The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 11: Can A Fitness Expert Solve Her Own Weight Loss Challenge

When you make a living helping others get in shape and look good, it can be painful to think that you yourself aren’t measuring up and looking the part. After a lifetime of dieting, exercise and even hitting her perfect target weight, Liz still wasn’t happy, nor could she maintain her ideal body. She was under a constant pressure to make sure she looked like everyone seemed to expect a fitness expert should. Tune in to this powerful session where Marc David helps Liz learn a deep life lesson that finally helps her see daylight and a way through her predicament.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Eating Psychology Podcast with Elizabeth DiTomasso

Marc: Welcome, everyone! I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m here today with Liz. Welcome, Liz!

Liz: Thank you!

Marc: I’m so glad you’re doing this. And I’m glad we’re here together.

Liz: Me, too!

Marc: So for viewers and listeners who haven’t been with us before and don’t know the drill, in the Psychology of Eating podcast, what we do is we’re going to have a one-time session. And whatever Liz wants to work on, we shall indeed work on. And the idea is to take six months to a year’s worth of counseling or coaching and condense it into one session and hopefully have a nice opening or a breakthrough or some great insights to move you forward. So this is on one level an artificial and strange situation. But on another level, we get to kind of turbocharge the coaching process and see if we can zero in on things.

So, Liz, if you could wave your magic wand and get whatever you want from this session, what would that be?

Liz: I think I would love to just have some deeper insight in how to move forward with some of the issues that are causing me to gain weight and keep the weight on. I have a sense of what they are. But I just feel stuck in terms of how to help the issues.

Marc: Okay, so you want to lose weight. Can you tell me how much weight you want to lose?

Liz: Sure. I would like to lose about forty to fifty pounds.

Marc: Forty to fifty pounds. What weight would that put you at?

Liz: That would put me at about 135 pounds.

Marc: For interest’s sake, when was the last time you weighed that amount?

Liz: I weighed that amount about ten years ago.

Marc: And so between now and that ten years ago, you’ve pretty much then at this weight? Have you fluctuated?

Liz: No. Actually up until about three years ago, I was about forty pounds lighter than I am now. So I was ten pounds over the 135 range. And I maintained that for a while until I started working full-time. And then the weight started to creep on. And it has kind of exploded since a few things have happened in life.

Marc: And when you say it’s exploded since a few things have happened in life, what’s happened?

Liz: So the first thing was that I work in the fitness industry. And I was invited to be on a fitness DVD. So I was flown to the location of where the DVD was going to be filmed. And when I arrived, I was told that I could be on the DVD because I didn’t look like I needed to look to be on DVD. So that was the first instance.

And the second was I was dating someone. And we broke up. And it’s just been really hard for me to move past resentment and forgiving him for certain things.

Marc: Got it. So let me get this straight. So you were going to film these fitness DVDs. You were weighing 140, correct?

Liz: I was a little bit over that. I was probably about 150 at that point.

Marc: So you were 150. You got down to wherever. You were at the place wherever you need to be filmed. And they said, “You can’t do this weighing this amount or looking how you look.”

Liz: Correct.

Marc: Did you have any idea that was going to happen?

Liz: It was one of those situations where was my own personal worst fear since I’ve had weight issues my whole entire life.

So it’s hard to differentiate between whether it was just kind of in my head because it’s something I’ve carried with me forever, or whether I actually did think it would happen.

Frankly, in my mind, once they accepted you to be able to go down there, they already knew what you look like and what you brought to the table. So in my mind, it was just kind of an unfounded fear that I was carrying with me.

Marc: But, nonetheless, here’s this worst possible fear. And it comes true.

Liz: Yes.

Marc: Wow. So when was the first time you started dieting or saying to yourself, “I need to lose weight.”

Liz: In sixth grade.

Marc: Wow.

Liz: Yep. So right around the time puberty hit was when I started to just see myself as being different and not liking my body compared to other people. My aunt at the time was selling NutriSystem. So that was the first diet I was on.

Marc: And did your parents want you to diet? Was anybody saying anything to you?

Liz: No. No. I don’t have that type of family. It’s very much the type of family that if I decide I want to do something, I have a strong will. So they just sort of support me.

Marc: So from there, from the sixth grade, was that a time when okay now you’re on the dieting racetrack? Did you do a lot of dieting after that first time?

Liz: Absolutely. The whole time, from six grade on, I would say.

Marc: Wow.

Liz: Yeah.

Marc: So what was the longest period of time where you weighed what you wanted to weigh?

Liz: I was on Weight Watchers, which was how I got down to the 135. I was actually a little bit lower. I was 129 at my lowest. I weighed that for about six months to a year. I went on a trip to Australia. And while on that trip, I started to gain weight, although I was eating the same types of food I eat here in America.

And I started to have other symptoms on that trip, which led me to believe there was something else going on, an underlying medical cause. So when I came home, I was about five pounds heavier. So I was about 140, around 140. And I started to seek other medical advice because I thought there was something going on.

I was having a lot of fatigue. I was just waking up feeling really tired, waking up with my eyes looking just really puffy and feeling really bloated and puffy. And I got to the end of the road with medical doctors telling me there was nothing wrong with me. And that’s when I started seeking the help of natural doctors.

So I maintained around 140 to 145 for about seven years before I started gaining a lot of weight.

Marc: So you maintained 140 to 145 for seven years. And when you were maintaining 140 to 145, how much exercise and what kind of exercise were you doing?

Liz: Well, the nature of my job is to teach other people exercise. So I’m definitely in the gym a lot, probably a lot more than the average person. I would say it ranges. There are times when I’ve been in the gym seven days a week teaching a one-hour class at least one class per day. At this point, I’m down to about four to five days in the gym doing or teaching a one-hour class per day. So it ranges between five and seven days per week.

Marc: Got it. But during that time, during those seven years of 140 to 145, it was about one class a day for seven days a week?

Liz: Sure. Yep. There were some weeks where it was six or five days.

Marc: Got it. Did you do any exercise outside of teaching that class?

Liz: No, not really.

Marc: And what was your diet like? Were you on a regimented diet?

Liz: I’ve tried a lot of different diets. I find myself definitely moving towards vegetarianism and veganism in general. But I did have several nutritionists over that time. So I had a nutritionist that worked with bodybuilders. And he had me on a diet with a lot of protein, so a lot of meat, a lot of whey protein. I lost some weight initially, but gained it back while on that diet and was miserable the whole time.

I’ve been on a diet where it was similar to what we study, actually, where I didn’t weigh myself. And I wasn’t worried too much about portion. I was to add more fat to my diet. But it wasn’t very structured. So I ate a lot of avocados, as many avocados as I wanted per day. Less structure there.

I’ve been on Weight Watchers various times where it just didn’t work after the first time that it worked. That was my experience of Weight Watchers. Yeah, that’s about it. Kind of on and off the Weight Watchers premise.

Marc: So these days, are you on a diet? Or do you just eat how you eat? Do you have a structure?

Liz: Well, the last diet I was on right before I left to the filming for the DVD was the Eat for Life Diet, which is all vegetarianism. And you do eat healthy fat. But you need a certain amount per day. So you don’t go over a certain amount. I was on that diet when I returned from my non-filming for the DVD. And it just didn’t work anymore for me. My weight started and continued to climb.

As of October when I started studying your course, I stopped the diet mentality. So now I just eat whatever really, which mostly is vegetarianism. But sometimes there are things thrown in I never would’ve eaten in the past, what I consider junk food or cheat foods.

Marc: Got it. When are you most happy with how you’re eating?

Liz: I was definitely happy when I was on Eat for Life because it felt more natural for me to be vegetarianism and to not have meat pushed on me. It’s really pushed on you when you’re in the fitness industry, that you should eat a certain amount of meat.

So I definitely say I’m happiest eating that type of diet that includes beans and healthy fats, but also not with having to measure things or specifically calculate. I’m happiest where it’s more natural and where I can feel like I can have a slice of pizza with my family and not feel I’m somehow going off the diet or being bad.

Marc: Got it. Do you tend to be a fast eater? Moderate eater? Slow eater?

Liz: Definitely fast, especially lunch. Very fast because it’s kind of in the middle of my workday. I work from home. But I’m still very conscious of getting a certain amount of work done a day. So I’m a fast eater.

Marc: What kind of work are you doing these days?

Liz: I work full-time in the fitness industry as a business consultant. So I do that portion of my full-time job at home. I’m still teaching classes at gyms. And I train other instructors so that they can teach, as well. That’s sort of a weekend job.

Marc: Got it. And how is it for you being in fitness and teaching classes and not being at the weight you want?

Liz: It is rough. It’s really rough. I found myself over the past year in dealing with a challenge just coming to terms with how I can actually help people then if I’m willing to stand up no matter what size I am and just be who I am. But there are days when it’s worse than others.

Marc: So when you do take on that attitude of, “Okay, this is me. And here’s what I weigh. And I’m still teaching fitness,” does it ever feel good?

Liz: It does. Yep, those days feel really good.

Marc: Tell me what feels good about them. Describe it more.

Liz: It feels good to me because I don’t believe in coincidences. So I know there’s a reason why I am where I am right now with my weight. And it feels like I’m actually making a difference for people, whereas when I taught before at the weight that made me happy, it was almost more about me, like I was happy to be looked at at that weight. Whereas now it’s almost like the focus is fully on what I can add to other people’s lives in terms of inspiring them. It feels more like a purpose to me.

Marc: Are there people who ever come up to you and appreciate you for being you and here’s who you are, and here’s what you look like, and you’re teaching fitness?

Liz: They don’t say it that way. I think probably it would be too insulting to mention that I look different than the other instructors. So they don’t say it that way. They definitely appreciate my classes. But they don’t hone in on that specific thing.

Marc: Got it. You have kids?

Liz: No.

Marc: Okay. So you talked about spending time with your family. So family for you means…?

Liz: My parents live nearby. And I have two sisters. I have nieces and a nephew. And I have two brothers in law. So I spend a lot of time with them.

Marc: Got it. So you’re obviously close with your parents.

Liz: I am.

Marc: How is your mom’s relationship with her body?

Liz: It’s funny. I have this memory of my mom when I was younger doing Jane Fonda when they had the books and the tape. There was no video. And I have memories of that. So when we were younger, she was conscious in terms of exercise. But she’s also always pretty much been on diets her whole life.

Marc: How’s her weight?

Liz: I think she would be happy with where she is now. She’s probably at a healthy weight for her.

Marc: But do you think she’s happy where she is now?

Liz: I would say she probably falls in the category that most women do where she’ll just continue dieting for the rest of her life and feel like that’s the only way to control it.

Marc: So can I ask how old you are?

Liz: Thirty-five.

Marc: Thirty-five. Do you plan on getting married, having kids?

Liz: I hope so!

Marc: Yeah! So you would like to?

Liz: I would.

Marc: Are you dating right now?

Liz: No.

Marc: Any special reason? You’re just not meeting the right guy? You’re pushing the pause button? What?

Liz: No. So after I broke up with my boyfriend, I went on a date about a month later to try to just get myself out there. I didn’t want to become stale. And it was just a nightmare of a date. It was horrible.

So after that I just said, “You know what? I think I need more time to get over some things, work through some emotional things that I have from ex-boyfriend.” So that’s been about a year now. And I’m definitely at the point now where I’m ready to date. And I don’t feel like I’ll be dragging a whole lot of that baggage into my next date. That was the main reason, although I will say that for me being at this size and trying to date is tough. My mentality around what I want to look like, especially if I’m doing online dating, it makes it harder.

Marc: Sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Interesting conundrum then, huh?

Liz: Yeah.

Marc: Okay. So lastly are you eating regular meals these days?

Liz: Yes. Although I’ll say that my breakfast comes probably a little bit later than it should. Because I don’t have to get up and go into an office, I can wake up whatever time I want and just start working basically. So sometimes I’ll notice that I’ll get up and want to immediately start working, which means breakfast comes at like 10:00 or 11:00. And I’m starving at that point.

So the timing could be a little bit off. And that pushes everything else back then, pushes back when I have lunch and dinner. But I do have breakfast lunch and dinner. I don’t really do snacks in between, although I think I could. I’m hungry enough to do snacks in between.

Marc: Got it. Okay, so I’ve actually collected a lot of good information at this point. So I would love to just give you my thoughts and feelings about what’s happening for you. And I want to start off by saying that even though we’re all unique and each one of us is super individual, there’s a lot of similarities that we tend to share, especially when it comes to body and body image and weight and dieting.

And on the one hand, you’re unique, and your story’s unique. But on the other hand, is a very common story. The one common theme that you have that so many people deal with—women and men, and in particular, women—is that you’ve been dieting for approximately forever, since you were in sixth grade. How old are we in sixth grade? Is that like ten years old?

Liz: Yeah, I think it’s around here.

Marc: Yeah. So you’ve been in dieting consciousness essentially since you were a child. And you’re thirty-five now. And we’re still there. And you’ve been where you wanted to be. “Okay, I’m at the weight I want to be at.” And then you weren’t. And then you got close to it. And then you weren’t. And we’re exercising. We’re doing these different diets. And it’s constantly on the train track called diet, exercise, get to where you want to be, try to stay where you want to be and then not stay where you want to be.

And when I hear that story, one of the first places I go in my mind because I like to fix things, okay, how do we make this different? Well, I’ll just say that’s really the target I want to hit. How do we do it differently? And in the big picture, there’s a pattern that wants to change. And to me the pattern that wants to change is the whole dieting, exercising, getting to a certain weight. “I’m not good enough as I am right here. This is not okay. Once I get my body to this place and maintain it at that place, then somehow it’s all going to be okay.”

So that makes sense. That strategy makes sense. But what I want to say is it hasn’t worked for you. Nor has it worked for a lot of people. So don’t take this personally. This hasn’t worked for millions upon millions of people. And it clearly hasn’t worked for you. So in my mind, I want to say I want to interrupt that entire pattern because what happens is we try to interrupt the surface of the pattern. So the surface of the pattern, “Well, maybe I just need a different diet. Maybe I need more fat, less fat, more this. Eat five times a day, nine times a day, two times a day. This system lets you do this. That system lets you do that.”

And it’s kind of like part of interrupting that pattern means letting it go. And to me this is the only way—and I really mean it—it’s the only way that you’re going to get where you want to go because if we keep trying different diets and different exercise and different this and tweaking that, we’re still staying in the same game plan, which is, “There must be some kind of magic diet is going to help me do this finally.”

And my sense is if this would have worked already, it would have worked for you. And part of that and then goes to if you’ve been through the medical machinery, and if you’ve had tests for blood sugar dysregulation or diabetes or prediabetes, if you’ve had your thyroid checked…Have you done that before? Have you had such tests?

Liz: Yeah, I’ve had them several times. Not recently, but yes.

Marc: So if you’re checking out fine there and if you’ve covered those bases, than what I want to say is it might be time for you to try something completely different. And completely different to me means letting go of, “Okay, I need to look different in order to be loved. I need to look a certain way in order to be loved.” That pattern started in sixth grade that, “If I could just change my look, then I’m going to be okay.” And your look changes. And it fluctuates.

And you haven’t gotten where you’ve wanted to go. To me where you want to go is to feel good about yourself. So even though you’ve hit your target weight, what happens is for a lot of people, they’ll hit their target weight. But they’re in a very artificial lifestyle. It’s not sustainable. “I’m on Weight Watchers. I’m doing this intense diet. I’m limiting my food. I’m limiting my intake. I’m doing extra exercise.” Whatever it is that you’re doing, it’s not sustainable. It hasn’t been sustainable for you.

But I think more importantly for a lot of us, when our internal sense of self-love fluctuates, our body will often follow suit.

Now, there are some people out there who you could say to them, “Yeah, here’s how you lose weight. You have to exercise. You have to stop eating all this junk food.” And then they exercise more and they stop eating junk food. And they stop eating sugar. And they lose weight. Sometimes it’s that simple. And oftentimes it has nothing to do with that really.

And my guess is that if we were working together for four, five, six months or longer, this is where we would get to, that fundamentally there’s a place where your sense of self, where, “I love myself” fluctuates dramatically. And for many of us, our body, particularly our body weight, will track our internal sense of self. And for some people it won’t.

There might be gazillions of people out there who their self-love fluctuates and their body stays the same. And their fluctuating self-love and self acceptance, it shows up in other ways. It could be moodiness. It could be depression. It could be various kinds of health issues. It could be addictions. It could be alcohol. It could be awful relationships. It could be anything. So we’re all different.

For you I suspect it’s weight. Weight becomes the mirror of, “I love myself. I don’t love myself. Okay, here’s what’s happening at my job. And I don’t love myself now.” So the weight goes up. Or, “Here’s what’s happening in my relationship. And I don’t love myself now.”

So there’s a place where I think we as humans can often times abandon ourselves. And then we make love very conditional. “I’ll love you if you make a certain amount of money. But if you don’t make that amount of money, I don’t love you.” Okay, that’s a pretty intense condition. I don’t know if you do that to other people or if you do that to your parents or your loved ones. But it’s so different than saying, “Well, if you don’t look a certain way, I’m not going to love you.”

Now, essentially the fitness company said that to you when you showed up to film. They’re kind of saying, “We don’t love you enough to do this because of how you look.” But in a weird way, you said to me, “Well, gosh. That’s my worst fear.” And I’ll reframe that just a little bit. Yeah, it’s your worst fear. But it’s how you talk to yourself, meaning, “I’m not going to love you, Liz,”—this is you talking to you—“unless you look a certain way.”

And now here’s that voice being externalized. And I think you’re at a point where it’s about the inner work for you. It’s time. It’s time. It’s time. It’s time to do the inner work. And the inner work is if you would have gotten to the place where, “Okay, I weigh this perfect amount. And not everyone loves me, including me,” that hasn’t happened.

Life doesn’t let us cheat. Some of us get away with cheating, but not for long. I think life has a fairness built into it. And life is asking you to learn.

So this is not like you’re getting the bad end of the lollipop here. Life is kind of wanting you learn and grow is how I’m looking at it here. And it’s wanting you to mature. It’s wanting you to evolve. And evolving means you can’t just depend on weight or looks for self-worth.

Because the truth is I’m sure you know people or you’ve met people who have the perfect looks in the perfect weight and the perfect shape. And they still don’t like themselves. Right?

Liz: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Marc: And as a fitness teacher, my guess is you see a lot of that.

Liz: Oh, yes.

Marc: And you can pick them out after a while. You can tell because they have what other people might want in terms of looks and body. But they can’t relax. They can’t enjoy it. They’re worried about losing it. Or they want to perfect it even more. And it’s a life of non-self-acceptance and un-self-love. And they’re never getting the benefit of what they want. That’s a human challenge. It’s not about weight. It’s not about body. It’s the disease of perfectionism. It’s the disease of believing that, “Everything will be okay when I look a certain way.” It’s just not true. It just isn’t true.

And I think this is a point in your life where you have to turn a corner. You have to start to turn the corner. Turning the corner means a different strategy. And a different strategy is going to feel at a certain level awful because you would have done it already. And when I say awful, it means it’s going to feel weird and hard and like it doesn’t make sense and like you’re not going to want to give it up.

It’s no different than if you take an alcoholic and you want to get them off of alcohol, which is the best thing for them, they’re going to kick and scream for a bunch of days. And they go through withdrawal. They’re going to go through symptoms. They’re going to go through bodily symptoms. They’re going to go through an emotional detox. They’re going to hate letting go of alcohol. There’s nothing fun about it.

Letting go of dieting consciousness, letting go of, “I have to look a certain way in order to be loved and get what I want,” oddly enough, even though that causes tremendous amount of pain to have those beliefs, in a weird way it’s even more pain to try to let them go. But I want to say it’s kind of like pulling out a splinter. You’ve got up a splintering your hand. The splinter hurts. You ever have the experience of pulling out a splinter and it kind of hurts even more when you’re pulling it out?

Liz: Yeah.

Marc: But once it’s out, it’s out. But that pulling out the splinter part makes us kind of scream sometimes. So I’m saying to you in advance this is hard work. But it’s the hard work you have to do to get to where you want to go. And on the other side, your life is going to change. You’re going to get where you want to go when it comes to the feeling that you want to have. And the way you want to walk through life, it’s not going to guarantee you a look. But you’re going for a place where you love and accept yourself.

There are plenty of people who weigh what you do or a hell of a lot more and they love and they accept themselves. I meet them all the time. Some do. Some don’t. And we live in a world that has a lot of weight hate and a lot of fat prejudice. And we don’t see clearly. We can’t see ourselves clearly. We can’t see others clearly because of the weight hate and the fat prejudice.

And it’s a virus. And you caught it. And I caught it. And most people have it. And it’s a question of to what degree? And it’s a question of are we managing it and are we doing our best to heal ourselves and mount an immune response against that perfectionism virus and begin to let it go? So what I’m suggesting to you is to give it all up, to take three months and just say, “I’m not going to diet.”

And start to be with your body in a different way. I asked you before, “So when do you actually feel good with what you eat?”

And you started saying, “Wow, I like more vegetarian. I don’t want to have meat forced on me. And I don’t like to weigh food or measure it. And I like a little more fat.”

So this is about you starting to get into relationship with your own body and not let a diet book dictate anything to you because the diet books and the systems haven’t nailed it for you in terms of, “Oh, here’s what works for my body.” Part of that is because the measurement we use with diet books and diet system is, “Do I lose weight or don’t I lose weight?” It doesn’t matter how bad the diet is. It doesn’t matter how limited it is. It doesn’t matter how unsustainable it is. Most weight loss diets are completely unsustainable.

So your weight has fluctuated in part because your dieting has fluctuated. And it’s training your metabolism to go up and down. At the same time, because your self-love goes up and down, your body happens to be reflecting that. Essentially you are telling your body when you go on these diets, “I don’t accept you. I don’t accept you. This isn’t good enough.” And that by itself causes a stress.

And you know what stress means. Stress equals insulin and equals cortisol. It equals adrenaline. It equals stress hormones. Over time day in and day out, that creates a biochemical milieu that’s going to stimulate most bodies to store weight and store fat and not build muscle. So it’s creating an inner shift. So science hasn’t completely proved this yet, what I’m about to say because it’s just a little bit outside the box. But we do know that there is a mind-body science and that mind and emotions influence the body. That we know.

What we don’t always realize is that chemistry is very profound. And it’s oftentimes subtle. And if we’re walking through life, “I don’t accept myself for who I am,” our chemistry will often unjust. We sometimes call that the placebo effect. Our chemistry adjusts to our beliefs.

You said yourself, “Here’s my worst fear of I would be rejected in this big way for weighing too much,” especially as a fitness teacher. So in a way, I want to call that one of the most important experiences of your life. That’s an important experience in your life, and not because there’s something wrong with you. And not because you’re a bad person. And not because you failed. It’s a tough freaking lesson that’s trying to show you that you’re worthy of love no matter what. Are you with me?

Liz: I am. Yep.

Marc: So that even, as embarrassing as it might have been for you and as hurtful as it might have been, I would love for you to take that fertilizer, that shitty experience, which I’m going to call fertilizer, and use it for growth. Because the truth is nobody can dictate to you whether you should love your body are not based on how it looks. How dare they?!

And if they want to say that, then that’s their issue. It’s their issue because the truth is, on one level, who cares? And if anybody does care, then let them have their opinions because no matter what, you could have the perfect body and have the perfect weight and the perfect shape. And there’s going to be a whole other slew of people judging you or being jealous or being whatever.

So there is a place where you have to take that experience as a lesson of higher growth and really pull from that experience. I don’t know that you have fully extracted the gold from that experience. I think what you extracted was, “God, that was awful. I’m trying to recover and trying to be okay.” But it’s the shame and the embarrassment that are the poisons that we want to get out of the system.

Shame and embarrassment will drive us to do stupid diets and stupid exercise and constantly judge ourselves and constantly attack ourselves. And for you, here you are a wonderful young woman. And you want to get married. And you want to have a family. And you owe it to yourself to invite a partner in who loves you for who you are.

So right now, if you went on a 500-calorie diet for a couple months and lost all this weight and then started dating, “Okay, well, now I’m going to be loved because I’m 127 pounds. And I can now do online dating,” you’re going to end up attracting somebody who you attracted them for weighing 127 pounds because that’s what you’re putting out. “I will attract you if I weight 127 pounds.” I believe in the hidden architecture of the universe. I believe that oftentimes we will attract what we’re advertising for.

If I put out an advertisement in the newspaper for a certain kind of person, that’s who’s going to show up. The advertisement you would be putting out is, “I’m attracting you for my appearance because this is so important to me. I’m putting so much energy into this so you like me because I’m skinny.” That’s is going to show up at the table, somebody who’s going to now in turn judge you for what you look like.

And then if you gain five pounds or, God forbid, you break a leg and you can’t exercise and you can’t diet intensely, and if you gain ten pounds, then the person is not going to love you.

It’s time to attract from who you are and trust that because believe it or not, if somebody doesn’t like you for how you look or what you weigh, you’re lucky. Cross them off the list. Because you don’t need to have 50,000 guys wanting to marry you and fall in love with you and you to fall in love with them. You just need one guy.

I think people get confused sometimes in the dating and the partnership game. We think we need these hordes of people wanting us. It’s just one. You’re just looking for that one person. And if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with that somebody and have a family with that somebody, do you want somebody who you’ve roped in with smoke and mirrors? Like, “Hey, I just changed this whole thing so I could attract you.” That’s who’s going to show up.

If you’re like, “Hey! Here’s me! Come to the party.” The person who gets you and sees you and loves you will show up. And you don’t know people’s physical preferences. You don’t know the preferences of men. You don’t know the preferences. You just don’t. People are attracted to what they are attracted to. There is some body or some bodies for everyone. That’s my belief. I’ve seen it.

And we often don’t believe that because we have these conditions. “I have to look a certain way, be a certain way,” whatever it is. So I’m suggesting for you the strategy is three months, no dieting. And I want you to start tuning into your body. I want you to start to nourish yourself. And I want you to commit to not having to change your body.

If you lose weight, great. If you don’t, great. Whatever happens, don’t weigh yourself. And start to fall in love with yourself. Start to do that which helps you fall in love with yourself and relax and not walk through the world as if everybody’s judging you and waiting for you to lose weight because that’s kind of been how you’ve been walking through the world. You’ve been walking to the world ashamed to be who you are. Or when you’ve have the body you’ve want it, you’ve been afraid to lose the body that you have. That’s not progress.

And the progress comes when you let all of it go. And this is the hard work because it’s letting go of all the old beliefs, which are hard because, yeah, society does reward people for looking a certain way. It rewards women for looking a certain way. The media rewards you. Hollywood rewards you. But there’s all different kind of people being with all different kinds of people. There’s a lot of love out there.

I don’t want you to anymore try to attract by waving your little magic wand and trying to change your body and all that kind of stuff. It’s time to let it go. You can be in the fitness world and look like anything. There are people who want to be with a fitness instructor who’s skinny. There’s people who want to be with a fitness instructor who’s muscular. There’s people who wants to be with a fitness instructor who’s got a bigger body because, “She’s like me,” or, “I love her class,” or, “I love her energy,” or, “Good for her! She’s an empowered lady.”

It’s all about you being empowered about who you are. Have you ever met somebody that’s really big bodied—a woman—who’s just in her body and loves what she’s got?

Liz: Yeah.

Marc: That’s who I would love to see come out from you because she’s in there. And I suspect there’s a part of you that’s really tired of all this nonsense.

Liz: Oh, yeah. There definitely is.

Marc: So there’s a part of you that’s tired of all this nonsense. And you have yet to fully rebel. Your rebellion comes out when you can’t follow the diet anymore or you want to go off it or you stray from your diet. That’s probably when your rebellion comes out. And it’s not because your week or you have no willpower. It’s because there’s a part of you that’s sick and tired of this because it doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for you.

The different strategy is a more, I want to call it evolved strategy. It’s transformational strategy.

It’s a spiritual strategy where you start with loving your body because we’re only here in short amount of time.

And the body is going to get old. It gets sick. It dies. It gets wrinkly. It changes. You get this. You get that.

We’ve got to love it no matter what. And it’s not always going to come from the outside first. It has to come from you. If you start loving your body, if you’re living in, “This is okay. I love this. This is me,” you’re going to have more interesting people coming to your party. You’re going to have the kind of people coming to your party that you want at your party. Do you want a bunch of people at your party who are just at your party because you’re thin and fit? That’s kind of shallow.

But you have to change your internal conversation first. You’re afraid of their conversation. But you are doing the same internal conversation. You’re going, “I don’t love you because you look a certain way.” That’s what you say to you. When you stop saying that to you, the world is going to stop saying that to you. And if it does still say that to you, you’re not going to care. It’s going to sound so dumb because it is dumb. If that’s how somebody wants to relate to you, that’s their business. You cross them off your list. And you’re on to bigger and better things.

So how is this all landing for you, what I’m saying here?

Liz: Yeah, definitely. It’s at the root of all of it.

Marc: So does it feel doable for you? Scary for you?

Liz: It feels doable. I’ve taken small steps in that direction since October. But I don’t think I’ve fully committed to it.

Marc: Yeah. So here’s my suggestion. When we get off the line today, I want you to fully commit to this. Fully committing to something doesn’t mean you know how to do it. You might not be able to speak Spanish. But you could fully commit to learning Spanish. It doesn’t mean you’re going to know Spanish right away. It means you’ll find the best Spanish course near you. Maybe it’s online. Maybe it’s a live class. Maybe you’ll get a tutor. You’re just committing to this journey even though you don’t know how to do it. But the truth is, a part of you knows, “If I want to learn Spanish, I’ll figure it out somehow, how to best learn it.”

So this is saying to yourself, “Okay, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I don’t know how to do it. But I’m committed to figuring it out as I go along,” as opposed to, “Well, maybe I’ll do it. Maybe I can’t. It sounds a little hard. I don’t know. I’ll try for a few days. And if it’s too…” It will be uncomfortable. I promise you. I’m predicting for you this will be an uncomfortable process. But it will be the greatest uncomfortable thing you’ve ever done.

Liz: I’m okay with uncomfortable.

Marc: Yeah, because you’ve been living in discomfort anyway.

Liz: Yes.

Marc: And it’s time to get comfortable in your own body. It’s time for you to get comfortable in your own body in the comfort of your own skin. That’s what this is about. It’s about starting to love on you maybe for the first time without conditions. “I’m loving myself in this body despite the fact that it’s not perfect. It’s not what I wanted to be. Despite the fact that I want it to lose weight. I’m going to still love it.”

Just like if you have a baby in the baby pops out, you’re not going to say to the baby, “I want a baby with no baby fat. I want a baby with seven percent body fat and toned abs.” That would be horrible to say that. You would not be a very nice mother. But that’s kind of what you say to you. “I will not love you unless you look a certain way.” And that’s got to change. It has to change. And it’s a deep change. It’s a big change. And I think you’re ready for it.

Liz: I am.

Marc: Okay. So the first step is to commit to it. Once we get off the line, just commit to yourself. And then choose for three months that you’re going to slow down with food. That’s the other piece I’d love for you to do. Slow down with eating. Just a little slower, sensuous, relaxed, enjoyable. I want you to start to feel your body more. I want you to start to do what your body loves.

I want you to start to do movement that your body loves, not because it’s calorie burning and not because it’s aerobic or not because it’s going to build you more muscle tissue. Do things because it feels good to move in a body regardless of how much weight you think you’ll lose or not going to lose. That’s going to change your metabolism. That’s going to change your brain chemistry. That’s going to change your life from the inside out.

Liz: Sounds good.

Marc: Yeah. Easier said than done. But it’s a journey. It’s a path. And there’s no quick fixes here.

If there were quick fixes, you’re a smart lady. You would have figured it out. There’s a lot of smart people out there. We would have figured it out. Quick fixes are all false promises. They don’t work. I wish they did. I’ve been in this business for thirty plus years. No quick fixes.

But instead there is the beautiful journey of transformation, which is the road less traveled. But in your case I want to say the necessary road to really get where you want to go.

Liz: Thank you.

Marc: Thank you, Liz! Thanks for being so brave. Thanks for being so courageous. I really appreciate it.

Liz: Thank you so much!

Marc: Yeah. You did great. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning in. I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Lots more to come, my friends. Take care.

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About The Author
Marc David

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.