Myth, Magic, Medicine, and everything in between 2 doctors talking.
Welcome to Myth, Magic, Medicine with me Denise Billen-Mejia my guest today is Trina Dorrah, who is an internal medicine specialist, a hospitalist and also a life coach. And I'm gonna let Trina tell you all about herself and her life in Texas. Hi Trina, thank you so much for coming here today.
Hi thank you so much for having me. Like you said, my name is Trina and I am a practicing hospitalist. I have been at my current job for 14 years. And so I really do enjoy hospital medicine. And then in 2020, I became a life coach. So I am also a life coach, in addition to continuing to practice medicine,
Did you become a life coach as a result of an issue that you needed to fix and you realized the value of life coaching, or did you just were just inspired by another person practicing?
Right, I was inspired by someone else. It's interesting. I had hired actually a weight loss coach back in 2019. I had worked with him before, and I rehired him in 2019. And then he said, Well, I'll just want to let you know, I still do a little bit of weight loss but actually I've become a Life Coach. So my program is Life Coaching. And I didn't know what that was. I was just like, Okay, well, I'll give it a try. So I joined the program. And I really found that all of the other stuff he was doing was much more exciting and interesting to me than the part he was doing about nutrition and weight loss.
Do you think that was because with a physician background, you already knew the actual didactic stuff just in practice it's different?
Yeah, I just didn't really know that life coaches, I guess existed, like, I'm sure I'd heard of them. But I'd never had one before. I didn't know anybody who was a life coach. And so just seeing the mindset work that he had us doing and seeing the impact that it was making. On other people who were in the group, I was fascinated, I was just like, Oh, my goodness, like these, the people in this group were so grateful to him. And they were talking about how their life had changed. And I was like, This is what we tried to do as physicians all the time but get yelled at, or all kinds of other things we have to deal with, as physicians, and he's helping people just like, I help people as a physician. And he's really changing lives, just like we affect people's lives, but in a different way. And that was where I first was kind of like, wow, this is really interesting. It sort of goes along with the healing personality that we already have as physicians. And that's when I first said, I think I might want to explore this a little more. So I ended up joining a live a separate life coaching program and then deciding to become a life coach myself.
Okay. And you have a particular niche within that.
Yes, I love general life coaching. So I do love doing general life coaching. And I have a special interest in helping physicians stop binge eating.
Okay, I saw on another profile of you, though, that you're into body acceptance. Yes, I think a really big issue for most women, probably for the planet, but for women especially.
Yeah, so I definitely think that there has to be some body acceptance or body neutrality work, at least, to go along with the journey of recovering from binge eating. So I do think that those two go hand in hand. A lot of times on that journey of recovering from binge eating, there's a lot of hatred for how you look and desire to look different. And dealing with emotions that come up from that with food. And so part of the healing journey is also learning how to become a little bit more accepting of your body and what it looks like.
Self Love, which is another thing you you concentrate on.
Yes, yes. Although, you know, I always tell people, if you go from, if you're starting out, hating how you look, and you really can't find anything you love about yourself, you're not going to instantly go to self love. Like it's not going to happen that quickly. And even myself, I would not say that I love my body and how it looks and I've been on this journey almost two years. I definitely think I'm much more just at kind of the body neutrality body acceptance phase.
But at least the people who come to you have recognized that they want help and they want to go there and that's a form of self love. Just the fact that they're taking the time to take care of themselves.
Oh, yes, absolutely. Like I definitely would say I have a high degree of self love. Still working on And the actual love of the way the physical body looks.
Yeah. Okay. Do you say I think there are unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved? I mean, I'm, I'm a very European looking female who's five foot two, I have gray blue eyes. I used to sit in front of the mirror when I was eight years old, and will my eyes to turn brown? Because everybody had blue eyes where I lived, it was boring. You know, do we have realistic expectations of of what we're supposed to be as human beings?
I would say no, we don't. And I think that there are a lot of expectations that are formed by the media. And in particularly now that not just that we have the internet, because we've had the internet for quite some time. But even influencers, on Instagram or on Tik Tok are talking about what their bodies look like showing off what their bodies look like. And then the people who are highlighted on TV and in magazines, so we do have an ideal that is promoted. And even from the time we're young, of what beauty is, and what a beautiful body looks like. And yes, there are messages that are given to us, from the time were young, that we should be striving to meet this ideal. But that ideal is not realistic. For most people. There are some people who naturally have that body type of a model, for example, but most people don't. But they're all of these people striving to try to get there. And so no, I don't think that it's realistic for us all to look the same way. But unfortunately, that's sort of what's been promoted. And boring, too. If we go on, then there's all of these diets out there that tell you, Oh, buy our diet, or join this program, and you'll look more like this beauty standard,
Instead of you can look like your unique self and be healthy and active and happy, which is what we really want. And what we want for our patients as physicians -correct. It's not I want you to eat this pill for the rest of your life. It's I want you to keep your blood pressure down.
Do you, are you able to use the techniques that you've learned as a life coach with your patients in practice, or as a hospitalist? Are you a little more constrained?
Unknown Speaker 7:26
I would say to a certain degree now as a hospitalist I am very busy. And so I don't have time to sit down for a full on coaching session. But I do find that I'm more inquisitive, asking people more open-ended questions. Why do you think that way? How does that thought make you feel? So I do ask some more of those types of questions. I do talk to people sometimes about their mindset. But yes, medicine in general, is very fast-paced. And so I don't have the same 30 minutes to an hour that I have with a client whenever I'm coaching with them.
It's a bit of a luxury, isn't it? So do you did you grew up in Texas?
I did not. I grew up in Tennessee.
I think I've only been Texas once. And I went to the State Fair, which is a very interesting place nutritionally. They fry butter, I mean, it's really quite, not in butter, they fry butter.
Do you fight? A lot of do your clients find those kinds of ethnic cultural messages that they've received difficult? Is that what they're dealing with mostly? Or is it individual psychological issues that that have come to them through their families?
I think there are some of those for sure. I think that we definitely get a lot of messages from culture, and we get a lot of messages from our family, but our families are raised in the culture too -right? So it's really interesting to see how many adults have ideas about food and their bodies, that when you trace back to the origin of those ideas, it did come from their parents, or maybe they had a parent who was always talking about going on a diet or being on a diet or needing to lose weight or something having too much sugar, carbs, their parent might have made comments about their body. Maybe their parents encourage them to clean their plate, no matter if they're full or not. They still told them they had to sit there and eat everything before they could get up. So there are a lot of messages that do come to us from our family. And then as you get older, you start interacting with your peers more. There's messages that come from your peer group too.
Do you see just physicians or you see other professional women or everyone?
Right! No, I will coach anyone who needs help. My interest is in helping physicians because I am a physician. I know the unique challenges that I had as a physician as it relates to binge eating myself, and then overcoming the binge eating, and so I definitely feel like I can relate to physicians. But I want to help anybody who wants help anyone who, you know, feels like they don't have control over their eating, they feel like they can't stop. They don't know why they don't understand why they can't just eat one. Sometimes I say, I want to help that person who gets so frustrated and they throw the cookies in the trash can, then they can't stop thinking about the cookies, and they go the trash can and get the cookies out and keep on eating them. Like I want to help that person who feels hopeless, that that there is like this is their life, that they're just doomed to chronically eat and feel out of control. Those are people that I want to help.
What other support do you suggest for them? Besides the actual talking of coaching, what other modalities do you include?
Unknown Speaker 10:59
And so I would say that it depends on how severe on a spectrum someone's you know, binge eating I mainly focus on binge eating. But there is something actually called Binge Eating Disorder. And if you officially have Binge Eating Disorder, and if you're not sure, you can go to your primary physician, they can maybe do some screening. But if you officially have Binge Eating Disorder, part of your treatment team does need to be a team who specializes in that. So maybe a psychiatrist, a dietician a therapist who specialize in Binge Eating Disorder, you can still have a coach on your team. And I had a coach on my team, because I loved Well, for a couple of reasons, I loved that I could have more frequent contact with my coach. And that person was a more frequent point of support for me. But then also because I would talk to my therapist and my dietician about very specific things related to the binge eating disorder. But there are other things happening in my life, I'm still a whole person with a lot of other things happening. Some of those things, I would react by eating, those are things my coach can help me with. And so I would say, depending on the severity, you may need a team like a dietitian, with therapists, possibly a psychiatrist, as well as a coach, but I, I am biased. But I think coaching can help no matter what the issue is.
No, sorry, but I've been out of clinical medicine for a long time. Binge Eating Disorder is new to me, binge eating is not emotional eating is not. And bulimia certainly is not. So where does it fall in that spectrum.
So it is an actual eating disorder. So if you were to go to the they call it the DSM, the diagnostic manual that has all the diagnoses for mental health, they're up to DSM five now. And just like there's Anorexia, and there's Bulimia, there is Binge Eating Disorder. And so it has very specific criteria, in part dealing with the severity of it, the frequency, etc. But there is an actual diagnosis, though reason I got really interested in this was because if you have the diagnosis, there's treatment available. But there are so many people who maybe don't meet the full-on criteria for binge eating disorder. They have some measure of disordered eating, but it's not to the point where they would ever go to an inpatient treatment center or anything like that. But I still felt like there were so many people that needed to hear what I had learned, and struggle with their eating and have some sort of disordered eating or just thoughts about food being good and bad. And they feel guilty based on what they eat, and they obsess over food. And I said, you know, these things I learned can help so many people, and only a small amount of them are going to officially have this disorder and go to treatment.
Presumably you don't just wake up one day and have binge eating disorder, there must be a pathway there. So hopefully you can interrupt that pathway from earlier. Right. Do you do you work with adolescents? Gentlemen? A lot. Okay. I don't because your internal medicine nappies.
Yes. Yeah, exactly. But you are correct. I mean, that's a very vulnerable time.
I think probably a lot of it comes from that that time.
Do you consider emotional over-eating as part of the same?
Yes, I usually will kind of go with whatever words the client uses. But I will say that there is a lot of emotional overeating that goes into binge eating. So I was talking to a client just today and we were talking about this and about the importance of being able to identify your emotions and know when you are feeling angry or anxious, sad even be you know, being able to feel it in your body and know what that feels like. So that you can start realizing, Wait a second, okay, this is anxiety. I'm not actually biologically hungry, I'm anxious. That's why I'm wanting to eat. And so the emotional side is an important component, being able to recognize your emotions, and know that maybe what my body needs isn't food. Maybe it needs something to help calm down this anxiety.
Yeah, as a hypnotist, I quite often see people who they finally back from work somebody was mean to them, if they really think why do they feel so crummy? And their immediate response is, they're not even thinking they just immediately as a bag of chips, or they don't have the energy to to find healthy foods, they just grab the first thing and before they realize that they're at the bottom of bag, or they've eaten a sleeve of Oreos, or, or whatever. And if they need to track back what's happened through the day, that's why are they rewarding? Those can't see my inverted commas here on the podcast. But why are they rewarding themselves this way, and they know that they're hurting themselves, right when they think about it, but it's there. They're just on remote control.
Exactly. Like sometimes it's hard to interrupt that cycle. Because you're right, you get into this pattern of you feel something. And that's why that it does become important to learn how to identify emotions, just know you don't feel good. And you know that food always makes you feel better. So you just stay in that pattern. But it does become very helpful to be able to kind of stop for a moment and say, Wait a second, what am I feeling? What do I really need right now? I know it's not food. So what is it that I need? And that can be very helpful.
Walk, walk, walk me through a standard intake, would you, do you have a certain pattern that you follow, do you dogroup coaching or individual?
I do both. But one of my favorite things is actually a concept called intuitive eating. And it's an official concept created by two dietitians. Possibly I don't know when this podcast is coming out, I may have be done week, a couple weeks ago, I was gonna say I may be done with my certification, I'm actually getting certified by the founders of intuitive eating to become an intuitive eating counselor. And I love that technique. So that is, I would say one of the main foundations of what I use to help my clients are the principles of intuitive eating,
do you do work with them also on additional expenditure of calories, do you help them get get more active.
So one concept in Intuitive Eating is actually focusing on movement, you know, exercise moving your body, but more so because we know that there are health benefits of exercise, not because we're doing it to try to make up for something we ate earlier or to punish ourselves, or hoping that if we exercise this amount, we're going to lose X number of pounds.
But we also know that that does depress appetite, when it's on how unhealthy appetite and and also lifts people out of depression.
Right? So, yes, so I definitely think you know, movement has a lot of positive benefits. The main focus I have is I don't want people just turning it in to another diet tool. Because I am, I call myself a Binge Eating Coach, I also in the past have called myself an Anti-Diet Coach, because I want to offer an alternative. There are a lot of people who have been on diet after diet after diet and not working, and they're sick of it. And so I want to offer an alternative of how they can live life manage their food, their bodies, without dieting.
There's also the fact that words used to have meanings that we knew and diet is that which you habitually eat. And when we go on a diet, we eventually come off the diet. So you need to learn what's healthy for you. So where do you see your coaching practice going? Are you? Do you think you'll scale back on your hospitals work? Or do you would you miss it terribly.
I at this point, I still would miss it. I have thought maybe when I retired from practicing medicine, this would be something that I would use, you know, to still be able to work and to fulfill that part of me that wants to help people and wants to contribute. But right now I enjoy the combination of the two. I love seeing patients and then when I'm off I love coaching. I actually it's interesting. I feel that coaching and having this other avenue has actually helped decrease burnout. and increase my longevity in medicine. Interestingly,
a change, a change is good for you. Right?
The mindset work helps to decrease burnout. And so I have noticed a lot of physicians actually have found that as they've gotten more in coaching, they become happier with their jobs
I think there's also the fact with when, I was ER, so you, anybody that had to come to me came to me, whereas a coach is, it's a self selected group, these are people who are willing to do work on it, per se, an awful lot of patients, where you're advised them to do all sorts of things, and they don't follow through, or they don't follow through fully. There's things that can help them. But they you've got to, it's a two way street, it's a partnership, as a physician or the coach, it has to be a two way street. Now,
that's definitely true that the clients coming to you, as a coach, are motivated, like they are wanting to make the change, and get to something better in the future for their life.
What's the difficulty you're gonna go afterwards? Because I know people just collect these certificates, are you some other wonderful thing?
You know, I just Intuitive Eating just has changed my life. So that was why I really became interested in intuitive eating. I, I'm not sure what else. But you're correct. It's funny. I think once people find coaching, they fall in love with coaching so much. And they see other certificates knowing Oh, that sounds interesting. That sounds interesting. You know, I'd love to learn that, like you mentioned how you're a hypnotist, I know several coaches who have gone to get training and that like you just do just love learning, and you love learning new modalities to help people.
Right? That's great. We just need to get more of it into mainstream medicine, so that we can get ahead of the curve and not have to do treat people when they're moribund, get get them healthier to start with.
Yeah, and we there's a group of us, you know, a lot of physician coaches are trying to bring coaching to the staff as well, you know, choose physicians to residents, and then ultimately expand to the staff, because, obviously, we believe in coaching. And so we believe that the people who work in health care could also benefit from having coaches too.
Yeah. But not as a band aid, not as an administrative Oh, we have a coach for that. So that your burnout problem anymore, we really need to address the real issue.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, no, I always tell people because I do coach on burnout, some that there's a component of burnout that you're in control of, and then you're absolutely right, there's a huge component that your health system has to take control over.
And, of course, the pandemic, and there's a new variant coming out again, so who knows what will happen next. But that then has had such a huge impact, because it made people feel so hopeless, and helpless as, and we're generations of doctors now have had pills that work for things. We can fix it. We are we are faced with an issue that we didn't have an answer for for a long time. Now, of course, vaccines are wonderful, but they're not. Nothing's everything, right? So you practice in which you practice in Texas, which town are you in? In Texas? I
I'm right outside Austin.
Do you work online? Or do you only see people in person
Okay. But many, many coaches have moved online. Is that a preference or just
for coaching? I think yes. Because coaching Online allows you to have clients, you know, anywhere. And so but you know, it's interesting with the pandemic, a lot of not just physicians, but dieticians, therapists etc, have all moved online as well. Or they offer that now as an option, which I think is great because it increases access to care.
It also allows us to be in different time zones so I can see somebody my 12 o'clock, which is their five o'clock. They're finished with work.
Yes, that's one of the really nice things even now, I've noticed, I established care recently with a new physician and they said, Well, do you want to come into the office or do it online? Online? I have no desire to drive into the office.
Yeah, it is nice to see people in person sometimes but yeah, it's really good as a hypnotist because they just in their own home. They can be totally comfortable. and they haven't got to go fight traffic, to get there,
right? Yeah, no, I have a friend who was learning the skill. And so I did a practice session with her. And it was really interesting. I think it did help.
So there's that's another podcast they there's lots of lots of things they can. My main interest is getting more doctors to know that hypnosis can use can be used for so many things, right? Yeah, not it doesn't cure cancer. It's there to help. It's an modality we can use,
right? Which is what coaching is your thing? Yeah, I thought it was very, very helpful.
Well, thank you so much. It's so nice of you to come. If you have any other words you'd like. I will certainly include in the show notes, your your contact information, do you prefer people to write to you, phone you,just go to your website,
Just go to my website whichis www.foodfreedomMD.com I also have a podcast called "Diet Culture is BS." And so they can check out my podcast and I would love to work with you. If you are struggling with food feel like you just cannot stop eating. You know something's wrong. Don't know how to stop. Definitely message me. I would love to work with you.
Great. Thank you so much.
Unknown Speaker 26:03
Thank you for joining us at Myth, Magic, Medicine. If you have found this episode useful, you can apply for free CME credits for the link provided in the transcript. If you're not a medical professional, please remember, while we're physicians, we're not your physicians, so please consult with your own health care professional if you think something you have heard might apply to you or a loved one. Until next time, bye bye
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