We often adopt a scarcity mindset when confronted with free food, as opposed to an abundance mindset, and this can make it challenging to resist temptation. I’ll explore why it’s so difficult for us to decline free food and offer three effective approaches to tackle this common struggle. Let’s go!
119. Weight Loss and Free Food
What’s your reaction when you walk into a room and there is a bunch of donuts or cake or treats that somebody left? It’s free food and you just feel like, how could I not eat this? If that is you and that’s something you struggle with, I’m so glad you’re here for this episode because I have so much help for you in this podcast. My name is Dara Tomasson and this is Love Yourself Thin, episode 119, weight loss and free food.
Okay. So how is your relationship with free food? Now today’s episode, I’m going to talk about all the different ways that we get free food, how that affects us. I’m going to talk about how instinctually this is a real challenge. And then I’m going to give you three really important ways that you can change the way you think about free food and your body without feeling like this is really hard, difficult and a struggle. So I know it’s a tall order, but I got you.
And before we start though I definitely have to share a win with What’s going on in love yourself Thin because every day these women in my program They inspire me so much. Now in the month of October, we called it me -tober and Every morning, Monday to Friday for 21 mornings, we got together and we had what I called CEO meetings, board meetings, because we are working on our protocol, our very own unique to us protocol. Because As you know, we are all unique and different. And so what’s going to work for one person is not necessarily going to work for all people. And so the more that you can own your own transformation and becoming curious with yourself, the more success you’re going to have, I promise. Now, one of the things that came up with the board meetings and a real win for one of my clients is Really looking at the difference between having success and being boastful in that success. And so one of the members, she is a pattern writer and she has a lot of success, but she has a really hard time owning it. And she released a pattern, it hasn’t been written yet, but one of her friends made the pattern and put it in a show and her quilt won best in show. And this member had a really hard time celebrating it because she felt like it was boastful. And the problem is that when you create something beautiful and you’re so proud of it and it’s so much work and then when you have success in it and then you can’t enjoy it, how does that feel? That feels really scary and awful. And so on the call, she was able to really look at what was going on and it went back to her childhood, which a lot of us, and I know I want to remind you, trauma is anytime you have fear when you couldn’t resolve the issue. So as a child, this is why trauma comes back to doing this work from when we were children, because as a child, you didn’t know what to do when someone who was in charge of you, who was responsible for you is saying things that feel really scary to you and you don’t know how to resolve it. So if they said to you, you shouldn’t boast, you shouldn’t brag about yourself, then that feels really scary because you don’t know what to do. If you’ve done something good, how do you not celebrate it or do you feel guilty that you’re a successful person? So these are the kinds of things that happen in Love Yourself Thin. We have these deeper conversations because as I talk about, weight loss is not ever really about the food. It’s about why we’re turning to food, why we’re trying to escape. And so I just wanted to share that example with you and let you know that these conversations are happening. And when they happen, then the grip that you have For food really lightens and you’re able to take more charge of your life and feel a lot more in control. So you’re not needing to control other people Because you know how to manage the way that you think and the way that you do things.
All right, so let’s get into the bulk of of this podcast because it has been so good. And in fact, the reason I came up with this idea was there was a lady who has been following me for a while and she really wanted to join Love Yourself Thin and felt so compelled by all the things that I talked about, but she had a great fear about free food and she just felt like, if she went to a guild meeting or if she went to an event, went to a church activity or even went on a cruise, even though we paid for the cruise, we feel like it’s free food, all you can eat buffets, getting your money’s worth. And she just felt like she couldn’t move past it. And so as I was coaching her on joining Love Yourself Thin and looking at, at why she’s keeping this thought and why it feels so dangerous, I decided to curate this beautiful podcast for all of you because I am sure, I know it for sure because I myself struggled with this and sometimes still find myself going back to automatic pilot when I am around this, what we call free food.
So listen to these different examples and then at the end, I’m going to share the three ways that we can overcome this, and then also explain why our brains have such a hard time with this and why it’s so innately difficult. All right. Okay. So when I was a school teacher, so I taught school for almost 10 years and I taught at all different kinds of schools. And it was really interesting. So when I was substitute teaching or doing contract work, or even when I was in my permanent position at various schools, we all have this staff room culture. Now, whether you’re a teacher or you work in an office or wherever it is, There is some sort of staff room culture where people bring food. Now, I’m Canadian, and Canadians, I know Americans, you have your own version of this, but we have this place called Tim Hortons. And Tim Hortons was a famous hockey player, and he has all these different doughnuts, and it’s a coffee shop, and it’s a chain. They have them all over. And in fact, when our Canadian soldiers go to war they quite often will get a Tim Hortons that will travel with them because it’s just such a, a reminder of home. And they have these little things called timbits, which are just the circles inside the doughnuts. And so timbits were kind of the bane of my existence because they just seem to always be going in any sort of staff room. And there’s these boxes full of these little tiny morsels of joy, really we’d call them. And you know, teaching or wherever you’re, where you are, there’s always some stresses. And as we know, food, we think that food can be a stress relief, but really it’s just inducing more stress and difficulty. So, I would often have these conversations with my Timbits and my mother in law loved getting Timbits for my kids. Oh my goodness. And so they all had their favorites and she always made sure she went and got them. And it was kind of their thing that they did. And so I wonder, what are some of those things that you see like in a staff room or if you go to your mother in law’s or whatever that is, that really calls you, that you really want to eat that thing?
Now, there are a lot of places where we can get free food. So going to a potluck, lots of free food. Going to a guild meeting. What about when you’re visiting friends and they’re hosting you? Or when you’ve gone to a retreat. And you’ve paid for this retreat, and so there’s lots of food there. What about when you go to a holiday party? I just hosted back in the beginning of October, I hosted a party, 80th birthday party for my mom, and we have Canadian Thanksgiving and actually it was in the same weekend. So then, of course, having all the turkey, all the fixings and everything. What about going to baby showers or wedding showers?
So why is it so hard to turn down the free food? Well, there’s lots of reasons. You don’t want to miss out. You want to be included and what’s going on. Food is getting more and more expensive. Let’s just call the kettle black. Like my trips to Costco, even though I have less kids at home are just getting more and more expensive. In fact, my latest trip to Costco was 599. And that was, of course, just for my mom’s party. And then I needed to go back the next day for Thanksgiving. So that was another two grocery stores for another, I think it was another 89 and then 172, something like that. Like, it’s just amazing how expensive food is becoming. It’s also hard to turn down food because you don’t want to be rude to your host and you want to show appreciation.
In fact at my mom’s party, I’m going to tell a little story. So we invited people and when people say, can you bring something? I said, well, if you really want to bring something, you can, but I’ve kind of got it. And one of my friends, she’s an incredible baker and cook, and she brought these little miniature pumpkin cheesecakes, english sticky pudding and then she made three different kinds of cookies. She made like a crazen orange sugar cookie and then chocolate chip cookie and then this cookie that had Nutella in the oh is a I think it was a macadamian, my mouth is watering as I’m saying it with the head filled with Nutella like It was amazing, and she had it all beautifully displayed. So when even someone brings you that food, you want to, I mean, it simply is delicious. You want to take advantage of it. And also you don’t want to make people feel bad, which by the way, we can’t actually make people feel anything, but we think we do. Anyways that’s another podcast, which I’ve already talked about.
Another reason is you didn’t have to do anything to prepare for it. So it feels luxurious. So what are your reasons for wanting that? And, you know, I call this the, the cure for free fooditis. It’s definitely difficult to know how to turn that away. And so I want to talk about how we are wired as humans and how we get our instincts. So when you think about animals, they get their instincts because their moms have passed down different information. And so we as humans, we’re not any different, we pass down. So there, and I’ve talked about this in the past, but when our ancestors went to the bank during the depression or went to the grocery store and there was nothing. The bank account, their money was gone and they went to the grocery store, they went to buy things and there was nothing to buy. Our instinct, so our DNA said we need to be cautious about not having enough. We need to store food or we need to store money in other places because there might not be enough. My husband has told me recently that there is predictions about a depression coming. I’m not sure if there is or not. Definitely we hear back and forth in the media and at different times where there’s more drought and famine. We clearly see how in Africa, the famine has affected children. We’ve been seeing that ever since I can remember on TV, those world vision commercials and those children with their extended tummies. And so we definitely have no shortage of that. We see refugee camps. And so intrinsically wired we have fear of not having enough. Now if we focus on that, then we can go to what’s called a scarcity mindset, which is all about not having enough. And so when our brains go to scarcity, it’s like, imagine a filter. So that filter is now over our eyes. So if you always see everything out of scarcity, then you will always believe that there’s not enough. But if you switch your mindset to abundance, there will always be enough, no matter what.
And there’s these classic stories of the, the twin boys, and they go in a room with, I know it’s kind of gross, but with the manure in the room. And the one boy, he’s like, Oh, with all this manure in a room, definitely have to be a pony in here somewhere. That is abundance. That is optimism. That is looking at things in a positive, healthy, happy way. Whereas the scarcity of Never enough. It’s not good enough. You can never be enough. And so that’s, that’s a real challenge. So I’m curious, where do you fall in that? And when you look at your relationship with free food and always wanting to make sure you have enough or I don’t know if I’m gonna get this again, What is your reaction? And it was interesting for me to see what happened for me when she brought this food because when I, I saw it, it was so delicious. I actually just took one of each of those delicious desserts she made and I put it in my fridge and I said, Oh, this looks so awesome, but in my mind I was like, well, I’m not eating at night. And I said, Oh, I’ve already, I don’t even know if I said I’ve done enough or I’ve eaten enough or I don’t even know if I said that, but basically I said, I need to save this for tomorrow. I’m so excited to eat it tomorrow. And then the next day I had a little bit of each and I enjoyed every one of it.
So let me go over the three steps of how to help you to cure free food itis. The first one is what price do I pay when I eat this? So what actually is happening in my body? So when we turn to the first principle of love yourself thin which is weight loss science is simple, When you focus on what happens with your hormones when you eat and you can see that, you can see what’s actually happening and so What is the price you pay when you eat the timbit or when you eat the the pumpkin cheesecake? Like what what is actually happening? And when you look at the science, then you can be more informed of do I want to have the side effects of what happens in my body when I do this? So that’s a really good question.
The second cure to free fooditis is who is paying the price? So, not only is your body paying the price, but what about you in your mind? What about your relationship with you? What about your trust with yourself. What about the way you want to look at yourself and treat yourself? So what is the price you pay? So just like when I say about people pleasing, when someone asks you to do something, I like to twist my ring around my finger a few times and ask myself if I said yes, who am I saying no to? And what am I saying no to? And so the same thing here. So if I eat this and if I break that trust with myself, what is actually the price that I’m gonna pay? How am I going to suffer from that?
Okay. And then the third aspect of having to cure free fooditis is what is the relationship I want with myself and my body? So I think about when I was a kid and my friends would knock on the door, my neighbor friends, actually up the road, I had a friend named Nell and she used to come over and say, can Dara come out and play? Now, if I was always saying no, no, no, no, how Often would Nel want to knock on my door? Not very often because she would always feel like, Yeah, this girl doesn’t really want to play with me Cause she’s always saying no. And so what is the relationship I want to have with my body? Do I want to take care of it? Do I want to honor it? Do I want to feel bloated? Do I want to feel like a quick hit and then have a lot of disappointment afterwards? So what is that relationship you want to have?
So, the last piece I’m going to talk about and just going with the scarcity because I hear this a lot and this is something I actually grew up with and it’s something I’ve really had to come to terms with. So I was the third of six kids and so whenever we would go somewhere, it was a big deal and of course we would go skiing or go to the water park or we would go to an all you can eat and my dad would always say, all right, we need to make sure that we’re getting our money’s worth. And so even if we were skiing, he’d say, okay, how many runs did you do today? And then this, You know, your ticket costs how much and so how much did you get your ticket for or with the water slides or whatever that was. And even with the food. And so it was ingrained in me at a very young age that I needed to get my money’s worth, that I had to make sure that I was really optimizing it. And I’m guilty of this with my own children. And so I’d like to leave this podcast with this thought, you know, what is actually getting your money’s worth? Is getting your money’s worth enjoying the experience, connecting with people, loving people, or is it Overeating, feeling gross, having to unbutton your pants or having to spend some maybe more time on the bathroom than you’d want because, I don’t mean to be rude about it, but if you are eating food like lactose or whatever that is, or more sugar or flour, and then your body isn’t used to that, you will have a ramification, you will be having an upset stomach and you will have to be spending more time in the bathroom or whatever, because you’re not honoring you. So is it getting your money’s worth or are you just breaking more trust with yourself?
Now so when I share a podcast like this, I want to just give my word of hope at the end, because some of you might be thinking, Oh my goodness, am I ever going to be able to do that? And I promise you that when you learn how to slow down long enough to look at the kinds of thoughts you’re having, then it allows you the opportunity to actually change the way you’re looking at your life. And you will make a huge difference for yourself because you’re no longer living for other people or fearful of what other people think just like I talked about you worried that you don’t want to miss out or you don’t want to be excluded and you, you don’t want to be showing unappreciation or making people feel bad. You no longer have to worry about that because you are able to get your own back and you’re able to really look at the kind of life you want to make and then you get to work doing it.
I’m so excited to share this podcast with you and I look forward to helping you as I produce more of these podcasts but if you have loved what you’re listening to now, imagine me as your coach in this lifetime membership and learning so much from all the other women there, it is transformational. All right, I will talk to you in the next one.