How To Heal Your Relationship With Food And Your Body


Madeline Miles


For today's episode, we have a discussion on eating disorders and the way to recovery both her story and mine. Also how we overcame our illnesses allowed us to give aid to others who are struggling with their negative eating patterns.

Our guest speaker is Cara Carin Cifelli, a health coach who specializes in Eating Disorder Recovery and helping people to transform their relationship with food and their body. Cara is the host of the Love Your Bod Pod and also an author.


[00:00] Intro
[02:34] Who is Cara Carin Cifelli?
[04:59] Cara's past experience with food and her body
[09:25] Why Cara chose to start her journey to recovery?
[10:55] Recovery and relapsing; out of body experience
[12:34] Question for Cara and Maddie: What is the difference between anorexia and bulimia?
[15:02] Tug-a-war link between one's emotions and eating patterns
[15:47] Battling journey to recovery
[18:53] Powerless to change eating habits
[20:07] Question for Cara: What are your thoughts on all of these diets?
[24:04] Behaviour modification and weight loss in relation to eating disorders
[30:36] Is being thin better as others praise those who have an eating disorder to be?
[36:37] What factors influence more eating disorders in society?
[45:50] Contact information
[46:19] Outro


"We think that we are in control but we are not."

"Dieting is one of the things that messes up our hormones."


Food blog https://www.caraskitchen.net/

Check out Cara's book on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Carin-Cifelli/

Podcast - Love Your Bod Pod


Maddie - @themaddiemiles

Cara's Instagram @caraskitchen

Cara's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/cara-cifelli/



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Maddie Miles

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Maddie Miles 0:01
Okay, hi guys. This is Maddie from the Maddy miles podcast. Today, we are going to talk about kind of a big like group of things, eating disorders body image, how to overcome negative body image how to overcome negative eating patterns. And I'm joined here with my friend Cara. We met through Instagram. I don't know maybe like, a couple months ago. I don't know if you remember Kara. But I've been following along your journey. I absolutely love what you post. I think it's amazing and helped so many. So many people, myself included. So I really wanted to get you on my podcast and just talk about you know, eating disorders and your struggle with it. My struggle with it. You know how we overcame a lot of these negative thinking patterns and eating habits and how you help people now so you want to go ahead and introduce yourself to my listeners. Yeah, thanks, Maddie. Super stoked to be here. Super excited to be chatting with you

Cara 3:43
I'm a health coach primarily. I also have a podcast like you. We're currently on break right now. But eventually I'll come back for season three called Love Your bod pod. And my goal and mission is to help people primarily women, but all people free themselves up from food obsession and body shame in their personal lives and then also big picture like really helped transform our culture are like thin obsessed, wait discriminatory appearance to focus culture so that more people can feel confident and comfortable in their skin and not spend so much time obsessing over food and weight. Oh my gosh, I know, right? I think we all need that. You know, like when I was really sick with an eating disorder. I felt super alone. I don't know if you relate to that. But I felt super alone and that like I was the only one I met I was crazy for you know, like having disordered eating patterns and thoughts around food, only to realize now that I'm like recovered and I'm so heavily immersed in like the health and wellness realm that everyone does. And you know, because of the society that we're in, you know, like every single day I feel like there's a new fad A diet fad, you know, like just all this stuff that's going on that really impacts how we view food and our body and our self worth. And yeah, so, you know, kind of realizing that oh my gosh, everyone has obviously to certain degrees, not everyone is, you know, like, having to get treatment for it or like going into, you know, a hospitalization program hooked up to feeding tubes. But, you know, nonetheless, we all do experience to a certain degree disordered eating patterns. So yeah, do you want to talk open up about your story a little bit, actually, I don't know when I'm going to release this exactly. But I have yet to have my first episode or release for this podcast next Tuesday, a week from today. And I'm planning on doing an entire episode, just like focused on my history with an eating disorder. So I'm not sure if this will come up before after that. But if you want to talk about your past with it, and your experience with it, and like how you kind of combat those emotions and those thoughts on a daily basis going forward? That would be that would be awesome. Yeah, of course. So to go back to your first question, did I feel alone? Totally, I felt super isolated. And at the same time, I also knew that there was like a whole bunch of people struggling with eating disorders, because I was really obsessed with Mary Kate Olsen and her very public struggle with anorexia. Now, I think I'm a little bit older than you. So I don't know if you were like around for that time. Were you 40. Kara, thank you. What? You're 40 Oh, okay. No, I'm totally kidding. Um, no, I don't really know her struggle that much. So, but this is super interesting. So keep talking about it, because I'm learning. Cool. So we'll do there. Mary Kate Olsen of the Olsen twins had a very public struggle with anorexia. And I had this very toxic desire to also be anorexic. Because my desire to be thin, was that pervasive, and that consuming? And I really felt like my happiness in life, my success in life, the admiration and the love and the, the good enoughness that I wanted to feel would be solved if I was just thinner. And I also felt, what, how old were you during this time? 1415 is when it started. Okay, so over 15 years ago now, and I decided to go on my first diet. I grew up with a mom who dieted Atkins weightwatchers, the Master Cleanse slimfast. These are more traditional forms of dieting. They're not be like cloaked version of dieting that we now have with wellness culture, where it's all about like lifestyle changes. And we can get into that further if we'd like later on. But more I started out with these more traditional forms of dieting, and eventually tried to just restrict as much as possible and eat as little as possible and fill myself up with like venti Starbucks coffees trying to suppress my hunger. And it got to a point where I could no longer resist the urge to not eat. And so I rebounded into binge eating. And that very quickly turned to Billy Mia, because

Maddie Miles 8:42
oh my god, what is that going to do to my body? Oh my god, like weight gain. You know, at the time, it felt like the worst possible thing that could ever happen to me. And so I went on struggling with this restrict binge purge cycle for a decade. And it took over my life. I would skip social events in fear of losing control, my friends would go out and I feel so ashamed of my body that I just would stay home and binge eat in my room alone. Instead, I would spend so much extra money on food that I would just like binge and purge on at a time when I didn't really have the financial resources to be doing that. I was like, struggling just out of college, trying to pay my rent in LA. And it came to a head when I just literally felt like I'm either gonna die or I'm going to get better. And I had this out of body experience where my higher self sort of came out of me and was looking down at me as I was crying to build up after a very typical binge and purge episode. And for me, binge and purge episodes would like be multiple Multiple times of binge purge binge purge binge purge, like all in the same sort of experience, and looked down at myself from this hire. Just like watched myself sort of cry in my mind's eye, I sort of call this my first like spiritual experience, but it was not very many at the time. And just knew that if I didn't, if I didn't do something like if I didn't get better, I again, I was going to die or probably kill myself, I don't know which one of them was going to happen first, but I just like I had enough I like couldn't do it anymore. And that's when I decided like, Okay, I'm going to do whatever I can to get better. Now, Instagram was not a thing at this time. This was 10 years ago. Instagram was not a thing yet. And my only option at the time was inpatient rehab, for traditional therapy, really called me for a variety of reasons. But I saw a therapist about four times. And after, and I don't, I have some understanding of why but my body was just a no, like, everything in me was like, get out of here. You don't want to be here, you don't want to be in this therapists office, this isn't what to do. Now, this isn't to say that therapy is bad, or it can be helpful, therapy's awesome. I think it's an incredible tool. I think that for some people therapy is what's going to be beneficial to them. And there's more than one way to recover. And traditional options aren't the only way. And I just encourage those listening to trust their gut around what works best for them. But anyway, yeah. Anyway, so that's sort of the, the actual eating disorder thing by, like, continue on and keep going. Yeah, I am, I wanted to touch on your, like, he said that you had an out of body experience, and you were looking at yourself, and that really sparked the inspiration and the motivation for getting better. And I had the exact same experience actually, um, I kind of like lit up a little bit when you said that just because it really took, you know, it took me the same thing. Like it took me years of like, being shuffled in and out of different treatment programs by my parents, um, you know, recovery, and then relapse relaxing, because, you know, I truly didn't want to get better. It took me like, really wanting to get better and seeing the problem myself from again, that like, out of body experience, like seeing myself, like in the hospital bed, like, hooked up to the feeding tube being like, is this what I want for my life? You know, like, No, it's not. So, um, thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, just all of that with us. But especially I can relate to that out of body experience. It's really beautiful and powerful. Yeah, and, you know, it's really interesting. Interesting, when I talk to women, either like in my DNA, or my emails or on Discovery calls or with actual coaching clients, about how many of them had a similar experience where you were in and out of treatment. And out of all these facilities, but never actually really wanting to get better for yourself. And I really, truly believe that regardless of the healing modality or the healing route, recovery route you take, it's not going to work if you yourself don't actually really want it.

Right, exactly. Hey, Cara. So really quickly, I want to introduce you to this is Bobo meadow, he is my friend, my viewers will know him because he's always going to be on my podcast. He's like, the basically like the fact checker slash always just like a another view. And he has a question for both of us, actually, right now, that's a good one that I think our viewers and listeners will definitely benefit from. So he's just gonna interject really quickly and ask us both a question. Cool. Hi, Carrie.

Baldo 14:03
Hi, I'm Baldo. So I, you mentioned about dealing with anorexia and then turning into bulimia? And I have a question about that. Because sometimes I know from what a guy friends is, like, what's it like? I've heard them say like, what's the difference? And I would like for you, if you could both get into like, what's the difference between anorexia and bulimia? And is there like a, is there different ways to tell one from the other that you? I'm also asking because like, I know that there's guys listeners, and then I wonder why I wonder if there's any girls or women that wouldn't know the difference? And and then maybe one starts, maybe one bleeds into the other, or vice versa. And maybe that way, they can have some telltale signs either way.

Cara 14:52
Sure. Yeah. Great question. So this isn't necessarily a clinical explanation of the two I'm not sure I'm not going to go into like clinical diagnostic criteria for them. This is more of just like my personal understanding, I would say the anorexia is categorized by not eating, or trying to eat as little as possible all of the time. And believe me, it eating and then engaging in compensatory behaviors. So they're bleeding out where you eat, and then you force yourself to throw up. There can also be, believe me up through the form of diet pills and laxatives. And then there can also be what is exercise bulimia. So you exercise to the point of exhaustion to make up for the food that you ate. So I think those would be the two biggest things is if you eat and then you engage in some form of purging, whether it's throwing up laxatives or exercise, or maybe there's other forms that I'm not familiar with. And then anorexia is categorized by just eating as little as possible. Because Yeah, I think that's a good enough, you know, to kind of like, just piggyback off this topic, um, you know, to answer your question, I do think a lot of them bleed into each other, you know, because, in the end, it's all about control. And so when we do feel like, we're lacking control, or, you know, for me, like, the restriction of calories only went, like, it only satisfied me my eating disorder, quote, unquote, for so long before it was like, Okay, I need to do something else, you know, um, so like, enough, like, it wasn't enough, like there was still more like weight to be lost, still more control to be had over like my body and what was going in and out of it. And then, you know, for me, personally, actually, I started purging when it was the second treatment that I was put into, which was, I think it's called the Maudsley approach where, actually, it's very minimal therapy at the very beginning. And it's partial hospitalization, or partial, partially inpatient. So, I mean, I was going in and getting weighed every single day at this clinic and doing certain types of therapies, but it was all with my parents, and my parents were doing the refeeding. So no dot, unlike the first one that I went into, where, like, you know, I was, I was with doctors all day long, they were feeding me up in a hospital setting. This one was like, all family therapy, because ideas like, you know, this person is so sick right now, putting them through one on one therapy wouldn't even really do much. And then the parents are going to do the repeating. Because when we're born ever since, you know, from the start of like, our life, our parents are the ones who feed us. So they're trying to, like, take all the control out of you know, the sick person and give it back over to the parents, which was, I mean, that's a another topic for a different episode. But I mean, it was really hard on my parents, of course, you know, that's really, really hard to be fighting with me all the time. And so anyway, I was long story short, eating whatever they're giving you which, as scared parents, they were shoving everything and anything down my throat. And then I would go and purge it. And then they did catch on to that, then they, you know, I all bathroom doors are left open all that stuff. But I do think they bleed into each other a lot of the time, because in the end, it's really all about control, you know? Because, you know, I mean, yes, it to a certain extent, it's also about like how you look and you want to look a certain way, but you know, it's really just having that control, and you feel like you have control over it all. But, you know, you don't, obviously, as Kira knows, we have no control when we're sick with immune disorder. Yeah, we're actually paradox because you're not really in control, you're eating you. And I'm also glad that you did mention that they usually for the most part, they do bleed into and you can be eating disorder spectrum, engaging in all different types of behavior, that spectrum. One point across that eating disorder or spectrum body as well, Madeline? Yes. Um, yeah, we care just to make sure you can hear us, right. Yes. Okay. It was cutting in and out a little bit on your end. So I just want to make sure that like, it's not our Wi Fi. Just making sure you'd like me to stand again? Um, yes. Do you mind just because it's cutting in and out a little bit. Okay, if it continues, I can go closer to the router. Perfect. Okay.

I'm really glad. Because it's totally a paradox. We think that we're in control, but we're not our eating disorder is controlled is in control or our our need to be in control is what it is, which is, rather than our need to be in control is what it is control are not actually in control, when we have an eating disorder, the need is driving all of our behaviors and our choices were actually like, powerless to it. And that there's an overlap between anorexia and bulimia because I do believe that for a lot of us there is there's this spectrum of eating disorders, disordered eating and dieting, and you can kind of move across that spectrum throughout the entire time that you're struggling, you know, most people don't stay like stagnant. Like, they might even be in somewhat of an eating disorder cycle where like, it's really, really intense and dormant for some amount of time, and then it gets intensified. So I do think it's worth noting that, you know, people can move across that spectrum and have the behaviors and the diagnoses overlap. Right. And do you think that like, I mean, really refreezes? Do you still? Okay, let me rephrase again. Third, time's the charm. What are your thoughts on all of these? I, personally, I see all of these bad diets as just like, quote, unquote, eating disorder. Or being what is my question on my opinion of diet? Yeah. Well, are we talking modern day diet?

All of them?

Maddie Miles 21:52
Um, I'm talking more current days. So like right now, like keto and low carb and low fat, um, you know, just all of these apps that are out now for like tracking your food intake? And, you know, just all of the things that are going on currently? Yeah, well, my my opinion is that they're all a risk to engage in, you know, all of these diets, these days that pretend to be about health and well being are all still ways to control the amount of food you're eating, or the type of food you're eating with the hopes of either maintaining your weight or losing weight. And most diets, most people who engage in those types of behaviors, whether you're calling it a lifestyle change, or not, often will start to develop some type of disordered eating behaviors. And that for a lot of us rebounds, into binge eating, or what a lot of us describe as emotional eating. And so in short, my opinion is that they're all problematic. And at the core, they all fuel the systemic issues of weight stigma, fat phobia, these narratives, narrative and society that's thinner is better. And we've erroneously and we've erroneously connected thinness, with health. And so when we think we're just taking care of our health, it's not actually rooted in science, that we unhealth are the same thing. And you're engaging in a form of oppression. So not only are you internalizing that oppression and being a victim of oppression, you're keeping the system of oppression alive by engaging in it. And it might seem innocent to say like, Oh, I'm just gonna, like, you know, not eat carbs for a while, like it can seem like a very, like harmless thing to do. And for so many people it's snowballs into take over your life, and causing a lot of mental emotional and physical harm. And I think a whole industry of dieting is just one large giant system of oppression and discrimination and a way to make money off of making people believe that something is wrong with their body. I love that Carol that was a great way

Cara 24:37
Yeah. Yeah,

Maddie Miles 24:39
that was perfect right there. Um, like, I like I don't know if it's the lag in like the system right now. But like, when I first asked the question, there was like, some wait time for you to respond. I was like, Oh, wait, no, she couldn't agree with bad guys, right. I was like, Oh, no.

podcast is gonna go this way.

Cara 25:01
No, that was awesome. Thank you.

Baldo 25:03
Well, just to mention something because we have a clinic here in Austin, it's a holistic clinic. And oh, yeah, we should probably explain. So, it's really interesting because like, sometimes we have clients, both male and female that are very, I mean, healthy looking and like fit. And they're still trying this new thing. And and then you worry about like, when does that like, when does that turn into? Well, men, this can be a dangerous thing, or is it just because no, we always have, we also have plenty of people that are just trying to optimize and get faster at this or get, you know, cut down to 5% fat, because that's the thing they want to do. No athletes, athletes come in and do that all the time. And we don't necessarily worry about that, because you're trying to, you know, compete and get every little edge possible. But all the people that are not athletes that are not that are just doing it, because that's the here the thing that they're here to do, when does it become something that you should worry about?

Maddie Miles 26:06
I think it's gonna vary from person to person. And, you know, I've lived in I want to preface this conversation a little bit. You know, I've lived in a recovered state for long enough to know that not everybody who engages in behavior changes around food is necessarily going to go down the rabbit hole of disordered eating, or a full blown eating disorder, I do know that there are certain people who have a certain relationship with themselves, and their mental health and where they're at in their lives, where they could just decide they're going to like, try whole 30 and not rebound into a bunch of binge eating after engaging in that around food.

Cara 26:56
However, as

Maddie Miles 27:00
I think that most people who engage in these types of behavior modifications around food and around exercise will engage in disordered eating behaviors, thinking that they're taking care of their health, but like, actually, are part of the diagnostic criteria for eating disorders. When I would say it would become a problem if, if so, you go over to your family's house, and they make a dinner and you don't eat the food there, because it doesn't fit your food rolls. Or you go to hang out with people and you bring your own food because their food is bad or not good enough for you. Or you start to skip out on social events, because you need to track your food or your you don't want to eat the food or you need to exercise. If you start noticing that your thoughts are becoming obsessive, and all consuming. If you start feeling really emotionally attached to your food choices, meaning you only feel good about yourself if you eat, quote, good foods or follow your food rules. And you thought about yourself, if you quote break a rule is really disordered and a sign that you you would benefit from getting some grounding. I would also say if you are really attached to your weight, if you're attaching your self esteem, your self worth to your weight, and you're feeling really insecure and struggling with negative body image,

Cara 28:35
that one also

Maddie Miles 28:38
is already on that slippery slope. But again, it's just taking over a large part of your life and your pursuit of thinness or health or fitness, whatever it is, is the driver of your life determining what you do how you spend your time. That to me is really really disordered and a good sign that you're probably struggling with disordered eating, if not a full blown eating disorder. Yeah, that's an awesome answer. I definitely remember being super sick. And that was like my entire life. And that's all I cared about, you know, and I planned my days around food. Um, and even there was like, multiple times where I was, quote, unquote, recovered physically, because, you know, my parents, I was still living at home at the time. You know, I was, I was sick, just you know, just in case I haven't released my personal eating disorder episode by this. By the time this one is out. I was sick from seventh grade until senior year of high school. So I was home during this entire time. So my parents are very proactive, and they're putting me in and out of different treatment programs. So I would always, you know, quote, unquote, be recovered by the time I got out of them because they made me gain the weight back but mentally I wasn't. And I'd get out and it's like, I was still everything was centered around food. You know, um, and yeah, so I mean, I think we should also make a note that you can be like at a healthy weight, but still have an eating disorder because it really comes down to like the mind, you know? Oh, yeah, 100% like, the whole time, I was struggling with bulimia, I was always seen as the healthy one. Because I was a quote, a healthy weight was the one ordering salad when everyone ordered pizza. And so from the outside, it was really easy for everybody just knew that I was the picture of health because thing to our society I was. But I was so sick and thinking that eating, I even really have a bone with the eating disorder, diagnostic criteria that you have to, at least for anorexia be under a certain BMI to be diagnosed. And I think that's really problematic and really fat phobic. Because I don't think that eating disorders are a body size issue. And you can't tell whether or not someone has an eating disorder by the size of their body. Except in of course, those extreme cases of anorexia where somebody is like, really, enunciate. But other than and those are guys are like, in the margins. Most people struggling with eating disorders don't fit our picture of what we think an eating disorder means that a lot of people don't realize they need help, or are struggling to struggle so long without getting the help that they really need, and struggle a lot longer. Yeah, I have a question for you that I thought of while you're saying that, um, and then I'll answer it myself afterwards. But did anyone and you kind of touched on it a little bit, but like, Did you get praise, when you're sick with an eating disorder I got praised for being thin, and, and, and, and, quote, healthy looking, you know, like the majority of the compliments that I got growing up, which massively contributed to the development of my eating disorder, where that I was so tall, and that I was so thin, you know, most of the praise that I received as a young girl was around what I looked like, you know, I was like, five, eight, by the time I was like, 13, I haven't grown much since then. But you know, I was really tall really quickly, and, you know, really thin. And that's all people ever commented on. And so it really just instilled and reinforced what I got from the media, from magazines, from TV from movies, that you know, being thin and pretty, is the most important thing a woman can be being fat is the end of your life being fat or ugly. And it just made me

Cara 32:51
so on thinking that I had to stay that way. And that people are looking and people. And so I better control what I look like. And I also didn't want to lose that admiration. Because again, it was like the primary primary source of praise that I got, like, my brothers were the really good athletes and the really good students. I was the sin pretty one. Yeah.

Maddie Miles 33:18

yeah. to. Yeah, to, like, answer that question myself. Um, I was totally crazed. And I felt like I my identity was almost attached to my eating disorder, especially in high school. You know, I got compliments all the time from you know, girls, like, Oh, I wish I was been Su, you know, even when I was stupid. I mean, it got to a point actually, where people stopped saying that when I was super, super sick. Um, but you know, there was that like, grace period, where it was like, I was still super unhealthy. But again, because you grew up in a society where, like, and it's getting better now for sure, than it was, you know, 10 plus years ago, but like, I mean, to be skin and bones, and have no, but our boobs was beautiful, you know? And so, you know, all these girls who are surrounded by me were like, Oh, we wish that we could do that, you know. And I grew up in a household where, I mean, my mom who was like, literally my best friend ever amazing. But she, I mean, she ate lean cuisines. So again, it's all these things that like, growing up, I didn't think like, Oh, I need to diet like, I didn't think that until I got sick with an eating disorder. But you know, subconsciously seeing the people in your life diet and care about like, What's going in and out of their mouths and like, having my grandma do Weight Watchers and like, we know, connecting food to points, like a point system, like, all of that impacted me more than I really realized. Um, and then, you know, I had a full on eating disorder. But yeah, I felt like my identity was totally attached. Like I was scared to let it go. I remember being weight restored. Um, gosh, I mean, my recovery was such a roller coaster up and down, but one of the times I was raped restored. Uh, I kept my clothes from when I was super second seventh grade. And this is I was still in high school, like, there was no way that I was going to fit back into that, but I just kept holding on to it as it's like, one day I would, you know, be able to fit back into them again or like, I just want I couldn't let go, you know, I couldn't let go of like, I had these forms from one of my inpatient programs, where we had to like, which I don't agree with this. And I think that's why I didn't recover this time. But they made us right out, like food plans, like we had, like, I'm just trying to remember it was like, at breakfast, like two circles for like, the fat, two circles for the grants if you literally were tracking your food. And, you know, because their mentality was like, well, we just need them to eat, you know, we just need them to gain it back. So anyway, I kept on to those papers, though, like I kept on to so many like memories, essentially, of like my eating disorder for so long. I had albums with like, pictures of like, me just taking pictures of my like, bones in the mirror. And it was so hard to let go of it. Because I felt like people wouldn't like me, which is like, so crazy to think about now that I'm recovered, you know, but I truly believe like, people aren't gonna think I'm beautiful. And people aren't gonna like me as I am not connected to this eating disorder anymore, you know? Mm hmm. Yeah. And I want to track back to like, you know, your mom eating lean cuisines and your grandma doing Weight Watchers. And it's, it's this is a it's hard to think that you could literally diet and think that you need to lose weight and try to lose weight your whole entire frickin life and not be cultural it culture is that's how pervasive weight, folks is this thinner is better narrative is that people spend their whole lives thinking that they need to pursue weight loss. And if they're not pursuing weight loss, they don't know who they are. Because they've been doing it their whole lives. Just like where you are struggling with this identity of, of the eating disorder and identity of thinness. There are people who might never develop, he literally spent their whole lives dieting, and can't even fathom what their life would be like if they didn't keep trying to pursue weight. And we're taught that our love ability goes down. If our weight goes up, he felt that way. Of course, I felt that way. Of course, people listening might feel that way. You know?


Baldo 37:37
I have a I have a couple of facts I want to judge as we finish up here and and maybe get an opinion. But I came up with some stats, doing some research with Episode 13% of women over 50 have a eating disorder, which I found it kind of surprising. Usually I find that people you know, as you age, I don't know how you feel like I'm more comfortable with whoever I am. But I you know, it's that was a surprising one for me. Eating Disorders also have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness with one person dying every hour. And it also says that only about 35% of people that have that have an eating disorder are are underweight. So a lot, the majority of people with eating disorders, that would mean are not underweight, or have maybe a healthy weight or maybe even obese. And and that's an interesting fact, for me. anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. And the thing, the one that surprised me the most or the one that doesn't surprise me, it's just the number was way too big. And and it's an intense fear that in the past decade, children admitted for an eating disorder have risen 119%, which is, which was interesting, has many more food options now. And if you think that if anyone had ever had like an eating disorder, because like, well, I'm gluten intolerance, I can't eat anything. And that got me there or any anything of that sort. It's just interesting that it has risen so much. And I'm wondering is like social media has anything to do with that?

Maddie Miles 39:17
I would think that it would have something to do two things. I think the two biggest contributing factors would be first and foremost, the rise of the so called obesity epidemic, which has increased our prevalence of weight stigma and us conflating weight with health and then also the rise of social media. Those two things I think would or would be why children are developing eating disorders at such a high rate. Yeah, so they're crazy. Those are insane stats. I did not vote. Then by 119%. I can say it's sad. It's very sad. So okay, before we conclude, just because Have a couple more minutes. Um, can you give us an overview of like, what your approaches to helping people overcome all of this? Because I mean, like, it's, it's tough, like I tell people, you know, I'm recovered, but it's it's something that I choose every single day, you know, like, I'm still waking society if anything, I think, you know, it's, it's harder now just because when I was younger and when I got 16 eating disorder, there wasn't social media, like I didn't have an Instagram, you know, I barely even had a phone night, like I had a phone, but it wasn't like an iPhone where I can just search up anything on Google, you know, search elbow or carbs bad for me, it was like a lot of just like, stuff that I just made up in my own head. And was, you know, kind of gathering from, you know, my mom and my grandma, and, you know, people around me, but,


yeah, I mean, I'm sorry, I just got on total tangent and like, a little bit of a brain fart. But, um, yeah, like, it's something that I choose every single day, you know, to keep working out and to, like, tune out all of the external noise. So what is your approach with people and, you know, helping them to overcome their current struggles and how to, like, maintain it, you know, because I think that's the hardest part. It's like, you get recovered, but you still have to, like, read all this stuff in the media and see it in the media, you know, and just be told on daily basis, like, if you're not cutting out carbs, something's wrong with you. Or if you're eating too much fat, like you're going to get back, you know?

Oh, oh, are you done? Are you there? It was breaking up a little bit. Yes, yes. I'm here. Okay. No, I got the gist of your question, though. How's my audio? Are we good? Yes, we're good. Okay. So, such a great question. And also, thank you for sharing all of those stats with us earlier. You know, they're in some degree, they're heartbreaking. But then at the same time, I totally, totally get them and understand them to my approach. It's a combination of a couple of factors. I think, a really unique part of my approach to helping people recover is really helping them understand the dominant narratives in society that have contributed to the development of their eating disorders. So really understanding fat phobia, really understanding what diet culture is really understanding the beauty myth, which is a term coined by Naomi wolf. And I think when you really start to realize that these problems, the stress you have with your feet, not just personal, they're also very political. real transformation occurs. And I think that's what leads to sustainable, sustained long term recovery is not only really dealing with all of the stuff on the micro level, dealing with your limiting beliefs, your fears, your negative self talk, that inner bully. The different traumas that you personally have experienced, whether that's capital T, or lowercase t trauma, understanding the environment in which you grew up, like how did your parents contribute to your beliefs about sin bodies and fat bodies, and good food and bad food, but then also really taking a look at the macro? And understanding that there are so many layers of our society that benefit from these lies about thinness and fatness, we have entire medical industries that are riddled with institutionalized fat phobia. They we have a medical system that has turned our bodies into something pathological into a, quote, medical problem is to be fixed, which I don't agree on. But I don't think we have cosmetic industry. Industry, we have diet pills, the pharmaceutical industry, we have bunnies we have, you know, all these different diet products and wellness, culture, products and things that all profit off of this cultural system. And it's deeply rooted in patriarchy. It's deeply rooted in white supremacy. It's deeply rooted in Protestant religious type of beliefs. And so when you really not only work on the map, world, your personal life and really understand the macro of it. That's my approach. It's a two prong approach. And I have found that by helping people deal with their inner world, doing the inner work, but then really getting world problems, not fighting against yourself, and you make peace with yourself, and you no longer see you as the problem, but these larger cultural systems as the problem And it just frees you up so much. There's so much personal power in really getting that you've been taught to hate yourself so that other people can make money off of you. And when you really see that and understand that, that anger within you, fuels your desire for free. Yeah, that's beautiful, a beautiful way to end. Because I mean, I, you know, I'm sure you've seen like, I've totally done the 360 with my page, and I focus on, you know, hormonal birth control and female hormones and just empowering females to learn more about our bodies just because we're not taught. So I get that, you know, that fire and that passion that you're talking about with, you know, the diet culture. You know, I feel it was like, What woman's health in general? But yeah, just seem like, we've kind of been lied to, and a lot of ways, you know, throughout our childhood, and, you know, our early adulthood years, wherever you're at. So that was a beautiful, beautiful way to end. And thank you so much for joining me, regardless of technical difficulties at the beginning, and

thank you for being the little guinea pig for this episode. But it was still an awesome episode.

Cara 46:17
Yeah, thank you so much. It was so great to chat with you. And, you know, I love what you're up to now being at that. And I would even argue that dieting is one of the things that messes up our hormones. Oh my gosh, it totally is. I hop on all the time. And I'm like, please eat carbs today. Females and eat breakfast. We need them for hormones. Yes, yes. It was so fun to chat with you. Thank you so much for having me on and letting me rant and rave about a subject in which I am so very passionate and it was great to chat with you. Thank you for joining. I love your passion. I love what you're doing. Do you want to tell people where they can find you on Instagram? Sure. Instagram. I'm at Karis kitchen care with the sea kitchen with the K and my website is also Kara's kitchen. dotnet. And they can also check out the love your Bod Pod for more eating disorder recovery. Goodness, it's the bomb. I've listened to it. Right. Thanks, Kara. Have a good day. Yeah, thank you so much, Madeline and boldo



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Host - Maddie Miles [@themaddiemiles]
Guest - Cara Carin Cifelli [@caraskitchen]
Podcast Production - Andy Havranek [@ajhavranekphoto]
Intro/outro - iamalex [@iamalex]

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Presented By: The How Do You Health? Network [@howdoyouhealth]

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