The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 61: Follow up – Body Image & the Fear of Weight Gain

Just because we can have what others consider “a great body” doesn’t mean we’re exempt from a negative body image. In her first emotionally charged session, Coralie discovered how revealing a powerful family secret has finally allowed her to find a way through her fear of food and weight gain, and to begin to once and for all make peace with her body. Now tune in as Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating does a follow-up session with Coralie. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session with Marc, and the results are uplifting.

Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:

To see Coralie’s first session with Marc, click here!

Psychology of Eating Podcast Follow up with Coralie

Marc: Welcome, everybody! I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And here we are in the Psychology of Eating podcast. I’m here again with Coralie. Welcome, Coralie!

Coralie: Hi, Marc. How are you?

Marc: Good, good. I’m glad we’re back and I’m glad we’re doing this. So this is a follow-up session, for those of you who didn’t see the first one. And Coralie and I met months ago. And now we’re just checking in to see how’s life, how are things? And I’m wondering if maybe you can just give people a minute or two summary of what the key challenges were that you came to the session with last time?

Coralie: Well, I had body image issues. I was not so sure I would like to be around on this planet in my body. I was really afraid of gaining weight. And I was still grieving over the death of my sister. I had issues with my mom. So I think all that related to my body issues basically. And I think that’s the short.

Marc: Yeah, that’s the short. And it’s a lot. So it’s that fear of weight gain. And it’s the, “Do I want to even be in this body?” And also going through what you went through with your sister and her journey with anorexia. So how have you been doing? What’s been happening for you?

Coralie: Oh, God. A lot. Oh, my goodness. So I can’t believe that it’s been already seven months or eight months, something like that. But it feels like it’s been 10 years. So I took your advice and I did somatic experiencing. And I’m still doing it, which helped tremendously. A lot of people are asking what it is because I don’t think it’s really popular… Maybe not where I am.

So basically it’s getting in touch with your feelings and your body and really experiencing where you feel when you talk about something painful or even something happy, it’s experiencing you feeling in your body. So you move through emotions and your feelings where you feel them. So if you feel sadness, is it in your shoulders? Your stomach? How do you feel in your body basically when you feel a feeling?

Because feelings, they land somewhere in your body. That’s just the way we work, right?

So you suggested that. And that’s been really amazing really because that’s landing me back in my body. And it really need that. So I’ve been working on that a lot. And that gave me a lot of confidence. And I feel so much more grounded and happy to be here, definitely.

Marc: Wow!

Coralie: So that’s the positive part. The negative part, I started feeling all my feelings, right? And I have all kinds of symptoms that I’ve been ignoring that are just happening. And I think it’s because I’m feeling my body now.

So I had a lot of digestive problems the last six months. And I’ve been having anything from—sorry, it’s kind of gross—from bloating to gas to not digesting good. And I think it’s really everything coming back out of my body because I’m experiencing all those emotions and feelings. So that’s been kind of a challenge, I have to say, because I have to be careful with everything I eat.

I discovered that I have a gluten sensitivity, dairy. So maybe I have leaky gut. I don’t know. But it’s kind of all linked to, I think, now that I’m doing the Psychology of Eating coaching, I think it’s all linked to my emotions that have been trapped in me for all these years.

Marc: Yeah.

Coralie: And that’s positive, I guess, because I’m feeling my body. And I’m listening to it.

Marc: Yeah. Well, I really want to say Congratulations. I wish you can see from my perspective how huge a leap that is for you. It’s such a big step. And it’s such really a big breakthrough because so many of us in our own different ways, it’s not easy to be alive on planet Earth in a body.

And when I say that, I’m going to give you… I know I’ve said this to you, but also to viewers and listeners. In my strong opinion, there’s different souls who are just… Some souls come here. And they are more hardy. You see people who can get in their body. They can fix things. They are very earthy. They’re strong. They can build. They can dig. And they can digest. They can eat huge meals. And part of that is the body that we’re in. But also I think part of that is who
we are as a being, who we are in our essence as a soul. We all have a different soul personality. So, to me, Coralie, you’re just one of the more sensitive ones.

Coralie: Yes, sure.

Marc: You’re one of the more sensitive ones. Some of us are in the middle. We’re kind of sensitive and also kind of strong. Some people, it’s so easy for them to be here, be in a body. They love it. They enjoy it. It works for them. Even when they have symptoms, they’re okay. They move through it.

So, to me, you’re just needing to embrace your unique journey.

Coralie: Yes.

Marc: And this is your unique journey. And I’m so glad you did the somatic experiencing because it’s foundational to what you need to do, which is to every day get more and more comfortable being me and being in a body. It’s almost as simple as that because being in a body needs I have aches and pains. And I’ve got digestive issues. And I have this. And I have these feelings.
And that’s a lot to process, especially with a lot of feelings.

Coralie: For me.

Marc: Yes.

Coralie: I don’t know if for everybody else. But for me, it is.

Marc: Yes, for you it is a lot to process. And for a lot of people, it’s a lot to process. So sometimes we have to really slow that down. And we don’t need to be ashamed that there are certain things I need to slow down. If you start talking about certain kinds of topics, you need to really slow down for me. There are certain things I understand easily. There are certain things you’ve got to go real slow.

For some of us, being in a body, we have to go slow. And feeling our feelings and processing them, we need to go slow. And that’s an act of self-love.

Coralie: True, yes. I’m learning to slow down, too. That’s difficult, Marc. It’s so
easy to say to people as a coach—and I’ve been seeing a few clients now—but as me…But the good thing is I remember to go back to slowing down, which I didn’t do before. But it’s still really hard to do. But at least now I know at least five or six times a day, I really catch myself. And I’m like, “What am I going so fast for? Nothing is chasing me. I’m good. There’s no life-threatening situation.” But it’s good because now I can remind myself that.

And then also I don’t need to go lose myself in exercise. I still love running. I’m not dropping my running. But I don’t need to do 15 miles to feel like I’m alive. So that’s huge. Now I can go 5 miles, 3 miles, 6 miles and be, “Oh! Okay! I’m good. I’m happy.” So, I don’t know, that’s kind of nice to not have to go run so far and so fast to feel alive.

Marc: I think that’s important because then running becomes something that you’re doing for yourself rather than something that’s taking you away from a part of you. Running can get you into your body. Running can also take us out of our body.

Coralie: Yes, yes. I think I was doing it so long at long distance every day to be out of my body. I still loved it. But I think I loved being out of my body. Now I love running just because I really like running. So that’s good.

Marc: Yeah. I also want to underline something that you said. You mentioned, “Okay, well, the good news is I’ve been doing somatic experiencing. I’ve been feeling myself more, slowing down more.” And it’s easier for you to be here. But then on the other hand, wow, now all these digestive issues are coming up.

And you sort of hinted—I forget the words that you used—“Oh, okay, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it’s coming up because I’m feeling.” And I want to kind of raise my hand and say yes! I think that’s it. If I’ve been wearing dark glasses for years and all of a sudden I take them off, I’m going to see a lot. And I’m going to see a lot. And there’s a lot to take in. So I think once we start to feel and sense ourselves, we can feel a lot. And we can sense a lot.

And the body wants to catch up. Life wants to catch up. There’s an unwinding process that naturally happens. We’re on a natural evolutionary movement. We are all growing, whether we like it or not. And what happens is either we get in our own way, or it feels like we let life get in the way of growing as human beings. So the more you start to do things that make you smarter and
more conscious and more aware, in a strange way, the more we have to deal with pain and discomfort because our awareness is allowing us to see the things that we didn’t necessarily notice before. Make sense?

Coralie: Yes.

Marc: So in a lot of ways, when they say, “Ignorance is bliss,” there’s a certain truth to that. If I don’t know anything that’s going on in the world and I just pretend that everything is great, then, yeah, you can be blissful. But you’re kind of ignorant. You don’t really know what’s going on. So with awareness and consciousness, there’s a cost.

Coralie: Yes, definitely.

Marc: And the cost is being human. But the benefit is once we start to feel all of it, then we can feel all of it, meaning the more you start to feel, “Okay, here’s my discomfort. Here’s my pain,” then that lays the foundation for us to feel our depth and our beauty and the pleasure and the transformation. So it really invites and the whole package of what’s possible from a positive perspective.

Coralie: Yes, that’s true. That’s a good way to see it. It’s not easy.

Marc: No, not easy.

Coralie: But sometimes I feel like, “Oh, my God. It was nice not to have any symptoms.” They were here. I was just not seeing or listening to them. But it is what it is. And like you said, I think I’m just a really sensitive person to start with. And looking back at my life, it’s always been like that. I always have the weirdest symptoms out of nowhere.

Just real fast, I had a finger bleeding for the last two months. The tip of my finger was not stopping bleeding. And I went to emergencies. I’ve been to doctors. And nobody could tell what was wrong with my finger. And it just kept on bleeding, bleeding, bleeding. Finally they took a piece of my finger out and cauterized it.

But just an example, it’s always been like that. I always have those things that are extreme and nobody can figure out. So I just think that like you said, my body is really sensitive. And I am really sensitive. I’m a sensitive person. So I just have to go with it.

Marc: Yeah. Yes, I believe you have to go with it. But more important, you have to embrace it in a way where you’re not trying to fix it as if there’s something wrong with you. This is just who you are. You’re one of the more sensitive ones. So instead of fixing it like, “Well, yeah. Okay, the finger’s bleeding. We’ve got to fix that,” but also at the same time, it’s about managing it and being in relationship with it.

So instead of saying, “Oh, I’m the weird one. There’s something wrong with me,” no. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not the weird one. This is just who you are and how things show up for you. Your body talks differently than other bodies. And it’s going to talk to you sometimes in strange ways. And it’s up to you to say, “Okay, this is just how I talk. This is how my body talks. This is how my life expresses itself.” And I don’t want to say be proud of that necessarily. But love it because it’s you.

Coralie: Yeah. It’s hard in our society to do that, Marc. I’m really working on it. And I have advocated to other people. Once again, it’s hard to apply it to myself because we live in a society where it’s not okay to be sensitive. So I really have to just work on myself and just accept myself as I am first. And that’s tough.

Marc: It is.

Coralie: Because you have to tough it up in our world. And I also want to show my son that you have to be tough, too. I don’t know. It’s a hard balance, really. But I don’t want to do that yet.

Marc: Yeah, I think a piece of it is internally to respect yourself. And just because I have to be tough on the outside sometimes doesn’t mean I’m disrespecting my sensitive part or I’m trying to push it down. It just means in that moment I’m protecting that part, which is necessary. But I’m still respecting that part and loving it and taking care of it.

So this is part of the lesson of being alive on planet Earth. It’s a lot of negotiation. It’s a lot of managing emotions and symptoms and experience, managing it all in a way where, “Okay. This is the situation.” If you only had
one leg, you would be managing that somehow in figuring out how to make it work.

So we’re all managing our different little challenges here, whatever they might be. You’re managing yours. Can you find a way to adjust to love yourself in this more even though it’s difficult?

Coralie: It is. Like I said, it’s not all butterflies. In English, you say unicorns and butterflies. I can’t remember how you put it. Anyway, I’m still a work in progress very much. And I’m learning. And it’s funny because the clients I get…You say that, “You teach what you need to learn.” But the clients I get teach me. They really teach me what I need to learn. And it’s incredible. And I learn from them, too, because they obviously have really big, deep challenges.

And often I’m like, “Oh, my God. This is what I had to learn right there.” So that’s been great, too. But, yeah, I’m definitely still learning, Marc. I’m not pretending like… Huge steps, definitely a big difference from when I first talked to you. But obviously there’s still a lot of work.

Marc: Yeah. And that’s all of us. We’re all a work in progress on whatever we’re dealing with, whatever we’re doing in life. It’s always going to be a work in progress. And then we’ll reach a great place. And then we’re a work in progress again. And I what to acknowledge that you took a big step and you exposed yourself to a tool—somatic experiencing—that really helps you want your journey.

And that’s really I think a lot of what life is about. We’re discovering different places along our journey, different tools, different awarenesses, different ways of getting love and nourishment and support that help us just keep growing. And that’s what you’re doing. I don’t think there’s anything more you can do then that. So congratulations again!

Coralie: Thanks, Marc. Thank you. I’m doing more stuff. I’m thinking the HeartMath Solution Coaching because it was on your reading book list with the coaching certification. So I’m starting that August 29. And I think that that really resonated with me. And I think that might really help me, too, on my journey. So I’m excited about starting that, too. That’s going to be a good thing, I think.

Marc: Yay. Good for you. You’re a lifelong learner. And you keep learning things that help you help you and help you help other people. And what a great way to be!

Coralie: Thank you. Yes, I’ve got to believe in that.

Marc: Yeah, you can practice that.

Coralie: Yeah. Well, it’s hard. It really is. I follow Emily Rosen on Facebook all the time. And she’s working on it, too. And she’s my hero. So I’m like, “If she’s working on it, okay. I can be working on it, too.”

Marc: Yeah. Well, here’s to being a work in progress. Thank you so much for sharing with us so openly and so honestly. And I’ve learned a ton. And I hope people have benefited from this, as well. So thank you, Coralie.

Coralie: Thanks, Marc. Thank you so much for having me. And good luck with everything.

Marc: Yeah, thank you. And thanks, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Mark David, on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. Thank you, everybody.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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About The Author
Marc David

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.