When many women first begin eating healthier, they feel out of alignment with who they’ve been in the past.
In a way, forming healthier eating habits feels inauthentic to them.
Since it’s not something they have done before.
They have not yet acquired the identity of “someone who eats healthy”.
Therefore, it makes it extremely difficult for them to follow through with new food behaviors.
They experience large amounts of resistance when it comes to eating healthy.
Which eventually causes them to fall back into their old eating patterns.
Causing them to maintain the same old, unhealthy identity over time.
If this sounds familiar, this is one-hundred percent natural.
Nothing has gone wrong.
It’s simply the way inner transformation works.
And there is a way to change your identity as “someone who eats healthy”.
So, it doesn’t feel so hard.
When you first try and become someone new, it will feel inauthentic.
It’s likely that you will experience frequent episodes of “imposter syndrome”.
According to Psychology Today, imposter syndrome can be defined as:
This essentially means you’re having thoughts about what you’re currently experiencing that suggest what you’re doing is invalid or inauthentic to you.
As a result, these thoughts are causing you to feel a certain way.
And this feeling will eventually lead to the action of self-sabotage.
Let’s describe an example with healthy eating to make this easier.
If you’ve never before established healthy eating habits into your life, you will likely have thoughts about it like:
This will produce feelings such as self-doubt, fear, anxiety, etc.
These negative feelings tell your brain that something has gone wrong.
And your brain responds by making you feel like a fraud whenever you try and do something unfamiliar to it.
Which in this case is eating healthier foods.
This response from your brain causes you to experience crazy amounts of resistance and self-sabotage.
See how this works?
It’s all happening for a reason.
It has nothing to do with your abilities to eat healthy.
These are all examples of someone who feels that their desired behavior of eating healthy is unauthentic to who they are.
And in case you weren’t aware, if you keep reaffirming the belief that you aren’t someone who eats healthy, you never will be.
You will self-sabotage so you can re-establish the identity you’ve always had.
The imposter syndrome and resistance you feel is due to the thought-patterns that made you the unhealthy version of yourself.
So, to become the healthy version of yourself that enjoys healthier foods, you need to practice thinking like her instead.
In order to become someone who eats healthy with ease, you will have to practice “being” her over time.
This is really the key to changing your eating habits.
It’s not so much knowing exactly what to eat. It’s more about becoming the type of person who eats healthy.
When you approach eating habits this way, you remove the resistance from eating healthier consistently.
To become someone who eats healthier, you will go through four steps:
Before you can change your identity into someone who eats healthy, it’s important you become aware of the identity you have now.
Or more specifically, the thoughts and feelings that created the results you have with food.
A simple way to begin doing this for yourself, is to observe the feeling you experience before eating healthy foods.
For you currently, eating healthier might feel good the first half of your week.
Then, after willpower runs out, you may experience a negative emotion that causes you to self-sabotage and eat unhealthy.
What is this feeling you’re experiencing?
A feeling is simply a one-word vibration occurring in your body.
Perhaps that feeling is fear, self-doubt, worry, etc.
Identify this feeling as best you can.
Then, you’re going to examine what thought is creating that feeling.
Every feeling you have occurs because a thought you’re thinking at that time.
So, begin doing this for yourself.
The thought might be similar to something like, “I’m not someone who eats healthy”.
This thought would produce the feeling of self-doubt.
Which would reaffirm the belief that you’re not someone who eats healthy foods.
This will lead to you giving up healthy eating habits. And re-creating the results you had before.
It’s so important we become aware of what created our current results with food here.
You now have an idea of the thoughts and feelings that led you to your current results with food.
Now, you want to get an idea of what thoughts and feelings you need to create the results with food you want.
A simple way to do this, is to ask yourself “What thoughts does my future self think about eating healthy?”.
You can also ask, “How does my future self feel right before she chooses healthy foods?”
Brainstorm this and come up with answers for yourself.
This will uncover so much for you if you let it.
Perhaps her thoughts are something like, “I am a healthy eater” or “Nourishing my body properly is something I do daily”.
Maybe she has feelings of love, confidence, or peace surrounding food.
These thoughts and feelings don’t have to be outlandish or dramatic.
They will likely be very simple.
In order for you to take the actions you want with food, you will need to actually believe new thoughts.
For the most part, you can’t simply put new thoughts into existence right away.
It takes time, intentionality, and practice.
This is why repeating affirmations does not work.
Your brain is smarter and more advanced than that.
The truth is, your brain needs to believe a thought before it effectively changes the feeling and action associated with it.
So, instead of repeating the new thoughts daily (that are impossible for your brain to believe yet), you’re going to create bridge thoughts.
Bridge thoughts are neutral thoughts that transition you from your unintentional thought to your intentional thought.
Your unintentional thought is the past thought that gave you undesired results.
Your intentional thought is the future thought that will give you the results you want.
An example of an unintentional food thought might be, “I’m not someone who eats healthy easily.”
An example of an intentional food thought might be, “Eating healthy is natural for me and my body.”
An example of a neutral bridge thought for food might be, “I’m someone who is working on forming healthier eating habits.”
See the difference? Try this out for yourself.
What a bridge thought does is it helps remove the negative emotion of your unintentional thought.
So, you are more easily able to transition into the intentional thought over time.
Never underestimate the power of switching a negative thought to a neutral thought.
This is something you can do instantly.
Now that you have an idea of how your thoughts can create your results with food, it’s time to form a relationship with your future self.
This might sound a little woo-woo, but it’s actually very simple.
To become someone new, you need to really get to know her.
You’ll need to become aware of the thoughts, feelings, and actions she creates daily.
When we’re not aware of our future self, we act on autopilot.
And we don’t intentionally create the live or identity we want.
So, you’re going to create a relationship with the person you’re becoming.
The version of yourself who eats healthy with ease.
To do this, you can do one of two things.
First, you can write a future self letter.
This is simply getting out a piece of paper and writing a letter as the future version of yourself, to the current version of yourself.
What would she tell you to do in terms of eating healthy?
How would she tell you to think about eating healthy?
Second, you can practice visualization.
All this means is you sitting in silence for a period of time and actively visualizing a day as your future self who has a healthy relationship with food.
Think about how she eats throughout the day.
What thoughts does she have when she eats healthy?
What feelings does she experience?
Doing this will allow you to practice those thoughts and feelings ahead of time.
In order to intentionally become someone who eats healthy, you’ll go through the previous four steps:
Many of you might feel resistant to this practice.
As high-achieving women many of us want the actions to take so we can force the results we want with food.
I promise you this doesn’t work long-term.
If it was this easy, all of us would eat healthy no problem!
This is the work that no one will tell you.
And it’s the work that allows you to eat healthy effortlessly over time.
That’s the reality I want for you.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified eating psychology coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.