Behaviour Change Scientist: How I Lost 120lbs With Kindness: Shahroo Izadi | E222

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is about Shahroo Izadi, a behavior change scientist who lost 120lbs by changing her relationship with food and understanding why she didn't like herself enough to take the same advice she would give to someone else.

The video features Shahroo Izadi, a behavior change scientist who shares her personal journey of losing 120lbs with kindness. She talks about her struggles with binge eating, powerlessness, and lack of trust that people have as a direct result of weight loss diets. She also discusses how she realized that she was going about weight loss the wrong way and that she needed to understand why she didn't like herself enough to take the same advice she'd give someone else. She emphasizes the importance of understanding why people are unsuccessful in their change and how being kind to oneself can lead to sustainable behavior change.

  • Started dieting from a young age and used food as a drug
  • Got to her heaviest and secretly got a gastric band fitted
  • Realized she was going about weight loss the wrong way and needed to understand why she didn't like herself enough to take her own advice
  • Changed her relationship with food and lost 120lbs
  • Believes weight loss diets are disempowering and wants to help people understand why they struggle to make changes
  • Studied psychosocial sciences and psychology
  • Worked for the NHS in addiction treatment
  • Trained in evidence-based approaches to help people change ingrained behaviors
  • Uses her professional background to help people change their relationship with food
  • Realized she was going about addiction treatment the wrong way.
  • Realized she needed to understand why she didn't like herself enough to take her own advice.
  • Realized she didn't trust herself and felt powerless.
  • Believes in being kind to oneself and understanding the root cause of behaviors
  • Encourages people to take the same advice they would give to someone else
  • Realized her value was wrapped up in how she looked.
  • Kindness towards herself was conditional on achieving a goal.
  • Therapist asked what if she never changed.
  • Needed to address boundaries, binge eating, and impulse control.
  • Being nicer to yourself and having positive self-talk.
  • Focusing too much on the outcome and not the process.
  • Ask if rewarding oneself would put them in a better position to do difficult things.

Behaviour Change Scientist: How I Lost 120lbs With Kindness: Shahroo Izadi | E222 - YouTube

Behaviour Change Scientist: How I Lost 120lbs With Kindness: Shahroo Izadi | E222 001

Shahroo Izadi's Journey to Losing 120lbs

  • Started dieting from a young age and used food as a drug
  • Got to her heaviest and secretly got a gastric band fitted
  • Realized she was going about weight loss the wrong way and needed to understand why she didn't like herself enough to take her own advice
  • Changed her relationship with food and lost 120lbs
  • Believes weight loss diets are disempowering and wants to help people understand why they struggle to make changes
Behaviour Change Scientist: How I Lost 120lbs With Kindness: Shahroo Izadi | E222 002

Shahroo Izadi's Professional Background

  • Studied psychosocial sciences and psychology
  • Worked for the NHS in addiction treatment
  • Trained in evidence-based approaches to help people change ingrained behaviors
  • Uses her professional background to help people change their relationship with food
  • Believes understanding the root cause of behaviors is key to making lasting changes
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Shahroo Izadi's Childhood and Personal Struggles

  • Born in North London to Iranian parents
  • First language is Farsi
  • Struggled with trauma responses and stammering as a child
  • Started dieting from a young age and had a mean relationship with herself
  • Developed a binge eating disorder and used food as a drug
  • Secretly got a gastric band fitted and had to have it removed by emergency surgery
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Behaviour Change Scientist: How I Lost 120lbs With Kindness: Shahroo Izadi | E222 - YouTube

Shahroo Izadi's Approach to Behavioral Change

  • Believes in being kind to oneself and understanding the root cause of behaviors
  • Encourages people to take the same advice they would give to someone else
  • Uses evidence-based approaches to help people change ingrained behaviors
  • Believes weight loss diets are disempowering and wants to help people understand why they struggle to make changes
  • Helps people change their relationship with food and make lasting changes
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Realizing the Wrong Approach

  • Realized she was going about addiction treatment the wrong way.
  • Realized she needed to understand why she didn't like herself enough to take her own advice.
  • Realized she didn't trust herself and felt powerless.
  • Went to therapy to work on fundamental issues.
  • Started changing habits quickly after therapy.
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Understanding Self-Worth

  • Realized her value was wrapped up in how she looked.
  • Believed kindness was conditional on looking a certain way.
  • Value was tied to her size and the scales.
  • Never thought people like her were allowed to take care of themselves.
  • Weight loss and dieting culture had a lot to answer for.
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Conditional Kindness

  • Kindness towards herself was conditional on achieving a goal.
  • Didn't engage in habits that would make it easier to achieve her goals.
  • Realized she was making it harder to achieve her goals.
  • Her North Star was being slimmer and doing things she thought people who liked themselves did.
  • Realized none of those things had anything to do with how she looked.
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Accepting Oneself

  • Therapist asked what if she never changed.
  • Realized she was angry because she thought she would never start living or being nice to herself.
  • Started acting like if she didn't change, she would never change.
  • Realized she needed to accept herself and be kind to herself regardless of her size.
  • Started to understand that self-care and self-love were not conditional on achieving a certain look.
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Addressing the Issues

  • Needed to address boundaries, binge eating, and impulse control.
  • Putting a space between trigger and response was holding her back.
  • Engaging in habits that enabled her to put friction in place.
  • Depriving herself of self-care and self-soothing was hindering progress.
  • Behavioral changes require doing things in a row until they get easier.
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The Kindness Method

  • Being nicer to yourself and having positive self-talk.
  • Doing things that make the space calm and positive.
  • Self-care, self-soothing, self-compassion, and affirmation are essential.
  • Take choice by choice in the direction of becoming easier.
  • Updating the assumption that you can't do it.
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Overarching Themes of Unsuccessful Change

  • Focusing too much on the outcome and not the process.
  • Not having evidence to debate with when doubt arises.
  • Not focusing on assets and what's right with oneself.
  • Not understanding how a behavior is serving them.
  • Using tough love when speaking to oneself often isn't smart love.
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Taking Life Off Hold

  • Ask if rewarding oneself would put them in a better position to do difficult things.
  • Focus on how a behavior is serving them as a solution, not a problem.
  • Compassionate inquiry is necessary to understand if there's a problem that needs solving.
  • Tough love when speaking to oneself often isn't smart love.
  • Fill the gap with another solution instead of depriving oneself of self-care and self-soothing.
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Changing Habits with Kindness

  • People often struggle to follow their own advice when it comes to habit change.
  • Understanding why we struggle with habit change is key to making lasting changes.
  • The Kindness Method is a way to change habits with compassion and understanding.
  • Behavioral change can be used as a tool to listen to and update negative self-talk.
  • The Kindness Method is a step-by-step guide to changing habits on your own terms.
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Challenging Negative Self-Talk

  • Some people have deeply ingrained negative self-talk that can be difficult to change.
  • It's important to approach these issues with compassion and understanding.
  • Appealing to people's need for evidence can help disprove negative self-talk.
  • Affirmations can be helpful for some people, but it's important to find a combination of techniques that work for each individual.
  • We need to stop treating self-improvement as remedial and instead approach it as a way to check in with ourselves.
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The Kindness Method

  • The Kindness Method is a way to change habits with compassion and understanding.
  • It is based on the useful techniques Shahroo Izadi saw in addiction and criminal justice work.
  • The Kindness Method is a step-by-step guide to changing habits on your own terms.
  • It is designed to be a private process that doesn't require waiting until things get really bad.
  • The Kindness Method is a way to equip people to carry on without needing ongoing support.
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Changing Habits with Behavioral Change

  • Behavioral change can be used as a tool to listen to and update negative self-talk.
  • Changing habits can be a way to challenge and update deeply ingrained negative self-talk.
  • It's important to approach habit change with compassion and understanding.
  • The Kindness Method is a way to change habits with compassion and understanding.
  • Changing habits can be a way to take responsibility for our lives and make lasting changes.
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Self-talk and Kindness

  • People tend to use negative self-talk when they fall off track with their goals.
  • They use vocabulary that they wouldn't use with someone they love.
  • They say things like "I'm weak-willed," "I'm stupid," and "I must hate myself."
  • People need to change their self-talk to be kinder and more supportive.
  • When someone you love is struggling, you remind them of their capacity to do difficult things and support them.
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Imposter Syndrome

  • Imposter syndrome is not being able to internalize your accomplishments and feeling like a fraud.
  • People need to give themselves permission to find things difficult.
  • When people acknowledge what they find difficult, something extraordinary happens.
  • People find it difficult to acknowledge their accomplishments without any caveats.
  • Changing the way you manage binge eating and anxiety can help change imposter syndrome for the better.
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Believing in Yourself

  • People often feel ashamed and guilty about what they haven't accomplished yet.
  • It's important to internalize and process your capacity.
  • Shahroo Izadi wrote two books and learned to speak confidently.
  • She learned to start a binge and bring it back, rather than starving herself.
  • Allowing yourself to find something difficult and not feeling weak is important.
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Self-Worth

  • Self-worth is a common issue that comes up.
  • Many people feel worthless and undeserving.
  • Getting an honest baseline of where you're at is important.
  • Understanding why you've come to be this way is crucial.
  • Writing a snapshot letter without judgment can help anchor the process.
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Knowing What to Do

  • People often feel patronized when told what to do.
  • Many people already know what to do, but don't know why they're not doing it.
  • Closing the gap between the advice you'd give another person is important.
  • Asking what you'd like to be doing is a good starting point.
  • Understanding why you're not doing it despite wanting to is crucial.
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