Read the transcript
(0: 00:47.4) AS: Welcome to Season 3, Episode 6 of the Insatiable Podcast: Heal Hashimoto’s Naturally and Pragmatically – Joy Phillips’ Story. So, how many of you out there have Googled, “Oh, how do I eat for depression or eat for Hashimoto’s?”, right? And what comes back is basically a really strict diet, telling you to sleep, stress less, etc., but not a lot of how, right? You have to do all of these without, as Joy would say, an Oprah chef and budget and you’ve got a job and kids and all this stuff.
I want you to listen today to Joy’s story so that you can learn how Joy went slow to heal faster.
In under a year, she put her Hashimoto’s in remission and lost 30 pounds as a side effect of my holistic and “realistic to remain optimistic,” as I call it, healing framework, Truce With Food®
I wanted to have Joy on today because even though she had a Hashimoto’s diagnosis, this approach also enabled her to stop taking her anti-anxiety meds and avoid taking the anti-depressant a doctor had recommended for how crappy she was feeling. We also get into the nuance of what is the healthy choice including how sometimes you’re going to learn even potato chips are the healthiest choice. You can still keep your Hashimoto’s in remission as Joy experienced.
I really want you to pay attention also to why it’s necessary to address your emotional health as well as your physical symptoms for radical healing. So, sit down and enjoy Joy’s really inspiring story and know that you too can do this as long as you go slow to go faster. Enjoy.
(0:02:24.8) AS: So I am here with my client, Joy Phillips, today.
(0:02:29.5) JP: Hello!
(0:02:30.6) AS: Thank you so much for being here. Before we get to Joy’s real-world grit and glory, food freedom story here, a couple of things. Remember to check out my website and What Is Your Comfort Eating Style? quiz. It will help you start to get on your own Truce With Food in a really helpful way. There’s also a secret Insatiable episode. So, if you love the podcast, you will love this episode. It’s super helpful, and I think that’s it. So, Joy, hi!
(0:03:01.9) JP: Hello. How are you?
(0:03:03.8) AS: Well, we’ll get to that at the end of it — In the midpoint and how you’re doing too.
This season is about renewal, and I want to focus on the identity, the renewed identity you came out of after going through Truce With Food and what really shifted for you, and I want people to hear your story because it’s really inspiring and it’s going to give a lot of people hope, especially because it didn’t happen in a straight line. That’s not how things happen.
(0:03:31.8) JP: No. Not for me. Not for general public.
(0:03:38.3) AS: We met back in February 2017, correct?
(0:03:43.1) JP: Yes. Yup.
(0:03:44.2) AS: Tell me what brought you to deciding to do Truce With Food? What had just happened? What were you just diagnosed with? Tell us the beginning of your story, chapter 1.
(0:03:51.8) JP: Okay, chapter 1.
(0:03:53.2) AS: Well, I mean chapter 1 of our relationship, because — You can start.
(0:03:58.4) JP: Yeah. I guess there was — There were definitely some (inaudible 0:04:03.5) chapters before that, but our chapter I guess started in — It did start in February of 2017, and I came to you completely lost and looking for answers, and just completely — I was probably at like my low of low at that time. I just recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in December of 2016 and all of these things personally were happening to me as far as physical, I should say physical things that I was feeling for the first time. I was having the diagnosis with the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I was also having irregular heartbeats, that they were premature ventricular, PVCs at that time. So there were lots of things that were happening. It was really hard to lose weight. I had just this really hard struggle for probably about four years in losing weight and all of my doctors were saying, it’s, “Your thyroid levels are ‘normal’”, and they were just testing the — What was it? TSH? Thyroid level that would always just come back normal.
So I was just feeling really stuck, and at the time my best friend introduced me to you via your podcast and you were having a Cookie Isn’t Just a Cookie seminar. So she and I attended it. Going into it, I was extremely nervous. It was like an all-day retreat, and I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what to expect by going into it, and it was the best thing ever. When we went in and there was a small group of us, and you basically gave us an introduction to Truce With Food program, and I left — And we identified what our stories were, touched on that briefly. I left thinking this was the best thing that I feel like I had experienced in a long time. I had never been to therapy before. So, having gone to that, it was closest thing to therapy. I said that to my best friend in the car ride home. But I was kind of like, “I don’t like my story. I think Ali got my story wrong.” I was resisting already.
(0:06:05.4) AS: That resistance, which is —
(0:06:07.2) JP: Yeah! It meant that I was a perfect candidate.
(0:06:12.5) AS: You know what I remember? I still laugh about this to the day. I remember, because chatted to make sure if Truce With Food was the right fit for you, because this isn’t — people, If it’s not the right time or whatever, like it’s not going to work for either of us. But I remember you had like looked at some of the Hashimoto’s protocols, right? It was like, basically, like all or nothing, right? Which is the exact same pattern we have to get out of when we’re in our stories. You’re like, “Okay. I could do this if I had Oprah’s chef” #oprahschef.
(0:06:40.1) JP: Exactly. If I had a million dollars and Oprah’s chef. I mean, god! It was that supermarket list. (inaudible 0:06:46.9) for me to just to say there’s no way I’m going to ever be able to tackle this.
(0:06:51.8) AS: Yeah. I remember being like, “We’ll break it down step by step.” Yeah. Okay. I just think that was so funny when you said that. I think for everyone listening, if you do get a diagnosis, it can be so overwhelming because not only — I mean, it’s relieving to one finally have some — To know something that’s wrong with you, right? Like, “Okay. Now I can put together a plan.”
But then when you go into the functional medicine community or the food is medicine community, it tends to be people giving you plans who do health for a living.
They’re like, “Of course you can change your life around this,” rather than, “How does it fit into my life?” as someone who doesn’t have a trust fund or Oprah’s chef, correct?
(0:07:30.2) JP: Right. Exactly.
(0:07:30.9) AS: Or isn’t immersed in the health field?
(0:07:33.1) JP: Exactly. Then just to tackle it and to know exactly where you can go from there. At that point when I saw you, I was completely lost. One of the other things that had happened around that time also was I had just recently got a biopsy on my lymph node in my neck. So at that time, it was kind of like is that associated with Hashimoto’s, or is it anything thyroid related? All of it at that time, I just felt so uncertain and so confused and just — With the diagnosis with Hashimoto’s kind of gave me an answer as far as — Or validation to know, “Okay. I’m not crazy. These are the symptoms that I’ve been experiencing for so long, but where do I go from here? How do I fix it and what do I do next?” So intro, Ali.
(0:08:21.1) AS: I think this is a really important piece to identity change because, for people listening, to have sustainable changes, like you’re gonna hear Joy’s changes and that she’s still keeping up to this day. You have to have an identity shift, and that’s not a mindset, that’s not an aha. You can have an aha, but then you have to implement the aha and all the places the aha is showing up.
Tell us, you grew up with like a very meat and potatoes family, right? Healthy food was not something that like, “Oh! I can just go gluten-free, and I know (inaudible 0:08:53.5) is.” Tell people, what lens — I call it a lens, but what mindset and identity and how you approached food and exercise before when you got your diagnosis before Truce With Food.
(0:09:04.5) JP: Yeah. Before Truce With Food, or I should backup. I mean, in the beginning, growing up, it was, like you said, a meat and potato upbringing. I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family. We weren’t allowed up from the table until we finished our plates. It was just anytime we had a vegetable, it was probably just completely drizzled either with tons of butter, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Healthy fats are good. Or cheese — I mean, it was just terrible. It’s terrible.
(0:09:36.5) AS: When you said in the beginning, it was thinking of like Adam and Eve and they show the apple. But for most of us growing up, it’s like, “In the beginning there was starches.”
(0:09:44.6) JP: Yes, pretty much. That was our upbringing. Or if we had vegetables — I mean, I love my parents, but if we had vegetables, they were usually frozen vegetables or not necessarily always like the fresh veggies. It was something that was in the freezer that then you stick in the microwave and you put a slab of butter or Cheez Whiz on top of it. My parents, God bless them. They still do it till this day. They just did it at Easter too. So sometimes you just can’t break the mold. I just choose not to when we’re taking it.
(0:10:23.1) AS: Let’s talk about that, because I remember it was Easter when we were working, and you were trying to bridge this new way of eating with your family, and it didn’t go over so well. I think this is so important because when we hear these like “transformation stories,” it’s kind of like, “Oh! Then I just told everyone I was gluten-free and everybody supported me and they were —”
But you had a different experience not only with family, but some friends. So, can you talk about that and how you had to — What we talked about in the process of Truce With Food, the tools and stuff and how you work through those with your family and friends who — I remember one friend referred to you as the carb Nazi.
(0:11:01.2) JP: Yes.
(0:11:02.2) AS: People can eat carbs, just not gluten.
(0:11:04.3) JP: It’s not, right. That was tough. Yeah. I mean, the benefit of — First, let me just say, like going gluten-free completely changed every aspect of my life. I mean, I’ll put aside physically, but I mean emotionally I just feel like — When people say you are what you eat and the benefits that food can do for you on a daily basis, they’re not kidding. I mean, prior to going gluten-free and around the time that I joined or started Truce With Food, I was also — I mean, I actually didn’t touch on this, but I don’t even know if you knew this, Ali. I think we talked about it briefly. But my primary physician at the time wanted to put me on anti-depressants, and I was also taking anxiety medicine at least twice a week.
So when I started to go gluten-free, which was around Easter of last year, I had shown up for Easter dinner and I thought I was coming prepared by bringing — This just goes to show you how — I mean, just how, not naive or uneducated I was as far as being gluten-free, but I brought mashed potatoes, which are gluten-free, but because the packaging said gluten-free I thought, “I’m going to bring these gluten-free mashed potatoes. I’ll share them with everybody,” and this will be my dish and then I had a couple of other things that I was possibly going to eat myself, because I knew going into Easter dinner — I love my parents. I love my dad, but he — There wasn’t going to be anything there for me to eat that was going to be gluten-free, so I thought I need to come prepared. But I did not probably what — Going into it, I didn’t convey to them the importance of me going gluten-free. Why I was doing this. Having recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, the benefits that going gluten-free does for someone with an autoimmune disease and the importance of it. So I never communicated that to him going into Easter dinner.
It was met with a huge backlash. My dad shows his way, being Irish-Catholic man that he is, shows his love with food. So, he took it as a big insult that I brought my own food, “You brought your own food?” and it did not go over well. So now, I mean, it’s kind — It’s actually very heartwarming and then like it made me tear up a little bit this past Easter. He was so upset that he couldn’t find — It’s a year later. He couldn’t find gluten-free flour to make me — He wanted to make a blueberry muffin or some kind of dessert or something and he couldn’t find it in the supermarket.
I said, “Dad, you’re not going to find it in like ShopRite. You’re probably going to need to go to a Whole Foods or something.” I said, “Don’t worry. It’s expensive. I will bring you some. I have plenty at home.” But I mean it just goes to show you like a year later, my family has just been — It took a while. I mean, obviously that was probably a huge — That was like — It was a big learning curve for all of us at that time, and they’ve all embraced it with arms wide open at this point once I communicated the importance of it, and they can physically see the benefits of how I am having gone gluten-free, and emotionally. I haven’t been on anti-anxiety meds since, and it’s been a year.
(0:14:15.8) AS: That’s amazing. You have some shit that we’re going to talk about.
(0:14:19.7) JP: Yeah. It’s huge. It’s pretty huge. Yeah, I never went on the anti-depressant. I’ve always tried to do a holistic approach with everything. I went off birth control as well too. So, I just feel like it was just so a whole refresh, start button, and I just feel like a completely different person.
I do — I absolutely. I mean, I said this to you after completing Truce With Food.
There was the emotional side of things that I wasn’t prepared for,
or I guess I’m not necessarily prepared, but I didn’t know that there was going to be all of that and so much more taking Truce With Food, that healing part of it along with going gluten-free I think is just as important as what you actually eat.
(0:15:02.4) AS: I’m so glad you brought that up because I always look at things from like a physical, emotional and soul level, and like what’s the metaphor? An auto immune is us emotionally attacking ourselves in some form. I’m so glad that you said that, because I was going to ask you, but — Going in, you probably thought — You shared this on social media, like, “Oh! I thought I was going to learn some nutrition and some emotional stuff.” In your words, how do you weigh the emotional stuff now, and what did you really discover was the emotional crux of your healing that had to happen, in terms of your emotional patterns?
(0:15:41.4) JP: That’s a good question. Measure the emotional crux.
(0:15:46.3) AS: I mean, you shared the specific example with your parents of like speaking up rather than avoiding.
(0:15:52.6) JP: Yeah. That was a huge part of it. The whole notion of — So my story was when I feel unsettled, I feel unsafe. Part of that was I would feel safe being invisible. So getting into the root of why, why do you feel that way and how can you use your voice more? I’m thinking of something that happened last week.
Again, this wouldn’t have happened had I not completed Truce With Food. So the idea of being invisible, whether I was at work or amongst a group of friends, because I think as part of Truce With Food is identifying your stress response. So mine is an avoider, and occasionally a caregiver with my family. Hence, I’m always trying to take care of my sister, trying to take care of my parents, trying to “fix them” – going pre-Truce With Food. Now, it’s kind of like accepting what they do is what they do and I can’t control it. But as far as the notion of being invisible or now having completed Truce With Food and finding my voice.
So there was a coworker who had walked into the back of the building and I was standing around with three other gentlemen and we were discussing a project, and I walked and he walked in and I said, “Good morning,” and I addressed him by name and he walked in and said, “Good morning fellows.” I said, “And Joy,” and everybody kind of laughed a little bit. Typically, I mean, had it been a year ago, I may have just like, “Okay. He just walked in and whether or not he considered me invisible or whatnot,” it would have affected me in a way where it probably would have bothered me, and this time it was just kind of like I’m good to make him aware that I’m here and then just address it and move it on.
(0:17:44.1) AS: I love it and in a funny way. Like you’re really a funny person, so it’s like you forget seeing that side of yourself when it feels unsafe, when it’s uncertain. I love that you use that little example, because if not, the inner protector is like, “Why didn’t he say ladies?” and you spiral, and that exhausts you, and then you eat because it’s like —
(0:18:05.4) JP: Right, fuck it.
(0:18:05.7) AS: Right. Exactly. Yeah.
For everyone listening, what Joy was referring to as the stress response is your comfort eating style. So if you take the quiz, you can find out what you are. Again, these are the patterns that we work on in Truce With Food. I love that, but that’s like a very new skillset, right? Finding your voice and speaking up and advocating for yourself.
(0:18:28.5) JP: Yeah, definitely. I think it goes along with you know all aspects, especially in the beginning when I did go gluten-free. It was kind of like I was cautiously, especially in group settings. My friends and I are very social and we constantly go out to eat. So I was cautiously speaking up, and maybe not as confidently as I do now. I mean, now obviously everyone’s well aware. I’ll occasionally still get questions like, “Oh!” But a lot of the service industry once you say you have a gluten allergy, and I don’t necessarily have an allergy. It’s a sensitivity, which in the beginning I wasn’t — I was very kind of confused, “How do I approach this?” Because I don’t want to be — You and I discussed this. I don’t want to be a fraud. I don’t want to be a phony when it comes to this, because I know that there — It’s obviously non-celiac related. It’s not like I’m going to have this drastic allergic reaction, but it is enough for me to know how much I feel better being off of gluten, that I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to engage in it on a regular basis or a daily basis.
My family and I were in Disney, in Epcot, and the waitress — We ate at a Chinese restaurant and the waitress was so kind and just very informative as far as gluten allergies and everything that — Or gluten sensitive dishes that I could eat. She even brought out the tamari soy sauce, which is great. She brought it out in the full container from the back. It looked like it was probably from Costco, not even like the packets. I don’t know if it had ever been opened, but I was using it. I mean, it was great.
So my brother-in-law ordered the dumplings, and they looked really good and I thought, “I’m going to just try a tiny bite,” and I told her I did not have an allergy, but the waitress came over and I pretty much was like gluten changed at that point, because she said, “No! Gluten!” She just started screaming at me. I said, “No. No. No. No. No. It’s okay,” and I had already told her about the difference.
So I’m more comfortable in that regard, but in the beginning — I mean, when something like that would happen or people would make a big — If the servers would make — I always called it like a big to do. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone in the beginning as far as being gluten-free. It just made me laugh at that point. My brother-in-law was like, “You just got gluten shamed.”
(0:20:53.1) AS: You can laugh about it now, versus being like — And I think that’s such a great story, and it’s also because often you just can’t care what other people think, and it is like, actually, we need to be in a relationship with other people.
Part of our food and weight issues are that we need to feel safe that it’s okay to belong exactly as we are.
So there is this nuanced tricky territory, and by practicing over time, and also as you eat more and more aligned with what works for you, you feel it more and more. So there’s more incentive to stick up for yourself, but you also realize what your limits are, and that’s such a nuanced perspective rather than being like, “Oh my God! I have to be gluten free all the time, and I’m a fraud if I’m not.” It’s like, “No. I know my body really well, and I know that I —” It’s like me with dairy. I shouldn’t eat a lot of it, but I can get away with a little bit.
(0:21:40.1) JP: Right. Just a snitch.
(0:21:41.7) AS: I’ll take the hit. Sometimes it’s just like you wake up those zits in the morning, but that’s okay.
(0:21:47.2) JP: Right. That’s exactly — Right. I said that to my friends over the weekend too. I told you that we attended a close friend’s brother’s funeral and at the luncheon there was — I mean, I am just — If there’s one thing that I’m a sucker for, it’s macaroni and cheese, and this macaroni and cheese look good. I said, “I’m just going to take the hit. I’m going home right after this.” I’m going to take a little spoonful. I’m going to try it. Sometimes that’s what you do. I was in Epcot with my family. So it’s about balance.
(0:22:18.2) AS: It is. This is kind of the paradox, is that the healthier you get, the more resilient — The more consistent you are over time, the more resilient you get. Then you feel it more, than like you used to. So then you become like less inclined to do it, but you have to get there on your own, right? Versus a plan saying do all or nothing. I think because that identity shift has to happen, it’d be like, Oh! I’m someone who is not going use medication. I’m going to defy — Not defy your doctors, but I’m going to take my own path and see how this works out. I’m going to start navigating for myself, not just around food, but in work.
How has that been re-seeing yourself as someone who will speak up more and more? I mean, what kind of shift had to — I don’t know. Has it changed the way you’ve seen yourself or is that like, “No. This is who I always was. I just kind of stopped being that for a while.”
(0:23:12.0) JP: I think that’s who I always was. I just stopped for a while. I was on a hiatus for a few years, but now I’m back.
(0:23:25.4) AS: You found it.
(0:23:28.5) JP: Yeah. It was the “Fuck It, Chuck It” era. It just lasted a little longer than it should have. But I think it’s good. I think it’s recognizing and using my voice more confidently. I mean, you and I discussed this, that it was comparing myself to friends, coworkers, status of where they may have been in their lives versus where I’ve been. I don’t feel that at all anymore, and that’s kind of like probably one of the biggest weights that has been lifted. I shouldn’t say at all. I mean, every now and then it does creep up, but it’s not all consuming as it was, because nothing is ever perfect, and that was one of the things that I let go to. Imperfections are just as beautiful as anything else.
I just think being comfortable in your own skin, and that’s kind of like going on the Truce With Food program, that’s kind of like where I ended up. I kind of wanted to be content mind, body and soul, and at the end of the day, that’s where I was three months, six months, and even now. I mean, you and I discussed this, that even when you might feel like you’re in a story, it doesn’t feel like you’re going down a downward spiral either. It’s dropped that spiral staircase and you’re going to use the tools that help you get through. It doesn’t feel like it’s an all or nothing or end-all be-all case. There’s always an answer or a solution.
(0:24:59.3) AS: Yes. So, first of all, you need to give yourself credit. You didn’t just let go of the perfectionism. You worked through that shit. It’s not something that you just say, “Oh! To hell with it!” An entire new way of seeing the world would take a little bit more effort than that.
(0:25:22.0) JP: It’s 37 years. You’re right.
(0:25:28.7) AS: If you could take a pill to be okay with imperfection, man! I may pop that once in a while. That’s part of the process of realizing — Again, to come back to the food terms like, “Okay. Maybe the first time my dad’s going to hate these mashed potatoes, and he thinks I mean this and I mean that, but then I learn and I try again.”
So that is part of letting go of perfection is knowing I can still get results and I can learn about this, what you did. You were in a huge learning curve. It was kind of bad ass to be like — The doctors are like, “Here’s anti-anxiety meds and depression.” You’re like, “I’m going to find my own way.”
(0:26:11.2) JP: That’s kind of like — Yeah. I mean, thank you. I just really just didn’t — In my gut of guts — I mean, who would’ve thought, like my gut is telling me what’s causing this is also telling me don’t do what this doctor is saying to do, and that’s where I was come February of last year where it was like, “I’m going to buy all these books,” and by the grace of God and social media that I was introduced to you.
(0:26:43.9) AS: That’s hilarious. I want to kind of circle back before we get to kind of present day and where you are now, because we’ve had other clients on, and I always want to emphasize that this doesn’t end. Even though — And we’ll get there. The booby prize is that now that you are not eating, you’re feeling everything.
(0:27:13.0) JP: Thanks.
(0:27:16.2) AS: We’ll get to that. But you mentioned before about working through the imperfection and being able to be in process with your health and yourself and still get results, and you were talking about the weight of that, and you did lose weight, and you lost 20 pounds in the program and then 10 pounds afterwards.
How do you view weight loss now?
Because the conventional narrative is calories in, calories out. No one is saying, “Are you still avoiding —”
Again, for people listening, it doesn’t mean that you completely ignore calories. I don’t count them. I don’t know if you do or not.
(0:27:52.6) JP: No.
(0:27:52.7) AS: Oh, okay.
(0:27:54.4) JP: No. I don’t.
(0:27:56.4) AS: What do you think worked for you then in terms of the weight loss, in your gut of guts?
(0:28:02.6) JP: I think when we did the exercise of figuring out whether or not you’re a slow, medium or fast burner helps, which I fell within a medium burn type. So Mediterranean diet works best for me: proteins, carbs. I have to have carbs. I mean, healthy fats. Avocado has just become my best friend. I had it for lunch today, and one of my best friends said, “Are you sure that’s enough?” I had some chips and guac and then a soup. She said, “You sure that’s enough food?” I’m like, “You see this guacamole? Oh! Give me all! Oh, this guacamole!”
(0:28:42.9) AS: What’s really interesting is, because most women especially need carbs, but if you look at a lot of these autoimmune protocols, it’s like no grains and you found out that you needed some of those; otherwise, what did you notice happens to you? I know I’d kind of like hit a wall and I can’t keep my eyes open.
(0:28:57.7) JP: Yes, I crash. I’m very over emotional, because I need the grains. I do need some carbs. I sleep better too. Like you said, you crash. For me, I feel like it just creates some level of insomnia, and I also don’t have any energy. Doing that and figuring out what type of burn type I am and then also making sure that I always have a blood sugar balanced meal.
I mean, I can feel myself when my blood sugar starts to crash or starts to lower. I was traveling for work a couple of weeks ago in Chicago and I was at a convention center 10 hours of the day. So I didn’t necessarily always have access to blood sugar balanced meals, but it was always making healthier options. I remember in the program you said — and I’ll never forget this – just to have some kind of healthy fat snack with you. Whether it was a kind bar or, you said also instead of going for something very sugary, grab a bag of potato chips.
One day I just had to do it, because I needed some fat. So I grabbed a bag of Lays potato chips and that’s what I ate, because at the time that was the only option. We all get stuck. Everybody gets stuck. Whether you’re at a train station, you’re traveling. I mean, we’ve all just had moments like that. Just making sure that I always just have blood sugar balanced meals.
Before starting Truce With Food, I was constantly checking the scale every day.
Probably multiple times a day. That was an obsession and that was like one of the things that you had encouraged me to try to let go of. Till this day I still — There were some people and I was comparing myself in the program to those that were able to just hide the scale and not look at it. That was not me. I couldn’t do it.
Maybe now I might weigh myself once a week, but I’m also not beating myself up from it. Coming back from Chicago and everything that I’ve had going on this month I’m up I mean, a couple of pounds. But I’m not beating myself up for it either. I’m not freaking about it either. It’s just a number. I’m not obsessing about it. At the end of the day I know that, “Okay. If I eat out of alignment one day, it’s not going to make me go on a downward spiral out of control. Tomorrow is a new day. I could recalibrate.” Not even tomorrow, recalibrate for the next meal. It doesn’t affect me the same way it did before Truce With Food.
(0:31:21.4) AS: I love that you used the potato chips example, because I’ve had to do that too and people — If we’re in these rigid categories of good or bad, it’s like, “Oh my God! I ate potato chips,” when if we’re okay with imperfection and doing the best that we can. Again, that’s a process to work through. We were joking before, that years of thinking that that’s how we have to do to be successful with our goals. But potato chips have healthy fats in them, and like sometimes you’re in a convention center with no sunlight. You’re on your feet and it’s about keeping yourself resilient enough, so that when you finally can make like an ideal choice, you’re not crashing. I love that you use that example, because everything is about context. Sometimes potato chips are the healthiest thing you can do, and they’re much better for you than pretzels.
(0:32:06.7) JP: Right, exactly. Yeah, exactly, or just measuring the delta. That was one of the things that we learned in Truce With Food too, is like using that as a comparison stake too make sure don’t beat yourself up for what you may have eaten, yesterday’s meal. It’s not necessarily what’s going to take you down for today’s meal. You have to find a measurable benefit.
(0:32:33.1) AS: Yeah, setting yourself up so it’s easier tomorrow.
(0:32:37.1) JP: Yeah.
(0:32:38.1) AS: It’s a nice thing, and when you feel good enough, you do want to do that. Okay, that’s the food stuff. What about emotionally? I mean I love that we’ll talk about the self-trust that you’re talking about. Why the scale? You trust that you’re going to get back in alignment, right? That’s ultimately why the scale doesn’t have as much weight. Oh! The food puns! We could keep going.
(0:33:04.0) JP: Bo-dom-pom.
(0:33:05.2) AS: Yeah, bo-dom-pom, and part of trusting yourself is because you work through that whole around the spiral staircase. You got on the pole and —
(0:33:18.8) JP: We joke about that all the time. Wonderful!
(0:33:22.6) AS: I have no judgment for people on the pole. I seriously do not. There is a woman named Stormy Daniels who was on the pole and she may be saving our country. You know, you never know.
(0:33:35.2) JP: #thankyoustormy
(0:33:39.0) AS: I seriously do not have a judgment. I mean, I just don’t care about that kind of stuff. But you took a loop around this spiral staircase on the pole with your story as well around being unsettled. What about in terms of like now — We could even ask you right now that you’re back from Chicago and this crazy work time and being there for a friend, not only for his brother’s funeral, but his dad as well. You’ve had a really intense emotional month. What do you know that you need to do emotionally to get yourself what we call back in alignment in Truce With Food? Yes, the food piece, but what — Well all come off those days where it’s just like, “Oh my God! I need to get back to my regular schedule routine.”
(0:34:20.2) JP: Yeah. For me, regular schedule routine definitely includes — And I didn’t know this until doing Truce With Food, yoga and meditation has played a key role in making sure that I feel emotionally sound. Occasionally, you and I discussed this. I was really into doing boxing, high intensity exercises classes. Exercising for me was never — I always enjoyed exercising. It was when I would exercise or over exercise and then not see any physical results from it that’s when I would get angry and aggravated and just feel like, “Why am I doing this?”
But incorporating yoga and meditation is extremely important for me. I think also just making my needs — I guess, making my needs known as far as family pressures and making sure that there’s just an even balance there and just taking time for myself is really important. Enough sleep. I never prioritized sleep before but now I know that I need to be home if I’m out, because I have an active social life. Making sure that I get at least 8 hours plays such a huge role.
I mean, I remember going to doctors, conventional doctors, and they would say, “Well, you’re just stressed or you just need to get enough sleep.” I was like, “That’s just like a canned answer. They’re just saying that.” And then at the same time for as much as conventional doctors, sometimes I think that they don’t hit the mark on a lot of things. It’s true. It’s absolutely 110% true that sleep and stress play a huge factor, especially in emotional stability. Yeah, just making sure that I always just take time for myself and speaking up if I feel like that’s not happening and just making sure that I just prioritize that.
(0:36:12.7) AS: Yeah. I mean what you just said there is speaking up and advocating for your needs is, it’s bigly. It’s really big, and what I love is it’s kind of just become — And this is the hope with Truce With Food, is we don’t necessarily give you more tools, because then there’s just more tools like — It sounds like yoga and meditation work for you, but it’s like you discovered that through your own experimentation and your own framework, but we don’t give more tools like light a candle and journal or take a bath or whatever, because then you fail at your self-care, right? It’s just about a mindset of checking in, reflecting, getting clear on what you need and want, and it sounds like you’re doing that, which is awesome.
The thing about conventional medicine is, yeah, they know that the simple things, like eating vegetables, staying away from sugar, too much sugar, you can obviously have some. But sleeping are all effective, but they don’t know how.
How do we actually change our behavior?
That’s what I’ve built into Truce With Food is actually how adults change. That stuff. We start to want to take care of ourselves when we have the right process. I think that’s important listening, because we’re taught especially as women, the default is women are inferior.
Of course, you have an inner critique, you have an inner rebel, because you hate — Of course, you hate yourself and can’t trust yourself, because you’re out of control. It’s like, “No” There are reasons that we don’t do what we know we should, and they’re often emotional, they’re often really rooted into our nervous system based on past experiences, and logic alone just doesn’t work for that, doesn’t work for change.
I love that you’re just kind of — you’ve internalized it and as a result you realize yoga and meditation, sleep, and you can advocate for that, and other little things that are actually big things, like when the manager says, “Hey, dudes —”
(0:37:59.1) JP: Yeah, “Fellas.”
(0:38:00.3) AS: Fellas, yeah. It’s like, “And Joy!” But like, “Hello?” But if you think about how many more times you’ve done that over the past year, it adds up to a lot more comfort reward and less exhaustion.
(0:38:15.8) JP: And confidence.
(0:38:17.4) AS: Yes, and confidence. Yes. We think confidence is — Confidence is just — So you guys know. The research shows it’s based on self-efficacy, which is basically getting our needs met or learning what we need to do. We don’t get confidence from people telling us we’re awesome. That’s helpful, but we get a lot of confidence when we do hard things and we challenge ourselves.
Let’s kind of circle to present day, which we kind of kicked off. Both you and I are both in some stuff right now. Your podcast episode, not mine. Part of right now is, Truce With Food I hope prepares us for real life, not like when we’re on a spa vacation. That’s fabulous too. You’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff: work, a lot of funerals and death of young people which is always extra hard. So even though you’ve lost 30 pounds, you’re not on anti-depressants. You’re not on anti-anxiety and you’re sleeping well. Huge improvements, and you can also be dealing with real life.
So where are you now in terms of you’ve got this new identity of, “Oh my God! I can be an advocate and healer of myself with a great medical team as well.” We’re not like — We’re not hippies yet, we’re not going to start a commune. Although we’ve all talked about in the Truce With Food group about starting —
(0:39:40.4) JP: But we’re going to get there soon.
(0:39:43.4) AS: Yeah, we’re going to get there. Growth mindset. We’ll get there eventually when we all just stop doing our regular jobs, right? And we live our lives.
(0:39:51.4) JP: Exactly.
(0:39:52.9) AS: What’s different now that you’re in kind of like a really intense period of emotions and stuff? Because this is the thing guys and ladies. When you stop eating your feelings, you got to learn to deal with them, and that’s really the tools that we fine tune in Truce With Food. What’s going on now? Where are you?
(0:40:11.9) JP: Yeah. I feel like it’s kind of like a spring. It’s like your reset button, and a lot of ways renewable in so many ways. I feel like I’m kind of working through some stuff as far as work goes, and obviously like you had touched on, it’s been a trying month for one particular friend and being supportive and just being there for friends and family. My dad was sick and just constantly worrying about his health too.
I guess where I’m at now or having gone through Truce With Food. I feel like
nothing necessarily feels like it’s a huge downward spiral.
I am working through it all. Trying to avoid the drive-thru to the best of my capability. I’m just kind of using the tools that we learned in Truce With Food, the playlist tool has kind of been a huge help for me. I just came back from a Pink concert on Friday night —
(0:41:16.5) AS: I saw it in Pittsburgh.
(0:41:18.5) JP: You did?
(0:41:19.5) AS: Yes.
(0:41:20.7) JP: So awesome, right?
(0:41:21.1) AS: Oh my God! I love her.
(0:41:23.3) JP: Yeah. She’s awesome. So many songs for her were added to the playlist tool that helped, but particularly like her Perfect song, I think perfect song. So that’s been a helpful tool.
(0:41:36.2) AS: I love Beautiful Trauma. Beautiful Trauma and What About Us got me through like the political year last year. I was just like, “What about us?”
(0:41:46.5) JP: Right. It’s true. It’s so true. A lot of her songs are so poignant to where we are right now. Yeah, I think it’s just kind of realizing that it’s not going to be — Melt down is not on the horizon, whereas like everything seems manageable. No matter what comes my way, it doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s — As an avoider, you can tend to build things up, and I don’t necessarily feel like I’m doing that. I’m just managing it and tackling it as I can and dealing with whatever might be thrown my way.
Obviously, daily stresses. Whether it’s work or health or whatever might be. At present moment, everything just seems to be manageable. I’m not necessarily always eating in alignment of my choices of what ideally what I would want to be doing, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s going to spiral out of control.
(0:42:43.7) AS: I think that’s so important, because when we’re spiraling out of control, we’ve lost self-trust, is really what’s happening. It’s like, “Oh my God! I don’t trust myself to course correct, and so F it,” and that’s where you hit this spiral. Versus you’re like, “Okay. I’ve been here before and I’ve been unsettled before and I’m getting more and more resilient each time.”
What I want people to take away,
health is about resilience.
It’s a big component of it. How resilient is our body? How resilient are we emotionally? What Joy is describing is she’s sitting with her feelings, right? We don’t always get tied up in a nice and neat bow by the end of an Oprah episode, right? Oh! How I wish they could give me a self-help book, right? It’s like, “Oh! We have the answers.” There’s like a lot of stuff going on. I’m sure most of you listening have something weighing on your heart, your mind? That metaphor I think is really apropos.
But you’re managing, and that’s I think sometimes we can’t always be killing it. I don’t even like to use that worn metaphor, but like — What is it? Smashing it. Yeah. I sound like 90-year-old. (inaudible 0:43:49.9). You’re psycho, crush it!
(0:43:58.6) JP: That was good. You sound just like my grandma.
(0:44:02.8) AS: I’d pinch your cheek. Or your ear if I could. Knowing that we can manage and building that resilience. Again, if you compare where you were a year ago, it’s like you would have been — So if you go to the drive-thru, you’re still — You even told me before, you’re like, “I did hit drive-thru, but I went gluten free.”
(0:44:22.7) JP: Yeah, exactly.
(0:44:23.6) AS: And that’s what we mentioned earlier. That’s what Joy was talking about earlier, the delta. How far have I come? Not where am I? How far have I come? That is what builds self-trust versus this magical thinking that one day you’re going to crush it and everything needs to be perfect and you’re going to ride off into fantasy land.
(0:44:40.7) JP: Because it takes work.
(0:44:42.2) AS: Yeah. Wonk-wonk-wonk. But it’s rewarding work, I think.
(0:44:47.9) JP: Oh, absolutely.
(0:44:48.4) AS: I think your story is living proof. Like you said, you’ve gotten into hot yoga. It sounds like your relationship to exercise has shifted instead of over exercising. You’re doing great with your food, especially given how crazy your schedule is and inconsistent it is.
(0:45:04.0) JP: Yeah. I mean, just always making the best — I mean, especially this past month, just making the best options, decisions that I can, especially traveling. I just feel like I’m much more educated in that realm and I’m not going to beat myself up if something is just “perfect”. I’m not going to beat myself up for a decision on food in that way.
Somebody said something to me over the weekend, because obviously being around family parties or friends or social gatherings with food that people bring. Obviously, a lot of it wasn’t necessarily gluten free. So I’ve just made the best choices that I could, but somebody said, “Oh! How do you have the willpower? Where do you find the willpower?” I didn’t really necessarily have an answer. It was just kind of like — I don’t perceive it as willpower, which is interesting, because — Back when I did Weight Watchers or when I did the Avacare or the 21 Day Fix, whichever one you wanted to pick, whichever diet at the time. That I feel like required more willpower, because it felt like an all or nothing type regime, right? Very rigid, very regimented. This doesn’t feel the same. I mean, yeah, I’m gluten free, but it doesn’t necessarily feel like I’m going without either, and I definitely think it’s because of the emotional work that was done in combination with — At one point, during the Truce With Food program, I did the elimination diet. It was 21 days, and I ended up, I think, doing it for over a month, because I just felt — It didn’t feel like I was going without at that point, because I was basing it off of how it made me feel. So I guess I don’t look at it as willpower per se, because I just feel better not eating it.
(0:46:45.1) AS: Yeah. First of all, on a lot of those things, you’re starving, right? It’s like Weight Watchers, if you eat the amount of fat you’re supposed to eat, you use all your points at breakfast.
(0:46:55.8) JP: Right. Here’s a Special K bar, and you’re done.
(0:47:00.9) AS: Yeah. Also, again, it comes back to this, like
our bodies crave health.
They crave vitality. That does not mean we’re always blooming. If we look to nature, there’s a winter, summer, fall, spring, right? We can cycle in a day. Like, “Oh my God! I’m feeling like I just can’t handle.” You just had a month of intense — I would say it’s almost like death, like the winter season, right? It’s like —
(0:47:26.5) JP: Yeah.
(0:47:27.2) AS: Now, it’s spring time now. I need to — We cycle, but the point is, is that there is a flow there. Yes, our body is always moving towards — Wants to move towards resilience and vitality. Again, building resilience makes you feel more confident. It’s not about willpower. Again, if we look at things from a mechanical machine model, it’s like, “Oh, inputs. You need more willpower.” It’s like, “No.” We actually do want to feel really good, and we feel we can trust ourselves, we can tune into that rather than tuning to the outside world and trying to like not be — Not look bad or whatever. I’m kind of going off on a tangent.
I love that you said that, because it’s just — There is a discipline. I even think — I’ve done other podcasts, food versus workout willpower. I said that we don’t need discipline for this, but there does need to be devotion to being on your own side and being willing to figure out what works for you. It doesn’t take that long compared to like how long we’ve been dieting. But like you have to want to be on your own side and being willing to like learn and grow with yourself, and I think that’s — What’s more healthy than that?
(0:48:31.6) JP: Yeah, and
accept that there’s not necessarily a right or a wrong or a good or a bad.
So it’s just figuring out, like you said, what works best and advocate for yourself.
(0:48:41.9) AS: Yeah. I want to emphasize as we wrap up here, there’re frameworks that are important, because as I’ve been listening to other podcasts and stuff, a lot of people, they want to get out of diet culture, but then they go — They’re taught that, “Oh, give yourself permission to eat whatever you want.” Just kind of feel your way through things. Then what happens is people tend to gain a ton of weight or they get anxious or depressed, because it’s not the right things for them.
So, I just want people to know there is an option C of learning a framework of your emotional and physical self. It’s called Truce With Food. I spent 12 years of my life creating it. It’s research-based, I mean, sometimes that can work for everyone has to find their own path. I’m not advocating this for everyone, but there is this line, because I’m thinking if I’m a perfectionist and I’m listening to this, it’s like, “I still want to get results.” You’ve clearly gotten results.
So, part of why you’re not freaking out about going into a downward spiral is because you trust yourself and like having a little bit of mac and cheese at a funeral, for you, doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect your body and knowing that is wonderful. There is a framework so that you can loop back to what works. As you figure out both emotionally and physically, you just want to feel better and better. I think that’s what, to me, says is what happened in your own health over the past. It’s been a year. Oh my God! It’s been over a year.
(0:50:01.7) JP: It’s been over a year.
(0:50:03.1) AS: Yeah.
(0:50:03.2) JP: Isn’t that crazy?
(0:50:04.3) AS: Yeah.
(0:50:05.2) JP: It’s crazy, but I feel — Yeah, I feel like a completely different person, but then I kind of feel like, “I could do more.”
(0:50:13.8) AS: That’s a testament to what I’m saying, like, once we start being healthy, we’re like, “What else can I do? What else?” It doesn’t become, “Oh! I should have done that.” It’s like, “What else is possible?” Again, we don’t always feel that way. I want to emphasize. Because a lot of people, when you’re listening from a perfectionist’s mindset, you hear, “It’s going to be all good all the time,” and like that’s not what happens.
(0:50:34.6) JP: No. That’s not what happens. It’s okay.
(0:50:39.1) AS: Yes. We learn really valuable things in the mud in the winter, right?
(0:50:44.8) JP: Yup.
(0:50:45.2) AS: Through the seasons of our emotions. It’s like there’s something happening underneath the surface there.
(0:50:49.4) JP: Definitely.
(0:50:49.5) AS: Thank you so much. I’ve been forgetting to ask people this, but I’m going to ask you, because I remember. So, what’s your radical truth now?
(0:50:58.3) JP: Radical truth is that I’m perfectly imperfect, and that’s okay.
(0:51:06.7) AS: Do you want to sing the Pink song to sign us out? Nope?
(0:51:10.4) JP: No.
(0:51:12.9) AS: A way to aggregate for yourself.
(0:51:16.0) JP: Do you want more listeners?
(0:51:21.6) AS: Thank you so much. We’re going to end on that, that was great.
(0:51:28.0) JP: Thank you. Thanks for having me. This is great. Thank you so much.
(0:51:32.6) AS: Yeah, thank you for sharing your story.
(END OF INTERVIEW)
How can we #doallthethings required of a natural healing approach when we still have to work, sleep, and keep the lights on in our lives? Or, as my client, Joy, asked after her Hashimoto’s diagnosis, “How do I heal Hashimoto’s without Oprah’s chef and budget?”
In under a year, she put her Hashimoto’s in remission and lost 30 pounds as a side effect of my holistic and “realistic to remain optimistic” healing framework, Truce with Food®. Learn how Joy went slow to go faster – to heal Hashimoto’s naturally.
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