A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss

Triggers of Comfort Eating with Renée Jones

February 23, 2022 Renée Jones Season 1 Episode 94
A Magical Life: Health, Wealth, and Weight Loss
Triggers of Comfort Eating with Renée Jones
Show Notes Transcript

As we've discussed in other episodes, tension, stress, and trauma has a direct effect on your brain's function. One thing that can result is emotional eating and yo-yo dieting. Many foods and smells are deeply tied to emotions and memories.

Renée's top 3 tips for creating wealth:

  1. Know what you want, and be willing to work really hard for it.
  2. Know what you need to achieve or be that.
  3. Unpack and process your emotional baggage because it's creating stumbling blocks for you.

Renée's top 3 tips for reducing stress:

  1. Believe it's possible to live a life that's less stressful.
  2. Learn to breathe again. Eight deeply connected breaths will calm you in a very short period.
  3. Actively reduce the stress in your life, which may mean changing a job, living situation, or environment.


Renée has written a book to overcome emotional eating, available on Amazon: "What's Really Eating You?"

Renée has a bonus for you to begin to overcome emotional eating on her website: https://packyourownbag.com/friends/

Connect with Renée:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PackYourOwnBag/
On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/packyourownbag/
On YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgaVSkAVckWNU9-95AjVOAg

Connect with Magic:

A Magical Life Podcast on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amagicallifepodcast/

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wholisticnaturalhealth/

Online: https://wholisticnaturalhealth.com.au

A Subito Media production

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Magic Barclay:

Welcome back to a magical life. I'm your host magic Barclay. And today I'm joined by Renee Jones. Renee has a master's in counseling, a clinical residency and training in traditional and contemporary methods of transformation. After spending 40 years on the diet. Yo, yo, she learned how to overcome emotional eating. And maintain her weight since 2012. Now she helps others to do the same through coaching Ted talks with over 570,000 views and her best-selling book, what's really eating you: overcome the triggers of comfort eating. Welcome Renee.

Renee Jones:

Thank you for having me.

Magic Barclay:

What a fantastic website you have. I just mentioned to you off air. I was poking around on it. And so many of us have emotional eating issues and we comfort eat without even knowing it. So what a fantastic resource you're providing so many people.

Renee Jones:

Oh, well, thank you. It's certainly helped me.

Magic Barclay:

Before we get onto the questions, I really want to just get a really quick snapshot of your story. So you said it really helped you, how did it help you to recognize comfort eating?

Renee Jones:

I mean, I had been on a diet all those years and. I would do really well for a while, but then something would happen and I would go to food for comfort or stress relief. And I, I didn't know, that's what it was. Um, I didn't have the title for it. When I was trying to lose my weight before my 50th birthday, um, I just kept running into this roadblock and I couldn't figure out how to manage it. So that's when I started studying it. I hired my own coach to help me overcome my stuff. And it helped me to then be able to make much better choices so that I was able to reach my weight by my 50th birthday. Fantastic.

Magic Barclay:

And is someone who is fast approaching her own 50th and emotional eating problems. Yeah. I'm listening with my ears pricked right up.

Renee Jones:

Well, I mean, you've got to find what drives you to food? What is it that is pushing that button? Sooth with food. And if we can find that, then we can unwind it and you can be free and you can make good choices.

Magic Barclay:

Totally. I think in my case, I've been all spectrums of the weight paradigm. I've been anorexic. I've been Billy Mick. I've been a big cheater. I've I've done it all. Super morbidly obese. An overachiever in ill health, you might say, and for me, it's stressed, I've kind of addressed all the emotional things. And I'm quite open with my listeners about my journey. And for me, it's stress. Stress is my driver, but because I've got such high cortisol, I don't just overate now I under it. And so my body goes into survival mode. So when I do eat something. Uh, stack everything on whatever it is, I'm eating, even if it's healthy. So for me, cortisol is my main driver, but recognizing my previous triggers of secret eating in the cupboard, because they didn't want the kids to see me or something would go wrong. And I would find myself in a packet of chips, you know, so important for people to see that I've canceled that bit out. By recognizing my triggers, but I'm left with the aftermath of so many years of that, that it's driven my cortisol up. So yeah. Interested to see more of what you teach people and let's get into it. So I often ask people, what can your expertise do to accelerate health? Now, when we're talking health, it's not just the physical, but also the emotional and spirit.

Renee Jones:

Um, well, I think my, my degree in counseling, my training and coaching, the years of practice that have helped us identify what drives others to food for comfort. Um, I also have, a master's in religious education and a chaplaincy, so I can address different spiritual parts of the situation as well. So once we identify how we can comfort and Sue that ourselves differently, it becomes much more effective and we can address the emotional, the spiritual, the physical, um, even social ways. You know, once your heart begins to heal from all the trauma of life, then we do get more healthy.

Magic Barclay:

I couldn't agree more. I actually teach a course on the PNI of trauma. So the psycho neuro endo immunology, and when I'm doing intakes with new clients, they say, no, nothing happened. I'm fine. And then we unravel the puzzle and they go, oh, I didn't realize what happened to me when I was three was affecting my immune system. Yeah. It's just amazing how we're not taught.

Renee Jones:

Well, and you know, the world has been through such a trauma in the last two years with the, the virus that I don't think we have a clue yet of the implications of how that's going to affect us all. So yes, things that happened years ago. Things that happened, you know, decade ago, things that happened last week can continue to have an effect because it gets in there. And if we don't deal with it, it just sort of festers. And until we, we at least look at it with, I mean, it doesn't have to be something awful, but it can be something that, oh, that's probably not helpful for me. I need to think about that differently.

Magic Barclay:

Exactly. And with everything going on in a world, there's this constant low level. Tension and trauma and people just aren't seeing it. And as you said, what happens in the future with children being raised to see mask faces they're missing out on so much facial communication and recognition of self. So what is that going to look like in the next 10, 20, 30 plus years?

Renee Jones:

Indeed. And in fact, Magic, I do part of my work in a behavioral well health hospital, and it became so difficult wearing a mask because I had the banner of counselor as well as chaplain. You know, people didn't necessarily trust me cause they didn't know where I'd come from on a spiritual level. And you know, as a chaplain, we are trained to be gentle with everyone and work under their, um, spiritual beliefs, not to proselytize or anything, but without being able to smell. For them to see that for them to see, uh, you know, whatever, I looked like it made it really difficult to, to help them.

Magic Barclay:

I think that's just so sad because we do have so much communication through our faces and a smile is so healing and so fulfilling. You know, you can walk past someone having the worst day of their life on the streets. And you don't know them, but you give them a small, new set of light back up with resilience and vibrancy. And so many people are missing that.

Renee Jones:

Indeed, indeed. So what I had to do was start dressing a little more fun.

Magic Barclay:

I love it.

Renee Jones:

Go up and down to the unit, you know, and at least kind of overemphasize my actions to do what may face couldn't.

Magic Barclay:

Yep. Great point there. Great point. Now we talk about wealth here. We're not just talking the financial so many people think financial wealth is all there is, but you can have personal wealth, you know, your personal values, your golden values that you strive for. The things that light you up and you can also have emotional wealth. And I think certainly with emotional eating, you have a low emotional wealth. So what are your top three tips to creating wealth?

Renee Jones:

I think it's important first to know what you truly want and are willing to pursue, because it doesn't just happen. Most of the time. Sometimes we really have to work hard to get what we want, whether that's a partner or a child or financial health and wealth or physical health, sometimes we have to really work at it. So we. Do we need to know what we want, but whether or not we're actually willing to pursue that. So we get it second. I'd say you need to know what you need to achieve or be that so. You know, you might need a degree. You might just need to lighten up a bit. You might need some training, but just know what you're going to need in order to pursue those things. And then third, like so many other things, unpack and process your emotional baggage because it's creating stumbling blocks for you. And until you address them, you'll continue to stumble and wonder why did I just yell at him? He didn't deserve that. Oh, it was that. Emotional block that I haven't dealt with yet.

Magic Barclay:

Great. Now just want to unpack some of that there. So knowing what you truly want and then knowing what you need, they're very different things. So how do you suggest to people how they distinguish the two differences?

Renee Jones:

I think what you want is the goal. What you need is how you get there. And that may be adjusting the goal, right? I'm only five foot three. I'll never be able to read the top cabinets without a step stool or something. Right. So I may want what's on the top shelf, but I need that step stool in order to get there. Does that make sense?

Magic Barclay:

Totally. And there's another shortish person at five, three and a half, I feel your pain. So unpacking and processing emotional baggage. Now that's all fine and good when people know they have emotional baggage. How do people realize that they do? Like, how do you identify that something's holding you back? I think it's important to consider the question. Why, if you know, you respond in a certain way over and over again, or some things make you angry, sad, jealous, frustrated, ask why what's going on there.

Renee Jones:

What is, what is driving this behavior? Okay. You know, I talk about it most of the time in the realm of food, because that's what people stumble on a lot. But, um, sometimes it's just recognizing whatever it is. So for example, I was pretty much addicted to peanut butter, which is not a bad food. It's the quantity I was taking in. That was the problem. And I wasn't sure why. Until I recognized that it was, um, very much attached to my grandmother and even the site of the job. Uh, made me feel better, but it was because of the love and encouragement that she gave me all the time. So recognizing, oh, this is the thing that I'm doing, why isn't my doing that? And you just sort of walk it back to when do you remember it first happening or when did you first have that food and who gave it to you and what was going on at the time? And that usually helps you recognize, oh, that's. And then you can work on how to do it differently.

Magic Barclay:

Great words there. And I totally agree that memories and things through your past can be attached to foods. Even smells can be attached to foods. Oh yeah. And that's such a big thing because it really activates your limbic system. So your emotional system. And yeah, it involves everything. So there's three parts to the brain. That's called a triune brain. So you have your reptilian brain, the base, which is your seeking safety. So it's your pleasure pain. You know, you're looking for everything in a room that's going to kill you before you walk in. And that is attached to food as well. So things that we deemed unsafe, because we may have attached a memory to them involving our limbic brain. We avoid the things that we deem safe as in it didn't kill us. And we attached a memory to it. Then we seek more of that. And so people often don't see the wiring in their brain attached to a smell or a taste or the look of food or a can, or a jar or anything like that.

Renee Jones:

Do you know, what's interesting magic have talked to a number of men and so many of them want ice cream between nine and 10 o'clock at night. And I was like, what is that about? Oh, and finally I realized, well it's because when they were taken out and told something awful often, it was when they went to get ice cream or when their sports team. One, they got pizza when they lost, they got ice cream. So a lot of men like ice cream at the end of their day, because it reminds them they've done a good job, whether or not they've won. They've still worked hard at it.

Magic Barclay:

How that's so interesting.

Renee Jones:

It's fascinating.

Magic Barclay:

Now we do talk obviously about weight here. And as I said, I'm quite open with my listeners that I've battled my weight pretty much, most of my life. On different ends of the spectrum. So my question is, if you've ever battled with your weight and you told us you had, what was the trigger to lose it, or what can you offer the listeners to reduce their stress? Now I mentioned before stress is my weight gain button at the moment. So we know that that can be a key issue. So tell us more about your journey with your.

Renee Jones:

Well, my first diet was when I was 10, because I looked around and I thought all the little blonde and brunette girls are thin and I was a chunky red head. So I, I asked my mother, can we do a diet or something? She said, well, you're young, but she went with it, but that's where the yo-yo began because she wasn't very good at it either. And we would diet for a while. And then get off track and go back to the way we ate before. And then we'd start eating again. Right. And we'd gain the weight back. So I had been doing this since then, and I woke up on new year's day, 2012 and thought I'm going to be 50 this year. If I don't get this sorted now I'll never get it sorted. And I think that was my trigger of just want to be thin once and hopefully maintain it for a bit, you know, cause I actually saw an, uh, a comic in the newspaper today about these two ladies and they were sat at a table and they said, it's just that lovely moment between having lost the weight and regaining it again. And I thought. That's the dilemma. So I was trying to capture that and I just, I started it and I had to restart it. Did a little did well for a little bit and then had to start again. And in April I actually had to go up a size and I was absolutely mortified. So it was the, okay, this is not working well. We've got to do something completely different if you've got a prayer of getting there. And that was sort of the moment that I committed myself. That's when I hired a coach and started working earnestly toward it. So in reducing stress, um, it can be incredibly complex, but it's still simple. In the end first, we have to believe it's possible to live a life that is less stressful, and there's some things that we can't change. Um, and our culture seems to reward you. If you are more stressed. You know, this is the stress, this is how we do life. If you're not doing life like we are, you're not doing life properly. You've got to be stressed. If you're successful, you've got to be stressed. You can't not be stressed and that's not necessarily true, but it's also good for us. So sometimes I think we have to look around. Express gratitude for where we are and what we have, even if it's not yet where we want it to be, but seek beauty around us and consider what you truly see around you rather than what others tell you, you have to believe is going on. Second. I think we have to learn to breathe again because it is amazing how eight deeply connected breaths will calm us in a very short period of time and then get outside do some physical, mental, and emotional we'd pull. Or play a game, watch a comedy, sing. Um, the more oxygen we allow ourselves to take in the less stress we feel in that moment. And most of the time, even a moment will help us. Right. And then third, how can you reduce the stress in your. Just think about the possibilities. Um, sometimes we may have to change a job or living situation or our environment. Uh, we may have to pull back from a friendship. That's too stressful. I started, um, changing the films and. Television programs that I watched, if it stressed me out, that wasn't a good thing for me, maybe change the music that you listened to or caffeine and sugar can just add to our stress because it makes us more anxious and nervous and maybe it's just promising yourself and holding yourself to your word about accomplishing a task. So you're not worried about it. I think there are many ways we can find less stress in a moment if we will take that opportunity.

Magic Barclay:

Amazing tips there. I totally agree with the TV film thing, I recently sat down to. Watch a movie called mate and I thought, oh, everyone's raving about this, but it was a domestic violence film. Um, and so a little way in, it really triggered me. I have this thing that once I start something, I have to finish it. So I ended up finding that two. Still do that. I could have it on with no sound and do my housework. So in my head, I told myself that I finished the movie, but I didn't have the triggers of watching the whole movie. So, you know, sometimes you just have to be resourceful to avoid stress triggers and really recognize that part of your healing journey is not confronting the stress of. Sometimes it can be avoiding it. You know, many coaches will say, you've got to confront your stress and you know, really. At how that triggers you, because it's all about you. Not about the thing. Well, sometimes it's not, sometimes it's just the thing and you can work around it by avoiding it and recognizing that that no longer serves you. It's not part of your life. It's not part of your story anymore.

Renee Jones:

Mm Hmm. Yeah. I am an adult onset sleepwalker, which is amusing for my husband at times, but I found that if I stopped watching things that were scary or things that triggered me in other ways, it didn't trigger my sleepwalking as much. So sometimes it may be a physical thing as well.

Magic Barclay:

Well, totally. And I mean, listeners, how many times have you driven down the street and just seeing something that makes you angry and you don't really know why it could just be a color of a car, could be someone walking along, you know, wearing something from the eighties or nineties and you go, wow. I feel really uncomfortable. When I see that, you know, you really have to look at what is triggering and is there something underlying that's driving that emotion? You know, that car is the color it is, that person is wearing what they are. How are you responding to it? And what does it mean? It's not your fault that you're responding that way, but what does it mean?

Renee Jones:

Yeah. Yeah. What does it mean to you? Exactly. And, and we're quite comfortable doing that when it's something that makes us happy, but it's harder, I think. Um, or it's just more challenging for us when we got to look at things that are hard.

Magic Barclay:

Well, I think we're taught as children, more of an avoidance technique. You know, do this and it will make you happy, as you said, work hard and you'll be successful, but we're not taught about how stressful that can be. And what if you are not a scholar and you know, you're at school and you're being pushed to get higher grades, but you're just not that person. How is achieving that going to be a success when it leaves you with so much emotional baggage to it.

Renee Jones:

Mm. Yeah.

Magic Barclay:

So same with your weight loss journey. You know, I have to tell myself this all the time. It's not the number on the scales that counts. It's how I feel about me. And it's certainly not how other people see me or feel about me because that's none of my business, how I feel inside my body.

Renee Jones:

Indeed. And it doesn't have to happen overnight. We can, you can take your time with these things. There's no race.

Magic Barclay:

Exactly. Even racing yourself is not healthy. So, you know, sometimes you might set yourself a goal of, I need to lose 10 kilos by X date, but if you don't get there, just readjust, don't beat yourself up about it to say. What did I achieve? What was getting in my way and how do I feel about myself? Because that's probably the most important thing. It's not that you didn't reach the goal or you did reach the goal or the scales are singing at you or whatever it's. How do you feel about you? And I think that's probably one of the biggest lessons I had to learn.

Renee Jones:

Indeed.

Magic Barclay:

Well, what a great chat. Thanks so much, Renee. People can find you on Instagram at pack your own bag and on Facebook pack your own bag. You also have YouTube, which is Renee Jones. Pack your own bag. Now we love to give freebies here. So what can you offer people to help them on their journey to pack their own bag?

Renee Jones:

Well, I have a video that you can, uh, download and it's at pack your own bag.com/friends. And it's actually a goal setting exercise in a way that will help you not only set the goal, but reach it.

Magic Barclay:

Fantastic listeners. This was your episode 94. We will talk more with Renee in episode 95, and she will teach you how to pack your own bag. For now, listeners go forth and create your magical life.