How Does Vitamin B-12 Support Energy and Metabolism?

Vitamin B-12 has a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, which helps support energy and metabolism.

When you are feeling sluggish and slow what do you do? Many people turn to caffeine in the form of teas, coffees, and energy drinks. These methods may provide temporary relief, but none of them correct the underlying problem for people who are B-12 deficient. Lack of energy due to a B-12 deficiency is more common than you think. Nearly 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin B-12.[1] Since this B vitamin aids in the production of red blood cells, nerves, and DNA, you’ll benefit from more than just improved energy levels.[2] Many people have returned their B-12 levels to normal after being deficient for years. They report feeling more energized and mentally sharp. If you’ve ever considered taking a B-12 supplement to improve your thinking or wellness, then read on.

What Is Vitamin B-12?

B-12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin and is one of the eight B vitamins. While each of these B vitamins influences your health in unique ways, B-12 remains one of the most well-known vitamins. Your body can’t produce B-12 on its own, so you have to get it from food or supplements. Most adults need around 2.4 mcg of B-12 every day to maintain healthy levels.[1]

Are You at Risk for a Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

Consuming enough B-12 is easy. Plenty of supplements and foods will provide you with the right daily requirements, but finding out whether or not your body is absorbing the B-12 is a bit more complicated. Carefully calculating your B-12 intake on a daily basis is a great start, but it’s impossible to account for the absorption rate. The most abundant source of B-12 in food is meat and other animal products, which is why vegans have a higher risk for developing a B-12 deficiency. However, many grains, like breakfast cereals, are now fortified with B-12, and vegan B-12 supplements also provide active forms of the vitamin that can be readily used by your cells once absorbed from the digestive tract.[3]

Ultimately, the only sure way to know if you are deficient in B-12 is by having a trusted healthcare provider check your B-12 levels. However, there are some common warning signs of B-12 deficiency. People who are deficient in B-12 may have difficulty walking, can develop yellow skin, experience muddled thinking, and have a sluggish metabolism.[4]

How B-12 Supports Energy

The most common side effect of a B-12 deficiency is a persistent lack of energy. Not having the energy to do the things you want can seriously affect your mental and physical well-being, and compounded over time may lead to more serious health problems. B-12 works at a cellular level to address the cause of energy loss and will aid your body in regulating long-lasting, healthy energy levels.

There are several ways B-12 supports how energetic you feel. B-12 aids in the formation of the hemoglobin inside red blood cells. These hemoglobin molecules transport oxygen from your lungs to all of the cells in your body, including your muscles, brain, and lungs. Without enough B-12, hemoglobin production ramps down and everything in your body struggles to run with less available oxygen, which accounts for many of those feelings of fatigue and tiredness. In some cases, a lack of B-12 can even contribute to pernicious and macrocytic anemia, where the body is not able to make enough red blood cells or your red blood cells have a low hemoglobin concentration. Even before anemia, lack of B-12 impairs muscle capacity and exercise performance.[5]

B-12 also regulates energy by helping metabolize food. When you eat food, your body must break it down into usable energy forms. B-12 plays a vital role in metabolizing the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates we consume into energy that our bodies can then use. Without the right amount of B-12, some of these fats and proteins may go unused and will only pass through your system.[6]

How B-12 Supports Metabolism

B-12 is not unique in the role it plays in a healthy metabolism. In fact, all vitamins and minerals are involved, at some point, in metabolic reactions. Some are required as cofactors for enzymes. B-12 is a coenzyme, or a key, for an enzyme that leads to the production of succinyl-CoA, one of the steps of the Krebs cycle. Without adequate B-12, you are unable to harvest usable energy from the series of reactions that break sugar down. A consequence of not being able to break down glucose is high blood sugar, which comes with its own health concerns. B-12 is also involved in the metabolism of fats (fatty acids) and proteins. While B-12 won’t boost metabolism for people with normal B-12 levels, for those that are deficient, there could be an immense benefit to supplementing with the vitamin to foster a healthy, well-functioning metabolism.[7, 8, 9]

How to Get Your Energy & Metabolism Back to Normal

If you contend with low energy or a slow metabolism because of a B-12 deficiency, there is hope. You simply need to take in more vitamin B-12. Speak with your healthcare provider to rule out harmful organism overgrowth, poor digestion, or other issues that may hinder B-12 absorption. Harmful overgrowth in the gut microbiota can impede B-12 absorption by separating B-12 from the carrier molecule that protects it from the harsh environment of your digestive system.

To restore balance to your gut and encourage better B-12 absorption, consider a colon cleanse and gut reset. A probiotic supplement is another great option for restoring your gut to a healthier environment and supporting the friendly organisms that live inside your digestive system and help you absorb nutrients like B-12. Probiotics are especially important for older adults who often lack essential acids that are required to absorb B-12.[9, 10]

Global Healing Center offers the highest quality vegan sourced B-12 supplements available. VeganSafe™ B-12 is a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bioactive and easily absorbed forms of vitamin B-12.

Do you take a B-12 supplement? How does it help you? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

The post How Does Vitamin B-12 Support Energy and Metabolism? appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #221 – Bloating & Weight Gain: What’s Next?

Stephanie, who recently turned 40, has some health issues that have accelerated over the past 2 years. Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, gets the whole picture of her symptoms and almost immediately recommends she sees a naturopathic doctor who can do some hormone testing for her. In the meantime, Marc and Stephanie take this time to acknowledge that her body is on a journey right now, and that she has every reason to be in a state of ‘whoah, what’s next?’ Her kids are out of the house. They were her world. Her marriage is ending. Marc is compassionate yet straight forward with her, and starts to paint the picture of what an empowered future would look like for her.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Marc David: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we’re back in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m with Stephanie today. Welcome, Stephanie.

Stephanie Stacy: Thank you.

Marc: Glad you’re here. And I’m glad you’re doing this. And let me just say a couple of words to viewers and listeners. And then you and I’ll jump in.

So if you’re a returnee to this podcast, thanks for being here. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for being part of our world. And if you’re new, here’s how it works. I will be talking with Stephanie for about an hour. And we’re going to see if we can push the fast forward button a little bit of change and transformation in whatever you need, Miss Stephanie.

So if you could wave your magic wand and if you could get whatever you wanted to from this time together, what would that be? What’s the big wish or wishes?

Stephanie: To I guess feel whole and normal again physically. I haven’t felt that way for a handful of years. So that would be to kind of come back to a more stable grounding, I guess.

Marc: And what’s been ungrounded? What’s been different? What exactly is going on that you haven’t been able to feel whole?

Stephanie: I’ve had a lot of low energy leading to a lot of low motivation. And I gained weight probably about two years ago just, it seemed like, very quickly. And then way that I describe it is it’s almost that someone came in between the layers of my skin and just kind of puffed them up.

It’s not been a significant amount of weight, maybe between 10 to 15 pounds, give or take. But for me, I was always small, never had any issues that way. And then all of a sudden—and to someone else, it might not seem very much. But I always wore a size small t-shirt. And all of a sudden now, I can’t even fit into a small without it just looking like I’m sucked into it. So I’ve gone up to a medium. Okay, big deal.

But for me, it’s something I have noticed. The energy level, that’s been difficult. Then also I’ve just noticed things like every time I take a shower the amount of hair that comes out when I’m combing my hair out. And I’ve had anxiety and depression for a number of years. So I don’t know if that has all of a sudden caught up with me.

I just turned 40 in July, so then I wonder too how much hormonally and things like that are catching up to me even though I’m in denial that I’m even that age.

So there are a number of things I had struggled with—IBS for awhile, not clinically diagnosed, just diagnosed myself as the fact that certain things I would eat, just different things, were constantly sending me to the bathroom. I’ve kind of gotten a little bit more stable with that using probiotics. But I always have a bloated stomach that I can’t ever get rid of. Through my midsection, my hips, butt, stomach and things like that, I’m just a lot more full than I ever used to be.

So it’s just things like that that I’m just not as—I’m very uncomfortable in my skin. I never felt that way before.

Marc: Sure. Sure. And this started about two years ago, yes?

Stephanie: About two years ago as far as the onset of everything happening just very quickly. Other than that, I was maintaining weight, no big deal. I could go and work out and feel like I was seeing results. I feel like now I could go to a boot camp and work my hind end off doing all this boot camp stuff which I did a couple years ago. And it wasn’t making a difference.

I started doing yoga to try to calm myself to see if that was helpful. But I’ve only been doing that for two to three months now. So it just doesn’t seem from one end of the spectrum to the next that I’m not seeing any results. I’m not seeing anything move.

Marc: So have you seen any kind of doctor or naturopath kind of person for this stuff?

Stephanie: I have. Of course, at the beginning, I would—and this was several years ago—I would go into my family physician and say, “I’m just not feeling good. I’m feeling run down. I just don’t feel like I have the energy.” “Okay, we’ll do some blood work.” And of course, thyroid was involved. But always said that everything came back normal.

Since then, I’ve read things saying that they only measure the last how many people. So if everybody is sick, then I just fell maybe in the mid range of the sick. That still doesn’t mean that I’m okay, from what I’ve understood it to be.

I did see a holistic nurse practitioner. Her blood work has come back that my iodine is low. My iron is low. I also did the saliva hormone testing that was sent off and came that she got the results for. My cortisol levels were really high. And my testosterone was really low. So I’ve not done that. That was right about the two-year mark that I had done that. I’ve not repeated it since then.

Marc: Okay because frankly the symptoms that you have described to me can definitely match low thyroid. It can potentially match Hashimoto’s maybe. But oftentimes if you go to a traditional doctor, they normally don’t do the kind of in depth thyroid testing that you would want, that more a functional, holistic medical doctor will do. Inexplicable weight gain, bloating, low energy, hair falling out are classic thyroid symptoms. Classic.

So I would love to make sure that you have a good professional in your court who has a very clear eye on that because I would hate to see you go to another freaking boot camp when it doesn’t matter if you were in boot camp for the rest of your life. If there’s a metabolic issue going on—

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: Then that has to be addressed. So if you’re a low iodine definitionally, that is impacting the function of your thyroid. So that actually makes sense to me.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: Just so you know, a traditional family physician, you’re not going to get where you want to go, with all due respect. They’re just not contemporary with the kind of advances that are happening in a lot of the medical testing that’s out there that is relevant for today.

Also, the fact that you’re low in testosterone—and it’s funny because we normally don’t talk about testosterone for women. And we don’t usually need to on the one hand. But on the other hand, most medical science just doesn’t notice it because it doesn’t think about it. It thinks women and estrogen, progesterone.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: So if a woman is too low in testosterone, that can impact your mood. That can impact your energy level. That can potentially cause bloating, mood issues all the way around, low sex drive. So what I’m saying is I just want to raise my hand and say—

So this nurse practitioner that you saw, the last testing she did was when?

Stephanie: Let’s see. It would have been August, was my last blood test, blood results.

Marc: And so you came back low iodine. Have you been taking iodine?

Stephanie: I have. But then I hadn’t been consistently. But I guess on just a feeling level, I don’t feel that when I take that it really makes a difference one way or the other.

Marc: Well, here’s the thing. It can take awhile to replete. Taking iodine one day or two days or three days or seven days doesn’t mean it is going to bring you back to normal. So what I want you to think about is you have potentially—and this is what normally happens for us. It’s usually not just this one little thing. It’s usually a cluster of events that are going on in the body.

So even being low iron—just low iron by itself, nothing else—can make you low energy, low mood.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: So if we start increasing your iron and we increase your iodine and we do that consistently and we truly measure T3, T4, everything thyroid related—have you heard of functional medicine? Or have you ever worked with a functional medicine doctor?

Stephanie: I went for a consultation. Financially, he had wanted $1500 to start and then the supplements. Financially, I haven’t been able to afford that.

Marc: Yeah.

Stephanie: But he did do a workup to a point of what he thought that I would need. And he just agreed on the cortisol level that the boot camps were the worst thing that I could do for myself because it was just sending more stress signals to my body instead of helping me.

Marc: Yes.

Stephanie: But he really didn’t dive into maybe necessarily what I should do except I think he just said that I should do something maybe more low scale but longer. But I interpreted that as maybe walking but walk more or walk longer, something like that. Or even high intensity intervals where I would get my heart rate up but then slow down a little bit before I did it again where it wasn’t a boot camp where it was just start to finish go, go, go.

Marc: Sure. Did your nurse practitioner give you an iron supplement to take?

Stephanie: She said to just do over the counter 25 mg once a day to start and then up it to two times a day but then also to take it with vitamin C.

Marc: Okay. Did she recommend any particular form of iron? Or she just said, “Get any iron”?

Stephanie: She said to do just—I’m not sure if she said the name or not—but just a gentle form where obviously it wasn’t hard on my bowels.

Marc: Okay. Okay, okay. So have you been taking that consistently?

Stephanie: I’ve been taking it. I can’t say that I’ve been doing it consistently. But I have been taking it. And me being consistent, that’s my fault. But yes, I do have it.

Marc: So there’s a form of iron that is useful to take to replete the body of iron. It’s called iron bisglycinate. That’s a gentle form. It’s well absorbed. A lot of the irons that you buy in a health food store or the supermarket, they’re not so well absorbed. So that’s a concern for me if you’re taking iron that you get the most absorbable form. The form I just mentioned is very, very good, very helpful—iron bisglycinate. I would take iodine more consistently.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: And it’s when you can afford it, I would look at going to a doctor who could work with you on hormones, who can look at thyroid and potentially also consider your may be a candidate to take progesterone.

Stephanie: Yeah, she did give me the kind of cream to rub into my wrist at night.

Marc: And did you do that consistently for any amount of time?

Stephanie: I did. And I found that, with her saying doing it at night, sometimes I wasn’t sleeping as well for some reason.

Marc: Got it. You could also take it in the morning. Morning is fine.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: It doesn’t have to be at night. But that can also help with the symptomatology that you’re talking about. So let’s bump this conversation up to a more meta level for a moment.

I totally get why this would be upsetting to you. It makes perfect sense. So you don’t have to mince words about, “Hey, all of a sudden my body is ballooning.” Nobody wants that.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: A woman doesn’t want that. A man doesn’t want that. On top of that, you don’t want to lose your energy. You don’t want to lose your hair, for god’s sakes. So let’s call this we’re putting on the red light here. Whoa! Something is going on here.

Stephanie: Yeah, right.

Marc: I will say in general that particularly when we turn 40, it’s an interesting number. When you turn 40, when you turn 50, there is a clear, consistent—I’ve just noticed this, just watching people, observing humans. I’m a fanatic about this stuff. I love collecting stories and noticing a lot of people when they hit 40, there’s a shift. There is just a shift in all ways. Now, when did you turn 40?

Stephanie: In July.

Marc: In July. Are you a cancer?

Stephanie: Leo.

Marc: Leo, alright.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: So when you turn 40—Henry James said a writer finds his/her voice at 40. We find a different voice for ourselves at 40. There’s a different maturity that happens. A part of us is born that’s a little bit more clear, a little bit more direct, a little bit more like, “Here’s who I am.”

A part of us gets grounded more in the world. So there’s a certain kind of birth that happens that I think is more personal. You can call it more spiritual.

At the same time, the body often undergoes a shift. And that shift is not as lovely.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: And the shift is “Whoa! We’re not immortal anymore. We’re not going to live forever.” And all of a sudden, it’s like, yeah, the body gets older. Yeah, the body doesn’t cooperate. So in my experience, what happens is if one cares about one’s health, if one cares about one’s looks and weight and fitness, then we actually have to get more exquisite and more specific than we have been in the past because when you’re a teenager, you could throw a lot of garbage into your system, and you could eventually recover.

I’m telling you, Stephanie, I look at the stuff that I ate from age 0 to 21. I don’t know how I’m alive.

Stephanie: Right, yeah.

Marc: But youth has a way of keeping us resilient. As we get older, you have to play a tighter game. So it makes sense to me—and I wish this wasn’t the case—that we have to look at, “Okay. Well, what is your testosterone? Should we take progesterone? Are you taking your iron? Do you need iodine?” All of a sudden, all of that becomes a thing.

And when I say we have to get more exquisite, it means there’s a lot of trial and error that goes down here. We have to do trial and error and trial and success. That is the only way to sleuth this out and to be good detectives.

So what I’m saying is any time you get help, in the ideal universe, you want it to be the right kind of help. And if it feels like it’s the right kind of help, then you want to follow the clues. Low in iodine? Take iodine. Take the right form of iodine. Find out what that is. Low in iron? Take the right form of iron. Be consistent.

Usually when you’re repleting with a supplement like a mineral, like a vitamin, you’re thinking about three months.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: Consistently. And I’m giving that as a ballpark figure. Honestly, some people who are low in iodine could take iodine. And you notice it three days later. Some people, you don’t notice it. So sometimes, it just takes the system a while to get back online, to absorb, to replete, to rebalance. If there are other deficiencies going on, everything has to kind of converge at the right moment.

So all I’m saying is I want to see you—and I think you’re doing this. But I’m just saying, yes, do this and do it better and better and better. Just start to be more of a scientist of your own body. And it’s trial and error at this point to see what works.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: Because there’s no, “Oh, here’s what’s exactly going on for you.” The bloating—

You okay?

Stephanie: Sorry. Yes.

Marc: How’s your digestion just by itself? You eat a meal. How does digestion feel?

Stephanie: Sometimes, it just depends. Sometimes, I’m okay. And then there are other times where my stomach just knots up, and I’m just running to the bathroom. So it just depends. Three or four days ago, I was having a lot of anxiety about things just in my life in general. And I’m in and out of the bathroom—

Marc: Yeah.

Stephanie: Three or four times over Thanksgiving weekend. So it just depends. And I struggle with what to eat. My husband is one who he doesn’t care what he eats. He should, but he doesn’t. And so when he goes out to eat, he’ll just order anything he wants.

And it takes me awhile to sit and look on the menu and figure out, “Oh, is this going to be good? Is this not?” And I think I’ve read and looked at so many different things that whether it be, “Okay, could I have a gluten sensitivity? What’s going to be good or not?”

So then sometimes, I wind up a lot of times, when I’m around my house, not eating in fear that, “Did I buy the right things at the store? Should I eat this? Am I better off not to eat something versus something that’s bad for me?” So I struggle with all that. But the digestion sometimes is not what I would like it to be, I think.

Marc: Do you travel? Did you have any experience of foreign travel a couple years ago?

Stephanie: No, the only thing that I’ve had digestion-wise—I’ve never been out of the country. But my children always took cows in their county fair. And I wound up contracting—I’m not sure if you’re familiar—but it’s called Cryptosporidium. It’s in the calves that they were raising at the time.

And my daughter started out with it with a very slight case. I got it more severely. Close to a week went by before, three trips to the emergency room before they figured out this is what it is by testing a stool sample and then getting a hold of our veterinarian to say this is what it is.

So I had Cryptosporidium. So by the time they caught everything, I was low in every mineral possible. So I was in the hospital for five days to replenish my system. That was in March 2010. I think I lost probably about 15 pounds just over that course of time.

Since then, I’d question that, whether there was some type of parasite in my intestines. So here through the holistic nurse practitioner, I did do a stool sample for—it was for the Cryptosporidium, I believe, or for any type of parasites. And I want to say—I forget what that one that the dogs, that they test for. It starts with a G or something like Guardia. Or I forget what it is.

But anyway, everything came back that it was negative. So I assume that my system was okay. But I had questioned that ever since I had had that that maybe there was something that just—because the treatment for it was just a three-day pill called Alinia. And you hope that something like that takes care of something. But because I had had digestive issues pretty consistently since then, I wondered if there was anything lingering.

So from the tests that I did, which I don’t know how in depth it was, it came back negative for any parasites.

Marc: So since that time, since taking that medication, your digestion hasn’t been the same. Is that what you’re saying? That was six years ago.

Stephanie: Yeah, I’d say it’s been off kilter. I don’t know if that was the thing that triggered everything necessarily. There are always times, I think. I just tend to be a nervous, anxious person anyway. So unfamiliar situations, not going to be on time for something, things like that send me into a stress response. Automatically, my body compensates by sending it out. So I tend to be that way anyway.

But a lot of times, this was just stuff where I would eat something. And the next thing I know, I’d just be standing there and, “Oh, I’ve got to run make a trip to the bathroom.” So trying to piece together. And it to the point it was a joke between with my children and stuff. “Oh great. Here Mom goes again. She’s got to run to the bathroom.” I’m like, “I really wish I didn’t. It’s not fun.”

Marc: Have you had any courses of antibiotics over the last two or three years?

Stephanie: The only time I’ve ever really been on antibiotics would be that I have a lot of tonsillitis. My tonsils were really bad when I was a kid and never got them taken out. So occasionally now, I will have what starts out as a sinus drainage, goes into the tonsillitis. So they usually have to treat usually about two times each time I get the tonsillitis to actually get the strong enough antibiotic.

But every time I’m on that, I try to up my probiotics to level out my gut, things like that. But as far as being on anything really particular all the time, I haven’t been.

Marc: When was the last time you had a course of antibiotics for the tonsillitis?

Stephanie: It might have been back, maybe February, March of this year.

Marc: Got it. Have you had any vaccinations in the last three years? Flu vaccines, anything?

Stephanie: No, I’ve never gotten the flu vaccine. Trying to think—I might have had a Hepatitis B.

Marc: And you did that because…?

Stephanie: At the time, my grandma was ill. And I was looking into where I could be a home health care nurse and take care of others. But then I also could get paid to take care of her because I was working with her anyway. So I was looking to do that.

Marc: Got it. How long ago was that?

Stephanie: It’s probably been maybe three years.

Marc: Okay.

Stephanie: Three to four, something like that.

Marc: One last question I have for you. What would you say has been—other than the health stuff, taking all health stuff off the table. What have been the two biggest stressors for you in the last three years?

Stephanie: Very easy questions. My marriage. And my children are 19 and 21. And they were my life. So the marriage never worked. I’ve been married for 22 years. It didn’t work after the first five but continued to stay because of the kids. So I threw myself into them. I always worked part time. And they were my full time as well.

And because the marriage wasn’t there to have someone to talk to or have that adult to go to, I threw myself into anything and everything with them—their school activities, sports, anything.

So my daughter went off to college. That was tough. But my son was still home. And then last year, he decided to go to the same college as her. And I really feel like last year I went through a grieving period where I just didn’t know what to do with me.

And still to this day, I beat myself up that I’m 40 years old. My marriage is horrible. I don’t feel appreciated, loved, or wanted on any certain day. I give of myself to my children. I was giving of myself to my grandmother for the last six years when my grandfather passed away. And she passed away the middle of September.

So yeah, my children and my marriage have been huge. So I struggle to put my feet on the floor every morning. I don’t really look forward to anything. I know there has to be something bigger and better out there for me. But I don’t know how that’s going to manifest or what that’s going to be.

Marc: Yeah. Thank you for answering so honestly. I know that wasn’t easy. What are you going to do about your marriage?

Stephanie: I know I need to get divorced. There are not any signs of saving it. But it’s always been a thing because I got pregnant when I was 18. I didn’t ever go to college. And they were my world. So now, trying to have any type of education and financial stability on my own because he has been the breadwinner, for me to make that stand and leave. So it’s always that waiting game of when I’m going to be able to.

I’ve tried different things. And I don’t see that there’s going to be anything different happening, especially when I can only change it on my half. And there’s not any changing on his part from what I’ve seen over the last how many years.

Marc: I get it. So you have got a challenging situation there, young lady. I get it.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: I get it. I get it. You’re not in an easy time at all because, on a lot of levels, you did what you knew how to do which was you dove into being a mom. And you probably excelled there tremendously. And you dove into serving in the ways that you can serve. Society doesn’t pay us money for that unfortunately.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: It doesn’t. And I wish things were different in that regard.

Stephanie: Me too.

Marc: So here you are. So the kids are not a huge part of your life in terms of having to raise them moment to moment, day to day. The marriage isn’t feeding you. I’m just trying to repeat what I’ve heard from you. For you to leave, it’s like, “Wait a second. I can’t fully support myself right now because I haven’t been in that world.” You’ve been in a whole different world.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: It’s excessively difficult to step into that universe if you’ve kind of never been in it.

Stephanie: No.

Marc: You’ve kind of never been in it. So it would be scary. It would be crazy. And you have a big task in front of you. On top of that, your health is starting to challenge you. And you’re trying to manage all this at once.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: That’s huge. I just want to say time out for a second. That’s really big.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: So to me, if it feels daunting and confusing and crazy, if it feels that way to you, I understand. If I was in your shoes, I would probably be in way worse shape than you might be in. So all I’m going to say is, wow! Good for you for doing the best you can to help yourself and trying to keep your eyes on, whoa! What’s next here?

I think first and foremost you have to find hope.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: I don’t know where you’re going to find that. I really don’t because it’s very personal. And it’s very spiritual or religious or whatever word you have for it. But you’ve got to find hope because on a certain level—and I really mean this, Stephanie. If we don’t have a good reason to be here, then there’s not a good reason to be healthy.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: The reason to be healthy is because I’ve got things to do.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: I’ve got kids to raise, places to go, people to hang with. I want to eat. I want to have some fun. I want to have love. Yeah, be healthy. And all that stuff really works nicely.

If I don’t have that, why should I be healthy? What’s the point?

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: So it feels to me like there’s also—you’re at an interesting choice point here. And the choice point is, I think—and I know you’ve thought of this. Can you leave and still be supported? I don’t know what the legalities of it are. I hope you talk to a lawyer at some point who understands what happens if you get divorced, financially.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: What your husband is responsible for and what he’s not. So have you spoken with a lawyer?

Stephanie: Not recently. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen someone to ask about anything. And at the time, I still had the kids. So I knew there was child support. So I don’t know as far as alimony or anything like that how it would all work now.

Marc: So that might be worth the money to you to have that conversation with somebody so you can understand. There might even be a lot of lawyers out there who will have a complimentary conversation with you. And you could just tell them, “Listen. Here’s my situation. Here’s my deal. I just need to know, am I entitled to anything? Because if I’m going to start paying you to help me, I need to know that there’s a reason for that.”

And I’m going to guess that you potentially have a lot more on your side than you know. It might not be as bleak as you think from a legal/financial perspective. I’m just saying that.

Stephanie: Yeah, I’m not sure. I would like to believe. But that’s always been a fear. I take pride in my home and things like that. We’re home-owners. And I would like to keep the house. And that’s always one thing that has been shoved in my face and hung over my head. “Well, how would you afford the house?” when I’m the one who mows the grass—from everything from the outside to the inside.

And so I’m the one who takes pride in where we have been mostly because of any house we lived in or apartment or anything through the years, I made whatever dwelling and four walls we were in, whether it was a house or an apartment, I made it a home because I had children.

So I would like to keep where I live. But I don’t know. Is that something where I could keep the house and if there would be any alimony or things coming back towards me until I could get on my feet better?

Marc: Yeah, I really want to see you empower yourself more because right now you’re not feeling that. You’re not feeling hope. And you’re not feeling empowered. And one of the ways to feel hope and feel empowered is to gather more information. You need just data. You need facts and information.

Those facts and information might turn out to be good. Those facts and information might not turn out to be good. We don’t know.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: But I think you have to find that out because in a weird way the challenging part is just beginning for you. The challenging part is just beginning for you. And a lot of times, we get stuck because we don’t want to go through the pain because you know that this process is going to be freaking painful.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Even in a marriage that is no longer working and a relationship that’s no longer working, you know. You have friends. You’ve been around awhile. It’s still hard for people to leave. You could know somebody in an abusive relationship, and they still have a hard time leaving.

So it’s hard. It’s hard, especially because it’s long term. You’ve raised kids together. There have been certain things about the relationship that have been successful, certain ways that you’ve supported each other, certain habits that you’ve gotten into, things that don’t work. Breaking up is painful. It’s just painful.

And yeah, people get nasty sometimes. People get dumb. He might be one of those guys. He might not be. I don’t know.

But the reality is you have to empower yourself. Because if you live in fear of what’s he going to do or not going to do, then you don’t have yourself.

Stephanie: Yeah, I understand.

Marc: Yeah, so at the end of the day, you’re going to have to make the choice at some point that I’m going to face this pain. It’s going to be painful.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: It’s going to suck. Divorce sucks. Separation sucks. Splitting up all the possessions and trying to figure that all out is never easy. I don’t know anybody that ever says, “Yeah, that was such a great process.” I’ve gone through a divorce. I know what that’s like. It’s not fun.

So on a certain level, let me say this. You potentially have a whole new life in front of you. You have no idea what that new life is because it seems so far away. And it is a little bit far away right now because there are a lot of steps you have to go through to get to what your new life is.

You don’t know what it’s like to be a single adult. You don’t know what it’s like to be a single woman. You don’t know what it’s like to have to earn money and support yourself in some way. Those are some awesomely huge unknowns.

The financial piece is arguably the most difficult because it’s basic to your survival. I need what I need what I need to live. I want my house. I want my security. So that’s some difficult stuff to face.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: You have to marshal all your resources. And I’m talking about friends, family, whoever loves you, whoever supports you, whoever is in your corner. Now’s the time to call in the people that love you to stand by you because hopefully you have that because this is hard to do alone.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: It’s not easy to go through this alone. Do you have help and support and people that love you through this?

Stephanie: Yes. I know they would be there. I just feel like it has been ongoing for so long that they just kind of know how it is so I feel like a broken record. But I know they would be there.

Marc: Yeah, so they will be there. And all I’m saying is I’m feeling like for you now is not the time. But now might be the time to say to yourself, “I need to make a move. And I need to make some decisions.”

And look at a calendar. And give yourself a by when. So actually put some dates in your mind. “You know something? I want to talk to a lawyer within another month. I want to gather information about that. I want to be able to feel like I can be on my own and support myself in another year.” And start to make a tangible goal for yourself. You don’t know how you’re going to support yourself necessarily. But if you say, “I want to know that in another year,” it starts gears going.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: You then have to take certain steps. And maybe you’re feeling stuck. I don’t know. But part of reclaiming your health and reclaiming your energy is reclaiming you.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: So we can focus on all the health issues right now. For sure, that complicates everything. But what I want to say is I strongly believe—I know that it as you step up and empower you, your health has to get better. It has to.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Is it going to be perfect? No. But you’ll do it step by step. And this is the most difficult time of your life.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Up to now, this is arguably the most difficult time in your life. I think if you could truly own that and acknowledge that and know that, yeah, you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know how you’re going to do it.

And take a big, deep breath. And I don’t know how you find hope. But that is so important at this point—to find the hope and the momentum to take the risks that I think you know you need to take.

Stephanie: Okay. Yeah.

Marc: Do you know what I’m saying?

Stephanie: I do. Yeah, I struggle with pulling from deep inside to think that I have that strength and power or finding that reason. My children were always that reason. So it has just [compounded] things with them not being—that’s something I have to dive into every day. They were that reason that I got up and pushed through every day. And I still live for them but not in the same capacity.

Marc: Yes, here’s the thing. I have a 23-year-old son. What I know about him very clearly is he wants me to be happy and that truthfully the more happy and empowered I am the more I’m being me and the real me and a good version of me, the better it is for him because they’re our kids. And it’s like they’re saying, “Yeah, yeah.”

Now, it doesn’t mean we don’t go through difficult stuff. It doesn’t mean we don’t go through breakdowns. It means we go through difficult times, and then we rise up.

You’re setting an example for your children of how to be adults. So they’re not children anymore. They’re not quite adults, quite frankly. So in a lot of ways, they’re still your kids and not in the same way. But your successes, your efforts for yourself will have a huge impact on them. Huge!

So if you want to pull the kid card, I’m totally happy because they will get so much out of your transformation. You have no idea. You have no idea how that’s going to stay with them into the future and be an example for them because they want their mother to be happy.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: That’s their bottom line. So that’s a gift that you give to yourself. It’s a gift that you give to them for sure. And I think you’ve accurately figured out that you also have to start doing stuff for you.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: And in a weird way, Stephanie, there’s a part of you that’s still this 18-year-old girl who is very innocent and was thrust into being a woman fast.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: You were thrust into responsibility quickly. Now, quite honestly, 100 years ago, that was not an issue.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: 70 years ago, that was not an issue. My mother had my sister when she was 17 years old and was a great mom and was awesome. And that’s what they did back then. Nowadays, it’s a little bit different. And you jumped into this at a very young age for this day and age.

Stephanie: Right, yeah.

Marc: And now, I think what’s going to happen is your life is now going to be more about Stephanie. And who are you? What do you want? And it’s okay if you don’t know. It’s okay if you don’t know. It really is because you could also know what you don’t want.

Stephanie: Yeah, I think I know more, yeah.

Marc: You know what you don’t want.

Stephanie: Yeah. I think I know more about what I don’t than what I do.

Marc: Which is fine. Which helps us get out of certain situations. Which will help you graduate from your marriage because you know that there are aspects of the marriage that don’t work. Does your husband want to stay married?

Stephanie: I think it depends on which day it is. He’s very laid back. So things sometimes affect him. And then other times, it doesn’t.

My daughter recently came to me actually the day before Thanksgiving and was very gentle and compassionate with me. But she said, “You guys need to get divorced. You guys aren’t happy. You’re not healthy.” She didn’t as much say it about me. My husband has gained quite a bit of weight. And he has taken on a lot of responsibility at his job recently. And she is fearful for his health. So she has asked us to.

Marc: Are you able to have honest conversations with him?

Stephanie: Yes, but it’s all one sided. I never get any thoughts back or any communication. He just stares at me. And then I just have to walk away. There’s never any dialogue at all.

Marc: Does he have any interest in counseling, getting a little help, getting a little support in that way? Is that something he would do or he could afford to do?

Stephanie: We’ve tried maybe two or three times over the last 22 years. And it has just never—either he couldn’t make it because of work. Or we just got in there and spun our wheels. He said his part. I would say mine. And there was never a resolution of anything. So it was just, “Why are we wasting time and energy and money?”

I don’t feel like it was ever given an honest shot. I think it could have been helpful. But it didn’t go on long enough.

Marc: So my suggestion to you is that you set a timeline for yourself. You set some timelines. You set some dates. And you start to make your life more real in that particular way because I think if you just let things float, they will continue as they are.

Your symptoms will continue to be symptoms. Things will probably get worse for you, for him. You’ll try to coexist. It won’t work. So it’s either you jump into fixing it. Or you get out. Really. It’s almost an either or. Either is fine, really.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Either is fine. But it sounds like you might be the one driving that decision.

Stephanie: Yes, very much so. And I think that’s scary too, not that I want to be drug or pulled by someone else. I guess I would rather be the one in control. I guess I just don’t even know where to start or to gather those tools. I feel like if I start that I will just break down and give up or that I won’t keep pushing through.

Marc: That’s why I asked you about the people in your life who are there to support you because they are there to support you to understand what your fears are, what you think your weaknesses are. And it’s like, “Hey, here’s where I need support. I don’t know if I’ve got the energy. I don’t know if I’m going to have what it takes to push through this. If I’m going to break down, I need you guys to keep an eye on me.”

So it’s about you learning to marshal the resources that you have. Part of our fear of not having enough resource—resource means money. Resource means things. Resource means human resources, people in our lives.

One of the biggest challenges is we don’t always use the resources that we have in a good way. You might not have a lot of money, but do you spend it wisely? You might not have a lot of energy. Do you spend that energy wisely? So it’s really you starting to look at the resources that you have and really call upon those resources.

And I’m especially thinking of human resource. I’m especially thinking of people resources, to really call that in.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: That’s so important here. That’s so important because you cannot do this alone. You cannot do it alone. I would love for you to literally write down a list so you can see it. Who’s your team?

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Who are the people you can call up anytime? And you make sure you enroll them and let them know, “Hey, I’m going to do a little bit more of a deep dive here right now. I’m going to face some stuff in a different way.”

You are not aware of the power that you have. There are places where you’re just lacking confidence right now. And life is just going to ask you to work in those places. So you’re going to be in the sort of workshop where you’re going to be learning confidence as you go along.

But the way you learn how to be more confident as a public speaker is you be a nervous public speaker. And then you get in front of an audience. That’s how you do it.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: The way you learn how to be more confident on an airplane and not get all jittery is you get on an airplane and breathe.

For you, it’s less about stress management. It’s less about calming yourself down, in my opinion. And it’s more about going into it. Believe it or not.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: It’s more about actually going into the belly of the beast because what’s happening is you’re getting afraid to go to the places where you know you need to go.

Stephanie: Yeah, I shut down. I know. I will start to go there. And then it’s that fear that sets in that says I can’t. I can’t possibly do this. So then everything just stops. Everything shuts down.

Marc: Yes.

Stephanie: And then of course, with that, depression, anxiety, everything just starts flowing in.

Marc: Yes, so you know that about yourself. And that’s the place where you get derailed. And that’s the place that you have to grow. Really, it’s as simple as that. It’s no different than you encouraging one of your children to work harder in a place where they need to work harder. It’s the same thing.

And part of working harder means, as you gather your resources, you know you have people around you, people who are there for you, people you can trust, people you can come to and say, “God, I blew it today. God, I got all scared. God, I chickened out.” Or, “Wow! I had a success today.” Or, “Oh my god, he said this. I said that. What should I—?” All of it.

Support will help you go a long way. But you have to be more on it about that. This is a gift that you give to yourself. You’re learning how to gather strength for yourself. There’s a chance that when you got married you didn’t know a lot. You were still a kid.

Stephanie: No.

Marc: So in a lot of ways, you’re learning how to be—and you’ve learned how to be a woman in so many different ways. But now, you’re learning how to be a woman in a whole different way.

Stephanie: Right.

Marc: In ways that you haven’t learned. And it’s scary. It’s understandably scary. So if you’re scared, just know that makes perfect sense. Any human being in your shoes would be peeing in their pants, in my opinion.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: So the fact that it’s scary and it stresses you out means you’re paying attention.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: It means you’re not drugging yourself and distracting yourself. It means you’re awake and you understand the gravity of the situation. So what I want to say to you is, though I don’t know you super well, from this conversation, I firmly believe that you have what it takes to birth yourself through this.

Stephanie: I appreciate it.

Marc: Yes, but it is like a birth. Now, I’ve never given birth. But I’ve observed it. You know the experience of it. You’ve got to squeeze that little puppy out of there. It’s bloody. And it’s messy. And it’s painful. And it’s weird. And it’s strange. And you know there’s something good on the other end. But man, why is this so difficult?

Stephanie: Right, yeah.

Marc: Same thing. So there’s a birth at the other end. And you don’t know who’s going to be born. But I promise you it’s going to be unimaginable in a good way. You don’t know. You don’t know. You don’t know.

And there’s where you start to gather hope for yourself. And there’s where you start to dream a little bit. And there’s where you start to go, “Huh, maybe there is a new me at the other end of this. What could she potentially look like? What could she potentially be like?”

Start to feel into her. Start to feel into that future self just a little more because you need to gather some momentum for yourself is kind of how I’m feeling.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: So gathering momentum means people around you because right now your body doesn’t have enough juice in it to push through all this.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: That’s why I keep harping on people, people, people, people, people. You have to bring that kind of resource into play.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: Yeah.

Stephanie: Alright, yeah.

Marc: Yeah.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: So we weren’t able to just push a button and fix things. But what I feel has happened is you’ve been very generous in being super real and super honest about your life and where you’re at. Just from a standpoint of people watching this, you’ve been very daring to share what you’ve shared. And I just honor that. And I respect it a tremendous amount. You don’t know how brave that it.

If I didn’t know your story and I was just talking to you about these things without them being presented as a problem, I would say, “Wow! This is a woman who’s really on her game. And she’s paying attention to life. This is an empowered lady.”

There are places where you probably don’t give yourself enough credit for who you are because you haven’t been feeling good about yourself. You haven’t had enough input from the outside, helping you feel good about yourself. So you’re actually missing that piece in your life right now.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: I really also want you to keep an eye out for who are the people that help acknowledge you. Who are the people that give you feedback that juices you up? You really need that. You just need some food. That’s like food for you right now, just getting positive feedback. And that could be an exercise that you do, a plaything that you do with your girlfriend. “Listen, I’m feeling shit about myself right now. Do me a favor. Take 5 minutes. Tell me all the things that are great about me.” Really.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Really, that would be great for you because it feels like your system is a little hungry for nourishment in that way.

Stephanie: Yes.

Marc: So at least start to get that from your friends. If you can’t get it from your relationship, get it from the people closest to you.

Stephanie: Okay.

Marc: Yeah?

Stephanie: Yeah.

Marc: Stephanie, I really appreciate you just being willing to just reveal yourself and share yourself. And I truly feel like you can do this. I really do. And I know it’s going to be hard. I know it’s going to be hard. And that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means it’s going to be hard.

Stephanie: Yes. Yeah, I know.

Marc: Yeah. And we get to visit each other in another five months if you like to just do a follow-up session. My team will reach out to you. I’d love to connect and see how you’re doing at that point.

Stephanie: Yeah, that’d be great.

Marc: Yeah. Thank you so much really.

Stephanie: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Marc: Yeah. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. I appreciate you all for dropping in, being on this journey with us. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Take care, my friends.

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for listening to the Psychology of Eating podcast. To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video series at That’s I for Institute, P for Psychology, E for T-i-p-s. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of dynamic eating psychology and mind/body nutrition that have helped millions of people forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health.

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Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting

Sticking to a strict eating schedule is important if you plan to do intermittent fasting.

What if I told you that an essential part of healthy eating includes short periods of not eating? That line of thinking runs counter to everything we do today. You probably have a snack, if not a full meal, before running out the door. You might have another snack once you get to work and make your coffee, maybe a banana, a handful of nuts, or—if you dare—a donut. Before lunch, you might have a granola bar just to tide you over. After lunch, you may need a small pick-me-up if your energy starts lagging in the afternoon. Are you keeping track? That’s five times you’ve eaten before dinner. And then there’s an after dinner snack, and the midnight snack. Have humans always eaten like this?

Fasting in Human Evolution and Culture

Humans didn’t always have access to food whenever they felt a craving for a snack, so the human body, your body, evolved to expect long periods of time in which food was nil or scarce. Of course, your ancestors still needed to find food if they had any hope of reproducing and passing their genes on, so certain side effects of hunger developed to increase their success at getting food. A day or two without food left your progenitors with a singular focus to find a source of calories. If they weren’t able to function during times of scarcity, chances are they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to bear children and pass their genes down to you through the generations.[1]

As society developed, regular periods of not eating became less of a consequence of food scarcity and more of an integral part of cultural norms and identities. Meals were eaten at certain times of the day. But as technologies like electricity progressed and spread to the general populace, society’s habits and meal times changed to fit the highly variable daily schedules of modern people.[2]

There are a lot of changes in human history that have collectively altered the health, and indeed the girth, of the world’s population, but the effect of technology and modern life may have especially far-reaching implications on hunger, weight, and energy levels. This is where intermittent fasting comes in to save the day.[2]

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Put simply, intermittent fasting is alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating during the same day. So you have a restricted window during which you eat. Many people who practice intermittent fasting adjust their eating schedule to align with the natural rhythms of hormonal and sleep-wake cycles of the body. This cycle can be one of your own devising, or it can be a more established pattern like 12 hours of fasting followed by a 12-hour window in which you can eat normally.

There are many ways to fast intermittently. The type you choose hinges on your health goals, energy needs, and willpower. Intermittent fasting to improve physical fitness is different from intermittent fasting for weight loss. The schedule and foods you choose are the primary differences.[3]

Why Try Intermittent Fasting?

One argument for intermittent fasting is that it’s easier to stick to compared with dieting or eating small amounts of food throughout the day for weeks or months. Eating things in moderation or miserly portions isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people find dieting difficult for this very reason. If you take an “all or nothing” approach to dietary changes, intermittent fasting might help you get the results you want. Indeed, alternating periods of fasting with short periods of eating appears to increase weight loss compared to traditional calorie restriction.[4]

An even better argument for intermittent fasting is that regimented intermittent fasting periods combined with earlier mealtimes work with, rather than against, your hormonal rhythms to promote a healthier metabolism. Your appetite, energy expenditure, satiety (feeling full), and fat storage all respond to hormonal and environmental cues like your sleep-wake cycle. Eating on a regimented schedule, like intermittent fasting, can help you optimize your eating habits for weight maintenance, weight gain, and weight loss.[5, 6]

Eating on a Schedule With Intermittent Fasting

When you eat at times when your body isn’t prepared for food enzymatically or hormonally, you start throwing all the various clocks in your body out of sync. That midnight snack triggers your digestive system to start secreting all the digestive juices it needs to break down that cup (ok, bowl) of ice cream during a time when your brain is calling for sleep. A few hours later, when you’re sleeping, your blood floods with sugar from the meal and your pancreas deploys insulin to herd that sugar into cells. Your cells don’t need a rush of sugar at 2 a.m., and this just throws your organ systems and hunger-regulating hormones off kilter. Eating out of sync with what your body needs can affect how your body responds to hormones like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. Disrupting these hormones can significantly affect your appetite, and how you use and store energy in your body.[5]

Ideally, your hormonal cycle should sync up with your sleep-wake cycle to fuel and support your daily activities. But your stress, eating habits, and hectic daily schedule can easily prevent these two systems from running on the same schedule. To stick to an intermittent fasting schedule, you’ll have to be diligent about eating on time and avoiding snacks and meals if they fall out of the designated eating window.[6]

The Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Research hints at the far-reaching implications of intermittent fasting for diverse populations. The brain, weight loss, and fitness benefits make intermittent fasting an appealing option for anyone looking to improve their health, especially for people with type 2 diabetes or anyone trying to maintain weight loss after obesity.

Slowed Aging and Improved Longevity

Caloric restriction has received a lot of press the last few years for its role in extending lifespan in animal studies, but it’s near impossible to ethically study long-term food restriction on humans. Intermittent fasting triggers the same effects of caloric restriction, so you get the improved aging and a longer, healthier lifespan.[7]

Boosts Brain Growth, Repair, and Function

Intermittent fasting holds several benefits for the brain. Tightly regulating your eating schedule seems to improve memory, generate new neurons, enhance brain recovery after trauma, elevate mood, and lower your risk of the cognitive decline associated with aging.[8, 9]

Regulates Hormone Levels

Insulin, ghrelin, and leptin levels and response in the body improve with intermittent fasting. This means your body is able to better respond to the rise and fall in blood sugar, and regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. Human growth hormone, the hormone that triggers growth in children and helps regulate sugar and fat metabolism, also increases during cyclical fasts.[10, 11]

Improves Blood Composition

Your body is better able to regulate the ebb and flow of energy resources when you adopt a regular eating schedule. Fasting both lowers and somewhat paradoxically helps sustain healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, insulin levels, and cholesterol. Improved blood composition decreases oxidative stress in the body.[12]

Decreases Oxidative Stress

Eating, in general, results in oxidative stress, depleting your antioxidant defenses against free radicals in your tissues. Intermittent fasting, by its nature, significantly decreases your exposure to the inflammatory effects of converting food to energy because you eat less often.[1, 13]

Enhances Fat Burning

Low insulin levels occur during the fasting state because you’re not absorbing a steady supply of glucose from the digestive tract. Low insulin levels prompt fat burning to keep energy levels stable. Intermittent fasting gives you better access to your fat stores.[1, 14]

Mimics the Beneficial Effects of Exercise

Athletic training provides many beneficial effects on the brain, heart, vascular system, stress response, and body composition. Intermittent fasting mimics many of the same benefits, such as lower your resting heart rate, improved immune function, increased DNA repair, better motor function, ketone production, improved resistance to stress, faster recovery from stress, and enhanced recycling of old or malfunctioning cells.[1]

Intermittent Fasting Patterns

Generally, the longer the fasting period, the better the results. Some people find they experience some emotional effects with fasting. You may find that you feel irritable and short tempered while adjusting to an intermittent fasting schedule.

Typical Intermittent Fasting Schedules

Schedule Eating Period Fasting Period
12:12 12 hours 12 hours
10:14 10 hours 14 hours
8:16 8 hours 16 hours
6:18 6 hours 18 hours
4:20 4 hours 20 hours
2:22 2 hours 22 hours
Alternate day Duration of one meal 24 hours after end of meal

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

If you can stretch your fast out for longer periods of time, you’ll quickly see lower insulin levels and spend more time in ketosis, the fat-burning state. To start intermittent fasting, I recommend starting with 12:12 schedule: a 12-hour window in which you can eat followed by 12 hours of fasting. If you find this schedule easy, try an 8:16 schedule next. Fasting for longer periods with comparatively short windows to eat (6:18 or 4:20) are a key component of the warrior diet regimen, a diet inspired by our ancestors’ eating habits. Extend your fast beyond even that benchmark and you reach alternate day fasting.

You’ll have to evaluate what works with your daily schedule and workout goals to find a stable, sustainable intermittent fasting pattern. Some fasters find that a 10:14 or 6:18 fasting plan is a better fit for them. Fasting, in general, will yield an array of health benefits, so don’t be afraid to shift your schedule around to suit your needs. Just make an effort to eat earlier in the day rather than late at night to decrease fat storage. However, if you typically skip breakfast, feel free to begin your eating period around lunchtime.[5]

The physical effects of fasting on an individual depends on an incalculable number of variables. Some people respond to fasting significantly better than others. If you are particularly stressed out or you’re going through some difficult life events, I would advise you to put fasting on hold until you get your stress under control due to the hormonal imbalance that usually accompanies (and feeds) the stress response.[15]

What to Eat During an Intermittent Fast

Although you don’t have to adopt a different diet to try intermittent fasting, it’s never too late to eat healthier. I recommend a whole food, plant-based diet with lots of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to improve nutrition and maintain health.

If you’re looking to your diet to kickstart fat loss, try my ketogenic fast. Unlike most ketogenic diets or fasts, which rely on a substantial amount of animal fat and protein to shift your body into ketosis, I designed mine to cleanse the body with whole plant foods like avocado and walnuts that promote a healthy blood composition and lower oxidative stress in addition to torching your fat reserves.

Have you tried intermittent fasting before? Tell us how it went in the comments!

The post Everything You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #219 – A Young Woman Finds Her Beauty

Rain, 35, opens up to Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, about her challenges with overeating, and using food as a coping mechanism. She describes the reason for her coping with food as a possible result of loneliness, and is open to seeing what else may be underneath it. As the conversation opens up, we learn she has also had a journey with having different physical challenges. Blind in one eye, hard of hearing, and wearing a prosthesis, she calls it a disability, but also says she doesn’t feel in victimhood about it. Through the challenges of not having many friends as a girl, and learning to look at her journey of moving from one coping mechanism to another, her and Marc come to a point of enlightenment around how she can own all of herself, nourish herself in new ways in relationship, and acknowledge that she has actually done a great job overcoming so far.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Marc: Welcome, everyone. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. We are back in the Psychology of Eating podcast, and I am with Rain. Welcome, Rain.

Rain: Thank you.

Marc: We were just visiting for a minute. We’re officially meeting for the first time. And let me just say for viewers and listeners who are returnees to the podcast, thanks for coming back. Thanks for being part of our world. And if you are new to this podcast and you’re tuning in, here’s how it works. Rain and I are going to be in a conversation together. You’re going to be witnessing it, and we’re going to see if we can push the fast-forward button on a little bit of transformation and change in terms of what you’re looking for, Ms. Rain.

So if you could wave your magic wand and if you can get whatever you can possibly get from this session together, tell me what that would be for you.

Rain: I would say I would love to figure out how to be able to really slow down. So when I’m going towards food, not feeling that complete compulsion and losing my head at first and being able to have that awareness throughout the entire process of eating and just learning to slow down and appreciate the food. Yeah, I think that kind of sums it up.

Marc: What happens for you? Tell me about your relationship with food. Give me some more information there.

Rain: Yeah. I think that food has always been a challenge for me as far as just kind of knowing how to eat and how to handle it emotionally. When I was a child, I always thought that I had to be a raw vegan in order to be healthy. And so I was forever a vegetarian and having that battle with my family and then with myself.

So I’ve come to a point where nutritionally I think I’m getting it. I absolutely love chocolates. And I’ve just kind of discovered that, saying, “I’m never going to eat chocolate ever again because it’s unhealthy,” it doesn’t work for me. And I try to listen to my body when it says, “I want this,” and be respectful of that. But I think, for me, the challenge is that I’ve learned how to use food very much as a coping mechanism.

So just being very aggressive with the way that I eat, and that kind of stems from a while in high school and college. I kind of struggled with anorexia and bulimia. So I kind of went that way, and then when I said I’m going to stop that and I’m going to stop using some other negative coping skills to deal with life, I kind of swung the other way. And binging kind of became a way of coping. And unfortunately, I’m still kind of trying to get that under control.

Marc: Can you tell me how old you are, Rain?

Rain: I just turned 35 a week ago.

Marc: Alright. So when you use the word coping, we’re all coping with different things, maybe similar things. What do you use food to cope with? What would you cope with, using food?

Rain: I would say probably the biggest thing would be loneliness which I even hate using that word. It’s such a kind of poor me, namby-pamby word in my head. But I would probably say that’s the biggest thing and then stress from work or frustration with family or friends. But I definitely feel the most out of control when I’m just feeling disconnected or lonely.

Marc: Does that happen usually at a certain time of the day for you when you might find yourself using food to cope with loneliness?

Rain: Yeah. Late in the evening usually between eight and midnight.
Marc: Makes perfect sense. Are you living alone?

Rain: Right now, I’ve got a couple of roommates, but I’ve lived alone for the majority of probably the last 10 years.

Marc: How’s it living with roommates for you in terms of like the loneliness factor?

Rain: The roommates that I’m with right now we just kind of met on Craigslist, so there isn’t much of a connection. So they kind of live their life and I kind of live my life. And we chat every once in a while, but it’s kind of that awkward, still trying to get to know each other phase.

Marc: Are there any times that you notice during the week, during the month, where you can say to yourself, “Whoa, I’m not turning to food as much as I usually do. It’s not as intense”? Are there any times when it’s just a little more relaxed for you?

Rain: Yeah. I do pretty well through, I would say, like the majority of the day. If I’m really busy and therefore really tired and I just crash at like seven or eight o’clock at night because I’m completely exhausted, that definitely does better. And also, if I’m kind of immersing myself in personal development and really trying to be focused on that, that definitely helps.

Marc: I want to ask some more questions about using food to cope. Would you say, “I overeat”? Would you say, “I binge eat”? How would you label it?

Rain: That’s a big question because I think sometimes it’s hard to differentiate the two.

Marc: It is. Yeah.

Rain: I would say the majority of the time it’s overeating with some periods of binging, but probably mostly say overeating.

Marc: Mmhmm. Do you want to lose weight?

Rain: Yes.

Marc: Mmhmm. How much weight do you want to lose?

Rain: 80 pounds.

Marc: Have you dieted in recent years?

Rain: Yes and no. I’ll kind of start to dip my toe in and then when a lot of their limiting philosophies, where they’re, “Okay, you’ve got to cut out sugar,” and I went for about a year without chocolates. That almost triggered my binge eating, particularly with chocolate. So it was like the second I really started to dig in, saying, “Okay, you can’t eat this and this.” I’m like I know that’s not going to work for me. It’s just going to make me swing the other way.

Marc: So you’ve dieted. The restriction doesn’t work. Did you have any success with losing weight when you were dieting?

Rain: A little bit very temporarily.

Marc: So when you think about losing weight, what do you say to yourself? Like, “Oh, I’m not ready yet right now,” or, “I want to but I’m not sure how to do it.” What’s the conversation that goes on in your head about weight?

Rain: I would say I think that I’m ready to, but I’m not quite sure how to balance everything. Eating fruits and veggies has never been a problem for me. Other than chocolate, the food I eat the most is apples. I love fruit. Sometimes I don’t necessarily cook veggies very well, but it’s not a problem like I don’t want to eat those things. I would probably just say figuring out, one, how to balance everything, and, two, how to keep that awareness.

If I’m sitting down for a meal of tacos and it’s been a rough week, I’m so excited and I’ve been thinking about those tacos for days. And to be able to tell myself, “Okay, you’re going to slow down, enjoy this, pay attention, and stop when your body is saying you’re full.” And I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to do that.” And I sit down and I eat and then before I know it I’ve overeaten. I didn’t keep the awareness that I wanted. So I think that’s a big struggle.

Marc: So if you overeat or if you binge eat, what happens afterwards? What goes on in your mind?

Rain: I feel a lot calmer. I definitely feel that sense of peace, and I kind of mentioned that in my email to you that I’m a strong believer in meditation and all of these different types of skills. But I think when I am overeating or binging, it takes me to a place where I’m ready to do those things that I can kind of finish the relaxation or whatever. But I feel very calm and like, okay, I can kind of readjust and keep going with whatever I’m doing. So I feel steadier.

Marc: So do you ever feel guilt? Do you go into shame? Or go, “Oh, my God, I shouldn’t have eating that much”?

Rain: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s in there as well.

Marc: So you eat. You might overeat. You might binge eat, but it definitely calms you down. It definitely relaxes you. It definitely puts you in a place where you can do other good things for yourself. But then there are also different times when you’ll feel guilt or shame or you can feel all of those, meaning I’m more peaceful and calm but now I’m more guilty. I’m just trying to get an understanding of your experience and what happens for you.

Rain: Yeah. I would say that the guilt—it’s always there. I wouldn’t say that it’s as loud as the gladness that I am not upset anymore or angry anymore. Because I know that I don’t want to stay in that place where I’m really upset or really angry. So I think I’ve allowed that, “Okay, you’re chilled,” and all of that to kind of overpower some of that guilt that I feel. Sometimes I think if I felt guilty enough maybe I would knock it off, but I’m not sure if that’s strong enough for me to knock it off, obviously.

Marc: You really like food.

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: You do. No, really. There are some people who truly love food. They love it. They have an affinity for it. They love it. Some people it’s like, yeah, they fight it and they don’t like it that much. You mentioned chocolate. Are there any other foods that come up for you on your list that can be irresistible or have a lot of power or have a lot of appeal for you?

Rain: Mexican food and chocolate are probably the two really big things. The other things I don’t necessarily feel that extreme towards. Most other desserts, I’ll eat a few bites, but I’ll also get it in my head, “Oh, I don’t really want this. I’m going to go out and get myself chocolates.”

Marc: Mmhmm. Got it. So where do you want to be five years from now in your life?

Rain: I want to be at a place where I am healthier, where I can be moving around. I want to move somewhere warm. I want to be able to enjoy going outside and walking. I want to be able to enjoy the food and not have it control me. I want to be at a place where I’m more at peace with things.

Marc: Mmhmm. What else? What else in terms of putting aside the food piece for a minute? What else? You mentioned move someplace warm.

Rain: I would like to be in a relationship. That’s been a while since I’ve been in one of those. I’m working on my graduate degree right now in educational technology. So I would like to be a freelance instructional designer, working anywhere. So I can travel when I want and continue to work and have that freedom and flexibility and maybe be able to do that with somebody else.

Marc: So when was the last time you were in a relationship?

Rain: About six years ago.

Marc: Uh-huh. And how long did it last?

Rain: About a year-and-a-half.

Marc: What was good about the relationship?

Rain: I would say the companionship, the company, being able to have that shared experience was good. We struggled with intimacy and whatnot just because we weren’t really meant to be together, but we’re really good friends.

Marc: So what would be a more ideal relationship with you then if you compared it to this previous one? For me, a more ideal relationship would have the following elements…

Rain: Okay, would have the following elements. I would say intimacy and a deeper connection, so both of us being interested in spirituality, in personal development, in bettering ourselves professionally and personally. And I would say both of us being willing to work on developing the relationship and be willing to be vulnerable and talk about things and not just assume that we’re right.

Marc: Mmhmm. So the last relationship was about six years ago. Have you dated?

Rain: A little bit. Yeah.

Marc: Mmhmm. How do you date? What do you do? How do you find dates?

Rain: Yeah. Most of the dates I’ve been on, I go to a lot of different personal development conferences. I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins. And so meeting people there. I’ve had okay luck with that. I’ve tried online dating with very poor success. Every single date, the guy kind of shows up and he’s like, “Oh, you really do look that bad.” So kind of discovered that that doesn’t really work. And I think that’s part of the challenge of that is I do have a disability. It is obvious. And so trying to like overcome that hurdle can be challenging.

Marc: Mmhmm. It’s interesting. How would you name your disability? What do you call your disability?

Rain: The doctor gave the name myofascial dysplasia just because he had never seen it or heard of it before when I was born.

Marc: Mmhmm. How does it impact you? Forget emotionally, how does it impact you in any physical or practical way?

Rain: One, I am hard of hearing. So kind of not always being able to hear as well as everybody else. I’m also blind in my left eye, and I also wear a prosthesis. So explaining that in relationships in that first little while is like, “It’s not as weird as it seems. I promise.”

Marc: Mmhmm. So in your last relationship, how did your partner kind of relate with all that and deal with all that?

Rain: I think it was kind of a weirded-out thing for him at first. And I’ve kind of seen that being a recurring theme. I go into it much different than I did when I was a teenager where I’m pretty upfront about it. Maybe sometimes I’m too forceful about it just because I’ve had the guys who’re like, “Oh, I don’t understand it; therefore, it’s incredibly creepy and very disturbing.” So I kind of come off sometimes maybe too powerful. And I’m like, “Look, this is what it is. If you have questions, awesome. But don’t be abusive about it. Let’s explore it together.” Because we were friends first, this last person that I was with, he kind of transitioned into it a little bit better.

Marc: Mmhmm. So in your mind, inside yourself, how do you talk to yourself about… So you use the term disability. How do you talk to yourself about this? Is it like, “Oh, shit I’ve got deal with this.” Does it suck? Have you accepted it? Where are you with who you are?

Rain: Yeah. I think as far as me being me and just like being at the core of who I am and going out and being a teacher. And the students don’t always understand it, because I was a teacher for a really long time. I have a lot of confidence in that, like this is who I am. And I love being a teacher and teaching kids, “Hey, people look different, and it’s okay,” and having that conversation.
Now, as far as with relationships, I think that I feel sometimes like it’s a bigger hurdle than it is, especially in those first few dates and kind of establishing the relationship. So I still feel some intimidation simply because it’s easy to have those old things that people have said kind of pop up in your head and be like, “Oh, is this guy going to have that same response.” And kind of staying steadfast in who you are, I think that’s still kind of challenging.

Marc: It sounds to me just as an observation that you’ve learned to a great degree how to empower yourself and how to own your experience. For all of us, there are things we’ve got to own about who we are whether you have a “disability” or not. But it really feels like you don’t go into a ton of victimhood around it. Is that true?

Rain: Yeah, I think that’s quite true. Of course, I have my days where sometimes I go out and I feel like I’m stared at by everybody. And I’m just kind of like that, that exhausts me. But I’ve never let it necessarily stop me from, okay, I’m going to go out and I’m going to have this experience. I lived in Thailand for a year, and I was really unusual over there. But I was like, “I want to move to Thailand, so here I go.”

Yeah, I think more than anything the way that it’s affected me is not necessarily because of my disability. When I was a kid, I didn’t really have any friends because everybody was either scared of me or disgusted by me. So I would say that it affected my confidence to have friends because I didn’t really have my first friend until I was about 19 years old. More than anything, I would say that that’s definitely the impact that it’s had on my life.

Marc: So where are you at with your social life these days? Friends-wise.

Rain: Kind of a hermit. I’m kind of a hermit. Again, I have a lot of friends from the different conferences that I go to that kind of live all over the world. But as far as like local, actual friends, and going out just into—I’ve gone to a few meet-ups. Sometimes I’m not very confident in that type of a situation where it’s like, “Hey, I’m going by myself to this meet-up. And most of these people know each other.” So I would say as far as locally, I don’t really have that many friends. Most of my friends are work friends.

Marc: Understood. Understood. Understood. So do you have a wish there?

Rain: Yeah. I would say I would like to not feel the level of—I don’t even know if stress is the right word, but it’s just like it’s heavy. Like when I go out, it feels heavy because it feels like I have to get this right. The awesome thing about personal development and all the stuff that I’m really into is it teaches you a lot of skills, but it also puts a lot on your shoulders. It’s like I’ve got to go and I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to present myself in this way and I’ve got to be confident. So sometimes it can be very exhausting. But I would definitely say I would love to have more connections and more friends. I think that would help with a lot of things.

Marc: So would you say you isolate?

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: So what does that mean for you? I have my definition of isolate. What does that mean for you?

Rain: Probably not necessarily going out and going to different meet-ups and making a lot of effort to go out and meet new people. It’s challenging in the day and age that we live in because a lot of the friends that I do have they have families. So it’s really challenging sometimes to be like, “Hey, can you leave your kids and let’s go out and do something.” So sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even ask because they have things that they have going on. So not necessarily doing the work to try to find people that have the time to socialize.

Marc: When are the times, if ever, if ever, when you least pay attention to your disability, when you don’t even think, “I have a disability”?

Rain: Hmm. Probably, one, when I’m with family just because they’re so used to it. And also when I go to those conferences just because that truly is an opportunity to— truly be able to serve people and socialize with some people that are above some of those petty little things that a lot of people tend to get into in their daily life. So I would say there as well.

Marc: Mmhmm. Any other times?

Rain: I would say when I’m just out doing my thing, when I’m traveling or just doing something that I absolutely love to do even if it’s by myself and I’m just having a good time. I don’t even think of it. And on those days, I don’t even notice everybody staring or all that type of stuff because I’m just in my mode.

Marc: Mmhmm. Got it. Got it. Got it. Here’s an interesting challenge that you present for me in this conversation. There are a shocking—I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here. There is a shocking amount of humans, particularly women, particularly young women and older women as well, who have such complex and crazy and hurtful and painful relationships with food and body. That is the world that we live in, and it’s truly shocking. I just say that as a person who’s gone through my own eating challenges and just been observing them and working with them for the majority of my life on planet earth. It’s the hallmark of our times.

And you just have to be born in this world and be a woman, and you’re going to get all kind of messages that you should look like this. You should look like that. Your body needs to be this, that, the other thing in order to be loved and accepted. And I’m sure you’ve seen this or you’ve noticed this. We can pick out women who are classically Hollywood beautiful, and they don’t like themselves. And they have eating disorders. It’s shocking.

So my challenge here is I wonder to myself how much of your relationship with food and the stuff you go through with food, how much is just because you are Rain and you’re a girl. And how much is because you have this disability which, since childhood, adds this other layer of complication to your life? So that’s kind of what sits in me. That’s sort of the question I wonder, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are when I wonder about that out loud.

Rain: Right. I definitely think that it’s a combination of both. There’s a part of me when I think of the way that a woman should look, really skinny and you should go eat like a bird and all those types of things. And it’s like I know that I really, really want those. But I’m coming from a place where when I was a teenager before I really started to kind of get out of anorexia and bulimia, and I was also a self-injurer. That was a way of dealing with my depression.

So when I was like, “Okay, I’m going to quit doing that as well,” I really kind of started abusing food in a much stronger way. So it’s like there’s part of me that’s like, well, of all of the things that I could be doing to kind of deal with my life, part of me is kind of like it’s food. Like whatever. But at the same time I don’t really want to feel that way because I want to be healthy. I have chronic pain in my hips and my ankles because of what I weigh. But there’s also this kind of I don’t give a crap because at least I’m not self-injuring and all those other things. So I feel that complexity with it as well.

Marc: Mmhmm. That’s a very helpful answer for me. There’s a level where in this conversation to me you’re just a girl. You’re a woman who has some of the very poignant challenges that girls and women have around food and body. And it doesn’t matter what one inherently looks like—nothing matters. It’s anyone can have it. Anyone can be gripped by it. It doesn’t matter your level of beauty or perceived beauty. It doesn’t matter. And again, then there’s this other piece here where you’ve had an added complication into your journey.

So actually, let me start to kind of piece a few things together and make a few big-picture comments because I want to see you move forward. That’s what I’d like for you. I’m not sure how that’s going to happen here yet, but I’d really like to see you move forward. I know you want to move forward too.
Here’s the thing. Based on what you’ve told me so far, you have been moving forward. You have been on, to me, when you tell me your story and who you show up as, like who I’m talking to right now is a very impressive young woman because you’ve had to overcome a lot. You’ve had to overcome a lot to find your own self-dignity. You’ve had to overcome a lot to find your own self-worth. I’m not saying there’s not more to go for that for you. There’s more to go for that for me. And I’m older than you.

So we’re always going to be learning and growing here, but I really want to acknowledge for you that you’ve been given a double whammy in terms of a start in life. Because, A, you’re a female growing up in an age where you can bet your money that 7, 8, 9, 10/10 girls are going to be dealing with an eating issue at some point and dealing with body image challenges. And then, you have the challenge—and I don’t have to tell you kids are some of the cruelest creatures on planet earth.

I grew up. I came into this world a stutterer. So I could not speak a single word without stuttering it about nine, 10, or 11 times. I could not string together a complete sentence without stuttering it until I was about 13. So I know what it’s like to get teased. I know what that’s like, and I know what that’s like to isolate. I know what it’s like to turn to food. I know what it’s like to not have a lot of friends. I can relate in my ways to some of your story. We have a different story, but there are similarities to it.

What I want to tell you is from a big picture, you’ve overcome a lot. The fact that you were self-harming and you were able to transition out of that and turn to food is actually a good move. It’s a good move. I’m going to tell you this. I have met so many former alcoholics who are now kind of sugar addicts, and they’re trying to beat sugar. And I’m like, “Good. That’s a good move.” Because sometimes we’ve got to move from one security blanket to the next until we’re ready.

So what I want to say is, to me, you’ve made very good decisions in order to cope with the journey you’ve been given. Does that make sense?

Rain: Absolutely.

Marc: So I know you’ve made good decisions based on what you told me and based on who I’m talking to and who shows up here. I know you’ve got work to do on yourself, and I know there are places that you want to get better when it comes to food. And what I want to say is you have found a way to empower yourself, and you have found a way to stand for yourself. Do you do that 100% of the time? No. But do you do it enough? Yes.

And the idea is—and I know you know this. I’m just saying this—you’re going to do that more and more and more where you keep standing by yourself. And it’s interesting because we need words. We need words to talk to each other about our experience and what we’re going through. When you said the word disability, I was like—I started thinking, “Man, I wish there was a better word.” Because a disability doesn’t truly describe you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: I have a disability. Okay. I get it. I get it. I get it. I get it. You know something? Every human walking around has a freaking disability in something. And when you can’t see it physically, it’s in there. It’s in here. Do you know what I’m saying?

Rain: Absolutely.

Marc: It’s in the soul. So it’s almost cheating when we say, “You have a disability,” because we can see it and it’s your hearing and it’s the eye and all that kind of thing. And, again, I know we need words for this. I know we need to put language around it, but it’s, huh, I just wish we had a better word that was more empowering to describe you. Have you ever thought about that?

Rain: I have thought about that. Yeah. Because like I said, disability doesn’t exactly fit it. Now as far as a word that would fit it, I could just pull one out of the sky and make up a word, but as far as a word that actually fits somebody who just looks different or whatever the different things are, I haven’t really come up with anything.

Marc: So here’s what I want to say, and this is the personal growth guy in me talking to the personal growth gal in you. Okay. So this is strictly along the lines of personal growth. I would love for you to start to notice the conversation inside your head around when you start to talk to yourself about your disability, particularly in social situations or particularly when you’re considering social situations.
Because what I think happens for you is you short-change yourself. You forget that you are as cool as you are. You forget that you are as interesting as you are. You forget that you are as empowered as you are when you face social situations, understandably so. Understandably so, because from the youngest of youngest ages in all social situations just about, you were getting treated not like other people.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Okay. So you were getting treated, you were getting the weird looks. You were getting the weird… Whatever you got. So it makes sense to me that when you come into a social situation, you will have reservation. You will have conversation inside your head. You will have fear. You will have challenge. You will have concern. It makes perfect sense.

What I want to say is you’re not that little girl anymore. You’re not her.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You have some very good ideas about how to take care of yourself. But I want you to go to the next level inside yourself. And I would prefer internally—I don’t care about externally—but internally, I don’t want you to use the word disability.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: I want you to find a language that’s empowering for yourself: my journey. My journey. With my special journey, with my unique journey… You have a unique journey. Over here, I don’t relate to you as having a disability. I relate to you as a human with your unique journey.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Which I find very interesting personally. It’s just really interesting to me. And I love how you talk about it, and I love the sense of freedom you have in talking about it because that makes it real. And it makes it human, and it makes you human. And all of a sudden, as soon as you start to talk, there is no question that I’m not dealing with a disabled human. It’s like the last word I would use to describe you.

So what I’m talking about is a little bit of a tweak here because, to me, I’m going to relate this to food now because what I want to guess is that there’s a part of you, like there’s a part of all of us, who turn to food. We turn to food to regulate our emotions. We do. We do. We do. Why do we do that? Because every human being who’s ever been born on planet earth since time began has in their system, in their cells, in their genetics, in their DNA, the memory called, “Be a crying, screaming, little infant. Get food. Feel better.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: Cry and scream. Get mama’s milk. Feel better. Get the bottle. Feel better. Get the breast. Feel better. That’s encoded in our cells. So when I eat food, no matter what bad mood I’m in, I feel better. Just about every other human feels that way at least temporarily. So we use food to regulate our metabolism, regulate our emotions. There’s nothing wrong with that. People think there’s something wrong with it. The fact that you have used food to help regulate your experience was a very smart choice. We need to regulate ourselves.

You had to deal with a lot of emotional complexity. Do you follow me?

Rain: Absolutely.

Marc: You had to deal with a lot of emotional complexity and a lot of emotional challenge. So as children, we figure it out as best we can. Food on one level at the end of the day is relatively harmless, so to speak.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Does it get challenging? Yes. But it’s a smart move because you’ve found a way to just kind of balance things out, and food is home base for you. Food helps you feel home.

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: You were very clear. Food relaxes you. Because you know what? We need that. We need to find a place where we can relax. So to my mind, you turned to food in large part, not in complete part, you did it like every other human would do it. Every other human who’s born and has emotions and gets upset and gets depressed and wants this and wants that. And I didn’t get this and I didn’t get that. Let me eat.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And then there’s with you the overlay of, “Damn. I’ve got this disability. I’ve got to be the weird one. People are going to be making fun of me. So I need extra.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: You need extra.

Rain: Yep.

Marc: So all I’m saying is it makes perfect sense, and I’m just over here trying to validate your experience and honor it and tell you that you have done nothing wrong. You’ve done everything right. And now what you’re doing as an adult human is you’re kind of unpacking the bags and going, “Okay. Let’s see. Okay. Did that. Did anorexia. Did bulimia. Did the self-harming. Here’s where I’m at now. Huh. I think I might be ready for something different now.” And now the next level.

Rain: Right.

Marc: So it sounds to me that you’re kind of positioning yourself for the next jump here. Is that true?
Rain: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Marc: Yay! Good for you. Good for you. Good for you. What I will say is, first and foremost, I’ve got all the confidence in you that you can do it. I really do.

Rain: Thank you.

Marc: You’re a smart girl. You’re on the ball. You pay attention. You’re conscious. You’re aware. And you’re martialing your forces in life as best as you know how.

Rain: Right.

Marc: That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to me that you look to be around people who are trying to elevate themselves, who are trying to grow themselves and evolve themselves, look at their own nonsense, and be better humans in the world. That’s where you’re going to find your people.

Rain: Right.

Marc: So I think you’ve identified that. That’s where you’re going to find your people. But here’s what I want to say to you. I would love to see you play more.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: I would love to see you play more. Play could mean a lot of different things. In part, what I want you to do, what I would love to see you do, is less isolation and more experimentation with going, “Okay, I might not find my perfect guy or my perfect friends where I live right now, but let’s make it as interesting as possible.”

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Let’s make it as interesting as possible. And I would love to see you pick and choose some social events or some social situations where it could be interesting for you. Where it could just be interesting for you and to show up in places and pretend you don’t have a disability. So instead of having to explain it, which I think is good. I think that’s a great strategy. It’s a great approach. “Okay, you’re looking at me. Here’s the deal. Here’s what’s going on. Here’s what’s happening. Let’s just get this out of the way.” I love that. I don’t want you to ever give that up.

I just want you to have another tool, another toy, in your pocket to pull out when you want to.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: And your other toy is called, “I’m going to come into this social situation. And you know something? I’m going to be like everybody else. I’m just like everybody else. Guess what. I got my stuff and you’ve got yours.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: And you don’t have—in my worldview, you don’t have any more of a disability than anybody else in any given room because if you give me 30 minutes with anybody in any room, I will help you find their disability.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Okay. I can help you find mine. We’ve all got them. We’ve all got the stuff that we’ve got to work on. We’ve all got the little bumps and the bruises and the interesting places that we’ve got to work with. So what I’m trying to say to you is that there’s a place where you’re just Rain.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You’re just her.

Rain: Right.

Marc: That’s it. There’s no disability. There’s just Rain.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And I would love to see you live there more.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: I would love to see you play with living there more. I keep using the term play because I don’t want you to take it too seriously. Because if you take it too seriously, it’s going to suck.

Rain: Right.

Marc: If you make it playful, you will start to notice, “Wow.” And I know you already notice these things. There’s certain people that are going to be more uncomfortable around you than others. There are certain people that are going to be like way more interesting to you than others. Certain people you just don’t want to talk to.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You don’t have to talk to somebody just because they want to talk to you. Talk to people you’re interested in. So the play part is just kind of noticing and playing with pretending like, “Hey, I’m just totally cool.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: “Ain’t nothing wrong here. Nothing to explain.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: I don’t come into social situations trying to head people off at the pass and explain to them, I don’t know, “Listen, I’m an older guy. I’m 58. I can get really shy sometimes, and all of a sudden, we can be in a conversation and I just want to warn you that all of a sudden I can get really quiet after I was talkative for a long time.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: I could do that, and sometimes I might. But all I’m saying is there’s a place where as you start to misidentify with your disability and identify with Rain.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Some interesting things are going to happen, but the first step there is you’ve got to play. And you have to invite yourself out of isolation.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Mmhmm.

Rain: Right.

Marc: What happens for you when I say all of that? What’s going on over there, Ms. Rain?

Rain: One, I really like the idea of playing with it. Because like I said, sometimes with all the personal development stuff, you get so into the logistics of it. So I really like the idea of just playing with it and being like, “Okay, let’s see how this goes.” And just doing the best I can with it. And I really like the idea of just kind of disconnecting from that and not necessarily feeling like I owe everybody an explanation.

Marc: Thank you. Thank you. Just pause there for a second. You don’t owe anybody nothing. No explanation.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You don’t owe them. You can give an explanation if you choose. Notice the difference. You might feel into a moment because you’re an intuitive human. You might feel and you know something? I want to say something to this person. That’s fine, but you don’t owe them. You owe nobody anything in that department. You don’t have to make people feel more comfortable. You can be selfish and make you feel more comfortable.

So if it makes you feel more comfortable to say something, go for it. I want you to be selfish here. You owe nobody anything, and that’s liberating. I feel good when you say that.
Rain: Yes. Yeah. I really feel good about the idea of disconnecting from it to because I think part of that’s (…) empowering identifying with it. But at the same time, I think it’s come to a point where it’s like, “Okay, it’s empowering. This is who I am. I have this disability or this journey.” And so it became empowering, and then it kind of became disempowering again, where now it’s like, “Okay, this is overwhelming.” So I like the idea of being able to disconnect from it.

Marc: Yeah. Yeah. And disconnect from it means just putting it to the side, just like put it over here. I’m not leaving with it. I’m not putting it behind me. Just put it to the side. It’s like this little pet that you walk around with that if you need to talk about it you do, and if you don’t, you don’t. But you don’t have to work on this per se. There’s nothing so much to work on for you at this point I believe as there is for you to start playing with life more and enjoying it.

I made a comment to you earlier in this conversation, and I don’t know if I used the right words. I did, but I don’t know if I communicated well what I wanted to say. I said to you, “You really love food.” I think a better way to say that is you have the lover archetype in you. So you love.

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: You’re passionate. You enjoy. You have an appetite for life.

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: Not a lot of people can say that. “I want to go to Thailand.” And you did it. Not everybody does that. You have a special love for life, and that could mean anything. Whatever you enjoy, whatever you find pleasurable, interesting, good, it grabs your attention. You’re in relationship with it. It gets you. That’s a beautiful thing. I want you to lead with her more.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: I want you to lead with her more because that’s who you are in so many ways. Yeah, you’re these other things for sure. I get it. There’s the part of you that gets depressed. There’s a part of me that gets depressed. That’s true. But I don’t have to explain to anybody in the first or second or third or fourth meeting, “Hey, I get depressed sometimes.” Unless maybe it’s somebody I’m going to date, and okay, we’re dropping in deeper. So, yeah, then I share that information.

But as you start to let yourself play more, it’s easier to step out of isolation because it takes some of the pressure off.

Rain: Definitely.

Marc: It might be a little bit uncomfortable for you at first. It will be.

Rain: Yeah, for sure.

Marc: It’ll be uncomfortable, but the coach in me wants to tell you that do this, like keep doing it. Keep trying. Keep being uncomfortable. Fake it until you make it at this point with that, and play with it because you deserve that. You deserve to show up as all of who you are. This thing that you call your disability is like this much of you in the scheme of things.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It’s like a tiny amount.

Rain: Right.

Marc: The rest of you is Rain, and it’s who you are. And it’s this smart, empowered woman who’s a lover of life.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Who just wants great experiences and wants to connect and wants to live in a good way and wants to help people.

Rain: Right.

Marc: That’s who you are.

Rain: Mmhmm.

Marc: So how this relates to food is that the more, in my belief, in my experience, the more you start to embrace the rest of who you are and lead with that, the less problematic the food thing will be for you.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: That’s one of the more important things I’m going to say to you in this conversation because I asked you a lot about food and I gathered a lot of information. And at the end of the day and at the end of all my information gathering, if I was going to work with you, we would hardly talk about food.
Rain: Okay.

Marc: It doesn’t mean there’s not going to be challenges. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to want to eat chocolate. Doesn’t mean you’re not going to eat chocolate. Doesn’t mean you’re going to gain weight, lose weight, whatever. I am almost wanting to put that to the side for you a little bit.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Just put it to the side. It’s like, “Oh, I’ve got to work on this food thing.” I get it. I get it. I get it. This is how we work on the food thing.

Rain: Right.

Marc: How we work on the food thing is actually not via the food. How we work on the food thing is to understand that to a significant degree food helps you relax. Food helps you feel better. Food in many ways has become a bit of a best friend for you.

Rain: Definitely.

Marc: Food in many ways has become a primary relationship for you.

Rain: Yep.

Marc: You’re intimate with it.

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: Now, I’m intimate with food also. It’s not my primary relationship. I want you to be intimate with food. I just don’t want it to be your primary relationship. That’s all.

Rain: Right.

Marc: So what that means is it doesn’t mean looking at the food and going, “No, food. You will not be my primary relationship. I will not eat you so much.” No, it’s not saying that. It’s looking at the food and saying, “Food, I love you. I love having this intimate relationship with you because it feels good and I need to have other primary relationships.”

Rain: Right.

Marc: “I need to have relationships with friends. I need to have relationship with lovers or a lover or a partner or a husband, whatever it is.” So that’s where I want you to start to set your sights on more. So at the beginning of this conversation, I asked you to wave your magic wand, what would you get and basically you talked about more balance with food and a way to relax so you don’t have to turn to food. Okay. This is how you do that. And that’s not your biggest goal.

Your biggest goal is not I want to learn how to manage my relationship with food. It might feel like your biggest goal right now because it looms large for you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: So that feels like your biggest goal. I want to put first things first. You might not wake up every day thinking this, but, to me, your biggest goal is how do I be the best, fullest expression of Rain that possibly exists? How can I be the best version of me ever?

Rain: Right.

Marc: And I’m not talking about the best eater or the most perfect body. I’m talking about you being you and giving your gifts and expressing yourself and being in this world in the best way that you can. That’s your biggest goal. So as you start to be the real you more, the food thing finds its rightful place. Do you follow me?

Rain: Right. Absolutely.

Marc: So it’s easy to be in relationship with food when we’re isolating because it tastes good and it’s intimate. And you could eat chocolate and it’s the most pleasurable food arguably on the planet. And you turn to chocolate. Do you know why you turn to chocolate? Because you’re a pleasure person.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You don’t turn to chocolate because there’s something wrong with you. You turn to chocolate because your being craves experience and your being craves pleasure. Your being craves intimacy, and your being craves connection. And when you can’t get that, you go to the closest approximation, which is chocolate.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Makes sense. But you don’t have a food problem. You don’t have a chocolate problem. It’s not a problem. Okay.

Rain: Right.
Marc: It seems to be right now because that’s what’s getting the air time.
Rain: Right.

Marc: What I’m saying the challenge here is we want to inspire Rain to come a little bit more out of isolation. And I think a beautiful first step for you would be to open yourself up for more consistent friendship in your life.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Start there.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Open yourself up to more consistent friendship. And to do that, all you have to be is you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: My friends, the friends who I’m friends with they like me because I’m me. There’s a lot of people who cannot handle me as a friend because I’ve got my quirks. I’ve got my things. I’ve got my stuff. I’m a very demanding friend. Our friends are a small group of people.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And they’re our friends because they know us, and they know us because we show up as who we are.

Rain: Right.

Marc: People are attracted to you when you show up as who you are.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And who you are is more than a tiny, little thing called my disability.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Who you are way is way more than that. And because of the disability, you’ve been taught to forget some of the greatness of who you are in my opinion.

Rain: Right. Yeah, and also I think that my childhood and the stories I still have in my head about being bad at socializing and all of those types of things. So I think you hit the nail on the head when you were talking about the food and particularly the chocolates. It’s like I was like, “Oh, I can deal with that. That’s manageable.” The idea of like going out and making more connections and more friends that sounds really scary.

Marc: Yeah. Good. I get it. I get it. It’s a scary proposition, Rain, for many people. Talk to anyone that you know who doesn’t have a “disability.” And some people are just really shy, and it’s hard for them to make friends.

Rain: Right. Right.

Marc: So all I’m saying is making friends isn’t this easy thing. People go through stuff. We break up with our best friends. Our friends betray us. They hurt us. Friends come. Friends go. And certain friends stay for a long time. So the friend universe isn’t an easy one, but as we navigate it more, we learn about it more. And we invite friends into our life. You just choose to be open to that.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And you choose to play in that field. So that’s why I use the word play.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Because you go to a serious place in here. And I want you to ask yourself in any social situation that you’re in or that you’re thinking of being in or that you would like to go to but you’re afraid to be in. I want you to ask yourself, “How can I gamify this? How can I make this fun? How can I make this a little playful? What little thing can I do to make this playful,” such that it’s interesting for you because I believe—this is my belief—that when you learn how to make things playful for you, it’s going to help bring you out more.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Right?

Rain: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Marc: You’re probably a little bit play-deficient because you have so much of a playmate in you. You’ve got a lot of fun in you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You do.

Rain: I think probably play-deficient because I know that about myself.

Marc: Mmhmm. Yeah. So it’s time to show up. And you know something? There are going to be people that don’t like us, and I use the word us because there are people—I go to events all the time. And I’m pretty smooth. I know how to operate in social situations, and I also get awkward. And I get very inward. And all I’m trying to say is that I don’t want you to use your disability as an excuse to feeling socially awkward. Because social awkwardness is not dependent on having a disability.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It’s not. It’s just not dependent. Can the two go together? Sure. So for you, having a disability and social awkwardness have a connection. What I’m saying to you is, understandable. I get it. It makes perfect sense, and I want to uncouple those.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Because there’s a universe where they are not dependent on each other, and they need to be uncoupled so you can begin to see that in large part it’s time for you to show up in a different way.
Rain: Right.

Marc: Here I am. Here I am. This is me. And once again, if you want to talk about disability and you want to head things off at the pass and you think intuitively in the moment, “I need to say something to somebody,” great. Do it. But I would love for you to also practice just pretending there ain’t nothing to talk about there.

Rain: Right. Right. That sounds fun. That sounds really fun.

Marc: Yeah. And some people might be awkward, and you could notice their reaction. Here’s what I want you to do. Here’s another piece. Here’s another—let me think how to language this. Let me postulate this. I’m going to make a postulation. I don’t know if this is true about you, but I think it might be.
So I’m going to just say it, and then you’re going to tell me if it’s accurate or not. There’s potentially a place in you that, because you’re such a nice person, you don’t want other people to feel uncomfortable around you. So you try to help them so they don’t feel uncomfortable around you. Is that true?

Rain: Absolutely.

Marc: Okay. It makes perfect sense. Now, here’s what I want to say. I would like you to stop being so nice like that and allow people their discomfort. Stop rescuing them.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Don’t rescue somebody from their discomfort. Create more space. Now, it’s going to be uncomfortable for you to do this. Because what’s happened is when people go into discomfort, you go into discomfort. So what you do is then you make them feel more comfortable which then makes you feel more comfortable. Correct?

Rain: Right. Correct.

Marc: Makes perfect sense. Excellent strategy. Love it. Keep it in your pocket. Now, we’re going to have another tool in our pocket called be opposite. You know something? I’m not going to rescue you from your discomfort right now. I can see you’re a little bit uncomfortable. This is how you’re going to be talking to yourself. “Huh. I can see you’re in some discomfort. I’m going to let you stew in your own juices for a while, while I continue to talk to you and pretend that everything’s pretty chill and cool. And I’m just like the coolest person ever and you’re the coolest person ever.” And you don’t rescue them.
And I want you to see how long you can do that in a given interaction, remembering that you will be uncomfortable. I’m acknowledging. I predict you will be uncomfortable. But I want you to try to move through that discomfort as long as you can because there’s a gift in there for you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: There’s a gift in there for you because when you prematurely rescue someone, you set up a dynamic in that relationship where you’re taking care of that person so they can like you better somehow. So they can feel more comfortable around you. It is your responsibility to help them regulate their experience in relation to you. So now they’re kind of dependent on you, and you’re actually not in an equal relationship. You’re taking care of that person.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And they’re going to get a little bit used to taking care of, and they’re going to relate to you in a different way.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You will start to find people, if you practice this. You will find people who if they’re uncomfortable and you give them that—just allow it. Allow them their discomfort. And you keep hanging out and you keep talking, and there are people who will move through their discomfort.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Because there’s plenty of freaking situations, forgetting about any disability, where you and I get uncomfortable.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You know? There’s plenty of situations I get uncomfortable. I get uncomfortable if I’m in an environment and people I think are smarter than me. I get uncomfortable. I get uncomfortable if everybody’s talking about physics because I have this thing that I could never understand physics when I was in college and high school. It was my worst subject. I got Bs, but I worked so hard. And I still don’t understand it. Dumb as that is.

Maybe it’s a bad analogy, but all I’m saying is that as you show up not protecting other people, the people that can move through their discomfort will move through their discomfort. And all of a sudden, you’re in a real relationship. When I say a real relationship, you’re in a real interaction.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Where you’re not trying to take care of somebody because they can take care of themselves.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And if they can’t take care of themselves around you and if it’s too uncomfortable for them, maybe they’re not the person you want to hang around with.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And that’s okay. Because there’s plenty of people, you don’t want to hang around… Plenty of people I don’t want to hang around with.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It has nothing to do with disability or not a disability. It’s just like, okay, this person’s not a match for me.

Rain: Right.

Marc: When you give people the opportunity to be in their discomfort, you give them the opportunity to show up for you in a bigger way.

Rain: Wow.

Marc: It’s true, right?

Rain: Yeah.

Marc: Can you feel that?

Rain: Definitely. I’m also recognizing if I’m not rescuing them that’s a big burden off of my shoulders as well. It’s not so stressful going in then because I’m carrying the weight of, “Okay, I’ve got to rescue this person right off the bat.”

Marc: You don’t have to rescue anybody. You don’t have to rescue anybody. There is nothing to rescue them from, and I mean that. By doing this, by giving people their discomfort, allowing them to have it, what you’re also doing on a deeper level is you’re acknowledging to yourself and to the universe that you’re not a burden. Your presence is not a burden. Your presence is not something you have to justify. Your presence is not something you have to explain. It’s not something you have to defend. It’s not. You’re just you.

Rain: Right. Man, that one was heavy.

Marc: Yeah. Yeah. It was heavy, but it’s big and it’s good and it’s juicy for you because you know it resonated for you.

Rain: Yes.

Marc: And it’s an important piece of your evolution to really get you are not a burden to anyone.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You’re not a burden to anyone. Kind of the opposite. You’re actually a light, and you’re a person who uplifts. And you’re a person who brings love to the table. You’re a person who brings awareness and consciousness and care. Now, there are humans who don’t recognize that. They don’t recognize that in you. They don’t recognize that in me. They don’t recognize that in other people who bring love and consciousness and care and light. They literally don’t see it. And it has nothing to freaking do with your disability. They just don’t see it.

Rain: Right.

Marc: What a good conversation.

Rain: Yeah. That feels really exciting. I’m excited because I realize that it’s going to be scary, but I think going in, not attaching to the disability and just not having it be my job to rescue them, I’m excited to go in with some different perspectives.

Marc: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. And keep practicing and keep at it because at some point, maybe really quick, maybe in the middle, but at some point, the goodies are going to start to come your way. The universe is going to start to reflect back to you, “Oh, thank you. We’ve been waiting for you to show up.” You know?

Rain: Right.

Marc: “We’ve been waiting for you to come to the party.” You’re going to get positive feedback. It’s going to come. I don’t know what the timeframe is, but it’s going to come. It’s going to show up. I promise you. That’s physics. It’s the metaphysics. It’s the metaphysics of how things work. Where you’re starting to just be you and purely who you are, and when you be you and purely who you are, when I be me and purely who we are, we attract. Those who can recognize that and see that.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And when we throw up smoke screens we attract people who are comfortable with smoke screens.
Rain: Right. Right.

Marc: So I’m so happy for you because I think there’s going to be some really sweet openings for you. And I would like to see you—I want to say one more thing for you. I want to say one more thing, and, again, this is the coach in me talking to you. I want to see you shorten the timeframe between when you think you’re going to be ready to start dating again and when you start dating again.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Okay.

Rain: Mmhmm.

Marc: I don’t want it to be years. I don’t want it to be five months. I want it to be shorter than that.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: I know there’s a history behind you of, “Okay, I tried online dating, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,” all that stuff. I get it. Dating, by the way, is not easy.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Dating is not easy for anyone necessarily. Some people are good at it. I take that back. Dating is not easy for everyone at all.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And it’s a weird world when it comes to dating. There’s just like a lot of nonsense out there, and it’s hard to figure the online thing out. What I’m trying to say to you is that the same issues that anyone else would face with dating are the same issues you’re going to face with dating. Does the disability add another layer onto it? Sure. But with this new understanding, yeah, it’s going to be up to you. It’s going to be up to you in terms of when you share what you share. But what I still want you to know in that process is you don’t have to rescue people.

Rain: Right.

Marc: You don’t have to rescue people. The only person you’re going to have to rescue is yourself. That’s all. Only person you’ve got to really take care of is you. You’ve got to take care of your own heart and not let anybody’s nonsense get into your system or anybody’s judgments. And I know you’ve been doing that a long time. I think your immune system is pretty strong for that.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It’s like we’re human and we get hurt and insults impact us. Even if nobody says anything and there’s a silent insult or there’s a silent judgment, you feel it. I get it. But once again, I want you to know that humans are judging humans all the time for every damn reason.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Some of the most heavily judged women on the planet are the Hollywood beautiful ones. They’re the ones that get the most judgment. It’s weird. You think, “Oh, wow. If I was the perfect one, then I’d get no judgment.” Actually, you get the most.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It’s an interesting game on planet earth. So anyway, all I want to say is that you’re ready when you say you are.

Rain: Right.

Marc: When it comes to dating and when it comes to finding an intimate person. So intimacy, that intimacy will come towards you more when you are more willing.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And willing in this case means when you start to lead with who you actually are, who you actually are which is not your disability. Disability is a feature of you.

Rain: Right.

Marc: It’s an aspect of you. It’s not you. So when you start to lead with who you are, that creates intimacy because that’s who you are. That’s you.

Rain: Right. Right. Right.

Marc: By the way, I just want to say something to you. I can’t wait for you to watch this podcast, video-wise, because your face when we first started and your face now are like completely two different people.

Rain: Wow.

Marc: Yeah. You’re going to see. This to me is your real face which is you’re relaxed and you’re letting your radiance shine through. And you’re not trying to fix anything, and we’ve spent some time and you’re being seen. And we’re in an intimate conversation, and when that happens, you come out more.

Rain: Right.

Marc: And there’s a whole different kind of your beauty shows up when you relax and just get real.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Yeah.

Rain: Absolutely.

Marc: So I’m excited for you, Ms. Rain.

Rain: Thank you.

Marc: And I really, really appreciate this conversation. You have been such a courageous human. I really feel that way.

Rain: Thank you.

Marc: Yeah.

Rain: Thank you. I really appreciate this. I’ve done so many different personal development things, and I love when people have something new because I’m all about, okay, what else can I do? So I feel like I have more tools in my toolkit. I can actually go out there and I’m really excited to not feel responsible for making people feel comfortable. That’s really exciting.

Marc: Mmhmm. Good for you. Good for you. Good for you. Good for you. Good for you.

Rain: Thank you.

Marc: That’s the beginning, and that’s going to slowly and steadily change your relationship with food. And just observe it. Watch it. Just observe and watch, and in the meantime, it’s okay to love food. In the meantime, it’s okay to be intimate with food. I mean that. I really mean that. And in the meantime, also, the more you slow down with it, just slow down and enjoy the intimacy.

Rain: Okay.

Marc: Okay. Slow down and enjoy the intimacy because that’s going to also help you regulate yourself better. Because when we slow down with pleasure, we’re able to manage it more.

Rain: Right.

Marc: Okay. Just slow down.

Rain: I like the idea of the intimacy too because I think I always say, “I’m relieving the stress.” But you’re right. I think it’s the intimacy that I’m seeking and it’s wonderful.

Marc: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we get to follow up in another four or five months. So someone on my team will reach out to you, and I look forward to speaking with you again.

Rain: Thank you. Me too. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Marc: Thanks, Rain.

Rain: Thank you. Have a great weekend.

Marc: I intend to, and thanks, everybody, for tuning. I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Take care, my friends.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
© Institute For The Psychology of Eating, All Rights Reserved, 2016

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Stem Cells: Not Only Embryonic?

The human body has about 65 million active stem cells in the blood stream.

The following article was written by my good friend, Dr. Richard DeAndrea, MD, ND. As a holistic physician who advocates a progressive approach to medicine, Dr. DeAndrea is the medical advisor to the American Naturopathic Medical Association, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Earth Save International. His work places him at the forefront of the exciting advances described below.

It has always been the dream of doctors to cure and reverse disease. Now, through the use of stem cells, this dream is a reality. Cellular medicine is a revolutionary paradigm shift that is exciting for the many and challenging for those invested in the “big pharma” model as the cure for “dis-ease.” Healing at the cellular level is the next generation of medicine that will leave the “cure” word behind.

Stem cells are helping us move from limited, synthetic therapies that do not cure to unlimited, organic regeneration that heals. They are used today to combat leukemia, heal traumatic brain injury, fix degenerated joints and sports injuries, and even replace the role of Botox in reversing the fine lines of aging. These procedures are happening right now in the United States, and none of the cells used are from an embryo or aborted tissue.

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?

Some people are skeptical of stem cell technology because of concerns with stem cells of fetal origin. It is, however, not legal to harvest cells from aborted fetuses and it’s not necessary. Stem cells are abundant in the bodies of adults. There are, on average, up to 65 million active stem cells in your bloodstream at any given time. These are called Mesenchyme stem cells and they rebuild and replace old cells.

Since the time of the ancient Greek physician Paracelsus, it has been known that cells can replace and renew themselves. Doctors such as the Nobel-nominated Dr. Neihanz, of German-Swiss origin—widely considered the Godfather of stem cell therapy——lead the charge in pioneering this work during the early 1930s. In 1956, human stem cells were isolated; in 1967, the first stem cell was cloned. Since then, a technology known as Autologous Stem Cell Therapy was developed to take stem cells from your blood, grow them in large numbers, and use them to heal you.

Stem Cells: The Future of Medicine

As technology progresses, stem cells will be taken from a person and used to regenerate their system. This will put an end to chronic “dis-ease” and organ failure. Researchers at the University of Edenbrough generated a kidney using stem cells in a dog. The kidney is fully functional and the dog does not need dialysis. In fact, in our children’s lifetime, procedures like dialysis will be a memory. Stem cells are the hope for a new lease on life.

The post Stem Cells: Not Only Embryonic? appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


20 Health Benefits of Fasting for Whole Body Wellness

People enjoying the beach. Brain protection and longevity are one of many health benefits of fasting.

Fasting has been recognized for its many health benefits dating back to Hippocrates. These benefits extend to everything from better weight management, improved cardiovascular health, healthier blood composition, and better cell recycling, among many others.

Although there is not an abundance of research on fasting in humans, a growing number of health experts believe that the results of fasting from animal studies hold great promise for human health and future research efforts.

There are many different types of fasts you can choose from, and they differ in their results and difficulty. Much of the research included here comes from studies on caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. One conclusion is steadfast, fasting remains one of the most effective means of detoxifying your body and resetting your system for better overall health.

20 Health Benefits of Fasting

1. Improves Body Composition and Fitness

People fast for all kinds of reasons, and many are particularly interested in the effects fasting has on the body’s fat tissues and overall weight loss. Others fast or intermittently fast for better exercise results. Fasting contributes to a better body composition in several ways, primarily through its actions on hormones and fat metabolism.

2. Promotes Greater Satiety

Your fatty tissue acts as a kind of endocrine organ, producing several different hormones. One of these hormones, leptin, affects how full you feel. Fasting and weight loss significantly affect your hunger level and post-meal satisfaction through this hormone. With fasting, leptin levels drop initially, but as you lose weight, you decrease leptin resistance. Becoming more responsive to leptin signals increases how full you feel.[1]

3. Boosts Your Metabolism

Leptin, though known primarily as the “satiety” hormone, also increases thyroid hormone production. Improved leptin sensitivity increases the rate of your metabolism if you have a sluggish thyroid.[1]

4. Supports Fat Loss and Ketosis

Ketosis, or the fat-burning state, is reached either by fasting or eating a diet centered on healthy fats. Ketosis helps you burn through your fat reserves. Excessive central fat stored around organs, like your liver and kidneys, interferes with organ function. Fasting, particularly intermittent fasting, helps you reach ketosis even faster than traditional caloric restriction. One study found that fasting significantly boosted fat metabolism in humans.[1, 2, 3]

5. Encourages Better Insulin Sensitivity

Fasting causes the body to secrete less insulin because you’re not giving yourself steady doses of sugar. Lower levels of this hormone lead to increased sensitivity in those with insulin resistance. Excessive fat stores seem to contribute to this resistance. Some research points to excessive fat in the body, blood, and diet as a contributor to insulin resistance by preventing it from doing its job, i.e., opening the pores on your cell membranes to allow sugar to pass into them.[4, 5]

6. Improves Cardiovascular Health

One of the main benefits of fasting, particularly for people that have metabolic syndrome-related health concerns, is the many immediate cardiovascular benefits. Fasting improves cardiovascular function, blood composition, and blood pressure. Those with type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol may find fasting helpful for addressing some of the associated health concerns.[6]

7. Lowers Blood Pressure

While fasting, many people develop lower blood pressure, primarily during the first week of a fast. It might not be fasting itself that decreases blood pressure, but rather a significantly lower salt intake and increased loss of salt through the urine.[7]

8. Decreases Blood Sugar

In just the first few days of fasting, blood sugar drops over 30%, a significant perk to anyone with hyperglycemia. This drop usually makes people feel low energy, but your blood sugar levels should stabilize as you continue to fast.[2]

9. Improves Blood Triglycerides

Blood triglycerides decrease during the fasting state. Having fatty blood increases your risk of developing narrowed arteries.[2]

10. Promotes Heart Health

Another animal study found that fasting leads to improved heart health. In animals, researchers found that intermittent fasting improved heart muscle performance, reduced free radical damage, and increased the growth of blood vessels within the heart.[2]

11. May Slow Aging and Enhance Longevity

Research into fasting for longevity and healthier aging is well-established in animals, but controlled testing on humans is still in its infancy. Better blood composition alone improves healthier aging and health outcomes. The effects of fasting appear to lead to a healthier, longer lifespan.[8]

12. Decreases Inflammation

Inflammation has many causes, but an unhealthy diet is a consistent source of free radicals and the foods that cause inflammation. Refined sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, meat, dairy, and fried or charred foods provoke inflammation. But food isn’t the only source—metabolic reactions also generate free radicals like superoxides and hydrogen peroxide. Foregoing a few meals prevents food-related inflammation before it even starts.[9]

Another way that fasting decreases inflammation is through better hormone balance. Several studies have found lower insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity decrease oxidative stress caused by free radicals.[8, 9]

13. Increases Resistance to Oxidative Stress

Free radical-related damage is a well-known contributor to premature aging. The benefits of fasting include better blood composition, improved hormone signaling, less oxidative stress, and healthier gene signaling. These benefits make your body’s oxidative stress plummet, a feat that keeps your genes, cells, and tissues healthy as you age.[2, 10]

14. Improves Cell Recycling

As we age, rogue cells, both human and foreign, can proliferate throughout the body unchecked and this damaged tissue can contribute to progressive disease. Fasting sends your body into cell recycling, a process of self-digestion at the cellular level called autophagy. But you’re not just digesting your fat to fuel yourself while fasting. Your body also targets malfunctioning cells and old tissues to optimize resources for survival.[11]

Fasting promotes the destruction of malfunctioning cells and tissues through selective protection. It selectively protects healthy tissues because they respond to adverse conditions like famine or fasting.[12]

15. Increases Growth Regulation

Your body produces less IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) while fasting and on certain diets, such as a healthy plant-based diet. IGF-1 has been implicated as a hormone that helps cancer proliferate throughout the body. Reduced IGF-1 production decreases your odds of intractable tumor growth and spread. This means that fasting can help cleanse the body of not only the resources rogue cells need but also the hormones that help them stick around and thrive.[4]

16. Protects Your Brain

Studies on aging and brain function have substantially increased in the last decade. Life expectancies have increased well past what was once even thought possible. The public’s profound interest in brain health throughout all stages of life reflects a desire to age gracefully, healthfully, and with full mental faculties intact. Fortunately, fasting seems to specifically kickstart protective mechanisms in your brain.[1]

17. Reduces Harmful Protein Production

There are many proteins and metabolic products that provoke inflammation, particularly in the brain. Fasting and calorie restriction inhibit the production of free radicals and irritating proteins like inflammatory cytokines. Mounting evidence indicates that these contribute to premature brain aging and that fasting can decrease their production, protecting you from their impact. Interestingly, mounting evidence suggests that not only does free radical damage and inflammatory cytokine production slow down, but protective cytokine production increases while fasting.[1]

18. Promotes a Healthy Stress Response

Mild, infrequent stress is good for you. It challenges your body, and you come out stronger after going through it. Moderate, short stress on the brain produces a similar result. Fasting exerts a small amount of stress on the brain. This stress sets of a cascade of actions that protect neurons from damage and death in animal models.[1]

19. Enhances Recovery From Injury

You would think that fasting after injury, especially one to the glucose-hungry brain, would make recovery even more difficult. But the opposite seems to be true. In animal studies, intermittent fasting after injury improved brain function from stroke and diseases that affect the brain. At this time, the mechanism is not yet understood, so further investigation is required before your health care practitioner can start recommending intermittent fasting for recovery.[1]

20. Supports Healthier Collagen in Skin

Your diet is important to your skin’s appearance, but fasting can also improve your skin’s integrity. High blood sugar changes the structure of collagen, weakening its strength and resilience. Since fasting substantially lowers blood sugar, you can think of it as a normal part of your skin care routine to ensure graceful aging.[13]

Fasting for Health and Wellness

Research is still emerging in humans in some areas, but fasting has demonstrated so many potential benefits that you may find yourself wondering how to get started. I recommend you try my ketogenic fast if you’re looking to kick-start your weight loss journey and invest your fasting efforts into one of the most effective methods of organ and body cleansing.

Have you experimented with fasting? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!

The post 20 Health Benefits of Fasting for Whole Body Wellness appeared first on Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles.


Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #217 – A Big Breakthrough After 42 Years of Dieting

What would it be like to have something you’ve wanted since you were 12? And now, like Deb, you’re 58, and you still don’t have it. For Deb, this ‘something’ she wants is to feel comfortable in her own skin. As she shares with Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, she has tried all the diets, and lost the weight a number of times, and nothing has worked. As they dig deeper, Deb gains 2 major insights from Marc. He empowers her to reprogram the belief ‘food is calories, must restrict calories’ to a more nourishing relationship of ‘I love food. I enjoy whole, nutritious foods and even have a treat every once in a while’. The second, and big takeaway for Deb, stems from her feeling of ‘not fitting in’ since she was a teenager. Instead of continuing to try to fit by worrying about what she looks like, or how much she weighs, Marc has another strategy. Check out this episode to see what it is!

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we are back in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m with Deb today. Welcome, Deb.

Deb: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

Marc: And I’m happy to be here too. And I am going to say a few words to viewers and listeners. And then you and I are going to jump in.

So for those of you who are new to the podcast, thanks for coming by. Deb and I are going to spend about an hour together. And we’re just meeting now officially for the first time. And we’re going to see if we could push the fast forward button on a little bit of change.

And for those of you who have been following this podcast, I’m glad you’re back. Welcome.

Miss Deb, if you could wave your magic wand and if you can get whatever you wanted to get out of this session, what would that be for you?

Deb: To lose weight without feeling overly deprived and be able to keep it off, just be steady instead of yo-yoing.

Marc: So to be able to lose weight, keep it off without it being crazy, without denying yourself, just sort of naturally.

Deb: Yes.

Marc: How much weight do you want to lose?

Deb: Maybe 30 pounds.

Marc: 30 pounds. When was the last time you were at your target weight? When would have been the last time you weighed 30 pounds less than you are now?

Deb: I would say I touched down probably about 12 years ago.

Marc: About 12 years ago. And what did you do to get there?

Deb: Cut my calories and increased exercise.

Marc: Cut your calories and increased exercise. When you say, “Cut my calories,” how much did you cut your calories?

Deb: Probably to 15, 1600 a day.

Marc: Did you feel deprived?

Deb: I was motivated. It was a different time. So yes, I would say I felt deprived. I love food. So yes, when I have to cut calories like that, I do feel deprived.

Marc: So how did the weight come back on in your experience?

Deb: I go back to eating the way I had beforehand. It just never became the lifestyle change. There’s no balance. I just haven’t found the right balance to keeping it off.

Marc: So what weight do you specifically want to get down to?

Deb: Probably 135, I think.

Marc: 135.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: How tall are you?

Deb: 5′ 5.5″.

Marc: So give me a sense of—what do you have for breakfast? Average breakfast. Give me a typical breakfast.

Deb: Two protein bars, 150 calories each, and some coffee. The protein bars have fiber in it. That’s why. And it’s an Atkins bar.
Marc: What time do you eat that, roughly?

Deb: About 9, 9:30. I’m at work when I do that.

Marc: Got it. And that’s a pretty typical, consistent breakfast for you?

Deb: Yeah, that’s what works for me.

Marc: Got it. Got it. Okay. When’s the next time you eat?

Deb: Depending on how hungry I am, I could have maybe a little bit of egg salad. I tend to stick with the same foods because I know what works to help me. But I’m not satisfied with that. I can’t get comfortable with allowing myself certain foods. I just don’t know what to do. So I tend to be the same.

So I might have a little egg salad and then a little bit later—so that could be anywhere between 11 and 12, usually about 12. And then at about 2, maybe sooner, I’ll have some kefir with blueberries and coconut in it.

Marc: Okay. And then when’s the next time you eat?

Deb: Dinner.

Marc: Which is…?

Deb: And that would be—depends. Usually close to 8.

Marc: Okay. And give me an idea of a typical dinner.

Deb: It’ll be some seafood. It could be that egg salad again that I love. I’m not big on meat. I just can’t. I’ve got aversions to chicken and meat. I’m happier being closer to vegetarian than being able to tolerate the animal protein.

Marc: Okay. So you have dinner at 8ish. Then when’s the next time you eat?

Deb: I’m enjoying a couple glasses of wine. I know that that’s probably something to consider. And then that’s it. Then if I have a little bit, maybe some fruit or some nuts within an hour afterward and then nothing more until breakfast.

Marc: So do you ever have late evening snacks after dinner other than wine? Do you ever get really hungry?

Deb: No, not typically.

Marc: Okay. So then that’s a typical diet. And on that diet, you don’t lose weight. Is that true?

Deb: Right. Because on the weekends I probably eat more. I’ll take in more calories on the weekend. And I haven’t been physically active. I just purchased a rebounder that arrived yesterday so that I can start something different.

Marc: Okay. So you’ll eat different on the weekends than during the week. That’s what you’re saying?

Deb: Maybe a little bit more. But it’s usually the same. I try to stick with the same thing because I know what works. I know what calories. So I’m more holding my own right now. I’m not really losing.

Marc: Okay. So on this way of eating that you just described, you do not lose weight?

Deb: No.

Marc: Okay. Okay.

Deb: It’s not working.

Marc: Okay. Understood. That’s just what I wanted us to establish.

Deb: Yes.
Marc: So how long have you been trying to lose weight?

Deb: Since I was 12.

Marc: Since you were 12. May I ask how old you are now?

Deb: Yeah, I’m 58.

Marc: Okay. So a couple of years you’ve been doing this. Since 12—give me a sense, why 12? What happened? What went down? What was going on?

Deb: Oh, I’ll tell you very specifically. My mother got remarried. My mother had gotten divorced when I was 10. She got married. They blended a family. And that was okay. I was living in Brooklyn and Queens, accustomed to the city schools. And then we moved to Long Island. So that was when I was 13. Cliques, completely different. Just a completely different culture. And I was lost. My biological father bowed out of our lives. So there’s abandonment and trust issues, the blended family. My brother and I didn’t have my mother the same way that we had. I hated the school I was in. I gained 50 pounds.

So we moved when I was going into 8th grade. So I started junior high in Queens. And even though that was a different school, I had a great year. I was able to make friends still. But I didn’t fit in. And that’s really what has stayed with me through the years after we moved. I never fit in. And I’m trying to work that through still. Almost there, but it’s a long, long time of just not feeling—it was just very different.

Marc: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So married? Kids?

Deb: Divorced. Two boys—29 and 32. Two grandchildren—almost 5 and 16 months, two more boys.

Marc: Congratulations!

Deb: Thank you. Thank you.
Marc: Yes, yes, yes. So you mentioned when we were chitchatting before we went live you’re a dietician.

Deb: Yes, I am.

Marc: When? When did that happen?

Deb: That happened—I started school. The kids were 6 and 9. And I had been divorced for a number of years. Didn’t know what to go to school for. Knew and always felt this is going to be great. I just got such a great feeling about it. But they don’t teach you what you do, what IPE does. So because my kids have weight issues and certainly because of me, I thought, “This is what’s going to make the difference.” But 17 years, and I haven’t found it yet. But I did, now. I will be able to go into my own practice because of this program, because of IPE.

Marc: So have you been practicing as a dietician, working somewhere, or just kind of…? Help me understand.

Deb: I’m a renal dietician.

Marc: Oh, really?

Deb: So I work—yes, yes.

Marc: Wow!

Deb: I work in dialysis.

Marc: Oh, wow!

Deb: Yeah, but it’s so unfulfilling. So I became a dietician because naturally I’m a counselor. I just have that inherently and always have except that we’re not taught really counseling. And we’re not taught how to really help people. And the renal patients, the ones who are non adherent aren’t interested in changing. And that’s very frustrating because we get pressured to have outcomes. And we’re having a hard time achieving them. So I’ve done long term care. I’ve been in food service. So I haven’t found my place yet.

Marc: Yeah, it sounds like you want to work one on one with people.

Deb: Absolutely.

Marc: Okay.

Deb: Absolutely.

Marc: Okay. So let’s say you lost the weight. Let’s say we waved our magic wand. We had this superpower. You’re 30 pounds less. It’s permanent, don’t even have to worry about it. Who is this new Deb now? What’s different about her?

So this is an important goal for you. I understand. So usually when we have an important goal, we have an idea of what’s going to happen once we get that goal. So I’m interested in what you tell yourself and how you imagine life will be when you are this new person at this new body with this new weight.

Deb: I don’t have delusions anymore. I have enough life experience to understand that—I know myself well enough to know. I will just be more comfortable within my own body. It’s not going to—I have a boyfriend. We’ve been living together for a couple of years. So it’s not like, “Oh, if I lose this weight, it’s going to help me meet more people.” Been there, done that. Doesn’t really—it matters to a degree. But not necessarily.

So I just want to be comfortable in my own skin. And that will help me just be more comfortable, be healthier. I’m in great health—got some aches and pains. I’d like to work that out. So it’s for health reasons more than—Well, no. It’s not all for health reasons.

Marc: Thank you for catching that.

Deb: Yeah, I did. I did. It’s not, because I’m healthy. So it’s just personal.

Marc: Yeah.

Deb: It was just like getting my master’s degree. That was personal.

Marc: Yeah, so it sounds like, on one level, it’s a goal that you want to hit. “This is personal. I just want to get there. I’ve been trying to get there a long time.” You mentioned the word, “I’m going to feel more comfortable a number of times.

I just want to play, just for a moment—just for a moment. Comfortable is an interesting word. When I say comfortable, when you say comfortable, everybody has a different notion when we say comfortable.

Deb: It’s relative, yes.

Marc: So I’m just wondering for you, if we broke it down a little bit more, “I feel more comfortable in my body when I lose this weight.” Just give me more words around that. What does that mean for you—comfortable?

Deb: Just having less gut, less abdomen. Less self conscious about my body. And being able to dress the way I want to dress. That doesn’t really have to do with comfort, though. But maybe just feeling more satisfied. Yeah, I’m having a hard time putting that together, defining that for you.

Marc: Yeah, yeah. Understood. So let me see if I can piece some of the things that you said. You want to be able to wear clothes that you want to wear. So I’m thinking of myself, if I can’t wear clothes that I want to wear that I have in my closet, yeah, that’s a little uncomfortable. I want to wear that, not that. So it gives you a more choice, a little more freedom.

It sounds like you’re going to feel better about yourself. It sounds like you’re going to just like yourself better. If you look at your belly and go, “Oh, it’s thinner than it used to be. It’s got less fat than it used to have.”

Deb: Yeah, yes.

Marc: Okay. Okay, I get it. so thank you for hanging in there with me on that question.

Deb: No, thank you.

Marc: Yeah. Sometimes, it’s all in the details. And it’s just good to understand. With each other, I never want to take for granted when—in this kind of conversation if somebody says, “Well, I want to feel more comfortable.”

I have to know what you mean by that, not what I mean by that. I don’t necessarily think we’re in agreement or that I know what you’re talking about. So part of this is really understanding how you’re thinking about all these things. So I’m just explaining why I’m kind of focusing on certain things.

So is your mother still alive?

Deb: Yes.

Marc: How old is she?

Deb: She’ll be 80 in April.

Marc: Are you guys close?

Deb: Yes. Yes, I moved here because I have family here. My kids are in New York. But New York is too tough.

Marc: Got it.

Deb: But yeah, we are close. And we’ve always had an exceedingly close relationship, not necessarily the healthiest. But yeah, we are close.
Marc: So if I was talking to her in a private conversation right now. And I said, “Mama, your daughter wants to lose this weight. She’s been in a little bit of a battle for a long time. What do you think is going on, Mama Deb?” If I asked her, what would she say?

Deb: She would probably take some ownership because of the situation. She married someone solid. She married somebody who she thought would be there for us. And he was. He’s amazing. My dad is amazing.

Marc: It’s your stepdad.

Deb: Yeah, but he adopted us.

Marc: Yeah.

Deb: But the biological father—

Marc: Doesn’t make—yeah.

Deb: No.

Marc: Got it. Got it.

Deb: So yeah, and he’s turning 90 in April. So she would say she understands the struggle. We’ve spoken about it a little bit more because I keep struggling to find my place and being comfortable in my own skin. And feeling like I belong.

So yeah, she would like take some ownership. She feels terrible. It’s the gene pool. That’s part of it as well. She’s had her own struggles. She has eater’s remorse every time she puts something in her mouth that we would categorize as that bad food.

Marc: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Understood. Okay.

So I think I’ve got enough information for us to start to play around in a different way and maybe see if we can hone in on some places to work here. So what I’d like to do is give me a minute or two. I’d like to say some things to you like general remarks so far.

So I’ve asked questions. I’ve gathered some information that’s helpful to me. So I’m just kind of going to feed back to you what my mind is gathering from this conversation, first in the big picture. Then we’re going to drill down a little bit.

Deb: Okay.

Marc: Make sense?

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you’ve been at this for awhile there, young lady.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: This is not just something that we’re talking about began two years ago. So we’re talking 40-something years of being in relationship with one’s body, with one’s weight. And I just want to acknowledge that that’s intense. And that’s a long road. And that’s not easy.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: So it’s not easy. I don’t want to gloss over this. This is not just a conversation about losing a freaking bunch of pounds because this has been something that has been occupying you essentially since you’ve been a child and has followed you through your teens, your 20s, your 30s, your 40s, through marriage, through kids, through grandkids, and into this moment. So I just want to say that that’s not an easy journey for anyone. It really isn’t. So first off, I am honored that we’re in this conversation.

Deb: I am as well. Thank you.

Marc: I am glad for you that you are still standing for yourself. So what’s happening is that you’ve been on a long journey here. And I’m just acknowledging. And with all due respect, you’re not the only one who has been on this crazy journey.

Deb: No.

Marc: As we all know, this grips so many people. This grips so many women. So my perspective—before I go any further, I just want to let you know. My orientation, my perspective here is, especially when I’m speaking to a woman who’s in your age group whose of queen age, my ears are particularly sharp right now because we’re not at the beginning of the game.

It’s not like you’re 20 years old and you have your whole life ahead of you. This is something that I want to get handled for you way sooner than later. We’re not going to take another 42 years.

Deb: That’s good!

Marc: Okay. But I need you to understand that that’s my perspective. I don’t want you to have to waste another minute. So anything that I say to you—huh. Your screen is—

Deb: I’m here. Yeah, I know.

Marc: Okay.

Deb: Someone just left a message. Sorry.

Marc: Got it. Okay. So—hang on. I’m just getting back my train of thought.

Deb: I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Marc: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, no. Don’t apologize. Let me just pick up on where I was.

So my perspective is that you’ve got to switch gears. And you’ve got to switch gears quickly because whatever you’ve been doing—I don’t care what it is. I don’t care how smart you think it is. I don’t care how clever. I don’t care how scientific. It hasn’t worked.

Deb: No.

Marc: Okay.

Deb: Agreed.

Marc: Shakespeare—“The proof is in the pudding.” Okay. So nothing has worked permanently, sustainably. So from that perspective, my mind starts to look for, “Okay, what have you been doing that ain’t working, number one? What’s going on? What’s motivating you here? What’s driving you? And what’s really underneath all this?”

So essentially to me, there are two key places you need to work.

Deb: Okay.

Marc: I’m going to tell you key place number two, the less important one first. Okay. But there are two key places. Both are very important for you. Here’s number two—least important but still important.

When I was asking questions about food—and when we jumped in together, I usually don’t ask questions about, “Okay, what do you eat? What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner?” I usually save that to the end. I wanted to do it with you first in part because I know you’re a dietician, in part because you just have more information swimming in your head about that kind of stuff that is useful and that can also get in the way because a little bit of knowledge is good and a little bit of knowledge could also be dangerous.

Deb: Yes. Yeah.

Marc: So for you being a dietician is a huge advantage, and it’s a huge disadvantage, both. So here’s where it’s a disadvantage. You said to me several times. You used the same language even. When I was asking you what you eat, you said, “I know what works for me. I eat the same thing because I know what works.”

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: “Because I know what works.”

Deb: Yeah. Right.

Marc: And I want to remove that comment. It’s more you eat that way because you have found a certain comfort zone that somehow you believe is kind of like home base when you’re playing tag. You run back to home base. It’s your safe place. It actually doesn’t move you forward.

Deb: No, it doesn’t.

Marc: So what I want to say is the way you eat doesn’t advance you in terms of where you want to go. Your belief system about food has co-opted your mind a bit. And at the end of the day, I need you eating food. I need you eating a real freaking breakfast. I need you eating food for breakfast. If it’s up to me, you would never eat another bar for the rest of your life.

Deb: I agree. Thank you.

Marc: Okay.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: And it’s not that I have anything against bars. But for you—for you, for you!—I need you to eat food at breakfast. And it could be eggs. It could be egg salad, even if it’s a little bit. I want you to eat real food at breakfast. I want you to have a real lunch.

Deb: Okay.
Marc: What’s happening is you are so skewing how you are doing food you’re probably eating the bulk of your calories in the latter half of your day, if I had a guess.

Deb: That’s fair, yeah. Yeah.

Marc: Yeah, the majority of your calories are coming in the latter part of your waking day. We’ve got to shift that. We have to shift that. It’s a little bit of a tweak. But we have to give your body the signal that we’re going to be revving up your system from morning until late afternoon. That’s when we do all our hunting and gathering. That’s when we do our activity.

And what you’re trying to do—because there’s a little fear of food. There’s a little fear of calories in there. So there’s a part of you that’s holding off because food is the enemy. A bar doesn’t look like food. Bar is like substitute food. You’re actually trying to not eat food when you’re eating a bar. You’re actually trying to not eat food when you have a little bit of egg salad. You’re fueling yourself. You are not eating. You are fueling.

At dinnertime, that’s when you start to eat. You let down your guard a little bit. My guess is, the wine is probably the one time you truly enjoy what you’re taking in.

Deb: Yes.

Marc: Okay. So the way you experience wine is the way I want you to experience food. That’s what we’re going to shoot for. “Oh my god, I love this breakfast.” I want you to eat food that you love that you know is healthy for you.

Now, I’m going to bet that you know what’s healthy for you and you know what tastes good. And I’m pretty sure of that.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: So it has to be like food. I want you to pretend that what you eat doesn’t have calories. You don’t see food. You literally don’t see food. You see calories.

Deb: I see calories.

Marc: You see calories. Until you start to unwind that, we’re not going to get where we need to go with you. You’re not going to get where you need to go. It’s no different than—you were married. You had a husband. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out. You got divorced. And you say, “Men suck. Husbands suck. Marriage is no good. Relationship is no good.” And every time you see a man, you see bad. That is going to really limit your life.

If you have a dog and that dog doesn’t work out for whatever reason and then you spend the rest of your life being afraid of dogs, that’s kind of what’s happening here.

So you’ve labeled food as calories. And because of that, there is a place in you where you are living in a low level stress response that literally hijacks your metabolism.

Is there is a scientific basis for that? Yes. Is what I’m saying conjecture? Yes. Is it based on observation and years of experience? You bet. So in my experience, what I believe is that mind and emotions are so powerful that they can hijack metabolism in such a way that it will alter the body.

I see this time and time again. People release a long-held stress, a long-held trauma, a long-held toxic belief. And their metabolism changes.

So we, meaning you—you have to start to reprogram yourself. You cannot continue on with the false belief that food equals calories. There is no animal in nature that does that. And up until 60 years ago, no human ever thought that. “Food is calories. Food is calories. Food is calories.”

But when you say, “Food is calories,” really what you’re saying is, “Food is the enemy. Food is the enemy. Food makes me fat. Food makes me fat. Control my calories.”

And then what’s happening is your body is defending against something. It’s seeing food as the enemy. Every time you eat, your body goes into a response. Every time the brain perceives enemy, we go into some degree of stress chemistry. You keep yourself in a low level stress chemistry that will function to lock in the very weight you want to lose.

So I could never help you lose weight. If I was getting paid $20 million to help you lose weight—I’m getting paid $20 million to help you lose it permanently, this is exactly what I would do to get my 20 million bucks. I want that $20 million. I’m very motivated right now. I’m making this up in my mind. I’m going to get $20 million. I want that money. So if I want that money, actually the first thing I have to handle with you is usually the last thing I handle with most people.

This concept in you is so strong, it has hijacked your brain. It has hijacked your brain. So you need to start unwinding. Every time you see food, I want you to catch yourself. “No, that’s not calories. That’s food.”

I want you to literally return to who you were when you were 9 years old and you just ate. I want you to look at that food. And I want you to have a smile on your face because part of it—

Wait, wait. Let me just make sure before I—I’m going to start to get into number one. So the piece about food, the piece about nutrition is that we have to get you seeing food as food. So I’m just telling you to turf. I’m telling you what we would do to get there. I’m trying to cram in a lot of time into one little place here.

You have to start to relax with food because you don’t know what food does in your body. You say, “I know what works.” What I want to say to you is you actually tell yourself that. But you don’t. You don’t know. You make that up in your head simply because it’s comfortable because it’s not making you gain anymore weight.

Deb: Correct.

Marc: In your brain, you’re thinking, “Okay, this is going to make me not gain anymore weight.” But what you’ve landed on is a place where, because you’re not actually eating enough food in the first half of your day, your body is taking notice. Your body is going, “Huh. Not enough food.” And this has been going on for mostly years and years and years and years and years.

“I must be in a survival situation. I must be in an environment where there ain’t enough food.” And whenever the human body, whenever any mammalian body is in a situation where there is not enough food in the environment, metabolism slows down. It’s a very simple survival mechanism.

Not enough food in the environment, you slow down metabolism. You burn calories slowly. You don’t muscle build. You conserve energy. Right now, if you and I were stranded on a desert island, to the day, our metabolism would slow down because the brain wisely perceives, “Oh my goodness, lack of food. Body needs to survive as long as possible. Store fat. Don’t build muscle. Burn really slow.”

So you’re giving your body that signal while at the same time your brain is thinking this is good. And it’s actually the opposite. It makes sense to the rational mind because you’ve been taught calories in, calories out.

Weight on my body equals the amount of calories in versus how many calories I burn. And that’s completely not true. It’s an antiquated model. It sounds correct. But the human body is not a pure input/output calorie burning machine. It does not work that way.

Science has already proven that. We can go into a discussion about that. I don’t want to go there because I want to make sure I have enough time to help you get where you want to go. So we may return to this piece because there’s so much to say about it. But I don’t have enough time to really drill down because that’s going to take time. I’m just trying to tell you the places you need to work.

Here’s number one. Here’s what’s most important. And I’m just thinking how to word this so it’s most complete and comprehensive. You were very clear. When I asked you, “So why do you think this has been a challenge for you?” you went right there. And personally, I think you’re right.

And what you essentially said is you went back to a time in your history that was very vulnerable where you were at a time in your life—puberty, age 12ish, age 13ish. That’s hard enough for a human being. Going through puberty in the United States of America is hard. People don’t understand that. It’s hard because we get a lot of nonsense input.

Puberty is a very, very sensitive time. Psychologists call it a time when we are imprint vulnerable. All of a sudden, your sexuality is exploding. As a woman, you’re releasing more estrogen. You’re actually releasing a little bit more testosterone. Your sex drive is coming online. Your feelings, different emotions, are coming online. Your body is changing. Guys are noticing you. You’re noticing. Stuff is happening.

And we need such exquisite mentoring at that time. We need exquisite understanding. And instead, you were thrown into chaos. At the same time, you moved. You went from an environment you were completely familiar with and comfortable with to an environment that you weren’t familiar with and weren’t comfortable with. You didn’t have your biological father anymore. He abandoned you. That sucks.

So you wrap all that together. And you’re in a new environment. And you don’t fit in. You’re a city kid in a suburban environment. You might as well have been in a foreign country. It’s true.

Deb: Yes.

Marc: Not speaking the language.

Deb: It is. Absolutely.

Marc: If you haven’t had that experience, you won’t understand it. It’s big for a 12 or a 13 year old. So what I’m acknowledging here is that, to me, what you said is accurate. To me, what you said is correct. You’ve identified, “Okay, wow! Something was set in motion at this point.”

What was set in motion? So there was—how do we say this? There was a little perturbance in the system. There is some sand in the oyster. And what happens when there is a perturbance in the system that doesn’t quite get handled is it reproduces itself in more elegant ways as we get older.

So that perturbance in your system which you actually named was, “I don’t fit in.” You said several times, “I didn’t fit in. I didn’t fit in.” You also mentioned essentially, “I’m still trying to fit in.”

Deb: Yes.

Marc: So on one level—and I’m saying this as your friend, mentor, coach—on one level, you’re living with this mantra, with this billboard that goes across your visual screen called, “I don’t fit in.” And it’s an overlay that impacts every part of your life, not just your body.

Deb: Everything, yes.

Marc: It impacts everything. “I don’t fit in.” Why does that, “I don’t fit in” come across your screen day in and day out? It’s because of this time in your life when it is the most important time of your life to start to feel like I fit in when we’re going through puberty. We are desperate, when you’re in your teens, to fit in.

That’s what the teenage mind wants. It wants to start to find its place in the world with other humans of its age group. “Where do I fit in? Who am I? Do you like me? Am I attractive? Am I pretty? Am I okay? Talk to me. Be with me. I want to fit in.”

And you so got the message that you didn’t fit in because there was so much chaos going on for you that you turned to the easiest substitute to make yourself feel good which is food. So the fact that you gained weight at that time makes 100% perfect sense because it was the way that you knew to regulate your emotions which were probably so intense to deal with what you were dealing with. Very intense. I get it.

Deb: Yes.

Marc: I understand that. So you are still trying to actually recover from that time.

Deb: Mm-hm.

Marc: Yeah.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: And that’s the thing about us humans, Deb. And I know you know this. It’s like, yeah, there’s a part of you that’s a woman and a part of you that’s achieved and accomplished. You’ve raised kids. You have grandkids. You’ve made a place for yourself in the world. And arguably, there’s a place where you fit in.

But you don’t experience that. It’s not how you live in your body. What your body tells you because all these messages that have been going across your screen—“I don’t fit in; I don’t fit in”—live in your body, your body doesn’t feel like it fits in. All of it feels like it doesn’t fit in.

So here’s what happens. Here’s what the mind does—not just your mind. Here’s what your mind has done. But this is what minds do. “Okay, let’s see. I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in. I want to fit in. How do I fit in? I know. Change my body.” Why? Because the world tells me that. Media tells me that. Culture tells me that. Magazines, internet, movies tell me if I have a nicer body, I’m going to fit in.

Why? Because you’ve been told that since you’ve been a little freaking kid. “Go to Weight Watchers; you’ll fit in. Diet; you’ll fit in. Look at the boys. They’re going after this girl, that girl. If you look like that, you’ll fit in.”

So you still have in your mind that if I shift my body I will have my place in the world. I will fit in. So you have it. It’s kind of your religion. It’s like commandment number one. You believe this religiously. We all believe things religiously oftentimes. One of the religious beliefs that you have is, “If I lose weight, I will fit in.”

What I want to say to you is that it’s completely false. That is a false notion. You fit in no matter what. Does Oprah fit in? Is she an outsider? Does everybody hate her? Is she worthy of disgust? Or should be dieting Oprah so she could fit in? How many women do you know in your life, or have you met or seen, who are big women who fit in?

Deb: Right. They’re comfortable in their own skin.

Marc: Yes.

Deb: Right, yeah. And the correlation you’re making—the fitting in. Right. It’s the comfort in my own body. Right. Okay. Got it.

Marc: Okay.

Deb: Got it.

Marc: So here’s what happens for you. You have a belief. The 12 or 13 year old girl in you is very clever. She’s a smart 12 or 13 year old girl. This is my challenge right now. Most 12 or 13 year old girls have a lot to learn. They’re not that bright. They’ve only been on the planet 12 or 13 years. The same for boys. But you’ve got a smart 12 or 13 girl in you.

And she still believes that her way is going to get her where she wants to go. She believes that if I do this kind of diet, this kind of strategy, if I keep doing this—somehow, somehow, somehow, somehow, despite the fact that I’ve been trying these same things for 40 years—somehow this is going to get me where I want to go.

Now, here’s the thing. I want to think of the best way to say this. You’re still waiting to be invited to the party is what it feels like to me. You’re still waiting to be invited to the party. And the reality is there is no party out there. It’s life.

This is your life. It’s all happening. I am trying to tell you there is nothing to get invited to. There is nothing to fit in. You have been doing your life. You’re trying to get to a place that doesn’t exist. And it’s called fitting in. What does that mean? You translate that into, “I’m going to be more comfortable.”

But you use that in a circular way. “Okay, well, when I lose weight, I’m going to be more comfortable because I’m going to fit in. I’m going to have this feeling. And when I have this feeling, then I’m going to be okay about myself.”

And what I’m trying to tell you is that feeling—you’ve had that feeling. Years ago when you came close to your target weight. And it didn’t stay. It didn’t get you there. Your diet didn’t keep you there. The system you created, you pretty much got where you wanted to go. And it didn’t work is what I’m trying to tell you because the system itself—you reaching a target weight—what I am trying to tell you will not get you where you want to go.

And the way you’re trying to get to your target weight, does it even get you to your target? There’s no way to get to your target weight.

Deb: No.

Marc: There’s no way. Who you are being right now cannot get to your target weight.

So what I am saying to you is, for a period of time, you have to get off drugs. And the drug for you is dieting, focusing on food, focusing on my weight, focusing on losing this weight, focusing on getting to this goal. That’s become a drug for you. It’s literally the place you go to get juice. It actually gives you something to do. It actually motivates you. It gives you energy.

Does it take away your energy sometimes? Absolutely. Does it drain your energy? Absolutely. But it’s so familiar to you. It’s like an old friend.

Deb: Yeah. Very old, ingrained friend.

Marc: Yes. And in a lot of ways, to move forward, you have to become no longer your mother’s daughter. You have to become your own woman. Right now, there’s a place where you are still being a young girl in your own mind and in your own experience.

Now, for sure, I want you to always have that young person in you. I want me to have that. I want us all to always have access to that.

But I don’t want them driving the car. I don’t want them running your life. I don’t want the 12 or 13-year-old girl running your life. She runs your diet. She actually runs your relationship with your body. She runs the show. When you and I are in dialogue about most of this stuff, I’m going to say 75% of the time we’ve got a 12 or 13-year-old girl that I’m talking to.

And now, it is time for you to understand that you are not that girl anymore. We’ve got to get you more into present time and get you to see that there is not party out there to get invited to. You’re the party.

There is no, “Okay, I fit in now.” Fit into what? To what? Where? Here’s your boyfriend. Here are your kids. Here are your grandkids. That’s where you fit in. Here’s where you live. That’s where you fit in. Okay, you’re doing a job right now that you’re good at that you’ve been doing for awhile. And you’re transitioning out of it, great! You’ve been here. And now you’re going to fit into this other place. You’re doing your life.

It’s almost like you’re trying to get something that you have. And you’re running around thinking you don’t have something. And I’m over here going, “Why are we running around like this?”

I’m very serious about this, by the way, that you thinking that you don’t fit in—I’m just raising my hand over here. I’m trying to tell you that this is not just you. There are these mantras, these commandments that drive us, that literally drive the car of our life. “I don’t fit in” drives your car. It’s automatic. It’s unconscious. It just does itself because that’s what has been happening since 12 or 13. You haven’t figured out yet. But we’re doing that today.

And this is going to be hard to hold. This is going to be hard for you to hold and anchor inside yourself because you haven’t been thinking this. But you fit in. And you fit in for one reason—because you say so, because you’re a woman, and this is your life.

Who’s going to tell you, you fit in? Nobody sends you a certificate. Nobody sends a graduation thing. There’s not committee that says, “Congratulations, Deb. You’ve not lost 30 pounds. You finally fit in. We love you now.” Nobody does that.

Deb: No.

Marc: The only person who graduates you is you. Previously, you have determined that you will graduate yourself when you lose X number of pounds. And what I am telling you is that is a backwards strategy, that you have to graduate yourself now. You have to fit in now. And if you want any hopes of shape shifting your body—I’ve got no problem with you wanting to lose weight. I’ve got a problem the way you’ve been going about it.

I want you to get where you want to go. But first and foremost, I need you to be the person you’re supposed to be. You cannot cheat the body. You cannot cheat life.

It’s kind of like saying, “I want to climb a 15,000 foot mountain.” And you get in a helicopter. And they drop you off at the top. And you go, “I did it! Ain’t I cool?” No, you didn’t hike the mountain.

Deb: No.

Marc: If you want to hike the mountain, you actually hike the mountain. So in order to shape shift the body, for many, many humans, the first move is not changing your diet, eating less, exercising more. For many humans, the first move is to become the person we’re supposed to be before the body can shift itself.

You keep trying to put one thing before another that’s not in its rightful order. You think you’re going to be a happy person when you lose weight. No, you’re going to be a happier person when you’re a happier person. You’re going to fit in when you finally freaking say to yourself, “Oh, you know something? Let’s look at the evidence of my life.”

So really what I’m asking you to do is drop all this nonsense for a time.

Deb: Okay.

Marc: I’m asking you to drop weight loss. I am asking you to start to trust. Okay, here’s the hard part. Here’s the hard part. You don’t trust your body. You don’t trust your body.

Deb: No. Oh no, no!

Marc: No.

Deb: I don’t.

Marc: So you don’t trust your body. You don’t trust the process of nourishment. You don’t trust that if I nourish myself my body will find its natural place. You think I have to deny myself. And I have to manipulate my food for my body to reach its rightful place. You think I have to worry about shit for my body to reach its rightful place. You don’t trust.

Now, in order to learn trust, you’re going to have to take some risks. You’re going to have to let life prove to you what’s going on. So I don’t know if you weigh yourself. I want you to not weigh yourself for a couple of months.

Deb: Okay.

Marc: I want you to make a menu for yourself, a menu of three, four choices to eat for breakfast that have some healthy protein and healthy fat in it. I don’t care what else it has. I want you to have a lunch, an actual lunch—as best you can, and actual lunch that is more robust than the lunch you’re having now if at all possible. What?

Deb: Bread.

Marc: Sure, eat bread.

Deb: I’m so—

Marc: Am I saying eat two loaves?

Deb: No, no.

Marc: Yes. Yes, of course you can eat bread. Eat bread.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: Yeah.

Deb: I’m so carb-phobic.

Marc: Yes. Yeah, so this is what I’m saying. You have to start to let go of that and exercise flexibility because your tweaking your metabolism by the intense stress and the intense thinking that goes on in your mind. And your body is creating a fight-or-flight response against food.

So the only way that shifts is that you start to get accustomed to food. The only way you’re going to get comfortable around dogs if you’re afraid of dogs is if, okay, here’s a nice friendly little dog that never bites. Pet it. And you’re going to be scared petting that dog. And it might be the tiniest little thing with no teeth. But you’re going to be looking at it like it’s a big bulldog going to eat you up. And you’ve got to learn that it’s not that.

So I am asking you to do completely different than what you’ve been doing for 40 years—completely different. What I am saying to you in all honesty is if you continue the way you’ve been going, you will not get where you want to go at all. And you will just get more frustrated. And that’s not fair to you.

So you have to step into your womanhood in a whole different way. In relationship to food and in relationship to your body, I need you to start being a queen. I need you to sit on your throne.

When a queen sits on her throne, she doesn’t say to her minions—she doesn’t say, “Hey, everybody, is this okay if I eat this? Is it okay if I eat a piece of bread? Do I look okay? If I lose 30 pounds, will you love me more?” Nobody is going to listen to that queen. Nobody’s going to follow her.

But if you sit on your throne and you go, “Hey, this is me. This is where I’m at. And I’m a good person. And I’m acceptable. And I’m lovable because I say so. Might I want to change my body? Sure. Here is me for now. Here is me experimenting with my diet.”

Own yourself. Own the experience. Start to trust. Start to notice when your 12 or 13-year-old girl takes over because she has taken over quite a bit. And I need you to catch that. I need you to start to catch yourself and slowly—this is going to take some time.

I’m going to say for you, this would take a year of practice. With a year of practice, this is not just about you and weight, this is about you reclaiming your life because this is gripping you right now. This occupies a significant portion of your airtime.

Deb: Yeah.

Marc: So now is the time to change that. You have to get really clear that you’re going to bust through to the other side. Busting through to the other side doesn’t mean losing weight. It doesn’t mean finally eating 1500 calories a day and really controlling this so I could lose the weight.

It means doing some different. Doing something different number one—to slowly deprogram yourself around calories. It takes time. You’re not going to do it overnight.

Deb: Oh, no. No. I know that.

Marc: But you have to make that commitment to yourself. Just because you make a commitment doesn’t mean it’s going to happen overnight. It doesn’t mean you know exactly how to do it. We commit to things. We make a commitment till death do we part. We don’t know how to do relationship. You learn on the job.

Deb: Yep.

Marc: So this is something you’re going to be learning on the job of how to begin to see food for what it really it is. Food is not calories. Food is food. Is that one aspect of food? Sure, but it’s very limited. And we know way less about it than we think.

The other piece I need you to be constantly reminding yourself of—and I mean this—is you have to have a mantra in your head that says something to the effect of—you find the words—“I fit in. I now fit in.” You have to choose to fit in. You have to choose to make your life okay. You have to choose to make your body okay. The fact is, as far as I can tell, your boyfriend and your kids and your grandkids aren’t banging down the door, telling you to lose a bunch of weight.

Deb: No. No.

Marc: So as it turns out, you fit in. And you’re living life as if you don’t. I’m serious about this.

Deb: Okay. Right.

Marc: That’s not good. That’s not okay. And it’s a simple shift—not easy, but simple in concept. So I need you to keep your eyes on there because the painful part, a part of you that this feels hard—and I understand that part—is the part of you that’s that 12 or 13-year-old girl going, “Holy shit!”

I need you to see that that 13-year-old girl is still with you. But you’ve surpassed her. You’re not that girl anymore. You’re not her.

Deb: No. No, no.

Marc: She’s a part of your past. But you’re not her anymore. You’re lovable. And you’re acceptable. And you’ve made a life for yourself. And you fit in. And you have to get that in your bones and in your cells. You have to remind yourself of that every single day because you’ve been reminding yourself of the opposite of that every single day for decades now.

So it’s going to take a little bit of air time to go, “Wait a second. No, I fit in. This is my world. These are my people. This is my experience.” And you know something? If somebody shows up on your movie and says, “You know something, Deb? You don’t fit into my world. I don’t like you. I don’t like your weight.” Good! Cross them off the list because they don’t fit in your world.

If someone is going to be such a knucklehead that they say something like that to you, you should be happy about that because you know that’s not your people. That’s not your tribe. And you don’t want to fit in with them for that very reason. Are you with me?

Deb: I’m with you.
Marc: Okay. So we are at that time. I’ve gone a little over because you’re not easy because you’ve been doing this a long time. And I really wanted to make sure that I was being very clear and very direct because I want you to remember what we’ve spoken and what we talked about.

But I’m just wondering—because I’ve been doing a lot of yakking here—what are you taking away from this?

Deb: Well, it’s a lot. It’s a lot. And I’ve been in therapy. I’m currently in therapy. So it’s not like I haven’t tried to address this and be comfortable in my own skin as I listen to you with the teachings and trying to own that because I’ve heard you say this. And I think, “How do I do this myself? Take that little girl and let that go, let that past go?” And it’s so huge. It’s just unbelievable.

Marc: Okay. Yeah.

Deb: But it’s going to take work, like you said. But I enjoy food. So for you to say, “Enjoy food.” And so much I don’t. But when I do let myself have it, I enjoy it. And you’re saying that I should be enjoying it every time I eat.

Marc: Every time.

Deb: Every time. And not the bar because I eat the bar. And it’s just a means to an end. I’m at work. It’s quick. It’s easy. No, it doesn’t work for me. You’re right. Nothing what I’ve been doing works for me. So yeah, change my fit-in. Change that mantra because I get that loud and clear. And I still have to process it.

Marc: Sure.

Deb: I hear you say that. And I can do it. But it’s huge. This is so many years.

Marc: Yes. It is huge. But I also want to say this. It’s big. But by no means is it impossible. By no means is it even as difficult as you think. Just because something is big doesn’t mean it’s difficult. I don’t want you to confuse those two.

What I want you to understand is that the road is very simple and clear. The road, the way you get there is you remind yourself every day. You catch yourself every day. You are learning how to talk to yourself differently. You are creating a different conversation with yourself inside yourself. So you make sure to converse with yourself daily in a different way.

You make sure that when you start to notice, “Oh, I’m looking at food as calories,” take a deep breath. Notice that. It might be impossible for you to change that in the moment. And then you go to yourself, “That’s just me, looking at food as calories. Not even a big deal. Let me see if I can eat this and enjoy it anyway.” So it’s kind of not making a big deal of it even though it’s a big deal.

Deb: Right. Right.

Marc: Little bit of a paradox. I don’t want the bigness of it to stun you so much so that you don’t do anything, so much so that you just have to start to talk about it and think about it and hypothesize about it. No, therapy is great. Coaching is great. And I love it. And you don’t need it. And it’s great. And it’s helpful. You don’t need to figure out anything else.

There is no hidden information that’s going to change everything at that point. That’s all I want to tell you. There is nothing you’re going to learn—“Oh, I just have to do that and then this is going to go away.” It’s not about this going away. It’s you learning how to master it because you know something?

There are going to be moments for the best of eaters where they feel guilt. There are going to be moments where you’re going to look at, “Oh my god. I shouldn’t eat that. That’s going to be fattening.” You’ll never be 100% free. But that’s fine. Be 90% free. Be 80% free. Being 98% doesn’t—as long as you get it into the high numbers, you’re great. You’ll be doing absolutely fine. It’s not about perfection. You know what I’m saying?

Deb: Yeah, yeah. No, I just need to relax about it.

Marc: Yeah. So this is big. You have a wonderful task in front of you. I think you have everything you need, honestly, as a person to do this. I really want you to get there. I really want you to see that this is the time. This is the time in your life to actually start to make this change and to start to make this shift.

And it’s you just making that choice even though you don’t know exactly how you’re going to get there. Just make that agreement with your own self, your own soul. I think all the wisdom will start to come to you, the hints and the help and the unseen allies will show up as you make a deep inner choice. Yeah, that’s what I want to say to you.

Deb: Okay. I embrace this. I do. I’m up for it. And it’s time because it’s just beating me up. And it’s really old.

Marc: It is.

Deb: Really, really old.

Marc: Agree. I totally agree with that. Deb, thank you so, so much for being so willing and being so wonderful and really letting us into your world in a really powerful way. This wasn’t necessarily an easy conversation because I dropped a lot of big pieces in your side of the court there. And you’ve just been very gracious. And I really appreciate you.

Deb: Oh, I appreciate you. So thank you very much.

Marc: Okay. And thank you everybody for tuning in. Thanks for being on this journey with us. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Always more to come, my friends. Take care.

I hope this was helpful. Thanks for listening to the Psychology of Eating podcast. To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video series at That’s I for Institute, P for Psychology, E for T-i-p-s. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of dynamic eating psychology and mind/body nutrition that have helped millions of people forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health.

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