#298 Food is Not the Problem A Reminder of Your Power

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There was a time, not so long ago, when food was a focus of daily life solely for survival. 

People farmed, hunted, gardened, canned, and put a lot of effort into ensuring there would be enough food to keep them alive. 

Now, there are so many food options that the choices are overwhelming, it’s easy to overconsume and become overwhelmed. 

Add in the fear factor that comes up after breast cancer and there’s a whole new layer of confusion. 

You worry about: 

The right choice 

The safe choice 

What will heal you 

What will help you lose weight 

What will prevent inflammation 

And that’s how the diet industry gets you or leaves you overwhelmed, and you just give up. 

In this show, I’ll give you some insights on something that is more important than what food to choose, what diet to follow, or what new supplement to take…what you think about food and the food choices you make. 

Sound too simple?

Check out this episode and see what you think. 

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Read the full transcript below

Laura Lummer 0:00
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started. Hello, friends, welcome to another episode of Better than before breast cancer with the breast cancer recovery coach. I am your host, Laura Lummer. I am back from an amazing Thanksgiving weekend, an amazing 60th birthday weekend. I have to tell you, I feel like I'm catching up. You know, when before we left for our trip to elite, the beginning of November, I worked so hard for the three four weeks leading up to it to make sure like all my program content was up to date. And all the podcasts were ready to go and everything was automated, everything was ready. But I don't think I anticipated how much jetlag I would experience when I got back. And also just jumping right back into Thanksgiving and all the birthday celebrations. So bellicum catching up. And one of the things I'm doing in my attempt to catch up is to slow down, not doubling down and not staying up till two o'clock in the morning. I as you if you're on my email list or if you follow this podcast regularly, you'll see that last week, I just sent out an email of the top five podcast downloads ever. Because honestly, I didn't have the brainpower, the creativity to come up with a new episode and edit it and produce it and all that stuff. And I'm kind of there. Today, I was thinking about what to talk about for the Tuesday terrain talk. And, you know, something that came up was how much I've been hearing since I got back on my calls and with my friends and with my family that I'm hanging out with is this struggle with Thanksgiving food. And I hear things like, oh God, well, the food is there. And I can't waste that food. And it's there. So I have to eat it. And it's calling to me, and the carbs, the carbs and the sugar and the treats and the fudge and the pumpkin pie. And so I thought you know, I have an episode that I've already done. And I don't believe in doubling down on work. And is the perfect episode. I think for the week after Thanksgiving. For the week after feast for the week going into December when people start thinking about even bigger holiday celebrations, in oftentimes just toss out even the thought of taking care of ourselves and managing our terrain, and taking care of our body again until the beginning of the year. So I wanted to share with you, Episode 185. This episode is all about the fact that it's not food. That's the problem. Food doesn't call to us. Food doesn't control us. But it's really the way that we think and it's the story that we tell ourselves like thoughts I just shared with you. You tell yourself food does this or it's not okay to weigh something. And there's plenty of ways to give food away for sure. But I want to help you with this episode, come back to a little more self love to realizing that over feeding your body or feeding your body with things that you know, aren't nourishing in the way you want them to be aren't supporting your health in the way you want to support your health. That the stories you tell yourself about that you can switch that fast or I'm not on video, but I'm snapping my fingers. You can switch it that fast. We can change our story and we can tell ourselves a different story to support ourselves. But we got to focus on the right thing. And if we're focusing on the food, and we're saying it's the food, that's the problem. We're overlooking the problem. So I want to bring back episode 185 Food is not the problem. And I want to remind you of how much power you have my friend over taking care of your body over loving on yourself over feeling good and eugenic and clear in your head and being done with bloating and just making the decision to feed yourself the way you want to. Not the way you feel compelled to to all right you have the power. So without further delay, here you go. Episode 185 Food is not the problem. Enjoy.

Laura Lummer 4:39
Okay friends, today we are going to talk about something we all know and love and some of us love more than others and some of us love too much and some of us have a great relationship with and some of us have a very toxic relationship with and that is food. You know nutrition is a huge huge part of life, it is a huge part of breast cancer recovery. It's a big area where I coach women on a tremendous amount of confusion, shame, disappointment, and oftentimes just overwhelm feeling so overwhelmed by the whole issue of food and what to eat and what is safe to eat and what will help lose weight because so many of us after cancer treatment and after menopause have this issue with weight gain, wouldn't run aromatase inhibitors. And as we age naturally and go into menopause naturally, that is an issue for women. And I say go into menopause naturally, because even though there are sadly more and more young survivors getting diagnosed, the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer are still in that perimenopausal and postmenopausal stage of life already. So I want to share some insights, a couple of stories with you that have happened recently. And something that happened to me personally, that really caused me to stop and ask myself some really important questions about how I take care of my body. So in the past couple of weeks, I don't even know how many calls I've had with women who want to talk about weight management. And that would be with clients of mine, and also conversations with friends of mine, friends who are turning to a new supplement, they heard about a new smoothie, they heard about a new weight loss program, a new network marketing product, and almost with desperation, say to me, this has to work. I can't live like this anymore. I can't keep doing this to myself, hopefully this will make a difference. And I have been there. You know, as I've shared before, on this podcast, I never had a weight issue my whole life until breast cancer and my first diagnosis and going through chemotherapy and going directly into menopause. And right after that, it was just a huge battle, a very, very big mental block and hurdle for me. And a very painful place very painful stories, I told myself, judgments, self loathing, condemnation, self condemnation, all of that, around what my body looked like what my body felt like to me, and judging myself about what I could no longer achieve, you know, looking the way I used to look and how I beat myself up for that and beat up my body for that it was very yucky place, you know, lots of anger, lots of shame, lots of self hatred. And thank God, I have worked past that. But I want to touch on this for a second. Because in my work and in my certifications, one thing I love, I love food, I love cooking, I love the culinary arts, and I love the science of nutrition. And I am a certified nutrition coach. Because something that goes hand in hand with nutrition is psychology. And it's just fascinating what our brains tell us is actually going on and then we believe that it's true. And it isn't. But it puts us in this position where we truly believe I'm addicted to sugar, there's nothing we can do. Cookies are calling my name. There's nothing we can do. I've tried this 100 times I can't change it. And we tell ourselves that story so much that we believe it. We start to believe. And I found myself there one day I remember sitting and saying to myself, oh my god, Laura, you've convinced yourself that you can't lose weight. Think about that. That's physiologically impossible. It isn't true. There's no truth to it. Every human body can lose excess weight, right? I had excess weight on me, it is physiologically possible for me to lose weight. But I had gone through so much and beat myself up so much and so angry with cancer treatments that I had literally convinced myself. It couldn't be done. And I had to sit there look at those thoughts and think, Whoa, whoa, look at this hole I have dug for myself here. And I see that many, many of us dig that hole. Many of us get trapped in that hole. And many of us have that hole just fill us quicksand. And one thing that our brains are fabulous at doing is that when we decide we ever thought I can't do this, this won't work for me. This won't change for me. Our brains will find evidence to prove that that is right. And then we will say See I told you see, I had this I drink this smoothie for two weeks and I didn't lose any weight. I told you I can't lose weight. And there in lies the problem. When we talk about weight loss my God, we can cover everything right? We can talk about low carb, we can talk about true keto, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, right. There are so many different ideas, there's microbiotic diets, there are all kinds of supplements that people preach. And even just without cancer as just a regular person looking for weight loss, it can be crazy overwhelming the amount of information that contradicts each other. And it is no different when it comes to cancer. When it comes to food and cancer, trust me, I research it, I read about it. When I got to stage four diagnosis, I was like, I'm digging in deep to this, there must be an answer here. And there's lots of answers. You know, I can find one author who healed herself from a stage four metastatic ovarian cancer who is a legitimate resource with legitimate credentials, and believes in the ketogenic diet, I can find another one, same criteria, same credibility, who's like it's vegan or nothing. Right? So it's all across the board. And the sad thing that happens to us, whether it is that we're trying to prevent a recurrence, or we're trying to lose 20 pounds, is that we keep looking outside ourselves for this solution. You know, I said that the statement that I hear is this has to work, I have to find something that works. And I want to tell you right now, that those external solutions, switching to this side switching to that diet, and most of them extreme right, most of them cutting out entire categories of food. And for the most part, they will not be sustainable, because that's not how humans eat is not how humans eat in 2022. Now we can eliminate a lot of foods, we can eliminate junk and processed foods. And to me, I don't say we eliminate food groups, when I'm talking about junk and processed food that should not be something going into your body. And on occasion, you may have food with sugar or white flour, but it shouldn't be a regular part of the diet because we know it is doesn't serve you it doesn't serve our bodies is very inflammatory, and it doesn't help us in any way. But other than that, there are so many other beneficial foods and food groups. But the truth is that you are the one who knows the answer. And the reason why this two smoothie and one packs of supplements a day, this 1200 calorie diet and then broth on the hour. And only a specific kind of broccoli grown under a perfect humid conditions on the further southern tip of Argentina is the only broccoli you can eat. I mean, it can get crazy, crazy, you can only have this food and you can only have that food between these hours of the day. How long can you live eating like that. And here's the thing, it isn't sustainable. And I'm not saying that there isn't some valid information in a lot of these diets. But the problem comes in with food. And especially when it comes to weight loss. And when it comes to wanting to serve our bodies as best as possible to keep a very healthy terrain and support its healing. We have got to look at what we think about food, we have got to look at how food affects us. So if you decide to try a plant based diet and eliminate all animal products, that's great. As long as it makes you feel good. As long as you notice, how does my body respond to this food? When do I eat? What are my hunger cues, what is happening here when I consume this food, if you decide that a true ketogenic and I say true ketogenic because that doesn't mean just tons of sausage and bacon and cheese. It means tons of vegetables with healthy fats and nuts, and small servings of lean proteins. And if that's the way you eat, and your cholesterol goes through the roof, then maybe that's not the best diet for your body. We miss this huge piece and it leaves us in a lot of fear and frustration. And I've said this before, when we're in fear, when we're in frustration when we're in overwhelm. What do we do 100% of the time, nothing. We give up. We don't act because our brain is like it's literally on tilt, right? It's like I've tried this, these people said that these people said that I tried this. It was so much work and it takes six hours of prep every day and I have to eat on the hour at the hour. And those kinds of things are us looking for external solutions to an internal issue. And the internal issue is why are you making the food choices that you make right now? What is your thought about those food choices? What is your thought meaning? Not? These are this is good. They said this is bad. But am I eating I'm right now because I'm hungry, or am I eating right now because I'm bored. Am I eating right now because I'm sad. And I'm eating to try to feel better in the moment. So I don't have to feel the discomfort of sadness. And my eating right now because I'm frustrated and angry, because I've told myself that cancer has ruined my life. And I don't want to process this or feel this. And so I turn to something else. So in the moment, I get a dopamine hit. And that's why I'm eating right now. Why are you making the choices you're already making. This is what changes the way you eat, learning how to eat in a very mindful way, which means I notice when my body is hungry, and when my body is not hungry, I don't put food in it. I know. And sometimes it takes especially in the beginning, because we can have such a whacked out hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. And because we've been eating so weird for so long, or we've been eating a lot of processed food, and God knows that our hormones get whacked out, if you've gone through IV chemotherapy, it has a huge impact. And so sometimes we do have to go hungry for a little while. Intermittent fasting, and alternate day fasting are a big part of many, many food programs, not just for everyone to maintain their health, but when we're dealing with disease also. And sometimes just not putting food in the body. And allowing the body to reset for a couple of days, is a very good solution. And I'll tell you what, if you want to start noticing what you think about food, the best way to do that is stop eating food. Because every fear, every anxiety, every curiosity that you have, around what to eat, when to eat, how to eat, and why to eat, will surface when you begin to try fasting. And it's fascinating to me fasting, because there's all kinds of programs out there, there are all kinds of books, there are apps, and I want to just make this very simple for you. Fasting means you get your doctor's approval to make sure it's safe for you in the physical condition you're in and with the medications that you take. And then you just don't eat. I mean, let me save you a lot of money. That is what fasting is, you just don't eat. Now you can have water, you can have black coffee, you can have cups of tea. And there are some people that I know for me if I'm fasting, and I get in a period where I'm really, really hungry to the point where the hunger is distracting, I can't even focus, I will have a cup of bone broth. And some people include them in a fasting program. And some people say that's breaking the fast. But again, I think it's more about what your body needs and where your body is at. And if you're feeling uncomfortable all the time, you're not going to sustain something, right? But the foundation to changing the way that you eat, the amount of food that you eat, the type of food that you eat, how and when you eat, you know, are you eating it eight 910 o'clock at night? Do you stop eating at five o'clock in the evening? How much time? Do you allow your body to rest and restore and recover without constantly being in digestion mode? And do you move your body? Do you exercise? Do you support it so that it continues to have these beautiful hormonal and chemical cascades that heal it? And that helped with digestion, and that support your overall wellness and health? This sounds so simple, right? Look at what you're thinking about food. And it is very simple, but it is very challenging. That's the hard way, right. And so that's why these diet programs get us so easily because they say here's the promise of weight loss. And many people experience weight loss right off the bat, because they're focused on a specific program. And they're going moved away from what they would normally eat, and they'll experience weight loss. But unless you start addressing the thoughts that got you there in the first place, I've seen it so many times, it is just a matter of time. Before you go, I literally cannot go one more day drinking a frickin smoothie for my lunch. I can't do it. Right? And then what? And then you slowly slide right back into your habits. Now oftentimes we'll tell ourselves things like this is a treat for me or I can't have anything else. So I have this and everything in moderation. And I agree with that. Everything in moderation as long as whatever it is that you're eating doesn't make you feel sick. And I'll give you I'll share an example with you. I was with my granddaughter. And when it comes to being with my granddaughter. If she wants something she gets it and she She said to me, I want to I see now, I cringe inside when I hear that because it's just sugar and food coloring. But her dad lets her have ICs. And I said, Okay, I'll take you for an IC. So we go to Circle K by her house, and she gets an ice cream. And I see a bag of Fritos there. And she says, Oh, can I get some chips? And I said, You know what? When I was a kid, I used to love burritos I haven't had I didn't even think they made Fritos anymore. And I haven't had a Frito I can't even remember what let's go ahead, we'll get a bag of Fritos. So we went back to her house and she's drinking her icy. And I have a handful of Fritos. And let me tell you, that it didn't end well. I felt sick to my stomach. I felt nauseous. I it it was not a good feeling. Okay, I got bloated afterwards. I typically don't eat food like that. And it didn't feel good. And I even like got these little micro cuts in my mouth. Like my home melts was uncomfortable after that. That's not a treat. That wasn't fun. Right? There was nothing about that the idea of a Fredo and what I thought would be nostalgic. And in the moment, I was like, Oh, that would be fun off burritos with my granddaughter. Not fun. So is that a good food that I want to consume in moderation? No, I don't want another Fredo ever again, like the thought of Fritos right now kind of makes me gag because it was not a good experience. So we had to be careful to listen to our brain when it's telling us these things. And it's like, it's okay. It's okay. You can do it. But it's not okay. Because we have to listen to our body. And we have to let our body tell us what's going on. We have to say if we eat really late at night, and then we don't get good sleep in the evening, we have to ask ourselves, Am I eating too late? Am I putting too many demands on my body to process food while I'm sleeping, and it's not supposed to be digesting? While I'm sleeping? We have to look at what we're doing to support ourselves. And I say that because many, many times I hear a lot of suffering going on with joint pain and insomnia and restless sleep and hot flashes. And much of that can be minimized. It can be helped a lot, by the way you feed your body by exercise, and good hydration and nutrition. And so my first question always is what are you doing right now to support your health? What steps are you taking to support your health? Now, I'll often hear I know I should, but I don't. And so that's why I thought this was an important thing to talk about. We have to ask ourselves that question. If I'm not feeling good, if I'm having joint pain, if I'm having insomnia, if I'm having indigestion, if I'm having heartburn, if I'm having mood swings and tons of hot flashes, God knows there are medications and treatments we go through that are major contributors to that. But are you doing everything you can to minimize that for yourself, so you're not increasing the suffering.

Laura Lummer 23:09
And I'll tell you what came up for me the other day. So it was a couple of weeks ago, and my hips were hurting. And I went to a place by my house that I go to for a toradol shot, which is like liquid ibuprofen. So if my pain is pretty intense, I will go and I will get this shot and I can time it 17 minutes, the pain will be gone. So I went there to get this shot. And it's run by a physician and there's nurses there and my oncologist is in on this. He knows exactly what I do all the time. I tell him and I went in and I had to get this shot and the nurse there is not a nurse that I normally see. And she says Oh, I see that you've come in this week, I had come in just the day before because I was getting a treatment and that specific treatment causes my bone start. And I said yeah, and I explained to her, you know, I'm doing this treatment. And she said, Yeah, I just don't feel comfortable letting you use toradol here to manage your pain. So that situation didn't end well. Right. I was shocked by what she said. And she literally refused to give me an anti inflammatory shot. And so when I left there, I was really angry. I was really upset at the whole situation, because it was unnecessary the way that it went down. But I started to think about it. And I thought, okay, I know the things that cause more inflammation for me. And I know that the day that I went in to get that treatment, my husband said Well, let me take you there's this Mexican place not far from where I go for my treatment that as the best, the best shrimp tacos. And he says let me take you there and we'll get this taco day like it's called taco gobernador it's so good cheese and shrimp and peppers like Chili's Green Chilies. It's delicious. But dairy doesn't really work well with me anymore. And I know this right, and we both had a margarita, and alcohol hurts my joints. I know this. So I have the treatment, which I'm normally very good and just drink a lot of water and stay away from anything else that I know, can cause aches and pains in my body. But this time I did it. And so I ended up in quite a bit of pain. Now, that doesn't make the situation that happened any easier. But it brings it back to me and I asked myself, okay, look at this, like you're really upset at this person who wouldn't give you this anti inflammatory because you're in pain. But you did take in this food and this drink that you knew also would most likely increase your pain. I did that I decided on that. I did that to myself. And so I asked myself, if I don't ever want to be in that position again. Which I don't, where I go in and somebody says, yeah, hey, I'm not going to help you. Right? What can I do to control that? Now, I can't do everything. I have cancer in my hips. And sometimes that's going to hurt. But am I doing everything to make that situation as good as possible? And I doing everything to support myself? And if I'm not, then why? If I'm not, then what? What am I thinking? What am I doing to justify that to myself, like I'm contributing to this painful situation. And I really did consider that for myself and ask myself, and I don't mean that with blame. And I don't mean that with judgment, I mean, it just as a truthful kind of an audit of ourselves, like an ownership of ourselves. Because I hate to see, when we feel like we do not have power over ourselves. When I work with women who think I don't have any power over me, right? I don't have power over what I eat, or when I eat or how I emotionally feel or the way that I sleep. And I will tell you food and nutrition is a huge part of that. And you do have power. I hate to see women throw away. And I mean, some of these programs that my friends have told me about are hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month. Very, very expensive. And they don't address the underlying problem of why am I taking something into my body that I know does not serve me. And I keep choosing it. I keep telling myself, I don't want to choose it. But I keep choosing it. If you can start there. And you can start looking at those choices. And I'm not saying eliminating anything, just notice everything that goes into you and how it affects you. And notice when you have an an urge or a desire for something that you know is not going to serve you and ask yourself like, can I just be with this urge? Can I just allow the sensation of be here for a minute, like, can I just go okay, I'm feeling a little uncomfortable right now, because I really want a piece of red velvet cheesecake. But I know that red velvet cheesecake is really not going to make me feel good. So I just sit here and allow this urge notice it allow it to be there. And it will always pass. So when it comes to food, and the way food affects our body, and the frustrations we have about food or the way our body looks, I think that the fundamental thing to look at first is your thoughts behind food is your thoughts behind the urges that come up and your thoughts behind the choices that you make. And once you can get really honest with yourself about that. Once you get really honest and be transparent with yourself about the choices you make and why you make them, you will start to see things change. But when we look externally, and we just say okay, I'll take that, I'll take this, I'll take that I believe you someone else lost weight on it, let me try, then we overlook the very, very important thing that keeps people in the diet loop and keeps the diet industry making bazillions of dollars. Because we've got to address the way we're thinking about ourselves. And we've got to start to understand our body and what food does to it. So I wanted to talk about that and address it because it's so important. And I know it creates a tremendous amount of suffering. But this is something that you may need coaching or therapy with. And I think that that's an important thing to recognize when we're really transparent ourself and say, Whoa, I've got some powerful thoughts and emotions here behind food. Let me go and deal with a professional here that can help me work through this that can help me get more awareness of this that can help me understand why I'm making the choices I'm making over and over again. There's so much power and being able to take that which is a huge part of our life food and be able to figure out a way to enjoy it. and also use it to serve you well so that you can sleep soundly. And you can feel good. And you can feel good about the way that you look, you can feel good about the way your body moves. And you can use this amazing powerful tool which is food to help you get there. All right, there's no quick fixes I wish there were and it breaks my heart when I see people just trying for the next Quick Fix and the next quick fix when we really need to do that work and the work starts with what we're thinking and why we're making the choices we are. So I hope that that helps you I hope it gives you some food for thought pun intended. And I'll talk to you again next week and until then please be good to yourself and expect others to be good to you as well. Take care

Speaker 1 30:52
courage to the test laid all your doubts your mind is clearer than before your heart is full and wanting more your futures you know, you been waiting on



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