Episode description:

Last week a 23-year-old woman wrote to me to describe where she was at in her own food journey. She had gone “all in,” ate all the things, gained some weight… but was worried that she had messed it up somehow because her brain sometimes still focuses on appearance and she gets stressed about how to choose what to eat.

This is a spot I understand deeply from my own journey and so this episode is dedicated to addressing these points for her and for anyone else who receives something from it. Anxiety is super common with eating disorders and we have to be careful about the ways it transfers into the recovery process. And unlike some online coaches like to claim, there does come a point where learning how to intentionally nourish our bodies is important.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Episode Links:

Sign up for my email list here

Food journey: demetragray.com/food-journey/

Nutritionists to follow:

Laura Lyons: @wildlyonswellness

Annika Duden: @iamannikanicole

Jessica Ash: @jessicaashwellness

 

Full episode transcript:

Demetra (00:00:09):

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of the Demetra Gray Show.

(00:00:17):

A 23 year old woman, I’m not gonna say her name, but maybe we’ll call her Mary if we’re gonna use a name for her throughout this episode. Um, a 23 year old woman wrote me an email and I’m going to share a little bit of her story with you. And in this series of emails we had, she was sharing with me how she went through a very similar process to my food journey in her quest of eating disorder recovery to heal her eating disorder. And in everything that she wrote to me, she was, I could tell that she was in this very particular place that happens on the journey that I think is not spoken about a lot. And I get why, like, I think it’s kind of, I think the journey gets to a point where I think some people like coaches and people online like don’t quite know what to do with it at a certain point.

(00:01:30):

Like you eat more and then you get to like where, like how do you kind of know when you’re recovered and like then where do you go from there? And I got a bit lost on my own journey. I think there was really a period for me at about like four or five months where I was in this like limbo of like, okay, I’ve eaten more, but like now what? And like now what? Like <laugh>, how do I eat normally again, like my body, I’m still having health stuff happening. I’ve gained all this weight. Like now what do I do? And so I think this will be a bit different of an episode, it’ll be a bit more specific. But as I spoke with this woman and I asked her some more questions and I asked her when I realized I decided to ma I was gonna make it into a podcast, I asked her to share like her whole story and she did. And there’s so, so many pieces here that I want to touch on. And I think in my own journey, like I don’t think I spoke, I I’ve talked this year every so often about like different phases I was in or different realizations I was having, but I haven’t really talked about the process of recovery as a whole or going all in, or whatever you wanna call it. Food journey is what I’ve been calling it.

(00:03:02):

And so I, I want to, I, I think this will be really, really helpful for anyone who is in this spot or even anyone who just has some stuff around food and maybe this will like clarify some pieces for them. Um, yeah. Okay, so let’s, let’s begin. So I’m gonna share a bit with you of Mary’s story. She said I’m 23 now. I’ve been eating disorder for nine years. She started recovery in May of last year,

(00:03:45):

Gained a lot of weight, which you never know really how much that means, but she does specify later she gained about 40 pounds, which actually, um, that is a pretty normal amount of weight to gain in this process. Like most women, I would actually venture to say that like most women could stand to gain 20 or 30 pounds and they would be way healthier, way happier for it. So to gain 40 like is great. Like I actually think that for me, my body’s like happiest weight was about 40 pounds up from where I started. And I think too, like to a lot of people, 40 pounds can seem like so much weight. But when you look at my photos of like where I started and where I am now, and then like look at the photos of what I looked like 40 pounds up, like I look great at 40 pounds up. Like it’s, it’s, it seems like a much more massive amount than it really is. When I had gained 20 pounds, I was like so tiny, still <laugh>. So I think there’s something to, uh, be said about like putting the numbers into perspective. So anyway, she went all in. She did it by the book, ate lots of food. Um, so this is her initial email.

(00:05:09):

She’s afraid. She says, I’m afraid my fear of weight gain was not completely rewired, although my weight is pretty stable for months now. I have tiny relapses every one to two months. By this I mean moments when, although I don’t restrict my intake, I’m eating everything I want, whatever I want, I tend to body check or judge myself for my eating. Then I start binging. I’m in the middle of a binge. I I did all the work. I was brave, I ate whatever I want. Um, but then I, I’m hard on myself and then I’ll binge and I just like don’t, she doesn’t know where, where to go from the spot. And so then let me see, I asked her to elaborate more. So, so then she says, I have anxiety every time I have to pick food because I usually crave two things. One is healthier and the other is the opposite. And I feel like I always have to pick the ladder cuz in recovery they always say like, eat the things you’re afraid of, eat like the quote unquote unhealthy thing. And then she panics and gets anxious because she doesn’t even know what to pick. And I really, really get this <laugh>. So, uh, the more elaborate story, she did all the things she read the Fuck at Diet, which is a book I talked about. I read that early on. She read another book I haven’t read called Brainwash Ed.

(00:06:42):

And she’s listened to almost all the stuff of Tabitha Farrar who I did a couple sessions with as well. Um, so she ate lots, lots, lots of food, gained 40 pounds. Her blood tests worked great and her appetite then decreased naturally. After some months she started moving again. Her weight started to go down and so now she’s about 15 pounds up from where she began. Also really normal. She naturally started craving these things that she considers to be better food. Um, she still loves sugar and sweets. To give an example of daily meals at breakfast, I always choose something sweet, sweet. I usually eat two to four slices of bread with a sweetened cream cheese and jam her honey on top. Then I usually have chocolate or muffins or apple pie. I usually have chicken nuggets, quesadilla, chicken schnitzel, <laugh>, it’s a European thing. <laugh> with sweet potato fries and salad and then chocolate pudding. And then I have dinner if I have a steak or something I used to categorize as healthy, my brain goes wild. If I have a steak, then I must eat chocolate or something sweet cause I don’t feel satisfied. What am I doing wrong? I don’t wanna criticize food, but I’m aware I need nutrients. I eat sugar almost all the time.

(00:08:23):

I have a binge every two months. Usually these happen after I wanna order food and don’t know what to eat. I would, I know all the obvious things. I would never crave pizza and order a salad. Oh man, I have so much to say to this. So then she’s anxious. Anxiety is super common in women with eating disorders. Um, yeah, so okay, she feels really empowered. She was able to get to this point, but now I don’t know if it’s dangerous for me to have free will or if I’m able to make decisions or if I should always pick the caloric things to prevent any possible damage. I feel stuck. All right. And then I’m worried to not mess up my recovery. I spend my days being attentive to everything I think and do. How can I be aware enough but still live my life? I’m paralyzed with fear. How do I not enjoy losing weight? Okay, <laugh>. Alright. This is so good. This is so good. And I wanna see thank you to this woman for writing all this to me and sharing this with me. Um, so the first thing I wanna say is this is amazing, right? It’s a really big deal actually to do this process of going all in, of going on your own food journey of being like, I have an eating disorder, which most people do, honestly, right? It’s kind of like this spectrum is the way that I see it. Like so many women have disorder eating for who it turns into like an actual classified eating disorder.

(00:10:31):

It’s hard to say, but um, it’s a big deal to say like, I’m really afraid of this and I’m gonna do it anyway and it’s the hardest thing ever to do and it’s like the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And so I just wanna say that like that in itself, I really admire and appreciate the determination. And I think that there are some qualities is that women with like full eating disorders tend to have in common. And if you read, um, what is the woman’s name, the doctor who wrote a book, she c the book is called Sick Enough. Um, she, she like kind of goes through all the health problems of someone with an eating disorder in the book, but she describes the classic, uh, stereotype of someone with an eating disorder at the beginning. And of course anyone can be different or like see themselves in it or not. But for me, I like cried reading this story. And um, the story talks about like, usually the qualities are like really smart, very determined. And I think because of that like more prone to worrying and anxiety and like doing it right and being perfect. And so I hear like a lot of the threads of those qualities in this, in these emails. And I feel it really deeply. Like I also have these threads <laugh> and um, I appreciate the,

(00:12:33):

Cuz no one chooses to have an eating disorder, right? Like it’s kind of just the way that your brain reacts to restriction and the amount of of bravery that it takes to dive into it in this way and to go on this journey is just huge. So I wanna say that first because I just think the world would be a much different place if women ate food <laugh>, you know? So that being said, there is this place in recovery that no one seems to talk about where like how do you transition from eating all the, so if anyone is like listening to this and they kind of don’t know the, the like typical all in kind of journey, this type of, um, eating disorder recovery journey. It’s basically like eating a ton of food <laugh> to rewire your fear of weight gain and fear. And you know, sometimes I know that, that some people are very adamant that it’s like always only about weight gain. I’m not convinced that that is totally true, but I do think that component is there for pretty much everyone. Like I, I didn’t think it was about my weight gain, about gaining weight. And then I did realize, of course I had a lot of fears of fat actually. So I think facing our fear of fat, um, is beneficial for everybody.

(00:14:24):

Um, but so, so the process is you go on this journey, you like rewire by eating, you teach your body that it’s like not scary to gain weight. It’s not scary to be fat. Food is not scary. In my case, I was so afraid of particular foods, um, like additives and you know, all the things like I was, I was, I cried the first time <laugh> on my food journey that I went into a regular grocery store because all the things just felt so stressful and so scary to me. It was like all these foods are gonna kill me. So rewire, so eating all the foods, it’s kind of this like, you face what you fear the most and then you gain the weight and you’ve like rewired your fear of weight gain. And then at some point you’re like, it kind of drops off, right?

(00:15:26):

It’s like you’ve healed the way that people tell it online. For a lot of people it seems to kind of tend to be like, yeah, then you like get to this certain point and you’re just like healed and your weight might drop off. Like the excess weight you gain might drop off, it might not. And like there you go, you’re recovered. And then the perception I think for some people is like, you just continue to eat all these foods, but that might not even be so nutritious for the rest of your life because like, you’re not just not supposed to think about food and not like question what’s in food at all. And so the problem with this, and I’ll just tell you like from my journey and my perspective is that going all in did rewire my fear of food for sure. Like my fear of food, um, now especially completely gone.

(00:16:44):

I do not stress about what’s in food. I can go into whatever store I could eat, whatever if I needed to. Like that part totally healed. And I sit with a lot. Like, could I have done that without doing it in the way that I did without eating McDonald’s twice a day? Like, I don’t know the answer to that question. Um, I think for me, I don’t think I could have, like the place I’m at now with food, I never in a million years manage. I I could be imagine that I could be at. So there is something in that process that was really, really healing for me. Um, and going all in did not fix everything. So there’s this place, and I’m gonna get back to Mary’s story in a second, but there’s this place of like, I still have a lot of health stuff going on. Some of it exacerbated by gaining so much weight and by all of the things that I ate during the last whatever, like the first 10 months year of my food journey. And for me, I, I knew if you go back to my post at the beginning of my journey, like I knew that this was a

(00:18:11):

Risk or if you call it like, uh, it’s a, a choice, a choice that I made intentionally. Like I knew that I would not wanna subsist on like McDonald’s and Poptarts forever, but that, I don’t know why I said Poptarts, I don’t even know if I ate one Poptart, but like McDonald’s and Oreos and whatever, like I knew I wouldn’t wanna subsist on those things forever, but I knew that in order to clear my stuff around food and my stuff around weight gain and my stuff around health, like I had to, um, eat all those things to like show myself that I wasn’t gonna die, the world wasn’t gonna end. Um, and so like I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. However, my body is still, like, there’s a lot of stuff I had, um, previously, especially hormonally, um, which I’m learning now is like we say hormonally, but it’s actually like what’s underneath the surface of your hormones.

(00:19:18):

Like how’s your thyroid doing? How are your minerals doing? Like all these different pieces, how’s your gut health? And I think I had all these things clearly off. Um, was it from eating just like a standard American diet growing up? Was it from eating, not like not eating enough food? Was it from all the restrictive diets I did probably a combination of all three, but stuff was really off. And then when I went all in, I ate all these things that like are really estrogen for the ball. Like they are, they have all these additives that cause inflammation. Like they have these things that, um, just aren’t like the most nutritious. And so maybe we should frame it in the sense of like, it’s not that these foods in particular are just like scary bad foods, right? Like if you had no food around you, you’d wanna eat them. But I think the other piece that we also really need to consider and look at is that the way that our, our society eats today and the way our culture eats today is wildly different than the diets that humans, um, thrived on for millions of years. Have humans been around for, I don’t know, thousands of years, <laugh> hundreds hundred thousand or not hundreds, thousands of years, but I don’t know about millions.

(00:20:43):

So <laugh>. So, um, there is this way that like when we subsist off of these highly processed, like newer foods, they’re just not as nutrient dense. And so you can actually frame it in the context of like, what do I miss? Like what am I missing when I’m eating a diet that’s just like the typical normal diet. I’m not thinking about it, I’m just getting food from the store and I’m picking up whatever. Like I’m not getting these really nourishing foods like whole meats, organ meats, especially oysters, um, bone broth, like these really dense foods that are necessary for fertility. Like you see, there’s a huge fertility crisis in the world right now, and it is largely because of the way that we eat. Like we, we don’t get these nutrients. And so I’d encourage anyone listening to, to reframe this from like, it’s not really about like what’s so bad about all the foods that we’re eating and what are all the bad things and the bad foods.

(00:22:07):

Like there’s, I just still don’t look at any foods as like bad foods and like things that are scary, but more, it’s like there’s this phase, I think everybody should intentionally nourish their body. And I think in the phase in the journey of eating disorder recovery, there comes a point of, of shifting from like, okay, I’ve eaten all these things. I’ve been like afraid of doing. I’ve eaten more food, I’ve gained more weight. Like now I have to learn how to inten. Like how do I intentionally nourish my body? And it’s hard to do that because there’s a lot of, um, conflicting information, a lot of bad information out there. So like for me, I’ll, I’ll just say that like for me, I ended up where I began, which is in the pro metabolic world, which is not a diet, but a way of intentionally nourishing to support your metabolism and support your body’s health.

(00:23:16):

So you have to know where you are, right? Like if you’re in the middle of your food journey, if you’re in, say you’re in the beginning of this phase where you’re like eating all the things, like you might have to turn this podcast off and just be like, I have to focus on, like if I heard this when I was like a month in, I would’ve been like, shut the fuck up, <laugh>. Like, I need to just eat right. And that was a very important phase. Um, but for me, I would say I started eating more in March. I went all in in June of 2021 and probably by like September I was ready to start intentionally nourishing, but I was so lost and I gained another 40 pounds between like September and December, I think. I think that wasn’t even necessarily like safety weight as much as it was my body was still not getting the nutrients it needed because even though I was eating tons of food and gaining tons of weight, the food I was eating still wasn’t very nutrient dense. It was all like processed stuff and, you know, was that phase kind of important for me? Still probably like I, I still had some realizations during that time and Jordan and I had just moved into this house and we didn’t have clean water and like it was stressful. So we did what we could. Um, but I think that I was in this phase last fall of kind of like,

(00:24:59):

I don’t know what to eat now because I was starting to crave, like Mary says in her story, I was starting to crave, um, like quote unquote healthier things. Like suddenly I had a car, a craving for a raw carrot and I was like, oh my god. And then I wanted like chicken breast and um, I was like, can I trust this? Like, there there comes this phase of like, can I really trust it? And if you haven’t listened, you can go back to earlier in my podcast to earlier this year because I, I did some episodes, like each time I sort of had a new realization, I think, I think that I talked about it a bit like more real time. But um,

(00:25:55):

In last fall I just like didn’t know like I would be hungry and so I would just eat ice cream and at this point I didn’t even really want ice cream, but I didn’t know what else to eat and like I didn’t know how to choose it and I was afraid of like messing it up exactly how Mary writes in her story. Um, I was like, I don’t know what to like, I don’t know what to do so I better just choose the thing that I think is like the worst thing <laugh> so that I like keep recovery up. Um, and so like I was really quite lost, honestly. And then what happened

(00:26:38):

For me, um, I think in the very end of January I found a non diet dietician. And at this point I had not had much experience with dietitians. I thought they were kind of stupid. Um, and actually I signed up for this thing and I think the, the company name was Find Food Freedom. It was ex I, I don’t know. Anyway, it was really exactly what I needed at the time, but I barely did anything. Like I didn’t do the co like I got the course and I got all these, the ba thing that helped me was I did one-on-one sessions, um, with a woman from there. And what helped me the most, cuz I honestly like, I just wanna be really honest with you, <laugh>. Like, I thought the whole thing was kind of like very basic and dumb and annoying cuz it’s all about like intuitive eating and like, but what was really good for me was to talk to someone like completely just normal.

(00:27:57):

And to hear from someone who worked with a lot of other people on like intuitive eating and like who has this whole background and like how regular people eat, it really helped me to talk to someone who could like, reflect back to me kind of like the absurdity of my mind. And um, so like, I’m not saying that I would necessarily recommend doing this. I think the main thing that I took from it was just that I could tr actually trust my body. And so what I learned was that there does actually come this point like normal healthy eater. Like it’s not an eating disorder behavior to intentionally choose foods to nourish yourself most fully.

(00:29:03):

Like that’s a perfectly normal and great thing to do. It’s kind of like the best parenting. Like you want to choose the foods that you know are going to like, support your child’s body most. And of course you wouldn’t be overly restrictive. Um, but you might, like, if you, if you watch a lot of these, um, pro metabolic women, I’ll link some of the Instagram accounts of people whose, uh, food posts I like because a lot of the, I know this, um, that Mary doesn’t have a lot of money to spend. Um, and so a lot of these women’s like programs and stuff cost more money, but um, you can actually get a lot, like, you can get all you really need basically by just like free stuff on Instagram, like free stuff that they have online. Um, and so they’re d like when you watch these women with their kids, like they don’t teach their kids to be afraid of any foods.

(00:30:19):

They just nourish them with like the most nutrient dense, the most natural foods available, and they teach them how to like, feel in their bodies how their bodies feel. And you know, if they go to somebody else’s house and they have like some, you know, treat or some like birthday cake or something, like their child then learns like, this cake makes, like this is how this cake makes my body feel. And they get to decide like how much they want, if they want to eat it again. Like that’s, that’s really like a natural way of eating. And what I realized was like my body was starting to land in this place already. Like there were times where like, like my body started craving these foods again. Um, like it didn’t really want like <laugh> whatever I was eating like earlier. Like it didn’t want like breakfast cereal and, um, muffins and uh, ice, well I still eat ice cream, but like then I was eating ice cream like every day and like my body just was tired.

(00:31:36):

Like, I was just kind of like, okay, like I’ve kind of had my share of it <laugh> and like now, like now what? Um, so there is this place where like choosing to intentionally nourish is important. And this was a huge shift for me because, and if you go back, I, I think this happened like in April, it was the beginning of April when this like fully happened because for me, because, um, I had been working with this woman for a couple months and when I started I would say to her like, I was just like, I am just like te like I just don’t know how to eat, like what is normal. And I was also afraid of being hungry. I was like terrified of my hunger. And what I was really terrified of was like messing up recovery. So you have to watch because like the anxiety and the, even the intelligence of like someone with an eating disorder can transfer onto the recovery process of like, I have to do this, right?

(00:32:48):

Like, I have to get this perfect <laugh>. Like now I’m recovering. Like, before it was like, I’m really good at like restricting in these ways. Well now it’s like I’m really good at like, like it’s still a form of restriction. It’s like how can I like do, and I, you know, maybe restriction’s too loaded of a word, but it’s like, how can I do this perfectly? Like I wanna do recovery perfectly and like not mess it up. And it’s like, actually what needs to happen is just to relax and to not overly um, um, freak out about every little thing. So like the things that marry names of like, well I still body check and I still like do these things and I’m personally, I’m not a big fan of these terms. Like at a certain point I think we have to let the labels of things go or to just at least really question them.

(00:33:41):

Like when it’s like I’m body checking and that’s bad, I sometimes I find myself still body checking. It’s like, well, is it that you’re like obsessing every day that you like keep looking in the mirror to see if you look okay? Or is it just that like you’re looking in the mirror to see what your body looks like on occasion and then your brain is like, that’s an eating disorder behavior. You shouldn’t do that because that voice is like actually the, like that’s the anxiety. Like that’s part of the problem is the obsession and like the attachment to like, am I doing it perfectly?

(00:34:25):

And so like if you happen to look in the mirror, like I, I think a lot of compassion is needed. Um, what was the other thing she said? She said, I sometimes I body check or judge myself for my eating. And I think the, I think the judgment for the eating will, um, probably go away the once you actually like trust yourself to, um, eat like to, to nourish your body well. Um, but these like things like when saying like, I have tiny relapses every one to two months. It’s like, I don’t think I, I I think that the binging is coming as a result of the perceived restriction and the restriction, like your brain is, is feeling like, because you’re judging yourself for eating and you’re worried and you’re like, oh, I’m still ba I’m still doing these things. Like you are panicking and then your body’s like, I’m re like I’m in restriction. And then it causes you to binge. The binge is not a problem. Like the thing is that to me there’s no judgment. Like it’s fine. The bing will stop when the rest stops. So it’s, it’s not an issue. Um,

(00:36:09):

I think the place is like where you’re really, really hard on yourself for the process and I really get it. Like I really, really, really get it. And the shift for me came from like starting to relax, starting to trust myself when I felt full. Like just being like, I think I’m full now and not being so hyper anxious of like, am I actually full? Am I just tricking myself into thinking I’m full? Like the problem I have with a lot of, um,

(00:36:45):

Different people’s work online around this topic is that it basically teaches you that like you cannot trust your body and you can’t trust your brain at all. And it’s necessary I guess in the beginning part of the recovery. But there does come a place, like for Mary, she has gone through this process. She’s eaten a lot of food, she’s gained weight, her body clearly feels safe enough to start to lose some weight and now her weight’s in a pretty stable place. And so from the like eating disorder perspective, like I think people get really attached, um, even to the label of eating disorder. Like there are so many communities online and people saying like, you’re gonna have an eating disorder forever. And like, I’ll tell you, no I won’t because I don’t have one anymore <laugh> like I’m recovered from the eating disorder. Um, so, but I, I think the key is in a lot of like relaxation around like, like trusting yourself. Like it’s okay to look in the mirror once in a while and it doesn’t mean that you’re body checking or you’re obsessing and you’re like freaking out. It’s okay to enjoy the fact that you lost weight and you have to like, you just, you just get to kind of watch yourself like, oh, like the past few months as I’ve started losing weight during my, uh, food journey, I like, well I weighed myself a lot at the beginning, but then the last like year I wasn’t weighing myself as much cuz nothing was really changing. Like in the fall, like I think I weighed in September then in December and then, um, maybe like in April.

(00:38:42):

Um, and I was all just still the same. So I was like, okay, like nothing’s shifting <laugh>. And then, um, Jordan actually bought a scale and cuz he had lost a bunch of weight cuz he had gained weight when I gained weight just from eating all the things I had been eating. And then, um, I stepped on the scale when I came back from my trip, I think in the end of August and I was like, oh, I lost weight. And then again in September I came home and I was like, oh, I lost more weight. And that has been exciting to me. Um, but it’s not really like, like the real excitement and I could convince myself like, oh no, I feel excited. I shouldn’t feel excited. That means something’s wrong. Um, but actually I feel just excited that like my body feels safe enough to lose weight and like come back to a place that feels good for it. Because the truth is that like gaining 110 pounds for me was pretty hard on my body. Like it’s been hard on my joints and my, like, it’s, it’s been tough. So

(00:39:58):

There is a place of, um, like allowance for that. And I, and I’ve noticed myself, um, like the past, well I probably haven’t weighed myself now in like a week, but when I had lost, I had lost like 20 pounds initially. And when I started losing, when I had lost 20 pounds, then for the next like week or two, like every few days I wanted to weigh myself, I was like, did I lose more? Am I still losing weight <laugh>? And I had to just kind of like watch myself. Like, but but there’s a compassionate way of watching yourself of like, oh, like look at me, like I’m wanting to weigh myself again. I’m like, maybe this is a lot of weighing myself, but like, I’m excited. It’s okay. Like I can, and then like when we make something really wrong and we’re like, oh no, I’m doing the behavior I shouldn’t be doing the behavior, it like creates the spiral of anxiety and we label the behavior like this is a bad behavior. Whereas like I was just like very compassionate to myself and like, oh, like look, I’m, I’m doing a lot of like weighing <laugh> and maybe like, I don’t need to do that. And then I just kind of like dropped it. Like now I was just like, okay, you know, I had that for the week or two that I did it a lot. And then now I’m like, all right, I’ll just wait a couple weeks and, and look again. But like you’re, you know, I think

(00:41:35):

I find some people’s philosophies online around eating disorders very rigid and very extreme and very like tight. And um, I also think it’s important to note that like, and I don’t wanna like criticize anyone’s health, but like a lot of people, like some people who have gone through recovery and are teaching about recovery still have health issues. Um, and for me, and, and they might claim like, I have this, this is up with my health, but like that has nothing to do with food and food has nothing to do. And it’s like, well <laugh>, that’s just not true either. So there is a place of like, like there’s a place for the intentional nourishment in all of it. And I think that this is the place that Mary is in of like, now what do I do? Because I think what’s happening is that she is really wanting to like make sure rec she’s doing recovery, right? Um, but then getting like overly hard on herself and obsessed with like, is it correct and like freaking out about these little behaviors which then causes more restriction with the food and or, or, or the perception of the restriction and then the binging and like, it’s like, oh no, I’m like not recovering right. Um,

(00:43:18):

And actually I think like she is recovering, right? Like you are <laugh> there’s just a place of like, now it’s time for a new phase of like relaxing and trusting yourself because there’s also, like, for me it’s felt just like a really loving way of parenting myself. So that was what I started saying about in April, um, Jordan and I went on our honeymoon and we were away and I was eating just like whatever. And I started to just, I was just like, this isn’t enjoyable for me. Like in the morning we were having like these packaged like English muffins and we were having like eggs and English muffins and I was like, I am sick of English muffin. Like, I don’t like them, I don’t feel good eating them. Like they just don’t feel like a nourishing food. And um, then my body started to crave liver, like raw liver, which I had started eating at the beginning of my journey.

(00:44:30):

And so when I came home I was like, I’m gonna start adding in some of these foods again. And then it just like kind of took off from there. And since April I’ve been like really intentionally, um, eating in a very nourishing way in, in a pro metabolic way, which means I am attentive to like the balance of macronutrients that I get in a meal. Meaning like, am I getting enough protein? Am I getting enough carbs? What is the ratio between these things? And I don’t track my food. Um, the most that I’ve done is like written down some days of what I ate. Actually I found that work, what works best for me because I wanna have an idea of how much I’m eating to like, be at baseline because now I am working out more and so I wanna make sure I’m like getting enough protein and, and all the things, but tracking every day would just make me insane. <laugh>.

(00:45:30):

So the way I’ve like gotten around that is I’ve written down a bunch of days of food, but I haven’t tracked them yet. So now I have these days of food from like three weeks ago, um, that I’m actually at some 0.1 day soon I’m gonna go, I’m gonna sit down and like, uh, put them all into a thing and then, uh, see what the average, like what my average macronutrient ratios are so that then I can see like where I’m at. Um, and you don’t need to do any of that. I don’t think anyone needs to do that necessarily. I’m just for where I’m at right now in my journey, that is what I’ve done to kind of get around that piece. Um, and I’ve been like, there’s a lot of foods that I add in on purpose. Like I have a raw carrot salad to help remove estrogen.

(00:46:28):

I have adrenal cocktails to replenish my minerals. Um, and if these things don’t make sense to you, uh, these women that I referenced earlier who I’ll link in the show notes, um, talk a lot about these things. And so the thing is like, I, I think it’s important to not get too caught up on like morality of food. Like we don’t need to judge food as like right and wrong and good and bad and like feel really intensely around food. For me, the way that I knew that I was healed really fully was like Jordan and I went away for a month in September. We had to go last minute cuz I had a family member who’s sick And um, I was eating like so well meaning like I was so g doing so well at nourishing my body and like adding all these things in and then we went away and all that just kind of like went out the window.

(00:47:25):

Like it was, we tried but it was really difficult. Like we suddenly, for my body, it was like we went back to eating all these like restaurant meals and fast food and all this stuff and it’s like, it wasn’t even enjoyable for me at this point cuz I was like, I miss my fucking, like I miss my bone broth, I miss my eggs from the farm, I miss my freezer full of local meat. I miss my raw butter. Like I miss all these things a lot. And the reality was that like in this moment we weren’t having that. And so the way that I knew that I could be like really relaxed or that I was like recovered especially was that I could be relaxed. Like I could be relaxed when we were in Pennsylvania and I ate Chick-fil-A, you know, like I I was just like, you know, this might not be the ideal scenario, but it is what it is and I have to eat food. And so there’s that. And it was not the end of the world <laugh>, like it was just a period of time. Um, and then we came home and now I’m back to my, um, foods that I really like eating. And I also think there’s a place that I’ve started to notice too, that I’ve only really started to feel this last year. I have the hiccups now

(00:48:50):

Of like

(00:48:55):

Really being able to learn. Like in some ways it really did feel like being a little kid if like no one had ever taught me that food was like good or bad or whatever. Like I, I started to learn this is how this food makes me feel. And so back in April I started adding in all these foods to like intentionally nourish myself and I’d be like, Ooh, I feel really energized. Like when I eat this breakfast of like eggs and bacon and fruit and maybe some sourdough or whatever. But like, I’d be like, Ooh, like that feels really good. And um, for a while, like I, I still had cravings every so often for like i I was eating those like hot, hot buffalo wing pretzels. I was like, I still really want these and so I just like let myself have them. Um, but I learned pretty quickly like after I did that a few times and that combined to like how I was eating, like I just kind of stopped wanting them cause I was like, it’s not really that good of a feeling. Um, so there is a place of like

(00:50:12):

I wouldn’t, I don’t think we have to put it in a moral framework of like, some foods are better than other foods.

(00:50:21):

Cause that’s not how I think about it in my mind. But I think some like proper education about nutrition is really important, which is why I think these women come in because a lot of our like modern day nutrition guidelines are also just shit. You know, like people eating vegan diets and things like it’s just shit, it’s bad. Like we’re missing out on all these nutrients. Um, and you know, I just did, one of the women I’m working with, her name is Laura, um, she just ran all these labs for me. We did like a, a hair mineral analysis to see like my mineral status from the past, like whatever number of months that it tests. And we did blood labs and we did a GI map of like everything in my gut I sent in a poop sample. I’m like, um, I really like this approach way more than anything I’ve ever done.

(00:51:19):

She actually just sent me all my results back this morning and she does this whole long video. It’s, you know, it’s quite pricey. So not everyone will be able to do this. But what I can see by looking at this is like my system is so depleted, <laugh> like, and it, I’m sure it has been for like my whole life, um, but like all my minerals are super low, like my good bacteria, my gut is really low. Like these things like my system just need so much nourishment and support. And there’s like the reality of this that I think people like, it’s not really taking care of your health to just like eat enough food of whatever food and be done. I mean maybe if you don’t have any health things going on, but like at some point like it, it’s good to understand like blood sugar and how important blood sugar is for hormones, but you also have to be able to be at a point where like, like what I used to do with that kind of information when I had an eating disorder was I would like attach to it and get really anxious about it and be like, oh no, I have to do this perfectly.

(00:52:35):

Am I doing this perfectly? And if you go back to my, uh, the stuff I wrote and recorded at the very beginning of my journey, that was exactly what happened. Like I found this pro metabolic world of the nutrition and I was like, I feel that this is like really true. Like this is, this is, um, this all makes a lot of sense. And I started eating that way and it helped my body so much and it like helped my period so much, but mentally I was not there. Like mentally I just, I was turning it into another diet like I was afraid I wanted to do it perfectly. I like still had all these things. And so there’s a place of like starting to just trust your body and like, can you learn some things? Like what I, what I really like about these women is that they do encourage like eating enough food, like eating a lot of food and adding in a lot of foods that are like very nutrient dense. Like our bodies just our bodies need these things and we don’t get them in like our normal what people are like eating typically nowadays.

(00:53:55):

And so I think this is like, I, I think what happens is that what I see with people working with people with eating disorders is that they’re very, and people treat on me this way too quite a lot <laugh> like people tend to be like act as if people with eating disorders are these like fragile little flowers that are just gonna like, like just break or explode or something. Like if they are honest. And so it’s like, oh we have to be really cautious and really careful about like how we say things and the language that we use and like, don’t trigger this person back into this thing. And it’s like, no, I’m talking to a very smart person who wants her body to be in a good place and I believe that you know how to get there. And there’s a an element of of differentiating between the old patterns that might have been more eating disorder type of thoughts and not saying like, oh no, I’m thinking eating disorder thought this is a bad thing. I need to like attach to the thought. And because that just makes it stronger the way to work with that thought. Cuz what we’re really doing is we’re, we’re rewiring the brain.

(00:55:21):

Um, and I I don’t think the proper way to rewire the brain is to say like, food just doesn’t matter at all, which is what a lot of tabitha’s work is. Um, Tabitha was really necessary for me at the beginning of my journey. It, she was helpful. Um, and I disagree with that element of her work, um, that like, you know, just eat, eat, eat whatever forever. Um, like it’s just not nourishing. Like there is a place of like, the way that we live is so depleting. Um, and it’s not a thing to get like stressed out or obsessed over or obsessed with. It’s just a thing to like, to be like, yes, that’s just a fact and like that’s okay.

(00:56:22):

And like, if I really enjoy eating this thing, that’s okay. I can still eat it. And you know, like I, I think it’s good to have basic education of, of nutrition. I really do. And like h how to combine meals and make sure you’re getting enough protein and you’re make sure you’re getting enough zinc and copper, um, and vitamin C and all these things that come from Whole Foods, vitamin E were all depleted in magnesium. Like all these things, like your body needs to, to thrive and function optimally. So I think that moving into this, this next phase for anyone who’s on this journey, I, I think you know, when it’s, when it’s time because I think that after that initial, like there’s that initial period of exploration and like facing fears and it does just take time. I mean like, I don’t know if I had started doing it earlier, I feel like I found everything that I needed when I needed it.

(00:57:43):

And I think that I feel like everybody’s journey is that way. Like I think we really do know, like I think you can trust what you do know and what you feel ready for. Um, I’ll say like, you know, with Mary the thing she names here that she’s eating every day, like it would cause this kind of like, this is just like, it’s gonna cause a blood sugar like spike and crash all day long. And it’s not because the foods are bad, it’s just about like what’s missing here. And um, I think there’s some permission in starting to learn and of course, you know, there’s always going to be money involved and there’s um, places where eating a more nutritive diet can be pricier than not. But um, it also doesn’t have to be right, like, like liver is very cheap. Like certain things are are quite cheap to get in oranges, you know, like raw carrots, things like things like that. Um, easy to add in and eat for, for not much money. But there’s, it’s, it is just really important to understand what our bodies need to, to function. Like I, in, when I’m looking at like all these lab results I just got back, it’s like, this makes so much sense. Like this just makes my whole life make sense. And like of course my body needs this extra support in all these different ways and um,

(00:59:40):

Just sort of eating whatever, whatever doesn’t necessarily fix those things. And I don’t know, I mean Mary is young and it doesn’t sound like she has any health things going on at the moment. Um, and I’m just rereading what she wrote. But I think even that she is, she’s pretty focused on the sugar and like I’m eating a lot of sugar and it’s like, well you can, you should our bodies thrive on sugar, you know, they run on carbs, they need glucose to function. So this is where like the basic nutrition information is really useful. Um, and if you combine the sugar with protein, then that will help your blood sugar not spike and your body really needs protein to function. So, you know, these balances of things are really important. Um, and learning about them is important at a certain point. Um, so it’s not dangerous for you to have free will <laugh> and you can actually trust yourself. And I think, you know, when like you’ll know if you’re really starting to do things that, like when I was like, um, I don’t know, I was gonna say, but I don’t, I personally, I don’t see weighing myself as like a problem,

(01:01:10):

You know, doing it a bunch. It was like, okay, <laugh>, like, I don’t know. But weighing wasn’t one of my big things at the beginning either. So like, you’ll know if you start to do a behavior like say if I like decided to not eat because there was like nothing good to eat, I’d be like, oh, that’s kind of like a behavior I used to do in the past. And um, so maybe I would just notice like it’s just a thing to notice. Cause what’s happening is like your brain just has these pathways, it’s used to going down and occasionally it’s just a habit. Like it’s gonna choose one, especially if you’re really stressed or something, it’s gonna, it might choose one that’s more familiar and it’s your job to just be like, that’s okay. Um, but instead like, we’re gonna go down this other pathway and like, you know, it’s okay to look at my body in the mirror and I’m allowed to love where I am, you know. Um, so let’s see.

(01:02:14):

Did

(01:02:14):

I miss anything that I wanted to say?

(01:02:25):

I think that I,

(01:02:28):

I think that I touched on all of it. I know some other people wrote in some things and I’m just like, maybe will do that in another episode because this is kind of like one focused topic. Um, like some other people wrote in some stuff about like their own stuff with food. So maybe we’ll do another episode on that at some point. But this topic like was about like this part of the journey in particular.

(01:03:00):

So

(01:03:03):

Yeah, um, the anxiety and the control is a big piece. Like we, we don’t need to control recovery. There’s a way to intentionally nourish without being controlling and I encourage you to find that place. Um, and the last thing I’ll say around this is she writes, um, oh, where did it go? Eating should be an innate natural non thinkable thing, but for me it still isn’t.

(01:03:43):

And I think I would challenge that because I think that in the past hundreds of years ago, eating would have been a non thinkable thing. It would’ve been natural in any and non think. But we live in a culture where, um, it’s not <laugh>. Like we grow up inundated with diet culture. We have all these foods that like we’ve never had before. We’ve removed a lot of foods that ancestrally were really important to our bodies. And so it makes sense that like people don’t really know how to eat anymore. We don’t live off the land, we don’t live in close connection with the land and we’re really far removed. So I think that it, it, it’s not a downfall of someone to need to learn about how to intentionally nourish. Um, it makes complete sense. Like no one has taught it to us and a lot of the people who have thought that they’re teaching to us are like teaching us really unhealthy behaviors. So of course it’s like really confusing. So, um, yeah, I think you’ll, I think you’ll be able to feel it in your body and I think that, um,

(01:05:15):

I think you are really close to turning a big corner. Like it’s not that I, I felt in this moment in my journey that like, it was just like never gonna end. Um, and that it was just like I was never gonna understand. And actually it was like just dis just deciding or learning like I could trust myself and, um, learning from my body and my reactions, like there’s a place for a reconnection there, like a reconnection with your body in like a trusting of your body and a trusting of yourself to, to guide yourself and parent yourself. And it’s a really beautiful phase. So like I was in exactly this spot, um, just in like February, you know, and it’s October and I’m like in a whole different place. So, um, yeah, you’re not far away. And I think for anyone on their own journey, it’s helpful to know that like I think day to day it can feel like is anything even really happening? Or like, am I still in the same spot I always was in? And like I said this the other day, like Jordan always has said to me, um, something his dad said to him, which is like, you have to kind of look at things, um, like see the bigger picture essentially. And um, instead of looking at it day to day, like look at you compared you today compared to like you a year ago. And like you are in a different place.

(01:07:21):

And so you’ll keep doing that, um, and you will get there. So, um, if you’re looking for more stuff on my food journey, I used to have an article on my site that like ha compiled everything I had done about it in one place. That article still exists, but I don’t think I’ve updated it. Um, <laugh>, I don’t know since when. But, um, that’s all there from like more of the beginning to the middle. And then, uh, I’ll have to go back and update it and I’ll link it in the show notes, but you can also just like go back through my podcast in and through post semi my site and stuff. Okay. Best place for everyone to stay connected is through my email list. Um, I have a bunch of new programs and new things coming out soon. So if you um, wanna stay connected, just join there and the link for that is in the show notes. And yeah, that’s all for today and I’ll talk to you soon.