This is the first episode in the New Year, New Thoughts series that I’m hosting here on the podcast.
I’m rejecting the concept of “new year, new you,” because I don’t think you need to be a new you. I think it’s okay to accept yourself just the way you are right now.
This episode is all about chapter 2, “Emotional Eating: Why You Always Want Food,” and we’re talking about how to change your food-related thoughts.
If you ever feel powerless against your thoughts about food, this episode is for you.
I hope this episode gives you some actionable ways to change your food-related thoughts. I promise you it is possible to change your thoughts and take back your power.
If you’re interested in Weight Loss for Doctors Only, the one program specifically designed by a physician to help female physicians lose weight permanently, go to katrinaubellmd.com/info to enroll or find out more about it.
Welcome to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast. I’m your host, master certified life and Weight Loss coach Katrina Ubel, M.D. 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. Hey there, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here. So glad that you’re joining me today. If you are someone who’s been listening for a while, I’m so glad you’re back. If you are new, then welcome. So glad that you’re here. I’ve got the first episode in a special series starting today, and I’m so glad that you’re here to listen to it. So I wanted to talk to you about something. This is actually a new thing to me that I learned in publishing my book How to Lose Weight for the last time. Within the publishing industry, there is like a term for the beginning of the year, I think probably even in periodicals and in other spaces that this is a term that they use. It was new to me. I’d never heard of it. And they called this time of year, New Year, new you. And so I was thinking about that and how I understand the ultimate energy behind it. But I don’t know. That’s the best way to think about things.
So I’m changing it for our purposes. And calling the series The New Year New Thoughts series, because I think that when we are thinking about it like New Year, New you, what we’re basically saying, like what’s behind the new You part is that who you are now is not okay and an incremental improvement isn’t going to be enough. Like you have to become a whole new person. And of course, so many of us have tried this year after year after year with the resolutions, and this year it’s going to be different. And even even now, you know, several like a week and a half or so into the new year, many of us have already dropped those best of intentions that we had. And so I don’t think that thinking about it like, oh, this is my chance, this is my year, I’m going to create a new version of me or the best version of me. While it sounds great and it can actually be inspiring at times, I think that the underlying message is one of judgment and lack of acceptance. And what I know from literally I’m now in my seventh year of doing this and then my own personal journey with weight. Is that coming to ourselves with judgment, lack of acceptance and rejection of who we are? Generally doesn’t work out in our favor. So I don’t think that that’s the way we should think about it.
I think we should look at it like, Hey, you know what? There is this energy with a new year. We just had our new weight loss for doctors only program start, and I am so excited to work with these amazing women physicians. It’s such a great time of year because there is this energy, right? It is the new year and this sense of kind of starting fresh and having a new chance. And I love that. And I want to leverage that energy to change the way we think because the way we think creates ultimately all of our results. So if we want a different result, then we don’t need to think that we need to become entirely new people. We need to break it down on a much smaller level, on a much more achievable level. Like if you say, like, I’m going to become a new version of myself, what does that even mean? How do you even start? I don’t even know what the first thing you would do is. And when it is so big and so overwhelming, we tend to take very little action. We tend to quit. We tend to stop because we don’t even know what to do next. So instead, I want to focus on us changing the way that we think and knowing that when we work on that, when we just work on the way that we think, no matter what we do, we will start to get more of the results that we want.
And it has to be that way because this is how the world works. Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings drive our actions. Our actions create a results. This sounds familiar. It’s because it’s what cognitive behavioral therapy is based on, just created by Aaron Beck, the preeminent psychiatrist. So this is very well established as a thing. This isn’t just like some some made up thing. This is actually how things work, right? So if we want different results, if we want to be taking different actions, we have to back the truck up essentially. And we have to, of course, spend some time with our feelings, our emotions. But even before that, we can spend some time with our thoughts. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today. And so what I’ve decided to do is to take some pieces from my book and elaborate on them some more. I was going through a few chapters. I have this whole series plan. It’s going to be so fun where we’re going to delve into some pieces of the book and I’ll talk about what I talk about in the book and then also elaborate on it a bit more for you here, because it’s so fun. There’s some good stuff in here. We’ve got great reviews on Amazon. It’s a bestseller on Amazon, and I would love to invite you to get a copy of the book if you haven’t already.
I know my voice doesn’t sound super great right now, but I did actually read the audiobook, so if you prefer to listen, then go ahead and check that out on Audible or any other place that audiobooks are sold. But we’ll just this will give you like a bit of a taster and then elaborate on things a little bit more, which I think is super fun. I did want to start today by reading one of the amazing Amazon reviews that is out there because listen, we’re at almost 250 reviews, you may recall, if you’re a longer term listener, that for a while there, my goal is to get 100 reviews. And it was so fun to get to 100 and then bypass that and then to go all the way up to almost 250. It was actually 249 when I just checked. It’s so exciting and so awesome. So now my goal is to get to 1000 reviews and I would love your help in doing that because we know that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of copies of this book out there, and we have 249 reviews. So if you have read this book, if you have purchased the book and flip through it and you found it to be helpful, you don’t have to have read every single word to leave a review. I would just invite you and ask you to please go ahead and leave a review on Amazon.
If you want to leave a review somewhere else, like on Goodreads or Barnes Noble or something, you’re welcome to do that as well. But Amazon is the one that moves the needle the most. I know it’s annoying to do it and I don’t even like asking, but it really does help the book. It really makes it so that more people can find it. And when you read these reviews, there’s so many doctors who are like, Everybody needs to find this book. So today I’m going to read a review from someone who just left her initials. Her initials are K, M. S, So thank you so much, CMS, for leaving this. The title of the review is from a doctor who was on the journey, and I’m assuming this is a woman, so I’m going to say she she writes, I have followed Katrina for a few years now and I am excited to have her wisdom all in one place to read and reread. The words marry medical science and practical common sense. It is full of excellent information that can be utilized in weight loss and life in general. It truly is a missing piece of the weight loss journey and perhaps the most important piece. So there you go. If you have not picked the book up yet, I strongly recommend that you do so. There’s such good stuff in there, if I may say so, myself.
And many doctors agree. So. So thank you, CMS, for that. And if you haven’t left a review, please go ahead and do so. So what I’m going to be talking about today is chapter two, and chapter two is titled Emotional Eating Why You Always Want Food. And so I’m not going to be digging into every part of this chapter. It’s actually quite a good kind of a juicy chapter. But there is this one segment that I want to spend a little time on. It’s actually on page 59. So if you I don’t know if you want to read along or something, you’re welcome to do that. Of course you don’t have to. And what I want to do is I want to read it’s really just not too much of this. And I’m going to pause and give you my additional thoughts on this. Right. Because this part of it is titled How to Change Your Food Related Thoughts, which is the title of this podcast. And I think that this is so important because so many of us do not recognize how much control we actually have over our experience around food. I see this time and time again with my clients in weight loss for doctors only. They come in really feeling at the mercy of their thoughts, at just feeling like they’re powerless against them. That the way that they think about food is just the way that they think about food.
And there’s no way around that, that it’s just the way it is. And so I really felt like in this book we had to create something that was very how to write, because it’s great to talk about these bigger conceptual ideas, but then like, what do I actually do? Like how do I actually change my thinking? And so I want to use some of the examples in the book and lay that out for you so you can see how this book really does actually give you actionable steps. It takes you through the specific things that you should do to get the help that you need. And what I want to offer to you is once you know how to change your food related thoughts, then you know how to change your thoughts about anything. We just happen to be using food and eating as the entry point into getting to that place of changing our thoughts. That’s just what I happen to be talking about. But if that’s not what is bothering you right now, or there’s something else that you feel like is more important on your mind, you literally just substitute in whatever your thinking is that’s creating a result that you don’t like or that you prefer not to have. So I just want you to know, right? This isn’t just like a one and done single use kind of a tool. This is something that once you know this, you can’t unknow it.
You literally are going to be using this right and left all the time. Changing your thoughts is about repetition and creating a habit of your new mindset. So even though even after the first sentence. So let’s just take a moment here. This is not something you do once and you go, Oh, that didn’t work for me. Or you tried it for like a weekend, and then you go, I don’t know. I don’t think that works. This is something that you have to put some effort into to repeat it. Now, I do want to just say if you’re like, Oh, I just like, feel so hard and I could just, you know, I just wish there was a magic pill or magic shot. Like everyone’s trying that now with the terrible weight loss medications. I’m telling you, this part is going to be waiting for you because you’re doing this in other areas of your life, too, where you’re not liking how it’s turning out. Right. There’s no way around this part about repetition, becoming aware of your thinking and then actively choosing to think something different. This is something that is a skill that you should know how to apply to your life and you should know how to utilize whether you want to use it for food and weight or you want to use it for something else. But I just want to say that when it feels like a lot of work or a lot of effort, think about how much work and effort you’ve put into losing weight up until this point, right? Think about how much effort you put into and how much energy it takes to think negatively about yourself and about your life and about your body.
So, like, you’re already expending this energy. How about we instead expend it towards something that actually changes the way experience your life and your body for the better? Okay. So you’ve done it before. About so many things. Once upon a time you probably thought ring pops and fund it were irresistible to and that you’d be miserable without Saturday morning cartoons and that you would never love anything more than your sticker collection or your Beanie Babies. But just like you outgrew the thoughts of your childhood, you can also outgrow your unhelpful thoughts about food. The future version of you can think more supportive thoughts and leave the unsupportive ones behind. So I think that’s just such a great example, right? There are so many times where like I am never going to think differently, and then we’re like, Hmm, you know, time passes, we have different experiences, we grow up whatever ends up happening, and we do think differently. So we know it is possible to change our thinking in this case, right? Like thinking about Saturday morning cartoons. Like as you get older, you realize maybe that’s not the best use of my time.
It might still be fun to watch them from time to time, but it’s not how you really want to be focusing your time. And those old thoughts that maybe were supportive for you before are no longer supportive. You weren’t given the opportunity in the invitation to change them to a different way of thinking that is going to be more effective for the stage of life that you’re in and for what you want to create. This was what changed everything for me. I’d successfully gotten to my goal weight before by counting points and counting calories, but I never kept the weight off because I had never addressed the underlying thoughts and beliefs I had, which kept me in a cycle of feeling deprived and tired of all of the effort at the first excuse to blow it. Often a vacation or holiday, I would. And once I started gaining again, it all felt too hard to get back on track until I was right back to where I began and feeling disappointed in myself. Once I fully owned that, my thoughts were creating the results I had both the ones I wanted and the ones I no longer wanted. My relationship with food and overeating began to drastically change for the better. And so I am hoping that you have that realization today as well. This is an invitation for you to understand that it’s not a blame situation.
This is not a situation of judging or, you know, encouraging you to feel guilt or shame over anything. It’s just an invitation to take ownership of the results that you’ve created, understanding that, you know, no one can make you think anything. Like you get to choose that for yourself. And so if you don’t like the way you are thinking about something or you don’t like the result, that that way of thinking creates, even if it feels true. You still have the opportunity to change it. It is still available to you if you want to. To change it. And understanding that deeply is a very, very, very important piece of the puzzle in terms of being able to change. And that’s really what we’re asking ourselves to do, right? We’re asking ourselves to become just a little bit better, just to change a little bit in the right direction that we want to go. Right. So start experimenting with me right now. You don’t have to wait until you finish this book before you start putting it into action. Just start where you are. Pay close attention to your thoughts about food this week and notice where you’re taking actions that you don’t want to take anymore. What might be a different way of thinking about food that still feels true and believable but moves you closer to feeling and acting the way you’d like to create some space between your feelings and the actions you take in response to them, rather than acting on your immediate impulses.
Pause to ask yourself what thoughts are creating the emotion you’re feeling. So this is such gold right here. We just often say, I hear this from clients all the time. I don’t even know why. All of a sudden I just eaten it or, you know, before I realized what was going on. There was food in my mouth. And so what you’re initially asking yourself to do is to figure out what the heck you are thinking, because a lot of the time we don’t really know. I know I didn’t know when I first learned this. Honest to God, this is the truth. I said to my coach, I don’t think I have thoughts in my head. I just have songs from the radio on repeat that shows you how long ago I started on this work because I still listen to the radio back then, but literally I thought I just had song lyrics in my head. I was like, I don’t think I’m thinking things. So I was so out of touch. And you might be too. Maybe not quite as bad, but you may be too. So what we have to do is build some awareness. Interesting that I’m wanting to eat food, that I’m reaching for that like we have to keep ourselves from going into that fog that just puts the food in our mouth and instead stay aware.
Be open eyed, open eared, open hearted to finding out more about what we do so we can understand it better. I’m not saying you can’t eat that food. I’m just saying let’s just find out more about why you’re going to eat it. Okay, here we go. I want you to write this down in a journal, notebook or wherever you normally take notes. Each time you’re confronted with a challenge around food, whether that’s a particular craving or over hunger in general, I want you to write down everything you’re thinking. You might write things like this. I know I’ve already had a lot of cashews today, but I want more. It’s hard to stop myself because they taste so good. I’m craving salt. Cashews are nuts. And nuts are such an easy snack. I don’t have any self-control when it comes to portion sizes. So when you listen to me, read those. Right. How many of those are you like? Yeah, that just sounds like the truth. I know I’ve already had a lot of cashews today, but I want more. Right. We think that this is not a thought. We think this is just like a fact. It’s just the way things are. It’s just reality. But it’s not. It’s a thought, right? It’s hard to stop myself because they taste so good. We think we’re just conveying the truth. No. When you think it’s hard to stop myself because they taste so good, guess what? It’s hard to do.
Yeah. Stop yourself. Okay. All right, so you write these things down. What do we do next? Next. It’s time to fact check yourself. Circle any facts that you can find in what you wrote. Anything that is objectively true is a fact. If everyone in the world would agree with you, then that’s a fact. Like, cashews are nuts. But anything that’s subjective, like they taste so good. I don’t have any self control, etc. is a thought and therefore optional. Anything you wrote down that isn’t a fact is a thought. If you’ve ever changed your mind about anything in life, then you know that it’s possible to change the way you think. Just thinking about all the times I’ve changed my mind. In fact, that’s one of my little mantras. I’m always like, I’m going to do this, but I reserve the right to change my mind. I reserve the right to think differently at any time I want to. And that’s available to us all the time about all the things. Okay, here we go. Next, ask yourself how you feel when you think one of these thoughts. The thought I want more might create the feeling of desire. The thought I don’t have any self-control when it comes to portion sizes might create the feeling of despair. It’s very important to recognize that your desire does not come from the food. It comes from your thoughts about the food.
Your feeling of despair does not come from your overeating. It comes from your thoughts about your overeating. I’m literally like, Go back, hit the rewind button and listen to that paragraph again. Your feelings are coming from your thoughts. So, so, so important. And listen, we understand this conceptually. We are smart people, right? We pick up on things quickly. But there’s a difference between like a cognitive knowledge and actually knowing it deeply in your bones and seeing the evidence of it. Because deep down, our beliefs contradict this knowledge. It’s our job to figure out that discordance and work through it. Okay, then identify what you do or don’t do when you feel this way. When you feel a desire for cashews, what do you do or not do? Most likely you eat more of them. You probably don’t listen to your body’s signals and stop eating when you feel despair about your ability to control how much you eat. What do you do or not do? Maybe you eat more to distract yourself from feeling the despair. Maybe you beat yourself up with negative self. Talk about how repugnant you are. Maybe you don’t plan your food for the next day like you’ve committed to doing as a way of punishing yourself. Right? This is what we do. You know, it’s so funny. The reason I used cashews in this example, I don’t even like nuts that much. It’s just they’re really not my thing.
I mean, if they’re candied, then sure, I’m a lot more interested, but, you know, just regular nuts are just. They’re just not really my thing. But people love nuts and they’re afraid of sugar and flour and they’re just like, you know, people talking about how they’re just like, you know, healthy fats are so great for you. So after I actually lost my weight, I was still working out, you know, my new way of eating. And I got on this nut kick because so many people, my clients included, like everyone was Anita eating nuts. And I thought maybe I can, like, learn to like, nuts. This was before I had had my revelation of I only eat food that tastes good to me, which is also in the book. And talk about that some more as well. But I thought, okay, I’m going to eat more of these. And you know, what’s interesting is often in a hotel room, if they have a little snack bar or mini bar, you know, where you can spend a gazillion dollars on snacks in your room, they often have cashews. And so I tried to convince myself, cashews are a good thing. You can do this if you’re not eating fine, which you can probably eat as many cashews as you want. Well, because I was still working on the overeating piece, Right. I’d lost the weight, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve solved every problem.
Right? So many people know that, right? You can lose a lot of weight and still need to work on those behaviors that create the weight gain and also just discomfort in your body. So I was doing all of this cashew eating and other nuts, but largely cashews because I do like cashews a little bit better than other nuts. And I started to notice this pattern of not really feeling good in my belly and just really having some some GI upset, some gastric distress, just being like, I don’t really feel good when I eat these and I was still overeating them. So also overeating anything is not what your body is really asking you to do, right? So I was thinking to myself, I’m like, I bet you there’s so many people who overeat cashews. Cashews are the thing. And also, I think sometimes we’re like, well, of course, over eating cookies, but like nuts, man, a lot of people are like, don’t take my nuts away. So I thought that that was such a good example to use. But what we’re talking about this paragraph that I just read that the main point there is that we think that it’s just eating the cashews, but it’s not right. We don’t listen to our body’s signals. We keep overeating, then we feel despair. Then to stop feeling despair because we don’t know any other thing to do with our emotions. We try to eat more right? Then we beat ourselves up.
Like you see how this just layers on the discomfort, the feeling bad about yourself, right? You chewed up food, you swallowed it. Not a crime. But when you add on all these emotional layers and thought layers, it starts to feel on that level. It starts feel really, really bad. As you go through this process, it starts to become clear why you struggle with your weight. When you think certain thoughts, you feel certain feelings, and then you do certain things that create your results. This is not something to rush through because deeply understanding how your thought process is creating what you don’t want will make it easier to adopt a different thought process that will consistently create the long term weight loss that you do want. And listen, I’ve talked about this before on this podcast about rushing. When you feel like you’ve identified the thought, you’re like, Oh, that’s the bad thought. Okay, I want to change it immediately, right? Like, give me the thought, Katrina. What’s the new way of thinking that I just really strongly discourage you from doing that? Because what I found, I mean, for years and years and years of doing this is that that new thought will not have traction. You can’t just, like, skip over it. You need to spend some time deeply understanding that when I think this way, it consistently creates this way of feeling and then this action that does not serve me that I don’t like and I want to stop doing from that place.
When you deeply understand that it is so easy to change your thinking because you’re just like, I am done with this, I am over it. I see it so deeply, I’m not doing this anymore. It’s kind of like, you know, what’s coming to mind right now is like the Christmas Carol. That old story by Dickens, right? You know, by the end of it, Ebenezer Scrooge. She’s like, I get it. I need to change my life. Like it’s clear. Let me out of this third ghost or whatever Ghost of Christmas Future or whatever it is, you know, like, we can get to that point where we’re like, I hear you loud and clear. I deeply understand. I do not want to participate my life in this way anymore. That’s when changing your thoughts becomes so much easier. So as you become open to considering new ways of thinking, respond to the original thoughts you wrote down in your journal with alternative thoughts that could possibly create the feelings and actions needed to produce the results you want. So here now we’ve identified what the old way of thinking is. We’re understanding it better. And then instead of trying to convince ourselves to think something that’s like very rosy or kind of Pollyanna ish, or essentially even trying to gaslight ourselves, instead we want to just start thinking like, what else could be true? Or if I think this thought, what might be another way to respond to this and understand that when we choose different thoughts, it might create a different feeling.
And that’s something that we could experiment with rather than needing to escape so quickly that we feel like we need a new thought and it needs to work immediately and my brain needs to be forever changed. Neuroplasticity needs to happen in 15 seconds or I’m throwing out the whole idea. No, right. We need to spend some time with this experiment, be willing to go through the process. So here are some possible ways to respond. The reason I keep wanting more cashews is because my brain is overemphasizing their importance. Right? So you can tell like this is also true, right? You’re not telling yourself some lie. You’re asking yourself to think something you don’t believe that could really be true as well, but gives you a different feeling. I will ask myself if my body needs more food. If not, I will drink some water and focus on something else. So that’s a way of thinking that can help redirect you in the direction you want to go. Cashews are just food. They just sit there. They have no power over me. That’s a good reminder. That can be a really good thought. The less I resist my cravings, the faster they pass. I’m choosing to make positive changes in my life.
That’s so good, too, right? The more we resist them, the way I think about it is we push against them when we’re resisting them. We push so hard and they just push back just as hard, if not harder. And now all of a sudden, we want those cashews more than life itself. And we just want to plow through all of it. So we need to drop this resistance. We need to stop pushing back. And what you’ll see is that over time. That desire reduces. It’s so cool. I have been eating out of boredom. I’ll find another way to entertain myself. This is so good, too. Sometimes we have that light bulb goes on and we’re like, Oh my gosh, you know, I’m eating out of boredom. I’m going to find a different way to entertain myself. Don’t have to keep eating. And finally, my relationship with myself strengthens every time I follow my plan. I treat myself as a top priority, even if that doesn’t even feel totally true. Yet something you could play around with. You could consider it. What might it be like if you did believe that? If that was true for you, how would that change things? And that’s where you can spend some time on. So I ended up at the top of page 62, so we didn’t make it very far. But I think that this information is so, so good. Right. You can really delve in and apply this and come back to this again and again.
And so I just give you these real actionable examples and maybe it’s not caches for you, maybe it’s something else. It probably is something else to spend a little time on that. If you’re not sure what you think, just the next time you want that thing, if it’s ice cream or whatever it is. Before I get the ice cream, let me just jot down what my thoughts are about ice cream. Ice cream? We’ll make this better. I just want to feel good. Like, whatever it is, let’s find out. And then once you know, you don’t have to judge yourself or beat yourself up or be mean to yourself, but what you have the invitation to do then is to change the way that you think the next time. How you approach this gives you the opportunity to consider some new options. And as you do that, you’re working with yourself. You’re not beating yourself into submission. You’re not thinking that being mean to yourself is going to be the way out of this. You’re working with yourself as a supportive guide. And of course, this is exactly what we help our clients with in weight loss for doctors only. And we are here to help anybody who would like some additional assistance with this because, you know, I think you can make a lot of progress on your own. And sometimes you need someone to just let you know that cash is really are just nuts and they’re not that important.
I know it sounds funny. I’m kind of joking, but also kind of not like that’s sometimes so powerful in coaching where someone just like notifies you that this thing that you just thought was true is actually not like what? How come nobody told me before? Okay, So with that, we’ll wrap things up. I’ve gone a little over time from what I usually do, but this is just such good, important material. I want to make sure to get it to you. And next week we’re going to delve into another chunk of another chapter. So make sure you come and join me for my New Year new Thought series. It’s so good. And remember, pick up a copy of the book, How to Lose Weight for the last Time. Brain based solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. Any where books are sold. You can also pick up that audio book and if you have already purchased it, I would appreciate it so much if you would leave me a review. Thank you so much for your attention. Oh man, this stuff gets me excited. So excited for you to see how much this can change your life. Have a great rest of your week and I’ll talk to you next time. Bye bye. Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals for lots of free help. Go to Katrina, UBL, IMDB.com and click on Free Resources.