This week on the Healthy Mamas Podcast we sat down with Megan Stevens and had a fantastic conversation with her on losing control with disordered eating and learned more about her journey and feelings.
We also sat discussed binging and purging, obsessively working out, self advocation, integrative doctor care, and stress management. It’s a jam-packed and emotional episode.
I do want to ensure that before you start listening to Episode 4 of the podcast, you understand that this absolutely requires a trigger warning.
In case you are triggered by eating disorders or disordered eating, that is the topic of this episode of the podcast. So if this is something that is going to harm you in your recovery, or you have some post-traumatic stress from it, please feel free to skip this episode.
One Episode 4 of the Healthy Mamas podcast, Monica, My co-host and I interviewed Megan Stevens, who also happens to be Monica’s sister.
Speaking to Megan was eye-opening and we had the opportunity to really delve deep into who Megan is, her experience with disordered eating, how others reacted to her disordered consumption of food and more. The entire conversation was incredibly eye-opening, especially for those of us who have had similar experiences.
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Episode 4 of the Healthy Mamas Podcast
In Episode 4 of the Healthy Mamas podcast, we had a very in-depth conversation about several things. Megan was extremely open with her answers and the conversations we had are a must-listen.
Who is Megan, what are her interests?
Megan is actually Monica’s (my co-hosts) younger sister. She resides in San Diego and in her spare time, loves to be outdoors. Megan likes to go by the beach, go hiking, and enjoy picnics with her friends.
When it comes to food, Megan also said she really enjoys Mexican food and has been making a lot of burrito bowls at home because they are so easy. She also spoke about her big love for Italian food, a love that she shares with Monica.
Music plays a big part in Megan’s life. Listen to find out what her favorite playlist on Spotify is.
How old was Megan and where was she in life when her journey with disordered eating began?
Megan too the time to explain to us when her disordered eating began and what age and stage she was in during this time.
It was eye-opening to discuss this with her as she told us a lot about where she was in life and what she believes to have been the catalyst for her disordered eating.
What losing control feels like and how it triggered the beginning of her struggles with food.
Megan discussed with Monica and I, what she feels triggered her struggles with food. She goes on to explain that there was an absolute sense of losing control over other aspects of her life, and that she didn’t truly realize that there was a specific trigger like the one she experienced, until later in life and looking back.
Obsessively working out, calorie counting, repeated check-ins on the weight scale, the size of skinny.
We asked Megan some tough questions and got some very real answers. Megan explains that her entire journey was different over all and that things changed throughout.
When Megan started out she was a very active person, but when the disordered eating started she did end up working out obsessively most days of the week for hours at a time.
She also explains that the calorie-counting was extremely out of control and goes on to tell us just how little she was eating when it came to calories, how often she would check her weight and what the definition of the size of skinny was at that time.
What did a day of binging look and feel like during and after? Cheat days, sickness, starvation, and compensation.
Megan told us about what it was like on her cheat days where she would binge eat whatever she wanted. She spoke about how those days were scheduled, how they would make her feel and then how she returned back to counting calories and excessive workouts after that day was through.
Physiological health and mental health issues that arose from binging and purging.
Megan discussed with us the physiological health and mental health issues she experienced as a result of her disordered eating.
It was somewhat scary to hear of some of the things that occured, but it was also very important and helpful to be givin the opportunity to learn about someone else’s very personal journey.
What did family intervention look like? Ultimatums, therapists, nutritionists, meditation, mindfulness, etc.
It is no surprise that Megan’s family absolutely wanted to intervene on her disordered eating and it was very interesting to gain some insight into how they intervened.
Megan’s story made it very clear that not all families will respond to disordered eating and mental health in the same way, and that there are some important things that you can do if you have someone in your life that needs help or intevention.
We also discussed, the value of a nutritionist, meditation and mindfulness.
What college and her social life looked like as a result of this. Social anxiety, diminishing self-esteem, and loneliness triggers.
Talking to Megan was very interesting when it came to how her disordered eating had changed her social life, how it impacted her schooling and how it contributed to her anxiety and self esteem.
Megan also spoke about her lonliness triggers and how that impacted her disordered eating futher. The insight I gained into her life was so beneficial.
A second round of interventions and how it looked different than the first.
When Megan experienced a second round of inteventions, they looked quite different than the first round. There were so many resons for that, and it was so great to hear how they helped her on her journey.
Returning back to “normal” eating instead of starvation mode and what that looked like.
It wasn’t an easy journey for Megan to start making positive associations with food. Especially as she was so used to her body being in starvation mode.
Megan described in great detail what it looked like to return to healthy habits.
An integrative doctor’s approach to treating her, what it felt like to be heard/understood and finding a therapist she actually loved.
Monica found Megan an integrative doctor, which means the doctor was an MD but also worked in natural medicine as well.
Seeing a doctor and a therapist that actually listened is what gave Megan hope. She felt as she truly clicked with both the therapist and the doctor. Once she was taken seriously and felt as though the doctor actually cared it made a whole lot of difference.
What did treatment look like and how has it changed over the years? What other types of health issues did you discover you had as a result of your eating disorder?
Megan took the time to describe what treatment looked like for her with her new doctor and therapist.
We also found out more about the health issues that Megan was facing as a result of her disordered eating. Hearing her list them off was actually quite eye-opening.
How making the decision to change really does come from within.
This is incredibly true for many situations. It is harder to make a change that you don’t want to or are not ready to make. Megan touched on this in our conversation and the things she said were so true and relateable.
Date around before choosing a therapist to work with. It’s not a one size fits all approach.
Megan discussed with us how many different therapists she went to see before she finally found one she clicked with. It was interesting to hear how things changed when she found someone that clicked with her.
Is disordered eating life long? Do you consider yourself healed? How do you manage whatever it looks like now and what does a “bad day” look like now?
Megan explained how her journey is still on going and tol us what it looks like now when she has a bad day. It is important that you listen to this part yourself as it is so personal and I will never be able to put it into words as eloquently as she has.
Stress/anxiety management techniques, mindset, toxic people, etc.
The techniques that Megan shared with us were fantastic. She also discussed how mindset and toxic people can play into stress and anxiety. It was so educational to hear her thoughts and ways she deals with her stress and anxiety.
What would you tell someone right now who is losing control with disordered eating?
When asked what she would tell someone right now who is experiencing something similar to what she went through her response was engaging. Again, this is something that you will have to listen to yourself as it was deep and personal.
We hope you got some important information from this episode of The Healthy Mama’s Podcast. We really enjoyed having a discussion with Megan and appreciate all her openness along the way. Sharing her journey with us couldn’t have been easy and we are so thankful for her being so open.
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If you are struggling with mental health issues, disordered eating and more there are some important resources I have listed below for you to use.