Fitting In Fitness & Healthy Eating…
On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have a return guest from episode 93, Dr. Slyvia Gonsahn-Bollie. She is America's Favorite Obesity Doctor and she comes back for a second time to help our busy women especially moms in the Lunch and Learn Community just how to fit health and fitness into their busy schedule.
This episode should serve as the busy mom's guide to get over the hump of losing weight and staying on their fitness journey. The conversation follows the trend of our initial one where we focus on many of the obstacles that these busy women face when dealing with trying to juggle working, taking care of families and having little time to actually take care of themselves.
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And welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I’m your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com, as well as the host of Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. Bring you another amazing episode with Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie who is, if you remember that name is actually a repeat guest of ours. I was very fortunate enough to get her back on a second time because I know she's crazy busy, but I was able to get it back because I had a lot of feedback from her previous episode, which was episode 93. If you're unfamiliar or if you just a new subscriber since the last time she was on. And she talked about obesity, obesity-related medicine, and gave us a lot of tips on how to kind of get us and keep us on our new year's resolutions, especially because a lot of them tend to fall under the wanting to lose weight category.
So we got her back and again, I got a question from Lunch and Learn community. Well, Dr. Berry, I'm a busy mom. I work, I take care of the kids, I take care of my family. I really don't have the time to be healthy. Like what can I do? And that's where, you know what I said, I could've given her some tips, right? I could have given her some tips. They probably wouldn't have been the best. But I say good. If I'm going to talk about weight loss tips and especially for my busy moms out there, why not bring America's obesity specialist to talk to us, to educate us, to really get us on the right path. So this episode is going to be for the busy moms out there who have way too many responsibilities, way too many things to do and unfortunately that happens, right?
And we all know is that the health tends to fall by the wayside, right? Like usually you have to take care of everyone's personal wellbeing and housing and work and everything else tend to happen. And unfortunately our health usually suffers, right? Usually is the case in this standpoint here. So we have Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie to really educate our busy moms and gives tips on how to stay on our weight journey. Right? And we're going to talk about weight journey a lot because I think, and I loved it because a lot of times we think about weight loss at this point A to point B type of thing. But really what she talks about, she says, no, this is a lifestyle change that you have to like go for the rest of your life, right? So even when you get to that goal weight, you have to understand like you have to keep on going.
That’s just the second part, right? We broke it down in parts. Just a second part, just getting to the weight. So quick little bio again, if you had not checked out episode 93 please go back and check out episode 93, so drberrypierre.com/llp093 because it was an amazing guest, especially it was an amazing topic. And again, we're hitting home today with the busy moms. So Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie to just to kind of give a little quick bio from her. She's a board-certified internal medicine physician. She's an obesity medicine specialist who helps inspire optimal health through honesty and hope. She lost 40 pounds, overcoming emotional eating and physical inactivity. Now she has both personal as well as professional expertise in weight loss as well as weight maintenance. As a working mom herself, a wife and self-professed foodie.
She keenly understands the limitations that prevent busy people from achieving their health goals. Dr. Bollie is passionate about helping busy people, especially working women, obtain and maintain a happy and healthy weight. At the end we're going to give you her links to follow her cause she's pretty much on all social media is just like I am. Even in the show notes, you'll have a chance to find where she's at because again, this is a person that you need to follow. She does actually weekly teachings on health and weight loss and again absolutely amazing person. Like I said, I was very fortunate enough to get here a second time around. So again, if you have not had a chance, remember, subscribe to the podcast, leave a five-star review and let her know how great she did on the podcast. Because I tell you, she blew it out of the water. You guys have a great day.
Alright, Lunch and Learn community, we have a repeat guest on today's episode and definitely one that was, you know, really requested that you guys love for an episode. You know, Dr. Bollie and you know, she's come back, right. You know, I was able to get her to come back for at least one more time. We haven't annoyed it too much and she really going to be talking about the busy mom. Right? And I know I have a lot of Lunch and Learn community listeners who ran into that issue of having to balance their health, their kids' well-being, they spouse well-being and everything, job, everything else. And unfortunately, that health tends to fall at the wayside. So ladies and gentlemen, please again a quick little introduction again and thank you for Dr. Bollie for coming back to the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Oh, thank you so much, Dr. Berry. You know, I love being here. You're so wonderful. So thank you for having the back and forth. And I love the lunch and learn community and just the fact that you're spreading this information because it's so important and the diversity and the topics that you're sharing also. So thank you for having me back.
So for those who, maybe, someone, you know, got a lot of listeners since the last time we talked, right? So just give them a little bit of introduction of who you are. You know, why you're so important and you know why, you know, I was again, fortunate enough to kind of get you for a second time around?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Oh, awesome. Okay. Well, so I am Dr. Sylvia Gonsahn-Bollie. I'm board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine, but I probably should back because you know, we all have this program spill that we do. But I am a wife. I'm a mom, I'm a doctor, I'm a runner, I'm a foodie. So I have many hats and, and, but I'm passionate about helping busy people, especially work for women, obtain and maintain our happy, healthy weight through practical lifestyle interventions. And this for me all kind of started with my own weight loss journey, which began in 2014 late 2014 but I count 2015 as my actual start. That was when I did my first 10 K at trained up to and did it. So I've just sold it five years on my fitness and weight loss journey and I don't even like calling it a weight loss journey and we'll talk about that my weight journey.
So I have personal and professional experience with it. I am. When I started this journey, it was about a year and a half after having my first child, my son. For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or on social media, I have a second child now. I'm five months postpartum. But with my first child, that was when this, what I'm going to talk about today, really hit home for me. You know, I was getting used to being a new mom. I was just finishing up my residency. I was a chief resident of transitioning. So chief resident, which for us is an extra fourth year. And also I'm an attending, so becoming like stepping into my new, into my career. And then I was also just getting used to everything. And so I put everything ahead of me and my health and my weight, even though I was preaching health to other people. Right?
So I was 40 pounds overweight at the time my son was one and I kind of held onto that for about a year and a half. So finally it started to impact the way I was counseling patients. I would be like what did you eat for lunch? And then I would hear in my own head, what did you eat for lunch? So exercise, like I would ask the patient, did you exercise it here? I hear the voice, did you exercise? And so I started to feel very convicted about what I was doing. So this, for that reason I started to focus on my own health and prioritize in it. And I started by training for that race of which is the monument, 10k, a popular race here in Richmond, Virginia where I live. And then from then just kept building and building and growing. But it's not easy, you know. So because of that, I know, as I said, it's hard to fit in fitness. It's challenging to make those healthy food choices, especially when you're stress, especially when you're busy. So I know that the journey has to be individualized in some ways. Like we can share in a community in terms of encouraging each other. And there are some general things that theme to it that we can do, but you really have to address your own individual journey to try to be able to fit this in.
Interesting. We should definitely touch on a few parts. One, I want to highlight that she said this, this is one of her first 10 k's which means she's run multiple, which is absolutely amazing. And you talk about the weight journey. I take care of a lot of patients and now I do inpatient medicine. So I tend to see a lot of the end state stuff when I did inpatient medicine, outpatient medicine, you know. It was always that start right where I used to see a lot of at the beginning. And I think they were mentally at the point where they're saying doc like I'm ready to lose some weight, but I didn't necessarily know how. And I think a lot of times it was that population of those moms, those women who were busy lifting. Like again, it is not like they weren't doing anything.
Life was just happening all around them and whether it be work, whether it be school or whether taking care of kids, whether be taken care of their family. Unfortunately, the health guy left on the back burner. So when you talk about your personal weight journey, was it like, were those patients the big like kind of step that's a, you know what I gotta do something because I like how can I keep looking at my patients over and over and over again and tell them exactly what they need to do to lose weight, but I'm not personally following it myself.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Definitely. I mean, because, you know, as I've mentioned, I think in the last podcast. There’s a study out there that shows that physicians who are overweight or have obesity are less likely to counsel their patients on it. And I think for me personally, I started to feel that I understand that because I almost felt like a hypocrite, you know, talking to people about what they were doing and I was not doing it and live in it. So once I noticed that it was starting to, it had gotten to the point that I felt it was starting to impact the way I was able to deliver care, especially to a set population of patients that really needed the care. Then I said, okay, it's time for me to reevaluate it. And I think for me personally, how and why it was helpful, it really improved by empathy, right? Because there's something different. And we all know this, we were both parents. So you know, there's different from book learning. Like there's these we would say by the book, but as a parent, but once you have your own child, you're like, and you see the nuances, oh, maybe I can't do that. Maybe an extra 30 minutes of screen time is okay today.
Yeah, that's it. That's just what it boils down to. So that's what I think happened. And so what I realized that I had to do was to number one, stop just telling people what to do and think about why and so, and think about what I was doing in that let me be able to help to empathize and to better help people. So the first step really was as stop beating myself up and being very negative because you know, I was sending these lots of the goals that weren't really attainable for a person who had eight then a 16-month-old child and also had a busy professional husband and had a lot and was working full time. So maybe really saying that I need to work out 30 minutes every day, wasn't going to happen initially in the beginning or saying that I should eat, you know, go from drinking soda to drink and water every day. That was going to be challenging because you've got to get acclimated to that decrease in and that's on many levels, not just psychologically, but also physiologically. Your body just used to a certain level of sweetness and you got to tone it down so you're able to tolerate the regular water – clean water. I get used to drinking water.
I get used to, sometimes I look at juice now and it looks so good. Get Back. (Yeah.) Now the goals were, were there goals that you know we're kind of placed upon you? Like people thought like, well, you should be able to do 30 minutes every day. You should just cold turkey drink juice. Was those like just kind of like outside goals, kind of waited upon you? Where those kinds of like internalized in yourself and then you kind of realize this is not a successful route if I continue to try to go this way?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Yeah, well I think, you know, we have guidelines right? As, as physicians and a dietician’s health community, so their guidelines set, right? So the American Heart Association recommends that we get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. So that's two and a half hours of exercise per week and moderate being that you can move without sinking. So like while you're jogging, while you're walking, you're moving fast enough that you're not sinking or an hour and a half of vigorous exercise, which is moving fast and if we can't talk while you exercise. So that's the American heart association guidelines. So that, of course, is what I would strive for because that's when I'm counseling my patients on it. Now the dietary guidelines are controversial for people. There are people you know who don't believe in me, don't believe in dairy, things like that. Personally, I feel like the literature really supports more of a Mediterranean diet and as close to the plant-based as you can be, which is hard because I do love my chicken.
I love chicken. So unapologetically I'll try it. So, but you know, so my goal was to really minimize, I don't eat red meat or pork since I was since age 15 so that wasn't hard for me. But kind of back on like chicken, fried foods, things like that, and trying to eat as clean as possible, which is minimizing process foods. So those were my goals based on all the data and all the things that I've seen about eating a healthy diet. So that, and for me, the big one was sugar like and is still cutting down on sugar because when I'm stressed I tend to eat a lot of sugar. And that's again very physiological thing because those high levels of cortisol make you want to eat more sugar.
No stress like a mom. No, no, no. No stress.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
So that's where I feel a lot of pressure came from because I knew the guidelines, I know what I'm supposed to do, but you know, there's a gap between what I'm doing and what I need to do.
So when you were making the mental transition even before you made the leap, like physically as far as stopping doing things and you know, working out more, what was the support system like? Because I feel when I talked to the moms out there, a lot of times they feel like it's on their own. And they feel because it's on their own, that's what makes it more difficult than not to even start and if they do start to continue.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Exactly. Well, I'm glad you talked about it. So let me characterize this. What would I call the person then? Then we'll get the “not answer that question because I do want to talk about what I called this busy woman syndrome”. That's what I call it syndrome. Or for those people who are in the church also known as Martha Syndrome. So people who are familiar with the Bible and things like that. So if you are not familiar with the Bible, I'll tell you real quick. So it's a story about two sisters, Mary and Martha and Jesus comes to visit and this is paraphrased of course. Jesus comes to visit their house and you know, Martha is all busy. She's in the kitchen, she's cooking, she's cleaning up their house, she's just all over the place busy.
Really what I would be doing. Mary meanwhile is the chill sister. She's chilling, seat by the Jesus at his feet, just like enjoying the moment. And Martha comes out. It just like I could see myself doing it. It's like, Hey Jesus, like tell Mary to get some business about herself. Tell her to come and help me. Let's get ready. Do something. And instead of reprimanding Mary as you would expect, Jesus actually says, Martha, you are concerned about many things. Meaning you got way too much going on. Mary has chosen the most important thing, which is to just be present at the moment, to enjoy the moment and to spend time meaningfully with people she loves. So I think this is a perfect picture of kind of how we are. We put a lot on ourselves and some of it, yes it's true, we must do it. I mean we have to work, have to cook, like all these things. But there's a time and a place where we can actually, where we feel like we need to be doing something where we can take a break and sit down and be present in the moment. And I think when it comes to health, we have to carve out those moments where we can sit and be present and say, I'm going to prioritize my health. Whether that moment is eating something healthy or making a healthier choice or is actually going out and exercising and doing something for a few minutes for ourselves.
More than Mary, less than Martha. I love it.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
So now, you asked the question on what was the support system like? So that's why I kind of bring out too. For me, I'm a person of faith. So I think a lot of times when we think about like our health journey or weight journey in general, and again getting back to this concept of weight be, and we can talk about Dr. Berry at the end, may be about, it'll be in a weight journey and not just a weight loss journey because too often we focus on that weight loss. And once we get to that weight loss is like, Oh, I lost the weight and let me go back to eat and what I eat and you know, and you regain all the weight and you're back on another weight loss journey. So I really want to shift our mindset to it being a weight journey where that includes the weight loss, the weight maintenance and everything where we're doing it.
So for the weight journey, it's so important not to do it in a vacuum. For me, I followed the philosophy of faith, family, friends, fitness, and food. So I like alliteration. So all those F's. So, but faith is the basis of thinking about it. You know, really for me Biblically, what does the Bible say about health and taking care of our bodies and being able to stay healthy and using that as a support in that some people who are a part of a faith community, maybe your church or synagogue or your mosque, it has some resources that you can use to build into that. So if faith is important to you, don't exclude that from the journey of your fitness journey. So that's one of the things. So it's creating support with what we already have versus looking at it.
Now, and that's, you know, probably more of the touchy-feely time. For me on my fitness journey, I would say friends were important. I have a very good friend and she to me was the key to unlocking my weight loss journey. And to be perfectly honest, because I am such a perfectionist, I can be very hard on myself. So you know, I'm like, oh, I didn't make that 30 minutes. I didn't get two and a half hours, this and this and that. And so one day I was talking to her about how frustrated I was about losing weight and my fitness journey and she just stopped me and she was like, be nice to Sylvia. I like her about her saying that just like it hit me. I'm like, yeah be nice. Because when you're kind to yourself, you're not holding or nice to yourself or to anyone.
Be nice. Because most women were very caring and will help people. We're not going to be, you know, a kid comes to you and like, you know, mom, I didn't, I wasn't able to get a hundred on my test this week. You're going to be like, that's okay. You got an 89 and it's all right. You'll try harder next time. Let's figure out what we can do to get those grades up or to see why you miss those points. So that same kind of kindness that we would extend to other people, we have to extend to ourselves. So, okay, this week I wasn't able to make it in two and a half hours, but let me look back and realistically think why that was, oh my goodness. You know, it was close to the month. I had to get all those charts and I had to submit on my work at work.
There was a lot going on, that was an obstacle. It's not an excuse. It's an obstacle to me getting this work done. So it took me getting that workout in, all right, but now that identified the obstacles, what could I have possibly done to do and instead to get that workout in instead, or what? How could I have set myself up to make better food choices? Okay. I know that it was a week that was filled with PTA meetings, soccer practices, football practices, dance practice, whatever. And so realistically me thinking that I was going to cook dinner every night, didn't it make sense? But maybe instead of us rolling up to a fast food place, I could've just like meal prep and make like chicken. It used some big chicken or some enough food for a day or it could have gone to a healthy place and gotten a family meal pack that we could have actually had two days of leftovers from.
So those are the kinds of choices when you're being kind to yourself. So I talked about faith, I talked about family, talked about friends first and then family. So the family is a tricky one, right? (Let’s talk about, yes.) Because sometimes family can actually, it can help or hinder on the weight loss, on the weight journey. Because let's say, and especially for moms, they're like, I hear this all the time, my kids don't like eating that or my husband does not like eating that. And then, and that's true, there's data to support that, right? Actually, for married couples, that data was an in married couples and I'm probably could work for common law couples too, but for married couples that you're more likely to adhere to your diet plan or your healthy eating plan if your spouse is involved with you. And also in the first year, an interesting fact in the first year of marriage, you more likely to gain 50 pounds.
So there's a newlywed 50 too for women. Because we start heated up to that. So you know, so having that your partner, your spouse involved with you is so key because it will help. But what do you do if they're not involved? Like for me, I love my husband. He supports me as much as he can, but he has been blessed with a great metabolism. He got a six pack from drinking a six pack of coke. Like he just gets, it just comes naturally. He doesn't have to work out. So he can't really be on this journey with me because he can't get it. So he just eats what he wants to be. Right. I'll ask him, I'm like, can you go get me some fruit bars and then wanting, the one time I asked him for that and then he came back with like a box of Gelato and I'm like, ah, the nutritional content of this is very different like you're not helping me at all. He was like, oh, it's just ice cream. Yeah.
That's usually what I get. I usually get like, well, my kids don't eat that way. My family members don’t eat that way. Maybe I don't have time to cook two different meals for two different groups of people.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Exactly. Well, what I'll say is don't make it hard for yourself. And that's what I did. So number one, I shifted my mindset rather than say, you know, oh, I don't have them and he's not helping me, or my kids don't want this. I said, okay, well this is another form of mommy me time. I get to eat, mommy gets to eat what she wants to eat, they can eat whatever they want, but this is my me time. This is something I'm doing just for me. I'm going to eat this salad for me. I'm going to eat this kale for me. And that's how it's for me. You know, I'm buying my own personal grocery. Actually, now that are kind of territorial. They're like actually had guests recently and they were eating me, I'm special low carb bread and I was. (The guest bread is over there.) Why are you eating my bread? So yes it does.
But that's how I changed my mindset about it. To make it easy on myself, I keep the protein the same, but I kept the carb so we can eat the same protein. So be it chicken, be it turkey, be it fish, I eating it. That's me. You know what I mean? They're not even that. But I keep the protein the same for the most part. And then I keep the vegetables the same. I'm lucky to do, especially my son loves all vegetables, so I keep the vegetables same, but I cut the carb or switch to the carb about. So I’m in a family of big rice eaters, they like a lot of rice. Try to get them to eat brown rice is hard. They like white rice.
The brown rice talk over here. It doesn't even, I know exactly what that white rice. Family is life. I know that life is life.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
So they're not trying to have that. Sometimes if I get the right brand, like Uncle Ben's friend of brown rice. I can interchange it out, but it has to be the first day, you know, its very thing. So anyway, that being said, I've changed the carb about, so I just do a half a plate of vegetables for myself or I might do cauliflower rice for myself and then they can eat that. And that makes it very easy because then I, or I've put a salad, you know, then that way I'm not fixing to different meals. We're sharing the same protein. We're sharing the same vegetable is only a quick, simple thing that I have to do for myself.
I love how you talked about having to make them the mindset shift first before the action occurred. Whatever that action is. Cause I think that you know, really slows a lot of moms down. They may know, they may read all that they needed to read and they see all the videos needed to do. And they have that first step really doesn't happen and nothing subsequently is successful.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Well, I have been, you know, practicing now in the past five years. I've seen, I've had what, 15,000 plus patient encounters and I started obesity. Yeah, I know, right? They check this data and I'm a nerd, y'all know, I know this data. So, and then I, you know, and then I started weight loss doing, you know, 40% weight loss exclusively in 2017 and late 2016. So I've seen lots of patients, right. And one of them, and so I can, but I will say when it comes to weight loss, weight management, 90% of it is the mind. It's the mind. Because when you, you know, the old song says free your mind and the rest will follow. Once you make that mind shift, then these things that seemed hard, that seems like it's that were quote-unquote excuses your obstacles, you find a way around them.
You find a solution for them but it, so I really, I’m a big proponent, a big advocate of the mind. I recently was working with someone and they wanted me to just like, give them formula. Just give me some exercises, just give me some things and it realistically you don't need me to do that. There are billions of exercises you just go on YouTube. I love to search for it and find new people to do that. There are billions of diets and the data supports the best diet for you is the one that works right? The one that you can stick to. So it really comes down to me helping you change your mindset. And I don't do it alone. So when we talk about the team, the other part of your team is figuring out what those mindsets are. For a lot of my patients that they will end up going to see a therapist or a psychologist because there is deeper than the weight. I always say weight is not just a number, it's a story. There's a story behind what got that person to that weight. And once you unlock that story and figure it out, then both as the physician, both as the clinician but also as them for themselves, then we can figure it out. So sometimes we, they end up needing a psychologist on the team and not just the provider, a physician on their team to help because there's a lot of comorbidities like depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD. A lot of that is tied into weight as well.
I know you said you were taking out they were comorbidities that are there. (I know.) Obesity-related. Because I remember the bill. Nope, that was it. So now that you have a team, right? You have your mindset has shifted, right? I'm a busy mom. Right? Like I have mentally made that leap. Right. Then I'm ready. Right. What do I do next? How do I start? And I guess is that, would you say that's the start of their weight journey? Like when does that actually begin?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Yeah, I would say your weight journey starts, once you decide and you make that change that you're ready to do it. No one can force you. No one can talk to you about it. You know, it's almost, I think last time we talked about I make it analogous for those who are in medicine or in healthcare to smoking cessation. Like when you stop smoking, quitting smoking, right? If you've ever been with this smoke grip, to get them to actually quit smoking as a matter what you put on the cigarette pet, where you put on the team, it doesn't matter. So we rate it. We say you're either pre contemplated, meaning you're not even thinking about it. So don't even talk to you, contemplating, you're thinking about it. Got some idea, but you're not ready for action yet. Grant action based and then you're in maintenance and then relapse.
And so I treat obesity just like that, which is model for change. That's the formal name of it. So, so when you now are conscious that you've really wanted to change and you're ready to, so you're in the contemplation stage, that's step two. So now you're ready for action and to make the change. So I think yes, the mind shift changes number one, and then ready for action. So I think number one, I tell people to identify, and I can send this to you, the link, I put it on my website, I made a little graph or sheet that kind of follows my weight loss journey. So you'll be able to go directly to her site. Download that. Yes.
This will be on the show note for Lunch and Learn community so you'll be able to go directly to her site. Download that, mentally.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
So now that you're ready for it and you can write down, you need to write down like acknowledge what are your barriers, what are the obstacles that you face, be it time, be it an unsupportive family. So yeah. So getting started, what I tell you to do is, so address your obstacles and create opportunities. So what I recommend that you do is write down everything that you identify as the obstacle. The common term for it is excuses. People say it's just an excuse. But again, that mindset shift, right? Excuses is a very defeating term. It makes, it puts blame on you. Like I'm not doing something, I'm supposed to do it, but I could be doing it. So I shift it from saying it's not an excuse, it's your life. It's a barrier to what you're trying to do and what you're trying to accomplish it.
So instead it's an obstacle. And once you recognize as the obstacle, but that obstacles as opportunities. So now you have an opportunity to change what you're doing. So what I'll do, so like lack of time, for instance, what opportunities can you create for a time in your schedule and give yourself some options. Give yourself A, B, C, even D, E, F. So like for me, when I started back in late 2014, my obstacle time was a huge obstacle because at that time my husband was commuting about two hours a day back and forth. So that when I got home I had to take care of the baby, my little toddler. And that made it hard for me to go to the gym and exercise. Right. So what opportunities can I do? All right, well let me exercise in the morning instead.
And how much time, I'm more of a morning person anyway. Let me try to get up earlier and exercise in the morning. Maybe I can get a baby stroller, like a jogging stroller. So I actually got one of those offline. Maybe I can find a gym that has childcare in with it. So I would join the gym with childcare in it. Okay, well sometimes I can't get to the gym. What can I do? Let me do some. I started actually with a rockin' body, so I started with that because actually one of my first obstacles was I didn't like exercising. At least I thought I did exercising.
Very telling because I think a lot of people don't realize like that's actually alike.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
You have to like it. And that's why when you don't like doing something, you'll find any reason not to do it. So, of course, I don't have time because I don't like it. And what I realized in that, so that's actually a huge, not just a mindset shift, but also a barrier or obstacle. So what I realized is I was trying to force myself to do things I didn't like to do. So when I started with rocky and body, which was just like dancing and I am not a good dancer, but it made me feel like I was so things like do it that way.
So I like doing that. It made me feel good, you know, and it has short workouts so it has some as short as 10 minutes and some as long as 45 minutes. Then I started the running, which one of my colleagues that I work with, he's like, oh he actually just turned 60 yeah, we celebrate the 60 but he's 60 years old, but he's been running for years. And he said, yeah, so 30 plus years he's done a Boston marathon, lots of things. So seeing him and just his consistency with it really inspired me. And so that's how it started. A trend for the first 10K that then I did. And because he was doing it and you know, he really motivated me to do it. And then I found I liked running, you know? And so I kept going, kept adding it, have added distance at a distance, did a marathon in 2016 and it kept doing the 10K and did my fifth monuments 10K.
This year was my fifth one, four months postpartum. (Congratulation.) Thank you. So, but you don't know what you like to do until you try, you know? Whereas then I have other friends, I have colleagues, they like doing CrossFit, they like doing Hit, they liked doing weightlifting. I don't like doing that stuff. I recognize the value of it. But I know for myself I don't like it. I have to do it because it's good for the strength and aspect of it. So I say figure out what you like cause you may say I hate exercise, I don't like exercise. But really you just haven't found what you like to do. So challenge yourself to find the activity and think about activities you don't consider exercise that you do enjoy doing. Like do you enjoy dancing? Do you enjoy being outdoors? Do you enjoy, because then maybe you can find, uh, some form of exercise, quote-unquote that you enjoy doing too.
What I love about what you just said, especially cause it's kind of eye-opening, is that a lot of us when we'd say, well, I don't have the time to exercise. Where we're really saying is I don't like that exercise that y'all want me to find time for us. So I'm not going to find time to do it. But once you find something you like, whatever that something is from an exercise standpoint, all of a sudden you'll wake up early in the morning and you'll stay up late at night, you'll squeeze it in during lunch. You'll do things for stuff you like which makes sense. Right? Again, when we got to the food we like, we'll do whatever we got to do for that food. We like, right, when you have an activity we like, we'll do it. We ever have to do. And I think once we hold up that same appraise with an exercise, whatever that exercise is for you, you'll find the time, right? Yeah. Some kids got to go to sleep, right. You know, family guy, you're taking it, you do that time to kind of be by yourself. And I liked that you said maybe you don't have time to go somewhere. Right. Maybe there's some stuff you can do even in your own house to kind of maximize the free time that you do have.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Exactly. And that was another, you brought up a good one. Another barrier, right? Healthy food doesn't taste good to me. Like that was probably, you know, is it, like I said, it's been five years. I forget where I started. Right. We want to front and act as we've been there. I've always been healthy. I've always been on this witness. No, I did not like healthy food when I first started. So that was my first month to set shift for me. It was just like, okay, well how I actually worked around this because I'm a foodie? Both of my parents owned a restaurant when I was a kid. I grew up like just immersed in food. Culture food is a big part of my life, but what I challenged myself with was how can it, rather than saying I don't like, maybe again, I'm not liking the healthy food I'm choosing. Or I'm choosing tasteless food.
I'm not applying the same principles of Buddhism to my food, my healthy food. So what I will do is challenged myself to make my healthy food as delicious as possible, but still healthy and to find healthy options when I go out to eat. Because you know, again, being busy, I do have to eat out a lot. I do sometimes some weeks of his very busy. I may not have the time to cook the way I want to, but let me challenge myself to find those restaurants that have healthy options and let me challenge myself when I cooked to make it delicious, healthy, and delicious. Not just something dry or blend because I say I'd want to eat healthy. Don't punish yourself, enjoy what you're eating, but just try to stay within the parameters of making it healthy. Because to me, if you're a good cook, if you're a true foodie, then you can find deliciousness and make deliciousness with anything. Anyone can make it delicious. If you get to put a whole stick of butter in it and half a cup of sugar, but it takes real skill to make, you know, some quinoa delicious or it seemed to make this tofu delicious. So that's what I've been, what I challenged myself to do. And that's kind of how I worked around the barrier of not really finding healthy food at that time appealing.
When we talk about healthy food, right? Because this is personally, I always run into the issue right? I'm a very visual person with the food and some of the foods that they called healthy I got to ask that question, it's not even a secondary question. Some of the food that they called healthy really don't look good. Like Hey, I haven't even like tasted it yet. But sometimes that mental barrier, they even taste food that's healthier for me it's difficult because I'm, “oh that food doesn't even my…what is that?” And I that's, that's sometimes I get, what am I looking at right here at the hospital and they do this, they always have like a vegetarian section. This thing that it looks like meatballs, but I know for a fact is not a meatball. And then it's almost like hard like a rock. Like it's just like, okay. And that's what always gets me like, and I know that's probably going to get a lot of moms out there, right? Like the food don't look good to us. It's difficult for us to even put it in our mouth to eat.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Exactly. So what I would challenge you to, what I would say to that is you're right then don't eat what does it look good to you? Like personally for me and, and that's again about knowing yourself and that mindset shift. I don't like big food and I shouldn't call it big, but I don't like to look for light foods. Big chicken. I told you I like chicken. Finally, I found one brand that actually does taste like chicken and it's made from, but when I read the ingredients like you when I know what do I really want to eat this, like wheat, soy and some kind of fungus, but it really tastes like chicken. But before that, I don't like those like big meatballs. I don't like big things like that because you're right, psychologically I'm expecting the taste, the texture of a meatball that I'm used to.
And then when I get this and my brain is like automatically going to think it tastes gross because you know, it's not the meatball that I'm used to. So I would say focus on what you do like. So if you like vegetables, so initially within, you know, I know that I like vegetables so a lot of my things is stir fry. If he even looks on my Instagram page and stuff like that. There are a lot of stir fries because I can eat vegetables. There's a lot of eggplants. I like, eggplant is hardy. There is a Portobello mushroom, it's hardy. So more of the more vegetables which you know the plant-based community or argued that it's healthier for you anyway and cleaner for you than eating something that's processed to look like me in the first place. And so I would say if you identify that, then don't eat it because already if you don't think it looks good and you're right, most of the food is person visual and not only visual but also smelled too.
So if you have that perception before you even put it in your mouth, it is not going to taste it. Once it hits the cognitive part of your brain, you know, it's missing all those functions. It’s missing the texture, it’s missing the taste that you're expecting and no one would like that. So don't eat it, don't eat it. Find something else that is appealing to you. Like maybe make the list of it. Now it is more challenging for those people who say, I don't like vegetables, which I do run into people like that or I only buy fruit. That again adds into your team, which is the second part. So you asked how do you get started? So address your obstacles and create opportunities to is assemble your team. Like we talked about your support system and your structure.
I use the principle of fitness inspire through teamwork. That's my handle or whatever, FITT. So we need a team, right? So who's on your team? So maybe you need a Dietitian on your team professionally because you don't like a lot of foods. Or you have health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, prediabetes, insulin resistance. You have conditions that do require special attention to come up with a specialized or individualized food plan. And I'd tell people all the time, why haven't a physician? So if you can find an obesity medicine physician in your area, you can go on the OMA website, which would come put in the show notes also. They can help you get started. But when it comes to nutrition counseling, I'm the type of person, I like to acknowledge my limitations and my training and it helped my patients get to where they need to go.
So I said doctors, we do drive-thru nutrition counseling. That's for many reasons like you know what I mean? Like you go drive-thru, we tell you a couple of days. Don’t eat carbs, don't eat sugar. But when you go to a nutritionist, they give you like a full four course meal and nutrition counseling because they can go through in detail, they have the time, go through detail and to see what it works for you, what doesn't work, and look at everything like that and come up with a very detailed plan. So I always recommend if you have a lot of barriers to things you like, dislike health condition. He should see, it starts with your physician. But definitely seeing nutritionists to help you on your team. And the team that I use, you know, as I said, I use my F so you know, faith, family, friends, if a physician or primary care provider, psychologist, dietician, you know, so a comprehensive team is important to help you with your weight journey.
That's beautiful. Okay, I'm a busy mom. Right? I made the mental switch, I got my team together. I’m starting to identify what things, I will make time for it, right? Because we know the time is there, right? We've already, the mentorship has already said, but you know, time is there. So we already know what the time is there and now we're starting to identify this is, I like this exercise. I don't like this exercise. I'm going to lean towards this way over here and now we're even starting to like even say, you know what? Maybe I can eat healthy right now and I'm asking it as a little bit later as far as, especially when we talk about eating out because I always get that excuse, I am eating healthy and I'm doing everything like well how come I haven't lost my 20 pounds yet? I think that's the part of the journey that I feel like people would hit the stop sign and breaks and that's when they kind of get off. Right? Because, they, for some and again, and maybe kind of going back to having more realistic goals. Right? But they don't, right? But they don't, right? They say I haven't lost my 20 pounds and now they're back to see you because they say, Hey I did all these things and the weight's not coming off. Right? Like what do I do?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Alright. So going back to the steps, let me just reiterate one more time. So getting started. So I address obstacles and create opportunities, assemble your support team. And then the third thing is to act daily. Do something daily towards those goals that you have set. So even if you can't get your 30 minutes in one day, okay, do one minute. Because I find when it comes to mindset comes to momentum. You just got to keep going. I don't allow myself to go more than 48 hours without exercise. And because I find that that third day that's when the inertia or the laziness, that's it. And it gets harder for me to get back on my routine. I mean, unless of course, I'm sick or something like that. There've been times when I've been sick and I had to go for a week.
But since it started, so that third day come hill come high water, I'm going to do some. And where there's just one minute of a plank. I view my time bank of fitness as a bank account, right. Rather than viewing it like I have to do 30 minutes each day. No, I have to get in two and a half hours this weekend. However, I get that two and a half hours is fine. So if I just do 10 minutes today, but over the weekend I can do an hour, then it's all working towards the same goal rather than see a very rigid that you have to do 30 minutes every day or something like that.
So break it up how it works for you. So just something every day, maybe today I'm going to, instead of having that chocolate chip cookie at 3:00 PM, I'm going to have, make a choice and choose to just have an apple at 3:00 PM instead. So that's what it means to do it by acting daily. Now when you talk about it, and I wanted to make sure we clarify that before we shift into the weight because the weight loss part of it, because you're right, the struggle is real. So this is the way that I talked about this, which I mentioned in the first podcast, was just that, number one, we've got to think about a couple of things from evolution or hysterical, whatever you believe in and point of view. We were not made to lose weight, right? Weight has an advantage, excess weight. The reason why we have this adipose or this fat tissue is to protect this and to serve as storage for energy, to serve as the storage for food, for times of scarcity. Right?
And so I always tell my patients who have obesity and they left. I hope you will too, that if we were in like caveman times or they would be queen and the king of the jungle and I would be eating like this is real, right? You have a protective advantage of where you are. But unfortunately, as we have now moved into food positive times where we don't need this extra adipose or this extra tissue to hang out as we did before, now the body is not used to getting rid of it and certainly not used to getting rid of it as quickly as possible. So we know from a lot of studies that have been done like this showed the biggest loser study came out and it showed that most of those people who lost all that weight so quickly to a very intensive process with a lot of team of people. For those people, they gain most of the weight back.
And part of that, when they looked at the biology of it, their body set into motion a whole process for them to regain their weight. Like their metabolic rate slowed down. There was a release of hormones that made them hungrier, that made them not process the fat in sugar as well. So there was a lot going on for it because of the fact that they lost the weight so rapidly and how much of the weight was lost. So we know that you know, we have physiology fighting against this in many ways. And then also psychologically as you're alluding to, is just the fact that, oh, I'm not losing weight, how I feel or would the as quickly as I feel. And so then we do other things and we'd go back into old habits as well that too. So when we talk about weight loss is they're complicated, but then from a more practical perspective, so that was how the nerdy science kind of stuff and the psychological stuff.
But let's be real. It took you 50 years to gain that weight. Why do you think you should lose it all on 50 days? Common guys, give us some time. (I love it.) That rapid weight loss is very traumatic for the body. It is. It is. So the body's going to say, pola, pola, pola, pola. We starving. Why are we losing so much weight? Let me slow down this process a little bit. Let me give myself time to get used to all these changes. And so you may experience what is called a weight loss plateau. Now there's controversy. Some people don't believe in it, this and that. I believe in it. I've seen it and I think the science does support it and it makes sense like your body needs time to get used to the changes that are being made. So I think during those times when you feel like the weight is not coming off as quickly as it should, that is definitely the time if you don't already have a good support system to seek it out.
And again, I mean no shade to any of their specialty or profession, but I know the training that I got as I transitioned from internal medicine, so obesity medicine, I learned a lot about what to do during those times and to really about treating obesity as a disease. So that would be a great time if you are, do have access to an obesity specialist or clinician in your area to try to seek one out, to see if they can help you lose weight. Now in terms of what you should look for in one, I think that probably should be a whole another set very, because I could go on for a long time. But you do need to seek help to help you through the weight loss plateau.
So that help, just in short may include dietary changes. It may include behavioral changes and it actually should include a lot of those. And then sometimes if you already optimized on all those things, especially, I'm sorry, a key one for working moms, I should say sleep. You need seven to nine hours of sleep at night to lose weight. That is because all of our natural weight burnings, that burning hormones are weight loss hormones. They are reset when we sleep and when we get into the right circadian rhythm, and that takes about seven to nine hours at night. And then also stress, you need your stress level to below. So stress management is a key part of it because people who rate their stress levels as moderate to high, on average, we weigh about 11% more than people who rate their stress levels as low. So you need to really make sure that those are in place. And then if all those things are in place, then this is when a physician or clinician may say, maybe we should do weight loss medication and there are several on the market that had been approved to help treat the disease of obesity and to help with weight loss. So that's when, and that's what we may need to almost quote unquote trick the body out of this kind of Plateau state or non-weight burning state.
I love it. So after an action, what's our next of a plan or action? So we've got action, we're doing it at least a minute. I love that at least a minute because I think sometimes the moms do feel guilty. They do feel guilty, (We do.) Just couldn't get it, I wanted to and so and so happened. I know I'd be working out like I tried to work out in the mornings, but usually, my twins usually toward that, right? They wake up early, someone's got to be with the other along the way. And it's usually me. Right? So I know there are always obstacles that are in a way. So I do love that we give them an opportunity to say no, you know, it's okay. Just put it in the bank. It's not a race. We just need you to get there. We just need you to get there. Had to be the first. We just got to get you to that point every single week. And I love when I stay up.
When they get to point in there the action and they're losing weight and now they're feeling good about themselves. Right? Like what? Like what do you do? How do you counsel them to stay on it, right? Because again, I love the fact that we really call it a journey, right? Because this is something that as a lifelong thing that they need to like handle it. What are some of the things that you've seen that's caused people to maybe backslide a little bit? And what are some of the tips that you have to say like to keep on going?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
So the next stage in the stages of changes is maintenance, right? So you guys what, we're in action, now we just need to maintain it. You've already addressed some things. So lack of results is a key thing like you mentioned. So people who may lose that initial five to 10 pounds and get it off very quickly because it's more water weight and people in the body was ready to give that. But then you get to a place where maybe raw now five to 10% of your body weight and then your body kinda plateau or as not losing as quickly. So people get discouraged and the negativity sets in. I think it's very important then to again, tap into your team and figure out what's going on. That's the time to make their appointment with someone that's to talk to your friends who are on the journey with you. Those people who are going to support you, your family, your faith, those things to keep you on the journey.
And that's the glue that's kind of keeping you going during those times when you may feel discouraged on your own. Because everybody will feel that way. I think number one, again, a mindset shift is just knowing that this plateau or this lack of results as part of the journey. Number two, knowing that it's a constant journey. So you mentioned something very common, like yeah, I have the five months old now. She often wakes up, but if you follow my Instagram stories, you'll see her in that video with me. Right? So that means maybe I have plans to go out for a run that morning, but she woke up. So now we may be doing a carry fit or like a baby carrier exercise instead. And I'm just lifting weights with her or, you know if she won't let me put her down or I'll put her in a thing and exercise in the swinger or something.
So you know, knowing that it's going to be constantly something. Something will always be there. That's the other mindset struggles. Not just because, okay, I've declared this thing and I'm going to do it. That is going to be quote-unquote easy. It's not going to be easy. There were always been some barrier there, but you get better at figuring out how can I navigate around that? So that's why I say mindset is so important because that's what's going to help you to maintain and continue the weight journey. So now that you've lost the weight or a year in the process of losing the weight continuance to go, and so that's how I know in the office and in the clinical setting how I support my patients.
So number one, showing up, right? Sometimes you have a tendency to hide when you haven't reached the goal or the goal is not going the way you want. Don't hide, still, show up. Come to your appointment. Call your friend, call your trainer and I'm so sorry my fitness trainer friends are going to be so mad at me. Yes, fitness trainers, they're been important. You know, I'm more like individual because my exercise is more of my me time. But definitely if you struggle with being alone or working out alone, get a trainer, get someone to help you. And I'm actually going to get a trainer later on this year too because they can help you get to that next level of fitness that you want to get to or you need to get to. So yes tapping into the resources you need, show up using your team and still continually reevaluating what is working, what isn't working and knowing that you needed, you're going to need to change.
Like I can't tell you how many times I would come to feel like I was finally in a group with especially fitness and I focused on fitness. But the food, of course, is the number one thing for weight loss. But fitness helps them so much. So I would get my fitness schedule down and then my husband's work schedule would change and I'd be like dad, waking up baby. And so, you know, it's always going to be something. I think that's what I've learned and that's life, right? There's always going to be something. But your ability to adapt, which probably it could still see as we talk. It helps out so much. Right. I just added a fourth A so I had a sense and assemble. I had act now I have, did I just already forget it? This is the sleep deprivation can get but no, but yeah, I just added a fourth A to it though. So you have assessed, you have, so you acknowledging those barriers. You had to assemble your team, you have acting daily and then assess. So constantly reassessing what needs to change, what you need help with that so important.
I love it. Before we get you out of here, again amazing teaching education and I know obviously we talked about the moms, of course, busy dads. I know y'all out there clearly, but we got to talk about the moms because you know, we know how hard they work. Before we let you get out of here. Right? Like what I need you to tell everyone, like again, we've talked about before, how can they get in touch with you, teach you, learn from you. What is out there that they can kind of consume cause I think, uh, you know, they're going to listen to this and then go back and listen to episode 93 and then be like, wow, this is the person that I need to follow. How can they follow and learn and continue to kind of even follow your journey that you're still on as we speak.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
Yeah. Well definitely through social media. I have a website that is drsylviagbollie.com. I also am very active on Facebook. I do weekly live postings where I teach on different topics and I'm committed to trying to do those weekly now. I also post regularly on Twitter, on Instagram, just to keep us all motivated on our fitness journey. And that's my main goal, just showing real-life examples of trying to fit into in fitness and fit in healthy eating and so busy lifestyles, especially as a working mom. So there's social media is the best way.
Okay. So I ask all my guests on the podcast, how is what you do helping to empower busy moms across the world empowered themselves for better health?
Dr. Slyvia Bollie:
I think what I'm doing is helping busy moms across the world because I'm empowering us to just be ourselves and work within those confines would be in ourselves. Work within that rather than trying to fit any mold, fit any model and putting yourself on there. Like you mentioned a lot of guilt, a lot of pressure. Like I, my goal and how I hope to help all of us is to just help us realize that number one, it's possible to fit in fitness. It’s possible to fit in healthy eating. And it doesn't have to be the way that anyone else does it, but in a way that works best for you.
Love it, love it. Again, Lunch and Learn community, I want to thank that Dr. Bollie for coming on the second time and dropping even more gems. And she did the first time and you know, blessing us, educating us, and really getting this right and together, especially for the busy moms out there. I know a lot of them are. I know a lot of them in the Lunch and Learn community who are starving freedom. So I like this. So again, thank you for joining the show today.
Dr. Slyvia Bollie: