The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 83: Follow Up – Overweight for 35 Years: What to Do?

Monica wants to lose 30 pounds, and even when it comes off, she can’t maintain it for long. She’s in her 50s and weight has been a lifelong challenge. She does so many of the right things for weight loss, but she’s stuck on a plateau and can’t find any answers. She also suffers with bouts of low energy, that oddly improves whenever she’s traveling, learning, and spending time doing what she’s passionate about. In Monica’s first session, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, helped her to discover a completely unexpected strategy to get lighter that left her with a whole new sense of hope, purpose, and energy. Tune in now as Marc does a follow-up session with Monica. The progress she’s made since her first session will inspire you!


Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

To see Monica’s first session with Marc, click here

Marc: Welcome, everybody! I’m Marc David. Here we are in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m here today with Monica. Welcome, Monica.

Monica: Hi, David!

Marc: I’m so glad you’re here. And for those of you who are new to the podcast, or even if you’re not, so this is a follow-up session, maybe six, seven months later with Monica to just check in and see how you’re doing since we last met. And I’m wondering if you could maybe just share in two or three sentences what your primary concern was last time we met coming into the session and how things went?

Monica: Okay. My concern at the time, it was that I was very fatigued. And I wasn’t able to lose any weight and was kind of sad, a little bit sad, in three sentences.

And what happened then? We came up with a thing that I am a person who loves to be in relationship. And it was a good idea for me to open up to a new relationship. And also being checked of course about thyroid, diabetes, and everything medical has to be taken care of.

Well, what happened during this time is I subscribed to a dating service. But this hasn’t worked very much. I have received several contacts. But none of them have really worked, except for two that we write emails back and forth. But we have never talked even.

But I think this is what it is in this moment. And this is okay because what really happened is that after the event in which we met, I was so inspired in my work that I just came back and started working on my webpage on what I was going to do with all the information I have, putting it together with my preparation that I already had.

And I have been working on my logo, and my Facebook, and my Twitter. So I have been working a lot. And I have had no time to date. I have to say that. But the thing is that the more I am posting things, the more I get interest from people. People say they are interested in what I have to give them. But suddenly I realize I don’t really have a talk, a workshop, really prepared.
So, for instance, yesterday I was so stressed about that that I only wanted either to eat or to sleep. I was very nervous about that. Still I am much less fatigued than I was. Sometimes I really need to take a nap. But I’m really less fatigued. I am very inspired about my web page and what I can do.

But I noticed yesterday that it is a pattern. Yesterday I was able to see it very clearly that my pattern is whenever I get anxious about something, before I can really jump into it, I need to eat. And I need to sleep.

And then I am sure because yesterday I took advantage of what I was feeling to be with it and to really stay calm and see that this is kind of something that has happened to me for many, many years, this pattern of anxiousness, stress, eating a lot, feeling a hole in my stomach and then going to sleep and not doing anything. And then something gets cooked. And I’m ready to jump. But the thing is sometimes just eating and sleeping conspires against my weight.

And the other thing is I went into an elimination diet. So I took out all the wheat, all the corn, and the dairy. And in the last month, I have lost 5 pounds, which is great. Now I am not all that concerned about my weight. I am concerned about really being who I am.

Marc: What a good thing to be able to say, huh?

Monica: Yeah. Yeah.

Marc: I think when we’re concerned about who we are and who we are supposed to be, it’s easier for the body to find its place. It’s a little easier for weight to find its place. I’m particularly interested for you that you’ve noticed this pattern of, okay, whenever you get may be excited about something or anxious about something—you used the word “anxious”—or excited maybe, before you do it, it’s either eat or sleep or both. And then something happens. And maybe you’re ready to jump in. But that kind of impacts you.

On one level, what that does is when we get anxious, we want to be more comfortable. We want to be less anxious. Eating will make us less anxious. Sleep will make us less anxious. Eating and sleeping will make us less anxious. But anxious also, I think, means excited, too. And sometimes what we call nervous, anxiety, really is, “Wow, I’m really excited about doing this.”
And I think some of us, we have a certain limit for how much excitement we can take. And when we hit that limit of, “Oh, my God. I’m so excited,” we almost have to pour water over all the nice fire to put it out. So I think a little bit of it is increasing your capacity for feeling excited and feeling good and staying in your body without having to eat or sleep. Does that make sense?

Monica: That makes sense. But that makes sense here. It doesn’t make sense yet here or in my heart.

Marc: I get it. But on a certain level, it’s all the same practice. I really like that you’ve started doing anything to begin to date and to start to invite men into your life and the possibility of a great relationship into your life. It’s not going to happen unless we’re open usually, unless there’s some willingness somewhere.

And I think sometimes the universe is just waiting for us to do our part. We have to show up and wager a little or gamble a little bit or show that we’re willing to do some of the work there. Because I think there’s this part of you that kind of wants it. And there’s another part that’s a little bit afraid.

Monica: Exactly, yeah.

Marc: Yeah. And it’s fine. It’s fine to want it. And it’s fine to be afraid at the same time. We’re only human. But it’s good to notice that. It’s really good to notice that. And I’m going to guess… I just want to say something. And tell me what you think.

You mentioned, “I started getting online a little bit and meeting men in that way.” And then you got very busy with your business, with your website. And you said to me, “I don’t even have time to date at this point.” Now, I’m willing to bet that if the right guy or two or three showed up and looked really good, you would have the time.

Monica: Well, I would make it.

Marc: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So that’s all I want to say. I just want you to watch the story you tell yourself about what’s happening right now. Right now, yeah, maybe you put your attention to work, to business, to career. But, to me, you’ve always got the time for that. It’s just maybe it’s not on your radar for the moment. But I’d love for you to keep it on your radar, even if nothing happens or it doesn’t work out. It’s kind of like life. You keep trying something and trying something. And eventually we get there.

Monica: Yeah, you’re right. Absolutely. Absolutely. While you were talking, I was thinking that, yeah, I always make time for my friends with whom I go to the movies every Saturday. I always make that time. And I will always make time to have lunch with my siblings every Wednesday. So I make that time. And I make time on Monday evenings for a class with friends that we have together. So you’re right.

Marc: I just don’t want you to use that as an excuse in your mind. I don’t want you to believe it. That’s all I’m saying.

Monica: Right, exactly.

Marc: And, again it’s fine if you don’t want to do it, if you want to take time off from it. That’s different than saying, “I don’t have the time.”

Monica: Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. And now that you are mentioning about to being excited and afraid at the same time, wanting to do something and at the same time not, I notice this also what happens to me just by thinking that I will be delivering some talks or workshops or whatever. It’s like I want to do it. But I am very afraid of doing it also. So it’s both. And it’s interesting to hold that tension.

Marc: Yes. And I think that’s what it’s about. It’s getting more comfortable with holding those two differences, with holding that tension because both are true. “I’m excited and I’m nervous. I want to do this and I don’t want to do this.” And normally we think, “Oh, that doesn’t make sense.” And then we confuse ourselves. And if you let those voices be heard, they make perfect sense.

And then we don’t have to fight ourselves over it because oftentimes I think maybe some of the fatigue that you go through is the fatigue of what goes on inside your mind when you’re like, “Oh, I want to do this. I don’t want to do this,” or, “I can do this. But I can’t do this.” That could take a lot of energy to be in that battle that goes back and forth. So all I’m saying is I think as you notice it more, you can stop yourself from creating a fatigue that you don’t need.

Monica: Okay.

Marc: Does that make sense?

Monica: A lot. Yeah. It makes a lot of sense, Marc.

Marc: How does it feel being on the diet that you’re on right now?

Monica: It feels okay. In general terms, I feel less bloated. But it’s funny. I can notice that in which way wheat, or corn, or dairy, or the three of them give me a sense of being full. So not having them gives me this sense of, “Oh, my God. Am I hungry really? Or is it just the missing of that bloated mess that made me feel the sensation of being full?”

So I’m learning to deal with it. And I have been reading some of the messages that you share with us. I’m listening to the tapes again. And I know that one of my spiritual lessons is patience. So I have been working on patience and just allowing things to happen and be patient. So this is happening. I am just going to be with what is in this moment and just feel in which way I have any changes.

Well, for instance, the most amazing when I remember in our last session I told you that I felt that I couldn’t be loved by anybody with this body. And now I say, “You know what? I don’t know if I will be dating soon or not. But I will be loved exactly as I am.” And that’s a huge, huge step.

And also I thought I was not able to talk about the psychology of eating being overweight. And now, thanks to the event, to the testimonies, and to the work with you and with myself, it’s like, “Sure I can do it.” So that’s a huge step in these six months. So I’m just patient. That’s my huge spiritual lesson.

Marc: Yeah. I think it’s a huge one for a lot of people. And I think it’s particularly big when it comes to weight loss because usually when people want to lose weight, we want to lose the weight yesterday or last year or 10 years ago. And sometimes it’s that constant, “I have to do this. I have to do this. It has to happen.”

That gets in the way because it’s a stress. It’s an anxiety. And that impacts our appetite. I think it impacts our choices. And it impacts our level of discomfort. We almost have to get out of our discomfort. So it’s only natural to turn to food. And patience means, okay, let me allow this to happen in its own rightful time.

And you said—and thanks for reminding me of our last session—one of the things that you realized was, “Can somebody really love this body that I’m in right now? If I’m going to be in relationship, that means somebody has to love me and love this body. And I don’t know if that can happen.” And really it starts with us. It starts with you. If you can love it, then it can be loved. And that’s proof.

Monica: Exactly.

Marc: And that’s really, really, really where the action is because you don’t know what other people are thinking. We’re not looking for somebody who loves your body per se. We’re first looking for you to love what you have.

Monica: Exactly.

Marc: Once we do that, there’s much more of an invitation for the world to come in and love you, as well, because that’s the sign you’ve put on your door. The sign says, “I love myself. I love me. I love this body.” The people who are interested in that will be the ones, I think, who come knocking.

Monica: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

Marc: Well, I’m excited for you. It feels like you’ve relaxed quite a bit around this whole thing.

Monica: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So it’s like sometimes I’m really relaxed in regards to everything, every aspect in my life. And sometimes like yesterday I am stressed about something that has to do with my business. But still the new thing is I can notice it. And I just stay with it. And that’s important.

So I feel very much relaxed, more alive, more vibrant. That’s how I’d put it.

Marc: Well, Monica, I’m so happy for you. Congratulations.

Monica: Thank you. Thanks.

Marc: Anything else you’d like to share before we finish up that’s on your mind?

Monica: Yes, that I am very, very thankful for you and for Emily for all the things you keep posting. And it’s amazing how I resonate with many of the things you say and how inspired I feel. So it’s just really to thank you for that because that is giving me the strength to keep on going with what I want to do and to know that I can do something really important for me in the first place because, as you said, sometimes we have to teach about what we have to learn. So I am teaching about that.

Marc: Yay! Me, too! So am I.

Monica: Yeah.

Marc: I’m glad you’re doing this. Thank you so much, Monica. Thanks for being generous with your time and with who you are.

Monica: Thank you. Thank you very much, Marc. And thank you for this follow-up. It was very important for me.

Marc: Yay. And thanks, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. There’s going to be lots more to come, my friends. Thank you. Thank you, Monica. You take care.

Monica: You, too. Bye.

Marc: Bye-bye.

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About The Author
Marc David
Founder

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.