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What is you are Overweight because you Over-give?
Suzanne is a healer and author of -- “The Beginning is Sh*t- AN un-apologetic weight loss memoir. As a mindset coach she helps women transform their body and minds. She believes women often over consume (whether this is food, work, or social media) because they give too much help to others. She helps women deal with negative patterns of behavior, build self confidence, and learn to say “No’ to others, so they can say “yes” to themselves.
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00:03] Intro: Welcome to the Heart Soul Wisdom podcast. A journey of self discovery and transformation. Moira Sutton and her amazing guests share real life stories, tools, and strategies. Strategies to inspire and empower you to create and live your best life. Come along on the journey and finally blast through any fears, obstacles and challenges that have held you back in the past so you can live your life with the joy, passion, and happiness that you desire. Now, here's your host. Create the life you love. Empowerment. Life coach, Moira Sutton.
[00:59] Moira: Welcome to season three, episode 59 what if you are overweight because you over give. We have our special guest today, international mindset coach Suzanne Culbert. Suzanne is a healer and she's the author of The Beginning is Sh*t, an unapologetic weight loss memoir. As a mindset coach, she helps women transform their bodies and their minds. She believes women often over consume. This could be food, work, social media because they give too much to help others. She helps women deal with negative patterns of behavior to build their self esteem and their self confidence and to learn to say no to others so they can say yes to themselves. Suzanne is known by her clients as the Velvet Hammer, as she is equal parts loving yet no BS. She lives in Sydney with her two beautiful children and her beautiful husband. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Suzanne Culver. Welcome, Suzanne.
[02:05] Suzanne: Thank you so much for having me.
[02:07] Moira: Moira, you're down under. What's it like down under today?
[02:11] Suzanne: I was going to say it's the future. It never gets old. It's already the next day when I'm talking to you, and it is cool because it's winter here as we're recording. But, yeah, it's sure to be a nice day.
[02:25] Moira: That's fantastic.
[02:31] Moira: in my 20S, just before I turned 30th, I was looking to move to Australia because I'm an outdoors person and I wanted to move there, and I even had a visa that I got to work there. And then different things happened, and I landed back in Ontario, London and Toronto and met my husband and there you go.
[02:51] Suzanne: Have you ever been for a visit?
[02:52] Moira: I have not, but it's on my list.
[02:54] Suzanne: Oh, yes.
[02:56] Moira: Yes. My parents made the decision they were going to either immigrate from Scotland to Australia or Canada. And I said, why didn't you do Australia? But it was because my father's parents had come here, so he wanted to be by his parents. So, they came, and I went. I would have liked Australia. But there you go. Everything unfolds perfectly. Exactly, yes. Suzanne, thank you first for sending me the copy of your book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was heart wrenching, as you have in the bag. You really held, as you say in the book, with no holds bar, like you shared from your heart with humor and grace, literally what's possible with determination and willingness to look for answers, which is one of my questions for you in unexpected places. Tell me, what was your big why? Why your vision behind writing your memoir? What got you to say? I need to share the story.
[03:49] Suzanne: That's an excellent question. So, when? I'm always been an avid reader my entire life, I can remember being a young child before the days of mobile phones. Like, my kids, they've got a whole new level of ways they can get away with things, but with the torch under the blanket, with the book, like in Harry Potter. When I saw that in the movie, I was like, yes, that was me as a kid. And then mom and dad come and turn the torch off and why are we going through so many batteries? I know. So, I've always been an avid reader and I especially loved weight loss before and after stories because I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. But I never found a story quite like my lived experience. Most of them had been before. My life was terrible, and I was overweight and unhappy. And then after, I lost the weight and I rode off into the sunset, but they never talked about after the after. And all of them seemed to go, like, heavy to light. There wasn't any up and down. There was like, they were committed, they made the decision, they changed their life. And I was like, where are the stories like mine? Like, up and down and up and down, up, and down. And is it because people don't publish them because they're not the success in inverted commas? Or is it so many things? And then I was like, maybe the reason you haven't found a book that you want to read is because you're the one who is meant to write it.
[05:18] Moira: And you're right, it's not just straight from A to B. It's windy, roads up and down, tripping, falling, getting up again, wondering if you can do it again. All those things, right? When did it begin for you, this personal weight loss during how old are you? And let's share some of these frustrations and obstacles that you had along the way because you kept going.
[05:43] Suzanne: So, my first weight loss, like my first diet, my parents put me on at age four to fit in the flower girl dress for my sister's wedding. So that's like the beginning of the book. And we just started on a Monday, and we cleaned out the pantry. I'm sure the story is not unfamiliar to many listeners who have had a dieting history. Like, Monday's going to be the universal day we change our lives and then by Thursday or Friday, we would have just been like, quit and spectacularly binge all weekend just to clean out the cupboards on Sunday night and start again. And that was like my life from age four through age 18. I did have some losses. Like, there were sometimes where I was a bit more committed. I lost a bit of weight in high school. I think I wrote about that in the book. And for me, anything under 20 kilos didn't really even rate a mention, which is just over £40. So, I'm efficient at losing and regaining large numbers of kilos. But then my first official attempt on my own was when I was about 20. I'd moved out of home, and I was in my fourth year of uni. And in that stage, I lost 43 kilos, which is just shy of £100. So that was a lot. I did weight watches, and I joined a gym and actually left uni at that stage. I was in my fifth year of medical school, and I was like, I found the answer, it's personal training. So, I actually left my uni degree and did a certificate three and four in fitness and became a personal trainer. And that's when I really, in hindsight, what they say, life is lived forward, but understood backwards. I really leaned into the over giving energy because people think our personal trainers must be so fit, but not really. Not good personal trainers are you're not exercising yourself, you're there for your client and you're standing with them and taking them through it. You're not working yourself out. So, I didn't look after myself and I basically, personal trainers worked when other people don't. So, I did a very early mornings and in the middle of the day I just veg out and then late in the evenings. And, yeah, I didn't prioritize my own health and I started to gain my weight back. And then I got married and my husband and I moved into state, like, way across the country from our family. And, yes, there's a lot of disruptions there, but at the end of the day, there's no passive eating. Like, there's passive smoking. It was me, I did it and I regained all that weight back. And that was really hard. I was so embarrassed about it. I wrote about it in the book, Going to See My Family, because I was literally twice the person I had been when I got married just over a year ago. And so, yeah, I regained that all with interest, and then eventually got the wherewithal again, to drop 60 kilos that time, so that's, I don't know, 130 ish pounds, then got pregnant and once again, I was like, there's a valid excuse, if you look at it, you're having a baby. But I took it too far and I regained a lot of that. And then I had a very difficult delivery, which I wrote about in the book. And I think I'd always wanted two children, but after that birth, I had PTSD. I don't know if I stated that in the book, but I was diagnosed with PTSD and I wanted another child, but I didn't like, I didn't want another pregnancy. So, I think part of me kept the weight on because I've heard that when you're really big, a lot of people struggle to fall pregnant. That wasn't the case for me. I fell pregnant again, like, we weren't planning, but we weren't not planning, so it was a pleasant surprise, but it was also very nerve wracking in my body. So, I gained weight in that pregnancy and then I was the biggest ever. And so, the big turning point for me was having two children who were about to be mobile that I physically couldn't keep up with because I was at least 150 kilos, which is £330. My scale is only weighed to that, so I could have been more. And that was the point where I was like, no, this is the time. I can't physically, but I can't mentally and emotionally put myself through that yoyo dieting again. So, I knew there had to be something different.
[10:02] Moira: And having children, like you said, and being able to be there for them, along with yourself and your husband, your whole family.
[10:09] Suzanne: Yeah, well, my husband walked away too. I'm not sure how much it is with the book. You only can put so much in. But yes, my husband, he was flying and fly out for a while and then he was driving drive out. So, it's just me and the kids. My family is interstate and like, with two of them, especially once my son started pulling himself up and you are going to have two mobile kids, I physically couldn't keep up with them. That something had to change.
[10:35] Moira: Now I just want to go back to you because you have a lot in there that's me. I'm a little chunker, so I usually have a lot of things. But seeing that your mom puts you on a diet at four, did you come to terms with that? Did you get angry about that at all and needed to go through forgiveness for that because you're young, you didn't really have a say in it?
[11:00] Suzanne: Yes and no. She wasn't a blame game.
[11:04] Moira: Just wondering.
[11:05] Suzanne: No, she did the best she could with what she had at the time. So, for me, it's funny, it's like, how would I have handled this differently? But once again, I have the value of hindsight. So, I don't know why it never occurred to her to just get the dress taken out. I don't know if that wasn't a possibility or if she didn't even discuss it, or if she just panicked and thought, my kid is big, or whatever. And it's interesting, like, I have two children now and my son, I noticed they tend to go out and then they grow up and then they grow out and they grow up. The other day I sent a picture because my family is interstate and my mom's like, oh, Suzanne, he's getting a bit big. And I shot that down. I was like, no, we are not having this conversation. So, I think sometimes our own body hang ups pass on maybe some of her own body stuff. In her effort to save me from it, she actually created it. So, yeah, there is a little bit of despondency there. But also, I understand she thought that was in my highest and best.
[12:15] Moira: Now, I was surprised in your book, you talk about your medical school that you went to, and I was really surprised when I read that some of the students even bullied you there, because I thought, as you put, that these would be educated people. And bullying for me is for people who are either insecure or they're ignorant some way, or they're going with the crowd. That's safer for them. What's your advice, Suzanne, for people of any age who are being bullied in their life for whatever reason? Because bullying is something usually, I've seen it where kids, all the other kids are over there because of bullies, going after one person, and they're just thrilled it's not them.
[12:56] Suzanne: Yes, that's one example.
[12:59] Moira: I have a real thing about bullying.
[13:02] Suzanne: Oh, me too. And it's interesting watching it with my kids because I've always been an advocate, so if somebody's bullying, I'll be the one who jumps in to rescue them, and I'll take it on so that they don't have to. And my son is very much like me, but my daughter is, like you described it's, like, oh, it's somebody else. I'll just hide over here in the majority because I don't want to risk having their attention come to me. But, yeah, I find it interesting. Bullying is more commonly linked to children, and I think as adults, we are able to often get ourselves out of situations, whereas children can't. Like, you have to attend school, it's mandated and that sort of thing. But even as an adult, bullying in the workplace and stuff is a lot more common than we think, and people just tend to not say anything or to withdraw. And I think finding somewhere safe that you can discuss what's going on, whether that be a family member, a trusted friend, a therapist, a coach, whoever, to come up with some strategies. Because I think for me, what's been interesting is nobody ever bullied me as much as I bullied myself. So, when I started to do my real deep self work, I haven't found that experience as much now. Like, there'll be some situations where people may make a comment or people may whatever, and I could interpret it as bullying, but I'll be like, what do you mean by that? And call it out because I'm a lot stronger now. So, I'm thinking of how I would have handled that situation at medical school, like the version of me now. I wouldn't have backed down the way that I did or let them ignore the fact that this was wrong, and I want it recanted.
[14:50] Moira: That just took me back to a part in your book that I was opening to, how you said you bullied yourself because you talk about as you named it, like fat camps and things that you said to yourself that you wrote in here, some quotes. It's pretty hard on yourself, your inner dialogue. And I think a lot of people do that or they compare to somebody else because you think about in the marketplace. I grew up playing with Ten and Barbie dolls, right? And I always thought of them as the American what is it?
[15:22] Suzanne: Apple pie couple.
[15:24] Moira: I never thought Canadian. I was on American. I don't know why, but I never met people that looked like that later in life. And you say something about this. Let me just read this. You talk about the media, how they've set us up for failure to attain the perfect weight and looks. Can you tell us a bit about your feeling around that?
[15:48] Suzanne: It's interesting because I know for myself and a lot of the people that I work with or people that I talk to, we have this time where it's like, if only as I was skinny is when I thought I was fat. So we look back at past pictures of ourselves where at the time we felt fat or we thought we were fat and now we're like, I wish I looked like that now. And I think when we go on a weight loss journey, like it's portrayed that you will look this way and most of those things are airbrushed and edited and whatever anyway. And it's like even when you drop the weight, and you might have excess skin or saggy or you're just a bigger build than others. It's funny, I look back at some pictures and it was like I wasn’t that big in high school. But I do have a different shape, a different frame, a different body type to others. And I think this is what isn't spoken about. When people do things like the BMI or something like footballers, rugby players. Are you saying all these people are obese? Like they're a different stature and musculature than other people? And then when you look at like embryologically how we develop, we have the endoderm, the Ectoderm, and the mesoderm. So, like the endomorphs are the heavier set body types. And then the mesomorphs, which is more like the supermodels, tend to be more rail, thinner, lighter. You can't compare it's like comparing apple and orange. It's literally different. And I think we get so set in our mind like I want to look like this. Like this is the one that's accepted depending on your culture, because in other cultures, heavier people are more round because that tends to mean that they are richer, like they can afford the food. So, it's interesting where you're brought up and what your society conditions you to see as the acceptable type and shape.
[17:45] Moira: And different societies have different look about way back in I don't know what area, where the women that were very big, they were the ones who were volunteers and if you were skinny, you didn't look so good.
[17:58] Suzanne: Childbearing hips they used to say because of the high maternal mortality rate and people with bigger hips tended to survive childbirth more yeah, that's cool.
[18:12] Moira: A quote from your book that ties into that you stated, which really stood out to me it is taken trying to fix myself repeatedly to realize that fixing myself was not the answer because I was never broken. I thought that was a really good quote that you put there and how I think a lot of people suffer with this not enough. That'd be not enough in our size. Not enough if we're educated.
[18:36] Suzanne: Tall.
[18:37] Moira: Short.
[18:38] Suzanne: Black.
[18:38] Moira: White. Whatever our religion is. Whatever that is not enough things that we're like here we're whole. We're not broken how many clients come to you and they feel like they're broken? And how do you guide them back to becoming whole? This is a big question with themselves.
[18:54] Suzanne: As I say. Probably almost every of my clients on some level consciously or unconsciously or that's what we uncover and I think that's often when people start working with a coach they can often give up too soon and I think that the reason for that is when we start to uncover these things just because they weren't conscious doesn't mean they weren't there and the way it plays out in our day to day life is say we are carrying a bit of extra weight and we think oh. When I lose weight then I'll be happy and confident and then we lose the weight and we're still off we're not magically more happy or confident and we're like so it's like we might as well eat and I think that's part of the basis for yoyo dieting but it extends beyond that like I'm thinking for myself personally our financial year in Australia ends in June so I was just recently doing my taxes and I was like oh. I had my best financial year ever. Yes. There was excitement but there was also disappointment because it was like well, I thought when I was making this amount of money that I would feel this kind of thing and I think it's the security or the safety or a feeling that we're chasing in an external result whether it be a clothing size. A number on the scales. Amount of money in the bank. None of those external things can give you that inner self worth. That inner enough Ness feeling and the more that you do well. Like you increase your money, or you drop the weight it can actually make this feeling worse because you have something to lose like once you have an amount of money in the bank or once you've lost weight you could gain it back or you could lose the money, so it actually increases the gap in this feeling of not enough Ness. It doesn't reduce it. And I think that's what causes a lot of internal panic in people, because they didn't have that before. And then as you start to come into awareness, it's often sitting with these feelings of discomfort. It's not something that we're naturally taught to do.
[20:55] Moira: And just to observe it or observe the feelings that come up, or the emotions instead of pushing it down. That will be food, drinking, shopping, too much, whatever. Just trying to fill that gap so you don't have to experience that feeling.
[21:08] Suzanne: Yes. I call it the void. Fill the void with eating or shopping. Yes.
[21:14] Moira: Or I think, too, we're not really and it's not just men that were told before they can't cry and all this one thing, I loved about my husband is he could show his emotions. I thought that was fantastic. And if we're sad or overwhelmed or anxiety, there are days that we all go through different emotions. And I'm like, I'm sad today, and just be sad, go be quiet, or whatever you need, walk in nature, but observe that that's come up. And sometimes that could be even on, like, not just my consciousness, but the consciousness that's happening on the planet. You can pick up on that energy, especially if you're sensitive like myself.
[21:51] Suzanne: Yes. It's funny to say that every one of my calls in my program, I always start with, how are you feeling today? And for new people, it can make them a little bit uncomfortable because they've never been asked, because we're conditioned. How are you? Good, thanks. How are you? I asked a question I don't want the answer to. And I love how in my space, on my group, you can be like, I'm cantankerous, I'm full of rage. I am. Whatever. And that space is held because feelings are like waves or rain or sun. Like, they're fleeting if we allow them. But when we push them down with food or alcohol or gaming or Netflix, that's when I think we build up the tsunami inside. So, it's okay to come to a call cantankerous or mad or sad or whatever and just give voice to that and have space held for that rather than we can only do things when we feel good.
[22:47] Moira: I always say that emotions are energy and motion. So, it's always changing and morphing and just to be in the moment and present. And I teach about being the gratitude dance I used to do when I spoke on cruise lines in front of groups. So, people love that. They're just attitude of gratitude, your attitude in that moment. But yeah, emotions are energy in motion.
[23:12] Suzanne: Or energy stuck if you don't let it through.
[23:15] Moira: So, yes, that's true. So, you have here that we said to the determination and willingness to look for answers in unexpected places helped you that's on the back of your book here to look for answers in unexpected places. Yes. What were those unexpected places and how did you develop that curiosity and willingness to look for that, to be open to that?
[23:40] Suzanne: That's a great question. So, I think traditionally or the marketing or the media is like dropping away is calories in and calories out, and it's just a simple maths equation, and there's this science to it. And if you just do this, then this happens. And it's like I had a science background. I understand it intellectually, but I think that whole expected dogma totally bypasses what we were just talking about, emotions and stuff. Because if I ate how I was supposed to and how I knew I knew what to do, I just didn't do it, then I wouldn't have had the weight issue. I think the unexpected places is looking into the mindset because the thing is, if you're not physically hungry, food isn't going to solve the issue. And I think it's like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs or something rather. And they're talking about the base order needs is like food, shelter, and then as you go up, you have higher order needs, like more intellectual stimulation and spiritual and stuff. And I think often when our higher order needs aren't being met, but we don't even know how to explore or meet them, we fill them with lower order needs like food. So, it's kind of like exploring what is really going on. What am I truly hungry for? And when you are feeling unfulfilled or not enough, like, this is going to be a journey. And sitting with that feeling of discontent or what can I do in this moment to shift it? Like often I'll ask myself, what do I need right now, what I really love? And it's usually something like a week in the Maldives and whatever, and it's like, okay, cool. So that being said, what can you do in this very moment? And it's like, well, I could sit in the backyard and lie on the trampoline and close my eyes and kind of sit in the sun. Like it's not quite the male dies, but it's a little step because I think sometimes, we say to ourselves, I can't have that. And then the petulant teenager energy comes out and then you're in the fridge. So, it's like, what can I give myself in a little way that is towards that? So, the unexpected ways, it's kind of like if hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the solution. But I wasn't no longer I used to put signs on my fridge because that's what I was taught.
[26:18] Moira: Fridge pickers.
[26:19] Suzanne: Wear big knickers or you're not a dog, don't give yourself scraps and all this stuff. And I was like, that's actually really detrimental mentally to yourself, being really kind to yourself and going, what is going on? Why am I doing this? What's actually happening? And giving yourself space for that and then looking at things like journaling, meditating stuff that for me and growing up in a very masculine, energy, productive, do kind of thing. It's like, well, that's not income producing, but having that space for self to spend that time. Because what are we doing all these other things for? And really taking the joy in the little things rather than just the big achievements.
[27:13] Moira: I love that you reframe that as what are you hungry for? That's a really good question because are you missing out on hugs? Are you missing out on excitement in your life? Have you given up on your dreams? That's a really good question. And to really stop and just allow whatever comes up in that space, as you said, because I know that even this week for myself, we had major torrential rain. Was it yesterday? Trying to think. Yes, it was. It was yesterday. And this week got very busy for me, and I wasn't comfortable on my schedule, all the things that I have booked. And I ended up I had a dental appointment in town. Bad roads. It was too much for me. And I just more or less call them and told them the truth. Roads out in the country here are bad and are you okay if I cancel? And they were, they just said, no problem, Laura, we'll push out to another dental appointment. And I just took a breather, and I went back, and I went to bed, and I just rested and I gave myself permission for the day to do whatever that was going to be. I didn't mean I wasn't going to work, or I wasn't going to cook with it, but I was doing it on my own breathing space. That makes sense.
[28:24] Suzanne: Yes. And I think sometimes too similar to we were talking before about how we're our own worst bully, we can also be our own worst critic. Like, sometimes we think, oh, we're letting them down, or being a flake, we're being this. But I think there's a level of honesty of like, this is happening. Can we reschedule? Yeah, sure. Like, even with the group program that I run and the work that I do with people, it's like how we feel isn't a problem. And I think sometimes we make stuff up, like, oh, I don't feel well, or I've got a headache, or whatever. There's a level of honesty. It's like, I just don't want to today. I know I said this, there's different ways to do this. For example, it was somebody's wedding. I'm like, oh, sorry, I just don't want to well, no, I would go, but say I plan to go to the movies with friends. I'm very shy, I'm introverted, I'm highly sensitive, so sometimes I just need to be on my own. And the friends I have now, I'm at the level. I can be really honest and say, look, I just can't today, I need an introvert time. And they're like, Yeah, Suze we get it, and they don't feel let down and they don't feel like I'm a fake. And we have the level of relationship where I'm like just can't as opposed to having to make something up or put it onto my kids or something. And I think there's something to just being really honest. And then I even do that on my calls that I run. Sometimes I get on, I'm like, I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this today, I'm just not. But then naming it and allowing space for it and then once I get into my rhythm, then it's go time. And I think people really appreciate that saying where you're at, rather than pretending everything's great all the time.
[30:10] Moira: I want to talk about thank you, Suzanne. I want to talk about healthy boundaries, as we said at the beginning, saying no and then yes to themselves for their own health and well being. I know I taught a workshop on saying no for your own health and that it's a good thing to learn that word. How do you teach that to your clients? How can they create these healthy boundaries?
[30:30] Suzanne: So, the first thing I get them to do, and it's a really simple exercise and if you've got anyone listening or if you've got a piece of paper there on a piece of paper, it doesn't have to be a whole page, it can just be a little corner or whatever. On one side of it you write yes and then you flip it over and on the other side you write no. You have your little piece of paper and then if someone says, hey, could you pick up my groceries, get my script or whatever, and you hold that yes side out towards them. Yeah, sure, I'll do that. What are you saying to yourself? What's pointing at you?
[31:09] Moira: No.
[31:10] Suzanne: So often people make plans to go to the gym, to batch cook, to do a hobby, to read a book, to whatever. Like they make the plans, but then they don't ever have time to follow through it's because they're always saying yes to everybody else. So, you're having that little sign. It's like when you say yes to others. I'm not saying be mean and be like someone needs medical or emergency, but there's very few actual emergencies in this world. And sometimes people's inability to be organized like I remember someone asked me to help them move house at 06:00 a.m. The next day. And I've always been like, yeah, sure, I would drop everything for someone else. And I was like, I can help you at ten on Saturday. And then I go no, but the movers are coming and I'm just thinking their inability to get organized isn't my problem. I know that it can sound really harsh, but I think sometimes when we do drop things to help people, especially repeatedly, they come to rely on that and then we're not actually helping. We're enabling. And then we're driving our own cells down and our things aren't getting done. Our house isn't getting cleaned out. Our passion projects are sitting around gathering dust. And some level, a little seed of resentment gets born. So, it's kind of like even like I have quite young children and I have that yes no sign literally outside my office right now as we're recording this. It's on a no. So if there's blood, 100% come in. But other than that, you can manage it for the hour that I'm on this call. And then other times to say I'm working, if I'm writing or if I'm doing some admin type thing, the sign will be on yes. So, they can knock, and they can come in. And then the time I have with them, I'm fully with them. So, I think sometimes we go about quality time versus quantity. Like, I could be with my kids, but then be on my phone and scrolling and not really present. Or I could be with them at the park or going for a walk or watching a movie so that people are like, oh, you have so stronger boundaries with your kids. And I'm like, yeah, but then they know that when I'm with them, I'm with them, I'm not half tuned out.
[33:28] Moira: I love that that's on your door right now. It's really cool. So, let's look at game changers and non negotiables and how somebody can show up in their life for themselves. What are some other exercises that you would give people to say, and what is your major game Changer nonnegotiable? Is it saying yes, and no? What else would it be for you?
[33:51] Suzanne: So, like, for me, every month I set myself four habits that I am working on. And some months they carry over, and some months they change. And I make them so small that I would be embarrassed not to do them. I call them my pennies because I'm sure you've heard the story. Would you rather a million dollars today or one penny compounded every day for 30 days? Have you heard that before?
[34:21] Moira: I have not.
[34:23] Suzanne: Oh, okay. Moira, would you rather I give you a million dollars right this second or a penny so, like, $0.01 doubled every day for 30 days?
[34:34] Moira: I have to figure out my little math here.
[34:36] Suzanne: Suzanne, this is a trick question.
[34:42] Moira: No. To tell the truth, I was leaning towards a million dollars. But I'm sure the answer is the pennies.
[34:47] Suzanne: Yeah. So, this is the thing, and this is what I work with people on. Because it makes so much logical sense to go a million dollars. Thanks. Because you think a penny. So, it's one cent, two cents, four cents, eight cents. It's not very interesting. Sixteen cents. Thirty-two cents. Sixty-four cents. If you roll it out after 30 days, it's 5 million after the call. Do the math or you can Google it because there's tables and everything. But the thing is, with habits and with change and the work that I do with people and my non negotiables, often we think we need to do so much. Like, oh, my goal is so far away. It's going to be so much effort. It's going to be exhaustive. Oh, my goodness. And then if it's gone hard or go home, most of us will stay at home. And the whole nonnegotiable thing for me is my pennies. It's funny we're recording this early in the morning. I told you before we hit record, I've already done my work, and you were like, what my penny for my movement? I don't like the term exercise because it makes me think of school, and it freaks me out. So, like, movement, I like that. I put my shoes on and I walk to my mailbox, and you might be thinking, oh, wow, she has a long driveway. No, it's like twelve steps. And people are like, Suzanne, how could that ever become anything? It's like, it's a penny. It's my $0.01. Once I get to the mailbox, I can keep going. It's not that's all I do. It's that that's the minimum. Even on days where I'm feeling sick or days where I'm so exhausted, or days wherever, if I do that, that penny is compounding. That's my $0.01 put in that day. But then what happens is, even days like this morning, because I knew I was recording with you and that I was like, I can literally just do the driveway and come back. It's fine. But I kept going. And actually, when I got back, because I got up rather early, my husband's also an early riser. He's like, wow, you did a full hour this morning. I was like, yeah. No. But the thing is, the penny is what gets you out the door. Because most days, if you're like, 45 minutes or nothing, we end up doing nothing. But if you've literally got to just put your shoes on and get to the end of the driveway, nine times out of ten, probably, I'd actually have to do the math. I reckon 19 times out of 20, I go further. And some days I do ten minutes, and some days I do 40, and some days, like today, I do an hour. It's usually my max. But it's like the penny is what compounds. But the thing is, where the magic happens is the penny is everything. So, when you drop the penny, when you don't walk, when you're like, oh, it's just can't bother today. I'm too sick, I'm too tired or whatever, then you need to start again. So, I have four pennies that I'm tracking at any one time. And when I teach this concept to clients, most of them sneakily pick eight or ten because they're so small. They're like, oh, well, it's fine. But it's the compounding of keeping them and I tend to do one about movement, one about mindset and one about eating or nourishment, but they can be on anything. So, my writing Penny is to open my journal and write the date. That's all I need to do to write the date. Because once I've written the date, I usually write a sentence or two or sometimes a page. But the trick, I believe, for minimum standards or making change is to make it really small. So, on the days where it's like 10:00 at night and you're like, oh, I've done nothing, you can quickly do the pennies and go to bed with that sense of achievement rather than the sense of foreboding of oh, man, or when you wake up in the morning, I've already done half my pennies already and it's like 06:30 as we're recording this. So, I've already felt that if nothing else happens today, I've achieved things.
[38:34] Moira: I love that we lived in Nova Scotia a year ago and we're loving it here. The people, the culture is just beautiful. And we live on a lake now and that's just beautiful. So, we're now kayaking and cliff, also canoes, and people here are walkers. They walk miles and I'm not used to that. And so, I now like you're saying, but I walked down to the mailbox, which is about three houses down. Our garage is not attached to the house. So, you walk out there to get anything that you need. So, you're walking more the movement part, and I love that. Again, you reframe as movement. And this nourishment for our body versus that word is so nice, right? Nourishment for our soul, nourishment for our body. What happens, Suzanne, when you work with somebody or people who are listening today and they come to a weight loss plateau? What can they do to start the process again of moving towards their goals and what they want to achieve? Or is it best to maybe take a break?
[39:34] Suzanne: Well, it's an interesting question because sometimes a plateau is like the body's way of readjusting. And so, it's kind of like just riding it out. And sometimes a plateau is like, it's interesting to say a movement or joining the gym. People start to do something and in the beginning it's a challenge. So, if you join the gym and you start attending a fitness class and you were previously a couch potato, no judgment, like, I get it in the beginning, that class will be a challenge for you because your body is used to not moving. We don't continue to increase the endurance, so the body gets used to that. So of course, it's going to reach a plateau because we're no longer putting it under EU stress. So, whenever there's eustress and distress and eustress are the good stress, EU stress. So, it's like sometimes I think this is where I went wrong when I was younger is I kept increasing the time. So, like, that time that I dropped 43 kilos was before I had kids. I was at the gym 4 hours a day. That's not sustainable. So, it's not just the time. You can increase the intensity; you can increase the weight. If you're doing like one of my clients, one of her pennies is these little bicep curls with like a hand weight. And I remember when she first started, she was using a kilo and that was a challenge back then. Now it's still however many curls, like the number, the penny hasn't changed in time. But the weight that she lifts is much heavier. So, a way out of a plateau is like to either increase or to change things up. So, if you've been doing your penny for walking, for me, sometimes my penny for movement will be plank or a wall fit, or squats, or changing the muscles that we're using, changing the things that we're doing so that our body is re shifting and readjusting rather than getting used to and comfortable in the same things that we're doing.
[41:46] Moira: I think you talk in the book well, I know you talk in the book, so I think you talk about one of the programs that you went through for losing weight. I think it's when you paid eight, 1000 hundred dollars for a week, but you also repeated one of the programs, but you realize they were like you were all excited the first week you lost pounds and totally excited, did everything they wanted. Then you went for another week and the second week was the same. So, what happened to you? Because it was just like the same.
[42:15] Suzanne: Versus it was it with that? I think that's totally different because when you're doing something like that, stressful to your body. I think the first week I lost water and probably muscle. So, another thing for people too is how often do you weigh in? Like, I used to weigh weekly and what I would find is I would only lose weight or release weight because I don't like to lose anything. Everything I lose, I find again. But one week out of the month, because one week I would tend to gain that time of the month as women tend to do with their cycle. And then two weeks I would stay about the same and then on one week I would drop. So, it evened out. So, looking at how you're measuring yourself, what is your cycle? So, I noticed week the same week, the same week down, like really down, week up. So, I just started measuring monthly. The other thing too is if you're plateauing and you're measuring yourself weekly, maybe start monthly or even quarterly or change from just the scale. Because the scale can be a fickle beast depending on what you've eaten and salt and so many things can change that number. Maybe doing measurements or photographs. And when you do your photos from all angles, back, front, sides, headshot because it's amazing. I don't think I talked about that in the book, but I did do photos every single month and some months, from one side, it looks the same, but then the other side just incredible shifts. The body is fascinating and how it moves and changes.
[43:58] Moira: No, you didn't talk about that in the book, but that's great. Thank you for sharing that. You talk about cycles and how do hormones affect weight loss and how much water does our body really retain?
[44:09] Suzanne: Well, I'll preface this answer. I'm not a nutritionist dietitian or anything like that kind of thing, but for me, if I eat steak or something salty, like when I used to weigh in weekly, especially when I did the programs, I did that, I would notice the next day on the scale, I could hold a kilo or two. At that time of the month, I could hold up to three kilos. And what's most fascinating, looking at how our bodies work and stuff. So, when I had my tummy tuck, I talked about that in the book, they removed 3.3 kilos of skin, and I got home from the hospital and weighed myself, and I actually weighed heavier. So, it's fascinating because they've taken off 3.3 kilos of skin. Plus, I hadn't really eaten because that's quite a recovery, and I was quite unwell, but I was holding that much fluid from the operation and everything. So, I think sometimes when we're looking at a scale for a result and we're beating ourselves up, this is where we lose sight of the penny because we're looking for the instant thing. Water retention and stuff can be incredible, especially depending on the body. Like, I know that I would have been 3.3 kilos less. They had removed that physically from me. But the number on the scale was heavier. So, I don't even weigh myself anymore. I haven't weighed myself in. The only time I weighed myself is when I had to have a surgery last year. Because the number doesn't matter. And it does my head in so much that it's like, it's not worth it.
[45:43] Moira: I didn't used to weigh myself a lot, and I got into doing it the last year for some reason. And, yeah, it does something to your mind when you go on like, oh, I got healthier. What did I eat last night? I don't like that number versus just really thinking, well, you're eating healthy, maybe exercise a bit more, or whatever. Just look at my lifestyle. Right. Because this is about lifestyle. Yeah.
[46:06] Suzanne: And how you feel. How do you feel in your body? Like, for me, I know right now I'm carrying some Kobe kilos. I don't need the scale to tell me that. I can feel it in my clothes. I can feel it in just how I feel. But I'm not panicked or freaking out like I would be in the past. I'm like, it will work itself out. And walking that bit further in the morning or looking at what it is I'm eating or when I'm eating that isn't serving me and knowing sometimes, I have a lot going on and I'm consciously choosing to do this as opposed to beating myself up because then there's guilt and shame on top of it. So even if my weight is up a bit, I don't feel that mental weight that I would have in the past because it's like it will work itself out.
[46:56] Moira: For me. It's interesting because I said to my husband that because I'm going back to doing conscious channeling, it's going to be an expansion of the work that I do. I've done it before, but I'm going back to it. I really feel from an intuitive point of view that I'm getting a little bit heavier to do that channeling, to be grounded. Yes, I've already said to the angels and my guys and that this is the top weight that I want for this because I've already put out that I'm going to be doing this. And no, I don't want to be that I'm okay with this number. And that is a number for me and how I feel. And like you said, you can feel it in your body, but I do feel that's why that's happening. So that's just an intuitive and my intuition is pretty good.
[47:42] Suzanne: Yeah, spot on.
[47:44] Moira: Yeah. How does resistance training, such as lifting weights, like, you talk about the curls that one of the pennies was for one of your students or clients. How does that help prevent metabolic slowdown and as you're developing this more tone, muscular body and to lose fat?
[48:01] Suzanne: Well, it's fascinating because the endomorph body types, which I have most of my clients are we tend to do better with weight training because the more like muscle that you have, the higher your basal metabolic rates, your resting number of calories that you burn without doing anything. Yet, traditionally we're taught cardio, cardio, cardio, because it burns more calories for the time that you're doing it. Like if you go for a run, but it's kind of like looking at the overall picture if your resting muscle mass is higher so you're burning more calories just sleeping, as opposed to having to put the effort in to go for the run. And then a lot of people will freak out and go, well, I don't want to build muscle. Like, I don't want to be Arnie, or I don't want to be like a weightlifter, but the female body doesn't tend to we don't have enough testosterone and stuff to build muscle mass in that way. And, too, as we age, like, I'm happy to share, and I've shared with my newsletter list last year. I had to have hysterectomy medical story. But anyway. Because I had it under 40. I'll be at increased risk of osteoporosis because of the link between when you go through menopause and that was obviously an instant menopause and what it does to calcium and all these sorts of things. But like bone density and it doesn't need to be like that client is doing curls. But even things like squats. Lunges. Like wall seats. Body weight exercises for increasing the strength of your bones and muscles and stuff. I was getting way off track with this.
[49:55] Moira: No, this is great information.
[50:00] Suzanne: The body weight resistance of things is powerful. That's why I like too, especially because I've got chronic pain as well. I have a back injury and I did talk about that in the book. A lot of the things that I do in the pool, because then the water takes a lot of the pain away and it's so funny. The first time I went to the pool, and I saw people doing aquarobics and they had the little dumbbells, I was like because in the air they don't feel like anything, but as soon as you put them under the water, you're like, oh, hollow. But then that's your own resistance. So, it's kind of like finding these things that you can do. And, above anything with movement, it needs to be something you enjoy. Because people often ask me what's the best way to exercise the way that you enjoy? Because if you don't like it and you're gridding your teeth and bearing it and forcing yourself, then you're not going to do it in the long term. It's going to be a penny that you drop repeatedly. So that's why mine is often a walking one because I quite enjoy it. I listen to podcasts like this one, or I can just go in nature, or I explore my neighborhood. If you don't like it, don't do it.
[51:14] Moira: I know that at one point I was swimming and I started like were you saying everyday? I was started with ten lengths, 20 lengths and then I got up to 40, 50 and I got up to 100 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I wasn't one of those triathlon swimmers. I was like the flutter board side back, yes, whatever way I did it. And then the pool got very busy, and I couldn't do that anymore there. But that was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Now, I want to ask you before, because I know we have so much in here that we're saying, and I can also see the time going and I want you to share a few more things. One thing, if you could turn back time, Suzanne, what would you say to your 18-year-old self?
[51:59] Suzanne: I would say your best gets to get better. Because I've always done my best, always, even now. And I think sometimes when I learn something new, especially something I could help a client with or something, my go to would be to beat myself up. That's the bully part of me going. If you knew this back then and then it's like, well, you did your best back then and your best gets to get better. So when you learn something new or you discover something you didn't know before, it's like, this is my best, getting better.
[52:34] Moira: Thank you. That's great advice for everyone listening today to wherever you are in your journey. This is thinking back to 18, but what a beautiful wisdom gem. Whatever age you're at and not have regrets, just going to get better, like your life. If you don't like where you are right now, you can change it. If you like what you have, you can keep it. So, I wanted to ask you if you could read from your book five statements that you have learned throughout your whole journey that you'd like to share. Like a little summary.
[53:08] Suzanne: Yeah, sure.
[53:09] Moira: Thank you.
[53:09] Suzanne: I love this. I said, here it is from the book. If I had to sum up what I've learned throughout this whole journey into five statements, they would be one, you're allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. Two, what you do today matters. Who you are today is the result of the decisions you made a year ago. Who you are a year from now is the result of the decisions you make today. Three, you can't hate yourself, happy or punish yourself. Skinny, you can't do all the things you loathe and expect to live a life you love. Food and exercise are both sources of nourishment, not things to be earned or controlled. Four, there is no before, there is no after. There is only ever now. And five, you must show up for yourself. When you make showing up for yourself a nonnegotiable priority, that's when the game changes.
[54:11] Moira: Beautiful. I'm just taking it. And everyone was like, yes. And the gift really isn't truly in the present moment, for sure. Suzanne, I would love you to share with our listeners the special gift that you created, that you'd like to give to them today. Please note all the links to connect with Suzanne and everything she's doing, and your gift will be below in the show notes.
[54:35] Suzanne: Oh, yes, I was thinking special gifts. I remember now. So, I don't do a lot of one on one coaching anymore, I'll be honest. I mostly run a group. But for the listeners of this podcast, I have a link that Moira will put in the Show Notes and there is a code where you can get a discount and I can't remember how much it was. I think it was 20% off. Yeah. So, there's a code, I think it's your name, warrior. But as I said, I'll show you. Put it in the Show notes and you can book in a one-on-one session with me. And the thing I want to offer, if you're thinking about this, because I know for me, at the beginning, that's why the beginning is with my book, I could put a lot of pressure on myself. I'd be like, okay, I'm going to have this session with this person. It's going to be the thing. And if that's you, I just invite you to take a breath and be like, this is an hour that we're going to spend together that, yes, does have the potential to change the trajectory. However, don't put all that pressure on yourself or wait for the perfect time or be like, okay, after I spoke to Suzanne, nothing bad is ever going to touch my lips again. I'm going to eat like this for whatever. It's one moment in time and one little shift that you got from that call. Your penny. Like if you book that call and it's like, we're going to work out my pennies, and then whenever your brain goes, but I need to be doing all the things pennies because we can get so far ahead of ourselves and put so much pressure on ourselves. And I don't want anyone to ever feel that. Baby steps. Pennies compounding over time, make millions. Not all the things you do at once and then drop and beat yourself.
[56:25] Moira: Up about such a wisdom gem again. Thank you, Suzanne. I want to say to the audience, too, who are listening, if you'd like to hear more of these heartful conversations as Suzanne and I had today, I invite you to subscribe like, rate us to build our community, to raise the consciousness and the vibration of the planet so we can heal humanity and each other. And we will continue to bring amazing guests that inspire and empower you to create and live your best life as Suzanne did today. Suzanne, thank you for sharing from your heart and your wisdom on what if you are overweight because you overgive. Namaste, Suzanne.
[57:02] Suzanne: Thank you, Moira
[57:10] Intro: Thank you for listening to the heart soul wisdom podcast with Moira Sutton. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please join our community at moira sutton.com and continue the discussion on our Facebook page. Create the life you love. You will be part of a global movement connecting with other heart centered people who are consciously creating the life they love on their own terms. Together, we can raise our consciousness for the greater good of humanity and for our planet.