Reducing Obsessions and Guilt Surrounding Food [Episode #422]
Welcome to the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder. Our goal is to help you be your most healthy, confident, beautiful and joyful! Our topics focus on health and wellness (physical, emotional/mental and spiritual), holistic nutrition, medicinal plants, natural rhythms and cycles, beauty, meditation, self care and rituals, spirituality and personal empowerment.
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This week’s topic is: Reducing Obsessions and Guilt Surrounding Food
Have you been wondering about this very topic? If you want to know the answer to this question and 3 more sent in by Beauties just like you, listen now to find out!
I have a history of compulsive and impulsive eating, among other addictions. As a result, I’ve also been a yo-yo dieter since childhood. I am on a healing journey and the beauty detox books and this podcast have been so helpful with that! However, I still struggle with a calorie counting OBSESSION. Any baby steps or practical tips to get started with breaking these food obsession chains?
Katie – Scottsdale, AZ
Since becoming plant-based I’ve never felt better, but I can’t help but feel left out or judged at family and social gatherings. While I have no problem avoiding foods that are not plant-based, I can feel the judgment from others around me. I’ve found it particularly hard to eat at restaurants they don’t have plant-based options, and I get embarrassed telling the waiter to make so many accommodations. I’ve developed a little bit of anxiety around this whole concept, and it’s kept me from going out to dinner with friends and family just to avoid the judgement. Have you ever dealt with this? What’s your advice?
Sara – Detroit
I’ve been following you for years since my early 20s and I just turned 30 and I am going through major transitions in my life. I lived in New York City for 11 years and just moved back home to Michigan with my parents (before I move to LA in January.) I feel temptations with food and some stress in this new living situation, I know I have the tools to work on it all, but it is overwhelming and I feel like I am starting over in a sense. Do you have any tips on how to not be so hard on yourself when you feel like you are losing grip of some of the structures you have worked so hard to build for yourself?
Angie – Colombia, Cali
I’ve been following the BD solution for 4 years while I’ve been single. Now that I want to start meeting men for a serious relationship I’m struggling with letting man know I’m plant-based and making them think I’m too weird. I’m scared of being rejected for my lifestyle choices and not finding anyone or having to change and eat animal food again. It’s giving me a lot of anxiety.
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Kimberly: Hi Beauties, and welcome back for our Thursday Q & A podcast where our topic today is, reducing obsessions and guilt surrounding food. So, I think this is something most all of us can relate to. Unfortunately, a lot of us have unhealthy relationships with food, or we have in the past, or we’ve had different struggles. I personally have had many struggles as has Katelyn who is also with me on the show today, of course. Everything from being an obsessive dieter to letting everything go, gaining a bunch of weight, having eating disorders, being an obsessive calorie tracker in notebooks.
Kimberly: So, I totally resonate with this topic. It’s something that I have been able to get past in my own life and I’m really passionate about sharing tips and tools with you and all our other beauties because the more free we can become of these obsessions, just the much more peaceful life becomes and we can just enjoy being out with our friends and eating or being home and eating and it doesn’t start to rule our lives. Which is something that definitely happened with me. It became a huge part of my life, just being obsessed with food.
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Kimberly: So, super excited to get into this topic. Before we dive in, I just want to give you a quick reminder. If you haven’t left a review yet for us on iTunes, please just take a moment or two out of your day. It can literally be a sentence, but it’s a great way to support the show and it helps other beauties like yourself find the show. You could also share the podcast with friends, family members, colleagues, whoever you think might benefit, and it’s a really wonderful way to help spread the message as well. We appreciate it and thank you so much in advance.
Kimberly: And lastly, to please make sure you subscribe to our show. That way you never miss a Q & A segment or a Monday interview podcast or solo cast. And so you keep that constant stream of motivation and inspiration going in your life and we stay connected. So all that being said, we have a very special show today. Not only because we’re talking about obsession and guilt with food, but because Katelyn is sitting next to me on the couch here in my new house, here in Topanga, we are together. She’s flown in from LA. It’s always amazing to be with you in person K.
Katelyn: Yes. I’m so excited. It’s nice to be in LA where it’s nice and warm compared to home. This week it was 22 degrees in the morning. So, excited to be here with you in person and-
Kimberly: Oh, 22 degrees.
Katelyn: … Its been a little bit of a cold snap in New York. So I got out just in the nick of time.
Kimberly: Wow. Wow. I forget that.
Katelyn: I was talking to my fiance and he was like, “You’re so lucky.” I said, “I am.” Yeah [crosstalk 00:02:45]. So I always love our time together and that we get to talk about this topic, especially getting so close to Thanksgiving, the holidays. People are really struggling with food and guilt and all these types of things. And we’ve had some really great questions come in to the community. So I put together a show. The questions are a little bit longer today than usual to give you guys a little bit more background and some thought behind what people are thinking here, but we think you’ll really like it.
Kimberly: That’s right. And I think that food is such a, you know, these obsessions, it’s a very complex topic. It usually involves a lot emotionally and mentally, and the reason we crave foods in the first place. So it’s good to have a little more context with the question.
Katelyn: Yeah, I agree for sure. There’s so many layers when it comes to food and guilt so …
Kimberly: Yes, yes.
Question 1: I have a history of compulsive and impulsive eating among other addictions as a result, I’ve also been a yo-yo dieter since childhood. I’m on a healing journey, and the beauty detox books and this podcast have been so helpful with that. However, I still struggle with calorie counting obsession. Any baby steps or practical tips to get started with breaking these food obsession chains?
Katelyn: So with that, we will dive right in so the show is not too, too long today. So we have Jane from Louisville, Kentucky. “I have a history of compulsive and impulsive eating among other addictions as a result, I’ve also been a yo-yo dieter since childhood. I’m on a healing journey, and the beauty detox books and this podcast have been so helpful with that. However, I still struggle with calorie counting obsession. Any baby steps or practical tips to get started with breaking these food obsession chains?”
Kimberly: So Jane, thank you so much for your question. We appreciate you, beauty. Thank you for being vulnerable and writing in. And again, I can very much relate to this having a long history of unhealthy food relationship habits and just obsessions. So one thing I want to bring up right at the start of our show is our four cornerstones of true beauty, and it’s very applicable here. So I’ve been a nutritionist now, some of you have been with me for a long time, since the first book came out in 2011. And over a decade of being a nutritionist, what I have found is that wow, we need to really look beyond food to heal our relationship with food, actually. We have to look beyond food to actually be well. Food is not the end all be all. It’s a very important part of our wellness journey, but it’s actually only one of our cornerstones.
Kimberly: So our cornerstones are food, second is body, third is emotional wellbeing and fourth is spiritual growth, where we are in touch with our light, with our spirit, with our uniqueness, being comfortable as we are. Which comes with meditation and stillness practices. It’s not dogmatic or formal, it’s just anything that helps us be in touch with spirit. So what I have found is, in my own healing journey, and I see this with many, many clients and many, many readers, if we have imbalance in one of these cornerstones, we tend to be obsessed with one of the others. It’s like an imbalance, it’s like a chair that breaks a leg. The other ones have to carry more weight, or we overemphasize.
Kimberly: So in this case, my case, in your case too Jane, let’s say, I’ll start with me. For me it was a lot of emotional imbalance. I spent a lot of time as a teenager into my early twenties, like angsty and kind of bottling a lot of things in, and I didn’t express a lot, and I had a lot of repressed anger, which I think was a big contributor to my constipation as well as the foods I was eating. And I had a lot of stress. And again, there was just things, I was angry. I was angry at my parents, like a lot of teenage girls, but there was just a lot that wasn’t processed, in a healthy way. So because of that, I became obsessed with food. That was the one thing I felt I could control. I could work on always being skinnier and skinnier, and working on the food component. But what I found was no matter how skinny I got or how much I controlled my calories, it never felt better. I never felt more peace.
Kimberly: It was never enough because again, the reason we created these cornerstones, and I really strongly feel that we need that balance in our life where we, you know, it’s like you can paint a picture as beautiful as possible and it’s perfect and it’s got all these great colors. And then you have to get the right frame, for instance, and you have to find the right place on the wall to hang it. There’s other parts of the puzzle. So kind of a weird analogy, but the idea is you dial in your food, you’re always going to be obsessed until you look to the other cornerstones and where you may have imbalance, Jane. So in this case it could be doing more, body includes exercise, better sleep or proper sleep, beauty sleep, skincare. Just really taking care of your body.
Kimberly: So, sometimes if we wear ourselves down, if we don’t exercise well, we continued to be more obsessed with food. Again, we covered emotional wellbeing or sometimes we don’t feel good enough as we are, we don’t feel our light. And that’s where meditation practices and stillness practices could be very helpful in just helping us be in touch with ourselves more and loosen that grip of being obsessed with food. So I’d ask you, Jane, to just look at those cornerstones, food, body, emotions and spirituality. Which one do you need in your life more nurturing in? Where do you need more nutrition in? Again, nutrition doesn’t come just from food as far as baby steps, I would say, once you identify that area, maybe it’s you start doing some mini meditations. Maybe emotionally you take some more time to journal or to find community, to find a friend or someone you can talk to, to get things out.
Kimberly: Maybe with body practices you need to dial in your sleep more or practice an evening routine. Maybe it’s a combination. One of the things we talk about a lot is morning practice, and that’s a way you can combine a lot of these where you can do hot with lemon, sit and meditate for a few minutes, maybe just take a couple of minutes to journal and reflect before you go on social media, before you go into your day. So you breathe, you get into your body, you feel more connected to yourself before you go outward. That’s a way to start breaking some of those obsessions and also creating more balance. As far as actually getting past the obsession of calories, and I resonate with this very much because I used to track all my calories in a little notebook, and I would guesstimate them and sometimes read labels and add them up endlessly.
Kimberly: For me it was, and I think people have different personalities. There’s people that go cold turkey and then there’s people that need a transition. It can go either way. For me it was starting to trust food more by having more smoothies and soups and things that I knew were very dense in fiber, but probably lower calorically, so I could trust and feel better. To me that was the bridge into not calorie counting.
Kimberly: We have our 30 day healthy roadmap program online and this is for people like yourself Jane, that are usually obsessed. They’re usually relying on counting things to lose weight and what we find is the calorie total is there, it’s on each page but it’s small and it’s tucked away if you really want to look at it, but you can start to trust like, oh, I know these recipes. Maybe there’s five recipes you go to. Dharma’s kale salad, kichiri, you know, just call it everyday awesome soup, which is from the last book, glowing green smoothie. You know, where you’re like, “Okay, I know the glowing green smoothie has 136 calories,” or whatever. You start to know, and you start to trust, and you start to break away from, “I can trust this food. I can trust these dishes. Variations are okay.” So you start to get more spans of time where you don’t count as much.
Kimberly: For me, that was a bridge. I couldn’t let it go completely, but I started to trust food more and again, I started to work on the other cornerstones. I started to work with a therapist at one point and now this energy healer I work with now, I do a lot of journaling. I work on mental and emotional wellbeing. That really helps to keep me not being obsessed with food.
Katelyn: Yeah. I think that’s so important to talk about because so many people, it takes up a lot of their time and energy and their life, fixating on calories and what they eat, that they’re not able to fully enjoy their life and enjoy what’s going on or be present. And just to have these tools and tips to slowly, obviously if somebody’s been doing something for years, as you said, it’s not going to, if you have the expectation that it’s going to change overnight, it’s not going to, right? We need time to start to make changes, and some people do go cold turkey. There’s a certain breed that can just turn it on and turn it off. Most people, if you fall into the spectrum that you need a little bit of time to get used to a new idea, then definitely trying the steps that Kim’s recommending here is a good way to go.
Kimberly: Ha ha. Thank you K.
Question 2: Since becoming plant-based, I’ve never felt better but I can’t help but feel left out or judged at family and social gatherings. I found it particularly hard to eat at restaurants that don’t have plant-based options and I get embarrassed telling the waiter to make any special accommodations, that I’ve developed a bit of anxiety around this whole concept. It’s been keeping me from going out to dinner with friends and family just to avoid the judgment. How have you dealt with this? What is your advice?
Katelyn: Okay, so we have Katie from Scottsdale, Arizona. “Since becoming plant-based, I’ve never felt better but I can’t help but feel left out or judged at family and social gatherings. I found it particularly hard to eat at restaurants that don’t have plant-based options and I get embarrassed telling the waiter to make any special accommodations, that I’ve developed a bit of anxiety around this whole concept. It’s been keeping me from going out to dinner with friends and family just to avoid the judgment. How have you dealt with this? What is your advice?”
Kimberly: Katie, this is a really great question and I think it’s something that, again, a lot of us have dealt with, especially as we transition, especially if we’ve come from families that you know, most of us grew up in families that weren’t plant based. I mean that’s just the majority. If you look at the ratios, if you look at the number of the stats, you know, my family was, my mother’s from the Philippines. I still talk about in the present, she was from the Philippines. So there was a lot of sea food and she loved shrimp and like a lot of like Asiany kind of Filipino dishes around.
Kimberly: When I decided to become plant-based, you know, of course she was like, “Where are you going to get your protein?” All this stuff. And then it was a little bit judgy. Like I definitely have judgy family members from that side that would definitely look down and kind of be weird and, you know, just give me looks and I totally, totally get this and I’m sure you know, many of you listening to this have had different versions of that.
Kimberly: I do believe though the more we come from acceptance of ourselves and of others, you know, in the Solluna Circle in November, we talk about this idea of dropping expectations, about expectations of ourselves having to be a certain way, having to fit in all the time in a certain way. Expectations of other people, whether it’s like, “Oh they should eat a different way. They should be healthier, they should be this.” The more we just accept the present moment, I think, and we accept ourselves and we realize how much we deserve to eat however we want to eat and be present with people. When we hold that space, it’s like an energetic boundary. I feel like it really does shift the energy with other people.
Kimberly: So, people can sense, especially people that are maybe not feeling great about how they eat already, they can sense when you are a little bit cautious or you’re feeling self-conscious about how you eat or you hang your head a little bit and they’ll just, there’s people that will just jump on that and leap on that and shame you even more. But if you come at it from a stronger place, you know, “I just feel better eating this way. You can eat however you want,” and you keep the conversation away from food. “How was your day? What’s going on in your life? How are you feeling right now? What’s going on with such and such?” It’s like you treat it not as a big deal, but more it is what it is. Back to the, acceptance. I eat how I’m eating and you eat how you’re eating.
Kimberly: And I really reached that place of acceptance with family members, where I stopped having judgment because I realized I was, in my head, judging their food. “Oh my God, I can’t believe they’re eating pork again. Oh my God, I’ve told them about the dairy. They’re still putting cream in their coffee.” I was being judgy and judgment always is met with other judgment. So if you come from a place of calmness and love and you’re just like, “Oh, I just feel better eating this way.” Super casual, not a big deal, no discussions. And at the same time, you’re not meek. You’re not like, ashamed yourself, you will be met with much more respect.
Kimberly: I have found that in my life, I’ve found that with many other people I’ve talked to. K, you can share your story too in a moment. But it’s, you know, your family and friends, it’s really about quality time. It’s about connection and you can connect on so many levels. It doesn’t have to be about food. So going out to dinner, if you really shift it to, you know, this is an amazing time to catch up and see what’s going on in life. And if anybody makes a comment or if anybody looks judgy, you literally don’t match it with judginess. You don’t match it with meekness, which invites more in. You’re just like, “Yeah, I know it’s different but I just feel better this way.” And you shift it and you hold that space.
Kimberly: And I find, again, just literally having zero tolerance for judgment of other people, whether it’s in-laws or family members or friends, “Oh, you know what? They’re going to eat the fried chicken.” And that’s how it is. So I also think, to your other part of your question about being shy by asking waiters, you’re going there for a service and if you’re doing it with respect and you’re doing it with love and you’ll, “Oh, you know, I just have a couple of changes because I have some dietary restrictions,” and you just say it in a way that’s not annoying, that’s not demanding. They are there to serve you and to provide your needs and you’re paying money for it.
Kimberly: So I wouldn’t feel self conscious about that. I think if there’s like, 80 things you asked to change and now it’s a completely different dish. But you know, there’s this brunch place we go to here now and it’s all omelet on the menu. It’s like a brunch place. There aren’t too many brunch places and it’s just like I go and I say, “Hey, I’m going to have this omelet but no eggs and no cheese and can you in add extra spinach?” I go, “I know it’s a little bit funny, but I’m plant based, so if you could accommodate that, I really appreciate it. You could tell the chef, I really appreciate it.” And I just say it kind of like that and casually but with love. And I say, “I know,” you acknowledge like, “Okay, I know this is a little bit,” but again, don’t go to make this, don’t feel guilt because you deserve to eat however you want to eat.
Kimberly: And especially when you’re paying for a service, don’t ever feel guilty about that. And if you give your family members the respect and the love, like, okay, you guys are going to eat this way, guess what? You also deserve that respect and that love and you get to eat however you want to eat too. And you just don’t make a big deal out of it.
Katelyn: 100% and I’ve found it’s a journey. I feel a lot differently now, like five, six years in than when I first started. And it was, everybody was like shocked and thought it was so different and now it’s just a way of life. You know, I’ve shared with them and I’ve also gone through where I’ve tried to over teach and I wanted everybody to change because I was experiencing such positive benefits. And I wanted the people I love to experience the benefits and when they resisted I got angry and just felt like, oh, like forget it. And you know, so I think it’s that normal ebb and flow when you make a big change in your life that not everybody’s taught from a certain age, eat this way and it’s branded and marketing messages and you know, you’re pushed to eat certain things when you’re a child and you just grow up a certain way. That all of a sudden, you make these decisions to change and empower yourself to eat a way that makes you feel good.
Katelyn: And that’s really what I’ve found too, is just not pushing it for any specific reason other than eating this way makes me feel the best I can feel. And nobody can really argue with that. That’s like the one [crosstalk 00:19:01]
Katelyn: If you try to, I don’t like to argue, I’m kind of a more passive person. I don’t want to make my point and be the be right. I kind of tend to back down and do kind of become more meek in those types of conversations. I don’t like to put myself in that situation to begin with, so I wouldn’t be one to argue anyway. So-
Kimberly: But has anyone been judgy with you K, like your parents?
Katelyn: Oh yeah. I mean, for sure. It was a big change.
Kimberly: Your sister?
Katelyn: “Got to make special accommodations for Katelyn.” And sometimes people were trying to be nice about it and then it would just come off like, I’m just like, “Ah, you know.” I’m like, “It’s fine, I’ll figure something out.” And more of a place of just, people don’t understand right away. So once they did have a little more education then they got it.
Kimberly: And would you have stuck to like, I just feel better this way?
Katelyn: Yeah. After it’s stuck, right? It wasn’t like I did it for a month and then stopped doing it. It’s years. So they’re like, this is sticking around. So, I just started bringing my own meals to social gatherings, like packed lunches and I always had something to eat.
Kimberly: Right, something to share.
Katelyn: Then I didn’t feel pressure for people to make me food that I needed. And [crosstalk 00:20:06]
Kimberly: Yes, that’s a great point too.
Katelyn: If we’re going somewhere, I’d look at the menu ahead of time, make sure there’s something I want to eat so then it wouldn’t even be weird. I’d be like, “Yeah, I’ll take X, Y, Z.” And it’s just ordering and then it was easy because I already knew there was food that I could eat and other people liked. And there’s certain cuisines that are easier, you know, like Mexican food, for example that [crosstalk 00:20:26]
Kimberly: Sure. Super easy.
Katelyn: Yeah. Certain types of food, it’s a little bit harder.
Kimberly: That’s a great point.
Katelyn: It’s not putting myself in those situations where people want to go to a steakhouse and you’re probably going to be a little bit-
Kimberly: But you know, but on the flip side, if it is a steakhouse, sometimes steakhouses have all the veggie sides, you know?
Katelyn: Yeah, you could totally make it work, for sure. In any instance, I’ve definitely learned to negate that, so I think this is great. And you don’t want to feel uncomfortable. You want to live your life and feel good about what you’re doing and just be confident in your life choices and whatever anybody says it really doesn’t matter.
Kimberly: That’s right.
Katelyn: Like, it’s not your body.
Kimberly: This goes back to self-worth, and it is this concept of true beauty that we talk about, which is this magnetism. It’s this really internal power that starts to build in you where you become more glowing. You just become more confident and people sense it and they can tell like, oh, you’re putting up a healthy boundary. You’re not being meek. You’re not apologizing for what makes you feel good. At the same time, you’re allowing them to be themselves so you’re not judging them, but you’re holding this space of strength. And I found, for me, that was the easiest it was for people to be around me. They didn’t feel judged, like I wasn’t judging their food anymore. And at the same time they weren’t trying to push back, which created just separation and walls between us. So it’s like I accept myself more, I feel better this way. And by the way I accept you too so you can do your thing and I do my thing. So that’s important part of meaningful, deeper connections as well.
Katelyn: Yeah. And ask people questions. Do you want to know more, why? If you don’t, great. If you do I’ll share, like it’s like, opening that connection or if people want to know more, you’re willing to talk about it. But if they don’t, we don’t have to talk about that at all.
Katelyn: Like you said, it can be a non conversation and pulling it away from food and you know, some people are always going to just think what they think and there’s nothing you can do about it. So … Kimberly: Yeah, honestly life is short and we want to enjoy and feel good and not be apologetic for it and spend time with loved ones. And the two are not mutually exclusive. We just have to make it be about what it is, like spending time, steer the conversation away. And eventually if we don’t feed that fire, people are going to catch on and change the conversation because they realize there’s no drama there. There’s nothing that’s going to get riled up.
Katelyn: 100%. All right, beauties. Well, we are going to take a short break and then Kimberly will be back to answer the last two questions.
Kimberly: Hi, beauties. We are back from our short break and we have two more questions for you guys on this big expansive topic of food obsessions and guilt. It is not, certainly, an overnight easy fix necessarily, but just having awareness and sharing our stories and talking about these concepts we hope will really help alleviate these issues for you in your life, and just reflection and thinking about it. You know, food is so interesting because on one level, it’s like, physical nourishment. But it’s so much more. It shifts our mood. Food cravings are something that are comforting. They help us feel good. They’re right in front of us. It’s tangible. So there are so many different complications wrapped up in food and I think this is such an important conversation that we have.
Katelyn: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. I definitely have struggled with food and emotions my whole life. And I know I probably will continue to. It’s a journey. Having the community and support and a place to talk about it is really important. A lot of people feel embarrassed or the different, guilt is the topic of the show around these things and it’s nice to have this space in the community.
Kimberly: Yeah, you know, and K, I’ll share this morning we went to that breakfast place and we were going to get tea and I was really hungry, and they didn’t have the veggie burger yet, and I was like, “Okay, I’ll get the breakfast burrito with the beans and the potatoes, but again, no eggs.” And it came in that, it wasn’t like a little wrap, it was like that big, did you see that big thick bread?
Katelyn: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kimberly: And I haven’t had gluten in a while. I mean, sometimes I have it when I travel but it was so good and I ate the whole thing. And then I did kind of feel guilty for a while. I was like, wow, that was a lot of white thick bread to eat. It kind of weighed on me a little bit. And then I just practiced, okay, well I’m not going to eat it every day. And just this idea of letting it go but I will say, it does, this idea with guilt is such a deep thing. I have such a deep perfectionist syndrome and I’m like, “Oh, I tell everybody not to eat gluten,” and I’m like, “I’m eating gluten.” Then I do feel guilty, so I go through it too. But again, I just keep reminding myself, hey, we’re doing our best and sometimes we’re not going to eat perfectly.
Katelyn: Doing the best with the options we have.
Kimberly: Yeah, exactly.
Katelyn: So you look at something and you make the best choices that are available to you at that time and thank you for sharing that. I think it’s really great for people to hear those moments that you go through that too.
Kimberly: Oh yeah.
Katelyn: It’s not just always like, so easy and just flow through the motions like it’s no big deal.
Kimberly: You know, they do say, I have read that once you have an eating disorder, to an extent, you always have an eating disorder. And so, even though it’s been years and years since I’ve counted calories. And it’s been years and years since I’ve made myself throw up and purge, I still have these flashbacks, like it comes into my mind, “Oh, you’re feeling guilty. Oh my God, you ate all that white gluteny bread.” But then again, now, the skills that I’ve developed are just like, catching that thought and looking at it and saying, oh, you know, like separating myself from it. I used to get all wrapped up in it. I would get into this loophole of, “Yeah, I shouldn’t have eaten that. I better starve myself for the rest of the day.”
Kimberly: But now I can kind of separate myself from the thought and sit back and say, “It’s not that big a deal. Okay, I didn’t eat perfectly but I’ll do better later. I’ll do my best.” I kind of just talk myself down. So just having the skill of pausing and looking at a thought versus getting completely immersed in the thought, identifying with it.
Katelyn: Traveling down the rabbit hole but stopping it at the onset.
Kimberly: Yes. And I will say that skill have come from meditation because I was such a restless meditator and then when I started to say, “Okay, I’m aware of my thoughts. I’m not trying to push them away, I’m just aware of them. Like, I am not my thoughts.”
Kimberly: I can sort of see them separate to me, that has really helped with my food obsession because I start to do it with food thoughts too. So again, this is where all the cornerstones start to work together.
Question 3: I’ve been following you since my early 20s and I just turned 30. I’m going through major transitions in my life, including moving. I feel temptations with food and some stress in this new living situation. I know I have the tools to work on it all, but it is overwhelming. Do you have any tips on how to not be so hard on yourself when you feel you are losing a grip on some of the structures you’ve worked so hard to build for yourself?
Katelyn: Learning how to break your thoughts, yeah. That’s really important. Well, we have another question here, coming in from Sarah who’s living in Detroit. “I’ve been following you since my early 20s and I just turned 30. I’m going through major transitions in my life, including moving. I feel temptations with food and some stress in this new living situation. I know I have the tools to work on it all, but it is overwhelming. Do you have any tips on how to not be so hard on yourself when you feel you are losing a grip on some of the structures you’ve worked so hard to build for yourself?”
Kimberly: Ah, interesting. We were just kind of talking about this. This is so interesting because again, I can go back, so Sarah, thank you so much for sharing. I can go back to this idea of like, oh, I always talk about the morning routine. It’s always supposed to be glowing green smoothie, I did have the hot water with lemon but then, it’s always supposed to be glowing green smoothie and here I’m having this big gluteny heavy burrito that was more like a panini, huge wrap thing. So, this is where expectations, I think, are really huge. Identifying when we are expecting so much of ourself and it’s not the reality of where we are.
Kimberly: So, what I mean by that is, in this moment, I ate that burrito thing. In this moment, Sarah, maybe you’re getting off track because you’re moving and so maybe your food is off and maybe you don’t have the ability to cook right now. Or you’re just stressed and you’re stress eating more, whatever. This is very like Byron Katie work, by the way, who came on our podcast as well. She has a book called Loving What Is. So, if we have an expectation, I should be eating this, and I actually ate this, there’s a separation. There’s a distance between what’s real. The reality is, well, I ate this and this expectation we put on ourself, and that’s always going to create stress and struggle.
Kimberly: The more we ruminate on that the more we obsess over that difference, the more we’re going to get stressed and actually, ironically, the more our body holds and the more digestion slows down, and the more bloated we become, and the more inflamed we become. And the harder it is for us to move past it. So I think it’s more the practice of presence and saying, “I’m literally doing the best I can right now.” And I just went through a move and Sarah, I have to tell you, I did not eat well. I’ve eaten out more in the past month than I probably have in the last three years. Just because the kitchen stuff wasn’t unpacked and I was super busy and everything was a mess in the house.
Kimberly: I started, again, getting into this cycle like, oh, I don’t really like eating out. What kind of oil are they using? Like, what’s going on? But then it’s like, big picture. Let me step back. I’m not going to eat this way for the rest of my life. I’m doing my best right now. The reality is right now, I’m moving. The reality is, right now, I’m doing my very, very best. This is all I can do. So this hardness, being hard on ourself is, it’s a big one. I mean, I’m super hard on myself. K, you’re super hard on yourself. This recovery process, like we’re recovering perfectionists, being more compassionate with ourself, this is where I think community is really important. You know, when we do the Solluna Circles, we hold space for each other. We hear each other speak. We allow ourselves to cry and be vulnerable. We have the online circle which you guys can check out. There’s a beautiful community online which you can check out on the website.
Kimberly: But I think, having community to bounce things off of, you know, if I say to a community member, or my friend, or Katelyn, like, “Oh my God, I shouldn’t have eaten that burrito.” She just reminds me, “Hey, that was the best option at the time.” Like, this is not that big a deal. So sometimes having that loving companion with you, the friend along the journey, whether it’s your boyfriend or your friend or your colleague or whoever, can be a really good anchor when we’re getting past these obsessions or we’re getting past this overwhelm.
Kimberly: I will say, Sarah, it’s good to keep some structure. It may not be food, but you could have a structure of meditating for three minutes in the morning, just to keep yourself centered. You can still take your probiotics. Maybe it’s possible to drink hot water with lemon. That’s always an anchor that I feel that heat in my body, that nice elixir. What ever certain structures. So maybe your food is off but through this move I’ve been meditating and that’s given me some sense of sanity otherwise I’d probably go completely insane. Moving is probably the worst thing in the world. I hate it so much.
Katelyn: It’s a challenge because your whole life is being packed up and you don’t have everything to make your food the way you want to, or it’s just chaotic. So, especially moving. It’s never just the move, right? It’s like we still have our lives and our jobs and our relationships to deal with, so if anything’s going awry in those areas, that makes it even harder because it’s not like, just focusing on the move. There’s always so many elements at play that play a role in how we eat and our stress level and sleep and how it call kind of comes together.
Kimberly: Yes, again so then it goes back to the cornerstones. I’ll bring it up here. Sarah, your food may be off but so you don’t go down into obsessing about it, where can you balance practices with your body? Maybe you can go for more walks right now. If you’re moving and food situation isn’t great, but you move your body, you get out, you exercise, you get some fresh air. Emotionally you process your feelings, you journal or like we said, you joined a community or you process things with a friend. Spiritually, maybe you do have that anchor of meditation.
Kimberly: So again, I think when one is off, or we get obsessed, hyper fixated on one, go to the other cornerstones and strengthen them. And it’s like a chair where all four legs are strong. You will start to feel stronger when you do practices in other areas not related to food. It will help you feel less guilt about the food itself.
Katelyn: 100%. I think the four cornerstones really help. You know, our identity is not just solely based on what we eat or our routines. I used to do that a lot, like I really identified if I didn’t do something then I was doing something wrong and it wasn’t good enough. I really put a lot of emphasis on certain things and if it didn’t go right then everything fell apart because that’s how I gave myself self-worth. Where it’s like, you are more than just your routine or these structures that you’ve built. There’s a lot of elements in your life that play a role that everything not falling apart just because you have a couple of shitty meals or something happens for a little bit of time. You can bounce back. You still know what you’re doing. Otherwise, we’d all drive ourselves crazy. I mean, life’s not a straight path, as we know K.
Kimberly: Yeah, exactly. And then we get that hyper fixation that starts to control our lives. We try to control food. So the idea is, don’t try to control more, and make it better. Again, it’s almost like, let go more, but the way to let go more is to work on the other cornerstones. Like, I know if I don’t eat well, I haven’t been eating the greatest to be honest you guys, you know, I was telling Katelyn, it goes in waves. We’re not perfect. I’m not pretending to be perfect like I used to pretend to be perfect. But I try to do walks every day and honestly, I feel better. I’m like, oh, I’m moving my body, I’m doing something. So working on that cornerstone has helped me, even though I’m off in food. It’s as an example.
Katelyn: Right, having a couple of non negotiables that you do in your daily routine.
Kimberly: As well, yes.
Question 4: I’ve been following the beauty detox Solluna lifestyle for four years while I’ve been single. Now that I want to start meeting men for serious relationships I’m struggling with letting a man know I’m plant-based and making them thinking I’m too weird. I’m scared of being rejected for my lifestyle choices and not finding anyone or having to change to eating animal food again. It’s giving me a lot of anxiety
Katelyn: Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure. Okay. So we have Angie from Columbia, California and she’s saying, “I’ve been following the beauty detox Solluna lifestyle for four years while I’ve been single. Now that I want to start meeting men for serious relationships I’m struggling with letting a man know I’m plant-based and making them thinking I’m too weird. I’m scared of being rejected for my lifestyle choices and not finding anyone or having to change to eating animal food again. It’s giving me a lot of anxiety.”
Kimberly: Oh, Angie, thank you so much for your question beauty. Really taking that in and first of all I want to applaud you for taking care of yourself over the last few years and really nourishing your body and feeling good. Again, this is very applicable to self-worth, back to the four cornerstones. You don’t have to change yourself, Angie, for any man. And any man that’s trying to change you isn’t your man. It’s not your person. Just like you will be open, you can be open to meeting a man that eats meat, or however he wants to eat, and that’s not what your whole relationship is based on. So this goes back to the spiritual cornerstone, this goes back to self-worth and just breathing into your amazing unique spirit. Breathing into the fact of realizing 100% you deserve love for you. Not what you do, not just solely on how you look, and certainly not how you eat or you don’t eat. You deserve to be loved simply because you are Angie, and you are amazing as you are.
Kimberly: And again, self-worth is a big journey as well. And it took me a long time to really feel that worth, and I’m still working on it as most all of us are. I will say, just introspection, being around supportive community, meditating, finding time to be alone, cutting out media that didn’t make me feel good, whether it’s on social media, unfollowing things that felt not good to me. I don’t watch the news anymore, I don’t watch things that are violent and jarring and I start to feel thrown off, I start to feel anxiety from certain things, so I just don’t do it anymore. I can see headlines on my phone with apps that aggregate headlines, or whatever, I don’t need to watch the news.
Kimberly: So I would just say, Angie, how you eat is healthy and it feels good to you and plant-based isn’t weird. It’s becoming more and more mainstream to this day, which is incredible, but moreover, you want to find someone you connect with, so work on that. Connect with yourself and then find someone that will accept you, however you eat. You know, you could eat cookies all day, you could be plant-based, you could be an omnivore. It doesn’t matter. It’s who you connect with. If someone’s judging you based on how you eat, again, that’s certainly not your person and you deserve to really be connected to someone and it has to start for you, holding yourself in that space and in that worth and then you will attract somebody that will match that.
Katelyn: Yeah. And definitely having somebody, I know from my personal experience that is just open. They might eat how they eat but somebody who is open to the way I want to live my life and the way I want to eat and they don’t judge me for it. And they partake in the meals I make or they make their own food and there’s just no judgment but again, that is not the basis, as Kimberly was saying, it’s just really important to have a deeper connection beyond worrying about somebody’s judging you for your food. Like, that’s very surfacey of somebody who’s going to love you for all the layers that you are and not specifically like, oh, you don’t check off this box. Like it’s just not going to work out.
Kimberly: Yeah. Again, so to me, that speaks to that cornerstone. So it’s Angie like, again, getting away from focusing on food. Getting away from this thought that there’s something wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just finding the match.
Katelyn: How can you blame yourself, right?
Kimberly: It’s like, respecting yourself, like tuning in to you are unique, you are amazing, you are worthy of love as you are, just as you are. You don’t have to change anything, you don’t have to apologize and when you have that self-respect, that magnetism, that true beauty pouring out of you, that confidence, you will attract the partner that matches that. And yeah, and so just working on that, working on the cornerstones, working on the spiritual one particularly perhaps for you is going to bring a lot of healing and love. You will find the right man that will match that.
Katelyn: Yeah. This would be a good one to journal on, for sure.
Kimberly: That’s right.
Katelyn: Sometimes putting pen to paper and seeing the deeper layers beyond what the initial thought it. It might be, “Oh, I’m worried he won’t love me for how I eat.” But it might be other things like Kim’s mentioning, like your self-worth and things like that you can dig into and work on through digging in to the third and fourth cornerstones.
Kimberly: And one thing I’ll say about this topic is, having gone through relationships that haven’t worked, I actually took a pause and didn’t date for some months, which is a long break for me because I’ve been someone that’s been in relationship after relationship. But I took a pause before I met John, husband John, and I wrote on a piece of paper the qualities that I wanted in a man. I wanted someone that was strong, but also compassionate and loving and open. And open was a big one because I’d been in relationships with people that are judgy. And I was like, no, no, they don’t have to eat or be exactly like me, but I just want them to be open to what I’m doing.
Kimberly: And I got really clear about what I wanted to attract and I got clear that this is what I deserved and this is who I want. I folded up my little piece of paper and I put it under rose quartz in the beautiful healthy plant that was in my love corner, like feng shui-wise. I’d look at it every day and I’d see the rose quartz and I’d see that little paper and I knew I would attract this.
Kimberly: And guess what? That’s exactly who I married. But I got really clear about it first. So wasn’t from that place of apology of, oh my God, I have to this. I have to change, there’s something wrong with me. What if he thinks I’m weird? No, no, no. I’m good. It’s like, this is the man I deserve and that’s a big shift of energy and I think that’s how we really call in that healthy, beautiful relationship that we all deserve.
Katelyn: Right, you don’t have to make accommodations for other people.
Katelyn: So [crosstalk 00:41:34]
Kimberly: It doesn’t we don’t grow and shift, but something like changing our eating habits like that doesn’t have to be the way.
Katelyn: Dream accommodation.
Thought of the Week
Katelyn: So with that, do you have any special thoughts for closing the week this week?
Kimberly: I do K. So just thinking about this topic of obsession and guilt again, which I have so much personal struggle with in the past and as do you K. My thought of the week is something that I wrote myself. Sometimes we do quotes from Rumi or Yogananda or other spiritual masters, but this is a very simple quote. So if you’re not driving, you just want to pause for a moment, close your eyes and just take this is. Flowing, not fighting is the path to true beauty. So it’s this idea of flow, and being in flow and not fighting. Fighting yourself, fighting the guilt to me is like fighting. Like, it’s struggling against reality. It’s saying, “I should have done this. I should have done that.” Obsession is fighting the flow of just moving around going like, “Oh, I’m going to eat this. Maybe I ate a little heavier.” And like, forgiveness.
Kimberly: Flow is like a river and fighting is that daily struggle where we’re trying to swim up stream and we’re bashing against the rocks. And life starts to feel like it sucks because every day is so hard. So this idea of flow is the way to that magnetic energy we keep talking about and the true beauty. Flowing is, “Oh, well, I’m obsessed here with food.” You observe it, just like Sarah. “And I’m going to flow along to the other cornerstones. I’m just going to flow my attention more to body care or emotional well being or spiritual growth.” There’s an easefulness in flow. And so I just want to remind us that life can be more easeful. We can choose for it to be more easeful. We can choose, but it’s almost like a daily choice, a moment to moment choice.
Kimberly: Just observing, like with everything we talked about today, just separating a bit from our thoughts. Seeing, observing which cornerstone we need to maybe put more focus on. But just bringing in more easefulness, more flow and less fighting and that’s how everything starts to actually work better in our life. That’s where we attract a healthy relationship. That’s where we have an easier time losing weight. That’s where we have an easier time with food. So, that’s what I wish for all of us, is to bring more easefulness, more flow and for us to really focus on it, we can consciously bring it in because we’re also powerful.
Katelyn: I love that. I think it’s an important reminder. We live in such a high stressed environment and there’s a lot of pressure.
Kimberly: Performance based.
Katelyn: Yeah. Everything is so performance based and to take a step back and have that self-care time and just kind of we have this roadmap for you, within the four cornerstones that you don’t have to go searching like, “What do I do?” We’ve prepared it for you so that you can have those touch points and flow around versus feeling like you don’t have something to grasp onto. Most people want control when they don’t know what to do or they feel out of control, so it’s a little bit easier to have flow when you feel safe with what you’re doing.
Kimberly: Yes, yes.
Katelyn: We want to create that safe space for you guys, and as always on the podcast, we’d love for you to submit your questions, head over to the website, mysolluna.com/askKimberly. There’s a form there. That’s where I look at your questions and we develop the shows based on what you guys are asking.
Kimberly: Awesome K. Thank you so much love. Thank you for gathering the questions. It is an honor to be with you in person. It’s so much fun. It’s an honor to be with you beauties as well. I am so grateful that we are on this journey together to support each other, to share what’s helping, how we can keep going along and feeling good and being our truest, best, most beautiful selves. So thank you, beauty, for tuning in. Sending you so much love.
Kimberly: We’ll be back here Monday for our next interview podcast. Actually next week it’s going to be a solo cast on Thanksgiving eating and tips and tools and ways to really feel good around the holidays and to connect and use some real practical tips so you definitely don’t want to miss that. Sending you lots and lots of love. There’s always more on Instagram for daily inspiration at @_KimberlySnyder. Take great care of yourself, beauty, and we will see you back here soon. Lots of love.