A Whisper to a Scream
A Whisper to a Scream
October 11, 2022
In this episode, Lyndsay Soprano talks with Deborah Genovesi, FDN-P about the importance of nutrition and wellness for those who feel trapped in their bodies.
On this episode of the Pain Game Podcast, Lyndsay Soprano talks with her guest, Deborah G. of Deborah G. Wellness.
Lyndsay opens up by talking about the topic of food and the “not so greatest relationships with food and nutrition, and how we all have different relationships with it. She never has been interested in food at all; never being a foodie.
She loves to cook, just doesn’t want to eat the food she cooks! What a conundrum. Soprano isn’t really sure when that happened in her life. But with her CRPS, her lackluster relationship with food has turned into basically a zero relationship with food.
Just give her a pill so she can get all of the nutrients necessary to survive and support her body best. So much of this relationship with food stemmed from what she calls pain puking. And the guest of the show and Lyndsay spoke about the fact that she got so sick to her stomach because her pain was so high that if she ate, it was like, forget about it. So she created this cute little eating disorder without intentionally doing it because she doesn’t need to lose weight. It’s hard on her relationship because her sweetie loves food; like loves food. No matter how bad it is for him.
He eats like shit, but he loves food. So they both have two crappy relationships with food, no pun intended. She has tried everything. Anything anti-inflammation like celery juice, gluten free, dairy free, alcohol free, all of it! Those choices certainly didn’t help her pain.
She challenges her guest, because she absolutely love tacos and that’s the only thing she wants to eat. Like, she wants Taco Tuesday to be every day. So she would like her guest to create her a 30 day taco diet.
Soprano’s guest, Deborah G. has been on a crazy journey to get her to where she is right now. Her guest is a perfect fit for this show, and she talked about what ailed her, what’s led her to become who she’s become, and one who is amazing.
She’s a board-certified holistic coach and functional medicine nutrition expert. She transformed her health about a decade ago and went from 70 pounds of being overweight, wracked with pain, and essentially bedridden with fibromyalgia. And now she’s up to about 90% symptom-free, which is unbelievable to me.
So, Deborah G’s body has been through quite the journey. And both are type A. They talked about that and what she did in the past for her job in PR and media and television and lack thereof nutrition. And now her main “part” has shifted from those roles to a healthier one.
Deborah G once was not so chipper, was 70 pounds overweight, and really in a lot of pain. And so when she was contacted to be a guest on the pain game, she thought, well, what’s this about? You know? And she looked into the show and confesses she did not know much about CRPS but being a nutritionist so much of pain is generally helped by curbing inflammation.
And Lyndsay mentioned some of the main culprits. Like that we do in our everyday eating, like gluten, like dairy, like alcohol, like caffeine, soy, corn. There are many very inflammatory things that if we eat them, particularly in excess for several years. Combined with stress and being a type A and all the crap that’s in the water and all the pollution that’s in the air. You just get this sort of perfect storm where a lot of us live especially if there is any weakness in the body.
You are going to just really feel bad until you can kind of extinguish that inflammation. And she does a sort of spoiler alert here. It’s not only physical. A lot of this stuff for me and for all of the clients she has worked with, it’s the mind-body connection as well. There’s a really great book that she’s going back and reading because it came out in like 2014, called The Body Keeps the Score.
This book has been mentioned on almost every episode so far! It’s a must read!
There is so much to learn from this book. The man who wrote this book is a psychologist and he was involved in the very early pioneering of kind of how the mind and body are working together. And he also makes a point right at the beginning of the book saying that it is believed that better living through chemistry is where we just bombard ourselves with as much pills and therapies as possible. That’s really not great. She’s not one of these people that says, you know, you should never take medicine for anything. She’s not saying that. She was just saying that you’ve got to have these core things together. So, nutrition would be one of it’s main pillars of health that you’ve heard many people say, you know, yes, it’s food and exercise, but what you may not have heard people say is it’s also your stress reduction. And that comes down to not just can you sit in a pretzel shape and do some yoga once a week? That’s not going to get it. This has to be an ongoing not only mental, and emotional stress, but also finding and removing the stressors that are happening on your body that may be coming through what you’re eating of all things!
It also may be coming through the relationships that you have. This is a lot of the work that she does with folks—she calls herself a health detective. It’s like trying to sleuth out, like, okay, so for this person, what exactly is it that’s bringing down the body?
What is that bag of stone around the neck that’s just like keeping you down? And it is quite something because there are some commonalities and a lot of times its food, especially here in America because a lot of what we eat is processed. And even if it’s so-called healthy packaged food, it’s probably still not as good for you.
She loved to hear when Soprano mentioned that you love to cook, even if she doesn’t always love to eat it right now. But loving to cook is such a big part of it because so many people will say to her, “Well, I don’t cook. It’s like a brick wall. I’m not going to cook,” Deborah G. states.
And it’s like, “I’m sorry to tell you, you’re going to have very slow progress. Because if you’re just eating restaurant food, which has God knows what in it and not the most quality ingredients, even at the expensive places, right.”
They’ve got economies of scale. They’re trying to make money, right? So, they’re not going to give you if you’re paying $30 for something that only cost them $10. So, if you were home and spent $30 and got the best stuff, wouldn’t that be better?
She’s not saying never go out, but she mentions that if you only go out and you only eat things out of a package that you’re throwing into a microwave, you are setting yourself up and not for good stuff.
Soprano mentions that it is nice to have someone who knows what she’s talking about (and walks the walk) that can help her nag her sweetie.
And so the challenge with that, and I think it’s a lot of relationships because we’re high-paced, we don’t have (well together), we don’t have children. But, you know, all of Soprano’s friends that have children, like, “I just don’t have any time. I don’t have any time, I don’t have any time. But complaining about their knees hurt, they’re overweight, I’m this and that.”
Soprano has her own complaints, obviously. And she mentions that she is not throwing anybody under the bus. We all bitch and complain about things. But when it comes to this, it’s something that’s so important, especially when it comes to inflammation to pain. And Soprano feels like so many more people, especially in starting this show and working on this, she cannot believe how many people are in pain. She knew there were a lot, but “holy crap,” she cannot believe how many people are living in pain.
“It’s hard to find somebody over 30 who isn’t right. Some type of pain, right?” Deborah G. states.
Deborah begins to share her story of being overweight and what she’s done to get herself so healthy and so beautiful. Because Soprano thinks that people need to hear what steps she took. They might not be for everybody, obviously, because everybody’s bodies are different. But if you can chitchat about that, I think that would be great for our listeners.
She started out as a TV reporter and producer and then moved into public relations, moved several times. Her husband and she had a series of job changes, where they went from New York to Cleveland to Los Angeles. They were in Los Angeles for almost 20 years. And while she was there, she did some really interesting red-carpet interviews with all the celebs and, you know, hobnobbing with all those folks. Did that whole thing, live that whole life, enjoyed it. But it’s very fast-paced. You’re out in La. They call it the business, right?
Soprano’s sweetie is in the business. So, she knows, firsthand that it requires you to be firing on all cylinders at all times. And in our 20s and 30s, that was a lot easier to do. But her body started talking back and she just kept beating that message into the background like, no, “I’m just going to go harder.”
What started out as a whisperer became a scream, and then it was just the body saying, we’re not doing this anymore. We’re just not doing it. And for her, that showed up as just debilitating migraines pain so intense that she would need to leave meetings to go get sick in the bathroom several times within an hour meeting. And this was becoming commonplace. So even her type A knew that that was not exactly normal. And she was getting bigger and bigger. Besides all the things that does to your self-confidence and your self-esteem, it also was physically very difficult to be toting around so much extra weight. She’s a small, framed person. About five three. Nobody is meant to be 70 pounds overweight.
She did the yoyo thing where it wasn’t always consistently 70 pounds, but it would be like, she gained 40 pounds and then lose 30, and then she gained 50, etc. And it was back and forth.
Soprano states “And that in of itself is hard on your body to go up and down!”
Deborah G. states that it is really bad for your metabolism and just bad, period. When she was just at her worst and just really feeling horrible, here she was 70 pounds overweight. It’s quite visible. So she’s at the doctor’s being weighed. They’re looking at her blood pressure. All her stats are goofed up. Not one doctor said anything helpful or anything at all about her weight.
At that time, she thought the weight was the problem. The weight was actually the symptom. An interesting symptom, that your body will pack on weight for a number of reasons, one of which is if you’re just super inflamed. And she was beginning to go through peri-menopause, so she had hormone fluctuations on board and the constant stress that will just make you release cortisol constantly and that will goof you up. All of those things slowed down her thyroid. So, she finds out that all of these things were happening.
Now, none of that was explained to her at all when she went into the doctor. All they would say is, “yeah, well, you know, exercise, more.”
“Are you kidding me? First of all, I can barely move. I’m 70 pounds overweight. What the hell? I’m not going to join, like, the boot camp,” Deborah G. states.
“It’s like, do you not have eyes? Can you not see what’s happening over here?”
So that was bad, but what finally was the needle scratching across the record, was when she went in for her normal yearly exam, because she knew she wasn’t well, and she kept hoping she would find some answer, right?
So, she went into the room and the nurse came in. She took her blood pressure, looked at her really strange, and ran out of the room.
“I’m like, oh, no, that doesn’t seem like a good thing,” Deborah G. states.
But of course, she was looking at her watch like, “I have two more meetings today. Let’s move it along, people.”
She was still not getting it.
Her doctor, a couple of seconds later, runs in. Takes her blood pressure.
The doctor asks, “Are you feeling okay?”
“I said no. I feel terrible. Like, I always do. I have a killer headache like I do every day,” said Deborah G.
The doctor put the exam table back a little so she could sort of recline and relax and take her pressure again—twice.
The doctor said, “we’re admitting you into the hospital right now.”
Deborah sprung up like a jack in the box. “Yeah, no, I don’t have time for that today. What are you talking about? I got to go. I’ve got more things. I’m doing well, man.”
“Deborah, your blood pressure is so high that I am afraid you are going to have a stroke, like now,” said her doctor.
Deborah’s “dumbass” left that office. Her doctor would not let her leave until she took some medication. She couldn’t in good conscience let Deborah just leave!
Deborah doesn’t feel good about pills. And that’s when the doctor said, “how do you feel about a stroke or a heart attack? Because that’s next for you, Deborah.”
She went to her next two meetings, went home, and did not tell my husband one thing about this because I know he would immediately bring me to the hospital.
It was the two by four to the head that she needed to get her to think, that they are not fooling around anymore. She’s not going to make it to her mid 40s. This is some nonsense. She had to fix this.
Anybody in this situation who is in constant pain and has all these issues needed a fix. She also had a bunch of IBS stuff. She had muscle aches and pains all over the place, neck and back pain to beat the band. She was just like a little ball of pain. But I didn’t feel I was depressed. She just wanted an answer to what was going on. She knew there had to be some kind of root cause for this stuff. She wasn’t born with it. So where to come from?
She sought out all kinds of people before she finally got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. And even when she did, that’s the kind of diagnosis where it doesn’t really do you much good because they just say, we don’t know where it came from. We don’t know if it’s going to get worse. We don’t know anything. There are some pain pills you can take.
Soprano states, “I like this metaphor about we’re all in the same amusement park, but we’re all on different roller coasters. I’m at Magic Mountain right now. But guess what? I am not taking that crazy ride because I’m on this one over here. And I’m also going to puke in a trash can when I’m done with it.”
Neither doesn’t mean to bag on doctors either, but it’s the medical training that they receive. It’s called “name it, blame it, tame it.” So, name it, diagnose what it is. Blame whatever that thing is for all the problems, and then tame it. And how do you tame it? Either surgery or drugs. That’s all they got.
There’s a time and a place for medication. But each substance that you take in has many other effects.
Because Deborah was sick, she had an interest in health just wasn’t doing the work. She was following a bunch of holistic doctors, so naturopaths, and also spiritual people. She was lucky enough to actually do a lot of work with Deepak Chopra and some others of his ilk. And so, she had sort of a working knowledge of these things.
So she just decided to put together her little health team. She decided to just start seeing alternative people.
Deborah goes on to explain all of the practitioners she saw and added (and subtracted over time) to her health team!
You’ve got to go back and look at the basics. You’ve got to go back and look at your diet. You’ve got to look at your sleep. You’ve got to look at your exercise. But what’s really important is for you to manage your stress. Deborah just thought “I don’t have time for that.”
You do have to streamline; you have to find ways to reduce stress. And eventually, it came down to, her needing to just take a break from this career. As she started to feel better and better, she started to think to herself, this is the path she should go on because she needed to be the person that she needed to be ten years ago. So, she decided she needed to help someone else figure this all out.
Because she had been in media and public relations and all of that, she knew so many people.
These relationships came with high prices. And not everybody is as fortunate to have these kinds of relationships and going the alternative route, which from my perspective and is why one of the reasons we (Deborah and Soprano) align so well is we limit going with that the mainstream doctor world that continues to put our bodies through because we’ve already done that and it didn’t work. It’s better to take the route of a trauma-informed approach to care.
Deborah talks about her diet. For her, 80% of it was probably dietary, and it’s not because she was going to McDonald’s.
She somehow got the notion that being vegetarian would be healthier for her. And this is not to knock vegetarianism because it works for some people, but it also very much doesn’t work for some people. And she was one of those ones that it absolutely doesn’t work for.
And the way she was doing it also wasn’t working because she was eating a lot of packaged foods that were so-called healthy alternatives. So, she was eating mostly soy-based things like soy-based veggie burgers and soy-based chicken nuggets. Yes. And everything was kind of soy-based and come to find out, she has a massive food sensitivity against soy. She was eating it in every meal. She was also eating gluten and dairy in just about every meal. And she have sensitivities there as well.
Gluten is hidden in so many places, especially in processed food, and you’re like, why is this here anyways?
And it’s even in some places where it’s not even listed on the label. If you don’t have organic spices, it could be used in the spice. They sometimes have it in flour to keep it from sticking together.
It’s even in licorice! They put it on licorice so that it doesn’t stick together when they’re making it. But you know how sometimes you look at licorice and it looks like it’s kind of stuck together, like a powdery something?
Soprano states, “well, you know what’s interesting about America, and I don’t know if interesting is the correct word, because I think we’re kind of a bunch of jerks over here, especially when it comes to food and health care.
But when we were in Italy, I literally had zero, zero problems when I was eating food there. And I was eating gluten. I don’t eat meat very much. I mean, I certainly don’t eat beef or pork or anything like that, but I do a little chicken and a little turkey. I definitely love my salmon. There was not one day that I had stomach disruption. That’s a very nice way of putting it, by the way, thank you very much.”
“That was very dainty. I appreciate it,” laughed Deborah G.
“Well, I think there’s a lot of different reasons for that. Number one, all of Europe does not spray roundup, which is glyphosate. They do not spray that. And they saturate the wheat with it here, so that anything that you’re eating with wheat was saturated with poison before it got in your body,” said Deborah G.
Think about that. Right? So if you’re not getting that and Glyphosate has been shown, what does it do? Well, a couple of things, but it keeps away the pests, because some of what it does is that it kind of blows up their stomachs. Well, it kind of does the same thing to us, but of course, they get around it by saying, oh, but it’s in such a small amount. Not really.
A small amount of arsenic is still arsenic. We still don’t want it in our food. That’s BS. That’s nonsense.
They talk about how long it took for her to drop the weight. Because obviously, it was just in small increments. Deborah wasn’t taking medications per se.
She had to take blood pressure medicine. And in addition…unfortunately, she was on Nexium. Which was a terrible idea. Because after staying on that for ten years, against her better judgment. She was so depleted in calcium and vitamin D that she had started getting osteoporosis. And that’s when she said.
She had to stop taking it. And that wasn’t easy either, that she had to slowly lean off of that. And there was a whole process she went through to do that because her doctor was like, “there’s no problem. Just stay on it. You’re fine. I have patients who have been on it for 20 years.”
Deborah G. said, “Well, I’m not going to be one of them!”
It took her about six months of really modifying her diet and really paying attention to stress and prioritizing sleep. It took about six months to start feeling better, and it was within a year, she had most of the weight off. Within a year and a half, it was all off within a year and a half. But she really did work on it.
And the other piece of the puzzle that she didn’t really bring up, and this is something that she works with clients, is supplements are a very important part of this because she was depleted in a lot of different things, some because of the medication she was on, but some just because of other things. Like, for instance, if your dietary pattern is that you’re eating excessive sugar and starch, you are probably depleted in magnesium. Well, she didn’t know that.
Which causes pain and cramping and inflammation. She also was taking some supplements through her naturopath to support things like her liver which was very sluggish because of all of the stress and all of the poor food choices that she had been making. So, she needed some liver support and thyroid support. So, all of these things work together. And once she got that together, she now has a little device that she uses to remember this with her clients. She calls it “Dress for Health Success.”
And the dress is diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction, supplements.
They start to discuss rest and sleep and how to disconnect. Get off the grid. Additionally, they spoke about boundaries. What do you mean? There are boundaries needed.
All of it goes together. And we talk about diet, rest, exercise, supplements, and stress reduction. And stress reduction is one that we find a lot of people have resistance to.
That is a big part of what she talks with clients about because oftentimes they are fooling themselves into thinking that they do have good boundaries and that they’re not all that stressed. But when we start peeling back the layers of the onion, it’s all there.
Deborah works virtually and works with people all over the place. We do everything through zoom. The first step, if it sounds like you’re interested in what she has to offer, go to Deborahgwellness.com and you can click just about every page somewhere where you can get my free eBook.
And doing that will also put you on her blog list for every 2 weeks to receive her newsletter. And then if you’re interested, you can also sign up for a 30-minute free consultation with her where you talk about what’s going on with you, and talk about where your health is at, what exactly is happening, where you would like it to be. If it’s a love match, then you go forward. If it isn’t, then we don’t. And, you know, no harm, no foul.
Let’s get to the heart of how to heal. With you by my side.
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