Do you have a constant nagging voice in your head that makes food the enemy? Why is it important to savor all your meals? How can parents facilitate a healthy relationship to food with their children?
In this podcast episode, I speak with Andrea Montoya about putting an end to emotional eating.
Meet Andrea Montoya
Over the course of 6 years, Andrea earned her Masters in holistic nutrition, competed in fitness competitions, became a health coach, and worked as a personal trainer, hoping one of these avenues would be the solution to what seemed like an endless, vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and binge eating.
However, it wasn’t until Andrea began working on the internal, and learning coping strategies and self-soothing tools for dealing with emotions that she finally achieved the freedom she had been seeking. Freedom from food, body, mind, and self. In addition to earning her body image and self-love coaching certification, Andrea has been working side-by-side with Tony Robbin’s personal trainer, Billy Beck III, which has taught her the science and evidence-based tools behind exercise and the psychology of nutrition.
She now has the privilege of using what she’s learned to coach amazing women through her Ditch the Scale Academy, helping them fully transform their lives at a deeper level by letting go of their past stories and beliefs and stepping into their power, unleashing their ultimate feminine potential.
In This Podcast
- Food is not the enemy: work with the feeling
- “I’m not ready to feel”
- Kids, parents, and relationships to food
- How to not repeat the cycle
Food is not the enemy: work with the feeling
It’s not about food … I always used to blamed food and said ‘oh food is the enemy, I need the willpower and I have to force’ … [but] this isn’t a willpower conversation, it’s about expanding our capacity to feel. (Andrea Montoya)
Most of us have not been taught how to deal with anxiety, stress, and difficult emotions in a healthy way.
When we experience these emotions we struggle to sit in them and deal with them. Instead, we choose to stuff them down and numb the sensation with food because it is an easy protection mechanism.
It’s more about how to we expand our capacity to feel, how do we learn how to feel through these emotions and how to process them … if I can expand it, sit in it and learn from it and [know that] ‘okay these emotions are just my body communicating to me … trying to tell me something.’ (Andrea Montoya)
Feeling overwhelmed, at your limit and anxious are ways in which our bodies communicate to us that we need to make some space and set boundaries.
When we sit with these feelings and do not numb them with food, we are able to truly understand what our bodies and minds are telling us, and we can therefore take meaningful action to make a beneficial change instead of further numbing ourselves with food and compounding the problem.
In this way, these feelings become a gift. They are important messengers that are trying to help us. When we look at them in this way, we can be grateful to hear them and be aware of them because they enable us to make changes and change our lives for the better.
“I’m not ready to feel”
Some people may push back from listening to their emotions because they feel afraid. They do not think they are able to interact with those difficult emotions and therefore they avoid them.
This means that you do not feel safe in your body. Those people who fear working with their emotions do not trust their bodies and minds in times of stress and anxiousness.
The first thing that Andrea does with clients is:
- Talk about becoming present, because we cannot feel and experience something if we are not aware of it.
- Talk about safety.
Safety [is important] because we need to feel safe in our bodies because … we need to understand that our bodies are not going to give us more than we can handle, that we are not going there to get stuck there … emotions should flow through us, [we] process it and then let it go but we usually trap emotions because we stuff them down. (Andrea Montoya)
By cultivating safety in our bodies we are able to deepen our healing by working with past traumas without fearing our reactions, and we can more easily work with everyday stresses and anxieties.
We can therefore remain safe, calm, and stable within our bodies even though there is chaos and change around us in the outside world.
Kids, parents, and relationships to food
It is a sensitive topic because children will mimic their parent’s behavior and you may not want to pass on this behavior to your children. The best way not to do that is to lead by example and become the better example for your kids to live by.
- Provide them with a wide variety of healthy, nutritious foods and not cutting off “bad foods”.
- Restriction causes overconsumption: telling your children not to eat specific foods will inevitably cause them to crave them more.
- Be aware of and enjoy eating by being conscious: share meals as a family without distractions like the TV or the iPad and teach your children to follow their hunger cues. When we eat and are aware, we can savor the tastes, we feel fuller, we can experience the food and become aware of when we are satisfied.
By being aware of what we eat, how it tastes, and how it makes us feel can already make a huge difference in minimizing over-eating and emotional eating because we are savoring our food and can therefore experience how it makes our bodies feel.
One thing that I always make sure that they do is that they see me eat right and make healthy choices, but they also see me enjoy ice-cream, not because we’re necessarily celebrating or because it’s been a long day, it’s just like ‘no, this is okay, who wants ice-cream tonight?’ because we live a balanced life. (Melissa Vogel)
How to not repeat the cycle
Work on your belief systems and process your emotions. It is easier said than done and it is not a sexy one-step-fix-all, but it is the truth. Once we are able to fully process our emotions and self-regulate without relying on food as a numbing agent we are able to release ourselves from this broken pattern.
You can break the pattern in different ways, by:
- Going for a walk
- Swapping chips for popcorn
Or you can not only break the pattern but solve the problem, by:
- Sitting in our emotions and feeling what it is our body and mind is trying to tell us. What do you really need? It is not food, what do you really need?
- My Patterns Made Me Do it, Behavioral Change with Adele Spraggon | BM 60
- BTBFM FREE EMAIL COURSE
- Sign up for Busy to Bomb Fit Mom
- Connect with Melissa on Facebook and Instagram
- Email Melissa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Melissa Vogel
Melissa Vogel is an energetic keynote speaker, business owner, certified personal trainer, certified group fitness instructor, 1st degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, a mother of three, and a podcaster.
Melissa has been voted as the Best Personal Trainer for 2020 by Inland Empire Magazine, and Built the Busy to Bomb Fit Mom exercise system.
She is quickly becoming recognized for her expertise and influence in her field!
Melissa has contributed to numerous publications and has been featured in the Trail Blazer Magazine, and published in the April 2020 edition of Health Magazine. Her approach incorporates personal experience, energy, humor, and charisma.
Thanks for listening!
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