Your mind is the most powerful tool you own — learn how to use it and update it. You update the software on your computers, phones, and devices all the time, so why not your mind? By understanding how the mind works, you can work with it, rather than against it. Our mind responds to the images we imagine and the words we tell ourselves. By changing the pictures in your mind around certain foods, you can free yourself from overeating and craving junk food and maintain your perfect weight forever.
As a part of my interview series with public figures who struggled with and coped with an eating disorder, I had the pleasure to interview Marisa Peer, Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy. She is a world-renowned speaker, therapist, and bestselling author with over three decades of experience. Named Best British Therapist by Men’s Health magazine and featured in Tatler’s Guide to Britain’s 250 Best Doctors, she uses her experiences treating patients including rock stars, CEOs, elite Olympic athletes, royalty and Oscar-winning actors to inform her life-changing work. She has been voted best speaker at numerous conferences including The Mastermind Group London, the Women in Business Superconference and Awesomeness Fest.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do professionally?
Yes, absolutely. I am delighted to be able to share my experience and powerful techniques to help others. Nothing gives me more fulfillment than helping people live a healthy and happy life. As a therapist and Founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy, I have spent over 30 years studying human behaviour and ways to free people from a range of issues. I have had the privilege to help a wide range of clients achieve life-changing transformations — even when all other therapies and approaches have failed. I am honoured to have been able to help so many people and every single letter of feedback, all the awards and accolades, mean the world to me and reinforce the power of this method to transform lives quickly and permanently. I am passionate about empowering people to live a life full of meaning and purpose and I want as many people as possible to benefit. Professionally, I do what I love and love what I do. It’s the most rewarding work I can imagine.
Thank you for your bravery and strength in being so open with us. I personally understand how hard this is. Are you able to tell our readers the story of how you struggled with an eating disorder?
Like so many young women I wasted so much of my teenage years struggling with dieting then overeating on sugar and then obsessive dieting and exercising. I didn’t feel attractive as a teenager and had an incredibly sweet tooth. I could never resist cakes and biscuits and I craved carbohydrates all the time. I didn’t like my stomach and I was always on a diet. My mother was always dieting too and banned sweet stuff in the house so it made it all worse as it became forbidden and unavailable and thus even more desired.
What was the final straw that made you decide that you were going to do all you can to get better?
In my twenties, I started teaching aerobics for Jane Fonda in Los Angeles and was obsessed with weight and diet. However, no matter how good I looked, I never felt slim enough and I was always battling to eat as little as possible. Being in LA in the early Eighties was a crazy time as the exercise industry was booming and everyone was completely focused on being super slim.
I would have girls coming to my classes who were so severely anorexic that they’d turn up in a taxi, wrapped in blankets. They were seriously ill but honestly thought they needed to burn off the calories in their cough medicine. Of course, we turned them away, but part of me knew exactly where they were coming from. No matter how much weight I lost, I never felt good enough.
The turning point for me was when I got up in the middle of the night to find my bulimic flatmate hysterically trying to defrost a cheesecake in a frying pan, before eating the whole lot in a flood of tears. I decided I should help her. We sat down and talked for hours and I really tried to get to the bottom of her problems. It emerged that her parents had split up when she was very young and her stepfather virtually ignored her. The only time he paid her any attention was when he came home with sweets and cakes for her. She began to associate food with love and became very fat. Then in her teens, her real father got back in touch but he was very critical about her weight and my flatmate thought she had to be thin to get his approval. Not surprisingly, her relationship with food had become totally warped, which was why she was stuck in this pattern of feast and famine.
Having helped my flatmate get to the heart of her eating problems, I began to think about my own relationship with food. Although I was slim, I still craved cakes and biscuits. I realised that this was because my grandmother, whom I adored, had always baked special treats for me and I’d come to associate sugar with feeling loved and secure. Once I’d worked out the way my mind was working, it was much easier to break the association.
I realise now, that back then I did not know how to have a healthy and enjoyable relationship with food and now that I do, I want everyone to have the same freedom of a healthy body and mindset.
And how are things going for you today?
I spent my teens and twenties obsessed with food and preoccupied with my weight. Then, when I began to study hypnotherapy while living in Los Angeles, I discovered there is another way, an easier way.
I wish I had known then what I know now, which is why I am so passionate about sharing it. The ground-breaking discoveries I made and now share with others, came from my own experience and over thirty years of working with clients on their relationship to food and body confidence. I’ve worked in gyms as a personal trainer and nutritionist, then later as a therapist on television, the radio and in my own clinics.
It was my success in helping people achieve dramatic weight improvements and curb overeating that led me to become the therapist on Celebrity Fit Club in England and America. I became known as an expert in the field of weight management and achieved phenomenal results with many high-profile clients from actors to athletes, royalty to rock stars.
Thanks to the techniques I’ve developed, negative eating habits really can be isolated and broken once and for all. It really is possible to change your relationship with food for good and finally say goodbye to unhealthy habits.
The techniques I now teach others moved me from someone with a weight problem and a very unhealthy obsession to someone who maintains my perfect weight easily and effortlessly. I eat better than ever, and I also no longer have the frequent headaches, sinus problems or lethargy that I lived with for years.
I now choose to feel great every day, eating healthy food whilst staying at my ideal weight and helping thousands of other people do the same.
Based on your own experience are you able to share 5 things with our readers about how to support a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder? If you can, can you share an example from your own experience?
1. Science has proven 95% of diets are ineffective, as people put the weight back on (and more) within a year. This is because other methods are focused on the wrong thing. There is always an underlying reason for overeating and it’s usually for comfort, when people are stressed, unhappy, vulnerable or bored. In my online program, Perfect Weight Forever, I teach people how to overcome this for good by understanding the root cause and making permanent changes.
2. Overeating is often an emotional issue and dieting can’t fix that, but a form of therapy can. By making permanent emotional adjustments, you change from the inside as well as changing on the outside. The adjustments and changes are often small and simple, but the benefits can be huge and life-changing. Plus the great thing about making mental changes is that it’s within your control. You can choose to be in control rather than being controlled by food.
3. Your mind is the most powerful tool you own — learn how to use it and update it. You update the software on your computers, phones, and devices all the time, so why not your mind? By understanding how the mind works, you can work with it, rather than against it. Our mind responds to the images we imagine and the words we tell ourselves. By changing the pictures in your mind around certain foods, you can free yourself from overeating and craving junk food and maintain your perfect weight forever.
4. Our mind’s primary job is to try and keep us alive. It wants to protect us and keep us away from things it subconsciously associates with pain. If you have associated food, weight or your body image with pain, then this can drive destructive behaviour. If you associate sugary foods with pleasure and treats, then your body will automatically crave these anytime you want to feel better. The good news is that we can change our thought patterns and associations, therefore changing our behaviours. I have made numerous resources available, such as my reprogramming audios, to help people and created Rapid Transformational Therapy™ to show people exactly how to do that. When you find a method that makes such powerfully positive changes in people’s lives, you want to share it with the world.
5. Many people self medicate with food without even realising it. They use food to sedate themselves, to tranquillise themselves, to feel better and to elevate their mood. Many people are addicted to sugar, salt and fat, as they make the body release dopamine, the same way drugs do. As with all addictions, we need more and more of the drug just to get the same effect. Just like any other addiction, you have to give up the source of the addiction, to see it as a poison for your body and keep away from it. When YOU are in control, rather than being controlled by food, you make the choices and enjoy the benefits.
Is there a message you would like to tell someone who may be reading this, who is currently struggling with an eating disorder?
I have spent over thirty years helping people, including myself, make the right food choices. It’s a lot easier than you think. You don’t need expensive gym memberships, diet pills or obsessive restrictive diets to maintain your Perfect Weight Forever. Knowing the facts and scientific evidence about the food you eat empowers you to change your associations with food and make positive healthier choices.
Your body will also thank you for the changes you can easily make to feel healthier and more energised, instead of feeling tired, lethargic, fat and unhappy, full of guilt or self-loathing. You deserve to be happy in your body, with a healthy relationship to food, not being controlled by food.
According to this study cited by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, at least 30 million people in the U.S. of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. Can you suggest 3–5 reasons why this has become such a critical issue recently?
70% of the foods you eat today were never eaten by your ancestors. Our bodies and metabolism have not evolved or adapted to this modern way of eating which includes sugar in excess, starchy carbohydrates, and processed junk food. There is so much confusion around healthy eating and what foods to avoid, plus a multi-billion dollar diet industry that makes money from people’s obsession with food and failure to maintain their perfect weight.
Based on your insight, what concrete steps can a) individuals, b) corporations, c) communities and d) leaders do to address the core issues that are leading to this problem?
So called ‘Junk food’ and ‘fast food’ shouldn’t even be called ‘food’ — they are a cocktail of chemicals, colorings, sugar, trans fat, and preservatives. According to research, a diet of burgers, chips, pizza, and cake will program your brain into craving even more foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Over the years these junk foods can become a substitute for happiness and can lead to binges and unhealthy behaviour and addictions. We are constantly being marketed to that these things will make us happy, so people are linking pleasure to consuming unhealthy foods and then pain to weight gain. In addition, the media set this unattainable ideal of unrealistic beauty, which further encourages people to not feel good enough, slim enough or pretty enough.
I regularly share free resources on my blog and newsletter and wrote this article on 5 addictive foods to avoid for healthy living and share the Foods I Rate and the Foods I Hate to help provide some much-needed guidance.
As you know, one of the challenges of an eating disorder is the harmful and dismissive sentiment of “why can’t you just control yourself”. What do you think needs to be done to make it apparent that an eating disorder is an illness just like heart disease or schizophrenia?
Eating disorders are a complex mental health condition, which may involve overeating large quantities of food all at once, limiting the amount of food eaten, or getting rid of food eaten in unhealthy ways — or a combination of all these behaviours.
It’s hard to fight our wiring and we are wired to binge on sugar to remember where it is and to keep going back for more. That’s what our ancestors did when they found honey. We are also wired to eat food when it’s’ in our line of vision, to overeat when we have too much variety and to crave any food that is a combination of fat and sugar as its reminiscent of breast milk. We are equally wired to be scared of feeling hunger as once, it was the main cause of death This wiring ensured we survived when food was scarce, that we didn’t leave or waste food and that we ate whenever food was present. We still have the same wiring now and, even though food is not scarce we eat as if it is and cannot resist the snack table at work or the free biscuits. When we understand how and why we are wired to eat we can make better choices and understand we are not weak or out of control, we are simply wired to survive by eating food instead of resisting it.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that have helped you with your struggle? Can you explain why you like them?
● Your Body Speaks your Mind — Deb Shapiro — there’s an Amazon review which says “this is the book all therapists should have on their bookshelf” and they are right.
● The Power of your Subconscious Mind — Joseph Murphy — wonderfully written and with practical, thoughtful advice, this book has helped so many achieve so much.
● Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself — Joe Dispenza — I love this book because it encourages you to “create the reality you choose.”
● Awaken the Giant Within — Tony Robbins — you can’t fail to be encouraged by this man’s enthusiasm and passion.
● The Biology of Belief — Bruce Lipton — stunningly scientific and absolutely fascinating.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
First, you make your beliefs and then your beliefs make you so you may as well make your beliefs amazing.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, I am now sharing my award-winning work with others, to benefit as many people as possible. I am teaching the proven techniques I have developed, to achieve unparalleled results, to other therapists, doctors, coaches and people with a passion to help others all over the world. Nothing gives me more fulfillment than empowering people to lead happier, healthier lives.
Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™) combines the most beneficial principles of Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, NLP, CBT Neuroplasticity and Neuroscience in a complete solution-based treatment. RTT™ has won numerous awards and accolades and continues to grow in global recognition as an effective therapy for achieving fast and permanent results.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the largest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
From years of experience in the therapist’s chair, I believe that the common denominator of almost everyone’s issues is that, somewhere along the way, they learned that they weren’t good enough. Not thin enough, lovable enough, successful enough, talented enough, or good enough to be accepted and loved unconditionally.
The number one way to love yourself more is by truly believing that you are enough. I have watched over and over how a simple, profound, and life-changing mantra of ‘I am Enough’ can build self-love and eliminate any limiting beliefs forever.
The truth is that you are enough just as you are, you always have been and you always will be.
I want people to not just ‘know’ that they are enough at an intellectual level, I want them to feel it, live it and embody it. When you truly understand that you are enough, you can live a life full of meaning and purpose, free of the feelings of inadequacy that so many people struggle with.
‘I Am Enough’ is the most powerful statement of truth I have taught millions of people all over the world to use to transform their lives. When you truly believe you are enough, your life will improve in the most amazing ways.
My passion is to help people to live a life full of meaning and purpose. That is why I wrote the book and on-line programme ‘I Am Enough’ as I want people to experience the transformative power that this can have in their lives.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!