The Midlife Feast

#101 - How to Build Habits Without Diets & Food Rules with Heather Sayers Lehman

February 26, 2024 Jenn Salib Huber RD ND Season 4 Episode 101
#101 - How to Build Habits Without Diets & Food Rules with Heather Sayers Lehman
The Midlife Feast
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The Midlife Feast
#101 - How to Build Habits Without Diets & Food Rules with Heather Sayers Lehman
Feb 26, 2024 Season 4 Episode 101
Jenn Salib Huber RD ND

What did you think of this episode? Send me a text message and let me know!

Diet and wellness culture do a fantastic job “shoulding” all over us, especially when it comes to the habits we put into place. This pressure does not mix well with our already strained capacity in midlife, making it necessary to ask ourselves if the habits we keep are serving us anymore. That’s why I’ve invited health coach and behavior change expert Heather Sayers Lehman to help us dive into this work.

Habits can be powerful tools, but they should be a reflection of how attuned we are to our own needs and preferences-not diet culture rules. We’ll unpack why we need to focus less on willpower and more on self-compassion. You’ll be so refreshed by the way Heather helps us approach habit change in a way that actually feels aligned and makes the ROI easy to recognize!

To learn more about Heather and her work, connect with her on her website at  heathersayerslehman.com or follow her on IG @heathersayerslehman. Also, be sure to tune into her podcast The Air We Breathe



Looking for a place to learn more about midlife, menopause nutrition, and intuitive eating? Click here to grab one of my free resources and learn what I've got "on the menu" including my 1:1 and group programs. https://www.menopausenutritionist.ca/links

Show Notes Transcript

What did you think of this episode? Send me a text message and let me know!

Diet and wellness culture do a fantastic job “shoulding” all over us, especially when it comes to the habits we put into place. This pressure does not mix well with our already strained capacity in midlife, making it necessary to ask ourselves if the habits we keep are serving us anymore. That’s why I’ve invited health coach and behavior change expert Heather Sayers Lehman to help us dive into this work.

Habits can be powerful tools, but they should be a reflection of how attuned we are to our own needs and preferences-not diet culture rules. We’ll unpack why we need to focus less on willpower and more on self-compassion. You’ll be so refreshed by the way Heather helps us approach habit change in a way that actually feels aligned and makes the ROI easy to recognize!

To learn more about Heather and her work, connect with her on her website at  heathersayerslehman.com or follow her on IG @heathersayerslehman. Also, be sure to tune into her podcast The Air We Breathe



Looking for a place to learn more about midlife, menopause nutrition, and intuitive eating? Click here to grab one of my free resources and learn what I've got "on the menu" including my 1:1 and group programs. https://www.menopausenutritionist.ca/links

Jenn Salib Huber:

Hi and welcome to the Midlife Feast, the podcast for women who are hungry for more in this season of life. I'm your host, dr Jenn Salib-Huber. I'm an intuitive eating dietitian and naturopathic doctor, and I help women manage menopause without dieting and food rules. Come to my table, listen and learn from me trusted guest experts in women's health and interviews with women just like you. Each episode brings to the table juicy conversations designed to help you feast on midlife, and if you're looking for more information about menopause, nutrition and intuitive eating, check out the Midlife Feast community, my monthly membership that combines my no-nonsense approach that you all love to nutrition with community, so that you can learn from me and others who can relate to the cheers and challenges of midlife. Hey there, and welcome to this week's episode of the Midlife Feast.

Jenn Salib Huber:

My guest today is Heather Sayers-Lamon, and Heather is a certified health coach. She's a behavior change expert. She is recovered from an eating disorder and also has really taken a big step out of diet and wellness culture by trying to change the conversation around how we talk about health, and so I was really excited to talk to Heather about habit change in particular, because the idea of habits for many of us is very steeped in our beliefs about ourselves, about what we should and shouldn't be doing, what we should be capable of, how much willpower we have. A lot of, I think, misconceptions about what habits are, but also misconceptions about what's keeping us from the habits that we think that we want. So if any of this sounds interesting to you and you're thinking, oh yeah, that's me, you'll definitely want to tune in to this week's episode. Welcome, heather, to the Midlife Feast.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Thank you for having me Excited to be here.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I'm excited too, and so I had the honor of being a guest on your podcast, which is the Air we Breathe, talking about diet, culture, wellness, culture and midlife, and we're going to talk a little bit about habits today, and habits are kind of your jam or, I guess, kind of helping people to work with habits as they improve whatever it is that they're working on. So why don't you just tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

All right. Well, I've been in the health and wellness field overall for over 30 years in different shapes and forms, and I came up in athletics and then went into fitness and again, they're all very habit oriented. And then I moved into health coaching about 13 years ago because I liked the whole package.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Because, again, even when I was working in fitness, if somebody was having relationship troubles or their kids activity schedule was too full, that affected that piece. So I like working in all aspects of how those habits can work together, but also there's a lot of other things that we can kind of clean up in the meantime that make it easier for us to do our habits. So that has, as you say, been my jam for a while, and I also work in corporate wellness, so helping employers support their employees to create healthy habits as well, and I do everything in an anti-diet, weight neutral, weight inclusive format, which has been all of that has probably been the last three or so years. I used to definitely be part of the problem out here.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

So I published a book in 2014. And then I used that for one of my corporate wellness courses and I had to go back. We refresh the material often and then when I was looking at my book, I was stunned. I was like, oh my gosh, this is so diet-y. And so I do love how we all keep evolving, and it's also very cringy to look back at how problematic some of the concepts even if I'm telling people to get away from the scale, but I'm still very much like keep an eye on yourself. So it's nice to keep things updated and I think, certainly a reflection of myself and where I have fallen victim to diet culture and then how easy it is to pass that on trying to be very mindful about that now.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Yeah, and I mean you're right, we're all evolving. I absolutely cringe. I mean some of the things that I've talked about before. I used to hand out copies of the dirty dozen to all of my patients. We would print like hundreds of copies and have them sitting on our reception desk, obviously, and size and wallet size, and I had a sheet that I would send people home with instructions with, and at the top I had that famous quote food is medicine, food be your medicine. And I realize now it was trying to be helpful and inspiring, right, but it was just so moralizing and it was not inclusive and it was not accessible to most people. And that's where I think so much of the wellness culture messaging goes so much deeper than just diet culture, right, because it's not just about whether you're a good or a bad person based on the size of your body. It's whether or not you're a good, moral and worthy person. Because you're trying to rise to the top of that ladder, right.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

And wellness. Your outcomes matter because, again, in corporate wellness there are outcomes based programming and it depends on your numbers. So myself, who has chronic health conditions, I would have to take all kinds of different education because my numbers might not be great. So it is so counterintuitive, I think, focusing on an outcome that we might not be able to control and I can be doing all of the great behaviors to support myself. Still not there.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Yeah, okay, well, let's go cut. Let's try and circle back to behaviors and habits. So I really like talking about habits. I described them as shortcuts, right? So there's shortcuts that our brain takes. They're not good or bad. They don't have any more of all of you. They don't make you a good person or a bad person, depending on what your habits are. But learning about how our brain makes habits, how we get into habit loops, I think can actually be really empowering. So let's talk about habits. What are some of the biggest myths that you see people have about habits?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Well, I think what I always like to talk about first and foremost is the culture that we live in, and many to most of my clients are women and there is absolutely. The air we breathe is we are helpers, we are supporting other people, we are here to serve and our needs wants get put on the back burner, and that's how we are good women and that's how we earn a lot of value because our value generally needs to be earned.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

So just having that as our culture, obviously it influences us to not create as much of a priority on our own health and wellbeing because it could be selfish. You could be doing something for somebody else and I think I always like for people to understand like that's all of us and that's very much and, depending on the home you grew up in, what kind of institutions or family belong to that, that really is going to run deep so that when people might feel like they are quote unquote failing, they are really just doing what they've been conditioned to do and their real work is overcoming that conditioning and moving to a place where they feel like they are worthy of this time and investment, and I think that's very challenging. So a lot of people come towards habits as well. This is discipline, this is willpower, this is a plan.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Rigidity like these are all like high valued positions, but really I look at it as it needs to be flexible. It needs to be absolutely what works for you, not what works for your neighbor, not what works for your sister-in-law, what works for you, and they have to have a lot of nuance and be self led, which, again, we grow up in a culture that's like here's the rules, jen, I just need you to follow them. So for us to create our own rules feels very counterintuitive and it feels very uncomfortable and, again, self serving. So, for many reasons, I think that really the air around habits is challenging just because of our culture, which, again, we live in, a big culture of self responsibility too, like you, should be able to do it. But also there are a lot of obstacles created distinctly against you because, again, we need you to be small and compliant and quiet, so we don't need you out here making decisions for yourself.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I love all of that. I'd love to hear your thoughts on willpower, because this is a word that is thrown around not just in diet and wellness culture, but really whenever somebody is trying to talk themselves into something. They often will say I just need more willpower or I just need to find my willpower. How do you talk about willpower?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I usually try to talk about a why. You know why do I want to do this anyway and I don't necessarily correlate your why with a success. If your why is strong enough, you'll be successful because, again, there are too many other life matters that are involved in that. But when I'm working with clients, I'm always trying to get them to kind of create a North Star focused on feelings and not an outcome. You know I'm always focused on my A1C and concerned about that, keep my eye on it and that's sort of an outcome that I like and I want to monitor.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

But for me, more of the feelings that I'm always looking for are confidence and carefree. Also, you know, feeling free because, again, with chronic illness, you can feel very tethered to the system and tethered to limits. So when people have that willpower, talk of like I should just be able to do it it's completely understandable because if you look at so much of the rhetoric especially that's online or influencers they're just doing it. And for myself I look at like exercise is not a problem for me. I have been going to the gym since I was 15, it's not better or worse, it's just what I've done. And there are other areas a part of a like a stress management routine, like a meditating or yoga, so challenging for me.

Jenn Salib Huber:

And is that?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

a willpower issue, like I don't think so. I think we all have natural inclinations of what we are able to lean into.

Jenn Salib Huber:

And.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I know in yoga they talk about the. I think it's the Devesha pose, which is the hardest pose. That is something that you're also supposed to do more of, which I'm always like, oh, that pigeon is always looking at me. I need to do more pigeon. But I think that that concept of willpower is just absolutely something I want people to leave behind and lean into.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Like, how is it that you're wanting to feel? Because many times what you feel like you should be doing or should be easy for you is not necessarily maybe what you wanna focus on right now, because somebody may have trouble with their A1C, but they really wanna focus on their back pain. It's not better, it's not worse. They're probably gonna get much more leverage off of focusing on what they want to focus on and could success beget success within habits and then do well with that and then move on to making other choices. But feelings are always first and keeping that sort of inner priority of my feelings are important, which, again, is challenging for a lot of people. But how I feel is very important. It sets a tone of my day and, if we need to circle back to other people, it impacts how I connect with people or don't connect with them. So it is important that I have the feelings that I'm looking for.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I love that. I love that connecting to how you want to feel too, because I think all too often we think that achieving the outcome is going to have the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. But I always joke that you know, checking something off your to-do list only has a limited return on investment in terms of that moment of satisfaction of saying I did it. But if the thing that you did helps you to feel better in your body, about your health, about your life, whatever it is, that is going to be a much better long-term motivator. The checking it off the list, that's a short-term thing, like we can't hang our hats on that, which is why calorie counting is never going to be like a good motivator, right, because it's just not.

Jenn Salib Huber:

What do you talk about with capacity? So I often talk about how willpower is a function of capacity and, as you were saying earlier, about how you know, as women, we have all of these expectations that were steeped in, that are given to us whether we want them or not, and often our capacity to get over that activation energy, as I call it, to kind of get the ball rolling on things feels like a really, really big hurdle. I don't want to call it an obstacle, because it's a hurdle, something you have to get on the other side of. How do you talk to women about creating space and capacity for self-care habits? What are some of the things that you find helpful in those conversations?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

That's such a great topic because, again, with more of the bro fitness, that's not part of the conversation, because most bros are not worried about capacity or bandwidth. They're at the gym for two hours because somebody else is taking care of everything for them. But I think bandwidth is what I usually refer to and it's absolutely part of the process when I walk people through what they don't want, the feelings they do want, and where are you right now, and I know your children are 21 and 23 at this point, but I was a single parent for 13 years, most of their childhood and absolutely bandwidth had to be part of the equation because one I'm no good to anyone or myself if I'm ground down to a nub, but we have a lot of seasons of life and we have literal seasons. I know, I think you're coming out of a rainy season.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Well, give us another month, Give us another month.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

And I live in Arizona, which is living in the sun, so six months of the year it's really like 100 plus here. So we have literal seasons of what is accomplishable and what is just. You know what. I'll see it in October. We're going to forget about that for now. And with the kids, is it basketball season? Is it robotic season? Do you have this weird activity that now they need you at school 6.30 in the morning, so you're always jostling and juggling that.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

But also as an expectation and this is where I talk about metascals that are really necessary for change and adaptability is absolutely one of those because you have to expect things are going to change, because just because you're in a groove right now, well, I promise you you won't be soon enough Because, again, flu, sprained ankle, different activity, like whatever it might be, you know really will change what you're doing, and that's okay and that's to be expected. It's not. It's not a, you know, like a fault in the system, like that is the system you know we live in. You know of an ever changing world. So when we look at bandwidth, like, I think it is extremely important to consider where you are and which.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Again, when I talk about metascals. I talk about self awareness. So I've got to at least tap in to see where are you, because highly likely nobody around you is like hey Jen, how is your bandwidth right now? How you doing? You feel a little, you know. Are you struggling a bit? You know. So we don't think to even ask ourselves that question. But that absolutely needs to be part of the conversation and to be able to assess, because once you, when you first start asking yourself questions, you're like I don't even have a reference point for this. What is too much? What is? You know? I'm not doing enough because, again, we also have all the diet, culture, influences that are basically telling you all the time you're not doing enough. Anyway, there could be more you're doing. I saw you sitting on the couch. Looks like you could have done some sit ups there, you know, like all of those messages.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

So I think just learning to tap in to assess where you are and appreciating that like, yes, when we have a basketball practice at 530 in the evening, you know our dinners are going to look different. Or you know, when my mom is going through an illness and I'm helping with her, like my physical activity is going to look different and I might have to, you know, drop a little bit of that and pick up some stress management in a different way, you know. So maybe that I'm going to and from my mother-in-law was just in the hospital for a while this fall and so more of an audio book that was relaxing in the car to and fro because she was a half an hour away. So you know, you can kind of pick up things and drop off things, and giving yourself permission to do that is really the most important and being very compassionate and a good friend to yourself to say, you know, I don't think right now is the time for an hour and a half at the gym.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I think you know you've got bigger fish to fry. We'll get back to it when we have time and and really being okay with that change. And you know I was talking about good, better, best, and wouldn't it be great to do our best all the time? Sure, but that's also not life and sometimes we are hanging by our fingernails and we need to, you know again, be the kindest, compassionate, friend to our self. And that doesn't involve pushing yourself or, you know, still going to work out when you didn't sleep, but you know what would a friend say you should do.

Jenn Salib Huber:

And it's that permission to lower the bar, you know, the permission to do whatever you have the capacity for, even if it doesn't come close to what you wanted to do. You know, I describe it as like it's the commitment to showing up for yourself that matters. What you actually do probably doesn't matter all that much, but it's that commitment to showing up and, like you say, like being able to ask yourself, like what do I have access to right now? What do I, what can I do? What do I need? What's my bandwidth? I think that process is really foreign to people who are used to just go, go, go, do, do, do and just do the thing that someone else has told me I need to do, instead of actually tuning into, like does this feel good? Do I want this? Yeah, Is this helping me to feel better?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Yeah, and it's hard, yeah, and creating process around that, I think, is really important.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Yeah, so you know, I think you know when I started intuitive eating, I was like I don't hang on, like you know it, like it tilts the world off of its axis because you're like.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

But so I've got these rules I'm very comfortable with and I've done this to my detriment for a very long time. And I think the same is said for when you're starting to look at, you know, physical activity or nutrition, or you know stress management in a different way. You have to create a process and usually for most of my clients that's journaling. You've got to start talking to you and seeing what you like and what you would like to do and again, like, even looking at all the options of good, better, best of like, well, good is like, yeah, I'd love to have my personal trainer with me five days a week right now. Like well, wouldn't that be nice? But you know, right now my living room floor is all that I have time to do and I'm just doing a stretching routine like isn't that fantastic? Because I I feel like also, we are really sort of indoctrinated to look at what I didn't do versus what I actually did do, and Laura that I work with calls it.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

She heard it somewhere and she can't remember who. So now I'm just stealing from somebody who stole it, but not the the to do, but the to da of. You know what you actually did accomplish, so shout out to whoever said that it.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I love that.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I'm gonna steal that too. So we'll all just be a bunch of thieves out here and somebody will be like, oh, oh I said that, but I think it's again.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

You know you, you have to start celebrating yourself. Nobody is out here in the wings waiting to do it for you, and even if it is, it's really hard to get up and stretch on your living room floor. You know so that if you do five minutes, you know, and it just kind of loosens thing up like that is an accomplishment because from a Activation inertia standpoint, it is much easier to stay on the couch. Look at that, we're doing that. That's very comfortable. So getting up is a ta-da.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I Love that. I was talking to somebody this week who is, you know, saying oh, you know, I'm doing really well with food, but I'm still having a hard time with movement and I just can't figure out you know how, why I can't go for a 20 minute walk three times a week. Why is that so hard? And you know, I think that that's a really common thing for people, especially people who Maybe never had a regular movement practice. You know, if, if movement was always part of your life, even if your motivation and changes, if it's already part of your rhythm and routine, it's probably easier to just kind of pick up At least kind of in my observation.

Jenn Salib Huber:

But if you've never had that and you're now trying to add something in For for reasons other than a number goal or, you know, number on the scale, I think that we overestimate how much get up and go Willpower can give us right, because it is. You need to really lower the bar and just start by showing up. And so I mean a lot of people laugh when I say, like, give yourself credit for putting your sneakers on, like if you've never had a regular Movement practice and you get up off the couch and put your sneakers on, that is the win, but it doesn't feel like enough to them because they're coming from that diet culture of you know you have to go big or go home. No pain, no gain, and if you're not going to do an hour then it's not worth your time. So I'm coming around to a question here we go.

Jenn Salib Huber:

So when you're working with people and, and and I mean in the health coaching side of things I'm sure this is, you know, a big part of what you do how do you get them to see that other reality? How do you get them to start to shift their beliefs? Right, because you know this, 20 minutes seems to be like a number that's ingrained in a lot of people's brains about like that's how much is worth it. You know, anything after that is gravy, but if I don't do at least that, then it's not worth it. What are some of the ways that people can start shifting their minds out around that?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Yeah, I think that's such a good question because worth it, I believe, always originally comes from a diet culture perspective of is this helping me be smaller? And and that is that because if you, you know, look at anything online and I certainly look. You know what the influences, you know I'm 52 of.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

You know what I've come up in and what has been popular, even during my career of a biggest loser, or you know, I remember when, like Beachbody, took over social media and you know, as somebody with an extra science Exercise science master's degree, I was horrified, and still am to this day, that all of a sudden it's like, oh my gosh, look, my accountant is a coach. Well, isn't that fun over here. Look at the gala. Does my nails as a coach neat? So All of this messaging has really messed up what is sort of like a healthy attitude towards movement, because it has all been very outcome oriented and of course you know when you're looking at like something Beachbody and MLM, it's financially oriented. These people that are putting videos of themselves they're just trying to make money and you know that's a whole different show. But I think like that has been so impactful for people to see, like oh my gosh, like I didn't do something that had, you know, you know set of burpees at the end, like that is actually not necessary and also like counterproductive for many of us, like that it's not something I aspire to do, because then you have to have the goal To think about what is going to work for you again what, how much time do I have, what is the weather, what is my budget? You know all of these different pieces and figure out something that's going to work. Just for me, and I think a big piece is having the confidence to know that you are correct in figuring out what works for you. And Also, what works for you today is not a face tattoo, but you know, maybe you've tried 20 minutes and you're like, oh my gosh. Then I'm just rush, rush, rush, 1510, and I think you know all of those other pieces. You know the rigidity. Or now I've got a plan, I don't have to think about it, and getting people more comfortable with thinking about it and assessing and tuning in, you know, are some of the I think the greater, the greater challenges. But you know, so again, it's like when I'm talking to somebody we're just really peeling the onion about what concepts they have in the first place. About a 20 minute walk, and I certainly have worked. Oh my gosh.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

It used to be the worst when I first started my career as the health coach for our county and and saw lots and lots of people. I did like usually about a thousand sessions a year in that role. Yeah, that's why I left coaching for a little while. I was like there's a lot of talking to people and there was nothing more devastating to me than having somebody do that three times 20 minute goal. And they were like so proud I did it. And then they were like what if I jump on the scale? And I was like no, no, no, no, no, no, no, you know, but it's, it's, you know they make their own decisions and then just be devastated because it didn't show up on the scale. So what is the point? Why am I doing this? So again, that kind of goes back to you know, finding a why. That is not outcome based up.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Like Maybe you're really worried about sleep, while physical activity is excellent for sleep and if you really want to feel well, rested, recharged in the morning, then Having physical activity be sort of on your roadmap of the different things that you can do can be more helpful to Kind of start that get up and go. And there's also, you know, all of the process with it. You know of a little thing you know laying out your clothes and making sure. You know I always spill my water bottle because I'm a very early morning workout person and so these things are, you know, become automatic over time of like, yeah, absolutely, lay out my clothes and I do fill my water bottle before bed, and I know my glasses are by the door, my purse is by the door, so it's easy to get out, because you don't want a speed bump in the way. It's obvious.

Jenn Salib Huber:

It makes such a difference. I do the same thing, you know. I schedule the time in, I work out from home, but I still lay my clothes out the night before so that when I get up I don't have to spend any energy making that decision. Absolutely.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Because if there's any obstacle in the way, it will get in the way at 6.30 in the morning, like it will. Right, that's when it's going to happen. Your story about someone jumping on the scale reminded me of years ago. There was someone that I was working with who had wanted to become a runner and had joined a running group. A social running group had signed up to run this 5K or 10K I can't remember what it was in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotians will recognize the Blue Nose Marathon anyway.

Jenn Salib Huber:

So had run this 5 and 10K and at the end of 10 or 12 weeks and had run it, had come back in and we were checking in and she said, oh yeah, I ran it, it was fine, but I'm never doing that again. And I was like what do you mean? You've been doing this running group like three times a week for 12 weeks and you ran this distance. That's amazing, you've never run before. And she's like, yeah, but I gained two pounds.

Jenn Salib Huber:

And I was just like I mean, and it's so hard because standing on the outside you see all of these amazing outcomes. Right, you know spending time with people, spending time outside moving your body, and you know, in a fun way because you're doing it with other people and, like you've learned something new, you've picked up a new skill. Like all of these amazing outcomes, they were so focused on the scale that they could not see that, and anybody who listens to this podcast has probably been in that frame of mind before that I'm not doing it unless it's going to help me lose weight, and if it doesn't, then it's not worth doing. And I think when it comes to like what we would consider health promoting habits that are going to help to keep us alive and living well, you really have to let go of the idea that any of them are going to lead to weight loss in the way that we've been led to believe.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Yeah, and I think that is always so much easier Wait, easier said than done. Yeah yeah, I'm a words confused because I feel like and certainly as somebody who's gone through eating disorder recovery and has had a very loud voice, that's like you know what would be really good to do. And you know I'm very comfortable living with that voice now that there always is someone that's like I don't know, that black shirt with the poofy skirt oh no, because he's not going away and that certainly he served me in a point where I needed more safety and security when I was younger and I grew up in an environment where very chaotic. You know, my mom was a drug addict and a drug dealer and for many reasons like obviously being good in school but being pretty was was highly valued, so that and that goes with body shape and weight, and so there was a voice that's like I'll keep you safe and here's what we're going to do, because we're going to stay off the radar and you know, and get the kudos where we can. So, but you know, we all have that voice for different reasons, you know, just living in our society and I think that this expectation that you know what, I'm not going to hear that anymore.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

So I just was doing an episode and I was talking about knee jerk reactions that absolutely could you run that race and at the end of it be like are you kidding me? Like two pat, like oh my gosh, and it's really again part of that self awareness piece to like okay. So I hear you, sir, that you are displeased that we didn't lose weight. You know, and I always talk about in my brain the committee, because there are a lot of voices and they have a lot of messages, but like sitting down and like, okay, who is pleased with this? So, but you know, basically they can take up maybe your voice. That's like, but the outdoors and the social aspect, and like all of these great things, you know you probably feel more mobile. It's probably easier to carry your groceries, but to have other people at the table that are like you know, let let him go ahead say his piece two pounds, two pounds.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Yep, I hear you. I hear you. Does anybody else want to chime in? Because, you know, I think the goal is always getting and I do love that it's just a him to me the eating disorder voice and getting him to be a little quieter, hearing him out. But who are these other? Who is the wise woman at the table, you know? Who is like maybe the teenager that wanted a different outcome or wanted to do different things, like? Who are these voices that are like I got you, I got you girl, you know, and I think, certainly in this age group, for myself, you know, menopause.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I have my thyroid out kind of at the same time of menopause. Zero stars, don't recommend.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Nothing.

Heather Sayers Lehman:

I can't find words to save my life. They're here somewhere, but I don't know where that's the committee. Does anybody know a better word for no? Okay, we don't have time. So I think that understanding, that there you have all of the wisdom, because now you know what you want and you know how you want to feel. And so how do we, you know, put that all together really in a voice that can help us remember and can help us like, oh, that that was our old North Star. You know, here is our, here's what we did, and I think, understanding, I did that for safety, I did that because I don't want to deal with the cultural bullshit, I want to have an easier time at the doctor's office all these very valid reasons. And I want some other voices to be able to listen to, and I'm the only one that can create those conversations too.

Jenn Salib Huber:

Here, here. I think that that's a great place for us to end this conversation, but thank you so much for bringing all of these wonderful thoughts about changing our mindset around self-care and how to take care of ourselves and habits. I'd love to hear your answer. What do you think is the missing ingredient in midlife?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

Honestly, I think, self-compassion you know, maybe it's a little boring, but you know, dog on it. I just feel like most of us have been riding our own butts forever and trying to be better and do better and do more and make everybody happy and, you know, don't make waves, whatever. That is because we were supposed to. And I think having the self-compassion for ourselves to be like you did it right. You were doing all the things you were supposed to do and now maybe we can do some different things, maybe we can have different conversations, and I think that's only ever led by absolute kindness and compassion for ourselves, absolutely.

Jenn Salib Huber:

I love it. I love it. So where can people find you, Heather?

Heather Sayers Lehman:

My main website is heathersayerslaymentcom, which I'll have in the show now, yes, I do have my journaling guide and then also the MetaSkills on the site that you can download both of those and I think they're great places to start with being able to have those conversations with yourself. And I do one-on-one coaching. I haven't been doing small group coaching for a while, but I'm going to start again in the fall. And just you know, helping people again so much peeling of the onion so we can get rid of that. You know discipline, willpower, conversation to see. You know all those pieces of what we have been doing and then we don't have to do any more. And also, from a corporate wellness side, my website is overcoming you with just the letter U and I do talks for companies and I have a lot of health and wellness courses and webinars there. So I love introducing these concepts into that very toxic, weight-oriented arena. Yeah, Just a different narrative.

Jenn Salib Huber:

It is much needed in that culture. For sure it stinks. Thank you so much for this conversation. It's been lovely to chat and I know that listeners will get a lot out of it. Thanks so much, heather. Great Thanks, jen. Thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of the Midlife Feast For more non-diet, health, hormone and general midlife support. Click the link in the show notes to learn how you can work and learn from me, and if you enjoyed this episode and found it helpful, please consider leaving a review or subscribing, because it helps other women just like you find us and feel supported in midlife.