In the latest episode of Brain Over Belly, we reconnect with Mona. It’s been three and a half months since her bariatric surgery. She’s lost more than 40 pounds and is feeling great. Lots of people compliment her on her appearance. So why does she still see the old Mona when she looks in the mirror?

Dr. Brown says Mona’s challenge is common. 95% of our mind is subconscious, and our subconscious is where most of our identity is – how we see ourselves and what we think of ourselves.

Losing weight is only part of Mona’s journey. She also needs to retrain her brain to live the happiest of life stories. To change the way she sees herself and perceives her purpose on the planet. To not limit herself, the way we all do, so she can achieve her highest potential. Then Mona will come to see what others see when she looks in the mirror.

Changing the conversations in our heads

Dr. Brown explains that we all have conversations in our heads. 24/7 we are talking to ourselves. It starts in early childhood. Things happen in life, we make little decisions about ourselves, and in doing so we start programming our subconscious to view our lives a certain way.

That conversation becomes our life story. And far too often, that conversation is negative or pessimistic, especially for people who struggle with their weight. We devalue ourselves, which limits our experience of life and affects what we see when we look in the mirror. 

One of the greatest goals Dr. Brown has for his patients is to help them rewrite their life story. Remember Mona’s brain is extra malleable after bariatric surgery, so it’s the perfect time to reprogram the things she thinks and feels about herself. And while this may sound a little “New Agey” to some, it actually represents a growing field of science called epigenetics.

Dr. Brown shares two exercises in the podcast, both designed to reprogram the subconscious and change the conversations we all have in our heads that affect the way we view and experience life.

Power up with a personal power statement

Think for a minute about Olympic athletes. A young female ice skater or gymnast. Did you ever wonder how they are able to perform at such a high level and be so poised, calm, and graceful with millions, if not billions of people watching them? They are trained to be able to do this. They increase their performance, reduce their anxiety, and are wildly successful with the help of a personal power statement.

Dr. Brown does the same training with his patients and asks Mona to follow three simple steps:

1) Practice recognizing the narrative that’s going on in your mind. 

2) Notice when the narrative turns negative (the red flag).

3) Stop in that moment and recite your personal power statement.

What exactly is a personal power statement? It’s who you are, your value, your purpose, your impact, your potential on this planet. You want to really think about it. Write it down. Memorize it. And repeat it to yourself anytime that red flag goes up that your life story has turned negative.

When you repeat this personal power statement over and over, the brain prunes the old negative story and is more likely to turn to the new, positive one instead. It’s amazing what becomes possible when this happens, including seeing the real Mona in the mirror.

Bringing everything into sync with resonance breathing

This is an exercise Dr. Brown encourages his patients to do between bites when eating. Before surgery, he asks patients to wait 1 minute between bites. After surgery, the wait should be 2 minutes.

During those two minutes between bites, Dr. Brown tells Mona to:

1) Breathe in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds. In two minutes, you can do this 12 times.

2) Focus on thoughts and feelings of appreciation, gratitude, compassion, hope, forgiveness. 

Timing your breathing while thinking about all the amazing things in your life affects the brain’s central nervous system in positive ways and brings into resonance the timing of several bodily processes, including pupil dilation, heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.

This resonance promotes all the positive changes Mona is starting to experience post surgery, including decreased anxiety, increased creativity, increased memory, and increased sleep quality. Mona says she enjoys using resonance breathing while she is falling asleep at night. Before she knows it, it’s morning and she has slept through the night without disruption.

Practice, practice, practice

With both of these exercises, the personal power statement and resonance breathing, it’s all about doing small things, very consistently, especially in the few months after bariatric surgery when the brain is so malleable.

Combine these practices, plus good sleep to make new attachments in the brain, and things like food cravings or negative self views become a thing of the past. 

Mona shares that before surgery, she was passive, reactive, did nothing. “I was just stuck in a rut.” Now she is happier, has more energy, and wants to get out and live. “I am excited to be here everyday.” 

For Mona, it’s about being brave. She ends the podcast by declaring “This is going to be my year.” And with the help of Dr. Brown, she’s more confident than ever that she can make the changes necessary to make that happen.

The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

Have you ever wondered why you just can’t get enough of certain foods? Why you can eat a whole bag of chips or an entire package of cookies and barely remember doing it? Why the sound, smell or image of a food from your childhood still makes your mouth water as an adult? Why you consider some foods “comfort” and not others?

Because the food industry wants it that way.

In the latest episode of Brain Over Belly, we reconnect with Colin, our second of two special people who are eager to lose weight and keep it off for life, with the help of Dr. Brown and Idaho BMI.

Colin is still pre-bariatric surgery, working hard at changing what he eats, when he eats, and how he eats. He’s joined by Dr. Brown who explains how modern food engineering – the right combination of sugar, salt, and fat in processed foods – affects our brains and makes it virtually impossible for someone like Colin to stop eating certain foods, even if he wants to.

Processed foods are hijacking our brains before they hit our bellies.

The texture, flavor, taste, smell, sound and temperature of processed foods are all carefully engineered to affect the six centers of our brain, influencing our emotions, memories, perceptions of hunger, reaction to stress and fear, and more. As a result, we become detached from our ability to govern ourselves when it comes to food.

Marketing is also being used to sensitize people to visual cues that trigger cravings for certain products. It becomes an automated reflex (like the hammer on the knee), and it starts in INFANCY. Unsuspecting parents, with the help of the food industry, are teaching our youth what food should taste like and setting them up for a world of health problems as they get older. It’s why obesity rates are as high as they are.

The food companies are flying under the radar.

Did you know that two out of the three top food companies were purchased by Big Tobacco? And now they are using all the same tricks and tactics to keep us purchasing their food that were so successful with cigarettes.

They fall back on calories and hide behind the idea that people have a choice when it comes to consuming food. That we can read labels and should know better when it comes to eating in appropriate amounts or only eating so many. They blame the person for not having more self control, while the super smart teams of food engineers fall under the radar.

It’s not your fault in the way you think it is.

Dr. Brown explains that the processed foods that overweight people are eating (and are constantly encouraged to eat) has changed their neurology to the point that they just can’t stop. Their bodies are on cruise control.

As he has said before, EAT LESS, MOVE MORE JUST DOESN’T WORK. It’s like telling someone with a seizure disorder to just stop having seizures. The message we are sending to overweight people – just starve, be miserable, it’s all your fault – has to stop.

So what should you do?

To start, follow Colin’s lead and STOP EATING PROCESSED FOODS. Maybe not all at once. Colin is the first to admit that for him, going all in 100% from the beginning is a sure way to fail. But start practicing the principles that Dr. Brown outlines in the Brain Over Belly podcast, and don’t be hard on yourself when you give into that occasional guilty pleasure. We all have them. Even Dr. Brown.

The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

In the latest episode of Brain Over Belly, host Rick Dunn checks in with Mona, our first of two special people who are committed to losing their excess weight and keeping it off for life, with the help of Dr. David Brown at Idaho BMI. 

Mona is six weeks past her bariatric surgery, and Rick can’t wait to hear what it’s like to live in her body. Mona reflects on what’s different, what’s difficult, and what’s exciting about this stage of her journey. And while many listeners may be shocked to hear all that’s happening for Mona, Dr. Brown shares that her sensory perception changes are very common for people in the weeks that follow bariatric surgery. What’s important is that Mona listens to her body’s signals and uses the tools Dr. Brown gives her to make the changes permanent.

What’s different for Mona?

She’s not hungry.

She doesn’t really even think about food.

Nothing tastes the same.

The foods she loved before (like chocolate) don’t taste good anymore.

Her energy level is way up.

She feels present and awake, seeing and feeling what’s going on around her.

Her knees don’t creak anymore.

She’s lost over 30 lbs so far.

What’s difficult for Mona?

She still sees the “old Mona” in the mirror.

Drinking enough water throughout the day.

Just one bite too many feels uncomfortable.

What’s exciting for Mona?

She’s becoming a morning person!

She wants to get out and do more things, like walk circles around Fred Meyer.

Dr. Brown is giving her the information and tools to cure her obesity, once and for all.

What’s causing all of this?!

With bariatric surgery, 80% of a person’s stomach is removed. Dr. Brown explains that the act of stapling across the stomach and the tiny branches of the Vagus nerve resets the communication between the brain and the intestinal tract almost instantly. 

In short, bariatric surgery works because of its impact on a person’s brain and central nervous system (not because you now have a smaller stomach). The brain becomes very malleable, open to learning new things and cementing new habits. Dr. Brown says “it really gives us this golden window of time when we can do a lot of things” to make weight loss permanent. 

Mona’s transformation is clearly underway. Keep checking back to hear more science and feel more hope. The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

In the fourth episode of Brain Over Belly, host Rick Dunn introduces us to Colin, our second of two special people, here in the Treasure Valley, who are committed to losing their excess weight and keeping it off for life, with the help of Dr. David Brown at Idaho BMI.

Colin is 23 years old. 6 feet tall. 430 lbs. He has struggled with weight since he was a little kid, but things took a turn for the worse at the end of high school when he stopped playing sports and broke up with his high school sweetheart.

Rick and Colin explore the ups and downs of Colin’s weight, plus the turning points in his short life that led him to want to solve the puzzle of obesity once and for all. You have to tune in to really appreciate all the honesty and laughter, but here are some highlights:

Oh my God, I’ve gotten so much bigger!

Colin grew up in a family that dieted. They would lose weight together and then gain it back together. Despite nudges from his parents to keep at the dieting, It wasn’t until he was looking through a photo album one day that he was able to see how big he had actually gotten.

Dating is hard.

Colin is a bright guy. He’s working full-time and going to school full-time. He enjoys  his friends, but his weight makes it hard to meet girls. “Dating is hard. How you look is a big part of what other people see in you.”

Who knows better than me?

After one too many failed weight loss attempts, Colin finally decided “there must be people who know better than me.” He researched and met up with Dr. Brown, who explained the connection between his brain and belly and confirmed that the solution is “a lot more complicated than eat less, walk more.”

I want a wife. 

When asked what his goals are, Colin shares, “I want to be able to consider myself healthy. I want to be happy with what I see in the mirror. I want to be able to enjoy going outside. I want a wife.”

You are important. Keep trying.

To all the people out there with similar weight struggles (regardless of how old you are), Colin says, “You are important. Keep trying. There will be a lot of times when you will want to give up. Don’t give up. You have to define your own way to do this. Some people can count calories, walk, hit the gym and lose weight. Others can’t. Everyone is different. Everyone is important. No matter what you’ve tried, pick yourself up and keep at it.”

You won’t even recognize yourself.

It’s hard to tell who is more excited about the transformation Colin will go through during the next 18 months – Rick or Colin! From 430 pounds to an end goal of 180 pounds, that’s more than half of who he is today in weight. But with the help of Dr. Brown and Idaho BMI, you can expect that Colin won’t recognize himself in even more ways that have nothing to do with numbers on a scale.

So take the time to listen to Colin’s story, and check back every month to hear how he and Mona are doing. The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

In the third episode of Brain Over Belly, host Rick Dunn and Dr. David Brown of Idaho BMI talk about FOOD. What to eat, when to eat, and how to eat if you want to lose weight and keep it off for life. There’s lots of “Aha!” moments for your brain to take in – from beginning to end – that will challenge what you think you know about food and dieting.

Here are some highlights:

Reprogramming the brain. The key to solving the puzzle to obesity – and having permanent weight loss success – is reprogramming the brain. Dr. Brown uses a combination of 1) Bariatric Surgery, 2) Food, and 3) Mindfulness, Meditation, Cognitive Exercises to achieve results that are beyond expectations.

Cruise control. Food is the main thing he focuses on in the first few months of a patient’s weight loss journey, before bariatric surgery. Why? Because the presets in the brain, as they relate to food and metabolism, have to be dealt with. People who struggle with weight have a brain that’s on “cruise control” with regard to food. They just can’t stop, even in the face of danger.

Burn fat, not sugar. Dr. Brown helps patients train their body to burn fat as their primary fuel (instead of sugar), because fat is a cleaner fuel and ketosis is really good for the brain.

What to eat. No carbs and no processed foods. They have little nutritional value and turn on appetite and cravings in the brain. Instead heavy up on meat and eggs. They are nutrient dense and turn off appetite and cravings in the brain.

When to eat. Listen to your body and only eat when you are hungry. Many of Dr. Brown’s patients eat only 1x per day. 

How to eat. The act of eating is very regimented in Dr. Brown’s program because when you look at the brain activity of obese people, there are inbalances in two areas of their brain. He has his patients chew every bite 20-40x before swallowing, then take a 1 minute break before taking the next bite, because the counting and the timing increases activity in the prefrontal cortex.  And he has them focus on their body’s sensory signals while eating and ignore everything else (like TV), because that lowers the activity in the limbic system.

Lots of H2O. 70% of people are chronically dehydrated. It increases stress, anxiety, cravings, and appetite. Dr. Brown’s patients drink 2 liters of water per day (64oz), slowly between meals, not during meals, because it helps turn off appetite.

Listen to your body. Ultimately, Dr. Brown advises patients to detach from the stuff outside (counting calories, measuring weight on a scale) and focus on what’s going on INSIDE. Your body is far more intelligent than any doctor and will tell you what it needs if you learn to listen.

Total control over food. The ultimate reward of all this hard work is total control over food. Imagine a world where you don’t feel deprived. You feel apathetic about the old, unhealthy foods you couldn’t live without. You experience food as fuel with absolutely no upset. And you are healthier, with more energy, than ever before. It’s possible with the help of Dr. David Brown and Idaho BMI. 

The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to audio. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

In the second episode of Brain Over Belly, host Rick Dunn introduces us to Mona, our first of two special people who are committed to losing their excess weight and keeping it off for life, with the help of Dr. David Brown at Idaho BMI.

Mona and Rick are co-workers at local radio station 101.9 The Bull. Mona hosts the midday Bull Ride, and Rick hosts the afternoon Bull Ride. But because of the pandemic, this is the first time they have actually sat down across from one another to talk. It’s a delightful banter that will make you smile, and their vulnerability about a subject that is so difficult for so many people will touch your heart.

Here are some highlights from the episode (without spoiling all the fun):

I don’t recognize the person in the mirror.

Mona, like so many women, grew up thinking “You could never be too pretty or too skinny.” A hiccup in life about twenty years ago had her turn to food to ease a deep pain, and she gained an extra 50 pounds. “I’m used to being thin. So, I don’t know how to be a fat person. I don’t recognize the person in the mirror. I don’t even know who that is.”

I don’t want to fight my clothes.

Her weight struggles have had a huge impact on her social life. “Because of my weight, I find myself stepping back to where I don’t want to fight my clothes to get out of the house.”

But I want to get outside and run with my grandchildren.

If she were to write a letter today to the person she will be in 18 months, she would say “I hope that you are getting outside and doing all the things you wanted to do like hiking and biking and running around with your grandchildren. I hope that you are not hiding in the house anymore.”

We have to be brave, put in the work, and be who we want to be.

To all the women out there with similar weight struggles, Mona says, “We have to be brave enough to get out there and do something about it. Nothing is a quick fix – which is what we all want. That magic pill where we wake up and we are going to be thin and beautiful tomorrow. We have to admit that’s not going to happen, and then we have to put in the work to get it done. And be who we want to be.”

The start of an exciting transformation

Mona is excited for the support and guidance of Dr. Brown and his staff at Idaho BMI and plans to lean on them to help her get through her weight loss journey. We’re excited to share in her transformation. So take the time to listen to Mona’s story and check back every month to hear how she’s doing. The Brain Over Belly podcast is available everywhere you listen to audio. Subscribe at Listen Boise now.

What have you got to lose?

Brain Over Belly Podcast

Brain Over Belly is the podcast that will challenge everything you know about weight loss. Follow the journey of two special people as they lose weight and keep it off for life, with the help of Dr. David Brown at Idaho BMI and our host, Rick Dunn. Subscribe to the Brain Over Belly podcast on Listen Boise or wherever you listen to audio.

What you know about weight loss is (probably) wrong.

Roughly 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese, and it’s a problem that is very misunderstood. The key is navigating through all the misinformation to really solve the puzzle of obesity. 

Weight loss is not about willpower. 

The real cause of obesity has more to do with a person’s brain and central nervous system than anything else. That is why dieting or exercise alone don’t work. So what’s the real cause?

Modern Foods

Modern foods trick the brain. They’ve detached the brain from the normal, healthy sensory feedback system in a person’s body. 

Guilt & Shame

Thoughts and feelings of guilt and shame, feeling like a failure, feeling judged – these are all part of the cause of obesity. 

Neurologic & Metabolic Disorientation 

The brain and the intestinal tract are constantly communicating, influencing, and controlling each other. Our feelings, emotions, and the foods we eat fundamentally change this connection.  

Putting the pieces together. 

The key to losing weight for good is retraining the brain so it reconnects to the normal, healthy sensory feedback system. Bariatric surgery does exactly this, but surgery alone is not the answer. 

Brain Over Belly will follow the journey of two women as they go through Dr. Brown and Idaho BMI’s comprehensive weight loss program from start to finish. Each month, you will hear about their challenges and progress as they put all the pieces together to solve the puzzle of obesity.  Find the Brain Over Belly podcast on Listen Boise or wherever you listen to audio.

Meet Jane. Even with bariatric surgery, Jane was worried that she would fall into old habits, and just continue eating all that she normally does. But at the Idaho Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, they can change what a person craves and wants in food. They can change what tastes good after surgery so that Jane’s habits can change to help her sustain weight loss after surgery. Call for a consultation today.

Dr. Brown and the staff at Idaho BMI wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

People often struggle with weight management because they aren’t tackling the right issue. To achieve lasting results, you need to put all the pieces together: mindfulness, stress management, bariatric surgery, nutrition counseling, and sleep.

Dr. David Brown and the staff at Idaho BMI have helped hundreds of people just like Jane get to their healthy weight and stay there for life with the most comprehensive weight loss program in the Northwestern United States.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Talk to us – we’ll clear up any confusion about what really causes people to struggle with weight.
  2. Find the cure – discover the role bariatric surgery plays in curing obesity.
  3. Get qualified – find out if you qualify for bariatric surgery.
  4. Join our program – we’ll guide you every step of the way, for as long as it takes, until you feel you don’t need our support any longer.

At Idaho BMI, we help people solve the puzzle of obesity once and for all, so they can start living life to the fullest.

Call (208) 378-4264 to schedule a consultation today – and lose everything that’s hiding the real you.