Join Kelsey as she talks with Jessyca Reynolds about Food Addiction!
Jessyca has a powerful story about her food addiction – one you will definitely want to hear! After decades of struggling and attempts at help gone awry, Jessyca found a solution that worked for her.
But her solution is a two-parter: what you eat and modifying behaviors.
Tune in to this week’s episode to meet Jessyca, hear her story, and learn practical steps to address your addiction!
If you have questions or comments, please write to email@example.com. Heather and Kelsey will discuss them when they wrap Season 1!
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Addressing Behaviors to Address the Addiction with Jessyca Reynolds
Tune in to this week’s episode to meet Jessyca Reynolds, hear her story, and learn practical steps to address your food addiction!
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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
- What is your definition of food addiction?
- Addiction is being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. Food addiction means you are compelled or enslaved by food activities.
- And I like to add just in my own personal experience that I think I’m not just compelled or enslaved or weak around an area like that. It actually causes harm in my life, either mentally, spiritually or physically, or all.
- Food behaviors are so tethered with other experiences that it is very difficult to imagine living through those life experiences without the food activities that we’ve had in the past connected to it. And I think that’s what we grieve. We literally can’t imagine going through it.
- Let’s talk about your story in your life and how this entire journey went. What has that journey has been for you?
- You know one of the questions that people ask is where does this start? Where does addiction come from? I have the strong opinion that people who are addicted to food are just wired differently when it comes to that.
- When I was four, my mom took me to a child psychologist [for my writing skills], and said [to my mom] “hey, just an interesting side note, your daughter seems to be really obsessed with food.”
- Between ages 11 and 16 – for five years – I was bingeing and purging without my parents or anybody knowing, and by that time I think that behavior was just so locked in.
- I was taught this concept, that of the triggers, there are emotional times that were more likely to have food behaviors that are disordered. So for example, if you’re too hungry, too angry, too lonely, too tired, you’re more vulnerable to making a food decision that is harmful for you. The problem, and I think what was missing there, is nutrition.
- I [also] went through a very bad bout of anorexia in my 20s. Five more eating disorder hospitalizations over the next period of years, and countless therapists – I literally cannot remember them all – the problem was that I always utterly felt like a failure.
- So I found myself 41 years old and I at that point had given up on life. I realized that there was really a defining moment where I thought “Oh my gosh. The reason I’m so exhausted and worn out and depressed and anxious and sick and my body is because I’ve been fighting this since I was a kid.” I really started thinking, you know, I am such a burden to my family because I’m so depressed that they would be better off if I wasn’t here.
- We don’t live in recovery from eating disorders. We don’t make them go away. It’s always there, so we have to be respectful of it, and one of the best ways to do that is to stay grateful for healing. When you stay grateful for healing, then you constantly remember where you came from and it keeps you from going back.
- Choosing to only eat foods that nourish my body is not restrictive at all. That’s where freedom is.
- How did that freedom come about for you? And how does keto work for food addiction?
- I really didn’t understand the concept of inflammation before I was part of this ketogenic community and I started to understand that inflammation is the root of heart disease.
- And so I removed the inflammatory foods. And then there was this concept of fat. Apart from carbs – of course, I ate high-fat high carbs when I was bingeing – but this was eating low carb and healthy fats. And it was like the clouds opened and light shone down into my life because I think my entire life my brain had been starved.
- Because I started feeling better eating this fat, it sent me down the rabbit hole of studying nutrition. What I learned is that because our brains are primarily made of fat, ketones (which are the product of burning fat) are a perfect fuel source for our brain. And it explained why I was having mental clarity and somehow when my brain began to become clear when I felt satisfied physically in a way that I hadn’t before.
- So the transition to a ketogenic lifestyle with a higher fat diet, nourished my brain and body in a way that I had never experienced. Keto was the answer but I had to have a moment where I said I can’t live this way anymore.
- What are your words of encouragement for anyone who feels helpless in food addiction?
- It’s never too late to change. The reason that we get so locked into that is because we see our sickness as part of our identity and [the reality] is that it is a sickness that we have.
- This is not your fault. You are not alone. It’s a sickness that comes with behaviors and there is a way to live in recovery from it. You don’t have to keep repeating those destructive things in your life. You can get free.
- Can you tell everyone how they can find you and how they can work with you?
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