Psychology of Eating Podcast: Episode #231 – Fast Eating, Weight & Protection
In this episode, we learn about Jasmine, 50, who is challenged by some excess weight in the past few years, as well as stress. She has a pretty good idea of some factors contributing to her weight gain, such as work stress, eating fast, not being as active, etc. Then Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, goes beneath the surface to learn about her past abuse, the tremendous healing work she has done around it, and also what work is next for her. He parallel’s her relationship to food with her relationship to her Mother, who she felt didn’t protect her and allow her to feel accepted in her body all of the time. Tune in for this episode to see the new breakthroughs Jasmine has about her relationship with Mom, where it can heal, and how it connects to navigating her unwanted stress-eating.
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
Marc: Welcome, everyone, I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we are in the Psychology of Eating Podcast. And I’m with the lovely Jasmine today. Welcome, Jasmine!
Jasmine: Thank you!
Marc: I’m glad we’re doing this. Let me take a couple of quick seconds. I’m going to say a few words to viewers and listeners. If you are returning, thank you, thank you, thank you! I really mean that. Thanks for being a part of my world, our world, and for being on this journey with us. And if you’re new to the podcast, how it goes down is Jasmine and I are officially meeting each other, in truth, in person for the first time right now. And we’re going to do a session, and about 45 minutes to an hour, and see if we can help move things forward in a faster way.
And so with that in mind, Ms. Jasmine, if you could wave your magic wand and if you can get whatever you wanted to get out of our time together, tell me what that would be for you?
Jasmine: For me, that would be having clarity and a clear direction to move forward so that I can 100% accept myself exactly where I am at at this moment. And it’s like I just have this internal struggle that I’m happy one moment. I see a picture. And it throws me to the ground. So that’s why I’m just, I’m trying to find more congruency between what my soul knows that I am and what my mind is telling me that I am.
Marc: Mmm hmm. So let me see if I could feed that back to you in different words just so I get this straight. So in an ideal universe, you would be able to love and accept yourself 100% as you are without any noise getting in your head and just let go of the comparison that might happen or the voice in your head that might say, “No, wait a second, you’re not good enough, be this, be that, do this, do that.”
Jasmine: That’s correct.
Marc: Okay. So tell me how that relates to your body and/or to food.
Jasmine: So that relates to the fact I’m much heavier than I would like to be. And so it’s one of those things where I’m in a process where I am learning to accept myself exactly the way I am and realizing that when I do that, then my body will be able to shift and change naturally, rather than me trying to force it. I feel like we’re in a battle a little bit. And so that’s where I also have a very stressful job. And I know that that plays a lot into some of the issues that I have with eating because I eat too fast. I know that I don’t breathe enough. And so there’s a lot of small habits that I have that I would definitely like to shift and change and to create the reality that I truly want, which is that I’m just doing my thing. And I’m happy just being me.
Marc: Mmm hmm, understood. So the small habits that you want to change around food, etcetera, would be eating slower?
Jasmine: Eating slower, drinking my water consistently, basically breathing because I know that I get in a stress response. And then, I’m just inhaling food. And I think it’s also learning how to deal with stress levels a little bit better and creating maybe a different structure around eating, itself.
Marc: Mmm hmm, creating a different structure around eating, give me more words, meaning.
Jasmine: Well, basically, that I eat at my desk. I rarely take a break away from my desk. I’m constantly getting pulled in 10 different directions. So a lot of times I’m having to skip meals because I get stuck in meetings or I get pulled into different situations that are happening that I have to jump in and solve them. And so I think it’s just learning to listen to my body more and learning to tell other people no.
Marc: Mmm hmm. So let me ask you this question. When the part of you that doesn’t fully love and accept yourself starts to, what does that voice say to you?
Jasmine: It tells me that basically that I’m fat, that I’m overweight. That it’s saying to me that, basically telling me I don’t deserve to have all of my desires come true. And that no matter how hard I work, it’s not going to make a difference. And basically, I guess where it’s always just telling me negative stuff. I shouldn’t say always. I do have positive things that I say to myself. But there is, it’s almost like the negative, a lot of times, outweighs the positive.
Marc: Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure. Are you in a relationship?
Jasmine: I am.
Marc: How long?
Jasmine: We’ve been together about eight years.
Marc: Uh, huh. And kids, no kids, what’s?
Jasmine: I’ve been divorced twice. This is like my third relationship. I have two grown children. One is 33. The other one is 27. And so yeah, so they’re both grown and gone, and live in different parts of the country.
Marc: Mmm, yeah.
Marc: Can I ask how old you are?
Jasmine: I just turned 50 in January.
Marc: Wow! You started young, girl.
Jasmine: I did.
Jasmine: I was actually 17 when I had my older son. So.
Marc: Wow! That’s amazing.
Marc: That’s amazing. So this current relationship, eight years, what’s good about it?
Jasmine: We have fun together. We enjoy being in each other’s company. It’s like we support each other. And it’s just loving and kind. And I look forward to going home every single night to see him.
Marc: Mmm hmm, what a beautiful thing to be able to say.
Jasmine: Yeah, it’s fantastic.
Marc: So in your opinion, given that you’re the expert on you—we’re only experts on ourselves. It’s true—in your opinion, where did these voices come from that get in your way?
Jasmine: I think they started really young from my parents. My mom and dad were very negative. My dad was an alcoholic, was very abusive to me and my brothers and sisters. And I think one of my pivotal moments, I was probably about nine or ten, and I had told my mom that I wanted to be an actor or an actress. And she promptly told me that I was way too fat to ever consider being in that industry and that I needed to get in touch with reality and find some other way to basically make my money.
So and I think that just really stuck with me. Up until that point, I never even thought that I needed to even care about what my body looked like or what shape it was or anything like that. And it’s like not created the struggle of constantly dieting or using exercise and to try to control my weight.
Marc: Mmm hmm. So right now, how much weight do you want to lose?
Jasmine: I would be happy if I lost about 25 or 30 pounds.
Marc: Mmm hmm, 25 or 30 pounds. What would you weigh if you lost 25 or 30 pounds?
Jasmine: I’d probably be about 145, 150.
Marc: Uh, huh, 145, 150. When was the last time you were 145, 150?
Jasmine: Probably about two years ago. Yeah.
Marc: How did you arrive at that weight?
Jasmine: I basically had cut sugar out of my diet and had basically gone on just basically eating vegetables and protein. And then, I was like exercising, doing like interval-type classes, and just adding some yoga and Pilates into that, as well.
Marc: Mmm hmm. So in what period of time would you say that weight came off?
Jasmine: I would say it probably took me…I would say probably about nine to twelve months, somewhere in that range.
Marc: Mmm hmm. And why do you think the weight came back on?
Jasmine: Ah, my stress level increased significantly. And then, my partner ended up starting school. And so we were spending weekends hiking and doing stuff like that. And so we just, he’s doing school like full time. Plus, he’s working part time. So it’s like, we don’t really spend that much time together. So I was also teaching some exercise classes. And I had to give that up because of my…I changed jobs. And so my work schedule is a lot different now.
Marc: Mmm hmm, got it. And how about diet wise?
Jasmine: It’s like I eat relatively healthy. But then, I get stressed. And then, it’s like I want the chips and the candy bars and that kind of stuff. I don’t really drink soda—it doesn’t agree with me—and so basically drinking tea or water. On occasion, I’ll have a sweet tea or something like that. But yeah, so I think it’s mainly when I get stressed that I throw my good eating habits out the door.
Marc: Uh, huh. So your good eating habits go out the door. And when would you be eating the things that you ought not be eating? Like time of day, give me some examples.
Jasmine: Usually for me, it’s like late afternoon or sometimes in the evening when I get home. So it’s in the afternoon. I’ve skipped maybe lunch or something like that. And I have healthy food with me in my lunch pail. But I’ll go to the vending machine and get a candy bar and chips instead. Or I’ll get home. And it’s like I’ve had all that junk. And then, I just want more junk, instead of just making dinner and making a good meal for us.
Marc: Mmm hmm. Got it. Got it. Got it. So you told us it’s a…I want to circle back. I like to bounce all over the place sometimes, at least at the beginning. I’m not that much of a bouncy head. But the story you told me about telling your mom, “Hey, you know, I want to be an actress.” You were how old? Ten, you said.
Marc: Okay. And then, she responded the way she responded. What did you take from that experience? Like, how did that impact you, if any?
Jasmine: It told me that I had to be a certain size or that the way I was wasn’t good enough. And that she didn’t believe that I could succeed in that. So it’s almost like I took like an ego hit out of that. And it wasn’t a good one, right, where it just, I was devastated. And I just felt like she had an image of me that I didn’t have. And so then, I think that flipped me around so that I was always looking for approval outside of myself and looking at, of course, like fashion and movies and all that stuff and just saying, “Well, you know…” For some reason, I was just still striving to obtain something that at ten, it’s like one of those things where I’m like, “Okay, if I get small enough, then I can go do that.”
Marc: Mmm hmm. So did you think to yourself, “Okay, I can do this. I can get small enough?”
Jasmine: I think that’s one of my things that I had definitely had in the back of my head is that, “You know, I just need to get small enough.” And I think part of that…It’s interesting. I’m just having a revelation here that if part of that was also if I am small enough in life that I could just…A lot of times, I disappear into the background, rather than being in the foreground. So in other words, meetings, I won’t speak up. And I let others take the lead on things. And so I think a lot of that comes from that interaction that had happened.
Marc: Interesting. I wouldn’t have guessed that you’re that kind of gal. So at work, are you that woman?
Jasmine: At work, I’m a totally different person. Especially with this new position, I’ve had to really step up and take…I’ve had to lead people. And we’re going through some things now, some layoffs. And I’m having to counsel people. And I’m having to do things that I never thought I would end up having to do. But now, it’s like at work, I can turn it around. I would say at home, I have a harder time doing that.
Marc: Mmm hmm. Did you ever take acting classes?
Jasmine: No. But I did act in high school.
Marc: Mmm hmm. Mmm hmm. Is your mom still alive?
Jasmine: Yes, she is.
Marc: Are you close?
Marc: Uh, huh, because?
Jasmine: I actually have a lot of anger towards her. I felt like she didn’t really look out for my dad when he was abusing us. And I think maybe I judge her a little bit for staying in the situation. But yeah, so she’s in the Midwest. And I moved away when I was 18. And I go back on occasion and visit. But that’s about it.
Marc: Got it. Got it. Got it. So when your dad was abusing, you guys, was that physical, emotional, sexual?
Jasmine: All the above.
Jasmine: Yeah. Yeah.
Marc: That’s no small complaint that you have.
Jasmine: Right. Right. Yeah. And she denied when it came…My sister actually caught him. And when my sister confronted my mom, she denied it. And said that I basically was lying and that I was making up stories. And so my sister pulled me out of my mom’s house. She was 10 years older than me. And so then, I ended up living with her through junior high and high school.
Marc: Mmm. Wow!
Jasmine: Yeah. Yeah.
Marc: What a story!
Jasmine: Mmm hmm.
Marc: You seem to have a relative amount of resolution around this. Like, it doesn’t feel like this has beaten you down.
Jasmine: Right. I’ve done a lot of work. It’s taken a lot for me to come to terms and grips with it. And I think the final…It’s like, I’ve forgiven my dad a long time ago. He just was perpetuating behavior that was perpetuated on him. And so anyway, so I as an adult made a conscious choice that I was not going to do that to my children.
And so it took a lot of work. It took a lot of restraint and a lot of just telling myself that I was going to be different than my parents. And so I raised two wonderful boys. They’re self-sufficient and well-educated and everything else. And so I think for me that I’ve done a lot of the work. I think my final pieces is having to deal with my mom because I couldn’t figure out the anger that was still being held there. And then, when I finally looked at it, and it was like, “Oh, she didn’t protect me.” So I just felt that she could have done something different. And she didn’t.
Marc: Yeah, I get it. So is your dad alive?
Jasmine: He passed away in 2000.
Marc: Did you ever talk to him about the past?
Jasmine: Not really. He had had a stroke. By the time I had realized, had started really dealing with it because for a lot of years I’d suppressed it and just was like, “Ah, you know, I’m not…I don’t have time to deal with that.” And then, I just at one point started stepping more into my spirituality and realized that was holding me back. So I started doing my internal work. But before he passed away, he just kept on telling me how sorry he was. And he was…
He was crying. He didn’t want me to leave. And I just told him, I said, “You know, I forgive you. You didn’t know anything different. And so you couldn’t have made different choices.” So anyway, so I think he parted on really good terms with me, at least. And so that’s where working through some of this, I can talk about it without it really having a huge like emotional charge for me and stuff like that.
Marc: Mmm hmm, got it. So thank you for sharing that, by the way. I really appreciate it.
Jasmine: You’re welcome.
Marc: Yeah, you just blew me away. And the reason is I’m around this kind of conversation a lot. And I can feel and sense the healing and the work that you’ve done.
Jasmine: Alright thank you.
Marc: Now, that you’ve told me about your past, I’m like, “Wow! Okay, you’ve done some work. You have done some work. Good for you. Good for you.” This stuff ain’t easy, not easy, not easy.
Jasmine: It’s not. It’s not easy at all.
Marc: No. No. No. No. I know. I know. I know. Okay, now we’re going to do more good work.
Jasmine: Okay. Awesome.
Marc: I am so happy that you are mine right now.
Jasmine: Good. Glad. Yay.
Marc: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And I’m going to tell you why. I’m going to give you a little bit of insight first into how my thought process works so you can understand the things I’m going to say based on just how this works up here. I asked you at the beginning of our conversation, “If you could wave your magic wand, what would you get from this experience?”
And you, number two, you shared about you would get rid of a lot of these little nagging habits that you don’t like to have around food. And the first thing you shared was that you would learn how to unconditionally love and accept yourself without like all the voices getting in your way.
And then, a little bit while later, I cycled back to asking you about, or I went to asking you about your weight. And you were very clear about the answers to my questions about how much weight you wanted to lose. What weight that would put you at. When you last weighed that, all that. You were really on point about that. And from that part of the conversation, I got that yeah, you’d be interested in losing some weight. And from the first part of the conversation, I got that you’d be interested in loving and accepting yourself exactly who you are.
Now, it’s not unusual, it’s not unusual for people to have desires that are seemingly at odds with each other. In fact, it happens quite a lot. And it actually, there’s a wisdom in that. But you were posing a little bit of a problem for me because normally I can understand. I’ll be able to figure out, “Okay, do you want this? Do you want that? Do you need a swirl of both?” Oftentimes, when you want both, the first one comes, then the other comes. But I wasn’t quite getting it for you, until now, for me. There was a piece of information that got filled in that really helped me because what I was concluding, in our conversation, and where I’m at right now is that you’re not…And bear with me, I’m going to make a statement. And then, I’m going to support it.
Marc: Okay. So I believe that you’re not exactly sure what you want right now—which I don’t have an issue with, just so you know—and meaning, “I want to love and accept myself 100% for who I am.” First of all, do me a favor, let that one go like really freaking fast. And I’m going to tell you why. I just want to save you time. You’re never going to love and accept yourself 100%, 90, 95, 98, moments of 100. But come on, you wake one day, wrong side of the bed. He said this. You said that. Little argument. You look in the mirror. Whatever. You don’t love and accept yourself so much.
That perfectionist voice doesn’t deserve any air time. Like, I really mean that. I want you to catch yourself because it’s a little bit…It slides into bad spiritual mumbo jumbo because humanity doesn’t work like that. Of course, I want you to love and accept yourself, of course. But I don’t want to shoot for 100% because humans ain’t like that because we go up and down. You take a step forward, a step back. Of course, I want you to love and accept yourself more than you do today and the next day and the next day, absolutely. I just want to take away the perfection 100% stuff and know that we’re moving in a direction.
Okay, even with that, there’s a part of you that wants to lose weight, which totally makes sense to me, by the way, totally makes sense. I believe that for many of us, there’s a natural weight that we want our body to get to. That natural weight, we don’t always know what it is. Maybe you have only 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 15 pounds, 20 pounds. My sense is for you is that you have a good, healthy intuition that your body has a different place that it would be naturally. I trust that. I believe it. So when you tell me you want to lose weight, it doesn’t sound out of the realm of usefulness to me.
Here’s what happens. Here’s where I’m hanging out with you is I’m just in contact with your, as best I can put it, it’s an uncertainty. And here’s where I think that uncertainty comes from. I think you go back and forth because I’ve been tracking you. And there’s a place where, yeah, you get stressed out. You eat more. You do this. You do that. There’s a part of you that breaks your own rules. You know you’re not supposed to go to the vending machine. And you do it. By the way, whenever you tell me in this conversation, next time when you watch this video, whenever you tell me about how you broke the rules, you got a little bit more of a smile on your face. So you see what I’m saying.
Jasmine: Yeah. Mmm hmm.
Marc: Okay. So I’m aware of her. And her is interesting to me. So I’m tracking her. I’m tracking the little rebel inside you who’s a bit of a teenager. So here’s what I want to say. So she exists. She’s hanging out. She’s operating here. She’s about 17, 18, maybe 16. And she’s like any other teenager. “Okay, these are the rules. Cool, I’ll follow them, except when I want to break them. And I’ll either break them in your presence or I’ll break them when nobody sees or I’ll, or whatever.” But it’s that kind of persona that shows up. So the reason why you have all those little habits that you say I want to get rid of those habits, those little things that I say I don’t want to do, but I don’t know, I’m going to guess, and I would bet a lot of money that that’s your rebel inside you. And rebel is good. Rebel’s fine. We all need a rebel. We all need a rebel. So rebel is good. But that’s the rebel.
Right now, the rebel is not under your control. She does what she wants to do. I got a rebel in me. My rebel is I would say got it under a good 90% control, eh, vacillate between 90% to 95%. So I’m like A-minus to A.
Your rebel is about, it vacillates between 49% and 51%, meaning sometimes you’re in charge. And your rebel’s not. But you’re just, just in charge. And then, you drop down a little bit, something happens, a little bit of stress. And the rebel says, “Screw this nonsense. Like, I’m at this stupid job. And you’re asking me to do all this stressful stuff.” And it’s like vending machine time. It’s like fun time, break the rules time. So that actually makes sense to me. But it’s not under your conscious control.
In the long run, in the big picture, we’re looking to have her under conscious control, meaning the rebel works for you because we love the rebel. We love the rebel because the rebel in you is your fuel. It’s your fire. You have a very active rebel. It is what has allowed you to step outside your house when you were young. It’s what allowed you to leave your parents. It’s what allowed you to start a new life. It’s what allowed…Only a rebel these days has a baby when you’re freaking 17, 18 years old.
And I’m guessing that you did a good job at it overall because I get that from you because you said so. And I believe you. So you have a healthy rebel, except when she’s not so healthy. So what I’m saying is your rebel is one of your greatest gifts. And it’s also when she’s not in control of you, she does things that you don’t want her to do.
Now, I’m going to make a connection here because again, I’m going to say to me, there’s a place where you’re operating with uncertainty about what your actual goal is because I hear you wanting to lose weight. I hear you wanting to accept yourself. You got your foot on the gas and the brake a little bit at the same time, sometimes just a little, but just enough to make some smoke.
Here’s why I think that’s happening. A woman’s relationship with food and body often, not always, often tracks her relationship with her mother.
Jasmine: Mmm, isn’t that interesting. Okay.
Marc: In this case, I 100% believe that for you. In this case, what I am going to say is your relationship with your mother, as it is right now, is mirrored in your relationship with food and body.
Jasmine: Wow! That’s pretty profound. Okay.
Marc: It is. It is. How’s it profound for you?
Jasmine: It’s like, it’s just a struggle. So I’m having this struggle. Her and I are struggling right now energetically. So I can feel her maybe using my energy, drawing from me, even though I don’t talk to her that often. I don’t see her that often. And so that just came to my awareness here recently. And so it totally mirrors where I’m at with her right now, so mmm hmm.
Marc: And there’s this part of you that doesn’t like her, understandably so. There’s a part of you that’s angry at her and doesn’t like her. There’s a part of you that doesn’t like your body. You want to change it. There’s a part of you that truly wants to forgive her. There’s a part of your higher conscious that understands, “God, you know, I can maybe do a little bit better work here, and but then, not, not, not, no, you know.” And then, you go back to, “Wait a second, uh, uh. You know, she wasn’t…She didn’t rise to the occasion. She didn’t do the right thing.” And there’s a place where you go back and forth. There’s literally a back and forth. And you’re in the in between zone with her.
Marc: You’re in the in between zone in your relationship with food and your relationship with your body. You’re not quite sure what’s going down here? What’s happening? What’s going on? I want to do this. I want to do that. You understand certain things. You get certain things. You can have certain successes. But the weight comes back on because that little rebel kicks back in. And that rebel kicks back in because she’s pissed at her mother, quite frankly. And in a weird way, a weird way—and it’s not conscious—whenever, you’re breaking your own rule, you are going against your mother.
Jasmine: Mmm. Wow! Wow! Okay, I can totally see that.
Marc: You might as well be waving a flag going, “Ain’t listening to you, mom.” Now, it’s her. It’s the mother in you because the mother in you wants you taking care of yourself. You’re a good mother. The mother in you wants a good outcome for her children. The mother in you wants a good outcome for your partner. The mother in you wants a good outcome for you. But the mother in you is complexed with, because you’re your mother’s daughter, it’s complexed with your mother. It’s just the way life is. So you’re identified with your mother, and because you haven’t fully healed with her, accepted her, forgiven her—for understandable reasons—you’re going to go back and forth.
Marc: And symbolically, symbolically, you will be acting out your relationship with your mother in your relationship with food and body. So there’s a part of you that just needs to rebel against her because she did not show up good.
Jasmine: Right. Right.
Marc: And any good teenage girl, if your mother’s being a bitch or she’s not showing up, well, you bitch right back. And if you can’t bitch directly, you do it subtly. You break rules. And worse, we go after mother by going after ourselves. You got half your mother’s DNA.
Jasmine: Right. Right.
Marc: So when you go after you, you’re actually going after half your mom. It’s a direct hit in a weird way. Any attack against you right now is an attack against your mother. Any defiance of you is a defiance against your mother. Any time you break a rule right now, you’re breaking what you perceive is her rule. Why? Because you don’t want to follow her rules because she doesn’t create a good atmosphere. So all this makes sense. By the way, what you’ve created makes sense because she didn’t create a good, safe atmosphere. You went to her. She didn’t protect you.
Jasmine: I agree with that. Mmm hmm. So I can see that now in the different things that I’ve done or breaking rules, that kind of stuff, or even having rules. So there have been times where there’s been no rules. And a lot of her parenting style was not having rules. And so yeah, that makes it much clearer to me when you put it in that frame, so mmm, hmm.
Marc: So here’s what the target looks like, ultimately. Ultimately, to me, what the target looks like is for you to do a piece of work with your mother, where you arrive at the same place that you arrived at with your father, which is, “That’s what she knew to do.” And you know this. And I’m not defending her. I’m just saying, she was so protecting her own skin. She was in survival. You had to be wrong for her to stay and keep it together. She had to be defiant. She had to stand by her husband in her mind. Probably otherwise, she would have been left out in the cold by herself. She couldn’t. She couldn’t. What a conundrum to try to handle. What a conundrum. It’s a God-awful conundrum. For you, for her, it’s God awful. So she did the best she could. And the best she could wasn’t so good for you. Good for you for getting out of the house. You made a good move. Good for your sister for rescuing in. What a great thing, like great stuff.
And you know something, in a weird way—I don’t like what she said to you when you were 10 years old about the acting thing—but in a weird way, she did you a tiny bit of a favor. And that tiny bit of a favor is, is girls get just caught up in like, “I got to be this perfect Hollywood thing.” And to be loved and accepted, we get so sucked into the fame thing and so sucked into the Hollywood thing. It’s an awful kind of programming that a lot of people spend a long time dealing with and trying to detoxify from. That’s why I was asking you some questions about that to see if there was anything still lingering in your system. Of course, her words, the way she choose them, were not good. They didn’t work. But it also derailed you from that direction, which at the end of the day is a good thing.
So what I want to say is as you…Right now, you’re still, you probably vacillate between a 17 year old and a 50 year old when you’re dealing with your mom. You’re in different time zones, depending on the moment. Whatever it is, you’re in different time zones. There are times, I’m sure when you’re with her, where you rise above it. And you’re cool. You’re cool. And there’s time when the wall comes up.
Jasmine: Right. Right.
Marc: Even when we talk about your other, you have a whole different look. You become a different human. You got a different look. You become more strict. You become more stern. You become protected. It’s fascinating. So right now, there’s still this part of you that has to protect yourself from her. Not even your dad, you’re protecting yourself from your mother.
Jasmine: Right. Right.
Marc: Why do you think…And there’s no right or wrong answers here. I’m saying why would you think that you would need to protect yourself from your mother?
Jasmine: Part of me wants to say that I just feel like she lashes out at me. And it’s almost like she’s got a whip in her hand. And she’s energetically like trying to beat me down. And then, yet, so here’s the other. The dichotomy is, is that she has said to me, which brings out the rebel part of me, that she goes, “I still can’t believe that you moved away at 18 and never came back.” Because I was like out of dodge at 18, moved to California, and never looked back. So it’s just like…But I feel like she wants something from me. That she’s taking something from me. And I need to protect myself to keep her from…It’s almost like she wanted to take my spiritedness away from me.
And that rebel, right, so now, that pulls that rebel in because she wanted to dampen that because she maybe, she couldn’t control it. I know that much. I know that she had a lot of issues with…Her and I struggled even when I lived in our home and stuff, so yeah. So it’s almost like I feel like she wants to steal that part from me. And I need to protect her.
Marc: Got it! Makes perfect sense. You hit the nail on the head. That’s what you’re protecting. Makes perfect sense, just so you know because you’re probably right on a certain level. That’s how it was showing up for you. She didn’t want your rambunctious, young, smart, rebellious spirit taking over and moving you away because she don’t want to lose you. You’re her daughter. Mothers don’t want to lose their daughter until she’s ready, which who knows when that is for different moms. So she doesn’t want to lose you. And in order to not lose you, she would have to try to dampen your spirit and all that kind of stuff. Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.
How old is your mother right now?
Jasmine: I think she just turned 89. She’ll be 90 this next year.
Marc: How much does she weigh?
Jasmine: She is probably closer to maybe 225, 250 pounds, something like that.
Marc: Mmm hmm. How does she get around? Is it hard for her to get around?
Jasmine: She has problems with her knees and stuff like that. Anyway, so she’s a little bit more bed bound. She can get up and walk around and stuff. But she’s had a few health issues that have happened over the last few years.
Marc: Did you say she was 89?
Marc: Yeah, I thought I…That’s what I thought you said. Okay. Okay, I’m just trying to visualize this 89-year old woman, has a hard time getting around, who’s 200-something pounds that you are protecting yourself against.
Jasmine: Mmm hmm. Wow!
Marc: She ain’t going to chase you down the road.
Jasmine: No, she’s not.
Marc: She ain’t going to overpower you. She ain’t going to outsmart you. She got nothing on you. You’re not that girl anymore.
Jasmine: Right. [Takes deep breath]. Yeah, it’s interesting because I see her as if I was 8 or 10 and I couldn’t get away from her and versus now, where it’s like I just, I ran a 5k this morning. And I definitely could have gotten away from her. So yeah, so changing my perspective of the visualization that I have of her and I and how we’re interacting, rather than me being a child.
Marc: Yes. Yes. So let me put that in my words that I think really encapsulates it, which is you’re not that young girl anymore. However, oftentimes when you relate to her, you are that 7, 8, 9-year-old girl or that 17-year-old girl. You’re going to bounce around to different times. You will time travel when you’re with her. And you will literally be not the lady I’m talking to right now. You will not be 50-year-old smart lady who’d been around the corner a few times. You’re not going to be that Jasmine. You’re going to be this little girl who’s like who’s mommy looms really large, who’s really powerful, who can suck away your spirit, and destroy your life.
And we want to get you into present time. Present time is that you are Jasmine. You are this person that I am talking to right now. You’re an adult. You’re a woman. You could take care of yourself. You’ve been around the corner a few times. Nobody’s going to take your spirit. That’s not even an option. It’s not even possible, not going to happen.
Jasmine: [Takes deep breath]. Wow! It’s just interesting. It’s like that was like a huge weight that I’ve been holding of this fear of having that taken from me. And it’s interesting because now that I’m able to let it go, it’s like I can open up a little bit more and not feel quite so closed down. So yeah.
Marc: Bingo, this is good stuff. This is really good stuff because this is the real work here right now. Everything we’ve been talking about food is symptomatic of your relationship, in large part, with your mother. And you’re going to clean up the rest of your, the stuff you want to clean up right now, the stuff you want to figure out about your body, about the food, about the habits, about going against your own rules. All that stuff, that gets cleared up when you get current with this person we call your mother, who in actuality I would love for you to start seeing her as the woman who birthed you into this world. Yes, she’s your mother. But she’s now this person that you’re probably a little smarter than in a lot of ways, maybe a little wiser than in a lot of ways. And you’re no longer under her.
Jasmine: Right. Yeah.
Marc: At the very least, you’re an adult with her. And truth is, you’re probably a little bit wiser and more learned than her is my guess. Is that true?
Jasmine: Yes, I would agree with that. Yeah.
Marc: Yes. So assume that position.
Marc: Assume that position, meaning the more conscious one needs to be more conscious. Don’t get into an argument with a 15-year-old about 15-year-old nonsense. Stay in your power. Stay in your age group. Stay in your maturity. Stay in your wisdom. Stay in your consciousness. Don’t stoop to someone else’s nonsense level in an argument in a fight because when you stay at your level, you win. There’s no fighting anything. Things shift. Things transform. There’s nothing to duke out. There’s actually no fight with your mother anymore.
Now, that doesn’t mean she’s not up to her same old, little tricks. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have some of the same old habits. That doesn’t mean she’s not going to say to you, “Yeah, Jasmine, I still can’t…” Four years from now, “Jasmine, I still can’t believe you left and never came back.” She still might say that. And when she says that, you could go, “Mom, that was one of the best choices I ever made.” And you give her a nice big smile. And you kiss her on the cheek. And you’ll blow her mind. Stay more conscious because you’re the more conscious one. So assume that position, don’t give it up because then you will start to see her differently. Then you will start to graduate truly and finally out of your mother’s house because a part of you, that even though you left when you were 17 or 18, there’s a part of you still living there.
Jasmine: Yes, I can see that.
Marc: Mmm hmm. So now, we’re going to get fully out of the house. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your mother. Now, we’re just going to get fully out of the house now and understand that now she’s someone that you take care of. She’s someone that you’re wiser than. She’s someone that you can help bring along. And life is weird in that way. It’s like our parents don’t always give us the parenting that we want. And then, in weird ways, we end up parenting them. That’s life.
Jasmine: Yes, it is. Well, that’s what I did with my dad, really. I was the only one. So there’s one thing. There are 13 children. My mom had 13 children. So there are a lot of us. And I was the only one when my dad had his stroke that would actually touch him. Everybody’d go see him. But nobody would ever try to hug him, touch him, or anything. And I was the one in the hospital rubbing his feet and his hands because he kept on complaining how cold and how much they hurt. So anyway, so that was my healing was being able to do those things for him and take that parental role and see him as a child that needed to be taken care of. And that really healed a lot of stuff for me. So yeah.
Marc: Well, that level of healing is totally possible between you and your mother. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be best friends. But it just means, you will have healed. And you will see things as they are. And you’ll accept them as they are. And you’ll be able to be you. And you no longer need to be the 7, 8, 9, or 17-year-old-girl that you used to be. And when you step up in that way with your mom, you will naturally, things are going to start to come together in terms of the whole food and body thing.
Jasmine: Awesome! Yay, looking forward to that.
Marc: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Marc: This has been a very good, solid piece of work that you’ve done today, young lady.
Marc: We’re good!
Jasmine: I was ready. I was primed. I had been doing enough prep work. That’s why I was like, “Okay, you know, I’m ready for that next piece or whatever that next healing that needs to happen within myself so that I can shift and be the awesome person that I already am.
Marc: Yeah. And you’re so open and you’re so willing. And that is so beautiful. And that is so rare. Good for you, you’ve figured a few things out. And it is very impressive, very impressive.
Jasmine: Well, thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Marc: Yeah. Do you ever coach or counsel people like just friends, loved ones?
Jasmine: I do. And actually, I’ve been having to do it at work. So I’m having to put people on improvement tracks and all this other kind of stuff. And so that’s one of the things I really would like to step into is being able to counsel people and go into that realm a little bit more because I’ve got a lot of wisdom within me.
Marc: You would be…Not would be, I’m sure you’re awesome at it, like awesome. I can spot talent. Yeah, go for it in any way you can.
Marc: Anyone who can work with you would be very lucky.
Jasmine: Well, thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Marc: Yeah. I really appreciate this conversation. I appreciate your willingness, your courage, and all the wisdom, and the speed at which you move, very impressive.
Jasmine: Well, thank you.
Jasmine: All right.
Jasmine: Yay! Good job!
Marc: All right. Thanks so much.
Jasmine: All right.
Marc: And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. I so appreciate you being on this journey with us.
I’m Marc David, on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. Always more to come, my friends. Take care!
I hope this was helpful. Thanks for listening to the Psychology of Eating podcast. To learn more about the breakthrough body of work we teach here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, please sign up for our free video series at IPE.tips. That’s I for Institute, P for Psychology, E for Eating.tips. T-i-p-s. You’ll learn about the cutting-edge principles of dynamic eating psychology and mind/body nutrition that have helped millions of people forever transform their relationship with food, body, and health.
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