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Eating Disorders Explained with Kat Yiannakis: Part 2 - Understanding how eating disorders can form

by Shaun Kober
June 21st 2021

In this episode of the Live Train Perform podcast, we look at how Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) affect people on a daily basis. 
Kat discusses how lack of aware... More

what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best. Leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry is progress? You know, when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. That's a mindset in itself, man, It's like, it's not just about, I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing up physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships whatever and all of that is a training ground. And that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about. You underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do perform at your best mate. That's that's sort of what life is all about. You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness, the healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along.

When that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it. Hey guys, welcome to the live transform podcast, I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me again is my friend cat uniqueness of Macron's muscles, mindset. cat is one of my friends coach, she's interned for me at Tiger muay thai, she is a wealth of knowledge. Um We've got her back on today too for the next part of our binge eating disorder series. Cat welcome back to the podcast, Thank you for having me back on. I'm excited to get rocking and rolling on today's episode. Really excited for new listeners. Um can you give them a quick overview of our last episode? Uh yeah, so basically in our last episode, we touched on the differences between eating disorders, disordered eating habits and binge eating disorder. Um so today, what I'm gonna do is I'll give a little bit of a recap for those of you that are kind of read or like just joining into the episodes. Um and I'm also going to touch on body dysmorphic disorder today as well, because 50% of people that experience binge eating disorder also have this as a phone morbidity.

Um the main things that I want to kind of focus on today is there's two things, the first one is basically touching on how the stigmas behind eating disorders create a lack of awareness and understanding within society which contributes to poor support and outreach um and help. And then the second thing that we're going to dive into and I know that a lot of people are kind of looking forward to, this is the understanding of the psycho, educational components of binge eating disorder. So, essentially, the education of why binge eating disorder exists, which is one of the things we believe is left out of traditional therapies and is a core component of macros muscles and mindset. Okay, um so where are we going to start today's episode? So, for those of you that are just listening in the differences between eating disorders and disordered eating habits, are this? So, an eating disorder um or disorders is a group of mental health conditions associated with psychological distress and significant health complications, their complex and they involve a combination of biological psychosocial and social cultural factors, their long term.

Um there are serious complications which range from financial, social, medical and mental standpoints when we look at disordered eating habits, were referring to eating habits that include things like yo yo dieting, restrictive dieting, compulsive dieting, skipping meals, obsession with body types, and constant thought processes such as starting again on monday. So symptoms reflect eating disorders, but not all symptoms of prevalent um Eventually for a lot of people, unfortunately, they do become eating disorders. So, it's why, you know where we are focusing on this as well, uh binge eating disorder. So, if you want to find out more, obviously, this is what we discussed in depth in the last episode. Um as a reminder, 47% of all eating disorders globally are binge eating disorder. Uh and 50% of people with binge eating disorder have a co morbid disorder, which is commonly either depression or body dysmorphic disorder now binge eating disorders characterized by regular episodes of binge eating without compensation.

Cherie compensation. Cherie behaviors. So essentially there's no purging, there's no over exercising or anything like that, but it's always accompanied with feelings of loss of control, guilt or shame, Um Binge eating, I'm sorry, I just quickly run through it. So you get an understanding with Binge eating is also also always within a short timeframe. Um and it can range from mild to extreme. So that being one episode a week up to 14 or more and can fluctuate over time. So you might have Binge eating disorder for eight years, but you might have it for a period where it's mild and then there might be periods where it's really extreme just in the last episode as well. We did touch on the psychological, emotional, social financial. Um So, if anyone wants to know more about that, head back to that episode, which I have linked in the show notes. We also discussed how to identify these issues as well as provided some resources to help identify and address them. So today we're gonna be going through some more treatment options.

Is that the the flow of today's session? Yes. So today, I'm gonna kind of go through a few more of those um you know, daily examples that people with body dysmorphic disorder and binge eating to sort of go through. So people get a little bit more of an awareness of how it really affects lives. Um and then I will go into, you know, that understanding that psycho educational component of why binge eating disorder exists. So I guess the starting point is to also explain what body dysmorphic disorder is because the two quite often come hand in hand. So body dysmorphic disorder is where someone is extremely worried or preoccupied about a perceived flaw or imperfection in their appearance. Now it might include one or more facial features or body parts and it may be minor, you know, most of the time, no one knows what it is. Um but the person experiencing it is constantly thinking about it and it consumes them to the point where there's anxiety, there's embarrassment um to the point where they avoid social situations in public settings, so it can really lead to harmful behaviors basically in an effort to fix change or higher appearance.

Um and like you said in our last episode, we kind of touched on the effects of binge eating disorder and then it's had particularly unlike personal level, but I've had some clients request that I put forward some more examples. People gain up further understanding of how it really affects people day to day. Are you happy to roll straight into that, those examples, yep. Absolutely. So for example, I start with financial, um this is one that I think people aren't aware of. Uh I know like last episode I touched on a personal level where I went through an extreme binge eating period, it affected, you know, my income because I wasn't able to go to work because I had had such big binge episodes that, you know, I was in pain, I couldn't leave my bed, I was crying, I was upset. But For some of my clients, I've had some people come to me and admit spending over $100 per bench. Now if you're on a severe scale, that's four or five inches a week, that's up to four or $500 on food.

So when you're looking at binge eating disorder, some people will seek food to the point where it's literally getting in the car, driving to places to get food, ordering in excessively going food shopping and then eating a large majority of it and then having to go and buy more food. So it becomes really expensive and you know, it's got to the point for some people where, you know, they've reached out to me, it's like, hey, I can't even pay my utility bills because My binge eating wrapped up $800 this week and it's affecting people on that scale where it's like, I can't go to an event Or a concert this weekend because my binge eating cost me $200 and that was my ticket to a concept. So yeah, there's these things about binge eating disorder that a lot of people don't think about on a broader scale. And the financial aspect is one of them. And um, you know, it also leads into that medical financial side of things too, because when we look at binge eating disorder, if you don't get to intervening early, there's this expenditure on things long term now when I'm talking long term, and I know I mentioned this in the last podcast, but for a lot of people with binge eating disorder, it can have a very large effect on the kidneys because you're putting your body through so much pressure and constant changes in blood pressure from what you're eating, a lot of people develop Addison's disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and sleep at me up.

And then there's this additional constant output later on in life if there hasn't been an intervention early on. So there's almost like this constant financial output. When you're looking at binge eating disorder. Quick pause there for a second, because I want to ask you mentioned before about, um, you know, these kind of cycles that people go through. So I've got to imagine that there's some sort of physiological response to this as well. You know, people have a binge, they have an episode and then they don't have any compensatory um activities or patterns or anything that's like burning off that excess energy that's coming in, then they feel guilty about it and then they are typically going to reach for food or some other form of comfort that's going to make them feel better and then it ends up becoming this like self fulfilling prophecy, right? Is there is there something to that? Yeah, there is. And that is definitely something we'll talk about in the next bit part psycho education.

I'm just I'm just thinking like in terms of like the autonomic nervous system right? And managing the sympathetic and the parasympathetic states and if you're stressing out because you've had an episode and you feel guilty about it and then you know it creates this self fulfilling prophecy, then that's adding stress and anxiety and you can lead to depression and things like that, yep, you're spot on. Um So yeah, we'll definitely roll into that after I just go through the social cultural aspect. But as we mentioned in that last last episode as well, when people go through these binging processes, your body responds in such a way that it's like everything is thrown out, like it becomes difficult to breathe, it's harder to sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night thirsty um dehydrated, you, Your eyes are puffy in the next day, there's you know that series of things that has affected the nervous system and that's your body responds straight away and there after 24 hours later you still feel it like you've got sugar for. Yeah.

Yeah. And obviously when you um elicit that stress response then that's going to also create an inflammatory response. And if you're eating certain foods, most of these things that were binging on are typically going to be higher processed foods, right? So then that's going to elevate blood sugar levels cause blood sugar dis regulation which then has this like massive cascading effect throughout the body. Yeah, that's exactly why the kidneys struggle. Um You know, the research that's coming out at the moment, this is what's been studied a lot in the past couple of years is, you know, 10 to 15 years later, post recovery. What people are going through in terms of kidney failure and Addison's disease because they're becoming more and more common. Um And that that is becoming more and more obvious. Can you explain Addison's disease? Mhm. Addison's disease is essentially when your body is unable to produce the right amount of Valdosta rhone because of frequent fluctuations from cortisol levels. So if you have had a binge, for example, and it's something that you've gone through for prolonged periods of time or for years, your cortisol levels or the stress hormone is constantly pumping out into the, into the body and to try and reregulate that your testosterone levels are trying to compensate and what happens over time is it?

But they basically the al dust alone no longer produces because it's like, I don't really know what to do. So it almost fails basically Addison's disease is like your al dossari is failing. So it becomes to the point where if you can't manage it lifestyle, it's a constant steroid injection that you need. Yeah, that's that's pretty crazy. Um and just for the listeners as well, like your hormones, their chemical messengers which speak to different cells in the body and you know elicit different physiological responses depending on what the body requires at that time. And again, that stress adds into that, that's going to change your hormone profile, which then changes your physiological responses, which then changes, it can change your mindset, it can change your thoughts, your emotions and then those thoughts and emotions can then have an impact on, you know, neurotransmitters, hormones, etcetera, etcetera. So yeah, everything's tied in together now, just in saying that, Justin saying that can that I'm assuming that can also lead to things like diabetes and things like that when you have this um constant fluctuation of blood sugar levels and then your body's secreting insulin etcetera and then that becomes desensitized and then can lead to other things like diabetes and other health implications.

Is that correct? Yep, Yep. Um and this is exactly what the research is currently looking at, you know, Binge eating disorder was only classified in 2013, which just blows my mind. Um yeah, is when it was officially created as its own entity. Um So the research now, when we're looking at like 2019 2020 the stuff that's coming out is like, okay, what are the long term effects from what's, what's happened, you know, 10, 10, 15 years prior. So um yes, I said the major things have been Addison's disease and looking at adolescents who are now into their mid twenties, who are experiencing pre diabetes and diabetes. So it'll be interesting to see what kind of comes out of these studies in the next couple of years. Gotcha. Yeah, I kind of, we went off on a little bit of a tangent. I just want to bring up a couple of those points with my brain was just ticking again, that's how it affects people on a daily basis. Like, you know, to the point where it's like, you're waking up in the middle of the night, dehydrated, it affects how you perform and speak to your friends the next day, you know, you're it all links in.

So I guess one of the things that my clients has mentioned to me, it's like, and we all kind of say it when we have our round tables and our workshops, it's like the biggest thing that binge eating disorder effects is our social lives. And um for those of you guys that have listened to previous podcasts, I've experienced six eating disorders in my time, I've recovered from all six. Um and I'm still going through and working through body dysmorphic disorder, but when I look at all six of them binge eating disorders for me by far the worst affected me on so many different levels and the biggest one for me as well socially. So um binge eating disorder can cause people to feel really anxious around food, going to events, going out for dinner. And you know, I've had clients that have avoided going out for dinner and for months at a time because the nature of their disorder, people will choose to avoid or isolate themselves just to not be around food because they're scared of losing control or being at a grazing table where it's like, I know I'm not going to be able to stop myself.

You've got this one component there. And then you've also got this other component where we'll talk about this in a few minutes, but people become anxious about the event and then Benji prior. So then they're not able to enjoy or attend the event because of the bench. And this is really, really common. And I've had clients struggle with this, like not being able to go to weddings and concerts and dinner events and out on dates because they've become so anxious in the day that they binged and then they can't make it to the event because I feel sick. Mm And now when you've also got body dysmorphic disorder as a co morbid move would morbidity. It's hard to attend events anyway because you've also got this perception of yourself and it's like, you know, if you think doesn't perceive floor, it's like, I don't really want to go, I want to wear something different, I want to hide. So you've got this combination of two things, It's like, I mean they're going to overeat or I don't want people to see me. So it gets really, really difficult for people to put themselves in social situations or new situations and you know, when someone has a vengeance and they have to bail out, people are like, well this person's a flake and it's like, well really a fake, it's the fact that they are in a position where they can't move because they've just created this distress and they've gotten themselves into a binge cycle.

So let's pause there for a second as well, because that can be like really powerful as well if you know, if other people are thinking those thoughts about you or you're perceiving that they're thinking those thoughts about you, even just the perception of that, then that's going to, you know, that could potentially be a trigger for that downward spiral, right? That could trigger an episode. Just simply perceiving that other people are going to be thinking that and you don't show up and people think that you're a flake or whatever. Yeah. And this is where, you know when people say binge eating, you know, eating disorders a complex, this is where it gets complex, there's a lot of things going on and like on a personal example, when I look at my binge eating disorder when it was really extreme, My body dysmorphic disorder was really extreme as well. So there's a period of my life where it's about three years, basically, the entire time I lived in Sydney where there's no photos of me, I basically never wanted to Sydney, but you look at photos because I want members to the gym.

I couldn't I couldn't handle being in photos because I perceived myself one way because my binges were so bad. So I felt puffy. I felt sick. I was like, I don't want people to see me, I'm hiding and while I control my binge, my body dysmorphic disorder. Now, there's still periods of time where I might take a selfie or two and then I look at it and I'm like, absolutely, no, I'm not taking any more photos today, like I just, I'm not. So that one thing, that one thing can then impact the rest of your day. Exactly, Absolutely. And we'll talk about this soon, but that's also one of the reasons I'm personally off social media as well. So there's a lot of different things that happen when you've got the two, two things swinging and swaying. Um, you know, I have clients and I can empathize with this too, who have chosen not to date people for periods of time because either they're binge eating disorder controls their ability to enjoy the date or their body dysmorphic disorder controls their ability to feel worthy of meeting new people and going out and about like there's this perceived perception.

It's like I don't want to meet new people. I feel crap. I've just had a binge like I don't want, I don't want people to see me. Um and again, it becomes that cycle of like mm exception just spiral in and out. Yeah, that's psychological component is so massive. And that's something that we talk about as coaches all the time when I'm sure you're the same when I first started training people started coaching people. Like it was all about the training program, nutrition plan. But then, you know, very soon realized that we had to address the psychological and behavioral components. Now, the reason I bring that up is because I did hear about some recent research where um they looked at people that were perceived to be carrying uh secrets that showed up as like a physical burden. So for example, um people estimated that the heels that they were looking at were far steeper than what they actually were or the distances that they needed to cover were far further than people that perceive those burdens differently.

Right? So the thing about the words that we use when we're looking at um secrets and burdens and things like that, you know, it's weighing me down. I'm carrying the weight of the world, on my shoulders etcetera, etcetera. So, you know, I'm sure we're going to touch on this. But you know, the NLP practitioner in my mind is like, you know, how we talk to ourselves, how we associate with these um, different things is going to ultimately determine what our responses are going to be. Is that correct? Or what do you, what's your line of thinking on that? Yeah. That I've got one more thing to touch on about the social aspect of things. But language is one of the components we talk about now, cyber educational components, which is coming up. It's coming up, I'm jumping ahead. It's okay, it's okay. This is more just, you know, that's the social effect that these, you know, disorders have for people, um, particularly for women. Um, you know, it becomes really complex and it's hard to explain to people when it's like, I mean, I want to make sure I articulate this pocket because some of my clients really wanted me to hone in on this.

But you know, I, for example, I received a card on my 30th birthday, right? And it, I was this moment of like, holy crap, not even my family know how much my eating disorders and taken away from my life, right? And a lot of women get this and I experienced this and This card read it. Dear Catherine, Happy 30th. I can't wait to see you as a wife right now, firstly, let's just put aside the fact that I'm a happy, strong, powerful women running two successful businesses. I've recovered from 60 eating disorders. I've traveled 50 countries and my value doesn't depend on my marital status. But let's look at how even my close family are unable to recognize how much by eating disorders affected me in my twenties, right? So while most girls in their twenties were out dating and thinking about weddings and talking about kids and stuff, I've never thought about those things because I spent my twenties waking up thinking will I make it through today and then eventually get into that recovery stage of being like, how can I make it through today?

And while I've lived a very full fun and fulfilling life, my twenties were still gripped by the illnesses themselves or the recovery process. So, A lot of the women that are working with me in a single are in their thirties, you know, I can empathize with them because it's like a lot of us haven't started dating until we're like 26, because we couldn't go to work some days. The last thing we're thinking about is finding a husband, grandmother, you know what I mean? It's we have to have spent the time recovering and going through these processes to be where we're at today, and you get to that point where it's like, who will help make it through today? And, you know, obviously for me, I'm at that point where I'm recovered and I'm able to help others and give others, you know, um tools and techniques and therapy and having a whole, but there are a lot of people who experience eating disorders that miss out on large parts of life because of it. And when we talk about that, a lot of women, you know, they enter their thirties and if you know the single or they've just gotten into a relationship, people ask the question of like, do you want kids?

And a lot of women don't answer it the way they want you because of the lack of awareness around body dysmorphic disorder. Now, for me, I absolutely not. I just say, absolutely not because of where I'm at in my life, right? And body dysmorphic disorder means that your huck are aware of your body and that bodily trans transformation that you go through pregnancy for a lot of us. That's just anxiety, thinking about it, right? Can I pause there for a second? Because you said you're hyper aware of your body now. Is that like, real awareness? Or is it perceived awareness? Because if I like yeah, because that's that's that's the reason why I wanted to stop there for a second, because like, I can say that I'm hyper aware of my body, Okay, but what I mean by that is not like I'm picking it apart. I mean, like I can tell when my stress levels are a little bit high or my accumulated stress load over a couple of days is a little bit high and I know that I need to maybe take a little bit easier with training today and I need to do some more mindfulness based work, or maybe I'm I can feel my body's like maybe um a little bit depleted in certain nutrients, so I'm gonna be looking for certain foods to balance that out, etcetera, etcetera.

So, um I just want to pause there for a second and highlight that point. Yeah, so let me just kind of finish because there's something my clients really wanted me to say. Okay, so, um, you know, as I said, I would say, absolutely not right now, because I'm aware that my body dysmorphic disorder isn't gone, and while I don't have a partner, it's a matter is maybe a bit less, but for those that do, there needs to be that awareness that people on the other side of the relationship, because some females don't want to put themselves through that huge bodily change while they're disorder effects that image so strongly as it is, it's hard to discuss that with people. So, you know, I started living a very successful life and it's like and what I do how I do it like myself, as I do it, and you're my body dysmorphic disorder goes away in six weeks or six months or, you know, another year, then obviously the answer is going to change, but there's an awareness that society needs to understand for women who experience body dysmorphic disorder and that is that a lot of people won't go through that process of pregnancy until they're ready because we don't want to worsen the condition.

Now, unfortunately, this leaves some females not willing to date long term, or not willing to date at all as they believe that, or they feel that their partners are scared about not being able to have a family, and that's not the case because body dysmorphic disorder can be treated and a partner should be there to help that make that happen. So, again, there's this lack of awareness that can create complications on social and relationship fronts and the nuts, you know, then that's what brings us into understanding eating disorders on a psycho educational level, and you know what we teach at Macri's muscles mindset is not just for clients, but it's in their support system too. So it's being able to create this awareness partners as well, where it's like, okay, right now, this person isn't ready to go through the process of pregnancy is mentally, that perception of themselves is too scary, causing too much anxiety and this person is going to need another year or two before we can move to that stage. And it's really difficult conversations to have with people, particularly if you're just starting dating. So they are the important conversation.

Yeah, and this is one of my clients, like cat, please mention this tonight, because, like, people ask me this question if I want kids and it's like yeah, but I can't right now because of how I feel about myself. So I really just wanted to pop that out there before I move into the next. Yeah, cool. Just before we get into the next component again, I'm probably skipping ahead. So apologies if I am, but what I want to ask is like how much do your habits play into these conditions? Okay, we're going to go straight, go straight into an hour. Yeah. So look with therapy for binge eating disorder and just so people know I am specialist only for binge eating disorder, but the body dysmorphic disorder stuff, a lot of what I talk about is this personal experience and you know how I've managed to help with some of these tools and techniques appliance too. But essentially what you're trying to achieve is abstinence from binge eating modifications of dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors, increased insight into how to deal with conflicts and negative emotions and obviously relapse prevention. Now, traditional therapies for binge eating disorder, a psychotherapy is like CBT.

DBT and interpersonal therapy um phonological applications for a lot of people, lifestyle modifications. Um now what I noticed over the years with these kinds of therapies was an inability to kind of connect with any of them and the reason being that they were constantly focusing on like the past. And I found it really difficult to like understand why binge eating is happening. Why is this happening? What's the underlying reasons and what self monitoring and behavioral techniques can I use to improve my actions And I thought, so this is what led me to researching evidence that practices going through NLP training and then thoroughly understanding psychological psycho educational components, right? So the five foundational components that we talk about, macron's, my muscles mindset is firstly understanding how habits are formed and how binge eating disorder can become a habit. The second one is understanding the upper and lower brains, so why we get urges for binges and why we act on them.

The 3rd 1 is understanding the impact of language, so how it contributes to self talk and behaviors. The 4th is the concept of neuro plasticity and the 5th is progressive mindfulness and mindful eating. So the things that you've mentioned or you've heard me talk about and you kind of like thrown in all of them, you know, make up these five components so we can go through them now. Um but that's essentially the five things that we look at those muscles mindset over, you know, be six months, 12 months, three years, whatever, you know, whatever pace the person's going at, and then once we get through that it's then working through the behavioral weight loss therapy things, so you know, focusing on stuff like um understand your macros, understanding, you know, stress slate, this stuff that we talked about. So where do we go from here? We're starting from the top of that list. Yeah, let's do it. Um We'll start I tend to start actually with understanding the upper and lower brain. Um So for people that have experienced or do experience binging episodes or feel like they're in a position where it's like there's some days where I can't control what are eating, it's really good to understand the brain at a very, very basic level.

So one of the things that we go through um you know, when we on board clients is basically discussing the two parts of the brain. Now, the most simple terms, we can look at the brain in two sections. So we've got the upper brain or the higher brain and we've got the lower brain which is considered primal or reptilian something. So you could say the old evolutionary brain and the new brain, yep, that also works to the new smart brain. So I tend to just say upper and lower, but that's good for people to know that there are different kind of terminologies around it. Um Now the upper brain is what we consider our true selves. So the frontal cortex of the brain are responsible for moving us into action. They're responsible for memory, critical thinking and impulse control. The lower brain that would be considered the conscious brain, the conscious brain. Yes. Um now the lower brain or the reptilian, the reptilian brain and some people want to read it at is basically considered the Mhm.

It's the primal brain, it's irresponsible for impulses, for muscle memory and things like reflexes. Right? So when we look at binge eating disorder, so this could be considered the subconscious brain, correct? Yeah. So when we're looking at binge eating disorder, there's there's an urge, right? There is always an if you want to, if you want to binge, it's because of an urge. Now our lower brains main function is for survival is constantly pleasure seeking and avoiding pain. Okay, so urges to overeat, to gamble, to drink. Yes, maybe even looking at your phone. Um and you know, other self sabotaging behaviors come from this lower brain. So it's basically always in a state protect you. Um It responds to your external and internal environments and responds automatically with its own advice. Okay, so really simple basic example is internally you're feeling super, super stress. The lower brain responds with an urge you act on it by drinking a glass of wine, right?

You've responded to that urge. Now the lower brain doesn't care at all if the over ward that you're giving it or your acting on is positive or negative, that you're basically releasing endorphins because you acted on it. So this then ties into what I want to talk about in a moment about habit, looks but the brain basically six and constantly seeking this pleasure. So it's like if you've worked or if you acted on an urge and then the urge comes up again, your brain is going to be like, hey last time we did this, I had happy endorphins. So you've reached an act on the urge again, it makes it stronger. So essentially the lower brain gives the higher brain, it's information which is the urge and then the higher brain chooses what to do with it. So to act or not act now, what this means is the lower brain cont actually make you do anything, it can't make you get up and eat food or gamble or smoke. They just sent a signal, it's sending the signal.

The lower branches brain is demanding things, right? It's a little bitch like I want this, I want this, your true self, your higher brain is making the ultimate decision and that awareness for a lot of people when they have binge eating disorder is like, oh it's not actually me, it's my brain, right? So what we're trying to teach a matters muscles mindset is like, okay well how do we, what tools and techniques can we use to tell the little bit to shut up, right? And you know, each person has their own way of approaching it, talking to it. Um I call it a little bit, a little bit of a client who calls her Susan, she got bullied in high school, didn't she? So understanding the upper and lower brain is a really, really important concept of binge eating disorder and when when you go through traditional therapies, it's not actually touched on, so that's why we try to be like okay, understand this first and understand that it's not actually you and try and gain an understanding of the difference between your brain, because even that single awareness can mean when you're in the kitchen next and you're feeling like you've got an urge to binge, you can just feel like it's a little bit, you know, there's this, there's this awareness that comes into play and then that's once we've kind of got that we can then move into the next component, which is the habit loops.

Can we just pause there for a second again. Um You spoke about like the lower brain sending that signal and then the upper brain deciding whether or not it actions that signal. Now, this is probably something you've already planned on touching on, but my question is, are there things that we can do to dampen that signal so that we don't have to make that conscious decision. There is um this idea will probably be in the next podcast, um because dampening the voice or whatever you decide to call your lower brain, there's actually different tools and techniques you want to dampen Susan out, there's different, there's different techniques and, you know, the environment that you're in as well, you you can pull different techniques from, so for example, like last year, when a lot of us were in lockdown and that that primal brain was screaming, people have to use different different tools, very different tools to what they're using now. Like I had one client who try and control her urges would use an urge jar and every time she had an urge she would throw it to throw a corn kernel into into her urge are just basically bring awareness to be like or my urges are full on right now, like you know, so there's different ways that you can dampen, it will definitely touch on that next next episode.

But super, super important question. Mhm continue jumping in and like it's good because these are the questions that I've had people ask as well after last episode. So the next thing is understanding habit loops and I know obviously you've gone through a fair few episodes on this. Yeah, I'll actually have those linked in the show notes as well. So people that are listening can go back and listen to those episodes and get a little bit more understanding of the context of how to build habits, why habits are so important. How to use progressive overload to get these habits to either move you in the right direction or stop you from sabotaging yourself and moving in the wrong direction. Yeah, so I'll keep this one a little bit more brief and just kind of explain it particularly binge eating. So basically to understand binge eating disorder, you do need to understand the concept of the habit genome and it's based on a neurological loop. So it's made up of three parts, you've got a cute a routine and a reward.

Now this loop begins as a creation of behavior, a method of protection, a reward system for a psychological, emotional physical being, right. The behavior can make us feel empowered, comforted, you know, whatever it is for a short time. And again, it's that potential urge your calling from the lower brain and then your higher brain acting on it. Now, as I mentioned, whether or not it's positive or negative reward, the doing of the action releases endorphins into the brain and creates happy feelings. So even if it's a negative behavior, binging gambling, um etcetera, the adverse effects of these hires armed with the brain addicts itself to, you know, the brain is striving for those endorphins. So it's saying more more more and thinking about the long term implications is thinking about the short term implications if I do this, I'm rewarding myself. So I'm going to give myself a little reward for that, create correct, totally correct. And what this does. And this then leads into the next thing, which is the language, you basically create a neurological pathway.

Okay, so you're creating something from A to B. Right? So say for example, you've broken up with your partner, you feel like shit, you have a day where you sit at home and you eat a type of ice cream, you've made yourself feel a little bit better for a short period of time because ice cream is delicious. Now, what happens is you've, there created a part A to B, and what can happen with binge eating is if you've created that path from one emotion, what might happen later on in the week is you might feel another emotion, right, you might feel stressed out about something, your brain remembers how you felt, I lost time, so it's like, okay, well last time I felt sad and I ate and I felt better this time I feel stressed, maybe if I eat, I feel better, it creates an association, there's a link association back, so with binge eating disorder, what happens is the links become more and more frequent with different emotional feelings or queues and queues can be anything, they can be um physiological, so like from time they can be a place um that can be an event, so, for example, a wedding might set someone off and then they might have a concert and that same feeling of anxiety being around people then create that feeling or need, or that urge to eat again.

So the links become stronger and more frequent, different feelings and that's what essentially Vigen sort of becomes, because it's like the more, or I should say, when it becomes strained, the more feelings that you're having, the more of those neurological pathways are created and what happens is those pathways stronger they become, the more you repeat it, it becomes a habit. So it becomes even harder to break, it's the path of least resistance, correct? Mhmm. So I've heard you talk about like trampling grass, is that right? Trampling grass is creating those pathways, speak on that. Uh So basically um when I talk to clients about this, I'm like, let's look at it visually, right? So if you let's use the example again of breaking up with someone, you are at 0.8, um let's say you've got a big grassy field in front of you, you feel like crap, you eat some ice cream, you walk across the path of the grass, stamp it down and then you feel a little bit better to be in your ice cream.

Now, what happens is if you feel crappy later in the week you do that again. Your brain has said, hey, remember the last time we walked across that grass, POINT A to B, let's do it again. And what happens is that grass gets stamped down deeper and deeper and deeper until it becomes a pathway, right? And then there's this association, as you said, from Point A to point B like, I feel like this now and those emotions might be a little bit different, but they're connected and it's like last time I did this, I ended up over there, I felt better, I'm going to take that path again. Exactly now, our goal when we're looking at binge eating to sort of therapy is, okay, well how do we now get rid of that path and create a new one? So let's go from, let's get rid of A to B and create A to C. Okay, So we then have to find tools and techniques to try and unravel the habit loops that have been created and that's where things get again complicated because you're not only just looking at the habit loop itself of the behavior such as eating, a lot of people are also experiencing language issues, self talk, they're talking themselves into things which is actually in itself, I have it loop, you can say to yourself, you know what, I'll just eat this ice cream now and I'll start again tomorrow, guess what?

That's a habit loop, and you just stuck on top of another one. So it's like we have to unravel things slowly and over time. And that's why I tell people, I'm like, when you're looking at binge eating to sort up, this isn't going to go away in three months because there are so many habits that we have to unravel interrupt because you might like, I'm sure we're gonna talk about habits stacking, but like to get to that point where that has become a habit is like you get that signal, you go through that routine, you get the reward and then, you know, you could be stacking negative habits on top of that as you said, you're justifying that with how you speak to yourself. You're justifying that with how you feel directly afterwards, you know? So um you know those habits are going to build in either a positive manner or a negative manner and the more you let those negative habits build and stacked one upon the other, the longer it's going to take to be able to unravel that, yep Exactly. And you know, people are like, oh your clients have been with you for so long and I'm like, Yeah, I guess what I had eating disorders for 15 years, like they don't just go like, you know, they're complicated.

You need to work on them. It's it's like a job, it's honestly like a job you're trying to unravel behaviors and habits that you've had with you for a very, very long time. And this then leads into the third component, which is what language matters, like how we talk to ourselves, what we say, what we read when we read it and what we see. So, you know, most of our beliefs are formed by words, you know, our beliefs can be changed by words as well. So an effective selection of words used in our daily lives can either heighten or empower our emotional responses reactions and behaviors or on the other hand, poor word selection can have the same impact on our responses and behaviors that negatively. So the power of the words that we use out loud to ourselves, how we communicate with our friends and what we read all affect our life experiences and how we behave. So we can instantly change our feelings and reactions by changing the words that we use, associated with particular emotional experience with, how we interact with people with what we say in our vocabulary around certain things and for example with macros muscles mindset, one of the biggest things that we look at is the language that we use around food um and how we label food, you know this, this is a big one, like if you label food is good and bad, you may find that you either credible, lack self control around these inverted commas bad foods and with this then comes the behavior of thinking like okay I'll give in today or I've deserved this, or I'll start on monday um and then it creates that action of overeating binging, feeling guilty, trying to again, inverted commas clean eat.

You know how if you use your words to break your own habitual emotional patterns and your actions will change So with us macros muscles mindset, one of the biggest things we do is say, hey we look at food as wholesome unless wholesome when you transcendence unless you trance dance, we don't use good or bad because that basically is giving a black and white label to food and that's the last thing that we want, We don't want to create restriction. We want to create balance. So it's changing those old habits and the current vocabulary to basically challenge your mind and make you start to think about food in a different way. Mm That's interesting as a coach, we always talk about food as sustenance. Like this is our energy. We want to be putting good fuel into our body. You know, you don't have a Ferrari and put in fucking gasohol 91. You put like the best fuel that you can into that car so it runs smoothly and our bodies are the same. Now there's gonna be times where we allow ourselves to put in some less than optimal fuel.

But understanding that the majority of the time we want to put in good quality fuels in that are going to be serving us. Yeah. And even just there, you've used words that that don't label something black and white, you said less optimal and optimal. So intentionally, But you know, that's how you I know that's how you speak to your clients, right? Because obviously you practice NLP too. So, you know, these things cannot language affects us in so many ways and we'll talk about us in the next episode of short, particularly around social media, but it goes back to how we learn things at school like the nutritional pyramid. And I know in Australia it's different to the US. But you know, at school, it was good and bad and you know, in grade seven we had this weird thing where we counted calories at the age of 12 and tried to work out good foods and bad foods and really, you know, this, this affects you long term. Yes man. I was like, I was like learning how to use a computer. How do I turn this thing on?

Yes. So it goes back to so many things and visually as well, what you see on social media and what you see in the news, what you see in your magazines when you see it, all of these things affect how you think about food and how you interact with food and what you choose to do with food and you have that urge association. Exactly. So when you have that urge in the back of your head and then it's like, well the magazine said, I can eat this cake and then I'll start this diet that's in the magazine tomorrow, we'll hang on a second, I'm like, why are you reading that magazine? Like that's literally just there to try and sell product. Yeah. So, you know, these are the things that affect us on a on a daily basis. And um, these are, we'll go into this in the next episode. But again, language is one of the things that is key to unraveling binge eating, to sort up the replacement of words from have to get to like, you know, get to eat every day, It's much better than saying, I have to eat my vegetables, you know, there's a massive difference with how we speak about about food.

So That is.3, we've got two more to quickly touch on the fourth one being, you're a plasticity, which is something I know again, you've touched on in an earlier episode of yours, essentially, this links into a habit loops, but it is the fact that the brain is constantly able to change. So neurons that fire together, wire together. So it's the process of forming and strengthening and solidifying neural pathways. So basically what I'm saying is the brain can change, and when we're looking at binge eating disorder in particular, it's something that can be recovered from. Um and understanding of the brain, it's a sophisticated system is there for survival and Romeo stasis we have that ability to create new neural pathways and that's one of the focuses of, like, understanding the brain, understanding how the loops, understanding, you know, neuro plasticity, because that's what will lead us into. Yeah, just to add on to that as well, and kind of ties into your um grass trampling that you spoke about earlier about that, um, those neural pathways, like the more you do something, the more it becomes habit, the more those neural pathways get reinforced and you take, like a country, dirt track and then a road and then, like, the more you do it, it becomes like a fucking four or five lane highway, right?

So how we need to re establish different neural pathways, We need to start breaking that highway down, right? We start fucking bombing it, we start picking it apart, you know? And then that goes from a four lane highway to a three lane highway and then we break that down again, then we break that down again, we break that down again and then we start creating new pathways and I'm sure that something will touch on going through that today or in the next episode, we'll go through that in the next episode and then in the next one as well, our fifth component is progressive mindfulness and mindful eating. Um and a lot of that is actually tools and techniques, so we can touch on that a little bit more tomorrow, but it's essentially, I don't know you've actually talked about this in an episode as well, but it's essentially finding some tools and techniques that almost lead you into the next step of behavioral weight loss therapy and just understanding how to become a little bit more aware of your surroundings with food and the environment that the food is in. You know, if you're at a restaurant slowing down, how to slow down, putting your knife and fork down, chewing your food correctly and and just becoming more aware but again, that is one of the stages that moves into tools and techniques.

Gotcha, Cool, Is there anything else that we need to touch on today? We've gone through all of those components. We've gone through the major components of the psycho, educational components of binge eating disorder. I hope it has made sense to people. Um, you know, it's really important to understand why and how binge eating disorder happens because some of the traditional therapies unfortunately don't always touch based on it and it can become quite, yeah, that's a great point. You know, a lot of people, um, become their diagnosis and it's like, right, this is, this is, I've been diagnosed with this. This is who I am. Like, I can't change that. And I was like, no, well, you can change that. Um, so yeah, I think, I think understanding the upper, lower brain and those signals and separating the signal from the noise, right? Understanding what your body is going through and why it's going through that because education breeds compliance. If you know why you're doing something, you're typically going to be able to follow through on that.

Okay. But if you don't know why you're doing something, you can't really change it. That's, that's the first part of creating changes. Being aware. Yeah, yeah. This is awesome. I'm really, really, really happy that you had me on and be able to talk about this in an open space. Yeah, awesome, awesome. And in our last episode we spoke about this. You know, I asked you about some resources that we could or that I could link or that I could read up on myself before we had our conversation so I could do my homework and you're like, well this is the problem. Like there's not many good resources out there. So that's one of the reasons why we decided to get on here and do this series so that we can put out some good quality information, people that are potentially um going through their own journey of, you know, um eating disorders and identifying those things and addressing them before it gets so bad that, you know, it does become a habit and things are out of control, yep, it's really, really happy to be on. Thank you so much awesome. My pleasure. Alright, Cat, I'll have all of your links in the show notes.

Um all of the episodes that we spoke about today and some of those resources will be linked there as well. Um But let's do this again in the next episode, I'm interested to hear your thoughts on how we can start addressing these issues and um put some quality processes in place to allow everyone to be better at life. Awesome. Thanks. Thanks mate. See you soon. And there we have a great conversation with my friend Cat uniqueness of Macron's muscles mindset. This was part two of a three part series in the next episode. We're gonna be diving a little bit deeper into some of the treatment protocols that cats used with herself and with her clients, All of the podcast episodes that we touched on, and the topics that we discuss in this episode will be linked in the show notes. Some of those episodes will include the power of habit creating consistency, restricting temptation, mindfulness and discipline. This episode was brought to you by Swiss eight, which is a proactive mental health program designed to allow you to structuring and schedule eight pillars of health and wellness via an app on your phone to allow you to be better at life.

Any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated guys, much love peace.

Eating Disorders Explained with Kat Yiannakis: Part 2 - Understanding how eating disorders can form
Eating Disorders Explained with Kat Yiannakis: Part 2 - Understanding how eating disorders can form
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