Our guest is Tricia Nelson. She is the host of The Heal Your Hunger Show and author of Heal Your Hunger, 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now.
Emotional eating and obesity root deeper than what’s easily visible. But because it's always just about the food and weight, the solutions we come up with are typically only focused on the symptoms and not the deep-rooted causes. For those who battle food dependence, this becomes the point to stop and settle. In this episode of The Fit Mess, Tricia Nelson talks about her proven steps to battling emotional eating, the healthy balance between weight loss and body positivity, the purpose of the PEP Test, and the reason why most diets fail.
Can your attitude towards food be hereditary? Find out in this episode of The Fit Mess with Tricia Nelson!
Emotional Eating – Where Does it Come From?
When asked if emotional eating is a learned behavior or something inherited through DNA, Tricia answered it can be both. When Tricia's parents were still kids, they too had a propensity to gain weight fast. They were naturally chubby kids, and they had a really slow metabolism. Because of this, it also became effortless for Tricia to gain weight when she was growing up. As a result, at a very young age, Tricia was considered bigger than her contemporaries.
Tricia's early childhood is just one demonstration of how 60% of emotional eating correlates to heritability or inherited genetic markers, as per one article from VitaGene. This natural trait also gives evidence to her reaction to sweets and alcohol. When Tricia consumes sweets, it's very easy for her to overeat. When she indulges in alcohol, blacking out happens very quickly. If paired with the culture of soothing kids with food, emotional eating becomes a very tricky condition to do away with that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Find out from Tricia if you're an emotional eater in this episode of The Fit Mess!
About Tricia Nelson:
Tricia Nelson is an internationally acclaimed author, transformational speaker, and emotional eating expert. She has been featured on dozens of radio and television networks, including FOX, NBC, CBS, KTLA, and Discovery Health. Tricia has successfully helped hundreds of people overcome a variety of eating disorders and addictions.
Tricia attended Amherst College and began her career working at the Seattle Art Museum. While in Seattle, she began working with a spiritual healer, Roy Nelson (who would later become her husband), who helped her recognize and heal the root causes of her addictions. By creating a lifestyle steeped in positive self-care, self-love, and improved self-esteem, Tricia was able to stop drinking and overeating. She has maintained a fifty-pound weight loss for close to 30 years now.
Tricia has spent the past three decades studying the addictive personality and shares her findings in workshops and retreats both in-person and online. Many doctors, psychologists, and other health practitioners benefit from her insight about what drives people to overeat and how to stop.
Outline of the Episode:
[01:06] Jeremy and Zach – on experiences with emotional eating
[04:11] Food as a source of comfort
[07:51] Tricia Nelson – I was a miserable yoyo
[11:03] A lot of people think only the obese indulge in emotional eating…
[15:01] Quelling emotions with food can grow into a monster that's hard to stop
[19:29] Our misconceptions about body positivity
[22:30] The acceptance and resignation in dealing with obesity and transformation
[26:42] Tricia's Six (6) Self-care Success Secrets
[30:30] What is the PEP Test?
[33:54] Where can you start in your better path towards fighting emotional eating?
Are you an emotional eater or a food addict? Find out from Tricia now!
Also, join Tricia and others on The Secret Sauce to End Emotional Eating Facebook Group.
As a bit of a treat, Fit Mess Podcast Listeners get a 25% off upon signing up on Inside Tracker. Sign up now!
Connect with The Fit Mess Podcast on:
Don't forget to join Zach, Jeremy, and the rest of the community in The Fit Mess Community on Facebook.
If you enjoyed this episode, head on over to Apple Podcasts and kindly leave us a rating, a review, and subscribe!
Tricia Nelson Transcript
[00:00:00] Jeremy: Put down the chips. And salsa is something I wish someone had said to me last night or the night before this week, we're talking about emotional eating, why you do it and how you can stop. If you often find yourself going for that late night snack or you swing by the pantry for a pick me up when you're feeling down this episode is for you.
[00:00:18] Zach: Our guest is Trisha Nelson. She's the host of the heal, your hunger show and author of heal. Your hunger. Seven simple steps to end emotional eating. Now you mentioned chips.
[00:00:27] I'm kind of hungry. Can I get some chips?
[00:00:30] Thank you for joining us for this episode of the fitness podcast. We appreciate being a part of whatever it is that you're doing right now. Hopefully what you're doing is something healthy or taking care of yourself and not doing what we're about to talk about emotional eating.
[00:01:06] Jeremy: Zach, this is a topic that really means a lot to me. I know specifically when I started doing it, but I only recently got curious enough to figure out that it's something I still do now. We mentioned the beginning of the chips and salsa. I, I, that's not a joke. Last night, I literally was eating chips and salsa.
[00:01:21] I wasn't hungry. I just felt like I needed some. Today, just before we started recording the show, getting a little anxious, we got to put on a show, we got to entertain. I get anxious. And I there's this part of my brain that tells me, oh, you should eat something real quick. , this could take an hour or two.
[00:01:36] You might get hungry. You don't want that to happen. All these messages just start like auto firing in my head. And it is a battle of willpower all day long to set them aside and try and do the right.
[00:01:48] Zach: I hear it. I actually had my moment of it today, too. They were, I had a bunch of important people on a phone call and I was the only one that disagreed with the course of action. And I had to convince everyone, to go the opposite way. So it was very stressful for me, but I did win. Um, but I got off of the call
[00:02:08] Jeremy: here. If you take nothing else away, Zac one today.
[00:02:11] Zach: exactly, but I got off the call and I like went down to the kitchen immediately and opened up. I didn't see anything good. Opened up the fridge, didn't see anything good. tail between my legs walked back to my office without, , something that would feed my emotional need.
[00:02:27] And I got back into my office and I had just taken a trip to Florida and in my backpack, which was like, I'm on my desk, which I emptied out. I saw a bag of Southwest pretzels
[00:02:38] Jeremy: Like
[00:02:38] Southwest airlines, like the pretzels
[00:02:40] from the
[00:02:40] Zach: so that you get on the airplane. my brain went thinking, thinking, yes, I can fill my void and I can emotionally eat.
[00:02:50] And then the other part of my brain just saw Cove it all over the bag. I was like, I got those on an airplane after I'd touched this and that. And like discussed. Nope. I ripped that bag open and I ate it.
[00:03:03] Jeremy: It's such an awful habit there. I mean, I still have triggers just there's something about coming home and I think it.
[00:03:09] like is an old memory from school. You get home from school, you have a snack, right? I will literally be eating in the car on the way home, walk in the front door and automatically go to the kitchen.
[00:03:19] What is there to eat? Like I li I just. And I walk in the door and I need to eat more just because it's a habit that I've built over 40 years. And I know it started, I still remember it was like third grade and I made this new friend and he would come over and we would, watch TV. And every time there was a commercial, he would say it was like munchie break or snack break or something. And my parents, they would go shopping at Costco. So we had like literally a room in our house was the planet. And we would buy all kinds of, you know, the Nutter, butter bars and all this stuff.
[00:03:50] Literally every commercial, every commercial we're running in there and getting something and, and that fed this, like I'm comfortable. I'm home. I have connection with my friends like that still is with me now that that need to shove food in my face for comfort and connection, even if I'm by myself.
[00:04:09] Zach: Yeah, mine was similar. Up until the age of six. Like, I didn't have a lot to eat. , I've told this story a few times, but like I had to steal food from the grocery store in order to eat. Like there was no food. And when CPS , took me away from my mom and I moved in with my dad.
[00:04:26] There was food in the house all the time. And he grew up in the depression. So he, if there was like a sale on Oreos, he would go buy 30 packages of them on sale. So like we had that, we had a whole cupboard dedicated to cookies. When I moved in with him, I was like, oh my God, there's all this.
[00:04:42] Well, I better start eating. Cause I don't know when I'm going to get my next meal and blew up like crazy. But , that was my comfort. Yeah. When I was a kid and I was like, I wasn't even hungry. I was just making sure that I was Well fed and I had lots of reserve energy going forward, but that again translated 40 years later, or 30 years later here I am going, oh, that was stressful day.
[00:05:08] I'm going to eat a bag of pretzels covered in COVID and I don't care. And I'm going to lick my fingers on them.
[00:05:15] Jeremy: So, so weird how the scale keeps going up and down for us. Isn't that? It's just like, I wish I could explain it. I don't understand. It's just odd.
[00:05:23] Zach: I know, but I will say, , 10 years ago, when I finally figured this out , it is emotional eating and I will try and be friends with it. And I understand that sometimes I just need a little emotional eating to get through a situation and just feed it and do.
[00:05:40] Occasionally, , so I still do it now, but like I figured it out 10 years ago that it was emotional eating , through fasting and not eating for three days where I was like, I would get up and it was just programmed. It was habit. I would just get up and go to the fridge.
[00:05:57] Like I'm not hungry. I haven't eaten anything in two days. I'm not hungry in the moment. Why am I going to the refridge.
[00:06:04] Jeremy: So much of this reminds me of when we talked to Judd brewer on a previous episode, and, , he talked about how willpower is simply not enough to curb any craving like that, any addictive craving.
[00:06:15] And he talked about how. there's basically four triggers to, , addictive response and you're hungry, you're angry, you're lonely, or you're tired. And typically all of those things happen at night. So it's no wonder that I wake up and I'm like, oh yeah, I can fast like a champ. I just gotta wait till noon.
[00:06:30] No big deal. Eat a meal. No big deal off. Often running end of the day, have some dinner. Ah, I'm good. Yeah. But now I've had the stress of work or hustling for work or whatever it is being a dad. Being a husband walking the dogs who probably peed on the floor. All of the things that have built up have now shattered.
[00:06:48] My reserves, my energy is drained. I'm hungry. I'm tired. It's been a stressful day. Where's my bag of COVID chips.
[00:06:56] Zach: It'd be like a macro virus. See the thing on it with a note going I am COVID. I am still gonna lick the bag when I see the crumb on the bag.
[00:07:08] Jeremy: Try new cheese that's Delta version.
[00:07:10] Zach: Ooh, that that's dual. Meaning I flew Southwest though.
[00:07:15] All right. Well, now that we've told you all about our emotional eating histories, , we should probably get to the interview because there's some leftover Mac and cheese on the stove upstairs. I need to go.
[00:07:26] Jeremy: I'm sure there's still a few chips in the bag.
[00:07:28] Zach: Uh,
[00:07:30] but seriously, I wish that I had, , Trisha Nelson's book and her podcast 10 years ago when I was learning about my own emotional eating.
[00:07:39] It would've made things a whole lot easier, but fortunately Trisha Nelson is here for you now. And we had the opportunity to talked to her about her book and her journey of losing 50 pounds.
[00:07:51] Tricia Nelson: been a long journey. Experiences. It is for people who have food issues, , I started out as a kid, just obsessed with food. So food was like my most exciting thing to think about. And I love to eat. I love to cook. I love to serve it to other people, got to dinner, , all that, , was exciting for me.
[00:08:08] And that would have been fine, except that I gained weight very easily. So. 20. I was 50 pounds overweight and really miserable about it. I was not okay with it. , I felt different from my friends. , my mobility was challenged. I mean, not that I couldn't get around, but , at the beach, my legs would change because there were, you know, that big thighs and I had a roll in my tummy that was scrunched up in my hand.
[00:08:31] And imagine cutting off, like you can get like fat off the. So, , some , pretty crazy thoughts. I even thought about contracting some disease where I'd automatically lose weight without having to diet. , and that was all , really reflective of the fact that I felt desperate.
[00:08:46] , I really felt like. Yeah, I've tried diets. I've tried pills and potions. I even went so far as to try 12 step programs and eating disorders therapy. So I books, of
[00:08:57] course, you read a ton of books, , stuff online. , but I tried so many things and I'd always get back to the same place. You know, I could lose weight, but I put it back on and I was a yo-yo or I was like, 30 down 20 up 10 and so frustrating.
[00:09:13] And at some point, , I just felt like this sucks and I'm never gonna get there. And this problem is you feel like you're the only one, like everybody else is losing weight. Everybody else is looking great, but I'm this loser who can't lose basically.
[00:09:29] Um, and so I. Came to my wits. And, and at that point, by the grace of God, I met somebody who had been obese loss of weight, but it wasn't by any crazy diet or impossible exercise program. It was really through the inner journey, healing, the things that were blocking, , him. And he showed me how to heal that.
[00:09:51] Basically, , how to clear away the blocks to freedom, , the blocks to joy, the blocks to just eat effortlessness around food, ? And so my experiences, if you deal with the underlying causes, you just don't need as much food and you don't need as heavy foods either.
[00:10:08] So that's what happened for me. And from that point on, I was. Totally excited to share it with other people, , and fast forward many, many years, , I'm still by the grace of God in a thin body. And, , and have a system, a very specific step-by-step system to share with people who do have the same struggles so that they don't have to, they don't have to keep dieting because it's not about the food, ?
[00:10:31] And so the people that are drawn to me are people who know by better experiences, not about the food, because when you do diets long enough, you're like, okay, There's gotta be another way, you know, so those are the people I attract.
[00:10:42] Jeremy: So I definitely want to get to the steps in just a few minutes, but I want to talk a little bit about what you discovered was the root of the, of your issue was the emotional eating. And so, so I guess describe what emotional eating is. What does it look like in both an extreme situation and then maybe ways that people do and don't recognize.
[00:10:59] Tricia Nelson: Yeah, so it doesn't have to mean that you're overweight. , a lot of people think you have to be obese
[00:11:05] to be an emotional eater and that's not true. You can be in a thin body. But be obsessed with food. Be completely owned by Billy gooey chewy foods. As I call them, , where you just, that's all you want to eat and when you eat it, you can't stop.
[00:11:18] And so you've finished the whole box. So the whole bag, , and then you feel disgusting and then you're pissed at yourself and then you're like berating yourself for having no control. So that's one scenario. So, um, there's also just, , eating unhealthy foods. Some people think, oh, you have to be a binge or to be an emotional eater.
[00:11:35] Not so like you can eat, , normal meals, but the foods are drawn to can have an emotional component. And what I mean by that is emotional leaders tend to be drawn to heavier foods, , sugar, fat, and carbs. My favorite three food groups actually. So, you know, , and the reason why is because those foods, basically
[00:11:58] Feelings, , so that's like, why do we potatoes instead of broccoli? Why do we prefer a banana over an apple? It's a little denser, a little heavier. And it gives us a little more feeling of being fall, ? And that's good when you're not comfortable not being. You know, and so that's really, the deal is when you just
[00:12:17] constantly eat or snack or you, you want heavier foods, , you just, you have no appetite for salads or, ,
[00:12:24] light, watery foods.
[00:12:25] They just don't feel substantial enough. , you want cheesy, meaty, fatty things. , in my experience, it's really, for emotional reasons
[00:12:34] that were drawn in that way. , emotionally, it has come in a lot of different forms, but the bottom line
[00:12:38] answer is we use food for emotional reasons.
[00:12:42] Jeremy: where does that come from? Where is
[00:12:44] that? Is that a
[00:12:44] learned behavior? Is there something in our
[00:12:46] DNA that makes someone more prone
[00:12:49] to that sort of thing? Where does that emotional eating?
[00:12:51] Tricia Nelson: Well, it's a great question. I think it's both, , for me, my parents, gained weight very easily, so they were chubby as kids. So they have the DNA, , they have, , the propensity to gain weight easily, , slow metabolism. I definitely got that gene. And so I, , as I said was fad at a pretty young age.
[00:13:11] , I mean, I can look at chocolate cake and gain a pound, you know, So, um, so it's definitely, there's a physical aspect to it. I also am very sensitive to sugar. So when I eat sugar, I tend to overeat sugar. , I also a sense of the alcohol and I think that's hereditary too. I mean, I was a blackout drinker at late age 14, and alcohol does that going to be the most , refined form of sugar you can get?
[00:13:35] You know? And so I think that my sugar. Sensitivity and alcohol sensitivity are born from the same place. And so there's a physical aspect to it, but if that were just the case, then I would just, , do away with sugar or do without alcohol, , just sort of eat the, the, the easy, like the non carby foods.
[00:13:54] But the problem is I have a pension for those foods, , and that tends to be more emotional. So, , for me, there's definitely a correlation between our, , you know, we've got the physical setup, but then we have the emotional setup, which is an environment as children, which tends to have trauma.
[00:14:13] Okay. So there's no question. I mean, you can have a happy childhood and still be an emotional eater, but statistically speaking, most emotional leaders have had trauma, either physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional. , physical abuse , and as kids, we don't have a lot of options, , for soothing ourselves.
[00:14:30] I mean, it's the, we can't go down to the red light district and, , have sex or score cocaine, you know, so our heroin, so, so as kids, we have to choose what's available and food is readily available. , for me, it was, food sweets, , masturbation and fantasy. Like as a kid, you don't have a whole lot else.
[00:14:49] You know, and so that's what I turned to, to numb myself, numb my feelings. , and so it is an addictive habit. So when I started so young, you know, and started quelling my emotions, soothing my emotions with food, , it just grows into a monster, ? And so you, you can't. Stop the train, , once you get on it and because you're just so used to numbing, you're so used to numbing and so used to obsessing and it just, as adults, it's just still there.
[00:15:18] And that's why the struggle for people can go on for decades. And I have clients who, , have struggled for decades, literally because when you first realized you need to do something about your weight, if you haven't weight a weight issue, you're like, ah, I'll go on a diet, you know, But no dye will not work.
[00:15:35] I mean, 98% of all diets fail statistically speaking. So, I mean, within a year, statistically speaking, you will gain all the weight back that you lost. So people have to do that time and time again to realize, oh my God, , this is not going to get me where I need to go. I need to do something else. what I try to do, and thanks for having me on the show, because this is how I do it is I try to carry the message that, Hey, let's stop addressing this at the symptom level, let's go deeper.
[00:16:00] Let's deal with those underlying causes. , those deeper wounds. Not that you need. I always say you don't need 20 years of therapy to heal emotional eating. Like I make it really simple by laying out a step-by-step process, you know, for really addressing those feelings. And, and also just for, for dealing with stress, because stress is a big part of it as well.
[00:16:19] Emotional eaters tend to be over doers like Overeaters or overdue wars. And we tend to say yes to everybody and take on more than we should and be stressed out all the time. And of course that, , , increases cortisol and cortisol causes us to be hungry and to store fat, , , instead of burning it so really important that we deal with stuff and create new tools for healthier living.
[00:16:43] So it's really a win-win. I mean, Awesome life because I was fat and had to find a solution and the solution helped me just be better all the way around.
[00:16:52] Jeremy: Yeah, turning your pain into purpose, as they say, , before we get to the steps, I'm curious, , you've described, , at least the symptoms of a traumatic childhood blackout drinking at 14 weight issues at 20 can. And you know, part of this show is sort of, , unveiling the ugly side of, of all of this.
[00:17:07] Can you share a little bit about what the trauma was that you went through? Is, is, am I praying too much? And in going
[00:17:12] Tricia Nelson: No, not at all. I am such an open book. , I had sexual abuse starting at five from about age five to 10 with a family member relative, if you will. and this person was underage. , they themselves. Sexual abuse as well. And, you know, as you probably know, hurt people, hurt people, , when you don't have proper tools to deal with your pain,, often you act out,,, in the same way. , so that's what happens. You know, I try to rationalize and minimize it because it was with a minor as well, an older minor. And yet it doesn't really matter what form it took or , who it was. , or how minimal it was, it's it still messes you up, , it's just a fucked up thing to be sexual at an inappropriate age when you're not developmentally able to handle the feelings, ? So that's what happened. And so, I just, I buried it and didn't tell anybody, of course it's a big secret. So you live with shame. I had shame about my body. I hated my body. I thought I was dirty. I thought it was bad. I thought it was perverted because of course, then I became a like oversexed person and like compulsively masturbated?
[00:18:19] And so I was just really hurting. Any kind of way to deal with it. And food is such a typical,, thing that people turn to when they do have sexual abuse, because if it makes you gain weight,, then, , you can protect yourself or you perceive that you can protect yourself but it's a typical unconscious behavior.
[00:18:41] That makes you think that somehow you're going to be protected, ? So, yeah, so it was a terrible experience. I don't actually regret it because I've dealt with it and it just makes me so much more able to help other people because so many of the people I help have been sexually abused and it's a, it's a unique experience.
[00:19:00] Not the whole lot of people haven't experienced it, but nobody's talking about it. So the fact that I. Stand, , and have sensitivity around that does help me be able to help other people, but I definitely had to deal with it. , so it didn't keep dealing with me.
[00:19:14] Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. Uh, well, so first I'm sorry that you went through all that, that, that is awful for anyone to expose. you, you mentioned, , shame and this is something that's interesting. That's come up a couple of times for us this year, we've talked to a couple of different, , body positivity advocates. And so I'm curious your take on body positivity.
[00:19:31] I mean, w one of the things that , we've heard echoed in those interviews, Is that you can't see health. So if you see somebody who's overweight, they're not necessarily unhealthy. You, you have no way of knowing how healthy that person is. You, don't know their biomarkers, you don't know what's going on with them.
[00:19:43] So how do you walk the line between encouraging someone to lose weight and having body positivity? Where does that line for you?
[00:19:53] Tricia Nelson: Great question is, is a bit of a dilemma. , it's like, you want to be somewhere other than you are, but in order to get there, you have to accept where you are, you know, and love where you are. So, so it is tricky, been down that road and I mean, I can't say I ever, like, as, , a 50 pound overweight person, I loved my body.
[00:20:11] I did not, I didn't like being fat, ? And so I think. Uh, there might be some misconceptions around the body positivity to think that you just have to be okay with where you are and stop there, you know? And in my experience, you don't have to stop there. I mean, there's no question. The pandemic proved us all.
[00:20:32] If you're carrying extra weight, you have more vulnerability, , to having compromises that make you more susceptible to viruses. You know, so, I mean, it's not like we can sit here and talk about how, , how good it is to be overweight. I mean, it's my experiences. I mean, then you have the whole cultural thing.
[00:20:48] I mean, even though one in three people in our country in the us is, , overweight or obese, uh, I mean it's a common experience and yet culturally. So much shame around it still. It's still not. Okay. , and yet it's so common. I mean, I live down your Disneyland, , in LA and they had to shut down.
[00:21:06] , it's a small world, the ride called it's a small world because,
[00:21:09] , back in the fifties, we didn't have as many obese people and they had to shut it down and create all new cars to go through that ride
[00:21:15] because we have an obese nation now. so, it's, it is a tricky thing I personally, and I always like to
[00:21:22] bring up.
[00:21:22] Personal experience. I hated carrying extra weight. I hated it. I hated it. It sucked so bad. And so what drives me everyday to help people with weight loss , and making peace with their bodies. Is my own memory of how alienated I felt, how, , immobilized, I felt in ways. I mean, I was very active and I was young when I S I changed, , my life, but at the same time, , I lived with that shame.
[00:21:52] I lived with, , being bigger than my friends. I lived with the obsession. Food. I mean, I'd go to a place like Denny's or friendlies if you're from the Northeast. And, , my friends would order a sandwich and it would come with fries , and I would do the same and , they'd eat their sandwich and pick up their fries.
[00:22:10] I'd eat my fries and pick up my sandwich and I'd sit there. I'd feel like a Martian I'd sit there and think who could leave a French fry. Plate, like, that's crazy. Like what a waste, you know, you know, so I wasn't the same as my friends,, I had this, this very strange love affair with food. So, you know, I, I, a hundred percent, , teach my clients, try to teach my clients how to accept themselves exactly where they are, , but without the.
[00:22:38] , idea that, I mean, if they've come to me, it's, cause they're not happy with where they are, so you can either accept it a hundred percent and just get okay with it or you can take steps to change it, and so that was me. Like I had to do something about it. I did not want to live that way.
[00:22:55] And I also knew I didn't have to live there. There's a part of me, deep inside of me that knew it didn't have to be that way. And I'll tell you, Jeremy, that I think I, you know, I talked a lot of obese people like every single day, hundreds upon hundreds of obese people.
[00:23:10] And there's a part of somebody, ,
[00:23:13] who's struggled for so long that, , because most of what we have as options are, have to do with diet and exercise and having to do with.
[00:23:21] Symptom, which is virtually impossible. If you don't go deeper, but when you, when everybody, the doctors, the therapist, when everybody, , tends to make it about the food and the weight and gives you a solutions that are symptom focused and it doesn't work because it could never work.
[00:23:38] It's only the symptom, not the problem. , there's a certain amount of defeat that somebody has. Where they're like, , it's never going to work for me. I might as well accept where I am, So there's a residency. There's a difference between acceptance and resignation. And so , when I, when I hear somebody say, , I don't, I don't really care anymore.
[00:23:56] I'm like, that's probably bullshit. You probably care, but you're afraid to hope because your hopes have been dashed so many times. I mean, I've been on the diets, you're like, woo, I'm doing it. I'm going to die. And I'm feeling good going to the gym, looking good pants, getting looser.
[00:24:12] But then after a couple of weeks, it starts to get hard, like really hard. And then you're like, I can't take any more. And there's this, Tension in your gut that starts turning. And then you're like, I cannot last, , I've got to have chocolate or I've got to have ice cream, , and I know that tension, but the thing is, there's a solution to that, and it's not in a diet.
[00:24:36] So I think a lot of people. It's my guess that some people who are trying to just be okay with a weight they're at, , they know that they are, they feel that they don't have any other option because the diets have failed them. So I'm just here to say, yes, you have to accept where you are because where you are is where you are, and you can't hate your way into doing differently.
[00:25:00] . You're not gonna hate yourself into flying. Right. But at the same time, bought a bill of goods. That's not right. , the bill of goods is, , if you work on your weight, , you'll lose weight. And my experience is that the fastest way to gain weight is try to lose weight,
[00:25:16] And so I get people totally off the diet. track I get them. Totally not even trying to lose weight. Because that's a symptom, , overweight is symptom over eating over eatings and symptom of what's eating me. So the weight loss comes, but we do have to get off the off of that. As a focus, we do have to accept ourselves where we are and in doing so we can actually get to a healthier place with our weight.
[00:25:41] And nobody gets to decide what that is except us.
[00:25:44] Jeremy: So your story resonates with me a lot because similar to you, I, I lost nearly 70 pounds and it started from the inside. . Once I started doing the work started, meditating started really digging deep on what was causing the outer issues. I started to see a way forward. I saw a way to a healthier me and so I had threw myself into a different nutrition plan.
[00:26:05] I was exercising every day. I was meditating. I was riding my bike like crazy and so much. Was finding , the sort of spiritual relief that came from all of that activity that just, just kept, you know, one door opened another open another. And so I would love to now get into those solutions with you, those seven steps that you recommend for someone that can have the same experience that we've had , by , helping that, that inner pain to be, , relieved and to see that reflected on the.
[00:26:33] Tricia Nelson: Well, congratulations on your 70 pound weight loss. That is so awesome and doing it the right way.
[00:26:38] So it's so cool. Yeah, I'm sure it feels good. , yes. I mean, stress is a big cause of our problems. And so I do recommend meditation to people. One of my seven steps is called centered. And, , I have something called the six self-care success secrets, and it's meditation, prayer, reading, spiritual literature, writing slash journaling, , talking and walking.
[00:27:05] So those are my, my six self-care secrets. And I do, you know,
[00:27:11] It's four of those a day. , religiously, because what I've found is I need to slow down, , again, stop overdoing, I need to start the day getting connected with, , my, with myself, , and my divine self.
[00:27:27] And so. , I teach people, , to set up a morning routine and my day starts with prayer on my knees. And then, , 20 minutes of meditation. I do transcendental meditation. So 20 minutes of meditation, I walk and I pray while I walk because there's just a rhythm there and I get, I feel connected.
[00:27:46] , I'm not religious, , it's really. Spiritual thing for me. , and I read spiritual literature because it kinda sets my head straight. , if I let my head run wild, it's going to go into dark places, you know? And so I get it started at least, you know, I, at least I hope in the beginning of, , having it set in the right direction, by reading some really positive literature, , something really positive and motivational that helps me remember.
[00:28:10] Oh yeah. I'm part of a greater whole, oh yeah. Like I don't have to do all the work myself. Spirit can do the heavy lifting, like, oh yeah. , I am loved, you know, it's like, I need these messages. Cause I, , and on myself I'm like the total opposite of all that. , so , the getting still in quiet in the morning is vital and I really call it putting money in your spiritual bank account that you can draw on later.
[00:28:34] , if we don't put anything in our bank account, , later in the day, when we're stressed out frustrated, , lonely, whatever dejected. We're going to try to take withdrawals often, nothing, and then we're going to be in debt. So we're gonna instead reach for food, you know, give me that quick hit of coffee or wine, or, you know, food chocolate, , because I'm stressed out.
[00:28:56] And so I, if I can put money in my spiritual bank account, I can make withdrawals, positive withdrawal. Later in the day. So that to me is vital and all my clients are they're meditators now, you know, they're awesome. And , I wouldn't meditate if I didn't have a weight issue,
[00:29:12] and so, I mean, everybody's knows they should meditate. Like, I feel like we live in the day and age that it's no secret. , there's, there's hard science behind it. Like this stuff works. , but nobody gets around. Um, but my experience is when you have a weight issue, which, , my experience is , you don't get cured, , from it.
[00:29:30] I don't know how you feel about it, but, , if I stopped doing the things I do, I stopped living the way I'm living. If I stop putting boundaries on my time and not saying yes to everybody on the planet, because I can't without overeating, I will go back to overeating. So it's a balance and it takes a lot of self care.
[00:29:48] For me to show up in the world as a productive and healthy human being. And so that's what I teach people.
[00:29:54] Jeremy: That's I was going to ask you if it is something that you still battle. I know for me, , no matter how much I know, no matter how much I meditate, no matter how much I run or lift heavy things or whatever, if I'm having a tough day, there are days when I feel like I deserve to be punished with whatever crap is in the pantry and no logic.
[00:30:13] No, no fancy Wu meditation is going to talk to me. Making this bad decision because I, I messed up, I let it get to me, it beat me today. Do you have moments like that where You just feel beaten down by it? And, do you still cave?
[00:30:26] Tricia Nelson: it's been a long time by the grace of God. , but I've put a lot into, I mean, I've been on this journey for 30 plus years, so , I'm kind of a veteran, but I'm not cured still. So what I mean is really, , let me explain something, which I think will be helpful to your listeners my experience.
[00:30:43] When people are trying to trend, like if they like the idea of going and looking at, , the deeper issue, I start people off by taking the pep test and pep is an acronym and P it's a pap is pep and the first piece stands for painkillers. So we use food as a painkiller, , , it just numbs us out.
[00:31:00] That's why we liked the heavier foods. We don't generally binge on salads, you know, because it's too watery and light, you know, give me the donuts, give me the pastries. Give me the. , so we use it as a painkiller and then we use it as an escape that he is escape, , because life can be really overwhelming.
[00:31:18] , and we just want to check out, like, we just want to check out. Um, and the last P is punishment, which I'm glad you brought that up. So we use, and this is. Intuitive, because we think of food as reward, you know, yummy foods, those are reward, but there is part of our psyche as emotional eaters, which is very self negating, very self-hating.
[00:31:38] And so my experience is we're so hard on ourselves., when we make mistakes. And so then we just add insult to injury and beat ourselves up with food. , so food is a reward until you binge and feel it disgusting, you know, and then hate yourself. So there is definitely that mechanism, , that, that internal mechanism that allows us to, , kill pain, escape our problems and beat ourselves up all in the same time.
[00:32:04] And so that's tricky stuff and that does , come from. Deeper, you know, deep in, you know, those old wounds, those old wounds, those old beliefs that we got as kids, and so it can get dark, you know, it can get dark fast. My experience is it just takes a lot of inner work. , and yes, , I guess I seem like a normal eater, but I'm not in the clear in that it could always come back. So it's not like I won't, I won't say, oh yeah, I'm cured or, oh no, Jeremy I'm over that. Like I know it can come back. If I stress. If I have enough stress in my. , so that those are the places I have to go.
[00:32:40] I have to kind of take a look. If I do have cravings,, I have to look at what's really going on and stress is a big part of it. Like I can't take on too much in my life. I can't blow off my meditation, , and these things. , and I also, I will say, , I also have to have community with all the other emotional needs.
[00:32:59] Because that's vital. I can not do these things on my own. My head will talk me out of doing anything healthy for myself. If it's just me, , trying to manage my, my recovery process. Like it, it, my experiences is we have to have community and I do create community for my clients. I don't work one-on-one for the most part, because there's so much.
[00:33:21] Good Juju in, , looking across zoom at other people who have the same struggles. But it's a journey, you know, it takes time to really, be able to have that kind of freedom. So, I mean, it sounds like you're on the right path for sure.
[00:33:35] Jeremy: Working on it, working on it. so just sort of in closing, we've already mentioned some of the strategies that you outlined for the people you work with. Somebody who's hearing. This is just like I'm at the end of my rope. I've tried everything.
[00:33:45] I've I've dieted. I failed the way it's gone up the way it's gone down. What's like two or three things people can do to just to make a really simple start today toward a better, a better path.
[00:33:53] Tricia Nelson: Yeah. So I would say, look at your calendar, , clear some things off,
[00:33:58] give yourself a little time to just be, which I know is terrifying for an emotional eater. It's like, don't make me stop and be with myself. So, but it's a very worthy thing to do. , I would also recommend. All three meal magic, which is eating three meals with nothing in between.
[00:34:13] That's about the only diet advice I give and I don't consider it a diet. I consider it an opportunity to just, , stop eating and start feeling, , start getting acquainted with yourself, you know? Constantly snacking all day. We don't know what a feeling is. So how can we deal with the feeling of, we can't feel the feelings.
[00:34:31] So, you know, the three-mile magic. I mean, I start my clients that way and they're like, oh my God, like, it just changed. It's a game changer. Cause they don't, they didn't realize how much they reach for food. How much food, , is there a support until they limit it to three meals? So T3, , good balanced meals, , for sure.
[00:34:50] , I have a group on Facebook called the secret sauce to end emotional eating. I welcome for anybody to be a part of that. , and I also have a podcast, the heal, your hunger show, , that, can I just talk a lot about, uh, about the underlying causes of emotional eating it's a show for emotional needs.
[00:35:07] And lastly, I would tell people, stop dieting, , just stop it. It's not going to work. The statistics are stacked against you, ? So just, um, definitely start, , realizing food as a teacher, , and it's what it's taught me is to slow down and develop a relationship with myself, , and start, , being a friend to myself.
[00:35:26] And the last thing is reach out for help because, , if you're trying to do it alone, I get it, , It's kind of a humbling thing, especially if you're a man to reach out for help with
[00:35:35] so, uh, it's just, there's no shame in it. You know, we tend to have this idea that, , we should be able to do it on our own, but food is the hardest of all addictions. You have.
[00:35:44] Jeremy: Um,
[00:35:45] Tricia Nelson: You know, you have to eat. So, , stop thinking that it's silly to need support with what you put in your mouth. , food is highly addictive.
[00:35:53] You know, we started as, , younger than most people, , drug addicts start around 12 or 13 to numb out with drugs, but we start at like five or six, you know, to numb out with food. So the cards are stacked against you. There's no shame in reaching out for help.
[00:36:08] Jeremy: All great stuff. Where do we learn more about you? The podcast, the book, and all the things you have to offer.
[00:36:12] Tricia Nelson: Yeah. Uh, the best places heal your hunger.com H a L heal your hunger.com. I also have a quiz on there that's free where you can find out if you're an emotional eater or a food addict or somewhere in between. So just take the quiz and start there.
[00:36:26] Jeremy: Perfect. Thank you so much for your time and your insight on this. A really great conversation.
[00:36:30] Tricia Nelson: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
[00:36:31] Jeremy: Our thanks to Trisha Nelson. She's the host of the heal, your hunger show and author of heal your. Seven simple steps to end emotional eating now. And we're actually going to be appearing on her show in the weeks ahead.
[00:36:45] We will update you on where you can hear that episode, , but really great conversation. and hope that you got as much out of that as we did.
[00:36:51] Zach: I was a little disappointed that I couldn't join that interview. I had a million questions for her, but I was busy eating something somewhere. I'm sure
[00:37:02] Jeremy: COVID.
[00:37:05] Zach: pretzels.
[00:37:06] Jeremy: Uh,
[00:37:07] I think you need to go meditate on how to put down the COVID pretzels and stop snacking on those disease written, uh, chips or whatever they are.
[00:37:14] Zach: So I am looking forward to being on, on her podcast. I have the opportunity to talk to her, but in the meantime, , I'd love to encourage everyone to go and join our Facebook group, the fitness community, where we are having. Open vulnerable conversations about various things, including this month's challenge .
[00:37:31] Uh, again, it's just been a really great place for me to, to air a couple of thoughts and get some feedback and some encouragement. And, um, I think it's been very useful. So please go out, look for us, find it, join us, contribute to the conversation, or just stock everyone in the group. Okay. Either way.
[00:37:49] Jeremy: too. That works too. You can find links to that. And all the other links mentioned on the email@example.com check the show notes for this episode, for links to Trisha Nelson and to the.
[00:37:58] That's going to do it for now. Thanks so much for listening and for subscribing on your favorite podcast player, we will be back next Wednesday with a brand new firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emotional Eating Expert and Author
Tricia Nelson lost fifty pounds by identifying and healing the underlying causes of her emotional eating. Tricia has spent over thirty years researching the hidden causes of the addictive personality. Tricia is an Emotional Eating Expert and author of the #1 bestselling book, Heal Your Hunger, 7 Simple Steps to End Emotional Eating Now. She also certifies health coaches so they can get better results, referrals and revenue by helping their clients overcome emotional eating. Tricia is the host of the popular podcast, The Heal Your Hunger Show. She is well respected speaker and has been featured on numerous media outlets, such as NBC, CBS, KTLA, FOX and Discovery Health.