I am thrilled and honored that Dr. Molly Roberts, MD, MS and Dr. Bruce Roberts, MD offered to be guests on The Inner Peace Diet blog today. Dr. Molly Roberts is a holistic physician, the Co-Director of LightHearted Medicine (http://www.lightheartedmedicine.com/) and a physician at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson. She is triply Board Certified in Family Medicine, Holistic Medicine and Nutrition. Dr. Roberts is also a psychotherapist and an ordained Shamanic Minister. She has written two books, one on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the other on Nutrition. Her specialty is Mind/Body/Spirit Medicine. Her husband, Bruce Roberts, MD is triply Board Certified in Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Holistic Medicine and is also an ordained Shamanic Minister. He does a lot of Nutritional Medicine work as well, particularly related to mental health issues. He is a Co-Director at LightHearted Medicine and is also a physician at Canyon Ranch.
I asked Dr. Roberts the following three questions and received three very informative. powerful answers.
What advice do you offer patients who are beginning their journey to weight loss?
My first suggestion to anyone starting on a weight loss regimen is to take some time to smile at themselves in the mirror. This sounds like a simple thing, but it's actually fairly difficult for those who have diligently avoided looking at themselves in the mirror for several years. It's very hard to lose weight if you are doing it as a punishment for "bad behavior" in the past. It is much easier to lose weight when you are doing it as a way to show love to yourself and to honor your body, and looking in the mirror is the first step to changing this mindset. At first, the person looking in the mirror will hear all those little "demon voices" that we all have in our heads, telling them how horrible they look, how they aren't worth it, how large their thighs are, etc. It is important to make those voices conscious so that their iron control can be loosened. Smiling at this point will feel forced and fake, but I tell them to do it anyway. The person is instructed to keep on looking at themselves, to look in their own eyes, and to keep smiling at themselves. If they do this diligently, every time they pass a mirror, the smile will start to win out over the voices, and a new voice will start to take hold. The new voice will be saying, "Actually, I'm OK! No matter what my weight is, no matter what else is going on for me, whether or not I ever get thin thighs, I'm OK!" There is literally a reorganization of the brain's chemistry at this point, and the person will feel more self-acceptance and hope. Once this shift happens, I see a shift in the person's reason for losing weight as well. They will start to say, "If I do this weight loss thing, I'm going to do it just for me and my own health." It is then that the weight loss plan has the best chance of succeeding. I have suggested this not only for weight loss but for depression and anxiety as well for the last 25 years or so with great results. Just last year, I was pleased to see a research study indicating that smiling in the mirror was more effective than an antidepressant for treating depressive symptoms. Not bad!
What is the best way to tap into your body's innate healing power?
The best way is whatever fits for the person, and the key is to find the method that best helps you to hear your own inner wisdom speaking to you. For years, my husband and I have run Mind/Body Skills Groups, teaching people multiple methods for tapping into their own intuition about what they need for healing. What we love about these groups is that it really is a matter of "different strokes for different folks." The idea is not that you will walk away from this group doing all the many techniques you learned. Instead, the goal is for each person to find those one or two methods that really "ring their chimes," that most resonate with them and help them to hear their own wisdom. When you discover your unique power to tap in, your healing potential comes to the forefront, and it is a wonder to behold!
What are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spiritual health?
This is a particularly large question, one that I could write a book about (and I am!). If I were to choose one thing, though, I would say that it is important to continually ask the question, "Am I treating my body and myself with reverance?" That concept of reverance takes the concept of a healthy lifestyle out of the realm of the material (such as calorie-counting or getting exactly twenty minutes a day of meditating) and takes it into a recognition that our bodies are the repository of our souls and should be honored and respected as such. When you are treating yourself with reverance, then every act, every thought is spiritual, and you end up living every moment of your life in a much more meaningful way
Take some time today to check our Drs. Roberts awesome website. It is chock full of inspiring and educational infomation.
Thanks, Drs. Roberts!