When was the moment that you realized you want to change your life? Do you yearn for freedom from obsessive thoughts and behaviors around food? How and where can you begin your healing journey? In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Ronni Robinson about her journey to recovery.


Ronni is a member of the Sandwich Generation; she's the tired lunch meat layered between two children and aging parents. She is a writer and indoor cycling instructor who lives in Eastern Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband in their second year of empty nesting. Ronni’s passion is helping others who are struggling with eating disorders. She also does public speaking about eating disorders and emotionally abusive relationships. “Out of the Pantry” is Ronni’s debut memoir, chronicling her 30 years of binge eating and compulsive overeating and her journey to recovery. Visit Ronni Robinson's website and connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


  • The realization
  • Beginning the healing
  • Unlearn the old messages

The realization

After hearing the term “compulsive eating”, Ronni decided to explore what this could mean and whether it was something that she could change in her life.
There were books about this! … [to know] people who had gone through it and came out the other side. (Ronni Robinson)
Ronni discovered the tools to help her overcome her eating disorder. She discovered books, therapy, and other people’s stories who had gone through it and reached recovery.
I don’t want this anymore. I want this out of my life. It had been 30 years of binging and compulsive eating and I wanted it gone. (Ronni Robinson)

Beginning the healing

Ronni decided on the fact that she wanted to recover. It brought forth so much emotion that she didn’t know she was holding onto, and she felt a sense of relief and release, knowing that other people understood her experience and that recovery was possible. Ronni went to different meetings to find one that she connected the most with to find a supportive group.
There’s always something that you can relate to and even though all our backstories are different and I got really emotional because yet again I was discovering that I’m really not alone. (Ronni Robinson)

Unlearn the old messages

Many people come to healing when they realize that their eating disorder may have come about due to traumatic circumstances in their past or childhoods.
I learned that my childhood was dysfunctional and that it was traumatic for me even though to me it was normal. (Ronni Robinson)
Therapy became a huge piece of Ronni’s recovery journey because it allowed her to access and make a proper change in her adult life by understanding that her coping mechanisms came from childhood struggles.



I am a licensed Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. While I may have over 20 years of clinical experience, what I also have is the experience of having been a patient who had an eating disorder as well. One thing that I never had during all of my treatment was someone who could look me in the eye and honestly say to me "hey, I've been there. I understand". Going through treatment for an eating disorder is one of the hardest and scariest things to do. I remember being asked to do things that scared me. Things I now know ultimately helped me to get better. But, at the time, I had serious doubts and fears about it. If even one of my providers had been able to tell me "I know it's scary, but I had to go through that part too. Here's what will probably happen...." then perhaps I would not have gone in and out of treatment so many times. My own experience ultimately led me to specialize in treating eating disorders. I wanted to be the therapist I never had; the one who "got it". I will be giving you my perspective and information as an expert and clinician who has been treating patients for over 2 decades. But don't just take my word for it...keep listening to hear the truly informative insights and knowledge guest experts have to share. I am so happy you are here!


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Podcast Transcription

[DR. CRISTINA CASTAGNINI] Behind The Bite podcast is part of a network of podcasts that are good for the world. Check out podcasts like the Full of Shift podcast, After the First Marriage podcast and Eating Recovery Academy over at practiceofthepractice.com/network. Welcome to Behind The Bite podcast. This podcast is about the real-life struggles women face with food, body image and weight. We're here to help you inspire and create better healthier lives. Welcome. Well, hello everyone. You know what, we have someone courageous on here today who's going to share her personal story, and I always appreciate when there's a guest on who is willing to open up and talk about what they went through, because there may be somebody listening who hears this today and relates so they don't feel so alone. It may inspire someone to take the first step to getting help, or someone else may understand more about what their loved one who has an eating disorder diagnosis is going through. Or it may help someone to have the hope that they too can recover. I sincerely hope that this story helps you in some way. Now, that being said, let me introduce Ronni Robinson. Ronni is a member of the sandwich generation. She's the tired lunch meat layered between two children and aging parents. She is a writer and indoor cycling instructor who lives in eastern Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband in their second year of empty nesting. Ronni's passion is helping others who are struggling with eating disorders. She also does public speaking about eating disorders and emotionally abusive relationships. She wrote a book out of the pantry, it's her debut memoir, chronicling her 30 years of binge eating and compulsive over and her journey to recovery. All right, Ronni, to show. [RONNI ROBINSON] Thank you. Thanks so much for happy me, Cristina. [DR. CRISTINA] Well, as we were talking earlier, I so appreciate people that come on and they're willing to share their journey, their story, because it really does meet part of my mission for doing the podcast, which is to break all these myths out there about eating disorders and to help people that are listening who maybe they don't even know if they really have an eating disorder or really are questioning, gosh, am I the only one that does this or thinks this? But hearing other people and their stories, I think it really helps people to understand like, I'm not alone, or, hey, what I'm doing okay, I can get help for this, or there's some hope out there for me. So I really, really appreciate that you're here. I know you've written a book about all of this that's been out for a couple years and your audio book just came out. Would you mind just sharing with the audience, with me about maybe your journey, your path, where this all started for you? [RONNI] Sure. I think this all began when I was about nine years old. I come from a house that wasn't very warm and fuzzy or connected or emotionally supportive. This is all talking from hindsight from therapy so at the time, of course, everything seemed normal to me. That was my normal world, not a lot of talking about anything really serious or about feelings. Like I said, when I was about nine, my job was one of my chores was when my mother came home from the supermarket on Friday afternoons, was to help her unload the packages, and then she would put the groceries and I would put them away. So I'd always see there'd be like the Chips of Hoi or, am I allowed to say, sorry, am I allowed to say names of food or is that like a problem? [DR. CRISTINA] No that's fine. I just don't have triggering for numbers and things like that, things on labels, so, if anyone's triggered by certain foods that usually isn't something that I find people and I don't know about you, but did you ever get triggered by specific names of foods? [RONNI] I didn't. That's just me. [DR. CRISTINA] Yes, no, but I appreciate that. I think that's something for anyone listening, being aware of what your triggers are. So if there happens to be anything said on this podcast that is triggering, just be mindful of that and definitely DM me, let me know. But I haven't found that that specific names of certain foods has been triggering now. [RONNI] Okay, I just wanted to be sure. So I would see, say the Chips of Hoi and mental note, oh, we've got cookies, and the next day I would have some and in time I would take out whatever cookies were my mom bought that probably were on sale that week and then the next day when I would go to have some, they weren't there. So my mom started hiding cookies from me and didn't say a word, not, "Hey Ronni, I'm a little concerned about, whatever." Nothing, no talking. They just disappeared. After a couple of weeks of me like searching really like a ninja, searching the house everywhere, never could find them, I went to my mother. I remember vividly, she was sitting at the kitchen table reading her book, which is a very common way to find her and I said, "Mom, I can't find the double stuff, Oreos." She would just shrug her shoulders and, "Look I don't know what you're talking about," and looked back at her book. To give a little background in my house, my father was very loud and very domineering. He was never wrong about anything in his whole life, his poop didn't stink, I mean, he was just one of those people who never did or said anything wrong. He never said, the words, I'm sorry never came out of his mouth because he was never wrong. There's nothing to apologize for. My mother would ultimately back down in any argument or discussion with him because he was just never wrong. That's what I saw modeled for me all this time. So when my mother like sort of shrugged me off through modeling from her, I was just like, okay, that's the way it is. This isn't something I can further discuss with her. So it didn't take long for me to start, back in those days, I'm like 54, kids were allowed to do whatever, we were allowed to walk anywhere and it wasn't a problem. So we lived around the corner from a supermarket, and I would take my allowance money or birthday money, and I would get like a one hand bag of M&M's and I would bring it back to my house with nobody home, and I would just sit in front of the television and eat the whole bag but nothing of it. I wasn't doing it on purpose. It just, I wanted them and I got them, and I would take the pack, the wrapper and I would put it into the shopping bag that I got it from at the store and then shove that down into the trash can so nobody could see it. I did that for any food you could imagine, whether it was ice cream or donuts or any candy, cookies, cakes that I bought from the store. I would get it and eat the whole thing in one sitting and then hide it. Nobody ever said anything to me so I was clearly getting away with it. As the years went on I would babysit and then that was like this whole other great thing because I would like raid their refrigerator but always leaving. I never had like certain rules, like I would never finish something if there was a plate, again, I'll just use the cookies as an example, a plate of cookies. I would never take a last one. I would take a few or however many I could thought I could get away with and rearrange the cookies so it looked as though they maybe couldn't tell, in my head, they couldn't tell that I had some because I rearranged the plate and nobody would know. Then I got older and then I could drive, and I used to work at a Burger King. People always say, oh my God, if I worked at an ice cream shop, I would be so sick of ice cream. Well, that wasn't the case with me at Burger King. When the manager wasn't around, I would make a whole thing of French fries for myself and pour in the bin, and I'd be pretending to straighten things up around the fry bin, and I would eat the whole thing. I would hope nobody would see me and I would look around but yes, I mean, it was just no problem. I would down the whole thing. A lot of bad habits that I had picked up, and I never talked to anybody about it. It was just like my secret, and that's just what I did. It went on for a very long time. I won't bore you with the details, but I got into, when I was 19, I got into a relationship that the man was emotionally abusive towards me. Again hindsight, I know I was perpetuating exactly what was modeled in my house, was a domineering husband and a meek wife who took it. I mean, this guy would just, for instance, I mean, just, we were only dating for like two months in the summer. I was between my freshman and sophomore year at college, and I was going to go back to college and he said, "Well, you need to come home every week." I'd say, "Well, I'm going to, I want to go to football games, and I want to have fun with my friends and my roommates." He'd say, "Well, if you do that, we're going to break up." Like most women who would say, well, screw you, I'm doing my thing, I was like, ok. I came home every weekend, which I did every weekend, didn't tell my parents, even though we lived in the same town. It was like a big town. I was so embarrassed, I would never tell my parents that he convinced me to do this. He also had horrible temper. He would punch a wall, punch through it, break his hand made me swear not to tell anybody what happened and we'd make up some story that we both agreed on that he fell on the ice, or some story. The most physical thing he ever did was taking my shoulders and pushing me against the wall and pushing me up a wall and then screaming in my face and just a lot of other, just gaslighting with, nobody's going to love you like I do, all those kinds of things. I had, because of my childhood I had no self-esteem. I had no self-confidence, no self-esteem, no sense that I, what I deserved and what I didn't deserve again, based upon what my mother modeled for me. Then once again, just throwing out there, this is all in hindsight, that I have this great knowledge. Luckily, thank God we were off, we were together off and on for about eight years, married for a year and a half of that and then thank God, I finally, I like to think of it as growing a backbone and I left him. But through that, one of the things that was good about him is that, well, good for my eating disorder, my eating disorder brain was that he was like an eating buddy. He loved also to eat tons of food. So that was great. He never questioned, I still hid it from him a lot but we did eat together sometimes, so at least it was acceptable in front of him. But my other eating was all very secretive and very well thought out and very planned. I'm going to go here and I would spend days deciding where I was going to go, what I was going to get and just like for a Saturday, and that would be my Saturday was going from this place to that place, to that place and getting this and this and this. Obviously, my hunger cues, I had no, that meant nothing to me or my fullness cues meant nothing to me. I was so completely out of touch with them. I just wanted it. It was like I had a like a switch that just went into the on position and I couldn't control just the fact that I had to keep putting food in my mouth. No rhyme or reason. There wasn't oh, my parents I would never realize that this was from my childhood and all this healing that I needed to have done and so forth. I didn't realize that and what my husband or boyfriend some of that was definitely emotional eating because we would get into a fight and then I would end up leaving and I would get the stereotypical pint of ice cream or the chocolates. Anyway, so left him, that was done thank God, went on a blind date and long story short, married to the greatest guy on the planet for, it'll be 25 years in September, two beautiful, healthy children. Even 10 years in our marriage, even though I had the more than the, such a great life and so much more than I could have ever imagined growing up just because of this man's kindness. We just laughed so much. We were so compatible. It was just so nice. [DR. CRISTINA] It's obvious there's so much emotion there. I mean, I'm watching you, the audience can't see you, but I mean, my goodness, to go from this household where you obviously were given such negative messages about yourself, and then to go right into this abusive, toxic relationship and so much secrecy, so much of yourself was hidden and you were hiding so much of everything you were feeling and doing. What went through my mind was, how on earth did you get out of that? Like, wow, that's amazing. And I know there's a lot to probably get into that you've learned about how you were able to do that, but that is amazing because I know that is so difficult, and most people can't even do that at all. They just stay. [RONNI] Yes. I mean it wasn't an easy road but I'm so proud and happy obviously, that I got out of that. Yes, so 10 years into this great marriage, I'm still binging and I'm still compulsively overeating and still doing all of this in secret. There wasn't any, I don't think with drug addicts or alcoholics, other people who have other addictions. I mean, because in my mind, the binging and compulsive overeating is on par with you have to have alcohol, you'll do anything to get it, you plan how you're going to get it. There's just all this scheming and planning. You don't want anybody to see you. The same thing with drugs. I mean, it was the same thing with food. It was all the secrecy. I think as I got older, there was also the shame that was involved. I didn't want anybody to know. So one day I was, my kids were in bed. I think my husband was out, like at a sports event. I'm watching TV and I heard the words compulsive overeater on television. I don't know whether I had never heard those terms before or at that moment I was open to hearing it but I went, I heard them, and I was like, huh. I went to my laptop and I started Googling, and one of the most prominent websites that came up was Overeaters Anonymous. It says right on the front page, "Are you one of us?" It had like 15 questions, do you eat food when you're not hungry, do you eat alone, do you eat, all these questions and I answered yes to almost all of them. I thought, as crazy as this sounds, I'm like, wow, one person made a website about this. One person understands and did this. I had just no idea like you and I was saying earlier that this was a thing, let alone an eating disorder, let alone like a mental health issue. I had no idea. It was just unbelievable to me that there was a website for this and that somebody created a website about it. I couldn't believe it. So I started looking through the website and then really doing a lot of research and how do you get over this? What do you do? I've been a writer since I was like 18 or 19 writing for various newspapers and so forth so one of my natural outlets is to write. I sat at my computer and I prepped out a letter to my husband just telling him what had just happened the 30 minutes before, just saying, oh my God, I looked this up and here's what it is. Here's what I read going about going to the meetings and also through other things that I was looking at as I found out there were books about this like, who knew? Like mine, I suppose, people who have gone through it and came out the other side. I learned that therapy often helps. So I had, like, I was armed now with these tools, and not to, this is a horrible example to use, not to make light of like something, like when you get a cancer diagnosis. You throw the kitchen sink at it because you got to get rid of it. I was the same way. I'm not, I don't want this anymore. I want this out of my life. It had been 30 years of binging and compulsive over eating, and I wanted it gone. I was obsessed. As I've been explaining, it was just like, so much of what I thought about it took up so much of my brain. Everything was what am I going to eat? Where am I going to eat? So I tapped out this letter to my husband explaining what I had just discovered and now here's what I'm going to do. I ordered this book, and I'm going to do that, and I'm going to start going to meetings. I stayed up late until he came in and I handed him the letter when he walked in the door and he could see that I was crying. It was just so emotional. I mean, I remember typing and I was just crying tears. I couldn't even say why. I think it was just such a, oh God, I can't think of the word but, oh my God, eyeopener isn't enough to explain it, but it was just shocking to understand now that this wasn't actual thing that I was doing. It had a name, there were other people, excuse me and that was just amazing to me. So it just brought, I couldn't even control. It just brought forth all this emotion. I think it was starting to get cathartic like, wow, somebody gets me out there. So I fully expected him to read the letter and be like, well, okay, you have a nice life. I'm taking the kids and good luck with that. But of course, because he's just a wonderful human being he held me tight and said, I love you and we're going to, I will help you and however I can, which of course made me cry even more. What I ended up doing was like a four-prong attack. I did start go to OA meetings, I went to therapy, I was reading books about it by other memoirs, other people who wrote memoirs and I also started an anonymous blog. So just real quickly, one at a time. The blog was, again, as a writer, it came very naturally to me to just brain dump all these things that I had been thinking and feeling and do you do this and do you do that and getting the cyber world, as you know it can be so supportive. So I found a lot of other people like me, I was able to support them as I was moving along in my recovery and it was a great give and take thing. I went to meetings where I remember the first couple that I went to, they say go to five just to see what they're all like and find the ones that you prefer or the best feel the most comfortable. I remember the first three were like tons of people. I still, I didn't feel any connection. I didn't feel anything. Then the fourth one I went to was a smaller group. I remember if they were in, I think like the classroom in a church and they were sitting in a circle and I pulled my seat back a little bit because I wasn't quite into it and I felt a little timid. Then people started sharing things and I related the things and it resonated with me, even just like a little nugget from everybody. There's always something that you can relate to even though all our back stories are different and I just got really emotional because yet again, I was discovering, I really am not alone. Look at these people. It was men and women and they were heavy, they were thin, the different economic status. I remember at the end of a meeting, everybody held hands and there was some saying that they all said that they knew from doing it many times. It was, well, the end of it was, welcome home, welcome home. I remember that just hit me so hard because that was home, they were my people. I found my home where everybody there understood and everybody got this obsession. The next meeting I went to, because I'm a rule follower, so it was, try the fifth one, so I did. That one was even a little smaller and I spelled it home there. For the very first time I spoke up we went around and everybody shares. I was like my name is Ronni and I'm a compulsive over eater. It was like I said it. That was, I didn't follow the OA steps. That didn't feel right to me. What felt right to me was going to therapy. So I did go to that and very long story short about therapy, it was amazing, just amazing. We were able to dig back and find out that it was my parents' dysfunction as individuals and then their dysfunctional marriage and my mom hiding cookies and all of these things told little Ronni you're not worthy. You're not important and you're not special. Those were the unknowingly, of course, I didn't know that those were the message they were sending me. But those were the messages that as a little girl I internalized and it came out as me eating a lot of food. That was so, I guess in hindsight we learned that food was love for me and that I could get, and that that was always going to be there for me. Yes, I learned just that my childhood was dysfunctional and it was traumatic for me, even though, to me that was normal. That was all I knew. I mean I had other friends and I would meet their parents, but not living with somebody really can't, you really can't tell. But yes, so the therapy was so, so huge and I'm a huge proponent of therapy. That's what helped me, like I said, dig down to what, where the problems stemmed from, what those messages were, what the problems were, what those messages then became internalized in me and then to learn, to unlearn them, to process it all and then attack them. All these things that I didn't even realize that I felt one by one attacking these things that I had felt about myself and that was just humongous. I learned that food, eating the food now, like why am I eating the food over something that happened 30 years ago? But it was just embedded in me. Yes, and the other thing was just reading a lot of books and getting inspired by other people who had obviously, we have different backs, stories, but the same story and the hope of recovery, which it's like in my book, I'm hoping I want to give people hope, just put my hand back in the fire for people who are still struggling and pull them out because I'm nobody special. I'm any special powers like the girl next door. If I can recover I feel most people can. Yes, I think that does it. I'm 14 and a half years recovered now. Food is fuel. Yes, it's a treat sometimes, nothing is eliminated from my diet, not diet, I hate that word. Nothing's eliminated from my food intake. I eat mostly intuitively, but I feel like eating, I'm much more mindful. Oh, I'm getting full. back in those times, fullness meant nothing to me? I mean, I would see a friend, I'd be out somewhere and somebody be eating the dessert and they'd be like, I'm full and push it away. I'd be like, what? Who does, how in the world do you push that away? It's so good. I couldn't fathom that and now I do understand. I get it. I too can be like, you know what, let's take this home in a doggie bag because I really, I'm getting a little full and I don't want to feel stuffed. I don't like that feeling and I'm going to take it home in a doggy bag. So food is just way, way on the back burner for me. I realize that probably that eating disordered voice is always going to be there to some extent waiting for my armor to break, all this strength that I build up over this time but I'm going to do my damnedest that I never hear from that voice again. Yes, so just my whole, so much of my world opened up because my brain was, so much of it was all about the food, so now it allowed me to get into other things. I got heavily into triathlon. I'm a three time Ironman finisher and one of the things that I really regret most about the eating disorder was I would be at parties and I would just give cursory hellos, how are you two friends and then I'd be off the dessert table, and that was all plotting and scheming and vulturing around the table. My whole night was consumed by the dessert that was out and I didn't get to know people. That's probably my biggest regret was that I didn't give myself that chance to learn about people more. Quite honestly, I didn't feel great about myself. I was like, what do I have to say? Who wants to, I don't have anything special to say. Who's really, who's going to be interested in talking to me anyway? [DR. CRISTINA] So many of the things that you brought up, as I'm listening to you, I think that's such a normal experience of people not really knowing that what they're doing is something, it's just about normal life and then like light bulb moment of like, wait a minute, I don't even know how much I'm struggling or suffering or how much my life is just like white knuckling. It's almost, I don't, it sounds like you just had this like, we call like the emergency face of like, you're just like in this mode of like, oh my gosh, that's what this it. You just, like you said, you wanted to just be done with it but as you're doing that, all of this information is coming in at you and it's overwhelming. [RONNI] Oh, yes. [DR. CRISTINA] But I'm so glad for just hearing your story like that your husband had such an amazing response to you because for anyone listening who's actually opened up to people, that's not always their experience. That can be even worse because then it's the eating disorder voice already puts into so much doubt and shame and all these awful things. The fact that he was so supportive and open with you as you were opening up for the first time, even to yourself because I really say you're as sick as your secrets. So the first time your secret is coming out in a big way to yourself, to him, to the world as you're going to this group. I was so relieved just for two things about your experience with group. One is, I love group, group in general because I think when people go to group, they do feel normal hearing other people. Even if you sit back and don't say anything, hearing other people, even on this podcast, like you're talking about your experience and your symptoms and everything you went through, I'm sure there's people listening going, yes, me too, nodding their head like, yes, yes, yes. There's something powerful about that, just listening and relating and going, ugh, okay, I'm not the only one doing this. There's that too but then in that experience of opening up and again, letting your secret out for the first time, there's something powerful about that. But I'm also glad for my own and my own experience of all these years of doing treatment and therapy that you went to therapy instead of seeing in OA. Because I have my own opinions about the whole step process with that because it is very rigid and I think personally I think that that can perpetuate some of other eating disorder behaviors with the restriction and things. So I'm glad you went to the therapy route. But I'm glad you did have that experience with being in a group of people that you went, oh, okay, these behaviors aren't just me. You saw treatment and you went to these the belong too, another way to release your secrets and get more support in the reading. Again, another route of learning more about what you were doing, your illness and realizing, hey, other people out there, they've experienced this, they've gone through this. That sounds like it instilled more hope for you too, kept you motivated and didn't get you down the rabbit hole. I don't know, you probably had moments where maybe you did, but I think that helps for sure. [RONNI] Yes, I think any of those things that I did between reading and being in group, everything is just a little bit healing. Any bit more that your secret is coming out and that you're finding that you're not alone, that's all you know. Hearing things resonate to me, I felt just little bit of healing and all of that adds up. I mean, I was someone who was eating food out of trash cans and off of, I would clear a table and when my back was turned, I would eat off their plate, I would eat food out of the kitchen sink. I'm sure tons of people have done that, but I was like, oh my God, I'm so mortified. If they only knew, if anybody saw what I was doing and I also I lied, but not, I don't think, anyway, maybe I'm kidding myself, but not in a harmful way. Like if my husband and I before in the first 10 years we had a party and he would be walking guests out and saying goodbye, God bless him, he's the social butterfly out of the two of us, I'm more like, let me get this task done. I would be sitting there with the desserts and I would eat them and eat them and then my husband would come in and go, "Oh, I wanted to have a piece of that chocolate cake. They said it was good." "Oh, I threw that away. I put it down the garbage disposal." I lied to him, but I don't know that it was like a harmful lie for him that he'd be like, what, like finding out years later. We did talk about that, and he said in hindsight he never knew. I was that great at hiding it at that point. He had no idea and that if I had lied to him about the chocolate cake is gone, he didn't care. He understood anything that I did, and just keeping it from him was the sickness. It wasn't me, the person he fell in love with, trying to keep information from him, something that was important to our relationship or that was important for him to know about me. He understands that I didn't tell him because I was sick. I didn't know any better. I couldn't do anything more than that in my illness. [DR. CRISTINA] Yes, and all those things, examples you're giving, I think that's what I find is so hard for people that come in to see me for help too, and things like that were hard for me when I went for help is, oh my gosh, I'm not going to tell this to my therapist or say this in group. I'm already ashamed of it enough. I don't want to admit it to myself. If I say this out loud, are they going to judge me and criticize me? No way. But it was so great when somebody else said it, those things that I was so ashamed of was like, oh, it almost was like permission to open up. It was like, okay, yes, me too. [RONNI] Yes, it was so freeing and weirdly empowering that you could, okay, I got, it isn't just me and I can move. I've let this out and I'm empowered to keep moving forward now. [DR. CRISTINA] Right, so just the fact that you're on here vulnerable, saying these things that I know I even have patients now I'm sure that are so afraid to tell me things, just like those things you mentioned. And I just, I wish, anyone listening, I wish it was easier to overcome that fear of being judged and to let out all those things that you're hiding and fearing that people are going to judge you for because that's your illness. Like you said, that is the illness that's keeping you sicker and the ED voice in your head telling you can't say that. You can't let anyone know. Oh, no, uh-uh. It's not you that's doing that. It's the illness. [RONNI] Yes, definitely. I'm not sure, I mean, I'm also starting in the coaching realm. I'm getting my certification to be a eating disorder recovery coach. I'm not, I feel like at this age or my own I don't feel like I want to go back to all the schooling and whatnot that you had, but I can definitely be a coach. I mean, I've been there, done that. I can relate. I can certainly listen, I can certainly offer advice but I don't have clinical skills that you do, but I feel I can definitely help people. I have been doing that for a few years now since my book came out. I've written a bunch of other articles about the topic. I've had like so many people, so many friends and even strangers from Instagram would DM me or people would message me on Facebook and, "Oh my God, I could have written this myself. Or Oh my God, we must have the same mother." Which I feel exactly what we were saying, like, hopefully telling my story is going to much like hearing stories like mine helped me. I hope that people hearing my story helps them that. [DR. CRISTINA] Absolutely. [RONNI] Makes sense. I feel like it's my, maybe I had to go through all of that because I'm meant to help people, help with their struggles. Because you try to go, why did that happen to me? Why was I in this shitty relationship, this marriage? Maybe to so appreciate my husband now of 25 years, what I have appreciated him, when I met him and was dating him if I hadn't gone through and saw just the complete opposite of that. Unfortunately, I still, to this day I still, not in a big way, but in a little way, I still struggle with feeling that I'm worthy of him. He's just such a great guy and just such a good person and I feel like, oh, I have all this baggage and what am I giving to this relationship? Am I worthy of him? And I've even, I'm very honest and I've told him that, and he's like, Ronni, you have no, I could name so many things that you have brought to this relationship and given to me, and how he says sweet things like what a great mom I am and so forth. So I'm whittling away at that worthiness and that insecurity, but unfortunately, that's like my first go to is, oh, I'm not deserving of this or I'm not, how did, my luckiest thing was that he proposed to me, that he fell in love with me and proposed to me. I'm so lucky. It's not, if he'll say that, I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, it's not you, it's me. Honestly, I'm the one who's really lucky. But yes, so that's still all works in progress. That's something I still need to work on my confidence a little bit but I'm getting there. [DR. CRISTINA] Again, thank you for sharing that and being vulnerable because I think that it's hard to just open up and talk about the things people are still struggling with. Like you said, people are still works in progress. But I do really appreciate that you are instilling hope in people, look at all I went through and I'm in recovery. If I could give you something too, is like, when you say I know the voice is back there somewhere, I look at it like what the voice has said to you in the past and how strong it was. That doesn't mean it's going to come rearing back one day. It just means you know what your life was like before, before you used food as fuel and nutrition, and before you were intuitively eating and fueling your body for fuel and nutrition and how it felt to choose all foods. So you just have that awareness, like when you were sick and the illness was taking over your life, but you're here now. [RONNI] Yes. I appreciate you saying that. It just really puts it in a nice light. I appreciate that. Thanks. [DR. CRISTINA] That's going to help with your coaching too. You know what it's like when you're not recovered. [RONNI] I sure do. [DR. CRISTINA] You can't forget, you went through it all. But that doesn't mean you're going to go back there. [RONNI] No, nope. I'm not going back there. Not going back there. [DR. CRISTINA] So if people want to find you on Instagram, read your book, get your audio book, how can they find you and all of that? [RONNI] Oh, well, I have a website, ronnirobinson.com. I'm right in the middle of switching it over to also include my coaching, but right now it's my book, my book, my book. That's on Amazon in the three formats. I'm on Instagram at Ronni Rob Writes, Facebook writer page, and a Facebook regular personal page. You could always private message me or DM on Instagram. I'm sure much like you, Cristina, I'm always happy to help. I'm always happy to listen. I'm so excited to finish my coaching certifications so I can give back in that way as well. [DR. CRISTINA] Awesome. Don't worry, if you didn't get all that down, all of that will be in the show notes. People will find you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this and I'm sure the listeners do too. So thank you, thank you, thank you. [RONNI] Oh, you're so welcome, Cristina. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. [DR. CRISTINA] This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.