One Woman's Journey to Overcoming Long Term Disordered Eating with Robin Clare
Many individuals have lived experience or know someone who has lived experience with disordered eating at some point in their life. Disordered eating comes in many forms, such as addiction to the gym, purging, eating too few calories, and binge eating.
In this episode, Robin Clare shares her personal experience with her disordered eating and how it has affected her life. She also explains how she harnessed her inner power to overcome her fear with food and self-confidence and how she manages it daily. Robin also shares insight into what has helped her and her healing plan and offers advice on how to over disordered eating.
TODAY'S GUEST: ROBIN CLARE
> Who is Robin Clare and how she decided to write a book (02:10)
> What does suffering mean? And how you can use it to start healing from any addiction (06:05)
> How Suffering could look like. Robin shares her experience and what you can do to deal with it (15:19)
> What has been the biggest struggle for Robin since started healing her addiction? (21:14)
> The importance of keep working on your eating disorder or any addiction on a daily basis and what's a question you can ask yourself to overcome emotional eating (23:30)
E042: One Woman's Journey to Overcoming Long Term Disordered
[00:00:00] Amy: [00:00:00] Welcome back today. We're going to be talking about addiction and the truth behind this symptom, and what disordered eating is. Today I have with me, best-selling author recovery and writing coach and founder of Claire IDI and founder of Claire.com. Robin, Claire. Welcome to what we're not talking about.
Guest: [00:00:24] Thank you, Amy. I'm so excited to be here. To talk about disordered eating.
Amy: [00:00:28] Very excited to talk to you today. Now we're going to be talking about addiction and addiction is such a relevant topic today, especially because 2020 has been one crazy year, and we've seen a lot of anxiety and depression on the rise. And as we are going to be talking about addiction as a symptom, I think this is going to be a really.
Great conversation to talk about. So, before we really dive deep, I'd really love it. If you could [00:01:00] share a more about you Robyn and a bit about what brought you to this show.
Robin’s spirituality journey, and healing her disordered eating addiction.
Guest: [00:01:08] Yeah. So Just a quick background on me. I spent the first half of my career as a corporate warrior and twenty-five years in corporate. But, but during that time I had a very deep. Desire to understand spirituality and all forms of wellness. The weekends, I became a spiritual warrior and then eventually I wanted both to, I wanted to become my authentic self.
I chose to leave corporate America and I opened a few centers to, to support teachers of spirituality and wellness to reach their audiences. And then somewhere along the line. My guidance, my spiritual guidance said, what about you? You're the teacher, you're the author. Your, you know, you're the one that's supposed to be speaking, but throughout all of that, my corporate [00:02:00] career, my early.
Spiritual career in the community and through my profound career for channeling books, for the ascended masters, I had a deep, dark secret, and that was that I had. Food addictions. I had obsessive compulsive food disorder and bulimia for almost 40 years. And I knew, especially when I wrote my third book, which was about being in recovery, that I really had to come into recovery in order to actually stand, stand behind that book.
Robin learned a lot about writing her book on healing disordered eating with grace.
What I learned in writing my third book, feast and famine healing addiction with grace. Is that there's only one true addiction on the planet and that's to suffering. And then we choose our vice or substance or habit to perpetuate the suffering or to feel better about the suffering. And I'm not here to say that [00:03:00] alcoholism, gambling, porn, food.
You name it? Netflix is not an addition, an addiction. I'm saying it's a secondary addiction, but the primary addiction is to suffering. And until we surrender our suffering and welcome grace into our lives, in any form whatsoever people, guidance therapy. Groups, whatever it is for you, you will not be able to heal your suffering, heal the trauma.
And, and then when you do, do that, you will be able to return to what I call self-love, which is what we're born into when we arrive here.
What Robin realized about suffering and recovery.
Amy: [00:03:45] that's really beautiful. I I'd like to ask some clarifying questions because I, I can see what you mean, but I think a lot of people might need a little bit of clarification. So, when you talk about, we're an addicted to [00:04:00] suffering. Now, you said you came about that in your writings. Like how did that happen. How did you come to that realization?
Like what happened in your life that you were like, this is it
Guest: [00:04:16] Well, it really came to me in my life because I was writing this book for. Sophia. Remember I shared just a moment ago that I'm, I'm a channel for the ascended realm for the spiritual realm. And Sophia is she is what most people refer to as the Holy spirit. And she calls herself grace. So, whenever grace arrives in our lives it's, it's coming from the Holy spirit or, or Sophia.
And she just came right out and said that to me. That the only true addiction on your planet is to suffering. And I have to tell you, Amy, I haven't, there isn't one person that I've said that to who [00:05:00] really hasn't been blown away. It's a very simple statement. So, what, what is suffering right? Suffering is wallowing in our pain.
Suffering means that we are not doing whatever we need to do to feel better, to heal the traumas of our childhood, our teenage years, our adult years. Like we're just, we're not doing the work to heal our inner, our inner self, our emotions. Our thoughts you know, everything about us, we're just, we're just making ourselves feel better.
Suffering is a real problem with disordered eating. We aren’t meant to suffer.
That's why I said that suffering from disordered eating is the problem. And what we go after is healing the symptoms like we, we, we do, you know, potentially a really wonderful job of stopping drinking, but are we looking at why we were drinking in the first place?
Amy: [00:05:53] Yes.
Guest: [00:05:54] sure that people are doing that. I hope so. I hope, and I do think that people in [00:06:00] long-term recovery are doing that because it's the only way to sustain recovery is to really understand who you are and what influenced you and what experience, what traumatic experiences.
Here's a way to look at it. We're born into, self-love no question right where this little tiny soul being coming into this, coming into this little body. Right. And we're perfect. And we're wonderful. Right? And then we have parents, siblings, teachers, friends, media influences. They start to tell us that, you know, maybe we're not so wonderful and maybe they don't treat us bad.
We start to develop. A sense of self-loathing and if that self-loathing is not resolved, it morphs into suffering. And if you don't heal your suffering, then you're going to look for substances, vice. [00:07:00] Says habits that make you feel better from the suffering. And then once you decide, I no longer want to suffer, I want to surrender my suffering.
Feast or famine, why this phrase is important to surrending and disordered eating.
What does that mean? That's a big part of feast and famine. My book when surrendering, your suffering is required and what, we mean by that is that. You have, to know when you're ready to stop suffering. Let's say you, you, you have a drug habit. If you were just to say, God, I wish I wasn't doing drugs.
That's not surrendering. Surrendering is I am never going to do drugs again. I will, never do that. You know, with as much conviction as you can. Then you, then the universe knows that you have truly surrendered. And then what arrives for you is grace. And that grace can come in the form of reading an article.
That's going to help you or a friend [00:08:00] suggesting a therapist that might help you, or a friend suggesting that you come to group with them. Grace is around us 24 seven, just waiting to help us. We just have to be open to receiving it. That's another important tenet and feast and famine is that grace must be allowed.
Playing a role in our family can really incur suffering, but if you surrender, it’ll knock you over your head.
And what, we mean in the book by that is that sometimes we like being that, playing that role in our family. We're used to it where the, you know, the person that can't get their act together, or it gives us an excuse, not to work too hard or, or something. We kind of like being in suffering. And so, you may surrender your suffering, but you have to welcome the grace in it.
Doesn't just knock you over the head and say, here I am, you have to, you have to look for it and then take it in and use it.
Amy: [00:08:58] and that's something that can be quite [00:09:00] difficult for people who have a long-term history of doing things. Like my disordered eating. A certain way, in a way in which that they feel comfortable and that they can be in control. So
Guest: [00:09:13] Even if it's harmful to them. Right.
Amy: [00:09:16] Oh, absolutely. Yes. And I think that's this. I think that's what you're talking about a lot is that we like to sit in this position that is comfortable, but it is hurting us and that muscle in order to that, we need to build in order to change our circumstance.
That’s, a difficult thing. I know I struggle with it whenever I want to start a new habit or a new. Belief or something along those lines. Now, do you have any recommendations for people that are coming to realization that this is their next step?
What is Suffering, Robin explains.
Guest: [00:09:53] Yeah, I do want to, if you don't mind, I want to comment on something that you said first and that [00:10:00] is that, you know, suffering. Suffering is not a bad thing, per se. Usually we're suffering because we're PR where with our Eagle mind is protecting us from some situation in our life.
Either something that's currently going on or something that we're not ready to remember. And so, when we think of suffering, think of it as, it’s playing a role in your life, right? It’s, a part of you. It's a part of you that's suffering and you need to, when you go to look at, you know, why are you suffering?
You need to see it as that. It, played a role in your life. It, more than likely was protecting you from maybe childhood or teenage trauma that you just aren't ready to address. And, this is why I really recommend that people work with a [00:11:00] professional who can help them to look at the trauma, see what happens, see what the impact was.
And then ultimately see if this. If, it can play a different role in your life, like it doesn't need to protect you anymore. It can be used to perhaps give you it's such a powerful emotion. Maybe you say, would you like a new role? How about being the passion behind my success or help me to, to be a better person in relationship with my family and friends.
Right. Kind of give it something else to do other than to make you inaccessible to yourself and to others.
Why wallowing in self-imposed suffering with disordered eating is an addictive behavior. How surrending to yourself and your addiction helps move you in a more positive frame of mind.
Amy: [00:11:43] yes. And I think that it's great that you defined. Like what you meant by suffering. I think a lot of us like meet me as well is when I think of suffering, I go to like the worst-case scenario. Where it might not be necessarily [00:12:00] self-imposed
Guest: [00:12:01] Yes. Not definitely, not necessarily. Self-imposed and really the simplest definition that I could come up with was that you are wallowing. In your pain. So, while growing in your pain, isn't necessarily a bad thing either because you may not be at the point where you're ready to look at your pain, because if you're not wallowing, then your pain is right there in front of you.
Surrendering is required and grace must be allowed.
That's where we say you know, surrender is required and grace must be allowed because if you're not wallowing in your pain, it's going to come up. Come up for him. I always say it coming up to be looked at to be healed. And so, by staying in suffering, you sort of give yourself an out. For dealing with your trauma. Maybe that could be potentially a good thing for someone who's not ready, but if you're ready to look at your trauma and come back into self-love. [00:13:00] Come and, manifest the life that you most desire, because I don't think anybody's looking to manifest a life of addictive behavior.
I don't think that's when they do their vision board. I don't think that's what they're putting on there. Right? So, you have to be willing and able to look at the pain and you need to do it with a professional because people that are trained in this work. And if you can get through the pain, if you can begin to love yourself again.
Then you can really start to move in directions for your life that you didn't even know were possible.
Amy: [00:13:39] Absolutely. There's definitely a level of grief that is required when processing. Trauma that we really just underestimate the impact of, and I think it's very important that you pointed out that it's really integral that we go to train professionals to help us with this, [00:14:00] because it can, depending on your experience and your circumstance, it can turn messy really quick.
And you want to make sure that you have the best support.
Suffering from disorder eating as well as other trauma can get in the way of life.
Guest: [00:14:10] Also, I think that we tend to think when suffering is such a big word, right? It's such a, you know, it's a word that was used, you know, to talk about Jesus on the cross, right. It, it has it has a big connotation and sometimes the, things that we're suffering over, somebody else might look at them and say Wow.
Why are they suffering over that? Right? Or so, so it's really not about what other people think. How can I word that differently? The things that you're suffering over could be things that something someone said to you or something. So, here's a good example. When I was six years old. I was with my cousins and my brothers and my father had just washed his car [00:15:00] and there were little, little kid hand prints on the car and he was really mad.
And so, we lined us all up and we all had to put our hands on the car and my hands fit. But I know I didn't do that. I would know better than to do that. Touch my father's car, but I got punished and my mom said that I screamed. For hours and hours, I didn't do it. I didn't do it. You don't believe me? I didn't do it.
And somehow, I was embarrassed because it wasn’t me.
And somehow, I was embarrassed because it wasn't me. And somehow it created this energy for me of, of, you know, my dad not believing me, not trusting me, not being good enough, being humiliated, like all of these things that kept having this. This, this repetitive messaging, you know, I call them trauma patterns.
And so right. Someone could look at me and say, well, what's the big deal you had to go into timeout, or you had to go to bed for the day [00:16:00] in the afternoon. But for me, it kicked off a series of trauma patterns where I, where I. Became deeply afraid of being humiliated in public. And in fact, probably why I stayed in addiction for so long Amy, because I knew that I would have to go out there and talk about it.
Being afraid can stem from childhood.
And I was afraid. Right. I was afraid of, you know, being punished like I was then. Right. And, so we have like things that happened in our childhood that. Like that. And, and here's something I noticed about them and maybe true for others. These memories that are, that have a, have an emotional charge.
That's what my teachers in India used to call them and emotional charge. You think about them quite often in your life. Like they never go away. You ever noticed that, like, you'll be watching washing dishes or something or, or taking a walk and then all of a sudden, you'll think of [00:17:00] something that happened when you were eight. Right. Or 10 or 15, those are your emotionally charged memories. And that's why I'm saying, when you go and look at those with a professional, you'll see that there's a pattern of something that you want you to be really, truly your soul wants you to understand in this lifetime so that you can move beyond it.
Speaking from truth without fear of punishment.
So, for me, it was that I could ultimately. Speak my truth without fear of punishment, because when I was six years old, that wasn't true. And Right. And so that's why I'm saying there could be things that happen that like to, to somebody else they're like what? Get over that. Right. But for me, it's, it started a pattern.
And, and that's why I'm saying you need, you need someone who can see the [00:18:00] patterns with you of what's happening so that you can, you can move, you can stay, you can stay in surrender and you can stay in recovery. Someone who can recognize your disordered eating. And again, then. You can have, you know, really long-term health and wellness, which is so profound because then you can really come back and help others by speaking your truth or writing your truth.
That's what I do. I'm a writing disordered eating recovery coach. I help people to, to stay in recovery, through writing their story. And really removing a lot of the emotionally charged trauma onto pudding and taking it out of them and putting it onto the paper. And then if they're so, so desire, then we move into looking at if this is a publishable project, but the real, the real work is to, is to help them to recover through [00:19:00] writing.
Amy: [00:19:01] That's beautiful as a core tenant of therapy, like creating the narrative and learning to, or being able to observe and understand your past is so important to the healing process. So that's, that's great that that's what you're able to bring to your community.
How living in the past can affect your addiction.
Guest: [00:19:17] Yeah. And it's so interesting too. You reminded me of something that, you know, it's really important to review your past is just really not healthy to dwell in it,
Amy: [00:19:27] absolutely.
Guest: [00:19:29] because dwelling in your past, or being fearful of your future is, is not a place where you want to live. You want to, you know, live grounded and in the present moment.
And I think that's what the writing does for people is grounds them right there, because that's where they're typing or that's where they got their pen in their hand. Right. And you know, they're going back to retrieve memories. Or, or wishes for the future, but they're not, they're not getting stuck in either place in [00:20:00] regret of the past or fear of the future.
When they're writing, it's really very grounded in the present moment.
How has Robin’s healing journey affected her disordered eating addiction.
Amy: [00:20:06] that's awesome. That's great. Now, for, for your experience in your healing journey, what has been the biggest struggle for you when it has come to overcoming your addiction?
Guest: [00:20:20] Yeah, so it, it took me, I've been, I had been trying for like 20 years to move into recovery and. And it was interesting when I went to write feast and famine healing addiction with grace. I, the first time I wrote it, I was still in addiction. And I said, how, why am I writing a book on recovery?
I'm still in addiction. And Sophia's guidance to me was fake it till you make it. So, I got to the end of the book and I was still in addiction. And the end of the book became. Well, I hope this works for you. It didn't work for me, have a nice life. And I'm like, okay, I cannot [00:21:00] publish that. Right. So, I put it away until I, I could come into recovery now for me, I actually hit rock bottom.
The message Robin received about her disorder eating.
I had received a message from my grandmother in the spiritual realm that if I didn't stop doing the bulimia, I would die. And so of course I had to do it one more time. You know, like someone drinking their last glass of wine, right. And in that limbic episode, there was blood and pain and everything all over.
And for me, that hitting that rock bottom was like, I will never do this again ever, ever. And, but where I still struggle is interesting. Cause my addiction was. Addictive behavior was twofold. One, it was obsessive eating and two, it was the bulimia. Right. And so, I still struggle with the obsessive [00:22:00] eating, even though I just, you know healthily took off 25 pounds.
I still have to be very careful about what I buy at the store. Because I don't always know if I'm just going to keep going back to the kitchen. You know, it's hard, we're here so much right. In our houses. Oh, my goodness. You know, that's where we started the conversation in, you know, that we're all sort of grounded, grounded.
Not being able to leave our homes with disordered eating, during Covid, has made everything more unsteady.
Like can't leave our homes too much. And so. So, I have to be very careful about that. I have to really look at what am I really hungry for? Cause my mentors that said the most beautiful thing the other day, she said that when I obsessive only eat and I'm looking for sweets, I'm really looking for the sweetness of life. Not the sweetness of a cookie. Right. And so, I should, before I take a handful of cookies or one cookie, I [00:23:00] should ask myself, what can I do that would give me that sweetness of life? Can I take a walk-in nature? Can I call a friend? Can I read a good book? Take a bath, you know, whatever, whatever it is, you know, do something of nights for someone else.
You need to remember what you’re looking for, especially when you have disordered eating.
And she's like that, that you just have to remember that's what you're looking for. After 40 years of obsessive disordered eating it. It's a challenge still. That piece is still a challenge for me every day. The way that I get beyond that is to track my eating every day.
You know, I track my calories and see what I've eaten and how many carbs. And some people might say that's obsessive, but I'd rather have that obsessive this then, the disordered eating obsession.
Amy: [00:23:55] well, first of all, thank you for sharing that with me your disordered eating [00:24:00] and. Second. I think that's really great that you're able to see that because we're all, a lot of us are start off under the assumption that we arrive to this place of like, Oh yeah. And now we're cured. But a lot of the times, depending on what's going on, it might just be to a place of maintenance.
If it feels right, honor yourself.
I think something you said about like, you know, it might seem obsessive to some, but to you, it feels right. I think that's also really important because it really comes down to how you feel and how each individual feel in their healing plan. And I think that's really great. I just want to honor you for, for that.
Guest: [00:24:40] Thank you. I appreciate it. Cause it does make me I'm prouder of myself at the end of the day when I've completed that I use something called my fitness pal. And when I, when I complete that at the end of the day, I feel really good. I feel like, well, you know, in order to keep [00:25:00] to 1200 calories, which is, you know, what, what any person who's trying to lose a little bit of weight, you know, easily, you know, takeoff weight easily, slowly.
That's, that's the right number of calories. And, you know, to eat that you have to really pretty much eat pretty healthy, right? There's no, you're not, you're not, you're not eating, you know, pigging out when at 1200 calories. So, I know that at the end of the day, it makes me feel proud of myself that, that I've accomplished what I, what I intended to.
Amy Demone and Robin Claire wrap it up the discussion on disordered eating.
Amy: [00:25:36] and that's, and I think that's what matters the most. Isn't it? When it comes to that. Well, thank you so much, Robin, for sharing your story with us and your, the contents that's in your book that you've written now, before we head off, where can the nurse find you online?
Guest: [00:25:56] Yeah. Yeah. So, I wanted to share that [00:26:00] they can find me https://clare-ity.squarespace.com/ and on my website, there's a 30 minute free call that they can sign up for. If they'd like to just share their story with me or get some words of wisdom, I'd be happy to do that for them. I'm also offering I'm doing signed books of feast and famine for people to get, you know, get them to their loved ones or to themselves.
That's looking for inspiration to move out of suffering to grace. And so that's how they can reach me. I'm in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clareitybyrobin/?hl=en too. And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareityWithRobin
Thank you Robin so much for sharing with us your journey with disordered eating.
Amy: [00:26:43] wonderful. And I'll make sure those links are available in the show notes that you can get in the description of this episode. So, Robin, I'm going to use your words. Because I love this little term and I always get the experts to leave the [00:27:00] listeners with some words of wisdom. So, I'm going to let you share what you feel called to
Guest: [00:27:08] Thank you. I actually have something I'd like to read. And this is from feast and famine describing the path from, from suffering to grace. Imagine sitting on the floor of a dark room alone and in pain, this scene portrays what suffering feels like. The moment you find the courage to get up and look for the lights which you are in surrender.
When you turn on the light, you are filled with the light of grace. From here, you will find the door that leads you out of the dark room and back into self-love and ultimately into your divinely inspired life.