There are countless diets, cleanses and 30-day challenges all geared to help people lose weight, heal their digestion and feel more energy. Yet, these temporary protocols fall short when it comes to true transformation. With all of the nutrition guidance available, why do millions of people weigh more than they want and feel anxious and depressed about it?
Nutrition expert Carly Pollack lived this vicious cycle until trial and error, and over a decade of academic study and self-healing, led her to the incredible insights she’s shared with thousands. In Feed Your Soul: Nutritional Wisdom to Lose Weight Permanently and Live Fulfilled, she presents her unique understanding of body science, brain wiring, and spiritual principles to facilitate real, long-term change. We caught up with Carly to learn more about her new book.
Tell us the story of how you came to write Feed Your Soul?
I’ve been in private practice for 10 years, and I’ve coached thousands of people using holistic nutrition and functional medicine practices. Over the years, it became apparent to me that people cannot heal themselves if they don’t understand the inner workings of the mind, why we always come from fear, and how to train ourselves to do, say and eat the right things.
After a few years of coaching, clients kept telling me, “you should write a book.” Then the inner whisper started, “You have something good here. You have something to say that can help heal people and help them live a higher quality of life.” I didn’t want to write a book at first. I felt like as far as nutrition went, it’s all been said. Too much has been said. But I couldn’t shake the whisper, so finally, I just gave in and started writing.
Why is the inner work the most important piece of weight loss?
Our plate is a reflection of our inner state. Our food behaviors stem from our mind’s stories and beliefs. If you don’t change your views, you can’t change your behavior long term. For me, I’m not impressed by short-term weight loss. I’ve done it a million times. I’m looking for a permanent change, and that can only happen from the inside out.
You say in the book that the opposite of fear is love, then the opposite of willpower is discipline. How so?
Discipline comes from a place of love. Discipline sounds like this: “I love the way that food tastes, but I love myself more.” Using discipline feels great; you feel empowered and crystal clear about what you truly want. You are unwilling to give up what you want most for what your mind is saying you want right now. Conversely, when you are using willpower alone, you are pissed off at yourself, even after you have made the right choice. You feel imprisoned by food and indebted to some old behavior. Then three days later, you eat something even worse than the food you avoided to spite yourself.
Why do so many of us face constant resistance when we try to do the right thing, and how can we get ourselves to do the things we know are good for our health but that we have a hard time doing?
We face resistance because we haven’t yet done the inner work. Humans are wired to seek pleasure only and we don’t like to do anything that we associate with pain. If we have a story about cooking or exercising that has pain attached, then we won’t ever be able to consistently do those behaviors (consistent behaviors equates to permanent change). We have to start connecting more pleasure than pain to healthy habits.
You also say that before we attempt to achieve anything, we must begin by having extreme clarity about the outcome we want to create. Why is that step so essential and will you give us an example?
Knowing your “why” is about focusing on your outcome, not the process it takes to get there. An engaged woman wanting to fit into her wedding dress is a perfect example. She has a clear why (outcome). She’s focused. Her clarity helps her attach pleasure to the things she needs to do to achieve her goal. What happens the day after her wedding? That will all depend on whether or not she creates a new “why”.
You offer five non-negotiables of weight loss, health and vitality in the book. What are they?
The five non-negotiables of health are sleep, cooking, exercise, meditation and silence.
What is the most important thing someone who wants to lose weight needs to know?
Stop counting calories, stop the 30- day cleanses. Start keeping a journal with all your beliefs about food and weight loss. Write in it every day. Get clear about what you want and what beliefs are holding you back. Read my book Feed Your Soul.
What do you most hope readers will take away from your book Feed Your Soul?
I hope they will take away tools that help them create permanent change. I hope they walk away understanding why what they have been doing in the past wasn’t working and how to fix it. Lastly, I hope that readers will gain a sense of compassion, forgiveness and hopefulness when it comes to losing weight and being the healthiest versions of themselves.
Carly Pollack is the author of Feed Your Soul and the founder of Nutritional Wisdom, a thriving private practice based in Austin, Texas. A Certified Clinical Nutritionist with a master’s degree in holistic nutrition, Carly has been awarded Best Nutritionist in Austin five years running and has helped over 10,000 people achieve their health and happiness goals. Visit her online at www.carlypollack.com