Episode 121 Summary

Nerida Jelinek is a real-life woman who has participated in our 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance Program - We are honoured and grateful that she has made the decision to share her story with us this week. Life is all about stories. Everyone has a story and her story will resonate with others.

Nerida, like many of us has a long history of yo-yo dieting - She also has a history of severe depression. She had her stomach banded which initially worked, but over time she discovered that even with a stomach band she was still able to ingest chocolate and twisties. As many of us will understand, this starts out with small portions but the portion sizes gradually increased.

Nerida was referred to a wonderful psychologist who worked with patients with food issues -  She was able to determine through trial and error that sweet and savoury sugars (starches) exacerbated her depression.  By eliminating the sweet and savoury sugars from her diet and lifestyle she was able to discontinue her antidepressant therapy. 

Nerida experienced complications with her gastric band which led to it being removed. Following the band removal Nerida re-commenced eating bread,  then chips, twisties and chocolates. Her severe depression returned and she became deeply suicidal, to the point she would wake up each morning incredibly disappointed to be alive.

Sugar stole Nerida's joy. It stole her sense of humour, it stole her hopes and dreams. She was in a very dark place. Nerida's depression spiraled out of control, she also began to regain more and more weight. 

Nerida tried to quit sugar again. She knew that was what she needed to do. She was living an exhausting double life, telling everyone that she did not eat sugar, yet sneaking and hiding chocolate and eating it in secret. She would let perfectionism make her give up after she believed she had failed, often promising herself she'd start again on Monday.

In August last year Nerida signed up for the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance - She did not really believe that it would work, but she was feeling desperate, trapped in a life she didn't want to be living. She immediately stopped eating sugar, ashamed of the double life she was living, which is the opposite of the approach that many people take, and for Nerida this was a wonderful choice because by the time the challenge had commenced she was feeling ready to learn. 

Dr Chris Palmer's book, Brain Energy, is about mental health disorders and how in his view many mental health disorders are linked to metabolic health disorders. In Nerida's case she describes a direct correlation between her mental health and sugar and she is not alone in this. The brain is just another part of the body, another organ, and we know that the liver and pancreas can be harmed with excess sugar, so why not the brain?

Sugar can trigger addiction, like other substances including drugs and alcohol.  For some people, they can have a bit here and there and it's no big deal. But for others it's like standing in front of a fire wearing a nylon nightie. You may not get burnt this time, but if you do it all the time, you will, you will absolutely get burned. And so it's not worth the risk for these people.

A lot of people do have serotonin related issues, and SSRIs can make them feel better, but they often don't treat the root cause. Some people may not respond to antidepressant therapy. These people are referred to as treatment resistant. Changing diet could offer these people hope. 

One of the parts of our 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance that really helped Nerida was understanding about the "reasonable stories" in our heads. Becoming aware of them, being able to evaluate them and determine if they are true (they usually aren't) is incredibly helpful for her moving forward. They always contain a fragment of truth, to try to confound us.

Now free from sugar and starches (savoury sugars) Nerida feels empowered and full of hope for the future. She wakes up happy to be alive. She is able to laugh and feel joy. She is an incredible inspiration. She no longer lives a double life. People around her have noticed the transformation in her demeanor and she has lost 18kg. 

To learn more about our wonderful 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance visit www.rlmedicine.com/12WMBR - Doors close on midnight Feb 10th.


Join the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance today

Show notes:

Episode 121 - Sugar almost killed me

Content warning - suicidal ideation

If you or anyone you know is potentially distressed, please contact a 24-hour crisis support service to seek immediate help.


Lifeline:  13 11 14



Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467



Beyond Blue: 1300 24 636



Mensline Australia: 1300 789 987



Other resources:

Head to Health: Mental Health Portal



Life In Mind:  Suicide Prevention Portal



SANE: online forums


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. Gorgeous ones it’s Dr Lucy here this morning and I am without my beautiful colleague, Dr. Mary, but I have another fabulous guest, another real life person who is here to tell her story. And I can tell you what, it is an absolute cracker. I'm sure that so many of you will relate to what's going on. But also it really highlights, I think, the insidious harms of sugar, not just on our physical, but our mental health as well. So Nerida I am so grateful for you joining the podcast and I would love to welcome you this morning.


Nerida Jelinek: (1:01) Thank you so much. Dr. Lucy, it's, I'm a little bit honoured actually, that you're interested in my story, I guess. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (1:09) Oh, you're welcome! But you know what, life is all about stories, isn't it? Everybody does have a story. And I think sometimes that people think they're so isolated or that maybe they're the only one who feels like this and then you realise, actually there are other people out there who feel exactly the same, or who have experienced exactly the same. So I just am so grateful for you sharing your story with us. So with that, can you tell us darling a bit about yourself.


Nerida Jelinek: (1:37) Okay, so really, this is about sugar and carbs and what it does to me. And again, like a lot of, well like most of us, my life's been a roller coaster of dieting. And I've also suffered very quite severe depression. And I was on a fairly strong antidepressant medication that I called my happy pills. And I was on them for many, many years and then I think around 2003 I had my stomach banded, because, you know, I didn't know it was the sugar that was making me fat. And I had a stomach band that did work. But slowly over time, chocolate crept back into the “must have” food group. And I found that before long, I could actually nearly inhale chocolates and twisties, even with the stomach band. Again, it always starts off small and then ended up I could do a family block or two in a sitting.


Dr Lucy Burns: (2:35) Yeah, absolutely. And it's so interesting, isn't it that weight loss surgery or lap bands, which is just surgery, they're a tool, but they're not a panacea are they?

Nerida Jelinek: (2:47) They don't fix the actual cause. And then in 2013, I actually found a really great GP, who referred me to a psychologist that actually worked with people with food issues. And I'm not quite sure whether my GP knew that there was a food issue or what but I ended up seeing a psychologist and by trial and error over a two year period, found that it was the sugars, sweet and savoury that exacerbated and kept me on the downward spiral of depression. And we got off, I got off the antidepressants that I've been on for 20 years. And all of a sudden, I'm not taking them because I stopped sugar. I did it cold turkey and it was hard. I had I think two days of DTS with you know, the shakes and...


Dr Lucy Burns: (3:41) With stopping your sugar?

Nerida Jelinek: (3:42) Stopping the sugar.

Dr Lucy Burns: (3:43) Wow. Yeah, yeah, it is, it's a it's a drug isn't it? 


Nerida Jelinek: (3:45) Yeah. Oh, just awful. It was easier to quit smoking than it was to quit sugar. And then life went to crap again around August. Well, yeah, August 2021. I ended up being rushed to hospital and had to have the stomach band removed due to complications. I think my first thought on coming home was, “I can eat bread.” I was so excited. And it started with a sandwich here and there. It slowly increased to the point where I was eating a loaf of white bread in a workweek. So in five days I was devouring a loaf of bread. And then back was pasta and other savoury carbs, sugar, you know, I mean twisties and chips and, and then the sugar, you know, little chocolate bar to start with and always telling myself I'll get back on track on Monday. And before I knew it, I was back living with depression and the black dog in my face. And you know, he was front and centre. And you know, all of a sudden I'm driving on uh you know the country roads looking for a tree to drive into. The depression gets me to the point I didn't want to be breathing.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:07) it's so severe isn't it that mental


Nerida Jelinek: (5:11) Oh it, I just don't want to be breathing and I and it was just so depressive that I'm not able to self harm, I don't believe in it. I just every morning it was crap I'm still breathing.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:25) Wow.


Nerida Jelinek: (5:26) Yeah that was how I was waking up. So that's how I was, waking up feeling like that, the weight was back on and I was only actually the other day listening to your podcast and the one with the sexy Irishman, Brian Keane. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:40) Oh yeah, yeah. 


Nerida Jelinek: (5:41) And he just said something and I laughed. His, his f*ck it button.


Dr Lucy Burns: (5:46) Yes, yes,


Nerida Jelinek: (5:47) When he was talking about that I thought, “Oh my god, I've got a huge one of those. I've got the biggest f*ck it button!” You know, I'll have a chocolate, “Oh f*ck it! I’ll start again Monday”. And I just, it made it sort of all sort of come together I guess, sort of listening to him about it as well. So yeah, I'd hit a f*ck it button and eat the crap where no one could see me doing it and keep telling myself by then, that it's just who I am. A depressed depressive person that couldn't live without the sweet and savoury sugars.


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:18) And I love the fact that you're referring to savoury sugars as well. So for our listeners who haven't heard that phrase, that's what we call you know, your carbohydrates that are starches like bread, and in particular flour. Flour is just refined, it's just glucose. So glucose is sugar, flour is sugar. A loaf of bread is a bowl of sugar. It's the same.

Nerida Jelinek: (6:41)

Oh, yeah, yeah. And it was really after the band surgery that it was the savoury sugars that I got into before the sweet sugars.


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:49) Yeah.


Nerida Jelinek: (6:50) And then it was then the sweet sugars.


Dr Lucy Burns: (6:52) And it's interesting because people, a lot of people will recognise that sugar, sweet sugar is harmful. Like most people would tell you it's not good for you. But that correlation to bread is not as strong. And some people don't recognise that bread is for some people, highly addictive. And you know, and then people come in, they'll go “Oh, Dr Lucy, yeah, I just can't live without my bread! I’m thinking mm-hmm. Yep, I know that feeling.


Nerida Jelinek: (7:22) Well, that all spiralled out of control. And then my weight went back on and my local GP wanted to put me back on antidepressants, and I resisted because I knew what the issue was. I knew what the problem was and what needed to be done. And I was always going to start Monday. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (7:37) Yes. Yeah.


Nerida Jelinek: (7:38) And I'd seen I'd seen the Real Life Medicine program pop up on the emails and stuff from ThermoFoodie and The Chef because I'm a Thermie girl and I have all their books and I get their emails and I'd seen it pop up before and then in your depression in, in the moment think ah, that's just another bloody gimmick to get my money. Yes, so I deleted them. But then in I reckon August last year when it popped up in the emails again you just must have been at the moment where I'd been to the doctor they want to be back on antidepressants I didn't want to go, I didn't want to be awake and breathing and the message popped up again and really in desperation I hit the link to be, you know, to join.


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:25) Join the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance.


Nerida Jelinek: (8:27) Yeah the 12 week programme in September, which then actually, when I actually signed what have they, you know when you first sign to say you want to join…


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:40) Join the waitlist?


Nerida Jelinek: (8:42) Yeah the wait list. So I hit the ‘join the waitlist’. I actually started easing up on the sugars then, because I thought “Oh, I can't go in there and tell everyone how bad I am!” 


Dr Lucy Burns: (8:53) Ah, so that's actually the reverse button because a lot of people would go, “Oh my god! Well I'm starting” - because it always starts on Saturday - “I'm starting in two weeks. I'm just gonna…” And then they eat everything before they are perfect in two weeks.


Nerida Jelinek: (9:06) I actually pulled back,


Dr Lucy Burns: (9:08) Yeah


Nerida Jelinek: (9:06) Because I thought, Oh, I don't want to jump in this, because you know, I'd given up sugar years ago and how do you tell people, oh well I don't eat sugar, but I come home and eat three blocks of chocolate or something. So I was doing it, hiding. I was hiding it in the shopping trolley, hiding it and I live alone so it didn't matter here, but it would, you know I’d hide it in the cupboards just in case someone came and opened my pantry door. They're not going to see the sugars.


Dr Lucy Burns: (9:33) Yes, yes. So you were sort of living a lie really, weren’t you, by the sounds? Yep. Yeah.

Nerida Jelinek: (9:41)  Oh, absolutely because I'm still out there telling people I don't eat sugar because it's bad for me. And you know, just dying inside because I'm lying to people. I'm lying to myself because I was eating it. And when I joined the challenge or when I wait-listed for the challenge I did really pull back. So by the time the challenge started I’d gone through the worst withdrawal I guess, of getting off the sugars. And so I was ready then to hear. And then when I joined the program, it was sort of like, “Oh my god, ding, ding!” You know?

Dr Lucy Burns: (10:13) Yes. Just Yes

Nerida Jelinek: (10:14) It helped and now, which is then obviously the end of the program, I thought, “Oh, I'm not ready to go this alone”, and I've joined the the inner circle, because I just, I just feel like I want to be able to access the support. And it's keeping me honest with myself.


Dr Lucy Burns: (10:33) Yeah, absolutely. And I think there's a few little things that I'm thinking that are going off in my head while I'm talking to you, but one of them in particular is about change. And quite often, change feels too hard, until the place you're in is harder. So, you know, you'd have to do something that might feel a bit tough. And so the pain of that, once the place that you're at is more painful than the change, that's when you'll do it. And so for you, it sounded like you were in such a painful place?


Nerida Jelinek: (11:10) Well, I'm not waking up now, wishing I wasn't waking up, or wishing, you know, driving down the road, picking out trees that I could drive into, you know, you look at trees. “Yeah, I can hit that”. But, you know, I don't believe in self harm, which made me angry!


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:26) Yeah, because you were even sort of more trapped. It's like the only option is this terrible suicide, but I don't do that.


Nerida Jelinek: (11:33) So now my moods, my moods, yeah, my moods have normalised. I'm not waking up wishing I wasn't and the weight’s coming off. And again, well the weight wasn't the primary reason for doing it. But so far, I've lost 18 kilos, since September. And that's, to me, that's a side benefit of giving up the sugars.


Dr Lucy Burns: (11:54) Yeah. And you know, what's interesting, so there's a doctor in America, and we're gonna get him on the podcast, called Chris Palmer. He's just released a book called Brain Energy. And he's a psychiatrist who talks about mental health disorders. And in America, they call them mental disorders, which is a bit triggering, I think for Australians, because we always call it mental health, because I think the word mental is used as a slur. It's used as a, you know, something to, you know, “Oh you’re mental”, or “You're in a mental house”, or whatever. But so we will always call it mental health. But in his view, the majority of mental health conditions are the same as metabolic health conditions. So when somebody has metabolic disorder, they will often have mental disorder. And so we can see the direct correlation for you that your mental health was so impaired by the sugar. And the, I guess the most difficult part is that the sugar then often provides temporary relief, so you get trapped in this.


Nerida Jelinek: (13:04) It's a downward spiral, once you start. You know, and it again, it gets, you know, the carb creep, I guess, I've heard it called. It starts slow. And I think I can deal with this. But you know, I mean, now you'd be honest, if I'm honest with myself, well, I can't. Like I cannot have one. Again, it's, I think, you know what, it's easier to say no to one than it is to say no to ten, because I open a seal. As soon as I break a seal on something, you’re gonna demolish it. I can't, you know, and I'm always jealous of people that can open a block of chocolate and eat one square and leave it for a week.


Dr Lucy Burns: (13:41) Yeah. And, you know, look, those people exist. And I always liken it to alcohol, sugar addiction and alcohol are the same. Addiction, some people, you know, I can open a bottle of wine and I'll have a glass and I'll put it in the fridge and I’ll forget about it until a week later

Nerida Jelinek: (13:54) Yeah. Same same.


Dr Lucy Burns: (13:41) Yeah. But yeah, I find it very, in fact, I would say impossible for me to do that with a block of, ah I can do with a block of 95% Lindt, because the amount of sugar is so small that it doesn't have it, but as soon as it's less than that even the 70 even the 70 is a bit tricky, but that uh…


Nerida Jelinek: (14:17) I can keep the 70. Well, I don't actually and I have chocolate in my fridge, the 90, just in case, but I think you know it's quite bitter and you have one little nibble. I don't even finish a square of the Lindt because it's, it's really not palatable like you know your milk chocolate where you can or Tim Tam biscuit, you know, that you can suck through a glass of chocolate. Have you ever had a Tim Tam and a glass of chocolate and drunk your chocolate through your Tim Tam?


Dr Lucy Burns: (14:45) Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hot tea. I used to do it all the time with hot tea and suck it up with the uh Tim Tams or the chocolate teddy bear biscuits.


Nerida Jelinek: (14:56) And you can't just do it with one Tim Tim. I'm like oh, this, you know you need the packet at least.


Dr Lucy Burns: (15:00) Yeah. But the interesting thing that you've also pointed out and this is the sneaky part of sugar addiction, is that you don't wake up overnight with a three block a day habit. Just like an alcoholic doesn't wake up with a, you know, three bottle a day habit, it starts slowly. And the reason that we want more and more is purely to get that dopamine hit.


Nerida Jelinek: (15:28) Oh and if I had one block of chocolate and got depressed, and I think if you could sort of say, “Oh, there's a piece of chocolate, oh, now I feel a little bit, a little bit off.” And so, okay, let's not go there again, but it creeps up. And then all of a sudden I'm looking at trees to run into and wishing I wasn't breathing. And I mean, the first thing in the morning, I'd open my eyes thinking, “Oh, crap, I'm breathing. I wish I wasn't”. And it didn't happen overnight. And I can't tell you what day it happened. But all of a sudden, everyone's noticing I'm not a nice person to be around. I'm, you know, now people are noticing. They're saying, Oh, what's, what have you done? You’re just so much, just, you're different to you know, a year ago. So people have noticed the change. But they can't sort of say what it was specifically, I guess its attitude, my attitude?


Dr Lucy Burns: (16:20) Yeah, do you know it's interesting. Emotions are reasonably, you know, contagious. And what I mean by that is you can walk into a room, and you will know this. Some people walk into a room and they just sort of radiate energy and light and you know, people are drawn to them. And other people can walk into a room and suddenly the whole mood’s gloomy, like Eeyore. So there is no doubt that emotions are contagious for us. And so your friends, and people around you are noticing that you probably used to emanate, and it's hard to put your finger on it. But yeah, it would have been emanating, probably a negative type of energy. And they've picked up on that. And now they've noticed that that's not there anymore. And you know what I love? I love the fact that, like, it is changing your diet that has actually changed your life. And rather than being worried that you're giving up or you're losing something, you've gained something.


Nerida Jelinek: (17:16) Oh, I've gained more than I've lost, well I haven’t really lost anything. What have I lost? 


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:23) Eighteen kilos?

Nerida Jelinek: (17:24) Oh yeah! Eighteen kilos and still going! I get to buy a new wardrobe again! 


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:35) Yeah, yeah.

Dr Lucy Burns: (17:36) I should have kept all the other stuff, but I gained mental clarity, mental health. Yeah, feeling better, feeling good.


Dr Lucy Burns: (17:46) And I think that that effect cannot be underestimated. And I think the reason people don't pay attention to it, is because people are not aware that there is such a strong link for some people between processed carbohydrates and which is, you know, sugar and starches, so sugar and flour, chips and processed foods, and mood. They just can't quite bring the link which is weird because really, our brain is just part of our body. It is just another organ. We know that sugar affects the liver, where everybody is accepting that sugar causes fatty liver now, we know that it causes the pancreas to work really hard and have to provide buckets of insulin to do the same job, but the idea that it could somehow stop the brain functioning well? That seems a leap too far for people.


Nerida Jelinek: (18:35) Yeah. In the beginning when it was first suggested that I need to look at my diet. I was thinking you're absolutely ridiculous.


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:41) Yeah.


Nerida Jelinek: (18:42) Are you shitting me? What has my food got to do with how I'm feeling? But heck, get off sugar and you know and I can still remember the awful 10 days of going off the sugar the first, I think I stopped on a Friday and I'm an all or nothing so I eat the whole block


Dr Lucy Burns: (18:59) You were an all or nothing… 


Nerida Jelinek: (19:02) Well I'm still an all or nothing. I jump in, I’m all the way and since I've started the program I'm all the way. I haven't had any major slips, any little slips might have been sugar free treats, but you know, I have not had sugar.


Dr Lucy Burns: (19:18) Yeah, absolutely. And for you sugar is not going to be you know, it's so harmful to your brain.


Nerida Jelinek: (19:24) Oh absolutely. I cannot and then at Christmas time I was offered some Christmas cake. A little piece. A lady in our group made some Christmas cake and at the end of the lunch came around and offered me a piece. I said “No thank you, looks lovely but no thanks”. “Well, one won’t hurt”. Well, honey yes it will. I mean I didn't say that. I just, look, you know really, I've just had a big lunch, but thanks anyway. And she started to get like the food bullies, I guess. She started to be a little bit of a food bully and well she doesn't know me and she didn't know. A couple of the girls there that know what was going on, sort of pushed her along. And, but yeah, the one piece of cake will send me again, that carb creep will creep in and well look Nerida, last week you had one piece, we'll be fine with another one this week. And bang, before I know it, I'm back doing it every day.


Dr Lucy Burns: (20:17) Yes. And this is the problem. It is. It's for some people, I use this phrase that, and again, this isn't, I think we need to be really mindful that it's again, much like alcohol. For some people, they can have a bit here and there and it's no big deal. But for some people, it's like standing in front of a fire wearing a nylon nightie. You may not get burnt this time, but if you do it all the time, you will, you will absolutely get burned. And so it's not worth the risk. And this is the whole reason why we always bang on about ‘there is no one perfect diet, there's no one way to do everything’. And when I use the word diet, I don't mean weight loss diet, I mean way of eating diet, there is no one perfect one. Because for some people, as you said, they can have a block of chocolate that sits in their cupboard, or those kids - my brother was one of these - he had the easter egg that would just have a nibble and then you know six months later it’d be all white and floury because he forgot about it. Whereas I finished mine and was raiding the cupboard for others. And I think that people need to be really cognizant of that. And so for a lot of people, I have the three buckets of addiction. There's the bucket which is the person that has the block of chocolate that sits in the cupboard for months. There are the people that are heavy consumers of whatever product it is and it's usually to do with emotional eating or drinking and using food to mitigate and then there is the third bucket of people who are truly addicted, who need more and more and more of the substance to get their desired effect.


Nerida Jelinek: (21:55) And it takes more and more and more and more to get the desired effect. But then I can eat chocolate until I was feeling sick and it still didn't give me the boost that would last. I'd eat two blocks of, two family blocks of chocolate. Buying them at the supermarket, oh look, my brains telling me they're on special, we can get two and we'll make it last two weeks. We get home from the shops, we put it in the fridge and an hour later we’re going whoa well let's just have a little bit. So I break off a little bit, put it in a bowl, go back and sit down, devour that and then you did the one block, you think “Oh I may as well eat the second now. I've blown it with the whole block, I may as well do the two.


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:36) Totally darling, I remember doing this. I’d stop at the servo, the petrol station to get you know fuel for the car and they're just dynamo for anybody who's sugar addicted.          


Nerida Jelinek: (22:48) Your brain tells you, two for one, you know. You grab it and go and eat it before anyone sees you. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (22:56) Yes, absolutely. Eat the first one before you get home. And then you'd say to yourself, “Oh, might as well have the second one now”. It's so easy to happen and it's so easy to fall in the trap, but I guess the thing that happens now is that you're not losing anything. Sugar steals, you know for many people it steals their joy. In fact for you, it absolutely stole your joy, your very reason for being and you are living your life without medication. You know you weren't cured by medication you didn't actually have…


Nerida Jelinek: (23:31) Well medication masked the problem.


Dr Lucy Burns: (23:33) Yeah. And so, so you know a lot of people do have some serotonin related issues. But you're right the SSRIs for a lot of people are masking, but they fix the, fix the depression. Like you would have felt better when you're on them, but they're not treating the root cause.


Nerida Jelinek: (23:52) No, no and so every now and again, a doctor would say oh you know you need to give your body a rest, and I’d try and go off them, but just bang, you know, sort of back on them and back on the strong antidepressants again, so it was just a cycle over 20-23 years or whatever it was. I've been on antidepressant medication, I’d try and get off every now and again and I'm looking for trees along you know along my route to run into. What tree can I go into? Back on the medication again and now I know, you know, and it doesn't matter whether it's sweet or savoury carbs I eat, gets me hooked back in and the next thing I know, you know, and that's when I realised what was happening. I was driving, looking checking out the trees which tree would be the right one to drive into. And I’d think, “Oh my god, I’m back here again”.


Yes, yes. It's a significant sort of disordered thinking, isn't it when your brain starts entertaining that idea? And yeah, absolutely. So these days Nerida, these days now that you know that you're, you know, feeling wonderful, what does life look like for you now?


Nerida Jelinek: (25:02) Well, I don't wake up wishing that wasn't waking up. I go to work, I'm a happier person, I'm laughing more. And, you know, it's because I like to laugh. Who doesn’t?

Dr Lucy Burns: (25:12) Wonderful.

Nerida Jelinek: (25:13) But I wasn't, you know, I'd stopped. So, you know, I'd like, you know, there are more things I'd like in my life. I live in a small country town so it's not necessarily going to happen here, but I now am okay about looking forward to the future. And, you know, being in a place where I can retire and pack up and travel the country or do whatever. So, you know, I have more clarity. I have dreams, I can dream and, and not just, you know, think, “Oh, God, how many more years of this crap have I got?” Now I'm looking forward, and I'm getting excited about what else can happen? You know, I'm open to experiences.


Dr Lucy Burns: (25:55) Oh, I love that. What an amazing turnaround. I think that you know, and again, I cannot emphasise how much sugar stole from you. 


Nerida Jelinek: (26:05) For years.


Dr Lucy Burns: (26:06) Yep. Your dreams, your joy, your reason for living. Thank you so much for sharing your story, because I am absolutely sure there will be. It takes a lot for people to recognise or to be able to admit to their addiction. It feels shameful. It feels like you should have more control. And I certainly relate well and truly, to your story of hiding, hiding the food, hiding in case someone saw you, because you were living this double life.


Nerida Jelinek: (26:35) And I think when you asked me to do it, I'm thinking, “I have to own this, I have to step up and own that, yes, I was. I was an addict.” And I hid it. I used to call it inhaling it, because it was just, one minute it was there. And then it was gone. So I'm owning it. And yes, it was a section of my life that I'm not proud of. But if I can help, maybe one person sort of look inwards, and try. If you're on antidepressants, maybe take a look at the reasons why maybe, I don't know. I mean, I can't surely be the only one that is affected like this.


Dr Lucy Burns: (27:15) Absolutely darling you not, absolutely not. And this is, you know, this is one of the things that we really want to highlight, or spotlight is that it’s not just your physical health that processed foods are affecting. It is our mental health. We have a mental health epidemic, you know, as well as a metabolic health epidemic. And people need to know that there are options. It doesn't have to just be… and medications, I’ll also point out they don't work for everybody. So, you know, you were fortunate in some way in that it did work, but for many people, they get classified as being treatment resistant. And looking at changing your diet which can feel hard, but it doesn't have to be because I'm pretty sure you're probably eating delicious food.


Nerida Jelinek: (27:59) Oh, I'm loving the food. I'm loving the food! And um, you know, trial and error and try new recipes and there are so many choices out there and people don't realise, you know, you don't need a tub of self raising flour to make a nice cake, if you want a cake. You don't need mashed potatoes with a meal to have a nice meal. We don't need those things. If it doesn't work for you, you don't need to have it and you're not missing out on anything. There is no FOMO here.


Dr Lucy Burns: (28:30)

Yeah, absolutely. In fact there’s now joy. There is now JOMO, the joy of missing out.


Nerida Jelinek: (28:35) Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so I'm happy and I guess I'm more verbal now about coming out and being honest, if people sort of say anything, I say mmm, no, and I own where I was and where I am. So yeah, I'm in a good place. And I want to stay here.


Well, we certainly want you to stay there too. Because you are, watching your transformation has been an absolute delight. I know how nervous and anxious you were that you know, maybe you wouldn’t be able to do this and you know, self doubt is normal. But seeing that you know, you can do it, anyone can do it. Really just letting go of the stories in our head that have kept us stuck.


Nerida Jelinek: (29:22) Do you know the stories in my head still sneak up on me occasionally and I was walking past a shop window. And I think I mentioned this to you one other day. I was walking past a shop window and I just wasn't even thinking, but all of a sudden just in the corner of my eye they had shortbread on sale and my brain screamed. It's on sale! We love shortbread! Get it! And I actually faltered in my steps and nearly turned into the shop to go and buy the shortbread because it was on sale and my brain’s yelling at me. “Oh, we like shortbread. Let's get some of that”. And it was, “Hey, hang on!”


Dr Lucy Burns: (29:58) Yeah, absolutely.


Nerida Jelinek: (29:59) And it was really kudos to this programme, to learn to listen to the stories in my head. Before that I hadn't actually put it all together about the stories in our head, whereas Real Life Medicine has really opened that door to say, “Hey, hang on, why do you need to listen to it?”

Dr Lucy Burns: (30:18) Yes! Oh. I love that Nerida!

Nerida Jelinek: (30:20) Where is the truth? Why do we listen and so on? That's a ding ding moment from this program, from you and Dr. Mary is the stories in our head. Well how do they get there and are they true? Well, 90% of the time, no, they're not. They're rubbish.


Dr Lucy Burns: (30:35) Yeah, yeah. Yeah. With the morsel of truth just to confound us and that's right. Yeah. Marketing, Marketing. Gosh.


Nerida Jelinek: (30:43) Bloody bastards. Sorry. 


Dr Lucy Burns: (30:46) That's all right. No darling, this has been a delightful chat. And I think that you will definitely have inspired other people who listen to your story and realise that you know, and I guess this is what I want to say, Nerida is just a normal real-life woman. She's there's, there's nothing special about her that she became a victim. Like many of us, of the processed food industry, and has been able to overcome it in just such a spectacular fashion. So I'm very proud of you and I'm really looking forward to hearing your fabulous dreams and watching you fulfil them.


Nerida Jelinek: (31:22) Thank you so much.


Dr Lucy Burns: (31:23) You're welcome.


Nerida Jelinek: (31:24) It's been an absolute honour. I feel blessed. Thank you.


Dr Lucy Burns: (31:29) Gorgeous ones. If you'd like more information on the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance,  the next round starts February the 11th. If you go to our website, you'll see it on the front page there, www.rlmedicine.com/12WMBR  Just click on the link and it'll take you to everything you need to know. Bye for now. So my lovely listeners that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns.


Dr Mary Barson: (32:01) And I'm Dr. Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit rlmedicine.com.

Dr Lucy Burns: (32:12) 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.


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.