Kim has been struggling with her weight for 28 years, and in the last 3 years she’s been dealing with low energy and fatigue. She has a solid knowledge of health and nutrition and has worked hard to lose weight and get her energy back, but is now feeling stuck and discouraged. Nothing is working, and she’s hit a dead end. In Kim’s first session with Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating helped her discover an unexpected way through her weight and energy struggles that required Kim to radically change her dieting and health strategies, and her outlook on life. Tune in now as Marc does a follow-up session with Kim. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session, and the results are surprising!
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
To see Kim’s first session with Marc, click here
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. And I’m here today with Kim. Welcome, Kim.
Kim: Thank you, Marc.
Marc: So Kim and I met about nine months ago. And we had a session together. So I was wondering if you can catch us up and share with people how things have unfolded for you since that time and maybe just give us a couple of sentences about what you remember about what you had wanted to work on and just how things have been going.
Kim: Okay. I know it was really important to me to work on my weight and health, as well. Health definitely, as you get older, it moves up in importance more than the weight. And over the last nine months, I think I felt kind of disappointed when I knew it was time to redo and a check in and see how things are because I felt like I was caught up in that.
My whole life it feels like I get excited about things and I make them happen for a bit. But then I get out of routine. And then I think it’s never really going to happen. So I really got caught up in that energy of everything I said. I was so positive in February. I was looking into the microbiome. I was starting a new diet. And everything was very excited. Then I failed again.
Now, today, my energy, I’m very happy. I’m very positive. Again, I’m ready to try again. It just feels like a roller coaster a lot of times. I get in that space where, “I’m going to make this work. I know what’s right for me. I know what makes me feel good.” And then I get in that space of, “Yeah, it’s never really going to happen.
Marc: So what does failure for you mean?
Kim: Failure, I think, comes from when I get off a diet of wholesome, lots of greens, nuts, seeds, that kind of thing, not only again for weight because I know it affects my health. It affects my mood. It affects a lot of me, motivation, even desire, that kind of thing. If you’re away for a few days and you get out of routine, you just don’t have the same outlook on life, diet, motivation, that kind of thing.
Marc: So when you get out of your routine, what might you end up doing that’s different? So it sounds like you’re eating different. Is that it?
Kim: Yes. Yes.
Marc: And what kind of foods do you go for?
Kim: It depends. We were just in England for 10 days. And over there it was awful. It was good, fish and chips. I usually don’t eat gluten. It was really hard to avoid the gluten. It is hard to get in as many veggies as I like, that kind of thing. I would just go with the flow. Whatever was easy, I would grab and eat
And then once I come back, I find it takes a long time to get back in the routine of regular eating. I want more sugar. I want more…I guess more it’s the sugar when I came back, kind of thing.
Marc: So when you’re in a place like England and you’re off your diet, are you feeling at that point like, “Wow, this is affecting my energy. My body doesn’t feel good.” Or is that something you don’t notice until you get back home?
Kim: I had a great trip. We’d get up in the morning. We would go. We were busy. We were hiking. So definitely didn’t notice until I got home. And then when I got home, I crashed for a few days. The first day back, you almost miss a night’s sleep, too, going on the plane and that kind of thing. So sleep is important to me, too, I know for sure.
So, yeah, when I was there, I had a great time. Didn’t think about it. But then as soon as I got home, the first couple days, like I said, I felt really rough, really down, no energy. So I think that’s part of it. When I don’t have the energy, I don’t want to go and make a salad or cook up some veggies. I just want to grab something easy.
Marc: And then where do you go inside your mind when you find like, “Wow, I can’t really take care of myself with the foods I want to eat. And I don’t just have the energy or the willpower.” What do you do in your head? What do you say?
Kim: Just, “I’m missing out on living, on being passionate, on happiness, on joy. I feel like I’m robbing myself of a life.”
Marc: Got it. So I have a couple of thoughts about that. And let me just toss them out and see how they land for you. I’m with you. I totally get it. I’m a creature of routine. I like my routines. And when I’m doing my routines, I feel good because once you’ve been on planet Earth for a while, if you’re paying attention, you can eventually figure out relatively speaking what works for me with food, with sleep, with movement, and what doesn’t.
And I noticed this the last time we spoke. There’s a part of you that’s a little hard on yourself, and maybe a lot. And it’s one thing to go off my routine and not feel so good. It’s another thing to go off my routine, not feel so good, and kick myself while I’m down and get on top of myself and just hit and be guilty and be angry and just all the mind chatter that happens.
Because when I asked to the question, “Okay, so when did you feel the impact of your bad diet?” you said, “Well, it wasn’t until I got home. I had a great time there.” And I guess what I want to say is there’s a place in life where we’re not always going to have our routine. And there’s a place in life where we’re going to fall off the wagon even when we do have our routine.
And I think the key for you is learning how, when you fall off the wagon, to not make it so bad on yourself on top of what already doesn’t feel so good. So there’s going to be certain ways that, yeah, anyone who comes home from a trip to Europe, you’re going to have to adjust to the time zone, even if you had the greatest ship.
It happens for so many people. We go. We come back. And we crash a little bit because you’ve kind of got to get back to the routine. And you’re not having fun anymore necessarily.
So I just heard this part of you that honestly can be more gentle and compassionate with you and not go down this tunnel like you’ve done something wrong because even what you picked out as an example, England is a hard place to eat quality food. It just is. That’s not an easy one. So it would make sense to me that you would go off your diet. And it would make sense to me that when you come home, you would have some small period of readjustment time and crashing.
And all and saying to you is this a place where, yeah, we might go off our routine. But the way you punish yourself internally, I think that’s where the challenge is. Because my sense is it’s maybe 1/20 as bad as you think it is for your body and your psyche and your life because it’s easy to say, “Oh, well, I’m punishing myself. And I’m not really living my life.” No, you just had a great time living your life. And now your body is readjusting to the bad food that you ate.
You could easily look at it like that. And does it feel great? No. But, okay, that’s the cost sometimes of life on earth. How does that land for you when I say that?
Kim: I feel that I do a lot of work on being gentle with myself. And overall I try not to do negative self talk, that kind of thing. Yeah, I am hard on myself. I lost my train of thought there, sorry. But I guess I know the next step in trying to be more forgiving of myself.
And also, yeah, I said England was amazing. The whole trip was really good. But then when I come home, I don’t know how to live like that at home, it feels. And that’s when I think it’s the food that pulls me down.
Marc: Yeah. So I think that maybe part of it is a bigger of life lesson in learning more how to feel at home in our body.
Kim: Yeah, that resonates.
Marc: It’s like your body, to me, when you talk about it, it doesn’t feel home for you. It feels like place of struggle.
Kim: Yes, that’s huge.
Marc: And it’s understandable. Understandable. But when this place is not home, then it’s hard to find home. And then home has to be really perfect. “Okay, so here I am. I’ve got to eat right. And I’ve got to exercise just right. And everything has to be just right because when everything is right around me, then I can feel home in this body.” And that’s true a lot of times. If I do all the right conditions around me, I can really feel at home in my body. But how do you feel at home in your body when it’s freezing outside? How do you feel at home in your body when it’s hot outside? How do you feel at home in your body when you’re in an argument?
How do you feel at home in your body when you’re naturally depressed because life is hard right now? And how do you feel at home in your body when you’re feeling really happy and your celebrating? The body has to feel like home for you. And that’s a deeper cut. And it’s more about, I think, your personal/spiritual journey at this point.
And I’ll tell you, on one level, in my experience, it’s about choosing to let your body be home even though it ain’t perfect. Even though it looks like this, even though it weighs like this, even though it’s this tall or it’s this blonde or it’s this brown, whatever it is. This is my home. And there’s a certain amount, When you accept that this is my home, something that happens. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But something different happens.
What do you think would help you feel that, “My body is home, even though it ain’t perfect.”
Kim: I know when I start to get in that space where I’m down and thinking, “Okay, I’m never going to make improvements,” as soon as I turn to meditation, spiritual talks and teachers—there’s so much out there—it really lifts my energy. So reading a good spiritual book, that kind of stuff, I really enjoy.
And also I guess like right now work isn’t fulfilling. Like I told you last time, we left our jobs, our business of 27 years over a year ago now. And I’m happy. I’m getting out part-time. But I think this has been huge finding out who I am, who I am now, not with little kids. I have grown kids. I took that role of a mother and that was everything. It was so passionate about my kids.
And then my husband and I, reconnecting, that was our first trip without our kids really. So it was hard to leave. I wasn’t going to go because of that. So there’s definitely a journey there and a lot of learning there. And I think we’re doing well with it. So I’m thankful for that. But definitely spiritual growth is big for me.
Marc: Yeah. And when I would love to suggest to you is let your definition of spiritual growth include loving your bodies and letting it to be home no matter what. Make that a spiritual practice. “My body is home no matter what.”
It would be no different than coming home to your house and starting to judge your house and starting to wish you had a different house and starting to try to change your house. And, yeah. Okay, fine. We can work on the house. There’s something to be said of, “Okay, this is what it is. And I’m going to learn to relax into this for a little bit until further notice, until I have to do something and start rearranging all the furniture. What if I just took a deep breath and said, ‘This is going to be home for a little while.’”
And let that feel spiritual, whatever spiritual feels like for you, which is probably a relaxation, which is probably a place of comfort that you go to and a place of knowingness. So I’m saying that could include your body, even for moments because once you get there for just a moment, you start to realize, “Oh, I could stay there for two moments now.”
And it’s my personal belief that when you let your body feel like home, no matter what, as it is right now, there’s going to be a big shift for you. And I don’t know what that looks like. You don’t know what that looks like. But I’ve seen it happen. Because a lot of times we just try to change what’s in the mirror. And we’re not really changing how we look at what’s in the mirror.
Kim: I feel like I have been working on that a long time. But I know I’m not there. I’m 30 pounds heavier than I was a few years ago. But I feel like I’m more accepting. I have more acceptance of who I am now. But it really resonated when said about your body and home. And that’s almost like I’m happier away from home metaphorically, like even my house. So that really resonates.
Marc: Yeah. And I’ll say to that point sometimes we do have to step away from the usual in order to change things up, in order to create a shift. So it is great to go travel. It is great to get away from your home, so to speak, and just see, “Who am I in this different environment?” And that gives you the opportunity to kind of rediscover home in a different place because the reality is where ever you go has to be home. It has to be because we’re taking around the same body and the same being wherever we go.
I know when I first felt at home in my body for the first time, it was a revelation for me because I grew up sickly and asthmatic and my body, I just wanted to escape it and fix it. And it wasn’t a safe place. So healthwise, it didn’t feel safe. A
nd oftentimes, yeah, we have our health staff. But at the same time, what’s going on in the mind? Are we making the health things worse by the thoughts we think in our mind? “Oh, you’re terrible. You’re too this. You’re too that. You’re not good enough. You should have fixed this a long time ago.” The mind is something we very much have a say in in terms of what it says.
So I’m thinking how it’s a practice. It’s a practice to find home in your body. And it can take a lifetime for some of us. A lot of people never get there because they’re just not focused on it. And they don’t even know to think that. And they don’t even realize that they’re checked out their bodies. So by finding home in our body, we’re going against the grain because life is often asking us, the media, culture, is asking us to step out of our bodies and focus on this TV and focus on that and put your attention elsewhere and be something different.
We’re always being sold products that promise us we’re going to look different. And there’s something about pulling back and saying, “Okay, here’s the horse I’m going to be riding for a while. I’d love to see you find home in your body as it is.
Kim: Thank you. Thank you. I will keep working on that.
Marc: And I will keep cheering you on.
Kim: Thank you.
Marc: And I so appreciate you just being honest and willing to share about that because it’s so personal and it so runs deep. And I know from experience you don’t just speak for yourself right now. You’re speaking for so many of us who have this challenge or face this challenge or have had this challenge and don’t even realize that we have this challenge and need to start waking up to finding home in who we are. What a beautiful act and what a beautiful gift to give yourself. Wow.
But I want to say to you there’s nothing to do in the outer world to do that. It’s a feeling that you invoke. And you may wish to notice, “What are the moments I feel at home in my body?” even if it’s a moment. “Okay, when I’m outside with my dog or when I’m in this certain place or when I’m in doing certain things.” What are the moments where you naturally feel at home? And then really notice that feeling.
And then in the moments when you’re not feeling at home in your body, you can just go within and visualize, “Yeah, when I’m in that power spot over there or when I’m with this person, I feel at home in my body. How can I invoke that right now?” Just so I can play with bringing in that feeling. It’s an invocation. We’re asking something to come in. We’re appealing to something higher in us as opposed to going down into a spin cycle of, “Oh, you’re no good. You have to fix yourself. You have to try to figure this out.”
So it’s remembering that feeling and asking it to come in.
Kim: Okay, thank you.
Marc: That’s my understanding of it, anyway.
Kim: No, it makes sense to really take notice at those times, like you say, when you feel at home in your body and take note of that feeling, as well.
Marc: I think you can do this, Kim. I really do. And it’s really about loving yourself into this process and respecting yourself into this process. Yeah?
Marc: Okay. Kim, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Kim: Well, thank you. Thanks for all your insight. It means a lot to me. Thank you.
Marc: You’re welcome. And thank you, everybody, for tuning in once again. I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. There will be lots more to come, my friends. You take care.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2018