Rachelle wants her energy back. She successfully recovered from anorexia, but was later diagnosed with a thyroid disease that has sapped her vitality and left her battling chronic fatigue and depression. She has made many changes to her diet and lifestyle, searching for the treatment or intervention that will finally bring her relief from her symptoms – but she’s beginning to think that the real source of her challenge is emotional. In this fascinating session, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, asks Rachelle the key questions that help her to realize that her fight to get her energy back is actually draining her energy rather than enhancing it. Tune in as Rachelle learns some surprising new ways to start reclaiming her life!
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we are in the Psychology of Eating Podcast. I am with Rachelle today. Welcome Rachelle.
Rachelle: Hi, Marc. How are you?
Marc: I’m good. I’m glad we’re doing this.
Rachelle: Yeah, me too. Thanks.
Marc: Yay. Let me fill in viewers and listeners for a minute and tell them what we’re going to be up to. So, if you’re new to the podcast, here’s what’s going to happen. Rachelle and I are meeting for the first time now. And we’re going to do a session together. And I’m going to do my best, that I possibly can, to cram as much insight and momentum into one session. Hopefully we can come up with some ideas to move you forward. And we’re going to go about an hour. I’m going to ask a bunch of questions and this is all live and unscripted as we’re recording it.
And my question to you, Ms. Rachelle is, if you can wave your magic wand and get whatever you wanted from our time together, what would that look like for you?
Rachelle: Well, I think what I’d probably like to focus on is energy and fatigue as well as some mood issues.
I’ve dealt actually with fatigue most of my life, some of it due to medical issues that I’ve dealt with. But as I worked through those, I continue to struggle with it. And it’s something that I would like to move past.
Marc: Can you say what the medical issues are, that seem to be contributing to the fatigue?
Rachelle: Sure. I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition when I was a teenager. So I struggled with that for several years, trying to get that monitored and in balance. And then actually when I was 40, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s which is a thyroid autoimmune condition.
Marc: So originally when you were in your teens, what was the thyroid condition that they said that you had?
Rachelle: They had diagnosed it as hypothyroidism.
Marc: Hypothyroid, okay. And now you’ve gotten the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. Can you say a few words about how you’re being treated for that?
Rachelle: Yes. Primarily being treated just through diet. I identified a number food intolerances, so I’ve taken those out of my diet completely and really just lifestyle modifications. So, diet, trying to control stress, I do take thyroid medication. And, yeah, just mainly lifestyle.
Marc: Got it. So is that on your own? Or that’s under a practitioner’s care?
Rachelle: Yes and no. Under a practitioner’s care, however I do a lot of research on my own and I’ve intertwined things that I have learned along the way, to assist with it.
Marc: Got it. So you want your energy back?
Marc: How does your low energy manifest? Like, if I’m you, how does it show up? What do you say to yourself? When does it happen? How does it impact you?
Rachelle: Well, it impacts me on a daily basis. Starting with when I wake up in the morning. I usually wake up fatigued and just tired. I have a hard time even like completely waking up. Takes a while before I really get going in the morning. Then it tends to do okay for a while and then hits me again, usually after lunch, mid-afternoon. And usually by 9 o’clock in the evening I’m tired again. And I do sleep on average between 8 and 10 hours a night. So it’s not a lack of sleep, for sure.
Marc: Do you live alone?
Rachelle: I have a daughter. It’s just the two of us.
Marc: How old is she?
Marc: And how do you manage parenting with energy level? How is that working out for you?
Rachelle: Well, I guess as a mother you do what you have to do. So, I do what I need to do as far as taking care of her, and my job, and getting through the day. But it would sure be nice to feel better when I’m doing it.
Marc: So, in all these years you’ve been dealing with low energy, has it ever gotten better?
Rachelle: It’s fluctuated. There’s been times where it’s been a little bit better. I actually have to say, at this point, it’s been a little bit better in the last month or so. But it hasn’t consistently stayed very high.
Marc: Understood. So, this is kind of an obvious question but, I would love for you to put any other words on it that feel right for you, other than, if I’m low energy on any given day, I say to myself, pretty much, I’m too low energy, I want more energy.
Marc: So it’s kind of as simple as that. And being that you’ve been dealing with this for a long time and so, it gets a little better here and there. And then it gets a little worse here and there. Maybe gets a lot worse sometimes. And then it gets better again. Sort of, where are you at in that whole journey? Are you wanting, expecting, hoping for done, finish, complete, healed, back to whatever my normal self is, which I don’t even know if you know what your normal self is. So what’s your imagining?
Rachelle: I think I’m realistic in the sense that I don’t think it’s something that magically one day is going to be fixed. I do think it is a symptom of my thyroid issues that I deal with. So I feel like I’m realistic about that.
Probably the number thing that I’d like to see improved, is to just wake up in the morning with energy and just a feeling like I want to get out of bed.
And start my day and feel good and uplifted first thing in the morning, rather than kind of dragging myself out of bed and dragging myself to start my day.
Marc: Are you doing anything else other than diet for the Hashimoto’s?
Rachelle: As I mentioned, lifestyle. So, trying to manage stress as best I can. I do workout. I typically do yoga. However I had back surgery in august, so I’m recovering from that. So I haven’t been able to do that for a while. But that was one thing that I would love to do and get back into.
Marc: If you have more energy, how else would your life be different, other than, gosh, I feel better, just going through my normal day-to-day. So, imagine that you’re clear about that, like your day-to-day would just be better. Is there anything else you say to yourself, that when I get my energy, what else might be happening in your life, in the positive?
Rachelle: Sure. I think I feel like if I had more energy, I’d be able to pursue more things in my life. I would be able to have a clear mind and vision as to what I want to pursue, and maybe even better identify my passion in life. And then hopefully have the energy to start pursuing that.
But I think a lot of it, along with the low energy comes that brain-fog, which makes it hard to think clearly, and makes it hard to process real clearly.
Marc: Sure. So, is it true then that, right now if I said to you that, Hey Rachelle, what are you passionate about? And what do you want to involve yourself into in the future? You would say, not quite sure.
Rachelle: I have several ideas but I’m not quite sure as to which direction I would like to most focus my energy.
Marc: Got it. Are you dating? Are you in a relationship?
Rachelle: I’m in a relationship, yeah.
Marc: How is that working out with your health and your energy, and being in a relationship? What’s happening with that?
Rachelle: Well, one thing I do find is that when I’m with others, you kind of draw off the energy of the people around you. So I think that’s one thing that actually helps. My job is one that I’m either with people or I’m alone. And so I can kind of feed off of others when I’m with them. But then when I’m alone, then that’s when I sort of fall.
Marc: What’s your job?
Rachelle: I’m a flight attendant.
Marc: Whoa, so you’re a flight attendant. So, how often are you actually away and traveling?
Rachelle: I travel on average 3 days a week.
Marc: So 3 full days and then, you’ll then be off for 4 full days?
Rachelle: Then I might be off for 3-4 days, kind of just depending. We create our own schedules based on what we choose to fly. So there’s times where I have to fly a 3-day trip and then I might be home for a night and then do another 3-day trip. Just kind of depends on the month.
Marc: Got it. So what happens when you’re on the plane? When I fly, I often think to myself, wow, flight attendant looks like one of the harder jobs in the world.
Because when I’m on an airplane, I just want to sit down and do nothing.
And you’re doing a lot. How do you manage that? Like do you have energy when you’re on the plane? Does it show up? Do you struggle?
Rachelle: For the most part it shows up when I need it. There is certainly times when it doesn’t. It’s tough doing flights that are later in the day or at night. Occasionally I even have to do a red-eye which I have to stay up all night. But for the most part, I get enough to be able to do my job certainly.
Marc: Do you have an imagining, a fantasy, a wondering, in terms of, oh, I think this is going to put me over the top. And this is going to help me heal. Like, what’s your gut instinct about how this is going to get handled?
Rachelle: I think for a lot of years I’ve really been searching for that one thing that might sort of fix this issue for me. And one of the things that I’ve come to realize is that there is no magic pill, there is no magic. If I just meditate for 20 minutes a day, that won’t solve the energy issue. So I think I’ve become more realistic that it’s a part of my process, my journey here. So now it’s become something that I desire to improve but not fix.
And do you notice the times when you have the most energy? Are there any consistencies?
Or anything you could say, wow, I tend to have the most energy when…
Rachelle: Yeah. I would say in social settings I probably have more energy. There are times when I just can’t even find it then. But that would be one time where I do. I could say that when I’m on vacation, I seem to have a little bit more energy. I guess, possibly even certain times of the month. But yeah, I can’t think of anything else.
Marc: When you look back on being diagnosed as low thyroid, when you were young, do you ever say to yourself, wow, that makes sense. Or wow, I wonder what was happening in my life at that time? Or wow, here’s what was going on. What’s the connection between that diagnosis and anything else that was going on in your life? Does anything come to mind when I ask that question?
Rachelle: What comes to mind is not so much a particular event or anything that was going on in my life but, I can kind of now correlate it because your thyroid is in your neck. I can correlate it to just being able to speak my truth.
And I was a very quiet kid, very shy, kind of hid behind my mother’s leg. I had a mother that would speak for me oftentimes. If I was asked a question she oftentimes would answer it for me.
So I wasn’t really encouraged as a child to develop my own voice.
So I do believe that there is some correlation between that and the thyroid issue developing. I was diagnosed as a teenager.
Marc: Yeah. And how do you see yourself in relationship to your voice these days?
Rachelle: I think it’s something that I still struggle with. That’s something I still work on. I’m very conscious of it. I definitely feel that I’ve come into my own and I now have my own voice. I sometimes still have a tough time expressing what I feel in words. It’s like I’m at a loss for words almost where I can’t get it out.
Marc: And when do you feel the most difficulty expressing yourself? Any particular situations? Particular people?
Rachelle: I think any situation that I might feel intimidated, I tend to suppress my voice.
Marc: Got it. So Rachelle, I want to say some things based on what we’ve been talking about. Hashimoto’s is one of the great kind of mysteries of our time. Yes, it’s an autoimmune condition. I kind of want to say sometimes it’s just the thyroid gone wild. It’s like all of a sudden the thyroid becomes this weird sort of bucking bronco and it could be inflamed and intense the one moment, and asleep and not doing anything the next moment. And obviously there is no clear answer as to, hey, what button do we push to make this condition go away.
So, to me, I’m happy for you that you’re actively exploring, okay, here is the medical, and the metabolic, and the lifestyle, and the dietary pieces that I can do.
Given the collective wisdom of what the experts are saying with the Hashimoto’s. So, to me, you’re doing that, congratulations, keep it up. You have to keep it up in a way, in order to just keep yourself in the zone of possibility.
So where I can be of use in this conversation is, dropping into this other place where you can work a little bit more subtly, you can work a little bit more energetically, which oftentimes is the place to work. Sometimes it’s just an adjunct place to work. Sometimes it’s a miscellaneous place to work that doesn’t have much of an effect.
But what I want to say is that when humans are encountering low energy for whatever reason, what I’ve noticed is that when it’s a long-term challenge, meaning not just something that’s happening this week, or this day, or this month, then I think it behooves us to start to do the kind of internal shifts and internal explorations that can really move things forward.
Here’s what I mean. When we have low energy, long-term, chronically, years and years, I think one of the deeper lessons, one of the soul lessons, one of the life lessons, because it’s here and it’s happening, and if we’re going to be just straight up scientific, metabolic thinkers, then we’re going to just talk all day about diet, and nutrition, and hormones, and immune system, and we’re going to stay on that level. We’re just going to stay on the level of, it’s all material, it’s all chemistry, it’s all biology.
I find that excessively limiting because it’s all everything to me. And I’m always interested in, where do we drop into, that can create the most effect. Or which are the places we have to work in. So again, you’re working in this metabolic area, working in the nutritional area.
When we lack energy, we have to get exquisite about managing our energy.
And I really mean exquisite. And part of being exquisite about managing energy is really managing our emotional response to our lack of energy. That is key.
That is absolutely key because I am a firm believer, a million percent, that our mind, our brain, has a very powerful impact on our ability to heal and our energy level, based on the commentary that it’s running about our condition. So, if I’m low energy, and I wake up in the morning and I’m low energy. And the first thing I say is, damn, this sucks. I don’t like this. Here I am again, waking up another day, low energy. So, right then and there, I’m kicking myself when I’m down. Right then and there, I am depressing myself. Right then and there, I’m losing energy. A statement like that will cause energy drain.
So, for you, anything that causes energy drain, even in a small amount, is actually magnified compared to the average normal person. So for a person that is relatively well, and does not have Hashimoto’s, when they do certain things that drain their energy, it’s not nearly as bad as when you do those exact same things.
Because your system is that much more sensitive, sensitized, and in need of change, and transformation, and healing. So the little things are the big things, when it comes to energy.
So, what I’m saying is that you have to be, I believe, more and more of a ninja, more of a yogini, to begin to focus your mind very vigorously on the kind of commentary it runs about your energy.
Because you could say one thing to somebody, you’re fat, you’re no good, no one’s going to love you. That could drain their energy. You could say, sorry, I lost all your money. Drains their energy. You could say, sorry, I’m not going to date you anymore. Drains their energy. When you say to yourself, fill in the blank. Whatever the frustration it is, that’s an energy drain. So all I’m saying is, how can you take it? Here’s the powerful question to ask yourself. How can I use my mind to redefine my low energy?
To me the redefinition on one level is, making exquisite friends with it as opposed to managing it or even trying to fix it. Of course you want to manage it. Of course you want to fix it. I’ve got no problem with that. Everybody has to manage their energy. Everybody has to fix whatever symptom, or pain, or illness they have. So I get that.
The point is you’re doing that.
What happens is, we don’t always give ourselves credit for things that we’re doing.
And then we push the pedal harder, oh I’ve got to do more. I’ve got to really find the right diet. And I’ve got to really find the right system or the right supplement. And it sounds like a part of you knows that putting all your energy there, it’s easy to drain your energy. Because when you put all your energy there, it’s not a wise investment.
Rachelle: Yes. And I can relate to how I have spent years trying to solve this issue so to speak. And when I look back on, even 5 years ago, before I was diagnosed with the Hashimoto’s, before I made a lot of lifestyle changes, my energy was really, really, low. It was consistently low. Now, having made those lifestyle changes, sort of pursued this more, I do have more energy that I did back then. It’s kind of like, once you’ve achieved that though, it’s not good enough. You just want more, and more, and more. And I know that I’ve said to myself many times that well, yes I’m feeling a lot better than I was 5 years ago. But I still think I can feel better. So that’s what I’m going after. And it is kind of reinforcing for me that I’m not good enough yet. Still reaching for more.
Marc: Yeah. It’s an interesting paradox. So again, I really want to be clear, I want you to keep moving yourself in the direction of healing. But sometimes moving ourselves in the direction of healing can look a lot different than what we think. So, what I would love to see you do, I’m going to make a suggestion, and let’s put a time on it. Let’s say for a month. For one month, I would love for you to just kind of continue the healthy practices that you’re doing. But invite your condition to just be part of you for this next month. Knowing the good things I’m doing, I do good things with my diet. I do good things with my lifestyle. I kind of have all these useful distinctions that I work with, things that I’m aware of, getting enough sleep, all of that.
But I really want you to act as if this is your package. This is your allotment of energy. It is no different than if I gave you $10,000 for the next month. And I say, here’s your 10 grands. Spend it however you like. Okay. So you kind of say, okay, how do I want to spend this money? Money is energy. You get to choose how you’re going to spend it. I can give you 5 grand and say, okay, use it however you like. Now you’re a little different because you’re operating with a small amount of capital compared to ideally what you want. But you know something? I bet you’ve had times when you lived on not a lot, so to speak. So it’s doable and I know people who are very happy, who live with not very much.
So, all I’m saying is, can you for a month, kind of celebrate, here’s me, here’s Rachelle, I’m alive.
I ain’t where I want to be. But you know something? I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this energy level and I’m going to go with it. So when I wake up in the morning and I wake up and I go, damn, not Mrs. Perky, jumping out of bed today, isn’t that funny. Isn’t that familiar? And in that moment I want you to lie in bed and just bathe yourself in some kindness. And bathe yourself in, it’s okay, you’re in a little bit of winter right now. And how could you relax until, okay, this is me, I’m waking up like I do most days without a lot of energy. How could you love yourself into the day from that place?
I think if you practice that, it will be very instructive for you. And it’s a subtlety but it’s a powerful subtlety because it’s often the little things that shift us. And I’m asking you to be more masterful with your own energy because I kind of think that’s going to be, if it’s not already your path. Your path is really using your instincts, your insights, your exploration, your smarts, to figure this stuff out in a good way. And to be able to raise your daughter. And to be able to live a life. And to be able to have a future. And I feel like you’re doing that. You’re actually doing that. And all I’m saying over here is, great job.
Now let’s make this one other tweak where your low energy becomes actually a welcomed guest.
It would be no different than if you knew for a fact your daughter was going to have low energy for one month. You just knew this. She’ll have low energy for one month. Now would you hate her? Would you berate her? Would you go, oh honey, I can’t wait till this month is over for you. Right not you can’t be the real you. You would try to help her with school. You would try to really, I’m imagining, turn it into maybe a learning experience, a positive experience. And help her learn how to manage that energy, how to spend her energy wisely. So I want you to spend your energy with a smile. And notice that when you’re low energy, notice where you go because when you’re in low energy, invariably where we will go is bad. And as soon as I go into bad, my energy gets drained.
Rachelle: Yeah, not a very good way to start the day, is it?
Marc: No. So, I would love to see you create a new ritual in the morning, where no matter how much energy you have, you automatically celebrate it and you figure out a way to make it a win. So the win is, I’m alive. The win is, could be a hell of a lot worse than this. The win is, I’m still young, I’m still healthy, I still got my life ahead of me, I’m learning how to manage this thing, and what a beautiful day, here I am. And I only have a small tiny bank account of energy in the morning. How can I love myself into this day? And spend that little bit of energy wisely?
Rachelle: Yeah, I like that.
Marc: And it’s kind of you letting go and just this is an experiment. Part of what happens when we’re able to do that is your body drops into relaxation response more.
I am a very firm believer that deeper levels of healing can happen as we access deeper levels of relaxation.
Which is really another way of saying a deeper level of dropping into a place of purity, pure rest, pure I’m okay, pure love, pure presence, pure forgiveness, this place of purity where we’re not trying to be anything, where you kind of surrender. The more we can drop into that place, the more we invite healing. And this really, what I’m saying is, working off the principle that we know that should be the headline news that all healing happens in a relaxation response. It happens in parasympathetic nervous system dominance. That’s when we heal.
Anything that moves us away from that, keeps us in that zone of that kind of pulsating, fight or flight, nervous system, frequency, stress chemistry, which is a whole electro-chemical physiology experience, where we’re on the red alert. And I’m asking you to learn how to relax into the very thing that normally we’re trying to push, to heal. You’ve tried to push it to heal it. It sounds like you’re getting that that doesn’t work.
Rachelle: Right. Well, it only goes so far. There can be some benefits but then it gets to a point where you just don’t achieve them anymore. And it just becomes a continual fight which as you say, is just creating really a negative mindset for me too.
Marc: Beautifully put. And this is simply you trying another strategy. This is no different than getting online and reading about a new supplement and going, oh, let me try that. You would do that in a heartbeat maybe, if it sounded really good and if some smart researcher was saying, I use this for Hashimoto’s. My patients love it. You’ll try it. So I’m over here, saying, I’ve used this strategy over the years for you name it. And there’s a magic in it.
There’s a magic in us being able to drop in deeper and deeper.
When I say relaxation, it’s also a holy place. It’s a sacred place. It’s a place of love. It’s a place where you contact yourself. And you find the you, you find the Rachelle that’s enough in that moment. Because the truth is, here you are. This is you. This is your life. This is you. You’ve got Hashimoto’s, this weird thing going on with your thyroid. You’re doing your best to manage it. It’s a pain in the ass sometimes. Wish it wasn’t there. And here’s my crazy life.
How do I drop into that and stop trying to fix it as if I’m broken? And just spend a month just being in the flow of it. And kind of celebrating the flow of it as if you know it was only going to last for a month. And you want to have the best time ever.
Rachelle: Yeah, as you’re talking, it does make a lot of sense. And it makes me realize that I spend a lot of the energy that I’m trying to gain, actually kind of fighting this loss of energy. And so the little that I have, I’m using to try to gain more, which is completely counterproductive.
Marc: It’s no different than if you had $10 million, and you hired this great financial expert and you followed his or her advice and you lost all your money. And then you come to me and say, I had 10 million. Wow, that was so good. Lost all my money. Like, do you have any money? And you go, yeah, I’ve got $500. Now you told me you only have $500 to your name. The first place I’m going to go to is, how do you take that $500 and manage it really, really, really well. Because if you manage that $500 really well, you can make it last. And you build your empire from there. You could try to aim and make $10 million. Oh, Marc, I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to take that $500, I’m going to buy 500 lottery tickets for the gazillion dollar lottery. Chances of winning, one in 300 million. Bad probability. Not a wise investment of that small amount of energy.
So this is you getting really wise about how you invest the amount of energy that you have and you love that energy.
You love that 500 bucks. It’s going to way easier to grow it than if you’re like, oh my god, I only have $500. This sucks. This is terrible. Wow, may I’ll spend it all on this one crazy person who says they have a…it’s easier to waste the money, or waste the energy, because we’re in fear and we’re in quick-fix. Maybe I’ll do that, maybe I’ll do that, maybe I’ll do that. And this is you settling into yourself and banking on the fact that you’re a mature woman who can learn the subtleties.
Rachelle: Yeah, for sure.
Marc: How is this all landing for you? Any other thoughts?
Rachelle: It’s landing really well. I really appreciate it. And it’s kind of funny because I’ve dealt with other things in my life with this kind of perspective, that rather than looking at it from a limited perspective, kind of looking at it from a more limitless perspective. And just kind of accepting and loving myself through it. Because I went through some challenges in my 20s and my 30s actually with some eating challenges and ultimately what kind of got me past that hump was just an acceptance of it. Rather than the fight. And it’s interesting that I haven’t been able to use that same sort of mentality or thinking in the Hashimoto’s symptoms. Maybe because it’s more of a medical condition that I think that I should be able to solve it completely medically and that hasn’t been the case.
So, instead of just accepting it, it’s been a challenge that I keep trying to solve.
Marc: Yeah. And please know that the greatest Hashimoto’s experts haven’t solved it. So, if they can’t do it and that’s their life, it’s going to be hard for you to solve it. And this is just another strategy that we’re talking about. And to your point, and I’ll put my own words on it, yeah, you’ve had other parts and places in life where you dropped into acceptance and that catalyzed transformation. We are not trained to go there. The mind is not trained to go there. Culture doesn’t train us to go there. Our schooling doesn’t train us to go there.
Medicine, science, psychology, does not truly train us to go to this place called dropping into the kind of acceptance. It’s not giving up. It’s just another aspect of life that we’re learning. It’s the person who loses a limb and instead of walking around being a victim for the rest of their life, they are like, I’m going to rock this. I’m going to make this work for me. I’m going to put a smile on. I’m going to figure out how to run a marathon on one leg. I’m going to figure out how to play basketball. I’m going to, whatever it is.
So it’s just us kind of flipping it around to see what’s possible. And there is, for a lack of a better term, there is a magic which I again believe is very, very scientific but science hasn’t gone there because there is no money in what we’re talking about. There is no drug in it. There is no gizmo that we can charge gazillions of dollars for.
What we’re talking about is essentially free.
And it’s essentially about you becoming a more empowered being, a more finely tuned human being, dropping into a deeper awareness of your body, of yourself.
This is self-healing. Now, again, it doesn’t meant that you’re not going to continue to do all kinds of interesting strategies on the outside. But we’re taking a deep breath around that. We’re just kind of putting all that other stuff to the side for a moment, for a month, sort of. Yeah if something pops up in that month, great, you’ll do it.
But it’s really this focus on loving the amount of energy that you have. Loving the person, you, who has the low energy. You don’t have to love low energy. You just have to love you, who has low energy. And at the same time, love the energy that you have. So it’s this twist of thinking that creates a different chemistry in the brain. And I believe into the future, more, and more, and more, we’re going to learn about how subtle ways of thinking and feeling dramatically impact our chemistry, dramatically impact our health. So this is me just kind of going out on a limb and saying, I think we’re on to something here.
And this is about you finally kind of liberating yourself and claiming your life. Like of all the things to claim, it would be easier to claim your life, claim your voice, when you’re this empowered woman and everything’s going great.
Here you are, I’m saying claim your life now, while it ain’t perfect.
That little girl whose mother was talking for her, couldn’t claim her ego, couldn’t claim her place in the world, because it was just not the setup, it wasn’t happening. Wasn’t so easy. No blame on your mother. She did the best she could. She was probably protecting you. And thought she was doing the right thing.
Rachelle: Yeah, for sure.
Marc: And there’s a part of you that’s going to protect you as well from stepping out on a limb and saying, this is my life. I feel like you’re pretty close here.
Rachelle: Yeah, I think so. I think maybe I just needed it to be sort of clarified a little bit more for me. And I think even intuitively, I kind of already knew this. I kind of already knew this aspect of that the first step really at this point to actually feeling better about it is accepting it. But like you say, I think it’s beyond just accepting the low energy. It’s actually learning how to love it. Because it is part of who I am. And I can’t change that beyond what I’ve already done at this point anyhow. So, the idea to stop fighting it and give a little love maybe, maybe will do the trick.
Marc: I have another belief about low energy. And it’s more to do with chronic low energy. My belief about chronic low energy, whatever the condition, is that there is always a lesson in it for us that goes beyond metabolism, and goes beyond chemistry, and goes beyond the body.
Because we’re experiencing it, and it’s teaching us, and it affects us, and it impacts us. So you might as well learn, you might as well get some tuition credits, because you’re paying a lot of tuition to learn some hard lessons here. I think that when we are chronic low energy, there is a deeper gift in it somewhere.
And the deeper gift is, we’re being forced to slow down.
And when we’re being forced to slow down, there is only one thing that becomes front and center, and that’s you. When a person is low energy, everything else kind of disappears. In that moment it’s you and yourself. Low energy corners us so we cannot get away from being with self. If you had enough energy we can be disempowered, we can do all kinds of nonsense. But when you have low energy, it so puts us face-to-face with me. I have to take care of me. I have no energy. It’s me. It’s the me show. And in an odd way, there’s a beauty in that.
And I’m trying to connect that to the early story that you told me. It just feels like there is a self-discovery piece in here that’s wanting to happen, where you finally get to embrace you. And sometimes we have to finally embrace ourselves when it’s really quiet. When there ain’t nothing else to do. And when it’s just between me and me. And low energy can do that.
So it might be interesting when you’re feeling super low energy, particularly in the morning, or at night when you go to bed, it might be interesting to ask yourself, what’s the higher place that I want to contact in me right now? What wisdom wants to speak through me? And it’s a very self-referencing question. It’s about you.
Because once you own you like never before, it feels like you’re on the right track. And you’ve been doing that.
Low energy has been forcing you to own your life.
It’s kind of how I look at this. As far as you look at your diet, look at everything. So, you’ve looked all on the outside. Now it’s looking on the inside more, and more, and more, because outer success so often follows inner success. So I’m asking the question, what will help inner success? And I strongly believe it’s you finding your womanhood for the first time, whatever that means for you.
Rachelle: Yeah. As you’re talking about this idea, what immediately popped into my head is that, if that is part of the message that’s in the low energy, it’s probably also part of the message that is in my back issues because that too has forced me to slow down ever more, to heal. Because I haven’t been able to do, I haven’t been able to work and so it has forced me to sort of be all kind of inwardly focused.
And I think what I have been doing throughout a lot of that is sort of, kind of bucking that, kind of going like, well, I’m tired of looking at me, because I’ve dealt with these issues for so long. It’s like I’m tired of dealing with me. So I’d rather look outward, or look for those things that can facilitate quicker growth.
Marc: Yeah. Rachelle that makes perfect sense. I just want you to know. And I want to make a distinction here. A lot of people get to that place where they go, god, I’ve been working so hard on myself, like enough already. Now, usually when somebody says that, I think two things are happening. Number one, they have worked enough on themselves and it’s time to focus on something else. Pure and simple, 100% right, nothing else to look at.
Another thing that I notice is oftentimes people get tired of working on themselves when the thing that they’re working on, seems to be what I should be working, and this seems to be the way I should be working on it, but it’s actually not. And a lot of times, we do work on self that is kind of draining and doesn’t really lead us anywhere. Because there are all kinds of approaches and models and systems and psychologies that are kind of sick, and that aren’t that healthy, and that don’t actually take us where we want to go. And that can be a little more damaging.
So, what I’m suggesting to you is that, my guess is, there’s a part of you that, the way you were working on yourself, was draining your energy. And usually what drains our energy is when we’re trying to fix what’s wrong with me, and find this deficient, gnarly, dumb, diseased, not okay, what’s wrong with you, part of me, which by the way, just framing it like that drains our energy. So what I’m asking you to do is to drop that whole philosophy.
You’re going to be working on yourself but it’s a whole different kind of work.
It’s the kind of work where you’re totally embracing self, you’re not actually fixing anything, you’re going with the rhythm that life is giving you.
Sometimes our best move is to paddle the way the river’s moving.
Okay, sometimes you have to paddle against it if you’re about to go over a waterfall. Sometimes you’ve got to paddle in the direction you’re going in anyway, because that’s what seems to be what’s happening. So this is about you not forcing it, not pushing it, not coming from a place of, I’ve got to fix myself. There’s something wrong with me.
It’s going with your low energy. Loving yourself with that experience. Learning how to manage those small amounts of energy. Celebrating the energy that you do have. So don’t even frame it as, I’m celebrating my low energy. Frame it as, I’m celebrating the energy that I do have. Because you have energy. And I want you to begin to see that. The $10 bill you have, it ain’t a $1,000 bill, but $10 still ain’t bad for a lot of people. So when you look at that $10 bill and see money, as much as if it was a $1,000 bill, that’s the shift. That’s the shift that will allow you, I think, to start to get some of the magic and some of the momentum that you’ve been wanting. Because if you want to have a shift, like never before, we have to do things like never before. That’s just my experience in all this.
It’s how many times do you hear, do I hear, do you know people who go, oh yeah, like I’m so sick and tired of this, I just wanted to change. I’ve been dealing with this for so long. Usually when we’re at that place, in order to have a big change, we have to make a big risk. In order to make a big shift, we have to shift something in a whole different way. So, this is just my long-winded way of saying, again, I think we’re on the right track. I think you’ve got some good places to play here.
Rachelle: Yes, I think so. Thank you, Marc. I really appreciate it.
Marc: Yeah. And I really appreciate you laying it on the line and sharing your journey with us. And I really feel like you’ve got the right stuff to make this happen. And your next step is just to become a cheerleader for the energy that you have.
And take a month and just love yourself in low energy.
And just see what happens. Consider it just an experiment. And you’re the scientist. And you’re going to pump all kind of positivity into this. And you’re going to look at how you can gamify it. Turn it into play, as opposed to hard work.
Rachelle: Yes. I’m excited to start doing this. And try this. And I really believe that it can make a difference. Because I just think about starting my day the way that I have, kind of that sort of begrudgingly, negative way. And to turn that around to something positive and actually celebrating, is wow. It’s kind of a crazy thought. But I think it’s going to help.
Marc: Good, I’m so glad.
Rachelle: Yeah, thanks.
Marc: Rachelle, thank you.
Rachelle: Thank you, Marc.
Marc: Yeah. It’s a really, really, really good conversation. And I want to share for people listening and tuning in, this is just a different way to look at energy. A different way to work with energy. I’m not saying it’s the way. I’m not saying it’s the only way. I’m saying it’s a way to play that can really make a difference. And Rachelle, we’ll follow up in a bunch of months. I’d love to check in. See how you’re doing. And again, I really appreciate our time together.
Rachelle: That sounds great, yeah. Thank you, Marc. I really appreciate it too. Thanks for your wisdom.
Marc: Yeah, pleasure. Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Marc David, on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. More to come, my friends.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2018
Become a Mind Body Eating Coach
Now enrolling for October 2023.
Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.
Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast
Get notified when new episodes go live.