“I am choosing to eat this”.
What would change if eating decisions felt this simple?
In my coaching practice, my clients learn how to make clear and empowered food choices. Which means, they first had to evaluate how they were making food choices in the past. Where they were making food decisions from disempowerment.
In this episode, I’m sharing the three ways you may be making eating decisions now, and how to get to a place of empowerment with food no matter where you’re starting from.
Hello, my friend. Welcome back to the podcast this week. So today I want to spend some time talking about making eating choices. And what I mean by this is really thinking about your reasonings for making the eating choices that you make each day. So really slowing down, looking back at the eating decisions that you’ve made and thinking, why did I choose to eat that way?
What were my reasons? And for some of you, you may be tempted to go to the mindset where you think, I don’t know why I make those eating decisions. I don’t know why every time I come home from work, I go to the cabinets. I don’t know why I eat more than I need to feel naturally full. And what I wanna offer is when we go into this place where we think, I don’t know, I don’t know.
It’s just from a place where, what we’re looking at feels a bit heightened.
It feels a bit stressful. And this just means that we want to get to a place of safety, where we can objectively see what answers we do have here. And that’s what I want to encourage you to do today is to separate ourselves from what we don’t know about our eating habits and to start exploring what we may actually know now about ourselves and the way we eat and how you can begin finding some of those answers today.
This is a big skill, a big concept that I encourage my clients to do in my practice. The work of becoming a naturally healthy eater, where you eat healthy for life without restriction and without willpower, it means that you learn how to come up with these answers yourself, where you are, the expert, you are the scientist. You are the detective of your eating habits, because the really fun part is that no one is a better expert than you.
Not a diet, not a specialist, not me. You are the one who has the genius that will create the eating habits that feel enjoyable and sustainable to you. I am just the guide that leads you to your own genius. So that being said today, we’re going to talk about what answers you do have in terms of why you’re making the eating choices you are making now. And I encourage you to keep an open mind and just see what’s there today, because why this is important.
Why we want to understand our reasons for making eating choices is because this is what determines control with food, right? And when we talk about making eating choices, a lot of you will click on this episode, maybe thinking that I’m gonna talk about the foods and what we’re choosing to eat, the types of foods that we’re putting in our mouth.
And that’s not actually, what is the most important thing when it comes to making eating choices, it’s why you’re making the eating choices. It’s, what’s driving you towards those decisions because food choices are just foods, right? That’s just the math. It’s how you put the numbers into the equation and why you do it that determines your result. See what I’m saying here. So we want to talk about, what’s bringing you to make your eating decisions and your reasons for choosing to eat a certain way.
Now, with clients I work with in my practice, this is something that we work on very specifically. And generally what happens in terms of the transformation is they go from feeling disempowered with their food choices, to feeling empowered, where it just feels 100% in control. And it feels like their decision. And I want to walk you through some things I see in terms of why women or people make food choices in the beginning and what those reasons are from disempowerment and what it looks like to go to empowerment.
So I actually want to start first with what empowered reasons look like when it comes to eating decisions. And it’s not very exciting. an empowered eating decision just means you think I chose to eat this because X, so any boring logical reason that makes sense to you. It’s not urgent or emotionally charged. There’s no convincing here.
You just know that you chose to eat something because it’s what works for you. So in my practice, when my clients achieve this, their reasons for making eating decisions become empowered. So for example, they’ll say I chose to eat this because I know this food makes me feel satisfied and full, or because I know I really enjoy this food and I eat foods I enjoy, or this food is really accessible and easy for me to create or make right.
It’s, it’s just reasons for eating the way they do.
That makes sense. And this is where we want all of us to get to where your reasons for eating a certain way or making food choices feel 100% certain to you. And there’s no emotional charge to them. They just make sense and they get to be quite boring. And that’s the extent of it. Now when women start working with me or when I speak to women who listen to this podcast, a lot of their reasons, and maybe your reasons for your food decisions don’t feel quite as stable.
They feel a bit, um, quite a bit more emotionally charged. And so I want to talk about making food decisions, not from empowerment, but from defiance. So this is one end of the spectrum. I see in terms of our reasons for making food decisions in the beginning. So how you can view making food decisions from defiance is when we think I chose to eat this because I deserve it.
So this is when we’ll think life’s too short to worry about what I eat. I’m just going to give myself permission to eat whatever, and I’m not going to spend my life obsessing over what I eat with my clients. I kind of call it the effort mentality. like, we’re just kind of throwing it all away, but it doesn’t come from this negative place. For most women. I work with including myself in the past. This honestly just comes from being really sick and tired of being told how we should eat of being stuck in the diet industry or the weight loss industry.
And so what happens is we develop this sort of defiance to the rules and this rebellious mindset where we want to throw it all away. And what I always wanna offer for women who come to me with this mindset is this actually indicates some progress here because it’s moving away from that restrictive pressuring mindset where you feel the need to be perfect.
A lot of the times this mindset comes from someone being willing to give that up. But what ends up happening is it leads them to this place of apathy, resentment with their eating habits, where they just self sabotage and just like perfectionism and restriction this energy also, doesn’t get you the results you want when it comes to food or your body. And we want you to have permission with food.
We want you to not obsess over what you eat, but we also want you to feel like you are on solid ground with the results you want, that you can move towards the results you want with food, the results you want with your body without having to compromise the freedom that you may have in a defiant state of mind. So that being said, we can really validate and justify why defiance may feel safer than the restriction.
You may have tried in the past, but we also want to acknowledge that this will not get you the results you want, and it’s possible to get the results you want without being in restriction. A really common example of this IC is kind of this anti diet mindset that is in response to the diet industry. And it’s very well meaning, and it has good intentions, but it can put us in this place of apathy, resentment, defiance, and self sabotage, where you will not get the results you want.
Um, I talk about this quite a bit in an older episode, I think it was on body positivity, which is really interesting. So if this interests you more, I encourage you to go back and listen to that. So moving from this defiant mindset to an empowered mindset is one shift you can make. If you find yourself here, another energy I see when it comes to making eating choices in the beginning is the energy of blaming or shaming.
So this is when the reasons for making eating choices are I chose to eat this, even though I know I shouldn’t have, or I chose to eat this because I just don’t have enough willpower because I just must not want it bad enough because I don’t have control. So when you don’t have control with food and you’re not making the eating choices, you logically want to make you attribute that to meaning that something is wrong with you, that you must not be good enough that you must not be capable.
So you are making your eating choices mean that something is wrong with you. And this really ends up leading to more perfectionism and more self punishment. And what this will do eventually is it will lead you to a place where you genuinely feel that you don’t have control. And I think this is where so many of us start in this work is we’ve tried to stick to really specific food rules for so long that when they’re not possible for us to follow long term, we blame ourselves and we shame ourselves.
So rather than making the approach wrong that we were trying to follow, we make ourselves wrong in the process. And in my practice, just to give you perspective, I tell my clients in our work together that it’s not the client’s job to mold themselves in with the framework and to fit a specific framework. It’s the framework’s job to fit them, or it’s our job as the coach and the client to determine how the framework can fit them and meet their needs.
Because the manner of eating that you choose must fit your preferences, your needs, and your goals when we’re not doing that. And we’re not requiring a method of healthy eating to fit us, we’re requiring ourselves to fit it. Then we’re denying ourselves of our agency, of our consent of what we really want. And so this means that any method where it doesn’t feel like something you want to be doing will not work inevitably if you’re having to force yourself to do it.
And when it stops working, our culture is to blame ourselves and to shame ourselves for us not working that method. And so it’s useful to know that the defiant rebellious energy that we can have behind eating choices, as well as the blame and the shame it can all exist. And what I see is it’s kind of this dance that we do between blaming ourselves and shaming ourselves, and then going into defiance and Rebell, we’ll try and hold on really tightly to eating methods and diets and weight loss protocols.
And then when that no longer works, we’ll get into this defiant energy where we just want to throw it all away for some time. And then it takes us back and back and back. And we’re just going back and forth. And in the middle of all of that is this empowered energy with food where we just make eating decisions, because we know what works for us and what we want.
It’s all of the boring logical reasons. And the goal of becoming a naturally healthy eater is for all of your eating decisions, to feel like neutral decisions for your reasonings, behind your eating choices, to feel quite boring and logical. And I want you to begin observing your eating choices and then asking yourself why you chose to make that food decision.
What was your reasoning behind it? If you asked yourself that question, what would you possibly come up with now, as I mentioned in the beginning for some of you, and this is perfectly fine, you may find this a bit inaccesible at first, because you’ll be tempted to think. I just don’t know why I’m making these eating decisions. I think I just need someone to tell me the answer, et cetera, et cetera. And if this comes up, it’s okay, you’re a human, I’m a human that has these same thoughts as well.
This is just when you want to give yourself some breathing room and some space, wait for your mind to settle a bit. Then come back to this. When curiosity is available to you here, just think, what are your reasons for making food choices in that moment? Was it an act of defiance? Are you looking back at that food decision and feel the need to blame and shame? And if it was an empowered decision, what would be your reasons for it?
Notice what energy comes up when you think about the food decisions that you made. This is a really good indicator to see where you’re at and to see where your mindset is when it comes to making food decisions and eating healthy. It’s really, really important to know that how we have been conditioned in diet culture is to think that someone else knows the answer better than us, better than you.
And when we’re in a state of high emotion in a survival way, we’ll be tempted to demand the answer from someone else because we just can’t possibly have it. And this is why I recommend taking a step back, getting to a place of more calm, and then revisiting something like this when curiosity is available to you, because you do have answers my friends, there is wisdom here. So slow down, get curious, come up with answers yourself here and just observe what you see.
There’s so much awareness to be had here. That will move you forward. All right, as always, thank you so much for being here today. I really hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and I’ll see you in the next episode.
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.