Home » The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode #31: Overweight for 35 Years: What to Do?

The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode #31: Overweight for 35 Years: What to Do?

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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 and around medical testing, 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. Tune in to this great podcast episode where Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating helps Monica with a completely unexpected strategy to get lighter that has her feeling a whole new sense of hope, purpose, and energy.

And it’s a secret that Monica knew about herself all along.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

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

Monica: Hi. Thank you very much.

Marc: Yeah. I’m glad you’re here. And let me say a few words to viewers and listeners who are new to the podcast, perhaps. So Monica and I are going to have a session. And the session is going to be right here with you all now. And we ‘re going to work on whatever concerned that she has around food, body, health. And the idea is to take what might normally be from four or five or six months to a years worth of coaching and condense it into one session with the idea to give Monica maybe a breakthrough, some openings, some insights, and just a new road to follow. So that’s why we’re here.

And, Monica, if you can have anything you wanted from this session, if we could wave your magic wand and you get exactly what you would need, what would that look like?

Monica: It would look like two things. First of all, stop being so fatigued as I have been lately for the last four or five years. And then again be able to go back to the size I would like to be, which is between nine and eleven, the size. That’s the two things I would ask for from my magic wand.

Marc: Okay, so more energy and less weight is what it sounds like.

Monica: Exactly.

Marc: And how much weight do you want to lose?

Monica: I think it’s about thirty or forty pounds.

Marc: And when was the last time that you were at that target weight if you lost a thirty or forty pounds? Have you been at that weight recently or within years?

Monica: No, for years. It’s been for years since I have started gaining and gaining and gaining weights.

Marc: How many years ago would you say you were 30 or 40 pounds less?

Monica: It was like around 2009, 2010. So about four or five years.

Marc: And, Monica, what would you attribute that weight gain to? Why do you think it came on slowly?

Monica: There are two or three things that were happening at the same time. There was a moment in my life I was working too much and too hard. And then I was extremely fatigued because of that. Then I went to see some doctors, alternative doctors. And they changed the way I ate. So in a way it sounded okay, like take away the wheat, take away the dairy. But I started consuming bigger amounts of food. So the ones that were allowed, but bigger amounts of food.

Then I was so tired, I stopped doing exercise. I have not always been a great exerciser. But the little I did, I stopped doing it. And I don’t know. I started also craving for sweets, things that had never happened to me.

Marc: So are you still on that same diet that the doctors put you on?

Monica: Yes, which is increased amount of vegetables, try to not eat wheat. But sometimes I do, like if I go out to have lunch or dinner with some friends in their house and there’s something prepared with wheat, I just eat it. I don’t care about that.

Marc: Sure. So a lot of vegetables. Do you have a protein, fish, meat?

Monica: Yeah, in the three main meals, I try to include protein, which can be egg or chicken or fish, and then different vegetables like, I don’t know, spinach, zucchini, carrots. Carrots very little. But broccoli, asparagus, a little bit of that. Here in Mexico, we eat a lot of tortilla, of corn tortilla. So I have some tortillas or toasts like in the three meals except in the night, for dinner, which is often around 8:00 or 8:30 at night. Then I don’t have toward two years or chips or anything, just vegetables and protein.

Marc: Understand. And do you find yourself being hungry on this diet? Does the food satisfy you?

Monica: I get a little bit hungry. And I find it weird. Like around noon, after having a good breakfast, but around two o’clock I get a little bit hungry. Yeah, that’s what I find myself being hungry, not at night.

Marc: Did the doctors test you for thyroid health or adrenal health or diabetes?

Monica: They tested everything. And one of the doctors said he suspected metabolic syndrome because I have a history. My father and my two grandmothers were diabetics. So he said he suspected it, not very much. But he had the suspicion.

And even the thyroid results showed to be okay, another doctor, an internist, asked me to do a scan. And some benign nodules appeared. And that’s why I have twenty-five microgram pills of thyroid every morning, half of it.

Marc: Got it. Do you know the name of the thyroid medication? Is it Synthroid? Armour Thyroid? Do you know the name of it?

Monica: Well, it’s [inaudible].

Marc: So have you noticed that the thyroid medication gives you more energy?

Monica: Well, I notice I have been gaining some energy through the years. The thyroid medicine has helped me a little bit. But I don’t feel exactly full of energy, especially at noon. Around one, I am really tired at that time of day.

Marc: Are you working?

Monica: Yeah. I am a psychotherapist. And I meet clients on a regular basis. And I still do also some desk work for different projects.

Marc: Are you married? Do you have kids?

Monica: No. I used to be married for nineteen years. But that relationship ended 18 years ago. We had no kids. I have three cats. But I know I have been quite sad and depressed since I split from my husband.

Marc: So are you dating? Are you seeing anybody?

Monica: No. No. It’s like for a long time I didn’t want to really be involved into any relationship. And now I would like to. But I still have the prejudice like, “Who is going to like me with this body?”

Marc: Got it. Got it, got it. Okay. So when was the last time you dated?

Monica: It was like fifteen years ago, I guess. The rest of the time I have lots of friends, which I honor and thank and value. So I go out several times. I have classes here at home with some friends. We get together and we have mythology classes. And we organize cinema clubs and things like that. But we’re friends, and mainly women friends.

Marc: And when is the time of the day when you have the most energy?

Monica: The most energy is from 9:00 till 1:00. There’s one time of the day which I have that energy. And then again from 5:00 or 5:30 to 8:00 or 830.</>

Marc: And what time do you usually go to bed at night?

Monica: I go to bed around 10:30. But I go to read for one hour or something like that. And then I think I fall asleep between 11:30 and midnight.

Marc: And how is your sleep? Do you sleep well? Is your sleep solid?

Monica: I sleep well most of the time. Very seldom I wake up in the middle of the night to the bathroom. But I sleep well.

Marc: Have you noticed a time in the last handful of years where your energy felt really good? Maybe it was for a week or a bunch of days where you just felt unusually better.

Monica: Well, I feel better when I travel. I feel better when I go to conferences. I love whenever I can to go to two- or three-day conferences in California mainly in Pacifica. I love that. And then I feel full of energy. I see people there. I love learning. That gives me a lot of energy, learning, studying. I like that.

Marc: And isn’t that interesting, though, that that happens?

Monica: Yeah.

Marc: So on the diet that you’re on now, do you tend to eat fast? Are you a moderate eater? Are you a slow eater? How would you categorize yourself?

Monica: Fast, really fast. And now I know I have to pay attention to that. Many times I’ve caught myself like devouring, really devouring without really tasting and savoring and enjoying food, really devouring. When I catch myself doing that, I stop it. I breathe. I relax. But I would say I am a fast eater.

Marc: And have you noticed that you’ve lost any weight on the diet that you’re on in the last five years? Does it go up and down? Or does it just stay in one place?

Monica: No. It goes up and down, but no more than two or three pounds.

Marc: Got it, yeah. Okay.

Monica: It’s not something that I say, “Wow! I’m losing weight.”

Marc: And are you close with your family?

Monica: Yes, I’m close. Every Wednesday, I eat with my siblings and my aunt, who has been like a maternal figure since my mother died. So we have lunch together every Wednesday. And with my siblings who live in another state, we talk like once or twice a week. And with the other one, we email almost every day. So yeah, I’m really close to them.

<h3?;Marc: Here’s a question I want to ask you. Have you thought about—and this is an unusual question—have you thought about how long you want to live and what you want the next twenty-five years to look like?

Monica: Yeah. And I have thought about that. Just last week I was talking about that with some friends, actually. And I would like to live no more than eighty years, just because I think I could be healthy then and still a professional in the world. And I love what I do. So I would love to be at service with somebody. And I would love to teach. And I would love to give lectures and conferences. And I would love to prepare some classes or maybe write a book. That’s what I would love to do.

And the thing is that sometimes I find myself too tired to do that. But I think just in this moment I am telling you this, I feel like a rush of energy just by thinking that I can live another — I am almost 58 now — so another 20, 25 years, fully living my life, sharing, at service with somebody else. That’s something I love.

Marc: So somebody else meaning having a partner to do this with?

Monica: Well, having a partner to do this with would be great. But being at service with others, being in relationship with people, with groups, I would love to do that. There are some projects I do with friends, which I enjoy a lot because that makes the bond stronger. And I like that.

Marc: So in those next 22, 23 years, what would be your dream with another person in terms of having a partner? Have you thought about that?

Monica: Well, I would love to have a partner who is committed, as I would like to think of myself, who is a loving person, with whom I can talk and share. And we can go maybe to concerts. We can travel. We can talk. We can exchange readings. And we can also have fun and the dance and sing. That’s what I would like.

Marc: Got it. Okay, well, Monica, I have some thoughts. And I would love to start putting them together and sharing with you some of my observations and some of where my mind goes.

So, to me, there’s maybe three things that you’re looking for, actually. You’re looking to get your energy back. You’re looking to lose weight. And it also sounds like you’re looking to have a happier relationship with your body so you love your body more.

Monica: Yeah, yeah.

Marc: So here’s a couple of things just from the medical metabolic or health standpoint. The fatigue, the low-energy, so you’re taking the thyroid medication. It’s okay. Maybe it’s making a difference. Maybe it’s not. There’s always other places to look from a medical standpoint to see what might be affecting your energy. You might want to get tested for something like Lyme’s disease. It’s possible that you might have adrenal fatigue.

And it’s possible that the thyroid issue is there even though you’re getting thyroid medication. If you have history of diabetes in your family, I would love for you to get checked again just to see what’s happening because if there is diabetes or pre-diabetes going on, there’s ways to add some natural approaches to that that can potentially be of help, especially when it comes to weight.

But what I want to focus on with you—and this is sort of how my mind works—a lot of people just look to the body first. “Well, let’s fix the body. Let’s fix the problem with the energy. Let’s fix the problem with the weight.” And that’s fine. Sometimes we have to go there first. And with you, I’m looking at the big picture right now. I’m looking at the big picture of your life.

And, to me, oftentimes there are bigger lessons that we need to learn in life. There is the bigger movement that’s happening for us. And, for me, I’m particularly interested… When I was asking about relationship and your relationship ended, I think you said—what?—nineteen years ago, yes?

Monica: Yeah.

Marc: And when I asked you if you’re dating, you sort of said to me, “Well, I’d like to. But who would want to date somebody with a body like this?” And that makes me pause for a moment and really listen because that’s what I would love to see you change.

If you know that you want to live 22 more years, I would love to see you take those 22 years, look at them, and say, “Who do I want to be?” And start moving in that direction, especially if you’re 58. We have to be very intentional at this stage of the game. It’s not like you’re 18 years old and, “Oh, I could do this. I can do that. I can go here. I can go there.” No. You have your career established. You know what you like. You know what you want to do.

You pretty much know what you want. That’s a great thing. When I asked you in terms of the rest of your life, you know what you want with your career. I had to ask you about relationship. There’s a part of you, it feels like you’ve almost put that off to the side and said, “This is not possible.” And, to me, I don’t think that’s who you really are. It’s almost as if you said, “Oh, I’m just going to put my career to the side.” If you said, “I’m going to put my career to the side,” then you wouldn’t really be you.

So, to me, a big part of the fatigue and a big part of the weight issue is that there is a place where we can feel heavy, like feel heavy. And oftentimes when we feel heavy, the body will take that on. So, first and foremost, I want you to do everything you can to feel lighter. And in my experience, our metabolism is powerfully impacted by our story and our journey. So there are people who have events happen to them sometimes even in childhood—abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse—and we carry that a lifetime. And it can bring health issues and health challenges and eating issues.

To me, your heart’s been hurt a long time ago. And I think it’s time to start to heal that in a whole different way. So I feel that just knowing the little bit that I know about you right now, I feel that you have a beautiful sense of maturity and wisdom. And you know yourself. And you know what your gifts are. And you know how to give. And you’re of service to others.

There’s a place where I want to see you be more selfish, but selfish in a good way. And I would really love for you to make relationship important for you because I know it’s important. So it’s almost like taking it out of the box. I feel like you put it in a box and you closed the lid. And I want to say first and foremost that it’s absolute nonsense that somebody is not going to love you for who you are. That’s just a belief.

You tell me. Do you know people, do you know women who have a body that’s similar to yours in any way and they have a good relationship and they’re with somebody that they love? Have you seen that before?

Monica: Yeah, I have! In fact, from my perspective, I love big men. I like big men. So it could be easy to think that there are men who like big women.

Marc: Trust me, there are. There are. They like it. They prefer it. We men have our preferences. And women usually don’t understand because you’re women and you’re not men. So you don’t understand. Are there men that want the Hollywood this, that, the other thing? Yeah. Are there men that don’t care about that? Yes. You don’t want to marry thousands of men. You just want to find one.

Monica: Yeah, exactly. [Laughs]

Marc: Yeah. So it doesn’t matter if thousands of men prefer this or that or the other thing. We don’t care. We just care about one. And if somebody doesn’t like you for what you look like, then what a wonderful thing! You can just cross them off the list. And you don’t have to waste your time.

But, in a strange way, you’re being unfair to yourself. And you’re being unfair to the men of the world who would want a good woman like you because you’ve taken yourself off the market because you said, “Well, no one is going to like this.” And you have no proof of that.

And I’m telling you it’s untrue because I like you, I’m in the world. I’m around. I see people. And I see people and loving relationships of every age and shape and size. I see men and women who are beautiful and they have miserable relationships or they don’t have a relationship. It doesn’t matter.

Monica: You’re right!

Marc: So I’m asking you to put an end to that chapter of your life, the chapter that says, “I’m not available. I’m not looking. Nobody would like somebody like me.”

What I’m saying is I think a lot of your fatigue is tied up in that. I think a lot of your weight is tied up in that. And it doesn’t mean that there’s not something going on organically in your body. And if we can test this and test that and test that, we’d find abnormalities. But the thing is often times those chemical changes in the body happen because of who we’re being.

So if I’m putting myself in your shoes and you’re such a loving woman in you’re generous moment when you give a lot, but you need to receive. And it’s just part of life. And if you love so much, then usually it also means that you like love to come in to stop that and say no. You’ve kind of said no to it. If I was in your shoes, I would get tired. I would get tired because I’m not being fed on that level. I think there’s a place where you’re not being nourished. So you can follow this diet. You can follow that diet. And at the end of the day, the diet is not enough. It’s not enough to get you where you want to go.

I often say and teach that when we become the person that we’re meant to be, the body has the best chance to become what it’s meant to be. So you don’t need to lose weight to find a man. You need to lose the belief that you need to lose weight. That’s how you find a man. So forget about it.

I would love to see you let go—and I really mean this—of losing the weight for a while. It doesn’t mean that you don’t stay on the diet. But now is the time—and I mean this—now is the time in your life to turn the corner. Because sometimes life just gives us an opportunity. New Year’s, we start a new year. And you make your New Year’s changes and your resolutions.

So this is like New Year’s for you, this time in your life. And it’s the perfect time to make a change. And the change is to be in your life as if you’re new, you’re fresh, anything is possible. And you’re ready for love. And you’re open to it. And you’re not saying, “No, love can’t come in because my body is not pretty enough. My body is not this enough. My body is not that enough.” What kind of nonsense is that? Says who? You’re telling men how they should feel about you.

We could starve you for 60 days right now, make you lose a bunch of weight. And you go, “Oh, wow. I lost all this weight.” You’re starving. And then a man shows up. And then maybe he’s going to fall for the starving person who hasn’t eaten in sixty days who could care less about you, but sees the person who’s 40 pounds less. Who cares? That’s not the guy you want.

Monica: Yeah, exactly.

Marc: Maybe you lose weight. Maybe you won’t. We don’t know. That’s less important. What’s more important is you being the person that you are meant to be. It’s more important that at this stage in your life, at 58, you get clear about who you are.

And for you, here’s a piece that I think is important. It’s about you believing that you deserve love. There is a place where I think that you think, “I don’t deserve this. I’m not good enough for this.” And this is not true. We buy into what the culture tells us, what the world tells us, our parents, our family, our friends, the magazines. We buy those false beliefs.

We have to be strong. You’re a psychotherapist. You know. People come to your office. A lot of what they believe is the nonsense that they learned.

Monica: Exactly.

Marc: It’s the nonsense that somebody told them. So, “You’re like this or you’re like that.” Well, no. So we have to be strong enough to say no to the beliefs and the thoughts that limit us. So what I’m saying is I would love to see you from this day forward to make important, to put it on the top of your list, “I am ready to start exploring relationship.” And you put yourself out there. You talk to your friends. You let them know you’re available if anybody knows anybody to introduce you to.

I know it’s not easy to meet people. It’s not easy to meet people. But this is also a day and age where there’s Internet dating sites. There’s matchmakers. And there’s men and women out there in every age group who are looking for someone. So even though it’s hard, in a strange way it’s easier with the Internet and if you have friends and it’s your intention and you keep putting it out and you make yourself available.

But the important thing here is that you have to start to feel inside you that, “I deserve this. And none of this is dependent on my weight.” If a patient came into your office, if a client came into your office and said to you, “Dr. Monica, I have this life. And it’s really wonderful. And I have a great family. And I’m connected. And I love my work. But I really can’t love myself because I don’t like how I look. And I need to look different. And I’m not going to love myself. And I’m not going to give myself what I want until I lose a certain amount of weight.”

You might look at them and think, “Eh!” Right?

Monica: Yeah. Yeah.

Marc: You would probably work with them and say, “No, we don’t have to wait for you to lose weight. We don’t have to wait for your looks to change.” It sounds silly when I say it’s. But it’s hard because it’s like a virus. It’s like a disease that we take on these thoughts. And I call it a virus. I call that parasites we can understand that they don’t belong inside of us. The parasite doesn’t belong inside us. But it finds a home and it eats away at us. So it’s our job to stand up to it. And you can stand up to that by your actions. And your actions can be, “I’m available for love.

When I asked you, “When was the times you feel best?” you said, “When I travel and when I go to a conference.” You’re engaging with people. You get away from your normal place. Oftentimes when we get away from where we live, our home, our office, our work, we have an opportunity to leave behind some of our patterns. And when you’re traveling, it’s kind of like you’re new. Nobody knows you. And you’re around people who have similar interests. But you’re in an environment where you’re being who you want to be and there’s a sense of possibility. There’s a sense of openness.

You have that with your work when you go to a conference or you go traveling. I want you to have that sense of possibility with relationship. When you have a sense of possibility, you magically have more energy. When you’re doing what you love, you magically have more energy. Hmm. That’s interesting. So, in addition to taking the little thyroid pill, which is supposed to help the thyroid and give us more energy, I want you to do the pill in the life that gives you more energy.

So, yes, it’s about your profession for sure. But I think you’re good at that. You know how to make that work for you. And, yes, I know you want to do more. And you can. But I think this other piece about relationship and love and having a man in your life, you need to honor that. You need to honor that. You need to be the queen here. You need to be the queen. And the queen sits on her throne because you’re a queen. You’re not a little Princess. You’re not 18 years old. You’re not 25 years old. You’re 58 years old. And you’ve been on the planet a while. And you know how things work.

And you’ve had heartache. You’ve had hurt. You had love. You have love in your life with family, with friends. And you know what you want. And the queen doesn’t sit on her throne and say to her clean them, she doesn’t say, “Oh, I don’t know what I want you all to do. And I don’t know what to say. Should I lose weight? Will you love me better, everybody, if I look different?” No, the queen doesn’t do that. The queen, first of all, she loves. And she knows she’s loved because she loves herself. She’s not worried about, “Okay, if I lose this weight, will you all love me more?” The queen doesn’t say that.

Monica: No, that’s crazy.

Marc: Right, it’s crazy. So the queen loves herself for who she is. So this is literally something I’m suggesting you need to start practicing every day. I want you to practice being the queen. And I want you to stop apologizing for how much you weigh.

I don’t care what anyone says. As soon as somebody says something, even if it’s someone you love, even if it’s someone in your family that says, “Monica, if you can only lose weight, that would be so nice,” you say, “You know something? I just want to say here’s a way that you can really support me and love me better. Stop saying those things. I’m fine the way I am. This is what I weigh right now. Maybe I’ll lose it. Maybe I won’t. If I’m 90 years old on my deathbed and I haven’t lost the weight, are you going to tell me when I’m dying that, ‘God, Monica, I wish you would have lost the weight. I would’ve loved you better?’” No, it’s a bunch of nonsense.

So we have to educate the people around us. We have to educate them in how to better support us and be with us. If your family and friends are saying little comments that bring you down, you have to be responsible and point that out to them. You have to stand up for yourself. There’s a part of you, it’s almost like a little girl apologizing because she’s not skinny.

So would you like to lose weight? Sure. But I’m suggesting put that to the side because you’re making what’s your body looks like dependent on if you deserve love. That’s the sickness here. That’s the disease that I want to help you get rid off.

That’s a bad disease, meaning the belief that, “I can’t get one of until I have more patience or I have more money,” or, “I can’t get love until my body looks like this or looks like that or I lose a certain amount of weight.” And then all of a sudden one day the scale says 135 pounds and you go, “Yes! Now you can love me.” No. No, no.

So this is a practice for you. This is a practice that you do every day. I would love for you—and I really mean this—I want you to start slowing down with food. I want you to become a slow eater. I want you to be like a European. They take time for meals. Even in Mexico, I’ve seen people take time when they eat. You sit. You relax. You eat slow. But eating slow means you take in the food and love it and you enjoy it because you deserve it. You deserve that time. You deserve to feel nourished by the food.

Eating fast is a habit. For a lot of people it’s automatic. It’s unconscious. They just to do it. It’s like chain-smoking. We can’t control it. But what happens is when we eat fast, we’re signaling the body and saying that food is unimportant. Eating fast is a stress to the body. The body is not designed to eat fast. So it goes into a stress response, which will shut down to some degree digestion and assimilation. It means we’ll excrete nutrition. We’ll excrete macro minerals and micro minerals. We’ll excrete water-soluble vitamins.

And, over time, when we’re in a low-level stress response, we produce a little more stress hormones. And it signals the body to hold onto weight. So the body heals and it regenerates and it reaches its optimum function when we’re in relaxation response, parasympathetic nervous system dominance. I want you to start giving your body the signal that, “I am nourishing myself with food,” which means you eat slow. But slow means relaxed. It means enjoy. It means sensual. It means pleasure.

If you had a date with a man right now, let’s say you were going on a date. And you sat down to dinner. And he seems like a nice guy. And you kind of like him so far. And you sit down to dinner. As is the meal comes and he starts eating really fast, what would you think? Would that be a turn off? Would that be a turn on?

Monica: No, a turn off, definitely.

Marc: Right, yeah. Yeah. So eating slow is a way to turn yourself on. It’s a way to be present. It’s a way to change your metabolism. And it’s changing your relationship with food because there’s a part of you that feels like it might be very deep, but looks at food a little bit like the enemy because it makes you fat. So, “Food makes me fat. More food makes me fat. Less food makes me less fat.” So a part of us, “Okay, just let me get this over with quickly.” And that’s not how life works.

Life is brilliant. The wisdom that created us is brilliant. And we can’t run away from ourselves. We have to be with ourselves. So my heart knows that you’re going to have more energy when you start to be the person that you are meant to be, when you start to give yourself the thing you’re hungering for. And I really think for you, it’s love and it’s connection and it’s relationship. And it’s putting yourself in that possibility because you might not meet somebody. You might get hurt again.

We don’t look for love again because of the fear of being hurt. And this is where you have to use everything you know and everything you’ve learned since you’ve been alive. You’ve learned a lot. And you have to be young again. And young again means when you were young, you were willing to date and be in relationship and, “Wow!”

Monica: Yeah.

Marc: So you have to be young again inside yourself. And young again means, “I’m willing to risk. I’m willing to put my heart on the line.” Yeah, you’re smarter now. You’re going to look for certain things. You know about men much, much more than you knew when you were a young girl.

And I want to say this. The truth is even if you met somebody and even if you were with somebody for a year and even if that person left you and turned out to be mean, I think you would still be okay because you’re mature. You’ve been there before. You’ve been hurt before. When it hurt? Yes. But would you survive? Absolutely.

So all I’m saying to you, I’m just trying to say that there is a place where you’ve put aside relationship and love because you don’t want to get hurt and you don’t think you deserve it. So I’m saying you have to look at why you put it aside. “Oh, I don’t think I deserve it because my body blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and my weight, blah, blah, blah.”

So I’m saying that’s a bunch of nonsense because love doesn’t care. And you know that. You’ve seen that. There’s all different kinds of people of all shapes and sizes and ages who love each other to pieces. My grandparents, my grandmothers, they were big women. They had men who loved them. They were amazing. It doesn’t matter. It’s doesn’t matter.

So I’m saying also that there is the place where it’s you knowing who you are and you knowing that you can trust that you’ll take care of yourself. You can trust that you’ll take care of yourself if it doesn’t work, if it is hurtful. You might to date five different guys before you meet the right one.

And I really want to be a dating coach for you right now. And maybe you can find a friend or a professional who can really help with this, who can really be your dating coach, your dating cheerleader because you have to be young again. You have to be willing to go on different dates. And some of them are going to work. And some are not. You might go out on the date and no after five minutes, “This guy is not for me.” And you have the meal. Kiss goodbye. “This isn’t going to work.” Because you don’t need to waste your time. This is a time in your life you don’t need to waste your time.

And it’s a time in your life where you have an idea who you are and what you want. So, again, I’m saying your energy will come back when you start allowing yourself to be the person that you’re meant to be and you start feeding yourself the food that you really need. And some of the food that you need is love and connection and intimacy.

And in my heart of hearts, I believe that a lot of the fatigue and heaviness is from you living back there of 19 years ago and saying, “Okay, I was hurt. And I still feel hurt.” Well, here’s the thing, when you start dating again, it’s going to bring up some discomfort. It might bring up fears. It might bring up hopes. It’s going to make you feel uncomfortable perhaps. And that’s a good thing.

Yes, that’s what I’m saying. It’s going to make you feel uncomfortable. But then you can start to see the places where you need to look at. “Oh, my goodness. I’m afraid of being hurt.” And then you just to be with yourself. You don’t have to sit there and tell the person you’re dating, “I’m really afraid of being hurt. You better not do this. You better not do that.” No. That’s not what I’m saying.

But it’s time to start healing that. And the way you heal it is you get to back into relationship with men. You get back into relationship where you’re available and you’re willing. And that process will teach you where you need to do some work on yourself because you might start to say, “Oh, I’m really concerned. Maybe he thinks I’m too fat. Oh, my goodness. He’s not going to call me again.” You might have to go through that. But that will make you stronger.

So it’s being willing to let the wisdom of life kind of guide you in this process. And you have to be willing to be maybe—maybe—a little uncomfortable with what comes up because that’s going to teach you how to grow into the kind of woman that can bring in, draw in, attract of the relationship that I think you really deserve.

How is all this landing for you, Monica? Tell me what you’re thinking or what you’re feeling here.

Monica: Well, as you were saying things, it’s like I want to do it. And still unlike, “Oh, my God. How am I going to do it?” I’m willing to do it and afraid, both things at the same time. But, yeah, I’m listening to you. I’m listening to you and I’m willing to start asking my friends to introduce me to people and start dressing more sexier because I know I have had a label here that says, “Occupied. Go away.” And now maybe I can take that out and say, “Here I am.” But still it feels a little bit of fear here. But I think it’s okay.

Marc: Let me ask you a question, Monica. Right now, how is your energy level compared to usual? How does your energy level feel right now?

Monica: Better!

Marc: Yeah. And I can see that. You literally look like a different person right now. First of all, you look fifteen years younger at least. You’re glowing more because you’re considering, you’re thinking, you’re trying on like, “Wow! Oh, my goodness.” You’re feeling this part of you. That’s for your energy is. There’s a lot of energy in your feminine, in the part of you that wants to love, wants intimacy, wants connection, wants touch, wants to feel like a woman. There’s energy there for you.

So when you start to think about it and talk about it it’s like, “Oh, my goodness! I feel this energy. I’m just pointing that out, how your energy changed and you didn’t eat anything. You didn’t take any thyroid medication right now. You didn’t drink any coffee. All we did was talk about a topic that tapped into this place inside you. So fear is good here. The fear is good. The anxiety is good because oftentimes fear really means excitement. But it doesn’t quite know how to be excited yet.

Monica: Exactly.

Marc: Yeah. So as soon as you take off the little sign that says OCCUPIED, and now the sign says AVAILABLE, that makes life more exciting. That makes life more exciting. Even if you don’t meet the right guy tomorrow or next week or next month, you’re still available. And it could happen any time. It could happen any day. You don’t know when it’s going to happen.

And I think this is like a gift that we give ourselves. This is a gift you can give yourself. And the gift is you saying, “I am worthy of being in relationship as who I am right now. This package right here, this Monica, this is where the action is. This has value. This is what you want.” And like I said, you don’t need thousands of guys. You don’t need hundreds of guys. You only need one. So we’re just looking for one. We’re just looking for one. And I think there’s someone for everyone. I really do.

And the work… If I walked outside right now when said, “I am not available to talk to anyone.” If I have this belief that I don’t want to talk to anyone, when I walk around, I’m going to have this look on my face that looks like I don’t want to talk and maybe my head is looking down, nobody is going to talk to me. And if somebody does talk to me who wants to talk to me, I won’t notice them. Or I’ll yell at them. Or I’ll bark at them.

So we communicate like that. We communicate silently. So much of communication happens below awareness. We think everything is what we say. No. It’s in the unsaid that people are constantly picking up. So if your invisible sign says, “I don’t want to be in relationship because I’m not worthy,” then people read that sign and they move on.

So you’re going to change that now. You’re going to change that. Yeah. And it’s exciting. And I would love to see you involve as many people as you can—your friends and your family and your loved ones to say, “I’m available. And I want to meet some good eligible men.”

Monica: Okay.

Marc: And if there’s younger people in your circle—family or friends—you might want to ask them, “How do I do this online? Where do I go?” I want you to try everything. And I want you to have support in this. I want you to have at least one girlfriend who can talk to you about this where you could share what’s happening, what you’re doing, what’s working, what’s not, what your fears are, what your excitements are.

I don’t want you to do this by yourself. Does that make sense?

Monica: Absolutely.

Marc: So is that possible? So it’s possible to have friends who are kind of being your support and your cheerleaders, yeah?

Monica: Yeah.

Marc: Okay. So there’s your practice. So the practice is to start to feel the feeling. So it’s a feeling. What would it feel like for you to be available? And it’s a feeling that happens in every moment. So it’s not just when you’re on the date. You have to feel available when you’re sitting here talking to me. You have to feel available when you go down the street and go shopping. What does it feel like to feel available?

Part of it is you have to be in your body. “Hello, everybody. Hello, world. Here it is! I’m available.” So it’s starting to relax into your body. And part of it is you loving yourself a little more. So when I asked you to let go of losing the weight for a little while, it doesn’t mean let go forever. But I really want you to focus on love, relationship, dating.

And I would love for you to focus on who you need to be to start to being a single woman that is looking to be in an intimate relationship. That will give you energy. That will give you something else to occupy your time and your mind, which is way more important at this point than losing any weight.

And I promise you once you start to do this, things are going to change for you. Your energy is going to be different. And my guess is, my feeling is that. Friday can’t really shift until you have this shift, until you start to be the person you’re meant to be. We can’t cheat. We can’t keep the universe. We can’t say, “Okay, universe. I’ll be the person I’m meant to be and do the things I meant to do. But only when I lose 20 pounds or 35 pounds.” It doesn’t work like that.

We have to be the person we’re meant to be now. And from there, whatever happens happens. But I’m saying that’s going to change your metabolism. It’s going to change your body. It’s going to change your outlook along with you starting to be in relationship with food differently.

The thing I’m asking you to do with food, slowing down and eating, is kind of the same thing am asking you to do with men. I’m asking you to be present with them and be available to food. You’re not even available to food right now. You’re trying to diet. Food is this thing that makes you lose weight or gain weight. You have to be with food that is something you eat in something you that helps you live and as something you enjoy.

So you have to reintroduce foods to your body and a whole different way. You’re reintroducing food into your mind and your heart in a whole different way. Does this make sense?

Monica: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I know it makes sense because my heart and my stomach are telling me that.

Marc: [Laughs] See?! And the heart in the stomach, it’s all connected. Everything is connected here, all of it, all of it, all of it. When the heart’s heavy, how can the body not feel heavy? So it’s time to let the heart be lighter. When the heart is lighter, the body can feel lighter. When the body feels lighter, anything is possible.

So I’m happy for you. I think we discovered something here for you.

Monica: Yeah, yeah. And you know what? Sometimes maybe I have had some thoughts about it. But it feels so good when somebody is able to witness that and give this feedback.

Marc: Yes! Absolutely. Absolutely. So you’re going to feel like a teenage girl sometimes in this process. You’re going to feel very young. How wonderful is that?! How good is that? You feel young. “I’m nervous. I’m shy. I feeling like a little girl. Is he going to like me? What should I wear? Is this going to work out? Oh, my God. What happens if he doesn’t?” That’s life.
Monica: Yeah.

Marc: And I want you to trust yourself that you’re a grown woman and you can take care of yourself no matter what happens.

Monica: Yeah. Yeah.

Marc: Good job, Monica.

Monica: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Marc.

Marc: Yeah. I have a very good feeling about this for you, I really do. And I think if you do some praying on this and really—I don’t know what religion you are—but really ask for help here on every level and really tap into how… To me, in a lot of ways, this would be a wonderful thing in your life for the rest of your life if you had that connection.

So give it space. Let it be possible. And then life will dictate what will happen. But you have to step up and say, “Okay, I’m willing. I’ll do what it takes. I’ll stop pushing people away because of how much I think I need to weigh so they can love me.” So you take away all the conditions. And then you let the magic of the universe take over.

Thanks for doing this, Monica. Thanks for being such a willing client. I appreciate that.

Monica: Thank you very, very much, Marc!

Marc: And we’ll follow-up in several months and see how you’re doing, okay?

Monica: Sure. Sure. Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to that.

Marc: And thank you so much. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Lots more to come.


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