Today’s episode truly is a special one. I’m interviewing my very first coach and mentor, Dr. Katrina Ubell. She is a physician and a coach who has written a book called How to Lose Weight for the Last Time, and she’s joining me for an in-depth, honest conversation about what we do as coaches to help our people understand their thoughts and feelings, and create lightness on the scale.
Katrina’s story starts with her own weight-loss struggles. She tried all of the usual methods, like counting points and consulting dietitians, and while she could lose weight temporarily by making herself miserable following a restrictive plan, she could never keep it off for good, until she decided to try something totally different.
Tune in this week to hear from Katrina Ubell about what it takes to lose weight for the last time. We’re discussing all of the things we need to figure out before we start changing the way we eat, how to meet yourself with compassion on your weight-loss journey, and how to take what Katrina teaches in her book and make it your own.
Hi, I’m Dr. Priyanka Venugopal and you’re listening to Weight Loss For Unstoppable Moms, episode 25, my conversation with Katrina Ubell. Today’s episode is truly a special episode for me to be bringing to you today. Today I’m interviewing Dr. Katrina Ubell, she is a physician and a coach who has written a book called How To Lose Weight For The Last Time. We are really having an in-depth and honest conversation around what we do as coaches.
And here’s some more fun if this is interesting to you, if you want to see us having this conversation, like face to face you can head on over to www.theunstoppablemombrain.com/25 to really get a video version of this really amazing and beautiful conversation that I have with Katrina. I cannot wait for you to take a listen, it is truly amazing.
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 weight loss 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 you. Ready? Let's get to it.
Priyanka: Hello my unstoppable friends, welcome back. I am so, so, so beyond thrilled to bring you today’s episode because I have Katrina Ubell. She is a physician, a mom, a coach, I call her a mentor, and now an author. Hi, Katrina.
Katrina: Hi, I’m so glad to be here.
Priyanka: So I want to just give you a minute to just totally introduce yourself. We’re going to be talking about your book, which is so good. I have it right here because we’re pulling it out, How To Lose Weight For The Last Time. Tell us about yourself, tell us about this book, tell us everything.
Katrina: Yeah, okay, so my story is I worked as a pediatrician for 10 years and during that time, and even before then, I just really struggled with my weight and I tried all the usual things: Weight Watchers, working with a dietitian, you know, all the kind of typical things. And I could lose weight because I could force myself to be super miserable for a while until I lost some weight following some plan.
But I could never keep it off because I never really figured out what it means to not overeat. What I thought was normal eating created weight gain for me, so that obviously wasn’t normal eating for me, or for my body.
Priyanka: That’s right.
Katrina: And so I was approaching my 40th birthday and kind of doing a whole life re-evaluation as one tends to do around those milestone birthdays. And I really just was like, “I’ve got to figure something out with the weight stuff,” because I’d also had my kids. So when you’re having babies and stuff it’s easy to start thinking like, “Well, once I’m done with the babies then I’ll really figure this out.”
Well, I had had my last baby and I had lost the baby weight, and then I had gained it all back again And I was like, shoot, like, well now what? Like really? I think there's a problem, you know? And it just really felt, specifically because of my life as a doctor and a lot of the unpredictability that came with it, and it wasn't even like I was having to, like you did, like rush to the hospital to deliver babies.
But every morning I didn't know how many babies I'd have to go see, and in which hospitals and just all the chaos that kind of came from that. Any kind of plan that was proposed to me for weight loss that was very prescribed and like this is what you do consistently every single day, I just, I could not do it. It did not work with my lifestyle.
So I really felt like at this crossroads of maybe I just need to accept that a lot of people, we could argue most people, gain weight as they age and I just need to work on accepting this. Or I need to try something totally different because I keep doing the same thing again and again. I'm not willing to count points for the rest of my life. I'm not willing to count calories for the rest of my life. So then what am I going to do?
And so then I went sort of on a bit of a personal journey trying to figure it out and trying just different things that I hadn't tried before. And I had tried a lot of things that didn't work, but it was kind of a little bit like the breadcrumb trail for me because along that process I came to realize that I really was an emotional eater, when I had rejected that identity for a very long time.
Priyanka: Yeah, and you've mentioned that before, like that's not who I am. And yet when you really got down to it, actually, most of us are, yeah.
Katrina: Yeah, most of us really are in the sense that I define emotional eating as eating for any reason other than fuel for your body. So if you're not hungry, if you ever eat when you're not hungry, then that's emotional eating. And not to say that we necessarily never are going to do that, but it is interesting to build some awareness around that. Oh, interesting, I'm eating this right now, my body is not actually giving me the signal to eat, yet I'm eating this anyway.
So I ended up signing up for life coaching, didn't even really know what it was. All I knew was that it was very, very different and it seemed to make sense to me because everybody that I'd worked with really focused on the actions of what to do and what not to do. And then if you do those things, you'll get the results. Well, what happens when you can't keep doing those things? You know what I mean? We think that something's wrong with us.
Priyanka: And why? Like what we were talking about before we even started recording is like we all, especially women and working moms, like we have all the plans. We know what we “should” be doing to lose weight and then we wonder, well, why am I not? And that is like the piece that coaching really uncovers, which you talk about in your book, the thoughts and the feelings that are driving us to follow through or not follow through on those plans.
Katrina: Exactly. And I've come to discover now doing this and I became a coach and now I coach women physicians who want to lose weight permanently. I mean, I really have found that even a good percentage of people who keep their, you know, stay fit, women who stay fit and are really keeping track of things, they often have so much fear fueling their control over their food. Like they don't feel freedom, you know?
And so what I always am thinking, like I always tell people the book says like how to lose weight for the last time, that's the title. But what we really want is peace and freedom around food, you know? It's kind of like how to lose weight for the last time, great, I can help you to do that. I'll tell you how to do that, I'll show you how to do that.
But sometimes, like how do you lose weight for the last time? You actually stop trying to lose weight. Sometimes the goal of trying to lose weight is the problem because it gets us in a rush, we start doing really disordered things, things we're not interested in continuing on for the rest of our lives. And so then it just becomes another one of those cycles where we lose and then we gain again.
And so I always look at it like if you just do the work to reconnect to your body, to actually listen to the signals that you innately have come pre-programmed with, that you've just been taught or kind of beat out of yourself to actually pay attention to them, and learn how to reconnect to yourself from an emotional standpoint, really, really take good excellent care of yourself, then if you have excess weight on your body, it probably will come off just because you aren't asking food anymore to solve your emotional problems for you.
And so I think when we can open up to the idea that being an emotional eater doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you, it just means that you are a product of our society, we all get these messages that this is what we do, this is how we function in the world. And so this is just an opportunity to go, well, when I do that I get these results I don't like. Maybe there's a different way of looking at this, which starts on the thought level, right? And then processing emotions.
And then we can figure out, okay, well, what actions am I willing to take for the rest of my life? Rather than thinking about this like, “Well, I need to get into smaller sized pants and I need this weight off as fast as possible,” instead playing the long game and going, okay, well, if I'm going to do this, or eat this way, follow this for the rest of my life, what am I willing to do for the rest of my life, and what actually serves my body? We can actually get in touch with what food feels good.
I remember forcing myself to eat nuts. So many people love nuts, it's like their favorite thing, right? They would just eat all these nuts. So I'm like, nuts are good. I’ve never really liked nuts. I mean, if they're honey roasted or covered in chocolate, sure, I'm in. But regular nuts are just not my thing. And I would eat these nuts and then I would literally have a stomachache. And it took me a while to put this together to understand, you know what, nuts are great for other people. Amazing, go for it, eat all the nuts you want. Nuts are just not for me. There's going to be something else that's going to work well with my body.
So even though we all have this human body, our bodies respond to different foods and different ways of eating and timing of eating in different ways. No one can know better than you how you should eat. And so what you and I both do, right, is help people to take back that expert status to figure out what is that? Like what is the right way for you? Help you to be able to uncover that and then support yourself by eating that way.
Priyanka: Yeah, and you know what I think is interesting, because you mentioned this in the book as well, how in some ways maintenance is harder than weight loss because of this point where we're willing for a very short period of time, or what I like to call it grit and grind. We're willing to like really muscle through and really have tight, strict plans to lose the weight because we think if we lose the weight, then we get to feel good and confident about ourselves. But then we're not able to maintain it.
And I think that one of the things that I'm so glad you highlighted in this book is that maintenance can be harder if you come into this journey with that mindset.
Katrina: 100%. I mean, yeah, I really just think that, especially just because of the way the weight loss industry kind of positions everything and teaches us to lose weight, it is so focused on like means to an end, do these things. And then again, if you can't do it or aren't willing to do it, then something's wrong with you. It's not that the plan isn’t the right plan, it's like you're the one who's at fault.
So what we have to do is we have to really just mentally reject that model. Understand where it's kind of like wormed itself into our thoughts and beliefs about how this has to go, and instead, slow ourselves down to figure out what is the real problem, solve that and then let the weight loss be easy. Rather than like the grit and grind, like you said, like let me suffer through.
I cannot tell you how many times I lost weight and then I was like, oh, I'll just have a little. I had no plan for how I was really going to maintain that, but yet I convinced myself, it was almost like I thought I had like a new brain or something. Like somehow now I'm a different person.
Priyanka: And actually felt confusion. I remember I lost the most weight for my wedding and then I went back to medical school and residency and I didn't weigh myself every day at the time, probably because I was hiding a little bit from myself. And I would step on the scale, see the number up and I'm like so confused. I’m like, huh, why is this number going up?
And the confusion is the part that really just goes to show how unaware we are of our thoughts and our feelings. Like how am I confused here? I mean, we know now because I was so unaware of what I was thinking and feeling, that was driving every little moment of overeating. And, of course, you gain a lot of weight that way.
Katrina: Yeah. And the other thing that we don't understand is that just the mindset of like, well, I just like food or whatever, is not a thing. We all like food, humans like food. We're hardwired to get pleasure from eating so that we can stay alive, right? And so of course we like food. But when we have that thought, it kind of blocks us from figuring out like, why is food the solution right now? What is going on for me that I need that extra drink? Or just even a drink in the first place when normally I wouldn't be doing that.
It really does require the person who's entering into the process to just open their minds. I always think of it as it's not like I went into the life coaching thing going like, “Okay, I'm all in, whatever, I'll just believe whatever you say.” I mean, I was all in, but I had so many doubts. I was constantly pushing back, constantly going like, “Okay, well, I'm open to trying things. But first, it has to make sense to me, first I have to understand it. I'm not just going to do whatever you say even if it seems like nonsense to me.” You know what I mean?
So I think in doing that, I kind of built up that understanding of, okay, this is why I'm doing that. But then at the same time I was open to experimentation to just see what happened. There were times when I hit plateaus and I was so disappointed because I was like, shoot, I mean, I really liked this way that I was eating, it was really working out great for me. But now my body is saying, okay, not so much anymore. And then trying different things.
I think also over the course of time, I mean, you know, I think the growth and development continues during maintenance, if you allow it to continue. What will happen during maintenance is something will happen in your life and your brain will suggest that you go back to overeating to solve it or to feel better. And you'll be like, oh, look, look what I'm doing again.
But now you'll have awareness and you'll know what's going on. And then you can invest in what needs to happen so that you can work through that. What we don't want is for people to hit that rough patch, go back to some overeating again, and then go, “See I knew this was never going to work.”
Priyanka: That's right. And I think that one of the things that you talk about in this book is habits. And we have a habit, and what I like to really even think about is every single habit we've ever developed in our life, especially overeating, it's decades old and it will always come up forever. When you have something come up in your life, your brain will naturally offer you that old habit.
And because you become aware, because you do this work that we're talking about, understanding your thoughts and your feelings, you get to just catch it. Just because our brain is offering us that old habit doesn't mean we have to go and like sit in the pantry or in front of the fridge and over eat. We can just really start to be with ourself, which you spend a lot of time on in this book around the emotional component.
And this is it, right? That is really like the secret sauce, which I think is it requires us coming into this work to be willing to be patient. And I think that that's hard when we just want quick results. That's why. Why are we willing to do the grit and grind? We want quick results. We want to see the scale move, we want to feel better right now.
And what we're asking in this book and like in this work is being willing to slow down, be with yourself. And so what do you say to those women or humans that just, they want this so much but they just want, they want it faster. They just don't feel like they can slow down to do this work, which it takes attention, it takes intention. What would you say to that?
Katrina: I mean, to be honest, I think a lot of people will come to this, at least, you know, the time that they're successful, when they really have exhausted all the other options. I think, you know, with so many things, right, we start to really see this pattern that we've created and the problems that it causes.
I mean, that's really what happened with me, where I was just like, “What am I actually doing here?” I mean, you know, you get a little awareness of like, you know what? I've tried all of these things and it never promises to be what I think it's going to be. Maybe it's time to try something different.
I think often people really are kind of at their wit's end or like this is the last ditch effort and okay, I'm going to do this. I think, honestly, sometimes there just requires some emotional maturity. Like we just grow up, right? And we just start realizing, you know what? I am not going to live the rest of my life struggling with this.
Sometimes people with my program, they're like, “Oh, I just wonder if I'm too old.” I'm like, “Well, do you want to be worried about those last 10 pounds on your deathbed?” I don't think it's ever too late to really create some peace and freedom around your body and food and just not feeling like it's so controlling of you.
But then also, we have to offer compassion for ourselves when we get into that rush. Of course it makes sense, we just are like, I want to get to the part where I get to feel better. I want to get to the part where I feel like I can wear the clothes that I want to wear or more comfortable in certain clothes. Of course, right?
Priyanka: Can we just have a little bit of grace for that? Yes, we want that and it's okay to want that.
Katrina: Yes, it's okay to want that. But at the same time, sometimes it's that same desire that actually makes us do things that drives us to overeat more, right? It's actually making it harder for ourselves by being in a rush. And what I mean by that is we're in a rush, we're totally depriving ourselves doing some sort of restrictive plan and just thinking, “I just have to white knuckle my way through, I'm just going to use some willpower and get through,”
Well, then the minute the willpower lags or we are around a bunch of food-
Priyanka: Which it will.
Katrina: Yeah, exactly will happen, then we're eating so much and then we feel so disappointed in ourselves. And physically we often feel really bad. And and then we start thinking, you know what? It's just not possible for someone like me.
So if you can kind of see that, like yeah, I hear that you think that's going to make you feel better, but it often actually makes it harder and worse. Can we just take time, I know you've heard me say this a million times and I'll say it again, if this is the last time that we're losing weight, then what is the rush? Let's just figure it out as we go.
And there are plenty of people too, who really find that before they can even really meaningfully lose any weight, they really do have a lot of personal work that they need to do. It can be a trauma. It can be working on their relationship with themselves, their thoughts about themselves, what they believe to be true about themselves, their identity.
Like if your identity is truly that you are an overweight person and that it's not possible for you to lose weight, if that's what you think is true about you, you will run shenanigans, you will self-sabotage, you will do all these things that make weight loss so hard in order to support that identity. So we have to change the identity so that you can actually keep the results that you create.
So I think there just kind of comes a point where people just start going, “You know what? I actually think there might be something to this.”
Priyanka: And what you're talking about, when it comes to, at least in my experience and what I see with my clients, is that identity shift does require a willingness to do some deeper work. And it's almost like eventually, when you've done the points, and the calories, and counted the macros, and you've run the tight ship, that does work for some people. There are some people that it happens to work for. But if it's not working, to be willing to do the deeper work.
And I think that that's the part when we aren't doing that, we want the weight loss but we're not doing the deeper work yet, we start creating more evidence, like, “Oh, see, I can't do it.” And we do the shenanigans and we create more and more evidence just eroding trust. And I think that that is the biggest hold up.
And I remember when I first heard about you for the very first time, it was in an OBGYN Facebook group. So shout out to the bees in the Facebook group if you're listening. And I mean, someone mentioned your podcast and at this point I was 200 pounds and I was like, “What is this magical thing? Somebody's talking about losing weight in a permanent and deep way, like what is this?”
And I remember what you're talking about, I was at my wit's end. I was tipping 200 pounds and I was exclusively pumping and nursing, had my second baby and I'm like not losing a pound. But in my mind I'm like, “But I'm not even that bad. Am I? Come one, it’s not that bad.”
And, I mean, the journey for me to really do that deeper work, which you were an integral part of, I think has unlocked and opened something that just goes beyond weight loss. And I think you talk about this too. Like this is not, of course we're talking about weight loss, that's what this book is about. But what we're talking about, that deeper work, shifting your identity on the inside is every corner and crevice of your life has an opportunity to change.
Katrina: And it gets better and better, that's what I have heard for years now with people working with me, is like, oh yeah, I weigh what I weighed on my wedding day or what I weighed in high school, but that's not even the best part. And they're like downplaying that mostly because as we know, right, yeah it's fun to live in a body that's the right size for you, but that’s not really the best part.
The best part is I love my job again. I love my work. I love my relationships. My relationships with my kids are so much better, I'm not yelling at them like I used to, or my marriage is so much better, things like that. And so that’s where we're really changing lives. So where people often get confused is like, but how does losing weight have anything to do with that stuff?
That's where we have to understand that the overeating is truly just like the Band-Aid and there's a wound underneath that and we’ve got to figure out what that is, right? When you're really, really dissatisfied at work and you feel stuck and you feel like there's nothing that can be done about it and you feel, you know, so many professionals in particular really feel truly stuck, like those golden handcuffs. Like, okay, you could do something else, but how would you afford that or things like that.
And so then what do we do to feel better? The most socially acceptable thing to do is to eat. You know, we're encouraged to do that. So when you stop using food to feel better you figure out, you know what, I am miserable in this job. And then you start figuring out, okay, well, hold on, how much of it is the job and how much of it is the way that I'm thinking about it?
And it's not like a blaming kind of a thing. It's very easy for people to be like, “Oh no, but the system's broken.” And it probably is, I mean that probably is really true.
Priyanka: And it probably is, especially for physicians, absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.
Katrina: Yeah and, but it's like a yes and. The system is broken and it's still possible for you to not be miserable. And let's just play around with the idea of what that could be like.
And I've seen it time and time again, doctors who literally are like, “I was searching for get rich quick schemes. I was thinking about defaulting on my loans.” Like people wanting to get out so desperately, so badly. So with coaching they're in the exact same job with the exact same people and they absolutely love it.
Priyanka: Like the positive-
Katrina: Sometimes I think people are like, “Oh, so you just have to think positive thoughts,” Yeah, exactly.
Priyanka: Yeah, and you mentioned this too, like toxic positivity. We're not talking about toxic positivity. I think it's like we're just talking about giving ourselves permission to believe new things if we want to, if it serves us.
And there's something that you said in this book, I want to call it a zinger because I think that people don't want to hear this, but it's just true. You know what we were saying where the overeating is a Band-Aid, there's a wound underneath. And I think especially working moms, and I think humans in general, but especially women, they get to the end of their day, they get to the end of the week and they’re like, “But I just deserve a break.” It's so common because I mean, yes, the answer is yes, we do deserve it. We deserve all the things.
And you said in your book, which I love it because it's just speaking truth, it’s real talk. It is the food does not love you back, it is a one way relationship. And I wanted to highlight that here because it almost feels a little bit, I'm calling it a zinger because we, in that moment, do think that the food is loving us back, right?
I can think of so many Friday nights where I'm like, “Where's the pizza, the popcorn, my second glass of wine? Get the Netflix going.” Like talk about dopamine hits in every direction coming out my ears. And I'm like, and I do what I call my evening plop down and I deserve a break. And I'm, in that moment, really thinking that pizza, popcorn, and wine is loving me. And you're like, no, it's not. I think this was the first time really seen that.
Katrina: And I think it's like once we start realizing we're just outsourcing the job of loving ourselves to the pizza and the popcorn and the wine, right? It's actually our job and we don't even realize it, right? We need to step into that role. We're kind of like the, sometimes in the business role they talk about the manager who's a seagull and that means that they're mostly not around but then they swoop in, poop all over everything, and then take off again, right? And that's like, kind of what we do.
Priyanka: I’ve never heard that by the way. I've never heard that, so thank you for the visual because I'm like going to forever think about that in many different areas of my life. Okay, keep going. Yes.
Katrina: Right? So we're like, oh, someone should, because I want to feel more love, right? But we can offer that to ourselves, we're just not doing it. And then we come in and we're like, you know what, I want to feel some love so let's eat a bunch of food and drink a bunch of things. And then the aftermath is like, wait, that didn't turn out the way I expected it to.
Because my presumption is at the end of eating and drinking all that stuff, you actually don't feel as good as you thought, or as good as you wanted to feel when you made the decision to do it.
Priyanka: I mean, every single time. Every single time. Especially if you know you have the desire to lose weight, you’re always like, “Wait, but why did I do that?” And here we are, intelligent, intelligent women and we wonder, wait, why am I capable of creating so much in my life, if you look on paper I have a pluses and gold stars all over the place, but this one area I just can't figure it out and it's this.
And I think you mentioned it just a few moments ago, that idea of emotional responsibility or adulthood, like really stepping into that. Forget loving our job, and loving our kids more, but getting to love yourself is how you heal those wounds. And I would say, for me, I did not know how to do that. I didn’t know.
Katrina: I didn’t either, I had to learn so I could teach you.
Priyanka: Yes, I had no idea. When we are coaching and I'm presenting my, you know, conundrum of the day and you ask questions that make me think about my life in a different way, my decisions in a different way. How can we actually offer ourselves so much more compassion than we're used to? It’s an act of love. And I don't think that I ever knew that before.
Katrina: Right? I mean, I think that we can't blame ourselves for not knowing this stuff. I've had many clients over the years who have been like, “I’m just so mad that I didn't know this for longer or I struggled for so long.” And I mean, I personally just never think about that because I just think that everything culminated to me being where I am now, you know, and finding it at the right time.
And I always say like, who knows, maybe this stuff did actually present to me when I was younger and I wasn't ready to hear it. Like my ears weren't really open to it. It's possible, that could have happened, I just didn't know, you know? And so I think that the more that we are open to just kind of growth and exploration and learning more about ourselves and how to create the experience of our lives that we want to have, you know, the weight loss kind of comes with it.
I always think of it as like your entry point into doing this work can be in so many different ways. For us it just happens to be weight loss because the overeating and the emotional eating is our main way of escaping. But there's other people who mostly rely on alcohol, or people who are spending too much, or working too much, or doing any number of things that isn't serving them.
And so sometimes when I think about it that way, I'm like, you know, we're all moving in the same direction, like all the humans, right? Because sometimes we feel sorry for ourselves, why do I have to be the one who struggles? Look at her, she's like rail thin and eats like a horse and nothing happens. But it's like then we assume that if I were this thin, if I had that metabolism, or that body, or whatever, I wouldn't have problems. That person has their own set of problems.
Priyanka: Absolutely. I can just look at my husband, my husband is naturally like just a thin person. He can eat like seven times the amount of food I do, he has dinner number two every night. And I used to have so many years where I'd be like, “Why? That's just not right.”
And I spent my time in that, like I can't believe that he gets to eat dinner numbers, one, two, and three and has no care in the world. He has this naturally just like maybe high metabolism. You know, it was interesting, I never looked at how he played sports, how he was running around after like doing all the bike rides. I was just like totally oblivious to that.
Katrina: We see what we want to see, right? Yeah.
Priyanka: That’s right, and I think that, you know, I'm curious whether you think that when we are in that judgy, blamey space, you talk about trauma, like big trauma and little, I think you called it big T and little T, like big trauma, little trauma. And I wonder whether you think that judgment, blame, criticism when we're not letting it go, when we're in that space a lot. Is that, do you think, a sign of little trauma and maybe decades of trauma that manifests in this way?
Katrina: I mean, I think it can be, like just in particular speaking to doctors in the medical profession. I mean, I would argue that our medical training, like our residencies, for sure. I mean, it can be little T trauma all day every day and then toss in some big T traumas possibly in there too. I mean, definitely some people see more of that than others.
But I don't know, really, many doctors where you can't just say like think back to a time in residency or medical school where something like really, like someone died or like something like that. I mean, we all have those things, we can go back to it in a second. It's like that image is right there, how we felt is right there. But we were given zero support on what to do with that.
And even now, like in my mid-40s, I have actually worked with a trauma therapist on processing some of those things because randomly they were coming up from me again. How bizarre is that? But something that happened, not like I really did anything bad but like the way the attending physician treated me and how I thought about myself after it happened. And it wasn't what anybody expected, but it's what was going to happen regardless. But like still blaming myself, you know, shaming myself thinking something's wrong with me, I did something wrong.
And then when we don't process any of that, that lives on in us. This idea that something's wrong with us, right? We can't be trusted.
Priyanka: Even if it's quiet. And I think I was telling you before we got on this call, like I don't ever think of myself as having a very strong harsh inner critic that's like yelling at me. I know some people do have a really strong voice. And I've always said, which very obviously for me I think I spent a very long time like oh, no, it's not that bad. But really, it was just subtle, it sounded good.
And I think that sometimes even judgment and blame or like self-shaming, it can sound like rosy, it doesn't sound like a scold. And the trouble is that we think it's useful, you know, when we're kind of judging and scolding ourselves in those moments. Even when you gain weight.
And I'm going to ask you a couple of questions at the end about permanent weight loss, lasting weight loss. When you gain a pound back, or 5, or 10 we think it is so useful in that moment to judge and scold and I wonder how we can use the tools in this book, the mindset, the thoughts and feelings that drive us to heal that wound.
Katrina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, are you talking about the wound of like how we treat ourselves when things don’t go how we want?
Priyanka: Yeah, because then we overeat.
Katrina: Yes, exactly. Well, I think the thing that we have to constantly work on is how do we support ourselves? Right now the way I like to talk about it is how can I take just excellent care of myself right now? How can I take excellent care of my body and of me, you know, emotionally and just like my identity of who I am as a person.
And sometimes I even think about it from a cellular level. Like if you really think about like your individual cells in your body, like what are they actually asking for? And if you really get connected to that, it is never chocolate ice cream. You know what I mean? They're like, “No, please don't. Could you just, you know, some vitamins and minerals would be great, you know, hydration, sleep.” Exactly all these things, like we already have this innate wisdom, but we have to maintain the things that support us.
So when you're talking about maintenance and things are going great, just like when things aren't going well, you still have to have some sort of minimum baseline that you are keeping up to continue supporting yourself. Because I have seen this over time with some people where they just kind of, you know, just as it happens in life, right, things dwindle, you kind of stop doing some certain things that were supportive and you realize it didn't really make much of a difference. Great, you know, we start thinking I really might be cured. Oh my gosh, I'm like so happy for myself, right?
Priyanka: Because we thought we were broken before.
Katrina: I know, right?
Priyanka: That’s a big issue, yeah.
Katrina: It's going to be fixed, we're fixed now. Then something happens, whatever it is, right, it could be positive or negative. And then we're up five pounds, we're up 10 pounds, we notice what we're doing, and that's where really we got to see, okay, well, what have we learned and how can we really pivot when we need to, right?
It's so easy to go, well you know what? Then starting Monday you're back on this strict plan again and you just have to get this weight off. And I would argue, like absolutely not, that is not how we approach ourselves. Before we start making any changes to our food there's so much more we have to figure out. What the heck is going on? Let's just find out.
Priyanka: What happened?
Katrina: Yeah, what happened?
Priyanka: Yeah, with compassion, right? It's like to me I think of compassion as like the balm that you put on the wound. It's like so you step on the scale and you see the scale is back up 5, 10 pounds. And this is a skill, I actually think of this as a skill many of us don't have. Maybe we never learned it, because we were doing the alternative, the scolding, the judging.
We never learned this like practicing of compassion we offer to everyone else, especially women, we offer to our patients, to our children, to our families. But the idea of actually practicing that for ourself is the solution. Like, oh, I wonder what, of course I gained the 5 to 10 pounds, I've been eating all the things to avoid that trauma that I've been experiencing.
Katrina: And that's when we have to kind of not be judgmental of ourselves for even needing therapy to work through that. That's something that I've worked with a lot of clients on, where they're just like, “Well, I don't know.” Or they'll say, “I already worked with a therapist on that. I already went through that, I think I'm done with that.”
Well, maybe we could just be open to the idea that maybe sometimes things, you know, there's still some unresolved little bits there. Or maybe it's coming up for you in a different way. And it's probably not going to hurt to just kind of explore and to see what else might be possibly going on there.
And being open to, I think, the continued journey. I think an area where people really struggle in maintenance is they want to know where the finish line is so it can just be done. And what I want to offer is that this is going to be an ongoing journey.
Not in the sense that you have to necessarily work so hard at it all the time, but it's going to be something you're going to want to pay attention to as you move on. If anything because, sure, you could maybe make it so that you don't overeat any more, but then your brain will just suggest that you overdo something else that doesn't give you the result that you want.
So I'm always like, well, if it's going to be one thing or another, let's just stick with food because that one I'm familiar with. And that way we know, it's like you start eating or you start noticing the scale going up, that's just the canary in the coal mine, right? That's not a time to start cracking the whip and getting mean to yourself. That's the time to just go, “Oh, love, what's going on? Something's obviously going on.”
Sometimes something stressful is happening and we think we're doing a really great job handling it, like no, no, no, right? But you know how you're going to find out there's an issue? You just, you see how your clothes fit or what the scale reads. And so how we approach ourselves in that way, I think, is so important.
The other thing I just feel really, I don't know, called to mention right now, especially because you serve working moms, is those of us who are really highly functioning, high achieving women, we often got ourselves to where we are through kind of cracking the whip, and being mean, and really holding ourselves to this extremely high standard, and not accepting anything else and not offering ourselves love and compassion.
And what can often happen then is once we have children, we have a really hard time dialing that back where now it starts translating to them. Whether it's overt and you are telling them like, but where do you think you could have done better that or something like that. Or it might be those words aren't actually coming out of your mouth, but inside you're like, but I know you could do better. So then still the kids feel it, you know, you don't have to say things, they can tell, right?
So I just want to offer is that the more you do this work, the more you commit to working on loving and accepting yourself and understanding that that will not mean that you won't continue to achieve, you just won't be achieving from a place of lack trying to get to a place of wholeness. You'll just achieve from wholeness, because you know you can and you like to challenge yourself, very, very different.
But once you can do that for yourself, you can offer that to your children too. And that is one of the absolute biggest gifts you can give a child, where you see their potential and you love them and you support them, but you let them have their journey of their life, which is going to have mistakes and poor decisions and the consequences of those poor decisions.
Priyanka: Welcome to being human, it's just the human experience. I think that's what you call it, like it is the human experience. And I mean, this was some of my greatest work, even just at the very start of my weight loss coaching, was getting coached on my relationship with my son.
And I haven't talked about it much yet on my podcast, but that was one of, I mean I have goosebumps right now even just mentioning it because it truly, as my husband says, it changed the trajectory of my whole family's life. Just me really understanding that there's an inner monologue that I'm just so unaware of, let's get so aware of her, let's start practicing the skill of compassion.
And even then, if we change that lens for ourselves a changes for every other human in our life and they feel it. I've always said, I'm that parent that I was never a big scolder or a big timeout person. I'm like, I don't understand what's up with this kid. And yet, who would have thunk it? When I changed my thoughts and my feelings and started practicing that compassion even with him, he could feel it.
It was like the energy that came out in our relationship. And not surprisingly, like a 180 in our relationship, which has changed her family. It’s changed our family. And I think this is the work that changes, it heals generational trauma to me.
Katrina: 100%, oh my gosh, now I have goosebumps. Totally, right? There's all these things that we know we don't want to continue doing, and then we're like, “Okay, why is my mother or my father's voice coming out of my mouth? How, is this happening, right?” And I just think that the biggest gift we can give to our children is a parent, an adult who was modeling how to be like a mature adult.
And that doesn't mean that you never yell, or you never get frustrated, or you never have a bad day, or you never are experiencing emotions, you're always positive or upbeat. It doesn't mean that at all. It means showing them this is the truth of what it's like to be an adult. So when they become an adult they're not like us going, “Wait, I think I'm in the wrong life because this is a lot harder than everybody made it look when I was growing up because they hid all that stuff from us.”
Priyanka: That's right, and I think even, like I think it's important to mention that there's space to have both that compassion and also to say we're going to do what we say we're going to do, right? We can be strict, or I don't know if strict is even the right word, but like disciplined, right? How can we have space to be both compassionate, like I'm not going to let my three year old program my GPS. It looks shiny, and I love it, like I love her and the answer is no.
And I think that this is like we don't know how to have space for both. We're so all or nothing. Either I'm going to give into myself completely and eat all the things or I'm going to be so super strict. And we just forget that there's a road in the middle and having space for both.
Katrina: A lot of people think that compassion means being really permissive and just like saying that it's okay, it's not a big deal. Well, no, sometimes it is a big deal. That's like that fierce love, right? That like I love you too much to do this to yourself. This is not who you are, like a reminder of who you really are at your core, right? That is the kind of love that we want to offer to ourselves.
Which a lot of people talk about the term re-parenting and it can be, you know, that's kind of a part of it where it's like there's still so much of us that really is some small version of ourselves that is just struggling. And maybe the adults in our lives didn't meet us with what we really needed, maybe they did. But what we can offer to ourselves as adults is that approach. However we wanted to be responded to, we can respond to ourselves in that way.
And I know it can sound kind of like woo-woo and out there, but it really, really isn't. So often we're mad at our spouses or whoever because they're not giving us that, they don't know the right things to say. So then we're like, “You know what? Just screw it all, I'm just going to eat because then I’ll feel better. Then I can just numb out, I don't have to feel this anymore.”
When you actually practice this and realize, like, no, what I need is this, and I can offer that to myself, then food is for having fun. Of course, you're going to enjoy food, it's not like you never get to eat anything good anymore. It's just you're approaching it from a completely different place, right?
Like pizza party with the family for family movie night is very different than everyone's gone and I just want to feel full. Like everyone's in bed and I just need to stop feeling the way I'm feeling. Very, very, very different experience.
Priyanka: Yeah. And I think what you've been talking about and what even comes up in this book is that at some point, those things, they made sense. Like even the way we were parented, every time we've ever overeaten, every time that we have like gone, quote “off plan” or off the bandwagon, like what you talk about, it's because that was our best in that moment.
And I think that from whenever I work with my clients, they just sometimes are like, “No, but it wasn’t. I know better and it's not,” right? And that's the part where compassion comes in. It's like, no, no, no, but it was because you chose it. And now, what if we pivot to curiosity? It matters, that's why we're being curious, right? We're not being permissive anymore. I think that that's so huge.
So I have a question for you, you reach so many people. I'm just going to say millions because I don't actually know, but the world, with your work, with your program, with your podcast. What do you think it was that made you want to do a book? Like in print, in writing.
Katrina: So let me just back up and say I never was the person who, you know how you always hear authors saying like, “I always wanted to write a book” or “It was always my dream,” or, “I knew I had a book in me.” I never had those thoughts in my life, ever, okay? So it wasn't because of that.
The biggest thing, well, I think it's kind of twofold and they relate. The first is that so many people do not understand this, what we're talking about, right? And podcasting, while it's amazing, is only just one way to gather information to learn things. And some people are just not audio listeners. I mean, it's just like not their thing.
But then, you know, kind of going alongside that I was finding more and more that a lot of doctors were actually referring their patients to listen to my podcast, which is titled Weight Loss For Busy Physicians, right? So it’s like for doctors, right? But they were telling their patients, you should listen to this podcast.
So as I started to have multiple hundreds of episodes, like can you imagine being someone who's really struggling with your weight and then your doctor goes, “Hey, listen to this podcast and do what she says in there.” And then you get there and there's like, you know, I just recorded episode 290. I mean, so overwhelming, like where are you even going to start? You just need to know like which are the things that I need to do? What are the things I can skip? It just starts to feel very kind of overwhelming.
So my thought was I'll create a book that doctors feel like they can tell their patients just get this book and it'll be a great start. A great way to introduce everything to people. I felt very, honestly, very torn about should I really give them details on how to actually lose weight? Because really, it's so much more about the emotional stuff. But then I'm like, yeah, but nobody wants to buy a book that's just about the emotional stuff.
Priyanka: But you address both, right? In this book you really do address both pieces.
Katrina: Yeah, so I thought that would be, so it would be like a gift to the medical community. They know that their patients need it, they don't have time or the skill level to actually explain it. Like here's just one place where it's all together that will get you started.
And then at the same time I knew it would actually help the whole coaching community, which is really just like kind of this burgeoning, amazing new industry because I only work with doctors in clinical practice. All these people are like, great, well, can I work with you? Well, no. Okay, well now what?
So putting this out there will allow people to work with other coaches and it'll just help kind of like raise all tides to help get people the coaching help that they need. It's like a great way for people to get a sense of like is this work for me? Let me just like do a little deeper dive and understand this.
I mean, I think you can read the book in a couple hours. I mean, it's really not like a difficult to read book. But then you can kind of decide, okay, well what do I want to do next? Do I want to hire a coach? Do I want to actually do this work? Which, of course, you and I both think is really the secret sauce, it really makes it so individual.
Katrina: Yeah, it’s everything. But can you make a lot of progress on your own to I think you can. And everybody comes to it, you know, from a different place, right? Some people need to get to that place where they go, okay, yeah, you know what, now I am ready for help. So that's really why I decided to do it.
And, I mean, talk about growth opportunities. I really have been like, wow, I must be really called to grow in a lot of ways because it's not been easy in the slightest. But it's also really exciting. It's fun to kind of hold both being like terrified and super excited and motivated to get the word out at the same time.
Priyanka: Yeah, and before we started recording we were talking about really like personal growth and identity shifts and going from one role to the next. And now you have a new hat, which is author. And you've mentioned on your podcast, you’ve mentioned, I'm trying to think of where else you’ve mentioned this, but that the process of writing this book was not exactly easy.
And I think you mentioned it's been, you've been writing now, how long have you been writing this book? Or when did you start?
Katrina: I started writing the proposal in the fall of 2019 and it's now in the fall of 2022. But it really does, because I decided to go with a traditional publisher and so I had to work on the proposal, get an agent, and they have to sell the book to a publisher. Then you write it and all this stuff. And it's just been, so much of it is just new and a lot of learning and like anything that is just so much learning, you're like, oh, I thought it would be this way. It's not, it's like that, you know?
And a lot of my fears were that I would end up with a book that maybe just was like not, I guess I just was worried that somehow it would not be a good representation of what I stand for in my work. And once the manuscript was done and accepted I was like, okay, you know what? I think we're going to be okay because I really do stand behind this book. And I think, I really think that this is the information that people need to get out there.
Of course, now, as I was just telling you, I just started recording the audiobook, like narrating the audiobook. And I'm like reading this book out loud and I was laughing with the director, and she's like, “Yeah, you're going to find parts of the book that you wish were different.” You know, like just little like I would rephrase that sentence, you know?
Priyanka: Right, right, right, t's like going back and editing it all over again.
Katrina: Exactly. It kind of feels like that except you're like, “Well, this is what we got.”
Priyanka: Yeah. When you think about those moments, it's like, I'm sure especially in any new endeavor, and now we're not just talking about a new project. We're talking about like a new, the hat of an author. When you imagine those moments that really did feel hard, like really hard, like borderline impossibility, what did you tell yourself in those moments to just keep going, to keep writing the next line, to take that next step?
Katrina: Yeah, yeah, that's a really good question. I can think of one time in particular where I was so stressed about it that I ended up actually having like a physical, like my shoulder and neck like started all seizing up. It took like a week to calm it all down, it was like true physical response. And, you know, because the thing is, is like at any point you can just give the advance back and just say, I'm done, like I'm not doing it, right? You really do have an out.
Priyanka: You can always quit.
Katrina: You can always quit. But what I really came back to is just remembering there are so many people out there who need this help. Like they're just waiting for someone, just like I had been waiting. I'm like, who's going to help me? I need some help.
Priyanka: Even with coaching, right? Even with creating your program, it was like you’re like pioneering this movement effectively, right?
Katrina: Yeah. And when I even started that I just thought, I think there's other doctors out there who want this help. I can't be the only one who's struggling like this. There's got to be other ones out there, I would imagine that they would be so happy to learn this information, right?
So seeing how much it's changed the lives of my physician clients, I mean, there's so many people out there who also could have similar or even more amazing results if they don't have as crazy a life as doctors do. So I think that's really what it came down to.
It's like impact, I think is really what it comes down to, it’s like these people need this. And I knew that I would regret it. You know, I think that's that inner high achiever where it's like, but am I really going to be pleased with myself a year, five years, 10 years from now that I quit?
Priyanka: Right? So you want to like really zoom out and think about like the long, it's like you're talking about the long game.
Katrina: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And if you think about doing the work to lose weight, it’s so similar, right? It gets hard, you want to quit, you just are like, what's the point? I don't even know why I'm doing this. It doesn't matter anyway. But then like in five years, 10 years from now, will you really be thinking that or will you be going you know what, I really wish I would have persevered and stuck with it?
And usually I find with something like that, we wish we would have stuck with it. And now, of course, I'm so glad I did. I mean to have your book sitting in front of you, it's just like so weird, with your name on it.
Priyanka: I mean I’m holding it. I’m holding it right here. I mean it has like your name and everything, it's very official.
Katrina: I know. It’s very weird, I know, but also really, really cool too. So I'm trying to do a better job of like celebrating and staying in the enjoyment of it. It's so easy for so many of us, right, to just be like, “Yeah, this is that thing I did. Okay, on to the next thing.” And that's why we're having a live event for our clients and trying to have like a party and have fun and enjoy it, you know, to just be with that sense of accomplishment.
Priyanka: How do you feel, because this is something that I have personally been getting coached on myself right now, is allowing success, allowing pride, and like giving yourself permission to feel pride and celebrate. How do you feel about that for you? Has that been something that you've struggled with? Or is that something that you just like put it on the calendar and it just happens?
Katrina: Well, for sure I was not raised to do that at all. For sure I was raised to just like you should achieve, you know, be a high achiever but don't tell anybody. Don't let anybody know that that happened, you know?
And so I think what's really helped is having a couple really good friends where we have that kind of relationship where it doesn't, I think I always worried that it would come across as I was bragging, or thinking that like, you know, I didn't want the other person to think that I was thinking that I was better than them, right? So then we downplay it for the sake of to like try to spare their feelings.
And I think when you can find even just one person that you can just be like, “Is this not the most incredible, most amazing thing?” And they're like, “Yes, I'm so excited for you.” And same way in the other direction too. That's when you really can, that's like that safe space where you know I really can revel in this accomplishment, in this excitement. And I don't have to worry that there's going to be some sort of backlash about it in the end. I think that's really helped.
But do I go around talking to everybody like that? No, I don’t.
Priyanka: Like I'm an author now.
Katrina: I don’t even call myself an author, I just say I wrote a book.
Priyanka: No, Katrina, okay, starting today you have to call yourself an author. Talk about an identity shift, you know? I mean, it really is a growth of our, like I really think about like this bubble that we have. And we all have some kind of outer limit to our identity, who we think we are, how we define ourselves.
And every little moment, whenever I can kind of bring in a new label, or bring in a new way of describing myself, it’s like letting that bubble grow just a little bit. And talk about impacting more people, right? The bigger you can allow your self-concept to be, and I'm saying this to myself and to everybody listening, the more that you can give yourself permission to take up space, to allow in more labels, to really let yourself expand. It's like the more you can touch the world and more people with this book, with this work, which is so huge.
Katrina: And the thing that I, what it always comes back to because it's easy sometimes to kind of be like, oh, why don't I just do like, you know, back in the day when everything was smaller and easier. But like it had its own sets of challenges back then too. But also, what I know about myself is that I love a challenge and if I'm not growing, things just become very stagnant and boring for me.
And so I guess it's not really like being an adrenaline junkie, but it's kind of like that in the sense that there's got to be some excitement. And when you sign up for that, there's going to be the highs and lows. So it's kind of like, well, right, you know? I was telling you before, sometimes I'm like, why am I even doing this? And I'm like, no, I know why.
Priyanka: Yeah, but I think what we've also kind of been touching on even like with having that one person, is like feeling safe. Feeling like a real deep sense of safety in putting ourselves out there.
And you, I think, are a prime example. You've been pioneering this movement, especially for physicians, weight loss, coaching, like the concept of coaching was like, “What is coaching?” before a few years ago, at least for me. And I think it's like, you know, you've put yourself out there now and that may also bring in other attention. Like I am your number one adoring fan, but I'm sure that there are people out there that are not.
Katrina: Yeah, that’s my terror about the book, is anything related to weight loss there are going to be people who aren't going to like it. And what I've really found is as much as I wish I were different, I'm very sensitive to negative feedback like that. And I think that's where so much of my people pleasing came from as a child. I mean, the worst thing in the world would be if someone told me they were disappointed in me as a kid, right? I mean, it was just like so hard.
And so, I've gone from trying to like thicken my skin and have it not bother me to instead just sort of embrace like, well, okay, this is me and how can I support myself when it's hard? But then at the same time, like should I have my nose in Amazon reviews every day? No, that's not going to be a good thing for me to do because, you know, they always say it takes like 10 positives to counteract the one negative. I'm like, no, I'm not even sure 1,000 positives counteracts the one negative for me. Like it still hurts. It's still stings And so I'm just kind of trying to meet myself where I'm at with that right now.
And just knowing like, yeah, you put yourself out there and people are going to have opinions and they're entitled to their opinions and that's great. And the people I'm going to focus on are the people who want my help. If you want my help, amazing.
Priyanka: And who want this.
Katrina: Yeah, exactly, because it's going to resonate with some people. And if it doesn't with others, amazing. I'm not saying this is the only way, it just is a way that I think a lot of people don't know about.
Priyanka: Right, and I was just talking about this on the podcast, you know, we have a proclivity to look at the negative bias. We have a natural tendency, and that's normal, all of us humans have it. I think some of us, me included, are maybe a little bit more sensitive to it. And this is my new story around it, I have a new story, which is, that just means that my survival instincts are super strong because I really am scanning for danger. I'm always scanning for the negative.
And I used to make myself really wrong about that, like, Priyanka, you know coaching, you should be able to change your thoughts and put a positive spin on this. And actually, no, I don't have to hide or like shush myself. I can just be like, oh, you just have this very active survival mechanism, which is to look at the negative. Okay, and I love you too and it's all good. We're okay.
Katrina: It's like moving toward acceptance of like, rather than resisting and thinking it shouldn't be, they’re going, well it is here. So, of course, when you have a brain like mine, that's going to come up, okay. And we can move into that, like when is this part going to pass?
I found that for myself with things like that, sometimes it's like, oh right, this is the part where, you know, it's like you're onto yourself and your stories. Like when I was losing weight, I'm like, oh wait, okay, this is the part where I'm super doubtful about that. So just let me let it pass for a minute and then I'll be ready to talk about it.
Priyanka: Yes. And I think this is actually such an important point, this idea that because of our human experience, anytime you're trying to create any, any goal, weight loss or writing a book, we are going to have moments that we have embarrassment, disappointment, shame, fear. And it's just totally okay. I can just plan for it in advance.
It's like talk about a protocol, right? You talk about creating protocols in this book, talk about having a protocol to create an emotional resilience knowing it's going to come and I can just not abandon myself like I have before, just be with myself there. And that, to me, is the harder work, it's really the harder work to do.
Katrina: It is harder, but what I personally have found is that when I'm willing to do it, it's less bad than I always expect it to be. Right? I always feel like it's going to be worse or believe that it's going to be worse than it ends up being. And that, I have actually now quite a bit of evidence to support. So if I can get myself to just go, you know what? Just be with it because you know it's not going to be as bad as you think it's going to be, then that can be a way of like, you know, getting yourself.
Priyanka: And even like detaching from it.
Katrina: Yeah, exactly. And I think that working with a coach can be such a great way to learn how to do that too, right? Because when you're working with a coach, you have this coming up for you, and then the coach can help, like can basically guide you through the process of doing that.
And then once you've done that enough times, you can kind of recreate that same experience for yourself. I mean, I know for myself, the people who taught it to me, then I could close my eyes and envision myself like sitting in this chair in front of the computer and hearing that voice talking me through it. And then eventually it becomes your own voice and then you're doing it for you.
So it's kind of like the training wheels, you know? Sometimes we think like, I should just be able to do it on my own. I think we don't want to underestimate how powerful the actual coaching experience can be. You know, it's not just knowledge, it's the actual application of it as well.
Priyanka: Right, it's like the real life implementation, because we don't see, it's almost like learning the skill of awareness. It's like, you have to have some guidance, at least I know I did because I had no idea how completely unaware I was of every little thing. I had no idea.
When you think about this book, because I felt like as I read it it had a lot of the cornerstone foundations that you teach in your program, definitely on the podcast. Do you feel like any part of your process has evolved over the past years? Like let's say somebody was a client of yours a few years ago, if they read this book, they would be like, “Oh wow, what's this thing?”
Katrina; Yeah, what’s different in it?
Katrina: I think it definitely would be more like built out, I guess, is the phrase that's coming to mind. I think just as I've grown and I've learned more, I think I've just understood, it's kind of like thinking at first that things are very, I don’t even want to say necessarily black and white and other shades of gray. It's almost more understanding that there's a whole spectrum of color in there.
And I think that when you first learn something it's so easy, I mean, even in medicine too, where just everything seems so obvious and like of course it's this. And then you start understanding, well, it doesn't actually always work that way, or here are some exceptions. Or just with experience understanding how to actually meet people where they're at. Rather than, okay, this is what we do.
It's kind of like, yeah, I can lead you through this process and most people will probably be able to do that right from the get-go. But it won't necessarily be right for everybody. And not making it like, oh, why can't you do it? But instead making it like, oh, interesting, okay, tell me more. Let's figure out what you do need first and what is going to be best for you. And it's probably going to just be variations on a theme of what I've already kind of laid out there.
But still kind of understanding like if we are creating this personalized eating plan for ourselves, you know, having a personalized way of losing weight makes sense as well, you know? Really understanding what it is that has caused the problem in the first place and then it’s just like back to our metaphor with the band aid, the overeating being the band aid. It's like not every wound is the same. You know what I mean? They're not all treated the same way.
It's like nuanced. There's more nuance to it and more again, yeah, meeting people where they're at and more just offering up like, hey, you might want to explore this, you might want to explore that. I think that's the difference.
Priyanka: Because I feel like this book definitely has the framework of what you need, right? It's like the plan and there is like, it's like the strategy and the mindset is addressed here. And then the question is, how do you make this your own? What you're teaching in this book, how does one reader who reads this, make it their own compared to somebody else?
And I 'm wondering whether you have, like if somebody picks up this book and starts reading it, how do they make this their own? How do they start implementing the tools here to individualize it to themself? What would you tell them?
Katrina: I mean, I think the very first thing, and I think I talk about this in chapter two, you know, just right away. Just starting to become curious, building awareness. You know, I notice that I'm eating this thing. And I'm not even saying don't eat it, I'm just saying like, hey, can we just create a little space there to get curious about maybe what's going on? I think that's really going to be the first steps of figuring out like what is happening for me? Let me just understand.
Actually, someone just yesterday said to me, “I've gained a lot of weight in the last several years. And it came on with pure pleasure and now it's pure pain.” And I thought to myself, she doesn't even realize, she thinks all that overeating was pure pleasure. And it wasn't, right?
There's this lack of awareness. And of course I didn't say anything, but it's like, right, that's the thing that you have to start to understand, is like if you're telling yourself like, oh, but it was all just so much fun, was it though? I'm not saying it wasn't, but I'm just saying maybe it wasn't like. Let's just be open to the idea, you know?
Priyanka: Yeah, and actually, people even say like, “Oh, it's so easy to gain the weight, but it's so hard to lose it.” And I think it applies to that too. It's not so easy to stuff down and ignore yourself, which is what we've done, it's just very practiced it. There's a total difference between the two. It's practiced. It is not actually easier to overeat, it's actually harder, but we have to see how that's so true.
Katrina: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And I think it takes being open to a mindset shift about that. So like I said, I mean, I think sometimes we do need a little structure or structure can be helpful for us, especially in the beginning to give us some guidance about what would be helpful for our bodies. And so I do provide that, really more as a suggestion. It's just kind of like, this is what I suggest you do and you're welcome to do it or not.
But offering that as sort of, it's kind of like the scaffolding. Like you're building something within that and then eventually, over time, you can take that off. So rather than looking at it like, I'm going to create this plan and then I have to eat that way the rest of my life. Instead looking at it like, well, I'm going to, for the foreseeable future, eat in this way because I figured out this way that's really supportive and works for me. But then I also know that things are going to change.
Our bodies can change, what works for us can change, we might develop some sort of medical condition or something where we can't eat that way anymore. And we have to know how to adjust and how to flow with that. Rather than just like the rigidity of it has to be this way.
It's kind of like I felt like that with Weight Watchers. It was like, here's your plan. Yeah, you get to pick what you eat, but you get this many points and like that's it. And when I saw how many points it was to maintain my weight loss, I was just like, yeah, no. Like no.
Priyanka: I used to eat these huge bowls, and I would put a lot of like spinach and lettuce, I’m like, oh, that's zero points. I mean, just talk about the mindset.
Katrina: Oh my gosh, I used to overeat vegetables like crazy out of fear that I'd be hungry later.
Katrina: Totally taught myself to overeat.
Priyanka: It’s like even in an attempt to lose weight. You know, when you think about like this book, so it's called How To Lose Weight For The Last Time. And you think about that person that has done this work, they've even done coaching in some flavor, they understand the mindset is the solution, but they've gained the weight back. Or they've gained weight back and they feel stuck or they have a lot of embarrassment, and disappointment, and even shame. What would you tell them about picking this book back up? Like picking this work back up. And they say, oh, but it didn't work for me.
Katrina: Yeah, right, exactly. I think the way that I would approach it is I would just suggest you don't do anything with your food to start with. Just let's not even think about that at all, let's focus on the other parts of just really understanding where were the gaps? Like what parts did we miss? I don't look at it like, “Oh, it didn't work.” I looked at it like, “Oh, there were just still some areas that need to be addressed. There's still something going on there.”
Let's try to figure out what that is. I mean, even just understanding what it is, is really helpful. Sometimes we might want to work on that first, before we even try to lose any weight. I mean, sometimes, and I just want to put this out there again because it is a possibility, you can just decide you don't want to lose more weight. Totally, that's completely valid and okay.
Priyanka: That’s right, we're saying that on this podcast talking about weight loss, like it's totally okay. Absolutely.
Katrina: That is totally true. It's just that so many people who are deciding I'm not going to lose weight anymore still have such a terrible way of taking care of themselves and thinking about themselves. The way they treat themselves is very poor, they're eating in ways that doesn't’ support their body, doesn't bring out the best in them.
So I'm like, look, absolutely, don't lose weight, but let's stop hating ourselves. Let's actually be our biggest cheerleader, our biggest supporter. Let's build that relationship with ourselves. Let’s love our bodies exactly as they are and then you can see what ends up happening. It could be that even by doing that you end up losing some weight, even because you didn't plan to.
And I don't even want to say that losing weight is always better or anything like that. I don't want to say that. It's just that for many of us, we know that if we're in a smaller body we just physically feel better, maybe we sleep better, we have better energy, we're just more comfortable being in the suit that we call home. And so we just prefer to live in that place.
That is very different than what your opinion is of yourself, how you treat yourself, how you talk to yourself and about yourself, how you make decisions about how to take care of yourself. That's a totally separate thing. And that work, I would just challenge and encourage everybody to do and then just figure out what size body you prefer to live in and then we can make that happen too.
Priyanka: Yeah. And I almost think of it as, you know, when you reach your goal weight and then you gain weight back, it's almost like that was never the end of the road. Like that when you lost the weight, and even when you reach, like I always refer to reaching our ideal weight, it's like whatever you want it to be that feels really magnetic for you, is not the end of the road.
It's kind of what we're talking about at the beginning of maintenance. It's just a part of our life's journey, and if you gained it back it's just because there was some other work that hadn't really happened. And can we give ourselves permission to not define the end of the road by a three digit number on the scale?
I think that so many of us, we get there like, oh, this is the end, and I gained it back. And so we make that a such a problem.
Katrina: It really has to be a shift in beliefs about what this process is and what we expect from it because it's just not the way we've ever thought about it before.
Priyanka: Yeah. If there's one thing you want someone to know about this book that we have not yet talked about, what would it be? Is there anything?
Katrina: You know, I really spend a good amount of time talking about how to process emotions. I think a lot of people really have that idea that, they're just like, “Okay, I get it, I'm supposed to feel instead of eat, but I don't know how to do that.”
Priyanka: That's right.
Katrina: And so, you know, I mean I could write a whole book on how to do that, so it's not like super in depth. And I think a lot of it really should be experiential. But to just give you a sense of like, this is what I'm talking about. A lot of people, I think I would have been like, “What do you mean process an emotion? I don’t really know what that means.”
Priyanka: That's right, absolutely, Yes.
Katrina: And it can take many, many forms. And so I really did, you know, spend a chapter going through and talking about different ways.
Priyanka: Yeah, and you gave so many modalities in this book that you can go through.
Katrina: Yes, lots of options. It's not going to be the same thing for everybody. Some people love writing and journaling, other people are like, that’s like torture, that's not going to be the thing I do. Great, okay, there's other things that can be done. And I think it's just good to know that that's a good resource in there.
Priyanka: Yeah, I even like highlighted this one piece, which totally ties into the emotional aspect of this book, which is, if you don't know why you overeat, stop overeating and you'll find out. I have a little star next to that because talk about knowing what your emotional work is. Sometimes we don't know, right? We don't even know what are the emotions that I need to process. It's stop doing the overeating and we'll just know in like about a day.
Katrina: It will become clear what you are dealing with. Exactly. Yeah, totally. And I just think that we don't have to go so all or nothing, you know? I think it's easy just to be like, look, you just need to not eat the food. And yes, not eating the food will probably help you lose weight faster if that’s something that you're wanting to do.
But another way of looking at it is like okay, well maybe that's too big of an ask to not eat it. But maybe what we can do is, you know, take 30 seconds before we eat it. Or maybe even a couple minutes. And what if we maybe even stretch that a little bit longer and then we reassess. Like do I actually still want to eat this? You totally can if you want to, but let's just see, maybe the desire has reduced because you've done all these these other things.
It's just meeting yourself where you're at with a lot of curiosity and being open to the experience being different. Don't decide in advance, “Oh, I know how this will go,” then you'll create whatever you think it's supposed to be. But you can really surprise yourself when you're open.
Priyanka: Absolutely. So how do we get this book? I have it because I just feel lucky. But yeah, where do we get this book? How do we get it? Tell us all the things.
Katrina: So it's available on September 20th, it's available at all booksellers. So Amazon, Barnes and Noble, independent booksellers as well, it's in all the places. And then there will be an audiobook as well for people who like to listen instead. And it's me narrating it.
Priyanka: I mean, which is going to be even extra fun. If you love the podcast, the audiobook is going to be, it's going to be everything.
So thank you, this was seriously such a good conversation. And it's also almost a conversation that I think needs to happen more around how women especially really, I think we have so many of these old thoughts, these old stories that are holding back these dreams that we have.
And that's really what this framework gives us. I think having this framework that you're providing in this book, what we do in coaching, it's giving us the tools and then we just get to decide how we're going to wield it to create that dream, which is the best.
Katrina: Yeah, I think just if you think about what would be possible for you in your life if you no longer were thinking about or struggling with your food and your weight, like just think about what that could create for you in your life. Not because you have to necessarily do more, it could be more rest time, you know? It could be, you know, something, but whatever it is, it could be something really, really positive for you. And I think the first step is understanding that it's possible for that really to no longer be this ever present struggle.
Priyanka: To even imagine that, I don't think when you start this work for the very first time that you can even imagine having your bandwidth not be occupied by food and by weight and all the things. And I think that that's the piece that you're talking about, right? That freedom that we were talking about, just really imagining what that could be like.
Katrina: Feeling like you can go to any event and it doesn't matter what food they serve because you're going to
Priyanka: You could vacation, have crazy kids.
Katrina: Go on vacation, it’s all good. Exactly, yeah, all the stresses, the ups and downs, and you're still good, you still know how to take good care of yourself. Yeah, so great.
Priyanka: So good, Katrina. I loved having you. This was so fun for me. And seriously, it felt like such a special moment because this is where I started my journey, was really with you as my very first coach, my very first mentor. And having you here has been truly so special for me.
Katrina: Well, it's an honor and I had so much fun. Thank you so much.
Priyanka: I love it, so good. Bye, Katrina.
If you found this conversation inspiring, if you feel yourself leaned into the work that we talked about today, I want you to know that I take you through this exact process inside my group called The Unstoppable Group. You can learn all about how to take the work we're talking about here from your ears to real life implementation. And you can learn all about it at theunstoppablemombrain.com/group. I cannot wait to see you next week.
Thanks for listening to Weight Loss for Unstoppable Moms. It's been an honor spending this time with you and your brilliant brain. If you want more information or resources from the show, visit theunstoppablemombrain.com.