Jody Moore is a coach, a mom, an author, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and my soul sister from our time together in the Master Coach Certification. She primarily works with moms, helping to empower them to face the many challenges the world brings, and in this episode we talk about the many throughlines between parenting and weight loss.
Listen in as we dive into how Jody helps so many overcome the most challenging parts of being a mom, including how to differentiate between parenting and controlling, and how to let go of the desire to live up to the “perfect mom” persona. We also discuss the similarities between parenting and weight loss, how to best set up our kids for positive body image and emotional regulation, and the importance of being open and honest with your kids about your own shortcomings when it comes to parenting, body image, and everything else.
Katrina Ubell: You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 278.
Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I’m your host, master certified life and weight loss coach, Katrina Ubell, MD. This is the podcast where busy doctors like you come to learn how to lose weight for the last time by harnessing the power of your mind. If you’re looking to overcome your stress eating and exhaustion and move into freedom around food, you’re in the right place.
Katrina Ubell: Well, hello, my friend. Do I ever have an excellent episode for you today? I’m so, so, so excited. Thank you for joining me. I’m so glad you’re here. I have some really, really great information that I’m excited to share with you, before we launch into my excellent guest interview today, Jody Moore. I’ll tell you more about her in just a second. You’re definitely not going to want to miss my good old friend, Jody Moore. She’s great, she’s a lot of fun and can’t wait to introduce you to her.
Katrina Ubell: But before we jump into that, I have two exciting things I want to tell you about, okay? The first thing is, I want to let you know about a conference that I’m going to be attending myself, personally. And, I wanted to invite you to either attend in person or virtually. I think I might have talked about this last year. I think maybe I did, because I spoke at it, but it was all virtual then. But in case I didn’t, I’m just going to tell you more.
Katrina Ubell: So, there is an excellent, excellent conference, called the Canadian Women in Medicine conference, so CWIM. They’ve been doing it for the last several years now. And, they’re looking to add some more non-Canadian friends to the mix. Also, you Canadians, you should be involved in this as well. And, so it’s a little bit late notice for attending in person, but I just recently decided to go and maybe it’ll work out for you, too. So, it’s actually June 2nd through the 4th, and it’s in Victoria, BC. Now, I didn’t know where that was, so I will tell you, just straight up, I looked, and it’s near Vancouver and Seattle. It’s kind of like a little triangle there. So, it looked to me like you do want to try to fly into Victoria if you need to fly, but if you live in that area of the world anyway, it might be actually super easy for you to come and attend in person. Like I said, I will be there in person. I’m very excited about it. I’ll tell you more about it in just a moment.
Katrina Ubell: I just want to let you know too, though, that these conference organizers, who are women physicians, Canadian, they put on an event like no other. I’m not even kidding. Their virtual event last year, I couldn’t even, I was like, “What is happening? This is so good.” They just have this amazing platform. I have to tell you, their swag boxes that they deliver, they mail it right to your door before the conference. I couldn’t even believe it. I was like, “What is happening right now? This is like, what?” I’m telling you, you’re going to want this. It was so good, just the details. Ah, incredible, incredible.
Katrina Ubell: So, here’s the thing. It’s not a medical conference, it’s a wellness conference. There are no medical talks, okay? If you’re like, “I don’t want to hear about all that stuff,” no, this is all about you and making you the wellest you can be, the most well you can be. So, it’s a large gathering of women physicians. It’s really, I asked for some points and they’re like, “Well, it’s the best conference in the world,” and I agree, I think so. It is accredited, so you can get up to 21.75 hours of CME if you’d like to do that. You get access to all the talks for six months afterwards, so even if you can’t attend, if you get the virtual part and then you can’t attend live, you can access all that. I will tell you that last year, I did go back in and accessed the videos after the fact, and it was so smooth, the platform was so nice. Sometimes they’re like, “Oh, here’s a Dropbox full of a bunch of videos,” it’s not like that. It’s just really streamlined. I mean, it’s incredible what they put together.
Katrina Ubell: Victoria, BC, super beautiful that time of year. I’ve never been there. I’m really, really excited. The interesting thing that you should note, especially if you’re used to US dollars, is that the fees are in Canadian dollars, which is an advantage to those who use US dollars. So, you’ll want to have a look at that as well.
Katrina Ubell: And so, topics that they’re including, they have Personal Style, Physician Burnout, How Apologies Kill Our Confidence, Surviving the Sandwich Generation, Get Organized, Ergonomics for Physicians, A Menopause Manifesto. They have an optional workshop day on Thursday. I’m going to that, I’m excited. I’m actually really excited. There’s social events or ways to connect, even if you’re virtual. There’s ways that they’re just incorporating all of that for you. It’s going to be great. If you want to come meet me in person and come and join me, then you should come, okay?
Katrina Ubell: So, the way to get information about it is, go to conference.cwimgather.com. We’ll put the link in the show notes, again, conference.cwimgather.com, or you can just also Google CWIM Conference 2022 and it should be the first thing that pops up, too. So, you can get all the details, all the information about it. I have to say, I’m dead serious when I say this, last year I spoke and I was like, “This is really well done. Wow.” I really couldn’t believe it. So, anyway. And don’t forget, if you can’t come in person, virtual is worth it for sure, okay? So, check that out.
Katrina Ubell: The second thing I want to tell you,, that you’re definitely going to want to also take part in is literally just tomorrow. Okay? So, it’s a Wednesday night, May 11th, and it’s a free training talk that I’m giving, called The Missing Piece to Permanent Weight Loss. So, if you don’t want to wait until the conference, the CWIM conference, to hang out with me live, just come to this free training that I’m doing. I’m telling you that, all you have to do is look around at people who are struggling with their weight to understand that there’s something missing. The messaging that people are sending out is not sufficient. It’s not enough, it’s not helping people to lose weight and keep it off.
Katrina Ubell: And so, what I want to offer to you for free on this training is what that missing piece is. I struggled with my weight for literally decades, up and down, 40 pounds up and down for decades. When I learned this information, it truly changed my life and set me on the path to true peace and freedom around food, and a stable weight. I mean, if it didn’t happen to me, I’m not even sure I’d believe it, but it’s that good. And, you’ll hear even more about it in today’s interview. We talk a little bit, me and Jody, about that. So, you’ll hear more about that in just a sec.
Katrina Ubell: But anyway, the training is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 11, 8:30 PM Eastern, 5:30 PM Pacific. To register so you can come join me, go to katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight, L-O-S-E-W-E-I-G-H-T, all smushed together. Katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight. Get yourself registered, you can come. I’ll teach you a bunch of really great information. You can also ask me all your questions that you have. I will tell you, I will also be telling you more about my next round of Weight Loss for Doctors Only, our coaching program. So, if you’re interested in that or want to hear more, you’ll want to come join me as well. If you’re not interested in that, that’s totally fine as well. You’ll still get some really good information, because you know what? No matter who you are, you need to know this missing piece. So, come learn the missing piece to permanent weight loss, tomorrow, 8:30 PM Eastern, katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight.
Katrina Ubell: Okay, now let’s get started. So, Jody Moore, I asked her, “Do you have a certain way that you want me to introduce you?” She said, “No, just say whatever you want.” I’ll tell you, I’ll actually share a little story about how before I even really knew her as my friend, she was really quite an inspiration to me, especially very, very, very, very early on in my coaching days when I was first getting going, starting to figure out how to do coaching as a profession. She was really an inspiration to me, kind of got to know each other a little bit, and then what really bonded us as soul sisters was our year long escapade in Master Coach Certification. That year, it was just her and me, we were the only two who did it that year. And, it was really, truly very bonding for us, but also personally transformative for both of us as well. Yeah, it’s like, you know those experiences that you have where you’re like, “We could not talk for 30 years and we’d pick right back up again?” That’s the bond that I have with Jody.
Katrina Ubell: So, Jody is an excellent coach. She’s going to tell you more about her and who she serves, but the main group of people that she serves are moms. Now, I do want to just let you know that if you are not a mom, you might be like, “Oh, well, am I going to get anything out of this?” You definitely will, because there’s so many through lines really, between what she talks about with parenting to weight loss, and other areas of our lives that we struggle with. And, she points us out as well as we go along. Don’t just be like, “Oh, well, my kids are grown or I don’t have kids,” or whatever like, “This isn’t for me.” It’s for sure, for you. Okay?
Katrina Ubell: Yeah, she has just a lovely, very down to earth perspective on things. I always feel like she’s the one who gives permission. She’s just like, “Did you know you could just think this,” and you’re like, “Really? Am I allowed to?” She’s like, “Yes.” And she just talks about, I ask her about parents who yell at their kids, parents who have a favorite child, wanting to be a good parent, wanting to be a good mom, how to think about that. And, she has a new book out called Better Than Happy, that she tells you a little bit about as well. You’re going to want to check her out for sure and listen to this lovely interview with my friend, Jody Moore.
Katrina Ubell: Jody Moore, I am so happy to have you on the podcast. Welcome.
Jody Moore: Thank you, Dr. Ubell. Thanks for having me. So happy to be here.
Katrina Ubell: You haven’t called me Dr. Ubell in a while.
Jody Moore: I know. I haven’t talked to you in a while, that’s why.
Katrina Ubell: I know. I’m so, so, so happy to have you here. This is so fun. I am so happy to introduce you to all my listeners. They need some Jody Moore in their lives, so I’m so excited to have you here. So, let’s just start off with you introducing yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do, and all that.
Jody Moore: Okay. Well, I coach, like Katrina. In fact, Katrina and I went through Master Coach Certification together. Do you realize that was four or five years ago?
Katrina Ubell: I think it was a while ago.
Jody Moore: Six years ago. Wasn’t it 2018? Four years ago.
Katrina Ubell: It was a while ago.
Jody Moore: Anyway, so I’ve been coaching for a little while. I also am a mother, I have four children, ages six to 16, so I’m in the thick of raising kids right now, and a husband, and cat and a dog, and all those things. My focus in coaching is, I work with primarily moms. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so I do bring sort of a faith-based approach. Although, a lot of my clients are not members of that faith, but compared to the world of life coaching and self-help in general, I’m a more conservative approach, you might say. And so, that’s what I love doing, just helping empower women, especially moms, around all the challenges that we face in our world.
Katrina Ubell: I love that. And, I have to tell you that you were super instrumental. I mean, I’ve told you this story before, I don’t know if you remember. But, when I very first started off in this business, you had already been doing coaching for a while and you were one of the people that was like, “Ooh, look, Jody’s got,” like she’s one of the coaches who has this successful business. And, I remember just thinking like, “I need a role model, I need an example of somebody who can show me that it’s possible to do it with small children at home.” I think my youngest child at the time, I think she was three or two or something like that, she was really little.
Katrina Ubell: All the other women that I felt like who had, that I could look up to, either had a stepchild who was older, who was with them part of the time, or older children and their husband, or their spouse was mostly taking care of the kids. And, I was just like, “But okay, I don’t have that.” It was easy to think it is impossible for me, but you were the one, I was like, “Okay, but Jody does it and Jody has four kids. So she’s got one more than me,” and your youngest was younger than my youngest. So I’m like, “Okay, so if she can do this, there’s no reason I can’t do this.” And, that really was very inspiring for me, especially early on, going like, “No, if she can do this, I can do this.” And, so.
Jody Moore: That’s good. That’s what I tell people. I’m like, “I have four kids and also I’m kind of a mess.” I’m not super organized, I’m not super smart, I’m not anything special. So, truly, if I can do this, anyone can do this. I really do believe that.
Katrina Ubell: I just always love, I’m like, “Well, if I email Jody, she’ll never look at it.”
Jody Moore: No.
Katrina Ubell: So, I have to know, as your friend, what are the ways to actually get her attention.
Jody Moore: Now, I have an assistant that does my email, so that’s good.
Katrina Ubell: Luckily.
Jody Moore: But yes, it’s true. It’s true.
Katrina Ubell: So, the big excitement in your world is that you published a book, and it’s called Better Than Happy, which I love that title. That’s also the name of your podcast. Of course, we have podcast listeners here, they can always check that out. Having gone through the book writing process myself, and I’m gearing up myself to be publishing my book and everything, I’m just so excited to just let everybody know about it. Because, it’s like we know writing a book is a lot of work. And then you embark on the journey and you’re like, “Oh, I am shocked that so many books even are written at all. This is incredible.”
Jody Moore: Right?
Katrina Ubell: But anyway, I would love for you to talk a little bit more about that title, Better Than Happy, and how that kind of ties into your overall philosophy. What does it mean
Jody Moore: So, like you said, that is the name of my podcast that I’ve had for many years, and so that’s partly why we titled the book that way. That’s kind of how people know me, aligned with the branding, but I came up with that title originally because I think we all walk around saying, what we really want is just to be happy, or at least when we slow it down. Right? When we think, “I want to lose weight, I want to make money, I want my kids to obey,” all these things we think we want, but when we whittle it down and we all realize actually, what I want is just to be happy, and just to feel good about myself and the world.
Jody Moore: And, that’s true, but then there’s another layer. And, this is something I know you and I both learned in our coaching, is there’s a deeper purpose at times than just being happy. There is the opportunity for growth, which requires discomfort. There’s the opportunity sometimes to make a contribution that might require discomfort. There’s even back to being a mom, being pregnant, for me, not fun. I know it is for some women. But, and yet we are willing to be “unhappy” or uncomfortable when we can see that there’s a valid reason for it. And so, I think that understanding that we are capable of a lot of discomfort, and that actually having some unhappiness is what makes the peaceful, happy times even more enjoyable, is a fun place to help people with.
Jody Moore: It doesn’t mean we have to be there all the time. Happiness is a noble goal as well, but also maybe growth, contribution, sacrifice. So that’s the space I love to help people work in, especially, because like I said, I coach moms and they’re like, “Oh, I have this baby,” or these toddlers, or teenagers, or, “My adult kids won’t talk to me.” I’m like, “Yeah, being a mom is half awesome and half kind of terrible,” but like, “We’re in, right? Let’s go for it.” So anyway, that’s where the title comes from.
Katrina Ubell: I love that. Yeah. I think it’s, once you can really recognize that and then come to peace with it, create an acceptance around it, I feel like then you can understand there’s a balance to it. And, my clients know that, frequently sharing with them, just even my own work and where sometimes I’m just telling myself like, “This is what it’s like to be an adult human being. I’m pretty sure nothing’s going wrong, even though I feel really quite bad right now. And if I can just stay with myself in this, I have a feeling that’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now.” And in doing so, it actually makes that episode of whatever I’m experiencing go buy so much faster, so I can move on to the part where I feel better. So I don’t need to be eating a sleeve of Oreos and trying to avoid that. If I can just stay with myself, then the Oreos are irrelevant. So I love it. I think it’s so good.
Jody Moore: And, the other thing I just want to add here, and the book takes you through a whole bunch of different topics related to that. And I centered it on themes that come from my religious tradition. Themes like forgiveness, prayer, loving other people, things that I think a lot of faith traditions share, but I do bring in God and Jesus Christ, and things like that in the book. So, if anybody doesn’t want that, you’re not going to want to read this book, but, if you can relate to that at all, and you want to hear these topics with a Christian-based foundation, that’s what this book is. But, just what you were saying, Katrina, made me think about allowing yourself to feel those emotions, and allowing yourself to be unhappy. And, just knowing that there’s a good reason. It’s not going to last forever, and I can just sort of ride this out, is what makes it really tolerable and makes it not so painful. And I think this is true with emotional pain. It’s even true with physical pain. It’s the same thing, right?
Jody Moore: I just saw this video earlier today on Instagram. Maybe you’ve seen it. A doctor, a pediatrician like yourself, about to give a shot to a baby. And I mean, when I say baby, looked like maybe a year old or so. And the dad’s holding the little boy, he just has his diaper on. And the doctor has the syringe with the needle covered up. And he’s sort of playing a game with the little boy and sort of tickling him and rubbing it on his forehead. And the kid’s just laughing and giggling. And so, you can see the child, he looks a little suspicious in the beginning. He just slowly loosens up and starts kind of laughing and having fun, and playing with this doctor. And then the doctor removes the cover and gives him the shot in the leg. And he just moves on. The baby doesn’t even cry, because while it’s of course uncomfortable getting a shot, the physical pain, the fear, the discomfort is way more intolerable to us than the actual pain. And, that’s true with emotions or physical pain. It’s so fascinating to me how we work as humans.
Katrina Ubell: It’s like the anticipation is so bad, right?
Jody Moore: Yes.
Katrina Ubell: But, I can’t feel that. So let me do all these things to try to avoid it, that creates more pain for us. Where if we would just be willing to feel it and go through it, like you said, whether it’s physical or emotional, oftentimes it’s not …
Jody Moore: And, even just the fear of who is this guy? What’s about to happen? Is this going to hurt? So the doctor takes a minute to be friendly in a way that a baby can relate to. It changes the whole experience. And, my guess is like still, he might have cried from that shot, but probably wouldn’t be the level of freak out that I remember my babies having.
Katrina Ubell: It’s like terror and pain, all amping up together. Yeah.
Jody Moore: Yeah. So anyway.
Katrina Ubell: Love it. Love it. Okay. Let’s talk about momming, because momming is tough.
Jody Moore: Okay, it is.
Katrina Ubell: So tell me, what are some of the common issues that you coach moms on? What comes up for you in your program?
Jody Moore: Yeah, I mean, there’s probably a handful of themes. I’ll try to pick the ones I think would be most relevant to all of your listeners who have kids, or kids in their lives even. The first one is this sort of, it feels innate, the need to try to control our kids. It feels like it’s our responsibility to get them to behave a certain way, or to be happy and well adjusted, and successful, and contributing, and honest and all the things we want for them, which it’s, I think, a totally healthy and good thing to want those things for your kids. But, there’s a difference between parenting and trying to control them. So the difference-
Katrina Ubell: I know what the difference is, yeah. I get all the people that are like, “Great. Tell me what the difference is.”
Jody Moore: “Great. What’s the difference?” You can tell the difference by how you feel, when you’re guiding or holding your kid accountable, or even teaching them. Okay? So, if I am trying to, let’s say I have a kid that is getting bad grades at school, and I know my child is capable of better grades. Okay? So if I’m trying to get my child to improve his grades so that I can feel better, so that I don’t have to worry, or I can not feel like I’m doing a bad job as a mother, so any kind of negative emotion I’m trying to escape, right? If I try to get him to change so that I can feel better, then I’m trying to control my child. And, sometimes it works. Sometimes we can control them and then it’s easier for us to feel better.
Jody Moore: But, the problem is that most of the time, it’s not our most effective parenting and it doesn’t always work. And so, what we try to do in coaching is to slow down and look at, you can still choose to hold your kid accountable to turning in their homework and getting certain grades in school, but don’t hang your emotions on whether or not he does it. That’s when we get into trouble. And that’s when we actually turn into worse mothers, worse parents from trying to control.
Katrina Ubell: I think one of the things that made the biggest difference for me was when I finally, I don’t know exactly the moment this happened, but it finally really sunk in for me. They are on their own path, their own journey. I am not in control of this. I can think I am, and I can try to control it. But, no matter how hard I try, it might influence things, but they’re really on their own path. And so, it’s really just not up to me. So then, who do I want to be in helping to assist them through, on their journey, right?
Jody Moore: That’s right. And I don’t know about you, but when I explain that to clients, remind them, we all know this, that we can’t control our kids. Right? But we sometimes need to reminder. And initially, for some people that sounds so disappointing, until we realize what you just said is, “Sets us free.” I’m not, I was never meant to control my children. And how they turn out isn’t as much a reflection on me, as I like to think it is it. When they’re doing amazing, and they’re getting great grades, that also is not about me.
Jody Moore: And, when you can distance yourself from trying to control them and just offer whatever you want to as a mother, right? Offer anything that’s valuable to you. I teach my kids about their brains and their emotions. I teach them about what I believe about God. I teach them what I think is important about health, and teach them all the things you want to teach, but know that, they’re going to take what they want and they’re not going to want all of it. And they’re going to develop their own ideas and opinions, and that’s okay, too. So anyway, that’s the first thing. And it kind of leads into what I’d say is the second most common thing I coach on, which is wanting to feel like I’m a good mom.
Katrina Ubell: That comes up so often.
Jody Moore: Right. And I would imagine it doesn’t have to be as a mom. I want to believe I’m a good doctor. I want to believe I’m a good, whatever I am. Yeah. Any role I play, I want to believe I’m good at it. And this one though, I think for many people anyway, is really heavy, because it’s one thing to go … You and I are both coaches. Right? It’s one thing to go, “Okay, well maybe today, I wasn’t a great coach,” or maybe in this area of my business, maybe I’m not great at this thing yet. Okay, I can be compassionate with myself. But when it comes to our kids, when I tell a woman like, “Maybe you weren’t being a good mom then. Maybe in some ways you’re not.” In many ways, we’re not good at all of it. Right? It feels so heavy. How can that be okay? These are my kids. In many cases, they’re my flesh and blood, or I love them. Right? So how can I be okay with that? You know what, that’s the reality of it.
Jody Moore: I’m always trying to explain to women, if your kids were supposed to, if any kid in the world was supposed to have a great mom, they would have robots for moms. Whatever you believe, existentially, God didn’t create a bunch of robot mothers. He said, “You know who will be the mothers to the babies? All of the other humans.” And, think about Katrina, things like when you applied to go to medical school, there was a very rigorous process. And you had to meet certain requirements and get accepted before they said, “Okay, you can become a doctor now.” There isn’t that for becoming a mom.
Katrina Ubell: Exactly.
Jody Moore: There isn’t. And I don’t think that’s an accident. I think it’s because our kids are actually supposed to have moms who are good at some things, who are terrible at other things. Who are on some days, really loving and kind. If you’re lucky, you got a mom like that, right? On some days loving and kind, and on some days, just a mess, and short on patience, and snapping and yelling. I think that even though that might create “problems for them” in the end, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to go. I think we’re supposed to even be part of their problems. And not that we are doing that intentionally, of course, but I don’t think that anything’s gone wrong when that happens.
Katrina Ubell: I think, what I’m hearing is just the acceptance, when you can just accept the true humanness, the humanity in you and in everyone else. Sometimes your best is horrible. It’s really, really, really not great. And that’s what it’s like to be human. Again, I feel like once I got to the place where I’m like, “I am totally going to screw this up. Nobody knows what they’re doing. All of us are winging it. All of our parents were winging it. Their parents were winging it throughout the entirety of human history. Everyone’s been wing it.” So, maybe nothing’s going wrong. And, I could just decide that I’m doing an okay job, or maybe even better than okay job. What I found was, I actually was a better mom in my definition of that. I was so much more patient, more lighthearted, more easy going, snapping less. Once I stopped trying to be a good mom, I became a better mom, if that makes sense. I stopped even having that expectation of myself.
Jody Moore: Well, and that’s the important part to keep in mind. Because, again, when we’re just coaching and the story in your mind, and showing people, maybe you’re not supposed to be any better. Maybe thinking, “I just want to be a great mom,” isn’t a useful thought. It’s common for people to go, “Well, that doesn’t feel right or sound right to me.” But when we really play it out and look at, how do you show up from shame and guilt, versus how do you show up from compassion and acceptance, and curiosity about yourself, you’re always a better mom from those more useful emotions.
Jody Moore: So, it’s sort of, it’s like the work you do with weight loss, right? You have to love and appreciate your body in order to lose weight. Right? And people think, “Once I lose weight, then I can love and appreciate my body.” No, and then, “Why would I, what do you mean I should love, and accept, and embrace my body as it is? Then I’m never going to lose weight.” No, actually that is the way you lose weight. It’s the same with parenting. You got to embrace yourself.
Jody Moore: I have this story too, I have to share because, I don’t know. Do you remember when we were in Master Coach training, we went to dinner one night. So we weren’t even in the thick of coaching, we were just as friends at dinner. Right? And you and I both have sons who have some similarities, in terms of their sensitivity level and things like that. And, my son gets really anxious and nervous. And so, we were just talking about what they were like as babies and everything. And do you remember this, when you said to me that there was a new study, you asked me if he had acid reflux as a baby. And I said, I think he did.
Katrina Ubell: I don’t really remember this.
Jody Moore: You remember this? Are you sure?
Katrina Ubell: You remind me.
Jody Moore: This was so powerful for me, this experience. And you didn’t even mean it to be, I don’t think, but-
Katrina Ubell: I think we were probably just talking. Yeah.
Jody Moore: We were just chatting. Yeah. You said, “Did he have acid reflex as a baby?” And I said, “I think he did,” but he was my first baby, so I didn’t realize that it wasn’t normal to spit up that much. And a lot of his symptoms, once I had more babies and realized, “Oh, I think Isaac, there was something going on.” Anyway, he cried a lot. He wouldn’t sleep unless I was holding him. And then you told me, as doctors do, about the latest study you’d read.
Katrina Ubell: Should have just shut my mouth, probably.
Jody Moore: No, this is so, I’m so glad this happened, because you said that there was this study that said, that babies with acid reflux, because we put them to sleep on their backs. They can’t curl up and comfort themselves. And so while their brains are forming in this stage of life, they become afraid of the world, because they’re in pain and they can’t do anything about it. And it’s, according to a study, this could be true. Well, of course, and you didn’t intend it this way, but I felt so bad. Like, “Oh my gosh, if I would’ve just held him more or got his acid reflux treated, he may not have developed with this brain that has lots of fear and lots of anxiety.” And so, I went through this stage of, because I was a coach at the time, I knew the tools of coaching. I was just like, “Okay, maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s not true.” Right? There may be another study in a couple years that says something totally different. But rather, maybe that-
Katrina Ubell: Maybe that study doesn’t even apply to what was going on for him, because we don’t even really know.
Jody Moore: Maybe he didn’t even have acid reflux. I knew all of these were thoughts, but where I found the most peace was not to go to the land of like, “Maybe it’s not true. Maybe I didn’t cause this,” but to instead embrace, “Maybe I did.” Maybe it’s true that if I had held him, he wouldn’t have developed with so much fear and anxiety and his life would be different today. Maybe that’s true. And, maybe he’s supposed to have a life with some fear and anxiety. And maybe, if I was supposed to know differently as his mother back then, I would’ve known differently back then. And, or maybe he would’ve developed fear and anxiety in a different way. That is where-
Katrina Ubell: Maybe that his path is to work through fear and anxiety, and it’s, it could be through this way, or another way, or another experience that would bring it out. Yeah.
Jody Moore: Yeah. And as painful as it is to think like, “I’m going to great problems for my kids.” The most confidence and peace comes from like, “Yeah, I am.” Not intentionally. Right? But that’s the reality. And, I love me and I’m the perfect mother for him. And let’s focus now on the present, and the future, instead of the past. So, anyway.
Katrina Ubell: Right.
Jody Moore: That was fun.
Katrina Ubell: Well, you’re welcome. I guess.
Jody Moore: Thanks Katrina. No, it was. It was a really powerful experience for me. And, so anyway.
Katrina Ubell: Awesome. Good, good, good.
Jody Moore: But no more studies. Don’t tell me your studies.
Katrina Ubell: Oh no, no. So, one thing that actually came up in our program and I think in yours, too, we have written coaching that is anonymous, where people can write in and ask a question. And we had someone who wrote in, saying that she felt really guilty about the fact that she really does have a favorite child. And interestingly, then there were several other clients who asked in their one on one coaching. They wanted to talk about that. Several other people found it and saw it. And, you could tell, it was like, “Ooh,” that struck something with people. And that is, I mean, totally one of those supposed tos, in the sense that you’re not supposed to, right? Everyone thinks it’s awful to feel more connected to one of your children than the other, or that, what if you just like one of them more than the other? I mean, some of them are more likable. It’s just easier to like them. So, I’m just curious what your thoughts are. If that’s ever come up in coaching, something like that, and how you approach that?
Jody Moore: Well, first of all, growing up, I had four siblings, so there were five of us total. And whenever we would say, “Why does she get to do that and I don’t?” My dad would always say, “Because she’s my favorite.”
Katrina Ubell: It didn’t matter who it was?
Jody Moore: It didn’t matter. That was just always his explanation. So we all got, we’re like, “Oh, all right.” So, it’s kind of a joke in our family. But yeah, I think this is one of those things that, my guess is the reason it sort of took off in your community there, is because it’s one of those things that we don’t dare say out loud, because we have shame around it. We think that there’s something wrong, that you shouldn’t have a favorite child. And so, when somebody has the courage to say it out loud, it gives everyone else permission to go, “What? Yeah, me too. Me too.”
Jody Moore: And that’s a really healthy thing, first of all, to just discuss things out loud. But second of all, with the way I think about this topic, and this has to do with whether it’s your favorite child, or do I love my husband, or is he getting on my nerves, or whatever it is, it sort of, it discounts the fact that we’re dynamic human beings, and so are the people in our lives. And even for me to say, “I love my husband,” or, “I feel very connected to this child,” is sort of a lie because some moments, I love my husband, other moments he’s getting on my nerves. Some moments, I’m not even thinking about my husband. Some days, I feel very connected to my daughter, Macy, and other days I feel disconnected. And that can change from moment to moment.
Jody Moore: So the truth is, we are dynamic creatures as are the people in our lives. And so it would make sense to me that there would be moments when you are liking one child more than the other. Even if you’re like, “Okay, but I always like this one the least,” or, “I always like this one the most,” still, my guess is that’s going to change. Think about when we were kids, right? If you have siblings when you’re kids, there’s the sibling that you didn’t get along with, that now as an adult is your best friend. We’re talking about lifetimes here, when those things may change. And that to me, speaks to the idea that we’re all human beings, that we have thoughts. People around us, yes. They’re all circumstances. They’re all neutral. But if we tried to pay attention to every thought all day, we couldn’t do it. We’d be exhausted. I just don’t even think it’s possible.
Katrina Ubell: We wouldn’t do anything. We would just sit and think.
Jody Moore: Right. Yeah. So the 98, 99% of the time, even once you found the tools of thought work, and you found coaching and you know you can, you’re still only going to do that one or 2% of the time. The rest of the time, your brain’s going to operate on default, as we want it to. And so, of course you’re going to, at times, prefer one over the other. If you make that mean you’re a bad mother, or you don’t love your kids enough or something, you’re going to send yourself further down that spiral, instead of just being curious about it. I think it’s an opportunity for curiosity. And I think like you said, it’s just not a should situation. I think it makes perfect sense that some of your kids are easier for you to love than others.
Katrina Ubell: Totally. And I think just, as they change and grow and they go through different phases, that it can totally change. You feel more connected to this one because of that interaction, or that thing that you did, or just the phase of life that they’re in. Or they’re a baby and cute. And, then you’ve got a three year old, who’s a little terror right now or whatever. Yeah. You’re not going to like that one as much. It’s okay.
Jody Moore: That’s right. Yeah. I mean, it’s just even things like health and weight is this way. I always think, when we talk about ourselves as being overweight or in shape or whatever, again, we’re discounting the dynamics that our bodies are. We change from minute to minute, but certainly over weeks, months and years, our bodies are changing. So, am I a healthy person? Or am I unhealthy? Well, it’s interesting, because whatever you define yourself as is what you’re going to end up creating in the end. Am I somebody that is well off financially? Or, do I struggle financially? These are dynamic changing things. So when you know that-
Katrina Ubell: But, even think of the whole Bernie Madoff thing. People who thought they were rich, even though the reality was they didn’t have the money, right? Our brains, so they felt amazing, even though the reality, the truth was, they didn’t have that money.
Jody Moore: Yeah. I’m rereading … I know you’ve read this book several times. Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap.
Katrina Ubell: Oh, my. I love that book.
Jody Moore: It’s so good. It’s so good. I’m listening to it on Audible this time. It’s just a reminder to me that these things are all dynamic. And so, the story you believe to be true, like if you believe you’re an overweight person, if you believe you’re a healthy person, if you believe you’re a rich person, then you’re going to work to make that true, even if you have moments that don’t align with that.
Katrina Ubell: It’s like basically the filter through which you’re like, “I’m a healthy person.” So you want to reinforce that belief, that identity, and then you’re going to take steps and actions that align you with that. Much more than if you think you’re unhealthy, then you’ll find more evidence for that. Why would an unhealthy person eat broccoli? You know what I mean? Why would you do that?
Jody Moore: Yeah. Or even when you do, and this is an area I’m still working on, honestly. I’ve been fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of your book and I’ve been reading it. And in the intro, when you talk about losing the same 40 pounds over and over again, I’m like, “Yeah, I think I’m still in that stage of losing the same 20 pounds over and over again.” Because I know how to lose weight, but I still don’t know how to keep the weight off, because I haven’t changed the story in my head of being a person who eats healthy, who doesn’t love sweets, who exercises regular. In my mind, I’m like, “I know I can do that.” I can be that person, but I don’t think I truly view myself as that person. And that’s why I just keep recreating the same thing.
Katrina Ubell: So interesting. It’s like that final identity shift hasn’t hooked in.
Jody Moore: Yeah.
Katrina Ubell: And, I know exactly what you’re talking about, because for the longest time still, I was like, “I don’t know. Is this really, is this really permanent.” And now I’m like, “Without a doubt, this is done. This is done.” That’s because the identity really has shifted.
Jody Moore: And so, if you go on a trip and you eat more than normal or whatever, and you gain some, or if you, I know you’re done, I think you’re done having babies. But, if you went through something and for whatever reason gained weight, it wouldn’t panic you. Right?
Katrina Ubell: No, not in the slightest.
Jody Moore: You just-
Katrina Ubell: Like, “Oh yeah. Okay. Well, I know how to lose weight and I know what to do,” and you just do it.
Jody Moore: And I think, that’s how I know that I haven’t quite made the shift yet because when I do lose weight, I’m a little nervous. I’m a little nervous about like, “What if I gain it back again?” And, so that’s fine.
Katrina Ubell: I think, the part that shifted for me with that, I think that really made the big difference was finally doing the work on, when I say over-desire, what I really mean is my belief in the over-importance of certain foods. So whether it’s sugar in general, anything with sugar, or just chocolate or crunchy salty stuff, or whatever it is that is somebody’s that thing, especially what you find yourself coming back to, again and again. It’s really getting to that place of like, “This is literally not important. I could eat it. I could not eat it.” It’s not like, “Oh, I can’t have that.” Or, “I shouldn’t have that.” Or like, “That’s not good for me,” or whatever. It is literally just food sitting there. It has no power. I can eat it. I can not eat it. I want to get to a place where I could take it or leave it. I don’t really care.
Katrina Ubell: And, another example for me of when that I was like, “Ah, I’ve got it.” Every now and then, you’ve got that little light goes off, is my husband and I were in Paris. And we went to some patisserie, and picked out a couple different things. And we go into a park and we’re sitting there eating it. And I had one bite of two things and I just legit did not want more. Now in the past, I would’ve 100% had more. I mean, there, no question, would’ve eaten more. I just, my body made it clear, I don’t really want to eat that right now. It tasted good. I could eat more. Could I make myself eat that? I could, I don’t want it.
Katrina Ubell: And the reason I didn’t want it, is because of the way I was thinking about it. Would’ve been so easy to be like, “This is my chance, and you’re in Paris and this is very special.” And, it’s just your only chance to have this. And like, “Who cares? You’re on vacation,” but I also just did not want it. And that’s when I was just like, “Oh, I love this so much. I love just literally not caring.”
Jody Moore: Well, and that whole, it kind of reminds me of the concept of sunk cost, right. Where people be, “But we already paid for this.” And like you said, “We’re in Paris. We’re not going to come back here, maybe, ever again.” And, and it’s like, “Okay. But yeah, we are in Paris on vacation. And I want to enjoy being. I don’t want to feel sick and bloated and whatever.” Like, “If I don’t want it, why am I going to ruin my Paris vacation because I spent the $10, or whatever. I already spent the money, so whether I eat it or not, the money’s already spent.” These are things that I know are basic common sense, but they require for me, slowing it down and playing it out of my head before I realize, it makes more sense for me to not eat this because I don’t prefer to eat it, than to eat it.
Katrina Ubell: And what you find over the course of time too, is when you don’t really want it, it doesn’t taste that good. So when you think though that it should taste better, or this should be mind blowing or the best thing that’s ever happened, then you’ll keep eating, hoping that maybe it’s the next bite that’s going to be the thing that knocks your socks off. And then before you know it, you’re like, “Why did I eat all that? I shouldn’t have had that, because I don’t feel good,” or I feel lethargic or whatever.
Jody Moore: It’s like you live in my head. It’s the same thing I notice I do when I scroll Instagram. I’m like, “That’s kind of boring. That’s not that interesting. There’s going to be something good coming. Where is it? Where is it?” And I just keep scrolling like, “No there’s going to be something really good.”
Katrina Ubell: Like the thing I can’t miss is just around the corner.
Jody Moore: It’s so crazy how we do this.
Katrina Ubell: It’s, all I can say though is, and maybe it was just because I felt like I suffered with this for so long, that it, that gave me a lot of drive and motivation to really figure this out. You know? It’s, for me, it has been when I talk about like peace and freedom around food, that is what I’m talking about. Where I’m like, “I could give a crap at what size you wear. I don’t care.” Anything like that. What I wish for people is peace and freedom around food, where it’s, if you want it, you eat it. It’s not like I don’t ever eat desserts. And there’s other times where I’m like, “Yes, I totally want that,” and I’ll eat it. But to be in that place where you could really truly take it or leave it, you’re only going to have it if you’re really getting true pleasure out of it, and then just letting it go otherwise. And not having chatter or like, “Ah, and should I, and should not?” You’re just, you just let … It’s just not important.
Katrina Ubell: That only came for me when I really did that work to just be like, “This is literally molecules stuck together that are digestible.” Right? Like this is not that exciting. We were talking about one of those-
Jody Moore: Molecules stuck together that are digestible, that won’t poison me if I put them in my body.
Katrina Ubell: Will not poison me. Right? It’s really not as important as I had led myself to believe for literally decades of my life. So, it was a very much, an unlearning and deciding, “This is the way I’m going to think about it.” And going from there, the interesting thing is watching my kids with, we just have all this Easter candy and all this stuff around and everything. And, one of my kids in particular, we’ve seen this now a couple of times where I’m not going to say the gender to out who it is, but this particular child will … What I really want them all to learn, how to really listen to their body and you enjoy it. And then there comes a point where it isn’t so good anymore, and now it’s time to stop. And this particular child has now on several occasions, pushed that and then gotten sick, literally vomited it up.
Katrina Ubell: And, I’m just like, “They are going to figure this out. This is going to be such a great lesson. Their body’s doing the work for me.” I don’t have to tell them, “I think you should stop eating.” It’s their body is saying, “That was too much.” And then learning like, “Okay, this is the amount that gives me pleasure.” It’s a fun treat, and then it’s too much. I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten sick like that in my life on candy. I think I could probably eat a lot more even, but this particular child’s body does that. But, I kind of look at them like what a good learning experience. Yeah. Okay. So, that was too much.
Katrina Ubell: So like, “Think about what your body felt like, and maybe, no one’s taking this away. There’s plenty more. We can go to the store anytime and buy this stuff. It’s, you don’t have to get into that.” And that just was definitely not my experience growing up. Not even so much. I mean, I think it was partly just surroundings, but also just my brain as a kid for whatever reason was like, “Ooh, sugar.” This is really, really important.
Jody Moore: Well, and just to bring this back around to what we were talking about with being a parent, being a mom. I do see that the healthier we get our own selves around food, and weight, and bodies, obviously, the more effective we are at teaching our children. Because the challenges, there are going to be areas that we haven’t figured out ourselves. And meanwhile, we’re trying to teach kids about, we’re trying to teach them to love their bodies, and not overeat and all the things. It’s a tough dance when you’re pretending. And, I do coach a lot of moms who have kids who are overweight and they’re asking me, “How do I?” Like, “I don’t want to cause an eating disorder or imply that my child, that this is a big deal. I don’t want to reinforce the toxic messages that we’ve all gotten around bodies, but I do want to help my kid be healthy.”
Jody Moore: And I love the way you described there, where you’re just, it’s such a good example of you have your head straight about food. And so you know how to teach your kids about what too much sugar’s going to do. And, sometimes, let natural consequences play out. There’s not a fear and an intensity around the subject for you. And that’s what I’m always trying to show these people like, “Listen, you got to do the work and figure it out. Figure out your own thoughts around food and bodies and everything. And then you won’t need to ask.” Because they’re like, “Just tell me what to say.” You’re not going to need to ask me what to say when you clean up your own fear and intensity around it. It really has to start with us.
Jody Moore: And, I think it starts with honesty too, when we’re not there. I sometimes will tell my daughter, because now I have a almost 15 year old daughter. She has a healthier view on it than I do, because I think her generation is healthier around it. So she made a comment the other day that someone had said to her friend, “You’re really skinny.” And my daughter’s telling me this story and she’s so offended. Like, “Can you believe she said that to her?” And in my mind, I’m, I can’t separate out your-
Katrina Ubell: Me or you, we would’ve been like, “Fix.”
Jody Moore: Well, even now I’m like, “Isn’t that a compliment? Wasn’t she complimenting her?” I didn’t say this. This is just what is happening in my head. In my mind, you’re skinny is the equivalent of a compliment. But as I just kind of paused and watched my daughter and let her keep talking, I realized she has a much healthier view than I do of body. She realizes you’re skinny isn’t a compliment or an insult. It’s just an observation, but it does make the body an object.
Katrina Ubell: Right. It’s, she’s kind of like, “Why are we even commenting on bodies?”
Jody Moore: Like, “Why is that even relevant?”
Katrina Ubell: Why is she saying anything?
Jody Moore: Why would you say that? It’s completely irrelevant. And I realized that in that moment like, “Oh my gosh.” Okay? I still have socialization or whatever around bodies. Luckily, she’s a little healthier about it, but I just, I know I’m going to say the wrong thing. Right? So I try to be, I think this is again, back to parenting. I try to be honest with her. I go, “Man, I love that you think about it that way. You know what? Honestly, I still have some messed up views about bodies and I forget things and I’m still working on it.” And I just, I think we have to be honest about our shortcomings sometimes with our kids.
Katrina Ubell: But looping it even back to the controlling our kids. I see this so often when it’s, “I struggle with my weight. I don’t want my kid to, but I can tell by the way that they’re acting around food,” or the way they eat, or just what their body looks like, or whatever they’re struggling. And then they’re just in knots, so upset about their child struggling and because what they, I mean, it’s such a pure intention behind it, which is like, “I want to spare them from having to suffer the way I did.” And I’m just like, “You’re not in control of what is going to cause suffering for them in their lives.”
Jody Moore: That’s right.
Katrina Ubell: Like, “I think you should probably be focusing on yourself and working through this on your own, and they’re on their own journey to sorting out food and their bodies and all of that stuff.” And of course, you can work to be a good example, but the best example you can be is by the way that you act. Right? Because, we all know that do as I say, not as I do, right? It’s they’re watching and they’re picking up on stuff, even if we think they aren’t. And that’s, I think the healthiest thing that we can do is just work on ourselves and be an example of … Or at least an example of an adult, really working to be emotionally well, and really taking good care of themselves.
Jody Moore: Yeah. That’s true. And not mirroring. I get a lot of like, “Well, my kid is anxious. My kid is,” whatever. And I say, “The only thing you can do is not be anxious about their anxiety.” Or, “My kid doesn’t have any confidence.” You have to not be insecure about their insecurity. That’s it. But that’s way more powerful than we realize, actually.
Katrina Ubell: It is actually, really, really powerful. Because, it gives you your … I think so much of the controlling comes from we want to do something, and we think the thing that we need to do involves the child. When, everyone would be so much better served if we put that energy toward working on ourselves around that area. And, just like you described, I love that. Okay.
Jody Moore: And then when the kids, when my kids say, “I have anxiety,” I’m like, “Yeah. Sometimes it happens when we’re human.” We can talk about it, but I’m not anxious about the anxiety.
Katrina Ubell: Right? Like, “Shoot, tell me about your anxiety. Are you?” Yeah. And of course, every child is different and we have to say, depending on the child and what’s going on, you have to use your best judgment because there could be child needs.
Jody Moore: That’s right. And, get help.
Katrina Ubell: Yeah. Of course, like needs professional help. And of course, we would never say we should not be doing that. But, not thinking that, not sending kids the message that every uncomfortable emotion they experience is something to be fixed. That’s really what it comes down to. Okay.
Katrina Ubell: I have one more thing I want to just ask you about, before we wrap up. And that is when, I just love what you tell people when they’re like, “I yell at my kids and I’m so embarrassed that I yell at them, and I just want to know how to stop yelling at my kids.” So, let’s talk about yelling at kids.
Jody Moore: I do coach on this a lot, too. Yeah. Okay. So the temptation is to think, “Okay, I yelled at my kids. That’s terrible. I’m a terrible mom. I shouldn’t do that. How do I change it?” And so we always rewind it. I always unwind it and say, “Okay, what’s the reason why you yelled?” The real reason. Right? And that it’s not because the kids didn’t listen and it’s not because you’re a terrible mom. It’s because yelling works, actually. Right? So if you ask them five times to get their shoes on and they ignore you, and then you finally yell and then they get their shoes on, then your brain takes note. It goes, “Oh, that was effective. That got it done. In fact, next time, let’s skip the first four tries and go right to yelling, because that’s the fastest, easiest way to get them to behave.”
Jody Moore: And so, before you know it, we have a pattern of yelling. So you have to acknowledge that, “Okay, I’m not a bad person and they’re not naughty children or difficult children. We just have gotten into a routine now, where I yell and then they respond, and then I feel bad.” The next layer of that is to stop beating yourself up, because you can’t yell at yourself for yelling at your children and think that you’re going to be doing less yelling. Even if it’s an internal yelling we do of ourselves. But I’m like, “What if you were compassionate, and curious, and kind with yourself about why you yelled?” If you can master that, it’ll be way easier to be compassionate, and curious, and kind with your children about why they’re not listening. So, that’s two minute version right there.
Katrina Ubell: Oh, God, that’s, stop right there. I love it. It’s so good.
Jody Moore: Yeah, that’s.
Katrina Ubell: So good. All right, Jody, so your book, Better Than Happy. It’s at all the retailers, right? Amazon and other places.
Jody Moore: Amazon, and yeah. That’s the best place.
Katrina Ubell: Okay, awesome. So, anyone who’s interested, of course, check that out. You’ve got some good stories in there. You’re just a very funny person. And so, that’s comes through in the book, which is always fun, right? So I love that.
Jody Moore: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Katrina Ubell: Well, Jody, I can’t believe it’s taken so long for us to have a podcast together, but-
Jody Moore: I know. We’re going to get you on mine next.
Katrina Ubell: All right.
Jody Moore: So, we’ll do that.
Katrina Ubell: I’m so happy that you came on, and so grateful. So, thank you so much for being here.
Jody Moore: Thank you, Katrina.
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