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Fight to Be Fit

Aired September 25, 2012 - 21:00   ET



DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Beyonce sheds the pounds, makes it look easy. So does Jessica Simpson. But what if you don`t have a personal trainer, a personal chef, or a nanny to watch your kids while you`re at the gym? Can you really do what they did?

Ali Vincent from "The Biggest Loser" and celebrity fitness trainer Jackie Warner are here with the answers.

And, later, are you or a loved one in the grips of an eating disorder? Call now. I`m here to help.


PINSKY: All right. So we are going to get into food and eating and disorders around eating.

I`m beginning with Ali Vincent who weighed 234 pounds when she started season five of "Biggest Loser". By the end, she had taken off 112 pounds and walked away the winner. She is host of "Live Big" on the Live Well Network.

Also, I`ve got Jenny Hutt. She`s a working mom and host of "Just Jenny" on Sirius XM.

Jenny, I`m going to start with you. What was your -- you know, they want to ask what the catalyst is. I like asking what was your bottom? What finally motivated you to turn things around?

JENNY HUTT, HOST, "JUST JENNY," SIRIUS XM RADIO: Well, what motivated me was my mother had passed away and throughout her illness and when she died, my weight spiraled out of control. I`d gone from having a moderate weight issue to a really big weight issue, pun intended.

And then I found out I had high blood pressure and a lot of heart issues going on. And at 39 years old, that was unacceptable.

PINSKY: And, I`ve only known you to be a small person. You`ve had me on your radio show. I didn`t know this about you. You don`t --

HUTT: Yes.

PINSKY: Did you have to sort of adjust your concept when you lost that weight?

HUTT: Oh gosh, yes. I continually adjust my self-concept, because I think once you`re a fat person, it`s hard to shed the whole fat person notion. I kind of believe once a fatty, always a fatty, referring to myself, because the moment I get even slightly sanctimonious about my body, I gain it back.

That`s the reality of having a weight issue. We`ll always have it. I will always have it.

PINSKY: And we`re going to have Ali by Skype. Ali, I think you`re on phone right now.

Are you there with us?

ALI VINCENT, HOST, "LIVE BIG WITH ALI VINCENT" (via telephone): Yes, I am. How are you, Dr. Drew?

PINSKY: We`re great. Thank you.

Now, can you relate to what Jenny was saying about body image and feeling like -- we`re going to talk about this later but it`s in the realm of body concepts having to be adjusted. Go ahead.

VINCENT: Well, I think absolutely. You have to kind of see yourself as the lighter person versus the heavier person and making sure that you`re keeping those decisions conscious. I don`t consider myself a fatty, if you will, but I also for me because I was heavy when -- I was healthy growing up. So, heavy became my adult life. So, that felt more uncomfortable than being healthy does.

Being overweight felt more fraudulent than being healthy now feels. But I do know that sometimes, you know, if I ever forget and I think my gosh I`m huge, I`m fat. I take a picture of myself and think, no, I`m not. You know what I mean?

It`s really changing that conversation. And making it more about the choices and the lifestyle I want to live versus the actual weight. The weight is the result of the lifestyle I choose to live.

PINSKY: Jenny, you want to say something there?

HUTT: Yes. Well, I was going to say it`s interesting that Ali mentioned taking pictures, because I`m a big pictures of taking a self-y. It`s a reminder of this is my body now. This is what I look like now.

So, on the moments that I get nervous -- like if I have a big meal, Dr. Drew, I can really think that I`ve morphed into somebody who`s 30 pounds heavier than I am. So, I`ll take a picture to remind myself. It`s OK. You`re going to be OK. And I weigh myself every day.

VINCENT: One of the things that I do as far as sometimes I`ll have lunch with the girlfriends and we`ll order the exact same things. I call these my fat girl moments. I think she has more than I have. Then I have to calm down and say it`s OK.

Honestly before, I would switch out the plates. Now I`m like you`re going to be all right, Ali. They`re the same portions.

PINSKY: Now, you guys have had great success with this. Was that Jenny`s picture up a moment ago? Was that a picture of her in days gone by?

If you really put that back again, it`s really quite stunning. It was somebody else, OK.

I want to talk more about -- that`s not Jenny.

VINCENT: That`s not me.

PINSKY: Who is that? Is that Alex?

VINCENT: But you guys have a fat picture.

PINSKY: Is that Alex? Who I think you guys have talked earlier today. I`m going to talk to Alex, because I want to talk about solutions for other of our viewers. You guys have had had great success with this. What do people at home do?

Now, earlier today, Alex called our producers because she was struggling with weight and self-esteem.

Alex, you sent us your picture. That`s the picture I was seeing up there. Can you -- what`s your question for these women who have had success losing weight?

ALEX, CALLER: Dr. Drew, hi. My biggest problem I will fluctuate with my weight. I`ll lose weight, and then something will happen, and I want to gain it back so that people don`t look at me, people don`t pay attention to me. I`m kind of nobody in the room.

And I find that having my weight kind of -- even though it depresses me a lot, I feel in my own mind, it stops me from getting hurt.

PINSKY: Now, isn`t that interesting. I hear those kinds of reports a lot and unfortunately that part of the weight conversation is being missed by the American public -- the emotional component of eating, the fact that having a big body protects people from the outside world and protects them from relationships because if they don`t have relationships, they don`t get hurt.

Jenny, you want to comment on that?

HUTT: Yes. First of all, you`re totally right. When I was overweight, I definitely unknowingly used it as a mechanism to stop myself from being who I wanted to be. I think it was subconscious.

And I think you`re even farther ahead of me than I was, because the fact that you know this about yourself, I think is the first step toward your deciding that you want more. And once you really, really, really make that decision and then make the right steps toward getting what you want, you`re going to get there. You`re going to lose the weight that you feel you need to lose.

PINSKY: Ali, do you have a comment to that?

VINCENT: I would love to comment on that. I wrote my book "Believe It, Be It," and what it was, was that I truly believe that 90 percent of the equation of this weight loss journey is a mental equation, is why did we have the weight, how does it hold us back? How do we feel like it protects us?

And, you know, sure, I was big and didn`t get hurt. I kept everybody 112 pounds away from me. That stopped me from having the relationships I want, from making the difference that I want, from having the job that I want.

But really, it was what was protecting me was creating exactly what I was protecting myself from. So it was actually hurting me and hindering me. And I think that by acknowledging that and taking it in to a mental thing, that`s one of the things I wanted to do to "Live Big with Ali Vincent."

I go to people`s houses and talk to their families and friends and be like, OK, are you supporting them or enabling them? And I know that that it feels uncomfortable. But if you really love them, we need to conquer this uncomfortable phase so they don`t have to feel a prisoner to their own body and to feel like they`re hiding or disappointing or they`re not worth being seen.

I think it goes on both -- you probably would agree, Dr. Drew, that it goes in both ends of the spectrum as far as whether you`re morbidly obese or you`re dealing with anorexia. It`s whether or not I feel I deserve to be seen.

And that`s what we really need to talk about. What are we afraid of? How do we protect ourselves without having to hurt ourselves? You know, we don`t want anybody to judge us or to hurt us so we do it first. That`s not OK.

PINSKY: But, Ali, I`ve got to take a break. Sorry to interrupt you.

That is how humans behave. Humans would rather be in pain now and be in control how they`re rendering that pain to themselves then be at the whim of relationships or others who might hurt them. It`s a crazy thing we do.

You guys are making a great point.

I also want to talk about people just a little bit over weight, a few pounds rather than way overweight.

We`re also going to talk about eating disorders. We`re going to talk to a woman who struggle with a diagnosed eating disorder. And we`ll have an eating disorder expert in here.

Next up, I`ve got a reality star and celebrity fitness trainer Jackie Warner with her secrets to losing the weight and keeping it off.


PINSKY: Jackie Warner is a fitness trainer, a reality TV star and author of this book "10 Pounds in 10 Days: The Secret Celebrity Program for Losing Weight Fast."

All right. Let`s just start. I want to take calls quickly as we can.

Thank you for being here, Jackie.


PINSKY: Top tips I guess you told our producers is a shorter cardio workout.

WARNER: I know. People love to hear this. I say it`s not how long, it`s how strong. So, really decrease that time, you see the same girls on the ellipticals on the treadmills for two hours and they never change their body type. You have to bring incorporate high intensity in the treading where your heart rate way for increments and then down, and then up and down. You only need that to 20 minutes a day.

PINSKY: I worked with trainers for years and I`m sort of interested in all this field. I wonder if there`s different recommendations for different body types, different mixes of kind of muscle.

Does it need to be tailored to the individual or to the general --

WARNER: As a matter of fact, I always say you need to simplify your program. Throw away your heart monitors. I`ve said it for years. Now the science shows that.

We need to simplify the program and not worry about fast twitch, slow twitch. Your body will build with the body that you are. So, if you`re a mesomorph, which is short squat, you`re going to build thicker than a woman who`s my body type, which is an ectomorph. So your body type is going to build in a way that`s genetically predispositioned.

PINSKY: I see Jenny shaking her head. What`s up there, Jenny? You have a question about this?

HUTT: I did. Well, first of all I am a mesomorph so I have the short squat issue. But I have to have a heart rate monitor, for two reasons. One, I won`t work hard enough unless I see that I`m working hard enough. And two, I want to make sure I don`t work too hard because I`m afraid I`ll stroke out.

PINSKY: Well, let me tell you as a physician, you will not stroke out. That will not happen, number one. Number two, what about the feedback some people like?

WARNER: Well, it`s interesting. It`s wonderful to have that feedback. What I like to do is make sure I`ve got my speed increments and I like to challenge myself by increasing my speed on a treadmill, elliptical or a stair stepper, or even outside, and increase that speed as I go.

So, every month for instance, if you start at a rate of 5.5 on a run with a flat incline, then you want to increase that speed and challenge yourself each time to -- each week to increase it to two points more. So when you`re sprinting for your minute, you`re going 7.0, 8.0 after six months. And that`s going to increase your intensity.

Not only that, but it breaks those plateaus. I guarantee you, you`re plateauing right now with that heart monitor.

PINSKY: Let`s go to call.

Tanya in California -- Tanya.

TANYA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I`m calling because I`m 50 years old. I`ve picked up, maybe 30 pounds. And I`ve done exercise, trying to eat healthy. And it just won`t go away. I`ll lose, like, five pounds then it will come back.

PINSKY: That`s got to be a common story.

WARNER: It`s a very common story. Here`s the real truth. After the age of 40, a woman`s hormones change greatly. Really decrease in testosterone.


WAGNER: You decrease in HGH, which is human growth hormone, that`s the youth hormone.

PINSKY: I`m going to stop you. I`m in the opinion we should be replacing those things. That`s my personal -- as a physician -- opinion. That women should have those levels and they should be replaced to a more youthful level because it helps their mood, it helps their ability to lose the weight, it helps their libido. It helps so much.

We don`t know the long-term consequence of this yet. I`m a fan of replacement, are you?

WAGNER: I`m not a fan of HGH replacement. Testosterone, yes, I am.

Everything gets better with testosterone, ladies. The guys are having it. The guys have it. They maintain that muscle. They keep their sex drive. That testosterone is great.

PINSKY: And how about optimizing your diet as best you can?

WAGNER: Exactly. There are foods, primarily foods that have amino acids, such as free range meat, always eat free range meats like chicken, poultry, everything. And even stake occasionally. It will give you the amino acids that actually caused an environment in your system to create more HGH. HGH is primarily increased at night and alcohol stunts that production. So you got to really decrease alcohol intake a night.

PINSKY: Thanks, Tanya.

We have another caller up.

Ali, let me go to you, because you don`t have a chance to ring in. Anything you have to say about this conversation so far? I believe we have you on Skype again. Let`s see.

VINCENT: Yes. I am on Skype. I think I`m on the phone on Skype.

But one of the things that I think as far as a heart rate monitor as I know we were talking about with Jackie. I definitely use a heart rate monitor because it takes me to where I need to go. Currently right now I`m training for an Ironman and I need to make sure I take myself to different places within my training, but then can have the endurance to stay through it.

So, I`m a huge advocate of knowing exactly where you`re at. So, I think it`s interesting to see the different philosophies. But for people that I work with that are just starting, I think if you`re in the world of fitness and you know it and you know your body, I think that`s one thing. But I think when you`re just starting, it`s important to be aware of all of our numbers.

And that`s what we really try to communicate with "Live Big with Ali Vincent," because we have people that are morbidly obese. We have people that are 10 pounds, 20 pounds.

WARNER: Right.


VINCENT: And, each of those, Ali, you`re describing different medical circumstances where monitoring might be appropriate.

WARNER: OK, exactly. If you have a heart condition, if you`re morbidly obese, if you`ve spoken to your doctor and he recommends a heart monitor -- I`m talking about the norm in regards to weight loss. I have to tell you something -- when you have contraptions or things that complicate or you`re constantly referring to during your workout and you`re not reaching that mind muscle connection, during your workout, we tend to sabotage more. Fifteen years owning gyms when I see people on their heart monitors, trust me, they`re not getting the kind of heart rate up or that high intensity interval training as they would without it.

But, again, it`s a personal preference. You are not the norm. But -- and if your doctor tells you to, then absolutely listen.

PINSKY: There`s another interesting piece to this, too, is having a person there supporting you and encouraging you. People perform much better. And there are loners guys, people who work out alone and like to and do fine. But most people really need that other person there encouraging them.

Just like any kind of therapy. It`s interesting, isn`t it? I mean, that`s your job.

WARNER: Of course. Reason why trainers are always going to exist is because we have accountability with our clients. And just having someone to be accountable to and waiting there for you and guiding you through exercises that are sometimes tricky and that you can`t remember is huge. And that`s why --

PINSKY: And that emotional support to perform at a higher level.

Jenny, I see you raising. But I`ve got to take a break. We`ll start with you when you get back. More information on weight loss and diet after the break.

And later, we`ll have a woman struggle -- a couple of women, in fact - - who struggle with eating disorders, severe disorders. How she copes with it and an expert`s opinion, after this.


PINSKY: Do celebrities have the advantage when it comes to losing weight and dieting? My guests say no. We all can get at this.

Jenny, before we went to break you wanted to say something. Go ahead.

HUTT: Well, I know we`re going to get into food and everything else. I was just going to say if you can`t afford a trainer, Dr. Drew, you can take a class. I go to Soul Cycle and it`s fun. I hang with my friends and it`s better than eating together. So there are other options.

PINSKY: There are tons of options and the best exercise is the exercise you`ll do. That`s what I`m saying.

HUTT: Right.

PINSKY: Different people have different psychologies around exercise, Jackie. And I`m sharing my own personal psychology. I think we`re weird.

WARNER: Yes, we`re different.

PINSKY: But let`s go to food and talk about what the zone is that people should be aiming for. We`re going to talk about the average person, Jackie.

WARNER: Right.

PINSKY: There`s lots of preoccupations, lots of diets out there. Everyone thinks they know what the answer is going to be. There`s a blood type diet. It`s going to be this diet.

Where should people focus?

WARNER: Honestly, the zone had it down. Really eating with the principles of the zone, the 40-30-30 program is good, 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbs, 30 percent fat.

PINSKY: And then portion management.

WARNER: And, of course, portion management. Here`s the thing -- I always say you`re not going to get fat by eating too many fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.

It`s the real foods. It`s the whole foods. It`s difficult to get sizable weight on with those foods. You can seat a surplus of them. And you should, especially if you`re training, you should.

PINSKY: Jenny, go ahead.

HUTT: Yes, but that`s the complexity of the situation, Jackie. That it`s not so easy for everybody to make the right choices.

So I think with what I like to do is I like to aim to do something like the zone and to eat low glycemic and to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins and free range, et cetera. But the truth is, sometimes I want to eat just cup cakes and I want to have pizza.

And the reality of life is that`s what happens. There are days that I eat only pizza, then I go back to try and to eat a more helpful lifestyle.


WARNER: When you actually eat about four servings of vegetables, two servings of fruit, two servings of fat, three of protein a day, first of all, you`re not craving. It curbs the cravings and you`re not craving the things you normally would, such as the pizza and the cup cake.

PINSKY: Jenny, I feel your pain. I know what Jackie is talking about, because I know what those instances like, but there`s nothing like a carbohydrate.

WARNER: Eat on the six, seven day. Five clean, six, seven day cheat.

PINSKY: I got to calls. Go ahead, Jenny. Finish up.

HUTT: I was just going to say I calorie count. So, if I have a day where I eat pizza, I stay within the appropriate calorie range.

PINSKY: Ali you say yes.

VINCENT: I say absolutely. I`m definitely a calorie counter. I`m not willing to not eat something but I`m also not willing to eat something and pay the price of being heavy. So now, I know through calories if I want it, then I got to put the extra time in the gym. It`s calories in, calories out.

With that thought process, if you eat a million calories of lean meats, you`re going to gain weight.

We`ll talk later about bulimia and anorexia. And you got an exercise bulimia, it`s a very common thing these days, that goes miss (ph).

And calories is, calories in, excess exercise, is a bulimic sort of setup. We`ll talk about that. I`m not saying that`s what Ali necessarily has. But people have to be careful of that as well.

I`m not accusing you of that.

Dan in North Carolina -- Dan.

DAN, CALLER FROM NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I`m a 50-year-old stay at home dad in North Carolina. I`ve stayed home for the last 12 years. And my -- I`ve gained weight every year I`ve stayed home with my daughters. Now I`m 250 and I`m 5`9." and the reason is just real quick, they have pizza or something. I eat that extra slice. Why throw it out.

I was just trying to say, we can get caught -- being a stay at home parent, there`s a lot of stuff that we can get caught in the day-to-day, you know, humdrums. How can I change my life and get my life back and exercise and eat healthy, and show you a good example, especially for my daughters.

PINSKY: I`m going to have to wrap it up because I`m out of time. I want to thank Jackie and Ali and Jenny.

I know he asked a great question. It triggers me to think about the momentum people have with gaining or losing weight. If you can just turn the battleship around, if you can get momentum, stabilize those insulin levels. Have a few days where it`s 40-30-30 predominantly. You will have find that you have a better ability.

And, by the way, kids shouldn`t be eating all that crap, anyway, should they? They should also in a similar diet to what we`re discovering here tonight.

After the break I have actresses Traci Dinwiddie and Elisa Donovan. They tell me how they dealt with eating disorders. That is next. Here they are.



KATIE COURIC, TV HOST: I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that. And I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you want to eat one thing, that`s wrong, you`re full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself. But there`s one cookie, or something, stick a gum that isn`t sugarless, I would sometimes beat myself up for that.


PINSKY: I did not know that about, Katie, but that she herself on "Katie," revealing her own battle with bulimia. Lady Gaga posted this picture on with a caption, "Bulimia and anorexia since I was 15."

Joining me with their personal struggles with these issues are -- well, first of all, I have an eating disorder expert here to discuss it with me, Dr. Patricia Pitts. Guys, get a picture of her. There she is. And she has had decades of experience. I had the great pleasure of working with Patricia over many years.

I also have actress Elisa Donovan who says she was a, quote, "hard core anorexic".

Hi, Elisa. How are you? There she is

ELISA DONOVAN, ACTRESS. I`m great. How are you?

PINSKY: And actress Traci Dinwiddie --

DONOVAN: Nice to hear you but not see you.

PINSKY: Well, we see you. We get to enjoy that.


PINSKY: And actress, Traci Dinwiddie, who was suffered from what is being called compulsive eating, bulimia, anorexia. Dr. Pitts, I`m going to you first. It`s very common for there to be a combination or spectrum of eating disorders. It`s not all one all the other, buy maybe one time or another. So, that`s a common thing with Tracy as I deal with.

In the last segment, we talk to a caller -- Ali who said that, geez, if I eat a little too much then I go to the gym and exercise more.


PINSKY: When is that exercise bulimia and when is that just overzealousness?

PITTS: It`s really difficult, because some things that we do may look like an eating disorder. It may not look like an eating disorder. So, we`re really looking at teasing out normal eating versus disorder eating versus eating disorder. And so, when something is too strong or extreme --


PITTS: Like excessively, for example, somebody working out daily for say an hour and a half per day, maybe two hours per day, really intensely to burn calories, that`s when we start seeing some things that would be more exercise bulimia.

PINSKY: Traci, did you have the exercise bulimia also. I saw you sort of nodding. You had everything. You had everything eating disorder.

TRACI DINWIDDIE, ACTRESS: The smorgasbord, I took it. Yes.

PINSKY: And what was the bottom for you? How did you turn it around?

DINWIDDIE: Well, I had many bottoms, but one that I pushed off from was after throwing a meal into a trash can, I wouldn`t even call it a meal. It was more like poisonous food, yes, put detergent on it, took it out to the garbage can, dumped it, came back into the house and all of this had to go slowly, because I couldn`t move.

I was in so much pain. Once the pain subsided enough, I went back out, dug into the garbage, pulled it out, went through the morsels and found anything that was still edible and ate it.

PINSKY: I see the emotion in your body, frankly, as you tell the story.

DINWIDDIE: Yes. You relive it.

PINSKY: -- deeply, deeply intense experience for you.


PINSKY: Well, it`s extreme, but it`s extremely emotional which I think people miss that part. In fact, interesting, I`ve got Elisa up on the screen here. I saw Elisa, you took a big deep breath as she was telling that story. You can relate as well.

DONOVAN: Well, yes, because I think we all have stories like this. And what`s so just miraculously beautiful about people talking about this is that, you know, one of the main issues with this is the secretive nature of it, of both the behavior and the feelings surrounding it and the shame surrounding it.

And, it`s just so vital that people talk about it in this way that demystifies it and takes the specialness out of it. And, you know, I can`t see you, Traci, but I can imagine it is -- it`s all about emotion. It`s all about having feelings that are too big that you don`t know how to cope with them or hopes and fears that are so large that you can`t manage.

PINSKY: That`s an important piece people miss about eating disorders. They are a bid to regulate emotions. Let`s go to Laurie in Connecticut -- Laurie.

LAURIE, CONNECTICUT: Hi. Good evening.

PINSKY: Good evening.

LAURIE: Yes. I had an older sister. Her name was Betsy, and she died in her sleep from complications of eating disorders when she was 25. This was in 1987. I was 19 years old. And there was just not a lot of information about really the severe effects that eating disorders could have on your body.

PINSKY: Laurie, let`s talk about that right now. Dr. Pitts, how do we know if somebody has a life threatening eating disorder and what percentage of eating disorders remit on their own or become life threatening versus need treatment?

PITTS: Right. Well, what we see is in the mental health illnesses, eating disorders are the highest death rate of all eating -- of all mental health illnesses and will stay up to 20 percent.

PINSKY: That`s what --

PITTS: And that`s extremely high.

PINSKY: That`s in bad eating disorder.

PITTS: And that`s a bad eating disorder.


PITTS: Absolutely. But we see a lot of people, only one in ten people, Dr. Drew, get treatment. And those who get treatment, there`s only a very small percentage that really recover, and that`s more like 20 percent. Like, 20 percent die and then some are partially recovered and some are less partially recovered. So, there`s this tier of recovery with eating disorders.

PINSKY: Now, are you talking about younger people specifically or just the spectrum across the age --

PITTS: That`s a great question.


PITTS: A great question. Normally, we see it in the younger people because we see it as (INAUDIBLE) disorder. Adolescent, of course. But the reality is that it`s across the life span. Eating disorders with men and women --

PINSKY: More commonly --

PITTS: Children, elderly who see it in our old folks home.

PINSKY: Is it -- once somebody - let`s say, Traci, -- are you struggling -- do you have to work with this on a daily basis?

DINWIDDIE: Yes. They don`t go away.

PINSKY: So, it`s a chronic condition. Is it always a chronic condition, Dr. Pitts?

PITTS: You know, I don`t believe that.


DINWIDDIE: I have a bottom line. I have abstained from sugar and flour for the past three years.

PINSKY: And that helps you?

DINWIDDIE: And that helps among other things, too.

PINSKY: Elisa, do you want to comment about that, too?

DONOVAN: Yes. I wanted to say that, you know, it takes such diligence and such fierce commitment to actually want to get better, to truly recover. And it`s -- you know, I don`t struggle with it on a day-to- day basis now. I don`t.

And the fact that I can say that with complete truth is really a miracle, because there was a time and a long period of time when I didn`t go five seconds without thinking about food or my body. And the reason that I`ve recovered so fully --

PINSKY: Go ahead.

DONOVAN: -- is because I made it my primary purpose to get well. I went to therapy for many, many, many years, saw doctors and specialists and helped other people. And I really had to get to the root of my problems in order to truly recover and lead a happy and full life, because that`s the point, right?

PINSKY: Yes, absolutely. A flourishing life is what we want people to return to. But I think what we`re hearing is that eating disorder is ,sometimes, a symptom of other -- or a combination with other -- sometimes it`s primary. And when it`s primary and severe, it tends to be more chronic and require daily management. Would that be right? Elisa, what do you say?


PINSKY: OK. We`re going to keep this conversation going. We`ll take much more of your calls. Again, the phone number, 855-373-7395. Jackie, we`re going to hear what you had to say about your sort of approach to the eating disorders. Is it for the exercise piece or the diet or both?


PINSKY: All right. We`ll talk about it. We`ll talk about it more after the break.


PINSKY: Here`s a factoid from the website screening for mental health. Dr. Pitts tells me this (ph) with her understanding. Twenty-four million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States. We`ve been talking about eating disorders.

Jackie, you`re going to tell us what you do when you realize someone does have an eating disorder. My question is two fold, A, whom do you refer, you refer them, and B, whether or not you refer them, if you continue to work with them, what do you do?

WARNER: Well, it`s interesting, because one, I can never identify that they have an eating disorder initially. Quite a bit of trust has to be formed. And, that`s number one. And everything has to be done in controlled steps. Number one is I put them on an incredible supplement plan which is no calories.

So, I`m not giving them additional food for anorexics in particular this is really key. I`m not giving them additional food or telling them to do something that just goes inherently against what they want to do for themselves at that moment. I`m giving them supplementation, quite a bit of it. So, we give them the nutrients.

And I focus on the stabilizing effects that that have such as your hair is going to shine, your skin is going to come back. And so, we focus on the outside effects of that. And then, we get into the psychological training that we do through a training. And of course, we can`t do hard training. We can`t do hard training --

PINSKY: It could be dangerous.

WARNER: It could be dangerous. Exactly.

PINSKY: Patrician, you wanted to share something.

PITTS: Well, my big concern is when you`re talking it`s more food is medicine. And so, in my experience and working on our treatment programs, we see that by getting fuel in a person`s body when it helps them sort of learning how to eat until with the anxiety connects with that but the other part of it. That`s what gets them healthier.

And that`s where they get their nutrients coming in. There are like vitamins we can give in different things, but ultimately, we really need to get their bodies strong again.

PINSKY: OK. Take a quick call from Connie in Ohio -- Connie.


PINSKY: Connie, go right ahead.

CONNIE: I`m Connie. I`m 53, and I`ve been in the triangle since I was in early elementary school of anorexia, bulimia, and then overeating. Throughout my life, I got with a counselor about six months ago, a psychologist actually, and she hooked me up with a gym and a trainer. They got me on -- leveled me out.

I wasn`t taking vitamins and things like that. I have polycystic ovary syndrome which tends to make you not have any hormones. So, I`m not going to go through menopause. Anyway, I went from 225 to 161. I struggle every day with this, the tendency to still want to jump into the anorexia. I go out to eat with my fiance, come home and want to throw it up with the bulimia.

And I`m hoping to see this window of light bigger than I do. I see a pinhole now. And, I just hope that somebody out there will hear this and understand get into counseling. Get with someone who understands this. Get with a trainer. Join a good gym. Do what the lady said, the interval training. I do an arc trainer --

PINSKY: Connie, I`m going to interrupt. You wanted to share a very personal aspect to this story.

PITTS: Yes. Well, what I was talking to you earlier about is I -- one of the reasons I came in the field was because I had a personal experience with anorexia. So, from 11 to 15, I was anorexic, and then from 15 to early 20s, I binged and starved. And so, actually, when I came in the field, I said I would treat anybody but eating disorders, but it was the time when it was hot and I understood people.

And so I really got involved in it. So, since then, I`ve had an incredible passion about it, because I`ve been there and done that. And even when I`m listening to some things, what`s really critical to me, there`s a lot out there about exercise and nutrition which is really important. However, the emotional part, if you`re not really dealing with the emotional part --

PINSKY: It`s funny. All three women are shaking their heads vigorously. Elisa is, Traci is. Yes.

DINWIDDIE: They often say -- they often say it`s not what you`re eating. It`s what`s eating at you. It`s a spiritual disease. It is so private and personal. And things that go into the mouth, it`s such a private thing. And it`s so true. Looking at food as a way of giving your body nutrition and also making a list of the things that you wanted to do.

There were so many things. I would literally shut the curtains and hide and not go on dates, not have fun, not show up for my auditions, not show up for life. And I made a list of all the things I wanted to do like trapeze and explore acting classes that I`d never explored before and meet new people.

PINSKY: Literally expanding the self, letting the self out.

DINWIDDIE: Yes, exactly.

PINSKY: And Elisa, I noticed, you said a couple of times, service is an important part of your recovery. And I`ve noticed, again, I get to see you here, you don`t get to see us, but you seem to be having really intense emotions when you hear these stories.

DONOVAN: Yes, because I feel so -- I mean, my heart goes out to this woman on the phone who, you know, has had a lifetime of this. And it really -- you know, it`s at the end of the day, it`s actually not about food and it`s not about the body. It`s about the mind and the spirit and the soul and what`s inside.

And all of those -- the body and the food are just these symptoms that it`s the exterior. And that`s why so many people who either lose weight they needed to lose or gained weight they needed to gain, they don`t sustain a happy life and they don`t sustain recovery, because it isn`t about what they`re eating. It`s how they feel about what they`re eating. And about what`s really going on.

PINSKY: And we`ll have more with my guests and I promise more of your calls, 855-DrDrew5 after the break.


PINSKY: All right. Very interesting panel here on eating disorders, and we`re even getting hopefully some advice about identifying eating disorders, what you should be doing if you don`t have eating disorder in terms of diet and exercise.

But Traci and Elisa, I want to go to you guys a little bit about what your symptoms were so people can understand the spectrum. Traci, you gave us one more story there.


PINSKY: Give us a little bit more about what you went through.

DINWIDDIE: Well, I would have panic attacks. Socially, I was afraid that I wasn`t good enough in some respects. And so, I would stuff myself with food to feel better or I`d starve myself to feel light and ethereal. So, I would use it as a way to try to control my feelings.

PINSKY: To regulate your feelings.

DINWIDDIE: Yes. And I was isolating, even the -- when I talk about it, I just want to curl into a little ball. I felt just constant fear and panic.

PINSKY: Emptiness?

DINWIDDIE: And frustration

PINSKY: Emptiness, was that part of it?

DINWIDDIE: Emptiness was usually after. It was after I`d get violent with my body to expel food that I was ashamed of eating. And then, I would feel like it doesn`t matter. You know, it`s over.

PINSKY: How many years before you got help?

DINWIDDIE: Well, gosh. I got clean and sober 12 years ago. So, I -- it`s like it creeped back in somewhere when I got complacent.

PINSKY: Yes. We see a lot eating and substance eating. It goes together. Elisa, how about you?

DONOVAN: In terms of --

PINSKY: In terms of, you know, your spectrum of what you had to deal with so people ca can understand what the symptoms are.

DONOVAN: Right. So, initially, I think, for me, I was primarily anorexic. So, I started to restrict my food slowly at first, and then, to a level where I was just eating grapes was my thing. Generally, people have like their foods that they go to and that was my thing. And, so, my body was physically changing, obviously. But my life got very, very small.

So, it coincided with my career starting to take off, unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it. And so, I started to equate all of those things with being smaller. And so, even though my life was getting bigger, I was -- everything was shrinking. So, I would go to work and then I would go home.

I would stay in my trailer all day. I would obsess about parts of my body in my trailer. I couldn`t spend time with cast mates. I couldn`t do social things. I couldn`t go to dinner. I didn`t -- my personal life had just shrunk to this level that was devastating.

And it wasn`t until I realized similar to what Dr. Pitt said that I had to -- I realized that I wanted to have this big life again. I wanted to -- I mean, I was a painter and a writer and I rode horses and I was a dancer. And I did none of those things.

PINSKY: Restriction of the self. Restriction of affect (ph).


PINSKY: Quick call from Ryan in Florida -- Ryan.

RYAN, FLORIDA: Hi, Dr. Drew. I was wondering how do reality TV shows such as "Jersey Shore" and "Keeping up with the Kardashians" affect people with bulimia, anorexia or anyone else suffering with the psychological aspects of obesity?

PINSKY: Well, there`s bunch of things packed into that question. I mean, one is, you know, I think about the steroids of the body image of those guys in "Jersey Shore" are doing. I think about the women and the images that they have to deal with in the media. Maybe Traci want to deal with that.

DINWIDDIE: How to deal with that image?

PINSKY: Well, how do we deal and how do we understand and consume these medias without them hurting us?

DINWIDDIE: I think -- there`s no way of just -- I think becoming abstinent and living life on life terms without using food means I`m going to feel it. And my feelings will be hurt. And people have told me after seeing me in a film where I was 30 pounds heavier that I`m too skinny. And then, people have told me, I`m sorry, you`re just not the right type for this.

You need to be more thin and fit. It`s just -- so what? I`m just going to keep doing what I want to do, what makes me feel right.

PITTS: And I like that approach a lot, I got to say, because I`m really concerned, actually, about how the media does portray people and how much that damages them.


PITTS: So, for you to have that kind of idea that you have, I think it`s fabulous.

PINSKY: I`ve got to take a break, guys. I`m sorry, I do --


PINSKY: -- what I would toss out is important others. Close relationships do a lot to fill us and help us regulate our affects so we don`t go to food. More calls, 855-373-7395. Be right back.


PINSKY: Got to share a quick tweet with you guys from -- @MershkaPhillips -- @MershaPhillip (ph) and GrooveGoddess (ph), which is "Traci you look fantastic. Very courageous of you. God bless you."

DINWIDDIE: Awesome. Thank you.

PINSKY: So, first, I want to ask about how the media is affecting your clients, Jackie?

WARNER: The media has greatly affected our society, young women, in particular, how celebrity worship. They look at these magazines. They see an unrealistic weight loss. They see --

PINSKY: Do you have to do a lot of coaching to that?

WARNER: We have to take the focus on the individual. And stop -- be a rock star in your own life. That`s what I teach. Create a community for yourself. Change in your home. Change with your loved ones. Change in your own community --


WARNER: But stop having this really sort of hero worship with these celebrities, which by the way, they do not have the answers.

PINSKY: I see them -- we see them all later. They aren`t so happy. But you say change from the inside out.

PITTS: Yes. So, my big thing is that eating disorder people are too focused external. They`re letting other people tell them what to do. Give their power away. Tell them what kind of diets to go on, how to do things. But ultimately, we have to listen to the wisdom within. Now, when a person is really out of control, they need guidance (ph).

But ultimately, we`re trying to help them identify their feelings, their needs, their hunger, their thirst, sort of (ph) exercise, pushing, but not pushing too hard, because ultimately, it`s that self-expression and being all that you can be and a lifestyle change and wholeness.

PINSKY: Let`s try a call here. Jennifer in Ontario. Jennifer, we have very limited time, honey. Keep going. What do you got?

JENNIFER, ONTARIO: Hi. I actually have a teenage daughter that had some hip operations. I`m a personal trainer myself. I`ve tried to give her a program to follow. She refuses to do any weights at all. I`ve kept healthy foods in my home.

PINSKY: How old is she?

JENNIFER: She`s 18.

PINSKY: OK. Would we -- mental health evaluation first to see if she`s depressed.

PITTS: Yes. Yes. Yes. It`s hard to hear. EBP (ph) steps.

PINSKY: Jennifer, I think, you know, the most important thing is to see why she can`t whether it`s just rebelliousness or why she can`t connect. Traci, you have any insight of what that might be? I`ve got about 20 seconds here.

DINWIDDIE: I would say have her talk with her friends and with you at the same time. Maybe, she`d be more comfortable. It`s hard to say. It`s really hard --

PINSKY: It`s hard to reach if are resistant. It is.

PITTS: I think it`s the mom/daughter situation.

PINSKY: It might be just that, but again, I would get an evaluation to make sure you`re getting all the resources you need. Guys, I`ve got to go. This has been a great panel. Elisa, thank you. Jacqui, Traci, Dr. Pitts, thank you so much. Really interesting panel. Thank you all for watching. Of course, those of you who called, thank you as well.

Nancy Grace starts right now.