Episode 221: Words to Eat By with Karen Koenig

Word power, not willpower will help you lose weight. No more making ourselves do insane crap to lose weight.

People ask me all the time, “What did you do to lose 100lbs?”

I did a lot of things truth be told. But the things I did to lose weight would’ve never happened if I didn’t ditch my asshole thinking around food like…

You should be doing more (each day I walked for 15 minutes).

This won’t matter (when I was staring at a couple of chicken nuggets Logan didn’t eat).

You did OK today, hope you don’t screw up tomorrow (instead of celebrating that I was showing up for myself).

I know if I can teach you ONE THING and ONE THING only about weightloss it would be to change how you talk and think.

Today’s podcast is all about that. I interviewed Karen Koenig who is the author of some of my favorite books on becoming a normal eater. Her newest book “Words to Eat By” is a must-read!

As Karen Koenig said in the podcast…

“Self-talk is subtle but extremely powerful. It’s the driver of how you show up.”

I totally agree and you hear me PREACH this ALL THE TIME. In the podcast we discuss:

  1. What to do when you first start listening to how you talk (because there could be some shock and awe about what you hear).
  2. What a disregulated eater is and how they have an amazing talent for saying just the wrong thing to themselves at the times they need positivity the most.
  3. The purpose of shame and its evolutionary role (this might shock you).
  4. Why hooting and hollering is a GOOD for women and especially my Binge Eaters.

I know you’ll love this podcast. You can order the books we mention in the podcast by clicking here.

Get the Free Course here:

http://NoBSFreeCourse.com

Episode Transcript

Corinne:

Hi. I’m Corinne. After a lifetime of obesity, being bullied for being the fattest kid in the class and losing and gaining weight like it was my job, I finally got my shit together and I lost 100 pounds.

Corinne:

Each week, I’ll teach you no bullshit weight loss advice you can use to overcome your battle with weight. I keep it simple, you’ll learn how to quit eating and thinking like an asshole. You stop that and weight loss becomes easy. My goal is to help you lose weight the way you want to live your life. If you’re ready to figure out weight loss then let’s go.

Corinne:

Okay, everybody, welcome back. I’m super excited today. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you know that I have recommended this lady’s books over and over and over again. I’ve got Karen Koenig, who has I just found out, wrote nine books [crosstalk 00:00:55]. Eight, eight, and working on the ninth, correct?

Karen:

Yes. Correct.

Corinne:

I was shocked. I was like I thought I was the ultra-fan until I was like, oh, I’ve only read three now. Now I have my homework cut out for me. I’m going to let her introduce herself. If you guys … I think you’re going to get a lot out of today’s podcast because I would … Y’all know that I talk all the time about fault work and we got to get our shit straight in our mind and stuff. I have found her books to be super helpful for explaining, going a little bit deeper than what I do.

Corinne:

I am very common sense for you guys. I’m like, “Hey, if we think about it this way” and I talk about stuff but I find her books to be more of what I would consider you really want to understand at a deeper level what’s going on and why it is truly so important to change how we talk to ourselves and to look at our eating through a compassionate lens that it is not just about changing behaviors, it’s about changing our mental constructs. These are great books for you. I’m super excited to have her here. I’m going to let you introduce yourself and tell our people everything they need to know about you.

Karen:

Okay. Thank you and thank you so much for having me. I was really looking forward to this. I am, aside from being a clinical social worker who has been in practice and doing eating psychology work for over 30 years, and half a lifetime. I am 74, recovered from being a chronic dieter and what I call a world-class binge eater.

Corinne:

That’s awesome.

Karen:

First half of my life, much of the first half, that’s what I did. Then I just really didn’t want to do it anymore and started reading books and went a little bit to therapy to deal with some bulimia and got that done and practiced normal eating until I became one.

Karen:

I know it’s possible and when I talk and when I write, I’m telling you not just from social work school or psychology but from experience. I know the dieting end of it and how restrictive and awful that can be and [inaudible 00:03:17].

Corinne:

I think that that’s really important you said that because one of the things … I know we don’t know each other well but one of the things that I do is I teach people how to lose weight because I lost 100 pounds. I think it’s so important for people who are figuring out how to have that relationship with food they’ve always wanted, a relationship with their body they’ve always wanted, to either weigh what you want, be able to eat what you want, have that freedom that getting advice from someone who has been there, it just lends a little bit of extra credibility and so I think that that’s …

Corinne:

I’m just really glad you said that because I do have a lot of binge eaters who listen to my podcast. Most of us are trying to lose weight. I studied from the heart and the passion of someone who wants to help other people because I know what it’s like to go through it and come out on the other side of it and how worth it the work is to do, and that it’s also …

Corinne:

The way I’ve always described it is it was easier than I thought it would be when I really started changing how I thought. It was every diet [inaudible 00:04:31] was hard, because I was taking such a hard and self-loathing approach to it.

Corinne:

One of the things that I wanted to talk about today was that you talk … We’re talking specifically about the book Words To Eat By. That’s the one I really want to focus on because it’s … The books I have read are very powerful but this one was the one that really gets into we have to really manage the way we speak to ourselves. That’s going to be the key.

Corinne:

I want to talk about self-talk. You said self-talk is subtle but powerful. Can you just start digging into why what we say and what we think is life-changing?

Karen:

Yeah. The paradox of the subtlety and the power of it is that it is like a tape that’s running the show. It’s like the Wizard of Oz and he was behind the curtain running the show, we don’t realize it. We don’t listen to ourselves. We don’t even think I’m directing myself by self-talk.

Karen:

What we think, our brain listens to. Our brain hears conveyance. It doesn’t hear a lot of nuance. I have clients who will come in, “I’m so overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed. I am just so overwhelmed” and the brain goes, “Okay, I’ll be overwhelmed” because it hears you saying something and thinks that’s how you want to be.

Karen:

It’s subtle but it’s running in the background running the show. The only way to change is to say, “Okay. I have self-talk going.” Maybe it’s in thoughts, maybe it’s in sentences. You know, we do it in different ways but to know it’s there, listen for it, and then listen to it. Most people are shocked when they hear what they’re saying to themselves.

Corinne:

I think that that’s important. I was actually this morning doing a Clubhouse, which is a free show that you can do on an app, and one of the people were talking about how recently we did a big training inside of my membership on self-sabotage and I was talking to them about how self-sabotage is the unconscious thoughts that are manifesting in live time … You can see yourself acting in a way that you’re not necessarily hearing yourself being directed.

Corinne:

We taught them how to turn up the volume on those subtle sentences and she was saying like, “Holy crap. I’ve been saying all this to myself?” What is your advice for people who first start turning up the volume and are like, “Wow. There’s some bullshit going on in this brain”? How do you talk to people about that? How do you get them over being scared or overwhelmed by it?

Karen:

Well, to realize that they have the power to manage their thoughts, their self-talk. An example I use is this, I’ll say to you or a client, do you eat bananas? You’d say yes. I’d say, “Okay, when you go to the store do you just put all of the bananas in the cart or do you pick through them and say, ‘Oh, that one’s not good. That’s gone bad. This one is not right.” This one is very picky about bananas, probably some of the other foods [inaudible 00:08:06]. Thoughts are the same way. We get to manage them. If you’re horrified by a thought, pick it out.

Karen:

It’s word power that runs us, not will power. That all our thoughts are important. You mentioned compassion before. If you hear something you don’t like, you don’t use it to beat yourself up, make yourself a bad person. You get curious. I just read a book on how personality can change and it said the two biggest traits for people who do succeed and change are curiosity and persistence.

Karen:

You hear something you don’t like, say, “Yeah. I wonder why I say that. I wonder where I learned that. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Mom said that all the time” or, “That’s what my aunt or my uncle always told me.”

Karen:

When you start listening and you have compassion for yourself, you’re more understanding, and you decide if I’m managing my thoughts here, what do I want to [crosstalk 00:09:17].

Corinne:

I think that that’s key because I hear a lot of people … They’ll turn up the volume on these thoughts. They’ll even figure out where they started from. I always heard my mom say her thighs were too big and now I say my thighs are too big and then they’ll go to, “And I wish she’d never said that” and blah, blah, blah, instead of what you were saying is like now I know where it came from and now I know I get to decide do I want to keep that thought or not?

Corinne:

I think that that is so important for people to really … I think about people who struggle with over-eating. Very often the one thing that we really want when it comes to food is we want control. If I could just have control, it’s like I would have the key to the universe when it comes to food.

Corinne:

That starts with control over the control you’re willing to take of your mind first. That’s where control over food ends up playing out is when you can really start taking a look, an honest look and a compassionate look at what shit is running through that brain all the time.

Karen:

Yeah. Yeah. It can be scary or people will say, “I don’t hear anything.” Then you’re not listening hard enough. It’s in there. Self-talk is not [inaudible 00:10:39] concept. It is what we think and what we say to ourselves. [crosstalk 00:10:44].

Corinne:

What do you say to the person … This is interesting. This weekend when I was teaching this class, I have a lot of clients who have spent the majority of their life eating and not feeling feelings in their body or listening to themselves.

Corinne:

When we did a couple exercises this weekend, a good percentage, I would say like 10% of my women, who even when we did the exercise, could not hear those thoughts. What do you say to them? Like keep trying or is there any tricks or is there anything that you can tell people who are genuinely at that … They’re at that point in life where it’s just been so long and they’re just getting started and it’s not clicking right away.

Karen:

First, I explain the difference between thoughts and feelings, that thoughts are beliefs, ideas, they’re more cognitive and they trigger feelings. I think these people, what you’re talking about is they might go near a thought [crosstalk 00:11:53]. Just learning about them, again, getting some distance looking at it, being curious. Curiosity is so important. [crosstalk 00:12:07].

Corinne:

Go ahead. Finish.

Karen:

Whatever thought you have, it’s like, “I want to kill my brother. I can’t believe he said that.” You know, you don’t really want to kill your brother but you’re really angry so forget about, “I shouldn’t be saying that about my brother. He’s so sweet and I love him”, but, “Gee, I wonder what I’m feeling that made me think that.” Feelings can generate thoughts, thoughts can generate feelings.

Karen:

Back to compassion, getting a little distance from it, I believe and I teach my clients, you can have any thoughts or feelings you want, anything can run through your mind and that’s a shock to them because they have that things that are okay and things that aren’t okay.

Corinne:

Just like we do with food.

Karen:

You know, the good/bad. Just like what we do with food. Life is simpler with good and bad. [inaudible 00:12:58] your thoughts and feelings just be and have free range and acknowledge them, then you can choose which ones you want. If you’re always going like this and running away from them, you’re never going to get [crosstalk 00:13:13].

Corinne:

I think that that’s important is for people to really understand. Some of my podcast listeners are in a place where they’ve heard me say this enough and some of them are just not. They still think that, “If I have a feeling, it’ll never stop. If I have a feeling, it’ll be too hard on me” or they’ll say, “I’m not good at listening to my thoughts.”

Corinne:

They don’t realize that they’re … It’s like what you said in the very beginning. It’s the commands we give our brain. If you think our feelings are too much for you, that you’re never going to be good at them, that you’re never going to hear thoughts, you’ve given your brain that command to not pay attention, to throw up every excuse, to always be seeking why it’s too much for you versus figuring out how can I? What is the smallest step?

Karen:

Yes. I think that we don’t realize, often because we’re not really conscious of it, the impact that we have on ourselves. We look at other things and say, “Well, work made me stressed today and that’s why I’m doing this.” Not really. It’s what you told yourself and the meaning you gave to whatever it was. That meaning developed the thoughts, gave you a feeling, which may have led to a behavior. You change the meaning, “Boy, I was busy at work and now I’m home and I’m relaxed” and you give a different meaning and you get a different outcome.

Karen:

I am so picky about words. I don’t use words like should, ought to, have to, must [inaudible 00:15:02] this is what I do. I hold out my [inaudible 00:15:09].

Corinne:

The want sign.

Karen:

[inaudible 00:15:11] I want, I wish, I’d prefer, I decide … Has to come from here. When you say should, [inaudible 00:15:18] an article about people being vaccinated. Doctors were saying you need to do this and you need to do that. Every time we say need to, you can feel the pressure in it, yeah? It’s outside us and we want to go, like, yeah, maybe.

Corinne:

Right.

Karen:

[inaudible 00:15:34] wants to come out and when you change that language, it’s really, really different.

Corinne:

Yeah. I think it’s important. I love the concept of … I always tell my clients, we’re not going to should on ourselves. It’s like if you wouldn’t shit your pants, then don’t should your pants either. It’s this idea of when you think about …

Corinne:

The way that I teach them is it’s not even enough to want to do it. It’s like I want to because and back it up with something, a good reason why so you’re always getting that buy-in. I just think when we’re talking about weight loss, if you’ve struggled with your weight most of your life, you need every ounce of win and why and …

Corinne:

I feel like we spend a lifetime practicing how bad we are and we spend a lifetime practicing defining how we can’t have things and what we have to do and everything is so rules and regulated that it’s almost like we have to go so heavy on the opposite side of the talking just to counterbalance the years of bullshit thinking that we’ve got backing us up.

Corinne:

There was another concept you talked about that I really liked and it was the disregulated eaters. It’s like tying onto what we’re saying here. I just love the way you define disregulated eaters. They generally say the exact wrong things to themselves.

Karen:

Yeah.

Corinne:

I just loved the way you said that because it really helps us understand that we’re good … It’s like we’re good at saying the wrong things. Now we need to get good at saying the better things.

Karen:

Right. It’s practice. I think it’s really important for people to understand habits. In terms of evolution and this is from research studies, this is not just Karen making it up, that really have habits is because we’re really looking for threats. We have these 200,000 year old brains. We’re looking for threats. Anything we don’t have to think about doing, just gets laid down as a habit. Those people survive better when they have a lot of habits because then they can continue [inaudible 00:18:01]. Well, we don’t have those kind of threats in the environment right now, not like we did hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Karen:

We’re hardwired to have habits for a positive reason. The thing is our brain doesn’t say, “Is this a positive habit? Is this an unhealthy habit?” It just lays it down. Habits come from doing the same thing over and over. Period. End of story. That’s what habits are.

Karen:

The less you do them and the more you do other things, the more the neural …

Corinne:

Pathways?

Karen:

Pathways, yes, fade and the other pathways, the newer ones [inaudible 00:18:49]. This is just an example too, a great visual, not mine, I borrowed it from someone. You put a marble on a hill of sand and you push it and it’s going to go down and make a groove. Let’s say you don’t want it. You say I don’t want that groove, I want it on the other side. You’re going to put it on there and it’s still going to go down the groove side unless you keep pushing it.

Karen:

Eventually, your original groove will fill up with sand and [inaudible 00:19:15]. It’s just from repetition. On one level, it’s just very, very cynical. Whatever you do all the time is [crosstalk 00:19:25].

Corinne:

I think that’s important … There’s two important concepts in that. I think that came from, if I’m not mistaken, I think you and I are reading the same books … We have a lot in common. I’m just going to tell you. I could sit and talk to you all day. Atomic Habits, I think that was James Clear, his example. I’m pretty sure, I’m almost sure [crosstalk 00:19:46]. I just want to give him a shout-out. I also would love to interview him one day too. I’m always trying to give people shout-outs.

Corinne:

One is that when you talked about putting the marble at the top, that you have to direct it where you want to go. I think what I watch a lot of my clients do is say, “Well, I know which direction I should be going in” and then they just sit back, as if they have no say in the matter.

Karen:

Right.

Corinne:

It’s like in order to go in a new direction, you do have to do a little bit of directing yourself in the direction you want to go. It’s not enough to just make a decision. It’s more about when it’s time for that new habit, you got to think about it, you got to visualize it. You’ve got to tell yourself … Give yourself the commands in a way that you are highly likely to respond and then it rolls downhill. Then it takes a while.

Corinne:

I think that the other thing that I see people getting all hemmed up on is, “Well, I did this new thing three times. Why is it not just simple now? Why is it not just automatic?” It’s like, because it’s going to take that direction away from the old one for a while. Eventually, the marble can roll either way. It’s still needing a nudge. It’s like thinking about it as that process I think is so helpful for people.

Karen:

Baby steps for everybody for every thing. I know it looks like long strides and leaps but there are only baby steps. I say if you start a [inaudible 00:21:28] walk across, the only way you’re going to fail, you may have to go over furniture and around it, is if you stop. You have to get there if you keep doing the thing.

Karen:

Here’s the problem and that’s with intermittent reinforcement. What we know from mice is if you put treats, food, at the end of a maze, they’ll go. If you put a shock, they’ll turn around and come back. If you sometimes put food and sometimes the shock, they actually will continue each time because their hope is that they’re going to get the food. That’s called intermittent reinforcement.

Karen:

Intermittent reinforcement, you can only do it half the time. It’s like the half-assed effort. That’s going to make failure. It will not create a habit. If three times you do something and three times you don’t, it’s as if you didn’t do it. It has to be consistent. I don’t mean perfect. I’m sure you’re the same way. You don’t have to be perfect but you do need to be consistent to change.

Corinne:

I think that’s an important concept. I know you don’t know my work but I teach them how to … We use the word doable in everything. We have a doable 24 hour plan, we have the doable hunger method. I knew that for me when I lost weight, that I had tried too many diets where I literally had to become a different person overnight if I was going to be successful and I failed so many times trying to morph into another human being.

Corinne:

When I lost weight, I just decided that I was not doing a damn thing unless I could see myself doing it for the rest of my life and that meant that each day, I was reevaluating, “What am I willing to do today? What am I a hard no on so far?” It was literally because I had a thought of in the past, when I quit and when I messed up, I ran the risk of never starting again or regaining tons of weight and everything.

Corinne:

I knew that this time when I lost weight, that I needed to be able to set things up so simply and so small, that the wins were going to be easy to stop because I needed momentum. I did not need failure at first. Then as I got more momentum and as I did more things, I was more willing to challenge myself more but I was already being consistent on doing and thinking in a direction it was going to take me forward.

Corinne:

I like that idea of it doesn’t require perfection but we also I think as dieters and people who are losing weight have been taught to start in such an unrealistic way. Yeah.

Karen:

Oh, it’s terrible. Diet is what causes binging. There’s no other way to say it. We have taught this culture how to have a poor relationship with food by dieting. In terms of research and sociology, dieting is one of the gateways, it’s the major gateway, to eating disorders, which is sad. We all start to diet and we think we’re doing this wonderful thing for ourselves and the doctors tell us and people say, “You look wonderful”, meanwhile, what’s happening to us inside [inaudible 00:25:03] becoming more and more disregulated.

Corinne:

Yeah. I really loved that whole concept. I thought that was worth the book itself. I mean, this book is so good. The next one that I really want you to talk about [inaudible 00:25:20], oh, crap, talk to us about how shame has an evolutionary purpose. My clients think that shame should never be felt. We just have a story about shame. Tell us the things.

Karen:

Right. My second book was called The Food and Feelings Workbook and I have a whole chapter on it, a chapter on guilt and shame and uncertainty and confusion and all the disappointment, all the things. All emotions have an evolutionary purpose. They get us to do something, to move towards pleasure or go away from pain. That’s why we have emotions.

Karen:

If somebody disappoints you all the time, using a different one, not shame, you get the idea, “Hmm. Maybe that’s not a good person for me to be around.” It’s important to feel the disappointment. It tells you what’s happening with you and the environment.

Karen:

This is shame. “Whoa, whoa. You could have done that differently, been a nicer person. You lost your temper.” “Oh, yeah. Why did I do that? Oh, okay. I see. If I don’t do this again, maybe I won’t do that again. Bye, shame. Thanks.”

Karen:

Emotions are just information. That’s all they are, telling us how we feel inside regarding what’s going on either within us or as we interact. That’s what shame is. Shame is, “I didn’t live up to who I want to be” and the question is not what stick can I beat myself with? It’s, “I wonder why. How can I be different? Thanks, shame.”

Karen:

It’s not meant to move in and be a tenant. It’s just like getting the newspaper on your doorstep, all right? Or you get an email. That’s what shame is and guilt is.

Corinne:

Yeah. I like to think of some of what I would consider … I hate to call them the negative emotions but the ones on the negative end of the spectrum.

Karen:

They’re the uncomfortable ones. I don’t think of positive and negative ones.

Corinne:

Exactly.

Karen:

[crosstalk 00:27:40].

Corinne:

I always am thinking like every feeling is trying to tell me something and probably something I need to know.

Karen:

Absolutely.

Corinne:

You know?

Karen:

Well, yeah. For the most part.

Corinne:

I think a lot of times we just spend so much … I think we spend more time trying to run from our emotions or just trying to create the good ones, and we’re not really spending enough time allowing ourselves to just feel.

Corinne:

I work with my own coach all the time. I have my own range of emotions that I like to play with. I’ll say, “I really need to think differently” or something like that. She’s like, “Why? Can’t you just feel a little uncomfortable? Can’t you just …” Sometimes I’m disappointed in my mothering. Every now and then I’ll catch myself working and telling my son, “Not now. I need to finish this” and then afterward, I’m disappointed. I should have been a better mother, I should have stopped or whatever. She’ll say, “Well, rather than trying to figure out all kinds of new thoughts to think and everything, why not just be like, ‘Yeah. In that moment, I could have done better’ and then move on.” I’m like, “Oh, wow. We don’t have to process every single thing?”

Karen:

Yeah. It’s just a tap on the shoulder. That’s all it is.

Corinne:

Yeah. That’s so good.

Karen:

Or the doorbell ringing and getting an email or a text. It’s just information. It’s value neutral. It’s what we do with it. That makes [crosstalk 00:29:21] difference, looking at emotions that way. They have a function. They’re not there to torture us. They have a real function [crosstalk 00:29:30].

Corinne:

They’re like an indicator of your internal state, look for what you’re thinking … Sometimes we want to change our thinking and sometimes we don’t. I was talking to a friend the other day. Sometimes when I get pissed at my husband, I just want to be pissed for a little bit, and then I realize, “Okay, it’s not that big a deal” but in the moment, I’m like, “It’s okay. I just want to say this is just what I do sometimes.” Sometimes he acts in a way that I didn’t think he should and sometimes I get mad but I don’t yell about it anymore but I’m more than willing to sit in my diaper for a few minutes. If I’m the only one suffering, then I’ll do that.

Karen:

Yeah. Absolutely. It’s just being with the feeling. When I say with feelings, there’s a couple steps. The first is acknowledge that you have one. Second, identify it because … In my Food and Feelings Workbook, I have a list of dozens of feelings. People look at them and usually … I think Brene Brown did a study. She said there’s three feelings that people use and that’s pretty much it. I can’t remember what they are, love, hate and something else. There’s a range and a nuance of feelings.

Karen:

The second thing is identify it. Third is just experience it. Fourth is decide what you want to do with it. Fifth is recover. Sometimes you just say, “Oh, I had that feeling. I don’t really need that feeling and it’s not useful.” It’s because this person yelled at me and my dad used to yell at me. This person doesn’t mean it. My dad would yell at me and then come after me. I don’t need that feeling here. I’m safe.

Karen:

Sometimes you say, “This is useful to now. They were very rude to me and I want to say something back.” But they’re just indicators, as you say, messengers, and [inaudible 00:31:36].

Corinne:

I do think anybody who, especially, wants to dive more into their feelings and they’ve been using food as a way to deal with their feelings, I think that your Food and Feelings Workbook is money. I mean, I just think it’s so good. I have read it several times. It is highlighted to death, Sticky Noted to death. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times even in my own membership when I’m trying to …

Corinne:

Especially the disappointment one. I’m glad you brought that one up because I have really been teaching my clients how useful disappointment is. Disappointment in ourselves, it helps us realize when we are acting out of alignment with who we want to be because if you didn’t have disappointment, you would just be pushing everything under the rug and you would never go after big things. You know? You wouldn’t have a course for yourself. The idea of … I know we’re talking about Words To Eat By but y’all should also get that book.

Karen:

It’s all tied together as [crosstalk 00:32:44].

Corinne:

Exactly. The last one that I did want to cover because I do have … As everybody that listens to the podcast knows, my best friend she has been a binge eater in the past. She actively binges occasionally but she is … I’ve just watched her grow over the years. We’ve been best friends for a long time now and she is at such a good place now in her whole recovery process.

Corinne:

You had something in here that said … I’m going to just read it so that all the binge eaters will know I’m talking to them, “To stop a binge, you need to hoot and holler about the amazing thing you did, not eating or continuing to eat. Your focus must be 100% on having put down the food, never on having started the binge to even begin with.”

Corinne:

I just thought that this was so good. One of the things that I teach just in my membership is all about … We have a process for self-sabotage and the very last step of the unwind process is to do and then delight in yourself. Whatever you do, it’s always about finding a way to delight in you. I don’t think as people who are trying to lose weight, end over-eating, stop binging, whatever it is, as women, we are not taught to really celebrate ourselves. I mean, even the least little bit of acknowledgement makes most of us uncomfortable.

Corinne:

Can you talk about why it’s so important, especially, for a binge eater to hoot and holler for themselves?

Karen:

Yeah. I’m going to address it in two ways. One is there’s actually a whole area of study called success strategies. There’s three that go together and they are so important. Once you change these things, everything changes for the better. The first thing is only focus on what you do well, what you did well. I don’t mean don’t pay attention to anything but that’s where you put your energy. Don’t focus on what you did wrong, bad, however you want to view it, you wish you didn’t do it. You acknowledge that you did it but it’s not a focus.

Karen:

You also don’t focus on what you have yet to do because then you hear people say, [inaudible 00:35:13] well, I tried to do it” and I’ll say, “Well, try means you didn’t do it.” “Oh, no. I did it but I’m not perfect. You know?” I’ll say, “I know you’re not perfect. You don’t know [inaudible 00:35:21]. You’re not even trying to be perfect. That’s not even in the picture” because people look at what they have yet to do, but I don’t do it all the time. This is exactly what you’re saying, you only focus on what you do well. That’s the first piece.

Karen:

The second goes back to disregulated eaters are shame-based people. They were shame-based for reading problems [inaudible 00:35:43]. I come from a shame-based family. It’s like shame is there as your shadow. The opposite of shame is pride. That’s the light [inaudible 00:35:56]. If you eat all but two of the cookies in the bag, this is like you were saying, you don’t focus on, “Oh, I ate all those cookies.” You say, “I didn’t eat those last two. Good for me. Hooray.”

Karen:

You want to live a pride-filled life and you make decisions by pride [inaudible 00:36:16]. Do I want to eat this? Will I feel proud after I eat it or will I feel ashamed? Shame is very useful. There’s some movements in the eating disorder field that people shouldn’t ever feel shame and I think that that’s really the wrong way to go. You don’t want to be mired in it but a little ping on the shoulder is really useful.

Karen:

Moving towards pride and light and enjoying your successes but women, particularly, have trouble with this. I had a client whose father used to beat her when she boasted. She was very smart. Sadly, she could not talk about pride. It took her years of therapy. She used to call it the P-word. I’d say, “Did you feel proud?” She’s like, “I felt the P-word.” How sad is that?

Karen:

When you want to feel pride, it’s not boasting. This is what we really have to change. Pride means feeling good about your achievements. Period. End of story. It’s not what we call hubris, which is the bad kind of pride, “I’m wonderful, I’m perfect.” That’s not what it is. Healthy pride just says, “I feel really good about what I did. Good for me.” The more we do that, the more [crosstalk 00:37:39].

Corinne:

I agree. I think that there’s … It’s a lot of times like my clients will talk about how they won’t want to take care of themselves because … They’ll say, “Well, in order to lose weight I’m going to have to be selfish.” I’m like, “People won’t think you’re going to be selfish.” People don’t understand that selfishness is when you are doing something with the intention of harming someone else. If you’re going to take care of yourself, you’re not sitting around going, “I wonder whose life I can destroy in my family today by taking a bath.” That would be selfish.

Corinne:

It’s the same thing with when you take pride in something. It’s acknowledgement. It’s your own personal, “I’m doing this.” If you were going out and saying, “Hey, I just want to make sure you know I’m doing this so that you get to feel bad about yourself”, yeah, there you go, we might be running the risk of being an asshole at that point.

Corinne:

I have always tried to help my women and say like, any of you that are worried about being selfish or too prideful, you’re going to have to go a long way to even get to your toe in the water of approaching the border.

Karen:

Yeah. I use the analogy of people who are so afraid of being selfish or full of pride, they ride the brakes so much that they’re never going to turn into that, ever. I always tell them, I will bet my house [inaudible 00:39:06] just like you’re saying [inaudible 00:39:08] other direction. It’s often because they had a parent, often a mother who was selfish and they say, “I don’t ever want to be like that.” They go the other direction and they confuse selfish with self-care.

Corinne:

Right. Right.

Karen:

They’re very, very different. I love the way you explain it. It is really important to understand that our main job in the world is self-care. It doesn’t mean that you’re not also taking care of others. It’s not an and. Some people’s dysfunctional upbringing is an and. You know that the people you work with are the nicest, most giving people in the world, right? They take care of everyone. It’s looking for that balance where you can take care of the self and the other. [crosstalk 00:39:57].

Corinne:

Yeah. I think that that’s such a good note to end on. I think this whole conversation was super helpful for a lot of my clients, just that whole upper level view of how we can listen to ourselves and take care of ourselves and just … I’ve always told everyone, the only thing that … If I could only give my clients one thing from my own weight loss journey, because people are always like, “How did you lose 100 pounds?”

Corinne:

It always comes down to I changed the conversation in my head. When I did that, when I started actively paying attention and telling myself, “That’s the way the old me thinks. I think the new me would think this way and so I’m going to think like that and do that”, that changed everything. It made taking actions like eating differently and deciding if I needed more food or not, all of that becomes so simple when the conversation changed in my head.

Corinne:

Words To Eat By, Food and Feelings Workbook, those are my two faves. We will for sure put links to that in our store … I know the workbook is already in there but we’ll make sure all of your stuff is in my store so people can go find it.

Corinne:

I would recommend, especially for my podcast listeners who are not my members, those would be two really good books to supplement everything that you do by listening to the podcast. My members, just so you know, No BS Women, we are going to be doing the book study next month on Words To Eat By, so our coach [Ucenia 00:41:32], has a whole guide for us as usual. We’ll be reading it together. I believe you’re coming to speak to our members with a special Q&A.

Karen:

I am. I am.

Corinne:

That’ll be awesome. They will just love that.

Corinne:

Thank you so much for listening today. Make sure you head on over to NoBSFreeCourse.com and sign up for my free weight loss training on what you need to know to start losing your weight right now. You’ll also find lots of notes and resources from our past podcast Help You Lose Your Weight Without All the Bullshit Dieting. I’ll see you next week.

247A5563

Hi, I'm Corinne

I lost 100 pounds and get what it is like to be overweight and feel defeated. I did a complete mental and physical transformation and now I teach women how to do the EXACT same thing. You can get started today with the free course.