Midlife eating disorders are increasingly common in women. Some midlife women experience binge eating, compulsive overeating, food addiction or emotional eating. Others may develop anorexia or bulimia. Midlife eating disorders may lead to unhealthy dieting as a way to solve uncomfortable transitions in life, grief and loss issues or other stressors associated with aging. There are many causes of eating disorders in midlife that can include pandemic depression, menopausal changes in body image, perimenopausal depression or anxiety over the future.
In this podcast you will learn:
1. What are the causes of midlife eating disorders?
2. What does midlife eating disorder prevention include?
3. How does trauma impact midlife eating disorders?
Schedule a free consult to discuss your food and body image issues: https://findingyouranchor.as.me/consult
The Anchor Program is a 12-week non-diet program offering ONLINE group and individual sessions for the treatment of binge eating, emotional eating, food addiction and compulsive overeating. Want to learn more about the Anchor Program? https://AnchorProgram.com
Guest: Nicole Christina
Guest bio: Nicole Christna is the host of Zestul Aging Podcast, an interview show heard in 92 countries. She’s also a psychotherapist of 30 years, specializing in eating disorders. Nicole’s guests are change makers from a variety of disciplines; filmmakers, writers, advocates, poets, musicians, Arctic researchers, athletes and entrepreneurs, many of whom are experts in their fields. The Show has a humanitarian focus, and looks at the importance of leaving your own legacy. Leaving a legacy is a way of contributing to the common good, which has shown to have a significant impact on aging well. Zestul Aging is a media partner with the International Federation of Ageing, based in Toronto. Nicole is working on her first book: “Not Just Chaeng; How to Become a Great Podcast Interviewer”.
Guest podcast: https://www.mentalhealthnewsradionetwork.com/our-shows/zestful-aging/
Guest website: https://www.zestfulaging.com/
Welcome to the show today, we’re going to be talking about eating disorders in midlife. Now I know many of you may think about eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder as occurring in younger women, but that’s not always the case. So today I have a special guest on the show. Her name is Nicole Christina, and she’s going to be talking about eating disorders in midlife. Stay tuned.
Dr. Ross: Hello everybody today, I have a guest that I’ll be talking to. Her name is Nicole Christina, and she’s going to be joining us today to talk about eating disorders and post-menopausal women and how aging may affect the development or the perpetuation of eating disorders. So let me tell you a little bit about Nicole. She’s the host of Zestful Aging Podcast it’s an interview show heard in 92 countries. I’m not up there yet. I want to compete with you on that one. She’s also a psychotherapist of 30 years specializing in eating disorders. Nicole’s guest on her podcast are change-makers from a variety of disciplines, including filmmakers, writers, advocates, poets, musicians, arctic researchers, athletes and entrepreneurs. Many of whom are experts in their field. And her show has a humanitarian focus and looks at the importance of leaving your own legacy, leaving a legacy, which I’m big on is a way of contributing to the common good, which has shown to have a significant impact on aging well. So Zestful Aging is a media partner with International Federation of Aging based in Toronto. And Nicole is working on her first book. Not just chatting how to become a great podcast interviewer. Welcome Nicole. It’s great to be talking, working with you.
Nicole: Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Ross: You’re very welcome. So let’s start by talking about the recognition that many of the treatment centers are now showing an increase and post-menopausal women, or let’s just say older women who were coming into treatment for eating disorders. What do you know about that?
Nicole: Well, it’s really interesting phenomenon and I’m thinking specifically of Renfrew, which many people think is the gold standard for treatment. I don’t know if you would agree with that, but they have a lot of clinics throughout the country, and they’re seeing a huge increase in women over 45 and what we understand about that is that eating disorders have a way of taking hold during periods of great transition and or loss in our lives. That’s when they kind of creep in and provide a somewhat of a solution, to, to a problem, it seems like it’s a good solution. Unfortunately it has some pretty dire consequences. So we see many times women after 45 now really grappling with major adjustments and shifts in their identity so that maybe they were, you know, maybe their parents, the kids have launched. And this is a bit complicated with COVID, but the kids have launched. They may be starting to think about retirement. And you know, things just seem very topsy turvy if they have daughters, these daughters are coming into the bloom of their sexual prime just at the time that women are starting to look at their skin and say, Oh, that’s what crepey skin looks like. Oh, that’s what age spots look like.
Dr. Ross: So the mother is aging as the daughters are coming into their adulthood and that’s true. That’s can be very difficult. Yeah.
Nicole: It’s sort of a, you know, it’s like a bad joke, you know, that the universe is playing just as we may be feeling more invisible. You know, our daughters are feeling quite visible and quite, you know, hopefully confident
Dr. Ross: I’ve also seen women developing mid-life eating disorders who have, like you said, gone through a big transition. So for example, an older woman, who’s getting a divorce and
Nicole: I was just going to say that.
Dr. Ross: And maybe even the husband is leaving her for a younger woman.
Nicole: Oh my goodness. That’s that’s dynamite right there. I was gonna say, you know, there is now a phenomenon as you know, called gray divorce. And now what we’re seeing is middle-aged divorces and how it might go is a woman saying, okay, you know, I want to go travel. Pre COVID or I want to have some adventures. Now we may have some resources and time, and I’m looking at my partner and he wants to watch the history channel in his recliner and so there’s a mismatch there. And so, uh, you know, what people are saying is we raised our kids and I don’t want to. I don’t know what else we got left. And so now it’s a very prone time for divorce.
Dr. Ross: Are there any other factors that you are seeing in your practice with midlife women? I also have women who, who are going through menopause and just experiencing a lot of sadness and loss around the loss of their fertility. And you know, they’re not going to be having any more children. And as you say, they may be empty nesting. And also just sometimes that during menopause, many women will experience depression and anxiety, you know, hot flashes and even weight gain, which can then trigger eating disorders that they may have had when they were younger.
Nicole: Yes, I think that’s absolutely true. And then what we get into is I know I’m going to start going on a diet and we know eating disorders always, well, almost always starts with a diet, a well-intentioned diet, and then if they are successful in losing weight temporarily, the reinforcement is so delightful. You know, who doesn’t want to hear you? What are you doing? You look great. Are you doing keto? Are you doing this? How are you doing that? And then you have a person who, you know, through no fault of their own, wants to keep getting that reinforcement. And then all of a sudden they’re not eating carbs. They’re just eating kale smoothies. Then all of a sudden they’re not going every other week to yoga or the gym pre COVID or doing stuff on. Now, they’re doing it every day. And now the diet, whereas the, the woman might’ve felt in charge of the diet. Now things start to switch and the diet starts becoming sort of the meaning of life for them. And it’s so seductive because it’s so measurable that if you step on the scale, at least initially, you know, where else do we get this beautiful feedback that I’m successful? You know, most of our days are not, we don’t get kind of a report card. You did great with this patient, or you’re a great friend, you know, we don’t really get that tangible reinforcement. It feels great if everything is feeling topsy turvy to step on the scale, say, wait a minute, I’m down three pounds. And it becomes like this. It’s just undeniably sort of seductive that it can bring people in it’s measurable. And then, you know, you don’t have to think about your mortality. You don’t have to think about your aging parents. You don’t have to think about, you know, do we have enough set for retirement? So I always think about it as it’s an attempt to solve a problem. Unfortunately it creates larger problems of its own, but it’s such an elegant way to make your life small and manageable and controllable, especially when things feel so upside down as they, as they do now and as you pointed out.
Dr. Ross: On a broader, when we look at it, with a broader lens. How does the zest for living change in women? Do you think, as they get older, what, what you know, what changes in focus do we have, what changes in kind of a sense of meaning, I think is at certainly what I’ve experienced. You know, when you’re younger and your kids are young, it seems like your whole life is focused on your children. And many of us make the transition to having our children leave home, but may not necessarily make the transition to finding a new meaning for our lives or a new focus. Are you saying that as well?
Nicole: Yes. And that’s what this full aging is about is showing these examples of women who are experiencing just that they’re saying, okay, now what? And then they figure it out and it’s not necessarily a straight, graceful, beautiful line. It might be like, Oh, I tried that, that didn’t work. Oh, I stopped, you know, some of it’s you’re just stumbling upon things and then they feel fulfilled a deep sense of contentment. And that is about, you know, it’s not only aging, you know, some people say gracefully, but it’s really about longevity, but it’s, it feels good. It’s can you feel a sense of contentment and it’s not just sort of healthy aging in terms of your blood pressure but feeling like you’re participating in life, engaging in life. And there’s a lot of opportunity to do that. Now I will say that it’s not always comfortable. I mean, you can sort of have, as you pointed out empty nest syndrome and then really plateau for a while and say, I don’t even know where to start. It’s not always comfortable
Dr. Ross: And also when the kids leave home, it can change the dynamic in a marriage as well. So then, then you’re looking at your partner and thinking, Oh my goodness. It’s just him and me or her and me and like, is that okay with me? You know?
Dr. Ross: So how do people, how do you help people on your podcast and your show, make those kinds of transitions? Like, what are the ingredients you need to figure out? You know, like, you know, you’ve been doing this your whole life and now it’s like, Wait a minute, you know, do I still want to do that or it doesn’t feel as good to me. What are the things you you’re, you’ve been talking about around?
Nicole: Yeah, I think the short answer is trial and error and. Knowing that you’re going to have to pull up some courage because change is hard for everyone. And when you’re, and now we’ve got COVID right. And so we’ve got bodily changes. We’ve got emotional changes. We’ve got family changes, everything. There’s so many variables and it’s not going to often be for appealing to the people in my podcast. They, they, they struggled, they stumbled. They said this was the dumbest idea, and it got me into trouble, but it brought me to this point. So what I see as sort of you try something, anything just to try, and then you have a sense of humor about it and you know, it’s not going to necessarily feel like, “Oh, this is what I’ve been missing”. You may have to try a few things. You may have to try a watercolor class and say, “this is terrible I hate this”. And then you might try, I have a podcast guest who makes a knitted prosthetics for breast cancer patients. And this was she’s at rev, Washington DC. And her program is called Knitted Knockers. And then she went before, COVID she went to Sub-Saharan Africa to teach women to do this because they were being giving prosthetics where these heavy, rubber prosthetics, which they wouldn’t wear, because it was so hot. And so she with no language, you know, sat by these other women and they, she taught them how to make. That’s the prosthetics. Now that’s not something, you know, 20 years ago she said, I know what I’m going to do. It’s just one thing led to another, she herself had breast cancer and she thought, you know, these choices are terrible. I’m a knitter. I’m going to do better and come to find out her community needed it. So she sorted organize it.
Dr. Ross: That’s pretty cool.
Nicole: That’s pretty cool.
Dr. Ross: I think I want to get back to the what you said earlier about talking about how eating disorders or going on a diet sometimes as seen by people as a solution to a problem or unconsciously as a distraction for a problem. And you know, sometimes people think, Oh, this is a good idea. I’ll just lose some weight and I’ll feel more invigorated. And of course it can, it’s particularly in vulnerable individuals and who are those vulnerable individuals? You know, women who’ve had an eating disorder when they were younger. It’s certainly one group, women who have had you know, traumatic experiences and so on, but they’re not realizing that the solution of losing weight, won’t fix their marriage and won’t fix their loss of meaning, et cetera, et cetera. So what are you seeing in terms of that use of dieting and weight loss as a, as a solution to a problem? That’s not that problem.
Nicole: I know that you’re very familiar with the research, but you know where it’s not a, it’s not a mistake that we believe if we lose weight, we’re going to be more lovable, more sexy, more desirable and happier. This is sold to us again and again, and it’s culture so don’t have TV, they have low rates of eating disorders. And then like in Fiji you get some TV going, some Western TV and then lo and behold people say, that’s who I want to look like. And then naturally thin woman. So, you know, certainly it is really reinforced by the society, but it’s such an elegant solution. And maybe it sounds funny to your listeners to hear me talking about it, like a weirdly positive way, but that’s how it’s perceived when you’re getting involved in it. It’s like, boy, this solves a lot of problems. And the idea that, you know, people will reinforce that for you, your, your, your partner may say, wow, what are you doing? You look great. And it’s just something that is so simple and clear, and it kind of has becomes to have a life of its own and then your friends say I want to do what you’re doing. You look great. So, um, yes, they’re vulnerable because you know, some women, this may be a recurrent eating disorder that they had maybe resolved somewhat, but I think truth be told, and it’s a sad fact that many, many women, uh, who, who are just on the street that we would, you know, pull on the street are actively participating in what we would call a subclinical eating disorder, meaning that it hasn’t reached, you know, he could, we could diagnose it, but they are maybe cutting carbs. Or maybe they’re not eating when they’re hungry or maybe they’re eating, you know, Eating when they’re not hungry to help them soothe, maybe their nighttime. I mean, there’s, there’s an off, there’s a norm of disordered eating that’s reinforced in our culture.
Dr. Ross: And I think there’s a really a normal body dissatisfaction.
Dr. Ross: So many women have been you know, educated by the media to be unhappy with their bodies.
Nicole: That’s what makes money.
Dr. Ross: I mean, nobody’s gonna, uh, you know, start a diet unless they are unhappy with how they look and that’s where it all starts is that level of unhappiness. And of course, I think it’s really one of the things that’s unique to women is that our body’s changed so much over our lifespan. You know, just like, man, we go through puberty, but then, you know, your body changes when you have a baby or when you have two or three babies and then your body changes as you get older and so on. And the changes can be really dramatic and sometimes difficult to accept, you know, like you may have been thin your whole life. And then as you go through menopause, suddenly you gained 20 pounds and weight.
Nicole: And what does that mean to you? And what meaning do you ascribe to? Okay, now I’m 25 pounds more. Does that mean I can’t play tennis? Does that mean I can’t walk? Does that mean I should be ashamed or is, you know, am I able to do what I want to do and is my body is my blood pressure fine? Is my sugar level fine? I mean, there’s so much. And this whole BMI thing is also a really difficult because people focus on BMI, which was never meant to be used in the population to look at, you know, healthy weight ratio. So there’s a lot of misinformation out there and, you know, you see on social, uh, Facebook. Oh, let’s do a cleanse. Well, that’s why we have major organ is to cleanse.
Dr. Ross: That’s why we have a liver. That’s why we have a liver cleanses us.
Nicole: Exactly. But it’s so when you’re, when you’re struggling and you’re feeling vulnerable and you don’t feel like your identity is solid, it’s like it’s so easy to fall into that. Hey, that sounds like a good idea because now like.
Dr. Ross: Don’t you think it’s also kind of a call to adventure as well? Oh, I can go on a diet. People get so excited. Like it’s a big adventure to go on this nude. I’m going to try the keto diet or I’m going to, you know, do one of the gazillion other diets. And I see so much like excitement and some in some ways it’s a way to. You know, get out of the boredom that you’re experiencing in your life. Oh, this is my adventure, rather than maybe a different kind of adventure, that could be more meaningful like, changing my career or, you know, going back to school or something else.
Nicole: Or trying a new, a trail or something. Yeah. You know, I just wanted to come back to this financial thing. Because when Oprah invents vested in Weight Watchers many people were disappointed, uh, because she’s been sort of pro you know who you are, but it was one of the best financial decisions she’s ever made because weight Watchers has so many return customers. So it’s really the perfect. If you want to invest in stock, you want to have customers coming back can then people who are, you know, weight neutral clinicians will say like, if it works so well, why do you have to keep doing it over and over again? So the money is even hard to comprehend the billions of dollars spent on losing weight and.
Dr. Ross: Some diet officials were quoted as saying just what you said that this is a good financial bet because people blame themselves when they regain the weight. And then instead of blaming the diet, which they should or dieting in general, which they should good, they blamed themselves. And the industry executives know that they’re going to come back to dieting again and again, and again. Because they, until they, you know, maybe are in their sixties when I get them, or sometimes in their twenties, that they’re very conscious and realize that diets just don’t work when they get to that point. I think that’s a great place to work on treating an eating disorder. But for many people it takes them decades to get their decades of struggling.
Nicole: And they may never, you know, get there. I remember my grandmother when she was in her seventies, she grew up in Brooklyn and so I used to bring her deli. And so I bring her, you know, uh, sandwiches, pastrami or whatever, and she would take off the bread. This one was 75 years old and she said, bread is fattening. And I think to my thought to myself, that’s what you’re worried about. You’re 75. You can’t have a sandwich because you’re worried you’re going to gain weight. I mean, that just seemed, you know, I was young at the time, but it really struck me like, something’s really wrong here.
Dr. Ross: I agree.
Nicole: That you’re worried about that your age for all you’ve been through, you’re worried about, and I know you love rye bread.
Dr. Ross: I think that’s true. I think one of the things that makes me so angry about the diet industry is that it robs women in particular of decades of their life, energy, their psychic energy. I have, you know, I often ask my clients, how much of your time and energy do you spend on. You know, thinking about food, thinking about your body, thinking about the diet, et cetera, et cetera. And at sometimes it’s, uh, it’s like 90% of their time. I mean, I just imagine being human capital that we’ve lost in this country because women are so obsessed with food and their bodies and it’s. It’s sad. You know.
Nicole: I’ve had that very similar and it’s fair. It’s heartbreaking. I remember a woman. I live, in my, I work near Syracuse University, so I get a lot of students and faculty, but I remember this was 20 years ago. I got, I was working with a grad student and she was extremely talented and producing some, you know, really highly regarded work and she was fighting herself about bingeing. And so we were looking at it. What does it mean? What does it like, what does it do for you? And she said, you know, what people don’t understand is that when I’m writing a piece of work, I have to be jamming cheerios in my mouth, or I just can’t work. And, and what people don’t understand is I’ve binged to survive. It’s not something I think about like, Oh, I think I, you know, would like some Cheerios now it’s unconscious and it comes from a deep, deep need. And it’s it’s it’s so it’s so powerful and as you, I said, really robbed her of her ability to give fully of her talents and skills, which were huge, but you know, her need to also be bingeing while she was working or thinking about bingeing while she was working is, uh, you know, that is really disabling.
Dr. Ross: Yeah. Well, as you know, I talk a lot about, uh, eating disorders and their relationship to trauma, individual and intergenerational and so on. So I’m just thinking about the kinds of traumas that many women are experiencing in mid-life you have any, any comments about that?
Nicole: Well, you know, I, I’m not sure about. I’m going to come back to that. But I want to say that now, when I see students coming from the university or high school students, I never used to do this on intake. Now I have learned to say, have you had any experiences of nonconsensual sex? Because so many women were saying yes, and I thought I’m missing some really important data here. So now I just automatically say, you know, what is that been like for you? And nine times out of 10, they say, well, it wasn’t exactly right, but it wasn’t right either.
Dr. Ross: I love the New York times article that came out where they interviewed both male and female about what consensual sex means or how do you define it and how do you find rape? And it was so interesting and I’m a mother of sons, so, you know, I don’t have a daughter, but I have a granddaughter and I sent her that article. And they were talking about how many men are now. And I sent my sons the article and it we’re talking about how many men are now realizing that they have coerced sex, even though maybe it didn’t meet the technical definition of rape, but it wasn’t something that the woman truly wanted, which left a mark on them. And how many women say that they just gave in because they didn’t want to argue or they didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. It’s, it’s a very troubling situation.
Nicole: You know, um, that’s the subject that I just find so interesting and I had Peggy Orenstein on she’s the author of boys and sex, and her whole thing is about consent and what she found interviewing, I think they were 16 to 22 year olds throughout the country. Is that these good boys, that we would never imagine would be sexually aggressive, are just doing what they think they’re supposed to do. And consent is like the bare minimum. It’s not even about, you know, do you want to do this? Do you want to do that? It’s like, is this okay? You know, we could do a lot better.
Dr. Ross: Or can I get away with it. You know, there’s a bunch of high profile cases of young men having sex with women who were passed out drunk. That’s a pretty common one where obviously you cannot give consent. So, but when we look at the other end of the spectrum, I know I see women whose parents are going to assisted living. I’ve had patients whose parents have died through the COVID epidemic and obviously, and they weren’t able to be with them. Sometimes funerals were video funerals. They couldn’t even have a funeral because they couldn’t travel. If the, if the person lived in another state and I’ve just, you know, hear a lot about, also the relationship that changes as women age between a woman and her mother, you know, how some of the fractures in the relationship get worse as the woman ages. And I think those can be traumatic and in a different way, they definitely can be stressful in a different way than you know, say something that’s an obvious big teeth. What we used to call big teeth trauma.
Nicole: Well, you know, it’s interesting that you bring that up because the other thing that people are talking about with COVID and a political nightmare that’s happening is ambiguous losses. And those are the little losses that like, well, I don’t think, you know, I’m in New York, New York spiking. I’m not going to go to the grocery store. To get, you know, the freshest, whatever every day, I’m really gonna try to, um, you know, decrease any kind of possible exposure. So there’s these losses, every single place you go. I can’t, you know, I, I would usually have a friends giving with some of my buddies. We’re not doing that because we want to be careful. And so. Every single place now with COVID, there’s a little loss that just doesn’t seem so bad, but then when you add it up, you see, wow. Like I can’t even, you know, pass a dog walker on my street without giving them a wide Burr, the six foot eight foot, you know? So there is this sense that not only, you know, might they have big teeth trauma in terms of a gray divorce, in terms of strain, parental relationships, the, the whole thing about the death, the COVID all this and their kids may be struggling. The economy’s all whacked out. You know, there’s a lot also, there’s this whole thing about the election and whose side are you on? And that’s become so painful for people who are already stressed out about going home for Thanksgiving. Now we add the food, the drink, the family relationships and the election. So it’s just rife with, you know, uh, tension and stress.
Dr. Ross: But I think there’s also particularly for black indigenous women of color. This I know for myself. You, you watch my Ted talks, you know, little bit of my history, but I know for myself that the protests and the murders of young black men and women have really triggered a lot of past trauma in those of us who grew up under, you know, the systemic racism that we have in our country. And just, I know I was doing pretty well, you know, I, I don’t watch the videos, honestly.
Nicole: I don’t either.
Dr. Ross: I can’t bring myself to.
Nicole: I can’t either. I did not watch.
Dr. Ross: But I’m doing pretty well with understanding what happened to George Floyd and then, you know, Ahmed Albrey and Yana Taylor and so on. And then this young kid in Aurora, Colorado, where I used to, I used to live in Denver or its suburb. And there was a story about a young kid whose was a massage therapist. Not threatening at all looking, you know, a small guy went to the grocery store to get his little brother an ice tea or something, some kind of drink and was killed on the way he stopped by the police. And they, you know, detained him, threw him on the ground. And he in a similar fashion to George Floyd, he was murdered.
Nicole: I can’t even imagine.
Dr. Ross: And that’s where was the breaking point for me.
Nicole: Yeah I see
Dr. Ross: I saw that kid and I just thought, how can this be? Because he is he’s, uh, you know, I look at him and I don’t feel threatened I, you know, I wouldn’t feel threatened walking along a dark street if he came by, how is it that the police would kill someone like that? Who has, there’s no suspicion that he’s done anything wrong. No one has called them to. You know, and that I woke up crying the next morning with that. And so I think a lot of women of color are experiencing some of these same experiences, uh, and that’s stressful and can cause that emotional eating, which then, you know, leads to some weight gain and then leads to the next diet. And you know, et cetera, et cetera, along with the 15.
Nicole: Yeah. I mean, I, I, you know, as a woman of privilege and I’ve talked to, uh, I had a podcast guest on and we talked about like, you know, with wanting to, to call out this incredible systemic racism and also being acutely aware that we’re two white privileged women and just kept, you know, kept saying, this is, this is what we see, you know, where, what is our role? How can we help? All the while knowing we will never know what it’s like to send our child to the grocery and, and, and be wondering if they’re going to be safe. We just, just because they’re black and I just have chills. It’s, you know, I have a son and, um, and sometimes. You know, I, I worry about him because he can be a little bit, what’s the word provocative and he doesn’t, you know, like if someone gives them a hard time, he doesn’t know when to back down and I think this is going to end badly, but that’s a white kid. Uh, and I, you know, I just have to say that I I’ve given that thought and I, uh, I just don’t know how. Anybody could not be traumatized, just walking around as a person of color right now, particularly given what we’re hearing, um, from the, uh, outgoing president.
Dr. Ross: Yeah. Wow. Well, I don’t want to leave on that note. I do a lot of this work and you know, it’s, it’s difficult, but I feel like. Um, as we talked about getting older and, and your mission and meaning changes, um, you know, I I’m one of the co-founders of a group called the Institute for Anti-Racism and Equity in Mental Health. So we’re doing a lot of consulting work with, uh, different organizations, including a public defender’s office in Arizona, which was really interesting. And, uh, so, you know, I feel like it has actually been a new career path for me as I’ve gotten older, still seeing patients still, you know, I have the online program, the anchor program for binge eating and food addiction, emotional eating. But I think this is also something that’s very near and dear to my heart. So it’s an it’s evidence that you can find passion without dieting, you can find excitement and adventure and passion, even if it’s an offshoot of your normal career. Right?
Nicole: Absolutely. And I imagine 10 years ago you would have thought, I know I’m going to do something with mental health and racism. I mean, things present themselves and you think, you know, what I think I would like that. And then you just go bit by bit, and then when you hit a wall, you say, let me try something else. And then you meet people or like-minded, you know, you don’t have to force it, but I do want to sort of have this, this idea that it’s not necessarily gonna come to you like this apifany you may have to kind of, you know, muddle around a bit. I mean, that’s.
Dr. Ross: I think that’s one of the advantages of one or the opportunities of being quarantine, at least for me has been that it’s slowed my life down. I’m not like constantly going, going, going, you know, driving here, driving there, going to work here. And because of that, you know, I, now I don’t have children at home. So I’m not talking about you, mothers who are homeschooling and becoming teachers.
Nicole: Oh, Oh my goodness.
Dr. Ross: I couldn’t do that every day.
Nicole: I just could not either.
Dr. Ross: But if, you know, if you don’t have kids at home, it gives you that opportunity to kind of slow down and in slowing down, often ideas do come to you more clearly and easily. And I think rather than forcing yourself to do something like. I have to do something, which then I think leads to these, you know, uh, diets and some of the other stuff we try that doesn’t really solve the problem. Uh, just having some reflection time, you know, walking in a park and you know, you can social distance if you’re walking outside.
Nicole: Oh, you’re speaking to the, they’re singing to the choir. I mean, it would going outdoors is so good for our mental health and just the light and any kind of nature plugs into, you know, our brain, um, and in very good ways. So I can’t agree with you more well. I’m really happy to to discuss these important issues with us. Do you have any last minute words of wisdom on eating disorders in midlife?
Nicole: I guess what I would say is, you know, If you can’t accept that it’s a rocky time. And if you can be patient with yourself and say, I’m going to figure it out, but right now I’ve gotten my kid out. I’m not so sure about my partner. My job is winding down. Things are going to be tough and I would just suggest that, what are the ways that bring you comfort? Um, you know, we talked about some quietness. We talked about nature. We talked about walking. What, what makes me tick? What did I use to love to do? I mean, I’ve always loved to be crafty, so there’s no surprise. I’m a knitter, right? I mean, I, you know, starts young and just experiment and know that everybody else is going is having similar, you know, uh, feeling. And you’re not alone and there’s a lot better, more nourishing ways to take care of yourself through these transitions than just eating kale. Yeah. I’ll leave it at that.
Dr. Ross: Okay. I love that. That’s a great ending. Thank you so much.
Nicole: It’s been my pleasure.
Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed my guests, Nicole Christina, and I will be putting links to her podcast and to her website in the show notes. So if you’re looking for more information, just look at. Look below in the show notes. Secondly, um, please leave a review for the podcast so we can help get the word out. Five stars always works. And then finally, next week I will be coming to you with yet another guest. This is will be with a Zuora Monya who is the author of the new book fullness. And she’ll be talking about her struggle with an eating disorder. See you next time, Dr. Carolyn signing off. Okay.