Iris has hated her body for more than 40 years, continually beating herself up for being 10 to 20 pounds overweight. When she looks at photos of herself from years ago, she realizes that there was never anything wrong with her – but the habit of negative self talk is so deeply ingrained, she fears she’ll never be able to shake it. Wanting to be free from self hate, she came to Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, for advice. Tune in as Marc gives Iris some straight talk, some tough love, and some solid life coaching around the deeper spiritual lessons at play to help her jumpstart a new, positive attitude toward her body.
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. And I’m with Iris today. Welcome, Iris.
Iris: Thank you. Thank you, Marc. I’m glad to be here.
Marc: I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad we’re doing this. You are all the way down under in Australia. What a cool thing that you and I can have a conversation sort of all the way around the world. That’s pretty mind blowing, huh?
Iris: It is amazing. It really is, yeah.
Marc: So let me just say a few words to viewers and listeners who are new to this podcast. Here’s how it works. Iris and I haven’t officially met before. This is our first time hanging out speaking in this way. And we’re going to talk about whatever she wants to talk about and try our best, try my best, to move her forward in whatever food, body, or health concern is up for you. And that’s the game here. That’s how we’re going to roll. So Iris, why don’t you tell me, if you could wave your magic wand and get whatever you want from our time together, what would that be for you?
Iris: I would like to stop obsessing about my weight and body image and actually move forward with my business.
I did your Eating Psychology Coach™ Certification. And I’ve done many other coaching certifications. And for some reason I just can’t move forward with it. I haven’t created a business from anything that I’ve studied. And I don’t know what it is that’s stopping me.
Marc: So are these two different issues? Is it the same issue? You said you want to stop worrying about your weight. And you also want to start a new career based on your training.
Iris: I’m not sure if they’re the same issue or if they’re two different issues. I think they might be two different issues, actually. I think the issue about starting the business maybe has to do with my money blocks because my finances seem to be the most dysfunctional thing in my life. But also maybe the concern about the weight is related to my lack of confidence. So I don’t know. They may be the same issue. They may be two different. I’m not quite sure.
Marc: Okay, that’s honest. And that’s actually very clear. Maybe we’ll get some insights into that. So how long has weight been a concern for you?
Iris: Oh, probably since I was a late teenager.
Marc: So, what, about ten years? Is that what you’re saying?
Iris: Oh, yeah, probably about, let me see, probably about 40 years.
Marc: Okay, so you’re not doing too bad for, what, in your 50s?
Iris: I’m 59, yeah.
Marc: All right. Okay, so far so good, so since you’ve been a teenager. And how much weight do you want to lose such that you would say okay, here I am, I made it?
Iris: I would love to lose 10 kilos.
Marc: So we’re talking 20 plus pounds, for those people who don’t know what a kilo is, which is probably a few Americans. So let me ask this question. When was the last time you weighed about 10 kilos less?
Iris: Probably around the year 2000, 2001, somewhere around there. Yeah.
Marc: What was different about that other than it was a while ago?
Iris: Well it was a very stressful time of my life. And I lost the weight not because I went on a diet but because I was in a relationship with a person who was an alcoholic. And it was very stressful. And because of the stress I lost the weight. I couldn’t eat. Yeah.
Marc: Understood. Before that time, had you ever tried dieting to lose weight?
Iris: Oh, many times, yeah, many times.
Marc: Have you been successful through dieting, at least in the short term?
Iris: No, not at all. No, I don’t diet anymore, no. I haven’t dieted for years, no. It definitely doesn’t work.
Marc: Got it. And are you in a relationship?
Iris: I am. But my partner is in Finland, on the other side of the world. So yeah, that’s been tricky.
Marc: Yeah, that’s a little bit of a commute.
Iris: Yeah, I just spent the last four years there. And I’ve only come back here since October last year.
Marc: Wow. So how often are you going to see each other?
Iris: Well the idea is that I want to be able to spend six months in Finland. And I’ve organized a house sitter for next year, from May to October. And then he’s going to come here for two months. And that leaves us sort of four months apart. I do Airbnb with the house here. And the four months that it’s the busiest is November to February. So I’ve kind of got it worked out like that.
But I’ve just spent four years with him. And he doesn’t speak English. And he’s already 60. He’s going to retire in a few years. All his family’s over there. So he would really be like a fish out of water coming here. Whereas for me, I speak the language. And it’s where I’m from, even though I’ve been here since I was two. It’s much easier for me to spend more time there than it is for him to spend a lot of time here. So that’s kind of what we’re working towards. Yeah.
Marc: So how does he feel about your weight?
Iris: Oh, well I can’t say that he doesn’t care because he can be critical. He tends to make negative comments, which I don’t like, negative comments about people who are overweight. But he doesn’t make negative comments to me. I mean he doesn’t ever mention it. So I think he’s okay with it. I’m not sure. Maybe he’s not. Yeah.
Marc: I would love for you to ask him.
Marc: I mean that.
Iris: Yeah, I should ask him. Yeah.
Marc: It’s sort of like saying hey, honey. I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed that sometimes you make some not so kind remarks about people who are overweight. And it just made me wonder, how do you feel about how much I weigh.
Iris: Yeah, that’s a good idea.
Marc: I really mean that. I would be interested for you to see what he has to say. If I had to bet money, I’m going to bet he could care less. I mean I would bet he’s fine with how much you weigh.
So you want to lose 10 kilos. You haven’t really been dieting.
So is it that you’d want to lose the weight already or you just want to lose wanting to lose wanting the weight?
Iris: Oh, both actually. I have actually lost 5 kilos since I’ve come home. I put on 7 kilos in Finland because of the long winters and what I ate. And I didn’t move much. I’ve lost 5 since I’ve come home. But what I want to do is I want to feel lighter in my body. Well, I mean there’s the vanity aspect of it too, how I look. But it’s more I want to feel lighter and leaner in my body, is the reason that I’d like to lose the weight. Yeah.
Marc: Okay, because you want to have a certain feeling.
Iris: I want to have a certain feeling, yeah.
Marc: And when was the last time you had that feeling?
Iris: Oh, gosh, I had this feeling two years ago when I came home. I came home to Australia for four months. And I had a friend with me. And we were going for a walk at the beach. And all of a sudden, I was in my body. And I was really relaxed. And it was totally in contrast to how I normally am. It’s like I slipped into my body, and I was here and present. And it was a fantastic feeling. And that’s probably the last time that I felt that way, really.
Marc: So that was how many years ago?
Iris: Two years ago.
Marc: And did you weigh different?
Iris: It was the same thing. I’d been in Finland for two years prior to that. And I’d put on 7 kilos. When I came home, I didn’t diet. I was just really happy to be home. And I ate differently. And I lost 7 kilos. So, oh, I’ve forgotten, what was your question?
Marc: So I was trying to figure out that great feeling that you had taking that walk one day, was it a function of did you lose weight?
Iris: I did. Yeah, I did. I’d lost 7 kilos. But I don’t think it had to do with that because it was quite early on in the piece when I was at home. I don’t really know what it had to do with. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I was out for a walk with my friend. And this energy shifted. And I shifted into actually being in my body and being present. And I was very relaxed. And I noticed it because it was in marked contrast to how I normally am, I guess.
Marc: Okay, so how would you say you normally are? So in contrast to that day on the walk, how would you say you normally are?
Iris: Fairly anxious, maybe I’m in a state of chronic stress. But I would say anxiety is probably a large part of it. Who am I? Yeah, I’m a fairly anxious person. And I worry a lot about things. And my financial situation is something that keeps me awake at night sometimes. So I’d say, yeah, I probably alternate between being fairly calm and being here. I enjoy being with people. But I do have a lot of underlying anxiety, yeah.
Marc: So you might get anxious about your financial situation.
Anything else that tends to grab a lot of your anxious energy?
Iris: Oh, I’d say it would be mainly finances. But I’m also on my own here now. So I’ve been doing Airbnb with the house. And it’s been really busy up until now. So now when I have a day where there’s nobody here, I tend to feel lonely and can be a little bit overwhelmed by being here.
Marc: So a theoretical question, if there were people around you whenever you wanted, would you be less anxious?
Iris: Probably not, no.
Marc: So when you were in Finland for four years, and you were constantly around your partner there, how was your anxiety level there?
Iris: It was fairly high as well. It really had nothing to do with my partner. He was my rock. He was the person that I got on really well with and I felt totally at ease with and really comfortable with.
But I went to Finland in 2011 with my mom. I was my mom’s caregiver since 2003. And we went for a six-month holiday to see how me and my partner would get along. And my mom had a stroke two months before we were meant to go home. And so she spent four months in hospital. [Sobs] Oh, excuse me. She spent four months in hospital. And I couldn’t bring her home. [Sobs] Excuse me.
I got a quote of 20,000 Euros to bring her home, which I didn’t have. I would’ve had to have paid for a doctor or a nurse to accompany us on the flight. And she was already 91. She couldn’t have made the flight anyway. Even if I had had the money it would’ve been too stressful for her. So then she lost her mobility, and she was in a wheelchair. So I [Sobs] Excuse me. I had to find her a place in a nursing home.
And that was good. She was in a nursing home with one sister for the first 18 months. And then they opened up a brand new nursing home. And they offered her a place there. I used to cycle to see her almost every day except for when my partner and I went on short holidays. We’d go for five days every now and then to some European country.
But other than that, I went to see her almost every day. They offered her a place in a brand new nursing home, which was just beautiful, two kilometers from where I lived. And she had her own room and her own bathroom. And she was with another sister in that nursing home, in the room next door. And then that sister died. The first sister died February, 2014, the second one in September, 2014.
And my mom was really close to that sister. My mom was the eldest, and the other sister was the second. And she actually witnessed her having a heart attack in the dining room. And my mom didn’t know how to grieve. So she couldn’t cry. And she ended up being hospital the week after her sister’s funeral with a mild heart attack, a urinary tract infection, and pneumonia. And they thought she wasn’t going to make it. But she came good.
And I said to her, “Hang in until the summer. Let’s have a bit more time together,” because she just wanted to go. And so she did. She came good. And she was really good. She had another seven months in the nursing home. And I brought her home as often as I could for a couple of hours and took her for walks when it was nice weather. And she passed away in June 23rd last year.
So we had tenants in the house. And I came home in October.
So that was a very challenging time and a very stressful time because I couldn’t really come home.
I’m an only child. And I couldn’t abandon her in Finland. And it was tricky looking after all the financial affairs and trying to get work and keeping the house and a whole bunch of other stuff. Then we had a tenant from hell one year. It took seven months and two tribunals to have her removed from the house. So it was a very, very stressful time.
Marc: Okay, well, those are understandable stresses.
Marc: So I wouldn’t so much say, at least in those cases, that you’re an anxious person. I would say you’re a person who has been in some situations that are very anxiety producing, given all the details. I’ve nursed both my parents through illness and death. So I have an idea of how that experience can be. There’s stress in it. And it’s all the way around. There are so many issues that plug into that.
So when do you feel best about yourself?
Iris: When I’m down at the beach, walking on the beach with my dog, when I’m out in nature, when I’m at home sometimes on the veranda. I have a beautiful house here that my mom left me. And it’s in a very private place with a big veranda, 20 meters, looks over the garden. It’s really lovely. It’s a lovely house. So oftentimes when I’m at home, when I’m doing art I don’t even notice the time, when I’m being creative. So I’d say those three things: being at home, being on the beach, being in nature, and being creative.
Marc: Which it sounds like you do a lot of that because you’re at home a lot.
Iris: I do, yeah.
Marc: How often do you go for walks on the beach?
Iris: Probably four times a week, four or five times a week. Yeah.
Marc: So what’s going to be different, tell me again, when you lose 10 kilos? How is life going to be better? What’s going to be better about it?
Iris: It probably won’t be that much different. Look, I would feel lighter in my body. I’d feel leaner and lighter. And I want to have more energy. Yeah.
Marc: Got it.
So you think losing 10 kilos is going to give you more energy.
Iris: Oh, I’m hoping so.
Marc: All right. That’s just something interesting. I just want to point out I don’t know that that’s true. I really don’t. It’s an interesting assumption. If you could truly tell me yeah, Marc, I’ve lost 10 kilos so many times and then gained it back and then lost it again. And every time I lose that 10 kilos, as soon as that scale says you’ve lost 10 kilos, I get up out of bed, and I go wow, do I have more energy.
Marc: No, so I’m being a little playful here. But I’m just trying to point out how you’re viewing certain things that I don’t know where you’ve accumulated the data and the facts and the proof of what you think is going to happen. I also just want to point out that I asked what’s going to happen when you lose this 10 kilos.
You’ve said this twice. You said I’m going to feel lighter, and I’m going to feel leaner. I kind of have an idea what you’re saying. Leaner is not so much a feeling. I don’t know that people wake up and say God I feel leaner today. They might say I feel lighter today. We usually don’t say I feel leaner. I might look leaner.
So this is an interesting situation because you also, when I asked you before how you would feel or what you want out of losing that weight, you started telling me a story about this great feeling that you had walking on the beach or taking this walk when all of a sudden this feeling came over you of just feeling relaxed and light. And it really had nothing to do with weight.
You travel back and forth. You lose 7 kilos. You gain 7 kilos. You gain it. You lose it. I don’t really know that your ups and downs of 5 kilos or 7 kilos makes any major difference in your actual energy or how you actually feel because you described a feeling of walking on the beach that had nothing to do with anything. We don’t even know how that feeling happened.
Iris: I know. That’s true.
Marc: We don’t even know. Somehow you decided to equate that feeling with weight loss.
And I’m just pointing out to you, to me you’re kind of taking this thing called lose 10 kilos, you’re putting that on a religious altar and saying this will get me into heaven, heaven being I’m going to feel lighter.
I’m going to feel leaner. And I’m going to have this great feeling that really we don’t have any evidence that it actually does that for you.
What I want to say to you about that is – and I know you know this, but let me say it anyway – humans do that a lot. We do that a lot. We make these promises. I am going to be the real me when…. I’m going to finally love myself when… I’m going to feel great when… fill in the blank. I have more money. I have a different house. I get married. I get divorced. I get a different job. I get any kind of job. I lose the weight. I gain more muscle. Whatever it is, there’s always this thing that it’s conditional upon. And it just sounds to me like the weight for you is that. It’s this little magic carrot that is best put in a nice little children’s storybook because you’ve been around the corner enough. You’re almost 60 years old. You’ve been on the planet for a while. And it almost feels to me… I get that we have challenges. We all have them.
It feels to me a little bit as if you have a winning lottery ticket in your pocket. But you’re really focused on what you don’t have.
Iris: Yeah, that sounds pretty right.
Marc: I mean does that describe you?
Iris: That sounds, yeah, I think that’s a good description, actually.
Marc: Yeah, and here you are. Your mother had a good life. She lived to a nice old age. How sweet is that? And everyone should have that if that’s what they want, to live to be a beautiful old age. She’s left you a sweet house. You get to split time between two terrible places, Australia on the beach and Finland, this beautiful country. So far you’ve painted a picture that life ain’t so bad. I want to sit on your deck. I want to take walks on that beach for goodness sake. And you want to feel lighter.
But then when I asked you when do you feel light, you described to me when you’re outside, when you’re in nature, when you’re on your porch, when you’re at home, which happens quite often for you. And what I would like to say is sure, if you lost ten kilos, you would feel lighter, I’m guessing. Not everybody does, I’ve got to tell you. I know people who lose way more weight than that, and they still walk around heavy, so to speak, because heaviness, as you know, you could be at this exact weight right now for the next two years.
And we could chart your mood every day. And some days you feel lighter. And some days you feel heavier. Some days you take that walk and all of a sudden, God, I feel so light. And we can’t even explain why. And then something happens, something not so good happens, and I’m lonely. And I feel really heavy.
I know anorexics who are 80 pounds who feel heavy.
Marc: I’m not kidding you. So what I want to say is losing x amount of kilos happens to be no guarantee about feeling lighter. And the only guarantee I know to feel lighter is to feel lighter, I mean that, is to cultivate the kinds of things that I know make me feel lighter. The fact that you’re not dieting anymore says to me a couple of things. I’m going to guess that one thing it says is it’s too much nonsense for you. I don’t think you’re that interested in dieting.
Iris: I’m not at all interested in dieting.
Marc: You’re not at all interested in dieting. I don’t blame you. Dieting generally doesn’t work. My guess is you’re also not interested in the kind of exercise that would push your body into losing 10 kilos.
Iris: That’s right.
Marc: Okay, so you’re not interested in going out and jogging.
Iris: Oh no. No, I’m not a jogger, no.
Marc: So what I hear you saying is that based upon all your years on the planet, based upon your very good understanding of what you like and what Iris doesn’t like, you’re kind of a smart lady because thank you for not wasting your time dieting when you don’t want to do it. And you know it’s probably not going to work for you anyway.
Thank you for not wasting your time pushing yourself with exercise that you can’t stand just so you could lose some weight so you can feel lighter.
But in order to feel lighter you have to feel heavy from dieting and exercise that you don’t like.
So somehow this exercise that we don’t like and this dieting that we don’t like is going to end up making us feel lighter. I don’t think so.
Marc: It generally doesn’t work that way. If we are doing things that make us feel lighter, we feel lighter. If we do things that make us feel heavier, we feel heavier. Honestly, Iris, to me, what I’ve noticed, it’s as simple as that. So I’m just not getting what the win for you is going to be losing 10 kilos. I get that you might like yourself a little more. You might look in the mirror and go that’s the girl I want to be. Way to go. But all things considered, it doesn’t sound like life is so bad here.
Iris: That’s true. That’s true, yeah.
Marc: So I’m just over here saying I just want to see you enjoy this next, I’ll say 30 years, of your life. What did your mother live to, 91?
Marc: 95, okay. So let’s say, arguably, maybe you have at least 30 more years on the planet, if not more. Are we going to get together 20 years from now, and you’re going to tell me you want to lose 10 kilos? And you’re going to tell me how great your life is again and how wonderful it is. I’m going to be very upset with you if we meet 20 years from now, and you’re still telling me that.
Iris: No, I won’t be telling you that.
Marc: Now, okay, so let me ask you this question. So you’ve been wanting to lose weight or look different, you mentioned, since being in your teenage years. Have you ever looked back on your teenage years, looked at pictures of yourself?
Iris: Oh, absolutely. And I thought how crazy was I? I was gorgeous. I didn’t need to lose any weight. I was mad, even ten years ago, yeah.
Marc: That’s what I’m saying. That’s exactly what I am saying. So I do not want you to be 95 and wake up one day and go oh my goodness, looking back at my pictures when I’m 59, and I was on that podcast with that irritating guy, and I thought I was so heavy and so not light. And I look great.
Iris: No, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that at all. Yeah.
Marc: I really mean this. I think what’s going to happen for you, if you took weight loss out of the equation… now it’s interesting. I’m going to finish that statement. But I want to qualify it, and less to you but more to people watching this. If you’re watching this, here we are talking about weight loss. Do me a favor. Don’t get on my case if I tell somebody wait a second. You want to lose weight. But I don’t know if you need to want to lose weight because a lot of times there are people who are in prison, in a self created prison, because I’ve got to lose… fill in the blank, 5 pounds, 10, pounds, 15 pounds, 20 pounds, 5 kilos, 10 kilos, 1 kilo, whatever the heck it is.
We live in this prison of I have to lose this.
I have to lose this. And that becomes our world. And sometimes we have to just lose the need to lose the weight to actually see who we are.
I don’t know, nor do I know if you know, who you are and how happy you would be if one morning you woke up and you said to yourself, “I’m done with that whole nonsense.” Now I wouldn’t say this to a 25 year old young woman necessarily. But I would say it to a smart 59 year old lady who’s had a lot of life experience and who understands things in a whole different way.
It’s easier for me to say to you wait a second. It sounds like a bunch of nonsense that you’re putting yourself through based on everything that you know about yourself, about life, because it feels like you can have so much of what you want by just enjoying it because so many of the pieces are in place.
And I think what happens for us—and maybe this applies to you—I don’t know, but many humans, not only do we have a toleration point when it comes to pain, there’s a certain amount of pain that we can endure. And I don’t just mean physical pain. I mean any kind of pain. There are certain types of hurt and pain we can endure until we just go, “My God, that’s too much.”
And we have to separate ourselves. We have to take care of ourselves. Or we have to go run and hide, whatever it is. For a lot of people there’s a certain amount of pleasure we can endure. There’s a certain amount of my life that’s good, that we can endure. And we hit that ceiling almost. And we can’t allow ourselves to feel better.
And I think you might be hitting that invisible feel good ceiling that shouldn’t even be there for us.
But we have it anyway.
And people will tell you this quite often. They’ll say, “Yeah, I was feeling really great. But then I sabotaged myself. I went and did something really dumb.” And people will do that because we have to learn, oddly enough, sometimes we have to learn how to embrace that which is good and sweet and wonderful and nourishing and enlivens us.
We have to actually learn how to take it in without pushing it away. And usually we push it away because there’s some deep belief, I don’t deserve it. Or oh my God, I just can’t do that. I’m not going to be able to deal with all that happiness. I don’t know what it is, quite honestly. But it’s a little bit of insanity. But it’s how we tend to be wired. Or it’s how we tend to be programmed.
So all I’m trying to say is I would love for you to take, how long, I would love for you to take about six months. That’s a long time by the way, but not really. I’d love for you to take about six months and see what would happen if you put losing weight to the side. Now you’ve been wanting to look different since you were in your teens. You already told me when you look back at pictures when you were a teen you go, “Oh, my God! I can’t believe how beautiful I was. What was I thinking?”
So since your teens, so that’s 40ish years. And so for 40 years you’ve been wanting to look different. So here’s the experiment that I want to propose to you. The proposal is this. You’ve been doing it one way for 40 years. That’s a good experiment. That’s a lot of data. And the data says this isn’t working. So now we’re going to take only six months, not 40 years, not even one year, six months, and we’re going to put weight loss aside. And we’re going to put looking different aside.
Do I still want you to take care of yourself? Sure. Do I still want you to eat in a healthy way? Sure. But love yourself with food. Love yourself with taking walks.
I kind of get the feeling that you know how to actually take care of yourself.
You do, right?
Iris: I do. I do, yeah.
Marc: Yeah, I get that about you. So you’re holding a winning lottery ticket in your pocket. But then you’re complaining on the other hand that I need a lottery ticket. I need to win something.
Iris: That’s a really, really good way to put it.
Iris: That’s a really good way to put it, yeah.
Marc: So I need those two people inside your head to start talking to each other, and for the one with the lottery ticket to say hey sweetheart, winning ticket. You can relax now because we are okay. So for six months I don’t want you to weigh yourself. I mean that. I don’t want you to weigh yourself.
Iris: Yeah, I can do that.
Marc: I don’t want you to weigh yourself. And I really want you to look at yourself. If you want to gauge if I lost any weight, look in a mirror. And just look at yourself. And just observe yourself.
And I want you to notice what makes you feel light and what makes you feel lighter.
We’ve already talked about it.
But I want you to really notice. When you take that walk on the beach, I would love for you to begin to say to yourself, I feel so light. When you’re sitting on your porch, I would love for you to say to yourself, I feel so light. So you could acknowledge what’s happening. Because part of it is your mind has been trained to focus on the glass half empty. It’s not your fault. The world trains people in some very strange ways.
So it’s not your issue or your fault. This is a habit of thinking that I’m asking you to change because I know it’s going to make you happier when you change it. So it’s reminding yourself oh, I feel light. You had that day walking that you described all of a sudden I felt light. And really what you were telling me was there’s a place where normally you don’t really inhabit your body.
Marc: You tend to inhabit your head.
Iris: Yes, that’s right.
Marc: So you stay in only one neighborhood of the whole possible country that is your body. You’re isolated in one little neighborhood called the head. And that could be a very confining place. So this happens to us. We will accidentally fall into the body, which I believe you did. It happened. And it felt great.
Marc: So now this is about you training yourself to embody.
Part of that means to notice when you feel good and to acknowledge it, to notice when you feel lighter and to acknowledge it.
And breathe it in. And feel the feeling instead of think about the feeling that you want. Feel the feeling when you have it. Part of it is you have that feeling quite a bit. But you don’t notice it. You think you’re going to notice that feeling when you lose 10 ridiculous kilos. So you’re trying to aim for a target that you think is going to win you the prize. But you’ve already won the prize.
Marc: Do you see where I’m going with all this?
Iris: I do. I do, yeah.
Marc: So what I’m saying is congratulations. All things considered you’ve got a good life. And we’ve got to turn your mind around.
Marc: And begin to help you embody your life that you’re leading right now and really appreciate what you have and give thanks for what you have, be grateful for what you have, because what a good thing.
Iris: Yeah, that’s true, yeah. That’s very good, yeah.
Marc: If your boyfriend was listening to this, and I was actually speaking his language so he could understand it, would he kind of get this?
Iris: Yeah, he would get it. He would get it because he often told me to appreciate what I had. And he does appreciate what he has. So he would get it totally, yeah.
Marc: Do me a favor. Tell him I really like him. Tell him, him and I agree on some very important things together. And in fact I would love for you to tell him about this conversation.
Iris: I will.
Marc: And tell him what I said to you. And ask him if he would be so kind as to help you by reinforcing to you, reminding you to appreciate what you have.
Iris: Okay. I will.
Marc: Iris, are you the kind of person that does journaling or writing?
Iris: Yeah, I do.
Marc: So I’m going to recommend a journaling exercise for you. I should do this too. The first time I did it, it radically changed my life. I’m due for an upgrade here.
I would love for you to have a gratitude journal.
And keep that gratitude journal.
Do it on your computer. Have it in a separate notebook, however it works for you. Keep it by your bed. And do it at night before you go to sleep.
And the way it was taught to me that I find pretty useful is to write down everything from the day, now that it’s over, that you’re grateful for. But here’s the thing. Start really small with the silliest things that you would never think to be grateful for. I am grateful that I had fresh fruit at breakfast, and it tasted so good. I am grateful that my dog just made me happy today. I am grateful that I’m alive today and that I spoke to my boyfriend over the phone, and he was so sweet.
So start with the little things. And then maybe there might be a few big things. I was grateful when I was taking a walk, and I walked by a stranger, and she smiled at me. Sometimes all these little things happen that we don’t even realize give us energy. So begin to write the things that you’re grateful for from that day. And then feel free to include things randomly about your life that you’re grateful for that aren’t necessarily confined to that day. And you could do that for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes before you go to sleep. Do it for three weeks in a row. And see what happens.
Marc: I think it would be very interesting for you.
Iris: I’ll start tonight.
Marc: So let’s talk about your career now because really everything’s connected in some way some way, shape, or form. And what I heard with you around weight was that you were using it to distract yourself from appreciating what you have. It was this tiny excuse that didn’t really have any power to it almost. It just feels like no, that doesn’t even have any weight to it. It’s not that big.
So there’s a place where we humans do that. And there’s a place where you do it, where you’ll find something to hold you back. And the thing you find to hold you back, it’s like the air. It kind of falls through your fingers. It’s not that real. So, granted, it’s a lot different to start a new career. It’s a lot different to start creating a new income source. There’s a lot of moving parts to that. And it requires more of us, for sure. So I’m not downplaying that.
But what I want to say is that if you lead with gratitude and try to create from that place, I think you will grow your new career organically.
I think you need to grow organically.
It’s kind of like a garden. You plant your little seed. And you water it. And maybe you give it some fertilizer. You don’t stand over the seed and worry about it. Oh my God, is this going to grow? I don’t think it’s going to grow. Oh no, it’s never going to grow. I’m screwed. Maybe I should’ve given it more water. No, no, no, less water. No. You give it water. You give it a little fertilizer. And you go check on it. You look at it. You observe it. You kind of smile at it. You appreciate it, like wow, look at it. It’s growing. There’s this beautiful journey that we go through when we’re growing something like that.
And I would like for you to apply the same principle to growing your business, to do it from a place of gratitude and appreciation. I’m grateful for the things that I’ve learned that I now want to share with people. I’m grateful that I’ve made it to the ripe old age of 59. And I have something to contribute. And this is about you kind of owning yourself and just claiming I am a woman who has value as I am. Nothing else needs to be different.
Whether you have 100 clients or 1 client, starting tomorrow, you’re still the same person. And what I’m assuming is you have a lot to give to someone. You have a lot to give to people who need your help, and the kind of help that you have to offer, the kind of wisdom you have to offer. But in order to be able to offer that wisdom, you have to sink into yourself, which means embody, and feel okay, here’s me. Here’s Iris. I’m here. Otherwise you’re here trying to lose 10 kilos, and you’re here worrying about this and that.
And I want you to drop in and feel yourself and your life.
And that is your foundation. So it’s less about the money worry because it feels like you have enough right now to get you from here to the next month or here to the next many months. Is that true?
Iris: Here to the next month, at the minute, yeah.
Marc: Okay, great. So we have at least a month before you have to go begging on the streets. So far you’ve made it to this point without being homeless.
Marc: So I want to assume that that is a good reason to trust more in the universe and a good reason to trust more in your life because the proof is, you’ve made it this far. And thus far the world has been generous to you.
Iris: It’s the world. And it’s my family. And I was just thinking the other day, doing the Airbnb, I just realized that people from all over the world are actually supporting me because the people that come here are from all over the world.
Marc: What a brilliant affirmation. And not only are they supporting you, they’re coming to you to support you.
Marc: They’re not even all the way down there. They’re right here. That’s pretty wild. So that is exactly what I’m talking about, is you seeing through different eyes because what I strongly believe is that when a man or a woman hits the 50s, and especially even the 60s – I’m going to say you’re close enough to 60 – we create differently.
And what I mean is when you’re in your 20s, you create more by shoveling harder and digging harder and pushing harder. When you’re in your 60s, and you’re not at the poverty level, and you have some amount of resource, whether it’s physical resource, house resource, money resource, social resource, family resource, when you’re in your late 50s and your 60s, we create through more elegance.
We create by an understanding of how things work on the invisible level.
We create through being trusting of the universe. We create by understanding, oh, here’s how the flow has always worked for me. So I’m going to assume it’s going to continue to work that way. We create by knowing that in a lot of ways, you’re here to have a good life. You’re here to serve others. You want to serve others. Your life has a purpose. You deserve to be here. And you deserve to create that which you want to create because it’s in service. It truly is deserving. So you’re at the time in your life where you have all the ability to give back to the world.
Marc: When you truly are coming from a place of giving back to the world, the world tends to show up. That’s what I think.
Iris: Yeah, that’s true. It’s true. I need to learn to trust more and worry less, yeah.
Marc: And I want to say, and I’m being specific around words here, it’s less that you need to learn to trust more and worry less.
And it’s more that you need to practice trusting more and learning because you know how to trust.
There are places where you trust. And there are places where you drop out of trust. Or there are moments where you drop out of trust. But then there are other moments where you trust.
So you already know how to trust. It just goes in and out. So I’m saying to make it more willful, to notice when you’re dropping out of trust, sit back, or maybe sit on the veranda, sit on the porch, and breathe it in. And remember how good your life is. Or go to the beach, and remember in your body that I can trust. Look at this. Look out on the ocean, and know that you can trust.
So this is about you using all the abundant resources that you have because there’s a level where you’re quite wealthy. So I would love for you to start getting that not all your wealth is in the bottom line right now. Not all your wealth is in the bank, is what I’m saying. Not all your wealth is in cash. Okay, we’d like that to be different. So at the very least, let’s look at the other sources of wealth that are abundant in your life because when you can feel that wealth that’s in your life, you will feel lighter.
Iris: It’s true. That’s very true, yeah. And there is a lot of abundance here. There’s absolutely beautiful nature. There’s a beautiful town. There’s a beautiful house. There are a lot of friends. There’s the potential to do a lot of service and work in the world. There’s a great partner on the other side of the world, a great family. My son lives in Oregon. That’s another place I’d like to go. Yeah, there are a lot of good things.
Marc: There are a lot of good things, Iris. It’s your time to really sit back, look at your queendom, and get it. You really need to get it.
You really need to step up and claim being a queen.
And act like one. And the acting like one starts from in here. You have to realize that you have a queendom. The queendom doesn’t have to be a huge palace, even though it sounds like you have a nice home. So the queendom, yes, it’s where you live.
But everything in your life is your queendom. Finland is part of your queendom. Oregon is part of your queendom, certain people, the ocean. As soon as you step to a new place, as soon as you walk somewhere, that’s your queendom. It’s wherever you put your feet on the ground. So it comes from inside you. And it’s time to claim that place and graduate from being the teenage girl who still thinks she has to look a certain way. I think you’re almost bored with that, right? You’re a little bored with that.
Iris: Yeah, yeah.
Marc: I get it. So this is the end of the line for that part of your life. I want to make sure that we have another session. I don’t know, five, six, seven months from now, I’ll have somebody from my team reach out to you. And your homework assignment between now and the next six months, put the weight loss thing all the way to the side.
Don’t weigh yourself. Forget about it. Live your life. Do your gratitude journal. Have your boyfriend support you in remembering to be grateful. And begin to celebrate your life. And start taking the small steps to build your business as if you were planning a garden, no rush whatsoever. Let it be organic. Water it. Give it some fertilizer. But don’t stand over it and stress about it.
Marc: You know what I’m saying?
Iris: Sounds good. I do. Yeah, I do.
Marc: So how are you doing? How’s this feeling for you?
Iris: Oh, this feels fantastic. It’s just absolutely perfect because it is what I need to do, is notice when I’m feeling good and notice when I’m not feeling good and be grateful for what I have because I am very, very lucky. It’s very true.
And I think the advice to let my business grow organically is perfect as well, and also to look at it as a garden and to not be in a rush.
I keep thinking I have to be in a rush. And I have to create it quickly to start bringing in the money. And it’s not the way to do it. So no, it’s really great advice. And I’m going to start doing it straight away. So thank you.
Marc: I’m very happy for you. And it’s such a pleasure to meet you and be in this conversation and to really watch you kind of take this on and kind of take what’s worked for you from this conversation and begin to make it your own. I feel real good about where you’re headed.
Iris: Thank you very much. I really enjoyed this conversation and listening to you and all the wisdom that you bring, too. It was just beautiful. Yeah.
Marc: Iris, thank you so much.
Iris: Thank you.
Marc: And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. I hope this was helpful. I hope this was useful for you. I hope maybe you can see a little bit of you in us because there’s a lot of us in all of us. And we’re all connected in that way. And as always, my friends, lots more to come. Take care.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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