Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode #177: Taking A Big Step Forward with Food, Body & Self
Celeste desires a better relationship with food. She is tired of speeding through her meals and missing out on the experience. She has also noticed her weight fluctuate over and over and wants to find a happy place in her body where she feels comfortable in her skin and her clothes. As she dives into her session with Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Celeste reveals that her relationship with food is about so much more than needing to control her appetite and portion sizes. She is at a great crossroads in her life where she is stepping up more and expanding her voice and presence. She talks boundary setting, relationships with men, and family dynamics. Tune in as she and Marc come to some powerful conclusions about what comes next.
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And we’re back in the Psychology of Eating podcast. And I’m with Celeste today. Welcome, Celeste.
Marc: Hello. And I am glad you are here. And let me just say a couple words to viewers and listeners. If you are not familiar with the podcast, how it works is Celeste and I are having a first time session together. And we’re going to see if we can do as much work as humanly possible in less than an hour. So that’s the deal.
And if you, Celeste, can wave your magic wand and get whatever you wanted out of our work together today, what would that look like for you?
Celeste: That has to be reasonable, I guess.
Marc: No, it could be very unreasonable. This is magic wand time.
Celeste: Well, I’m assuming we’re talking about food and body stuff.
Marc: Yes, for the most part.
Celeste: So, okay. I think you can actually help. If I could wave a magic wand, I would be able to enjoy my food slowly, calmly, and peacefully and be able to notice when I’m actually full and then stop when it’s time to stop no matter how much food you put in front of me, there’s all around me. Just take away that anxiety of me not trusting myself around too much food.
And also just being able to slow down because I’ve tried a lot of times to slow down. But it just hasn’t happened. And also—we’ll get to this later. But the field I work in kind of makes it impossible to slow down. So I would really love that.
And since it’s a magic wand, why not clear up my skin, optimize my digestion and metabolism, stabilize my weight? That would be awesome.
Marc: When you say stabilize your weight, what would that mean for you?
Celeste: Well, I’ve kind of fluctuated all my life, I think. Or at least since I was about 8 which is when I began emotionally eating, if I’m remembering correctly. So I’m 36 now. So since I was 8, I’ve always fluctuated. There was never a range really for me. So that would be kind of nice.
I’ve given up on being attached to losing a certain amount of pounds. I’m well versed in Health at Every Size and stuff like that. So I’m not obsessed with that. But it would be kind of cool to just chill at some kind of set point. It would be nice.
Marc: Okay. So in an ideal universe, if you could be at the weight you wanted to be at, how much weight would you be losing? Do you have a number in your head?
Celeste: Of course, the old me would have a number that comes to mind. But I know that might not be healthy. So I’d rather not obsess about the number.
Celeste: I would like to have one wardrobe of clothes fit—just fit, and not feel like I’m just bouncing all over the place kind of.
Marc: Got it.
Celeste: With water weight.
Marc: So how much do you fluctuate would you say?
Celeste: Lately, not by much because I’m on the higher end right now. But over the decades, probably about 30 or 40 pounds probably.
Marc: And in your estimation, given that you know you probably as well as anybody else if not way better, why do you think that fluctuation happens? What kind of drives that in your opinion?
Celeste: In my opinion, it would be from just stress eating, eating too fast, late at night sometimes after I’ve worked all day and not had the chance to take a proper break.
From alcohol, too much partying—not so much now but over the decades—too much partying. And then even farther back, just from restricting so much. As we know, the natural response to restriction is eating too much. Probably not a technical binge, but definitely a lot, really fast, more than a human should have in that speed.
So I think that’s why. But maybe it’s something else. I don’t know.
Marc: What happens when you try to slow down more? What goes on?
Celeste: I don’t know. I think to myself, “Okay. I’m just going to sit down and nicely eat this.” And then I just don’t. The first few bites maybe. But then it’s just gone kind of. I think it’s like anxiety that I’m going to get interrupted or that someone is going to come bother me. And that’s what happened. That’s exactly it actually.
Marc: Does that same thing happen when you’re eating around other people?
Celeste: Not as much. Not as much because if we’re all eating together and it’s been established as, “Okay, this is an eating area” and we’re all eating together, then that’s—yeah, I’m glad you asked that because that is the one time I can slow down at least a little bit. But if I’m the only one eating, forget it. I’m trying to just get it done so that it’s done before someone comes and does something. I don’t know what.
Marc: What would you say, at this time in your life—and I’m going to just kind of bounce around with questions. What would you say at this time in your life—putting food aside, body aside, that kind of thing—what are some of the key places that you feel like you’re learning and growing in?
Celeste: Definitely career. I’ve bounced around a lot, always changing my mind about what I want to do. I see other people really successful in certain fields. And then I try to go emulate that. But just recently, I think I’ve figured out what I actually want to do which is working with animals. So that’s really cool.
My cat that I had for 16 years passed away. And kind of the way I healed from it was deciding to get a job in veterinary medicine. I’m really loving it. I never pursued a career in science before. And I’m much better at it than I thought. And I’m really enjoying it.
So I’m learning about myself that it’s never too late to find a new passion. And to be aligned with your purpose is a lot more important than looking successful on paper. So I would say that’s one thing that I’m learning.
Marc: Wow! So that’s kind of big. Let me just ask a couple questions around that. So is this something where you just want to work in a veterinarian’s office? You want to be a veterinarian? Veterinarian assistant? What’s the career path in there for you?
Celeste: Yeah, right now, I’m a veterinary assistant. Next year, I’m going to get some schooling to get my technician license which is basically like a nurse for animals.
And then I kind of have this vision for myself, when I’m much older, going to one of those vet schools on a Caribbean island because I just have this vision for myself that I’m somehow going to manifest tons of money and be smart enough to get in. That’s kind of a dream. But for now, I’m going for the technician’s license.
Marc: Got it. Good for you. Good for you. Okay, so there’s the career piece that starting to kind of drop in for you. I imagine. Tell me. That must feel pretty good to discover that you have this love and this talent.
Celeste: Yes, definitely. And to let go of the story that it would be too sad because I think that was part of the resistance. But I was so appreciative of the veterinary staff when I lost my pet that I kind of wanted to be on the other side of that and provide that for other people.
Marc: Sure, sure, sure. So what else? What else in life would you say are the big kind of learnings/lessons/experiences that are happening for you right now?
Celeste: Definitely relationships. I said the other one first because it was easier.
Marc: Let’s talk about relationships before we talk about animals, yeah.
Celeste: Yes. Relationships. Learning how to stop relying on validation from men and attention from men to feel good about myself, to learn how to make my life my own before making it with someone else.
And finally, just recently, admitting to the person I was with on and off for a really long time that we’re really best as friends and roommates, still living together and just admitting that to ourselves and everyone around us and kind of un-intertwining our lives.
Thankfully, we get along really well. So it’s been a really amicable experience. But during some of the off times when I tried to go and be with someone else, it wasn’t so amicable.
So yeah. Really, working on my relationship with myself is the most important thing—is probably the most important lesson I’m learning right now.
Marc: So kind of learning how not to rely on outside attention from men as an example to feel good about who you are sort of thing.
Marc: What else in that?
Celeste: Within that?
Celeste: And kind of not caring what other people think too because this person I was with, seeing us together made a lot of other people happy in a way. So that’s part of what made it kind of difficult to admit. And I kind of can’t believe I’m saying this on a podcast. But it’s okay. It made other people happy to see us together. They would invite us out together.
We kind of looked good together, almost like we’re related because we both have a mixed racial background. It’s not that common that you see two people with mixed racial backgrounds together. So it made sense to other people. But they didn’t know that it wasn’t working behind closed doors, at least not in that way.
Celeste: I’m sure I crossed paths for the reason to be best friends, maybe even soul mates, just not on that romantic level.
Marc: Sure, sure, sure. So for the future, do you have a vision for yourself of what you want in relationship?
Celeste: Really, I just want my relationship with myself to be so rock solid and my boundaries and all of the things I want to do, self-care things, so non-negotiable that it’s impenetrable by someone else really.
That’s really all I can think of for my goal. I guess that’s kind of short term. But I can’t even really think about who I would want to meet down the line, not really.
Marc: So on a day-to-day basis for you, day-to-day basis, what is the biggest challenge or irritation around your relationship with food and body on a day-to-day basis?
Celeste: On a day-to-day basis, since I work in the veterinary industry, some practices don’t actually have a lunch break. Obviously, you can go get food. It’s kind of illegal, I think, not to allow people to get food. But you’re eating.
And that means people might come in. People might need things. The phone might ring. So you can eat your food. But then you’ve kind of got to leave it and come do something and then go back to it. So that is my biggest irritation because I find that when I get the food, I think I have a subconscious race to just finish it before I get interrupted. So that really annoys me a lot.
Marc: So if you were being your coach, what do you tell yourself when you step into that role of you being your coach? And you’re coaching yourself around your body and eating. What are some of the messages you like to tell yourself when you’re being in your higher wisdom self?
Celeste: It would probably be that I need to talk to my boss and insist that I can have a sacred space around my lunch and not be interrupted and somehow make that happen, I guess. But I’m just not sure it would work where I’m working right now.
I’m not sure it would work just because I was told during my interview, “We don’t have a lunch break.” It’s a shorter day because of that which has its benefits too. It’s a shorter day. I think they just don’t want people going to do errands on their lunch break. I don’t know.
I think that and then maybe some other food suggestions of things like maybe smoothies or small snacks to have throughout the day perhaps that would make it easy to just have a few bites without inhaling something and still feel energized. I think that’s all I’ve got for now.
Marc: That’s good. That’s good. Who in your life would you say you care most about their opinion of you?
Celeste: Really, right now, myself. Right now, myself.
Marc: Okay. Other than you.
Celeste: Okay. Other than me. That’s kind of a—I don’t know. I don’t know whose opinion of myself. Yeah, actually, I guess just—could I use future people who will be in—?
Celeste: Okay, not future people.
Marc: No, they have to exist.
Celeste: Alright. Well, no, I’ll use current. Then I guess the people I work with because they’re going to be in charge of deciding when I deserve a raise. So the doctors I work for will decide how competent I am and when I deserve a raise which I really need because this industry doesn’t pay a lot.
Celeste: And I live in New York. And I don’t live with my parents. And the struggle is real.
Marc: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Celeste: So I think that’s the most honest answer to that—the doctors I work for because they’re in charge of how much money they’re going to pay me.
Marc: Great. How about your parents? How important is their opinion of you to you?
Celeste: It’s important. I guess I should tell you I don’t really know my father. I don’t really know him. I met him when I was younger. My mom has kind of told me that I should try to contact him. But I kind of feel like back when I was younger he was the adult. And it’s not my job really to try to contact him.
I don’t really have ill feelings towards him. I think that my mom is the one who kind of made the wrong choice of who to have a kid with. But hey, we can’t change the past. And now, at least I’m here because of it. So that’s that.
My relationship with my mom has gotten a lot better as of recently, especially over the summer. We even went to the beach together.
And I think she’s learning to love herself right now, just now. So I don’t even know exactly how old she is but probably 60-something. She’s just realizing it now. And I’m just realizing it now at my age. So our relationship is pretty good.
I don’t know about her opinion of me because I know that she loves me and thinks of me really highly. So I kind of know that already. And I like that. But I don’t know if it’s correct to say, “Oh, I really value her opinion of me.” I’m not sure.
Marc: Yeah, understood. Understood. Back to men for one second. You mentioned before, one of the places you’re interested in getting to in life is just not to have to be reliant on attention from men to give me my self worth, sense of self. It makes perfect sense to me.
What else would you say is another important lesson for you around men? Whether it’s men in general or just being in relationship with a man, another thing that you know you want to learn better, master more.
Celeste: I’m not sure if it’s the same thing, but boundaries definitely. I definitely have had in my past a history of letting guys kind of move in with me way too fast, maybe because they didn’t have a place to stay. Or they had keys, but they weren’t helping with rent. So boundaries in my past with men have been very poor.
Right now, it’s not really an issue. But once it is time to go meet new people, I’m going to need to have those in place.
Marc: Got it. That’s really helpful. So boundaries—just one little piece about that. So boundaries around, “Okay, here’s what I’m giving. Here’s what I’m not giving. Here’s sort of what I need from you. Hey, if you’re not paying rent, I would like some rent. Let’s be fair.” So it sounds like it’s boundaries. But it also sounds like communication and negotiation and saying, “Oh, and by the way, this is me and my needs.”
Celeste: Yes, exactly.
Celeste: Yes, definitely communication. I totally forgot about that. But that is something I have not been very good at in the past either. And I need to work, not just with men but with everyone, on being comfortable with asking for what I want and need because people can’t read my mind and stop being so obsessed with just doing whatever they want to get them to like me.
I think I’m slowly growing out of that. But it definitely deserves my attention.
Marc: My take on you—you’re in a really interesting zone in your life. You said you’re 36?
Marc: When do you turn 37? What’s your birthday?
Celeste: May 29th.
Marc: May 29th. So what does that make you? Are you a Gemini?
Marc: Alright. So yeah, it’s an interesting life phase being 36 because technically, number one, you’re still in your 30s. And 30s have a particular quality to them. It’s a time when, in a lot of ways, things come together, especially towards the late 30s.
Things start to come together because they want to come together. Just things are wanting to come together. Things are wanting to integrate more. It’s like, “Okay, we’ve lived three plus decades. Here’s what works. Here’s what doesn’t work.” The stuff that doesn’t work happens to be way more irritating these days in a lot of ways. It’s like, “Ugh. Enough already.”
So we’re wanting to change patterns. We’re wanting to let go of baggage. We’re wanting to get better at things. We’re wanting to have more of the things that we want.
Mortality is kind of starting to click in by your late 30s. By 34, 35, 36 for a woman, it’s like, “Okay. Who are you? What do you want to be? Do you want to get married? Do you want to have kids?”
Do you want to have kids? Is that something?
Celeste: Right now, no. No. My peers tell me it’s just because I haven’t met the right person yet. That may or may not be true. I don’t know. I’m pretty happy with my cats right now.
Marc: Got it. Got it. Got it. So this is a time in life where you’re solidifying more. And just even using terms like “creating boundaries” or “creating better communication” or “saying what I want” or “getting on a career path.” And “Fine, it’s not making me millions of dollars. But it’s something I really love. And I want to dig in more. Sure I want to make more money.”
So I just hear you doing a lot of clarifying. And I hear you also having openings that are relevant, meaning being in this new career path, getting clear about the relationship that’s been on and off for you and getting clear. “Okay, here’s the best box to put this relationship in.”
That’s actually helpful. That’s a really darn helpful thing. And in a sense, that’s creating boundary, structure. It’s kind of naming, for yourself who you are, what you want, and what you don’t.
So I hear you getting more refined. And what I want to say is, first of all, congratulations! Good for you! I really think you’re in a good place. A lot of people I speak to have a felt sense that they’re stuck.
I hope—and I really mean this. I hope for you that you don’t feel stuck. And if you do—if any given day you say to yourself, “I feel stuck.” I really want you to check in around that because I really feel, in the big picture, you’re on a very good path for yourself. It honestly feels like things are coming together. So there could be moments of feeling stagnant or stuck. But overall, your train is moving.
Marc: And it’s moving in a good direction. And I just think that’s important to notice because part of also being in your late 30s is, in my way of putting things, you are in the late princess stage. And “princess,” I don’t use that term in a pejorative sense. It’s not an insult. It’s just a life stage. And the 30s are the final stage of being a princess.
Once you hit around 40, I call that queen in training. You’re not a princess anymore. You’re not quite a queen. But you’re in this hybrid zone where you’re really stepping up.
And you’re finishing up your princess stage which means you’re tying together a lot of loose ends. And you are positioning yourself to be a queen in training.
Celeste: Yeah, I like that.
Marc: And what that means is you owning yourself as a woman. And in order for you to own yourself as a woman, you’re defining what that means for you. And only you can define that. Nobody else can define that for you—nobody.
Define for you what it means to be a woman. Do you want to be in relationship? Do you want to be a mother? Do you want to have this kind of man, that kind of man? What are your non-negotiables in relationship? What do you really want? What are your needs independent of any man, any other person? Where do you draw the line about anything?
So you’re figuring that stuff out. Very empowering. That’s going to set you up in a good way for this next phase of life. So I see you doing that. And I see you in that transition because you’re not quite the uncertain girl anymore. But you’re not quite the 100% certain woman. You follow me?
Marc: So you’re in the transition zone. And it’s a fine thing. It’s a beautiful thing because, in part, you’re exploring, and in part, you’re solidifying grounding.
And in relation to food and body at this stage, what you I heard you say at the beginning when I say, “Okay, wave your magic wand. What would you get?” One of the first things that you said is, “I don’t want to be fluctuating so much.”
I started asking you numbers. And you got really clear. You said, “Hey, I don’t want to get stuck on a number. I just want to feel more of a sense that I’m not bouncing around.
What that says to me is that you’re wanting to be in a more stable place inside yourself. So I also think that you’re getting that being in a stable place inside yourself in a weird way means shutting out a little bit of what’s going on out there—men coming at you, this coming at you, this experience, that experience, this person wanting this, that person wanting that.
And it’s like, “Wait a second. What does Celeste want? What does Celeste need? Putting you guys to the side for a minute.” So you’re doing that. So I think that’s really brilliant and smart. And I just 100% support you in doing that. You don’t have to be in any kind of relationship or any kind of dating at any point. The more you’re relating and dating yourself, the better.
Celeste: Yeah, definitely.
Marc: Really, the better. And when you’re ready, you’ll be ready. When you’re ready to experiment and check it out, you will. But I think it’s really good to withdraw your energy a little bit and start to strengthen your own core.
Part of that—part of feeling more stable and not fluctuating in weight—your fluctuations in weight are simply—in the simplest way, and I really mean this—just a reflection of how you fluctuate as a person, how your boundaries aren’t always exactly what they need to be for your best health, how “whoops! I let in too much of this person, this person’s energy, or this food I let in too much of. Or I didn’t slow down and pay attention with this food, this meal, this person.”
So as you’re getting more clear and as you fluctuate less about your bottom line, about what you want, you need, your body will fluctuate less. Your eating will fluctuate less. So what I’m saying is they’re a function of each other. And on one level, what is happening for you with food and body, there is nothing wrong with it. It’s just tracking your life. Does that make sense?
Celeste: Yeah, I never thought of it that way, but yes.
Marc: It’s tracking your life. And it’s not bad. Now, granted, I’m saying that from the outside. I’m not you. Now, if I was you and my weight is fluctuating, I’m going to go, “Damn! I don’t want that. Wait a second. I want to slow down with eating. I want to feel more connected. But I don’t. Okay, so then that has my attention now.” What does that mean?
And at this stage of the game, I want you to be so clear that whatever challenge you face with eating has nothing to do with you doing something wrong. It has everything to do with life is just showing you where you can up your game.
Life is just saying, “Okay, Celeste, you’ve been fluctuating.” Do you know why? Because you fluctuate. Because you’ve been learning to define yourself as a person, as a woman, as somebody who works in the world. “What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? How do I want to show up? Well, let me try this job, that job. Let me try living with this guy, that guy. Whoa! That didn’t work. Let’s try something else.”
So you’ve been experimenting. And in that place, you fluctuate. Things shift. It’s okay. There’s no blame there because you’ve been trying to learn who you are.
And to me, we’re having this conversation at a time where, whoa! it’s kind of starting to come together for you. It’s actually starting to come together. So I really want you to honor that that’s happening, just acknowledge to the universe, to God, to whomever, “Oh, this is happening for me.” That’s a good sign. It means your work is paying off. It means your work on self is paying off.
So part of what I’m saying to you is part of stepping into your womanhood is you have to know when to stand by yourself. Just as you need to feel good about yourself by not having men give you attention, you need to be able to look in the mirror and say, “Good job, honey.” You need to be able to look in the mirror and go, “Not bad. You put in some effort. And now, you’re seeing some damn good results.”
You need to uplift yourself and acknowledge, “Oh, I’m accomplishing this.” It’s not egotistical. It’s just we spend so much time criticizing ourselves. Damn! A little bit of balance. Let’s also notice when there’s a success and notice when your work is paying off because you’ve got to acknowledge the victories.
And when you acknowledge them and own them, then you are owning the best of you. And you’re feeling the best of you. And that gives you more power. Make sense?
Celeste: Yeah. Yeah! Yeah, I never thought of it that way. I’ve heard of celebrating victories. But I guess I never really learned how. How exactly do you do that?
Marc: So I think we all do it differently. But I think, at the least, what I’m asking you to do is discover—experiment, discover, play with—how you can celebrate victories first and foremost by yourself. Secondarily, you might choose to celebrate with a girlfriend, with a friend, with your momma. “Hey, we’re going out for dinner. I want to celebrate something in my life.”
Marc: But first and foremost, it could just simply mean you lying down in bed at night and holding your heart and going, “Wow! Here’s what I’ve done and accomplished. Here’s the leap I’ve made. I wasn’t clear about work. And now look where I’m at. I wasn’t clear about men. And now look where I’m at. I wasn’t feeling fully grounded in myself. And look where I’m at. Wow! Congratulations.” Just being able to gift yourself that in the silence of your own being.
Celeste: Yeah, I think I sometimes just let stories get in the way of that and see people who are younger and seem to have it all figured out and then get in the comparison game. And it’s like, “Why couldn’t I have figured it out when I was 20.” And then it’s like, “Oh, I know why. Because I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. And everything happens for a reason at the right time.”
Celeste: But I’ve really let those stories get in the way of celebrating when I should have just been honoring how far I’ve come.
Marc: Yeah, and that’s what the princess mind will do. It will always look for a “how could I have been more perfect? What did I do wrong? How could I have done it better?” because the princess mind gets trapped oftentimes in perfection and doing it right.
Whereas, as you step into the woman in you and more of the queen in you or more of the evolved princess in you, we honor our own journey because your journey is the right journey for you because as long as I’m sitting around comparing myself to him, her, this one, or that one, I’m screwed because there’s always somebody bigger, better, stronger, smarter, richer, prettier, whatever.
There’s always going to be somebody you could compare yourself to that’s going to make you feel like garbage. So that’s a game that has no victory in it whatsoever. And it doesn’t work.
What works is us being able to embrace my unique journey. Your unique journey is the right journey for you. As you start to feel that and get that and know that, you’re empowered. You’re self-respecting. And you’re not as easily knocked over by somebody’s knucklehead judgment of you. Or their opinion of you will matter less because you’re clear about who you are.
“This is the road I took. Okay, fine if you made more money than me by the time you hit 25. Whatever. Whatever. That’s your journey.” You don’t know what that person is going to be like. Fifty years from now, they could be poor and on the street. You don’t know another person’s journey. We can’t say.
Marc: But we know ours. And it feels like you are respecting your journey more. That’s kind of what I’ve been hearing from you.
Celeste: Yeah, and I’ve been sharing it more on my blog and with other people even though I was reluctant to at first because I think I was a little bit embarrassed of how much I bounced around because when I would run into people, they’d say, “Oh, how is such and such going?” whatever thing I was doing last. And it’s like, “Oh, I don’t do that anymore.”
But now, it’s time to just own it. So what if I bounced around a lot?
Marc: Yeah, that’s what I’ve needed to do. I was less bouncing around. I was more exploring. And I was learning. And I was getting experience.
Celeste: Yeah, lovely.
Marc: Yeah. It’s as simple as that. So it’s about living a life of there’s no blame. Yeah, sometimes we do things we’re ashamed of, if I did something wrong, if I hurt someone. Yeah, I want to consider that. Yeah, I want to make amends. Yeah, in that sense, a little bit of guilt is okay because it helps us understand that we might have hurt another.
But that doesn’t sound like that’s a big factor for you. It sounds like really what’s going on here is you learning how to respect and honor your path and your journey. And that’s where you’re going to start to feel empowered in your eating and empowered in your body because now when you want to slow down—really what slowing down is, is it’s owning your moment.
It’s saying to yourself, “I’m embodied. And I can choose the speed at which I’m experiencing this moment. If I want to take a deep breath and be silent with you, I can do that. If I want to listen to you talk, I can do that. If I want to yak away, I can do that.”
So it’s having ability in the moment to choose who I want to be. And sometimes, moving fast is what we need to do in a moment. Sometimes you’re at work, and there are things happening. And there are people. And there are animals. And you are needed. And your appetite has to take backseat to the moment. Okay, that’s fine.
But at the same time, there are times when, “Okay, and now I’m home. And now I want to be able to regulate myself. And I want to slow down because slowing down helps me contact me.” So that’s the only point of slowing down. It’s so you can be in contact with you in a way that maybe works for you.
And true it is when it comes to food and when it comes to your metabolism. The more you are able to slow down in that process and notice and feel and be, the more information you have. The more you can be slow with how you’re holding an animal, the more you know how to hold it.
And yeah, there are moments. You could pick up an animal. And you don’t have to think about it. But you do it just right. Some people have a sixth sense. But there’s a way where moving slowly teaches us the nuances and the specifics. It’s a form of empowerment.
So I don’t want you to look at anything you’re doing as, “Oh my god! I’m too fast. I’m doing it wrong. I can’t slow down. I’m doing it wrong. I can’t control my appetite. I’m doing it wrong.” You’ve got to let go of “wrong” stuff.
As soon as you judge yourself for doing something wrong, I want you to look at, “No, I’m in a life where I’m on a journey where I’m learning how to educate myself to be stronger, better, more empowered, more efficient at who I am and what I do.” As opposed to, “I’m doing something wrong and trying to fix myself because I’m broken and I’m weak or something.”
Celeste: Yeah. Yeah, making myself wrong has never really helped actually.
Marc: Yeah. Yeah. That’s kind of the transition I see you doing right now.
Marc: And it makes sense to you. And you’re going to be between both worlds. There are going to be moments where you’re blaming and self-judging. And it’s all about catching yourself. It’s all about catching yourself and being aware and conscious and then choosing—choosing to stand by you, choosing self-love in the moment.
Celeste: Yeah, I liked how you said what about when I get home because when I get home there’s no rush. There’s no reason to eat really fast. But then I do it anyway because I’m still on that autopilot. So that would be interesting to see what happens when I’m just at home alone. Nobody is going to come bother me.
Celeste: How it would work.
Marc: Yeah, and play with it. Just play with it and practice. Make it more playful as opposed to, “Oh my god! I have to do this. And I better not overeat.” You follow? That’s different.
Celeste: Yeah. Yeah.
Marc: It’s playing with it, seeing, “How can I make this enjoyable?” Because part of you also, when you come home from work, you’re going to want food to give you the goodies.
Marc: That’s fine. I want you to want food to give you the goodies. So part of that means actually enjoying it. And part of getting joy and pleasure means we have to be present to the joy and the pleasure. And we have to very specifically invite in that joy and pleasure.
Oftentimes for people, we get habituated to fast eating being a pleasure in and of itself. Oddly enough, it can have a pleasurable component to it. It quickly stress relieves us. It gives us a quick food hit. It gives us a quick pleasure hit. It’s a quickie.
Marc: And it happens fast. And there is a pleasure there. But it’s not a long lasting pleasure. It’s not a sustainable pleasure. And it’s the kind of pleasure that, ultimately if you do that every day, it starts to have a downside to it.
So it’s also teaching your body how to relate differently to pleasure. So it’s teaching your body how to invite in more pleasure by slowing it down.
If you want to enjoy the person you’re sitting next to more, spend more time with them, and be more present when you’re with them. You’ll have more joy and more pleasure.
Even if you only have 10 minutes, if you’re present for 10 minutes, you’ll get the most enjoyment and pleasure. If you’re absent for 10 minutes, you get less joy and pleasure. And then you’re left hungry for more.
Marc: So you’re on the woman training right now.
Celeste: Yes. I like that—queen in training.
Celeste: Or soon-to-be queen in training.
Marc: Yeah. Queen in training. Yeah, yeah. You can start early. That’s fair.
Celeste: Yeah. I like that.
Marc: Yeah. Yay! So how are you doing? How are you feeling?
Celeste: I’m feeling good. It felt good to just say all that I said. And sometimes, I think just sharing my whole journey with you, it kind of is a way of celebrating it.
Celeste: Because I don’t really talk to that many people other than my cats or the clients who come in, the people I work with. So they really don’t know where I’ve come from. So it’s not every day I have a conversation like this. So it’s kind of a celebration in itself.
Marc: Yay! How perfect! And that’s exactly what I’m saying. The celebration can also happen in any given moment. It could happen when you’re walking to work and you happen to pass by a window. And you look at yourself. And you just go, “Nice!”
Celeste: Yeah, I’m getting better at that definitely.
Marc: Yeah, yeah. Good.
Celeste: But a work in progress for sure.
Celeste: For sure.
Marc: Well, I am celebrating you and your journey right now. Really, that’s what I’m taking away from this conversation. You are on your path. You’re going in the direction you need to go in. And what I hear from your journey is a success story. It doesn’t mean it’s all perfect. No success story is perfect. And I’m celebrating you. Congratulations!
Celeste: Thank you.
Marc: Yeah. And we get to meet in another handful of months and do a follow up and see how things are going for you. So I hope you continue to kind of strengthen yourself and spend as much time doing the Celeste-by-herself thing as you need to.
Marc: And see what’s there for you. Good for you.
Celeste: Yeah, I’m just as curious as you to see where I am in six months.
Marc: Yay! Yay! So we shall check in. Somebody on the staff will reach to you to schedule. And I so appreciate you being so open and honest—
Marc: And real and sharing yourself in this way. I really do.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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