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Sep 16

Honoring Food Decisions

Peace And Control In Healthy Eating Kat Rentas-1

Without the right tools, following a meal plan can feel impossible.

You’ll feel like you’re picking up healthy eating habits only to put them back down a week later.

The truth is, you can’t honor food decisions by changing what you eat.

You need to become aware of the thoughts that lead to you making healthy decisions with food.

In this episode, I teach you how to begin honoring your food decisions.

So, you can actually make food choices that serve you.

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Episode Transcript

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Hey there! Welcome back to the podcast. Today, we’re going to talk all about how you can begin honoring your food decisions. Or, in other words, how you can start following through on what you plan to eat. In the past couple of episodes, we discussed how you can begin planning your meals ahead of time and what you can do when you quote unquote “fall off track”. In this episode, we’re going to focus on the end goal of all of this, right? Which is how you can become someone who eats what she says she’s going to eat. And that’s all honoring your food decisions really is. It means you’re following through on food decisions that you already made. Super simple, right? What could go wrong? Well, if you’re like me in the past, you’ve likely tried for many years to follow a seemingly simple meal plan or diet protocol with no success. Somehow you always end up right back where you started. Which can make it feel impossible to honor your food decisions long-term. For the longest time, I really thought that women who just followed their food plans were actual unicorns. The thought I had about them was, “Oh, they’re just lucky. They have it so much better than me. Must be nice” So, I know how crappy this feels. When you want to change your eating habits so badly, but you can’t seem to follow any freaking meal plan that you try. So frustrating! And the worst part is this kind of puts you in a position where you tend to feel really incapable of becoming the type of eater that you want to be. The type of eater who feels like eating healthy is just natural to them.
I’m really excited to provide this episode to you, because I know how it feels to constantly be breaking food promises. And I want you to know that there are set reasons why this is happening – why you’re not following through with your food decisions. And there’s a particular approach to honoring food decisions that you likely haven’t tried yet if you aren’t successfully doing it. So, first, I want to mention why this is so so important that you prioritize this. Before you focus on what you eat, or changing your diet, you need to focus on becoming someone who honors their food decisions. This is where you always need to start – no exceptions. And here’s why. If you’re not someone who honors their food decisions, you are going to have zero self-trust and self-confidence when it comes to yourself and the way you eat. And you cannot create natural healthy eating habits from a place of zero self-trust and confidence. It’s just not possible. Because, as we know from past episodes, it’s not enough to just change your actions with food. Because you will be working with the same brain that created your unhealthy eating habits. Which are your thoughts and feelings. So, if you have thoughts and feelings of low self-trust and a lack of confidence, that will lead to unhealthy actions with food. Because it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. You don’t believe you can be trusted with food, right? And you don’t believe you’re someone who keeps her promises with food. So, you’ll create this feeling of low self-confidence. Which will lead to unhealthy eating actions because you’re trying to suppress that uncomfortable emotion. The result is that you aren’t someone who keeps promises with food. Which again, further leads to even more thoughts of self-doubt and low-self-confidence with food. See how this works? You’re stuck in a belief system right now. Where you believe you’re not someone who can be trusted to honor your food decisions. And there’s no way from here you can change what you eat and force different actions with food. Your brain will bring you back to the original feedback loop where you’re re-creating your old results with food. So, this is why it’s important you first and foremost, become someone who honors their decisions with food. In order to improve your relationship with yourself so you can create feelings of self-trust and confidence.
So, why you’re not following through with your food decisions now. It’s because first, you’re trying to change what you eat, or your food actions, without focusing on the thoughts and feelings that lead to those actions. You’re trying to change what you eat without focusing on what brings you to eat that way.. And second, it’s because you’re reacting to an urge. This is a really big reason, so let me explain this further. An urge is what you experience when you want to escape negative emotion. In other words, any time a negative emotion occurs, you will feel an urge from your brain to try and escape that negative emotion. And this comes from our primitive survival brains that are trying to keep you safe from harm. Remember, your brain operates from the motivational triad. It wants to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient. So, whenever a negative emotion comes up, like low self-confidence or self-doubt, your brain will signal an urge for you to take actions that will suppress that negative emotion. Now, what does that look like when it comes to food? If you’ve been really paying attention, you might have figured it out already. So, let’s say that you’re having a thought like “I can’t be trusted around food. I’m going to fall off track”. And the feeling created from this thought is self-doubt. Now, we all know that self-doubt is a really uncomfortable vibration, right? And your brain always seeks comfort. So, you’re going to experience an urge to escape that emotion and feel better. Now, when you’re trying to follow a meal plan and you’re having all of this uncomfortable emotion, what’s going to make you feel better in that moment? Suppressing that self-doubt with unhealthy eating patterns. You’re going to break your food decisions and go off plan. This results in you not honoring your food decisions and eating unhealthy. Which further solidifies those belief systems that you can’t be trusted around food.
So, I really really hope you’re getting an idea of how this actually works. This is why you’re not honoring food decisions right now. It’s because you’re trying to change your actions with food, without the real work. You’re trying to force the result you want. When that’s not possible. Our brains are way too advanced for that. So, I urge you to just take a moment of silence for all of those years that you’ve tried to change your food actions with the same belief systems around food that you’ve always had. Because, I say this with love, you were always setting yourself up for failure. And I swear, this is great news. This means there’s a set reasons why it hasn’t been working for you. It’s not because you’re incapable of honoring your food decisions and eating healthy. You’ve just been taking the wrong approach. No big deal.
Now, let’s talk about what the right approach is. So you can teach your brain that you are someone who honors their food decisions. First, you need to meet yourself where you are. We talk about this in more detail in the meal planning for success episode, so if you haven’t listened to that yet be sure you do. But, when making food decisions ahead of time, and planning food choices, you need to meet yourself where you are. As in, I don’t want you to change what you’re eating before you become someone who follows through with their food decisions. I already shared this story in a past episode, but I want to mention it again here briefly because it’s so good. I had a client who according to her was addicted to fast food. She was really eager to eat healthy and change what she was eating. But I told her that I only wanted her to focus on one thing first. I wanted her to simply make food decisions at least 24 hours in advance. So, I didn’t want her to change WHAT she was eating. I only wanted her to make food decisions ahead of time. You guys. I literally didn’t have her change a single thing she was eating yet. And she still felt so much resistance to following through with her food decisions. Know why? Because her brain was not yet in a place where it believed that she was someone who did that. Her brain was like, “What the hell?! We aren’t someone who honors food decisions. We’re someone who eats according to how we feel in the moment. What is going on here?”. And this was such a big moment for this client, because she really realized at her core, from that moment, where the work truly was. Which was her thoughts that she had about following through. So, the first step to honoring food decisions is to simply meet yourself where you are. Don’t focus on changing what you’re eating yet. Only focus on making simple food decisions ahead of time, at least 24-hours in advance.
Second, you need to literally become a decision-maker. Now, this is something that many people aren’t aware of. Decision making is actually a skill that you can get really good at. And the truth is, most humans are absolutely awful at making decisions. And I see this over and over again with my clients. And let’s keep it real here, I used to be a garbage decision maker too. So, I get it. But here’s how you know if you’re not good at making decisions. You’ll know you’re not a good decision maker if everything in your life feels like it’s happening “to you”. If you tend to feel stuck or like there’s a lot of chatter and noise when making choices. If you tend to identify with being an overthinker or very indecisive, right? These are all pretty clear indications that decision making is a skill that you want to work on. Because here’s the thing. If you’re not a good decision maker, you are not taking responsibility for the results in your life. Actually, what you’re doing is you’re kind of deciding not to decide. So you’re deciding to let the world choose your results for you. And I’ll get a little pushback on this from clients. Because sometimes we tend to take this a little personally. Like, “What do you mean I’m not a good decision maker? I’m a business owner, or hard-working mom, or this or that”. And I hear you. But the thing is, the fact that you’re not a good decision maker isn’t personal. It doesn’t mean you’re not hard-working, infinitely worthy, or capable. It just means you’re not actively creating your future. And in the scope of this episode and my work, not being a good decision maker means you’re not creating your future with food. When you’re a skilled decision maker with food, everything you eat becomes a conscious decision. There’s no confusion, noise, or chatter when it comes to making food choices. Everything you eat is either a hell yes or a hell no. That’s it. Everything becomes simplified. And it’s really funny when I first tell women that they can immediately simplify their eating habits by just becoming a decisive, good decision maker. They’re like, “I’m sorry, what? It can just be that easy?”. And yes, it can. I know your brain really wants to convince you sometimes that making decisions is really hard. And that you need more time to think about it. But this just isn’t true. This just keeps you stuck and spinning. You may be afraid that you’ll make a wrong decision with food. But here’s the thing. There’s no such thing as a wrong decision. Decisions are neutral. What makes a decision right or wrong is your thoughts about it. And you don’t have to feel negatively about a decision at all. If you want to make new decisions in the future, well, that’s just a new decision that you have to make. But, leave the drama out of it. Make food decisions ahead of time. And evaluate afterwards whether you want to make new decisions in the future. Right now, you can actively decide to become someone who is an expert at making decisions.
Third, to follow through on food decisions you’ll need to learn to process your urges. So, remember, urges are simply what you experience when you want to escape a negative emotion. So, for example, if you’re feeling stressed, insecure, or angry, your brain may trigger an urge for you to escape that emotion by overeating or eating unhealthy foods. Now, the only way to truly honor food decisions long-term is by processing these urges instead of reacting to them. And what this means is you’re going to have to get really comfortable experiencing uncomfortable emotions. You’re going to learn to be with these emotions, instead of reacting to the urge telling you to escape them through food. I cannot say this enough. This will completely change your eating habits, like overnight, if you put this into practice. And I know this isn’t a sexy answer. Trust me, I wish I could tell you a way where you could honor your food decisions and it will feel like rainbows, daisies and cherry blossoms and that’s not the case. We are in the real world. Where we have human brains that need managing sometimes to get the results we want. And in this case, it means you need to be willing to fully experience negative emotions to honor your food decisions. Which doesn’t need to a problem, at all. Because here’s the thing. There’s nothing actually scary about a negative emotion. Feelings are harmless. They’re just really scary to your brain. And your brain will convince you to fall off your food plan and eat unhealthy to avoid feeling those emotions. But we can handle those emotions. And if you do this, you will be able to keep any commitments with food that you create. It’s incredible.

So, there you have it. To honor your food decisions you want to focus on three main things. First, meet yourself where you’re at. Don’t focus on changing what you eat, but on making food decisions at least 24-hours in advance. Second, acquire the skill of being a good decision-maker. To begin doing this for yourself it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just practice making little decisions in every aspect of life. I promise you, if you’re not a good decision maker, you’ll find it hard to make decisions on small things. Like picking which restaurant you want to eat at over the weekend or what show you want to watch on Netflix. It’s the funniest thing. But just practice making hell yes or hell no decisions throughout your day. And then bring that same energy to your eating choices. Third, remember to process your urges. When your brain wants to escape a negative emotion through food, just process that urge. Feel and experience that negative emotion rather than trying to escape it. This is how you become someone who effortlessly honors their food decisions. It’s magic.

And once again, I want to mention why this is so important. You need to teach your brain that you are someone who honors the food decisions that they make ahead of time. You need to become that person. Because, when you do this, you will have zero resistance to making food decisions that serve you. All of that resistance and messiness you felt before? All of that doubt and low self-confidence that caused you to go off plan? That will not exist anymore when you actually believe you are someone who honors food decisions no matter what. It’s truly amazing. And this is just a core, non-negotiable foundation of creating healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what you do with this work. Alright, my wonderful friend. I will talk with you next week.

- Kat Rentas

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Kat Rentas, Eating Psych. Coach

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 placeYou can read my full story here.