Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Hey, this is Dr. Priyanka Venugopal, and you're listening to The Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast, Episode 59, Committing in a Group Coaching Program with Dr. Julie Whittington. Today on the podcast, I am bringing one of my lovely longtime clients, Julie Whittington. She's a physician and a working mom of two kids, and I have to tell you, she's going to be sharing some of her story that I think is going to be incredibly impactful for all of you to hear.
She's going to share where she was before she joined Unstoppable, and a lot of what she created in this group. I think that her sharing her real experiences, she's gonna even be sharing how she got annoyed with me. We're gonna have a good laugh together. I can't wait for you guys to listen. She also shares the difference between telling herself to be committed versus actually feeling commitment in her body.
It is the difference that really led her to skyrocket results for her to start feeling a shift and for her to really start feeling success to toward the goals that she had. So I can now wait for you to hear her story and really hear her real lived experience being in this group. Before we get into the conversation, I also wanna make sure you know that enrollment for the next Unstoppable Group is opening this Sunday on May 21st at 9:00 AM Eastern.
I wanna make sure that you know about this so that it's marked in on your calendars. You can join the wait list over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. And the reason that you want to join the wait list is because spots in this group are capped and limited to maintain the intimate nature of this group, which means that the consult calls leading up to this group are also going to be limited and built on a first come first served basis.
When you're on the waitlist, you're going to get all of the details emailed to you first. You're going to have all the details for exactly how to join so that you get access on day one, which is Sunday, May 21st. Make sure you join the wait list over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. Now, let's get into the conversation with Dr. Julie Whittington.
If you want to reach your ideal weight and create lightness for your body, you need to have simplicity, joy, and strategic decisions infused into your life. I'm a physician turned life and weightless coach for ambitious working moms. I've lost over 60 pounds without counting points, calories or crazy exercise plans. Most importantly, I feel calm and light on the scale and in my life. There's some delicious magic when you learn this work and the skills I'm going to be teaching. Ready? Let's get to it.
Hello. Hello. Welcome, Dr. Julie Whittington. I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. We are going to be having you introduce yourself in just a second. But to everyone listening, Julie is one of my dear, dear, dear clients from The Unstoppable Group, and I cannot wait for you to share your story and where you were, how you experienced Unstoppable, and just all of the fun things.
So Julie, I've already introduced you once, but tell us all a little bit about you and how you've even discovered the world of coaching.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Sure. So thanks for having me on. I think it's an interesting feeling to feel like you're kind of being highlighted in your coaching process, so I will be as open about it as I can.
I am 49. I am a rehab physician. I have been married for 22 years. I have two kids, a 17 and 15 year old. And I'm a full-time working mom who feels like I've been kind of struggling with weight for like most of my life, most of my definitely adult life and probably kind of starting in my teenage years and I have been coaching with you.
I did some coaching prior to Unstoppable and I really feel like it was a sort of bridge to before I had coaching with weight loss, and then after coaching and there they're different experiences.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, so you were saying that, you know, you started to struggle with just the idea of your weight in your teenage years.
Can you tell us about how it started? Like how your story with your weight struggle started?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I actually see a lot of similarities in the patterns that I followed compared to your story. So, I was very athletic as a kid. I played multiple sports. I don't ever remember feeling overweight when I was little.
And then I think in probably like middle school, high school, I was still a very healthy weight when I look back. But that was the time when I started to really compare myself with other people and their body shapes and kind of how I looked compared to them. And so that's when I think it kind of became in my mind that I was conscious and aware of my weight.
And then I played sports all through high school. And I would say my weight was probably pretty stable through high school. I felt like I was overweight when I looked back at the numbers. I really, I don't think I was, I think I may have gone to Weight Watcher like with my mom, maybe one time in high school.
And you know, it was like very small amounts of weight, but I just remembered, like really focusing on my food and that I went with my mom, I think it was kind of telling as I've gone through this process of sort of my feelings about my weight related to my upbringing. And then in college I stopped playing organized sports.
I definitely gained some weight in college and then I would say that big weight gain probably happened mostly after I had my first child. But that was kind of happening during residency, so I had my son in my last year of residency. So then I, I feel like that's when the numbers were really creeping up.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. I just wanna go, I definitely wanna get to that, but I just wanna kind of go back to that moment like in high school, that you like, become aware of your weight. And I wonder, like, do you remember how, how that felt for you? Like going to that first Weight Watchers meeting or like just becoming really aware of your food and probably, I'm really thinking about young girls and teenagers that are already having some thoughts about their bodies and their bodies are changing and then what it looks like compared to other women or other girls really.
And like, do you remember becoming conscious about your weight for the first time and how that felt for you?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think it felt almost like an embarrassment. And not so much shame as much as almost like guilt like I was doing something wrong that led me to not have the same body shape, style, size as my friends who may not have had as many curves as I did, things like that.
I just remember like there being some feeling of me doing something wrong in the way I look.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I think that this is common probably for so many people that are listening, like what do you think that that does for a young person who's like trying to fit in to what society thinks is normal?
Because now what? That's what you think you have to do.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think it just puts your mindset in this constant position of trying to figure out how to make yourself better, worthy, valuable. Subconsciously all of it, you know, and then wherever you get positive feedback. This is all the stuff I've learned since coaching, but that just reinforces it where I saw very much in myself, like doing as well as I could in school, being the hardest working athlete, being like the most helpful at home to get feedback that did make me feel then like I was worthy.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And that's probably true for so many high schoolers. I mean, this is why we really talk about Unstoppable high achievers. I think I feel like high achieving. Women working moms have this lens of really wanting to strive to do well.
And a lot of it, like what we've talked about, fills this desire that we have to feel proud of ourselves or accomplish. We wanna feel good about ourselves. And I, and I wonder, I feel like weight loss is one piece of it, but like how many other things it starts to color and affect and like, what is the impact of keeping that?
What do you think it was for you like, cuz you were saying in med school and in residency when you had your first child. Why do you think that that started to lead to the creep up for you?
Dr. Julie Whittington: So a couple of things. I think, so when I was 29, so this was before I had my son, I was diagnosed with Type one diabetes and that was kinda a shock.
Just all of the impact of being diagnosed, like considering the consequences, I think it really affected me. But I was in a really busy time of residency, so I just kind of shoved it down. And I was giving myself insulin injections, and I honestly be a good physician. One would think this would be very clear that insulin is a fat steroid hormone, but when I got pregnant, your insulin needs increased in pregnancy.
And I was really hyper focused on control of my blood sugar. So I just flooded myself with insulin so I could keep eating the way I wanted to. And maintain good blood, blood glucose control. And I gained, with that pregnancy, I gained 70 pounds and I didn't really feel like it was a big deal as I was living it.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Right.
Dr. Julie Whittington: But then after I, after I had my son, I was kinda like, wow, that's gonna take some work to kind of get rid of. And I think then sort of compounding it was the pressure of parenting. So, you know, I'm, I'm still a doctor, I'm still trying to figure that all out. And then I'm trying to figure out how to be a mom, a good mom.
And I think it was super critical, just like not knowing exactly how to do it. And then I would just, that made me want to make myself feel better. I just think it was this big cycle then. And then, you [00:10:00] know, I think. All my life as a parent and full-time working physician has been a balance of trying to do everything as perfectly as I could, and when I couldn't or didn't feel like I was then I wanted to comfort myself in some way or reward myself, which I discovered through your coaching is a huge theme for why I would overeat.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And I was wondering, you know, when you were saying that there's two areas I kinda wanna explore. One is, cause you've had some thoughts. I remember we've even talked about your thoughts about having diabetes and insulin and blood sugar control and being like, I'm a physician. I am literally an expert in understanding physiology and the medicines.
And especially as a rehab physician where you see the downstream effects of, you know, having any kind of chronic medical diagnosis. I know you've had some thoughts on that, so I wanna definitely touch on that. But before we get to that, You were saying that you gained the 70 pounds after your pregnancy, and then what happened after that?
Like, did you keep gaining weight, did you lose it? And if you did lose it, how did you lose it? Like what was your journey after that in terms of your weight?
Dr. Julie Whittington: It was very Weight Watchers focused. Okay. And I did lose it. I remember for Braden, my son's birth birthday, that I was maybe only 10 or 12 pounds more than when I got pregnant.
So I did and and I, it worked well.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: It worked. Yeah, it did.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yes, it did. Weight Watchers, this is what I, I've done Weight Watchers more times than I can truthfully count. I've kept a lot of my little booklets, so I'd go back and look at my weight and what I always would say when people would comment on my weight loss was, it works great when I do it, and it did work great when I did it.
Yeah, it was just not sustainable for me. And I mean, I, I lost weight so many times and I've gained weight back so many times because I didn't really know how to solve a couple of key areas, which I feel like have been ongoing. And the biggest result that I feel I've accomplished in your program is feeling like I have a handle on those areas now.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: That's so good. I'm curious for you, like what do you think is the missing piece that doesn't allow it to be sustainable? I'll share what I think, but I'm curious what your thoughts are. Why do you think Weight Watchers, you know it works, but it's not sustainable. Why?
Dr. Julie Whittington: For me, I think there are a couple of reasons. I had no interest in counting points and working at stuff on an app for the rest of my life, and I would eventually just get tired of doing that. I think another really big deficit in Weight Watchers is that I didn't really understand why I overate, so then it was just like this regimented plan of what to do to lose weight, which I did, but eventually I would lose the motivation, lose the willpower, and so then once those were gone, it was very difficult to keep doing it.
And then still feel like I had this need that I wanted met and food could fill that need. So I think that was for me, one of the issues. And then I think one of the other really big issues that came later, cuz I've done weight loss for so long, was that it was very focused on low fat and for me with diabetes, that did not work well and as I learned how I responded to eating, you know, less carbs and sort of a restricted flour and sugar and higher good fats, I realized that like it was counterintuitive to everything that was good for my body.
So I sort of abandoned it for that reason too.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I think that like, you know, those are the, the two, especially the first two points that you made, I think that that's what we really address in coaching, which I, I wanna get to also like really understanding why do we ever overeat. I feel like it's such a simple question sometimes, but it's not because I don't think that we really truly answered the question again, especially high achievers, cuz I always, this is the thing I always say again and again, right?
So high achieving working moms, you're smart, you're capable, you have capacity to learn. We have actual date evidence of this being true. And yet we don't know why we overeat. Really the answers we come up with is, oh, I'm not disciplined. I just don't know how to say no. I'm not like that, I'm kind of lazy.
That's just not even true. We have so much evidence to the contrary, and I think that, you know, when we don't address the real reason why. Are we ever overeating? We can never solve for it, but we start chasing the wrong solution. And I think that that's the trouble with counting points and calories. While it might work really well for some people, if we don't address why am I overeating to begin with, we can never address it.
Count more, restrict more, and eventually it's gonna give up. When you think about like your journey, you tried Weight Watchers, it worked until it would stop [00:15:00] working because you didn't address like why you were overeating. You didn't wanna count points forever. What was your next step? Did you keep doing that for many, many years or did you just find coaching early on?
How, what was your journey into discovering coaching?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I did Weight Watchers for a lot of years, and I was still paying for Weight Watchers when I started coaching. And I was paying for Weight Watchers, but I had gotten to the point where I was thinking, this is not good for my diabetes and I'm not losing weight consistently.
I have to do something different. I don't honestly even recall how, I think I found coaching through a podcast in the same way you did? Yeah, I think I started listening to it at the very beginning and it just really connected with me. And I listened to a lot of the podcasts for a while before signing up for coaching because I think I had just kept thinking like, oh, I can do it by listening to the podcast.
And so I tried doing that for probably six months. That was okay.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And then how did that work for you? Like, because I think again, like smart, like because we are again like smart, capable, high achievers, I think we are notorious for that. But let me see if I can do this on my own. And it's a valuable right, to try that.
But like what was your experience of doing that?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I learned a lot and I implemented little, and I think that the connection with actually having real coaching, It's something you just unfortunately can't really get on a podcast. So it was markedly different once I started coaching and I quit Weight Watchers and I learned a lot just about how my thinking impacts the decisions that I was making.
I would say like in my first coaching experience before I joined Unstoppable, I did a lot of work on that. I did lose a significant amount of weight, and then while I was still enrolled in that program, I gained the majority of it back. I remember in that process feeling incredibly frustrated.
And then I did a couple of calls with you, consult calls with you, and I essentially felt like, ooh, just got it when I had the consult call. And I also saw, my story felt very similar to the path that you followed, and I just really connected with like, Parenting struggles and things like that. So when I joined Unstoppable, I remember you saying to me, you do deserve the outcome of what you're looking for and why you're overeating.
And I just remembered thinking like, that's really significant. I do deserve it. Yeah. So I guess coaching, you know, once I got to coaching, I think kind of the way that I've been losing weight has changed. I'm not doing late Weight Watchers any longer, but I feel like my thinking about weight loss is what has changed the most since I've been in your group.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I think that this is, this is the, the biggest thing, cuz I've shared this too. Like, you find this podcast, you discover, wait a second, there is this missing piece. And I think the missing piece that we're referring to, tell me whether this is what you're referring to, is. Oh, like that desire to snack at night.
The desire to treat myself. That desire is coming not because of anything other than millions of thoughts that I'm having about my life. Right. Like going back to what we were saying at the beginning, like why did we ever overeat? Why did we eat when we're not hungry? Because we're having a million, million thoughts, many of them were unaware of, about our mom life, about our work life, about our partners, about the food.
And how come my thin husband gets to eat three dinners and I don't, how come my kid is running off the bus? How come? How come? How come? And I think that discovering what this work does is, oh, wait a second. I have these millions of thoughts I'm not aware of, and that's why I'm having these emotions that's driving me to eat.
And you know what I think is interesting, and I think this is important to highlight, I always wanna share on this podcast that coaching is not a perfect practice. I think it's so important to highlight. I like to share real ups and downs. When you said like, you know, you lost a significant amount of weight and then you gained it back, cuz I know we've talked about this on that coaching call, remember where I made that zigzag line?
Yeah. How can you share that experience, like you gained weight back, and then what was it that led you to feel frustrated with yourself, and then what was the impact of holding on to the frustration? Because that's then when you joined Unstoppable. Cause I wanna kind of highlight that.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah. So the frustration I think came from still judging my results with not a very kind self-talk. Yeah, and the frustration also came from really still using willpower and motivation energy to achieve results. You know, in coaching it was discussed all the time. Like you can't white knuckle, you can't willpower your way through it. But I didn't understand what was missing.
Like how do I then not do that? I really gained that in working with you where I just didn't have any clarity around it before. So then what I would feel is just that I just like my old thinking. I was weak. I just can't stick to anything I say I'm gonna do. You know, I always do this, like, it was subtle.
I wasn't like calling myself a fat pig, but I was judging that I wasn't doing what I said I was gonna do. That's something I think that I've always done, but I especially did it there, which led to frustration. I was missing the piece where I needed to look at my results. Do it with kindness and curiosity where I had been taught that too, but somehow it just connected in this most recent session.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I love that you're mentioning this. I'm curious whether this feels true for you, but you know, like when you gain a couple of pounds back, like the, you, you lose weight and then you start gaining it back and then you feel frustrated at your results, which is normal, right? Like we will feel frustrated if we have a result we don't love. But I'm curious whether it was that frustration. There's almost like that poked holes in your motivation, right? So you might have had motivation and and excitement that comes from like, oh look, it's working. This is gonna happen. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And then you have that result you don't love and frustration just like it, like zaps the motivation.
And then it's like, how do you ever get that back? You're feeling so frustrated all of a sudden, frustration just takes over the model, especially when we keep it and what happens with that is we keep recreating those results. It gets worse and worse, and I think one of the biggest shifts you made, and I'd love to hear how you felt like you transitioned, was you, I, I remember even the coaching call that you talked about this, but the difference between motivation and commitment.
We talk about this all the time, right? You cannot white knuckle through, you cannot keep using willpower to drive over your desire to eat. That's like motivation, trying to force you through and that's not gonna work. So like, what did you do? Cause you're like, how do you do this? How did you segway Julie, tell us all the secret answers to that.
Dr. Julie Whittington: What I wanted was, I wanted to just say I'm committed and have it be true, and that's not how it works. I started doing daily work where I answered those questions that you chose to ask.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Every day. I mean, I missed days here and there. Yeah. But there's something about reminding myself why I'm doing it each day, and it just, over time, it just grew.
You had said it like in my first session with you, but I wasn't doing it, so I didn't really know. And like in my prior program, the focus is doing thought work, but I didn't focus on it. I feel like there was something for me that helped in answering the same questions every day. I mean, I have to deal with emotions too, but I, that's sort of, I do that separately than what I do with daily work.
It just really, over time, did build that feeling of commitment.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: And it feels different than motivation because the way you describe a feeling of commitment is so resonant with me as a mom. It's how I would not let my kids down. I just, I wanna be that same way with me too. It's not as easy that this is helping.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And you know, I think that it's important. Like, I love that you, you said like, oh, I'm committed. And like there, like, we just hope that that's enough and it's not. And I. I wanna kind of share the only reason that it's not is because we have these other thoughts that have been in the way.
So we have been trained for so many decades to think that like the motivation or the plan, or if I just have a really perfect strategy, then that's where my commitment's going to come from. And I think what you had to learn, and, and this is kind of like why coaching happens in layers. You have to kind of uncover what's, what are the obstacles away that are in the way for me to feel commitment.
And the way that I describe, if anyone's new to this podcast or anyone's new to Unstoppable, the way that I describe commitment is I really think about like, you know, your future self and her ideal weight is just waiting for you at the bus stop, just like your child is waiting for you at the bus stop.
And I feel like we would never, ever, ever, ever leave our child waiting at the bus stop. Like even if we were at work, even if something came up, we would figure out a way to pick them up even if we don't feel like it. I think that's the key. And I think that maybe that's what resonates with moms that are listening.
Like even if it's raining, even if you weren't busy in the middle of work, even if you were like doing something else and you don't feel like picking your kid up, you don't ever leave them there. And I think especially for women working moms who are used to prioritizing their work, their partners, their kids, their laundry, and they kind of have forgotten to prioritize themselves.
I think that that is the muscle that we just have to discover. And I think that it takes really seeing it clearly. You haven't been prioritizing yourself, you've been letting these other things kind of take precedence as opposed to be like, wait a second, I deserve, it's kind of going back to I deserve to get picked up at the bus stop too.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah. I remember you saying at one point just that your priorities sort of organizing your time need to reflect what's important to life. And when I looked at that from the initial portion of working with you, like me in there was a really sliver of time.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: So you like, looked at your calendar and you saw like, how much time does Julie get?
It was a sliver. Where was your time going? Like, and I feel like this is a lot of working moms. Like where, where do you think your, if you took an inventory of your time and your bandwidth, where was it going?
Dr. Julie Whittington: When I was at work, it was solely on work. And then my kids, my husband. Plans. Anybody outside of like my extended family from kind of anybody, but me, I think.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And then like the shift, I think that that's interesting, right? Cuz we start to see, okay, like here it is that I want this awesome result. I wanna lose weight or any big goal that anyone has, but like, where's it on my calendar?
Where am I prioritizing? It's like how did you start to create, instead of a small sliver, like a bigger slice of the pie for your time and calendar, how did you start to prioritize that?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think even just committing myself to doing the daily work every day was not a huge chunk of time, but it was a commitment that I am keeping no matter what.
And if things got busy, I would just basically say, I can get home later. You know, Sean, my husband can handle things until I get home, cuz I'm doing this for me now. And then I think another big part that I kind of factored in was rest and not feeling bad about it, where in the past I would feel like, oh, I haven't like hung out with my family enough and I would stay up later.
And so I think that was maybe another big area. I don't really calendar things, so it's more mental in terms of spending time for myself, but that's how I felt like I did it.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Do you feel like when you prioritized more rest for you and even just like, you know, the 10 to 15 minutes maybe that you take for the daily work, Did it take away from the other parts of your life?
I think that's the big fear, right? That's the big fear. If I prioritize myself and put rest on the calendar or some time to journal for myself or whatever it is for us, like it's gonna take away from something else. What was your experience of prioritizing yourself and how it impacted how you showed up with other things?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think that if anything, I probably showed up better. There definitely was some guilt to work through and that was something, you know, that I had to learn. Just by examining my feelings about it, but no one else sensed that there was anything lacking by me taking that time for myself.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. Which is so important.
I feel like, you know, we have such a story around if I take time for myself, somebody else is losing. And I think that that just kind of goes to like how all or nothing we are. Like if I take time for me it's like a math equation rather than like, wait, there's maybe space for both and actually how we show up in such a different way as moms, as a wife, as a physician, like in your workplace when you are actually taking time for yourself, which I think so many working moms don't, don't realize.
And so I just wanna pivot for a second when you felt frustrated, so you gained weight back, you felt frustrated. How did you get yourself willing to try it again? You discovered Unstoppable. Tell us, how did you discover Unstoppable? And then what was it that led you to be like, you know what? I know I'm frustrated. I'm not living my result, but like let's go. Okay, fine. I'm ready to do this.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah, I heard you on the Weight Loss for Doctors Only podcast. And now I think I sort of started following, like I got on your email [00:29:00] and it was kind of in a time where I had gained weight back in my previous program and was feeling very frustrated and I honestly felt the way I felt in Weight Watchers.
I felt like. Oh, this worked when I did it, but now I'm not doing it anymore. And like there would be all of these worksheets that I could fill out or these, and I just kept, I kept feeling like I'm just looking for what I need to like flip my switch. And I kept kind of connecting away that the messaging was presented in your emails.
It just really connected and made sense to how I think. And so then I set up a consult call with you, and that's kind of how I started doing Unstoppable.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I think that this is, again, so common, which I, I love that you're highlighting it, like when you think about the past, right? And all the things that you have tried, whether it's Weight Watchers, maybe even a different coaching experience or anything, right?
Like if you have wanted to lose weight for a while, likely you have tried things. And if you have wanted to lose weight for a while and you don't have results, likely you have many fails. Like you have a pile of them. And I think that it's just normal human tendency to look at the pile of fails and make it mean something about our skills and capacity.
And that's the one thing that I want to help us all shatter. Like I can have this pile of fails that didn't work, and what if I could glean wisdom from them? Like what if, and this is, I think you tell me whether this feels true on a consult call, but like one of my goals on a consult call is like, okay, I have this pile of fail, but why didn't it work?
If it wasn't my skills, if it wasn't my capacity or how smart I am or how, like if I'm weak or not, like if that wasn't it, if that wasn't allowed at like multiple choice, that's not allowed to be an answer. That's not an answer choice. I wonder if we can get to the root, if I wonder why this is the case, and if I know that, imagine if we can solve that together.
I'm curious if that was your experience, like when you look at the past and you feel deflated or frustrated to actually decide to do it again.
Dr. Julie Whittington: And I remember saying, feeling this way and also saying on the consult call, I solved so much since I started with coaching and I did. I felt like I really resolved a lot of my feelings as a parent.
I felt like I am the best mom for my kids. I really gained a lot, but then I, I remember saying to you, I just can't figure out basically weekends. And eating in the evening after dinner. I remember saying that to you. And I also remember thinking that there's like a magic prescription you're gonna give me on how to solve it, because that's all I want to solve.
Yeah. And. In the first six months I felt like shit, it's, I'm still doing the same things.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, because you wanted the magic prescription. What has been like, you know, cuz I feel like you did really like, really did figure this out. So what was the magic prescription for you? What do you think it was?
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah. The magic prescriptions were doing weekly evaluations. Honestly, without judgment. And I really feel like I do that now, doing daily work to build commitment. And then I think the third really key piece that I think you helped me figure out in this chunk of coaching has been the why.
Sort of, you know, how to fix the weekends and nights but why, like, why are you trying to fill that time with this food? And so the key pieces for me, were you teaching about the motivational triad, but that is just the way your brain automatically fixes stuff.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: And then what I was looking for, I think really, and most of the time was like being affirmed for all the hard work I do, but I do deserve it .
If that was really resonant from your, one of your recent podcasts. And I think sometimes it's just like the desire that I'm doing a great job.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think that was really big about me especially.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. Like I think this is so true. Like what you have, what we coached on for you, and I think this is so true for so many of us, is we just wanna be acknowledged for how much we're doing and recognized for what we're doing.
And we forget that like we're supposed to be our number one advocate. I think we kind of forget and, and I think because we spent so many years and decades looking for somebody else to recognize us, like acknowledge how amazing we are, whether it's a parent figure or a teacher, even the a plus on a test is a way to do that or your partner.
It's like, I think that what that does over time is it starts to undervalue our own voice. It undervalues the fact that we can recognize ourselves as like, yeah, I could, but like we want the partner to do it. And I think that that only happens because we've spent decades under-valuing our own recognition.
But I feel like you tell me, when we coached on that piece of you recognizing you first, like what was the impact of that for you?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think it's huge because first, to be able to sort of have it pointed out why I needed that recognition and just that I've had so much positive feedback in my life from others, from getting into medical school, from going to the best residency.
Or getting feedback from my patients like that feeds a huge void. But it also created this situation where like, that's the only thing I feel like I can get feedback and like, I need this praise.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: And I, I remember like previously I thought the way to solve it was to just tell myself like, I'm supposed to be the one who thinks I'm great, so I'm just gonna tell myself I'm great.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I would try that, but partly I think I didn't really believe it. Yeah. And then I felt like you have said before, like. You know, gimmicky replacements for the food.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I tried that for a while, but now I feel like there are things that really do fill the void without having to say, you don't need something to plug in.
I do still want rest, and I still want people like, I deserve something.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Right. And I also think it's, it kind of speaks a little bit to like, oh, I can just tell myself I'm committed and like, I'm just gonna, that that wasn't enough. Just like, it's like lip service. And like saying the words versus really like believing what you're saying to yourself.
Yeah, and I think that that, it kinda speaks a little bit to what you were talking about, like it being an intellectual exercise, like what you hear in a podcast and what we're talking about about coaching versus implementing it. What do you think it was in the Unstoppable group that helped you go from letting it be a learner's exercise to like you implementing what we're talking about?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I mean, there's a lot of good structure within Unstoppable, and it's not an overwhelming amount. So for me, the videos were super helpful to start out with. I just feel like implementing it was not so overwhelming because an amount of material seemed approachable to me, and I didn't utilize all of it, but I felt like I could find the things that were gonna move me forward and like those are some, like the phrases that you use that I remember and come back to like needle movers. And so I would just kind of clinged to those parts that you would present. And I still obviously use those things. So I guess that, I think the structure of it and, and the initial kind of start off the strategy. The strategy we're doing. Yeah, like the workshop. I think that's a great starting point too, like just to kind of get things kicked off. And then there's enough structure to keep on when that piece, like the motivational part, maybe kind of fades away a little bit.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. I think we've even talked about this, like I love the strategy, I think everyone really loves the strategy workshop because you feel like zinged of motivation, you feel excited and like you have a plan cuz we create your robust strategy on that workshop.
I don't even remember if I said it in the workshop. I think I do. I'm like, this is gonna fade everybody. The excitement and motivation is going to fade. And also it doesn't matter. We want to expect that it's going to fade and have that also built into the plan, right? And learn that having a step-by-step process for the daily work and the weekly evaluations is what's going to support you as like committed fuel moving forward.
Cause there's gonna be moments you don't feel like it. There's gonna be so many moments that you don't feel like it. But I think having that piece, I think it's super helpful. And I'm curious, even like the accountability of being in a group, like having a weekly coaching call where you know, we're going to be coaching on your brain, on your obstacles.
I'm curious like what do you think that was that also maybe helped you solve a lot of the obstacles that you had before?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I mean, I think hearing other people's stories is normalizing because sometimes if you're surrounded by people who don't have weight loss as a goal, it can feel a little isolating.
And I think that being able to talk about kind of what all of our issues are as working moms. There's so many similarities though. I think you kind of generate a feeling of connectedness with the people that are in the group, and you really want everybody in it to succeed, whether it be weight loss or just belief in themselves.
I think it is interesting to see how we all feel towards everybody in this group. And then realize that we don't show that kindness to ourselves often. I feel like that's been really, really noticeable to me in myself. Like, oh my gosh, if I just feel that way about myself this way, I feel about everybody else in the group, but I think the connection is really strong.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, and I think that, I'm so glad that you're mentioning that because I think one of the barriers for someone that is maybe new to coaching or new to like a small group experience or they feel nervous, but they feel like, I don't know if I can share, you know, about my life. And I'm curious like what would you say to that person that's like, you know what, I really love the idea of what Priyanka is offering and I love the idea of Unstoppable and it all sounds awesome, but like, is it for me, like I know I'm a working mom, but, and they have some nervousness around that. What would you say to them? About the group.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think what I would say is that I only experienced open support from everybody in the group, and I think that it's a situation that really allows you to feel vulnerable. I mean, I definitely talked about things that I'm working on in my marriage that's not super easy to talk about, but I felt very safe in the space of other working moms to talk about it because most of us had similar struggles.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And that was, I think, what was so interesting. So you know, in, in the small group, like for anyone that's listening, that's unfamiliar, we use Zoom. And I remember somebody would be talking about their marriage or maybe their kid. I think those were the two big ones. I feel vulnerable when you're talking about your role as a mom or your role as a wife and we're getting coached on it and in the chat box how other people would be like, oh my gosh, I had no idea that I'm not alone in this.
Like, oh, that's me too. And even if somebody didn't think to bring their marriage to coaching or their, you know, their thoughts about their kids to coaching, they're like, oh, I had no idea that this affected me so much. And you get to really learn from, this is to me why I love small groups. You get to learn from the wisdom of other people's coaching because you didn't know that maybe that was something for you too, and that was super impactful. What do you think?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think that's very true and I feel like a lot of times. When the question was posed, I might think that it wasn't gonna address something that I'm dealing with, but almost always by the end of the coaching I could correlate it with something where it connected with something I'm [00:41:00] going through.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And I wonder what your thoughts are also for specifically the way the Unstoppable Group is designed, whether you felt like, cuz one of the things that I at least am trying to offer my clients is you get this intimate group where you validate your lived experiences and you really see that you're not alone and your brain is not unique in the struggles that she's having.
But also you get personal customized coaching from me. And I'm curious what your thoughts are on like the nuanced balance of having both.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I feel that having you coach every week has been what has helped me to progress forward because I think that you specifically can see the areas that I am working on and whatever questions I have, you can see where the threads of my thinking kind of run through.
And I also think that the benefit of group coaching is with the, you know, positive aspect that I was just talking about. But there definitely is something about coaching at the same coach every week. So I find that to be beneficial.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And I think that, you know, that's, that's something for everyone to kind of take through the lens of what's gonna serve them or not serve them.
And, and I totally understand. I think that the other piece that I think about with this group is like, when, you know, it's like this appointment on your calendar, right? Like this weekly coaching call, this is like set in stone. Unless something really, really significant comes up, you are gonna come.
I think of this as a recurring meeting with yourself. A recurring meeting. I know it's with a coach, but it's like a recurring meeting. In service of that future that you're trying to create for you on the scale, in your marriage with your children, any area. It's like if this is a recurring meeting and I wonder what you think is the difference between that versus like a friend or an accountability buddy?
Like what do you think is the difference between having that set recurring meeting versus like an accountability buddy? Cause we've talked about this. I'm curious what your thoughts are.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Oh, as you were mentioning it, I remember when you had first described the group to me and you said, and this is Wednesday, it's my workday.
I'm at work in this power of time.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And I love your printer in the background. If anyone's watching the video of this, there's a large printer between Julie. That works.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I get all the papers I need. Yeah. But it's funny because you said the expectation is that you not miss more than I think 20% of the calls.
And I was thinking, and the program I had done before, all of the calls are recorded and that a lot of times I would just get to them if I could get to them. And then you would sign up for one-on-one coaching. And I did notice, like in the program, as I became less engaged, I just wouldn't do it. And that's the state I was in.
I joined Unstoppable. So then when you said I needed to be at 80% of the calls, I was kinda like, well, crap. I mean, I don't know if I can do that. Yeah. But it is important. It's important because I was like, like you said, it was like a meeting with myself every week. I was carving out that hour of time, and sometimes I wouldn't have thought about anything to coach on, but always after those calls, I felt better.
Yes, and more energized and like I got the focus of what I was doing. It kept me in it, I think. Yeah. Yeah. It's like that was different.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: I think that that's part of, it's like kind of like this agreement that I want everyone in this group, which is why I think that, again, a small group is different than other types of containers, is part of the reason that's the filter, is the coaching and the group itself will never create your results.
I'm the first on a consult call to tell you that no coaching is like the magic prescription to reaching your ideal weight. You show up for yourself, you engage with yourself, and you put your dreams as a number one priority is how you create results. And my job as your coach is to show you when you're creating obstacles to doing that, so like we, we want to say, you know what, this really matters to me reaching my ideal weight.
I can see I've been putting it off. I'm phoning it in, I'm doing the lip service. I can see how that's holding back results. I am ready to change that, and I think this is one of those things that it's like a switch to your brain, like a significant investment. Investing in the Unstoppable group is a significant investment.
That's another, like I'm taking this seriously, saying I'm blocking out the time on my calendar. I'm taking this seriously. It's kind of all of these little signals of saying, I'm taking this seriously unless there's an emergency. This is a recurring meeting with myself and it really, I mean, you can feel the difference right in the texture of the energy?
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Even if you don't have anything you wanna get coached on, you find something that you get coached on, which is so good.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah, definitely.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: I want you to just like think about, as we're kind of wrapping up, I feel like there's like so many things we could keep talking about, but like there's someone listening and she's a working mom who wants to lose weight and I, I like to describe Unstoppable, like, you lose weight without a calculator. That's like the way that I think about what we do. She's like, yeah, that sounds so good. I don't wanna do the counting anymore. And she thinks of herself as this go-getter. She has high, big dreams for herself, but she's also wanting to take care of everybody else in her life.
How will she know that this is a group for her? She's like, nothing of pride has worked, but like, I really want to create these results. And how, how will she know if this is for her? What would you say?
Dr. Julie Whittington: If the desire to lose weight is strong, if the solution is not a quick fix, if there is a commitment or willingness to be committed to herself, that is the place to be able to do that with support.
And I think the support piece of it, I have really felt that that has benefited me.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Like, you know, when you think about that support piece, like do you feel like that's the coaching piece of it? Is it the community? What was it about Unstoppable that you think helped you create that support for yourself that maybe you didn't have before?
Dr. Julie Whittington: I think that the difference for me has been the coaching.And specifically the way that you coach has been, what the difference has been for me, because I've had the other parts of it. And also like you saw, there are layers in coaching and I was, you know, I've been getting through layers, but there was something really meaningful about knowing that you wanted the same thing I wanted and that you were going to help me see what it was that I was looking for and ask the questions in a way that pushed me, that moved me forward. I remember you in some of the Slack coaching, you would say, you would ask me a question and I would really want to respond with like, Like an almost sarcastic comment because I thought like, well, I don't know, or I ate it because I like that.
But it was helpful because your additional questions made me really think. Yeah. And it helped me figure out what I was looking for.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. Yeah, I think that that's so true. And what you're describing, it's not uncommon, right? Like the sarcastic or like the desire to be like, I don't know. And I think that that only comes, you tell me that this is true for you, but at least for me it's like the only reason I ever wanna do that is cuz I've never really answered the question.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And so it's a little protective. It's like, um, duh Priyanka. If I knew that, I wouldn't be here. We've never actually answered the question. Right. Which is why I think it, I mean, you tell me. What does that filter to you?
Dr. Julie Whittington: Very. Yeah, I think it was almost like an annoyance, I know that it's a question, but I still haven't figured it out.
And can't you just tell me the answer to this? I was like, can't you just tell me the answer?
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah, it's, and I think that that's, like, I share this, I don't even know if I've said this on the podcast, but like, I'm not in the business of wanting my clients to like me or love me. I'm like, I'm just here to help you get results.
And I think that in the group we have an incredible amount of love and fun, but I push you when you are not asking the questions that you need to be asking. And I think that it's a fun place for me to be in as your coach because whenever I, and, and you know, we, we've talked about this in the group before, but I can see all of my clients, every single person in this group and you know, I can see them completely at their goal.
Completely whole done and done, you know? Right. You, whenever anybody's getting coached, like, oh my gosh, they're so capable. They're not even seeing how capable they are.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And we feel that as just a hundred percent truth. I think that what we get to do and what I offer as a coach is when you are not believing in yourself, when you're having wobble on something, I get to offer that belief, that unconditional belief to you and you just get to borrow it.
It's not make believe, it's just a hundred percent real. Cuz you've experienced it for other people in the group.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Definitely.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Right? Yeah. Why?
Which is I think, the best thing. And so we get to have fun and also you don't have to like me. There's always like, I feel like there, I feel like there's definitely been some pointed coaching.
I mean, on occasion it's not even me, but like, you know, we really get serious. Do you remember any specific instances for you where you're like, I cannot believe, I cannot believe, like, where you got mad at me, you can just tell me.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I'm so, okay. I don't, don't remember the specifics of the questioning, but I remember the result.
So I think that it was kind of focused on like, um, snacking. And I was, I think, just really, really emphatically claiming that the reason that I eat Flame and Hots at night is because I just like them. But what sort of the end result was that I was looking for connection with my husband.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Do you believe that?
Dr. Julie Whittington: No. No. Like really, I really thought it was about the flame and hot.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: You thought it was about the flame and hots and did you get a little mad at me when I was like, no, it's not about...
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yes. I was annoyed. I was annoyed. Yes, yes. I was like, do you know how good they are? And I'm pretty sure it's just the food.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. So there are two types of clients that will come into the same exact coaching. And what I wanna offer to you, and I want you to see what you did, you got annoyed cuz I asked you some questions and then you took that annoyance and you're like, but like, let me just sit with this. And you allowed yourself to stay curious.
So I wonder whether you even got curious about your annoyance, curious, like, I wonder why Priyanka is even asking, like maybe she must be seeing something that I'm not seeing. Like you followed some thread where you got to the other side, which led you to see, oh, this is actually about, you wanted to connect with your husband.
And I think, and I, I've done this as a client, I've done it both ways where I feel the annoyance and then that's kind of the end of it. And you're like, okay, done.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah. And yeah.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: You know what I'm saying? So I'm curious whether you can feel the difference where you can feel annoyed with your.... I'm telling you, if you work with me, you might not love me all the time.
I'm gonna ask you hard questions. And also if you take that thread and you follow it all the way through, like really seeing the impact of that.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I knew the goal of the questions was to get me to think more. So I kind of just let the annoyance not be in the way, but it was still there.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yes. And you know what's interesting cuz I can sometimes tell on a call, I can like feel a little shift happening and my thought as you're a coach is like, Ooh, we're hitting something interesting.
I wonder what it is. Which I, I think is, you know, I, again, having I think an intimate room like this where we get to coach on the thread, it doesn't all get resolved on one coaching call. It'll come up again a few weeks later and then a few weeks later and then like, remember. Back in December or back in March.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Whenever it was like, remember we talked about this? And like, you get to see when you follow the thread, the growth of that. I, I just, I just, I love that so much. So what else? Anything else that you wanna share, Julie, about your experience in the group, how you felt about it? Anything that you feel like sharing? Go ahead.
Dr. Julie Whittington: I was just going to say that I feel like the reference to this as like a coaching container is a really accurate description. There are a few podcasts that I listen to of yours that I think really help supplement all that you coach on, and I go back to them often. But I think the main thing that I would say is that the way that you emphasize the fuel that you use to lose weight and really liking the way that you're choosing to lose weight, And being able to sort of choose it, love it, and then evaluate it for me has been a really solid key to not only being successful, but also feeling supported and good during the process.
And I really feel like the way that you've organized the program just is very supportive to getting things done.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Yeah. And you know, and I want anyone that's listening to know that Julie, you can, you can kinda speak to this, is you don't have to know how to do any of this. Before you join, which is so I think again, like high achievers, like, oh, like let me have to like learn the homework first and become the a plus student and then I'll join the group.
As opposed to like, no, you're gonna get the step by step on exactly how to do each thing when you're in the group with support, which I just think is just so much better. Rather than slowing you down, you just get to speed up so much earlier.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yep. And I think that you kind of, knowing me all through that process is what helped me get to this point.
So, yeah, I, I feel like you can know nothing and totally be supported.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: Absolutely. So good. Julie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Thank you.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And sharing your story. And I feel like there's so many more things that we could talk about. You know, I, I just, I think that it's important to share the real ups and downs, like what happens in coaching.
And I'm, I'm always gonna be the first to say that coaching is not going to be the magic prescription, but truly I do think that it creates magic results when you know how to take in coaching, when you're willing to put yourself in a room, invest in yourself with money and time, it just is showing that you're willing to do the work, to take it seriously, cuz it takes that, it's not about taking more time or more effort, it's just redirecting your brain to prioritizing this.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yep.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: And then you get to decide if you want that? And then how does it show up? Right. As a mom now, as a physician, as a wife, It just levels everything up.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Yeah, it does.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: So good. Julie, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your story.
Dr. Julie Whittington: Thank you.
Dr. Priyanka Venugopal: If you want to work with me, listen up. The Unstoppable Group is my intimate six month coaching experience for high achieving working moms who want to lose weight without a calculator.
My next group is starting in July of 2023, and enrollment is opening on Sunday, May 21st. You heard that right? It is coming soon. Sunday, May 21st is when enrollment is opening. So if you have wanted to work with me, I want you to start preparing now. You can join the waitlist and learn more about this group over at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group.
And when you're on this list, you will get all of the details for exactly how to enroll on May 21st and how we're going to work together. I cannot wait to see you there and I'll see you next week. Bye. Thanks for listening to the Unstoppable Mom Brain Podcast. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain.
If you want more resources or information from the show, head on over to theunstoppablemombrain.com.