Do you struggle with binge eating? How are triggers actually potential invitations to go inward? Can self-love go deeper than you think?

In this podcast episode, Dr. Cristina Castagnini speaks with Andrea Montoya about her struggles with body image and food and how she ditched the scale and wants you to do the same.


Over the course of 6 years, Andrea earned her Masters in holistic nutrition, competed in fitness competitions, became a health coach, and worked as a personal trainer, hoping one of these avenues would be the solution to what seemed like an endless, vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting and binge eating. However, it wasn’t until Andrea began working on the internal, and learning coping strategies and self-soothing tools for dealing with emotions that she finally achieved the freedom she had been seeking. Freedom from food, body, mind, and self. In addition to earning her body image and self-love coaching certification, Andrea has been working side-by-side with Tony Robbin’s personal trainer, Billy Beck III, which has taught her the science and evidence-based tools behind exercise and the psychology of nutrition. She now has the privilege of using what she’s learned to coach amazing women through her Ditch the Scale Academy, helping them fully transform their lives at a deeper level by letting go of their past stories and beliefs and stepping into their power, unleashing their ultimate feminine potential. Visit her website and connect on Facebook and Instagram. Apply to the Ditch The Scale Academy.


  • “It’s never the food, it’s the feeling”
  • The food and your body are not the enemies

“It’s never the food, it’s the feeling”

It’s not so much about willpower as it is about expanding our capacity to feel. Right now, I feel this much anxiety and I can’t deal with it, I need to numb it and so I turn to food but if I expand that and I’m able to sit with my emotions, process [them], I might be able to heal whatever is coming up, enter into a communication with my body and see what my body is trying to tell me with this. (Andrea Montoya)
The emotions and sensations that you feel are not worthless. Most of the time the emotions that we feel are the signals that our body sends us to try to communicate something with us. By taking the time to sit with our body, get into open communication, and actually hold space for the emotion instead of blocking it out, we are able to understand what the cause of the emotion is and resolve that, instead of constantly shutting off communication by numbing the feelings with food.
This works! Because I don’t have to turn to food when I give myself what I need, so it is realizing that it’s never the food that I want, I’m not actually hungry, it’s the feeling that I think the food is going to give me. If I’m able to recognize that, connect with myself and give myself that, now I don’t need the food anymore. (Andrea Montoya)
Often food represents or gives us a feeling of comfort, love, and safety. When our lives are running a million miles a second and we just want something to soothe us, food is an easy option. However, we can learn to give ourselves comfort, give ourselves love and safety as well. These things do not have to come from outside of you, you can create them and give them to yourself.

The food and your body are not the enemies

For years, even as I was going through nutrition and as I was going through health coaching, I wasn’t doing the internal work, I was just thinking ‘oh it’s something outside of me. It’s food, it’s my body.’ [I thought] food is my enemy and so I was attacking the food, and attacking my body for so long without realizing that it’s always been within. I just needed to go inside. (Andrea Montoya)
People tend to mask their internal issues with food and try to unconsciously heal the internal hurt by overly focusing on the external, like the body and food, to create a false sense of control. Even though going inward is difficult, and often requires some therapy or counseling to guide you, it is the most invaluable work you can do because it often heals the external issues.



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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