Donna: Dr. Lucy Burns is a medical doctor who runs a very busy practice. She also has a huge passion for health, particularly when it comes to a basically medicine and helping people go from overweight and overwhelmed to being in control and in full health. One of the major components for thriving health, it's a course mindset, which is one of the topics that I also love to chat about.
So today, Dr. Lucy and I focus our chat around business burnout and mindset, we go deep into a conversation about burnout prevention, self-care and boundaries, and we untangle the relationship that can sometimes exist between women and their businesses, which interestingly is closely related to the tangled relationship women often have with food and health.
Dr. Lucy lives on the morning peninsula, in Victoria, Australia with her husband and two daughters, they have a small acreage with three horses, a miniature cow, a goat, three dogs, four cats, three frogs, and a theater dragon. She is a sought after public speaker and has spoken at multiple conferences around the world, as well, as I mentioned, her practice is booked out, months and months in advance. And so along with her colleague, Dr. Mary Barson and they have formed real life medicine, they run successful online programs that address both the physiological and the psychological causes of overweight and obesity. So I could have today continued at chat for hours.
And I think I might have to get Lucy back on the podcast again, in the future, because as you'll hear, she is an absolute powerhouse of information.
So welcome to the She's In Business Podcat I'm your host Donna Hann and I am so thrilled today to be sharing the mic with Dr. Lucy Burns, so welcome to the podcast, Lucy.
Dr. Lucy: Thanks so much, Donna. I'm so happy to be here.
Donna: So I'm excited to, because I invited you onto the podcast after reading a, I guess it's like a Facebook blog article type of thing that you put together.
Where you wrote about business burnout, and I'm really looking forward to digging into that topic with you today and learning and understanding more from the medical side of burnout and sharing that with the ladies that listen. But before we jump in, I always invite my guest, to share their business journey thus far.
And the reason that I do this is because this podcast is for moms in business who really want to establish that healthy work-life blend and move away from feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and on that path to burnout, to thriving as a business owner. But there's so many different paths that we take in establishing a successful business and juggling a family and having time for self-care and all of those things.
And so I always invite my guest to tell us a little bit about what their business journey has been like, because as you may have experienced, I know I certainly have, there's been points where it's felt kind of lonely and I felt like I've been going on this path. Does anybody else feel like this? All those kinds of things.
And so in addition to being a fabulous doctor, I know that you're a mom yourself and a business owner. So would you mind sharing your business journey with us thus far.
Dr. Lucy: Absolutely. So I think so Real Life Medicine, which is a business name, I formed with another beautiful doctor called Mary Barson and we probably spent about six months coming to talking, thinking about what we're going to do, the vision, the plan, and our mission is really to be able to help mainly women, but not only women, but mainly women who are as our one of our mottos is overweight and overwhelmed, return to being in control and full of health. And part of the reason for this is that for women, we are the caregivers. We are the linchpin of the family. We are giving, giving, giving, and we neglect our own needs. And we will use tools that we have perhaps been taught or modeled to sooth that in the end can cause us to gain weight and then tip into metabolic bill health. And I guess with the rising case of obesity in Australia and its complications, I was saying women in, in my clinic who maybe in their fifties now, you know, they, their kids have grown up. You know, maybe they late fifties, they're ready to sort of look at retirement.
And then they've got lots of chronic diseases that are going to really prevent them living their best life. So we then Mary and I decided to go rodeo, well, what can we do? What can we do to help? And we came up with our various programs, which are totally holistic because like many of us we've been stuck in diet land and listening to advice on meal plans and really without taking that root cause of learning how to care for yourself as a woman, as a mum,
Donna: Yeah, I love that and it's so true, isn't it?
Because we do, we fall into that trap of neglecting ourselves and you caring for everybody else. And then you throw a business into the mixes into that as well. And yeah, I can relate to that 100%. Yeah.
Let's talk about the symptoms of burnout and as you're practicing GP as well, but in the weight loss, obesity specialist kind of area, is that right?
Dr. Lucy: Yeah. I mean, I still do some general practice, like normal general practice, but yeah, my passion is really it's lifestyle medicine is though is the phrase that we use it and it's really helping people, not just prevent chronic disease, but treating chronic disease with various lifestyle measures. One of which is nutrition.
Also stress management, sleep, um, gut health, all of the things that we need to do that our modern life makes difficult for us.
Donna: So do you see in your practice that business burnout is a common thing or have you seen it in the last few years that it's growing? You're seeing more cases coming through?
Dr. Lucy: Yeah, and look at marquee business burnout but so does life burnout.
I think it's rife in the health sphere at the moment, obviously with the pandemic has made huge impact on healthcare workers demands, but also it's in every kind of caring industry. So nursing teaching, even at police, ambulance, those sorts of things, anything where people are giving social work, I think, as moms in business, that's what we do. We often in service-based industries where we're giving and then trying to just juggle the who you give your energy to when we feel like we're giving it to everybody, but also giving it to nobody.
Donna: Yeah, absolutely. So, can you talk us through, what is the clinical description of burnout and what are the signs that we should be looking for, or that you look for when someone comes into your practice that presents in that way?
Dr. Lucy: Yeah. So burnout is now a psychiatric definition. And there is ICD nine, which is our fancy sort of psychiatric book that has all the definitions of various mental health conditions. And burnout is now acknowledged in that.
Donna: And that's been quite recent. It hasn't, it isn't 2019 or something like that.
Dr. Lucy: I mean, I guess in the past, you know, people called it stress overwhelm, or in fact, what a lot of people did was just felt that they just weren't coping.
And, You know, the, the talk then became where the person experiencing, it just felt weak and hopeless, which just then further contributed. , so I mean, I guess that it's very core burnout. It's where you be, you know, your demands exceed your capacity and there's multiple reasons for that. You know, maybe demands are just too much for anybody at capacity.
You know, there's things that happen in our lives that reduce our capacity. And so it's really. It's not something I know a lot of people feel ashamed of it that they're just not strong and it's nothing to do with that. It's really about the idea that you can't run a car. If you haven't got any petrol in the tank it's sort of that simple at its core, but there's various signs to look for.
So I guess the clinical signs are these for some people that have this fear of, or the sense of failure and self doubt, constantly second guessing themselves. And what they will often do is do more to prove that they're there, okay. So we then have people that feel trapped, defeated and helpless and the being trapped one, I mean, it's so common where people feel that they've got, particularly if they've got expenses, they may be in a job and it may be business, or it may be as a teaching, nursing any, and they just can't see their way out of it because they feel stuck with their commitments to other things.
People feel isolated. And it feel like they're the only one in the world. Like they're totally alone. Nobody else will understand yourself and their thing and shame that comes with it because it's like, I'm the only loser that feels like this, which is so far from the truth. But our little brains love putting us down sometimes.
People, again, in caring industries, people can develop something called compassion fatigue, and it's so distressing because most people enter a job, a business 'cause they want to help somebody else. And that's one of their core values. And then they get to the point where they don't care about the other person.
Like they've just wish they'd go away. Like that becomes your thought. I just wish people would stop asking me. So you lose your compassion for other people's problems and issues. And that's very distressing people, you know? You can imagine working in this you lose your motivation you're thinking where's my joy. This is not what I signed for.
Yep. And then again, we can kind of guess a lot ourselves because we start minimizing our achievements and we start, you know, there's no sense of accomplishment we fill out with constantly on this treadmill where we just feel like there is always more to do and we just do something and then get onto the next task without ever stopping to acknowledge our wins.
Our brain just, you know, and again, it's part of a human brain, they are sort of geared towards looking at the negative aspects of life and that's normal, and it was designed to keep us safe from predators. But in this day and age, where often use that default. Way of thinking, just causes us more harm and distress.
Donna: And to everything that you've just described, I have, there's been moments throughout my business journey where I have felt those things. And as you said, you know, like that main voice in your head and you feel weak and you feel trapped and you feel kind of defeated and isolated and the shame in that, because you're like, oh, Oh, who do I talk to about this?
Like, then it's like admitting that I'm weak and I can't do this and I'm not made for this and so, I have experienced that myself and I've seen it in other business owners too. And then the people that I work with where once you open that up and you start to have the conversations around that you realize that you're not alone.
You've realized that so many other people go through that, those same sorts of feelings and thoughts as well. I'm so glad that you voiced that today. And one of the things that I'd love to be able to do more. And this is part of why The She's In Business podcast was created is to normalize these things because once we can normalize it and then we can reach out and get whatever help it is that we need to move through that because it is like a, I like to describe it as more of a tunnel than a hole that we've got move through it and come out the other side of that. And every time that we do we'll get stronger and we'll build new skills to be able to cope with that as time goes on. Then one of the things that I totally agree with you is those wins. Like we need to celebrate those wins as often as possible. And sometimes that can take the reminding from someone else.
It's just like why business groups are so great. Um, you know, moms groups and all of that kind of stuff, because you have the opportunity to share your wins. And to build up that confidence. So that the next time we're trying something, which is perhaps stretching our capabilities and taking us into the next level of whatever it is that we're doing.
We've got that confidence in knowing, well, I did this other thing. And at the beginning of that other thing, I also felt this way, but I made it through and here I am bigger and stronger than I was before.
Dr. Lucy: Absolutely. I think it's tricky in lifeline. We will often compare ourselves comparison artists show you spoken to your tapes about that because we do look around and we look and we go, they're killing it and I'm not doing anything or they've got more people, more followers, more money, more, whatever, more of everything.
And I've got nothing our brain goes into that black and white thinking and it just goes, they've got everything, I've got nothing and I'm useless. And that amazing. And if we can take a step back and just listen to our thoughts and realize that thoughts are actually just a connection between two nerve cells in our brain, that's all there.
Two nerve cells make a path. If we think those thoughts a lot, then the path is pretty well worn. We have, our brain so amazing that we have the ability to change the thoughts. We can change those pathways, requires a little bit of work, but we can change them, but you can't change them, if you don't even know, they're there.
The idea of either, you know, if you can self-reflect, if you can reflect on your own thoughts, you know, and some people don't with journaling, some, some people do it with counseling. Some people say a business coach, people work with people like you Donna to be able to get out of the head. To have some, a fresh pair of eyes, look at their thoughts and go, you know, what, that, that thought that you keep thinking that you're not good enough or that you're not smart enough or that you're not doing enough.
I don't believe that though. And then. I need when you can challenge them, or first of all know, they're there and then challenge them and then change them. Can you go, okay. I can probably do this.
Donna: Yeah, absolutely. And I think too, that's why with the way that I, create my programs is, and like you were saying before, too, it's that holistic approach to it in that you need to have self care and you also need to have the business skills to, to run your business and upskilling that way.
When we're talking about this sort of stuff, and we're in that space of feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and we know that we're on that path to burn out. If you don't create some space for self care, then that you're going to continue going down that spiral. I also read some really great stuff that you had on your Facebook page as well about self-care.
I think you were doing a retreat or something, and there was.
Dr. Lucy: Yeah,
Donna: It was like back in January. There was so much good stuff in there about self care. And I think some of this stuff is wrapped up in self-worth as well in like what you were saying in that maybe there's this moment of vulnerability where we realize, okay, I'm not kind of coping right now.
And instead of taking a pause and taking a step back and doing that self reflection, we just throw ourselves more and more and more into it to prove ourselves worth. That? No, I actually can do this, but it's almost like you've got to put the brakes on, Hey, and go. No stop. I've got to pause and reflect here.
Figure out what's going on. Like you said, like change that neuropathway to speak to ourselves in a different manner with self-love and self-care, can you share more about the techniques that you teach around self care and self worth? Because it ties a lot into, I'm sure. Weight control and management in that way too.
Dr. Lucy: Yeah, absolutely. I think, in fact, we've just released a blog post today on this topic, which is working out the difference between self care and self-soothing. So when we're just stressed, We will often try and sooth, and some of those soothing techniques constitute self care, and some of them are just soothing, which when done in excess can become self-harm.
And it's really tricky because there's, there's mixed messaging out there from either particularly, certainly some influences, but also industry. So industry would love you. To be thinking that talk that is self care, that eating chocolate is self care. They would love you to be thinking that having a glass of wine at the end of the day of work is, you know, taking time to pause and is part of self-care.
And whilst there's nothing wrong with any of those, it's really important to recognize that they're soothing. They may help with some stress. But they have the potential to them become problematic later on. And I guess that's where I see a lot of people in that they've used self-soothing techniques to emotionally regulate.
And again, where we've been taught this from when we were born and it's no one's fault. But it needs to be, we need to untangle those two because otherwise people do this. I'm looking after myself, I'm going home and I'm going to have three donuts and that's just not self-care and doctors are actually terrible at self care.
We're terrible at it because they give us, we give all the time. We're always wanting to help people. We have a lot of demands, like lots of people. And we want to solve problems for others. And at the end of the day, we're often exhausted. There's no energy left and we want to feel better. So we come home, we have wine and chocolate on the couch and , we're not looking after ourselves.
So in my mind, self-care, doesn't, isn't always easy. Be lovely if it was always easy, but it's actually not, you know, it includes things. You know, going to the dentist and for me, I go, oh, I hate going to the dentist, but it is part of caring for your body and your mind.
Donna: One of the things that can feel really overwhelming as a business owner is keeping up with social media marketing. It's a hungry beast which needs to be fed a whole bunch of content to keep your marketing and your business top of mind, or in social media terms at the top of the feed. Not only does it take lots of creative energy to do that, but it also takes lots of time too.
So to help you with that, I've got a system which has worked really well for me and the women that I shared it with in the past. It's a system that gives you clarity when it comes to knowing what to post and takes the dreaded overwhelm out of it too. I've also got a list of 50 ideas that you can use when creating posts and also 50 Canva templates to go along with it.
But rather than just giving them to you, I want to teach you how to use them effectively to drive your engagement up and to use them in a way which really saves you time. So I'm facilitating a three-day challenge called safe time on social media. It's one hour a day over three days. And it's starting on the third of May.
I only run this challenge once a year. So if you want to follow this link, go and check out the details. And if it suits you, then go ahead and book yourself a spot it's donnahann.com\threedaychallenge. I'm also going to teach you how to schedule your posts in advance so that you can show up on social media consistently and avoid posting on the fly.
And I'll give you a hot tip that is not effective use of your time to be posting on the fly and another hot tip, if you don't have a social media strategy, it's not an effective way to market your business. So let's change that. Let's give you some tips for saving time on social media, and I'm going to help you to become far more effective with a simple marketing strategy when it comes to your social media.
donnahann.com\threedaychallenge is the link you need to go and find out more.
Dr. Lucy: Other things in self care, things like, um, you know, and this is, I know, you know, you're passionate about is your boundaries is knowing when you can say no to somebody or an opportunity, because if you don't say no, you'll, you'll burn out. So the idea is that, you know, that's where your capacity exceeds or demands.
If you say yes to all the demands around you, you, you have not, you can't possibly give them all, give to everything. So choosing the things that you say yes to that's part of self care, self care is making sure that you've got enough food in your house. May you know, so that you don't get home exhausted and then have to rely on, take away self care can also be self-soothing.
So self-care can definitely be sitting in a bubble bath and listening to music that will make you feel better. And it certainly will never tip into self-harm. So there are things that are both, self care and self-soothing, there are things that are just cut care, like going to the dentist is not at all soothing, but it's care, you know, gambling people, online gambling.
I mean, it's, it's so prevalent people do it because it makes them feel better, it's soothing, but it's not care.
Donna: Yeah. Goodness. There's so much, there's so much there. I feel like boundaries is probably one of the first places that you can go to for, self caring in that, like, what you were saying is yes, you can have those self soothing things, but where's the boundary of where that stops.
So it doesn't tip over into the self-harm, but also, yeah, it's like knowing your capacity for what that output is. And especially if you're. A mum, if like you were saying, like you're in the business of caring for people, whatever that might be. And as a mum, you are, but also as a business owner, we are as well, you know, in service provider provision and or everything, really.
And so, you know, having those really clear boundaries around a case. So when I do this particular activity within my business, I know that that uses up a certain amount of energy for me. How many times a week can I do that before I'm going to be so depleted that when I get home or when the kids get home from school, I'm going to have no energy for them.
That's going to deplete me even further. And then I'm going to end up drowning myself in a bottle of wine to make myself feel better and have some time to myself. When I talk to clients and the things that I've worked for myself in the past with boundaries is always asking myself the question. If I say yes to this, what am I also saying no to? It's like that sliding doors thing, of going okay. If I say yes to working later, or if I say yes to doing that extra thing for this client or committing to doing this extra thing after school with the kids, what am I therefore saying no to? And sometimes it can be as simple as well, I'm saying no to putting my kids to bed that night.
In my core values, what's more important. And in this season of life, what's more important and that really helps. And then the other thing too is if that's still quite unclear, if it's a really great opportunity, now, I'm like, oh, but I really want to do that. Then I'll assess it at a 10 and I'll go case.
So if I say yes, out of 10, what's the benefits me? And also what's the negative benefit that will well, not the negative benefit, but what's the negative that will come of that. And that works out really well, with setting those boundaries. But the other thing I do as well, when you were talking about making sure there's enough food in the house and all that kind of stuff.
Is I always try and think of, well, what can I do to help my future self, you know? And, oh my gosh, it has, that served me. Well, just that it's almost like a mantra, you know, when you're like, oh, I can't be bothered going shopping yet. But look after your future self you'll appreciate. You in two days time when there's nothing left in the cupboard and you're like scratching around at any crap and yeah.
It, so it has served me really, really well. Just that same.
Dr. Lucy: Absolutely. And I think, you know, that's probably the definition of care, self care is doing things that serve both your present and your future self. And one of the things that we do is sometimes for whatever reason, our present self makes decisions that perhaps are not in our best interest.
And then what happens a couple of days later is the present self then birthrights past self for being an idiot and says, why did you do that? I can't believe it. And so again, it's that, that's where your self-compassion comes in and notes speak. You know, understanding that present self is often in survival mode and makes decisions, at in that moment. So when you self, when you reflect and think, I wish I didn't do that, you go, okay, well that situation is likely to come up again. What will I do next time? It's and this is, I mean, the thing I love this is what's so strange is that business and white management. They use the same techniques, which is why, I mean, it's like, it would be like a business.
If somebody said to you in business, look, here's a two-week business plan, follow this. And you know, you'll make a million bucks, like it's just rubbish. And it's the same. That happens with meal plans. For example, they can be a tool, but they're not, they're not the only thing because our brains are so complex and that past present and future self is so important to embrace all parts of us.
Yeah, I think, um, and I'm sure that you talk to your people about this, the idea that you could, if you formulate your boundaries in advance, like just have really clear definitions on what you will and you won't say no to or yes to. Because you will get push back. Because at the end of the day, every single person is just trying in many ways to help themselves.
So if somebody says no to them, and you know, we say this as kids, if you're parenting, you say no, that they push on it, they go, and they might even kind of whittle you down if you're tired or if you're unprepared, or if you weren't sure. You know, we, as part of weight management, we will talk to people about boundaries and what they're prepared to eat and not prepared to age and make that plan in the future.
But I, you know, I love this story that I tell about my daughter one day, she, she loves to just push the boundaries just 16 at the time. And she just said to me, one day, mum, can I ride my bike to the shops without my helmet?
And I was like, no, that was the end of the discussion. It was a very fair boundary. There was no negotiating. There wasn't any, even if she'd begged me, there was no way I was going to change because it's so obvious. Sometimes people get cross that people push on their boundaries. How dare they, you know, ask me that, like how ridiculous it's not their job, not to ask, or to push on the boundary, it's our job to uphold them. So when we spend our time getting angry that people have even dared to ask that people have even mentioned, you know, there are stories in our head can be things like, I can't believe they sent me a text, you know, 11 o'clock at night. I'm just not available then.
That's fine. They can send the text. It's not, it's your job to just not respond to wait till the morning or to have an responder on or whatever. I think that we spend a lot of time wishing paperwork pushing on the boundary rather than just upholding it.
Donna: Yeah. And further to that as well. I completely agree.
It's our responsibility to hold up the boundaries, but it's not our responsibility to manage their reaction to whatever, our answer is that's not our responsibility, that's their responsibility of how they choose to react. And I think when you remove that responsibility from yourself, then it's much easier to say no, if that is one of your boundaries that you're upholding.
Dr. Lucy: Absolutely. Absolutely. And again, you know, you can use all sorts of visual techniques. I think I do love the toddler one, like the idea is that, you know, you say the toddler wants a green cup and you've given them a blue cup, you know, They absolutely crack it. And they're on the ground and all that sort of stuff.
This was same thing. You know, when you, you say no to somebody, they will sometimes have their adult tantrum and it's not your job to manage that. That's their your job is just to give the green top.
Donna: I do not miss those tablets phase.
Dr. Lucy: You will have the kids just pushing a little bit, just to see, just to see what could I do. And I think sometimes the difficulty happens when we've got these boundaries that we're not quite confident with. You know, we get worried, that maybe somebody won't like us, if I don't say yes to them, or maybe I won't get the customer, if I don't, you know, bend over backwards for them.
And so we have that a little bit of fear in there. So as soon as somebody pushes on it, you can just crumbles and you go, oh, we're on. All right. And so being just clear and advance without emotion helps you just hold it. Firm, but fair boundaries.
Donna: Yeah. And clear is kind as well. Like that's really important to keep in mind as well.
And when we're talking about setting these boundaries, something's come up for me because one of the things that so often happens with working moms and moms and business is that we push the working hours well into the early hours of the morning, because when the kids are asleep and the household is quiet, we can get work done.
And so if you're listening to this and you know that at the moment, you are, sort of teetering on that burnout energy levels are starting to run low. Maybe a good idea is to look at your working hours and put some firm boundaries into what you will and won't do as far as your working hours. As a starting point, if you know that you're on that journey towards burnout and perhaps give yourself a solid bedtime as well.
Cause that like, I know I am just the biggest, which dragon woman ever, when I am sleep deprived. And that's something that, that self-reflection, I'm like, uh, yeah. Okay. I really need to get better sleep, which I've been working on for the past couple of years. But definitely like if you're listening to this today and you know, that extending your hours into the night, not getting enough sleep, choosing poor eating habits, you know, start to put some little boundaries for yourself in place to pull that back.
Dr. Lucy: Absolutely. And I mean, it's so interesting. The sleep thing, because this there's multiple reasons why humans, particularly women don't want to go to bed. So I think. It's a couple of things. So certainly, you know, if you go back all the stories, all the nursery rhymes, all the fairytales going to bed was a punishment going to bed early was a punishment.
So for our brain layers and layers and layers, if he is of subconscious stories, going to bed early as a punishment. And so that doesn't sound fun. We also sometimes think that when everybody else sets our own time, our client time and why would I want to waste it going to bed. And the third thing is that it sometimes feels like you're wasting your time.
You know, because again, we glorify small sleepers, you know, there's this sleepless elite they're called and that, you know, there's people that operate on four hours a night. You helped me amazing. And so for somebody who needs more, it's like some personal weakness. So one of my techniques for this is because so much goodness happens when we're sleeping.
When it's not just a waste of time, you're not just lying there with us.
Donna: Tell us about all the goodness.
Dr. Lucy: So when we go to sleep. So that's when our brain will process memories. So thoughts that have happened during the day, so input gets processed while we're asleep and it actually takes about eight hours to process 16 hours of information.
So when we deny our brain, the ADA was. We've got an extra two hours of data to process and much less time to do it. So then we become less efficient as we go on it. Just like people go. I can't remember any of that. It's because you didn't allow your brain to really just cement it while you're sleeping.
The other thing that happens while you're sleeping is that if you've got, you know, your body repairs, the DNA repairs, muscles repair, any injuries that you've had, requieres sleep for them to repair. There's lots of things that go on in weight-loss world where people that have less sleep. Develop something called insulin resistance.
Insulin is our major fat storing hormone. So you have higher insulin. You're more likely to put on weight if you've slept. And that the sleep is is six hours is considered sleep deprivation. So it's not like people are needing four hours, not at six hours regularly. And the fourth thing that happens is our hormone.
We have a hormone fancy hormone called ghrelin, which is our hunger hormone. It goes up if you're sleep deprived. So when people go on tonight, Yeah, like you, uh, more hungry it's so if you want to be able to work with your body, you need to rest it. Yeah.
Donna: Sleep. Isn't the number one. That's what it sounds.
Dr. Lucy: It totally is.
So my bed is not my bed anymore. It is my rejuvenation palace when I go there to rejuvenate. Yes. So, and I think isn't that amazing. You can do all these wonderful things. It's free. There's no side effects. But you've actually got to go to bed. So humans are the only mammalian species to voluntarily restrict us, like so interesting.
Why don't we do that? Because of those stories, sleeps of punishment. The waste of time I should be doing more resting is not actually useful. And for a lot of people, they think resting is like,
Donna: Yeah. Do you know, like that is something, when I talk about self care, there is usually always somebody that goes, but I always just feel selfish.
I feel like I feel guilty when I rest and I'm not necessarily talking about sleep. I'm talking about just taking a pause and resting and just chilling out. And it's changing that conditioning, I guess, that we've had over our whole lives to be like, well, no, it's not selfish. It's actually really essential.
As a human being, we deserve that. And that's just part of what we need, like fueling a car, you know.
Dr. Lucy: Language is important. I think lots of people refer to say, they'll talk about a lazy Sunday morning, which has maybe is a slower Sunday morning or a restful Sunday morning. But when you go lazy Sunday morning, lazy, lazy, you know, no one wants to be lazy.
Lazy is like, uh, you know, it's, uh, one of the sins of a, what is it? Slough and gluttony. So. We called ourselves lazy. It sends a really negative message to our, all of ourselves rest best. And you know, it's really, it's not, it's not rest. It's not resting. It's actually recharging. You know, you can't, we all, we've all had times where our mobiles have died because we didn't reach out to them.
But just the same.
Donna: I love that. Just such a simple isn't it? When you put it in that way, it's so simple. It makes perfect sense.
Dr. Lucy: Why wouldn't we be doing that for ourselves? Absolutely. Yeah.
Donna: Do you think that it would be okay? Just I it's a massive topic, so maybe it's something we could do another podcast on, but something that's been on my mind recently, I'm 40 this year, and I know a lot of the ladies that listen to this are kind of in their thirties, forties and beyond.
And so it's something that I guess you start to think about is weight gain and peri-menopausal, or, stuff like I, and I am like, this is not something that I've really dug into yet, but it started to kind of come up on my radar for me. I'm like, okay. So what I used to do, doesn't kind of work anymore. If I wanting to shed a few kilos, I'm noticing that my body is changing shape from what it was, you know, like you changes when you become a mum, but now it's changing again and, and all of that kind of stuff.
And also talking about sleep before. I have a really busy monkey brain that seems to fire up when I lie down to go to sleep. But I've also been, I was talking to a friend the other day about, , about sleep and she's like, you know, that's kind of perimenopausal stuff too, I'm like, oh my God, I've got this whole, what is this whole thing I've got to learn?
Can you just give us a little bit about what we should be, aware of, or I don't even know where to start on this topic.
Dr. Lucy: That's all right. It is. Yeah, it is a massive topic, but the way I like to describe it is it all relates to when we talk about hormones, most people think of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
But we actually have hormones for everything. Everything in our body runs on hormones. So we have our metabolic hormones, which are the things that, that our hunger is hormonally driven by grelin that I mentioned earlier, satiety, which is our fullness is signaled by a hormone called leptin. Our thyroid runs on hormones, everything in our body runs on hormones and they all interact like an orchestra.
So we've one is at then, you know, your orchestra sounds bad. One might be at, and there's a flow on effect. So for as women get older and men too, but I'll just focus on women for the moment. One of the things that happens for a lot of us is our insulin levels start to rise. So insulin is our hormone that is involved.
It's our major metabolic hormone. It's involved in our glucose, moving in glucose from our blood, into our muscles for is energy now it's a wonderful thing to do, because if you leave your glucose in your blood, if it's too high, that's that's type two diabetes, or for lots of us, maybe who've had gestational diabetes, it's all to do with blood glucose levels.
So insulin is a really important hormone, but like lots of things when we've got too much of anything, it's unhelpful so for a lot of us, as we get a bit older, we just start making a little bit more insulin every year to do the same job. And insulin, as I mentioned earlier is actually also a fat storing hormone.
So you feel, imagine you've got high levels of a fat storing hormone. You might eat the same food that you ate when you were 25. And now that you're 48. It is only thing called every time I eat that, I just think to get fatter and fatter put on wide or whatever, I'm just, and we hear it all the time.
They'll go, oh, just look at, I just look at cake and I'm fat. And it's like, yeah, it's obviously an exaggeration, but it is, the quality of your food. Changes the hormonal responses. So our food is made up of fat carbohydrate and protein, and they elicit different hormonal responses in our body. So when people just rely on calorie counting, it's not enough.
And in fact it can be harmful. So, backbone of the dieting industry has been calorie counting and that's for most of us, that's what we will, certainly for me, I often in my bio, I often write, you know, expert, you know, yo diet because for so many years, that's what I do. 10 kilos off 12 kilos on 15 kilos off 20 kilos on, and to the point where I, you know, in my later forties, so I'm 53 now, but when I was in my late forties, I developed pre-diabetes and had I continued on my Merry path, I would have had diabetes.
So, We know that their hormones. I mean, if you think about pregnancy as a beautiful example, when we're pregnant, we often eating the same amount. I mean, this whole eating for two businesses is actually a bit of a myth. Most of us eat the same amount of food, but our body stores fat and it's normal because it's getting ready to make breast milk.
When the baby's born in case where, you know, faced with an apocalypse of no food, there is always enough fuel then to make milk, to feed the baby. So bodies they're incredibly clever. But as we get older, we definitely tend to store more fat. It is a physiological process, which is just a fancy name for hormonal.
And I think that the key a bit like business, the key is understanding the physiology of business, I guess, is having the tools that you mentioned, but also understanding your mind, understanding the stories in your head. So a lot of people come and they'll say to me, Lucy, I know what to do. I can't. I just keep failing.
I keep making mistakes. It's very similar to business. It's understanding, unpacking your brain so that you can do the things you want to do.
Donna: And is that interesting thing? Isn't it that, why do we do the things we do? And we know the things that we know.
Dr. Lucy: Yeah, cause it's stories. There's this concept I love called reasonable stories.
Your brain comes up with stories that seem reasonable. They're not true, but that could be. And so you believe them, they're not ridiculous stories. If they're ridiculous, we can dismiss those. Not, it comes up with reasonable and you know, my favorite reasonable story that my brain always says to me is just have a little bit, just have one, just have fun.
And I really just reminded myself that actually, when I have one. I will often eat the whole packet. So one team term, I can't do one team term. It doesn't work for me. There are lots of people that it does, but for me, it's one is too many and a thousand is never enough.
Donna: So it really is about understanding you as your own individual person and what your, I guess, not triggers, but like what your.
Dr. Lucy: Story boundary stories and trees. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Black business weight-loss is the personal development journey, understanding and doing little, you know, you can do experiments. Nothing's a failure. Everything is a learning opportunity. And I know that sounds silly. I've have a going on my God a couple of years.
Absolutely true. It is true. Yeah, absolutely true. But it's also having someone and again, this is why people have business coaches like you, Donna, because you can help people unpack that, you know, air quotes failure and say, well, hang on. What, what, what could I do differently next time? Sometimes when you're in the woods, in the thick of it all, you can't actually see that.
Donna: Yeah. And that's right. And that's where you need someone like yourself or, you know, a business coach where, you can kind of be lifted out of that and go, but hang on, let's have a look at the bird's eye view of what's really going on here. , which is in our chat today. Like there has been so many moments where you've done that and it's like, yeah, that makes so much sense.
And you know, and that's, that's really what it's all about. So you have been amazing in sharing your wisdom and your knowledge with us, but in such a great way, that's easy to understand. Also doesn't evoke any kind of like negative feelings of shame or, you know, which is sometimes when we're talking about these sensitive things that can rise up in us even more.
And so I'm just so grateful to you in being here and chatting with me and sharing all of your wisdom and knowledge in exploring the healthy way to tackling this stuff. ,
Dr. Lucy: It is it's and it is a little fine line to tread because you arrived. There is a lot of shame and stigma, but honestly, for me, I just look particularly at women who, you know, who have had weight problems, they are the most marginalized judged group in our society.
And it's wrong you know, it's wrong, it's just unhelpful. And so for them, and again, we didn't even really get into the whole bit of self worth, but for them to understand that that, that absolutely worth it. And, you know, a favorite line is that you cannot hate yourself thin and you can't berate yourself. Well, what loss is really a journey of self love.
Donna: Yeah, it totally is. And I think that that also correlates to being in business for yourself. Is that you've, you've got, you know, what we talked about at the beginning in, you know, knowing where you are in your journey at the moment. And if you're feeling like you're on that path of burnout, if you know that the wheels are wobbling, don't be ashamed to express how that's feeling for you.
And to take a moment to understand where you're at on that journey and reach out for help if you need. Or stop what you're doing and rest for a while and regroup and figure out, well, what's working, what's not working. What should I be doing more of and what should I be doing less of? And that goes to business and it goes for weight loss too.
And I think that it's made a really interesting chat that we've been able to like bringing those two subjects together, but it really does when you dig into it and unpack it.
Dr. Lucy: So many correlations, so many correlations. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Certainly getting the right advice. As you said, number one for business, you know, there's lots of people who've been led down the garden path by charlatan people and working with someone who you trust is in tech is just imperative. So yes, I am sure that your, that your people, you know, trust you immensely because you're, you're very authentic.
Donna: Oh, thank you. That's really lovely. Thank you, Lucy. So if people want to discover more about the programs that you offer and get more information about what we've talked about today.
You know, there's so much that I know that you do. What's the best way that they can either get in contact with you or learn more about you.
Dr. Lucy: Our business name is Real Life Medicine. Our website is rlmedicine.com. Somebody else had stolen the real life. So it's just rlmedicine.com, no dot au just .com
we have lots of free resources on there, and particularly one on, you know, that hormonal process that we're talking about, the whole mental process of obesity, so they can download it and read it. And I have a lovely analogy, a story that I talk about using a woodshed analogy and makes it really clear.
Donna: Okay. Great. Fantastic. Well, I'm going to go check that out as well. And maybe we might have to do another podcast and really kind of dig into the whole, you know, hormonal cycle side of things with women, because that's another whole thing that can.
Dr. Lucy: Totally. Yeah, totally.
Donna: Well, thank you so much for your time today. It's been amazing. And I can't wait to share more of what, what we do together in the future.
Dr. Lucy: Wonderful. Well Donna thank you very much for inviting me on it's been an honor.