Done with Dieting Episode #149: I Don’t Do It All by Myself

I Don’t Do It All by Myself

Do you ever feel like you’re hiding parts of yourself for fear of judgment or societal expectations? You’re not alone. In this revealing episode, I share a deeply personal and unexpected secret that has been simmering behind the scenes of my life and career.

This secret isn’t just about me; it opens up a hearty discussion about what it means to be a woman in today’s world. It’s about the roles we feel compelled to play, the masks we wear, and the pressure to appear a certain way.

What’s the hidden ingredient in my life? Tune in to find out. You’ll discover lessons on authenticity, vulnerability, and the courage to embrace our true selves, even when it feels uncomfortable. It’s an episode that will stir your thoughts and maybe even inspire you to unveil your secrets.

Chapter Summaries:

Revealing My Secret (0:00:08) 

I discuss embracing our true selves, being honest and authentic, and reflecting on our journey.

Challenge Gender Roles (0:03:43) 

Facing fears, discussing the practicality of the truth reveal, guidelines for eating, mindful eating, and breaking down judgment barriers.

Challenging Gender Biases and Embracing Choice (0:15:35)

Challenging expectations of womanhood, empowering choices, and redefining what it means to be a woman.

Support and Coaching for Balance (0:24:03)

Self-acceptance, combating guilt and fear, building self-confidence and balance, and providing resources for healing.

“Embrace your unique path and challenge the expectations that society hands down to us.” – Elizabeth Sherman

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • I’m revealing a deeply guarded secret that has been hidden for a long time. 
  • Explore my exploration of gender roles, societal expectations, and the challenging journey to personal empowerment. 
  • Join me as I break down the walls of fear and judgment surrounding unconventional personal choices. 
  • I share how a significant personal decision has greatly enriched my work as a life and health coach. 
  • Find out how I navigated through guilt and fear to find self-acceptance and balance in my life.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

Have I got something amazing for you today? On the podcast, you and I have shared laughs, wisdom, and the ups and downs of our health journeys. But today, I am revealing a little something that I’ve kept hidden. Something that I honestly thought that I would never share.

Now, you’re probably wondering, what could it be? Well, it’s something that’s been weighing on me. Something that might even change your perception of me. But it’s time to lay it all out there because I believe in transparency, honesty, and the power of being our authentic selves.

So, strap in because today’s episode is a big one. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s part of me that I haven’t exposed before. And so, trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this and let’s dive in.

Welcome to the Done With Dieting Podcast, where it’s all about designing the life, you want in midlife. I’m your host, Elizabeth Sherman, a master certified life and health coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, feminist coach, and specialist in women’s hormones.

Are you tired of scales, food logs, and strict diets? Struggling with hormonal symptoms and the challenges of aging, changing relationships, and entering the next phase of your life? You have come to the right place.

Here, we talk about food freedom, nurturing a better relationship with your body, and feeling great again. All without the weight of traditional dieting methods.

Through a mix of solo podcasts and conversations with industry experts, I’m here to guide you towards a healthier, happier you.

Join me as we explore ways to look and feel better and strive for optimal health regardless of where you are in your journey. But more importantly, to reclaim control, confidence, and joy in this beautiful stage of life.

This is the Done With Dieting podcast. Let’s dive in.

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Done With Dieting podcast. I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And today, I’ve got a big truth reveal. Actually, I think by doing that, it’s probably grown in size in my brain. Right? You know when you keep something hidden and it’s not really that big of a deal, but then you’re like, Oh, I should have said something.

And then, now if I say something, it’s going to be bigger. I think that that’s kind of what happened. So, you know, we all have secrets. Little things that we keep tucked away out of sight, and sometimes it’s because we’re afraid of what others might think. And other times it’s the pressure that we feel to live up to certain expectations or norms. We hold back part of ourselves thinking that maybe others won’t understand or that we might be judged.

Well, today I’m revealing a secret of my own. Something that I’ve been holding in, and honestly, it’s just time to rip off the band aid. I believe in authenticity. And I strive to live my life that way.

But even I have my moments where I don’t share everything. And this secret, it’s tied to my journey and my growth. Even the very principles that I teach right here in the podcast. And so, I wanted to share this with you because I think that it can shed light on something that so many of us grapple with.

The roles that we play, the masks that we wear, and the way that we navigate in this complex world. This episode is all about embracing your true self. And I hope that it will inspire you to reflect on your own journey. And be aware that whatever secrets you might be holding onto, you’re never alone. We are in this together. And today, we are going to explore what it means to be truly authentic.

So, you might be asking, what’s the big secret, Elizabeth? Well, let’s get it done. I have to admit, I have a mix of excitement and a little bit of nerves. I feel a little bit vulnerable here. But we are all friends, and we are on episode 149, after all. And so, I feel like I can be open and honest with you.

My big secret is that I have a personal chef. Yeah, you heard that right. A personal chef who cooks for us Monday through Thursday for dinner. Now, you might be thinking one of a couple different things.

One is like, that’s it? That’s such a letdown. Or two, oh my god, that’s amazing. How do I do this? Teach me. Or number three, Elizabeth, you teach all about meal prep and planning. Why would you have a personal chef? And that’s a fair question. And one that I’ve asked myself.

So, let me start out by saying that having a personal chef isn’t something that I ever thought that I’d have. But as my business began to grow, especially during the pandemic, I found myself with less time to make the meals that I really wanted to.

Living in Mexico, where the cost of living is lower, having a personal chef became something that my husband Gary and I could afford. But why keep it a secret? Well, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

First, I wrestled with guilt. The pandemic was challenging for so many people. And my business was growing. It was thriving. Having a private chef felt like an overt display of wealth.

As women, we’re often discouraged from showing success. Right? We worry about being judged as greedy or prideful. And that we should be happy with what we’ve got and we shouldn’t want more than what we have.

Second, I fear judgment from other women, from my followers. I teach methods to shop and to eat that helped me achieve food freedom. But having a chef might create the perception that I have it easier.

And honestly, apart from a few dietary requirements, my chef cooks with full fat butter, cheese, and oil. We really don’t set a lot of quote unquote healthy requirements around him.

And even though we have someone who cooks for us, I do still walk the walk and talk the talk. I use the principles that I teach you on a daily basis. And I do not want you to use my setup against yourself. We do that as women. That because you don’t have a private chef, that you can’t achieve the results that I promise.

It wasn’t until recently, that we hired him. So, all of my success and techniques that I teach were created when I was doing this all myself.

Third, as my schedule got busier, living here in Mexico with Gary, I’ve had to adjust. While I can eat the same thing every day, Gary cannot.

So, I found myself grappling with the gender bias of being a woman who quote unquote should cook more complex dinners. Would I feel the same if Gary were the one who was doing the cooking? Probably not.

So, in terms of the chef, what are our guidelines? Well, we love a huge dose of vegetables at every meal. I do most of the grocery shopping still. I buy foods like steak, chicken, pork, fish, and tons of vegetables. I prefer to avoid flour due to my hormones but beyond that, our chef has complete creative freedom.

The reality is that I still believe that you can eat anything that you want and maintain or lose weight. Having a personal chef does not change that. But it’s time for me to share this part of my life with you because we’re on this journey together.

So, I’m curious, do you have a secret? What are you hiding for fear of judgment? I’d like you to reflect on that, and let’s keep breaking down these barriers together.

Now, I know having a personal chef might seem like a far off luxury, but I want to break down the dynamics of it. It’s not just about indulgence. It’s about practicality and adhering to our values. When it comes to guidelines with our chef, they’re pretty simple.

The focus is on a huge dose of vegetables at each meal, and he cooks enough for leftovers for Gary’s lunch the next day. He gets to be creative with what he prepares, and the grocery shopping though, that’s all still on me. I’m there picking out the proteins and vegetables and staying true to what we enjoy.

It might sound fancy, but this arrangement is not actually much different than the meal delivery kits that you’ve probably seen advertised or even used. It’s about convenience and allowing ourselves the freedom to enjoy food without the stress of daily preparation. And yes, he cooks with all of the things.

But here’s the key. I still follow my principles of mindful eating. And I want to emphasize that I’ve always talked about how you can eat anything and still maintain or lose weight if you want to, as well as manage your menopausal symptoms.

Although, to be honest, it is easier when you are preparing your own food. But still, it’s not about restriction, it’s about listening to your body. Having a personal chef doesn’t change that truth. It doesn’t prevent me from overeating or reaching for snack foods outside of mealtimes. And this is where I stand firm in what I teach on this podcast and to my clients.

You can maintain or lose weight without using scales, preparing every meal yourself, food logging or following a strict diet. It’s about being mindful. being present, and most importantly, being honest with yourself.

Now, I’m not perfect, and neither are you, and that’s okay. We are human. It’s more than okay. It’s real, and it’s human, and it’s how we connect.

The reality of having a personal chef has not made me stray from my core beliefs. It’s only reinforced them. And whether you cook every meal yourself, have a loved one cooking for you, go out to dinner, or even splurge on your own personal chef someday, the principles of mindful eating remain the same.

And they’re part of my 8 Basic Habits that Healthy People Do. Habit number seven is eat just enough and not too much. And number eight is limit treats. And if you want to find out more about those eight basic habits that healthy people do, you can listen to episode number three titled the foundation, or you can go to the show notes and click the link for the free guide and checklist.

So, we’ve covered quite a bit already, but there’s one part of this whole private chef revelation that I feel like I need to dig into a little bit more. And it’s something that’s not just about me, but many of us women face. And it’s all tangled up in gender roles, cultural expectations, and our tricky internalized oppression of sexism. What it means to be a woman?

There’s this expectation, this cultural pressure that tells us that we as women, we should be doing it all on our own. And cooking is just one of the expectations that many of us take on. A role that we must fulfill in order to be seen as the quote unquote good wife, or good mother, or good woman. Right?

Now, before we get into it, I want to take you back to episode number 143, where we talked about the myth of doing it all. And the idea that we have to have everything under control. We need to look perfect. We need to handle all of life’s challenges alone. And quite honestly, it’s just not true.

Most women who you think have it all together, most likely have help. They have a nanny, a housekeeper, a gardener, an assistant, or even a personal chef. And this might extend to cosmetic procedures too. But somehow, it feels like it’s a secret that we can’t talk about.

And if we do mention getting help, we need to explain why it is that we need the help. Whereas it doesn’t feel like that’s true for men. It’s just assumed. But I’d like you to think about it. How often are we asked to justify or explain ourselves? Oh, you can’t volunteer for the bake sale. Why not? It’s like we’re expected to explain our decisions, and even defend them.

But here’s the thing, I find myself wrestling with this need to justify my decision to have a personal chef with you. Why is that? I think the gender bias would grant me an exception if I were a man. The assumption would be that I’m not capable in the kitchen. So, hiring a chef wouldn’t be an issue if I were my husband. So, what’s really going on here?

One of my favorite questions I like to ask myself when I’m judging myself or other women is, would I feel differently if I or that person were a man. It allows me to look at my internalized sexism. And yes, women can be sexist. It’s time to break down these gender biases and really look at them.

Another question that I noticed myself reflecting on more and more recently is when I find myself judging another woman, I ask myself, who decided that? Who decided that women quote unquote should be the cook in the family? And why do we feel the need to hide or explain our choices when our choices don’t fit this mold?

I want to invite you to ask that same question. When you find yourself judging another woman for her choices, ask yourself, who decided that that was the right way? Chances are, it wasn’t you and it wasn’t anyone else that you know.

These expectations that society gives us are handed down generation after generation. The idea that women should be cooking or should be fulfilling certain roles needs to be examined and questioned. And guess what? It’s okay to shake things up. It’s okay to go against what’s expected. It’s okay to find your path and embrace it, wholeheartedly.

It’s time to challenge these norms. It’s time to recognize that we don’t have to do it all on our own. We can ask for help. We can delegate. We can prioritize. And most importantly, we can be honest about it. I believe in supporting one another in this journey, and part of that support means being real and recognizing that no one has it all together all the time.

So, what are your thoughts on gender roles and expectations? What do you feel that you should be doing? And how can we support one another in breaking free from these molds and embracing our unique path? There’s no right or wrong here. Only the space for growth, reflection, and connection.

These are hard questions, and they’re uncomfortable. But it’s important to challenge these norms and to recognize that we don’t have to conform to them. I believe that women Like men should have the freedom to choose how we navigate our lives including our relationships with food and cooking.

And I believe that these choices should be respected and honored, not questioned, or judged. It’s not about rejecting cooking or embracing it. It’s about the choice in and of itself. It’s about acknowledging that women are multifaceted and that our value doesn’t hinge on whether we prepare dinner every night. or not.

What really matters is that we’re true to ourselves, that we live authentically, and not in response to outdated and restrictive norms. Because at the end of the day, these norms serve no one. They only limit us and keep us from connecting with our true selves.

So, I invite you to reflect on this. Have you felt these pressures? Have you questioned or hidden your choices because of what others think of you or what’s expected of you as a woman?

Know, that you’re totally not alone and that it’s okay to challenge these expectations. We can redefine what it means to be a woman in this world, free from judgment and full of empowerment. The first step is always awareness.

Now, you might be wondering, but Elizabeth, how does all of this connect to what you teach and believe in as a life and health coach? Well, let’s dive into that because it’s a big part of why I wanted to share this secret with you.

First and foremost, I want you to know that having a private chef doesn’t make me immune to the struggles that we all face with food. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t prevent me from overeating or making weight management a breeze.

The principles I teach my clients about mindful eating, listening to your body, and finding a balanced relationship with food are the very same principles that guide me every single day. It’s not about the food itself. but how we approach it. And it’s about recognizing that you don’t need a scale. You don’t need strict dieting or to deprive yourself to find harmony with your body and your life.

I’ve always talked about how you can eat anything and still maintain or even lose weight if you want to. That the food will tell you exactly how much to eat. It’s about tuning in and being present and respecting what our bodies need and what they want. It’s about empowerment, freedom, and self-compassion.

And yes, even though, I have a private chef who cooks for me, I still need to practice these principles. I still have to navigate snack foods and overeating. And make choices that align with my goals and values and embrace the journey without judgment or guilt.

I share this with you because I want you to know that I’m in this with you. I face the same challenges, the same human experience. And I’m committed to walking this path alongside you. Helping you find that equilibrium, that balance that feels right to you.

So, if you’ve ever felt like you needed something outside of yourself to succeed, like a private chef, or a personal trainer, or some other magic bullet. Know, that the real magic is deep within you. It’s in your ability to connect with yourself, to trust yourself, and to find joy and confidence in your unique journey.

It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being authentic, growth, and the beautiful, sometimes messy process of becoming the best version of yourself.

As we wrap up today’s episode, I want to leave you with some thoughts. Today, was a big step for me. Sharing something so incredibly personal and at times really uncomfortable, but that’s what growth is about. It’s about stepping into our truth. even when it feels a bit scary.

But first, let’s talk about authenticity. Being real and honest, not just with others but with ourselves is a pathway to joy and just being happier. Sure, it can be tempting to hide parts of ourselves for fear of judgment or misunderstanding. But those hidden parts can weigh us down. They create barriers, not just between us and others but between us and our own selves.

So, I want to encourage you, take some time to reflect on what it is that you might be hiding. What truths are you ready to embrace? And next I’d like you to consider those fears around judgment. Of course, we all have them. We worry about what others will think. How they’ll react. But the truth is we never really know, do we?

People can surprise us. And often, our fears are far worse than the reality. More importantly, we can’t control other judgments. We can only control our actions and our own attitudes. So, we can focus on being true to ourselves and letting others think what they might.

Then, finally, let’s talk about vulnerability and connection. By letting our guard down, by showing our imperfect and human selves, we invite others to do the same. We build intimacy, understanding, and genuine connection. We create safe spaces for growth, love, and mutual support. And that’s powerful.

I want you to know that I value you. I appreciate your trust, and your time, and your willingness to walk this journey with me. And so, I want to continue for us to challenge ourselves, to support each other, and embrace the beautiful complexity of our lives.

I hope today’s episode resonated with you. I would love to hear back from you on what we talked about and maybe even some secrets you’ve been inspired to share. It’s through sharing that we build a community.

So, please feel free to comment on my social media pages or send me a private message. Your reflections and experiences help shape our conversations. And I value each and every one of you.

If today’s episode has touched a nerve and you find yourself needing more support, I want you to know that I’m here for you. You can find resources, programs, and even one on one coaching opportunities on my website. Just go to the show notes.

I believe in you, and I want to help you find that balance, confidence, and self-acceptance that we’ve been talking about.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey. You are what makes this podcast so incredibly meaningful. And I am grateful to you, for your trust, your time, and your curiosity.

That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing day, everyone. And I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.

Hey there, I am so glad that you spent this time with me today.

Are you feeling inspired to take control of your health, but not quite sure where to start? Or maybe you’re ready for that next step towards food freedom, body neutrality, and consistent eating habits. Either way, I’ve got something just for you.

If you’re a woman in midlife who’s done with dieting and ready to embrace a healthier relationship with food, your body, and self, let’s connect. Whether you’re interested in private coaching with me or my amazing group coaching program, we’ll discover what’s perfect for your unique journey.

So, why not book a consult? It’s a chance for us to chat one on one, explore your needs, and find the path that’s meant for you. Just head to and let’s get started.

I truly believe that transformation is within your reach and I’m here to guide you every step of the way. It’s your time to shine and I can’t wait to support you in this amazing journey.

Thank you again for listening and remember, I’m always here for you. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

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