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  • Writer's pictureDieting From The Inside Out

Overcoming Anorexia, Living Unbalanced, & Building an 8-Figure Business w/ Jason Phillips | Ep.253

About Today’s Episode:

On today’s episode, I am talking to a very good friend and mentor of mine: Jason Phillips. Jason is the founder of the Nutritional Coaching Institute, which trains coaches to better serve their clients through the use of proper nutrition and the service of coaching.

Growing up, Jason struggled with anorexia, his relationship with food, and with his body—but after coming through that built a massively successful business. Today, we talk about his story, his journey, and how he has gone about improving his relationship with food.

We also talked about his perspective on balance and “having it all,” because Jason has one of the most full lives I’ve ever seen. He is always, on a plane, with his daughter, on stage, doing things, serving other people, eating out—but he manages to stay lean and healthy all year ‘round.

There are a ton of tangible takeaways and I know you’re going to get a lot out of this episode, so let’s get into it!


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Transcript (click to expand)

About Jason:

In Jason's eyes, he hasn’t completely recovered from his eating disorder. He was very much on the extreme end of anorexia—just 48 hours from clinical intervention.

During that time Jason weighed around 118 lbs, he was doing upwards of 60 minutes of cardio a day, weight training every day—anything he thought would get fat off his body. He would wake up in the mornings with a little energy, but by 2 pm every day, he was out.

Today Jason doesn’t have those struggles, but he does still deal with insecurities. He is still prevented from doing things he knows would be more “correct” in his life and he still has body image issues, but he likes to be open about it.

For Jason, overcoming anorexia and truly learning about health and fitness created an opportunity in his life and he wanted to use that as a vehicle to help others.

Jason believes that anorexia was put in his life because he was strong enough to get through it and would be able to help others because of that experience.

Overcoming anorexia and dealing with body image issues has helped Jason connect with clients on a level that not every coach can and creates a level of empathy for clients who have body image issues that can not be replaced.

Jared has also experienced this in his coaching. He was heavy growing up and experienced the same embarrassments—like not wanting to take his shirt off at a pool party or being too uncomfortable to sit down—that many of his clients and followers feel.

Being able to say, “I’ve been there,” creates a connection for him and his clients/followers.

Jason finds that many clients come into coaching with the assumption that staying fit is easy for their coach, when in reality that is typically not the case. He believes it’s important to make people aware that being “fit” isn’t effortless for anybody.

His family doesn’t have great genetics or food relationships and his influences surrounding health and fitness growing up were poor.

How Jason Handles Bad Days:

Jason had to create 2 levels of trust with food. The first was that food is not evil.

People struggling with anorexia believe that all food will make them fat.

An example from Jason’s life is when he saw a dietitian who suggested he have cheese and crackers as a snack. Jason had read bodybuilding articles that talked about carbs and fats and he knew there was a lot of fat in cheese. On his way to work one day after having cheese and crackers, he was pinching the skin on his stomach and berating himself for eating a meal so high in fat.

He had a horrible relationship with food, but, working with a nutritionist, eventually got his calories up to 4,000 a day—without getting fat. This showed him that food wasn’t actually so bad.

After that, he had to learn to be comfortable with less control—the level 2 trust.

Jason was young when he had his eating disorder, so by the time he was 21 and in college, he didn’t want to be “the weird one,” so he did the things his friend did—get some drinks, eat food late at night after being out, etc.

He would always think he was going to “wake up fat,” but over many instances of this, he never woke up fat the next day. This led him to realize that having less control sometimes was okay.

Jason has found that people who struggle with anorexia are often hyper-aware of what certain foods do to their bodies and how they make them feel. An example of this is that Jason knows that 99% of the time he can eat whatever he wants and will wake up in the morning looking completely normal. However, if he goes to the Cheesecake Factory and eats a piece of cheesecake, the next day he is guaranteed to look “watery”—like he put on a couple of pounds. He knows this subsides after 2 to 3 days, but it is something he had to learn over time.

To Jason, he isn’t “better,” but he is more aware. He still has issues, but he has built enough knowledge that he has faith in the long game.

Jason believes he has made some of the most progress in the past year. After overcoming anorexia he had almost moved into “bigorexia.”

He has spent nearly the last 18 years of his life trying to get bigger and have a certain image, but recently has wanted to pursue professional golf—and he had to learn a give and take.

Jason wanted to be more functional for golf, not just very muscular. Initially, he would focus on being more functional, lose a few pounds, and think it was horrible. Over the past year, however, he has reached a point where he is committed to being functional, feeling good, and not caring what anyone else thinks.

Jason believes that many people develop issues with food because of insecurity around the perception of others. It’s not the only reason, but people want to be well-liked and want to like themselves.

How to Change Your Perspective:

Jason believes that, first, you come to realize that other people hardly think about you at all. Then, you realize that you’re going to die one day and, eventually, no one will think about you anymore.

He goes on to use the example of Betty White, who passed away at the end of 2021. At the time, her death was a big deal—but if you asked someone today to name a famous person who died recently, most people would not say Betty White.

While Jason is under no illusion that he has had the impact that Betty White had, he points out that when he passes away, no one will talk about what his abs looked like, the assets he had, or any jealousy they may have surrounding those things. People will talk about the impact he had on this world—which is his mission—because that is something that can endure after death.

Jason lost his dad last year, which put a lot of things into perspective for him.

His dad was selfless and gave a lot. Despite not having sent out any invitations, he had hundreds of people from his community come to his funeral.

His dad was overweight, but he was happy, and while he was not going to intentionally hurt himself, he also wasn’t going to change who he was because he was happy with himself.

Social media, Jason finds, has created a heightened awareness of what other people have and are doing than ever before—but it's a double-edged sword because, while some people are inspired, others are intimidated.

Jared had a similar experience in realizing that people will move on after you die and that you can’t let what others think dictate how you live—or how happy you are.

Jason hasn’t figured out how to let go of those body image perceptions yet, but he has been able to let go of what others think about his speaking and in business—which has contributed greatly to his success.

Jason believes the things that hold you back in one area also drive you forward in other areas of your life.

Anorexia—while terrible and something he would not wish on anyone—was one of the best things that happened to him because it taught him discipline. After overcoming anorexia, he applied that discipline in other areas of his life.

Jared has found that many people spend too much time being stuck, defending themselves, and focusing on the things holding them back instead of actively trying to push forward.

Jason believes it is a conscious choice to focus on those things and he does not make space for it.

Perhaps surprisingly, Jason didn’t realize he was anorexic until after he had overcome it.

He was two days away from his mom and the doctor clinically intervening when he saw a bodybuilder at the gym.

He said that he wanted to look like him and a trainer told him to start eating 4,000 calories a day—so Jason got some books, created his own meal plan, and started eating more.

Later on, he took a class in nutrition and the teacher talked about eating disorders—only when he started to talk about the signs of anorexia did he realize that he was anorexic.

How Jason Balances His Life:

Jason does not live a balanced life. He may be working towards it, but “you don’t get the outcomes without the inputs.” If you want an extraordinary life, you have to put forth extraordinary effort.

He does have areas of his life that he will not compromise, however.

For example, he has his daughter every other week, and during those weeks he will not travel. His time with his daughter is a priority he won’t budge on.

The mission of his company is to change one billion lives through nutrition coaching—and that requires a lot of personal sacrifices.

He refers to 2022 as the “year of ‘yes’”. He said yes to as many things as he possibly could, but in 2023—the year of ‘no’—he is turning down as many things as he can.

His schedule is often ridiculous, but he has ridiculous outcomes. He knows that he cannot have those outcomes without putting in the work.

Jason has had times that have been great, not so great, and where he has experienced burnout—but he is willing to sacrifice things to achieve his greater goals.

When it comes to the aesthetic side and staying in shape, he is hyper-aware of what food does to his body because of the eating disorder he had.

He wakes up and knows what his body needs. He believes coaches need to help their clients develop the skills and tools to adjust to what their body needs on a daily basis—which is something he compliments Jared on doing extremely well in his coaching program.

Jared has been able to observe the level of control Jason has over his choices. When he is out, he still chooses foods that are better; he doesn’t go out late; he makes sure he gets at least 7 hours of sleep.

Jason is very aware of what sleep, recovery, and food do for him, and he encourages others to find the way that they need to do things personally in order to operate at their highest level.

What’s Next For Jason:

Jason is working on taking NCI to the next level. He believes there are still a number of areas in which he can grow and things he can accomplish before he exits it, in the long term.

He is trying to slow down and connect with himself and is working on not needing to do everything, while still achieving everything.


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Post-Production by: David Margittai | In Post Media


© 2023 Jared Hamilton



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