Tobey Geise, healing dysfunctional relationships with food and body

Tobey Geise is a lifelong student, always seeking and evolving. She began her personal growth path in 2004, diving deep into self-awareness and transformational work. Her growth path led her to spirituality, where she overcame a painful eating disorder and turned her attention to healing her mind, body, and soul.
She believes that “We have 4 Bodies: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical. True health is taking care of all 4 of our bodies, and all 4 of our bodies are interconnected, so tending to one area can positively impact another.

She now calls herself a transformational coach who “seeks to help women heal from a dysfunctional relationship with food and body so they can find freedom and fall in love with themselves.

She is passionate about empowering others to find their own healing within and create a new reality to live the life of their dreams. Tobey offers breakthrough sessions, energy healing, breathwork, workshops, events and retreats.

Her credentials include:

- Integrative NLP
- Master practitioner of NLP, Mental and Emotional Release and Hypnotherapy
Reiki
- Huna Energy Practitioner
Breathwork practitioner- energy healing

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Transcript:

Sharman Nittoli: 0:01
Welcome to the Live Your Bloom Podcast, where I interview people stepping out of their comfort zones to fulfill old dream seeds or plant new ones regardless of age. And I also interview people who have specific interests or programs that could benefit us on our journey to bloom, like my guest today. Toby Geise is a body liberation coach who seeks to help women heal from a dysfunctional relationship with food and body, so they can find freedom and fall in love with themselves. That sounds beautiful. She wants to empower you to create a new reality to live the life of your dreams. Welcome, Toby.

Tobey Geise: 0:42
Thank you so much. So excited to be here.

Sharman Nittoli: 0:45
Oh, I'm so glad to have you here because I know so many women struggle with this. And that would be my first question. Why more women than men?

Tobey Geise: 0:55
Society would be the first thing that I would point to, I mean, so many people are trying to live up to what society has told us that we were supposed to look like, and there's not that much attention on men. And the more social media has become popular. And it's like runs us now. And there's all these filters on social media, too. And you see these young kids who now, because of the filters on social media, they think that that's what they're supposed to look like. And they want to get plastic surgery, like 12 year olds. It's crazy.

Sharman Nittoli: 1:28
Yeah. And of course older people still grapple with the concept of, 'I don't like my nose.', 'I don't like my eyes'. 'I have bags. I don't want them.' 'Should I get plastic surgery? Should I not?' Which is a personal choice, you know, and I support anybody who wants to improve the way they look. But I was always curious about how does that balance with a realistic image of being 60, being 70, being 80, being 85. I always say, "I had a waist like Scarlett O'Hara when I was 21 " and I don't right now and it does trouble me." It does trouble me. I just can't seem to get her back, you know?

Tobey Geise: 2:10
Yeah. We place so much importance on this body. And part of the reason that I'm called a body liberation coach is that I, the term came to me, actually, it was given to me by an ex-boyfriend and I loved it because for me, it's twofold. One is that it's about liberating from the prison of the body, the problems with the body, the focus, the over obsession with the body. And also it's about liberating from this body and connecting more with spirit and connecting more with your soul. And I have a belief that we have a lot of lifetimes and this lifetime is just as quick as a blink of an eye. And why are we placing so much of our focus on this physical body, which is basically an apartment while we're here for the short period of time. When we could really be focusing on joy and how to make our lives better. Yes! Absolutely focused on the health of the body. But the amount of obsession that we place on this physical form and that we think that our body is who we are. You are not your body, where there's so much more to us as human beings, than this physical form.

Sharman Nittoli: 3:19
Yeah. I agree with that. And I know, I also think that in my work, I work with people just to try to figure out 'What is it you want to do?' 'What is your thing? What is that dream that you planted, but you never did?' or 'What do you have? Do you have a new dream?' Because really just doing 20 minutes a day on that dream can give you such a boost in your soul, that it kind of has a synergistic spillover of being able to make better choices possibly in your eating and your health and the rest of it. In other words, I don't have to wait to have a perfect body to be happy. I just have to start. I just have to start, that's all.

Tobey Geise: 4:02
Right, we do it backwards. And the society that we have to have the perfect body, the house, the car. We have to have all these things outside of us when it's not outside of us at all. Our entire reality lives in our heads and our joy is inside of us. And that's why I say I help people create new perspective so they can live the life of their dreams because you're in our entire lives are inside of our heads. And when we can change our perspective, we're changing the lens through which we see life. We're changing our eyes and we're seeing things differently and everything changes. There's at least a thousand different, more than a thousand different perspectives of every situation. Just like there's many truths, many truths, not just one.

Sharman Nittoli: 4:48
You know, you're a young woman to have all this wisdom about this particular topic. Can you share your journey with our listeners?

Tobey Geise: 4:56
Yes, and I look younger than I am.

Sharman Nittoli: 5:00
Wonderful.

Tobey Geise: 5:01
Yes. So when I was nine years old, my mom took me to the doctor for regular checkup and he put me on the scale. And he told me I was fat and I weighed 70 pounds. And that day changed my life forever. And for a long time, I was overly focused on the body since the age of nine. And when I was 12, I discovered Bulimia like, it was the holy grail. I was like, 'Oh my God, I can eat whatever I want.' And then I can just get rid of it. And then, just like any addiction, you know, when at the beginning alcoholics, 'so fun!' or 'cocaine is so fun!' Right. And then it becomes the demon that you can't get out from underneath. Right. You can't get away from it. And that's how it was for me. And it's just like a lot of other addictions are diseases. It's progressive. So I struggled with it until I was 35. So from 12 to 35, I would binge and purge. And until it got really bad where I totally hit the bottom, when I was 35, I was living in Chicago. It was also what my therapist called exercise gleaming. I'm like, 'what is that? Exercising is a good thing.' But I was, I would always train for races and triathalons and half iron man. And I was working out twice a day and my entire day would be ruined if I missed my workout. Because I had so much of my self worth tied up in that, and that when I cross this finish line, I'm going to be at my goal weight, and then I'll be worthy. Man, I'll be lovable. Then I can accept myself. No, well, I never hit my goal weight and I never, that was not the way to accept myself. And so I had a divine intervention, that brought me to San Diego to heal. And I was plucked out of this toxic life in Chicago. And I moved to San Diego totally by surprise. I was here visiting a friend and I had three job interviews. And then this company moved me out here. It was like, 'What? I didn't even plan on the job interview.' It just like, they just kind of fell in my lap. That's why I say it was divine intervention. It was totally not in my purview whatsoever. And so I came here and I got into Overeaters Anonymous, a 12 step group. And that was where my real healing journey began. And now mind you, I had been involved with personal growth since 2004. So for eight years at that point. And so I got into recovery and, more than that, nine years I was got into recovery in 2013. And so I did 12 steps diligently. I did everything I was supposed to do, and I had control over the food. And they teach just like in AA that if you, you know, in AA, if you have a sip of alcohol, then you're going to go right back down that dark path. If you have a bite of sugar, if you have a bite of your binge food, your trigger food, then you're going to go right back down and you're gonna start bingeing again. You know? So that's the mindset. Now, let me ask you, does that sound like freedom?

Sharman Nittoli: 8:01
No, not at all. No. Right. Sounds like a real trap for guilt. Because, you know, we can sneak it from everybody else, but we can't sneak it from ourselves, which is the thing when we become adults.

Tobey Geise: 8:15
Right.

Sharman Nittoli: 8:16
We we're the only ones that have to know what we're doing. So I've seen people, like in their purses, you know, put all their forbidden foods, their target foods and, and just kind of straight around, like they got it all under control. But they don't. They're sneaking, it's like sneaking a cigarette in the bathroom. You're still, you know, other people don't think you're smoking, you're smoking, but I'm fooling everybody else, but everybody else doesn't matter.

Tobey Geise: 8:44
Right. But it doesn't cause you're not free. And, you know, I lived in that. There's that you're speaking to the hiding and every addiction has hiding and it's just, it's awful. It feels so terrible to be living in hiding and people see one version and there's something else completely going on. You know, it's like closing all the blinds, not answering the phone so I can eat. Yeah. And it's really lonely. It's very, very painful.

Sharman Nittoli: 9:08
But I know. And I will just share with you, we talked about this once, but what I did have an eating disorder and what really set it off was when I actually got into the music business. 'Cause I was so uncomfortable with all eyes being on me. And it was during the time of the Twiggy look and I was surely not Twiggy, you know. So, I made the wrong connection in my mind, it was like the thinner I got the better I would look, the more I would be accepted and people wouldn't listen to me so much. Because I wasn't quite ready to get my talent out there, which many, many years later that I actually finally put myself out there as an artist. Even though I had been writing all along, I was very comfortable in just being the arranger, being the keyboard player secretly really, really wanting to do my bloom, which was to be a song artist. And so I made the wrong connection and I looked like a stallion, you know, long hair, skinny, Twiggy, boots up to my thighs, mini skirts, the whole thing. And it really was my sister who actually just took a look at me once and just said, 'How thin do you want to get?' And we started the road to healing. I was like phase shifting between what I thought I saw and then what I really saw, which was not a beautiful, healthy looking person. And plus, I wasn't really feeling it either. And it had nothing to do with the musicianship I wanted to develop. And the self-esteem as an artist that I wanted to develop.

Tobey Geise: 10:44
Yes. And the music industry is so much also about looks..

Sharman Nittoli: 10:48
Yeah.

Tobey Geise: 10:49
And then having this certain look in this appeal on this sexuality, and it's you're expected to be alluring, if you're in music.

Sharman Nittoli: 10:58
Yeah. You know, every once in awhile you would have a free spirit, like Janis Joplin. But Janis also had her demons, you know, and we surely still have that now.

Tobey Geise: 11:10
Yeah. It's especially with food because it's something that you are faced with, couple of times a day, however many meals you eat a day. So I used to always say, it's like, 'I have to face the tiger all the time'. But what eventually happened with me was, you know, oh, it wasn't the ultimate to my healing. It definitely got me on the journey. And I was introduced to a plant medicine called Iowasca, which is a psychedelic plant that is used for healing, that comes from different locations, mostly known in Peru, also Brazil. And it's grown in Hawaii and Columbia. It is incredible in my experience. It's not for everyone, but this was my healing path as somebody introduced this to me and said, I was like, 'What is that?' And he says to me, 'Well, I got, I was in talk therapy for 12 years. And I had way more healing in one weekend than I had in 12 years of talk therapy.' And I was like, 'I have to do this.' because I had been seeking, seeking, seeking, and I was in a way for four and a half years. And still every time I looked in the mirror, I hated myself. I'm like, 'Well, there's some I'm missing something.' Right. Like, 'How do I get past this?' Yeah. So that weekend was incredible because I had done a lot of work on myself up until that point. I had a full release of this eating disorder. That was, it was like an entity within me and it fully released. And I was replaced with this unconditional love. And the next day, I looked in the mirror and I literally saw a different face looking back at me. I didn't recognize myself. I said, 'Oh my God, I'm beautiful.' I had never allowed myself to see my beauty before. It was incredible. And then the next day, literally the next day I was like, 'Okay, how do I bring this to people?' Like, I always knew that there was something within me that I was supposed to help the world with and help other people with. But I didn't know what that was. And then I was like, 'Okay, this is it.' Like, 'Let's do this. How do I help other people find this healing?' I can't usher all these people into Iowasca. I don't know if that's my path. So I started studying other modalities. I got involved in Reiki, energy healing. And shortly after that breath work. And then I got involved in NLP neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy and the study of the unconscious mind. And, you know, I don't always say it because some people, I don't know, but it's my story. It's my truth. And it's been part of my healing journey and the more I learn about plant medicines, you know, and a lot of plant medicines are becoming legal for therapeutic use in different parts of the country. And I'm all on board for that. It's really, really exciting. And there's a lot of plant medicines that I use for therapeutic use and I'm starting to use with my clients, in lower levels, for some of the deeper experiences. And it's been incredible. I am an ever-evolving student and I'm curious and interested in so many things in so many modalities. So I now have a huge toolbox of modalities and certifications under my belt. And now I put them all together and I use whatever is necessary for whoever shows up in front of me. But I am very clear that I am a stand for people's deep transformation. And that is what I do. And I have a lot of tools in which to do that.

Sharman Nittoli: 14:37
Yes. I was looking, you have a lot of tools to do that. Very, very qualified and wonderful to say you say workshops, events, retreats, you do retreats?

Tobey Geise: 14:47
Yeah. So I was in corporate event planning for about 17 years.

Sharman Nittoli: 14:52
Okay.

Tobey Geise: 14:52
So I can't stop myself from planning events. It just happens in my brain while I sleep. So, yes.

Sharman Nittoli: 14:58
Yeah. You do group workshops?

Tobey Geise: 15:01
Well, actually I do. I have a course called "eliminate emotional eating" that I have run once I did a beta course and it went fantastically. And actually it was beautiful that people had a lot deeper healing than I even expected from just a six week course where people could take a six week course. And they think that they're going to learn a few things. But this is actually focused on, I don't do anything lightweight. Like everything I do is at a deep level, I'm a kind of an intense person. So yeah, people got a lot of deep healing out of it. So I will be running that again and I may be changing the name, but for now it's called "eliminate emotional eating a six-week blueprint to guilt-free eating." Yeah. And it covers the healing takes place and not just the physical body. And when we're talking about this issue of eating, most people are only focusing on the physical, but that's not where the problem lies that the eating behaviors, the weight gain, the relationship with food is all a symptom of something deeper. So we have to get to the root. So, and that lies in the spiritual, mental, or emotional bodies and true healing takes place on all four bodies. And I focus on that in my course.

Sharman Nittoli: 16:06
And I get the sense that this kind of work with people might be something they don't feel they need, but it might open up that, it might break that dam down, you know, that's the blockage, the blockage, and so many artists and people. I always think everybody has some kind of a gift and they are sometimes their own worst enemies. They stand in their way of accomplishing it out of fear. And how do you break that fear down? I think something like this could be very useful.

Tobey Geise: 16:37
Absolutely.

Sharman Nittoli: 16:38
Yeah.

Tobey Geise: 16:38
You know, and it's, if we tend to use, a lot of people are like, 'Am I an emotional eater?' I'm like, 'Well, probably if you're human', you know, I, and not to say that, like I never emotionally eat anymore, but I definitely don't binge the way that I used to. And it's not even a control thing. It's just a, more of a consciousness thing and, and having more of a reverence for the food and where it came from. And like, I like to treat my meals as a spiritual experience, you know? When it's like the intention that we have around everything matters way more than we think it does. Because if I have an intention to make this food a beautiful experience as I'm eating it, I'm being present with it, I'm tasting it. And I intend for this to be fuel for my body. And I always like to say, anything that doesn't serve my body, I release it. Right. So I don't want the fat and the sugar whatever's in that food to stick to me. I only want the fuel to be used and I put that intention into my food and it's a totally different experience. I always eat slower when I go through that process.

Sharman Nittoli: 17:39
And I find too that when you make choices like that, and I don't always do it, but you have to change your life when you're making your schedules, which is what I try to help people to do it up make a schedule based on their life. If you don't see shopping for food, preparing food and things like that right there. It's really not gonna happen. So what's gonna happen when you get hungry, and I'm guilty of this. I admit, but I'm like, I'm starving. I have no food in the house. I know I was supposed to go shopping, but I was on the piano all day yesterday. So I got to go out and eat wrong. I I'm eating something that is... not of my choosing and I happen to really love good food, you know, I'm Greek and I was raised on good food and large portions. We used to tease my mother. Like "You should have a scale there. And the goal should be, everybody should weigh 10 pounds more when they leave, " but that was her thing. She loved cooking for people and having everybody sit down and that was the connection, you know? So if you enjoy good food, good tastes and all this there's so much, you have to actually plan on it. You have to, make time to shop, where are you going to shop? Where are you going to eat? Know that you get off on certain tastes, make sure that you are cooking and you're having them together. You're able to prepare something that's going to turn you on. That's going to fulfill that desire to have a nice quality meal, and then also appreciate the spiritual side of it too. And then maybe not be so hungry later on when you're watching that movie to say like, 'Ooh, Carvel is having a two for one sale tonight. Maybe we should run out and get one.' Come up with something different, you know?

Tobey Geise: 19:28
And to be totally transparent because I always am. I don't always go through that process with food. I mean, it is. And you know, I go through phases where I'm like, I don't like cooking. I don't feel like food prepping. And so I end up like grabbing chips in between appointments, which is not what I want to do. And I also like to have those things in my house. I have freedom around them now, like I can have a pint of coconut ice cream in my freezer where there's all kinds of foods I never used to be able to have in the house and now I have them and I forget that they're there and then they don't consume my mind. And yes, making a Crock-Pot meal that I can eat, for all my meals or whatever. Because it's easy, but it's nutritious. This is I go through phases where I do a lot of food prep, and then I go through phases where I'm like, 'ah, whatever', and it always feels way better to have those nutritious meals prepared. And we're busy. We're all busy. So, it does know it happens. And my quick fix for everything is a salad. I love salads and I will eat them every day. So, that's the real quick that I can grabbin'

Sharman Nittoli: 20:33
And we're big on, we love in the summer, we put pomegranate on everything, and we make salads with watermelon. Nice watermelon. And it's really good. It's delicious. It's fresh. It's nutritional and tastes fabulous.

Tobey Geise: 20:47
That sounds delicious.

Sharman Nittoli: 20:48
Yeah. Yeah. My husband is a very good cook. So he'd been, we're both musicians. So he's been doing all the shopping and the cooking. However, he's a Sicilian. Portions? Forget about it, bowl of pasta like this, and there's been times it's just so good. We're like, 'we've got to polish this off today'.

Tobey Geise: 21:07
And with portions, like I like to teach my clients to intuitively eat. And I, my version of intuitive eating is probably different than how it is in other modalities, other teachings, but I teach people how to connect with their intuition and how to tap into their intuition and how to listen to their body. And we go through exercises where, if you have pain in your body, let's go in and see what the pain is saying to you. What's the message? What's the lesson? And as a way to really connect with the body and listen to what the body wants and needs. And when it's very easy to do, actually, and your body's going to ask for certain things, your body's going to maybe ask for certain vitamins or nutrients or more water or whatever it needs. And we can hear our bodies speak to us. And in that sense, when you're eating more presently and when you're starting to get full, like just pause, put the fork down. Have some more conversation, and your body takes 20 minutes to get full. So if you're eating until the point that you're full, you're going to be overly stuffed in 20 minutes, you're going to be in pain, probably. So I make a portion size and I'm like, 'okay, well, if I'm still hungry after this', then I can go get something else. I can go eat more. But giving yourself that 20 minute.

Sharman Nittoli: 22:19
Yeah.

Tobey Geise: 22:20
It can be really helpful.

Sharman Nittoli: 22:22
Yeah. And we started doing something. We never did this before, but if we do go out, we just split the meal, we split it and then maybe I'll get something else. Maybe I'll get fruit or something. And we split both. And we're full afterwards. And you realize they give you far too much food, they really do. So, we control it that way. And so people think that we're being so romantic. Oh, look at those two old people. They're so cute. It's sad. It's not that, it's a practical thing. Yeah. I have a question for you. If someone comes to you, what would be your first thing you would do with them?

Tobey Geise: 23:01
I have several different entry points. So it depends on what problem they have, what specifically they're looking for, because I am a breathwork practitioner. So some people come to me for breathwork and energy healing. If they're ready to really heal what they have going on, we'll go directly into one-on-one coaching. But if people are like, I'm not sure, I need to get a sense of you, a taste of you I'd put them into my course, but I also do aside from breathwork I do another one-on-one energy healing process. So it really just depends on. What is hypnotherapy. And so, and that's the thing is like, I have so many tools in my toolbox that it's really about what is it that you want to accomplish? And we'll pick a customized route.

Sharman Nittoli: 23:49
And you, do you find that sometimes people come in wanting a certain thing and then it transforms into something else?

Tobey Geise: 23:55
Yes, because they don't know what they want right now. A lot of times people don't know what they need, but you know, in a conversation together that becomes very clear. I'm very good at seeing into people's souls.

Sharman Nittoli: 24:05
That you were because you've lived it. So you, you know, I'm just gonna let it go with that.

Tobey Geise: 24:10
Well, this is cool. And you're going to let me know when you have the course. I might even take it myself, you know? Oh, cool!

Sharman Nittoli: 24:16
This has been very interesting. I mean, I'm sure we could talk about this for hours, but we will end it here and I'm sure we're going to be in touch with each other. Again, this has been a joy. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I appreciate you Sharman. I appreciate you, too. Thank you.

Tobey Geise: 24:31
Take care. Bye.

 

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