090. How Hormones Play A Role In Binge Eating Recovery ft. Jesse White, RD; @lovenourishsweat

090. Jesse White, RD, @lovenourishsweat: How Hormones Play A Role In Binge Eating Recovery

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Ryann Nicole


Connect with Jessie

📲 Instagram: @lovenourishsweat

🖥 Website: Jessie’s Blog

Episode Transcript

Ryann

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Food Freedom Lab. I am so grateful to be sharing Jessie with you today. She is a holistic nutritionist, and we are going to dive into all things binge eating and hormones. I haven’t had a lot of conversations about hormones on the Food Freedom Lab yet, and I figured it was time. And when Jessie reached out, I was like, she’s perfect. She’s perfect. So Jessie, thank you so much for coming on today. I’m so excited to chat with you.

Jessie

Thanks for having me. I can’t wait.

Ryann

So before we dive into all the good, I would love for you to just give us a little detail into your story. Like what got you started? Why you are interested in helping people with binge eating? Like how’d you get to where you are today?

Jessie

Yeah. Okay. Stories are always interesting because they’re, you know, there’s always this meandering way that we get to where we get to. And I think myself, like probably so many other practitioners, I had a history of binge eating and disordered eating, which is how I came to this work after coming to peace with the food. When I was thinking about where did it start or how did it start, it’s interesting because as long as I remember, I’ve binged. I’ve been binging on and off since kindergarten, which is really crazy. And before I even knew what it was and it must’ve been learned behavior. And so, you know, for years and years before I even understood food relationship or body image or anything of the sort, I went through patterns of binge eating and then feeling really shameful about what I just did and not really understanding it.

And I’d been through periods of, you know, trying to lose weight and then gaining a bunch of weight and still being too young to even really understand what that, you know, what that really meant. And then as I got older, of course, you know, that turned into more purposeful periods of restriction, followed by periods of, you know, epic binges. And you know, inevitably led me to a point where I was binging. I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder and exercise bulimia. So I was binge eating and then freaking out. Like I didn’t understand about food. I’m freaking out, like, what did I just do? I was also a personal trainer at the time in the fitness industry and so scared of like, you know, the physical outcomes of my behavior. And so I would just go for runs like all day long. It was just like so harmful.

And inevitably, I realized I had no, I just had no clue what to eat, what nutrition was. I was so confused. So a few things happened, you know, I always think there’s some interesting like divine interventions, but a few things happened around the same time that I was, you know, open to recovery and open to like something has to work, something has to change, I can’t keep going like this, nor do I want to, and nothing is worth it. Around that time, I was starting to work with a holistic nutritionist who was wonderful and incredible and was interested in cooking, and was looking at food creatively and differently. And around that same time as well, I was still exercising way too much. I was training for my second degree black belt in karate. I was training for the Honolulu Marathon.

I was just like going a mile a minute, right? And then on what should have been a rest day, this is like the irony of it all, right? I had just gone for my last long run, it should have been a rest day, and I thought, I’m going to go to the dojo, right? I have to train because it was still, as much as the progress I was making with food, the exercise piece was still compulsive, right? And I went to the dojo, I trained for three hours, and then I was in my last hour, I was sparring with a partner, and I went to do a takedown. And as I took him down, he landed on my head as my head hit the ground and I got a severe concussion.

Ryann

Oh my gosh.

Jessie

And I call that like my big bang. Like it was really like my turning point, right? Like where I, I had to stop and I forced me to stop engaging in the behaviors that I couldn’t like felt so much bigger than me. And I had to sit in a room in silence and sit with myself. And it was just so uncomfortable, of course. And it was so incredible, hindsight’s 20, 20. When I look back on this moment, it was so incredible because through that I had to find some mindfulness. I had to slow down. I had to start meditating. I had to stop moving so much. I started to cook and really take time with my food and sit and eat it quietly because that was like all I had to look forward to.

And it really kick-started my healing in a more profound way. And from that I was really able to gain traction in my recovery and I became infatuated with food and looking at the components of of food differently and it felt so integral to my healing, physically, emotionally, and all the ways. And then I inevitably went back to school and studied to become a nutritionist. Yeah. I don’t know. The end?

Ryann

The end, ongoing, it’s always ongoing, right? Thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, I know that there are so many pieces in there that I absolutely relate to. I would love to know just before we move forward, how do you define binge eating? Like when you say like I started binge eating in kindergarten and it like transpired throughout, like how do you define binge eating?

Jessie

Yeah. So I, you know, it’s, it’s funny, this first moment that I remember, I, my mom had done grocery shopping and she’d come home and there were these like, you know like the fruit, yogurt fruit popsicles with the pieces of fruit inside? And she left the room for a second and I sat there on the floor. I was in I think grade kindergarten or grade one. They sat there on the floor of the kitchen and I went through and I like picked through all of them and picked out the fruit one after the other, after the other, after the other until they were completely picked through and I didn’t know what I had just done.

So it was compulsive. It was urgent. It was rapid. I was not in the driver’s seat and I, and it was tunnel vision. Um, and those are all the things, you know, as the years have gone on, as I, I’ve binged more and now, as I work through with clients struggling with binge eating, I think that those are all, you know, sure we can overeat, we can, you know, think, oh, maybe like I didn’t want to eat that much, or, but there’s a different quality when you’re in a true binge.

Ryann

Oh, yeah.

Jessie

And it just really does feel like tunnel vision. Like until you’re out of it, you just almost like, you can’t even see around you, right?

Ryann

Totally, totally. I always, when somebody asks me, I don’t know if I’m binge eating or just overeating, I always am like, there’s, you know, like, you know, like, it’s a very different sensation and experience. And I think that when we go into recovery, it’s hard to kind of like, see that because we kind of forget, but it is very different. Thank you for differentiating that, because I know that there’s so many people that, you know, have it in the same box is just overeating. And I think it’s important for us to just clarify in the beginning, like, what it is that we’re talking about so we can be on the same page. When you say exercise bulimia, what do you mean by that for anybody who hasn’t heard that term before?

Jessie

Yeah, so exercise bulimia is, you know, similar to the bulimia we’re more familiar with, where you binge and then you purge by making yourself vomit is the most common way. But, you know, we can purge through other means as well. Some people use laxatives, for example. For me, I ran, I had to, I felt like I had to get rid of the food that I ate every time. So it was my way of purging it. And it’s a lesser known eating disorder, but there’s, you know, it’s still more common, I think, than we talk about and then we think. And so that’s what I mean by that. I ran every time I ate something, most things, and definitely every time I ate something that I didn’t feel comfortable with, I would run.

Ryann

Yeah, I think too, with fitness culture as well, a lot of those behaviors are so normalized that I think that it takes kind of some major introspection to be like, oh my gosh, like this is something more than me just moving my body because I love it.

Jessie

Yes. And like exercise is wonderful and I love it, but I think there’s, it can be so celebrated and you can say I went for a run or I had this big meal, but then I went for a run and people can say, well, good for you. Like, great. And I think, you know, there’s, there’s a really fine line, like you said, and it’s, you know, there can be a really positive relationship with exercise and it can also be really detrimental.

Ryann

Yeah, totally. So going off of that, I need to know like when you were struggling with binge eating and also working as a personal trainer, what was that like for you? Do you still do that work? Like what changed? Tell me about that period of your life.

Jessie

Yeah, that was really tricky. So do I still do that work? I am still a personal trainer. I don’t actively personal train, but I I have some I have some plans for the future of ways. I think there’s a lot of ways that we’re missing some body positivity and inclusivity in the personal training world. And also we’ll get to hormones, but I think there’s a missing link in terms of education on knowing like when is a good time as a woman, as a menstruating woman to push and when is a better time to pause. And so I am still certified with plans for the future for that.

But what was it like working as a personal trainer while I was so scared to gain weight. I felt like I’d struggled with weight most of my life and I felt, you know, relatively okay with my body, but I hadn’t achieved that by healthful means. And so I felt like I was exerting too much. I needed to eat enough. I didn’t know what that meant. And that was the really interesting piece. Clients would go to me like, well, what should I eat? And I’m honestly, I don’t know. At the time I didn’t know, right? Nothing made sense. And I really knew I had to go back to school and I had to learn more because I didn’t know. And so I felt like I was missing a link for my clients. I felt like I was really good at what I did as a trainer, but my own personal physical outcomes, the ones that they looked up to, at the time I’m putting that in air quotes for everybody, for everybody listening, they weren’t, they weren’t sustainable.

They felt so shaky to me and so that I felt like burnt out, like I was constantly spinning my wheels and something wasn’t making sense, but I was too far into it and also relied on it for my sole source of income. At the time I was, you know, single and living alone, and it all just felt like it could snap at any moment, right? It was just, it was vulnerable.

Ryann

Totally, totally. I have a lot of personal trainers that reach out to me, and so I felt like that was something that was neat to said, because I think it’s really important to hear how the hyper focus on that can really affect us in different ways. And taking that look at ourself and doing that inner work to make sure that we can be our best selves for our clients. Like you said, like I want to make sure that I add in that body positivity piece and like these other elements. And I think that if that is missing, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of obsession, compulsion, and all of that.

Jessie

Yes, exactly. And missing the point of, you know, inevitably we just want to find what feels good. We want to move our body because it feels good and it adds to our life, not takes away from it, right?

Ryann

Yes, yes. Oh, okay. So diving into hormones and how that relates to binge eating, I think that that is something that is definitely not talked about enough and We need to talk about it Tell me why do we need to address our hormones to recover from binge eating? Like how are those intertwined? Why is that important? Tell us everything.

Jessie

Yeah, okay, so I’ll clarify that In what I’m about to talk about. I mean we have lots of different hormones in our body. Right? When I’m talking about hormones in this way, I’m talking about, you know, within our menstrual cycle and the different hormonal fluctuations that we’re experiencing within our cycle. We can talk about other hormones, like, you know, we also have, you know, cortisol, our stress hormone, or our thyroid hormones, and all of these different hormones in our body can affect our relationship with food and body.

I think it’s all relevant, but what I have noticed within myself and within my work and within a lot of women in my life even is that a lot of us have the general sensation of like feeling good for one half of the month and then feeling like we’re gnarling out of control for the other or a lot of women will feel like and not really understanding why like you’ll hear a lot of people say like I’m really quote-unquote good and then I’m not or I feel really good in my body one week and then I feel so uncomfortable and bloated and I don’t know why or confident and then anxious or all these contradictions. And I think that we’re not very cycle educated and it honestly took until having children and then after having children for me to even really understand my cycle and the ways that I do now.

But what’s interesting is that we have kind of two, there’s two distinct what I think of as halves in our cycle. We have our follicular phase and ovulation and that follicular phase is the phase right after you have your period and ovulation is your fertile window, right? And usually at that time of month, what’s interesting is that we talk about cortisol, that’s our stress hormone and cortisol is typically lower at that time of month. So we feel usually a little bit less stressed out, a little bit less anxious, a little bit calmer. And at that time of month, our metabolism is also lower. So that’s often why we don’t have as many cravings at that time of month compared to, let’s say, like the week before our periods, right?

This is also why eating in a static way, for example, following like the same meal plan all month doesn’t work, right? Because our nutrient needs fluctuate depending on our time of month and other reasons as well, but specifically to hormones, depending on our time of month. So after ovulation, you head into your luteal phase, which is, you know, the two-ish weeks before our period. And often what people associate with PMS, although extreme PMS symptoms are not normal, and then into menstruation, which is when you have your period. And at this time of month, it’s when our cortisol levels increase, so our stress hormones are higher. So we do naturally feel a little bit more anxious. Some people, depending on some other stuff going on, you might be more predisposed to feeling more low, more depressed at this time of month.

Digestion can become a little bit more sluggish at this time of month, and so it can cause some bloating, and we can have some poor body image at this time of month as well. Our metabolism’s actually higher at this time of month, and we need more food, so that’s why we need more calories in general at this time of month, and we also need more carbohydrates, more sources of iron, magnesium, just to name a few. And when we don’t get them, this is when you can start to crave a lot more, when you think you can eat the same as you did two weeks ago. And then you get these cravings.

And if you’re trying to control your food so tightly instead of honor your body, you can definitely be more triggered to binge, as well as feeling like you have more anxiety. As in, you know, if you don’t have enough tools in your toolbox, we don’t binge for no reason. So maybe you’re binging because you’re uncomfortable with the feelings of anxiety and not knowing how to deal with it, right? And so we can have more binges for that reason. For body image, maybe we’re feeling more bloated, we don’t love the way we look at this time of month. And so then we decide to go on a diet and that diet cycle goes back into a binge. There’s so many reasons. And as you know, in this phase, our estrogen levels and progesterone drop closer to like right before we menstruate.

And sometimes this can lead to lower serotonin levels, which is your feel-good hormone, which can also trigger us to binge. So there’s so many different things happening at this time of month that it’s helpful to be aware of. So when we start to feel more anxious, when we start to feel more hungry, when we start to have more cravings, we don’t think, why is this happening to me? Like, I just felt so good. We can say, okay, I know where I am in the month. I must be leading up to my period. How can I support myself? How can I find ways to, you know, give my body, maybe I should add more carbohydrates and maybe I should increase my protein a little bit.

Maybe I shouldn’t do that HIIT workout that I planned, but go for a walk instead or do some yoga. Maybe there are ways I can support myself and all of these things can inevitably support our binges. And when we don’t address it, we might feel like we’re gaining traction or recovery and then having these big backslides. Not that recovery is ever linear, it’s not, but I do feel like this is a missing link.

Ryann

Yeah, for sure. I super appreciate that. And I love that you dove in and talked to the different feelings that we experienced, but also the fact that, yeah, we have different needs at different times of the month, at different times in our cycle. And I think that when we can kind of understand our bodies better and just like you said, instead of being like, oh my gosh, why am I so hungry? What’s wrong with me? Switch it into, wait a minute, it’s right before my period. Like, of course, like I need more energy. We can relax around that. And I also really appreciate you addressing the fact that sometimes emotions can trigger binges. I think it’s really important for us to understand that these triggers are kind of like the snap that or the straw that breaks the camel’s back of the restriction that we’ve been having.

And I think that to kind of clarify, and I would love to know your thoughts on this, but like with all of the psychology education that I’ve done, it is super interesting because I think that there’s this misinformation that the emotions themselves cause the binge. And I think that it’s important for us to kind of recognize emotions deplete our energy. So if we’re using all of this energy to try and control and resist and don’t eat that and avoid that and all of that, and then all of a sudden we don’t have this energy to do that anymore, it’s like, oh, snap. And so it’s like, is it really the emotion that caused the binge or is it the restriction and that emotion was really the trigger?

Jessie

Yeah, exactly. It’s like the chicken and the egg.

Ryann

Yeah. And it’s like what you said, when we can get a better understanding of our body and understand what’s going on and when we are going to be more emotional and we are going to feel these other things, we can just be more connected.

Jessie

Yes, exactly. And I think there’s, you know, I always think of, you know, when we have an eating disorder, I think of like a floating head, right? Like we’re so disconnected from our bodies and our heads are thinking one thing and our bodies are thinking another and they’re just, the dots aren’t connecting. And I think that like connecting with your cycle and becoming aware and cycle educated is a beautiful way to start to reconnect with your body and understand her needs. And maybe in some ways that it’s not tangible. I think it’s sometimes a tangible way to start to reconnect.

Ryann

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And like really getting curious about what these different things feel like in my body and knowing that there’s not this perfect way to do it. Just like none of our cycles are the exact same, we’re gonna feel different.

Jessie

Yes, exactly, exactly. You’re gonna feel different. You’re gonna also, you know, as women, we’re never static. Our cycles are gonna shift throughout our lifetime, right?

Ryann

Totally.

Jessie

Like our ready mind is different than before children and I’m relearning all of that and new symptoms and new, like everything, right? And so I think it’s really cool just to continue to get curious and it’s really grounding to know, like, our heads don’t need to know it all, right? We don’t need to know everything, but we can, our body, we can trust our body and it can tell us, right? My body can tell me when it’s shifting and when it has different needs now than it did before. And I don’t need to think, well, I’ve always done it like this or I’ve always felt like this before my period, but how come I can’t do that now? Like I just have to know and trust that now, now my body needs something different and that’s okay. And that if I can stay aligned with that and in tune with that, I will be okay. And I am safe within that.

Ryann

Yeah. So going off of that, can you clarify why we might lose our period and how all of these hormones maybe change if they’re the same or if they’re different, if we have lost our period and no longer have it.

Jessie

Yeah, are you talking about like within an eating disorder?

Ryann

Yeah.

Jessie

Yeah, so I mean, if we think about it, right? Like what, you know, food is, you know, at baseline it’s still, it’s so much more than that. But when we give our body enough energy to feel good, our body is busy working behind the scenes. There’s blood pumping, your heart pumping, you have a reproductive system, all these different organs, lots and lots and lots of stuff is going on. And the nutrients that you put into your body are helping to keep everything moving and going and keeping you alive, which is the most essential thing. So we have essential bodily functions and non-essential bodily functions. So essential, our heart needs to pump, our brain needs to work, right? And so when we have restricted our calories to a certain extent where our body says, uh-oh, I am not getting enough to do all the things I need to do, it will start to funnel the calories it is getting to the essential bodily functions and shut down to preserve and conserve the non-essential bodily functions.

Reproduction is as wonderful as it is, is not essential to you staying alive. And the longer, and not to say it’s not dangerous, the longer we go without a period, lots and lots of low bone mineral density, for example, lots of things go awry in our system when that’s shut down for a long time, but we don’t die, right? And so that’s why that happens when we’re not giving our body everything that she needs. And then that’s, you know, I forgot what else you were…

Ryann

If someone has lost their period, then are they still having the same hormones like we would if we were having our period or has that changed?

Jessie

Yeah, so no, I mean a lot of the hormones, the hormones that I was that I was talking about, you’re not, because you’re not presumably ovulating, right, then you know in your luteal phase, once you, when the egg is not fertilized, then that’s when your estrogen and progesterone levels drop inevitably, and then that’s when you menstruate, and then the cycle starts again, right? But if you’re not menstruating currently, then that’s not happening. So that’s not to say that there’s not some other things going on again, like you might still be, you know, and you might still be experiencing like some cortisol fluctuations or, you know, a thyroid, maybe you’re hyperthyroid and that’s contributing to your restriction or nausea or not wanting to eat, for example, right? But in terms of talking about that particular piece, that’s if you’re menstruating.

Ryann

Yeah. If someone has lost their period, what are kind of the first recommendations you have for them?

Jessie

Yeah, I think you have to look at everything, everything that’s going on, but one is, food-wise, we need to make sure that we’re eating enough. This is really important to do with a practitioner because you also don’t wanna, there is something called refeeding syndrome. You don’t just wanna go from eating no food to eating all the food really quickly. So there is a way to do this gently and appropriately for your body so it can begin to recalibrate as you go. But you want to gently reintroduce foods and all foods and all macronutrients. Specifically, I mean, enough fats are really important for our hormone health and often one of the things people restrict the most. So getting in those fats again is really important, as well as making sure that you’re not over-exercising. That’s another reason why we can lose our periods. We’re either restricting our food or we’re over-exercising too much. So making sure that you’re slowing it down, that you’re maybe doing some hikes and some yoga versus, you know, hit and boxing and whatever else you’re doing.

Ryann

Yeah.

Jessie

Or the best, I mean, there’s lots to do, but those are the most practical.

Ryann

I love that. Yeah. I love that as just a starting point, I think. Reconnecting with your body and just like you said, of rebuilding those, like, filling and nourishing meals and allowing food to give you life. And then also caring for your body and your movement in a different way where it’s like, this is something for me, not something that I have to do as punishment. And I know that like all those little mindsets, which is, okay, how can I start taking care of my body? And as you’ve said, like, how can I start taking care of her? Like as if she’s a person and, you know, respecting her and honoring her and listening to her, then how will I feel differently?

Jessie

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that’s, that’s, that’s work, you know, it’s always, it’s so scary. It’s always easier said than done. Um, I, you know, I always like it at like with my clients going through it, like you feel like you’re in the trenches. Can feel really hard for a while. That doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing to do. That doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. It is one of those really challenging, scary pieces. Build a team, get lots of support. You know, eating disorders live in secret. So share with family, share with some people what you’re going through. The more that you’re able to create some space from yourself and the eating disorder, the better.

Ryann

Yeah. I know you talk a lot about your plate reflecting your life. Can you tell me more about what you mean by that?

Jessie

Yeah, I guess I mean a few things by this. You know, baseline is my way of saying it’s not about the food ever, and on a little bit of a deeper level, what’s happening on our plate is happening in our life. If we’re binging and feeling really chaotic with food and restricting and this up and down and chaos all around, I guarantee you it’s not just happening with food and everything else is neat and tidy in your life. There’s a very good chance that you’re also, you know, binging in other areas of your life. Maybe you’re binge shopping or binge drinking or binging on sexual partners. Like, you know, we’ve seen all sorts of things.

Or maybe all of the above, there’s a very good chance that you’re also cycling through restriction in other areas. Like after a binge, restricting socially, like shutting it all down, not wanting to see anybody isolating. Sometimes that purge might come in in your life patterns as well. Like, you know, purging your emotions, screaming at people, slamming the door, purging people from your life, dumping someone, you know, like getting rid of friends. Like I think all of these patterns are happening all around us. And when we just look at the plate and think like, if I can just fix my food, then everything will be okay. We’re missing it because the food is just an extension of everywhere else that it’s happening in our life, right?

Ryann

Yeah, oh, that’s so powerful because it’s never about the food. And I know that I got trapped in that cycle as well of trying so hard to just get my food quote, right, thinking that if I can just eat this certain way, everything in my life will be better, not realizing that it was my hyper focus on food, trying to get it right was actually the problem to begin with. And when we can take a step back, just like you said, and look at what is going on in my life? Like what is happening here? And how is that coming out in my food? Then we can really dive into that uncomfy, but needed work.

Jessie

Exactly, exactly. Yeah.

Ryann

So I would love to wrap this up a spicy conversation on weight loss and binge eating recovery.

Jessie

Yes.

Ryann

Oh, let’s go out with a bang because I know that that’s that’s the thing that is the nail that keeps people stuck. I know it was something that kept me stuck for a long time. What is your thoughts on weight loss and binge eating recovery? Can the two exist? Can they not? Where do you stand?

Jessie

Yeah, so this is it. This is the most triggering piece. Like when someone wants to work with me, they’re always like, hey, I want to stop binge eating and I want to lose weight. Can you help me? And, you know, the truth is, and I have to give it to everyone straight, like we cannot, if you want to stop binge eating, you cannot actively be trying to lose weight. That doesn’t mean you won’t lose weight in the process of binge eating, but that also doesn’t mean that you will, right? And your recovery, binge eating is an eating disorder and your recovery cannot be contingent on weight loss and cannot happen at the same time. And there’s a few reasons for this. I mean, look, I mean, mental and physical restriction both contribute to keeping us in benches as well as so many other things.

But even, you know, the healthiest of weight loss attempts still require some food manipulation and some external influences telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat, which proceeds to take you further away from your body and its needs and reconnecting to self and honoring that and knowing that all foods fit and normalizing binge foods so they become no big deal foods and all the wonderful things that come from recovering from binge eating disorder. but those things don’t happen when you’re trying to restrict your food intake, no matter the approach, right? And so you’re doing yourself a disservice to try to lose weight at the same time that you’re trying to recover from binge eating because I believe that the very, and I’ve seen over and over again that the very act of trying to lose weight will take you away from the uncomfortable but necessary things that you need to do in your recovery to get safe with food.

Ryann

Yeah, yeah. Oh, it’s tough. It’s tough. And I so appreciate you saying that. And I don’t disagree. And it’s hard. It’s hard when we live in this thin-obsessed world. And most of this, if not all of it, started with a dissatisfaction with our body. And diet culture continues to reiterate, if we just lose weight, then all of our dreams and fantasies will come true that we’ve been told that when I look this way, then I will get that. But we never stop and take a moment to think about how is my obsession with losing weight actually keeping me from my dreams and fantasies? And also how is my obsession with losing weight keeping me from actual health? Like I always say, like, let’s flip the script. Like this is not about, I want to lose weight. This is, I want to take better care of my body. This is not like, I want the number on the scale to go down. This is, I want to feel more energized, more alive. I want to feel, you know, inspired. I wanna feel like I can go be in my life, run, jump, hike, be here and experience everything that my body has to offer. And when I’m doing that, whatever size my body falls to when I’m living my happiest life, is the size my body wants to be.

Jessie

Exactly, that’s the nail on the head. So sometimes people aren’t ready to hear that at first. So I say, okay, let’s work on your binge eating first and then let’s talk about it. And inevitably what I see over and over and over again is that all that they’ve gained through their binge eating recovery, they don’t want to lose. They don’t want to start to toy with playing around with what I should or shouldn’t eat anymore. They don’t wanna risk not feeling good anymore, not having energy, not having space for other thoughts because you’re so fixated on food and body. You gain so much more that whatever you wanted to lose isn’t worth it because of what you will lose, right?

Ryann

Yeah, and it’s like, after all the work you put in and everything else that you realize you gain, I think the weight really becomes irrelevant. When we realize that I can have these things, when I start focusing on how I want to feel, how I want to show up, who I want to be, everything kind of changes.

Jessie

Right. And, you know, knowing and trusting inevitably, I think a big part of recovery is that you get to let your body land where it’s supposed to, right? And, you know, part of being recovered is also being, you know, cool with that. Like, this is me. This is my body. This is where I, like you said, feel good, have energy, can participate so fully in my life that’s good, that’s good by me, right?

Ryann

Yeah, yeah. And then it’s like, isn’t that what this is about? Like, isn’t that what life is about? Where it’s like food and wellness and my health is here to give me life, not be my life. And food is nourishment, both physical and emotional. And movement is nourishment, both physical and emotional. And it can be this beautiful thing when I can work on my inside, when I can work on my mindset and healing. It’s not easy, but I think that based on everything that you just said, when we can kind of look at and learn our body and reconnect with her, things change.

Jessie

Exactly, exactly.

Ryann

Any words for someone who is currently in the binge restrict fight?

Jessie

Any words, I would say something I always tell people is, I think that there’s so much shame associated with what is going on and everybody I speak with thinks like, you know, that I’m the only one doing these things and I can’t believe it if you could only see what I’m doing and I would just tell people, if you could be a fly on the wall in my office, you would probably just feel so relieved and know that what is happening to you is happening to so many other people that, you know, you’re not the one and only person that recovery is not possible for. And it’s absolutely possible for everyone. It’s challenging, it’s not always comfortable, but that’s okay. And to know that it’s worth it, you’re safe to take the leap and the leap doesn’t mean getting it perfectly on the first try.

You know, you’ll have ups, you’ll have downs and being in recovery versus recovered means that yes, you’ll still binge sometimes and that’s okay, but you’re going to learn from it each time you’re going to build more and more tools in your toolbox to know how to navigate the things that you’re feeling and experiencing that are leading to your binges. And, you know, one day they just won’t be there anymore and it will be so worth all of that hard work. So if you’re sitting there and wondering, you know, should I recover? Should I try? Shouldn’t I? I’m the only one. What I’m doing isn’t, you know, possible to recover from just, you know, shut that noise down. That’s not true. You are worth it. You can do this and it is worth the fight because of everything you have to gain.

Ryann

So beautiful. beautiful and to add to that I would just say that I have never met a single person that has said I regret recovery. I regret doing the work. Literally never, not one. If you have one please send them my way so we can have a conversation because I just haven’t. I just haven’t. It’s scary but when you go there it’s life-changing.

Jessie

Exactly, exactly. It’s just worth it, worth it in all the ways.

Ryann

Jessie, thank you so much for sharing all of that with us. I super appreciate you taking the time. Where can everybody find you to connect with you more, chat with you more, tell us all the places.

Jessie

Yes, so I am on Instagram at lovenourishsweat, so you can find me over at there, and also lovenourishsweat.ca. So I do some blogging, you can check out my program and you know, send me a message over there as well.

Ryann

Amazing. Thank you so much.

Jessie

This was great. Thank you so much fun.

Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.