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Conquer Your Weight

Episode #23: You Can't Hate Yourself Thin

Show Notes

August 24, 2022

In this week's episode, we're going to talk about losing weight from a place of love. Weight loss is not about the end goal, it's about the process. You are going to learn how to understand your mind so you can learn how to lose weight from a place of love and achieve permanent weight loss. For more information, please visit my website


Dr. Sarah Stombaugh: This is Dr. Sarah Stombaugh and you are listening to the Conquer Your Weight Podcast, episode number 23. 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. This week we are going to talk about losing weight from a place of love, but before we do that, I do wanna share with you all my recipe for the turkey feta meatballs that I mentioned a couple of episodes ago. I actually had a couple of people reach out and ask for the recipe, and I love you all so much that I did actually come up with a recipe for you in the last week, probably last two weeks. Now, I've taken my pregnancy preparation a bit more seriously. I finally went out and bought a pack of newborn diapers. I also ordered a couple of onesies for our little girl, so she's not stuck exclusively wearing some pilling blue onesies from our storage unit. And I also decided to make a couple of meals to have in the freezer for after she is born. So I made those turkey feta meatballs again, and this time I attempted to actually use some measuring utensils so that you can recreate them if you'd like to. And I feel like I need to say this, but play around with the recipe a bit. Every time I make the recipe it's a little bit different, mostly because I use what I have on hand and I don't measure. And meatballs are notoriously forgiving. You can add in a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and they still turn out wonderfully. So here goes, I buy my organic ground turkey from Costco and they sell it in packages that are one and a half pounds each. So just keep that in mind when I make it. I'm making a slightly larger quantity, and so you might need to adjust your recipe. Most grocery stores will sell it in one pound packages, but see what you have, adjust your recipe or don't. They're probably still going to be delicious. And I want to share with you all the key secret ingredient, which is zucchini and hear me out on this. The difference between a delicious meatball and a dry or crumbly meatball is usually the fat content. And for that reason, if you look at a traditional Italian meatball, for example, most people will recommend using ground beef with a higher percentage of fat. And a lot of recipes actually combine beef and pork together to help achieve a really delicious and waste meatball. But when you're making turkey or chicken meatballs, because poultry has a naturally lower fat content, you want to find a way to replicate that moisture so that you're not eating dry crumbly meatballs. And I prefer to use graded vegetables to achieve this goal. So for this recipe, I used a graded zucchini and I use just my box cheese grater on the smallest setting to shred one whole zucchini. And then this is the most important step afterwards, you wanna wrap it up in paper towels and really squeeze out all of the excess water because you want moist meatballs, but you don't want wet meatballs, which just sounds really, really disgusting. So trust me, please squeeze out the zucchini or whatever vegetable you're using. If you don't have a zucchini on hand, you do wanna add a little bit of extra fat. And so maybe a tablespoon or two of olive oil can be really helpful. Grated carrot works really nicely too, but it doesn't end up fitting the Greek meat, the Greek meatball vibe I'm going for in this recipe. But as an aside, it can be a really great option, especially for beef or pork meatballs if you wanna use a lower fat content and still get that moisture grated carrot is a really great way to do that. Alright, so after that, let's get back to the recipe. So I use one and a half pounds of ground turkey, one grated zucchini that I've thoroughly squeezed in paper towels to remove that excess water about a third cup of finely diced red onion, three cloves of minced garlic, two tablespoons, a fresh or dried parsley, whatever you have on hand. I like to chop that really finely. One cup of crumbled feta cheese, three quarters cup of breadcrumbs, one egg salt and pepper to taste. And then you're just going to mix that all together til it's thoroughly combined. And then scoop it up. And you can use an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop to help get even sizes. And you want to use your hands to roll it into similarly sized meatballs. And then you want to use some sort of baking sheet with an edge. So either lined like a cookie sheet with an edge around it or a nine by 13 baking dish because there is going to be some juice runoff and you don't want that all over the bottom of your oven. Trust me, I like to line my cooking sheet, whatever you're using with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier, spray it with cooking spray. And then depending on how much turkey you started with, you might need two pans. For my one and a half pounds of ground turkey, I always have to use two pans and the meatballs won't spread too much. But I do recommend to leave probably about an inch or so of space between them because one, they do spread a little bit. And two, it helps with faster cooking. You want to bake them at 375 degrees for as long as it takes to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. And honestly, this is just going to depend on the size of your meatballs. I generally try to make sort of standard size meatballs, which are probably about one and a half inches in diameter. And that takes about 20 minutes for me to cook at 375. If the meatballs are too large, it just takes longer to cook, which isn't a problem, you just have to plan for that. And if you don't have a meat thermometer, I'd recommend to buy one in this recipe though. You can take a meatball out of the oven, cut it in half, make sure that there's no pink in the center to tell you that it's completely done. But you also don't wanna overdo it 'cause that can be a reason that you can have dry meatballs as well. So if you don't have a meat thermometer, put that on your list to buy eventually. And this recipe makes a lot of meatballs with the one and a half pounds of ground turkey. It ends up making about 30 meatballs for us, which we eat for dinner one night, and then I'll eat for lunch for a few more days afterwards. I am . I'm seriously, seriously obsessed with these meatballs. They are great with tzatziki sauce. You can either make that on your own or buy it pre-made from the grocery store, which is usually pretty good. I almost always serve it with a salad. It could be any type of salad. It might make sense to do a Greek salad. I will usually make a lettuce list salad. I don't tend to love lettuce, so I make a lot of salads with things like cucumbers, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, kalamata olives, maybe a little bit of orzo pasta if you're not limiting carbs, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. And you can play around with this recipe as well. Sorry, I'm not gonna give you an exact recipe, but if you Google Greek salad or even like a tabouli or something, that can be a really excellent side dish for this. And there you have it. So I hope you enjoy some Greek turkey feta meatballs. Let me know if you enjoy them because they are one of my absolute favorite meals and I'm so happy to share that recipe with you all. So let's dive into this week's episode about losing weight from a place of love. If it sounds too woo woo for you, please, please hear me out because this is honestly one of the most important things for long-term success with weight loss. You cannot hate yourself then you might be able to, but it's not going to stick. So often when we struggle with our weight, we think that weight loss is going to be the key to our happiness. But here's the thing that's not true. I know you think I'm wrong, but seriously, thickness does not equal happiness. And you know how I know there are so many thin people who are unhappy and you might be thinking, no, no, Dr. Stombaugh, those are other people. Once I'm thin, I will finally be happy. But the thing is, you're wrong. If you're unhappy now, you're probably going to be unhappy when you're thin. The good news though is that the opposite is true too. You can learn to be happy now and you can learn to experience that love regardless of your body weight. I'm gonna repeat that because it's so important. You can experience love for yourself regardless of your body weight. This is so important and I cannot emphasize it enough. This is amazing news because it means that you can learn how to love yourself where you are and then choose to lose weight from a place of love. And you might be thinking, why does it matter if I've achieved weight loss? Does it matter how I got there? Yes. And here's why. Because weight loss is a process. It's not about the end result because there really is no end result. You're not submitting a work project that you finish, you email off and you never have to look at again. Your body is a fluctuating biological system and everything you eat and drink or stress about or take a medication for is going to impact your body every day. You step on the scale, you will see a number and that number is likely temporary. It might be a little bit lower if you've been working on weight loss, it might be a little bit higher if you've recently been on vacation and ignoring your food plan. But regardless of the number, you don't just hit your weight goal and then you're good. You hit your weight goal and you must continue to follow a long-term plan in order to maintain your weight loss. One of the biggest things I run into with my patients and my clients is that many of them are good at losing weight. I'm not sure if Mark Twain actually said this, but he's credited to have said, giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times. And weight loss can be the exact same for a lot of people. Losing weight isn't the issue, it's maintaining the weight loss. So we come back to what your weight loss journey looks like. It's not about the goal itself, it's about the process that gets you there. And that's why loving yourself is so important. Imagine work, and imagine you have a boss who's kind of a jerk. They're rude, they demean you, they belittle you in front of other employees, and this will be a topic for another day. You still have an opportunity to make that mean whatever you want, but chances are it doesn't feel that great to have someone talk to you that way and treat you that way. And you might complete your work projects, but it feels pretty crummy along the way. If you compare that to a boss who is enthusiastic and kind and supportive, they can still give you feedback, but they'll sit down to work on issues privately and you can tell that it's coming from a place of genuine care and desire to help you and your career. Working underneath a boss like that feels really good. Not only do you complete the bare minimum requirements, but you're inspired to work above and beyond. You feel good about the work you're doing and you want to contribute as much as possible. Now, let's look at the same example, but imagine that you're both the boss and you're the employee and the goal is weight loss. Are you a kind, loving and supportive boss, or are you rude and demeaning? Think about the thoughts you have about yourself throughout the day. Do you look at yourself in the oom meeting and think, oh wow, my hair looks really nice today. Or do you instead think something like, Ugh, look at me. I'm such a fat, disgusting slob. Hurtful thoughts like this are so common. Whether we're talking about weight loss or anything else, we're often our own worst critics. And not in a good way. We can be so, so mean to ourselves. And if anyone else spoke to you like that, you'd keep your distance from that person. You would not want them to be a part of your life. But what happens when that person is you? Do you want to try to change from a place of hatred? And these are the type of thoughts that we don't just get to flip a switch and change automatically. We can't go from, I hate myself to, I love myself, but the first thing we need to do is ask ourselves, am I doing this from a place of hatred? And if so, why has this worked for me in the past? What makes me think it will work for me in the future? Imagine your journey to weight loss. Imagine that it could be a positive experience. Imagine that you could give yourself love and grace but not tolerate bss excuses along the way. Imagine that you could be happy and love yourself right now. And from that place you can choose to lose weight and keep it off forever. You can't wait for happiness. You can't make it dependent on some future goal because oftentimes we achieve the goal and it doesn't feel as good as we expect it to. And I'm not saying achieving your goals doesn't feel good, but if you're counting on, I'll be happy when you know, like, I'll be happy when I'm thin. I'll be happy when I get a new job. I'll be happy when I buy a bigger house. I'll be happy when I finish medical residency. Chances are you won't. These life events happen and there's no big magical switch where all of a sudden life is dreamy and wonderful. And you quote have it all, it's called the arrival fallacy. The arrival fallacy gives allusion to the fact that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness. And we know that's not true, but it's so common for us to feel this way. And the reason it feels so stinking bad is that we're always dependent on something external to us to feel good. We've talked about life coaching model before, and remember that we have circumstances that happen in our life. A circumstance is a completely neutral event until we think about it. And once we have a thought about it, it causes a feeling in our body which drives the actions we take and ultimately the results we get in our lives. And when we're dependent on a new car or a new house or a new job or weight loss to be happy, we're banking all of our happiness and our emotional wellbeing on some external circumstance happening to us. A coach said this to me the other day in a completely different circumstance. It was in business coaching and it really resonated with me. Using circumstances to create your feelings is never going to feel good. And it's so funny because that's literally the entire point of life coaching that the exact thought process like that has been relayed to me hundreds or thousands of times before. But something about the exact wording or the timing of it or my openness to hearing something really clicked. I'm gonna say it again. Using circumstances to create your feelings is never going to feel good. The only reason we ever feel anything is because of the thoughts we're having. There are certainly circumstances in our life that are more likely to drive positive thoughts and thus drive positive feelings. But when we leave all of our happiness up to a circumstance, it feels really disempowering because it means our emotional wellbeing isn't, is tied to an external event happening to us. So even if the circumstance is one that's more likely to drive positive thoughts and feelings, we've still given up our power. We're still waiting on someone or something else to make us feel good. And I want you to think about this in the context of weight loss. Let's say you weighed 200 pounds and your goal is to weigh 140 pounds. You've been working on weight loss and you stepped on the scale this morning and it read 190 pounds. What does that make you think and feel? One person might have thoughts like, wow, I've lost pounds. What I'm doing is working. And when they are thinking those thoughts, they might feel motivated. And a person with thoughts and feelings like this is likely to take actions that continue to reinforce their weight loss journey. Another person might have thoughts like, Ugh, only 10 pounds. I've been working so hard. Why can't I lose weight faster? I'm never gonna lose all this weight. And when they start thinking thoughts like that, they might feel discouraged. And a person with these thoughts and feelings is likely to take actions that impede their weight loss journey. They might eat off their food plan or overeat. And let's take that same person. They weigh 194, or excuse me, 190 pounds before they left for vacation. And on vacation, they decided, I'm not gonna follow my food plan. I want to quote relax. They come back from vacation, they step on the scale and it reads 194 pounds. The first person might have thoughts like, oh man, I guess I didn't realize how well my food plan was working for me. I had better get back to it. And when they're thinking thoughts like this, they feel reinvigorated and they continue to reinforce their weight loss journey. Another person though might have thoughts like, Ugh, this sucks. Can't I just have a little fun? What's the point? Anyway? And those type of thoughts drive feelings like resentment and a person with those thoughts and feelings, take actions that impede their weight loss journey. They might decide that weight loss just isn't worth it and give it up completely. But the thing is, a number is just a number. There is nothing about 190 pounds or 194 pounds or any weight that means anything. It's a completely neutral circumstance that we interpret with our thoughts and how we choose to think about it determines everything that happens. From there, we can choose to be intentional about responding from a place of love to intentionally ask ourselves, what would be the most loving way I could respond to this situation? And again, that doesn't mean you need to excuse BS behavior. If you ate off your food plan and you gained weight, you don't have to think it's okay, sweetie. You'll do better next time. You can instead think, wow, I'm really learning and reinforcing what works for me. Let's make a plan for how I can better handle the situation next time. When we learn this, we learn to have power over everything in our lives, whether it's weight loss or anything else. We experience empowerment and freedom because we aren't reliant on anyone or anything outside of us to our feeli our feelings. We realize that only our brains are in charge of our thoughts, and that drives our entire experience of life. Thank you all for joining me today. If you want help with this work, please reach out to me at my website at I'd love to connect with you to help you better understand your mind so you can achieve long-term weight loss. See you all next week. Bye-bye.
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