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How to Set Limits Without Depriving Yourself Podcast Episode 144

by Dr Orlena Kerek weight loss coach
September 21st 2021

Using a structure or framework for healthy living can be really useful. But often it turns into a "set of rules". Rules that make you feel deprived and hard to follow.

In this week... More

if I had a miracle cure that would guarantee you and your family living to a ripe old age whilst feeling vigorous, fit and fabulous. Would you be interested? Well I do, it's called healthy living. Hello and welcome to fit and fabulous with me, Dr Alina carrick. Healthy living for families, made easy. Good morning, good morning. Before we dive in today's episode, I have decided to do some group coaching, some free group coaching on Wednesday, 29 September at 3 15 central european time. So that is 9:15 a.m. If you are on the eastern coast of the United States, so if you're interested in finding out about what it's like to be coached, then save the date, I will tell you more about it next week. Okay, let's get on with today's episode. Hello and welcome to fit and fabulous with me. Dr Lena Carrick, I hope that you are feeling amazing today. I am feeling super, super amazing today and I will explain why in a little bit, but I'm also, well, number one, I'm super excited about the healthy you healthy family group program, so I'm going to be sharing a few wins with that and I'm also hoping that you can't hear the banging in the background because my life at the moment is just building work, it's not our building work, it is our neighbors building work and they are bang bang banging and um I will be quite glad when I moved back to my own house 11.5 weeks and counting, exciting, exciting, exciting, okay, a little bit about the healthy you healthy family group program, I am so excited for having so many wins.

So, in our last session, which was yesterday, because I'm recording this ahead of time, feeling super organized this week, despite the fact that my kids are going back to school and life is crazy, crazy, crazy. So a few wins that we have had, Katie has started water aerobics and she is going to go twice a week, Jessica has owned, I'm worth the investment. Kara has had some golden learning opportunities and if you don't know what golden learning opportunities are they are, when life doesn't go quite according to plan, what can I learn from it? Um Angela has been listening to that voice or that feeling that sensation which says, I'm feeling full and she's been working on emotional wellness leah is going to be playing tennis this weekend, which is her, light me up exercise that she hasn't done for ages um so that is super exciting. Also, I have to read out what leah said um in our celebrations and wind group, she said, yeah, feeling super positive after my onboarding session with dr oh, yesterday I came away with so much useful advice that I could implement immediately um and I'm not gonna read all of it, it goes on, but she basically says, I feel like a new woman, she had a good night's sleep and she says, I feel like a new woman, so I had to steal a minute to share this, not so small triumphs, So congratulations leah, congratulations everybody who is turning up and doing the work and transforming themselves to the healthiest, amazing them in a way that is easy and fun.

So if you're interested in joining right now, I still have a scholarship for excuse me for scholarship places and they will be available until the end of september after september beginning of october, I'm going to be putting the price up. So just to be clear, the scholarship is not free, but it is a reduced price. And if you're interested in finding out more than contact me or Lena at dr Alina dot com and we have to have a chat and make sure that this is a good fit for you, make sure you're a good fit for it now coming out of the sessions that we've been doing or some of the things that have been turning up today, what I want to talk about is limits and forbidding yourself to eat things and how you have a structure to your life. So this came about because somebody in the group said, you know, I really like to have structure, I like to have a list of what I'm eating and what I'm not eating and that works really well for me now, as a side note, I would say, if you know that something works well for you, then go with it.

If you know that's the way you work, then that is self awareness and and run with it. Now, that doesn't work for everyone and that's perfectly fine. It's about finding what works for you. But this idea of having structure brings up this idea of limits and how we can structure our lives in such a way that we're not forbidding ourselves and making it really difficult for ourselves to eat something. Let me explain. I think it is really useful to have internal limits. So as parents, we want to teach our Children internal limits, what does that look like? It looks like when our Children go to a birthday party or a social event where they are offered food instead of eating four or five slices of cake, which my Children will happily do because they haven't learned that internal limit yet. They learn to say no after one or two slices, that just becomes their default, They don't need their mom standing over them saying, hey, you have eaten too much, stop now.

They get to a place where naturally they say, okay, I'm going to stop now. And as adults, we also need to work on that limit. However, it can be really useful to have a structure in place and give ourselves internal limits that we have thought about and set for ourselves. So what does that look like? It can look like for me? I limit myself to eating healthy foods. So that could be lots of fruit and vegetables, lentils and legumes and I don't, in my life have all those treats and ice creams and things regularly available for myself to eat. That doesn't mean I don't ever eat them. That means that my structure, my framework is this is what I normally eat. Now I create some internal limits for myself. For example, I Don't drink alcohol after 7:00 and I'm going to talk about this a little bit more so after seven PM I don't drink alcohol and this is a choice that I have made because I know that alcohol affects everybody sleep, but I really noticed that it affects my sleep and a lot of people say, well I sleep really well after I've had alcohol, but the answer is you may sleep well, but you don't get a good quality of sleep and I know that the next day I feel tired like sandy eyes is what I feel and I just don't enjoy that feeling.

However, if I drinks a glass of beer at 5:00, I metabolize it and then I can go to sleep feeling, okay so that's a limit that I have put in for myself and we were discussing this in our last coaching session and somebody said to me, the problem I have is that I set myself these internal limits and I don't stick to them. How do I deal with that? Just a sidetrack? Just to go back a little bit before I answer that question, the good thing about having these limits and frameworks is that they help take decisions away from us. So when do we get into a situation where we do things that we don't want to do? So we might eat more or drink more than we want to do our brains having this sort of dialogue inside our heads, essentially you're making a decision if you can make decisions in advance, it's much easier. Our brain actually really likes decisions that are made. So for example, with breakfast, I eat the same breakfast every single day.

I eat porridge with fruit, nuts and seeds. Now the fruit varies from season to season from what's available, but essentially I don't have to think about my breakfast. I don't get up in the morning and think shall I have porridge or shall I have toast or shall I have something else? So it's easy for it to be healthy because that decision has been made ahead of time and our brain works much better. Were much more likely to make healthy decisions once we've taken that decision away from that emotional time. So for example, you get home from work, you're tired, you're stressed, you're exhausted. Now you have to make dinner and you've no idea what to make and all these things go through your brain and really what you want is the easiest option, which isn't necessarily the healthiest option because you're tired and stressed and you just want to get on with it. Now, if you have made a decision ahead of time, hey, this is what we're going to have for dinner. I know how to prepare it or I've already done some of the preparation work, then you just get on with it. You just start doing it.

There's no decision to be have had, this is dinner, we're going to eat something healthy. It's either in the slow cooker, I've done it or I've got the vegetables in the fridge, we're going to have this. It's going to be easy. So you can see how if you make that decision, not in the time of emotion, you're far more likely to be making healthy healthy choices. So let's go back to this question. Well, I set myself internal limits, but I don't stick to them. So the big question then is, are you permitting yourself to eat that food? So this is an example when somebody is after dinner eating lots of sweets and treats and candy that she doesn't want to eat. So are you permitting yourself to eat that food? And the answer is really, no, I'm not. So I'm having this internal struggle inside my head, Part of my brain is going, I'm going to eat this food, I'm entitled to eat this food, I want to eat this food, I'm going to eat it.

And the other part of your brain is going, it's not good for you. It's bad, don't eat it. And so there's this internal conflict going on and where you want to get to is I give myself permission to eat that food, but I choose not to. Now, that doesn't mean to say that. You always have to choose not to. Sometimes you can choose to eat that food, but where you want to be is in a place where you fully understand what choice you are making. You're not really making a choice about eating the food or not eating the food. If you take a step back, you're making a bigger choice. You're making a choice about I want to feel healthy. I want to feel amazing. I want to be my healthier self. So I choose not to eat that candy because I know that that isn't helping me get to where I want to get to. On the other hand, if I do eat the candy, I am choosing to feel tired to continue to be overweight to not have lots of energy to not have my healthiest life.

So, when you're in that situation, which of those two are you choosing? So it feels like you're choosing to eat something or not. Not choosing not to eat something, but really you're making a bigger choice. So give yourself permission to eat it. It's not forbidden. It's not like you never have to eat it, but you choose whether to or not and you may choose that on a daily basis. Another thing I would say is you don't have to turn it off immediately. So say for example, 30 days in a month, you are making that choice once a day after dinner. I choose whether to eat my treats or not eat my treats and it may start off with every single day, this is what I'm eating 30 days out of 30 then I'm going to go to one day a month, I'm going to choose not to, that's 29 out of 30 and then I'm going to go to 28 days out of 30 and then I'm going to see that actually isn't so bad. I'm going to go to 14 days, seven days and then I'm going to stick at, okay, once a week, I'm going to allow myself to have that treat.

So you can see how it's not necessarily on or off, there are gradients and you can see that 28 days out of 30 is better than 30 out of 30. So it's just this idea of having a framework that works for you in a way that isn't saying this fruit fruit, sorry, food is forbidden. You mustn't ever eat this food because once you start doing that, that's going to be the desired food and you're going to start setting up that internal dialogue of, oh my goodness, um this is so desirable, but I'm not allowed to have it. So I really, really want it. So that is an example from the work of the group coaching that we've been doing now. I told you that I am feeling amazing today and I want to explain why. So on the same subject of limits and my limit of alcohol, I don't drink heaps and heaps of alcohol, they say I tend to limit myself to a beer perhaps on friday or saturday at five or six.

Now if you knew me back when I was a medical student or a young doctor, you would not recognize me because medical students are the worst people for drinking lots and lots at university. Our university motto was work hard, play hard and we did play hard and that meant drinking lots of alcohol, getting up early in the morning, going to work. This was not part of the being healthy lifestyle, being healthy, did not even cross my mind when I was a medical student. How strange is that? Or even as a younger doctor. So as I say, I have this limit that I don't drink after 7:00, but sometimes I choose to ignore that limit and drink after 7:00. So right now I have my father in law staying near us for a couple of weeks, which is amazing because we haven't seen my father in law and his wife for a couple of years because of coronavirus. So it's lovely to be able to get back in contact with them and they kindly invited us out for dinner. So last week we went out for dinner and I broke my limit, I had a beer and then I then we shared a bottle of wine between the four of us and then we shared another bottle of wine between us.

And there is this thing with alcohol, what is it with alcohol? You have one glass, then another glass and another glass instead of just one glass. Now, part of that is habit. Part of that is being in a social situation, Part of that is that alcohol decreases are let me rephrase that it it's an inhibitor inhibitor, so it decreases our level of control and we feel less inhibited, so you're more likely to make that choice of, oh wow, let's just go with the moment, let's just have another glass of wine. So last week I drank that much and felt tired and horrible with that kind of stinky I thing that I get and really just thought why do I do this, Why do I do this to myself. I've been in this situation before, particularly in social situations where I kind of don't really want to drink, but somehow I go along with it and find myself drinking and I'm sure I'm not alone with this, I'm sure that a lot of people can relate to this social idea of, you know, I need to have a glass of wine in this particular situation.

So this week, my father in law kindly invited us to another restaurant and this was a Michelin Star restaurant, this is a super special. This is a treat for us to go to go into any restaurant is a treat, but this is like a level up. So here's me thinking, okay, we're going to this restaurant, what am I going to do? I don't want to feel tired and groggy the next day, I don't want to feel that feeling in my body. I really enjoy when I wake up feeling on top of the world and thinking, yep, I'm gonna bound out of bed and grasp the day with everything I've got. And at times on a side note, I am cycling along and thinking, hey, I feel amazing today because I didn't drink any alcohol last night. It's a good thing to remind yourself when you've got that conversation going in your head, remind yourself of the positives of something you're not doing. So I decided to have a think about what I was going to do and this is the kind of thought that goes through my brain when I drink alcohol, it's because I want a special drink. So I don't really want to drink.

I don't like sweet drinks, I don't want to drink coca cola or fizzy drinks because they just basically put loads of sugar in those drinks. And so I end up drinking a beer at that time because it's more special and I feel that my choices are limited and quite often when I have the beer, I have the beer and to be perfectly honest, I don't enjoy it as much as I think I'm going to enjoy it now, everybody will, not everybody, but most people enjoy the feeling that alcohol gives you that feeling of being relaxed um and that social inhibition gone. So yes, there is that positive that you get with alcohol now. I was thinking, okay, so what am I going to do? We decided that I was going to drive or that I could drive now if I drive, I cannot drink anything because I get a bit scared of that. I know other people can drink perhaps a glass of beer and um and drive, but I don't like doing that. And the reason for me driving this restaurant is very, very close to us, but my mother in law, my father in law's wife has problems with mobility, so the reason to drive was to pick her up and take her to the restaurant, It was too far for her to walk.

So my husband could drive or I could drive. So that gives me an opportunity to think, okay, I could potentially have a beer because I would be able to metabolize that and then drive because we're going to be at the restaurant for a couple of hours, I could do that or I could just go with no alcohol in which case, what am I going to drink? Where's my special drink going to come from? So I mulled this over and when I got to the restaurant I asked them so what do you have? That's non alcoholic. And of course they came up with all of these, you know? Well we've got water, we've got coca cola, all of those things and my brain is just going, the other thing I see people do quite often is cocktails, so cocktails without alcohol in them, but again, they're full of sugar and I didn't want them. And then this lady said, oh we have a non alcoholic gin and tonic. Now I used to drink gin and tonic back in my drinking days. But at the moment I'm kind of scared of gin and tonic because it's such a strong alcohol. Um and quite delicious. So a non alcoholic gin and tonic sounded appealing. I'm like, okay, I'm going to give this non alcoholic gin and tonic ago and let's see how that goes now.

It was absolutely delicious. I asked her what it was, She said it was tank array 00. I had no idea what tank array was. My husband said that's amy Winehouse's drink. That's what she used to drink. She sings about it in one of her songs. So apparently Tank array is like the world's biggest gin. Um it was delicious. So I really recommend trying it and trying the non alcoholic versions of things. Now I have tried non alcoholic beer and it always just tastes chemical and horrible to me. Um and I don't enjoy the non alcoholic beers that I have tried now. I was talking about non alcoholic drinks to Jessica who is in the group and she is going to be experimenting with different botanicals, nonalcoholic botanicals. So Jessica, if you are listening to this, I want to find out what you know when you do your drinks share with us and tell us your success stories. I definitely recommend the non alcoholic gin. It was fabulous. So I had non alcoholic gin water and then some fizzy water. We have a drink here called Vichy Catalan which has got um sort of minerals in it.

And it's got quite a sort of bicarb taste which I enjoy. But that leaves me having a social situation without that social inhibition, that relaxing feeling of alcohol actually I found that perfectly okay. But there is one thing and it's tiredness levels. So I normally go to bed at 10:30 and I feel myself beginning to get tired and I think what alcohol does is it just masks that it gives you a little bit of energy so that you don't feel tired. So we had a beautiful meal. This um at the Michelin star restaurant. Absolutely beautiful, amazing what we call peka, Peka. So tasting menu basically different things. The fish one, It was amazing, Absolutely beautiful. But we ate very late. So much, much later than I would And I did wake up in the night feeling thirsty. Clearly not as a result of alcohol. Mm um, but it did disturb my sleep and I did wake up, we went to bed an hour later than I normally would.

I woke up this morning feeling tired. I didn't jump out of bed doing my seven minute workout. My Children all told me I was lazy, so thanks. I've got a team behind me who helping me keep going, but I didn't do it and I didn't go cycling this morning because it was raining. Normally I circled the kids to school, but today it was chucking down, we had to go in the car. But right now I feel much better not having done any exercise, feeling a little bit full still from the meal that I had yesterday, but much better than I would have if I had drunk any alcohol. So for that I am super grateful and I'm proud of myself for going through that experience and thinking, hey, what's it like to go to this amazing restaurant and not drink alcohol. So just a few other thoughts that I think are connected to this number one for me, ideally going out for lunch would be great. So if I could do that big meal at lunchtime, that would be perfect because that gives my body a bit of time to digest the food.

I would probably then skip dinner as well because I wouldn't need all of that. So eating right before bedtime is not great. But if you are eating out to try and stick to your routine now, it's not possible for me to do that right now because I've got Children restaurants are open at the time I ate, I normally eat at five or six o'clock in the evening and restaurants here don't open till 8 30 but if you're in a big city, perhaps you can do that. If you're eating time is normally six o'clock, perhaps there is somewhere open at six o'clock and you can eat earlier. So yes, try and stick to your routine as much as possible. So I think for me the reason I felt tired was just because it was late and I was eating late and going to bed late. But my message to you is try it, give it a go and see how it goes. So amazing things. Think about your own internal limits and how you stick to them and if you're not sticking to your internal limits, why aren't you sticking to them. Okay. As I say, if you are interested in joining the healthy you healthy family group program to create the healthiest version of you in a way that is easy and fun and having the support that you need then get in contact and we will chat.

I will see you next week. Have a fabulous week. Bye bye.

How to Set Limits Without Depriving Yourself Podcast Episode 144
How to Set Limits Without Depriving Yourself Podcast Episode 144
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