Episode 19 Binge Eating with Naomi Brenner Joseph Part 2
Patricia Ciavarello: Hey, my name is Patricia Ciavarello and I am obsessed with all things motherhood and helping you keep calm in the chaos of motherhood and life's unexpected moments. I am a mom of twins with a doctorate in business whose world fell apart and had to pick myself up piece by piece. I am not an expert, but I have totally been there, and I am so far from perfect, but definitely not afraid to get real and vulnerable.
I teach you the secrets to motherhood and life I wish someone told me, because as much as we wish there was, nobody hands you a mommy manual. So pull up a seat, get comfy and get ready for me to spill my secrets. This is Real Mom Truths Nobody Tells You.
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Hello everyone. Today, we welcome a special guest Naomi Brenner Joseph, author of Binge and Sprint from Endless Cake to Recovery. Naomi is a confessed binge eater for most of her life and received her master's of science in speech and language pathology at Columbia University, and has treated children with feeding and swallowing disorders.
She is a successful entrepreneur and helps others find their best and healthiest self. Her goal is to touch as many people as possible through her vulnerability and give them the healing her story can provide. She is a mom of three and we are so excited. Naomi, welcome. So grateful to have you here. And so grateful to hear about your recovery journey.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Thanks so much for having me back. I'm so excited to be here.
Patricia Ciavarello: We are excited to dive deeper into this story and listeners, if you haven't listened to part 1, you can go back to the last episode and listen to part one of Naomi's story where she really dives really deep into her binge eating journey, but just for people that are joining us right now, why don't you just take a minute and recap a little bit of your story briefly for listeners tuning in and tell them just a little bit about your journey with binge-eating.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Thank you so much. Wow. We just covered so much last time.
Patricia Ciavarello: Yeah. Listeners, please go back to the last episode because we dive into this really deep and, and the vulnerability that is shared is just incredible. So we're going to recap it for you right now briefly, but please, I encourage you to listen to part one, because it is so valuable.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: I think we can best recap it just by. Telling the listeners that if you use food to soothe yourself, if you ever feel that you are drawn to food so strongly that it could have your feet knocked out from under you and that you want to stop, but you can't and you find yourself hiding in the kitchen at the kitchen counter urgently devouring, stale hot dog buns dipped in I dunno, chocolate dip, then you are not alone and it is not about the food and there is nothing wrong with you and you should never, ever, ever feel ashamed to reach out for help. So if this is, you know, that you're not alone and know that you are worthy and that you deserve every good thing coming here.
Patricia Ciavarello: Yeah, I think that's, I think that's awesome. And I think that, you know, just being aware of, you know, what you're feeling and how you know what's going on inside is really a tell tale example of what's manifesting on the outside. I know, as moms, like we've all been there. We've all been overwhelmed with stress. .
We've all, you know, I'm sure at one point or another look to food for comfort. And I think that just recognizing it and knowing that it's okay is really a lot of power in that. And why don't you tell us about how you recognized you had a problem with binge-eating and how you recognized that you needed help.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: So those are two definitely different questions. How I recognized that I had an issue with food was not until I was in college. So I remember I was with my sorority sisters and we were having, you know, an, an overnight somewhere. What happens when girls get together? There's a lot of junk food around.
I had made a comment to one of my sorority sisters, something having to do with binging I don't remember exactly what it was, but I said something like, oh, well, at least, you know, we're around, you know, we don't have to do this in secret. I said, or I said something and she looked at me like I had three heads.
She had no idea what I was talking about. And I remember thinking to myself, Oh, you mean everyone doesn't do this. Like I was just, I just thought everybody in the world did this. I didn't understand that it was something different and that everybody did this. So that was an, I mean, I just, I just didn't know because it was secret.
So I figured everybody was keeping it secret and that's what they did. And I, I really had no idea that there were people that didn't do this and it was not something that I could even fathom of not having in my life. I thought it was just part of everyone.
Patricia Ciavarello: Yeah. I mean that, that, you know, especially when we do things in the privacy of our homes, like it's almost second nature to think well, I can't be the only one right. Other people are doing this too. What was that deciding factor? Like what made you decide to get help?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: So I think the thing that was pushing me was that, remember, we were talking last time about how with binge eaters, most of the time, the underlying reason we develop it is because we are trying to prove our worth.
We don't feel worthy and I had started a business and I used this business as a springboard to prove my worth. And I drove myself into the ground. I would not allow my myself to stop and prepare a healthy meal for me. I would not allow myself to work out because all these things took away from gaining in my business and we should not have time to do that.
And I, and also sleeping became an issue, and I was down to about three to four hours a night and working a full-time job and having small kids. And I was clinically exhausted. I found myself in the emergency room with heart palpitations, which turned out to be panic attacks.
And so when we were talking last time about how it was on a jog and I met a friend of mine who introduced me to this doctor. I sort of grabbed hold of that.
Patricia Ciavarello: And what did you have to really, you know, when you finally decided to take that step and heal, what did you have to heal from to contribute to this overall healing from bingeing and how did you actually heal from that?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: So that is a loaded question. And I think it's really what people want to know. So thank you for asking it. It really has to do with getting underneath, finding out why you developed this idea that you weren't worthy in the first place. It's about going back, you know, there was this DJ and he would say, we're gonna take it back. All the way back, back in time.
And like that's, every time I could hear them in my mind, like going back to play like seventies. And that's really what it is. This is one of the few times in life where you must go back in order to move from. I don't usually believe in looking back to go forward, but in this case, unless you clear up what's in the past, you will never be free because it is all about when you were young, how you forms the perceptions of yourself, how you formed your identity, how you formed what you thought about yourself and your self-worth.
Unless you free yourself from that. There is you can put band-aids on it. There's a lot of behavioral therapy is matter of fact, right now I am. At the end of the year, I will. I'm going to be having an accompanying workbook called conquer your binge. That's going to be coming out the end of the year. And it's really about going back before you go forward, it's all about digging into your past. It's about behaviors. How many different diet ladies have I gone to? How many different nutritionists have I gone to?
How many different behavioral patterns and, and setting up your environment and nothing's going to work. It's all a band-aid until you go back in the past and set yourself free. I mean, how many nutritionists? How many? Like I could hear, I could hear the diet lady in my head. Okay. What do you want for breakfast?
I'll give you two pieces of 40 calorie, whole wheat toast and a half cup of cottage, cheese, and a cup of blueberries. Oh, you don't like blueberries. Okay. I'll give you half grapes, but what do you want? The snack? Okay. I'll give you food. All right. What do you want for lunch? A 60 calorie, whole wheat pita pocket with some dry tuna and a big salad.
Yeah. I mean, like I could hear her and I'm not making fun of the diet lady because the diet lady saved me a million times because that's how many times I went back to her and clearly it wasn't the diet lady's fault because I never admitted to her that I had a binge-eating disorder. So she really had no idea what she was dealing with.
So I'm not believing I'm not knocking the dilate. The diet lady is amazing and saved my life, saved my life many times. But it's all a band-aid unless you go back and figure it out.
Yeah. And I think that, you know, just as humans, so many of us have that feeling of unworthiness and it could be tied to a million things.
Patricia Ciavarello: Right. It could be tied to what we learned in our childhood, what we were told as children, what we learned in school, or, I mean, I know myself. I went through a lot of bullying in school and that really took a hit on me.
And I didn't even realize it still had power over me until I became a mom. And I was looking at my daughter and I was telling her you're beautiful exactly as you are. And then I was like, wait a minute, do you feel that way about yourself? And it was just this like explosion of authenticity of how can you tell her something that you don't feel yourself?
And it just it's like opening Pandora's box, right? Because it forces you to heal those wounds that you may not have even known were still there. And until you can really let go of that. It can still have a really strong hold on you and whether it's manifesting itself in, you know, eating or stress, or just how you feel about yourself, right.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: That could be a hard thing to do. Absolutely. It's just a never ending battle. You have to go back and you gotta slay the dragon.
Patricia Ciavarello: And what do you think is the biggest limiting belief that you had about yourself?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: That I wasn't as worthy as the next person.
I mean, I remember getting together in groups of women and feeling, oh, I can't talk to her or like, oh, I can't you know, I'm not as, fill in the blanks I'm not as smart. I'm not as pretty, I'm not as thin. As eloquent as successful. There was a lot of comparison there.
Throughout my whole life and I'm sure that I created a lot of issues where there, there was no issue.
Patricia Ciavarello: . And what would you tell yourself that that person that felt unworthy, that felt like they couldn't speak to the other women in the group that felt kind of less than, right. What would you tell that person now knowing what you know about?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: I would tell them that just the mere fact that they are here on this earth means that they are worthy and that fact really gives you permission to go out and treat yourself like an absolute diva. Spend money on yourself and spend time on yourself and give yourself good food and give yourself fabulous workout and give yourself delicious nights on the couch with Netflix under a blanket, because you are worth all of that and don't forget that.
Patricia Ciavarello: That's awesome. And I know that in your recovery section of your book, you have a list of, I think it's about 36 lessons that you learned from your 14 year journey through binge-eating and recovery. And would you share with us maybe your top three.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Okay. Well, I happen to have my book right here.
I love this one. Try as you may, you can't make other people change or make them happy. It's not your job anyway. So you can just scratch that one off your list. We have to remember, I feel like everybody is coming to the table with their own list of things that they have to work out in their lives. And sometimes you may be collateral damage, but you can't take that in because that's not about you.
It's about them. We're all here to work out what we need to work out in our lives. Right. We all are here to fix our souls and make them better. I just feel like we can't take in what other people are putting out and it's not our job to do that. And we just have to be confident in ourselves and know that we are amazing that we are good enough that we are worthy and move on.
Patricia Ciavarello: Yeah, because I think also as women, especially we always trying to fix right. Fix other people's problems, make peace, or maybe the people pleaser in us. And sometimes you just have to say, you know, their happiness is their responsibility and my happiness is mine.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Another one that I have is you don't run the world. There's a bigger picture. We don't understand. Just hold on and roll with the punches. You will come out the other side, stronger and victorious. I feel like a lot of times we ask why me or this is happening to me because it's a sign that I'm not worthy.
It's a sign that I should stay home. It's a sign that I shouldn't join this business. It's a sign. And it's nothing of this. Everything, you know, you have to be almost like a reverse paranoid, like you just have to assume that the whole world is conspiring for your good and not for your demise. So when something happens, it's almost like you just want to stop and go, huh.
You know, plot twist, and then just keep going with it.
Patricia Ciavarello: What do you think are some of the the biggest challenges that you faced just in life that you didn't under?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Just overcoming, just figuring out why, where, where was the bend?
And it was so easy. And if somebody told me somebody could have told me in one sentence, but it was because when you're going through it, you're just so blind to it that you can't tell anybody. Just like, I would love to tell these listeners and magic recipe, but it, even if I told them what was going on specifically, unless you really understand it, unless you do the self-worth, unless you have those aha moments, you'll never be able to take it in. You just won't, you just won't be able to take it in. You've got to figure it out for yourself and you have to discover it for yourself and you have to make those own connections, your own connections with that.
And that is the biggest challenge to get down to the real reason why you do it and be able to take it in and be able to recognize it. To be able to then take those lessons and use it to change your behavior and free yourself from what was never yours to carry in the first place.
Patricia Ciavarello: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Because so many times, you know, especially when you're in the thick of it, it can be a lot of times people look outwards, right. And they, instead of looking inwords, Everybody's journey is so different. Like you said, you know, even if you told them your exact journey, you know, it's different from the next person and it's, it's really up to you to connect the dots for yourself.
And in those connections is where the healing begins really. Right. That's exactly what all of the healing is. Yeah. And like you said, in the beginning of this episode, you know, whether it's binge-eating, whether it's alcohol, whether it's drugs, whether you're a workaholic, whether you're addicted to exercise, you know, whatever it is that's kind of overcoming your life it's almost like you have to stop and ask yourself, why is this happening? Where is this stemming from? Right. Because at the end of the day, it's not the food and it's not the alcohol and it's not the drugs and it's not the workaholic and busy-ness, and it's something deeper that really, if you can get to the root of that, that's where the freedom really is.
And what would you say is your last lesson that. One of your favorites in the recovery section of your book that you wantlisteners to know.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: It's always the last one. There is no food that exists in this world where binge eating will ever make you feel better, but just in case I'm wrong and you do find it. Please let all of us know. Thanks. A girl can dream.
You're searching for in that food. That's why we keep going. That's why we keep eating and binge takes so long because you're searching for that food that's going to make you feel better, but you're barking up the wrong tree. There is no food that exists that will ever make you feel better. That's why we eat until we're completely numb because it's not where the answer is.
Patricia Ciavarello: Right. And the numbing is in the numbing of that feeling of discomfort, right? The numbing of not wanting to feel whatever that is in that moment. And if you can heal that route, then you will no longer need, feel the need to numb, right. Because it's already, it's already done for you through the healing, which I think, I mean, if there was ever a gift that a person could give themselves, is that right?
Naomi Brenner Joseph: You know, even, but I do want to say that even after I really found the reasons, it still took a lot of work to stop and free myself from the bingeing, because it becomes such a part of your life. It's almost like an old friend. I know it sounds weird, but it's almost your place of comfort and to be able to learn.
To wean yourself from that. It's not like all of a sudden you get this aha moment. And then it's like, pow, poof fairy, pixie dust comes down and then you no longer binge. No, there's still there so many stages to recovery. And it's a lot of harder, especially when it's been something ingrained in your life for so long, it's almost like a pattern, right.
And the habit that you probably even do it, but before you even realize you're doing it right, and it takes time to shift that absolutely.
Patricia Ciavarello: Well, I want to thank you for joining us, and I want to thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. I know that it's going to help so many women and moms out there, and we are just so grateful to have you here.
Where can listeners purchase the book and connect with.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: So the book is called Binge and Sprint, and you can purchase it on Amazon, or at your local bookstore.
And you can contact me through Instagram at @bingeandsprint, or you can also contact me through my website, bingeandsprint.com.
Patricia Ciavarello: Awesome. And you know, for all the listeners, we're going to post all these links in the shownotes to connect to Naomi and purchase the book directly.
Naomi, thank you so much for sharing your story. We were really so grateful for your courage and your vulnerability, and we wish you much success.
Naomi Brenner Joseph: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.
Patricia Ciavarello: As always, I promise to be here for you and serve you and cheer you on every step of the way and spill all the secrets of motherhood and life. I wish someone told me, thank you so much for listening to this episode of real mom truths. Nobody tells you podcast until next time.
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