120 – Body Image and its impact on Occupation ft Emily Roberts

Emily Roberts has really begun to champion the niche of body image within the OT community. She has @thebodyimageOT on Instagram where she posts excellent information and resources all about healthy body image. I wanted to have a conversation with her and find out more about OT’s role in this space and what drew her to this area of practice and passion.

After you’ve listened definitely give her a follow if you’re not already 🙂

Look after yourself, look after others and always keep Occupied


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Brock Cook 0:01
Hi, and welcome to yet another episode of occupied. Just a quick note, if you are enjoying these, please do share them with friends, colleagues, people you know who might be interested in whichever topics they are. Also, if you’re looking to get even more value out of your podcasting experience, pop on over to patreon.com for slash occupied plus, where you can get exclusive episodes as well as a ton of other resources to enhance your practice and your knowledge. Without further ado, let’s get on with this episode. Today we are speaking with the one the only Emily Roberts you may know her as the body image ot on Instagram, we talk about everything with regards to body image identity and how that impacts on a person’s occupations. And what OTS might be able to actually do for people who are experiencing this. So please do grab a drink, sit down, relax, and enjoy. Get a My name is Brock Cook and welcome to occupied. In this podcast we’re aiming to put the occupation in occupational therapy. We explore the people topics, theories and underpinnings that make this profession so incredible. If you’re new here, you can find all of our previous episodes and resources at occupied podcast calm. But for now, let’s roll the episode.

Emily Roberts 1:34
So I actually would want it to be a dietician. And my whole family was turning me away from dietetics for whatever reason. And so then my sister in law’s a nurse and I never heard of occupational therapy, but she knew an occupational therapist was like, I think you would really like occupational therapy, I think it like really fits your personality well. And so, I went and I shadowed one. And, um, and honestly, it’s not even, it’s not that like, pretty have a story, I just kind of just went along with it. Um, I mean, I enjoyed the shadowing experience, but I just kind of chose it. And then I really fell in love with it when I was in ot school was when like the whole, I really, truly felt like I understood what occupational therapy was. And I was like, Yes, this is exactly what I want to do.

Brock Cook 2:34
So you guys have to do like it’s a post grad. Course over that. What was your undergrad in

Emily Roberts 2:40
kinesiology? and Spanish

Brock Cook 2:43
seems to be a fairly popular option over there. I remember talking not long ago about the fact that you know, a lot of Americans seem to use kinesiology as access to the profession, and it’s not really a thing here. Really? Not well, not a university course anyway. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s interesting. I don’t know any universities you can study kinesiology specifically. It’s mainly if you’re going to do that kind of thing. It’d be like exercise science or sports science. But yeah, nothing. I’m actually pretty sure I even had a look one day and I couldn’t find a kinesiology uni degree. You could do like, little like TAFE certificates, which I don’t know what the equivalent of TAFE would be over there. I’ve never even heard of that. What’s that? tapes, kind of like if you’re gonna do a trade? Like the theory aspect of your trade would be run through the tape. I don’t know what it stands for. But it’s kind of like it’s not a bachelor’s degree, but it’s like a certificate level qualifications under that.

Emily Roberts 4:02
equivalent of what we call an associate’s degree. Do you guys have one of those? Where are you? Right, but

Brock Cook 4:07
it’s probably sounds like it’ll be similar to that. So yeah, I think I found a couple places where you could study Kinesiology and get some sort of cert for that, but not there was no like University Level qualification. Which is interesting, because yeah, it’s like a whole field that doesn’t exist in another country.

Emily Roberts 4:32
Yeah, well, honestly, there’s nothing you can really do directly with kinesiology like you have to go on to do something else or get other certifications. So that makes sense.

Brock Cook 4:43
Yeah. I don’t know what I mean. We don’t have masters entry. Oh, we do. You can do masters entry, but it’s not a requirement here. So most of the courses in Australia are bachelors. Yeah. Oh, man. It’s Direct like mine is a Bachelor of occupational therapy. So it’s, it’s seems like less stuffing around. It’s a lot easier to process over here.

Emily Roberts 5:12
It’s just that the US is education education system is just a whole mess. It’s just

Brock Cook 5:18
It’s very, it’s very unique. Very unique and very expensive. But yeah, very. Yes, very expensive. So, you I mean, I followed you for a while now on Instagram, and we’ve chatted a few times. Just wait for that. That’s my dog. Okay, I have to it’ll happen. I don’t know what he’s barking yet. But hopefully he shuts up. He’s barking dogs walking past.

All right.

Yeah, so I followed you for quite a while now. And we’ve connected over Instagram. And the thing that really grabs me about your your content is it’s I don’t I don’t know any other ot that’s posting at the information you’re posting, but your Instagram handle is the body image ot how did how did that come about?

Emily Roberts 6:23
Yes. So I used to be empower something empower ot or something like that, when I first started my ot kind of Instagram, and then I changed it to my name. And then eventually I changed it to the body image it because that I just that’s where most of my content was going. Like, that’s what I enjoyed posting about. And what I got a lot of engagement out of, and kind of where I wanted to go further in my career, passion, whatever you want to call it with it. So I just nobody else had it. And I was like, I better grab this Well, last. But that’s why I chose to be the body image ot on Instagram. But, um, but really, it is something that I don’t feel like a lot of OTS talk about, but it’s something that is super relevant to OT and to what we do, because our body image and the way we feel about ourselves directly impacts how we show up in the world, and how we participate in our occupations or don’t participate. So.

Brock Cook 7:35
So what was it? Was it a personal experience? Or what Where did your interest in looking at body image through an occupational lens come from?

Emily Roberts 7:47
Yes, definitely my personal experience, and then after that more, so just seeing the world in a totally different way, and seeing how much it impacts everybody else. But, um, definitely a personal experience. Do you want me to get into my show? So I’ll try to keep it somewhat concise, because I can go off on a million tangents here.

Brock Cook 8:12
I like tangent. It’s okay.

Emily Roberts 8:15
Okay, so growing up, I have two older brothers, and we are great friends. And we’ve always been decently great friends, but they’re brothers. And so they teased me all the time growing up. And I guess first I should probably say, I’ve never been in a non marginalized body, like I am average size. I’m like, I’m heterosexual. And I have never actually gotten a lot of stigma on my body from the outside world. But I think that it doesn’t really matter. I mean, it matters, but it doesn’t matter for people individually, when they’re getting things. I mean, you get it from all different directions. So my family was probably the first that really started focusing on my body more so than just me. And my brothers would make fun of me and they would call me chubby and always like asked me like, what is Emily gonna lose her baby fat. And I’m like, this sounds horrible. I hope my brother doesn’t listen to this because he’s gonna feel horrible. But he would like show up my fat rolls to his friends and be like, look at all of her roles. And at the time, I would just laugh about it because like, he’s my older brother I want to fit in I want to hang out with his friends. But looking back I think that just that over and over and over again. kind of shaped how I felt about my body and made me think okay, well, whatever fat I do have on my body is not okay to have to

Brock Cook 9:54
be around like when that was happening.

Emily Roberts 9:57
Um, I remember it probably like seven or eight years old, okay. So I don’t know if it happened before then. But if I do if it did, I don’t really have much memory of it. Um, and then my best friend growing up who is still my best friend to this day, she is just like, as a totally different build than I do just like very thin, tall with long legs. And all of the boys had crushes on her. And all of the girls wanted to be friends with her, not me. And there was really like we grew up together. So there was really no difference in my mind, at least of how how I was seeing versus how she was seen in terms of personality. It only was the body, I guess, that I felt like was different. And so that was like another thing that it’s like, Okay, well, my brothers always say like, they always comment on my back fat on my body made chubbiness or whatever. And then everybody wants to be friends with my friend who is of a smaller body. So that must be how you get liked is to have a smaller body. And then our other friend, there’s just a couple of times that I’m not friends with her anymore, but there’s just a couple of times where she would make comments like, we would make up dances and choreograph dances. And she told me one time that I couldn’t participate in the dance because my thighs were too big. And this was at like, age 10. And she’s a year younger than I am. So I remember thinking, like, that doesn’t make any sense. But obviously, that still hurt my feelings. Yeah. Um, yeah. And so I just kind of, I think it was a combination of a bunch of different things. And also my mom, she, she never really like, commented directly on my body. And like said, anything negative about my body, except for like, when we would go to the doctor’s appointment, and then they would weigh me. And I remember, I don’t know if it was in high school, or middle school or something like that. But I had to go for I was very, I played a lot of sports. And so for our sports here, we have to get a physical and that proves like our vaccinations and all that stuff and says, we’re healthy, too. And so I went for that. And my mom commented on my weight, and she was like, Wow, you’re really like, you’re almost as much as I wait, at whatever age that she was when she got married. And I just remember thinking, like, why does that matter? But thinking also, like, oh, shoot, like, I shouldn’t wait as much. Now. If my mom with as much Wi Fi, I’m married, and I’m like, 15, or whatever I was, um, then she would comment on my eating habits a lot. She would say like things like, if you keep eating that you’re going to be as big as a house, or she would comment on her own body and be like, I can’t wear shorts because my thighs are too big. Or she has Bunyan’s and i don’t i also got Bunyan’s, unfortunately, but she comments all the time about how ugly her feet are. And I’m not really self conscious about my feet, because I know like, I’m just like, I don’t like that either. It’s whatever, like there might be. But I always just, I personally always just got the fatness, the body shape. All of that was not okay, I had to be as small as possible, the least amount of weight as possible. And so, in high school, I started controlling my food a lot and trying to become the least amount, like take up the least amount of space as possible. And so without like, I never actually got diagnosed with an eating disorder. Because I never went to the doctor because nobody thought that I had a problem. Yeah, but, um, or if they did, they never spoke up about it. But I would do things like skip meals, I would skip lunches in the summer. I would drink only like energy drinks. And then eventually, I was just eating like a small amount of food like a small, little small amount, but also a small different types of food. I guess. I’ll say like a small variety. That’s what I was trying to say. It of food. And I would go to school and my friends would be getting lunch and they’d be like, Emily, aren’t you going to get something? I’m like, No, I don’t feel well. That was always my thing is like, I just don’t feel good. I think I have a cold like, I’m just going to eat the little thing that I did bring for lunch. And it always be like, Yeah, whatever. Okay.

And then eventually, it got to the point where I was over exercising as well. So I think I mentioned that I played sports, I played soccer, competitively. And we would have soccer practice. I probably played club soccer. And then I also played school soccer. They were in different seasons, but club soccer, I would come home from school and I would go to the gym, I would run for an hour, and then I’d come home and I’d eat like a Lean Cuisine, just like 300 calories for dinner. And then I’d go to soccer practice again, for two hours, and then I’d come home and I drink chocolate milk. That was the only thing I would allow myself to drink was chocolate milk. And, and then I would do crunches, like 120 crunches, and then I would go to bed. And that was like my routine every single day. And so I was drastically under eating and over exercising. And that kind of rolled over into like my schoolwork. So this is kind of where I’m seeing like some of the different areas kind of come into play. So and then at school, I was trying to my brothers were pretty smart. And I felt like I had to live up to this expectation that all the teachers that they had before that I also had had of me because I had the same last name. And so I strove to get straight A’s and I didn’t do very well I don’t remember if I got straight A’s or not that was so long ago. But I did do super well. And I was like on honor roll and all the things that Intel the colleges I want to get into. Easy peasy. didn’t have to worry at all about that. And just was this. I remember the lady that did the yearbook. She came up to me randomly and interviewed me as a perfectionist. And I was like, kind of taken aback I was like, I’m not a perfectionist. But I definitely was had a lot of perfectionistic tendencies. Trying to control my body trying to control control my grades trying to make varsity soccer, which I ended up doing. And it was just one thing after another and my life had to be perfect because that’s where I put my worth was all of these accomplishments and the way that I looked and all of that I felt like that was going to give me better sex satisfaction in life, and I was going to get more friends. So then goes to college, I go to college. And I have the normal college experience. Where I go out partying, all this stuff, I kind of let myself go for lack of a better word, the first year and gained a little bit of weight. And but I didn’t like I was just kind of like whatever about it, which was so weird. Um, I guess I should back up a little bit. So before I went to college, I was sexually assaulted by one of my friends. And so now that like I look back and I connect all the things that drastic change from going to like the perfectionist to going and being like, I don’t care I just whatever about that makes a lot of sense when I look back at that, but that lasted for only a year because then I went back into the overeating or under eating over exercising regimen that I did in college because I realized I don’t like myself. Like I don’t like the way I look. I don’t like the way that I feel. So the only answer is to control my food and control my exercise again. And so that lasted I don’t know Gosh, through grad school, maybe not all of grad school at least a year of grad school and and I moved across the country for grad school. So when I look back, it’s like all these life transitions kind of Spark. The trigger it for me Yeah. And then I started learning about intuitive eating and I had never heard of that before I was actually trying to learn more about about nutrition and exercise. So I was listening to a podcast and I thought I was going to be learning like nutrition tips for like holistic Integrative Health kind of tips. And I listened to it on my runs my daily runs and

and they started talking about intuitive eating and how all of the benefits of intuitive eating and all the harmful effects of over exercising and under eating and controlling everything and these perfectionistic tendencies then I was like they are talking directly to me. And so little by little I stopped like counting calories, counting my macros weighing all my food. I’m exercising twice a day. I just kind of slowly brought that back and slowly started Trying to trust myself again, trying to incorporate some of the intuitive eating things. And looking more into that. And it was just like this drastic change in all areas of my life. My relationship with my boyfriend, who’s now now as my husband is, was like, so much better. I didn’t even realize that I was withholding so much from that time. And then just like different intimacy kind of things to just withhold so much because of the way that I felt about my body, even though I was at my most fit, or my smallest that I had ever been. I had so much more time to do whatever, because I wasn’t worrying about and like scheduling things around my food and my meal prep and my exercise. And I was way more focused. And I just felt like I had more energy. And now I just feel like I dream more, if that makes sense. Like my dreams were always

Brock Cook 21:12
at night or just like, yeah, like, yeah, like life dreams. Yes, because we have side effect

Emily Roberts 21:24
that is awakened, that would be weird. I do dream a lot. So maybe that’s true, do. But, um, but No, I meant like life dreams, because I felt like the only thing I ever focused on was how I can be the most fit person that I can be not like, show up as my best self or show up and take up space and whatever that may look like. So when I look back at my own story, I see how it affected like my relationships, it affected the way I take care of myself, it affected the way that I eat, it affected the way that I spend my leisure time. It just affected so many areas of my life, it affected my school, it affected my wrist because I never wanted to rest or I never allowed myself to dress which goes along with the perfectionist part. I still have a hard time with that. But I do prioritize sleep now I just have a hard time like sitting and doing nothing. But we’re getting there.

Brock Cook 22:23
So basically, how did you feel when you were sort of in the midst of that? Because you’re like, with the overexercise and the very limited food, your hormone profile would have been shot to shit.

Emily Roberts 22:37
Yeah, so that’s another thing I didn’t even mention. Um, I thought I felt good. Like, I thought I felt great, even because of like, the high I would get from running and that kind of stuff. But I was always tired. Like, I was always super sore. I was always just like, exhausted, and mentally exhausted. And my, like, emotional regulation was just like, no, like, I did not regulate my emotions well at all. I think that also comes with just not really being in tune with your body, though. But um, but I actually it my hormones were shot, like my cycle, my menstrual cycle was completely off. I would skip months I because I at the at some point, I got off of hormonal birth control, kind of around the time that I found intuitive eating. So I was on that which like, if people that are listening, don’t know that’s not a regular period. So that’s not your body creating the hormones that do so it’s not telling me. Yeah, so I got off of that. And it took me a year and a half to get my period back every month, and then it took me even longer to be like competent that I was oscillating. So I definitely think that that because that doesn’t happen with everybody. I definitely think that the way that I was living my lifestyle that I was that I had with barely ever resting and not eating whatever. I’m definitely affected that. So I’m glad that I decided to do all that at that time. Because eventually I would like to have kids and that could be an issue for some people.

Brock Cook 24:29
Yeah, I just know like my involvement with powerlifting and coaching women through powerlifting. I’ve heard from some of the women that I’ve coached in the past like when they got to essentially cutting weight for competition when they started to get to that sort of really lower body fat and white taking in many dietary fats like menstrual cycle C’s and like moods when all over the place and Like I know, for most people, like dietary fat has a big impact on hormones like this. Well, yeah, even even for guys, like, I know, for if I was cutting for competition or something, and for whatever reason that particular cut was low fat diet, like, I know that I was gonna be moody and cranky and all over the place, because that’s just what my body did. And that seems to be a very common thing for everyone. But then actual body fat, I think is in part helps regulate that sort of hormone cycle. So yeah, I’m not surprised that you are all over the place. That’s usually one of the first things I look for nowadays, with with athletes.

Emily Roberts 25:50
Yeah, definitely. And carbs are super important for women to which I didn’t, I was, at the beginning, I was cutting fat. And then at the, like, of course, I was trying to eat all the protein, but then I was cutting carbs for a really long time. And when I started adding carbs back in is really when I started feeling a lot better. But I think everybody’s different. Of course, we know, um, my gi system was all messed up to which makes sense, because your gut creates a lot of the hormones in your body. So especially if

Brock Cook 26:24
you’re not eating it, not eating many carbs, and you’re eating a ton of protein, it’s not going to be a happy place down. Not at all, for those of you who don’t know, that will essentially limit the fiber and probably block you up a fair bit. If you’re just on a protein and no, no fiber, no carbs, that kind of thing.

Emily Roberts 26:45
That’s exactly what happened. And I had no idea what was going on. No idea because on the outside, you look like this healthy person like you look, you look fit you look, you act normal. Like it’s not, you don’t look like a sick person. I think that’s where a lot of the I don’t know, I guess the culture praises that. And so I think that that’s what really perpetuates a lot of the issues that we see with women and their body image is people praise, trying to change your body and doing all of those behaviors. It’s like the best thing that you can do, but it’s not can be one of the worst things that you can do for your body.

Brock Cook 27:28
Yeah, it’s interesting. I feel like the the public perception on what is fit and what is healthy is so skewed, and I can’t like I saw that through powerlifting. Like, like, I will even before I got into that, like people would hold like bodybuilders and be like, are these people are like, ribbed and they’re jacked, and they’re so healthy. And then you look at what they actually have to do to get there. And you’re like, Dude, this isn’t, this isn’t good at all. But even through powerlifting, like powerlifting is not a healthy sport, like you can be fit and as healthy as you can be. But you’re putting your body through something. It’s not designed to do. Like, it’s not normal. Like the human body isn’t designed to say like squat 800 pounds, like that’s not normal. And you’re doing damage, whether you like it or not, you’re doing damage and like I’ve been there, I’ve done that it. It’s not normal, and you don’t feel amazing, after every session, and it takes a psychological drain as well. Because you’re essentially pushing your body to do things it doesn’t want to do. Or it’s not designed to do. Yeah, but people look at that and go oh my god, like that’s, that’s amazing. I’m like, yeah, it’s amazing. I just did something that my body didn’t want to do. Yeah, definition of amazing is slightly different, I feel.

Emily Roberts 28:57
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s performance, right people, people are, are trying to say that you’re amazing by the way that you’re performing. And that’s just I don’t know, it gets me in my feelings. Because the way that we perform is not always the way that we feel are always the way that’s best for us. And it’s not always what our bodies are telling us to do.

Brock Cook 29:23
But I feel like that’s where it comes is that there’s no objective measure of fitness or health. It’s always a comparison. So like, I’ve squatted that much before but to me that was an amazing because I can see someone who can do it more. You know, I’ve seen Yeah, you see bodybuilders get like ridiculously lane like not human. But I’ll get second place because there’s someone else that did more kind of thing. Yeah, I feel like the the measure is always like The goalposts are always shifting because it’s always a comparison. There’s no i Yep. Okay, like I’ve arrived, I’m fit, I’m healthy. This is, this is what I was picturing the whole time kind of thing it was, it’s always like, I need to do this, or even if you get there, and you see that a lot with people who have disordered eating is that how, you know, I need to be skinny? And then, you know, however long later, like, dude, you’re really skinny, or not, but I need to be skinnier. Like, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a comparison, like a constant comparison. So it’s one of those things like, it’s a goal you’re never ever gonna meet.

Emily Roberts 30:37
Exactly, you’re never gonna be satisfied, because you’re reaching for something that is unattainable. Which is, because when you think about it, like when we’re, when you’re, well, I don’t know about powerlifting. Because you probably are trying to get to like a certain number, I guess, or, I don’t know, like, what is your actual goal, when you’re, when anybody is trying to, I guess, like, get smaller or whatever, you have this goal of a number, but then your actual goal, you hit that number, and you’re still not satisfied, I feel like your actual goal is to be more confident, or to feel better about yourself or to in my instance, it was at some point to get guys to notice me or to get into a relationship or to feel like I was just better or a better person, or more successful, or whatever it is this, it’s never about the number. It’s about something deeper. And I think people miss that. It’s like, Oh, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna get back to my size for jeans, it’s like, Okay, well, once we get to that size four, you’re gonna want the size to or you’re gonna want, that’s not going to be good enough, you’re gonna want a bigger budget, or whatever it may be.

Brock Cook 31:53

Emily Roberts 31:54
yeah, right. So I don’t know, it’s just, that’s what I’m trying to educate people on too, is that it’s not about the weight. It’s not about the number, it’s not about a rarely about what you actually think it’s about, it’s about something much, much deeper that can’t be met by these behaviors that you’re doing. Do you

Brock Cook 32:17
feel like it’s because I was just thinking as you were talking, then that it’s rather than a number on the on a scale or on a bar, or whatever it is, that it’s more about, people are missing, I guess, fulfillment of some kind. Because I’m just thinking like, new And usually, like, I’m not sure about powerlifting. But it really is like that, like, you know, you set a goal, usually, to whatever weight you want to lift, and then you lift that and it’s like, Alright, now I’m going to lift like, what’s the next number? What’s the next thing I’m going to do? Like, you might celebrate that for 30 seconds or an hour maybe. And then you know, the next year of your trainings laid out, because you need to hit this next number. And it’s, it’s something that I feel like a lot of people, it’s almost like an addictive behavior or a mal patterned behavior, in that. There’s no fulfillment in chasing those numbers, like Yeah, and I still, I still love the sport, like, don’t get me wrong, I love the sport, and I love everything that you can get from the sport. But I feel like there’s a lot of people that get into it, looking for fulfillment, from the achievements that you may get from it. When Yeah, I’ve tried to educate a lot of my lifters as well, that if you don’t love the process, that’s not the sport for you. Because you’re never going to get that fulfillment from the outcome. You’re never going to, you know, hit that number on the bar and go, yep, sweet, awesome. I’m done. Like I’ve done what I wanted to do. Like, it’s never, it’s a never ending thing. And I feel like the same thing often is when you start objectively measuring something, in the hope of it bringing happiness, you know, we see it all the time with people shopping, like, Ah, I’m gonna buy this next thing and then I’ll be happy and then I buy that and they might like it for 30 seconds. And but, you know, maybe if I get this other thing, then I’ll be happy. And what can I do? Like, yeah, and it’s the same thing with bodyweight, like, I’m gonna get to this weight or I’m gonna, you know, if it’s another exercise, I’m gonna run this far, or whatever it is, and you get there and it’s like, okay, so like, I’m here. Why am I happy? So I love

Emily Roberts 34:37
I love how you said that. It’s, it’s not about the outcome. It’s about the process. You have to love the process. I think that goes for all that goes for everything that you do, right? It’s not of course you have to do things that you don’t like, like I have to go to work in order to make money. I wish I could just make money yeah, Exactly I wish I could sleep as long as I wanted and do whatever I wanted all day and still make money. But I think for the grand majority of like, I guess for the conversation, what we’re talking about, like wellness behaviors, right? So eating healthy and exercising, and sleeping, and whatever, you have to love the process of what you’re doing, you can’t just bank on the outcome, like you have to be feeling good while you’re doing something, you have to actually be enjoying what you’re doing. Or else, it’s never going to be good enough. And I think that it comes from an identity issue. I think it comes from a lot of these. I guess my therapists and I would call them core beliefs, like one of my core beliefs is that I’m not good enough. And so I searched to be good enough in all these other areas. And I’ve never good enough, because that’s not going to make me feel good enough, because I’m searching for earthly things that are not, they’re not capable of fulfilling my soul in that way. And, and I think it’s just a never ending battle for people who struggle with their body image to try to, to find a way to feel either good enough, or whatever their core belief may be, through these things. And so what I really want people to understand is that they can find it’s not like that eating nutritious foods is bad for you. It’s not It’s not that exercising is bad for you, because it’s not both of those things are really great things. Lifting weights is really, really good for you, probably not to the extent where you’re lifting that much weight on your joints, but it shows that it like decreases osteoporosis, and decreases falls later in life and stuff. And that is all amazing things. But if you It just depends on where your focus lies. Are you focused on changing your body? Are you focused on getting to this goal? Or are you focused on like helping your body? And in doing this, because it’s actually benefiting you? And it’s actually benefiting your health? And not just what you think it might be benefiting of your health? If that makes sense?

Brock Cook 37:18
Yeah, no, that makes that makes perfect sense. And I wonder whether you feel that, getting people to that stage where they realize pretty much exactly what you’ve just said, is something that people can pick up along the way? Or do you think that people kind of almost have to hit a rock bottom before they go, Oh, wait, this isn’t working for me, I need to do something different.

Emily Roberts 37:50
I think it depends on the person. And I hate to say it this way, but I almost feel like just from talking to people that they have to at least have these little seeds maybe planted like over and over and over again. But they have to get to a point themselves where they’re just fed up. Like they’re fed up with losing weight and gaining it back. They’re fed up with always trying to reach for something and never feeling like it’s enough, I’m just fed up with, with that whole process. And they don’t want to do that for the rest of their life. Or maybe they see it passed on to their children, or they see it in somebody else that’s reflecting onto them. And they think Ooh, that’s, I need to do something about it. But I do think that they need to have kind of that moment where they don’t they just can’t do it anymore. Whether that’s rock bottom for them or not, I don’t know. But just from talking to people. Like there are some people who are just not ready to give up the lifestyle they’re living and that’s okay, like, we’ve all been there. But I don’t know, I guess I just I hope that I can be that little seed that even if they’re not ready, they see something that I post and it makes them think and then they can scroll past or whatever that they do or challenge me or whatever. But they’ll think about it maybe later and be like, ooh, I think that she was onto something there and just little things here and there may help them come back and be like, Alright, I’m ready now to really come home to myself and to start fighting against myself. Because

Brock Cook 39:41
the other side of it, obviously we will talk about like the fear Hey physically feel Yeah, yeah, mess up hormone profile and all that sort of stuff. But there’s, there’s a psychological aspect to it as well. And I feel like it’s probably most equivalent to almost like anxiety in that it takes up a lot of your focus. You’re constantly thinking about, you know, food or macros or exercise or when you can you know how you can like you were describing before, like, what excuse Can you come up with so you don’t have to have a meal with the people and you can just eat whatever you prep like it’s, it almost becomes like an all encompassing. It’s like a full time job just trying to navigate your way through the food aspect of life, or the nutrition aspect of life. Yeah, did you find it to be like, anxiety? Or was it something like something it did feel like something else?

Emily Roberts 40:46
So yes, I think it I think it felt like anxiety, but I didn’t realize it. I didn’t realize that I was ever an anxious person, because I don’t get like I see anxiety. And I see people with panic disorder. And I think I don’t get panic attacks like, but they’re even growing up. I could tell I was super anxious kid and it just never was like, called anxiety. But I do think that it is because you if people haven’t been through this, they may not know the feeling. But if you are so encompassed with eating a certain way, and I can think of one particular time, I guess this was kind of my rock bottom, where I was counting my macros even like to the gram into like spices, which essentially have nothing shows you.

Brock Cook 41:41
Anyone that’s done that that’s extreme.

Emily Roberts 41:44
Yeah. Oh, yeah, it was extreme. And the funny thing, I mean, this is kind of a tangent. And it’s not funny, but I like didn’t lose that much weight, which is I was of a normal weight. I was never like somebody who you would picture in your head to have an eating disorder. Like that wasn’t, that wasn’t how it looked. People never really thought what I was doing was unhealthy. They always thought what I was doing was was healthy, which was problematic. But that was a tangent. Now I’m coming back. So my rock bottom time was when I was I live in Georgia right now. And my family, I grew up in Illinois. So that is like a 14 hour road trip. And we make that every Yeah, we make that every holiday season. So we were coming back from Illinois to Georgia during the holidays. And we had it was after Thanksgiving. So Thanksgiving meal, we’re traveling, I can’t meal prep and bring my food. I don’t want to be rude. So I don’t ask like people to make certain foods for me. Because that’s another thing too is like people will start like my husband’s family would start making just vegetables for me and know that I wasn’t going to eat the potato or whatever. And which made me already feel bad because I was like, you don’t have to do that. But then in my head, I’m like, you don’t have to do that. So we were coming back from Thanksgiving eating all the fit Thanksgiving stuff. And it was dinner time. And of course where do you stop on a road trip but fast food places. And I just remember breaking down and being like I don’t deserve to eat I ate so bad. I feel like a blob I don’t deserve to eat. And I got a salad with like no dressing. And my boyfriend was like, eat something like eat food you do eat. And I just remember that being like, my rock out and be like something needs to change. Like this is not okay, this is not healthy, because I am so anxious about eating fast food with one meal. And we have other options. I’m so anxious about this that I feel like I shouldn’t eat at all. When I haven’t eaten all day probably. So yes, it definitely shows up like anxiety. Whether that is to that extreme or just the little things like being like oh no, like you can’t, you can’t have a burger. Or if you have the burger. You can’t have the button or you can’t have manager you don’t get the fries. But that get the broccoli like you always have to get the healthy choice or whatever the locale option is on the menu. Yeah. Looking up all the menu options before you go to the restaurant and knowing exactly what you’re going to get because you have to hit your macros perfectly or whatever it is. It is anxiety it it overwhelms your life without really realizing it because you feel empowered because you feel like you’re in control of something. Really you are. It’s controlling you like you are so out of control. You have no control over it, it is controlling you.

Brock Cook 44:44
Yeah, and I think the control is a big part of it as well. That feeling of even if you’re not technically in control, that just the perception of control is what will seem to be to be changed. I wonder I just had a thought then to I wonder whether you feel like, I mean, it’s it’s obvious that a lot of the sort of public attitudes around eating body image and that sort of stuff is the general public has a very limited understanding of like, what good nutrition actually is. And because of that, I feel like in a lot of instances, people who are athletes are often like you described and like our people thought it was healthy, like what I was doing, and I wonder whether that, in my experience, and I’m keen to hear your opinion, whether you think that more common with athletes, because athletes generally do eat different to the general public, because they expend energy differently. And whether or not people like obviously, yours is almost the opposite way that most athletes would eat, most athletes would eat more, given that they expend more energy doing what they’re doing, or they’re trying to build muscle or whatever it is that their particular goal is. But I feel like due to the general public’s limited knowledge around nutrition and that kind of thing. It’s almost like either an athlete what they’re doing must be fine. Like, it’s almost like forgiven because of the athletic status. Did you find that at all?

Emily Roberts 46:31
Um, yes, kind of. So I think, I think if I hear what you’re saying correctly, like, you see, people would see me like running half marathons and lifting weights and doing all these athletic things like playing soccer, and be like, Oh, well, what she’s doing, she is not dead. So like, obviously, what she’s doing is okay, and it’s probably healthy, because that’s the way that she’s feeling herself or playing or whatever. Yeah, so I think yes, but then I also think that people will take because I had this experience and my disordered eating, where I would follow a lot of people on social media, who were doing the bodybuilding and the bikini competitions. And like, you were saying, when they were cutting down to be your super lean, I would, I would follow that, like, I just as my normal person, I didn’t want to be a competing bikini competitor, we that wasn’t my goal. I just wanted to look like that. Because I thought that that is the way that you that was healthy, that was the way that you’re supposed to eat that was like the ultimate health. So I think that there is this view of have people who are like in the gym all the time, for whatever reason, that may be whatever sport they must they play or whatever, whatever they eat, like the protein shakes the meal, prepping the counting macros, the lifting weights, the whatever, whatever they’re doing needs to be the regimen for everybody, even when that’s not your goal, like your goal isn’t to be lean down as little as possible. It’s to just live your life. It’s not a healthy way to live life that people think that that’s how they should live their life.

Brock Cook 48:18
It’s a lot of this reminds me I can’t even remember someone told me once to aim for mediocrity. And I remember the time I was just like, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Throughout my life since then, there’s been a number of times when that comes up. And I’m like, this is what they meant in that. Aiming for those extremes is usually not where you actually should be or want to be. In reality, even though you know short time you’re like, Oh, yeah, Wow, that looks amazing. I’m going to try and be like that. But you’re better off aiming for that sort of middle ground. I wasn’t necessarily saying be mediocre, but aiming for that middle ground because that’s generally, you know, the old saying about the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I feel like it’s like that where you know, yeah, there’s extreme and you know, you got lots of muscle, but you’ve got no fat your hormones are shot. And then there’s the other end of the extreme, you know, overweight your hormones, again, will be shot. And the truth is somewhere in the middle and that’s where you kind of want to be and that’s, I feel like in this instance it’s gonna be individual for every end of for every individual, ironically. Do you think? Because I wonder like body body image. Again, even the concept of body image for me, evokes thoughts of comparison with other people. Is that the way you look at it, are you looking at it more of I feel like you might I’d be looking at it more in a lack of self love kind of way, or are you looking at when you say body image Are you looking specifically about, like what the body looks like?

Emily Roberts 50:12
I think both. So, on the outside, like, on the surface level, it is what the body looks like. And we tend to see ourselves in comparison to other people and develop our self image compared to the person next to us. But because I know that it goes deeper than that, I think that the healing lies in coming back to yourself and kind of, it has nothing to do with the comparison. Like, even if you were to be like, I’m going to stop comparing myself to the person next to me, and feel good about who like what you look like and whatever, there’s still going to be wounded parts of you that you’re not going to like, and that’s going to be portrayed in certain ways. So yes, body image, but also, I think maybe I say body image, because there’s a disconnect in my mind, between the mind and the body, when we’re, when we’re seeing or the way that we feel, the way that we see ourselves, whether that’s inside or outside, it’s a disconnect between the mind and the body. So really understanding our body and understanding, like enveloping our, our self awareness and our interoceptive cues, helps us to have a better body image, because of the way that we are treating ourselves is completely different than when we are just trying to be like the person next to us or trying not to be like the person next to us. We treat ourselves differently when we’re really when we understand ourselves at a deep level. And that comes out to the world as a better body image. But it doesn’t even matter what other people see. Because you’re so focused on how you’re feeling and what, what just feels good. Intuitively to you. Yeah. Versus rather what is expected of you. in society.

Brock Cook 52:23
Yeah, I feel this is a this is one of the reasons why I want to bring you on because this is a topic that I’m definitely I feel close to, but almost for the exact opposite reason as you like, like, I’m a big guy. And I feel like through when I got into powerlifting full better. And for worse, it’s a very empowering sport. But I feel like in my instance, it was almost the opposite in that it was like, I don’t care what happens to my body like I’m, whatever it takes to get stronger. So like, if I had to get bigger than that helped me move more weight on the bar, then so be it, it was almost like the opposite. I’m like, I don’t care. Like I’m doing this for the sport. Which, again, not a healthy outlook, like you’re sacrificing your health for what like to lift some weights. And it’s okay, cool. Like, whoop dee doo. Yeah, they’re gonna put that on your tombstone. Like, your stats on there or something like, it’s, it’s ridiculous. But yeah, that’s, that’s I think the mindset aspect of it is very similar, even if it was simply like, the opposite ends of the scale for the two of us. And it was, it almost was an excuse, I guess, like you could justify anything like I’m going to eat for my name is like, eat all of this stuff. And it’s cool, because, you know, that’s going to help, like, I’m going to build more muscle. And it did, it did work. But it’s still it’s still doing things that your body isn’t designed to do. And in a lot of cases doesn’t want to do very obviously, by the way it reacts. So yeah, it’s I find it really interesting the mindsets that people can get into. Or how how people get into those mindsets without even realizing it, I think is probably the biggest thing because it’s a lot of people think, Oh, you know, why don’t you just straight sort itself out like, you don’t need to be doing that or, like, I’m sure there would have been someone that either thought it or probably even may have said it to you at some point. Like you said, Your boyfriend at the time said like, just eat like, you know, waste, just eat like even like if it was that easy. I would just eat like I think I don’t think people realize how and the part of people’s stories that really fascinates me is this kind of thinking doesn’t just have Here, like it’s a slow grind, like he said, like you can trace aspects of that thinking pattern right back to when you were 878, like really little. And it’s great. It’s a gradual thing, you don’t just all of a sudden end up there, which is why I feel like in a lot of instances, it takes people hitting that rock bottom point to actually realize it, because it’s been such a slow burn to get to that point where they’re thinking that if they don’t notice the change, it’s like when you like, for me when I have a couple of little nieces and nephews, and if I don’t see them for a while, when I see them on, like, holy crap, you’ve grown so much. When I see them really regularly, you don’t notice it. Because you’re always exposed. So I feel like it’s the same thing in that, because you’re always in that experience, you’re always in that thinking pattern, and it’s gradually getting worse or it’s gradually developing. You don’t notice it, until it’s really pointed out by something like someone else telling you or, you know, like you seeing something online and going oh, wait up. That’s a bit weird or hitting rock bottom? Yeah, like, I don’t know what needs to change. I don’t know, in a lot of cases, I don’t know what’s happening. But I know that this doesn’t feel right. And something needs to happen.

Emily Roberts 56:22
Yeah, and I think, on the flip side of that the healing process from all of those years of thinking that way, doesn’t just happen overnight, either. And I think that’s one of the big reasons why people kind of ignore the issue. Because we’re so used to a quick fix, and we want something to happen overnight, or we want just the right advice, that’s going to change our whole world. Like I’m on year, I don’t know three or four now of abandoning or trying to abandon those mindset issues and stuff. And I’m now just coming to the point where I feel like I can help people with it. Because it took me that long to heal from that. And I think that that’s the hard part of this. All right. I mean, everybody has their issues and the issues that we need to heal or the our inner child and our wounds and everything, it takes a long time to heal that. And if we don’t heal it, it’s short, it’s only going to continue to get worse. But people don’t want to because it takes a long time. And it takes a lot of effort.

Brock Cook 57:27
Yeah, I’ve seen that too. People are always looking for that magic bullet or magic potion, or whatever it is, that’s gonna fix it not even just eating disordered eating, like any issue, people always anything that can make a shortcut or you know, but in the end, like he said, like it took, say, 10 years to get here, it’s not gonna be changed overnight. And I feel like that’s where a lot of people’s expectations around it. Where it becomes too difficult, where, especially when you have things like oh, you know, it takes 28 days to form a new habit. I’m like, yeah, that’s the former habit that’s not good that fix the issue, why 28 days to get in a routine, but then it might take four or five years for that routine to sort of reverse whatever you’re trying to do. And I feel like a lot of people don’t go into like Iran, so they’ve hit rock bottom, and then that became, you need to make a change, this is what I’m going to do or they’re getting help. A lot of people don’t go into that process with the expectation that it’s gonna take a long time. And you see that and I think that’s where like, you see a lot of fad diets and that sort of stuff coming from is because, again, one people are looking for that magic bullet, but then they’re only going to stick with that for a month or so anyway, because they’re going to do it for a while and go, Oh, this isn’t working fast enough, or this isn’t. That’s why I see people that do like lemon juice cleanses and shit like that. And it’s like, well, you haven’t eaten anything in a week. And it doesn’t matter what diet you’re on the first week, you’re just gonna drop water anyway. So yeah, you’re like, Oh, my God, I dropped 10 pounds in this week. Like, that’s not surprising, but not fat.

Emily Roberts 59:09
And you’re going to be quite calm next week when you gain five pounds.

Brock Cook 59:13
Yeah, when it all went even when it plateaus like or even. I’ve seen people that have still lost like I lost 10 pounds last week, I lost two this week. I’m like, yeah, that’s normal. Get used to that for the next four years and you’re gonna be good, you’ll be fine. I feel like we, and again, I feel like it comes back to our very rudimentary, understand what the general public’s rudimentary understanding of how the body works, like with regards to weight and hormones and all of that kind of stuff like for women in particular, again, I only know this through coaching in powerlifting women in particular, you are going to gain more weight at certain times of the month and don’t stress it’s not good. Be fat, generally, it’s just water. But if you’re basing everything off the number on the scale, it might go up once a month. If you know that, and you know why, hopefully that helps. But the other thing is don’t focus on the number on the scale and won’t be an issue. Like, yes on, I don’t know, if your clothes fit or how you’re feeling that day, or whatever it is. But these are the these little things that people don’t understand how it works. And then they give up, too, like before, and I know it’s not as easy as just giving up. There’s a lot more to it. But in general, people are stopping the process or the more healthy process, because it’s not happening fast enough.

Emily Roberts 1:00:48
Yeah. And they’re doing it for the wrong reason, right? Like if you’re, if you’re eating for performance in a sport, why are you doing that sport? Are you doing it? Because it really is fulfilling to you? Are you doing it so that you look a certain way? Or are you doing it to please somebody else or to be accepted socially or like what is the reason that you’re doing it for that reason is sound and that reason is good, and your heart and your soul, then no matter what it looks like, if the progress is like this, it’s not gonna matter, because you’re enjoying the process, like you said, and but if we’re doing it for the wrong reasons, if you’re, if you’re just trying to lose weight to look a certain way. And you’re focusing on the way you’re not focusing on, I don’t know, like improving your blood pressure or improving whatever it may be, whatever health issue that you may have, or not have, maybe you’re just trying to prevent getting high blood pressure you’re trying to prevent. like not being able to play with your kids, or whatever it may be, you’re your grandkids, if your weight is going like this, it’s not gonna matter if you’re focusing on something other than the weight, but if you’re focusing on the weight, it’s gonna just crush you, it’s gonna like, it’s like, oh, I lost weight, I’m on this high. And now I gain weight. Now I’m on this low, and now I lost weight. So now I’m on this thread, and then I gain weight. Now I’m on the slow, and there’s research out there that shows that actually that weight Cycling is worse for you than just staying overweight. And, and not to mention the stress that you come under just trying to go like from all over places, trying to figure out what’s best for you. And what’s healthiest. I mean, I definitely agree that the, like health information that we have, as a society is totally like, I don’t know, skewed. It’s confusing, because we have so much health information being thrown at us, there’s not like a lack of health information. It’s like, what actually is healthy, because this diet is telling me to only eat fats. And this diet is telling me to only eat vegan, and then this why it’s telling me to eat three times a week. Yeah, three times a week and drink celery juice and lemon water, whatever it is, every moment that I wake up, like what is gonna make me healthy. And the truth is, is you only know what’s gonna make you healthy. Like if you were to listen to your body, you were to listen to like, what your body is telling you when you do certain things and not do certain things like if you don’t move as occupational therapists, and especially me in the hospital setting like, I can tell if somebody does not move, I can tell by the way that they recover from certain things. Your body was made to move. So if you were just listened to your body and move, but moving away, that felt good for you, it wouldn’t feel like exercise, it wouldn’t feel like miserable. So when people tell me like, Oh, I don’t like to exercise, so cool, you have found something that you enjoy them because your body was made to move and our bodies were made to eat things that are going to nourish us. But if we just don’t listen to our body and listen to all these outside voices, telling us what we should eat, and how much we should move and how much we should eat, of course, it’s going to be miserable. It’s going to be confusing, it’s going to be overwhelming and crazy. And we’re gonna go like this because we have no idea what we’re doing.

Brock Cook 1:04:19
So you’ve spoken a few times about people being or needing to be more in touch with their bodies and stuff is the like a first step like how do you how do you even begin to do that?

Emily Roberts 1:04:35
So I think it depends on like, what, I guess it depends on the person, right? So like, I guess I’ll talk a lot about the intuitive eating part of it. Because I’m studying to be an intuitive eating counselor. So if we’re talking about food, being in touch with your body around food, instead of figuring out what you’re going to eat for lunch, per se by What exactly the food is maybe you know that an apple is healthy, but you think that a pb&j is not or something like that I’m gonna choose the Apple is it’s healthy for me. So instead of doing that, you decide, okay, so what do I feel like eating today? Like, what sounds good? Can you sit with that for a little bit and like, okay, like, I really want something crunchy, or I really want something sweet, or I want something, maybe a mixed texture or I want something warm, like maybe it’s cold outside, you’re coming up to winter, like, ooh, I really just want something like warm and hearty. And I don’t want it to be sweet. I want it to be savory. Okay, so now you’re maybe like a soup, versus like a bowl of oatmeal, or something like that. So that’s part of it. So it’s like the satisfaction factor of it. And then the other part is how hungry Am I so they have in the intuitive eating world, we have a scale, the hunger and fullness scale. use it a lot with people who have silenced their hunger and fullness cues for a really long time. So they don’t know when they’re truly hungry, because they eat on a regimented schedule. Or they don’t know when they’re full, because they’re, they only eat to like hit macros or something. So they’re always based off of that. So you check in with your within yourself and you say, Okay, I’m on like a three, which is like in between starving and like, kind of hungry. And then or when you’re done eating, it’s like, okay, I’ll check in with myself halfway through the meal. And Matt, like a seven, okay, I’m going to stop because I know if I go to a nine, or if I go to a 10, and it feels sick, not gonna. And it’s different for everybody, like I like to eat when I’m at between like a two and a three. And I like to stop between like a six and a seven. And sometimes I go all over the place. But most of the time, if I’m checking in with myself, that’s where I like to be at, I like to eat when I’m there. And I like to stop when I’m there. And so the other parts of like, the time of the day, like the kind of food that I eat, or whatever, like, of course, you just can’t stop doing whatever you’re doing if you’re at work, but you’re at home, like on the weekend for today. like okay, like I’m I wasn’t hungry at 6am. But I wasn’t nine. And I wasn’t really hungry for a snack, but I was hungry to eat dinner early. So it was just stuff like that, that you can check in with your body and really eat based off of what you’re feeling versus what you think you should do.

Brock Cook 1:07:41
I like it. I like it a lot. That’s something I in from a personal point of view, like the whole, like hunger cues and stuff. I’ve noticed minor, totally skewed nowadays, especially like, pretty much exactly what he said, like I speeding for macros. I’m like, I don’t care what it takes like a half to get this amount of protein and a half to get this amount of carbs. And especially if it was like before training, like I have to get this in other words, I’m not going to be able to train which is legit. But yeah, you get into that mindset of like these other things like you, I think because also like my training programs are so structured. It’s like everything needs to be like that. Otherwise, I’m underperforming, like my nutrition, everything that eating times, everything needs to be super structured. caffeine intake, everything. And now it’s like, well, I find myself now like, I’ll eat and I’ll be like, That was too much. Or, you know, either I’ll eat and then half an hour later, I’m like, Dude, that wasn’t obviously wasn’t enough because I’m hungry again. Like it’s ridiculous. Like, that’s definitely something I can relate to with the the cues being very much all over the place, which I think physiologically is hormonal anyway, isn’t it? The Hunger cues?

Emily Roberts 1:09:06
Yeah, so, leptin and ghrelin, and, um, I think it’s neuropeptide y or something will release leptin, which is the hunger hormone. And I’m curious with like, when you were so regimented with your eating and structure, but that did you ever find that you were kind of rebelling in a way like, sometimes you would just be like, I just have to eat this and eat a lot of it. Or no, you just always stuck to it.

Brock Cook 1:09:36
Um, so I like cheat meals or like, yeah, like yeah, like a cheat meal. I definitely did. I didn’t look at as as rebelling though. I would, I would usually try and fit it within the macros that are sitting any of the macros I was hitting was huge. So what it really was Unless you’re trying to, like, I think when I was paid competing, like, up around four and a half 1000 calories a day, like it’s like two full days for most people kind of thing. So yeah, so fitting fitting things into my macros really wasn’t an issue. Okay. But I definitely od guarantee there definitely was times when just knowing that, like I go to a burger place with mates and be like, dude, like, I got four and a half 1000 calories to play with I can eat whatever I want, it doesn’t matter. Yeah. So there was definitely times when I’m guaranteed, even then I would have blown that out sometimes just because I’m like, Yeah, like, what’s it gonna do? Like, my aim is to be eating more and putting on more muscle anyway. So like, if I have a day where I blow that out of the water than the next day? J. Usually if I did do that the next day, I wouldn’t be as hungry. So that would be a bigger struggle than actually trying to force it down your mouth. Yeah. So I was like, Oh, you know, now I’ve got to try and hit 4000 or whatever. And I’m like, I’m just not feeling it. So those were the probably the hotter days with it. Yeah, were the days after kind of thing. But yeah, I never I don’t think I ever looked at it as rebelling. I think I looked at it as more I’ve got all this freedom. And I can do what I want. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I could probably I probably would have looked at it more like that. When I was cutting. So when I was on in even then like, my, my cutting was, I think I was dropping weight at like three to 3200 calories or something like it was still a lot more than much people would eat normally. But yeah.

Emily Roberts 1:11:54
Yeah, I think it’s when you’re restricting food, your body actually releases more neuropeptide y. So like, if you’re trying to control how much you eat, and I guess in your way, and I guess I’m talking about more restricting. So you’re controlling it so that it’s less, and your body is telling you to eat more. So then you end up actually just binge eating. Like I know, for me, when I was doing my macros, I would hit it perfectly in the morning, I would hit it perfectly in the afternoon. I’ve had it perfectly at dinner. But then after dinner when I had a little bit left of macros. And I was just like, I didn’t feel super hungry. But I wanted everything like I wanted chocolate, I wanted cereal I wanted, I wanted everything, I wanted popcorn, and I wanted a lot of it. And I couldn’t stop myself like I would try to substitute, like ice cream for a rice cake with peanut butter on it or something. And then that wasn’t satisfying. So then I would eat that, and I would eat the next thing I was trying to substitute in. And it was just crazy. And ever since I actually started eating more earlier in the day, I don’t crave really anything after dinner most times, if it’s due I can satisfy it with like a little dark chocolate versus like another whole meal and a half.

Brock Cook 1:13:17
Yeah, I used to find that. What I used to call like the swing week where I would change from normal, like comp diet to cutting. It was usually about three days that were like that, like really bad. Like, I’m like, I’m gonna die. I’m only eating calories, I’m gonna die. I just want to eat everything. But then I think it’ll like it always amazed me like if I could tolerate those three days, which I used to try and make sure it was a weekend because trying to do that at work was just a nightmare. Yeah, if I could tolerate that, then my body kind of got used to the lower intake and it was usually fine for most of it after that, but like doing it so many times. I just like i’d know exactly that. Like I knew that. This is gonna take three days, so I can plan it out. Like everything was so regimented. It was Yeah, everything was so planned, and then anything that fell outside of the plan, then I would get like anxious like my girlfriend again. Now my wife would be like, oh, let’s go out for dinner and be like, I can’t do that this doesn’t fit like you should have told me earlier like I would have planned this in kind of thing. It starts Yeah, it starts impacting everything in your life like it starts to you. Your life revolves it gets to a point where your life revolves around food, which is ridiculous. Yeah, because it’s such a in the grand scheme of experiences. It’s such a minor, minor thing in life. When you’re in that mindset is It’s everything.

Emily Roberts 1:15:01
It’s the only thing that matters, yeah.

Brock Cook 1:15:04
Like, this is what I need to do to be able to do this action, perform whatever. And that’s gonna make me happy. And this is what I’m, you know, I’m dedicated to this, and at the time you justify it with all sorts of reasons. But in the in the end, it really is an anxiety of sorts.

Emily Roberts 1:15:30
Definitely, for me, it was health anxiety, which I still have, to some extent, but it was just, I will not be healthy, I will get all these diseases if I don’t do this, which is just crazy, because I didn’t, at least to my knowledge, get any diseases from doing it, but I didn’t. I don’t know. I just even now I don’t have any diseases. It’s great. But that’s what everybody says, like, you have to do this to be healthy. This is the ultimate form of self care. And no,

it’s not.

Brock Cook 1:16:05
Yeah, I feel people need to start taking less notice of, or stop taking their health advice from like, athletes and bodybuilders and that kind of thing and seek professionals talk. People that don’t really know what they’re talking about. Just 99% of people with regards to nutrition, which is unfortunate. And I think most people even like what is healthy food and what is not people have this sort of distorted view of and everyone has their view based on their thing, like, you know, if you talk to someone who’s really into paleo, then they’re gonna I you know, breads bad for you, it’s gonna kill you and cavemen didn’t eat bread and all that sort of stuff. Or if you miss, the carnival diet is this new thing at the moment that’s floating around, it’s like, you can live off just meat. I’m like, Yeah, but why would you want to? I’m sure you could survive for a little while. You could survive. And I think it’d be real pleasant when we spoke about before just eating protein and not much carbs. And what that does the body just eating just meat would be horrendous. I can’t even imagine. It it just thinking about it. Yeah. But then I mean, this and there is 1000 different diets, but I don’t think you need to follow like, Oh, this is, you know, Atkins, or this is whatever, like, I don’t think you need that. You just need to find what’s healthy for you. And yeah, that might work. But it might not do its work. I’ve always I sort of after powerlifting got to the mindset of like the best diet is the one you can stick to. Like, and when I say diet, I’m not meaning like dropping weight diet. I’m just meeting like nutrition. Yeah. What Yeah.

Emily Roberts 1:18:01
Yeah. And really, I mean, the way that I heard it the best is like eat a variety of foods. Not too little, not too much. And what do what satisfies you?

Brock Cook 1:18:11
And that’s gonna aim for mediocrity? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, somewhere in the middle. Yeah.

Emily Roberts 1:18:17
You don’t want to eat all these play foods that aren’t Thai nutrition. You don’t want to only eat nutritious foods and never allow yourself to eat something that you enjoy. somewhere in the middle.

Brock Cook 1:18:29
That’s it. That’s a sweet, sweet spot. No pun intended. Right? That’s awesome. Where can people find you if they want more information? If they want to check out your your content? Where can they check that out?

Emily Roberts 1:18:45
Yes, I’m at the body image ot on Instagram. And that’s where I show up most.

Brock Cook 1:18:52
And yeah, a lot of your content, a lot of the stories that you post, you do get on there and have chats and drop a lot of knowledge around intuitive eating body image, and particularly the mental health side of it, which is, which is awesome. That’s the stuff that I really enjoy. So keep doing that, because it’s really good. It’s important.

Emily Roberts 1:19:15
Yes, thank you. I appreciate it. I appreciate you. Let me come on and talk about it. Some fun,

Brock Cook 1:19:21
absolute pleasure. Easy as that.

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