Faith Elicia is the author of the new book ‘Do you see what I see?’ is a workbook that openly details one woman’s struggles while recovering from an eating disorder (ED).
Follow Faith’s recovery journey in an interactive format that emphasizes a “we” approach and provides strategies, prompts, and tools for healing and positive change.
Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that are associated with severe disturbances in people’s eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions.
With an eating disorder, life gets very complicated because there's such a hole inside. Everything is about just trying to fill that void, that abandonment, whatever. Nothing we do is just never enough.
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PTH Episode 47 Faith Elicia
[00:00:00] Hello, faith. How are you today?
[00:00:02] I'm good. Thank you for having me that you're here. It's wonderful. We all have our own. Our own peculiar relationship with food and our bodies. And I think we've all been sold a bill of goods by society and misogyny and the media.
[00:00:22] And it's such a tangled web. How do we ever unravel it? I'm with you on that? Yeah, it's a big, it's a big mess. It's not like. You know, well, I'm just going to be happy with what I look like. There's always something out there trying to take you down a peg and make you feel bad about yourself, or be afraid you're going to be unloved or whatever to get you, to buy their thing, whatever that is.
[00:00:52] Their exercise program, their gym membership, their diet, their whatever. So true. It's sad that it's like that. Yeah. Yeah. Tears us down when we want to be built up. Exactly. Exactly. And, and I, you know, w when I became a mom of a daughter in 2001, it's hard to believe she's 20. I thought I was being really careful and mindful about.
[00:01:19] Messaging things that I was messaging telling my daughter, you know, or, or emulating about my own body or, or whatever. And I evidently screwed this up really bad. Anyway, even though I thought I was being mindful so well, interestingly I have, my daughter is 20. Okay. And you know, they really, they can see behavior, even though we try not to.
[00:01:47] Like at our stuff on them. So my daughter actually developed an eating disorder when she was older as well, which was like a double whammy, so. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I, I have been like on the yo-yo diet thing since. Late teens. You know, I come from a family who has always sort of battled their weight. We've all been very curvy women and have had nice figures regardless of the, of what we weighed or the math that we have.
[00:02:18] But, but it's just, the curves are either larger or smaller, you know? But. And there have been times where I have successfully like a beaten-down the whole thing and have been exactly the weight and shape and fitness level that I wanted, but it was never something that I had the mental strength to maintain and, you know, Can you go back with, you know, with an eating disorder, it gets complicated because it's never enough.
[00:02:50] Right. And I think it's because there's such a hole inside. Right. So it's just trying to fill that void, that abandonment, whatever. Sure. I'm an emotional eater, so it's just never enough. And that's when it comes to, okay. We have to go within and see what's really going on. Cause it's really not about the.
[00:03:13] No. I mean, during my divorce in 2006, I guess, which was when I had successfully beaten down my body enough to be exactly where I wanted to be, but it was all fueled by anxiety. You know, I was able to keep my caloric level down really, really low. Because I was so anxious, I couldn't eat. And I was so anxious.
[00:03:33] I was constantly moving. So I was burning more calories. So even though I was like actively trying to eat well and exercise, I had all of that anxiety to sort of rev that forward. And it was during that period that I had a tiny little brush with bulemia because I started to see food as the. And well, if I could just get away with not eating, I wouldn't ever gain any weight, you know?
[00:04:00] And, and then I found myself, like, I don't know it was after a party or something. There was some sort of social reason that I ate a lot of food and then I felt really bad about it. And I stuck my fingers down my throat and I threw all the food up. I think it was after the third time that I did that I had an out of body experience.
[00:04:19] Like, holy shit, what are you doing? This is bad. You know? So either, either live with the fact that you ate whatever you ate or have the willpower to not eat it in the first place, but don't. Make yourself throw it up. And so it was after the third time, I never did it again. Well, kudos. You that's thank God that it was yeah.
[00:04:42] Nip that in the bud before it gets like out of control. Yeah. Yeah. And then my daughter has this anxiety issue around. And she's getting better. She's on medication has seen therapist, you know, so it's, that's, that's getting better, but she came home from college last November and just was like emaciated too skinny.
[00:05:05] And every time she'd eat, she'd have this anxiety, like nausea thing that would prevent her from eating. It was she's, she's getting past it. She's worked really hard. So, so let's talk about, Do you see what I see? Let's talk about you and what, what your doing and what, so give us a little glimpse into like, why you wrote the book and how that came about.
[00:05:26] Would you, so yes. My eating disorder actually came on after my, after I delivered my third child. So I was actually older and it was anxiety based and it just morphed into. Anorexia. And the psychiatrist that I was seeing for postpartum is like, this is, you know, I treat anxiety disorders. I don't treat eating disorders.
[00:05:52] You know, you need to see a specialist. So he basically. Dismissed me from his practice, which was for someone who like fears of abandonment or rejection. Like that's just not so good. On the flip side, he, I believe he saved my life because it was the kick in the rear. I needed to say, okay, you know what, this isn't a joke.
[00:06:12] Like it's getting serious and you need a specialist than there's something wrong. And you know, in the 80 disorder mind, it was, well, if it gets to this way, then it's a problem. But then when you get to. Well, when it gets to here and it's just not the number, but my husband actually said, you know, if you get to this weight, like, but I decided I needed help because I realized like I couldn't control it anymore.
[00:06:38] It was controlling me. Yeah. So I went to treatment. I went to a partial hospitalization program because my youngest at the time he was little and I manage my husband's office. So I still had to work and be mom and pick up the little one after school and take care of myself, you know, when I could. Sure.
[00:07:00] So when I was in treatment, you know, we were reading different books than. Most of the books I was reading were either, you know, by professionals who knew about eating disorders or people that who had recovered. And there are different beliefs in recovery world of being recovered versus in recovery from.
[00:07:21] It just works better than I'm in recovery. And I come from a family of addiction, so I just kind of view it as my, they went to drugs, alcohol, mine went to eating disorder and I went to food. My mother went to opiates. Yeah. So it helped me. It just works that way, where it's a day at a time. And I was what blew me.
[00:07:44] My mind was when looking at these books, I'm like, well, First of all, I had the mindset of like, my father was an alcoholic and in AA, like you're never recovered. You're an alcoholic. So it's one day at a time, you know, you practice abstinence, you work the steps, but it's, you know, if you take that one drink, here you go right back.
[00:08:04] So for me, I think I was in that mindset. Like you don't recover. It's something that is a part of me and something I need to be aware of and what y'all for. Cause the minute you put your guard down, like that voice comes back. So reading those books, number one, actually, I've never shared this part before, but it was kind of like, well, I don't believe that because I don't believe that I could be recovered just coming from a family a lot in 12 steps that were in recovery, not recovered.
[00:08:33] And then second. Yeah. Was that my husband believes the same thing. He's a recovering alcoholic, recovering. He feels like he's always an alcoholic. He always has to be vigilant. And he's always not, not that he's tempted so much anymore because it's been more than a decade, but there are certain situations that he doesn't put himself in because he knows it'll be too hard, too many triggers, et cetera.
[00:08:56] But yeah, he. He, he looks at it the same way you do. Not that he's finished and healed and totally fine, but constantly he is recovering. It's always a, it's a process and it's, you know, the self discovery and just going within. So we started doing art therapy and treatment, and I created my little girl, my little faith, who I made into a doll and awesome.
[00:09:19] The little drawings. It's her picture throughout your book? It is. She's the whole book. I love her adorable and. Which is nice because then I say, I love her, but she has the little man. Right? You can repair it yourself. Right. So with these entries, I was journaling with them and then I would bring it to therapy, to process there.
[00:09:41] But as time was going on, I thought this would be very cool too. To make it to a book and give prompts so that as I'm going through this process, you know, others can reflect on these things too, because I'm not at a place I've recovered. It's the up and the down, the, all over the place, which is recovery from an eating disorder.
[00:10:03] So going through the book, you see that I have really bad days, but that's life. Like we all have the ups and downs. It's just not perfect. So I think it's relatable. Oh, absolutely. No, it's this is my emotions. I'm just, I'm confused. I'm clear. I'm up. I'm down. And then just finding, going through together with somebody you are close with, you know, you, you feel like when you're reading your book, that you're not alone in any of these experiences, like I just opened to a random page.
[00:10:35] You have here swimming with my friends. I feel as if I've been thrown into a pool and I can't swim in the life preservers just beyond my reach. We all have days like that eating disorders are not every single one of us has a day like that. So to read this about somebody who's who, who has a shitty, scary day like that, and is trying to figure out how to find their inner voice and trust themselves and be their own best friend.
[00:10:59] And then, and then be able to respond back with the, your turn. You know, what can you do if you get thrown into a pool of unknown, pretend you can't swim to make the activity worthwhile. You know, you, you work your way through and then there's drawing space. It's great. Love it. You're welcome. I am a big proponent of art therapy.
[00:11:19] Art saved my life. So I'm going to say it saved mine too, because this is mine, yours, and I still make dry. And at first I thought it was so silly. Honestly, I've shared that. It's like, what the hell is art therapy? This is useless. I really thought that. And she's like, she would say, draw this, screw that I'm drawing what I want you, because I'm stubborn and I'm going to do what I want to do.
[00:11:44] And she was like, well, that's okay. Follow work. I'm like, I can draw what I want. Okay. And then, hello, here we go. She, let me just, she's like, just follow. This is just a prompt, but if you have your own thing, go with that. She was so amazing. That's what gives me chills. She was just, it was, it was an art therapist.
[00:12:03] You went to, she was in treatment. We had art therapy and treatment and she was just very special. That's amazing. That's a big part of the recovery. So she'd have you draw her, her prompts had to do with, they have to do with like feelings, but what I ended up doing is I would get up early that morning, read a little meditation book, and then whatever came to me during the meditation, then I withdraw about it.
[00:12:33] Journal about it. And then I would draw about it there, but I ended up drawing like every day because she, we only did her like twice a week and I wanted more because it was helping me just with processing. Right. It's meditative and mindful and creative and creative. So for me, it was good. That's awesome.
[00:12:54] Yeah. Now I hope you don't mind me asking, but like What kinds of things went through your mind when you were, before you reached out for treatment, when you were still like suffering by yourself with the anorexia, what, what kinds of statements or thoughts did you have in your own internal dialogue?
[00:13:17] If it was necessarily thoughts, real, a strong feeling of I'm alone. Like even though I have a husband and. You know, I had the baby and we have two other kids, just a feeling I've heard in another, another host that I had spoken two weeks back and he talked about terminal uniqueness and that has resonated with me because so many times in my life.
[00:13:43] And this was another one I really felt alone. I'm not one to. Reach out. I go to co-dependency anonymous and I have a sponsor and I don't reach out. And I'm supposed to, I'm just growing up and learning that like your voice doesn't deserve to be heard. It's very hard for me to reach out. So it was more feelings of isolation being alone.
[00:14:08] Nobody can relate, nobody understands. And when you're so isolated, It feels that your world is closing in on you because you're not sharing with anybody. And people in my immediate surroundings are like, what the hell is wrong with you? Why aren't you eating? Right. Because they don't understand. And then it's food police, which only makes it worse because I didn't know what was happening.
[00:14:30] So it's like, leave me alone, stop it. And it's just kind of pushing everyone away. Right. Right. So it was more of feeling exists and loneliness, loneliness, and then the thought. The thoughts were just all eating disorder. You can't, you can't, you can't, you have to, you have to have to, I don't like to really talk about behaviors, but it just, it's a very lonely place.
[00:14:54] And I think that was another reason what the book that I, I tried to focus it's we, not me or you, because like, once I went to treatment and it's like, oh, I'm not alone. These people feel like as miserable as I do. There's a feeling of relief. Like, okay. With all this anxiety that others can relate. It's just finding those people that can relate.
[00:15:18] So it just can't be done alone. It had, I had to have support, have to have support even today. I'm the therapist, my dietician. It's just, I'm an isolationist though. It's fighting nature for you. It's fighting nature for me to step up. Yeah, I think that, that, that can be what you just said about your eating disorder can be applied to every single other type of mental illness or mental difficulty that we have, you know, whether it's anxiety or it's depression or any of them, any of us, I mean, in many of us suffer for all S all sorts of these things, all blended together.
[00:16:01] Like it's in a big Cuisinart art but they all. It's always food. Right. But it's, but it's all of them gained strength in the darkness. When they keep us, I personify everything. But when they keep us separate from everyone else, when they keep us isolated, when they keep us by ourselves, when they, they make us afraid to tell other people, because they might think we're just batshit crazy.
[00:16:28] And then. You know, there's a lot of shame. Yeah. You know, and talking about, so anxiety, I've had anxiety disorder, this like going back to no swell. And so the last semester in undergrad, I, I know it was like just the anxiety of graduating and leaving the nest. And, you know, I was the youngest of five girls.
[00:16:50] So. Co-dependent with my mom and I became a gore phobic. So I had to withdraw from the last semester. So I can say the same thing when I was at Warfield, because I felt. Like nobody understands. I'm laying on a couch. Cause I have vertigo. They're doing tests on me, which I have anxiety. So at those times they didn't have open MRI.
[00:17:12] So if you're sticking me in a closed down, hello, I have panic not happening. So they had to pull me out in the middle of it, but it was like rolling out the medical. Well, there's nothing medically wrong. Well, you know what something's wrong. Right. Years ago, beyond medical, there wasn't anything that they could tell you.
[00:17:29] They had no clue about any of that. No. And there was such a stigma that, that these conversations are starting to eradicate, which holy shit, it's about time. So baptize. So all of these tools that I've learned with eating disorder could be applied because I use them for anxiety also. Sure. You know, it's and then postpartum depression.
[00:17:49] It's, it's all that same thing. Just feeling alone that nobody understands. And it's a hard place to be because even when you're surrounded by people, you could feel very. Sometimes, I think I feel more alone when I feel disconnected from well-meaning people who love me, you know, more alone than I would if I was just sitting on my couch by myself.
[00:18:12] And it's hard for people to sort of understand that or reconcile that. But when you feel disconnected and you don't feel seen, you don't feel seen even by yourself, then. And visibility. It's not, it's not good. So it's learning now not to get to that point where a few, if I see myself go in there processing, I mean, now I'm at the point where it's like, okay, let's dig in a little and see what's going on because something's going on because the wall will come up.
[00:18:43] Okay. What is the wall coming up? Why are, am I pushing. Right because it's, and it usually comes down to that fear. You're going to reject me or you're going to judge, mate, just all those old tapes. Yeah. When you know what people just me and this is what it is. And I think to a certain extent, age and experience help us combat those things because we have.
[00:19:12] We have experienced to fall back on, you know, I've been through this, whatever this is X, Y, and Z and, and the ground and swallow me up and the tsunami didn't come wash me away. And the people I love still love me so I can face this hard thing too. You know, it's true. It is. I feel like the gal more perspective.
[00:19:35] I guess it's like the midlife thing, just very reflective and looking and how each thing has brought me to the next. And I had just, even when I was a gore phobic, there was just something inside that. I mean, I ended up going to a hospital because I wouldn't leave the house. So they put me on a depression where I wasn't depressed.
[00:19:57] I had so scary. But the floor that they had me on. So it was people who were suicidal. So they're all wrapped in bandages, which was very scary for me because I didn't want to kill myself. I just didn't know how to leave my house because the panic was just out of control. So on the same floor. So you have like bars here and then the addiction right here program.
[00:20:20] And then we all shared the main area. So I literally hung out with all the addicts. I'm like, well, they're so. And I knew about AA. So I literally hung out with all that people. Like I get them, I get the 12 step people. So after one week, because I had met with the psychiatrist and they, they just didn't understand anxiety disorder back then, but he did put me on medication and within a week I'm like, I'm at.
[00:20:50] So we had an outing and I remember it was pretty woman, Julia Roberts, great movie. And everyone like you want good behavior because you want the outing, right? Well, when you are gore phobic, that is petrifying. Like, shit, I have really good behavior. I don't want to go in and out. Did they not get it right?
[00:21:12] But he had, you know, he had started me on medication. And I went on the outing and there were no panic attacks. So I'm like, okay, I want to go home. Right. So of course it was like against medical advice, but I'm like, mom, dad, I'm out for you at this point. My last semester of college. So 21, 22 years old. I did go back and finish after I met my husband and when I went to graduate school, but it just like it's, there was a light inside of hope.
[00:21:40] And I think that has carried through my whole life. And that's where my spirituality comes from. Because you just get through, even when you don't feel like you can yet just get through and how, because something bigger than myself has pulled me through. Exactly. You have to find whatever that, that thing is to motivate you and pull you through, whether it's your belief in a higher power or love for your children or whatever.
[00:22:09] I know for me, my, my kids have always been my catalyst for growth that I may been stuck on the hamster wheel, perseverating over emotion and, and feelings and how to handle certain things. But when push comes to shove, when. I needed the external motivation, motivation of my kids, you know, and that's what really allowed me the strength to get rid of the external toxicity in my life, which then allowed me the space and the peace to heal.
[00:22:45] The way I needed to, but when I was compete, completely being re-traumatized over and over and over again, there's no time. Right. You know, you're always like the scabs coming back as quickly as you could peel it off, basically it was very, you know, like crisis to crisis. Like that's how my household was growing up.
[00:23:06] And my husband I've been with him. I was 27 years. But it's congratulate. What's a family. It is here. Thank you. And it's, it's like was always a crisis in the family. Like today. I don't, I don't like drama, like keep your drama. Like I just, I step away cause that's just not healthy for me. I'm not going to talk about the other sisters, like just right.
[00:23:30] This is not healthy for me. I just have to take care of myself, but you know, speaking of kids, there was a lot of shame. You know, with the eating disorder and then just feeling like guilt, like, oh my God, my kids are scared. They're gonna lose their mother. So in addition to already feeling bad, it's that, oh my God, like, how can you do this?
[00:23:56] We're going to hurt your kids. And so it's just so much just self abuse. So I'm just, I'm grateful that I am past that. Yes. Do I still have voices? Of course, but I'm more mindful now, more compassionate with myself, more gentle with myself. And I don't expect perfection anymore because perfection doesn't exist.
[00:24:19] No, and we have good days and we have bad days, you know, I mean, yesterday was a really bad day. We were supposed to have this interview yesterday and yesterday was a shit storm for me emotionally. I just, I couldn't do it. And I had to have a COVID test for a medical procedure. Like I just, it wouldn't have been good.
[00:24:36] Would have been fair for you. That would have been terrible. And but then most days, thank goodness. Knock on some serious wood here. Most days are. You know, I've been feeling more positive and more in control of my life. I've been watching what I needing and eating much more nutritionally and, you know, staying within a range and portion control and all of that.
[00:25:00] And, you know, as a 53 year old post-menopausal woman, I don't expect the weight to come off like it did 20 years ago, but. Most days I'm okay with that. And days like yesterday, I was like, oh, I want Mel Mars. I want French fries. You know, like I didn't eat any of those things, but that's, I immediately my emotional trigger.
[00:25:23] I immediately want comfort food. So I'm going to have to figure out how to unwind that, you know, and if it's not affecting the functioning of your life, But that's how I define the eating disorder. Think if it's not really affecting the functioning, it's not affecting your relationships because people sometimes just want to have fun.
[00:25:47] And even today, like, if I want something I'm going to have it just because I want it. Right. But when it gets to, it's really incapacitating and affecting. Oh, of course I'm not eating my right. My emotional eating and my, no, I don't want you to know. Be harsh on yourself. That's what I'm saying. No, I know. I know.
[00:26:07] I know. And I, I, I, you know, the media has done a whammy on us and I, I teach in a high school and all of my students are teenagers. And by and large, most of them are skinny, tiny, little curvy, cute little girls, you know, and I can't compare myself. At 53. With the, the 16, 17, 18 year old girls that I have in my class.
[00:26:41] Cause it's an unfair comparison. So I've been trying to training myself. Don't even look at the 20, 30 something year old teachers, if you're going to do the comparison thing, which I know intellectually is the death of my own self-esteem. But if I'm going to go down that road, I need to compare myself to other 50 something year old post-menopausal women.
[00:27:03] And when I do that, it's not so bad, you know, I'm exactly where everyone else is. Um, but then, you know, you open up people magazine or, you know, yo glide through Instagram or something, and it's just, I'm, you're inundated with. Try this pill and, you know, try that system and my diet and I know women better than, you know, like I've really, I can't deal with it.
[00:27:35] So we get like magazine subscriptions at my husband's office. Right. And I used to always read that. Yes. And with the us magazine who wore it better, who gives a shit who worked better? Honestly, why are we judging her against her candidate for. So no more us, right? Nothing wrong with us. But for me, I don't want to see how you buy your bikini body.
[00:27:57] I don't want this. I don't right. I stopped with all of them, the social media, I, I just follow positive people, more inspiration, spiritual. I actually. I made a music video last week on. And so I put myself out there, which was very scary for me, since you're saying to do dance, I did sing, but the message and the video, it really goes from the pressure that the media puts on us.
[00:28:28] And then kind of the path of finding like that healthy. Like we are so great who we are. Oh, I want to see this. You write the song telling me now it's Diana. Ross is it's my turn. Oh, I feel like, like that. This is my turn. Yeah. This is my turn. You know, keep all your bad messages. Like we are okay. Who we are and you're perfect.
[00:28:52] Just who you are. It doesn't matter. You know, my husband is a plastic surgeon, so I've never spoken about this in any other interview. And so for someone with an eating disorder, it makes it challenging because I manage the office. Right. So, you know, it, it's trying to focus on my inside and fuel my light.
[00:29:12] And then you have patients who, you know, it's fixing the external, which there's nothing wrong with it, right. Just for someone with an eating disorder, then I'm constantly with the bodies. So I've. Is that true? Is that a trigger issue or are you just kind of used to it because you're in it all the time, seeing anything like that?
[00:29:35] It doesn't phase me just cause I've been with him for so long through medicine and bodies. Right. He would show my kids like pictures, like look at how cool this is before. And afters were just used to this. This is like a normal part of our life, but. Yes, when very sick and the eating disorder get does because, well, well she's 20 years younger.
[00:29:56] I'm looking at how pretty she is and she doesn't have any wrinkles. This is not healthy for me, because like you were saying with the 16 year olds, cause do you know what? I'm not sure. Right. I'm just not, I was 30, but now I'm not. So I've worked for my eyes and my brain. I'm about 34, but not in reality anymore.
[00:30:15] Right. It's how do you know what it's, how we feel? That's the bar and you know what? I wouldn't trade this wisdom or self-awareness to go back. I just wouldn't it's so I work mostly from home. I linked to the office computer and 99%. I do everything virtually having this just works better for me. Yeah, I go in when I need to, but it's, it's just healthier for me that I'm still up doing what I need to do, but I'm just, just removed, not physically immersed in it every day.
[00:30:46] Exactly. It's five minutes. So I can't confirm it.
[00:30:56] I'm wearing sweatpants right now. My husband's like, is that where you're wearing? Like they don't see the pants. I got sweat socks on their pants. All you see as the top. Exactly. But, you know, and that was insecurity with my husband too. Cause it's like, well, you're with all these younger women and making them all beautiful and then I'm getting older, but then he's always like, well, I love you.
[00:31:15] I chose you. But you know, when you have all that self doubt, It's hard and God bless him. He's wonderful. But it's hard. It's hard. I mean, I can say till I'm blue in the face, that I'm perfect. The way I am. That I'm enough. Just the way I am. I'm healthy. I'm strong. So I'm more curvy than I wanted to be. But so what I mean, there are plus size models that I look out on the, that I look at on social media and I think they're stunning actually.
[00:31:43] Oh my God. My video is fabulous. And such a positive role model and message. And, and she's really helping me to not negatively judged myself. When I look in the. You know, when I looked at, we went on a big family trip in July and I looked at myself in a bathing suit and there was a, my first impulse was, oh my God, how can you go out in public like that?
[00:32:13] You know, criticizing myself. And then I, I purposely went to Ashley Graham's Instagram, and I'm like, if she can freaking do it, so can I, and it fueled me. I. If I compare myself to something that's healthy, it makes me feel stronger. So it just hurts my heart that we even have to think this way. I know it's, it's just not right.
[00:32:40] It should just be yay. We're going to the beach or go to the pool. Let's put on our babies. You can go off. Right. Not worry about it's not right. No, no, but you know, I often say that it's, it's really greed and capitalism is the problem because everybody thinks they have the quick fix the pill, the thing that's going to really emanate body fat or take our supplement and you won't even have to exercise, like whatever this bullshit is, and they're getting smarter and more manipulative and more.
[00:33:13] Like sinister persuasive in their advertising. And I just, I feel that if I'm not careful that I'm being emotionally beat up constantly by all this ad, this advertising, and I'm an intelligent. Multi graduate degree, you know, middle-aged woman. If I was the 16 year old me or my 20 year old daughter without this wealth of experience, no wonder, you know,
[00:33:52] I don't know how to fix it. I don't know. I don't mind. I mean, my, for me, it's been, I stopped looking at all those things because it doesn't help me. What helps me? I love my Pinterest. I'm always on Pinterest reading jokes, just things that fuel me in a positive way. Right. And those things don't because it's superficial BS.
[00:34:13] Like it really is who we are. We're like, we're S we're D but we have emotions. I'd rather connect with people in that way then. Just what exercise gear I'm wearing today. Like now I'm just beyond that at this point in my life. So I was listening to a psychologist the other day. I don't know why I'm going to this tangent, but go ahead.
[00:34:37] So she was saying about. And I didn't know this, that eating disorders and anxiety disorders go hand in hand. So this was very interesting for me just having an anxiety disorder. So then she was talking about, you know, with young people, how with the media and all this, the pressure. So then she was talking about, so she's a researcher in Australia and then she, so her research now is on how younger girls feeling like with vaginal rejuvenation.
[00:35:04] So if it isn't about enough, That you're preoccupied with how your body is now. It's like your private area to which nobody could even see. This is a pressure thing, thing. It is a thing. And they, so I remember when my postpartum women with a PC. No. So I understand that. And having birth, you know, that's corrective totally get that.
[00:35:32] No, this is young girls. And so my daughter. When she was in high school, she showed me on like, what the hell? Pictures of female anatomy and boys making comments.
[00:35:48] I'm like, I don't think I would survive if I was a teenage girl today. Like what the heck is going on? So we're not just being scrutinized by boobs. Our vulvas look like. It made me sick. So it was just interesting. Cause I remember my daughter told me that now this psychologist is actually studying it.
[00:36:09] She's like, you know what? I understand implants and all that, you can see it in the clothing makes you feel good, but that's protected like underwear and clothing. Right. And now you're like beat up for that as well. Like when is it enough to just leave women alone? And then they were talking about, you know, men and their whole.
[00:36:30] The whole shit. Wow. I didn't know that this was being used as a cosmetic procedure in a way. I thought it was just, you know, as you would think, reconstructive after height. All right. No, this is very cosmetic. Now you look at it. Actually it's become one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures. I can't even imagine what that must be like to go in for a consultation with a doctor, take your pants off and spread your legs.
[00:37:02] I'm uncomfortable going to a female gynecologist, you know? And so there is a reconstructive component. Obviously working in this office. Yes. That's true. You would know better than anywhere. Our young people that, yes, it is more of a reconstructive. And I understand that. I just, it just saddens me. That's so much pressure.
[00:37:24] We have so much pressure and it's such an external focus that we're forgetting about who we are inside and that's reluctance lost. That's where the beauty lives and that. I was telling my daughter it's you got to like build from the inside out. And I never did that. Cause it was my feelings didn't matter.
[00:37:44] They didn't count on, I went to her don't talk, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, that's the kind of household I lived in. My mother was an undiagnosed bipolar and she was an opiate drug addict. So yeah, I wasn't seen at all. And uh, yeah, she had. Yeah. Yeah. I was parenting myself and I was six years old, so yeah, it's craziness.
[00:38:08] So I grew up trying to constantly be the perfect person to be deserving of love. And you know, you can't get to perfection and no matter what I did. What I didn't know then that I figured out later was that no matter what I did it, wasn't going to change the dynamic of my relationship with her. It was never going to be enough because it was never about me in the beginning at all.
[00:38:29] Anyway, it was always about her. So I kind of didn't figure that out until my forties or late thirties or yes. Yeah. Well, my dad, he, I didn't know he was an alcoholic till I was 16, because it was a shame nobody could know. So I didn't even know until I was 16 and I actually saw him drunk and just angry and aggressive and very, yeah, it was very scary.
[00:39:00] So he went to treatment, which I was in heaven because I was like, yay. Get him out of the house for 28 days. So I don't have to hear him yelling all the time. So there was, you know, and then he came back and was like, totally on the AA bandwagon, which was great. But from my childhood, I mean, I had years, I know one of your questions.
[00:39:20] I know you're oh my God, the question. No, I know. But one of them is a favorite childhood memory and I was like, I've lucked out so much. Like it's because I just, I don't know, like a lot of it's just blocked out now I've done the same thing. Yeah, I don't remember. I just don't remember. And thank God it wasn't physical abuse, but emotional abuse to the same.
[00:39:43] So it was just the yelling and the screaming. So in his later life he developed Alzheimer's. He passed away three years ago and I, I really wanted for myself to have complete forgiveness for him. Cause he did change an AA. He was a very loving person and. He just did the best he could, you know, when he was sick, he was sick, but I was young and that, you know, it doesn't mean that you could disrespect others when you're sick, but no, no.
[00:40:11] I was afraid of him and the adults. We have a little bit more measure of compassion because we realized that our parents were for the most part weren't malicious. They weren't trying to hurt us all. There was an alcoholic. Doing the best I can with limited tools and toxic DNA, you know, but at his heart, he was just such a good man and a spiritual man.
[00:40:37] And I remember working with my therapist and it was to be able to like really hug him. And I, like, I couldn't even touch him, like even to hold his hand and, and I would feel so guilty cause he was so frail and with Alzheimers at the place. At the end, I could hug him. And I'd love you, dad. Just, it was a very cathartic, I didn't want to have guilt when he passed that I should have come to forgiveness.
[00:41:06] Like this kind of makes me emotional, but I came to just complete acceptance from my dad. And that was a lot of work. And I guess that was another inspiration for the book because he really. He was all about helping others and service to others, and so much shame with the eating disorder and the messages and childhood you have to put on.
[00:41:30] They were like the perfect family. There is no perfect family. And I tell my kids all the time behind every garage door, there are issues because that's part of life. We all have something it's just in different measures and how we perceive it. So the book is actually, it's dedicated to both my parents, primarily my dad.
[00:41:50] This is not for blame, but that we have to help others. Hadn't put my pride aside. And because if you can help one person, then you're doing service to others. Absolutely. And you're not alone in your suffering. So that's really the evolution because this book was shelved for a long time. It was after he passed.
[00:42:11] Yeah. That's wonderful. And to be fueled by such a compassionate. Brings meaning to your own life and helps the rest of us who, who look at your book and hear, hear this podcast and hear other things that you do and read other things that you do. It's I'm glad that you're doing this work. It's important, you know, looking at the statistics of eating disorders, which are staggering and that if we're not more mindful as.
[00:42:45] W w or, or let's just say we need to be more mindful and teach our children and each other to, to have some more self-compassion and realize where our gifts and our beauty and our talent and our value comes from. And it isn't anything external. It's a 10 site and finding, finding what lights you up.
[00:43:15] Exactly. So shall we do the six quick questions that I usually do in the beginning? Yes. Okay. So what six words would you use to describe yourself? So, definitely spiritual, because I've always believed in something greater than myself. Definitely empathetic slash to passionate, because if you cried right now, like I would just feel it and cry with you.
[00:43:40] Very empathetic. No one I know ever cries alone. No, no. If you're sad, like my heart is just hurting with you. I'm loyal and trustworthy to the end. Like what you tell me, it stays locked in here. That's it? The vault that, yeah, I don't, I don't do that.
[00:44:00] I guess introspective, very curious. Because I like everything like psychology. I love psychology. So I'm always, yeah. You know, well, what's going on and did I did right? How many did I say? I think that was like seven. So we're going to take good. What's your favorite way to spend creativity? Oh yes. We can't forget that.
[00:44:23] Yeah, absolutely. My favorite way to spend the day, it would be you time and me time. So me time would be, I have to have my self-care to meditate. I have to have like some time for myself and then the you time would be, I'd love to be like, well, my son's in California and the opposite side of the country, my daughter's in college.
[00:44:46] So I have my little one, but when we're all together, that's like favorite Utah. So. I can relate. I would describe my, my favorite way to spend a day, the exact same way and to have all the kids together. And I don't think that, I mean, I have two children, I have two stepchildren and my husband and I have five grandchildren from his oldest daughter.
[00:45:10] And. I don't think we've only been married for four and a half years, but I think that our wedding was the last time that we had every one in the same place. And I mean, they're all in different states. I dunno. And then COVID and everything else. It's craziness. Okay. Childhood memory. You did. What is your favorite meal?
[00:45:32] So I know this sounds like KUKA, so I thought of like favorite foods they're straight. So it was Salisbury steak. I heard any other podcasts. You're like, everyone always chooses seafood. So I'm going, yeah. That's not what I would choose. I'm going to be different and go with Salisbury steak with like curl Kenyans and.
[00:45:51] Okay. With a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Cause I do love my bagels. I'm just thinking like, if it was the last meal, this is what I will want. Okay. And then like a big yummy first. These are all my favorite thing. Wonderful. Wonderful. Yeah. I don't know. For me, it's like totally dependent on. On mood. Like some days it would be copious amounts of sushi and some days it would be like a loaded case of DIA with lots of cheese and some days it would be something Italian with pasta and other days it would be salad and grilled salmon, you know, like it depends.
[00:46:35] Yeah. So with anorexia becomes very rigid and structured. So it's been for me, learning how to like, keep breaking out of the comfort zone and then just expanding because it's like, well, this is safe. You're allowed to eat this. So it's just to keep increasing where it's really not safe or unsafe. It's just food.
[00:46:57] Sure. But in an eating disorder mind, it's like, well, you can have that. Cause that's, you know, not good for you. So it's, it's expanding and expanding, which is in recovery. You just keep growing and expanding. So, I mean, I eat, I'm a creature of habit, so like my breakfast is either raisin, brand crunch and oat milk or oatmeal with cut-up fruit.
[00:47:23] And. That I only have two alternatives. Very, very rarely. If we go out to breakfast, I'll have like pancakes or something, but I always, I like them, but they're too much work and I won't ever mess up the kitchen that much and cook them myself. I don't come them as well. Anyway, you can super duper early.
[00:47:41] I get up at 5:00 AM, so that's just not happening., lunch for me, it's usually some sort of sandwich, like a Turkey sandwich or a tuna sandwich, or sometimes a salad with. Lots of yummy vegetables in it. And some ginger dressing or something. The only time I get creative is with dinner and I don't know that's okay.
[00:48:00] Whatever it is, what it is, he's going to keep track of. All right. Number five. What one piece of advice, advice would you like to give your younger self? My dad used to always say in the program and it really sticks with me that this too shall pass. It can always be worse. I do live by that. It could always be worse.
[00:48:24] Yeah. Because like for younger, like my kids, this is like the worst thing in the world, you know, if they did poorly on her test, it's the absolute, it's the ends of the world. It's a catastrophe. Really not really. Let's put it a little bit in perspective because it really could always be worse. Yeah. So my perspective has changed so much.
[00:48:46] I guess I'm more like an optimist now, but trying to teach my kids that like, when you look at things in reality, it could be so much worse and that's where the gratitude comes in. So let's just have a little gratitude for what we have rather than what we don't have, because it's so easy to focus on what we don't know.
[00:49:05] But we forget to appreciate what we do. And we have so much. I agree. I absolutely agree. You know, and I think some of those things, like, you know, I'll find myself saying things like that too. Like, oh my God, I can't believe that happened. It can't be any worse than this. And I know that I'm just being hyperbolic, that I'm not really meaning the literal interpretation of that.
[00:49:26] But what I've come to realize is just having those thoughts in my head, regardless of the emotional intent behind them, I've still said them in my head and they have. Some sort of repercussion, you know, they, they do stick in there, even though I know I'm meaning it externally as a high-profile hyperbolic thing inside, I've still said I've still catastrophized it.
[00:49:51] I've still said that this thing, whatever this is, is the worst thing that could ever happened. And. Yeah, I've become very observant of my thoughts. So I've done, you know, the mindfulness-based stress reduction. Then I did the, um, self-compassion eight week class. And so there's a mindfulness, um, PhD, Shauna Shapiro.
[00:50:14] She's actually in the music video because, so she says in her Ted talks like what you practice grows stronger. And I remember watching. When I went through the mindfulness class, it had, I've never forgotten it. And I'll notice now, like when the negative starts, what you practice grows stronger. If you keep feeding it, it's going to, it like takes over and you get to that negative place.
[00:50:42] So I, I observed no stock. She says, what you practice grows stronger neuroplasticity, and we can change our brain and all this. And I will consciously do something else because I know that that thinking is going to take me to a dark place. And I don't want to go there. Like it is a choice. I can low feelings or feelings.
[00:51:03] I can be sad or I could be angry. These are feelings, but to just ruminate and ruminate and spiral out of control, this is not healthy for. No, so I need to feel it kind of process it. And then, okay. Now we're going to move on, talk about it and right, right. About it, journal about it, draw a picture about it, however way you want to get it out and then be done with it and go do something else.
[00:51:26] Absolutely. Because otherwise it just, it, it just doesn't stop. No, no. Do I have an app on my phone? What clicks through and my apple watch called I am. And like once every couple of hours, it just shoots me a positive affirmation and sometimes it's not a good time and I hardly read it. But most of the time, it short circuits, something else, some other negative thing that my brain is occupied with and, and I'm forced to like, okay, I am enough.
[00:52:03] I am in control of the world of, of my immediate world. You know what, whatever the affirmation is. Okay. And you have to, you'll have to tell me the name of that. If you don't ever know you're I am, I am. I want that. I love that because I don't know I'm on something and every night at like nine ding, what are you grateful for?
[00:52:20] And it's just a reminder because I think we don't stop and think about it. So I'll stop and say, okay, I'm grateful, you know, for whatever, but I like, I'm going to look up your little app. Cause I like this little, there's another app that I'm a guest of mine. I'm a former guest of mine on the podcast. What the heck is her name?
[00:52:43] Just flew, right, right out of my head. She's going to kill me. Her name. The app's name is I have. I H a P P Y M E. And that also does daily blessings and affirmations. You, you click on the thing and you shake your phone and it says, wait a miracles in progress. And then it says, may you be blessed with ability to experience true happiness?
[00:53:05] May your receptors for happiness, be open and receiving. May you release any guilt or shame for being happy? Be happy and. And every time you shake your phone or click the app, it's a different thing. Yeah. I like the, I am. Yeah. It's like simple. Yeah. It's simple and automatic. It's just like, oh, okay. Yes, I am enough.
[00:53:25] Breathe. I am enough. Right. And then it just, short-circuits the negative. Just, it brings you back to the center. I like that. Yeah. That's all my to-do list today. There you go well, faith. This was a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much for being here on permission to heal and, and helping me, helping our listeners, learn how to heal themselves.
[00:53:50] You know, we've all, I think all got the tools that we need already within us. We just have to be mindful and compassionate enough to do the work and find them within. And reach out because I think when we're so lost and that feeling of loneliness, it's, it's really scary and hard. It's hard to reach out cause you're, you know, I know for me, don't reject me and what if you judge me, but there are, we're not terminally unique.
[00:54:21] I just really love that. Cause I think we're so much more like, than different. If we could just get under all the nonsense and speak from our hearts, we can all relate. Well that I can't think of a better way to end. That's just fabulous. So I will link in your show in the show notes, where to buy your book and your website.
[00:54:40] And I would like with your permission to link your, your music video to the show notes, can I do that? So it's all there. So if you're listening, if you're driving, don't look yet. But yeah, no texting and driving don't scroll or anything when you're driving, but the minute you stop scroll down to the show notes, all the links will be there.
[00:54:59] Awesome. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Marcy, and I wish you only the best. Thank you very much. You as well.