I talk about water constantly — keeping hydrated regularly is one of the simplest ways to take care of your body and keep it healthy, functioning efficiently, and continuing to rid itself of toxins. Once upon a time, I was one of those people that hated drinking water! So, I can relate to so many of those that I work with that feel the same way!
At times it feels like wellness or elevating one’s wellbeing, is diametrically opposed to high achievement and high performance in one’s career. The stress, mental energy, long hours, lack of restful sleep and preoccupation that result from a high-achievement life seem to directly inhibit wellness. And yet, in order to sustain the creativity, flexibility, mental acuity and resilience that are necessary for high performance, wellness and wellbeing of the mind, body and soul are also mandatory. So how do we achieve both? This is the question I’m hoping to answer through conversations with high-achieving leaders and influencers who are practicing their own philosophies about how to maintain their wellbeing. As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Candice Seti.
Dr. Candice Seti, aka The Weight Loss Therapist, is the world’s leading eating and behavioral change specialist. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Certified Nutrition Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Weight Management Specialist, and a Certified Life Coach. This very unique set of specializations and education form the backbone of Dr. Seti’s unique approach to weight loss and weight management. Dr. Seti’s approach is based on breaking dependence on diets and understanding our own thoughts and behavior so we can take control and end self-sabotage. Through this approach Dr. Seti has created the ‘Shatter the Yoyo’ program which she utilizes in direct client care in her private practice. The program is also available online in a self-guided program. Dr. Seti is also the author of the Binge Free for Life program, which utilizes a similar approach to help individuals change their relationship with food to ultimately break the binge eating cycle for good.
Dr. Seti lives in San Diego where she maintains a private practice.
You can find her website at www.TheWeightLossTherapist.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?
Growing up I was a beanpole — skin and bones. I could eat anything, anytime, without impact. A half-gallon of ice cream, sure. An entire pizza, no problem. Of course, I didn’t really appreciate how lucky I was until that started to change around age 24. It was at this point that I realized I was gaining weight, and doing so quickly! The biggest problem with this was that I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what to do about it! I had never paid attention to health, ingredients, calories, ANYTHING! I just ate. A lot.
So, naturally, I went on one of the diets I saw advertised on TV. Everyone loses weight on those diets, and besides, they were so easy, right? I went in every week, weighed in, and picked up my food. And I lost weight — 40 pounds when all was said and done. I was thrilled! I felt great. I was proud of my success and was happy in my skin again. So, of course, I stopped the diet.
And, of course, I started to gain it all back. When it was less than ten pounds of regaining, I wasn’t so concerned, but as more and more of the weight I had so recently lost came back, well, I was frustrated! As you might expect, my natural reaction was to decide to go back on the diet. I mean it worked before! Shouldn’t I just do it again? Well, I did — three more times. Until I finally said, “What the ???”
This was my magic moment — the moment when everything changed for me. It just clicked in my head that it didn’t make sense. I didn’t want to be on and off a diet for the rest of my life!
So, I decided to do something different. Do things my way — even though I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. 😉. I slowly realized I knew nothing about was my relationship with food. I didn’t know how I used food, why I ate when I did, how I made the food decisions I made, or what made my body feel good. So, being a psychologist, I decided to become my own clinical study. I spent time examining my relationship with food and my body until I could finally answer all the questions I had about managing my weight.
To say I learned a lot in this process is the understatement of the century. I had no idea how reliant I was on food to make me feel better, to cure my boredom, and to give me energy. I had no idea that the most common reasons I ate were because I was bored or because food just happened to be nearby and available. And I REALLY had no idea what foods made my body feel good. It was almost as if actual physical hunger didn’t even fit into the equation when it came to my eating. Dieting had made me lose sight of what my body needed and when it needed it. Instead, dieting had replaced my body’s wisdom with rules and regulations that promised to make weight loss “easy” but instead made weight gain even easier!
So, after learning all this about myself, through a lot of trial and error, I was able to make changes to my thinking, my behavior, and my lifestyle. Changes that I have easily kept up since — for more than a decade. Once that happened, I never went on a diet again. And I never worried about my weight again. I felt good, I was in great shape, and more importantly, I was happy.
The process was so eye-opening for me that I decided to devote my life to sharing it with others. I knew I wanted to continue my practice as a psychologist, but I wanted to tweak it to focus on weight management and the relationships we all have with food. I wanted to help others the way I’d helped myself and give them the same freedom that I had attained. I went back to school and got certified as a weight management specialist, a nutrition coach, and a personal trainer so that I could truly focus on the whole picture with my clients. And I have loved every minute of it!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have been in private practice as a psychologist for many years now and have learned quite a bit from each and every one of my patients. All of my weight-loss and weight-management patients have contributed to the development of my program in one way or another. I am so grateful to all of them for their dedication and commitment to their own growth and I am so happy to see them all thriving!
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
I have always been a little behind the times with technology. I was the person that held on to my cassette tapes, when everyone else just has CDs. Given that, when I first started my practice, I foolishly thought I could grow it without the use of social media. Well, I learned that mistake pretty quickly and finally felt the need to jump on board the social media wagon! These platforms have helped me reach a broad spectrum of individuals that I could share information with, support, and help assist in their self-growth. In doing so, my business has thrived and I’ve been able to embrace all the beneficial aspects of the different social media platforms.
As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?
I think the most important thing in developing a career in the self-care and wellness space is to be a real person! Being real, honest, and fallible make you approachable. These traits make people feel like you are one of them instead of someone who’s perfect and impenetrable. We all have struggles and failures, we all experience overwhelm from time to time; people want to see that. It’s how we all connect with one and other — -through shared experiences.
Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?
I have regularly reached out to my social media followers (and continue to do so) to get a feel for what they want, how I can provide support, and what information they want shared. This is how I develop my blog posts, my tips-of-the-week, and my motivational posts. Connecting with my audience and asking them what they want makes me more effective at speaking directly to them. I also try to use all of my platforms as an opportunity to share my own experiences, struggles, and successes as a way of letting people know I am real and I do experience a lot of the same difficulties as all of them
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart.
You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)
- I talk about water constantly — -keeping hydrated regularly is one of the simplest ways to take care of your body and keep it healthy, functioning efficiently, and continuing to rid itself of toxins. Once upon a time, I was one of those people that hated drinking water! So, I can relate to so many of those that I work with that feel the same way! So, I always share the tips I’ve used for myself to be a better water drinker!
- Drink a big glass of water 10 to 15 minutes before eating. It will help you feel fuller once you start eating so you eat less.
- Go the water fountain every hour that you are at work
- Drink a large glass of water when you first wake up in the morning. It will impact your eating and cravings for the rest of the day.
- Create hourly water goals or used a marked water bottle for goals throughout the day.
- Instead of focusing on a large water drinking goal for the day, keep a water bottle with you all day and sip from it all the time!
2. I am a HUGE fan of food prep! I get home from work late in the evening and never feel motivated to start cooking from scratch. The idea of washing, chopping, and cooking everything sounds painful! That’s where food prep is a godsend! Putting dinner together is a snap if I have a fridge with already washed, chopped and/or cooked veggies, protein, or whole grains! The fact is that we tend to make our worst food decisions when we are experiencing this lethal combination: being hungry and tired. And food prep is how we combat that.
3. In regards to the HOW of food prep, I find it easiest to have a weekly prep day (for me it’s Sunday) and I make one recipe, one protein, and then do the veggie washing and chopping while the other stuff is cooking. It’s helpful to make it fun by listening to some upbeat music or a great podcast, and/or food prepping with a friend. I also thing when we are talking about the HOW here it is important to look at this as something that can be fun! It’s something that can be fun and something that will make a huge impact on the success of your week.
Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
- In general, we are not so good at being nice to ourselves — — we seem to have a much easier time being nice to everyone else and we don’t really treat ourselves like a friend. As an example, let’s say we do 100 things over the course of a day. We can do 99 of those things right and one wrong, yet at the end of the day, all we are focused on is that one thing we did wrong. And not just focused: we beat ourselves up for it! Really we should be celebrating the massive list of things we’ve done right! 99% of things is pretty amazing, right? Unfortunately most of us are hard-wired to focus on the negative, especially when it comes to self-critique or self-assessment. This negative mode of thinking is a form of self-punishment that ultimately impedes our growth. I am on a mission to change this ineffective self-attack and start focusing on the positive instead of rejecting it. And this definitely is no different for myself! I like to call this ‘Identifying Your Wins’ and I feel it’s a great strategy for all of us to engage in daily. At the end of the day, I simply look back on my day and think about what I did well, what I feel proud of, and what felt good. It can be anything, but it just has to be positive! It’s a great way to end your day feeling proud of yourself instead of beating yourself up. And it sets you up to start your next day on a good note!
- I also love being around people I love and feel really strongly about my friendships. I get so much out of spending time with my friends; it refreshes my soul and refills my cup, so to speak. For that reason, I really try to prioritize my social time, even when I’m feeling tired or like it would be easier to just spend the evening on the couch. I know it will always be worthwhile to spend quality time with friends so I always try to prioritize that. For others, it may not necessarily be friends, it could be a spouse, kids, and/or siblings. But I encourage everyone to prioritize time spent with those people in your life that feed your soul.
Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Going back to the idea of how hard we are on ourselves, I always try to encourage people to focus on the positive, in every way possible. This definitely applies to our self-perspective. We can easily pinpoint something we don’t like about our bodies, our personality, our situation, and just fixate on it until it’s all we see! So, I encourage people to fixate on the positive instead! I often suggest people create a ‘What’s Great About Me’ list. A list of all the things they like about themselves — — whether it’s their laugh, their work ethic, or their eyelashes! The reality is, when we focus on it, we can find TONS of things we like about ourselves — -we just have to choose to give it our attention. So, this list is a great way to help us focus on all of those positives and give them the attention they deserve.
- I think it’s so important to look at our scars as representations of things we’ve overcome! I have tons of scars from accidents, surgeries, etc. Scars are easily something we could look at as ugly or things that make us ugly but the opposite is really true. Those scars represent our strength, our capabilities, and what we’ve overcome. There is nothing more beautiful than that!
- Taking care of yourself is a wonderful way to make yourself feel beautiful. And this is not simply about emotional self-care; physical self-care can have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. Getting manicure or facials, getting our hair or make-up done, or simply dressing up can make us feel attractive and proud. It doesn’t mean you have to always engage in this behavior, but putting in a little effort and showing your best self can make you feel incredible. When we feel down on ourselves, this kind of self-care can often be the first thing to go. We want to hide ourselves so we hide in our sweats and we stop putting effort into what we present to the outside world. This tends to make us feel even worse about ourselves! By doing the opposite, we tend to feel really good about ourselves which reinforces this behavior. You are beautiful- show that to the world!
Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?
Oh wow, where to begin?? There have been so many! One book that is worth noting is Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. That book was so eye-opening for me in terms of understand the food industry and really learning about where our food comes from. There is so much that goes into how our food ends up on our plate and that book provided some meaningful education and helped my build my own personal mindful eating skills.
As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The two movements I would love to inspire would be to eradicate the world of every structured diet program and to empower all women to feel confident, capable, and in control!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
Ellen DeGeneres- For starters, she’s hilarious! So that meal would certainly be fun!
But more importantly, I really like what she represents. She is so focused on positivity and treating others (and ourselves!) with respect and kindness. I believe she has taken her success, her notoriety, and her wealth and used them as platforms for good and I have so much respect for that!
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!