Episode 96 Summary
- Due to diet culture and media influence - many of us grew up feeling pressure to be as thin as possible. Our body image has been harmed by comparing ourselves to others, especially tall and lean models and small and waif-like celebrities. As a classical dancer, these body image insecurities were something Lisa-Marie was frequently exposed to.
- Following her second pregnancy - Lisa-Marie signed up with a popular weight loss program, where they encouraged calorie restriction and the consumption of brand-approved treats and processed foods. The initial weight loss wasn’t sustained.
- Lisa-Marie was introduced to the concept of low carb through a challenge at her gym, but the challenge lacked education and support and pushed intermittent fasting immediately without allowing a chance for fat adaptation to occur. Lisa-Marie felt irritable and concluded that low carb didn’t agree with her.
- Later, Lisa-Marie’s friend introduced her to “The Real Health and Weight Loss Podcast”. She became an avid listener and decided to sign up for some programs, including the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance, where she was an active and valued contributor.
- Fear and poor advice are two major contributors which hold people back from success. An example of poor advice is to go too hard too soon. Intermittent fasting should never be done without giving the body a chance to become fat adapted and for insulin sensitivity to improve.
- The success of any program depends on Coaching, Content and Community. We need to prioritise our own health and self care and make time for it. Being so busy that we cannot take care of ourselves should not be worn like a badge of honour. We need to challenge those underlying beliefs that are holding us back.
- With the coaching of Dr Lucy and Dr Mary, Lisa-Marie has learned to shift her mindset to find the time to fit mindfulness and self care into her life in small effective blocks.
- The content of the 12 Week Mind Body Rebalance is holistic, educational and medically sound and allows you to make changes safely with the supervision of your own doctor, over an appropriate time-span. The material is yours to keep afterward and is invaluable for making lasting changes in your health. It is not only about weight loss, in fact the focus is on prioritising your health, with weight loss as a side effect of that, if you have weight to lose. Lisa-Marie noted an improvement in her joint pain as her inflammation decreased.
Life Long Changes for a Long Life
Dr Mary Barson: (0:11) Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr. Mary Barson.
Dr Lucy Burns: (0:15) And I'm Dr. Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. Good morning, lovely listeners, Dr. Lucy here, and sadly, Dr. Mary is still on maternity leave, but the good news about that is that it means we get to interview fabulous guests. And as you know, I'm doing a little mini series on real women. So, Real Life Medicine, real health, real weight loss, real women. We're all about being real here. So I would love love, love to introduce to you one of our recent 12 weekers. Her name is Lisa Marie, and she's a fabulous woman and I'm really excited for her to share her story with you. Welcome to the podcast, Lisa Marie.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (1:00) Thank you, Dr. Lucy. It's so great to be here chatting with you!
Dr Lucy Burns: (1:05) I know! Well as you know, I love a bit of a chat and I don't think you're that shy either.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (1:11) Not at this point in my life, no!
Dr Lucy Burns: (1:12) Excellent. Excellent. So what I'd love to hear is perhaps your journey and where you started with your health and what's been going on for you, because I'm sure that no matter what's been going on for you, there'll be somebody else out there who thinks, “Oh, my God, that's me!”
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (1:30) Well, I'm in my mid 50s, so it's been quite a journey for me. I grew up doing classical dancing, so body image was a huge issue, in the forefront of my life in my teens and early 20s. So even though I didn't have what you would call a weight problem, it was always something that I thought about. So I know that people use these words, ‘struggled’ and ‘battled' and all those sorts of things. I feel like that's what I've experienced in my late 20s and 30s, and especially after I had my second child. Because of being exposed to the diet culture, like most of us have been in the last few decades, it's something that I have had in my mind about what is ideal, and never feeling like I've lived up to it.
Dr Lucy Burns: (2:33) Yeah. So I mean, you're in the ballet industry, so even more prevalent, but I feel like, so many of us had this feeling that we were never thin enough. And it's been part of the reason I think that women who are now in their 50s, that restriction that we did in our late teens, early 20s. It didn't set us up. It hasn't helped us, you know?
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (3:00) No, and I feel fortunate. Two things. I didn't have weight loss or dieting shoved down my throat by my family or the dancing community that I was in and I didn't develop an eating disorder, like a lot of girls did around that time - so we're talking late 70s - but it was something that I imposed on myself. It was something I saw around me. I didn't measure up. I wasn't as thin as them. I didn't dance as well as them and so that was just the pressure that I put on myself.
Dr Lucy Burns: (3:47) Yeah. Comparison artists.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (3:50) Yes, exactly. I'm really good at that!
Dr Lucy Burns: (3:53) Lots of people are! Lots of people are! And I must say, I think that young people these days with social media, and the curating that goes on, of supposedly ‘real’ people's posts with Photoshop, and all of that, it must just be so intense.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (4:09) Yes, indeed. And having two young adult girls myself, I see it a lot in what they're showing me. .
Dr Lucy Burns: (4:21) Yeah. So tell us what happened from there. So you've set the scene. And as I said, I reckon you know, 95% of our listeners can relate to that idea, that I guess the thing is, you probably look back at photos of you at the age of 18, and think, “Oh, my God, what was I worried about?”
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (4:39) Exactly! And I was just talking yesterday to somebody about that very fact. I lived in the States for a few years and did Jazzercise. You may have heard of it!
Dr Lucy Burns: (4:52) I’m imagining leg warmers!
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (4:54) Oh, yes. Leg warmers, G string leotards, all those sorts of things. And I didn't think that I was in good shape then and I did a demonstration performance with a group and looked at photos quite some years later of that demonstration, and I looked at myself and thought, “How could I possibly have thought that I was overweight then?” I looked fabulous!
Dr Lucy Burns: (5:19) Yes, yes. I know. And yeah, this is again, I don't know, I don't know. Why? Well, I do know what's happened. Again, when we grew up, as you said, you were surrounded by ballerinas. But, there were also Elle McPherson type models. If it wasn't Elle, there was also Kate Moss. They were either very tall and lean, or very small and waiflike. Everybody wanted to be Kylie Minogue when I was growing up, and she's tiny.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (5:53) Farrah Fawcett for me.
Dr Lucy Burns: (5:55) Yeah, and with that hair.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (5:58) My hair never did that! Yes. So there was a lot of that media influence, at that time, definitely. And at least I can be thankful that it was only print and television. We didn't have the social media like our kids are exposed to now, so we don't have it quite rammed down our throats as much as they do.
Dr Lucy Burns: (6:26) Yeah, absolutely. So you mentioned after the birth of your second child, what was happening then for you?
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (6:33) Well, it was a great birth and a great child - and all those sorts of things - have to say. But I did increase my weight during that pregnancy a lot more than what I had with my first. So, then a friend of mine, a very good friend of mine, and I went to Weight Watchers. And we did the Weight Watchers thing, which worked really well. But then after years of working out what their program was like, I understood that it really was just a calorie restriction program. Because they weren't guiding us on what were good choices to make. Jazzercise in the States had a similar program that I followed as well and they were putting “treats” in there, you know, in inverted commas, that we were allowed to have. So I was allowing myself to have all those sorts of things and even though I did lose some weight with Weight Watchers, it wasn't sustained, obviously.
Dr Lucy Burns: (7:39) No, well, as you may or may not know, I'm a lifetime member. So I did that thing, got to my goal and then, when you stay at your goal for five minutes, suddenly you're a lifetime member. But what I can now reflect on is actually the amount of processed food they encouraged us to eat, and Weight Watchers branded food in particular, which is, I think, how they make their money,
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (8:06) Clearly, because they don't charge a lot for membership these days.
Dr Lucy Burns: (8:11) No, and in fact, the group support, which we both know is so integral to long term weight loss. Those group meetings don't exist, in the way they used to.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (8:22) Oh, I didn't realise that. Okay.
Dr Lucy Burns: (8:24) No, because you know, they're not cost effective and at the end of the day, it's a money making machine.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (8:31) Of course, yeah.
Dr Lucy Burns: (8:31) So then what happened?
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (8:32) So then, in the last two decades, suffering with depression, and not doing much in the way of movement. Luckily, I was able to keep friendship connections going, so that I had that going for me, but then I discovered a gym that was very close to me and I started working out. I was introduced to the concept of low carb by way of a challenge that they were running. So it wasn't run effectively and I discovered that it didn't seem to agree with me, because they were encouraging us to do intermittent fasting at the same time. So, I found that it exacerbated my depressive symptoms and my family said that I was really cranky. Then I was given all that ‘helpful’ advice from other people who ‘know things’, that we need a certain amount of carbohydrates for our brain to function. So I thought, “Okay. Well this obviously isn't right for me”. Then I spoke to a friend who's actually a nurse and she had been listening to your podcast for a while and said, “Ooh, you've got to listen to this! I think you'll like it.” So, I started listening to the Real Life Medicine podcast, and I was hooked.
Dr Lucy Burns: (10:11) Awww! Yay!!
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (10:13) Yes. Yeah. So after listening to that for a while, I decided to sign up to the four week program and thought that would be enough for me, and I did get a lot out of it. but after listening to more podcasts and other people's accounts, I thought, “I think I'll give the 12 week a go.”
Dr Lucy Burns: (10:38) Yep. Yeah. And you've been a super active participant in the 12 week program. I know that people have varying personalities. Some people are introverts and don't like to be participating in the Zoom calls, which is fine and people will still get benefit for that, but the ones that show up every week - and we always start off with a bang and then there are people that peter out - but the ones that stick with us and really actually do implement, they’re the ones who are who are getting the result.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (11:13) Yes. That's it isn't it? These sorts of things, they become a little bit hard. And your lovely term about hiding the bear behind the tree. It gets a bit like that and then the impetus wears off. And then, “Oh, it doesn't work for me. And it's not not right for me.”
Dr Lucy Burns: (11:33) Well, I think there are a couple of things that happen. So remembering, of course, that our brain will come up with “reasonable” stories. So, for some people, various things get in their way and it may be fear. It's often fear. Fear is what often holds people back. Sometimes it's poor advice, which is what I would say probably happened for you at the gym challenge where you were intermittent fasting. As you know, we like intermittent fasting, but our big thing is don't go too hard too soon. Going hard too soon is just a fantastic way to bugger everything up. But I think the thing that happens for some people is that - and in fact you will remember we talked about this in the first coaching call, where I paint the picture of the hero, the hero's quest.
(12:21) People start off and they're all excited, and they've got all this hope and then as you're sort of making your way through the big forest, and there's going to be a few little challenges along the way. You may well find that if you don't push through those challenges that you just fall off. And I think that does happen to some people and that's why at the start we say to people, you know what, if you're finding something a bit challenging, that's okay, that's normal. Your excitement level has sort of waned, and now you're actually just facing the cold hard reality that sometimes there are some things that are tricky.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (12:59) Well, I think that the fact that I only work part time means that I've got more time to devote to thinking about the worksheets and how I'm tracking with the program and turning up for the coaching calls and that might be a barrier for some people if, especially if they're working full time, but I feel like my dedication to the program is really where I've seen the benefit, especially with being part of the community. It's given me an accountability and I feed off the enthusiasm from both you and Dr. Mary and the other participants.
Dr Lucy Burns: (13:43) Yeah, yeah, well. One of the things we talk about the success of a programme is really the three C's. The Content, so that's where your gym program, the content wasn't quite right for you, The Coaching, which is where you can get out of your own head, and I think you even mentioned that sometimes feels a bit like counselling. And then the Community, because the “reasonable” story is sometimes. “I'm too busy”. But we have lots of people. In fact we have doctors that do our program, they work full time, they're in caring roles, but the busy bit is actually, what it often is, is “I haven't got the time to dedicate to myself”. And we talk about the fact that it's not about time, it's about priorities, and that sometimes we, as caring women, put everybody else ahead of us.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (14:37) And that's something that I have been talking to other people this week about because since chatting in the coaching call about those issues, I'm noticing it amongst other women in my life. So it's been something that I'd like to be able to help others with as well.
Dr Lucy Burns: (15:01) Yeah, well, I think coming on the podcast and talking about it is the first thing because for a lot of us, you're not even aware. The awareness isn't even there. you know, women wear the “busy”. Busy is just, it's a legitimate reason not to prioritise yourself. It's worn like a badge of honour, you know, “I'm so busy”.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (15:23) Well, I have to admit that even though I work part time now, it's only a relatively recent thing. As I mentioned, my girls are pretty well grown up now. One has moved out. So I've only got the late teen girl left at home, and she's pretty self sufficient. So really, I have stacks of time in my life but I would still make excuses, to not prioritise things for myself, “because I'm just too busy to do that”.
Dr Lucy Burns: (15:59) Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (16:00) Even though I've got so much time!
Dr Lucy Burns: (16:03) Well, and again, what you're doing here is you're challenging your underlying belief. The underlying belief is “I'm busy”. And we can all be busy doing lots of things, whether we're busy working moms, whether we're retired, whether we're, you know, the CEO of a giant company, people can always fill their time up. It's about making your health a priority for you. And as you know, we have that kindness and compassion that comes in because clearly, I mean, clearly there are times where, as parents or carers or just being a decent human, you do have to put other people's health above those, if you know, someone's sick, or if they're in trouble, you're going to look after them. And they would be the times that sometimes we see people slipping off too, is when something’s happened. But we talk about that, too. We talk about why, in times of stress and distress, we will revert to our old patterns.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (16:58) And of course, you do mention that that's the key time that we need to devote more time for ourselves to carve out that self care time.
Dr Lucy Burns: (17:11) I know, it's such a paradox, isn't it, because your brain is going, “I’ve not got… I’m too busy! I haven't got time to do that! And I'm too busy to meditate. I'm too busy to go to bed early.” But in actual fact, that is when you actually need to do it the most.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (17:23) And what I've discovered is that it only takes a minute, especially with the guidance of the both of you, to understand that it only takes a minute to just stop. Do a bit of mindfulness and sit in the sun for five minutes and it's enough to recharge.
Dr Lucy Burns: (17:44) Yes! Yes! Recharge and retrain, because that's really what we're wanting to do is change those often deeply held thought processes.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (17:54) Yes. And I've been finding that it's really helpful.
Dr Lucy Burns: (17:58) Oh, good, good. Good. So, I guess if you have to say your favourite thing about the 12 week Mind Body rebalance, what do you think your favourite thing was?
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (18:07) The education. As I mentioned, I did do the four week program and then subsequently decided to do the 12 weeks because even though I felt like I'd learned a lot already, and I was coming into it with a fair amount of knowledge as well, the amount that I have learned from this program is phenomenal. As well as the coaching calls that, like I mentioned before, are like counselling, it increases that education space, too. So learning from you and Dr. Mary, and learning from other people in the group. It's been, I think, the highlight.
Dr Lucy Burns: (18:56) Oh, wonderful. Well, you know, I mean, it's interesting, because, I mean, really, counselling is just helping people find a different way to view a problem. A different way to view it, or a different way to cope with it, and Mary and I do a lot of counselling within our general practice. But recognising that a lot of that translates into those stories in our head that we always talk about, about being able to implement your lifestyle changes long term.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (19:27) And I feel like what I've learned is going to carry me through the rest of my life because I feel that the lifestyle, it's not just the low carb eating, and I didn't even come into this needing to lose a lot of weight either. So it's not just the eating even though that's wonderful. It's the mindset stuff that I've learned, that I can refer back to and having the materials available to me, after I've even finished the course, is still going to be invaluable.
Dr Lucy Burns: (20:05) Yes. And that's wonderful! Lisa-Marie, I'm so pleased, because what I love is that you've just embraced the whole of it. The whole! Because it is a holistic program. You're absolutely right, low carb is one pillar, but it's not the only pillar that people need for real health and weight loss. If you focus purely on the food, then really it's part of that, you're almost sort of slipping into diet culture, and we really want to steer people away from that. And really, this idea is that you are prioritising your health, and weight loss is a side effect of that for those people that need to lose weight. But you can actually improve your health, even without needing to lose weight just by doing these, you know, our seven steps!
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (20:50) It's exactly, and the interesting thing is that I know of many people who don't necessarily need to lose weight, but they have other issues that could easily be addressed by giving a low carb lifestyle a bit of a try, just to see if it makes a difference, because of all the things that you have spoken about. Health issues like blood pressure, and diabetes and things like that, that don't necessarily go hand in hand with excess weight.
Dr Lucy Burns: (21:23) No. And in particular, I think the one that lots of people get benefit from, are our inflammatory conditions. So..
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (21:29) Yes! And that was something that I suffered from as well. So I don't have any joint problems now that I have been eating low carb.
Dr Lucy Burns: (21:41) Oh my God, that's wonderful! Yeah, yeah, that's so good. And I think that's exactly right. We look at these and we call them the non scale victories. Things that are outside because again, diet culture has taught us just to focus on the number on the scales, and that's your only parameter of success, and if, if that doesn't keep going down, then you're somehow a failure. But the idea that you can change what you eat, change the way you move, change the way you sleep or manage your stress and you will improve your joint pain, who knew?
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (22:11) Yippee!
Dr Lucy Burns: (22:13) Yay, yippee! Ah absolutely! Lisa-Marie it has been a delight to talk to you and I'm hoping that our listeners have found it very helpful. You are a valuable member of our community and we really appreciate you.
Lisa-Marie Robinson: (22:27) Well I'm looking forward to the next 12 months of momentum as well!
Dr Lucy Burns: (22:32) I know exactly, me too. Hurrah! Lovely listeners, the doors to the 12 week Mind Body Rebalance are open. Our start date is September 3, for our next and final round for the year. So if you are interested in having a look at Real Health and Weight Loss, then I would encourage you to head over to our page. The link will be in the show notes. But it's rlmedicine.com and you'll see it there. Have the most wonderful day and we will talk to you soon. Bye for now.
Dr Lucy Burns: (23:09) So my lovely listeners that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight Loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns.
Dr Mary Barson: (23:17) And I'm Dr. Mary Barson. We’re from Real Life Medicine. To contact us please visit rlmedicine.com.
Dr Lucy Burns: (23:28) 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.