Transcript

Dr. Nina:
Hi there. Welcome to the Dr. Nina Show here on LA Talk Radio. I’m your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin. And I am here to help you stop counting calories, carbs and fat grams. So you can easily get to a healthier weight and get on with your life. My goal is to help you wake up and think about your day, not your diet. You’ve got other things on your mind, especially these days, right? So it’s all about liberty. I did an interview today for a woman who asked me about recovery, recovery from binge eating disorder, recovery from eating disorders. And I said, I do not believe in recovery. We recover from a bad breakup. We recover from something disappointing, but we liberate ourselves from food, weight and body image issues.

Yes, it is possible. Total liberation. You can wake up and think about your day. Not about what you’re going to eat or not eat, not about what number is going to be on the scale. Not about whether you’re going to be good today or bad today. You can wake up and think about your life. Think about your day. Think about what you want to do. Not think about what you shouldn’t eat. Doesn’t that sound nice? What a relief. Go into your closet, wear whatever you want. Not give it a second thought, that is possible. That is possible. So I have a question from Esther. Esther says, “I would love tips on handling a party or event situation, where there’s tons of food, all laid out beautifully and so easy to grab. I get tempted because it’s easy to grab, looks beautifully presented and feels like a treat.”

So she posted this on my Food for Thought Facebook community page. I don’t know more than that but based on her question, a couple of things stand out. And the first is handling a party or an event situation, it feels like a treat. So here’s what stood out to me that’s easy to grab, came up twice, beautifully presented and like a treat. So it seems to me that there’s some idea that she shouldn’t eat it or she should only have a little bit, which automatically right then and there sets you up for overeating or even binging, because the anticipation or experience of deprivation will only make you want something more.

If I say, “Hey, Esther. Hey, anyone, all you guys listening, here is this beautifully presented food but you can’t have any.” Are you going to feel like, “Okay. Fine.” Or are you going to feel deprived? And then when you feel deprived, we want what we cannot have. We want what we cannot have. And so that’s right there a setup for, “I’m just going to have one and another.” And then pretty soon you’ve had way too much more than you wanted to just because you’re setting yourself up by psychologically creating a deprivation or you’re shooting on yourself. I shouldn’t have that, makes you want something more.

So Esther, I would look at that and see if you are telling yourself like, “Hey, here are these treats and I’m not allowed to have them.” Of course, you’re going to want them. But if you tell yourself, “I am going to have, I’m going to have them. They’re good. They are beautifully presented, they’re treats. I’m going to have some and I’m going to enjoy it and not feel as if I’m doing something wrong.” When we criminalize food. When we tell ourselves, “Oh, we should not have that.”

Karlygash:
Hi. This is Karlygash.

Dr. Nina:
Hi, Karlygash. Welcome back.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much. It’s just been hard for me to regulate eating. It’s like I either not eat at all and feel good I don’t think about food or if I start eating and  hyper focus on it.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. Those are two extremes, not eating at all and feeling good or eating too much. So why do you feel good about not eating at all? Because those are… It’s not good… I’m going to use too many negatives in a sentence. It’s not good to not eat. And it’s not good to eat too much. So where is this idea of all or nothing coming from?

Karlygash:
I don’t know maybe because I’ve been overeating here and there and the next day I had to cut, not just because I was starving myself, because my belly really hurts. My stomach really hurts. And because I was just waiting for yesterday’s food to digest, I didn’t eat. I also had a date where I ate, despite of what I ate the day before and I felt bad. So I decided that if I overeat that at least I will next day cut back and allow my body to digest what I already ate.

Dr. Nina:
I hear a lot of focus on food and not a lot of focus on what you’re eating and not why. And I like to reframe success as not staying within your diet or staying within what you think you should eat or staying within your food plan, however you want to put it. Right. I would reframe success as figuring out why you are eating that. Are you eating something because it’s lunch or are you eating something because you’re trying to resolve something emotional with food. So, if you just focus on food-

Karlygash:
I think it’s just the same thing coming up. I think it’s been hard for me to give up this ineffective coping mechanism as… You know, in life, I pretty much don’t have… I don’t know, I guess it’s just not part to give up because I used to use food for soothing, dealing emotion. Subconscious and not even knowing that what I’m doing and thanks to you, I’m able now to see it sometimes more often. But sometimes… Actually the best way for me to eat, there’s just very little portion throughout the day. Not like big quantities at once or something. But I can not… Once food gets there, I guess I’m in this bliss, I fall into this bliss and I lose the awareness. When I’m in awareness, I actually can eat reasonable amount because I feel the taste of food, I guess, I don’t know. Maybe I lack pleasure in my life and then-

Dr. Nina:
Well, it could… But what I’m hearing, you may indeed lack pleasure in your life and you’re using food for fun. But I’m also hearing you say that you’re using it to dissociate from pain, for what’s ups, from your thoughts, from your pain that you go into that zone, that people call it the binge zone or the food zone or that… Someone even said, “Oh, it’s the dead zone. I’m dead. I don’t feel anything.” So, that dissociation is a way of coping. So if you don’t yet have a way of being with yourself in a way that you can cope with painful, difficult emotions, conflicts, wishes, fears, anxieties, et cetera and food. And then the dissociation does that for you, be gentle with yourself and realize that you can’t just…

 

Food is the solution to the problem. It is not the problem. The problem is the difficulty being with those feelings. And that’s why being able to say, “Okay, I’m in to get away from this feeling.” Or recognizing what it is. Because what you’re doing is focusing on the food part instead of the pain part or the fear or whatever it is that’s unbearable and hard to be with.

Karlygash:
I also like… When I was working in your program, we found out that I have this fear of success and I sabotage actually my progress as I’ve been doing some good progress. And then once I get good results, I either go to a good place, emotional, where I can regulate my emotions healthily without using food as coping mechanisms or I hit a certain number on the scale, which is actually a low number. And that’s basically what I wanted but I think I get scared and I start sabotaging. And we found out that like I have the fear of success and… No, I just, I feel like and I’m capable of doing things.

 

But then this fear of success is pretty strong. It’s it feels like as if I’m postponing my life and I’m telling myself, “Oh, I will live good.” Like tomorrow or not tomorrow. I will live good after I do this and this and that. And it’s used to be wait thing before I met you. But after I met you, I cannot think like that, I will be happy when I lose weight. I can think that there’s this way anymore. But I come up with something else. I’m going to lose weight when I, I don’t know, get new friends or…I’m going to be happy when I get friends or I’m going to be happy when I have so much money or… I’m just substituting this weight thing with something else. So it feels like I’m not even letting myself to be happy.

Dr. Nina:
You were doing great up until when you said you get angry with yourself because that is a self attack. First of all, that was super insightful that you were realizing that you have this when then mentality. When I lose weight, I’ll be happy. Not so much anymore, you’re saying. When I achieve this level of success, I’ll be happy, when then. So sometime in the future then I’ll be happy. And yet, as you say are sabotaging that happiness. So it’s not logical. It’s psychological. Logical is, “Oh, I will be happy one day and I can be happy. And why shouldn’t I be happy? It’s my birthright as a human. I’m a good person. Why shouldn’t I be happy?” That’s logical. Psychologically. It’s much more complex. So when you get mad at yourself for having this fear of success, fear of happiness… And by the way, why do people have fear of success and fear of happiness?

Well, one reason is sometimes it’s an idea if you allow yourself to be happy, if you step on the rug of happiness, someone’s going to yank it out from underneath you. That’s one fear. And the other is that if you come from a family that struggles, which I think is something we talked about on air last week. If you come from a family that struggles to be successful is to be not connected to your family in a psychological way. So there could be many reasons for it. But if you get mad at yourself, then all you’re doing is making yourself feel bad for just being a human being. Then you’re going to go to the zone to get away from being mad at yourself. And that’s why I stopped you because being mad at yourself, never, ever helps. That is critical.

Dr. Nina:
Being curious, “Oh, I’m doing that thing again where I’m sabotaging myself. What’s that about? Let me challenge that. Let me sit with that. Let me process that.” Rather than I’m mad at myself, because I have that way of sabotaging myself.

Karlygash:
Thank you. That makes so much sense. Yes. I definitely have those fear of success. Just the situation involved, the rug being pulled off because it’s been so many times in my childhood and I’m definitely… disconnection from my family. Yeah. It’s just psychological, so intricately wired. So yeah, it takes time to unwind it and to see how it is. I also have a question about abuse. I’ve been much better, not tolerating abuse and like catching it and not let people even verbally abuse me. But do you know this week I let someone who is close to me, do their thing. Like I said, something about my dreams that I want this and this amount of money. And these are my dreams. And my dreams were always big, since I was born. My family, I had some extended family members who used to tell me, like, we used to laugh at my dreams and say like, “Oh, you’re wanting too much.”

Dr. Nina:
Karlygash, there’s… Sorry to interrupt. But there is… If you have people who laugh at your dreams and say, You want too much.” There’s the beginning of your fear of success.

Karlygash:
Oh, yes. I’ve been constantly like that. In my head, I never had a poverty mentality or something. And I had actually had a mentality that everything’s possible and I was born like that. So the thing is that I always put that, whatever they wanted, I got it. But people around me were like, “You want too much. This nice school you’re going to, who spoiled you, now you’re thinking like that.” All this bullshit. And I’m like… And I was so offended. Like usually people around you support you and they are happy. Like, “Hey look, you got to the best school of the city where it’s actually very hard to get there. And sometimes people don’t take bribes because it’s so hard to get there and just got there at the age of seven but passing the test and doing this admission stuff by myself without training or anything. And usually people say, “Hey, good for you.” Or not in my situation. My success was always attacked over it.

Dr. Nina:
Then that’s why you’re talking it now, like consciously, you wanted them to support you but unconsciously, you colluded with them. You identified with them. So as a kid, you railed against this. No, I want good things. I want a good life. I want to go to this good school. I want good. I want to be happy as much as you were mocked and shamed for this because that’s not what people do. Right? Then this can come from envy and all kinds of things.

Ideally, our parents and our families and the people we love, support us when we do well. But that is often ideal and not reality. So you had this experience, so you had this experience that you consciously hated but unconsciously identified with. So now that’s the way to be, so now you’re doing it to yourself, whereas they did it to you, now you’re doing it to you. And it’s just an idea, right? It’s an idea that feels like truth. But when we have to convert it back to an idea, then it loses its charge. It loses its power.

Karlygash:
You know, at one point it’s just so hard. I was always opposing them and finding, like… I was always sliding, like quarrel verbally or even… for my beliefs, my right to be happy. But it’s just so hard, it’s just so sad that at one point, when somebody tells you that stuff like you’re not good. So no matter how hard you believe at one point and especially people who you love and who are close to your heart and your kid at one point. So I reached past the thirties and it didn’t hit me then when I was young, because I was like, a rocket or this train, just going to my goals. But then when I got older, it just hated me there. It was just so unexpected. In my thirties, it just hit me there and all this pain and discourses, they were so strong in the head. So it’s just this mechanism. I don’t like it.

Dr. Nina:
But you can change it. You’re changing it.

Karlygash:
Be patient. And each time when a slip comes up or another like fear of success, sabotage grounds, just to be nice, kind to myself and say, of course, it’s still present so far..

Dr. Nina:
Yes. And don’t focus on food. Stop focusing on food, say, “Ah, I’m helping myself in some way. I’m coping in some way. What is it now? Am I sabotaging myself? Or am I might just soothing myself by escaping the bad feeling. What is this doing for me?” Be curious, not critical. You hear me say this a lot? Yeah. Be curious. What’s going on with me? Why am I doing this? Not, “Oh, look, I ate that.” That never helps. But when you say, “Why did I eat it. Never eat. Never helps.” And to chip away at this idea, what… Okay. I have the spirit of success and I know where it comes from. And I logically know it doesn’t make sense to me but psychologically it does. And I’m just going to… It took me time to build this idea.

It’s going to take me time to take it away. I remember, I saw this couple and they had been living together for something like 19 years, living together. And then they got married and when they lived together, they shared everything. Everything was equal. And as soon as they got married, suddenly she expects him to take out the trash because that’s what husbands do. Right. So she had been living with this guy for nearly 20 years. But when she got married, like you said, in your thirties, this all kicked in. Well, when this woman got married, these ideas of, “well, this is what husbands do. And this is what wives do.” Just came into her head because we get programmed, whether we know it or not.

And so, to get mad at yourself for your programming is just going to make things worse but to say, “Oh, there’s my programming again, let me challenge that. Why should I suffer?”

Karlygash:
I’ll deprogram myself and be okay with the process, understanding that it’s a process and it takes time. And I think sometimes I don’t see my success but I get better at acknowledging what I achieve. This picture of ladder of life helped me, like the visual I created from your book, the ladder of life.

It’s not the book. The book name is Binge Cure, the Binge Cure but there is a concept, the ladder of life to picture yourself on the… And to look down and see what I achieved and look up and see what I want at the same time acknowledging where I am now. So there’s been so helpful, honestly. It just helped me so much. And I escaped many, many awful traps this week. Just thinking about from this ladder of life concept, like thinking, “Hey, it’s not that I’m always down or underachieving, it’s ladder of life. I’ve done so much.”

Look where I am now.

Dr. Nina:
Look where you are. It’s so important that the ladder of life is so often we look up, why aren’t I there? Why aren’t I where I want to be, why haven’t I done X, Y, Z? And when we do that, all we do is feel bad because we’re not where we want to be yet. But then we’re never living our life because we’re always waiting for some point in the future.

Karlygash:
Yes. I think I found this solution to this thing, the fear of success. My success in dealing with fear of success. Using the concept of ladder of life, because somehow I think that success is something I should have because I… talented, I don’t know. And good and dope. So when I don’t have it, I get frustrated. Whereas, maybe I should really measure my success in actually getting rid of fear of success. It’s been way worse. Sabotaging was way worse in my past, it’s getting a little better every day. It’s more insightful.

Dr. Nina:
And that’s success.

Karlygash:
… dissect this concept instead of black and white or everything or nothing.

Dr. Nina:
Yes.

Karlygash:
Dissect it and see how it progressed in even with dealing with fear of success. I know it’s tiny. It’s dividing one pound of apples into I don’t know, one 10th of a pound but it should work.

Dr. Nina:
I think that is a great idea. I encourage you. I even hear some hope in your voice from when we first started talking. And I love your reflection and your ability to understand yourself and reflect on why you do what you do. So use that ability this week, instead of focusing on how much you’re eating or not eating, success is not about what you’re eating or not eating success is, “Did I identify why, what’s going on with me? Let me just see why I did that.” That’s the first step. Can you do it? I know you can do it. Okay.

Karlygash:
I don’t know. Sometimes I don’t do it, you know.

Dr. Nina:
But sometimes you do.

Karlygash:
I know I should.

Dr. Nina:
But sometimes you do.

Karlygash:
Yes. And sometimes, I don’t and in this moment, I’m like, “Oh, fuck it. I’m going to go and eat.” And I feel depressed because like… But then I’m like, “Really? I don’t need that much.” I just need a little, even treats. I need a little and I feel satisfied.

Dr. Nina:
So ask yourself, what are you hungry for? And call me back next week. Let me know how it goes.

Karlygash:
Okay. Thank you so much. I will.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you so much, Karlyash. And I just wanted to say that this is this idea that you can’t have happiness. You can’t have success that it’s somehow not for you, is an idea that was put in your head by people who were trying to probably deal with their own lack of success and begrudged you yours. So when you remember where these messages come from, it changes everything. When it’s our parents or our family. And there are our original gods, they know us, they know what’s right then it’s, “Oh, I’m doomed. I can’t succeed.”

But when it’s, these are not people on Mount Olympus. These are people with their own stuff who are dealing with their own disappointments in life. And begrudged you yours. And envy is a strong motivator to make people put other people down. Then it stops being so real.

Karlygash:
That’s a very weird mechanism going on in people, you know Dr. Nina, why people are like that. You don’t have success, be okay with that. Learn. Do it. …that’s so weird, honestly.

Dr. Nina:
Well, I’m with you there. And I could think of some words other than weird to describe that kind of behavior. It is human- It’s destructive. It’s destructive. So, I have another caller that I’m going to get to but Karlygash, thank you so much for calling and I am looking forward to hearing from you next week.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much and have a wonderful day. Thank you.

Dr. Nina:
Hi caller.

Kristina:
Oh, hello. Can you hear me?

Dr. Nina:
I can hear you.

Kristina:
Hi. Dr. Nina. I couldn’t tell if I got through or not. So I’m so happy that I did. And thank you for taking my call. And I just wanted to say, I really identified with Karlygash on a lot of her things, particularly like the self sabotage. So it was really good for me to hear and just listen to her. I had similar struggles as well and just… It was good to listen to her. I have a question for you because I feel like I’m cheating on your program. I have a lot of health issues and it’s been determined by my doctor that I need to do the low FODMAP diet, which I actually started to do because I’m having so many stomach symptoms.

Kristina:
At first I thought they were related to my neuropathy and my accident and just being stressed and overeating but it actually might be turning out that I am highly allergic to gluten and lactose just completely intolerant. I’ve already noticed within a few days, the benefits of not being bloated, not having stomach pain. The problem is I’m looking this diet and it is called low FODMAP diet by Gastroenterology Consultants.

Dr. Nina:
Yes. I have-

Kristina:
Holy moly. It’s okay.

Dr. Nina:
First of all, I’ve been asked this question before. I am against weight loss diets but I also have an auto-immune disease and because I have an auto-immune disease, I have to be… I’ve been on the auto-immune, AIP diet, it’s called AIP protocol, which is extremely restrictive. And so how do you manage having to be on a restrictive diet… restrictive way of eating?

Kristina:
I thought you had mentioned it on another show and I’m like, so I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m hopeful. It’s not for weight loss. I am not… You’d be proud of me. I’m not even looking at the scale. I am just scared because I’m looking at this thing. And again, I was mostly vegan anyway for animals. So I’m used to eating pretty healthy but some of these foods were making me stick like hummus and stuff like that. So I’m just baffled by an apple is bad or this is bad or cabbage, Brussels sprouts. And it says avoid, not bad. So that’s where I need to stop myself.

Dr. Nina:
Good catch. Not bad.

Kristina:
What is your advice for my thought process and my state of mind? I would love to hear it.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. So here is what I have to say. First of all, these programs, we call them low FODMAP, AIP, which essentially for those of you who don’t know it, it’s extremely restrictive. Basically, I know for AIP, you can really only eat various meats. And I was a vegetarian before I had to be on this. There is meats and vegetables, very few fruits and that’s essentially it. And low FODMAP, I have a friend who’s similar thing. And so it’s all about restriction and that, of course, I’m always talking about how the experience of restriction makes you want something more. So what I had to do was really reframe my thinking. And this is what I tell people like you who have to be on this for health.

To think of it not as I can’t have that but that is poison for me, that hurts my body. That is… I think the word poison is not even too extreme of a word rather than allergic. That is poison to my body. And I’m going to make healthy choices to take care of myself. I am taking care of myself by having these foods but not those. And to really think of it as healthy versus, Oh, I’m deprived. And what helps is you start physically feeling better, which you just mentioned.

Kristina:
Yes.

Dr. Nina:
And it makes it easier to do it. You feel physically better. And so it’s easier to follow something when you actually feel physically better. Do I miss having some pizza every once in a while? Yes, I do. But… Yes I do. And the other day, my 12 year old is really into cooking. So she made homemade pasta and homemade tomato sauce, canny tomatoes on my… I can’t eat tomatoes. And then they made me-

Kristina:
Me neither.

Dr. Nina:
They made me this like AIP pasta out of peas, which was not quite the same.

Kristina:
The thought was there. That must’ve been hard.

Dr. Nina:
The thought was there, yeah. You can get the pea pasta on Amazon, by the way. If you can have peas. But of course I want it but it’s getting… I’ve been doing it now for a year and a half and it’s getting a lot easier or over almost a year and a half, feels like a year and a half. It’s getting a lot easier to do, because I think, you know what? I’m going to feel terrible if I eat that. And it’s also going to be like, it’s going to make me sick and it could set up my immune disease. And I do not want that. So when you think of it, in terms of health, it is much less depriving. I can have that for health rather than I can’t have that.

Kristina:
So what I understand, that was so helpful, you really nailed it. I’m hearing the decision is ultimately mine. I have the decision every day. It’s just do I want the constipation? And for me it was like severe stomach cramping, massive bloating. I mean, I’m not exact… These things were, I just put it aside because I was dealing with cervical neck issues, the neuropathy. So that got pushed aside and I’m like, “Oh, maybe I’m just over eating.” But I was realizing I’m really not overeating. So thank you. I have the decision. And then just one comment that might help other viewers. And I feel that maybe I have a little experience and this kind of mentality is that I had bulemia in the past. And for me, my trigger was the only time I ever would have a bulimic episode and it wasn’t every time it happened but I would have to drink alcohol, I guess, because that lowers your inhibitions and increases your hunger, at least for me personally.

So my decision a while back was to just cut the alcohol. I mean, did I like it? Yes. Fortunately I was like a once a week drinker, so it wasn’t a big deal but I enjoyed it. But it was linked to, “Oh, this could possibly happen.” So it became very freeing to be like, “Sure, I can, anytime I want to have a drink.” But it’s like you… I eventually learned absolutely not because I will get sick or I have a potential of getting really sick. So that kind of mindset was helpful. So I wanted to share that because sometimes when I run into my friends or other people with eating issues, alcohol can often be linked as an aggravator to it. So thank you so much. You really nailed the answer and it’s just really changing my mindset, truly.

Dr. Nina:
It is. And I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this but I’m glad that you found a solution and ultimately the better you feel physically, the easier it will be. But just acknowledge that it can be hard but don’t think in terms of I’m going to be good or I’m going to be bad or this is good food or this is bad, this is healthy or this is unhealthy. This is helpful to me or this is unhelpful to me.

Kristina:
Right. And if I do eat something that I shouldn’t or doesn’t agree, it’s that whole, don’t be critical, just to go back and think, “Oh, why? What happened? Why would I want to reach for that?” And just again, right talking more positively to myself because nobody’s perfect in anything much less when it comes to eating.

Dr. Nina:
More encouraging. Yes. To be encouraging rather than cruel and attacking yourself.

Kristina:
Right. Right. Thank you so much, Dr. Nina. I really love your show.

Dr. Nina:
Oh, thank you, Kristina. Thank you for calling. Let me know how it goes.

Kristina:
I will. I definitely will. Take care. Okay. Goodbye.

Dr. Nina:
All right. Bye. Bye. That was very sweet. Okay. So the ladder of life that Karlygash was talking about is imagine a metaphorical ladder… [Modern World Zen, you’re saying the screen looks weird. I don’t know what to say. It looks normal from my end but hopefully you can hear me. And by the way, for those of you who are watching on Instagram, I’m getting my technology hopefully in the next week so that I can hook it up so you can hear the colors. But you can also hear the callers later on the LA Talk Radio archives or anywhere you get podcasts. It’s also made into a podcast that shows on Apple Podcasts and all other podcasts.

Dr. Nina:
So the ladder of life that Karlygash was talking about, which I do discuss in my book, the Binge Cure, is that we need to look. We need to… Oh, wait new caller. I’m going to get you that ladder of life later. Hi, caller. You’re on with Dr. Nina. Hello?

Jenny:
Hi. Dr. Nina. Hello. Can you hear me?

Dr. Nina:
I hear you, Jenny.

Jenny:
How are you?

Dr. Nina:
I’m fine, Jenny. How are you?

Jenny:
I’m good. I’m good. I was very happy. I got through. A lot of people were calling today, so that’s great. I was very interesting to listen to the last caller. I forget her name, Kristina.

Dr. Nina:
Kristina. Yes.

Jenny:
Kristina. Because her last statement about alcohol was very interesting because I’ve been trying not to drink alcohol because it exacerbates my panic and my anxiety. So I’m trying to only drink it when I’m like with friends and not just at home because I’m bored. Instead of reaching for like a cookie, I reached for like the bottle of wine.

Dr. Nina:
But it’s the same concept, right? It’s the same idea. It’s why… It’s not, “Oh, I should not eat.” It should not be, “Oh, I shouldn’t drink that wine.” It should be, “What’s making me want to drink that wine?” Just like what’s making me want to eat that cookie. And-

Jenny:
Sure.

Dr. Nina:
So one solution is to not drink and that worked for Kristina. But I would say that to go deeper and to say, “Well, alcohol maybe lowered her inhibitions.” But then don’t just disguise that by not drinking alcohol, what are the inhibitions? What are the prohibitions? What’s going on? So for you it’s, “Well, what is it that you’re trying to get away from when you’re drinking wine?”

Jenny:
Well, I mean… And correct me if I’m, not if I’m wrong. But if I’m explaining this in the wrong way. But I feel like it’s a comfort to me because I live alone. Well, I live with my dogs but I basically live alone. And my whole family is far away and we’re still in the middle of this pandemic. And so I’m spending a lot alone time. I’m not going out very often, only for like necessary things. And I’m still taking, the self, the isolation seriously. So not to… Because, we’re in an upset here in Los Angeles. And so, when I feel alone, I feel like… I sit down and watch to watch TV or read. And I feel like that bottle of rosé is staring at me, it’s like a friend.

Dr. Nina:
Okay.

Jenny:
Because I see that glass sitting there next to me is very… I don’t know. It makes me feel comforted.

Okay. So you’re telling us that you’re lonely, you live alone except for your dog. And that glass of rosé is like a friend. So you could see why the rosé is serving the purpose psychologically of keeping you company and being comforting. So the idea is not to focus on rosé, just as we don’t want to focus on cookies. It’s to be able to say, “Well, how else can I deal with my loneliness?” What else do I need in terms of connecting with other people? How can I be there and comfort myself if it’s a time when you can’t reach out to anyone or there’s no one there or whatever. Right?

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
It’s hard to give up rosé when it does something for you. Just like, it’s hard to give up cookies if they provide that purpose.

Jenny:
But then strangely enough, as I’m drinking my glass of wine, I’m getting anxiety toward the end thinking, “Oh God, I hope this doesn’t create panic inside of me.” Because normally when I have a panic attack, it’s after I’ve also been drinking. I get nervous.

Dr. Nina:
Yeah. You might’ve tied those things together. And then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So if you’re afraid to drink… If you’re afraid that drinking is going to cause a panic attack and then every time you have a panic attack, you say, see drinking causes it. They seem to be linked but it might be the panic over having a panic attack, the cost of the panic attack. Does that make sense?

Jenny:
Yeah. That makes sense. That makes more sense. And that’s very true. I do. I do look… When you have such severe… Like I don’t have very often panic attacks but they’re so severe when they happen that I become a scientist and I go back… Or detective even, I go back in time and I think what have I do that those moments before the panic attack happened? So I never repeat that again. And so I’ve actually strangely enough, my last panic attack, I was eating pretzels and drinking a glass of wine and eating crystals and watching Netflix. And I haven’t been able to touch pretzels since then either.

Dr. Nina:
You made the connection. But the pretzels didn’t cause the panic attack any more than the rosé did your mind is just seizing upon that.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
Panic attacks are often just out of the blue. But then people have anxiety about having panic attacks, which lead to anxiety attacks. But panic attacks are weird and that they are… You often cannot connect them to anything. Whereas, anxiety attacks can be a little bit different and those are tied to situations or things that are happening. But pretzels and rosé is not causing your panic attack.

Jenny:
Is it normal to… Do people do that? Like do people… Is it normal to tie these things together?

Dr. Nina:
Yes. It is normal to tie those things together. We look for patterns because back in the day we needed to see patterns, Oh, those big pop prints in the ground, those belong to a big animal who will want to kill us and eat us. Let’s avoid the pop prints. So we are wired to see patterns. The problem is, whereas it used to help us with survival, it now doesn’t help us with survival and it just creates these ideas. And these narratives that then we unbeknownst to ourselves, we often just take the narrative as truth and we filter information to fit the narrative. Oh, I was drinking wine and I had a panic attack, wine causes panic attacks.

Dr. Nina:
Then every time it happens, you’ll say, “See.” But then if you have a panic attack, when you weren’t drinking wine, that will become the anomaly. See what I mean? So we both look for evidence to fit our narrative and when something doesn’t fit the narrative, we explain it away.

Jenny:
Got you. I mean, interesting. Yeah. Very interesting. Yeah. So, one day I should be able to eat pretzels again. Right?

Dr. Nina:
You she’d be able to eat pretzels and drink wine. But what you’re talking about with wine, being a friend and comforting that it’s very analogous to food or anything else, what you need is comfort. What you need is a friend.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
And that’s the true need and that’s the… Maybe the difficult longing or yearning or emptiness or hole in your life, that’s hard to be with.

Jenny:
Sure. Yeah. And it’s been a running kind of like… I’ve never not had a job for this long or ever not have job actually. And I’ve never spent this much time at home with the stay at home order and such. So it’s been very interesting and it’s not that I don’t, I actually was starting to kind of enjoy alone time. But at the same time when I do have those feelings of loneliness and it’s interesting. I look and it’s not all liquor. I don’t run toward the vodka. I just see that pink bottle of rosé and it’s so pretty.

Dr. Nina:
It so pretty.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
All right. It’s like girl wine.

Jenny:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
And what are your associations with rosé?

Jenny:
Like being with my girlfriends in the summer-

Dr. Nina:
There you go. Being with your girlfriends.

Jenny:
I know.

Dr. Nina:
So it’s those associations that make you feel that rosé is like a friend because it’s associated with being with your friends. So I would say working on comforting yourself and that… which could also help with these anxiety slash panic attacks and really being able to be there for yourself and be kind and encouraging and calming to yourself, will help a lot.

Jenny:
I will try. I’m trying to start a meditation practice and really be diligent about doing it every day. So, that has been helpful. But-

Dr. Nina:
Yeah. [Modern World Zen 00:47:38] just wrote on Instagram. We need to learn to love ourselves better. And that’s true. That’s absolutely what I’m talking about. Yes. The key to changing anything you want to change in your life, whether it’s drinking wine or eating cookies or pretzels or whatever, binging, emotional eating, whatever. The key is to be kind to ourselves, which is very much easier said than done. But I’m glad that you’re using meditation as a way… I’m fine… People often think I’m against meditation. I’m not against meditation. I’m against meditation for some people at first. But if meditation works for you, then good for you, do it.

Jenny:
Yeah. Well like breathing for my anxiety, just sitting down, taking deep breaths is shockingly calming, because I’m used to breathing so fast and short being that I’m an anxious person, which is such a strange feeling to actually take deep breaths like you did when you were a baby.

Dr. Nina:
Well, keep taking those deep breaths.

Jenny:
I will try. Thank you Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. Really fast, because we’re out of time almost. But I want to finish this ladder of life. So if you’re always looking up and you’re never where you want to go and then you feel bad and you feel like a failure and you feel… Well, you just feel terrible. And then when you feel terrible, well, you’re more liable to or more likely to use food or rosé to make yourself feel better.

Dr. Nina:
So the key is, think about this metaphorical ladder, look down and see where you started. Say, “Huh, remember when I was way down there and things were at a certain place in my life. And I had a certain lack of understanding of myself and look at how far I’ve come. I’ve climbed all this way. And look how far that is. Look at what I’ve done. Look at what I’ve achieved. I am really proud of myself. Look at how I’ve changed. Look at what I’ve done. Look at how I’ve evolved.”

Dr. Nina:
That’s a good feeling. So you’ve got to look at the past from the past to the present and say, “I’m proud of myself.” And be also on the rung of the ladder that we are. And [Modern World Zen]is saying, we also need a purpose. Yes we do. But purpose… And purpose can sometimes be confused with ambition. We do need to find purpose but purpose can be many things to many people. I believe we need to have a purposeful, meaningful lives with purpose and meaning. And that’s part of your growth. And then be where you are and say, “Hey right here, right now in the present. I feel good about my life overall. Yes, there are things I want to change. I want to keep climbing. I want to get up there but I am going to balance where I want to go with where I’ve been with, where I am.”

And that gives you perspective. And you’re going to feel a lot better than if you’re always looking up going, “Why am I not up there?” So, that’s the ladder of life. And that is our show for today. Thank you so much for joining me here on the Dr. Nina Show on LA Talk Radio. You can listen live every Wednesday at 10:00 AM, Pacific. You can listen later at Apple Podcasts or anywhere where you get your podcasts. Again, I am so glad to spend this time with you. Take good care, stay safe, stay healthy. Please wear a mask and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

 

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