Episode 187:
Show Notes 


In this podcast episode, Dr Lucy Burns interviews Penny Stringer, a member of Momentum who has undergone the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. Penny, a 40-year-old married mother of two from Hobart, Tasmania, shares her journey of struggling with weight management, emotional eating, and being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) later in life.

Penny discusses the tipping point in her health journey, which included the sudden loss of her father in 2021 and turning 40, prompting her to reevaluate her lifestyle. She reflects on the impact of emotional eating, the difficulty in regulating food intake, and the challenges of managing her weight and PCOS symptoms.

Dr Burns explores the symptoms Penny experienced due to PCOS, such as weight gain and difficulty losing it, emotional eating, and struggles with regulating food intake. Penny attributes her turning point to a combination of factors, including grief counselling, mindfulness, and a desire to regain control of her health as she approached 40.

Penny emphasises the importance of being mindful, understanding hunger signals, and finding alternative ways to cope with stress and emotions beyond turning to food. She shares insights gained from Real Life Medicine, focusing on making nourishing her body with low-carb, real food easy and incorporating mindfulness into her daily routine.

Dr Burns and Penny delve into past attempts at weight management, including various diets and restrictions that proved unsustainable in the long term. Penny describes her emotional relationship with food and the challenges of overcoming emotional eating habits.

As a result of her commitment to a low-carb lifestyle, Penny has experienced significant positive changes in her health. She has lost 20 kilograms, dropped two dress sizes, reversed insulin resistance, and is working towards alleviating symptoms of PCOS. Penny expresses her newfound energy, improved well-being, and the positive impact on her family's eating habits.

The conversation highlights the importance of understanding the reasons behind eating habits, the role of mindfulness, and the positive impact of adopting a low-carb, real food lifestyle. Penny's journey serves as inspiration for those seeking sustainable and holistic approaches to health and well-being.


  • Mindfulness and understanding hunger signals are key to making nourishing the body with low carb, real food, easy.
  • Surrounding oneself with a supportive community and maintaining a positive mindset is crucial for long-term success.
  • Making the helpful thing easy and the unhelpful thing hard makes it easy to overcome temptations and cravings.
  • Cravings don‚Äôt last forever.
  • Improvements in health and well-being, such as weight loss, insulin resistance reversal, and increased energy levels, can be achieved through a low carb real food lifestyle.

Revamp your well-being with the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance! Join the waitlist now: www.rlmedicine.com/12WMBR.

Episode 187: 


Dr Mary Barson (0:04) Hello, my lovely friends. I'm Dr Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:09) And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. We are doctors and weight management and metabolic health experts.

Both (0:16) And this is the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast!

Dr Lucy Burns (0:23)  Good morning gorgeous listeners. I am with a wonderful guest today Dr Mary is having a week off. And instead, I have with me a gorgeous member of Momentum, who has done our 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance. And one of the reasons I wanted to introduce you to her is because she is indeed a real woman. Penny Stringer, welcome to the podcast.

Penny Stringer  (0:45)  Thank you very much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Dr Lucy Burns (0:48)    Excellent. Well, I'm excited to talk to you. And I think our listeners will be excited because I'm pretty sure that will relate to your story. So gorgeous one, can you just perhaps begin by just introducing yourself and letting people know where you're from, who you are?

Penny Stringer  (1:02)    Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Penny. I'm 40 years old. I'm a married mum of two. I'm from Hobart in Tasmania, and very much just your regular everyday working mum. So trying to do the juggle, of working and raising kids and being a life partner, and all of the things that come with life in general. So very relatable, I reckon.

Dr Lucy Burns (1:26)¬† ¬† Oh, absolutely. And I remember when I asked you to come on the podcast, you said‚ÄďAh I dont know if I've got anything to share. And I'm going, but that's the whole point. It's about just being a normal, real-life human. And, you know, the usual struggles that people have with just juggling everything and prioritising in particular for women, their own needs.

Penny Stringer  (1:46)    Absolutely. And definitely got a few little tidbits that I'm looking forward to sharing around how to make nourishing my body with low carb, real food easy. I'm all about making it easy. Not hard for myself.

Dr Lucy Burns (2:01)    Ah, excellent. Well, listeners, you've heard it here first. Wait until the end for Penny’s fabulous tips. Gorgeous  one, so tell me, I guess just tell us your, you know, your health journey like what, where were you? And what was the tipping point for you?

Penny Stringer  (2:16)    I have always been a bigger build right through my life and really struggled with weight management and confidence. You know, really enjoying the sweet of foods in life, sugar, sugar addict, as a lot of people can relate, I'm sure, and pretty sure that I've suffered with polycystic ovarian syndrome my entire life, and wasn't really diagnosed until I was ready to start a family in my 20s. And that really started to click a lot of things in place and explain, you know, some of the symptoms, some of the issues that I've struggled with through my life, especially weight management, and struggling with regulating around food and emotional eating and all of those kinds of things. So I think polycystic ovarian syndrome has made a big part of my identity and working around that is one of those things. 

Dr Lucy Burns (3:12)   So Pen, what were the symptoms that you experienced with polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Penny Stringer  (3:16)    Yes, so gaining weight was super easy. Losing it very difficult. You know, I've always been heavier set, probably size 16 got up to a size 20 in my 20s. And really, I think losing my dad suddenly, in 2021 was the tipping point for me, I went to grief counselling and grief counselling dived into so much more than just dealing with the grief and finding new ways to cope, refocus, and rebalance and mindfulness and all of those things. It was also, you know, turning 40 was another tipping point for me, it's like right, and really got to get on top of all of these things. So those combined, as well as, I guess, diving a bit deeper into why I'm the way I am. I'm an author, I guess you can say I lost my mom when I was 20 and my dad when I was 38. So, you know, decided life's short. And you know I feel out of control and bloated and overweight and uncomfortable and not confident and you know having pimples and the general yuckiness of being unhealthy and out of control this spinning out of control and turning to sugar to try and get that you know that nice heat, the heat that you look for the dopamine the endorphins are all the things you get from eating everything's and not doing the right thing by my body. Yeah, so the tipping point was a few things but definitely hitting 40 years kind of woke me up that I really needed to get back in check.

Dr Lucy Burns (4:45)     Yeah, yeah, I think it's interesting again, as we get a bit older, the time for which health issues happen gets closer. So you know when you're 20 you kind of, you know, perhaps don't care quite so much, you know, I mean, I certainly know I used to drink a lot, we used to eat low, I ate lots of junk food, I didn't care. I didn't, I knew it wasn't making me feel good. But I also didn't care because it was all about you know, just hedonistic, having fun. Keeping up with your mates doing what your friends were doing, that as you get a bit older, and you have responsibilities, you know, maybe you either have a family or want to start a family, you then start to value I guess your health, you don't take it quite. You don't take it for granted quite so much. 

Penny Stringer  (5:36)    Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, we do tend to feel a little bit invincible, a little bit. Like, that's, that's a future me problem. You know, even though you're eating junk food and drinking too much, it's definitely not. It's like the current me just wants to have a fun life and just enjoy being in the moment. Whereas yeah, your 30s and 40s. It's all of a sudden, it's this is important. For my kid, yeah. From a partner, say, for my sake.

Dr Lucy Burns (6:01)    Yeah, absolutely. When you say you felt out of control, like which parts of you felt out of control?

Penny Stringer  (6:07)    Yes, just being able to regulate, you know, if I did have a little bit of a treat, you know, it would be not stopping. It's like, one piece of chocolate too much. And a whole block is never enough, that kind of philosophy that I can I could put away the whole family block of chocolate, I can eat, you know, one of the big 200 gram packets of potato chips, no problem without even thinking twice about it. So, you know, I feel like I just didn't have that ability to regulate myself around, you know, all of those yummy, savoury, sweet foods that I know were incredibly bad for me, you know, also being pre-diabetic, still drawn to those foods and knew that, you know, it was doing damage to my body, but not being able to say no, and not understanding why. Why can I say no to this stuff?

Dr Lucy Burns (6:51)    Yeah, absolutely. And I think that is the biggest thing, isn't it? People feel like they're just weak-willed. Because, you know, they can't say no, that they don't have enough discipline or they just need to be stronger. Yeah, definitely. So what have you learned about then that that process that it's not about, you know, being weak-willed or undisciplined? What have you learned? 

Penny Stringer  (7:12)    About being part of my growth has been just being mindful, you know, actually stopping being in the moment and saying, or standing at the fridge or the cupboard? Why am I here? Am I doing that? You know, what's one wonderful thing I've learned from Real Life Medicine is around, you know, my cold chop a boiled egg hungry. If I'm not, you know, I'm probably bored or feeling a little stressed and going back to that default, emotional eating mechanism. So instead, I'll go to my dog and I'll hug my dog. She's great for releasing dopamine and endorphins with her. You know, that kind of thing. I just kind of remove myself, go out, get some fresh air stand in the sun. Yeah, so I think you know, what's come from all of this is the importance of actually being in check, being in balance, taking back control, and taking a deep breath, you know, grounding myself doing all of those things has been so incredibly, like super easy things that you can just add to your routine because I work from home a lot now. So I'm at my fridge and cupboard all the time, as well. So I've got to be really careful about and you know, using that philosophy of make the helpful, easy and make the unhelpful really hard has all been a lot of philosophies have taken away from Real Life Medicine, and it has been very refreshing, but easy stuff, you can just add to your kind of routine. So it's been fabulous.

Dr Lucy Burns (8:27)   Oh, wonderful. Well, and you're right. I mean, I think for a lot of people, even understanding their hunger, what is true physiological hunger and what is, you know, what we might call psychological hunger or more, you know, boredom hunger or lonely hunger or angry hunger, all of those sorts of different hungers, a lot of people, including myself, before I did this own work, and you by the sounds of things, you just don't know how to differentiate between the two.

Penny Stringer  (8:59)    Yeah, for sure, I can definitely relate to that. And being a recovering emotional leader, who's found new outlets to manage my stress and emotions and moods. It's really refreshing to not feel like I'm compelled to go to cut, to go to a cupboard, to go to the beach. And to do that, am I actually hungry? It's my tummy grumbling. When was the last time I ate, you know, we'd like to have real food. It's all about protein and real food and knowing that I've, you know, I had breakfast at eight o'clock. I'm not hungry at 9:30. I want yeah, procrastinating over work or anything. So it's actually I'll make a cup of tea, and that'll get me through, you know, sometimes to dinner. You know, if I'm hungry, I'll have something at lunch, one o'clock in the afternoon, but I don't need it. With high-protein food, you don't need to snack you, don't need to go to the fridge and cupboard all the time. So just looking for those actual hunger signals, which is something that I've had to relearn. Like, oh, I'm actually hungry because I brought in intermittent fasting and one of the benefits of that as well. So it's been very refreshing.

Dr Lucy Burns (10:03)    I love that. And I love it. Because I think there's a couple of things that happen we, you know, and again, people will know that I've done a lot of dieting as have most of the women in the world seem to have done a lot of dieting. And so you become a bit fearful of food, food becomes the enemy, it's something that you should avoid. Hunger is like a character flaw to weakness. And honestly, understanding that physiological hunger is a normal, natural, and in fact, wonderful process. Because how good is it to eat? Like how good does a  meal taste, when you're actually just a little bit hungry?

Penny Stringer  (10:48)    So good. It's quite a different experience to just eating for the sake of eating or doing it for routine steak, like, you know, the whole breakfast, lunch dinner. And, you know, you should have three square meals and blah, all that kind of thing. Like actually, no, I'm going to be much better at listening to my body. And meals do taste so much better, you know, when you're not only having low carb, real food, but also eating when you're hungry. It's like this. This is delicious. It's great. 

Dr Lucy Burns (11:14)    I know it is. And that's why I remember driving home from work and you know, going via a petrol station, often with the provisor that I probably needed petrol when probably I didn't, so that I could have some chocolate or some snack on the way home. And then by the time I got home had dinner, like I wasn't actually really hungry for dinner, but you had dinner because it was there. And so then dinner was not that exciting.

Penny Stringer  (11:39)    Yeah, exactly. And it kind of makes it a bit me, and not so much that that really great meal that you can look forward to that beautiful piece of steak with some veggies or whatever it might be. Yeah, I agree. And also you can overeat, that's what happens is snacking, I find, you know, you still make your big Bolognese or whatever it might be the dinner and eat that. And then actually over four, but it's sort of tiny, because I'm, you know, I had those snacks that I didn't need, or really, you know, should have had. 

Dr Lucy Burns (12:07)    Yeah, absolutely. And I'm sure you'll remember this phrase, but one of our favourites is that, you know, processed foods steal the joy of real food. 

Penny Stringer  (12:15)    Yep, so true. So true. And it's all for that, you know, tiny heat, you know, that, that, you know, feel good that you get from eating the junk, but it goes within a few minutes. And then you're looking for your next hit. So I feel much better with the even energy levels. And also knowing that I'm doing good for my body. You know, I want to live long, and I want to prosper and want to be healthy and be the best version of myself. So, you know, I feel better in that, knowing that I had a piece of steak with the beans and my broccoli. And I'm fully sighted and I'm happy. And that gets me through to you know, breakfast or lunch the next day. perfectly happy? 

Dr Lucy Burns (12:51)    Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So have you tried, have you tried lifestyle sort of stuff before changing your eating or any of those things in the past to help with, you know, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or your pre-diabetes, or what sort of stuff is you've done in the past?

Penny Stringer  (13:09)    Yes, so no, restriction, you know, dieting, all of the traditional stuff that doesn't work long term, because, you know, as we know, it's more about making that lifestyle change, and not the short term diet fads, you know, tried Optifast. I've tried soup diets, I've tried calorie restrictions, I've tried multiple things. And some have worked for short term, you know, might lose 5 10 15 kilos, and then put it all back on, again, within 6 12 months, when you say, you know, I'll start eating this thing again. And then, you know, you're left in the old habits, you know, trying to reduce sugar intake. It's been really hard. I haven't, I haven't had the right tools. I haven't been in the right headspace that, you know, things needed to really click for me for it to all make a lot of sense and actually really be something that I could take moving forward. So no, really lowering my carb intake has been hard, you know, as an emotional eater, getting through losing both of my parents quite suddenly and quite, quite dramatically. You know, you're like turning to chocolate, because it makes you feel good in the moment, even though it's not good. You know, it's not good. And you're told you're pre-diabetic and still eat chocolate. And then you see your doctor and they say you're about 30 kilos, overweight. What are you gonna do about that? So yeah, just the combination of things I think really woke me up to the fact that I needed to take it seriously. And I knew that a low carb lifestyle was what I needed. I was just figuring out that it wasn't just reducing my sugar. And that's that it was mindfulness mindset, you know, moving my body more those kinds of things that factored in as well, but definitely, you know, tried and failed on a number of different diet fads over the years, and it's been conscious of what I've been eating since my teenage years, really.  

Dr Lucy Burns (14:51)    Yeah, yeah. And I think you know, again, you've just elucidated a beautiful point, which is we need to understand what to eat but more importantly, we need to learn Stan, why we eat. And you know, lots of people will relate to you being, you know, an emotional eater. But unless we have other tools to learn to manage our emotions to be able to self-soothe, to be able to regulate, that don't involve food and or alcohol, then all of the others are just short-term band-aids.

Penny Stringer  (15:24)    Yep, exactly, it really has made a whole lot more sense to, like just picking out tools like the beautiful hypnosis sessions that are all about positive affirmations and positive mindset and, you know, looking at the helpful rather than the unhelpful, has all been really important to cementing in my mind, this stuff is what I need, I need it for my mind, I need it for my body, I need it. You know, for my soul, it's, it's been so deeply healing to be on the right track. But to have that support, like to have Real Life Medicine there along the way has been pivotal, really a game changer for me, not just out there, trying a diet and failing a diet alone. Because I don't fully understand other than weight loss as a goal. Weight Loss can't be kind of the be-all and end-all. There has to be that drive to have the long-term health and well-being that comes with, you know, eating better and moving more.

Dr Lucy Burns (16:18)¬† ¬† Absolutely. And I think one of the most amazing things that happen is when people stop eating, particularly ultra-processed foods and change to real food, they feel so much better so quickly. And I think the way you feel it's a bit like when you've got you know, the air conditioner on or some noise, you just become immune to it until it stops. And then you suddenly go‚Äď oh my god, this is how I'm supposed to feel. I feel so much better. And so many people do that and then then might have a lapse and they might go back to eating their processed food for a little bit and immediately feel terrible again.¬†

Penny Stringer  (16:57)    Yeah, that was me at Christmas. I did enjoy a little bit of plum food with Bradley custard, and then had the sugar headache that came straight off it I went oh, yeah, really? Uh, you know, I know now that stuff is not for me anymore even though that's, you know, like, like Dr Mary has talked about in some of her recordings that are around you know, her I think she said fruit mid spires is one of her kind of things at Christmas time that she just keeps being drawn to. It's that it's tradition. It's, it's a habit. But I'm so keen to be trying more Christmassy, low carb real food alternatives that I know are better for me. It's nourishing me the way I want to be nourished. And you know, still enjoying those festive foods. You know, whether it's low carb trifle or something like that without the horrible kind of sugary aftereffects.

Dr Lucy Burns (17:43)¬† ¬† Totally. And there. You know, there are certainly plenty of options for you just reminded me of a Simpsons episode. I remember watching and it's bad. I can't actually remember the whole series. I'm sure some of our listeners will remember it. But it was bad. Was in some sort of like a guinea pig experiment and he was eating and it was some sort of sugary something or other like maybe doughnuts. And every time he ate the doughnut, he got an electric shock. And he just kept doing it. And it just kept getting electric shocked. And I just think that's a bit like us. Sometimes you just every now and then you think‚Äď oh it'll be alright. It'll be all right. And then you know as you shake your head that's not all right.¬†

Penny Stringer  (18:27)    No, absolutely. And after doing this, you know, a full-time, full term, full life everything headfirst jumping in full body full commitment. I know that I don't want to go back to the way it was before. And I know, you know, what happens to my body when I do. It's amazing how quickly my you know, fat-burning woodshed had locked down after I've had a little bit of sugar, even if it's dark chocolate peanut butter fudge I've made myself which is still in the fridge calling to me. So I'm going to throw it away after this actually, is just to say, I don't want to feel like that. You know, I'd rather my woodshed be open and working before capacity. 

Dr Lucy Burns (19:05)  Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So Pen, tell us how’s your health now?

Penny Stringer  (19:12)    I feel a million times better. I've lost 20 kilos, I've dropped two dress sizes, which are just, you know, great, you know, excellent side effects, not necessarily you know that the reasoning behind it. But you know, it's definitely motivated to lose weight for my health's sake, I've reversed my insulin resistance, which has been amazing. So that's actually been moved to my history, my patient history of my GP. So that's incredible. And I feel like I might be on the way to reversing some of the symptoms of and potentially my PCOS as well which would be incredible as well as I head into this next stage of my life maybe to my body's you know, even energy more in control, more mindful and I think mindfulness is great for mental health anyway just to actually be present with my kids. It's still holidays at the minute so you know, actually stopping what I'm doing and choosing better options for myself and for my family has been really quite life-changing. They're loving this lifestyle. They're like, man, it's great to have steak and veggies once a week, you know, that kind of thing. So they're loving the Mingle sauces and the Mingle seasonings we have on our chicken tenders for barbecue, right through the summer, you know, those kinds of things. So it's really changing the way we eat. It's changing the way we communicate around food, they still they're metabolically flexible, my husband and my kids, so they still have their pastor their chocolates and things in the house, but I'm not tempted by them anymore. And then he's huge at such a young age to be able to walk past a box of chocolates ago. I know what that does to me, and I'm not interested anymore. So quite life-changing.

Dr Lucy Burns (20:42)¬† ¬† Yeah, absolutely. And I think the thing that is helpful around that is the, you know, we took a fair bit about willpower in, you know, lots of our teachings. And you know, willpower is a thing like people's habit, and you do have to use it occasionally. But it depletes quickly. So if you're not wasting your willpower, on, you know, things that are there in the house all the time, because people often say to me ‚Äď Lucy, how do you do it, you know, because I live again, I live with three other adults now just, you know, an adult children and a husband and, and I'm not in charge of their eating, I'm in charge of mine. And they have stuff in the house that in that the old me would have gone‚Äď oh my god, you know, Maltesers, or doughnuts or biscuit. You know, those cookies, those giant chocolate chip cookies, that sort of stuff. And I would have had to, I used to have to use a lot of willpower to not eat them. And now I don't they're like, the equivalent and somebody said it in one of our groups. It's like, there's just the equivalent of a packet of clothes pegs.¬†

Penny Stringer  (21:51)  Or to say something inanimate, that's not appealing at all. 

Dr Lucy Burns (21:54)  Yeah, just say, yeah, that is yeah, somebody else said they're like, little packets of dishwashing detergent. They're just, they're, they're nothing.

Penny Stringer  (22:03)    I relate to that. And it's refreshing, it's really lovely to have the kids have their cereal, I have my head say porridge now a big fan of that's been a game changer for me to get off cereal, you know, they've got their complex, whatever, they can eat it because they're growing boys, and my husband is 71 kilos, and so forth. So that's fine, I'm happy for them. And I will keep buying them, bought them. That's what they want. But you know, I will still say to them, sugars in those, you know, you should try and say porridge, just gently kind of, you know, nudging to want to get. 

Dr Lucy Burns (22:35)    Absolutely and you know, again, it's, you know, for families, it's not necessarily, you know, getting rid of every single process product in the pantry. But when you change the balance of the amount of processed food that kids eat, and you know, Mary's favourite saying is crowd out the processed food by introducing alternate real food, then again, you're reducing the percentage of what they eat, and that is going to be great for their health long term anyway. 

Penny Stringer  (23:06)    Yeah, it's been huge, just simple things like making sauces for stir fries with mango instead of straight from a jar that's got a bunch of other processed stuff in it. Like I said, a favourite now is chicken tenders with Mingle Seasonings over the top and a salad and maybe some fresh peas or whatever it might be on the side the kids are just loving, loving all of that as well. So we're definitely eating better as a family even my husband has lost five kilos he's already been, he lost five kilos himself because we're not sitting there eating a bag of chips or chocolate together and having a nighttime anymore. That's why the nighttime snacking is gone. So unhelpful. Got rid of it. And that's been another game changer for my metabolism as well. Makes intermittent fasting overnight and into lunch the next day. Super easy.

Dr Lucy Burns (23:49)   I love that. I love that. And it's interesting, isn't it? Because once it goes, it's not like your life's any less wonderful. Like I think sometimes people are going oh, but you know, that's one of my pleasures. My joy in life is having ice cream on the couch at night with my husband, my partner, my friend or whoever. And you know Pen, what would you say to those people? 

Penny Stringer¬† (24:12)¬† ¬† Ah, definitely, it's not a joyless way of eating and living and nourishing our bodies. There are so much low carb real food beautiful options out there and I love making things from scratch and you know, using alternatives like an almond meal instead of wheat flour and making things from that making pancakes and still enjoying all of those, you know, you can get Lakanto Maple flavoured syrup and still have pancakes and maple flavoured syrup and enjoy that experience. It's not like you can't ever have you know foods like the things you used to enjoy. It's just a matter of you know, making them from scratch. I'm making them from wild carb options and enjoying being in the kitchen again, which is that's a massive thing for me because I'm not I don't enjoy it. I'm like you, I love your Tuesday cooking session. So you know It's not so much about being the next Jamie Oliver, it's you know, let's let's nourish ourselves with foods that are really high protein. And you know, just just delicious and easy. Because we're busy. We're busy wives, busy mums, busy people. Absolutely. So yeah, it's definitely not joy, this way of living. I love finding all these new recipes. going‚Äď Oh, look at this you're making. I think one of the now apple crumble was also. Yeah, that's incredible. So great. So yes, just rediscovering and finding all these amazing alternatives is fun, and exciting. It's good.¬†

Dr Lucy Burns (25:38)¬† ¬† Yeah. I love that. And I think that you're the mindset around that as it being fun and exciting, rather than tedious and boring. Once we start again, we can change our thoughts whenever we want. So once you start noticing that your thoughts become things like‚Äď Oh, this is boring, or this is tedious, or this is hard. For me, it's often like a little, just a little sort of an alarm, a little ding in my head that goes‚Äď Oh, isn't it interesting? My brain is offering me this. Is that the most helpful way to think is that going to serve me well in, the long term? And if not, what could I think instead?

Penny Stringer¬† (26:15)¬† ¬† Yep, absolutely. And again, it comes back to that positive mindset and mindfulness as well as actually stopping and going with it coming from kind of being inquisitive. And also, you know, self-compassion is really important, too. You know, it's all about progress, not perfection. Another big one, that Real Life Medicine likes at being a perfectionist, that's been a really tricky one for me to work with, you know, it's been like‚Äď Oh, this is amazing, you know, losing all this weight such a short period of time and fully embracing this way of life. I am not digressing. And, you know, at Christmas time, I did give myself that little test to say, I'm going to try, I really love my mother-in-law's plum pud. And I wanted to join in and, you know, it's funny that we've still got that FOMO with and through the fear of missing out, it's like, but everyone else is having a plum pud, so I want to have plum pud as well. But then experiencing that, you know, the after fixing it and weighing up the pros and cons and deciding it's probably not, not worth that sort of long term. Yeah, it's really interesting. But a positive mindset has been everything.¬†

Dr Lucy Burns (27:15)¬† ¬† Yeah. And you know, as you know, we're not about perfection. It's about an experiment. And what I think dieting has taught people is that you know, if you ‚Äúcheat‚ÄĚ, and I'm using air quotes, listeners, if you cheat on your diet, then you're weak and bad and hopeless. And then because you've wrecked it, might as well go the whole hog and just wipe off the whole day. And then forget it happened, pretend it didn't happen, because you're just going to start again tomorrow. So whereas, we really believe that thinking a lot about what you're doing, is really helpful in a really non-judgmental way. So, you know, you can decide that you were looking forward to your mother-in-law's plump hood, and your brain was probably quite excited about it. And then working out whether the taste was as good as you thought it would be. Because sometimes it's not like have you ever done that? Where you go‚ÄĒ Oh, my God, I can't wait to have that. And then you have it you go‚Äď It's interesting, had built it up quite a lot more in my mind than it actually was. Or it may have been that it was great, just as you remembered and you enjoyed the savouring of it. But you know that your brain knows that actually, this is just, this is what we have at Christmas. I don't need to be having plum pudding in you know, April May and June.¬†

Penny Stringer  (28:31)    Yes, I can be yourself permission to enjoy it on those really special occasions we do have you know, make Christmas all about family and time together and food, you know, so much food, we do the traditional roast on my inmost side of the family, which is always delicious. But knowing that it's you know, it's that time of year, I've also been eating way more cherries than I normally would and I know that you know, does a small handful of cherries would be okay. But Christmas time is all about cherries as well for me. So struggling to regulate that even as I speak now, I know there are cherries in the fridge that I'm probably hoping to have later. If I do have one of those little splurges it's giving myself permission not to beat myself up but going straight back into the regularly scheduled viewing so to speak, you know, go back to my normal kind of low carb real foods the next day or the next meal, not beating myself up about it. You know, if I did eat five cherries instead of three or 10 Cherries instead of five, which has been more the case is to say, you know, this is a Christmas thing and not an all-year thing and can be okay with that. 

Dr Lucy Burns (29:33)    Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, at the at the very heart of it. Cherries are a real food. And I think that you know, most people probably don't go and eat a kilo of cherries a day that would probably be unhelpful. But you know, 10 Cherries don't cause diabetes.

Penny Stringer  (29:48)    No, it's not the end of the world. It's okay. 

Dr Lucy Burns (29:51)    No, no, absolutely. Good, gorgeous one, I would just love to finish on your top tip for newbies. What would you do if you've got someone who's thinking about it or would like to have maybe they've been listening to our podcast for a while, but they're a bit scared or what, you know, what, what would you say to them? 

Penny Stringer¬† (30:07)¬† ¬† Yeah, I think for me, it was all about kind of segregating the movement and the food and kind of focusing on one and then bringing the other in once I felt like you know, like food first focus for me it was get my food organised, the weight started to fall off me when I got my food in check. And then the movement comes because you get to a point where you're feeling like‚Äď Okay, I'm doing what I can in the food department, let's add in more movement because our bodies need to move and I've got a sedentary job, I sit at my desk a lot. So you know, that's been important. Again, the philosophy of making the helpful, really easy, and the unhelpful, really hard. So you know, if you are struggling with willpower, get stuff out of the house, put it in a box, move it out of the way into a different room, so you're not walking past it, feel like maybe work from home or have hybrid working from home arrangements, you know, boxes full of lollies and chocolate that belonged to my husband and sons were once tempting. So just put them out of the way, you know, super easy stuff like that doing a bit of a cleanse is always really refreshing and cathartic, you know, clearing up cupboards, sets and goals has also been really important, you know, make them achievable, and small and digestible. Don't go‚Äď oh, I want to lose 30 kilos in three months, you know, start sensibly, and kind of build up from there and having to have those steps in place. Another big one has been to surround yourself with a community of like-minded people, people go through the same, the same thing, because it's amazing. There are a lot of naysayers out there around low carb, real food, keto-esque lifestyles, still being very unhealthy. So finding your community like I have with Real Life Medicine, joining Momentum has been fabulous to keep the momentum going sort of post twice a week, that's been great being able to have some other women to chat to facing similar, I guess, challenges. People who are around the same age as me, as well as been really fabulous to I've got some actual people in real life based here in Tasmania, who I talked to about low carb, real food. And then I've got my virtual community through Real Life Medicine as well. So they're probably the big ones. And then the positive affirmations and positive mindset stuff will come, you know, Real Life Medicine. And some of the programs you've got available have just been so pivotal, to building my sort of, I've got a very, very plump toolkit of coping mechanisms and things I can fall back on on those tough days. Whereas, once upon a time, I probably would have just gone on to have some chocolate because I had a stressful day. I don't have to do that, because I've got all these other things to fall back on. So yeah, follow Real Life Medicine, put yourself with people who think the same as you are going through the same thing as you and use yourselves as accountability partners if you need to, you know, journaling is another good one that I haven't mentioned, as well. And get those goals written down to make them real, not just something floating around in your head.

Dr Lucy Burns (32:52)    Yeah, absolutely. Do you know one of the ones that you just said then that I loved was the uhm, like putting the tempting foods out of your sight and you mentioned because because they were once tempting, and now they're not. And so people are worried that they're going to have to resist this food for their whole life. Like it's going to be hard for their whole life. But it gets easier. 

Penny Stringer  (33:20)    Yes, so true. Like what I’ve been saying before, it's amazing how you know, the kids can have their cereals and other big cereal fans before or their box of Christmas, Chucky Cheese if they were gifted. To me, they're just things in the house. They're not things calling to me a little voice in my head saying, you know, I'm going a little choppy be nice right now. That's not there anymore. I've got this positive mindset and this mindfulness attitude where it's all about, you know, if I'm hungry, you know, go and eat up some leftovers, or, you know, cook a bit of chicken or you know, from desperate if I'm, if I'm in between meetings on makes enhancing porridge for lunch Sunday. Just keep making sure I've got those things available. So I've got my things available, and they're there to fall back on and you know, in an emergency, I'm all set. I've got frozen berries, I've got Greek yogurt, I'm not gonna go hungry. I'm not surrounded by junk food. So yeah, it does get easier. It's just a matter of going through the process of training your brain. And I think one of the really important things to take away from all of this is just being in the right headspace and making that conscious decision to commit and it's more than just weight loss. 

Dr Lucy Burns (34:27)    Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, gorgeous Pen, you have, you know, what I love is that you are a nourishing and nurturing current you in both your body, mind and soul but now also looking out for future you and future you is going to be so grateful.

Penny Stringer  (34:43)    Absolutely. Well, thanks so much for having me. It's been lovely to chat and kind of share my experience. I'm really grateful for the opportunity.

Dr Lucy Burns (34:50)    Well, you're welcome and I'm sure our listeners will relate and be able to take away some of your excellent points. Gorgeous listeners. If you are looking or you're ready for, you know, a total overhaul the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance is starting very shortly. We kick off February 10th and doors for enrollment open February 3rd, unless you're on the waitlist. If you want to join the waitlist, that link will be in the show notes below. Or you can just go to our website we'll be on the front page and we'll see you there at www.rlmedicine.com.  Okay, gorgeous ones. Bye for now. 

Dr Lucy Burns: (35:27) 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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