23. Being Present at Meal Time with Leslie Urbas

November 24, 2021

In This Episode
Leslie Urbas gives a different perspective on diets and food. The way we look at what we eat can control us and not just affect, but can become a part of every relationship we have, especially your relationship with your kids. Your children pick up eating habits and patterns, so listen to this episode to find out how you can be more present at meal time.

Highlights
01:01 Leslie Urbas is a dietician and personal trainer, who goes beyond the regular training and weight loss, and helps with mindfulness eating so you can live life to the fullest.
02:50 Rebbetzin Bat-Chen shares that her kids get their eating patterns and behaviors from their parents, and this is true for most, if not all, parents.
06:36 When parents label their food as “special,” such as candy and cake, it puts those food on a pedestal and this can impart some sort of disordered eating or poor habits on them without us knowing.
10:56 Byron Katie’s The Work allowed Rebbetzin Bat-Chen to face her relationship with food, where she realized that food is just food and that she was complicating it.
13:49 Kids can also see through how parents feel when they don’t want to eat a certain food, but Rebbetzin Bat-Chen turns this around and uses it as a way to teach her kids to be their true self.
15:38 Being present is when your relationship with food becomes part of the relationships you have. Leslie shares when this can also be detrimental as well.
16:41 The work that Leslie does is to help her clients focus on the goal they have and connect it to their relationship with food, family, and everyday life in a healthy way.
18:00 A diet works when the fun is not removed from your life.
19:01 Rebbetzin Bat-Chen and Leslie love to help people who want to be happy, if not happier, not just in your marriage, business, or diet.
22:05 You can contact Leslie on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or on her website. She also runs a Facebook Group called Weight Loss and Well-being for High Performers.

Links
Leslie Urbas: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Facebook Group | LinkedIn | YouTube
5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage
Marriage Breakthrough Retreat
Byron Katie

Episodes Mentioned

Connected for Real: Episode 14. Raising a Leader with Naomi Gez

Let’s Connect!
Connected for Real is on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn
For more information about Connected for Real, visit the website!

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REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Welcome to the Connected For Real Podcast! I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women in business, and my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage, and into your business. Let’s get started. The following is one of the many conversations I had with experts and professionals about real life and how it affects marriage. Let me know your takeaways on Instagram or Facebook, @connectedforreal. Enjoy. And we are live. Welcome to Connected for Real Podcast. We are here with Leslie. I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, and I am a marriage coach for women in business. Today we are talking about being present at meal time with Leslie and she’s going to introduce herself, and then you’ll figure out why this is so important and so awesome to talk about, so go ahead, Leslie.

LESLIE URBAS
Awesome. Thanks. Yeah, so I’m Leslie Urbas. I’m a dietitian and a personal trainer, and I focus on, really as I like to say, allowing people to enjoy the margaritas and the abs, which really just means allowing yourself to enjoy what you’re eating and still enjoy your body and love what it is that you have. I really focus on that person and making that commitment, and helping them reach that new level of removing the weights, removing the emotional eating issues, the disease-inducing patterns, and really, just live life to its fullest, so that way we’re not always trapped by some diet.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
That’s amazing. I never liked diets because I, first of all, didn’t need them I was always the skinny girl but also because I saw what it did to my mother and later, my sister and my friends, whatever. It’s just restrictive and it makes you obsess over something that is outside of reality. It just felt like it put them in the wrong place—place of mind. I don’t know if that’s even a word. I made that up, but one of the things is my favorite food is salad. Since I was really young, I love salad. I love vegetables. I love fancy salads. I could just do a whole buffet of salads and be happy. People would ask, “What’s your favorite food?” and all my friends were like, “Pasta,” and, “Pizza and macaroni and cheese,” and all this stuff and I would be like, “Salad,” and people would give me this really shocked face. “You like salad?” and I thought, “I don’t know why everybody else thinks that something is wrong with salad.” So I feel like that comes from almost being forced to eat salad, like that food that nobody wants. So I want to hear about what you think about that because I almost feel like now, as a mother, my kids love certain things because we love certain things. So, we have sauerkraut and my kids are asking for sauerkraut, and the neighbor, the guests would be like, “That’s not normal. Kids are not supposed to like sauerkraut.” I was like, “Your kids like what you like. What you serve, what you eat, what you find exciting,”

LESLIE URBAS
That’s a great thing to notice. Agreed to that you’re not going to get a kid to eat vegetables if you and your husband don’t eat vegetables. It’s just impossible to, really. You’ll fool them for a while, right? Let’s put it that way. When they’re little and it’s just exciting to get food on their plate and they’re like, “Oh my gosh. I get something other than milk,” right? And they see that first food and they’re colorful like, broccoli is bright green and things like that, of course they’ll eat them, but as they get older and they start to see, “Well, why doesn’t dad have a salad?” “Why doesn’t mom have the asparagus?” and, “ Why do I have the vegetables but nobody else does?” They’ll pick up your picky eating that way for sure. They definitely will develop that. Some of the things that I see a lot of times with parents are is that they really try to restrict the foods in their kids diets for as long as they possibly can and then it just opens up a smorgasbord as soon as they can have those foods where it’s like, “Oh, I’m gonna eat everything in sight because I’ve never had this food before and now it’s mine,” so it can go both ways in that, but agree that if you eat them and you keep them present, your kids are gonna do the same. I’m a big advocate for baby-led weaning. It’s what I’ve done with both of my kids. Never gave them a lick of baby food whatsoever and when somebody did, both of them were like, “Not gonna eat that. I don’t know what it is,” right? They eat real green beans. They don’t know what some of those other things are. So yeah, the more you present them with the way food should look and the things that you eat, the better off you’re gonna have your kid eat what it is that you cook.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love that you brought that up because it was the first thing that went in my head is your kids are gonna grab what’s on your plate. I hold my baby—I have a four month old now, you guys all know that, and I hold him while I eat with the other hand because that’s what you do when you have seven kids. I see that he’s starting to get interested and he’s trying to grab my cup or he’s trying to grab the fork whatever. It’s an instinct to want to grab whatever is in front of you and try to figure out what it is that’s happening in somebody else’s plate. Yeah, I really like that you said that. I also brought up before that I never dieted because I didn’t need to but I don’t think I had a good relationship with food, and I had to work on that throughout my journey. I think it’s eye-opening for me right now thinking about it that even though people thought, “Oh, she’s skinny. She doesn’t have any problems. She can eat whatever she wants,” I still had to go through my own journey of being sensitive to food and not being able to eat certain things—they gave me stomachaches—and trying to figure out what is going on with the whole thing and eventually realizing that it’s really just my relationship with food that wasn’t healthy that had nothing to do with my weight.

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, yeah. I mean there’s a lot of connections with all that— how you choose your food, why you choose your food, how food plays in your body, sometimes even you can cause your own effects with what it is you’re eating in your body.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Right. I just thought that was a[n] aha moment I’m having while talking to you.

LESLIE URBAS
Good.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Yeah, we had a conversation for a half hour before we went live and it’s really amazing. So, Leslie, tell the people what you were saying because it’s fascinating, the connection between being present, mindful eating, all of the effects that our subconscious has on our eating. All of that stuff is just amazing.

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, so I think from the standpoint of a lot of the women that you speak to, we go into life thinking that it’s one, potentially gonna be easy, and two, we’re gonna be this mom that meal preps and the kids only eat the healthy things and they strive to only eat the healthy things and things are just perfect. You try to remove all those things that you had when you were a kid, things that come to mind are friends of mine are like, “Oh, my kid will never eat Pringles,” and “My kid will never have a piece of candy,” or, “They’ll never have these things,” right? I’ve had friends that are like, “No, she’s two and she’s never had a single lick of sugar before.” I’m like, “Oh, okay, okay.” “What, does your kid eat sugar?” and I’m like, “Yeah.” I mean, I think she probably got candy as soon as she turned one but it is what it is either way, and that’s not judging in any way. You do yourself as a mom, but the thought process is with kids, the more you restrict and you put things on a pedestal like, “This is special candy.” “This is special food. This is for special occasions.” Special things, special treats—that gratifies the food, right? That’s special. Those things are better than the other things. So, we put these foods now on a pedestal, where the candy, the cake, the cookies and things like that are better for them. They’re hearing those as special. When your kid does something really good, you congratulate them, right? You give them hugs, you give them praise, you do things special for them, and if you give them these special foods only at these special times, they then think when something special happens in their life, this is how they do it and that becomes into like as you’re trying to restrict because you’re like, “I don’t want my kid to be fat. I don’t want to be overweight. I don’t want to have these issues with food like I did growing up,” you we kind of caused them, right? We kind of caused them because of it. So, then you bring your own self into play, right? When we’re parents, we bring ourselves into it. We bring in our own dieting history, we bring in all those things. So if you’ve been somebody that’s yo-yo dieted all your life, or you’ve been restricted, or you have these moments, where it’s like, “I’m not touching that ice cream,” or things along that nature, you really restrict to your kids the same mindset. Even if you think, “Well, I’m not saying it out loud.” Doesn’t matter. They watch that. They watch that while they’re playfully eating their ice cream and dad is joining them, mom’s not. “Why isn’t mom doing it?” or if mom does it, she has a few bites and says she’s full. Why is it at moments that you’ll hear mostly women, sometimes men, say, “Oh, I can’t eat that today,” or, “No, I’m just not eating that. Mommy’s eating something different,” or you do the supplements, or you do whatever that diet is out there and you change your diet and you say it’s to build strength or whatever but your kids see it and they see why you’re trying to do it and so it imparts to them this sort of disordered eating, which we all have. You have some sort of potential disordered eating if you’ve ever done a diet in your life because at one point, certain foods either cost more points or cost more calories or cost more fat or whatever it was that you were tracking at the time. So, you have a different relationship with that food and so because you have that different relationship with that food, even if you think, “Well, I’m not counting the points anymore,” it doesn’t matter. If you’re still used to chicken being a free food and a piece of cake being all your points for the day, it plays in your mind and that plays out in how you respond with your family and all of those things come into correlation with everybody in your family and in your relationships—comes into play with your husband because let’s say you did eat the cake that day and later on that day, he tries to entice you and you’re like, “No, I feel awful. I feel gross. I ate this piece of cake,” and so you become super self-conscious and it puts a little damper there on your personal relationship with your husband, and then with your kids they see the difference. Let’s say you one day eat everything that you want and the next day it goes back to super restrictive, they see I eat what I want. I punish myself with or without you using the words, and that’s really where food and the disordered eating patterns we have play throughout our life. So, the more we’re like, “Oh, I’m just gonna go follow this,” or, “I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it,” we’re showing our kids it’s okay to say you’re gonna do something and not follow through, and that’s really the biggest thing that I, in my business, that I help with is that I hope you get through that disordered eating so that way you’re clear and you can be present in the moment and eat the two bites of ice cream and just laugh about it. Enjoy your kids in the moment instead of in your head being like, “Okay, what do I need to restrict? How much more gym time do I need? What is going to happen to my body from these few bites of ice cream?”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Right. I like it. Byron Katie says, “Take the soundtrack that’s going on in your head and just turn it off, and how would this be different when there is no soundtrack that says, ‘What is this going to do to me’ and, ‘What’s going to be?’” When I found out about Byron Katie her work is called The Work by Byron Katie. Her work is about relationships with people. So, if you’re upset with your mom, you would do the work or the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet, which is a one page worksheet. You would do it on your mom. It would say I’m annoyed with my mom because she messed up my life—whatever, right? We had a neighbor who said a mom’s job is to embarrass her kids at least three times a day so that they have something to complain about when they’re grown up because everybody’s gonna always say their mom messed up their life. Anyway, it was just a funny example that came up to me. I love my mom, by the way. She was on the podcast and we had a whole discussion about raising a leader and how she did an amazing job. So, definitely giving her all the credit— not all the credit, some of the credit. Okay, so I was so scared of doing the work because the first time you’re like, “I don’t know,” because I’m gonna find out certain truths that I’m afraid to face. So, I did the work on food and the work on food was mind-blowing what came out of that was just like, “Oh. Food is complicated. Food is a headache. Food causes stomach aches—” whatever it is. When I turned it around, I am complicating it. It’s not complicated. Food is not complicated. Food is just food. I’m the one complicating it and I’m the one who is letting it control my stomach aches and I’m using it as the reason why my stomach is hurting. Once I did the work on food, I realized that that night or the next night, I had a stomachache and I was like, “Okay, what did I eat?” My immediate thing was, “What did I eat that day that caused my stomach to hurt?” and I realized, “Wait. Stop thinking that. It’s not the food. What could it be?” and it turned out there was a person who came over, who I couldn’t stand and I was trying to be nice and couldn’t just—like, “Oh, she’s so shallow. I can’t believe she’s saying these things,” and this whole thing is going through my head, and I totally ignored that because I was looking for what foods caused my stomach to hurt. When I stopped and decided that’s not a reason, let’s look for other reasons. I had to sit down and do the work on that woman, and once I sat down and did the work on that woman, I realized that that was a huge lesson. All the things that came out of that work that I did were just a mirror on all the things I had to work on and then that blew my mind. So, that was a long story to describe my relationship with food. You were saying about like, “Oh, mom is having just one or two bites. Everybody else is gobbling it up.” I think that the kids also see right through it if mom is gobbling it up as a fake, just trying to be normal and hoping that it doesn’t cause pain or whatever. They’re also going to know. So, I know that I can enjoy a bite or two but really I just really want the salad. I don’t care so to be my real true self, I just need to eat that one or two bites and be part of the party without eating too much, without faking it and so my kids are just like, “Oh, I’m learning that I could be okay with being different. I don’t have to eat like everyone else,” or, “I don’t have to push myself to do something just because that’s the way everybody does it.” I think that’s also just another look on how kids see right through when we lie or when we think we’re holding it back.

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, I totally agree with that and I agree with being true to yourself. I mean, obviously don’t eat ice cream if you’re lactose intolerant and you’re going to be in the bathroom for the rest of the night. Let’s not go that route. It’s very—tell your kids like, “I don’t like it.” or, “It doesn’t agree with mom’s stomach,” or whatever. There’s absolutely no problem with that. That’s a healthy thing. It can also be, “I dislike it.” I don’t eat bacon. I don’t like bacon. I’ve never liked bacon. I don’t know why people eat bacon and everybody here [is] like, “How do [not] like bacon? It’s an American thing.” I was like, “Guess I’m not American. I don’t know what to tell you,” but my daughter will eat it. I’ll cook it for my daughter. She’ll ask for it and then she’ll say, “Mom, you don’t eat bacon.” I’m like, “Nope. I just don’t like it. You eat it, daddy eats it, Larry eats it, I don’t eat it,” and she was like, “Okay.” She’s over it. Doesn’t matter. I just don’t eat it. Sometimes she’ll ask me if I want to bite it. I’m like, “No, I don’t like it. I don’t want to eat it,” and there’s nothing wrong in terms of that. That’s present. It’s when your relationship with food becomes part of every relationship you have. Part of the relationship with your kids, part of the relationship with your husband, part of like I can’t go out, I can’t wear that, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, there’s no way I’m going to a beach, I don’t feel comfortable, and it’s where you get totally consumed by the shame and the guilt wrapped around whatever food that you are or not eating in your body and your whole presence and that creates a very large emotional relationship with yourself, with food and it brings it into all of the relationships that you’re in. That’s when it becomes detrimental, not when you choose to be like, “I really don’t want the ice cream. I really want the salad.” Absolutely not. It’s when that present moment of food is now controlling you and you’re no longer controlling it.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Oh, wow. That was so good. That was so good. Just that point, when food becomes the center of every relationship or affects every relationship. That’s huge. Okay, so how do you help people?

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, so that’s what I do. I really do help the people that are ready to make the commitment. I mean, I’ll be honest with that up front. Everybody says it. You could walk down the street right now, knock on 20 doors. I guarantee 10 of them would be like, “Yeah, I want to lose weight. If not more, maybe 15 or maybe all 20,” right? So [they’ll] be like, “Yeah, I could probably lose a little bit of pounds or change some sort of whatever,” but it’s the real truth of being committed. Do you want to break that relationship? Do you want to impart a healthy relationship with food, to yourself, to your kids? Do you have a goal? Is it that you want to get out of this dieting mindset? Is it that you want to stop cycling up and down 20 pounds? Is it that you want to have intense strength? So I really hope you focus on the goal that you have at hand to reduce any emotional eating tethers you may have reduce, any weight you want to take off, and reduce any disease-inducing patterns that you may have—maybe diabetes runs in your family, let’s minimize that so you can live shame and guilt-free, enjoying those moments, present with your family, not saying no to life events because of the way that you feel and as I like to say it, hold that margarita in hand with a smile on your face— really enjoying what it is that you want to do in your life ultimately.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love that. That’s amazing. That’s amazing, and I love how you said before. Can you say it again with like not making it two different things but really cross over?

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, we go at dieting for a piece of paper, right? We’re like, “Okay, here’s my piece of paper of diet and here’s my life.” Instead, what we’re looking for is to intersect the two of them. We want to bring the diet and the piece of paper diet together. So, my life, Leslie. I love to do x, y, and z but when I’m on a diet I don’t do x, y, or z because I’m on this diet. So, how do we get it for the two to mingle? That’s the process if your diet’s gonna work. The moment you have to say, “I’ll go on it on Monday,” or “When I go on vacation, I fall off,” or, “I do really well,” and then those are all excuses, meaning that that piece of paper wasn’t designed for you. Well, I mean nobody wants to fit in a box their whole life, right? You can tell if you’re unhappy in certain aspects of your life and a diet is typically just a way for you to control some other unhappy aspects, but if you could get your diet to give you some happiness and give you what you want without having to remove all the fun in your life, you’re gonna actually get results.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Right. I love that. First of all, I love that you’re saying you have to be committed because if you’re okay with being okay—you know, this is what I say. Like, “How’s your marriage?” “It’s okay.” We’re not getting divorced. Nothing bad is happening. My husband loves me. He’s a good guy and it’s okay. So, there’s nothing to change. You’re just okay with being okay, but when you are not okay with being okay anymore and you’re like, “I can have so much better. I could totally break out of this okay-ness.” That is when you’re ready, and for me those are the people I love to help. Your husband loves you. He wants the best for you. He wants you to be ecstatic, not just happy. He wants you to be at the top of the world because that’s what men were made to focus on. A successful man—he measures his success by how happy his wife is. So, you can have a guy who’s the most successful man in the world. He has the buildings and everything all around and everybody wants to be him because he has everything that everybody else wants, but he comes home and his wife is like, “Ah. I can’t believe you did this,” and, “I can’t do that.” She complains and she’s like, “You’re not enough,” and this and that. How does he feel? Like a nothing. Like a total failure. So, when we realize that this is all he wants, then all we need to do is be happy. The problem is that we don’t know how to be happy because we’ve been conditioned that being happy is awkward. “Why are you so happy?” It’s as if there’s something wrong with you.

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah. No, I mean that’s the majority of people that come. They’re like, “Yeah, I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to do this,” and then they hear the investment, and they’re like, “My husband’s going to say no.” You’re the one that just said you wanted to be happy. Go to him and be like, “This is going to help me get clear, to be happier with us,” Why do we have to dumb our lives down for an existence that— do you want to make it through life saying, “I’m okay.”

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Right, and you just said it—well, before when we were talking or I was asking you about your marriage and your business—why is it that we limit ourselves? He did not even say no. You said he’s gonna say no. Isn’t that crazy how our brains work? We’re like, “This is what I want. I know it’s amazing, this and that. This is gonna change my life,” and it’s like, “But my husband is not gonna be happy with this. But my husband is not gonna give me the okay on this.” No. Your husband wants the best for you. The problem is when you’re not sure what’s good for you or when you don’t know what you want, so then you come and ask for permission as if he’s a parent or something, and he doesn’t want to say yes to something that’s expensive and he doesn’t know if it’s going to work, but if you come and say, “I did the homework. I’m committing to this. This is going to change my life, and I just want you to know that you’re an important part of my life and you’re my partner and I need your okay in order to go ahead with this investment.” That’s a totally different vibe, and it changes everything.

LESLIE URBAS
It does. Yeah, yeah. I’m in full agreement.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Mic drop. Leslie, how can people find you?

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, so I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I am on YouTube too but those are the ones I kind of hang out on the most. My name, Leslie Urbas, is pretty much it on all the platforms and then I also run a group it’s called Weight Loss and Well-being for High Performers on Facebook and I go live in there every day. I do a lot of talks about disordered eating ways, that you’re not committing to yourself, tips to break through some of your subconscious beliefs to actually start to get results, so you can kind of start there, or check out my website leslieurbas.com, and I’d love to learn more about you and see if there’s ways that we can get you to your goals.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
That sounds amazing. Okay, so thank you so much, Leslie. This was so awesome. You guys should definitely check her out and we’ll see you next time.

LESLIE URBAS
Yeah, thanks for having me.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
And that’s it! Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm, this is a good podcast and make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected for real? And now, take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode. Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget, you can be connected for real.

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