Get Healthy by Eating ANYTHING YOU WANT

 

– The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen Episode 109 with Pam Moore

 

Pam Moore is an occupational therapist-turned-award-winning health and fitness freelance writer, speaker, and podcaster.
A regular contributor to the Washington Post and the author of There’s No Room for Fear in a Burley Trailer,Pam’s writing has been published in The Guardian, Time, Runner’s World, Outside, SELF, and Forbes, among others.
A body-positive health coach, certified personal trainer, six-time marathoner, and two-time Ironman finisher, Pam is also the host of the Real Fit podcast, featuring real conversations with women athletes about body image, confidence, and more. Her mission is to let women know they are already enough.
She lives in Boulder, Colo with her husband and two daughters.

 

Listen to this episode of The MOVEMENT Movement with Pam Moore about getting healthy by eating anything you want.

 

Here are some of the beneficial topics covered on this week’s show:

  • How imposing rules on your diet makes you want to want to eat the bad stuff.
  • Why people can’t participate in intuitive eating if their end goal is to be thinner.
  • How by the age of four, children become aware that thinner is considered more beautiful in our culture.
  • Why many people eat past the point of being full.
  • How food is not good or bad and how it’s not a moral obligation to be healthy. 

Connect with Pam:

Guest Contact Info
Twitter
@PamMooreWriter

Instagram
@pammoore303

Facebook
facebook.com/whatevsblog
LinkedIn
linkedin.com/in/pammoorewriter

 

Links Mentioned:
pam-moore.com

 

Connect with Steven:

Website

Xeroshoes.com

Jointhemovementmovement.com

Twitter
@XeroShoes

Instagram
@xeroshoes

Facebook
facebook.com/xeroshoes

 

 

Steven Sashen:

Word to hear. If you want to get healthy, one of the best things you can do is pretty much eat whatever you want. Oh yeah, that’s what I said. You heard me right. I’m going to tell you more about that on today’s episode of The MOVEMENT Movement, the podcast for people who want to know the truth about what it takes to have a happy, healthy, strong body, usually starting feet first, but now we’re going to kind of go gut first on this one. Because feet, they are your foundation, if you want to walk or run or play or hike or do CrossFit or yoga, whatever it is. We’re going to tell you about the propaganda, the mythology, sometimes the outright lies you’ve heard about what it takes to do that.

 

I’m Steven Sashen, CEO of xeroshoes.com, your host of The MOVEMENT Movement podcast. We call it that because we are creating a movement that involves you, and I’ll tell you about how you do that in a second, about natural movement. We’re helping people rediscover that natural movement, doing what your body is built to do, is the better, obvious and healthy choice, pretty much the same way we think about natural food. And the movement part that involves you, that’s just sharing the information you get here or if you grab a pair of Xero Shoes and experience what it’s like to have natural movement. Not rocket science. Doesn’t cost you anything. It’s easy. All you have to do again is spread the word.

 

You can go to www.jointhemovement… Pardon me. Let’s try that again in English, www.jointhemovementmovement.com. You’ll find all the previous episodes, all the places you can download the podcast, all the ways you can interact with us on YouTube and Facebook, et cetera, et cetera. In short, if you want to be part of the tribe, please subscribe. So let’s jump in and talk about eating whatever you want with Pam Moore. Pam, it is a pleasure to have you here. Why don’t you tell people who the hell you are and what you’re doing here?

Pam Moore:

Yes, absolutely. Well, first of all, thank you for having me, Steven. It’s so much fun to be here. Let’s see, I am an occupational therapist turned freelance writer. I do health and fitness writing for many outlets including The Washington Post, Runner’s World, Outside, Time, The Guardian, SELF, Women’s Running. And let’s see, I’m also an endurance athlete. I’m a six-time marathoner, two-time Ironman finisher, certified personal trainer. And what else? I have two children. I’m married, I live in Boulder, and been teaching and recycling for a very long time. I don’t necessarily want to say how long. And I’m a weight neutral health coach, and I have a podcast.

Steven Sashen:

Wait. Wait. Hold on. Wait. Wait.

Pam Moore:

Oh, yeah.

Steven Sashen:

A weight neutral health coach, let’s pause there. So I can guess what that may mean, but I want to hear you explain it because I love the idea. I just like the phrase.

Pam Moore:

Sure. I’m here to help people develop more healthy habits and be happier in whatever their movement routine looks like without a goal of weight loss. Should that happen because you change your habits and you’re happy with that, that’s great, but that would not be the goal. If you came to me and you said, “I’m here to lose 20 pounds before my wedding,” I would say, “I don’t think I’m necessarily the right trainer for you.” Or I might say, “Hey, can we dig into that? What’s that really about?” Because then we can talk all about how I got to that, because I wouldn’t have said that years ago.

 

Yeah. And I also have my own podcast. It’s called the Real Fit podcast, and it features real conversations with women athletes about body image, confidence, and more. And overall, I mean, it’s like I wear a lot of hats, but my overall mission is to help people have more fun with movement, and to tell women in particular that you are already enough. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, it doesn’t matter how fast you are, how strong you are. What you are is enough, period, now.

Steven Sashen:

I love it. I’m very curious to hear more about weight neutral health coaching, especially given the setup that I said which came from you, which is if you want to be healthy eat whatever you want. And I have to preface this by letting you know I was hanging out with a whole bunch of healers of different kinds at some event one day, and they’re all talking about the different diets they’re on. And finally, I think there was a little pause in the conversation, I said, “Yeah, I’m on the I don’t know when I’m going to get hit by a bus diet.” And they all look at me. There’s another long pause and they went, “Oh, that sounds good.” Yeah, it’s just way better than anything else I could think of.

 

Now, I mean, that said, I’m not prone to doing something like sitting down with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and eating the whole thing. In fact, I think I have a pint of Ben and Jerry’s that I took two spoonfuls out of and it’s been sitting in my freezer for five years because I just haven’t had the urge for the flavor.

Pam Moore:

By the way, I want to make a caveat. If you have diabetes, if you have a seizure disorder that you’re treating with a ketogenic, there are medical conditions where no, I’m not a doctor, don’t take my advice, and I’m not a dietitian, but I think one of the reasons why you don’t feel compelled to eat the whole pint where most people will be like, “Oh, I can’t.” Or many people I should say, would say, “I can’t even have that in house, I’ll eat the whole thing.” We are inclined to eat the whole thing because we have rules in our head. It’s like you tell a child, “Don’t push that button.” What do they want to do? They only want to push the button. We’re not that far off from those little child brains that want what we know isn’t good for us.

 

And I’m telling you, I mean, I pretty much eat what I want, and that doesn’t mean that I eat 12 donuts today and macaroni and cheese every night. I have gotten to a place where I trust my body to know what’s going to nourish it, and I do eat my vegetables, and I’m not rigid anymore about what’s good and what’s bad, and I don’t binge anymore.

Steven Sashen:

You reminded me of a story and I’m very curious to hear your take on it. I’m taking a walk with a friend of mine. Actually, and I got to make a note about something that you mentioned that I’ve got to bring up. Hold on. Hold on.

Pam Moore:

Go ahead. Go ahead. The beauty of editing.

Steven Sashen:

No, I’m not going to edit. I’m just making-

Pam Moore:

Oh, you don’t edit? So, if I sound dumb, you’re just going to leave it?

Steven Sashen:

Absolutely, because I trust that it’s not going to happen. And if I sound dumb, I have no problem with that. It happens sometimes.

Pam Moore:

Okay.

Steven Sashen:

My fantasy actually is to do a podcast where the only thing that people respond with is by telling me I have my head completely up my butt. I think that’d be really entertaining. It hasn’t happened yet, unfortunately. So, and now people might just do it for the hell of it. But anyway, here’s the story and I want to hear your comment.

Pam Moore:

Sure.

Steven Sashen:

So, I’m taking a walk around Wonderland Lake in Boulder with a female friend of mine, who says, “I’m just trying to listen to my body, so I know what to eat.” And I literally fell to the ground laughing. And she says, “What?” I said, “Well, I know what your body wants to eat: French fries, doughnuts and ice cream. It wants calories that are going to sustain you, it wants fat and sugar. That’s what we’re wired to respond to. But what you’re actually saying is you’re saying that you have this idea you can do a thing called listening to your body, which means it’s going to tell you that you want some particular food that if you eat it is going to change your body in some way so that when it changes you’ll eventually be happy.” And I used to think like that, but I can’t find that thought anymore. And especially that last part, once you get to whatever that body shape or size or style or color or whatever you’re thinking is going to change, then you’ll be happy. That’s the part that’s the real problem in my brain.

 

But the first part is again, I know what I want to eat, it’s mostly chocolate cake. In fact, I said to my wife, “If I’m ever diagnosed with a terminal disease, I want you to know, I’m going to go on the all chocolate cake and Thai hooker diet.” And she says, “I don’t want you going to Thailand and coming back with some disease.” I said, “I’m not going to come back. I’m just going over there.” I said, “I’m doing it for you because you’ll be too distraught to take care of my sexual needs if I have a terminal disease.” So-

Pam Moore:

You are a gem. You are like a real find.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I say these things mostly in jest, but the chocolate cake part, absolutely true. The Thai hooker part, probably not true. And anyway, so but I’m so curious to hear what your response is to the listening to my body to know what to change my body into something that will eventually make me happy?

Pam Moore:

Well, yeah, there’s a lot to unpack there. For one thing-

Steven Sashen:

There is.

Pam Moore:

So, what I’m talking about is something called intuitive eating, which is based on research, and it’s there’s a book called Intuitive Eating, and it’s by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, I believe. They’re two dietitians who wrote it in the 90s. It was groundbreaking at the time. I’m kind of sad that I think it is still kind of groundbreaking, because there’s 10 basic principles and one of them is you have to let go of the interest or the motivation to get smaller. You can’t do intuitive eating if you secretly, whether consciously or subconsciously are hoping that it will make you thinner.

 

It won’t work if you do it that way, okay? It’s not a diet. It’s not even, let’s eat moderately. It is literally going back to getting in touch with the signals that we all had when we were children, when everybody thought that our chubby thighs and our pot bellies were super cute and we weren’t aware. You are aware. By I think, even the age of four they say you’re aware that thinner is considered more beautiful in our culture. But we have these innate drives to know what we want. If you’ve ever seen a baby or a toddler eat, they’ll eat some of one thing and they’ll eat some of other thing, and then they’ll throw something on the floor. And they stop when they’re done and they will not eat more when they’re done. You can’t make them.

 

Whereas when I was, I want to say younger, but I wasn’t that much younger, even like five years ago, I would eat past the point of being full because I felt like well, I was good all week. I ate salads all week, and now I’m presented with dessert at a nice restaurant. I really like this dessert and I’m eating it. Or I’m on vacation. I’m in vacation mode, man. Who cares if I am so uncomfortably full? Or Thanksgiving, it’s like, “Oh my god, today’s the day. I’m going to gorge today and tomorrow I’ll be good.”

 

And it’s I can tell you honestly since I’ve adopted intuitive eating, once in a while I overeat. It’s not the way I used to, like so uncomfortably full. And I don’t beat myself up about it, I’m just like, “You know what, I ate a little too much. Okay, moving on.” And I’m not nearly as inclined to feel like I have to have dessert just because it’s in front of me or just because my family… My family might go out to ice cream, and once in a while, I might say, “I’m not in the mood. I’m not going to have it.” I never used to do that.

Steven Sashen:

It’s so interesting because what you’re describing in a way is getting over, I’m going to call it the derivative thought. And the derivative thought goes like this, the first thought is, “Hey, I’m going to eat a whole bunch.” That’s the first thought. The derivative thought is now all the thinking about how bad I feel because I did the thing. And so, it’s sort of like this is going to be a weird analogy, it’s kind of like when we’re procrastinating. The thing that’s more stressful is the complaining in our mind about procrastinating more than the actual procrastinating. Or if we’re not balancing our checkbook, it’s like it’s more stressful to think about how we haven’t balanced the checkbook than to find out the reality of what happens when we balance the checkbook. So there’s a derivative thought in what you’re describing that you just don’t have of the kind of oh, that was a good, oh, that was bad, oh, I should, oh, I shouldn’t.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, food is not good or bad. Food is not a moral thing. It’s not a moral obligation to be quote-unquote, healthy. And I would argue, I want to actually challenge you. You said the first thought… What did you say the first thought was?

Steven Sashen:

I don’t remember. Something-

Pam Moore:

Something about the food. This is a good food or this is a bad food.

Steven Sashen:

Not so much there’s a good food or bad food, like what I just ate is good or bad.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, that’s right. No.

Steven Sashen:

Good or bad food, but I ate too much or. Because I have a similar thing where every now and then I go, “I know I’m definitely going to gorge myself today and I love that.” I mean, it’s just I’m very aware that I’m going to do it because this is food that I adore. We used to go to this one Chinese buffet down in Broomfield that had six things that were so good and so ridiculously hypercaloric, but I was like, “We’re going to go do that. It’s going to be a blast.”

Pam Moore:

Well, and that’s okay. Food should be joyous. Food is a time. It’s pleasure. It’s lovely. It’s time to be social. It’s there’s so much cultural stuff around food, and we shouldn’t… It’s just so sad to me that we kind of ruin, I’ve ruined so many date nights and birthday parties and things just stressing about food. But I want to go back to that first thought, because I think the first thought isn’t about the food. The first thought is actually thinner is A: better; B: more lovable; C: more healthy.

 

We have all these misconceptions about what it means to be thin in our culture. And the truth is, the real truth is I was just reading this research that they say about 70% of what you weigh is genetically determined. It’s almost as dependent on your genetics as height is. And you don’t see people walking… You might see the odd person who’s like, “Oh, I gained a quarter of an inch from doing Pilates,” right? But that’s not typical. You don’t see people sitting around like, “Oh my god, I’m so bad. I’m five feet tall.” And I’m five feet tall. I’m just like, “Yeah, five feet tall. That is what it is.” But we are so conditioned to think, and I would even say the first thought isn’t necessarily thin is better, but even before that, it’s I’m not enough. And so-

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, I would say it’s not even not as much enough as not right. Like the way I am now there’s something wrong with the way I am now. And by the way, I got to tell you on the height thing, so I do have a variation on that because I used to be 5’6″, but I have a broken spine, I’ve lost a disc. So now I’m 5’4″ in change. And I’ll tell you, the thing that’s so funny about height is if you read any article about human beings, if somebody’s short, they always mentioned that they’re short, and they mention it like it’s the reason that they’re behaving in certain ways. If somebody is tall, it doesn’t get mentioned at all.

 

So, there’s this very entertaining thing about height that happens as well. I’m typically oblivious to it. Last night though, I was hanging out with a whole bunch of people who were all like 6’5″ and all I could think is if the world exploded right now and they only found our skeletons, they would assume these were two totally different species. I mean, we’re just not in the same universe. It was totally hysterical.

 

But yeah, the not right thing. And backing up to your point about how aware we are even at the age of four. This is definitely not four, this is maybe when I was eight or nine. I have a vivid memory of walking down the hallway in elementary school and pretending that I had muscles to flex. So, it’s the opposite for guys.

Pam Moore:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Bigger in some way. And I remember even at the time kind of thinking, “This is a little weird, but I’m still I’m going to kind of try and see if I can do it.” But here’s the question that I wrote down a note to. Given everything you’ve said, I mean, Boulder is a place that is hyper-hyper something when it comes to bodies supposed to look a certain way, and bodies that look unusually fit compared to the rest of the planet. So what’s it like having this perspective living in this crazy ass town?

Pam Moore:

It’s freeing. I will say that it’s really freeing. I’m so much happier. I think I’d be happier in any city, but yeah, I’m a lot happier because I think I fell prey to the comparison trap. You look at all the other moms and all the other women, whether at the gym or at the school pickup, and you’re like, “Damn, I want to look like that.” Now I’m just like, “Fuck it. I look like how I look. They look how they look. I don’t know whatever they want. Whatever, it’s their life.”

 

And I will also say it’s a little bit it can be isolating because I don’t participate in those conversations when my friends start talking about… Like right after I sort of adopted my new mindset and I was really feeling like, “This is good for me,” I remember going out to dinner with a couple friends and they were talking about intermittent fasting, and I was… I’m not here to evangelize the way I do things. You’re asking me about it, and I’m telling you. If someone doesn’t want to hear it or isn’t ready to hear it or is not interested, then it’s not useful. So, anyways, I just got up and went. I was like, “You know what, I had to pee this whole time and this is the part of the conversation that I am not going to be missing.” So I was just like, “I’m going to go to the ladies room.” And when I got back, sure enough, they were done talking about intermittent fasting.

 

So, I try to tune it out. I try really hard not to try to impose my way of thinking on other people, but it can be hard. And I also sometimes I’ll be honest, sometimes I’m a little smug. In my mind I laugh it certain people I know, for example, who they’ll be doing like a cleanse, like what I think of as a very restrictive cleanse. They claim it’s for health, I think it’s for weight loss. And then we’re sitting around and they’re drinking so many Margaritas, and I’m like, “Do you know that alcohol is a neurotoxin? What the hell kind of cleanse is this?”

Steven Sashen:

I love that. I mean, my favorite thing about everyone’s diet, especially if they are trying to diet for weight loss, I go, “This is really simple. The research is very clear, it’s been unequivocal for well over 50 years, calories in calories out.” It’s all about what works for you to handle calories in, calories out if you’re trying to lose weight. Everything else is calories.

Pam Moore:

Yeses and no. Yes and no. There’s also hormones in play. There’s hormones, there’s stress, there’s a lot of things in play. Plus, there’s genetics, because that’s a thing some-

Steven Sashen:

Well, yeah.

Pam Moore:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Even with all of that, I’m not saying that you can become any shape that you want, but in terms of energy balance, energy balance, I mean, it’s thermodynamics, you really can’t violate the laws of physics as much as we think we can. There are things that affect that, but you can’t violate the fundamental laws of physics. But again-

Pam Moore:

Yes. And if you’re chronically hungry, it’s not sustainable.

Steven Sashen:

Not going to work. It’s all about fine tuning.

Pam Moore:

And if you’re not meant to be 20 pounds lighter, you’re just not going to. Yeah, and so as you were saying, number one, we know that 98% of people who go on diets do not maintain the weight loss. And then there’s this multibillion dollar industry telling us, “It’s not the diet that failed, you failed, you weren’t disciplined enough,” number one. And number two, we know science has shown that weight cycling as in losing a significant amount of weight and then gaining it back, that’s bad for your long term health, that’s bad for your metabolism, that contributes to diabetes, that contributes to cardiovascular disease. That’s not good. And weight stigma, going to the doctor and being told you need to lose weight, there’s a direct correlation between people who feel shamed by their doctor and people who then don’t actually want to see their doctor when they really need to for health reasons.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, that’s interesting. It reminds me, I have genetically high cholesterol. And so at one point I went to my doctor and they said, “Your cholesterol is high. You should stop eating meat.” I said, “I haven’t eaten any red meat or anything other than some fish since 1980 because I don’t like it.” I have a genetic thing where I don’t taste savory flavors, so I don’t eat meat because it just tastes like metallic mush to me. So I said, “Yeah-”

Pam Moore:

Oh!

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, I know. So I said, “So I don’t do that.” They said, “Well, you should maybe get a little more exercise.” I said, “I’m a nationally-ranked sprinter.” And they’re like, “Oh, then uh…” And that was all they had.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, they just, they don’t get to know you. They don’t understand you. Yeah, that sucks.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I’m really curious about a lot of things. One is… Well, first of all, what’s so interesting about what you’re talking about with intuitive eating is that it violates the number one thing that people use to sell diet books that people believe more often than not, which is there’s a diet that works for everybody. There’s a way of eating that works for everybody. And that blows me away. I said to a bunch of paleo guys at the first paleo conference, I said, “You guys have this idea that this is the way everyone should eat and it’s very high in meat, which I don’t eat. But besides, I mean, it sounds silly that everyone should have the same thing. Why would I as a Masters All American sprinter eat the same thing as some Kenyan distance runner?” I said, “Look I’m a genetic freak.” And they said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Oh, for men over…” That time I was 46. “For men over 45, I’m one of the fastest Jews in the world.” And he was like, “Huh.”

Pam Moore:

Amazing. Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

So, and I said, “I don’t know one sprinter who isn’t on a high carb diet. I’ve never met a sprinter who’s paleo or keto or any of those things.” Sprinters tend to be on high carb diets. Power athletes, that’s the way we tend to be wired. So that one diet fits all thing is a problem. But anyway, that’s just my little tirade.

 

I really want to hear about A, your transition and what it was like making this move into intuitive eating, both practically and just psychologically. And as you work with people what you see with them, because I know anyone listening, some people are going to be thinking, “Yeah, that’s not going to work for me. I tried that and I gained 500 pounds,” or whatever thoughts they have. So let’s kind of break that down frame by frame so people can know what that process might be like.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, but really quick, I really appreciate what you said about how there’s no one size fits all diet for everybody. And I think it’s not just diet, and I’m sure you know this as an entrepreneur, there’s always going to be somebody out there selling you something that’s like a five step magic bullet, you’re going to make more money, get more clients, sell more stuff, lose more weight.

Steven Sashen:

You want to hear my fantasy? My fantasy is that someday Lane and I make enough money from with Xero Shoes that I can walk into a bookstore and buy every book that’s one of those quick fixes for whatever, for business success or whatever, and then I buy every one of them and I take them out into the parking lot and burn them.

Pam Moore:

I love it. Can I be part of that?

Steven Sashen:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Pam Moore:

I am so sick of this preying on people’s vulnerabilities, not just in their appearance but in all ways. If anybody is listening and they only have like 10 seconds to listen, here’s what I want them to know.

Steven Sashen:

Hold on. I resent that if anybody is listening thing. So, but what it is it really is just preying on a fundamental human psychological thing. We evolved to do this. We evolved to imagine the thing that we need to be happy in the future and then try to look for some retroactive path to getting there. The problem is we’re really bad at it and it doesn’t work, but our brains are wired to continue to do this because in simpler times you could reliably do that, you could figure out how the rain affected the growth of something and how that led to… I mean, there was cause and effect. It was much, much simpler. Now, we’re talking about things that for which there is no simple cause and effect.

Pam Moore:

There is no. There is no.

Steven Sashen:

But if you can-

Pam Moore:

You have to find your own way. And actually that’s a great segue into your actual question which was how did I find this? Because for me a lot of it was not just what do I want to eat, it was also wait a minute, who even am I and what do I want all around, not just food. But yeah, backing up. I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t think that it would be nice to be a little bit thinner. I never struggle with my weight. I’m not quote-unquote, I don’t like even using the word overweight because that implies that there’s a right weight to be, but for lack of a better word, never been really overweight. I had a phase in college where there was a lot of beer and late night pizza, but overall, I’ve been never had a doctor saying, “You should lose weight,” or anything like that. But always just feeling like, “Ooh, what if I could just take off five pounds?” And always kind of micromanaging my food.

 

When I was training for my first marathon when I was like 21, I distinctly remember the internet wasn’t what it was, it wasn’t really… I don’t know, I wasn’t googling like, what should you eat after a long run? I remember limiting the amount of even Gatorade I would drink during an 18 mile run, and then waiting as long as I possibly could until I was starving to have my bagel, which I allowed myself a bagel once a week as a huge treat but only after a long run. And then I wondered why I was sore for three days and couldn’t do a run again until Wednesday. I’d be on the elliptical Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday I’d be like, “I guess I could run.” And I had no idea. I just didn’t know.

 

So, but that I really remember just obsessing about, I remember getting way too drunk when I was in my 20s because I thought alcohol has so many calories so I’m going to make up for it by not eating a big dinner, which is just terrible, terrible thing to do. Okay, so fast forward and I tried all these different diets, but didn’t admit to myself that they were in fact diets in my mind. I tricked myself into thinking these are for health. Like for example, the Zone Diet, it’s pretty restrictive. I will say the Zone Diet gave me an understanding of how protein can make you feel full for longer. It’s a great way to just make your meals go farther. I did learn that, but it made me crazy.

 

So I was kind of on and off the Zone for a while, then I’d be making these random rules like, oh, for example, if I knew I was having pizza for dinner, there’s no way I would be having a slice of bread with my soup at lunch. Too many carbs. Even eating a whole banana, they tell you bananas have so many carbs. I was scared to eat an entire banana. And-

Steven Sashen:

By the way, soup is just pizza deconstructed.

Pam Moore:

Oh, I like that. I like that.

Steven Sashen:

I think fundamentally, almost everything is pizza, some kind of bread, some kind of something, saucy something, some kind of cheesy or something topping. A burrito is pizza rolled up. A grilled cheese is pizza depending on how you do it, maybe without the sauce. I mean, almost everything is pizza if you really boil it down.

Pam Moore:

Everything is pizza. You could do a whole podcast on things that actually are pizza.

Steven Sashen:

I want to do that as a book, Everything Is Pizza, and just all the-

Pam Moore:

I love it.

Steven Sashen:

Variations of pizza.

Pam Moore:

I love it. Okay, so yeah, speaking of pizza, I do love pizza, that was a scary food or whatever. And then, let’s see, I got into… So I have a background as an endurance athlete, but then I got into CrossFit. And I think CrossFit is great. I’m not anti-CrossFit really, but just as a byproduct of getting into that culture I started following CrossFit accounts on social media. And a lot of people who do CrossFit also count macros, and they also, these people that want to sell you these macro counting programs, they’re posting a lot of before and after photos on Instagram. And that was very enticing to me. I was like, “You know what…”

 

I had this warped idea of from partly living in Boulder, partly being on Instagram, partly surrounding myself with these very fit people, going, “Fitness has to look a certain way. It has to be ripped abs, sculpted arms. I’m very fit. Why don’t I look like that?” I thought I should look like that. That’s the way to look. How do I get that look? Oh, okay, I count macros. So I was using this macro counting app, and for the first eight weeks it was heavenly. I was like, “Wow, I’m eating all this food and I’m getting so much more lean. This feels amazing.” But it was like prison because counting macros is it’s like a Tetris game. At the end of the day I’d be like, “I’m just going to eat a Babybel cheese and a spoonful of mayonnaise.” It’s eating the weirdest thing just to get in your macros.

Steven Sashen:

By the way, the phrase, the concept eating a spoonful of mayonnaise, to me is like saying poke your eyes out with knitting needles. There’s no food I like less in the world than mayonnaise other than egg yolks.

Pam Moore:

Oh, I hate egg yolks. Oh, I like them cooked. I don’t like them hard boiled, I like them the other way.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, scrambled eggs are okay. Any other form of egg yolk, again, egg yolks and then mayonnaise. My wife apparently makes great deviled eggs. Whenever she has to make them, I leave the house.

Pam Moore:

Oh, wow, you hate them. Okay, so yeah, so I’m doing this macro counting thing. I’m making myself crazy. I’m measuring my food. I’m weighing my food. If we’re planning to go to Dairy Queen, I’m like, “Ooh, Dairy Queen is good because all the nutrition stats are online and I can modify my dinner to make sure that I don’t overdo my carbs and my fat, and we can go to Dairy Queen as a family and it will be so carefree. And it’s absolutely not carefree. So I’m in this mental prison. And this started, I want to say I was 38, 39, and it was right before… I’m now for context, I’m about to be 43. Right before my 40th birthday. It was the week before. I had been quote-unquote good about counting my macros and then I’m getting really hungry, really, really hungry because I had gone to a new level and it was like, levels of the plan.

 

And I’m on my computer with this little chat bot thing and I’m like, “I’m really hungry, what should I do?” And it’s not responding and I’m feeling crazier and crazier. And then it’s like, “Well, are you eating a lot of fiber?” And I’m like, “Fiber’s all I fucking eat,” because it’s low calorie. I’ve been eating cabbage. I’ve been eating… And then I just had this moment of clarity where I was like, “I’m about to turn 40 and I’m asking a chat bot that I don’t even know if it’s a human, I don’t know what it is. It might be like, who knows what it is? And I’m asking it what to eat. This makes no sense.

 

So, it started as I was like, “Fuck this. For a week I’m not doing macros, and I need a break.” And then that turned it into a lifetime because over the next few days I just had this, it was almost like a light switch, it was like this thing I’ve been doing asking sources outside of myself what I should eat is sucking the life out of me, it’s getting me out of touch with what I know that I need. Because the thing is we do know what we need, but we don’t listen. So I just, I let that all go and I started reading. I read the Intuitive Eating book. I read The Fuck It Diet by Caroline Dooner. Caroline Dooner, I think. I found this whole corner of the internet that’s all like, #healthateverysize, #ditchdietculture, stuff like that. Just started learning more about how insidious diet culture is and how we’ve all been brainwashed. And so right before my birthday I had this sort of come to Jesus, which I’m also Jewish so I don’t even know, but I had this come to Jesus thing.

Steven Sashen:

Well, so was Jesus.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, that’s right. And because it was my birthday, we had our kids stay at their grandparents and my husband and I went to Austin for a long weekend, just the two of us. And it was the best vacation of my life because it was the first time that instead of being in this mental quote-unquote, vacation mode, I was just on vacation. And I just sort of said to myself, “You know what you’re going to eat, instead of stressing like you always do on vacations, you’re going to order what you want, you’re going to eat what you want, you’re going to stop eating when you feel full. And then you can start eating again when you feel hungry. And it’s that simple.”

 

And I knew that everything kind of had changed for me because on the last day of the trip… Well, actually we went for sushi one night, this really nice multicourse. Oh my god, it was so nice. And after, my husband was still hungry and he got like late night pizza, and I normally would have partook, but I was like, “I’ll have a bite. I’m not into that, you eat that.” And then the next day right before we were leaving, he was like, “I got to try this ice cream place that everyone’s saying is so good.” And I was like, “You know what, have it. I’ll have a bite. I don’t want it.”

 

And then in the airport, there was this amazing looking cookie, and I looked at it a few times, but I said to myself, and this is what I do when I get a little bit in a funk, I say, “You have full permission to eat whatever you want. If you want 100 of those, whatever it is, you could eat 100 of those, it would be okay.” And when I imagine the full permission to eat 100 of whatever it is, it helps me get in touch with, “Well, okay, do I really want one?” And I remember not eating that cookie, because I was like, “You know what, it looks like a good cookie, but when we get home, if I need something, I live in a foodie town, I can get another really good cookie, it’ll be fine.”

Steven Sashen:

You just made me think of something that I had never put together in my brain before, and that is again, I tend to do very much what you just described, but there are certain foods or certain times where with like the cookie, I’m still putting this together in my brain even as I say it, it’s hard for me to eat the amount of the cookie that I really want because I feel bad throwing away half of a cookie if I just paid two bucks for a cookie. And it’s not like I can’t afford it, and I since I’ve literally never had this thought before, I mean, it’s been in the back of my brain, but I’ve never articulated it in my own brain, let alone to another human being, I’m really going to have to pay attention to that one. It’s making me, literally I’m getting a little warm with the sort of realization that something, this is a big thing for me.

 

I remember I don’t like eating… This is so funny because the flip side of that is, I don’t like eating the last thing in a refrigerator if I know other people might want it. So and that’s the opposite of throwing it away in some strange way. But I’m going to have to play with buying something where I know I only want half of it, and throwing away the other half because I just bought it for twice the price. I mean, the reality is that $2 cookie, it’s actually a $2 half a cookie. And if I’m okay with that, then I’m going to buy the $2 half a cookie. And I’ve never really thought about it, and I wish I could explain how excited I am in this moment thinking about unwinding that because I just realized that’s part of why I sometimes eat certain things more than I normally would want because I don’t like the idea of-

Pam Moore:

You don’t want to waste it.

Steven Sashen:

Losing money.

Pam Moore:

A, I think that’s really powerful, I don’t think you’re alone.

Steven Sashen:

I doubt it. Yeah.

Pam Moore:

I follow a non-diet dietitian on Instagram, Rachel Goodman, I think her handle is Good Nutrition or something. And she had this great graphic of on one side she’s like… I can’t even remember. But her whole point was, it’s not wasting food if you throw away the extra chicken nugget your kid didn’t want or throwing away the half a cookie that you just weren’t hungry for. She said that’s not any more wasting food than it is eating food that you actually don’t want. That’s kind of a waste too in its own way. So, yeah, she just…

Steven Sashen:

Oh, I love that.

Pam Moore:

And so that’s what this is all about. I think you just kind of showed that a lot of this is about you said you unwound that thought. It’s about being conscious of the thoughts that drive our behavior and then going, “But is that thought serving me?” Because for me, all this time the thought was, “I’m not good enough the way I am. I’ll be better if I’m thinner.” And I’ll tell you what happened when I got thinner with the macro counting, I was probably even more anxious about food than I had been before. I felt good about my body, but it wasn’t worth it because I was more nervous about ruining everything if I were to go to a birthday party or something.

Steven Sashen:

I’m going to loop back that back into the wasting money/wasting food where people who become very wealthy often find that they’re more stressed out because now they have to protect the wealth which they didn’t have before. It’s a different kind of stress. Again, this just goes back to we try to imagine what’s going to make us happy in the future, and we’re almost never right. And then the only thing that is dumber is that we forget that we’re almost never right. So, there’s that same sort of element. I mean, you’re reminding me also like for me, one of the things I lost, I think I lost about 15 pounds during COVID because of one very interesting thing that I started doing, which is cooking more. And when I was cooking more, I would only make like one dish.

 

Now, the interesting thing is, it’s not like I wasn’t making a lot of food, because I would make enough food for me and for my wife, Lena, and for leftovers that I would leave for her for lunch the next day. And so it was a bunch of food, but for whatever reason, I found myself just stopping when I was full. Versus if I went out to the Thai restaurant, which I almost never do now because I can cook as well as the Thai restaurants that I would go to, I would get three things, and would feel again, obligated to finish half of them or whatever Lena didn’t finish. I mean, just it was so interesting. So it was just really, and I’m not a big fan of the phrase listening to my body, because for me getting full, it’s kind of funny, I have to stand up to tell if I’m full. I can’t tell otherwise.

Pam Moore:

Oh, that’s interesting. And that’s the thing. I think that’s great. It’s like, that’s what works for you. Like you said before, “Not everything works for everybody.” See what’s up. See.

Steven Sashen:

Well, and if I’m the one cooking, I’m usually having to stand up to go get another glass of water or do something that I don’t do if I’m at a restaurant, and I don’t even do if I’m bringing home food so much. So, it just, I was getting some signals that were there all the time, but I either didn’t notice or overrode them or something. And there’s one other part, you’re going to get a kick out of this. The whole idea that you get thinner now, it can make you more anxious, I totally get that. And one of the things that’s funny for me is that every morning as I’m rolling out of bed, every time I pinch around my waist to see if I somehow got magically thinner overnight.

 

And the thinness for me, first of all there’s definitely a sort of let’s call it neurotic for lack of a better term. There’s definitely a thing there about whatever my weight is and whether I have the body fat that I would like. And as a sprinter, I can justify it by saying, if I weighed five pounds less, I’d have a better strength to weight ratio. I’d be faster, blah, blah, blah. But the biggest thing backing up to what we talked about, first thought and derivative thoughts, is it used to upset me that I had this seeming obsession with checking to see what my body fat was. And now I just don’t care. It’s just this goofy thing that I do. And for no reason because it clearly isn’t going to change from whenever I checked as I rolled into bed to whenever I got out of bed. It’s just this weird obsessive thing that I do the way other people do obsessive things about whatever obsessive thing they do. And so now I just kind of find it entertaining, and it doesn’t really-

Pam Moore:

That’s awesome, you’ve reframed it. And you know what’s funny, maybe it’s not that weird because I’ve noticed it’s funny that you say that because I have a bad habit or a habit, let’s call it a habit. I have a habit of sort of padding my stomach when I get out of bed. Kind of same reason.

Steven Sashen:

Oh, funny.

Pam Moore:

And when I used to not like what I saw in the mirror or think that my pants were too tight where I used to be like, “Okay, that’s it. I’m reeling things in. I’m getting tough on myself. I am salads all day.” Now I’m like, “Okay, number one, if the pants are too tight, that’s just to me all that means is I’m going to select a different pair of pants. If pants are chronically too tight, they go to Goodwill, the end, end of story.” And I am working on training myself, and I’m getting better all the time, instead of going down that negative thought spiral of I’m too big and this is what it means, I’m lazy. I’m disciplined. I’m blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s just oh, maybe I’m bigger. I’m bigger, the end.

Steven Sashen:

No. You-

Pam Moore:

The end. Who cares? It doesn’t say anything about who I am.

Steven Sashen:

Well, the part that you just said that I adore is the what does it mean? Because if we ask that question, the I don’t like the way I look, I don’t like… But the question is, what does that mean? Does it mean someone’s not going to like me, I won’t be able to do something? If we look at the what does it mean? And then investigate that and check, wait, is that actually true, this imagined thing that I have? And if we really look at the meaning part, that’s where the whole thing can fall apart because that was the same thing that happened for me with the pinching to see. It’s like, what does this mean? And now it just doesn’t have a meaning. And so I love that you highlighted that.

 

And in a similar vein, though, on the back of something you said, it’s not about the food, it’s about the thinking. You reminded me, I was hanging out with a friend who talked about how he was having problems drinking. I said, “Well, let me ask you a question. What are you thinking right before you go for that drink?” And he says, “I’m thinking I can’t handle it.” I said, “Well, what just happened that made you think that?” He said, “Oh, I had this argument with my wife and it’s like I can’t stand this anymore, I can’t handle it.” I said, “Well, I’ve got to ask you this I can’t handle it thought, is that true that you can’t handle it?” And he said, “No, of course I can. I mean, I’ve been handling it for 20 years with this person.” I said, “Oh, so when you’re not aware that that thought is just completely not true, then the obvious next step is to get a drink to kind of quench that thought.” And that was the last time he drank-

Pam Moore:

Right?

Steven Sashen:

Because the next thought I can’t handle it, he called me, he said, “I just had this fight with my wife. This thought I can’t handle it came up, and I started laughing. Of course, I can. And then I didn’t have a drink to make it go away.”

Pam Moore:

I love that.

Steven Sashen:

And I never thought about that with foods so much because we don’t think of food as having that same effect as alcohol or drugs or whatever else we do.

Pam Moore:

Well, I think to some extent, well, haven’t you seen a million articles that are like, “How to stop your emotional eating,” as if emotional eating is the worst sin in the world and you should never do it?

Steven Sashen:

This is what’s my argument, I would say emotional eating makes total sense. It’s the logical conclusion if you believe the thought that leads to that thing.

Pam Moore:

Yes, if you believe I can’t handle this, I’m so stressed out, I deserve a cookie, blah, blah, blah, blah. And here’s the other thing I want to say too, and the book Intuitive Eating gets into this, emotional eating isn’t the worst thing in the world. How can you go from being a baby that either got comfort from being held, like two things, right? Being held or having a bottle or a breast, right? That nourishment that you get as a baby that comforts you, that comes out through your whole life. Now, where you get into trouble, I think if eating the foods that make you feel good are the only way that you can cope, that’s obviously we need to have our deep breaths, we need to have maybe movement, there’s a million ways to cope that aren’t food. But if once in a while you turn to food, we’ve demonized food as comfort food. And that’s not the worst thing if you have other coping tools and you just are consciously making a decision that you want the macaroni and cheese or whatever it is.

Steven Sashen:

Well, it’s so interesting you say that. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing a little podcast rant about is that, because I’ve been on a bunch of podcasts lately, entrepreneurial things where people ask me what I do to de-stress, and I said, “I don’t.” They said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, the idea of doing something to de-stress is like doing something to beat up the feeling that I might be having, and I don’t do that.” If I’m exhausted from a long difficult day, I’m just exhausted from a long difficult day. I don’t feel the urge to beat up that feeling. It’ll pass. I’ll go to sleep at night and I’ll wake up the next morning and it’ll be gone because I got some sleep. Or I’ll watch TV with Lena and we enjoy ourself and it goes away. I’m not watching TV to make it go away. It’s just an emotional state, it’ll pass. And backing up to what you keep referring to babies, you watch babies, they have an emotional thing and then it changes.

Pam Moore:

Babies are awesome. Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Babies are great.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, they let themselves feel it. Babies aren’t like, “Oh, my god, I shouldn’t be crying. I need to man the fuck up.” They’re like you said, they feel it and it passes. And that you just said in five sentences what’s taken me thousands of dollars in therapy to figure out is that when you push against your feelings and you’ve tried to deal with them, like yes, you should deal with them, but pushing them away only gives them more power. You got to like you said, let yourself feel the feeling.

Steven Sashen:

Well, and again, the thing that you said about finding the meaning is really valid. The other version of that, that I’ve been playing with, the thing about the whole distressing thing is it has to go, “Oh, is realizing that the thing that caused my stress isn’t the thing. It isn’t the person who just quit or the container that’s stuck off the Port of Long Beach. It’s realizing that those things, it’s the meaning, it’s the expectation that I had perhaps not even knowingly, that was just the rug just got pulled out from underneath me because of this event that occurred.” So it’s the expectation that is the dashed expectation, the changed expectation, the unplanned changed expectation that’s the upsetting part. The fantasy of the future, really, is the upsetting part.

 

And once I realized that, it’s not like the stress goes away or the thought about how I wished that expectation was not being changed goes away, it’s just that it diminishes so much that I move on more quickly to what do I need to do next? And as it comes back up-

Pam Moore:

Nice.

Steven Sashen:

It’s just diminished because I recognize the fallacy, the ephemeralness of that expectation or the desire for that expectation still. And there’s that same thing that I’m feeling around this all conversation about food, it’s a similar thing. He thinks.

Pam Moore:

Yeah. No, I think. Oh, and I do want to go back to one thing you said. You said, “We think we know what’s going to make us happy, but most of the time we’re wrong.” I do think that most people on their deathbeds, they won’t say, “Oh, I wish I had been thinner.” They’ll say, “I wish I spent more time with my family.” I think we do know that feeling connected definitely makes us feel better. Would you agree with that?

Steven Sashen:

Absolutely, but we rarely find ourself having the urge to feel connected. We find ourself having the urge to whatever it is, make more money, get a different job, find a different partner, doing something.

Pam Moore:

I don’t know, speak for yourself. Ask my husband, I’m always trying to connect with him, and he’s always like, “Oh, I need a little space.”

Steven Sashen:

We had that, but actually, the connecting thing is I think that’s a more immediate thing. I don’t think we’re projecting super far. Actually, I take it back. I’m going to qualify this dramatically, because I realized when I was about 39. How long have I been with Lena? 20 years. So yeah, so when I was about 39 I realized that for most of my certainly adult life, and probably much of my teenage years I had the idea that I’d be happy if I was with the right person and if I had the right partner. And for some reason when I was about 39, that thought came up and I couldn’t find myself believing it, I couldn’t make myself imagine that. And this is happening while I’m spending time with Lena who was at that time a friend of mine, who for four years prior to I’d been trying to convince her that we should be a couple, and she had no interest in that at all.

 

And so, and it just hit me, it’s like, I have this idea that I’ll be happy when I’m in this imagined future with the right person, and in specific with Lena, if we’d be a good couple. Which was kind of a funny thing to think I realized, because if you ask my exes, I don’t do couple very well according to them. And so I had no evidence that Lena and I would be a good couple, and I had no evidence for I’d be happy in this imagined future. And then I just couldn’t make myself believe that anymore. And then this is going to relate to food, then the craving stopped. I just found myself not craving this thing and looking for it, and checking to see if I was getting it.

 

And ironically, and in that moment I then said to her, “When I was believing this idea that we’d be a good couple, and I’d be happy in the imagined future if we were a couple, here’s the obnoxious things that I’ve been doing in the last four years to try to convince you I was right.” And I just gave her a list of the humiliating ways that I was not very subtly but thinking I was being subtle, the way I behave to try to get her on board of this project. And if you ask her, that was a big chunk of what gave her the space to then see if she actually wanted to be with me. Or the way she said it is, “I spent that weekend looking for all the reasons or looking at all the reasons why I didn’t think we should be together, and then I ran out of reasons and I realized that everything I wanted in a relationship I could have with you.” And so, but I think that my getting out of the way, not deliberately just because I could no longer believe the thing that was leading-

Pam Moore:

No, energetically things shifted. You weren’t so set. Yeah, and she felt it, because that’s a scary thing to feel I would think. If I felt like my husband thought he couldn’t be happy without me, that’s a lot of fricking pressure. And I think the reason I met him when I did, to your point, is that I was extremely happy in my own life when I met him. And up to that point, and it wasn’t like I didn’t want to meet somebody, I definitely did. I was definitely thinking like, “Time’s ticking. I got to do this thing.”

 

I mean, I was 29 when I met him, but all my friends were coupled up and having babies by then pretty much, but I was also at this place in my life where I was doing my thing and living my life and get out of my way, here I come, was kind of my vibe. And I think that that’s why it happened when it happened, and I have zero regrets. And I will also say, even though I do think he’s the perfect partner for me, I can’t say I’m always happy, but it’s not because of him, it’s because that’s life.

Steven Sashen:

Well, and you just said it. People have asked Lena and I why we think we have a great relationship, and I say it’s because we’re very clear that when we’re upset, quote, at the other person, it’s not because of the other person. And we kind of try, well, we’re usually pretty good at only coming back together when that’s very clear or when we’re both very clear that we don’t know what the solution for getting out of whatever mental state we’re in is and one of us is willing to walk up and go, “Yeah, I’m stuck and I wish I weren’t, and I don’t know what to do next.” Yeah, we don’t pretend that the other person is the one who made us something upset or-

Pam Moore:

Yeah. That’s very self-aware. Have you guys read The Untethered Soul by, I think it’s by Michael Singer?

Steven Sashen:

No. I have no idea what that is.

Pam Moore:

You sound like you don’t even need to read it, but it’s really good. It’s for it isn’t really about relationships, but it definitely pertains to… It’s about, what is it even about? It’s spiritual, let’s just say that. It’s good.

Steven Sashen:

Okay. All right. I’ll make a note to self when I’m reading again, when I have time to read again. We have a stack of magazines that’s too high sitting on our kitchen table because we don’t have time for that lately. So, back to food.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, back to food.

Steven Sashen:

So, we got pretty far along in your story of the transition into kind of getting this and is there anything else you want to add to that before I ask you to jump back to from the people that you’ve worked with? And for anyone who’s listening, what might they need to consider or realize they might experience if they’re going to start experimenting with this I mean, really life changing way of behaving?

Pam Moore:

That’s a great question. I would say first off really, really divorce yourself from the idea that this could sneakily help you lose weight. It will not work or it won’t work for you. It just, it won’t do what it needs to do if you don’t-

Steven Sashen:

How can you do that? I mean, again, this is sort of like don’t tell a kid not to do something. How can you make yourself not do the thing that your brain is doing?

Pam Moore:

And when you say not do the thing, do you mean don’t think the thought of I want to lose weight or don’t eat the food of-

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, that on. Don’t think the thought.

Pam Moore:

The food thing? Oh, don’t think the thought. It depends on the person. There’s going to be like we were talking about before, there’s no one size fits all approach. But I would start with like if you’re on social media, start following accounts that are body neutral, Health at Every Size. Look for the hashtag like intuitive eating. You’ll find all these influencers that have these great ideas, and just surrounding yourself with that and unfollowing anything that is a before and after picture, that’s helpful to get you in the mind frame of I don’t have to keep thinking this way. If you are a reader, I’m a big reader, I recommend reading the Intuitive Eating book, I recommend The Fuckit Diet. There’s a whole bunch out there. The Body Is Not An Apology is as a good one.

 

There are so many podcasts about their exploring this stuff like Food Psych with Christy Harrison is really great. Her book Anti-Diet if you’re a sciency person, it’s all about debunking all the quote-unquote science that supposedly shows that eating certain diets is good for you or that you even can really lose weight in a sustainable way if you’re an average person. Anti-Diet’s a great book. How else? I think you have to and I suppose maybe working with a therapist to undo some of the shit you’ve probably been told by society and by your parents. Like some people have really complicated relationships with their parents and around them. It just depends on the person. But however you get there, you need to be ready to go, “I love myself as I am even if I gain weight, I can still love myself.” I think that’s probably step one, but I also think sometimes-

Steven Sashen:

Wait, I’m going to pause on that one.

Pam Moore:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Because look, I’m not an overweight guy, I would like to again, be a little leaner for various reasons, and I’ve never been significantly overweight. And just saying that, the I’m willing to love myself even if I gain weight, I got a hot flash from that. It’s like a terrifying thought. And I don’t know why. It’s not something that I actually am literally worried about, and yet, just tossing that idea into my brain made me rapidly anxious, which I find fascinating.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, well, we live in a really fat phobic culture. And I point it out to my kids all the time. I’m big on media literacy, so when we read Harry Potter and you… I don’t know if you’ve read it. You notice the Dursleys, they’re never just described as larger or anything. They’re always the bad, evil, overweight gluttons. And I point out to them, and I’m like, “No.” I mean, J.K. Rowling, she’s not my favorite person, but she’s as an artist, I respect her. And I’m like, but I tell my kids, I’m like, “What do you what do you see here with these, the only fat people in the book also happen to be the villains? Let’s look at that.”

 

I notice, I point out to them, you always see the fat friend as the sidekick in a movie. We don’t get to see a lot of fat heroes in movies. So just noticing how much as a culture, and I want to also say a caveat. I am speaking largely for myself as somebody who hasn’t… Nobody’s ever given me side eye because I got on the plane next to them because I was too big. I never worried, “Will I not get this job because I’m…” That is a different thing and I think I just have so much compassion for people who live in bodies that are scrutinized. And I think it’s shitty, but I think we all need to be aware of this because we are fat phobic whether we mean to be or not. We live in a society that has told us that fat means all these things, but it doesn’t.

Steven Sashen:

Well, let me give you the follow up. For anyone whose watching, you may have noticed that I’m kind of wiggling in my chair, which is the thing that I tend to do when I notice that I have some thought that I wasn’t aware of that feels kind of sticky. And so now the whole idea of I’m willing to, I don’t even like the phrase love myself, I’m willing to be okay, I’m willing to not even care if I… I’m willing for it not even to be a thought if I eat and gain weight, is now starting to feel really exciting.

 

It’s like I’ve gone from holding my breath to kind of breathing and feeling warm in the back of my neck. And this is really interesting because the thought that goes with it is not that I’m going to eat a whole ton and get fat. It’s quite paradoxically, I feel this sort of sense of freedom like I have permission, whatever that means, to do something that I thought was taboo that I didn’t even know was taboo. And it doesn’t make me feel like I need to do it. It just makes me feel like I don’t need to be afraid of it.

Pam Moore:

That’s fucking amazing. That’s so cool. I think that is so cool. One of the things that I did early in my intuitive eating journey was, and as the book tells you to do this is experiment with eating the foods that you find scary and don’t worry if you do eat a lot of them. Because if you have been restricting for a long time, that’s totally natural. And you might quote-unquote overdo it on the things that you previously deprived yourself of. But if you do, you do. Eventually, because you can’t undo what you’ve done for years in a day or a week or a month. For different people it will take a different amount of time. But yeah, anyways, yeah, so I don’t even remember the question. But yeah, I think that is so cool that you feel the part of permission.

Steven Sashen:

Well, yeah, the question was for people who experiment with this and what your experience has been working with people, what might they go through?

Pam Moore:

Oh, yeah.

Steven Sashen:

And by the way-

Pam Moore:

Oh, yeah, what might they go through?

Steven Sashen:

By the way, I can’t even tell you why, I can’t even say that I’m feeling the next phase of what I’m going through is sad, per se. There’s a kind of bittersweet, melancholy, something. It’s a weird feeling either like I’ve given up something familiar or that I’m realizing how much stress I’ve been putting myself under for no reason. And so that’s sort of, that’s a little sad making if you will, as if I could have done it different. So it’s the way it is, but I mean, this is really, I’m having a really good time watching this thing unwind.

Pam Moore:

Cool. Cool. I think people can expect to feel a little bit adrift. When you spent your whole life going, “I should eat this,” or, “I should eat that,” it can feel really unmooring, I guess is the word to go, “Oh, my god, anything I want? I don’t even know what I want. I really don’t know. I’m so not used to asking myself the question what would taste good right now?” So, I think being patient with yourself would be I would advise that, but be prepared that it might feel really freaking weird. It might feel really like who even am I if I eat a meal without wondering how many calories it has or how much-

Steven Sashen:

It’s not going to be a straight line.

Pam Moore:

Yes. No. I mean, I’ve been doing this for a few years and I have to sort of give myself a pep talk before I do things that used to often be situations where I would ignore my hunger cues and eat too much, like for example, camping trips. Camping trips always kind of felt like a free fall because food would just be out on the picnic table or we’d be eating s’mores after dinner even if you were full. I was just like if I was full I would eat the s’mores. Stuff like that or things like, I mean, I used to restrict to some extent all week and then have a couple of drinks on a Friday night, feel tipsy, and just go in the pantry and just eat whatever. And my husband would in the kindest, most gentle way possible be like, “How do you think you might feel about this decision in the morning?” And I’d be like, “I’d feel fucking great. Get out of my way.” But then inevitably, I did not feel fucking great and I don’t do that anymore.

 

So, I think you can also prepare for having more fun with food, prepare for the joy of going to a restaurant and going, “I can order whatever the hell I want, and it will be okay.” That’s amazing, and you have the opportunity to just get excited about every social event that’s going to have food, which is every social event, without the cloud of the stress. And again, I sometimes do stress. It’s not like it was snap your fingers, everything’s great. But I have ways of coping with that now. I’m able to slow down and do the thing you described and do the thing where I have the stressful thought and then I go, “Wait a minute. Where’s this thought coming from? Does this make sense? Is this serving me? Let’s pick a new thought.” And that helps me a lot.

Steven Sashen:

I love it. I’m still reeling from this. This has been really super fun.

Pam Moore:

I’m so glad.

Steven Sashen:

You know one of the things that I do and I’m partly rethinking it and I’m partly saying it’s totally fine as it is, that if I am planning on and if I know I’m going to an event where I’m going to eat an entire chocolate cake, which again, I don’t actually do that. But I mean, if I’m going to a potluck with friends where I know there’s going to be a lot of things to eat and I’m going to want to eat a lot of them, I will not infrequently think, “Okay, during the day I’m going to get a little higher protein, a little lower cal, just so that I can.” And I don’t feel like I’m being restricted when I do that. I feel like I’m it’s almost like preparing for a race. It’s like I’m just doing the thing to because I know that I’ve got this thing coming up so I’m going to do this thing to prep for it.

 

And I found a way of doing that where I don’t feel deprived. I mean, I actually kind of get excited. I just have nothing but meals with protein and very little else for breakfast and lunch because I’m going to eat an entire 16-inch pizza for dinner, and I’m going to love every bite of that.

Pam Moore:

And I think the energy that you’re describing, the way I see you showing up over the Zoom and the way you’re describing it, to me, that sounds like the energy behind your decision is sort of based on actually listening to your body in a different way. It’s not motivated by will I gain or lose weight from these decisions? It’s motivated by I really want to enjoy the potluck to the fullest extent possible. And to me that’s joy-driven rather than fear-driven. And that’s how I’ve been trying to reframe my… We didn’t even get into my relationship with exercise.

 

But in a nutshell, some of my endurance stuff was always about, “Oh, my god, I’ll have a license to eat whatever I want.” And now that things are opening back up, and I’m thinking about events, I’m like, “Ooh, I don’t want to pick a race to train for because I’m secretly hoping I’ll lose weight.” And I’m like, “But you know what, there’s a million reasons to do a race besides losing weight.” Where is the drive coming from? Is it fear that if I don’t do an event I’ll gain weight, be lazy, be undisciplined, lose all my fitness? Is it fear or is it joy? Is it I want to experience the camaraderie, I want to train, I want to… There’s that.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I would bet that that scale is not 100% in one direction or another, that even if you find that it’s motivated by something, let’s call it joy, that there’s still that, “And by the way, I mean, maybe I’ll lose a little weight.” Which is not as big of a deal. It’s like that’s not the driver, but it’s not like you’re making that thought disappear. It’s like, “Yeah, okay, whatever, maybe that’ll happen. If it doesn’t, no big deal.” That’s my hunch.

Pam Moore:

Yes. I think that makes sense. Yeah, because I think pretending a thought didn’t happen, it’s kind of pretending a feeling isn’t there. It’s like, “Yeah, I had the thought, fine.”

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. And if it is, if it does, it doesn’t. It’s really funny, if you want to see a bunch of people who are probably 10 to 20 pounds overweight, go to a Masters track race and find the sprinters, the guys like me. For whatever reason, way back when I knew someone who was part of the early genetic research on decoding the human genome, and it turns out that the genes that code for fast twitch muscle fibers and for sprinting, also code for gaining abdominal fat.

Pam Moore:

Interesting.

Steven Sashen:

So yeah, and again, so it’s genetic thing that sprinters genetically tend to put on abdominal fat. And so you see these guys, if there’s a couple of guys who are the fastest guys in the world who got these pot bellies, and they show up at a race and you’re going, “What the hell’s he doing here?” Or she, it happens to women too. And then they crush everybody else, like, what? And so there’s this misunderstanding about how bodies work and what they do.

Pam Moore:

Yes, fitness is not a specific look. It’s just not. I just had somebody on my podcast who she’s in a large body, she’s a badass. This woman has swam across Loch Ness. She has swam around the island of Manhattan. She has swam from San Diego to Catalina. There is no swim she hasn’t done. She’s a beast. And I think if you saw her on the street, you might say she doesn’t look fit. Well, what do you know? You don’t know. Nobody knows. It’s not a look.

Steven Sashen:

I have a friend who had done multiple, multiple triathlons and was basically shaped like a beach ball, and you would never in a million years guess that that’s what this person could do. And that’s I mean, he just cranked them out. It’s just-

Pam Moore:

And that’s because we’re a fat phobic culture. I actually, went to a stroke and stride which is for people listening in Boulder, is just like a swim, run, casual thing. I went with a friend, this was pre-COVID, and my friend was blatantly like, “Look at all these fat people.” She made a comment that was really rude. It was sort of like, “They can do this?” And I was like, “Would you stop?” We’re good enough friends that I was kind of like, “That’s not cool. What you’re saying is bluntly fat phobic and you have no idea looking at anybody here and how fit they are. So just stop.” And she stopped.

Steven Sashen:

I mean, for the fun of it though, I do want to put a bit of a pin in something which is it’s one thing about fat phobic or criticizing someone else or even criticizing yourself, but there are some people who use those ideas as an excuse to do things that are really unhealthy for them. I mean, to be eating 10,000 calories a day or whatever it is. I mean, to do something where it’s an excuse not to look at what’s going on. I’m not suggesting that it’s even going to change anything, but there are I mean, I’m just having memories of watching… This is going to sound like a weird one. Talking with a guy that I knew about drinking alcohol. And I had just read a statistic that 80% of the alcohol is consumed by 20% of the people.

 

And he said, “Yeah, like me.” I said, “What?” He goes, “Well, haven’t you noticed?” This was when I was doing comedy for a living. He said, “I’ll have three beers before I get on stage. I’ll have three beers while I’m on stage. I’ll have three beers when I get offstage. I just had nine beers in an evening. Oh, yeah, I’ll probably have one or two with lunch.” And it was undeniably hurting his health, and he was using the statistic to not have to inquire about why he was drinking 10 to 12 beers a day and what it was doing to him. And later he eventually did and realized, “Yeah, there was a lot of stuff I didn’t want to deal with, so I just stayed drunk all the time.” I was-

Pam Moore:

Oh, yeah, that’s a drinking problem. That’s a disease. I mean, I would say for somebody like that, whether it’s food or booze or whatever it is, it’s not the statistics’ fault, right? That’s a handy cover. But it’s like, yeah, if you’re doing things in an unhealthy way, whatever they are, you need to look into it.

Steven Sashen:

And I guess, I’m saying, and I’m-

Pam Moore:

Or you can do it when you’re ready.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, I’m not landing on this, but I want to kind of… It’s something I’m really just kind of thinking about or curious about, is the gap between becoming self-accepting versus trying to use the idea of self-acceptance to not look at what’s actually leading to certain behaviors-

Pam Moore:

I see what you’re saying. I think if you have an addiction, you’re probably not fully accepting some part of yourself. I don’t think that addiction and self-acceptance-

Steven Sashen:

Go together.

Pam Moore:

Can really go together. I feel like addiction is a way of not accepting what’s happening. Not feeling the feelings or not experiencing. It’s not being present.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, if we go back to what we said before, it’s sort of like you can have the thought of, “Oh, I can’t handle this and I’m going to have some food that I’m going to like that’s going to quash that thought,” and then after that complaining that someone is complaining to you about being overweight. It’s like, “Whoa, no. Hold on, you sort of missed a step.” It’s sort of like, this is going to sound really weird. I’m impossible to insult. And the reason I’m impossible to insult is you could say something seemingly negative about me, and either it’s factually inaccurate and so it has nowhere to land, or it’ll be something where someone could say, “Oh, you’re arrogant.” And I’m going to say, “Oh, boy, you don’t even know the half of it. You should hear the stuff that goes through my head that I don’t say.”

 

And sometimes things come out of my mouth that sound like they have an arrogant tone, but that’s not what I’m actually thinking or feeling. And I don’t know why it comes out with that tone and I wish that it didn’t. And if you have any suggestions, I’m totally open. So, the worst thing anyone’s ever been able to say to me, I usually agree with them. And usually it’s worse in my own mind and the way they’re perceiving it. And the only thing that I’d be upset about is that I don’t like it and I was hoping nobody would notice. And so-

Pam Moore:

And then that’s an opportunity for self-awareness.

Steven Sashen:

Correct. And so there’s a similar thing where if someone makes a comment about your weight, your size, and there’s this overt reaction, it’s possibly like the overt reaction I used to have 20 plus years ago, if somebody would say you’re arrogant or say some seemingly insulting thing. If I would get defensive about it, then there’s definitely a there there. There’s definitely something that I’ve got to take a gander at. And if I can just meet it with the truth, then not a big deal. So that’s what I’m talking about, is the difference between hearing it and meeting it with the truth, versus hearing it and being defensive so that one doesn’t have to look at whatever truth that it might be.

Pam Moore:

Well, it’s funny that you bring this up, I feel like the universe sent me this shitty situation to see how I would react. For many years of my life, people would be like, “Are you pregnant?” When I wasn’t. And it would rip me apart. I just happen to store fat in my stomach. It’s just, it’s a fact. It’s how I’ve been. It’s how I’m built. I would go home from work and cry. I mean, they would say the meanest things. When I would be like, “No,” they would get really embarrassed and not continue the conversation. And I would be like, “The least you could say is sorry.” But anyway, there’s no real way to dig yourself out of that one when you ask a woman if she’s…

Steven Sashen:

Well, like I had a friend-

Pam Moore:

So, but this-

Steven Sashen:

I had a friend who started-

Pam Moore:

And that would-

Steven Sashen:

Sorry, I had a friend who started an e-commerce business 20 years ago for pregnant women, and he would walk up to women and say, “Hey, I’ve got a website you might be interested in.” And they’d go, “I’m not pregnant.” And he basically learned that until if you don’t see the baby’s crowning, you don’t ask if a woman is pregnant.

Pam Moore:

It’s probably a good rule. Yeah. And not to mention, you don’t know if she just had a miscarriage or a million things. But for me, it would definitely hit the nerve of I look fat, right? And I remember calling my mom in my 20s and I’d be like, “Somebody at work asked when I was due.” And she goes, “You already told me that story.” And I’d be like, “No, it happened again. It just keeps happening.”

 

And then I was at a potluck, this is pre-COVID, and somebody asked me, and this is since I’ve discovered intuitive eating and decided that I’m just going to be okay with whatever my body looks like. So this woman says to me, “Are you expecting?” And I just said, “No.” And that was sort of it. I did walk away because I felt like up to that point she had been a little bit socially awkward. And at that point, I was just sort of like, “That was rude.” But I didn’t cry about it. I wasn’t upset about it. I was just like, “You made a stupid comment. I don’t want to hang out with you.” But I wasn’t willing to be like, “This says anything about me.” And yeah, maybe I do look pregnant, who fucking cares?

Steven Sashen:

Well, the thing that would have been so funny is I think you missed a great opportunity to tell the whole truth. So here, I’ll be you in that case. So ask me if I’m expecting.

Pam Moore:

Steven, congratulation. Are you expecting?

Steven Sashen:

Oh, I’m not and I bet you feel really embarrassed right now.

Pam Moore:

This person actually, I don’t know if she had the emotional intelligence to feel embarrassed but I just was like, “You know what, I’m kind of glad that happened because this showed me how much I can be neutral about somebody essentially telling me that my stomach is fat.” Well, it is. That’s okay.

Steven Sashen:

No, no, no. It’s actually even easier. Someone just asked you a yes or no question, that’s it.

Pam Moore:

Yeah.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah. Now, again, you could have had a lot of fun with it. You could have said, “You know what, oh, my god, I think I might right now.” So, I mean-

Pam Moore:

I know, right? Well, that’s next level. I’d be like, “Oh, my god, my IUD stopped working. I got to go to the doctor.” No, but yeah, that’s next, next level. But like…

Steven Sashen:

I’d say, “Yeah. You didn’t see me on that show where I didn’t know I was pregnant and then I one day had a baby?” I mean there’s so much. It is next level, but I think once you get past, it’s just someone asking a question and it doesn’t have the meaning, oh, my god, you could have so much fun with that. I can’t even imagine.

Pam Moore:

Totally. Totally. Yeah, so, oh, we’ve gone over our time. I have a little time. I don’t know what your time is like, but I’m having fun with you. This is great.

Steven Sashen:

Yeah, we’re having a conversation. Conversations take the time they take. But no, I think we can sort of kind of bring this in for a landing. Is there anything else that you would want to let people know who want to explore this about again the path or the something, just anything that we left out about what this might be like?

Pam Moore:

Yeah. Another one I want to add.

Steven Sashen:

That was our last one.

Pam Moore:

I would say stay curious. Stay curious and there won’t necessarily always be an easy path, but if you can change your thinking and you can change your behavior, a whole world of joy will open up to you. Food can be so much more fun. Parties will be so much more fun. You can be present in your mind and your body without being preoccupied by food. And I will say that my whole life changed after. My whole career opened up. I’m making so much more money. I’m getting the clients I want. I got the buy lines I want. I really love my work in a different way than I did before. It’s so much easier for me to make decisions about what I want because I’m sort of grounded in my body in a different way. And I think your body has a lot of answers for all kinds of questions, not just food.

Steven Sashen:

Well, and I’m going to maybe even hyper-simplify this. It seems like what you’re describing is as you started… How do I want to describe this? As you started… Oh, man, it was in my head and then it fell right out. So, I’ll give it a whirl awkwardly. As you started making decisions about your eating from a different perspective, it seemed to allow you to do that same kind of thing in other domains of your life, other areas of your life.

Pam Moore:

Boom. 100%.

Steven Sashen:

That’s super cool. I love it. Pam this has been such a treat.

Pam Moore:

Will you remember me though?

Steven Sashen:

I will now. Oh, man. I’m just-

Pam Moore:

That’s going to be the true test. Can we talk about how you don’t remember me?

Steven Sashen:

Yes. Yes, we can.

Pam Moore:

So, I want to tell this story just before we close out. So, I’ll start with the random email. I got an email that was meant for a different Pam Moore, that said, “Will you come on our marketing podcast?” And I’m like, “I don’t know shit about marketing.” And I’m like, “I know they mean this other Pam Moore.” So I said, “Hey look, I think you got me confused with the other Pam Moore, but if you want to talk about body image, endurance sports, midlife career changes, all the stuff, these are things I can talk about.” And they got back to me and said, “You know what, not a fit for our podcast, but we might know somebody. Can we share this?” I said, “Go ahead.”

 

A few days later, Steven’s podcast producer gets in touch with me and says, “Hey, were you on The MOVEMENT Movement with Steven Sashen? And he’s da-da-da.” I’m like, “You don’t have to tell me who he is.” I came to Steven’s kitchen in North Boulder, right? Were you living in North Boulder?

Steven Sashen:

Yep.

Pam Moore:

Around 2009. My husband was having this chronic foot pain. And I was like, “I know what you need, honey. You need barefoot shoes. And I’m just the person to get you the barefoot shoe.” And I don’t know how I came across you. You might have done a talk at the Boulder Try Club. That might have been what it was.

Steven Sashen:

I think yeah, I did. I mean, I did a lot of stuff with them.

Pam Moore:

Yeah, but Xero Shoes was a small operation, so Steven was like, “Come over. I’ll give you what you need.” And then I took home this make your own shoe kit that my husband made his own customized shoe based… Anyways, but yeah, we hung out. Anyways, I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m reconnecting with Steven Sashen through this random email, but he doesn’t remember me.” So I’m hoping when we cross paths again, you’ll know who I am.

Steven Sashen:

Well, I’ll only recognize you if you have that background behind you. So yes, in the same way that you can arguably now respond to someone who says are you pregnant with a yes or no, I can say, “Yeah, I have a horrible memory for faces.” And I wish I sometimes say to people… Actually, I very deliberately try to not say to people that I’m embarrassed that I don’t remember meeting you or don’t, because it’s just the way my brain works or in this case doesn’t work. And by saying embarrassed, that’s not accurate. It’s I have a horrible memory for faces, and I wish I didn’t. And so, no, I don’t, but let’s start now. And so, yes, I hope and expect that I will. And if not, you can just say, “Hey, moron,” and I will respond to that. And-

Pam Moore:

That’s great. That’s great.

Steven Sashen:

I so look forward to it. And yeah, this has just been a blast. And I’d say it’ll be much harder for me to not remember us having this conversation, but I had a conversation with someone I think maybe two weeks ago on the podcast, and then they reached out to me and I had to wrack my brain to remember who the hell they were. I do think it’s some wacky neurological something. And again, I wish I could say I’m embarrassed by it. I just know that it’s awkward and so I just acknowledge that and hope that people will forgive me.

Pam Moore:

I think that’s a great way of approaching it. It’s very conscious.

Steven Sashen:

It’s kind of like being colorblind. It’s like, you can’t get mad at someone for being colorblind. But it’s a funny thing, we actually think that our memories are good, even though they’re often way out of whack. I mentioned to you before we did this. When I went to my 30th high school reunion, there were so many people there who I had zero memory of who I know were really good friends of mine 30 years earlier, and they were just gone from my brain. And some of it was actually some people weren’t gone. What I discovered at my 30th was that people thought I was crazy in high school, which I didn’t know. I didn’t know that I was or I didn’t know that they thought that. So but I found that out when I just talked to them three years later. And I said-

Pam Moore:

That’s awesome.

Steven Sashen:

I walked with this one woman and I said, “We knew each other, but we weren’t really friendly, but if someone had asked me about you up until this moment, I would have described you as being 5’9″.” And I went on and she goes, “I’m five feet tall.” I said, “I know. Isn’t that wild how memory is just so malleable and out of whack?” And she looks at me like I’m insane. And she goes, “What?” And I’m like, “Oh, okay. Yeah, she thought I was kind of crazy.” And there was one after another of those where I was just so fascinated by what brains do after 30 years. And apparently that fascination was not shared by other people. And in fact, it was just confirming things they believed about me or still seem to think about me from 30 years ago that were completely different than what I imagined, which I found just as fascinating. So-

Pam Moore:

Love it. Love it.

Steven Sashen:

What are you going to do?

Pam Moore:

What are you going to do? What are you going to do?

Steven Sashen:

All right. Well, Pam, thank you. Thank you so much. If people want to get in touch with you and find out more about everything we’ve talked about or more about what you’re doing, how can they do that?

Pam Moore:

Oh, thank you for asking, Steven. You can go to pam-moore, that’s M-O-O-R-E.com. That’s my website. Everything that you might want to know is that’s probably the easiest place to find it. But if you’re on social media, I’m @pammoore303 on Instagram. On Twitter, I’m @PamMooreWriter. And you can find the Real Fit podcast right from my website, or you can find it on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen. The Real Fit podcast features conversations with some really, really cool women and once in a while I have a quick episode that’s just me talking about something that’s hopefully helpful.

Steven Sashen:

Thank you. Thank you. Awesome. Well for everyone else, thank you for joining us. I hope you had as much fun as Pam and I seemed to have, I’m finding. And more importantly, go to jointhemovementmovement.com to find previous episodes, all the different ways you can interact with us. Again, how you can share and spread the word about The MOVEMENT Movement, helping people rediscover that natural movement is the obvious better healthy choice, the way we think of natural food and now we’re thinking of food in a whole different way. Natural is just whatever you seem to think is right for you at that time.

 

And if you have any questions or comments or anyone you think should be on the show, and you want to pass that info on, drop me an email, send it to move@jointhemovementmovement.com. If you want to try the most comfortable, lightest, coolest shoes that let your feet do what’s natural, that’s at xeroshoes.com. X-E-R-O-shoes.com. Although, if your computer makes you type in Z-E-R-O, guess what, that will get to us too. And most importantly, go out, have fun and live life feet first.

 

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