Jodie finds herself eating sugar and constantly going against her own best intentions to eat healthy and lose weight. It’s as if she’s two different people. Well, as it turns out, she is. We humans have multiple personas that inhabit our consciousness, and the better we know them, the more we can manage our inner world and our relationship with food. In Jodie’s first session she discovered a “hidden voice” inside of her, and finally learned how to turn things around and be in control of her own metabolic destiny. Tune in now as Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating does a follow-up session with Jodie. You’ll get a chance to see how she’s progressed since her first session with Marc, and the results are fascinating!
Below is a transcript of this podcast episode:
To see Jodie’s first session with Marc, click here!
Psychology of Eating Podcast Follow-up with Jodie
Marc: Welcome, everybody! I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. And here we are back in the Psychology of Eating podcast. I’m with Jodie today. Welcome, Jodie!
Jodie: Hi there!
Marc: Hi. So I’m glad you’re here. And for those of you who are new to the podcast or not, this is a follow-up session that we’re doing. So Jodie and I met, gosh, probably like seven-ish months ago. And this is just a check in to see how you’re doing. What’s up? What did you learn? Did the session give you anything, any steps forward or back?
And maybe a good place to start out might be if you gave us just a one-paragraph summary of your memory of what we worked on and what the key pieces were for you.
Jodie: Okay. The key pieces were to relax a little bit. And after the conversation, I realized how inadvertently and sneakily I was down on myself for my eating habits. I was, in fact, aware that I was trying to be perfect. I was trying to make sure that I didn’t have all the nasties and what have you.
And I do like sweets. I like treats. And I realize I am probably more concerned about my appearance than what I’d like to think I was. I was hooked into the body beautiful perception of the world.
Marc: Yeah, so we talked about that. We talked about body image. We talked about your relationship with sugar. So what’s been happening since then?
Jodie: I’ve gone stir crazy binging. Then that got boring. So I let it go. I was watching it and journaling. And it was really interesting, the little things that were popping up in my mind. I was having almost like a temper tantrum. And the inner critic was really… I would go down to the supermarket and buy treats just in case I had visitors, knowing full well that I was going to shove them in my face.
And then I would wander around the produce section and debate not being able to eat this, saying to myself, “Well, that’s part of the dirty dozen. You can’t eat strawberries. Stay away from plastic wrapped things.” It was actually almost a comedy of errors.
So then I watched myself with that. And I’m happy to say that I’ve kind of relaxed a little bit from all of that now. But it was interesting how it really heightened. It really heightened almost the anxiety and the paranoia around what on earth am I going to eat?
Marc: Yeah, so after the session, you kind of went crazy a little bit and did some binge eating.
Jodie: I did! I did.
Marc: And you said that got boring. And then you started calming down. So tell me more about what calming down looks like for you. Is it just less worry about what you’re eating? What does it look like?
Jodie: Less worry about what I’m eating, tuning in to my body to actually feel what it is that I do want to eat. And for myself it was finding a natural rhythm, so not eating because I had to, eating when I was hungry, and listening to what food I really wanted to eat as opposed to being driven to eat something because it may be the last thing that I’m ever going to eat. And to be relaxed and to know that there is enough.
Marc: After the session, wow, you went crazy and started binging. You mentioned you might have said your inner critic was going wild on you. Maybe you might have said a little bit about rebelliousness. When you look back on that time now, what do you think is happening?
Jodie: Oh. [pauses] It was almost like an unleashing of everything I had been holding for such a long time, being in my adult analytical intelligence mind, knowing what should and shouldn’t be happening. There was a whole lot of other emotions going on that I had kept. And the rebelliousness and inner critic, I think, were at either end of the rope at the tug-of-war and were all probably wanting to have a little bit of voice and a little bit of airtime.
And it was lovely because I still had my materials from your wonderful course. And being able to just have that as an anchor in moments of sanity or complete despair and falling in a heap and snotting tears and rolling up in the
corner of the room thinking, “I’m totally losing it. I’m totally going mad here.” And flipping open my book, Transformational… Oh, I completely lost the name of the course. You know the one. [Laughs]
Jodie: And had that to feel and to get myself back into, “Okay, I know. I know what’s right for me,” and just remind me of the things I needed, to get out in the fresh air and walking just try to clear the mind.
Marc: How are you doing with sugar now?
Jodie: Better. Better. And also letting go of the perfect, “Let’s eliminate it all completely from my diet,” that was when I just got a bit crackers. But, yeah, there was that suggestion that you had to build that into my diet, build a treat in, to not completely cut it out. That worked. That really works. The whole deprivation thing…
Marc: So when you’re not worrying about food these days, where does that energy go?
Jodie: Well, my business is looking a little more healthy. I’ve got a lot more time and energy. I have embarked on a new aspect of my business and come on board with another organization, which is dealing with being present in body and mind. So a lot more energy to do things other than obsess.
Marc: It almost sounds a little bit like the adult in you and the kid in you are talking to each other just a little more as opposed to being completely separated into their own corners.
Jodie: Yeah, giving both a little time, giving them both a microphone to be able to have a say and have a good opportunity to have maybe a bit of a rant was good, was important because now I feel. I feel like I’ve heard myself. I’ve actually heard what’s been going on in my head and my body.
So when I noticed something ramping up, when you’re tired and stressed or running silly hours, of course that’s when things are going to trip me up. I find that they can trip me up. So I’ve got another tool that I can just use to be observant. And I think the biggest thing that I got, Marc, was to be kind.
And I say that a lot myself and to others. Be kind to yourself. But I actually realized I really didn’t know what that looked like. But now I’ve got a better idea.
Marc: What does it look like?
Jodie: What does it look like?
Marc: Yeah, what does it look like?
Jodie: What is it look like? Just relaxed. Just stop and breathe. Being kind to myself is not running myself to the wall because I don’t understand something. You can’t cure a problem with the same thinking that created it, I realized. I heard that. And I think I’ve got up on my wall somewhere. I got it. I can’t fix this thing because actually I’m not broken. Yeah. This comes up. Okay, well I might go and eat chocolate cake. And, well, that’s okay. That was then and this is now.
Every moment I have a choice. That’s the thing is that in every moment… It might not always be a pleasant choice. But I know I’ve got it. I can still choose. So it brought me right back to my fundamental beliefs. And I hadn’t realized how far I had strayed. I hadn’t realized how far. I’d be smiling and joking and get over things and whatever. But I was in a lot of pain. And I was struggling quite a bit.
Marc: Yeah. I think that happens a lot, how we easily kick ourselves when we are down. And we beat ourselves up when we feel beaten up. And I kind of think you found the gold mine here. It sounds simple. But being kind to ourselves around our eating challenges and whatever it is that has us all bunched up about food and eating and nutrition and overeating and sugar and this and that in the other thing, whatever it is, if we introduce a little bit of kindness into the equation and stop the mind chatter a little bit and stop the self-attacking conversation and all the noise that we generate, that we’re doing…
It’s not like somebody else is standing over you saying, “Jodie, you’re terrible. You’re this. You’re that. How dare you? What’s your issue? What’s your problem?” We’re doing it. And we are at this stage of the game, your mind, my mind is the source of whatever the internal conversation is that’s going on. So we kind of have the ability to sort of direct that conversation. And you started directing it towards a little more of a kind conversation with self.
And here I am stating the obvious. But when we’re kind to people, oftentimes good things happen in that relationship. Relationship is possible. The best in each other can come out. Same with self. When we’re kind with self, sometimes it’s a revelation because we’re so used to the perfectionist craziness.
Jodie: Yeah, perfectionist craziness. And you get the big a-ha! You get to go, “Yes! Yes, I know that myself.” But it’s a continual daily practice. Yeah. You get it. And then life gets busy or whatever happens. And that little tiny thing just takes away in there. And this just connecting the dots, isn’t it? I think it’s connecting the behaviors with what is going on. And to do that is to take the time, breathe, and get curious. Curious. Yeah.
Marc: And it is a daily practice. Sometimes we think it’s all going to change one day. “And I will never have a problem again,” or, “I will never have this problem again.” And that’s like saying, “I will never have emotional pain.
I’ll never have a down day. I’ll never feel bad about myself.” No. We can have a great bunch of weeks or a bunch of months or bunch of days or hours. And that will change.
And then we’ll have our moments. And can I, can you, can we forgive ourselves in to be kind towards self even when, “Okay, I went against my best wishes,” or, “Wow, I fell off the horse.” There’s something about graciously getting back on again and smiling and going, “Okay. It’s okay.” It’s okay. It’s as simple as that.
Jodie: It is. It really is. And it’s as simple as that. And it’s difficult at times.
Marc: Yes. Simple, but not easy to do. But simple in concept, yes?
Jodie: Yes, absolutely.
Marc: So what do you see for yourself going into the future? If we’re in a conversation a year from now, what would you like to be able to report in terms of who you are, where you’re at with food, with body, with eating? Where do you want to be headed?
Jodie: I want to be taking myself a whole lot more serious. I want to be working continually on myself and sharing that with others. I want to have less down time. I want to have less down days. And I want to be able to continually working on freeing up my energy for things that work for me, that are positive as opposed to all the energy used on the not so good.
Marc: Yeah. Well, may that be so, Jodie. Really.
Jodie: Thank you.
Marc: Congratulations. I also want to say getting back to what we talked about at the beginning, it’s not unusual that right before things get a little better, they can get a lot worse.
It doesn’t surprise me when you say, “Gosh, after our session, all heck broke loose,” because that happens. There’s often a storm before the calm where sometimes it’s just things open up.
And a lot of times when it could be we get loved for the first time in a while or we are listened to for the first time in a while or we’re witnessed in a good way for the first time in a while, it almost gives us permission to go into breakdown because a lot of times we hold back from falling apart. And falling apart is really, “Wow, there’s a lot going on inside of me. And what if I just wasn’t stopping it anymore and just let things unwind?”
And, yeah, it got a little stormy for you. But interesting that you moved through it and interesting that on the other side… To me, it’s almost like that was your opportunity to really see that you can have a difficult experience with yourself and still love yourself. It was difficult. Wow, did you regress it looked like on the one hand. But then you rebounded in a powerful way. And once we have that experience, is like a muscle that doesn’t forget. It gets stronger.
Jodie: Yeah. That really resonates. It is like a muscle. It’s there. And it does take some practice. It does take some practice.
Marc: So congratulations once again.
Jodie: Thank you.
Marc: Anything else you want to share before we finish up?
Jodie: The point you made about the point of tension of getting worse and stepping into that for that experience for myself, I suppose if it was helpful for anyone else that the fear of losing it kept me doing the same thing because I had to just use that energy just to hold everything in place.
And having that witness, having you here and seeing me and then gently suggest something different that I tried was that point of tension. I could feel it all. Once I let it go, everything just wanted to reveal itself and show itself. But keeping curious, I think, was the thing that I was able to hold onto, not going into victim mode like, “Oh, my God. Here I go again. This is happening to me again.” Just curious, like, “That’s interesting. Oh, all right. Another bar of chocolate. Well, that’s interesting.” I think that helped. That is what, for me, got me through to now and will continue.
Marc: Good. I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for doing this, Jodi. Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate it.
Jodie: Very welcome. Thank you.
Marc: And thanks, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of the Psychology of Eating podcast. There will be lots more to come, my friends. I hope this was helpful. Take care.
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