Lisa Latimer 0:27
Welcome to Personal Growth Lifestyle. I’m your host, Lisa Latimer, self awareness facilitator, author and battle-tested empath. Today’s guest is Laura, folks, as a certified Holistic Health Coach, Laura supports people who know what they should be eating, but have a hard time sticking with it to transform their relationship with food. She helps clients get to the bottom of why they self sabotage and fall off track so they can stop battling food and themselves for good. Welcome, Laura, thank you so much for joining us.
Laura Folkes 1:01
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Lisa Latimer 1:04
Yeah, it’s really this is a great time to be talking about, you know, weight loss, and kind of helping people out of this holiday funk that so many of us seem to get into. And the extra layer to that holiday funk this year is still you know, the whole COVID thing still going on. So, you know, while we’re feeling a bit down about our holiday weight gain, what do you think, from the clients that you’ve worked with? What is one of the biggest misconceptions that’s still out there about weight loss?
Laura Folkes 1:35
I think not only just around the holidays, but just in general that the more willpower or discipline we have, and the more effort we put in, the more success will have is one of the biggest misconceptions. So a lot of people will come to me saying, you know, I just need some accountability, I just need some willpower, and just to get back on track, and I just am not doing it. And what we end up talking through and helping I help them discover is that it’s not really about willpower, there’s usually something else that’s happening that’s making it challenging for us to be able to naturally want to eat in alignment with our Healthy Eating goals and the goals that we’ve set out, right, and helping them uncover what is underneath some of the things like if somebody’s saying that they’re an emotional eater, and when they’re stressed, or bored or tired, we dig into what’s leading them to be stressed, what’s leading them to be bored, why are they so depleted or tired? That leads them to eat.
Lisa Latimer 2:36
Right. And, you know, and I had this conversation with someone else earlier today, she said that, really the diet industry is tailored, and we’re constantly getting this message from them, that it’s our fault. It’s always something that we’re lacking, or we’re doing, not enough of or too much of when we’re dieting to lose weight when the reality of it is, is that if any of those diets actually really worked, it was the magic bullet to weight loss like there would not be another magic diet or magic pill that comes up every six months, everyone would just be doing this one thing that’s proven to work. So it’s not about willpower, because that’s the message I think that we’re always sent by that industry so that we’re more likely to jump on then the next thing that comes out.
Laura Folkes 3:26
Right, yeah, and I mean, these diets obviously work, right, like people have had success on them, right. And things like whole 30 or keto work for the short term, when you’re able to stick to them exactly when you are no longer quote-unquote, perfect and start to fall off track. And that’s when you start to feel like maybe you’re failing or you’re not following the plan to a tee. That’s when we start to feel like we’re losing willpower. And some of these plans and diets are so exhausting to have to. They’re hard. They’re hard work, right. And so they take so much effort, they require so much of us to have to do in order to get those results. And if you just burn out really fast when you know when you’re on that type of pace.
Lisa Latimer 4:15
So Laura, let us know what are what type of training do you offer your clients? So you obviously dig deeper than just the willpower? So just get into that for us and give us some insight on that.
Laura Folkes 4:27
Yeah, so what I take my clients through is it’s a process. It’s a research-based approach called a truce with food. And it’s a program that we go through it usually takes people about six to 12 months to get through the whole process. But what we really do is we want to, there are so many layers to what lead us to eat out of alignment with our goals. And there’s a process that we go through that’s unconscious that leads us to eat an automatic pilot or stressy. And what that process looks like is we experienced a trigger And there are four triggers that typically come up for people.
And those are feeling tired, anxious, or having some level of uncertainty also leads to anxiety, right and feeling inadequate, or like we’re not good enough and feeling lonely or isolated. Right. So there’s this trigger, that then activates a story that was created earlier on in life, when we didn’t really have a lot of information and a lot of context as to what was happening. And it was created to protect ourselves. Right from that story, we have a stress response. And just like when you’re in physical threat, and like an animal might go into flight, or freeze mode might have emotional stress responses that we experience, which are to compete, accommodate or avoid, from the stress responses, there’s different behaviors, and it depends on which stress response you’re in.
But I’ll use the avoider as an example, somebody who is a procrastinator and avoids once they their stress response is triggered, they may not take action, they might build things up and, and procrastinate and not actually do anything, but then feel like they’re behind as well. Right. So once we have the behavior, that’s when we get into eating out of alignment with our goals or automatic pilot eating, we lose self-trust, and then that loops back into that trigger. And so that’s the cycle we often are going through when we’re eating out of alignment with our goals. Or if we’re stressed eating board a meeting, whatever it is, that’s coming up, right? I’m
Lisa Latimer 6:40
I’m glad that you mentioned that too. Because when we fall off or do something that we perceive is out of alignment, or have, you know, a perceived failure, it really does lead to this endless loop of negative self-talk. And it’s funny how it works, too, because it’s like, our positive self-talk takes so long to build up. And it doesn’t it takes so long for that to be the voice that we hear that automatically kicks in. We always though are so in tune with that negative self-talk. And then that just takes us even deeper down the hole of self-sabotage. Have you do you see that with clients?
Laura Folkes 7:21
Definitely. And what we end up exploring throughout the process, and the program is how that negative self-talk and how all of that beating ourselves up is actually protective. And really uncovering how that is protective, why it’s coming up. And it can really help once we look at it in that way to be able to bring a little bit more compassion to ourselves. Because often, all of these stories and all of the stuff that we’re uncovering was developed when we were so much younger, and we don’t necessarily know why it’s coming up. But we didn’t also have the tools at that time to protect ourselves.
And so we brought in what we knew at the time, and what we thought was going to be protective. And sometimes it feels like it’s the opposite of protecting ourselves, protecting us. But when I do the work with my clients, and they can start to see how we’re employing these tools that we learned earlier in life, and how they work for us in some ways, and how they’re also keeping us stuck in others, it can be really freeing and relieving for them to be able to look at it with that lens.
Lisa Latimer 8:32
Absolutely. You know, we like you said, we bring in things from when we’re so younger, because when we get to a place where we can reflect and kind of learn to unpack and dissect our past experiences, we can get so much from it. And we have like all of these aha moments. But when you’re right, when we’re going through it, it just it becomes this thing where we’re just stacking bad habits, bad experiences, you know, negative perceptions about our experiences. So I’m sure that you know, as with my clients, too, when your clients come to you, they’re at a point where there’s just so much kind of backtracking that needs to be done. Like there are just so many weeds that needs to be kind of hacked through to get to the bottom like to get to the origins. I tell people, you can’t keep putting band aids over wounds that require like surgical precision type of healing.
Laura Folkes 9:32
Right? Definitely. Yeah, and that is definitely we start like the first part of the process is really like unearthing and digging up a lot of that stuff and get it gaining a lot more awareness and clarity of what is coming up. And I find that clarity is such a great tool for people to be able to have more compassion and be able to see what is actually causing their unaligned eating choices. Right, then they’re able to see that it’s not that they’re broken. It’s not that there’s something inherently wrong with them. Because I, my clients are pretty type A personalities and they’ve had success in so many different areas of their life, but this food thing, they’re like, “Why can I not get this together” and when we start to uncover like, what is happening with their story and where this was developed and how it was developed, and often, it had to do with how food was approached in their house as kids or even a lot of my clients recently have been talking about their mother’s relationship with food and how that has such an impact on them in their relationship with food now to.
Lisa Latimer 10:42
Absolutely, and I’m sure, you know, because I have a few clients that I’ve worked with that are high achievers. And it’s funny because from the outside, you might look at someone who’s a high achiever and say, “Oh, well, if they’ve already had success in this part, and that part of their life, they must look at whatever they’re struggling with, oh, you know, as, Oh, that’s okay, I’ll get this down”. But sometimes the fact that you’ve had so much success in other parts of life, and here are these one or two parts that you just cannot nail down, it actually makes you feel worse, and you start thinking to yourself, “Well, what is wrong with me”, or “I’ll just, I’ll never be able to get this to work”.
Because, you know, these other things come so easily for me, or I’m able to really be so successful in these other areas. And yet, I’ve been battling and throwing every solution at the wall with this particular problem. And it’s just unsolvable. And they just label it as unsolvable or themselves as just not capable.
Laura Folkes 11:42
Yes. And I also find that because of the fact that they have are so successful in other areas, they don’t want people to see when they’re have challenges or that they’re like flailing. And so, they live, they suffer in silence, almost. And so a lot of my clients are not talking to other people about what they’re going through, because they don’t necessarily want to be exposed for people to see that they have any flaws. And so they put out a happy face, which is also exhausting, right to make it feel like look like on the outside that you have it all together. But on the inside, you’re battling yourself and food so much and are doing it on your own. And so it feels so isolating also,
Lisa Latimer 12:25
Absolutely. And you know, I never even thought of it from that point. That they, they hide it rather than, you know, be comfortable and be open talking about it. You know, it look if you’re successful at five other things And there’s just one thing that you’re not that successful. Like, you’d look at a person like that and be like, hey, you’re doing all right in life. But no, if you think about it, whatever that one thing is, that’s kind of our our burden that just weighs on our shoulders, even if everything else is going great. If we can’t get that one thing, it’ll be that one thing that really affects us.
Laura Folkes 13:01
Definitely. Yeah, and when I talked earlier about the story that we uncover, for some people, it is around not wanting to be exposed and what being exposed means for them. And so that’s where it can be super empowering. Because even though it might just be around food is a big area, there’s typically other places where they don’t want to feel exposed, either. And sometimes for some of my clients, it’s even if they’re in a bigger body than they want to be in, getting dressed in the morning feels exposing to them and having to present themselves out into the world feels exposing because they feel like they’re wearing their flies on their body. And people are judging them based on how they look. So it there’s many layers to it. And that’s what we really try to unearth. And we work towards earthing and uncovering,
Lisa Latimer 13:53
Right, And actually, when you said that, Laura, it brought me right back to a time where I was in the middle of my weight loss battle. You know, I had my children back to back, It was three days before my 35th birthday. But when I had my daughter and then I was 36 when I had my son and it just you know, I love working out, it wouldn’t come off. And I had all these clothes in my closet. And I was stuck in the mindset that I was still in my old body. So every now and again, when I would get something for myself, it was my old size. I couldn’t mentally bring myself to just get clothing that fit where I was at that time. So when t you talk about, you know, being extremely exposed, like getting dressed every morning. My thing that always made me feel exposed is when we had someplace that we had to go where I couldn’t just get away with wearing leggings and one of my husband’s sweatshirts.
Yeah, yeah, it was always very triggering for me and one experience in particular, my cousin’s wedding, I had gotten a dress that I knew was going to be a little bit iffy, but it was so nice. I was dieting. I stepped into it and the zipper didn’t go all the way up my husband actually broke the zipper getting it up on me and then it was my family was on the way to pick me up. I had to run last minute to a David’s Bridal and then what could be worse than a nice black slimming dress that doesn’t quite fit. The only dress that would fit you and David’s Bridal last minute was a silver sequins dress. Things that everything and makes you look like a big disco ball. So that was the experience that made me just completely flip the switch!
Laura Folkes 15:36
Yeah, and that’s so that can be so triggering. Did you do you remember if you ended up eating a lot or drinking a lot at the wedding that night?
Lisa Latimer 15:44
Barely. And let me tell you something else at the wedding because it was beautiful really be. It started out on a rooftop and then we went inside. So because it was on the rooftop. It was windy and they were giving out shawls. I had my shawl wrapped around me all night Even when we got inside.
Laura Folkes 16:02
Mm hmm. Yeah, because you didn’t want to be you felt so uncomfortable, right?
Lisa Latimer 16:06
And I felt so exposed. I felt and and feeling that exposure again, like you said it was triggering and I probably didn’t eat much at the wedding even though the food was amazing looking. But I could almost guarantee you that I probably binge ate Taco Bell. Late at night on the way home.
Laura Folkes 16:26
Yes, I was actually going to ask that when you said that you barely ate at the wedding. I was going to ask if you ate afterward. Because if you’re already feeling exposed, the last thing you want people to see is you eat right or drink because then there’s more judgment that can come up. So often when we feel exposed. We that’s a lot of times when people end up eating in private because they don’t want people to judge them or see, again, that there’s this flaw or issue that they are challenged that they are going through. Yes, food. Yes.
Lisa Latimer 16:59
The last thing we want to do is highlight something that’s already very, very much digging at us.
Laura Folkes 17:04
Lisa Latimer 17:06
I think I’ve gotten more insight from you on this conversation. And we’re just like in the beginning of the conference. I know everyone listening right now are just they’re having a ton of aha moments because you know, the idea, you know, hey, we all have to get dressed in the morning, right. And even now that so many of us are just on zoom calls and zoom meetings, like you know, it’s not as stressful, but you still have to get dressed and, and even if no one else sees you, you know how you feel when you’re going into your closet, and you’re trying on, oh, this is still too tight in the arms, this is still too tight in the back. This is, you know, it really is just standing there in the privacy alone, without people watching you, you can still feel so much shame.
Laura Folkes 17:54
Yep, yeah. And also, I would say that I have some of my clients too, who are already thinking ahead to when the world opens up again, post-COVID. And they have to go out and people are now going to see them. If you haven’t seen somebody for a year and a half. And if they feel like they have fallen off track have gained a little bit of weight, they’re already starting to think about how they’re going to be judged and how they’re going to be exposed or potentially even misunderstood when they have to reenter the world again. And so that’s something that I’m starting to see already that’s weighing on people’s minds.
Lisa Latimer 18:30
Wow, no, things are gonna pick up, get back to being open. Right. And I again, I had a conversation this morning, and we touched on the idea of I mean, for some people, it’s motivating to think ahead. But for some people thinking ahead, it just brings on all of these what-ifs and all of these anxieties that wind up just, you know, weighing on you.
So yeah, what does happen when. So you would I guess some people would say, Okay, well, I can lose the weight by the time the world opens up. But if you’ve been battling with this for years already, the idea of achieving that by the time the world reopens, you know, you probably assume that you’re still going to be in the same battle. It deflates a lot of our other experiences in life. It takes the joy out of being able to see friends and family that we haven’t seen and really connected with in the last year, year and a half.
Laura Folkes 19:26
Yeah, and I would, I would say that a lot of the patterns that come up through transitions are typically the ones that come up, that are always active, and we just don’t necessarily realize them and they show up in different ways because some of my clients also who have been struggling through COVID they’re really upset with themselves because this has been something that they’ve been battling for so long, and now they’re home more, they’re not traveling, they’re not eating out as much, they are cooking more and yet, they’re still not able to Like get back on track, I put that in quotes, or stop self-sabotaging themselves.
And they’re so confused by that because now they have all the tools all of the time. And yet, for some reason, one of my clients and a few of them find themselves in the pantry at four o’clock eating seven different snacks. And before they know it, they’ve completely fallen off track, they are doing this in, in hiding. But then they get to dinner, they’re not even hungry, but they feel like they have to eat it anyway. And it’s that whole gearing up then to I need to be better tomorrow and be good tomorrow. But then the same thing happens the next day.
And so what we’ve been doing is really decoding and helping figure out what are those triggers are leading her to get into the pantry. And really, this pattern has been happening since before college for her. But it’s just gotten to a point where she’s exhausted and she’s frustrated, and she was starting to feel hopeless or lose hope that anything could actually change. And then she was able to find some support that can help her hopefully break that pattern. And we’re working through that. But yeah, it’s it just is something that continues to, to get exacerbated, especially as we’re going through transitions. And if we think about the last year has been one huge transition. And we’re going to continue to be in transitions until things start to get back to whatever normal is going to look like again.
Lisa Latimer 21:33
Yeah, you’re absolutely right about that. You said something that I want you to kind of elaborate on in terms of what you’ve seen with clients. And that’s the effect of when we’re hiding something. It definitely affects our relationships. How have you seen, like the people that your clients that you’re working with who, you know, they’re hiding it, they’re successful, and other parts of their life, but they want to not talk about and just hide this one aspect of their life that they’re not able to really get a grip on? Like, what are the kind of repercussions on relationships with coworkers, friends, family, significant others?
Laura Folkes 22:14
Well, one of the, if we talk about the triggers that I talked about earlier on where it’s feeling tired, anxious, inadequate, or lonely, so often, what I find is when people are hiding it, they’re isolating, they feel isolated, but part of it’s because they’re isolating themselves because they’re not able to form the connections or be as present as they’d like to be with the people that are important to them. Because they don’t feel like they’re living up and authentically almost to themselves or to other people, because they’re having to put on this happy face are not fully able to share what they’re going through.
And I find that as people are able to. And what we do in the second half of the program was we start to test new behaviors and to see that, like help them build up the resilience help them to see that they actually can be safe when trying new ways of being. And when they start to form more connection with people and open up more about some of the stuff that they’re going through. It’s amazing how others are actually going through some of the same things that they didn’t realize because nobody’s actually connecting and talking about it. So I think that it just puts a little bit of a strain on not only their relationship with other people, but it’s also their relationship with themselves, it gets a little bit hindered by suffering in silence.
Lisa Latimer 23:43
And you know, because I talk so much about self-awareness. And I feel like once you kind of get that self-awareness cup full it, it starts to neatly spill over into the other aspects of your life, because just like what you kind of, you know, go with your clients through to get them into essentially, a deeper level of self-awareness is that the patterns that we have, they don’t usually just come at us, like you said before, in one aspect of life, right, they affect multiple aspects of our lives.
So if someone’s in the pattern, where they’re, where they’re hiding something, you know, and isolating themselves, it’s not going to just affect their diet, it’s going to affect their relationships with other people, it might even affect their ability to to work and do things that they have to do. Like, I’ll give you a perfect example. When I was younger. I was so self-conscious. I had taken semesters off from college, where I felt like I was to where I packed on I felt more I felt like I packed on too much weight to go to school. And all I looked so good last semester what you know, if I go back, everyone’s gonna think X, Y, and Z have me You know what, I’m just going to take the semester off I need money anyway because we always find a way to kind of legitimize our choices. So you know, I need to make money anyway. So I’ll just I’ll take the semester off and work And while I’m working, I’ll work out and lose the weight. So these things really run over into so many aspects of our lives in different ways. You know, and sometimes can seem completely unrelated.
Laura Folkes 25:15
Definitely, yes. And I find that as we work through my clients relationship with food, their relationships with their friends, their family and co-workers tend to shift their relationship with themselves, obviously tends to shift. And then also, with relationships, sometimes they either form stronger relationships with a significant other, or they realize that the relationships no longer serving them, so they decide to break it off and exit the relationship. And then also, I’ve had clients with their careers, they realize that the job that they’re in isn’t serving them or they get more confidence and are able to ask for the promotion that they feel like they’ve deserved.
So it does definitely have an impact on so many different other areas. And actually, one of my clients also started working with me because she had some, challenges around food, but really, she wanted to, to overcome biting and picking her nails. And that was something that she had really struggled with. She hunger and if you think about with biting and picking her nails, it was kind of the same thing where she that we experienced with food where she was like, I just need more discipline, I just need to have more willpower and not buy them. And then every time she would bite or pick them, she felt like she was failing. And so we’ve worked through and she said that, that for the first time in her life, she’s able to not she has whites on her nails, and they’ve lasted for weeks. And she’s so excited about that.
Lisa Latimer 26:51
Wow. So yeah, sometimes we have these compulsions, these behaviors similar to binge eating, just like that compulsion, and it comes in and manifest and other forms of our lives. That’s so interesting. Well, Laura, I have to say this was definitely enlightening. Just a value-packed conversation, I thank you so much for that. So before I let you go, though, I want you to just let the audience know. And obviously, you could say it better than I can, you know, just give them an idea of what type of coaching options that you offer. And then where, even though I’m going to have it in the show notes where they can connect with you.
Laura Folkes 27:25
Fantastic Yeah, and thank you so much for having me, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. So my programs I offer are a two month or six-month coaching program. And the two months is really meant for people who want to dip their toe in the water and see if this is really the right approach for them. Because they’ve tried so many different things before and have invested a lot of time and money. And so it can be a good starting point.
And then the six-month program is for somebody who’s like, yes, this is the support that I need. And I’m ready to just jump into it. Right. I’m also launching in February, a self-guided program that’s going to help people to stop battling food and themselves. And that will be it’s five lessons that has videos and worksheets and stuff. And it also comes with a private session with me as well. And so that will be available on my website in February, starting in February and my website’s, Laura b folks.com. And then I’m also on Instagram at Laura b dot folks and on Facebook at Laura B folks.
Lisa Latimer 28:37
Fantastic. Well, Laura, I have to say I, first of all, I thank you all so because again, we get so much gaslighting from the diet and wellness industries. But I love it because you know that self-awareness is my jam. And I feel like it’s the solution to like 99.9% of our problems. I really appreciate your approach and that you really take your clients into a deeper level of self-awareness and I believe that that is when you truly get lifelong results. So you are doing amazing work and I wish you all the best in 2021.
Laura Folkes 29:14
Thank you so much. Yes, and I will say that the work is not easy, but it is super rewarding.
Lisa Latimer 29:19
Absolutely. Well, we’re definitely going to have you back again. Laura. Thanks again for being with us.
Are you ready to become your most valuable asset book a free chat with me at Lisalatimer.com from there you can grab my Amazon bestseller Who the fuck are you increased self-awareness to gain clarity silence fear and create fulfillment in life in business. You can also check out my courses, self-aware goal setting and speak it into existence with more horses to come. I’m Lisa Latimer and I’m helping you make personal growth part of your lifestyle.
You can find Laura Folkes here: laurabfolkes.com