The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 73: Follow Up – Sugar, Weight Loss, and The Road to Being Fabulous
Our 20s are often a time of great change and flux, and a time when we want to feel our healthiest and sexiest. But for Arielle, sugar seems to be getting in the way of her finding her natural weight. What’s more, her challenge with managing sugar has her feeling less confident about life and hungry for some answers. In her first session, Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating helped Arielle discover that her sweet tooth is here to teach her some important life lessons – the kind of lessons that can help her grow and finally become the powerful young woman that she knows she is destined to become. Tune in now as Marc does a follow-up session with Arielle. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session, and the results are inspirational!
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
To see Arielle’s first session with Marc, click here
Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And here we are in the Eating Psychology podcast. Thanks so much for being here. Welcome. And welcome to Arielle. Good to see you!
Arielle: Yeah, good to see you, as well, Marc!
Marc: So this is our follow-up session. I’m almost forgetting how long it’s been. It’s been a bunch of months.
Arielle: It feels like a good almost 6 months.
Marc: Yeah! Yeah, which is on the one hand, it’s kind of like forever.
Arielle: It feels like it.
Marc: Lifetimes happen in that short period of time. So why don’t you just give me an update? How have you been doing since that session? Any insights? Where are you at with food and body since then?
Arielle: I feel like I’m lifetimes away from that past six months. I remember when I was talking to you, I was talking to you about my relationship with sugar and that I was really just feeling bad around that. And coincidentally, looking back, I was living in a place that didn’t feel good. And I had all this ambiguity and uncertainty in my life, not to say that the bad that happens.
But seeing where I am now, I went through a very transformational six-month program working on my sexuality and really just looking at all the areas where I hold fear of fully opting into my life and looking into those places and going through them. And they would say optimizing it into power.
And it was an incredibly intense six months. But right now, I find myself, basically everything that isn’t resonant with who I am, I set the intention to just let it fall away because I want to be living a life that everything I do just feels good, like it’s my heart and soul saying yes. And I have that now. And it’s continuing to unfold. But when I look at my life, it’s just like, “Oh, my God. It’s just filled with so many beautiful things.” In the interesting part is I was always looking for, “Okay, what’s going to inspire me to take care of my body? What is it going to take?” And I’m finding that for the first time I feel like I see my purpose. It’s not like, “Oh, what am I looking for? What is my purpose?” But now I actually have this thing that I can plug into you.
I started working for a medicinal cannabis collective that’s very much about solution-based medicine, organic, local, sustainable, getting it from farmers and the healing powers of this plant. And I get to be a part of bringing consciousness into that realm and offering this medicine to people. And it’s something that I can plug into.
And I’ve been noticing that as that’s become more a part of my life, my desire to opt into my body has really increased. I’m wanting to exercise more. I want to feel strong in my body. And I’m still eating sugar—don’t get me wrong—because I want to find a way to work with it that doesn’t feel like it’s all or nothing. I really want to be able to be conscious. I want to be conscious around decisions that I’m making and be able to say yes to it sometimes, and also be able to say no to it.
But, yeah, seeing what my life is now and what I have in it has definitely affected my desire to take care of my body.
Marc: To me that so fascinating because if I would put that in my words, it’s like now there’s a real purpose to take care of the body on a certain level. “If I don’t know who I am, if I don’t know what I want to be, if my life doesn’t have firm grounding, then I might not want to have firm grounding with my body.” It only makes sense. “As I’m more fully here, as I more engaged, I’m like, ‘Oh, let me engage the body, too.’”
Arielle: Well, it makes sense. And also I felt like I kept putting it off because right now I don’t even feel fully at home in the place where I’m living. It doesn’t feel like home. But I feel like I kept putting off like, “I’ll start taking care of my body once I do this, once I do that.” And it’s like, “How can you keep putting off the most important thing?” was the way I was thinking. But it really does feel like a shift has occurred. So, yes, I agree with what you’re saying.
Marc: You know, sometimes I wonder… When you say, “Okay, the shift has occurred,” if you could go back in time and if you would have been able to just bring the awareness that you have right now to go back in time and just make that shift happen two years ago or five years ago, would you do anything different? What would you say to yourself three, four, five years ago?
Arielle: Yeah, I would say that everything has happened and will continue to happen exactly as it is meant to unfold. Because I think it’s not like, “Oh, I started this medicinal cannabis collective job. And now my work with people around food and body and sexuality just falls to the wayside.” No, that’s not true. It all integrates. It’s all connected.
And I really believe that I needed to have this struggle and I need to continue to have this journey because it’s like the wisdom that I can offer to other people. And I also think for me, it keeps me grounded. This might sound silly. But I feel like if I just had it easy with my body, because I had it easy and so many other areas in my life—I’m smart. I’m intelligent. I’m funny. I’m a great people person—but I feel like my relationship with my body is what’s kept me humble.
Marc: There’s one thing that you mentioned before that I want to pick up on. You said talking about sugar and where you’re at with it now, you said, “Hey, I don’t want to make this an all or nothing thing.” And I just think that’s so, so, so important because it just seems like when we make something all or nothing, it’s kind of like a setup.
It’s kind of like a setup for, “Okay, I’m doing nothing now.” But all is right around the corner just waiting to come through. I think it says something about us than we can find a way to live life with some of the forbiddens, whatever they are, where we can integrate them and not make them the enemy.
Arielle: Totally. Well, when you say that, what really makes me think of is how much work I have done around dropping into my feminine over the past six months because I think so many of us, we live in a world that’s very, “You need to achieve this. There’s a certain way that you do these things. This is how you do it. Achieve. Goals. Accomplishment.”
And it’s very masculinely oriented. And to me, doing an all or nothing around food, again, is another way of trying to control something that isn’t meant to be controlled. And dropping into the feminine, it’s been like, “Oh, there is no pure black. There is no pure white. And this is uncomfortable, this flow of not being able to have a finite way of doing things. But it’s what feels true.”
And being able to be comfortable with there is no specific roadmap for how to take care of my body except for what feels true to me and be able to trust that in the face of what you speak, about the million and one diets that exist out there.
Marc: Arielle, I’m going to make a statement. Tell me if this is true or false for you or somewhere in between. It feels like you trust yourself more these days.
Arielle: Oh, immensely. Immensely. And it’s through my body. I’ve become very clear on what my body feels like when I feel like I’m making a decision that’s right for me. Is like this expansiveness, whereas if I feel like I’m going against myself, I feel this contraction in my body. So I’ve gotten very good at listening to what my body is saying to the decisions that I’m making.
Marc: Now, do you think that’s just part of your natural progression, your natural evolution? Where has that trust been coming from?
Arielle: In all honesty, I’ve been doing a practice called orgasmic meditation. It’s a practice involving clitoral stroking, which if you’re interested, you can check it out. It’s One Taste. It’s like, again, you speak on sexuality, as well. It’s one of the most stigmatized things in our culture, and especially for women the idea of receiving pleasure. It’s more so thinking about the other person’s experience.
But through this practice, it’s required me to just sit back and actually notice the feelings in my body when I’m just focusing on myself. And through that focused attention of just feeling like I’ve been able to actually see how my body feels that I’m not distracting myself with, “What are they thinking of you? What are they thinking of me? Is he liking this?” It’s really about what I’m feeling in my body. And that’s been immensely powerful.
And it doesn’t just have to be through orgasmic meditation. It can be through any experience you have in just noticing what’s true.
Marc: I was thinking that as you were talking. It applies to everything. It applies to food. It’s so easy to be in the act of sex, in the act of pleasure, in the act of food, in the act of just being with your friend. It’s easy to be somewhere else. It’s easy to not be in my body and to not feel what I’m feeling. And to get present, wow! Sometimes it’s a little bit of a revelation.
Arielle: Yeah. And the other thought that this comes up for me is this feeling of we’re always putting on life on hold until we have this ideal set of circumstances. And it’s like, “Once I have all these things lined up, then I’ll choose to be in my body.” But to an extent, it’s like being willing to be with all the discomfort and know that it’s safe and know that it’s okay and start feeling now so you can start steering the ship.
Marc: Well, I’m really psyched for you. You feel like a different human. You feel more here. Yeah, you just feel more aligned with yourself. And I keep feeling this term for you, “trust.” It just feels like you trust in yourself. It feels like you believe in yourself more. And that’s obviously a testament to everything you’re doing in your life to move you in that direction.
Arielle: Yeah. It’s the most important thing to me. And I think the other piece that’s been really important… You graduate from the Eating Psychology Training or any coaching program. And then all of a sudden you go out there. And it’s like, “Oh, on marketing myself. I’m putting myself out there.”
And part of what has been so powerful about working in the medicinal cannabis collective—and you can do this with coaching, as well—but it’s like what you’re offering is not yourself. It’s something that you feel so aligned with and just like, “Oh, my God. This needs to be brought into the world.” And it feels so good to be able to offer something other than, “Oh, here’s me.” It’s like, “This is the thing that I want you to experience because it’s healing and it’s health and it’s going to bring you back more to yourself.”
And it feels so good to be a part of that. And that definitely helps with me trusting myself more.
Marc: Good for you. Well put. Let me ask you a bit of a selfish question here. Anything from our last session that stuck for you in particular that you were carrying over that maybe was helpful, useful, inspirational?
Arielle: I think that… And I don’t remember the exact wording. But the biggest thing for me is I was going into that session wanting you to tell me… It was like I was going in because I want you to talk about my relationship with sugar.
And I don’t remember exactly what you said. But it was more just like, “Don’t worry so much about the sugar. Just be curious. Just notice.” And I really appreciated that because I’m a coach. So I feel like it’s good for me to have a coach. So I went to a coach last week for our first session. And he just wanted me to cut out sugar, cut out gluten. Like, “You should do this for yourself.”
And I’m like I don’t know if that’s the right way to go about it for me. And I don’t know if that’s how I would work with a client. I think I would really want to feel where they’re at and not give them this agenda that isn’t in alignment with them.
It’s like it’s not even about the sugar. So you took the charge off of me working with the sugar and instead just gave me some perspective. And that was really helpful.
Marc: good. I’m glad. Thanks for mentioning that because I think that’s so important. And this is just for everybody tuning in right now. We get so focused on what we think is the problem. We think sugar is the problem. We think whatever is the food that we can’t control. We think it’s the problem. But it’s really talking to us just in a conversation. And it might be dominating the conversation.
But I’m always interested in okay, let’s just get interested in this and strip away all of the, “Oh, my God! I can’t believe you’re eating so much sugar. Oh, my God, what’s your problem? What’s your issue?” And really just see what it’s saying. And when we can do that, there’s this automatic relaxation, which automatically makes me less want to dive on top of the sugar because there’s not so much of a charge. And all of a sudden, there’s more spaciousness. There’s more relaxation. And we can start to question and notice and feel and then make small changes.
Arielle: I agree.
Marc: So yay for you! What do you think is a next place for you where you feel like you’re moving to when it comes to your relationship with food and where you want to be with that?
Arielle: I really feel like I’m coming to a place where strengthening my body is the next step. I’ve always kind of battled with this idea like, “Oh, I want to strengthen my body. And I want to look awesome.” And not to say that I don’t. But the judgment… I feel great now. But my body feels like when I’m just completely relating to food in a healthy way and living my life, I’m like, “Oh, I think I can probably be a little bit lighter.”
And I finally feel like I’m in a place where I’m ready to strengthen my body because it’s not just about what my body looks like. It’s like I want to feel strong. I want to feel strong in my body. So I feel like I’m finally in a place where, “Oh, I’m exercising my body. And it feels good,” whereas before I looked at it as like, “Ugh,” like I didn’t want to do it.
So I feel like my next step is what you said. I remember this one blog article you wrote like, “Eating for a Purpose” or something like that, eating for your highest self. And I feel like for the first time, I see this really amazing road that I get to walk down. And I want to be clear for it. And I want to nourish myself so I can show up for it fully. So that’s where I feel like I am.
Marc: As you were describing that, you were just getting in your body, too, like, “I want to feel strong.” And you were just getting those words into your cells. Sometimes it’s this feeling that drives us. It really feels like there’s an inspiration that’s driving you so much more that you’re in contact with. And that’s been part of you probably forever. It’s just sometimes these little voices and is need a little more airspace to breathe and to come out.
So I think it’s less that, “I have to motivate myself to do something.” It feels like you just peeled away some things. And all of a sudden here’s this energy.
Arielle: Mmm hmm. And I’m 28 now. And about a year ago, I started to realize, “Oh, I’ve been rushing a lot and feeling like I need to get everywhere.” And I remember in my younger 20s, people were like, “Oh, you’re just in your 20s. And you just want everything to happen now.” And I feel like I’m finally starting to slow down and seeing that the timing of everything is perfect. And I’m grateful for my entire process up to this.
And looking at the story in reverse to see how I got to this point, I see how it’s all perfect. So I do. I really trust the timing of things. And it’s been so amazing to just not try and force because most likely if I’m forcing, it’s not the right time or it’s not the right configuration, and being able to trust in that.
Marc: Well, Miss Arielle, I am so celebrating you and just celebrating your journey. And it’s just great to see how far you’ve come and how far you keep going. I’m honored. And congrats!
Arielle: Thank you. Thank you. And thank you for this opportunity.
Marc: Yeah! It’s such fun. And for those of you who didn’t see Arielle’s first session, check it out. It will be interesting for you to do the same thing just to watch that conversation in the video format. I’m telling you, it’s two different humans. You’ve obviously been embracing so much life for yourself.
And that feels for me like it’s such a big piece for you. To me, you embrace life even when it’s a little scary. And it just feels like there’s more and more of a yes in there, like “Yes to life! Yes to life!” And when there’s that yes, at some point it just starts to get sweeter.
Arielle: Yeah. I’m experiencing that in this moment.
Marc: Yay! Well, good for you. Arielle, thank you so, so much.
Arielle: Yeah, thank you.
Marc: And thanks, everybody, for tuning in once again. I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. And as always, there’s lots more to come, my friends. Take care.
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