Isabel Foxen Duke helps women stop feeling crazy around food. She has her BA in sociology and received her health coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through her own struggles with emotional eating, she went on a quest for the solution. She spent several years of her young adult life studying various spiritual practices, including but not limited to Zen Meditation in Japan, and Transpersonal Psychology in Bali. She is also the editor of Mirror Mirror: Reflections on the Way We Look, an exploratory anthology of body image related prose. She has very strong opinions about why most people are getting the “emotional eating” conversation backwards.
How did you get started in this business?
Isabel believes the greatest ability to serve other people comes from looking at our greatest pain. For Isabel, it was her struggle with diet control and binge eating. Isabel was only three years old when she went on her first diet. At a very young age, she felt that her body was not okay, the food she was eating was not okay, and her diet was not out of control. She did everything to make sure she controlled her food and her body to the best of her ability. At this point in her life, she tried very hard to eat as little as possible and she was somewhat successful at it. However, it always lead her to those uncalled episodes of binge eating. Isabel always thought something was wrong with her because she could not stick with her diets, she assumed diets do work and that it is just a matter of willpower. Isabel went on a wild goose chase looking for solution, why she cannot control her food and body. She even looked for various treatments for binge eating. It took her years to finally understand that she needed to accept her body’s natural shape, the inherited needs for her body that there was no way that she was ever going to make dieting work.
What was the breaking point for you that helped you deal with binge eating?
There were a few different things. Isabel says the moment that she went to seek the solution was much earlier than time that she actually found one. The problem is that entire clinical system believes thin is good, fat is bad. She would present herself to mental health professionals as someone who had trouble controlling her food, who was addicted to food. Parallel to that she was slowly coming to the discovery that the main problem was trying to control her food and trying to fit her body into a shape that was not meant for her body. Eventually it was more about her personal and emotional surrender to this situation that helped her deal with binge eating. Isabel realized she was not capable of controlling her food and just surrendered. The struggle to control her food become more painful than just accepting her body the way it was. She had that ‘fall to her knees’ moment and realized the only way to deal with binge eating was to eat like a ‘normal person’ and not overthink about her food. Her abnormal behavior towards food changed drastically when she started eating like a normal person. Isabel knew it was time she stopped her fight with the food.
How would you define weight stigma?
Making assumptions about people based on their size. Every person who is struggling with food and body issues have a social aspect involved in their story. Due to the fact, that more weight is considered a social stigma, almost every time you come across someone struggling with body issues, they are just trying to fit in that socially acceptable square box. We care about weight because of social values, because of people around us. Isabel believes the most important thing in our life is to find love and be loved, and feel good about our place in the world. Ultimately, the reason we care about weight is other emotions attached to it, the fear of not being accepted or approved being the biggest reason. Most people think their problem is binge eating but the real problem is binge eating and dieting side by side.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
For Isabel, living her purpose ultimately means living in integrity with herself. For a very long time, her biggest struggle was that she was always out of alignment. Integrity is about living your live the way you are; Isabel says she is constantly trying to live her life in alignment with herself. Therefore, in general, living her purpose means continuously pushing towards authenticity and integrity in alignment with herself.
What is the best advice you have been given?
“What is the risk if you don’t take the risk?”
The best advice she has been given is to take the risk. The fact is, not taking the risk and moving forward is itself a risk. She remembers when she was quitting her job and how she had second thoughts about not quitting the job. She thought it was a risk to quit her job and start something new. However, staying there and working for the same job was a risk in itself, something that could have stunted her growth as an individual and prevented her to live her life to its purpose. Sometimes, in order to grow, we need to let go of our fears and move forward.
How can we connect with you?
Her blog’s URL is
You can also follow her on the following website named after one of her program
She also has a channel on YouTube and you can find videos on various topics from the following link