Journey Beyond Weight Loss

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Other People and Your Weight Loss

Hi there!

By nature, we learn and adapt to the community that surrounds us. When we change our eating habits, it can feel as if we're abandoning the community we know. Here are some tips to overcome these issues, and still stay connected.

Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
8:45 Conundrum - what if you're trying to eat healthy, and your family is bringing unhealthy foods into the home?
16:30 If you've discovered you are super sensitive to the drug-like effects of sugar and flour products, treat the birthday cake the same way an alcoholic would treat a champagne toast.
22:47 We were born to be members of a tribe for support and survival! Consider joining a community of like minded people.

--- Full Raw Transcription of Podcast Below ---

New Speaker (00:00):
You are listening to the, keep the weight off podcast with Dr. Angela episode. Number 11,

Introduction (00:06):
Welcome to the, keep the weight off podcast, where we bust all the dieting myths and discovered not just how to lose weight, but more importantly, how to keep it off. We go way beyond the food and we use science and psychology to give you strategies that work. And now your host, Dr. Angela Zechmann.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:27):
And welcome back to the podcast. I am so glad you're here with Marchelle and I today. Today we wanted to talk about your weight loss journey and other people. And this is something that comes up all the time is how other people are going to react to what it is that you're doing. And lots of people are going to have opinions about what you're doing. And there are going to be times when they may present be presenting you with foods that you know, aren't going to be the best options for you. And there are going to be times when you decide not to eat something, but she might be afraid of what people are going to say about that. And so then the question becomes like, how are you going to handle all of this? Some people just avoid the situation altogether.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:23):
And so, you know, like when they're in the process of trying to lose weight, they won't go to other people's homes. They won't go out to restaurants, they will just eat at home and avoid social situations. And they figure, well, you know, once I reach my weight loss goal, then I'll figure out what to do about food with other people. And I really want to let you know that can kind of lead to disaster later. You really want to learn how to manage this now. Okay. So Marchelle, you told a story of your sugar detox, like tell us a little bit about what that was like for you and how did you train other people around you? What did you say to them?

Marchelle (02:04):
So this goes back a long way, because one of the reasons why it took me so long to decide to do the Sugar and Flour detox is because my family, which would be my husband and my teenage son. They like to eat out a lot, like to eat fast food, like desserts, which I like all of that too. But, you know, in my heart, I knew that I needed to change. The only problem was is that I knew that it was going to be hard to get them to change. And I didn't feel like making three separate meals so that everybody could have what they wanted. And he meant to that. So I came home and I've been, I've been kind of bringing it up for a while and they were like, so then finally I just got serious one day. And I, you know, I talked to the doctor about you know, really wanting to wanting to this.

Marchelle (03:00):
She agreed to come up to my house and help me clear out the cupboards because we had just gone grocery shopping. And I knew that Rich was not going to want to throw things away. And I just wanted her to be there if y if anybody had any questions rich or my son, but but this, you know, just doing the sugar and flour detox and, you know, breaking that to my family, then when they got on board, like, you know, for the first couple of weeks it was, we were videotaping it. So it was kind of exciting. And I think it was easier for them to be on board, you know, what, while the momentum was going on. But this has been, you know, I've been doing this for now over a year. Yeah. It's been almost a year.

Marchelle (03:47):
So you know, there's been a lot of ups and downs and I've had a lot of slips mostly because of stuff that's been in our refrigerator because they are not onboard anymore. They're sort of gone back to the way they used to eat. One reason for that is because we had a kitchen remodel done in the last few months, and so we didn't have a kitchen for a while, so we had to eat out. And so that sort of was the catalyst that brought us back to, you know, eating the fast foods or, you know, I wouldn't, because I would eat a lot of salads. You know, to be quite honest, I was skipping meals because when there wasn't any good options, I just, I didn't really know what to choose. It was a rough time for all of us.

Marchelle (04:34):
I think that it goes far deeper than just, you know, the detox part of it when you get the momentum's high and you're excited about doing it, you know, when our new patients come in, you know, they're very motivated and very excited, but then I hear a lot of stories from people telling me, you know, so what do you do when your kids don't want to eat the same thing that you want to eat? Because they want the chicken nuggets and the fries and, you know, you want to please them. So then a lot of mothers ended up making separate meals for themselves and for their family. And I know that it's a huge frustration. And so I really can understand where people are coming from when they talk about, you know, having to fight their family or fight their friends, like, you know, friends like to go to taco Tuesday.

Marchelle (05:24):
And if that was a tradition and then you can't go anymore because you're trying to eat better and then your friends are disappointed or they hassle you. As a matter of fact, I've been to events, even with my family where we have barbecue and I will only eat a certain, you know, certain things and they'll harass me, like, aren't you going to try some of that jello salad that I made, or, you know, a lot of that kind of stuff. So I can, I can relate to this topic very well. And I think it's an important for us to talk about.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (05:58):
Yeah, yeah, me too. I do. I relate a lot. So I do want to talk about how do our, how are we going to handle this? You know, like one of the first tips I have for you is it has to do with boundaries. Your body is your body and other people's bodies are their bodies. And so you get to eat the foods that make your body feel good and they get to eat the foods that make their body feel good, whatever it is that they want, assuming that there are adults that are 18 and over now, if you have some control over what your children eat, then you might want to consider teaching them the importance of good nutrition and what it means. And we can have another podcast about children and children's food. I did, we did do a podcast on how the food industry hooks children early.

Marchelle (06:51):
We did, but still, I still hear it a lot. What am I going to do? What am I going to feed my kids? Yeah. The kids are wanting what they want, the macaroni and cheese and spaghetti and yeah. And the parents are having a really hard time

Marchelle (07:03):
With changing their eating habits too, because they don't, they're not conscious of what's going on. And to them in the future, because they're young, you're invincible, all they want is something that's going to taste good to them and fill them up. And so it's, yeah, it's always been a struggle in our house because our youngest son was a very, very picky eater, mostly just because he only wanted to eat fast food and carbs. And a lot of kids, I don't know, what happens in the brain with that, but it's always been a struggle in our house.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:37):
Well, when it comes to the adults in your family, they get to eat whatever it is that they want to eat. And, and you can know a lot about what it means to nourish your body, but they are still adults and they get to eat what they want to eat. And the interesting thing is sometimes it's really, really tempting to just go up to her and say, Oh, you know what? You would do yadda yadda yadda. Like you would feel so much better if you do this, this, this, and this and this. And, the interesting thing is that you have to understand is you can't answer a question that somebody is not asking. If they're not asking the question, what can I do to have a healthier body? What can I do to lose weight? Everything you say is going to fall on deaf ears. Yep. So if they're not asking that question, you can't answer it for them. And so

Marchelle (08:27):
I do that to my husband all the time. I'm always like giving him the lecture, but so now the boundary is, if you want to eat something different than what I'm eating, you make it yourself.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:36):
That's good! That's a good one. Exactly. But you don't want to become other people's food police. You really don't. And so there is another conundrum to think about though. What if there are family members in your home who are eating junk and bringing the tempting stuff into the house? That can be a real issue for a lot of our students and patients. If family members are adults, remember they get to make their own decisions. But especially if you're feeling really, really vulnerable, it's important that these foods are not constantly in your sight. Okay. Remember, every time your brain sees these foods, you have to make a decision as to whether you're going to indulge or not every single time your brain sees these foods because that primitive, caveman wants that food. And so after a while, if you have to make that decision over and over and over again, you just reached decision fatigue.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (09:35):
That's what that's called. Decision fatigue just can't make the decision anymore. And you just say, screw it. Right. And sometimes we use other words that's happened quite a few times. Yeah. So it might help to explain to family members that you're really trying to regain your health, and you're wanting to lose weight and explain that weight loss means health right now that you understand that obesity is a disease, weight loss means health and longevity. And you've discovered that there are certain foods that are real problem foods for you. And could they please be kept in a specific cupboard that you're not going to go into or, you know, for some people I even suggest that maybe they have their loved ones, keep their foods out in the car, locked in the trunk, or just not bring it into the house. You're not judging them for eating them.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:31):
You're just saying, here's what works best for me. And here's what would help me in order to be healthier so that they don't feel judged by you. You have a right to ask for what you need in order to be healthy. And, you know, for, for those of you who actually would prefer to have the foods just not come into the house in the first place, that's a decision that you get to make based on your own brain sensitivity. I know that for me, if there's cookies sitting on the counter, I'm going to eat them. You know, I, I cannot constantly make decisions over and over again, not to eat it. I will eventually cave. And so for me, it's just best not to have it around.

Marchelle (11:15):
It reminds me of a story. So we had a patient that told me that there was like two bags of cookies that were way down in her basement, like in an old stove or something like in her microwave, I think she kept having them. I remember that. Yeah. And she, I, she was doing so well. And then this one time she came back and she told me that she had gone down there in a moment of weakness and she ate the rest of the bags and they were stale. Even they weren't, they weren't even new. And it's just because she knew that they were down. I don't know why she... Might've been her husband who did it or something.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:54):
She she felt so bad because she, she thought she could handle it, which is what happens to a lot of people. Yeah, exactly. But there are and we teach this in the course that there are times when, you know, your your brain is not going to be as strong as ordinarily. There are times when you're in a moment of extreme fatigue or emotional upset or whatever, and you can't expect to have the same kind of dedication and strength that you would ordinarily have. And so if you know that your brain is really sensitive to these foods, I would encourage you to make sure that they're not in the house. So, and that's real talk right there. Yeah. That is real. Like I said, the biggest challenge though, is when you live with the family and they are not on board and it is very, very hard to be separate from them because it separates you from them.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:52):
Yeah. In a way, a lot of ways I can see, you know, I'm sit around and I watch what they're eating and I'm like, that's so disgusting. You know, that's, you're going to gain weight from that or diabetes. And that's what I'm thinking in my head is like, you need to, I'm just always thinking, you know, that they're eating badly in a bugs me. Yeah. Because I have to live with them. Yeah. Yeah. You can feel yourself sort of judging and criticizing too. Yeah. I've had people tell me that sometimes other people will just leave food around and just say, use your willpower. Oh yeah. Willpower! Just don't eat it!

Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:28):
You know, you're doing your diet thing. Yeah. We're just going to leave these cookies on the counter and you just use your willpower. And this is where, you know, we really have to take a firm stand for our health because this is not a question of willpower. This is a question of brain sensitivity. And there are some people whose brains are just way more sensitive to these cues. So don't fall for that trap. I guess that's my, my best advice, don't ever think that this is a willpower issue, because it is absolutely not a willpower issue and you should not be expected to have stuff sitting around and just be expected to not eat it. It's just not possible. Especially if your brain is really, really sensitive. So, you know, I have a hard enough time just walking into my bank back back before COVID, my bank would have like cookies sitting out, you know, you'd walk into the entryway and there'd be like, there are these, just these icky old, dry gross.

Marchelle (14:28):

Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:30):
They're not those, they weren't, they were just dry icky chocolate chip cookies. But but it would be like, Oh, I really would like one of those. And every time I walked past them, I had to remind myself, those are bad for me. Those are going to trigger cravings. I had to step in and make a decision every time I saw them. And so, you know, just don't underestimate, if you have a sensitive brain, what these foods do. Okay. so take a stand for your health and have a conversation with the people that live with you. Okay. Another thing that I want to discuss is social events, because this can be really, really tricky for people and you know, more and more people are getting vaccinated these days. And so people are having more and more parties, more people I've just been involved in some social events where there just more people around and more exposure to these types of foods.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:27):
There's these cultural traditions that we have. There's family traditions that we have there's birthday traditions that we have there's holiday meals, whatever holiday, 4th of July barbecues are going to be coming up, but there's just lots of stuff going on. And sometimes we feel that if we bow out of these food traditions, then we're losing connection with our loved ones. Yeah. That's the way it feels. And that's a really, really common feeling. I mean like, like if I'm at a birthday party is the person that's having a birthday going to feel like I'm not celebrating them. If I don't have a piece of their birthday cake, you know? And what if we're the only one that's not participating in the tradition. So you want to be, I just want to acknowledge this conundrum. I want to really presence it and acknowledge it because it isn't easy. It's hard.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:21):
It's really hard. And you may decide to have just a few bites of the cake, but just know what you're doing. Okay. Just know if you've discovered that you're super sensitive to the drug-like effects of sugar and flour products treat the birthday cake the same way that an alcoholic would treat a champagne toast. You know, like you go to a wedding, they have a champagne toast. What does this alcoholic who's been sober for a long time? What do they do? They're not going to drink a glass of champagne. They're going to fill the champagne glass with sparkling water. And they're still going to engage in the toast, but they're not going to have the alcohol. And so in the same way, you can sing happy birthday and clap as the candles are being blown out and do all of that without eating the cake and feeling deprived of the celebration, it is entirely possible. And I have done it yet. I don't want it

Marchelle (17:18):
One to ever feel like if you do have a slip because you know, you're tired or you're, you know, you're at an event that, you know, you do have that piece of birthday cake. I don't ever want anyone to feel super bad or like they failed, or they can't do this because it's very, very normal. And you can just get right back on track, but you have to talk to yourself very nicely about it and just forgive yourself and say, you know, I tomorrow, or the next meal is, you know, next right meal. So yeah. So don't beat yourself up about it.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (17:53):
I've got a, really a kind of a funny story about this because I was just home in Kansas for my birthday, my mother and I share a birthday and last year COVID had just hit and it was her 90th birthday, and we couldn't have a birthday party for her. So when I went home to Kansas, this time she's vaccinated, I'm vaccinated. The facility that she lives in she's in a memory care unit was willing to let us take her to a restaurant because she's been vaccinated. Her very best friends were there as well. They'd been vaccinated. So we're all sitting around a table and it's like, it's like, we get to celebrate for the first time. And it was amazing. She blew out all theicandles. And I had a piece of birthday cake. I'm like, this is one of those times where I'm just gonna, I'm dealing with the cravings for a few days.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (18:40):
I get it. I'll tolerate the cravings. I want to participate. I made that decision consciously. So I get home from the trip. A few days later, my brain has been just craving sugar for few days. I get home and I discover my daughter had had a party at my house. And there was a big tub of chocolate chip cookie dough in the refrigerator had it had been unopened. They'd never baked any cookies, but it was just sitting there. And that is my crack chocolate chip cookie dough is my crack. And I just looked at that and I'm like, this has to go. This has to go. This cannot be here. Like, my brain is way too sensitive right now. So I just had to really protect myself and the people that were around me thought I was crazy. I didn't give a darn. Did you throw it away? Well, we put it out in my boyfriend's car where I couldn't see it and couldn't get to it. And a few days later we found it and by then, you know, my brain wasn't, my brain was off sugar and I was fine. But, but you know, when you know that you're in a sensitive situation, do what you have to do to protect yourself and don't, don't be worried about what other people think. Just don't.

Marchelle (19:47):
I know it reminds me of like this last this last holiday I went over to my parents' house and, you know, they made ham and they made some vegetables, but my mom loves to make desserts. My sister made a dessert, Austin, my son even made a dessert. And so it seems like there's a lot more desserts going around and anything else. And of course, everybody wants you to try their dessert, their special dessert. I was so good. Like I just ate the protein and the vegetables and, you know you know, some of the, the hors d'oeuvre, the vegetable tray, you know, and I eat some of that. And then we leave, we go home. Well, my son Austin had won a dozen cookies from some kind of like a race or something that we did. And I didn't think anything of it. So we bring them home and I have no idea why I did this, but the next morning I got up at like six in the morning

Marchelle (20:48):
And went down to the refrigerator and not the refrigerator, but they were on the the countertop and I, and I opened them and I ate like the cookie monster. I didn't even know what, what kind they were because I was eating them so fast and they were big and I ate three of them without even thinking. Yeah. And then, you know, down it with a glass of milk and I could not figure out why I did that. I got really, really sick though, too, by the way. But I couldn't figure out, like, why would I do that? You know, I've been doing so good. The one thing that I think is some, I'm not sure if anybody else relates to this is I believe that maybe I felt like I had deprived myself, you know, at the dinner. And I was, you know, I was just being very cautious, but I think I've just felt deprived of what everyone else got to eat.

Marchelle (21:37):
And then I don't know, my brain just took over and I, I wanted to go have those cookies. So yeah, that was, and I, and I really, really bad for doing it, but you know what, I threw the rest of them away. Yeah. And that was that, you know, I'm still having sugar cravings, but I know that I'll get over that and in a little while, but yeah. Yeah. But I just, that was, you know, that was a crazy moment. Yeah, it was. Yeah.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:03):
And it's normal. It's perfectly normal. That's the best part about this is that you didn't beat yourself up about it, really proud of you for that. Thank you. Sometimes what I'll do is anytime I have a social event or a party at my house, I always have berries and cream because I love that. And other people love that too.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:23):
And if somebody brings dessert and they want to have dessert, that's fine, but I've always got the berries and cream option available. Even in restaurants, I've ordered it on cruise ships, even like they will, they have berries and cream and it's really good. You know, that, that heavy cream that's whipped up. It's delicious and it's not going to Jack your insulin levels up and it's not going to cause sugar cravings. And it's going to be very satisfying in a nice treat. So that's always an option. So the other thing that I want you to do, if you're not already doing it is to join a community of people who understand this and really get it. Okay. I want you to know that we're born to be members of a tribe. That is how we evolved. That is how we survived. And so as little kids we're watching our parents or watching the people in our community to find out exactly how to behave so that we can belong.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (23:19):
Belongingness is a survival thing. Okay. And so a lot of times these food traditions are associated with that feeling of belongingness. Okay. And so that's why it might feel really hard to not partake of some of these food traditions, because inside your brain feels like, and this is all unconscious, but your brain, like you're leaving your tribe, you know, and like, you're not going to survive. And so what we want to do is we want to have a community of people that we are associating with that really gets this, trying to do this on your own is just nearly impossible. And so we have patients and clients like husband and wife teams that will come in together, they always do better. We were just talking about this the other day. Yes. How much better they do or we'll have like work groups. Oh my gosh.

Marchelle (24:18):
Like if there's an office groups that are doing so well, they'll,

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:21):
They'll do it all together. They'll support each other,

Marchelle (24:24):
Call each other out. Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:27):
And, you know, they'll support each other. Like if there's there's some sort of celebration that's going to happen, like right. They're bringing healthy stuff to the celebration instead of the crap, you know? So you can also join. I have, I have two ways that you can join online to get the support that you need. The first way is a Facebook group called Sugar and Flour Buster Society. So you just go to Facebook, go to groups and search Sugar and Flour Buster Society. And you're more than welcome to join us there. We're all working really hard at helping each other, stay on track and remember, you know, just exactly what these foods do to us. The other way is the Journey Beyond Weight Loss membership. Now that is a paid program. That is a course and membership where I teach you.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:12):
And I take a really, really deep dive into everything that you need to do to learn how to manage your thoughts, manage your emotions, how to really do all of this from a very, very deep level. And this is transformative. It really is. So I want you to consider that as well. And we're about to open up again. We, our next course kicks off on May 11th, 2021. So we'll be opening up registration the week before that. So keep your eyes open for the registration for Journey Beyond Weight Loss. If you really want significant help, if you're just tired of the ups and down weight loss, rollercoaster ride, and you want to really start doing some of the deeper work that's required, that's what this course is for. And there really is nothing else quite like it out there. So again, another great thing about it is it has, we do support calls by Zoom.

Marchelle (26:04):
Every Tuesday. So you really get like that interpersonal communication with other people that are going through the same journey you're you're on. And it gets pretty deep. I mean, it changes you from the inside out. Yeah, it's awesome.

New Speaker (26:20):
Yeah. So so I just wanted to make sure that, that you guys all understand just how important food traditions are and how you can manage all of this while still partaking, not necessarily in the food traditions, but in the community interpersonal traditions that you're used to and how it's entirely possible to live a really, really healthy life. And yet still take very, very good care of your body. I've been doing it for years now. And like I said, once in a while, I will choose to do a splurge, but I know what the consequences are going to be, and I make the choice deliberately. And that's what I want for you. I want you to feel peace around these traditions. I want you to feel peace around food.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:08):
I want you to make decisions, knowing what you're doing, and if you slip up, I don't want you to feel badly about it. I don't want you to feel badly about any of it. It is difficult. There's no question. I think we're good for, do you have any other last minute thoughts, Marchelle?

Marchelle (27:26):
No. I just think this was a great topic. I'm sure that we could have gone off in a lot of different directions. There's so much more to it. There is. And sometime we'll probably talk about some of those other topics, but I think that we covered a lot of what people are struggling with when it comes to wanting to be healthy for themselves and just the people around them.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:50):
Let us know! Go to And if you have any questions, any specific questions you can put comments in where we post the blog.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (28:02):
So let us know if you have any questions or comments. We also post these on YouTube on the Dr. Angela Zechmann YouTube page. And you can ask questions there as well and make comments. We'd love to hear what you think about all of this and what your biggest struggles have been when it comes to other people in your weight loss journey. And if you have ideas for future podcast episodes, make sure to let us know that too!

Marchelle (28:26):
You can also go into the Sugar and Flour Buster Society. It is a great Facebook group. And super encouraging and very real. And I would encourage anybody that wants to be a part of this community would get on there.

Dr. Angela Zechmann (28:42):
Awesome. Okay. Well that's all for this week. We will see you all next week. Everybody take care and have a great week. Bye-Bye

New Speaker (28:55):
Hey, if you really want to lose weight and keep it off for good, your next step is to sign up for Dr. Angela's free weight loss course, where you're going to learn everything you need to get started on your weight loss journey, the right way, just head over to journey beyond weight course to sign up. Also, it would be awesome. If you could take a few moments and write a review on iTunes. Thanks. And we'll see you in Journey Beyond Weight Loss.

- Dr. Angela


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