Sorry, Not Sorry & Sabotage

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Transcript


Dr. Nina:
Hi there. Welcome to The Dr. Nina Show, you’re on LA Talk Radio. I am your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin, and I am here to help you stop counting calories, carbs, and backgrounds so you can easily get to a healthy weight and get on with your life. That is what it’s all about. I want you to wake up and think about your day, not your diet. If you want to call and talk with me today, that number is 323-203-0815, 323-203-0815. You will get patched into my engineer, Ronan, who will ring you to me. And I would love to hear what is on your mind, what is weighing on you because the real problem with binge eating, stress eating, the problem with any emotional eating, the real problem is not food. It is what it’s eating at you.

Okay. So there’s something I want to talk about today. And that is this idea of how often we say, “I’m sorry.” Now, I have not been in my office building since March 13th. I remember being very struck and every time you go into the restroom or when someone’s coming out, what do you both say? “Oh, sorry, oh sorry.” Get into an elevator, “Oh, sorry.” What are we apologizing for? So someone in my Facebook group, Susanna posted this really wonderful bunch of quotes about replacing I’m sorry with thank you. And I want to share them with you before we get to the calls.

Instead of saying, “I’m sorry. I’m late.” Say, “Thank you for waiting for me.” Instead of, “I’m sorry I’ve been so needy lately.” “Thank you for being there for me.” Instead of, “I’m sorry to ask for another favor.” Say, “Thank you for helping me out.” Ronan, I keep hearing myself still. I don’t know if you’re hearing on this Ronan, but every time I say something, I hear myself. I’m just going to muddle through. Instead of “Oh, I’m sorry I made a mistake.” Say, “Thank you for pointing out that mistake. That really helps me.” “I’m sorry, I can’t make it tonight. I’m sorry.” Just say. “Thank you for inviting me.” Instead of, “I’m sorry for being so emotional.” Say, “Thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring about me.” Instead of, “I’m sorry for being so distant lately.” Say, “Thank you for understanding.”

And if you walk into an elevator, when the world is back to normal and we can actually walk into elevators and go back to the office and see people, don’t say I’m sorry because you’re stepping into the elevator. Don’t say I’m sorry because you’re opening a door and someone else is opening it too. Why are we apologizing? We’re not doing anything wrong. Let’s change the, “I’m sorry,” to, “Oh, hi.” And as in these, replacing, I’m sorry with thank you is much more empowering. So I just loved that. Thank you, Susanna, for sharing it with me. And I hope you liked it as much as I do. Ronan, I’m getting a message on Instagram that Karlygash is calling, but it’s just running through and nobody is… [inaudible 00:04:29]. She’s on.

Karlygash:
Hello?

Dr. Nina:
Karlygash?

Karlygash:
Hello. Hi.

Dr. Nina:
Hi Karlygash. As you know, we’re having some audio problems today. If you can speak up, that would be good.

Karlygash:
Okay.

Dr. Nina:
Okay. Thank you.

Karlygash:
Okay. I will speak up.

Dr. Nina:
What’s going on, Karlygash.

Karlygash:
Bingeing, going out as usual, cakes and stuff, but when I binge, thank God, I don’t have this critical voice, which they’re seeing you again bingeing, no point. And like hell, bingeing. This is a good part. So today I woke up and I was late to my doctor’s appoint… or whatever procedure appointment just because I said, “Hey, I’m going to go and get those cakes in my car, so I feel better because I’m going to be all anxious if I don’t have those cakes in my car available. So I got the cake packed in a transparent box and I was carrying them and bunch of cookies under them, there’s three stack boxes. And I had to open my car. So I put them on my car and I started laughing at myself saying like, “Oh my God, look at all the cakes. I’m having relationships with cakes.”

I was laughing, but it was a good laugh like, “Of course these cakes will help to fix everything.” How to say it in English? Well, I was laughing and saying, “Yeah, Oh my God, this cakes are so cute just like perfect relationship. They never change. They’re always the same, same taste, not just like people.” How easy for me to go for cakes instead of reaching out for people and building my life the way I want it. And I was laughing and putting those cakes on top of my car because I needed to open the door and I was looking at them and sun was shining at them and then I’m like, “Look at them, perfect cake like perfect people.”

But then I understood that it’s not going to solve my problems. Those are just cakes and whatever is going on. I need to address it. But I was laughing and when I was laughing, I actually did want to eat them. I just put them in my car and say, “Okay, I’ll see, let them be there, maybe I will not even turn to them.” And just this bunch of better mood, this just better vibe instead of the… Oh, and today I weighed myself and I saw that I added weight. And for the first time in my life, I wasn’t frustrated because my whole life I’ve been frustrated if I gained pounds. But today I just-

Dr. Nina:
Karlygash, so what you’re saying is you are making some significant changes, not to deal necessarily with cake, but you’re recognizing that you use the cake to deal with anxiety as if having the cake with you somehow alleviated anxiety. You recognize that cake was taking the place of a comforting person that you heard me often say that, unlike people who can be unpredictable and unreliable and unavailable, food is predictable, reliable, and unavailable. You were very aware of that in the moment, which is significant. And then when you weighed yourself, which I might say, well, “Why do that?” Except to bring yourself pain, instead of that undoing your mood, you were okay with it. You didn’t go to that mean critical place that you would have earlier. So that’s good. So the question now is, how do you tolerate anxiety without cake? And how you [crosstalk 00:08:32].

Karlygash:
So that’s the next step. Thank you so much for mentioning it. So I was driving because I bought cake, I was late to my appointment and I already texted the lady who does the procedures for me. We’re friends. I’m like, “Hey, I’m going to be 15 minutes late.” She said, “Okay, love.” She texted she was fine. And I missed the appointment before, three days ago because I overslept. She said, “It’s okay. Sleep.” She called me like, “Oh, go back to sleep.” She’s kind. So no pressure there, but I was pressuring myself. So I was speeding on freeways. I was really speeding on this, what do you call it? Carpool lane.

And then one lady she claimed that… You know how drivers sometimes drive when they’re close to your lane and you’re worried that there might be an accident and you’re already speeding. You don’t have a chance to push the brakes. So she did that. And I pushed the brakes. I honked at her. And I got so stressed, I immediately could feel this rush of hormones of this… I could feel the physical change in me and I started… And I wanted to [crosstalk 00:09:46]-

Dr. Nina:
The adrenaline.

Karlygash:
Yeah, adrenaline and I wanted to… My usual reaction would be angry, shout at her, [inaudible 00:09:54], but I said, “Well, I go through that all the time.” I express my fear with anger, but this time I said, “Does she really responsible? It’s me who’s speeding. It’s me who knows that the person is waiting for me and it’s okay to show up later.” But inside me an anxiety and the voice is telling me like, “Oh, you’re late. You need to catch up on this.” So I just started breathing and I had some of the cakes nearby. I could just eat a cake but I didn’t.

Dr. Nina:
Karlygash, I’m going to interrupt you because you’re saying a lot all at once. So I want you to notice how you went to the you, right? Oh, you are doing this. And whenever you talk to yourself in a you voice, whether it’s that mean, see you [inaudible 00:10:44], as you’ve shared the mean voice here, everyone’s heard it, or even whether you’re saying, well, you were just in a hurry. That is a voice that’s not compassionate and kind.

Cakes take you away from the mean voice. And I want to challenge you to not talk to yourself from a place of you, talk to yourself from a place of I or just even speak from a place of I. I was speeding because I felt anxious to get there, not while you were doing this, because you, you, you. You, you.

Karlygash:
And I was actually catching myself and not speaking to myself because in the morning I am actually very often change this you voices. Whenever I catch them, I immediately change it to I, and I really consciously do that just like you said, but in this moment it was just on a freeway, on a high speed and in the moment. So I couldn’t track this you voice at that time, because I was dealing with external factors, adrenaline rushing in me, trying to fix my car and slow down and …

All things were happening together. But the good part that, even in the midst of this very confused state, I was still trying to analyzing myself. And I just want to give credit for myself for that. And yeah. So in that moment, when those you voices were… I didn’t go for cakes because they were sitting just next to me. I could just stretch my arm, take it and I put it into my mouth. But I said, “Let’s breathe, let’s breathe. I’m going to breathe.” So I started breathing, calming myself down and I said, “This is a stressful moment. And I have hormones rushing in my body, stress hormones. I’m going to breathe and it’s going to slow down. I’m going to bring myself to that place.” And it was such a good place before this happened on the road, I was just listening to my audio book, driving, and I was [crosstalk 00:13:01].

Dr. Nina:
That’s wonderful. It is interesting that you said, “Let’s breathe,” instead of, “I’m going to breathe.” But the fact that you were able-

Karlygash:
Who says let’s breathe? Who am I [crosstalk 00:13:16], my breathing and calming down.

Dr. Nina:
Exactly. Who else is with you in that passenger seat, except for cakes and the cakes aren’t going to breathe. But-

Karlygash:
It’s probably internal supporter, which is maybe opposites of critic.

Dr. Nina:
That’s good. That’s good.

Karlygash:
But I eventually want to be able to say, “I am going to breathe. I’m going to breathe now. I’m breathing now.”

Dr. Nina:
So you did a great job of recognizing that you were using the cakes for anxiety, but then not being overtaken by that, not using cakes to calm your body down when you had the anxiety, but to actually calm your body down in a way that is very effective and doesn’t involve food, which is to breathe and to speak calmly to yourself. So I’m super glad to hear this update and just keep up the good work Karlygash. You call every week. And sometimes you’re having a really tough time, but I also hear how hard you’re fighting and how loud the mean voice has been. But now your own softer, nicer, more compassionate voice is getting louder itself. And that is good news because that is how we change. When we are able to relate and respond to ourselves differently, we don’t need cake or anything else for soothing.

Karlygash:
Thank you.

Dr. Nina:
So good work, Karlygash. I’m really pleased to hear this. Keep breathing.

Karlygash:
And so for all the listeners, I want to say, it’s not that I’m magically now, am such a perfect now. It’s still same, but it’s much better. I still have tons of anxiety. I still eat it, and who knows maybe I’m going to eat it in the evening, maybe not. I don’t know. But today was significant change in the way that… It was for real. Instead of, “Oh, let’s diet, let’s not eat it.” And pretending that it’s a liberation, psychoanalytical liberation. No. I used to just diet myself because I saw bigger number on the scale. And I used to pretend I’m dealing with issues whereas I was just dieting and dropping pounds because that’s what I wanted because deep inside I was thinking, “Oh, if I change my weight like magic, all my wife will be happy or I will be happy.” But now it was like, I was really dealing with what’s there with my reality. Well, I needed as much as I could, maybe not very graceful, but I’m very proud for my results because it’s very tiny, but it’s very significant.

Dr. Nina:
It’s not tiny at all. It is significant.

Karlygash:
Oh, thank you.

Dr. Nina:
Instead of turning to cake, you calmed yourself down and you were responsive to yourself, that’s big. That’s big. Because the way to change a toxic relationship with food is not to do something different with food it’s to do something differently, to respond differently to your anxiety, to your pain, to your fear, to whatever is going on. So if you did that, great job. And thanks for calling in and with such a wonderful report today.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much Dr. Nina.

Dr. Nina:
Keep up the good work.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much.

Dr. Nina:
Thanks Karlygash, talk to you next week.

I also got a message from Sergio who says people who suffer from binge eating have the feeling that they’re just repeating a cycle automatically. How do you break this repetition and build something new instead? A very good example of this. How do you break the cycle? Because if you’re turning to food, you are turning away from something else. If you are turning to food, there is a reason, there is some thought, emotion, situation that is difficult and painful and unbearable that you cannot be with. And sometimes you are aware of those thoughts, emotions, and so forth. And sometimes you’re not. It’s getting to the hidden reasons why you binge that sometimes can make it complicated. But often you do know, or with a little investigation, you can know.

So ask yourself, what problem is this binge eating solving? Not what am I eating, but why, what problem is this food solving? Because the problem is not food. Food is the solution to the problem. The problem as Karlygash just demonstrated, the problem for her was anxiety. Cake was her solution to anxiety. But as she’s creating a new solution, let’s breathe. Let’s calm down. It’s okay. She’s responding to the problem differently. She’s not eating cake, at least she didn’t today. So that is so important to realize and have some compassion for yourself. If you are doing something you don’t want to do or not doing something you want to do, it’s for a reason, it’s all about figuring out, what is that reason?

Okay. I have another question. This is from Debbie. She is in my “Food for Thought” Community on Facebook. If you’re not a [inaudible 00:18:58] and connect with some hundreds of really great people who get what it feels like to go through this battle, this war with yourself, and they’re all working on coming out the other side.

So Debbie says, “Why do I self-sabotage when I get close to my weight loss goal, or even when I lose a few pounds?” She said, “I feel when I get close to a goal, I have a cushion. So this one thing won’t hurt. This one cookie won’t hurt, this one, whatever won’t hurt. And then I spiral and now I’ve gained back 18 pounds. And I was nine pounds from my goal.”

Well, why do we self-sabotage? On the surface, it can seem like, Oh, just one more, one thing won’t hurt.” However, there’s something else going on. And my Australian friend is saying, “I’ve just had weight loss surgery. My binge eating has disappeared because now I have tools that help me.” That is great news because a lot of people who have weight loss surgery regain it because they don’t have tools. They think it’s all about what they’re eating or how much rather than why they’re eating.

So basically, if you’re sabotaging yourself, it’s for a reason, and here are some reasons why people are feeling stuck and get close to their goal or lose weight, but then they start gaining it again. So one of these reasons is right of success, but it can be related to concerns about maintaining that success, worries about making people envious, feeling unworthy of anything good. These are the hidden unconscious reasons why people are afraid of meeting their weight loss goals or even goals in life. It doesn’t even have to be about weight loss.

One of my patients was afraid that if she lost weight, her friends would be jealous because she and her friends really bonded over their failed diets, their struggle with weight, their shopping trips to certain kinds of stores. And she worried that if she lost weight, she would lose her friendships. What would they talk about if they couldn’t talk about their diets? And she thought that if she was a success story… And some people fear success because they don’t think they deserve anything good. And that’s usually related to experiences in childhood because when people are treated badly or feel bad in childhood, they think they are bad. And then they think, “Well, what’s wrong with me that I’m being treated this way. I must be bad.” And they try to figure out how to make themselves good so that they get the good treatment. But of course, they never were bad in the first place. So there’s this, “You’re supposed to suffer. You’re supposed to struggle.” And what better way to always be in a place of suffering and struggling than always be struggling with your weight.

So also fear of failure and that is related to perfectionism, rejection and judgment. So when people lose weight there’s this idea of, “That’s familiar. I’m afraid that I’m going to not keep it off.” Tied to an idea of expectation, which is that when you lose weight, you’re going to now do blank. So for an example, this is something I talk about in my book, fear of expectation. I talk about Jennifer. Her real name is not Jennifer, but I call her that in the book. Asked over for a promotion at work was her weight. And she said, “Well, they gave the job to the skinny girl because she looks the part.”

So this was a corporate job in which, maybe appearance is somewhat of a factor, but Jennifer was convinced that the only reason she didn’t get the promotion was her weight. And I’ve heard people say things like, “Well, when I lose weight, I’ll finally get a boyfriend, get a girlfriend, get married, I’ll have kids. I’ll get a better job. I’ll go back to school.” When I lose weight, then I will. And there’s this expectation that once they lose weight, they are going to get the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the job, the whatever, but what if they don’t, what if they’re wrong?

Dr. Nina:
So I want to tell you about on my my patients. She came in one day, and she said, “I feel like the laundry is stretching out my clothes.” And she really thought that her clothes were being stretched out. Turned out, she had lost 17 pounds without realizing it. Totally didn’t realize it, wasn’t dieting, just responding differently to herself. And she lost weight, and when she realized she lost weight, she could not gain it fast enough. Self-Sabotage, right? She could not gain it fast enough. And so we worked through this and we realized that she had this really deep fear, which was giving up the fantasy of her perfect thin self.

So to really reach her goal weight, she had to drop more than a hundred pounds. And in her imagination after losing weight, she would be thin and toned and pretty. And she’d somehow be wittier and funnier and smarter and happier. And then as she lost weight, she started having this worry that the fear of losing weight actually meant saggy skin, more wrinkles, less beauty. As long as her ideal weight remained a fantasy, Don could hold out the hope for a great body and therefore a great life. She was not ready to give up that fantasy for a potentially disappointing reality. And she said, “What if I lose all this weight and I still don’t have a boyfriend, that would suck.”

So her initial solution to this fear of failing was to sabotage her weight loss and stay at that familiar weight. So as long as she was at that familiar weight, one day, she could have the life she wanted when she lost weight and she didn’t have to confront what would happen if she actually did lose weight. So weight can function as an excuse for not being where you want to be in life because what if you get to a healthy weight and none of the things you think are going to happen actually happen? So Don had to realize that getting a boyfriend takes more than losing weight. Jennifer, the corporate executive had to look at other reasons she didn’t get the job, not just about her weight. And those reasons might be more troubling to her than just losing weight. So if you can’t blame weight for why you are rejected, then you have to look at other things, it’s easier to blame weight.

And most of all, the fear of expectation means that you have to challenge the idea that changing your weight will change your life because what if your life doesn’t change? What if things remain exactly the way that they are, except for the number on the scale and the size of your clothes, that can be hard, easier to sabotage and hold on to that hope of a different kind of life when you lose weight than to suffer the disappointment of losing weight and then not having the life that you want.

Another reason for a sabotage is fear of impulsivity. So maybe you can relate to Penelope who lost the same 15 pounds over and over and over and over and over again. And so with each diet, she showed impressive dedication and willpower. She stuck to that meal plan. She did meal prep. She cut up carrots and celery and she did everything she was supposed to be. But the minute she hit her goal weight, she would celebrate with some ice cream. And that celebration continued until she gained back all the weight. And then of course, she’d go back on another diet and the cycle would continue.

So when she first came to see me, she said she wanted to stop sabotaging herself and she wanted to have more willpower. Well, she had undeniable willpower. Every time she went on a diet, she had amazing willpower. And I told her, her problem was not willpower. Her problem was what she feared would happen if she allowed herself to stay at 130 pounds. And when I said this, she looked at me like, “What are you talking about? You are crazy.” That was the look on her face. And she said obviously if she could stay at her goal weight, she would be happier. She would be healthier. She would be able to wear her skinny clothes as she put it and life would be great. What’s the problem?

But we kept talking about it. And one day she blurted out that she thought that if she let herself get thin and stay thin that she was going to cheat on her husband and maybe even leave him. Now, she had gotten married young. She never dated much before that. And now she was thinking about what she might’ve missed out on before she met her husband. As long as she carried those extra 15 pounds, she was sure she would not act on these thoughts. She was focused on, “Oh, she need to lose weight.” She wasn’t focused on what was weighing on her, which was that maybe she wasn’t so thrilled in her marriage. It wasn’t a terrible marriage, but it wasn’t great either. And she thought that if she was overweight, no one would want to have sex with her except her husband. And so this kept her from her fear of being impulsive of acting out in a way that would threaten the stability of her marriage and bring up a lot of change that maybe she wasn’t ready for.

So it was not until she recognized and worked through the issues in her relationship that she was able to lose weight for good. She ended up staying with her husband, but focusing on weight also, not only did it keep her from being impulsive and possibly leaving him, it kept her from working through and working out the kinks and the problems in their relationship. So like Penelope, you might be afraid of what you would do if you lost weight. People have told me, they’re afraid of leaving their husbands, cheating on their wives like Penelope. Said they’re worried that they’re going to take a risk. They’re going to do something crazy. They’re going to quit their job. They’re going to prioritize themselves. And then what will happen in their relationships? I’ve heard people say they can’t put themselves first because they’re overweight as if somehow that makes [inaudible 00:31:34].

So if this resonates with you, the next step is exploring these fears. And one thing you need to know about fears regarding impulsivity is that fears can disguise wishes. Penelope’s fear of cheating on her husband actually expressed an unconscious hidden wish to cheat on him. So another person’s fear of an impulse to return to grad school, actually which it would have had some economic consequences on his family and in his relationship and so on. It actually was a disguised way of communicating that he wanted to change profession. So sometimes the thing that you’re afraid of is the thing that you really want. And as long as the person who wasn’t wanting to go to grad school, as long as he focused on his weight, he didn’t get in touch with his professional dissatisfaction. So whatever you’re worried about might happen if you lose weight, that holds a clue as to what you may really want, but when you face those fears, they lose their power.

And by the way, if you’re focused on weight, if you’re thinking about weight, what are you not thinking about? What is not on your mind? And that’s the scary place to go. It is easier to focus on weight and be upset with yourself. “Oh, I’m so mad at myself. I ate cake, I ate cookies, I ate pizza. I couldn’t stop eating chips. I weigh this. What’s wrong with me. What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?” Well, as long as you’re in a place where you’re doing that, and you’re [inaudible 00:33:21] if you’re focused on your weight, maybe there are some scary thoughts that you don’t want to think about, and that focusing on weight protects you from.

Another reason for sabotage is fear of objectification. Now, especially people who have had negative experiences with intimacy, who’ve been sexually abused are definitely people who can relate to this. But whether you’re abused or shamed in some way about your appearance you might try to disappear from view by feeling invisible. Isn’t it interesting that for many people, the bigger they get, the more invisible they feel, the less objectified they are going to be.

An example is Cynthia, who had a deep fear of male attention and she had never married and never had children and she was in her forties. And one day she brought a baby photo into our session. And it was a picture of herself when she was about a year old. And she said, “Look at that, I still have the same exact body I did when I was a baby.” Now, why is this significant? Because for Cynthia staying chubby and round like a baby meant looking non-sexual, nondescript, non-threatening. And she often would prod her stomach. And she’d say, “Who’d want to touch this? It’s so gross.” This.

So seeing it a way where she labeled herself as gross, served to protect herself from all the fears that came with the idea of intimacy. And she got nervous at the thought of even ever be sexy. That freaked her out. She was terrified of that. And she said, she knew that some men were attracted to bigger women, but she wanted nothing to do with those guys because she basically wanted nothing to do with closeness. And why is that? Well, she had not been abused as a child, but she had seen her father been verbally abusive to her mother, her whole life. And her mom was passive, didn’t defend herself, just took it. And so Cynthia, saw relationships as just these power struggles, these being vulnerable to abuse and logically she knew the not all relationships are power struggles, not all relationships mean verbal abuse, but her fear of being in a relationship and somehow repeating parents’ marriage was more powerful than what her mind told her was logical.

And this is what I mean when I talk about the difference between something being logical, what you intellectually know and rationally know, and what is psychological, which is what you feel, and which is often much stronger than what you know, it’s often at odds with what you know. She had friends who were in great relationship. She knew that not all relationships were verbally abusive, but she felt as if she could not be one in one, because she was so terrified of being in a relationship like that.

She also had the pretty face syndrome. People were always telling her she had such a pretty face. And if she only lost weight, guys would be just lined up around the block. And the truth is, as we talked about it, and as I just said, there are guys out there who like curvy, voluptuous, plus size women. Cynthia could have found someone who liked her just as she would, but no, she was afraid that if she were in a relationship, she would lose her autonomy and her dignity, because that’s exactly what happened to her mother. As long as she was heavy, she was not at risk of being in a relationship. Although, she could have kept herself out of relationship at any weight, but she tied being in a relationship with being thin, as if somehow, if she was thin, she would just get in a relationship.

And so her weight protected her from attention that made her uncomfortable because she connected intimacy with a loss of selfhood and dignity. And so when we processed this belief that her weight kept her safe, she was able to realize this was just an idea. It’s just a notion that she had taken as a reality. It was not an actual fact, it was just a fear. And so when she realized that her weight didn’t actually serve as protection from male attention, she was still getting attention. She could protect herself when she was thin or heavier. It didn’t matter. It was her voice that protected her, not her body. It was her mother’s inability to speak up, that was the problem, not the fact that she was thin. So Cynthia was able to make healthy choices, start eating until she was full, but not stuffed. And she stopped bingeing. She stopped emotional eating, she lost weight. And she was okay. She did not sabotage it. She did not gain back the weight.

And again, people who have been abused are especially subject to this idea fear of objectification. Weight can serve as a shield and keep you from being objectified. So often working through the original trauma, the original abuse and finding power in your voice, not your body, can be really helpful and really transformative.

And this is also related to fear of intimacy. No. Fear of intimacy that closeness means losing yourself in some way. And as long as you are focused on your body or thinking about your body, even if you’re in a relationship, focusing on your body can keep you from being fully all in, in that relationship, being fully intimate and open with your partner.

And the last fear that is associated with sabotage is fear of happiness. Always sounds so weird whenever I say that. What do you mean fear of happiness? I want to be happy. Now, I have to say, you don’t have to be at any particular weight to be fully happy and enjoy your life. But if you’re putting your life on hold or telling yourself that you’re going to be happier when you lose weight, you’re going to be happier when you stop bingeing, you’re going to be happier when you, fill in the blank, then you might be afraid to be happy. And again, this is something, whenever I bring it up, people say, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense.” They say they’re miserable. They’re uncomfortable. They’re unhappy. Of course, they want to be happy.

However, they also say things like this. Cleo, came in and she told me about the great weekend she just had. She had gotten married recently. And she said that she and her husband had gone out. They had gone out with friends. This is back in the days when we could go out with friends. I miss those days. Then she said, “Oh, we went on it with friends on Friday night. Then we had people over for a barbecue. I didn’t even think about food much at all over the weekend. It was a miracle, but she said it was too good to last. The next day, her husband went out to play golf and all she did was stay at home and stuff her face with leftovers, as she put it.

Well, she had a pattern of bingeing immediately after experiencing good or happy events in her life. So anytime she felt just a little too happy, she got scared. She got scared and binge. “And all I want us to be happy, but as long as I’m eating the kitchen, I’m never going to be happy.” But let’s look at where this fear of happiness comes from. And as always, it is somewhere in the past. So Cleo had, had this wonderful childhood until her father lost his job. The family’s financial circumstances changed. They moved from Connecticut to Florida, which was moving from one planet to another and she didn’t fit in. She felt uncomfortable. And she just had a miserable time.

So on some level, she made the connection between her happy childhood and the subsequent feelings of economic deprivation and feeling like she didn’t fit in and being really unhappy. So her way of making sure that this would never happen again, was to never allow herself to be too happy as if, if she was too happy, something bad was going to happen. If she never let herself feel too good, that happiness could not be taken away from her. It’s like, “Hey, if you step on that rug of happiness, someone is going to yank it out from underneath you.” That is the fear of happiness. And a lot of people are nervous about being happy. That rug is going to be pulled out from underneath them. They’re going to lose the happiness. So rather than have it happen out of the blue, they do it to themselves. You’re never too happy if you’re unhappy about your weight or you sabotage yourself, right?

If you sabotage yourself, if you take your happiness away from yourself, it’s not going to come from out of the blue. Some people have a positive meaning to unhappiness. True artist must suffer. It’s noble to struggle. Suffering somehow makes you a better person. And that could translate into a notion that you’re a good person if you suffer and a bad person, if you embrace joy. And so these are again, ideas that were taught in our society, in our culture, and we take to heart. We may not be consciously aware that we have these beliefs, but we may act upon them and sabotaging your weight loss efforts are a way in which these conflicts can be seen. So challenge these ideas, challenge them. Where is the nobility in suffering? Where’d you learn that? And what you learned, you can unlearn.

What’s wrong with enjoying life? What is wrong with loving and being loved and being happy. When you allow yourself to trust the idea that happiness can last, that you get to be happy. The universe is not going to smite you. The universe is not going to punish you. You are okay. When you can trust that, you can get to a weight that you’re happy with, a life that you’re happy with and you can stay there. So those are some reasons why you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

And that does it for our show today. Thank you so much for joining me here on the Dr. Nina Show on LA Talk Radio. I am here every Wednesday at 11:00 AM, Pacific. Well, you can listen Live on the LA Talk Radio app, or you can listen later at Apple Podcasts or anywhere you get podcasts. So be safe. Take care of yourself. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

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