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Conquer Your Weight

Episode #55: How Gratitude Can Help You Lose Weight

Show Notes

November 22, 2023

In this week's episode, we're celebrating Thanksgiving and talking about the role gratitude can have in your weight loss success. Learning to focus on the positives in your life can be such an important tool in reducing the urge to stress eat.

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Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: This is Dr. Sarah Stombaugh and you are listening to the Conquer Your Weight Podcast, episode number 55. 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, thank you so much for joining me today. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about all of the things for which I am grateful this year and help you to have that framework for yourself as well and talk about the role that gratitude can have in our weight loss journey because interestingly, having that gratitude can be such an important mindset shift that can help us to navigate away from unhealthy eating behaviors. So I want to dive more into that. Before we get into today's episode, I want to invite you to come and join my medical practice. If you live in Illinois or Virginia where I am licensed to practice medicine, there is no better time to get started on your weight loss journey than right now. We are going into the holidays. It is always a crazy time of year. Many of us gain 2, 3, 4, 5 or more pounds, and how amazing would it be if that was not your experience this year that you had a plan, that you had the support to know that you were going into the holiday season. You're not going to gain weight and maybe even you're going to lose weight. So if that is something that you're interested in, I have some spots open in my practice and I would love to see you. The best way to get in touch with me is at my website. It's It's, and fill out the form on the individual visits page. I do a 30 minute free meet and greet visit with any potential patients. It's an opportunity to hear about your story, for me to tell you a bit about my medical practice, and it is totally low pressure. And so if you're coming in thinking like, oh, it's going to be all salesy, I'm here to say it is not. It is just you and me learning if this is an experience that will be a good fit for both of us. Honestly, if I feel like if you come in and it is not going to be the right fit for my practice, no big deal, we will go our separate ways. My goal is for you to find the support that is going to work best for you so you can have success in your weight loss journey. And if that would be with me, excellent, but if that would be with someone else, I might even, and I have even referred people to other physicians or to other programs. So that is also an option. So if you've been thinking about it, go ahead and reach out on my website. I would love to connect with you and start working together. Today we are talking about gratitude and I wanted to share, I am so grateful for you, my listener, for my patients, for my family and friends, and talk a little bit about that. It is a family tradition in the Roszhart family, that's my maiden name, to go around the table and talk about what we are thankful for. And my family is probably getting sick of me announcing pregnancies. I will tell you this year I do not have a pregnancy to announce, but we've had a few summer, early fall babies, and so at Thanksgiving, that has been really the perfect time to announce that. This year there are no babies on the horizon, but I am seeing my practice grow and I am so grateful for that. This year has been huge changes in my practice really launching here in Virginia. I have a new in-office space in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Some of my patients really want to be able to see someone in person, and I wanted to be able to offer that. So I am seeing some people in person now, still seeing a lot of my people virtually, which I also love, and that has been so fun. I've gotten to grow in the Charlottesville community, get to meet a lot of the other local small businesses and my neighbors, and that has been excellent. So I want to say thank you to all of my listeners, to all of my patients, especially in the last couple of months. There's been a few big changes in my practice. So for everyone who has had patience with me, thank you so much. It has been excellent. I have also been lots of changes on the home front. Many of you know we bought a house at the beginning of this year, and so moving into that space, turning our house into a home, settling in with our family has been really wonderful. So you might be wondering why I am talking to you about these important things in my life, why I'm sharing this gratitude, these wins with you. And it's because taking the time to reflect on our wins, on the things for which we are grateful can have such a meaningful impact on our attitudes, on our approach to life, which impacts our weight loss journey in such a significant way. I remember the first time I heard of daily gratitude practice, and I was like, what soft nonsense is this? Daily gratitude practice is the practice of at least once per day, intentionally stopping to reflect on the things for which you are grateful. And it's interesting because our mind has a negativity bias. Our mind very easily recalls the negative things that have happened to us. You can imagine that this is a survival or protective mechanism. What it doesn't always focus on right away is all of the positive things that have happened. And so if we don't stop to acknowledge them, it's interesting how they can pass by sort of undetected, and we really get stuck in this place of negativity. So especially for those of us who identify as stress eaters, it can have such a negative impact also then in our weight. So you can imagine a cycle that happens of having a bad event that happens to you. You're having a lot of negative thoughts and feelings about that. And when we are having negative thoughts and feelings, it drives us to maybe overeating or making food choices that are not in line with our health goals for ourselves. And it can be really hard to feel like, well, this is my coping mechanism. Of course I'm going to turn towards food because it's a stressful time, and it creates a cycle where over and over again we're stressed, we're turning to food, we're stressed, we're turning to food. So part of that is learning to break that cycle, and that's one of the things that I do with my patients very often. But part of it also is learning. How do I just not feel so stressed all the time, regardless of what's going on in your life, regardless of how many terrible things have happened or haven't happened, what are the really good things? So I would like to encourage you certainly for Thanksgiving to stop and reflect on the things for which you were grateful, but even at a more frequent basis, even every single day, to sit down and reflect on what are the things I am grateful for? And it's really interesting, even on the days that are hard and frustrating and you feel like nothing good has happened, when you can train your mind to get into that habit of always looking for something positive, I promise you, there is something positive there. I promise you, even when it feels like it's not something huge, it might not be to you, but it may be in the grand scheme of things. Let me give you an example because I'm talking sort of hypothetically at our dinner table. We like to do daily gratitude practice, and it's a really nice way to hear from everyone in the family what are the best things that happen to them in the day. And we usually phrase it that way because we're looking for feedback from a five-year-old and a three-year-old in this conversation. And so we're hearing about playing at school or an art project at school or music class or something like that. Usually something pretty basic. And we try to come up with three positive things that happened in our day. And even on the days where I'm super grumpy and I feel like nothing positive has happened, when I stop and dig, I can always come up with something, even if it's sort of begrudgingly, like I'm grateful that I'm having dinner with my family. And actually, that's true. I am grateful that I'm having dinner with my family, that I'm working in a job that allows me to be home at the dinnertime hour. Now that I'm self-employed, I am choosing to be home for dinner for a bedtime routine. I am rarely called away for those things because they are so important to me. And so, yeah, I truly am grateful that I get to have dinner with my family or I'm grateful when I go to the grocery store that I can afford raspberries and blackberries food is insanely expensive right now. Berries have always been one of the most expensive fruits, and especially in the food environment that we're seeing right now where food has gotten ever more expensive, I am really grateful that I can go to the grocery store and decide to buy raspberries and blackberries and foods that are more expensive without having to worry if I can afford it. When I get to the checkout line, I know that it will go through on my credit card. It seems like a minor thing at this stage of my life, but I'm actually really grateful that that is the case. And so even on the days that are negative, even on the days where it feels like I can't come up with anything good, I promise you there is something there, even if you have to feel like digging for it. And the fun thing that happens is that as you get into this practice of doing this over and over again, seeing the things that are positive in your life, it starts to shift your mindset to become a more positive person, to be a more glass half full person where you were not always automatically going to the negatives, but there's intentional seeking out of the positives. And then when you're feeling less stressed, you're less commonly turning towards food, turning towards alcohol, turning to some of those behaviors that you're really trying to decrease in your life, and it can happen on its own organically because you are feeling more positive and less stressed about your life. So if it's not something that you do, I want to challenge you to take the time, certainly tomorrow for Thanksgiving, but even as a daily practice, what are the things for which you are grateful? What are the wins that you've had? Reflecting on those is going to help shift your mindset in such a positive way, and you'll start to see how that impacts not just your weight, but your entire life. If this is something you would like help with, I would love to work with you through this. Go ahead and reach out on my website at I'm accepting new patients right now, and I would love to work with you. Thank you so much for joining me today. Happy Thanksgiving. I'll see you all next week. Bye-Bye.
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