May 6, 2018 By Leanne Vogel October 17, 2018
Interview with Kellie Foster, chatting about how to differentiate between a binge and a cheat meal, common binge triggers, how keto influences bingeing, and so much more.
For podcast transcript, scroll down.
Leanne Vogel: You’re listening to Episode Number 84 of the Keto Diet Podcast. Today, we’re chatting about how to differentiate between a binge and a cheat meal or day, common binge triggers, how keto influences bingeing, and so much more.
The show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e84.
Two really cool things is first, I’m going back on tour, you can head on over to KetoDietBook.com/tour to see if your city is on the list and to RSVP, and I cannot wait to meet you.
Second really cool thing is that I have put together a really awesome HealthfulPursuit.com/sugar. I’ll also include that link in the show notes, too.
Okay, let’s do this thing.
Announcer: Welcome to The Keto Diet Podcast. The show all about keto for women, so you can burn fat, balance your hormones, heal your body, quickly adapt to ketogenic diet, avoid common struggles, and get the results you crave.
And now, here’s your host, you might know here as the Keto Queen. She’s the international best-selling author of The Keto Diet, Founder of Happy Keto Body, and she loves dipping pork rinds and avocado oil mayo…Leanne Vogel.
Leanne Vogel: The podcast is sponsored by the following awesome brands. Can’t find the links? Check out the show notes of today’s episode.
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Today’s guest is Kellie Foster, she’s a 26-year-old nuclear consultant living and working in Toronto, Canada. Kellie gained a significant amount of weight during her first semester of university, and after yo-yo dieting her entire life, she turned to a low-carb, low-fat diet. While she lost a significant amount of weight, her calorie restriction and macro tracking consumed much of her life, and she later developed a binge eating disorder.
In the summer of 2015, Kellie met a CrossFit coach who recommended keto to help support her workouts and nourish her body. Kellie lost 100 pounds while following ketogenic diet and maintained her weight for over a year. She’s now working on her overall health and fitness goals, making her relationship with herself the focus in an effort to heal her relationship with food. And she shares her experience on her Instagram and YouTube accounts.
Now, massive trigger warning, we’re gonna be chatting all about bingeing, so if the conversation of bingeing doesn’t work for you and makes you feel kind of yucky, I would just skip today’s episode and we’ll see you next time.
Hey, Kellie, what’s up?
Kellie Foster: Hi. Not much, how are you?
Leanne Vogel: I’m so good. Thanks for coming on the show.
Kellie Foster: Thanks so much for having me. I’m so, so, so excited to be here.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I’m excited to have you. And for listeners that may not be familiar with you, why don’t you start off by telling us a little bit about you?
Kellie Foster: Sure. My name is Kellie Foster like you’ve already said, I’m 26 years old, I live in Toronto, I am a chemical engineer by education. And I’m currently working in nuclear consulting. I lost 100 pounds following a keto diet, and I’ve been maintaining that for about one and a half years now.
I’ve been sharing my journey on Instagram, and it started out being all about keto. And over time, I transitioned into making YouTube videos as well, and as my journey progressed, I think what I’ve really started to embody as my journey progressed is really just focusing on spreading positivity and self-love and empowering other people. So as I’ve progressed in my journey, I think that that’s been evident in my social media as well.
Leanne Vogel: I love it. And what does keto mean to you? I’m guessing that means something different now than it did before.
Kellie Foster: Absolutely. Something that I say quite often, actually, is about finding your keto. I think that everyone ketos a little bit differently, there’s a lot of different things like macro tracking and some people eat dairy, some people don’t, some people eat a little bit higher carb. To me, keto is low-carb, high-fat, tracking macros, and really just … It’s hard to pin it down because it’s so many things, but it’s really just something that changed my life.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Me too. Me too.
So today’s episode is all about bingeing. Let’s chat a little bit about your history with bingeing if you’re cool with it and kind of how it all came about and the struggles that you had in that space.
Kellie Foster: Definitely. So I think the first thing to say is that I sort of have two bingeing stories. And one was pre-keto and was actually very recent, so post-keto. I think I’ll start off with the pre-keto.
Essentially, just a very long story short, I was overweight for basically my entire life. Went on my first diet when I was, I think, 12 years old, I tried out Weight Watchers and I tried every popular diet that there is out there.
I sort of hit a big turning point after my first semester of university where I had just completely let myself go and I got up to 240 pounds, and something clicked in my brain that I needed to change something. And I decided to go on a diet, and I didn’t know much about dieting at that point, so I ended going on a very low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet where I was calorie-counting. I had read somewhere that eating 1,200 calories a day was what women were supposed to do lose weight, I didn’t consider that I’m 5-foot-10 and was 240 pounds at that point. So I was exercising a lot, and I think I was probably netting somewhere around 700 to 800 calories a day.
I did that for a while, I lost a lot of weight. I think I lost 70 pounds in probably three months because I was essentially starving myself. And it kept progressing and people were telling me I looked great, so I kept going with what I was doing. And I think because I was eating so low-carb and so low-fat, it reached a point where my body couldn’t handle that anymore. And I started to incorporate cheat days because I’d also read on weight-loss forums that those were typical thing that people did. So I started having these cheat days, and it started off pretty innocently as a cheat meal, go out to dinner and have a burger and fries or something like that.
And as time progressed, the cheat meals started to become more frequent, and they would become cheat days rather than just a cheat meal. And not only did they become more frequent, but I think when they really started to become binges was when they started to become a secret. So I think what happened was I was living with my boyfriend at the time in university, and the times where I would be deciding to have these cheats was when he wasn’t there. So I started having all these binges, and at some point I started to recognize that that’s what was happening, but I really denied it for a long time.
I guess I reached this turning point where I started to have thoughts about purging, and there is a history of bulimia in my family, so it was something that I was very familiar with and really not a path I wanted to go down. But I couldn’t stop the bingeing and as my binges progressed and became more frequent, that voice in my head that was telling me to purge after was starting to become louder and louder and harder to ignore.
I think the last straw for me was one day after a very, very bad binge, I found myself over my toilet with a toothbrush in my hand that I was intending to use to make myself throw up. And all of a sudden, I just snapped out of it and just thought, “I can’t do this. This is too far.” It was really just a turning point for me, and after that, I went and I sought out professional help. I joined an eating disorder program at my school. I got treatment there, they really encouraged intuitive eating, and I graduated from the program, I had stopped bingeing.
But what I found out after that was that I couldn’t find a way to balance the intuitive eating with not putting on weight. So I ended up in this really terrible period for about three years where I was very unhappy with myself because I was putting back on all the weight that I’d lost, but every time I tried to diet again, my bingeing tendencies were coming back, and that wasn’t something that I was willing to go back to. So I actually ended up quite hopeless and I gave up and I gained back all the weight that I lost.
Then again a few years later, I decided it was time for change, and because I didn’t have success with dieting, I decided to join CrossFit gym. And it was at that CrossFit gym that keto was introduced to me. And that was amazing, for two years during keto, I did not binge, and I really thought that keto had been the cure to my problem. I still think it is. But like I mentioned, there was a second sort of bingeing story that happened. This was at the end of last year.
I just graduated the university last year, and I move to Toronto to start my new job in consulting. Whole new world, whole new life, very different from school, very stressful environment, a lot of work travel and things like that. I remember one night just … It’s hard to explain what triggered it, but it was a very stressful time, and I had a binge. And it really scared me ’cause it had been two years since this had happened before. I just thought, “Okay, it was just a one time thing. It’s not gonna happen again.”
Then it happened again I think about a month later. And it kept happening. And I was denying it and I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going back to disordered binge eating where it was happening very frequently, but towards the end of last year, November and December, it started happening every weekend. At the end of December, it was actually on New Year’s Eve, I had my last binge. I have not binged since. So there’s really been, like I said, two binge stories, and that got really long. But I tried to give my best condensed version of how the two of them have gone.
Leanne Vogel: Mm. Yeah, and I think with the different aspects, it sounds like they … Or do you feel like they were triggered from the same thing or different things or have you put any thought to why it could have happened back in December and what was going on at that point?
Kellie Foster: Yeah. I think they were completely different. I think the first time, the more long-term one where I was on a highly, highly restricted diet, I think that one was because of that, because I was eating very low-fat, very low-carb, not properly nourishing my body. And I think that that’s where that came from.
Then this one recently at the end of last year, I think it was a combination of the high-stress and the changes in my life that were going on. In addition to that, they tended to happen on nights when I was drinking. Not solely but for the most part. I also went through some tough times in my personal life, and I think that that partnered with alcohol and stress was absolutely the triggers for me.
Leanne Vogel: And how do you … So it’s been since the New Year, and you’re feeling pretty good. Are there things that you do on a daily basis to incorporate a more healthful outlook or are there any practices that you to help yourself through this?
Kellie Foster: Yeah. The way that I decided to tackle this after the new year … after New Year’s Eve, I knew I needed something to help me because it had really just reached a point that I was very afraid of the path that I was heading down because … I didn’t mention, but on New Year’s Eve, I did have very strong urges to purge after. I didn’t do it, but it was very strong, so I knew I really needed something.
What I decided was that I was going to start a calendar where every single day where I did not binge I was going give myself a special green sticker. Just like a little kid who gets a sticker, I would get one, too. And this has been beyond helpful for me. Something so simple has really, really helped me.
Also in January, I decided to cut out alcohol for the whole entire month, and I think that was important. That gave time to process and work through the emotional hardships that I was going through. I think that was very helpful as well. And just really on a daily basis I think just embracing the belief in myself that I will not binge. I think that I’ve reached a place where I’m just very strong mentally and I have more faith in myself to have the power to overcome those urges.
On top of that, the longer that I go without bingeing, the easier it becomes to not binge because the urges are much less frequent, and I’m able to tell myself, “Well, you haven’t binged for …” You know, now it’s been almost three full months that I haven’t. So it’s easier to tell myself that I don’t need to now.
Leanne Vogel: And I love the calendar. In fact, when I was finally in a place where I wanted to stop having bulimia and I was ready to be done with all of the eating disorder BS, I did the exact same thing. I had a calendar, and on days where I was winning, I got a smiley face. On days when I didn’t win, I got a cross. Just an X through it. And it was really nice to visualize that when I was in that positive space. Sorry, go ahead.
Kellie Foster: Oh, I was just gonna say, I love how you said when you chose to, when you decided to end your bulimia because I think that another thing is sometimes we just aren’t ready to be done with it. And I think that a big part of me was using alcohol and the emotional stress that I was under as sort of a crutch to allow myself to continue doing that.
Leanne Vogel: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I think you’re totally right. Do you feel like your previous binges or just those binge tendencies were tied to certain circumstances in your life or emotions that you were trying to unpack? Have you delved a little bit deeper into the meaning of the binge for yourself?
Kellie Foster: Definitely. And that was why cutting out alcohol was really important, and I used that alcohol-free month to really reflect on what was hurting me so that I could move past those things.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. I think any of that substance stuff, I’m the same way. That’s why I don’t do a lot of the things that I used to when it comes to alcohol and working out and just all those obsessive behaviors that make it so much worse.
Now, depending on the type of binger, sometimes people are triggered by certain foods, sometimes people are triggered by certain emotions. Do you find that certain foods triggered you or continue to trigger you or is food less of the conversation?
Kellie Foster: Food is absolutely not a part of the conversation for me anymore. There’s nothing that I eat that makes me feel like I need to keep eating. I think it really is just fully emotional now, and I think that goes to show how different my bingeing tendencies were pre-keto and post-keto because I still do truly believe that keto has freed me from being a binge-eater.
Leanne Vogel: Why do you think that is? I just want to pick your brain. Do you have any thoughts about why that would be? Any thoughts?
Kellie Foster: I tried to think about it, and I think the best reason is because … I mentioned a couple of times. Before I was a eating so low-carb, so low-fat, which is just a very unsatisfying way of eating. And then when you start keto and all of a sudden you get to bring in all these delicious fatty foods that are extremely satisfying, my body does not feel restricted and I don’t feel restricted or that I’m not enjoying what I’m eating. I think that’s the most important thing. I enjoy the food I’m eating and I’m satisfied, so I don’t feel the urge to binge.
Leanne Vogel: Yes, amen. I totally feel the same way. If I think back to my binge foods many, many years ago when I wasn’t eating keto, before I did keto, a lot of the binge foods were fatty foods like ice cream and frosting and fatty things. And looking back, now that I eat all the fat, it’s just not a requirement but same with you, I had a very different binge experience when I was keto. I still had bulimia as started a ketogenic diet and trying to navigate through that, but then it became all about carbohydrates. I think you’re onto something with that restriction. Now that I don’t feel restricted, why would I need to binge? I think that’s part of the conversation.
And then the other part which you chatted about was, for you, it was a tendency toward alcohol and that effecting your ability to understand the binge and be able to not control yourself but I think when there’s a substance in there working its situation, it becomes a lot harder to connect to ourselves. And for me, when I was keto, it was all about, “Well, I’m restricting carbohydrates, therefore, I want the carbohydrates.” And when that was all said and done and I’d figured out that balance, then it became I don’t really know how to deal with emotion.
Kellie Foster: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: So if I had really rough day or somebody said something hurtful to me and I didn’t really process it properly, my go-to was food. And I’d plan an entire binge around this entire situation of like, “This is what I’m gonna do, and I’m gonna do it in secret. My husband won’t know, and I’ll do all the stuff.” And it always tied back to me being nervous about something or somebody saying something hurtful to me or being afraid of doing something.
I know that when I was preparing for the book tour, Oh, my gosh, I had to do so much self-care because those eating disorder fear, thoughts, things were popping up like crazy of like, “You can’t do this, your book sucks, how dare you think that you have any right to publish a book called The Keto Diet? Are you kidding me? Who are you?“
Kellie Foster: But you did it and you killed it!
Leanne Vogel: Thank you, thank you. But behind that, if you struggle with bingeing, and I’m sure you can relate, I don’t think there will ever be a moment in my life where I’m not just conscious of, “Okay, how am I feeling about this? What is the conversation going on in my head and how do I switch that instead of turning to a binge?” Do you feel the same way?
Kellie Foster: Totally. And that’s I think an important part of this journey for me was realizing there is no cure for an eating disorder. You’re never gonna be completely freed from it, but you learn how to live with it and how to control it and how to just keep it at bay, essentially. And I think that in some ways that could be seen as almost a little bit defeatist, but I think to look at it from the other side, it really just shows strength and being able to overcome that and accept that it’s something that you’re going to battle for the rest of your life but knowing that you have the capability and the strength to keep it bay.
Leanne Vogel: I love that shift. And something I like to look at it as is my super power. So some people just eat and they don’t really care and they don’t really think about how their food and emotions and emotions and food, but because I have to be so hyper-focused on that, I think it’s a super power because not many people can do that or have time to do it, but I need to make time. Therefore, super power. So …
Kellie Foster: Cool. I think I’m start calling mine that, too. That’s awesome.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, and really making it this experience I think … I don’t know. Did you ever go to in-patient care or anything to get support with your experience?
Kellie Foster: I never went to in-patient care, but I was in the eating disorder program at my university which was extremely helpful. It was a free program for any students who needed help, and every week I would meet with a dietitian and nurse, a psychiatrist, and then we had weekly meetings where we would all sit down and eat dinner together. And then afterwards we would talk about how the meal went and how our week was and how we were feeling. So it really was just a great program.
Leanne Vogel: Wow.
Kellie Foster: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. What kind of program was this and where can people find out more? Are you okay with sharing that information? Because that sounds great.
Kellie Foster: Of course. I attended McGill University in Montreal. I don’t think that this is a standard thing at all universities, although, I think it should absolutely be. So that was at McGill, and I’m not sure what they offer at other universities, but that’s what there was there.
Leanne Vogel: I can tell you that that was not my experience.
Kellie Foster: Yeah. I don’t think that’s the standard.
Leanne Vogel: It was a total joke.
Kellie Foster: Yeah, but it should be, right? That’s something that we should be pushing for because this isn’t an issue that should be swept under the rug and particularly in universities and colleges. The high stress environment I think makes eating disorders very prevalent in that environment.
Leanne Vogel: Completely. I totally agree with you. High school was probably the worst that my bingeing ever was. And there’s just so much pressure and your peers and just competition and it’s like this breeding ground for those feelings and those patterns.
For women listening now that are like, “Well, I don’t have an eating disorder. How could I possibly relate to it?” because we’ve been chatting about eating disorder support and stuff for a little bit, I really want to reiterate the fact that when there are a group of people talking about eating disorders or one person explaining their experience with an eating disorder … Yeah, for sure you’re diagnosed with an eating disorder whether it be anorexia, orthorexia, bulimia, et cetera, you can have disorder tendencies even though you may not have been diagnosed with an “eating disorder.”
So I think it’s really important as a bingeing conversation, even if you feel like, well, I just have a “cheat day” every Saturday where, like you said … I love, Kellie, that you mentioned where a cheat day turns into a binge is when it’s a secret thing. And I totally, totally agree with you. If you are being secretive about it, then you’re feeling shameful about it, which means that there’s beliefs that you are not processing properly and think that what you’re doing should be shameful and there’s a whole experience around that. If you were to go to a doctor at a normal weight, unfortunately, even telling them that you’re dealing with this, they’d be like, “Well, your BMI is blah, blah and therefore, you don’t have an eating disorder.” For real this happens.
Kellie Foster: I’d actually like to-
Leanne Vogel: And so although you-
Kellie Foster: Sorry. I went to a doctor to get a referral for the eating disorder program, and his advice to me when I was leaving, and I don’t know if it was just a slip of his tongue or if he was just … I don’t want to say stupid because he was a doctor so he’s not stupid, but he makes a very silly comment where he said to me, “Yeah, so just stop bingeing, okay?” If it was that easy, I wouldn’t be coming to you to get a referral to a eating disorder program.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, it’s so true. And there’s so many great doctors out there that are trying so hard to make the change that we want to see in the world, and it’s just so frustrating when those bad apples just cause experiences like that because then the last thing you want to do is seek care because the last time you sought care you got pissed on.
Kellie Foster: Yeah, totally.
Leanne Vogel: And it sucks.
Kellie Foster: I was gonna say I really appreciate the fact that you used the word shameful when you’re talking about those feelings because that’s the same word that I always use when I’m trying to describe the feelings that you feel post-binge or even sometimes during the binge.
I find that when I’m bingeing, I tend to almost sort of black out. It’s like an out-of-body experience where I’m just completely blocking out any emotions and thoughts, shoveling food into my body as quickly as I can before I can even process what I’m doing really.
Then the shame and the guilt that follow when those walls break down and you’re not blacked out anymore. And the shame and the guilt that really just will consume you if you let them. That’s really the best way to describe what it feels like. I don’t think I have ever felt emotionally worse in my life than the way that I felt after some particularly bad binges.
Leanne Vogel: Wow. And it’s so interesting the different binge experience and you don’t have to be diagnosed with an eating disorder to feel that way because my thing and the problem that I had in overcoming it was that I had no shame of the experience. I was like, “Yeah, that happened. It was awesome. I’ll do it again.”
Kellie Foster: Oh, really? That’s so …
Leanne Vogel: Oh yeah. No shame, no regret. No, I didn’t care. And I think that comes from a different place of me just not even caring about my body, the effect I was having on it, didn’t even care. And so we can all experience a different way … We’re doing the same thing, but it’s a completely different experience from two very different people and it’s just so interesting to me.
I think the conversation about bingeing … it’s unfortunate because, like you said, that doctor experience that you had, maybe women and men, too, would be going to their doctor saying, “I need help.” And because they don’t look a certain way, because they don’t have a certain experience that they’re told, “Oh, just don’t worry about it.”
I’ve even heard clients of their doctor saying, “Well, you could lose some weight.” It’s like, “Huh?” These are disordered tendencies. And I think the major thing, the major huge thing that made it shift in my perspective was finally being kind of my body and showing myself love and just being kind of not only how I was feeding myself but how I was caring for my body, and for me, because I didn’t really care if I binged or not, whatever, there was clearly a lot of work that needed to be done as opposed to you how was shameful like, “Why did I do that? It’s so horrible.”
Kellie Foster: Yeah, but I think also my shame came from a place of self-hatred as well because my thoughts were, in both stages of the binge were, “You’ve eaten all of this food, you’re gonna derail all of the progress that you’ve done on getting help,” and using words like fat, which isn’t a word that I like to use at all but telling myself that I was gain back all the weight that I had lost and things like that. So the shame was very much centered around not loving myself and not loving my body. And that’s also been a huge, huge part of my journey really in the last, I think, six months to maybe nine months has really been my key focus on learning how to love myself because I lost 100 pounds, and I still didn’t love myself until I started making the conscious effort to do so.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. That conscious effort is such a huge piece. Do you find, have there been instances where you’re on the verge, you know probably what I’m talking about, on that ledge of, “Am I gonna binge? Am I not?” It’s just teetering. How do you get yourself off that cliff? Are there any tools?
Kellie Foster: Definitely. So I think that the biggest thing for me and because we talk about shame in secret, if I’m at the stage where I’m telling myself that I am not going to do this, the first thing that I’ll do is tell someone, whether that’s going on my Instagram story and being open about it there, texting or calling one of my close friends or family members.
Because when I remove the secret of it, that really makes it so that I will not do it. Because if it’s not a secret, then it’s not an option to me anymore. I guess it’s like the same thing, I wouldn’t binge in front of someone, so if someone knows that I’ve been contemplating it, it really takes it away from me.
And then the second thing is just to … If I’m not there ready to tell someone, quite often what I’ll do, and this might sound silly to someone who hasn’t don’t it, but I will go and look at myself in the mirror and speak positively to myself about my progress in terms of bingeing. So, for example, now, I’ll go look at myself in the mirror and say, “You haven’t binged for however many days.” I keep a log. And I remind myself that, “You’ve done so well so you don’t want to break that now.” Now only that but there will be food tomorrow. I will always remind myself that there will be food tomorrow, it’s not the last chance to eat. And I’ll remind myself that the urge will pass.
So those are sort of the go-tos for me. Telling someone, speaking positively to myself looking in the mirror, and then just remind myself that the urge will pass and I can eat again tomorrow.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s a big takeaway and something I learned, too. The food will always be there. I remember having so anxiety about food going away. Just disappearing. Did you have that as well?
Kellie Foster: Always. And I don’t know where that came from. Literally, it’s like if I’m at a restaurant and they give me too much food, even now I still struggle with this. And it’s not a binge but just overeating in general. They give me a huge steak, and I feel like I have to eat it all right now. I don’t understand why I am that way because I could take it home and eat it tomorrow.
Leanne Vogel: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I’m exactly the same way. I have to remind myself constantly as like just get a doggy bag. Put it in the fridge, eat it tomorrow. It will still be there. It’s almost like…
We have three dogs, and one of our dogs is a rescue that had a really rough life. Lexy has seen it all. And when we got her, she was so protective of her food and everyone and just was so aggressive to everyone, everything, every dog, everything. And we rescued her because nobody wanted her, and she was gonna get put down that same day. We were like, “We’ll figure it out.” It took her … Well, we’ve had her for 11 years, and she’s finally okay with me going toward her and touching her food and petting her and being like, “It’s okay.” We take our time and she eats. But before, it was like, “Do not touch my food. I will bite your face.”
That’s how I feel. It’s like the Lexy urge. I’m like, “Don’t touch my food. It is mine.” And I haven’t worked on that to figure out, unpack that, but that’s what a lot of people say with bingeing is this feeling of the food running out. So it might be helpful if you’ve experienced, I’ve experienced it, maybe somebody else listening, to just repeat to yourself, “It’ll be there tomorrow. There’s plenty of food.” And this is a major first-world problem that we can just say, “Don’t worry. Just go to the fridge tomorrow. Lots of food.” But I found that to be really helpful in overcoming that binge feeling of just like, “Don’t worry. It’ll be there tomorrow.”
Now, you’ve been very honest with your relationship with food and your body on social media. Have you found that that’s been helpful or hurtful to your overall experience?
Kellie Foster: I think that that has been one of the most positive things about my experience. I think something really interesting is that when you say things out loud to someone, even if that’s just social media, it makes them more true. It makes it more real, and it makes it more true. I think that when I say them out loud and especially to other people, it forces me to confront my issues rather than denying that they exist because, for example, when you keep the binges secret, you feel the shame but that’s it. And I think that also goes along with telling someone when I feel the urge to binge.
I think that the biggest part that helps me and the reason why I will never stop sharing is the positive reinforcement that I’ve been getting from the community. First of all, I’ve gone on my Instagram story post-binge, really just at my absolutely lowest, actually in tears in the height of that guilt and shame that I would feel post-binge and received hundreds upon hundreds of messages of love and support, and that is just second to none in terms of how helpful and how great that was.
I think the second thing that will make it so I will never stop sharing is that I get messages from people after this telling me that I’ve helped them recognize that they have a problem as well or that me being open about it has encouraged them to do the same. And I think that’s huge. To be able to help someone else recognize that maybe they might not have an eating disorder but they might have eating disorder behavior, like you mentioned, or they know they have a problem and now finally feel the strength to tell someone, that’s really some of the first steps in addressing a problem that they have. To be able to facilitate someone starting out that journey of recovery is something absolutely invaluable to me.
Leanne Vogel: I think it’s really brave what you’re doing. If you look at general social media right now, it’s like the happiest pictures of people living their life happy, happy, and there’s you being like, “Oh, my gosh, my-“
Kellie Foster: Absolutely. I’m like ugly crying into my Instagram story.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. And I think it’s that realism, and it takes a lot of guts to do what you’re doing. I’ve only ever made a video once at my lowest being like, “Oh, my gosh, this happened.” I think it’s so important to show people that you’re an actual human so that they can also relate to you. I think it’s quite terrifying when you follow people that are so happy all the time and nothing bad ever happens. And you’re like, “How?” It’s just not possible. We all deal with struggles and I think it’s really important for us to continue on that conversation. It also helps you connect with people.
Kellie Foster: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Leanne Vogel: You’re a human, I’m a human, we should be friends.
Kellie Foster: Yeah. I can’t even speak to how many people I’ve developed true relationships and friendships with from social media. It’s incredible. I feel like I have so many best friends that I haven’t even met in real life.
Leanne Vogel: That’s amazing. That’s so cool.
Kellie Foster: Yeah.
Leanne Vogel: Okay, so I have two final questions for you. The first being what do you feel is missing in the keto space for women?
Kellie Foster: I love that you ask this because it really ties into what you were just saying, which I think is the openness to share with each other. I think that this is something that we can all keep working towards because, like you mentioned, in social media it is quite common. I would say that even in the keto community. I don’t think it’s any worse than any other community, but it just exists. I guess this need to appear perfect, because in all honesty, I do see some people in the keto community admitting when they’ve had an off-day or gone off track and things like that. But I think that because not a lot of people are doing that, not a lot of people feel the courage or the ability to do the same. I think that if we can really foster an environment where everyone is comfortable talking about when they’re not perfect, it’ll also just allow us to love ourselves more because we can accept that it’s okay to not be perfect.
Leanne Vogel: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And that perfect is not a thing. I totally agree with you. And where can people find you? What’s your Instagram handle?
Kellie Foster: Yep. I’m on Instagram and it’s @kellie_keto, and I’m a special snowflake and my name is spelled K-E-L-L-I-E. Try to find any personalized objects in a gift card when your name is spelled that way. And by gift card I mean gift shop.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah. Same with me. Leanne was just not a thing. And my sister’s name is Christina, and she always got all the personalized things.
Kellie Foster: Yeah, yeah. And I’m also on YouTube. My YouTube channel is just my name, Kellie Foster.
Leanne Vogel: I love it. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show, Kellie, I really appreciate it. And thanks for sharing such a raw topic with all of us.
Kellie Foster: Thank you. I’m honestly so happy to talk about it.
Leanne Vogel: Yeah, that’s so great.
Well, the show notes and full transcript for today’s episode can be found at HealthfulPursuit.com/podcast/e84, and thanks again for just sharing your life with all of us, Kellie. Really appreciate it.
Kellie Foster: Thank you for allowing me to share.
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HI! I’M LEANNE
Nutrition educator + keto enthusiast. I want to live in a world where every woman loves her body, nourishing fats are enjoyed at every meal, and the word “restriction” isn’t in the dictionary.