We’re baaaaaack! Bernie and Rebecca managed to chat one more time before the end of 2021 and it was bittersweet. Tune in and find out what a sh*tstorm it has been for us.
Bernie shares how his coping mechanisms of shutting down and feeling “numb” have returned and Rebecca helps support a gentle kindness toward re-approaching self-care practices. This is the first in a three episode series.
Join us as we go deeper into exploring this feeling of “burnout” and “rock bottom” emotions. How do you “spiral up” when the sh*t is going down? If you want to send Bernie words of encouragement, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for support for a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis in 2022? I’d love to welcome you to Self-Care For Diabetes Membership.
Join me and fellow HAES-friendly dietitian Glenys Oyston in our friendly, supportive community where you can learn how to care for your overall well-being without a weight focus.
Our 14 modules cover all things intuitive eating, movement, carbohydrates, stress resilience, diagnosis shame and much more. Check out all the modules here.
Join us today and you can come along to our next live group call this Tuesday 11 January at 12pm ET.
Bernie Salazar is a recovering chronic dieter and former contestant on Season 5 of NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Realizing that you can’t hate yourself healthy, Bernie has been a student of the body kindness philosophy for over three years. You can follow his journey to self-acceptance on the Body Kindness Learn & Grow series where, under the guidance of his mentor and friend Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN he’s worked to unpack both his experience on and off the Biggest Loser. Finally embracing that his true, happy and healthy self was always meant to have a fat body, he encourages others to practice body kindness and work to heal our relationships with ourselves.
Listen to more of Bernie’s journey in the Learn & Grow Series.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 0:10
This episode is brought to you by self-care for diabetes, a virtual online program that's doing diabetes care differently. We don't tell you to lose weight.
Glenys Oyston, RDN: 0:20
Instead, we help you create positive and meaningful changes that make your life with diabetes better than before. Visit self care for diabetes.com to learn more.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 0:30
Is this thing on?
Bernie Salazar: 0:34
Brand new tech, super stoked. And for those of you can't see my face, I am lying, because I'm one of those people who prefers to literally do things the old way all the time, even when they're obsolete. So Becca, it has been a while. And let me just start there. It's been a while since we've talked and
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 0:59
Do you remember, do you remember when we last talked? Because I had to look it up?
Bernie Salazar: 1:02
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 1:04
Like, no, no, no, no. Well, we did because we had oh, here's our backstory, because it's been like five years. We had one episode number one 169. I laughed at that, because we had 69.
Bernie Salazar: 1:17
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 1:21
But it was it was about emotional eating, because we were just sort of over COVID and the vaccines were just, I don't even know if I was vaccinated in my first shot or not. But anyway, but it was right after the insurrection on the Capitol. So somehow, you call me and you're like, I'm losing it. Let's talk. And so we managed one, episode and 2021. And I have a feeling we're both still losing it. So here we are. Might as well end the year the way it started.
Bernie Salazar: 1:54
Yeah, pretty much. I mean, gosh, for all our listeners, I love you hang in there. What I'm about to say probably isn't going to be super motivational, but it's real. And that's what you come to us for. So yeah, we have not spoken in all of 2021 pretty much we are literally days away from it ending and I couldn't be happier. To be honest, 2021 has proven to be um... What a shit year. Like, can I just can I just say that? Oh, I know that you're all are feeling the same thing. But it's, it's really hit me hard to a point where, you know, I don't know how much more of this I can take both both, you know, from a health perspective, you know, that's really gone out the window, unfortunately. Because given my background and my struggles, that's the first thing that I tend to sacrifice, right is my health. And damn it if I wasn't doing better than I ever had been prior to all this, and I think that a lot of us can relate to that. But yes, slowly but surely, you know, it goes from being able to move around, outside in ways that bring joy to trying to find ways that make sense in this new normal to all out just stopping for me. So moving my body other than what's required of, of my day to day activities around the house. And of course with kids, right, like, I thank God always for my children, because if it wasn't for them, I think I would have just melted right into my couch. So I'm forced as a parent to get up and move my butt, right with a with a soon to be six year old and a two year old. There's no not moving my butt. So hopefully some of you guys have some kids out there or pets or a friend or somebody that's kind of pulling you along because I know that they.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 4:04
It's a good point.... the exercise thing. And, you know, it's like,
Bernie Salazar: 4:10
it just wasn't enjoyable. It's not fun. What am I going to do go to a gym, go to a class. I mean, I used to explore, you know, when I hit a wall and I didn't like an activity, I'd go try to find another one. Well, now I'm like, that's dangerous right in my head. So
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 4:25
Well, it's interesting, because hearing you talk is like, oh, it's it sounds like similar to my story. And I would say a big one of my big Well, difficulties is of this year, has also been related to movement. And like it's what's tested me the most with practicing body kindness. And hopefully, you know, listeners have come to know that, you know, I don't know like I'm not a I'm a human too, right and so I'm still on my own practice every single day and I'm going to be an open book about it. But yeah, I would, I would say movement. And for me, it would go back to the juggle struggle of time. And the sheer amount of rest, my body has required, like rest. And then I dealt with a back injury. But all along there was this the voice, it could get critical at times. But it would be like, kind of like, I just want to point out that you should be doing this and you're not doing this and when you're going to fix it, you know, and kind of like your usual is you might miss three or four days in a row, and then your Yeah, big air quote back on track. Oh,
Bernie Salazar: 5:43
No, no, I only laugh because I couldn't relate. And, and not and let me tell you how not. So like going back to, oh, gosh, you know, my experience after the biggest loser and some of the stuff that we unpacked, like what I found happening right before, maybe at the very beginning, I was like, you know, small voices, like, oh, you should be moving or this or that. And then I just went right back to a place of numbness again, when it came to that. And I don't know if the listeners remember if you're new to it. Gosh, it was really early in our in body kindness podcast where I had gone through a period, which I feel a lot of similarities now where I just feel numb, like, I feel numb to good. I feel no, too bad. I feel indifferent. Right. So like, at a certain point, when it came to movement, I was like, fuck it like, okay, and, you know, and then when I did, it felt like more of a struggle, then it brought me joy.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 6:45
Bernie Salazar: 6:45
you know, when I was moving for myself. So, you know, that's what I've been really fighting through is just a numbness. You know, and it's difficult, because now, you know, is a time where I had planned in my head back when, you know, all this was not going on, where my daughter is now in a place where we could have been enjoying T ball and I wanted to be coaching and you know, there was soccer and I wanted to be helping with that. And, you know, for all of us, the world has flipped us upside down. And I have really felt a sense of numbness. I like many of our listeners, you know, we have friends or friends of friends that are no longer with us due to this. And I almost feel like for me, it's an instant, you know? God just just a shield again. Right? It's just putting up a wall. So I guess that's my defense mechanism. You know, now that I'm talking about it and saying it out loud, but it's not one that I'm I'm excited to have back in my life.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 7:56
Yeah, well, so listen, avoidance, avoiding things is definitely a coping mechanism. And I want to circle back to that idea of numbness on a deeper level. With respect to movement, right? If we think about there's a skill from DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, right, called check the facts. Right. And so the facts might be Hey, you know, what, it's it's been a while since I've engaged in movement joyfully. And that's my preferred way to move. Right? You know, and so those are some facts that we can work on accepting, you know, I prefer to move when I'm, you know, feeling in a positive mood, or when I can notice that the movement is joyful. And we can also check the facts that yeah, when I take a break for movement, and then I decide to try something, I desire it to be joyful, but I might feel some physical discomfort, I might feel agitated, that it's not easier or more fun, right? And so we could, we can name that as a fact. And the reason why that could be helpful is because it kind of allows you to feel the emotions, right, but then also feel the rational brain way of thinking through facts. And then the the overlap of the emotional brain and the rational brain is wise mind. Right. And so, I know, there are some things, you know, that, you know, I would talk about in body kindness that you don't necessarily have to like what you're doing, but stop and think of the possible benefits that that might give you. So, you know, you go really big into extremes. You know, you're, I think what your mind is doing it, because going back to this, the ideals of what you desire, and there's nothing wrong about thinking about the ideals, but how do I get on the path toward the ideals and what can I do in this moment, right and so you I happen to know you have a peloton, right? Whether it's that just because whether or whatnot, and it might be 10 minutes, and you might want to do a class, and not like the idea of not completing a class. But if it's get on and pedal, and be with your body, right, and even if you don't like how difficult it is, even if you don't like the way you're breathing, even if you're in your mind, it's like this should be the full class, it should be easier, right? We have all those feelings, we allow all those feelings. And then we respect our agreement that we had 10 minutes and we completed 10 minutes. And we commit right fully commit to caring for your well being no matter what we commit to affirming, you know, Did it feel challenging emotionally? And physically? Was that okay? Can we validate that we accomplish something? And maybe that's not the ideal of exactly what we want? But can we validate that it is a step in the direction of self-care? And that I did not enjoy that experience. And here's my facts and reasons why. And I feel grateful that I approached movement, because I recognize that's going to help my heart lungs blood vessels that will help with stress and anxiety. And it'll be up to me, right? Can I choose to move, you know, in a way that I recognize as movement again, tomorrow, or the next day or next week? Right? It one thing leads to another. So there's that element. And then just because you had mentioned kids, I think you'd be shocked to realize how much health benefits you get out of just living your life being mobile. And it is really true. And I relate to studies that I've seen on people who worked in hotels and cleaned rooms. And what they found was that the physical activity that they did on the job was was greater than if they had scheduled and planned like purposeful, regular activity. That was like the minimum baseline. So remember, you were on The Biggest Loser, you have a mess. Yeah, maybe you have a messed up view of movement. An you're trying to heal it.
Bernie Salazar: 12:20
Yeah, right now, I mean, with my little guy, I'm, you know, I'm hauling him up and down our stairs. And that's, you know, 2527 pounds of three flights. I mean, I get it, it just, you know, one thing that I want, first of all, thank you for that, because I think, you know, when you're caught up in the shit, right, like, you forget that every minute, every moment counts, if you really take it in, and sit with it and choose to look at it in a positive light, right, which is not what's been on in my house, there have been no positive lights. I mean, of course, my kids, you know, like, let's go there, but you get what I'm saying. I think that we're all dealing with it what I think that I refer to not just as a sense of numbness, numbness, and I don't know how many of our listeners might be able to relate to this. But you know, I, I do run, but you know what, I run towards Rebecca now. And I'm realizing this is a caregiver to a fault. So like, I dive fully into, like, oh, my gosh, are my kids okay, am I protecting them? What are they eating? How are they feeling? What are you know, how's my, you know, my, my wife is how she doing? Are we keeping her safe? You know, I mean? So, you know, then I start trying to do little projects around the house that really are dumb and don't need to be done. And then I done and then I stress out about them. And, you know, it's just, I mean, don't get me wrong, like, there has been a lot that's gone on this year for all of us. But I know that I've made at least 25% of that up for myself, right? So I go into this. Yeah, let me hide behind distraction, caring for everybody. And while caring for everybody else. I mean, it's like, you know, oh, gosh, I'm gonna buy a fish who the hell buys a fish in a pandemic, when you just try to take care of yourself? You know, and then my wife had to talk me out of buying the kids a dog. Why? Because they wanted one that was gonna make them happy. But who the hell needs to take care of anything else? Did you? I mean, in my head,
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 14:18
did you know that compulsive shopping is is a coping mechanism, like similar to similar to
Bernie Salazar: 14:25
Oh, I'm sure. I mean, I know that's what my wife is doing. I mean, it's not so much. Yeah, I literally find stuff at our, you know, door front or, you know, their stuff being delivered to the shop. So, that's a whole other segment. But, you know, all that to say, yeah, it is. It has been a rough one. I, I, I see our listeners out there and I hope that I'm not, you know, coming across as woe is me, I want this to come across as woe is us, because that's kind of going through stuff.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 15:01
If your life sucks, ours does too Join us. Yes, yeah. Join the circle.
Bernie Salazar: 15:06
You get what I'm saying? No, absolutely. It's one of those things where we're all dealing with something, right? Yes, is all shaking us to our core in different ways. And we're all dealing with it in different ways. And I'm so glad that we touched in Becca, because I'll be honest, I forgot how important setting aside even 30 seconds of just meditative thought can be because that has not happened for me if I'm being honest. So, you know, that really is a goal of mine. Is this week, right? Because we have one more week left, and I refuse to leave this year. as shitty as I think it is, right? So maybe this week, I'm going to set a goal of 30 seconds a day, for the next week, to just think about the good, yeah, and what I can do for myself, and I'm hoping that our listeners out there, those of you that are having similar situations to mine, and feelings to mine, you know, join me, right. And those of you that were able to make 2021, a better year than 2020 or even a better year than 2019. Like, God bless you keep going and set your goals too. You know, like, I'm proud of you. It just wasn't my experience. So,
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 16:28
Yeah, well, you know, Barbara Fredrickson in positive psychology who created broaden and build theory, spiraling up, right, which then I use about spiraling up for self care habits and positive emotions. Right? She would say it's about being able to look at the bright side, even when the shit is going down. So I think that's a great goal. The other thing that I would say, with gentle kindness, I don't want to keep you from any movement that that you are inspired to do. With regard to the numbness. I might encourage you to consider meditation, either a short loving kindness meditation, something that you can commit to that I actually think will help you connect to your well being and will help allow the feeling of numbness to be there. It also sounds a lot like burnout. And we could talk more you know soon about whether or not you know, you deal with the winter blues, low vitamin D seasonally depression, I think that'd be a great topic to kind of delve into numbness and things can be similar, not the same, you know, so this feels like a time when I was really struggling around XYZ it feels similar, but not exactly the same. But you know, I love you, I'm not going anywhere,
We are going to recommit, you know, turn our mics on again and talk. And yeah, I just want to wish you well and, and, and happy, peaceful and to the year. And I'll talk to you in the new year.
Bernie Salazar: 17:55
Yeah, definitely look forward to it. We to all our listeners I look forward to being in contact with you a lot more this year. Let's let's uh, let's figure this new one out. Take care.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN: 18:07
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