When it comes to losing weight, so many of us feel as though we have tried everything, and nothing seems to work. We become frustrated and think that it’s never going to be possible for us. But when we look at the way we are thinking about food and weight loss, we can observe our current thought patterns and behaviors and from there, change them. By tapping into our bodies, we can establish the difference between hunger, desire, and old thought patterns and lose weight from the inside out.

Dr. Katrina Ubell is a Master Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach who struggled with her own weight for decades before finally finding a permanent solution. She is the host of the Weight Loss for Busy Physicians Podcast, a show that has been downloaded over 6 million times, and has founded a weight loss program that has helped over 1300 physicians find peace and freedom around food. She joins me this week to share some tools and practices that can help you apply the inner mindset and body work that will help you get the results with your weight that you want.

Listen in this week as we’re discussing the biggest roadblock for women with weight loss and showing you the importance of getting more in tune with your body. Whether you are on a weight loss journey, want to change your body in other ways, or would like to have a different relationship with aging, what Dr. Ubell is sharing this week will give you the groundwork necessary to start making a permanent change in your life.

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space for you to do the inner work and become more mindful. I can help you navigate the challenges of motherhood from the inside out. I’d love for you to join me inside Grow You, my mindfulness community for moms where we take this work to the next level.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to reframe the way you think about food and weight loss.
  • Why your weight is not linked to your value or self-worth.
  • The differences in how Dr. Ubell used to approach food versus how she approaches it now.
  • How to deal with overwhelm on your weight loss journey.
  • Why we believe food has power over us and why this isn’t true.
  • How to acknowledge thoughts that aren’t serving you and work through them on a continuous basis.
  • A valid place to start when it comes to this work around weight loss.
  • Dr. Ubell’s advice for anybody trying to lose weight and not being successful.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Show Resources:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon, and I’m an advanced certified mindfulness life coach as well as a wife and mom. If you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Hello my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I have a very special episode for you today. We are talking about weight loss from the inside out. To do that, I brought on a friend, colleague, and mentor of mine, Dr. Katrina Ubell. She actually was certified at The Life Coach School, which is where I got my certification as a life coach from, and she trained me.

So when I was trained years ago, there were instructors who did our small group training, and Dr. Ubell did mine. So I have been a fan of hers for years. I followed her work and her podcast, and she is just brilliant when it comes to weight loss. So I thought, let’s bring her on to talk about what’s going on in her life. She has this amazing new book coming out that you’re gonna want to get. Also bring you some tools and practices that can help you apply the inner work, doing that mindset and body work to help you get the results with weight that you want.

So a little bit more about Dr. Ubell. She is a master certified life and weight loss coach who struggled with her own weight for decades before she finally found a permanent solution. After that, she founded a weight loss program that has now helped over 1,300 physicians find peace and freedom around food.

She has a podcast called Weight Loss for Busy Physicians that has been downloaded over 6 million times. I have to say that even if you’re not a physician, which you’re likely, not just like me, check out her podcast. It has some really amazing episodes that apply to anyone regardless of whether you are a physician or not.

She also is the author of her new book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. You’re going to want to get this book. I’ll tell you how when I am interviewing her at the end. So with that, please give a warm welcome to Dr. Katrina Ubell.

Natalie: Hi, Katrina. Welcome to the podcast.

Katrina: Natalie, I am so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

Natalie: Thank you for being here. I am delighted to have you.

Katrina: I just am so excited. We’ve already been catching up, and it’s so fun. I’m just so happy to see.

Natalie: I was just saying before we hit record that I could talk with you for hours. It’s just amazing to see your journey, and hopefully you’ll share some of that with us as we get started. So the first kind of question where I want to dive in is where do you think the biggest roadblock for most women is with weight loss?

Katrina: Okay, such a good question. All right. I think the biggest roadblock is our belief that it’s about the food, right? Like we want to lose weight. We recognize we’re just not happy in our bodies for whatever reason. So we’re like okay if I want to change this and lose weight, I need to focus on the food or change what I’m eating. I’m not saying you don’t, but there’s so much more to it than that.

So the way I like to think about is this. Like say you had like a terrible scratch or cut on your leg, and you like put a band aid over it and cover it.  the band aids like the diet, okay. But there’s still a cut. There’s still a wound underneath there. So when we are like oh you know what? I need to do whatever. I mean name whatever it is. I need to do a whole 30 or I’m gonna go keto or I’m gonna count macros or like whatever it is. All we’re doing there is just changing the dressing. We’re just changing that band aid to a different kind of band aid.

We’re like maybe this cute one with the rainbows on it will be the one that will heal this wound up. But it’s not the band aid that heals the wound, right? Like we have to look at what’s underneath the food, underneath what it is that that we’re eating, and actually figure out what the problem is that we’re solving with food.

So yes, if you are like piling through Oreos every night after the kids are in bed, like probably not doing that would be helpful. Right? Like yes, that is logical. But what we need to understand is what is going on for you that is being solved by the pile of Oreos? Because that’s what we need to figure out how to solve in a different way. Then you just won’t need the Oreo.

So instead of having this strong desire for the Oreos and not letting yourself have them and then feeling deprived and restricted and then maybe sometimes binging on the Oreos when you’ve had enough like and you can’t stand it anymore or the urge is too strong, we actually figure out like what was going on for you in your day. Kids are in bed, you’ve hit that finish line. So like what is happening for you that’s so intolerable that you ask Oreos to solve for it?

That’s what I think people really get confused about. They just are looking at it very surface level because that’s how the vast majority of people talk about it. This is what we’re trained to think about. Like you just need to be drinking exogenous ketones that tastes disgusting, or like whatever these things are that is the latest trend or fad for people to try. Then we wonder why we don’t have the results that we are expecting or hoping for.

Natalie: Such a good analogy and explanation. I’ve never heard that before. So kind of along the same lines, let’s say you have tried lots of different dressings. You’ve tried lots of bandages and wraps and all the different ways. Your mindset is I’ve tried so many ways to lose weight, but I’ve been unsuccessful. So you sort of feel stuck. What would you say to the person who’s thinking that are feeling that way right now?

Katrina: I mean I’d say I feel you. I’ve been there. I understand because I did the same thing. I struggled so much. I tried so many different things. And really I mean what it came down to, for me, was I think it’s just kind of that logical doctor brain of mine. I was like it just doesn’t seem like it makes sense that this should be so hard.

Like somehow I just couldn’t get behind the idea that like it was going to require me. Like the only way that I could lose weight and keep it off forever was to have to like measure my food in little plastic boxes. That’s how much I was going to be able to eat. Like somehow I was like so you’re telling me I have to eat every like three hours or something like a baby? Like what? Like that just doesn’t make sense.

So I just had still some this like little flame of faith, I guess, in me because it really was faith because I didn’t even know. I was believing in something that I didn’t know if it existed or at all or not. But I really just believed like there’s got to be an easier way, a way that makes sense, a way that will work for me. I just have to figure out what it is.

So what I would say is just keep going. Like you’ve tried all these things. So this is great. You have a lot of data on what doesn’t work. Good. So good. Now so what we’re doing is like whittling away on the whole array of different options. But when we give up and quit and think that it’s because something’s wrong with us or our body is broken or it’s our genes or like our family history or whatever it is, like that’s not going to get us to where we want to be. So what I would suggest is just keep that faith that there’s a solution out there, and you just have to keep going until you find it.

Now with that said only because you want to create what I call peace and freedom around food and peace and freedom with your body. Not because something’s wrong with you, and the only way to solve it is by losing weight, right. Or the only way you’ll be acceptable or lovable or whatever, like whatever it is that you tied to your weight. That getting thin is the only way to accomplish that. So of course, that’s not the case at all.

I just was coaching someone in my program, a doctor, the other day, and she was telling me how in her mind, she had to get thin so that she could find a partner so that she could get married and have a baby. Because she didn’t want to have a baby by herself. So the fact that she wasn’t losing weight was like holding up her whole entire life. Then she’s feeling like time pressure because of her age and all this other stuff, right? It’s just so interesting. Like in her mind, it makes perfect sense. Like I have to figure out this weight thing so the whole rest of my life can continue.

I just was pointing out to her like well I just want to let you know that you can totally have that whole life and just never lose weight, or just lose weight because you want to because you prefer to live in a different body. So we just have to get clear on that. But like for me, I just was like I knew that something wasn’t right. I had no idea what it was.

But I would look around me, and I’m like I’m pretty sure people around me are not obsessing about that plate of cookies that people—You know when you’re in a meeting and everyone’s sitting around the table. Then there’s like some treats or something that people put in the middle of the table. Like no one’s touching it yet and no one’s that. You’re like is anyone going to eat that? Like I don’t want to be the first one. Like maybe I can grab some on my way out.

I mean like the amount of time my brain was occupied with food and what I was eating, what I wasn’t eating, and should I be eating that and feeling bad about what I’d eaten. I mean that was the part that I was like I’m not willing to live with this. Like this is not okay. This part needs to end. Then, of course, as you work through that for most people, their bodies shed some extra weight anyway because you’re not eating more food than your body needs.

Natalie: I love that example. I can totally relate to that being in the room and the dish and you’re like should I eat it first? What’s going on?

Katrina: There’s sugar there. Does anybody else notice?

Natalie: Right, right. Oh my gosh, for me that’s my kryptonite is the sugar. So I’m really curious based off that example, in your experience, when we’re talking about reasons to lose weight, obviously, the goal, I think, is to have these really positive, amazing reasons. Like we just want to. It would just be fun. I would love to live in that body. Let’s see what’s possible. We want to get to that place, I think, but is there a balance of both? Can you sort of have some positive abundant reasons? Also, kind of work on your negative thoughts at the same time while going on a weight loss journey?

Katrina: I think you definitely can. You just want to be really aware of what your old thoughts are. Because what can happen is as you’re losing weight, you’re starting to—It’s easier to think positive thoughts about yourself and your body, let’s just say, right. Because you’re noticing results. The scale is going down. Your clothes are fitting differently. Maybe people are giving you positive feedback.

So, to then spend time on those negative thoughts that you had about yourself, sometimes we’re like because you know what? I’ve had a brain transplant, and apparently life is amazing now. Then we get to our goal and then start maintaining it. Then we start realizing. I mean this, for sure, happened to me. Like I got to my goal weight, and then for sure I did the whole oh, I could lose five pounds more because it’s never enough. Right?

So it’s like because I still didn’t have peace and freedom around food or my body. Then this kind of idea of but why am I not happy finally? Why don’t I just have totally positive, completely positive thoughts about my body? That’s when I kind of realized it’s like even, let’s just say for argument’s sake, that you lose weight, and then your body does look exactly the way you wanted it to look. Like there’s gonna be something else. You’ll be like look at this new wrinkle on my face, what the hell is that? Sorry, I don’t know if we’re allowed to say things like.

Natalie: Go for it, yep.

Katrina: Like there’s always going to be something. Or like your hair changes. I mean I don’t know about you, but like with every one of my babies, I lost so much hair. Then that’s a whole thing. It takes years to like recover. Then it’s like there’s always going to be something that you can be dissatisfied with. If it’s not even your physical body, then it’s like something about your personality, or the way that you’re showing up, or you’re feeling shame in the way that you’re parenting, or what you’re bringing yourself to work and things like that.

So like this idea that somehow, like we all know, logically, like losing weight isn’t going to solve that for us. But deep down subconsciously, I think we really, really hope it will. We’re like I think I’m gonna be the exception.

Natalie: Right? Like I’ll just try and find out.

Katrina: Let’s just try and find out exactly. So can you do it simultaneously? Yes. But I think you have to really be aware of like what have I been thinking? Like let me not just assume that those thoughts will just go away, and I’ll never have them again. Like lack of self-worth is lack of self-worth, no matter what size your body is. Like you’re not going to have more self-worth just because your body is smaller.

Like literally your body will be smaller. It might be easier to think positive thoughts about yourself. Also, maybe not. I’ve had plenty of clients who’ve lost a lot of weight who then have all sorts of new negative thoughts about their body with skin and various things and the beating themselves up and why did I ever get that big? Because then I wouldn’t have this problem now. I mean so it’s all that same work that we have to do.

So I think we can do it concurrently for sure. We just want to make sure that we’re aware that like there’s work to do there, and I want to be working through it and processing it. Also, there’s no rush. So you get to maintenance and then new stuff comes up. Cool. You know what I mean? Like yep, that’s how this works. There’s always going to be things that—

I think of it as like hygiene. We’re never like oh, I brushed my teeth, and now I’m done. What do you mean I gotta brush him again tonight? It’s like no, we do this ongoing because our teeth require that as maintenance. So in terms of maintaining our weight and maintaining that brain space that keeps us there, there’s going to be some hygiene, which is looking at what are those thoughts that don’t serve us, that aren’t particularly kind, like whatever beliefs that are negative about ourselves and working through those as we go along.

Natalie: I love that you said that. I think about that in terms of just thought work, particularly right now in my life around motherhood. But I’m not on a specific weight loss journey myself right now. I hadn’t applied that same mindset to food in my life right now, but it’s so true. I think for me, specifically like that sugar. Those many Snickers we have in the refrigerator or the Red Vines.

Like we all kind of have something that we escape with. I think for me thinking about it in terms of maintenance, and, again, from a place of not shaming myself or judging myself but let’s just take a look at my relationship with this food. Is it the one I want to have in the future? Or is it just what I’m doing on default because I always have?

Katrina: Right. I think what I love about that is that takes the whole weight equation out of it. Because for a lot of people that isn’t really forefront of their mind. It’s not an issue for them, but that doesn’t mean that they are happy with their relationship with food. Or that they aren’t leaning more heavily on food to regulate their emotional experience than they would like.

Also, I mean just as a doctor, I mean of course, I worked as a pediatrician, so I didn’t take care of adults, but I spent plenty time with adults during my medical school training is that usually those kinds of things end up catching up with us at some point moving on as we get older. So it’s kind of like well, if I’m probably going to have to stop doing this or do less of it in the future, maybe I could work on that now.

I mean here’s the thing. Like I still am, I’m years out now, like still find myself, like one big thing for me was just grabbing a handful of chocolate chips at night. Like kind of still sometimes I’ll have this thought of like oh, should I have chocolate chips? I’m like really? Maybe I should. Then I’m like well maybe.

Well, this happened last night. I’d kind of had a headache and stuff, and I was like I’m like not even really desiring to eat anything. Like I don’t really even feel like I want food in my belly at all. So like why am I thinking about eating this? It really was going back to that old idea of like food is comfort. You’re experiencing this physical pain and maybe eating the chocolate will help a little bit. I was just like oh no. I’m pretty sure going to sleep is what I need, though. Like I think that’s what’s actually going to help. So that’s what I ended up going and doing.

I’m not gonna say that I’m like always perfect about this, but just even that connection is such a night and day difference from the way I used to approach food. I would have been like yeah, I probably should go to bed, but instead, I’m going to eat some chocolate, and I’m going to watch a couple shows. Then I’ll probably go to bed. You know what I mean?

Natalie: So relatable. I’m like what did I do last night? Did I do that exact thing? Maybe. It really is so relatable. I think this is such a good message, regardless of if you’re on a weight loss journey. Or it could be that you want to change your body in other ways, or just get healthier or have a different relationship with aging, right? It all is connected. What I love about what you said there is it’s really tapping into your body. The difference between oh, is my body actually hungry? Versus do I have this desire that’s coming from my brain and these old patterns?

Katrina: Exactly.

Natalie: I think that can be really powerful. I listened to one of your podcast episodes about bad weight loss advice, and I loved it. Can you talk a little bit about just anything that you think is just not great advice when it comes to wanting to lose weight?

Katrina: Yeah, well gosh. There’s so many things. I mean I think really what it boils down to is there’s these things that kind of like “everybody” believes, you know what I mean? Like we think it’s just the truth because everybody who’s ever tried to lose weight like thinks about things in these certain ways.

On that episode, I was addressing the idea that like the first thing you have to do is get the junk out of the house. Like you have to get these foods that are more triggering for you, or you have a harder time controlling yourself around, that you have to get them out of the house. Like I’m not saying that that’s not a great solution for some people. Especially in the beginning, I think that can be helpful.

But for a lot of people, it’s not possible because there’s other people in their family, or they have a roommate who has things in the house. Or yeah, you don’t have it in your house, but then you go to work and that stuff’s all over the place. Or there’s like 25 gas station convenience stores you can stop at on the way. As though that like getting it out of the house is going to be the solution.

What we have to do is we just have to question all of it. Another one that I hear so much is just like the only way to really have success with weight loss is you have to exercise a lot. People just really think that like you must be working out so much. Like no. It’s worthwhile to just look at what you think is true, and then just question if that really has to be the way that you do it like is that even necessarily true?

Like it could be that the first step in your weight loss journey is to work on the over desire you have for those foods in the pantry. Like just by not even being so consumed by the Reese’s peanut butter cups that your teenagers like to eat or whatever it is, that alone is life changing. Life changing. Think about if you could get to a place where you’re not sitting there going like oh, those are gross. Those are disgusting.

Because that’s another thing people do. They start vilifying the food. Like if in order for me to not eat it, I have to think it’s disgusting and the worst thing and like clogging all my arteries and like all these horrible, terrible stories. Like no, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stays good, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat them.

So can we get to a place where it’s like I could eat that, and it would taste good. I could also not eat it, and I’m completely fine. It really doesn’t matter to me. Like that’s where we check in with our body. Do I want this, or do I not want this right now? If I do want it, like why do I want to? If I’m gonna have it, can I make sure that I’m eating it from a positive emotion?

Natalie: Talk more about that.

Katrina: Yes. Okay. So I don’t think that there’s any, I haven’t really seen any research proving this yet, but I will just state that I do believe that someday we will find this. That I think that the way that food is processed and what happens with the nutrients in our bodies when we eat food is influenced by the emotion we’re experiencing when we’re eating it.

Okay, so like if you’re feeling terrible shame and guilt in eating, I think the way your body processes that is different than if you’re feeling total joy and pleasure and connection to your body and like tasting every second of it and like understanding that these are one of the pleasures of life. Like if you think of those two experiences, right? Like super, super different, but you’re eating the same food. I think that the way that that is processed in our bodies is different.

What exactly is different we’ll see. It could be totally related to like when you’re in, like what’s biochemically happening in your body when you’re in emotions like guilt and shame, and things like that. That maybe your body is more likely to store things as fat. It just what it does. What it does with those nutrients that come into your body through the food, it’s just different. So whether that’s true or not, that’s just my hypothesis.

But whether that’s true or not, like rather than saying like we’re never allowed to enjoy our food, instead going you know what? I can have that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but I’m going to have it when I’m like in a great mood and I’m not distracted. I’m not just like shoving in my mouth on the way out the door. I’m actually going to sit down, and I’m going to take little, small bites. I’m going to let this like melt all over my tongue. I mean I don’t know about you, my mouth is watering right now just talking about it, right?

Natalie: I love this so much. Yes.

Katrina: Like that experience of like really enjoying the heck out of this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and letting that be like this great thing that happened in your life rather than this shame filled event of like this awful thing happened or I was thinking terribly about myself then I ate this food. Maybe I got a little dopamine hit, and it maybe helped me for five minutes. But then I felt bad about the fact that I ate that. I know I shouldn’t need it, and then I’m never going to lose weight because I ate that.

So I just think that like as a starting point, that’s a real valid place to start. Like what are those things in the pantry that you struggle with? Let’s look at our thoughts that create the excessive desire for that food. We think it’s the food that has the power over us. This is what I always say about food. Food is literally a collection of molecules that are digestible, right? Non-poisonous. Our bodies know how to break them down to give us energy. Like that’s all it is. It’s like so neutral. It’s just sitting there. It doesn’t think anything about you. It doesn’t care about you. It’s literally just sitting there.

So if that’s the truth, that means the whole experience we have around it is on us and the way we think about it. It’s not our friend. It’s not there to entertain us. I mean it can. It can feel like that, but that’s because of the way that we think about it in the way we experience it.

So looking at that relationship with the food. Like when I at night go to the old standard whatever it is that I’m munching on in front of the TV, like what are my thoughts about this food? What do I think this food does for me? Does this even taste good? Like have you ever done that where you’re like oh, I just love this thing. Then if you really pay attention, you’re like I don’t even know what this tastes like right now. Like I can’t–

Natalie: Yes. If you’re not used to even paying attention to what food tastes like it’s even hard to describe it. I’ve done this with clients where you sort of get into your own thoughts about it. Like oh, it’s good for me. It’s nutritious. I’m like no, what does it feel like? What’s the texture like? Is it crunchy? Is it sweet? Is it savory? Just getting into the actual feelings or sensations that you’re experiencing when you eat something. It’s just a different way that we’re not used to I think in life.

Katrina: Totally.

Natalie: I’m curious if you have anything to say about the relationship with yourself, and whether you think that you damage it or eroded a little bit when you are doing what I can say I’m guilty of as well, where it’s like oh, I shouldn’t eat this, but I’m going to. Does that have an effect, do you think, on your own kind of self-trust and what you think about whether you can lose weight?

Like I when I think of that, I think of it as maybe not being the best for my relationship with myself when I’m like oh, I don’t really want to from my prefrontal, but I’m gonna do it anyways. Can you say anything about that? Do you experience that?

Katrina: Yeah. I mean the way I think about that is like that’s more of the primitive brain making the decision. So that’s like the toddler what I mean? Then like prefrontal cortex is more like the supervising mother who’s like yeah, I see you want to eat that, but I know what happens when you eat a bunch of sugar. You’re like straight first class ticket to crazy town. It’s like that’s not gonna be good. But sometimes we go with the primitive brain.

To me, that’s always much more of like a rebellious don’t tell me what to do. Think of like it of it maybe more like a teenager or a tween or whatever to that prefrontal cortex, which is like the mom. Because mom, who are we kidding? Sometimes mom is the one who takes the fun out of things. Because she’s thinking big picture, and she’s thinking about the future. She’s going you know what? That’s gonna be a problem tonight. We’re not going to do that. Sometimes we still just want to do it anyway.

So in terms of eroding the relationship, I mean the first thing we want to do is just recognize that like it’s okay if you do something like that. It’s not like it’s not repairable or like somehow you’re bad at this or anything like that.

But I think, and also just like normalizing the idea that we’re not going to 100% of the time do anything. So to expect ourselves to 100% of the time go with what the cortex knows is best for us. Like I just don’t know that that’s a reasonable expectation for ourselves. Because then when we don’t follow that, we think we’ve done something wrong. It’s not going to work for us. Something’s wrong with us. Something like that.

But I will say that it’s an opportunity for understanding. So let’s just say that you’re like I shouldn’t have this, but I’m going to eat it anyway. Maybe the next step after that is going what, but like you know what? So I already ate it, but like what I will do is either now or maybe later because depending on situation I might need a little time, I will spend a little time in trying to find a little more awareness around what was going on for me then.

Like what was so intolerable, so unbearable, that I really just needed the food? Like what was happening for me? Was I wanting to just feel like I was tired of being responsible mom, and I just wanted to throw caution to the wind and have whatever I wanted? Like what was it? Like let’s just figure out like what was that?

The other thing that sometimes I have my clients do is they’ll have the desire for whatever it is, and they’re like but I just really want it and then I eat it. So what I ask them to do is to work toward figuring out, like creating a little space. Like there’s like a potential space right now. Let’s create a little space between I want to eat it and eating it.

You’re not saying you can’t have it. You for sure can have it if you still want it. But can we just create a little space to even identify what the emotion is? We’re not saying can’t have it. We’re just saying like let’s just create awareness. Because sometimes after the fact, we have a hard time knowing. It happens so fast that we’re like I don’t know. But can we create a little space?

Then once we know maybe more about the emotion that we’re experiencing, we’re not saying you can’t have it, but can we maybe spend 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds with that emotion? Can you just go into your body and see where you feel it? Can you just find out a little bit more? Like let’s just get to know that emotion more and just understand it better. You can still totally have the food.

Then just keep expanding that from there. Like I wonder if I could just be with this for five minutes. If I still want the food after, I totally can have it. Then over the course of time, in general, most of the time, you’re going to find you can sit with it and you process it. It I mean almost always doesn’t last as long as you think it’s going to. Then what’s cool is when you do that and then you go do I still want this? You’re like you know what? I actually kind of don’t.

So you’re not having it because you told yourself you couldn’t or you told yourself you shouldn’t. You’re just checking in with yourself and genuinely recognizing that no, actually, I don’t want to eat that. If I want to eat it in another day or at a different time, then that’s available to me. I think the more we tell ourselves we can’t have it, the more we want it, and the more we go into that more primitive brain childish, don’t tell me what to do. Screw you. I get to do whatever I want kind of a place.

Natalie: I love that. So relatable. So I’m curious. Let’s go with overwhelm. That’s the one that my clients feel a lot. They’re just in the habit. Maybe on the way out the door, they grab the chocolate. So we do this exercise, and we noticed that we’re feeling overwhelm. I’m curious what you have to say about processing and sitting with the emotion versus and/or like adding other pleasure to your life.

I mean if you notice that food is the pleasure, right? You have kids. You have work. If you’re balancing all these things, and the common denominator is overwhelm, and you do want to stop but it feels like there’s no time kind of. You do this exercise. Are you just supposed to sit with that emotion and process it? Or is there this balance of let’s see where we can add some other pleasure in that’s not around food?

Katrina: I think this is a yes both kind of a situation for sure. Because definitely it’s so easy, especially I think when your children are young because it’s just so physically time consuming. Like they just need so much of you physically. Then if you’re working on top of it, and even if you’re not working. I mean if you’re keeping a house up and like keeping a family running, that is a ton of work too.

Like it is really also easy for us to believe that as mothers that we’re supposed to you kind of like be totally selfless. Not even kind of. That’s kind of like at a woman’s funeral kind of like what’s considered one of the best things to say about her that she was selfless. Like that she just gave and never thought about herself as though this is like a virtuous thing to do.

So I think we think like I shouldn’t, especially depending on the women who raised us, like how they went about their lives, where we think I’m not in charge of that. Like if that’s gonna happen, someone has to give it to me. Or like maybe if some time opens up, which of course it never will because there’s always more laundry to do. There’s always more something to do.

So I think that finding pleasure is super important. But I want to really simplify that. Like sometimes we think like oh, but then I need time to myself so I can do whatever. Get my nails done or whatever it is. I think like there’s so much that’s already available to us that we just don’t even see or know.

A prime example. Like if you’re in the car, you’re carting kids to daycare or going to school or getting yourself to work or whatever it is, you could just instead of just like zoning out listening to whatever, like pay attention to maybe some natural beauty. Like are there any flowers or pretty trees or just an interesting tree? Or a house that you drive by that you think is really, really nice that you can make sure that you just take a moment to enjoy it for a second. Because isn’t that so cool.

Just like things that you’re interested in or things that are just beautiful that you enjoy. Like that can be pleasure, when you let it be pleasure, but you have to let your eyes and your brain rest on it for a second. Or like if you’ve got your cubicle and it’s just totally like boring and there’s nothing there. Like maybe you could put like a picture or a plant or like something that you really just enjoy. You look at it, and it brings you some joy. It brings you some pleasure. You can just give yourself that.

Like could you expand the one second to three seconds, and just take a breath with it right there. Like there’s really easy ways to bring in more pleasure. It doesn’t have to be like super involved like you need to find a new hobby. Although that can be good, too. But that is the like how do I find time to have a girl’s night out? Like yes, try to find the time. Also, while you’re doing that, there’s lots of ways to find more pleasure.

But then when you’re in the thick of it, and you’re overwhelmed and you’re like I don’t even know what to do. These kids drive me nuts. What am I supposed to do? I don’t even have time. I gotta get the kids to school. I don’t have time to sit. I gotta get to work. I don’t have time to sit and process emotions.

Something that really worked well for me, and I still do, particularly when I’m on the go. Like if I’m in the car, or even if I’m just whatever I’m doing, is to just remind myself that the reason I’m feeling what I’m feeling is because of the way that I’m thinking. Even if I don’t know what I’m thinking, it’s just ownership of the experience.

Like I’m experiencing overwhelm right now because of the way that I’m thinking. Not because I have too much to do or because we’re running late, or the kids are whatever crazy today. That’s not why. Right. Just owning it. Not blaming yourself, not judging yourself, but just owning it. I’m experiencing this feeling because the way that I’m thinking. I’m experiencing this feeling because the way that I’m thinking.

It’s just like it kind of takes some of the forcefulness or pressure or power away from it because it’s like this is just an emotion, like any other emotion. It doesn’t feel good. I don’t like feeling it. But I recognize that it’s being created by the way that I think. I don’t ask myself to think anything new, especially if it’s a very strong sense of overwhelm. Because I think that’s where like well, once I know what’s my thoughts, I should just change my thoughts.

I think that’s a like yes, if that’s available to you, sure. But oftentimes, it’s really not, or at least not yet. We don’t want to try to force ourselves into almost like shaming ourselves. Well, you’re doing this wrong. If you can’t switch your thought, then obviously—Like we never want to use this work against ourselves. So we just want to be able to sit with it and recognize the only reason I’m feeling this way is because of the way I’m thinking. If at some point, if I decide I want to, if it feels like the right thing to do and feels available to me, I can consider the idea that I might possibly want to change the way I’m thinking about this.

Natalie: I love that. The way that you’re articulated is so beautifully said because really what’s underlying that is acceptance.

Katrina: Yes.

Natalie: You’re just accepting your human experience. I’m a human being, I created some overwhelm so I’m attributing it to myself, which is actually very empowering. Also I’m not blaming myself for doing that. This is just what happens as humans, and yes, I can work on it out of the moment when I’m not feeling it, right. I’ll just work on feeling it right now. I think that can be really powerful.

Katrina: I very often will even say to myself like it’s just hard being a human being. Being a human is just hard. It’s not like a like oh, woe is me or like self-pity thing. It’s just recognizing, yes, this is hard. I don’t have to talk myself out of it. It’s hard right now. It’s so hard being a human. Okay, all right. So what are we going to do now?

Natalie: It’s funny. I do this with RJ. He’s eight months old now. I can see him, like for us, whatever it is, is so easy. But for him, I’m like oh, I see it. I see that this is hard for you. I’ve never borrowed that thought for myself, and I love it. I think it’s a really empowering thought where it acknowledges and accepts your experience.

Katrina: You can see it then in other people too. I think it helps you to offer compassion to other people. We were traveling this summer, and we were just like sitting this little cafe. In this area, there were a lot of people taking pictures.

There’s this one girl who was probably like in her mid-teens, and her mom is taking some pictures of her. Her mom, she was trying to do like the Instagram like whatever, like the cute positioning or whatever. Her mom is totally over there like put your hair like this and no turn this way. Her mom’s like completely giving her direction on what to do so that she looks the way she wants to look. I just was watching this whole thing and just thinking to myself like it is so hard to be human being these days. Like it is so hard, you know?

Natalie: I love that, right? Compassion.

Katrina: I can have so many thoughts about the whole thing, all of it. But what it boils down to is it’s so hard. It’s hard for all of us. The person who’s cutting in line or whatever. Like they’re really struggling too. Like we’re all struggling. So can we just hold a little space for us as we are just trying to sort this all out? It’s hard for us sometimes and sometimes a lot of the time. Like okay, yeah. That’s what we’ve got.

Natalie: Right? Now what? Now what?

Katrina: Right. What are we going to do moving forward? Exactly.

Natalie: So good. So you have a book. At the time this comes out the book will have just released I think yesterday, and it’s called How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss. Where can we get this book?

Katrina: Yeah, so basically everywhere. So it is on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, all the independent booksellers. if you’d like to purchase from your local bookseller, if they don’t have it in stock, you can ask them. They can order it no problem. Then I also recorded the audiobook. So it’s available on Audible or wherever else you buy audiobooks. There’s also a little audio bonus for the audiobooks.

Natalie: Amazing.

Katrina: So if somebody is a real listener, they love doing that they can do that as well.

Natalie: I have the book here, and I read it. I’m gonna get it on Audible too because just moving around the house, I like to have that positive input in my mind. I also know that you have a program for physicians, and you are a physician. Is this book specifically for physicians? Or can you talk a little bit about the book?

Katrina: Yeah, so it is not. It’s actually written for like kind of I don’t think it was really like the average person, but definitely like somebody who is kind of like us doctors who are struggling with our weight. Like the people that I serve and my clients.

It’s basically for anybody who, I mean by definition if you’re trying to lose weight for the last time, you’ve probably tried some other things and not had success. But even if it’s somebody’s first time trying to lose weight, I think they can really learn a lot. It’s like why go through the pain and suffering that we all did to get to this place? You could just fast track yourself and get there right now.

So I really thought of it like the point of writing the book is multiple. So my podcast is weight loss for busy physicians. But I’ve noticed over the years, I have a lot of listeners who are not doctors, interestingly. People would give me feedback that their doctor actually recommended that they listen to my podcast for help with losing weight.

So pretty soon, I’m gonna have 300 episodes of my podcast. So imagine your doctor recommending a podcast to you, and you’ve got 300 episodes. Especially if you’re not already a podcast listener, maybe not savvy in the podcast space. Like it can be very overwhelming, and you don’t even know where to start.

So I thought here’s the thing with doctors is like they’re trying so hard. They’re working so hard. They have so many things to keep up on. So many things that they’re supposed to be telling you in that short time span that they have with you. So often people come and ask for help with weight, and they just don’t know what to say. Or they’re like well two of my other clients had success with keto. So maybe you should try that. That’s not like not based on anything that’s really particularly useful or based on this person as an individual.

So I thought wouldn’t it be amazing to have a book that they could just recommend. That’s like here’s some information. It kind of hits a number of different areas, like a good summation. Certainly not everything that I’ve ever talked about, but it’s like a good summation of some basic principles to get people started to help them to see what are the next best steps for them.

So I think of it as like it’s by writing it for the general public, that is really, really helping doctors to get people who struggle with their weight the help that they need. So even though unless you’re a doctor, you can’t work with me, there are plenty of other coaches. There’s plenty of other people, and some people will want to just do it with their sister or their best friend or like with their work friends or whatever. Like everybody’s going to support themselves. There’s some additional book resources that people can opt into as well.

So, I just think that this gives people a great starting point. Then, of course, for people who are doctors who read this and they’re like yeah, I need this help. Then yeah, we have our weight loss for doctors only program. We’re more than willing and ready and excited to help those people as well.

Natalie: Yeah, and I love that just having tools in different formats can be so helpful for different types of learning preferences. I think having a book, even just the physical book, but also just having it an audio version, you can lose weight just from having this in your ear. Right?

It’s like even after this conversation, I guarantee you I’m going to have this greater pause before I grab that chocolate, and it’s because it’s on my mind. Right? I think that can be the benefit of a book as well. So I’m so glad and thankful that you came on today. Where can people find you other than your podcast and getting the book, obviously?

Katrina: Yes, yeah. So on social, I’m on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook. I think it’s Coach Katrina Ubell MD, I believe is the handle. Then and then my website is katrinaubellmd.com. We have a bunch of free resources on there as well. So for anybody who’s just looking for some additional help, or if you’re like podcast or die, we’ve got like even a podcast roadmap that gives you like the first 30 episodes that we recommend you listen to when you’re getting going.

Natalie: Where can I get that?

Katrina: That’s on my website. So that there’s a free resources available, katrinaubellmd.com. So yeah, that’s a great place to find me too.

Natalie: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here, Katrina. It has been such a pleasure.

Katrina: Natalie, thank you so much. It’s been so fun.

Natalie: So fun. Take care.

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