As a high-achieving women, you often strive for perfection. This can reflect you having high-standards for the results you want; however, it can also reflect you being unwilling to experience the emotion of disappointment.
Your healthy eating progress will not look perfect. This is by design.
Therefore, it’s non-negotiable to have a useful relationship to disappointment when deciding to lose weight for the last time.
In this episode, I’m sharing how, as high-achieving women, we tend to avoid disappointment in our weight loss journey. You’ll learn to distinguish between useful disappointment and non-useful disappointment now.
When you learn to embrace useful disappointment, you’re able to navigate your weight loss progress objectively and usefully. You remove the possibility of self-sabotage along the way.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. As usual. I’m so happy you’re here spending some time with me today. In today’s episode, I want to talk about disappointment. And this may not sound like the most fun topic, but it’s going to be incredibly useful for us to open up a dialogue about what it means to experience disappointment in your healthy eating journey or weight loss journey.
And if you identify as a type A woman or an accomplished woman or a high achieving woman, then this is going to be a very important topic for you to consider. And it’s because as high achieving women, which are primarily the type of women I serve, there are ways in which our manner of being really, really serves us. So we have skills. We tend to be very organized. We know how to take action. We are committed to what we need to do, and there are many aspects of our personality that serve us in our lives, but it’s really important for us to acknowledge the aspects of our personality or our manner of being that do not serve us.
And I think that is such a useful element of my coaching when it comes to my more high achieving clients, is I’m able to introduce them to ways that their manners of being aren’t serving them when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss and disappointment is a really big way that we can stall our progress and it’s not going to be in the way that you may think. Now if you identify as again, an accomplished woman or a high achieving woman, it’s no secret that a lot of us tend to be perfectionists.
So we tend to have very high standards for the work we do. We tend to have very high stakes in terms of doing the work that we know that we’re capable of, and we just want to do our best. It’s something that really, really matters to us. So whether you identify as a perfectionist or not, hopefully one of those qualities pertains to you here and it’s really important for us to consider as high achieving women.
What makes us this way? So once again, there’s many aspects of being high achieving that are useful, but we also want to consider how did we get here? How did we become a woman who has really high standards for ourselves, and at what point did we become kind of perfectionists? And really, when it comes down to it, a lot of the time, the reason why we develop these qualities is because what we’re unwilling to feel, and I’m gonna say that again and I want you to think about this, why we become high achievers much of the time is because of the emotions we’re unwilling to feel.
And what happens a lot for us high achievers, and this will come into play with healthy eating and weight loss, is we’re not very willing to feel disappointment. So we have a low tolerance for it. We’re not very practiced at feeling disappointment.
And I want you to take a moment to consider if even at the beginning of this episode now if this could be true for you, if you think about what the experience of disappointment feels like, consider how willing you are to feel that way. I know for me, when my perfectionistic tendencies come up, I am 100% avoiding disappointment, and this is the same work I can do with myself. But that’s something I want to open you up to. If you consider yourself a perfectionist or even just a high achiever, a lot of the times it’s because of emotions that we have a low tolerance for.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but it’s going to be really important for you to make progress with healthy eating and weight loss that you’re aware of this. And like I said, for a lot of us high achievers, we have a low tolerance for disappointment.
And first, what’s going to be important to establish here is disappointment. I want us to see it as a feeling or an emotion. So I don’t want us to see it here for the context of this episode as a thought like I am a disappointment or this is disappointing, I want you to identify disappointment as a specific uncomfortable vibration in your body. That does come from how you’re thinking about something, but I want you to think about it as a feeling that you can experience.
And in that context, there is useful disappointment and non-useful disappointment in terms of the feeling. So that’s what we’re going to identify here today. For those of you who resist feeling disappointed and you try and perform very highly and you have perfectionistic tendencies, we’re going to help you separate useful disappointment from non-useful disappointment here. Because the reality is when you’re making progress with anything, but especially when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, disappointment is going to be a very necessary emotion for you to be able to tolerate so you can keep making progress, taking action and moving forward.
Now, the difference between useful disappointment and non-useful disappointment is the flavor of thoughts that you’re having that create that feeling. So this will determine if the disappointment is useful or non-useful. It’s the types of thoughts you are having. And so first I want us to talk about useful disappointment and the experience of useful disappointment is quite neutral. It’s not a positive emotion, but it’s not a terrible emotion, and this is when the thoughts are objectively acknowledging an outcome that we did not want.
So we’re not BSing ourselves, we’re not trying to be positive, but we are objectively acknowledging something that occurred that we did not prefer or we did not want. So here are examples of some thoughts that create useful disappointment that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, I wish that happened differently. I’m not where I want to be just yet, et cetera, et cetera.
So these are thoughts that are simply acknowledging the reality of emotionally where you’re at. It’s not laced in anything extremely negative. You’re not making yourself wrong for the disappointment. You’re just acknowledging why the disappointment exists emotionally, that didn’t go the way I wanted it to. I wish that happened differently and I’m not where I wanna be just yet. I want you to know if you are doing long-term healthy eating and weight loss correctly, you will expect useful disappointment ahead of time where there will be moments when you genuinely think that did not go the way I wanted it to.
I wish that happened differently and I’m not where I want to be just yet. This does not mean you’re not doing it correctly. This does not mean you’re not making progress. It’s just a natural human experience that you want to acknowledge and you want to honor.
So that is useful disappointment. And now I want you to compare it to non-useful disappointment and as high achieving women, this is something we’re going to be quite practiced at. And really what non-useful disappointment is, is shaming ourselves. So what will happen is it’s language that sounds very logical to us as high achievers, but it’s actually making ourselves wrong in observing a circumstance.
So here are some examples of thoughts that create non-useful disappointment to give you an idea that was my fault, I failed. I could have done that better. I am capable of more. Alright, so these thoughts can sound logical because for most of us, the way we think will sound quite logical. We tend to be very type A in our thoughts as well. So notice how some of these thoughts don’t sound extremely negative.
Some of them might even sound empowering to you, like I’m capable of more on the surface.
There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that thought, but I want you to really sit with thoughts like these and identify how they feel in your body. When we talk about non-useful disappointment, what we’re actually referring to is the feeling of shame. So we’re feeling shameful because of the manner of thinking that we’re having when something doesn’t happen in the way we want it to and how I offer that. You can separate useful disappointment from non-useful disappointment.
This is how I do it for myself. I want you to imagine yourself as a small child, and I want you to imagine a parent giving you this feedback. So parents usually mean well, but notice how sometimes the manner in which a parent can speak to us doesn’t feel so good. So I want you to picture a parent saying, this was your fault. You failed.
You could have done that better. You are capable of more. This is how I was parented and how a lot of high achievers were parented. So it becomes the manner in which you parent yourself once you become an adult. And what this looks like is when you are evaluating your progress or you’re observing your progress, you will have these shaming thoughts that do not feel good. And sometimes we won’t be able to even notice that these thoughts are shameful until we try them on and we observe how they feel in our body.
I want you to notice how differently it feels when you think that didn’t go the way I wanted it to versus I’m capable of doing more. That was the go-to thought I always had was I could have done that better. I’m capable of more. And in my mind, I thought I was empowering myself and I was just shaming myself because the reality was I always tried my best and my best didn’t mean I had the capacity to be perfect.
I had to learn those lessons and improve each week moving forward and not just with healthy eating, but in any area of my life. So this is what I want you to be able to distinguish for yourself personally. Of course, I’m giving you examples here, but distinguish for you the difference between useful disappointment that is acknowledging an outcome that you wanted versus non-useful disappointment where you’re shaming yourself based on the way you think about your progress.
What tends to happen for us high achievers is we’re not aware that this is actually the way we’re speaking to ourselves and it feels horrible to feel that shame. And so because we want to stop feeling shameful, we pressure ourselves to do it better. We hustle for the weight loss we want, hence being a high achiever, and then we end up sabotaging because it just all feels too much.
So we’ll overeat, we’ll stop evaluating our progress and we’ll end back up right where we started, which further contributes towards that shaming that we provide ourselves. So just know this is really the theme of my coaching and my work. I want you to know your type A skills are a gift. They make you exceptionally capable of the results you want in your life, but we want to separate the non-useful disappointment or shaming from your type A skills that serve you.
And we want you to begin moving towards useful disappointment that acknowledges your human experience because one version of disappointment is going to keep you stuck and paralyzed in your weight loss journey. The stakes are going to feel too high. You’re going to feel too much pressure. And what’s gonna happen, and I see a lot of you doing this, is you’re going to distract yourself and you’re going to stall yourself.
So you’re going to research a lot of weight loss methods. You’re going to follow all the people on social media. Maybe you’re an avid podcast listener, but you don’t put that into action so you don’t move forward. This is likely because you have a fear of feeling disappointed because the disappointment you’re accustomed to as a high achiever is non-useful shaming disappointment. The other version which is useful disappointment is necessary, valuable and useful to your weight loss journey.
And sometimes this can sound strange because it’s not a positive emotion, right? It doesn’t feel good, but useful disappointment is tolerable. It is a tolerable feeling for you to experience because notice the feeling of that was my fault. That shaming feeling that is an intolerable human experience that is suffering, but having the thought that didn’t go the way I wanted it to, that is a tolerable human experience that is necessary because that is where you’re going to evaluate your progress, make adjustments to your approach and move forward.
The purpose in acknowledging useful disappointment is to check in with your feelings, your human experiences, and to validate and honor them. This is a huge difference between useful and non-useful disappointment. Non-useful disappointment is invalidating yourself for where you’re at. Disappointment is incredibly validating when it’s useful because it’s okay that you feel disappointed when it comes to phases of your weight loss journey.
Of course, you feel disappointed. It doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong or that you’re not making progress, but it’s going to be so important that you’re willing to hold space for useful disappointment when it’s necessary for you to feel, because I say this a lot to my clients when we work together, we can’t achieve long-term weight loss and be BS ourselves in the process. So you can’t attempt to think positively all the time. You can’t expect to feel empowered and motivated all the time.
You’re going to have to become a woman who holds space for all of her human experiences, which means you need to gain the capacity to hold space for disappointment when something doesn’t happen in the way you want it to. Without shaming yourself, you can hold space for this disappointment. So in own your eating habits, which is my coaching program, women join and they learn how to eat healthy naturally so they can lose weight long-term, and they get all of the tools to do this, all of the support, but that does not rid them of the human experiences that they will need to move themselves through in that process.
The difference is when they join this container, they have all the tools they need to help them do this. Disappointment is not a problem, and it’s something I want you to expect when you make progress with healthy eating because here’s some examples of how you will experience disappointment in your weight loss journey.
You will have disappointment when you follow through with what you said you were going to do, and you don’t lose weight in the timeline you think you should. You will feel disappointment when you overeat rather than process an emotion. You will feel disappointment when there’s something you missed with evaluating your progress, and it takes you a bit more trial and error to figure that out. Moments of disappointment in your weight loss journey are not a problem. They are expected, but the key is understanding what the value of those moments are.
The value of the moments of disappointment are for you to learn how to hold space with your humanness without sabotaging yourself. I firmly believe that disappointment when it comes to our weight loss journey is there to test us. I think that when I feel disappointment along the way towards something I want, it is there to ask me, how willing are you to hold space for yourself and not quit?
That is what I believe the value of disappointment is. When clients join own your eating habits, they learn how to hold space for themselves in their progress so they do not quit, they do not self-sabotage, and they are able to create lifelong changes no matter how long it takes their body to create those changes naturally. This is a skill and it is something that as a high achieving woman, you must be willing to do in order to create the results you want.
And as a high achieving woman, if you become skilled at experiencing useful disappointment, there is no result you cannot create, especially when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss. It is important that you hold space for these moments of disappointment in a healthy, clean way because if you ignore this disappointment and you do not hold space for it and allow it fully, what’s going to happen is your body’s going to hold onto the disappointment and it’s going to create that shaming, that pressure, that resentment, and you’re going to feel compelled to quit your progress.
The key is in knowing that you will always have both versions of disappointment available to you, and you get to decide which version of disappointment you take feedback from and you use to move forward. So what I recommend for all of you today is to get really familiar with the thoughts that create that non-useful disappointment and the useful disappointment. Become really aware of them, develop a relationship to them, and make a choice to hold space for useful disappointment when necessary.
For those of you who are ready to make progress in your weight loss journey now and solve your eating habits for the last time, own your eating habits is open for enrollment friends. So if you identify as this high achieving woman who wants your healthy eating habits to feel natural and you want to create long-term weight loss in this way, this is the program for you. So you can join me at cat rent us.com/coaching. That’s where you can apply and join me today. All right, my friends, have a great rest of your week. I wish you all the best 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.