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Dec 13

The Two Feelings That Help Me Eat Better

How to Eat Better Kat Rentas

The number one reason women struggle to eat healthier is the inability to process negative emotions effectively.

This is no surprise, as dealing with negative emotion can be difficult.

We’re often taught in our culture to avoid pain and discomfort at all costs.

In fact, we’re biologically wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

Which lowers our tolerance level for negative emotion.

This causes us to constantly seek ways to cover up negative emotion.

In terms of eating habits, this is extremely common.

Enter emotional eating and binge eating patterns.

The point of this, is I want to fill you in on the two feelings that I have adopted over the years that genuinely help me eat better.

Incorporating these feelings will allow you to better deal with negative emotions in your day-to-day life.

So, you won’t keep sabotaging your healthy eating patterns.

Before we cover the two feelings, let’s first talk about where feelings come from.

What Causes Feelings

In case you weren’t aware, your thoughts cause your feelings.

Always.

This is just the way your brain and body work.

Meaning, whenever you experience a negative emotion, it’s caused by a thought you’re currently thinking.

It’s not caused by your circumstances in life.

We as humans love to blame our circumstances on the way we feel.

For example, “I feel stress because…”

  • …”my boss was a jerk today”.
  • …”I didn’t make as much money as I thought this year”. 
  • …”My friend said something bad about me” 

This is blaming your circumstances. And it just isn’t useful.

Because our circumstances in life are inherently neutral.

They are neither positive nor negative.

This is why the most wealthy person on the planet can be extremely unhappy.

While the poorest person could be living in a state of bliss.

It’s because of their thoughts.

And your thoughts are also always optional.

Which means with practice, if you can learn to change your thoughts, you can become skilled at changing your feelings as well.

Where Many Go Wrong

Seems easy, right? 

All you have to do is change your thoughts to create better feelings.

Which will give you better results in your life.

While this is the essence of it, I want you to know that while this concept is simple, it isn’t always easy.

Here’s why.

We now know that your negative feelings are caused by a thought you’re thinking.

And the positive feeling you want to experience will be caused by a new thought that you choose.

However, you will not actually reap the benefits of this new thought until you believe it.

Which is where so many people go wrong when they practice positive affirmations.

Reciting positive mantras every morning does not work.

You cannot simply repeat a thought you don’t believe to change your feelings and get results.

Your brain knows better.

You’ll have to gain the ability to slowly transition your brain from the old thought to the new one.

So, you can learn to produce different feelings.

This takes time.

Which is why you’ll need to learn the feelings of curiosity and compassion.

Let me explain.

Curiosity & Compassion

We now know two core truths:

  • Thoughts cause feelings. Circumstances are neutral.
  • To produce a new feeling you need to believe a new thought. This takes time.

Overcoming negative thoughts and emotions is an ongoing process.

The truth is, negative thoughts and feelings will always be there.

Meaning, we’ll need to learn how to manage our negative thoughts and feelings differently.

So we don’t indulge in unhealthy eating patterns to cover them up.

The number one way I have managed my negative thoughts and emotions is through curiosity and compassion.

Curiosity

Curiosity is defined as “the strong ability to learn or know”

Think for a moment how the emotion of curiosity feels in your body.

For me, it causes feelings of excitement and wonder.

I become the student to whatever I’m currently observing.

This is a feeling I want you to practice as it relates to your negative thoughts & feelings.

Here’s what will happen in this scenario:

  • You experience stress after a long day at work. Under normal circumstances, you would unconsciously indulge in unhealthy eating patterns to make you feel better. Instead, you take a moment to become curious as to what’s causing that feeling of stress. You step outside your mind for a moment and observe. You notice the thoughts that are causing that feeling. You think, “How interesting! Of course this thought is causing worry. Is it worth it to keep thinking this way? What can I choose to think instead?”.

The essence of experiencing curiosity?

You become the watcher instead of the judge when it comes to your negative thoughts.

Practice doing this for yourself.

It makes personal growth fun.

And your eating habits will thank you for it!

Now, let’s talk about compassion.

Compassion

Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and concern for another”

Again, I want you to consider what the feeling of compassion feels like in your body.

It can help to think what you would experience if someone you love unconditionally was suffering.

For me, it brings up feelings of intention, care, and understanding.

This is an invaluable tool when it comes to experiencing negative thoughts and feelings.

Here’s what will happen in this scenario:

  • You feel anger after something your boss says. At this point, you normally emotionally eat to overcome the feeling of negative emotion. You also use food a way to self-punish for feeling the anger in the first place. But, this time is different. Instead, you take a moment to step outside your brain and notice what thought is creating the feeling of anger. You take this time to let yourself process the anger and remind yourself it’s okay to feel this way. Anger is something you can experience. You can feel angry and still love yourself.” 

The essence of compassion?

Instead of operating out of self-punishment, you operate out of self-love.

This is powerful.

And will ultimately heal your relationship with food (and yourself) over time.

What to Do Next

Many women I speak with who want to eat healthier, are desperate for the tactics.

They want to know what they should eat.

I promise you, so much of the work with food that makes the difference is emotional.

This is a prime example of that.

Begin practicing the feelings of curiosity and compassion when it comes to feeling negative emotion.

Instead of indulging in unhealthy eating patterns, get curious and wonder what thought caused you to feel that way?

And show yourself some compassion and let yourself experience that feeling.

This is a gamechanger.

I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

- Kat Rentas

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The Intentional Eating Method

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.