Home » The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode #127: Sometimes, Weight Loss Means Saying No to Others

The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode #127: Sometimes, Weight Loss Means Saying No to Others

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Podcast Episode 127: Sometimes, Weight Loss Means Saying No to Others
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Michelle struggled with overeating for years until she finally had a major breakthrough that shifted things in a big way. She thought those challenges were behind her for good – but then the overeating came back. She works hard, and doesn’t feel like she has time for self care; she loves what she does but can’t seem to find a balance. In this poignant session, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, helps Michelle see the connection between the lack of self care in her life and her inability to stop overeating. A long-standing habit of people-pleasing has her saying “yes” to everyone else, and “no” to herself. When Michelle learns to put herself and her body first, the urge to overeat begins to loosen its grip.

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 we are in the Psychology of Eating Podcast. I am with Michelle today. Welcome Michelle.

Michelle: Hi, thank you.

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

Michelle: Me, too. Great to speak with you, Marc.

Marc: Let me talk to viewers and listeners for a moment in case you’re new to the podcast. Here’s how it works. Michelle and I haven’t met. And we’re going to have a conversation and see if we can learn somethings, help move her forward, help move us forward in whatever challenge she wants to work with, or is working on. And we’re going to go a little less than an hour and hopefully come up with some good insights and some good information that we could all benefit from.

So, Michelle, tell me what is it that you would like to work on or you want to dive into today?

Michelle: Let’s see.

Well, in listening to your 8 weeks session on transforming your relationship with food, I had a huge breakthrough.

Just from session 1. And I saw the food issue of overeating. And that was back in summer of last year. And it’s been going pretty well. And then, just maybe lately, the overeating has been coming back. I think it’s due to a very busy schedule right now and just the stress of that schedule timing I would say, time. Yeah.

Marc: So what does overeating look like for you?

Michelle: Well, I’ll have a little more than I should. I’ll eat till I get that fullness. I go past the fullness in my stomach. I’ll have a second, maybe a third serving. And lately it’s been chips. Something crunchy. And I’ll just want to eat. Just that feeling on crunchiness is satisfactory right now.

Marc: Do you notice the overeating happening any particular time of day or days of the week?

Michelle: Yeah, after work between 3, 4, 5 pm.

Marc: Do you work at home? Do you work away from the house?

Michelle: No, I’m a high school teacher, so when I come home from school.

Marc: so, you come home and what’s the first food that you reach for? Might it be chips these days?

Michelle: Yeah, it’s chips. Something crunchy these days, yeah. It could be crackers.

Marc: Do you feel hungry when you come home from work?

Michelle: Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Marc: When do you usually eat lunch?

Michelle: Around closer to 1, that’s when the lunch period is. It’s closer to 1.

Marc: And lunch for you. What might be a typical lunch?

Michelle: lately I’ve been eating salads. Like it’s usually salads. Ever since I started your program, I’ve been eating organically and that’s what I’ve been packing for my lunches, salads.

Marc: Do you have any kind of protein?

Michelle: Yeah. Most of the time it’s chicken. Sometimes fish. And maybe an egg or two.

Marc: Are you generally a fast eater, moderate eater, slow eater?

Michelle: I’ve noticed during your program, yeah, I’m a fast eater. And I tried slowing down which does make a difference. And now that I think about it, I’ve gone back to eating fast.

Marc: What’s your ancestry? Where were you born?

Michelle: Well, I was born in Japan but my parents are Filipino.

Marc: Got it. And how long you’ve been in the States?

Michelle: All my life.

Marc: So, with the overeating, how long has it been a concern for you?

Michelle: All my life. I would say since 7, I could recall eating and wanting to eat when I was 7, yeah.

Marc: Got it. Do you want to lose weight?
Michelle: Yes, of course. And right now my priority is getting healthy so I can start a family.

Marc: So ideally if you lost weight, how much weight would you want to lose?

Michelle: About 40.

Marc: Forty pounds. When was the last time you were 40 pounds less?
Michelle: I would say, 6 years ago, 7 years ago.

Marc: How old would you have been 6 or 7 years ago?

Michelle: I would have been 35, 36. No, sorry. That would have been 32, 33.

Marc: Got it. So, what do you attribute the weight coming on to? What would you say it was?

Michelle: Yeah, stress, time, I think that’s what it would be.

Marc: Stress and time. What was the stress?

Michelle: I was participating in a lot of growth and development courses. And they’ve been great. And they have taken up a lot of my time. And sometimes I would coach a program, I would lead a program. And so there’s a lot of preparation and phone calls, conference calls, meetings, and things like that. And so, as great as it has been, my schedule has gotten pretty packed the past few years.

Marc: Got it. So when you leave for work in the morning, do you have time to make breakfast?

Michelle: I do make time now, yes.

Marc: And how about dinner? What time do you usually have dinner?

Michelle: I would say 5:30, 6:00.

Marc: 5:30, 6:00, got it. And when you say you want to get healthy for having a family, are you thinking of any specific health issue or you just want to eat well?

Michelle: I want to eat well and prepare my body to have a baby, carry a baby.

Marc: Yeah. Good for you. If you’re going to be housing a little kid in there for 9 months, you might as well give him a 5-star experience if you can.

Michelle: Exactly. Your coaching of eating organically, the highest quality foods, I’ve been taking that on.
Marc: Good for you. That’s the real health insurance to me. So, when you initially said you took this program last year and the overeating kind of changed for you, how did it change? What changed?

Michelle: Well, what changed is I actually saw a moment. A moment when I was 7 years old and I saw the wanting to overeat. And it was an incident with my mom. And that was actually after school. And I was 7 years old. And I had come home from school. I’m sitting at the kitchen table and my mom happens to be standing over here to my left, and I’m yelling and I’m screaming. I’m throwing a tantrum for her to make me food. And I’m not letting up. And I could see she didn’t know what to do. And she finally acquiesced and made me food.

And I saw that moment while I was doing just your session 1. And I remember pausing your video and looking at that. Or no, actually no, I remember. So, I was actually a few days later eating breakfast, and I saw myself wanting, the urge again, the physical brain pattern urge of wanting to overeat again. And I just paused. I took, what you’re coaching and just paused, and I was listening to my body. And I saw that moment again.

And I don’t know what came over me but I just kind of went back to that moment, I somehow transported myself to my mom’s body and I talked to my 7 year old self and I said, I love you.

I’m listening. Like, listening to the universe’s lesson. I’m listening. I love you. I’m here. If something hurt you at school or on the way to school, I would have stopped it if I could. And I just kept saying, I’m listening, I’m here, I love you. And I was talking to my 7 year old self on the stool. And I said, after I talk to you and you still want that food, I will make it for you. I love you, I’m listening to you.
And right there, I come back, back to myself, the present, and I’m looking at my breakfast, the one that I wanted to overeat. And the overeating just disappeared. And I was just listening and loving myself and my body and that’s what helped me have the breakthrough. And so, when I saw that incident, when I could pinpoint that incident, it just transformed how I approached food and meals. It’s amazing.

Marc: Good for you. So, on one level, you were able to have a moment of awareness.

Michelle: Yes, it was an absolute moment of awareness.

Marc: A moment of awareness. And what’s really kind of cool about moments of awareness, is even though you can’t reproduce it exactly like that moment of awareness, in any moment, you, me, anyone of us, we could get more aware. You could be driving your car and kind of not paying attention. Did you ever sort of drive on automatic pilot a little bit? You’re working on the phone, you’re doing this, you’re doing that.

And somehow you actually get where you want to go without crashing and without dying. And if I’m sitting in the car next to you, in any given moment, I might say, hey Michelle, focus on the road more. And then you go, oh. And then you could actually focus on the road more. And you see things that you didn’t notice.

So, it sounds like, on the one hand, it is as simple for you, I think, as returning back to moments of awareness and with that there also might be some other factors here. So, let me ask you this, has anything changed in the recent number of weeks or months such that, okay whoa, here comes the overeating? Like, what’s different in life right now? What’s happening?

Michelle: Yes. So, like I said, I’m in one of those programs. And it’s basically like I go to work, I teach full-time and then I go to that program right after school. For the past 3 weeks I’ve gone to that program every day and sometimes up until 9 or 10 pm. And I still have that kind of schedule for the next month. So, yeah.

Marc: So it almost sounds like caring for your body slightly takes a backseat during this time. Is that true?

Michelle: Yeah. And I haven’t even gone to the gym. I probably have gone to the gym maybe once in the past 3 weeks.

Marc: How do you talk to yourself about that when you go, okay I’m doing this program. And it’s a couple of months. And it requires a lot of my time and my energy. And when I do it, my body kind of takes a backseat. How do you justify it?

Michelle: Yeah, I justify it like I can’t let these people down. Yeah, I have a deadline, I have these projects and I don’t want to let them down and so I’m going to sacrifice my wellbeing so I can get what I need to get done.

Marc: Can you say more, what the program is or what it entails?

Michelle: It’s a professional and personal growth and development company. And I’m interning to be a leader.

Marc: Got it. So, you’re putting in a lot of time.

Michelle: I’m putting in a lot of time, yes.

Marc: Got it. So here’s a challenge which you know this but let’s just say it.

How do we do life and take care of the body at the same time? How do you do your life and bring your body along, in a good way?

Michelle: Yeah, that’s a great question.

Marc: Because it feels like that’s what’s happening here. You’re doing something that on the one hand I get you’re doing it because there’s a benefit to you. You like it, you enjoy it. And there’s a goal at the end of it. Where you are somehow more plugged in and you’re not interning anymore. Maybe have more responsibility. But along the way, there’s something that you have to give up it seems, which is self-care. What if the two weren’t mutually exclusive? Is there a way conceivably, as we’re speaking, that you can continue to do the program and bring your body and your health along, a little better?

Michelle: Yeah, that would be great. I would love that.

Marc: What would that look like?

Michelle: Well, what that would look like is, for example the things I have scheduled, and I can actually schedule walking, going to the gym, whatever it is that I want to do to move and exercise, is make sure I do that activity when I see it in my calendar. Actually do that just as equally as I do the other things I do in the program. So that’s one thing I’m seeing.

Marc: So part of it is putting it on the calendar which honestly, for people that use a calendar, and I think many human beings need a calendar to schedule one’s life, putting it on the calendar is kind of brilliant. Because there it is. And you’re saying, just as you have to be at school at a certain time to teach, and be responsible, what if, okay I have to exercise this day or make a meal this day, or do something for my body this day, this time, there it is on the calendar. You are acknowledging that this is part of your life. And that you want to bring your body along.

Well you must get really weird sometimes, we’re taught to sacrifice the body. It’s interesting. Men are taught that they have to sacrifice their body. Men are often given the message like, wow, you might get drafted. You might go to war. you might have to carry a gun. And I know that happens for the women. But for the longest time, it was the men that get the message, be willing to sacrifice your body, intense sports. Women get the message sacrifice your body usually in service to the kids and in service to your schedule. You don’t worry about what you eat. You don’t worry about taking care of yourself. Because you’ve got to take care of the kids. You’ve got to take care of the husband, you’ve got to take care of everybody, because you come second because you’re the woman taking care of everybody.

So, in our own various ways, both male and female are told, sacrifice the body and there are moments and there are times in life when the body takes a little bit more of a backseat.

Things happen.

But if you have the wherewithal in your schedule to truly bring you along, to me, kind of the deeper lesson in there is, it’s you acknowledging that your body is important. You said to me, I asked you the question, where do you go in your mind when you’re thinking like, wow, I’m putting in all these hours and I’m not really taking care of myself. And you said, “Well, I don’t want to let these people down.”

So, right then and there what I want to say is there’s a great switch to make. And it’s a great kind of deeper belief that in order for me to do a good job, and in order for people to like me, so I don’t disappoint them, I might have to sacrifice me. Are you with me?

Michelle: Yeah.

Marc: So, let’s just skewer that. Let’s just put a little needle in that balloon and pop it. Because I don’t think it needs to be there. I think if you show up healthy and taking care of yourself, while helping out in a program that’s all about being better human beings, then you’re actually doing your job the right way. You’re being an example. But you have to pull that from yourself.

Let me ask you this question.

It almost feels to me that for you it’s a little bit of a self-respect piece.

Does that resonate for you? Like taking care of your body amidst having to take care of others, feels like it’s about respecting yourself. Does that ring true in any way for you?

Michelle: It rings little true, yeah.

Marc: Okay, not in a big way. So, here’s another piece of the puzzle. Crunchy foods. Crunchy foods, oftentimes we will reach for crunch for two reasons. Number one, crunch usually means salty. And oftentimes, the combination of crunch and salt is a very powerful regulator of tension, stress, and/or anger. So, usually we’re going to reach for salt when our adrenals are being overworked more, because when our adrenals are working overtime, we will tend to process and lose more sodium from the body.

So, people who tend to be sodium cravers and are hungry for sodium are usually excreting a lot of sodium, which usually means either a poor diet or it means a hell of a lot of stress or a combination thereof. So there is a certain way that you’re in stress that might be affecting you in that way.

The crunch, what does it do is that there is a loud decimal sound in your mouth when you’re crunching. And there’s been all kinds of fascinating research and foods are standardized. A lot of the potato chips you buy, cookies, crackers and chips are often highly standardized to a certain level of crunch that hits a bliss point in terms of what you hear in your head, and how it makes you feel. So there are certain crunch sounds that are too loud, there are certain crunch sounds that are not enough. And the bottom line is, the crunching is tension release and it helps process anger.

Michelle: That’s interesting that you said that. There’s something comforting about that crunch and I notice it sometimes when I’m overeating, bingeing on the chips or crackers after school. It’s like I want to hear that sound. And there’s other things that I could reach for, but I want to hear that sound and I think you hit the nail on the head, it’s the tension.

Marc: Yeah, there’s a lot of tension there. What grades are you teaching?

Michelle: High school. High school
Spanish. So it’s all grades. It just depends on which level students take.
Marc: Yeah. So being a teacher in a high school is not always an easy job, is what I’m going to guess because I was a high school and I was impossible. So I’m sure you have a handful of them. So there’s the place of learning how else can I manage tension and stress. Because you do want to hear that crunch, I get it. Let me ask you another question about you.

Would you consider yourself a people pleaser?

Michelle: Yes.

Marc: So, here’s the weird thing about a people pleaser, because you seem to be that type. People pleasers gather a lot of respect and gather a lot of goodwill by pleasing other people. Okay, what better way to have somebody like me than to please them. The challenge is, oftentimes in order to please people, many times or sometimes, we have to give up a little bit of me.

Michelle: Yeah, that happens a lot.

Marc: We have to give up me. And when you give up you, tension, stress. We don’t like that actually. There’s a part of us that rebels and there’s a part of you that takes note when you become a people pleaser. And even though it looks like, on the one hand you’re building up this bank account of pleased people, on the other hand you’re building up a bank account of tension because it takes a lot of energy to be a people pleaser. It takes a lot of energy and oftentimes we end up doing things that are self-compromising. We do things that don’t really honor who we are in that moment.

We give up a part of ourselves. And that causes tension and anxiety. It causes anger.

And so once again, when I hear crunch, crunch, crunch, that desire for crunch, I hear tension release, I hear anger let go, and based on just you and I being in a conversation and jamming together and identifying okay, well, Michelle can be a little bit of a people pleaser, I’m now less interested in the overeating and I’m more interested in the people pleasing.

Because the overeating might very well be a symptom of this thing called people pleasing.

Now, as you bring more awareness to the situation, you told me a story that wow, I was able to handle this overeating like never before. I kind of saw this moment, I went back in time and what you did was you took care of yourself. Very, very vigorously, and intelligently, and deliberately. There was really nobody else in that scenario, other than you learning how to take care of you, you learning how to please you. You totally focused on you and there was a healing there.

So, if you’re a people pleaser, I’m a people pleaser, we learn it early on, it’s usually a childhood strategy. It’s not something I don’t think we pick it up in adulthood. It’s something that starts very early one. Because as young kids, a lot of us figure out, damn, this ain’t easy. The world doesn’t always give me what I want. But if I please people, it’s a little bit better. People are nicer. Especially all these big people, my parents, these teachers, everybody is nicer to me when I people please. And they probably were. And that strategy doesn’t work into present adulthood.

So, what’s going to happen is it’s possible that the overeating is kind of the shadow side or it’s the flip side of the people pleasing. And there could be a gazillion reasons why we overeat. And I was asking you about your diet because sometimes if we don’t eat enough food during the day, it’s easy to overeat at 3 or 4 o’clock. So that’s why I just want to make sure you’re getting enough food at breakfast and enough food at lunch.

But really if I can give you any homework assignment that I wanted, that I thought would help move you forward into the future, it would be this. It would be to start journaling about me, Michelle the people pleaser, how does that show up? Where do I put my people pleasing energy into? Does it go into my partner? Does it go into my job? Does it go into this program that I teach? What people are the beneficiaries of my people pleasing? What would happen with these people that I’ve identified as the people that I try to people please? What would happen if I people please them less? What would happen? What would they do? What do I think they would do? What would they do? What would I do? How would it look different?

What would be the risk in no longer people pleasing?

You with me?

Michelle: Yeah.

Marc: It feels like we’ve landed somewhere together. It feels like this is an interesting place for you. Is that true?

Michelle: Yeah, definitely.

Marc: Because we can talk all day about the overeating and it’s just a symptom. It’s raising its hand. It’s saying hey, let’s look at nutrition. Let’s look at diet. Let’s look at your eating pattern. Let’s look at what’s going on in your life. Let’s look at what went on in your life. Let’s look at whatever we need to look at that would give us a clue about the brilliant reason behind your overeating. So your overeating is not a problem to me.

When you tell me, I overeat, I’m happy for you. Honestly. I’m like, oh wow, she has a particular unwanted pattern or habit that I know is pointing to something more interesting. It might mean a dietary correction, it might mean an emotional correction, it might mean a life correction, a lifestyle correction.

So what I’m suggesting to you is, one of the ways to get healthy, and prepare for a family, is to also get healthy in how you do you.

And being healthy and how you do you means, where do you need to empower yourself more? Where do you need to step into your knowing and your strength? Every time you drop into people pleasing, you are eating junk food.

Michelle: It’s an interesting way to put that.

Marc: No, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a respectful, sweet person. That’s different from people pleasing. It doesn’t mean you’re not honest. It doesn’t mean you’re not loving. It doesn’t mean you’re not caring. You’re loving, and you’re caring, and you’re sweet, because you’re loving and you’re caring, and you’re sweet. You’re not trying to please anyone. That’s just who you are. That’s your values. That’s how you want to show up in the world, different from, what do I have to do or say, or how do I have to act or behave so you, you, and you will like me.

And you’ll think I’m really sweet. And you won’t have a negative feeling about me. What do I got to do? How do I have to show up? How do I have to lessen myself sometimes? How do I have to work harder than everybody else to please you, or you, or you? So that I’m not abandoned and everybody likes me. That’s coming from a place of lack.

And a lot of times it can be the food that’s calling for like, fill me up. It’s the crunching that takes a lot of the stress and the tension and sort of from a psychobiological perspective, it releases it. Psychologists have a fascinating term, they call it dental aggression. We look at it with animals. You have a lion in a zoo, that’s been in the zoo most of its life, you throw it a piece of meat, and it will rip that piece of meat in half. It will attack it like it’s alive. The animal has to do its nature. It has to aggress.

When we have aggression in us, we have to somehow express it and let it come out. Humans will do that in the best way we know how. You’re doing it in the best way you know how. Much better than hitting somebody, you’re just crunching on a bunch of chips. So, not a bad idea. But again, I’m saying that I would love to see you go on the personal growth program called the people pleasing diet. Meaning, less people pleasing. What would that look like for you? If you were less of a people pleaser, how would that show up?

Michelle: Well, it would show up where I see a couple of things. I’ll say no more than yes. I will do my meal preparations or exercising before or have it equally important as my meetings, my phone calls, and conference calls, and projects that I’m working on. And then also how it looks like too is, maybe I don’t give up the people pleasing altogether because I do want to please the baby that I’m going to carry in my body. And maybe I shift, what it looks like could be shifting the people pleasing to me and the future baby.

Marc: Yeah. And we can maybe put a different word on it, which is love. And sometimes you love people by saying yes and being all sweet and wonderful and nice. And sometimes we love somebody by saying no. When you’re a parent you’ve got to say a lot of no. can I get junk food, Mommy? No. Can I put my hand in that hot fire? No. Can I jump off that cliff? No. Can I drive the car even though I’m only 3 years old? No. So you’re saying no out of love. If you want to people please, you say yes and you suffer the consequences. So that’s how I’m kind of distinguishing people pleasing.

People pleasing doesn’t necessarily serve the person that you think you’re pleasing.

So no could be as much about loving someone, as saying yes. And sometimes you have to allow people their discomfort. Part of people pleasing is we don’t want people to feel uncomfortable. So if I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable, I’m going to make sure I do everything so you don’t feel uncomfortable. But if I do that, I actually limit your growth. Because, you know something, discomfort helps us grow. Challenge helps us grow. Pain helps us grow. Suffering helps us grow. The unknown helps us grow. It just does. Other things help us grow too. Love helps us grow. Celebration helps us grow. Pleasure helps us grow.

But I’m saying, if I take away from my child, all discomfort and all “no”, and all challenge, they’re not going to grow so much. So when you people please, you actually take away the opportunity for people to grow. Because when you say know to something that you ought to say no to, even though that makes that person uncomfortable, they’ve got to now deal with whatever they have to deal with.

So they’ve taken advantage of you and your time, and you say no, I have to create a boundary here, then they have to get responsible and they have to look in the mirror and say, whoa! Where do I have to work now? Why am I taking advantage of this person? Why am I not showing up? Why am I putting all my stuff on to her? And all my responsibilities on to her? You get where I’m going with this?

Michelle: Yes.

Marc: So, the people pleasing actually has the bizarre kind of side-effect of limiting the people that you actually think you’re helping, a lot of times.

Michelle: I can see that, yeah.

Marc: And they get resentful anyways because then if there is a single moment where you don’t people please them, they turn on you, or they get angry at it, or they dismiss you somehow. So it’s a tenuous grasp on relationship or friendship when we’re in that space. So, overeating, people pleasing, any other connections you’re making as we’re speaking about all this?

Michelle: Well, yeah. I just saw something as you were talking. That incident I shared with you when I was 7, and I was in the kitchen. And my mom was there. I can see that she was people pleasing me, because as loud as I got, she eventually acquiesced and gave me food to calm me down and give me comfort, or anything like that. And I can see that I could have picked it up from my mom or in that moment I picked up, oh, I’m going to be a people pleaser or something like that. And so overeating got tied in with people pleasing and vice versa with me in one moment. So I saw that as you were talking.

Marc: Beautiful. Good for you. It’s just kind of fascinating because we all have our own unique food and body story that’s very different and that’s all you or all me. And this is your beautifully unique story. And I say the word beautifully, and I mean it, because we’re really fascinating creatures when you think about it. The things that influence us, the things that impact us, the things that cause us our challenges or our successes. And you’re kind of unwinding and learning about what drives you. And what has helped form you.

And in this conversation, I’m just adding another piece to the equation of how does Michelle step more into her true power?

How do you step more into the woman that you’re destined to be.

Because I really believe that we’re all seeded to be someone very, very, very interesting, who is marshalling all of our forces that work together and make us a powerful gift to the world. So that’s how I see humans. I see everyone carrying that potential. And I’m always listening in conversations like this, okay, that’s where you’re going, what’s in the way? And to me right now, in the conversation we’ve been in, it’s just been, and I get that you’re a very intuitive person. Is that true about you?

Michelle: I never would have guessed that.

Marc: Yay. Interesting. It feels to me that you trust that part of yourself when you have an insight. You can really play with an insight. Just the insight you were sharing about your mom when you were 7 years old. You really worked that. That was your experience. You really, oh wow, I have this memory. I’m making these connections. So, I’m saying that seems to me a natural skill that you have, to follow your insight, your intuition, your instinct, whatever you want to call it. I think that’s a strong part of you.

Michelle: Wow, cool.

Marc: Yeah. And I really want to invite you to turn your detective skills in the direction called the part of me that’s a people pleaser. And I would love to see the people pleaser go. I want to see the people pleaser lose like the 40 pounds.

Michelle: Yeah.

Marc: Meaning, I want her downsized.

Michelle: I get what you mean.

Marc: I want her to carry less weight in your world. You know what I’m saying?
Michelle: Yeah.

Marc: When I asked you how much weight you wanted to lose, you said to me, well, I just want to get healthy. Which I think is a beautiful response because we don’t know how much weight you have to lose. We don’t know how much weight truly anyone really has to lose. And if you indeed said, wow, a handful of years ago, I did weigh 40 pounds less and I was under a lot of stress and things were going on, then okay, legitimate that that can be unwound. But in order to unwind, we’ve got to do a little work. Because these things aren’t easy. I’ll just be honest with you.

Weight loss is not about getting out there and following some idiotic diet and going on crazy exercise, and making yourself sick over it, and frustrated.

It works for some people for sure. But I’m not getting that that’s your path or that’s what you’re meant to do to lose weight.

Michelle: I’ve tried.

Marc: Yeah, okay great. So, if there’s a part of you that has weight to lose, I’m going to say it’s the people pleaser.

Michelle: That’s interesting. All right, I’m going to take that on.

Marc: Yeah, because it resonates for you. And at the very least as you let go of the people pleasing part of you more, and more, and more, and just turn it into how do I love people? Now the way you love people might be very fiercely. I love my friends. And when my friends are doing something that doesn’t look good to me, I might raise my hand and say, excuse me, you’re being a jerk. In the moment that’s not what they want to hear, but it’s coming from a place of love. It is not coming from a place of people pleasing. If I was people pleasing, by my definition of people pleasing, I would enable them, I wouldn’t say anything, I would say, oh you’re so funny. And I would let it go. Because I don’t want them to dislike me.

So this is you claiming how you love. And you could love with a big heart and you could also love with tough love. Both are love. Different flavors. It’s like chocolate and vanilla. Both are ice cream, different flavor. Still ice cream though. Still the goodies. So, I think once you start to empower yourself in that way, you’re going to begin to feel more empowered around food and it’s going to be less of a mystery to you.

Because right now the people pleasing thing kind of is its own operating system.

And it’s not fully in your control because it’s been there since childhood. So, now that it’s on the table, you can go, huh, interesting, huh, let me check this out, huh, let me see. Let me think where am I doing this the most. Where does it show up the most? What persons? Is it showing up in my relationship? Is it showing up at work? What specific people and how can I slowly turn that around? And am I willing to be in discomfort when I tell somebody, no. Am I willing to let them be in discomfort?

It’s partly you being in discomfort, but it’s you giving them the gift of their discomfort. Very important. Let people stew in their own juices when it’s what’s being called for. So if this project that you’re doing that’s interning and volunteering, if you have to draw a line here and there, with the people that you’re working for, and say listen, I’m working really hard here. Here’s what I need, to really do this job well. Here’s what I need to show up with all my mojo. I don’t know if you need to do that.

But I’m saying you certainly could.

I’m just looking for opportunities for you to practice allowing others to feel uncomfortable.

By virtue of you being honest, real, finding your voice, loving yourself, taking care of you, and not having as your first move, oh no, I’ve to take care of you first. I have to figure out exactly what you want and do it. And then I’ll figure out my own thing.

Michelle: Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Marc: Yeah, because then your body comes last. And then when you get stressed, our body comes last.

So, this is a time for you to get back in and bring your body with you in your life.

And bring your body with you mean you feed it, you love it, you nourish it, you take care of it in the way you really know how to take care of it. You really love it. This is a great way to love your unborn child. Start loving the body that they’re going to be born in. And loving you in a different way. Respecting you in a different way.

Michelle: That’s great.

Marc: Isn’t it though?

Michelle: Yes.

Marc: Yeah. Any other thoughts, Michelle, that are swimming around for you?

Michelle: No. other than that’s just great insights. No, thank you.

Marc: Yeah. I think we covered some interesting turf for you and I’m really fascinated to see how you take this and how you play with it. And I’m just going to encourage you to think in terms of you are stepping into your empowered womanhood. I would you to really frame it as less that I’m stepping into being an empowered person, which is true, but you’re stepping into being an empowered woman because you are a woman. And you’re preparing your body to carry a child, you’re preparing yourself to be a mother. You are preparing yourself to be some sort of coach or teacher.

And it’s all about you being the kind of woman that can do that. And the kind of woman that can do that all in a really good way, owns herself. She doesn’t give herself away frivolously to other people just to please them. Because that’s a gift that you give.

If you please somebody, make sure they really deserve it.

Make sure they’ve earned it. If you’re going to throw money at somebody, do they deserve it? If you’re going to put your time and energy into something, do they deserve it? It’s a great question for you to ask before you people please the next time.

So Michelle, I think you’ve done great. I think you’ve been a great sport. And I think there’s some juicy places for you to work here.

Michelle: Yeah, thank you.

Marc: Yeah. Thanks for being so open. Thanks for being real. Thanks for sharing the details of your life and just kind of rolling with this.

Michelle: You’re welcome. Thank you.

Marc: Yeah. And I hope people listening in have benefited and picked up some good insights and some good tips for yourself. I love doing this work and I hope you all enjoy it as well. And thanks once again my friends, I’m Marc David, on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. As always, more to come. Take care, everybody.

Podcast Episode 127: Sometimes, Weight Loss Means Saying No to Others

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