly, they are mindset emails. And in this one, she was saying how the researchers from the University of Arizona stated in a recent research article that when you’re learning a new skill, you should expect your efforts to result in error about 15% of the time. And of course, this is an average and differs person to person. But I thought that the data was cool to know because it reminds you of having the expectation that failure is part of the process and that everything’s not going to go a hundred percent smoothly all the time. So when you know that, expectation upfront is already set and you’re kinder to yourself with your self-talk and beliefs and habits, et cetera.
Absolutely. And yeah, you’re not going to have control over your rate of failure per se, like in that study. I would probably estimate it’s probably higher, at least for me, when I would learn-
New skills, but agreement number five, my bonus agreement, if you will, ties in so nicely to that. And the agreement I would add is remember that you’re always in control of your effort and attitude. And I think that’s really important to remind everybody about, myself included, because there’s always going to be an incredible amount of things that we cannot control in our lives, especially when we are trying to lose weight and that scale is bouncing up and down in every which way and wasting time, energy on what we cannot control, it’s just simply foolish. We can always control the amount of effort we put forth and our attitude about a situation, quickly reframing what might initially be viewed as a negative or a challenge into a positive, into an opportunity for growth. And that is a mindset, an agreement if you will, that will serve all of us for the better, in so many ways over and over again.
Yeah. Write this one down, put a sticky note on your desk, put it as your screen saver, whatever you need to do to remind yourself that this is so powerful when you understand that you are in control of your effort and your attitude.
Bingo. So to recap and wrap this episode up nicely with a bow, the four agreements are as follows, be impeccable with your word. Don’t take things personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. And the fifth one I added, always remember you are in control of your effort and attitude. And a link to get that book, like I mentioned, we make no money off of you purchasing that book whatsoever, can be found in the show notes. I cannot recommend it enough. Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen, for listening to this episode. I hope you found tremendous value in it. I hope you’ll take an action step and start applying what you learned, specifically buying that book.
And if you did find it valuable, go share it with a friend. Heck, buy a copy of the book for a friend who you also think would benefit from these teaching and these timeless principles. And if you have not done so already, we would greatly appreciate if you took just 30 seconds to leave an honest, genuine rating and written review on Apple podcast or wherever you listen to your podcast as that helps us grow the show and put it in front of the right people so we can continue to help with your journey of weight loss. Thank you again for listening. Have the most wonderful rest of your day and we’ll catch you in the next week’s episode.
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