Kellee had a lifelong struggle with food and later on in life began to passionately hate her body. Her eating was negatively affecting her relationship with her husband, her family, and herself. She had moments of doubt that she would ever be able to change this but, she sought help and made it happen.
Kellee is sharing her story, where she began, where she is now, and how she got there. We’re going to talk about shifting her body image, what her life is like after binge eating, and the moment when she realized it was okay to feel anxious. Listen in to hear it and get ready to feel hope and inspiration.
Hello! I’m so glad you’re here and you are in for a real treat today with this episode!
You’re going to hear from Kellee, one of my former group members who went through my program and has come out on the other side better than ever.
But first, I want to tell you why I want you to hear from her, and know that she will not be the last of my members to come on here. Here’s why.
From all my years of doing this work, and talking with you all, whether it’s in one of my free offerings or paid programs, I see a trend of people lacking belief in their ability to stop binge eating.
And this is a big problem.
Not believing that you can stop binge eating will stop you from doing it.
If you think it’s not possible, you’re not going to put in any effort to do it. Or you’ll just kinda put in a little effort but, not enough to see real, lasting change.
So I want to help you change this belief in yourself, or if you’re kind of believing in yourself, help you build on that belief.
When I do these success story episodes you’ll hear from real live people who have been in your shoes, who have struggled with similar things that you have, and you’ll hear how they did it so you can feel inspired and hopeful that it’s possible for you too.
I get that you may be lacking belief right now and that’s okay. Kellee was too and you’ll hear us talk about it.
But that can change. You can begin believing. You can believe more.
In today’s episode, as I said, you’ll hear from Kellee.
Now, although Kellee wasn’t bingeing for years as I know a lot of you have been and as I did, it was about 5 months for her but, those 5 months were intense, bingeing more than once a day, and she had a lifelong struggle with food before that and some really negative thoughts about her body that for sure didn’t help her eating.
So I don’t want you to hear that and think, “Well it was only 5 months, so it was easier for her.” Because no, it wasn’t.
Think about yourself when you were 5 months in. Once you’re in binge eating, you’re in it and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it for. The work to get out is still the same.
So, here we go, Kellee and I, chatting about where she began, where she is now, and how she got there.
Kirstin: Hello, Kellee. Thank you for joining us on the podcast. How are you?
Kellee: Hi. I’m good. I’m excited to be here.
Kirstin: Yeah, I’m excited to have you here. I want to begin by you just telling us a little bit about yourself, your background with your eating, food, your weight, just all of the things.
Kellee: Okay. Well, I was referred to quite often in high school as a “Skinny Minnie.” I was kind of a string bean, but I had food problems. My mom really had food problems, and so it’s been a lifelong struggle of just not feeling my emotions, and whenever I was upset, I would eat. I wasn’t really binge eating early on, but I mean, probably in elementary school, I was eating for comfort and trying to make myself feel better.
Then as I got older and dealt with more serious life problems, the eating problems just got worse, and in college, I started really struggling with just, still not binge eating, but I was eating a lot of fast food and just all the time, always wanting to eat out and not understanding what is wrong with me that I can’t stop eating out. I just didn’t understand. Then just as I had babies and life continued and things got harder financially for us, I just got worse and worse, and then I got to the point where I had some other mental health issues going on, some depression and anxiety, and it just built up to where I didn’t want to feel any of it and that’s when it really turned into full-on binge eating.
Kirstin: It sounds like it was a habit that built into itself because a lot of the times, it’s either the people that go on the restrictive diet and then their brain and their body rebound back into binging, or it’s just the habit that built up over time. For you, that sounds like what it was for you.
Kellee: Yeah, and as far as the weight goes, I didn’t really see any consequences of my eating until I started having babies. Then the weight didn’t come off, it just kept building up and up, and then that fed into the binging: “Well, I don’t like how I look and I want to numb that feeling, so I’m going to eat some more.”
Kirstin: Yeah, it’s so counterproductive, but we do it, anyway. It doesn’t make sense.
Kellee: Yep. That was my logic: “I don’t want to feel this, so I’m going to eat.”
Kirstin: Yeah, exactly, because you’re not really thinking about the weight in that moment, you’re just thinking about how you feel, right?
Kirstin: It’s the same thing that happens when we go into a binge. We’re not thinking about how we’re going to feel after the binge, we’re like, “No, I just want to get rid of this urge now. I just want to get rid of this feeling now.” That’s it, that’s where your head’s at.
Kellee: Yep. Get rid of the discomfort.
Kirstin: Yes. Yeah. How long do you think that you were binging for? About how many years would you say that you were binging and how often were you binging?
Kellee: Thankfully, the full-on binging only lasted about five months, but I would say that it was a really intense session of binging. I was binging multiple times a day for five months. Then when I started working with you, I was able to really get on top of it, but I also had the help of my therapist and all of that as well, so it didn’t last for very long, but it was pretty intense, pretty severe.
Kirstin: Even after your binging stopped, there was probably still some other eating things going on, right, because there was so much that was going on before the binging even started, so it wasn’t like we just stop binging and then everything’s all wonderful, it’s we got to stop binging, but then there’s still all of these eating habits that you had for your entire life that need to be worked through.
Kellee: Yeah, I definitely had to work on, “What am I actually putting in my mouth and why am I putting it in my mouth?” Even after I was finished binging, it was still a lot of thought work about, “Am I eating because I’m bored? Am I eating because I’m actually hungry? Why do I want to eat this?” It was not just cut and dry: “All right, I finished binging and now everything is hunky-dory and everything’s fixed.” It’s like, no, there’s still work that needs to be done.
Kirstin: Yeah. Yeah. How was your binging affecting your life? How was it negatively affecting you, and even just your other eating habits, too? Why were they a problem?
Kellee: Well, I think the biggest problem in my life was that I did not want to pass it on to my kids, so I would hide whenever I was eating. I didn’t want them to see what I was eating, how much I was eating, how often I was eating, so I was hiding a lot of the time trying to not let them see. It made my husband feel like he was a single parent a lot of the time because he knew I was upset and he knew what I was doing and he also didn’t want the kids to see, so I would just be gone and he’d be helping the kids with whatever, doing family life, and I was just gone for a while, and then I’d reappear. “Where were you, Mom?” “Oh, nowhere, nothing. I’m fine now,” but I wasn’t at all.
Yeah, it really, I mean, it affected every part of my life. I’m a stay-at-home mom working towards homeschooling because my oldest is six, so this fall will be the first year of us homeschooling him, so I just knew that it was coming to a head where something had to change because my husband couldn’t deal with being basically a single parent, my house was falling apart, the kids and I relationship was just bad, and I stopped exercising. I mean, it impacted every area of my life.
Kirstin: Yeah. How did you feel going through all of that?
Kellee: Hopeless and pretty dang defeated and just like I know something needs to change, but I don’t know how to fix this at all.
Kirstin: What were you doing to try to fix it?
Kellee: A lot of willpower, a lot of just like, “I’m not going to eat this, so help me God, I am not going to eat this.” Then eventually, I would just get tired and I didn’t want to do it and I would give up and sometimes I would ask my husband, “Okay, don’t let me eat. Don’t let me binge today. Just don’t let me do it,” and yeah, that doesn’t work so well either because when your wife is sobbing uncontrollably because she’s so upset and that’s the only thing that’s going to help, what are you going to do? You want to help her feel better, so that also drove a wedge between us because I would get mad at him after I binged, like, “Why did you let me do that?” Well, I knew why, I just didn’t like the answer.
Kirstin: Yeah, right, because it’s your responsibility to take care of you and for you to not be eating that food. We can’t just rely on other people to be doing it for us, right?
Kellee: Absolutely. Yeah, it was a totally unreasonable request. Not even a request, it was a demand and it was totally unreasonable.
Kirstin: Yeah. Did you believe that you would be able to stop binging when you were in the thick of it when it was all going on? Was it stoppable for you?
Kellee: No. Not at all. I really thought that I was going to be stuck there for the rest of my life and just was trying to make a plan at that point of how to hide it well enough from the kids that I could sort of function as I hid it because I just thought it was going to be the rest of my life.
Kirstin: Why did you think that?
Kellee: I didn’t have the tools and I didn’t see a way out. I just knew that I would get tired and not want to work on it anymore and that I would just go back to giving up and not caring.
Kirstin: What was it that made you finally reach out for help?
Kellee: Well, as I mentioned, I’m already dealing with depression and anxiety, so I had already been in therapy, and when I talked with her, I was like, “I’m pretty sure I have an eating disorder because here’s what’s going on,” so she did diagnose me with binge-eating disorder and then what did I …? Oh, I joined Noom. I don’t know if you have heard of that. Weight Watchers for millennials is how they advertise themselves. I was going through the free trial of that. I hadn’t paid for it yet, thankfully, but I was in their Facebook group and I searched “binge eating disorder” and somebody had recommended your podcast, so I was like, “Oh, this sounds interesting,” and I started listening, I mean, binge-listening.
After the first one, I was hooked. I was like, “I need to listen to all of this. She knows so much,” and so I just kept listening and listening, listening and then I heard you mentioned the free call and was like, “All right, she has helped me with just the free stuff. I can’t imagine how much more it will be to just work with her where I can actually talk to Kirstin and get feedback on my personal situation,” and I just knew I need to reach out and be a part of this group.
Kirstin: You said that you were in therapy. Did you ever talk with your therapist about binge eating? Did you ever try to work through that with your therapist?
Kellee: I did. She had been a smoker, so she tried to help me with the smoking analogy that she had overcome, and so here’s some tools that helped her, but it wasn’t as helpful or practical because she was addressing more the behavior and not the thoughts and emotions behind the behavior.
Kirstin: Why did you find the coaching that we did together to be helpful?
Kellee: It gets right to the root of the issue. It doesn’t just try to address the outward behavior. I remember actually being really frustrated for the first month or two, like, “I thought this was supposed to help me stop binging, but all we’re doing is talking about my thoughts. Come on.” But it gets right to the root. I remember our first call, we talked about me hating my body because I didn’t just dislike my body, I absolutely hated my body, and just thinking such terrible, terrible thoughts. I mean, that’s where the root of it is, is all this junk in your head that you keep building up and building up. As soon as you get to the root of those thoughts, it changes everything. I don’t think at all the way that I used to think about my body, about my kids, about my marriage, anything. I feel like a totally new person.
Kirstin: Yeah. What did you use to think about your body?
Kellee: Oh, man. Gosh, I should have written them down in the time because I don’t even remember besides just how extremely passionate these thoughts were. They were not just fleeting, “Ugh, I hate my body,” no, they were very deeply rooted. I absolutely hated my thick legs or my jiggly belly or, oh, my gosh, there were just so… I mean, even my fingers, I could have told you something about how horrible my fingers were. It didn’t matter what part of my body it was. I mean, my eyeballs. I could’ve probably told you something negative about my eyeballs because I hated every part of my body.
Kirstin: Where are you at now? What do you think about your body now?
Kellee: Now, I can still see the flaws. My stomach is not flat. I’ve had three kids, so there is some jiggle to it, but I don’t look at it and think, “Oh, that’s disgusting. I hate it,” any of that. I look at it and think, I purposely think, “This stomach housed three babies and these hips and birthed three babies, these thighs strengthened me to carry my children around the house, these arms, even though they are jiggly, they’re strong enough to lift my kids,” and that is just so much more uplifting and motivating, and I mean, healthy. My gosh, it’s such a nicer place to be in my head than it used to be.
Kirstin: Yeah, and I think that’s really important for everybody to hear that you’re not in this space of, “My arms are perfect and my legs are perfect.” That’s not the ultimate goal here for everyone, but it’s just accepting that you have jiggly arms and not being upset about it.
Kellee: Yeah, and I think growth mindset is really, really helpful, just thinking… I think at first, what was the bridging thought that we did? Instead of, “I hate my body,” “Oh, I have a body,” and then from there I started picking out positive things, like my eyes sparkle when I smile or whatever, just those little things, but just having the growth mindset, like, “My stomach doesn’t look the way that I want it to yet and I’m working on it and that’s okay and even if I never get there,” wherever that is, because I probably won’t, but even if I never look like the airbrushed Victoria’s Secret model, it’s okay because I am working towards a healthier body by exercising, by eating right.
Kirstin: Yeah, so you didn’t just jump from, “I passionately hate my body,” to accepting your body, even.
Kellee: No. No, I think I spent a month or two purposely thinking, “I have a body, I have arms, I have legs,” and just stating that fact instead of, “I hate it.” No, I just have a body. It’s neutral.
Kirstin: Yeah, so like you said, it took you a few months of just being in that space, and you said the first couple months of going through the program, you were like, “What the heck are we doing?”
Kellee: Yeah, come on, now, Kirstin. You said you were going to help me.
Kirstin: Yeah. Why do you think you were so committed to the work even when you were not fully on board, kind of like, “What the heck’s going on?” Why do you think you were so committed?
Kellee: I think it just all goes back to my kids, I knew if, and my husband, if I didn’t change something, they were probably going to inherit my eating habits, and also that I wouldn’t be able to teach them how to deal with their own emotions. Then for my marriage, just my marriage is probably not going to live through this if I don’t deal with it and get it under control and I really just didn’t want to keep going through what I was going through. I wanted to move through it and get healthy and be able to live my life in freedom.
Kirstin: I think it’s also one of those things where you go into it. In the beginning, you were like, “Kirstin can help me. This program can help me.” Then you got into it and you were like, “What is all of this? This isn’t what I expected,” right? But you stayed in it, you stayed in that belief of, “I chose this program, I chose this path, I’m staying with it,” and you also did make an investment in it, too. It’s not a small investment. Did that make a difference in your mind as well that you made a financial investment into this?
Kellee: Yeah, I think it did help. Otherwise, it would have been really easy to just say, “I can get this information for free anytime I want.” It’s a big motivator to know I have six months to get this work done and then it did motivate me to keep up with the videos, do the work, get the worksheets printed off, and come back and contribute to the group instead of just hanging out in the background and, “Oh, there’s other people doing this stuff, but this doesn’t even make sense to me, so why bother?”
Kirstin: Yeah, you definitely did show up for yourself. You showed up a lot in the written coaching and I was looking back and I saw that you didn’t get a ton of live coaching on the group calls, so how do you think you were able to still be successful in the group, even though you weren’t getting coached on the calls all the time? I ask this because people get so concerned, like, “I need to talk to Kirstin every single week. We need to be talking every week,” and I look at someone like you who still made so much progress just getting coached live on a call just a few times and then getting a whole bunch of coaching in our online forum. Why do you think that is?
Kellee: Well, my kids are six, yeah, four, and almost three, and it was not realistic for me to be on the coaching call, so at first, I did think, “I need to be on every single call,” and there were a couple of calls in the beginning where I was like, “Crap. I missed that.” I started thinking those negative thoughts, like, “I’m not going to be successful. I’m going to fail. Why keep going? There’s no point,” et cetera, et cetera, but I did keep going, thankfully.
I think it was just so helpful to get the feedback because even though it wasn’t on the phone, I was still able to ask the questions that I needed answers to. You’re responsive. There’s not exactly a binging emergency. No one’s going to die because you didn’t respond to my question right away. Even if I didn’t get the answer that I needed until 24 hours later and I did end up binging, I could reflect back and apply that to what happened and then look forward to, “Okay, next time, what can I do to help?” So even though I couldn’t be on every single call, I was still able to get that help because I was committed to commenting on other people’s posts and asking questions and getting that support that I needed because it’s still there, even if you’re not on the phone.
Kirstin: Yeah. You found ways to make it work for you. There’s so many different components to it that you were able to find the parts that worked for you with your life and your kids and all of that. What did you think was the most challenging part of this work of stopping binging and everything involved in it?
Kellee: Oh, man. The hardest part I think was probably learning to feel and be okay with what I was feeling. I mean, like I said, I grew up where I just learned to shut my emotions down, whether it was food or… I mean, in high school, I did cut myself, so I use that to shut my emotions down. I just didn’t know how to feel or cope with any negative emotions. There were only certain emotions that were okay that I was safe to feel, like happiness, and even then I was not super sure. I would self-sabotage waiting for the other shoe to drop, so I would just mess it up myself, so letting myself feel whatever the emotion was and allowing it without trying to shut it down was really, really hard.
Kirstin: How did you start doing that? How were you able to do that?
Kellee: Thought models. I still use thought models, probably, I don’t know, a few times a week. I’ve been telling my husband to use them, too, when he gets stuck. Thought models definitely the biggest thing to just shift my thinking the direction that I wanted to go.
Then I can’t remember which month it was, but you talked about just allowing your emotions and noticing where it is in your body. That was really helpful. I remember the first time that I went through that exercise and we talked about how weird it was after, I was on my way to something that I was nervous about and I was so anxious and I just remember thinking, “Okay, what do I feel? I feel anxious. Where do I feel that? I feel that in my jaw, I feel it in my stomach. What does that manifest like? Well, I’m clenching my jaw, my stomach is turning,” and then I just said to myself, “It’s okay to feel anxious,” and it was just the most bizarre sensation because I still felt anxious, but I was also so calm and was like, “What is happening right now? This is really weird. I’ve never felt like this before,” but that was just really, really helpful to be able to say, “Here’s how I’m feeling. Here’s where it’s uncomfortable,” and then, “It’s okay to feel this way.”
Kirstin: Yeah. I mean, that really is the ultimate goal, to just be okay with feeling because when you’re okay with how you’re feeling, then you just feel it and you then don’t have to eat. And I do want to say that for anybody who doesn’t know what thought models are, it is one of the tools that we use in the program that just helps you see how you create your feelings and your actions and all of that. I actually did talk about it in a podcast episode. I don’t remember what number it is, but it’s a tool created by Brooke Castillo that’s just amazing.
Kellee: It’s so good.
Kirstin: If you join the program, you will get lots and lots of practice using it, for sure. Yeah.
Kellee: Yes. I have a notebook full of them.
Kirstin: Yes. Yeah. What has it been like for you doing this work on your own since your program ended?
Kellee: It’s been interesting. We finished the program about a month before we moved. It was not a small move. We went from Wyoming to Alaska, so it’s considered overseas with the military and it was extremely, extremely stressful. I started noticing that I was eating my emotions and stress-eating and getting frustrated with myself that I was going off my food plan and I wanted to shut down.
I started thinking again, “What is the point of this? I can’t do it, anyways. Six months down the drain.” Oh, so dramatic. I just backed off. I am so dramatic sometimes. But I just backed off and decided, “All right, I want to let go of my food planning and my meal planning right now,” because it’s really hard to plan when you’re running through an airport trying to catch your plane and you just don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day, so I just let go of that and I decided, “All right, my goal at this point is just to not eat what I feel, to allow my feelings again, and go back to the very beginning of it. As long as I’m not stress eating, as long as I’m not binging, I’m okay with that. Even if I have McDonald’s three meals in a row, ugh, just stop eating all your feelings.”
Then as we settled in, and only in the last week or so, actually, have I been able to get back on track with meal planning, so as we settled in and got into more of a routine, it’s like, all right, I can start writing out here’s what I’m going to eat and start working on sticking to that plan. I did slide backwards a little bit. I’ve had days where I went off my meal plan and I did get frustrated with myself for doing that, but just allowing those feelings and saying, “You know what? That’s okay. I can try again tomorrow.” I don’t think that the work ever really stops. I think you just have to keep monitoring yourself because life throws you all kinds of curveballs.
Kirstin: Mm-hmm, yeah, and we have to be able to allow all of that to happen.
Kellee: Yes. You really do. Life, I mean, right now, my five-year-old is in the background trying to talk to me. Life happens. We just have to let it happen and do the best that we can with it.
Kirstin: Exactly, right? Instead of just trying to change it all. We can’t change the kid. We can’t change our feelings always right in that moment, so we just have to let it happen. I love that that was where you went to. You started to see yourself fall off track a little bit and instead of just getting lost in what you’re doing, you took it back to one thing that you learned that you knew would be helpful to you and you just went to that one thing. The planning, it’s just a tool, it’s a tool to help us to eat better and make better decisions and all of those things, but I love that you went to the feelings because that really is one of the most important parts of all of this work.
Kellee: Yeah. It’s the root. I think it’s the root.
Kirstin: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. How do you feel about food now? Do you still feel urges to binge?
Kellee: Oh, yeah. Not to binge, but definitely to overeat or to just eat, like, “Screw it, this day sucked, so I’m going to have whatever I want.” I definitely still have urges and sometimes I do give into them and I just have to decide that that’s all right, I’m going to do better next time, but I am able to just, “You know what? I feel this urge and I don’t have to act on it,” and there are a lot of times where I don’t act on whatever the urge is, which even just that, even though I feel the urge, that is a victory to me that I can say, “All right, I didn’t eat the 17 bags of M&Ms that I have in the closet. I just let it go,” and that’s a victory.
Kirstin: Not necessarily urges to binge, but maybe urges to overeat. How do you feel about still having those?
Kellee: It’s okay. It’s been a lifetime of eating my emotions, of going to food whenever I’m upset to try to numb myself. It’s going to take time. Just like the weight gain didn’t happen overnight. It happened over years, so it’s going to take years to come off as well. I think just accepting that it is what it is.
Kirstin: I also think that it’s normal to have urges to overeat. I mean, I think even people that we consider to be normal eaters feel that sometimes.
Kellee: Yeah. Well, and not just with eating. I mean, we have urges for everything. I think everybody feels urges, so it’s just a decision on whether or not we’re going to act on them, so even if I eventually stop having urges to eat my feelings, I may have an urge to impulse shop or sleep in past my alarm or whatever and just being able to say, “All right, I have this urge. Am I going to act on it or not?”
Kirstin: Yeah. I think one of the most common ones that we would see people do is drinking, right, like, “Ugh, I had such a rough day, let’s go get a drink,” maybe more so than food, but I think, yeah, that people do feel urges to use something to calm their feelings down or to avoid feeling, whether it be drinking or food or shopping or whatever it is, even overworking sometimes, right? We’re going to overwork so we can avoid life in some way.
Kellee: Yeah. Our culture gives us so many options to avoid our feelings.
Kirstin: Yeah, absolutely. Too many.
Kellee: There’s no end to the list. Yes.
Kirstin: Yes. Yeah. You did mention your weight because you wanted to lose weight, right, while you were in this program and prior to and all of that, so what was that like for you to go through this work to stop binge eating while also wanting to lose weight? Because as many people know, I don’t encourage weight loss as you’re stopping binge eating because it’s just very discouraging. It’s very discouraging when you lose some weight and then binge it back and lose weight and binge it back because then you’re failing at two goals and that’s not helpful, especially the way that people try to lose weight, by overly restricting their food, which is going to perpetuate binging as well. It’s just not useful, so I ask people to set aside their weight goals for now and just focus on not eating so much food. What was that like for you?
Kellee: It was really hard. It was really hard because I had been set since baby number one. When I got pregnant with number two, I still had some pounds to lose, and so it just kept adding up and it was really hard. I’d been wanting to lose weight for five years and knowing that, “Okay, she really just wants me to put this aside,” well, I did not like that, and I think it took me a couple of months to be like, “All right, it’s fine. I’m not going to work on losing weight right now.”
Kirstin: Yeah, what’s most helpful, I think, when going through that, and you can tell me your experience with this, too, is getting to that body acceptance piece that you were talking about before. When you can just accept where your body is right now, it’s easier to not feel that drive to lose weight right now.
Kellee: Yeah. I think it synced up when I was able to accept I have a body instead of I hate my body. That’s when it became easier to just say, “All right, I’m going to focus on my thoughts instead of trying to lose this weight that I really want to lose because it’s not going anywhere. It’ll be there to get rid of later.” But yeah, I was able to set it aside.
Kirstin: Yeah. Good. What is your life like now compared to what it was like before?
Kellee: It doesn’t even compare. It’s just a night-and-day difference. I have more energy. I sleep better. I wake up refreshed. I feel like I have more stamina. With three small kids, you need a lot of stamina, and I just didn’t have that when I was binging. I was tired. By 2:00, I would have been ready to go back to bed. I have way more emotional capacity, a lot of little… Well, they’re not little emotions, they’re big emotions from little people. I just have a lot more capacity, I feel like, to deal with all the stuff that gets thrown at me every day. My marriage has improved and I can feel my emotions and regulate them without letting myself fly off the handle. II feel like I’m a whole new person. If I could talk to myself a year ago or six months ago, I don’t think that I would even recognize myself, just the depressed, sad state that I was in compared to now because I’m just a different person.
Kirstin: Oh, I love that so much because it’s not just, oh-
Kellee: Me, too.
Kirstin: It’s not just changing what you’re eating and changing the binge eating, it really is about changing you and changing your life and all the things that come along with it, right?
Kellee: Yeah. It was the missing piece that I had been looking for for years: “Why can’t I stop eating fast food?” Well, it’s because my thoughts and my emotions just totally unchecked.
Kirstin: What would you say to someone else who’s listening to this who has been binging even longer than you have, but has had eating habits like you had for their entire life and has doubts of whether or not they’ll be able to stop, too? What would you say to them?
Kellee: I would say that they absolutely can learn to stop. I may not have binged for very long, but I have lived with hating myself for pretty much my entire life. I mean, as long as I can remember, and if I can start hating myself, you can definitely stop binge eating, especially when you have someone who hands you the tools that you need to stop. I mean, that’s what you do with this program, Kristin. You do it so, so well in helping us figure out practically, “What can I do to fix the problem?” that we think is just a physical problem, but it’s not. I think just being able to add “yet” to the end of the sentence: “I can’t stop binge eating yet,” “I can’t feel this yet,” and just having that growth mindset to move forward, that makes a big difference in how far you’ll be able to get.
Kirstin: Why do you think that that makes such a difference, just that one little word at the end?
Kellee: It offers hope. Just saying, “I can’t, I won’t ever be able to stop binge eating,” that’s such a hopeless statement, but when you say “yet,” there’s that future out there somewhere. Even if you can’t see it or name the date, it’s out there and you can get there.
Kirstin: Yes. Yes. Oh, my gosh. I love it. I’m feeling so much hope just listening to what you’re saying.
Kellee: I know. I’m ready to go climb a mountain or something. I’m ready.
Kirstin: Haven’t climbed a mountain yet.
Kellee: Exactly. I’m ready.
Kirstin: So good. I think we pretty much covered it all, but are there any other words of wisdom that you would like to share that you haven’t already?
Kellee: I think the last thing that I would say is as much as it feels like it’s not a choice, it is a choice. We were talking about the scale. I stepped on the scale. I saw how much I weighed, I got upset, and I binged. Then the next time I stepped on the scale, it was higher, I got upset, and I binged. It’s just this horrible cycle that perpetuates itself. I don’t remember exactly how far into the program we were, but there was a day where that happened, I stepped on the scale and I was super upset and I was getting ready to binge and I just thought, “Why would I do that? It’s just going to make it worse and perpetuate the cycle,” and I chose differently. That’s all that it is. It’s not jumping to the top of the mountain and skipping all those little steps. It’s a process that just starts with a single choice and you make that small choice over and over and over again, no matter how hard it is.
Kirstin: Yes. I 100% agree with you. I don’t think that being someone who binges is a choice, no one chooses that life, nobody says, “Hey, I’m going to be a binge eater,” right?
Kirstin: But when you step on that scale and then see the number and then go binge, that is your choice.
Kellee: That’s a choice.
Kirstin: That is your choice to go and put that food in your mouth and we got to start making different choices, different decisions.
Kellee: Exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Kirstin: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. So good. Well, thank you for coming on and talking with me and sharing your story with everyone. There’s so much that you said that I have no doubt people will be able to relate to. I hope they take away some hope from everything that you said, that it’s possible for them, too. You had lifelong eating habits that you were not happy with and now look at you. Completely different. It’s so awesome.
Kellee: Oh, well, I got to tell you thank you because I absolutely would not be where I am without your help.
Kirstin: Thank yourself.
Kellee: We can just go back and forth thanking each other all day.
Kirstin: I mean, you’re welcome. You’re welcome, but really, you’re the one that did the work, right? I was not the one that stepped in and grabbed your hands like your husband tried to do, saying, “You’re not eating the food,” right?
Kellee: Yeah. Slap that food out of my face.
Kirstin: Yeah. I can’t make you not eat. You did all the work, you did everything. We were a team. We did it together.
Kellee: Yes. Yeah.
Kirstin: Awesome. Well, thank you, Kellee. Thank you so much for coming on.
Kellee: Thanks for having me.
How awesome is she? I’m so proud of her.
She held on to her commitment and didn’t forget why it was important for her to do this work.
She learned how to be okay with feeling, which is huge for stopping binge eating.
She handles life’s twist and turns in a more productive way and bounces back more quickly if she falls down.
Her lifelong struggle with her eating is no longer a struggle. That doesn’t mean she never thinks about food, that her eating is perfect, or that she never feels urges to overeat but, she has the tools she needs and uses them and her life now is so much better because of it.
This is what can happen when you commit to stopping binge eating. You can change and your whole life can change.
Now, if you’re interested in doing what she did and joining me in my group program, you can find all the information about that by going to coachkir.com/group.
I would love to be a part of your process and help you get to where you want to be.
Alright, that’s all for today. I’ll talk to you next time and keep an eye out for more inspiring success stories in the future!