The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 67: Follow Up – Stop Dieting and Do Some Inner Work
Robin is 55 but eats like a 15 year old without any rules. The problem is, her extra weight has become a health risk – and she doesn’t have much control of her eating, despite being well educated and motivated. She is a mature, hard working woman who’s super-smart and gets things done, yet there’s this part of her that completely derails her. In her first session, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, helped Robin discover a part of herself that she never even knew, and gave some powerful advice on how she can finally find freedom with food. Tune in now as Marc does a follow-up session with Robin. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session, and the results are uplifting.
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
To see Robin’s first session with Marc, click here
Marc: Welcome, everybody! I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we are here in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m with Robin today. Welcome, Robin.
Robin: Thanks, Marc.
Marc: I’m glad you’re back. So let me just fill in viewers and listeners. Whether you’re new to the podcast or you’ve been around a little bit, this is a follow-up session. Robin and I met many months ago. And we had a one-time session. And this is just a chance to get caught up and see how you’re doing, how you’ve been.
Why don’t you fill people in a little bit on what your core concerns were from the beginning and where you’re at now?
Robin: Well, I’m pretty significantly overweight and have lots of health issues that go along with that. For me, it’s not a matter of knowing what to do or why to do it. It’s a matter of executing on that. And it’s kind of where I’ve been stuck for 30 years. So that’s where I am.
Marc: So how have you been doing since we met? Has there been any use come out of the session? Any movement? Any shift? Any change for you?
Robin: Yeah. So I’ll start with the bad news. And then I’ll move on to the good news. One of the things that you had recommended was that I look into a voice dialogue coach, which was something I had never heard of. So as I typically do, the first thing I did was went and ordered a book on Amazon about a voice dialogue coach, did a little bit of Internet searching. But got the book and never read it, which is very, very typical for me.
Somehow owning the book and having it on my bookshelf but never reading it, it doesn’t have an impact that way. And I keep thinking that if I just buy the book that it’s going to do whatever it’s supposed to do even if I don’t read it. But it never works out that way.
But there have been a couple of other things that have happened. One is that I have been working for a couple of years now with my chiropractor on something called NET, which is neuroemotional technique. And it’s similar to other kinds of energy work where you start with a statement or a limiting belief and then identify where you have energy blocked related to that statement. And then through the course of the session, you release the energy so that that statement becomes true or that limiting belief is removed.
So I went back to her after we talked and said that one of the big things that came up from our conversation was that I realize—well, that you pointed out; and I agreed that it was accurate—that my 15-year-old was really in charge of the show when it came to eating. So we worked on that. And it’s been such a long time now. I don’t remember the specifics of it. But basically identified what it was that was the source of that and eliminated the energy that was essentially associated with that. So that was really helpful.
Marc: So how has that played out for you on a practical level that you can say, “Oh, well, here’s how that piece of work has shown up in my life.”
Robin: I can honestly say that it has gotten easier to make better decisions about what I eat and when I eat. And the interesting thing about it is that it’s been completely effortless. I haven’t had to say, “Gosh, a cheeseburger and French fries would be really good. But I’m going to have a salad with grilled chicken instead.” I haven’t even had to go through that thought process. It’s just been really automatic to know that this is what’s going to be better for me. So this is what I’m going to do.
So that struggle around making a better decision has sort of been removed most of the time. Now, that’s not to say that in the last three months I haven’t had a cheeseburger and French fries. I certainly have. But making those better decisions has become much, much easier.
Marc: Congratulations. That’s helpful.
Robin: Yeah. It’s very helpful. It’s very helpful.
Marc: And, by the way, voice dialogue that I recommended—I’m just sharing with viewers and listeners right now—voice dialogue is the name for a number of different approaches that essentially recognize, notice, or believe that we have different parts of us. We have different personas in us. There’s different people who live in this inner universe.
And some of them we’re aware of. And some of them we’re not so aware of. And sometimes they operate us as opposed to we operate them. So that was my desire to get you talking to these other aspects of you that I felt were really kind of in charge. And it sounds like the work that you did to a great degree was really that. It was contacting, “Okay, here’s this other voice that often has me going against myself and doing things that I don’t want to do.” So that was your way of doing this kind of work.
Robin: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And I had been seeing her for a while prior to our conversation. But what was helpful was that I had a new piece of information that I could take back to her and say, “This is something that came up.” I told her about our conversation and who you were. I said, “This was something that came out of our conversation.” So it gave us another really tangible piece to work on.
The other thing that I have done since we last talked is I have gone back to therapy. So I’m seeing a therapist again, which I haven’t been for a few years. And we had conversations around similar kinds of things. And really that it’s kind of like this rebellious side of me or the self-sabotaged side of me is what gets in the way.
And in one conversation with the therapist, I was talking about that I can definitely identify when I’m making a not so great decision about what I’m going to eat or what I’m going to do, that there’s this rebellious teenage kind of tendency there. And so her response was, “Well, when are you going to realize that there’s nobody believed to rebel against? You’re in charge.” It was like, “Hmm.”
So, again, what’s been working well when something like that comes up with the therapist and I take it back to the next NET session and we can kind of dive deep into what it is that’s behind that that is sometimes harder to identify just through regular therapy. But probably voice dialogue would do the same thing.
Marc: So what are you most hopeful about right now?
Robin: That it has gotten easier to make better decisions and that it’s not a struggle, that I can more often than I have in the past—I’m not going to even say most of the time—but definitely more often than I have in the past 30 years, I can make a better decision about what I’m going to eat, what I’m going to drink, what time I’m going to go to bed at night, those kinds of things that I know are going to set me up for making the next good decision. And it’s just become really effortless. And that is a tremendous relief.
Marc: That is. And you’ve been kind of working with these issues for a long time in your life.
Robin: 30 years.
Marc: 30 years. So I think it’s important to remember that sometimes it takes a little time for things to unwind. And, to me, that’s what you’re doing. You’ve gained a good bit of momentum to start to unravel, “What’s going on in here that has me working against myself?”
Marc: Because in a lot of ways, as you were talking I was thinking, “Isn’t it true how our lives are this long series of small decisions punctuated by some of these big decisions that we’ll make a long the way?” You know, a big decision to get married or a big decision to have a kid or to move or take a certain job. But other than that, it’s these series of tiny little decisions that, when you add them up, did they take us where we want to go? Or do they limit us?
And it sounds so rudimentary. But most of us need to learn how to make decisions that work for me.
Robin: Yeah, yeah. And it’s not that I’ve never known it. But I can see it very, very clearly now is when I make one good decision, it’s easier to make the next good decision and then the next good decision after that.
And I know that if I stay up really late at night and don’t get enough sleep, then the next day, the choices I’m going to make around food are not going to be great Because I’m going to be looking for food to give me fast energy that I don’t have from not getting enough sleep the night before. So it’s doing those kinds of things that has become much easier to do than it ever has in the past.
Marc: And it also seems like so much of this is you making good decisions and making sure that the 15-year-old in us, the rebel in us isn’t running the show. In a lot of ways, as simple as it may sound, it’s like learning to become our own best parent, our own best adult. It’s really stepping into adulthood fully. And sometimes we’ve got to do that at the ripe young age of 40 or 50 or 60 or 70. We’re always learning.
Robin: Yes. That’s definitely true. It’s hard to believe that it’s taken me until the age of 55 to get there. But it’s okay.
Marc: Yeah, it is okay. Some of us are late bloomers. And you’ve just got to go with where you’re at. And at the same time, I think it’s important to really embrace—right now, especially for you—to really embrace the path that you’re on.
And to my mind—and I really mean this, Robin—the path that you’re on is not really about losing weight and being healthy. I would personally not describe it as your journey. If the path you are on was to lose weight and be healthy, I don’t know that that fully describes you. To me, the path that you’re on his learning how to honor and love and support myself in a way that takes me where I want to go. So it’s making decisions that cumulatively benefit me and that help me become the kind of human that takes care of myself.
Marc: And it’s as simple as that. And that’s in all phases of life. And in this case, in your case particularly, it’s in the phase called how I treat my body when it comes to food.
Robin: Yeah, yeah. One of my big things for many years has been being able to do what it is that I came here to do and figuring out what that is. And I think I’ve always felt that I couldn’t even figure out that answer until after I had solved the weight problem.
And I think that where I’m getting to is that maybe figuring out what that path is and following is going to resolve. It’s like which is the dog and which is the tail? And I think I’ve been trying to fix the wrong thing.
Marc: Yes, bingo. Always nice to address the problem where it lives as opposed to somewhere else. I don’t know. There’s the old kind of story of the guy who loses his car keys. And it’s nighttime. And he’s looking under this streetlight for his car keys.
And his friend comes over and bumps into him and says, “Oh, what’s going on?” And the guy says, “I lost my car keys. So I’m just over here looking for them. And the friend says, “Oh, so you lost it over here.” He goes, “No, I actually lost it somewhere else. But the light is much better over here for looking.”
Robin: [Laughs] Right, right.
Marc: Wrong place!
Robin: Yeah. And that’s exactly what it is. There’s so much information and methods and strategies out there, different path to follow to try to lose weight. You can always find somebody that’s going to tell you how to go about doing that. And it seems like that that’s a relatively clear path, even though it’s not necessarily easy.
But there are fewer ways to try to figure out, “Okay, what is it that life is really calling me to do?” That’s not as easy a question as, “What should I have for dinner?”
Marc: Bingo. And therefore it’s easy for me to start obsessing about what should I have for dinner or why did I eat that for dinner? And all of a sudden this energy is going into dinner, dinner, dinner, which then becomes in a weird way kind of a distraction from the real work at hand, which is actually more difficult.
It’s way easier to choose what I’m going to eat for dinner than to figure out, “Who am I? Where am I going? What do I want in this world? What is life asking of me?” And that’s why a lot of us don’t go to those questions because they are harder. And so you are choosing the road less traveled. And it’s good to own that and acknowledge it. “I am choosing a path that’s not necessarily easier.” But in my opinion, it’s the only path worth taking. It’s the path that leads to you in the truest sense of the word.
Robin: Yes. I agree. But it’s not easy. There is no one single books to read or retreat to go on or course to take. No expert is going to hand me a piece of paper that says, “Here you go, Robin. Here’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Marc: Yeah, that’s true. And that’s what so many of us want to because that’s oftentimes the promise. There’s a lot of quick fix the methods. Or, “Let me just buy my ticket and maybe I’ll win the lottery.” Or, “I’ll get the right book and everything will shift.” Or take the right supplement. And we’ve got to let that go.
Carl Jung said that the hardest work in the world to do is work on self. Often times it’s so true to face the difficult parts of us. There’s some parts of us that work really well. And there’s some that are like, “Huh? Why is this so challenging?” And to figure those places out requires effort. And sometimes it requires just the difficult work of looking in the mirror and go, “Oh, I don’t like this part of me. And this is going to require of me more energy and effort than I might have imagined.”
Robin: That’s definitely true. And it’s such a long process. It’s not a quick answer.
Marc: Well, that’s the good news. And the better news is once you really start to make headway there, you make headway fast. You’ve already said, “Okay, wow. I got in touch with the 15-year-old part of me. And all of a sudden decisions are becoming so much easier. There’s so much less effort.”
So, to me, if you keep your eye on the prize…And the eye on the prize is you stepping into your royalty, is you stepping into your queendom, she stepping into your maturity, stepping into why you’re here in this world and what you want to be doing.
And then when it comes to the weight and the food and the eating, and let the chips fall where they may. And let’s try a different way. Let’s try putting this first now and see what happens because the other strategy of putting that second—“Oh, I’ll figure that out once I have the weight thing figured out”—huh, it hasn’t worked.
Robin: No. It has not worked at all.
Marc: So this is all about trying strategies that give us the best probability of taking us where we want to go. That’s all it is. Now, am I betting my money on this new strategy of yours? Absolutely. That was my feeling from the beginning in the fact that you’re discovering that for you. And it feels right for you. Then that leads me to believe we might be on the right track. You’re probably on the right track.
Robin: Yeah, I think so. I think to realize that dealing with the weight it is not the real issue and knowing what the real question is, not even issue, but what the real question is and pursuing that. And also realizing that I don’t have to know what the full path is. I just have to know what the next step on that path is.
Marc: Bingo. Spoken like someone who is not a rebel and not a 15-year-old tried to mess everything up. So I think you’re on the right track. And I’m happy for you. And I hope that you are really patient enough to see this through and really trust that that’s where your true value is. That’s where your true gold is in who you are and why you’re here and how you want to show up in the world.
And then all this other piece about what you eat, when you eat, how you eat, who knew you eat, how much you weigh, it’ll start to find a different place for you. It’ll begin self organize, which it already is. So thanks for sharing your self. Thanks for being so willing to open up the book of you and show us what’s inside. I really appreciate it.
Robin: Well, it’s been an honor to have the opportunity to talk with you. And it has been extremely helpful. It really has. So I appreciate it.
Marc: Thank you, Robin. I’m so happy for you.
Robin: Thanks, Marc.
Marc: And thanks, everybody, for tuning in, for listening, for being part of our tribe. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Lots more as always to come, my friends. You take care.
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