(An Excerpt From Release Your Obsession with Diet Chatter: Heal from the Inside Out)
Betsy Living Two Lives
“I’m out of control and my practice is going down the tubes if my clients realize I’m a fake,” said Betsy.
I fondly recall Betsy, who found her way to my office fifteen years ago, screaming for help to quiet her diet chatter. Betsy sported a long dark mane of wavy hair that framed her freckled, turned-up nose, while her facial features remained strong and chiseled. Her piercing blue eyes locked onto mine as she stated her fears in a loud, nervous tone. “I feel so guilty—like I’m living two lives…one preaching to my clients as to what to do…and the other me doing the opposite of what I preach.”
Betsy, an anorexic who purged five times a day, also was (and is) a popular licensed dietitian who worked and continues to work with clients all over the country. Her clients battled weight issues as Betsy silently fought with her own. She’s an excellent dietitian, who was caught in her own psychological drama, not knowing how to climb out of the inner chatter that kept her stuck.
I myself knew this scenario all too well. When I first started my practice in the mid-nineties while simultaneously working for Weight Watchers as a “leader,” I was internally inundated with diet chatter and diet behavior. I knew how to diet better than the best of them, sprinkled intermittently with volume eating. I also taught people how to eat tons of foods and stay within their parameters to lose weight. This was great when working with unprocessed foods, but I inched back into my bulimic behavior, binge eating processed foods, followed by an insane amount of exercise to burn off calories. I had no idea I was bulimic…I thought others were that.
And I, like Betsy, was in private practice, but instead treating eating disorders psychologically where she worked as a dietitian. Nobody knew I wasn’t well. Nobody knew I had my own negative chatter filling my mind 24 hours, seven days a week. I was scared I’d be found out. I felt I was a fake.
I understood Betsy.
Now you might be questioning how a registered dietitian and clinical psychotherapist could be so sick while treating clients/patients. Oh dear, a boatload of such are out here. I’ve been to numerous continuing education conferences for eating disorder professionals, and believe you me, plenty are confronting many of the same issues—struggling with eating disorders and treating eating disorders simultaneously.
I, along with many phenomenal practitioners, was fortunate to find my way out of the hellhole of inner negative diet chatter, jumping off the diet merry-go-round, but many others, professionals and lay persons, have not yet been so lucky.
My goal is to teach you how to quiet the negative inner voice; know the difference between natural, healthy inner chatter vs. negative chatter; understand “normal,” healthy patterns of eating correctly; make peace with your body image; and lean on a Divine Source or Energy or whatever the heck you want to call it (just find it).
For some of you, that inner divine voice is a bit rattling and possibly confusing. You might be thinking you don’t need it or you don’t know how to tap into it. But understand, we can’t do this alone. And the Source is your go-to energy—it is at the heart of beating down the gnawing, negative internal voice. We have a fear of dancing in the mystery of the unknown, but to become comfortable linking to your Supreme Reality is to unlock the burdens that hide within.
I promise I’m not going to go all religious and spiritual on you, but I DO assure you that without tapping into a Higher Source of your understanding, you will turn to the diet mentality over and over, and the chatter will get you by the noose.
Turning chaotic chatter to stillness within opens the opportunity to connect to something much deeper and much more meaningful.
Dr. Wayne Dyer says it best when he states in Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life, “Keep alert and subtly aware, yet at the same time stay still within—not rushing or demanding, but totally in charge of your inner world.”
In order to release your obsession with negative diet chatter, you must be alert and subtly aware—yet at the same time still within—quiet so you can “hear” what your inner world is really saying. When the mind chatter shifts from chronic cycle dieting to acceptance, love of self creates an internal peace. In other words, an increased connection to God and people can release your chronic obsession with inner negative dialogue.
Are you living two lives? Do you feel like you’re living two lives? Do you have impostor syndrome? I’d love to hear your thoughts–even if you don’t agree with mine. We can all learn from each other.
Stay tuned….You never know where my mind will wander to next…
Hugs to you…I care!
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.