Emotional Self Care with Weight Loss

Dr. Alison discusses how to care for yourself emotionally when working with weight loss. From self-acceptance, mirror exercises, and general life support while working with your health!


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Read the transcript:


Hi everyone. It's Dr. Alison and today I like to do something a little bit different. I don't have anything really prepared. I wanted to talk about the mindset around weight loss, our relationship with food. And the reason I wanted to do this is because so many of my, my beautiful patients have struggles with weight loss and their main goal is how can I lose that 10 pounds? How can I lose that five pounds? How can I lose that 30 pounds even? And I'm looking at them and during our videos and see they're so thin. And they're so gorgeous. And it breaks my heart because they have so many other things going on. Like we need to fix the PMS and we need to fix your sleep. We need to fix your sex, drive, like get you to feel human again. And they're only focus is weight, size, what do I look like? What does my spouse see me as? How do I present myself to the world? What size do I fit in? And that creates my worth.


And I think most people struggle with this. Most women struggle with this and you're not alone. If you feel like that, your body represents who you are. And we're very attached to that. And our society is very attached to weight. And then this, and skinny is healthy and healthy is good or healthy is skinny and skinny is good, right? And what size and the holds those things. And I just really just wanted to take the time today because we've been talking about weight loss for the past couple podcasts are still doing that five pound challenge, which I would love for you to join. But I really want you to look at your motivations for why are you trying to lose weight?


Why are you honestly, why are you killing yourself to achieve something that in the end might not radically change your life? So, on the other hand, I always feel like I always have to put in disclaimers. Weight is important because it affects our blood pressure, our issues with blood sugar and diabetes and heart attacks and hormone health. So weight, healthy weight is important for our health. And there's no way around that. We need to be taking care of ourselves, right? But we also don't need to punish ourselves and starve ourselves and prepare ourselves apart and be down and torturing ourselves. And that's when I see a lot of people do. And so one book that I would recommend is women food and God by Geneen Roth, she has quite a few books out about food. And I wanted to read just a few things that she had written about, she was talking about a retreat and she said, if they gained 10 pounds, if their arms didn't look the way they wanted them to look where they still themselves, besides the ongoing story in their minds, about the way it should be, the way they wanted it to be the way they needed it to be for them to be happy, was anything actually wrong.


What remained when they lost her ideas of what they believe they couldn't live without. They had done a mirror exercise together and they walked up to a full length mirror and told her what they saw. The litanies of judgments were all very similar. I see lines on the sides. I see flat stringy hair. I see a horrible double chin. I see arms that hang down to Montana. I see cellulite is disgusting. I can't stand what I see at can't stand looking at myself, my body and I are one, there's nothing good about my body. And therefore, there is nothing good about me. I asked them to look again at their bodies, beginning with their eyes. I asked them to look beyond the color and shape of their eyes and see what was seeing. I asked them to remember if only for a moment, what it was like to be a child before they began to label a name objects in the world.


What was it like to come upon a treasure, any treasure, a rock an ocean, their mother's hand before they learned to label and dismiss it as something they already knew when they walked up to the mirror. Again, they use words like brilliance, precious and completely open. I see wonder, I see, in a sense, people saw beauty in loveliness and a feast of color and shape when they looked at their faces, selects that carried them with the arms that held their children. And what a beautiful way to think about describing yourself in the way that you feel about yourself. So, one thing I think I would suggest as we're sitting here talking about this is to find ways to celebrate your body just the way it is right now, no matter where you are a new journey, whether it's a weight loss journey or a thyroid attorney or a stress journey, right?


We're all of these different paths to celebrate you in this moment, because you will never be this way again. And we have to appreciate that dear moment. And so take that time to think about all the things that you honestly hate about yourself and find the gratitude and the joy and the celebration in that. Think about how your legs carry you through life. And they get you from one place to another. They allow you to drive and run and walk and go up and down the stairs to be with your family, or do the things that you want to do. Your arms, same thing, hugs, holding, loading, all those things. And belly is nourishment and love and protection. And maybe it was a home for your children and the place that you share your love problem as well. And so we can find those positive things within our bodies to celebrate and love on as you are on your journey.


And I'll tell you from personal experience that punishment does not get you farther, faster. It doesn't make you healthier, faster. It's not going to make you lose weight faster and love actually will get you farther, faster, because when you were in love with yourself and who you are at the core, you are willing to take care of yourself. You're willing to make yourself breakfast and have snacks and go for a walk and go to bed and love you, and maybe reach out for help, loving yourself as reaching out for help. Loving yourself is going to the sauna or the salt bath and taking that 30 minutes or an hour to just be quiet and be by yourself. That is love. And that is a celebration of who you are. And it's important to focus on those things. Another thing that I was strongly recommended would be working with a food therapist, somebody who specializes in relationships to food.


I know a wonderful dietician. Who's also a food therapist who helps people separate essentially their emotions around food. Understanding why a lot of times it is trauma from growing up, maybe your family or your parents, or your grandparents were on the weight loss journey. And they invited you along with them as an unwilling participant, or maybe you were heavier as a child, and they forced you to do all of these things, or they just didn't appreciate who you were growing up as your body was changing and growing and experiencing life. And it's time for you to deal with those things and move forward with them, process them because the more that we stuffed them down and ignore them and go, yeah, yeah, yeah. My mom made me go to weight Watchers and weighed me every week and told me I was fat. Like, but I have to fix my weight.

Like we're not going to make progress functionally with supplements and food and lifestyle and stress until we can make it through these emotions in your history.


And it's really important that you address those while you're on your journey. So that way, when you come down into those low spots and you're not feeling good about yourself, that you can move forward and you have those tools and resources and those people to talk to, to get you through those times. And then the last thing that I'll share would be the mirror exercise, which is really difficult and really scary to do, but it will make a difference over time. So what I would recommend is getting a mirror any size and either kneeling or sitting in front of it and just meditating with your eyes, open, completely naked and gazing into your eyes and just getting comfortable with your body and looking at your body.


And the first few times you'll do it. You're only going to see the pad and you're going to be like, I can't believe I'm doing this. This is so stupid. I'm going to kill Alison. She doesn't know what she's talking about. And then the more that you meditate and you quiet those thoughts and you gaze into your eyes, you're going to find the love, the appreciation and over time, whether it, whether it takes two days, whether it takes two weeks I would encourage you to do it for 21 days. You will, you will gain an appreciation for your body. You will see the love you will. You're going to be in a meditative state, a calm state, a receptive state, where you can allow emotions to flow and allow whatever comes up to come up. Memories, thoughts, anger, pain, joy, happiness, grief, whatever it is. This is your time to process that while you're engaging with your body in a healthy way. And I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that. So thank you for tuning in today, listening. And if you ever need help and you want to personalize solution for whatever, you're going through, reach out to me, schedule a consultation. We'll talk about what's working. What's not working and make a game plan for your health, so you can start to feel like yourself again. All right. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.




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