Ep #94: From Well Disciplined to Bad Eating Habits – On Air Coaching Session with Nina

I have another awesome on-air coaching call to share with you this episode. Nina and I discuss how she went from a disciplined eater to feeling out of control with bad eating habits and feeling overweight and not confident. We get to the root of her struggle with sugar and indulging, while unpacking and evaluating her thoughts that get in the way of her progress.

You’ll get to learn about how feeling confident before you reach your goals is so important to the process. We also talk about exploring who you want to be and how to become that person now rather than pushing that perfect image of yourself further into the future. You’ll get to listen in as we walk through different situations that trigger her bad eating and how to make a plan to help all of us overcome that.

Listen To The Episode Here:

In Today’s Episode, You’ll Learn:

  • The importance of learning from other peoples’ struggles.
  • Nina’s history with disciplined eating and what has changed for her and caused her to struggle.
  • Relating confidence to feelings and how you can feel confident now.
  • Why you need to ‘become the person’ before the weight comes off.
  • The importance of cultivating more gratitude, thoughtfulness, and consciousness.
  • Allowing yourself to feel emotions without needing to ‘treat’ it with food.
  • Why you need to stop looking for the perfect plan and just go ‘all in’ on yourself.
  • How exercise can actually make you struggle more with weight loss, and how to evaluate your routine and make it work for your unique body and needs.
  • The importance of writing down your thought download.
  • When to do your thought download.

Featured In This Episode:

Get The Full Episode Transcript

Read the Transcript Below:


Katrina Ubell:      You are listening to the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians with Katrina Ubell, MD Episode Number 94.

Welcome to Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, the podcast where busy doctors like you get the practical solutions and support you need to permanently lose the weight, so you can feel better and have the life you want. 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:      Hey, what’s up friends. I have got another amazing coaching call for you today. I know for so many of you these coaching calls are some of your favorite episodes and I know that you’re learning so much from listening to other people being coached. What I hear time and time again in my weight loss for doctors only coaching group, is it’s so funny that clients will say, “Yeah, I know you said that I would learn a bunch from seeing other people being coached or reading their coaching. But Wow, I really am actually learning a lot.” It’s like they’re. And then they get the experience and they’re, “Wow, okay, I get it. Now I see why groups are so powerful.”

And so that’s exactly what’s happening for you here, for you to get that experience of seeing someone else work through their issues and then identifying the common threads between what they’re going through and what you’re dealing with in your life, and applying some of the insights that they receive into your struggles as well, and use them to start making forward progress. So I can’t wait to have you listen to this coaching call with Nina. Enjoy. Alright, Nina, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Nina:                   Thank you for having me.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, you’re going to just tell me what you’re struggling with, what you wanting coaching on today. So go ahead and let me know about that.

Nina:                   So I basically have always been athletic and pretty lean me most of my life and had fairly good eating habits because I ate very slowly, but I always overindulge in sweets and when I got to med school, and then the time rush, I was, “Grab your meal and go.” I really developed really bad eating habits then. And I just think it’s been really hard to undo that even though for 20 something years before that I knew how to listen to my body. And then I have four kids. I’ve had some orthopedic surgeries and I’ve been really stuck at a set point, about 15 pounds higher than I know I feel better at, and I’m able to be more athletic with, and I’ve looked for a lot of different plans. I feel like I’m constantly searching for more plans, but somehow not able to commit and be accountable even, and mostly around sweets. I think it’s probably the hardest.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. So tell me more about that.

Nina:                   I think some of it was always emotional eating, which I’ve really delved into and really embraced feeling the emotions, but some of it is just habits that … I can do really well for a couple days, and then I’m, “Just one little bite won’t hurt.” And it’s not that I just can’t keep it to that. So what I’ve come to conclude is that my real struggle is with accountability. Because I have this goal that I really want to get back to my regular weight and it’s where I think I feel better and able to … I feel like my clothes fit and I feel strong but I’m stuck because I’m not being accountable to the things that are going to get me there. And part of it is the sweets and part of it is just saying I’m committed to the meal planning, and I love fasting so that’s been a really great thing in my life, it just seems to simplify a lot. And even though I’m counseling all my patients on sticking with a healthy eating plan, I just realize that, if I really did what I’m saying I should be able to lose 10 to 15 pounds, and that it shouldn’t really continue to be the struggle for the last five years.

Katrina Ubell:      Interesting. Yeah. Okay, good. So, you’re saying that you really want to get to that regular way because your clothes fit better and all of that. But I want to know more about that commitment. What do you think is going to be better when you’re at that goal weight in your life?

Nina:                   I’ve really struggled with that. I think that a couple things is like, when I go running, I know I would be able to run better, I know I’d be able to do pull ups, which I can’t do now, because I still feel heavier than I’ve ever been. But I also thought I would be more confident, but that I realized was really just not thinking. I don’t know if it’s a false thought, or I can’t think of the words that you use sometimes. But I’ve worked around that. So I think that I’m really growing into my confidence in other areas, and realizing that’s not really the part of it. But I think I’ve just never been stuck where I’m at now. So I would say physically, I think I would also feel better. And also, I know for my health, I know eating sweets, it’s just not a good part of where I need to be for long term. So I think that there’s that commitment as well.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. So, you’re saying that you thought you’d be more confident. But I think what you were saying is confidence is a feeling, and our feelings are not created by what our bodies, what shape we are, what size we were, measurement of our waist or anything like that, and all of our feelings are created by our thoughts. And so you can feel confident now. This is what’s so interesting. We think, “Well, wait, if I feel confident now, then why would I even go and lose the weight then?” Right? And we’re, “No, I need to change my body so I can feel confident. If I feel confident now then I won’t be driven to actually change anything.” But it’s the opposite it’s when you feel confident that you actually do the meal planning that you go. “You know what, I’ve got me, I don’t need to use the sweets to feel better right now.”

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      Is that interesting? It’s opposite of what you think.

Nina:                   Yeah. Now that makes sense, that’s tricky. I have to think about that for a little bit.

Katrina Ubell:      Basically what it is, is we think we’re going to be a different person when we get to this goal, somehow better in some way, or that we’ll think better about ourselves or we’ll have more positive opinion about ourselves. But that really isn’t the case. You want to become that person who you want to be at goal now, you want to figure out who she is now and become her because she is the person who is you 15 pounds less, and stays there.

Nina:                   Right.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s not like, “Let me lose the weight and then I’ll become that person.” It’s become the person and then the weight comes off.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      Okay?

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      Its’ counterintuitive.

Nina:                   Yeah, I love that.

Katrina Ubell:      But that really is what’s required. It’s, “Okay, so me 15 pounds less who doesn’t struggle with this stuff.” How does she show up in her life? Really being like curious, you might be like, “I don’t know, because last time I was at my goal, I didn’t have four kids and my legs are very different now than it was the last time I was intuitive … and everything was fine. So who is this person? How does she feel on a regular basis? How does she live her life? So let’s spend a little time thinking about that. What emotions do you think she would feel?

Nina:                   Joy, gratitude, excitement, light hearted, kindness, patience.

Katrina Ubell:      Do you think she’d have any uncomfortable emotions?

Nina:                   Yes, I think we have to, right?

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Well, because if she’s not eating to feel better than she is probably willing to feel those uncomfortable emotions.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      See that?

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, right?

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      We think that we’re going to get there, and then … And I know you know rationally that this is not the case, right? But, we deep down we’re like, “No, I’m still pretty sure though you’re not as unhappy.” You are unhappy but you know what I mean? Pretty much I’m pretty sure it’s better. And then you get there and you’re like, “Oh, wait, everything is the same otherwise, and I still am stressed.” Or, “I still have whatever issues going on. Now what? Now I can’t use sugar to make myself feel better.”

Nina:                   So it really has to come from within.

Katrina Ubell:      Really has to come from within, and it has to be … So for sure you can cultivate more joy, gratitude, excitement, light heartedness, kindness, patience in your life, for sure. Because those re all emotions and those are all created by your thinking, by your thoughts. So for sure your thoughts are creating your entire experience of your life. So can you cultivate more of that? Absolutely you can. It requires some effort, though, in the sense of managing your mind. What most of us do is we just go about living our lives thinking, “This is just my experience.” And not realizing that we’re actually choosing that experience. This is one of those things that I’m still learning on a deeper and deeper level like, “Oh my God, for real now, I mean it.”

Your thoughts literally create your entire life. And so you can definitely create all these good emotions by tapping into what you’re feeling, deciding how you want to think, creating those emotions, but also knowing that sometimes you’re going to have a hard day or bad outcome, or when your kids are struggling or something’s going on, and you’re not feeling joy and excitement and kindness very naturally at all. In fact, it feels very hard to create that. So then what? What a lot of us do then is we just are, “Screw it, Screw it, let me just eat. I just want some dessert. I’ve had a hard day, I want to reward myself in some way.” Instead of just going, “It’s okay, because I can feel this emotion. I’ve got me and I don’t need anything to take that away. I can actually feel this.” And sometimes we want to feel it.

For instance, if one of our children is struggling, we don’t want to not care or just think everything’s fine. That feels very Pollyanna. It’s just like, “What am I just supposed to bury my head in the sand?” And it’s not that at all. Sometimes you’re, “No, my heart really hurts for them, and I want to feel that way right now.” But then if that’s how I’m choosing to feel with my thoughts then I need to not expect something else like food to take that away from me. I need to be willing to feel it and then when I don’t want to feel that anymore, then I can decide to think about it in a different way.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      Okay? So this takes practice. You get it on an intellectual level, but then you’re like, “Oh, wait, okay. No wonder my brain is going, for sure you should go be eating some ice cream or whatever it is.” And then you’re, “Interesting, I wonder why I’m feeling such an urge for that. Oh, let me actually delve into this deeper. Okay, this is what’s going on, this is what I’m actually feeling.”

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      And then you get it. I will honestly often be, there’s some uncomfortable motion, I’ll think, “Okay, this is an opportunity for me to get really good at feeling that emotion. You know how that is. What kind of physician are you if you don’t…

Katrina Ubell:      Okay, kids who need to get a blood draw, right? Sometimes, the first couple of times they are freaking out. But think about kids who have to get serial blood draws and maybe four weeks or months, and then by the end of it, they’re, “Yeah, whatever. This really isn’t that big of a deal. Yeah, it hurts a little bit, but it’s not that big of a deal at all.” Right? They’re able to get through it so much easier than they were at first. It’s like, they get good at having a blood draw, and going through that scary and painful experience. Same thing can happen for us. I’m getting really good at feeling frustrated right now. Getting really good at feeling rejected right now. And that moves you toward feeling the emotion instead of thinking, “Oh, gross. I hate this. This feels awful. What is my escape hatch? How do I get out?”

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      And where’s the sugar? Because that’s the solution. Now most of this is not going to be on a very surface level for you. You’re like, “That dessert looks good.” You know what I mean. You’re like, “Nothing else is going on, I don’t think.” But when you spend some time going “Interesting that my brain’s suggesting food right now, am I actually physically hungry? No.” That’s that intuitive eating that you were talking about? It’s you know how to do this, we just have to tap back into it. And then going, “I wonder what that’s all about. Sure, I could eat it. But maybe I should just stay with myself for a minute, and actually think about this. And whether that means doing a quick written thought download, or if that’s not possible, just going, “So what’s going on for me right now, and it’s making me think that that’s the right thing?” The more you practice this, the better you get at it. The easier it is to find, “Oh, that’s what it is. Okay, I’m going to get good at feeling that.” Or like, “What if that thought that I have about that thing wasn’t even true?” Because so often, we’re so afraid, or we have these beliefs, and it’s not even true. The opposite is often true.

Nina:                   That makes a lot of sense. And I think I understood what you said, I’ve learned, you’ve got to feel the emotions, but then sometimes practically putting it in, how do you practice that? I think that’s a really great example of how to do that.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, and it really has to be this willingness, where like, “Yeah, I’m totally willing, until we start feeling really bad, and then we’re, “Wait, what did I sign up for? This sucks.” But the more you practice it, the better you get at it. And it’s really living a full life. I think when people talk, I just want to live like, “Oh, I have all the experiences and live this grateful life.” Then that requires you to feel hard times too, because otherwise, you don’t have that contrast. And the other thing about it is, think of all the negative emotions that are created when you are accountable to yourself, when you aren’t following the meal plan, right? When you are eating sweets, even though you said you weren’t going to, when the clothes don’t fit the way you want them to. When you’re running, you don’t feel the way you want to. There’s a lot of negative emotions on the back end of not wanting to feel that emotion in the moment, right?

So it’s, “I don’t want to feel that right now. So let me just eat some sugar.” And then not plan my meals. And then on the back end, there’s so much more negative emotion, and then we feel even worse about ourselves. And oftentimes then we eat more sweets, because we feel worse about ourselves, right? So it’s like this ongoing cycle, how do you get through that? You have to be willing to feel that negative emotion in real time. Being, “Okay, I’m all in on this process. I’m all in on me.” And that’s what’s so interesting, like you mentioned, always looking for another plan, another plan, another plan. You’re, “Certainly, someone else has the answer to what I should do.” But you really have the answer, no one else has the answer, you have the answer.”

Nina:                   That makes perfect sense.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   And I think that those are good tools. I’m excited about implementing them. I feel like I’ve been getting closer and closer on this journey to making some breakthroughs. And I know, it isn’t a quick fix. And I’d rather that so that it is sustainable and less clutter in my mind.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. Yeah, it really is. It really is brain clutter, right? It’s so many thoughts. It’s such a distraction from what you could really be doing.

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      The things that we really want. From thoughts that create joy and gratitude and excitement and lightheartedness and kindness and patience, right? For real, right? Well, I’m so thinking about all this stuff. I can’t even connect with the people that I want to connect with, and experience the kind of life that I want to experience.

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s so interesting. We’re like, “No, because when I’m 15 pounds less, I will feel this way, I just need to lose the weight.” But no, that’s not at all that’s going to happen. It’s the other way around. Because someone who is cultivating all of those emotions intentionally isn’t feeling this need to … She’s not thinking about food, she’s not beating herself up because she ate something she thought she shouldn’t eat.

Nina:                   That’s great.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. One thing I wanted to mention, is you said, you do really well with fasting. And you know what’s so interesting about fasting and why some people do so well with it? I think is because it’s so all or nothing for them, right? There’s no room for interpretation, right? “I’m not eating…” But then I found this was so many clients, then they break their fast and then it’s total free for all, they really have a hard time, it’s talk about the brain chatter, amplifying, “Maybe I should have more, I haven’t eaten all day, maybe I should have a little bit more. I mean, if I didn’t really eat having a little sugar is okay. I mean, I’m having this whole big meal, I’m having insulin search anyway. I mean, what if I just have a little something.” Right? And then they end up over eating and negating the effects of that fast. So fasting can be one of the best, I mean so many of my physician clients would love it, right? Because they’re, “Yeah, I lost my lunch, because I had to work. No problem, I’ll just fast.” It’s so easy and comfortable. But then we have to make sure that we have our own back when it’s time to eat.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      So that’s where you’re following plan when you are in your eating window. And that’s with meal planning, right? If you had to struggle with that at all, what I often tell my clients is, “Before you start the fast, I want you to plan all the food you’re going to eat to break the fast. And that’s it, you follow that 100%, and all the food you’re going to eat the next day.” Because even the next day, they have some … but I didn’t eat, for however many hours yesterday. And so I can probably have a little more of … Something like that. And that really helps you to build up that accountability for yourself. You get to prove to yourself, I actually can do this. I’ve got myself, right?

Nina:                   Okay. It makes sense.

Katrina Ubell:      And that’s that relationship with yourself that I talked about, right? Where you build up that relationship with yourself where you’re like, 100%, I’ve got me all the time. If there’s somebody I can rely on, it’s me. Because right now, I don’t know that you could really say that. You’re like, “Yeah, some of the time, in certain areas in my life.”

Nina:                   At work, and family.

Katrina Ubell:      At work and family.

Nina:                   With the dog.

Katrina Ubell:      With the dog. Exactly. Right. But then we come last. And then we wonder why we struggle so much. And it’s like, “Well, what might my life be like? What might I be able to give at work and at home to the family and the dog if I were already taken care of? What if that was even better?

Nina:                   Okay. And part of the challenge that I’ve been trying to figure out is, I know with exercise, so I still struggle because I don’t feel good when I don’t exercise.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, you can totally exercise that’s absolutely fine. You just have to know that it’s probably going to make you a little hungrier.

Nina:                   Okay. And I have felt that. So that complicates the fasting sometimes.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. So people who are very afraid of hunger, if they are doing a lot of exercise too, it just makes the whole process in my experience with working, hundreds of times, it just makes it harder and more uncomfortable and easier to go off plan. But if you really like to exercise and you’re doing it for not weight loss reasons, just to feel good, nature, breathe some fresh air, whatever it is, the good feelings that you get when you do that, or just whatever, just for health reasons, that’s totally fine. But then you have to manage your thinking around it. Because so many of us for so many years, thought that, “Well, I’ll just run extra tomorrow to make up for the ice cream sundae I’m having right now.

Nina:                   Right.

Katrina Ubell:      Or when you’re hungry, or after you’re, “Well, I did do that nice run today, so I can eat more.”

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      And in general, you can’t if you want to lose weight. So it’s just knowing that. If you’re, “That’s okay, because I can feel hunger and I know it’s just a wave, it’s going to pass, and it’s no big deal. I’m not going to make it a dramatic event.” Totally fine. You can totally do that. But I find too running I mean, it depends on how far you run and intensity and stuff like that. That tends to not be as … Doesn’t slow things down as much in terms of weight loss.

But people who do that really intense, super hardcore weightlifting, CrossFit, that kind of thing, I find that those people tend to struggle more or their body just doesn’t want to give it up, if they’re working out that hard. Not always, but it’s one of those things to think about. If it’s like, “Wow, I’m really having a hard time.” Well, maybe we take a break from that from a while. And that doesn’t mean you don’t do anything necessarily, you can totally do lower impact things yoga, walking, jogging, things like that, it’s totally fine.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   Okay, that makes a lot of sense.

Katrina Ubell:      All managing that. So give me an example. Can you think of an example of something that … A specific example where you were struggling with sweets or some sort of sugar?

Nina:                   Oh, sure, in the evenings after work, after dinner, because I have one child who I’m really trying to learn how to change my thinking about.

Katrina Ubell:      Don’t we all.

Nina:                   It’s a little bit more challenging, I know. I think everyone has one that’s just born a little differently. And so I’m working a lot on how I look at him, because a lot of negative thinking naturally comes in and then affects how we handle him, and then it makes things worse. But after get home from work, have dinner, and then they’re often riled up. And that’s when I just run to the pantry. And it’s gotten better, because I do remember when the kids were really little, just hiding in the pantry wanting to eat my chocolate. But now it’s just, run by, grab something. I definitely, I’m not hungry.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   I know that.

Katrina Ubell:      So for sure it’s not a hunger issue, or not eating enough food, or anything like that. It’s 100% emotional.

Nina:                   Yes. And so I think that happens maybe a couple times a week. So that’s where it’s just like, “Why can’t I stop doing that? You just get where you’re like, you don’t want to put yourself down, but you’re also like, “This is the key to success, is really figuring out how to change that habit.”

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   But then feeling lost in why I can’t do it. So I think what we talked about today brings a lot of clarity to that.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Because it’s exactly what we’re talking about. just noticing, being aware. Or my brain’s like, “Hey, we should surpas the pantry on the way to up to bed.” Or whatever. Getting that, bringing the kids in, but they get all out of control, I’m like, “Oh, my God, that’s it. We call that, these children, Oh, my God. But just noticing, “Oh, my brain’s going, Oh, hey, remember, this is what we do. It’s time to eat little something on the pantry.” And then instead just going, “Okay, well, hold on a second. Let me check in, I’m actually hungry. No, I’m not.” Okay. And if it’s chocolate that your brain’s suggesting or sugar, it’s like, that’s not it. Right? Because broccoli is not to solve this problem right now. And so then just going, “Let me just give myself a moment.”

So let’s actually talk about this just for a second. Because what I find is that a lot of my clients, and I wonder if you relate to this too, will be, “No, but I can’t really liken that moment, stop and do a thought download, we’re in the middle of bed time and getting everybody settled or homework or things like that.” Well, I think it’s always good to question all of our beliefs. I can’t, in that moment, take the time. But it’s good to even think out what is your strategy going to be when that happens? Because it’s really easy then to be like, “Yeah, okay, I’m going to get in touch with what my emotions are.” During that time. And then that time comes and you’re, “Screw that. I’ve got to get these kids to bed, so next time, I’m going to do that, some chocolate chips.” Or whatever, something like that. So it’s good to come up with a strategy of you get the urge to do that, or that your brain offers you that idea to go into the pantry. And then what are you actually going to do? So do you have any ideas?

Nina:                   I’ll give you a couple. And then maybe you can suggest…

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah, I’ll help you refine it, sure.

Nina:                   Okay. So one I had always thought is go brush my teeth right away, because that would just get me to change my mind. But I haven’t really tried that yet. A couple other ideas. I could definitely just go outside because we have a pretty view from the porch and just take a couple breaths, and work through that, or go in my bedroom and maybe do a thought download in a journal.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   I think I could easily … Our kids are getting a little older. So it’s not like I have a baby that I have put down.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Nina:                   So I do think I could do something like that.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah.

Nina:                   I’m trying to think of other ones.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. I mean, sometimes it’s good to just … Is your husband usually home during that time?

Nina:                   Yes.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Okay. So sometimes I think that we’re like, “Well, he is helping.” Or whatever. Or, “He is doing his thing, and I’ve got to be doing that.” I think it can be helpful just to kind of let your spouse, “Hey, just so you know, I’m really going to be working on this one thing, because I really want to start doing it. So this is when it generally comes up for me, and I just want to let you know, that in this kind of crazy time, in the evening, I might be disappearing for a few minutes. If I do, this is what I’m doing.” Or maybe you come up with a little bit of a code phrase, or something that he knows what that means. So it’s like, tag you’re kind of on right now. And this is good for people who do have little kids too where it really is, somebody needs to be watching. Just, “I’m going to be going and doing this thing for the next couple of minutes. I promise you, I’m not just checking out and not taking on the responsibility that I should be doing.”

And then yeah, I think it’s a great idea. Getting outside I think is great, the pretty view is awesome. Breathing fresh air, I think can be helpful. Changing the scenery, for sure is helpful, right? Just not being right there or having it, the food calling to you from inside the kitchen. And then yeah, deciding to actually write something down, I think would be very helpful for you. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned the hard way is that thought downloads are not very effective in your brain. When you just think them.

Nina:                   Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      It’s like, we all really want them to be effective. Like, “Certainly this time, it’ll be effective.” And it really isn’t. When you write it out, whether it’s typing or physically writing it, you can just pour everything out, and then you can go back and look at it. I’ve figured out beliefs that I had about myself, that I literally had zero idea I believed about myself from just pouring out what was in my head. So you’re getting much deeper, right? Where you get out of the surface level. Well, “He said this.” Or, “He said that.” Like, “Okay, why is that a problem for me?” And then writing, writing, writing. Like, “What am I making all this mean?” And then you start digging in, “Oh, my son said this one thing, or acted this one way. It’s not even about that. It’s all about this deeper meaning that I’m assigning to that.” And if it’s especially with one of our kids, where we have more of a struggle with them, we tend to have this very elaborate story that we believe about how something might not turn out well, for them, later in life. That’s why we care about this one little thing. Because if a kid that we believe was going to be totally great in their lives did this one little thing, we wouldn’t make it mean nearly the same thing.

So then it’s figuring out, “Okay, what is this whole story that I have about him and me? And if he isn’t successful, what that’s going to mean about me as his mother and us as his parents? What might other people think? What do I think other people are going to think? What am I going to think about me?” Delving into all that is going to be so helpful for you to do that. Plus, you just get it out of your brain. So it’s not like rattling around in there crazy, driving you nuts, going, “Certainly a dopamine hit from some sugar is the solution.”

Nina:                   So do you find it helpful to do that downloads regularly at a regular time, or do you just more when something like this comes up to do it for sure?

Katrina Ubell:      Whenever you can and will, is when you should do it. Definitely, there are some people who find that there’s a certain time of day that they like doing it, meaning they have the time like a lot of people love doing it first thing in the morning, they feel like it sets their day, and off they go. I know people who wake up with a lot of anxiety or a lot of worry, or a lot of negative thoughts. And so that helps them to just clear all that up before they start on their day. For me, personally, I wake up, I would say, I feel like my brains empty, I don’t have much going on, my thought download first thing in the morning are, “Life’s good, everything’s fine. Wish I could sleep more.” It’s not like very deep or anything at all. But then throughout the course of the day, things happen or I have thoughts about things. And then it’s like, “Oh, I should do something on that, I should write about that.” Or something like that.

If I wait too long my thinking, I think I’ve talked about this with one of my guest before, my thinking after 7.38 at night, a lot of times is just horrible. And then I’m, “What I need to do is just go to sleep. I don’t need to sort any of this out.” My brain is just running on fumes right now. So I’ll do it whenever I can. But I will tell you that I will make myself do it at night. If I haven’t done one, even if I’m tired, and I know my thinking’s bad. I’m, “Well, even five minutes. It’s part of the habit.” This is what I said about it. I wanted to get to a point where not doing some thought work every day felt like not brushing my teeth. It felt like, “Ooh, I need to do that.” I don’t feel right when I don’t do it. And the only way that that happens is with lots of practice. Because think of our kids. They’d happily not brush their teeth for weeks.

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      Right? But the reason we care so much is because we have decades of, “Oh, but it feels so much better.”

Nina:                   Right. Okay.

Katrina Ubell:      So it’s going to take practice. And I would just say expect to fail in the sense that you’re going to be good for a stretch, and then maybe not again, like, “Okay, yeah, I’m going to recommit, I’m going to do this.” You’re building up that muscle of accountability to yourselves. And I think too when you’ve done it enough, and you start seeing the positive benefits. You’re, “Okay, I’m all in. I’m not thinking that this is useless anymore. I know it really helps me, it’s just dedicating that time to doing it.” And so I mean, honestly if your kids are sitting around doing their homework, you could sit down with them, instead of cleaning up the kitchen or something, sit down and be like, “This is my homework, I’m doing 10, 15 minutes of just homework.” Some people also ask me too, “Is it okay if I just write down what I did for the day? Or my thought download turns into a to-do list. And it’s totally fine. That’s often how we just get started.

But then it’s like, “Interesting that I’m writing them out this, what is that all about?” And then we get deeper. So you only give yourself three to five minutes. That’s better than nothing. But sometimes you need a little longer to get out that superficial stuff. So then you can dig in deeper going, “Okay, why was I frustrated with that?” Whatever the issue is, “Why was I a little … Felt a little poked by that one patient who said that one thing.” Or, “What am I making that mean about me?” You’re really keeping that download about what your thoughts are about you not, “Oh, so and so should be doing this.” All right. And what I see a lot is, “I really wish my husband would be into this work, too. Because then I think he’d feel so much better.” It’s like, “Don’t worry about him. He is living his own life. You worry about you.”

Nina:                   Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      And changing your thought about how you think he should live his life differently.

Nina:                   That was my thought. Yeah.

Katrina Ubell:      Right? Yeah. So then you have that plan. You’re, “Okay, pantry suggestion in my brain, okay, signal to husband walk outside, grab my notebook or piece paper, or whatever, and sit down or get a laptop or something. I’m just going to sit here, I’m just going to get in touch with what’s going on for me.” Sometimes it can be good to just sit even get out of your head, go into your body, “What is the emotion and feeling? What does it actually feel like in my body?” When I talked about work, it’s very similar. Like, “Where do I feel frustration? Is it in my chest? Pain in my stomach? Where is it?” That’s how you get good at feeling it. You’re, “Oh, this is my old frustration again, I know frustration, I’m very familiar with frustration. I can feel it, it’s cool.” Okay.

And it can be cool too to see whatever emotion it is that you’re experiencing just seeing, “I wonder how long this will last?” Often, it’s five minutes. It’s not even that long. And you’re, “Well, that’s interesting. Wait a minute, it actually goes away. I don’t need to eat something to make it go away. I can just be patient and maybe even go about doing whatever with the kids while still feeling that, but not reacting to it.” Just going, “Okay, this is what I’ve got inside of me.” And that’s all good. I’ve got me.” So it’s going to take some practice, I think what you’ll do is you’ll kind of create your own little routine, what works for you, right? Maybe you’ll go outside and be, “Yeah, actually, the outside thing, it’s not working for me, I’d rather go in my bedroom.” All right. Whatever. It’s like this is the work that is required, and then the weight loss comes.

Nina:                   Okay. And that’s what I’ve realized is that the changes have to happen in my mind before I’m really able to take the right actions.

Katrina Ubell:      Right.

Nina:                   Because I can say all I want, I want to do this, but I have not followed through. And I mean, so many of your podcasts really delve into these issues, which is why I love it so much.

Katrina Ubell:      Yeah. Good. And so that now what it’s time to do, is to take that information and turn it into action, right? “Now I’m going to actually make a plan for myself, and I’m going to do it.” And if you want some accountability from somebody else, to start out with, you can do that. And it’s totally fine. Knowing though, that ultimately, you’re the one who’s accountable to you. And building up that relationship with yourself is how you do that where you’re like, “Yeah, I’m going to do this because I said I was going to do it, and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it always” Right now, you have a lot of evidence that you don’t do that. So it’s like, “Okay, who is that person who does always do that? And how does she think? How does she feel? How does she act? What are her models, I’m going to live those models for a while and see what happens.” And that’s how you start becoming that person. So powerful. Right?

Nina:                   Love it…

Katrina Ubell:      It’s amazing. Well, I’m going to tidy this all up, because you have a wedding to go to.

Nina:                   I do.

Katrina Ubell:      And I really appreciate you coming on and raising your hand.

Nina:                   Oh, I love what you’re doing. I admire you. I think it’s awesome to see how many lives you’re changing, not just with the one that you are coaching personally, but I think it’s amazing how you’ve really assimilated all this, and made it very practical to our lives. And I think that’s why we all draw so much from it. It’s because you really do understand what it’s like to be a mom, to be a physician, to be busy and just trying to manage all those different things.

Katrina Ubell:      Right. High achiever, right?

Nina:                   Giving, yes.

Katrina Ubell:      Enlighten yourself down on this one front. Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you so much for saying that. This is seriously my purpose in life. It gives me so much energy. I just love doing it. So thank you so much for sharing your story with everybody.

Nina:                   Thanks. Have a great day.

Katrina Ubell:      You too. Thanks for joining me today. If you like what you heard here, be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app, so you never miss an episode. You can also get my Busy Doctors Quick Start Guide to effective weight loss for free by visiting me over at katrinaubellmd.com.



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