Episode 108 Summary 

  • Louise Reynolds and Jackie Fletcher are from the Fabulously Keto podcast - They share their incredibly inspiring stories. Although they have both been extremely successful in their weight loss and health journeys, they also find that the exact same plan isn’t appropriate for each of them. They are like Yin and Yang. They both enjoy low carb real food and have tried keto, ketovore, carnivore, low carb and fasting to learn what works for them individually. 
  • Abstainers vs Moderators - Louise is an abstainer and finds it easier to completely avoid all processed foods and refined carbohydrates and even foods like macadamia nuts. Whereas Jackie is a moderator and is able to eat a small piece of chocolate and then leave the rest of the block for later. Even forgetting about it sometimes. Louise’s body responded well to alternate day fasting, felt great and broke through a long term stall, whereas Jackie found it unpleasant and barely lost any weight at all. This is why it is important in all things to listen to our own bodies and to tailor our choices to ourselves as individuals. 
  • Different family circumstances - Louise’s family mostly eat low carb alongside her and she finds this to be incredibly helpful, but Jackie’s family still chooses to continue to eat carbohydrates and processed foods, although they do respect her decision to eat low carb real food. Encouragingly Jackie has been able to sustain this lifestyle even when others in the home continue to eat a different way. 
  • The reason why - Louise has a powerful reason “why”. She started out eating keto for weight loss, but now she finds that eating low carb real food manages her pain and she is disinclined to ever return to her previous way of eating because it will trigger aches and pain. A health based reason why, or for example Jackie’s reason why, that she wants to live well and see her children grow up is often much more powerful than a weight loss associate reason which can feel easier to delay until tomorrow, repeatedly, with the end result of the changes being delayed for a long  time. 
  • Consequences of eating off plan during a holiday - Jackie was recently on holiday and allowed the association with holidays and eating whatever we like to lead to her eating off plan for 2 weeks. In those two weeks she experienced the return of several unpleasant symptoms including reflux. A good example of how quickly symptoms can return when we go off plan. Jackie looked forward to returning to her low carb real food way of eating as it made it very clear to her how much better she feels eating her usual way. 
  • Stories in our heads and associations with activities or places - It is helpful to be aware of stories in our head tying eating and processed foods with certain activities. An example is going to the movies. Through our culture and advertising we associate going to the movies with eating a big tub of popcorn and a big soft drink. When we are conscious of these stories in our head we are able to change them. We have the power to make new stories about these same situations. 
  • End the stigma - Unfortunately there is often a stigma around weight loss surgery, and now also medications like ozempic, and people like to shame those who use these tools and say they took the “easy way out”. This is untrue, incredibly unhelpful and unfair. At Real Life Medicine we absolutely despise stigma, judgement and shaming.  These methods, weight loss surgery and the newer weight loss injections are tools and can be extremely effective for some people especially if they combine them with a low carb real food lifestyle, stress management, and sleep.
  • People do the best they know how - Empathy and kindness are extremely valuable. For people that do emotional eating there should be no shame. They're doing it to soothe. they've often been through trauma or have difficult lives. We don’t know other people’s stories and it is hard for these people when the tool that they use to cope (food) is visible to everyone around them, and yet they don’t know their story.
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Jackie Fletcher 

Jackie lives in the UK with her husband and twin boys. After starting on her low carb eating journey in May 2017 and then moving to a ketogenic way of eating in January 2018, she has discovered a passion for everything low carb and keto. In 2019 she decided to make low carb and keto part of her vision to help others on their journey to health and weight loss. Jackie has a certificate in the ketogenic diet, is a Network Nutrition advisor and a Primal Health Coach.  Jackie is the author of The Fabulously Keto Diet and Lifestyle Journal. She is a Health Results Metabolic score practitioner and an ambassador for the charity PHCUK.org (Public Health Collaboration) dedicated to informing and implementing healthy decisions for better public health.


Louise Reynolds

Louise is a military wife to Andrew and mum to three adult sons. In her working life, she was the first Australian female paramedic to gain her PhD and then moved into university and college teaching roles. Since late 2015, she and Andrew have used low carb ketogenic way of living to address a number of health issues along with maintaining their respective weight losses. In 2018 she was living in the UK where she took the opportunity to live, work and travel while enjoying delicious pork scratchings and clotted cream. Louise currently lives in Melbourne where she is course chair of a large undergraduate paramedic program.

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Show notes:

One size does NOT fit all


Dr Mary Barson: (0:11) Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr. Mary Barson.


Dr Lucy Burns: (0:15) And I'm Dr. Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. Good morning, lovely listeners. I hope you're having a wonderful day. Today I have a first and the first is that I'm interviewing two people. So we've had lots of podcasts where obviously it's just Dr. Mary and me, and we've had others where I'm interviewing some, but this is our first thrupple. So I'm very excited to introduce a gorgeous pair of women. They run their own podcast as well and we'll talk a bit about that. But I'm going to introduce to you, fabulous women, Louise Reynolds and Jackie Fletcher. Welcome, girls. Welcome to the podcast.


Jackie Fletcher: (0:58) Thank you for having us.


Louise Reynolds: (1:00) I feel really special that we're a special fabulous threesome.


Dr Lucy Burns: (1:04) Absolutely. I know. There were many other jokes that I could have done about menages, but I decided to refrain and just go with the thrupple. So lovely listeners, these two fabulous women both live a low carb slash ketogenic lifestyle and I am going to ask them to tell their stories first, because they have had miraculous and wonderful transformations living a low carb life. So Lou, perhaps if you would like to lead, because Leading Lou sounds good. I'll get you to tell your story first.


Louise Reynolds: (1:37) Well, thank you very much. I've been living low carb and keto, keto, carnivore, all variations thereof since about 2015. And I low carb. My primary reason is because I've had, well I have had now, massive weight loss. So I was the morbidly obese lady in 2012, at maxing out about 134 kilos. And I started my journey with weight loss surgery in 2012, I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy and I lost a good 40 kilos. And then in 2015, I had quite a significant motorcycle accident where I had some quite major trauma. And really, for me, so low carb gives me the benefit of maintaining my weight loss as well as you know, inflammation and managing a chronic pain condition. So I get the bonus plan. I've come for the weight loss, but I've got the added value of managing chronic pain. So today, tipping the scales at 65 kilos gone, you know, I have now since 2015 really embraced the low carb keto, carnivore. All the variations, intermittent fasting, thereof so you know, my my daily living is, you know, anywhere between low carb, keto, dipping my toe back into carnivore, alternate day fasting, you know, really keeping it refining, you know, that sort of the feedback for me, so I'm just loving the simplicity of it all.


Dr Lucy Burns: (3:22) Absolutely. We love simplicity, the ease. That's been one of our themes: make it easy. Jackie, darling, tell us your story. What brought you to low carb


Jackie Fletcher: (3:30) So I've always been overweight. And when I was 18, I had an operation on my ovaries that took them away, and then my weight ballooned even more, which I now understand is about the hormones. But I was always battling with my weight from a child, done all sorts of weight loss programs, mostly my teens starting really early on about 12 with Weight Watchers and things like that. By the time I got to my 20s I was less dieting, but I still did some because you know, you're always trying to do something, but I was never very good at it. And I will only last a few weeks. By the time I got to 2017 I was weighing, think if we're talking kilos, 105 kilos, 231 pounds, 16 and a half stone and I had no intention of losing weight. You know, diets don't work. What's the point? I've got no motivation. I can't keep it up. I'm not good enough. All these things were going around my head until I came across Gary Taubes' book, Why We Get Fat”. Everything sort of clicked into place. So I've been low carb keto since 2017. So five years this month, and fabulous. I started it just trying to lose a stone which is about 14 pounds, seven kilos, something like that. And now 50 pounds down 20 to 25 kilos down and feeling great,


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:02) Wonderful. And I think that's the thing that can happen on a low carb lifestyle is that people can lose considerable numbers, you know, massive numbers. And for many people, it feels like it's insurmountable. How could I possibly lose this much weight? But it is entirely doable. I was also gonna say, I love Gary Taubes' book. That's a good one. And lots of people have their “first book”, their one.  Their epiphany book. Mine was actually the obesity code by Jason Fung. What was yours, Lou?


Louise Reynolds: (5:34) I think for books, it was my mum. Actually, she started me on my journey. She gave me two cookbooks because I love cooking, The Real Meal Revolution and What the Fat? Perhaps my one was, obviously, you know, my Mum sort of got me started on the journey.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:51) Yeah, absolutely. That's wonderful. Now, I think it's interesting because you two both have been doing this for, you know, four or five years plus, you know, people love to say that low carb is not sustainable. You can't do it forever. It's only a short term fix. What will happen when you start eating carbs again? And so I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, given that both of you do live low carb permanently.


Louise Reynolds: (6:17) I, you know, when I hear that it's one they say, Okay, remember the “keto crotch” that came out? You know, “Oh, my God, you're gonna get keto crotch”. You know, people are always looking to an out, you know, “It's expensive. It's not sustainable. It's a quick fix. It's just water weight”. And it's such a dissonance for me to go. But here's my story. Here's my lived experience. You do you, girlfriend, you know, boyfriend, it is what it is. And I make it work by, as we said, the KISS principle. So we like to keep it simple. I keep it smart. You know, it's about preparation. It's about making smart choices. And I think the other thing is, you have to know yourself. And that gets to your why. So what's your goal? Keep your eye on the prize. What's my why? It's about chronic pain management. So you know, if I know that I go for the croissant, or the bread roll or the pasta, I'm going to hurt. I'm going to ache and I don't want to ache.  So know yourself, know your why. Keep it simple,


Dr Lucy Burns: (7:26) Absolutely. Wonderful advice. What about you Jack?  What keeps you motivated?


Jackie Fletcher: (7:30) So my motivation is health, and wanting to live a good life and be able to live that life. And my idea is I just sit down in a chair one night and go to sleep. And that's it. So that's my motivation. Also, my kids are 40 years younger than me. So I'd like to see them grow up and have grandkids and things like that. So that's mine. Why? And the way I think it's sustainable is because I have just spent two weeks in Spain, and I have eaten off plan back to almost back to what I used to do before. And that is not sustainable. I felt really bad. I went to bed with reflux, I couldn't sleep, all different things were coming back or even starting that I didn't have before. So that was really interesting. And I was sort of, I want to get home and I want to get back on plan.


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:29) Yeah. It's so interesting, isn't it when suddenly, like low carb becomes your default, your home base where you're looking forward to coming back to it. I often find that with fasting if I've been away and eaten, you know, maybe away for a weekend or something and had three meals a day and maybe dessert or something with that, by Tuesday, nah nah, I gotta get back to some fasting. I just need to kind of feel better.


Jackie Fletcher: (8:52) Yeah, I was eating so much food, just incredible amounts of food compared to normal.


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:58) Yeah, absolutely. So it's interesting, isn't it? You two have quite different ways then that you approach your low carb lifestyles? Are your families on board? As in do they eat low carb or? Tell me about that?


Louise Reynolds: (9:11) Yeah,it was super interesting when we started the low carb journey, so I'm with Andrew, my partner, Andrew, we have three now adult young men. And so when we got together 10 years ago, we had three teenage boys. And as you can imagine, they were not on board with their carbohydrates, you know, like you're restricting carbohydrates. So because they were obviously, you know, going through a growth phase and they loved junk food. We slowly, incrementally got them on board. And the way we did that, particularly for young men was to teach them how to cook. So if you've listened to the two keto dudes, Richard Morris is an advocate for teaching particularly young men to cook. So what we did was divide and conquer, what a great parenting style. So Andrew and his two would cook for three nights a week. And my Hayden and I would cook for three nights. And then Fridays was catch and kill, which usually was, you know, takeaway for the boys. Anyway. So we divided and conquered and we did the meal planning, we did the prep, we did the cook, you know, we did the cleanup, and all that sort of stuff. So it was also about a little bit of social regulation and adult preparation in there as well. So we got them to think about what we need to do. So in the meal planning, they had to cook low carb. And it was so good, especially for the eldest and his skin. It's so beautiful, not an acne spot in sight. Hayden with ADHD, he could actually think, and his mood lifted. The youngest, Aaron actually, almost, you know, his skin also improved, and they've become actually delightful young men. They actually talk to us, you know, it was really lovely. And when they went off plan, then they went off plan and then you could sort of see, you know, the skin and the mood and all that sort of stuff. So, but Andrew lost 20 kilos, you know, I did think that he was already a lean, lean man. Anyway, being in the military. His skin improved as well. He was actually quite lean, almost, you know, a bit too lean. But then we moved into weightlifting, as part of my rehab as well. So I'm yeah. So yes, Andrew is very much on board. I think even more, so he's one of those low carb zealots. And he will tell you why that's really. So he gets very passionate about it. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:49)  Oh, wonderful. 


Louise Reynolds: (11:50) My greatest support. I know, I couldn't really do this journey if it wasn't really for him on board as well.


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:55) Well, I actually think you probably could, but it is nice to have support. Because, certainly in my house, nobody else's low carb. I live in a house of Carboholics. And you can still do it. But it can be a bit harder, but it's still doable. What about you, Jackie, have you got your family support?


Jackie Fletcher: (12:15) I have the support in the sense that they support what I do. Julian is the one person my husband should be low carb because he's a type two diabetic, but he just doesn't want to know. Over the time what we've done, because where I was dropping potatoes, then Ben thought he would give it a go. So then Alex said, “Oh, you don't need to make potatoes for me”. So we don't have potatoes with meals anymore. They have a lot less pasta, hardly any rice so a lot of that stuff has gone but they still have their sweets and cakes and biscuits and things cookies, whatever you call it over there. So I think they're very aware because they're now 19 and I've been doing this for five years so that it's sort of become ingrained. But yeah, I think it's great that Louise has got Andrew with her but you can do it without 


Dr Lucy Burns: (13:09) Yeah, that's a bit how it works in our house. I'm the cook. I don't cook for my girls because they're vegetarian. So I've told them you can have my food but of course they don't want it, so that means good more for me and my husband and I'm not cooking I don't cook pasta rice potatoes or anything so he unless he wants to go and cook it himself which he doesn't he doesn't eat it either.


Louise Reynolds: (13:27) A great example Jackie shares with us is that on nights when you go out to your training and that sort of stuff, or you're away then Julian will cook up like an actual chilli con carne with rice and stuff. So at least it sounds like you know, Julian really does respect because Julian does do the cooking for Jackie, not to speak for Jackie, but Jackie tells the story that Julian does do the cooking and that he's very mindful and respectful of those sorts of things and will cook when Jackie's not around I think that's an absolutely you know, beautiful you know, and respectful way that he's demonstrating his support.


Jackie Fletcher: (14:04) Not only that, when we have chilli con carne, he does one pot with beans for them and one pot with just meat and vegetables for me.


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:13) Beautiful, beautiful. And it's interesting, isn't it? I mean, basically what you're describing is that there he's still whilst he may not be completely low carb, he's still very much involved with real food as a baseline


Jackie Fletcher: (14:25) For me and the boys. Julian doesn't eat the same as us. He eats all the rubbish


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:31) Well, he will one day. One day in his own time, hopefully, the penny will drop.


Louise Reynolds: (14:37) We can hope. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:38) It's interesting, isn't it? Because it's frustrating I think for lots of people when they've got a beloved who they know could benefit so much from changing their food or the way they eat, but if they're not ready they’re not ready.


Louise Reynolds: (14:55) I think that that's absolutely, you know, the point and you know, we see that whenever we walk down the street, whenever we go to the supermarket and, you know, there's this internal dialogue, oh my god I you know, I'd love to be able to to evangelize, you know, about these benefits and to sort of say, you know, and when you're looking at people's you know, carts and all that sort of stuff and, and I try not to be judgmental because that was me that was literally me before low carb. We were buying those mega Costco boxes of crisps and, you know, the tiny teddies for the lunch boxes and all that stuff, that highly processed, you know, the snack foods for the boys thinking that that was you know, we were doing the good thing. The juices. Super interesting, obviously, I'd spent the last two years in Thailand, come back to Melbourne and I open up my Woollies online shopping. This is our supermarket Jackie, like Tescos online shop. And in my basket is the saved shopping list. It was horrible. You know, it was literally so the like the last shop from when I did a big family shop. And it was seriously, “Was that what I was feeding the family?”. And it was like, you know, jaw droppingly horrendously highly processed rubbish food, you know, the CRAP, you know, and how far we've come, you know, and that's just that's the thing, when you reflect back on it is just how far we've come in such a short time relatively of our health journeys. But you know, as Jackie's holiday reminds us, it's within a space of two weeks, all these things come back and they serve as really good reminders.


Dr Lucy Burns: (16:40) Absolutely. And in fact, I think that's, you know, I mean, I know lots of us talk about non scale victories in in the low carb world, because focusing purely on weight as your only guide is such a… will end up tripping you up, because we can always tell ourselves that we will eat less tomorrow or “be good” - I'm doing air quotes - tomorrow, or make it up tomorrow, it won't matter. And so the thing is, my mum used to always say, “Well, tomorrow never comes”, and it honestly doesn't. Because every day is a tomorrow, and you can end up back where you started and five years down the track still doing the same thing. Because your brain keeps saying “Yeah, but I'll be good tomorrow”. Whereas if you focus on how you feel in the moment, like you Jackie, you know, you recognise it in a very short time you felt rubbish. Therefore you go, Well, what am I actually trying to achieve here? I'm trying to feel good now. I don't want to wait till tomorrow to feel good. I can feel good now.


Jackie Fletcher: (17:38) Yeah, and the struggle while I was away of even that, then going to bed and thinking tomorrow, um, won't have lunch or tomorrow, I'm only gonna have one course at dinner. And it just didn't happen.


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:53) It’s interesting. Why do you think that is?


Jackie Fletcher: (17:55) I think it was, it was the social setup of being on holiday and with the family and you're just going out and thinking, I'm not even hungry but I'm eating. It's really weird. It's really weird how easily we get back into those old ways.


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:11) I think this is a great example of you know, stories in our head in that for all of us, holidays are a free for all, you know, you can do anything you like on holiday, you get to stay up late, you get to watch telly whenever you want, you get to do whatever you want, you know, no routine, you just could do whatever you want. And so it's a bit like your brain runs rampant. And all of a sudden, it gets this sort of FOMO. It's got to fit everything in until you go back to your real life. And that everything can include, you know, stuff that you don't even you don't normally eat like Gilardi or cocktails or stuff that's not part of your everyday boring routine life.


Louise Reynolds: (18:50) Oh, I'm laughing because I think it's those sorts of rules that we set ourselves up for. And you know, and we have certain as you said, you know, here's the story, or you know, this is the context or the rules of engagement. When we're in this setting, this is what I'm going to do. My game plan. And it's whenever I start is even before I get to the holiday destination Jackie knows about, I'm in the QANTAS Club Lounge. And it's the free food loophole. It's only free food, “Oh my gosh, yes, you know, game on girlfriend”. And I'm you know, tucking into whatever they've got on offer there and I try and make smart choices. But holidays are stressful for whatever reason, travel is stressful and it's been particularly stressful. you know, as you know, in Australia, the lines, the queues, just even getting to the other side of the security gate has been very stressful. And you're waiting for you know, you don't want to miss your flight and whatever that stress and cortisol levels are makes me hungry and the free food loophole what you know, it's game on and then obviously the two for one cocktails happy hour as well. That's always good to go through the menu.


Dr Lucy Burns: (19:58) Ah, absolutely. And these are all mainly marketing, magical tricks, marketing mischief. Companies know these tricks, that's why they invent them. But yeah, I think bringing awareness to them is really important because for a lot of us, we don't even know why we do it, why it's there. What happens. And, you know, I was just telling this story the other day about if, if you go to church, now, I don't go to church. But when I used to go to church when I was a kid, nobody is sitting in church eating buckets of popcorn, they just go to church, you’re not wishing you had popcorn, you're not pining for popcorn, you're basically going, you're watching some person put on a show. And then you go. However, if you go to the movies, similar circumstances, maybe no priest, but there is somebody telling a story, and you are desperate for popcorn. So the stories about the scenarios run deep for a long, long time, and it's why we have trouble with indifference and when you're out of your normal routine.


Louise Reynolds: (20:57)  Yeah. And I think that those contexts are really important. And you know, those rules of engagement, you know, those patterns, you know, whenever we the associations really are at the cinema. And yeah, we had the large, we did, we had the large bucket of buttery, salty popcorn, which never really seemed to fill you up. But you had to buy a big drink to go with it, because to quench your thirst with all the salt. Yeah, I think those contexts are really important.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:25) Yeah. And that you can change that story in your brain at any stage, if you want to, you really can. One of the things I want to talk to you guys about because I know we've had a little chat about this in the past is the concept of abstaining and moderating.


Jackie Fletcher: (21:41) We are the Queens of abstaining and moderating.


Dr Lucy Burns: (21:45) Yes. So lovelies, you will know that I have often spoken about the concept of sugar addiction, or carbohydrate addiction, particularly processed food addictions. So people will come and they'll say, you know, I can't live without my bread, and I'm a chocoholic, and they really, and as did I, Lucy loves lollies. That was my mantra. The way I like to think about it is that there's like three buckets of people. So you've got the bucket of people that don't care that much about food, like they'll have a piece of cake once a year, if they have to, they don't even think about it, you've got the second bucket of people who like food, and possibly eating too much, but can rein it in if they need to. It's just getting that motivation to do so. And then you've got the third bucket who are truly addicted. So despite adverse outcomes, you know, they've got diabetes, they've lost their toes, and they still can't stop eating their processed food. And so for lots of us, we're in that second or third bucket and identifying yourself is really helpful. So Lou, which bucket are you in?


Louise Reynolds: (22:50) Hi, my name is Louise. And I'm a bucket number three abstainer. So I'm proudly abstaining, I should be wearing my abstainer metal, my coin of abstinence, it took a long time to put a name to that or happily identify with bucket number three, it took a long time to work out what were the the inputs and the drivers what was driving that behaviour where, you know, I so remember, you know, in the deepest, darkest, you know, university study days, and you know, we'd have the Tim Tams in the freezer. And these are like penguins, Jackie, and there's eleven in a packet, I'll just have one, and you're studying, you're studying, and you could hear the voice, “Louise, Louise, I'm in the freezer, come and get me, there's 10 more of me here for you, you know, you want one”. So and rapidly over the night, you know, I'd be basically mainlining that whole packet. And you know, they are 100 calories each, back in the days when we were counting calories. You know, that was 1100 calories. That was my total daily allowance. And it's hard. It's hard to do that. But for me, I need that structure. I'm a structuralist, if I know that my boundaries are here. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. It's a slippery slide if I do that. Unlike my good friend Jackie. This is the yin and yang of this relationship. I love that it's just so yin and yang, you know?


Dr Lucy Burns: (24:27) What about you Jackie? How can you have just one biscuit and leave the rest?


Jackie Fletcher: (24:33) Yeah, yeah. Not that I do. But when it comes to biscuits, generally I have two or three, but that's it. And even before being low carb keto, I would have chocolate and I could have it on the couch beside me. I'd have one strip and the rest of the bar would sit there for the rest of the week. And then I'm gonna have another one another day. And I'd always get people saying “How can you do that? I'd have to eat the whole bar”. I never did. I used to throw away bars of chocolate, where they'd been sitting in the cupboard for so long because I hadn't eaten them. I remember once having an easter egg, a big easter egg, and I didn't even start it until July. But it didn't taste very good. So now I, if I get an Easter egg, I eat it straight away, because they don't last very long.


Dr Lucy Burns: (25:18) Which is, I guess that thing of that you were talking about the ways of knowing yourself? Well. So I think we all wish we were moderators. And there's this temptation to be one, you know, look, I'll just have one, one won't hurt, you got to live, you can have one - one's not going to kill you. So that’s either other people telling you that story or the story in your head?


Louise Reynolds: (25:41) I think I mean, I need to blame my mother for this. No, to be fair, not blame, I attribute her voice in my head, which is a pretty scary place to be. And it's scary to have my mother's voice in my head. But it's this imprint. And I think if we go back to those food values. And I think there's a lot of conditioning that comes with the story, the storyteller how that story has become to be told in the various iterations of those stories. “In for a penny in for a pound”.  As you said, “You only live once. Go on, it's your birthday, Christmas, Easter holiday, Hanukkah, Eid”, you know, whatever it is, you know, whatever the festival is, you know, “We're on holiday!”, you know, “This is Christmas, New Year”. But those food values are really a strong imprint for me, because from my grandparents and my parents, you know, that post war period, because, “Think of the starving children in Africa!” These were some of the things that we were told and having to eat everything on your plate, because she, you know, that's a food value. And that was particularly hard when you know, and that sort of is part of the How did I get fat? You know, I'm an intelligent woman. I should know better. That's a great story. How can you be teaching undergraduate health professionals? You should know better Dr. Lou, and it's like, but my son had special needs. He has ADHD. He was on dexamphetamine, he wasn't hungry. I didn't want to waste food. So I was eating my meal and his meal. I got over eating as well as you know, all the other stuff that was going on. Emotional, a lot of emotional stuff, but one of the food values was “Don't waste the food”. You just prepared this food for this child, ungrateful thing, not eating it. So I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to eat it.


Dr Lucy Burns: (27:35) Yeah, absolutely. That's why mums eat the crusts that the kids leave, you know, on their plate, rather than throw them out. They'll just gobble down a crust, which is, it's not even nice, but you still do it. I remember doing that. Eating you know, some end of a fish finger. Ugh. Chicken Nuggets. Yeah, just pop them in. So absolutely, knowing your stories, knowing the stories in your head is absolutely critical. And for me the line and I know you've heard it, Lou, and you would have too Jackie is that one is too many and 1000 is never enough. The day I heard that was like a light bulb going off because that's what I realised, that when my brain goes “Just have one”. That would be fine, if one worked, if one satisfied whatever it is I was looking for. But it's like an itch that you can never scratch as soon as you start, then you’re just tearing bits of skin off. So for me it is much easier to have none than one. But for you, Jackie, it's obviously fine for you to have one or two and then you don't move down the whole packet.


Louise Reynolds: (28:39) Can I just say just just between me and the listeners. I'm just going to give them a hint. Jackie loves chocolate raisins. So she can't start with one. She will have the whole bag.


Dr Lucy Burns: (28:51) Uh huh!


Jackie Fletcher: (28:53) No, I can have six!


Louise Reynolds: (28:58) Okay, you can do 10.


Dr Lucy Burns: (28:59) Yeah, yeah.


Jackie Fletcher: (29:02) I need a few more than that. 


Louise Reynolds: (29:04) Maybe 12. 


Jackie Fletcher: (29:05) But the difference Lou is, I might eat half a packet. I might eat the whole packet, but I won't eat it tomorrow.


Louise Reynolds: (29:12) I just..  Can I just?


Jackie Fletcher: (29:15) What about you with pork scratchings?


Louise Reynolds: (29:18) Okay, but they are only like 20 gram packets. They're only little and they're self limiting because they're just fat, right? They're just crunchy, salty fat. And that's the same I have to say. I've got it down to it's that Dorito factor, right? It's salty, crunchy and fat. That's why macadamias are like crack to me, you know they’re packets of crack. And for the Australian listeners, the $9 Aussie dollar 200 gram packet at Woolies is fantastic and it is self limiting and I have a little cup and I put 50 grams in there and I try and self limit to that, which I tend to do. But salt and fat is my crack lever. You know, and I'm always looking for that crunch. That's that's the thing. So if I'm going to have a snacky thing, salty, crunchy, those sorts of fatty even those little cheese, puffy things. They're quite good as well. But it is something I can't do. It's just amazing how Jackie has this inner power. I think it's a superpower, Jackie.


Jackie Fletcher: (30:20) And there's benefits and disadvantages to both. So you two are abstainers. So you don't have it and you can't have it. But on the other side, that's really good, because you don't have it. And me, I can have it and I can stop, but then I will dip into it. So I will have some chocolate raisins every few weeks.


Dr Lucy Burns: (30:42) Yeah, I think it's interesting. It's, and for some people, you know, they have the same stories around alcohol. So some people will have that as soon as they open the bottle of wine, they've got to finish it. And you know, whereas I have, I can have a bottle and then forget about it. And it's a bit like your mouldy chocolate Jackie. I go “Oh”, and tip it down the sink. It's not that I'm trying, it's actually easy. So for the people that can moderate, it is easy for you to do so. And the people that can't, you'll never be a moderator. So just stop trying.


Jackie Fletcher: (31:15) And I think that's really important. And I say, with my clients, you have to recognise: Are you a moderator or an abstainer? And you've got to stick with it. 


Louise Reynolds: (31:25) Is this where, you know, circling back to your question about, you know, is low carb, keto lifestyle, these are sort of unsustainable, but I think in this journey, this journey of being mindfully aware of what it is your environment? And how do you support all of that? You have the people that have got your back, that if you have people that are perhaps disabling, not the enabling, but the disabling the challenging types, “Go on! Just have one bite!” it is, you know, whatever. You have to really have strategies to be able to not mitigate, but to be able to deal with that. And it's just like, “No, I'm allergic or no, I've got a food intolerance.” So you make something up just to go, “Thank you. But no, no, not for me”. You know, you have to have these strategies for the rules for engagement for social situations. Because we are social creatures, we will always be going to the office, the parties, the work functions, the social clubs, whatever it is, church, after church, morning teas. So the rules of engagement then become really important because you still want to live your life, you don't want to be close to like a low carb keto nun in the monastery. But we've just heard that sometimes, you know, when we've gone out into the fray, we become a bit loose. But yet we find comfort in knowing structures, routines, and patterns. And you know, like you said, getting back to getting back to my two meals a day and my fasting, I feel better.


Dr Lucy Burns: (32:57) Absolutely. And the key is that you do, you have to know yourself. And permanent weight loss is not a meal plan. It is so much more. It's a personal development journey. And it can take a long time and it can take a few goes.


Louise Reynolds: (33:11) Absolutely. I think it's been an exciting journey. Because when we first started, like when Andrew and I first started, you know, we just started, you know, dipping the toe into the low carb. Then we went keto. We've dipped our toes into, you know, periods of carnivore like keto, carnivore. various iterations, we've done every combination or permutation of fasting, intermittent, sort of extended. Jackie and I, well I ended up doing six months of alternate day fasting, the results have been high fat, high protein and every leverage, low high, whatever combination we've had. So the results as I've gone along in my journey have been some good. Some are not so good. Yeah, insightful, insightful, reflective on the journey.


Jackie Fletcher: (34:02) I think the 100 day alternate day fasting that we did was a great example of how we're all different, because we did it together and we had different results, or whatever with you check. So Louise was doing every other day, which was one day on one day off, I was doing three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, where I was fasting and 40 hours each time. And I kept doing it but I just was not happy. It just didn't sit well with me. And after about nine weeks, I didn't feel great. I just said I'm stopping this I'm not carrying on. So I got about halfway, maybe three quarters away through and I stopped but you Lou had really great results.


Louise Reynolds: (34:47) It broke a stall. It was like, winner winner chicken dinner - on the other day, not on the fasting day - but it really busted through a stall that I've been stuck at this weight and nothing seemed to be doing. I'd done the high protein thing. Yeah, we'd done other fasting, like two days a week. We did the fasting pattern of 2 x 48 hours a week, that hadn't done anything. But once I was doing it every other day, and it ended up I was on Jackie's challenge. I loved it so much, I extended it for another 80 days, because I was living in Thailand, that was Buddhist Lent. So I gave up eating for lent. Alternative day eating for that lent, so ended up being six months, 180 days. And I think, you know, it was good for me because it was a structure, I knew what I was doing every other day. It really made me concentrate on maximising the two meals a day that I needed to make sure I had adequate protein, the fasted exercise was really good. I lost about seven extra kilos, that was sort of, had a bit of obviously carb creep, over the years. And it sort of busted through that. It was really good to see on the scales. You know, and Andrew and I really loved not cooking. It was super good, no dishes, no meal planning, but we really focused on having good food on the two meals that we were eating.


Jackie Fletcher: (36:19) And I did the nine weeks and I lost about two pounds.


Dr Lucy Burns: (36:23) But what you're describing, again, is that eating is not a team sport. It's an individual pursuit, everyone has different results. And you are the boss of you, so you get to decide what works for you. And you get to decide if alternate day fasting works for you and you love doing it, then there's nothing wrong with that. You don't, you know, people will say, “Oh my God, you're so restrictive. How can you be like that? You've got disordered eating.” If you're happy doing it, and it works for you, it's fine. If you're doing it, and it's making you miserable, and you continue to do it because you think you should, then that's probably where a problem comes. Knowing that you have permission to do whatever you need to do for your body is really important, because you are the boss of you. 


Jackie Fletcher: (37:06) Absolutely. And you have to try these things to know whether they work or not.


Louise Reynolds: (37:10) Give it a go, you know, and Jackie was almost, you know, she's going, “Look, I'm really sorry, but this isn't working for me.” And it's like, “You do you, girlfriend!” If it's not working, you know, you're not happy, I know that. You're not getting the results that you set out to achieve. You don't have to flog yourself for another, you got to day 100, 120. I'm not going to give you a medal Jackie, there's no medals handed out just because you did it. I think you're more in tune and aware. And as you said, the boss of yourself. And you’re really honouring yourself by saying, “Look, I made the best decision to start, and I'm making the best decision to finish because I'm not getting the results that I need.” So you don't need my permission.


Jackie Fletcher: (37:50)  And I gave it a good go to know that it didn't work.


Dr Lucy Burns: (37:53) Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes people, it's a good point that you make Jack, because sometimes people will do something and they're perhaps not sticking to their plan. And then they go, “Well, this plan is not working.” And it's because they're not actually doing the plan. But they blame the plan that they're not doing for not working. You know that story?


Louise Reynolds: (38:14) Yeah, it's super interesting, you say that I was listening to a podcast, I was, you know, it's so good being able to go to the office now now that we can all get out and about, and I'm really enjoying listening to podcasts and audiobooks again. And it's an interesting fact that we think, again, it's about the stories that we tell ourselves about, say we're tracking if we're tracking macros, and our food diaries, that we typically underestimate, the amount that we're eating the volume, the calories that perhaps are reported for those, all these things that we underestimate, because the true nature of what we're meant to be tracking, because of that effect, you know, when we’re being watched, you know, when we have that sort of watching? Of course not, of course, I didn't eat that. I didn't lick that. I didn't take a sample of that.


Dr Lucy Burns: (39:03) Oh, absolutely. And in fact, we did a journaling challenge last year, and we all had a snigger about the fact that, you know, when we used to go to Weight Watchers, and you'd have to document what we ate. Yeah, we just didn't write down if we ate ice cream, we just didn't put it in. So if it wasn't in the journal, it didn't happen. Right. Well, so yeah, it's stories in your head. 


Louise Reynolds: (39:27) Absolutely. And I think the gamification that comes from that as well, we make it a game, you know, and sometimes making a game as good you know, if you're that competitive person, you know, and it became a competition when you know, when you're doing the points I remember the points. Like what kind of yummy stuff can we have? That's only like one point.


Dr Lucy Burns: (39:44) Yeah, the only problem was that it was rubbish like, you know, some sort of diet chocolate mousse.


Louise Reynolds: (39:50) Oh, good. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (39:51) Yeah, they were. Yeah, cheesecake yoghurt that tasted like vomit, but I still ate it because it was only one point.


Louise Reynolds: (39:57) The mousse was nice. Like the little fluffy Nestle mousse. That was, that was nice.


Dr Lucy Burns: (40:02) Yeah, it was not good for me because I'd have it and it was like just inhaling air. And I think, ergh, and then I look at all the crap that was in it and think, “Ergh” I would have been better to actually have some cream with some cocoa in it, and some berries and have a proper food. And I probably would never, I would have been satisfied with that.


Louise Reynolds: (40:21) That's an interesting point. Can I ask you a question? 


Dr Lucy Burns: (40:24) Of course


Louise Reynolds: (40:25)  It's about regret. And I mean, I've had people ask me, you know, knowing what you know, now would you have still got the weight loss surgery? And people sort of tend to ask this because obviously, if I had known about low carb keto, it's almost like a sliding door moment. Interesting leading up to the weight loss surgery because, well, one, there's a lot of, I still feel there's a lot of stigma around weight loss surgery, you know, because it's “a cheats way out”. “Louise, you cheated” and all these layers of stigma and judgement, you know, but that's me being a sensitive, delicate petal?


Dr Lucy Burns: (40:58) No, I don't think it is. I think it's true. I think there is a stigma around it. We could do a whole episode on that, because I'm so anti stigma, but I think there is.


Louise Reynolds: (41:07) Okay. And even within the low carb keto community, “No, no, no, don't do that”. You see it on the forums and stuff. “Don't do that, try this”. Anyway, I mean, I did Dukan, which was sort of, this is in the early 2000s. So Dukan was obviously the French chap, a doctor who, you know, was low carbish, the Tony Ferguson shakes, they were like, you know, low calorie, a little bit low carb ish as well. And I had moderate success with those sorts of things, but again, not sustainable and I put the weight back on. And being the very intelligent person I was, I researched options, different variations. Of course, I interviewed surgeons, you know, I sort of basically went there with the articles highlighted and went, “But this study said this, so what do you say to this?” So, you know, I was basically at my wit's end. And I think the tools, and this is very, I'm saying, weight loss surgery, for me, is a tool, it's something that I have to be very careful with. It's a tool, it's an adjunct to the main primary lifestyle of low carb, you know, in order to shift a large amount of weight I needed to supercharge my weight loss, and it gave me that. It got me to the start point. So tools, whatever the tools are. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (42:29) Yeah, absolutely. And I think that we need to, you know, and again, I could do a whole session on this, about removing the shame from using whatever tool is necessary. It’s the same, you know, there's new medications out for weight loss that in certain people are incredibly effective. But there's, again, there's a lot of people who are going, “Oh, you have just lost weight because you had the injection. And then conversely, there are people who are just using the injection to get to their goal weight, but not actually changing anything about their food, they're still eating lots of junk. And so it really is just, you know, everyone's just doing their best I reckon.


Louise Reynolds: (43:06) And it's, again, on the commute, I've been listening to Brene Brown Atlas of the Heart, and that was really good. I mean, I know that she's a very, you know, experienced researcher in that shame and guilt. And, you know, her messages speak to me about, again, it's all about the layers of that story that we tell ourselves, and why are we so hard on ourselves? You know. Why are we judging ourselves? Why do we make it more difficult for ourselves? And, yeah, I think that that's something that, that internal dialogue and the tone of that, and really sitting in whatever it is to reflect on, “Hang on, why am I feeling crappy about that?” 


Dr Lucy Burns: (43:45) Yeah. And you know, at the end of the day, for people that do emotional eating, they're doing it to soothe they've often got trauma. Difficult lives, you know, you don't know what's going on there, their story, 


Louise Reynolds: (43:54) Oh,we can have a whole session on that. I know!


Dr Lucy Burns: (43:58) Exactly. It is just a tool. And the issue is that the tool is visible for the world to see. So it becomes this self fulfilling prophecy of shame and guilt around the way you look and what you've done to yourself and how disgusting you are, and all of that talk that goes on.


Louise Reynolds: (44:15)  But I know that you've spoken to our good friend, Daisy Bracken Hall, you know, Keto woman, and I loved it when she sort of said she had that big wall of fat, you know, she was protecting, you know, significant for her, it was a trauma. And when she said that, and it's like, “Oh, yes, you know, we were.” But I mean, I have Dr. Phil in my head as well, “You're having that party in your mouth and you're eating, and how's that working for you?” And when that concept of self soothing, and you know, then you go back and you trace it all the way back to all those significant things, you know, pretty rubbish things that happen in your life and you're going, “Yeah okay, that makes sense. But I'm here now”, You know, and even leading up to my weight loss surgery I had three years working with a food focused psychologist to understand that and then after surgery, I worked for another two years to get myself pretty much stable in that way, to really unpack a lot of those issues. But food is a necessity, you know, it's not like I can stop eating, you know, like I do, I do fast, but in an alcohol way or a gambling way, or nicotine way or a, you know, other way. We need food. That's why the food addiction stuff is fascinating.


Dr Lucy Burns: (45:31) It is. It's interesting, though, because there are some comparisons because while alcohol is alcohol, we still drink, like we still have to have fluid. And so you can put alcohol as a you know, dopamine inducing product, along with hyper palatable processed foods. That's what they are. They're dopamine producing products. And the majority of people if your focus is on real food, I know that we can still binge on real food, but it's much less common. And it is much less, I guess, destructive, because you are at least eating food that's got nutrients, and it won't override those satiety signals that the junk food will. Lovely, gorgeous women. It has been delightful talking to you. We've had a wonderful time. And I am sure that we will have you both back on the podcast because I think there is wisdom in us chatting. And everybody has their stories and being able to share them is I guess part of what reduces the shame around eating, bingeing, you know, there is no shame in it. And we all have done it and we all may still do it. And it's really just about learning to manage it and recognising that it's not a character flaw. It's just a tool.


Louise Reynolds: (46:47) Thank you Dr Lucy and Dr. Mary. So shout out to Dr. Mary.


Dr Lucy Burns: (46:52) Ah yes by the time this episode comes to air she will have had her baby. 


Louise Reynolds: (46:57) I’m so excited!


Dr Lucy Burns: (46:58) I know so are we. The Real Life Medicine baby. So yeah, we are excited.


Louise Reynolds: (47:04) But thank you for the opportunity and you know, this council of wise women, the menage of the Council of wise women, you know, happy to share anytime.


Dr Lucy Burns: (47:15) So gorgeous women if people want to learn more about you and what you do because Jackie, I know you have clients and you offer coaching, where can they find you?


Jackie Fletcher: (47:26) Everything is at fabulously keto. So website is fabulouslyketo.com. Facebook is Fabulously Keto. Our fabulously keto Facebook group people are welcome to join. Twitter, fabulously keto. . And Instagram is @fabulouslyketo1.


Dr Lucy Burns: (47:45) Excellent and your podcast is called Fabulously Keto!


Louise Reynolds: (47:51) We're on brand. Surprise, surprise!


Dr Lucy Burns: (47:54) Excellent, excellent! So I think I mean, I'm a bit like you Lou, I love listening to podcasts. I think that there is so much other messaging out there that is designed to hijack our brains to eating Maccas or you know, eating whatever chocolate rubbish there's out there. If we can spend some time unbrainwashing ourselves and rebrainwashing ourselves with helpful tools. That's really the way to go.


Louise Reynolds: (48:20) Love it on point


Jackie Fletcher: (47:21) We do love a podcast.


Dr Lucy Burns: (48:22) Good darlings, bye now. 


Louise Reynolds & Jackie Fletcher: (48:24) Thank you. Bye, bye


Dr Lucy Burns: (48:32) So, my lovely listeners that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns.


Dr Mary Barson: (48:39) And I'm Dr. Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit https://www.rlmedicine.com


Dr Lucy Burns: (48:50) And until next time, thanks for listening. The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, including show notes and links provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.


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