025: When Food is Comfort: How to End Emotional Eating – with Julie Simon

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All too often, we go, go, go in the summer months from vacation to hauling the kids to/from summer camp, to this and that and before you know it, it’s back-to-school tornado time and we forget to take a hot second to nourish ourselves. We run ourselves ragged and tend to everyone else’s needs before our own.

So, this month’s episodes are all meant to be moments just for you, to slow down, pause and ponder one aspect of your life that might need deeper exploration.

For me, one of those areas is all about emotional eating.

My guest, Julie Simon, simplifies how to nurture yourself, rewire your brain and end emotional eating, once and for all.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What is “Emotional Eating” and why do we (really) do it?
  • How to cultivate the “Inner Nurturer” inside you and why
  • How to re-define “self-regulation” to be a positive thing, a GIFT we give ourselves
  • Seven powerful mindfulness skills that help strengthen your Inner Nurturer and rewire your brain

I’ve shared a little bit of my personal story in past episodes as I’m recovering from body shame and getting comfortable in my own skin. We went there in today’s episode as well.

So if this is a tricky topic for you, please know you are not alone. I hope my open and honest conversation with Julie today helps you begin to heal as well.

Let’s #DoTheThing.

My challenge for you this week:

Notice how your body feels just before you reach for food when you’re not hungry. Journal it down if it helps. How could you nurture yourself instead?

Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: When Food Is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Rewire Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating – Julie M. Simon

Course: Overeating Recovery – the 12 week Program – Julie M. Simon

Book: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Gabor Maté

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[05:35] “Everybody does a little bit of emotional eating and people always ask, is it so terrible to do emotional eating? I say, no, we all do a little bit. The question is – is it affecting your health or is it creating significant weight gain? You’re the decider of whether your emotional eating is not working for you.” – Julie

[10:59] “If we don’t get quite the consistent and sufficient nurturance that we need, our brain doesn’t make connections. It doesn’t make the right connections. We don’t lay down the right neural firing patterns. And what happens is that we end up being under the influence of the emotionally dominant part of the brain. That’s the part of the brain, that when you’re stressed out, that says, ‘I’ve got to have the cheesecake’.” – Julie

[14:36] “We want to really get to know our emotions. Every emotion. [You] come home from a day at work and you say, I’m feeling frustrated, right? Go deeper. I’m feeling frustrated, I’m feeling angry, I’m feeling lonely, I’m feeling kind of empty, I’m feeling unfulfilled, I’m feeling unheard. All of these emotions are there to guide you.” – Julie

[24:06] “I think one of the traps as a ‘busy woman’ is that you fill it with coffee and you just grab on-the-go food. You don’t slow down and actually enjoy the meals that you have. It’s so hard sometimes. And to make those good decisions in those moments, it again comes back to the stories are deep, deep down inside.” – Mary

[32:07] “This is what emotional eating is all about. Whoever’s emotional eating – I didn’t get consistent and sufficient nurturance in my early years. My brain got wired a particular way and I don’t know how to give this to myself and so I’m out there looking outside of myself. I look to other people to give it to me. I look to food to fill me up and comfort me.” – Julie

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About Julie:

Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, LMFT, is the author of When Food Is Comfort and The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual. She founded the popular Los Angeles–based and online Twelve-Week Emotional Eating Recovery Program and offers workshops at venues like Whole Foods and UCLA.

Julie lives in Los Angeles and you can visit her online at www.overeatingrecovery.com.

Julie’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Gabor Maté – physician, addiction expert, best-selling author, speaker.

Where Julie hangs out online:

Website: overeatingrecovery.com

Facebook: @OvereatingRecovery

Video version of the episode

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