✅ What’s holding you back from achieving your health goals? You’ve done the research; you’ve tried all the diets. You know what you should be doing to live a healthy life … but for some reason you’re just not able to do it consistently even though you want it so badly.
In this episode Dr. Isabel MD interviews Laura Folkes, certified holistic health coach, and Laura shares her journey, what went wrong, what worked, and now what she knows will work for her students.
✅ It’s OK to admit that what you’re doing to manage your weight and live healthier just isn’t working. You’re not alone.
Laura get's it. She has been where you are, and even though she successfully changed her lifestyle and ultimately lost the weight, for years she was stuck in a vicious cycle of weight loss/weight gain and was consumed by the thought of food.
✅ She finally broke this cycle and Laura wants to help you do the same, because what you’re working through IS solvable.
⏬ Download and Listen to the Whole Story! ⏬
➥ During the interview Laura mentioned the "Why do I Sabotage?" workbook that people can download for free from her website. You can download it directly at: https://trucewithfood.laurabfolkes.com/l6ovu0stz7
➥ Where listeners can find Laura Folkes:
Email: [email protected]
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Speaker 0 (0s): Coming up on this episode of the MD and chef team show.
Speaker 1 (8s): Now I'm seeing how all these other things that I thought were fears actually aren't that big and her anxiety levels have decreased already pretty significantly from just the first session within two weeks. And she also found herself. Typically she'd go into the bakery section and would buy a bulk, a bulk container of desserts and eat them over a couple of days. And she hasn't bought any desserts, even a single serving, even if she has a single serving at home, she's not even eating them every night.
Whereas two weeks ago, she was saying she wants to be able to eat a single serving every night after dinner.
Speaker 0 (53s): Welcome to the show from DM DSF team. I'm Dr. Isabel medical doctor here at the MD and chef team and
Speaker 2 (1m 3s): Chef Michael Coleman nutrition expert. I'm the chef part of the kid.
Speaker 0 (1m 7s): What are we going to talk about bed? Now? I can see that cause he's my husband.
Speaker 2 (1m 12s): We'll be talking about marriage relationships, parenting intimacy. Talk about mindsets that success overcoming depression, anxiety, I'll be getting into functional nutrition, recipes and tips from the kitchen. And we're going to both get into how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life. Yeah.
Speaker 0 (1m 30s): Yes. I love it. Our mission is to help you prevent and reverse disease and give you both in the process. Oh yeah. Get on the show,
Speaker 3 (1m 48s): Laura, how are you doing?
Speaker 1 (1m 50s): I'm doing great. Thank you. How are you
Speaker 3 (1m 53s): Doing great here in New Zealand, we're in level two lockdown, still waiting, you know, to see what we're going to be doing. And it's definitely spraying, but it doesn't look like it outside. It's nice and cloudy and very, very cold. How about you? Where are you?
Speaker 1 (2m 12s): I'm in Chicago. And we, I feel like we are in the opposite of so many different things where we were in lockdown for most of like 12 months up until a couple of months ago. And things have been a little bit more open, which has been nice, especially during the summer, but I'm like holding on to every last bit of summer before it turns to fall because our winters are so long and I am not looking forward to them. Yeah. But I'm already planning on when and how to get out of here for winter.
Speaker 3 (2m 44s): Where are you going to go?
Speaker 1 (2m 46s): I booked my flight down to Florida to get into in January to go into the warm weather, but they don't have the flights released on the airline that I booked yet for the return. So I just booked the one way for right now. And we'll see how long I decided to stay.
Speaker 3 (3m 4s): Yeah. Who knows? I remember when Michael and I were living in Colorado with our girls, we would always cause Colorado has got some nasty winter. I remember we always in February, it was like, we gotta get out of this place. So we would always book to The Bahamas for like a week or two. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (3m 24s): We're planning a trip in February too, but I don't know what to wear. It's just nice now that I can work from anywhere and still see my clients and stuff that it's like, I don't have to stay in Chicago, so I'm not going to good.
Speaker 3 (3m 35s): Good. I want to ask you, where is your husband from? In Australia? From Sydney. From Sydney? Yeah. Have, have you guys gotten back? Oh no, you can't right now. It's pretty locked off.
Speaker 1 (3m 46s): Yeah. We did live there from 2013 to 2015 and then we went back in 2018, but we haven't been able to be back since, and it's definitely as soon as the borders open again and we're definitely going to make a trip back, but it's just so hard to know when to even think about booking. It seems like this is going to start booking, opening up flights again for January and February. But yeah, I don't know when we'll be able to go back without having a mandatory quarantine.
Speaker 3 (4m 16s): I know, I know. I can't wait to go see our girls in Melbourne. So anyway, Hey, guess what, how about if I introduce you to our listeners, I forgot to do that. And then tell you a little bit about I'll. Hi everyone. I'm your host, Dr. Isabel, and we've got today, Laura Fox all the way from America. So I'm going to go ahead and read a little bit about who she is and she's going to share with her, with you, her amazing story. Definitely a very powerful woman.
Okay. So here we go. Ready? Are you ready? Laura
Speaker 1 (4m 51s): And so ready? Okay, cool.
Speaker 3 (4m 54s): For over six years, Laura has been transforming people's relationships with food in our own journey towards experiencing a truce with food and a 60 pound weight loss. Okay. So 60 pounds is roughly about 30 kgs down on if we're using the kgs, 60, 60 pounds is a lot good on you girl. Wow. And that led her to become a certified holistic health coach, ensuring her clients don't feel deprived.
So the journey is sustainable. Laura has supported over 75 clients who know what they should be eating, but have a hard time sticking to it by helping them identify the familiar patterns, keeping them stuck. Ah, isn't being stuck gross.
Speaker 1 (5m 46s): I hesitant so frustrating. It
Speaker 3 (5m 49s): Is so frustrating. I always say being stuck sucks. Just say together, they get to the bottom of why they self-sabotage and fall off track so that they can, so they can eat for nourishment instead of other reasons. And as you know, she lives in Chicago with her Australian husband and her black cat. Katie. Welcome Laura.
Speaker 1 (6m 16s): Thank you so happy to be here. Thank you.
Speaker 3 (6m 20s): I just wanted to say, I really loved being on your Instagram live, so thank you for showing me how to do that. That was an experience.
Speaker 1 (6m 28s): Yeah, it was so fun.
Speaker 3 (6m 29s): Got to learn how to do it. So do you mind sharing with the viewers, our listeners, our viewers, your story?
Speaker 1 (6m 39s): Sure. Yeah. And I know that you wanted me to share more of the aspects that I typically share. So my story really started around the age of 12, where I really struggled with my weight around that time, went to my first weight loss program. When I was 13, I would lose weight, gain it all back plus more. And I hit a point in university or college where I was really burnt out. I was on the same program for a couple of years.
I lost the weight would gain it back plus more. I was still paying for the program, but I just felt like maybe if I stuck to it, I would get that motivation back and be able to lose the weight. So after university I was at probably my heaviest, I don't remember weighing myself actually much when I was like 12 or 13. I don't know how much I weighed at that point, but I just, I, I was definitely at a bigger body at that time. And when I went to my doctor in 2001 or two, somewhere around there, 2001, somewhere between 2001, 2003, it's a little bit to that point.
But when I went to her, I went for my annual exam and she was like, you know, I really need to do something about your weight. You're really like for this, for how tall you are, where your weight is, like, it's dangerous. Like we need to do something about it. And I said to her, I am so burned out and so tired of working at it and I just can't do it anymore. And she said to me, well, you know, we can put you on a medicine to help you realize when you're full.
So you don't overeat. So it wasn't necessarily an appetite suppressant, but it was a pill. And looking back, I would not do the same thing. I definitely had side effects from it. But based on where I was at that time, it felt like it was the right thing that I needed to do, which was to address the weight. But it wasn't actually addressing the root issue, which we'll obviously get into a little bit more, which is
Speaker 3 (8m 46s): What you learn on your journey, right?
Speaker 1 (8m 48s): Yes, definitely. Yeah. So I ended up losing from being on that pill, 30 pounds. So about 14, 13, 14 kilos. And what was interesting is like I said, I did have some side effects from it that were not great. Like what side effects it was things like, I think I was, I, it was so long ago. I can't remember all of them, but it was things like being super shaky or I think it might've even impacted my mood a little bit.
There were definitely some physical side effects that I was experiencing of just like how I was feeling and not feeling the best, my guess is that it was actually looking back that my blood sugar wasn't, it was affecting my blood sugar control in some way that was impacting how I was feeling too. But at the time, I didn't know that after I went off that medicine, then I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and I was in my mid twenties and they said, I can go on medicine for the rest of my life or I can address it by diet. So I decided to address it by a diet.
And at that time it was the low fat diet craze. So when I know, like I said, I would not do go through the same path again now, knowing what I know, but after losing that 30 pounds and then going on this path of like trying to address my cholesterol through diet and I mean, it did help me. So I wasn't eating as much processed food as much fried food, as many baked goods, you know, things like that with going on low fat, but still replaced it with things that were super processed in different ways, lost another 15 pounds, seven kilos or so.
And at that point I was like, oh, this is interesting that I've been able to lose that much weight and never thought that I would be able to release sustain. It. Never really thought about that. And in 2006, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. So at this point I've lost like 45 pounds. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, ended up having my thyroid removed, had to go through radioactive iodine, treatments and stuff.
And then my grandmother who I was really, really close with, I had my surgery on May 2nd, 2006. My grandma passed away two or three weeks later. And it was just the worst month ever worst month of my life ended up like having, going through like the grieving process and stuff. Later that year, I found myself putting some of the weight back on. And at that point my friend asked me if I wanted to go to a weight loss program with her at the beginning of 2007 again.
And I said, you know, yeah, I could lose some more weight. So I'll go with you. And at this point I feel like things had kind of started to shift in my mind about feeling like I had to work at and diet. And it was just becoming a little bit more, didn't feel like so much like a battle at that point. So went with her to that weight loss program. I ended up losing 10 pounds really quickly and was like, wow, I'm only like 10 pounds away from my goal. And I had no idea that I could actually achieve that or accomplish it.
And so I did end up losing the last of the 60 pounds. So it wasn't a three to four year journey for me to get, take the weight off. And at that point, then I was able to maintain my weight for a few years, about four years. And I was working in advertising at that time and was losing my passion for the job and the career and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. And as I was going through my weight loss journey, people were coming to me asking me for advice and guidance as they were going through theirs too.
And I really was passionate about helping people because I was like, if I can do it, other people, I never thought that I was, would be able to be at the size that I was or to feel like I wasn't at battle with food, even though I still was to some extent, and that's just not as extreme, which I'll get into next. And so when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, it took me a couple of years to figure it out, but learned about health coaching from a friend, decided to get my certification and figured that if nothing else, I would learn more and it would make myself and my husband healthier.
So when he was healthy, was he coming along on the journey? He never has. He's never had an issue with food, his relationship with food. Yeah. He eats just to like survive. He could be, he would be fine eating the same thing every day and it's never been an issue for him, which I don't understand, but it's great. Great for Pam, as I was getting my certification, I, I was introduced to my health coach and was really introduced to her around business stuff and learning more about her experience.
But I learned also about her program and approach called truce with food and started to learn about it and decided to go through the process and the approach and the program. Because even though at this point I had been maintaining my weight for years. I also was still in the cycle where I was working the system, which is what I call working the system where I'd eat well for awhile. Say, screw it, eat whatever I wanted. Then I would notice the weight was creeping up, have to reign it in again and get back on track.
And so I was still thinking about food a lot, but I was also like playing a game almost where I could control it to some extent. So when I learned about her program, I was like, Hmm, maybe this is what I need, because maybe it isn't just about the food. I always thought I just needed more willpower or discipline and just gear up, get back on track. And then I'd be able to reign it in again. But it was exhausting. I was still burned out from thinking about food. It was creating a lot of stress in my life and just a lot of negative self-talk and guilt or shame around it.
And so when I started going through her program and the approach, that's when I was like, oh, wow, this is, it's not just about the food. There's so much more to it. And this is what I need to do and, and meant to do, to help other people on their journeys to help them overcome and really get to the bottom of what's leading to not being able to be consistent. So I know that was a lot, but I did want to share all of the details since you asked me to throughout the process,
Speaker 3 (15m 47s): Because when we first talked, you were like, oh, I don't want to tell people, you know, that I was on a pill. Well, Hey, guess what? You're not the only while all along in the world is on that pill. And we don't even need to know what the name of the pill is. I was like, no, no, no, Isabel, I'm not going to ask, don't ask what the name of the pill is because we're not advertising pills for weight loss. So, but, but
Speaker 1 (16m 11s): If it's still on the market, to be honest, I don't even know,
Speaker 3 (16m 16s): But we don't need to know somewhere in the world. I'm sure it is. Hey, you know, I just congratulate you for deciding I'm going to do something about this. And we like the details. I mean, that's people like to know the deep stuff and relate to your story. I wanted to ask you when you know how you you're saying that you you're, it was just exhausting. Cause you were thinking about food all the time almost.
Would you agree like an addiction? You know, it's not alcoholics anonymous, it's Overeaters anonymous. It's that? You're constantly thinking about the food.
Speaker 1 (16m 59s): I don't know if I ever thought of myself as like addicted to food or I think it was more of the lacking the clarity and awareness of why I was actually eating an even thinking. I never really thought, you know, people will say that they're an emotional eater. I never thought of myself as an emotional eater, but in the traditional sense of like I eat when I'm happy, right. When I'm sad or I eat when I'm bored, there were, I didn't know why I was eating, but I knew that I think it took me a little while to figure out that there were actual deeper reasons for me turning to food.
But yeah, I never really thought of it as necessarily an addiction per se, but it did feel like it was out of my control. If that makes sense. It does.
Speaker 3 (17m 50s): It does too. So I was interviewing a doctor who was an alcoholic and he got stood down for a little bit and he said, you know, when I was in rehab, I, even when I got out of rehab, I realized, gosh, I'm thinking about a drink. You know? And it's just that constant thought about. So I wanted just to ask you, so that's why I was just saying, Hey, what do you, would you consider it as an addiction? I didn't mean to offend you at all. I wanted to ask you, why were you, why were you eating so much?
D did you, what was your reasons if you don't mind sharing?
Speaker 1 (18m 28s): Yeah, no, not at all. So from going through that process, what I learned from the highest level is that we turn to food often as a form of protection when we're feeling unsafe. Or also if we're feeling like we're, like I said, I felt like I was lacking control, but what I was actually lacking was choice because I didn't necessarily know what I, I was conditioned to think or believe things about food, my body weight and things like that.
And then also being an accommodator to some extent, thinking about like, oh, I should be doing this, or I should want to do that. And not really thinking about, but like, what is it what's important to me and what do I want to choose? And so when there's that disconnect, we can, I was turning to food feeling like I didn't really know what I was wanting or what my needs were. It was more of thinking about what I should be doing or shouldn't be doing. And then there's a conflict. So then that's where I would turn to food as well.
On top of that also for me. And I'll share a little bit more about this when we're talking about self-sabotage that there is typically a cycle and unconscious cycle we're going through when we're eating out of alignment with our goals, are self-sabotaging bingeing, emotionally eating. And a part of that cycle is that we have a story that was created earlier in our lives when we didn't have the full context of what was happening in the situation. And so we internalized it and made it about us for me when I realized that my story was about not wanting to be misunderstood, because if I felt like there was a risk, if I was misunderstood, that I would be rejected and ended up alone.
And any time there was as either misunderstood or I was trying to avoid feeling misunderstood, those would be times that I would also turn to food because there was this discomfort and it just, especially if something ever happened where it really felt like I had been misunderstood, I get like, it felt like I was punched in the gut and the wind had been taken out of me. And I wouldn't know what to do with that feeling. Cause I didn't know what I was actually feeling or what that feeling was, but it was the story that had been triggered in me.
And so then I would turn to food to try to avoid feeling that feeling without really knowing what it was that I was trying to stuff down. If I'm
Speaker 3 (20m 54s): Yeah, totally makes sense. Cause like for me, you know, just the story for me is when I'm afraid I'll over eat, I'll just sit in front of the TV. I have been known to sit in front of a TV with a big container of coconut ice cream and just go, boom, boom, boom. But I know we're not supposed to do that. Just take a little piece and put it in a jar and a bowl and sit down and, you know, allow yourself or I'll have like a container of dates and just go, boom, boom, boom. And so when I feel fear, so yours was when you felt like you were misunderstood, therefore you could be rejected.
Wow. How long did that take for you to integrate?
Speaker 1 (21m 37s): Yeah. Yeah. We actually get into it pretty quickly. So like with my clients, we get into that in the first session and it can be just an initial draft, but it took, yeah, it didn't take that long to get to it, but to be able to see all the aspects and all the times it would show up in my life was, I mean, I still uncover things where I'm like, oh, this is triggering. And I I've built my resilience up and realizing that like it's not actually being misunderstood.
Doesn't necessarily always lead to rejection. And so there's not as much risk in it, which is what we want to do is to rewrite the story and kind of make it so that it doesn't feel like there's that big of a risk there. But anytime that I would feel that that's when I would eat and being able to see all the layers. So like, I mean it could show up, yes, it can show up like where somebody obviously, like you say something and then somebody reacts and you're like, no, no, that's not what I said.
That's not what I meant. Did you get really, like, I would get really defensive. That was me being misunderstood and it felt legitimate. Right. And it was, but it doesn't necessarily mean I was going to be rejected, but then there would be smaller things like I'll use two examples. One could be getting an email from when I was in advertising getting an email from a client or a coworker where it felt like they didn't, that I was, there was a risk of being misunderstood or they gave me some feedback that could be taken as negative, which then I felt misunderstood.
And I wouldn't, it wasn't as triggering as somebody saying like, like arguing with you, like in person, right of that. What I just said, they're not understanding. So there can be things like that. But then it even dawned on me a couple years after doing this work where I was driving around, we have a car that is so let me back up that I grew up in an area that's like upper middle class. We didn't have a lot of money growing up. And so I had a hand-me-down car that was my dad's passed onto my sister passed on to me.
Whereas other people were driving in my school BMWs and Jeep grand Cherokees. And it was like very materialistic. And it dawned on me just a couple of years ago when I was driving around our little secondhand car that we have just to get around the city. And I was like, thinking about how I was going to be judged or what people were going to think of me driving around in this car. And I was like, oh my God, this is my story. I don't want to be misunderstood. Because from where I grew up, a car is like a status symbol.
It was going to be misunderstood for not being successful or something. And this is not what I think about other people, but just what I was thinking about me and like the judgements that people are going to have on me. So it was really interesting to even be able to see like, and it's not that that triggered me to eat by any means at that point. But just to be able to see how that story was showing up in places that were like unassuming, that you wouldn't even think would be part of your story or my story.
Speaker 3 (24m 53s): Amazing, amazing to go and figure that out. And that you do that in the first session. So I wanted to, I've got all these questions. Why do we self-sabotage ourselves? And we can't remain consistent. What is it? And how do we spank that out of us?
Speaker 1 (25m 13s): So the first thing like clear clarity and awareness is part of the process, but it's also a tool and it is, it can be so helpful to just even know what is happening. So, as an example, I just had a call with a client earlier today who was talking about how we had, this was our second session. And after that first session, and she's like, now that I understand where my fear, what my fear really is and what I think is actually at risk now, I'm seeing how all these other things that I thought were fears actually aren't that big and her anxiety levels have decreased already pretty significantly from just the first session within two weeks.
And she also found herself, typically she'd go into the bakery section and would buy a bulk, a bulk container of desserts and eat them over a couple of days. And she hasn't bought any desserts, even a single serving, even if she has a single serving at home, she's not even eating them every night. Whereas two weeks ago she was saying she wants to be able to eat a single serving every night after dinner. And the fact that she's not even doing that is incredible.
So what we do is we want to look at this, like I mentioned earlier, this unconscious cycle that we're often in when we are self-sabotaging or feeling like we're not able to be consistent is where typically experience a trigger, what kicks it off. And there's four common triggers that will lead us to eat. And that is feeling tired, anxious. And with anxiety often comes uncertainty because we don't learn how to deal with it. And so it shows up as anxiety in our, in our bodies, feeling inadequate and feeling lonely from there, we have our story.
So I've already kind of explained the story based on my experience in being misunderstood for other people, it can be not wanting to be exposed or be seen a lot of my clients lately actually have the story around not wanting to be seen or vulnerable. Cause then they could be unlovable actually is a couple of my clients is their story. And again, that's where we are making things about us. Don't have the full context of what was happening in a situation. And so that's when that story was developed to protect us.
And it has served us in many ways, but isn't always serving us today and is also keeping us stuck in competing commitments. Often from there, we have a stress response and with animals they go into, when they go into fight flight or freeze mode, when they're at physical threat, we have some emotional stress responses when our belonging is at threat and that's to compete, accommodate, or avoid. And from the stress responses, we have a behavior and the behavior will vary based on the person and the stress response.
But in general, avoid the avoid pattern is our traditional procrastinators. They don't take action. They build up their lists or they build up things in their lives. And then they fall into analysis paralysis and it gets really overwhelming. And then they just don't take action. Accomodators are your typical people pleasers? They're the ones that usually put everybody else's needs ahead of their own. And so they're the ones that fall off of their own to-do lists. Their self-care doesn't get met because they're so focused on being the fixers, the peacekeepers and making sure everybody else's needs are met before their own.
And so even with the cycle, it could be that you don't eat because a lot of people also will. If they're accomodators might be so focused on everybody else that they actually forget to eat or don't, they don't prioritize their own health or eating. And then for competitors there, they typically will compare themselves to others, skillsets or bodies, and even where they are in their life, they feel behind a lot. And we'll put a pile more onto their plate feeling like they have to take on and do more to get ahead, but then they feel like they're running a marathon with the finish line, constantly moving.
That's the competitor
Speaker 0 (29m 31s): Calling all women. Are you feeling depressed? Lack of energy, anxious. Your thinking is foggy, poor sleep or even hopeless. You know, there is a better you to present to this world. Hey, it's me, Dr. Isabel. And wow. If any of this sounds like you, hi, get you. I have been in this place and I've overcome those negative feelings. That's why I've created the free and private Facebook group called the bossy brain solution.
Yeah. Would you like weekly coaching to help you become your best self come and see for yourself and be empowered by the other women who want to shine their best light in this world? The link is in the podcast description, or you could search for the bossy brain solution in Facebook groups, it's private and free. So come and join us today and know that there is hope.
And I encourage you to remain on stoppable. And now back to the podcast,
Speaker 1 (30m 51s): Which is interesting. So when you have that fear, like where you're sitting in front of that, you're talking about when you're sitting in front of the TV, like see if some of that fear is coming up from comparing and feeling, if there's any of those other triggers too, of feeling tired, anxious, inadequate, or lonely. And if there's with the comparison, like, does that trigger feeling or like, are you feeling inadequate, which triggers your story and then you are comparing, which then reinforces the story.
So that's what we would want to look at. So we have the trial or the story let's chat about it. Definitely. I say that to people all the time. Like if at any point you're feeling triggered and you're not sure what's happening, send me a direct message or an email and we can chat through it and see if we can identify what's happening for you, but with the cycle. So we have a trigger, the story, the stress response behavior. We eat out of alignment with our goals, we lose self-trust and then it loops back into the trigger.
So often it feels like we are on, some people will say, it feels like they're on the worst merry-go-round of their life and they can't get off. It feels like they're when we were talking about self sabotage, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy too, because it just continues to loop into itself. And so it's like a snowball that's picking up speed going downhill that we can't seem to stop or get a handle on it's usually because we're in that cycle because it just keeps feeding into itself. So I'll pause there.
Cause that's a lot that, that is really plays a lot. Yeah. It's, there's so many layers, but that's typically what's leading to self-sabotage as a form of protection because it's
Speaker 0 (32m 36s): A loop,
Speaker 3 (32m 38s): It just goes round and round and round. So how do you break the loop is my next question. And I know this is not, this is not a three day event, but you know, give us some tips. Well, we're talking about stuff like this, so we'll get together about it, but so how do you break the loop?
Speaker 1 (32m 58s): So first is I always like to say, so first of all, it does typically take people six months to a year to go through the process too. And it's not that you ever arrive, right? Like this is, it's very matrix. It's very much like a labyrinth that we're working through. There's many layers to our relationship with food. And typically, like I was sharing with that other client, we can get pretty fast results with things starting to shift. As we get more clarity and understand what's actually happening and getting into the root of that story.
That is really helpful. However, if you don't like to, for everybody, who's listening to start what we can. There's two things. One is we often turn to food when we're feeling unsettled or feeling ungrounded in some way. So just even asking yourself, what we really want to do is to break that automatic pilot, where it's having the trigger, the story you eat. And then it loops into itself. What we want to do is to just slow that down and to try to calm your nervous system to some extent.
So even to ask yourself while you're in the moment, if you can, or after the fact is helpful as well, where am I feeling unsettled? Or where was I feeling? Unsettled can be really helpful to give you some clues as to what was actually happening, because it's not typically just that you love the food or love the taste of the food. There's usually something else there. So that's one tool is to ask like, where am I feeling unsettled? And another one is to map out your day to see where are those triggers coming up and what is being triggered in you.
So we want to make it more of an inward focus and thinking about those tail emotions, which are the triggers of feeling tired, anxious, inadequate, or lonely, you can map out your day and see what were some of the times where you were thinking about food, judging your body even, or if you were eating, when you weren't hungry, having mental gymnastics around food, those are all symptoms that this cycle was happening. So mapping out to see, when were you feeling any of those tail emotions and what was triggered in you?
So we're not looking at the external circumstance of what was actually happening, but more of what did that, what did you make that mean? And what did that, what did that, what came up for you internally around that? Because what we want to see is it, isn't typically one big event that trips us off that leads us to eat. It's usually a buildup of many of them. So you can think of it like death by a thousand paper cuts, basically where you get triggered over and over again, where we're making meaning of things.
We're feeling unsettled, we're feeling unsafe in certain ways, emotionally. And then we ended up eating. So it can be really hard because some of my clients will say, I wasn't feeling anything in the moment, but it may not have been that moment that you were eating is where you were actually experiencing the trigger. It could have been a buildup from earlier in the day.
Speaker 3 (36m 6s): Yeah. Like your basket just was full and you tipped over,
Speaker 1 (36m 12s): Or we also will use the analogy of like the, your battery on your phone when it gets into the red you're depleted. And if you ever get to that place where you're like, oh, who cares, screw it. I'm just going to eat whatever. You're probably feeling some level of physical or emotional depletion and you just don't have the capacity to make the decision at that point. And it's just like, who cares?
Speaker 3 (36m 36s): Wow, you're really going to help a lot of people that you're like speaking to a lot of people's hearts.
Speaker 1 (36m 46s): I was wondering if when you went, if you, when you decide if you were getting more stressed about it or if it was providing some clarity,
Speaker 3 (36m 53s): Totally clarity clerk, clarity. Yeah. Because like right now I'm 61 and I'm at 20, 24% body fat. Now I'm just, this is about my little story right now. And I know that women who have a body fat greater than 25 increase the risk of breast cancer. And then a lot of other things, you know, dementia, all that stuff. So, and then pre-diabetes type two diabetes. Well, my whole goal for my birthday this year, it's for 62 day after Christmas, but don't tell anybody is to get to 23% body fat.
Now that's achievable, you know, but there's a lot of work to be done. And so I'm just on that journey to do that. And part of it will result in losing a couple of kgs because that's just what body fat is in. A lot of it is in your weight. So you're speaking to me because you know, still at 60, 61, it's an issue. I don't know too many women that don't have this issue and it gets worse and worse in the forties, 50 sixties, you know?
And so you're speaking to me and you're speaking to millions and I appreciate it. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (38m 9s): And I just want everybody to know too, that there is a solution and it doesn't have to require it because a lot of my clients will come to me saying like, I just don't want to have to resist food I'm so I don't want to the thought of having to go on like another plan or a diet. And the thing is, is that I don't promise weight loss at all. In my programs, what are in my approach, what tends to happen is weight loss as a side effect of doing work. Because when we can figure out what is happening with your relationship with food, and then you naturally start to eat more in alignment with your goals.
Like this plan I was talking about earlier, she's like, I was about to go onto an app and order food and had in my cart, some chips and a hamburger and like a raspberry dessert of some sort. And then she's like, I really checked in to think about like, what is it that my body really wants? I know I'm not going to feel good after that. And I also don't necessarily need or want that. She's noticing her tastes are changing. And she ended up closing out of the app and she's like, I've got vegetables at home. I've got food at home. And she went home and ended up making something that she really enjoyed.
And it's, like I said, also with her being in the bakery section and feeling like she didn't have to have conversations with herself of like, no, don't buy that stuff, but I really want it. And like having that push and pull it was, she didn't even have that thought. She was just like, I don't need anything. I don't want anything and walked right through the section and didn't buy it. And so that's where we want to get to is that you don't have to resist the food and you're no longer triggered by it. It's just that the day that I was able to walk by donuts and was like, I actually am craving some carrots.
I'm going to go get some carrots. I was like, what is happening? Like, what is wrong with me? But I was like, this is great. It was really, I was like, wow, things have really shifted if I'm really craving carrots over a donut right now, this is crazy.
Speaker 3 (40m 9s): Good, crazy. And one of the things I teach a women when they're overcoming anxiety and depression, the food is so important. You know, what's your feeding is before you put something into your mouth, is this going to hurt me or heal me just those simple. And if it's going to hurt me, then why, why are you going to do, why are you going to hurt yourself? You know, just ask those questions and then, you know, they can go into, am I tired, anxious, inadequate, lonely, you know, those four areas and begin that whole.
Speaker 1 (40m 39s): Yeah, because when we're really triggered, it can be hard to even pause. Like sometimes even when I was triggered, when I was in my stories, before I had done this work, I would be get, I would get into like a fog and it would be like, I would eat some chips and then have some cookies and then go back to some chips and then more cookies. And after I would like come out of it and I was like, what just happened? Did I just eat all of that? What does it do? And I wouldn't even know. So it can be hard when we're in the moment you, and when we're really triggered in our stories are activated to even be able to get that con get to that layer of like that mindful eating, which is why mindful eating can be really helpful for some people, for my clients at the state that they're in.
Typically when they come to me, it's not very helpful because it's hard to get to that mindfulness when they're being triggered. It can be hard to pause and to think about that in the moment, which is why we start with identifying what is happening. And then the mindfulness tends to come. Also,
Speaker 3 (41m 48s): I know that space where you're just like, I gotta eat this. It's like a little voice of saying, eat, eat, eat EA. And then once you're like, Bob's so full. You're like, what just happened? And it's usually the next day. You're like, oh my gosh. And the cleaner you get, the less of that self-sabotaging you can do you really, really start feeling the swelling, the inflammation. So I love everything that we're talking about.
So how do you know if you're an emotional eater?
Speaker 1 (42m 25s): So I always say that, like I said, for me, I didn't consider myself an emotional eater because I didn't really think of myself like eating when I was angry or sad. Like I just eight to eight or to eat, you know? And didn't even know why, but where I always say, we want to look at your relationship with food is if there's that a lot of guilt or shame around the food that you're eating, kind of like what we were just talking about the day after, when you have that shame, spiral sets it and where it's like, oh my God, what did I just do?
And then you feel like now I have to get back on track and today's going to be a better day. Like if you're having those conversations where it's like starting the day with good intentions and then ending in that shame spiral, most likely there's something that's happening that you're in that cycle. And we want to look at that to see what could be contributing to that. And then also some of my clients will say like, oh, I, I know I just eat for every emotion. And they do classify themselves as an emotional eater and will eat when they're bored or tired or sad or happy.
And typically when we dig into it a little bit more, they realize that that's the surface emotion of what they're feeling, but it's usually their story is as is present at some to some extent as well. And once they're able to see that, then they no longer need to turn to food to numb out the emotions or to satisfy what we're, if they're lacking something like if they're feeling bored or feeling unproductive, they no longer need to turn to food to replenish or to like, feel fulfilled if they're feeling unfulfilled in ways too.
So yeah, if you feel like you have mental gymnastics around food where you're thinking I should, or I should enjoy, I must, or I have to, even if you have times where you're like, oh, I deserve this. I'm just going to eat this. But then end up feeling guilty afterwards, basically where we want to, to is having neutrality around food, where you can eat a little bit. And like I said earlier, not feel like you have to resist it or not feel tempted by it anymore. And it's not to say that you can't enjoy that donut or have some pizza or cookies or pie or whatever it is.
Some of your favorite foods, we're not restricting you here. It's just that you can eat it and you can move on from it. And if you find that you're not able to move on from it and you're consumed by like the guilt or the shame, or having some mental gymnastics leading up to it or negative self-talk afterwards. That's where I would say there's probably something emotional that's happening.
Speaker 3 (45m 10s): Wow. Very good. What else do you want to share with them? I feel like I can talk to you forever. I've got a lot of questions, but just like, tell me what, what else do you want to share with us that, that like on the top of your top of your mind, like, oh, I wanted to talk about this. This is so important.
Speaker 1 (45m 34s): I think that the one thing that is really important for people to know is that a lot of my clients, when they come to me are feeling hopeless, that things can change and they feel really isolated in their, their relationship with food and just on their journey and the challenges that they're experiencing. And I just want you to know that if that's something that you are feeling, that there is hope that things can change. I've been there myself. I have worked with many clients who have said that they feel hopeless.
And after that first session, they're feeling so hopeful that things can change. So it is possible that things can change and without needing to resist food without needing to deprive yourself of food either. And then also that you're not alone. Like there is support out there, even if my approach isn't right for you finding the right person, the right support that can help you so that you don't have to go it alone because we are often. So it's like, we're so melded.
We can't, we're like a fish in the water that we can't see the water that we're in. Right. Cause we are so in it that it can be so hard to be able to separate and to actually be able to see what is actually happening and to be able to have an expert or a professional that can help you to see what is actually happening and to give you some distance in space so that you don't have to continue in this, in the same spot that you're in. You don't have to do it alone. And there are other people who are going through similar things, even though it may not feel like it because a lot of people don't talk about what they're actually experiencing around food.
Speaker 3 (47m 14s): Not at all, not at all. They don't, they keep, they just suffer quietly. So I just wanted to add to that as a medical doctor, I would love to see the world to shed pounds because I know what those extra, that extra weight does to their heart, what it does to the brain. I mean, the bigger, your, the bigger your waistline, the smaller your brain, and just knowing that should freak people out, into getting control and learning what their story is and learning to not overeat and lose that.
Speaker 1 (47m 51s): And I would even say like the emotional weight too. Cause it's, it's very, it's often very they're Sonata. It's kind of like, it goes hand in hand because a lot of times we're emotionally weighed down and then we're also wearing it on our bodies too. And that emotional weight, like you work with the depression and anxiety and helping people overcome that, and it can create a lot of internal, internal turmoil, turmoil. Yeah. Thank you. And, and then that can exacerbate health issues and like problems with our, in our bodies as well and inflammation, right?
Like stress can trigger inflammation too. So it's the emotional weight as well as the physical weight is so important to help work through.
Speaker 3 (48m 39s): Yeah. And it's not, we're not like pointing the finger at people. We're just saying, Hey, this is for your own good. I mean, really you can live happy and healthy at the same time. Those are actually two words that can be in the same sentence, but you got to get the work done and it's not easy. It's hard because the food industry, like has you pegged, they know how to get you addicted to an extra potato chip. I mean, they've got scientists figuring out how many crunches before you put your hand back into the potato chip bag and keep on.
I mean, I have in the past, I have been known to just have my hand in a potato chip bag and just by the end, it's over, you know, so the food industry knows how to do it and they know how to do it with the sugar and stuff. So you got to wake up to realize you're your brain is being hijacked also as is your emotion. So waking up to that and taking control and becoming the CEO of your health is so key.
And I just love the work that you're doing. It's so important. And I just wanted to kind of ask you don't have to answer this if it's too personal, but right now, where are you? Where are you in your journey? Because I don't ever assume that anybody has ever arrived. I mean, it's all a journey, so where are you right now?
Speaker 1 (50m 5s): Yeah, I mean, I definitely, there's no finish line. Like there's always things that come up and I would say that starting my business was spiritual boot camp and I've been coaching now for five, six years, six years. So it's definitely been a journey and there have been times for sure where I've been up and down and I have maintained my weight for the most part over since 2008, with some times where I've put on like 10 pounds and then taking it off again right now where I'm at is I'm in a place where my business is.
And I say this because my business has been talk about feeling vulnerable, misunderstood all of the things with my story, which would lead me to eat. And then also that competitor stress response where you were talking about like, that's me. Oh
Speaker 3 (51m 1s): Yeah.
Speaker 1 (51m 2s): So I would constantly feel behind take on more. And so what's interesting is to be able to see how far I've come, where like over the weekend I was feeling behind and healing. Like I needed to keep working and keep pushing. And I was like, Nope, I've got time this week. Really nothing is make or break in my business. So I was able to look at it. Whereas in the past I would have taken on more. I would've pushed through, I would've burnt myself out over the weekend cause I was already exhausted. And then I probably wouldn't have eaten.
And the fact that I was able to look at and really think about like, what is it that I want to choose? What's really important to me being able to get more of the context and break that, that pattern of going into that competitor mindset was really helpful for me. So just to see how far I've come with my business, my mindset stuff, stuff being in my, like out of my story, having built the resilience and in terms of food, you know, I'm in a place where I'm not triggered by it as like my stories and stuff.
Like I, I'm not, I don't turn to food to sooth much. And there are times where I feel like I probably snack a little bit more than I should, but it's not like I have big blowout binges or anything like that anymore. And I'm able to, there might be times over the weekends or something like that, where I probably have some food that's a little bit more indulgent than I I'm gonna use the word should, but often I still choose to do it and I enjoy it and I move on from it.
And I don't have a lot of like mental gymnastics around it or anything like that. So I'm feeling like I'm in a pretty good place with my relationship with food. And there's still some stuff that I work on and I have, I still work with my health coach as well to work on when there's times where things might be triggered and I don't realize it or see it. And so that I can get some of that clarity so I can break any patterns that start to creep up again.
Speaker 3 (53m 6s): I applaud you for being so transparent because you know, we're just fearless leaders. We're still human beings first. So we still have the experiences that everybody else is having. We're just a little ahead of the game, you know, saying, come this way, come this way.
Speaker 1 (53m 22s): Yeah. And I think my clients really appreciate too, that I've been on the journey and that I'm still on the journey because then again with that feeling so isolated, they know they're not alone. And also I think it's reassuring for them to see where they can get to also. And when they're struggling for me to say, you know what, I've been there and it does get better. I promise like it can get better and to be able to relate and be able to say, yeah, I've been, I've been through what you are going through right now.
And I think they find it really helpful to know that that I've actually been there. And I'm not just sitting here saying I'm perfect with all the things that I do in my food and eating and my body. And I even had a conversation the other day where, you know, people talk about health at every size or just like loving your body and just embracing and loving the, your full body and stuff. And one of my clients has said that it felt really it's really triggering her anxiety to think about loving her body and really embracing it because she really hates it right now.
And she's like, how can I get from hating my body to fully loving my body? And I said, do you have to, like, what's really important to you because I don't love my body. I don't, I've never felt sexy in my body. And I've gotten to a place where that's okay, as long as I'm comfortable in my body, that's really, what's important. So it's really checking in to you of like, what is really important to you and what again, what do you want to choose? And then it's like the other stuff doesn't really matter, even though there's the movement of loving your body to the fullest, that's great for some people and they can do that, but it may not work for everybody and it might not be right for everybody.
So being able to be your own to self-author and to really think about what's important to you can be so important in so many different aspects.
Speaker 3 (55m 20s): Gosh, I'm just not a fan of loving your body the way it is. I'm just not. Cause I know it just, if you look outside into this world and see what normal is, it's just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And as a medical doctor, it's people are getting unhealthier on healthier and healthier. So I just, I personally feel that w yes, we should love ourselves.
It doesn't have to, I don't believe we should love our bodies if we're not in tip-top form. If we're not at least on the journey for getting better, but definitely love yourself because that's, I mean, you're a child of God, you know, we're here to do amazing things and God loves us unconditionally. But if you've got work to do, please, I encourage you not to fall into the trap of everybody else looks like this. So it's okay with me. I'm just going to love my body. I encourage everybody to do the work, the hard yards, because it will pay off in the long end.
If you don't, you're going to have the problems of a big body, heart attack, stroke, dementia, pre-diabetes type two diabetes. I mean so many things, ah, it just drives me insane. I'm like, babe, please. I wanted to circle back on the competitive thing. So yes, you and I fellow competitor, you know, with, with what we're doing. So here's what I have learned to do.
And my husband and I have really honed in on this to break that, you know, pushing ourselves over to the other side, past our past our energy level. Cause we all know I'm already tired, but I'm going to do it anyway because I have to do it. So this is what we do every week. We take 36 hours off, like completely turn that off. And that is so hard for us to do so Saturday for us. It's Saturday from Saturday at five o'clock at night until Monday morning, we're off no emails, no social media.
The only people, we focus on our friends and family and ourselves. And then if we want to indulge in some nice foods, some, you know, healthy, nice food, we go ahead and do that. So that has helped us just step away from the buffet of being the high achiever and giving ourselves time to self-love.
Speaker 1 (57m 55s): Yeah, I, it took me a long time. I worked with a business coach at one point, and I said, you know, I feel like I have to see clients on Saturdays. And she's like, why your clients will fit you? Like, if you, if it feels like you have to do it, you have, you have to want to choose to do it. And she said, your clients will be able to work around your schedule. And so you need to create the schedule that you want. And so I stopped seeing clients on Saturdays and it felt so good to do that because I was feeling so burned out from it.
And so now the weekends are typically, I don't tend to work on the weekends. And if I do, it's a choice. And like I did this weekend cause I was launching a program and, and stuff. So I had, we had actually a call and then that's where afterwards I was like, oh, I should keep working. Cause I have so much to do. And then I was like, Nope, you know what? I need my time. I don't need to do this work right now. It's not going to make or break my business. And having that perspective was really helpful to be able to see like why I was thinking I needed to push through and do continue to work, even though it was just going to burn me out.
So yeah, I've definitely created some boundaries, especially understanding why I was pushing myself to do it has helped to realize that it's not necessary to do it. And I'm, this will still survive.
Speaker 3 (59m 26s): That's right. That's right. And because you're learning how to not self-sabotage and me to not self-sabotage we don't get that burned out feeling, then we don't start eating because we're tired, you know, it's that whole, oh anyway. Anyway, we can talk forever. So do you have like maybe three tips that you, we could, you could give to the listeners so they can start winning right away right now?
Speaker 1 (59m 52s): Yeah. I think what we talked about earlier is really looking at like some of those triggers and seeing what is happening for you. Like in terms of those tail emotions that could be coming up also thinking about where am I feeling unsettled and with those tail triggers too,
Speaker 3 (1h 0m 10s): Can you just share the triggers again?
Speaker 1 (1h 0m 12s): Yeah. It's feeling tired, anxious, inadequate, or lonely. And there's a tool on my website. That's a workbook that helps people walk through that, that exercise that I was talking about, where you can either download the workbook or you can just do it on your own, but it does walk you through figuring out how to reflect, to see what's being triggered in you and doing that reflection to see that death by a thousand paper cuts. And then I would also just say to think about when you're thinking about food in an unproductive way, are eating out of alignment with your goals, asking yourself, where am I feeling unsettled and see what comes up.
So a lot of the work is really an internal, like reflection thing to try to break that automatic pilot cycle. And just to see, what's actually triggering you to turn to food and then see what happens to your cravings afterwards. Or if you've already eaten what's happening with that shame spiral or the guilt that you're experiencing, does that tend to soften by having the awareness? So I know that's only two, but those are some tools that can be really helpful.
Speaker 3 (1h 1m 24s): Very good. Thank you so much. And where Laura, can everybody find you
Speaker 1 (1h 1m 29s): On my website? It's Laura B folks.com and I'm also on social media, but you can find me on my [email protected] And I'm assuming all of this will be in the show notes. Yeah. And then if anybody, if any of this has resonated and you want to start exploring your cycle on my website, there's a place to sign up for a 40 minute curiosity call. And that's a free call where we can talk about what your challenges are, your relationship with food.
I bring my curiosity. I encourage you to bring your own as well. And we just talk a little bit more about what's happening for you, what type of support you're looking for. And then we talk about next steps as well. So it's not necessarily a sales call. It's really more to get to know each other, see what type of you're looking for and could be helpful. And then we go from there.
Speaker 3 (1h 2m 23s): I call it the discovery call. Cool. Thank you so much. Well, it's time we've been flying in business class and Laura and I have been talking to you all, both, all of you out there. And today we're going to go ahead and land this plane and thank you so much for your time. Thank you. I really appreciate you being so transparent and just sharing everything. You've been great.
Speaker 1 (1h 2m 49s): Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Authenticity is a big, important value in my business and there's nothing really to hide
Speaker 3 (1h 2m 58s): There. Isn't cause everybody's just on a different part of their journey and they're just, you're just a little ahead, you know, saying, Hey, come on, come on. It's this way. All right, well listen, you have a super fantastic day. Thank you everyone for joining us. I'm Dr. Isabel, your host and for joining us at the MD and chef team podcast. Love being here. Love sharing this with you. Please go ahead and share this with your family and friends or anybody you feel that will benefit from this.
Okay? Because it's all about sharing and helping everybody. Alright. So remain on stoppable and share that gorgeous smile. Yours. I'll talk to you later. Thank you. Thank you, Laura.
Speaker 1 (1h 3m 46s): Thank you.
Speaker 4 (1h 3m 50s): Hello, chef Michael here. If you enjoy today's episode, we would love it. If you subscribe to the podcast and left us a review.