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EPISODE OVERVIEW: 

If you or someone you love suffers from eating disorders, bulimia, anorexia, any kind of mental illness on the food and fitness level this is a fantastic episode. This week, we’re going to hear about a young woman who had an idyllic childhood. She had so much going for her. Athletic giftedness, a scholarship to be a prima ballerina at 14, and success at whatever she tried. Instead of a course of wellness and success though, her journey took he on the road of a blackout drunk as a teenager and goes on from there.

In this remarkable episode she talks about how on the outside, everything looked perfect, but inside she had real issues she needed to work on. So in this hour you are not only going to hear how today’s guest overcame bulimia and anorexia, but how we can too! So get your pen and paper ready, and welcome to the Missi Bantner story!

GUEST BIO: 

My name is Missi Bantner. I’m a Master Fitness, Nutrition, & Neuro Therapist. I guide men and women through small group programs to heal their relationship with themselves by healing their relationship with food and fitness. Every one of us knows how to care for ourselves, but we’ve lost touch with the basic skills of listening to and understanding our body’s needs for nourishment, movement, sleep, intellectual stimulation, connection, solitude and much more. This disconnect has impacted every area of our lives and all of our relationships. As a result we are more stressed, depressed and sicker than ever. My aim is to teach people how to become the expert of their own life, how to regain and optimize their health and how to meet their own needs for nourishment on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual so they can be the magnificent human they are called to be.

 

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  • Website: https://www.livewholelifehealth.com/
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Guest Special Offer(s):

  • Yes. Free Goal Getters Guide – The #1 Reason You’re NOT Achieving Your Health & Fitness Goals. Offers a guide to the top reason and gives them the opportunity to play with some powerful tools for setting and achieving their goals. https://wholelifehealth.kartra.com/page/GoalGetterOptIn

  • Also offering a 1:1 Discovery Call to provide clarity and coaching on their greatest issue regarding food, fitness, or self-worth around their body image. https://MyWholeLifeHealthAppointment.as.me/Discovery

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EPISODE CORE THEMES, KEYWORDS, & MENTIONS:

Controlling, rebellious, rebellion, perfectionism, perfectionist, energy, narcissist, Bulimia, binging, purging, anorexia, eating disorders, dance world, wrestling, track and field, inner demons, blackout drunk, drinking, shoplifting, alcoholism, performing, seeking approval, approval seeking behavior, toxic relationships, dealing with rejection, toxic people, fitness, dysmorphia, eating cycles, shame, self doubt, effects of divorce

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While we are very thankful for all of our guests, please understand that we do not necessarily hold, or endorse the same beliefs, views, and positions that they may have. We respectfully agree to disagree in some areas and thank God for the blessing and privilege of free will.


Full Episode Transcript

Missi Bantner | Performing for Approval, Eating Disorders, & Healing Your Relationship with Food and Fitness

If you or someone you love suffers from eating disorders, bulimia, anorexia, any kind of mental illness on the food and fitness level this is a fantastic episode. This week, we’re going to hear about a young woman who had an idyllic childhood. She had so much going for her. Athletic giftedness, a scholarship to be a prima ballerina at 14, and success at whatever she tried. Instead of a course of wellness and success though, her journey took he on the road of a blackout drunk as a teenager and goes on from there. In this remarkable episode she talks about how on the outside, everything looked perfect, but inside she had real issues she needed to work on. So in this hour you are not only going to hear how today’s guest overcame bulimia and anorexia, but how we can too! So get your pen and paper ready, and welcome to the Missi Bantner story!

Copy of EPISODE E99 Missi Bantner Performing for Approval Eating Disorders and healing your relationship with food and fitness: Hey, Missy. How are you today? I’m awesome. How are you? I’m doing fantastic. I’m enjoying the Pensacola weather. How is it out there in Colorado? It’s gorgeous. [00:03:00] It’s just one of those idyllic, Colorado days that summer’s coming and things are blooming. Birds are chirping.

It’s like the best day yes. And for our listeners, we got listeners from around the globe where Missy lives is idyllic and beautiful. And just it’s the stuff you see on TV, right? Yes. So, well, At this time, as I just told our listeners all about you or not all about you, just a piece to get ’em interested.

So we’re gonna go through your life story. We’re gonna start off from your, your birth and your child, your early childhood, because the way that we are raised and the environment good, bad or ugly, that all makes us who we are today. And then we develop over the years. So if you want, we’ll start from your birth, walk chronologically through your life, to where you are today, and then we’ll transition to where are you going?

So hopefully me and our community can help you get there. Sound good? That sounds amazing. Yes. Yeah. All right. That’s it. We born in [00:04:00] India, Africa, Australia, believe it or not right here in Denver, Colorado. Yeah, I’m a native here at Colorado. So born in 1979 and you know, it’s interesting. About eight months after I was born, I had my first sort of initiation into life.

I apparently my mom was changing my diaper and my leg wouldn’t go down without me screaming. And she rushed to the doctor and the doctor said, you need to take her to the hospital. And apparently I had a virus in my blood and it had went in for immediate surgery. So, wow. So the virus was in your blood, but was it setting in the bone or something?

This is one of the mysteries that I have been trying to peel back for, you know, 40 some years. And I have my baby book with all the notes, but there’s no, there’s no clear [00:05:00] indication around that. It’s, it’s actually quite vague and even asking my mom. All she says she can remember is that there was a virus on my blood and if they didn’t do surgery and try to draw it out, that I could have been crippled.

Wow. Well, praise God for the surgery. I’m glad it worked. Exactly. Exactly. So, and then you were how old then? I was about eight months if I re if I re remember in the book correctly, between eight and 10 months, very young, first, you know, first year of life, for sure. All right, so where’s, so yeah. Now were your parents married, divorced?

What was your favorite? My parents were married. I have an older brother, couple years older than me. So yeah, you know, very traditional family growing up evangelical Christian parents raised in that household. And you know, and, and as far as like childhood went, it was optimal. You know, [00:06:00] we lived on property.

We were surrounded by animals and we grew food. And I just remember having a very happy childhood. You know, my, my dad traveled for work, so he was gone a lot, but I have always had a really close bond with him. So I never felt like a lack for anything really. In my younger years, I feel extremely fortunate in that regard.

Yeah. And that’s a blessing and that typically carries over through your life into adulthood, but we all have ups and downs on the way. So you’re in Colorado. You got a big brother, you got a mom and dad. Everything’s fantastic. Traditional, do you go from high school to college, to high school, to career?

Where does your life go at that point? Yeah, you, yeah, so very traditional schooling, right? Was in, you know, in Parker, Colorado growing up small, really small town [00:07:00] growing up, everything was pretty normal all the way through college. You know, I think something that’s worth, worth mentioning is just because of what I do in life.

One of the memories that I have early on, I was in second grade. I remember the very first time that I felt like my body wasn’t okay. Like it, it didn’t match the other girls’ bodies. Mm-hmm and that’s a pretty young age to feel that way. And I remember feeling like was at a sleepover and the, they had these, this tint of cookies and I really never had access to that kind of stuff.

We have a very healthy family. And all the girls, you know, took a cookie and enjoyed it. And I, I took one and it was like, oh my God, this is amazing. And I wanted another one but no one was taking more. And I felt, I felt, I felt that otherness, right. I felt the wrongness of just my innate desire to have [00:08:00] another one, because I was never exposed to them.

And that, that memory is so vivid in me. And I, I think that that started like the trajectory of trying to figure out. How to control myself and how to control myself with food. So started at a really young age and now was most of your family, was your mom and dad and brother pretty active and fit. Was there obesity in the family?

What was your, your home life like there really good question. Yeah, really interesting dynamics. So both of my parents were athletes growing up and were very fit, you know for most of their younger years, my mom stayed really active total health, Nu you know, just a voracious, studier and reader loves to learn.

And I get my love of learning from that from her. And so she’s really took care of herself especially nutritionally and spiritually. And and my dad. I [00:09:00] think he experienced what a lot of like male athletes experience, especially if they’ve played football in college or they have some sort of really rigorous structure.

Is this like exhaustion from it? It’s such an extreme that he went to the other extreme, he stopped moving his body. He, you know, still ate like an athlete, but wasn’t being athletic . Yeah. And and then you add in my mom’s personality was and perfectionism, right. Just strict, perfect controlled decisive.

And then my dad’s personality was a little more rebellious and fun and playful. And I picked up both of those dynamics mm-hmm so I created this like split psyche. Where I had this dictator energy. That was really [00:10:00] when it’s out of alignment, controlling, domineering, demanding, strict perfectionist performance oriented.

And then I had this other really like my muse playful, creative, but when it’s out of balance rebellious, sabotaging , and I think you probably know this, that kids really learn by watching how their parents behave good or bad. Exactly. Yeah. And, and I learned a lot of good from my parents and I learned a lot of bad from my parents.

And so as I grew up, I was a, I was a gymnast and a ballerina and I really excelled at dance. And so that perfectionism, the performance piece started to really come out you know, around, I would say sixth, seventh grade. I was really starting to Excel in, in dance, particularly, and my relationship with my body and my relationship [00:11:00] with food started to get more and more controlling because that’s what that dance world.

Is like, yeah. Dance and gymnastics and guys wrestling. It’s all so controlled and body image centered. And you’re fat if you have like 7% body fat, right. yes. Yeah. Yeah. My mom has, my mom has this horrible memory. It’s funny. I don’t remember it. I maybe blocked it out, but she has a memory of one of the studio owners grabbing my skin on my side and saying, you need to get rid of that.

and it was like skin . Yeah. She was like, oh my gosh. So so yeah, so it’s, you know, it’s interesting, like had a relatively healthy family, but when you kind of pull back the layers underneath the. Both of my parents were doing the best that they could with what they had mm-hmm and then they were both doing the [00:12:00] best that they could with the interplay that each other got from each other.

Right. The, the controlling energy led to some rebellious energy and, and vice versa. So it’s interesting how I watched myself you know, as an, as an older, like I, in my twenties and thirties, I look back and can see, oh, wow. That’s really fascinating that I took on both of those ways of being, and ultimately created like a war within my, myself.

Yeah. And there’s, you know, the saying, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors and you can have people with everything on the outside, but inside their struggle. Yeah. And so you saw your mom and you love her and your dad and you love him. And they both have, like you said, pros and cons, but now you’re trying to reconcile it and, and bring it to a balance.

Yeah. So where does your life go from there? So now you’re a teenager. Were you? Yeah. Were [00:13:00] you now I’m gonna be blunt. I mean, were you struggling with like anorexia? Were you bulimic? Were you, were you taking extreme action to fit that dancer profile? What was going on there? Yeah, it, it, the, my younger age.

So I got to a point in dance where I was offered a pre-professional scholarship. So you need to leave school and you’re gonna go, like, at the age of 15, this is going to be your life. Just prior to that, I had My I, my, I know that I was restricting because my parents used to say, you eat like a bird.

Right. So I know I was really restricting what I was eating. I didn’t like salt. So I used that as an excuse to not eat things, if they had salt on them, which are almost everything I salt. Right. yeah. I wasn’t binging and purging at that point, but I was shown how to so that was one of the, probably more [00:14:00] damaging things that I’ve experienced was one of the prima ballerinas for the the school that I was with, took a couple of us into the bathroom and said, when you’re around the director, you have to eat.

They’re gonna just watch you, but they really don’t want you to, you know, be eating or gaining weight. So just here’s how you throw up. She showed us what to do. Here’s how to make it easier. Here’s how to, you know, it was horrendous experience. And I was maybe 14, 15 at that time. And I dabbled in it a little bit at that age, but it really was so like, it’s just easier to not eat.

So that’s sort of the route that I took initially shortly after that, maybe a year or less later, I got into high school and really wanted to [00:15:00] try something different. I wanted to do track. I wanted to be engaged. I was getting more social and I would, I just felt left out because the dance world, you know, it’s several hours every night.

It’s every weekend. I mean, it’s your whole life. And it’s not friendly, right. Everybody. I know. And it’s not friendly. I’m not trying to be mean if you love me, just everybody I know in dance, some of the women are the sweetest women. I know. But man, the environment that they come out of is just freaking brutal.

It’s brutal. It is. And it’s cutthroat. I mean, everybody’s vying for that top spot or, you know, they’re solo or to partner or whatever it is. And yeah, and it’s brutal. It’s I remember excelling a little bit faster than the group of girls I had sort of grown up dancing with and it, it stressed our friendship, you know, these really great friendships, but because I was excelling, it caused strain between us a jealousy or a inadequacy in them or whatever.

And it, it was a [00:16:00] harsh, you know, I mean, I am the person that I, I love every experience that I’ve had, cuz it’s made me who I am. But yeah, you can go back and say like, wow, that was kind of a brutal sport to be in. You know, yeah, no, no. I just, from my experiences, like I said, some of the, the women I know are so sweet, but then I look at like what their kids are going through are watching it.

And I’m like, wow, man, this is like crazy. So, I mean, I wrestled and you know, you see fighters cutting weight. Yes. But guys kind of have a different mentality. Like you, you joke, you tease, you yell, you insult. But at the end of the day, it’s like, it comes down to like a personal thing. So you’re more demons in your head than on the outside, but, and I could be totally wrong.

But when I watch women. They’re like brutal to hurt. Like if, if a guy’s like, oh, you’re fat, we’re kind of teasing each other to help motivate. Yeah. But I feel like the ladies I saw in [00:17:00] dance were trying to like kill each other. Yeah, yeah. There, and I think that that comes from feeling wounded inside, like, you know, hurting people, hurt people that saying, I think that that’s where that comes from is if I, if I can hurt you, then I have offloaded that pain just for a moment.

You know, the, the misstep is that, that actually hurts you more, right? Yes. It’s more assault against your own self to, to be that way with another person. But in the moment it’s a discharge of energy. That feels like relief. So when you were 14, then you’re in high school, did you decide to just abandon dance, put it really minimal or did you juggle everything?

I completely abandoned it. There was a, a day where I had to make a decision to either quit high school and go dance full time. Or to stay in school. And I remember the director that I was working with said running is like this. And he held his hands up, pointing straight forward, parallel and [00:18:00] dances like this pick one.

And I remember this is a, this is another cool memory that I have. It was one of the first times as a young person. I remember making my own decision. Not because anybody told me to, or I was instructed or it was the right thing, or it was ingrained in me and I chose running and I said, I’m gonna stop dancing.

And everybody was shocked. I mean, it was, you know, not expected. Yeah. And when did you start dancing? I started dancing when I was about four. Yeah. So there’s a lot of people, their parents push ’em into baseball or, or they go into wrestling or they go into football and by the time they’re in high school, they’re burned out.

So yeah, that part of, yeah. So, okay. So now what happens here? You try a new sport. Was it to work to learn or did it come second nature? I’m gonna admit to you it was natural yeah. I, you know, I was naturally fast. I was naturally strong. I started lifting weights. I was a pretty muscular ballerina and that [00:19:00] was probably another reason that I struggled with my weight.

Even though I looked back at pictures and I’m like, wow, I was really lean. Yeah. I had muscular quads and I’ve got naturally muscular shoulders, but I was very lean. And so, yeah, so sprinting jumping, power lifting that those kind of became my world through high school and really, really enjoyed that phase of my life.

I found that during high school, some of those I’m gonna call them like inner demon, some of those nasty voices quieted down because it was acceptable to be strong and big. And I had an older brother who was an incredible athlete, so they would, my, my old name was my maiden name was gamble. So they would call me little gamble.

And that was like, you know, I can see now, like an ego boost. like, you know, I need to be, I need to perform for the family. I need to like, uphold that name. But in the best sense, it, it [00:20:00] pushed me to be the best version of myself, athletically and academically. And I did go through some struggles. In high school, I, I got into drinking and kind of got into that, the popular crowd that was just doing that kind of stuff.

And and between probably, I don’t know, 15 and a half to almost 17. I spent a lot of that time drinking a lot to the point of blacking out. And that’s a young age to be doing that. Yeah. When you and I were growing up that generation, that was very young to be doing that. There was kids that did it, but they were like, even the other teenagers were like, Hey, you gotta, you gotta calm down.

Yeah. But now it’s sadly freaking common. It shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be at all, but yeah. So you were blackout drinking, blackout, drunk drinking. Yeah. Did it escalate to the point where you needed to get [00:21:00] intervention or did you get under control yourself with some friends? How did that work? I will tell you, my parents finally gave me an ultimatum.

They said you need to get new friends starting tomorrow, or we’re gonna send you away. Wow. Okay. So did you get into legal troubles or was it just, they saw you deteriorating? They weren’t gonna watch it. I was really fortunate. There was one incident where the group of girls I was with, we went to a Macy’s and.

They were ripping tags off of stuff and, you know, putting belts around their waist and, you know, stealing right. Just stealing things. And I was at them that shoplifting. Yeah. Shoplift, no sugar, no sugar coating here missing. Right. But I I was, I had like, I guess enough like character in me still, like that’s, I’m not doing that.

But I didn’t have enough character to stop them or walk away. Mm-hmm right. So I was with them and long story short, we [00:22:00] walk out of the store, the guys come out and grab us, take us into the back room, show us footage of ourselves and the shame that I had because I knew better. Yeah. You know, it, it, there was nothing more than that than me reconciling with myself in that moment.

Like I know better. And I wasn’t even afraid of what my parents were gonna say. That was all like me against me at that moment. Yeah. And the, the, the, me, even the girls you were with, they weren’t doing it at a necessity. It wasn’t like food or clothes they needed. This was just for fun. Right. Just for fun.

Yep. And I’m not judging you. I’m just saying a lot of people do it. No. Yeah. But there’s a difference between stealing bread to survive and stealing a belt. Cuz you just want the thrill. Yeah, just the thrill. Exactly. So those, those gals had a pretty hefty I don’t know, sentence on them. I don’t remember exactly what happened to them.

I was banned from Macy’s for a couple of years [00:23:00] but otherwise, you know, for all intents and purposes, I was just a slap on the rest. But that was one of those accumulating moments that my parents were, you know, we need to do something. She’s really, she’s really falling in with a crowd that is, you know, they talk about you are the, the aggregate of the people you spend the most time with.

Yeah, absolutely. Unfortunately at that time I wasn’t being an influencer. I was being influenced. And I was allowing it. And I know, you know, in looking back, I had a lot of pain inside, right? The, the personal insecurities that started in second grade were coming to head. And even like you said earlier on the outside, everything looked great, right?

I was, I was performing in sports. I was performing in school, but that’s the key word I was performing. And I really was looking for approval from all of the things I was doing. Tell me I’m good enough [00:24:00] by, you know, running the fastest time, jumping the highest high jump, getting straight A’s, whatever it may be.

And in the untethered soul, which is one of my favorite books, Michael singer talks about the extreme. And I can see that I was living in such an extreme that like, if you take a pendulum and you pull it 30 degrees to the left, it’s gonna swing 30 degrees to the right. And that was how I was coping with that pressure I was putting on myself.

Right. Is totally escaping life by getting blackout drunk as a teenager. Yeah. And as a dad, man, that’s just so dangerous. I know. I mean anybody, but like thinking about your daughter or a friend getting blackout drunk, it’s just terrifying. It is terrifying. I, I don’t even like to think about it. Yeah. So where do you go from there?

What happens? Yeah. So parents, parents said, you, you need to get new friends or we’re sending you away. [00:25:00] And that was another like initiation. I think of, I think of my life as having a lot of initiations when I initiation, I mean, awakening. Right. A moment of leveling up who you are and how you’re showing up in the world.

And you know, high school is brutal, but I remember going into the lunch room and walking past the table of girls that I had always hung out with and going to a new table of girls, I will never forget them all like slow turn, looking up, like, what are you doing here? And me, like, can I sit with you guys?

And then be like, really , but that’s, I just put myself out there. I, I, in that moment I made the choice. I don’t wanna go away. I don’t wanna throw my life away. Like it was like a thank you for rescuing me. Thank you for putting your foot down. Finally. I don’t wanna be this person. Well, let’s stop there then.

Let’s this is a big thing. There’s people of all ages that listen to this podcast. And if you’re a teenager, [00:26:00] even if you’re an adult, let’s talk about some of the steps you did take to successfully. Migrate to a new friend group, because people feel social pressure, they feel obligation. They feel guilt.

Yeah. What were the things you did? Like you said one, like, what did you tell the old group? Like, Hey, I just can’t hang out with you anymore. What was the transition like? Because people are stuck right now in toxic relationships. So how do we get them out? I wish I could say that I handled it really well, but I was a teenager.

So I know that there was a lot of pain from the group I was leaving because there was, it was just a rejection and I didn’t, I don’t know that I had the words. I didn’t think I had the wisdom to explain why I just didn’t wanna get sent away. Right. It’s only as I get older that I have the, the hindsight

Yeah. Right. And the, the steps [00:27:00] that I took were, I know what I did, which was. I was more afraid to get sent away than to change my life. Right. And to ask people to be my friend mm-hmm and that process of creating new friends. You’re gonna have to do that at any, in a lot of phases of life, right? When you leave high school and go to college, you have to put yourself out there and meet new people.

When you graduate college and you start a new job, or if you move to a new neighborhood or city, there’s always a chance in life to have to put yourself out there to be rejected. Mm-hmm . And fortunately for me, I wasn’t rejected. I was accepted. But I ha, but I didn’t deal with the leaving of the other group as well as I could have later in life.

I learned how to UN knit from UN from toxic people in a much healthier way. But there were some friend, some really close friendships [00:28:00] that. I wish I would have been able to say, I’m really sorry. I’m gonna miss you, but here’s the reasons why I just wasn’t mature enough at that, at that stage of my life, to be able to say that.

Oh, and that’s, and I totally understand that. And I think our audience is too. I was just saying didn’t that you answered the question though. The steps to take, and I like how you said the motivation of not being shipped away. I mean, sometimes that’s fact you just gotta have a motivating purpose and then you get stuff done.

So yeah. Yours was, you didn’t wanna be deported. Right? Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. All right. So where does your life go from there? Missy? What’s the next step? Next chapter. Yeah. So the rest of high school’s fairly easy seamless. You know, I really do quite well. I’m not drinking or getting involved in any of that.

I’m around really great people. I’ve started to establish some girlfriends that I still have to this day. It’s really, really close knit girlfriends. Just [00:29:00] beautiful, genuine loving humans. College, the same deal. College was fairly. Benign, you know, just a great experience. After college though, I, I went to school at CSU in Colorado state university.

Got my bachelor of science health and exercise science. And. Did an internship at the Colorado? Oh my gosh. I just completely went blank. That’s okay. And now did you go the one in, did you go to the university in Boulder or Fort Collins, Fort col. Oh wow. All beautiful places. Fort Collins.

Yeah, I so, okay. Details. I went to California for one semester. I went to CU for a second semester and then I ended up at CSU. So I did hop around a little bit, trying to figure out where I fit, but ultimately landed in Fort Collins and, and it was a great experience. So when I, when I took my internship at [00:30:00] cherry Creek athletic club, it was with the intention of becoming a personal trainer.

And I had really gotten into fitness. I liked how it made my body feel. I was a power lifter and a sprinter, like I mentioned. So it, it kind of just lent itself to that and had a great experience with my mom one year at Christmas, where she asked me to take her to the gym and show her some things.

And I found that I had a natural proclivity for teaching it right. For making it accessible and easy. And, and so that kind of led me to down that path. But interestingly enough, as I, as I became a personal trainer, I found that some of those old, old insecurities about my body and my worthiness started to creep up and I began comparing myself to some of the other trainers.

And did you know, was I lean enough? Was I eating the right things? Did I know enough? And a lot of that stuff started to get kicked up. And [00:31:00] I found once again, like on the surface, you would think, wow, she’s perfect. She’s a great figure. I was extremely successful out of the gate. I built my business really fast.

Really, you know, a talented, I can see it, not like I was a really talented young personal trainer. And one of my girlfriends asked me to do a fitness competition with her. Oh, sure. I know we were, we were the PE girls that did everything together. We ran half marathons. We, you know, we just challenged each other to do these events together.

So I thought, sure, I’ll do this well, the diet and exercise and the fat burners and all of that stuff that leads you to the bikini body. Ultimately woke up that eating disorder in me and day of the competition comes I’m 9% body fat. I’m like as lean as you can [00:32:00] get and miserable. you know, you finally have the body, everybody along the way is telling you, you look great.

Except for my husband at the time, he was like, you look terrible. You’re too skinny. You’re miserable all the time. You know, he saw that he saw what was going on in the background and he was like, you don’t look like a woman anymore. You know, you look like a 13 year old boy. Mm-hmm now what you skipped on the story.

Where did you meet him? And when did you guys get, oh, I’m sorry. No, that’s okay. It’s just like all of a sudden it’s boom husband. So, cause that’s huge when you start, I don’t, again, there’s very few people who cut weight, the right weight, even for competition professionals, that there’s not a point where they, they hyper cut and then they start going goofy in their mind.

I mean, again, that’s the experiences that I’ve seen as in those muscle burners and those fat, I mean, muscle builders and fat burners. Mm-hmm those tweak out your brain sometimes. I mean, I, they, they don’t act naturally. Do you agree or disagree? Totally. I have a, I have a pretty funny story about this. [00:33:00] Okay.

So my husband at the time, he was also a personal trainer. We had become friends, you know, working together and and eventually. College right after college. Okay. Yep. When I was doing my internship, I met him and just a really wonderful guy. We, we had a lot of alignment and a lot of areas and like I said, we were great.

We were great friends, love to hike, love to ski. You know, we just spent a lot of time together as coworkers mm-hmm and you know, and like things normally do when you spend a lot of time with someone you realize, oh, wow. I, I think I like, like this person yeah. Yeah. So we we ended up getting married pretty young.

We were both 23 when we got married. And so it was the same year that we got married, that I did this fitness competition. And the, the, the funny story is he used to make it as breakfast that. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal [00:34:00] and chocolate chips on top. And there was a day probably, I don’t know, a few weeks out from competition.

So I’m full on in training mode, eating mode, you know, all of those things, I’m getting really lean. I’m crying a lot because I’m hungry all the time and , and it messes, it messes with your emotions. It does. I am cleaning our little apartment and I move the coffee table aside and I see one lone chocolate chip and I have a full on hissy fit over whether to eat it or throw it away.

Mm. Yeah, and I it’s, it’s got dust on it. I mean, I’s been there for a little while. You knows. It’s not like, , it just, it’s white, it’s white chocolate now. And it was dark chocolate. right. But that’s, that’s one of those things where I had, I had that moment. I was like, oh my gosh, I am losing my mind. Yeah.

Yeah. So, so the competition happens. I do [00:35:00] great. I third place. But I don’t turn off the, okay, competition’s over now you start going back to a normal life inside. It’s like well, like I said earlier, like all of that old stuff got kicked up and it was all fear. What’s gonna happen if I eat this what’s gonna happen.

If I do that, what’s, you know, I don’t, am I gonna gain weight? Are people gonna start? Am I gonna lose clients? You know, all of that. And so my, I made it my mission to stay lean and. Because it’s I found it extremely impossible to survive on like a thousand calories a day. I started binging. Right. So I would go as long as I could go eating really li like minimally, I would exercise as much as I could.

And then when I couldn’t take it anymore, I would binge. And [00:36:00] unfortunately, because I had a vomit, I was like, well, I know how to deal with this binge. I’ll just get rid of it. And so let me ask you a que two questions on this. Yeah. I, I don’t wanna cut you off. No good. But this is like a really serious thing.

If somebody’s listening to this male or female and don’t understand the depth of this, this is a psychological issue. It’s an emotional issue. It’s a physical issue and it has long term consequences. So my two questions for you is while this is going on, Were you aware of your mental state at that point?

Because you had all the knowledge in the world, you grew up with athletes as parents, you grew up as an athlete, you went to college for this, and now you’re training people. So from my first question, is, were you aware, were you just out of your mind at that? Not outta your mind, but you know what I mean?

You were in a different mental space and two, were you feeling shame and guilt where you’re like, [00:37:00] I’m telling my clients be natural, do it right. And I’m puking in the toilet right now. You know, like where were you at during all this? I was, I was both, I’m gonna say awake and asleep. I was awake and lucid.

And knowing this behavior is absolutely unacceptable. And the, the deceit in this disease is that, and it’s not a disease in this disorder is. You believe you’re only gonna do it that one time and you tell yourself I’m not doing this again. Yep. Because you, you know, I knew this is not healthy. This is not the right way to be.

And to answer your second question. Yeah. I felt like that’s one of my biggest pain points at the time was I felt like a hypocrite. Yeah. Absolute hypocrite. And it, and it, so it drove the shame and then that shame is what keeps driving the behavior. Yeah. And in that world, there’s usually [00:38:00] two extremes.

And again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m fitness is either, I’m all natural. Do everything. Right. Or I’m gonna take any drug. I can get my hands on for performance. Yeah. So you telling your clients, I assume, based on your history, you were saying be natural, be lean, be healthy, you know, and, and then you’re, you’re kind of cheating, I guess.

Totally. Yeah, totally cheating. And yeah, and I think at that point too, I was, I was, I was mixed. It was like, okay, do as much as you can naturally. And if you need to hear these supplements right here are these things you can take and you can try now real supplements or Mexican supplements, real supplements.

real supplements. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Mexican supplements, the illegal stuff. So yes, no real supplements, no drugs, but and I, and I knew enough to not ever put [00:39:00] anybody on a right. Like, even though I did it and I was tempted to keep doing it. I would never put anybody else on it.

Hmm. Right. So, you know, here, here are some natural supplements that can help you where your body’s at and oh, by the way, exercise and sleep and diet and whatever and manage your stress and all those things. And then behind closed doors, I’m pop and fat burners and, you know, doing crazy mathematical equations to figure out how many calories are in what one bite of an apple or whatever, you know, just absolutely manic control over everything.

And then when you, and when did this start, you will always, it will always catch up. You know, we reap what we sew. When did you start seeing the effects, the consequences of these decisions? That’s a really good question.

If I am honest, I think immediately [00:40:00] because. You were in denial, but you knew it like it was that, that oh yeah. Like you cannot trick your deep self, right? Mm-hmm your soul, your intuitive self, that deep part of you? I, I agree completely. I believe we all know the truth deep inside. It’s just, do we suppress it and reject it?

Correct. My, one of my, my deepest core values is integrity. So the moment that I stepped out of integrity with myself, I knew it. And I think it’s another reason going back to high school. Why it maybe was easier for me to leave a friend group and start a new friend group, because it was my way to get back into integrity with myself.

Gotcha. Yeah. And that now that’s another core value that I’m sure your parents had a big part of instilling in you. Yeah. So what was your upbringing? Right? Like you said, you were, you went to Christian churches. Yeah, evangelical Christian. I personally had a challenging relationship with my [00:41:00] religious upbringing.

I’m a really curious human being. I love life. I respect all of life and I did and I didn’t see in the talking about behavior again, I didn’t see most of the Christians around me behaving in the way that we were being taught to behave. Mm-hmm I saw masking, I saw performing and then behind closed doors, or when people weren’t looking, I saw the real human being, the pain person, the insecure person, the hypocrite.

Right. And I became dislike that. But, but from a young age, I adopted Christianity as a means of belonging. I wanted to fit in, accept me. Mm-hmm but I, I questioned it a lot and I think that’s where a lot of, like, some of my inner friction [00:42:00] came as a younger person, you know, just, just growing up and starting to think for yourself.

But really feeling like, I shouldn’t think for myself, I should just do what my parents say, what the Bible says, what God says, what my teachers say. Right. I sh I really struggled with the the discrepancies that were inside of me. And I didn’t feel like I was allowed to voice them or ask questions or be curious until I was in my twenties and more on my own.

So, yeah, even, even though, like integrity was something that was instilled in me, it wasn’t something I don’t think I lived out fully until I, until I had to go through some trials and go through some really like rock bottoms of my own making. Yeah. You were part of a religion, but you didn’t have the relationship with God, correct?

Yeah. I didn’t have the, the, that spiritual tie that’s already in me. That thread that’s already in me. It, it, it didn’t penetrate through [00:43:00] Christianity for me. Okay. So let’s, let’s go back to the story where, and, and that that’s fantastic. My mind is like spinning up so many questions, so I apologize. No, but the most important opinion is God’s the next, most important opinion is our own of ourselves.

Like you said, you, you felt shamed at yourself cuz you knew better. And then the third should be for our spouse and our children. Right? Mm-hmm so your relationship with God, yourself and your spouse are all fouled up at this point. Correct. And you’re telling your clients one thing you’re living another and you’re starting to see.

Symptoms and problems. Where does life go from there? Yeah, it was about let’s see, 23, 24 was about two years into the bulemia experience. We’ll call it cause it was a conglomeration of things. You know, like I said, I would, I would go as long as I can eating as little as I could exercising as [00:44:00] much as I could.

And then when I couldn’t take it, I would binge and purge when I got to the point where binging and purging was more like an everyday thing. And then it turned into a multiple times per day thing. And then it turned into actually like planning things, you know? Okay, I’m gonna go to the store and I’m gonna buy four donuts and a box of cereal and a thing of milk and I’m gonna eat it all.

And I’m gonna throw it up tonight when my husband’s gone out with voice. And when I started planning, things like that, And then trying to stop myself, but couldn’t, I knew I was in really big trouble. I, and what was the time time from start two, two years, years. Yeah. Years from start from, it was about a two year progression of just worsening and worsening behaviors.

And what was your energy level like at this time? I mean, were you just supplementing? Probably completely erratic yeah. I mean, I even like hair on your arms usually gets [00:45:00] super dark and thick. Yeah. Was that happening to you? Were you just shaving it off so people didn’t know? No, no, it wasn’t happening any weird hair things happening?

I mean, like I said on the outside, no one knew I was fit. I looked healthy. I, I was raised as a performer, so I knew how to put on exactly what people wanted to see. Okay. And then, you know, behind closed doors, it was like, oh, I could take the mask off, but that wasn’t really the real me either. So, how did you find yourself?

Where does life go from there? I, so this is sort of a graphic story. I can tailor it if you want me to, but you can just, no, you just be yourself. Our audience is used to this. Even if you use a bad word, we just hit explicit and keep rolling. Okay. I was it was like the middle of the day I was home alone and I was in the middle of a pretty nasty binge cycle.[00:46:00]

I don’t remember if it was my second or third time, but it was like I had binged and purged and then I had done it again. And then I was like on the, maybe the second or third time of doing that. Right. So it wasn’t like, this was in the span of a couple of hours and I was over the toilet. Trying to throw up and it, whatever was coming up, got stuck.

And I started to choke, like, couldn’t breathe. And I felt my heart. It was like gonna explode. And this nerve like zinging all over my body, like panic. And and I remember thinking, oh my God, don’t let me die here. Like on the toilet like this, like I just, the, the humiliation. And I don’t remember what I had to do to get that out of my throat.

I remember I did get it out [00:47:00] and all of my blood vessels were broken. My throat was just veins popping. My heart was pounding. It felt like it was gonna stop at any moment. Just, I don’t know that I have the words to explain that feeling of you. I have so dehydrated myself that it’s like the electrical signals are a little outta whack and and that was my, that was my moment of rock bottom.

Like I almost just died probably and I need help. And the very first thing that happened for me was ive got to get honest with myself. I’m not even remotely honest with myself. I don’t even know if I know how to be anymore. But that, that little conversation, it was probably only 30 seconds, but it absolutely changed the trajectory of, of my [00:48:00] life.

And. I got brave enough to tell my husband what was going on and what happened. And you know, he’s like, I know because when you’re in it, you think you’re, you think you’re so brilliant at hiding what you’re doing. You’re not, you know, whether you’re a bench drinker or a bench eater or a gambler, people know when you’re engaging in some kind of coping behavior, that’s out of control.

So he knew, and God bless him. He was waiting for me to come clean. And I did. And so that was, that was the start of me getting professional help and and really starting to change my life. And, you know, and that’s its whole that’s that whole journey was the, the next wake up. Right. That was that next level of, of, I initiated myself into my life purpose.

Because it changed what I do and it [00:49:00] changed how I show up in the world. So for the people with eating disorders specifically, mm-hmm, , it entangles so much of our being physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, everything. What were the steps that you said you started working with a counselor? Mm-hmm what were the steps you started taking to begin the process of healing?

Yeah. Well, I enrolled in the eating disorder center of Colorado as an outpatient. And that program starts you on the very physical level. Trying to get you to reframe your understanding of calories, your understanding of food intake. They. I think of, I think of that as like level one of a hundred it was.

Yeah. Because even if you know everything, it’s [00:50:00] still you, at that point, you block it out. It’s like fiction. Yeah. Yeah. But I remember, you know, there was, there was one strategy that my doctor gave me that helped me, that I still to this day use. And I use with my clients now, which is you have to be willing to sit with a discomfort that you’re feeling.

So if I ate a normal size meal, but I felt full, he asked me, please just sit with it, sit with it for five minutes, 10 minutes, you know? And that was an excruciatingly long period of time to sit with it. And he would give me strategies to logic. You know, he said, if, if math is your thing and you’re gonna do the calorie counting thing, then let’s do the math.

How much did you eat? How many calories is it? How much do you believe you’re over? Right. Because this was all perception. Mm-hmm right. At that point, I was still [00:51:00] undereating. But if, but it’s, you know, if you perceive that you’ve overeaten only, you can change your mind about that. So he gave me some strategies to help me like mathematics my way to a place of going, oh, okay.

If I overate, it’s only, it would only translate into a quarter pound. Can I handle a quarter pound? I mean, it was like very, very broken down like that. Mm-hmm talking to myself and working through these things and and such a What’s the word I’m looking for? Like just distill down, not, not integrated with the whole, which is fine.

I, I don’t think I could have integrated with emotional or spiritual truths at that point. I really, I really didn’t understand that that’s not how calories work anyway, you don’t eat a hundred calories and your body takes in a [00:52:00] hundred calories. Your, your body at any point in time might take all 100 or might take 50 of them or whatever.

There’s a thousand things going on to determine how much and what your body’s gonna use from your food. Right? So calorie counting is, is a waste of time and energy most of the time anyway because you just, you literally cannot control the human body in that regard. yeah. And there’s a great app. I don’t free plug.

Did you ever hear a Noom? noms a great app because it teaches you about the sat ability of food and the relationship with food, but it also stresses it. Most of it’s mental. Yeah. Most of it’s a mental game. So that would be a great app. If you’re listening. I get no, no kickbacks here, but that’s an app I know of.

Do you know of any other Missy that you’d recommend to people? I don’t. So I typically teach people to get off technology and get back into their body. Okay. Sorry. I’m breaking. Exactly. No, you’re just fine. I think Noom is a, like, as far [00:53:00] as meeting yourself where you’re at, if technology is the way for you to enter into a deeper relationship with yourself, please use it.

Yeah. And if you’re interested in getting off devices, stay tuned. yeah, exactly. What I meant was for people counting calories, that was a good spot to learn about how truly, almost useless they are. So, yeah. Yeah. And I have, I have clients right now that that’s their security blanket. And I’m not gonna take their security blanket away from them.

I just say to them, okay, you’re allowed to count your calories, however you want to. And you also need to feel your sensations and become more fluent in what your body’s actually telling you, right? Yeah. Because if you take a piece of food and put it in a, a, a telemetry machine and it kicks out, okay, there’s a hundred calories in this thing.

Your body is not a machine like that. Right. Mm-hmm , it’s not that simple. There’s like one of my, one of the [00:54:00] coolest facts that I ever learned. And I might botch it a little bit, but you’ll get the principle, let’s say in an apple, there’s a thousand milligrams of vitamin C when, and you can measure that in a lab.

Okay. When you eat that your body can actually extrapolate that to, to gain or pull out 10,000 milligrams of vitamin C. A hundred percent. I have these conversations all the time with people and you’re of course, you’re right. It’s just, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, sugar’s bad, artificial sugar is bad.

Yeah. Natural sugar from apples, not real. Vitamin C is good. Bad. Vitamin C is not fat is great. It helps your brain and a whole bunch of other stuff. Trans fats is not. So it’s basically natural verse unnatural. Is that correct? Yeah, that’s the, that’s the way that I coach is here’s what I [00:55:00] say. Everything is permissible.

Not everything is beneficial. Yeah. You can eat anything you want. I’m not in control of you. The, the relationship part of this that makes health and fitness sustainable is examining your rules. Are they working for me or are they like an arbitrary way for me to control myself? Cause I don’t trust myself.

Right. When I eat a chemically fabricated food item, how do I really feel? What are the, the repercussions, right? Mm-hmm and what is the repercussions of the accumulated effect of that, right? Which is usually people who are not as sensitive initially they won’t, they may not have the distinction of, oh, I a donut and I don’t feel great, but if they pay attention to the accumulation, [00:56:00] they can start to see, oh, the accumulation of these things is really burdening my body and, and vice versa.

Right? Eating more whole foods, eating things that are more organically grown that are locally grown. You start to feel a difference in your body. Accumulatively. I think that’s a great, great way to approach it. Yeah. And that way it’s again, it’s, I’m not telling you what is okay for you. I’m inviting you to ask what’s okay.

For yourself. You are the authority over your own life and what goes in your body. Right. You’ve just come to me for some guidance on how to get out of your own way. essentially right. Yeah, most people that come to me have, they’ve tried every diet. They’ve tried every fitness fad and they feel broken, right.

They don’t trust themselves. They’re either overeating or undereating or some combination of it. They don’t know what to do to, to get back to where they feel like they should be. So our [00:57:00] work is really about tapping into the signals that are already there returning to the basics of self care.

Right. Are you hungry? Are you satisfied? Are you full? And there’s gradations of all of those. I have a tool that I use with clients that. That teach them the levels of hunger, the levels of fullness, and then right in the middle is satisfaction. Right. And how to begin feeling those in your body. Not based on calories, not based on, oh, it’s time to eat.

I need to eat right. Based on the sensations your body’s giving you. So your system will naturally, like we talked about those pendulum swings. Most of us are doing pendulum swings all the time, but if you stop going to the extremes that pendulum will find its own center point. And it’s always dynamic, but it’s sometimes like the movement is so small that it looks like it’s still, and that’s what we call balance.

Right? If you balance on one leg, [00:58:00] there’s extreme dynamism going on in your body, right. Lots of muscles are turning on and off and on and off and on and off CE Baum’s working like crazy, right? Vestibular systems going nuts. to keep you balanced. But if you find, if you watch from the outside far enough away, they might look perfectly still.

So the same thing happens when, when you start to shed all of that exterior information from diets and fitness fads and this food versus that food and whatever. And you, you allow yourself to come back into that center point of, of internal knowingness that is in all of us, we’re born with it. You can’t get rid of it.

You can only tamp it down, right. You can turn the volume way down, but when we turn that volume up, you start your body starts to normalize itself. Your hormones start to regulate and everything starts to come online again. And it’s easier to become more fluent in what your body’s saying. So this [00:59:00] is not an easy journey and it takes time to find that balance.

Yeah. So from where you were in the story where your husband and kids, and you’d all decide, okay, it’s time for me to get help to today, bring us through that journey. Yeah. So I didn’t have kids at the time. It was just me and my husband. Oh, I’m I thought you said you had two sons and then okay. That makes more sense now.

Totally. Cause we were talking that’s so, but that can be that’s son and daughter. Yeah. yeah. I, I currently have a son and a daughter step son, and a, and it’s a step. Oh my gosh. Step kids. I currently have step kids. Gotcha. But back in the day, in my twenties, when this was all happening I didn’t have kids.

I had a dog, he was my baby. But yeah, so I start to go through this journey. You know, level one was a very surface understanding of why I was doing and what I was doing. And then I happened to catch the Oprah show one day [01:00:00] and she had a lady on named Martha Beck. And I really owe a lot of my healing to her because she wrote a book called the four day win and I got it.

And I did everything in that book and that was my Bible. Really? It, it was funny. It was sarcastic. It was, it educated me about my brain in a way that I really hadn’t understood before it helped me understand why the behaviors I was engaging in were hard to break. It helped me figure out how to break them.

It gave me a language for where I was and where I wanted to go. And it actually gave me practical steps to get there. It also gave me a chance to answer questions about my past, right? How and why did I get to the point that I’m at? And the interesting thing is the book was not for people with eating disorders.

It [01:01:00] was for people with disordered eating but her, her group was people who were overweight and obese. Right. So she would use funny language in there, you know, making fun of fatness and things like that. And I would laugh because I saw myself as fat. Right. I had that dysmorphic mentality that I was overweight.

And so the book really fit for me at that time, which was really, it’s really like a psychologically interesting thing to realize that I was pretty fit at the time but she was talking to people who were really overweight and I felt like she was talking to me. And what was the name of that book?

We’ll put a link in the show notes. The book is the four day win for like the number for mm-hmm the four day win. Okay. Yep. And I have I have taken some of her principles, like the four days and adopted them. I use, I use that principle still to this day, 20, almost 20 years [01:02:00] later. Because from a neur neur neurological perspective, your brain likes to chunk things into threes and fours.

It’ll clump things together, right? So if you have a string of numbers that are all mushed together, and I said to you, okay, can you like, remember this and say it out loud, you’ll go, you know, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. You’ll chunk them automatically into threes and fours. So she’s got this really cool way of explaining that the four day win is just long enough to, you know, like if you do a task for four days in a row, it’s just long enough that psychologically, it feels normal.

right. And then you take multiple four days and string them together to create a new habit. So I’ve used, I use that strategy to break my eating disorder, to retrain my [01:03:00] relationship with myself. And along the way, I I’m an analytical person as well as a really deep spiritual person. So I like numbers.

I like rating scales. I like to understand, you know, and have like comparisons and stuff. Yeah. So I started to rate my hunger. How hungry am I really? Right. Am I getting hungry or am I actually like, I need to eat hungry or did I go way too far? And I’m like starving. And then on the flip flip side of that is, did I overeat a little bit like just a few bites.

Or am I full? Am I like Thanksgiving full? And then for me, I had a, you know, at the top of the scale was, am I like purge full? So my, my goal for understanding my sensations was to break the extreme swing from super starving to binge worthy, full or purge worthy, full, and come back into that middle point where I could [01:04:00] recognize I’m getting hungry.

I need to eat soon. Okay, I’m hungry. I need to eat now. And then I would eat to a point of satisfaction where I wasn’t even a couple of bites too full. And that process that I just explained, that’s the foundation of the work that I do with people. It’s such a simple tool, but it can take years for people to navigate this relationship with themselves.

And in that process, we do a lot of work and I did a lot of work for myself. On the emotional piece, the emotional eating, right, the emotional starvation on the spiritual piece, the, the, the spiritual overwhelm or the spiritual deprivation, right? The, that these things play out the way we nourish ourselves or don’t plays out literally in every body, physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, all of those bodies.

And when you can start to find that five, that’s what I call it, finding your five which is [01:05:00] satisfaction. You recognize that there’s a state of peace in your nervous system, in your mental space, in your emotional space, and then in your spiritual space. And that’s like a great foundation for growth and healing.

And then what did your journey look like? Cause people see thought. And result straight line. It, it wasn’t like that. Right. There was ups and downs along the oh yeah. Yeah. In fact, I have that on my website. I people think that success is this straight line. Yeah. I said, you know, it looks a little more like this

Yeah. And if you’re, if you’re listening, she’s moving her hands everywhere. Yeah. All chaotic everywhere. So yeah, my, from about the age of 25, when I started to get help until about 29, I think there was a, a progression of weaning off of eating disorder behavior. Right. So it wasn’t [01:06:00] like, oh, I got it.

And now I’m stopping an eating disorder. No, it, it, I was addicted and I had to over time, break my habits and break my habits. And one of the things that really helped me was to get clear on my core values. And so I talked about integrity being one of my highest core values in honesty. And that was really like the flagship north star of this journey for me was I was dedicated to being honest with myself.

Am I honestly physically hungry? No. Okay. You don’t need food. Okay. But I still wanna eat. Okay. Then you’re probably emotionally hungry. How can you fill that cup or are you spiritually hungry? Do you need to connect on a deeper level with something or someone? Right. Are you mentally hungry? Right? Do you, do you need to like grow and stimulate and think, or is it all of ’em right?

Are you needing to engage in a different way? You’re so used to [01:07:00] just numbing out with food mm-hmm right. But now you’re recognizing I’m not actually physically hungry. So there’s, there’s some other area of my life that I’m feeling a void that I’m wanting to fill. So let’s figure out how do we fill that void?

So you feel like a whole healthy human being. So from 25 to 29, that was the process. Every day was reeducating myself and, and my system about what I needed and what was actually nourishing and fulfilling on all levels, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, mentally and really getting to know myself.

And that’s one of the things I talk about is healing your relationship with food and fitness by healing, your relationship with yourself. Mm-hmm , you can really get to know yourself. And this is there’s like deep shadow work, right? Looking at all of your shadows and the sides of yourself that you’d [01:08:00] rather just hide away from.

And then also looking at all of the amazing parts of yourself, because we all have all of it. Now, what about for the people listening? You’re an expert at this now. So it becomes second nature, but I’m sure when you start, it was very difficult. What do you do to evaluate? Is this physical hunger, mental, emotional, spiritual, like, how do you dissent how do you figure out if it’s physical hunger or not?

How do you discern the difference? Yeah, so it takes a, it’s a little bit of a process and every client is different, but for the sake of ease, let’s say we have a client who doesn’t have a lot of gut dysbiosis. So like they’re, they’re microbiomes, let’s say it’s just relatively healthy and they’re not hijacking their brain, which can really mess with their hunger signals.

Okay. Let’s just for the sake of ease, say that things are normal. They don’t have a lot of things going on. They’re not on a lot of [01:09:00] medications that might be messing with their signaling. Okay. So the first thing we do is I say, I give them the scale one through 10. We talk about what every number means and make sure that they understand what they mean.

And then I give them little scales, like cards. Their first homework is to print ’em out and put those cards everywhere. So put it in your office, put it by your bedside, in your bathroom, in your car, in the kitchen, in the pantry, in the fridge, right in the dishwasher. Put them everywhere because you need a pattern interrupt because you are an autopilot, right?

You’ve habituated eating when you’re not hungry, right. You’ve habituated turning off your signals and ignoring them. So now we have to like interrupt your normal way of being with a visual reminder and visual cues are great for that. So that’s the reminder. And then every time they see that card, they’re gonna stop and hold still.

And [01:10:00] do the best that they can. If you had to rate your physical sensations, what would they be? Right. And here and here are your numbers one through 10, right? And sometimes initially it’s, I don’t know. Great. Thanks for trying the next time you see another card, do it again. Then I cue them. I talk to them about most people wake up satisfied.

Okay. Most people, my husband is my current husband is the exception. He wakes up starving so he’s not a good example, but most people wake up and they’re at what I, I call a five. They’re not hungry and they’re not full. And if I can get a client to pause before they even get outta bed and register what that feels like, then they will learn what a five feels like.

And they can try to find it again later in the day. So for me, a five feels [01:11:00] like nothing, right? Because it’s the absence of hunger and it’s the absence of fullness and it feels like nothing. But that nothingness to me is comfortable. It’s peaceful, right? It’s, it’s ease. I’m, I’m in need of nothing I’m safe.

Right? So we start to use these words to help that five be something that on a physiological level. But then also you can hear the words on an emotional, mental, nervous system level. It’s really calming. It’s a safe place. You want to find it? Okay. So we start with that first thing in the morning, and then one with that, knowing now you can start to pay attention to, when am I gonna find my four?

My four is I’m getting hungry. I need to eat soon. That’s a signal to pay attention. Do I need to start getting my breakfast ready? Do I need to start, you know, packing food to take with me? What do I need to do to set myself up for when [01:12:00] I get to a three, which is I’m hungry, I need to eat now. And ideally when you’re hungry and you need to eat, you eat.

If you skip that and you ignore that signal, you set yourself up for getting down to a 2 0 1, which are gradations of, of hypoglycemia or starvation, or, you know, those, the place where your body kicks out, cortisol and adrenaline, and really ups the anti to get you to pay attention. Cuz it’s saying, Hey, Hey, I need food now and you’re ignoring me.

So I’m just gonna chemically. I’m gonna try to get your attention more. Okay. If you suppress that you’ll have a dip in your metabolism, like things will dive your brain learns really fast. So it’s like, oh, I’m not gonna get fed. I’m gonna just slow everything down and conserve. Okay. Now let’s say that you are someone who finds your three you’re hungry.

You need to eat. So you go into the kitchen, you make your [01:13:00] breakfast and you start eating. And I have a couple of prince of practices that I have people do while they’re eating to help them slow down and enjoy their food and all of that stuff. And now you’re looking for your five. You wanna eat to satisfaction, but most people overeat.

So sometimes it’s just a couple of bites. Sometimes. It’s, it’s like what I call a seven, which is you’re just full. And eight is like, I’m so full. I need to unbutton my pants. And nine is Thanksgiving, right? You just completely picked out. You almost feel sick to your stomach. And at 10, because of my personal experience at 10 was I’m going to purge.

I ate so much. There’s no way I’m keeping this in my body. Now, what I’ve found over the years is you don’t have to have an eating disorder to get to a 10, a 10 can be anything that takes you out of the game of life. So you ate so much that you can’t even pay attention to the [01:14:00] conversation. You can’t do your work.

You cancel your plans, you get a migraine and go to bed. You get massive indigestion or diarrhea and constipation, right. It can be any of those, like big physiological disruptors, where your body’s saying, dude, you so disrespected me and that, and now I’m having to kick out the, the, the fire alarms to tell you, like, please stop what you’re doing, do something different.

And that’s all those things are, they’re just signals trying to get your attention. So that’s, I know there’s a lot of information, but no, that’s great. I have people. Yeah. So they rate themselves when they wake up. Before and after they eat and anytime they think about food so at first, like anything else, they’ll be doing this all the time, but then the more you do it, you play how you practice and you get good at it.

And it gets easier and less frequent mm-hmm excuse me. Yep. Yeah. It’s it’s the skill building, right? [01:15:00] It’s that? It’s that 10,000 hour idea. Yeah. That initially master you’ve got like, you’re a novice, you’re gonna be really bad at expect that you’re gonna suck at this. right. This is why you’re doing it.

You’re trying to build a skill that you don’t have. And then over time they don’t need the cards anymore. It’s memorized, it’s internalized. They know what their five feels like. They know what their three feels like. And the interesting thing is that most people will find like the very first week is all about information gathering.

It’s actually not about doing it. Right. It’s it’s just about what are you doing? Right. You need to understand, like, and, and the scale also gives us a language so that I can understand what they’re doing. So they start to recognize, oh, wow. I actually live at a two, like really hungry all day long. And then at like at three o’clock, I start to eat and eat and eat.

And for the rest of the [01:16:00] night, I’m like at an. And so they learn their pattern. This is my pattern. Right. And then someone else might say, you know, I do really good all day. I eat when I’m hungry, stop. When I’m satisfied, I eat when I’m hungry, stop, when I’m satisfied. And then like at eight o’clock at night, 10 to midnight, 10 to midnight is mine.

There you go all the time I can eat. And then I yeah. Eat to like a nine. And you’re stuffed before you go to bed. Right? So it gives you, you have to gather data, right? You need to know yourself and what you’re doing before you can ever make any changes. And then once, once they get their pattern, then we start to clean up.

Okay. Like the goal now is when you’re eating, if you’re always eating to a nine, right. That’s Thanksgiving full . Yeah. All the time. Which a lot of people do every day. And the goal is not to like go from a nine to a five. The goal is, can you stop at an eight then? Can you stop at a seven? And can you go to a six?

Right. And over time. So for me, I [01:17:00] remember the first year that I did this, I thought that I was eating to a five, but it was really like a six or a seven. And then I had an, I had an experience that left me eating a little bit less than normal. And because I was really paying attention, I realized, oh, I’m actually quite satisfied.

I think actually I think this is the five, right? So what was a six or a seven? And I thought was a five, right? You, you start to just hone your skills and over time you realize, wow, I don’t need as much as I thought I needed. And I’m okay. And that’s where there’s a lot of psychological work that goes into that as well.

Yeah. I was just gonna say that there’s so much psychology to this. Just how God made our minds to work and like anything good that God makes San tries to, to disrupt it, to tweak it, to pervert it. So there’s things like eating that should be so natural. It just got corrupt and we, we become so [01:18:00] fleshly. But with you with a struggle.

You have so much to offer us and you’re passionate about it. I love watching you. So we’re gonna give the listeners, you know, the opportunity to reach out to you, get your website, get your contact info, be able to set up some coaching, but going back to your personal story, mm-hmm yeah. When we’re this involved with ourselves and our physical, a lot of times other areas of our life start becoming outta balance, whether it’s our business, our relationships.

So even though you’re in a journey of healing, what was going on in your world during this time? The interesting thing about this is, and this is, this is what I say on my website is like the work you do with yourself is like a drop in a pond. It has a ripple effect out mm-hmm . So once I started to create integrity with myself, it became a lot easier to have integrity with others.

It became a lot easier to be honest about my story and my [01:19:00] journey, what I was going through, how I was healing. I started to have a voice where I didn’t feel like I had a voice. So for me personally, and how I coach my clients is this work on yourself is not just for yourself. This is so you can show up better in the world and have the impact that you were put on this earth to have, right.

To stop shrinking and hiding that this work is actually about getting you out of your own way, right? Knowing the best and the worst of yourself and accepting all of it, integrating all of it into your wholeness. So you can go out and in your marriage as a parent in your work in society, show up as the most loving best version of yourself with the gifts that you’ve been given.

Yeah. Oh, go ahead. Yeah. Th this is this work for me. I, I don’t work with people who just want to fix themselves and not make an impact. I’m [01:20:00] looking for people to like shed from the hiding. like, they’ve been hiding through food or through whatever coping mechanism I’m looking for them to come out of those shadows and show up in their life the way they’re meant to.

Right. And it doesn’t mean that they become big and famous and whatever, it, it just means that they are living in a, in like personal agency and integrity in their own life, whatever that looks like for them. And then how did your life evolve from here? So now you’re getting help. You’re still running your business.

You’re married. Where does your life go between there and today? Yeah, so we can, I was that part of the story was like 25 to 29. He, oh, this is a really important part of the story. At about 29, I was behaving really, really well. I was eating, you know, I was eating the right [01:21:00] things. I was eating the right amounts at the right times.

You know, I wasn’t disrespecting my body. I was exercising the right amount. Things were feeling like they were normalizing. And then I recognized that I still had this war going on inside my head. And I mentioned at the beginning of our conversation, the dictator and the muse, right. The control freak and the wild, like this wild child.

That was what I felt like was going on in my head. So it became very clear to me that just changing your physiological behaviors was not actually going to change your conditioning. I had conditioned myself through the, the thoughts that I was thinking and the beliefs that I was holding. And once I got the physical behavior out of the way, I could actually see much more clearly the root problem was all up [01:22:00] here.

Right. So I reached out for some help, got worked with a coach that helped me in this very specific way. And I use, I use my hands like this because they’re, they’re like energies, right? They’re sight. They’re parts of my psyche. Everybody has these I have now come to understand we’ve got these voices in our head, right.

And a lot of us have a dictator side. Right. We have a protector. We have a critic and when you’re in alignment, that voice can be I’ll just use for me. I wanna speak for anybody else when that voice, when I’m in alignment with my core values, that voice is responsible. It’s reliable, it’s organized.

It’s on time. You know, it, it’s just a really nice, well functioning put together part of me. Yeah. And then this other side, that’s a little wild and crazy and whatever. [01:23:00] When I’m in alignment, she’s fun. She’s creative, she’s quirky. She’s adventurous, she’s fearless. She loves to color , you know, she loves, you know, she loves to cook and she wants to create, I mean, she’s just, she’s just life.

She loves nature. Like she’s just move. All right. You can see that energy. So when I’m integrated, That’s Missy. Right? Missy’s reliable. She’s fun. She’s responsible. She’s quirky. She, you know, like she loves life and she respects herself and all of life. But when Missy’s out of alignment, she gets a little bit rigid.

She gets a little controlling, she gets a little bossy and then when she can’t take it anymore, she gets a little rebellious. She drops off bombs. you know, and then, then the pendulum swings. Mm-hmm you see that? Okay. So that’s [01:24:00] what that was. What was happening in me is I wasologically behaving well, but internally, mentally and emotionally, I was back to pendulum swinging.

because I didn’t address, like I hadn’t yet addressed the, the mental piece. So by addressing that mental piece and making friends with myself, like I said earlier, accepting all of myself, the worst of myself, the best of my, myself and everything in between and letting everything come home. Right. Then that’s when that’s, when you can see like the release of shame.

That’s when you can see the release of self doubt. That’s really, when I believe like my purpose driven work and work became a lot clearer. And also in that space, I was a, like me personally, I was [01:25:00] allowed to do more spiritual work. Because I, I gave myself permission to look at all the rules. Mm-hmm that were keeping me stuck that were creating friction inside of me.

Right. Because I should, and it allowed me to actually ask the questions I had been burning, you know, to ask and, and, and start to go down that journey of seeking. Right. And, and coming back home with what resonates as truth for me. Right. Which is to be a loving, generous, unifying, human being, right. To accept all walks of life, to accept all humans.

To remember, I haven’t walked a day in anybody’s shoes, but also that we are all interconnected on some level. We’re all known to each other. Cause we, we all come from the same ocean. Right. We’re just drops in the same ocean. Even though we, we have uniqueness, [01:26:00] so. That, that part of that journey in my early thirties was really, really important.

Those were for me when the, the mental and spiritual pieces started to drop into place. And then between there and today what’s that life and journey look like. Yeah. So when I turned 34, I had another giant awakening initiation experience. 2014 was the year that my entire life changed. The my work fell away.

My marriage ended put my dog down, sold my house, literally everything from the life that I had been creating for the last 11 years gone. And it all, it was all a culmination of me asking for more from my life. And I wanted to [01:27:00] grow. I wanted to expand. I wanted to deepen and and I can see now that everything in my life at that time was, was a sort of box keeping me in from that next level.

And you know, I never thought that I would get divorced that it just never even crossed my mind. And I know it didn’t cross my first husband’s mind either. But when we, when we came to that conversation, you know, and I said, I, I want more from my life. I want more from us. And I’m so thankful. He was honest.

He said, I, I know you do, and I can’t give it to you. And I’, I’m just so thankful that he knew himself enough to be that honest and not, and not do the thing. Okay. I’ll change with you. Arid just stay. Right. And it was one of the, the more like sad, painful and loving. Ends to a season, right? Our season was done.

We grew up together in our [01:28:00] twenties. He showed up for me through my eating disorder. I showed up for him through his growth and and the way that I see it is our, our work was done together. Like we, we came to a, a point of okay, I can release you now. And and what’s fascinating to me is he, he remarried and has two little girls.

So his life has totally like grown and evolved. And then I remarried and I have two step kids and he and I together never wanted kids. Mm-hmm but it’s like life had other plans for us. Like, no, no, no. You both need to grow through some sort of parenthood. Right. Some sort of mentorship, cuz it, I understand now, like that is such an important part of being a human

You know, cuz it’s, it grows you in a hurry. a hundred percent for people who [01:29:00] don’t have children, you understand so much more about yourself and your relationship with God and how much he loves us. And just the daily struggles, the failures and the successes. Kids are great teachers, but first, like you said, you gonna have the right spouse, then have the kids cuz you need two of you to work together, man.

They’re tough. You’re you got a constant challenge, no sleep. Keep going and make it work. yes, but it’s also, I got to bypass the infancy stage and just hop into the. The pre-teen stage, but you know, it’s, it’s been an incredible, so yeah, so I’m, so today I’m, I’m remarried. I have two step kids and I run my business whole life health, and I’m still growing and learning every day.

I’m I’m in the middle of another initiation, I believe cuz I’m working on growing my business. Yes. And facing all kinds of challenges. And those challenges are, they’re [01:30:00] both inviting me to press beyond my comfort zone, but they’re also giving me a chance to pause and pull back and actually ask am I still in alignment with, with my vision, with my purpose, with how I wanna show up in the world.

Right? So it’s this, there’s this beautiful, painful dance happening right now. And, and that’s the journey is, is we are always growing. We’re always learning. There’s never really an arrival, right. There’s always deeper and higher levels to take it, but. The interesting thing is to this day. So I’m in my early forties.

Now I still on autopilot check in with my body every day around food, around movement, around sleep, around work or rest around connecting with others or with nature or with my source or with myself. I, I, these skills that I developed long [01:31:00] ago, their basic skills for living and I do them every day. And if I don’t, I know it right away.

yeah, you feel the difference breaking that good habit. Mm-hmm so where are you going? We’ve heard your past, we know kind of where you’re at today, but where are you heading? So maybe we can help you get there as a. Thank you for asking. So whole life health has sort of two offshoots. One is the, the fitness and nutrition therapy.

Pretty much everything I just talked about. It’s helping people heal their relationship with themselves by helping them heal their relationship with food and movement and sleep and all of the basics of life. Right. And that journey I do one to one sessions right now, but I’m looking to grow it into small groups because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized that this is a community effort [01:32:00] and we heal we get wounded in relationship and I believe we need to heal in relationship.

So if I can create really small groups, I’m thinking like four to six, very small. So that people can actually build a deep relationship of trust with each other, accountability, sisterhood, brotherhood, whatever it may be to take them on this journey of healing, their relationship with themself, that’s where I’m going with it.

And because we talked earlier about this being a process, right? This isn’t a quick fix. This is like, I’m ready to change my life for the rest of my life. I actually need to let a part of me die and be reborn into a new way of being, and that takes some time. So in my mind a year is a small ask right for that.

But I’m, I’m, I talked a moment ago about like realigning. I’m looking at [01:33:00] how I love to do things and I’m a seasonal person. So I’m just looking at realigning that process to be maybe October through April. Right. An eight, you know, possibly an eight month course that people can repeat. If they want to, they can get deeper and deeper levels of it as they grow.

They can come once and take the tools and move on with their life. It’s it’s really everybody’s different in what they need. And go ahead. Oh, no, no, no, I’m listening. I was just gonna ask you a question. If somebody wanted to get a hold of you, whether it’s one-on-one coaching or their group coaching, what’s the best way for them to reach you at?

The best way I think right now is you can go to my website, which is live whole life, health.com

and just click on let’s connect and fill out the little email form, and I’ll get back to you. [01:34:00] You can email me directly, Missy, live whole life health.com. You can follow me on Instagram, live whole life health. there’s a theme here. That’s good branding. There’s theme here. You’ve got some live whole life health and we’ll put all those in the show notes for those listening.

Yeah. And definitely reach out. You can see Missy as passionate. She knows her stuff. She’s transparent and real. She’s not saying she’s perfect and everything is this way. And you have to be this way. She’s gonna help take you on your journey. That’s custom to you. Yeah. Well, Missy, I’ve had a great time.

I’ve learned a ton and I’ve, I’ve truly enjoyed it, but between your birth and today, is there anything we missed or is there anything significant or a closing thought you wanna leave our audience with? You know, I think it’s really important that people know everything you need is already inside of you, right?[01:35:00]

Yep. Greater, you can get a coach or a mentor to help you strip away the layers that have been put on top of you. Right. And just help you like excavate that truth that’s in you. There’s nothing you can’t do. You’re designed to heal. You’re designed to thrive your, your, your body, your spirit, your mind.

They’re one of the most like innately, intelligent, most beautiful creations and you’re worth it. You’re worth the time and the effort your life matters. That’s what I would want people to know. Amen. Well, thank you so much. And when you were saying that everything you need is inside, there’s that there’s the verse one of many verses in the Bible that says greater as he, that is in you than he, that is in the world.

And it means there’s more holy spirit that God puts in you when you trust him as your savior than there is all evil in the world [01:36:00] combined. So what Missy saying lines up with scripture? Well, thank you so much for being here today. Missy, I look forward to hearing, you know, staying in touch, hearing what the audience and you have done together and grown and ladies and gentlemen, like our slogan says, don’t just listen to this great content that Missy shared with us.

Do it repeat each day. So you can have a great life in this world and an attorney to come mm-hmm so I’m David PA. Missy. Thank you again for being here. Yeah, thank you for having me. It’s been awesome to share all of this. Thank you for listening and, and caring and, and sharing this with your audience. Oh, absolutely.

It’s been our pleasure. I’m sure. You know, listeners reach out to Missy. Reach out to me will help you in any way we can. And if not share this with your family and friends and we’ll catch you in next week’s episode. Cha

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