Podcast: Episode 212: Feeling Your Body and Losing Weight with Corinne Crabtree

I'm super excited to be welcoming the one and only Corinne Crabtree to the show today, CEO of No BS Weightloss and a powerful voice in the women's health space. She's joining me to discuss the surprising similarities between the work she does around losing weight, and the work I do in pain reduction. While the goals for our clients may be different, there are strong correlations in the way we support them, which I'm excited to share with you.

Listen in as Corinne shares her personal story of losing weight and outlines some foundational elements of her well-loved program, such as recognizing hunger cues, “eating to enough,” and breaking the habit of thinking hunger is some kind of painful punishment.

Plus, Corinne offers her tips for handling the holidays, including making the conscious decision to either gain, maintain or lose weight during this period—an effective way to adhere to a reentry plan in the new year.

If you're ready to better understand the language of your body, email [email protected] for a customized learning path.

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The ways in which weight loss and pain reduction are correlated.

  • Understanding the difference between “eating to enough” and “eating to full”.

  • Why you should avoid eating while distracted (using your phone, watching TV, etc.).

  • The 4 Ns and the role they play in eating to enough.

Featured on the Show:

  • If you're ready to better understand the language of your body, email [email protected] for a customized learning path.

Full Episode Transcript:

Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.

Susi Hately: All right, welcome and welcome back. I’m really glad that you are here because I’ve got a very special guest for this episode. And it’s going to seem initially like, why do I have this episode? Because I talk mostly about pain, I talk mostly about movement, I don’t talk about weight loss. So why am I bringing this in?

So this is going to be a really delightful conversation, because who I have here is Corinne Crabtree. And Corrine runs a program, she’s the CEO of No BS Weightloss and she runs a fantastic program, helping women lose weight. And I’ve taught inside of her program and shared with them about reducing pain and managing knee stuff and just the variety of things that anybody can experience.

And what I’ve noticed over the time that I’ve engaged with her and her group, there’s so many similarities with the way she’s teaching about weightloss and the way that I’m helping people out of pain. And since I also know a number of her members are in this podcast, and I know there’s people who aren’t in her membership that listen to me, I think you’re going to find some really great, great insights of how the idea around weight loss and pain reduction are actually highly correlated.

So welcome, Corinne. I’m so glad that you’re here.

Corinne Crabtree: Well thank you for having me. You’re always a delight when you visit our members, our membership. They love their Susi.

Susi: Yeah, we have a lot of fun. So to give people perspective and context, tell me a little bit and share a little bit about your own journey towards where you are now.

Corinne: Yeah, so I grew up, pretty much at the age of nine I started gaining weight and was an obese child. I was severely bullied. Obesity ran in my family, it was just almost like a part of who I was. And when I had my son I was approaching like the early 30s and I just realized I can’t keep up with him.

He was getting to be about a year old and very active, as most little boys are, and toddlers. He was on the move all the time and I weighed over 250 pounds and I remember being terrified that if he ever got out the door, if something happened in public, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him. I wouldn’t be able to catch him if I needed to.

One day he wanted to play and I was laying on the couch, it was like 10 in the morning. I mean, you’re a pain specialist, by the time of my early 30s I was already in a lot of pain. Just my weight, it was bone crushing. I was tired all the time. My knees already hurt. Going upstairs holding a toddler was damn near impossible. It was just awful.

And I just started crying and that was the day that I was like, I’ve got to do something. I have got to figure this out. I can’t spend the next part of my life still struggling with my weight. And I made small changes, I was not going to do a diet. I refused to go back to Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time, all the things.

It took me about 18 months, I lost 100 pounds, and I just never looked back after that. I was like, I’m keeping this weight off and I’m going to help other people do the same thing.

Susi: Now, one of the things that your members who I work with privately will say to me, pretty much hands down every single one of them will say when people see that they’ve lost weight and they ask them what do they do and they say, I eat when I’m hungry and I stop at enough. And the next statement that comes is, seriously?

So say more about this, because the reason why I find this so fascinating is because when I’m working with people to help them reduce pain, a big piece of why the people I work with are still in that cycle is because they’re working at the surface level. They’re, in some cases, chasing the symptom but they’re not actually getting into what’s really kind of underneath it. And so we sort of slow things down, help them move better, they tune in and become more aware.

And then they can start to piece together what’s actually contributing to the sustainability of their pain. And then the pain starts to go down. I think something similar to this idea of, I mean it sounds so silly because really, eat when you’re hungry, stop at enough. But it’s so hard for so many people. Even for people who don’t have a lot of weight to lose it still can be very challenging. So say more about that whole notion.

Corinne: Well I think one of the reasons why it’s hard is just, as a society, eating in large quantities and eating at certain times versus, like if you think about hundreds of years ago, you didn’t eat at a certain time. You ate when the day was done. You ate when the job was done. You really were more about a body eater. And then now it’s just not like that. It’s not even in our ecosystem to listen to our body.

So many of the people that come to me, the first time I say it, they’re like, well, that makes sense. And it’s like, well, just – I love what Brendon Burchard always says. He’s like, just because it’s common sense, doesn’t mean it’s common practice. And so when we introduce that, people, they just flip their wig. But the reason why it’s hard is because we are very conditioned to clean our plate.

If you look at the early 1900s, you didn’t waste food. There was food shortages. I mean you ate what you had because you didn’t know when the next meal was coming. Well, that’s a generational habit that got passed down.

And now everything is supersized. It’s not like we have a peasant meal now that we’re trying to be like, now make sure you clean your plate because you could starve. It’s like, well, I ordered a super size, I really should clean this off because I paid for it. So these lessons get passed down. So it’s just not normalized to listen to our bodies anymore.

And I think the second biggest contributing factor is most standard diets, the base structure of them have nothing to do with what your body needs. It is very constructed like, okay, I want to make money off of a supplement, or I want to make money off a protein powder, or I want to make money off this. So now I write a book that tells you to do only these things and don’t do this other stuff.

Like I remember back when – I have nothing against keto, I always use it as an example. But I was one of those people that I did a bodybuilding stint after I’d lost all my weight. And to do bodybuilding, keto was the way you went. And I did it with a girlfriend of mine. She did fabulous. She was just bouncing off the walls every day. Somehow that lifestyle worked for her.

For 15 weeks I was drinking two pots of coffee and napping as often as I could. I never, ever left keto flu. Like it was awful for my body. But the diet said this was the way I was supposed to do it. The same thing with like when we do calories and points and things like that, most diets are based on very strict rules. And I don’t think the diet industry is just trying to harm people. I think it all makes sense.

Like if I want millions of people to do this thing, I need a base template. That just makes sense. But base templates don’t work, that’s why diets keep failing over and over again. And it’s probably the same, like I’m no pain expert, but if you have two people that have the same pain issues in their knees, based on their physiology, I am pretty sure that what you tell each of them to do and what they need to investigate is completely different based on their body.

I think losing weight is the same thing, that’s why I keep my stuff very basic. We’re going to listen for hunger, and I’ve got to teach you how to listen for hunger. And then we’re going to listen for enough and I have to teach you because you probably haven’t been doing this since six months old.

I mean, when you come out of the womb, that’s how you eat. You’re born that way. And then over time, even as small children, my toddler eats when I have time, not when they’re hungry. My kids, as they’re going through school, we have a conditioned lunch. I just want all of your people to understand not to feel bad because it doesn’t turn on like a faucet. You have been eating by a clock or eating by an edict or eating by social norms your entire life.

The nice thing is, once you become an adult, some of that you can break, you can change, but it takes time. It won’t feel natural. It won’t feel right in the beginning. So it’s all over the board. First and foremost, I’ll give you some of the most common ones, but I always try to make people understand that when it comes to hunger and enough cues, the biggest skill you need is patience because you’re going to have to listen for a while because what mine are won’t be what the next persons are.

It’s like what do you call them, your thumb prints, your fingerprints. They’re all different and none are right, none are wrong. So there’s always the stomach growl. Like, if your stomach starts to growl, one of the things I try to convince people is we’re not waiting for diet hunger. Diet hunger, like when you’ve done extreme diets, is going to be like hunger pains. Like you know you’re hungry and a small animal that walks by is going to look good.

That’s not the kind of hunger we’re looking for. We want what’s called whisper hunger, which means it might be gurgles in your stomach, it might be the first sounds. For me, personally, that gets to extreme hunger for me. I get tired first. I get listless. I feel like a real lack of focus. Like I can hammer along for a while and then when I’m starting to get to where I really can’t concentrate I’ll start thinking like, I bet you I’m hungry.

And if I look at how long it’s been since I’ve eaten, it could be four or five hours. I’m like okay, this is me needing to eat at this point. Some people just feel a flatness in their body. Like they’ll notice in their stomach region it feels a little hollowed out when they’re actually in the hunger land. Those are the most common. But there are tons, but those are the most common.

Here’s what I usually tell people not to wait for. Things like headaches. I just want to say to your audience, especially because a lot of my members listen, hunger is not extreme. Diets have taught us to lose weight through extreme hunger. But the base-level hunger that we all are supposed to feel is not extreme. It literally should feel like it’s not an emergency. Like if you needed to wait 20 or 30 more minutes because you’re just not able to eat, you would be fine.

We don’t want to get into frenzied eating, panicked eating, headaches or falling out in the floor. A lot of times when my members are new to me, I’m working with them on breaking the habit of thinking hunger is painful, extreme, a punishment, I’m not doing it right unless that’s happening, because of so many diets they’ve done in the past.

So the best way to lose weight is not to get into that range. It’s a tolerable hunger. Like a very doable hunger.

Susi: And then what about what’s enough?

Corinne: So enough is going to – I always like to say most of us eat until full. And full is a little uncomfortable. It is pants are a little tight. Sometimes we’re a little out of breath, it’s like there’s no room in the inn. That is what I would call it. It’s okay if you eat to full and that’s your thing, but if you’re going to be losing weight, most people eat too full to feel safe, to feel good, different things like that.

Eating to enough is just below that. It’s not really getting a distended stomach, but you know you could wait a while. It’s very intuitive on the enough side. It’s often way less than you think you should eat. I know all the time on the enough side there’s a lot of thinking first and experimenting. And then what happens is you finally kind of get like, oh, these are my cues.

For me, I get a sigh. Like if I’m eating and I’m just having my meal and I kind of sit back and take a big, deep breath. That is a big sign to me, the sigh that, hey, my stomach is starting to get full. Now we’re at the point where we just need to stop. We’re actually done. Our body says, it’s given the early signs, I don’t need any more.

And one other big one that a lot of my clients and I get to is what we call distraction. So I, in the beginning phases, tell my clients when you eat your meals, don’t get distracted. Like don’t watch TV and don’t be working. I mean, you’re going to have kids and you’re going to have family and that kind of stuff. But as often as you can, don’t eat with distractions.

The second you’re wanting to pick up your phone, you’re wanting to go back to being a keyboard warrior, you start wanting to turn the TV on, you’ve lost interest in your food, which means your brain is saying, “Oh, I’m getting early signs that you’ve had enough.” You may not like it. There is a difference between you liking it and your body saying I’m done. So those are a couple of the early signs.

Susi: Love it, that’s really, really great, because it’s the same thing when people are moving. A lot of people, they’ve been conditioned into when you’re doing rehabilitative exercises it’s three sets of, fill in the number, whether it’s 10, 20, 30. And they’ll want to just keep doing it because that’s what someone told them to do.

But to actually feel for, all right, what’s the yellow light here? What’s the indicator that you’re actually, like your system has what it needs? So it’s really, really, really similar. Really cool.

So what’s also interesting about your particular program is the mindset piece that you bring in because of all the people I’ve ever worked with who have been in the process of losing weight, it just is not out there the way that you teach it. If not, I don’t think anyone teaches it other than that.

And you have a tool that is the four Ns. And it seems like it’s really helpful, particularly in either of those questions of am I hungry, or especially that second one, like what’s enough? Because your brain can really start to go crazy like, well, these other people are still eating or my kids haven’t stopped eating. Or my kids have food left on their plate, I really should just clean off their plate. Or maybe I should be eating more, whatever.

So that’s a really key piece to kind of calm the brain down to be able to really feel internally.

Corinne: Yeah. I think enough is always the booger, like more people can do hunger than they can enough. And I think it has everything to do with just the basic thing, when something’s in motion it’s always harder to stop. Like it’s a lot easier to put off starting than it is to be in motion and then have to pull yourself back.

So with enough, the reason why people suffer from it is because we have so many thoughts around it. Like once your body is done, like my favorite one is always I don’t want to waste food. Like that tends to be almost something everybody shares because at some point in life we wanted to get our money’s worth or we were told –

Older generations were always told there’s some kid somewhere starving that would want your food. And I tell my clients all the time, hey, that kid is not sitting back when you stuff yourself going, “Somewhere in the world, a person has just fed me.” Like that’s never happened, so at least stop using that excuse.

But I do these things called the four Ns because the hard part of stopping at enough is all of that thinking and feeling that comes along with stopping. Like when you are looking at food and you’re saying, “I don’t get any more,” that feels very restricting. It suddenly feels very depriving. And so I help my clients look at what is the actual thing you’re thinking about it?

So like if I think when I stop at enough, “I don’t get any more,” I’m going to feel really restricted. I’m going to trigger inside of me rebellion or unfairness and things like that, which will propel me to keep eating. So I always tell them the first N is notice. The first thing we have to do is you have to notice the thoughts that you have, and the easiest way to do it is to stop eating and just listen to what your brain does.

And if you don’t feel like this is marvelous, best tool ever, if you’re not sitting there like, this will be the easiest diet I’ve ever done, then anything after that, you just really want to notice what your thought is. Anything that feels gross, we can move it to the next thing. So we notice it and then we’re going to normalize it.

And normalizing is important because most of us will stop listening for thoughts if we start judging ourselves for how we’re thinking. So if I think, “I don’t get any more,” and then I notice that thought and I’m like, I must have an eating disorder. There must be something wrong with me. Who thinks stuff like this? It’s not normal to think things like this when I’m eating. Well, now you just feel like an idiot.

Now you feel really shamed. And you will not want to listen and help yourself if all you do is shame yourself. So what we want to do in normalize is we want to just say, number one, all thoughts are normal. There is nothing anybody thinks around food that I ain’t heard probably a thousand times. I’ve yet to meet a woman say I’ve got the one thought you’ve never heard of. I’m like, I don’t know, 10,000 of them have told me this. Try again.

And when we normalize, we also look for why we might be thinking that. If I think I don’t get any more, well I want to understand why. Oh, because I’ve done like – The average woman by the time she’s 40 has started and stopped dieting 130 times. Yeah, it is a staggering statistic. So it’s normal to feel like if I am on attempt number 131 of my lifetime of trying to lose weight, I might think this might be like all the others, especially if I’ve done diets that did truly restrict me where I was suffering.

So when we normalize, it’s like, okay, it makes sense that I would think I don’t get any more food. Then we go to neutralize. All we want to do is state the facts. The only thing that’s happening here is there’s this much food on the plate. I’m going to take it to the kitchen and I’m moving on with my evening. That’s the facts. And when we neutralize it, we already feel better.

So when we normalize, we feel a little bit more understanding and compassion than restriction. When we neutralize, we feel a little relief that we’re not actually being restricted. This is the only thing that’s actually happening in this moment. Then we move on to the next best thought or action.

This is where we think about whenever I think this thought, “I don’t get any more when I eat,” what would I like to think? And you might want to try on thoughts like, sometimes I think I can’t have any more. The only thing that’s really happening is if I get hungry later, I’m free to eat. All we’re doing is listening to our body now. If in 30 minutes I think it wasn’t enough and I need the food, I’ll come back.

Like just allowing ourselves to talk through, normalize things, take the temperature down and give ourselves the next best thought makes that process of hunger and enough doable, tolerable, you have patience for the process, you have patience for yourself.

And that’s why I think it’s a lifelong weight loss program, because you’re not just learning like, now every meal for the rest of my life I’ve got to stop at enough and feel like it wasn’t enough. It’s like, no, we’re actually going to make sure that you really feel like this truly is enough and I’m not scared of that anymore.

Susi: And it’s interesting because I’ve also heard one of your podcasts where you’ve spoken about overeating. And it kind of reminds me of when I’ve helped someone get to that place where they’re out of pain and they understand whether it’s the triggers or the things that lead to pain and they now know. They know how to move their body. They know what their bandwidth is for movement, whether it’s about sitting at their desk or whatever the factors are.

And then they might be going for a hike, because I live in a mountainous area and many of my clients are interested in the mountains or skiing or something. And they’re doing their day and they’re like, I just want to get to that summit. But I know my knees are just going to, they’re going to be upset later. But I really want to get to the summit.

And I’ve helped them to say, well then make the conscious decision. But make it conscious, right? There’s a distinction I find that’s so powerful, of people who barrel through anyway, without that awareness, and then people saying, I know this might hurt me, but I really want this. And then actually after the fact, it’s not nearly as bad.

And then they take care of themselves later on, right? And so then they do whatever they need to do to free up their bodies and unwind it. But it’s the same thing with weight loss. It’s the same thing with eating too, I find, yeah?

Corinne: Yeah. It’s like, I love the idea of the conscious decision. So, for my clients, very often I have them plan what they’re going to eat for the day. And usually what you want to eat first thing in the morning, you’re tired, grumpy, burned out, very let’s just say angry version of you in the evening after a full day of crap. I didn’t ask you if we could cuss on the podcast.

But when the doody hits the fan all day long and you come home, you and morning Corinne are at odds as to what we should be eating. It’s like evening Corinne is like, she didn’t set me up. She didn’t know what kind of day I was going to have. She was smoking crack when she made this plan.

So I always tell my clients you can, literally, if you want to break your plan, you can. You can eat whatever you want in the evenings when you’re tired, when you’re stressed or whatever. Here’s what I don’t want you doing. I don’t want you blaming it on your day. I want you to tell yourself, I choose not to follow this plan today, here are the reasons.

Be real honest with yourself. If you are going to emotionally eat, then tell yourself the truth. I’m fixing to emotionally eat. I don’t have any other way to handle myself today. And tomorrow, I may even wake up with regrets. I just want to know, like tomorrow morning Corinne, she was excited as this morning Corinne and she’s got to deal with everything I put in my mouth tonight.

I think when you make those conscious decisions, it’s like for you it’s like pushing through. Sometimes with my clients it’s like having that conversation allows them to push through. They’re like, I really don’t want morning Corinne to wake up and want to just slap the pee out of evening Corinne. I know what it’s like to wake up every day and hate the version of me that went to bed the night before. I really don’t want that. I already had a bad enough day, I’m not doing that to myself.

Sometimes when we do that, when we have that very conscious, “this is exactly what’s happening,” it changes the trajectory. But then sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes my clients are like, the most compassionate thing I have after one of the world’s toughest days, if all I got in the tank is to eat, then here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to eat this.

And then it doesn’t turn into a free-for-all, it becomes very conscious. It may be off plan, it may even be an overeat, but it’s not abandonment eating. It doesn’t slip into the unconscious land because they made the conscious decision. And then they wake up usually the next day very curious, wanting to figure out why this day, that was the only thing they could do for themselves.

So it’s just making conscious decisions for all of you. When you’re losing weight, it is not because you string together a ton of perfect days. It is because all of these nuances are getting worked on the whole time. And then eventually, you really have an eating lifestyle that you can do for the rest of your life.

Because we’re all going to be faced with hard days. We’re all going to be faced with times that either we do need to push through, we need to know why or we need to comfort ourselves and this is the best we got. But when we’re doing it really consciously, all of it starts changing in little ways and morphs into a life you really can sustain. A lot of us joke around that we are no BS women until we draw that last breath.

Susi: Yeah, and that was really well said and it weaves so well. What you’re teaching, ultimately, are like organic principles, right? Like you can see these principles in other facets of life. Whether it’s in business or whether it’s in body or whether it’s in weight loss, like they show up everywhere, which is probably why they work so darn well.

Corinne: Oh yeah. Well and they do, it’s like if you think about just having that conversation about food, am I going to break my plan or not? You can have the same conversations around like, am I going to cancel plans with my friends just because you’re not feeling like it or because you get real nervous before you go to things.

Like you literally can use these tools everywhere in your life. That’s why so many people – I think the way you and I work with people through pain and food, when you work with a coach on that stuff, when you’re changing your mindset around it, your whole life starts changing because when you make it work here, it’s just natural for your brain to be like, oh, maybe I should apply this over here. I’ve been struggling in this area, this seems similar.

And you do start just changing everything.

Susi: Yeah, so cool. So this episode is dropping in and around US Thanksgiving, right at the start of the festive season. So any ideas or tips that you have for people as they navigate that world?

Corinne: Oh yeah. So this whole month we’re doing handling the holidays, we do it every year. Our lesson this week was the family of buttholes. What do you do when you are going off to parties and all the things and there’s always a jerk? Like somebody has something to say that sets you off.

So a few of the lessons that I gave them, number one, is through the holidays when it comes to weight loss, just decide consciously whether you want to gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight. Not everybody wants to lose weight during the holidays. But what happens is, they don’t do it consciously.

So I’ll have clients who will say, this is the only time of year I get to eat a lot of these foods, and I have a huge family. I want to be eating these foods, I’m willing to gain three or four pounds. Because then they’ll have a reentry plan when the new year starts. They’re not going into the new year thinking I gave up on myself, you know, blah, blah, blah. It was so conscious, it was like it’s now worth it, which is nice.

And then I have some who are like, I just want to maintain. This is the six weeks of the year I want to maintain weight. So I always tell people to just make a decision ahead of time, rather than thinking you can’t lose weight in the holidays, because you absolutely can.

The second thing I tell people is actually look at the holidays. We’ve got 365 days a year. The busiest woman ever, her name was Dawn, she had nine parties and dinners to go to in six weeks. And I was like that is nine days and nine meals out of every week, if you just ate three times a day, that’s 21 a week in six weeks. So do the math. We’re not talking tons of time.

So sometimes when you give yourself some math and you actually look at it, it’s like, oh. It’s not the actual Thanksgiving meal. It’s not the Hanukkah meals. It’s not that stuff. It’s all the extra eating I do because I’m telling myself there’s no way I could lose weight. So if somebody brings in Walgreens popcorn to the office and it’s sitting there, you’re just over there, “Can’t lose weight in the holidays,” just shoving crap down the throat. So clean up what you can.

And then I think the last big tip is there are going to be people who push food on you. There are going to be people who, you know, some of us just have disappointments. We have people who are disappointing in our lives. I just tell my clients to make a decision before you go in.

Number one, they haven’t changed. Jerks don’t change. They’re not in a program getting coached. They’re not working on their mindset. They’re not reading self-development, or they wouldn’t be a jerk to begin with. So don’t expect them to change, you’ll save yourself a lot of angst.

Number two, are they worth eating over? You are now in charge of my dreams and goals. So when you trigger me, I have decided to give you all my power. When my clients think of it like that, they have a lot easier time not eating when somebody is being the fool. I mean, that’s not a big thing, but it’s just plans. Just eat food you like, just don’t be a stuffed turkey when you leave Thanksgiving. We already got a stuffed turkey, we don’t need two of them.

Susi: That’s good. So good. Well with that, Corinne, thank you so much. This has been really great. If people want to reach you, I know you’ve got your free program, what’s the best way for them to connect and just to get more of a taste of what you’re about and what your program is about?

Corinne: Yeah, they can go to nobsfreecourse.com. I’ve got a three-part video series, it dives a little bit more into the hunger and enough stuff. So if you really liked that in this podcast, those three videos will really help you with that. And it will get you my weekly newsletters, I have a Monday Motivation, you’ll get to my podcast. That’s the best way to get into all things No BS Weightloss.

Susi: Awesome, thank you so much again.

Corinne: You’re welcome.

If this episode has resonated and you’re looking to deepen this idea of getting your body back on board, of listening deeply to your symptoms, of listening to the whispers so you don’t have to hear the screams, and you’re looking for one to one support or professional training, then reach out to us at [email protected] where we can customize your learning path. That’s [email protected]. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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