You want to be accountable with food. You want to follow through with healthy eating and lose the weight.
Yet, you find yourself not keeping up with that standard. You make plans to eat healthier, then eventually stop prioritizing the changes you want to make.
Ask Yourself: What exactly about holding yourself accountable with food stops being sustainable? At what point do you stop holding yourself to that standard?
It’s not the healthy eating decisions that are unsustainable. It’s your approach to holding yourself accountable.
In this episode, I’m sharing the two approaches to accountability with food. You’ll learn the difference between pressure and responsibility with healthy eating.
Learning this difference is what will allow you to hold yourself to a high-standard in this area of your life — without exhausting yourself emotionally in the process.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. I’m so happy you are here today. And today I want to talk about the concept of holding yourself accountable when it comes to healthy eating. And I do feel like for us type AERs, the concept of accountability is a very loaded topic. A lot of us tend to have very rigid definitions of what we think accountability is with food.
And I really want to offer today’s episodes so you can start to redefine what accountability with healthy eating will look like for you. Because what we do know about healthy eating and weight loss is that we want our results to be lifelong. We want to stop picking up diets and putting them back down. We want to stop the weight loss and weight gain cycle. And so that means we need to make sure that our definition of being accountable with healthy eating has to be sustainable, and it has to be a definition of accountability that we can maintain for life.
So that’s really what I want to talk about today. And it goes without saying, right? You want to be accountable with food. This is what all of us want when it comes to weight loss. We just want to be able to decide what we’re going to eat and then follow through on that decision so we can lose the weight. What ends up happening is we find ourselves not keeping up with that standard. So you right now, if you are struggling to eat healthy in the way you want to and lose the weight, you might find yourself struggling to hold yourself accountable and you’ll make plans to eat healthier.
And then eventually you find that you stop prioritizing the changes you wanna make. So what I want you to ask yourself to start off today’s episode is what exactly about holding yourself accountable with food stops being sustainable?
So at what point in your healthy eating journey do you stop holding yourself to that original standard of accountability that you set? Because here’s what I want you to know, it is not any healthy eating decisions that are unsustainable. So any manner of healthy eating that you have pretty much tried, it’s not the healthy eating actions that are unsustainable, it’s your approach to holding yourself accountable.
So it’s not the foods you are trying to eat, it’s the approach that is unsustainable. And I’m really going to clarify what I mean by that in today’s episode because I consider what.
Your current definition is of holding yourself accountable with food. What does that mean to you? What does that look like for you when you think about holding yourself accountable? So I coach a lot of type A women, and when we start working together, what I’m really looking for is the way that their individual brains think. And so something I am always keeping an eye on, it is how they’re defining different concepts in their brain. And what tends to happen is as high achieving women, we equate self-accountability, this concept with not making mistakes .
So we equate accountability with perfection. And this is especially the case with healthy eating and how a lot of us have been conditioned in diet culture to be accountable to food is for us to expect perfection from ourselves with healthy eating, which means even just going into healthy eating at all, our expectations with ourselves are going to be so high, and then the pressure is going to be on to make those changes.
This right here that I’m referring to, especially if it does relate to your definition of accountability, this energy is not sustainable with healthy eating and weight loss. So like I said before, it’s not the healthy foods that you’re going to try to eat that are unsustainable. It’s not a version of healthy eating that you wanna have that’s unsustainable. It’s this approach to accountability with healthy eating that is unsustainable. So to eat healthy long-term, you’re going to need to change your relationship to holding yourself accountable.
You’re going to have to completely transform what this concept means in your brain and really what needs to happen. This is exactly it is you’re going to need to learn how to take responsibility for all of your eating decisions without adding pressure. So I wanna say that again, let that sink in. You need to learn how to take responsibility for your eating decisions without adding pressure.
And I want you to take a moment and picture that distinction. Coaching all of the Type A women being a type A woman. I know that this can be a really interesting thing to consider when we consider separating the concepts of holding ourselves accountable and pressuring ourselves and disciplining ourselves and being harsh with ourselves. That is what I want you to consider here today, is that it is possible for you to separate those things.
And I want you to picture what it would look like for you to be a hundred percent accountable with all of your eating decisions without feeling pressured to do so. So what would it look like to acknowledge that you are the one a hundred percent responsible for your eating decisions no matter what without ever pressuring yourself in that process? This is the sweet spot. This is how naturally healthy eaters think.
And it’s a type of thinking that will allow you to hold yourself to that high standard in this area of your life that you want to be at without exhausting yourself emotionally in that process. And how we add pressure to accountability is when we believe that taking responsibility for the way we eat implies perfection. So when we really have that thought error that we can possibly be perfect at anything at healthy eating, that that is even a possibility to hold ourselves accountable is not to imply that we should expect perfection from ourselves.
Because when you believe this, shaming yourself becomes readily accessible when it comes to healthy eating. When you have this perfection pressuring approach, you are going to have a lot of language come up for you in your mind. When your inevitable humanness comes up, when you’re not perfect, you’re going to think, I shouldn’t have done that.
I’m not doing what I should be. I could have done that better. And what’s interesting about the way we often speak to ourselves as the high achievers, it may not seem like you’re shaming yourself. It may present as very logically, but I want you to really think about the words you are saying to yourself. How I maintain self-awareness of this is I always look at a thought and a way I’m speaking to myself and I ask myself if I would speak that way to a child. One of my thoughts that I had for a very long time that felt highly logical, but it was shame, was I could have done that better anytime I made a mistake, anytime I took an action, I wouldn’t repeat that is the language I had with myself.
I could have done that better, and that was a lie because I always do my best, as I’m sure many of you would credit yourselves with, right?
You always do your best. So what happens if you have this mistaken belief that perfection is ever possible is you will blame yourself and shame yourselves for human error. And so shaming yourself becomes readily accessible when your definition of accountability is perfection. Because when we have this definition of accountability, we aren’t accounting for natural human error, and it sounds so basic, but as the high achievers, this is really how we tend to think.
We don’t account for the learning process with almost anything. We don’t acknowledge that learning to eat healthy and lose weight is about experimentation and trial and error. Something that my clients tend to struggle with, which I 100% could have related to in my past, is we’re not the best at being beginners and being inexperienced at certain things because we lack sometimes the grace that we deserve.
When we are learning a new skill, when we’re going through the mistakes, when we’re going through that learning process and healthy eating and weight loss is no different.
And in order to begin eating healthy and lose weight, you need to take responsibility and hold yourself accountable. But none of that needs to include shaming yourself for the learning process. So that’s what I want you to really begin separating here, believing that accountability equals perfection is probably the most false non-useful belief we can have as high achieving women with healthy eating. It is the biggest lie we tell ourselves, and it’s so sneaky because once again, a lot of our thinking will present as simply logical, but it’s not.
It is shaming thinking, and it is blaming ourselves for our lack of perfection as humans. Taking responsibility with the way you eat is not believing that you have the capacity to be perfect in your progress. And I think I’m gonna say that one again for us too. Taking responsibility is not believing. You have the capacity to be perfect in your progress.
It’s where you believe that you are responsible for what you do with the mistakes, with the setbacks when they occur. It’s how you show up when the setbacks happen, because when you take full responsibility, you don’t see the human error and setbacks as steps backwards per se. In your journey. You’re seeing it like data. As a scientist, picture what it means to take full responsibility and be really, really accountable for your results.
You are not making the progress personal. You’re looking at it with a scientist approach, getting really curious, observing the data, and then making decisions as you move forward. It’s totally different energy because if you think that taking responsibility is perfection, here’s what’s going to happen, and a lot of us know this all too well, you’re going to eat healthier, but then over time, you’re going to feel too much pressure. You’re going to exhaust yourself emotionally and you will quit.
You’ll stop prioritizing healthy eating completely, and then you find yourself overeating and gaining weight again. But then at that point, you’re going to make yourself wrong, beat yourself up until you feel so desperate to lose the weight again, that you start all over again in the same cycle once again, right? This is all too familiar for so many of us. If you decide to believe that responsibility is evaluating your setbacks and moving forward with them, you’re going to create your results.
You’re not going to quit because you will expect the human error and the setbacks. You’re going to study them in a nonpersonal way as the scientist of your progress, and you’re going to move forward without quitting because you’re not going to be pressuring yourself. So emotionally, you’re going to feel stable, you’re going to feel calm, and you’re not gonna feel compelled to beat yourself up in the process.
In my program on your eating habits, this is exactly what my clients do. So this is one of the biggest themes in that program because that container is designed to support you through this type of process as you create your own version of healthy eating through trial and error. So there’s no pressuring or pushing yourself to quicker results. It’s intentionality, it’s curiosity, and it is accountability and responsibility. Those things are core pillars of what you do inside that program, but there’s also no rushing.
There’s no shaming, and there’s no perfection because perfection keeps you stuck in fear. It does not create results that only happens from experimentation and evaluation. And you know what experimentation and evaluation requires for us to be a lot kinder to ourselves, my friends, . It requires us to have a softer hand. This is why when it comes to this area of our lives, we really do have to redefine what accountability and responsibility with food even means.
We’ve gotta rewrite that for ourselves because this is also how naturally healthy eaters think about their progress with food and their body. They have that curious mindset like a scientist when it comes to food. So it’s a very observational relationship of food and weight. It’s never personal and there’s no pressure. What I would love for you to do is to observe your current relationship with accountability. So what expectations are you placing on yourself now to be accountable with healthy eating?
How are you unintentionally adding pressure because you think perfection is meant to be achieved in your weight loss journey? Let yourself decide what relationship you even want to have around accountability, because so much of the time why we feel pressured with healthy eating and we feel stuck is because we think the harsh definition of accountability is the only one that exists. You get to create your own definition because when you become a naturally healthy eater, how will you think about being responsible for your eating decisions?
You’re probably not even going to use the words accountability because you trust that you have what you need to eat healthy and lose weight in the way you want to. That is what my entire practice is based around, is teaching all of the women, all of the high achievers, all of us, to think like a naturally healthy eater and to create a lifelong experience of healthy eating that looks as such. And in order to do that, we cannot keep thinking as women who struggle with food, because if you believe you’re someone who struggles with food, you will believe that your definition of accountability needs to look like a hard hand.
You’ll think you are someone who needs to be pressured, and you’re someone who needs to be pushed. You are not any of those things. You are capable and you are a hundred percent responsible for the way you eat. And that does not have to pressure you, and that does not mean that you have to be hard on yourself. It also means that you can have compassion and a willingness to go through the learning process. All right, my friends, I hope this was helpful for you to redefine what accountability with food means to you.
I love you. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your week, 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.