Randy Spelling is a life coach and founder of wellness company Being in Flow, through which he works with clients around the country, doing workshops, classes, and one-on-one coaching (learn more here). Yesterday, I shared seven invaluable lessons I learned from his book, “Unlimiting You,” but what I didn’t mention is that Randy is also a friend. I last saw him a couple weeks ago, when I was in Portland, where I had dinner with him and his adorable daughter.
You may know Randy Spelling, too. He’s part of a famous Hollywood family – his dad, Aaron, was the most prolific television producer in history; his sister, Tori, is a household name. Randy also starred in a few TV shows before embarking on this new calling, including three years on soap opera Sunset Beach, during which his character endured love triangles, an earthquake, tsunami, serial killer, and being date raped – although the show called it a ‘love potion.’
I didn’t know Randy during that part of his life. I met him two years ago, a few years after he relocated to Portland with his family. He’s my friend Tavi’s brother-in-law. And he’s a super nice, friendly, down-to-earth guy.
I asked Randy if I could interview him for this blog, and he happily agreed. He even took time out of his vacation to answer these questions! I found his responses to be insightful and helpful (which didn’t surprise me in the least) – and I think you will too! Enjoy!
Me: In your experience, what are the most common limiting factors you see in people trying to lose weight or improve their health, and what’s one step someone can take to start the unlimiting process?
Randy: There can be many limiting factors. Some common ones are the belief that it isn’t possible, it’s too much work, too hard, etc. Underneath that, lies the deeper emotional level of why that person may not believe it is possible, something from their past—a limited (or even negative) way of viewing themselves and what they deserve, what they are capable of and what they can have for themselves.
A huge, and I don’t say that lightly, huge step is to become aware of what one feeds themselves. Food is secondary to the thoughts and beliefs that we feed ourselves 50,000 – 70,000 times per day.
Heavy people can feel overwhelmed about the prospect of losing weight, especially when there’s 100 or more pounds they want to lose. I certainly felt that way a number of years ago. What advice would you give someone who is overwhelmed or paralyzed by the sheer size of the change they want to make?
Climbing Mt. Everest will always be daunting. Especially with the unconscious thoughts and beliefs I just mentioned that literally keep people reaffirming the limitations of the past. My suggestion would be to break the “big picture” down into digestible chunks. Setting smaller goals—perhaps for the month or even by the week. It can even be broken down into days. You know the old saying, “One day at a time.” This holds so much validity because looking too much into the future can cause anxiety and seem very overwhelming. Looking at the day ahead is doable. If someone can make the changes they want to make for one day, they can do it for one week…one month…
You write in your book about ‘dangling carrots’ – thoughts like “I would be so much happier if I just lost 25 pounds.” Why are these thoughts unhealthy, and how do you steer away from them?
I don’t think that having those thoughts are necessarily bad. That thought of being so much happier once I lose 25 pounds is a wonderful indicator of what that person may be guided to do. However, I do talk a lot about dangling carrots—objects or thoughts that keep you running toward an imaginary line in the future. “Once I have that promotion, I will be able to be less stressed.” “Once I have that relationship, then I will feel….” “Once I have more money, I will be happy.”
While those things might provide temporary relief, it usually does not bring the underlying feeling and state-of-being that person is in search of.
And the kicker? Why wait?!
If you think more money will make you happier or you think you will love yourself more by losing 25 pounds, start by loving yourself now. Love yourself right now… enough to go after your goals. The thinking that your goals will somehow make you love yourself more is completely ego-based and false. Sure you can be proud and feel accomplished. However, if you let the inner feeling drive the outer outcome, there will be a lasting transformation of unimaginable reward. That is one of the biggest limitations: putting the feeling after the goal. Let the feeling be the goal and go after that…right now!
You devote a section in your book to comparing yourself to others, and why that’s a bad habit to have. I’ve found myself comparing me to me at earlier times in my life – and I know I’m not alone. These comparisons could be things like “I’ll never look as good as I did when I could fit in those jeans.” Or “There’s no way I’ll ever be as in shape as I was 5 years ago.” Is that sort of comparison healthy?
It all depends on how you use it but generally, no it isn’t healthy. You cannot go back to the past and it isn’t possible to look the same in your jeans as you did at 18 years old. Comparing is a set up to feel depressed, less than, or, let’s be real—shitty.
Establishing who you are now and how you would like to feel, look, act, and be in present time is a way to connect to the present moment. There is so much power in the present moment. Looking in the past is fine but getting stuck back there can literally get people caught or stuck in those old pair of jeans!
One of the ways I sabotage myself is with a floodgate-type mentality. If I choose to eat something I normally wouldn’t, it’s very easy for me to start telling myself, “What does it matter? I’ve already eaten one doughnut. Why not eat five more? I’ll get back on track tomorrow (or next week, or next month, or after my birthday…)” Can you recommend an exercise or tool to combat that sort of thinking as it’s happening, to prevent it from spiraling out of control?
I know exactly what you mean. In that moment when you have the thought, “What does it matter,” allow yourself to actually answer that question. Those thoughts can be great moments of awareness if used correctly. If you connect to the truth of your answer—most likely that it DOES matter and that you may not feel great about yourself after opening the floodgate—the outcome might be different.
The way that you mentioned it above is more of a justification of “fuck it” than it is of really asking yourself the honest question. Again, connecting to the feeling is so important. Connect to what you may feel when you have the floodgate effect cropping up. Sense how that feels and then ask yourself if it is worth feeling like that.
All of these answers are very similar to any kind of habit or addiction. Underneath those words, habit or addiction, are states-of-being that fuel the symptom of the habit or addiction. Finding the cause and root of those thoughts and working on changing that, changes everything.
Thanks, Randy! This is awesome advice. For more, check out his book, “Unlimiting You.”
Keep it up, David!