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How to fix your relationship with food | Amy Freinberg-Trufas

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Food is an important part of our lives, but many times we end up with a very bad relationship with food. This dysfunctional relationship is very hard to change. In her book, Food: Eat with Ease Every Day, Amy Freinberg-Trufas shows us how to approach this with self-love and self-compassion.


Let's Say Hello

[00:01:12.910] – Allan

Hello, Ras. How are things?

[00:01:15.190] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:17.480] – Allan

Doing okay. I guess as this comes out, we'll be hitting the prime of tax season. And today I went ahead and said, okay, well, I got a new computer. I'm going to go ahead and move my files over and start my tax return because I got my accounting done for this and that I can't find my tax file from last year. So I'm a little bit of a freak out as we came into this call of I can't lose that file. It should be backed up somewhere. So hopefully that was backed up. I know my head backup is going. So I just got to go back somewhere and find something in the history and say, okay, Where's this file? Because it has to be out there somewhere. But it's not on my hard drive. And when I open up the old TurboTax, it doesn't find the file I filed with them. So I don't know, I don't do the online thing. I've always had it on my desktop because I don't always again, not always having connectivity. Sometimes web based apps are just not all that cool. Sometimes I just like having the application on my computer because again, if I went out there and tried to open up an old year's tax return, they'd say, oh, this is an old year.

[00:02:26.940] – Allan

You can't whatever. I like having the application on my computer. And I've been using TurboTax forever, so I should have all those returns. But we'll see what I got to do. I may have to request a transcript from the IRS just to do my damn taxes.

[00:02:42.970] – Rachel

Well, I hope it shows up. I'm sure it'll turn up somewhere.

[00:02:46.000] – Allan

Yes. How are things up there?

[00:02:47.870] – Rachel

Good. Spring is here, getting busy this season. My son graduates from College. And so we're planning all those types of celebrations. And it's really a beautiful time of year up here.

[00:03:00.340] – Allan

All right. Yeah, you showed I saw some pictures on your Facebook frogs and whatnot things that are coming out of there all of hibernation.

[00:03:10.630] – Rachel

They're all defrosting right now.

[00:03:13.450] – Allan

Frog man. I'd so be going south. They have it so made down

[00:03:18.910] – Rachel

Yeah, that's for sure. Yes. Beautiful. A lot of new animals are coming through. The birds are migrating. It's really a fun time of year to be outside.

[00:03:28.690] – Allan

Enjoy all six weeks of it.

[00:03:32.170] – Rachel


[00:03:33.430] – Allan

And in about a week or so, you're going to be doing your run. I mean, I think we're listening to this. You've done it probably, I guess, or you're close to doing it and then you're going to be on your way back. And so we'll know more. But you're in your taper.

[00:03:49.990] – Rachel

Yes, in the taper taking the mileage down, but not the intensity. And I've got a meeting with my coach coming up to talk about goals. I've surpassed what I had expected. So my five hour goal is pretty much in the bag. I just need to maybe tune into a better time goal, I think for me. So it should be interesting to have that conversation.

[00:04:13.570] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Well, so you'll have your pacing down and all that and kind of know a plan going into the right.

[00:04:19.580] – Rachel

Yeah, I'll have a race plan, hopefully in the next week or so.

[00:04:22.880] – Allan

Cool. Well, we'll talk about it next time we're on and we can get into your well, next time we're actually going to record two episodes and then the following time. So it will be a few weeks before you hear how Rachel did on her trial. Five hours is the goal. She's going to blow that out of the water, I'm pretty sure, but

[00:04:41.990] – Rachel

I hope so.

[00:04:42.840] – Allan

You will.

[00:04:43.790] – Rachel

That's the plan.

[00:04:45.490] – Allan

Don't play courts. Yeah. But anyway, we'll talk about it in a few weeks.

[00:04:52.280] – Rachel

All right. Great.

[00:04:53.310] – Allan

Are you ready to get into a conversation with Amy?

[00:04:56.120] – Rachel



[00:05:37.150] – Allan

Amy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:40.100] – Amy

I'm so happy to be here, Allan. Thank you. Thrilled.

[00:05:43.130] – Allan

So your book, Food, one of my favorite topics, Food: Eat with Ease Every Day. Like you, I'm kind of a foodie, too. I love food and it's a big part of my life as well. I love cooking. I love having that as a part of my life. And for you it was. But then it became kind of a darker part of your life. We're going to get into that in a bit about what you went through a little bit. And some of the feelings and things that you had around food and dieting and exercise and all the stuff we're told, just move more, eat less kind of conversations and why that wasn't necessarily the way you needed to do this. And I think the message that you're going to bring out that you brought out in this book is a good message for a lot of people to hear.

[00:06:30.730] – Amy

Wonderful. Yeah. I'm a foodie, too. I love food. And I think one of the things that was so difficult was as a child, some of the things I went through, I turned to food to move through it. It was the only thing I had that was consistent, that I felt like I was in control of that was, quote, there for me all the time, no matter what. But what happened over time was constantly turning to food brought more problems, which for me was severe obesity, body pain, not being well, not being strong in my body. And then internally I say in the book, the bigger I got on the outside, the more I shrunk on the inside. Until honestly, I was a shadow of myself, trapped in a huge body, saying no when i desperately wanted to say yes and just not showing up the way I want to show up. And I know that's such an overused term now showing up. But for me, that truly was it, because I was just saying no to things. And Amy inside was like, please, I wish I could do that. I wish I could water ski.

[00:07:32.150] – Amy

I wish I could put on a bathing suit and go to the beach. I wish I could say yes. I don't know if the movie seat is going to be too tight on my hips. These are all things. That's how bad it got for me, so that I was just completely retreated within myself. And then there was always food. So I think Irene Pace summed it up really beautifully in the forward. She's a nutritionist. When she said what had once been adaptive for me and brilliant because it helped young Amy get through difficult things, ultimately became maladaptive. And she was quick to say, that doesn't mean we're bad or broken. It means in a way, we're brilliant. So I thought that was such a beautiful way to start the book because so many of us live with this hyperactive critic just beating us down all the time. And if you think about it as a moment of brilliance that got you through so that you're here today to make a new decision, it's really pretty powerful.

[00:08:31.810] – Allan

It is. I really want to ask you the question about the gorilla and your mother and the child.

[00:08:41.330] – Amy

You're the first person who brought that up. And I knew when I dropped that I was like, someone is going to ask me about this.

[00:08:49.130] – Allan

If you want to talk about it, we can. I've got another direction. We can go. We can talk about it offline or whatever. So.

[00:08:55.570] – Allan

Yeah, go ahead

[00:08:56.820] – Amy

tell the story?

[00:08:57.900] – Allan

Yes, please.

[00:08:58.870] – Amy

Okay. My mother was kind of a tough customer, and she took a bunch of us to a local game farm. That was, I think, by today's standard, probably illegal. There were like, Panthers there roaming around with basically a dog leash. They were riding around on the back of sort of like half car, half trucks with a little rope. And she brought a bunch of us kids. And I think I was six or seven, and my best friend's little brother was five. And they had this chain link fence with a full grown male gorilla inside and pulley system. So you dropped you pulled like a clothesline pulley system. You pulled the bucket. There was a bucket hanging off of it. You pull the bucket over to you. You dropped the food in. And the gorilla was so smart that it pulled the pulley back. It ate the food out of it. And that was the fun. Well, my friend's little brother somehow got up on the chain link fence and leaned his head over it so that the chain link was here somehow the rope got slipped behind his neck and the gorilla started pulling.

[00:10:12.590] – Amy

And what that did was trap him in between the chain link fence and the rope behind his neck. And he was hanging there. He wasn't dead or dying at that moment, he wasn't, but he was definitely in distress and he was definitely stuck. And then the gorilla started pulling, and then he was in big trouble. His face was red. He was hanging off the ground. He was literally trapped there. And my mother dropped what she was doing ran over. There was no help because this was like a really makeshift outfit here. And I remember her, she had long fingernails and she got natural. She got her fingernails under the rope between the rope and my friend little brother's skin. So she had to use so hard that she did scratch him and it did bleed. But she got just enough room between his skin and that rope. And she pulled and the gorilla started pulling and she pulled and he pulled and she pulled. And she got open enough that Kyle dropped to the ground while she was PO. She was furious. So she took Kyle and she went to the owner's office. And it really is kind of like a funny image.

[00:11:20.600] – Amy

And I still remember it. He had, like a Safari outfit on these big alligator skin boots, and he has them up on his desk and a big ten gallon cowboy hat on the desk. And she went in there, like raising hell. And she said, this is unacceptable. This child was injured. Look what happened to him. He was trapped. The gorilla had him pinned against the chain link fence. And I had to pull him out. And he said, hold on a minute, lady. What are you telling me here? Are you telling me that you had a tug of war, basically with a gorilla and you won? And she said, yes, I won. This child would have died. And he said that gorilla had the strength of ten men.

[00:11:56.760] – Allan

Yeah. Well, when you're in that kind of mindset, strange things, interesting things can happen. So thank you for sharing that story. In all fairness, it was just one sentence in the entire book. But I did have to ask.

[00:12:11.730] – Amy

I thought it was better to leave it as one sentence because it got your question like what?

[00:12:16.650] – Allan

It did get the question. Absolutely. Good.

[00:12:19.200] – Amy

Thank you for asking.

[00:12:20.460] – Allan

Yes. But there's one other story that I think is actually much more important, particularly of what we want to talk about today. And that was towards the end of your father's life, and he was talking to your son, and you were fortunate to be an observer in that conversation because he could have just as easily said, no, I want to talk to him alone. And you wouldn't have been in the room, but you were. And he said something that changed your life. And I'll let you say the quote because again, I think it means a lot to you, and I think it's going to mean a lot to our listeners if they hear you say this. But go ahead and say what you heard him say to your son.

[00:13:01.110] – Amy

Make the life you want, be happy.

[00:13:05.370] – Allan

And that's powerful. That is hugely powerful. I'm so glad your son heard that. I'm so glad you heard that because it really did change the direction of your life.

[00:13:16.530] – Amy

It absolutely did. And there's a simple sort of brilliance in it. There's no arguing with the logic for me. I do believe that we have the ability and actually taking it a step further, the responsibility to fashion a life that best suits us and those that we love in this life. And if you step into that responsibility and you make choices that align with it, amazing things happen.

[00:13:50.550] – Allan

Now, a lot of folks want to lose weight. And one of the ways they know to do this, and it's the way they try and they don't succeed. I'm not going to use the other word. They try and they don't succeed. They try and they don't succeed. And eventually even the word diet and dieting becomes synonymous with punishment.

[00:14:15.090] – Amy

I agree 100%. I'm nodding my head furiously here. When I was on just about every diet known to man and woman here. And none of them worked for me because the minute I started to diet, I felt I was being deprived. It was about deprivation. Now I can't have my favorite thing. Now I have to go to bed hungry. I have to eat small portions. And keep in mind, up until this point and including this point, actually, food is my go to coping mechanism. So without the ability to go to food, when I'm feeling an uncomfortable emotion, what do I do now? I'm not a drinker, I'm not a smoker. What do I reach for? What do I do? And that's I think for me why I always didn't succeed, to use your words, because I felt like I was deprived. I felt like I was being punished. Food is now my enemy. The thing that got me to live as long as I did is now my enemy. And I don't know how to be right with it. I couldn't make heads or tails of it up to that point.

[00:15:24.610] – Allan

We're going to get into some of those in a minute. But I did want to take one more step and have this conversation because this is the other side of it. You go to your doctor and they say, well, you need to go on a diet and you need to move more. And if you've ever been out of shape, like really out of shape, the concept of moving more is painful. The concept of doing these things, particularly around people at all, there's a lot of stuff going on in there in your head and what you're telling yourself. And so in a sense, it's another punishment.

[00:16:05.770] – Amy

You're exactly right. I didn't feel I belonged in a gym, a 320 pound woman getting on equipment. Am I going to hurt myself? The first thing I used to think was, am I going to break this? Is this thing going to hold my weight? Because I had been on things that didn't hold my weight. I was in a patio chair that collapsed. It's horrifying, it's mortifying, it's embarrassing. And I also knew that I wasn't tremendously fit. I think I always had sort of a strong structure under my body. First of all, I carried all that extra weight, so I had to be pretty strong, but I wasn't traditionally fit. You know, I sort of bullied my way through things. Bullied meaning in my own mind, I'll just do it. I just have to get that done with. Let me just get that done and then check it off. So for something like going to a gym, that's the mindset I would have. It was not enjoyable and it was scary and embarrassing because you know that if you're really and the really big people listening to this know what I'm saying, to put yourself in a spot where there's predominantly very healthy people, you feel like you're sort of an object of glances at the kindest and ridicule at the worst.

[00:17:28.950] – Amy

So it's nothing pleasant or fun about that proposition.

[00:17:33.490] – Allan

Well, I will say this, and it won't make any sense or it won't really necessarily change how you feel about this. But I can tell you that most of us at the gym are happy to have you there. We're happy to see you doing things that are positive for yourself.

[00:17:53.650] – Amy

Now that I'm a person who is a little more fit, who goes to the gym. I agree with you. But my experience as a 300 plus pound person, that was the critic in my head. Saying I didn't belong there. I was going to break something. I was going to hurt myself. And also, Allan, I had no confidence in my body's ability to do this. And as soon as my heart rate got a little faster, I was frightened, I'm going to die. I'm going to blow up my heart can't handle this weight. Just a lot of things. It means to your point, all internal within my head, I was so used to being ridiculed that I expected it. Everywhere I went, I said, oh, I'm asking for it. Going in here.

[00:18:38.410] – Allan

The way I like to couch this is you found a tool chest. Okay. You didn't have that tool chest when you started, when you heard the message from your father, make the life you want, be happy. You knew that's what you had to do, but at that point, you really didn't have even a plan, which in the end, I'm going to tell you to your benefit, because so many people throw tactics and strategies out there without actually figuring things out for themselves first. Now you call them the eat with ease commitments. And I love that word. That's a very important word in my vocabulary as well.

[00:19:22.870] – Amy

Which one? Ease or commitments?

[00:19:25.090] – Allan

Well, ease is not necessarily work commitment, for sure. And we'll get a little bit into it. You've talked a lot about your why and things like that. But to me, commitment is the marriage of the vision of where you're supposed to be, who you're supposed to be, that happy person living a life they're supposed to be living. And the commitment is the why you got to get there. You had a young boy, I had a daughter. There were reasons for us to decide, okay, I'm not going down this path. I need to get on a different path. My aging path. I see it's in front of me. If I keep doing this, then this there was no other thing but to change it because I made the commitment to be different. And predominantly at the time, it was my daughter that was the driving force emotionally for me, of why I did it. That's where I come up with commitment as a basic phrase. Now yours are these kind of steps, and they're tools, as I like to say, of how to get there, quite literally. Yeah. Listen to this part again. She's going to say these, but I want you to listen to it time and time again because these are not easy.

[00:20:38.410] – Allan

But when you have these in your tool chest, you've got the magic key, you've got the formula sitting right in front of you. So, Amy, if you would take us through the nine, eat with ease commitments.

[00:20:51.230] – Amy

Yes, I would love to and exactly what you said. I knew what I had to do, and that was aligned myself with now my new mantra, which is, make the life you want. Be happy. That's all I thought about. Like, how am I going to flip this and get to the point where I feel happy? I didn't know how to do it, and if I had to know how to do it, I never would have started. So what I realized when I sat down to write the book was that I owed it to the reader to sort of dissect what was my path in retrospect. So I want to just reiterate that you don't have to know how to get all the way to the end. It boils down to one choice, and that one choice can unfold and lead you to the next choice.

[00:21:36.630] – Amy

So the nine that I came up with in retrospect are the first one was patience. I had to accept. I'm a pretty intense person. I want to make a decision, make my life. I want to be happy. Now, I'm going to be happy, and I'm going to do it yesterday and I'm going to lay my head on the pillow and I don't have a check Mark on it.

[00:21:57.500] – Amy

I'm a big checker offer. I'm a total type A, but this weight owned me, so I couldn't type A it. So I had to take a breath and realize that it's okay. I don't have to know right now. I gave myself permission, and I trusted in myself enough that if I got really patient about it, time would work in my benefit. I, over time, will be able to figure this out. So that was the first step. Rather than looking for the quick fix, the shakes, all the things that I had not succeeded at in the past, let me be patient and see what unfolds and what I can figure out. Let me get my brain in on this and work through it. That was the first.

[00:22:38.020] – Amy

The second one was be curious, which goes right along with be patient, because you can be patient all day. But if you don't wonder about things, the answer may or may not start to unfold for itself. So I decided to, once I realized that I'm going to give myself time to figure it out, I realized how much I absolutely didn't know. I didn't know about my body.

[00:22:58.950] – Amy

I didn't know about metabolism. I didn't know about macronutrients. I didn't know about hey, here's the funniest thing. I didn't know that what you drink counted as calories. I don't know why I thought that. I thought that because it went right through. It was a zero. A lot of things I didn't know about my own body as a grown woman who'd given birth was, like, amazing, right? So I got curious about all the things that I didn't know about, and that came out in time. And what I realized looking back was that allowing myself to be curious really let me start to find things that worked for me. And I don't think this is a one size fits all, no pun intended proposition. I think people have to get curious and wonder about what really feels right to them, even for now, and that we can adjust as we go on because this has to work long term or else it absolutely falls apart.

[00:23:52.850] – Amy

Next one was I absolutely refused to punish myself around food. That was done because my whole life I suffered around being severely overweight or around food. It was time to give that whole thing hard stop done.

[00:24:09.870] – Amy

So I made that commitment. No more punishment, no more suffering around food. That means no starving, no going to bed hungry, no depriving myself of my favorite thing if I feel like having a little piece of dark chocolate that is not going to gnaw away at my head, that I can no longer have dark chocolate for the rest of my life, because, news flash, I'm going to quit. If you tell me I can't have dark chocolate, I'm out. It's a no deal thing. So I had to solve that, too. And then once I started to realize the things that would start to work and not work with me, I realized I needed to meet with some experts. That was someone who could help me move safely. A trainer or Pilates instructor, in my case, a nutritionist, somebody you know, who was right on my insurance plan that I was able to go speak with. And she taught me about my resting metabolic rate, why proteins and carbs and fats are different, how they work in the body. I had no idea about this level of chemistry or nutrition in the body and the cellular level and what your body actually needs to function well.

[00:25:18.120] – Amy

And I also didn't know, like, breaking down muscle and how you build it back up using protein. No idea. So once I started to meet with people who are experts, it sort of informed me. And then with the information they gave me, I was able to say yes and no to some things that fit that I knew I could commit to long term.

[00:25:37.550] – Amy

And then the next, speaking of committing, the next one was I promised to move my body. And my promise to myself was I wouldn't go to bed. I wouldn't put my head on the pillow that night unless I moved. I had to do something. It could be a couple of hours of housework. It could be walking around the village. It could be going to the gym. It could be a Pilates session, it could be yoga, it could be a stretching session. I was so disconnected from my body at that time. The Amy inside was so shrunken that I didn't inhabit my body. I didn't want to inhabit my body. So I had to mend that break. Again, I know this now. Back then, what I just could muster was I think I need to move my body.

[00:26:23.030] – Speaker 4

I need to feel like it's under me when I'm walking up a flight of steps. I know I have to get healthier because in the back of my mind, I'm going to be this 400 pound woman in a wheelchair in a nursing home sooner rather than later. And I didn't like that idea at all. So I knew I had to start to move a little bit.

[00:26:38.470] – Amy

And then we're up to number six. Number six was super helpful and I still do it today. I have a tracker on my smartphone and I enter everything I eat and I treat it like my trusted accountant. A friend of mine is like, oh, I don't want to track all day. I don't think of it as the negative. I think of it as like a really important tool in my to use your words, my tool chest. This thing is helping me to be successful with my food budget every day. And I know I really love food, right? We talked about this and I don't want to be deprived. So I'm having to find and get curious about ways to eat food that I really enjoy and still feel satisfied so that I can do this long term.

[00:27:23.500] – Amy

So the food tracker for me is the key. Also, because it tracks the nutrition, the nutrients, it really helps me try to look for that balance.

[00:27:33.130] – Amy

Number seven. I love this one. Discover my love tribe, which again, in retrospect, along the way, I had really nice people supportive. When you said there's people in the gym who are really happy to see you there, I did come across those people. I had this three mile route around my house and one day a woman pulled over and said, you don't know me and I don't mean to startle you, but I've been watching your transformation and you're amazing and you're inspiring me to do this too. So it's these people who will show up in your life and cheer you on, or more than that, become a partner in it and a buddy in it and really help you. And you don't have to know them now, just trust if you're ready to take this step that they're going to show up in your path for sure. I think of it like Dorothy and the wizard of Oz. Come across all these characters who help you get to the Emerald City.

[00:28:23.230] – Amy

Really cool. And then commitment eight, utilize new tools. For me, that was like weighing my food with a kitchen scale, getting a digital scale. These are the physical things that helped me. The food track around my phone, a good pair of sneakers. Just some basic things that helped me to get through. Not too expensive either. Affordable for most people.

[00:28:42.850] – Amy

And then nine, I committed to writing from what I call right from the spirit, which is I kept a Journal and I shared my trials and my tribulations and my love tribe started to get in on it and cheer me on or jump into and share their struggles around food. And we sort of like put our heads together and figure out, all right, is there a smart way that we can get through this and still maintain what we're trying to do for ourselves? So those were the nine with these commitments.

[00:29:12.370] – Allan

Yeah. And like I said, those are really great tools as you go through, and you don't have to have all of them. When you start this, over time, you're going to develop the things and develop in the way that's important, particularly if you're doing the first tip. You've got patience, which is maybe the hardest one. And then you add curiosity from there. The rest of it is just solving problems and putting it all together in a way that's sustainable for you as you go. It's not going to happen overnight. And it didn't happen overnight, but it was happening. And as it happened, you got momentum. You started snowballing. You met the right people. You brought the right people into your life. And over time, it just gets better and better and better.

[00:29:56.080] – Allan

Now, you mentioned Dorothy, and so I'm going to play off of that a little bit now. In the whole story of Dorothy, she always had what she needed to get home with her. Okay. And that's kind of the message that you brought up towards the end of the book is that this is all born out of self love. This is already in you.

[00:30:21.890] – Allan

And while you said the bigger you were on the outside, the smaller you felt on the inside first became true. And I'm going to say as you got bigger on the inside, you got smaller on the outside, because as I read the story, that's kind of how I interpreted it. You started getting bigger on the inside through self love and your health and your weight took care of themselves.

[00:30:51.650] – Amy

I love that. And I think there's some truth to that, although I didn't feel that way during the process, if that makes sense. And there's this sort of this push out there, oh, you just have to love yourself. You just have to love yourself. Well, my experience when I was so overweight, I didn't feel that I loved myself because I was at such disk ease with my body. It didn't feel good, Allan. I mean, I was painful. I was compulsively eating. I was saying no to things because of this vehicle didn't allow me spiritually to get out and do what I wanted to do. And that didn't feel very loving. But what I realized is that even by just choosing patience, that's a huge loving gesture. And wouldn't we do that with someone that we loved around us? Of course, if your child comes to you and they're really upset the first thing you have to do is be patient and listen to them hear them out, try to help them arrive to their own solution right? Be a sounding board yet the old Amy was overly critical and I wasn't patient with myself so I think the biggest step in starting the whole idea of self love to your point is that moment where I decided I'm going to do it differently now let me just start by being patient and I think you're right that was the creation of the whole thing. I have to say I didn't say let me love myself, I love myself and look myself in the mirror and say I love you Amy, none of that was happening, none of that but what was happening was I was exerting a sort of kindness to myself that I had

[00:32:44.460] – Amy

never done in the past and I didn't intellectualize it as I'm being extremely kind with myself. I intellectualized it as I'm going to make the life I want yeah, I was holding on to that mantra boy with white knuckled love that made such impact on me that I held onto that for literally my dear life.

[00:33:16.890] – Allan

And good.

[00:33:19.950] – Amy

Thank you, Dad.

[00:33:22.170] – Allan

Amy I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:33:31.350] – Amy

This is a great question. Obviously, I'm going to have to go back to a couple of the commitments in the book the first one is we talked a lot about patience and curiosity and wondering about what feels good and what fits best for us but the next thing I want to add on to that is just expressing a level of kindness to ourselves. If someone out there wants to get started but they feel like they have to do it perfectly there's many of us who are perfectionists and that whole idea that I don't know what to do therefore I won't start I would just invite them to be beautifully imperfect, you know. There's a type of perfection in embracing our imperfection because it allows us to step forward and sometimes that's all we have to do the second thing that I would offer is that any journey, any decisions and actually everything and anything we do every day boils down to one choice at a time. So if you came to me, Allan and five years ago and said you know what, Amy? You have to lose 150 lbs and you have to know how to do it right now and you have to stick to it and you're going to do it, I would be out of my mind because I didn't have any of that skill set but what I did have was that mantra in my mind and that why so having the why for me was a way for me to put 1ft in front of the other and just try the next choice and also realize that if the choice wasn't perfect.

[00:35:01.340] – Amy

I could make another choice. So that was the second one. And the third thing I would say is start. Every day is a clean slate. And if we break it down even more, every moment is a clean slate. And there's so much opportunity in that.

[00:35:19.790] – Allan

Thank you, Amy. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Food: Eat with Ease Every Day. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:35:30.230] – Amy

If they want to learn more about me, they can jump on my website, which is amyfreinberg.com, and I'll spell it out. It's www.amyfreinberg.com. And if they want to grab the book, they can go to Amazon and it's Food: Eat with Ease Every Day.

[00:35:49.820] – Allan

Right? You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/532 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Amy, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:36:00.670] – Amy

Thank you. This was a blast. Love it.

[00:36:03.870] – Allan

Me, too. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:36:13.050] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:36:14.790] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was really an interesting conversation with Amy. And food addiction is one of those really hard topics to tackle. But she seemed to get her situation together pretty well. And her nine rules, Eat with Ease Commitments, were a really nice guideline for her.

[00:36:32.960] – Allan

Yeah. You know what I really took away from this conversation, and I've had similar people on in the past, and I've had people that were on the exact opposite of this paradigm is that we all have this relationship with food, and some of them become, for a lack of better word, abusive relationships. We're using food at the time maybe for the right reasons. It helped her get past a very hard time in her life, but then it becomes a problem. And food is not something you just stay away from. You can sit there and say, okay, well, that's abusive. Stop it. This is not something you can just stop. You have to deal with it in your own way. And we had Susan on a few weeks ago, and she had a very clear I have to set my lines. I have to stay within the boundaries. And if I stay within the boundaries, then I'm successful and I feel good that I'm doing the right thing. Now, again, she knows because of the testing she's done that she's addicted to food, and therefore, there are certain foods that are going to trigger her. She knows those foods.

[00:37:38.790] – Allan

She's taking the time to do that, whereas Amy comes at it for more of a I'm going to have compassion for myself. I'm going to find my way through this because I believe in myself. That whole make yourself do your thing, be happy, which again, I misquoted that. But again, it's the concept of she deserves to be happy and recognizing that she deserves that she's doing the things that are necessary to care for herself, not all the time. She doesn't have to have those bright lines that Susan had to have, but she's doing her thing.

[00:38:15.450] – Rachel

Well, Amy mentioned her dad had mentioned make the life you want and be happy. And so that sounds like the foundation for what she needed to build on her plan to get healthy. Whereas Susan, like you said, she had some very hard lines with the flour and sugar, I think, were her triggers to send her spiraling out of control, whereas Amy had some different situations that she was able to navigate instead. But one of the couple of the top rules that she had for her eat with ease commitments was be a patient and be curious. And those are two great rules. You just need to be patient with yourself, and you need to learn how to live a different lifestyle, how to change your eating habits, and how to view food as fuel or for a different reason and not just coping from the hard situations in life.

[00:39:11.950] – Allan

Yeah, it's a big part of self awareness. And I've talked about this over and over again that you do have to know yourself because in this space, in this diet and exercise space, there are so many absolutisms. I just want to say, you have to go keto, you have to go vegan. You can't eat this. You must not do that. You have to abstain from these foods, all those different things. I tend to be a lot more holistic and agnostic about all this stuff and say if you're eating whole food, you've solved 99% of the problem. And then it's just making decisions on your day to day. When you're put into situations where something else is there and maybe the whole food option isn't available, you find yourself stuck. And now here you are in an airport, and it's like, okay, you're walking through the airport to try to find something healthy to eat, and they don't make it easy. You got to walk by six McDonald's and a subway to get to a place where you might find something that's a little bit more to your liking and fit what you're looking for. That's really hard going to dinner when 90% of the menu is not your menu.

[00:40:33.520] – Allan

It's not meant for you at this point. And so the absoluteisms of avoiding the word diet, avoiding these other things. I'm like, no, for some of us, it is a diet. It's a temporary thing. We do it and then we stop doing it. And that's okay. For others, it's the bright lines rope yourself off and you do your thing within those parameters. And we were talking before we came on. It's sort of like some of the laws that are out there, but I know it's okay with the traffic law, the speed limit. You're like, oh, well, if I go about 7 miles over the speed limit, no harm, no foul. Right? Whereas you say, well, I sort of Rob a bank.

[00:41:18.920] – Allan

yeah. Sometimes you need the bank robber rules of don't Rob banks, don't kill people, don't do these things. These are rules. They're specific and some of us really need those rules.

[00:41:30.130] – Rachel


[00:41:30.580] – Allan

And then other people if you tone it down a bit you're just a little over the speed limit. It's okay. So you say yes, I can have this temporarily or occasionally I can enjoy this detour and get back on the road and I really haven't lost any ground. For some people, that's fine. For others, it's like, no, these are bank robber rules and I've got to stay on my road. Yeah, exactly. And this is how I'm going to do it. So as I go into my tough mudder training it was okay, this is my food and I wouldn't normally do this but I step on the scale every single day. Every morning when I wake up, the scale is literally right beside my bed. I roll off the bed, I weigh myself every single morning and so I know how I'm tracking because I know that if I'm able to lose a certain amount of weight that is going to make my race better. Easier, more enjoyable. There's zero reason for me to try to carry 228.6 lbs on this race When I know I can get myself down to 200 or less. So for many of us, it is hard, fast rules.

[00:42:49.270] – Allan

For others, maybe a little softer approaches, a little bit more self compassion, a little bit more speed limiting type stuff where you give and take across time. But you have to know yourself. You have to have that self awareness.

[00:43:04.330] – Allan

All right, well, it looks like we had some internet issues on my side. Third world country issues. But it is what it is. Anyway, Rachel, I appreciate having you here. Good luck on your run and we'll talk next week.

[00:43:18.960] – Rachel

Thanks, Allan. Take care.

[00:43:20.430] – Allan

You too.


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