Season 10 Theme: Research-Based Weight Loss: Rebuild Your Biology + Psychology Feedback Loop
For those of you familiar with my work, you know that my approach views weight-loss as a side-effect of balancing your body with the right foods for you (i.e. there isn’t one way of eating that works for everyone) and addressing the emotional reasons we fall off track by overtime, rewriting our story to one that uncovers our own agency and resets our internal sense of safety and therefore our nervous systems “fight or flight” response.
This approach unlocks options and freedoms that you didn’t know were possible in your life and around food. In this Insatiable season, I’ll share:
- How your food and weight battle can serve as post-traumatic growth
- The 6 “food freedoms” unlocked by the Truce with Food process based on the 6 most common ways that clients and listeners say their weight obsession “handcuffed” them.
- I’ll delve into the research behind why this 2 pronged approach heals these along with client success stories.
- To introduce the approach and orient you for this season, I’m using episode one as an overview of all 6 food freedoms using my story as an example.
Mentioned in This Episode
Welcome to Insatiable Season 10: Research-Based Weight Loss: Rebuild Your Biology + Psychology Feedback Loop
Have you ever read about the past and thought, I can’t believe people actually believed that? In the 19th century, doctors thought that “bloodletting” could cure illnesses and Dr. Joseph Lister was shunned for his thesis and early research proving that bacteria caused disease. While Dr. Lister was being denigrated, Charles Darwin was being celebrated, falsely claiming that women were less intelligent than men. In Darwin’s time women rarely went to advanced schooling, they needed to preserve their limited energy for baby-making. The 20th century wasn’t immune from junk science and outrageous claims, Domino’s sugar advertised a sugar diet as a way to lose weight touting that it had less calories per gram than fat. Cigarettes were also marketed as healthy.
It sounds laughable to most of us now. But only because brave, curious thinkers were willing to question, test, and disprove the status quo and limited thinking.
In Season 10 of Insatiable, Research-Based Weight Loss: Rebuild Your Biology and Psychology Feedback Loop, we’ll explore emerging research and viewpoints, now on the periphery, that will make the current mainstream thinking of weight loss as willpower and calorie-cutting look just as misguided as soothing babies and colds with morphine syrup (which was a medically endorsed thing in the Victorian era).
We will explore how taking the steps towards weight loss individually and societally can be a form of resistance against the toxicity and industrialization of our food supply. We’ll question the convenience of telling women that weight loss is giving into the patriarchy and male gaze—and how this silences deeper questioning about why we all have gained so much weight and what other consequences come with this physically and mentally.
We will do this by taking an integrated and holistic look at the biological and psychological feedback loop that goes into maintaining a natural weight and how our industrialized society has disrupted it.
We’ll discuss how what you eat informs how you feel and your habits which in turn influence what you eat as a constantly self-reinforcing infinity loop.
We’ll examine how our culture and thus education and medical systems are not holistic, and results in a siloed view of human biology and health which allows the public and experts to continue to frame weight loss as about willpower and only about food…. and how very convenient this is for those who set and profit from our industrialized agriculture policy.
We laugh about Domino’s sugar diet, but the same reasoning still informs our modern dietary guidelines. Even the mainstream is noting that “The Sugar Research Foundation” with the help of three handsomely compensated Harvard scientists in 1967 handpicked studies placing the blame on fat rather than sugar for heart disease. In 1977 one of these researchers would become the Head of Nutrition for the USDA and outline nutrition guidelines, enabling the low-fat weight-loss craze to become a thing, and we’d all get fatter, sicker, and more depressed in the years to come.
If in your gut, you feel there are more important (and potentially revolutionary) root causes to your weight battle or if you want to learn the viewpoint that people will likely have 50 years now— that willpower and a simple view of calorie counting as the key to weight loss makes about as much sense as giving morphine to babies—this season is for you.
Had a baby. Eca Bernard Shapiro-Queiros.
Share some of that throughout the season and then am figuring out how to share what will be helpful to you. So much to say…from how I ate and drank to sustain myself through unmedicated labor and birth. To how I made my birth experience so empowering even though I had to end up giving birth in a hospital (Case study in how to have a natural birth in a hospital setting), and how I had to advocate for myself and trust my choices during some important health decisions. 4th Trimester being really hard.
I’ve been through cancer, depression, owning a business, infertility and unmedicated childbirth. And those first six weeks of Parenthood made me doubt if I was cut out for this.
DMs from listeners, clients and other mom friends have been so supportive. Such an amazing community of listeners and I want to thank you for your support.
Switching gears to today’s episode:
- For those of you familiar with my work, you know that my approach views weight-loss as a side-effect of balancing your body with the right foods for you (i.e. there isn’t one way of eating that works for everyone) and addressing the emotional reasons we fall off track by overtime, rewriting our story to one that uncovers our own agency and resets our internal sense of safety and therefore our nervous systems “fight or flight” response. This changes the way we view the world and how we react which translates to new, healthier worldview, habits and actions— including those around food and weight.
- This approach unlocks options and freedoms that you didn’t know were possible in your life and around food. In this Insatiable season, I’ll go deeper into the 6 “food freedoms” unlocked by the Truce with Food process based on the 6 most common ways that clients and listeners say their weight obsession “handcuffed” them. I’ll delve into the research behind why this 2 pronged approach heals these along with client success stories.
- To introduce the approach and orient you for this season, I’m using episode one as an overview of all 6 food freedoms using my story as an example.
Before we get into it, if you are actively being treated for an eating disorder, it’s important to follow your treatment plan. This season applies to people who may have disordered eating but don’t currently have diagnosable eating disorders nor are they in treatment for them.
For those in treatment for an eating disorder, this season can give you some emotional insights but please discuss those with those supporting your recovery. However, I suggest ignoring the food piece of what is discussed as it may interfere with your recovery.
To frame this season and this episode, we need to first talk about addiction and trauma —and how these are all normalized by our food supply and modern life to unhealthy ends.
When we think about addiction, alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes are often the first thing that comes to mind. But, our industrialized, processed food supply sets us all up for a chemical dependency and an addictive reaction to food. Research in rats has shown sugar to be more addictive than crack cocaine—and sugar and simple starches and carbohydrates that our bodies process like sugar comprise the bulk of our processed every day food supply. And like drug addicts or alcoholics whose brain chemistry changes to require that they chase their last high, we are constantly chasing blood sugar highs and are compulsively driven to eat when our blood sugar is destabilized by processed foods and sugars. If you feel chemically dependent on sugar, carbs or a drive to eat, it’s probably not some unique addiction or personal failing of willpower, your body is reacting in a normal way to a processed, sugary food supply that it has not evolved to handle.
Traditional and modern rehab programs have an emotional and mindset component—and often people who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions have some trauma or strong wounds to work through to truly recover from their addiction.
Similarly, though lesser known in diet or wellness culture is that dieting and bingeing are often an attempt at healing from these varying degrees of trauma. And just as our addictive food supply has been normalized, so has trauma. The truth is 90% of us will experience one or more traumatic events in our lifetime.
When we think about trauma we often think of war, rape and going through something like cancer. But there are other everyday traumas in modern life that we accept as “normal,” especially emotionally, that are not normal and leave wounds that we are seeking to sooth. It’s the fear of gun violence, having your real health issues dismissed by the mainstream medical system, experiencing neglect as a child, growing up in an unstable home, divorce, being bullied, a toxic boss or being “othered,” sometimes for our weight.
My work with clients backs up this research. Many of my clients are surprised to find their food and weight issues do come back to trauma because they think “oh, what I experienced wasn’t that bad” or “didn’t everyone go through this?“ or “other people have had it worse, this feels like a first world problem.
But there’s good news. While we most commonly think of “post-traumatic stress disorder” which is very real, we hear less about post-traumatic growth,” is a term coined by University of North Carolina psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun.
This term describes surprising benefits many survivors discover when they undertake the process of healing from trauma. They found growth in five main areas: personal strength, deeper relationships with others, new perspectives on life, appreciation of life, and spirituality. As many as 90 percent of survivors from all walks of life report at least one aspect of growth.
Bringing this all back to weight loss, I found that losing weight was one of the most empowering experiences of my life because it was how I addressed and healed the root causes of why I was bingeing. Like my clients, while we believed weight loss was “the answer”, what was driving us to eat and diet had very little to do with food.
As a recap for those familiar and an overview for those just joining now, before getting pregnant I had lost and kept off 25 pounds and stopped obsessing over food after 18 years of chronic dieting. As I got older, I got healthier as I continued to rebuild and strengthen my physical and psychological feedback loop which had been broken by our industrialized food system, cancer and chemo for childhood cancer, and subsequent medicines like antidepressants, Accutane, and antibiotics that were used to patch the symptoms, not fix the root cause. I did this through better food and lifestyle choices that I was able to adopt and sustain as I healed my past psychological trauma.
What I didn’t realize at the time when I gave up dieting 17 years ago and focused on understanding my body and root causes of why I binged, I was actually setting out on a path of post-traumatic growth from cancer.
I hope this Season will give you more of a map of how to plan your weight loss goals in a different way, one that facilitates post-traumatic growth and empowers you by turning your food and weight pain into part of your purpose, as mine did.
For more about my experience that will frame this episode, I always thought my weight story started at Weight Watchers (now WW) at 11 years old, but it actually started when I was about six. Gymnastics in neighbor’s yard. Rash no doctors could explain for two weeks. Weight gain from inflammation. Bullying, being called fat…being thin would solve this. The popular girls were thin. Dad: running from fat man, issues with sugar.
That’s how I ended up asking to be taken to WW at age 11. This then lead to deprivation, dieting and body-shame which is own form of trauma and further compounded the other trauma.
Then at age 13, I was diagnosed with cancer further adding to my story that when things were uncertain – whether my health, weight, body or life – they would fall apart.
My story wasn’t a single incident, but a series of experiences that built up my story and created protective coping patterns that would eventually sabotage my resilience and confidence, making weight loss feel like the answer to make it easier and safer (i.e. less risky) to live the life I wanted.
What I couldn’t see then but can now is that I ascribed a magic power to weight loss: it would give me the resilience and ease to make the riskier choices I dreamed about, from a meaningful career to dating and finding a partner I would feel lucky to be with. Skinny would be magic.
And I was not alone in this thinking. We live in a culture where addictive industrialized food is pushed at us with one hand and we are slapped for gaining weight by the other. As we all get heavier, thin is seen as a more elusive yet magical goal.
We see evidence that many women and men are trying to lose weight and likely answer a buried, confused subconscious call from our bodies to regain the balance and health that a normalized toxic and addictive food supply has stolen from us through dieting. Of course, women are accused of disordered eating or giving into the patriarchy when they diet whereas men are “biohacking for peak performance”.
We are not eating the right foods for our body as we tell ourselves stories that keep us further stuck in these unhealthy bodies. The story is not about the food but it shows up in how you eat, exercise, work, relationships, finances, and generally how you live your life.
So let’s get to the new freedoms you can expect when you heal the root causes of our trauma and weight battle.
Food Freedom 1: Stop Monitoring Yourself around Food
To stop monitoring yourself around food you need to balance your blood sugar while fulfilling your bio-unique nutrient needs and shut off the part of your nervous system that senses food and your weight as a threat by rewriting the stories we tell ourselves around food and our weight.
As discussed, our industrialized food supply throws off our blood sugar, deprives us of nutrients, and overstimulates the reward system in our brain. When our system is imbalanced like this, food becomes an addictive substance taunting us. Avoiding it can take every ounce of mental energy and still end in defeat, like an alcoholic in recovery at a bar or a recovering drug addict who sees their friends indulging.
For me, understanding my own bio individuality was a key step to not feeling a preoccupation with food and so hungry all the time.
In college, I followed the late 90s theory that vegetarianism was the answer for cancer survivors.
As I failed the weight loss game as a Vegetarian, and decided to give the then-gaining in popularity South Beach diet a shot, I added meat into my diet. This reduced my hunger, sugar cravings and surprisingly, my anxiety. My own body was validating the diet’s explanation of the role of blood sugar and I felt calmer and happier.
This was my first step in putting together what worked best for me based on my own biofeedback.
But this is what is tricky about pre-fab plans. They work in some ways.
South Beach was a foundational piece in understanding my blood sugar but like many simple diet book answers, it lacked context, nuance and knowledge of bio individuality. I was overfed but malnourished which made me more anxious and more likely to fall off the prescribed diet plan as my body continued to seek true nourishment… in all the wrong places. The ANS – fight or flight – recognizes famine or modern day chronic hunger as a threat if it doesn’t receive the right nutrients.
Still, I did come to realize that my balanced blood sugar created a self-reinforcing feel good cycle that made me more able to resist sugar than the knowledge that cancer (my biggest fear) fed on sugar.
As I completed my master’s degree and further studied adult development theory and research, I learned how important this is from an emotional and nervous system standpoint. We monitor ourselves and the world around us when we feel under threat. It’s a natural and important safety mechanism when it’s not overused.
For instance, we know that fire and heat can keep us alive and cook our food, but it can also hurt us. This is why we we use caution around fire and smoke, but, if you left a building every time you felt a heat vent blow warm air or were triggered by car or building exhaust pipes and other instances of warmth and fire, you’d have a pretty stressful life and your nervous system would be fried. This is essentially what happens to chronic dieters when food and their weight gets built up to mythical proportions as the end all be all to success and happiness.
For me, having been a chronic dieter, I felt unsafe about my weight and having had cancer, I felt unsafe about my health. And at the time, I had assumed that being thin was healthy, no matter how I got there. And I wasn’t crazy or irrational—thin privilege is real. It wasn’t my imagination or my extra confidence that times in my life when I had been thin, people reacted to me differently in ways that made everyday life easier. Still, it wasn’t the absolute winning lottery ticket that I had made it in my head.
With my blood sugar more balanced, I may not have been driven to the plate of cookies in the breakroom at work at 3 PM like a junkie, but I still found myself engaged in what I call “existential eating” in the evening when I knew my corporate job wasn’t a good fit.
I vacillated between boredom, overwhelm, and questioning the meaning of it. I felt trapped in a job that wasn’t the right fit that I didn’t know how to get out of while maintaining my income and health insurance benefits I needed to survive.
This binary choice I had built up in my head of corporate job or poverty and no health insurance was actually yet another symptom of the black and white thinking that was making me an emotional eater. I needed to explore the root cause of this belief system and slowly build, test, and validate a new story to truly feel safe, in control and empowered. This would ultimately calm down my fight or flight response and make me view food and my diet in a different way more in line with how I learned to view the rest of the world.
In this season’s episode, we will discuss the physical and emotional safety requirements we need to feel safe so we can stop monitoring ourselves around food, our weight and life.
Food Freedom 2: Feel in Control, Not Controlled by Food.
To feel in control, you need to realize you have and can make choices and experiment with these choices to find what is best for your body and life. This is backed by research in adult development theory that finds adults have a deep need to be self-directed to learn and execute—and this is also yet another place where pre-fab diets fall very short.
I had learned from my own experience what my study of adult development theory later validated, I realized other people telling me what to do around food – whether it was diets or even Geneen Roth’s 9 tenants like eat sitting down, made me want to rebel. And when Intuitive Eating folks gave me permission to just eat the cookie, I would often feel like shit and I didn’t want to feel like shit.
To be self-directed also known as “in choice” around food, I had to start connecting what I ate not to if I was good or bad by staying within my points, allotted calories or if I was losing weight but more: did I feel good or bad? Specifically, what was happening with my cravings and moods?
This was such a challenge because my mood was so clouded by what the scale said and ideas about good and bad foods. Tuning into my body and not my head, along with more nuance was a massive learning curve and required unlearning some of the common “wisdom” that goes along with our industrialized food supply and pre-fab diet products.
I thought I was eating healthy but realized most of my foods were packaged. Low-fat yogurt (processed). Salad bar at work (dressings…sugar, vegetable oils). WW and South Beach desserts.
I had to learn how to cook. Eating mostly whole foods about 80% of the time. Felt so much more satisfied, cleared up most of my physical cravings, and mood and energy crashes, I felt more in control of food because I was choosing to do this simply because it made my life easier. Could get through the whole morning without being hungry. Didn’t have to try and push lunch back. Didn’t need a 10:30 or 3 pm snack. No book could have known my or anyone else’s unique needs and taught us this.
The challenge with choice is we often don’t know what other choices we have because we are measuring the wrong things. My story was also showing up in how I exercised. I discovered through a real haphazard process because again, I didn’t have a map of how to efficiently rewrite my story, that for me to really want to do exercise, it had to give me energy back, boost my mood and be easy to integrate into my life, not a calorie burn. I had been only doing exercise like lots of cardio or at least a 300 calorie burn because in my mind, that’s only when it counted.
In my work with clients, we experiment to see if it’s safe to choose differently and when our story isn’t true. For example, I like many of my clients find that when we go for gentler or less rigid exercise choices, we don’t gain weight and we overeat less, i.e. things don’t fall apart.
We’ll dive deeper into swapping out control for choice and how to see the choices you probably don’t realize you have in this episode! What is your Option C that you might not know is available to you?
Food Freedom 3: Redefine Self-Acceptance
Accepting and taking responsibility for your true emotional and physical needs is what will truly make you happy, not trying to accept a body that has been made sick by an addictive, industrialized food supply.
I used to think self-acceptance meant resignation: I needed to accept that I loved food and loved my unwell body that came with it. I thought if I truly owned this, I could be happy.
But I never was. And I learned that the unfulfillment of this was about much more than wanting to look a certain way. For weight loss to be empowering, self-acceptance has to mean radical responsibility. It means looking at the habits we think are just who we are, as symptoms. It means resisting the normalization of an industrialized food supply and advocating for yourself and undertaking the responsibility to learn what foods do and don’t work for your body.
For me on my journey, I had to accept and take responsibility that I am gluten intolerant.
In this episode, we’ll delve into research about what to test to see if you need to cut or reduce certain things in your diet.
For me, my uncertainty story showed up big time with being gluten-free, around relationships. Every time I had to advocate for myself, would the waiter think I was being difficult? Friends think this was another fad I was trying? New to dating Carlos: she’s inconsistent with this…is she telling the truth and I value truth!
I would feel timid and afraid of the judgment. And if people didn’t like me, things would fall apart! What helped me accept that I had to be gluten-free was sharing more with Carlos about my eating history and issues and how going gluten-free was a process. I was very uncertain how he would react. Still new relationship at the time. Part of what he says he loves about me is my confidence – obviously not very confident. And would I be that “high-maintenance” girl?
Acceptance helps when we accept we have needs and are allowed to have needs (and aren’t needy) and we have others who support us with those needs.
He was so supportive and having the safety in that relationship made it easier for me to advocate on my own. Sister diagnosed with celiac and family was always supportive. And in early days was able to help clients who needed to be or wanted to try being gluten-free.
In this episode, why we crave what’s bad for us, how to unwind from this in an unrestrictive way and the number one thing we can do to have emotionally healthy relationships can help us eat well.
Food Freedom 4: Stop the Binge Restrict Cycle (and mindset)
To stop your binge-restrict cycles, you need to interrupt and mediate the physiological response caused by this behavior as well as the mindset that reinforces these cycles.
Part of the dietary illusion is most of them do work in the beginning. And by work I mean weight loss. Most don’t work long-term not because we are weak or fall off but because they restrict calories so much, which actually leads to overeating and weight gain from the diet itself (yes, dieting is one of the main causes of weight gain). It’s often this restriction that leads to bingeing and overeating because our body is starving and deprived of key nutrients.
However, because diets work in the beginning, we believe doing them perfectly is the magic, reinforcing all-or-nothing eating, which is bingeing-restricting.
Our industrialized food supply and dietary guidelines find it most convenient to ignore the nuance, bioindividuality, and addictive qualities of processed food and treat the human body as a widget with a mechanical calories in, calories out game. In truth, having our bodies come to their natural resting place is a holistic healing game or adventure, depending on what inspires you.
For me, I had to stop restricting after I overate and not “gear up” on a diet or to deprive myself “cold turkey” the next day. I had to learn how to eat after overeating to gently bring down my blood sugar in a way that didn’t set me up for another binge cycle. Of course this was scary…would I just keep overeating? Would I gain a ton of weight?
And once again, for me and others, here’s where the emotional story work is of greater importance than the food: with balanced blood sugar overeating and bingeing is emotional, and often from stressors we don’t realize we are inflicting upon ourselves. And all-or-nothing eating comes from all or nothing thinking, which is a root cause of a lot of our stress.
For me when I was working through my overeating cycles, I was straddling a Corporate job during day and building my holistic nutritional practice during early mornings, nights and working weekends and wasn’t ready to make the leap. To truly make the leap into working for myself full time and stop my overeating cycles, I needed to stop seeing the common pitfalls and rough patches of early entrepreneurship as just that, not omens that I would fail and my business and financial stability was doomed.
What we need to learn in life and in our diets is a growth mindset, in other words to treat what we previously thought of as failures as research and growth opportunities that will ultimately make us more discerning and more successful.
In this episode, we will talk about how to eat after a binge or overeating to restore a healthy balance and how to learn a growth mindset that makes you more discerning and helps you build a beautiful solution for the life and diet that works best for you.
Food Freedom 5: End the Guilt (and Downward Eating Spiral)
By learning your body and your patterns when you are in your story, you can make food choices that puts the breaks on a downward eating spiral where one cookie can turn into days or weeks of bingeing.
For me with my food, it was a revelation to realize that I could be moderate with desserts and still keep my depression away, my skin clear and not gain weight. In other words, I didn’t have to be perfect to get results.
Keeping my blood sugar balanced helped me to be discerning in my dessert choices. Stabilized blood sugar stabilized my mood and helped me to be in the right place to work on my story around dessert.
Research shows how our blood-sugar is connected to our emotional capacity. In other words, the same way life feels different on 4 hours of sleep versus 8, how we eat determines how we will feel about things, including feeling overly emotional and thus, catastrophizing.
This can help us work through our own stories more calmly. When we are in our story, we catastrophize in part so we can think of every angle in order to protect ourselves. I was judging each meal or day and it was the judgment or story about things falling apart (you’ll want to keep eating, you love the taste too much…these were all thoughts my story was generating) rather than understanding trends, including what amount of dessert would derail me, what kind and when I was eating out of my story instead of genuinely wanting dessert.
In this episode, I’ll go into more detail on how I and my clients have worked on our blood sugar and story around the dessert tray and chips. I will detail how I learned to look at eating dessert as research and build discernment around my choices here. I learned that higher fat content desserts worked best for me and the first few bites were the most satisfying was a key piece of the puzzle.
In this episode, we’ll get further into the research as well as my own and client examples of what food choices can keep us more emotionally stable so we can prevent catastrophizing food and life choices and enjoy the foods we want in moderation.
Food Freedom 6: Stop Feeling like a Sugar Junkie (yes, sugar rehab is a thing)
Throughout this episode and my approach, I may sound like a broken record but as we know, sugar is a drug and like most addictions, there is a chemical and emotional element that is keeping us addicted. By going through your own mini sugar rehab you can detox from the chemical dependency of sugar and learn how to understand and heal the root cause that is driving you to numb your pain with sugar.
For me, I used to think I LOVED sugar more than anyone else. I thought I was someone who couldn’t eat just one cookie. Also, as I discuss throughout this episode and a pillar of my approach generally is how you do one thing is how you do everything. How we view food is how we view the world.
Not surprisingly, for me as a self-proclaimed sugar addict, my relationship to sugar changed as my relationship to food changed.
As I got to an advanced point in healing my trauma and bingeing, I was eating rather well. My physical sugar cravings had disappeared as learned the right foods for me and balanced my blood sugar and micronutrient needs. Still sugar was an emotional siren I couldn’t refuse. I still looked forward to it at holidays, during celebrations, on vacation, weekends: all the times I wanted to relax and unwind.
One key learning at this stage of my journey was a revelation that the more sugar I ate, the more I wanted and that a lot of my “health foods” had a lot of hidden sugars that were making me more susceptible to the sugar siren.
I had to work on the tactics of educating myself what foods had hidden sugars or appeared healthy but also make a few dietary tweaks to help my sweet tooth. I’ll go into these further in this season’s episode.
Still even with balanced blood sugar, my story loomed large in how I viewed sugar. I had to understand that my need for sugar was the symptom, not the root cause problem when I was feeling anxious, which was code for my uncertainty story is active. While I didn’t consistently feel anxious, there were periods and moments when I did.
Sugar numbed my anxiety and made me on higher alert, which I felt I needed when my story was active. What I discovered is I would be anxious when I felt I was falling behind in building my business compared to my peers. And then my old story that I thought I had rebuilt would appear for an encore: If I was behind in my business, I would fall apart financially, being out of the corporate world for years now, I was unemployable on the general market and now I had student loans from grad school!
At the time in my market, the wellness world there seemed to be two camps of people getting ahead: Girlfriend advice that told you to take a bubble bath or otherwise indulge and pamper yourself or recipes. Neither camp resonated with me or seemed to fix what I knew to be the true problem (and I genuinely hate recipes!) but still it was hard not to compare myself to success the shiny objects of the moment were experiencing. I had to welcome the parts of me that felt “uncool” so I could first belong to my whole self.
This forced me to get clear on what was important to me? Depth, truth and freedom and accept the big risks and work it would take to honor my values.
In the end accepting this and doing the work allowed me to experiment with and ultimately create channels that connected with people on my wavelength and as I was able to accept the work that I still had to do on my story and my business to make it mesh with my true values, I didn’t need sugar in the same way to relax and unwind.
In this episode we will delve further into the research around sugar and emotional dependencies as well as discuss some easy food tips to reduce sugar and how to recognize the four emotional triggers of why we turn to sugar and how to begin your own sugar rehab today in this episode.
So those are the six life changing freedoms that can be unlocked by doing the physiological and emotional work to balance your blood sugar and to uncover your own agency to reset your internal sense of safety and lens through which you view the world. It took me about 15 years to turn my weight loss battle into post-traumatic growth because the collective story, known as mainstream media and mainstream academics had a different mentality when I started out. And I didn’t have a map, which is why I created one that is integrated into all my programs.
By becoming aware of, rewriting and owning my story, I learned how to make uncertainty work out for me instead of feeling powerless in the face of it and when things fall apart. I’m so grateful and glad I did this weight loss work because I know I wouldn’t have been able to build a life on my terms, including most recently, successfully challenge the infertility story and diagnosis Western Medicine gave me if I hadn’t had so much practice with my food, weight, finances, work and relationships. Or as my friend Laura McKowen says, life doesn’t get easier, we get better.
In this process, I came to deeply know that health, wellness and wherever our bodies weight naturally rests is about fulfillment and freedom, not restriction and deprivation.
And skinny isn’t magic. We are.
If you want to hear more stories of empowerment like mine, TWF mini-course. Six video testimonials…and about a year or two post-TWF. Weight loss and life aren’t about what happens to you in 30 days but rather if we are lucky, 30 weeks, 30 years, etc.
Find that at https://alishapiro.com/truce-with-food-mini-course/
Back next week with Episode 2, which is Food Freedom 1: Stop Monitoring Yourself around Food
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