Losing weight doesn't start in the gym. It starts in the kitchen - and more importantly, it's most effective when we understand why it is that we do what we do, and why we eat what we do. Understanding yourself is key to losing weight and keeping it off. This week we explore this extremely important topic with Doctor Angela Zechmann.
Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
3:34 One of my clients actually said every time I gained all that weight back, it was as if everybody could see that I had once again failed. And it just felt so humiliating! I want people to understand is this is actually not a character flaw! We feel so much shame because we think, well, there's something wrong with us. I want people to understand is that this actually is a disease
13:33 (The Food Industry) Wants to put just the right amount of chemicals and sugar in stuff that we get the maximum amount of pleasure, but not too much. Cause if it's too sweet, you're going to put it away. So they very purposefully are like, let's hit the ‘bliss point’ - that's what they call it. So they'll do experiments with young children even to find out how much sugar they should put in a yogurt so that the kid will be addicted.
The journey towards lasting weight loss is actually a journey to get to know yourself more fully and more clearly. And it's a really powerful journey when done right. When done correctly, you can take what you learn about yourself in your weight loss journey, and you can apply it to all other aspects of your life too. It's such a powerful, powerful thing. When we learn to understand - what am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? What am I thinking? Where did I learn to think this way? It's like swimming in a little aquarium of water that we sort of grew up in. And we have all of these ideas and beliefs about ourself that we think that's just the way it is.
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Dr. Angela Zechmann (00:00):
Losing weight and keeping it off is about so much more than just what you're eating. When you think about it, you know, when you do this right, you show up in the world as a completely different person.
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:51):
Cheers and welcome to my next guest. She's a personal friend and also a doctor, a medical doctor specializing in obesity medicine, Dr. Angela Zechmann. Angela, thank you so much for taking some time out and joining us today,
Dr. Angela Zechmann (01:10):
Thank you Bill, and it's so great to be here. Thank you for inviting me.
Bill Soroka (01:14):
Yeah. It's about time we got you on here.
Dr. Angela Zechmann
Oh, I know. We've tried a few times.
I think this is such an important topic because many of us those who are listening, those who are in my audience as a notary public in so many other amazing ventures, we have big dreams. We're trying to make some big stuff happen in the world and change lives. And that requires a lot of energy. And I know that our health and our nutrition is such a huge component of that. And one of the things that you say a lot is that if you don't have your health, you don't have anything. So nothing else matters without this energy. And we're going to talk a little bit about some of the strategies, the misconceptions, and all the other BS that's out there that you've so clearly cut through. But I want to start because with my audience in particular, I've shared, this is a constant struggle for me to, I battled with my weight, my energy levels, and my fear of dying too soon throughout my entire life. And I carry a lot of shame with that. And I know that that's a, a major component of your course and your webinars. So let's kick off. Let's just start doing it right there. Let's talk about shame and weight loss and obesity in general.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (02:36):
Yeah. So, so many of my patients and students come in to see me and, you know, they've been on so many different diets over the years. And for many, particularly women, I'm not so sure if it's as prevalent with men, but women have started dieting when they were, when they were in their teens. Sometimes, sometimes earlier than that, one of my students actually said she started dieting in utero because her mother was taking diet pills while she was pregnant with her. I know it's crazy. So, so we learn all of this stuff. As we, as we go through life and every diet that we go on, you know, we are restricting ourselves and then we go off the diet and we gain all the weight back. And then we usually, we end up gaining more. And so it's just this perpetual cycle of diet, lose, gain, lose, gain, lose, gain.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (03:34):
And, and one of my clients actually said, she said, every time I gained all that weight back, she said it was, it was as if everybody could see that I had once again failed. And it just felt so humiliating. And what I want people to understand is this is actually not a character flaw. This is, this is why we feel so much shame because we think, well, there's something wrong with us. Like, I don't have any willpower. Like I I'm lazy. I'm just fat and lazy and I'm destined for a life of hell. You know? And, and what I want people to understand is that this actually is a disease. So most people don't know that there's a, there's a disease. That obesity is a disease. And I actually specialize in treatment of this disease. There's a whole field of medicine called obesity medicine. And most healthcare providers don't even know that obesity medicine exists.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (04:32):
And so we're trying to get the word out there. Now I've been in obesity medicine for 14 years now. When I first started 14 years ago, there were maybe 300 board certified obesity medicine specialists in the country. That's it? And in the United States now there's about 4,000 and where more and more people are becoming interested in obesity medicine. So, so I just want your listeners to understand this is not a character problem. This is a disease. And because of the hormonal changes that happen in the brain because of this disease, your brain thinks it's starving. So what we've discovered, there are certain hormones that are associated with a feeling of fullness, certain hormones that are associated with hunger. The brain thinks that there's not enough food that you need to eat, and that you have no idea when you've had enough. So I want you to imagine like a little two year old child in…
Bill Soroka (05:34):
Yeah. I just want to delineate, because I remember hearing this in your course and it totally shifted my way of thinking. But I wonder if we can just highlight what this means. Cause I think people hear from their doctor from social or Google or whatever it is that they're obese, the ratio says they're obese. So they take that on as a title. I'm obese. I'm an obese person. You're saying that we're just a person with obesity. Just like we might have a different kind of busy.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (06:07):
Yes, exactly. Yes, I have obesity. So that's how you want to think about it. I'm not an obese person. I'm a person who has obesity. I'm struggling with this disease of obesity. That's exactly right. And again, most healthcare professionals don't know that those of us who are in obesity medicine know that. So like, if you're a woman and you have breast cancer, you don't say, well, I'm a breast cancer. You know, you might say I'm a breast cancer patient, but you don't take that on as an identity. So that's what I want you to understand. That's a really good point. Thank you for stopping me there because obesity is a disease. So you have obesity. So and you know, there are BMI criteria for obesity. We try not to pay too much attention to that. It’s based more on body fat percentage because there are a lot of people walking around who have very big, a lot of musculature and have your bones and they could be in a body mass index range for obesity, but be perfectly healthy.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:03):
So and you can also be in a normal body mass index range. It's just body mass index is just how much do you weigh compared to how tall you are. And you can be in a perfectly normal body mass index range and have obesity. So you can't really tell by looking at somebody, whether they've got this disease. As a matter of fact, they've discovered that people who have obesity without a lot of weight gain actually have the most severe form. They're the ones that are the highest risk. These are the people who are like dying and nobody ever thought there was any problem with them, you know?
Bill Soroka (07:34):
And is that because they're traditionally thin by our societal standards. So they only even suspect it. And then all of a sudden they have major complications of this or symptoms.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (07:45):
Yeah. Yeah. Like my mother is a perfect example. My mother, she's 91 now. I think she's a skinny little woman. She's never had any problem with her weight. But yet when she was 57, she developed heart disease. And by 58 she had a triple bypass. Her blood pressure was sky high. Her cholesterol levels were out of whack. And now she has Alzheimer's, which is a complication. We're discovering that Alzheimer's is actually, I'll talk about insulin in a little while, but it's insulin resistance in the brain. That's what brings on one of the things that brings on Alzheimer's. It's not the total story, but, but, so I just want people to understand this is a disease and it's a disease in which your brain doesn't know whether you're hungry or whether you're full, really common pattern is people don't eat breakfast. They don't eat lunch about three or four in the afternoon. They get really hungry, like the hungry and they start to snack.
Bill Soroka (08:42):
Cause this is like literally my life right now.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (08:45):
Yeah. Yeah. They get the hangry, they start snacking, they have dinner, they have more dinner and then they're in front of the TV and they're snacking at night. So it all the, all the calories come in and at night it's a very, very common pattern. So so that's what I want you to understand. Like, like if things were, if your brain was working, normally you'd be a lot more like a two-year-old child or like my cat who, you know, just eats when they're hungry. When the brain, when the body says there's there's need for nourishment. And then after your body's had enough, food no longer tastes good. It doesn't even matter if it's really good to you. It just doesn't taste good anymore. And so you'll see the two-year-olds, you know, they'll be throwing the stuff off their highchair, or like they're not interested anymore. They'd rather go play. They'd rather go do something fun. Right. For us with obesity, it's like, the food is still really, really compelling. Even though we know intellectually we've had plenty. So that's what this disease does. And it also causes you to be really tired. Like you don't have the energy that you need because again, your body thinks it's starving. And so it's slowing everything down. Okay. So not a character flaw at all. You cannot use willpower with this disease.
Bill Soroka (10:02):
Well, cause you're saying that it's, there's a chemical or hormonal issue going on. Right. So it's not about our willpower and our self-discipline, there's just other, other things at play here.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:14):
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So so once I really help people understand, like, this is a disease, like this is something that we have to work on from a medical perspective. And I teach them like three secrets, three ways of understanding this disease that, that they really need to understand in order to get this under control. And I it's called, have you ever heard of the term appetite disregulation?
Bill Soroka (10:45):
No. Ma'am I have not
Dr. Angela Zechmann (10:47):
Appetite disregulation, appetite disregulation. That's what I'm talking about. So think about, there's a, there's a part of your brain that regulates your appetite. Okay. And it's telling you when it's time to eat and when it's not time to eat when, when you've had enough and it's supposed to be regulating normally that's your two-year-old right. That's regulating normally. Well, when you have obesity, all of that gets dlsregulated. So that's what I'm talking about. Appetite dlsregulation, you don't know when it's time to eat and when it's not time to eat when you've had enough. And it turns out that the appetite regulation system is actually very, very complicated. So and we're learning more about it all the time. It's fascinating. So what I want people to understand is what you have to understand. Have you ever heard, I call it the standard American Diet - SAD - Standard American Diet - SAD.
Bill Soroka (11:42):
Dr. Angela Zechmann (11:45):
So the Standard American Diet is highly processed and the food industry puts sugar in everything. You'll be shocked when you start looking at food labels and you're going to find out how much…
Bill Soroka (11:58):
Sugar is in.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:01):
Yeah. Yeah. Because what, what people don't understand is that sugar is actually a highly addictive drug. Sugar is a drug, it's a white powder. And think about heroin. Think about cocaine, think about meth. It's - they’re white powders, right? Like your brain is gonna respond to white powder. So sugar, for sure. And to a lesser extent, but from a lot of my patients and clients, flour products too. So bread, pasta…
Dr. Angela Zechmann (12:38):
Yeah. I actually had a patient come in yesterday and she is a nurse practitioner. And she went to school in Chicago with a woman who had used to work for Frito-Lay. She was a food chemist for Frito-Lay and she was the one that was in charge of what they put in flavoring over Doritos. And her job was to do whatever she could to put chemicals on Doritos to make sure that people would get addicted to it. And like, that was her job. And she said, I had such a moral dilemma with this. I'm actually going to get her on my podcast and interview her. I cannot wait to talk to them and find out what it is that the food industry does to make sure that we are, you know, we are completely addicted to this stuff.
Bill Soroka (13:29):
It's also the bliss point that you introduced me to.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (13:33):
Yeah. Yeah. That's exactly right. Because they want to put just the right amount of chemicals and sugar in stuff that we get the maximum amount of pleasure, but not too much. Cause if it's too sweet, you're going to put it away. Right. So, so we, they, they very purposefully are like, let's hit the bliss point and that's what they call it. So they'll do experiments with young children even to find out how much sugar should they put in a yogurt so that the kid will be adicted.
Bill Soroka (14:02):
Well, when I first introduced this to me, this literally pissed me off. I was so very pissed, cause I remember one of the triggers for me is being manipulated. I do not like when the be late, that's why I'm very sensitive to it and I never even put it together. You told me about the bliss point, even stuff that was supposed to be, or it's marketed as healthy.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (14:26):
Yeah. It is. It's packed full of sugar. You'll find sugar in yogurts. You'll find it in granola bars. You'll find it in places like spaghetti sauce. Ketchup is basically pure sugar. Ketchup is pure sugar. Oh, what's that? It's not peanut butter. It's Nutella. That stuff is mostly sugar. Everybody thinks so that's a nice little healthy alternative to peanut butter. No. So and so much of the kids' stuff. And so we get our kids addicted at a very young age. We get our kids addicted to sugar and I got to tell you like my brain, like I was raised on Hostess Ding Dongs and cupcakes and all of that. And I used to buy tubes of chocolate chip cookie dough. Like my brain is super, super sensitive to sugar. And so, you know, you tell me, stay away from sugar. If I've been eating it, there's no way.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (15:19):
So it's, it's crazy. It's just so our brains, we end up, you know, eating all this stuff, craving it, not understanding why. Pizza IS highly addictive due to the flour in pizza. And then they put sugar in the tomato sauce. So, you know, it's just, we eat this stuff and we're triggering a pleasure center in our brain. And I like to say, I like to ask my patients, what's your drug delivery system of choice. Okay. Cause we know white stuff is drugs, right? So some people like just pure sugar. So it's candy. Some people like sugar and combination with fat. So it's chocolate or ice cream. Some people like sugar in combination with caffeine. So it's like sodas and energy drinks and you know, the red bulls and that sort of thing. Some people like flour products. So they don't care about sugar. They just want like bread or chips or pasta or that sort of thing.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (16:18):
Some people, like me, like sugar and flour in combination. So it's baked goods. Okay. It's the cakes and the cookies and brownies and that kind of thing. So I like to say, just figure out what your drug delivery system of choices and do your best to, if you notice that your brain is really super sensitive to something like that in, and like a little bit of it is just going to send you off on wild cravings might be best to avoid that. And I'll like, I can find, I can eat. I can not eat cake. I will actually go dig through trash cans to get more cake. I've done that. Like, this is crazy behavior, right? Like I'm in a party. I'm hosting a party and somebody has like, there's cake leftover on a perfectly clean plate and they just didn't eat it. So there it is in the trash can on the top. And I'm like, it's calling to me, it's calling to me. So Yeah, it does. It makes us do insane things. And so, so, so for some people it's like that for other people, it's the bread for other people. It's like my medical assistant Marchelle for her, it was coffee creamer. So it was caffeine and sugar together for her. So so anyway, he just kinda figure out what your drug delivery system of choice is and avoid it if you can.
Bill Soroka (17:41):
So what I learned, one of the things I learned from you is number one, is to shine the light of awareness on this, right. I think we just go through life and we, we just unconsciously eat and we're just, maybe we're trusting labels too much, or we're just relying on old habits or what we learned as kids. But then when you have this conscious elevated consciousness for eating, you start to see things a little bit differently. But part of it is triggers. Like one thing I got really clear on is that when I do, if I eat ice cream, I can justify that I can enjoy that. I can totally own that. But the implications of the ice cream become more than just the, you know, the choice at the moment. It is, it triggers more and more. I crave it again. Then I got to have normal war. Then I start craving pasta. Then I started craving the other stuff. It's crazy.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (18:46):
It is. So, yeah. So, so I, I really recommend that people do like a detox. And so so you just spend about a week where you're just eating whole normal, healthy foods. And I have a sugar detox menu that I give people, and I'm happy to share that with your audience too. But, but you plan your meals ahead of time and you're not having any sugar or sweeteners during that time and you go through a withdrawal and it's not fun. Some, some people breeze right through it. Other people, they experienced headaches, they experienced cravings, they experience crankiness irritability. Yeah. Yeah. Basically. And I always say, you know, if you, if you're going to go through sugar withdrawal, sugar and flour withdrawal, I use sugar and flour interchangeably because they're so similar biochemically and they're so similar in the brain. So so when I, so when I use the word sugar from now on, I'm talking about sugar and flour.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (19:53):
So when you go through sugar and flour withdrawal you, you want to make sure that you've got all your meals planned ahead of time because you're going to have all of these cravings. But I always say - set a quit date because you know, it's like, if you're going to be doing a podcast interview with somebody, you don't want to be in sugar withdrawl, you need your brain functioning. Normally you're going to be a little bit wonky. You know, you're going to feel tired and cranky. If you've got, if you've got to be in a wedding or if you've got something important going on, then you don't want to be in the midst of sugar withdrawal. So I say set your quit date ahead of time and then get everything ready to go. Get your grocery list, get all your meals prepped and planned and ready to go. Clear your house out of all the crap food. So that's another piece of it is, you know, going through your refrigerator, like getting rid of the cookie dough, that's in your refrigerator, getting rid of the chocolate syrup, going through your freezer, getting rid of the pizza, Tostitos, and all that kind of stuff. I'm going through your pantry and getting rid of all of the cookies and all of that stuff and just throw it out. Like don't be taking it to work and giving it to your coworkers. They don't need it either. You don't want to be passing drugs around. Right.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (21:03):
So I know. So planning ahead is a huge key. It's a huge key. So yeah.
Bill Soroka (21:09):
And then what's, what's life after detox look like though.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (21:13):
Oh, so you go through the detox and it's kind of hell. And then you get through that though, and you start noticing that gradually and slowly the cravings diminish. And the next thing you start noticing is that you start having a lot more energy. Your body starts to function more normally the brain fog starts to go away. You'll notice that you start to lose weight. I don't ever recommend getting on a scale. What, because the scale doesn't give you any accurate information about fat loss. It just tells you how much weight loss you've had. So but you'll notice that your pants start to get looser, right? That's a big, that's a good sign. You'll notice that you're not having as much joint pain. A lot of people struggle with indigestion and you know, like, like reflux symptoms that starts to get better.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:13):
Everything about you starts to shift. Most people with obesity, they have sort of this bloated look to them and sort of reddish basis, their faces start to look more normal as they move through the process. Huge, huge changes. I mean, they just look like totally, they come in in a month and they look like totally different people. It's really remarkable, actually. I had a woman come in yesterday and she was absolutely in tears. She's like, I'm so glad I found you. Like none of my doctors could ever help me. I said, I know they just don't know. So..
Bill Soroka (22:44):
Yeah. Well it seems like they treat the symptoms rather than the actual disease. Right?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (22:49):
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, a lot of people have sleep apnea. And that's one of the very common sort of diseases that goes along with obesity. We call them co-morbidities in the field, sleep apnea or diabetes or liver disease. There's a lot of complications from this disease, not to mention that it puts you at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes and cancer and all that stuff. So all of that stuff gets better when you get rid of the sugar and flour products in your diet and you start purposefully grocery shopping, going into grocery stores, picking out, produce, picking up nourishing proteins, right, healthy fats and really nourishing your body. So…
Bill Soroka (23:43):
How do we do that? In like most of the people listening to this podcast are probably on the road right now. We just live on the road. They're mobile, meaning agents, finger printers, wedding officiant. I mean, we just … we’re out on the road. How do we, what suggestions do you have for us for?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (24:03):
Well, this is where I think that here's what I want people to understand. There are two parts of your brain that can make food decisions. Okay. The first part of your brain is the primitive brain. So this is this is like your reptile brain and there's a, we call it the motivational triad of the reptilian brain. It has three things that it's interested in. First thing is pleasure. Second thing is relief of pain. And the third thing is ease and convenience. And this is part of our brain is what allowed us to survive throughout the millennia, as we were evolving and it kept us safe in the cave and it kept us procreating and it kept us eating food, right? Because we're eating for pleasure and we're procreating because that's pleasurable and we're staying in the cave where it's convenient. So we're away from predators that works great. Except now not so much. The second part of your brain that can make food decisions is your … what's called your prefrontal cortex. So that's this part that the front part of your brain, the most human part of your brain, where you're thinking about your long-term plans and your goals, and you're planning ahead and you know, that's the part of your brain that you and I are using right now. Right. So what part of your brain do you want making your food decisions?
Bill Soroka (25:25):
Oh, that's a good, probably the prefrontal cortex, right? Cause I can plan and dream and do it correctly, like live into my vision. Right?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (25:34):
Exactly. Yeah. You want this, this prefrontal cortex making your food decisions. You don't want to be making food decisions on the run. That's my point. Okay. So the planning ahead is going to be the key. And especially for people who are on the run all the time, my recommendation is always that you set aside time once a week, where you sit down and you figure out surely you have, you have talked to your to your crowd about planning ahead to the best of their ability. You know, like, like planning, planning time, like I'm going to be here on this time and I'll be there on that time. So you also plan in your food. Okay. And you figure out, okay, here's what I'm having for breakfast on these days. Here's what I'm going to have for lunch on these days. Here's what I'm gonna have for dinner.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (26:27):
Because the last thing you want is to be out there on the road and come home and not have any idea what you're going to make. And so that's when you end up running through a drive-through or ending up calling Uber eats, or one of those, you know, one of those meal delivery services, right? So if you planned it ahead of time, get your grocery list make your meal plan ahead, go grocery shopping, and know exactly what you're going to be eating for the week. Life is going to be so much easier. Cause what's what's going to happen is you don't have to think about food. You've already made all of those decisions in advance. That's so much less strain on you than trying to figure out what you're going to have to eat in a moment. So you just know I'm eating breakfast at this time and here's what I'm going to have.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (27:13):
And I'm eating lunch at this time. And here's what I'm going to have. And I'm eating dinner and get a cooler and take your food with you, get a cooler and some ice packs and take your food with you. If you're out and about, I've got lots of patients and clients who are, you know, like their home health nurses and that sort of thing. That's just what they do. It just takes, it takes developing the planning habit. And that's not easy. You know, I'm not saying it's kind of like learning how to ride a bike or learning how to drive a car. Like, remember when you first learned how to drive a car, how much time it took, you had to think about every thing you have to think about where he goes. He had to think about how to back up. Like it took a lot of effort and that's the same way it is with food prep. Like it takes a lot of effort in the beginning, but after a while there's a part of your brain called the basal ganglia. That's just going to take over and the habits will just the habits will just do themselves. Like you don't have to think about it. So that's where I'm at now. Like I'm not gonna I'm not going to go to bed at night unless I have all my meals planned for the next day.
Bill Soroka (28:16):
That's a great suggestion. You know, we take our, our notary bag. We have our printer, we have our scanner in the car. So why not take a cooler cooler with some water and some food. And here's, you know, at the beginning I shared how how much, and for some reason I don't like to use the word struggle. Right. But I'm constantly working on this for myself and I'll do really good sometimes. And then I fall off and then I do really good eating, well, staying active. And then they fall off again. That's been a constant cycle and in my life. But the times when I do the best is when I tie my food into my dream and my vision when I know that the, and that usually comes with energy, right. Cause I know I need to feel good in order to do big things. And when I weave that story into my vision, then that's when I do really good. I stay on top of it. And I'm like, of course, I'm going to eat this because that's what somebody who wants to do this would eat. And it just helps me stay on track. Like you said, it's not easy work. I can see why so many people struggle with this because it's not easy. It requires…
Dr. Angela Zechmann (29:32):
It's not, especially when you've got, and you've got the food industry constantly in your face all the time triggering you to eat. Right. So for triggering you to eat their crap. So yeah, it does, you know, you said something about how, how you're on it for awhile and then you're off. And I wanna, I wanna tell you about something that I just learned. We, we in Journey Beyond Weight Loss, this is my online program. We have been reading a book called the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Have you read that book?
Bill Soroka (30:01):
I'm listening to it right now because of you. Yeah.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (30:05):
Awesome. Okay, awesome. So he talks about how recommitment is just as important as commitment. And he talks about how, if you've got a plane that's flying on autopilot and it starts in Seattle and it's going to Hawaii. Most of the time it's actually off track. So it starts to veer off track and then the autopilot corrects it and gets it back on course. And then it goes off track and the autopilot corrects it. But most of the time it's actually off track. And this is the way it is with our nutrition habits as well. Like we can be off track, but as long as we recommit to getting back on track ASAP, we'll end up at our destination. Right. So recruitment. And I think, you know, because so many people have been dieting so much and then they get off track and they think, oh my God, I guess I just can't do this. And they don't understand the importance of recommitment. Right. So so that's what happens for people. Is they just, and, and, you know, again, the shame comes in this, this, this intense feeling of shame, oh, I just messed up again, I guess I just can't do this. And then they just give up and they just go back to eating crap.
Bill Soroka (31:21):
Yeah. What I want to do is I'd like to take this opportunity now to dive deeper into the shame and the emotional cycle of this thing, because not only is there the surface level shame, and I think that triggers or sends us down a rabbit hole of negativity sometimes. So then we forget to come back to the right track. But on top of that, there's a lot of that emotion is actually driving the behavior to
Dr. Angela Zechmann (31:51):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, so what happens for people is most of us do a lot more emotional and stress eating than we realize. And, and that's what the interesting thing is about planning your meals ahead of time. Because if you have everything planned out ahead of time, and then you want to eat something that's not on your plan, then you have to kind of ask yourself, well, is this a physical need for more nourishing food? Or is this an emotional need that's showing itself as a desire to eat. Right. And so shame plays a big part in that, you know, so like you're walking and you're noticing that your thighs are rubbing and you know, you don't, even if you don't even really register it consciously, but there's this unconscious feeling of shame. And then the next thing, you know, like you're wanting to go grab some something to eat.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (32:46):
And so and so what I like to do is I like to explain to people that once you take food or alcohol out of the equation, as a way to soothe your emotions, you're sort of left with yourself and you're left with your emotions and your emotions are actually really, really important. They are a way for you to get to know yourself. And so a lot of us don't like to feel negative emotions because we don't know how to manage our negative emotions, that we don't know what they mean. And so a big piece of what I teach people online. I can't do this in the office because we're focusing on the medical stuff in the office, but in the online course is I'm really helping people to get to know themselves better. And to understand, you know, these feelings of shame or maybe it's anxiety, or maybe it's jealousy, or maybe it's revenge thoughts that you don't want to admit to, or maybe it's just like complete stress.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (33:59):
These feelings of shame are actually your window to get to know yourself better. And the, the journey towards lasting weight loss is actually a journey to get to know yourself more fully and more clearly. And it's a really, really powerful journey when done right, when done correctly, you can take what you learn about yourself in your weight loss journey, and you can apply it to all other aspects of your life too. It's such a powerful, powerful thing. When we learn to understand - what am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? What am I thinking? Where did I learn to think this way? It's like swimming in a little aquarium of water that we sort of grew up in. And we have all of these ideas and beliefs about ourself that we think that's just the way it is, you know?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (35:00):
And it turns out that's not the way it is. That's just what we happen to grow up with. But we can shift these beliefs about ourselves. And we can begin to think about ourselves as healthy, vibrant people happened to be. We happen to be living in a crazy world, but we're healthy, vibrant people. That's how I think of myself as I'm a healthy, vibrant person. I'm living in a crazy world right now, but I am doing everything possible to take care of myself and my health. Right. And that's, what's important to me and that's one of my values. And so anytime there's a desire to eat I'm always asking myself, okay, what's going on here? I know. And I go inside, like, what is the emotion that I'm feeling? And what is it that I need right now? What do I actually need? So there's usually like a younger part of you that isn't having - is having - some sort of need. We have no idea how much our childhood has affected us and the things that we learned.
Bill Soroka (35:57):
Yeah. It blows me a way, how many decisions are made inside my head by a little four or six year old boy who felt shame or embarrassment or neglect or whatever it was when I was still young, that drives decisions even today. It's pretty incredible. This is a really refreshing outlook, Angela. It's not every day that you hear a doctor willing to talk about the emotions around the disease. What's that? Why do you think that is?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (36:38):
Well, I think that as doctors and healthcare professionals, we're trained to put all of that aside and just focus on healing, the person in front of us. But, you know, I went through a lot of, of stuff, you know, and I went through it when I went through my divorce and I just, I just did everything I could to learn so much more about, about, you know, the body mind and the way our spirit and our body interacts. And I just learned so much. I mean, I, I've done all kinds of workshops and retreats and meditation retreats, and I've learned so so much. And I'm like, this all applies to the weight loss journey. And when I start talking to my patients and my clients, a bottle of this stuff, they're like, oh, oh, that makes so much sense. That makes so much sense.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (37:30):
And I'm like, yeah, that's why we have to teach this. We have to give people a much broader understanding because losing weight and keeping it off is about so much more than just what you're eating right now. When you think about it you know, when you do this, right, you show up in the world as a completely different person. You transform yourself from someone who is just rushing around like a crazy person, grabbing whatever they want to someone who is, who is solid and steady and has a good sense of stability and can say no, when you need to say no and says yes to the right things and is … knows really well how to set boundaries with other people. And isn't in trying to manage other people's lives for them. Like there's so much of this stuff that goes on that really, really affects our weight loss journey.
Bill Soroka (38:26):
That's pretty incredible. And I love what you said, really. The words you chose, paint the vision. It's something that somebody could use as an affirmation or literally their vision statement. I am a healthy, vibrant person. And I think when you remind yourself of that every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, it becomes a belief to you. And then that's when you can live into that belief, you start making decisions and choices that a healthy, vibrant person might do.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (38:57):
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. As a healthy, vibrant person. I don't, I don't go to drive-thru restaurants unless I'm on a road trip and I have to use the bathroom.
Bill Soroka (39:08):
Exceptions can be made. Right. Well, that's, that actually brings up a really good point. Angela. And I want to talk to you about that because this isn't is this about like, is this about living so strict that you don't enjoy life? How do you, how do you find the balance here?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (39:25):
Well, tell me, tell me what you mean when you say I don't enjoy life. Like what, what, what would you be giving up?
Bill Soroka (39:33):
And just as an example, do people have to give up all the foods they enjoy when thinking like this? Like, is it like the matrix where you take the red pill and the blue pill, and then once you take it, there's no going back kind of thing. Or how does, like, I know there's people probably listening, thinking, oh, I'm never going to do this. I don't want to give up my pasta, my pizza, my ice cream, whatever that is. How do you balance this out?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (40:00):
How do you balance it out? Yeah, that's a really good question. Because for most people, a little bit of something once in a while is just fine, but there are some of us who, like, I have a little experience with marzipan a couple of weeks ago. I discovered because my partner was … he's from Iceland and he was making a marzipan cake for his mother's birthday. And I had one bite of it and I was instantly transported back to high school when I was working at a Chinese restaurant and they had almond cookies. Cause marzipan is like almond paste. Right. But there's a ton of sugar in it. And I was just shocked at what my brain did with that stuff. My brain went nuts and I was like, oh my gosh, this is like really, really good. It was like chocolate chip cookie dough is for me, you know?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (40:50):
And so for three days I struggled with cravings and I actually wrote about it. I've got a Facebook group called Sugar (And Flour) Busters Society, which your listeners are welcome to join us there. And I wrote about it and you would be shocked at how many people were like, oh my gosh, that's happened to me too. I totally get it. And you know, my brain was just screaming for this stuff. So, so you don't have to give up everything, but if you notice that there's something like that, that triggers your brain and just drives you insane, it might not be worth it. Like I'm never going to touch marzipan again. Like nothing, you know,
Dr. Angela Zechmann (41:27):
I can have, you know, if I have pasta once in a while, but I'm not going to have a whole great big plate of, I feel crappy after I eat a whole great thing, plate of pasta. I'm going to have a little bit maybe, but you can actually make zucchini into pasta and, you know, make zoodles they're called. And that tastes really, really good. And that way you could have like a pasta fix without all the extra carbs and all the stuff that's going to make you feel heavy and bloated and give you fatigue and, and reflux and indigestion and all of that. Once in a while, I'll have some ice cream, but I'm going to have a little bit, I'm not going to have a whole great big thing of ice cream. And if I notice that the ice cream is triggering me, I'm going to be like, okay, you know, starting to trigger cravings. Diet Coke can be like that for me.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (42:15):
You know, like, like I like Coke zero, but every now and then if I start drinking Coke zero, and I noticed that I'm drinking three or four Coke zeros every day, it's like, well, not such a good plan. I'm going to have to cut back. So you just have to, I would say, get to know your own brain. Like, first of all, just get free of this stuff. And then, you know, after a couple of weeks after you're feeling better and you know what it feels like to be off the stuff, you can do some experiments and find out how much of this stuff does your brain tolerate. There are people for whom sugar is just like alcohol - like It would be for an alcoholic, right? So alcoholics know one drink and they no longer have control. Okay. So for those of us who are sugar addicts, there is a point, there are some people for whom, a little bit of sugar and they no longer have any control.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (43:10):
I've had patients come in and you know, they're doing great. And then they come in at, you know, like they don't, we don't see them for a while, like six or eight weeks. I remember this one woman in particular and she's like, ever since I got sick, like I can't stop thinking about sugar. And I said, well, what happened when you were sick? Because I'm thinking, well, when I was sick, my mother used to give me saltine crackers. Well, that's sugar and that's sugar. She said, no, I didn't do any of that. And I said, well, you must have had some sugar from somewhere. And then she remember it was the cough syrup and sugar in the cough syrup triggered her addiction. Wow. So, yeah. So it can be that subtle sometimes.
Bill Soroka (43:53):
How do we … what do you recommend for those who need to, or want to know this more? Like, do you track this stuff? Do you track your feelings? Do you journal this stuff? Like, I think it's so easy for us to just, you know, two weeks later we're like, oh, I guess I felt okay. But you lose track of those day to day moments and those, those feelings throughout the day. So do you journal this stuff or track it somehow?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (44:21):
I always recommend journaling. Yeah. Like write down what you're eating and write down how you feel after you've eaten, write down, you know, if you were eating in to some emotional upset, like becoming aware of your patterns is the first key. The awareness is so helpful. Like, oh my gosh, I didn't realize that every single night I sit down in front of Netflix and I've, binge-watched whatever, and I'm eating Doritos while I'm doing that. Like, I didn't even realize that that was a pattern for me. And do I ever eat breakfast? I guess I really don't. I might have some coffee with sugary, with sugary creamer in it. And by the way, those, those general foods, international coffee, creamers, things really addictive. So, and Starbucks, coffee drinks really addictive. The big problem for people. So so you'll notice the patterns and that's the first stage of awareness.
Dr. Angela Zechmann (45:20):
And, you know, you can, you can do like a, you know, like a cold Turkey, I'm going to get rid of this stuff and I'm just going to do it all right away. And that actually works really well for a lot of people. For some people they work better if they just sort of make minor adjustments over time. So, you know, like, okay, I'm not going to eat Doritos in front of Netflix anymore. I'm going to eat something else. You know, like I'll have, I'll have you know, whatever, like I like cucumbers, salted cucumbers are giving you that salty crunchy. And I dip it in mustard. That's kind of a nice little substitute for what you want, the salty crunchy stuff. Okay. So yeah, it doesn't sound quite as, as sexy as Doritos, but then during those were perfectly designed to be sexy.
Bill Soroka (46:10):
After I hear what they're putting on them. I, I'm not going to ever want them again. That's a really great example, Angela. I feel like I could talk to you all day about this. This is it's fascinating. It's disturbing on some levels when you think about what gets put into our food to keep us hooked, but it's also super inspiring. And I find it a relief that it's not a character flaw that we struggle so hard with this. So thank you so much for sharing your perspective and giving us pointers and tips with our lifestyle on the road and hustling on this. This is extremely valuable. And for those who are listening if you'd like to connect to Dr. Angela Zechmann just visit www.SideHustleLounge.com/vip, you can join the VIP room and I'll have all of her links and contacts. She's got an amazing course called Journey Beyond Weight Loss. She's got a free course tied into that. Plus she offers webinars and the private Facebook group and community, which is really Angela. You've done a great job there too. That's one of the most loving and supportive groups I've seen on Facebook. So it's really powerful. Angela, thank you so much for being here. Any closing thoughts to send us home with?
Dr. Angela Zechmann (47:29):
Well, I just want people to really understand that your health is really, really important and you have been manipulated by the food industry into thinking that that it's normal to go to Starbucks and it's normal to take your kids to McDonald's and it's normal to have pizza on Friday night. And there's just so much about what we have been conditioned to believe by the food industry that has really doing us a disservice. And I want you to imagine that you're a Martian and you're kind of looking at our society from, you know, like new eyes and you're looking around at what people are eating, and then you're noticing how much they're struggling. And I want you to take that viewpoint that, you know, it's hard to be healthy when you live in this country. It's hard. It takes extra effort and you're like a salmon swimming upstream, and you need help. It's not easy to do this on your own. As a matter of fact, it's practically impossible to do this on your own. So I would encourage you to get in touch with us and get the support that you need to make these changes that really are going to make such a big difference in your quality of life and your quantity of life and your health and your vibrancy and your ability to be your best self in the world. Thank you so much for having me, Bill, I've really appreciated it.
Bill Soroka (48:56):
Absolutely. My pleasure. And like I said, I totally appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us and thank you very much. We'll catch you next time. Thank you everyone.
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