Sabotage, Anxiety & Lizzo

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Transcript

Dr. Nina:
Hey there, welcome to the Dr. Nina show here on LA Talk Radio, and now on Instagram Live. I’m your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin, and I am here to help you solve your calories, macros, anything, so you can easily get to a healthy weight and get on with your life. Hi Karly, she’s saying good morning on Instagram. And hi [Calabria 00:00:59] from Australia, well hello from Los Angeles. If you would like to call in and talk with me today, the number is 323-203-0815, that’s 323-203-0815 or if you are on Instagram, you can post a question. I would really like to hear what is on your mind, what is weighing on you, because the real problem with binge eating, stress eating and any kind of emotional eating, the real problem is not food, the real problem is what is eating at you.

Hi Kaylene. Josh is saying he eats because he is, I have to, very depleted and empty. Oh, looks like we have a caller. Good morning.

Karlygash:
Good morning, Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina:
Good morning, Karlygash. How are you doing today?

Karlygash:
I’m doing okay, because I’m not doing anything. I’m just laying in my bed, so I’m very happy. It’s my favorite thing to do in the world, doing nothing.

Dr. Nina:
Well, I’m glad you’re calling the show. What can I help you with today?

Karlygash:
Dr. Nina, I wanted to ask you again, and deep in this site of liberating myself from eating disorder using your tool, psychoanalysis and your books. So I want to talk about sabotaging. We’ve talked about it several times, and you helped me to figure out that I sabotage my progress, so I don’t become successful. This way I keep attachment to my family, who is basically not successful.

Dr. Nina:
Yeah, let me just-

Karlygash:
For so long-

Dr. Nina:
Yeah, let me just reiterate that for people who haven’t been listening to the show regularly. We figured out that Karlygash often sabotages her success in, I like to say liberating yourself from binge eating, stress eating, emotional eating, I don’t like recovery. I think you recover from a bad break-up, you liberate yourself from eating issues. You free yourself for good, that is the point. But Karlygash was realizing that she would get to a point and she would sabotage herself. And one thing that we talked about, and we’ve talked about on the show, is how she unconsciously, because we’re so often motivated by what is hidden from us, unconsciously felt like she had to be struggling just like her family. The family way was we struggle, we don’t have enough, we’re upset and angry, and failures. So she would keep herself, unbeknownst to herself, kind of keep herself in that mode. Does that about do it? And one way to always do that, is to never feel good enough about your weight, or to feel like a failure when it comes to dealing with food weight, body image, all of that stuff. Does that about sum it up Karlygash?

Karlygash:
Yes, thank you so much, you said it beautifully. I am sabotaging, I’m currently at the stage where I only sabotage, sabotage non-stop. I lose one, two pounds, I needed to binge. Or I just binged on stuff. And then yesterday I was thinking about it, and I’m like keeping this attachment. Callers know that I’ve been going through mother, father separation recently, and I was thinking, “Oh gosh, I won’t be able to do this.” But no, it sinked in, I grieved it, it was painful, but right now I feel pretty liberated. I don’t feel I have to be attached to my parents, they never wanted me. I don’t have to keep this attachment, since it’s not working, and hurting me. So it’s possible.

But now I’m sabotaging. And I was thinking about this, keeping belonging to my family by sabotaging myself and underplaying, under-achieving. The good thing, that recently I stopped thinking that, “Oh my God, I’m an immigrant in America, I will never make it because I wasn’t born here, and blah, blah, blah, and I don’t know many things.” I started thinking about I’ve been pulling it out when I was eight, I’ve been working. I will make it here too. It was just me being myself and turning on those entrepreneurial mode. You know, me, turning on me.

Dr. Nina:
I just want to interject and acknowledge that, because when you change your mindset, everything changes. When you tell yourself, “Well I can never succeed,” then of course you’re never going to succeed, because you’ve got that mindset and you’ll either sabotage yourself, or you’ll carry that-

Karlygash:
I set up on myself for failure in the beginning, it’s not even started.

Dr. Nina:
… Or you, and I don’t mean necessarily only you Karlygash, people will carry that sort of defeated air with them, or they won’t try, or they’ll try but they don’t think that they can succeed, so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So I’m glad that you are bringing up the idea that when you change the way you think, you really change your reality. It’s like The Little Engine That Could, I don’t know if you ever read that in Kazakhstan, but here it’s-

Karlygash:
I read it here.

Dr. Nina:
… Yeah. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Karlygash:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Nina:
When you think you can, you can do amazing things. When you think you can’t, you can’t. Who is it who said, “Whether you think you can or you think you’re can’t, you’re right.”

Karlygash:
You’re right.

Dr. Nina:
Henry Ford, I believe. A total racist, but that was a great quote.

Karlygash:
Yeah, I personally use great quotes and successes of people, disregarding if they’re racist or not. I believe that every person is good at something, and I can always learn, even from people who maybe I don’t share values with. But we can always learn from each other, and for better.

Dr. Nina:
So Karlygash, what is it that you’d say you’re struggling the most with today?

Karlygash:
Not today, yesterday, I just figured out that I sabotage it. But I realized it’s not only the bond with family which is keeping me. Yes, it’s like 50% of it, and it’s very strong. Yet. I’m working on that. But I noticed that how my aunts were employing me when I was a kid, because I was especially working since I was eight in the family, not business, but selling stuff on street market. So I’ve been working, and they’ve been sending me to buy goods in another city. Full of cash, it was very dangerous, I should say. The bus could flip, it was snowy mountain roads where it just could flip and we could all die, or robbed, or I don’t know, raped. And I’ve been doing this when I was 16, pretty young.

They never do it to their kids now though, and I noticed that I was reflecting about my life with them. They were never giving a thing about me, they just wanted me to keep functioning to the point where they can employ me. Like let’s feed her, but not nutritious food, but just enough so she could walk and talk and either work for us or take care of our kids, like a slave.

Dr. Nina:
So you felt used. You felt used, and you were put in danger. And you know what? I want to say something. When you feel as if other people do not care about your wellbeing, do not greatly care about your wellbeing, then it’s hard for you to be concerned with your own wellbeing. We end up treating ourselves the way we are treated. If we’re neglected, or abandoned, it becomes easier for us to neglect and abandon ourselves, and often we don’t realize it. We say, “I hated how they treated me,” without realizing that you may be doing the same to yourself, ignoring your needs, ignoring your wants, not taking good care of yourself, just because you were not taken good care of.

Karlygash:
Yes, and that’s what I essentially wanted to say. That I noticed that oh my God, the way I treat myself is totally the learned way they treated me. That’s it, I never gave it a thought or something, I was just my inertia, just doing whatever treatment they showed me basically, not even questioning, hey I’m not worth it, or I don’t want that. It’s just they trained me like a dog. Because I’ve been watching recently a lot of breeders about dogs, and I’m like, “Wait a second, but we are conditioned and keep conditioning ourselves the same way we train our dogs.” So I was basically trained to fill their needs, and this is how I carry myself in life. It’s hurting me, it’s painful, it’s basically endangering my life.

So once I realized it yesterday, I said, “Oh, that’s where sabotage is coming from.” I do exactly the same. I just feed myself to the point where I function, then I binge, eat sugar, which I should not in my health condition, and then I just make it so I can just walk. Okay if it hurts, okay if I have pain in my body. But can I work? Yes. Can I make some money? Yes. This kind of using and slavering-

Dr. Nina:
So Karlygash-

Karlygash:
… and using approach.

Dr. Nina:
… now that you have realized this, what are you willing to do differently?

Karlygash:
Now I’m scared. I’m like man, it’s a good thing I realized this. First of all it’s very sad, I feel very sad. It’s painful. I cannot stand the fact that I’ve been doing it myself to myself without knowing it, I feel guilty. But the good thing that I realized, and now I am scared, will I be able to take care of myself the way I want to, or do I have that capacity. Will I be able to-

Dr. Nina:
Okay, so-

Karlygash:
… handle it.

Dr. Nina:
… you’re not saying, “What if I can’t?” But it’s implied. So will I be able to take care of myself is fear, it’s basically a what if I can’t take care of myself. What if I can’t do this. What if, what if? And what is the antidote to what if, which is fear about the future?

Karlygash:
What is.

Dr. Nina:
What is. So you’ve got to take it to, instead of what if I can’t do this, you have to look at it like what can I do today to do something different? How can I today, in this moment, in the next five minutes, and break down today into minute by minute, what can I do right now to be good to myself. What choice can I make today, what choice can I make right now to take care of myself? Oh, I’ve made the choice to call Dr. Nina, that’s a good choice. What can I do when I hang up the phone, what can I do for myself? So instead of being in a place of wondering, you’re in a place of action. And not-

Karlygash:
Okay. So it’s like establishing a new company, I basically will build old processes again from the very beginning. If my company was not built correctly in the very beginning, then I just have to rebuild it I guess. I guess if that’s the process, re-training, rebuilding, finding. Ah, gosh. It’s going to be so long and laborious, but I don’t have a choice so I’ll just go and do it little bit little.

Dr. Nina:
Well-

Karlygash:
In fact, Dr. Nina, I just want to say that this thing that I could say goodbye to my mother in my head, not completely yet of course, but at least realizing that oh my God, this is so liberating. I want to encourage all people out there, if you guys are struggling and you think that, “Oh, I will somehow go with my life not dealing with parent’s separation because it’s scary and blah, blah, blah,” please do it. It’s just so amazing, feels so good.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you Karlygash, and I’m as always happy to hear of your insights and your progress. And just today, and every day, don’t think what if I can’t do it, or what if I can’t. Just think what can I do for myself? How can I treat myself differently right now? And I know you can do it. When you think you can, you do it. I think I can, I think I can.

Karlygash:
It doesn’t have to be big, I can start small, right? Because I feel like big might be overwhelming maybe. Little by little maybe.

Dr. Nina:
Nobody sets out to run a marathon by running a marathon.

Karlygash:
Me.

Dr. Nina:
Well, you say I’m going to run half a mile. And then mile, and then a mile and a half, and then two miles. And you keep going, and eventually you run the marathon. But nobody has ever decided to run a marathon and boom, they go out and they run 26 miles. So let yourself have that first step.

And by the way when kids learn to walk, they go from crawling, to taking a couple of steps to falling. Nobody ever says to their kid, at least I hope they don’t, “Oh my God, baby you fell, you’re never going to walk again. You tried to walk, you went a couple steps, you fell down, that’s it. It’s over, you’re never walking again.” That’s what we tell ourselves. We try, we fail, and then we say, “Ah, well clearly I can’t do that.” No, we’ve got to do what we say to babies. Get up, keep doing it, you got this. Keep doing it.

Karlygash:
I like it, I like it.

Dr. Nina:
So baby yourself Karlygash. And-

Karlygash:
Okay.

Dr. Nina:
… you got this. You can do this.

Karlygash:
Yeah, no I’m very grateful, honestly, for being in this situation and left alone. Because I probably mentioned if I was surrounded by this dysfunctional family but which was half functional, I think that’s the worst thing there. If I’m left by myself, there was only one way, work on myself, that’s it. I don’t have option. But I think about people who are half functioning there, and they never even question if everything is all right.

Dr. Nina:
But you-

Karlygash:
And I’ve seen people like that, they [crosstalk 00:17:11]-

Dr. Nina:
… are questioning it, you are questioning it, and that’s what matters. Stay with you.

Karlygash:
Thank you.

Dr. Nina:
Based on what you can do, and call me next week, let me know how you’re doing.

Karlygash:
I will, definitely. Thank you so much.

Dr. Nina:
You’re welcome.

Karlygash:
Have a wonderful day.

Dr. Nina:
You too Karlygash, happy Thanksgiving. Since you’re in America now.

Karlygash:
We need to have the Thanksgiving.

Dr. Nina:
Happy Thanksgiving.

Karlygash:
Yes, I forgot about it. Happy Thanksgiving.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. Bye for now.

Karlygash:
Bye.

Dr. Nina:
Josh is saying that he eats because he feels, oh another caller.

Kristina:
Hello?

Dr. Nina:
Hello.

Kristina:
Hi, this is Kristina. Can you hear me okay?

Dr. Nina:
I can hear you, but I can kind of hear myself in the background. Was the show on?

Kristina:
Yes it was, hopefully I sound better now, I stopped it. Is that any better?

Dr. Nina:
I no longer hear myself, which is a good thing. But I hear you, which is a very good thing. Welcome back.

Kristina:
Thank you. And I enjoyed listening to Karlygash, I’m so happy she calls in every week, because I have some similarities with family situations. But I actually am calling about a new situation that’s popped up in my life, and I wanted to sort of… It’s two-fold. I’m very proud of myself for not turning to food over this situation, through a multitude of things that I tried that you suggest in your books, including positive self talk and to eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m full, and not to go to foods that I seemingly place bans or restrictions or rules on. It really fricking works.

But I’m now left with this, and I wrote it down so that I can explain the situation. I hopefully won’t take up too much time explaining it. I want to know how to deal with debilitating anxiety, fear and depression regarding my husband going to visit his dying parents via the plane, cross country for Christmas. We know we have COVID. His family supports it, his sister, my sister-in-law is a PhD organic chemist, and she’s a Lieutenant Commander with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and says he should be fine if he takes precautions. It’s hard for me to argue with her, because of her background. She says two weeks of quarantine when he gets back is excessive, even though we’ve read otherwise and heard otherwise, and he’s also not quarantining, his parents don’t seem to care that he’s not going to quarantine once he gets there.

The family is disappointed I’m not going. I’m fearful of him and me dying, or if he gets COVID, or having lingering health issue if we do survive it. And I don’t want him to resent me if I put my foot down and he can’t see his dying parents. And I don’t want to resent him if we suffer some bad problems, or get COVID. We’ve talked thoroughly through this, and I’ve not gone to food, I mentioned that I’m very happy. Even though, despite I told you in other calls I’ve suffered debilitating neurological and muscular effects after a bad accident, and that’s actually going very well right now, I’m doing much better. But it’s been a long road. I’m considering seeing a psychiatrist, because the anxiety is so crippling.

Husband and I, we’ve had long talks regarding his and my feelings on this. We’ve been married happily through a lot of it, for over 20 years. So that is where I’m at, what the heck do I do?

Dr. Nina:
Kristina, first of all, I really feel for you.

Kristina:
Thank you.

Dr. Nina:
And I think that it’s just a really difficult situation that you’re in. I want to say that the, what did you say she was, an organic chemist?

Kristina:
PhD, organic chemist.

Dr. Nina:
Well, unless she works for the CDC, she is not the expert. The CDC has been very clear. Or forget the CDC. If you don’t trust the CDC because of Trump and all of that, look at the World Health Organization. Look at what the people in Europe are being told. Look at what’s going on. I just heard from someone I know in China, and that person said life is back to normal. And that’s because people did the things that we don’t see to want to do.

Kristina:
Right.

Dr. Nina:
So I want to just normalize your anxiety, because of course you feel this way, and it’s a very difficult situation. I think that having tests, can he get a rapid test?

Kristina:
Yes. He will be coming back yes.

Dr. Nina:
Can they get a rapid test?

Kristina:
They have cancer, the two of them, at different stages, and now it’s really bad. Yes, they’re constantly being tested, the two of them.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. All right.

Kristina:
But it’s the airports-

Dr. Nina:
The airport.

Kristina:
… and the plane, and all that fun stuff, which I’m like, “I’m not going, I don’t care what you think.”

Dr. Nina:
Yes. It is a risk, it is a risk. It just is, it is a risk. So you have underlying health conditions that you’ve shared on this show, you cannot take that risk. If he takes that risk, he needs to quarantine and, organic chemist aside, two weeks is what they’re saying, two weeks.

Kristina:
Yah.

Dr. Nina:
If that’s what he wants to do, then there’s action, consequence. Instead of thinking right or wrong, action, consequence. If you go on a plane to visit your parents and you come back on a plane to see your wife, who’s got an underlying autoimmune issue, as well as other issues, then the action is followed by the consequence, which is you’ve got to go somewhere for two weeks and not be around your wife.

Kristina:
Yeah.

Dr. Nina:
It’s just that simple.

Kristina:
Yes.

Dr. Nina:
And that will alleviate your anxiety, right?

Kristina:
Well-

Dr. Nina:
Minimize it.

Kristina:
… I shouldn’t be laughing, that is such a good. That was such a good example of a totally inappropriate laugh. This is not fucking funny, sorry. This is not funny. It’s very stressful, and it’s very scary, and I’m insisting he does the two weeks. I said, “You’re staying at the Extended Stay America by LAX. And he’s actually supportive of that, but it’s sad because I’m the one that’s saying you have to do this, that and the other, and it’s like the rest of the family is just, it’s like out the window. It’s so bizarre and messed up to me, and it’s sort of heart-breaking, and it’s very sad. I feel more sadness than anger, which the anger is there too.

I appreciate all of your work, because I would have not even allowed myself to feel these feelings or to feel as if I have any say in this, because like Karlygash I can self-sabotage, I can suppress what I truly feel. And I will just say, oh my gosh it is super painful. I think anxiety is maybe it’s more the feelings. I use anxiety as like this general term, but it’s absolutely scared, sadness, fear. And I’m assuming that’s the right track of how I’m thinking.

Dr. Nina:
Okay, so then you’ve got to again stay with what reality is. Reality is that you will be safe if he gets off a plane, quarantines for two weeks at Extended Stay America, takes precautions, and takes a test or two before he comes home. You will be safe. Now maybe you have some thoughts and feelings about the fact that he’s going, even though he’s in this impossible situation. Maybe you have some thoughts and feelings about that that are getting detoured or displaced into anxiety. Maybe you have other reactions about this other than anxiety.

Kristina:
Right. And I appreciate the, no one had told me oh, if he takes this, that and the other, he will be safe. Because again, his sister when she says, “Oh he’ll be safe,” and then she’s not following these protocols. But that is very helpful, yes. We’ll have done everything that we can do, and I agree it should be quite safe. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to turn into three weeks without him. I don’t think I’ve been separated that long from him in 20 years, so I’m trying to look at it. And again, I know I want to feel my sadness, but I’m also thinking I’m strong and independent and just fine, thank goodness, per my healing with the neurological issues. Thank goodness, that’s awesome. And by the way that is liberating and very wonderful, just feeling so much better physically, and being better physically.

Yes, your words of wisdom were very, very helpful. And I’m just continuing. If I continue to feel sad, or anxious, or upset, right it’s a lingering situation of feeling maybe I feel ignored or not taken care of, because of the other, surrounding issues. I guess I’m rambling, but I think you answered everything that I had.

Dr. Nina:
Oh no, you’re not rambling, and I think the moment that you accused yourself of rambling is the moment you got in touch with what you don’t want to get in touch with. And just one clarification, what I said was you will be safe. You will be safe.

Kristina:
Ah, okay. Then yes. So that’s the other thing, I’m freaked out over him as well. You see what I’m saying? That’s just, does the wife put the foot down, I don’t know. I don’t know.

Dr. Nina:
And ultimately, even if you put your foot down, you might have feelings about that too.

Kristina:
Right.

Dr. Nina:
Because you don’t want to do that, and you want him to want to, maybe you want him to make a different choice.

Kristina:
If I were in his shoes, I might want to make the right choice, his choice. You see what I’m saying? Like you said, it’s just a terrible situation, period.

Dr. Nina:
It’s a choice between, in the Odyssey, Odysseus goes down the river and he goes on one side of the river is Charybdis, which is a whirlpool, and on the other side is-

Kristina:
Scylla, I remember that story.

Dr. Nina:
Scylla, which is a five-headed, yes. The five-headed beast, each of the five heads can come and bite someone’s head off literally. So it’s like do you go to the whirlpool, where you could be pulled down to the bottom of the ocean, or do you risk having your head bitten off, literally. It’s a choice between two terrible things.

Kristina:
Right.

Dr. Nina:
Now, he does in fact survive the journey, so you will be safe. He has to make a terrible choice. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and people think they know, and they’re saying, “Oh, it’s okay, you don’t have to quarantine for that long.” Yes you do. So recognizing what would feel right for you, and then you accuse yourself of rambling, right when you were getting to, do you remember what you were saying right before you accused yourself of rambling?

Kristina:
I believe I was trying to acknowledge and honor my feelings, and not labeling anger and fear as bad.

Dr. Nina:
And you were talking about feeling neglected, feeling…

Kristina:
Not safe, not taken care of.

Dr. Nina:
Not taken care of, yeah.

Kristina:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, his sister works for the Department of Health and CDC, I grew up in Atlanta, I’m so familiar with CDC. But because of that, and then her unit actually has been deployed multiple times over the US to help COVID situation. Of course she’s come back, and been fine, so I think there’s some cognitive dissonance going up in there, but we all have it no matter how intelligent one is, correct?

Dr. Nina:
Yes.

Kristina:
And she’s a big family person, where it’s always about always visiting sick relatives. That’s her thing, I’ve known her for over 20 years, so I actually understand where she’s coming from. However, it’s still hurtful to be ignored, when I have a science degree myself, for goodness sakes. I understand a lot of these white papers, and the numbers and things of that nature. So yeah, it’s a touch situation, but wow, feeling feelings, it’s a challenge. Even no matter how much practice one has, it’s life. Thank you so much, you’ve absolutely made me feel better.

Dr. Nina:
Yes, I’m glad I have. Kristina, when you feel this debilitating anxiety, ask yourself, if it was not just anxiety, what else might you be feeling. Because the idea of feeling not taken care of, the idea of not being with your husband for three weeks, that’s going to bring up thoughts and feelings. And there’s not necessarily a right and a wrong here, although I think that we’re being fairly clearly told it is wrong to get on a plane.

Kristina:
Yes.

Dr. Nina:
And yes, a lot-

Kristina:
Agreed. You and I are the same on our thoughts about COVID.

Dr. Nina:
… Yes. And as you know, I lots someone very close to me in April, someone I cared about very much in April, of COVID-

Kristina:
So sorry.

Dr. Nina:
… and I know this person as super careful, by the way. Very careful.

Kristina:
I didn’t know that part.

Dr. Nina:
Very careful. And I believe it’s someone that she knew that wasn’t as careful that might have given it to her. But we don’t know, we’ll never know. But the point is that this is something you’ve got to take very, very seriously. And you’ll have the courage of your convictions, and even if he makes the choice to go, which is such a terrible for him, Scilla and Charybdis, it still affects you, and you get to be affected by his choice and not just be understanding.

Dr. Nina:
Just one more thing about the, “Well so and so flew, and they didn’t get COVID,” or-

Kristina:
Oh, I know.

Dr. Nina:
“I went to a party and no one got COVID, so it’s okay.” The analogy I like to make is someone who goes and drinks a lot at a restaurant, an outdoor restaurant, and drinks a lot, and drives home drunk, and nothing happens. They don’t get the car accident, they don’t hurt themselves or anybody else, everything is okay. And then they say, “Oh see, it’s okay to drive drunk.” No. Yeah, you drove drunk and you got lucky. But you might not get lucky the next time. Do you want to take that risk? That is why we actually have laws in this country that say you can’t drink and drive. It’s not about freedom, it’s about what’s right.

Kristina:
Right, right. And safe for yourself and others.

Dr. Nina:
Others.

Kristina:
That’s really important. And we’ve worked so hard, like his company has him working at home, this whole time, probably into next year, so it’s painful just to, we’ve worked so hard and been so consistent. I think even you would be like, “Wow, you guys have done a really good job isolating and doing what you need to do.” However, it’s the parental in-law situation, one of them is Stage Four colo-rectal cancer, I can just leave it at that. It’s not good. So I appreciate everything, and I do want to just reiterate again, thank you for all of your teachings. Because while I had the two years of recovery from injury, neurological and musculo-skeletal, wow I really got to focus more on recovering an injury than on food. And I will say, sometimes when you have something that’s serious, it was sort of easier than I thought to push the food aside and be like, “I’ve got to focus on this.” I know that’s not solving anything, but it was good to at least have some tools to be able to do that. So thank you so much.

Dr. Nina:
You are very welcome Kristina, and I just want to say I sympathize with your situation. Just take your own side, allow yourself to have the thoughts and feelings that you have, and then find a way to bridge the difference. If you’re away for three weeks you may not be able to see him, but your safety is everything, so you’re just going to have to do a lot of FaceTime and Zoom. But know that it will be over, it has an end point.

Kristina:
Absolutely.

Dr. Nina:
That might help.

Kristina:
It helps tremendously as always, Dr. Nina. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, thank you so much.

Dr. Nina:
Thank you. Bye for now.

Ah, such a difficult situation. I really feel for her, and everyone in that positions. Josh is saying that he eats because he feels depleted and empty. And of course when you feel depleted and empty, when you had… Oh, hi Mary from Australia. He says it’s not the same as normal hunger. No, it is not the same as normal hunger. It’s symbolic. When we feel an emptiness within, when we feel something missing, when we feel a void in ourselves, in our souls really, food can symbolically fill the void. We can’t fill up on what we really need. Maybe that is connection, love, whatever it is, a sense of achievement, or whatever it is that people are hungry for. If you can’t get that, you can symbolically bring in food. So Josh, think about what are you hungry for? What is it that is missing in your life? What is the empty space within?

Dr. Nina:
These are hard questions to think about. It is much easier to think about what you’re eating than what is eating at you. It is hard to think about the emptiness within, it’s hard. But it is necessary, because if you just go on diet after diet after diet, or focus on this eating plan or that eating plan or whatever, you’re focusing on the wrong thing. You’re focusing on what you’re eating instead of why. But when you get to the underlying why, and you change the way that you relate to yourself, everything with food changes too. If you are symbolically fulfilled, you don’t need food for that purpose.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. To that end, I’m going to bring up a question that Toni asked. Toni is a member of my Dr. Nina’s Food For Thought community on Facebook. If you are not a member, please join. By the way, hi Jenny on Instagram. Toni asks, “Besides Over-eaters Anonymous, what are the best ways to overcome compulsive over-eating?” Okay, here’s the thing. I think OA is the worst way to overcome compulsive over-eating, the absolute worst. It does not help. It does not help. It puts the focus on what you are eating, and not why. It creates shame. How shameful it is to go in and say, “My name is Nina, and I am a compulsive over-eater.” Ew, ew, ew. If I were in the studio, I would have my large buzzer sound right now. Neerp!. No, no, no. That doesn’t help. That’s shaming, that makes you feel bad about yourself.

What really helps is not to focus on what you are eating. What helps is to focus on why you are eating. Otherwise, it is just plucking weeds and hoping that they don’t grow back. You’ve got to get to the root of those weeds in order to be free forever. Because I just don’t want, it’s not about weight loss, people don’t, so yeah, because weight loss is often an outcome of liberating yourself from binge eating, but now always. Not everybody who binge eats is overweight, and not everybody who’s overweight is a binge eater, by the way. It’s about really liberating yourself from the thinking about it all the time, the feeling bad about it all the time, the waking up and going, “Okay, I’m going to be good, I’m not going to eat this and I am going to eat that.”

And then invariably you eat something that you think you shouldn’t and then you feel bad about yourself. Or, “Oh, I’m going to see people,” in a world in the future when we can actually see each other and not be afraid, or, “I’m going to see people on Zoom and they’re going to see that I gained weight.” People tell me this all the time, “I don’t want anyone to see me.” I want to free you from all of that. I don’t want you to wake up and think about any of that again, I want you to wake up and think about your day, not your diet. It is too hard to every day wake up and go, “Okay, I’m going to be good,” and tell yourself what you’re going to eat, and think about what people are thinking about you and your body, and try to dodge criticism while you’re criticizing yourself.

I want you to be able to wake up and think about, “What am I going to do today? What do I have that’s fun to look forward to? What do I have to do today?” I want you to go into your closet and say, “What do I want to wear today?” Not, “What do I wear to make myself less fat?” Or, “What’s going to fit today?” No. Go and feel good. OA does not help you with that. OA makes you feel bad about yourself. And I know, I’m going to get a lot of people from OA who are going to say, “Oh, how can you disparage OA, it’s helped me so much.” Okay, maybe so. That’s good. Not everybody has the same experience, there’s more than one way to the mountain top. But in my experience of nearly 20 years of treating binge eating disorder, stress eating, any kind of emotional eating, most people do not benefit from OA. Most people actually end up feeling worse about themselves.

So those are my true thoughts, I don’t hold back. The best way to overcome compulsive eating is to stop dieting, identify why you are eating, and find new ways to respond to yourself, and address those hidden reasons that you sabotage, which Karlygash and I discussed a couple of them earlier. People are also, there are many reasons for sabotage. Fear of success, some people think if they’re going to be successful it’s going to be taken away from them. Some people are afraid of failure, so that if you succeed, if you lose weight you’re just going to gain it back again, feel like a failure. Some people don’t feel like they deserve success, somehow that they’re not really worth it so they can’t let themselves be successful. Some people are afraid of objectification, turning into a thing and being related to as a body, not a person. Other people are afraid of expectations. “Oh, now I’ve gotten to this weight, or when I get to this weight I’m going to have to do all these things,” because they’ve been waiting for so long. They’ve put their lives on hold until they reached a number on the scale, and now there’s all this pressure. Those are all reasons for sabotage.

Where are we on time? Okay. All right, so guys, I want to talk about, let’s see how far I get, about 10 ways to feel better about your body, even if you’re not at your ideal weight. You all know Lizzo, right? You know Lizzo? Amazing, amazing singer, musician, and let us say she is a person of size. And I’ve got to tell you, I just watched Lizzo on David Letterman’s show, and it was a great interview, and I realized Lizzo and I have a lot in common. You might be thinking, “What are you talking about? What can you possibly have in common with Lizzo?” And by the way, anyone who’s ever heard me sing, including my kids, will tell you I, on the surface, have nothing in common with Lizzo. But here’s the thing about Lizzo. As I said, she is a woman of size, and she wears leotards, and she owns the stage like nobody else. And when people talk negatively about her body, here’s what she says. She calls herself a “Bad B.” Bad Bitch, that’s what she says. She says, “I’m a bad B.”

I don’t know how many women of size out there are running around, in leotards, in front of thousands of people, and calling themselves Bad Bs. But Lizzo sure is. She has all the confidence in the world. And not only is she confident in her own skin, she talks about wanting to improve herself, wanting to be the best version of herself she can be. That doesn’t necessarily, by the way, mean weight loss, but it can. Basically she is bold and she is confident and she is amazing. So, how does this relate to me, how am I like Lizzo? How does this relate to you? I’ve got to tell you, people are constantly trying to put me in a box too. They say I would look more professional if I wore conservative suits, cut my hair, looked a little less glam. They’ve got a problem with my lashes. Here’s what I say, “You know what? I can be smart, professional, confident and stylish. Yes I can. These things are not mutually exclusive.”

So Lizzo is what a rock star looks like, and this is what a psychoanalyst looks like, thank you very much. So I’m going to get start on my 10 inspirational tips that will make you just as confident as me and Lizzo. I am not going to get very far, because we only have a few minutes, but I’m going to finish them up next week.

Okay, so here’s my first tip. Loving your body only when it’s in perfect shape is like loving your kids only when they behave perfectly. What? Love is unconditional, and that includes your love, appreciation and care for you. Also, your dress size is no more important than your show size. Believe it or not, there was a time in China when foot binding was a status symbol. When little girls were I don’t know, like two or three, or maybe from birth, just some… no it can’t be from birth. But when they were very little, their feet would be bound so that they would not grow. So that the smaller the foot, the greater the beauty. That’s what people in China considered at the time. Hopefully, in the future, people will look back and think that our desperate drive to be thin is just as crazy as foot binding.

Tip number three, babies and toddlers have zero judgment on their bodies. When’s the last time you heard a toddler make fun of their body? In the history of all time, no baby has ever been like, “Oh, I feel fat.” And either should you. Or, “I look fat,” and either should you. Babies just enjoy their bodies. Toddlers, little kids, they enjoy their bodies. They run around they feel good, they’re not thinking about their bodies, they’re thinking about what they’re doing, and how they’re doing. Here’s the good news. What you learned can be un-learned. You learn this way of relating to yourself, you learn this way of relating to food, you learn this way of relating to your body. You can un-learn it. So try focusing on what you like about yourself, instead of what you don’t like.

Dr. Nina:
More tips will come for you next week. Have a happy Thanksgiving if you’re listening in the States. If you’re not, if you’re listening elsewhere, just have a happy Thursday, have a great week. Thank you so much for joining me here on the Dr. Nina show. I am here every Wednesday at 11:00 A.M. Pacific, here on LA Talk Radio. Or you can listen, oh and I’m also on Instagram @dr.nina.psychoanalyst. Join me on Instagram, join in, shoot me a comment if you’re watching the show. You can also listen later on Apple podcasts or anywhere that you listen to your podcasts.

Be kind to yourself, be good to yourself, join me Dr. Nina’s Food For Thought community if you haven’t already done so. It is a community full of people just like you who are wanting to free themselves from dieting and toxic relationship to food, and create harmony with yourself, your life and with food, so you can be liberated. Dr. Nina’s Food For Thought Community, join me there. Have a great week, I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

Speaker 2:
You’re listening to the Dr. Nina Show, with Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin, only on LA Talk Radio.

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