Ask Yourself: What are the expectations you will have of your body when you eat healthy and lose weight?
What will you demand from your body in return for the effort you put in?
To change your results with your body, you will need to change your relationship with your body. It’s a non-negotiable first step.
Many of us start with an expectant and transactional relationship to our body, where we believe we’re “owed the changes we want” from it. This mindset will only lead to discouragement and frustration. It will compel you to quit even if you’re making progress towards your goals.
Instead, you want to transition from expectation to a relationship where you meet your body’s needs.
In this episode, I’m sharing how to change your relationship to your body, what to do with your negative body thoughts, and when you can expect love for your body to become available.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. Today I want to talk about the concept of expectations that we have with our body. And I want everyone to know that if you are planning on making permanent change with your health, whether that’s finding a manner of healthy eating that fits you long-term or you’re looking to lose weight for the last time, this concept will be very, very important to you.
And it’s really important to have awareness of the relationship that you have with your body. And today I want to specifically focus on the expectations that we can have as women with our bodies when we’re looking to eat healthier or lose weight long term. And I want to first offer up a bit of a palate cleanser for today’s episode because we will be talking about different perspectives of how you can think about your body.
And this is a very personal topic for each of us. And so I want to give a disclaimer here that this podcast or any podcast for that matter, is a collection of my coaching and my perspectives that I’m offering you to try on to help you create the results you want. But the key word is that I want you to try all of them on and see how they fit, right? Because when I offer you perspectives on this podcast, I’m not telling you that this is the ultimate truth for you and everybody listening, I’m helping you find your truth, right?
And it’s actually a good thing if you are listening to my podcast, for example, and let’s say 90% to 95% of everything jams with you and then you find a little something that doesn’t quite fit, that is okay. And when you come across those moments, find what your way is, find your manner of thinking that serves you.
But the reason I just want to offer that today is we will be talking about thoughts about our body and just know it is not a one size fits all. So I want to offer you that from the very beginning today. But what I’m hoping is that you will get what you need from today’s episode in terms of how you can start moving forward with the relationship you have with your body. And really the first thing I want to offer here is that eating healthy and losing weight oftentimes feels really debilitating and terrible.
We will feel motivated for the first couple of weeks and then it’ll start to feel really, really hard. And I want to offer that a lot of the reasons for this are because you’re having expectations of your body. You are having expectations of how your body should lose weight or how it should react with your food choices.
And I want you to just take a moment to consider to give yourself this permission to consider this here. What are your expectations of your body that you will have when you begin eating healthy and losing weight? So just consider and to really give yourself that permission to be totally honest. It will just serve you in the highest level. What are the genuine expectations of your body that you will have when you begin eating healthy and losing weight?
So what will the timeline look like in terms of your expectations of your body? What do you expect from your body in terms of losing weight, eating healthy, answer all of those questions. And then once you’ve done that and you just consider the expectations of your body that you will have, I want you to consider what that relationship is actually like right when you consider the expectations that you’re actually having of your body.
For most of us when we consider this, we will start to see how the relationship we have with our body when we want to make changes is very transactional and demanding, right? It’s very surface level. And I’m not telling you this because forming a healthy relationship with your body is romantic or fluffy or beautiful. This is the most tactical thing you can do to get the results you want with food and body inevitably, because what we have to prioritize and understand is you are in a relationship with your body always, whether you are aware of it or not, and especially in your journey to eating healthy sustainably and losing weight for the last time.
So to start to understand what relationship you’re currently having with your body and the changes you want to make, just ask yourself, what am I expecting from my body and what results am I demanding from it?
Just answer that question. It’s so, so useful to see what comes up from here. We really have to consider for all of us that the relationship to our bodies matter. It is a priority to have awareness of this relationship because instead of having expectations of your body towards the results you want, you need to form a relationship where you’re focused on meeting your body’s needs. So rather than setting expectations, you need to shift the focus to meeting your body’s needs.
When we consider that shift, just give yourself permission to answer the question, what does meet your body’s needs in the process of healthy eating and weight loss? And for some of you, you may be tempted to just say, I have no idea what my body needs. That’s why I’m here. Kat, I’m here for you to tell me no. Really take a moment here to consider what answers you already have, my friend.
Consider when you are on a journey to eat healthy sustainably and losing weight for the last time, what is it your body will need? What is it you will need in that process? Because here’s why these questions can be hard for us to answer. When you’re coming from a relationship of expectation with your body and yourself, what happens is you outsource a healthy eating and weight loss solution to outside of you. And then you try and force your body to do it perfectly.
So there’s no communication with what you already know, what you want or what your body needs. It all feels outside of you. And this is where we can find that we’re not really taking responsibility for our eating habits and our results because diet culture has really taught us to just transfer that responsibility outside of us, which has us believing that we don’t have any answers.
And I promise you, I understand this mindset, I had it, but it’s not true. You do have answers now inside of you in terms of how to meet your needs because when that becomes the goal to meet your needs as a human with a body, you start to create a version of healthy eating and weight loss based on the answers you find for yourself. So for example, you actually listen to your body’s cravings for food and you just see what it has to say.
You set goals with your body that you believe are actually attainable and sustainable for your body type. You more focus on how you want to eat healthy and what foods you enjoy rather than just what foods are nutritionally valuable. You more focus on meeting your body’s needs with the food you’re eating rather than the number on the scale. So just see, it’s not gonna be one size fits all, but picture the difference in how you show up with your health, with healthy eating and weight loss when you’re in the energy of expectation versus when you’re in the intention of meeting your own needs, it’s a completely different relationship.
So that is the shift I want you to consider that needs to be made here from expectation to meeting your body’s needs. And I really want to validate the fact that this can be hard because what I know about having the mindset of expectation is you may think that what I’m suggesting here is that you give up the results you want, right? That’s what it will feel like if you have the belief system of expectation because of course we think that belief system is what will create the result.
And it’s not necessarily true that you’re going to have to give up the results that you expect with your body, but there are things that you want to consider in terms of what you expect and demand from your body. And so we want to talk about the reality of what to expect as a woman with a body because where do so many of us base our body expectations from, right?
We base them off of what anesthetically pleasing body should look like. So I personally grew up in the nineties and the perceived best body type was very slim. So that was my body expectation for a very long time. I carried the expectation with me and I fought my body continuously from a young age to meet that standard, but my body resisted because that is not my natural body type.
No matter how much I fought my body and expected more from it with food, it wouldn’t have that frame that society told me was aesthetically pleasing. Because for me personally, I had hips, I had eyes, I have a butt, I’m a Latina, y’all, it’s there. And it doesn’t matter what frame you have or body type you have, it’s just first important to understand that oftentimes our expectations we will have on our body, maybe based on conditioning we’ve received as to what type of body is acceptable or beautiful.
For me, it was a skinny frame, so that’s where my programming was. But just think about for yourself how this applies to you because this manner of setting expectations with your body will not lead to fulfillment with your body because you’ll be trying to create results from a lack of acceptance. If the expectations of your body are based on what society told you was acceptable for your body, you will not create acceptance within yourself.
Alright? This is why there is a belief system we need to stare in the face. As women, oftentimes we will believe that to change our results with our body hate disgust or a lack of acceptance is the best emotional tool to do so. And my friends, it is not. I likely do not have to tell you this because I have been there. I know so many of us has been there.
I think most of us as women have experience with this. And there is another way we can change our results with our body with sustainable emotional fuel. But it doesn’t mean that our human conditioned emotions like hate, disgusted or a lack of acceptance won’t be there. We will still have emotions like unacceptance shame or even that disgusted. But I want to point out here that that doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong.
And here’s the thing. I know this is a tender subject, so if this is a bit triggering, I want to hold so much space for that. Feel free to pause or take a moment. But I really want to talk about this because something I see a lot with women I work with is that it’s not the presence of these not so pretty emotions that are extremely triggering for them. It’s actually their judgment of themselves having the emotion.
Because I think society teaches us to judge ourselves when we have these emotions, right? We’re actually taught by a lot of the wellness community to not shame our bodies, to love our bodies, to appreciate our bodies. And I am telling you that in a sense here. But there’s a very important thing we have to understand before that, which is that the presence of shame, disgusted or even feelings of hate for your body are not personal to you.
You are not wrong or flawed for having those emotions. And if you experience those emotions, there is nothing wrong with you. It is a very uncomfortable vibration to have in our body, and it can even feel a bit painful. But I want you to know that that emotional experience is no less ugly than feelings like overwhelm, anger, or fear, as in there is nothing that makes having those emotions more wrong than having the latter emotions.
We can acknowledge that those feelings are a very uncomfortable vibration in our body, but notice the relationship you have to certain emotions you may experience with your body as humans, what can happen is we can shame ourselves for having certain feelings so we can shame ourselves for having shame. And I want you to know that that part is optional. So picture the experience you have of disgust or maybe shame with your body when you know that those feelings don’t mean you hate your body or you are disgusted by your body.
What’s happening is you are just feeling the emotion of shame or disgusted because of involuntary thoughts you are having. See the subtle difference? You do not necessarily hate your body. You don’t necessarily choose to be disgusted by your body. You’re having an involuntary thought and an involuntary feeling of shame and of disgust.
This is so important because before you can move into acceptance for your body, you need to make it safe to have the negative feelings without judgment. It is safe to have those feelings. It is safe to have those vibrations present. And oftentimes the one thought that creates shame or discussed isn’t the weapon. It’s not what makes it so difficult, it’s what we make. Having those thoughts mean it’s the facts that we make it personal that we’re having those thoughts at all.
And then we’ll layer that thinking and layer the shame and discussed and we’ll beat ourselves up for it. So that’s just to say, my friends, the first step to creating lifelong acceptance for your body is actually to create acceptance for the not so pretty thoughts and feelings you have about your body. Now that is step one, and it is the most pivotal step because in this, you are accepting your humanness.
And this is something I never want you to skip over When you’re looking at doing this work, once you start doing that and accepting all of the thoughts and feelings you have now without judgment, then you can begin practicing deliberate appreciation for your body on purpose. So we’re not talking about loving your body necessarily, we’re not talking about infatuation or joy, but we’re talking about appreciation. So I want you to just picture emotionally what that’s like to feel appreciation for something.
It’s more like this unconditional tender emotional experience where we want to give something tender care. And here’s the thing, your body doesn’t trust you to love it yet right in the beginning, our body doesn’t trust us to feel the feeling of love for it. So forcing love will feel inauthentic and invalidating for most of us at first, and I always offered to think about trust in a human relationship.
If love was offered in the very beginning, it would feel weird , right? It would feel unsafe, it would feel inauthentic, especially if that relationship started out a bit negative. So first, start to build trust with your body. Start to build appreciation because this is a test over time of your devotion as a caregiver to your body. Only when you, you build trust with your body that you won’t punish it and that you’ll take care of it.
Love will eventually feel safe enough to enter the equation. And I want to say that again, only when you build trust with your body that you will take care of it and you build acceptance. Only then love will feel safe enough to enter the equation. So I want to talk about my own personal experience of this just to give all of you an example, and something I teach my clients a lot and we work on together is to not force positive feelings about their body.
So don’t force the love, start with acceptance or if that’s not available, maybe even start with acknowledgement or certainty. But the love isn’t necessarily our job to create in our mind. We can let the love come in on its own time when it’s available. So picture the feeling of love as an emotion that’s on one end of a spectrum. So it’s the positive 100 emotion, and let’s consider that hate or disgusted is on the other end of the spectrum.
So it’s a negative 100 emotion. You don’t want to force emotions from a negative 100 place to a positive 100 place, right? It’s going to feel very inauthentic, invalidating. We don’t wanna force ourselves here. So what you can do is to find your zero emotion that’s in that middle that feels more neutral to you. So it’s not positive and it’s not negative for many of my clients, it’s acceptance.
So I want to talk about my own experience with this and the concept of letting the love for my body come in when it’s ready. It’s not something I had to force. So I personally have stretch marks on my thighs as many of us do. And for a long time I felt disgusted or hate whenever I saw them in the mirror. And I tried creams, regimens, different things and nothing would fix them. And I resented the fact that no matter how healthy I ate, or no matter how much weight I lost, I couldn’t get rid of them.
And at this time, of course, my relationship to healthy eating and weight loss was very transactional. And eventually what happened through my own work and my own self-coaching that I teach, I began giving up the goal to love my body. So in this case, I gave up the goal to love my stretch marks, and I just practiced acknowledging them.
So I actually wasn’t quite ready to go to acceptance first. I just needed to acknowledge their presence. So I practiced looking in the mirror or looking at them and acknowledging their presence, which means at first I would allow myself to look at them, touch them, and say to myself, those are stretch marks. And just process that. Just meet myself emotionally where I was at rather than I’m disgusted by my stretch marks, or I hate my stretch marks.
Just getting to the place where emotionally I can feel certainty in the fact that those are stretch marks and just letting myself get to that place. So eventually certainty of that fact became more available to me than the disgusted. It became more neutral. So then eventually I started to allow myself to believe I have stretch marks, and I know this is a really subtle difference between those are stretch marks and I have stretch marks.
But emotionally, a shift happened because then I allowed myself and my identity to be attached to them rather than just having certainty that those are stretch marks, I allowed myself to establish that I had them. So this began creating emotionally acceptance for me, having the stretch marks. And here’s the thing about acceptance, this type of emotion. With that emotion, I stopped focusing on my stretch marks at all.
When I wore a bathing suit or when I was intimate in my relationship, I didn’t think about the fact that they were there because I created a neutral, zero emotional experience of acceptance for them. It wasn’t emotionally charged, I wasn’t loving them and I wasn’t hating them. I just wasn’t focusing on the presence of them because I created acceptance. And this is where my clients work on getting to in our coaching relationship, they really get to a place with their bodies and their weight, and even with food where it’s not something they think about that much at all.
It’s something that just becomes a small part of their life. And in the case with food, it’s something that they just get to enjoy. But acceptance, those middle of the spectrum emotions allow you to not be so invested in them. Now, here’s the part I want you to consider about the stretch marks over the past couple of years or so. I’ve noticed without any warning or effort on my part that I’ll see my stretch marks and feel love for them.
So I will feel love for my stretch marks in the sense where I’ll notice myself thinking those are cute. Even those are kind of sexy. Those make me a woman. Those are badass, those are powerful. So in other words, I feel more empowered and confident and love for myself showing up in the world with those stretch marks than without them. Now, for those of you who are in the negative 100 part of your emotional journey with your body, this may be hard to believe.
So it was for me too, but I want you to know that this mindset entered my life because I didn’t force it. And because I set the foundation of acceptance, my mind presented me with these thoughts when it was authentically available. And when it knew that it could trust me to not punish my body with my thoughts or not meet my needs, I established the trust with myself and my body that I accepted my stretch marks.
So love became available from that safety and that trust. It really is a relationship, right? It’s exactly like a romantic relationship where a foundation of trust and acceptance is necessary for the love to come in on its own. And for those of you who are a bit skeptical, maybe yes, I do think my stretch marks are cute, and I promise it’s not from a forced or pretentious place.
It’s completely true. But if that’s not where you’re at now, it is okay. It is not a problem. Do not judge yourself or exactly where you’re at. I’m telling you this so you can see an example of what is possible for you when you meet yourself, where you’re at with this work, and you don’t judge or force your own timeline. Now, to close out this episode, I want to give you a few practical tips to start showing your body appreciation now, because the best way we can start cultivating appreciation is to start treating our body differently.
It’s something that will allow you to access different thoughts about your body now, and these are going to be very simple, but do not take them for granted. My friends, these are things that for many of my clients have completely changed the trajectory of how they see their body.
And the first thing, it’s gonna be very simple, but really hear me make sure you are wearing clothing that fits and is comfortable. My friends, I’m gonna say it again, wear clothing that fits and is comfortable. I have been here sometimes What I see in my past self and my clients is we think if we dress ourselves comfortably now with the body we have that we won’t feel compelled to change it. So then we’ll indulge all of these reasons for not dressing ourselves comfortably.
Like, I don’t wanna spend the money, or I’ll do it when I lose the weight. And this is all very, very punishing. And I want you to think about a relationship you have with a loved one or maybe a child if this was the way you were treating them. Like, oh, I’ll buy you clothes that fit when you accomplish this task.
Or I know if you get too comfortable you won’t achieve your goals. Just consider that this is not a good place to cultivate an accepting relationship with your body. Please consider taking a moment to do an audit of how you are dressing yourself now, and you don’t have to put a lot of effort into this. Just please set an intention to wear clothing that is comfortable in the body you have now. This will set you up for more success to create the results with your body that you want.
It will not take it away. The second thing is related, and it’s to start meeting your basic needs as a human with a body. This is the most underrated practice, my friends. I’m talking about genuinely keeping an eye on your body’s needs like hydration, so drinking some water or whether you are hungry or whether you’re full, where your energy levels are at, how tired you are.
As women, I tend to find that we’re always looking out for everyone else’s needs and we’re never looking out for ourselves. This isn’t even a huge pivotal concept of putting yourself first. It’s just checking in throughout the day and asking, do you have everything you need? Do I need a glass of water? Do I need a bathroom break? Do I need to put on a sweater? Am I a little chilly? Am I getting enough sleep? Notice how these questions are so simple, and it may sound too simple to be effective.
You may think you’re already doing this. I guarantee 99 percent of you listening cuz I coach all of y’all are not doing this. Meet your basic needs, my friend. I promise you it’s so simple, but it makes a huge difference in terms of the relationship you’re having with your body. The last thing I really want to offer is to practice allowing elements of your body to exist in this world without nitpicking.
So it’s safe. If you notice you’re having thoughts and emotions about your body that makes us human, especially as a woman in this world, I think that’s to be expected. But notice when you’re nitpicking your body and poking and prodding and overthinking and ruminating about elements that you find to be unacceptable. How we stop nitpicking is we accept the thoughts and feelings about our body that we already have. Now. We don’t have to judge ourselves for them.
We don’t even have to judge the thought and the emotion. They’re just there for valid reasons based on how we were conditioned. And it doesn’t mean that our body is wrong for having those thoughts or you are wrong. It’s just a sentence in your head and a vibration in your body that can feel really, really hard. So please show yourself compassion for this year. And like I said in the beginning, especially when it comes to the work with our body and our relationship to it, this is not a one size.
Fits all. And this is why I highly recommend if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re finding it really valuable, you’re likely a perfect fit for coaching. Because what coaching does is it helps you take all of these concepts that you’re learning and fit them into your life so you take action on them and create the results you want. So if you find you’re hearing a lot of these concepts, but you’re not showing up with them in the way you want, that is where coaching comes in. It will help you take all of this and implement it in your life in a specific way that feels accessible to you.
Alright, my friends, I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if this was helpful to you. You can find me on Instagram at Cat us. I always love connecting with you and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health 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.