Episode 52 - The Food IS A Lie: The Truth Is Within with Weight Loss Success Coach Bronwyn Marmo
Stop dieting and unlock the secrets with Bronwyn Marmo. Bronwyn lost 50 pounds by getting this simple trick. She shares her secrets and her quest to shed the pounds and her attitudes that were keeping her down. Do you finally want to get the motivation to help you love who you are?
- Over 50% of women say their body disgusts them (Dove Internal Study, 2002)
- 6 out of 10 girls think they'd "be happier if they were thinner" (UK Teen Body Image Survey, January 2004)
- The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by less than 5% of females (Social Issues Research Centre).
- More than 80% of 4th grade girls have been on a fad diet (Social Issues Research Centre).
- 90% of eating disorders are found in girls.
Bestselling and Award-winning author Bronwyn Marmo says, "As a result of the fixation for the perfect body, we are blocking the natural path to joy and happiness. It's only when we can love and accept ourselves where we are right now, that true transformation can take place."
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Teri Struck: I’m Teri Struck, host of “Beauty Now,” a weekly podcast where we bring you the latest on plastic surgery, lashes, hair, vaginal rejuvenation, soulfulness, weight loss, skin, hair extensions, implants, lips, lasers and much, much more. Today, we are lucky to have Part 2 with our amazing interview with Bronwyn Marmo. She is a best-selling author and success coach. More importantly, she is a success in her own life. Bronwyn has lost 50 pounds and wrote an amazing book, “The Food is a Lie. The Truth is Within.” Bronwyn, tell us how you did it and welcome back.
Bronwyn Marmo: Oh, Teri, it is so good to be back. Thank you for having me. Well, you know, I have been heavy my whole life. So, you got to know before I exactly tell you how I did it, that I struggled with this. This was an issue that for decades, I shamed and degraded my body. I was heavy as a child, got teased. I went on my first diet when I was twelve years old and after that, in my teens, a doctor placed me on a liquid diet. And yes, I lost weight but the moment I started eating again, I gained the weight. So I yo yo dieted for decades and then when I was
Teri Struck: You started that cycle that many, many listeners today are going to really relate to this. I think this is such a great show. Go ahead.
Bronwyn Marmo: Oh and it is such a vicious cycle, too. You really undermine yourself. You really start doubting your abilities. You start shaming and degrading your bodies. It’s such a downward spiral and so what I was able to do after years and years of abuse that I had done to my body is I realized that something is wrong with this picture. I am doing everything society told me to do. I have gone on diet after diet and I was exercising but what was the missing component? And what I realized was, what was missing in my life was a positive focus or a positive reinforcement of my body. I had to learn to love my body as it was obese. I had to learn to love my extra fat and my dimples, and everything else that came with it, my stretch marks. I had to learn to love my body and in learning to love my body, I was able to release the weight and I have kept it off now 11 years.
Teri Struck: How do you start? I mean really when you say love your body, don’t you mean love yourself?
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely. It’s about loving yourself definitely, but also loving your body, loving your body parts.
Teri Struck: Right. That’s so important for this show, really. I mean I think that we can focus on OK if you want to change one part of yourself but when you don’t change the inside and I really love, I think this is what your book is about, is that diets don’t work do they?
Bronwyn Marmo: No, diets really don’t work. And you were asking me about how did I start loving myself? Well, it’s with one body part at a time. When I started this eleven years ago, I could not think of one thing that I liked about my body. Every time I passed a mirror, I would just cringe in disgust but I thought harder and harder and after a few days I said, “What can I love about my body?” And I started with, “OK, I can love my eyes.” If nothing else, I can honestly say, “I love my eyes.” And I just started from there. Every time I passed a mirror I would just focus in on my eyes and say “I love my eyes.”
Teri Struck: That’s great
Bronwyn Marmo: Because what we focus on expands. So by me focusing on one thing that I love my eyes, I was able to then a few weeks later go, “Oh, well, I love my teeth.” I came up with my teeth next and then for me, it turned into my legs. And then one by one I was able to expand that till pretty soon I was like, “I love my body. I can honestly say that.” And by loving your body, what do you do? When you love something, what do you do?
Teri Struck: You take care of
Bronwyn Marmo: You absolutely take care of it. You cherish it. You fuel it with healthy food. So it really begins with your awareness of how you are talking to yourself. Now you did ask me, “How come diets don’t work?” Well, here’s why. The reason why diets don’t work is because they treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the symptoms. Like diets never get to the root of why we are overeating or eating things that we know are not good for our body and also, we also look at diets as the only cure. When we discover a new diet, I know I said this a 100 times. I would be like, “Yippee! I have found the answer to all my problems.” And if diets actually worked, we wouldn’t be paying tens of billions of dollars a year for the answer to our weight challenges. Don’t you think we would have found the answer by now?
Teri Struck: Definitely
Bronwyn Marmo: If it truly came in a pill or a bottle or anything else, we would have found the answer.
Teri Struck: Well you would say, motivation needs to come in a pill. So that you are saying you are going to find it in yourself.
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely. You know, we spend a lot of time focusing on the problem of losing weight and that also sets us up for failure because we talk about it with our friends and family members. We read diet books, magazines and anything that promises a quick fix to our perceived problem. Well, when we constantly obsess about losing weight, we send a distressed message to our bodies and it’s like a red flashing light and sirens go off and they are like, “Alert, alert, we are losing something here. We must replace it immediately.” So this often causes us, we may find ourselves losing a few pounds but then we gain it back because this causes us to eat even more unhealthy food because we are so in fear of losing something. So when we focus on the problem of losing weight, we actually create even more of a problem and this keeps us stuck in a vicious cycle. And pretty soon our entire being has become so wrapped up in the losing weight that we postpone the joy and the peace and the happiness and the love that can so much be a part of our lives.
Teri Struck: Well, do you think this starts in childhood from our parents? I mean, I don’t think that they meant to, but I think that they give you messages about yourself and they just didn’t know how to say things to you and they didn’t really care about food. I think growing up, we lived in a fast-food culture and I don’t really think that they properly taught us because they didn’t know.
Bronwyn Marmo: Well, you know what? I don’t necessarily blame parents because everyone was doing the best that they could at the time. I think society has accepted this falseness that tells us that we can have a quick solution. All you have to do is buy this product and you will be cured of all of your problems. We tend to think that diet and body and whether we are skinny or whether we are fat or whatever it is, we tend to think that, that is the root of our problem. Like, we think that, I know for me when I was heavy, I would say over and over, “When I lose weight, then I will be happy.” When I lose weight, then I will get a date. I was postponing joy. I was postponing my life. “When I lose weight, then I will go shopping and buy nice clothes or get clothes that fit me.” Bt in the meantime, I am just going to wear really scruffy clothes because I am heavy.
So I think that we have tied up so much into our weight. We have tied up our whole lives with our weight. And what I am trying to teach people is that, “You know what? Whether we are carrying a few extra pounds or not, has nothing to do with the quality of the life that you can receive. You can still have the utmost joy, the utmost love. In fact, when you claim that, when you claim love and joy and peace and happiness in your life right now no matter what body size, you will automatically, by feeling the love and allowing it to wash through you, your body will automatically gravitate towards higher-quality foods because you feel so good. You feel light so you are going to want to nourish your body in a healthy way.
Teri Struck: And listen to your body. That is such a good message, too. What would you say to parents who do have a child that feels really bad about themselves and is overweight and gets teased at school? How would you help the parents to inspire their children to love themselves?
Bronwyn Marmo: Ah, such a good question. I absolutely have chills because I was a child who got teased in school. I was the one who just felt so alienated when I was a child and even in my early teens and twenties and my early thirties.
Teri Struck: It’s a horrible time because it is harder on kids. They don’t understand.
Bronwyn Marmo: It absolutely is. What I would suggest to any parent whether their child was overweight or not, is to absolutely love their child as they are right now. Shower them with love. I believe that kids pick up on the way we feel towards them. So if they are accepted unconditionally by their parents, if they are loved no matter what, they will feel that and feel secure and feel confident and feel ready to maybe make some changes. But if they are at all sensing that they feel disapproval from their parent because maybe their parent is thin or whatever it may be, they may sense that and then feel like a failure.
Teri Struck: That’s really good advice. I think that they have to see the parent thin or fat setting a good example about loving themselves but also choosing healthy foods for their body and that’s it. I wouldn’t say anything else.
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely. I mean that is it. You got it. And I will never forget this story. I was about twelve years old and I was talking to my Mom about me wanting to go on a diet. And this was all generated from me. My Mom never ever said anything to me about it. And this was generated from me that I wanted to lose weight. And I was telling her this and feeling really upset about how the kids teased me and my Mom turned to me and she said, “Bronwyn, you are beautiful just the way you are. You don’t need to change anything about you. You don’t need to try and lose weight. You are beautiful inside and out.” And by her giving me that reassurance and knowing, it was out of that feeling of confidence that I chose to start eating healthier food. So can you see how that gave me the anchor to really feel confident to know that I am a good person no matter what? I am a good person whether I have a few extra pounds on me or not.
Teri Struck: So when you started your spiral, when you did get out of control, you weren’t feeling that until something changed for you. So that was great that your Mom said that but what changed for you when you got out of control?
Bronwyn Marmo: What changed for me is that I again, I went back to starting to doubt myself. I allowed the voices from the outside world, the people, society, the magazines, the television, that voice inside of me was louder than my inside voice at the time and I started doubting myself. I started feeling like I didn’t fit in. I was sad. I was depressed. I could never ever achieve this perfect body or perfect life that I was feeling I wanted because I saw others have it. And so that just automatically set up, this huge barrier between me and the life that I thought I should be leading. So what would happen is, I constantly felt less than, I felt bad about myself. I felt like a loser.
Teri Struck: And here you were a news anchor
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes
Teri Struck: and had achieved success in your own life.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes and I still didn’t think that, that was good enough. I still didn’t think that. And, in fact, when I was on the air, I had listeners calling in going, “What was wrong with Bronwyn?” Because I would lose weight and then I would balloon back up. I would gain 20-30 lbs. right there in a few months. And so what I would do when I was a news anchor, here I was very visual and every night after work, I would go to the store, stock up on cookies and ice cream and anything else, go home to my apartment and just eat myself sick.
Teri Struck: So you were binge eating.
Bronwyn Marmo: Oh yeah
Teri Struck: So you were binge eating.
Bronwyn Marmo: Oh yeah. I was a binge eater because I was trying to stuff those feelings of inadequacy and fear and that I wasn’t good enough or less than. I was just stuffing and numbing myself and just stuffing them down.
Teri Struck: So Bronwyn, if there is a listener out there today who is listening to this and hearing your story, what advice would you give them to try to stop today. I want to go back to your first comment that you said. Find one thing. You said you found your eyes. So maybe just go at the mirror and say “I love my eyes” all day long and just choose healthy things for my body.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes, yes, that is a great place to start. I would also suggest they start with awareness. That’s where it all begins. Become aware of what you are actually telling yourself. Because so many times, I didn’t know that I was calling myself a fat pig. I didn’t realize it. It was just such common language that I just didn’t even realize it. It wasn’t until I stopped and started noticing what I was doing and what I was thinking inside of me. First of all, I hated to go into the kitchen because I had this vision that why should I, this fat person, why should I, this fat person be seen in the kitchen? So I would avoid the kitchen like a plague because I had this vision of me being a fat person who didn’t belong in the kitchen, in fact, wasn’t even worthy enough of taking up any space in this world.
Teri Struck: So many people feel like you do. We are going to have to take a quick commercial break. I want to keep on going. I think this is an important topic for the nation. Thanks Bronwyn. We are here with Bronwyn Marmo and we are going to be right back with “Beauty Now with Teri Struck.”
Teri Struck: I’m Teri Struck, host of “Beauty Now,” and we’ve been talking with Bronwyn Marmo. She’s a weight loss success coach and she’s lost 50 lbs and written a bestselling book, “The Truth is Within: The Food is Lie.” Well, it’s the other way around “The Food is a Lie. The Truth is Within.” But welcome back Bronwyn and thank you. This is such a great topic. We just left off with you saying you didn’t even want to go into the kitchen.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yeah, because I didn’t feel I was even worthy of taking up space in this world. Let alone the shame of being seen in a place where there is food and I am cooking food and all that because I felt like, “Oh my gosh, if anyone were to see me, they would think why should this heavy person be in there.” So you can see that my language about myself was really cruel. It was so deep and you can also tell by my language I felt like I had low self esteem. The value of me as a person was very low. I was suffering from a lot of different things like that but it started, I became aware of it by noticing my thoughts.
Teri Struck: But even thin people are cruel to themselves. I want to extend that to our listeners, too. I mean I know so many people that are thin and have body dismorphic [sp] and all different types of things that have that mentality where they are just going to beat themselves up. So can you give us an idea how to recognize the diet mentality as opposed to the balanced health mentality which will fit for everybody, thin, fat, whatever.
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely. You know it is so fascinating when I started this work. There is a clear difference between the diet mentality and the balanced health mentality and here it is. Think about this. We have all done this. Here’s the diet mind. “I am restricting my food for a certain period of time.” We do that all the time. We think that. Here’s the balanced health mind though. “This is a journey, a lifestyle change that is achieved one day at a time.”
Now, here’s the diet mind again. “I have to have control of my eating.” Now the balanced health mind would say, “I am giving up control and allowing the inner intelligence of my body to guide me.” And the diet mind would say, “I can’t trust myself around food.” That’s what I was telling myself when I wouldn’t ever go into the kitchen. Well the balanced health mind says, “I am at peace with food and trust that I will make the best choices for my highest and best good.”
Now here’s one more and then we can talk further about it. But the diet mind would say “My focus is on being thin and I won’t be happy until I am.” The balanced health mind says, “My focus is on thriving in a healthy, vibrant body and everyday is a celebration of the journey.” So can you see and feel and hear the difference of those two mindsets?
Teri Struck: I can definitely hear those because you could hear so many things going through your mind especially when you feel starving. Actually, my listeners can laugh. Yesterday, I had PMS and I emailed Bronwyn and I am like, “I am eating M&Ms.” But you know what? I was just then going to be aware of how many M&Ms I put in my mouth and enjoy every single one and I did.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes, yeah. I mean what we do to ourselves when we are in the diet mind is we stick ourselves in a little tiny box and then we throw away the key. So it is just a lose, lose situation. We can’t win either way, no matter what we do. So the balanced health mind opens up that box and allows us to explore ourselves, our likes, our dislikes and you know what? Most importantly, the balanced health mind is very gentle. It is very loving and it just allows us so much joy and peace in our life.
Teri Struck: Really, I would get your book and then actually put little sticky notes on the mirror with all these little great thoughts that you have because your book is filled with inspirational thoughts. It is endorsed by so many great people, Deepak Chopra being the least of them. So, why is it so important for us to discover what we are really hammering for?
Bronwyn Marmo: Well, that is the underlying, we think we are craving food. Let’s say for instance we are going for the cookies or the cakes or the salty or the crunchy. We think that it’s about the food but what I would encourage you to do, unless your stomach is absolutely growling and you feel faint and you are ready to pass out because you haven’t nourished your body, I would ask you to ask yourself this question. “What am I really hungering for?” Because that is going to get you to the root of why it is you are craving the food. Are you craving this food because you are lonely because you are craving love at this moment, comfort, security? Maybe you just had a fight with your spouse or your boss and you are feeling a little uneasy. When we get in touch with our bodies, when we really start along this journey, it is just paramount that we get to know our emotions around the food.
Teri Struck: I want to ask you one question. So you are not saying that if you are hungering for chocolate, it means something about you. Like yesterday, I am actually a person that doesn’t like chocolate but my body, I asked my body and it really did want some so I actually found some in the house. So I actually had a little bite of chocolate. What does that say other than [xx]?
Bronwyn Marmo: It sounds like to me your body was needing certain nutrients from the chocolate, I guess. I’m not really sure.
Teri Struck: That’s what I thought. You know it’s so funny because I am really not a chocolate person. But I thought you know what? I did think about it going in my mouth. So it was not like I was going to eat the whole thing. [laugh]
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes, yeah but many times, many times it is due to our emotional state. It truly is about the fact that maybe we just got dumped by our partner or maybe something happened in our lives and we are feeling like we are lonely. We are needing love. Well what we have done in our society is we have replaced the authentic love and comfort and security with food and what we know is that food will never ever give you what you are looking for. You may have a momentary high because of the chemicals and everything in the food but then you will crash down even lower and that hungering, that desire inside of you, that love and comfort that really needed to be addressed will come back and knock you over the head again because that’s the root, that’s what your body is really hungering for.
Teri Struck: And when you say that it actually becomes kind of fun to realize what different foods do for your body, nourish your body, I mean for instance, vegetables and roots and berries and all the different things and how it nourishes parts of your body.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yes, I mean it really is fascinating when you get to know your body. I have been doing this now 11 years and every day I have a surprise. There is something new that I learn about my body, my likes, my dislikes and it is really a fun journey. So a lot of times though when you are starting to get into that emotional work, it can feel overwhelming because for so many years, I had stuffed down my feelings. I didn’t even know what I was feeling at times. How was I to know when I was grabbing an entire box of cookies, how was I to know. Well, the way to get started is to just sit quietly with yourself in that moment. Take a deep breath and just really connect to that part in you that is quiet, that is at peace and it’s your inner intelligence that will start speaking to you and you speak to it and just really start connecting with it. It is a beautiful relationship once you get started. But it’s just waiting down there. It’s waiting for you to notice it, to become aware of it and you know, it’s a beautiful thing once you get started.
Teri Struck: Well, your book is a beautiful thing. I love your book. I did do a podcast,
one called, “Eating for Beauty” which I really loved hearing what he had to say what the different foods did for your body and I do think it’s a great experience to go with your child. I wish that our parents knew to take us to the market and say, you know I think they told us carrots are good for your eyes but blueberries are great for your skin and avocados actually are good for you. They are good for men’s health, too. And just starting to make it like let’s pick really great things at the market and have those things in your refrigerator ready to go when you feel like what are you going to nourish your body with.
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely, I mean that is how you set yourself up for success right there, having the things that are going to nourish your body readily available and there are tips and tricks on how to make that easy for you. I know that we are all busy people and we want things quick and easy. Well there is a way. You can spend the same amount of time, getting in your car, driving to the fast food as you could being at home preparing a healthy meal. I mean so for us to think that fast food is faster than healthy food, that is a myth. That is just not true.
Teri Struck: No and I will say my sister also battled with this growing up and when she came to stay with me, that was ten years ago, she always to this day thanks me because I told her just keep a plate of chicken in the refrigerator, your cut up vegetables, just everything that you could want and if you feel like you are trying to be bad, take out all those veggies and dip them in some dip. You have your chicken. You have all that there for you. And I think it is so important to have your refrigerator stocked with healthy foods so you don’t feel like you are going to go on those binges.
And so we only have a couple of more minutes. I want to try and help people like that. You are the one who is the expert on the binging and getting out of that cycle.
Bronwyn Marmo: Yeah
Teri Struck: I want to spend one more minute on that because I think it is so important for people that have eating disorders and mentally don’t love themselves, even really thin people that don’t love themselves. There’s anorexia. There’s bulimia. I’m not a doctor but we would like to get some good advice.
Bronwyn Marmo: Absolutely, I would say the very first thing, the most important thing right here is to absolutely, if someone is suffering with any sort of eating disorder would be to forgive themselves, forgive themselves and love themselves and let them know that at this time, at this moment, they are doing the best they can with the tools that they have. It begins with releasing the past and you do that by forgiving yourself and truly loving yourself and knowing that you are already whole. You are already complete. There is nothing that you need to do or say or be other than what you are right now and that you are beautiful. You are beautiful inside and out. That’s where I would build it. I would start with forgiveness.
Teri Struck: You are a beautiful person, Bronwyn. Thank you so much for being with us today. We are running out of time. Your book is, “The Food is a Lie: The Truth is Within.” You can go to personallifemedia.com and please we are going to link you to Bronwyn’s website. You are also going to be able to email me at [email protected] and I am going to give you Bronwyn’s email. We are going to give you the links to her book. Her book is amazing. These podcasts don’t even do it justice. Please go on our website and find out how to get her book.
Bronwyn Marmo appears regularly on Phoenix Channel 3, “Your Life A to Z.” And her segment spotlights on success. She introduces a new weight loss person every single week. Bronwyn, you are amazing. I love you. Thank you for being with us. You have to come back again. I can never get enough. And also again, go buy her book. Thank you and hugs.
[Music. Song: “You Had a Little Work Done” by Mark Winter,
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