Interview with Dr. Sasha Shillcutt
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Sasha Shillcutt of Brave Enough about physician burnout.
Sasha is a Cardiac Anesthesiologist in Nebraska who experienced significant burnout and used her experience to build a community of women, Brave Enough. In it she encourages women to live and lead authentically with a focus on wellbeing and leadership.
Find Sasha at Become Brave Enough.
Burnout & Weight
To some, this topic may not make sense on a weight loss site. But I think it is a very important topic to discuss when we are talking about long term weight loss. The statistics on physician burnout are staggering. If you haven’t experienced burnout in some form, there is a good chance you will.
Often when we are emotionally in a fragile state, whether from burnout or other mental health issues, self care activities go on the back burner. We look to easy forms of comfort like food when the rest our of our lives feel so overwhelming.
Personally, the years where I struggled the most with my weight were the ones where I struggled the most with burnout. There were weeks (and months) where I really just couldn’t make myself care about my weight or my health.
One of the core things that has allowed me to lose my weight and keep it off has been learning to manage my stress levels and in turn reducing how often I start to feel burnt out. And the biggest step I took to start myself down that path was hiring a life coach.
What My Life Coach Taught Me
I was a mess when I hired my first life coach. I hadn’t been back to work too long after my third kid and was finding everything overwhelming. Feeling overwhelmed meant I was slow in the office and wasn’t getting notes done. I had this constant pile of work that I felt I was always carrying with me and weekends and time off were spent thinking about it and procrastinating on it. Then I would get that week’s work done Sunday, only to start a new week and have it all start again.
The biggest thing I learned from my coach was that small changes can be very impactful. When I was in that state of overwhelmed burnout, it felt like everything was wrong and everything needed to change for me to feel happy. But in reality, small changes had big impact. Simple things like taking a 5 minute walk at lunch to get outside and stopping every three patients to write my notes (even if I was behind) started to turn my experience around.
The Power of Thoughts
Now, with the extra training and experiences I have had in coaching, I realize that it isn’t even your actions that need to change at first. It can be as simple as starting to think slightly differently about the situation. With better thoughts, come better actions.
When I was in the overwhelmed state, my mind was a swirl of overwhelm. I was thinking about all the work I wouldn’t get done and how much I just wanted a break (from everything!), this meant that I was slow and inefficient in my actions.
Those first coaching sessions where we picked a simple change let me focus my mind on something and take it out of the pit of overwhelm. As I got some small wins, my thinking was also changing to a more positive state.
Now, when I feel overwhelmed, the first thing I look at is how I am thinking about the situation. It is the simplest thing to change and is entirely in my control. With a slightly modified thought, overwhelm disappears and I get to work.
You can get through burnout and finally lose weight.
If you are struggling with burnout and excess weight, overeating or binge eating behaviours, coaching is one of the best investments you can make. Hands down!
My one-on-one coaching program will address the underlying causes of the burnout and put you back in control of your eating.
If you want to feel less burned out and to lose weight for the last time, book your free introductory session now.