The Psychology of Eating Podcast Episode 99: Follow Up – Sugar, Emotional Eating and Body Image
Elizabeth is in her 50s and has been dealing with binge eating and body image concerns since she was 13 years old. Additionally, she has a big weakness for sugar. When she’s not eating sugar, she feels as if she is at her best. But when her emotions get the better of her, sugar is the first thing she turns to. Elizabeth readily admits that despite having 4 children plus grand kids, her whole life seems to revolve around food and wanting to lose weight. In her first session, Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, helped Elizabeth identify the core challenge at the heart of her body and weight concerns, and helped her see how her extreme sensitivity and empathic tendencies can be finally used to her advantage. Tune in now as Marc does a follow-up session with Elizabeth. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session, and the results are inspirational!
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
To see Elizabeth’s first session with Marc, click here
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. And I’m here today with Elizabeth. Welcome.
Elizabeth: Thank you, Marc.
Marc: I’m glad you’re here. And for those of you who are new to the podcast or even not, so this is a follow-up session. Elizabeth and I met, gosh, maybe nine months ago or so. And we had a nice beefy, juicy session, at least I thought so, anyway.
And this is just our chance to kind of follow up and see how life has been since this session. Was it useful? Was it helpful? Did you get anything out of it? Why don’t you just share a few words about the key things you wanted to work on and then how life has unfolded since then for you?
Elizabeth: Okay. So I was having trouble with overeating, binge eating again. And I was grieving for my mother who I had lost 12 months previous. And she had lived with us for 21 years. So we were very close. And I was used to having her around the house all the time. So it was probably a little more difficult than for most people.
And I found that I was overeating mainly due to that. I just wasn’t handling the emotional side of it. And so I had gained about 10 kg in that 12 months. And you suggested to me that I do some journaling because I had said to you that I had never felt good enough throughout my life since I was a teenager. And you also picked up that I was a super sensitive person, which I am.
So I did start the journaling process. And I found that helpful. But then I had an idea to do a voice recording of my own voice and listen to it like a meditation. So I typed up a page full of stuff about the good things about me and how much I loved myself. I said it all in a positive, in the present, as if I really did, and lots of stuff about my family and me and everything. So I recorded that. And for quite a few months I was listening to it twice a day. And it really started to turn me around.
And I’m in a really good place at the moment. I think I’m probably in the best place I’ve ever been. My food is great. And I’ve started with a personal trainer a couple of sessions a week, which I’m loving. And life is good.
Elizabeth: Thank you. I also did go to see a grief counselor. I just had one session with a grief counselor. And I found that very helpful, as well. So, yeah, everything just seems to be falling into place with me at the moment. And I’m very happy.
I gave up the scales. Again, I had stopped weighing myself, just really working on loving myself. And that recording has really helped with that. And I’ve been sugar-free, which is a big thing for me. But I’ve been sugar-free for 10 weeks now. So my headspace is really good. I just find that sugar and I just don’t mix. Years and years ago I went off sugar for 10 years and three months and 8 days.
And really I just had to come to a place where I was able to let go of the sugar again. And since doing that, I’ve really been feeling much, much better.
Marc: Well, the first thing that occurs to me is that…Well, there’s a number of things that occur to me. You deserve this. You really do because you worked on yourself. And you care. And I know in your life you’ve put out a lot to people. You’ve given a lot of yourself.
And what a beautiful thing to be in one of the best places you’ve been in a long, long, long time. I really love how you took the idea of journaling and spun it around and made it your own and came up with a better idea for yourself. What I was tuning into was that there was a dialogue that needed to happen between you and you because sometimes we really underestimate, I think, our own wisdom. We underestimate how smart we are.
Like I know you’re the kind of person that if somebody else came to you for advice, you’d give really great advice. And you might even give life-changing advice. And of the way life works is that we’re good at that for other people. Sometimes we’re even great at that for other people. But we’re not always good for self, aiming that same wisdom toward self.
But there’s a cool, interesting magic that happens when we really laser beam our own wisdom in our own direction. And, to me, that’s what you did. And I think it’s so brilliant that you put that in your own voice. And you listened to it. What better way to reprogram your own mind? If you don’t mind, I would love to use that technique and start recommending it to people.
Marc: Yeah, thank you. There’s a lot of different technologies where you can actually record your voice saying stuff. And then there’s a few companies that will take it and make it into a subliminal kind of recording so you can’t even hear yourself. You hear just a nice music. But at a very low level, there’s your own voice or somebody else’s voice talking.
But, heck, your own voice directly to you, I just love it. But more to the point, I love that you trusted yourself and that you just acted on a great intuitive wisdom.
Elizabeth: Yeah, well it all came from you to start with. [Laughs]
Marc: Well, I think that’s the beauty of this kind of dialogue, especially when the dialogue is held as it’s not me telling you what to do. I’m in the position of being a mentor or a guide or a coach. But part of that is trying my best to elicit your best because oftentimes I’m not going to know and we’re not going to know the answer for somebody else. But we can help create the conditions for that answer to emerge. And it might emerge from me or from you or from your dog. Who knows? If you have a pet, anyway.
Elizabeth: Yeah, one of the really good things for me, too, is that I’ve been using this. I’ve used it with three clients. And it’s helping all of them, as well. So I’m just paying it forward, I suppose. One lady said she had no way of recording it. But I said, “Well, just write it down, which is what I did. And just to read it twice a day.” And she’s doing that and finding it really helpful. So it’s good.
Marc: The lady who said she has no way to record it, why? She has no computer?
Elizabeth: She doesn’t use a mobile phone, which is how I did mine. And she’s not okay with computers. She said sometimes she does a little bit on there. But she just wasn’t confident. But she’s happy to read it twice a day to herself. So she still seems to be getting the benefits, which is great.
Marc: Wow, good for you. That’s how we change the world. We do work on self. We find what works. And we have our breakthroughs. Sometimes they’re small. Sometimes they’re medium. Sometimes they’re big. And then we share them with other people. And we go, “Okay, this worked for me. How about you?” What a beautiful way to go about the business of helping each other.
Elizabeth: Yes. It’s good.
Marc: So what do you think is next for you in terms of your own personal relationship with food and body? What’s your next frontier?
Elizabeth: Well, I feel that if I can just keep going the way I’m going, which is to stay sugar free as much as possible… I’m not pedantic about the sugar to the extent where I check out if there’s sugar in a sauce or something like that. But, for me, it’s the big thing. It’s the cakes and biscuits and lollies and those sort of things that I stay away from. So just to stay on that path for me, I just know in my heart that that is what I need to do.
And I know from my own body wisdom, as you have taught me about body wisdom, to listen to it. And when I really began to listen again, I just knew that that was what I needed to do. And I just have a clearer head and a better outlook. And it’s as if I’ve got a total freedom in my mind because I’ve made the decision. I feel like now that I’ve made the decision, it’s made. I don’t have to keep making it and making it and making it because I’ve already done it.
So to just keep going the way I’m going now, if I can do that… I have a lot of confidence that I can do it this time. If I just keep doing this, I feel like my life will just continue to improve and the weight will come off of its own accord. And it has started to come off, which is great. And I’m not weighing, which is great. I can just feel it in my clothes. And I know it’s happening.
Marc: Oh, good for you.
Elizabeth: I’m not as impatient as I was. I’m happy to just wait now and let the path unfold.
Marc: Good for you. It’s a whole new way to be in life when we’re not pushing and pushing and pushing and letting things unfold naturally. Doing the right steps in life in terms of my diet and my way of thinking, my way of being, there’s something to be said for letting things unfold in a natural way because that’s how they unfold anyway.
You can put all kinds of artificial fertilizers on the plants. Or you can put all kinds of steroid hormones in a human body. You can make stuff grow faster. But there’s always a weird cost. And there’s usually some pretty damaging side effects.
And I also want to say I think it’s a great thing that here you are, you’re in your 50s. And you’re still doing good work on self. And the work never stops. And I think a lot of people, they don’t like that. We just want to often get to the place where, “Okay, I just want to be done already.” And, yeah, we want to be done with certain things for sure.
But I think the workshop keeps going until we die. And if we can embrace it and see it as this beautiful journey and see it as this learning experience, then we can keep changing and transforming into our 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s until the moment we say bye-bye, really.
Elizabeth: Yeah. And that’s kind of how I feel. I don’t feel now that I have to get to a certain place and that everything is going to be great when I get there. I have been doing a lot of work for a lot of years on personal development. And I don’t expect that to ever and, as you say. And I’m quite open to continuing to grow as, I think, most people are.
Marc: When you see clients, what age group do you tend to attract? Who shows up?
Elizabeth: Well, I’ve got several women around my age, three women around my age, and one in her 30s. But I’ve also been seeing a 16-year-old girl. And I can just see me in her. It’s incredible. As I said to her, I just want to save you going through 42 years of heartache and just nip it in the bud now and get you to love yourself now and not have to get to my age and discover that if you had been able to love yourself your whole life, things would have been different. And she’s getting it. It’s slow. But she’s getting it.
Marc: Good for you. I purposely asked that question because I was imagining that you would be great with people in your age group, and at the same time you’d also be great with the young women of the world because you’re a queen. You’re a mother. You have been down this road.
And I think we must reach out to the younger ones and really help them because that’s how we’re going to change the world to have them be empowered when they’re 21 instead of waiting until they’re 71 or whatever it is. The sooner we get there, the better we can help everybody else and just the more use we are to the world. It just boggles my mind how…
Well, let me ask this question. When you look back now on the early part of your life and the struggles that you went through around food and body, what would you tell that young woman, like when you were 20 or 18? If you could go back in time and go into a time machine and talk to her right now and you had a few things to say to her, what would you say?
Elizabeth: Well, I think for me—and I see it in this young girl—it’s mainly to do with body image and self-love. And as I said, too, in the earlier podcast, I never felt good enough. And yet I know now that I was just as good as everybody else. And that’s what I’m trying to get through to this girl that she doesn’t think she is. But she is.
And she’s got to start believing in herself and treating herself the way she would treat her best friend. And I think that got through to her more than anything because we don’t treat our best friends the way we treat ourselves when we’re beating up on ourselves and feeling guilty and self-hate and hating our bodies and everything. We wouldn’t do that to our best friend. But we do that to ourselves. So she’s getting it slowly.
Marc: Well, good for you. I’m really glad that you’re sharing your wisdom. We often don’t know the impact that we have because you might end up helping one person who ends up helping thousands of people. We don’t really know what the ripple effect looks like. But there is a ripple effect. And it’s happening. And it happens in every single moment that we’re giving ourselves and sharing the things that have helped transform us.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah, totally agree.
Marc: Well, I’m thrilled, Elizabeth. I’m so happy to hear about where you’re at and how you’ve just taken the reigns on your own life in such a powerful way. And I so hope you just continue doing this work until there’s no more left inside you to do it because there’s lots of good work to do.
Elizabeth: Yeah, me, too. Thanks, Marc. I really, really appreciate you. I can’t tell you how much.
Marc: Wow, the feeling is very mutual. I’m so pleased that we’ve been on this journey together. And I really appreciate you being willing to just share so openly with so many people because I know there are people who are going to be very, very touched by you and your words and the journey that you’ve been through. So thanks once again, really.
Elizabeth: Yeah, thank you.
Marc: And thank you, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating on behalf of the Psychology of Eating Podcast. I’ve been with Elizabeth. And as always there’s lots 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. 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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