Are you approaching healthy eating with the energy of desperation?
Where you’re trying to micromanage food and force your body into the changes you want?
Or, are you approaching healthy eating with the energy of love?
Where you’re choosing to love yourself to the changes you want?
The truth is, creating love for food and body is a necessary tactic to creating the eating habits you want.
In fact, it’s a non-negotiable.
In this podcast episode, I teach you how to create food love now.
And exactly how food love will change your eating habits – if you let it.
Hello. Welcome back to the podcast this week. I’m so happy you are here. Last week, we talked quite a bit about clean eating. And how that’s really just another way we look for perfection with food. And today, I want to talk about something we can do to counteract that. So, we’re not constantly trying to achieve perfection with food only to let ourselves down. How we move away from that perfectionism is by focusing on food love. And before we get into this, let’s take a brief walk down memory lane and talk about my definition of food love when I was struggling with my eating habits every single day. Well, if we’re being honest, food love actually didn’t exist at all. Sure, there were foods that I loved. But it was always from a place of helplessness. Where I felt a total lack of control. Nothing I ate ever felt like my decision. It felt like this other entity that was always making my food decisions for me. And I felt like a victim of my eating habits. I remember this one time specifically, I had scheduled my food plan to eat a salad that day. And it was actually a really good, hearty salad that I made for myself beforehand. I was like, “There’s no way I’m messing this up. I’m coming straight home from work. And eating that salad. So I won’t eat anything else”. My eye was on the prize. And to be clear, this wasn’t from confidence. I wasn’t feeling sure of myself here. This was from wishful thinking and desperation. Like “I hope I follow through and eat this damn salad”. And I got home and I literally stopped in front of the fridge. Like weighing my options. Because I had a really crappy day and I wanted fast food. I did not want to eat that salad. And I remember feeling like that devil on my shoulder took over. Now, it’s not literally a devil on your shoulder, but that’s what it felt like to me. And I remember, I literally threw my hands up and said “You win. F it.” And I left, got back in my car, and got the fast food. And later that night, I cried. Because I felt so out of control. It felt like someone else was in control of my eating habits. Now, this is a little slightly off topic side-story. But I think about this moment when you guys tell me you feel out of control. Because I have been there. I truly know what it’s like. And relating back to the last episode, it’s from this place that I tried to eat clean and achieve perfectionism with food. But in this place, I wasn’t truly cultivating what I’m calling food love. Because nothing about my eating habits was coming from a loving place. It was all desperation and expectancy. I was desperate to be skinnier, I was desperate to eat healthier, and I was desperate to become the “real me”. Or what I interpreted as the real me. Who never ate unhealthy and always made healthy food decisions. As I often say, I was trying to hate my way into the changes I wanted with food and body. And this never, ever got me where I wanted to go. It just kept me suffering. Much like I did when I got home that afternoon and still got back in the car to get those chicken nuggets. And yes, they were chicken nuggets. Sidenote, there’s nothing wrong with chicken nuggets. But what was wrong is that it didn’t feel like my decision to choose the chicken nuggets at that time. See the difference. Perfect. Moving on.
From here, what really ended up changing my eating habits was when I shifted into food love. Meaning I shifted my energy with food from expectancy and desperation to compassion, curiosity, and love. And my relationship with food is completely different now. And my results with food and body have completely changed. In ways I never knew was possible for me back when I was struggling.. The main difference now is that instead of suffering my way to healthy eating, I now love and enjoy my way to healthy eating. Without exception. Here are some specific examples of how things look different now. Instead of desperately trying to meal prep so I can lose weight, I now have a very intentional meal prepping ritual every single week. I buy beautiful cookbooks for my kitchen. I turn on some music and light a candle. And I explore the recipes to find new one’s I want to try. Or old standbys that I really love. And I’ll prepare my meals every Sunday at the same time. And this is my time. This time to me is almost sacred. And it’s one of the most loving practices I’ve ever done for my body and with food. Creating this practice from pure love for food and my body, I’m not even kidding, makes the food taste better. I don’t know what it is. But everything just tastes better and I get way more pleasure from my meals when they’re created from this space. Another example is I used to plan my meals from a really scarcity-based, desperate place every week. I’m not even kidding. I would have this calorie counter up on my computer while I was planning meals. And then I would insert my meals in this calorie counter as I planned them. And I would watch that calorie number go down as I added meals to determine how much left I could eat for the week. Yeah. A pretty miserable place to be in with food and body. Not so fun. Now, my meal planning is from such a loving and abundant place. I will first plan the foods I want to include for pleasure. So I’m feeling satisfied with food throughout the week and I know I’ve got my own back. I’m still allowing myself to enjoy the foods I love. From a very clean, intentional place. So I actually plan those first. I’ll schedule the time once per week that my man and I go out to a nice restaurant and go out to eat. I’ll schedule that ice cream I know I’m going to get when my parents visit and we go downtown. I’m scheduling all of that first. Because I want to enjoy those foods and times with my family. And then, I’ll very intentionally plan the foods I will include for function. So these are the foods I include that I know will optimize my nutrition and health. But, I’m still choosing foods that I personally find satisfying and enjoyable. And I’m not forcing myself to eat anything here. This process of meal planning feels very safe and fun. It doesn’t come from this desperate place. It’s coming completely from love. And the last example I’ll share is when I’m actually eating my meals. I’ve made huge shifts here. Previously I would eat meals from either a place of urgency or just a total lack of fulfillment. So, when I would eat for comfort, and emotionally eat, and eat what wasn’t on my food plan, I would always eat those meals from a place of urgency. I would finish the food as quickly as possible. So I could seek comfort from it. On the other hand, when I ate the healthy foods, I would eat from a place where I felt unfulfilled. The eating experience felt very dull and boring. I wasn’t getting any enjoyment out of those meals. I just forced myself to eat certain things and follow my meal plan so I could get the results I wanted. So, these were the two ways in which I was eating in the past. And neither of them came from a place of love. Here’s the difference now. Now that I’m approaching every meal from that place of love. Now, I’ve developed the habit of making my meals an intentional, loving, nurturing experience. And this may sound a little froo-froo. A little like rainbows and butterflies. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about creating a space with every meal, whether it’s for nutrition or pleasure, where I’m fully savoring the food I’m eating. And I’m making the eating experience all about the food I’m enjoying. This will make every aspect of your meals more enjoyable and fulfilling. When you’re approaching your meals with love, rather than urgency or a lack of enjoyment.
So, these are just a few of the ways that shifting my energy from desperation to love with food has changed my eating habits drastically. And it will do the same for you. Not because finding love in food is a cute, trendy practice. That sounds really pretty. But because love is an emotion you can create in your body. And when you take food actions from this emotion of love, you will take food actions that serve you. I always want to clarify that. Sometimes when we talk about love, we’ll stop listening. Because we’ll think, “I don’t care about love, I want to know the tactics! Give me the tactics! Just tell me what works!”. I know you because I used to think like this. But, it wasn’t until I realized that creating the feeling of love in your body is not silly. It’s not frivolous. It’s actually a tactic you need to create healthy eating habits that last. Because you always, always need to love yourself into the changes you want. The energy and emotion you bring to your eating habits will determine what foods you choose to eat. So, if you’re bringing in the emotion of desperation and it feels really unstable, what foods are you more likely to eat? From this place of feeling really bad? You’re more likely to eat foods for comfort. Where you’re just reacting to your primitive emotions. Now, alternatively, what food actions are you more likely to take when you feel love? Think about it. Think about an area of your life where you can experience love in your body. It feels very settled, warm, fluid – that’s how I would describe it. You’re going to feel more stable. And this emotion will feel more comfortable for you. Now, what foods are you more likely to eat from this place of love? Whatever food decisions serve you at that time. Maybe that’s eating for function. Or maybe that’s eating the cookies your mom made for you that she brings over every time she visits. Or something like that, right? When you come from a place of love, you’re able to make eating choices that ultimately serve you. Because you’re not reacting to a negative emotion that you want to escape.
And I want you to consider, how have you shown up to your eating habits thus far? What emotions and energy are you having when you create your meal plans? When you prep your meals for the week? When you eat those meals? What emotions are you experiencing? This really does matter. And I want you to consider how you would show up differently if you were able to feel love. For food, for your body, and for yourself. Consider how love feels inside your body. Really think about this. Think about people in your life, hobbies, things, where the love just pours out of you? Where it just can’t even be contained. What if you were able to create that love for food? For your body? And consider how you would show up different with food if you were able to create that love everyday? You can practice the feeling of love right now. And you can practice showing up to your eating habits with love today. I want you to practice this and I want you to watch how your eating habits naturally change.
And here’s how you know if you’re coming from a place of love. You look into the intention behind your actions. So, next time you sit down and decide your food plan for the week. I want you to ask yourself, what is my reason for doing this right now? Are you having energy of desperation and expectancy? Where you’re planning these meals so you can feel better about yourself? And so you can prove to yourself that you’re worthy? And so you can force yourself to get the results you want? That energy feels very heavy, right? And you’ll know you’re coming from that place if this is your intention. If this is why you’re writing that food plan. And this applies to anything with food. If it’s why you’re cooking the food, eating the food – all of it. If your intention is from that desperate, expectant energy it will show up in your results. And that’s how you know it’s not love. Alternatively, you’ll know if you’re coming from love when you’re planning those meals to take care of yourself, to grow, to figure out what works for you, to say yes to yourself everyday. Whatever thought you have about planning those meals that creates that feeling of love in your body. And it doesn’t even need to be a super dramatic thought that puts you in that love energy with food. For example, when I’m planning my meals every week, and I’m feeling that love, I’m thinking “What do I need this week?”. That’s it. I’m really just thinking “What do I need this week?”. As in, what food do I need to include to take care of myself? Really simple. And this creates that intention and love in my body. And it brings me the results I want. Because I’m taking that love with me into every aspect of my eating habits.
So, to help you do this, there are two questions I want you to answer right now. Or at least consider while you’re here with me on this podcast. First, I want you to ask yourself, “What do I love about myself, right now?. And this could be anything. Anything. It could be that you make sure your kids get to school on time everyday. It could be that you’re always committed to showing up to work. It could be that you have a weird, quirky sense of humor that you love. It could be that you are someone who never gives up. Right? Come up with the list of things you love about you, right now. Write it all down. When I think about what I love about myself, it’s never anything super exciting. It’s little things. For instance, I love that I’m not afraid to take up space in a room and be myself. That’s something I love about me. I love that I am a great listener. I love that I’m not afraid to love. Those are things I love about me. What are some things you love about you? And notice, how you do have the ability to create that feeling of love for yourself right now. Second, I want you to ask yourself, “What do I love about food?”. And this may feel difficult for some of you, because you may genuinely see food as the enemy. You’ve been taught that less food is better. And that food is the problem. And we’re just trying to rewrite that narrative a bit. Because I want you to practice loving food while you’re making healthy changes with it. This is key. So, think of genuine reasons you have for loving food now. And it can be very basic reasons. For example, “I love food because it keeps me alive”, “I love food because there’s always something new to try”, “I love cooking food because it’s the practice of caring for my body”, “I love food because it brings up some of my best memories” – whatever comes to mind for you. Even just telling you guys some of my reasons is bringing up those feelings of love. And this will work for you too. So, don’t be afraid of doing this work. Try it out. Please let me know how it goes. I love you. And I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified 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.