Updated: Feb 28
I am so excited to introduce this podcast where my teacher and coach Dr Katrina Ubell interviews me. She takes me through my own weight loss journey, as well as my past experience with coaching and how I
came to add coaching into my primary care practice.
Podcasts can often feel like a lot of information being thrown at you, so I always find it interesting to hear stories. I believe that Dr Katrina has a way of setting people at ease, even when asking about topics that can feel a little vulnerable like weight loss. Being part of her group has helped to normalize the conversation that we as doctors have about our own stories, and to recognize that sometimes we help others more by sharing our humanity, than we do with all our medicines and procedures.
Who is Dr Katrina Ubell?
I first found out about Dr Katrina through her free podcast called Weight Loss for Busy Physicians, which I would definitely encourage you to check out. Her coaching programs target women physicians in clinical practice, but actually she has a huge following with people from all over the map including men and non-doctors.
She shares great insights into how to hack your brain and body as they conspire together to make it hard for us to lose weight. And her easy conversational tone helps listeners feel like they are just hearing from a friend. You can listen in private and decide what to do with the information - no one will judge or shame you. In fact, you may just begin to see how the self coaching work can impact other aspects of your life beyond weight management.
As you will hear, my own weight loss journey and even coaching journey have been decades in the making. I am so grateful to have been coached by Kathy Paauw since the late 1990s - she taught me many of the concepts that I have learned through Dr Katrina, such as emotional responsibility, goal setting and getting things done. I had even enrolled in coach training myself through the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (AWCIM) Health and Wellness Coaching (HWC) program.
Being part of her group has helped to normalize the conversation that we as doctors have about our own stories, and to recognize that sometimes we help others more by sharing our humanity, than we do with all our medicines and procedures.
But learning about The Model and self coaching from Dr Katrina’s podcast proved to be the missing link. Causal coaching through the Model is a technique taught by Brook Castillo at The Life Coach School which seeks to identify the root cause of pain and discomfort, to understand the problem, and to reframe the problem in a way that gives you better results. This simple analytical approach is based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as teachings of Byron Katie, Eckardt Tolle, Abraham, and others.
Like so many others, I thought that knowledge about the science behind weight loss could motivate me to do the things that would make me lose weight. But actually causal coaching has helped me to uncover so much wisdom about myself, to begin to truly love and take care of myself, and to rediscover my passion and purpose in life.
Takeaway #1: Awareness is critical
Whether it’s about physical signals like how full I am getting or emotional signals like, “I’m feeling overwhelmed.” These are biological signals that I had spent a lifetime ignoring or suppressing in order to eat when it was convenient, in order to please others, or for other non-biological reasons. Just becoming mindful of what was happening in my body was like turning down the volume of road traffic to hear the birds chirping in nature.
Takeaway #2: Being in integrity
I had learned through my coaching with Kathy Paauw how it feels to be doing something inauthentic, and that it often takes tremendous courage to do the extraordinary. Being willing to leave my successful academic career in the US to come back to Hong Kong to take care of my family felt completely insane but also was a risk I was willing to take because I knew it came from a place of love.
Takeaway #3: Accepting what is
Our culture is what it is, and our family members are who they are. We don’t need them to stop being food pushers. We just need to stop thinking that what we do has to always please them. We can sometimes disappoint others in order to be true to ourselves, and that is okay.
Weight Loss for Busy Physians features Dr Katrina Ubell's Interview with Dr Em Wong EP#208 Weight Loss Success Story: Emily Wong, MD..
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Learn more about life coaching through Brooke Castillo's The Life Coach School podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind and emotions.
University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (AWCIM), Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching (IHW) program.