Bingeing & Post-Election Anxiety

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Transcript

Hi there, welcome to the Doc Nina show here on LA Talk Radio and Instagram. I am your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin and I am here to help you stop counting calories, carbs and fat grams so you can easily get to a healthy weight and get on with your life. That is my wish for you. I want you to wake up and think about your day, not your diet. If you’d like to join me today, the number is 323-203-0815. That is 323-203-0815. You’ll get connected to me engineer, Ronin, who will patch you through to me since we are still not in the studio due to coronavirus. But please call. I would love to hear what is on your mind, what is weighing on you. Because the real problem with binge eating, stress eating and any kind of emotional eating, the real problem is not food. The real problem is what is eating at you, what is weighing on you. So give me a call and let’s sort it out.

So today is Veteran’s Day and I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that Veteran’s Day honors all who have served the country in war and peace. Karlygash is calling but hold on, this is really important. Karlygash, hold that thought because I just really want to say this about Veteran’s Day. By the way, it was originally Armistice Day because it commemorated the day that Word War II ended, so it is always on November 11th. And I just want to commemorate this day with some quotes. Then, I’m going to tie it back to food and weight and body image and also hear from Karlygash. So in honor of Veteran’s Day, I just want to say a couple of quotes. “Without heroes, we are all plain people and we don’t know how far we can go.” Bernard Malamud. “In order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in common purpose.” Wouldn’t that be great if we could all join hands in common purpose? That’s Dwight Eisenhower.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” That’s John F Kennedy. And last, my favorite, you know how I love Maya Angelou. My favorite, “How important is it for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and sheroes?” Maya Angelou. So a shout out to all you veterans who are with us and not with us. Thank you for your sacrifice for this country. Okay. Karlygash is calling. Karlygash, what’s going on?

Karlygash:
Good morning.

Good morning, Karlygash. What’s happening?

Karlygash:
Happy Veteran’s Day.

Karlygash, I’m going to ask you to speak up because I can barely hear you.

Karlygash:
Do you hear me better now?

Not really.

Karlygash:
I dropped my phone into water, maybe I have problems. So I want to ask your advice. I started recently waking up in the morning, and I usually wake up like with [inaudible 00:04:30] unhappy thoughts. But then for a while, like maybe a week, I was waking up with neutral thoughts, which is positive progress. And just recently, when we talked last week on Wednesday and you told me to be supportive of myself, it really got to me. I really got it this time and I was doing this as much as I could. So now every morning-

I just want to repeat what you’re saying. It’s very hard to hear you. So basically, what you’re saying is last week when you called, I suggested that you respond to yourself in a supportive way, because often when we respond to ourselves, and you were responding to yourself in a very harsh way, we can end up using food or binging or using food, overeating, even eating disorder behavior of all kinds to get away from our own mean inner voices. And so what I had said to you was, “Take your own side,” [inaudible 00:05:36] as your family was. Family was very rejecting. Don’t reject yourself. Don’t say, “I don’t care.” That was them. Take your own side and be kind to yourself. So how did it go?

Karlygash:
It went well. I did it as much as I could. I cannot say that, oh my god, I woke up then I’m only supportive in my head, no. But I definitely feel much better, much more support in my head of my own. So now, when I binge or overeat or I make a mistake or do something, I notice that I don’t tell myself off. I feel like if I skip an exercise because I’m tired or because it’s cold, or if I forget just to put on a fur coat because it’s cold and I’m not noticing that I’m freezing, I just say, “Oh, of course I’m skipping exercising because it’s cold and I have this trauma response and I have anxiety.” Or I just don’t beat myself up anymore as I used to. Before, I used to say in this mean voice like, “See, you told yourself you’re going to exercise every day and you’re not doing it.” Although, it’s positive progress, I look back and I actually see that I’ve done a lot. But this critical voice made it all sound like nothing, as if I was not doing anything. Whereas now-

And Karlygash, I just have to interject and say what I notice is that the critical voice, which we talked about many times on the show, is when you say, “See you.” You are you, you, you talking to yourself in second person in a really mean voice. What I’m noticing is there’s more of an I voice today. One way to find out if you’re being critical is if you’re talking to yourself in second person and you’re doing this, when you say to yourself, “You’re doing this and you’re not doing this.” Instead of, you don’t say, “I’m not doing this,” you say, “You.” So the fact that you’re even aware of that and making that change is significant.

Karlygash:
Yes, I’m very aware that I’m talking to myself in the first voice, in I voice. And it’s a kind way. And I really made a decision to do so, because before I was not valuing myself, but I could love others very well. And I remember, I was dating a nasty guy like a year ago. A year ago? I don’t know. And I remember I was so in love with him but he was just a narcissist and stuff, regular trauma same like my mom, rejecting, ignoring. And I remember waking up every morning with a very good feeling of love towards him. And I used to leave him very nice good morning messages full of love and support and he liked it very much.

And when I started to work on myself and you told me several times that I need to be that kind and loving to myself, it was so hard half a year ago. I was looking in the mirror and I was crying because I was saying good morning to myself, “Have a wonderful day,” and, “I love you,” and all these nice words,” I was crying because I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t take it in and it all felt like, not fake, but it all felt … And I cried because I was like, “I won’t be able to do that. It’s not fair.” But today, like these recent days I wake up in the morning and I tell myself, “Good morning, I love you, you are so beautiful.” And I notice that every morning I wake up and in my head I start telling nice things about me, I recall all the nice things and I say, “Oh, I’m also very intelligent.” Or, “Oh, I’m so resilient.” And I recall the events of my life when I did good, and I started just acknowledging in the morning.

It happens subconsciously, it’s the moment I wake up. So instead of depressing thoughts and those critical thoughts which me up, and voices which tell, “Oh, you suck at this and you suck at that and look at this and look at that-”

“You.”

Karlygash:
Yeah, “You.” Now, I wake up and I’m like, “Oh, I actually did this and it was so good. I actually found this and that.” And it feels just so good. I still binge, I still overeat, but not that much. I still am just freaking out because this positive change is there [inaudible 00:10:34] logical result of all my self work. But it just feels so new. Honestly, first time in my life, I feel good like for real inside and it’s coming out by itself because the moment I wake up in the morning my conscience talks to me. It’s not me even being conscious yet. So it’s a very positive thing that I wake up with good thoughts about myself. And oh my lord, I’ve been working my butt my whole life for this moment honestly and I’m giving myself pat on the back, I did such a great job and thank you so much Dr. Nina and all the girls. So my question was, how do I keep this feeling and don’t binge? Because I have this good feeling, this better, kinder attitude to myself and I still go and overeat.

Well, so you are cultivating an attitude of kindness to yourself that is becoming more natural and you’re feeling better, so you said you were binging less but you’re still doing it. You also mentioned fear of the good, something we’ve also discussed on the show, that it gets good, it’s going to be taken away from you. So sometimes we resist positive change and we are actually the agents of our own destruction because we’re in charge. If you make yourself feel bad because you’re binging, then it’s not going to come from out of the blue from somebody else. This is not logical, this is psychological. Logically, it’s, “Hey, I can take care of myself whatever happens. I’ve been through a lot.” All that stuff. Psychologically it’s, “Oh, I’m feeling good. That’s dangerous. Danger, danger because now something bad is going to happen to me so I better prevent something bad from happening to me because never feeling too good because I’m still binging,” or by something along those lines so that the bad comes from you, not from the outside.

Karlygash:
Dr. Nina, I also noticed while you were talking, I just realized that it’s very good that I’m being kinder to myself. But inside, I have this idea and feeling [inaudible 00:13:19], maybe I don’t have this already pulling rug under my feet [inaudible 00:13:25] idea because I used to do it before when I was totally binging and rejecting any progress. But now, it’s more like, “Oh, I …” So the idea and the thought is that, “Oh, I deserve or I can keep as much good in my life,” so as if the amount of good in my life and being nice to myself is limited. So what I think is going on in my head is that I feel good in the morning, I have nice things going on for me, I do nice things, and as if somebody’s telling, “Enough.” And I remember my family used to tell, “If something good happens …” And I’m an emotional person. I react right away to everything. I consider myself very healthy because I have very healthy emotional response to all situations. But my family used to tell me, “Don’t be too excited, don’t be too happy.”

They used to always stop this other happiness when I’m so happy and so radiant. So now, when I do have these good feelings in the morning, and then maybe I limit myself and don’t let other amounts of good. So I want to do right now is to notice that I got a portion of good in the morning. And then, during the day when portions of good is coming, say I go to chiropractor, I talk to my friend or whatever, I don’t limit myself to the good. I need to understand this idea that the good can last and I deserve it and I can let it in in my life and I can actually live the whole day of good things without negativity happening or [inaudible 00:15:12].

Absolutely. And you just did a wonderful job of making that association to these messages that you got as a kid, which is, “Oh, that’s enough good. That’s enough good. Be careful, easy now.” And so that realizing, and that’s why I say that often this work is like a psychological exorcism. We’ve got to get rid of the ideas and identifications with how you were treated so that you can create new ideas about the world. So if you can internalize this notion that you were given of, “Hey, that’s enough, that’s enough good for you,” then that’s what you’re automatically going to live by. And then, too much good, whatever too much good is, starts to make you anxious, and then boom, there’s food. So great association, giving yourself permission to change that rule. Because that’s not a rule, it’s an idea. It’s an idea.

Karlygash:
So it’s technically possible to live the day, the whole day having all good events coming one after another. So how do I keep it when anxiety kicks in? It would be okay if they said, “Okay, enough good.” No, they never said that. In this case, I at least had the thought, “It’s enough good.” They said, “Don’t be happy, don’t be excited, don’t be [crosstalk 00:16:34].”

Yes.

Karlygash:
Whenever I have continuous good things happening, I have this idea kicking in which says, “Just don’t. Don’t be happy, don’t be excited.” So how do I keep this positive chain of good events in my day and I don’t sabotage it? [crosstalk 00:16:51]

The same way that you were able to stop the second person critical mean voice. When you say, “Oh, don’t be too happy,” the you isn’t being said, but who’s talking? You’re not saying, “I can’t be too happy.” You’re saying, “Don’t be happy.” So wait a minute, who’s talking? Where’d that idea come from? And you actively have to challenge that idea. “No, that is an idea that I reject. I reject that idea.” And by the way, this is a lot of work at first. You have to think a lot to make changes. But eventually, the new way becomes the automatic way. Right now, you have an automatic thought of, “Don’t get too excited, don’t be so happy. Don’t be happy.” And that’s automatic and it’s familiar and it feels very real.

So right now, you have to … just like when you learn to play an instrument, you have to think a lot. “Which finger goes to which key or string?” or whatever it is that you’re learning to play. You have to think a lot about it. And eventually, you just pick up the instrument or you sit down at the piano or you do whatever and you play. So right now, when you allow yourself to hear that thought, “Don’t be happy, don’t be too happy, don’t be so excited,” you just say to yourself actively, “No, I reject that idea. Would I say that to anybody else? Would I say to anybody else, ‘Oh, I don’t get too excited now, you’re just too happy there.’?” No, you would not. At least, I don’t think you would. And just challenge it. “No, I reject that idea actively.” And the more that you do, the more powerful you will feel and the less power that that idea has.

Karlygash:
Thank you. And when I reject this thought, I need another substitute of positive thought [crosstalk 00:18:56] tell myself to keep- [crosstalk 00:18:58]

“I’m about to enjoy my life. My birthright as a person on this planet is to enjoy life and to feel good and do good.” Right?

Karlygash:
Isn’t it crazy that you have to do it? What a world, the world now that is out there and people, please be kind to your kids.

Feel good, you get to feel good too. Okay?

Karlygash:
If you have like a second and minute, I would quickly [inaudible 00:19:33] people. So you listeners know about me and relationships with my family, that they actually didn’t love me. But it’s so weird, my whole life I thought they did. I was making myself believe so. I was walking yesterday, my evening walk. Then, I sat on the curb and I started crying because it dawned on my that my mother didn’t want me. I just really understood she didn’t want me. It doesn’t matter that she says that she wanted me and loves me, but by all her actions she’s showing that she didn’t. I was crying. It was just so hard, so painful honestly, but it liberated me. I felt liberated the moment I understood the reality, that she didn’t. And it all fell in place now, it’s all now logical, her actions, her words. And actually, facing that painful reality liberated me because [inaudible 00:20:30], “Oh, now it makes sense. Because she didn’t want me and didn’t love me she did this, this, and that.” It’s not me.

Yes, thank you for bringing that up, that’s so important, that we are not a reflection of how we are treated. It is painful and horrible to come to the realization that you are not wanted.

Karlygash:
But it’s liberating too.

But it doesn’t make you unlovable, unlikable. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. So thank you for this update, Karlygash. Keep us posted. And I know you can do this, you’ve got this. You’re going to talk back to that voice that says, “You don’t get to enjoy your life.” You get to create a new rule. You know how Bill Maher is always like, “New rules!”? Well, you get to make new rules and that will be exciting to see. So I look forward to hearing from you next week [inaudible 00:21:30] update.

Karlygash:
Thank you so much. I will call you. After I talk to you, honestly now the change is so rapid, so fast. Thank you so, so much.

You’re welcome.

Karlygash:
I am forever grateful to you.

Bye, Karlygash, thank you.

Karlygash:
Bye.

So Josh on Instagram is saying, “Trump will not say that he lost, he never will, he’s behaving exactly like a narcissist would act.” I would say malignant narcissist. But that brings me to a topic that has been coming up a lot, and that is how to deal with post election anxiety. So the outcome of the … And by the way, this is from an article on Healthline called How to Deal with Post Election Anxiety. If you would like to talk to me about something going on with you by the way as Karlygash just did, looking at what is eating at you, looking at the reason that you are turning to food … because if you are turning to food you are turning away from something else. And when we can identify what that thing is that you are turning away from, because it might be hidden, it might be unconscious, out of awareness but not out of operation, when we can see what it is and discern it, then we can fight back, then we can deal with it and food stops being a problem. So 323-203-0815, 323-203-0815 is the number to call in and say hi to me and tell me what’s going on.

All right. So this is from an article in Healthline called How to Deal with Post Election Anxiety. The outcome of the 2020 election may impact your mental health difficulty depending on where you live and which candidate you voted for. If your candidate did not win, it may affect your mental health. Your emotional health I should say. Even if your candidate did win, it may affect your emotional health. The polarization during this election cycle can play a part in what they’re calling post election stress. And I’m seeing a lot of people report post election stress. We had pre election stress for just about the last four years, and now we have post election stress. But the good news is there are ways to manage your stress post election. Post election anxiety can be particularly difficult when the candidate you supported didn’t win. It also happens to be particularly difficult for the candidate who didn’t win. The more the candidate loses by, the greater number of days of stress and depression can follow.

Did you guys know that, that actually if you kind of tie your wellbeing to whether your candidate wins or doesn’t win, even if you’re not conscious of making that tie, it can affect you, it’s almost like you lost? So basically, in 2016, people who lived in states with a Hillary Clinton majority had a lot more mental health difficulty. And I hate the word mental health, I like emotional health. Mental health to me is like the guy outside on the sidewalk who’s having a very loud conversation with Jesus and Jesus is not there. To me, mental health has sort of a pejorative, negative stigma. I like to think about emotional health, because it’s actually not so much mental, it’s about emotions. So people whose candidate has lost, especially unexpectedly are at most risk for worsening of emotional health. The climate in 2020 is also so much more polarized than it was four years ago and that is contributing to a lot of post election anxiety.

Plus, the pandemic intensifies that anxiety, it intensifies that emotion. Josh is saying the important thing is Biden did actually win. Amen to that. I am very relieved that we now will have sanity in the office. And even though these are my personal opinions, I’ve gotten a lot of emails saying, “We don’t care about your personal opinions, just tell us about weight,” you know what? A lot of people have been struggling with the anxiety of Trump. I’ve talked about this a lot. A lot of people have felt as if there is chaos because of … well, there has been chaos because of Trump. And one way of managing chaos is to transfer the chaos of the election, the chaos of all the crazy stuff that’s going on in the White House to become chaos over food, feeling as if you have no control over what’s going on in the world can become, “Oh, let me control what I’m eating.” There’s a displacement from feeling powerless over the insanity, the utter insanity and lack of adhering to the norms of our society, our culture, and of politics itself, that that can be displaced into a sense of wanting to be powerful over food.

So I’ve talked about that a lot. So when you factor in also that we have pandemic anxiety and now we have rising cases, it’s very, very anxiety producing. Again, food, eating, compulsive eating, stress eating, binge eating, this is not about addiction to food. This is not about food. Food is the solution to the problem, it is not the problem. If you’re anxious and you’re eating a bunch of carbs, guess what? You’re going to calm your body down. It is a way of self medicating. It is also psychological. Again, transferring anxiety over one thing that you can’t control onto anxiety over something else that you ostensibly can control, [inaudible 00:28:29] are actively supporting an out of control person who’s brought us just such degradation and death. We can’t do much about that. We’ve already done it, we’ve voted. But so many other people did vote for him. So many people said, “Hey, he’s racist, he’s misogynistic, he loves dictators, he’s cruel to our allies and he sucks up to dictators, there’s no national response to the pandemic, he’s done this and he’s done that. He speaks horribly of other people. He calls people names. He’s a bully.”

So many people said, “You know what? Yes. I want four years of that. I want four more years please.” That’s also unsettling to a lot of people, including me. I will say that. Yes. People who said, “No, thank you, malignant narcissism, lies and chaos. No, thank you.” Yes, they’re very happy that Biden won. We have peace, we have sanity, we have a sense of being looked after in the White House, whereas for so long we’ve had a sense of being have emotional whiplash. You just don’t know what he’s going to do next and it’s so scary and anxiety producing and that’s led to a lot of comfort eating and, again, displacement onto taking care of … I’m getting some love Instagram. So that’s led to a displacement from focus on him to focus on food. Remember, if you are taking to food, if you are doing something with food that you don’t like, it is for a reason. Ariel is saying, “There’s so much work to be done, but having Trump leave is a huge relief.” Absolutely, completely. It is a huge relief.

And yet, we still have so much going on. We have pandemic anxiety, we have an out of control virus. We have people who are wearing masks, we have people who are not wearing masks. Anxiety, fear, anger. Anger. I go out and I see people who are not wearing masks and I get mad. Like, I get angry. Why are you not protecting yourself and other people? Other people get mad at me. “Why are you wearing a mask? You don’t have to wear a mask outside.” I’ve been mask shamed more times than I want to tell you and I live in LA, I live in Calabasas, a bastion of liberalism and people are still angry about the cause. So there is anger, there is anxiety. And if we don’t have a way of dealing with that anxiety, if we don’t have a way of reassuring ourselves, acknowledging, validating, reassuring, calming ourselves, comforting ourselves with words, we are going to do something to alleviate that anxiety and for many of us it is food. For many people, it is food because, think about it, when you’re upset, what’d your mom do? She probably said, “Oh, here, let’s have some ice cream.”

Not that it’s mom’s fault, but it’s kind of mom’s fault or dad’s or somebody’s. Somewhere along the line you learned that the way to soothe yourself is with ice cream or cookies or food or something. We are a nation that does know how to self soothe. Josh is saying, “You might want to wear a mask even being vaccinated.” Of course. I am wearing a mask and avoiding everything that I used to do until there is both a vaccine that is reliable and a cure. I am immunocompromised, I am taking no chances. What was I saying? Oh, I remember. We are a society that says feelings are scary. You’re actually weak if you have feelings and strong if you don’t have them, which is absolutely backwards. Guess what? It takes strength to feel difficult, painful, upsetting emotions. It takes a lot of strength to do that, to feel yucky and to bear it. But it’s easier to do when we know how to respond to ourselves, when we learn how to comfort ourselves.

When you use comfort words, you stop needing comfort food. It is not a sign of strength to deny what you feel. That’s denial. That is not strength. By the way, Earth to Earth Two, which is currently in residence in the White House, it is not strength to deny reality. It is not strength to deny reality. Strength is to recognize reality and to process it and work through it and feel your feelings. And what does that look like? People are like, “I don’t know how to feel my feelings. What are you talking about, feel your feelings?” Because a lot of times people think they’re feeling their feelings when they’re just thinking their feelings. Thinking your feelings goes along the lines of when we think about someone who told me that she was feeling her feelings but she was really thinking her feelings. All right, well, this is a whole bunch of people condensed into one.

“I’m feeling my feelings. I know I’m angry. I know I’m angry. I’m angry. Yeah, I’m angry.” Guess what, that’s identifying your feelings. That is identifying what you are feeling. That is not feeling your feelings. Feeling your feelings means, “You know what? I am so pissed because this and that, and oh my god, I cannot believe …” I’ll demonstrate. I cannot believe that Trump is refusing to concede. That is upsetting, that is disgusting. It is making me sick. I am so angry. Notice I’m not just saying the words. I’m not just saying, “Yes, I’m very angry that he refuses to concede and it’s very un-presidential, I’m very angry about that.” That is thinking your feeling. Anger is actually expressing it with some oomph, when you have some vitality to your anger you are expressing anger. Sadness. Sadness is often tears. It’s not like, “Yes, I’m very sad.” Or someone … Let’s just go the other way. Someone who might say, “I’m very sad. I’m very sad because he lost.” Well, that’s thinking the sadness. Going, “Oh my god, he lost!” I can’t even do it, I can’t even act it. I can’t even pretend to do it.

I was trying to give that other side equality but I can’t do it. “I am sad because, oh my gosh, that commercial with the puppies and the ASPCA and the little puppies in the rain, it’s so heartbreaking. That makes me so sad.” Oh, or the St. Jude’s children with cancer, seeing those commercials which I saw often because election coverage was on 24/7, that made me so sad. And I’m thinking about those little faces. That’s what sadness looks like, that’s what sadness feels like. One of my patients once said, “Oh, my eyes are getting watery.” Well, he was crying but he didn’t want to admit that he was said. He wanted to say that somehow he was biologically having water in his eyes. That’s how we feel sadness. We cry. Sometimes it’s a little bit, sometimes it’s shoulder shaking sobs. But that’s how we get rid of feelings. We have to feel them. We cannot think them away and with cannot stuff them down and we cannot starve them away and we cannot positive think them away either. The only way to get rid of feelings is to feel them.

And when you feel your feelings, you are not going to stuff them. You are not going to go to the fridge or the pantry or the drive through or wherever to try to avoid them because they’re not there. You felt them. Josh is feeling fear because, “I feel fear, Nina, because he’s not conceding.” Fear is, “Yeah. I’m scared. I’m really scared.” And then express that. What’s going to happen? Fear is, what if? So you’ve got to express it. “Yeah. I’m scared. I’m really scared because of this.” First, you acknowledge what you’re scared of and then you reassure yourself. And part of reassurance is, “This is what is.” What if he never concedes and what if, and what if, and what if? And we can go on with all kinds of possibilities. What is? What is is … Josh, what is? What is, is that there are mechanisms in place to get someone who won’t concede out of office. What is, is there’s a lot of reality.

Josh is saying, “Can you describe your feelings of sadness?” Josh, describing it is talking about it. But if you’re watching this, and I know you are because you’re writing me on Instagram, you just saw me get tearful. You just saw me get tears in my eyes as I was describing … oh, here it comes again, as I was describing those kids with cancer. Those beautiful kids with cancer who are bald and yet like hopeful in that commercial. So you can see, if you’re looking at Instagram right now or you’re hearing my voice, this is how you express sadness. You feel it. You feel it. And if I were to fight it, that would be bad. I lost someone to COVID in April. And when I talked to someone who also knew her, I absolutely started to cry. And that person said to me, “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. She wouldn’t want you to cry.” And I said, “She would want me to cry because I lost her and that hurts. That hurts.” And she knew that crying is the way you heal. What you feel, you will heal. What you resist, will persist.

If you say, “No, I’m going to watch that commercial about St. Jude’s. I am not going to let it get to me,” even though it really does get to you, then what happens to your sadness? It’s there. It’s lurking. You’ve got a reservoir of sadness that you’re going to try to stuff down with food. But when you say, “Yeah. That commercial gets me every time. I just have to think about it and I just get so teary, I get so teary, that’s how you feel sadness.” And again, keep in mind that there’s a range. There’s a range of intensity. Right now, yeah, I’m sad. I’m not shoulder heaving sobbing. That’s a 10. On a scale of one to 10, that’s a 10. What am I feeling right now? Like a five. So keep in mind also with anger, with everything, there’s a gauge.

And sometimes, if we don’t feel our feelings and we never let ourselves cry, then when we do feel something it’s going to feel intense. If everything is too scary to feel, then when you let yourself feel it it’s going to be a 10. It’s going to be an 11 out of 10, a 12 out of 10. If you never let yourself get mad, then you might actually get explosively angry when you give yourself the chance, when it finally gets too much. And I’ve talked myself about anger and how if you don’t express it, it builds and it builds and it builds and it builds and it takes very little to put you over the top to rage. I’ve talked about this example from when I was in college with a roommate who always borrowed everything. Borrowed everything all the time.

And she’d borrow my clothes, she borrowed everything. Borrowed books, clothes, computer, everything. And one day, she reached over to my desk and she’s like, “Oh, can I borrow your eraser?” And I said, “No!” I totally lost it. I said, “You cannot borrow my eraser, oh my god! No! No, no, no!” And she said, “Oh my god. What is your problem? It’s only an eraser.” Well, it was not only an eraser. The eraser was the final straw. It was all the clothes and all the things and the makeup and the hair straightener and the this and the that.” And finally, it all got so much that I blew up. Had I just in the beginning said, “Hey, you know what? Can you ask me before you borrow my straightener, not use that without asking?” Or, “No, I don’t want you to use that.” Or, “Please, don’t use my lip gloss. Ew.” If I had said that from the beginning then maybe it wouldn’t have escalated.

My point is that when we deny feelings and we deny them, eventually something’s going to happen and we’re going to feel it on an intense level that will feel like too much. But when we allow ourselves to feel a range like, “Okay. It kind of annoys me that she’s doing that. Now, I’m irritated. Now, I’m frustrated. I’m going to say something.” When we can have a range and a gauge of the intensity that we’re feeling any particular feeling, whether it is anger or sadness or fear, then it doesn’t go so quickly to 10, then we’re less likely to use food because we’re scared of feeling the feeling or because we’re wanting to stuff it down, or because it’s easier to get mad at ourselves for what we’re eating or what we weigh than for being mad at someone else. Because there are a lot of prohibitions. Especially if you’re a girl and a woman, there are a lot of prohibitions against getting angry. But boy, there is no prohibition against getting mad at ourselves.

Case and point, our future vice president Kamala Harris has no trouble being tough. When she went after Brett Kavanaugh during those hearings, boom! She was tough as nails, direct, amazing. Had she been a man, that would have been, “Wow. She is so direct and she’s so strong and she’s amazing.” But because she was a woman, first of all it was like, “Wow. Can you believe how strong she is? Can you believe how direct she is?” And then she gets called names. She’s been famously called by Trump a monster. So when we get more comfortable with what we feel when we allow ourselves a range of feelings and when we can gauge the intensity of those feelings and respond by acknowledging them, by validating them, and then by giving ourselves encouragement, not dismissing them, not telling ourselves all the reasons why we shouldn’t feel them, but by actually allowing ourselves to express what we feel, we are not going to use food to stuff down those feelings.

When we can self soothe, when we can comfort ourselves, when we can express ourselves with words we don’t use food to express. We won’t comfort ourselves with ice cream. We won’t fill loneliness with bulky food. We won’t express anger with crunchy food. We will actually use our words to ourselves and take our own sides, self soothe, comfort ourselves with words. Guess what? When we can do that, when you are kind to yourself, everything changes. Everything. Because food, again, is a solution to the problem. It is not the problem. If you are turning to food, something’s going on with you. And when you take your own side and you stay curious and not critical, then you’re a lot more likely to figure out what that is. And when you respond accordingly, boom, food becomes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks. And hopefully, it is yummy and you enjoy it and it is not either your best friend or your worst enemy.

So believe it or not, that is our show for today. Thank you so much for joining me hear on the Dr. Nina Show here in LA Talk Radio. And you can listen live every Wednesday at 11:00 AM on LA Talk Radio or catch me live here on Instagram as well. You can listen later on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you get podcasts. If you like the show, do me a huge favor and give me a rating on Apple Podcasts. The more ratings that we get, the more I reach people in their searches and the more I get to help people, which is, what I really, really want to do is help people realize that they’re not food addicts. There’s nothing wrong with them.

It’s not about willpower. Something’s going on with you. Something’s eating at you and there’s a way that you can change your relationship to yourself. And when you do that, you change your relationship with food for good without counting a single calorie, carb, or fat gram for the rest of your life. So thank you so much. It would mean the world to me if you gave me a rating on Apple Podcasts.

Just do a search for the Dr. Nina Show on LA Talk Radio. Thank you so much. Be safe, be healthy, wear a mask, and I’ll see you next week. By for now.

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