Episode 151:

Show Notes 

Fear of failure: There are so many fears that keep us trapped in our old cycles, with one of the most common being a fear of failure. Whether you have lost weight to only regain it all again, or you have tried diet after diet only to give up after a few days, these experiences shape your brain's perception of the future, creating a sense of hopelessness and resistance to trying again. 

Stories: Our brains tell us stories all the time, but there are some stories we need to rewrite as often it is fear lurking behind many of the stories we believe to be the reasons we can’t embark on our health journey.  

“I can't possibly do this, because I've got to cook for teenage boys.”

“I don't like eggs.”

“There's really no way I could eat a low carb real food diet because I couldn't have eggs for breakfast every day.”

“I can’t stick to anything. It might work for other people, but it won’t work for me.”

But these stories are really just thoughts. They're just stories your brain tells you. And when you peel the layers of the stories back you find out what is really stopping you from being able to live a healthy lifestyle long term. The 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance program gives you the tools to implement the small changes that will make big changes happen.  

Fear of standing out: We are wired to be part of a community. And within our community we want to be heard and seen and to feel special, but we do not want to feel different, the odd one out. In our primitive brain, without wings, claws,  scales or sharp teeth, we rely on the collective unit to keep us safe. As a sole human we are very vulnerable, but with our beautiful brains working together as a group, we are very very strong! So FOSO, as coined by Dr Lucy, the fear of standing out, can weave strong stories in our minds preventing us from being different from everyone around us when we change our thoughts and behaviour around food. 

Mentors and a tribe: It is really common to have these initial fears that cause you to reject the idea that change is possible, that you can embark on a healthy journey and that you can invest in your health and wellness. Two invaluable pillars  for overcoming these fears are having a mentor to provide education and coaching, and a tribe of people working towards the same goals who are there to support, encourage and guide each other. And these are two beautiful things that you get from this 12 week program. Dr Lucy and Dr Mary are with you for the entire program as wise mentors. And the beautiful online community provides the absolutely essential and precious connections you need to enable you to succeed on this adventure!

Time to embark on YOUR journey: In your journey towards weight loss and good health you can find the power to shape your own stories. You can learn to become the hero in this adventure. Because here's the interesting thing, when you change your focus away from punishment, and over to nourishment, away from deprivation, and over to abundance, that can also feel quite scary. The 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance program focuses on all of these physiological factors to ensure you are able to really conquer your fears. Dr Lucy and Dr Mary can guide you to move away from restrictive thinking to a mindset of enjoying everything you want, by changing what you want! This path is accessible to you, regardless of your current circumstances. Overcoming fear and transforming your stories doesn't require suffering or superhuman strength. We can all do it with the right tools!

Click here to join the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance Program

Episode 151:


 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

Both: (0:20) Real Health and Weight Loss!

Dr Mary Barson: (0:23)  Hello, lovely listeners, Dr Mary here from Real Life Medicine, joined by my effervescent, fabulous, amazing colleague, Dr Lucy Burns, who is super brave and really good at overcoming her fears and obstacles. And how are you today, Lucy?

Dr Lucy Burns: (0:43)  I'm wonderful Mares. Thank you so much for that beautiful introduction. And it is very pertinent to our topic today, which is of course, overcoming fear and obstacles. And I'm going to just put it straight up the front that we have got a masterclass on this in which we will go further into details around overcoming fear and obstacles. And if people want to do this masterclass, it's free. There's two time slots. It's on this week. It's Thursday and Friday, Australian time, but it's Thursday and Thursday. So if you're in the US, it'll be Thursday night, all of the details are on the website, which is, of course, rlmedicine.com. That's it, you don't even need to do a link, you don't need to do anything, just go to the website, and you can register. Actually, you do need to register so that we can a) know how many people to have in our Zoom Room, and send you the link if you can't make it to the exact time.

Dr Mary Barson: (1:40)  I overcame a bit of fear myself recently, I have to say. It's a small example but I think a pertinent one. It was my daughter's birthday on Tuesday. She's double digits now. 10 years old. So it was a big one. We had a lovely, nutritious, but fun and celebratory dinner. And we also went out for ice cream afterwards, which we do occasionally. I don't partake very often at all at all at all. But I generally find it's easier to go to a ice cream parlour to buy a scoop rather than have ice cream in my house, that's not helpful for me. And I was there in the gelatery and I saw the peanut butter cookie dough ice cream, and it was just like staring at me. And she was deciding what scoop she was going to get. That was the only scoop I was going to buy. Baby wasn't gonna get any, I wasn't gonna get any, but I saw that peanut butter cookie dough choc chip ice cream. And I actually got like this, the fear of missing out suddenly was there. And it really was a fear. Like I sort of felt like this, this sort of sense of urgency. If I didn't buy it, I would be missing out. And I didn't. I sat with that as I’m well practiced with that now and walked out of there feeling really good that I didn't buy it. And also knowing that if I did buy it, it really wouldn't have been that amazing anyway. But you know, it is interesting to me that this still pops up for me, that my brain still goes to these places.

Dr Lucy Burns: (3:06)  Oh, absolutely. And, you know, this is one of the fears that I'll be addressing in the masterclass, fear of missing out. And it's interesting, there are a number of fears that can keep us stuck or trapped in our old cycles. So we, you know, the most common one is fear of failure. So people, particularly if you've been like me, and been a dieting queen, where you've either lost a whole lot of weight, and then found you've put it all back on again. Or you've started a diet and I'm using you know, air quotes, started a diet, and you've done it for a few days and then stopped and then press the stuff it button and just found that you're back, eating all the things. So those two fears, therefore, become what your brain thinks are its future, that that's how it's always going to be. That you're always going to be on a diet, failing, not achieving. And so it gets scared. It goes, Why would I try this again? Come on, this is no good. We don't want to keep doing this. This is hopeless. And so it tells you the story that, you know, it's not going to work.

Dr Mary Barson: (4:20)  We all tell ourselves stories all the time. And I know that you have a beautiful analogy that you use. You know when people are embarking on a healthy change, when people want something for their lives, for their health that they don't have now, when they want things to improve, they want things to get better, they embark on a journey. And people you know, we tell our own stories and we can be the hero of our own story as we go on this journey, on this adventure. And as we do so, there are some fears that we need to face and overcome.

Dr Lucy Burns: (5:03)  Absolutely. So this is what we do in week one of our coaching call on the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. We absolutely explore this. Because until this is explored, you spend your whole time just focusing on the actions. The actions of, you know, eating low carb real food, the action of focusing on the green list, the action of not eating inflammatory foods. The actions, which are important, but they're not the whole picture. So when we do the Hero's Quest, we look and go, and it's so interesting to me, because this is what's come up. So, you know, I think, I don't know, this might be the eighth time we've run the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. So it's the eighth iteration of the Hero's Quest. And it's interesting, because over time, what I've realised is that people's fear, it doesn't always present his fear. People don't say, I'm scared. Because when we have fear, you know, we all recognise that frightened feeling, you know, heart pumping and nervousness and feeling really insecure. But there are different ways in which fear can present itself. And that's what we've discovered. Is that actually it doesn't come across. Most of the time your brain is not going to say to you, Don't try this, it's too scary. It's going to come up with different stories, and I'm sure you've heard plenty of them, Mares.

Dr Mary Barson: (6:29)  Yep, I can't possibly do this, because I've got to cook for teenage boys. I don't like eggs. There's really no way I could eat a low carb real food diet because I couldn't have eggs for breakfast every day

Dr Lucy Burns: (6:42)  Yeah. And these are just actual stories that are, they're just thoughts. They're just stories your brain tells you. But underneath that when you peel it back, and this is really, I mean, we talk a lot about the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance is really a journey of self discovery. The Hero's Quest is a journey of self discovery, to find out, what are the things that hold you back, or stop you from being able to live a healthy lifestyle long term. And for a lot of it, it is this idea of fear. So fear presents itself, as you said, as FOMO, fear of missing out. It presents itself as fear of failure. It can present itself as fear of standing out, which I think is a new phrase I'm going to coin FOSO, fear of standing out.

Dr Mary Barson: (7:36)  I like FOSO. Yes.

Dr Lucy Burns: (7:39)  So FOSO is, again, as humans, we are community creatures, we're tribal creatures, we all want to feel heard and validated and feel special, but we don't want to feel different. Because when you're different, as and again, right back to our very primitive kind of DNA, standing out, being different, actually made you vulnerable to predators. As a human, if you were, and it's the same for all herd animals, you know, zebras and horses and you know, all of those antelopes, if you're the, you know, the different one, then you're more vulnerable to being preyed upon.

Dr Mary Barson: (8:25)  And more vulnerable to being kicked out of the tribe if you're not accepted. And that is a terrifying prospect for a human, it truly is. And children, for a child to feel unaccepted by the group, to feel they stick out, is a truly terrifying experience for children. Even if they can't articulate that it's terrifying. We know that psychologically, it is. We don't like to stick out.

Dr Lucy Burns: (8:51)   No. Because if you stick out, as you said, you got booted out of the tribe, and that meant you were vulnerable, and you would have been eaten by a lion. Because humans have no, you know, really no defence mechanisms, we've got no wings, we've got no claws, we've got no scales. What we have got is a beautiful brain. And when we are a collective unit, we're very, very strong, but as a sole, a sole human, particularly, you know, in our more primitive times, we were very, very vulnerable. So yeah, so absolutely FOSO, fear of sticking out is a very real fear. And this comes in many forms. In particular, if you are eating a different way to perhaps your current community, then that can be quite scary for multiple reasons. If you go to an event, and suddenly people notice that you're not partaking in whatever food is there, people are going to comment. And those comments can be all sorts of things. They can be, and in particular, I reckon the one of the biggest ones is, Oh are you on another diet? And if you're sitting there trying to eat well, and If someone says, are you on another diet, then the thought that comes up for you is, Now I have to explain myself. Now I have to tell them that yes, I'm on a diet. Now my brain is saying, Oh God, not another diet. Now I'm going to bugger this up. So I actually just then pretend that I'm not on a diet, and then I just eat the foods so that I actually don't stick out.

Dr Mary Barson: (10:20)  Yep, yep. And if you're going to fail, you're not going to fail publicly, because as far as anyone else knows, you're not trying to make a change.

Dr Lucy Burns: (10:27)  Yeah. It's really, really interesting, food commentary. What it actually is, is it's other humans judging people based on what they're doing at the time. Whether that's helpful eating or unhelpful eating, we all feel judged. It's so amazing, isn't it? You know, you can be scoffing, you know, two packets of potato chips, and someone will judge you. Or you can be eating a plate of real food and someone will judge you. It's like, Oh, my God, there's no safe place around food

Dr Mary Barson: (10:56)  No, no, we can be judged for, like, we can be judged for being overweight, we can be judged for wanting to lose weight, we can be judged for not wanting to lose weight. There is a lot of judgement around. And at some point, you need to find a way to, you know, help deal with that fear. The fear of judgement, the fear of sticking out, because if you don't do you, if you can't move towards your goals and move towards what you want for your health, your wellness, your life, then you'll be stuck.

Dr Lucy Burns: (11:30)  Yeah, yeah, constantly shape shifting. So trying to keep everybody else happy. So, you know, trying not to be judged, actually ends up meaning that you never get to do you're never the boss of you, because you're constantly being essentially bossed around by other people's judgments. It's kind of like two things. It's kind of recognising that humans are judgey creatures, and that's normal. It's recognising that it is okay to feel a little scared or vulnerable when someone judges you. But then the third arm is actually recognising that you don't need to worry about that.

Dr Mary Barson: (12:09)  Yep, it's just a story in your head that you need to worry about it.

Dr Lucy Burns: (12:12)  Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you can sit with that slightly icky feeling that someone's judging you but recognise that actually, they just need to focus, they need to just do them. And you do you.

Dr Mary Barson: (12:21)  Create more helpful stories for yourself.

Dr Lucy Burns: (12:25)  Yeah, and I think the thing that we do really well, is help people unpack these stories. The fear story that you may not even realise is there. So interestingly, we got an email, I think yesterday about the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, where somebody asked some details about the program, which is perfectly fine. But it was interesting, because what I was able to see in that is that underlying their questions was actually some fear. So the questions were, you know, how much work is it going to be? Is it going to be too hard? How much can I do of this? How much can I do of that? All of those questions just indicate to me that this person is a little frightened. And that's okay. Because, again, if you've used traditional dieting techniques around particularly calorie restriction, then you will have failed, whatever that means. Because that's, we now know that focusing purely on calories is a surefire way to rebound weight gain.

Dr Mary Barson: (13:30)  Yep. In a couple of sentences, beautiful Lucy, could you explain why the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance is different from these traditional, and I think horrifically harmful, you know, weight loss advice, calorie counting advice, that we have all suffered under for so long?

Dr Lucy Burns: (13:52)  Absolutely. So I recently presented a talk on how to stick to low carb, and one of the things is that dieters only care about being thin. We are told, and again, particularly women, but these days, more and more men as well, are told that unless you are thin, you are not acceptable. Or for men, unless you are muscly and buff, or tall, or have a full head of hair, you're not acceptable. So it encourages therefore people to do extreme measures in order to become acceptable. Because remember, going right back to what you said at the start, if you're not acceptable, if your brain says I'm not acceptable, it's a very, very frightening place to be. So what we, I guess encourage, is this idea that it's not about the number on the scales. It is absolutely about your health. And when you focus on your health and nurturing your little cells, so all of our beautiful cells, when you focus on looking after them, and as the custodian of all your cells, you do the things that make yourself happy, weight loss will come along for the ride. And so it really is about promoting, I guess, things that improve your hormones. So your physiology. And again, this is weight loss, weight loss, traditional dieting has never, they never addressed physiology. They didn't at all, it was just counting buckets of calories. And as you always say Mares, that traditional dieting says weight loss is maths. But as we know, weight loss is chemistry, not maths. And all of our little cells have chemistry and physiology that make them tick and hum and sing along. If you, I guess, starve them of their nutrients, then these little cells, they adapt, they adapt to that. And that's what we've all done. So we've all adapted to this reduced food source, where we've, again, in the past been encouraged to use low calorie processed products, as weight loss tools. And in doing so, we've actually come to immense harm. We now know that. So yep, absolutely. I guess we focus on nourishment, not punishment. And this learning to nurture and nourish your beautiful body and your beautiful mind, are the keys.

Dr Mary Barson: (16:44)  Yes, yep. And it is really common for people to have that initial fear that you may cause them to sort of, you know, reject the idea that change is possible. To reject the idea that they can embark on a healthy journey, that they can invest in their health and wellness. And part of overcoming the fear is having, you know, a mentor. And I would say, mentors, that can help provide the guidance and support, encouragement, as well as a beautiful community. To have a new tribe, a new community that is all working towards the same goals. That you can absolutely fit in with, find the support, get your questions answered. And they are two beautiful things that you get from this 12 week program. You get the content, which is all the education, you get the coaching, you know, like you're in the story when the hero meets the wise mentor,who helps them overcome their fear. That's sort of what you and I do, Lucy. In a way. No, we do. We definitely are wise mentors. And the community, absolutely the community is key. Beautiful online community is an absolutely essential and precious part of the program.

Dr Lucy Burns: (18:03)  Absolutely. Because here's the interesting thing, when you change your focus from nourishment, away from punishment, and over to nourishment, away from deprivation, and over to abundance, it can feel a bit scary. So we've got a number of communities, but in one of our communities, somebody did post a question about this idea that they had made themselves a beautiful low carb lasagne. Instead of using pasta sheets they'd used eggplant, and they ate it. And it was nutritious and delicious. And they felt guilty. Like, Oh, why? And it's like, Okay, what's that all about? And it's interesting, because diet culture, and dieting told us that if you are full, if you're not hungry, then you are somehow overeating. And so unlearning, unlearning is as much a part of the journey, the hero's journey, as learning. So you unlearn and relearn. And again, it's beautiful, I guess I don't know, I like to say, Well, we are, and you in particular Mary, are the compassion queen, but we do it in a compassionate way. Because as new learners, we're not perfect.

Dr Mary Barson: (19:33)  No. And overcoming the need to be perfect is yet another fear that people we help people overcome. Fear of failure, fear of not being perfect. And that is also key to finding your way to good health and good balance.

Dr Lucy Burns: (19:51)  Yeah. And I think that, I mean, it's interesting that perfectionism again, people don't always identify with that word because you know, they're looking going, Oh I’m hardly perfect. But what it is, it's perfectionism is the all or nothing mindset. So if you have all or nothing, then that's perfectionism, and it's really about navigating your way through that. Because that feels quite hard. It feels scary to go, Well, if it's not perfect, then maybe it won't work.

Dr Mary Barson: (20:22)  We all create our own stories, and you can learn to create more helpful stories, and you know, find your own story where you're the hero, and you know, you're able to overcome your fears, and get to that point of personal growth, of better health and, you know, ultimate triumph. And the 12 Week program is a way to guide you there, through your own Hero's Quest.

Dr Lucy Burns: (20:53)  Absolutely, absolutely. And again, you know, I think people are all right for you, Dr Lucy, you know, you're a doctor, you know, somehow you know more stuff. And I can absolutely tell you, I knew none of this. I have learned it over the last five years, because I was the all or nothing person. I was the person that would, you know, eat all the food before I started a diet on Monday. I was the person that then on Monday go, we're not quite ready. I'm a bit scared. I'll start next Monday. I was the person that, you know, if I ate one thing that was and again, you know, wrong, I would then just go and scoff everything in sight. And I was the person that was either white knuckling their way through and wishing and longing that I could have whatever food product it was, whether it was raspberry white bullets, whether it was chocolate ice cream. But now I'm not. I just have over time, and it didn't happen overnight, but over time, my new mantra is that I eat everything I want. I've just changed what I want. And that's actually possible for everybody. Every single person can do that.

Dr Mary Barson: (22:14)  Yep, absolutely. It's a path that's open to all of us. No matter where we are. We can change our stories, we can overcome our fear and it doesn't require enormous pits of superhuman strength. We can all do it with the right tools.

Dr Lucy Burns: (22:32)  Absolutely. Absolutely. So lovelies, again, if you're interested in joining the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. Again, it's not for everybody, but it will be perfect for some of you. The doors are open, we start the program Saturday the 27th of May. If you're listening to this live, there are some bonuses, which include our 31 Day Hypnosis for Real Health and Weight Loss program. And our favourite cooking product, which just again, we're not sponsored by Mingle, and a lot of people ask me if I have shares in the company. No, I don't. We don't. But we just love the fact that they make real food cooking very easy. So there is a complete pack of Mingle that will be sent to your door,

Dr Mary Barson: (23:17)  Mingle a spice bases, for people who are not sure what Mingle is.

Dr Lucy Burns: (23:21)  Yes, indeed, indeed. So again, if you're in Australia, then the old, it was called sort of like the Maggi Cook in the Pot, where you just add something to it, which was all full of garbage chemicals. These aren't. They're just spices so that you can make things like butter chicken, or tacos or spaghetti bol without the spaghetti, or even chilli con carne. All of that. So simple. So easy. So anyway, but that bonus does end tonight. And so we would just encourage you to pop onto our website, you'll see it, rlmedicine.com and click away.

Dr Mary Barson: (23:58)  All right, beautiful heroes. We will talk to you again next week.

Dr Lucy Burns: (24:04)  Indeed, bye for now.

Dr Lucy Burns: (24:11 So my lovely listeners, that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr Lucy Burns…

Dr Mary Barson: (24:18)  and I'm Dr Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit rlmedicine.com

Dr Lucy Burns: (24:29)  And until next time…

Both: (24:31) Thanks for listening!

Dr Lucy Burns: (24:33) 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.