Podcast Episode 17 Transcript – Overcoming Binge Eating

The Ideal Nutrition Podcast

Leah

00:00:07 – 00:00:10

Welcome to episode 17 of the Ideal Nutrition podcast. I am one of your hosts, Leah Higl, and I am here with my co-host, Aidan Muir, and today we’re going to be talking about binge eating or specifically binge eating disorder. Um, so I think I’m gonna kick it over to Aidan immediately. Um, do you work with many people with binge eating? 

Aidan

00:00:29 – 00:01:11

Yes. So, I actually work with a surprising amount of people, I work with quite a few, it’s not- like I’d say 10% to 20% of my clients. But obviously, because of the sheer number of clients like that- that is still a decent amount, and it’s something that I avoided for a long time. Um, I originally did start my business in 2016 and then I worked for somebody else. And the tricky thing about working for somebody else is you can’t avoid stuff. Like if somebody wants to give your business money- like if it’s my own business, I can say no. But if it’s somebody else’s business, I have to say yes. So, I did have a few years working for somebody else where I had to see people in that position, even when I was trying to avoid it. 

Aidan

00:01:11 – 00:01:47

And obviously like I like helping people so, I’m going to try and learn about it, and then coming back to my own business. About two years ago, I’d been trying to refer out all these people who have BED who are coming to see me and somebody slipped through the cracks and just booked in to see me, and they said a line to me that just like shook me, and the line was basically like that, I don’t want to go through this situation but like I was the only person that they were going to see, and they weren’t going to see any of the dietitians or anything like that, and they were pretty bad binge eater, and they basically said to me, you’re my guy, I trust you to solve this. 

Aidan

00:01:47 – 00:02:12

You’re the only person I’m going to see, and we’re gonna work on this together. So, I’ve been seeing people for a while. But like in those previous jobs and stuff like that, I actually moved around a lot, like every six months I’d move locations or whatever like that. So, I never really felt connected to somebody’s life, like I was always trying to help people, but I never had that personal responsibility of being like, if I don’t solve this problem, they’re never going to solve this or anything like that. And when this guy said that to me, 

Aidan 

00:02:12 – 00:02:36

I’m like, big shoes to fill the shoes, I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get good ideally at helping people with this. So, I won’t go down that rabbit hole because I took courses and everything like that. And then it’s just grown from there and, like, I don’t think my Instagram or anything like that attracts binge eaters. But like there’s people in the fitness community who obviously binge eat, and I get a lot of people through that. Do you see a lot of people with binge eating? 

Leah

00:02:36 – 00:02:51

I have to say, I don’t see- definitely not as many as you. It comes- comes across my desk occasionally, but yeah, I don’t see it as often as I would see other forms of disordered eating to be honest.

Aidan

00:02:51 – 00:03:34

Yeah, and- I don’t know. I find it really interesting that like after looking into it a lot, it’s a challenging problem basically. And because I have always had a good relationship with food, I find things that are different to me interesting- like I find it- I find it very interesting. I find it an interesting problem and because I kind of like working with people in that space now. And I’m also a bit of a believer, whether I’m right or wrong, but in the disordered eating space, I think, one: people in that space, as in if they’ve got conditions, they probably benefit from being surrounded by people who have overcome it. But I also feel like they need people separate from it as well, 

Aidan

00:03:35 – 00:03:42

Because in some cases, people have overcome it might share bad quality, so to speak. I don’t think I’m wording that quite well. 

Leah

00:03:42 – 00:03:51

I think I get what you mean. Not everyone, I guess, goes about it in the healthiest way to overcome disordered eating. So, it may not be the best person to talk to. Is that what you mean?

Aidan

00:03:51 – 00:04:22

To a certain degree, yeah, yeah, and I think it’s good to have like both, and like just because I got that degree of separation sometimes, I think it’s useful but yeah. What we want to clarify as well- we always say we’re not sticklers of definitions, well I’m definitely not, but when it comes to binge eating, I actually am a little bit- like to the point that it is probably annoying my clients and stuff like that. But the definition of binge eating is eating a larger than normal amount of food over a short period of time, while also feeling that eating behaviour is out of control. 

Aidan

00:04:23 – 00:04:51

That’s the starting point. That’s really important, because that’s separate from overeating, particularly when we go into the next category. That’s like binge eating involves three or more of the following: feeling uncomfortably full, eating excessively, quickly, eating when not hungry, feeling guilty, disgusting, or sad, eating alone due to embarrassment. So, it’s gonna involve three of those five kind- of criteria. Do you get people telling you- using the word binge when they haven’t been, just like regular overeating or anything? 

Leah

00:04:51 – 00:05:13

All the time. So, I think the biggest one is like when people really like dessert, or they feel they can’t get away from dessert. Like oh yeah, I had a few Tim-Tams after dinner last night. I just really binged on them, like that’s technically not bingeing. Maybe you eat past the feeling of satiety. Um, but yeah, I think it’s really important to separate overeating from binge eating. 

Leah

00:05:13 – 00:05:50

100%. And like I like that- that’s where I get that bit annoying because I’m- like I really separate those two things because I do not like the terminology being used inappropriately, like if it is just regular overeating or whatever and that’s normal quote unquote. It is separate from binge eating and partly- actually in that previous job, I got drilled by my employer because I use the word bingeing in regards to something like that, because the client uses the word bingeing. And then he’s like, you do realise that people, when they binge, they can eat like 5000 calories in one sitting. Like that’s not abnormal for a binge. What you’re talking about is just kind of overeating. 

Leah

00:05:50 – 00:05:52

Which everybody does occasionally. 

Aidan

00:05:52 – 00:06:14

Exactly, exactly and then when we’re talking about binge eating disorder, the criteria for that, which I care a little bit less about, but like the criteria is it needs to occur at least once per week for at least three months. The reason I care a little bit less about that definition- I’m not a stickler for that one is because it’s like, what if somebody binges once every 10 days? That’s still an issue. We still want to like-

Leah

00:06:17 – 00:06:18

It’s very arbitrary where they are cutting it off.

Aidan

00:06:18 – 00:06:31

Yeah, so it’s like- and like yeah, so like- I feel like we can still do better. We can still address that. All those kind of things. I don’t really care about the definition of binge eating disorder, but like that’s the definition that we’re kind of working with when we’re talking about this stuff. 

Leah

00:06:32 – 00:07:23

Yeah, and moving onto things that make binge eating worse. So, I think this is a good place for us to kind of move to, because focusing on these things is really going to move the needle when it comes to someone who does binge eat frequently. Um, so number one is typically always going to be a restriction. Whenever we see binge eating, there’s typically some kind of restriction; whether that’s caloric restriction, whether it’s a restriction of specific kinds of foods. Um, there’s some kind of restriction there. It could be even tracking calories and macros, to a certain extent, that could lead to some issue with binge eating. Um, so restriction is not going to be always the main cause, or the only cause, but it’s typically always a piece to that larger binge eating puzzle. 

Leah

00:07:23 – 00:07:47

Secondary to that is going to be going long periods of time without eating. So, someone who does binge eat, if they also skipped breakfast and then eat something at lunch time and then nothing until, you know, midnight, that infrequency in regards to eating is likely going to make that binge eating worse. 

Aidan

00:07:48 – 00:08:15

And from a practical perspective, working with people who’ve binge eats, one of the things you touched on is like those things, they’re not the cause of binge eating. If I was to go- if I was to do what you just said and go that long without eating, there’s still zero chance I’d binge. There’s still zero chance of it because I’m not prone to binge eating. There’s more- more to it, obviously, but if you get somebody to note down because I know- I know you like journaling, you get people to journal.

Leah

00:08:15 – 00:08:16

I get people to journal. 

Aidan

00:08:16 – 00:08:54

Yeah, if you- if somebody is journaling what went on in the lead up to their binges, almost every time from what I’ve seen, they’ve gone more than four hours without eating before the binge. It’s not the cause, but it does massively contribute. And I think of it in terms of like what I call underlying stuff, because we’re gonna talk about psychological stuff later, but it’s kind of like you can do it. There’s a few easy wins in all the cases, like if you have a kind of- which I’ll talk about- actually talk about it now. Like if you have this thing where you avoid going more than four hours without eating all the time, as part of your kind of treatment strategy, it can dramatically reduce the likelihood of binge eating.  

Aidan

00:08:54 – 00:09:42

It could take somebody who’s bingeing most days down to very rarely, just that change alone. It doesn’t solve underlying stuff, like it doesn’t solve the other things that are contributing to that, but it could help prevent the binges or reduce the frequency or everything like that. Um, another kind of thing I want to touch on with that whole like things that often make bingeing worse and stuff like that, is putting food on a pedestal and stuff like that. Or in terms of- what you touch on with restriction, where it’s kind of like people are typically only going to binge on foods that they view as unhealthy or that they view as detrimental to their goals or anything like that, because almost everybody who binges is striving to get leaner. It’s- I’m yet to meet somebody who binge eats who’s like- 

Leah

00:09:42 – 00:09:43

Who’s not trying to lose weight. 

Aidan

00:09:43 – 00:10:21

Is not trying to lose weight. I’m yet- I’m not saying they don’t exist because they can’t exist. But like every- it’s hard to find somebody who’s stoked with their body and, like, really happy and content and everything like that who also binge eats. So, it’s like part of the kind of pathology or whatever is this kind of restriction. And there’s a saying that I’ve heard that I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s like nobody binges on broccoli, like nobody binges on like vegetables, and like I know there’s a taste difference, but it’s like- it’s also like down to- like they also have to view it as counterproductive to their goals as well. Call it self-sabotage. I’m not sure if that’s the right way of viewing it, but it’s often like 

Aidan

00:10:21 – 00:10:28

It is these things that are put on a pedestal that are bad or whatever that they’re trying to avoid. 

Leah

00:10:28 – 00:10:48

Common binge foods are definitely going to be things like chips, ice cream, and chocolate. They’re the three biggest ones that I would see in practise. Um, so yeah, I definitely haven’t seen someone that’s like, oh yeah, I binged on a salad. It’s just- I mean, like you said, probably does exist somewhere. It’s just not that common.

Aidan

00:10:48 – 00:11:31

Like the example I was- when we were talking earlier, I talked about diet soft drink and the reason I’m saying like this one can exist somewhere, but I haven’t met somebody who was like, oh no, I had heaps of diet soft drink. But like I have a lot of people who’ve binged on like one litre plus of soft drink, regular full strength soft drink, or full sugar while they’re bingeing on other stuff. And like it seems rare for them to actually choose the zero sugar one because they don’t view that as something that’s gonna be fattening so to speak or whatever. Um, leading into steps you can take to overcome it from a nutrition standpoint, and we know that nutrition is not the only thing, but some kind of things that I think are relevant is one: prioritising it. 

Aidan

00:11:31 – 00:11:57

That is a starting point. Something that we spoke about is that people who binge typically are looking to get lean, or they’re typically looking to lose weight. One of the biggest ways to prioritise this is to actually not try to lose weight during the process, to just aim for roughly maintenance. Whether that’s intentional maintenance, whether that’s intuitive eating wherever, that’s whatever it is. But you can’t be striving for weight loss at the same time. 

Leah

00:11:57 – 00:12:21

That could be a really hard thing for people to do. If you’re binge eating, there are obviously underlying reasons to that. Usually, body dissatisfaction is a big part, um, so buying into the process of not wanting to or not trying to lose weight, it’s difficult. So, let’s bring that back to you, like how do you go about convincing people to partake in that process? 

Aidan

00:12:21 – 00:12:40

That’s actually- that’s an exciting question to me, because I care about that a lot and I care about- my approach is, I call it The Tick This Box First philosophy, and basically, it’s something that- like I actually relate a lot of this to like injury management and stuff like that in relation to like how I view my knee injury and stuff like that. Like it sounds weird to talk about it like that. 

Aidan

00:12:41 – 00:13:07

But it’s like my knee rehab would have gone so much better if I had this Tick This Box kind of thing. Being like you are not allowed to return to basketball until you can tick this box, which is like the equivalent of playing multiple basketball games without pain, something like that, or like ticking this box like- for example, ACL rehabs. They have to meet a lot of criteria before they were allowed to return to sport in a lot of cases because it’s taken so seriously. I view that with binge eating as well because most people who binge eat want to lose weight as well as we said. 

Aidan

00:13:08 – 00:13:37

Binge eating is also counterproductive to weight loss. Like if you look back and you’re like bingeing every week or more frequently, or maybe even less regular, it doesn’t really matter, for the last six months or three months or whatever. You’re not going to lose weight anyway, like you’re probably not going to lose weight anyway. And even if you did, it’s in an incredibly unhealthy way because the way the calories are laid out is a lot of it is going to be coming from quote unquote junk food or whatever. So, it’s like it’s very counterproductive. So anyway, if that’s what you want to do, 

Aidan

00:13:37 – 00:13:53

Tick This Box first of going binge-free for three months is my number. That’s an arbitrary number that I have chosen, and I will change it for individuals or whatever. But you’ve got to tick that box first before we can even think about going to a deficit. That’s part of how I sell it, and like if I’m being fully transparent, 

Aidan

00:13:56 – 00:14:28

Like some people think of that and they’re like, okay well if I stop bingeing, I’m going to lose weight. Like they think about that as if it’s that simple. The research actually doesn’t show that, the research actually shows on average when people stop bingeing, their weight remains the same. But there’s a lot of factors that go into that being like all the steps involved in this have to take you away from restriction and everything like that. And then that weight remaining the same is not measured super far down the line or anything like that. But it’s not as simple as you stop bingeing, and you lose weight. But like that’s how I kind of sell it. I don’t talk about in terms of weight loss. I’m like, you gotta Tick This Box First, if that’s what you care about and you’re working towards that, 

Aidan

00:14:29 – 00:14:34

I want you to work towards this first. I want you to work towards not bingeing for three months. That’s the first priority. 

Leah

00:14:34 – 00:15:13

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, and I think that’s- it’s definitely the best way to go about it. The way I try to explain to some of my clients is that basically we’re taking the calories that you would usually use in a binge, and we’re spreading it throughout the day and focusing on fuelling your body well, um not restricting and just being healthy and living in an optimal way whilst also focusing on a few other things from a psychological perspective. But yeah, you’re just spreading those calories out, and you’re usually putting them towards things that are actually going to make you feel good. So, it does make sense why your weight would be somewhat maintained. 

Aidan

00:15:13 – 00:15:24

Yeah, and I don’t know if healthy sells it to people. But like I do know that like spreading it out, being like it comes out the same anyway, that makes a lot of sense. 

Leah

00:15:24 – 00:15:42

It’s less healthy and more like feeling better because in my experience a lot of people who do binge eat when they’re restricting, they feel tired, crap. So, not only do they feel bad when they are bingeing and post binge, but they’re also feeling bad when they’re restricted. 

Aidan

00:15:42 – 00:16:21

Yeah, it’s a vicious cycle. So, other stuff one that touched on is like eating three- eating every four hours max. while awake or aiming for 5 to 6 eating occasions across the day. Even if they’re just- one of those is like a small snack or something like that, or more than one could be a small snack. Um, other stuff is obviously in the pursuit of maintaining weight or whatever. You’ve got to focus on eating enough calories. Also not restricting any individual macro nutrient in terms of like not striving for low carb, not striving for really low fat or anything like that, like trying for a bit more balance seems to really help with this as well. And another kind of final strategy from nutrition perspective that I used with clients is, 

Aidan

00:16:22 – 00:16:33

Creating a hierarchy of trigger foods. So, we kind of talked about how there’s these foods on a pedestal. Um, those ones that you mentioned, you say chips, chocolate, and like pastries, or cookies, or- 

Leah

00:16:33 – 00:16:43

I feel like it’s chips, chocolate, and ice cream. I’ve read that in research is being like the top- don’t quote me, but maybe out of the top foods that are binged. 

Aidan

00:16:43 – 00:17:14

Exactly. Yeah, and the only other one that I really see commonly is like bread or wraps. Or like I see that a little bit less commonly, but it is in there. So, like creating a bit of a hierarchy of being like, well, what is this- what is this individual’s or this person binges, what is their most feared in terms of like, I can’t open that package without it turning into a binge kind of scenario, and then working down a little bit to get lower down the list and then, like maybe the third or four food on the list. Or maybe depending on how long the list is, like we work from the bottom up, we reintroduce those trigger foods in a safe environment, 

Aidan

00:17:14 – 00:17:51

And this is a tip I actually got from a course, and I do use this for clients, and it’s actually worked really, really well where it’s like you have a small such moderate serve of that food and then leave the house and go for a walk with your partner, family, friend, someone else. Obviously, for this to work like somebody else in your life has to know that this is an issue. So, like that- that’s- that’s a steppingstone that can be hard for some people and like it only really works. But funnily enough, pretty much everybody I’ve worked in this space, the people in their life like they have spoken about it and everything like that. I don’t know, I just lucked into that, but like, that’s how it’s been for me.  

Aidan

00:17:51 – 00:18:26

Um, and going for that walk therefore means zero chance of bingeing because one, you’re with other people. Typically, people do binge alone, not everybody, but a lot of people who binge, they won’t do it in front of people. And you’re building a positive experience of that food. You’re having an experience which is good, which- it’s probably been ages since that has happened. Um, and it’s in a very low stress kind of environment. There’s zero chance of returning to binge because you’re not even in the same room as the food anymore. Um, something I’ve used really, really well that you can slowly introduce stuff. And the only caveat or caution I have of that is don’t try and be too aggressive with the reintroduction process. 

Aidan

00:18:26 – 00:18:48

Don’t try and test a new food every single day or anything like that. Don’t rush the process. Have one food. Wait a couple of days. Do it again. Wait a couple of days to do it again. Don’t rush it, and it seems to work pretty well. It’s not the only thing, but it is one way that you can start reintroducing foods. And as we said, restriction is part of the issue. We have to unravel that some way. This seems to be one of the approaches that’s worked well.

Leah

00:18:48 – 00:19:00

Do you ever find- obviously you work from the lower things on that list? Do you ever find people get to a certain point where they are really scared to approach a certain food in that way? 

Aidan

00:19:00 – 00:19:24

Yeah. Um, this- I don’t know. I’m happy changing my opinion on this in the next few years. But right now, something that I find really interesting is that do we need to get to the point that there are zero trigger foods ever? What is a normal relationship with food? Like this is gonna be a bad example, but I’m gonna use a personal example. There’s almost no foods that I overeat as in, like, unintentionally. There is one food. 

Leah

00:19:24 – 00:19:25

That’s so- oh there is one? Tell me about it. 

Aidan

00:19:25 – 00:20:02

There’s one yeah. So, you know, those Woolworths cookies, like the ones they make. Yeah, like those- I’ve opened a package and I’ve had one, and I’m like, well now the package is open, and I don’t want them to go stale. Like there’s been like a few times where I’ve gone and I’ve had the whole five or whatever, and it’s like, well, that’s not bingeing but like- but it’s like that’s one package that if I open, I always have more than I want. And now I actually- I just don’t get those anymore because it’s happened every time I’ve done it. Does it affect my quality of life? Does it affect my quality of life when I don’t have those? It’s a bit of a weird trade, but like outside of that, it doesn’t affect me at all. 

Leah

00:20:02 – 00:20:04

That makes complete sense.

Aidan

00:20:04 – 00:20:34

And I’ve prefaced this entire thing by being like I have a great relationship with food. If I have a food like that, do we need to get to the point that somebody who is so far the other in the spectrum needs to never have any foods that they can’t open a package without taking it too far? As I said, I can change my opinion on this. And one of the caveats on that as well is- it’s like- it depends on what the food is. If it’s chocolate, like chocolate is so in our everyday life, it’s like you can’t have that be the food, like in my opinion. But if it’s like one small thing-

Leah

00:20:34 – 00:20:35

Something very specific. 

Aidan

00:20:35 – 00:20:46

If it’s something very specific, then yes. So, that’s a bit of a weird example. I’m like- I don’t think we need to be perfect with every single thing. Of course, that could be one rare exception that has talked about. 

Leah

00:20:46 – 00:21:05

Because I guess everyone has that food that they know that they’ll probably overeat on, so they tend to not keep it in the house. That’s really normal, and I wouldn’t see that as disordered eating. The fact I can’t have Biscoff spread in my cupboard all the time because I’ll overshoot my calories by eating it out of the jar doesn’t mean I have an issue with food. So, I think that’s a great point. 

Aidan

00:21:05 – 00:21:13

Yeah, yeah, maybe there can be one or two foods that you don’t need to trial because there’s that kind of fear. But those are my thoughts.  

Leah

00:21:14 – 00:21:51

All right. So, moving on to kind of the final part of this discussion. Now that we’ve talked about ways that you can manage bingeing through nutrition or food related things, psychology is a huge part of when we’re talking about any kind of disordered eating. So, a few things that I would always suggest as part of binge eating management, um, would be, firstly, seeing a psychologist in conjunction with seeing a dietician or working on things from a diet perspective, even if you’re not working with the dietician, I’d still say seeing a psychologist is number one on your list if you have any kind of disordered eating. 

Aidan

00:21:51 – 00:22:28

It’s really non-negotiable. Like that was the biggest thing I took away from those courses and stuff like that because I always read it being like, oh, you should see- like no, like you really should. It’s part of the treatment, and the big other takeaway is that, like all the approaches- like the gold standard approaches are somewhere between 20 sessions and 40 sessions. It’s not like you just see a psychologist a couple of times. It’s a big process. It’s like you go- you gotta go regularly, and we’re lucky in Australia. We actually get eating disorder care plans that you go see a psychologist with like 40 sessions per year. Um, that doesn’t mean it’s free to the best of my knowledge, you get a rebate. It could be free, but like it depends on if they bulk bill or not. 

Aidan

00:22:28 – 00:22:51

But like that’s why there’s 40 sessions for eating disorders because that’s kind of what it takes. It’s like if you don’t nail it with a psychologist in your first trial or whatever, like it doesn’t seem to help the first try, the best advice I think I can give is not giving up, just try a new psychologist. Maybe you didn’t click with that one. It’s so non-negotiable, it’s like you need to try multiple basically. 

Leah

00:22:51 – 00:23:38

And buying into the fact that is a long process. Like if you’re seeing a psychologist for 40 sessions, even if you’re seeing them fortnightly, that’s a long time you’re seeing a psychologist, and things will likely slowly improve over that time. But it’s probably going to be quite a number of sessions before you see even any improvement in your relationship with food. Um, but yeah, 100% for me a non-negotiable from that regard. Um, another piece of advice we would give is to- if you feel a binge coming on, it can be helpful to just wait a few minutes before you kind of go through with the binge, to just sit in that moment and that feeling of discomfort with your need or want to binge. 

Aidan

00:23:38 – 00:24:04

Because what if the bingeing is a way to avoid experiencing and dealing with emotions? Like I’m a pretty emotionless guy, but like that tip has been the biggest piece of advice that I’ve found helpful for a lot of people. The goal of that tip is not to use it to prevent the binge. You don’t put that kind of pressure on it or anything like that. You just think about in terms of being like two minutes we’re just going to experience it. You just feel the emotions.

Leah

00:24:04 – 00:24:33

Having self-awareness about what you’re doing and why you’re doing certain things can go a long way. It’s not going to solve everything immediately obviously, um like you said, it’s not going to necessarily stop a binge from happening. But being very aware of potential triggers for that binge. Exactly how you’re feeling. Potential things you’re avoiding, um can be a really integral part of the process of overcoming binge eating. Um, so it is a piece of advice I do give as well.

Aidan

00:24:33 – 00:24:39

For sure, because even if it turns into a binge after that, you’ve still got the benefit from feeling the emotions. 

Leah

00:24:39 – 00:24:52

And this is where I do actually get people to journal prior to a binge. Just journaling how you’re feeling. Like it could just be completely incoherent. Um, but if you’re journaling and really sitting in that discomfort, it can be- it can be good. 

Aidan

00:24:52 – 00:25:04

Yeah, super interesting. Yeah, because I actually don’t get people to journal. But it’s one of the most common themes that I’ve seen is like an actually really good recommendation. I just don’t get people to do it, it’s not my thing, but it is really beneficial. 

Leah

00:25:05 – 00:25:56

Yeah, um, and in conjunction with that, I did briefly talk about body dissatisfaction previously, um, but usually for a lot of people, having some kind of issues with their body image is going to be part of a binge eating disorder because, I mean, usually it does kind of tie in with the fact they’re trying to lose weight a lot of the time, dissatisfied with their body, leading to binge. They’re in this like cycle of going through this again and again. So, you really can’t overcome this without working on that body image stuff. So, what I always find helpful is not necessarily taking it from the approach of like self-love, everyone’s body is beautiful, and I agree, like that stuff is awesome. But I don’t think it’s realistic to have positive thoughts about yourself all the time. 

Leah

00:25:56 – 00:26:08

But what can be helpful is just a bit of body neutrality. Just trying not to connect how you look with your worth as a person, and just trying to disconnect from that emotionally can be helpful. 

Aidan

00:26:08 – 00:26:43

Yeah, I agree with everything you said there. It’s once again such an interesting topic for me because one of the things that I’ve noticed with a lot of people who binge eat is their self-talk, and how they talk about their body. They use a lot of words that I wouldn’t be comfortable using in terms of how they describe themselves, like I don’t want to say them, but like they will call- like I’ve had guys- like I’m pretty lean right now and there’s guys who are leaner than me who binge eat who I’ve seen, who call themselves fat pieces of etcetera like- and I’m like- I just- yeah, it’s insane. 

Aidan

00:26:43 – 00:27:10

And I don’t want to be somebody who’s like, oh well, how you look has nothing to do with how you feel about how you look because that- once again, that’s unrealistic. Like that’s not fair but like seeing people who were that lean still having these feelings because they’re like, oh I don’t have shredded abs like I need to be lean. Um, it shows that- like that’s probably going to be present for a lot of people. Um, it’s just a very interesting space. And as you said, body neutrality is very, very going to help with this. 

Leah

00:27:10 – 00:27:58

Yeah, and that’s the, I guess, approach I try to take as opposed to love yourself, because that’s so hard, like no one’s- everyone’s going to have issues with their body. You could be at any end of the spectrum in regards to how you look physically, and then traditional beauty standards. Um, but yeah. Taking a bit of a neutral approach to that is going to be beneficial. Um, and for a lot of the people that I work with- where was I going with that? Yes, exactly, for a lot of the people I work with, I do like to recommend them really taking a look at their social media. So, in- obviously, in this day and age we have Instagram and TikTok, we get a lot of our body image- 

Leah

00:27:58 – 00:28:06

I personally feel like we get a lot of our body image issues from what we see online. Yeah. Look, I haven’t dived into the research around that. 

Aidan

00:28:06 – 00:28:07

It’s actually pretty strong. 

Leah

00:28:07 – 00:28:08

I feel that it would be strong. 

Aidan

00:28:08 – 00:28:12

Higher social media usage is very strongly linked with eating disorders. 

Leah

00:28:13 – 00:28:45

Yeah, so you know, if you’re following a lot of- what I see often are people following a lot of like bikini prep competitors, um, and people that have had a lot of surgical enhancements. You know, sometimes you need to go through Instagram and look at who you’re following and just get rid of all those people that are contributing to you and how you feel negatively about your body. Um, and that can make a huge difference. It sounds so basic. It’s like, oh social media, you know, it affects us. Um, but it’s true. 

Aidan

00:28:45 – 00:29:08

Like the research really shows that it actually does play a massive role. Um, we are almost out of time, so we’ll have to wrap things up there. So, hopefully some people have gotten some value out of this. Hopefully, it does help a few people, and even if you are not in this space, hopefully you found it interesting. Thank you for listening.