Home » Ending the Cycle of Self-Punishment with Food – In Session with Marc David

Ending the Cycle of Self-Punishment with Food – In Session with Marc David

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Podcast Episode 394 - Ending the Cycle of Self-Punishment with Food

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know it’s not so easy. In fact, it can be incredibly challenging (just look at all the billions of dollars we collectively spend on weight loss every year). 

So that begs the question: why is losing weight so hard?

Many of us are highly educated about health and wellness, have access to healthy food, and have a lot of motivation to lose weight – and yet we still struggle.

Weight Loss and Self-Punishment Session

While challenges with weight loss are multifactorial, today we look at one of the hidden psychological obstacles that often gets in the way.

And that’s feeling like the things we must do to lose weight are a form of self-punishment

It can seem like we’re being forced to do things that we don’t enjoy, and eat foods we don’t love, and the real kicker? We must do them F.O.R.E.V.E.R. 

Healthy decisions like:

  • Eating vegetables at every meal
  • Minimizing processed foods and sugary snacks
  • Fitting in time at the gym most days
  • Prioritizing meditation or yoga over Netflix or surfing the web…

… can have us feeling like there’s no longer any pleasure or enjoyment in life.

Friends, as long as weight loss feels like self-punishment, we’re always going to be in a battle with ourselves – like 46-year old guest coaching client, Adrianne.

Adrianne is eager to lose weight to improve her cholesterol and joint pain. But everything she would have to do to get there – no more emotional eating or midnight snacking, eating more vegetables, exercising – feels like self-punishment.

All Adrianne wants is to feel freedom – but as Marc points out, it’s pretty hard to find freedom in weight loss when getting there has us feeling imprisoned. 

As you’re about to learn, a big part of the weight loss journey is reversing the old belief, “I must punish myself in order to lose weight.” 

That’s what this episode is all about: learning how to transform this negative belief that holds so many of us back. So let’s dive in together…

We’d love to hear your own experience or thoughts about this episode – please drop us a comment below!


P.S. Interested in learning more about emotional eating and finally finding freedom with food? Would you like some deeper wisdom and guidance in your emotional eating journey? If so, we’d love for you to learn more about our special program, The Emotional Eating Breakthrough. This is a 10-week online transformational experience that’s designed to help you finally find peace with food. You’ll learn from the originator of the field of Eating Psychology, Marc David – and you’ll be guided through a true mind, body, heart and soul approach combining the best of psychology, science, and personal development. The powerful tools and techniques you’ll discover in the program address the root cause of why we emotionally eat, forever changing your relationship with food.

New Course…

The Emotional Eating Breakthrough

Are you struggling with overeating, stress eating, or emotional eating? 
Learn more about our new Emotional Eating Course.

Podcast Episode 394 - Ending the Cycle of Self-Punishment with Food

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Ending the Cycle of Self-Punishment with Food – In Session with Marc David

Marc David  

Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. We are in the Psychology of Eating Podcast with Adrian today. Welcome, Adrian.

Adrianne  

Thanks for having me.

Marc David  

Glad we’re here, glad we’re doing this. So the idea is, this is our first time that we get to meet and see if we can move you forward and get you where you want to go. If you could wave your magic wand, and got whatever you wanted with food and body, what would that be for you?

Adrianne  

For me, it would be centered around freedom. A lot of my challenges from childhood that have affected my whole life have been centered around limiting. For example, I have chronic pain, which limits my ability to get outside. So, around food and body, I would like a sense of freedom, and to be able to be in my body in a way that allows me to participate in life, and activities, and the things that I want to do. At this point, partially due to pain, but also due to size and weight, there are just things that I’m limited in. For example, when I go on vacation with my family, my teenagers are between the ages of 14 and 21 right now and they like to do fun activities that are really active like ziplining, going to a carnival, or riding a roller coaster. For me, it’s really hard being comfortable even on an airplane. My car needs to be replaced, and has needed to be replaced for several years. It’s not getting any better, and I just don’t feel like I fit in any of the cars I go to look at. So, my size is a limitation. I just want that freedom to be able to participate in life without these limitations.

Marc David  

So, the limitations are weight and pain. Is that correct?

Adrianne  

Pretty much, yeah. I’ve been on a healing journey with my body and food since I was conscious of it, which is a long, long time. But I’ve been really focused on it for the last three years. I’ve made a lot of progress in terms of body acceptance. I wouldn’t say that I’ve gone past acceptance, like I definitely don’t have a real sense of love and joy in my body or for my body, but it definitely doesn’t stop me from doing things. It might come into my head like, “oh gosh, I don’t have anything to wear” or “what will people think of me?”, but I’m pretty good at kind of just swatting those thoughts away and going: “what’s important about this?”…”what’s important about this is seeing people I love, what’s important about this is spending time with people I love.” So, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in that way. 

Adrianne  

One of the things that I’ve been working on really hard for the last three years is not making food my enemy. I had a hatred for food to the point where I wished that somebody would just make a wafer, and that was all I needed to eat in a day and that would be the only time I would have to think about putting something in my mouth. I’ve come a long way from there, in terms of not seeing food as the enemy. But in the last three years of not dieting, and of not saying “no” to myself, I would start to think: “you can’t say yes to everything” when I would want to eat cookies or eat ice cream.  At first it was like I’m not saying “no” because it’s my practice to not say “no”. Then at some point, I was just gaining and gaining weight and I thought: maybe I need to start saying “no”, but every time I would start to say “no”, I would just fall back into that mental trap of “food is the enemy” and punishing myself again.

Adrianne  

It would feel like a punishing act to not eat something. So, I was like: “I don’t want to do that. I’m not dieting anymore. I’m not punishing myself with food”, but how can I get to that place where I’m consistently making healthy choices for myself, and not feeling like I’m punishing? That’s part of it, and then the other part of it is that I think that my diet is okay…it’s middle-to-high in terms of overall health…but I don’t have the activity, largely due to the pain, to balance enjoying things that are higher calorie.

Marc David  

How much weight do you want to lose?

Adrianne  

I don’t want to have a number, and I haven’t had a scale for a long time, but I’ve been thinking because I knew you’d ask this question. The last time I felt really good in my body…when I was strong, and I had energy…was about 10 years ago, and I weighed about 100 pounds less than what I weigh right now.

Marc David  

How old are you these days? 

Adrianne  

Marc David  

So, when would you say your challenges with food began? What’s your earliest memory of: something’s going on here?

Adrianne  

Way back. I would sneak sweets and things like that. It was always a really shameful time when my mom would lay down the hammer and be like: “you have to clean this room” when there would be containers and wrappers and hard cookies behind the bed.  I was always trying to soothe with food even from age four and on.

Marc David  

How did your mom and your parents respond to that? Did they notice? Did they care?

Adrianne  

They noticed. I mean…they cared, but I don’t remember. My mom didn’t put me on a diet or anything, but she struggled with her weight. So, I watched her have a maternal past history of lots of issues with food and body image. Everybody felt like they were overweight, and we were always talking about who had lost weight, or who looked good or who didn’t look as good…that kind of thing. My mom was also a cook, so she was home, and we almost always had cookies around, unless she was doing Weight Watchers in which case we didn’t have cookies around, but we had a lot of goodies around and my mom definitely showed love through food.

Adrianne  

Are you working these days?

Adrianne  

I am, and I’m not. I’m in my clinicals for my graduate program in marriage and family therapy.

Marc David  

Oh, congratulations! 

Adrianne  

Thanks. 

Marc David  

So, at some point, you’re going to be seeing clients and patients?

Adrianne  

Yeah, I’m seeing them now, but I’m under supervision. 

Marc David  

Understood.

Marc David  

Okay. Do you do that online or in person?

Adrianne  

Both.

Marc David  

How do you see your next 30 years unfolding if you can sort of have the life that you wanted? Forget about food, body, and health for a moment. Let’s just say those are all perfect. What is Adrianne’s wish for this next chunk of her life? The next 20-30 years?

Adrianne  

I can see myself having a pretty steady life. My partner loves his work and doesn’t plan on retiring soon, so mostly I’d like to continue living here, and seeing clients as well as having a balance of time to myself and time with my work. I would love to get back into hiking and be more active again. I’d like to have the freedom to travel by myself a bit… that would be great. I think that’d be a big part of my adventure piece…just going to places and kind of discovering new places on my own. I’d love to travel with my partner too, but his idea of adventure is different than mine, so I think it would be more just me. Also deepening the friendships that I have. My dream forever has been to be out-of-town, and to have goats…that’s been a decade’s long dream…and just to live closer to a wilder nature. My son, he’s young, he’s 21…but we’re talking about 30 years… so, I would definitely love to have an active role in the lives of any grandchildren that might come along. I’d love to be a part of that.

Marc David  

So, when did the issue of chronic pain start for you?

Adrianne  

I started losing one of the discs in my back and was having intense pain when my son was born 21 years ago. After that, it was intermittent, and then it got really bad again after my daughter’s birth who is now 14. Then, about eight or nine years ago, I started collapsing. I just couldn’t walk anymore, and I had to use sticks to walk. The pain was different. It was chronic pain, it was intense pain, and it went on for months. After that, I had bouts with chronic pain. Even when I was a kid, I would have pains that would just go on for weeks, and my mom was always just like: “oh, she’s so sensitive…we never know what’s gonna be wrong with her next.” So, in some ways, it feels like it’s been with me for a long time, and it has taken over my world and my ability to be active and to live the life that I want to live over the last seven years.

Marc David  

Is the pain confined to your back?

Adrianne  

No, not at all. It used to be that I would have random pains in this joint, or that joint. They used to think I had arthritis, but I don’t have any of the markers, and it doesn’t show up on X-rays. So, right now, most of my pain is in my right shoulder, a spot near my left hip, and a spot in the middle of my right thigh. I also have things that they can give me a diagnosis for that hurt. I was told by a doctor a year or so ago that I’m a “zebra”. That is, my pain is like nothing that anybody knows how to name. They’ll say: “someday they’ll have a name for my problem, but right now they don’t know.” Some doctors will say: “well, it makes sense that you have pain, you’re missing all these discs, and you have shredded tendons”, and then other doctors will say: “there’s a lot of people walking around with a body that’s in just your shape or worse that don’t have pain.”

Adrianne  

Have you had any kind of holistic help or gone into the natural or functional medicine world for an assessment?

Adrianne  

Yep, I did do that. It kind of petered out with food allergies. I wasn’t supposed to have any citrus, and the list was as long as my arm. I tried for about three months, but then I was like: “okay, so I can never have salsa again, and I can’t have any fruit….whatever.” That didn’t feel like the thing. I was committed to it long enough that I felt like if in three months I’m not feeling any better at all then it doesn’t feel like I am going down the right road. It was also just too expensive to afford. What I’ve done more on the holistic side of things in terms of pain is…I’m blanking out on the name of it right now…there’s a famous doctor who has a program where you do journaling and stuff like that. So, I’ve done a lot of inquiry into the pain, and also learned how to manage my pain from the standpoint of: “oh, here’s the pain coming up, thank you for trying to protect me right now, but we’re gonna go ahead and do this thing anyway.” You know, that kind of thing.

Marc David  

Was that the work of Dr. John Sarno by any chance?

Adrianne  

It was based on Dr. Sarno, yes. It was another doctor that’s doing his same kind of thing. TMS I think it was called.

Marc David  

So, back to weight. You want to lose weight because you want to feel more free? 

Adrianne  

Yeah. 

Marc David  

When you described freedom, basically what I heard was: the freedom to be able to kind of play with some of the younger people in your world.

Adrianne  

Yeah. Even my dog. Yeah.

Marc David  

So, freedom to feel like you can play and not be limited by your body. Freedom to feel like you can sit in an airplane or a car and not feel like this is not comfortable. 

Adrianne  

Yeah. 

Marc David  

So, what helps you lose weight?

Adrianne  

I mean, I’ve lost weight in various ways. It seems like the older I’ve gotten, the more resistant to weight loss my body is. The last time I lost a chunk of weight was using intermittent fasting. I was doing a four-hour eating window. That was horrible. I eventually just got to like an eight-hour eating window, and that felt better. But there’s always this kind of sense inside that’s like: I hate this. 

Marc David  

Right.

Marc David  

It’s interesting, because in order to have a lighter body, which would then equal freedom, you have to do all these things that feel like un-freedom.

Adrianne  

Right! Definitely, yes. It doesn’t, for some reason, feel like it’s a choice to be healthier, to eat healthier, to choose healthier things. I don’t know why that doesn’t feel like a choice. It feels like a way of limiting me.

Marc David  

Yeah. So, the methods to downsize your body are limiting, but you want the ultimate result of freedom. So, that’s a conundrum. If I was you, I would feel a little stuck there. I would feel like this is an impossible kind of situation because I want to feel free, and in order to feel free, I have to place what seems like limitations on myself. I have to say “no”, when I don’t really feel like saying “no”, and I have to do all these things that feel like they’re controlling me and controlling my diet. That’s not so fun.

Adrianne  

Yeah, not so fun, and it feels punitive. It feels like it’s too easy to get back into a place where everything I do is just kind of hurting myself. I’ve had to do so much work, and I’m lucky to actually be able to do the work, and to be able to be where I’m at right now with not having to punish myself in all these ways.

Marc David  

So, I’m seeing a couple of different things going on here, and I’ll name them and see if any of this is useful for you.  Feeling like this is punitive (i.e. “I’m being punished if I do these behaviors.”)…even though nobody’s making you do them, and the food police are not coming to your door and saying: ‘you got to do this’…you’re the one that makes the choice, and you’re the one who feels that this is punitive. When we feel like we’re being punished, generally speaking, that’s the child’s mind within us. “You are restricting me, I’m being restricted…which means I’m being punished, and I’m a bad girl.” “If I wasn’t being punished, I feel much better about myself, and all this stuff would be easier.” So, there’s a very, I think, active little girl in you that has a strong radar for punishment. Anything that looks, smells, acts, or tastes like punishment, you ain’t gonna’ do it. You might do it temporarily….

Adrianne  

But not now. So, the punishment that I received as a kid, I took that on, and I punished myself over all the years with anything. I was always striving and whipping myself into, you know, not sleeping to get something done or to get something accomplished. My partner and my kids called me out on that some years back. They were like: “we can’t pick up the pieces anymore when you fall apart.” My pattern used to be push, push, push, push, push, push, push…punish, punish, punish until I collapsed and had to be rescued. Now I go through the process of being like: “I am my own moderator. I can be the one that puts brakes on right now”. This process not only allows me to serve myself and maintain some sanity, but also helps me maintain my commitment to these people in my life who love me, and to be fair to them so they don’t have to come in and try to bail me out of whatever big situation I’ve gotten myself into. So, it definitely felt like a limitation to my freedom to do that, but it didn’t feel like punishment to make those changes. So, I’m not sure why it does with food?

Marc David  

Well, you’re slowly progressing, and this is what progress looks like. You’ve been able to make some great strides in yourself, in your own personal growth, in your own transformation, and now you’re at this place called: “hmm, I have some sensitivity around the feeling that I can be punished around food.” That punishment is coming from within, and it’s old voices. Not only is it old voices from the people in your universe, it’s voices from all over the planet. You cannot be born on planet Earth, practically speaking, and not hear the punishing voices. It has been delivered to you day-and-night since you were young.

Marc David  

I think a piece of what’s feeding that sense of: “oh, this feels like punishment”…”if I manage my diet in a certain way, if I control, and if I eat in a certain way”…is this old remnant of self-punishment: “I need to punish myself because…fill in the blank. Because this is what my body looks like…because this is what my body weighs.” So, I think underneath that is: “I deserve to be punished.” Otherwise, “if I wasn’t being punished, I wouldn’t look this way…I wouldn’t weigh this amount…I wouldn’t even be in this situation.” “I am being punished; punished by God, punished by the world, punished by unseen forces.” 

Marc David  

Anything that reeks of punishment, that smells like punishment, is just going to push that punishment button. “No, wait a second, I don’t want to feel punished”… you’re already doing that to yourself, right? If I’m the type of person who is really sensitive to criticism, even if it’s constructive criticism, chances are, I’m being very self-critical. And because my self-criticism is so strong, the moment I think it’s coming from the outside, I want to shoot it down because it just doesn’t feel good. So, part of it is starting to notice that core place in you that says: “I somehow deserve to be punished. This body deserves to be punished. This body’s not worthy.”

Adrianne  

Yeah. I think the healing that had to happen when I stopped controlling food and started losing weight was around this core fear that was: “if I get any bigger, everyone will leave me. I’ll be alone.” You know, those really core things. So, as those fears were coming up, and as my weight was coming on and getting more and more, it kind of felt like: “do you love me now? Do you still love me? Are you still here?” So, I definitely have a sense of more security than I had before now that the lack of security has lessened. I like what you’re saying about this idea that this is what the journey looks like…this is what progress looks like. I’ve been having that feeling like: “okay, I’ve been at this for three years, and how long is this going to take?” When am I going to even out and be able to be that adult in my life that says: “let’s do something healthy for lunch instead of that…”

Marc David  

Great question! When is this going to get all better so I don’t have to deal with this nonsense? Somebody just give me the calendar, show me the date. These are reasonable questions, because you and I, we want certainty. “I want to know. I don’t want to be in this nonsense for very long.” So, the answer to the question is: we don’t know how long. It’s the kind of question, as you know, that doesn’t really further the action. It keeps you in child’s mind like: “when is this punishment going to be over?” So, I think there’s a place where…a little bit beneath your awareness, existence feels like a punishment.

Adrianne  

Yeah, definitely. That isn’t below the surface. That’s what I’m working with. I’m earning my security. I didn’t learn it, I didn’t get it, but I’m earning it, and it will come. That’s what I’m feeling right now. I’ve come a long way on this journey, and I don’t think I’ve really appreciated how far I’ve come or understood how long it took to get to each goal and those posts along the way. Those posts are coming. It just takes a long time.

Marc David  

It takes whatever time it needs, yes. It’s part of the journey, part of the learning. I’m always looking at our relationship with food, our relationship with our body as a great teacher. Sometimes, you don’t want to be learning those lessons. There’s a lot of: “why do I have to learn this lesson? Why can I learn that lesson?”

Adrianne  

And “why am I still learning this lesson?’

Marc David  

Yes, and great questions, but they don’t have clear answers. All we know is our relationship with food and body is a great teacher. So I’m always wanting to listen to: “okay, what am I learning here?” There are certain things you have learned very quickly and learned very well, and there are certain things that it takes us more time, for whatever reason. Part of your task is to take away the time frame. Kinda’ like taking away the scale, taking away the numbers, taking away the measurement. I know that’s not easy, but you’re gonna feel more free if there’s no time constraint. Right now the time constraint is called: “when the heck is this gonna be over?” That feels un-free, and right now, I think a really good affirmation to keep returning to is: “my life is not a punishment, my life is a blessing.” Let’s see if you can find positive words to reverse that old belief. Then, start to look for evidence of how your life is a blessing; how your body has been a blessing for you; how your journey and your body has been a blessing because right now, the child’s mind in you looks for evidence that all of this is a punishment: “I want to lose weight, but I got to punish myself. This is a punishing existence.”

Adrianne  

Yeah, a big part of my journey has been learning how to sit with my own discomfort. I could distract myself in mania, or I could numb myself in depression, and all of the compulsions and addictions that come along with those things, but I’ve been shedding them over the course of time, sorting this one from that one. So, it feels like I’m always getting closer to the core. When I went to the doctor last year, they told me that my cholesterol is too high, and then I went to another doctor for an annual exam. She asked if my doctor talked to me about your cholesterol because It’s really bad. I’m like: “okay, the reality is that I’m on this journey, and the journey takes however long the journey takes. Right now, this is where I’m at.” But then I have this reality where: “you’re putting a lot of stress on your joints, and your cholesterol is out of control.” So, I’m like: “how do I stay on the journey without damaging myself? How do I keep letting this stuff damage me in the process?” 

Marc David  

Yes. That’s a powerful question. You’re learning to harness your mind more, and not let it torture you, and not let it punish you, and not let outside voices have the power to turn into punishment voices. You will go to experts, and oftentimes experts can be very fear-based, and they can be punishing. They will treat a test, and not a person. You’re a person. You’re not a test, you’re not a cholesterol level. It’s easy to let that scare us. It’s easy to go: “oh okay, this weight is putting all this pressure on my joints”, but right now what you can learn to manage is the pressure you put on yourself, and the places where you don’t allow yourself to be free. The reality is, you can still have fun with your loved ones, and you can still have fun with the younger ones, and not be on a freakin’ zipline, you know? It’s like: “you guys, I’ll see you at the bottom! I’ll have tea and cookies waiting for us.”

Adrianne  

That’s what I’ve done, but I feel sad. I miss adventure. I miss feeling strong, and empowered. I miss being in the mountains, and being there by myself, you know?

Marc David  

Perfectly reasonable. You can miss that, and still not let that come under the headline of: “…and this is a punishment, and this is restricting my freedom.” I miss being 23 years old, and having unlimited energy, and thinking I was gonna live forever. I really miss that, but I’m not letting that enslave me. I’m not letting that put handcuffs on me, and make me feel like I am un-free because I can’t have this experience that I used to have. I miss it, and both can be true. Yes, you can miss it. Yes, you can grieve for it. Yes, you can wish for it…and, I’m still free! You’re still free because you’re still alive. You still have love in your life. Your weight has gone here and there, and nobody’s left you. The people in your life still love you, and they care about you. It’s beginning to gather evidence that the worst-case scenarios don’t actually happen for you.

Adrianne  

Not anymore. 

Marc David  

So good things happen, and the body is always going to be a place of challenge and pain because…welcome to the human race. There are people who will gladly change places with you, relative to whatever ailments they’re facing. They would love to have your challenge. I think a lot of what’s happening for you is also…sort of your own ongoing spiritual reckoning: “how do I make peace with the existence I’ve been given, and the journey that I’ve been given?” There’s a part of us that’s going to want a different journey, “I want a different journey. I want a different body. I want a different kind of punishment…not this one.”

Adrianne  

I feel like I’ve done a lot of work around that. I’m really grateful, and I can see the benefits in the bad stuff that nobody should have to have like…”yeah, if I didn’t have that, then I wouldn’t have this skill or gift or ability to be able to help someone else.” So, there’s a lot of me that feels pretty accepting of my journey up to this point. Something you said earlier about blessings…for whatever reason, it just popped into my head that I have not necessarily considered it a blessing that I have the choice to eat healthy things; that just hasn’t really been a thing on my mind. Just hearing that today, I was like: “oh, yeah, what a blessing to be able to have a choice to open the fridge and have food there that’s healthy and good for me.” Those moments when I open the fridge and I’m like: “I don’t want to eat any of that”, and I close it, and then I eat a cookie instead, I don’t think I’m thinking about that food in the fridge as being a blessing.

Marc David  

Yes. The opportunity, and the knowledge, and the wisdom that you have, it’s a blessing. You don’t think about that because much of the time when you’re making choices around food, it’s the little girl in you who has her antenna up for: “is this punishing or not? If it’s punishing, I ain’t doing it anymore.” So, the good news is, I love your strategy. I love the strategy that you adopted called: “you know, something? I’m not going to restrict myself anymore. I’m going to learn how to say ‘yes’.” I truly believe that was a wise choice because you need the feeling called “yes!” in your body. This is what “yes!” feels like when you’ve got all this noise in your head going: “no, no, no, no, no, no, no” which creates imbalance. You needed to feel “yes!”. A part of that “yes!” is in response to the intense “no!”.

Adrianne  

Like the pendulum swing, right? 

Marc David  

Yes, so instead of “no! you’re a bad girl if you do this”… “yes! you can eat whatever you want!” Can you see the extremes there?

Adrianne  

My life has been about extremes, so it makes perfect sense.

Marc David  

You are literally learning how to take the middle-road. When you drive the car, you get where you want to go if you’re swerving, but man, you’re taking a risk, and it’s not going to feel very safe. Instead, we just go straight down the road. So instead of: “no, you can’t have these things!” or “yes, I can eat whatever I want!”…the adult Adrienne needs to step in; the adult in you, the good mother in you, the Queen in you, the royalty in you. She needs to step in and say: “you know, I’m going to make these choices.” There’s nothing to do with punishment because you’re the Queen, you’re the Queen of your own queen-dom. Queen-dom starts with your mind. Your queendom is your body, your queendom is your household, and all the people in your world. You’re the queen of that, and there’s nobody punishing you. There’s nobody punishing you except the old voice in your head which is a young voice, it’s a little girl’s voice. 

Marc David  

Now, instead of saying extreme, “no”, or extreme, “yes”, it’s going to be your job to start to find the middle-road if you wish to lose weight. My guess is that you have a lot of knowledge right now. So, I’m not going to go into the “here’s a way to lose weight.” The best way for you to lose weight is going to be to do something that feels truly sustainable for you like: “this is a good way for me to eat…yeah, I can do intermittent fasting, I can eat these healthy foods, but you know something? I need to have a fun food once a day, and I need to have a really forbidden food once a week.” Whatever it is, you need to find out what works for you so that in your inner world you’re satisfying #1 the Queen, the adult in you who wants to manage your body in a good way. That takes an adult to do that. The adult in you has to be home. The woman in you, the Queen in you…needs to be home. She needs to be making the choices. She needs to notice. As soon as you feel punished, I suggest you say to yourself: “oh, that’s a little girl in me. That’s so sweet. You’re not being punished.” 

Adrianne 

“The little girl wants another cookie. I understand. Let’s have our dinner first. We’ll see if you’re still hungry.” Yeah, it’s so interesting to me. My mom was like a child for me growing up, and in that sense, it was like she was not there as a parent. I felt insecure having this child-like mom, and I haven’t really thought about how I show up in that same way for my kids. They’re looking to me all the time, less now that they’re out of the house, but I think that contributes to a sense of insecurity for them when they see me acting like a child. I don’t even think I’m acting like a child, but they see it, and they know what it is.

Marc David  

Yes. So, chances are if your mom was child-like in those ways, you’re not going to feel secure. A child feels secure when there are two adults in the house or when there’s an adult in the house.

Adrianne  

Who are kind, and in charge.

Marc David  

Yes. So, if there’s no adults, essentially there’s a part of you that’s going to stay that child looking for the adult, looking for the security. We end up looking for security and love in all the wrong places: “well, if I have the right body, if I have the right shape…whatever, then you’re gonna love me, and then I’ll finally feel secure.” In a way, your task is to now be a better mother for you than your mother was.

Adrianne  

Yeah. Recently, I spent about a week and a half sending an email to my mom asking not to have any contact for a while. It was like: “I don’t want you to hurt me anymore.” It was a realization of what you’re talking about. I’m in charge of this whole situation, and I’m 46 years old. I keep going to the same people; I keep going to my mom expecting her to be able to give me what I didn’t get all those years, and all these years. I realize that I keep trying to outsource that. The source needs to be here. As long as I keep feeling like there’s a well to dip my bucket in, I’m gonna keep reaching even though the well is dry. If I could maybe just get a break from that I’ll have a sense of: this is where my well needs to be.

Marc David  

Yes, exactly. It needs to be you. You’re learning how to be the mother to yourself today that you’ve needed. That mother shows up, she helps you make good choices, and she creates guidelines. She creates boundaries. She’s looking out for you, and there’s no negative talk. We’re doing this because we love you. You’re making certain choices because you love you. What a beautiful place to be for you. I get that it’s taken you a long time to get here, and a lot of hard work.

Adrianne  

I’m lucky to be here, though. I could be 76 having this conversation, and I’m not, so I’m like: “okay, like, this is good, we have time.”

Marc David  

So true. It’s so true, and the beauty is that you have love in your life. That’s a place to feel secure; to remind yourself: “I have that. I can rest in that. I can feel secure in that.” You already have security, it’s just sort of noticing it, and then letting yourself feel it. 

Adrianne  

Yeah, letting myself feel it is a big piece. There are moments where I can see it, and I cognitively know that it’s happening, but I’m still like, in the back of my mind: “is this real?” Like, actually happening? Pinch me, I think I’m dreaming. I haven’t quite settled into it. It feels like it’s a gift that’s been given and that can be taken away at any minute.

Marc David  

So, I just want to come back for just one final pass around the topic of you and your weight. To me, this is from my perspective, your goal is not to lose weight. Your goal is to be your best self. It is to be the best expression of you. The best expression of you is where you start to step into your adult, your Queen, your queen-hood. You feel secure, and you understand that when you’re taking care of yourself, that’s not punishment. As you do that, having your natural weight becomes easier because you’re not fighting against yourself. You’re not opening up the refrigerator and being in an argument in your own brain, and feeling like you’re being punished if you have to eat a vegetable, and you can’t eat the sweet. Weight loss is going to come as a side-effect of you being your best self. You’re going to be able to follow the good guidelines as you understand that I’m doing this for me out of love.

Marc David  

I’m not punishing myself anymore. My life is not a punishment. 

Adrianne  

It strikes me that on the spectrum of all the things that you can do to reinforce a sense of self love, that feeding could be one of the hardest. It makes sense why this is a struggle, and how incredibly pivotal it is.

Marc David  

It is. It’s the fuel that helps empower you to be the best you. It’s the challenge that helps you grow into the best you. It doesn’t always feel like that.

Adrianne  

Yeah, this is so good. Something you said in another podcast I listened to was about somebody employing their rebellious self to do good things, and not just rebel. It really struck a chord, and there was a part of me that was just like: ” I’m not a rebellious teenager!” 

Marc David  

That’s perfect. 

Adrianne  

I was like, wow that’s picking at me. So that kind of feeds into what we’re talking about, too. The child that is sort of the punishment, but also the rebellion. All of it rolls into it’s time to step into being my adult self.

Marc David  

Well, Adrianne, I think this has been a great conversation. I hope it’s been helpful for you. 

Adrianne  

Definitely. Thank you.

Marc David  

Great work, I feel very confident you’re going to get where you want to go because you have been getting where you’ve wanted to go. Not as fast as you want, I understand that, but you’re getting there, and you’ve been doing the work. Really, congratulations on coming this far and the successes that you’ve had. I hope you can really bask in that for yourself here and there like: “yeah, I’ve done some good work!”

Adrianne  

Yes, yes, definitely. Thank you.

Marc David  

Thanks so much, and thanks, everybody for tuning in. Take care, my friends.

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