Archive | August, 2013

How’s Your Metabolism?

29 Aug

This past Tuesday, Dr. Joe gave a workshop on metabolic positioning. The goal was to explain how we can set ourselves up in a healthy, physiologically sound, science-based way for maximum fat loss. He explained to our viewers and attendees how the body utilizes carbohydrates and described the 3-stage process of energy usage for sustaining the most optimal metabolic position. The concepts he covered are largely misunderstood. The on-again, off-again nature of diets has people losing and gaining “the same 2 or 3 lbs” every week and banging their heads up against the wall wondering what’s wrong with them that they can’t lose weight.

However, once an individual understands and has applied this knowledge, the body kicks into a metabolic firepower mode. It’s no longer a mystery. “OH! Now I get it!” we’ll hear. “So when I overeat I’m storing energy that my body has to  use before it will go back to burning fat again.” Yep. Great, we’ve got that down.

What happens though when this person–who admits to being an emotional eater, to really struggling with food and acknowledges that he uses food under any circumstance that stirs up uncomfortable emotion, whether it be anxiety, boredom, discouragement, anger–has no concept of his emotional metabolism and how IT can be optimally positioned?

Studies show that at the top of the list among individuals who are obese, who have weight issues and struggle with their food relationships, who have dieted over and over and over again, or who have disordered eating lack one crucial skill– the ability to metabolize their emotions. Call it what you like- emotional eating, stress eating, using food to soothe, disordered eating, binge eating. Food is not being used to nourish. No, it’s a mechanism used to numb, forget, disembody, check out, and step out of life.

Emotional metabolism involves learning about how to change your relationship with food and your understanding of its effect on your body, but more importantly, learning how to change your relationship with yourself.

In so much of my work with clients who have lost significant amounts of weight and have kept it off, the overwhelming sentiment that differentiates them from those who continue losing and gaining is the internal shift they experienced and practiced. They learned how to view their bodies in a new way, to create a home within them, and choosing to live instead of die. They chose life. With all the emotions, hurt, ups and down and all-arounds that come with it, they chose experience. They chose to respond versus react. They chose to explore rather than ignore. They chose to ask rather than attack.

In my own personal journey the turning point was a question about life: “You know you’re killing yourself, Kori?” The walk back to my dorm from Student Health is as vivid as if it occurred yesterday-  my feet felt like cement blocks, the vice around my lungs threatened to squeeze them through my throat, and I choked on my tears. It was in that moment that I chose life.

And now I choose to step up instead of out. I choose to be curious instead of catastrophic. I choose to breathe into being me instead of belittling myself. You have the same choice to make–your metabolic position depends on it.

(Check out my series on Changing Your Relationship with Food as part of my podcast program. Parts 1 & 2 are available on our website).


Alpha- The Evolution of Fitness Fall Iss

28 Aug

Alpha- The Evolution of Fitness Fall Issue is here!

7 minutes! Log in now at www.thedietdoc.

27 Aug

7 minutes! Log in now at to view Dr. Joe! Metabolic Positioning!

5 hours to Launch! Max Fat Loss w. Metab

27 Aug

5 hours to Launch! Max Fat Loss w. Metabolic Positioning! Join us for free-530pm CST. Via live video or in person!

TONIGHT! 530pm CST: Metabolic Positionin

27 Aug

TONIGHT! 530pm CST: Metabolic Positioning for Max Fat Loss w/ Dr. Joe! Live, streamed event! 8 hours and counting!

Metabolic Positioning For Max Fat Loss!

26 Aug

Metabolic Positioning For Max Fat Loss! Tomo at 530pm CST with Dr. Joe! Free workshop. Attend via streaming video!

What are you pursuing, exactly?

12 Aug

How do you define success?

Every time I get on Facebook, someone has posted a new quote apparently designed to ooze motivation and enthusiasm for trying harder, being better, striving more, pushing further, and demanding success…and all in the name of what? Most of these quotes have a hard-body in the background, muscles rippling, iron in hand, a look of determination on the model’s face. And again I ask, in the name of what?

Success is great, it is. I love it when I can close my laptop after having turned in my research paper that took me well over 30 hours to complete. I am ecstatic when I walk away from giving a great lecture and even more thrilled when I get emails telling me that the  material really resonated.

I wouldn’t be thrilled, however, if I received a poor grade from my professor. In fact, it has happened, and I’ve just about flipped out. A few expletives later and some deep breathing, and I’m okay. But dang, it’s a bit wounding. When this happens, first I get pat myself on the back for not getting even more angry. Second I waffle back and forth between wanting to send my professor a scathing email and justify why I did what I did or said what I said in defense of what he/she blasted me for versus just getting down to business and peeling back the layers of the comments with a fine-tooth comb to learn and synthesize the info in a new way. Third, I pat myself on the back again for not sending an email and  start digging in with the understanding that this is what I better get used to and find challenging rather than damaging if I expect to complete this PhD. Finally, I remind myself that this is far more than “getting a PhD.” I get to learn a boatload of information and apply it in a way that will help others!

That last sentence is important. You might want to reread it. Studies show over an over that goal achievement in anticipation of feeling good (imagine all those times you said, “I’ll finally feel like I measure up when….” or “Once I complete ________, I will actually believe I can do it”) will leave you largely unsatisfied. Self-esteem, defined as our overall sense of self-worth, if measured by our successes, is super fragile.  So I ask you, what are you pursuing, exactly?

Sure, having high self-esteem confers some benefits. It does make us want to persist. People who have higher levels of self-worth also report less depression and greater feelings of happiness. A study by Baumeister and colleagues found, however, that a significant disadvantage of high self-esteem could severely override the positive consequences, namely poor estimation of our personal frailties or deficits. What are the drawbacks to this?  Ever met someone who won’t take responsibility? Who blames others or the “thing” when they perform poorly (the teacher or the test)? Ever heard anyone say, “how dare he treat me that way!” ?

Yes, you know what, you are important, you do matter, and you need to be cared about and loved. But most people don’t even have low self-esteem. A study conducted in late 80s showed that the overall American self-esteem score was far above the midpoint, and it’s growing exponentially. In 2008 a similar study was conducted  on high school students and scores were significantly higher. Yet higher self esteem barely has any impact on grades, relationship quality,  or even likelihood of engaging in substance use.  Why am I telling you this? Because if you’re pursing self-esteem, you need to get over yourself!

If you want to feel lousier because you base your worth on mistakes or failures; be a victim of circumstance; find that your motivation roller-coasters like your weight does; and avoid trying new things or taking risks for fear of failure, which actually has you falling short even more, well keep saying, “I’ll feel better about myself when I….” The benefit of happiness as it relates to achievements doesn’t last long. It’s fleeting and even after achieving something major, it returns to baseline levels fairly quickly. I was surprised after I earned my first pro card at just how UN-monumental it felt. And each subsequent win after that was even more anticlimactic. I have  medals and trophies and tons of competition photos, and I’d be happy taking all of them to the dump. More than anything, it’s the memories that are most meaningful to me, and not even the memory of winning. The events surrounding the win, the effort that went into preparing, and the friendships I developed through the process stick with me.  NOW, I can say that. Earlier in my competitive career, I couldn’t. I was chasing self-worth.

My point to this is that I have clients who I know have their self-esteems tightly wound to their accomplishments, and it never ceases to surprise me–and them–just how horrible they feel when they fail and how just barely elated they feel when they succeed. This has much to do with what motivates us also. Self-determination theory explains how it is those intrinsic, value-oriented, internally-based drivers that create a long-standing and enduring motivation to persist toward a goal (Check out my article in the next issue of Oxygen Women’s Fitness, as well as that coming out in Alpha–The Evolution of Fitness)– not the hard body you see on a poster with a get ‘er dun look.

So where do you go from here? First, ask yourself what you’re pursuing, exactly. Second, maybe consider doing what Joey did in an old Friends episode. Stepping out of his typically selfish, ego-driven, me-centric world, he decided to act with selflessness and found the benefits to be tremendous! (I wish I could find the clip!)

Acting with compassion toward others and showing support and responsiveness leads to a greater feeling of connectedness and self-trust! When you do make a mistake,  acting with compassion toward yourself means you’ll fall a little softer. Think if you don’t beat yourself up that you won’t work harder the next time? Think again! Studies show that the likelihood of taking responsibility for your behavior happens more often, and you’ll approach the issue from a more solution-focused perspective as opposed to feeling discouraged and wanting to give up.

Hmm…sounds to me like a worthwhile goal to pursue. Makes me wonder how someone like Lance Armstrong would have behaved if his self-esteem weren’t tied so heavily to success.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm ~Winston Churchill

%d bloggers like this: