Shalom has dealt with weight issues for two decades, and has gained and lost hundreds of pounds over the years. He struggles to feel comfortable in his body, and fears that he will not be able to find anyone to love (or anyone who can love him back) until he is able to lose the excess weight. He is very knowledgeable about nutrition, and he gets so much enjoyment from food that he has a hard time limiting himself in any way – but he’s ready for a change. Tune in as Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, helps Shalom see more clearly how he can change his relationship to pleasure, and his relationship to himself, so that he can finally start to feel empowered around food, life, and love.
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
Marc: Welcome, everyone. 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 Shalom today. Welcome, Shalom.
Shalom: Thank you Marc. How are you?
Marc: I am doing good. And just give me one moment to fill viewers and listeners in, in case they’re new to the podcast. Let me tell you all how it works.
So Shalom and I are going to be together for maybe about an hour. And we’re going to discuss whatever he wants to work on. And see if we can move the dial when it comes to whatever he’s interested in: in food, in body, in weight, in health. And hopefully we’ll pack a lot of work into a little bit of time.
So, Shalom, if you could wave your magic wand and get whatever you wanted out of our time together, what would that look like for you, my friend?
Shalom: Okay. Magic wand. Then I’m going to go all-in on this. So I’m going to be tomorrow’s super-hot male model. Super ripped. And life will be good. I’d be sitting on the beach. Everybody will be looking at me. I can get whatever that I want. I will find my true love. And life will be great.
Marc: I love it! I love it. I love it. I love it. Let’s step it down a notch now. If you can get whatever you want that you felt was kind of doable and potential, what might that look like for you?
Shalom: I would be able to manage better. I will be able to be more predictable with my food choices, choices in general. Like lifestyle choices, how to be more relaxed. Be more focused on what I want to do, and not just get carried away in the moment. And not say every day, “Okay, tomorrow is rough. Let’s start again tomorrow.” And then it’s five years later and it’s still the same.
Marc: So you’re interested in losing weight?
Marc: How much would you like to lose?
Shalom: I think about 40 kilos, something like that.
Marc: 40 kilos. So for everybody else listening in, that’s probably a good 80-plus pounds. When was the last time you were forty kilos less?
Shalom: Probably at the age of 18, something like that, or 19.
Marc: How old are you now?
Marc: 32, so it’s a bunch of years ago.
Marc: Okay. When was the last time you were even 20 kilos less?
Shalom: Not that far away, unfortunately. About a year or two years.
Marc: Okay. How did you end up being 20 kilos less a year or two years ago? What did you do?
Shalom: So do you want to maybe give you a full review?
Marc: Give me a full review, I’m not sure. I want to be good with our time. So give me a good summary how you got there.
Shalom: Yeah, I’ll make it short.
Shalom: So I think I was always overweight ever since like the age of ten, something like that. At the age of 17, 18, I did like an Atkins diet and lost a lot of weight. Then gained some. And then I got to a new environment, started going to the university. Met some new friends. Started working out with them, checking my food. And I lost the weight again. And I was like 85 kilograms at that time.
School was a lot of pressure. No consistent time frame, so food was chaos, and I gained infinite amount of kilograms. My highest weight is something like 300 pounds, something like that, in four years of school. And then I did a very low-carb diet, a very strict low-carb diet and a lot of exercise like five, six times a week. And lost something like 60 kilos.
Then I had back pains, which stopped all the exercises. And was pretty depressing, so I gained a lot of weight back, like 20, 30 kilos. And then I was able to manage the pain, got back down again to about the same thing. Maybe like 95 kilograms.
And then started working full-time as an engineer. So less time to exercise, and again more food choices. Not good food choices. So for the first two years at the company, I was able to manage my weight. From 95 I went to like 100, something like that. But even in just the last six months, or something like that, I gained like 10 kilograms or even more.
Marc: In these last six months?
Marc: Okay. When you kind of put your mind to it, because you’re an engineer, so you’re probably a pretty smart guy, why do you think that 10 kilos came on recently? What would you attribute it to?
Shalom: It’s difficult to say, to pinpoint it. I think it’s a great puzzle to me. That’s why it’s difficult to me. Because it seems like in the last year or so, I’ve gained so much insight on weight loss, positive thinking, and a lot of the stuff that you talk about. And even more accepting myself and stuff like that.
But I don’t know. Nothing seems to work. And even at the periods of times when I do think that I’m doing well, like managing my food, it doesn’t seem like I’m losing weight like I used to. But I’m still not sure. Because like a long period of time where it helped. The most is like, I don’t know, five weeks, a week.
Marc: Shalom, how old are you right now?
Marc: 32. Are you in a relationship?
Marc: Do you want to be?
Marc: When was the last time you were in a relationship?
Shalom: A few years ago. And even that, it wasn’t like something very long. I’m also gay, so it’s more difficult for us in relationship in general, and in weight specifically.
Marc: And because gay community tends to really be focused on the body sometimes.
Marc: Yeah. Interesting.
Shalom: There’s a famous quote in Will and Grace where he says when someone is new to the gay community and he’s like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it. Are all gays about faces and bodies?” and he’s like, “No, no way. Only bodies.” That’s how much it’s emphasized.
Marc: That’s a pretty fascinating challenge that you have. Because it adds this whole other layer, I’m imagining, of a little bit of stress.
So it seems this tie in-between if you want to find a guy, looks like you really have to look like a certain way.
Shalom: Exactly. And it seems like a long road, which I’m not sure it’s even going to happen. And there’s even like the whole issue of how I will look after I lose all this weight. Like I would have skins loose, you know? And that’s also a big stressor.
Marc: I get it. You’re in a tough challenge. And let’s talk about diet for a second. What do you tend to eat? Like, take me through breakfast. Like what might be a typical breakfast for you?
Shalom: So the thing is it’s very difficult for me to have a consistent way of eating. So when I try and diet, and be healthy, it usually would be like a smoothie. But sometimes, there are these mornings where I wake up and say, “No, I can’t eat a smoothie right now. I want something else.”
Marc: So what would you eat?
Shalom: I will make like healthy cookies, with oatmeal, dates, and stuff like that. So I will eat just the cookies with coffee.
Marc: And then do you have a snack before lunch?
Shalom: Usually no. But sometimes I would just skip breakfast and then either I snack something before lunch or . . .
Marc: And what might lunch look like?
Shalom: So, weekday lunch at my work is some sort of protein, some sort of vegetables. And so it depends on the time. Sometimes I will eat breads. And sometimes I will try to be more healthy, and just try to eat more starchy potatoes and stuff like that, starchy vegetables instead. Yeah.
Marc: And you have an afternoon snack?
Shalom: I try not to but sometimes it would be like dates or dark chocolate, stuff like that. But the thing is, I don’t have a very fixed . . . because somebody came from a vacation and brings a cake or something, I would just eat the cake. So it really depends on the environment.
Marc: Got it.
Shalom: That’s the main challenge.
Marc: Main challenge for you then, according to you. I’m not that consistent. Anything could happen. It’s just really depends on the day, the environment, what’s going on. Okay.
Marc: Do you eat at night after dinner?
Shalom: So it depends what dinner is. Sometimes if I only eat dinner after I get back home, which would be like 8 pm, so dinner will usually be a pretty big dinner. So, I don’t eat something after it. Sometimes it’s just too big.
Marc: Too big might mean, what might be too big to you? Tell me what that looks like.
Shalom: It could be like, I don’t know, two or three small breads and chicken, stuff like that. I don’t know. It could be a lot of bread with peanut butter and eggs.
Marc: Would you call yourself a fast-eater, a moderate-eater, or slow-eater?
Shalom: That also depends. So sometimes usually at lunch, I don’t know, it’s just somehow got fixed lunch at work. I try to eat slow. I usually succeed in it. But you know, when you get home hungry and frustrated, it’s very difficult to eat slow. So it also depends. Usually when I eat desserts or something like that, first thing in the morning with a coffee, it usually does tend to be faster as well.
Marc: Are your parents alive?
Shalom: But basically, like if its corn, I’m a fast eater. I have to try to make it slow.
Marc: Sure, I understand. Let’s talk about your parents. Are they alive? Are they around?
Shalom: Yeah, they’re alive.
Marc: Where are they?
Shalom: My mother lives with her second husband next to me, like one hour away from me. And my father lives alone, also pretty close.
Marc: Are you guys close?
Shalom: I’m very close with my mother, with my father less so.
Marc: Why would you say?
Shalom: I think we’re very different people. And I think he’s just a difficult person, in general.
Marc: Yeah. How does he feel about your chosen lifestyle? How does he feel about you being gay?
Shalom: He’s not in love with it. He thinks I can still make the change if I want, or something like that. But more or less I think it’s a non-issue right now. Maybe in the future, I don’t know, when it gets more serious, it will rise up again when I’m marrying my boyfriend, or something like that, my future boyfriend. But right now it’s not too much of a conversation.
Marc: How’s that for you that he doesn’t fully accept that?
Shalom: I don’t know. I don’t focus on that right now. We have other issues. Yeah. I think the main issue is that I feel like he wants too much from me. Like he wants us to talk everyday even when I don’t have anything to say. The conversations are so superficial like, “Where are you? What are you doing? Where are you going?” Like no content and I’m just not the small talk kind of guy. I like talks with meaning.
Shalom: So I feel it’s like stealing some of my energy whenever I see his name on my phone calling.
Marc: Where did he grow up?
Shalom: He grew up in Israel too.
Marc: Where is his family from, like before Israel?
Shalom: From Yemen.
Marc: So how was it for you? Have you ever lived in any other part of the world?
Marc: How is it being gay and being in the Middle East, or being in Israel? How would you describe that? Because if I observe in the United States, I would say, “Wow!” If you’re gay in this country, there are certain places where you can be where, “No worries. You know it’s good.” How is it in your country?
Shalom: I think it’s okay, in general. It’s very different from other Middle East I’m sure. But here it’s okay, especially since I’m living in Tel Aviv. So Tel Aviv is one of the greatest cities for a gay to be in I think. But there are legal issues. That’s the main issue right now. So we can’t get married. And there’s a big commotion right now again when they try to move some rules, pro-gay rules. And all of them denied at the day that was dedicated to the gay rights in the government. So it was pretty funny.
Marc: So the last time when you were 20 kilos less than you are right now, how did you feel?
Shalom: Well I felt so much better. I did think that I still have some work to do on my body. But I think my energy was better. I was physically in a much better shape. Today I go up two flights of stairs and that’s it. I’m out of breath. I think I had more confidence. I wanted to do more things. And now I think like it’s pretty much limiting me on what I can do.
Marc: Yeah. When you exercise, what do you do? What kind of exercise?
Shalom: So the thing I like to do the best is aerobic dancing and that’s how I lost most of my weight. And yeah, one of the biggest issues in the last year is that I’ve been having pain on my feet. So that keeps me from dancing. So I tried to weight-lift, but I don’t stick with it so well for a long time. I can go for three times a week for two weeks, but then it will be two times a week, one time a week. And then at the last two weeks I didn’t exercise at all.
So, if you were going to get paid 20-million dollars right now to lose weight. And you knew that you had two months to lose a bunch of weight and you were going to get all these money, what would you do?
Shalom: I would quit my job and I could even just fast. That’s it. It would be no issue.
Marc: Okay. Let’s say you couldn’t quit your job and you couldn’t fast?
Shalom: Okay, that is more difficult.
Marc: What would you eat?
Shalom: What would I eat? I would probably eat a low-carb diet. Meat, eggs, and stuff like that.
Marc: So when you eat a low-carb diet, how do you feel?
Shalom: That’s a good question because I think I can’t be on a zero-carb diet. I think I do need some carbs. I’m that kind of person I think. But low-carb is okay. No-carbs, I think it will be terrible, but low-carbs is okay. But the thing is, taste-wise, I think I’ll need the carbs. It’s not satisfying to me to just eat the steak without the bread or without the potato, taste-wise.
Marc: Understood. So it sounds like there’s this part of you that obviously wants to lose weight. But you also notice when you do certain good habits, that you could get derailed very soon after you start the good habit.
Marc: When did you first start to notice that about yourself? When did you start to see, “Huh, I do that sometimes?”
Shalom: At least one or two years.
Marc: What do you think that is?
Shalom: It’s like I feel like I’m missing something. Say I’m at work and I’m on a diet, and somebody brings a really good cake and I can’t eat it because I’m eating a specific way. I feel like I’m missing an experience that everybody else has.
Marc: I get it. I like that. “I’m missing an experience that everybody else has.” I love that. What else about that? Anything else why you might think you do that.
Shalom: It’s also very difficult for me to say tomorrow I’m going to eat this, because I might wake up tomorrow and I don’t feel like eating this. I feel like eating something else. So on the one hand, it’s very important for me to eat whatever I feel like I need, and whatever that I want, and whatever will make me happy at that moment, that specific moment.
But the thing is if I’m given a choice, sometimes I might make a mistake. I’m more likely to make a mistake than if I say in advance “Okay, I’m going to eat this, this, this, and this, and that’s it.” So I’m in a conflict. It’s like whenever I try to be strict, sometimes I would just say, “No. it’s too strict. I don’t feel like doing it. It’s not fun.” And then I just break it and do whatever that I want.
And then it’s even worse. And then I say, “Okay. Let’s learn from this mistake and do something that is more mild. Eat whatever you want, but not too much. And make it good quality. And eat it slowly.” Yada, yada, yada. And then I’m saying, “Yeah, okay I’ll eat this. We can do just a little bit more and this as well. This is not one hundred percent quality. It’s seventeen five, let’s do it again.” And then there is no end to that.
Marc: Okay, I’m going to circle back to this conversation. Just so you know, I tend to bounce around because that’s my style and I’m trying to get certain pieces of information in here so we could do a lot in a little bit of time.
If I was talking to your mother right now, and I said to her, “Mama, tell me about what’s your biggest complaint about Shalom? I know you love him but what’s your biggest complaint about him?” What would she say?
Shalom: You mean like in general?
Marc: In general, just like in general. “He’s so this,” or, “He’s so that,” or, “He does oomph.” Like what would she say that she would want to see you improve and do different?
Shalom: She’d probably say that I’m lazy even though I did improve on that. Like, help more. I don’t know, when we live together, helping with cleaning and stuff like that, and doing dishes or whatever. Physical stuff.
Marc: Are there other places in life other than around food and such where you might say to yourself, “Yeah, you know, I kind of start things and it’s going good and then I kind of taper off and I go, oh, I’m not in the mood.” So you might do that with food. You might do that with exercise. Any other place where you notice you do that?
Shalom: I guess school or something like that, or maybe work. Honestly I think it’s like in normal level.
Marc: Are there places where you would say, where in life are you so opposite of that? Where in life are you like, you’re on target? When you set your mind to something, you’re doing it.
Shalom: I don’t think I’m that kind of person. I think I always re-evaluate and I always say, “If I don’t think it’s good for me, if it’s not making me happy, maybe I don’t need it.”
Marc: Got it. You went to engineering school right?
Marc: That must have been hard work. I can’t imagine it was easy.
Shalom: Yeah, it’s not easy but actually it wasn’t that bad for me. It was pretty okay, it was mostly the chaos around it. So I think I’m going to stand back a few years, like 25-years ago. So my parents are divorced and my mother was working. And so me and my sister were left at home alone. And we had this habit of just eating whatever we wanted. So we would eat a lot of cookies, a lot of chocolates, stuff like that. That’s something that I think is stuck with me a lot of the years.
So when I would, say, back from school, I’m hungry, I didn’t eat there. So on my way back home, I would just buy a bag of cookies and I would eat it at home, that’s my dinner.
Marc: So that was 25-years ago so you must have been what? Seven or eight years old?
Marc: Is your sister older than you?
Shalom: One year older. Yeah.
Marc: How do you guys get along?
Shalom: It depends on when you ask, but mostly we love each other very much and we do try to get along. We have some bad times and good times, but now it’s more like good times. But still there are some conflicts sometimes. Again, I think it’s funny because on one level, we very think alike, and we have the same sense of humor, and we understand each other. Apart from the rest of our family, we do feel that we are different. On the other level, we are so different as human beings that is sometimes creating conflicts.
Marc: Understood. Understood.
Shalom: Like I like quality food and she likes everything that is not quality. Like if something is high quality, she wouldn’t like it. She would prefer to eat a frozen chicken or something with processed bread crumbs or whatever on it instead of eating a homemade chicken, fried chicken or something. It’s pretty funny how everything is opposite with us in this regard.
Marc: I’m with you. So I got some thoughts that I want to play with you, around you, around your weight, around what’s possible, around how to get there. I’m going to just free associate a little bit and we’ll just kind of jam on this together.
So as I’m asking you questions, especially when it comes to weight loss I’m always interested in where is the action. Where are the places where we can really try to move the dial? Because people could diet all they want to diet. And it works, it doesn’t work. You start the diet. You feel good. You slow down. You start exercise. You feel good. You know, that slows down.
Here you are, you’ve been wanting to lose weight a while. You know Shalom, I speak to a lot of people and I wonder to myself, “Well, I don’t know if you have weight to lose.” Because we really never truly know if somebody has weight to lose. To me, given your story, given your weight, I would say, “Yeah, okay great. Your body could lose weight.” It’s not that you’re kind of sitting here, asking or wanting the impossible. Or asking and wanting something outrageous.
Now, for sure we all have our ideals about, “Wow, I want a perfect body.” That kind of thing. But what I’m saying is, I’m just trying to say first and foremost from a legitimate standpoint, it’s like, “Oh, this body that I’m talking to can probably lose weight.”
You’ve tried to use different things. And we’ve talked about what works, what doesn’t, what kind of stops you. And we also talked about, there are some darn good reasons for you to lose weight too. There’s some really good reasons. And it’s a tricky one when somebody says to me, especially when a woman says to me, “Well, I want to lose weight because if I don’t lose weight I’m not going to find love. I’m not going to get a man.” An understandable belief, because we’re given these images constantly. We’re brainwashed, excuse me, to think that people are only going to love me if I look a certain way.
I believe you’re very correct. In my observation of the gay community it’s very physically focused. And men know that. Gay men know that. There’s no argument there. It’s just true. And men don’t mind saying that. Gay men don’t mind saying that. It’s just, hey, this is what it is.
So here you are, you’re a single man. You want love. You want connection. You want to get married someday maybe. And it’s like, “Wait a second. This is not in my favor.” So, all I’m trying to say is there’s a lot of motivation for you. And then there’s the feeling good in your body, and feeling lighter, and feeling healthier, and not having pains. So there’s a good motivation.
And I’m saying, when we wrap up all these powerful motivations, you still get stuck.
I’m just kind of summarizing what you’ve said to me in my words. So you get stuck and then I think to myself, “Wow, that’s fascinating.” Because this guy has good motivation. He’s got good reasons. I’m on your team here. You’ve got good reasons and you hit walls. So I think to myself, if you’ve got a powerful motivation, and you hit a roadblock, that roadblock must be powerful to stop you. That’s what I think.
So I’m just trying to break it down here. I’m just telling you how my mind works before I try to figure something out. Because figuring things out, sometimes we got to break it down logically. So I’m going to assume that whatever is in your way, has power in it. It’s powerful. I’m not saying it’s ominous and powerfully bad, I’m just saying it’s powerful.
Shalom: Yeah, it has to be.
Marc: It has to be because you’ve got such good motivation and you’ve got such a good reason. And the reason why you can’t figure it out yourself, and we’re human in this, there’s a lot of stuff you and I can’t figure out about ourselves because sometimes it’s just that we need reflection. The world has to tell us. There are certain lessons, you can learn on your own. When you read a book and you go, “Oh, my God. That’s me. Let me change,” or whatever it is. There’s other things in life we just need feedback from the world, because there’s places in us that sometimes it’s just hard to see.
So, my mind as I’m sitting here talking to you, is looking, “Okay. What is that?” if I was going to be hanging out with you for three, four, five, six months and doing sessions and talking to you, where do I think I would arrive at in that time to go, “Wow. Here it is. Here’s that place of power that shows up, that holds you back.” So, I think I got some clues to what that is.
Before I say what it is, I want to say some of the pieces of information that you shared with me that helped me arrive at this conclusion. You very clearly said, “I’m motivated, I get started, I get derailed. I wake up, yeah, I might want to eat the right thing but if I don’t feel like it, I’m not. Why? It doesn’t feel good. Why would any person do something that doesn’t feel good?”
And then you shared another piece of information with me that for me was very helpful and useful. Sometimes it’s good to kind of poke around in the closet, in the past, my past story, your past story to see what’s up. What happened? And you said something very interesting, parents divorced, you and your sister were young, seven or eight years old, whatever it is.
Here we are at home, what do you do? You eat. I’m right there with you. I remember when my parents weren’t home, my sister and I would come home from school, I was in the same boat as you were. She is three years older, we come home, and we eat whatever we want.
Shalom: And we don’t eat salad right?
Marc: No, definitely not. We’re kids. We go for all the stuff they tell kids to eat which is all the nonsense, bad garbage-food they advertise to children. So, children – A: want to feel good, B: when a child’s world is disturbed and they don’t know how to manage it and regulate it, they really need to figure out how to feel good.
Children just don’t know how to interpret a lot that goes on in their world. Children know when they’re feeling bad. They know when something is not right. They don’t always know how to manage it. So, two young kids are not going to solve their parent’s relationship issues. Two young kids are not going to sit around. You’re not going to sit around with your sister at eight years old going, “Wow, here’s what’s going on. No wonder why we’re eating all this food. We know that we want to feel good.” You learned at a very certain age how to take what I’m going to imagine were challenging feelings going on just being a seven-year-old number one. Number two, having my parents being divorced. That has to impact us. It does. Whenever there’s a split between mother and father, it impacts us. We pick up on it directly or indirectly.
You need to regulate your energy, you need to regulate your emotions. And you figured out something very, very basic and wise which is, what do I have to do to feel good? Eat certain foods, feel good. There it is. It’s very logical. You’ve got an engineer’s mind. If you feel bad, eat this thing and feel good. Feel bad, eat this limiting diet, still feel bad, don’t do that.
Part of our psychology, all of us, is we’re constantly trying to figure out how to feel good. We’re constantly trying to figure out how to get out of discomfort, how to get out of pain, suffering, whatever it is. And we turn to food, totally understandable, nothing wrong with that.
So, when I said to you whatever is in the way must be really powerful, must be really big. Let me say in words what I think that big is. What I think that big is, is that you as a person, you as a man, there’s a lesson that you need to learn that will help you more to step into your adulthood. More specifically, it will help you step more into your manhood. So I’m going to say you’re in a life stage where you’re a late prince. A late prince means, you’re right in the middle of prince hood and the–
Shalom: Late? I don’t know.
Marc: Not late, meaning you showed up to the party late.
Marc: Advanced prince stage.
Shalom: No, I want to be a beginner.
Marc: I know.
Shalom: I want to be younger.
Marc: Yes, yes. Well, you are. And that’s the thing. That’s the thing because you being younger feels good to you. There’s a place where you go inside yourself where when you’re that seven-year old kid again, you feel good because I can do whatever I want. I’m eating whatever I want. I’m doing me, I’m in charge here.
There’s a place where you go and it’s not just about food. It’s a place where you go, it’s an emotional place where it’s like, “I’m doing whatever I want. This is me, I’m not growing up. Why? Because I don’t need to, because I’m a kid. Kids don’t need to grow up.” So there’s a place in you that is in a bit of refusal. Did you ever see Peter Pan?
Marc: Okay, well I’ll remind you. Peter Pan is a boy, and he hangs around with a bunch of boys. They call the bunch of boys including Peter Pan, “The Lost Boys” because they don’t really have a father. They don’t really have a role model and they get lost and they don’t know who they are. And then they sing a song that goes, “I won’t grow up,” you know?
So there’s a part of you that is refusing to grow up. I’m going to state it in a different way. There’s a part of you that is not claiming your princehood. See a young prince, an immature prince, does whatever he wants to do because that’s his consciousness. That’s his psychological, emotional, social development. He’s still a young boy.
So young boys want to do whatever they want to do. Eat whatever they wanted to eat. They want to stay out late. Parents got to corral them in because boys got a lot of energy. It’s like we have to structure you. When you don’t structure boys, they can get a little wild. We got some energy. So there’s a place where you react to structure.
And the part of you that’s reacting to structure is the little kid in you.
I’m trying to identify him for you so you could see. It’s the little kid who’s found his way. It’s like, I want to eat this because it makes me feel good. You go to a place that feels so safe for you. It’s a familiar place, it’s a safe place, and it’s actually where you have a little bit of power. You feel some power there. A part of you is wanting to feel power. A part of you is wanting to feel good about yourself.
And believe it or not, that place of refusal that you go to, “Oh, you know something? I said yesterday I want to go on a diet, I don’t feel like doing that right now.” Oddly enough for you, that’s a place of power because you’re going, “No. I ain’t listening to you even though you is me. I’m still not listening. I’m rebelling. I’m saying no, I won’t grow up.” We get a certain energy. We get a certain amount of juice when we do that.
So what I’m saying is that the thing that gets in your way that shows up is the part of you that is ready to step into a certain kind of maturity, which is a certain kind of adulthood, which is a certain kind of princehood, which is a certain kind of manhood. I’m saying, I’m using all those words that is the same.
Another way of saying that is a lot of times, and I’m going to talk in man talk here. There’s a lot of times when we have to self-initiate. There are certain things that you had to learn from your environment, from people around you, from mother, from father. They teach us certain things. Our teachers teach us certain things.
And then there comes a point in life where you’re not sitting in a classroom anymore. Like this is the classroom right now, me and you talking. So there’s a certain point in life where nobody is going to say, “Hey Shalom, if you don’t pass this test, we’re going to keep you after school and make sure you learn it.”
There comes a point where we have to self-initiate. We have to take that role. We have to have that voice inside of us that’s going to say, “Okay, here’s where I’m going to push a little harder. Here’s where I’m going to breakthrough.” Because what I’m saying is there’s a part of you that is waiting to be born. It’s like a little fetus. It’s waiting to be born. And the part of you that’s waiting to be born is the part of you that is the man in charge of your life. Not the seven-year old boy who’s in-charge of your emotional field. That’s very different. So you learned that in an early age, and for good reason.
What I’m saying is, your habit that you have a hard time defeating is there for a good reason. It was your survival skill. It’s beautiful. Kids need to learn how to survive. You figured out how to survive and managed what I’m going to guess was challenging times.
So here’s how Shalom manages. He eats what he wants, him and his sister. This feels good and you carry that into adulthood. This feels good, this doesn’t feel good.
And there are certain things that don’t feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t mean we should do them. Crack cocaine feels good in the moment. You might be so angry at somebody you want to hit them. Believe it or not there are certain people who hitting somebody feels good in the moment to the guy doing the hitting. Not the best idea. What you are learning on one hand is to delay gratification. It’s as simple as that on one level. It’s as simple as that.
There’s a mechanism inside of us that is born that teaches us to delay our gratification and it’s not easy. You might say to yourself, “Okay, wow. I met this guy. Wow. He’s really attractive. I want to have sex with him right now.” And you might want to do that. But you also might be saying to yourself, “Okay, but I want a relationship. I want to get to know somebody first.” We delay gratification or he delays gratification. So, your boss says something stupid, you might want to say something very mean, you delay that. It might be very gratifying but you might get fired the next day. So what I am saying is you are learning how to do that in your life as the general manager, as the captain, of your own body.
I would love for you to see this not as Shalom and weight. Shalom and trying to eat less food. Shalom and trying to control his appetite. That to me is not the issue.
Where the real action is, is you noticing and believing or trying this on. Where the real action is, it’s you noticing, “Wow, there’s this part of me that is still functioning as a child in the adult world. It was a useful child strategy but I brought along this little suitcase into my 30s with this old strategy that doesn’t work. And it’s all about me being my own father, my own parent. It’s all about you managing your experience. And what’s happening is you’re almost being a kid, “Well, I don’t like that. I want something else.”
And then it stops you from having the thing you want most because that’s what a child will do because a child can’t go into long-term benefits. Their mind doesn’t work that way. They want immediate gratification. So the part of you that shifts into your seven or eight-year-old that just wants immediate gratification. It doesn’t want to push yourself that way because it’s hard.
So what I’m saying is there’s literally a place where you have to start pushing harder. And that’s not bad, pushing harder in that way is not bad. It’s not artificial. It’s not about willpower per se. It’s about you pushing to find the place where you’re stepping into a different level of maturity where you’re able to say, “Huh, this is what I say I want. How do I now go about getting it?” Really looking at it, not so much as weight loss but looking at it as me, Shalom, starting to create the life I want by creating the kind of persona, by creating that kind of man who would be worthy of having that life.
So in other words, there’s no free ride. So in other words, there’s no easy way out here.
So in other words, when you start exercising, even if it’s exercising that you love and you go, “I don’t want to do this today.” That’s your moment right there. That’s your moment where you have to, in a sense, pause yourself and futurize.
You have to pause yourself and go, I am going for something that’s more long-term here.
Shalom: I’ll do it tomorrow.
Marc: But you see where I’m going with this?
Shalom: Yes, and I really agree with everything that you’re saying. But, there’s a place where I feel like it shouldn’t work like that. Like I should be able to eat whatever feels good to me at the moment. It doesn’t have to be something crazy like a giant cake or something. There’s a part of me that says, “Okay, say I’m only eating eggs for breakfast for the next 10 days” or whatever. And then I’ll wake up in the morning and I feel like, “No, I don’t want to eat eggs. I want to eat smoothie or I want to eat something else.”
There’s a part of me that is saying it’s not correct to eat whatever I said I’m going to eat if it doesn’t feel good in the moment. Like something doesn’t add up.
Marc: So what I want to say, is that something that doesn’t add up for you, my guess in general is still the part of you that’s just going to be the little kid kicking and screaming, looking for the clever way out. It’s your mind playing little tricks on you to get you to step back.
Now, sure, you could wake up one day and say, “Okay, I really don’t want to have the egg, I want to have the smoothie.” If you’re doing that from a place of tuning into your body, if you’re doing that from an empowered place, if you’re doing that from a place of, I am still moving towards my choice. I am still moving towards my target. I am still moving towards my goal and this choice that I’m now making today is in service to move me in that direction, then go for it.
Shalom: That’s the thing, it’s hard to identify what it is because sometimes you’re going to say, “Okay, I’m going to eat from this cake” but that’s it. I’m going to be, for the rest of the day, I’m going to eat as normal and nothing wrong will happen, right? I’m going to keep eating well and one cake doesn’t do anything. But then you’re saying, “Okay, just one more.” That’s the thing.
It’s difficult for me to say, to put the limit. That’s the thing.
Marc: So, agree. I’m going to agree with you that it is difficult for you to put a limit on things. And what I’m going to say is what a great practice for you to have.
Shalom: I’m practicing for 20 years.
Marc: I don’t know. I really don’t know. I think what’s been happening for 20 years is you’ve been doing battle with yourself and the eight-year old in you has been winning. What I’m asking you to do is give birth to a different voice in you, because there’s this place where you get into this confusing conversation with yourself. And I’m asking you to step a little above that conversation. I’m asking you to find the part of you that rises above that conversation.
I’m asking you to find the part of you that rises above that conversation because there’s a wisdom that lives on top of that conversation. You get pulled into the fight, you get pulled into the struggle. And usually the part of you that wants the goodies wins.
So it’s not about all or nothing. It is not about making yourself miserable because your brain is going to interpret in the moment, “If I don’t eat this cake, then I’m going to be miserable. So I might as well have a little piece. But then if I have a little piece then all this stuff happens.”
So what I’m saying to you is there is a place where you have to be more directive with yourself and practice that. You literally have to be more directive and you have to understand in the moment that you being directive is not limiting yourself. Youth is a part of you that as soon as you go into, “I can’t have that food?” You go into, “Wait a second, of course I can. It’s going to feel good.”
The feel good part of you tends to win. And when the other part of you is winning, you kind of don’t want it to be winning because-
Shalom: No, sometimes I want it to win and it feels great. But sometimes it’s like, first of all, I think I like food much more than most of the other people. And I have appreciation for food. Like some people, I see a lot at my work. It’s like, how do you think it is? Does it taste good? Yeah. What do you mean? Like, a food has to be something good for me. I have to enjoy it. It’s something very, very meaningful and I’m very detailed about it and if you give me three different kinds of mineral water, I can tell which company is which.
Marc: Sure. I understand.
Shalom: My mother told me she had a fresh cake and I tasted it and I knew it wasn’t refrigerated. I can tell insane things by smelling, looking and tasting food. It has something that is very meaningful for me. Physically I feel like I’m different from other people. I can sense things that other people can’t sense. And I think that makes all these things even more difficult because for a lot of people it will really not make any difference what they will eat. For me, it makes a huge difference. And that, I think, makes everything more of a challenge.
And another thing that I noticed. I’m not sure if it’s just me or other people as well. It’s funny because I remember this, even when I was like 14 or something like that. I remember having a conversation with my friend about eating chocolates.
He likes to eat one tiny bit at a time and I will enjoy like having a mouthful of chocolate. And he thinks it makes no sense because it’s shorter and he wants to make it longer. But for me the sensation of having a lot of good food in my mouth gives me a pleasure that is like, it’s insane. It’s not similar to eating the same food. It’s not similar at all.
Marc: I get it. So I’m going to 100% agree with you. From what you just told me, it’s going to be a little harder for you. So I’m in agreement. I’m in 100% agreement and there are certain things that are harder for you, easier for someone else, or easier for someone. We all have our little lot in life. We all have our place where we hit a challenge point. So I’m fine that it’s harder for you.
It’s harder for you. I get it. Food is important to you. You have a sense of taste. That sense of taste impacts you. So, yes this is harder for you so you have to train yourself. You have to retrain yourself and that’s hard. There is no doubt that it is hard, and what I’m saying is that’s the place where you have to start to sharpen your sword.
Now I’m saying this for you. If I’m talking to somebody else, I might be saying something completely different. Somebody else who is in your shoes or telling me even a vaguely similar story and they want to lose 40 kilos. So I’m not saying what I’m saying to you that I think everybody needs to do this. What I’m saying is based on your story, based on what you’ve told me, based on what I know about you, I am looking at you as a warrior-in-training. And right now, you are trying to inhabit your body in a way that feels good to you.
So I know you want to lose weight. I know that you know that you’re going to feel a little different about yourself when you lose weight. Here’s the thing, in your mind, you think to yourself, “When I lose weight, then I’m going to be that guy that I imagine I’m going to be hanging out on the beach being so cool, and hip, and popular, and getting what he wants.”
What I’m saying to you is you have to slowly become, internally, the guy who is on that beach, who is confident, who is clear about himself, who sets a goal for himself and then gets what he wants. So I’m saying you have to become that guy. You think that if we could suck out 40 kilos out of your body that you will be that guy and I’m saying you wouldn’t.
We could fast you, right now. You’re going to lose all the weight and chances are you’ll gain it back because anybody could lose weight. I really mean that. And anybody has lost weight just about. People with medical issues, metabolic issues can’t do it. That’s not you. Anyone can lose weight.
We are trying to change your character. We are trying to help something be born in you such that when that is born in you, that person now has the character of the body that you want. The body that you want requires you being able to put off immediate gratification.
Shalom: Just for me, it seems like it’s just for me. Because I see other people who have great bodies and then eat whatever they want.
Marc: Yeah. Okay, I got it. That sucks for us. It sucks for you. Yeah, not fair. I’m with you, it’s not fair. I know people who makes so much money and they don’t deserve to be making so much money.
Shalom: But for them it’s not a requirement. It is a requirement for me, just for me.
Marc: Exactly and that’s the child’s mind in us. It’s like, “Wait a second, why is he so good looking? How come he could eat whatever he wants to eat and not gain a pound?” Yeah, exactly it’s not a fair world. It’s not a fair world. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. Who knows? But that’s where, once again, this is between you and God, you and the universe. This is your unique journey. And it’s going to be different from everyone. I’m glad you’re not everybody else.
You’d be boring if you were everybody else. You are you and this is your unique journey.
This is about you embracing that and noticing there’s going to be places where you leak energy like that. “How come that?” And, “Why is this so hard and it’s harder for me because I don’t want to eat a little piece of chocolate, I want a mouthful of food because that feels pleasurable.” I believe you when you say that, I get it. And I’m saying, “Yeah.” And now you have to work that one. And now you have to work that and we don’t like that. Why don’t we like that? Because it feels good, I want to do whatever I want.
Shalom: It seems like a losing a battle.
Marc: It is a losing battle when you are coming at it with the child’s mind who is eight years old. And from the moment you slip into your manhood and you’re trying to get there, what I’m saying is, it requires of you a little bit more extra than you’re willing to do than you’ve been able to do in the past. So what I want to say to you is that, you have another gear inside you. You have another gear. There’s an extra place in you that you haven’t accessed yet that I know is there. I have no doubt it’s there. I see it. I feel it. I get it. You have another gear in you that you haven’t accessed yet. And because you haven’t accessed it, it gets frustrating because you hit your wall. Tell me your exact age again 30?
Marc: 31, so what I’m saying to you is, okay you’re more like a middle prince. So for some reason I kept thinking 34. So 31, you’re at a place where you are ready to start accessing that extra gear. And that extra gear I want you to think about as you going from being an eight-year-old to like an 18-year-old. It’s a place where you access more of your power. Plain and simple. Because until you start to access your power, you’re not going to feel powerful.
When you lose the weight and have the body you want you’re going to feel more powerful, at least that’s what your mind tells you. And your mind is partially right. You will be more powerful if you’ve taken a road that develops that power. It’s no different than if I said, “I want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I want to get to the top.” but instead of walking to the top and climbing to the top I take a helicopter.
Okay you could take a helicopter, but did you really do anything? Did you really get to the top? Did you go through that journey? Do you deserve to be at the top? Do you even feel like you made it? No, if you take a helicopter up there it’s a million percent different experience than if you actually did the hike.
So what I’m saying is your journey is about you finding your power. It’s not about you losing your weight. The weight will be a side effect. I’m going to leave you with some questions, really. And the questions are, I want you to think about these, what would it mean for me to really step into my power? Not just with food and body, in the rest of my life.
What would it look like for me to step into my power? What would that even mean? How would I act different with people? How would I act differently around men? How would I act differently around women? How would I act differently around work? How would I act differently with my father?
I’ll give you a hint right there. There’s a place of power that can come out from you in relation to your father. And I always ask if you’re parents are still alive because we could do good work on ourselves by doing good work with our parents. Whatever is unfinished with our parents between us and our parents, we have to finish in our own life.
Right now, your dad gets on the phone and he is more shallow than you and you want to go deeper. If you don’t have anything deep to say, you don’t want to talk about shallow nonsense, I get it. And there’s a place where sometimes, the old people, you just got to love them and respect them.
Sometimes we become a little more mature than them, or we become wiser than them, or we surpass them in certain ways. And when we do that, we’re the ones that have to be more responsible. So if you’re actually a little bit more conscious and more aware, or more deep than your father? Then you have a bigger responsibility. You have to be the more deep and aware one. The guy needs a little bit of love. He wants to talk to you. That’s his way of connecting.
So I’m just saying to you, if you could step into more compassion with him, and really understand that this is a man who actually needs my help or really needs my love, needs my presence, he’s hungry for that.
Shalom: But it’s taking something from me.
Marc: Is it?
Marc: What does it take from you?
Shalom: That’s how it feels.
Marc: Okay, it does feel that way. So I’m going to agree with you. It feels that way. And I’m going to tell you there’s a place where it isn’t that way. And I want you to see if you can find that place. It feels that way because you’re being a kid with him. Listen to me for a second, it feels that way because you’re being a little kid.
You’re being that eight-year-old, you know. When you step into your 31-year-old man, when you step into the older prince in you, when you start to access the wise person in you, it’s going to look different. So what I’m asking you to do is to find higher ground.
Yes I get that you tend to navigate the world by how you feel.
Shalom: Which makes sense.
Marc: Yes, it makes sense and we should do that.
And there are other navigational tools that ought to be in your navigation system, because one tool is not enough to navigate the world.
So just navigating by how I feel is not enough. We also need to navigate by principles. We need to navigate by a philosophy, by guidelines, by a religion, by spiritual principles, by commandments. Whatever you want to call them, that’s why we have religion. That’s why we have laws. That’s why we have rules.
Well it doesn’t feel good that I couldn’t punch that guy in the face. I wanted to punch him in the face. It doesn’t feel good that I couldn’t put a bullet in someone’s head. Just because it would have felt good doesn’t mean you could do it. That’s why we have guidelines and laws.
So what I’m saying is this is a time in your life where you have to start to take principles and act by them and guide your life by them even when they don’t feel good. Because there are moments when I want to yell at somebody, hurt them, hit them and I don’t because my guideline says, you don’t cut someone down with bad words. You don’t hit someone. That’s my guideline. So that helps me manage.
My guideline says, I want to grow more and more into my manhood into my kinghood. So then I have to watch the things that I might do that take me in a whole different direction, that pull me back into being an immature child in any given situation.
So what I’m saying is, just because something doesn’t feel good to you doesn’t mean you can’t do it. And just because something feels good, doesn’t mean you should do it.
And yes, sometimes you’re going to be somewhere and you’re going to have a feeling and you’re going to – you have to honor your feelings, absolutely. But I’m asking you to look at how you rely very heavily on that particular navigation system. And I think it gets in your way. Because the truth is our feelings change from moment to moment. I want this. I want that. I like this. I like that. I don’t like this.
That changes every second. And it will pull us around like crazy people unless we have higher guidelines that we can abide by that we know will help take us where we want to go long-term. So delaying short-term gratification is an adult strategy. It’s a womanhood strategy. It’s a manhood strategy, delaying short-term gratification.
So, yeah, you have to delay good feelings. And that’s hard for you right now because you are not accustomed to using that operating system. It’s completely new to you. So what I’m saying is it’s going to be like learning another language. So when you say to me, “it’s been a fight for twenty years”, Shalom, I totally believe you. It has been and you haven’t been winning. And the reason is because in a way, you’ve been fighting the battle in the wrong place.
And that’s not your fault, because everybody’s fighting the battle. It tends to be in the wrong place when it comes to weight loss. That’s why it’s so hard. We’re trying to fight our appetite. We’re trying to fight food. We’re trying to stick to the certain diet. And it’s about becoming a different person, and using a different operating system for you. And it takes practice.
So what I’m asking you to do is to ask yourself what are some of the guidelines that you want to live by that will mature you and take you into your manhood. And if you really want to step into love, relationship, and feeling good in yourself, the only way you’re going to feel good in yourself is not to lose weight but to be the person who stands by yourself as you shift your body. It’s to be the person who says, “Yeah, that’s a good decision” and “Uh, that’s not such a good decision” based on where I want to go. If you said to me, “I want to have an engineering job” then you need to do certain things to get that.
There are certain things that will be a bad decision. You don’t apply to be in a job as a cook if you want to be an engineer, bad decision. Apply for an engineer job, good decision. Get into the interview. There’s certain things you say and you don’t say in an interview. Certain things are good decisions or bad decisions. You know these things.
So when it comes to your body, when it comes to food, this is about you asking another part of yourself to be born. It’s a whole new part of yourself. And this is a big piece. What I’m asking you is not easy. What I’m asking you is not something you can be able to do overnight. What I’m asking you is something that you step in to. That this is a new life phase for you. When we turn the corner from 30, we’re stepping into adulthood in a whole different way.
And I’m going to say you’re stepping into adulthood in a whole different way. You’re kind of knocking on that door right now. It’s what it feels like to me. You’re going from being reactive child who’s at home eating food to feel good, to regulate his emotions, because that’s all you knew how to do. You’re going from that to man in charge of his life, moving towards his higher goal. And the bigger goals require bigger effort, bigger risk. I’m just telling you my take on how life works. Just talking to you like older brother. My take on how life works is that you want a big reward? We got to wager more at the table. We have to put in more effort. You know? You want to run faster, you got to work harder at that. You want to make more money, you got to work harder at that. There’s no lottery ticket for these things.
So I am saying to you that there’s a new man being born inside you and you have to inspire him to be born. And you have to start to inquire in yourself, “Huh, what the hell was Marc talking about?” Does that even make sense? So this is something you’ve got to actually ponder on because it’s going to be a little hard to hold because I think it’s really new for you.
But I’m saying to you, because I care and I want you to get where you want to go. I really do. I want you to get there. And I’m just over here raising my hands saying, “Shalom, here’s what I think you need to do to get there.” This is not about you losing weight, even though I want you to lose the weight. Here’s how you lose the weight. What I’m saying is you start to step into your adulthood/manhood/warriorhood like never before, which means carrying a sword.
And that sword cuts things off when they’re not right for you. And the sword is the mind. Okay, you operate with your heart. Your heart’s smart. It feels things. You’re very sensitive in that way. And it’s a brilliant tool that you have. And I think that it’s a very evolved part of you. But now you have to evolve this other part of you and make it stronger. The part of you that has another navigating system, which is using your mind and your principles, and not just your feelings. And sometimes mind and principles need to override feelings.
And I’m saying that’s what you need to teach yourself. When you start to use your mind to override feelings, “Hey wait a second. That’s not going to feel good if I don’t do that. So I want to eat that anyway.” Then there’s a part of your mind that goes, “Wait a second. I’m going for a long-term goal.”
And in order for me, Shalom, to go for this long-term goal, here’s what I need to do. That doesn’t mean denying myself and making myself miserable. It means challenging myself. It means working a little harder. Yeah, there might be times when I kick and scream a little bit. But that’s okay. It’s okay, there are times that we’re kicking and screaming.
So, I think rather than give you specifics, which I could right now, I would really like you to consider what a whole new phase of your life can look like internally if you start to navigate the world not just using “this feels good, this doesn’t”. I do what feels good. I don’t do what doesn’t feel good. I want you to start to entertain that. You can easily decide to eat higher protein, lower carbs. You don’t have to go no carbs. I truly believe you can lose weight because you’ve done it before. I truly believe you can exercise however many times a week you want to do it. And there might be days when you push yourself a little extra to go. And you’ll feel good when you do that eventually.
And there might be days when you say, “Okay, I’m just not going to eat any of that cake.” And yeah the one part being, “Yeah I’m denying myself.” No. it’s actually, “No, I’m not denying myself. I am working towards a goal. My bigger goal is really cool. My bigger goal is an empowered me, and a me who has a body that matches an empowered me.”
So, that I think is more of an internal shift. And you’ve been busy trying to fight food, figure food out. “How do I do this? How do I motivate myself?” It’s not where the action is for you. It’s a little deeper. And you are right. You’re absolutely right. This is not going to be easy. And the challenge is sometimes we don’t want to work so hard because it seems that those guys have it easier, why do I have to work hard on this?
And that’s the thing. This is the place where you have to do hard work. That’s what I believe. And if you could wrap yourself around that and not see it as a burden, but see it as a challenge. Challenges could give us energy. Burdens don’t. So you’ve been feeling a little burdened. And it’s time to let go of the burden and re-context it as a challenge.
So I’ve been throwing a lot at you here, and I’d really love for you to consider that to re-context things as a challenge as opposed to a burden. And to look at the places in your life where you feel like you’re carrying baggage and maybe start to feel like you can have a fresh start. There’s a place where we have to a little bit wipe the slate clean. And forget about 20 years of working hard. That was 20 years of exploration and those are 20 years of you learning things by trial and error.
And now we’re at this place. No accidents. Now you’re at this place, and you have a lot of tools, and a lot of skills. And I’m saying to you this is the time where you start to claim our adulthood, personhood, manhood. Where you start to be the captain of your ship, and not feel like you’re being blown around by the wind. That’s the ship that I want to see happen for you. And it’s not going to happen overnight.
But it can happen if you do slow, steady steps. This is a process that is slow and steady. It’s not instantaneous weight loss. It’s slow, steady change which will lead to slow, steady weight loss. It’s my belief. It’s where I would bet millions of bucks.
So, we got to wrap up now. Just give me a sense of, “Okay Marc, here’s what’s going on for me right now.” What are you thinking?
Shalom: So I’m not sure what to do with this information. Say tomorrow morning, what kind of decision do I need to make? Does it have to be difficult? Super difficult? Just a little bit more difficult? It’s very difficult to say where the line is, you know?
Marc: Yeah. In an ideal universe, I would love for you to have some coaching. I would love for you to find a person who can work with you and talk to you once a week. Help hold you accountable. What I would love to see you do is to create a flexible menu. A flexible menu meaning, “Here’s five choices at breakfast, here’s five choices at lunch, five choices at dinner. Here’s five choices at snacks.”
And each of those choices are relatively things that you can enjoy eating and that you know are pretty good for you. So you don’t have to say, “No I’m eating eggs every day for twelve days.” No. Here are the three, four, five choices. So I want to see you have a flexible menu, so you feel like you can choose because you’re a guy that likes to make some choices. You don’t want to be locked down, I’m with you. So let’s use your personality type to make it work.
So ideally, if you’re working with a coach, that’s what I would want to see happen. To create a flexible menu. So it’s either eggs, or a smoothie, or it’s meat and this, or it’s even one day a week, the healthy cookies with the coffee. Fine. Fine. Have your fun breakfast once or twice a week. Have your piece of cake once a week.
But set it in a schedule. So you know these are the choices and these are my once-a-week splurge. And there it is. And then, so okay, you have choices and you could pull from that. And then you slowly stick to it and then you watch what comes up, because you’re going to be challenged. “No but I want to go to this other thing.” And that’s where you go, “No, wait a second. Let me stay in my lane.”
So it’s giving yourself a certain amount of leeway but still create a road that will slowly take you where you want to go, which for you is, sounds to me like a higher protein diet, lower carb. And starting to look at the places in your life that show up. I want you to notice the places in your life that show up that are asking you to step into manhood and adulthood, that have nothing to do with food and body. Just start to notice that. Where’s life asking me to show up more? Where’s life asking me to step into my power more? To ask those questions.
Shalom: Yeah, I agree in general. But I have to return to the example of my relationship with my father because it’s funny because I just listened to The Tapping book by Nick. I’m sure you know him.
Shalom: And he’s talking about how sometimes we don’t set limits to other people and that hurts us. And that’s what I fear in this relationship. So I feel like my father wants to talk everyday even though we don’t have anything to discuss. And I’m basically, we had a few time where I said, “Dad, I think it’s too much. Let’s cut it down to three times a week, because then I would have more to say and it would be more nice for me to talk. And no. Is it too much to talk to me every day?” And something like that. So it makes me feel insecure like I don’t have a say in this. I have to do this, otherwise he’s going to get hurt and I don’t want him to get hurt. And I’m feeling unsafe here.
Marc: Yeah. So let me just say something briefly about that. Yes, you are unsafe here. So you are unsafe here. Unsafe means uncertain, I don’t know what’s happening, this is different. So, being unsafe is okay. It’s not a safe world as you know.
Shalom: But I can make it safe. Give specific examples.
Marc: Sometimes we can’t, but he is not a threat.
Shalom: And you tell me to choose not to be safe.
Marc: No. He’s just an old guy who wants to talk to his son. He’s not a threat. I’m just giving you a perspective. There’s nothing dangerous about that man. There’s nothing dangerous about him. Talking on the phone about nonsense is not dangerous. Talking on the phone about what you ate that day, I’m just giving you a perspective, there’s nothing dangerous about that.
What feels dangerous to you is there’s something there. There’s a discomfort there.
There something in the relationship there. We don’t have enough time to go over that right now and figure that out. But what I’m saying is as an end game, as a goal. The goal is for you to get on the phone with your dad. He wants to talk for five minutes about nothing. For you to do that just because you can. Just because you know it’s going to help the old guy who brought you into this world. Five minutes out of your day, not a big deal.
It’s fine for you to say, “Dad, we’re only going to three or four times a week.” But what I’m saying is you could do either one. You could say, “Dad, let’s talk twice a day. You could be able to do that and still give him energy, it’s theoretical. You can talk to him every day, whatever. So, I’m saying it really doesn’t matter. I’m saying you have to step into your power because when you tell me it’s unsafe, like really, it’s not that unsafe.
Shalom: But I have to do it.
Marc: I know. I know. But when you take it to a higher place, it’s not because you have to do it, it’s because you choose to do it. And you choose to do it from a place of love and service. If you have to do it, you might want to do it. If you choose to do it from an adult place of service and of love, where you’re just giving. I’m just giving. I’m just doing a duty. I’m performing a service. Why? Because I’m being called to do that. Because that’s what happens in the life of an adult, we get called to do service. We get called to step beyond ourselves.
Shalom: But sometimes we say no and it’s okay.
Marc: Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m saying yes to both. So, you’re learning both. You’re learning when to say no but you’re also learning the part of you that steps into the adult and says, “Okay. I have a responsibility here. And I’m going to take that responsibility on.” As opposed to be the kid that’s resenting it. So, both are true. And yeah, it’s not going to always be certain when to do either. And that’s part of the maturing process, that’s part of stepping into your power. It’s going, “Okay. This is the choice I’m going to make and I’m going to stand by that choice.
Shalom: So, is it okay for me to choose to say, “Hey Dad, let’s talk three times a week. What do you say?”
Marc: Either one is okay, but I’m just trying to push you a little bit here to step beyond your limits and choose from a place of love and responsibility, rather than what feels good and what doesn’t. So I want to leave it that with you. And it’s interesting that we ended up with your dad because I think that’s an important relationship for you where you’re going to learn a lot.
And part of what you’re learning, again, I’m going to say is how to step into your fatherhood even though you don’t have kids. It’s how to be more the father archetype, to yourself, to your own dad, and to the world. You’re still young, so you’re little resistant to that but I’m saying that’s what the world is going to start ask of you more.
The world is going to start to ask you to steward it more, to be responsible for it, to take care of it. When we were children, we want the world to take care of that. That makes perfect sense. I’m saying to you, you’re stepping into a different place. And part of you kicks and screams. It’s as simple as that. So you’re learning how to not kick and scream so much.
Shalom: How do I do that? Any tools you can give me?
Marc: Yes, I’ve already given you those tools. I want you to be more conscious on that relationship. I want you to start to see if you can push yourself. So instead of three days a week, five days a week. Push yourself a little. “Dad let’s talk five days a week.”
He wants to talk seven days, you want to talk three, meet him in the middle. And when you talk to him, give to him. Instead of resisting him and fighting him, how can I just give? Even though he’s my dad, even though he’s got all these problems and all this stuff that I don’t like, and he’s shallow.
How can I serve him, and how can I give to him? And you keep asking yourself that question. What does this man really need? Because he needs love. That’s what he needs. And just like you need love, just like I need love. And we all need love in our different ways. So we have to decipher. You have to decipher. “Huh, how does he need love?” Because it’s all he’s asking for. It’s all he’s asking for.
We’re going to leave it at that my friend now, because we’re not going to be able to fix all this. We’re not going to be able to fix all this. But here’s what I want to say, you have been a good sport. I would love for you to listen to this session again because there’s some powerful stuff in here for you and I wasn’t kidding about anything I said to you. And I think if you listen again and really kind of just contemplate, there’s a bigger something that wants to be born. And I know you want to focus on the details. But I think there’s something bigger that wants to be born in you. That’s what I’ve been trying to point out.
Shalom: Yeah, but I’m not sure how to give birth to him.
Marc: I know. I know you’re not. And I want you to hang there going, “I’m not sure.” That’s okay that you’re not sure. You can’t be sure because you’ve never done it before. So you shouldn’t be sure. It is uncertain. That’s okay. Uncertainty is not a good feeling for you.
So you want to stop that feeling. So I am happy for you to be unsure, because anybody would be unsure stepping into new territory. This new territory, it’s uncertain, it’s scary. Little bit of fear, little bit of anxiety. This is good. That’s good. So that’s something to think about. It’s like grey. So then you ask the question. You ask powerful questions of the universe. You be uncertain, you be unsure, and you’ll listen for clues. And you see what life gives you. Okay, my friend? Let’s stop there. And what I’m going to say is thank you, thank you, thank you.
Shalom: Thank you.
Marc: Thanks for doing this. Thanks for being so generous. Deep breath, once we get off air and just give that head a rest. Give your head a rest and just drop in and let the magic of life take over a little bit. And give yourself some credit. You’re working hard. And you’re going to have to work a little harder. That’s all.
So, I want to say to people who are tuning in, thank you. Thank you so much. And lots more to come my friends. Once again, I am Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2018
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