What are the things that matter most to you in life?
Are you living in alignment with the values you hold dear in your heart?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim is a board-certified Internist and is the host of the podcast Healthy Bite. She specializes in medical weight loss and nutrition, and she is aiming to transform the weight loss narrative into one that is both empowering and compassionate – inspiring people to live more physically and emotionally fulfilling lives through evidence-based strategies that actually show results.
Through her podcast, Dr. Adrienne debunks all myths in the current weight loss culture and supports people in living the life they deserve as they work on becoming the best version of themselves.
What you will learn from this episode:
"Yes, it takes a little bit of time – not a lot of time if you stack it with other habits – but again, the way you spend your time shows what you truly value.”
– Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Valuable Free Resource:
Are Your Actions Aligned with Your Values?
1. Take out a piece of paper.
2. Draw a line down the middle and write on one side of the paper.
3. Create a column of your core values and write them down on the left side of the paper.
a. If you don't know where to start, you can Google core values and you can see a list of them.
b. You can also check out the journaling prompt I have on my website: www.dradrienneyoudim.com
4. On the right side, write – in order – what you're spending your time on.
a. In a given day, how much time do you dedicate to work? Family? Spirituality? Finances? Health?
5. Now take a look at these two columns and compare them.
a. How do they compare?
b. Do you find that the two columns are matched and aligned, or do you see a total mismatch between your values and your actions?
6. Then ask yourself:
a. What small changes can you make if these two lists are not congruent? What are some small changes that you can make in your life or in yourself to bring greater alignment with your true values and to live in greater integrity?
00:38 – Today’s Topic: “What are values? Are we living in alignment with ours?”
01:55 – Connect the Dots: Dr. Adrienne enumerates examples on how our values relate to our food and our health
04:02 – Try This: Listing what your values are and noticing whether your
actions are congruent to the things you really hold important in life
08:08 – Life vs. Values: Why people tend to have actions that are not in line with their true values
09:11 – Actionable Bite: An exercise to try, created to help you identify your true values in life
Ways to Connect with Dr. Adrienne Youdim:
If you love it and you think it is of benefit, please share this podcast with one person that you love. You can also go to http://www.dradrienneyoudim.com and sign up for my newsletter. If you prefer to get information in written form, you can get these tips via newsletter every week.
Living in alignment with your true values thru food and healthy living – Transcript
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Welcome back to the Health Bite podcast, where I offer you small, actionable bites towards healthy weight, and weight management through greater mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I'm your host, Dr. Adrienne Youdim, and I created this podcast as an alternative to the noise, to offer you with knowledge-based guidance in the areas of nutrition, fitness, habit change, and mindset that I use in my medical practice every day to help my patients and clients achieve healthy weight and health.
TODAY’S TOPIC: “WHAT ARE VALUES? ARE WE LIVING IN ALIGNMENT WITH OURS?”
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
So today, once again, I'm talking about a topic that doesn't necessarily at first glance seem related to weight and weight loss, but trust me, it is.
One thing I've learned in the many years of working with people is that our relationship with food is kind of like a microcosm; it's like a symbol of our relationship with ourselves, and the way we interact with food can be a clue to the areas in our lives which might need more attention.
So today's topic is on identifying and living in alignment with our values.
Now, what are values?
To me, it sounds kind of lofty, grandiose. The word is almost intimidating. But simply put, values are just the things that matter to us, those things that really matter, the principles that we hold dear to our heart. Some people may call it our why.
Some common values are things like family, spirituality, community service. Some other values are vitality, autonomy, health independence.
CONNECT THE DOTS: DR. ADRIENNE ENUMERATES EXAMPLES ON HOW OUR VALUES RELATE TO OUR FOOD AND OUR HEALTH
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Interestingly enough, a lot of these values in large part are related to our food and to our health. Let's take an easy example.
Health. We can see clearly how this value is related to how we eat, how we fuel our bodies, how we nourish ourselves, and weight. We know that when we eat well, we're less likely to develop chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, for example. We also know that when we eat well, we are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. So that value really is consistent and clearly consistent to weight loss.
But let's take another example.
Vitality. Oftentimes, when I ask patients why they are here to see me or why they've come to lose weight, of course, weight loss is a reason, but the underlying or core value or reason is vitality. They want to feel energized. They want to feel alive. They want to feel good in their bodies. They want to feel vital.
Another example is autonomy. This one may not seem as clear again at first glance, but when you are well, when you are healthy, when you are free of chronic diseases, when we feel good in our bodies, then we are more independent. We are more likely to be autonomous.
So we can see how these values that we hold dear in kind of a bigger scale, like autonomy, I often think of in terms of our work; feeling autonomous or having autonomy in the workplace is an important value for a lot of people, but even this value is very much linked to how we fuel our bodies, how we eat, and also to our health and to our weight.
TRY THIS: LISTING WHAT YOUR VALUES ARE AND NOTICING WHETHER YOUR ACTIONS ARE CONGRUENT TO THE THINGS YOU REALLY HOLD IMPORTANT IN LIFE
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
A good way to kind of look at this is to look at or to list what our values are, what are those things that are really important to us, and then survey our actions and notice –are our actions congruent with these values or are they incongruent? Do our actions show or demonstrate that these values that we've stated for ourselves are truly important, or do we act in a way that doesn't really show what our true values are?
A good example to look at this is our values of family or the value of family.
So family is often an important value for people. And if you ask them if family is important, then yes, it's probably on their top list of values. But then take a look at how you may spend your time. If you spend every weekend working and have trouble creating boundaries around work, if you're on your phone at dinner or during downtime with your children, then are your actions really showing that family is a core value?
Another example is financial stability. One may say that being financially stable or financially independent is an important value, but then may turn around and be really mindless about their spend. Maybe they spend without restraint, or spend on things in a thoughtless or whimsical way. In this case, again, their actions are not in line with their true values.
So let's get back to this idea of weight, our nutrition, our bodies. Again, when patients come to me, yes, they say they're coming to lose weight, but really they're wanting health, vitality, independence, and to lose weight. Maybe you want to lose weight, too. But think, how are your actions aligned with your values? Are you taking time, for example, to buy and prepare wholesome food? Are you willing to take time to cook for yourself, or do you default to eating out frequently because it's the easier thing to do? Do you make time for meal prep? People hate to meal prep, but if you think about it, it's such an easy thing to do, particularly if you stack it with something else that you're already doing. So if you are preparing dinner, for example, you can just bring out your tupperware right then and there. It's something that I do all the time and I recommend to my patients. While you're putting food out for the table, put food into that tupperware or into that glass container to take the next day.
Yes, it takes a little bit of time – not a lot of time if you stack it with other habits – but again, the way you spend your time shows what you truly value. Are your values aligned with your actions? Are you making time for movement or for exercise? Are you making time to sleep at a reasonable hour, or are you up on your phone, or up watching Netflix? And are you doing the things that allow for high quality sleep, like limiting caffeine, limiting alcohol, creating a soothing bedtime routine that makes your body more conducive to that parasympathetic state, to a state of rest and relaxation? Yes, these things take time; these are actions that are not necessarily easily done. But again, if health, vitality, autonomy, weight loss is something that is important to you, or healthy weight is a value that is important to you, then our actions need to align with those values.
LIFE VS. VALUES: WHY PEOPLE TEND TO HAVE ACTIONS THAT ARE NOT IN LINE WITH THEIR TRUE VALUES
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. Life gets in the way of our values, particularly because they're not as tangible; they're not as immediate. That phone, that show on Netflix, that pop tart – it's immediate. That glass of wine, it's right there in your hand. Whereas these values are intangible, they're esoteric, they're kind of off into the distance. It's easy to let go of those values or to forget in our mundane day to day habitual actions and activities, which is exactly why I'm bringing it up. This is why I am bringing it to your attention.
So I want you to ask yourself -- are you living with integrity? Meaning, are you acting in a way, are you spending your time in a way that reflects your true values? And if not, then what gives? What adjustments need to be made for that to be true?
ACTIONABLE BITE: AN EXERCISE TO TRY, CREATED TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY YOUR TRUE VALUES IN LIFE
Dr. Adrienne Youdim
So as always, I want to leave you with an actionable bite, and so I'm going to ask you to do an exercise if you're interested in exploring this a little bit more.
Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, and write on one side of the paper, create a column of your true values, your core values. If you don't know where to start, you can Google core values and you can see a list of them.
You can also check out a journaling exercise, a journaling guide I have I'll tell you more about at the end. On my website at www.dradrienneyoudim.com, I have a journaling prompt that is specifically directed towards identifying your why.
So write down your core values or your true values, and they may or may not be related to health or weight at all. Just list them. And then on the right hand side, I want you to write in order what you're spending your time on. So in a given day, how much time do you dedicate to work, family, spirituality, finances, health? I don't know. Whatever it is. Just write down what you're actually doing, what your action items are.
And now take a look at these two columns. How do they compare? Do you find that the two columns are matched and aligned, or do you see a total mismatch between your values – the things that you hold dear and close to your heart, and your action items – the things that you're actually spending time on.
Now, again, don't be hard on yourself if these two columns don't match. Don't feel bad. This exercise is created as a tool. It's created so that you can become aware. And once you're aware, you can be more intentional about your to do’s, about how you spend your time, and about your actions, and be intentional about aligning those things with your true values.
What small changes can you make if these two lists are not congruent? What are some small changes that you can make in your life or in yourself to bring greater alignment with your true values and to live in greater integrity?
I hope that this question provokes some actionable thought and actionable guidance and actionable change, because small changes can really have profound impact when it comes to our weight, when it comes to our health, and when it comes to our lives in general.
I hope this episode has been of value and that it is the first step in helping you to do just that.
Well, that's all for this week, and thank you for your time.
If you enjoyed this podcast, head over to www.dradrienneyoudim.com. As I mentioned, you can find my 30-day journaling guide there. This guide offers you with 30 days of mindful writing prompts and mindful exercises just like this, to help you explore your relationship with your hunger, with food, and with yourself.
Be well and see you next week. Until then.