Ep #234: Weight Loss Lessons From Biggest Little Farm

Get ready for a really fun episode! Joining me today is Lynn Grogan, Lead Coach in the Weight Loss For Doctors Only program, Director of Programming, and a key member of our leadership team. We are doing something a little different with this podcast: comparing a documentary film to the weight loss journey.

Listen in as we analyze the documentary The Biggest Little Farm and compare how the film and weight loss are actually very similar. We’ll be diving into some of the lessons that the characters learn, the obstacles they overcame, and the mindset they had—and sharing how all of it applies to the weight loss journey. 

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • How the lessons learned and obstacles faced in the documentary film The Biggest Little Farm are similar to those in weight loss.
  • How to channel the solutions-focused mindset of the characters.
  • Why the learning never stops—on the farm or in losing weight.
  • Why we recommend this film for anyone looking for inspiration in their weight loss journey.

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Read the Transcript Below:

Katrina Ubell:      You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians podcast, with Katrina Ubell, MD, episode number 234.

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.

Well, hey there, my friend. I’m so glad that you’re here today. We have a really, really fun episode planned for you. But before we dig in, I want to tell you one thing really quickly and invite you to come join me next week Thursday, July 15th at 8:30 PM Eastern or 5:30 PM Pacific to a free training on how to lose weight for the last time. This is really, really important information that no matter how you’re losing weight and whatever you’re trying to do, you need to understand this. It’s a free class, so you can come and join me. We have a good time. You can ask your questions, and then I’ll also tell you a little bit more about your next opportunity to work with me if that’s something that you’re interested in.

So, I’d love to have you join me and to register so that you can get the link to come on live and so you can get the replay as well, go to katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight, that’s L-O-S-E-W-E-I-G-H-T, all shushed together. So katrinaubellmd.com/loseweight. Okay. So today is a really fun episode. I’ve got Lynn Grogan here who’s been on the podcast before. You were on Lynn, when last, in the fall?

Lynn Grogan:      November. We talked about Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Katrina Ubell:      Yes. Lynn is the lead coach in the Weight Loss for Doctors Only Program, and is also our director of all of our programs, and she’s on the leadership team, and she’s all the amazing things. That has nothing to do with why we’re talking about what we’re talking about today. So we were talking a couple of days ago, and you said… We watched this movie, The Biggest Little Farm, and you asked if I’d seen it, and I had. I saw it on a plane back when we took plane trips, so probably a couple of years ago, and I loved it. I thought it was amazing, but I hadn’t seen it since. And you were like, “There are so many parallels to weight loss in there,” and I was like, “Really?” And you were like, “Yeah, you should totally do a podcast episode on it.” And I was like, “Well, why don’t you come on and we’ll talk about it together?” And so here we are.

Lynn Grogan:      Yes. I mean, this is how I get roped into things, right? I’m like, “Idea,” and you’re like, “What if?” So, it’s all good.

Katrina Ubell:      “You know what you should do,” and I’m like, “How about you do it with me?”

Lynn Grogan:      Zip my lip from here on out.

Katrina Ubell:      You’re getting a little bit, though, into… You guys have bees, right?

Lynn Grogan:      We do.

Katrina Ubell:      What else are you doing? You’re getting into gardening and all that stuff because you’re a relatively new homeowner.

Lynn Grogan:      We are, yeah. Half of our yard is just stuff. We don’t really know what to expect, and all of these flowers are just coming up out of the ground, and randomly asparagus came up and strawberries and raspberries. We’re at the observation stage trying to figure out what is happening in our yard, but yes, we have the beehives and this morning I almost stepped on two turtles in the yard, so there’s this whole ecosystem happening around us. It’s fantastic.

Katrina Ubell:      That is super, super fun. Okay. We need to talk about Biggest Little Farm, the movie. First of all… Because I re-watched it before we talked, and this is how nerdy I am and how much I am so susceptible to going down rabbit holes. I noticed that they said that this farm is in Moorpark, California. Well, I lived in Southern California growing up and I was like, “Moorpark was around the corner,” and so I actually found the address of this farm and put in the address of my childhood home to see how far away it is. It’s a 17 minute drive. Isn’t that so crazy? I was like, “I didn’t know that there were even any farms that close to where we lived.” I had no idea.

Anyway, the description of the Biggest Little Farm is as follows: The Biggest Little Farm follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to bring harmony to both their lives and the land. When the barking of their beloved dog, Todd leads to an eviction notice from their tiny LA apartment, John and Molly Chester make a choice that takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres in the foothills of Ventura County, California, naively endeavoring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. Here’s the deal with this, I watch stuff like this, and I want to be the person who can do this. I have this very romanticized idea of what it would be like, but there’s a lot of stuff that they have to do that I’m like, “Yeah, I would not want to be doing that.”

Lynn Grogan:      Okay, I don’t know about you, but there is so many scenes where they’re doing things out in the farmyard and they weren’t wearing gloves, and I was like, “Oh, man. Any of the doctors watching this are going to be like, ‘Put your gloves on!'”

Katrina Ubell:      I know! There is one thing in particular that I’m not even going to bring up because it’s so gross. I don’t want to make anybody gagging who’s listening, but I was just like, “Oh, my gosh. I literally can’t believe that’s happening.” Anyway, these two, this couple, they’re just the sweetest, and I mean, talk about dedication. They bought this farm that had foreclosed because basically nothing was growing on it anymore. This soil was absolutely in disrepair in the sense that it was hard as a rock, no nutrients at all, and it was Molly, really her dream to have this amazing farm, and John kind of went along for the ride. So he is a documentary filmmaker and has done a lot of documentaries with animals, so this cinematography in the movie is actually really, really beautiful as well. It’s actually, it’s really pleasant. It’s not just some person with a camcorder on their shoulder or running around with an iPhone. There’s a lot that’s actually really, really nicely done, which is super cool.

So anyway, we recommend that you watch it. It’s worth a watch. You can go to biggestlittlefarmmovie.com. I watched it on Hulu, so I think that’s where you can find it right now, probably the easiest. I think you can purchase it on Amazon and YouTube, and stuff like that as well. But so Lynn, you were the one who equated the weight loss connection, so I’m going to let you lead the conversation. Tell us about the first thing that happens that made you think, “Okay, this is just like weight loss.”

Lynn Grogan:      I mean, honestly, from the very beginning of things where they have this couple that has this impossible goal, and the impetus for this was the dog. They got evicted from their apartment and they said, “Okay.” They had adopted this dog, and they had told the dog like, “Hey, we’re going to be the last home that you ever have,” and it just happened to be as they were trying to figure out a solution to that situation, they’re like, “Hey, Molly has always had that dream of having the farm. How about we do this?” But they didn’t have any money.

So from the get-go, it was like here’s this impossible goal, this thing that you really, really want, but also it doesn’t seem like there’s this clear path to get there. And I think when I first saw that, I was just like, “Okay, so many of our clients come to us and they’re like, ‘Okay, I have this thing I want to do. It seems like you teach this. I don’t have this clear path to get there, but it seems like you do,'” and so I just saw maybe the connection there where they didn’t see how to get there, and all of their friends and family were super skeptical and teasing them and-

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, they gave them a really hard time. They’re just like, “This is this crazy pipe dream. How long is this going to last?” And they just kept forging on, and I do agree. I think sometimes that’s what people’s experience in weight loss is as well, whether it’s actually said to them or they feel like that’s just the general sentiment of the people around them like, “You’re not going to be able to do this,” or, “How’s this going to be any different than any other time that you’ve done this?” But having that deep goal of, “I just want to sort out this weight issue.” That’s where I stood. I think that’s where you stood as well when you were losing weight, it’s just like, “I just want to be done with this problem,” and in this case, they’re like, “We just want this beautiful farm that is so biodiverse and we’re not using pesticides and all this other stuff.”

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, and they were doing things in a different because I think that’s the thing too is when all of our clients come to us, they’re like, “I’ve tried everything else, or all the examples that I see out there, there’s nothing that really aligns with me and my life,” and that was the Chesters as well, Molly and John, they were just like, “We want to do this thing, but we don’t see an example of this anywhere.”

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Right, and it’s important to mention that there are farms around them, but they’re all monoculture. So they’re all just… I think one was all raspberries they were growing under those… I don’t even know what they called them. It was kind of hoops. It’s these arches and stuff. They had to search long and hard to find a mentor who understood what they wanted to create and could actually mentor them adequately, and I think that’s what we look forward to sometimes in a coach. We’re like, “This person sounds crazy,” which is what they thought of Alan, the person who is their farming mentor. They’re like, especially John was like, “I don’t know. Molly really likes him. I don’t know what to think of this guy. He’s having us do all kinds of crazy stuff.”

But kind of believing in the long-term goal. You don’t need to see the whole path clearly laid out, and in fact there are those obstacles where you’re like, “I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to work, but I’m just going to keep on going,” and that’s exactly what it’s like in weight loss too. You have no idea. If you’re waiting… If the Chesters had waited to know exactly how they were going to create this farm, they never ever would have been able to do it.

Lynn Grogan:      No, and I think that was something that John said right away. He was just like, “Yeah, I don’t know about this guy,” and I think that too, that’s always the fun part. We just had a new WALDO group start recently.

Katrina Ubell:      WALDO’s Weight Loss for Doctors Only, just for those who aren’t familiar with our vernacular. That’s a mouthful.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, they just started, I don’t know what, a month ago and-

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, as we’re recording this. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lynn Grogan:      As we’re recording this, and so many were just like, “I just I really connect with Katrina, but I’m a little bit nervous about this process, but I fully trust in her,” and that’s exactly what I saw it with the Chesters. With Alan, it’s just like, “Okay, he’s got this vision. He believes in this 100%, and we’re just going to go all in on this and have so much faith in him and his process, even if we don’t fully understand what he’s doing.”

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Exactly. Exactly, yeah. And honestly, I don’t think there would have been enough books that they could have read or videos to watch online or anything. I mean, certainly there was a lot of that, figuring things out, but Alan was really the person who helped them create the vision, plan it all out and understand the bigger picture like, “Well, let’s just follow Alan through.” So then Alan actually passes away of cancer, so they are on their own, and John in his narration says, “Alan told us that by this year, this thing would be happening.”

Alan is gone at this point, but they were still continuing on and seeing how what Alan said would happen does happen in terms of things actually coming into balance the way they had hoped because they were going from this… To even call it an ecosystem is generous, I think, right? It was literally, there’s just nothing, and again, creating something that… It’s like that circle of life. It’s like the Circle of Life song starts to play in your head. You realize, you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. There’s a reason that coyotes can be helpful. What?” You start to see this whole combination.

Lynn Grogan:      Well, and I think to your point when you had just said they couldn’t have read enough books to even apply to them because the books don’t know their land and where they’re located in California, and all those things, and I think that part also lined up is that all of our clients have their own unique body. And so it’s like you could read books upon books upon books, but until you actually experiment with things for your unique everything that’s unique about you, you can’t figure out a way forward. And so I think that was also another parallel that I saw is that it doesn’t really matter what you read until you actually try it out on yourself. That’s how you find the way forward.

Katrina Ubell:      Totally. Totally. I mean, absolutely. And just understanding there’s going to be that experimentation. There were so many different things that the Chesters tried, they’re like, “Let’s try this thing. Let’s try that thing,” knowing that sometimes there was the easy out. They could have used the pesticide, or they could have… They were talking about how all their neighbors would just shoot the coyote. And they’re just trying to figure out some solution, and I think that commitment to the bigger purpose, I think, has such a parallel to weight loss too because you can always go the diet mentality route anytime you want. You want to lose weight quick scheme? Totally. You can do that, but at what expense? And it doesn’t move you further along the path toward getting that result that you really, really want, which is the peace and freedom around food and no longer having the overeating issue as a whole. So it’s so easy sometimes to just be like, “Ah, screw it. I’m just going to do the easy thing,” but to what end really?

Lynn Grogan:      Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, exactly. And I think too is one thing that really surprised me, and I think would’ve just devastated me, or not devastated, but the first year they farmed, where they got there where this is their heart and soul they’re pouring into it, they had to set up a foundation first. They had to get the soil up and running, they had to basically rip out all of the crop that was there. They had one single crop on the land. They had to start from scratch on this farm. They weren’t reaping any harvest, they weren’t selling anything that very first year. They had to have so much patience as they followed Alan’s system to work towards their goal. So if they wanted to do something brand new, they were going to have to be super patient, and I think that part also reminded me of weight loss is if the way that we teach it, and maybe you want to jump in here, but you might not lose weight right away.

Katrina Ubell:      Totally. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I remember, I think at one point, John even says, “The amount of money we had budgeted for the first year was… The first six months, it was already gone,” and it was just like, “I may have had to find investors,” and they did not have the money. They were not personally funded. Yeah, we see that again and again and again with the people that we work with, where they come in and there is a foundation of personal work that has to be done before they can really successfully start to lose weight and keep it off, and so over the years that I’ve done this, what I used to notice is that there would be a lot of people who would have just kind of a lot of turmoil and drama around their food.

They weren’t digging really into the personal work that they needed to do, looking at their thoughts, the mind work that we talk about. They were like, “And then I made a plan, and then I didn’t follow it. And oh, and what’s wrong? And maybe I need a different way of eating and maybe I need to fast in a different way,” and they were really, really food focused. And I started to see over the course of time, that’s almost like a compensatory behavior for some people. They don’t even feel comfortable digging into the mind work at all. So if there’s just a lot of drama around the food, then you can just stay focused on thinking about the food. You don’t have to actually dig into what’s going on for you. And we had several people, clients, who lost weight and did all this stuff and then came back and they’re like, “I totally avoided doing the mind work part, and now I’m back because I need to do that part, and I realize that.”

But on the flip side, we have people who sometimes are binging or just are in a state where there’s just other significant issues going on in their life that what they really need is some coaching first so that they can get all of that to come to a place where now they really can approach themselves with love and respect, and lose weight in a way that’s sustainable. And what I am constantly forever telling people who have that path is, “Don’t blame yourself. Don’t be disappointed. Don’t be embarrassed that it’s taking too long. I mean, You can lose weight fast if you want to, but who cares if you just gain it back in another six months? Who cares? If we want a certain result that means that it’s the last time you lose weight, then who cares how long it takes? All this work has to be done regardless. It’s not going to be any easier when you’re thin. So if we have to do it when you’re still overweight, that’s okay. It’s okay to just have your own path and do it your way.”

Lynn Grogan:      Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, and that’s where that commitment and kind of a faith comes into it. It’s just sort of building that foundation first, working through all the stuff you need to work through first, knowing that with the end goal in sight that you keep moving forward instead of stopping for those quick fixes like, “Okay, I’m going to do something extreme or something from your dieting days that really doesn’t help you in the long-term.”

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Exactly. Exactly. Because that’s always going to be available to you. You can always do something crazy or go on, I don’t know, whatever, the grapefruit diet, or go on whatever you want.

Lynn Grogan:      The lemon cayenne thing.

Katrina Ubell:      Listen, if that worked, I’d be all in. It’s not going to solve the problem, so I don’t know. It just seems like a diversion. The path that you need to take remains, so if you want to do that, you can, but we’ll still be here for you when you’re ready.

Lynn Grogan:      Exactly.

Katrina Ubell:      Yes. All right. So obstacles and strategies, let’s talk about that. They had so many obstacles, so many obstacles. I can’t believe they kept on going, but I think it was a little bit like what choice did they have? They were so in it that what else were they going to do? And they had all these people’s money and whatever, and they probably just had to keep on going. It was so incredible. So do you want touch on some of those obstacles and then the strategies they found?

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah. I mean, this was a big part of the documentary is going through all of the things that they had to go through in this. And I mean, this is probably a huge portion of people in our program too. It’s just all the obstacles and strategies you get past, like the first very fun, sexy part of learning about the weight loss, but then your real life happens and we need to figure out how to solve for those things. So I mean, anything from the first getting started, they didn’t have enough help on the farm. I mean, they quickly realized like, “Okay, we need help,” but going back to the money thing, they didn’t have a lot of money to hire people. So they went online and found kids, essentially kids, people in their early 20s from all over the globe who wanted to come and learn this way. So here you have people that are showing up very willing, but don’t really have a lot of knowledge, but they needed the hands. So they figured that one pretty quickly.

Katrina Ubell:      They were all learning together basically. And what you need is just manpower, people power. You need people who can go and do things and feed the animals and do all that stuff. Watching that movie, sometimes I’m like, “Did they ever sleep? Oh, my God!” It seems overwhelming to me, but I’m sure it’s just the way—

Lynn Grogan:      When you have a dream though, Katrina.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. I guess so. I guess so.

Lynn Grogan:      The next thing is that they had to plant a lot of cover crop underneath their orchard to help improve the soil, but then again, quickly realized that, “Okay, this is going to be overgrown. Oh, my gosh. We’re going to spend so much time mowing it.” This was Alan, their mentor’s suggestion is like, “Hey, put the sheep out there. The sheep will eat all of this. This is food for them, and then their droppings will help fertilize the soil, so it’s a win-win.” They didn’t have to use any of the people power there. They just had to unleash their sheep, but most people probably would have mown that. They would have gone for a traditional method there, the quick and easy, whereas this was much more sustainable.

Katrina Ubell:      Totally. Absolutely, yes. And then, okay, one of my favorites because this totally took me off guard when I watched it was the snails. So they had all these snails, and so kind of I guess maybe why that struck a chord with me was because my parents, growing up in California, had a garden at times in the yard, and the snails would totally come and they would eat the lettuce, and my mom would be so mad, and it was just a whole thing with the snails. I just remember there always being snails around. So they’re having all this trouble with the snails, the snails are eating the leaves, I think, of the citrus trees, and they’re just creating all this havoc. And then they’ve got all these ducks who… wasn’t that also when, I think, they were in the drought and the pond was really in poor shape for the docks and stuff.

So they’re like, “What if we gather up the ducks and see if they will eat these snails?” And they did. Did they say that they ate 90,000 snails? And you could see the ducks, it’s like you’ve never seen happier ducks, and they’re just delighted to eat all of these snails because they’d been trying to do it by hand. They’d been trying, all these workers going and gathering all these snails and it was just so smart because then, of course, the ducks are pooping right there and then that helps the soil, and it got them out of the pond with the toxic algae bloom. The whole thing, it was just so creative, such a strategy and solution, and I think again in weight loss that happens so often.

We’re like, “Okay, we see the obstacle,” and then we are so quick to usually just be like, “See, I knew this wasn’t going to work. I just can’t do it.” So that’s the first thing we need to move passed like, “Okay. Well, what if that’s not true? What if there are some solutions here that I can work to figure out?” But then sometimes those first solutions don’t work, and again, they needed a solution to these snails. They had to figure something out. Same thing with all their flies that they had. It’s just like there’s so many issues that just they had to sort it out. If you look at weight loss in a similar way, where it’s like, “This is an obstacle that’s keeping me from what I want. I’m going to keep going until I figure this out,” you’ll come up with some creative solution eventually.

I always like to think of it as our brains, they just want to do whatever we ask them. If you’re just sitting around going, “Why can’t I lose weight?” It’ll tell you all the reasons why you can’t lose weight. If you ask it though, “How can I overcome this obstacle? How can I figure out the solution to this?” It will tell you. That’s the thing, you wake up in the morning, you’re in the shower and all of a sudden it’s like boom, you’ve got it. You’re like, “Oh, my God! Yes, that’s going to be the thing.”

And you know what’s funny is I’ve that experience with other things as well, where I noticed my… I’m working on something, trying to figure something out. My brain’s like, “There is no solution.” I’m like, “No, but just keep thinking about it.” There’s no solution. Okay, but just keep thinking about it, and I noticed my brain’s like, “You should just listen to a podcast and just give it up. Just turn on a podcast,” and I’m like, “No, keep thinking about this.” And then it’s like boom, there it goes. It’s like three minutes later, I get the answer and I’m like, “Oh, yes. That’s what I’m going to do.”

So understanding that concept of the obstacles really are the path toward getting you what you want. We all think, “I want to find the obstacle-free path to permanent weight loss,” but that’s not how you create the path. The path is created by the obstacles as they’re solved, and that’s really the main thing. Also, just want to say the owl houses were incredible, those barn owls. And they said they had 84, 87 barn owls they ended up having. It was incredible, and they were so beautiful. I couldn’t even believe it.

Lynn Grogan:      Well, that was the part where I’m like, “Oh.” His cinematography was amazing.

Katrina Ubell:      Yes, it really was so good.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, and I think too on the obstacles front is where… We’re recording this, we’re approaching summer holidays in this part of the world, and I mean, that’s what it’s going to be. You can’t just… What, you’re just not going to go to the pool with your kids, you’re not going to go on vacation? All of those things for people they’re coming up with strategies for them. So it’s just like, “Okay, you’re going to have many, many opportunities to come up with solutions to help keep going towards your goal.”

Katrina Ubell:      Totally. And also just with the world opening up, there’s events again. For a while there, the travel and special events, we just weren’t having that as an obstacle. For some people, they actually were like, “This is actually the easiest way to lose weight because I don’t have anywhere to go. I’ll just cook for myself all the time.” Not everybody had that experience, but regardless, even if that was the case, you still have to learn how to now live in the outside world in whatever shape or form that takes and figuring out, “How do I travel and eat in a way that’s really honoring of my body and honoring of myself and my relationship to myself, and still have fun and still enjoy myself? How do I decouple the idea that the most fun part of getting together with other people is the food and the alcohol,” getting yourself through that.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, and the solution shouldn’t be that you just don’t have things in your house or you just don’t go out. It’s like, “Well, how do we do those things and keep honoring our—”

Katrina Ubell:      Yes, exactly. Exactly. So good. So good. All right. Let’s talk about endurance. When that rain came, I was like, “Oh, my God.” So they had massive drought, and then was it 18 inches of rain that fell in a couple of days?

Lynn Grogan:      I think it was 18 to 20 inches. It was an incredible amount of rain.

Katrina Ubell:      Incredible amount of rain. And spoiler alert: What ends up happening is all the farms around them that are monoculture that don’t have that good quality soil are having these big floods and the water’s washing away their soil, but on the Chesters’ farm, because of the quality of their soil and because of all their cover crop, it just went right straight down into their aquifer, which is what they’re using for irrigation anyway. So it was just such a great example of you never know when that’s going to happen, and you set yourself up for success so that you could have the benefits from it when it does come.

And what I was thinking about that is how often do we have people who are like, “Well, I’ve been following my plan. I’m totally on plan. I’m doing my thing, and I’m not seeing the weight loss results,” and then you were just like, “Just stay the course. Just keep on going.” And it does, it requires a lot of trust and belief, and then all of a sudden it’s like boom, you’re down six pounds, and you’re like, “Yes! See? That happened because you stuck with it, because you didn’t give up, because you didn’t say, ‘I need to change everything,’ because you didn’t let your mind get the better of you. You just stayed the course and kept on doing what you knew would help to support you for the bigger picture.”

Lynn Grogan:      What I think too is even during the pandemic, we had so many people come to us that just said, “Wow, I would have reacted… Before learning all of the mindset work, I would have reacted in this way that would have been really detrimental to me.” I mean, you’ve coached many clients on this as well, but they were like, “Wow. I was amazed at how calm I was or how much I was able to manage my mind. I definitely had a freak out, but then I was able to really support myself in that.” Just I think the benefits beyond that, they just didn’t fall apart. They knew how to support themselves.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Yes, totally. Yes. They completely had set the stage for… Because here’s the deal, hopefully we never have another pandemic again, but other things are going to happen, whether it’s to all of us or to us individually or whatever, but there’s going to be more stressors. There’s going to be more big things that we prefer not to go through that will happen. Have we set up that groundwork to support ourselves so that we really can get through it? And I love how you said they had their freak out moment. It’s not everybody was in peaceful Zen like, “What do you mean? what’s wrong with the pandemic?”

That’s not what was going on, but so many of them said, “I feel like I’m in such a better place than all the people around me. I feel like I’m doing okay. I really feel like I’m so much more optimistic than most people around me or I’m so much more solutions-focused, or things like that,” which is great. That’s all we can ask of ourselves. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re still all human, we’re still going to experience all the emotions, but what the mind management tools help you to do is help you to not spend any more time in the negative emotions than you have to. So good. All right. So talk to us about how solutions-focused they were.

Lynn Grogan:      Do I want to about this? I’m like, “Oh, this next part.” I’m trying to think about how to talk about it in a way that doesn’t make me sad for them. So they had this beloved rooster who adorable hung out in the hog pen with their pig named Emma, and-

Katrina Ubell:      They were buddies, Emma and Greasy. Greasy was the name of the rooster.

Lynn Grogan:      Greasy the rooster, yeah. And they were buddies, and one day, one of the farm dogs killed Greasy, and they have this whole scene where you can see this Great Pyrenees, he’s covered in blood sitting next to the other dog, and of course, they’re devastated because this is-

Katrina Ubell:      He was their pet at this point.

Lynn Grogan:      He was their pet at that point, but they realized quickly and looking at both of the dogs, that one dog was covered in blood and the other dog who had just as much access to Greasy the rooster was not, and they realized in that moment that the one dog wasn’t going to kill chickens or roosters or any of them, and that maybe that was a solution to their coyote problem. They could put that one farm dog in the chicken pen and-

Katrina Ubell:      Keep the chickens safe at night because the coyotes were getting in and killing a bunch of chickens, and this happened again and again and again, and they were trying to not have to kill the coyotes. So they were just trying to figure out how to keep these chickens safe, and it ended up being that. Greasy gave his life so that they could figure out which dog was the one that could go and protect those chickens, because that was really a main way that they were making money, because remember, even their fruit, the starling birds were coming and racking so much of their fruit. So the eggs from their hens were super popular and were selling out, so that was, by that point, actually something that they could sell and make money on and was desirable by the community. Losing a bunch of their hens again and again and again was a real problem.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, and I think, to me, the message there was if they had just been focused on being angry at the dog and being in the grief, which of course, both of those things happened, they wouldn’t have been able to see the bigger picture there, which is, “Okay, wait a minute. Part of this has happened for us because now we know that the one dog isn’t going to kill the chickens.” So if they had stayed just in that negative space, they wouldn’t have seen, “Okay, wait a minute. Here’s the solution here that was just waiting to happen. We just didn’t even know about it.”

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Exactly. Yeah, it’s like they allowed themselves to see that silver lining, and figure out how it was happening for them. Yeah, so good. So good. Okay, and then finally ongoing effort.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah, so there is this idea I think a lot of people have is like, “Okay, I’m going to figure out my food. I’m going to figure out all this eating thing, and then I’m never going to have to think about it again,” which I wish that was the case, but I mean, we are humans, we age, food is our fuel, it affects us differently over time, so there’s always going to be this ongoing effort that we have. And just like on this farm, it’s not like they just get it dialed in and is like, “Okay, the animals feed themselves. The crops do themselves.” There’s still things that come up they have to solve for. I think that’s the main parallel there I saw at the end is just like there’s still stuff that we figure out as we age, as our bodies change. You’re never just done with it, but your relationship with it changes.

So it’s just the drama that I used to have around food earlier and lot of our clients did, it’s not the same, but do I still have to figure out things as I get into my 40s, and that changes there? Yeah, I still have to figure out like, “Oh, okay. Maybe I’m not eating as much rice or whatever as I used to.” You’re still figuring things out. You’re still experimenting. So that’s kind of what I saw there is just like, “Oh, okay. If I can remember and if clients can remember there’s still this effort as we go forward, it’s just different because we’re managing our mind around it.”

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, totally. And what’s interesting about that is I think weight loss is unique in this sense because if you, let’s say, you quit smoking cigarettes, you really don’t have to think about cigarettes ever again for the rest of your life, or if you stop drinking alcohol similarly, you don’t really have to think about it anymore. But with food, since we do have to eat some food, there will be some thought that will go into it, but I think what people get confused about when they are disappointed by that is they think that people who don’t struggle with their weight and who are naturally thin never think about food. There’s a normal amount of thinking about food that people have, that humans have, and we want to get ourselves as close as possible to that level of thinking, not to a point where you don’t think about it at all, and that’s where I think people get really confused when they’re like, “Well, listen, if I just had a personal chef then I just wouldn’t have this problem anymore.”

And I always say is, “I guarantee you that would not be the case because if you want to overeat, you will find a way to overeat. And just because someone’s making you some food and it’s sitting in your house, does not mean that you’re going to eat that or want to have that, or whatever. So there’s still going to be…” It’s kind of like taking personal responsibility for that part, which is, “Well, let me check in. Nobody’s going to know if I’m hungry except me. No one can tell me that. I need to check in with my body and find out. No one has to live in this body except me, so I’m going to be the one paying attention to how certain foods make me feel in my body.”

I think as I am getting older and older, that’s so much more of it for me, where I just realize even if I think something tastes good, if consistently I find that for whatever reason, I don’t feel good in my body after, I start going, “Okay, you know what? I think that’s going to be one that I don’t have any more. I have it real minimally or just a couple bites, and that’s it. I’m not going to have a lot of it.” Even if it’s, quote unquote, healthy or nutritious, it’s being that expert in your own body, and the only way you can be an expert in your own body is if you do actually think about your body and what you eat on occasion.

But it’s not an obsession, and the peace that we’re talking about is the cookies aren’t calling to me from the counter. You know what I mean? That’s the peace where it’s just like I’ll eat when I want to, but when it’s time to eat, then what would be the most nourishing thing for my body right now, what would make me feel amazing? And so I’m really glad you pointed that out because I think you’re right. I think we kind of just hope that there could be a place where we just never have to think about food anymore, we could just exist on air sometimes, and we never have to think about it again, but that’s just not how it is.

This is what I’ve always said about this though is every human has a way that they like to avoid feeling their emotions. For me, it happens to be food. For you, I think it happens to be food. For some of our clients, it’s also alcohol or mostly alcohol, and there’s so many other ways that you can avoid feeling your emotion, such as spending too much, working too much, whatever, all the things, gambling, other drugs, things like that. If there has to be a way that my brain prefers to have me not feel emotions, I think I’ll keep it with food, the way it prefers, and I’ll do the management around that so that… That feels manageable to me. I’ll just stick with this one thing. I don’t want to have to swap it. Right now, I have no issues with food, but now I have a gambling addiction that I have to deal with, or something like that. I’m like, “No, I’ll stick with food. It’s good.” This is manageable. I can handle this one. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.

Lynn Grogan:      Yeah. I mean, you just get to this level of expertise where you’re just like, “Okay, I know how to solve for this, or I have this framework that I can draw from to solve for it,” and I think that’s what it is, is you get to the point where it’s just stripped of 98% of the drama, and you’re like, “Oh, okay. Here’s this new thing. I have the confidence around it,” and I think that’s what it is for a lot of people. It’s like the stuff still comes up, but you have that confidence and the expertise around it to know how to handle it or to troubleshoot it.

Katrina Ubell:      Yes, and I know for myself, if I ever notice things start getting weird, I know exactly what I can do to straighten myself out, and I don’t wait till I gained 25 pounds to do that. I just start noticing, “Something’s a little off here,” and so, “Okay, I know exactly what to do to cool my brain off and get everything settled down and looking into what’s actually going on for me,” because of course it never is really about the food anyway, and then working through that and recognizing the more that I do that work and work through what is going on for me on an emotional level, the less importance the food has because my brain doesn’t feel like, “Well, hey, I need to keep all these emotions stopped up. Let’s do that with food. So the answer is you should eat something,” because that’s really what it is. Those urges go down when you’re not trying to hold kind of the lid up on your emotional life. So good. All right. Should we leave it at that?

Lynn Grogan:      I think we should leave it at that. I’m like, “Have we spoiled the whole thing?” But no, people should definitely watch… We might’ve.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s worth watching just for the imagery. It’s so beautiful. It’s just this idyllic, beautiful…. What do they call it, The Fruit Basket, where they have their whole orchard? It’s so beautiful the way all the trees are even laid out. It’s so pretty.

Lynn Grogan:      It’s gorgeous. Would you have your kids watch this? Because there’s some farmyard stuff that’s a little challenging.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. I mean, not little kids. I actually thought about that. I mean, for sure my teenager. I don’t know. My little two are actually pretty tough cookies. They always surprise me. Things don’t scare them that would have terrified me as a kid, so I think they’re a little heartier stock than maybe I was, but I think I would just… You should definitely take into consideration that animals die, and they show that. They show, I think, is it a calf being born? Well, they kind of show the pigs being born, but then I think there’s also time where I think he was pulling a calf out, delivering a calf. I mean, for people who live on a farm or grew up on a farm, they’re going to be like, “Yeah, it’s just farm life,” but for those of us all protected in suburbia, I guess we’re—

Lynn Grogan:      I was thinking about that. I’m like, “Oh,” because people would be like, “Oh, let’s show this to the kids.”

Katrina Ubell:      It’s a farm, yeah. But a little kid, I think I probably wouldn’t so much, but it’s worth watching. I loved it, and like I said, I’m like, “This just makes me want to do something gardening,” and then I’m like, “Wait, I’m forgetting the fact that I don’t like to garden.”

Lynn Grogan:      I’ll tell you what, before… Because it’s hot here in Arkansas now, I was out at 6:30 AM bundling sticks, and I was like, “Okay, that just took me an hour and a half. So for sure, I will not be working on a farm anytime soon.” I’m like, “The romanticism gone.”

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Exactly. Exactly. I think it is very romantic, and then it’s like, “Oh, wait.”

Lynn Grogan:      Until you actually do it, and then you’re like, “I’d rather watch the movie, thanks.”

Katrina Ubell:      I know, I know. But thank goodness for our farmers and for the people who are willing to do this. Serious mad props to them, and I’m telling you this farm, I was like, “I lived near them, I would buy everything I could from them, all the produce that I could and everything to support them because I just…” And there are, of course, other ways too. There’s community-supported agriculture, CSA, you can support your local farmer with that. I think there’s actually a website called Local Harvest, localharvest.org? .com? .something? .org? But anyway, you can search for stuff that’s local to you as well. So I just feel a need to give a little promotion to our local farmers because without them, what are we eating, Twinkies, processed everything? I don’t know.

Lynn Grogan:      Exactly.

Katrina Ubell:      They keep us all alive and healthy. All right, Lynn. Thanks for coming. I appreciate it. I’m sure everybody enjoyed our little banter.

Lynn Grogan:      Always.

Katrina Ubell:      And thanks for the idea. It was fun to watch this movie again.

Lynn Grogan:      Yes.

Katrina Ubell:      All right, thanks.

Ready to start making progress on your weight loss goals? For lots of free health, ho to katrinaubellmd.com and click on Free Resources.



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