Episode 1

  • Introduction to Dr Mary Barson and Dr Lucy Burns.

Dr Mary Barson

Dr Mary Barson is a GP based on the Surfcoast of the Bellarine Peninsula, in Victoria. She is an absolute genius and has an honours degree in biochemistry as well as a medical degree. Dr Mary understands all things “sciencey”. She is our go-to person for interpreting scientific research and can separate out true science from popular “woo”. Dr Mary marries this with her skills as counsellor, hypnotherapist and has a huge interest in lifestyle medicine. She practices compassion-based therapy. Mary has PCOS and understands how difficult this can be for many women. She successfully manages this with a low-carbohydrate diet and a holistic approach to her lifestyle. She improved her fertility with her lifestyle is now a mum to a gorgeous girl. Dr Mary loves public speaking and has the most infectious, heart-warming laugh.

Dr Lucy Burns

Dr Lucy Burns is a GP and a lifestyle medicine physician. She works on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Dr Lucy runs a weight loss clinic called Epiphany Medical Weight Loss and is booked out for months. This was the inspiration to create an online learning platform to share this information far and wide. Lucy has muscular dystrophy which impairs her mobility. In her 20’s she managed her weight with exercise. Alas, this is no longer possible. She became overweight/obese and was insulin resistant. Two years ago she lost 20 kgs by adopting a low carb lifestyle and more importantly has maintained this. Dr Lucy is known for her positive can-do nature and is an eternal optimist. Despite this, she has experienced depression for many years which is now in remission thanks to her lifestyle changes. She practices meditation daily (well at least second daily). Dr Lucy also speaks at conferences for doctors on weight management as well as events for the general public, and is now considered an expert in this field. Dr Lucy is a mum to two teenage girls - say no more.



Episode 1 - Show Notes:


Dr Mary Barson:  Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr. Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Burns:  And I'm Dr. Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of real health and weight loss. This is our first episode and I thought we'd just introduce ourselves to our listeners so that they know who we are and what we're all about. And, you know, maybe a few fun facts. So, Mary, I thought I'd introduce you if that's okay. And then you can introduce me. So my lovely listeners, you'll hear me use some very funny phrases. I'm always calling people lovelies. So that's just who I am. Mary, my gorgeous friend, is a biochemist, a medical doctor, and medical hypnotherapist. She specialises in compassion focused therapy, and she's a stress management guru. On top of all of this, she has lived experience with ongoing, I guess, issues around insulin resistance and some health things and has polycystic ovarian syndrome. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of it. And Mary, being the guru that she is, was able to reverse this, improve her fertility, and is now the mother of the most beautiful seven year old girl.

Dr Mary Barson:  Thank you for that lovely introduction. Lucy. She is a pretty cute seven year old, it must be said. Well, I would love to introduce my colleague here, Dr. Lucy Burns. Dr. Lucy is also a medical doctor. She's a board certified lifestyle medicine physician, a medical hypnotherapist and a behavioural change specialist. Her genius zone is absolutely in mindset management. And she is the analogy queen, she can make even the most complex concepts simple and understandable with her legendary analogies.

Dr Lucy Burns:  Oh, thanks, Mares! That's super kind. So my lovelies, what we have, I guess put together over the last couple of years is this programme where we have brought together all the aspects that we both have in each of our skill sets and brought them in to be a complete health and weight loss programme that we are using with our patients in our clinics.  We are now using it with our beautiful women that we help online. And we just want to share some of those strategies with you. Mary, would you like to tell our listeners, maybe some of your history just in relation to your health and weight loss journey,

Dr Mary Barson: I would say that I probably struggled with my weight my entire life until recent years. So as a child, I would have been intermittently overweight. And I can remember feeling greatly self conscious about that at times, throughout my teens and 20s. I could lose weight pretty easily by sort of going on a crash diet, but it would always come back. And I kind of always hovered around the high end of a normal BMI, sometimes higher, sometimes a bit lower. And then when I hit medical school and got quite stressed and overwhelmed by all the pressures, my weight really, really piled on then. And it was about that time that I discovered that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome. And I was a health conscious human, I definitely wanted to be well. And so I saw doctors and dieticians at that time. And I followed the advice that I was given to eat my whole grains and to eat regularly and make sure I never missed a snack. And it certainly didn't work. That’s old, outdated, traditional advice based on the 1970s food pyramid. And I didn't get any better, which was very frustrating for me. But I got on with my life and focused on other things. And it wasn't until I stumbled across a low carb paleo challenge that I actually got well for the first time. And it was just an accident. I was working in community palliative medicine and my friends and colleagues, some of the nurses were doing a challenge with a local gym and asked me to come along and so I did. I didn't know anything about low carb. I didn't know anything about the paleo diet, but I just jumped in because my friends were doing it and I felt horrible for two weeks. I now know that that was the transition period. But then after two weeks, I felt amazing eating low carb, real food, in this instance, a sort of a paleo version of low carb, real food. And the weight just fell off me and my polycystic ovarian symptoms completely disappeared, just with food. So this was a real light bulb moment in my life. And I took a deep dive into the science behind this because I was a scientist before I was a doctor and I needed to know, and it was amazing. I uncovered what I think many people in the science community have known for a while about the true metabolic causes of weight gain and obesity and chronic illness, and the true treatment, which is to get control of your hormones, using real food. And I haven't looked back since.

Dr Lucy Burns:  Such a wonderful story, Mary, and I think maybe you've touched on some things that we will be talking about as this podcast progresses, in particular, all the advice that we've been given. And in fact, embarrassingly, I gave out in my, you know, years before I realised that the advice I was giving, you know, was not right, so much so that I, you know, now often talk about, imagine if everything you'd been told about weight loss was wrong. And in fact, that's what I felt happened to me and to you and to probably every other woman out there, or man who's been trying to lose weight, the “traditional”, and I'm using air quotes, which nobody can see. But the “traditional” dieting way,

Dr Mary Barson:  You're absolutely right. It's not about the calories, it's all about the hormones. And I know that we will go into this later. It's not maths, it's chemistry. It is not maths, it's chemistry. So Lucy, I know that the listeners would like to know a bit about your story as well.

Dr Lucy Burns: Sure. I was a child of the 70s and 80s, when the low fat movement started, and we lived a very low fat lifestyle at home. And also probably a diet culture lifestyle at home.  My mum was either on a diet, or not on a diet. I was either on a diet or not on a diet. I became an expert dieter - I was actually really good at dieting. So that was really how I managed my weight in younger years.  I'd just go on a super strict diet, and then I'd be off the diet and back on a bender, then eventually I'd get back on a diet and I’d be off the diet. It was just this yo-yoing of on a diet or on a bender. Until one day when I was in my 40s, suddenly, the diet wasn't working. And of course, I was obsessed by the scales. I was always standing on them, you know, sometimes six times a day, just to make sure, you know, might have a weigh and hop on the scales, because it was my life.  All about the numbers on the scales. And so, you know, I think I initially stumbled on low carb as another, and again, more air quotes “diet”. That was my thought, “Oh, well, this might work”. And it did. It was wonderful. And largely because throughout my history of yo-yo dieting, I had also become insulin resistant. So I got to my heaviest, what I thought was mortifying weight, heavier than when I was pregnant with my children. And believe me, I put on 30 kilos with each child. So to be heavier than that without a baby on board, I just thought, well, this is rubbish! Anyway, low carb. You know, it certainly worked. Initially, really, it was all about the weight loss. That was all I was interested in until I rediscovered all these other benefits, which I now know we call non scale victories. And the biggest non scale victory for me has been the idea of food freedom and understanding my mind, which I can now do once I was no longer driven by hunger. So previously, I was always hungry. And the only way I could lose weight was to white knuckle my way through the hunger and use willpower. And I had a lot of it. But that didn't actually address any of the underlying thought patterns that I had. So when I went low carb and was able to actually, just for once in my life lose weight without being hungry, it was like a miracle. I was then able to also work on mindset. And that my lovely friends is what we want for you. We I guess talk a lot about marrying the physiology, which is the hormonal component and the psychology. And really those two go hand in hand or hand in glove, whatever term you like to use, both need to be managed for long term weight loss. If you want to lose weight for, you know, a couple of months, then don't bother addressing the psychology. But most people don't want to do that today. Most people want permanent weight loss.

Dr Mary Barson: Wonderful. I think it would be good if we could tell people what they can expect from this Real Health and Weight Loss series. What are we going to be doing?

Dr Lucy Burns:  Basically, every week, Mary and I are going to be delivering an episode that goes for about 20 minutes. We know that you're busy people. We know that you know, you haven't got time to necessarily sit down and watch a one hour masterclass every week, but every week, you can tune in to us. And we will go through all of those steps that address the physiology. And the one thing I want to remind people is that the treatment of overweight or obesity is different to the prevention. And this is the problem. We have so many people going, just do this. And you'll be like me, and I've never been overweight in my life. But Mary and I both have been. We know what it's like. And I can tell you now the treatment is different to the prevention. So each week we're going to bring you, I guess, a snippet or snapshot of a part of our programme. We're going to be delivering you what we call an actionable steps, something that you can focus on each week so that this podcast brings you value that you can break it down and just work on one thing at a time. Our future episodes are going to be all about you. Because my lovely listeners, we really want to reverse what's going on in our world. Our world is full of chronic disease. It is full of people who are unable to live their best lives and at the end of the day, that's what we all want, isn't it?

So my lovely listeners that ends this episode of real health and weight loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns,

Dr Mary Barson:  and I'm Dr. Mary Barson.  We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit rlmedicine.com 

Dr Lucy Burns:  And until next time, thanks for listening.


DISCLAIMER: This Podcast and any information, advice, opinions or statements within it do not constitute medical, health care or other professional advice, and are provided for general information purposes only. All care is taken in the preparation of the information in this Podcast.  Real Life Medicine does not make any representations or give any warranties about its accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose. This Podcast and any information, advice, opinions or statements within it are not to be used as a substitute for professional medical, psychology, psychiatric or other mental health care. Real Life Medicine recommends you seek  the advice of your doctor or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Inform your doctor of any changes you may make to your lifestyle and discuss these with your doctor. Do not disregard medical advice or delay visiting a medical professional because of something you hear in this Podcast. To the extent permissible by law Real Life Medicine will not be liable for any expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damages) or costs which might be incurred as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason. No part of this Podcast can be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form without the prior permission of Real Life Medicine.