Empowered Weight Loss with Lucia Hawley
This week on the Less Stress Life Podcast, I am joined by Lucia Hawley. In this episode, we discuss diet culture, empowered weight loss, and how to end compulsive eating and yoyo dieting with loving, libratory principles.
- The root cause of weight loss resistance
- Why dieting is a stress response and how women can end the cycle permanently
- What “self-talk,” is and how can we reframe the way we think about what we want
- Why do restrictive diets appeal to so many people
GUEST SHARED HELPFUL TIPS ON:
- How self-trust is the solution to permanent weight loss for women
- How to listen to your body for permanent weight loss
- How can you reframe your mindset around setting and reaching your goals for maximum success
Lucia Hawley is a weight loss coach living in Portland, Oregon. She helps women ages 30-75 lose 10 or more pounds and end compulsive overeating and yo-yo dieting with loving, liberatory principles in her Lean + Liberated program. She hosts the Mindfulness-Based Weight Loss Podcast, with over 220 episodes of free coaching and client success stories.
And just so you can get an even better feel for what Lucia is all about, here are the top three most listened-to episodes of the Mindfulness-Based Weight Loss Podcast:
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Lucia (00:00): Often if what we've practiced from a stress date is thinking about the past and being unhappy about it and worrying about and having anxiety about the future, it is awfully hard to understand what is happening in that present moment. And so for sure that weight resistance can feel like, Oh my God, there is something wrong with me. Christa (00:21): Stress is the inflammation that robs us of life, energy, and happiness. Our typical solutions for gut health and hormone balance have let a lot of us down we're overmedicated and underserved at the less stressed life. We're a community of health savvy women exploring solutions outside of our traditional western medicine toolbox and training to raise the bar and change our stories. Each week our hope is that you leave our sessions inspired to learn, grow, and share these stories to raise the bar in your life and home. (01:04): Today on the Less Stress life I have Luha Holly, who's a weight loss coach with a masters in social work and clinical mental health living in Portland, Oregon. She helps women between 30 and 75 lose 10 or more pounds and in compulsive overeating and Yo Togo dieting with loving and liberating principles in her programs. She teaches overwhelmed women how to stop dieting, lose weight for life and master their minds instead of counting calories or macros. She's also the host of a podcast, The Mindful Based Weight Loss podcast with over 200 episodes of free coaching and client stories. So welcome Lucia. Lucia (01:38): Thank you so much, Krista. I'm super excited to be here. Christa (01:41): We were just talking offline that, well, I'll just say that if you don't know anything about a dietician then most commonly a doctor would refer to a dietician for weight loss. But I would say myself and my colleagues, that's not really our primary focus yet. I mean we can talk about primary, secondary, whatever, but it comes up all the time whether you wanna talk about it or not. <Laugh> So here we are. Here we are. Wait it out Lucia (02:06): There talking about weight. Yeah. Cause that's a subject that's on people's minds a lot. Christa (02:10): Yeah. It's a subject that's on people's minds because a lot of it is how we kind of feel about ourselves and our body. And I'm sure that's part of your story too. So let's actually start there. Cause that always gives us a primer on kind of, we are just a product of our own stories and our experiences at the end of the day. So I always like to start with the story to get to know you. So Luha, tell me why you are even in this field and why we're focusing on way lists. Tell us your story. Lucia (02:35): Yeah, definitely. So my story has, of course, I think like manys like many different paths to it. So I'll keep a condenser kind of two main parts to it. So when I was 14 I lost about 80 pounds and that was the first time I realized that what you eat affects how you feel. Because even though I've lost the weight, what truly made such a big difference is that I could move more. I could think more clearly. I could actually enjoy being a 14 year old. And I was like, wow, nutrition is cool. No one has ever told me that before. It had never really been modeled in many ways. So that was number one was that I started off with this big weight loss and then the weight was kinda on the back burner. I felt like things were figured out, I understood processed foods on processed foods and things are pretty groovy until I was about 19 years old and I was in college at the time, really lucky to be doing that. (03:24): And with a pretty decent student, classwork wasn't normally hard for me. And then there was this spring, so when I was about 19 that I started to get a lot of brain fog and I was like, That's weird <laugh>, this is not me. And then I started to get a lot of anxiety attacks and I'm a very shy person, but I was never anxious pathy ever in my life before. Anxiety attacks, panic attacks, daily occurrence. And I was like, I feel like I've like is this for the rest of my life? What is going on? Long story short, it was not trendy that time way that this was, you know, decade plus ago now. But I, because I was in university, I was like, What's going on? You know, food helped me feel better before, this isn't about weight this time, but like let me look some stuff up. (04:05): Had access to the library, clinical journals, all that stuff. And I was a nerd and a dork so I was like, there's gotta be something going on on the inside. So I found this one study out of Sweden that was basically looking at kind of anxiety, mental health and wellness scores and teenagers for teenagers who were eating foods that contained gluten and foods that didn't contain gluten. And they found that those kids who excluded gluten from their diets had lower scores of anxiety after just two weeks. And I was like, that's really cool. When I was 14, I actually felt really good and my eating habits had kind of shifted over those five years. So I took gluten my diet for two weeks and the anxiety attack stopped, panic attacks stopped, brain fog cleared up and I was like, whoa, the power of food is even cooler. (04:49): And so with that experience, that really pushed me into nutrition cuz I was like wow, this is not just my personality to be a ball of stress every day for the rest of my life. Long story short as well, I also then realized that I had Hashimotos, which made a lot of sense that I was having thyroid flares and that was causing a lot of those panic attacks and anxiety attacks. So when I started to work in nutrition then I didn't care about the weight loss thing. For me weight had looked pretty much figured out and it was fine. But I noticed over the years that I serve in clients and I've been working in this field for about seven years now, my clients are starting to feel ashamed for wanting to bring up weight. They were people who are body positive and you know, believe in health access at every size. (05:30): But here they were carrying another should on their shoulders. Oh I shouldn't want to lose weight, I should only try to be healthy. And I was like, this is just another should that we're all carrying. And that is, to me the diet culture is really pressured to be one way that maybe doesn't align with your own core values. So that's my story in just a couple of minutes of how I got to really saying like, let's just have open conversations about how weight loss works and how we can really understand our thoughts, our feelings and our emotions and what ones drive our behaviors so that we don't have to do the yo-yo diet and we can feel really good about any habit changes that we're creating for ourselves. Christa (06:06): Well there's a lot to unpack in that very brief story. So let's start at the beginning and let me unpack it all the way through. Yeah. First of all, what was the reaction to the 80 pound weight loss at age 14? Because that's not, it's not a real common story that gets told or is told. So tell us a little bit about that. Lucia (06:23): Yeah, a lot of people treated me completely different. And as a 14 year old, very fashionable teenage years, it was pretty interesting to, you know, that was a big, I had already had a lot of introduction to what I call diet culture kind of power and control culture, just the way people treat one another. And so it was really staggering and I think very humbling and made me really interested in how people's brains work from a young age of like, oh I'm the same person, right? How I appear just looks kind of different and you don't wanna hear me talk about how good I feel. You wanna talk about how I look and what I represent. Christa (06:57): What was that journey like for you? Did you struggle with your own? What kind of was the reason that you went on that journey in the first place? How long was that and did you struggle with your own? I think, I don't know a woman that hasn't struggled with how she looks at some point in her life and especially at a teenager. This is kind of the controversial part also with a teenager, especially like nowadays. I don't know, I mean, and we'll get to this in a little bit later in this story about kind of like the intersection of diet culture and then kind of like the swinging of the pendulum the other way a little bit. But regardless, like you mentioned, you alluded to, you didn't allude, you me mentioned it started kind of like you, the modeling was were to where some of this potentially came from. So I actually wanna hear about what things were like when you grew up, what inspired change because it's like that would be potentially a lot of change and work over a long time and you know, so what was kind of inspiring that and what were some of the emotions you went through in that time as well? Cause I would imagine that they would've run the Lucia (08:02): Gamut. Yeah, well a big emotion kinda a primary emotion was almost relief. Again, it was not so much, I mean we could definitely talk about body image cuz it's not like I lost 80 pounds and then it was like, okay perfect, I feel amazing. It was like okay. And now you have a body that has now represents an 80 pound weight loss and you have loose skin as a 14 year old and then you have stretch marks. And especially back then, you know, I had access to Google so I could Google stuff, but no one was really talking about body positivity. No one was really modeling bodies that had different curves and shapes to them, especially for a younger kids and younger people. So truly what inspired that change, My parents actually, they put me on a diet but it was, we all had informed consent and truly what it was was just more unprocessed food than lower carbohydrate. (08:51): And that really worked for me. And so with that then I could could really start to separate out. I didn't know it at the time. So there was two prongs. Number one was just kind of starting to create awareness around processed foods and how that was affecting hunger, appetite, et cetera. And then once I was exploring that, then I could really start to see, oh, when am I emotionally eating right? Am I eating for my hunger? What is my hunger? What are the feelings that come up when I am hungry? And so it's interesting cuz in retrospect I think a lot of people might have opinions on that. Like oh your parents put you on a diet. But it truly, it allowed me to have the opportunity to feel good. And for that 80 pound weight loss, that was a positive experience. You know, I think it's different when someone wants to lose those last 10 pounds or last five pounds. Where it really is, is supporting your quality of life. But for me in that era it was supporting the quality of my life. Christa (09:45): Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, it sounds like you had good conversations with your parents about it as well and I think that that's kind of the make or break working with any child, but especially 10 to to 20 something is that you have to talk about it in a respectful way, Right. You know, and not bring down like the kind of diet culture principles of yester you're, but just talk about our bodies in a positive way about how we wanna feel in general. So it sounds like that was part of potentially your story. Lucia (10:13): It was a huge part of the story. Yeah. And then it was kind of, you know, like the proof within the pudding that as the weight started to come off, which was just representing that I feel like my body was starting to work in a way that made more sense. I started to have more energy. I wanted to go play and go do more things. I wanted to meet new friends. Right. It was just supporting all the different experiences that I then had more confidence in myself to go do. Christa (10:36): Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. So now we've changed gears, now we're 19, now we're in college, we're having these different things going on. Yeah. And you know, it's kind of a chicken or the egg situation. So I have questions about, you know, whether you think you had a gluten issue in the past. It seems like usually with an onset of autoimmune status, aka Hashimotos, that that is usually gonna be the catalyst that kind of like changes things for people overall. Was that the case for you or what is your feeling about how you were reacting to gluten previous to that time and then during that time was Hashimotos the the first step or was that on immune kind of the thing that came first? You just discovered a second. Lucia (11:15): Yeah, I think it's a latter. I think I had Hashimotos and there's a family history of that, but I didn't receive that diagnosis until later. So that first experience with the gluten was a big light bulb moment. And then years afterwards was able to reflect back and tie, tie that story together. Christa (11:30): So this is interesting and for me it's a bit timely. I have met others, I, there was a naturopath I interviewed once and we're not talking about celiac, which is different. That's a type of gluten reaction where the vili and your intestines are flattened. Whereas with you, you're having, well I don't know if you actually had celiac, I don't wanna make it any assumptions, but you are describing I am sensitive to gluten and it is causing emotional or neuro things. And so anyway, I interviewed a naturopath one time and her only symptom she had celiac, but her only symptom was anxiety. Actually. And I've been paying a lot more attention to this. There's so much evidence in the neuroscience field in the neurobiology field where it's thought that, and I'm kind of just diving into it more and more of, more and more interest where that maybe two thirds of the time we're having a neurobiology response to gluten and only one third of the time having a gut response to gluten. (12:18): So it's actually not common for people to think that maybe gluten could be the problem and and for, you know, backing up, I'm sure neither one of us are rigid from a diet perspective, but it's like you're gonna do, can we do safe experiments? Yes. <laugh> and see how we feel around them. Right. And so I just think it's very interesting. Right. And also it's great that you were successful. I mean that's always nice when you're successful and it improves the quality of life instead of not improving the quality of cooks. Cause we become very emotional around food. But you agree typically? Lucia (12:45): Oh mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah, a hundred percent very emotional. Yeah. Christa (12:48): And at that time it wasn't eran as easy as it is now. I mean you're, I if you were living in the Pacific Northwest at that time, I was seeing the coast are a little more trendy, a little faster, right? Yeah. So I don't know what things were like for you. Was it difficult to carry this out for you to be gluten free at that time and then ongoing? Lucia (13:06): Yeah, so I'm from the Midwest so at that time I was Minneapolis, so like right smack dab in the middle. So sure no one, I don't wanna say no one, like if I told people I was gluten free, at some point they could understand okay, gluten is in wheat so she's not eating wheat. But it was so novel and so odd and the fact that I, you know, I wouldn't even tell people why I was just like, I would say I would just feel better when I don't eat it. Right. Wasn't talking about anxiety or panic or gut stuff, any of that stuff. Cause really and gut stuff for me personally wasn't a big factor. So I remember for a long time I'd be like, I'm wheat free. And of course they wouldn't hear wheat, they'd be like meat free, you're vegetarian. Is that what you're saying? (13:45): So for sure there was definitely pushback. But again it literally changed my life and I was like, oh I have my life back. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. So to be able to be in that position, it felt very simple to continue to take gluten out of my life because having it out increased exponentially the quality of my life. And since then I've tried different trials of bringing it in and it continues to offer that experience after a little bit of time. So luckily I don't have to be as intense as someone who is celiac, right. So I can go out to eat or you know, have french fries. Yeah. From a shared fryer but mm-hmm Christa (14:24): <Affirmative>. Yeah. Cool. So then the other part of the story so far is that you found that people were ashamed to bring up weight because you know they were progressive like body positive, so believing it health at every size. So I find this is an interesting, like there's always a middle ground. Yeah. Because I feel like the last several years I've personally like seen a large growth and emergence of health at every size and body, positive culture. But in the words of my, my friend Emily, because we have a podcast titled this, You can love your body and still want to change it. Sometimes there is some shame around that from the other, from the pendulum going the other way is like you brought up diet culture, there is almost like a bit of a pressure, like when you're too far on either side it seems like right <laugh>. And so sometimes under the haze or body positive, it's like we've gotten so far over there that it's also like, let me throw tomatoes at you if someone wants to change their body composition. And so it sounds like you were finding those people, those people were finding you and that's kind of where they were landing. Lucia (15:23): Yeah, it really was. And something that's so helpful if someone is feeling stuck or confused around those subjects, like they're feeling that pressure that they kind of need to be performing intuitive eating or a lot of my clients have come to me after trying intuitive eating very openly and having some great experiences, but it's still not really fixing how they feel about themselves. Which there's an expectation around there and we can dig into that. But one of the things I find so useful is really starting to practice what are my core values? What do I value for myself? Right? Because the label of being anti diet or not, well how we define that label or what makes up that label, it's gonna be rich and interesting if it's self defined. And so often I think kind of the sound bite of being anti diet or being against diet culture, it's hard for people to really translate like what does that mean when I'm living my happiest most like less stressed light, you know? Mm-Hmm Christa (16:12): <Affirmative>. Yeah, no that's such a great point because I think it's so hard to smile like podcasts I think sound bites are difficult, you know? Yeah. Extreme rigid perspectives gain cult followings. So we've been talking about this on our team and sound bite, you know, and things that you can fit into a soundbite or one sentence but it usually doesn't tell the whole story. So I actually wanna talk a little bit about core values for a moment. I think that might be a topic people have heard of, but what if they haven't heard of that? How do you encourage someone to start to define their own values and core values? Lucia (16:42): Yeah, so a beautiful thing about the internet these days is that it's pretty easy to look up a list of core values. So I actually encourage people to go Google core values list just so that they can start to, it's almost like when you're doing an inventory of your emotions, some people are like, I'm sad, I'm mad, I'm happy. But if you actually do an inventory, you can like look up a list of how many different types of emotions there are. Usually we're actually having a much richer emotional experience and the same goes for core values. So some people might say like, Oh I value happiness and family and you know, stable career or something, but what do those actually represent? I really encourage people just to pull up a list of core values so that you can start to get more specific. And truly it's, this might sound a little bit woo woo, I don't know if we do that here to some degree, but it's truly the core values that you're drawn to. So with that list, literally it's as easy, it's saying like can I circle 10 of these that just pop up to me for and I don't have to second guess why. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that's where we start to switch over, which is the area that I find really fascinating from that sympathetic stress mode. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, right of like, am I doing it right? Is this perfect? Like what should my core values be into, oh this is just my creative brain kind of turning on and I can just trust that like it's picking up on something. Christa (17:52): Mm-Hmm <affirmative>. Well that's a good point about kind of trusting ourselves. I wanna talk through weight loss can be a bit ambiguous and so I wanna give us some kind of pillars or things to talk through a little bit. Not like a checklist of what to do or anything, but just some things that come up with weight loss or that prevent weight loss potentially, whether like whatever that is. So I wanna talk about when people come to you and they've got weight to lose and they're struggling or they say I have weight loss resistance, I wanna talk through what are some of the things under the hood that are going on that you find? Lucia (18:24): Yeah. Well first we have to start to understand how you're speaking to yourself. I find that to be a huge pillar, which a lot of people might say like, well how did that connect to like calorie thin calories out? But if you're in a body that isn't, that's sympathetic dominant, right? And you're having a hard time tuning in to your authentic hunger or you're feeling overwhelmed by cravings for food, right? You're feeling like when you're with your food you can't even experience pleasure because you've practiced thinking about the past or thinking about the future because that has felt safer to your nervous system. One of the first things we do is simply have conversations and start to notice are there some kind of habitual ways of thinking that are repeating themselves? Because that's a huge clue into where your nervous system is primed. Christa (19:10): Mm. Let's talk about some of those habitual ways of thinking that repeat themselves because we all think that we're the only one with a problem. And so often when I have had people come in and we talk about mindset and we like get down to the nitty gritty of the things that we feel are stuck on, the questions are essentially the same five, five things all the time. So tell me about some of those habitual things that are on repeat for people. Lucia (19:36): Yeah, so one of the biggest ones, if you look at kind of the tangible actions, cause I also like to talk about like we can be tangibly be doing things, you know like what are the foods you're actually eating or like brushing your teeth at night. We're like those are tangible habits. We have these intangible habits, which are the thought patterns or the ways that we're speaking to ourselves. So the primary one, which again if we kind of zoom out to me this just like dissipates that like diet culture, anti diet culture conversation is simply what is the energy of my thoughts? Like it can almost sound a little cliche, but what I speak to my best friend, would I speak to my beloved dog or my cat or my pet in the way I'm speaking to myself? And if we identify those thoughts, then those are gonna open up the potential for where those stories came from. Why do I believe that I need to speak to myself negatively or unkindly or in a not so loving way in order to drop a dress size or to lose weight? Christa (20:30): Mm. And so like trying to control yourself instead of working with yourself. Lucia (20:34): Yeah. Right. Or Christa (20:36): Working against it instead of with it, right. Instead of backing up and being curious. Lucia (20:41): Yeah, exactly. And so there must be then a core belief. What do I believe about motivation? What do I, I believe about discipline and myself? Christa (20:49): Let's give some examples of that because it's a tangible, this thing that we're talking about, but it still feels kind of ambiguous. We continue need to need to like bring it down and like give examples. So let's talk about, I'll have you fill in, I don't remember the two words you just said cause I have different ones in front of me. Yeah. So give me some examples. So what do I believe about motivation and what do I believe about something else? Lucia (21:08): Sure. Well I can give you an example. I was just interviewing a client of mine from my podcast and she had a great tangible example of a belief we've been working together for about a year and she had a belief she didn't even know was there about biscuits. Okay. So if we're reading it into like literally at the tangible food, like let's talk about biscuits. Yeah. Christa (21:26): This so feels very tangible. Thank you <laugh>. Let's talk about biscuits, Lucia (21:30): Let's talk about biscuits. Maybe you don't like biscuits, you've chips or ice cream or something similar. Uhhuh. <affirmative>, right? So her thought, and she's feeling a lot of freedom with her food these days, okay. But she just a couple months ago she had moved to a new town. She and her husband were going out to like be social to meet more people. And so she was having more food experiences outside of the home, which is something that she values that she's wanting to, right? She had like informed consent she'd like opting into going out more often and eating foods are not within her control, which is something she had worked on for the last year. So they were at this brand new to them bakery and their specialty every weekend, our biscuits until they got there and she's like, yeah the biscuits sound really good. (22:10): And she noticed, wow, I can hold two thoughts at the same time. Number one, the biscuits sound very good and two, I have all these thoughts coming up around why I shouldn't have the biscuit. It's fatty, it has flour, it's too many calories, it's too many carbs for the morning, let alone all the things that are on top of the biscuit. And what was so interesting like cuz she would be able to coach yourself through this at this point as she was sharing with me with our interview today, that thought she used to take it personally, right? And she used to kind of identify in a way, and she used this word as a victim to that thought, I can't have that biscuit. A biscuit is for other people. I can't handle myself around it. I'll eat all of it. When I do eat it then I need to make up for it. (22:52): I need to go for a run or I should like be better for the rest of the day. But with her practice. But she did is that she was like, Yeah, today I wanna try the biscuit. And what she found is that she ate half of it and she's like, ugh, it's not actually giving me what I want next time. What I'd like is a slice of bread, not the biscuit, but she wasn't able to get there historically until she heard the stories in her head about the biscuit, right? Because the biscuit's actually neutral A tying it to herself and making that out to be a negative. Christa (23:20): I'm gonna have you, you cut out for a second, so I'm gonna you repeat just a little bit, but you said the biscuit is actually neutral. Lucia (23:25): Yeah, the biscuit is neutral. The butter content, the flower content, the salt content, all the foods on top of it, the biscuit is neutral and her thoughts about herself are neutral. But the only way she could get to that was through that total liberation of saying, Oh, my job is to try out and be in the action of trying the biscuit and holding steady through any thoughts or feelings that come up. So that makes sense. So by rooting into saying no full liberty to eat a biscuit, that's when she was then able to see, yeah, the biscuit is fine. I'm glad I had it today. Actually it didn't satiate me in the way that I know now. I enjoy to satiated. Okay, experiment. Complete. Christa (24:04): Yeah, life is a lot of like experiments, correct? Lucia (24:07): It really is. Christa (24:08): Well let's talk about self-sabotage, which happens a lot. I see like this restricts binge, restrict binge or I am succeeding, but now I have to move the needle on the finish line because I am not enough <laugh> and so I must self-sabotage. Let's talk about that concept because I feel like that one comes up so frequently without being named. Lucia (24:32): Yeah. So even the term self-sabotage too, I think that's is such a fascinating term and I find it useful, right? Because we use it so frequently, but if you really boil down what self-sabotage is, to me it's just our brains trying to keep us safe. Like our brains never work illogically. But what can feel very illogical when we're like, I'm doing the work, why isn't it working? Or why do I keep tripping myself up? What gives I must be wrong, I must be broken. All of those thoughts are a distraction and that distraction is uncomfortably comfortable, right? Because we're stuck in that thought loop of like, oh I suck, or ugh, gotta try again on Monday. I'll take the break this weekend, whatever that loop might be actually distracting us from what is the emotion I'm actually feeling right now? Because the surface level frustration or surface level anger, those are typically more like the fight emotions that are keeping us away from both emotion that we might feel less comfortable fully experiencing. Christa (25:27): Mm. All right, So let's go to what if someone comes to you and they say, I have tried everything to lose weight and this used to work and now it doesn't work and just there must be something wrong with me and I have weight loss resistance unpack or there's a lot to that, right? But this is like on repeat all the time. I mean even if I am like I'm not working with weight, I'm not working with, you know, I'm working on these other things, it'll still come up in some context and it looks like some version of that one right there on a platter. There's a lot of different ways. Like there's so much to do there potentially, right? But would you say or how would you walk through with a client those feelings or that approach a lot there? Sorry. Lucia (26:05): No, it's great. I think it's amazing question. It's a question that does come up so, so often. So the first thing I would do is ask them how they're feeling about that, right? First off, like what is the expectation that they have? Where is the weight loss resistance coming from? Is it expectation that they should be dropping five pounds a week, right? Like where is it rooted? That's number one. And even exploring that, that in and of itself slows the whole timeline down. And often what I find is when we slow the expectation of weight loss, like that timeline, when we slow that timeline down, usually then we do, and I'm a nutrition nerd, okay? So we're also like checking out like they're working with their medical practitioners, like they're checking out in other like maybe functional issues that might or might not be happening. (26:52): But what I can be doing when I'm working with a client is that we're checking out like how much of your day are you present with? Because a lot of the times, and it's not sneaky, they're not trying to, again actively self sabotage, but often if what we've practiced from a stress date is thinking about the past and being unhappy about it and worrying about and having anxiety about the future, it is awfully hard to understand what is happening in that present moment. And so for sure that weight resistance can feel like, oh my god, there is something wrong with me. So it is, it's kind of like coming to the answers through a different side of it of saying like, yes, we respect all the thoughts and feelings that are happening and also what can we do to start to root into, again, it's gonna come back to the nervous system. And when that is feeling a little bit more settled, are there other things that we can start to notice about how we are going about our days? Christa (27:49): Hmm. That's such a useful question to say. How are you feeling about that? What's the expectation I have? Where does it come from? Because most likely they haven't been asked that before. Lucia (27:59): I feel like often they're gonna be asked like, Well what are you gonna do about it? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, right? It's like that quick fix. Christa (28:04): I know it is a problem. Did you find also, I know like your background started in psychology and counseling, so this feels like a good natural fit, which is good. I mean I, I hear a lot of those, I hear the power of that experience coming through probably here people go through that and they want this quick thing and did you also have that as part of your story as well? Lucia (28:26): That is a wonderful question. I think later on in my journey I did because I lost those 80 pounds and then again I wasn't super focused on the weight, so the weight fluctuated and never to that dramatic level. But over the time there were some periods where I was like, no, I'd like to lose some weight and like I can create some focus on this. And it offered me the opportunity to dive into the nuance of like, yeah, to what degree am I trying to satisfy an emotion or to what degree am I trying to move out of a feeling that I don't actually be like my stress brain doesn't actually feel like it's safe to fully experience. And to me that is so often what's happening when we're emotionally eating, is that what we're saying? Like I'd rather numb, I'd rather distract, I'd rather take a break. Those all feel like safer options than actually feeling the feeling. Christa (29:13): Mm. Yeah. I hear that come up a lot. Feeling the feeling. Yeah. So we've talked a bit about reframes a little bit and self-talk, we talked about quite a bit about self-talk and I wanna talk about where people often start and the thing and the concept of I'm on or I'm off this wagon, why is it that something restrictive or having these parameters feels so safe and so comfortable and so appealing to people? Lucia (29:38): Yeah, because it creates clarity and it also puts the resources outside of us. And so it also creates that dynamic of the answers are outside of me and so my only job is to keep looking for them and then to be a good student and carry forward versus really shifting into, no, I trust my body's gonna send me signals that are trustworthy and that I have the capacity to listen to them. That's a little bit more like of the gray area, right? So there is some trust building that has to happen versus the diets that are so black and white on the way and off the lake and eat this, don't eat that. Our brains love clarity and so we find clarity through that kind of ugi gray, you know, gray area process. And it's that deeper clarity, right? That's how you drop the diet. So you say like, well I build a lifestyle that I love that has to take time and that has to come with thinking about what worked for you from the inside out versus the outside in. Christa (30:37): So I think that's something we should underline, put in bold, you know, one of my questions I type copious like while people are talking to help me frame up my next questions and write my brain all work together. So we just talked about the answers are outside of yourself and the resources are out. I mean, it makes you feel like you're taking the pressure off of yourself and, and also it's like I can't do this on my own. We're feeling help. Like there's a lot of potential things there, but you're saying it's clarity that we need to find inside of ourselves. And how do you find clarity in yourself? You brought up that takes some time and some cultivation. I think asking questions that seems to be a common theme, asking good questions, right? But I loved what you said that it's building something that I love. (31:17): So if I love biscuits, then I love biscuits, right? Yeah. Like whatever. Yeah, I, and I, I do, I like biscuits, they're great. Scones more so, but biscuits. But you build a lifestyle that you love. Give me some examples on creating that. Cause I think there's an issue on permission seeking and what I'm allowed not allowed to do. There's so much of that kind of language. Yeah, that can be kind of a challenge. And it's like leaning into yourself when it feels like things are out of control or you're out of tune with it, right? So that's where it becomes again, a touch ambiguous. And so it's asking good questions of yourself and allowing yourself to answer a little bit. But talk to me about building a lifestyle you love and how that contributes to body composition goals. Lucia (31:58): Totally, Totally. And I always, I tell my clients and when I'm, you know, sharing how I work with people, I always say like, I'm gonna say this stuff is simple. And I'm not saying simple is easy, right? Because some of the most simple stuff is like, oh that consistency, like it can be boring. But one of the primary ways that my clients are starting to build out a lifestyle is that the night before or the morning of either whatever works for them, they're writing out their meal choices for the following day or for the rest of that day and then their job is to stick with their choices. So again, like I like to say that and use the term informed consent. They're making choices ahead of time, outside of the stress of in the the moment food choices, which can create a lot of anxiety for a lot of women. (32:42): Okay? Gotta decide at lunchtime what I'm gonna make or like what I'm gonna have. Ah, we're taking some of that pressure out of the moment so that we can practice feeling other emotion.com up. And with making those choices very often what my clients find is that they put themselves on diets. <Laugh> my only role or my only basic role and they learn some nutrition stuff along the way, but my only job truly is saying, All right, you're gonna make your meal choices, snack, beverage, whatever ahead of time. We're not getting granular, you're not saying two ounces of steak or whatever. You're just saying, yeah, for lunch I'm gonna have this, this, and this, right? I'm gonna drink this. Really, really common that. That then brings up their beliefs about what they should or shouldn't be eating. And so that is where it's experiential and you're right, it's like a bit of a trust fall. (33:29): Initially. A lot of my clients are like, I'll do, I'll watch the video, I'll do our coaching sessions, but I'm gonna wait on the journal. Which is fine, they kind of need to like sneak up on it. And then what they usually find when they start to do it, as I was saying that they kind of create a diet is then it's that ability for them to see, oh no one's putting me on a diet. I've been putting myself on a diet because that's what I've practiced in the past. And so if I want a lifestyle, I have to get curious about what I'm gonna usually add in. It's not really what we're taking out, but what I'm gonna add in to help me have that informed consent to a lifestyle that I actually value. Christa (34:07): Hmm. There's a lot there. One thing I wanna underline there is getting curious about what I'm gonna add in instead of what I'm gonna take out. This is like a lovely departure from how we usually think about weight loss. Give me some examples of things that clients choose to add in instead of take out, Lucia (34:22): Oh my gosh, so many different things. Like, gosh, you know, it's almost cliche, but so often it's like, okay, I'm gonna have a salad for lunch and then chicken broccoli and rice for dinner, right? So if you actually look at foods and what's truly satisfying, God, are you eating enough fat, get in at some delicious fats or can you handle dairy great, It's like cheese in there and like make sure it's like brown, bubbly and delicious. Or even exploring like the biscuit, right? My client being like, Oh, okay, if I'm going out then I know I have safe foods, then I'm gonna choose right? The salad at the lunch place or this and that. And it's turning that on its heads saying, Okay, I might not know what's available at this restaurant, but I do know that I'm gonna give myself full permission to look at every option on the menu and not just the default ones that I've gone to before because they're safe and aligned with whatever diet di. Christa (35:14): Mm-Hmm <affirmative>, there's a lot there. And on that note actually, it's like you said, simple but not easy. Yeah. To walk through the self realization and discovery of what's going on inside of ourselves to lean into building a lifestyle that we love to kind of like know what it feels like to have those cues of when am I full, when am I not? Like that's not probably the best, but it's, it's like trusting self, trusting self. I don't trust myself. Right? It takes a while to trust yourself when it feels like you haven't been able to control your body in the way that you want. Which is kind of the undertone a little bit is I would like to try control this. So we talked about how to speak or speaking to ourselves and you called it tuning in to authentic hunger or being overwhelmed and enjoying food in the moment, which I was thinking through body scans, which is taking all five senses to think through a food and like that should be applied to every meal. But it's, it's often not. We're usually like on the go if someone's listening to this and like they have not thought about weight loss and this context, what do you wanna say to that person? Lucia (36:17): That's a beautiful question. And if there's someone who desires weight loss mm-hmm <affirmative>, I would share with them A, that their body is not broken. That seems to be a very common common theme and B, their body is a front and the signal that their body has been sending they can trust and they're gonna be able to create the habit of trusting those as they show up to it. So it's okay. Very often with anxiety we believe like, oh I should be doing this new thing perfectly right away. Like perfectionism and anxiety are so closely connected. So, and I think a lot of women, like I raise my hand with like perfectionistic traits can be a very common trait that we can hold. So truly allowing yourself like you're not supposed to get this right, right away because there is no right. The whole idea of this is allowing you to come back to living that life and lifestyle that you value. So it takes a bit of the pressure off. Mm-Hmm. Christa (37:16): <Affirmative>, we've talked about a lot of like really feel good topics and I didn't wanna close without kind of putting up a period on this question that people may have that's like, this is all fine, but what actually happens on the other side? Like to view people, what is the result? Do people lose weight and how long does that take for them to cultivate this inner awareness? But really, you know, cuz we do have this metric of weight, right? Yeah. And so tell me how that presents for people as they start to do Lucia (37:44): This work. Yeah, so two things. One, my clients start to realize that they are in charge of the rate of weight loss that they desire, that they start to feel some autonomy around that. Whether they want an eighth of a pound, a quarter of a pound, a pound as they usually up to two pounds. That's kind of the range I get them per week is attainable for them. So all of this mindfulness stuff, yeah, again, it is, it's the intangible of like, okay, the habits and the thoughts and the feelings, but what that equals into is a chloric deficit and it is prioritizing unprocessed foods, but instead of trying to manipulate yourself into that, it's that radical liberation of saying all foods are welcome and I can lose weight eating what it is I want and the more I eat what I want, the more I'm gonna figure out just how I walk that journey. Christa (38:30): Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, that's cool. And on that note, and I meant to ask this earlier and I did kind of mention it there, but I think that this takes some time, like months. Yeah. So how long do you feel that it takes for people to kind of start to cultivate some of this inner work to help them on their weight loss journey? Lucia (38:46): Yeah, so I think it takes about six weeks to eight weeks doing kind of that deep work. And then from there you're leveraging time and the time it takes for you to lose the weight at the pace that you want. So it might depend on how many total pounds you desire to lose, right? Or the non-scale, again, it doesn't have to be with the scale, but it's a tangible metric. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, the non-scale markers. Okay. The clothing size or the energy or the fitness that you desire for yourself and how you feel doing that. So I say it takes six to eight weeks of kind of shifting the habits and then from there it's just building the string of days and allowing time to leverage. Christa (39:28): Cool. I love hearing about it. Lucia, thank you so much for coming on today. Where can people find you online? Lucia (39:34): Yeah, thank you again for having me. It's been a blended conversation. People can find me at my website, luha holly.com. I'm also on Instagram luha holly underscore, and I've been having a blast over on TikTok as well, so you can find me. Same name over there too. Christa (39:49): Cool. Thanks so much for coming on today. Lucia (39:51): Thank you. Christa (39:53): Sharing and reviewing this podcast is the best way to help us succeed with our mission. To help integrate the best of East and West and empower you to raise the bar on your health story, just go to review this podcast.com/less stress life. That's review this podcast.com/less stress life and you'll be taken directly to a page where you can insert your review and hit post.
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