I think this is my favorite podcast so far. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, as I have many clients who struggle with emotional and binge eating, and I have too in the past.
A little background on my story: I was a really thin kid growing up, but then I discovered candy. I remember sneaking it into my room, or sneaking downstairs to steal cookies from the cookie jar. My mom and dad both had major a sweet tooth, so there was always candy, cookies, ice cream and chocolate cake around. My parents were divorced, so when I would visit my dad on the weekends, we made those visits all about food– McDonald’s (I was so excited when I finally was able to finish both my Big Mac AND my large fries) and Baskin Robbins for 2 scoops of ice cream– Mississippi Mud and Chocolate Chip. I started to gain weight, so my parents put me on a diet. I remember counting fat grams starting at age 9. I was told I was fat. That devastated me. But I was still obsessed with sugar and candy and hungry all the time, so I would steal it and hide it in my room and stuff myself silly. In high school, this turned into binge-purge behavior and finally just straight up restriction. I was also riding and competing horses competitively and was very concerned about being in shape. By age 15, I was underweight and very pleased with how restricting food earned me a lot of attention. But it didn’t last. I struggled with keeping my weight down all through college, somehow successfully, through beer and late night taco and pizza binges. But I always turned to food, and especially sugar, for comfort.
I tried everything to lose more weight after college– going vegan, starving myself, throwing up, doing cleanses, juice fasts– even though I wasn’t even overweight at that point, just obsessed with being thin, thinking somehow that was the magic bullet that would make my life perfect. If only I could be thin, I would be happy, successful, prettier. Then I got into the pattern of starving myself during the week and bingeing on alcohol, pizza, and ice cream on the weekends. Finally I got my hands on Julia Ross’s The Diet Cure, and it really changed the way I thought about food. I learned that it was more than willpower– there are underlying physiological issues that go along with food cravings, addiction, bingeing, the need for control. Around this time I went back to school for an advanced degree in holistic nutrition and it all fell into place. Along with a lot of therapy along the way 😉
I empathize deeply with women out there struggling with the binge and restriction cycle. It’s a very complex issue, but please understand it goes much deeper than willpower. I hope you’ll get as much out of this podcast with Brittany as I did.
Questions we asked Brittany:
What is EFT and what is it good for?
What does EFT do in the body, and how does it work?
Can EFT help with addiction or alcoholism?
How does emotional eating begin?
How can you stop emotional eating in the moment of a binge?
How can EFT help with stress?
How do food choices and diet come into play with emotional eating?
How does exercise come into play (exercise addiction)?
Can you ever eat your trigger foods again?
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.