Ep #110: Binge Eating Success Story – Sara

I’m having another one of my former client on the podcast! In this episode, you’re going to meet Sara. She’s a mom, and actually recently gave birth to a baby girl! So she talks about how she handles teaching good eating habits to her older daughter, how she’s been dealing with her weight in postpartum, what has been the most helpful thing that has kept her from bingeing since we stopped working together and so much more!

She’s so wonderful and gives such great insight and advice. I have no doubt you’re going to get a lot out of this one!

Interested in working with me? Sign up for a free mini session so you can see what coaching is like and get all the information you need!


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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
  • How Sara stops herself from binge eating
  • How she teaches healthy eating habits to her teenage daughter
  • How she handled pregnancy and new born
  • Why it’s important to have belief in yourself
  • What your post-binge eating identity can look like
  • How to handle conversations with your husband about signing up for coaching
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE

Awesome Free Stuff!
Episode #100: Binge Eating Success Story – Lainie
Episode #105: Binge Eating Success Story – Sadie
Gretchen Rubin – The Four Tendencies

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Hi! I’m so excited to have another one of my former clients on the podcast today!

Her name is Sara, she is an absolute delight, and she has what I think are some amazing insights and advice to share with you all.

She’s a mom and actually just had a baby not long ago so we talk about how she teaches her teenage daughter healthy eating habits, how to handle eating and your weight when you’re pregnant and have a newborn, and what has been the most valuable thing that has helped her to not binge, along with so much more that you’re going to hear.

I hope you enjoy and make sure you stick around at the end because I’m going to tell you about how you can work with me to get results in your life like Sara’s, as well as like Lainie and Sadie, two of my other clients who were on episodes 100 and 105. If you haven’t listened to those ones, do it! They’re wonderful as well.

Alright, here we go. Enjoy my conversation with Sara!

Kirstin:

Hi, welcome to the podcast. So fun. To begin, I want you to just tell everybody a little bit about yourself, who you are, your background with eating food, your weight, all the things.

Sara:

All the things. Okay. Tell me if I’m going too long.

Kirstin:

Okay.

Sara:

It’s a long one. I’m 41. My name’s Sara. Hello, my name’s Sarah. I’m 41. Actually, I think I’m 42 now. I’m 42 now.

Kirstin:

Oh, happy birthday.

Sara:

Thanks. I had a baby and I have baby brain. I’m 42. I have a six month old, Calliope who is just the surprise I didn’t know I needed kind of thing. I’ve been dieting and thinking about food since I was eight. I was trying to think of my earliest bingeing memory, and I was certainly eight or maybe less. Actually, one of the things I wanted to talk to you about later is I didn’t actually know I was bingeing till I started listening to your podcast. Now looking back, I remember I was in the kitchen eating Graham crackers, just standing in the kitchen eating Graham crackers. I was so young. I mean, grade school. The reason I remember is because my grandpa was like, “You better knock that off or you’re going to end up like your aunt so and so.” I was mortified because I was caught and I was like, I’m a kid. I’m just eating crackers. I was hungry. You know what I mean? I mean, it just went on from there. I started doing sit ups every night as an eight year old, trying to get rid of my little sweet eight year old belly that eight year olds have.

I don’t know, you know how you are when you’re little, you think, “Oh, I’m just going to eat Saltine crackers.” I don’t know. I started working out when I was 13 or 14. My dad was a lifelong dieter and marathon runner. He told me like, “If you run, you can just eat whatever you want.” I just started running when I was 13, just compulsively running so that I could eat obsessively, compulsively running and exercising so I could eat. Again, I didn’t think that was bingeing. I just thought I had a big appetite, I don’t know. People in my family are kind of big people, big appetites, big people, so I was like, “Oh, it’s just normal.” Gosh, I started dieting all through high school, went to college, gained a ton of weight in college, way past the freshmen 15. The kind of the turning point as an adult was seeing a picture of myself at age 22, and I thought it was my grandmother who was morbidly obese, and of course old. I was 22. I was like, “Oh my gosh. That is not my grandmother, that is me.”

Literally, the next day I’ll never forget it. My husband loves to retell this story. I doubled down on my efforts. I started slim fast, I started running more obsessively everyday, no matter what, no breaks, seven days a week, rain or shine. He tells the story because the first day at it from 22, he dropped me off on a trail in the rain, and he was like, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “I have to do something.” I just was well over 200 pounds at 5’6″, and I was like, I have to get this under control. I can’t end up like my grandma and I have this little voice, my aunt, this little ugly voice. From there, I joined Weight Watchers. I lost 70 pounds in 2004. I became a Weight Watchers leader, so I actually did that for several years. I taught at hospitals and businesses, which I loved. Kept my weight off. I had a baby, I gained 70 pounds pregnant, which we can talk about later. It was just this constant struggle, and I’m tired of the meetings and I was tired of the attitude in Weight Watchers, which… Oh, sorry. I can’t say Weight Watchers.

Kirstin:

You can say it.

Sara:

Okay. I was just tired of the attitude of it was more about like, what can we get away with than trying to get healthy. Like, did you know you can cook a ham in diet Coke, and I was like, “Oh, gross.” As I was aging and feeding a child, I was really interested in eating just wholesome food and I was trying to pull away from that mentality of like, I don’t want to track everything. I don’t want to count the points, I don’t want to come to this meeting. I’m missing time with my child every Saturday to come to this meeting. Work was one thing because work was kind of a nice thing for myself, but feeling like chained to that meeting and chained to the points. I kind of was like, “I’m done with this.” I had to always do something to keep the weight from coming back because it would just slowly come back.

One day when my daughter was, five years ago, eight, I went to the doctor and my daughter was with me and I had gained 30 pounds since she was born. My doctor who’s known me this whole time was like, “You have to get this weight off now.” I was mortified. I’m holding back tears, here’s my eight year old daughter who’s the same age I was when I started having problems with myself, and she’s hearing this whole thing. I’m seriously stinging tears, choking my throat, trying not to scream at this doctor who has known me this whole time and has known my struggle and supported me. She, by the way, was very holistic. She had her advice was always, “Sara, you need to loosen up because you’re very healthy. You eat the right things, you’re managing just fine, kind of chill out.” Which is why I liked her because she was super laid back, but she kind of ate like me and we had similar parenting beliefs and all this stuff.

When she told me that, I was like, “Oh my gosh, how has it gotten this bad?” I started carb cycling, and keto. and I started OA, all of this. This has all happened in the last five years. I would just be in tears with my husband, like I have done everything. I’m a rule follower. I follow the rules, and yet I’m still… Again, now I know I was bingeing and I didn’t know it. I don’t think I had any… I thought you had to have a diagnosed eating disorder to be a binge eater, you know what I mean? I didn’t know that, that’s what was happening, that I was sabotaging myself because I had the points. I had been following the plan. It was on the plan. It was keto. It was bacon and eggs and cheese, so it must be okay, right? Anyways, somehow some friend or something on a group posted your podcast, and I mean, I seriously listened to all of your podcasts a few weeks, days, because it was like, “Oh my Gosh. This is me. She’s talking about me.”

It was just this like, “Ha, this is my problem and I didn’t know it.” I really didn’t know it. By the time I got you, I actually was at a really healthy weight, maybe 10 pounds would have been nice, but I was feeling more confident and I was like, let’s take this momentum that I’ve gotten in life at 40 and let’s just kind of double down and put some money and time into this and really nip it in the bud. It was almost like the work that I did with you was almost like a cherry on top, if that makes sense. I felt I was having some good momentum, and this really helped me solidify everything and really pinpoint some outstanding issues that I didn’t realize and get to put a name on what was going on. Also, I just loved the nature of I don’t have to go to a meeting, I don’t have to go to a group, I don’t have to count points. I’m in charge, which I love.

Kirstin:

And you’re just at home talking to me.

Sara:

Exactly, yeah. That kind of brings me to today. Of course, I’ve had a baby, and I told you this in the email, I’m not at the weight I want to be, but I just have this confidence that it will come together, and that I’m in control of what happens now, which I love.

Kirstin:

Yeah. Let’s back up. How was your eating affecting you? Why was it a problem for you, why did you reach out for help?

Sara:

Yeah, a couple of things that I remember feeling right before I reached out to you. One was I was just bored with food. I felt like I’m tired of thinking about food. I don’t want to think of another meal to make. I don’t want to think of it as a snack to have. At the same time, in contrast with that boredom was this, “I have to eat everything right now,” and it’s like, how can you be both of those things? That doesn’t even make sense. I was both bored and then I would just eat everything that I could find to feel better, and I just didn’t understand it. I was like, why am I doing that, and I’d just feel terrible. I’d feel drunk, numb, like I can’t do anything. I just want to lay on the couch and digest this. I feel like I just want to go to bed. I’m like, that’s not a life.

It just felt awful. I mean, definitely times in the past before my 40s or this late 30s and 40s, earlier like 20s and stuff, I remember just being sick, like I can’t do anything. Maybe it wasn’t that bad in these last few years, but still there were times when I’m like, “Ugh, this is not a life.” It was tension that was just bugging me, how can I be both bored with everything and nothing sounds good and I seriously have to eat everything and it doesn’t matter what it is. That is part of my clues now, when I’m looking for something and I don’t know what it is. I’m like, that’s a binge. That’s what it is. I don’t need anything. I don’t need anything.

Kirstin:

Yeah, exactly. When you were in that space, did you believe that you would be able to get out of it? Did you believe that you would be able to just fully stop bingeing?

Sara:

Well, again, I don’t know that I’d thought of it because I never labeled it as that. No, I guess not because this is why I’m crying to my husband. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that was why, but I did feel trapped in some sort of cycle that I couldn’t name, if that makes sense. In my mind at the time, I was like, there’s no explanation for this. Why am I just constantly struggling against my own body and mind? I don’t get it. I guess in a way, no, until I named it and then started to do some of this work. Does that make sense?

Kirstin:

Yeah. Why do you think you were so committed to it? Because it was a big investment. Why did you think that you were ready to do it?

Sara:

Definitely having a teenage daughter is probably part of it. I see a big part of my identity is being a mom, and starting to see some body image, diet issues in her, and I was like, “Man, I’ve been working at this for 30 years.” I got to figure this out. I’m like, I don’t care about the size of my parents and family, but the way I’ve seen them struggle with their weight and health my whole life. I just want to have it done. I’m 40, right? That’s what I kept thinking. This is halfway, I got to figure this out. I think there was a little bit of that, and then I think there’s a little bit of with that age coming into my own, I’m in charge now. I talked to my husband about spending the money on coaching and support, but it was also like I can make this investment in myself and I’m worth that. I think when you’re younger, maybe you don’t always feel that way, but I think I was just the right age, the right age of my child, the right point in my career, the right point in my marriage to just put some time and money. Money is really where your interest is, isn’t it?

It also kind of makes you, I don’t know if you’ve read any of Gretchen Rubin stuff about the tendencies, The Four Tendencies. Okay. Basically, as a person who if I say I’m going to do something, then I’m going to do it, so working with you while I learned that it’s myself that I have to do that to, not to you, but I knew that saying, I’m going to do this was going to make me do it basically because that’s how I am. Gretchen Rubin has this work that you should definitely read called The Four Tendencies, I think is named of the book. It’s about how knowing your personality type helps you follow through on your goals, like do you have the tendency to obliger other people, do you have the tendency to uphold what you say you’re going to do, do you have the tendency to rebel or do you have the tendency to question? I’m the upholder, so I knew if I said I was going to do it, I was going to do it, and so that was kind of part of it too. I was kind of checking myself, but I knew that about myself.

Kirstin:

I mean, and it was a worthy investment in the end.

Sara:

Oh my gosh, absolutely, because surprise, had a lot to do with bingeing, but it had way more to do with my whole life, which is the beauty of it, which I believe it’s what I love about coaching the most, the way that created everything else.

Kirstin:

Yeah. What did you find to be the most challenging?

Sara:

As far as coaching or bingeing or…

Kirstin:

All of it.

Sara:

I think we’ve been working on my family mission statement because of COVID and the baby and homeschool and everything. One of our family values we realized was sandwiches, which sounds silly, but we have this thing in our family. We like make each other a sandwich and that’s like, here’s some love, here’s your sandwich. It’s not our only thing. We’re not a super foodie family, but it’s one of our family values. So my kid has make a creation that she wants me to eat or my husband, more with the kids than the husband because you can kind of reason with different levels. Then I’m like, “Well, I actually did kind of have that today, so I’m going to have that tomorrow, but I love it. I’m so glad you made cookies.”

Cookies are easy because you can put it away till tomorrow. That was hard because again, I don’t want to pass on any neuroses, so I’m really careful with that language with her like, I didn’t plan to have that today, or I’m not hungry right now, so I’m going to go ahead and have that tomorrow. That was probably the hardest thing because also with a teenager, you’re finding any way to connect, right? You just want to connect, and they don’t want you around most of the time. When they do, you’re like, “Yeah, I’ll go out to sushi, whatever you like. You want to go to sushi right now? Absolutely.” That would be the hardest, but also showing her that I value my relationship with myself and that I do what I say I’m going to do is valuable.

Kirstin:

Yeah. How do you teach her good habits?

Sara:

Well, actually this is kind of an ongoing struggle with my husband to be honest, weekly. He’s great. I mean, he’s a great dad and he totally understands my thoughts about nutrition and everything. The way I teach her is, I’m like, “Did you have any water?” First of all, I’m always bugging her to drink water. Like, “Hey, if you’re not hungry, you never have to eat, but please just drink some water.” She’s an athlete. She’s a martial artist and a dancer. I’m like, “You have to drink water.” Then my whole thing with her is like, does that sound good? Is that what you want to have? Are you hungry? We talk about things like her doctor’s asked her to eat a vegetable every time she eats, I’m like, “Did you do that today?” I try to either stick with medical that she’s been told specifically by her doctor or like, “Hey, what sounds good to you?”

She knows. She’s into Dr. Greger. She’s really into vegan food, and she knows what’s healthy. It’s just kind of like you told me, I don’t need to tell you. She’s 13. She’s been absorbing healthy food my whole…

We’ve always eaten well, we’ve always eaten tons of vegetables and lots of organic foods and tons of water, and she knows. It’s too late kind of, you know what I’m saying? Actually, the tension with my husband and I is like, he’ll be, “Well, did you eat a vegetable? Why are you having dessert?” I’m like, “Just leave her alone.” She knows, and I know how damaging that voice from your dad on your ear or your grandpa or whatever can be. It’s like questioning your own ability to feed your own body. Does that make sense?

Kirstin:

Yeah. What I recommend to my people that ask about this is to just be an example. Don’t tell them what to do, and I think sometimes questions are okay like, “Hey, did you drink water?” Just asking, but not pushing it on them and not trying to teach them anything. Just being like, this is what I’m doing and this is what I’m doing.

Sara:

Right, right. Totally. I’ll make big waters with lemon and different things, and I’m like, “Hey, do you want to share this with me?” Or we’ll make a big salad, and just it’s available. That’s, again back to my original doctor, that’s what she always said to do too. She’s like, “Just show her what to do by doing it” and totally true. Now, when she’s asked more questions about dieting, then I’m like, “Well, you get to choose what you want to eat. What do you want to eat?” Then we talked about you can write it down, write down what you need today, because what would happen? One example is she would crash after martial arts, and my husband’s like, “You have to eat before. That’s why you’re starving.” I’m like, “Well, no, no she doesn’t necessarily, but she’s got to figure it out for herself.”

She’s got to figure out what feels good to her. She was able to articulate, I don’t feel good when I eat before I work out. Okay don’t, but just know then maybe let’s play around with it. Maybe eat the night before, maybe have a meal ready that you can grab out of the fridge so that you’re not having a moment at the end. We’re just kind of troubleshooting, but I really try to just trust her, and that’s again where my husband and I just… Whenever he puts a value judgment on something she’s eating or not eating, usually not eating, I’m like, “Just leave her alone. She’s the one that’s with the correct BMI in our family right now.” Not that, that’s everything, but you know what I’m saying? She actually eats when she’s hungry and stops when she’s full. What else can you ask for?

Kirstin:

Yeah. I mean, to me it sounds like you’re doing a great job. It’s troubleshooting. There’s no one right way to do it. It really is just figuring it out for you guys and for her.

So, you surprisingly got pregnant while we were working together. This obviously was not your first pregnancy. What thoughts went through your head while you’re working on your eating when you have the past that you have? What was going on in your head when all this happened?

Sara:

Well, I mean the first thought was I gained 70 pounds with my first pregnancy and I was like, that’s twice as much as you’re supposed to, right? I’m 5’6″. That’s a lot. I mean, I’m not super tall. I guess I’m medium height. That was my first thought, I’m going to gain 70 pounds and here I am just at this… I was at a happy weight. I could have lived ar that weight. It was more about the internal struggle. Everybody always wants to lose five more pounds, right? I don’t know, but I was pretty happy. I was feeling pretty good. It’s probably why I got pregnant. I was like, “Shoot, shoot.” When I was pregnant with my first child, I wasn’t eating well. I ate a lot of cereal, but in the beginning, I was like cantaloupe and spinach and broccoli. I was force feeding myself because I thought that’s what you had to do.

I was force feeding myself just nutrients, what I thought was nutrients, and almost making myself sick on fruits and vegetables that just weren’t going down well. Then towards the end, I went in a series of things. I can’t believe my daughter didn’t come out looking like a Fruity Pebble. I ate so much cereal at the end because that was off limits in Weight Watchers, or I had told myself that was off limits, and so now I’m like, “Oh, I have to eat it. I’m starving. I’m making a baby, I have to eat all the cereal.” All the cereal is such, what a weird thing to do. I was worried. I was definitely worried, but then I was also in the middle of coaching. We walked through it, but I also was like, “You know what, I know better now too. I know this baby’s going to be fine, no matter what.” That’s what you learn from parenting to some extent. I knew that the baby would get what it needed, and so I tempered that first thought. First thought was a little scary, second thought with a little more calm.

Kirstin:

I mean, were you afraid that you were going to get back to 70 pounds?

Sara:

Oh, for sure. Yeah, absolutely.

Kirstin:

Did you?

Sara:

No. No, not at all. No. I think I maybe hit 40, which is fine.

Kirstin:

Yeah. How do you think you did that? What do you think was the difference between pregnancy one and pregnancy two?

Sara:

It’s probably so many things. I mean, I’m older, I’m calmer. I did have a lot of other things happening in my life at the same time, to be honest, some other stressors, but I did have this tool too. I did just tell myself, this baby’s going to be fine and if I’m not hungry… I was actually eating a lot less in the beginning of pregnancy, and I was just like, you know what, that’s okay. When I need more, I’ll know and I’ll eat more. That’s just what it was. Instead of the day I found out I was pregnant, just starting to do some crazy diet, I just kind of continued learning what I was doing.

Kirstin:

Yeah. It sounds like your thoughts were just a lot calmer, you were more relaxed about food, right?

Sara:

Yes. I think what I got from coaching that allowed that to a big extent was just the journaling aspect, which sounds silly, but people have always told me to journal and I’ve journaled, but I never knew what I was doing and why am I doing this. That little exercise of spending maybe five minutes or 10 minutes doing the thought download, life-changing. I’d say it sounds too good to be true and too simple to be true, but just putting on paper, “Ahhh, I’m having a baby or whatever,” processing it that way, so, so helpful. I was able to just be a little calmer, a little more reasonable, but some of that’s age as well, and like I said, I’m just a different person too than I was in my 20s, to be honest. This is one of the steps to that, for sure, one of the tools.

Kirstin:

Yeah. Then you had the baby after the program had ended. Were you worried about how your eating would be post pregnancy?

Sara:

Yes, but I couldn’t get back to kind of two things. One that I couldn’t quite get back to a certain body weight as fast as I’d probably like to because I think with breastfeeding and stuff, you kind of do hold onto a little bit of extra body weight, and I think that’s totally normal. Just again, first thought going, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to be overweight for two years.” Second thought going, “I’m breastfeeding a baby, it’s going to be okay. It’s eventually going to come off.” Calming myself down, and then the other one worrying about my appetite and that really just hasn’t played out. Maybe in the very, very beginning, but I was very much worried like, I’m going to have to eat everything, which isn’t really true.

Again, there’s plenty on my body for the baby. I talked to my doctor about it because I was just a little worried, and that’s just how I am. I talk to her about everything, and she’s like… I think she said the same thing you did. She’s like, “Are you taking your multivitamin?” You’re telling me that way, I’ll never forget that. She’s like, “Don’t under eat. Maybe count once in a while to make sure you’re getting enough, but you probably are.” I was like, I have surrounded myself with such a good team. I’m just like, just don’t worry about it. She’s totally right, and that is the truth I already knew, but it is helpful to have some external people validating that belief and knowledge that you have.

Kirstin:

Yeah. How do you feel about your body now?

Sara:

Well, up and down. I’d say better than I don’t feel crazy, which is nice because after my first child, I would hit it so hard that I actually injured myself. I was out there way too soon, running, lifting weights, just trying to beat my body and just remission, and just eating the bare minimum to drop weight because I was a weight Watchers instructor. You can’t carry that extra weight. I think their policy is where you had a year to get the weight off, so I had to. I did. That’s what it was. Again, I’m a rule follower, whether it’s my rules or somebody else’s rules. This time, I am more like, “You know what? I’m 42. If it takes two years instead of one year, that’s okay.”

Also, I’ve just surrounded myself with a lot more body positivity in general, and that’s one thing about social media that I think is actually a plus. That wasn’t really the thing. The combination of body positivity and social media wasn’t a thing 13 years ago. Not like it is now. Sending myself messages that I would send a friend like, “You just had a baby, it’s okay. Your body is going to go through some morphing to get to where the new normal is, which may not be what the old normal is.” It’s just again, setting… Okay. The first thought is I’m going to carry this weight forever, and the second thought is, no, you’re probably not. It’s going to be okay, and just trying to monitor that self-talk like, again, what would I say to a friend? It’s fine. You have a plan, you know what you’re doing. It’s going to come off in time.

Kirstin:

Just with the food thoughts, it sounds like there’s a lot more just calmness and also acceptance. This is where I am. I had a baby, and this is something to be said for people that haven’t had babies and just put on weight for whatever reason. We don’t have to freak out about it.

Sara:

It’s just what it is, and it’s an American thing. It’s a Western thing. It’s a rich country thing. None of us are alone in this struggle at all. There’s so many factors that play into it. It’s so interesting what your hormones alone do to your appetite and just the cyclical nature of it. Just the more you know, the more you can kind of, I feel like be calm and reasonable. That’s not to say that I don’t see a picture of myself with a baby and go, “Ah.” We all have those unflattering angles, and I had those when I was at the weight I wanted to be at. I just try to, again… I think that again, the journaling and catching that thought, like what am I thinking? What is this story I’m telling myself. Okay. That’s not true. I would never say that to anybody else because it’s not true, so why do I say it to myself? Just catching it sooner, which is awesome.

Kirstin:

Yeah. What would you say is the biggest shift for you from our work together?

Sara:

Well, I kind of mentioned learning how to journal. It seems such a silly thing to say. I think that’s a big, huge part of it. I’d say recognizing that I was bingeing, having a name on it, but even more than that, because it’s not just putting a name on it, but feeling it happened, feeling the desire coming and feeling like, I’m in the kitchen, I’m looking for something, but I’m not hungry and I can’t eat anything. What am I looking for? Really asking that question, recognizing it sooner, which allows you to stop it before it happens sometimes, or if I’m starting, then I don’t want to feel that way. I know that’s me feel bad. I’d say those two things, but it’s all kind of one thing because then the journaling’s allowed me to like, what do I really want to be thinking when that happens? I don’t know if that’s a very succinct answer. I feel like it just kind of all works together to give positive feedback.

Kirstin:

Yeah. Well, it really is just what we talk about thought management, managing your thinking. Being aware of what you’re thinking, choosing what you want to think, and actually having conversations with yourself and thinking about what you’re doing, taking that pause.

Sara:

Right. Right, and so then I’m in the kitchen. I’m looking for something to eat. I’m not planning on eating it. I don’t need to eat it. It just sounds too simple to say, I’m going to go sit down with my journal and just write down what the heck is going on, but that’s really all it is. Then I guess also what goes along with that is like, what am I thinking, but also the concept of, how can I feel this feeling? How can I just sit here and feel this feeling? Nobody’s ever taught me to do that. Again, I’ve heard people say that, just feel your feelings, don’t eat your feelings. Well, how the heck do you do that? Doing this work with you, I think gave me some tangible ways of feeling my feelings, like how do I sit down and just do that. To call it just journaling feels shallow or feels like not enough, but the journal has been an anchor. I keep my journal actually in my kitchen so that if that happens, I go to my little drawer and pull it out and I just sit down, and I’m like, what is happening? I try to keep it up. I could give you that one word answer, but it is complex in there, right?

Kirstin:

Yeah. I think you’ve explained it very well.

Sara:

Okay. I don’t want people thinking, I’ll just buy a journal and I’ll be fine because-

Kirstin:

There’s more to it.

Sara:

There’s more to it than that. Right, right.

Kirstin:

It definitely is helpful if you… I mean, there’s so many different ways to journal and there’s definitely ways that are going to be more productive and more useful than others, and that’s what you and I worked on.

Sara:

Sure. There you go.

Kirstin:

What would you say to someone else, the people out there who have been in your shoes and want to be in your current shoes?

Sara:

Oh my gosh. I mean, I do think it’s a big decision. I don’t think if you’re not ready and you try to do it, I don’t know that it’s going to work. I think it does have to be knowing yourself, like am I going to do this, is it worth my time, my money, my energy?

Kirstin:

What do you think determines that?

Sara:

That’s a good question. It’s hard to speak for other people. I don’t know. I know how I am. I would just think of it. I was just tired. Like I said, I’m 40 and I’m done with this. I’m so done with not knowing and not being able to, I don’t want to say control, but kind of like, maybe not even guessed the outcomes of what’s going to happen to me. I felt like I was a victim to my own life in that one regard in the area food, and not even as much in weight but food. I feel like you just have to, maybe it’s like the thing they think about hitting rock bottom. If you’ve had enough, I think at some point you just know I have to do something else, and you stop making excuses and just do it. Stop thinking about it and talk about it. There’s got to be that tipping point though. I don’t know how you get there. I think a lot of people talk about it forever.

Kirstin:

Yeah. Well, I mean, there’s some people that hit that place and they just hate it and stay there, but the people that get out of it are the people that see the light at the end of the tunnel, can see that it’s possible to change and they get excited about the change. It’s when you think about how much better your life will be without this, and you’re ready to go get that and you believe that you can.

Sara:

Right, right. I guess I do feel though there’s people all around me that binge, now I know this, or they just aren’t having a healthy relationship with food. How about I say that? I don’t want to call them a binger for that. You can see that if they’re just not ready, if you’re just making excuses, and I’m not casting any blame on, that’s just where they’re at. They’re just not in the headspace to say they’re going to get out of it. There’s a defeated language almost.

Kirstin:

Right. Well, the defeat comes from not believing that you can, that there’s something wrong with you. You’re broken, which, by the way, nobody is. Nobody is broken. Let’s stop that, but it definitely is that belief in themselves. Then some people just aren’t willing to take the steps forward, or they’re afraid. Fear gets in the way a lot too. Well, if I’m not bingeing, what am I going to do?

Sara:

Right. Oh my gosh, totally. Well, in that still, I think, Oh my gosh, in COVID especially. Every night, and I have a newborn and I’m not bingeing and I’m in the house. That is a huge question. Who am I now, and you do have to be willing to take that journey. Who am I without the bingeing as a mom that has this responsibility in COVID in my house? There’s a lot of soul searching, and it’s hard. Maybe this in a way is… I’m so glad I did it before COVID. Before the baby, there’s some other things in our family that happened, two or three major family events that happened with the pregnancy. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad that I had this tool. I think it’s kind of knowing yourself and do you have the hope or not? Do you think you can change or not? I guess people should ask themselves, if you think other people can change, why can’t you? If you’re going, “well, that would never work for me.” Well, why wouldn’t it? I like that idea of knowing yourself.

If you’re going to be the person that’s just questioning everything and why does this work, then you have to be willing to do that work and look into why the thought model works and why does it work? Know that about yourself, or if you know you’re going to be a rebel about it, then figure out a way to work with that rebellion, or if you happen to be the obliger personality, which I don’t think I am. I think I’m upholder, but I think having somebody to work with to keep you accountable. I mean, people have proven that over and over in other spheres that having an accountability partner just works. I mean, that’s why group’s work, that’s OA works, that’s why Weight Watchers works. Everything works for a while, and that’s something really exciting about this coaching is that it’s so personal and it happened in my house, and so it’s like, it’s mine, you know what I mean? It’s not out there, it’s mine. It’s me. I did it.

Kirstin:

Going back to the identity thing that you were talking about, people get so worried about what is my identity going to be without binge eating, right? So scared of it as if they don’t have any say over what that is. It’s like, you create yourself, you create your life.

Sara:

Right, right.

Kirstin:

When you take binge eating out of the equation, possibilities are seriously endless. Who do you want to become? It’s not afraid of what am I going to do, what am I going to be calm? It’s what do you want, and if you don’t even know what you want, let’s think about it.

Sara:

It’s true, and I think that is an overwhelming question, but I think people just need to be reminded that it’s okay to just have your wants be modest as well. People might laugh at just being a mom or whatever, but it’s okay to have my best version of myself just being a healthy mom. That’s what I want. It’s okay to be humble, and I’m not saying, I’m so humble. I mean, it’s okay to not have, I don’t want to do anything that maybe the world thinks is amazing, but I want to raise some great kids-

Kirstin:

Which that’s amazing, hello.

Sara:

It is, and I know that. Again, that’s the thing I would tell anybody else that, but for some reason, it’s like, put this big thing. I have to be this big thing and I have to start this huge, and that’s real. It’s okay to just have your… I’m really into stoicism, and their whole thing is just pick your thing and be really good at that. It’s okay to just be a great mom, if that’s what you want, and if you want something big, then… I have friends that are doing amazing things. Do your big thing too. That’s great. I wouldn’t want to limit anybody, but I think when people get overwhelmed, you can also just say, what’s the first thing you want to do, or what’s the next thing you want to do, and let’s just do that really well. I think it’s obvious when you have a six month old, I want to be able to chase that six month old around, so that’s fine for now, and maybe in two years or three years or four years out, it’ll morph and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of life. It’s a wave, just riding the wave and do what happens next. You don’t have to lock yourself into anything. Right now, it’s mom phase and maybe it’ll be something else down the road.

Kirstin:

Who knows, but it’s going to be awesome and so exciting and you’re going to love it. It’s going to be fulfilling and you’re going to be an even better version of yourself.

Sara:

Right, absolutely.

Kirstin:

Any other words of wisdom that you would like to share that we haven’t covered?

Sara:

I don’t think so. I would just encourage people to really consider doing the work and maybe get to the bottom of, why wouldn’t you. I don’t have anything profound. I think we kind of touched on all the things that probably soon as I hang up I’ll think of something. I think also just as somebody who, I really felt the need to talk to my partner before I made the decision to do the work financially, I guess. I think just not being scared to have those conversations because I think, I don’t know, money is always such a weird topic with people, but my partner really just wanted to see me happy. Just not being scared to say, I want to invest in myself. I know it’s a sacrifice or whatever, but I think it would be really good, and he’s seen the change.

I should have said that too. He can see what a difference it’s made in me, and he’s thrilled about it and it has nothing to do with body. It’s everything to do with my mind, because of course I’m six months was postpartum, it’s not like the world standard of… Maybe it should be the world standard of beauty. The the calmness and the resources that I gained, and so I would just really encourage, I feel like it’s like when you try to quit smoking, right? Your partner has to be on board. I’d say just have that conversation, why not? Don’t be scared to ask for what you need. It’s kind of the first step of the little things, isn’t it?

Kirstin:

Yeah. I mean, it’s really knowing what you need, really believing in it and knowing why too because when you go to your husband, it’s not just, “Hey, I want to do this thing so I can stop binge eating.” They’re like, “What?” If you really get down to what it’s really all about, this person that you’re going to become and how much you’re struggling now and everything that’s being affected and will no longer be affected, that’s really what it’s about.

Sara:

Right, right. I think if a person that you’ve been with for all these years can see a change, that’s huge because, honestly, we do change, but sometimes we don’t change that much, right? A lot of us are the same as we were. Percentage-wise of who we are is pretty constant, but these little tweaks that just improve life so much, apparently are shining through and he’s seeing them, and so he was excited I was going to talk to you today.

Kirstin:

Oh, I love it.

Sara:

It was pretty special. Just by the way, he wasn’t, as soon as I told him like, “Oh yeah, sign up here, I’ll write a check or whatever.” It wasn’t that I was asking him for money, you know what I mean? It was more like, let’s talk about it. We have kind of a dollar amount that we talk about it’s above a certain amount, and so it just hit that threshold rate. It took a couple days maybe, I don’t remember. I think you and I talked and the night him and I talked, and it was a week maybe, but it was definitely worth… Actually, too when you have a partner that knows you that well, if you have that kind of relationship.

I think he asked good questions to help me to get… Saying out loud to somebody else actually kind of might help you realize how much it is that you do want to do it, if that makes sense. What do you have to lose by having that conversation? That’s not in every partnership, that’s how our partnership works, but what do you have to lose for just saying, “Hey, I was thinking about doing this. What do you think? Do you think that would work for me?” Sometimes your partner can see things in you that you don’t and be like, “You know what, this is not going to work for you.” If you’re a rebel, that might make you want to do it more.

Kirstin:

Well, and I’d also question, if somebody did say that to you, I would really question why do they think that?

Sara:

Yeah.

Kirstin:

Question what you think. Do I believe I can, because they’re not in your head. They maybe don’t know what you’re capable of fully, but that’s why you want to make sure that before you even have a conversation like that, that you are believing in yourself. It’s not like, “Hey, so what do you think about, I don’t know.” It’s like, “Hey, there’s this thing I really want to do it. I believe in it.”

Sara:

Yes, absolutely. Just two things on that, I think that is another reason why this was just the right time. I think we just got to a place in our marriage in the last three or four years where I’m just like, this is who I am. It seems crazy that it would take 20 years of marriage to get there, but people get in these habits, so the timing was right for that because we both were just kind of in a place where we just really trust the other person that it was just easy to say, “Hey, I need this.” I would say, yes, know what you’re thinking, but sometimes saying something out loud, it puts skin on it. Now, even if he did say no, maybe I would really double down and be like, “Well, actually now that I’ve said it, and I’m thinking about it…”

I always have this rule when I go shopping if I see a dress or whatever, and I just can’t stop thinking about it for a week or a month, I’ll go back, but I don’t like to impulse buy. I think it’s the same kind of thing. Sometimes when you just say something out loud, you either go, you know what? That doesn’t sound like me, or hey, you don’t know me, like you said. You don’t understand me. Yes, knowing a little bit ahead of time, but also thoughts in our head get all jumbled, but saying something out loud really can make it real and just be part of that commitment. Maybe it won’t happen in a week like it did for me where we just talked about it for a week and then went for it, but maybe it’ll happen in a few months just by planting that seed, putting that out there about kind of the law of attraction idea, put it out there so it happens.

Kirstin:

Yes. Yeah, I love it. I love it. Well, thank you so much for being here and for sharing your story, and giving all of your insights. I love all of this, especially for the parents out there, and really for anybody that struggles with any kind of weight gain and all of that. Thank you. Thank you so much. It was so awesome talking with you and to having you on the podcast. Sara, you’re awesome.

Sara:

You’re awesome too. Thank you. I love what you do. I love it.

Kirstin:

Thank you.

I was right right? She’s such a delight.

So now if you feel like you’re ready to work with me in my group program, and you are ready to make an investment in yourself so you can change your life for the better, the first thing you have to do is request a free mini session with me at coachkir.com/mini. On this call, not only will you be able to ask me any questions you have and get all the details for how my program works and how I help you, but you’ll walk away with some great insights into yourself and why you are still struggling with binge eating.

So do it. You will not regret it I promise you.

I know you want to change and I can help you do it. So let’s do it.

I’ll talk to you soon.

Bye bye!

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