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Conquer Your Weight

Episode #34: How Are You Thinking About Your Food?

Show Notes

February 22, 2023

In this week's episode, we'll discuss how our thoughts create our desire for food. The good news is that bringing awareness to these thoughts can help us to intentionally choose foods that serve us and our goals.

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Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: This is Dr. Sarah Stombaugh, and you are listening to the Conquer Your Weight Podcast, episode number 34. Announcer: Welcome to the Conquer Your Weight podcast, where you will learn to understand your mind and body so you can achieve long-term weight loss. Here's your host, obesity medicine physician and life coach, Dr. Sarah Stombaugh. Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: Hey everyone, thanks for joining me today. This week I want to share with you a funny story and then talk a little bit more about how all of this can play a role in our weight loss journey. So in the last couple of weeks here, my kids have been sick. We've had a couple of different colds going around, and then in the last week, all three of my kids actually have COVID, and they're doing pretty well. It's mostly just a nasty cold. They've got lots of congestion, lots of runny nose, lots of sneezing, coughing, and they're doing all right, but it's a little bit gross. And so we've been at home a lot. I've been trying to think of fun activities for them to do, and for Christmas, they had gotten a cookbook that is specifically designed for children and different recipes that are fun and easy for children to make. And I love bringing my kiddos into the kitchen. I am 100% the mom that has knives. There are children's safe knives that my kids will cut fruit with, and I'm always trying to engage them in the kitchen. So I came across a recipe for pigs in a blanket, which is basically whatever kind of brid dough rolled around, a hot dog or some variation of it. And so I decided to make them the way my grandmother always did growing up, which was Pillsbury Crescent rolls, and then those little, uh, cocktail weenies. So it's sort of mini pigs in a blanket. So we've been doing this over the last couple of weeks, and just this last week here, my kids and I, or at least the two boys, my two year old and four year old, and I were in the kitchen making pigs in a blanket. And we had the Pillsbury Crescent roll dough. I had the cocktail weenies, and they were rolling it up and were just really enjoying it. They, they're messy. They're not the most aesthetically pleasing, but they worked and they taste the same regardless of how they look. And the kids were loving it. So we were almost done rolling them all up. My kids, you know, have boogers running down their face. We've been washing our hands trying to do our best. And at the very end, my two year-old sneezed, and you could just see the spray, it was so gross. Just that spray of yuck from his face and just a fine mist the entire pan of pigs in a blanket. And the pigs in the blanket were specifically for the two year old and the four year old to eat. It wasn't planned for anyone else in our family to eat them. And so I was like, you know what? They're both sick. They both have COVID. They start going in the oven. I'm just making 'em. So I made them, they baked, they came out of the oven, and I served them to my children for dinner, which probably sounds gross, but they loved them. And I wasn't concerned about it, but it was so funny because I don't know, it's like kryptonite to me. I love Pillsbury Crescent rolls. And I think back to childhood memories. My mom would make them from time to time, usually on a special occasion, and I loved them. I could eat two or three or four, or honestly, probably the whole can if you would have let me. They were my absolute favorite. And so here they are sitting on the oven. We had made some with the little cocktail weenies in them and some just plain crescent rolls on their own, and I'd see them be like, Ooh, I just wanna grab one. And I'd have this moment of like, oh, yeah, and then I would remember that really gross spray from my son sneezing on them. And I was like, oh, nope. I definitely do not want to eat that. And it, funnily enough happened a couple of times where I'd almost go to reach for it and then have that moment where I was like, oh, yeah, no, not interested in having that. So I wanted to share this as, as an example of how our thoughts drive what we think about food, because sometimes we act as if the food item is just inherently irresistible to us, but it's really not about the food. It's about our thoughts about the food that end up creating our cravings and our desires. And often that pathway is nearly automatic, and it's this subconscious or unconscious thing that's happening because we've had that same thought pattern so many times before in the past, like these crescent rolls, I'm embarrassed to admit just how much I love them. I don't even usually buy them because I don't tempt myself. But the reality is there is nothing about those crescent roll that make them so desirable. Rather it's about me and my thoughts about them. Because if I see a crescent role and I have a thought like, wow, that looks so good, it ends up creating desire, and I might act on that desire. But you can imagine that someone else has totally different thoughts about those same crescent roles. Like, oh, yuck, Pillsbury crescent rolls. Those are packed with preservatives, gross. And they might feel indifferent to it. They might feel disgusted by it. But those emotions of indifference or discuss do not drive that person to eat the roll. So similarly, when my son had sneezed on this whole pan of them, it made me think differently about them. And so even when I'm looking at them after they've baked in the oven, they looked completely the same. So I had that initial inclination like, Ooh, a Pillsbury crescent roll. But as soon as I remembered, it was like, Ugh, nope. I remember that spray and I felt disgusted. And with that place, I had no desire for the crescent rolls. And so what is the solution here? Do we just have our kids sneeze all over the foods we're trying to minimize in our diet? You know, that might work, but more realistically, let's think about awareness and bringing awareness to these situations. So we realize that the desire it's coming from you and your brain, not from the food itself. And the really good news there is if it's coming from you and your brain, that means it's something that you can change. And you're unlikely to be able to just flip a switch and change that automatically. You can't easily just plug in a new thought that's gonna make you feel disgusted, but you might be able to bring in another thought that just gives you pause. So for example, a thought like this, food doesn't serve my goals for myself, gives you that opportunity to pause and then to make a conscious decision. And the desire may still be there, but recognizing that the desire is coming from this pathway in our brain of having made that same choice dozens or maybe even hundreds of times before coming from our primitive brains that are thinking about our immediate desires and not about our long-term goals. And so when we can stop and pause and reflect on our long term goals, we can ask ourselves what foods align with those goals? And how are you going to handle it when you're faced with foods that don't align with those goals for yourself. If you'd like some help setting goals like this for yourself, come on over to my website at That's S-A-R-A-H-S-T-O-M-B-A-U-G-H-M-D dot com. Go ahead and fill out the form on the individual visits page if you live in Illinois or Virginia. I would love to see you for a free 30 minute meet and greet. Visit, and we can decide if you'd be a good fit for my telemedicine based weight loss practice. If you live in another state, I would love to help get you connected with a board certified obesity medicine physician who can help you out. Thank you so much for joining me today. I'll see you next week. Bye-bye.
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