Overcoming Emotional Eating with Tricia Nelson

Episode 74: Gutsy Health Podcast 

 

Click Here to Get the Transcript for Free!

Show Summary: "To heal your hunger, you have to feel some hunger because that hunger informs you of what's going on."

Do you feel defeated because of your Yoyo diet?

Do you feel frustrated from preventing yourself from binge eating unhealthy foods, but you still end up feeling guilty after a stressful day?

Have you always been disappointed because of overeating?

Tricia Nelson, the author of Heal Your Hunger book and a transformational speaker, shares her roller coaster experience in being an emotional eater.

She tried many ways like diet, pills, programs, and consulted an eating disorder therapist to find solutions, but unfortunately, nothing worked for her.  She would always go back to her yoyo diet, which broke her hope of finding the real problem.

Being focused on food and weight symptoms is not the key because it is just a symptom.  What you have to dive into and deal with are the underlying causes, like the emotional factors. Good thing, Tricia overcame this through the help of her spiritual healer by addressing the real cause of her eating disorder.

Her journey has been her inspiration in educating people about food addiction or any health issues where the diet is involved. Listen as she breaks down the common misconceptions about food, emotional, and physical hunger.

Important Links

Gutsy Health Website

Provo Health Instagram

Heal Your Hunger Website

Heal Your Hunger Book 

Heal Your Hunger Instagram

Exceptional Highlight:

 

  • “Whatever the health problem, diet plays a major part of getting the problem and then healing the problem.”
  •  We use food as a form of escape because of worry and stress and fear, we want to numb out.
  • Feed your body and get used to a regular schedule of eating, so that you have space between the meals..

Show Highlights: 

What is Tricia’s story?

Tricia 2:21

  • I started out as an emotional eater, I think from the get go like as far back as I can, I remember food was a big highlight for me.

How did she figure out the missing piece to her problem?

Tricia 5:1

  • I was still young. I tried so many things, I'd actually lost some weight. And I was about to go back up the scale again, because that was my habit. 

How did she start to heal her hunger?

Tricia  24:55

  • I did a lot of intense work. After a year or so I was in so much of a better place, and I didn't have the cravings anymore. I was in a thin body and I could handle being in a thin body, feeling worthy of being seen or feeling comfortable.

How does one differentiate between emotional hunger and physical hunger

Tricia  37:4

  • I've been doing this work for over 30 years now and it amazes me as a motivator, like I'll get off a phone call that's really stressful and I’d be like, “I'm hungry”.
  • And I'll think, “What can I eat?” And then I'll have this conversation with myself. And I'd be like, “Wait, you know, you just had breakfast a couple hours ago. Are you really that hungry? 

Transcript (DOWNLOAD)

This is a Gutsy health podcast with Jaunique and Tristin Roney.

Jaunique
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Gutsy podcast, Tristin has still not got his voice back, as you guys know.

Tristin
Today is like a four. Yesterday was a seven, today is a four.

Jaunique
Yeah, but when we recorded our big announcement podcast episode, he was like at a one.

Tristin
That's true.

Jaunique
So this is an improvement. Hey guys. I do want to say thank you to everyone. I don't know when this episode is coming out. And so all the episodes are kind of not in order. But thank you, everyone who reached out to us and loves positive vibes. We have been flooded with so much good mojo. We have we have the best audience. You guys really just..

Tristin
Yeah, we love you guys so much. You are the best!

Jaunique
Yes. So I'm super excited about this topic today. We have Tricia Nelson on the podcast. And as you guys know, we are launching we're going to be talking a ton about the emotional aspects to the healing journey, about not trying to submit our bodies or , you know, force them into healing responses, but working with our bodies, listening to our bodies. Tricia Nelson is an internationally acclaimed author and transformational speaker and emotional eating expert. So she's going to tell us her story. But she lost 50 pounds by identifying and healing the underlying cause of her emotional eating. And so she has spent over 30 years researching the hidden causes of the addictive personality. And she has the number one bestselling book, Heal Your Hunger Seven Simple Steps to Ending Emotional Eating Now. And so I cannot wait to hear from her because she's walk the walk, she's talk the talk, and she's helping other people get through that, too. So, Tricia, welcome. We are so lucky to have you.

Tricia Nelson
I'm so happy to be here. Thanks for having me and welcoming me. And I'm glad you're getting better, even though it's a bit of a roller coaster ride.

Tristin
Thank you so much.

Jaunique
So, Tricia, tell us your story. What was happening in your lifetime and were you into health before you lost the fifty pounds or did you lose the fifty pounds and then get into the health world?

Tricia Nelson
Well, here's the deal. I started out as an emotional eater, I think from the get go, as far back as I can remember, food was a big highlight for me. So I was a foodie. I love to cook. I love to serve food to others. I love to go out to restaurants and eat, of course. And so it was a big highlight for me. And I had no knowledge of it being an emotional issue. I thought I just liked food. Yeah, but, you know, I did gain weight easily. A slow metabolism and by age twenty one I was fifty pounds overweight, like you were saying. And I was very frustrated because I had spent a good number of years already at that young age trying to get to the bottom of it. So, you know, of course you start out with diets and then you start out with, you know, you do exercise programs and pills and potions and lotions. I like to call them. And I then started going deeper. I went to 12 steps programs. I went to an eating disorders therapist. So I was really covering the gamut of different kinds of solutions. So, yes, when you're on that journey, you do tend to learn a lot about health and try these different hack's health, and yet nothing worked for me because I could lose weight from time to time, but I always put it back on it. I'm what you would call a yo yo diet or so you know, I lose twenty and then gain ten and then lose twenty five and gain twenty. And so I had like five different sizes of genes in my closet because I never knew what size I was going to be. And I was always hopeful, of course, that I'm going to end up in my skinny jeans. But I was really all over the map with my weight. So I had some health consciousness for sure. I mean, I shopped at the local co-op and farmer's markets and trying to be healthy. But I also live this double life where I'm trying to be healthy. And yet at night I'm eating ice cream and chips and candy and Hershey's Kisses and feeling like total crap, you know, and especially when you do have health consciousness and you're like, oh, but I'm trying to be healthy. And then you're going off the reservation like once a week or so. You feel like like such a loser because you're like, I know better. I know what healthy eating looks like. But when push comes to shove, I just want my sweets. And so that's what we let happen for me.

Jaunique
That's amazing. How did you figure out the missing piece? What was that for you? Did you reach a point where you're like, I am done with all the experts I am done with? Did you have to super sleuth your own headspace and figure this out?

Tricia Nelson
Yeah. What happened for me is, I mean, when you do beat your head against the wall with diet, I mean, so many things, so many hacks so many different angles. And when you've done so much of that, you get kind of defeated, you know. And so here I was, I was still young, and yet I tried so many things, I'd actually lost some weight and I was about to go back up the scale again because that was my habit and I knew it. So I was sitting there with a friend one day and sitting on the couch. He came over to visit and I got some grapes out. So I got some red grapes, pretty innocuous food. So I got red grapes out. And we're sitting there and eating, chatting, and then he gets up to leave. And I look down at all the grapes are gone. But I did most of the eating, so I kind of got them to be a good host, but I ended up gobbling them all up myself. And in that moment I remember thinking, oh, my God, it's starting again. And even though it was only grapes, like, trust me, I knew how to eat much harder food than that. But that was like I was unconsciously snacking, eating, and there's a good amount of sugar and red grapes. So the fact that I eat in this whole bowl of grapes, I just had that sinking feeling of, oh my God, I'm about like I lost 40 pounds at that time. I was I'm about to go back up the scale again. And I had this kind of epiphany, which is if I don't do something like drastically different than what I've done in the past, this is going to be my life for the next many, many decades. Up and down, up and down, disappointment after disappointment, getting your hopes up and then blowing it. And so I thought, I've got to do something different. And what happened after that time that I had that thought was that I met somebody who is more of a spiritual healer, and he showed me how to really go deeper and deal with the underlying causes, like the emotional causes. And I've never done that before. I was always focused on the symptom of food and weight, and it is just that a symptom. And which is why it never lasted for me, is that I hadn't gotten to the real problem, like how to get to unhealthy eating in the first place. What was driving that? What was driving me to open the refrigerator door 10 times a night wondering what can satisfy me. Those are the questions I needed to answer. And when I found somebody who could guide me really like a mentor or coach, that's when my life really changed and I was able to keep the weight off and never put it back on again.

Jaunique
Amazing. So you reach this point and you're like, OK, something has to change. You find the spiritual leader. And then how did you start healing your hunger? What did you do and what drove you to start this?

Tricia Nelson
Yeah. So what happened is when I healed and it was kind of like a good year long journey of healing. Well, it's been a lifelong journey, actually, should be clear. But at the time, I did a lot of intense work. And I , after a year or so, I was in so much of a better place and I didn't have the cravings anymore. I was innocent body. And I could handle being in a thin body because that's whole thing in and of itself. I'm feeling worthy of being fat or feeling comfortable about your feelings that come when you're not covering it up with food. So after that, I started helping the man who helped me. I started kind of assisting him in helping other people with many different kinds of addictions, but usually with the food issue more and more often than not. And so I spent the next twenty five or thirty years doing that work with him alongside him. So we work together as partners for many years. And then about four years ago is when I decided to really just focus on emotional eating, because I really saw that it is the crux of the problem and so many health issues. You know, I was trying to get to the bottom of their autoimmune issues or their gut issues or their weight issues or diabetes. I mean, you name it, whatever the health problem, diet plays a major part of getting the problem and then healing the problem. Right. And so I just saw that this is really the gap is that people can't get over the finish line with their health goals unless they address emotional eating. If that's an issue for them and unless that's addressed, they're going to keep putting good money after bad trying to heal their bodies without realizing a good part of the problem is that they're eating crappy foods for emotional reasons. So that's really when I decided to start heal your hunger. And I started my I have a podcast called The Helier Hunger Show. And I came up with my book that you mentioned earlier and started a comprehensive program that people could go through to learn my step by step process. And I just codified what I did to heal and what I do to this day. I definitely have to walk my talk because I'm not cured. I still have that amazing affinity for food, but I don't act out on it because of the steps that I teach people and I still do today.

Jaunique
So I want to, like, go way, way back because we are raising a six year old and a three year old, and I'm already hearing negative talk in my six year old, and I think this is the normal human experience. Right. And what's interesting is we don't ,listeners are probably not going to believe this, but I don't do negative talk about my body ever. Have you ever heard me like.

Tristin
No, she never has.

Jaunique
I actually don't like I'm actually a very confident person and and I'm very plain like I don't wear a lot of makeup. I don't do my hair. So I haven't modeled this obsession to my children. And yet they are very self-conscious about how they look. I had this really intense conversation with my six year old yesterday about the models and how he doesn't like them and how he doesn't think he looks good. And it blew my mind, blew my mind. And so I want to go back to why?Because now we take these like I think these innate insecurities. We couple them with highly addictive foods. And we have the perfect storm for enmeshment and codependents. Right. With food. Why? Why do we get there? What is happening to people on a emotional level, a physical level, that we are becoming addicts from such a young age and we are so emotionally enmeshed with food at such a young age? What's happening?

Tricia Nelson
It's a complicated answer. I think our culture definitely is a major contributor to it. I mean, especially with social media now. I mean, if we had it long before social media, I mean, I'm no spring chicken. So I mean, magazines, photoshopped images of women. Everything always looking good, airbrushed, has to look perfect. And that's all we put up on Facebook and Instagram or the hot photos.We don't put the bad photos on there. And so we're still getting an idealized idea of how we should look. And that permeates our culture and in our kids as well, unfortunately. And it's still very much fat phobic culture where even though one in three people is obese, you know, it's still very much something people don't want to be and I mean, for good reason. There's a lot of health issues that come along with obesity, but at the same time that that kind of negative idea of overweight does come in our culture, there's no question about it. There's a hierarchy of thinness. Right. So it's hard. It's hard when kids have that stuff going on. I'm so glad that you don't you know, that you're so conscious and you don't contribute to it. But unfortunately, if they're seeing watching TV, you hear comments made on TV shows and as jokes about people's we and it's just it's really hard to avoid.

Jaunique
And I mean, even in Disney.

Tricia Nelson
No question.And then you've got. Yeah, oh, my gosh. Absolutely. And also, it's such an unhealthy culture. Even though we have a higher health consciousness, we still have food as drugs. I mean, sugar as a drug. And sugar addiction is so rampant. And because of people are glued to their screens into television, the commercials are still running. And so people are still getting messages not only about food being reward, but also the idea that food fixes things, you know, and we stuff not only with food, but obviously with pot. Now, of course, all the access we have to marijuana in different forms and drinking is still there. I mean, there's just we're an escapist culture. Like we treat our pain with drugs and drugs of all different means. I often tell people, emotional eaters, a lot of people don't think of themselves as emotional eaters, like a lot of people are where I was, where they're like, no, I just like food. But I often tell people, if you struggle with weight, food is a struggle or even if you're a normal weight, but your head is consumed with thoughts of food. I talk about the PEP test and this is something that can help people start tuning into what some of those deeper causes are. So PEP is an acronym and it stands the first P stands for Pain Killer. So we use these various drugs and food as a drug shortage of drug. We use it as a painkiller to kill emotional pain. Yes. And and it's just right. It's just true. We don't want to feel uncomfortable feelings, so we douse them with food and to go to the kitchen.

Jaunique
And kids are doing this too. Six year olds are doing this. Four year old are doing this and eight year olds are doing this.

Tricia Nelson
Absolutely. We're such a destructive culture.And I think the digital age has brought this on. You have to be checking your phone and on the screen, and multitasking. We just can't sit still with ourselves. We can't. So we're constantly checking out. So pain killer for sure. The E and the PEP test stands for escape, which of course, I don't think there's any greater time than people want to escape the reality that now with covid where you walk out the door and literally die. And so people this year, I think, are tuning in to the idea of emotional eating more than ever, like they're starting to say: I think there's something emotional to the way I'm eating because I don't need all this food, but I'm just sitting in the kitchen eating. So we use food as a form of escape because of worry and stress and fear. We want to numb out. We just don't want to feel we don't want to be responsible for our reality right now because it's kind of hard. And then this last P and PEP stands for punishment, which is we use food as a form of punishment, which seems counterintuitive because oftentimes we're thinking of it as a reward. But my experience of emotional eaters is we feel a lot like as mostly eaters, we feel deeply. And one of the things we feel very easily is guilt. And so we feel bad about so many things. And we beat ourselves up not only for our eating behavior, but for other things. And we're kind of an emotional bunch. And so we use food as a form of punishment because it's feels like a reward at first, but if you overeat and sitting in front of a TV for an hour and a half, you feel disgusting. You've run down your sweater the next day, you don't feel like getting out of bed or exercising. So it's like, wait, it was everywhere but now it feels really bad. Like I just made myself feel terrible. And why would I do that? It really is for some more subconscious feelings of guilt or unworthiness. And so that often drives people's eating behavior or binges as well. So these are just a few things I like to bring to people's attention because they're like emotional eating. There's not much about my eating, but when I say the PEP test and I say, hey, you're using food as a painkiller to kill pain as a form of escape, to alleviate fear and worry, and as a form of punishment because you feel bad about things and you're not addressing it, it helps people start to maybe ask those questions, like on the tenth trip to the refrigerator, like, wait a minute, am I really hungry for food or is there something else going on here? And that's the question we need to start asking ourselves so we can tune in like what is the emotional draw between me and that food that I have to have?

Jaunique
go ahead.

Tristin
Well, I. I'm really curious now, where does all of this fit in with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia? Are they on the same spectrum or is this a totally different process?

Tricia Nelson
Well, I love that you use the word spectrum, because I really do consider it to be a spectrum. I call it all. I use the words emotional eating because I believe it's all emotional eating. So somebody is eating in excess and they're vomiting to get rid of what they eat. They eat to excess for emotional reasons. Somebody is under eating, restricting, having one Larranaga a day only, plus black tea. That's for emotional reasons too. It's might be emotional under eating, but it's driven by that same PEP that I'm talking about. It's still serving as a painkiller, as an escape and as a form of punishment. So it really is a spectrum. And I have on my website I have a quiz which will tell somebody, whether they're emotional eater or a food addict or somewhere in between, and they'll actually get a personalized score by taking that like three minute quiz. But it's all disordered eating. So when somebody does go to the point of being bulimic or anorexic, it's just they're in a lot of pain and they're they're doing more violent things to their bodies on account of their eating behavior, but usually at the very root cause. It's it's using food to medicate their feelings. Bottom line. You know, food and other abusive things like bulimia or starving or sometimes cutting goes along with it as well.

Jaunique
So then what is the difference between an emotional eater and a food addict?

Tricia Nelson
Yes, so it's really just where are you on the spectrum. So that spectrum where if somebody takes a quiz, they'll know whether they're on the spectrum, it's really qualified by control and consequences. OK, so if somebody is on the low end of the spectrum, perhaps they went on vacation and they ate and drank too much and they put on five pounds, OK? Lots of people do it. They come home and then they're like, OK, that was fun, but now I feel bad. So I'm going to jog extra this week, like I'm going to run an extra mile every day of the week and boom, five pounds are off by the end of the week. That's a high level of control. So they might be an emotional eater where I mean, I sort of feel like everybody's an emotional eater, like we all can go off the rails sometimes, especially food is really yummy and yeah, totally holiday time or covid. I mean, it's like people will do that, but if they can course correct fairly easily and kind of get back to their normal weight and get back to healthy clean eating, then they have a good amount of control. So they're on the low end of the emotional eating spectrum. On the high end is somebody who doesn't have that level of control. Plus, the people in the low end, by the way, have very few consequences, an extra five pounds that they can take off easily not a high consequence. On the high end, though, and food addiction, which is totally where I was. I mean, I would binge I was definitely a binge eater. I was never able to puke away my what I ate. But I was I packed it on and I gained weight very easily. But basically I would get ice cream and cookies and chips and sit in front of the TV for three hours. And I feel totally sick at the end of those three hours. And I wake up the next day with the worst hangover like sugar coma and emotional hangover, like, what did I do? I can't believe I did that again. I told myself I wouldn't eat that anymore. No more ice cream and I did it again. So that's somebody is really addicted where they don't have a level of control and they could the next day say, OK, I'm going to get back on track, I'm going to jog an extra mile each day this week. But they don't because it just they feel so mad at themselves before they did. And then they starve all day trying to compensate for what they eat. And then they set themselves up to do it again the next night because they're starving, you know, and it can continue for days, if not weeks, if not months or so. And a lot of people during covid have done that. You know, it's like they just let themselves go because we were in a pandemic. We never had one of those before. It was horrifying. So it's gone on for four months for people where they intended to get back on track, but they just can't. And if they're in that addicted part of the spectrum, it's going to be hard to do on their own for sure. And the people who are food addicted or who do go overboard, even if they're under eating or overeating, doesn't matter. They are racking up consequences not only in their health. Obviously, when you're eating sugar and carbs all day, you're totally in all the chemicals right there in the foods that we eat as binge foods. We're not bingeing on lettuce or kale. You know, to be sure, we're going to 7-Eleven and buying fast food and it's got a bunch of crap in it. So we're racking our bodies physically and then our self-esteem is plummeting, our confidence is plummeting. Our sex life is non-existent because we don't want to be seen or touched. the consequences just pile up, not to mention the expense of buying binge foods and then having to buy larger clothes or yoga pants or whatever because we don't fit into our regular clothes. So that's really when you're on the high end is again lack of control and a whole lot of consequences.

Jaunique
There's just a ton of emotional pain. How does one differentiate between emotional hunger and physical hunger?

Tricia Nelson
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, this always amazes me. I've been doing this work for over thirty years now and it amazes me as an emotional eater . Like I said, I'm not cured. So I'll get off a phone call that's really stressful and I'll be like, I'm hungry and I'll think, what can I eat? And then I'll have this conversation with myself and I'll be like, Really? You just have breakfast a couple hours ago. Are you really like that hungry? And I'll have to sort of this conversation like, no, I'm not really hungry. So what's really going on Tricia? And then I'll ask myself and I'll start to think, oh, that was a really stressful conversation. I don't like how that went or whatever. And so, my experience is emotional hunger really can seem like physical hunger so easily, so much so that after doing this work my entire adult life, I can fool myself sometimes almost. It's really important in my experience to have a regular chedule of eating, if somebody is an emotional eater and it's I've coined the phrase three meal magic, which is three eating three meals with nothing in between. And what's good about that? Notice, I said that I knew I had eaten breakfast two hours earlier. Well, that's because I ate breakfast. And if I have those meals and if somebody is in intermittent fasting, that's fine and put some put to it 13, 14 hours between the meals that still have breakfast, have lunch and have dinner and know that you're going to feed your body. Your body gets used to a regular schedule of eating so that you have a space between the meals and you can have that conversation away. I had a really healthy breakfast. It was good fats, good protein, some vegetables, whatever, and that was healthy. So you're probably not starving the way you're trying to convince yourself you are, in which case is probably emotional. But my point is when we're erotically eating at different times and there's no regular schedule and we're snacking all day, if there's no space between our meals, we can't even identify what our feelings are because people like to snack all day. So they remain relatively numb. They're not really able to tune in to their feelings. So that's why I like that three meals magic plan, because I tell people in order to heal your hunger, you're going to have to feel some hunger because that hunger is informing some of what's going on.

Jaunique
I love that

Tricia Nelson
we can kind of do that sleuthing work.

Jaunique
Right.So everything that I'm hearing so far is very cerebral. Can we talk a little bit more about the self love, getting into the heart space because you worked with a spiritual healer, too. So it's not just like self-love, but it's spiritual healing as well. What does that look like for people? Is that all in your book? Is that something that people can access in your book? If they're like, I'm ready for self-love, I'm ready for spiritual healing, I'm also ready for the structure behind this. What does that look like?

Tricia Nelson
So what's really nice about my work it's both emotional and it is there's a step by step process as well, which I find really important because self-love is a very nebulous concept. But it's how? We all know we need to love ourselves. But how do you love yourself? What does that look like? And it is the practical steps of self-care. We can't talk self-love and then stay up all night eating corn chips because that's not loving, that's abusive to our bodies.


We're staying in abusive relationships or abusive jobs or something like that. There are so many things.

Tricia Nelson
Here's the thing. Yes. And when somebody doesn't love themselves, like you said, it shows up in so many other areas. And that's especially true for emotional eaters, because typically emotional eaters did not get a strong foundation of self-esteem growing up. They usually came from trauma. They either had an alcoholic parent or a raging parent or some kind of mental illness, drug addiction, whatever. And so they just didn't get a strong feeling of I'm OK, I'm OK and I'm enough.That was not there then. Those weren't the messages that were flying out of deficit. And what happens is and this is why the problem has been like a whole lot less to do with food than one would imagine, because as a mostly eaters, it's not food that we're really hungry for. We're we do have a void that we're trying to fill with food. You know, my experience is what happens as children when we do have trauma is that we very quickly adapt. Kids are amazing and they adapt to their environment. And so as kids, we pick up these coping tools which work okay , coping tools like being hyper vigilant. If you have an alcoholic or aging parent like you're a ten and ten are up, you know everybody's mood when they're walking in the door. You have this hyper vigilance as a child. You also become an amazing people pleaser where you're going to please that erratic or dysregulated person at all costs so you don't get hit, you don't get hit or get beat up on. So you're a people pleaser. You're also, you can become a good liar because you want to cover your ass. So there's always coping tools like we become, we sort of have a facade about us. We don't let people know what we're really feeling. So all these things that help us get by as children and of course, the eating is part and parcel with it. We use food as a coping mechanism as well, especially if we have sexual abuse. Food is something that we turn to because it helps us feel comforted. It makes us gain weight where you feel less desirable.So we use food definitely for that kind of trauma. But the bottom line is it works as a kid, but then as an adult, it comes a very dysfunctional way of coping in the world. So those coping tools that worked as a kid don't work as an adult. And so what happens is, though, is we're stuck in those patterns. Like in my book, I talk about the anatomy of the emotional eater, which is twenty four personality traits that the emotional eater typically has, and it makes up our personality. And again, this has nothing to do with food, and yet it has everything to do with food. So the number one trait of an emotional eater is people pleasing. And so as in, because we don't feel like we're enough, so we're going to run circles around everybody saying yes to everything, being superwoman because it gives us that sense that we're OK, especially if people are patting us on the back and praising all that we're doing. We just love to hear that. And the problem is with this way of being is that we run ourselves ragged, we exhaust our adrenals, and on top of it, we get really resentful and angry. Because nobody's ever as pleased as we expect them to be. So we're kind of like, yeah, we're pissed off or like, geez, I didn't pay off. Like, I just knocked myself out. I barely got a thank you, you know. But this is a good example of one of the ways that we need to really change in our lives. It's not about changing our food as much as it is changing the way we live, because if we just go on a healthy diet and we continue to people please and and run ourselves ragged, we'll go back to the food in no time because we're tired and we have no energy and we're looking for that quick hit and validation. My work is really about going deeper and healing those ways that we show up in the world, those coping tools that no longer work like overdoing and over pleasing and not taking care of ourselves, putting everybody else first. And it's very typical for moms, especially to do this to just be doing for everybody and forgetting themselves. And that's just not going to fly. If somebody wants to really heal their health, their gut and their weight, they're going to have to change and be like really ninja about self-care. And that's just the way it is. I mean, I meditate on a daily basis. My clients meditate, they pray, they do things to fill up their spiritual bank account first so that they have something to draw on throughout the day when life is stressful and when everybody's pulling at them, but that's their responsibility. Life's not going to stop just because we want to have different health. We have to make ourselves a priority. It's so, so important. So these are some of the things that have nothing to do with food and yet everything with food, because if we don't take care of ourselves, we will be reaching for chocolate and candy and nuts and that kind of thing to give us that quick energy. And then our bodies will break down and then we will have gotten nowhere.

Tristin
So that I'm seeing a really sticky part here, which is that in order for people to heal, they need to value themselves. But in order to value themselves, they need to heal some of those traumatic wounds that they may have had since they were very, very young. How do they break out of that cycle? What's the thing that just kicked them out into it so that they can find that self-worth before they're doing the things that help you develop that?

Jaunique
Exactly. Because that was my experience as we've been going through our trauma this year with Tristin cancer recurrence. You know, like everyone kept saying, you need to take care of yourself. You need to take care of yourself. And my trauma response was, no, I'm so enmeshed in his healing journey, I'm going to completely neglect myself. It literally took five months of therapy and more therapy and hitting rock bottom and finding that rock bottom actually had a basement. And, you know, like it took so much work to get past that trauma response and be like, OK, I do need to fill up my own cup. My cup is completely empty. I can't fill up other people's cups anymore because I got nothing. It took a lot of pain to prioritize myself. How do women get out of that negative loop?

Tristin
Is there an easier way?

Jaunique
Is there an easier way?

Tricia Nelson
Oh, my gosh. And I've done that. I'm not married anymore. But my husband did get sick at one point and I did the exact same thing like total caretaking mode. And the caretaker doesn't really get much attention because they're not the ones who are sick, ostensibly. But so I get that. But yes, my experience I'm going to give you a quote, and that is that we don't think our way into right living. We live our way into right thinking, OK, we don't think are way into right living. We live our way into right thinking. And the reason why that's so important is that, you know, again, back to this idea of self love. It's just an idea. But we have to put action behind it and so people don't value themselves and then start taking care of themselves, my experiences, they have to get support and taking care of themselves, and they will build value. They'll build self-esteem by taking care of themselves. And it seems like it would be the other way around. You know, my experiences, especially with the food issue, is that it's really hard to change what's a lifelong habit or addiction on your own. And when it comes to food, I think people especially think they should be able to do it on their own. Like, what's wrong with me? It's just a cookie, you know, like what's wrong with me? It's not like a needle with heroin and it's a cookie. So the fact is, if we have the addiction to food, we've had it longer than anybody ever started doing heroin. It's starts really early. So it's really deeply ingrained. And we have to eat every day, we don't have to hang out on Avenue B or whatever. It's like we have to eat every day to take your drug out of the refrigerator and handle it and deal with it and put it back in the refrigerator. And it's like taking the tiger out of the cage.

Jaunique
And everyone glorifies it. Everyone glorifies this drug. They reward you with this drug like your kid goes to school and they give you this drug, like you finish a karate class and they give you this drug. It's so normalized, like we have birthdays and that drug is all over the table and we don't recognize it's a drug. And it's one of the most addicting substances on the planet and it's the most normalized. And in fact, you're a terrible person. If you don't give this drug to your children, like, how dare you deprive them of this drug, you bad mom? Like, it's really messed up. Like the culture around this particular drug that we use to medicate ourselves is really toxic.

Tricia Nelson
No kidding.

Jaunique
So sorry. Keep going. I interrupted you.

Tricia Nelson
Yes, but that's okay. That's why you can't do it alone. Know. And people really need to let themselves off the hook and get support for it because it is like the hardest of all addictions to overcome. Bar none in my experience. And if you get support, there's no shame in that. It's it's you know, we don't have any shame in hiring a trainer when we want to get fit at the gym like we're like now that's the way to do it. Or if we want to get really good at a sport, we hire a coach. That's the smart thing to do. If you're in business, you hire a business coach. But when it comes to food, we think we ought to be able to do it on our own. And it's just, you know, we have so many failed attempts. I mean. Ninety eight percent of all diets fail. So don't be trying it on your own. Give yourself the gift of support and then be supported and taking those actions which can build your sense of worth in your self esteem. And it will build.

Jaunique
Right

Tricia Nelson
and a big part of what I coach my clients to do also is start speaking up for themselves, because most leaders are really one of those twenty four personality traits is that we don't speak up. We don't communicate our needs. We want people to be mind readers.

Jaunique
Yes.

Tricia Nelson
And so I really literally am coaching people to start speaking up and say what they need and be clear and confident in the way they speak. And boy, does that make a big difference because that cuts down on their feeling of resentment and overwhelm and they start getting help with things. And so there's just so many things that have nothing to do with food and yet have everything to do with how we end up eating that need to be changed. And so trying to do that on our own, again, we have too many blind spots. It's hard to do on your own.

Tristin
So that actually brings up another question for me from the perspective of the supporter. We all know somebody who is a maybe a food addict, at least an emotional eater. They might be someone very close to us that we're very concerned about. What is the best way to support that person without being the one that's attacking them?

Jaunique
Because they probably feel very judged if you approach that.

Tristin
Exactly.

Jaunique
I don't have a problem like. Are you saying I'm fat? Lot of people probably respond with that. How do we support from a loving space?

Tricia Nelson
That's a good question. And it depends, I think to the degree to which somebody is copping to having a problem, like are they complaining about their weight perpetually? If they are complaining about their weight, then there's an opening there. And here's the thing. The nice thing about the work I do is it's so different than the usual diet and exercise track and so many people struggle with food are so tired of people telling them, eat less, exercise more, moderate your sweets. None of these things can they do without support. And so they feel like losers because they can't ever follow the diet. So they already just beat the hell out of themselves as it is. And so what's nice about heal your hunger is that it's a different tack than what people are used to, because I don't talk about diet and exercise, because I know they can't just go do a diet or get on the treadmill or whatever, like they've got their stock. And so the emotional eating conversation just takes them on a whole new road and makes it so much more doable. So to answer your question, I do have friends who will give my book to people because my book in which to sell my books is also an audible as well, where I've narrated it. And because I've been 50 pounds overweight and I'm super transparent about my struggles and I even talk about eating out of the garbage bingeing, throwing the food out and then getting more out of trash later. So I'm really transparent about what I've been through. And for people who have struggled for so long, it helps them to hear from somebody who's been exactly in their shoes

Jaunique
Totally.

Tricia Nelson
Because when a skinny Minnie or a doctor who's never had a weight problem will tell somebody to moderate their food intake or whatever, that person who struggles is like, wait, but you don't know. Like you have never been in my shoes. So I would recommend my book, my podcast, heal your hunger show and just let people know, hey, it's not your fault if you've struggled for years and haven't gotten where you want to go. You know, and I tell this to people all the time, like you were trying to heal this, like you were doing it at the symptom level and that wasn't designed to that could ever work.

Jaunique
Right.

Tricia Nelson
Like just trying to fix the symptom is never going to give you long term results. You might say part time, but you almost invariably always gain it back. So I think just letting people off the hook by letting them know, hey, did you know 98 percent of all diets fail like you're in good company? It doesn't work.

Jaunique
We have this this friend who shares her weight loss story with us. She's actually a great mentor, actually. And as we've been dealing with our trauma, she shared her trauma and how she used to be overweight. And she started working on the emotional aspect and doing like MDR and other therapies. And she had this massive aha moment where she was like, I'm just going to love my body. I'm just going to love it, intuitively, like somehow knew that once she starts to love her body, like the way it's going to come off. And this is someone who loves Diet Coke and loves junk food.And the only thing she did was shift her emotional narrative around her body. And she loved her body into losing weight. And she hasn't changed her diet. She hasn't changed her lifestyle. And you know how much she lost.

Tristin
I don't.

Jaunique
But she went from overweight to completely normal body weight now. And the only thing she shifted was she filled up her own love cup with, like, self admiration and body positivity. And I think. Is that true? Is that going to happen for everyone? I have no idea. I don't think so. But I just think it's like the power of the mind and the power of the emotional aspect of healing is so important. And we and we keep trying to submit our bodies. Right. Like we're going to force you to lose weight. We're going to force you to feel like you have to do this right. Like you have to take your supplements. You have to eat eight servings of vegetables a day. And when we shift from that,

Tricia Nelson
we have we're working against our body and not with their body.

Jaunique
Yep. And I'm going to you guys I'm going to say this over and over in the podcast. Like when you shift from an "I have to" stand point to "I get to" I get to take supplements, I get to eat vegetables, I get to exercise. Everything's going to work for you. Your body will work for you and with you versus you trying to beat it down into submitting to your will. And so anyways, emotional aspects, you guys to healing is just ginormous. And Tricia, your experience, your story, your expertise is changing lives. And we are so grateful for you for being on here. So you have the podcast that you mentioned, the book, your website, HealYourHunger.com , and then Instagram. It's @ as well. If you guys want more of Tricia in your lives and to get her book, they can just go on Amazon right to order it. How do they order your book?

Tricia Nelson
On my website also, there's a link to the Amazon. It's Heal your hunger seven simple steps and most leading now. And I also have Instagram Tricia_Nelson underscore as well.

Jaunique
Perfect. Awesome. Is there anything else you want listeners to know about you before we we wrap up any other avenues?

Tricia Nelson
Yes, I definitely recommend taking the quiz on my website, the emotional eating quiz, and find out where your personalized score is. And then I do a quick sugar challenge frequently. And so if you're on mine, somebody gets on my email list, you'll find out about that. And that's a super fun five day journey to just clear and sugar out of your diet.

Tristin
Are you doing one in January?

Tricia Nelson
I am. January fourth to eighth, actually.

Tristin
Really, a lot of people go for it now. Especially if they take that quiz.

Tricia Nelson
Absolutely

Jaunique
perfect.

Tricia Nelson
Yeah, for sure.

Jaunique
Tricia, thank you so much for your time and your expertise and you guys get her book, if this really resonated with you. You're ready to fill up your own cup and you don't know how. And you recognize that there's an emotional underlying factor that hasn't been addressed. Get her book, do the quiz, seek her out. Listen to our podcast, because she has a library full of knowledge in this area. Thank you so much, Tricia.

Tristin
Thank you.

Tricia Nelson
Oh, thank you for having me. And Blessings to you both.

Jaunique
Thank you. And listeners, thanks for tuning in. We'll be here next week, I guess.

Bye. We love you guys. Bye.

 

Support the show (https://www.mygutsyhealth.com/gutsy-family)

Listen on: 

Spotify Apple Podcast | Stitcher

Close

50% Complete

Information is Power

Join the newsletter to get the latest news, information, tips, and tricks from the team here at Gutsy Health. We promise never to give out your information or spam you.