You often feel overwhelmed by the daily tasks in your life, leading you to wonder, “How can I possibly prioritize healthy eating and weight loss alongside all my other to-dos?”
This is a typical worry among high-achieving women who aim to adopt healthier habits. It seems daunting to integrate a healthy identity with the overwhelming state you experience in other areas of your life.
In this episode, I’ll teach you the truth about overwhelm and what’s necessary to achieve the healthy change you desire.
→ Why you feel overwhelmed and why things in your life sometimes seem “a bit too much”
→ What needs to happen for you to navigate through periods of overwhelm
→ How to handle overwhelm without undermining your efforts in healthy eating and weight loss
→ Steps for dealing with your overwhelm now, so you can experience more ease and calmness.
The reality is, your overwhelm can coexist with easeful, permanent weight loss. It just requires learning how to navigate your overwhelm usefully and effectively. This is a skill anyone can learn.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. Today I want to talk to you all about what to do when you’re feeling really overwhelmed and this is something I coach on a lot in own Your eating habits. We talk a lot about how to fit healthy eating and weight loss into exactly the life you have now. So in our process we’re really focused on teaching you that you don’t have to have perfect life circumstances to create these results and something that feels like it gets in the way between you and the weight loss results you want is your overwhelm where you feel like your health goals can’t possibly compete with all of the other things you have in your life.
So you may find that you have every intention to eat healthy and lose weight. It is something that really matters to you.
You really, really want to make it a priority, but you’re having trouble actually prioritizing it because of all of the other things that are going on in your life. So you have a lot on your plate so to speak. So it feels like your to-do list and the resulting overwhelm of that is taking up all of your attention, focus and brain space. And this makes it feel difficult and maybe even inaccessible to follow through on healthy eating so you can lose weight and it might feel like the healthy changes that you want to make can’t really coexist with the current state of your life.
So we’re going to establish today exactly what’s happening in situations like this, the perspective you need to have of these situations and what you’re going to do to move yourself through them. So you cannot only prioritize your health, but exhale some of this overwhelm so you can bring yourself more ease.
So if things are feeling a bit too much right now in your life, I wanna talk about why the reason is that you’re having a lot of thoughts about the circumstances in your life. So some examples of thoughts might be, I don’t have time, this is too much. I can’t right now, et cetera, et cetera. There’s constant sentences happening in your brain and your thoughts are what create your feelings, your emotions.
So sentence after sentence in your brain will create layer after layer of emotion and in this case that emotion is overwhelm. So overwhelm is a feeling or a vibration in your body. That’s where it exists. So your thoughts layer that overwhelm in your body until it feels like too much. So I want you to consider that the circumstances of your life, your to-do list are technically neutral.
So they’re facts, they can’t actually create your overwhelm.
Your experience of them is that I don’t have time and this is too much. That’s what creates the overwhelm. So I’ll say that again your to-do list or anything outside of you. Life circumstances can’t create your overwhelm. It’s your thoughts of I don’t have time and this is too much. So then what happens from there when you create this overwhelm and it’s being layered is you overeat to comfort that overwhelm buildup and it becomes too much.
You’re in this stress state, your body offers you cravings to receive that comfort and relieve that overwhelm. So this is why you tend to overeat when you’re in periods of overwhelm or stress in your external life, what will happen is you tend to spin in indecision. Maybe you’re not as productive as you’d like to be, so then you feel more overwhelmed with your to-do list because it’s not getting completed.
So that really is a reaction that so many have when it comes to overwhelm. They will not manage their to-do list properly, which leads to more overwhelm and also they’re overeating as a byproduct of those emotions. So this will of course lead to weight gain and also unfinished to-do lists which further perpetuates the narrative that you don’t have time or energy to devote to weight loss. So what I really want to bring you to today is for you to see that you managing your overwhelm properly is actually a non-negotiable to you losing weight permanently because unmanaged overwhelm further perpetuates the belief that you don’t have time or energy to prioritize your weight loss.
So we’ve gotta clean that up so you really establish that weight loss and healthy eating can be a priority no matter what is going on in your life. So let’s talk about what will need to happen for you to move yourself through periods of overwhelm.
And I’m gonna go through this pillar by pillar so you can start to integrate them into your day to day. So the first thing is, the most important thing is you’ve gotta separate your thoughts from the facts. This is the most important thing when it comes to managing your mind and your emotions. You have to be really firm with yourself about what the facts are of the situation and what your thoughts are the facts are, for example, that you have a to-do list.
The thoughts are that you’re not gonna get it done, it’s too much you don’t have time. Make sure you’re separating those things. And I wanna offer, you may find you resist doing this, but do it anyway because you cannot lessen your overwhelm if you’re sticking your feet in the mud with why your.
Stories about your life are true. Okay? So you cannot relieve the overwhelm if you’re continuously selling yourself on why the thoughts are true. Do not stick your feet in the mud with your thinking. Be willing to objectively separate the facts from what you believe about the facts because beliefs are always subjective. This will actually immediately release some tension if you commit to drawing this line in the sand between the thoughts and between the facts.
You can choose to think my life isn’t in shambles. I’m only having an emotional reaction due to my thoughts about my to-do list. Because when you indulge your thoughts and you don’t separate them as thoughts versus facts, you will feel like that your life is crumbling down because that is what your nervous system is telling you. That is what your emotions are telling you. It’s really important as a safety measure that you firmly establish with yourself that your life is not crumbling down, you are having an emotional reaction due to thoughts you’re having about your life, about your to-do list.
So, so important. Next, you must not indulge the overwhelm. So this is related, but do not fight for your reasons why things are too much right now. Take one thought you notice and look at it objectively. It doesn’t mean you convince yourself to not believe your thoughts, it just means you stop building evidence for your thinking. So for example, let’s say the thought is this is too much right now and that thought creates overwhelm.
I want you to consider that this thought is one sentence and then when you establish the reasons why things are too much and you build evidence, it’s like writing the whole book and we wanna keep it to the one sentence that creates the initial overwhelm. We do not want overwhelm buildup. So when you notice a thought, sit with it and hold space for it, but try not to indulge it where you’re coming up with evidence for it and you’re writing the whole book narrate the experience of that thought properly.
So I am having an emotional response because of my thoughts. I am feeling overwhelm in my body because of the thought in my brain that this is too much right now. This is going to stop the layering of your overwhelm because here’s what’s really interesting that many of you will not know until you partake in this work. Overwhelm is incredibly tolerable because we tend to associate the vibration of overwhelm with feeling like too much.
But it’s actually because as a culture we are indulging our overwhelmed thoughts so much. We really collectively have this narrative that we’re all really busy, things are too much, there’s a lot going on, and so all of us are just in this constant state of building our overwhelm up. But I want you to think about that overwhelm that results from one thought is incredibly tolerable. It is a very tolerable, digestible feeling in your body when you only let it exist as a feeling in your body and a thought in your mind.
Layering of overwhelm is not tolerable because when that happens, you’re making your outside world a problem that can’t be solved. So the feeling will just keep on building and this is where some people will spiral in their overwhelm. We feel like we’ve gotta overeat in order to get that comfort and bring that down and that’s not where we want you to be. We want you to have a tolerable experience of your overwhelm and this is what’s going to lower your cravings and allow you to prioritize healthy eating and weight loss no matter what circumstances are going on in your life.
Next, I want you to stop accepting indecision. So if you feel like things are too much or you’re having constant overwhelm, I wanna offer that you’re not actually making decisions. Instead, you’re spinning in indecision. So type A women, actually we have more trouble with this.
We’re very big on problem solving, planning, organizing, but I want you to see that this is indecision covered in glitter. So these things will feel very productive, but they actually don’t produce any of the outcomes or results we want to create in the world. Creating a to-do list does not complete the to-do list. This is not you taking massive action and creating results. This is you sticking your feet in the mud with indecision and this is why you have no brain space left because all of your to-dos are sitting and accumulating in your brain because you’re not making quick decisions on them and executing those decisions.
So make very quick decisions on A to-do list, put them out of your brain, put it on a schedule and take action on it. Create results with your to-do list problem solving, planning, organizing will not help you with this.
It will actually just add more chatter to your brain. Next, this one’s really simple, but don’t entertain confusion ever. This is only going to indulge your overwhelm. So confusion is when we have thoughts like, I don’t know what to do. This is complicated, I can’t solve this problem. When you notice that your brain’s in confusion, just sit with it and hold space for it because likely you’re just having some layered overwhelm and that’s what needs to be addressed.
This is something that we teach in the coaching a lot inside own your eating habits. In that program we set a really firm standard that none of y’all are ever allowed to be confused, but the clients end up loving this because it allows them to feel more stable in the results they’re creating and they end up creating results that much quicker. Next, you need to establish the facts of control.
So this is so, so important, especially when it comes to your eating habits and your weight. You must establish firmly with yourself that you are always in control of your actions and when you don’t take action, so if you don’t prioritize something and take action on it, that is in your control. If you do take action on something and prioritize it, that is in your control. So even if you feel overwhelmed and you’re in that activated state, never allow yourself to speak about yourself in a way that implies you are not in control of your actions.
This will only debilitate you, it will layer on more overwhelm and it’s going to put you in a state that is not useful. So I found myself doing this. I ended up doing this, I just forgot to do this. Thoughts like these are how you debilitate yourself with your thinking.
So if you didn’t prioritize something and follow through with it on a to-do list or with healthy eating, it’s okay, welcome to being human. So observe what led to you taking those actions and decide how to help yourself do it differently next time and own your eating habits. You create weight loss through trial and error. So there’s no time when our clients create success without failing along the way. It is all part of it, but nowhere in that equation does that mean they lower the opinion they have of themselves.
Never once are they thinking I’m not in control because I’m going through this process of trial and error. So watch how you speak to yourself in these situations. Never use moments to fuel any type of belief that you’re not in control. Even when you’re overwhelmed, it’s going to be so important that you establish that you have firm control with your actions even when you are experiencing overwhelm that’s going to stabilize that experience for you.
Next, I want you to just know that the way you feed yourself cannot be an afterthought in your life. It has to be a priority. So this is just more something I want you to establish with yourself. Even when you’re overwhelmed or feeling any other type of emotion, the way you feed yourself needs to be a priority. So prioritizing something does not mean putting more energy towards it. This is a common misconception. Prioritizing something means you just place it as a front facing focus in your brain.
So prioritizing something, it’s less about the work or the actions and it’s more about the intention and the thought behind it. There are things that you will prioritize in your life that you’re not putting a lot of energy towards and you always take action on it when you need to no matter what. So some examples are showing up to work every day, not missing a flight, feeding your kids.
These are all things that you’ve already established are 100% going to happen. And so I want you to think about for you personally, what things have you established with yourself that you will do no matter what, no matter how you’re feeling. And I’ll say that again. What things have you established with yourself that you’re going to do no matter what, no matter how you’re feeling? Notice these are the priorities you have set and notice how little energy goes into those decisions because you’ve already decided that you’re going to do them even on your worst day.
There’s no indecision there. This is how you care for yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you just establish that it’s something that you’re going to do no matter what and there’s no indecision with it. It’s just something you’re going to prioritize. So, so I would love to talk about how this can look this month.
So at the time of releasing this episode, it’s the holiday season. We’re in early December and we’re coming up on the holiday. So I wanna talk about an example of what it may look like for you this month to move through this overwhelm. So let’s say first that you identify that things feel like a lot right now during this season. So like we mentioned, the first thing you wanna do is establish what are the thoughts versus the facts. So the thought you’re having is that this is too much.
You’re feeling overwhelm. The facts are the things on your to-do list. So maybe that’s presence for the kids, holiday parties, work tasks, planning, upcoming trips, et cetera. Write all of these down, get really clear on the facts of your to-do list and then know that your thought those things is this is too much. And this is not a logical thought, it’s an emotional experience of the facts.
So establish with yourself, I’m having the thought, this is too much. The facts are my to-do list. So next you wanna hold space for the feeling of overwhelm. So you’re going to breathe, you’re going to describe how you feel, get away from your to-do list and thoughts about it for a moment and just focus on the feeling. Your feelings in your body are real and they are tangible. Your thoughts aren’t, it’s all in your head.
So when it comes to processing this overwhelm, it’s important you get out of your head and into your body and you just hold space for that feeling.
This will allow you to better separate this emotional experience from the facts, which are your to-do list. And once you feel like you’ve separated the emotional experience a bit from the list, then decide what you’re going to do from that certainty where you’re not confused, you’re not going to spin an indecision. You’ve established that you have control over your actions. So decide what you’re going to do from that place. Give yourself a time limit to decide, make those decisions, schedule it, and do not accept indecision or confusion with that to-do list.
And then lastly, I want you to establish what will a healthy experience of this overwhelm look like for me this month? How can I have a healthy experience of this emotion? How will I hold space for it without it affecting my eating habits or my weight? Think about this question and be really, really specific with it.
Alternatively, you can think, what would it look like for me to react to this overwhelm in an unhealthy way and what would it look like for me to have a very mindful and healthy experience of this overwhelm in a way that didn’t affect my eating habits or weight negatively? You will come up with such valuable answers here, and the good news, my friends, is that the stakes aren’t so high here. You do not have to solve your entire life to feel better. Now, if you’re in a state of overwhelm, you just need to establish an accurate perspective of your overwhelm, where you neutralize it and then practice moving yourself through it.
You can learn to eat healthy naturally and lose weight no matter the circumstances in your life. You don’t need a right time. There is no ideal time. What you need to learn is how to manage your emotions around the life circumstances that you’re having now.
So naturally healthy eating and weight loss is easily accessible to you. So if you can relate to this episode and you experience overwhelm in your life, you likely feel unsure how healthy eating and weight loss will sustainably fit into that. So this is actually what my program own Your Eating Habits was really designed to help you navigate. What I do is I specialize in helping women create control with food, but without restriction pressure or unnecessary willpower.
So what we teach you is to build the skills of healthy eating and weight loss in a way that doesn’t require excessive amounts of time and energy. So if this is you, I recommend getting on our wait list now because we are opening enrollment again in January. So you’ll join a cohort of women all working towards that same goal. You’ll change the way you eat and lose weight for the last time, and you’re going to do it all while learning to feel less overwhelmed. So get on that wait list today at cat rents.com/waitlist.
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.